Sunday, July 27, 2014
Sunday Soup - July 27
Soup Dish: on my mind this week...
✽I've been on vacation in small-town mid-America, and it's been a low-tech kind of week. I know that a huge chunk of my book community is at RWA but I have not been following much of the goings-on, except:
✽Carolyn Crane won a RITA! I'm so happy for her. She was one of the first book bloggers to befriend me and Alpha Heroes when I got started, and I will never stop laughing at The Unfeasibly Tall Greek Billionaire's Blackmailed Martyr-Complex Secretary Mistress Bride. Her fiction is still characterized by that same quirky humor and fresh imagination.
✽If you are a lover of 80s pop culture, you might enjoy Tiffany Reisz's latest freebie: Erotic Charles In Charge fan-fic. When you stop giggling, you should read it and bring ice.
What I'm reading
✽My big project this week was a re-read of Outlander. Although I consider myself a fan, and regularly list this title as one of my all-time favorite books, I've never been much of a re-reader and this was only my second time through it. I have to say it holds up as well as anything I've ever read. I remember when it came out, it wasn't always easy to find it in the bookstore -- I have seen it shelved in romance, sci-fi-fantasy, and general fiction. And I feel that's really true: it defies genre conventions. What struck me the most about it was the precarious position they found themselves in at the end of the book -- truly a "happily for now". After turning the last page and taking a few deep breaths, I remembered that there are another nearly 7000 pages published of Jamie and Claire's story (setting aside the Lord John books and other shorter works), and felt reassured, but in the midst of this story, even knowing that things eventually turn out more or less ok, I was completely immersed in the ups and downs of this roller-coaster book. I loved it all over again.
✽A Good Debutante's Guide to Ruin, by Sophie Jordan (ARC). Releases this Tuesday; a solid Regency for which I owe a real review. A nicely constructed situation, likeable characters, and good chemistry. I loved the erotic tension and the villainy was kicked up a notch in a good way. My one nitpick is that the language sometimes sounded too contemporary to my ear, especially one of the key secondary characters.
✽Going Under by Jeffe Kennedy. Absolutely loved the premise here and the heroine. This is an erotic romance and they do get up to some fetishy hijinks; you may want to kick the air conditioning up before you dig into this one. I sort of felt that the ending was a bit rushed and that she forgave him a bit too easily, but I really loved the tech element here. (Kennedy's inspiration was a true story that made a huge impression on me as well when it broke). You'll have to decide if a ginger-flavored Tom Hiddleston-esque hero is a plus for you.
✽Wild Card, by Moira Rogers - this was a quick paranormal read, fairly hot, though I personally wouldn't peg it as erotica. In a post-apocalyptic future that resembles the nineteenth century west with wolf shifters, a lone female rancher finally meets her match. I liked it and will probably read on in the series.
✽Razing Kayne, by Julianne Reeves. I went to this contemp cop-romance as a "something completely different" follow-up to Outlander. So it had a tough act to follow. I'm not really sure what made me pick this one up-- random Twitter mention? Kindle freebie? Something like that. I have mixed reactions - I thought the suspense plot was really good - tight, unusual, a couple of crazy twists; and I liked the love scenes too. Characterization wasn't quite up to par, IMO; there was just a real lot internal angsty descriptive narrative to tell me what was going on with the main characters. Still, this is the sort of thing that can get better as a writer gains experience, so I might pick up another title. The small (ish) town had an interesting population of secondary characters, too. Has promise.
That's all for this week's soup. Hope you're having a delightful summer.