Friday, 15 November 2013

Latest Historical Review - Regency Romance & Murder Mystery


Reviewed by Fran
1812, England:

Annabelle Lady Marchant has seemingly acquired psychic foresight, but is it a gift or a curse? Foresight is one thing, to fail in predicting the course of imminent murder another, thus the sceptics have seized the day and Annabelle is no longer the belle of London society. Nonetheless, the widow of the deceased, undaunted by gossip, has sought Annabelle's help in setting free a restless spirit within her Cheshire home. Her son, Rufus Earl of Terrance, faced with the dire task of proving himself innocent of having murdered his father, is already en route to Cheshire. So too, is Annabelle.

The manner in which Annabelle and Rufus happen to cross paths sets precedence for friction and future altercation, and he's damned if he'll have the psychic witch under his roof. What is more, the earl, rightly or wrongly, has acquired a rather unsavoury title from amidst his estate workers and estate tenants. Steadfast in standing her ground, Annabelle determines his behaviour as outlandish and crude, and all rather amusing when she and his mother outsmart him. As time passes the sparks between Annabelle and Rufus become less prone to scorching each other's pride and prejudices, and instead fires of the heart burn with equal measure. Even as love takes hold neither is willing to concede defeat in either of their individual quests. Spirits of the dead are all the while revealing hidden truths with unsettling frequency, until the villain is finally unmasked. A beastly Scandal is a delightful tale involving murder, mystery and paranormal elements that are sometimes amusing and often heart-rending.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Latest Historical Review

Reviewed by Nigella.
Lord Love a Duke.
It would seem - though I cannot be sure - the author set out to allude to the old English idiom ‘Lord Luv a Duck' within in her title. At least, I hope that was the overall intention. The idiom itself ‘Lord Luv a Duck‘ means ‘stunned or dismayed!’
The novel is almost literary word perfect. However, the essay style of the text left a little to be desired, as did head-hopping from character to character. Again forgivable because the novel is well written. The dialogue is crisp and humorous. The overall plot is a tried and tested popular Regency storyline. Fortunately Ms Reynolds spins a good and original yarn, in which the young duke of Dorset lives in hope of seeing his sister betrothed. In order to achieve his aim he plans a country house party and invites potential suitors for Miranda to choose from. His sister is a feisty minx and has plans of her own to outwit her brother. At the start of this novel I found the duke's situation and that of his sister rather amusing.  Sadly, at the point where I began to warm to the duke’s capricious sister Miranda, she shouts 'Bugger off!' to her brother. This incident spoilt the read and threw me out of the Regency era. Unwilling to cast the novel aside I did read on as the duke's family, friends and guests are gambolling along in horse drawn carriages en route for Sussex. All are destined for a country house. On arrival Miranda schemes and conjures pranks in order to humiliate her brother. Her friend Lady Juliet is little better. Goaded by Miranda, Juliet exploits all avenues to play further silly jokes on Miranda's brother. Miranda in the meanwhile outsmarts ardent suitors and Juliet falls madly in love with the duke. The duke is likewise smitten and idolises Juliet. And there comes the happy ever after! The rest of the characters are adult in nature and the end is fittingly sweet. I rate Lord Love a Duke as a rollicking sweet YA Regency romp.
IMHO Lord Luv a Duck stunned and dismayed with Miranda's first 'bugger off!' Miranda sadly swore time and time again and all sense of her as a titled Regency lady fell by the wayside.       

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Latest Contemporary Romantic Suspense

Reviewed by Charlotte.
This is an American FBI based romantic suspense. We’re given a female agent - a complex stalker, and a classic covert romance budding between fellow agents. Thankfully that’s not all the author has given the reader. The heroine, Jess, has emotional problems linked to her past. Her love interest, Tom, similarly has a past he would rather forget. Neither reveals their covert feelings for one another, and I rather liked the way the author enlightens the reader to their innermost thoughts. This could easily have turned into a tired old cliché plot of agents shooting their way through crisis after crisis, then falling in love and straight off to bed. Ms Ford, though, luckily spins a little magic into her story with a dead agent brought back to life. And so the plot thickens. But who is watching Jess besides a dead agent, and who is stalking her? The more Jess puzzles over gathered evidence the more she fears the outcome. What is worse, the killer knows her name. Ordered off the case, Jess retreats to a safe haven. Jess is far from safe. Tom is far from safe. And the hero of the day is far from the expected hero. Well done Ms Ford for putting a jolly good twist in this tale. As a debut novelist I sense Ms Ford’s writing will grow with each new book she undertakes to write.