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Showing posts from January, 2015

Book Review: What Belongs to Her

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What Belongs to Her by Rachel Brimble
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

     I thoroughly enjoyed returning to Templeton Cove for the story of Sasha Todd, manager of the fairground once owned by her family. This clearly isn't an easy situation for her, and it only gets worse when John Jordon, estranged son of the current owner, appears to take up the reins. It's obvious from the start that there is chemistry between Sasha and John, and equally obvious that neither of them will easily accept their attraction to the other.
     Rachel Brimble excels at depicting the dance of a developing relationship, with all the cautious steps forward and scurries backward, and in Sasha and John she's created two people with a great many reasons to dance around each other, including Sasha's painful past and John's father's dubious business practices.
     'What Belongs to Her' is an apt title in so many ways. Sasha's initial belief is that the fairground should belong to …

Six Sentence Sunday: When Sally Met Wulf

I've been looking through some stories I wrote a while ago and I found this. Originally titled 'What You Wish For', then changed to 'Djinn and Tonic', it's my first attempt at a paranormal, and I'm thoroughly enjoying rewriting it based on the feedback given to me by a few kind friends at the time, so I may bring you a few tasters from the story over the next few weeks. Today, here's the moment when the heroine Sally, a goth fashion photographer, meets the hero, Wulf, a model who also happens to be a djinn, or genie, and therefore able to grant her wishes. Not that she knows that... yet.

Sal had always been a sucker for goths, and she saw a lot of them around town as well as in the course of her work, but this model was something else. Lean legs encased in smooth black gleamed under the lights, and the tight trousers gave her a good idea what else there was worth drooling over. 

“You don’t fall for models,” she scolded herself mentally.

The midnigh…

Book Review: The Good, The Bad, and the Undead

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The Good, the Bad, and the Undead by Kim Harrison
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It's not always a good idea diving into a series midway through, but Kim Harrison does a good job of feeding in all the backstory you need to make sense of this witty, witchy romp. With echoes of Janet Evanovich and Charlaine Harris in the tone, and a varied cast of supernaturals including vampires, weres, pixies and elves, there's plenty to lift 'The Good, The Bad and the Undead' above your average paranormal, including a complicated plot and a well-developed schema of magic, both good and bad. Witch and former bounty hunter, Rachel Morgan is an entertaining and likeable heroine with a reckless streak wider than a major freeway. She rooms with a vampire (reformed, but only just), enjoys challenging the authority of bad boy businessman Trent, and has a human boyfriend who conjures demons. All in all, Rachel is asking for a whole heap of trouble, and Kim Harrison makes sure she gets it. You ma…

Book Review: What a Woman Desires

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What a Woman Desires by Rachel Brimble
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

So nice to read a historical novel with a heroine who's strong and gutsy, without being insanely anachronistic. Monica Danes left Biddestone for the bright lights of Bath's Theatre Royal after a distressing incident with an unsuitable suitor. She's vowed never to go back, and the only thing that could change her mind is the knowledge that after her father's death, her mother and sister desperately need her help. Still, she plans to make her visit as brief as possible, but fate has other plans for her.
Her mother's illness, her sister's loneliness, and the terms of her father's will conspire to tie her to the village, and then of course there's Thomas, her father's former groom and right-hand man, who's so obviously destined for Monica that the question is not whether, but how, the couple can breach society's carefully constructed walls to be together. While Monica is a littl…

Book Review: The Next Always (Inn at Boonsboro)

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The Next Always by Nora Roberts
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I've been a Nora Roberts fan for a while and this is one of my favourites (although come to think of it, I often say that about the last one I read!)
Clare and Beckett are old friends and there's no manufactured conflict between them, just a gentle journey towards making room for each other in their lives and hearts.
Clare is cautious after losing her husband, a soldier, while pregnant with their third child, and Beckett is busy renovating the Inn of the title, so neither of them is looking for love, but of course, that's when love is most likely to come looking for you...
With a little help from the honeysuckle-scented haunter of the Inn, they find plenty of things they're not looking for, and a thoroughly satisfying ending.

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Book Review: Don't Tell the Groom

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Don't Tell the Groom by Anna Bell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When I read the blurb for 'Don't Tell the Groom', I found it hard to believe that I would sympathise with the heroine, Penny. What kind of a person gambles away her wedding fund, then instead of coming clean, decides to organise the wedding on a shoestring budget, all the while piling lies upon untruths to her husband-to-be? The answer, according to Anna Bell, is a confused, well-meaning and very endearing one!
It's easy to see how one thing leads to another for Penny, and there is never an easy moment when she could turn round and say, 'Well, actually...' So she forges ahead with her plan, and discovers hitherto untapped reserves of creativity and compassion. I usually wince when promised 'hilarious results', but in this case I did find myself laughing out loud at some of Penny's antics, as well as choking up at some of the more emotional moments. Although some of the comedy is a …

Book Review: Christmas at the Cove

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Christmas at the Cove by Rachel Brimble
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I always enjoy a visit to Templeton Cove, Rachel Brimble's imaginary - but oh-so-real - seaside town. This visit had me on tenterhooks as sensible Carrie returned to the scene of her totally out-of-character one night stand on a mission to track down the father of her child. Bring on Scott, the sexy garage owner with a massive (but entirely understandable) case of commitment phobia, and the scene is set for a hugely emotional trip.
The Christmas setting adds another emotional dimension, as does Scott's endearing attempt to rescue his entire household of female relatives, including his mother, whose reunion with Scott's absent father looks set to end in trouble. All in all, Christmas at the Cove is a tear-jerker with just the right amount of humour, some hot romance to warm the cold winter nights, and some important life lessons, all wrapped up in a pretty, seasonal package.

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