As always, ratings reflect my enjoyment rather than a carefully thought out analysis of the integral quality of the book.
1. The Runaway Princess by Christina Dodd (6/10)
Romance. Good light reading for when I didn't feel up to reading much, but certainly not the greatest thing ever.
2. After Midnight by Teresa Medeiros (8/10)
Paranormal Romance. Fun tale as big sister tries to figure out if little sister's potential fiance is or isn't a vampire.
3. Someday My Prince by Christina Dodd (6/10)
Romance. Follow up to The Runaway Princess. Again, okay light reading, but nothing special.
4. Until Death We Do Part by Sherrilyn Kenyon (9/10)
Paranormal Romance. Short story in Love at First Bite Anothology. It was actually a good little story; deliberately Romeo and Juliet based on Dracula's daughter and her star crossed lover. Both "survived" their untimely deaths and are still fighting about it today, but need to make up.
5. Morrigan's Cross by Nora Roberts (7/10)
Paranormal Romace. This is Roberts' first attempt at some kind of vampire/fantasy tale and while I think she flounders a bit at first, she manages to pull it together at the end. Six people from across time and two realities are pulled together to fight an evil vampiress. This book sets up the basic story and tells the first romance between two of the six.
6. Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder (9/10)
Fantasy. Great story where a condemned prisoner (murder in self-defense) in a very constrained society is given the opportunity to escape execution by becoming the leader's poison taster. She soon finds herself caught up in political and personal machinations and needs to save the country and herself.
7. Tempting the Beast by Lora Leigh (6/10)
Romantica. Romantica is best defined as light erotica and I'm kind of embarrassed to having read this on a friend's recommendation. I was actually surprised to find it was pretty good. (Okay, my prejudices are showing I guess.) The world building was unexpected fascinating and I want to know more about what happens next. But the heroine had a really stupid name.
8. Dance of the Gods by Nora Roberts (7/10)
Paranormal Romance. The second in the trilogy after Morrigan's Cross; Roberts has herself better grounded here and it shows in a better book. Of course, the set up is done now, which probably makes it easier as the six prepare to the final battle to come. Besides, who isn't going to fall for a guy who can turn himself into a dragon? The Buffy-esque heroine certainly does.
9. Magic Study by Maria V. Snyder (10/10)
Fantasy. In the previous book, the heroine found she'd been kidnapped from another country as a child and has mage powers. In this book she is returned and has to try to find her place among people who remember her but she can't recall. I've seen people say they didn't like this book as much as the first, but I actually liked it better.
10. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield (10/10)
Fiction. This is one of those books that defy categorisation. A biographer is called to write the life story of a famous author who is now dying and finds herself caught up in the tale of a strange, disturbing family and its secrets. Fascinating and compelling, I highly recommed this one.
11. Banner of Souls by Liz Williams (6/10)
SF. Far future tale of a young woman who finds herself guarding a girl who may or may not have the power to stop a deadly future. The world building in this one is great, the plot is solid, but I found it lacking something. Others may not.
12. Hot Spell by Emma Holly et al. (8/10)
Romance Anthology. I read three of the four stories in this and really liked them all. I'd never read Emma Holly before, but enjoyed this one. However, it suffered, as many short stories do, from needing to have characters fall deeply in love in a couple of days. The Lora Leigh story was in the same series as the book I read earlier in the month as was a solid little Ortale. I mostly wanted to read the Meljean Brook short story as I read her blog and this tale is her debut and set up for her first full novel out in January. I really enjoyed it and have found a new author to read. The fourth story I skimmed a few pages and wasn't interested. Note that all the stories in here fall into the "hot" category.
13. Orign in Death by J. D. Robb (9/10)
SF/Mystery. Another satisfying visit with Eve and Roarke. This time a plastic surgeon is killed and suspicions are raised about what he might be doing in his spare time, especially once his connection with a geneticist is discovered.
14. A Hard Day's Night-Searcher by Sherrilyn Kenyon (4/10)
Paranormal Romance. Another Dark-Hunter short story, in the My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding anothology. I felt this one was pretty much a waste of time, written for the anthology rather than from any need to tell the story. I'm really glad I got the anthology from the library and didn't spend my money on it.
15. The Dragonbone Chair by Tad Williams (10/10)
Fantasy. This was a reread and I loved it as much as the first time, if not a bit more. I know some people find Williams a bit too wordy, but in this case it works for me. I've put Stone of Farewell on the TBR as now I need to reread the entrie trilogy.
16. The Sharing Knife: Beguilement by Lois McMaster Bujold (8/10)
Fantasy/Romance. Bujold has said this book was an opportunity to play and see if she could write a story where the romance gets less overshadowed by the plot and characters, as usually happens with her. I think she's done a good job, although the book doesn't feel as if it has quite as much depth as some ofher others. All the same, the world building set up is solid, the characters are nice people and I look forward to the rest of the story. The book was cut in half for length reasons and it does stop rather abruptly with a lot of the romance sorted out but most of the plot still awaiting its turn, so it's worth being aware of that when you start reading. The second half, The Sharing Knife: Legacy, comes out next year.
So all in all, a very good reading month. A bit light on content at the beginning, but some great reads. My favourite for the month was probably The Dragonbone Chair, with Magic Study and The Thirteenth Tale tying for second.