Snowing Outside, Reading Inside

So how about this weather? It totally sucks right?  But at least I’m getting a bunch of reading done.  My boss at Borders called and said I didn’t need to come in tomorrow since we’re expecting 10 inches of snow overnight.  I stopped at the USB (used bookstore) after my dentist appointment today so I’m stocked up on reading material.  I have done some reading the last few days during the last snow storm.  So here are my reviews.

Another One for the SFR Challenge #6

Shooting Star by Colby Hodge – 4 stars
Published November 28th 2006 by Love Spell

I had read this before but had forgotten almost all of it. A very nice story of a pilot who crashes his space ship on a primitive planet while searching for his brother. He is looked after by a slave woman and her son. This story takes place mostly on the planet so the world building aspect is more important that the gritty space tech aspect. But that part is at least addressed and the space flight details have been thought out.

The story involves drug runners and a race of mind controlling witches that have been in other books in the series. I like the details of the space faring civilizations that have been thought out and set up. Then different stories in the story arc can be told within the framework.

The romance between the pilot and the slave woman was very sweet. Heat level was very low. But the romance was complete and believable.

The plot made sense and the writing is well done. The story moved right along and did not have any dragging parts.

Recommended to SFR lovers.

Romantic Suspense

Blood Stains by Sharon Sala – 3 Stars

Expected publication: February 1st 2011 by Mira

This was a solid story from Sharon Sala. It was easy to read and quite enjoyable. It was not one of her best though. She can write a more edge of your seat, tense, page turning sort of novel. She can also write a story with more intense characterization. Because I expected more from the writing of Ms. Sala, I gave it 3 stars instead of 4. This is apparently going to be another 3 book series where all the stories take place simultaneously. The last such series started off with the weakest story and then got better and better. I will definitely read the rest of the series to see if that is the case here. Even if the series doesn’t, this is still well worth reading.

Bodie was a nice man. He was shown as a competent, caring cop. I liked that he was shown doing his job other than just with the heroine’s case. Maria was not as well characterized. I believe because we are told she is a rancher and a horse trainer but are never actually able to see her do it. At least she goes to the police for help solving her mother’s murder and doesn’t spend her time doing stupid things that put herself and others in danger.

Things that I didn’t like so well – we knew who the killer was right away. We were in his head too early and he wasn’t different enough to make that particularly interesting. Also, the romance developed very quickly. Bodie was in love and wanted to marry her within a week. Sometimes that can work in a novel but here it just felt rushed.

Things I liked – Some people died, but kudos to the author, not the people you expected to die. I like it when an author takes a less obvious choice.

Harlequin Superromance

A Message for Julia by Angel Smits – 4 Stars

Published December 7th 2010 by Harlequin

The back blurb on this romance is a bit misleading. It makes it sound as if the story might be told with letters or at least include letters from Linc who is trapped in a mine collapse to his wife Julia. But it isn’t.

This story was very good and very different. For most of the novel the hero and heroine are parted by the mine collapse. They have been having marital problems and throughout the wait for the miners to be rescued, they think over their past (only one scene is told in flashback) and realize that they still love each other and that their marriage is worth fighting for.

I typically have a very low tolerance for romances where the H/h are separated for such long periods, but here I barely noticed and the book just flew by. There were a couple of times that tears threatened even. A very strong story. You meet the men that Linc is trapped with as well as their families waiting above ground with Julia for news.

Strong writing and strong characterization and good research on mines and mine collapses. I will definitely try this author again.

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My Goodreads Reviews

If you’d like to check out what I’ve reviewed over the last year or so see my page on Goodreads.

My Reading Goal for 2011

Turns out I read 302 books this year according to my count on Goodreads.com.  So I set a goal for myself to read 365 this year.  Doable?  Probably.  Realistic?  Well really, do the kids need to eat?  Let’s just see if I can make it by marathon reading.  And we’ll say that novellas count.  Anything over say, 80 pages.

Blogging About Books

It turns out I have a lot to say about the books I read so I thought I’d separate out my book blogging from my wool blogging.  It’s a shiny new year and I’ll record everything I read here.