March 2011 Rundown

March was a pretty good month for reading. I completed 19 books during March and started a few others I’m still reading. It is true that most of my reading this month was, again, romance. But that’s ‘kay, because a lot of them were from series and authors whom I love.

Among the books I did full reviews for this month, some were books I read in February. Those would be a new series I started The Parasol Protectorate, the MacCarrick Brothers trilogy, and Pleasure Unbound from the Demonica series. March reads that I reviewed include a review copy of Steve Hockensmith’s Dreadfully Ever After, the last of the Pride and Prejudice and Zombies trilogy, Monster by A. Lee Martinez which I adored, and in non-fiction, Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love.

I have upcoming reviews for several books. Unfortunately I’m still further behind review-wise than I planned to be, but that’s because I am a lot more likely to read in my off time than I am to blog. It’s also because of school, I had a huge IRB proposal to prepare for my Psych Lab this month so I had much less free time than usual. Review posts upcoming include some February reads as well as Infamous by Suzanne Brockmann, books four and five of Kerrelyn Sparks’s Love at Stake series,  books two, three, and four of the Demonica series by Larissa Ione, and The Vampire Voss by Colleen Gleason.

Other books I’ve read this month include…

Swept Away by Toni Blake, this is a book I picked up sometime last year just for the heck of it. It didn’t seem like it would be that bad, how bad can having your own private island getaway where a sexy FBI agent washes ashore be? I didn’t really know what the book would be about beyond what I mentioned before, but I definitely got more than I expected. What I was expecting to be a mindless steamy romance actually ended up being quite intriguing what with the smuggling of antiquities and being chased by smugglers with deadly weapons through the private island jungle. The books were filled with great characters, several of whom were forced to look seriously at themselves and their decisions. Swept Away was lusty, but there is so much more that recommends it. Definitely suggested for those who are fans of a good romantic suspense.

Coming Undone by Lauren Dane is the second book in her Brown Siblings series. I read the first book, Laid Bare, last year and fell in love with Dane’s writing. Unfortunately this is the only book I’ve been able to read since, but the wait was so worth it. Dane writes characters that you just can’t help but love. They each have stories of survival that speak of a great personal strength. Dane’s books definitely aren’t for people who don’t like some spice with their books, but if sex won’t bother you, they are great romances. I look forward to continuing this series as well as reading some of her other works.

Last year I read two Mary Margret Daughtridge books, the first and third of her SEAL romances. SEALed with a Promise by Mary Margret Daughtridge is book number two in the series and I finally, gloriously got my hands on a copy and read it this month. I was not disappointed. SEALed with a Promise features Emmie Caddinton, the plain college professor with social contacts she’s never really cared to use, and Caleb “Do-Lord” Dulaude, Navy SEAL who is determined to get revenge for his mother. What ends up happening instead (hint: serious personal change for both parties) is even better. I was glued to the pages of SEALed with a Promise, each of the books in the series is fantastic.

How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf by Molly Harper, okay, I totally bought this book because of the title. This book wasn’t exactly what I was expecting… I let the title influence me into thinking that the book would start off with some hilariously awkward meeting between a naked werewolf and an unsuspecting bystander and go from there. While that didn’t happen, the story of Mississippi native Mo Wenstein packing up a pickup and moving to a small Alaska town where she meets Cooper Graham, an Alpha werewolf who decided being Alpha wasn’t for him after all, was catchy. I thoroughly enjoyed reading How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf and look forward to the next book in the series, which hopefully I get to this weekend.

I continued reading Linda Lael Miller’s McKettricks of Texas series this month with Tate and Austin’s books. While the idea of three brothers marrying three sisters seems a little strange to me… I mean, what are the chances? I still enjoy Linda Lael Miller’s books immensely. She writes some pretty irresistible cowboys, so she won’t be getting any complaints from me. Tate and Libby and Austin and Paige all find themselves back together again. It was also nice to have some of the holes filled in what with reading book two, then three, and the first one last. Bottom line, two more great reads from Miller.

Saddled and Spurred is book two in Lorelei James’s Blacktop Cowboys series. I have been waiting for this book for months! I was ecstatic when I finally grabbed my copy and was able to plop down and read it. It’s no secret that I love my cowboys and Bran Turner was no exception. Harper Masterson was easy for me to like also, she was faced with a difficult situation and stepped up to do what she had to do. As one can always expect from James, Bran and Harper’s relationship was off the charts steamy. The only thing I wish was different, I’d have liked to get to know Bran a bit better. Really though, another fantastic read from James. Now I’m stuck waiting for her next release… until the end of June.

The Heat is On by Jill Shalvis was a fun read from Shalvis. I absolutely love Shalvis’s romances as I have ever since that first one last year. In The Heat is On, someone is targeting free spirit Bella Machelli’s dates from a blind date program, Eight Dates in Eight Days. One morning she finds one of her dates outside the pastry shop she works at and when she calls the police, none other than her final date – the one who she had a one night stand with – shows up revealing himself as a detective. The Heat is On had some great characters, and aside from the one unlikely situation of someone being entirely obsessive over Bella to the point of killing her dates after knowing her such a short time, was a great read.

I’ve got a few books that I’m reading now and some new stuff coming up as well. The second book in Molly Harper’s werewolf series was released a couple of days ago as well as Vampire Mine, book ten in Kerrelyn Sparks Love at Stake Series. I’ve been waiting for Connor’s story and its finally here. I’m hoping to get to those soon. Jill Shalvis also has a new release in her Lucky Harbor series that I’m looking forward to in the near future.

There are a few books that I started in March that I’m looking foward to finishing. I am a few chapters into Steamed by Katie MacAllister and I’m interested to see what all the book brings. I’ve also started Blood Dreams the first in Kay Hooper’s Blood trilogy from her larger Bishop/Special Crimes Unit series. In addition, I also started a series mentioned by fellow blogger Cyberkitten. Way of the Wolf is the first book in E. E. Knight’s Vampire Earth series. I spotted it during a recent bookstore trip and I had a ‘why the hell not’ moment. 100 pages in and I’m quite liking it. Lastly, I’m reading Yes Means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual Power and a World Without Rape, a collection of essays edited by Jaclyn Friedman and Jessica Valenti. My thoughts are mostly positive at this point. I also plan to pick up the Freud/Lewis book I started a month or so ago, what with having a week before it’s due back at the library.

Speaking of the library, I stopped by Friday and grabbed a few books. I went with the intention of getting Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick and Unprotected Texts by Jennifer Wright Knust. I left with both of those and a few other books as well. I spotted an Isaac Asimov book, Out of the Everywhere while browsing the non-fiction floor, and while I haven’t read any of his works yet, this book looked to be interesting. When I was searching the new non-fiction section for Unprotected Texts, I spotted a book called The Tell-Tale Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Quest for What Makes Us Human by V.S. Ramachandran. A quick gander and I figured this would be a perfect fit for me – after all the brain amazes me. My last find was Transforming a Rape Culture which actually seems to be quite similar to Yes Means Yes, but as the book is from the early 90s, I’m looking forward to reading it to see what was thought about rape culture then and how it compares to today.

I will admit that I had no intention of reading Hush, Hush as fast as I did, but I picked it up when I got home and didn’t put it down until I finished it a few hours later. That’s another review that I’ll post once I’ve organized my thoughts a bit better.

I do believe that sums up March and what I have coming up. Happy Reading!

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