Looking back at Novermber I have to say that once again my total of books seems on the low side, but I did get to read some really good stuff last month. It was hard to settle on just 5 to highlight, so I want to give an honorable mention to 2 books. The first is Vince Flynn's American Assassin. Since I prefer to blog about romance books, I don't always mention the non-romance I sometimes read. This straight suspense book featuring a young Mitch Rapp was reminiscent of Flynn's earlier books and the first one of Flynn's I really, really liked since he killed off Anna. The 2nd honorable mention goes to Suzanne Enoch's Rules of an Engagement. This is probably damning with faint praise, but I came close to giving up on this one part way in. I was browsing ahead trying to decide whether to continue or not. I noticed that the hero decides to woo the heroine and he has to persuade her that they belong together. So I went back to continue reading. Sure enough from there the book became much more enjoyable. It's a "light" historical that really lacks the meat of my favorites for the month, but the dialog was enjoyable--great give and take between the h/h. I was glad I stuck with it and I'd recommend it for the humor and the way the hero romances the heroine.
Cliff Lee's a Phillie again! Cliff Lee's a Phillie again!
Opps, sorry, couldn't contain myself there. Ahem....
5. Happy Ever After by Nora Roberts. I talked a little about this book when I wrote a post about the whole quartet here. HEA was another great installment in the series where we got to look at the wedding business through Parker's eyes. Once I started this I didn't want to put it down. I felt that way about all of the books in this series. I did think the romance part got short-changed which I found disappointing. But still, all-in-all, it was a very entertaining read. I really prefer these contemporary romances by Roberts over her paranormals.
4. Scoundrel by Zoe Archer. This is book 2 in the Blades of the Rose series and was another great story of adventure and magic. Heroine London Harcourt has been raised to be a perfect lady, i.e. a doormat subservient to the men in her life. But she longs for adventure and the chance to put to good use all of the things she has studied over the years. Bennett Day is the charming scoundrel--a ladies' man, adventurer, and defender of the world against those who would selfishly use magic for their own personal gain. In this case, the enemy Bennett is fighting is no less than London's powerful father. As London's eyes are opened to the magic she gets to put her linguistic skills to good use, but she is also confronted with the truth about her father. London and Bennett have a fun, sexy relationship and it's great to see London come into her own and Bennett realize that London is just the woman for him.
3. Sinful in Satin by Madeline Hunter. I really enjoyed the way Hunter's latest gave us a look at people who live on the fringes of polite society and the difference between being a female in that situation and being a male in that situation. Celia Pennifold is the daughter of a famous London courtesan. As such, people assume "like mother, like daughter" no matter how much Celia tries to build a quiet, respectable life for herself. Jonathan Albrighton is the illegitimate son of a deceased earl and he works quietly for the government. When Celia inherits her mother's properties, she finds Jonathan living as a tenant in a small house that Celia hopes to make her home. Jonathan is staying there trying to find some incriminating papers he believes Celia's mother may have left behind. The two meet and as they each work at uncovering various mysteries about their respective pasts, a very tender romance blooms between them. Hunter does a wonderful job of weaving the attitudes of the times around characters who just want some questions answered so they can try to live "normal" lives. This is just another lovely, lovely book by Hunter.
2. Never Love a Lawman by Jo Goodman. This was a re-read in anticipation of the Dec. 1 release of Marry Me. I wanted to re-acquaint myself with the citizens of Reidsville and I loved it again every bit as much as I did in September 2009. Seriously, if you haven't read this yet you should. Oh, and Marry Me is even better. But that's all I'm saying for now.
1. Trial by Desire by Courtney Milan. This book received a ton of positive buzz when it was released back in September. After reading it, I have to say that all that buzz is well-deserved. I read a library copy and liked it so much that I bought it for my Kindle and I expect I'll re-read it soon. Ned and Kate are a married couple who have been separated for 3 years because Ned took off for China shortly after their marriage. Before he left, Ned was a weak individual with little purpose in life; he comes home a changed man determined to make his marriage work. Meanwhile, Kate has been making a life for herself and it's a rather dangerous one as she helps women escape abusive husbands. She was also deeply hurt by Ned's desertion and she is reluctant to let him back into her life, especially when she needs to safeguard the secrets of the women she is protecting. The book deals with some heavy issues such as depression and spousal abuse. This is wonderful story of two people learning to trust each other and who give one another the freedom to be themselves. I simply cannot recommend this book enough. Milan's next book is due at the end of January I'm really looking forward to it.
Cliff Lee's a Phillie again! Cliff Lee's a Phillie again! Oh, right. I said that already. But hey, it probably bears repeating.