Friday, April 24, 2009

Chao, Readers! I've Off for a Week!

It's that time of year, again - my University choir is going on its annual tour to various small towns, spreading joy and madness and song and glitter with our voices and handbells. I had a great time on my last two tours, and I'm looking forward to this one. I have my camcorder, I have my music binder, and I'm ready to go.

The downside of this is that I won't be posting any reviews on my blog for a bit more than a week. We leave tomorrow and don't return until May 3rd, and by then I'm usually exhausted from the crazy amounts of fun-ness (fun-ity?) I've had. However, as a parting gift before I'm whisked out of personal contact, I present a preview of the books I will be reviewing soon - that is, the books I will be reading on my trip for the long busrides. I chose these books from my TBR pile very carefully - I made sure to mix it up a bit to make sure if I was bored with one book that I wouldn't be stuck with the exact same type of book for the rest of the trip. This means I didn't bring books all by the same author, or all by authors I knew, or all in the same subgenre, so, without more ado:

The Book I'm Already Reading:
The Perils of Pleasure, by Julie Anne Long. But why are you reading this, you may be wondering, since you gave her debut novel such a spanking on your blog? Well, two reasons - 1) despite her short-bus characters in The Runaway Duke, Julie Anne Long has truly beautiful writing that I've found has been rarely matched in other romances, so I thought I'd try again on one of her later novels and 2) I won this novel in a contest so it was already on my TBR pile and I'm too much of a book whore to throw out free books. So we'll see how that goes.

The Historical By the Author I Know:
To Sir Phillip, With Love, by Julia Quinn. Truth be told, I'm a little worried about this one. Many readers consider Romancing Mr Bridgerton to be the peak of the Bridgerton series (even though I was wasn't entirely impressed with it), with the other entries going downhill from there. Also, while reading RMB, I quite disliked Eloise (and this is her book) because I thought her a shrill nosy hypocrite who will annoy the everliving shit out of her friends to get at their secrets but retreats in offense if anyone asks after her own. But who knows? Maybe she'll meet her match who annoys the everliving shit out of her and gives her a taste of her own medicine.

The Historical By the Author I Don't Know:
Untouched, by Anna Campbell. Campbell is a relatively new author on the scene whose debut novel Claiming the Courtesan caused a firestorm of controversy in the "does forceful seduction equal rape" department. I really can't comment on it, because I made a conscious decision not to read Claiming the Courtesan and I don't think I ever will. The story (hero falls in love with heroine, heroine leaves to start new life, hero kidnaps heroine and makes love to her under slightly less than romantically consensual circumstances, hero and heroine fall in love) frankly does sound rather repugnant to me and altogether not that interesting - so considering the size of my TBR pile I decided there's no point in bothering with it. But again, I can see how this could be one of those Taming of the Shrew is-it-abuse-or-do-they-both-need-it-to-be-better-people arguments.

However, just because one of her novels doesn't interest me doesn't mean I have to write her off altogether, and the plot of Untouched really caught me: hero has been trapped in his house since he was fourteen, has never touched or really spoken with a woman, and somehow has to learn to adapt to the heroine, who is suddenly chucked in there with him by hero's evil uncle to work off his "man needs." A virgin hero, you say? I've encountered too many Duke of Slut heroes to count these days so a story with a virgin hero always catches my attention. Plus, it got good reviews.

The Contemporary By an Author I Know:
Fast Women, by Jennifer Crusie. The last one of hers I read was Welcome to Temptation and it was a hella long time ago. It's time I caught up, wouldn't you say?

A Fantasy By an Author I Don't Know:
Lord of the Fading Lands, by C. L. Wilson. I started out a fantasy reader and then become a romance reader later - so I was intrigued by the book, as well as the crazy-good reviews it's been getting. There's always been something about immortal heroes that turns me off, somehow - I think I have trouble imagining how everyday troubles and problems and relatable angst could be experienced by a dude who's lived for a thousand years, but again - fantasy. Romance. Crazy good reviews. Also - thanks to a bizarre conglomeration of random luck that caused me to win several draws at once, I won the first three books of this series for free.

So, dear readers, even though you won't have new posts of mine to read for a while, at least you'll have an idea of what to look forward to once I get back. See you soon!


  1. Laura3:11 PM

    To Sir Phillip With Love is pretty good. It's funny when the Bridgerton brothers come to visit.

    I didn't make it past the first chapter or two of Untouched. The characters and situation they're in were not my cup of tea.

    Have fun on your trip!

  2. I am dying to read Claiming the Courtesan, but had no idea there was so much drama around it. Now I want to read it even more LOL. She is a facebook friend and just the loveliest of ladies.
    But the reason I am actually posting is because in the weirdest, freakiest timing, I was just reading archives of Courtney Milan and was reading her review of Perils of Pleasure. how weird is that?
    Here is the link. She is fantastic!

  3. Anonymous12:53 AM

    i cant wait till you come back and blog about all of these books (:

    enjoy your trip :] !

  4. I picked up the C.L. Wilson book at a used book sale a few days ago. Looking forward to reading it!

  5. Laura --> I'll be reviewing that soon - sadly, I only managed to finish Perils of Pleasure, Sir Phillip, and I'm reading Lord of the Fading Lands now. But I just got a load of fantasy books in from Green Man Review so my romance review postings might slow down a bit after that.

    Louise --> I'm still a relatively new romance reader (only about two years), so I still have books that I will not touch if they hit certain buttons:

    -I will not touch a romance where the heroine is seduced against her will. While the outcome may be an HEA and there may be discussion about the emotional blurred lines between the two characters and the hero may feel very sorry afterwards, it's not a subject I like to discuss nor one I want to read. It affects how I view the entire novel.

    Try reading my F review of Sweet Trouble by Susan Mallory. The female characters were great and the writing was good but the hero was so appallingly abusive to the heroine that I couldn't enjoy the book. Therefore, I don't take the trouble of spending money or time on books that have plots that I react negatively to.

    -I will not touch a romance where the hero/heroine have to cheat on other people to be with each other. Even historicals - even while in the case of arranged marriages it's less of an emotional betrayal as contemporary marriages, you're still betraying your duty and obligations and I have real trouble imagining sympathizing characters who do such things, which is why I'm planning on keeping far, FAR away from "Memoirs of a Scandalous Red Dress" by Elizabeth Boyle. Not because I don't like the author or her writing (I'm still planning on reading "Love Letters from a Duke") but because the story turns me right off.

    -I used to be turned off by the idea of the "soulmates" romance - usually in paranormals where the hero and heroine are pretty much stuck for life once they see each other. I like romances where the emotional and romantic development is intimate and emotional - not writ large in destiny. I'm trying to read "Lord of the Fading Lands" right now and the whole "wham bam we're magically attracted to each other" bit is quite difficult to get my head around, although I am trying (because I like fantasies and *cough* I have the other two books already on my TBR, dammit)

    Anonymous and Shereader -->I'll be getting on those, soon!