Tag Archives: Issek

Son of the Morning, by Linda Howard

3 Jan

Son of the MorningSon of the Morning, by Linda Howard

Another blast from the past, this classic was published in 1997, and has since polarized romance readers. A mix of romance, suspense and time travel, it boasts one of the most compelling heroines I’ve read. Grace St John’s journey from sheltered academic to self-reliant avenger is wonderful to witness. As Karen Scott has said, Grace is both heroine and hero for a really good chunk of the novel, and while this is one of the best things of the book for me, many a rabid erm, devoted romance reader find it most objectionable that Grace and Niall do not meet for a good two thirds of the story. If this sort of thing seriously bothers you, then frankly, this is not the book for you.

But I’m getting a bit ahead of myself. First, the back cover blurb (and I do believe this is the original paperback edition, by the by):
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Dark Country, by Bronwyn Parry (a joint review)

21 Nov

Dark Country, by Bronwyn Parry

The second title in a planned trilogy set in the Australian Outback, Dark Country takes the reader back to the small town of Dungirri. Kris Matthews, the heroine, was first introduced in the course of the previous novel, As Darkness Falls (review here). The hero is bad boy Morgan “Gil” Gillespie, son of the area’s drunk.

Here’s the pretty accurate back cover blurb (from the author’s website): Continue reading


14 Sep

(If you are, you may want to skip this one)

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Beyond Heaving Bosoms: The Smart Bitches Guide to Romance Novels, by Sara Wendell and Candy Tan (a joint review)

30 Jun

For those of you new to the world of romance novel blogland, the Smart Bitches are a couple of very smart, very funny, ultra-snarky bloggers who have a passion for romance novels; a passion that does not, however, blind them to the genre’s shortcomings, such as the over use of clichés, tropes, the godawful cover art, the often apostrophe-ridden, wince-worthy titles.

The Smart Bitches (SBSarah, aka Sarah Wendell of New Jersey, and SBCandy, aka Candy Tan of Oregon) have been around for a few years, providing continuous entertainment with their cover snark and an endless education. Their discussions have covered all aspects of the romance genre-from the use of rape as a metaphor for seduction to the evolution of the heroes and heroines from the stereotypes of the 1980s to the more realistic people of the late 1990s, to the use of ferrets to root out and demolish-metaphorically speaking-plagiarists.

How these two intelligent and educated women got together to create their very popular website, Smart Bitches Who Love Trashy Books, is a different story entirely, but now, inevitably, they have collaborated on a book that has a bit of something for everyone who believes that romance novels should be treated no more, but certainly no less, respectfully than other genres. After all, romance novels account for a hefty percentage of all book sales worldwide-in fact, the biggest slice of the publishing pie for any single genre.

A warning to those readers who may be easily offended by “strong language” (e.g., the “f” word, the “c” word, the “p” word, the “s” word, the “mf” word and, probably, the “x”, “y” and “z” words, too): you may want to consider waiting for the expurgated version. Continue reading

Left at the Altar, by Justine Davis (a joint review)

21 Apr

From the wayback machine, Issek and azteclady bring you…

Left at the Altar, by Justine Davis

An older category romance published by Silhouette’s Intimate Moments line back in 1994, Left at the Altar is still one of my favorites of Ms Davis’ earlier titles. While written under many of the constraints of a category romance (length, language, etc), it features one wonderfully fresh hero.

Physically, Sean is not a perfect man. He is an amputee, having lost his left leg in a car crash that also put finis to his ambitions to play football professionally. But where Ms Davis strikes gold is in depicting Sean’s self awareness and growth, from the events in his past to the events narrated during the novel.

Back cover blurb: Continue reading

The hunt for the Bosoms!

19 Apr

Challenged by the Smartest Bitches in the intrawebs, I engaged in a perilous expedition to find their most mahhhvelous Beyond Heaving Bosoms.

The first step, obviously, was to call Borders and make sure they were getting copies. Which I was told they would–one of them with my name on it. So  (after a failed attempt to buy it early on Sunday) the s.o. and I headed back to the store bright and early on Tuesday April 14th, wherein we engaged the manager in a search, high and low, far and wide, for the book.

The computer said it would be stocked in the trade size/hardback shelf in the romance section, but alas! nary a bosom to be found there. A look behind the counter at the register showed that there was no bosom held for ransom with a note for me, more’s the pity! Finally, an expedition to the bowels of the back room yielded evidence (in the form of a packing slip) that the bosoms had indeed arrived to the store.

The hunt, as they say, was on! Much walking about looking lost ensued until, in a rather interesting twist, the bosoms were located! Continue reading

Credibility and reputation: a dilemma

29 Jan

Recently I have been asked about my ability-and willingness-to remain as honest and objective as I possibly can in my reviews.

The question is valid, in two different contexts.

In one case, I cross post my reviews to Suzanne Brockmann”s message board-including reviews of her books. It is no secret anywhere that I’m a fan of her work, and so far I haven’t been disappointed, but… what if I were? Would I write an honest review giving a low grade to one of her novels and then post that review at her board?

Yes, I answered, I hope I’ll continue to be honest when reviewing any and all books, regardless of who the author is and my relationship (or lack thereof) with them. Continue reading