Friday, January 01, 2010

2010 Book Reviews

I'm going to keep a running list of books I review in 2010, along with some very short comments about each.

  1. The Vanishing Act of Esme LennoxThe Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox Mass-Market fiction.  Clean.  Grade:  C.  Review.
  2. Clouds (Glenbrooke, Book 5)Clouds (Glenbrooke, Book 5) Christian Fiction. Moderately religious.  Grade B-.  Review.
  3. Prospect StreetProspect Street Mass Market fiction.  Sex scenes, but not real vivid.  What happens to the family when a middle-aged conservative policy wonk leaves the family for a homosexual lover?  Grade:  B-  Review.
  4. Gentle Touch (Portraits Series #7)Gentle Touch (Portraits Series #7) Pretty much a formula Christian romance about an oncology nurse who gets cancer and her boss/doctor.  Faith elements get pretty strong at times.  Grade B-.  My Review.
  5. Plain Jayne (Plain and Simple)Plain Jayne (Plain and Simple) Cute Amish romance novel.  She is a newspaper reporter.  He is the son of Amish parents but has left the church.  Grade B-  Review to be published 2/25.
  6. Becoming Lucy (Winds Across the Prairie)Becoming Lucy (Winds Across the Prairie) A wealthy society girl from Boston loses her parents and has to move west with relatives.  Being a good sweet Christian, she goes without complaint and through her goodness coverts the guy she falls for early on.  Overly sweet, sappy, too good to be true Christian fiction.  Grade D-.
  7. SongbirdSongbird The story of an abandoned child who grows up to be a famous Christian singer.  I love Samson's writing, and this is a story about how grace can help us when we are in pain, but not a story of faith curing all ills of this world.  Grade:  B+.  My review.
  8.  A sweet feel-good rather predicable story of a woman trying to solve a mystery brought forth by a newspaper clipping found in the church basement.  Grade:  B-.  My review.
  9. My LadyMy Lady DNF page 42.  Badly written Christian romance.  Grade:  F.  My Review.
  10. A Black Tie AffairA Black Tie Affair.  A fun mass-market romance in which the toxins from a vintage dress re-ignite an old flame.  Moderate bedroom scenes, quick pacing.  Grade:  B  Review.
  11. Jenna's Cowboy: A Novel (The Callahans of Texas)Jenna's Cowboy: A Novel (The Callahans of Texas) A well-written Christian romance about two high school sweethearts who have both suffered since that time.  Grade B+  My review.
  12. The Cougar Club: A NovelCougar Club: A Novel Three high school chums, now in their forties, reunite and deal with the changes in their lives. Mass Market fiction,  Grade B-.  My review.
  13. Prevailing Love: 3-in-1 Collection: Sealed With a Kiss, the Wedding Wish, Montana SkyPrevailing Love: 3-in-1 Collection: Sealed With a Kiss, the Wedding Wish, Montana Sky Three overly sweet, Scripture quoting Christian romances. Grade D+ .  My review.
  14. Spring Breakdown (Carter House Girls)Spring Breakdown (Carter House Girls) Christian YA about teen girls who go to Florida for Spring Break.  Unfortunately no adult really takes charge.  Grade:  C  My Review.
  15. Katy's New World (Katy Lambright Series, The)Katy's New World (Katy Lambright Series, The) An Old-Order Mennonite girl attends a modern American public high school  Grade:  B-  My Review
  16. Knight of Pleasure (All the King's Men)Knight of Pleasure (All the King's Men) Mass market romance, a fun read but nothing that you woudn't expect just looking at the cover.  Grade:  B-
  17. Only You (Steeple Hill Women's Fiction #49)Only You (Steeple Hill Women's Fiction #49) Christian romance in the mold of one of them needs to find God before they can live happily ever after.  Not one of Bedford's better books.  DNF half way through.  Grade D.
  18. Sisterchicks in Wooden Shoes (Sisterchicks Series #8)Sisterchicks in Wooden Shoes (Sisterchicks Series #8) Part travelogue, part girlfriend chat.  A forty-something woman gets an abnormal mammogram and runs away to Holland to visit a long-time pen-pal.  Grade B-
  19. Love Your HeartLove Your Heart A charming children's story about a father's love for his daughter and her compassion toward others.  Grade B+.  My review.
  20. Nelson's Complete Book of BIble Maps and Charts, 3rd EditionNelson's Complete Book of BIble Maps and Charts, 3rd Edition Great resource for Bible study.  Great historical and geographic background.  Lacks the Deuterocanonical books.  Grade A-.  My review.
  21. Embrace MeEmbrace Me A terrific Christian novel about pain, sorrow and reconciliation.  Great treatment of Catholicism.  Grade A.  My review.
  22. Swinging on a Star: A Novel (Weddings by Bella)Swinging on a Star: A Novel (Weddings by Bella) Christian romantic comedy.  Not badly written, just not my thing.  Grade D.  My review.
  23. Cowboy & Wills: A Love Story Cowboy & Wills: A Love Story A charming memoir about an autistic boy and his dog.  Grade:  A.  My review.
  24. A Kiss for Cade (The Western Sky Series)A Kiss for Cade (The Western Sky Series) Christian romance, but more clean than Christian.  My review.  Grade B+
  25. The Courtship of Cade Kolby (Avon Romantic Treasure)The Courtship of Cade Kolby (Avon Romantic Treasure) Mass market western romance.  My review.  Grade B+
  26. Breakfast in BedBreakfast in Bed Mass-market contemporary romance.  She and he have both sub-let the same apartment from two different people.  Neither has anyplace else to go for a few weeks, so they end up sharing.  Language is on the crude side, story is kind of cute.  Grade:  B-
  27. Disaster Status (Mercy Hospital, Book 2)Disaster Status (Mercy Hospital, Book 2) is a Christian hospital romance, long on romance, short on Christian. Grade B+.  My Review: 
  28. Scattered Petals: A Novel (Texas Dreams)Scattered Petals: A Novel (Texas Dreams) Christian romance set in the Texas Hill Country.  The female lead is raped at the beginning of the book, and this, of course, colors her relationship with the male lead.  Not a bad story, but religion is poured on a little heavily.  B-
  29. Wicked Intentions (Maiden Lane)Wicked Intentions (Maiden Lane) Mass-Market romance set in London.  She is the owner of an orphanage that takes in children from the St. Giles area (kind of a red-light district).  He is a duke who is pained by human touch.  He meets her when hunting the St. Giles area for the killer of his mistress.  Neither feels worthy of love.  Good Story. Vivid bedroom scenes, including bondage.  Grade B
  30. Promise of Morning, The (At Home in Beldon Grove)Promise of Morning, The (At Home in Beldon Grove) Christian romance, heavy on the religion, about the wife of a small-town minister in Illinois in the 1840's.  B-
  31. Montana LegacyMontana Legacy Mass-market romance about one of three cousins who inherit their grandfather's ranch, and his quest for buried treasure.  Grade B+
  32. Montana DestinyMontana Destiny Mass-market romance about second of the three cousins.  Moderate bedroom scenes.
  33. Is there a monster over there?Is there a monster over there?  Cute children's book  A little girl is afraid of monsters until one day she wonders if maybe the monster is afraid of her.  Grade:  B-
  34. Miracle in Sumatra: The Story of Gutsy GusMiracle in Sumatra: The Story of Gutsy Gus Politically correct anti-hunting anti-rainforest destruction book about a family of orangutans and some humans.  Grade C
  35. Just Like You: Beautiful Babies Around the WorldJust Like You: Beautiful Babies Around the World Charming children's book showing babies all around the world born on the same day.  All of them have moms who hug them, count their fingers and toes, and sing lullabies.  Each on has a family who celebrates his/her arrival.  Grade B+
  36. A Touch of Scandal The story of Garret, who we met in Haymore's first book, a Hint of Wicked, which I reviewed last  year.  In a nutshell, he goes looking for the guy who eloped with his sister, and falls in love with his enemy's sister.  There is more to the story than that, but it is a romance, and it does have steamy scenes.  The book was part of a pack Anna B at Hatchette sent me for providing interview questions.  Grade B
  37. The Clouds Roll Away (Raleigh Harmon)The Clouds Roll Away (Raleigh Harmon) A Christian detective novel.  Beautiful writing.  Grade A-. My review.

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