Saturday, December 1, 2007

QB's Quickies

"So, read any good books lately?"
"What did you think of...?"

Here's the Quickie answers to those questions. Click on the Links for more info.

Maggie Shayne, Erin McCarthy, Nalini Singh, Jean Johnson - An Enchanted Season anthology

Category: Peanut M&Ms - mmmm...devour... sigh... then reach for the next one. My daily dose of Insanity-B-Gone. Most books I read fall in this category. (A-,B+,B)
Flame Height: 6" out of 9"

Four surprisingly sexy, paranormal Christmas stories. I've been curious to read Singh's Psy/Changeling series because of the nearly universal glowing reviews. And I'm glad I finally read one of her stories, Beat of Temptation, in this anthology because it showed me that I probably won't like the series-- The "Psy" aspects would be too futuristic sci-fi for me. I ADORED the other three stories, though. If you buy only one holiday themed romance this season, I recommend it be this one.
Piquant Opines: RT, TRRC

Sherrilyn Kenyon with Alethea Kontis - The Dark-Hunter Companion

Category: M&Ms - a bit lighter and/or not quite as satisfying as Peanut M&Ms, but still Oh-So-Enjoyable! (B,B-,C+,C)
Flame Height: 0" out of 9"

I bought this book for one reason only- I'm hoping that I'll be able to make sense out of Archeron when it's released. As I've said before, Ash's story is the only reason I haven't stopped buying this series, but after his story, that's it. Although I have to admit I'm curious about Savitar, but he's not worth reading the rest of this increasingly muddied up series.

I have to give Kenyon and Kontis kudos for the entertaining concept of this book-- it's written from the POV of a smartass Squire (is there any other kind?) writing a training manual for new Dark Hunters. It's best to read this in small doses, though, because all those Greek, Sumerian, Roman, Nordic, Celtic, and Atlantian gods, goddesses and myths WILL make your head explode if you spend too much time trying to figure them out, especially since they tend to contradict each other (much like Kenyon does). It's more than encyclopedic, and some of the info is sort of interesting, while some info is just an info dump. There's a "secret" section on Archeron that precedes the Bonus Materials section. There's also a section of Cajun and Greek recipes thrown in there (how odd and random is that?!).

The most important and telling line in this rigid cover, larger than trade, paperback is "Now for the disclaimer: This book is mutable. It goes with the wind. It changes more often than the mind of a sixteen-year-old Libra..." Indeed. And might explain why I'm not the only one who has trepidations about whether Archeron can live up to expectations.
Piquant Opines: LV,

Eden Bradley, Jaci Burton, Lisa Renee Jones - Exclusive anthology

Category: M&Ms - a bit lighter and/or not quite as satisfying as Peanut M&Ms, but still Oh-So-Enjoyable! (B,B-,C+,C)
Flame Height: 6" out of 9"

BDSM doesn't usually float my boat, but I bought this because Mike, the other vet from Wild in Burton's Wild, Wicked and Wanton (see previous commentary) gets his HEA, or at least HIS version of an HEA. A pretty big life change for the amount of time that passes, but nonetheless, another intelligent erotic romance from Burton. Bradley's story just wasn't my "flavor" and Jones' story could have been better if she had just filled it in a bit more-- "show don't tell".
Piquant Opines: RT, RJ,

Maggie Shayne, Susan Sizemore, Lori Handeland, Caridad Piñeiro - Moon Fever anthology

Category: M&Ms - a bit lighter and/or not quite as satisfying as Peanut M&Ms, but still Oh-So-Enjoyable! (B,B-,C+,C)
Flame Height: 5" out of 9"

Four entertaining and engrossing vampire and/or shape shifter stories. Good stuff, Crazy for the Cat by Caridad Piñeiro was particularly memorable.
Piquant Opines: RT, RJ

Charlaine Harris (editor) - Many Bloody Returns anthology

Category: M&Ms - a bit lighter and/or not quite as satisfying as Peanut M&Ms, but still Oh-So-Enjoyable! (B,B-,C+,C)
Flame Height: 1" out of 9"

Thirteen authors (Charlaine Harris, Christopher Golden, Bill Crider, Kelley Armstrong, Jim Butcher, P.N. Elrod, Rachel Caine, Jeanne C. Stein, Tanya Huff, Carolyn Haines, Tate Hallaway, Elaine Viets, Toni L.P. Kelner), thirteen stories, each using the theme of vampires and birthdays. It truly amazed me to see the thirteen COMPLETELY different stories that arose from those two words. Some dark, some funny, some cute, some suspenseful, some poignant. Most were good, a couple were just "okay".
Piquant Opines: RT, VampireGenre, Darque Reviews


Emily Veinglory said...

I used to love Maggie Shayne, I might need to get that anthology....

QB said...

Hey Emily! She's not an auto-buy author for me, but she's had really strong stories in the last few anthologies she's been in.

Her latest book, Demon's Kiss sounds really good despite the fact that I've vowed to run screaming away from all new demon-themed books!

Aradia said...

Just finished three of Nalini Singh books. I am surprised that you didn’t like her work. I loved Dark River Pack leopards! These guys are so sexy!
“Many bloody returns” is good, isn’t it? I liked all the stories from my favorite authors (Harris, Huff, Hallaway and Armstrong).

QB said...

Hi Aradia! I don't have a problem with the Changeling characters, but the Psy characters and Psy world building are just not something that interest me. That's no reflection on the series, just on my personal tastes.

And yeah, I really liked reading the "Many Bloody Returns" stories from both familiar authors and authors I've heard of but never read. This is a keeper!