RhiReading News

Dear readers,

Hi Rhireaders! Check out the latest events in the sidebar! Thanks for visiting, be sure and follow me on social media for MORE awesome content.

Did you drop by to request a review or tour stop? Due to high demand and a very busy schedule, I am currently CLOSED for unsolicited review requests. Thank you for thinking of me though!

I do have promotional openings for October 2017 through February 2018 open so please reach out. Just please drop me an email with a polite request and if I'm interested I will reply.

-- Rhi


The Reviews I Can't Post Here from '08

Greetings lovelies! Here it is... the final day of 2008 and I'm debating whether to go rush and speed through the final chapters of a few books. Why? Well, every year for the past three years I've set a goal for myself. How many books I can read in the year. Last year it was 53. One for each week of the year. I managed to hit 65. This year my goal was 75. I wanted to top my total from last year by ten. I don't know if I've made it or not. I still have to sit down and do the tally. But in the meantime I wanted to post up a series of links.

These are links to the books that I read for the Amazon Vine program. I was invited to join this past May and of course I was a bit wary about the concept at first. But I decided it was a challenge I needed to accept that would keep my reviewing motivation fresh.

Most of the time I get offered only books (yay free books!) but I've also received a couple of useful items (ie. anti-virus software, a camcorder, even KY's latest personal lubricants ha!). While it's been a lot of fun trying out some new gadgets and such I've also enjoyed stretching my reading interests. Some books were way outside my interests (non-fiction) and others were surprisingly close (YA urban fantasy). All in all I'm enjoying the program and do feel a little bummed I can't repost my reviews in completeness here. Instead I will just share links to them in hopes that if any of these books appealed to my readers you can check out what I thought.

Happy new year everyone! -- Rhi

Last Christmas (Private Prequel) by Kate Brian

Privilege (Privilege #1) by Kate Brian

Rumors (Luxe #2) by Anna Godbersen

The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson

Evernight by Claudia Gray

The Good Thief by Hannah Tinti

The Tsar's Dwarf by Peter H. Fogtdal

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

Soul Wisdom: Practical Soul Treasures to Transform Your Life by Zhi Gang Sha

The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery

A Wallflower Christmas by Lisa Kleypas

Up For Renewal: What Magazines Taught Me About Love, Sex and Starting Over by Cathy Alter

Palace of Mirrors by Margaret Peterson Haddix

The Essential Guide for First-Time Homeowners: Maximize Your Investment & Enjoy Your New Home by Ilona Bray & Alayna Schroeder

Flanagan's Smart Home: The 98 Essentials for Starting Out, Starting Over, Scaling Back by Barbara Flanagan

Bogus to Bubbly: An Insider's Guide to the World of Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

The Fetch by Laura Whitcomb

Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey


Top Fives of 2008

As with anything of this nature the following top 5 lists are merely a matter of opinion. In this case... my opinions. I read a LOT of books this year, well for me anyway. ;D I felt the need to reflect on them and decide what were the best of them... and maybe the worst. -- Rhi

Top Five Urban Fantasy

1. Madhouse by Rob Thurman -- Third in the series Cal, his brother Niko and their friends face one of their most perilous adventures ever and I almost couldn't put the book down.
2. Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs -- Third in the Mercy Thompson series this unique series has lots of fans and recently spawned a comic book series. Reconciling the love triangle and presenting a controversial but vivid story this was definitely one of my favorite books of the year.
3. Storm Born by Richelle Mead -- First in a new UF series by one of my favorite authors in the genre, Storm Born came out in August and featured fae, elementals, kitsune and a pretty awesome heroine.
4. Darkling by Yasmine Galenorn -- Many argue this series is PNR but I disagree. The third installment finally explained Menolly and made her a very empathetic, relatable and likable character and the story was great.
5. Rogue by Rachel Vincent -- Another series that is on the PNR shelves and does not belong there IMO. The second book in the series about werecats in Texas. Faythe does a lot of growing in this one and the entire story turns their world a bit on its ear and I loved that.

Top Five Paranormal Romance

1. Pleasure Unbound by Larissa Ione -- There was no way this couldn't be my #1 choice for the year. Combining the best elements of urban fantasy with a sexy romance while building the basis for a new series this book rocked!
2. Slave by Cheryl Brooks -- One of the best new authors I have discovered this year and one of the most original books I've ever read. Romantica done flawlessly!
3. Gena Showalter's Lords of the Underworld #1, #2 & #3 -- They had to be included together since they came out back to back. While not my favorites as individuals this new series offers promise and has great characters I look forward to future novels about.
4. Dream Chaser by Sherrilyn Kenyon -- After the second book in the Dream Hunters series digusted me I wasn't sure I would read this one but I caved and I LOVED this book. It had a well matched hero and heroine and the background characters sold the story.
5. Because Your Vampire Said So by Michele Bardsley -- Discovered this series shortly before this third installment came out. I like a good dark vampire romance more than anything but this fluffy, humorous series is really fun and this book's heroine was a favorite.

Top Five Anthologies

1. Weddings from Hell -- Gotta love an anthology that combines weddings and the paranormal. Stand out story: Ghouls Night Out by Terri Garey
2. Wolfsbane and Mistletoe -- Werewolves celebrating, mourning for and saving the holidays. Great authors and a great theme made for a great collection. Stand out story: Keeping Watch Over His Flock by Toni L. P. Kelner
3. The Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance -- A book with 25 romantic tales involving vampires. Some were really good others were so-so but with so much variety there was something for every vampire romance fan. Stand out story: The Midday Mangler Meets His Match by Rachel Vincent
4. Hotter Than Hell -- A dozen twisted paranormal tales of lust, love and mystery from some of the big names in the UF & PNR genres. Stand out story: Music Hath Charms by Tanya Huff
5. First Blood -- Okay, I actually haven't finished this one yet but I'm loving it so far and it's the only other anthology that came out this year I'm working on. :P

Top Five Discoveries

1. The Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead -- A fun young adult series that makes for some great guilty pleasure reading that I can share with younger readers.
2. True Blood -- The HBO series based on Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse (Southern Vampire Mysteries) series. Lots of violence, gore and nudity makes for a vampire series even guys can appreciate.
3. librarything.com -- I was introduced to this by members of a forum I visit and it is so very helpful! I need help keeping track of my books and I love that I can mark the ones I've read already so I can sort out the unread ones.
4. The Children of the Sea series by Virginia Kantra -- I've been looking for a good series with sea related creatures like mermaids or roane for a long time. Kantra's series centers on selkies and has some awesome covers!
5. Author Kendra Leigh Castle -- Being the discerning reader I think I am I'm always thrilled when I read an author and feel like she (or he) should be watched closely. Castle's Highland series combines werewolf romances with other greater urban fantasy elements so fluidly it feels natural.

Looking back on reading in 2008...

2008 has been a crazy year! I've not read as many books this year as I have any other year of my life. I've always enjoyed it but I have a lot of hobbies and I'm a busy mom. Sometimes though you just have to take something for yourself and for me it was a return to reading. When I was pregnant with my son ten years ago I couldn't read because I'd fall asleep after only one page. Then I was busy with a baby and being a military wife. Strangely enough it wasn't until I moved to Germany in August of 2001 that I started having an interest in reading again. Not that I blame it on the September 11th attacks back home, but I think that was a big turning point for me. I realized how important doing things to combat constant worry and stress were to my sanity. So I began creative writing again after not doing it in almost five years. Then I started reading more. I read the Earth Children series, the Lord of the Rings trilogy and the first four Harry Potter books in 2002. They might not have been much but after not reading in years it was a lot for me.

Here I am looking toward 2009 and wondering how I got to where I am now. I still write creatively in a just-for-fun collaborative group setting. Granted I am constantly being told I should be writing my novel and not wasting my time with them but I know better. As soon as I start writing with plans of publishing I will loose my muse. Worse yet I fear editors because I'm so very particular about the story flowing MY way. I think I will continue to write for fun and read lots of other writers' work. Even when I review and seem very critical about a writer's work I respect all of those who have made it through the process of getting their books on shelves.

As a blogger I know my entries could use a grammar check! LOL I wish I were more professional but in my enthusiasm I tend to get downright conversational in my blogs. I hope that those of you who visit feel that my reviews and both informative and honest. I like the really flowery ones sometimes but to be truthful I prefer the ones where a reviewer is blunt, honest but backs their opinions up with reasons for them. So that is what you will get from me. At least as much as I can offer. ;)

I haven't blogged a lot this month. With the holidays I get very busy with school functions, parties, shopping, gift-wrapping, writing out cards, decorating and baking... trying to sleep! I intended to put up some of my older reviews I have yet to transfer over here from Amazon.com but I haven't found the time yet. I even have a notebook with several 'article ideas' for features here! So much for doing the best gifts for fans of certain series feature eh? Two days to Christmas is a little late. *giggle* Maybe next year I'll get it done in November so it will be ready on time?

Well, expect better things from me by February! I have a lot of back reading to catch up on and a huge list of books coming out next year I HAVE to read. Plus, by some miracle I'll never be able to explain a trip to the movie theater with my husband (thanks sweety!) got him interested in reading. I'll need to be reading faster next year because he is a FAST reader and if I get too slow on a series he will get ahead of me. Wait, maybe this interest in him reading isn't such a miracle afterall? Damn you Stephenie Meyer.

Naughty or nice, I wish you my readers the very best holiday and a new year filled with joy!
-- Rhi


Review: Regency Buck by Georgette Heyer

Taking a little step outside my norm with this one. A big thanks to the lovely Danielle Jackson from Sourcebooks Casablanca for asking me if I'd be interested in reviewing a Heyer!

As a reader I tend to enjoy a lot. I generally prefer things with elements of the supernatural but as a child I LOVED historical fiction. Being American I was always quite interested in the historical eras and events of my nation but I also loved more ancient and culturally exotic ones as well. Celts and Romans, pirates and crusaders, samurai and gypsies. What I've strangely always struggled to get into are westerns and regencies. I don't know why. LOL But I am always open to trying something new even if I'm not sure it will be my cup of tea.

If I was going to read a regency novel it seems only suiting that I go with the traditional Austen but when have I ever gone along with the most likely route? ;) Chances are had Danielle not contacted me about Georgette Heyer's novels I'd not have ever picked one up. Fortunately it wasn't a total flop! Read on... -- Rhi

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Regency Buck by Georgette Heyer
Historical Romance, Regency
Paperback (SOURCEBOOKS CASABLANCA, 416 pages, $13.95)
ISBN# 1402213492
An altogether unsatisfactory arrangement
After their father's death, Miss Judith Taverner and her brother Peregrine travel to London to meet their guardian, Lord Worth, expecting an elderly gentleman. To their surprise and utter disgust, their guardian is not much older than they are, doesn't want the office of guardian any more than they want him, and is determined to thwart all their interests and return them to the country.
With altogether too many complications
But when Miss Taverner and Peregrine begin to move in the highest social circles, Lord Worth cannot help but entangle himself with his adventuresome wards...

Author Site: http://www.georgette-heyer.com/ (unofficial)

Romantic Tug-o'-war! (4 stars)

Orphaned and left in the care of a man who wants as little involvement with them as possible, Miss Judith Taverner and her younger brother, Peregrine, have decided to move to London against their guardian's instructions. As it turns out, Lord Worth has become their guardian somewhat by mistake (a typo in legal documents) and he is not much older than the siblings. Having come from the country London offers all sorts of diversions from plays and balls to cock-fighting and gambling. While Judith establishes herself as a fashionable, eccentric young beauty, Peregrine manages to get himself into little bits of trouble and even to find a lady he'd like to marry. But looming over all is the abominably disagreeable Lord Worth guiding the fortunes and favors of his young wards' lives.

As the tale progesses the Taverner's cousin becomes a good friend and strange occurances lead Judith to believe someone might be trying to harm her brother. But who would want to harm her brother and why, since she would be the one to benefit from his death? There in lays the mystery even as her guardian seemingly attempts to turn away suitors and makes himself look rather suspicious indeed.

Of all the books for me to pick! I couldn't possibly offer a deep synopsis without spoiling so much of the story. What makes this book enjoyable though was not the characters nor really the plot. I had read that Heyer was noted for her historical accuracy and research which showed so plainly I almost felt as if I were a foreigner in a strange land. For some I could see that being terribly off-putting but as long as it's not too bad I enjoy it. It made me want to look into many of the things that were mentioned that I did not understand.

If you're looking for a raunchy page-turner this one certainly wouldn't fit the bill. It was quite refreshing actually. Regency Buck is the sort of chaste romance you can share with your teenaged daughter or your octegenarian grandmother without fear of offending sensibilities. The back and forth between Judith and her many potential suitors will leave you guessing who the lucky fellow might be but as with any romance it shouldn't be too hard to guess the correct one. The chemistry between Judith and her chosen is one of the other truly enjoyable parts of this novel, I think any Austen fan would agree. So will I read another Heyer someday? Ya know... she wrote many historical fiction tales based off of real people (I'm guessing she was the Philippa Gregory of her time?) that I think might be even more to my interest than this regency romance. ;)


I have returned...

I'm back home! Well, I have been since very late on Monday but then I had a guest and have been trying to get back into routine. So many books came in to read while I was away too! But I managed to finish the book I wanted to finish while out of town on the night I got home so I will hopefully be reviewing it tomorrow! I'm making an attempt at broadening my reading a bit more because while I do love my urban fantasy and paranormal romances, sometimes a gal just needs something different. Expect good things to come of that. ;)

The day before I left I happened to get my hands on Mercy Thompson: Homecoming #1, Patricia Briggs' dip into comics. While I'm not really impressed with the art (I'm picky) side of it the rest was great! If you have a chance to get ahold of it I suggest picking up a copy. It is near impossible to find online but fear not non-comic-collectors. I found a release date for the hardcover graphic novel of Homecoming on Amazon.com with a release date of July 2009. A long wait but unless you're a comic collector it's the better buy and makes a great shelfable version. -- Rhi


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