awesome ultimate expert hen (mdyesowitch) wrote,
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Book club(s) March - June

Bunny I think brought these:
Lord Perfect by Loretta Chase (third in a series) This series features a loving father and mother, and the husband talks about how great his life would be if he had daughters. Alistaire, son II was a hero of Waterloo and was rescued and he loses his memory and he ends up with an impossible women and it turns out that the father was matchmaking.
The second story is Mr. Impossible.
This story is of the eldest, he is perfect in any way, never does anything wrong. He's a widower. He is at the Egyptian exhibit with his nephew and the nephew is making sketches and this girl comes up and starts insulting the nephew's drawing and he sees the girl's mother who is amazingly stunning. She's a tremendous scandal. The two kids run off together and the adults have to chase them.
J.R. Ward's Lover Eternal. Two part series, Vampire. It's a great book. Her stuff is together and she's got a great style. She has built a whole society that has internal logic. The brotherhood is the warrior/protectors of the vampires. All the "brothers" have bizarre names. This one is Rhaage. They all have some flaw. Rhaage has been cursed by the leader female goddess: if he is in pain or gets really angry, he turns into a beast, dragonlike thing which will kill anything. So he has to fight constantly and have lots of sex to burn off enough energy to not be a dragon.
He meets a guy whose voice is very soothing. She's dying of leukemia and being chased by the bad guys, etc. (I know this doesn't make sense, but I'm not sure what to edit it to to make it make sense.)

I think this one might have been Janice's
Susan Elizabeth Philips Match Me if you Can The second book in a series. In the second book, the main characters from the first appear and have some connection, but the main characters here didn't appear in the previous book. Girl has taken over deceased grandmother's business. The girl's mother, father and brother are perfect. Our girl is a bit of a screw up, like grandmother. She ran a dating service for seniors. A client comes back and says he's unsatisified and wants a new match. Her best friend, heroine of the previous book, she's married to the running back.
The running back's agent has just signed up with another matchmaking agency, so our heroine tries to get the agent to sign up with her. She's pushy and gets him to give her one chance. She brings in a ringer. And he insists that she come along on his dates to help him find the perfect girl.
Diamond by Sharon Sala - Diamond Houston (and her two sisters) They're all named for cards. They have to see the house. They live in a tiny town in TN and country singer Jesse Eagle is enchanted by her singing, and he leaves. And then he comes back. He wants to make her a star, but all of his friends are threatened by her and everyone else is sabatoging their relationship. She ends up running away becasue she feels like she's holding him back.

Cynthia Rutledge Two Hearts Libby has been dumped in relationship after relationship even though she has money. Her friend, Sierra, is scrimping and saving to get through college, and her mother is the maid at Libby's house. She makes Sierra a deal and they'll trade places for the summer.
Sierra just got a job working a local waitress for the summer, and she was going to quit, but no one has actually met Sierra, so she goes ahead and starts working and has no experience waitressing, although she can run a business.
Her love interest is guy who runs the resturant. But before she can confess who she is, she gets outted by his evil exgf.

4/25/06 - April's Bunny's book club

Robin brought Linda Howard's Cry No More is a tearjerker. It's about a woman with her husband and infant in Mexico and the child is kidnapped. The baby is not recovered. The book takes place 10 years later. She is still looking for the child, her marriage is over. She has started an organization to help find missing children. She does find the child. The child was sold to an adoption agency and the child was raised in a loving household and she makes sure the child has his medical history and never even tells the child that she's his mother.

Cassie brought Rebecca York's Killing Moon. Warewolf novel. Private Eye warewolf as a genetic freak. (his grandfather wished for more power, and was blessed/cursed with this). You transform for the first time at 15 and either live as a warewolf or die. His mother gave birth to 12 kids and only 3 survived to adulthood, all boys. If they lived to 18 they had to fight each other to establish alpha dominism. So he's decided to never take a lover because he doesn't want to force a wife to live like that. The warewolf is investigating a mass kidnapper/murderer. And he thought he'd gotten before, but then the murders start again. He gets shot while investigating. Megan, the genetic researcher, is working at a lab trying to earn money to finish up her research. He has sent her genetic material to try to get her to find a cute. She accepts the job and arranges to meet the guy. She goes in to his house and finds our hero passed out.
I brought Where's Stanley a Harlequin Next novel. A woman with two children is too busy with her life is too busy to notice her husband has vanished until he's been gone for 2 days. It's a story about how life takes over and distracts from and separates you from the things that are important to you. With no income, she is forced to get a job and take the children out of private school. They have adjustment issues that must be dealt with. Her best friend from HS comes back to help, and escape from her hedonistic life and reform. Meanwhile, the heroine is getting friendly with the cop investigating her husband's disappearance. What happens if they find Stanley. It's a valuable story about priorities and how to find them.

I also brought Northanger Abbey by Jane Austin. It's an early Jane Austin, which means it has a bit of shmaltz, although it's obviously a saterical take on the conventional romance. The heroine has been raised on gothic romances and sees danger around every corner, but she's smart enough to avoid falling in love with her brother's glib talking best friend. She has her hands full avoiding mad women in the attic, scary shadows, a scheming best friend, and a greedy father (not her own).

Janice brought Judith McNaught, Once and Always historical. 2 sisters in NY. Father is the local doctor. Mother married beneath here. Victoria hears the parents fighting when she's a kid. Her father convinces her it's a mistake to fall in love. Her parents are killed in a carriage accident and calls for her mother, the countess or duchess and a duke. She was in love with the duke, but he didn't father Victoria. The doctor writes to the duchess and duke to ask them what to do. Victoria looks exactly like her mother and the grandmother doesn't want anything to do with her, but takes her sister. Victoria goes to Charles, the duke and wants to marry her to his "nephew" the heir. The nephew has sworn off lovers because his last wife was evil and stole his son to ransom him back. The duke sends an announcement immediately on hearing about Victoria that the nephew is going to marry her. The young would be lovers have omewhat advisarial relationship and The Duke tricks them into getting married by faking ill.
Bunny brought Madeline Hunter's Lady of Sin this is the latest in a series of regencies which has been consistently good. The Seducer, the Saint, etc. This one has a lawyer who has helped a previous heroine escape a horrible husband. This opens with the lawyer getting drunk because he's lost a case and the man in question is being executed. While he's drinking, a widowed baroness come bustling in to challenge him with some female rights something and he nearly molests her on sight.
He kisses her and they end up barely dressed before they're interrupted.
She attended an orgy house party masquerade which was the farewell party of a reformed rake and boffed him them.
She's mortified and concerned that he'll recognize her. Despite her best efforts, she continues to run into her. One of his clients knows somethingabout her family and our hero tells him that he can't defend him and he won't be allowed to ruin a family, the criminal commits suicide, but our hero is bothered by what the criminal said.
One of the kids that the criminal watched was supposed to be a lord. So he goes to the mystery lady and tells her what the criminal said, and that he's seen the boy. And she asks him what to do with the boy, leave him in the slums or take him in? She investigates. The lawyer and woman go off together lookingfor the child. It's not clear whether he's related or not. The kid doesn't remember much about his life before the thieving gang.

5/23/06 - Bunny's book club
Jillian Hunter - Book 2 was good. She hasn't read book 1. It's a series about three siblings. The family is known for being a bit impetuous. Oldest brother is a marquess. The second book is the youngest sister, Chloe's story. She kissed a baron in public and was banished to the country estate.
After a few weeks where the most exciting thing happened was being escourted off the neighboring estate. Our hero, and resident hot guy took her off the neighboring estate and then died. Except that he's still alive. The girls are claiming the guy is visiting them as a ghost, but he is hiding out because his uncle and the hot guy's mistress wanted to kill him. He ends up hiding in her closet. She finds him because one of her nightgowns is hanging out of the window. She ends up keeping his secret. Her brother and his brother were killed in the war together, betrayed by hero's uncle. The families have connections. Book 3 was not nearly as charming. Book 3 is the spy guy and he is the calm one. He's asked to keep his best friend's fiance safe.
The Bachelor Trap by Elizabeth Thornton - all the clues are there, the characters don't behave weirdly. This one has a double mystery. There are two separate sets of mysterious happening that have to be solved, and the heroine is in danger from both of these and therefore it's hard to figure out where the danger is coming from.
The only jarring point is that the hero kisses the heroine in public. It's a nice book, though and it keeps you guessing.
Dorothy Cannell - How to Murder the Man of your Dreams romantic mystery. The premise is that a married women with twins loves reading romances and they decide to build a statue of the librarian who's recently deceased. They try to get Charisma (the Fabio-alike) to come do a fund-raiser. Ellie is married to Ben and is thinking of going back to work. Ben runs the local restaurant. She hired him to be an escourt and she doesn't want that to get around. He's trying to get romantic but she is an evil wench who shuts him down.
She is convinced that the library ghost killed the librarian, but then that vanishes as a theme. The husband is complete shut out until the very end when they make up for no apparent reason and then everything is fine. There is an actual murder in the end. One page later, she's magically divined the murderer. I don't think Janice liked this one too much.

Bunny brought Three Little Secrets. It's the third book of the series (One little Lie "Two little..). The series is set 1830s regency period. The entire story turns on the titles of the book. In this book, the three secrets are the focal point of the story. It begins with Marek the builder, who shows up in previous books, building row houses in Kensington. He's a self-made man who wants to be rich and richer. He's a controlling person, but loyal to his friends (book 1 and 2) and totally honest.
He's always talked to his friends about his wife who vanished ages ago and he hasn't seen or heard from her since. She was the daughter of a lord, and very young. She fell in love with the stableboy and eloped and her guardian caught up with them and he beat the stableboy and left him for dead. She has been told that he was a fortune hunter who accepted money for an annulment. He was told that she changed her mind and moved back home. By the time he was able to do anything about it, she was out of his reach.
She was pregnant and marries a cousin in Italy. The cousin was indifferent to her, and didn't care for the kid. The kid has the gift of the sight, but everyone thinks he's weird. It freaks him out and freaks them out too. 12 years go by and he's rich, and she's widowed and has low self-esteem. She's finally running her own life and no one call tell her what to do and she wants to help her son so she comes to London to get medical assistance. So the wife of a friend in the previous books is a child psychologist. She's looking to set up a house and she ends up meeting Marek the builder and she doesn't know they're still married. He hates her and blames her for the beating and he tried to contact her, but she never contacted him but he's still married so he can't get attached to anyone else so he's vindictive.
She's never told him he's the father of her child. His friends keep throwing them together. And the more they're together, the more he recognizes traits of himself and he gradually realizes it's his kid and he's taking the kid to Scotland to meet his family so that he can learn to cope with the sight.
She ends up going with them.
Bunny also brought Lucy Monroe's Tempt Me. Last year she wrote a brava, a historical and a contemporary. Her bravas have been a trilogy. Her moderns are sexy, but not porn. Her historicals are quite good and period appropriate. This is the second, the first is "Touch Me". The heroine is trying to compose a romance novel. She's gotten to the clinch and then she realizes she has no idea what happens next, so she's hooking up with "The Saint." His whole family is rakehells and he's trying to distance himself from all these things. He wants a nice quiet girl who's prim and proper. She's getting more upset because he doesn't seem to interested in hers. She doesn't want a man who would keep a mistress. She wants a man who loves her. She needs to find out why he doesn't try to kiss her or anything. She disguises herself as a stableboy and sees him in a clinch with this woman, but it turns out the woman is his brother's mistress and his brother was killed and the mistress is distraught and has his brother's child and she's going to get married and move to France and this is their goodbye hug.
So she accosts the mistress in the park and makes this huge scene. And then she finds out he's just been restraining himself so he won't get carried away and become a scandel.

Cassie brought PC Cast's Goddess of Light - Baccus is over the realm of Las Vegas and Zeus comes to him and convinces him to go learn more about mortals. Gods can come to visit Las Vegas on weekends. They go to Caesar's Palace and he has all these rules about not revealing that they're gods etc.
Baccus is of course disgruntled because of all the mockery he gets. The woman is an interior decororator just out of a bad marriage and finally starting to get things together. The assistant back home is going to manage thing while she's designing this author's home. Obviously she's staying at Ceasar's palace. Artemis and Apollo and Baccus all appear where their icons are in the mart. The guy wants the Baccus in his home. Baccus gathers the nymphs and they do this summoning dance. While they do this, the moral at the end of the dance says, "Artemis, I'd like a little god in my life." So Artemis is bound to see that the wish is fulfilled in a day and a half. Apollo starts wooing the girl. He ends up missing the boat back, as does Artemis. Apollo helps her with her designing and they get Artemis to be the fountain. Pamela and Apollo end up together forever.
Kerrelyn Sparks - Vamps in the City. The next book in the How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire series. Darcy has been a vampire for 5 years and was saved by Romanoff (of the millionaire vamp book). She wants a job. She was a TV reporter. But it's hard to get a job in the Vamps world. She's applying for a job at the Vamps TV station. Austin is one of the psy group who've been called to investigate. She proposes a reality TV series. This coven of women is left by their master. The reality TV show is to pick the next coven master. She's going throw in both vampires and mortals. No using of special powers. The psi group gets a couple of their own in the show trying to figure out what's going on. Every show they'd eliminate two and there ar 12 people. He's decided Darcy can't be a vampire, because he can't read her mind. After they eliminated someone, they realize that some of them are mortals. The coven freaks out. It ends up being 2 people left, Austin wins. By that time, she's figured out that he's a vampire hunter. And you find out that they're trying to reverse the vampire thing. He gets her in the program and she becomes mortal again. And the coven decides to open a strip joint with the prize money.

Merry brought Mary Jo Putney's The Marriage Spell - Alternate history where during the black plague wizards and healers helped heal people and kept Europe from being devistatated, so they were reluctantly accepted into society. Regency. The ton doesn't accepted wizards though. The common people do because they do healing.
Starts out with a bunch of kids being sent to this anti wizardry school to try to weed out their interest in magic. Five boys form a sort of alliance to protect each other. This one guy becomes injured and is taken to this woman's house. His neck is broken, but she saves his life and puts his neck back and as the price of services, which she's not supposed to ask for, but she's always liked him, so she demands marriage.
Once he's healed, she offers to release him, but he likes and feels honourbound to maintain the relationship, but he doesn't like wizardry in himself and her. And external causes. And internal struggles.
She recommends http://wordwenches,com.

In Jayne Ann Kranz's collection Dangerous Men, Adventurous Women she addresses the sociological issues for women about romance novels.
Linda Rael Miller - did "The Man from Stone (or Stony) Creek" The heroine and the hero dont immediately jump into bed and it fits into the period.
Recommended Twin stories: Jo Bevery's An Arranged Marriage
Mary Jo Putney's Silent Melody.
I brought Duke of Sin and Duke of Scandal. I was focing on Scandal though. It's a twin romance, where the twins are not pretending to be each other and getting into trouble. They start out completely separate, but the younger twin is marrying women for their fortunes in France and the older twin, the English Duke pretends to be him to ferret him out. Quite a few twists and turns. Another interesting point is that the women are all business women.

Janice brought Susan Kearney'sThe Ultimatim - It as a lot of fun but it's a romantic pulp. It's a futuristic romance. The heroine (Alara) lives on a world where biologically they must have sex or die. Our heroine is a geneticist who is trying to find a cure for this disease because if you have sex too many times with the same guy, you are bonded to him. And if he dies you die and he won't have sex with you, you die.
She's very unpopular with The Powers that Be (men, of course) because they like the system as it is. The women aren't particularly happy with her either because they are used to the status quo. She's been making progress but now she's entering heat. The strange guy (our hero, who is a stranger to this world) is hunting this big evil thing that's trying to kill the universe. The guy wants this girl to help him come up with a bio weapon to use on the evil. She refuses because her research is important and hard to leave. Through a series of manipulation, he winds up kidnapping her legally. But he takes her experiments along. Then she goes into heat and has to boff him. He is unaware of the biological complaints but they make a deal. They end up bonding. The book is silly very pulpy, over the top. It's a sort of throw-back space opera type adventure going on.
Bunny adds that the first book in this series was the silliest, and not too good, where the guy tries to control the girl through sex.
The next one The Challenge was very Buck Rogersy,

Bunny brought Ghost Hunter by Jayne Castle (Jane Ann Kranz) another book in the Harmony series. They're from Earth but have been cut off and developed their own culture. There is an underground green place with ghosts and spectral phenomenon and all the books in the series interacts with them in some sense. This one is typical of this type. The woman who is raised in one section of society and is now doing things on her own. The guy is a big ghost hunter and she's not interested and this has corporate control issues - whether you should be part of the organization or more newagey, loosy.
Features unusual pets and other types of things. This one creatures, for example looks like a dust bunny and is called that. In times of danger it morphs into a dangerous protective creature. It's got a variety of comic relief to add to the appeal of the story.

Bunny also brought Susan Mallory's DeliciousContemporary - stand alone. This one is about a chef. The couple is divorced because he refused to have children with her after she lost a baby and he refused to help her career. (his family owns a bunch of restaurants)
He's since left his family and broke out on his own and sells coffee. He makes a deal to come back and rescue the flagship restaurant for a time. She has become well known and he hires her. The grandmother is the villain of the piece. She hates the girl and keeps trying to break them up. The fun part of the book is the kitchen renditions are realistic without getting bogged down in the details. The heroine comes to realize that she has to take some responsibilty for the failure of the relationship. It breezes along so lightly and cleverly that you don't notice the plot holes until much later. Her next one will be Irresistable.

Bunny also recommended Vicky Hinds' Her Perfect Life it is a tear-jerker, but it's the story of a female pilot shot down over Iraq and captured and held for 6 years, and the family has resumed their lives, including her husband remarried a lovely woman who takes great care of her children, her mother is ill, and the children don't remember her.

WOOHOO! Caught up!

mdyesowitch is intense.
You're no-nonsense, to the point, working all the time, looking to die an early death in a bathroom somewhere when your body finally gives out. Way to go.
brought to you by interim32. wanna know your lj's moodring color? enter your user name and hit the button. (discussion thread)

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