Friday, December 30, 2011

What I Read Last Month [November]

Phew! Got this one up in the nick of time since in less than two days 'last month' will be 'this month,' which will also be 'last year' and that is just crazy! This will be short--sort of--because I only read five books in November. So here is my two cent, ten sentence commentary on each book.

Romance ..................... 3 [two historical, one contemporary]
Young Adult ............... 1
Children's Literature .... 1

1. The Bastard by Brenda Novak
The Bastard is a post-French Revolutionary historical romance written by Ms. Novak and currently only available in ebook format. I was literally swept away in this classically romantic tale of Jeannette Boucher, a young woman who masquerades as a boy in order to acquire passage on a ship from France to England in an urgent attempt to escape marriage to an old and powerful Lord who plans to compromise her in the cruelest of ways. On board The Tempest, Jeannette is discovered by Lieutenant Crawford Treynor who struggles with his illegitimacy and hence his difficulty climbing the ranks of the Royal Navy, is heroic in the truest sense of the word to his country, his shipmates and the lovely Jeannette with whom he falls in love. This vividly written novel is full of high seas adventure with a colorful cast of characters and a delightfully sweet romance--I loved it!

2. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente
I thoroughly adored this thought provoking and whimsical fairy tale. It would make a wonderful read out loud book for you and the child in your life. You can read my review HERE.

3. The Spymaster's Lady by Joanna Bourne
I had the inexplicable urge to re-read this book after having last read it in 2008 and was thrilled to discover the story is as exquisite the second time around as it was the first time I read it--if not more so! Annique Villiers is a elusive French spy who finds herself imprisoned with two British spies she later discovers--after she helps them escape with her--are the renowned British spymaster, Robert Grey and his badly wounded colleague, Adrian Hawkhurst. Grey's assignment is to capture Annique and her secrets, but there is a reason she is nicknamed 'Fox Cub' for she is intelligent, extremely sly and veryadept at slipping through her captor's fingers. That, and the fact that Grey is an honest sort of spy, if there is such a thing, and he barely forces her to do anything she doesn't want to do. Grey and Annique develop a mutual respect and admiration for each other through which a love also grows, although Annique is rather reluctant to admit is truly love. The Spymaster's Lady is an enthralling historical novel with the most tender of love stories that develops with an emotional and intelligent intensity that's simply splendid. Quite perfect.

4. My Soul to Steal by Rachel Vincent
This is the fourth full length novel in the young adult urban fantasy Soul Screamers series by Rachel Vincent. Ms. Vincent has a wonderful talent for capturing the true essence today's teenagers all the while weaving typical teenage drama with a believable, thrilling fantasy plot involving the handling and manipulating of human souls by banshees, reapers, maras and other Netherworld beings. In this book, Nash and Kaylee are struggling to make something out of their relationship after a serious betrayal in the last book tore them apart when Nash's ex-girlfriend, Sabine, shows up, determined to get Nash back at any cost. In the meantime, people in their school start dying and it's obviously connected to something Netherworldly. Of course, being the heroine she is, Kaylee is determined to figure out what's going on and put a stop to it. This book was an exciting, fast paced read and the relationship stuff sure made me want to pull out my hair, but that's teenagers for you, right? I really need to get my hands on the next book, If I Die.

5. Dream A Little Dream by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
This was my first EVER Susan Elizabeth Phillips book, but it certainly won't be my last. There something so satisfying about a well written contemporary romance and obviously SEP knows how to write 'em--funny, sexy and also very emotional . This story is about Rachel Stone, a widowed, single mom who is ostracized because of her marriage to the now deceased televangelist who stole millions from his followers. Now nearly destitute, Rachel is willing to take on any job just to have money to buy food for her young son and give him a safe place to sleep at night. Luckily, Rachel's car breaks down in front of a work-in-progress drive-in theater owned by Gabe Bonner, who allows her to work for him and get his theater up and running. Gabe has some serious problems of his own, struggling to get over his grief from losing his wife and son in an accident several years ago, but it turns out each is just what the other needs in order to find faith in love again and to dream a little dream that just might come true...

I usually ask you to share your favorite read from last month in these 'What I Read Last Month' posts, but November is such a blur by now, isn't it? Sheesh.

Instead I'll ask what book are you looking forward to in 2012? 

I'm looking forward to Lisa Kleypas' new contemporary romance trilogy starting with Rainshadow Road in February and also Angels' Flight, Tangle of Need and Archangel's Storm by Nalini Singh. What a prolific writer!


  1. It sounds like you had a pretty solid month of reading in November!! I haven't read any of these but there are a few that I want to check out now :) I'm looking forward to SO many books in 2012 but mainly Jaye Well's newest book. I hope that you have a great new year!!

  2. I recently re-read The Spymaster's Lady, too, and was impressed at how well it held up to a second reading. Like you, I'm looking forward to Lisa Kleypas' new book. It's been a long year between releases!

    So, I should go work on my own November post, huh?

  3. Oh, The Spy Master's Lady is awesome! I read that one last year. I ever brought myself to read the others though.

    And Dream a Little Dream is always nice

  4. Oh, I also read Joanna Bourne in November. My favorites were The Comforts of Home by Jodi Thomas and The Black Hawke by Joanne Bourne. :)

    It's interesting, I don't really know WHAT I'm looking forward to reading in 2012 besides those authors whose series I'm following already. I have to look up and see what's new. *g* Haven't done that yet.

    And Dream a Little Dream by SEP is a favorite of mine. So glad you enjoyed it too.

  5. The Bastard sounds amazing. I'll be putting that one on my tbr list.

  6. I have both the Spy books, but haven't read either of them. I hear great things, but I hear good things about sleep too.

  7. I've only read one book out of your list and that's My Soul to Steal. The (near) ending of the book really threw me for a loop. I honestly did not see it coming!

    I have a list of almost 50 books that are on the TBB for 2012...but if I had to narrow it down, it's the Lisa Kleypas new contemporary romance trilogy, the 4th installment of the Alpha and Omega series by Patricia Briggs, and Karen Rose's next RS novel that I am really excited for. :)

  8. New follower! I am LOVING your blog.

    Happy new years!

  9. I also snuck in with my November reads right before December ended?

    And you've only just read your first SEP? Oh, you so have some good books to look forward to :) I have some definite favourites...and some still to read :)

  10. Heh-heh. You're just now discovering SEP? I love most her books, except for one, but you'll have lots of fun with her backlist!
    I'm looking forward to books by Jayne Ann Krentz, Janet Chapman, Jill Shalvis and Beth Ciotta. The number one book I'm looking forward to is another memoir by Jen Lancaster.

  11. Such good reads for November! I can't believe Dream a Little Dream is your first SEP! You have so many good books to look forward to from her. Just love her writing!

    I've been so caught up in getting my best of lists for 2011 I haven't even thought about new releases for 2012. The only one that comes to mind is Patty Briggs' Fair Game from her Alpha/Omega series. Oh, and Lothaire from Kresley Cole. I think that's next week. :)

  12. Even though I only read five books in November, these were some really great books! I honestly loved all of them.

    samantha... I don't read Jaye Well's but I've heard great things. Hope you have a great new year, too! xo

    Phyl ... Joanna Bourne is a wonderful writer. I am SO looking forward to reading more. It HAS been a long time between Lisa Kleypas' releases! It's not long now, though! And yes... go work on that November post before you forget it all! ;)

    Alex... Maybe when you see me post about the next Spy Master book, you will want to read it too. I am good at convincing. :)

    Hils... I can't wait to read The Black Hawke! Adrian is a favorite character. :)

    Linda... I hope you get around to reading The Bastard. I liked it so much I think I want to re-read it!

    Lisa... You HAVE to read The Spy Master's Lady. omg the writing is so luxurious. Then again... sleep is definitely a must. You poor thing. Sending Zzzzz's your way. xo

    Tabz ... What a tense read that My Soul to Steal was, right? Did you see the cover for the book after If I Die? It's VERY pretty. I need to hunt down If I Die at some library... none of my local libraries have it!!

    I'm looking forward to Patricia Briggs' next book, too! Oh.. and I admit it. .. I want to read the next BDB! Do you read that series? omg Tohr's book. We have been waiting FOREVER for his story!

    Carole Rae... Thank you SO much for loving my blog and following me! You made my day when I saw your comment in my inbox. I am following your blog now, too, with rss feeds. It's so nice making new blogging friends! :)

    orannia... I have to come check out your November stats. Did you get December up too? I snuck that in before the end of the year! SHOCK! Do you have any SEP recommendations? I have quite a few on my shelf thanks to Mariana! :)

    Brandy... Yes! Can you believe I'm a SEP late bloomer? Well, I have only been reading romance for five years, so I guess it's not too hard to believe. What other ones do you recommend?

    Looks like you've got a lot of books to look forward to! Not familiar with Jen Lancaster. Will have to look that up.

    Leslie... I love how everyone is so surprised I'm new to SEP. :) Which of her other works do you recommend? Oh, a lot of people are waiting for Lothaire. I am too far behind in that series to join the hoopla this time. :)


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