I'm excited and terrified. It's a nice place with a balcony. But it's away from my muuuuum. *sniffle*
In other news, I'm booked for RWA 2011 - only this time I'm getting a roommate (possibly two). When I lived rent-free I could afford a room to myself, but those halcyon days of folding and washing clothes in exchange for home-cooked meals, shelter and HBO are over.
With all that, however, I've still been reading, and now that I have a spare moment, it's time for my November/December/January Round Up. I carried December over because that's when I had the Yearly Round Up. And I'm carrying November over because I only finished three books that month (I know, what was wrong with me, right?).
For Heroines, we got:
- 1 Tempestuous Artist
- 1 Undercover Dressmaker
- 1 Pure Virgin(tm) Heiress
- 1 Independent Widow
- 1 Clueless Pharmaceuticals Representative
- 1 Former Sitcom Star
- 1 Quakin' Quaker
- 1 (Sort Of) Wicked (Kinda) Witch
- 1 French (or *IS* she?) Spy
- 1 Artificially Impregnated Party Planner
- 1 Fake Pilgrim
- 1 Tormented Governess
- 1 Desperate Single Mother
- 1 Five-Year-Old Boy
- 1 Hungry Lion
- 1 Stroked-Out Aristocrat
- 1 Retired Football Star
- 1 Cleaned-Up Hollywood Fuckup
- 2 Colin Firth Look-a-Likes
- 1 Albanian Secret Service Agent
- 1 English Spymaster
- 1 Incompetent Viscount
- 1 Angsty McSadPants
- 1 Crippled Soldier
- 1 Pretentious Unicorn
- "I'm not happy - I liked living in an 11 by 11-foot shed! What's wrong with Ma?"
- "I can't love him - he's only seducing me for my secret England-invasion plans!"
- "I can't love her - I might psychically see into our future when we have sex!"
- "I can't love her - I can't even speak!"
- "I can't love her - I might eat her by accident!"
- "I'm not happy - because I'm all green and emo and there are bad things going on with the government and stuff. I think."
- "I can't love him - I just got widowed and my sister is missing!"
- "I can't love him - his boozing and drug usage got our hit show cancelled!"
- "I can't love him - I'm already married. Plus enjoying sex is only for whorish women."
- "I can't love him - I'm pretending to be the help!"
- "I can't love him - I've got three of my friend's buns defrosting in my oven!"
- "I can't love him - he's fictional! And bears an awkward resemblance to both Colin Firth and my sexy coworker!"
- "I can't love her - I've got sssecretsss! And prequel baggage!"
- One Hidden Pistol
- 3 Psychic Powers
- 2 Magical Pairs of Shoes
- Several Disreputable Siblings
- 2 Strokes
- 1 Garden Shed
- 1 Broken Unicorn Horn
*January Pick* Flowers from the Storm, by Laura Kinsale. A+
Pros: Handsome hero, lots of angst, intriguing and original plotline.
Cons: Heroine is a bit of a buck-buck-buck-buckaaaw!
The Spymaster's Lady, by Joanna Bourne. A
Pros: Wily heroine, emotional nuance, hell of a bathtub scene.
Cons: Hero falls in love mighty fast for an emotionally-walled-off spy, not that I mind overmuch.
What I Did For Love, by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. A
Pros: Great world-building, fantastic secondary cast, intriguing hero.
Cons: Not enough intriguing hero POV. Heroine's pretty judgy.
Room, by Emma Donaghue. B+
Pros: Original premise, great use of dramatic irony and limited perspective.
Cons: Entire story told in five-year-old voice can be tiring, contrived depiction of media.
Captives of the Night, by Loretta Chase. B+
Pros: Lovely writing, intriguing mystery, well-rounded secondary cast.
Cons: Heroine's characterization is inconsistent, and mysterious hero remains a little too mysterious.
Since the Surrender, by Julie Anne Long. B
Pros: Gorgeous writing, hero who isn't overcome with angst.
Cons: Anticlimatic ending, overblown "dark past" between hero and heroine, completely inappropriate sex scenes.
Immortal Outlaw, by Lisa Hendrix. B-
Pros: Smart heroine, intriguing riddle plot, handsome platonic stallion manfriend.
Cons: Hero has identical angst to last hero in series, episodic pacing.
Finding Perfect, by Susan Mallery. C+
Pros: Incredibly sympathetic heroine journey, nice hero who endured feminine betrayal without becoming a misogynist douchebag, no baby epilogue *despite* a pregnant heroine!
Cons: Cartoonish elements, exaggerated and undeveloped villains, cheesy supporting cast.
Wicked, by Gregory Maguire. C
Pros: Lovely writing, on occasion.
Cons: Story serves to Make a Point - consistent plotting and character development take a back seat.
The Dangers of Deceiving a Viscount, by Julia London. C-
Pros: Um, the hero's not a total jerk?
Cons: Lots of subplots, too little time, not enough conclusions. Redonkulous supporting cast.
One Touch of Scandal, Liz Carlyle. C-
Pros: Somewhat interesting paranormal idea.
Cons: Angsty McSadPants hero is dreary, paranormal powers not really explained, heroine is bland.
Tumbling Through Time, by Gwyn Cready. D+
Pros: Bubbly comedic voice.
Cons: Plot makes no sense. None. Nada. Just imagine a wacky buttoned-up drug executive making out with two versions of Colin Firth.
*January Dud* Lord of Legends, by Susan Krinard. D
Pros: Um, it has unicorns? *sparkle sparkle*
Cons: Should have called the hero a uniBORING. Heroine is a judgmental little prude. Evil Vagina villainess helpfully explains to us how liking a lot of sex makes you EVIL.