Ironskin by Tina Connolly


Ironskin (Ironskin, #1)

So freakin’ disappointed in this one. I don’t even think it was the hype, which made it out to be steampunkish and so unique. It’s more of a fantasy/alternate history where WWI was fought with the fey.  It’s unique all right, but all the fantastic elements fall apart in the end.  It’s so very obviously a Jane Eyre-inspired piece which I didn’t know it was going to be going into the story.  I loved Jane Eyre and the romance in that book, but in Ironskin, the romance between Jane and Edward makes no sense. They spend no time together and Jane deciding she loved him seems to come out of nowhere.

The world was interesting, but the more I think about it, the more it kinda falls apart. Honestly, when the book was over, I felt more empathy for the fey than the humans. I’m fairly certain I won’t be picking up future books in the series. A creative world that falls apart upon inspection just doesn’t do it for me when there’s not even a good romance and interesting characters to prop it up.

Ironskin by Tina Connolly. A big fat dud.

Underwhelming romantic suspense

Echoes at Dawn (KGI, #5)

Finally got around to reading Maya Banks’ Echoes at Dawn. Here’s what I said at Goodreads:

I'm iffy about how I felt about this one. I read it fairly quickly, finishing in one night, yet I skimmed a LOT.
I just didn't get a sense of Rio and Grace actually falling in love. Maybe lust. And Rio....he talked too much. His speeches to Grace about healing and getting her telepathy back and whatnot just grew old after awhile.
I like the concept of this series, but I don't think it's working for me anymore. Makes me want to go back and read Linda Howard's Midnight Rainbow again. I want to read something like that again.

But now I’m in the mood for a good military romantic suspense. Help! I really like action and what something fast-paced. And no wimpy heroines. Grace, for all that we heard she was strong, was weak in this book.

Renewal and birth–or rather, me blogging!

So I’m once again trying to get back in the saddle. I’ve got a two year old and I've been a stay at home mother since her birth. I still read a lot, but struggle with remembering what I read the night before long enough to get it down. Need to write myself notes at night. Any tips? It seems such a pain to annotate on the Nook Color, but do people use it that way? Or maybe I just need to put a book light on a notepad and do it that way.  Hmmm…nice how ideas come to me when I’m typing. Seriously, I cannot tell you how many hundreds of blog posts I’ve written in my head before falling asleep. Hundreds.

And on birth, I do have another blog I started up. N²+1 (My husband and I, plus my daughter). It’s more about everyday stuff and my adventures as a Pinterest-addict.

Update on those June titles

I posted here about June 2012 anticipate titles, but only have gotten around to reading a few.

Devil’s Gate by Thea Harrison was okay. Not the best in her Elder Races series, but a nice dip into the world until the next book comes out.

The Most Improper Miss Sophie Valentine by Jayne Fresina was delightful. I really loved that the hero wasn’t nobility. No one becomes rich in the end or is discovered to be a long-lost heir. It’s not a perfect book, but I found I liked it enough to really not care about the issues I found with it. I look forward to reading more books by Fresina.

I tried to read Worldsoul by Liz Williams, but I couldn’t get into it. I was just too confused in the beginning and wasn’t interested enough to wait until things were tied together. I do LOVE her Inspector Chen series, though.

Finally read Tangle of Need by Nalini Singh. I love her Psy/Changeling series, but as a standalone romance, this one didn’t really make the grade. I had fun reading it and thought it a good addition to the series, but it’s really a continuation of Hawke and Sienna’s story. And I now want more Vasic. I’d love to see how she’s fix such a broken man.

Home from the Sea by Mercedes Lackey is another Elemental Masters story. It’s just average and while a comfort read, if this is your first foray into the world, I doubt you’d be fired up to read more. There are much better books in the series. It is romantic, in its own way, as are most of the books in the series.

Nightshifted by Cassie Alexander really surprised me. I really enjoyed it. Edie Claire just really clicked with me. She may not be the most likeable character, but I found her interesting. Can’t wait for the sequel, Moonshifted, in November.

Chocolate Milk

When you have a cold and your two year old asks for chocolate milk, well, she gets it. I survived my week in Minneapolis only to get a cold. Yech.

Drive-by mini reviews

Going to make a quick run-down of what I've read lately.

A Week to be Wicked by Tessa Dare - stayed up WAY too late reading this. There's this awesome scene where they are trading math terms.

The Bro-Magnet by Lauren Baratz-Logsted - chick lit from a guy's perspective. Surprisingly good.

Lover Reborn by J.R. Ward - yes, this series is like crack. I know it's bad, but I can't stop reading.

Natural Evil and Oracle's Moon by Thea Harrison - Ms. Harrison is fast becoming a favorite paranormal romance author.

All three of Michael J Sullivan's Riyria Revelations. This fantasy series is SO good. I just adored it and couldn't stop reading once I started.

Fair Game by Patricia Briggs - the latest in her Alpha Omega series. Not my favorite in the series, but I still love everything she writes.

An Affair with Mr. Kennedy by Jillian Stone - good. I hope to read more in the series and can't wait for her next book.

Trick of Treatment by Simon Singh - excellent book about alternative medicine.

Baby Talk by Sally Ward - good book about encouraging kids to talk

My Pinterest Addiction



Okay, I admit it, I’m a Pinterest addict. I love love love this site. Just love it. So who else is a Pinterest addict with me?

Phoenix Rising by Corrina Lawson


Phoenix Rising by Corrina Lawson

1st book in The Phoenix Institute series

Here’s the blurb from Samhain’s site:

He was born to be a weapon. For her, he must learn to be a hero.
A Phoenix Institute story
Since birth, Alec Farley has been trained to be a living weapon. His firestarter and telekinetic abilities have been honed to deadly perfection by the Resource, a shadowy anti-terrorist organization—the only family he has ever known. What the Resource didn’t teach him, though, is how to play well with others.
When psychologist Beth Nakamora meets Alec to help him work on his people skills, she’s hit with a double-barreled first impression. He’s hot in more ways than one. And her first instinct is to rescue him from his insular existence.
Her plan to kidnap and deprogram him goes awry when her latent telepathic ability flares, turning Alec’s powers off. Hoping close proximity will reignite his flame, she leads him by the hand through a world he’s never known. And something else flares: Alec’s anger over everything he’s been denied. Especially the passion that melds his mind and body with hers.
The Resource, however, isn’t going to let anything—or anyone—steal its prime investment. Alec needs to be reminded where his loyalties lie…starting with breaking his trust in the woman he’s come to love.

Product Warnings

Contains telekinetic sex, nuclear explosion sex hot enough to melt steel, and various and sundry swear words.

I have such mixed feelings about this book. On one hand, I feel like I should have loved it since it’s an idea I like. I want to read more superhero/comic book type romances. Give me some X-Men or Wildcats or Witchblade or something along those lines (I confess to being a product of 90s comics. I was an Image fan. No one ever said I had the best taste in comics). Marjorie Liu comes very very close with her Dirk and Steele books, but I really do want more.

One of the main problems I had with this book is that Alec seemed so juvenile in his emotions. I never quite found him romance hero material. Hero material, yes, but he seemed locked in his teens as far as his hormones went. This is not what I want when reading an action romance. Beth also seemed so young and I never really felt as if she was the competent, professional that she was supposed to be. I almost found the leader of F-Team (the elite team that backs him up) more appealing. Actually, I found Beth’s adopted father Drake intriguing too. Now if there were books about them, I’d read them.

Even with all the problems that I had with the two main characters, I did enjoy reading the book. I liked the writing, for the most part, and aside from Alec’s rather juvenile behavior, the action was great. I will look for the next book in the series since I think it has potential and my qualms with this one are mostly with these particular protagonists. Next time, hopefully, we won’t be trying to meld a coming-of-age story with an action romance. So in the end, I thought of it as a happy-for-now, rather than a happy-ever-after.

Does anyone have any suggestions for some action/superhero romances?

January TBR Challenge and a few other things





When I saw that Wendy was doing another TBR Challenge for 2012, I decided that maybe, just maybe, this would be a way to get my butt in gear and this poor neglected blog back in action. A lot has happened in the past few years. I have a kid who’s almost 2 and I also no longer work at a bookstore. I also have found myself reading less and less book blogs and more home/design/family blogs. So I really have changed focus and keep wondering if I should just start over with a new blog, or keep all the old stuff. Who knows? Any ideas? But whoever said that I would stop reading once I had kids obviously was not a true reader. I still read a ton.

On to the TBR Challenge! In honor of Wendy, our fearless leader, I chose…

The Major and the Librarian by Nikki Benjamin!


I’m going to swipe my book description from Amazon.


For four years Major Sam Griffin had stayed away from Serenity, Texas, gruffly avoiding the fact that he was still heart-achingly in love with the woman who had almost married his brother.

Now home on leave, the devastatingly handsome pilot had to face beautiful Emma Dalton again. And though there was unmistakable yearning in her eyes, Sam could never put down the roots he knew the shy librarian so strongly craved. When Sam finally had the chance to win the heart of the woman he'd always loved, could he convince Emma that her home would always be where he was?

This blurb doesn’t really do the book justice. Yes, Emma almost married his brother, but the reason she doesn’t, is that he dies the day of the wedding. And so Emma and Sam haven’t spoken since as each has secrets that they haven’t shared. Sam has good reason to believe that it was his fault and Emma also has good reason to have felt guilt. Sam comes home when Emma, who is close to Sam’s mother, sends him a letter telling him his mother has cancer.  So he comes home, and eventually, the truth comes out, as we all knew it would.

I actually quite liked it. Emma and Sam really do have good reasons for their actions (avoiding each other, etc), so the lack of them just hashing things out all at once was reasonable.  The Major and the Librarian isn’t a really deep emotional book, but it was a nice winter afternoon read.  I enjoyed how the .romance played out as they got to know each other again while they cared for Sam’s mother. One thing that did bother me is that although we are shown how Sam’s career as a Naval officer impacts his life, Emma’s librarian job is just wallpaper. She could have been anything. So librarian fail. At least we didn’t have her as an uptight virgin!

If I had to grade this, I’d give it a C+. Glad I read it, but it’s not a keeper or something I feel compelled to have around to reread.