July 2009 Read Books

August 4, 2009 at 5:00 am 10 comments

I didn’t realize how many books I’d read or listened to last month —25, until I was preparing this post. I think this was mostly because so many of these were audiobooks. I’m able to listen both during dedicated reading time, as well as time I’m already doing other things (driving, cooking, marketing, etc). This made it easy to move from one book to the next.

As usual, the books are all over the place genre-wise. 🙂

(To see what else I’ve read this year, you can check out my Read in 2009 page.)


Broken WingBroken Wing by Judith James 7/30/9

The Broken Wing Challenge.

To read more about Broken Wing, check out my review here.

I had really mixed feelings about this book. Some things, like the characters and plot were wonderful. However, the narrative style drove me nuts with too much telling and not enough showing. In the end, though, I liked the book enough that I will be sure to check out her September 2009 release, Highland Rebel.


Over the Edge<br/>by Suzanne BrockmannOver the Edge (Troubleshooters series, book 3) by Suzanne Brockmann 7/30/9 AUDIOBOOK

Audiobook read by Laura Hicks.

I’ve totally fallen in love with this series! Senior Chief Stan Wolchonok and pilot Lt. Teri Howe’s romance amid a hostage crisis in Kazbekistan, was suspenseful, romantic, and exciting. I’m also loving the development of the romance between Sam and Alyssa, as well as the character development of the other members of Navy SEALS Team Sixteen.

The audiobook narrator was good, though not as good as book 2’s narrator.


First Lady by Susan Elizabeth PhillipsFirst Lady by Susan Elizabeth Phillips 7/28/9 AUDIOBOOK

Audiobook read by Kate Fleming (Anna Fields).

I haven’t yet read/listened to a SEP book that I haven’t thoroughly enjoyed. This one was no exception. It was funny, sweet, and romantic. Nealy, the President’s widow, and Mat, a journalist who is taking his ex-wife’s children to their grandmother, fight and fall in love while crossing the country in a Winnabego.


The Defiant Hero<br/>by Suzanne BrockmannThe Defiant Hero (Troubleshooters series, book 2) by Suzanne Brockmann 7/27/9 AUDIOBOOK

Audiobook read by Carrington MacDuffie. To read more about The Defiant Hero and my growing love for this series, check out my post.

I’m totally falling in love with this series! Suzanne Brockmann is so accomplished at juggling many complex storylines and making her books flow as they race toward the climax.

I love the WWII romance storyline in this book. I was holding my breath till the last scene, hoping things would work out for Rafe and Eve.

While Meg drove me a little crazy with her reluctance to rely on Nils to help her rescue her kidnapped daughter, they still really worked for me as a couple.


Deeper by Megan HartDeeper by Megan Hart 7/25/9 AUDIOBOOK

Audiobook read by Savannah Richards.

I was persuaded by Carolyn Jean to pick this one up. I wasn’t too sure about the possible woo-woo element of the romance, but this was such a powerful read!

Told at 2 points in Bess’ life, Deeper jumps between 20 year old Bess’ summer romance with “townie” Nick, and 40 year old Bess’ encounter with Nick, who still appears to be in his 20’s. Beautiful and compelling, I really loved this story. Also, Savannah Richards’ reading was excellent.


Faefever by Karen Marie MoningFaefever (Fever series, book 3) by Karen Marie Moning 7/23/9 AUDIOBOOK

Audiobook read by Joyce Bean.

This installment of the Fever series was fast paced and extremely dark. All hell has broken loose in Dublin. Literally. Mac isn’t sure whom she can trust— Barrons or V’lane. Dark fae are wreaking havoc. And, the Lord Master continues to gain power.

This book ended on a big cliffhanger, so I’m really glad it took me a while to get around to this book. Now, I don’t have to wait too long (August 18, 2009) till the next book in the series, Dreamfever, is released.


Dont Tempt Me by Loretta ChaseDon’t Tempt Me by Loretta Chase 7/21/9

Zoe is one of Loretta Chase’s “fallen heroines”. She escaped life in a harem and is now trying to reestablish herself in polite society. When she returns to England, after being presumed dead for years, Lucien can’t help but reawaken to the feelings he’s cut himself off from after so many losses in his life.

I love Loretta Chase, and this book was classic Chase. Smart heroine, great dialogue, and a wonderful story.


Walk AwayWalk Away (Alpha series, book 1) by Treva Harte 7/19/9 Ebook novella.

I love shifter stories, but this one didn’t really do it for me. I’ve read great things about book 2 in this series, but I’m not sure if I’m going to get around to it.


Relentless by Lauren DaneRelentless (Federation series, book 2) by Anne Stuart 7/19/9

This is the first book I’ve read by Lauren Dane, and I really loved it! It was a great balance of interesting scifi world building and erotic romance. Although I don’t usually read books out of series order because I don’t like to feel like I’m missing something, I never felt like I was reading an info dump, or like I was clueless about what was going on.


Ice Blue by Anne StuartIce Blue (Ice series, book 3) by Anne Stuart 7/18/9

Audiobook read by Gabra Zackman.

I really enjoyed this book, especially the very alpha Takashi O’Brien. He was an angry bad-ass, but I loved every minute he was on the page. Summer and Taka run from L.A. to the Pacific Northwest to Japan, chased by fanatics and a crazy cult leader.

The only thing that disappointed me in this roller-coaster of a book was that at the end, Summer let Taka of the hook far too easily. He seriously owed her a grovel, and I felt cheated out of it.


Her Royal SpynessHer Royal Spyness (Lady Victoria Georgiana series, book 1) by Rhys Bowen 7/17/9

To read more about Her Royal Spyness check out my post here.

Very entertaining, light historical mystery.

  • Rhys Bowen’s site.


SpecialsSpecials (Uglies series, book 3) by Scott Westerfeld 7/16/9 AUDIOBOOK

Audiobook performed by Carine Montbertrand.

Another installment of this series. Tally is now part of the elite “Specials” group, and still trying to figure out where she stands, amid the rapidly deteriorating society of Pretties.

This is the conclusion of the trilogy, though there is one more book left in the series, Extras, which seems to take place sometime later, in the same world.


Lover Awakened by JR WardLover Awakened (Black Dagger Brotherhood, book 3) by JR Ward 7/15/9

Another fun installment of the BDB. I was really looking forward to this book since it was Zsadist’s story. Bella and Z’s story was really good, though I did reach a point where I wanted them to stop with the drama and get together. Of course, then the book would have been about 75 pages shorter. 😛 However, when the finally do come together, it’s worth the wait!

Of course, so much pivotal stuff happens to the members of the BDB in the book, and I can’t wait to get to Butch’s story. (Though there IS a part of me that wishes his story was with V. lol

Oh yeah, and I have a new favorite Brother: Phury.


Amorous Liaisons by Sarah MayberryAmorous Liaisons by Sarah Mayberry 7/14/9

July’s TBR Challenge book

To read more about Amorous Liaisons check out my review here.

  • Sarah Mayberry’s site.
  • Excerpt for Amorous Liaisons.


The Big Sleep by Raymond ChandlerThe Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler 7/12/9

I read this over 20 years ago, and I hardly remembered any of it. It was a good, pulp detective novel, with all the tropes you’d expect: hard boiled detective, femme fatale,

  • Raymond Chandler at Fantastic Fiction’s site.


Forrest of Hands and TeethThe Forrest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan 7/11/9 (YA)

Excellent gripping story of a young girl whose villiage is surrounded by a forrest filled with zombies. Not exactly a light story, but it was a quick read, and I couldn’t stop turning pages to see what would happen to Mary and the people around her.

I had a couple of problems with not understanding some characters’ motivations, but that was a minor issue with compared to how good this story was.

  • Carrie Ryan’s site.
  • Excerpt for The Forrest of Hands and Teeth.


Bound by Your Touch by Meredith DuranBound by Your Touch by Meredith Duran 7/10/9

Beautifully written book. I loved the opposites attract storyline. (I seem to be reading a lot of these, lately!)

There was so much wonderful “mirroring” going on, with the relationships Lydia and James had with their fathers. The journey they take to their hea is complex, without being overly complicated.

And, Bound had one of the most beautifully written love scenes I’ve ever read. Great stuff!

  • Meredith Duran’s site.
  • Excerpt for Bound by Your Touch. (Scroll down linked page.)


My Forbidden Desire by Carolyn JewelMy Forbidden Desire (My series, book 2) by Carolyn Jewel 7/8/9

I’m really loving this series. Much more “internal” than most pnr, the story focused really closely on the connection between the witch, Alexandrine and fiend, Xia. Xia is one of my favorite alpha heroes to come along in a while. He’s surly, explosive, and has a bad attitude. But there is just something about him that I love!


Breathing RoomBreathing Room by Susan Elizabeth Phillips 7/8/9 AUDIOBOOK

Audiobook read by Kate Fleming (Anna Fields).

Another great SEP book, and another great reading by the late Anna Fields.

I loved seeing Isabel, a fallen from grace self-help guru and Ren, bad-boy actor come together. It was an opposites attract love story set in Tuscany. Told in SEP’s sweet, funny style. ‘Nuff said.


Dead and Gone by Charlaine HarrisDead and Gone (Southern Vampire series, book 9) by Charlaine Harris 7/6/9 AUDIOBOOK

Audiobook read by Johanna Parker.

GREAT installment of one of my favorite series! So much happened in this book, and I could not stop listening to the truly excellent audio production.


Curse the Dawn by Karen ChanceCurse the Dawn (Cassandra Palmer series, book 4) by Karen Chance 7/5/9

This is a series I really like, especially for the characters Cassie, Mircea, and Pritkin.

However, while the action and plot development were great, I found myself wishing that things would slow down enough that I’d get a little more character development. At one point I was thinking that I’d trade a chase scene/battle scene for the same amount of page space devoted to some quite time between Cassie and Pritkin (who is my favorite character.)

This concern, though, didn’t put me off the story. I really like some of the new things that have shown up in Cassie’s world, and the villain, Apollo, is a good one!


Instant Gratification by Jill ShalvisInstant Gratification (Wilder series, book 2) by Jill Shalvis 7/3/9

To read more about Instant Gratification, check out my post here.

I really enjoyed book 1 in this series, Instant Attraction. Book 2 was even better!

I loved seeing how Emma, an uptight doctor from NYC who is in wishful to run her dad’s practice while he recovers from a heart attack, slowly opens herself to the mountain community of Wishful and in the process also falls for Stone. Her story really resonated with me.

Stone was wonderful. Very much a hero who was much more than the ski bum Emma first thinks he is. I so appreciated how, once Stone recognizes what his feeling are for Emma, he doesn’t agonize over them. He accepts them and moves forward.

Such a rewarding read!

  • Jill Shalvis’ site.
  • Excerpt on author’s site. (Scroll down.)


What Happens in LondonWhat Happens in London by Julia Quinn 7/2/9

To read more about What Happens in London check out my post here.

Just what the doctor ordered! This book was such a fun, light read. I smiled through most of it. JQ is such a smart and insightful writer. There were moments when I wanted to punch the air and shout “Yes!” with joy.

Olivia was smart and sweet, and I loved Sir Harry, who is a wonderful beta hero.

  • Julia Quinn’s site.
  • Excerpt for What Happens in London


The Treasure Keeper by Shana AbeTreasure Keeper (Drakkon series, book 4) by Shana Abé 7/1/9

To read more about Treasure Keeper, check out my post here.

I SO wanted to like this book. I’ve really enjoyed the previous 3 books in the series, and had really been looking forward to this one. Unfortunately, a lot of the story just didn’t hang together for me.

It actually started off really well, using Zoe’s journal to set the story. However, very quickly a lot of her decisions were perplexing for me. In the end, I think a lot of it came down to an overload of “telling” instead of “showing.” It resulted in my feeling disconnected from the heroine.

This was a big bummer for me, but I liked the series enough, that I stuck with this one to the end, and will try the next one in the series. That one will be a deal breaker for me as to whether or not I keep on reading the series. 😦


Pretties by Scott WesterfeldPretties (Ugles series, book 2) by Scott Westerfeld 7/1/9 AUDIOBOOK (YA)

Audiobook read by Carine Montbertrand.

Another great installment of this series. Tally is now pretty, and needs to get back to the Smokies so that they can see how treatment to combat “prettiness” has worked. I love how she is not some paragon of a teen heroine. She makes mistakes, she feels morally conflicted, and often the choices in front of her are not black and white. Before I even finished this audiobook (which is really great, btw) I went ahead and requested the next 2 in the series from the library.


The Troubleshooters series by Suzanne Brockmann, Relentless by Lauren Dane, Bound by Your Touch by Meredith Duran, and Deeper by Megan Hart were my July discoveries. My favorite go-to authors Charlaine Harris, Loretta Chase, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, and Juila Quinn didn’t disappoint and lived up to my high expectations for their books. Scott Westerfeld and Carrie Ryan were awesome YA reads. And, Jill Shalvis and Carolyn Jewel have now made a place for themselves among my favorite authors.

How was your reading last month? Any standouts?


Entry filed under: 2009 reads.

August 2009 New Releases A few new additions to the old TBR pile

10 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jillian  |  August 4, 2009 at 7:39 am

    Great list of books! I’ll definitely be adding a few of these to my ever growing reading list!

    Another great read, especially for the summer, is a book called ‘Knickles and Dimes’ by Jillian Hewitt.

    It’s a fun and entertaining read with hilarious characters, about a charming young woman who is looking for change.
    In the end, she must find out (the hard way!) what things are important to her.

    All in all, a really great read for anytime! I’d recommend it : )

  • 2. Lori  |  August 4, 2009 at 8:54 am

    Wow! GREAT month for you!

    So happy you’re loving the Team 16 books! They rock!

  • 3. Sarai  |  August 4, 2009 at 10:05 am

    WOW goodness you read a lot this last month! I think I read um yeah 4 total LOL oh well.

    I am however, listening to my first audio book so that’s a bonus. But seeing how I am only in the car for 15 minutes a drive it isn’t getting very far LOL

    Thanks to you I have some to add to the list.

  • 4. Renee  |  August 4, 2009 at 11:14 am

    Jillian: Thank you for the recommendation.

    Lori: I can’t wait to pick up book 4! 🙂

    Sarai: I’ve missed seeing you post and comment. Glad to see you around!
    Hope you enjoy the audiobook, though, yes, I think 15 min increments might make it a bit hard. lol

  • 5. Leslie  |  August 4, 2009 at 5:59 pm

    I wish my July had been like yours. I think I only read 8 books and one or two audios. Not sure what happened. I think the heat has slowed down my brain function. LOL I’m determined to make August better.

    Faefever – I’m listening to now. Decided to listen instead of read when I saw the library had it available. Love Mac and Barrons voices. V’Lane’s is… odd. 🙂

    Are you just starting the BDB or is this a re-read? My fav brothers are Tohr, Phury and Rhage.

  • 6. nath  |  August 4, 2009 at 8:41 pm

    Wow!! great list Renee!! I’m really impressed LOL 😛 and lots of good reads. Need to start the Meredith Duran. Glad you’re enjoying Jewel, Brockmann and SEP:P

  • 7. orannia  |  August 5, 2009 at 5:18 pm

    As usual, the books are all over the place genre-wise.

    Ahhh, but that’s half the fun 🙂

    Fantastic month from the looks of it Renee! I’ve had On The Edge on my TBR list for far too long – I’m going to have to move it up 🙂

    …and I can’t wait to get to Butch’s story. (Though there IS a part of me that wishes his story was with V.

    You and me both 🙂

  • 8. Renee  |  August 5, 2009 at 5:56 pm

    Leslie: I think there’s a little “special effects” on V’lanes voice (totally unnecessary, imo.)
    BDB is first time reading for me. Sooo much fun! 🙂

    nath: I’m totally looking forward to this month’s Meredith Duran, after reading Bound by Your Touch.

    orannia: Completely!

    The Brockmann’s been awesome, and I can’t wait to read the next one, too!

    LOL. Yeah, actually it is more than just a part of me that wants that! 😉

  • 9. April  |  August 6, 2009 at 3:44 am

    Most of your listed books I’ve either read or are on my TBR. I can’t wait to read them! The ones I haven’t read yet (the JQ, Dahl, Chase, Duran) I’ve been saving up on my Sony Reader.

    We’re about to move overseas and I won’t have access to my print books for many months, so I figured I’d load up my reader and save them for the sad months when my library is being shipped. 🙂 But having all those new releases and not reading them is killing me!

    Now I’m going to try out Suzanne Brockman thanks to your high praise.

    If you like The Forrest of Hands and Teeth and Scott Westerfeld’s novels you’ve got to read The Hunger Games (if you haven’t already). The second book in the series comes out Sept. 1st. Oh man! Is it ever and exciting and emotional YA novel. My favorite of the year.

  • 10. Renee  |  August 6, 2009 at 9:10 am

    April: Wow, that must be hard not to read them! Good luck on your move. 🙂
    Hope you like the Brockmann. They’ve been a great discovery for me, and it’s always nice when there’s a long backlist to read through!
    I LOVED the Hunger Games. I listened to the audiobook, which was excellent. In fact, I gave it to my husband to listen to, and he really enjoyed it, too. I’ve got Catching Fire in my sidebar as a book I’m eagerly waiting for!


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