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All art is unstable. It's meaning is not necessarily that implied by the author, There is no authorative active voice. There are only multiple readings. David Bowie, 1995

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Startling, engrossing!




                                


Once more Terry Brooks focuses our eyes towards the Four Lands.
There's a strange new brand of magical warriors stalking the lands. Former High Druid Drisker Arc has been targeted by assassins.  A young woman with the magic gift of wishsong, Tarsha Kaynin, seeks out Drisker Arc to learn more about her abilities. At Paranor, the Druids are blithely ignoring threats. Dar Leah is sent to investigate but politics and jealousies get in the way.
We are witnessing the return of past artifacts and magic gifts and the names of people we've long loved, including the appearance of a young rascal Shea Ohmsford! (stay tuned I'm sure).
And yes I was glued to the pages and was left bereft and eagerly awaiting the next instalment!

A NetGalley ARC

*****

A moonlight meeting, a marriage and a battle!

The Reluctant Highlander: A Highland Romance (The Highland Series #1by Amanda Scott



                               

1420's Scotland. Lady Fiona Ormiston is a winsome stubborn lass and Sir Àdham MacFinlagh a thoughtful highlands  warrior.
The opening scenes are amusing. Fiona has a penchant for swimming where she shouldn't at a time that's definitely suspect. As a knight, Àdham sees it as his duty to rescue a damsel whom it seems doesn't think she needs rescuing.
King James is bent on encouraging 'tactical marriages' where former enemies might be brought together, strengthening the kingdom. Fiona and Àdham fit into that category. But will taking Fiona back into the highland wilds be a blessing or a curse?
Of course there are plots within plots and Fiona and Àdham Rae going to have their hands full in dealing with each other and the dangers that lurk beyond their horizon.
The thing is Fiona doesn't have too good a sense of direction. This is a mixed blessing at times.
The story flows well.  An enjoyable romantic historical highland novel.

A NetGalley ARC

*** 1/2

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Passion and petulance with a good dose of perfection!

Ruining Miss Wrotham (Baleful Godmother #5) by Emily Larkin

  


                             

Mordecai Black and Nell Wrotham. What a tale and what a pair!
He is a large man with a large heart and dark secrets. A perfect foil for Nell.
Nell is one in a line of daughters going back in time who is given a wish by a faerie godmother--not the sweet old lady short, rather the eyes flashing and lightning crashing sort!
And a faerie godmother gift was something to be thought about. But then life gets in the way and suddenly the gift Nell thought long and hard to ask for just didn't meet the circumstances. All else became moot. But how is Mordecai going to take the apparition of Nell's gift. After all what a godmother gives cannot be taken away!
I loved the dance between Mordecai and Nell. A scintillating read from go to woe!

A NetGalley ARC

*****

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Oh Yes! Say Yes!

Say yes to the Scot: A Highland Wedding Box Set by May McGoldrick, Sabrina York, Lecia Cornwall and Anna Harrington  

A great collection of historical highlander novellas that combine to make an arresting and oftentimes humorous read.

HOW A LASS WED A HIGHLANDER by Lecia Cornwall
Opening story is an enchanted love story complete with a heroine who is always becoming lost and a hero who has hard choices to make. A cleverly enticing story somewhere between A Midsummer's Night Dream and Outlander without the time travel.

A MATCH MADE IN HEATHER by Anna Harrington
Ok clever title!
1809-1819 Ten years pass. A lot can happen in that time ... And it does! Spurned by 'The only woman he’d ever loved and wanted to marry,' Garrick Townsend found himself face to face with Arabel Rowland, with years of loss and vengeance between them. If only the Heather could talk.

A MIDSUMMER WEDDING by May McGoldrick
1484 Elizabeth Hay had been contracted to marry Macpherson of Benmore Castle, the Black Cat of the Highlands, for more than five years. Now she wanted out of that contract with the Highland Lord, little more than a pirate. Fate and floods and the interference of a Queen might help put paid to the betrothal--or not? This is the prequel to the Macpherson Clan saga. 

THE SCOT SAYS I DO by Sabrina York
A youthful romance left both parties with unresolved angst and disappointments. Years later Duncan and Catherine meet again. This time the stakes have upped. Cat finds herself desperate to save her brother from debtor's prison. Will Cat choose the solution from the man who spurned her so long ago or seek another path?

A NetGalley ARC

**** 1/2

Friday, June 9, 2017

Interesting premise!

The Darkest Corner (Gravediggers #1) by Liliana Hart



                              

Smart and funny in a gothic, out-of-body sort of way. We have US funded anti terrorists working for a faceless black op organization that operates outside of legal parameters. Putin gets a mention. That keeps things topical!
Rifting off those various SEAL type stories that have gorgeous, high adrenaline types who save the day, the gravediggers are somewhat different because they go to death and back to be reborn (not in a paranormal way, good old experimental drugs not found in the FDA list). These men are taken from organizations from the CIA to Mossard.
Their contact and boss is Eve Winter, a cold hearted queen of 'b's' who cannot be trusted! 
In charge of this team is the hunky Deacon Tucker.
Then there's Tess Sherman, a third generation Russian Mafiosi brat who is apparently drop dead gorgeous although she sees things through a lens of her self-convinced imperfections.
Tess is a mortician, and yes it gets a tad gruesome!
Her mother is a piece of work, and her grandmother is delicious. The Russian connection becomes an important focus in the story
I just keep thinking that Joanne Woodwood would have had a much better time of it in 'Rachel, Rachel' if her circumstances were as Tess's.
Combining action, humor and steamy romance with a touch of the macabre makes this is an eventful read.

A NetGalley ARC

****

Witty!

... a puzzler!

Her Favorite Duke (The 1797 Club #2)  by Jess Michaels


                           

The beginning of this episode of The 1797 Club has promise, although it raised questions. Engaged to the wrong Duke at a young age by her brother James to one of his best friends, Meg had to endure seven years of an engagement that had not one jot of romance. Her heart has always been Simon's. Simon returned the feelings silently. They are however the best of friends. When they are caught out overnight in a storm their life changes. Now is the time to seize the moment. After all Meg is compromised and Simon must step up to the plate. Which he does but instead of being relieved Simon mopes around feeling guilty for have betrayed a brother Duke. The beginning had promise, the last part dragged out a bit. The resolution was predictable. The puzzle? Why wait seven years, why punish yourself when you've gained the prize--the woman you've always loved, why try to destroy that by decrying the what is now? The answers are complicated but too slow in the coming.
Themes of love, betrayal and honor (alongside those steamy love scenes that hallmark Michael's novels) underpin all, but there's not enough oomph in the overall story to really grab your interest.

A NetGalley ARC

***

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Unfulfilled promise

Eloping With The Princess (Brotherhood of the Sword #3) by Robyn DeHart

  

                              

The characters of Viscount Jason Ellis and Isabel Crisp have strong promise. Ellis we had met in  'Undercover with the Earl.' I found the potential for an excellent story with the added twist of powers vying for Victoria's throne was somewhat undeveloped. But I must recognize that this novel only runs to fifteen chapters. 
If you haven't seen the series built around the young Victoria then you maybe won't realize the tensions around her becoming queen. To use the back room struggles when Victoria ascends to the throne is clever. Whilst acknowledging this with the limited plot development, DeHart could have built so much more on that historical fact, and given us more substance and fulfilled the inherent promise. Rather we were caught up in the laboured push and pull of to consummate or not.
Still this continues the Brotherhood plots and the series is based on an interesting premise.

A NetGalley ARC

** 1/2