Friday, March 31, 2017

Review--Miranda and Caliban

Miranda and CalibanMiranda and Caliban by Jacqueline Carey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A bittersweet novel, beautifully written. You know how it ends, you've seen The Tempest performed or read the play. But Carey gives us the deeper story, the story of life on the island and especially the lives of Miranda and Caliban.

Carey is a talented writer whose range continues to impress me. I look forward to seeing what she tackles next.

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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Review--A Perilous Undertaking (Veronica Speedwell, #2)

A Perilous Undertaking (Veronica Speedwell, #2)A Perilous Undertaking by Deanna Raybourn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am loving this series. The snark between the main characters makes me grin, and the mystery is snappy and intriguing. The author clearly knows her period and setting, and that too adds to the enjoyment. Finally, the idea of a butterfly-hunting heroine and a taxidermist hero just tickles me. They may not be Eve Dallas and Roarke, but they're a wonderfully matched pair.

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Friday, March 24, 2017

Book Signing This Sunday

Six Gainesville, Florida area romance authors are gathering for an afternoon of fun, prizes, light bites, and, of course, books. There will even be a cash bar! Join us at Fresco Pizza and Pasta in the Haile Village Center from 2-4 p.m. and stock up on your summer beach reading.

I'll be there with signed, award-winning historical romances, and I'd love to meet more readers. The weather forecast says "awesome", and it's a great opportunity to have some springtime fun. You can even take care of your Mother's Day shopping!

Review--Jewish Stories of Love and Marriage: Folktales, Legends, and Letters

Jewish Stories of Love and Marriage: Folktales, Legends, and LettersJewish Stories of Love and Marriage: Folktales, Legends, and Letters by Sandy Eisenberg Sasso
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A delightful treat (it would make a perfect Tu B'Av gift []) about love and marriage, highlighted by letters between lovers, and lovely people sharing tales of their courtships. It starts, of course, with the first couple matched by G-d, Adam and Eve, and follows Jewish tales of love and marriage down through the Bible, the Rabbinic Period, folktales and more up to modern times. There are stories from the Shoah and stories from Israel, stories of rabbis who marry one another, and stories of soldiers who don't come home. The book is inclusive, with stories of love that cross gender lines.

The People of the Book are also the People of Romance, sometimes with a little nudge from a friend, a mother, or even with heavenly intervention. After all, when Rabbi Yosi was asked what God has been doing since the six days of Creation, the answer was, "Matching couples."

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Review--Courting Carrie in Wonderland

Courting Carrie in WonderlandCourting Carrie in Wonderland by Carla Kelly
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Authors always hear "Write what you know" (Disclaimer--I have never been a pirate...but the day's not yet over.) and Carla Kelly is an excellent example of this dictum. I enjoy her Regency era stories, but I really like her tales set in the American West. They have a feeling of authenticity that too few authors can bring to their work, and her background with the U.S. Park Service comes through.

In Courting Carrie in Wonderland we get a history of the beginnings of Yellowstone Park, the crown jewel of the park service. We also get an absolutely charming love story, about a girl with too few opportunities striving to make something of herself, and an Army Noncom dealing with PTSD and, well, Army life. These two loners find each other at "Wonderland", an early name for the camping areas where city slickers could get a taste of the great outdoors in the summer.

Ms. Kelly is an autobuy for me, but I'm always happiest when it's one of her Western tales, and I hope to see more in the future.

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Monday, March 20, 2017

Review--Hot Head (Head #1)

Hot Head (Head #1)Hot Head by Damon Suede
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Whew! It suddenly got hotter and steamier on my Kindle! This M/M romance will have you falling for firefighters all over again, as two BFFs navigate their way into a much deeper and burning commitment.

Beautiful and touching, and it shows how family is sometimes what you create, not just where you're born.

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Review--Bellevue: Three Centuries of Medicine and Mayhem at America's Most Storied Hospital

Bellevue: Three Centuries of Medicine and Mayhem at America's Most Storied HospitalBellevue: Three Centuries of Medicine and Mayhem at America's Most Storied Hospital by David M. Oshinsky
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book was fabulous, and is really a history of three centuries of American medicine. I couldn't put it down, and as a non-New Yorker it was a revelation to learn of all that city has done over time to ensure that it's poorest people had access to quality health care. There's a lesson for all of us regarding the need to have health care available to underserved populations. It was far from perfect, but at times it was glorious.

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Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Review--Devil in Spring (The Ravenels, #3)

Devil in Spring (The Ravenels, #3)Devil in Spring by Lisa Kleypas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When you're matching two people as different as Gabriel and Pandora you have to bring your "A" game, and to my great pleasure, Ms. Kleypas does just that. I admit, I was skeptical at first because I was with Pandora--everything she said about why she and Gabriel would be a disastrous marriage had me nodding my head in agreement. It takes a true master of the craft to make it work, to have us believe that the (male) catch of the season would fall for a klutz who makes convincing arguments for spinsterhood.

It's also a delight to see the older characters from the earlier books return, though really, no one got out of shape or had a receding hairline over the last 30 years? Ah well, that's why it's fiction, and why we keep closing the books on a happy sigh.

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Thursday, March 02, 2017

Review--Hold Me (Cyclone Book 2)

Hold Me (Cyclone Book 2)Hold Me by Courtney Milan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love the sheer, unabashed geekery of this couple and their story. They're not mismatched because one's a nerd and one's "normal", they're inhabiting a world of STEM and academia where they're comfortable dealing with Deep Thoughts on a minute-to-minute basis.

I also loved how the gender fluidity of the couple wasn't the main story, but part of the story. Jay being bi and Maria doesn't define every minute of their day--their conflicts were much more connected to Jay's sexist behavior and Maria's professional choices.

Ms. Milan is a star in the world of historical romance, but it's clear she's equally adroit when it comes to truly contemporary romance. I highly recommend the Cyclone series and can't wait for the next installment.

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