Thursday, June 3, 2010

Reading List – May 2010 & How do you like your reviews?

I had a very good month reading wise. I’ve read 33 romances in total. It might have helped that I had this virus – at the end of the month – that made me stay in bed, feeling not up to much else than sleeping and reading. :)

Here’s the list:
1. Night Shift by Jenna Byrnes, 3.5 stars
2. JackMagic by Jillian Snyder, 4 stars
3. Bound by Deception (Bound, #1) by Ava March, 4.5 stars
4. Bound to Him (Bound, #2) by Ava March, 5 stars
5. Deliberately Unbound (Bound, #3, Free story) by Ava March, 3.5 stars
6. Cheating Chance (Taking the Odds, #1) by James Buchanan, 4.5 stars
7. Inland Empire (Taking the Odds, #2) by James Buchanan, 5+ stars
(plus a few Taking the Odds free reads and stories from anthologies:
Squirrel Run (c) 2008Spree (c) 2007
Measure Up (c) 2008
Technique from Toy Box: Handcuffs (2007)
A Little Trust from Toy Box: Rope (2008)
8. Give and Take by Anne Brooke, 3.5 stars
9. An Australian Christmas In New York by Sean Kennedy, 3.5 stars
10. Start From The Beginning by Chrissy Munder, 3.75 stars
11. Out of My Mind by M.L. Rhodes, 4.5 stars
12. Broken Bones, Mended Hearts by William Cooper, 3.75 stars
13. Toy Box: Handcuffs by James Buchanan, Lorne Rodman, Chris Owen, Jodi Payne, 3.5 stars
14. Somatesthesia by Ann Sommerville, 3.75 stars
15. Positive Possibilities by Shayla Kersten, 4 stars
16. Gaps in Your Soul by Shayla Kersten, 4 stars
17. Mark's Toy Box by Laine Williams, 4 stars
18. Under Control (Lessons in Mastery, #1) by Laine Williams, 4 stars
19. Under Restraint (Lessons in Mastery, #2) by Laine Williams, 4 stars
20. Under Fire (Lessons in Mastery, #3) by Laine Williams, 4 stars
21. Hidden Hands (Hands, #3) by Shayla Kersten, 4 stars
22. Heaven (Heaven Sent, #1) by Jet Mykles, 4 stars
23. Never Let Go (Always, #1) by M.L. Rhodes, 4 stars
24. Hearts & Bones (Always, #2) by M.L. Rhodes, 4 stars
25. On Fire (On Fire, #1) by Drew Zachary, 4 stars
26. Black Wade: The Wild Side of Love by Franze & Andaerle, 4 stars
27. On Fire II: Still Burning (On Fire, #2) by Drew Zachary, 4 stars
28. More Than Just a Good Book by Sloan Parker, 5 stars
29. Timing by Mary Calmes, 4 stars
30. Sub for Hire by Claire Thompson, 4 stars
31. Swap Meet by Lolita Lopez, 4 stars
32. Past Lies by Shayla Kersten, 5 stars
33. The Cost of Eternity (Eternity, #1) by Shayla Kersten, 4 stars

I hope you had a great month as well!

I also had a lot of time to think without the distraction of internet. For example about my reviews. I want to do more of them, but I don’t want it to take away too much of my reading time. Writing one of my longer reviews (for example the High 5, Low 5 ones) costs me more than an hour (yep, it’s not in my mother tongue remember ;)).
I also figured that reading the longer reviews can be rather time consuming too for you guys, so maybe some of you might welcome another format as well, especially when I succeed in writing more reviews. ;)
So, how can I write them in less time – say 15 to 30 minutes tops - and still say everything I want to share about the book I’m reviewing?
Well, I thought maybe I should try some sort of a template format that’ll spare me the time of plotting and structuring what I want to say and in what order. A template that has a few recurring elements.
Maybe it gets boring writing or reading them after a while, but I’ve decided to give it a try. Besides, it doesn’t mean that I will do all my reviews like this.

This is the format I’ve come up with:
- Bibliographic information [like title, publisher and backblurb]
- Genre & Keywords:
- Rating/Heatlevel: [1 to 5 stars/1 to 3 flames]
- Why I read it: [ARC/recommended by…/previous books of this author I read]
- Storyline in short:
- Short summary of my thoughts:

- Characters: [description/likeability/emotional involvement/etc.]
- POV:
- Plot: [structure/pace/development/time jumps/ending/suspense/humor]
- Smexing:
- Writing style:
- Favorite scene/quote:

Author’s other titles & links

What do you think? Does this cover it? Do you think you’ll like to read a review structured like this better than the epic ones, or not? What is important for you in a review?

I’d really like to know! To encourage you to think about it and letting me know, here’s some eye candy to keep you occupied while you sit on it. ;)


  1. Those ideas sound good, my style does not take long (well it would be even shorter if I didn't have to find the blurb and pic.)I write it quick and whatever weird stuff is in my head lol

  2. I think this covers pretty much everything! I like this format.
    I understand completely your problem because it takes me hours to write a review...not because they are huge but because i'm completely disorganized in my thoughts.
    I could very much use a format like this one. I think it's a great idea to have a guideline of some sort.

    What i want in any case is a picture, a rating, and i like the keyword idea! Well..and thoughts on the book of course!

  3. You had a wonderful reading month! I'm really looking forward to reading Ava March's Bound series.

    I think using a review template could save lots if time. Give it a go!

    Love the eye candy today. The first and third pics are my favs! Xoxo

  4. I like the new ideas for a review template - the smexing category is very important ;)

  5. @Blodeuedd: I envy you for that, LOL! I'm more like pattepoilue, with lots of thoughts twirling in my head for attention. :)

    @pattepoilue: I think we're twins ;) Thanks for you input. And I'm glad you added 'thoughts' last minute, lol!

    @FV: Ava's Bound series is great! I know you've read some of her other books and you'll like these too!
    Glad you like the template idea and the cookies. :)

    @Heather: Thanks! Ohyeah, that category can't be omitted! *grin*

  6. Ummm...can I borrow the cowboy with the chains? I think he me...*bats eyelashes real pretty* Please?

  7. You've had a productive reading month!

    Your template sounds good.

  8. Great reading month!

    Your template sounds good. I tend to write long reviews as well although lately I'm trying to shorten them.

  9. Wow, you had a lot of good reads in May!!

    Hmm - Val at Obsidian Bookshelf has been thinking about review length and what needs to be included - I'd recommend poking around her archives to see some of her thoughts on the subject! (I'm obviously not the person to talk to about review length... heh.)

  10. You're a reading machine!!

    As for reviews, I like short and sweet and honest. :)

  11. @lissa: Sure you can, hon! :) Will he end up in one of your books? ;)

    @Eyre: I had, and thanks, Eyre. :D

    @Lily: Yeah, I noticed that. I always like your reviews because they're to the point and telling me what I want to know. :)

    @Chris: Thanks, I didn't know that. I'll poke around Val's archives then. :)

    @Sarah: LOL! Sweet and honest are good! As for short, I'm going to try hard. ;D

  12. 33 books, you're my reading queen, I'm without words here, 33 books that's like, heaven :)

    About the review format, What matters to me most is book info like genre, heat level, release and so on and after that if you can give your own opinion, perhaps 2 paragraphes or so. I would rather read opinion over what the book is about, the cover blurb can provide that. I'd say, play with the format until you find one that suits you. It may take a month or so but it will be worth it ;)

  13. @Leontine: LOL, your reading queen, huh? Then you're my review queen! :D
    Yeah, the format will take some time to grow on me. And I never was one to write a lot about the contents of a book anyway, I mostly limit myself to opinion. So that will stay the same. :) Thanks for your thoughts, hon!

  14. *looks at eye candy* What was the question again? That first picture....*fan self*

    I like the idea of the template. I like detailed reviews, but if they get too long then I start freting (I'm always behind :)

  15. @orannia: LOL! There's something very sexy about men and/in chains, isn't it? Thanks for your thoughts on the template. I'm like you when I'm busy and behind. :)


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