My reading has picked up considerably this month, from the past two, partly because I’ve really made an effort to read more. My TBR pile is growing at horrific rates but I’m not even close to keeping up with it. Plus, I’m trying to read some of the books I picked up at BEA so I can pass them on in a timely fashion.

Scoop by Kit Frazier–review held until closer to release time. She’s a new author and I’d like to give her some good publicity when her book is available this fall.

Date Me Baby One More Time by Stephanie Rowe

It’s been a couple weeks since I read this book and you know, I’m not sure what it says that I had to go to Amazon and refresh my memory on the book (I couldn’t remember what it was about). After reading the blurb on Amazon and having an “oh yeah” moment, I remember enjoying this book, though I didn’t find anything outstanding about it. The book borders on the ridiculous, and I don’t say that as a put-down, but the situations in the book are so over-the-top that I’m not sure the author could have intended anything but for them to be campy and slightly ridiculous. A “Guardian” guarding a chalice that delivers eternal life–but isn’t really a chalice but an espresso machine. Her best friend was turned into a dragon 200 years ago, but said dragon still wears lingerie, paints her nails, and has internet sex. A mom who’s stuck between Heaven and Hell but being courted by Satan–and finds him hard to resist. A heroine who hasn’t had sex in 200 years and isn’t sure she wants this damn Guardian job any more. And a hero whose family is cursed to die at a precise age (in bizarre and unlikely manners) and who is determined to kill the Guardian and end the curse. See? What else would you say but bordering on the ridiculous. That said, it was a cute read, entertaining for a few hours, and while I won’t be slavishly awaiting the sequal, I’d probably pick it up used.

Your Planet or Mine by Susan Grant – DNF

I got just over 100 pages in to this one, but ended up setting it aside. I’m going to pass it on to one of the winners of the BEA contest giveaway. I enjoyed the prologue, but the book didn’t draw me in. I’m not sure if I’ve ever read anything by Susan Grant before, despite having several of her books on my TBR pile, so I’m not sure if it’s her voice or this book in particular and I can’t compare it to past books, so fans of her work can know what to expect. Sorry!

Playing with Fire by Gena Showalter

Another ARC from BEA. Gena is outrageously beautiful and so nice. It’s always made me feel guilty that I’ve never cared for any of her books except Awaken Me Darkly. I started Playing with Fire a few weeks ago and stalled about 100 pages through. But I picked it up again a few days later and just a few more pages into the book a secondary character appeared who made me laugh, so I finished the book. I think fans of her writing will enjoy this book, though it’s different in that it’s told in first person POV rather than Gena’s normal third person writing. The concept of the story is interesting and fun but while I enjoyed it and found it to be a pleasant, thought not outstanding read, it’s not a book I’d go out of my way to recommend. This author remains a hit/miss for me, with more marks in the miss or “in-between” column and Awaken Me Darkly holding it’s own on the “hit” side.

Ghost Hunter by Jayne Castle

Okay, I admit it, I’m a bit of a Jayne Castle fangirl. Partly because she took us to the world of Harmony long before paranormals were ever “in” and partly because I find her writing style very easy to read. Ghost Hunter was no exception for me. Recently it’s been taking me up to a week to read one book because I have a hard time getting into them, seperating from my “editor” brain and letting everything else go. But this book read very quickly for me, I read it in two days (sneaking time during breaks from editing or while giving the baby meals), I was able to just jump into the book and escape for a few hours. I think fans will be happy with this latest offering from her, as it’s in the same style as her previous books. I do think those who demand more complicated plots and devices might scorn this book, finding it too pat and the relationship too convenient, but as for me, I enjoyed it as the diversion I needed.

Code Name: Baby by Christina Skyethis review contains spoilers

I have long been a Christina Skye fan and I have a copy of Code Name: Blondie that I snagged at BEA. I decided to read Code Name: Baby, which has been languishing on my TBR pile forever, so I could read Blondie and then pass them both on. I already said I’ve been a longtime fan of hers (love, love, love the Draycott Abbey books, can we have more, please?) but with this latest offering, I’m about ready to jump ship.

With each book in the Code Name series, Ms. Skye moves further and further into the bizarre with her super-powered military men who are turbo-charged with various abilities and gifts as a result of experimental testing and drugs. While this book held my attention, mostly for the addition of the four Labrador Retrievers as secondary characters who are super-intelligent (also as the result of government testing), I was extremely disappointed and dissatisfied with the ending. After building up readers the entire book to understand how impossible any relationship between the H/h is and that it can never happen (and I truly believed that) as well as building up the…corruption and near-evil of the government official in charge of the hero’s fate, Ms. Skye presents the reader with with an epilogue in which the tone is much lighter than that of the rest of the book and the character construct of both the governement official and the hero seem to change as if by magic, a HEA is presented in a neat package, with a tidy little bow, and the reader is left wondering if it was written by the same hand as penned the rest of the book.

It’s my opinion that Ms. Skye wrote herself into a corner and then copped out and took the easy way with a nice HEA that didn’t fit with the rest of the story, just so she could deliver one to her readers. This is what May is referring to when she says a HEA doesn’t fit the book and essentially ruins it, I believe. I don’t normally grade books, but this book gets a D, for the last couple pages alone. Very disappointing ending and it makes me less than eager to pick up the next. If Ms. Skye wants to write impossible relationships that need creative solutions to get their HEA, she needs to work more on the creative solutions and less on making it impossible to believe.

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