Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Moving to a New (Online) Address!

Due to changing times, changing technologies, and changing staff, the Library will be consolidating all online reviews to our Shelfari page. Though we have really enjoyed interacting with readers and authors through the blog, we simply cannot keep it as up to date as we would like. I am moving on to another part of the country, and Michele has taken on new job responsibilities. But we are not disappearing entirely! The Library maintains a presence on Shelfari where you can find reviews of all lengths on all kinds of books, romances included. Stop by and take a look periodically, or sign up to follow us. You can even begin your own bookshelf and share your opinions with others!

Want to get started? To find the Library's bookshelf, click on one of the links above or go to http://www.shelfari.com/. Look to the right side of the webpage and click on "advanced search." Once you are on the advanced search page, click on "members" in the menu on the left. Then type "Voorheesville Library" in the box labeled "Shelfari Profile Name." And there you are!

If you would like to learn more about Shelfari they do have an About Us section, as well as a Help and FAQ section.

Enjoy exploring our new online forum, and thanks again for all your encouragement during the past few years.


Thursday, September 8, 2011

On the Bookcart

In Bed With a Highlander by Maya Banks
Confessions of an Improper Bride by Jennifer Haymore
Nearly a Lady by Alissa Johnson
Viscount Breckenridge to the Rescue by Stephanie Laurens
The Seduction of a Scandal by Cathy Maxwell

Riptide by Cherry Adair
Good Girls Don’t by Victoria Dahl

Heartless: An Alexia Tarabotti Novel by Gail Carriger
No Proper Lady by Isabel Cooper

Romantic Suspense
In Seconds by Brenda Novak
Dark Taste of Rapture: an Alien Huntress Novel by Gena Showalter
Archangel’s Blade: a Guild Hunter Novel by Nalini Singh

To Have and To Hold by Tracie Peterson and Judith Miller
New York to Dallas by J.D. Robb (aka Nora Roberts)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Something Old, Something New -- Two by Julia Quinn

I was trolling around in OverDrive a few weeks ago, hoping to find Just Like Heaven, Julia Quinn's latest, but the only one of her titles available was Dancing At Midnight, one of her earliest works. Within days, or course, the paperback copy of Just Like Heaven showed up on my desk. No matter, it gave me a nice comparison of early-Julia and current-Julia, and while there are many similiarities, there are some significant differences as well.

In the earlier work, Lady Arabella Blydon is taking a break from the marriage mart and visiting her cousin in the country. There she meets Lord John Blackwood, wounded war hero recently given a title for his service to crown and country. Arabella is very bright, more than a little bored, and ready for a bit of an adventure with a handsome hero. John is also very bright, more than a little tortured, and ready to fall in love with the pure and charming Arabella if only it weren't for the horrors he endured during the war making him unfit for her company.

Make no mistake, both these characters are very likeable, and their interaction is enjoyable to watch. But things are a bit rushed in terms of both revelations about John's backstory and Arabella's willingness to behave improperly. It's in these kinds of details that the fact that this is an early effort shows. The fact that things are rather rushed makes John's continued self-recriminations tedious, and Arabella sometimes just seems willful. But overall, this is enjoyable enough if you are a fan of Quinn's characterizations and subtle humor.

Just Like Heaven is the story of Honoria Smythe-Smith, of the dreadful-annual-musicale Smythe-Smiths, and of Marcus Holroyd, Earl of Chatteris and best friend of Honoria's older brother. The two meet as children and practically grow up together, until a family scandal separates them for several years. A chance meeting and a freak accident bring them back together, and we are then treated to a charming courtship and an inside look at all that goes on behind the scenes of the annual Smythe-Smith musicale. There are even cameo appearances by a Bridgerton, the infamous Miss Butterworth and her Mad Baron,and the alarming and entertaining Lady Danforth! What more could one ask? While this one does not rank up there with What Happens in London and Ten Things I Love About You in terms of cleverness, it is still a charming story, and I would recommend it to all fans of historical romance.

Monday, August 15, 2011

My Fair Lady -- the romance novel version

A Lady's Lesson in Scandal
by Meredith Duran

This Victorian romance features Nell Whitby, factory girl and guttersnipe, who goes on a quest for revenge only to find herself mistaken for a missing heiress. The Earl of Rushden, who has recently inherited a title, some lands, and no money to support either, believes Nell is the long-lost heir to a fortune, and proposes (literally) that they marry and split the loot, once they have proven who she is. What follows is a My-Fair-Lady type of love story that doesn't ignore the harsher side of life in Victorian London while telling a tale full of humor and warmth.

Nell's early life in Bethnal Green, one of London's worst slums, is in no way glossed over. She lives in a tenement, has irregular opportunities to wash, has fought rats for food, and watched her mother die a slow death from inhaling the dirty air in the cigar factory where they both work. Nell herself has nearly lost a finger in the cutting machine more than once. When the hero, Simon St. Maur, introduces her to life as a lady, the results are predictable. We see Nell mystified by hot and cold running water and attacking her food like a starving animal. For his part, Simon begins to see the humanity behind "the poor," a group that has always been more a concept than a reality for him.

The grittier aspects of this story in no way detract from the charm and wit that marks the interaction and growing love story between Simon and Nell. It is both funny and touching, making for a very satisfying book. Highly recommended for fans of historical romance.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Reading Round-Up Part One

I finally got a chance to catch up on my reading. Although the pile of books on my bedside table, and the list on downloads on various devices are both pretty eclectic, there are a few romances in there. There are also some pretty good crossover titles, and a few mysteries. Over the next few days I'll bring you up to date with some short reviews.
First, a young adult/adult crossover title: The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross. This falls into the subgenre known as Steampunk, and is in fact the first in a series called The Steampunk Chronicles. Set in an alternative Victorian London where automatons work alongside human servants, the novel features the adventures of Finley Jayne, a sixteen-year-old who has developed some rather unusual abilities. Uncertain what is happening to her, Finley doesn't feel at home in her skin until she is recruited by the mysterious young Duke of Greythorne to aid his quest to eliminate a threat to the Crown. The author cleverly weaves in references to Victorian classics such as Journey to the Center of the Earth and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Finley is a likeable character, as are Griffin King, Duke of Greythorne, and Jack Dandy, a young crime lord. There's a lot of action in this book, as well as some light romance. This is an entertaining story with a strong cast of characters and the beginnings of what will undoubtedly be a well developed alternate history as the series progresses. I am looking forward to Finley's future adventures.

Next Week: Two by Julia Quinn, My Favorite Burglar, and My Fair Lady -- the romance novel version.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

On the Book Cart

Susan Mallery Only Mine

Jennifer Blake By His Majesty's Grace
Donna MacMeans Redeeming the Rogue
Tracy Anne Warren The Bed and the Bachelor

Lara Adrian Deeper Than Midnight
Kathryne Kennedy The Lady of the Storm

Christina Dodd Secrets of Bella Terra
Lora Leigh Midnight Sins
Karen Rose Count to Ten

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

On the Book Cart

Susan Andersen Playing Dirty
Patricia Coughlin Wedding Magic

Jennifer Ashley The Many Sins of Lord Cameron
Victoria Dahl It's Always Been You
Sophie Jordan Wicked In Your Arms
Kasey Michaels The Taming of the Rake