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Showing posts from April, 2019

Review: Connections in Death

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Connections in Death by J.D. Robb
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sometimes you get the murder mystery, sometimes you get the police procedural, in this book you get both, and it's still a satisfying experience nearly 50 novels into "In Death".

Eve Dallas is called in to investigate a suspected OD by a drug user, far below her pay grade but a favor for a friend. She quickly determines it's murder and we readers realize what cops say all the damn time--most crimes are committed by people who do stupid things, not by criminal masterminds. But watching her and her team (and Roarke, of course) unravel two gangs' businesses and rivalries is a delight to watch, especially the climactic battle and interrogations at the end.

I expect Queen Nora has something special planned for "In Death, #50" and in the meantime, we'll cheerfully glom all the books she produces until that day. Incidentally, if you're not a fan, I insist you start with Naked in Death…

Review: Blooms: Contemporary Floral Design

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Blooms: Contemporary Floral Design by Phaidon Editors
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received this book as a gift and it is drop-dead gorgeous. These are not your boring dozen roses & baby's breath, but a breathtaking look at modern floral design, design that incorporates found objects and flowers in all stages. It's the perfect coffee table book or gift because you don't sit down and read it from cover-to-cover, but rather sip at it like a fine cocktail incorporating carefully curated ingredients.

Full disclosure--one of the artists featured is @wifenyc (Sophie Parker) who is my son's significant other and a supremely talented botanical artist. Check out her work on Instagram!

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Review: Polaris Rising

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Polaris Rising by Jessie Mihalik
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

For readers who like science fiction with romance, this book hits all the right buttons. A princess who kicks butt and takes names, a hero who's capable and has her back, well drawn secondary characters, good plot and excellent world building. There's also a set-up for future Consortium Rebellion novels that's integrated without being heavy-handed. I liked it very much and it was a great whiz-bang, action filled, hot and heavy weekend read.

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Review: Snowdrift and Other Stories

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Snowdrift and Other Stories by Georgette Heyer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a perfect addition to one's Regency romance library, as the Divine Georgette gives us a short story collection with all the elements that have endeared her to fans over the decades. I do recommend spreading out the reading of these gems rather than consuming them in one sitting. Not every story is a keeper but some, like Hazard will have Regency fans grinning out loud.

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Review: The Night Tiger

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The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Very enjoyable tale of pre-WWII Malaysia, a land filled with English expats, Chinese, Malay, Indians and where magic walks on tiger paws. It's a story of family and friendship, a budding romance, a young woman who wants more, an orphan, a mystery, and maybe a shape-changer. I found it engrossing and entertaining and would definitely read more by this author.

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Review: An Unconditional Freedom

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An Unconditional Freedom by Alyssa Cole
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A searing and satisfying conclusion to the Loyal League historical romances. Searing because the anger and frustration of racism in America comes through loud and clear in the author's details of life during the Civil War, from the perspective of both enslaved and free people of color in the South. The trauma and precariousness of daily existence is told through the lens of a romance between two troubled people--Daniel, who survived his own enslavement after being born free, and Janeta, who's always had to struggle to please people lest she lose her place as a free woman in a slave-owning Cuban family.

Cole's trilogy is a refreshing alternative to the historical romances that glorify or downplay life in the Antebellum South and is recommended reading.

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Review: Pirates in History and Popular Culture

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Pirates in History and Popular Culture by Antonio Sanna
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A tip of the hat to Cindy Vallar of the Pirates and Privateers Newsletter for recommending this excellent collection of essays on the perception of pirates through books, plays, opera, manga, RPG and film through the centuries. Even the Pastafarians get a shout-out. I enjoyed the selections both for the depth of research and for the authors' conclusions on the role pirates have played, and continue to play, in popular culture.

One disclaimer--My novel Sea Change is referenced in the chapter "Really Romantic?--Pirates in Romantic Fiction" and this makes me very happy.

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