HelenEdith's Blog

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

Posts Tagged ‘romantic’

Book Review: Mary Balogh – Simply Love

Posted by HelenEdith on January 6, 2009

(Book two of the Simply series of novels set in an academy for young ladies)

This novel has very little to do with the academy. It tells the story of Anne Jewell, who was raped and bore a son, David, who is now nine. David’s father died before David was born, but a member of his family has been keeping an eye on David and invites David, along with Anne, to spend a month during the summer at a house party in Wales.

The people in the Welsh house party are mostly characters from the Slightly series by the same author, but this did not spoil my enjoyment of this book. However, I will probably read the Slightly series at some point if I can obtain them.

Anne meets Sydnam Butler at the house party. He, like Anne, is trying to remain on the periphery of the house party, and they enjoy quite a bit of time together. Sydnam is a war hero, but suffered injuries which lead him to think that he will never marry; while Anne, as the mother of an illegitimate son, also considers herself unmarriageable.

Events prove otherwise and the two do marry sometime before the end of the book. There are many other loose ends to tie up before the book is brought to a conclusion though: will Sydnam ever return to painting, and will David ever accept him as a stepfather? These and other questions have to be resolved before Mary Balogh can bring this volume to a happy conclusion.

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Book Review: Nora Roberts – Key of Knowledge

Posted by HelenEdith on January 2, 2009

(Book two of the Key Trilogy)

This is the story of Dana Steele’s quest to find one of the three keys which will unlock the box in which three demi-goddesses are trapped.

The same characters who appeared in Key of Light reappear here, with Jordan Hawke taking a prominent role alongside Dana. The evil magician Kane, who was responsible for locking up the demi-goddesses in the first place is still up to his old tricks, and is getting trickier.

As this is a trilogy, you just know that Dana is going to be successful in her quest or there wouldn’t be the necessity for Zoe McCourt to search for the final key in Key of Valor. The boy (Jordan) gets the girl (Dana) by the end of this book, too.

I already had Key of Valor reserved at the library when I wrote this review, but didn’t post the review straight away and I’ve since picked up that final book now and started reading it. Interestingly, they seem to have done a British edition and the book I borrowed is actually Key of Valour! I haven’t been eagle-eyed enough to spot whether it’s only the title whose spelling has been “corrected” or whether the English inside the book has also been given a trans-Atlantic translation!

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Book Review: Nora Roberts – Key of Light

Posted by HelenEdith on November 1, 2008

(Book one of the Key Trilogy)

You have to hand it to Nora Roberts: she was first published by Silhouette in 1981, but by the mid 1990s, she was also writing near-future crime fiction as J.D.Robb, while still continuing to write for Silhouette, where she perfected the art of the series with The MacGregors. She turned over a new leaf with the turn of the 21st Century and ceased writing for Silhouette, but put her series skills to good use writing a variety of series published in hardback, some of which I’ve read, and some of which I haven’t. I enjoyed the ghost story from the In the Garden trilogy immensely, but found some of her Irish fantasy a bit heavy going when I picked up the final book in the Circle trilogy out of context.

Key of Light has a supernatural Celtic mythological theme, while also being a romance. The story which will run through all three books in the trilogy is of the half-mortal daughters of a Fairy King and his mortal wife. The daughters have been locked in a glass box by a sorcerer and only mortals are able to find the three keys (after all, this is a trilogy!) which will release them.

In this book, we are introduced to the three mortals who are to attempt to find the magical keys, but this book is particularly about Malory Price, who is the first to have a month to solve an obscure riddle and obtain the first key. The romantic interest is provided by Flynn Hennessy, the local newspaper owner/editor, who also happens to be the step-brother of Dana Steele, the second of the three key-hunting mortals. The third is Zoe McCourt, and the book starts with all three arriving at Warrior’s Peak, a somewhat spooky house, where they are met by Rowena and Pitte, who turn out to be immortals, and who set the key hunts in motion.

I enjoyed this book, although as with the J.D.Robb books, where setting them in the future can add plot twists which wouldn’t be feasible in the present day, when you add magicians and immortals into a plot, you can do all sorts of things that you wouldn’t really be able to do. Nora Roberts is careful not to make the story so much of a fantasy that it’s totally divorced from reality, and I will be back for the next part, Key of Knowledge.

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Book Review: Heather Graham – Dead on the dance floor

Posted by HelenEdith on October 20, 2008

Heather Graham has written a couple of books using the characters Quinn O’Casey, a private investigator, and his younger brother Doug, who is a policeman. This one is set around a dance studio in Miami where Doug has been going for lessons. A star dancer associated with the studio (and with whom Doug had been having a relationship) drops dead on the dance floor in the middle of a competition and is found to have lethal levels of alcohol and prescription drugs in her body.

Doug thinks that there’s more to it than meets the eye, but the Police aren’t investigating further, so he asks his brother Quinn to take a look, and buys him some introductory dance lessons to give him a reason to be around the dance studio.

Quinn meets the studio manager, Shannon Mackay, and starts taking lessons with her. Shannon also thinks that there’s something suspicious about Lara’s death, and has become quite jumpy, both in the studio, where she starts hearing strange noises, and also at her home.

I found the movement of a couple of shadowy characters that you could never quite get an identity on a bit annoying in the plot. (It’s one of those books where the author knows slightly more than Quinn does.) However, it was a good enough story, and I didn’t work out who the bad guy was until the final pages.

Whether Quinn and Doug will feature in any more of Heather Graham’s books I don’t know, as they both have career changes in the final pages of the book. I don’t suppose that absolutely precludes them from popping up again though.

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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: 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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