Well, this month started slow and, when I finally did find the time to pick up a book, Three Sisters, Three Queens by Philippa Gregory, I ended up dropping it in frustration. With the heroine. Margaret Tudor is one of the most idiotic female leads in a historical fiction novel not a bodice-ripper I’ve ever had the misfortune to come across on a page. Complete airhead. She can be having a serious conversation or thinking about her next political move, then, all of sudden, it’s all about jewels, or gowns, or whether or not her sister Mary or sister-in-law Katherine have more, or better, of either of these than her. It’s annoying. While enjoying the story, I just couldn’t take her stupidity any more.
Next, I picked up Nalini Singh’s new Psy-Changling anthology, Wild Embrace. This one was fun. Dorian was definitely my favorite story of the bunch. I adored the little peeks into their cubhood and the scene with Lucas, when he finds out what happened, is priceless. The one I liked the least was Kenji and Garnet’s story, Flirtation of Fate. It was a good story, don’t get me wrong, but I still find I want to smack Kenji and am annoyed that Garnet didn’t do more of it. I want more Desi and Felix and I really, really, really want to know how Aden, Judd, and Vasic found out about Stefan and Tazia. Can we get a newsletter short story? Please?
After I finished wallowing and sighing over Dorian, Felix, and Stefan, I, finally, opened Luck, Love and Lemon Pie by Amy E. Reichert. This novel is about MJ and Chris Boudreaux, a couple who have been married for twenty years, have two teenagers, and have grown apart. Each of them uses poker as an escape, building a seemingly unscalable wall between them. Add in an old rival and a gorgeous Irishman and you have a whole lot of trouble. All of which could, of course, have been prevented if MJ had just talked to her husband the way her friends advised her to do in the beginning. While she made me want to roll my eyes at times, I still enjoyed the story. Okay, I did roll my eyes. And may have huffed out an annoyed sigh or two. Or three. But it was a fun read, for all that. And, now, dang it, I want a fat slice of lemon pie. Fortunately, I have a recipe for a really good one without the baking and without the guilt: Simple Lemon Pie.
Then, at last, I sat down with Amulya Malladi’s latest, The House for Happy Mothers (my full review). I’ve been looking forward to this since Malladi announced it on her blog last year. I’ve read all of her books and especially loved A Breath of Fresh Air. That one I’ve read more than once. It makes me cry. The House for Happy Mothers didn’t do that, but it’s still a poignant read. I liked Asha and sympathized with her and the other women throughout. What they do is a very difficult thing. And, while I liked Madhu, it took me a while to really warm up to Priya. Mostly because she was just so blind where Dr. Swati was concerned.
To end the month, I read It Takes a Scandal by Caroline Linden. This the second book in her Scandalous series. You have your brooding, tortured hero with Gothic overtones, including a mad father, and who’s still pained by wounds suffered at Waterloo and a nouveau riche heroine, who, surprisingly, is not an American. And let us not forget the rather cartoonish villain and a mischievous little dog. In other words, It Takes a Scandal was a romance novel cliche. Not that a cliche can’t be entertaining if you’re in the right mood. Which I wasn’t. This one just annoyed me. I did a lot of exasperated eye rolling with this one. I doubt I’ll read anything else in this series.