Yesterday I read Suzanne Enoch's Don't Look Down and Sylvia Andrew's A Very Unusual Governess. I enjoyed both, although they were very different books and one was a more compelling read than the other. I'm not going into the review business, probably, but here's the low-down from my perspective:
I read the regency period book AVUG during the afternoon and I picked it up and put in down several times. I didn't feel the need to race through to the finish and I had laundry to do after all. It was a charming book published by Harlequin Historicals. I don't usually read many of their historical line of books (for no particular reason, just not my habit) but the back cover caught my fancy. The gist of the story is about a bachelor caring for orphaned nieces and the governess he acquires who's really a well-born lady in disguise. Throw in charming secondary characters and a magic house and you have a pleasant read for a Sunday afternoon. I liked the hero and the heroine and the children. I thought the book ran out of steam toward the end when the only impediment to the hero and heroine getting together was just that the hero stubbornly didn't want to give up his bachelor-hood. Guess that reads somewhat true to life, now that I think about it which is a good reason for not using it in a, ahem, romance. The hero comes to his senses and alls well that ends well.
Later in the evening, (too late really) I started DLD. Now, in my typical OCD fashion, I like to read books in chronological order. So the fact that I broke this rule for this book is telling. I was just looking it over--it was late and I just wondered whether I should try to get the sequel from Amazon or if I could just meander to Borders later this week and see if the had Flirting with Danger on their shelves. Inconveniently, (it really was late) I was hooked from the very beginning.
As I mentioned in my previous post, the hero is a British billionaire (my personal weakness) but the heroine is a 'former' cat burglar/thief (my personal bete noire). I don't like to read about thieves. In fact, I detest reading about law-breakers because I spend all the book worrying that they'll be caught which kinda takes away from the story. Nora Roberts wrote a book years ago, Honest Illusions about magician/cat burlgar/thieves and I've never been able to get past chapter 1. I've tried--heck I bought the dang book in HARDCOVER and yet I haven't been able to read it. Nora Roberts actually signed the book, can't make myself read it. My niece swears it's her favorite Nora book--and still I can't read it. I just don't do thieves.
To get back to the point I left about 200 words ago, GREAT BOOK! I read and read and read and would have finished the thing in my younger days. But I can't really function on less than five hours of sleep so eventually I forced myself to stop reading. After work I picked it up again and finished it off. I liked Samantha Jellicoe and adored Richard Addison (did I mention he's a billionaire?). They have a great love story and I don't even know how it started! What fun reading is still ahead? The potential for many more books in the series is phenomenal as they figure out how to make a relationship between a former thief and still-addicted to adrenaline heroine and a billionaire control freak hero, who worries she'll end up in prison, work. I will definitely get the first book in the series and be on the look out for more.
Note to bookstores--you really would sell more books if when a sequel comes out you have the previous books in the series available on the shelves. It's annoying not to be able to buy all of them at once. I would think that idea was Selling 101, yet, time and again I'm annoyed by the failure of bookstores to stock backlist books. If I can find out a book has a sequel--surely bookstore employees can found out and order accordingly. Maybe this is a sympton of the fact that bookstores are wasting all their shelf spaces on "literary" sludge that hardly sells. I mean, seriously, romantic fiction supports the book publishing industry. It ought to be given more shelf space than "travel books" or "fiction" otherwise known as the books that win awards and which all the snobs think people should read but nobody really does read. Hmm, that's a bit intense. I think I'm not hiding that this is kinda of a hot button issue for me. I'll go lie down now. ;o)