Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Lightning Reviews

My blog is so neglected! I have been reading some--not up to my usual rate, but still chugging along here. I've decided that there's no way I'm going to ever get around to writing full reviews for these, so here are a few quickies:

Title: The Lost Duke of Wyndham
Author: Julia Quinn
Published: 2008, Avon
Category: Historical Romance
Rating: 7/10
Jack Audley, a lesser gentleman turned highwayman, finds out that he is the long lost grandson (and heir) of the Duchess of Wyndham. He has no real desire for such a position, especially after he falls in love with Grace, the Duchess's companion who's not a suitable match for the new Duke. This is the first in a two-part series--the second book will be about Mr. Cavendish, the man Jack cut out of the succession.

Classic Quinn--funny and clever in parts. The first scene especially I thought was great--nice and light. Quick and fun read.

Title: Tribute
Author: Nora Roberts
Published: 2008, Putnam
Category: Romantic Suspense
Rating: 5.5/10
Cilla McGowan was a child actor who burned out by her teens. Now she's left show biz behind to renovate houses. She buys a grand old house that was owned by her very famous and glamorous grandmother, who died under suspicious circumstances. Soon Cilla is being terrorized by the past and she has to figure out what really happened to grandma.

I was disappointed by this. I felt it lacked the suspense that has made NR's other recent stand-alones good. I couldn't find it in me to care what happened to the grandmother. And the house talk went a little overboard sometimes--felt like I was stuck in a HGTV show.

Title: The Summoning
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Published: 2008, HarperCollins
Category: Young Adult / Fantasy
Rating: 7/10
First in a young adult trilogy set in the same world as Armstrong's Women of the Otherworld series. Chloe Saunders begins to see dead people and is sent to a psychiatric home by misguided doctors. She soon finds out that she's not crazy--she's just a necromancer. The other kids in the home also shows signs of paranormal ability.

I enjoyed this--the premise was not exactly new, but it was well executed anyway. Slightly annoyed by the cliff-hanger at the end, but it will definitely get me to buy the next in the series. Which I guess was the point.

Title: The Wedding Officer
Author: Anthony Capella
Published: 2006, Bantam
Category: General Fiction
Rating: 8.5/10
This one has gotten some great reviews around the web, and I agree. During WWII, English captain James Gould is sent to Naples to be the "wedding officer." His job is basically to discourage Englishmen from taking Italian wives. He's doing a great job until he meets Livia Pertini, who introduces the stuffy Englishman to Italy's seductive food and relaxed lifestyle.

I loved this one. I loved the discussion of Italian culture, the WWII history was interesting, and the descriptions of food were sooo fantastic. This book will definitely make you hungry for good Italian food. Highly recommended! :)


Marg said...

I really enjoyed the Julia Quinn when I read it when it was first released.

I am looking forward to reading The Summoning, and I really should read The Wedding Officer!

nath said...

Okay, it seems like i'm going to get the Wedding Officer today LOL :) Sounds like a great book :)! As for the others books, well I read them all as well :) I agree that NR was slightly disappointing, but I liked the Summoning and the Quinn a lot... more than you did I guess :D

By the way, welcome back :)

li said...

Long time no see - or blog :-)

Agree with your views on the Quinn and Armstrong, haven't yet read Tribute. Am going to wait until it's out in mmp, I think. For some reason, I keep on thinking of it as Tribune. No idea why.

Jennie said...

Marg--I read the Quinn back when it was first released too! Shows you how behind I am on my blogging. :)

Nath--I really hope you like The Wedding Officer! I'm always nervous when people buy books on my recommendation--what if they don't like it! :)

Li--HI! Yeah, I know. Blogging and I have not been friends this summer.

Definitely think you're right to wait for the Tribute mmpb--I didn't buy the hardcover, but I'd have been more disappointed if I had spent the money on it!

Jill D. said...

Hi Jennie,

Question: The Wedding Officer, I know it is general fiction, but does it follow, the romance rule - Happy ever after? It sounds good, but ya know, I don't want to be reduce to tears.

Jennie said...

Hi Jill! Yes, The Wedding Officer has a very nice happy ending. :) No worries there.

Jill D. said...

Yay! I am adding it to the list then.

Kate said...

Loved the Quinn! I can't wait for the sequel (next month...?)

For some reason I tend to not like NR's stand alones as much as I like her trilogies (the vampire trilogy excluded, which I didn't like.) I did like Angels Fall, but it also didn't make me rush out to read her backlist.

Rowena said...

I loved the Quinn, loved the hero and the chemistry between the hero and the heroine. The grandmother was an old hag that I could not stand!

I'm gonna have to add The Wedding Officer, that one sounds really good.

Great reviews!

Stephie Smith said...

Jennie, get to work! I have your snippet on my blog roll because I love reading your blog, but you are always at the bottom because it sorts newest to oldest!!! So, hurry up and post something else:-))