Vegas Reads

Between the plane rides and downtime around the conference, I actually did quite a bit of reading (all things considered) while I was gone to Las Vegas during the ALA Conference. Here's what I had on my Kindle (all about ease of travel, y'all. I hadn't used it in so long, it had zero charge when I was packing...)

Even more I knew I was going to meet Tessa Dare at ALA (squeee!) I had lined up a couple of her novellas to read from the Spindle Cove series - Once Upon a Winter's Eve and Beauty and the Blacksmith. Both, of course, just add to the overarching Spindle Cove stories, and feature characters we've briefly met before. Both, of course, are just swoon-y. :-)

I read Mary Balogh's The Proposal during the flight from Atlanta to Las Vegas, and was really glad to read the first in this series (the second being The Arrangement which I had previously read). As opposed to the other members of The Survivors Club, as they call themselves, Hugo's injuries are psychological rather than physical. When me meets Gwen, a young widow who injures herself while out for a walk, he carries her to safety and they begin a tentative friendship. I really love how Balogh develops her characters and their romances, while also preserving the Regency setting. I already have the third book on hold for when it is returned to the library!

Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan has been on my to-read list for a while, so throwing it on the Kindle seemed like a good opportunity to tuck in and have a read! I feel like this is four stories woven together around one single beach house in Maine - we have the matriarch, Alice, Kathleen, the prodigal daughter, Maggie, the free-spirited granddaughter and Ann Marie, the nitpicky daughter-in-law. Sullivan tells all their stories in alternating chapters and voices (a pregnancy, a dollhouse, a house sale, a return home) while weaving together why these women are the way they are, and the stories that their beach house has held for them. Though lengthy and is a novel that seems to take a heckuva long time to get going and tell all the backstory (like, a third of the novel...), overall I enjoyed this novel of women's fiction.

A Taste of You by Sorcha Grace was one of those "let's fill the Kindle" downloads, and ugh, I wish I hadn't. Billed as yet another Fifty Shades of Grey knock off, here are my questions:

a) why is the female protagonist ALWAYS clueless and, oh, the hottest. person. ever - but totally modest?

b) why is the alpha male ALWAYS a bazillionaire?

c) why are there always stupid gifts - and "I can't be bought!" indignations?

d) and why do they fall oh-so-realistically in love in 12 seconds, then have scorching sex, then drag out drama for three or four novels?

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