Not full-on proper reviews, because I’m, well, lazy – just thoughts!
I picked up Linda Lael Miller‘s “The Man from Stone Creek” on impulse. I haven’t read her books for ages and ages, and was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it. I hadn’t read a Western historical romance in, well, ages. But I loved the characters in this book – the undercover Ranger working as a schoolteacher, the heroine managing the general store, the vividly-drawn secondary cast – as well as the general atmosphere and feel of the wild wild West! This really put me in the mood for reading more Westerns, so I also picked up her “Emma and the Outlaw” and “Lily and the Major” books (re-issues). While these weren’t as good as TMfSC, I think I may start reading Westerns again.
Nora Roberts‘ “High Noon” was my airplane book – I thought it was a solid read, but nothing special, IMO. My sister said that Ms Roberts writes great characters, but her recent standalones lack *something*. And I think I’ll agree. The writing flowed as always, but I didn’t love it, and from a distance of two weeks or thereabouts, I can’t even remember the storyline. I think the last Nora Roberts books I loved were her Chesapeake books – the ones with the Quinn brothers.
I also read Stephenie Meyer‘s “Eclipse”. Eh. I’ll admit it – this book bored me. I gave up halfway through and skimmed through to the end, just to find out where the characters ended up. I don’t like Bella, which is a major problem since the book is written from her POV. She’s too whiny and well, immature. But she’s only 18. Or 19. I’m wondering if I would have liked it more if I were a teenage girl – would I have identified more with Bella? I’m a bit on the fence as to whether I’ll get the final book – I’ll probably wait until the reviews come out for that one, I suspect. This was a bit of a disappointment.
Oh, and Suzanne Brockmann‘s Force of Nature. Now this I loved. I thought FoN was classic Brockmann, with a really action-packed suspenseful ending. Without giving too much away, I’m a huge Jules fan, and I’m glad he finally got his story and HEA. And I’m so getting the November novella (FoN spoiler-ish blurb here).
I heard she’s starting a new story arc that includes Tess and Nash. Ouch. Poor them. I’m in two minds on these secondary romance arcs – on one hand, I love them because you really get invested in the characters and there’s more scope for “what’s the worst thing I can do to these characters”-type plots and she does it *so* well, but on the other hand, I find that I get so caught up in them, that I just end up skimming through the books for the bits that involve them. I know I certainly did that for Sam/Alyssa and now for Jules. Hmm…
And finally, I read Linda Howard‘s “Up Close and Dangerous” on the way back. Though reading about a plane crash while on a plane may not have been the best choice. Heh. Maybe I’m in the minority here, but I found all the practical survival stuff fascinating. So I liked that part, which was good since they spent most of the book getting off the mountain, which surprised me a bit. The suspense part… wasn’t really suspense, was it? I thought she could have led up to it better, more foreshadowing perhaps? The twist came out of nowhere for me – I re-read the relevant bits once I finished the book, and still didn’t think she gave any clues. Perhaps not one of her greatest books ever, but a good read nonetheless.
I actually did more re-reads of old favourites, but I’ll save that for another post!