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HelenKay Dimon has become one of those authors whose books I anxiously await and have a hard time doing that. I want her next one now! Of course, she has a voluminous backlist, so I still get some of her great stories while I wait.
Sandy M’s review of Traveling Light by Lynne Branard
Contemporary Romance published by Berkley 10 Jan 17
Not your typical romance, Traveling Light is an easy, quirky, and fun afternoon read. It is also the way our main character, Alissa, grows after leading a not-so-exciting life.
I’m always intrigued by the forms storytelling takes in other nations, languages, and cultures, so I jumped at the chance to read a highly popular detective story from China, newly translated into English for the first time. The original copy I received was a sampler, with excerpts from each chapter, and while I was taken by the style, there wasn’t enough of the story to follow what was going on. I was suitably intrigued, however, to demand that a full version be tracked down so I could properly enjoy and review the whole of what is the first instalment of what promises to be a gripping saga.
These two authors have done a masterful job of blending two love stories and two time periods flawlessly. Our modern-day protagonists, Brenna and Fitch, have an off-the-charts chemistry and a strong dislike of each other. Brought together by their search of the love story behind the erotic paintings by Le Artiste, they set off on a journey of discovery that will take them from America to England and then the Spanish Coast of Catalonia and a love story for the ages.
Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night has spawned a lot of pastiches and reinterpretations, but I’m always happy to read, or watch, more. Especially, as in this case, when the author manages to put a different slant on the story. The book takes one of the central premises of the play, the heroine who masquerades as her twin brother, and brings it thoroughly up to date by making her a success in her own right and who takes on the disguise to protect her family, rather than to allow herself more freedom. In fact, this Viola finds the role of Sebastian far more restrictive than the life she has been living as herself; however, she is prepared to make the sacrifice for the good of not just her immediate, royal relatives, but also her native country and its closest neighbour.
The Iron River Ranch offers retired war hero Josh Cain the respite and space he needs to lick his wounds and recover. Tory and her adorable daughter are trouble with a capital T, but Josh is unable to turn them away, even as he knows providing them with a home on the ranch is going to shatter his peace. The story plays itself out amidst the threats of a serial killer, threatening motor cycle gangs, a computer hacker, and terrorists to add the necessary color and heart-thumping adrenaline.
What’s a woman to do when the cause to which she’s given the best years of her life is now a historical curiosity to most people, and merely an incident from which to move on from to those she fought alongside? Mattie Smith is a former suffragette, now reduced to giving talks on what it was like to be a suffragette or rattling around her house on Hampstead Heath, while beyond the garden wall, others from the campaign have families on which to devote their energies. Even her one remaining companion from the old days, the woman who she shares her house with, has a job besides helping Mattie at her evening lectures. Florrie Lee, known almost universally as The Flea, is a health visitor, and while her reduced circumstances mean she is forced to live with the often abrasive Mattie, with whom she is hopelessly, unrequitedly, in love, she does at least have a definite purpose for getting out of the house every day.
This is another new-to-me author and a freebie on Amazon. It’s the fourth book in the series. I think I would have been better served reading some of the earlier books, because I was somewhat lost and didn’t know information that happened in previous stories that was important. It says it can be read as a stand-alone, but for full enjoyment and fairness to the book, I wouldn’t recommend it.
Another fantastic tale of courage and fortitude in the face of danger with a kick-ass cast of characters and enough twists and turns to make you dizzy. As many of you know, I am a huge fan of futuristic space opera romance. Ms. Davis has fast become one of my favorite authors in this genre with her tales of the various worlds that are a part of the Coalition of planets.
Stevie‘s Duckies Do Series review of The Signal Airships Series by Robyn Bennis
Military Steampunk Fiction published by Tor Books May 2017 – May 2018
I’ve been intrigued by the idea of this series since sometime before the first book came out, although it took me until the imminent release of the second to actually start reading them. Set in a world that resembles ours in a previous century closely enough to feel familiar, yet far enough removed to feel just that little bit alien, it gives us steam-powered airborne navies fighting an endless war – only varying from year to year in terms of which countries are allies and which are enemies. Our companions, as we explore this world, are Josette Dupre, an auxiliary officer in the Garnian Royal Aerial Signal Corps – currently at war with the forces of Vinzhalia – and Lord Bernat Manatio Jebrit Aoue Hinkal, a down-on-his-luck and short-of-funds aristocrat, whose uncle just happens to be a high-ranking general in the Garnian army. When the pair are sent on seemingly impossible missions, they must learn to work together – and to figure out which of their crew and supposed allies are really to be trusted.
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