Saturday, January 15, 2011

Sarah MacLean "Ten Ways to Be Adored When Landing A Lord"

My spouse tells me title capitalization is so 1990. So I guess this should be Ten ways to be adored when landing a lord, but then I'm not submitting this to any scholarly journals for publication.

I have a bit of a reputation, among my friends. No, not that sort of reputation. A reputation for reading these books, so when we got together for my birthday, a little late, I got quite a few random romance novels. This was part of the pile and while the Harlequin were epic failures, TWTBAWLAL (I had to!) was a surprise gem.

Isabel is the daughter of the wastrel Earl and over the years she's had to take care of the manor as if she were a medieval lady of the manor trying to make it self sufficient. In addition, she seems to have taken in women with problems and hidden them from others who might be looking for them. She's finally at the end of her rope, has to sell a collection of statuary so she asks Lord Nicholas St. John to visit to appraise them. Things develop from there.

Really with this title and the completely pedestrian premise I expected very little from this book so was very pleasantly surprised. Isabel is a smart determined almost realistic character and Nicholas's arch from masterful proper lord to bewitched down to earth besotted cutie, well, it made me smile. And I can't ask for much more than that.

Historical Romance 2010: 4.5 of 5 slippery roof tiles.

Monday, January 3, 2011

M.K. Hobson "The Native Star"

If I'm anything, I'm a trendsetter. I just found this amazing book that you all should read. Okay, I went over to the Book Smugglers again and searched their top rated reads. But in case you haven't done the same, I'm gonna tell you what I thought anyway.

The Native Star is probably best described as a steam punk (historical/magical) fantasy novel with just a hint of romance. Emily lives in the Sierras of California in 1876 in an alternate US where warlocks are ascending the power structures and scientists are having a hard time proving themselves useful with magic around to upstage them. Emily gets herself into a bit of a fix when a magic rock embeds itself into her palm. Luckily there is a persnickety warlock around to help her gallivant all over the country trying to find someone who might not kill her to get the rock for themselves.

It bills itself as a romance but really it's a fantasy quest novel, and a good one. I was expecting more romance so was slightly disappointed but given the right expectations, fans of fantasy and especially those looking for steam punk themes will be very pleased with this one.

Fantasy Steam Punk 2010: 4.5 of 5 flying cockatrices.