Thursday, January 31, 2008

BAM Challenge - Time

Yeah...kind of ran out of time on my own challenge. I'm a good book group leader, aren't I? The book I wanted to do is still sitting unfinished in the pile of books I brought back from Midwinter. However! I did gobble down a historical romance that I got as an Advance Reader Edition in Philly.

Title: Where the Heart Leads
Author: Stephanie Laurens
Genre: Romance
Age level: Adult

I've been a fan of Laurens' Cynster series since the second book when I was looking for new-to-me authors. The cover quotes referencing Catherine Coulter and Amanda Quick, two of my favorite authors at the time, caught my eye. Realizing I had a "second in a series" in my hand, I immediately sought out the first so I could read them in order. Devil's Bride hooked me like the crack *good* romance novels can be. I've stayed with the series through it's highs (Devil's Bride, A Secret Love) and lows (A Rogue's Proposal, which wasn't really all *that* low).

Why this build up? Well, Where the Heart Leads is the first book in a proposed spin-off series featuring Barnaby Adair who is a post-Regency aristocratic private investigator. He's made appearances in the last three Cynster related books as an important secondary character. Along with his three best friends, all proteges of the original Cynsters, he's never believed he'd get married. Barnaby's reasoning is much more sound as he's a third son of an earl and doesn't believe a woman would want to put up with his avocation. Penelope Ashford also feels a unique calling among the ton: getting her hands dirty with the running of a foundling home rather than leaving it to managers.

I savored the way Laurens built the story around these two reluctant lovers. I've enjoyed the development of Barnaby's character in the last few books, and he really stepped up to the plate as a leading man. Penelope is also an intriguing character because she's intelligent, stands her ground when she can support herself, but is willing to concede the field when it's more prudent to do so. Laurens' depictions of East End London in the 1830's create a rich background setting to the story and is a nice alternative to strictly showing life among the ton.

At this point in a series, some fresh twist is needed to keep it alive and Laurens has delivered the goods. I wouldn't say Where the Heart Leads is at the same level as Devil's Bride and A Secret Love, but it is a satisfyingly strong start to Barnaby and Penelope's future adventures together.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Monday, January 14, 2008

2008 Reading List

The Reading List 2008

Established in 2007 by the CODES section of RUSA, The Reading List Council seeks to highlight outstanding genre fiction that merits special attention by general adult readers and the librarians who work with them.

The Council, which consists of ten librarians who are experts in readers’ advisory and collection development, select books in eight different categories: adrenaline titles which include suspense, thrillers, and action adventure; Fantasy; Historical Fiction; Horror; Mystery; Romance; Science Fiction; and Women’s Fiction. This inaugural juried list features established voices and debut novelists and suggests titles that will thrill avid fans and entice new readers.


The Second Objective by Mark Frost
Hyperion, 2007. 978-1401302221


The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
Daw Books, 2007. 978-0756404079

Historical Fiction

The Religion by Tim Willocks
Farrar Straus and Giroux, 2007. 978-0374248659


The Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill
William Morrow, 2007. 978-0061147937


Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin
G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 2007. 978-0399154140


Natural Born Charmer by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
William Morrow, 2007. 978-0060734572

Science Fiction

In War Times by Kathleen Ann Goonan
Tor, 2007. 978-0765313553

Women’s Fiction

Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen
Bantam, 2007. 978-0553805482

The Reading List Council 2007-2008 members are:

Katie Dunneback, Southeastern Library Services
Arlene Griffin, LSSI Library North Jackson Madison County Library, TN
Mirja Johanson, Perrot Memorial Library, CT
Lucy Lockley, St. Charles City-County Library District, MO
Robert Renwick, Brooklyn Public Library
Joyce Saricks
Jacqueline Sasaki, Ann Arbor District Library
Tapley Trudell, San Antonio Public Library
Neal Wyatt, Chair
Alan Ziebarth, Chicago Public Library

Labels: , , ,