If you'd like to see my recent four-plus- and five-star recommendations, visit Robin ReadsnWrites.
* I didn't make it beyond the first 20 pages.
** I made it to the end, but I either skimmed or skipped large sections.
*** I might have skipped/skimmed, but I liked it and might read it again.
**** I read at least 95% of the book and it was good -- probably will be reread.
***** I read every word, and I loved it! A favorite and definite reread.
Heartbreaker, by Linda Howard **** I enjoyed this. It was challenging to really sink into because of the subtones (ie, abused wife), but it wasn't graphic. This is another romance (ie, without suspense), and I must admit that I find the portrayal of men in this humorous. I mean, it's nice that the guy is so take with the woman that he can hardly think of anything beyond her (and touching her and smelling her, etc), but I've never met a guy like that ;) Perhaps that's the point of romance novels, no? The story: Michelle is struggling to keep her dad's ranch going after being away from the area for years (and after her dad's death). When she discovers that her dad took out a loan from neighbor John, she's both appalled and anticipatory. BEcause she was only a teenager the last time she lived in the area, John never looked twice at her -- but he's always been the man she measures all others by. At first, John is rude and unhelpful, but he's also fighting an on-going attraction to MIchelle, and she doesn't appear to be the spoiled kid she once was...but Michelle's past returns to haunt them both, and John has to decide how far he's willing to go to protect her. (Adult Romance, released 2002, publisher: Mira Books)
All the Queen's Men, by Linda Howard *** Once upon a time, I got this from one of those book clubs -- but I couldn't ever get into it. I gave it away years ago, but I checked it out from the library, thinking I might do better now that I'm older...but no. I did read most of it, and it was okay; but it still didn't quite work for me. I didn't find it tense at all, really (which doesn't quite work for suspense). The story: Niema lost her husband during a work operation (they were both CIA), and for five years, she's done nothing more than hide away from that type of work and the people she once knew. Now, one of the black ops men (who happened to be there when her husband was killed) needs her for a special mission. Niema finds herself attracted to John, and she can't seem to turn him down...and she goes along, even though she's certain she'll never see John again once they complete their job. As they play their parts, John appears to have feelings for Niema -- and she falls for him completely. But when his life is put in danger, can she stick with the plan and watch another man die in front of her? (Adult romantic suspense, released 2000, publisher: Pocket Star)
[Crashing Eden, by Michael Sussman *** I really liked the basic concept for this book. I'm a disaster and world-ending junkie, and I thought the idea behind the 2012 disaster was original and intriguing. For me, the execution of that concept didn't work as well as I hoped, though there were still things I enjoyed. 1) I liked learning about Gnosticism (I always enjoy reading books which are infused with information on unusual subjects); 2) I liked the world building and the creative uses of known concepts. I think I got lost in the religous bent, however -- and the characters, especially the main character, was described by himself and others as pretty unsympathetic (though I liked him without the backstory). I needed at least one person to anchor onto, and I had a hard time getting a solid grip on any of them. Still, it's an original idea, and if you're intrigued by ancient religions, you'd probably enjoy this. The story: Joss's family continues to struggle with the suicide of their second son (Joss's younger brother). The mom has retreated from any kind of sympathy toward others and lives a harsh and judgmental existence. The dad writes and hides himself away. Joss is left on his own, and he's not coping well, either -- until he is hit by a car and begins hearing 'ohm.' The 'ohm' changes him, and soon he's working with a couple of college students to help others also find that change -- but they have to move quickly, as Samael, a god, is losing his patience with humans and working to destroy the earth. (YA paranormal, releases 5/12, publisher: Solstice)]
On Deck: Um...well, my pile is high. I simply haven't chosen yet. ;)