Show and Tell by Jasmine Haynes. This was a new to me author. The story evolves as Trinity and Scott begin a sexual relationship which is comprised initially of mostly phone sex and other public encounters. There’s a real build up to intercourse which serves as kind of a metaphor for the relationship. Scott wants to have a relationship with Trinity. She’s the most exciting thing in his life for years. Trinity, on the other hand, enjoys calling the shots and doesn’t reveal her true identity to him because she’s in love with this person she’s created when she is with Scott.
As Trinity and Scott continue to see each other, it is in increasingly risky circumstances. Risk of being caught. Risk of getting in trouble for allowing their sexual addiction to each other to overcome boundaries. Their sexual escapades become a struggle for control. Read more of the review here.
Sea Witch by Virginia Kantra. If I were to characterize this book, it would be the subtlety of the writing. The characterizations, the backstories, the worldbuilding are deftly intertwined with the story. The reader is allowed the pleasure of discovery by the unwrapping of the details. I found the descriptions to be vivid. The heroine, Margred, is a selkie whose love for the sea is greater than all else. Her need for physical companionship drives her from the water to a small island community where she finds Caleb Hunter, the police chief of World’s End, Maine. Their love story is fraught with uncertainty and some danger while being tender and romantic. Read more of the review later today.
My Lord and Spymaster by Joanna Bourne. Jennie’s review of this book dovetails mine only I would have given it a higher grade (a B instead of a C). Bourne’s quality of writing is superior enough that it overcomes some troublesome areas such as the imbalance of power between the hero and heroine. Even with its flaws, I think its the best of this months’ historical crop. Jess Whitby is the daughter of a shipyard titan who has been taken into custody on suspicion of treason. Sebastian Kennett is a rival sea captain who is determined to see Whitby’s father pay for the death of Sebastian’s crew members. Jess must find the real traitor and fight off Sebastian at the same time. Read more of Jennie’s review here.
Upside Down Inside Out by Monica McInerney is Jayne’s recommended read. “Since it doesn’t look like I’m going to get to Australia any time soon, your book will have to serve as a travelogue of sorts. The Australian Tourism Board can use it as a reason why people should fold themselves into tiny airplane seats for an ungodly number of hours. Screw the koalas, people should read "Upside Down Inside Out" to prime them for a visit Down Under and to watch two nice people fall in love.” Read more of Jayne’s review here.
Silver Diamond Vol. 1 by Shiho Sugiura is a recommendation from Jan. TokyoPop is bringing over this series from Japan. It’s an original sf/fantasy about a (not original part) human boy who finds he’s the heir to the ability to create life in a now-barren world. The original part is that many of the people in this world are derived from plants, some with the ability to take on the forms and personalities of others, some with the abilities to grow their parts into whatever they need for their professions. It’s a very interesting story. There are hints of romance, but the point I’ve read to there is none yet. Still, good sf in shoujo manga is hard to come by, so this one not to miss. It’s at 14 volumes in Japan and god only knows how many Tokyo Pop plans to bring over.
I forgot to add Eve Kenin’s Hidden. (I had forgotten that it was released this month).
Hidden is the sequel to Eve Kenin’s Driven and from my experience and the commenters, you probably should read Driven first. Hidden returns us to the post-apocalyptic world and introduces us to Tatiana and Tristan. The story is delicate weaving of the science and the emotion that raises this above other speculative fiction romances on the market. Tatiana’s existence, the manner in which she is created, the way in which her emotional makeup is woven into the tapestry of the worldbuilding, makes it impossible for her to be taken from this book and put in another setting. Review here.
I also wanted to add a book that I didn’t read before its release date but instead read on Wednesday night but was completely wow-ed. Suzanne Enoch’s After the Kiss tells the love story between a Marquis’ daughter and a commoner, a horse breeder. I haven’t collected all my thoughts very well, but I found it to be tender, romantic, and genuine. The Marquis’ daughter is a bit spoiled, used to getting what she wants and the commoner is charming but hates the aristocracy. I probably won’t get to post a review on this book until next week, but it’s definitely one I would recommend without reservation to historical romance lovers.
Other releases that might interest readers this month are:
- Tribute by Nora Roberts (review coming)
- Into the Shadow by Christina Dodd (review coming)
- Hard as Nails by HelenKay Dimon (review here)
- Then You Hide by Roxanne St. Claire (review here)