End of the Year Round Up

During this time of year I am usually on auto-pilot.  Working in retail means I only have energy to get myself to work, run around there all day, get myself home, eat something unhealthy for me and crash.  I did find time for a lot of reading, though, and I kept it pretty light.  These books bring the total books read for 2010 to 102! I still have 5 books that I started this year and haven’t finished yet and I read a book this week that won’t be published until February and I don’t want to review it too early so I will count that for 2011.

95. Sweet Mary
by Liz Balmaseda

I was still in the mood for fiction with Latina characters so I pulled this one off of my bookshelf where it has been sitting for almost a year. Dulce Maria (Mary) Guevara is a real estate agent on the rise in Miami.  After divorcing her husband she has landed on her feet and is raising her son and closing big deals.  She innocently answers the door to her home one day and finds DEA agents surrounding her.  They ransack her home, arrest her, accuse her of being a high level drug trafficker.  Even though the charges are eventually dropped,  Mary has lost her job and custody of her son.  She then takes it upon herself to clear her name and find the real cocaine queen she has been mistaken for.  It was a quick moving, action-packed story with some humor and romance. Loved it.



96. Falling Out of Fashion
by Karen Yampolsky
 
I was still in the mood for fiction with Latina characters so I pulled this one off of my bookshelf where it has been sitting for almost a year. Dulce Maria (Mary) Guevara is a real estate agent on the rise in Miami.  After divorcing her husband she has landed on her feet and is raising her son and closing big deals.  She innocently answers the door to her home one day and finds DEA agents surrounding her.  They ransack her home, arrest her, accuse her of being a high level drug trafficker.  Even though the charges are eventually dropped,  Mary has lost her job and custody of her son.  She then takes it upon herself to clear her name and find the real cocaine queen she has been mistaken for.  It was a quick moving, action-packed story with some humor and romance. Loved it.

97. Jared’s Counterfeit Fiancee
by Brenda Jackson

Dana Rollins’ fiancè has ended their engagement and through a lawyer, requested the ring back.  Dana feels that she should be able to keep it, but his lawyer, Jared Westmoreland, convinces her that it will help with closure. Grateful for his help in allowing her to see that point of view, she says that she will do a favor for him one day.  Jared collects on that favor when he needs a date to a family function so that his mother will stop pestering him about settling down.  That date turns into an elaborate lie that eventually leads Dana and Jared to each other.  This book is out of print and I read it as an e-book, but it will be re-published in January 2011 under a new name, Claimed for Destiny.

98. Controversy
by Adrianne Byrd

Michael Adams is known as the troublemaker of all her sisters (they all have male names), so it doesn’t come as a surprise when she is looked at as a suspect in her ex-husband’s disappearance.  Kyson Dekker, the detective assigned to the case is torn between doing his job and his attraction for Michael.  There was a lot of humor in this, but since I didn’t really care for the Michael character, I didn’t care for the book. Almost didn’t finish.


99. Love Takes Time
by Adrianne Byrd

Alyssa Jansen’s father worked as a live-in personal chef to the wealthy Hinton family so she grew up with the Hinton brothers, Quentin and Sterling.  Her childhood crush on Quentin was widely known about by everyone in the family and on staff.  Quentin, the consummate flirt, never took the little girl seriously, while Sterling ignored her altogether.  When and adult Alyssa, now a successful model, returns to the home for her father’s wedding, the brothers begin to see her in a new light.

100. The Husband Habit
by Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez

I didn’t read this when it was first published because I was mad at the author for something she said on Twitter. Yes, I’m petty like that sometimes.  Anyway, time heals all wounds and I walked past it in the store the other day and decided to pick it up. I’m glad I did.  Vanessa Duran is a chef at an Albuquerque restaurant owned by a popular food personality.  Everyone loves the food, but they have no idea that Vanessa is the real genius behind the menu.  On the personal front, she has just ended a streak of unwittingly dating men who turn out to be married. Her sister has to leave the country and asks Vanessa to look in on their parents while she is gone and by the way, stay away from the new neighbor next door.  She’s afraid that Vanessa’s bad dating habits will rear their ugly heads.  It turns out that upon initially meeting the neighbor, Paul, that she is not interested.  But Paul has other ideas. This book was a total departure from what Valdes-Rodriguez normally writes.  She’s known as the “Queen of Chica-Lit”, novels that showcase Latinas.  This time around she explores more romantic, flowery language, especially when talking about the food culture that Vanessa loves so much.  That style of writing turned a lot of reviewers off, but I quite liked it and the book very much.

101. Freefall to Desire
by Kayla Perrin

Brianne Kenyon’s fiancè disappeared during a hiking trip three years ago and she still harbors anger towards the authorities and his hiking partner and best friend, Alex, for not doing more to find him.  Just when she decides that she’s had enough and is ready to move on, Alex shows up at her doorstep bringing it all back up again with the news that he thinks her fiancè is still alive. Their search for the truth behind his disappearance brings them closer together and Alex’s true feelings about Brianne are revealed.

102. Boardroom Seduction
by Anita Bunkley

Kacey Parker has worked her way up through the ranks at a major department store, but what she really wants is to fulfill her dream of being a swimwear designer.  Her boss gives her a chance to produce her line for the store but she will have to travel from NYC to a small town in Texas to oversee the production of the line.  She shows up expecting to work with “old man Archer”, when instead she meets the new owner of the production facility, his son, Leon Archer, Jr.  Getting involved with the town’s ladies man is not in her plans when she knows she must return home when her work is finished.



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