Wednesday, January 19, 2011

TBR Challenge 2011

Sleepless at Midnight - Jaquie D'Alessandro

When did I buy it? Aug 1, 2007 (yes that's three + years ago and that's from the middle of the pile - I have a book buying problem)

Why? Cause I read The Bride Thief back in May of 2007, quite enjoyed it and promptly bought up most of D'Alessandro's backlist.

The Blurb

 The ladies in London are abuzz over Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, especially Miss Sarah Moorehouse.  Her imagination is fired up, so when she spies Matthew Devenport, Lord Langston, mysteriously sneaking home in the wee hours clutching a shovel, she simply must investigate.  Impelled by curiosity, the adventurous lass steals into his bedchamber—only to be caught red-handed by the impossibly handsome and totally naked nobleman.

Lord Langston has more important things to worry about than a group of literature-loving ladies.  But Matthew’s grand plan to rescue the family from ruin could be lost when he discovers Sarah hiding behind his bedroom curtain.  What is this meddlesome woman up to?  And why are his desires inflamed by a chit who is too inquisitive for her own good?  Well, two can play at this game…and when Matthew captures the beguiling Sarah in all her naked glory, the night of mischief has only just begun.

My Review

I know technically the category for January was Category and I was sure I purchased "The Mysterious Miss M" quite some time ago but darned if I can find it now.  So I read Sleepless at Midnight.

I knew there was a reason I bought up every Jacquie D'Alessandro book I could find back in 2007.  I have to say I absolutely adore her characters.  The plot could be a complete pile of garbage and I think I would still enjoy the book because I love her characters so much.  Are there actions historically accurate?  I don't know and in this case I don't really care.  Matthew and Sarah are both very fleshed out characters and are completely believable.  

I loved the premise of this book when I read it on the back cover and it was not disappointing in the least. It seemed very original to me (I do try and stay away from European historicals so I'm not sure how original it actually is) and I found the interactions between Sarah and Matthew sweet and funny.

I'm not usually a fan of the bespectacled blue stocking but Sarah turned out to be one I quite enjoyed spending time with.  D'Alessandro does a wonderful job of showing you exactly why the dashing Lord Langston would fall for someone who wasn't described as particularly beautiful in the book (and no she doesn't all the sudden become a knock-out when she takes her glasses off).  

This was over-all a delightful book - there is a bit of a mystery surrounding Matthew and it was quite well done and the author did a good job throwing a red herring in there that completely led me off course.

The ending seemed a tad rushed and tied up a little too easily for me but that's only a minor quibble and one I have quite often (maybe I just don't like to see good books end).  Either way I'm very excited about reading the rest of the series.

Friday, January 7, 2011

2010 - The Year in Review

Now that the hustle and bustle of the holiday season has died down I actually have a little bit of spare time to myself and I can sum up my 2010 reading year.

Total Number of Books Read - 58 - Woohoo!! That's the most I've managed to read in a year since I moved out of my parents house in 2006 and I made a point of not paying attention to how many I was reading throughout the year.

Total Number of Pages Read in 2010 - 23,710


5 Star - 13
4 Star - 24
3 Star - 19
2 Star -  2
1 Star -  0

DNF's - 1 (The Silent Rose - Kat Martin) I'm pretty sure that was last year and not 2009.  I don't keep track of dates on books I don't finish so I'm not sure.

Genre Breakdown

Mystery - 11
Historical Romance - 11
Fantasy - 6
Contemporary Romance - 5
Romantic Suspense - 4
Paranormal Romance - 4
General Fiction - 3
Young Adult - 3
Romantic Fantasy - 2
Suspense - 2
Historical Fiction - 2
Futuristic Romance - 2
Thriller - 1
Paranormal Mystery - 1
Sports - Non Fiction - 1
Urban Fantasy - 1

So which were the best?

This was by far the best book I read this year.  I think this is one of the first years I can remember my favourite book not being a romance.  I loved this book to bits.  I honestly did not want it to end.  It's one of the funniest bits of fiction I've ever had the pleasure to read and got me kicked out of my bedroom a couple of nights in a row because I was laughing so hard. 

I always love Catherine Anderson and Annie's Song was no exception.  It really was a beautiful story.

Oh my God I loved the hero and heroine in this book.  What a great love story.  Thanks again to Kristie J. for bringing it to my attention.

Loved this entire series.  Even when Jake was acting like an asshole.  

Definitely my favourite of Armstrong's women of the otherworld stories. Which surprised me because I didn't care for Paige in the previous books.

I know I really liked this because I gave it five stars but I'm having trouble remember much more than the grovel scene at the end (which was awesome)

Another awesome romance I let sit on my shelves for far too long.  

Ditto to what I wrote for this series above.

Loved the plotting and the way this book was done.  

Perfect ending for the series.  Loved it.

I don't know if this deserves 5 stars.  I read this when I was 18 and loved it to pieces and tried to re-read the series this year.  I managed up to book four (above) then couldn't continue after starting book 5.  I think my rating for this one had more to do with sentimentality that actual enjoyment.

If you like mysteries even a little bit and you haven't read this yet - you must go out and find it and remedy this immediately.  A more delightful amateur sleuth I have yet to read.

This book is exactly why I read Westerns.