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Topic: which books deserve those 5 stars????????

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Subject: which books deserve those 5 stars????????
Date Posted: 6/9/2009 1:00 PM ET
Member Since: 9/24/2007
Posts: 73
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I just finished reading Dark Fire by Christine Feehan. I was OK, I honestly liked the one's before. I've read a couple of books and have not been very pleased. That is why I want to know some of those coveted books that earned 5 stars by most who read them. Thanks

Date Posted: 6/9/2009 1:34 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
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I gave 5 startsto almost everything by Charlaine Harris except her 2 stand alones Sweet and Deadly and A Secret Rage.

I also gave 5 starts to A Hint of Wicked by Jennifer Haymore.  That was a fantastic book. 

Date Posted: 6/9/2009 1:54 PM ET
Member Since: 7/15/2008
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I've given a LOT af 4 1/2 stars out.  But the following are the only books that have 5 stars: the first 2 Immortals After Dark books by Kresley Cole, and 2 non-romance books by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, Relic and Thunderhead.

I haven't put in a rating yet (might go ahead and do so now) but I just finished Lover Awakened by J R Ward and I think it is going to get 5 stars.

Last Edited on: 6/9/09 1:55 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/9/2009 2:04 PM ET
Member Since: 2/27/2009
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I rarely give 5* to any book.  I'm a bit harsher than most.  I might love the book, but I usually realize it isn't great reading, just great for me.  I think people in general tend to be 'ravers' and give books unusually high ratings.  This seems most true with ultra-popular authors in the romance area, romantic suspense, and many cross-over genres.  People are just predisposed to like what the author writes.  It's more a populatrity contest than a true measure of quality.

Date Posted: 6/9/2009 2:11 PM ET
Member Since: 9/24/2007
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I can agree with you in a way. I do think that those popular authors are the one's that get over reviewed. But some people get tired of the same thing over and over again. For example I love Bertrice Small her earlier stuff, she came out with the hetar series and after two books I just could not get into it anymore. Same writing same everything. Yes, stories change but writing is the same. In my honest opinion there are only a coupld of authors out there that write these romance books and tend to change things. Those are the one's I'm asking to know about. I consider myself a reader but after being a member here I think other people outshine me. I ask because like most I only tend to read one author especially if I like them. Example Christine Feehan, but her last book left me wanting something different. I guess I'm getting bored with the same authors.

Last Edited on: 6/9/09 2:12 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/9/2009 2:34 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
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I've noticed that I tend to grade one star lower than the average grade at PBS - except when the book is a hardcover, when my grade is much more likely to be the same. I wonder if people subconsciously judge hardcovers more harshly, because they're more expensive?

Date Posted: 6/9/2009 3:47 PM ET
Member Since: 9/4/2005
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Does everyone know that Jennifer Haymore is a PBS member? I have chatted with her and she sent me some bookmarks for her book "Hint of Wicked". Just wanted to mention it cause I think it would be great if we could all support her.

I too am tired of the same authors and just discovered "Christie Craig". I have read "Divorced, Desperate and Delicious" and Divorced, Desperate and Dating" and while I wouldn't give them 5 stars they are really well written books. I am pretty harsh and while I might give 4 stars for lots of books, it really takes a lot for me to give it 5 stars.

ETA: I gave 5 stars to "The Summerhouse" by Jude Deveraux and The Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J.R. Ward. That's the only ones I could find that I gave 5 stars to.

Last Edited on: 6/9/09 3:52 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/9/2009 5:48 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
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I can't wait to read Jennifer's book and while we're on the subject, I just read Carrie Lofty's new book What A Scoundrel Wants.  I'm thinking I'm probably going to click on that coveted 5th star when I rate & review it too - sometime tonight (I need time to let this one cook:P).  Anyhoo... Carrie is an active PBS member, and I think it'd be great if we could throw a little support behind her as well.  Very nice, and btw, a very talented writer.  She made me a fan - with a medieval no less.  Add to that that it's a "Robin Hood" book (the bar there set excessively high by her serene majesty, Marsha Canham:P), book 1 of a series *hack, cough, phooey*, and I think that's about the equivalent of walking on water:P

Last Edited on: 6/9/09 5:51 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/9/2009 6:18 PM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2007
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Kim, a medieval and Robin Hood.  I'm in.

Date Posted: 6/9/2009 7:40 PM ET
Member Since: 9/24/2007
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I put myself on the waiting list for What a Scroundel wants. I'm going to read Kresley Cole and give those a try.

Date Posted: 6/9/2009 7:56 PM ET
Member Since: 8/30/2008
Posts: 2,207
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In no particular order:

Lord of Scoundrels - Loretta Chase
The Sanchez Tradition - Anne Mather
Annie's Song - Catherine Anderson
The Second Mrs. Adams - Sandra Marton
The Glass Virgin - Catherine Cookson
Green Darkness - Anya Seton
Katherine - Anya Seton
The Source - James Michener
Frederica - Georgette Heyer
Heartless - Mary Balogh
The Scarlet Pimpernel - Baroness Orczky
The Fountainhead - Ayn Rand
Keys To The Kingdom - A. J. Cronin
Tell Me No Lies - Elizabeth Lowell
Michael's Silence - Kathleen O'Brien
Pretty Maids In A Row - Marilyn Campbell
Ender's Game - Orson Scott Card
Always To Remember - Lorraine Heath
To Love A Dark Lord - Anne Stuart
Cheyenne Amber - Catherine Anderson
Gather The Stars - Kimberly Cates
Stolen Hearts - Michelle Martin
Parting Gifts - Lorraine Heath
Sweet Lullaby - Lorraine Heath
A Knight's Desire - Judith Hill
My Man Pendleton - Elizabeth Bevarly
In The Midnight Rain - Ruth Wind

A small percentage of the over 5,000+ books I've read through the years. A lot of 4 and 4-1/2 star books but these are the ones that really made an impact on me and are on my keeper shelf.







Date Posted: 6/9/2009 7:59 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
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It's REALLY a cool book, Sherron.  I'm trying to organize my thoughts because I want to give it a coherent & thoughtful review.  It's not perfect, but you know, I went back & read MC's Robin Hood trilogy a couple of weeks ago (talk about serendipity:P) and damned if it's not imperfect too!  I was shocked:P  I'm probably flattering myself that anyone pays attention my opinions, but I'm pretty sure some of y'all know my unvarnished views on the bad medieval - usually something with a captor/captive plot;  I'd rather eat dirt:P  This book was intriguing and offputting at the same time though.  Something not captor/captive is a good sign.  Difficult & independent heroine could be better, as long as it's not just the author asserting all over the place that her heroine is all these things that her actual behvaior in the story makes a complete joke out of.  Then there's the Robin Hood thing.  Could be good, could be bad...  It hasn't been done to death, or even done in a while, but then again, what has been done was memorable enough to make it a risky proposition for any writer.  I know this book had a lot to live up to with me.  I read the Smart Bitches review though, put this on my WL, and then promptly forgot it:P  I almost cancelled it when the offer came because I couldn't remember why I had even wanted this book.  I can't even remember right now why I didn't cancel it, but when I got it, I went back & double-checked myself to see why I got it & saw the Smart Bitches review.  I had this and Suzanne Enoch's new book sitting on my desk because I just got both, and no doubt, I was going to read the Enoch first.  But I started looking at this one, looked at the review again, read the synopsis, and thinking something to the effect that I wasn't going to like it, and it would probably end up on the bottom of Mt TBR for the next year or so, so I started reading it.  I mean, more like I do when I know I won't like something, speed reading and looking for the clunker that will make me put it down:P  Only it never came. 

I can't say that this was something on the level of the enthralled, antsy-pants sensation I got when I read Duke of Shadows or Delicious.  But it does have a common element with those books in that I knew I was reading something special, from a new author with an unusual & unique voice.  And I love that & value it, probably more than any other element that sets books & authors apart from so much wallpaper and outright literary poo-poo.  I'm always, ALWAYS looking for and just downright craving something different.  I know not everyone identifies with that sentiment, because a lot of people look for the comfort factor of something familiar.  Like slipping on your favorite flannel nightie, and I understand that, it's just not what I want.  I want BAM!, sit up, pay attention, this is not something you read just last week under another name.  I still have yet to classify it into grades and keeper territory & all that, because it's hard to say exactly where it sits in terms of technical perfection.  You have to keep in mind with me though, originality throws it miles ahead of other efforts that might be better executed in other ways:P

Last Edited on: 6/9/09 8:06 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/9/2009 8:36 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2006
Posts: 5,498
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I can't wait to read Jennifer's book too!   I would say I rate very few books a 5 star read.  But those I have are on my desert island keeper list on Goodreads  (see link in signature line)

Date Posted: 6/9/2009 10:07 PM ET
Member Since: 11/11/2005
Posts: 5,238
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Like Reacherfan, I very, very rarely give out high ratings to books.  I've read 70 books so far in 2009, and only four got a rating of 4.5*.  None so far merit 5*.   To get 5* from me, a book has to be almost perfect in my eyes.   Not only do I need to really enjoy reading it, but I also have to get something else out of it - and it has to have staying power.    In other words, it has to be a book that I re-read, that makes me think of it loooong after I read it, or touches my heart in a big way.  It also helps if its well written.

The only romance in 2009 that got a 4.5* rating?   When He Was Wicked by Julia Quinn.  Wow!  What a book.

Since I've been keeping track of my books, the following are the only romances and/or love stories (I think there is a difference between the two) that have merited a 5* rating:

  • Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen
  • Remembering Blue by Connie Mae Fowler
  • Spirited Away by Cindy Miles
  • The Time Traveler's Wife
  • Gone With the Wind
  • The Stone Prince by Gena Showalter
  • Most (but not all) of the Outlander series
  • The Kadin by Bertrice Small
  • A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux

I'm going to have to check out that Robin Hood / medieval book!  I'm a big sucker for both of those things.

Date Posted: 6/9/2009 10:14 PM ET
Member Since: 6/9/2007
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I'd give the first 3 books in the Virgin River series (Virgin River, Shelter Mountain, Whispering Rock) by Robyn Carr 5 stars.

Date Posted: 6/10/2009 12:32 AM ET
Member Since: 1/20/2007
Posts: 7,052
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I have Jennifer's book in my tbr- I'll have to read it soon. One that I've actually reread lately (and with a 400+ tbr that's saying something) is Lord Ruin by Carolyn Jewel- definitely 5 stars for me.

Date Posted: 6/10/2009 1:36 AM ET
Member Since: 11/13/2005
Posts: 1,950
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I think for me in order for a book to be worthy of the highest merit, it needs to not only be a book that emotionally hit a home run, but also was finely crafted.

I have many, many great, well-loved books on my keeper shelf, that I don''t really consider to be five star books, because although I might adore, love and cherish them, they are recognizably just adequate in the actual artistic construction, if that makes sense. I find I have to have the whole shebang... great prose, intelligent plotting, emotional depth (not necessarily the same as deep or dark), good pacing, fine wordsmithing etc.

Not many live up to the whole 5 for me.



Last Edited on: 6/10/09 1:39 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/10/2009 7:45 AM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2007
Posts: 13,134
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Carrie Lofty's new book What A Scoundrel Wants. ...Carrie is an active PBS member,

Either I knew and forgot that or didn't know it.  I LOVED that book.  It's a keeper for me.  I have the Jennifer Haymore book here TBR, too. 

As for the original topic, I'm not sure what I've rated as being 5 stars, but I'm sure they are books I would read/have read more than once and they are keepers (though not everything I choose to keep is one I've rated a 5-star book ).  I'll take a look later and see.  

Date Posted: 6/10/2009 10:08 AM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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I didn't know it either, I guess.  Her account name does look familiar, but I don't know if that's just in my head now:P  I looked to see if there was a review in the system and she had posted the url for her website there, so I inboxed her and said 'hey, did you write this? because I can't put it down:P  And she messaged back & said she did, and gave me some more information about the upcoming sequel - It's called SCOUNDREL'S KISS (no ISBN# yet) - due out in January, I think.  She also serializing another one on pdf, which is supposed to be available on her website in September.  I never download those, but I plan to get this one.  I've been fussing with a review since yesterday for WASW, but I'm doing it on notepad 1st, because I want to get it edited and exactly right before I post it.  You should write one too.  I do try to review everything I really like, but I don't always get to them.  I want to get this one in there though because I really want to support her career as much as possible.  Another interesting thing - she's doing a panel on unusual settings & premises with Sherry Thomas & Meredith Duran at next year's Romantic Times Book Lover's Convention.  How cool is that?

Date Posted: 6/10/2009 11:50 AM ET
Member Since: 8/31/2005
Posts: 3,730
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Linnea Sinclair is also a pbs member

as for ratings, if I read a book for pleasure then I base it on how it made me feel, more than how good the writing was compared to others. For books that I review for FAR, I am more critical

So far this year, these have gotten 5 stars from me based on how entertained I was, how it made me feel, how well I think it was for it's genre etc.....def not all the best writers out there, but that's not whats important to me.

One More Bite by Jennifer Rardin
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Little Brother by Cory Doctorow
Immortal Kiss by J.K. Coi
Dragon's Lair by Denise Lynn
Ravenous by Sharon Ashwood
Rises the Night by Colleen Gleason
The Bleeding Dusk by Colleen Gleason
Angels' Blood by Nalini Singh
Razor Girl by Marianne Mancusi
Eyes of the Crow by Jeri Smith-Ready
Turn Coat by Jim Butcher
Bound by Honor by Colette Gale (a Robin Hood story, kinda of :D )
Close Encounters by Kathrine Allred
Redneck Cinderella by LuAnn McLane
Mindhealer by Lilith Saintcrow

Last Edited on: 6/10/09 12:00 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/10/2009 1:52 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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Well, I finally got the review posted: What A Scoundrel Wants.  It took me forever to get that thing the way I wanted it & it still doesn't say everything I wanted it to - it would have been waaay to long if it had:P  I graded at A- but translated that into 5 stars because the way that you rate & how ratings balance out here, it's not going to show up rated at 4.5 or whatever even clicking on 5 stars.  It's not perfect, I even found a few typographical errors and such, but some things almost sounded too nitpicky to mention in the context of a review, and overall I was highly recommending it anyway, so I didn't bother with that stuff.

I'm choosy about when to use that 5th star myself, but "keeper" quality is always the deciding factor.  That means "will I ever read this again?", and if the answer is yes, it's got to be worth it - I don't re-read drivel unless it's to find a passage worthy of ridicule:P

Last Edited on: 6/10/09 1:53 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/10/2009 3:34 PM ET
Member Since: 8/31/2005
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I hardly ever keep books, if I went by that then I would never give out 5s lol

Date Posted: 6/10/2009 4:49 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
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Lol.  Well, you could maybe say it's a keeper - if I ever kept anything:P

Date Posted: 6/12/2009 10:07 PM ET
Member Since: 10/19/2007
Posts: 1,028
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My 5 stars would be anything by LaVyrle SPencer

The Outsider Penelope Willliamson

The Passions of Emma Penelope Williamson

Texas Destiny Lorraine Heath

Always to Remember Lorraine Heath

See Jane Score Rachel Gibson


Date Posted: 6/13/2009 10:05 AM ET
Member Since: 3/5/2008
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Some of my 5 star books would be the following:

Across A Moonlit Sea by Marsha Canham

The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

Snowflower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See

Irish Trilogy by Nora Roberts

Dark Fever by Karen Marie Moning (and the entire fever series to date)

The Black Brotherhood Series by J. R. Ward

Simple Jess by Pamela Morsi

The Outback Series by Aaron Fletcher

Morning Glory by LaVyrle Spencer

The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simmons

The Garden Trilogy by Nora Roberts

Rapture by Rosamond Royal

River of Eden by Glenna McReynolds

The Proud Breed by Celeste de Blasis

The Virgin River Series by Robyn Carr

Wild Swan and Swan's Chance by Celeste de Blasis

I am sure there are more but that is all I can think at the moment.