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Lesley H. (LesleyH) - : BOOKS READ IN 2010/2011


  1. Forbidden Falls- Robyn Carr ***1/2 Good- not as good as the original 3 VR books but?enjoyable.? I don't buy either the custody issue or the guardianship issue- would never happen in the real world, so that bothered me.? Liked how the romance developed though.
  2. Lucky Charm- Carly Phillips **1/2 Meh.? Skimmed the last half of the book.? Boring hero and annoying heroine.
  3. Lead Me On- Victoria Dahl ***1/2 Good, though not quite as good as the previous 2 of the series
  4. Can't Stand the Heat- Louisa Edwards *** Liked the culinary theme,but didn't much like the heroine for the first half oft the book.
  5. A Highlander's Destiny- Melissa Mayhue ***1/2 Liked it better than the last one.? Didn't feel like I got to know the hero very well in this one though.
  6. Irresistible- Susan Mallery ***1/2 New author for me, liked it a lot.? Didn't know it was 2nd in series though.? A bit predictable with the "bad guy".
  7. Angel's Peak- Robyn Carr ***1/2 Still doesn't live up to the original 3 VR books but enjoyable.?


  1. The Black Sheep and the Hidden Beauty- Donna Kauffman (started, but on the back burner)
  2. Deep Dish- Mary Kay Andrews *** Cute story, good characters, but not enough development of the romance
  3. Delicious- Susan Mallery ***1/2 Liked the characters, good development of the romance, even though they had been married before.? Looking forward to finishing this series.
  4. One Reckless Summer- Toni Blake ***1/2 good characters, good?development of the romance
  5. Sizzling- Susan Mallery *** Ok- didn't like this one as much as the first two
  6. Tempting- Susan Mallery *** Finally finished with this series!? Again, just ok, not as good as the first 2.? Grandma's transformation was not very believable, and the hero was somewhat one-dimensional to me.
  7. Hidden Fire- Jo Davis *** Just ok for me.? Waaayyy too predictable.?
  8. The Summer Hideaway- Susan Wiggs ***1/2 Good, enjoyed it, though the climax was predictable
  9. McKettrick's Luck- Linda Lael Miller ***1/2 I liked the Montana Creeds a little better, but this one was good
  10. Best Friends Forever- Jennifer Weiner *** Definitely not my favorite of hers.? I had some issues with this one, but did like the heroine and hero.? Did not like the character of Valerie and found some of the storyline farcical.


  1. McKettricks of Texas: Tate- Linda Lael Miller *** OK, not as good as McKettrick Men or Montana Creeds.?
  2. Moonlight Road- Robyn Carr ***1/2 Just ok.? Only got that 1/2 star because it's RC.? Not much chemistry between the H and h, apart from the sex- just didn't sense any emotional connection.
  3. Tempt Me If You Can- Janet Chapman **1/2 The worst of any Chapman book I've read.? Hero a Neanderthal, the nephew was unbelievable, heroine all over the map, peripheral characters were one-dimensional.? Second half was better than the first, the mystery was all that kept me from not finishing, and it was very predictable.
  4. Smart Girls Think Twice- Cathie Linz?*** It was just ok.? The two main characters were ok, but every single other character in this book was a caricature: the nosy, over-bearing mother, the gruff former Marines dad, the pushy older sisters, the nerdy guy friend, etc. Also, for a sociologist, did not have a lot of self-introspection.
  5. The Summerhouse- Jude Devereaux ***1/2 Enjoyable story- the writing was a bit old-fashioned but I liked all the characters
  6. Letters to a Secret Lover- Toni Blake (cont'd in April)


  1. Letters to a Secret Lover- Toni Blake?***1/2?Really liked this one!? The heroine was annoying at first (self-absorbed, superficial) but got better as the book went on.? Hero was HOT- loved him!? ?Liked the story, quite emotional, nice ending.
  2. The Next Best Thing- Kristan Higgins?***1/2 Liked this one a lot, except for the title- what an awful thing to say about falling in love with your dead husband's brother, that he's the "next best thing"!
  3. One Night Stand- Cindy Kirk **3/4 Meh- skimmed most of it.
  4. Sweet Talk- Susan Mallery *** Just OK for a Mallery book.? Heroine's innocence/naiveity was not believable, hero was kind of a jerk.
  5. Sweet Spot- Susan Mallery ***1/4 Liked this one better than the first one.? Didn't like the hero much, but thought that the heroine made a good match for him- someone to knock his ego down a few notches!
  6. Sweet Success-? Susan Mallery *** OK, not as good as other Mallery books.
  7. A Highlander's Homecoming- Melissa Mayhue ***1/2 Liked the time travel aspect of this one, also really liked both the hero and heroine.
  8. Just a Taste- Deirdre Martin (in progress)


  1. Line of Fire: The Firefighters of Station Five- Jo Davis ***3/4 Liked this one better than the last one, and the suspense is really ramping up in the main storyline!
  2. Just a Taste- Deirdre Martin **3/4? Mediocre at best.? I found the chemistry lacking between the H/h, the conflict contrived, the brother of the hero annoying.?? Skimmed the last half of the book.
  3. Romeo Romeo- Robin Kaye ***3/4? Good book!? First I've read of this author and I like her style.? I like a strong heroine, and I LOVE a strong yet sensitive hero!
  4. Too Hot to Handle- Robine Kaye ***1/2 Didn't think I would like this one that much because Annabelle wasn't very likeable in Romeo Romeo, but she redeemed herself.? Really liked Mike as the hero too.
  5. Breakfast in Bed- Robin Kaye ***1/4 Didn't like quite as much as the other 2, not that crazy about Richie, but did like Becca.
  6. Fools Rush In- Kristan Higgins (in progress)


  1. Fools Rush In- Kristan Higgins ***1/4? Cute story, though I found the heroine to be very Jr. High for most of the book.? Loved Sam and his son.
  2. The Red Diary- Toni Blake *** Just ok for me.? I like her later books better.? I've never been a big fan of "poor little rich girl" stories, so maybe was biased from the beginning.? Also, I think the heroine went from wary to wayyyy tooo open and trusting in nothing flat, which wasn't very realistic.
  3. Satisfaction- Marianne Stillings ***1/4 Good, not great, kind of chick-litish and fairly predictable.
  4. ?With a Twist- Deirdre Martin **1/2 Even worse than the first book of this series.? Liked the heroine better in this one than in the last one, but still don't like the hero, SO self-centered.? The ending of this one felt awfully rushed.? The "big story" that the hero was working on- totally anti-climactic, guess I would have liked to see some of the action of the bad guys getting arrested or something.? Then the proposal- worst I have ever read.? Still don't understand- bad guys in jail, but yet the brother is still in Ireland for his protection?? One big "WTF" for me.
  5. Ladies Prefer Rogues- Janet Chapman, Sandra Hill et al *** Meh.? I usually have problems with anthologies because the stories are not long enough to flesh out the storylines and characters, and this one was no different.?
  6. Straight Up- Deirdre Martin *** OK.? Better than the other 2 in this series.? I did think the author did a good job portraying a heroine who had been hardened by loss and heartbreak but who was still very vulnerable underneath.? The hero was an arrogant immature ass for the most part and I didn't get the attraction.
  7. On the Steamy Side- Louisa Edwards (in progress)


  1. On the Steamy Side- Louisa Edwards ***1/4 Pretty good, liked both the hero and heroine and the chemistry between them.? The heroine's constant southern speak wore on my nerves after awhile, and I'm really not crazy about the Jess/Frankie storyline, but enjoyed the central storyline of this one.
  2. Summer in Sonoma- Robyn Carr **** Loved this one!? After being less than thrilled with the last few VR books, I really enjoyed this one.? RC seems to have finally remembered what she does best- telling multiple intertwining stories with well-developed characters.? I hope taking a break from VR for this book helps her get back to what made those first books so great.
  3. Sizzle and Burn- Jayne Anne Krentz ***1/2 Pretty good, even though I'm not usually a fan of paranormal or romantic suspense, which this one was kind of both.? I don't mind the psychic phenomenon though.? Definitely kept me interested all the way through the book.
  4. McKettricks of Texas- Garrett- Linda Lael Miller? ***1/2 Pretty good.? Liked the heroine, and you can't help but like a McKettrick man!
  5. McKettricks of Texas- Austin- LLM ***1/2 About the same as the other 2.
  6. Crazy for Love- Victoria Dahl ***1/3 Liked it, didn't love it.? I didn't think this one was as good as her previous series Start Me Up/Talk Me Down/Etc.? The premise was a bit shaky for me- I just don't think that the whole Bridezilla?media frenzy thing was that plausible.? Liked the hero and heroine though.? I also thought the author could have done more with the hero's anxiety issues- therapy would be very realistic for that situation.
  7. He's No Prince Charming- LuAnn McLane *** Ok.? I found it to be slap-stick, with the heroine constantly falling down or otherwise humiliating herself so that the hero had to come to her rescue, and I'm not a big fan of that.? Liked the secondary romance in this and thought that came together well.
  8. Under Her Skin- Susan Mallery ***1/4 Pretty good.? Didn't really think much of the hero- too arrogant for me.
  9. Lip Service- Susan Mallery ***1/4 Pretty good- like the hero, but the heroine was too spineless.
  10. Straight From the Hip- Susan Mallery ***1/2 Better than the first two.? Liked both H and h as well as peripheral characters.


  1. Hot on Her Heels- Susan Mallery ***1/2 Whew, finally done with this series!? I was really worried that it was going to end up like the Buchanans with the evil patriarch redeeming himself in a disgusting unfathomable HEA with them all being one big happy family.? Thank God I was wrong!? Didn't mind Garth having a change of heart though- he ended up being a somewhat decent hero in this.
  2. All I Ever Wanted- Kristan Higgins **** Loved it!? Character development was fantastic, I laughed and cried and finished the book feeling all warm and fuzzy.
  3. Chasing Perfect- Susan Mallery ***1/4 Liked it ok, not as well as the Lone Star series.? Liked the heroine but didn't really get the hero.? Too arrogant in the beginning and then changed for no apparent reason.
  4. Lois Lane Tells All- Karen Hawkins *** Meh, it was ok.? Liked the main characters enough, it was cute and had some funny moments, but the bumbling geriatric sleuths wore on my nerves after awhile.? Senior moments are only funny a couple of times, then they are old and tired, and this book had too many of them.
  5. The Cinderella Deal- Jennifer Crusie ***1/4 Liked it ok.? Not my favorite Crusie.? I'm not a big fan of the whole pretend finacee/spouse thing.? Daisy irritated me because she was way too tolerant of disrespectful men who tried to take advantage of her.
  6. Cutting Loose- Susan Andersen *** It was ok.? The heroine was awfully uptight and the hero didn't have a whole lot of depth.
  7. Eclipse Bay- Jayne Ann Krentz ***1/2?Liked it.? Good chemistry between H/h, well developed characters, nice setting, interesting story.? Would like to read more of this series.
  8. Almost Perfect- Susan Mallery ***1/4 I liked this book much better than Chasing Perfect, although I didn't like Ethan much more than I liked Josh (which wasn't much). What a arrogant, self-centered, thick-headed jerk, at least for most of the book. I am all for flawed characters, but I disliked him enough to start wishing that the heroine DIDN'T end up with him, even though she obviously would. He only redeemed himself at the end, when he finally managed to get a fricking clue through his thick skull, but for me, that didn't make up for him being a complete self-absorbed dick for most of the rest of the book. Plus, he made it such a grand public gesture that it could be seen as being more about him than about what he was doing for Liz. Geez. I've kind of had it with heroes who are all puffed up about themselves. I hope Finding Perfect has a hero with a shred of humility.

    The other problem I had with this book was the high unlikelihood of a judge actually serving an injunction when there was no proof of paternity- Ethan's name wasn't even on the birth certificate, for crying out loud. There's also no way a judge would threaten to jail both of them if they didn't come up with a workable plan. There could have at least been a paternity test before Liz was legally forced to stay in Fools Gold.

    Now, what I did like about the book: I liked that the characters we met in the last book are becoming more three-dimensional as we get to know them better. I liked Liz a lot, as well as the kids. I think Mallery did a great job of portraying the girls, and liked that their problems didn't all just dissolve away just because Liz arrived. Also, it's nice to read a book about small-town life that isn't completely idyllic- small towns have their share of problems too, and when a book makes a small town sound like Mayberry, it just doesn't seem authentic. This is why I love Robyn Carr's Virgin River series- it also gives a much more realistic view of the problems that can be prevalent in small towns. It was interesting getting this view through Liz's eyes after seeing the more idyllic view through Charity's eyes in the last book.
  9. Too Good to be True- Kristan Higgins ***3/4 Liked this book a lot!? Still like All I Ever Wanted better, but really enjoyed this one too.? Bordered on slapstick at times, with all of the injuries the heroine kept inflicting on the hero, but apart from that, very good.
  10. Finding Perfect- Susan Mallery*** Well, it was better than Chasing Perfect, but not as good as Almost Perfect.? I do like the Fools Gold setting, so I am hoping that the coming books about the Hendrix triplets will be good.
  11. Catch of the Day- Kristan Higgins ***1/4 This one was good, but not as good as the others I've read by Higgins.? I didnt' really get the appeal of the hero in this one, and felt that the ending was rather abrupt and did not tie up all the loose ends.?


  1. Sugar Creek- Toni Blake **** Loved it!? Really disliked the heroine at first- thought she was a shallow, bitchy snob- but she redeemed herself.? Loved the hero- totally hot!? Also loved the way the grandma's parallel story was done- made it very hard to put this book down.? Can't wait for the next one!
  2. Take A Chance on Me- Susan Donovan **** Really liked this one a lot.? I really liked both the hero and heroine, and though at times I was frustrated by their lack of communication, it was worth it when they finally connected.
  3. The Sparkling One- Susan Mallery ***1/4 Pretty good.? Liked the hero, because he was confident without being arrogant, and the heroine who was strong and knew who she was, despite a nosy/intrusive family.? Classic Mallery.
  4. Stardust of Yesterday- Lynn Kurland ***1/4 Good for the occasional time-travel romance.? Heroine is intelligent and sweet, hero is strong and medieval.? Some of it is a little sappy, but overall a great love story.
  5. Just One Taste- Louisa Edwards *** it was ok- I liked the last one better.
  6. Just One of the Guys- Kristan Higgins ***3/4 I really liked this one- almost as much as All I Ever Wanted!? Really liked both the hero and heroine, although I wanted to smack her at times for dating Ryan, who was such an arrogant schmuck!
  7. Meet Me in Manhattan (True Vows)- Judith Arnold ***1/2 I liked this- very interesting concept for a romance novel, being reality-based.? I did feel like something was missing from the story though- maybe stuff that the couple did not want to include...such as what the hero was doing in the 16 years that they were apart.? The details were very sketchy there.


  1. Ain't Too Proud to Beg- Susan Donovan *** OK.? Kind of silly in parts, hero a little too good to be true.
  2. The Night She Got Lucky- Susan Donovan: unrated, because it was a DNF for me.? UGH.
  3. The Best of Friends- Susan Mallery ***1/2 I liked it, though felt that the ending left something to be desired.? Like the HEA.? But this book is "women's fiction" and not romance, so I guess we have to live without it.? Just didn't seem wrapped up to me though.
  4. Venus in Blue Jeans- Meg Benjamin ***1/2 Pretty good, didn't blow me away.? Liked hero and heroine, but felt the story was heavier on physical attraction than emotional connection.
  5. Dawn in Eclipse Bay- Jayne Ann Krentz (in progress)


  1. Dawn in Eclipse Bay- Jayne Ann Krentz ***1/4 Pretty good.? Liked the characters, but will scream if I read one more sweeping generalization of "Hartes this" or "Madisons that"!
  2. Highlander's Challenge- Jo Barrett *** It was ok.? I had trouble getting past the heroine not having any adjustment problems with landing in the 16th century, apart from the lack of gummy bears.? Hero was yummy though.
  3. Midnight Kiss- Robyn Carr, Jean Brashears, Victoria Dahl ***1/2 Pretty good, for an anthology.? Liked the Carr and Dahl stories, not so much the other.? Couldn't stand the heroine in that one, so it made it hard to care where the romance was going.? Hero was nice though- big gorgeous Irish guy who cooks and fixes stuff- one for me, please!
  4. Wedding Bell Blues- Meg Benjamin ***1/4 Ok.? I liked the hero and heroine in this one better than Venus in Blue Jeans, but thought that all the drama with the wedding was overdone.? I had trouble believing that the bride would be pushed around as much as she was in this book- she seemed much stronger in VIB.
  5. First Love Cookie Club- Lori Wilde *** Meh.? I'm not sure why I feel so luke-warm about this one.? Good storyline, liked the characters well enough, but it really dragged for me.? I found myself skipping paragraphs at a time because there was so much description about what some character was thinking and feeling? and pondering and analyzing that it was disruptive to the flow of the story/action.


  1. Just the Sexiest Man Alive- Julie James ***1/2 I liked this book- first I've read of this author.? I actually liked it more than I thought I would.? I don't usually like a self-absorbed, arrogant hero, but it worked in this book because the heroine was strong and intelligent and put him in his place!
  2. Falling For Gracie- Susan Mallery ***1/4 This one was pretty good- good chemistry between the hero and heroine, although I felt that the heroine was a bit detatched.? The "mystery" was not hard to figure out, and the peripheral characters were somewhat one-dimensional, but the central story was good.
  3. Someone Like You-? Susan Mallery ***1/2  Liked this one- the heroine and hero were both likeable, the small town was charming.
  4. Almost Perfect- Julie Ortolon ***  It was ok.  First by this author.  I have the other 2 in this series on my TBR and will probably read them, but this one was not one I'd remember forever.
  5. Public Displays of Affection- Susan Donovan ***3/4  Liked this one quite a bit.  A lot of sexual tension, and I felt like I got to know both the hero and heroine well.

January 2011

  1. In Your Wildest Dreams- Toni Blake ***1/2 Not my favorite by her, but I ended up liking it.  It started out slow for me, and I almost put it away, but am glad I didn't.
  2. Some Like it Scot- Donna Kauffman *** Meh.  WAY too much internal dialogue, really slowed down the story.
  3. Promise Canyon- Robyn Carr ***3/4 Liked this one better than any of the VR books from last year!  Enjoyed both the hero and heroine in this one.
  4. Whisper Falls- Toni Blake ***1/2 Would have been ***3/4, if not for the story taking a ridiculous unlikely turn toward the end, where the hero makes a decision that I really doubt he'd make.  Guess it was needed for drama, but annoying..I was really enjoying the book up until then.  Overall it was a good book, just with the one blemish that I wish wasn't there
  5. Catch A Mate- Gena Showalter ***1/4 Pretty good- new to me author.  The hero was a complete arrogant prick for the first half of the book, but once he softened up a bit, I liked it much better.
  6. Marrying Daisy Bellamy- Susan Wiggs **** Fantastic!  This is a great series, and this is by far my favorite book of the series.  It was so well done- the characters, and their reactions to the circumstances that they were in, were very real, not overly romanticized, and I felt connected to the characters and their stories.  Difficult to put down, once I got past the rehashing of stuff that had happened in previous books (which I felt was overdone a bit).  Loved the fact that I had no idea how this book would turn out to have a HEA, so instead of forecasting I was just enjoying the story.  **Spoiler** I was worried that Logan was going to end up cheating, with all of the references to him sending text messages, closing his computer when Daisy walked in the room, and his sudden interest in workign out. I would have been disappointed if he had- he wasn't right for Daisy, but I didn't want to see him turned into a villain, either.  Julian's recovery was glossed over a bit too vaguely, but I understand the need to do that, or the book would get excessively long.  Great book, best of the series.


  1. Yours For The Taking- Robin Kaye ***1/4 This one was ok compared to the others in the series.  I didn't really connect with the heroine, she was a bit too hard-headed and tough for me, and I'm not sure I completely bought the chemistry between her and Ben.  I did like the introduction of a mystery to this series, and look forward to reading more about that in future books..but now I'm wondering who is left to write about in this series?  I'd guess Ben's siblings/cousins/whatever they are, but they live in Idaho, and since the previous 4 books have been set in NYC, I'm not sure the author would move the setting...but I could be wrong.
  2. Something About You- Julie James ***3/4 Really enjoyed this one!  I am really liking this author.  Love that her heroines are strong and intelligent.  This was one that I wanted to keep reading until I was done, and got frustrated when I had to put it down.  I even liked the hero, though he had a chip on his shoulder in the beginning, but it was justified well, and resolved nicely.
  3. Wild Man Creek- Robyn Carr **** Best VR book in a long time!  Loved how the hero and heroine liked and respected each other enough to let the other do what they needed to do.  The Jack/Denny storyline was predictable and I saw it coming pretty much since Denny's character was introduced, but he is a likeable character and hopefully will show up again in the series.  Can't wait for Kelly's story!
  4. Crush on You- Christie Ridgway *** I struggled a bit through this one, because I found the heroine a spoiled brat and the hero an arrogant prick.  The first couple of sex scenes were painful...her suppressing any outward appearance of enjoyment, and he determined to make her lose control.  Blecch.  I liked the setting, however, liked the background story, so want to give the rest of this series a chance.
  5. Long Hard Ride- Lorelei James ***1/2 Not a big fan of erotica, but as such, this one wasn't bad.  Definitely have to like a hunky cowboy or two!


  1. A Creed in Stone Creek- Linda Lael Miller ***1/4 This was ok- not my favorite LLM. I liked the setting, liked the heroine, felt the chemistry between her and the hero, but felt that he was kind of...boring. The kid was a bit over-the-top precocious at times. I am interested in Brody and Conner's stories though- they seem more interesting as characters than Steven.
  2. Harvest Moon- Robyn Carr **** Another wonderful VR book! I liked Wild Man Creek just a little bit better than this one, but did really enjoy this. I thought RC did a good job of getting into the head of a 14 year old girl with abandonment issues. My only problem was that we were left at the end without knowing what Kelly did with her career- did she pursue the home-based business she was thinking of? There was no mention of it in the epilogue.
  3. Then He Kissed Me- Christie Ridgway ***1/2 I liked this one better than the first book of this series, Crush on You. I liked both the hero and heroine better in this one.
  4. The Guy Next Door- Lori Foster, Susan Donovan, and Victoria Dahl ***1/2 This was a pretty good anthology.  I liked the first two stories better than the last one.  The Victoria Dahl story appears to be setting up a new series for her, and I suppose the intent is to draw the reader back, but unfortunately the lack of a HEA made the whole thing fall flat for me.  I am not a fan of "mistaken identity" plots, so I'm not hanging on the edge of my seat waiting to see how this one resolves.
  5. Dragon Warrior- Janet Chapman (in progress)
Entry added on 1/4/2010 10:52 AM
Last edited on 3/23/2011 10:59 AM
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