Saturday, July 24, 2010

Books Bought

Picked up a few books today with a gift card (bookstore gift cards = perfect gift!)

In the Darkest Hour by Patti O'Shea
Tsunami Blue by Gayle Ann Williams
Her Vampire Husband by Michele Hauf
A Certain Wolfish Charm by Lydia Dare (not on my list but I couldn't resist the title, plus it's a historical werewolf novel and there aren't many of those)
Insatiable by Lauren Dane

Friday, July 9, 2010

Simply Magic by Mary Balogh

I had a few of Balogh’s books in my pile and Simply Magic was the first I finished. It is part of the “Simply” series which centers around four teachers at Miss Martin’s School For Girls in England. You don’t have to read the books in order, although I did read one of the previous volumes in the series.

Most of Balogh’s books have a slow pace which enables her to concentrate in great detail on the relationship between the hero and heroine. Don’t expect any complicated subplots or strong secondary characters, it is all focused on the main couple who we get to know inside out. Her books make a nice change from the fast-paced, action filled romances and although it sometimes takes a little while to get into them, by the end of the book you’ll really care about the pair. Her books remind me a bit of Jo Beverly’s.

Simply Magic features the teacher Susanna Osbourne and Peter Edgeworth, who is Viscount Whitleaf. They are instantly attracted to each other, but there are complications beyond that of their different stations in life. Saying more would give away too much, but it was an interesting and original dilemma.

What makes this book stand out is the two main characters, Susanna in particular. I really felt that I understood her and she was a very believable heroine. Peter, on the other hand, was likable and his actions seemed realistic, but he wasn’t quite as interesting to me. I also thought the historical setting was very well done.

I’d recommend this book if you’re in the mood for a leisurely exploration of a relationship between two appealing characters. I’ll rate it 7.0 out of 10.0.

Let It Be Love by Victoria Alexander

I needed a change from the military science-fiction I’ve been reading lately, so I gathered together all the historical romances in my to-be-read pile. I alphabetized them (I know, I know) and decided to start making a dent in the 100 volumes (yes, I counted—and bought one so I’d have an even hundred.)

I started with the A’s and B’s and the first book I finished was Victoria Alexander’s Let It Be Love, set in England in the 1850’s. I am not sure if I’ve read any other books by Alexander, but I certainly plan on reading more in the future. Her writing style is similar to that of Loretta Chase and Julia Quinn.

The Marquess of Helmsley is surprised when a stranger, Fiona Fairchild, asks him to marry her so she can receive her inheritance and provide her sisters with dowries. He thinks she is an actress put up to it by his friends so he agrees, only to be horrified when he finds out it was no joke. He wants to help her, but does not wish to wed, so comes up with an interesting proposition.

What made this book most enjoyable for me was the humor. It is full of witty banter between Jonathon and Fiona and they are both likable characters, once you get past Jonathon’s reneging on his word. The secondary characters were outstanding and the pace is quick, but not so fast that you can’t enjoy the developing relationship and heightened sexual tension between the hero and heroine.

This is an excellent historical romance, recommended for anyone in the mood for an amusing and well-written read. I’ll rate it 8.0 out of 10.0.