February 2011 Rundown

February really is such a short month. I did a fair amount of reading this month, but as it was a month plagued with my being exhausted and sick and the CONSTANT writing of papers (several per week, I mean) the majority of my reading was romance – as we all know, romance is my shut off the brain and relax reading. While I did read a little bit of non-fiction and science fiction, the only books I actually finished during the entire month were romance, or fantasy with a bit of romance in them. That said, I quite enjoyed them all – all… eighteen. =]

So all that romance, which books did I read?

February was a great month for firsts – I read a few new authors, started some new series, and even jumped into a new genre.

Unfortunately, due to the craziness of my schedule I only reviewed three of the eighteen books so far. This is also in part because I’ve been feeling crappy the past couple of weeks and have been doing more reading in my off-time than anything else. I reviewed Ilona Andrews’ On the Edge, which I really enjoyed, and was my introduction to both Andrews’ work and the Urban Fantasy genre. I promptly went out and bought a copy of the second book Bayou Moon which I look forward to reading in the near future as well as more from the Urban Fantasy genre. I also reviewed Fantasy Lover, what I refer to as the ‘Pre Dark-Hunter’ novel by Sherrilyn Kenyon. It is a great introduction for the series, I say. Lastly, I reviewed Sheryl Woods’ Driftwood Cottage from her Chesapeake Shores series. I really liked the story and look forward to reading the others.

I recently finished Desires of a Perfect Lady by Victoria Alexander, a historical romance which I quite liked. Recently widowed Lady Rathbourne finds out that her late husband has found a way to keep control over her even in death, but she is determined to gain her freedom to breathe. Even if that means heading a treasure hunt to complete three of her husbands antiquity collections. Lacking the means to do what she must to satisfy the will for her inheritance, Lady Rathbourne must go to the man who she once loved, the man who once let her down. I found Desires of a Perfect Lady to be a fun read and it sucked me in pretty quick. Definitely a good curl up with cocoa and get your mind off serious stuff read. I’m definitely going to be checking out some of Alexanders’ other reads.

Marie Force is an author I’ve been seeing a bit of lately, so when I saw a free ebook copy of Love at First Flight at Barnes & Noble I decided to give it a go. Love at First Flight is about two strangers who meet at the airport and end up next to each other on a flight south to spend the weekend with their significant others. When they end up on the same return flight home they share stories of weekends gone very wrong. One thing leads to another and they become good friends, living together and helping each other out. As their relationship buds over time though, Juliana and Michael face a slew of unexpected events and difficult decisions. While that short description leaves a lot out, I don’t want to ruin anything. Suffice it to say that when I thought I was just breaking into a fluffy and mindless read I actually found myself emotionally invested and unable to look away within the first couple chapters. I enjoyed this story much more than I anticipated and look forward to reading some of Forces’ other works.

Last summer I saw this book called I Kissed an Earl by Julie Anne Long. Since the title sent me into fits of laughter and resulted in a Katy Perry moment I just had to get this book. I didn’t even read the synopsis, I just saw the title and clicked add to cart. I found out its the fourth book of a series (Pennyroyal Green), but I can always go back and read the others later. This was another book that I didn’t really have any expectations for, but I have to say I loved Long’s main characters. Even for her characters along I plan to read on in the stories. I Kissed an Earl features a young woman who buys her way onto an all male cargo ship to save her brother (without the captain’s knowledge) and an American captain who has spent most of his life at sea, but was recently given a post as Earl by the King for his noble behavior.  I enjoyed this read far more than anticipated.

Rider on Fire by Sharon Sala is another impulse buy from last summer. It’s another book I went into without expectations. I had heard good things about the author before, but didn’t know where to start so when I saw a two-in-one for a really good price I jumped right on the opportunity. Rider on Fire follows an independent female DEA agent with a price tag on her head, her introduction to the father she never knew existed, the man who becomes the love of her life, Oh!, and that homicidal drug lord who is out for her. There was the romance, a little bit of action (who doesn’t love a gunfight in their literature every now and then), and discovery of family. Rider on Fire grabbed my interest and my emotions very, very quickly and I really ended up enjoying the book. Another plus is the fact that the majority of the story takes place on an Indian reservation in Oklahoma. I love stories that have Oklahoma Indians in it because I actually have ancestors who were full-blooded American Indians from (guess!) Oklahoma and it always just hits home for me when I see that. The bottom line: loved Rider on Fire and looking forward to more Sala.

I read a couple of books that were new in February. Animal Magnetism by Jill Shalvis is one. I read Shalvis’ Wilder brothers books last summer which led to an immediate obsession with her books and since then I’ve been working on reading all of them. Animal Magnetism was released at the beginning of the month, I bought it, read it in a couple of hours, and immediately started looking to see when the next book was coming out. The other Feb. release I read is, of course, This Side of the Grave by Jeaniene Frost. This is the long awaited fifth installment of the Night Huntress series. It was so good! I can’t wait until book six in the fall. Can’t. Wait.

I started another new series in February as well, the Demonica series by Larissa Ione. Pleasure Unbound is the first Demonica book, and much as I went into with no clue… I came out hooked! I bought the second book right after finishing the first and I’m definitely looking forward to continuing the series. The other series I started was Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate. One night I couldn’t choose anything I wanted to read from the 4,000 some odd books and ebooks I have at my disposal – go figure – so I decided to see what ebooks were available from my library – not that I don’t have seven books checked out right now – and came across Soulless. Needless to say I checked out the first book intending to see what it was like and read the entire book that night. The next morning I went out and bought the three that are out, read them all, and now I sit impatiently awaiting the release of book four this summer. So… in my opinion, Parasol Protectorate equals win.

The last five books I read were all historical romances. Last year I read Victoria Dahl’s contemporary romances and loved them so I went and got a couple of her historicals, which I ended up loving. A Little Bit Wild is the first book of a new series by Dahl and I loved it. I also read To Tempt a Scotsman. I’ve got one more of her historicals on my shelf to read and one more to buy and a couple of anthology stories and then I’ll be all caught up. And, last but not least, I read Kresley Cole’s MacCarrick Brothers trilogy (If You Dare, If You Desire, If You Deceive). I’m thinking that Cole is more known for her paranormal romance’s, but I really enjoyed these historical romance’s. These also work out to be the first I’ve read by Cole and I certainly look forward to jumping into her paranormal’s. I’ve seen a lot of positive reviews for them.

I’ve been working on my reviews for all of the books mentioned post-Sala and hopefully I will have all of those up by the end of the weekend.

About half of my February reads counted toward either the E-book challenge or the Off the Shelf challenge that I am participating in. Titles counting toward the E-book challenge: Desires of a Perfect Lady, Love at First Flight, and Soulless. Titles counting toward the Off the Shelf challenge: If You Dare, To Tempt a Scotsman, A Little Bit Wild, Fantasy Lover, I Kissed an Earl, and Rider on Fire.

And that, my friends, is February. As for what’s next…

I’ve got a few review books this month including Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dreadfully Ever After, which I am waaay excited to read. I”m going to be busting into that this weekend and my review will be up on March 22.

I’m also planning to finish up my first Star Wars novel soon. I went way back to the movie based Star Wars: From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker, released just a few months before the original movie, to start with this endeavor.

I’ve got a few non-fiction books piled up to read this month once I finish my Freud/Lewis book and the non-fiction review book I’m working on.

Other than that I’m still working through a bunch of romance novels, but then… aren’t I always?

The only other thing worth mentioning is that I’ve got a post that has been in the works for a while know about why we read, so keep an eye out for that post. I wanted to have it up long before now, but I just have not had the time or attention that I want to give it available, but that should be changing.

What have you been reading?

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