Special thanks to Leontine from Leontine's Book Realm for the super header.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Post Christmas Update

Well, Christmas has come and gone and you'd think I'd have done more reading. Well, maybe I did. I got caught up on a lot of shorts for Brief Encounters and I did some shopping. Ooops. Oh well, what's Boxing Day without bargains? I was also kind of slugged out in a tryptophan coma so ended up skimming through a couple of old faves and Word Press ate a 1000 word post at Wave's so I had to start over. Grrrrr. So I guess keeping busy enough. Back to the office tomorrow. Ugh. I could get used to this being home all the time thing, if only someone would pay me what I make now to do that. :-) Anyone? Offers? I did get one "larger" book read which is really four "shorter" books, but whatever, a lot of pages.

His For The Holidays by LB Gregg, Harper Fox, ZA Maxfield, Josh Lanyon (480 pages)
Carina Press

Mistletoe at Midnight by LB Gregg - Owen has recently bought a vet practice in Vermont and his family is joining him at a local inn for Christmas. His mother is always trying to set him up with someone and sure enough, she's invited his ex no less but by chance his first love from high school happens to be there with a friend. Is this his chance to find love the second time around? This is typical LB Gregg with lots of humour although I had some serious issues with Owen's mother's behaviour. Sigh. I'm not saying I didn't like the story, I adored Owen, I liked Caleb even though you don't get to know him that well and I even liked annoying juvenile brother Ryan, I just had issues with their mother. It's hard to explain and I'm probably in a VAST minority with my feelings, maybe I'll do a post about that kind of thing. Vague I know but it really is a fine story and I'm sure 99.5% of readers will think I'm insane.

Nine Lights Over Edinburgh by Harper Fox - This definitely does not have the same light hearted themes of the other stories, but I was sucked in from the start. John is a detective inspector working undercover on a people smuggling ring when his cover is blown and he's badly beaten. He's told he is off the case and he has to clean up his act as since his divorce he's been drinking heavily and his ex wants him not to have custody of their daughter as she's afraid for her safety. He's reassigned duty protecting an Israeli diplomat and when it all goes to hell, Mossad agent Toby saves his life, getting shot himself and to top off the clusterfuck, the bad guy has taken John's daughter and has no intention of getting her back. Lots of great characters here that you really get to know and care about, or hate as the case may be. I was eager to see how John and Toby were going to get the girl back and be together if at all. Lots of local character thrown in.

I Heard Him Exclaim by Z.A. Maxfield - After a near heart attack, Steve has lost weight, quit smoking and lost his Christmas spirit. He always played Santa but is not in the mood so decides to head to Vegas. He runs into Chandler and his 5 year old orphaned niece Poppy who have car trouble and eventually he invites them back home to his place to have Christmas with his family as he acknowledges his attraction to Chandler and thinks maybe helping Chandler will give him the Christmas spirit. I enjoyed this one a lot, again, lots of humour and seeing Chandler's paranoia about being responsible for a little kid and his terror of getting it wrong was humorous and kind of sweet and Steve having a chance to take care of someone, which is what he's all about, was fun along with Steve's huge Irish family who quickly adopted Poppy and Chandler. A fun story about finding love at a rest stop and not being arrested for it. ;-)

Icecapade by Josh Lanyon - The book starts with jewel thief Noel in bed with the FBI agent who's been tracking him for years Robbie. It's been a bit of a game to Noel, to keep Robbie close but not too close. 10 years later, Noel is retired and a successful author writing a series of books about a jewel thief and the bumbling FBI agent who's been tracking him. He still thinks fondly of Robbie and feels a bit badly that everyone knows who the characters are, and Robbie paid a career price for it all, but on Christmas Eve Robbie shows up at his house accusing him of more recent robberies. Of course every whacko neighbor suddenly shows up needing Noel's help as he tries to convince Robbie he's innocent. I enjoyed this one, Noel was quite self-aware, he didn't feel badly for the robberies, he knew what he was doing, he did feel badly about Robbie but all these years later still wanted his approval of sorts and a relationship with the guy. Lots of fun with the wacky llama farmer and psychic neighbours as well.

All of these stories were outstanding. Most of them sweet and fun with the second being the most serious and the the last a bit of a combination. Definitely all of them worth a read even out of season.


Chris said...

What was the verdict on your car?!?!?

I'm pretty sure that was one of the best anthologies I've read. LOL about not getting arrested for finding love at a rest stop. :)

Tam said...

It was very good Chris.

The verdict is ... take it into tomorrow and see what the verdict is. LOL I phoned today and she said as long as the engine light isn't flashing (in that case pull over immediately and phone a tow truck) that it would be okay to drive. So I was out in the country tonight for riding and it drives fine. Who the hell knows. Well, I guess I'll know tomorrow since the computer will say why the light came on.

Chris said...

Well, the flashing thing is handy for your future reference at least... With my car, the check engine light is solely related to emissions and fuel - it could be bad gas or the cap on the gas tank not sealing right. Anyway, the dealer doesn't want to hear about it unless it stays on across about 15-20 starts.

Mandi said...

I LOVED this anthology. I rarely read an anth with four stories where I have no complaints.

Tam said...

I wished they'd told me that about the light before Chris. Now I'm paranoid, but it could have been frost in the gas line? I'm no mechanic. :-)

It was a good one Mandi, all great authors though that deliver solid stories.

Anonymous said...

Tam, if you find someone to pay you to stay home, give me that person's number. I need one of those jobs, preferably making more than I make now. :)

Tam said...

I'm sure if we scroll through our spam folders we'll find just the dream job we're looking fore Eyre. Making 50K a month licking envelopes or something useful.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lily said...

Ugh, I'm still using my hubby's computer since my is in the shop. Let me try again with my name now.

I loved this anthology!

I've been looking for years for a high paying job that entails nothing but staying home and reading but so far, no luck. Damn it!! :D

Tam said...

LOL I've done that with the kid's computer Lily. :-) It was a good one and if any of us discovers that magic job we are going to be very popular.

Kassa said...

Hey Tam, just wanted to say that I agree re. Owen's mother in Mistletoe at Midnight. I could get by it but I dislike characters like that in fiction. I'd -never- put up with that with my family so I couldn't believe the character was putting up with that. But then again this is a VERY common theme in fiction. I find that family members are portrayed as extremes to be funny or motivating but in reality, who would put up with that?

Anyway it's annoying but it was typical for me. I like LB Gregg's writing but I find her characters completely over the top and often cringe inducing. I just have to remember its ridiculous and try not to get attached.

(Mostly commenting since your post came up in my google reader but i couldnt find it here?)

Tam said...

Cause I changed my mind Kassa and just need to let it go. LOL You're right, I would have cut ties with my family years ago and I suppose if you tolerate it for 15 years you deserve it. :-) Glad to know I'm no alone, but I know that most people would take in the spirit it was intended and it's just one of my hot buttons, along with random immigration to foreign countries which was happily not present. LOL