Published by P.D. Publishing, Inc.
ISBN 13 9781933720098
A great house, a dispossessed family. A sensitive young man, a powerful landowner, and the epic love that springs up between them. Set in the post Napoleonic years of the 1820’s, it is a tale of these two men, and how the relationships they make with others affect their journey through Europe and through life.
I have very mixed feelings about this one. It wins on historical accuracy and appropriate levels of grimness, but also suffers from the same problem I have with certain of Georgette Heyer's detective stories. Bad things happen to people I can't get worked up about. Except possibly Fleury: I would happily read more about his misdeeds before and after his appearance in the novel. The writing itself is fabulous, and the ending is strong, if rushed. Perhaps the story could have done with less sex to leave more space for two chapters instead of the last one, and possibly a little more description of the house.
The Mogul's Maybe Marriage
by Mindy Klasky
Published by Harlequin
ISBN 13 9780373656172
Ethan Hartwell has been given an ultimatum: he must marry by the end of the year, or he will lose control of the company that is his life. But when Ethan searches for the only woman he’s never quite forgotten, he finds a two-for-one — Sloane Davenport is carrying his child! Now, Ethan has to decide whether to tell Sloane his darkest secret, and chance losing her forever…
As a foster kid, Sloane has always dreamed of giving her own child a perfect family. Now, pregnant and — outrageously! — fired from her job, she is struggling to keep her independence. She isn’t about to marry for anything but respect and partnership and love. So what will it take to transform Sloane’s “maybe” into “yes”?
I don't think I've read a Harlequin before [Edit: except the free reads on the eHarlequin site], but this one felt very much like a Mindy Klasky story as well as being a category romance. The characters had perfectly understandable reasons behind their actions, and while some of their problems could have been solved by talking at an earlier point in the story, it made sense for those particular characters that they didn't want to talk feelings if it could be avoided.
The medical issues made sense to me, and I'm a hard taskmaster when it comes to any kind of biology or medical details in romances.
I even felt that the Epilogue did exactly what it needed to (I have a love-hate relationship with epilogues and I loved this one). Plus there's a dog.
by Phillipa Ashley
Published by Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
ISBN 13 9781609284992
After a year dealing with her mum’s health scare and the end of a bad relationship, Keira Grayson was looking forward to kicking up her heels at her best friend’s wedding. Until she kicks off her (spare) knickers in front of the trifecta of perfection. Tom Carew. Son of an earl, honorable doctor and possibly the hottest man on the planet.
One look at Keira’s delightful embarrassment, and Tom’s hormone meter spins off the charts. Trouble is, his bags are already packed to return to the jungles of Papua New Guinea. He has patients waiting—and amends to make for a terrible choice that left devastation in its wake.
They both reason that indulging in a one-time dinner date won’t hurt…until their inhibitions melt away in the heat of their lethal sexual chemistry. Leaving Keira wondering if a sizzling fling is just what the doctor ordered, or another prescription for relationship disaster. And Tom fighting a battle against inner demons that could shatter both their hearts.
This engaging tale of two caring professionals with troubled pasts really grabbed me. Both had good individual reasons for not wanting a relationship, and so a temporary arrangement with an already looming deadline of an overseas posting appealed to them both. Of course, this being a category romance, that was never really going to be satisfactory for either of them whatever they might have claimed.
There was also an engaging supporting cast, including Tom's brother and his partner, Keira's best friend, and some rather enthusiastic primary school pupils.
I also loved that the happy ending was the one that I always hope for rather than the one I'm usually given in this genre.
Training Birds of Prey
by Jemima Parry-Jones
Published by David & Charles Publishers
ISBN 10 0715312383
Library book, buy link not found
Challenging and absorbing, falconry needs to be practiced correctly, or there could be deadly consequences. Learn to train the five different types of bird of prey: buzzards, owls, falcons, eagles, and hawks. The merits of keeping and flying the birds of each group are discussed, with particular attention paid to owls, on which little has been published. Both the novice and experienced falconer will unearth a wealth of inspiration and knowledge, to reap the rewards of working with birds of prey.
This book is written not so much as a how-to as an aide memoire for those who have been on a practical falconry course first. As such it didn't meet my requirements in terms of researching how my fictional falconer would go about her tasks as hinted at by the book's title. I also found Parry-Jones' tone a little too abrasive at times, although I admire her passion for the subject, and felt that some of the illustrations would have been easier to understand if diagrams had replaced or supplemented the photographs.
I liked the cartoons, however, and the colour illustrations of the various birds were spectacular.
NB, this was quite an old edition from the library, and I'm not certain whether an updated edition would have had some of the areas I've criticised ironed out.