Tag Archives: 7.50 out of 10

Murder on the Last Frontier, by Cathy Pegau

16 Feb

Some time ago, the inestimable Miss Bates talked about this novel. I made a mental note that it sounded very interesting, so when the opportunity presented itself, in the form of a sale, I snagged it.

Then it languished in the TBR Cordillera of Doom for months, until I realized it fit the theme for SLWendy’s TBR Challenge for February, as I had not read anything by Ms Pegau yet.

I have only one warning for this book: it is not, strictly speaking, genre romance. There is no HEA, or even HFN. It is, however, a well written historical mystery, with romance elements.

Murder on the Last Frontier, by Cathy Pegau

Two things this novel has going for it from the get go: it’s set in the Alaska Territory during the Prohibition, and the heroine is a journalist and suffragette in her mid-twenties.

Charlotte Brody may be single, but she’s not an innocent, cossetted, naÏve little thing–which is crucial to me given what she does. But I’m getting ahead of myself. This is the first in a series (three titles currently out).

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“Entwined” by Kristen Callihan

15 Mar

EntwinedThe theme for this month’s TBR Challenge is ‘a recommended read.’ Nothing could be easier: about three quarters of the unread books in my possession are there because someone recommended them to me, at some point or another. Then, something else shiny (or horrid, like the reading slump from hell), gets in the way, and the books languish there unread–while I keep on acquiring more words that too often, go unread for long, long periods of time.

And sometimes, when I finally get around to reading them, I could kick myself. Hard.

That was the case here.

It is no secret that I’m a fan of Meljean Brook’s Iron Seas world, and that I mourn the fact that there are so very few stories in that series, as well as knowing that there will probably be only one more full length book (the Blacksmith’s). Perhaps we will be lucky to have another short story released at some point (Scarsdale’s, pretty pretty please?)

So there I was, feeling bereft, when someone (don’t remember who), somewhere (no clue where), said something really glowingly positive about Kristen Callihan’s Darkest London series. I checked amazon, where this one is listed as Book 1 of the series, and priced at only 99¢. (Turns out, this is not the first story set in Darkest London, but the fifth.)¹ Of course I one-clicked it!

And then, it languished in the TBR until Saturday, when I read it in one delicious gulp.

(I really, really liked it.)

“Entwined” by Kristen Callihan

The story starts with two young men, barely out of childhood, a drunken brawl, a promise and a secret. It continues with a lovely exchange of letters between two people who, despite all good intentions, soon reveal to the other who they truly are.

(Aside: this is one of the things I love about well written epistolary novels. People do tend to be more who they truly are through the written word, particularly when they don’t know each other face to face. A lot of prejudice and preconception, particularly those we are not aware of, is absent, and therefore, it doesn’t influence how we see the other person, when all we have is words between us.)

Here, have a blurb:

Eamon Evernight has always lived in his older brother’s shadow.  While his brother is fair of hair and lithe in body, Eamon sparks fear with his fiery locks and massive frame—and rumors of a mysterious power. But when his brother has the good fortune to be betrothed to a beautiful stranger, it’s Eamon’s help—and quick wit and romantic heart–that he needs. Eamon agrees to write the noble lady…a generous offer that will forever leave him a changed man.

Lady Luella Jane Moran has no interest in an arranged marriage and tries valiantly to dissuade her betrothed from afar. Though her own letters plainly state her case, the words her husband-to-be writes her leave her aching for his touch. Will Lu give in to the desire the missives have kindled within her? Or will desire turn cold when she discovers their true author?

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Wild Invitation, by Nalini Singh

2 Mar

Wild InvitationIt is not a secret for regular readers of my humble blog, that I am a fan of the Psy/Changeling series. Early last year I made a push to finish reviewing all the full length novels in the series, on time for the release this summer of Shards of Hope, the fourteenth title.

However, and despite having won an ARC copy of this all Psy/Changeling novellas anthology back in February 2013 *wince*, I have only reviewed one of the novellas in the series: “Whisper of Sin,” from Burning up.

Operating on the principle that late is better than never, and because a second Psy/Changeling anthology (this one is all new stories, yay!) is in the works for release some time in 2016, here is my review.

Warning: there’s some graphic sex and cursing, and newcomers to the series may be lost–particularly on the last two stories–because of the world building. Read at your own risk. For readers who are behind in the series, the last two stories are spoilerish for Kiss of Snow and Tangle of Need, respectively.

Wild Invitation, by Nalini Singh

This one-author anthology was originally released in March 2013. It contains four stories, though only two were written for it. I’m reviewing them as they appear in the book, though the blurbs for the first novella is from the original release.

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Whiskey Beach, by Nora Roberts

10 Aug

Whiskey BeachWhiskey Beach, by Nora Roberts

Let me preface this review by saying that I have read—and own—a pretty large number of Ms Roberts books. Furthermore, of all of the ones I’ve read, I’ve only disliked one, enjoyed most of the rest, and a few select ones I can read and re-read over and over, they are that good, in my opinion. I do try to be as objective as possible about what makes a book work for me and what makes it fail, but I have been reminded just today that trust in an author can make me suspend disbelief and keep on reading longer than would be the case with a hit-and-miss or new-to-me author.

And with that, let’s take a gander at the book jacket cover blurb:
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Michael’s Family, by Kathryn Shay

26 Jan

Michael's FamilyI just re read this old Superromance after reading this essay by author Rebecca Rogers Maher. And, having stuck my oar in with a recommendation, I can’t possibly not review it now, can I?

Keeping in mind that Michael’s Family was published back in 1997 (no cell phones, which has some relevance during a couple of scenes), and that this is genre romance published by Harlequin, Ms Shay’s portrayal of the consequences of date rape feel quite realistic.

So, here goes:

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A Man of His Word, by Sarah M. Anderson

1 May

A Man of His Word, by Sarah M. Anderson

A category length romance (scarcely 187 pages) published under Harlequin’s Desire imprint, A Man of His Word is Ms Anderson’s print debut and (from what I gather) the first in the Lawyers in Love trilogy, with the next two titles released in July and September.

My copy comes directly from the author, via a giveaway at Novel Thoughts right around the release date. Life being what it is and reading/reviewing mojo in the state is was, I only read this book a couple of weeks ago—and just now am I writing the review.¹

Confession number one: I can’t read the heroine’s name without giggling. Yes, I know, I suck and I’m mean, but there you have it: an acquaintance has a 14 year old teacup Yorkie named Rosebud. So, after giggling a few times in a row where laughter really wasn’t warranted, I mentally changed her name to Rose—and the book flowed so much better for me!

Here is what the blurb² tells us about the story: Continue reading

Blaze of Memory, by Nalini Singh

9 Jan

Reader beware: In compliance with FTC guidelines, please be aware that I was given a digital ARC of this novel by Ms Singh for the purpose of writing a review. In the end, I bought my own, dead-tree copy of the novel anyway.

 

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Blaze of Memory, by Nalini Singh

Part of Ms Singh’s very successful Psy/Changeling romance series, Blaze of Memory picks up the trail of two characters introduced in the fourth and fifth novels in the series (Mine to Possess and Hostage to Pleasure, respectively): Devraj Santos, apparently human and director of the Shine Foundation, and Ekaterina Haas, psy and erstwhile assistant of Ashaya Aleine in her research for the Council.

While this novel could be read as a stand alone title, I definitely would recommend reading at least the two mentioned. Not only are there a number of secondary characters whose presence in this story will make more sense to a reader familiar with the series, but the relationships between the different human groups are also rather complex at this point in the main story arc. Beyond those two reasons, the intricacies of the psy vs changeling and/or human physiologies will probably be easier to digest to people who already know Ms Singh’s psy/changeling universe.

Here’s the back cover blurb: Continue reading