HelenEdith's Blog

The minutiae of my life, plus website updates and book reviews

Archive for July, 2008

Book Review: Jenna Mills – The Cop Next Door

Posted by HelenEdith on July 26, 2008

This book came from the charity shop, too, although it’s only about three years old. It’s from Silhouette’s “Sensation” series, and it’s romantic suspense with considerable emphasis on the romance.

Victoria has returned to the house of her early childhood to find out about her family, and she runs into hostility everywhere she turns, as her father has been branded a murderer. His disappearance with Victoria at the time when Victoria’s mother, a local deputy, and the sheriff have both been murdered is taken as an admission of guilt.

The current sheriff is the son of the murdered official, and he lives next door to Victoria’s old family home. He tries very hard to persuade her to leave and to let the past be, but Victoria is made of sterner stuff than that, and inevitably they fall in love.

Things keep happening to Victoria: she is convinced that someone is in her house; her clothes all get packed into her suitcases and left on the front lawn; and the brakes fail on her car.

The sheriff keeps trying to convince her to let bygones be bygones, but she keeps digging, and eventually she gets to the truth. It takes an Epilogue at the end of the book to tie up the final loose endings though.

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Book Review: Elizabeth Mansfield – The Bartered Bride

Posted by HelenEdith on July 26, 2008

This book came home from the charity shop, and was new about 30 years ago, but that did not affect my enjoyment. Back 30 years ago, romance writers often married off their couple early so that they could have bedroom encounters, but that isn’t the case in this book: although the couple do indeed marry early in the book, this is not a plot mechanism to spend a lot of time in their bedroom.

Cassandra Chivers is the daughter of a self-made man – a “Cit”. She meets Lord Kittridge when he takes her side in a shop where the assistant accuses her of stealing. She falls in love with him on sight.

Lord Kittridge discovers that his father has gambled away his estates, leaving them heavily mortgaged, and as a result, he is unable to propose to the lady whom he had hoped to marry. Cassie’s father, finding out about this and about Cassie’s liking for Lord Kittridge, decides to provide Cassie with a generous dowry which will enable the couple to marry.

Of course, he doesn’t tell everybody everything. Cassie is most reluctant at first until it is represented to her that if she doesn’t marry Kittridge that her father will find someone else to do so. That brings Cassie round. Kittridge doesn’t have much choice, as he needs the money to support his high-spending family. However, he thinks that Cassie has somehow trapped him into the marriage and that all she wants is his title.

Our couple aren’t off to a good start. Love letters from Kittridge’s lost love don’t help matters. Not even an extended stay at Kittridge’s country residence is really working. Every time they seem to be reaching an understanding, another of those letters arrives.

In true Regency romance style, things do get sorted out by the end of the book though.

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Book Review: Karen Robards – Superstition

Posted by HelenEdith on July 26, 2008

This is the sort of book my local library files in the “Crime” genre, but it could equally be filed under “Romantic Suspense” if my library ran to that category.

Nicky Sullivan is a television reporter after a story, and she’s decided to do a story in the hometown of her childhood, where one teenager was murdered and two more disappeared some years previously. She is trying to kick start her mother’s stuttering career as the psychic by including her in the hopes of being able to speak to the dead girls and find out what happened to them.

Nicky gets more than she bargains for when a member of her production crew is murdered during filming; and Nicky starts getting emails from the killer!

The local Police chief, Joe Franconi, wants Nicky as far away as possible, to keep her safe from events on Pawley’s Island, but Nicky has other ideas, and returns to research further programmes. Joe has a somewhat chequered past himself, having departed from New Jersey with a cloud over his name.

As another murder occurs, and there are more attacks, the tension ratchets up, but we do eventually find out “who dunnit” – and the boy gets the girl as well!

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Book Review: Johanna Lindsey – Man of my Dreams

Posted by HelenEdith on July 26, 2008

This was an enjoyable historical romance, from roughly the time of the Regency, and follows the escapades of Megan Penworthy and Ambrose St James, Duke of Wrothston.

Megan has decided that she wants to marry the Duke because she is having a problem with the social structure in her village, and becoming a Duchess would give her precedence over the local lady who won’t invite her to dinner, purely because she is prettier than that lady’s unmarried daughters.

Megan has never actually met the Duke, although her favourite horse was purchased from the Duke’s stables and has been name Sir Ambrose in his honour, despite being a mare. This becomes relevant as the story unfolds, as Megan’s father has employed a new horsebreeder called Devlin Jeffreys, who is none other than the Duke is disguise, hiding from his best friend who wants to duel with him because of a misunderstanding. However Megan doesn’t know that, and immediately locks horns with Devlin, and tries to get her father, Squire Penworthy to sack him. The Squire won’t do so, much to Megan’s frustration.

Then Devlin hears that Megan wants to marry him, and decides to teach her a lesson, assuming that she is just after his title, when Megan has no intention of marrying without loving her bridegroom first.

Things escalate as they can only in a Regency romance, and they end up participating in a most unlikely elopement, as it has the Squire’s blessing, but Megan is going along for the ride only reluctantly.

They do manage to work it all out in the end – as you would expect!

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Book Review: Clive Cussler with Paul Kemprecos – Blue Gold

Posted by HelenEdith on July 26, 2008

This is the second “NUMA Files” offering featuring Kurt Austin, Joe Zavala, Paul Trout and his wife Gamay Morgan-Trout – plus a few familiar NUMA characters from the Dirk Pitt books – although in this book, Pitt himself does not make even a cameo appearance.

I do have to speculate with collaboration books as to who writes what, and my guess is that Austin and Zavala are Cussler’s characters; while the Trouts are the province of Kemprecos. They do all get together at times, but there are often multiple threads going in the book, and I just think I see the signature of Cussler behind Austin and Zavala, who are somewhat similar to Pitt and Giordino; and when that’s carried to its logical conclusion, it points to the Trouts being the creation of Kemprecos.

This book is about water, or rather, the lack of water, and how unscrupulous people try and gain control over limited resources to gain power. It starts with a plane crash in the Prologue. The meaning of the plane crash to the rest of the story remains a mystery for a long time, as it isn’t even referred to, but the story gets around to it later on.

Austin and Zavala start out in a power boat race, which they end up losing in spectacular fashion while averting disaster when a competitor’s boat goes out of control. However, it doesn’t take them long to get down to business – business prompted by the cause of the competitor’s boat going out of control. That leads them to Mexico and gets them into deep water.

The Trouts start out in the jungles of the Amazon. They encounter a canoe carrying a dead tribesman from a tribe feared by all the locals. They get thoroughly embroiled in goings-on in the Amazon, and have to call on Austin and Zavala, who bail them out in the nick of time.

They all realise eventually that they’re working different sides of the same puzzle, and that a very secretive company has been buying up water rights and is almost to the point of having a monopoly over the water supply.

As it’s that sort of a book, you know that somehow Austin, Zavala and the Trouts are going to save the World from this menace, and you wouldn’t be wrong, but you’ll have to read the book to find out how they do it.

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