March Reading

I read 104 books during the month of March.

APRIL FOOLS!!

Now that I have the April 1st charade requirements fulfilled I shall tell you what I read in March. And there were only five books so this shouldn’t take too long.

Dream Hunter – Sherrilyn Kenyon (Paranormal Romance)

This is somewhere around the bajillionth book in the Dark Hunter series. I know some die hard DH fans were disappointed in this one, but I liked it. I’ve always been enamored with mythology and this book was chock full of it. It did take me until the very end of the book to realize that it took place before the first book in the series, though. Regardless, I was entertained and that’s the whole point. Isn’t it?

The Virgin’s Lover – Philippa Gregory (Historical Fiction)

Queen Elizabeth is in love with Sir Robert Dudley, but Sir Robert is married to Lady Amy Dudley. The Queen has the power to dissolve the marriage, just as her father dissolved his legal marriage to Queen Katherine so he could marry Anne Boleyn, Elizabeth’s mother. But we all know how that turned out.

Philippa Gregory has an incredible talent for weaving an intricate story with well known history, bringing the dull facts of a history book to colorful life. With this book she tackles the mystery of Amy Dudley’s death. Did Sir Robert kill his wife? Did Elizabeth have her murdered? Did she die of natural causes? Or maybe William Cecil, Elizabeth’s highest advisor planned her demise?

I could never decide from this book if Robert truly loved Elizabeth or if he just wanted the power of being King – maybe a little bit of both. He came from a power-hungry family, which got his father killed for treason and very nearly got himself executed as well. You’d think he’d learn.

Anyway, as with the previous Tudor books of Ms. Gregory’s, this was an excellent read. I’m looking forward to the next one – The Constant Princess – which goes back to Henry VIII’s first wife, Queen Katherine of Aragon, Queen Mary’s mother.

Slow Burn – Julie Garwood (Contemporary Romantic Suspense)

I typically prefer historicals – romantic or not – with a few paranormals thrown in for good measure, but I’m terribly loyal and I’ve read all of Julie Garwood’s other books. This book had a pretty good mystery, though I had a feeling about the villain from very early on. Some of the writing seemed forced to me, but I enjoyed the story nonetheless.

To Wed a Scandalous Spy – Celeste Bradley (Regency Romance)

I read and enjoyed all of CB’s Liar’s Club books – a series of spies in Regency England. The Royal Four are the four men who rule them – spies in their own right. This was the first book of the Royal Four and a highly entertaining read. Fast paced, funny, a little mysterious, and a delightful romance. What’s not to like??

A Great and Terrible Beauty – Libba Bray (Young Adult – Gothic)

This is one of those books that I kept seeing, picking up, reading the back, putting it down, on and on ad infinitum, but I hadn’t heard anything about it so I was leery of buying it. Dance Chica wrote about the book at her blog, Insomnomania, and when I mentioned I’d been thinking about reading it she sent it to me. How sweet is that?

I finished it this afternoon, so I suppose technically it’s not a March read. But I’m putting it in here anyway.

The book is written in first person present which threw me at first. I have to say that’s probably my least favorite style. However, the story itself was so good that I quickly forgot about my dislike of her writing. This is a critique I found that said it so much better than I could:

Despite having argued long and hard to be allowed to go to London, the Gemma Doyle that arrives on the doorstep of the city’s fashionable Spence Academy is not the discontented teenager from Bombay who had her hopes set on the big city. Mourning the tragic death of her mother, she is unable tell anyone the truth. Saddened by her father’s retreat into laudanum and her oh-so-proper brother’s insistence that she be the prim Victorian miss that she is not, Gemma despairs of fitting in. Her role as an outsider seems assured when beautiful Pippa and sophisticated Felicity lump her with her roommate, Ann, a scholarship student. To top it off, one of the mysterious men present when her mother died seems to be following her. Her bleak prospects change when she is led to the diary of Mary Dowd, a former Spence girl who penetrated the secrets of The Realm that now link Gemma, her mother, Felicity, Ann, and Pippa with a life and death struggle. This classic boarding school drama with Gothic tones deals with real issues—a woman’s place, the question of self-determinism, the impact on young lives of a lack of parental love and attention—within an excitingly supernatural framework. Plot, setting, and characterization are all strong. Questions of life, love, maturity, responsibility, and the harrowing nature of choices are seamlessly worked into a compulsively readable story, open ended enough to hint at the possibility of a sequel.

And yes. There is a sequel. Rebel Angels takes up shortly after Great leaves off. And yes. I will be reading it at some point.

There you have it. The five books I read in March.

Todd’s brother and sister-in-law, Tim and Rachel, are flying in from California tomorrow so my appearances will be sparse. But what stories and pictures I’ll have when I come back!

11 Comments

  1. Burg on April 1, 2007 at 6:42 pm

    Ah.. I miss reading.. I haven’t even finished the book I started before I had the baby nearly nine months ago! I may have to go find that Virgin’s Lover one though.. I love historical fiction. I’ve mostly read Kat Martin and Bertrice Small though.. Gotta toss in the romance!

  2. Slackermommy on April 1, 2007 at 8:59 pm

    I’m impressed that you read five!

  3. CindyS on April 1, 2007 at 11:13 pm

    You got me. I was trying to divide 104 by 30 and thinking that’s a quarter of my TBR pile!Have fun with your in-laws!!CindyS

  4. Dorky Dad on April 2, 2007 at 1:02 am

    I haven’t read five books all last year. Or the year before that. This is terrible. I need to start reading something.

  5. The Book Girl, A.K.A. Jodi on April 2, 2007 at 12:13 pm

    Ahhhh…you almost had me!! ;)I had A Great & Terrible Beauty from the library, but never read it. I wanted to read it, but let it go back to the library. :(I need to get Dream Hunter too…I am very anxious to read this one!

  6. Katybug on April 2, 2007 at 3:00 pm

    Thanks for the reviews, Jenster. I’m always looking for input on what to read next. I’m finishing Shar MacLaren’s book “Through Every Storm”. Tough topic…great story.

  7. Swishy on April 3, 2007 at 9:53 pm

    I just read The Myth of You and Me by Leah Stewart … good book about friendship.

  8. Jen on April 3, 2007 at 11:13 pm

    Good gracious! I am having trouble finishing one book this month! I have the Phillipa Gregory books on my Wish List, but am scared there will be a bunch of boring stuff at court like in Dragonfly In Amber.

  9. Zeek on April 4, 2007 at 8:39 am

    Dream Hunter is in my TBR pile and I’m saving it for a pleasure read!

  10. Jenster on April 4, 2007 at 8:52 am

    Burg – Yeah. A little romance never hurt anything. :o)Slackermommy – I used to read a whole lot more. But I’m happy with five.Cindy – If I could read 104 in a month that would be my entire TBR pile plus books from the library. LOLDorky Dad – It’s hard to find time to read when you’ve got small children. Mine are old enough that I figure they’re already damaged so when I say, “Leave me alone, I’m reading,” it’s not going to hurt.Jodi – If you can get past the writing style of Great then it’s a great read. (LOL – I didn’t even mean to say that.)Katybug – I haven’t read anything by Shar, yet. I’ll have to put her on my list, though. I’m working my way through Voice in the Wind by Francine Rivers right now. It’s very slow going because I only get a minute here and a minute there, but I know I’m going to enjoy it.Swishy – I haven’t even heard of that book. I may have to put that one on my list, too. *sigh* So many books, so little time.Jen – I didn’t find any part of the Philippa Gregory books dull or slow. I spent most of my time thinking, “Oh no they didn’t,” while reading the court scenes. LOL Talk about a depraved society!Zeek – Dream Hunter is definitely a pleasure read.

  11. Dance Chica on April 5, 2007 at 10:04 am

    I’m glad to hear you enjoyed A Great & Terrible Beauty! The present tense writing style was jarring for me, at first, too.

Leave a Comment