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Archive for the ‘Musings’ Category

Some Questions

Gakked from Book Binge.

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1) Which book has been on your shelves the longest?

Well, I probably still have the Golden Book version of Cinderella from when I was around six. Becuz I am a hoarder.

The longest standing adult romance is probably The Dark Master by Charlotte Lamb. I bought this used at a flea market when I was around 11 or 12. Started my lifelong love affair with Charlotte Lamb HPs. Looking back, it’s middle-of-the-road Lamb but it has an extra bitchy Other Woman to make up for it. Yay!

2) What is your current read, your last read and the book you’ll read next?

Current: don’t know
Last: Private Party – Jami Alden
Next: Rogue in Texas – Lorraine Heath

3) What book did everyone like and you hated?
I initially thought about Bet Me or It Had to Be You but I believe that Paradise by Judith McNaught might be more universally loved so I’ll go with that one. If you see me online for any length of time, you’ll know that I am not a McNaught fan. I find McNaught books so manic-depressive that each one should come with a prescription for lithium. Paradise is especially unctuous since it makes references to Meg Ryan and Kevin Costner, two former stars who have self-destructed. I almost feel like Paradise has self-destructed by association.

4) Which book do you keep telling yourself you’ll read?

The Bronze Horseman – Paulina Simmons

duchessofmine5) Which book coming out in 2009 is top priority to read?
It doesnt matter if I read a book early or later than everyone else as long as I eventually read it. The only book that I can say that I am curious to read is Sabrina Jeffries’s Wed Him Before You Bed Him but only because I WANT to know who Michael is. It has been THREE years already! Jebus!

All others I can wait for, including Jeli’s (Jemma & Eli) story in This Duchess of Mine. Hey, I KNOW they are going to get their HEA so I can chill and wait.

6) Last page: read it first or wait ’til the end?

Wait til the end.

7) Acknowledgements: waste of ink and paper or interesting ?
I only read them if the author has an online presence and I might know who the names are.

Which book character would you switch places with?

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Favorite Reads of 2008

Published in 2008

The Perils of Pleasure – JA Long ~ A

Private Arrangements – Sherry Thomas ~ A-

Your Scandalous Ways – Loretta Chase ~ A-

Dawn’s Awakening – Lora Leigh ~ B+

The Countess Takes a Lover – Bonnie Dee ~ B+

The Spymaster’s Lady – Joanna Bourne ~ B+

Kristen’s Addiction – Evangeline Anderson ~ B+

Death Angel – Linda Howard ~ B+

Price of Desire by Jo Goodman ~ B

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That Time of the Month

One of my guilty pleasures is The Jealous Possessive Hero. It is one of the many things I would not accept IRL but in romances, I find it kinda delicious. [insert blush] So based upon recommendations on Amazon, I read The Maiden Bride (1996), a medieval by Deborah Simmons. I graded it a B. It wasnt bad but it was one of those books where jealousy read as insecure & socially inept rather than badass. No biggie. Very few authors not named Charlotte Lamb can pull that off well.

But there was one thing noticable – maybe even remarkable – about this book however: it had a scene where the Heroine casually set up the bathtub to make love in, instead of the bed, because she was having her menses. The Hero took her up on it, BTW, in case you’re wondering. I had to read the scene twice to make sure of what I was reading. It was the first time I have ever read a conventional romance where there was sex during That Time of the Month. I always appreciate something different and have always wondered why I have never really come across any instances of it in over 20 yrs of reading romances.

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This is a report of some interesting stuff I have found on the web.

1. First of all, Madeline Hunter has just posted a new excerpt from her upcoming novel Secrets of Surrender (third in the series and coming May 20th) and it’s a doozy. Click here for link. If I hadnt been already been sitting down when I read it, I would have had to afterwards. 😮

It also seems that the cover for it has been revised since the last time I posted it on my blog. It’s now a hideous orange but supposedly the reader can see the title and author’s name better which was the reason for the change in the first place. I much prefer the yellow. You could see the words well enough and using a primary color like yellow is what you should always do from what I was taught in Art. Ever wondered why all the most famous superheroes like Wonder Woman, Superman, Spiderman are in red, blue, and gold (yellow)? Because primary colors catchs the eye better.

Secrets of Surrender

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I remember this time last year: I was on some forum and was amazed at the sheer number of books my fellow posters could go thru in a year. I am a slow reader and i consider myself lucky if i read over 150 books in a year. Well — if I count rereads and books that I only finished half of — I did read over 160+ romances this year. The entire list can be found here.

I was hoping to put away over 200 this year but it just didnt happen. Of the 160+ books, about 66 were published in 2007. Of those 66, these five are the ones that I remember with the most affection looking back. In no particular order:

Just Wicked Enough by Lorraine Heath
This is the second book in a series which the author is stretching out a bit just to torture me. I found the premise intriguing when Heath was doing the blogging rounds in promotion of the book. A nobleman selling himself in marriage to the highest bidder; very Consuelo Vanderbilt, I thought. I didnt like either the H/H in the beginning but I loved the way that Heath revealed their layers slowly and made the romance painful and believable. Some authors just click for me where so many others dont for whatever reason. I can see all the manipulations in Heath’s writing a mile away, she uses no bells-and-whistles but it still leaves me a sobbing mess at the end of most of her books.

And Then He Kissed Her by Laura Lee Guhrke
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First of all, I wanna say that I loved, loved Eloisa James’s latest book, Desperate Duchesses. I thought that EJ really captured the sexy, sly decadence of the Georgian era. I felt like I was reading a new version of Laclos’s Les Liaisons Dangereuse but, you know, without the dead epistolary prose.

But as any regular reader of this blog knows, I’m a glass-half-empty type of gal. So the first thing I thought after I finished DD was ‘What fun! I loved it.’ And my second thought went ‘I loved it, despite the fact that if I took a drink everytime EJ wrote X and Y, I would die of alcohol poisoning.’ So, when I sat down to write a review, all my muse wanted to do was write this:

The Eloisa James Drinking Game

The Stock Characters. Drink everytime:
A character’s name has a hyphen — 1 sip
A character has two or more hypens in its name — 2 sips
A widow is introduced — 1 sip
Who wants to be “merry” (wink, nudge) — 2 sips
If the widow is merry AND also a duchess — 3 sips
The heroine has a slutty reputation — 1 sip
Which is greatly exagerrated — 1 sip
Characters enters into an engagement — 1 sip
And the engagement doesn’t even last a week — 2 sips

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Since the time of when Fragonard painted his famous painting to the right, the Swing seems full of playfully erotic possibilities.

In Madeline Hunter’s The Sinner, a dissolute character (Ewan McLean) is introduced. He is quite the naughty gent with tantalizing mentions of a swing in his London bachelor pad and sole ownership of the only surviving copy of I Modi (The Ways), the infamous Renaissance engravings of erotica showing mythological figures going through various sexual positions. When Ewan McLean eventually gets his own story later in the series in Lord Of Sin, I fully expected Hunter to show Ewan making good use of both the swing and the engravings. Lord of Sin, it turns out, was all about the art of engraving but the love scene I expected on the damn swing consisted of all of two lines. 😦

Sadly, I can think of only two other love scenes which occurred on a swing that I have come across in my years of romance reading. In Sabrina Jeffries’s A Dangerous Love, the first book in her Swanlea Spinster Series, the consummation scene mostly takes place on a swing before the hero decides he needs more leverage.

I think the best incorporation of the swing in a romance is in Eve Byron’s Tempt Me Not. It is used throughout the book. The Hero and Heroine grew up together and the swing serves as the backdrop to the beginning of their connection. Later, as a grown man, the Hero installs a swing onto the terrace of his estate and it becomes a peaceful setting for when he wants to brood. When the H/H make love on the swing, it brings them full circle.

Does anyone know of any other romances with love scenes on a swing? If any writers stop by, please think of including one in your next work. 😉 For more inspiration, I found an Indian Mughal painting that is quite, um, inventive. I put it after the cut because it’s quite explicit and NSFW (Not Safe For Work). (more…)

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