August 25th, 2009


Tessa Dare, Meredith Duran, Jo Beverley, Carol Berg

I've read a lot of good books lately.

Carol Berg's Flesh and Spirit was first, a large but very involving fantasy about an outcast who stumbles into plots upon plots. I devoured it in two days, mostly because I loved the protagonist, who doubts himself and denies his kind impulses but proves himself all the same; also, he makes real mistakes, which made the story almost compulsive for me. The book ends on a semi-cliffhanger, and I have the second one ready to go as soon as I have a couple of days where I can read non-stop!

Flesh and Spirit

The rest are historical romances, all set in England.

Jo Beverley, The Secret Wedding: I'm a Beverley fangirl, so I enjoyed this, even though I felt that the characters hiding their identities from each other was a bit contrived (though they did have good reason to do so). The secret wedding happens when the two are teenagers and one rescues the other from a nasty seducer; they're then forced to marry. The cool part is that she works in details about new Georgian marriage laws and when they came into effect. The hero and heroine go their separate ways and each eventually is told the other is dead. Until they realize that wasn't true and try to discover the truth, which leads to pseudonymous adventures, affairs, etc.. The ending is engineered somewhat by Rothgar, the series Deus ex machina, but I didn't really mind.

The Secret Wedding

Meredith Duran, Bound By Your Touch: second book by this author. It's a Victorian setting, featuring a frivolous uncaring hero at war with his father and a classically educated heroine who serves as her archaeologist father's agent in England. They're drawn into working together by a possible forgery plot in which they are both involved, and the heroine, initially disdainful, begins to realize the hero is much more than he seems; smarter, for one thing, and also truly attracted to her. And it's pretty hot. The overall tone reminded me of Judith Ivory, so yes, I really liked this. She has a third book out which I'm saving for a bit.

Bound by Your Touch

Tessa Dare, Goddess of the Hunt: this is a new author, whose second book comes out today. It's a Regency, and uses a lot of tropes common to Regency historicals, but makes them seem new by giving new twists or simply by having her characters react in unexpected ways. Her hero is the heroine's brother's grim and angsty friend; the heroine is a tomboyish, independent young woman who thinks she's in love with someone else. Despite the familiarity of the setting, and elements of the plot, it felt fresh. Which is pretty impressive, I think. I've pre-ordered her next two books already.

Goddess of the Hunt