Yes, I am slow at my book log, which is why some of these have only brief comments…
7) Cecilia Tan — The Siren and the Sword
Previously reviewed. I liked it a lot, enough to buy the series box set when it came out recently.
8) Doranna Durgin – Barrenlands
Reviewed earlier this week. A short fantasy novel offering an enjoyable way to pass a few hours.
9) Helena Newbury – Dance for Me
Natasha’s a ballet student who uses dance as one of her ways of coping with her demons, not always successfully. Darrell’s an engineering genius who designs weapon delivery systems as a way of coping with _his_ demons. Darrell’s stuck on his latest design, and then finds inspiration in watching a ballerina dance – so much so that he hires Natasha to dance for him privately at his workshop. They fall for one another, but they’re very damaged people and the road will be hard, even without someone deliberately trying to break the relationship up before it really gets started. Cue much angst before the happy ending. That happy ending acknowledges that True Love doesn’t magically fix everything, and Natasha and Darrell have a long way to go before their demons are vanquished. That the characters recognise this make it much more believable that they really will make it work in the long run.
This wasn’t a bad read, but it did need rather a lot of willing suspension of disbelief regarding a lone genius being allowed to work on a a secret defence contract in his garage. It also leans heavily on the Evil Brit trope for the plot’s antagonist; which doubtless appeals to many not-British readers, but was merely irritating to me. I’m glad I read it and would happily read the next, but I’m not desperate to rush out and buy it.
10) Mindy Klasky – Perfect Pitch (The Diamond Brides series Book 1)
Contemporary romance starting with a baseball star who is unwise enough to publicly sneer at the local beauty queen, only to find that a) this is bad PR with the team’s supporters and his manager is not amused, b) the beauty queen is no dumb blonde, and she’s not amused either. They soon realise there’s more to both of them than meets the public eye, but they’re also very much in the public eye, and Samantha’s contest contract includes a morality clause…
A pleasant enough read. Currently on offer as a start-of-series freebie.
11) Margery Allingham – A Cargo of Eagles (audiobook)
Abridged audiobook of the last Campion novel, read by Phillip Franks. Enjoyable, and as usual with this series of Hachette abridged CD sets, can be enjoyed even if you aren’t already familair with the novel.
12) Ashley Gardner — The Hanover Square Affair
First in a Regency-set mystery series. Excellent historical mystery, and on my list of series to pursue when I’ve made some headway on Mount TBR. Currently free as a series promo.