I told myself that I should read at least 50 books last 2010. Sadly, I only clocked at 39 in my 2010 Book List. But then the list I'm keeping here at the domain doesn't include my manga volume reads which I remember taking up the slump time in August. Checking my Shelfari account, it says that I've read 51 books. So I guess I did sorta reach my target? XD Anyway, new year, new list! Target again for this year is 50 books! Hopefully, I won't have a slump time. :x
001. Stolen Kisses (Suzanne Enoch) | Jan 10, 2011 | B+
002. Sugar Daddy (Lisa Kleypas) | Jan 19, 2011 | B+
003. Blue-Eyed Devil (Lisa Kleypas) | Jan 22, 2011 | A+
004. Smooth Talking Stranger (Lisa Kleypas) | Jan 23, 2011 | A+
005. Married to the Viscount (Sabrina Jeffries) | Jan 30, 2011 | B
006. Ten Reasons to Stay (The School for Heiresses) (Sabrina Jeffries) | Jan 31, 2011 | B
007. After Midnight (The School for Heiresses) (Liz Carlyle) | Feb 04, 2011 | C+
008. Lord of Scoundrels (Loretta Chase) | Feb 12, 2011 | A+
009. The Last Hellion (Loretta Chase) | Feb 19, 2011 | A
010. Miss Wonderful (Loretta Chase) | Feb 23, 2011 | A-
011. Mockingjay (Suzanne Collins) | Mar 01, 2011 | B+
012. Call Me Irresistible (Susan Elizabeth Phillips) | Mar 05, 2011 | A+
013. Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor (Lisa Kleypas) | Mar 06, 2011 | B+
014. Lord Perfect (Loretta Chase) | Mar 14, 2011 | B+
015. Not Quite A Lady (Loretta Chase) | Mar 21, 2011 | B+
016. Last Night's Scandal (Loretta Chase) | Mar 29, 2011 | A-
017. How To Woo A Reluctant Lady (Sabrina Jeffries) | Apr 05, 2011 | B+
018. My Dangerous Duke (Gaelen Foley) | Apr 24, 2011 | B+
019. Your Scandalous Ways (Loretta Chase) | May 03, 2011 | B+
020. Invincible (Sherrilyn Kenyon) | May 05, 2011 | B+
021. Don't Tempt Me (Loretta Chase) | May 26, 2011 | B+
022. Notorious Pleasures (Elizabeth Hoyt) | May 29, 2011 | A-
023. To Pleasure a Prince (Sabrina Jeffries) | Jun 05, 2011 | B+
024. Born of Shadow (Sherrilyn Kenyon) | Jul 12, 2011 | B+
025. Just Like Heaven (Julia Quinn) | Jul 25, 2011 | B+
026. Indulgence in Death (J.D. Robb) | Sep 4, 2011 | B+
027. Retribution (Sherrilyn Kenyon) | Sep 19, 2011 | B+
I have always loved Lisa Kleypas' historicals. Her latest two books, Married By Morning and Love In The Afternoon, released one month after the other, are the final books to her latest series, the Hathaway series. I've been looking forward to this two since last year, right after reading Tempt Me At Twilight, so I kept on pestering our local bookstore if their store copies have arrived. Once the bookstore informed me my copy has arrived I rushed off to get it and immediately started reading it that same day.
Married By Morning is the fourth book in the series. It's the story between the Hathaway governess, Catherine Marks, and the only Hathaway man in the family, Leo, Lord Ramsay. Leo needs to find a wife and sire an heir within a year or else the Hathaway family will be booted out of the Ramsay. Though Leo was reluctant to marry anyone at first, he eventually sets his eyes on Catherine Marks.
From the previous books, Seduce Me At Sunrise and Tempt Me At Twilight, the chemistry and banters between these two were funny. It was great to see Kleypas integrate that into this book. Though early on, we get to see them develop from rivals to two people realizing their attraction to one another, the bickering between them isn't lost and that's what makes this two special.
In this book, we also get to see Mark's background. A lot of the books in the romance genre usually has the hero as the tortured soul that needs saving by the heroine. Though Leo previously qualifies under this description especially in the first Hathaway book, Mine Til Midnight, he was able to slightly conquer it in the succeeding books. And in this one, one of the reasons that makes this book pretty great was instead of the hero being overcome with his past, the heroine was the one who was still trapped in her past. But with Leo's insisting presence and unflagging love, Marks eventually succumbs and they both live happily ever after.
This book proves once again why I really like Lisa Kleypas. It's a light and easy read with two great main characters with sizzling chemistry, a thieving ferret to the rescue and kissing quizzes that kept me giggling. It doesn't topple Tempt Me At Twilight on the top of my Hathaway series list but it really comes a close second.
And right after finishing reading that, I immediately read the fifth and final Hathaway book, Love in the Afternoon. Lisa Kleypas, back-to-back.
Love in the Afternoon is the story of the youngest Hathaway sibling, Beatrix, and the newly returned soldier, Captain Christopher Phelan. Christopher is a war hero and during those tumultuous days of him trapped in battle for England, the thing that kept him going were letters from Prudence. In truth though, these letters were sent by Beatrix penning her friend's name instead of hers since she remembers Christopher's negative comments about her. And through these letters their relationship develops. But when Christopher returns to England, the real identity of the letter's authors baffles him.
Of all the Hathaway siblings, Beatrix is probably my most favorite. I love her, her love of animals, her caring personality, her perceptiveness and her charm. Ever since Seduce Me At Sunrise, I have been looking forward to her book. I seriously thought hers would be the fourth instead of the last one. Maybe because I love her so much that I had high expectations of this book. Sadly, I was a bit disappointed. Don't get me wrong, I still like the book a lot, but there just seems to be something missing.
The book started nicely for me. I liked reading the letters that Beatrix and Christopher exchanged. With the start of these letters, you could see how their relationship and love for each other developed. I think at first, Christopher's initial letter tugged at Beatrix' instinct to fix or heal. Beatrix has been healing animals ever since that when she read Christopher's letter, she knew that she should write back to him and help him in overcoming his depression during the war. Later when he arrived back at England, he had post-traumatic stress disorder that hindered him in getting back to his normal pre-war life. He had assumed that the Prudence he had been exchanging letters with will be his guiding light on his life once that he's back. But when he finally meets Prudence, it wasn't the same girl he was writing letters to. Events happened and he later discovers that Beatrix is the girl that had saved him.
From the discovery until the end of the book, it felt for me that everything was crammed into the remaining pages. Or maybe there were just some really minor things that I wish was at least tackled. For one, even if it might be due to PTSD, I didn't like the fact that Christopher was unconsciously trying to create a gap between him and Beatrix. Beatrix was ready to give all to him but he's always trying to hold a part of himself back. At least that got resolved in the end as it should be. Also, I would have liked it better if there was a resolution with the relationship between Christopher and his mother. His mother moved out. Yes, she's happier with her family but what about her only remaining living son? Also, being the finisher to a series, I was hoping to see more of the other Hathaways. Sadly, Win and Kev, Poppy and Harry were almost non-existent except for a mention and one-liner dialogues here and there. Lastly, I like Matthew Bennett a lot. I wish Kleypas saved him for a better book than just saying that he met Audrey and they somehow clicked. There was a lot of potential there that now won't be explored.
In the end though even with those small gripes, it still is an adorable book. Engaging characters. Great story. And I absolutely love Albert. We had Dodger the ferret in MBM and now we have a dog that gets honored and was presented with his own honorary collar by the Queen herself.
Now that the series is done, ranking the Hathaway series, I would say that Tempt Me At Twilight is still my most favorite. Followed by Married by Morning and really closely followed by Love in the Afternoon. Then by both Seduce Me At Sunrise and Mine Til Midnight. I wonder what's next in Lisa Kleypas' historical agenda. From the excerpt in the back of the book, it looks like her next one is a contemporary, which I don't want to touch for the meantime. But nevertheless, I would definitely buy her next historical whatever series that is and whenever that will come out, which I hope will be soon.
Wheee! I got to do 60 last 2009! My goal was 50 so that's good for me. XD I finally got my hands on J.D. Robb's backlist and discovered Elizabeth Hoyt so that filled up my quota. This year, I would like to repeat what happened last year and do at least 50 too. Hopefully, I'll discover another new author who I'll start to love too. :D
001. The Battle of the Labyrinth (Rick Riordan) | Jan 08, 2010 | B+
002. Serpent Prince (Elizabeth Hoyt) | Jan 20, 2010 | B-
003. Missing in Death (Lost) (J.D. Robb) | Jan 22, 2010 | B +
004. The Last Olympian (Rick Riordan) | Feb 12, 2010 | B+
005. Born of Fire (Sherrilyn Kenyon) | Feb 23, 2010 | B+
006. Born of Ice (Sherrilyn Kenyon) | Feb 26, 2010 | B+
007. Let Sleeping Rogues Lie (Sabrina Jeffries) | Mar 03, 2010 | B+B
008. Don't Bargain with the Devil (Sabrina Jeffries) | Mar 07, 2010 | B+B
009. Wed Him Before You Bed Him (Sabrina Jeffries) | Mar 12, 2010 | B+
010. Never Seduce a Scoundrel (Sabrina Jeffries) | Mar 15, 2010| B+
011. Beware A Scot's Revenge (Sabrina Jeffries) | Mar 25, 2010 | B+
012. The Truth About Lord Stoneville (Sabrina Jeffries) | Mar 30, 2010 | B+
013. My Wicked Marquess (Gaelen Foley) | Apr 03, 2010 | B+
014. The Care and Taming of a Rogue (Suzanne Enoch) | Apr 10, 2010 | B-
015. By Love Undone (Suzanne Enoch) | Apr 20, 2010 | B+
016. Taming of Rafe (Suzanne Enoch) | Apr 27, 2010 | B+ | Re-read
017. The Bride (Julie Garwood) | May 01, 2010 | A+ | Re-read
018. Gentle Warrior (Julie Garwood) | May 11, 2010 | B+ | Re-read
019. Kindred in Death (J.D. Robb) | May 22, 2010 | B
020. Infinity (Sherrilyn Kenyon) | Jun 03, 2010 | B+
021. The Prize (Julie Garwood) | Jun 12, 2010 | A+ | Re-read
022. Saving Grace (Julie Garwood) | Jun 22, 2010 | A+ | Re-read
023. Ten Things I Love About You (Julia Quinn) | Jun 27, 2010 | B+
024. A Notorious Love (Sabrina Jeffries) | Jul 22, 2010 | B
025. Married By Morning (Lisa Kleypas) | Jul 25, 2010 | A-
026. Love In The Afternoon (Lisa Kleypas) | Jul 28, 2010 | A-
027. A Lady's Guide to Improper Behavior (Suzanne Enoch) | Aug 09, 2010 | B+
028. The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins) | Sep 04, 2010 | B+
029. Wicked Intentions (Elizabeth Hoyt) | Sep 28, 2010 | B+
030. The Lion's Daughter (Loretta Chase) | Oct 26, 2010 | B
031. Fire and Ice (In Other Worlds) (Sherrilyn Kenyon) | Oct 27, 2010 | A
032. Knightly Dreams (In Other Worlds) (Sherrilyn Kenyon) | Oct 27, 2010 | B+
033. Catching Fire (Suzanne Collins) | Nov 05, 2010 | B+
034. No Mercy (Sherrilyn Kenyon) | Nov 15, 2010 | B+
035. A Hellion in Her Bed (Sabrina Jeffries) | Nov 22, 2010 | B+
036. Fantasy in Death (J.D. Robb) | Dec 05, 2010 | B+
037. The Forbidden Lord (Sabrina Jeffries) | Dec 13, 2010 | B
038. Rules of an Engagement (Suzanne Enoch) | Dec 22, 2010| B
039. Dance of Seduction (Sabrina Jeffries) | Dec 31, 2010 | B