Archives for: September 2010
Wanted: Cowboys Romance List - Pt. 2
Here is part 2 of Booklist magazine's list celebrating "Cowboys in Love":
Prairie Moon by Maggie Osborne
Summary: Living on a rundown farm at the edge of a small Texas town, Della Ward is haunted by the bittersweet life she once lived with an adoring husband who died too soon. Lawman James Cameron believes in settling debts and living by honor. It may have taken him ten years to arrive at Della’s door, but he’s finally here and is determined to tell her the truth about the day her husband died. But one look at the woman whose picture he has carried with him for years and he knows that the truth may destroy them both.
Relentless by Bobbi Smith
Summary: On the trail of a ruthless gang of outlaws, a Texas Ranger and a female bounty hunter clash as each tries to best the other and deny the attraction drawing them inexorably closer.
Rose by Leigh Greenwood
Summary: When the townsfolk of Abilene prepare for the trial of the century, Madison and Fern ready themselves for the knockdown, drag-out battle of the sexes that just might have two winners.
The Rustler by Linda Lael Miller
Summary: Where does an outlaw go when he's ready to turn straight? For Wyatt Yarbro, reformed rustler and train robber, Stone Creek is his place of redemption. And lovely Sarah Tamlin is the perfect angel to help him clean up his act....But Sarah keeps a dark secret behind her prim and proper facade, even as her heart is lost to charming, sexy Wyatt.
Summer Moon by Jill Marie Landis
Summary: Daughter of a dockside harlot and raised in a bleak orphanage, Kate Whittington has no prospects in the unforgiving Maine village of her birth. Correspondence from the lonely Texas widower looking for a mail-order bride sparks tempting dreams of a house, a family, and a future in a land filled with possibilities...
A Woman Called Sage by Diann Mills
Summary: She’s lost everything she loved. Now, Sage Morrow is a Colorado bounty hunter determined to track down and bring killers to justice…and it’s personal. When the tables are turned, will Sage become the one who is hunted?
Courtesy of the Sci-Fi/Fantasy blog:
Dragon Moon by Rebecca York
Shauna's Review: Psychic Kenna is sent to Earth by her master from a parallel world. Yet she eventually finds the secrets that she is keeping from her earthly friend Talon are no greater or graver then the ones that he holds himself. One an other world slave, one a werewolf, they are both powerfully drawn to the mysterious other and must learn to trust one another to quench their desire and to combat all threats from beyond.
More than anything else I enjoyed the vivid characterization throughout this novel. From dueling dragons to shape shifting demons to portal traveling lovers, the characters were crisp, colourful and engaging, the mood atmospheric. My favourite character was Vandar, the shape shifting demon from another dimension , though the enigmatic Randall was interesting as well. Yet the romantic tension that underscored the relationship between Talon and Kenna made these supernatural figures seem all too human and recognizable, authentic to their angst filled cores.
With lots of dramatic tension and a fast moving story line, the reader’s interest was easily piqued and held. Yet it’s also York’s writing style that makes the novel so enjoyable. Simple yet elegant and haunting prose make it both accessible and enjoyable for the reader. A strong blend of romance, fantasy and science fiction, the story is muted and can be enjoyed on a variety of levels, transcending genre for naked plot it seems.
The latest in her Moon series, the eleventh installment, Dragon Moon is somewhat of a departure from the other selections that drew heavily on crime, mystery, serial killers and the like. More paranormal in nature, yet as compelling as any other of her works, it is a must read for all fans of York and fantasy fans in general.
For those wishing to check out York's Moon series, here are the titles in order:
* Killing Moon
* Edge of the Moon
* Witching Moon
* Burning Moon in anthology titled Cravings
* Crimson Moon
* Shadow of the Moon
* New Moon
* Huntress Moon in anthology titled Elemental Magic
* Ghost Moon
* Eternal Moon
Wanted: Cowboys Romance List - Pt. 1
Booklist magazine recently featured a list celebrating "Cowboys in Love". Here is part 1 of that list:
Alaska Bride on the Run by Kate Bridges
Summary: When he advertises for a bartender, Harrison Rowlan doesn't expect a woman in a torn wedding gown to apply! He couldn't save his own wife, but he's determined to protect this damsel in distress. Willa Somerset desperately needs to find safety, and the sleepy Alaskan town of Eagle's Cliff seems like the perfect refuge. Only now she's in danger of falling for her knight in cowboy boots and denim.
A Bride in the Bargain by Deeanne Gist
Summary: In 1860s Seattle, redwoods were plentiful but women scarce. Yet a man with a wife could secure himself 640 acres of timberland for free. Joe Denton doesn't have a wife, though. His died before she could follow him to Seattle and now the local judge is threatening to take away his claim. In desperation, he buys himself a Mercer bride -- eastern widows and orphans brought to the Territory by entrepreneur Asa Mercer. Anna Ivey's journey west with Asa Mercer's girls is an escape from the aftermath of the Civil War. She signed on to become a cook -- not a bride!
Diablo by Georgina Gentry
Summary: They call him 'Devil', and with good reason. The half-breed Santee Sioux bears the twisted scars that made him the fastest, deadliest gunfighter in Texas. Diablo will never forget the kind cattleman who once took him in, but it is his torturer who haunts his every thought. And when some powerful Wyoming ranchers come looking to hire ruthless men for a wicked job, Diablo seizes the opportunity to settle a score...
The Lone Texan by Jodi Thomas
Summary: Three days after arriving in Galveston, newly widowed Sage McMurray finds herself taken hostage in a robbery. She fears she may never see Whispering Mountain again when the outlaws decide to auction their pretty captive off to the highest bidder, until a tall stranger offers twice the highest bid.
Moon in the Water by Elizabeth Grayson
Summary: Ann Rossiter is no man’s idea of the perfect wife, yet she has a chance—a single chance—to insure her future. To protect her unborn child, Ann agrees to marry a common riverboat pilot. In exchange, he’ll gain command of her stepfather’s magnificent new steamer—the Andromeda. But as they ply the western rivers together, Ann is drawn to her new husband, to his quiet strength and smoldering magnetism. Still, she dares not yield her heart for fear he will discover her most terrifying secret.
Never Love a Cowboy by Lorraine Heath
Summary: "I would not make a good husband. I do, however, make an excellent lover . . . " Harrison Bainbridge, the second son of an English earl, left his home seeking a scandal-free life away from society's stuffy restraints. Then he arrives in Texas, never expecting that a sassy saloon-keeper's daughter would capture his eye. With her outspoken ways and flashing eyes, Jessye Kane is more than tempting.
Pieces of Sky by Kaki Warner
Summary: On a stagecoach traveling through New Mexico Territory, Jessica Thornton is a long way from the cool mists and lush gardens of her native England. An authoress and milliner, she carries the weight of a scandalous secret-a horrible shame that has brought her to the West on a desperate search for the only family she can trust: her brother.
No one prepared Jessica for the heat and the hardships. And no one prepared her for a man like Brady Wilkins...
Review: Not Quite a Husband
Not Quite a Husband by Sherry Thomas
May's Review: I admit that I found Thomas' first novel Private Arrangements to be okay but not entirely amazing in spite of the fact that the title garnered a couple of 2009 RITA awards. I decided to give her another shot with her latest book Not Quite a Husband which has now garnered the 2010 RITA award for best historical romance novel. Was I destined for another round of disappointment?
I am happy to report NOT this time. First let's start with the premise. Bryony Asquith and Leo Marsden are a somewhat unusual pair. Bryony is a female doctor and four years older than her ex-husband while Leo is a brilliant and popular mathematician making quite the name for himself in various academic circles. Their marriage unravels shortly after the ceremony and they soon part ways. Yet for some reason, three years later, Leo feels compelled to track down his ex-wife in India to give her a message in-person that her father is dying rather than sending a messenger. Will sparks be rekindled?
Obviously yes but unlike in Barely a Lady (click on this link to read my earlier review) where the heroine is portrayed as the naive and innocent martyr and the hero is easily manipulated and just plain gullible, both Bryony and Leo are more even matched both in temperament and intellect. As they travel across India amidst a civil uprising, both individuals realize they are equally at fault for the dissolution of their marriage and gradually fall in love with one another as they are now (e.g. older and slightly wiser) as opposed to what they were back then (e.g. younger, somewhat obsessed with the notion of love and perhaps idealistic about overcoming each other' s shortcomings). The characters have matured, reconciled with their past, and are determined to face the future with one another by remaining true to their nature. What I mean is that Bryony doesn't give up being a doctor nor does Leo give up being an academic. The two of them simply found a way to balance their professional responsibilities with their personal life. And really, isn't that what relationships are all about anyway?
Since I haven't read too many of the other books that were nominated in this category, I can say that Not Quite a Husband exceeded my expectations and was enjoyable from start to finish.
Review: The Next Best Thing
JC's Review: I'm only half way through The Next Best Thing by Kristan Higgins, but so far it has been a really good read. The women of Lucy's family are notoriously called "The Black Widows" because their husbands die young. Lucy is the newest Black Widow after her husband dies in a car crash after 8 months of marriage. The book begins a few years after the accident with Lucy realizing she wants a family. But there are two problems: She only wants to risk marriage with someone she is willing to lose to the family curse, and that means she has to end her relationship with Ethan, her best friend (with benefits). Adding to the twist is the fact that Ethan is her late husband's younger brother.
I'm enjoying this book because Lucy is such a three dimensional character. She has a job in the family bakery, but is frustrated because no one will listen to her ideas, and her talents as a pastry chef are being wasted. She still loves her husband, and her grief is quite real. And she is torn up with guilt over her relationship with Ethan, and trying to make sense of it. I can't speak to the ending because I haven't gotten there yet, but so far, I would recommend this read.