Sunday, September 24, 2006

Curling Up With A Good Book

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The past two weeks I've spent a lot more time reading than normal. Reading time has slipped by the wayside as I struggle to manage time for family, writing, work, and a whole host of other things. Sometimes I'd wish really hard to read, but remind myself that I'll never be published if I slack off instead of working on my own work-in-progress.

Secretly, between you and me, sometimes I'm afraid that if I read too much, I'll start avoiding my writing even more. Why? Well, reading is easy. I can get lost in a really good book with no effort whatsoever. Writing is hard. Enjoyable, rejuvenating, but hard, nonetheless. I know I'll never give it up, but that niggling worry is still tucked in the far reaches of my brain.

Then there is the inevitable feeling of inadequacy that can follow reading a really good book or particularly eloquent passage. Most of you have probably had these thoughts after finishing a satisfying read. "If that's what publishers are looking for, they'll never buy my book. I'll never be that (fill in the particular trait you envy the most)."

Whether by choice or time constraints, reading hasn't been high on my priority list for the past year. But in the past month or so, I've been drawn to books more and more, and managed to pick out some really good ones. I thought I'd share some of my most recent gems with you this morning.

Currently Reading: Real Women Don't Wear Size 2
by Kelley St. John

KILLER CURVES is right! I'm about 1/3 of the way through this book and forced myself to put it down to write my blog. I'm partial to this heroine because I'm short and... we'll just say well-endowed. Anyway, reading about Clarise's journey to "wildness" has been thoroughly entertaining and a wonderful rest after a weekend of marathon painting.

Recently Read:

Dream Man
by Linda Howard

Somehow I'd never gotten around to reading this book, though Linda's have become a "must read" since I got a hold of the first one. Wonderful book about a clairvoyant heroine and a detective hero. I love Dane Hollister because he is the typical male doing things the way he thinks they should be done and, guess what, he's wrong. But I love him anyway because he loves Marlie.

I also recently reread Shades of Twilight, one of my favorite Linda Howard books. Roanna Davenport's search for unconditional love moves me every time. Webb is just yummy, there's no way around it.

The Player
by Rhonda Nelson

I love Rhonda's books because they are very funny and shiveringly sexy! This hero gets put in the very position all "players" would kill to get out of: close proximity with a sexy woman, but no touching allowed. I can't wait to find out how the other two "Men Out of Uniform" meet their matches, as well.

Every Move She Makes
by Beverly Barton

Beverly's romantic suspense always keeps me guessing until the very last minute. This story is about the "good girl" who ends up falling for the town bad boy, a man her own father convicted of murder. Not only is the nemesis someone you'll never guess, you'll also be surprised by the complicated relationships throughout this book. A definite page turner.

A Hunger Like No Other
by Kresley Cole

I've read several paranormals lately, but this one kept me riveted until the very end. The conflicts are strong and compelling, but it was the romantic relationship that pulled me in. I have three words for you-Hot! Hot! Hot! But what can you expect with a bunch of vampires, valkyries, shapeshifters, and werewolves running around? And it has my favorite kind of heroine: a woman recognizing and learning to utilize her inner strength to overcome her particular battles. I can't wait for the next book to come out in October.

So, here's a little taste of my reading list. What about yours? What's the best read you've had your hands on lately? Does it inspire your writing or intimidate you?



Playground Monitor said...

I just finished Christina Dodd's TROUBLE IN HIGH HEELS. It's a sassy contemporary romantic suspense about a lawyer who moves to Chicago to be with her fiance only to find out he's just eloped to Las Vegas with his pregnant girlfriend. Hello! To seek revenge, she pawns her engagement ring, takes a chunk of the money and spends the day at the spa so she can attend a fancy charity ball later that night where she plans to hunt down an eligible man and spend the night with him.

When she discovers her mystery lover Roberto Bartolini is actually her first client at her new job, well... uh oh! Then she's marked for murder and he may be her only ally.

Also recently read CLOSE ENOUGH TO KILL by Beverly Barton. The sheriff in the little town of Adams Landing, Alabama is searching for a missing woman. Bernie Granger is the third Granger to be sheriff and the first female. When the woman turns up dead and a second is reported missing, Bernie's new chief deputy, Jim Norton, begins to suspect they might have a serial killer on their hands.

It's a fast-paced thriller that grabbed me from the first page and did not let go until I'd turned that last page. She expertly laid out an ensemble of possible villains and then one by one, she eliminated them while I tried to out-think her and guess who it is before she revealed the killer.

It's a great romance as well as the relationship between Jim and Bernie, both burned in past relationships, develops.


Rhonda said...

What a wonderful morning! I pop over to the Playground and what do I find? Compliments about my books!


Thanks, Angel!

Problem Child said...

If you're catching up on Linda H's backlist, be sure to add Son of the Morning to the TBR pile. Fantastic book! Murder, time-travel, mystery, Scottish lairds and the Knights Templar. Wow!

Rhonda's always a must read, although I'm a bit behind on this series.

I just discovered Jacquie D'Allesandro's historicals. Loved 'em.

Too many books, too little time. And I'm still managing to avoid Dante's Inferno.

Smarty Pants said...

I just finished Cry No More by Linda Howard. Everyone warned me. They said I would cry for the last 1/3 - 1/4 of the book. I thought I would be strong. I could take it. Well...I did ok. I just cried a little bit. I was able to keep reading through it, at least. A wonderful story, though. And Diaz -dark, mysterious, sexy as hell...


Instigator said...

I just finished the last 2 books in Rhonda's Men Out of Uniform series. Y'all are in for a fun, hot, funny treat :-) Loved, loved, loved them both!! Man are those men yummy - not mention the covers. I'll even be writing a review of them both for the site the middle of Oct.


Rhonda said...

PC, Linda's Son of the Morning is tied with Loretta Chase's Lord of Scoundrels for my best-books-ever-written prize. I love, love, love them both. They're old friends. When I hit a reading slump, I pull out one or the other and revisit my old "friends." The characterization in those books married with a simply phenomenal story takes them beyond your typical enjoyable read. I find something new to love every time I read them.

Angel said...

Okay, I finished my book and I swear I'll never look at beignets and powdered sugar in the same way ever again! :)

Kelley St. John said...

You just MADE MY DAY, Angel :)

Kelley, who is happy you won't look at powdered sugar and beignets the same again -- mission accomplished.