Sunday, 14 August 2011

Book Reviews! - Loads of great reads various genre!

Book Reviews:

I have few excuses for not having posted these long ago, other than too much time spent on social media outlets and not enough getting down to business! ;)  All are available via Amazon and other outlets!


No. 1 - Historical:   “A Dead Man’s Debt” by Grace Elliot.  

Set in 1780, Ranulph Lord Charing, is the ideal hero. Tending arrogant, a man of means with a mistress to boot, of hawkish good looks and superb horseman, he suddenly finds himself attracted to the delightfully charming Celeste Armitage. Torn between duty to a long-standing mistress and desire for young Celeste, he commits the unthinkable in wild moment of rash indulgence. News of his interest in Celeste soon stretches beyond the confines of Hazeledene House, and listened to with vindictive intent by his mistress. Forced by circumstance of a dead man’s debt and his mistress’ cunning, Ranulph has no choice but to sacrifice his own happiness and that of Celeste’s. And, without spoiling the plot, I can tell you there are twists and turns aplenty as truths come to light and debts settled, though not without heartache and much soul searching as Ranulph sets out to counter his mistress’ hold upon him.


No.2 - Contemporary:    “His Leading Lady” by Paula Martin.

For those who love a sweet contemporary romance with smouldering sexual tension, “His Leading Lady” fits the bill. Set against the backdrop of theatre-land in the West end of London, and a new musical production nearing its opening night, the star of the show, Lora Harper, has vanished.  Naturally, Kyle Drummond, director of the show is none too pleased, and Lora’s sister suffers the brunt of his sharp-edged tongue when he comes knocking demanding to know where in hell Lora is. Stunned in more ways than one by Kyle’s fury, Jess nevertheless holds her own and makes a lasting impression on the one man who’s about to turn her world upside down and inside out. With Lora’s agent wishing to stall for time in order to salvage Lora’s career, Jess sees no alternative but to masquerade as her twin sister. But, as events unfold Jess ponders Kyle’s former relationship with Lora. Was it purely innocent?  And, she begins to wonder if Kyle sees only Lora when he kisses with passion in his eyes and fire in groin? Ha ha, to find out the answer, buy the book.   


No 3 - Historical:   “Trade Winds” by Christina Courtenay.

It’s 1731 and Killian Kinross - a professional gambler and ladies man - throws the dice for the last time. Amazed by his own luck in a make or break game of chance, his win is set to change his life forever and dispatch him on a venture he never envisaged with a woman he’s never met. He trades Scotland for Sweden and once there, aims for a new and honest life: devoid of gambling, and a good way to escape his dark past. Whilst keen to learn the art of trading and of sailing the South China Seas, he encounters a prickly young miss whom stirs delightful sensations within. Miss Jessamin van Sandt, on the other hand seems immune to his charms, but as time passes and Jessamin uncovers a dark family secret of her own, they strike a business deal. But, to be married to a business partner in name only tests their resolve to remain as such. As they struggle with inner desire and physical attraction to one another, events soon tear them apart and their individual dilemma' momentarily solved. What happens next is for you to find out, because this is a fabulous story of love, trauma, adventure and lust in the snowy wastes of Sweden and on the high seas. The Scottish lilt throughout adds to Killian’s already charming attributes.     


No.4 - Contemporary:  “This Can’t Be Love” by Debra St John.

This contemporary romance sets precedence for extreme conflict and unmitigated attraction between Jessica Hart and Zack Rawlings. The story begins with Jessica’s arrival at her grandfather’s cabin uninvited and unannounced, where she discovers a stranger in her grandfather’s bath. While she sets about him with verbal hell, he brazenly displays his assets and declares his right to be there as temporary janitor. Naturally, male hair bristles for various reasons and female resistance to manly charm increases, which effectively leans more toward war zone than pleasant country retreat. As tempers cool, frustrations of a different kind begin to sizzle, and the inevitable occurs in a most unexpected way. But, what feels good at the time, with hindsight can seem reckless. Jess rapidly builds metaphorical walls against Zach’s increasing lure to her inner needs. How this dilemma is resolved is for you to find out, but believe it, there’s much heartache ahead for both. So be prepared for a big surprise outcome.


No. 5 – Historical WWI:   “The Silver Locket” by Margaret James.

In this historical WWI drama, a little piece of Rose Courtenay’s heart has always belonged to Alexander Denham though she cannot and will not allow her self to consider that to be true. Plus, the English class system is strongly upheld by Rose’ parents, and they envisage their daughter married to a man of some means. Rose, though, is somewhat headstrong and has it in her head she will never marry. To that aim she rebels against her parents and leaves home and becomes a nurse. As war sweeps across Europe, she volunteers for service overseas and soon finds herself working aboard hospital trains and seconded to ambulance duties. Fate brings Rose and Alex together, and suddenly life takes on new meaning for both, as each declares their true feelings. But, numerous twists and turns in this WWI story set it apart from many others of similar ilk, and one often wonders can Rose and Alex ever find the happiness they seek from each other. I loved this novel, because it really brought alive the horrors of mud-laden trenches, not to mention Alex’s despair alongside heroic actions against all the odds of his surviving the awfulness of it all. And Rose is a heroine in her own right even though terrified by her own reckless behaviour and, acts of bravery.          


No. 6 - Contemporary:  “Starting Over” by Sue Moorcroft.

Tess is in a quandary: get married or run? She runs, and whilst on the last leg of her proposed new life in the village of Middledip, she collides with a breakdown truck. Brittle, vulnerable, upset, and a blooded nose, of course, it’s entirely the truck driver’s fault for having parked in a narrow country lane. On the other hand, Miles Rattenbury, mechanic-cum-proprietor of a local car workshop and classic car enthusiast, sees the obvious of someone not paying attention to bends in the road. So, this troubled meeting is set to change Tess’ life in more ways than one. And Miles, Ratty to his friends, has no idea the impact Tess will have upon him once settled in her idyllic cottage. A bit of a ladies man and not looking to a permanent relationship, Ratty soon finds himself drawn more and more to Tess despite her prickly nature. After all, when one has a dodgy motor, which has a tendency for regular breakdowns, Ratty is close at hand. Not unaware of her interest in him he plays a waiting game and renders her putty to his aloof if sexual appeal. But, the road of true love can be treacherous when old loves from the past drive centre stage. What occurs next is sometimes scary, funny and basically a lovely read with earthy characters in a village setting where gossip can make or break a loving relationship. Enjoy!


Now to a fantasy fable!  “The Bear With Two Shadows” by Roland D. Yeomans.

In this fable, which incorporates many myths and legends from around the globe, the bear Hibbs, embarks on a journey of self-discovery and that of making sense of the world he is to circumnavigate. He’s absolutely adorable, and it’s impossible to list all the characters, or attempt to try and describe them for they are all unique and mystical in their own right. Names are equally stunning. How can one fail to be fascinated by the following; Angelus, Rind, Leandra, The Diatheke, The Sidhe, Elu, Estanatlehi. The author provides a wide canvas of colour and atmosphere and characters that sometimes make one cringe, laugh and cry. One minute a forest surrounds you, the next an open plain, then mountains and crags and messenger birds. I cannot say it’s any thing like your average fantasy with monsters and demons. No, this story goes deeper, much deeper and heads into the ethics of man’s imposition upon the planet, and of lost knowledge that may never be regained!       


And lastly: Two paranormal ghost tales of ghouls and vampires.

 “French Quarter Nocturne”   by Roland D. Yeomans.

French Quarter Nocturne is set in the wake of hurricane Katrina, which devastated New Orleans. Whilst people struggle to come to terms with the aftermath, no one expected or foresaw the dark elements that have risen to stalk the streets of the city. Normal reptiles are the least of anybody’s worries, and as ghosts and vampires take the lead in attempt to bring some sense of order out of mayhem and destruction, one such person is that of Sam McCord a Texas Ranger trapped in a nether world of those who cannot cross over to the other side. A hero in his own right he nevertheless has personal issues that often tug at his heartstrings, and memories of one woman, Meilori, dogs his every footstep. As gruesome as things become, he does question the right of others to commit atrocities but is no innocent, either, when dire need grips him. This is a fantastic read, has bizarre instances of persons from mythology stepping centre stage, famous writers from the past, too, but this is not the sort of book to dip into before going to bed: you might need to keep the light on. 

Adrift in the Time Stream  Roland D. Yeomans.

Adrift in The Time Stream is yet another super-natural spook laden thriller, with bizarre twists and turns, and at times, as a reader, one wonders what sort of mad world Sam McCord revolves in. In this novel Meilori (the love of his life) features a lot, so too her sister Maija, an evil sorceress of unusual status. There are other weird and wonderful characters, and love and sex abound alongside danger and evil influences. Although all are aboard the ship Demeter, I never quite fathomed whether it was sailing oceans across time or that of the ether. Either way, McCord has an assassin on his case, and again legends, myths, fables, call them what you will, abound in this novel.  I defy anyone to say, after reading this novel, that they haven’t enjoyed Sam McCord’s weird and wonderful adventures.      


Oh, and little self-promo!  For anyone who loves historical romance: 
Her Favoured Captain: novella. 

It's on Amazon, too. Reviews at Amazon. See link top of sidebar.