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! :)