FAR IN THE WILDS is a short 54-page prequel to Deanna Raybourn’s novel, A SPEAR OF SUMMER GRASS. Really, this novella is just an appetizer for things...moreFAR IN THE WILDS is a short 54-page prequel to Deanna Raybourn’s novel, A SPEAR OF SUMMER GRASS. Really, this novella is just an appetizer for things to come, and a good one at that. The setting is Kenya at the end of World War I, and I was captivated by the gorgeous descriptions of the African savanna.
Readers are introduced to to Ryder White, a Canadian living in Africa, as he guides a spoiled Danish prince and his mistress on safari. At this point, Ryder comes off as a little lost and a little brooding, independent, yet searching for something.
This was an exciting story that left me wanting to know more about its unique setting and enigmatic hero.
“Africa is a land of dreams and memories. It is rifts of remembrance stitched together with the sighs of time.”
Shivers is a line of new Gothic romances published by Harlequin E. Barbara J. Hancock’s THE GIRL IN BLUE is the first one I’ve read, and I was impress...moreShivers is a line of new Gothic romances published by Harlequin E. Barbara J. Hancock’s THE GIRL IN BLUE is the first one I’ve read, and I was impressed. This book is part of the Shivers Box Set, Volume 3. (Reviews of the other books to follow shortly.)
This was a fairly quick read, but it was packed with all of my favorite elements of the genre – steamy romance, creepy atmosphere, and the best part – troubled ghosts. The story takes place in the spooky town of Scarlet Falls, Massachusetts. I had an ominous feeling about the place from the start, especially with the eerie, lifeless lake close by. I loved learning about the lake’s back story. Disturbing.
The heroine is a young woman named Trinity, who has returned to Scarlet Falls seeking sanctuary and possibly an answer to why tragedy follows wherever she goes. And it’s not just her – the whole town is plagued by unexplained accidents. I really enjoyed the world-building in this book, and since some things were left unexplained, I’m assuming this is the foundation for a series.
Trinity had some amazing chemistry with the hero, Samuel. Samuel is a town historian, obsessed with the mysterious and macabre happenings in Scarlet Falls. They have a volatile past and haven’t seen each other for years, but the trouble following Trinity brings them back together. Trinity learns that they have a darker and deeper connection than she was aware of.
THE GIRL IN BLUE was a creepy good modern Gothic romance, and I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the box set!
ILL-GOTTEN PANES is a promising start to a new cozy mystery series set in the tumble-down village of Wenwood, New York. After a huge work scandal and...moreILL-GOTTEN PANES is a promising start to a new cozy mystery series set in the tumble-down village of Wenwood, New York. After a huge work scandal and getting dumped by her boyfriend, accountant Georgia Kelly retreats to her grandfather’s house in Wenwood to decide on her next move.
When she gets to Wenwood, Georgia sees that the once booming town has fallen on hard times, and for some reason, the locals give her a chilly reception. There’s a big controversy over the construction of a new marina that is meant to revitalize Wenwood. Things get worse when one of the opponents is murdered, and Georgia’s grandfather ends up the prime suspect.
I really enjoyed the mystery in this book. It was fast-paced and well-plotted, and I liked how certain things that didn’t seem consequential ended up helping to solve the case. On the other hand, I didn’t love the characters and setting quite like I’d hoped. The town had a negative, unfriendly vibe – not a place I’d want to live.
Georgia was a determined amateur sleuth, though her personality fell flat at times. Like the town, she was also in a bad way having been dumped by her fiance and canned from her job. I was very intrigued by her stained glass hobby though. Before reading this book, I didn’t know much about it.
I’m curious to see if Wenwood can be transformed and if Georgia’s character blossoms in future books. There’s also a cute, fuzzball kitten the pet cozy mystery lovers will be crazy over. 3½-Stars.
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.(less)