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katehaney

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01:01 pm: summer books
so, yeah, I'm using the season as an excuse for reading mostly crap now.* And some is crappier crap than usual.

Catherine Coulter's Back Fire is her latest FBI thriller, most of which seem completely interchangeable to me at this point. Disappointing. I can't even remember the protagonists and I read it two weeks ago. I'm 100% sure a woman and a man, both related to a murder case (both law enforcement here, I think) solve the mystery and fall in love. :yawn:

Janet Evanovich's Wicked Business is the second Lizzy and Diesel novel and it's fine. It's certainly better than the Between the Numbers, which are pretty wretched, though not as good as the Stephanie Plum books. I like Lizzy and Diesel, but the contrivance to keep them apart is annoying.

Tana French's latest, Broken Harbor, is not as good as her previous books, which is disappointing. It's still an interesting mystery with fairly compelling characters... but not as interesting or compelling. So basically: I'm spoiled.

Emily Giffin's Something Borrowed is a more novel-y Harlequin-y book (and I knew that because it says "a novel" under the title). It's definitely a romance (it has a pink cover, though no heaving cleavage); the characters are better drawn and the plot more intricate than many. This one involves infidelity of a more nuanced sort than I've read recently. It's not in a Deveraux or McNaught class, but I'll keep an eye out for others (I think I missed out at CostCo last week 'cause the Where We Belong cover looked so similar to Something Borrowed).

Denis Johnson's Train Dreams got excellent reviews and is perhaps the only legitimate "literature" in this list. I'm not usually a fan of novellas, as I prefer more detail and more, um, pages. It packs a lot of plot in a short space (Hemingwayesque, really) and there's plenty of tragedy for so few pages. Nothing that kept me from sleeping, however. (This is good, as I've not been sleeping particularly well.)

I don't know why I even bother with Debbie Macomber (yes I do: $4 for 2 books at CostCo, that's why). Worse than Harlequins. Preachy. No sex. Stupid plots. Note to self: read non-crap before picking up this level of crap again.

Linda Lael Miller's Big Sky Country was fine. Kinda higher-quality, longer Harlequin. Not a bad thing.

Jodi Thomas' Just Down the Road is a fairly decent, modern romance. Interesting plot (child in peril, but not so much that it upset me). Relatively complex characters (and more of them, with more back story than is typical). I'll try this author again.

And then there's the smut. All the noise around 50 Shades of Grey got me interested, and a couple of recent blog posts (AskMoxie is the only one I recall) pointed me to "Exotica," a completely idiotic designation for (supposedly) more interesting erotica. I'm not gonna write about anything I wouldn't talk to my Mum about (since she does read this blog fairly regularly), but I did buy a couple of Shannon McKenna books and a Jasmine Haynes. The McKenna books (Behind Closed Doors and Standing in the Shadows) are kinda like Catherine Coulter's: mystery plot wrapped around romance, but the romance involves fewer longing glances, less blushing, and more sex. A lot more sex. Not bad at all. The Haynes (The Principal's Office) has the plot of a romance novel (sorta) - some conflict, no mystery - plus sex. Also fine.

What I'd really like is funny smut. Gimme the humor of a Deveraux (or Jenny Lawson), some remote semblance of a plot, and sex, and I'd be delighted.

Lemme know if you find that, m'kay?


* In truth, I think I'm reading mostly crap because I don't have emotional or intellectual bandwidth for anything challenging. I'm looking for escape, not edification.

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