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August 24, 2004

April 12, 2004

Jan. 26, 2004

  The Reviews
November 8, 2004
------------------------------------------------ offered the first of several comments about J.D. Robb's VISIONS IN DEATH:

Ms Scribner's review was right on target. I too have anxiously awaited each new 'In Death' book. I ordered the book from Amazon and was delighted when it arrived on the release date. I kept wondering why it wasn't engaging my interest. Nora Roberts (J.D. Robb) as an author not at peak is still better than most authors, but this was definitely my least favorite 'In Death" book.

I even went to Amazon to check out the reviews and most of them were giving the book 4-5 stars. I thought maybe it was just me. It's not that I have to have conflict between the principle characters, it just seemed to me that nothing very interesting was going on. I'm sure many of her fans will disagree with your review but I agree with you and hope the next book is better. also comented on VISIONS IN DEATH:

I too am a fan of the "In Death" series. I was very startled to see that Susan Scribner gave the book just three hearts, but I now find that I agree with her to a great degree. I think Ms. Roberts' goal in this book was to have her characters (and thus the readers) sit back and take stock of the relationships in their lives, how those relationships impacted on them and on the group as a whole, and the direction in which their lives were moving. That's all well and good, and even sweet and peachy-keen - but it's not enough to fill a 300-page murder mystery.

The series has stalled, timewise. Was this the fifth or sixth book taking place in the summer of 2059, or have I lost count somewhere? I got the feeling while reading that I want some forward movement, please! And as Ms. Scribner said, the murders were a "been there, done that" repetition of several other "In Death" plots. Is it time to retire Eve Dallas to professional motherhood? I hope not. But I'd definitely like to see something new. Perhaps some further revelations about her past, just as Roarke has had stunning ones about his. Perhaps a willingness on her part to get her abused childhood out in the open and begin to really deal with it. How about her suddenly remembering her real name? In other words, let's have some direction in the story that's a little different, that advances the story more than just a tiny fraction.

And for goodness sake, let's get out of the summer of '59!! At this rate, I'll be dead of extreme old age before Mavis' baby is ever born! was impressed with another of Nora Roberts' books, RIVER'S END:

I only picked up the Reader's Digest condensed volume because I knew I'd find at least one book which would tear my heart to ribbons. River's End by Nora Roberts was successful in doing just that. Considering I was reading it while unexpectedly having to take bus line transportation to and from work, due to a sick automobile, I found myself also wanting to run out to Washington state to take in the natural beauty of River's End Lodge. I finished the book while riding and found I had to avert my face from my fellow travelers just so they didn't see my tear up during the last 3 pages. Must explore Roberts' other volumes. Loved it. Loved the experience she gave me. wasn't impressed with the latest Eloisa James release, YOUR WICKED WAYS:

Sorry, I really think three stars are excessive here. Eloisa James has started a trend of creating depraved characters and then trying to prove to us they're not really so bad.

Rees threw his wife out of the house because she's not sexually attractive, replaces her in the master bedroom with an opera singer, and then tells his wife--ten years later-- if she wants him to father her child she's going to have to move into the house with him and his mistress (which is insulting enough), but that she will have to stay in the nursery since she's only there on sufferance as a broodmare. And then we're supposed to accept that all of his insensitivity and cruelty stems from the fact that he was a virgin when he was first married and was insecure of himself! Not only that, we're supposed to accept that the opera singer mistress is really a nice girl who made some bad choices and not a doxy at all, even though she looks and acts like one, having lived with Rees as his lover for some years.

Unfortunately, James did the same thing in her last book, A Wild Pursuit (so far not reviewed on TRR), where we're expected to believe that a sexually precocious young girl who offers herself to gentlemen is not a doxy or a tart, but simply a misunderstood young thing looking for an understanding husband. And somehow, all of her promiscuous female characters manage to retain their status in the upper echelons of society in spite of their scandalous behavior. All of these 21st century rationalizations and excuses are out of place in a novel set in the 19th century. Please!!! disagreed with our review of SISTERS FOUND:

I feel as if your reviewer that wrote the review of Sisters Found was too critical. I loved the book and never had a hard time figuring out what happened when. Just wanted to let you know.. .and I love Joan Johnston's books. an old favorite, THESE IS MY WORDS:

I just read your review in preparation for my book club on Tuesday. I agree with all you wrote and this is one of my most favorite books in years.] had a comment on THE TIME TRAVELER'S WIFE:

I have 11 pages left of this book and I do not want it to end. I have thoroughly enjoyed every page. Very good synopsis. took issue with our reivew of SUDDENLY SINGLE:

Don't understand why the above mentioned book got trashed by one of your reviewers! I just want to say that I'm a 55 year old avid reader and I enjoyed SS very much! As a matter of fact, I liked it even better than the author's prequel, STAYING SINGLE! I definitely can see the heroine acting like she did....she is young, scared, insecure......and still in love with her husband despite his snobbish parents! Having raised three daughters, one of which being engaged but in love with someone else, I understand the torment girls this age have.....evidently, the reviewer doesn't! That book deserved at least 3 stars IMHO! had some issues with LORD RENWICK'S TIGER:

I proofread this in 1999 as a try-out for a long-term job ... which I didn't get. I was less concerned with the obvious plotting than with creeping literary anachronisms--poetry by Lamb and Blake that Lord Renwick and "marred" Eustacia had read and even memorized before it had actually been published. agreed with our reviewer on THE BUTLER DID IT:

Just a note to congratulate Nancy Silberstein on her review of THE BUTLER DID IT. I couldn't even get into the book. I think I read the first three chapters..more or less..and figured it for a "wall banger." There were too many characters, which made the plot confusing (was there even a plot?). So for getting through the book and writing a review, my hat is off to Ms. Silberstein.

Author Deborah Smith) commented on our review of DIARY OF A RADICAL MERMAID:

Please tell Susan that her lovely review of Diary of a Radical Mermaid is much appreciated but even more so her very supportive comments about my career woes. Here's hoping some fabulous editor reads Susan's review, says "Omigod, you mean Deb Smith is available?" and calls my agent with an exciting offer. LOL

In the meantime, I'm working on a movie script just to see if I can actually write a decent one. I figure Hollywood couldn't possibly be more capricious or more frustrating than book publishing.

Once again, my sincere thanks to Susan. Her review cheered me up. has a question about NIGHT GARDENING:

This novel totally touched me to my soul ..... I've been looking everywhere for other books under that name, but without success !! Has this been her first adult novel? Hope not, because this is pure heart touching. has this to say about THE ACCIDENTAL BRIDE by Janice Harayda:

Just read your review of The Accidental Bride and though I am only a little over a third of the way through this book I totally agree with it. I live in Shaker Heights and have for 25 years. I sure don't see the same city she does (Colony Hts.) and I don't recognize the people either. I am taken aback by how much she hates it here and hates us. I have to wonder where the author grew up. Was it Ohio or her beloved New York City? This is supposed to be a romantic comedy but so far I haven't seen any romance and very little comedy and not just because she is attacking our city. It just isn't funny. On my book cover it says the author worked for 11 years at a major metropolitan daily newspaper but strangely it didn't say which one. I don't think that Lily should get married because Mark could do a lot better and Lily is a bitch! I'm hoping that the book improves but I doubt that it will. didn't care for DARK HORSE by Tami Hoag:

Was very disappointed in this book. All her other books were so good I couldn't put them down. Dark Horse did not hold my interest , too draggy, and the plot was terrible. Hope her next will be in the same caliber as her other books. had this to say about A SUMMER TO REMEMBER:

Thanks for your great website! I'm not an avid romance fan, but when I get the urge for a good Regency, I visit your site first for recommendations. That being said, I would like to take issue with the rating of PG-13 for Mary Balogh's book "A Summer to Remember." I think this book more closely meets your R rating.

Thanks again! This has, in no way, affected my use of your site! Just thought you might appreciate the feedback. loved Deborah Smith's novels:

I have to wholeheartedly agree with reviewer Susan S. I adore everything Smith writes and I can't understand why she isn't better treated by publishers. I didn't finish reading S.S's review before writing this e-mail. I just had to respond immediately. Ms. Smith is one of my favorite authors which include Barbara Kingsolver, Nora Roberts,(J.D. Robb), and John Irving, so I think I have good taste. had this to day about GARDEN OF DREAMS by Patricia Rice:

I just read your rant about the stepback cover on Garden of Dreams by Patricia Rice. I LOVED IT!! Itís Joe Anselmo who is a hunk and he looks great on it! I did love the story, too, but I wouldnít have even picked it up if he hadnít been on the cover. I agree itís not romantic but it is sexy and I want that more on my covers! Who wants to look at girls, especially falling out of their clothes? I know you put this up ages ago but I just found it and since I kept the book because of that sexy cover, I just had to comment. liked our review of CHARMED AND DANGEROUS:

I just have to say this--the review by Judi McKee is hilarious!! I will make sure I run from this book. You guys are the best! (author Celeste Bradley) pointed out an error we made:

I am the author of The Charmer, which was recently reviewed by Lesley Dunlap for your site. I simply want to point out a mistake made by your reviewer. At no point, and in none of the publisher's promotions, has it ever been stated that the Liar's Club series is a trilogy, or that The Charmer is the last book. I thought you might want to know about this factual error.

Editor's Note: Thank you for letting our readers know! Fans of the Liar's Club series will be delighted to know there may be more to come.

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