dorothean: detail of painting of Gandalf, Frodo, and Gimli at the Gates of Moria, trying to figure out how to open them (Default)
[personal profile] dorothean
I've just finished reading Marjorie M. Liu's four "Hunter Kiss" urban fantasy novels. They are very fun, but I am short on shelf space so I'd like to give them to someone else who'd like to read them. Any takers? Just leave a comment saying you'd like them, and I will pick someone by random selection, and contact the winner by comment and private message. I'll do this after noon next Sunday, December 15, Eastern Standard Time. It doesn't matter where in the world you live, but I would like to dispose of all four at once -- if you've already got one of the novels, let me know which and I'll put that one up on Bookmooch, but I'd like to send at least three together.

What's it about? -- Maxine Kiss is the latest in a matrilineal line of demon slayers, the Hunters. Her job is to fight demons who possess humans in order to create and feed on pain and anger. The demons she meets have slipped free from the Prison Veil, behind which they were trapped after an epic battle thousands of years ago. The only exceptions (cue ominous music) seem to be the five demons allied to the Hunter, who hunt with her at night and during the day are trapped on her body as protective living tattoos. (Yes, this is really awesome.)

Hunters are supposed to wander the earth as strangers, without establishing relationships that could make them vulnerable, but Maxine broke with this tradition when she met Grant, a really sweet (but muscular, of course) former priest who runs a homeless shelter in Seattle. Grant has strange magical powers; with his voice or flute music, he can heal physical and psychic wounds and even persuade demons to lead a more ethical life. Maxine was not brought up to be anything other than tough and merciless, so Grant does pretty much all of the emotional nurturing in their relationship, a reversal I quite enjoy.

There's also a large cast of entertaining secondary characters -- morally ambiguous demons, really nasty demons, Maxine's mysterious-but-charming grandpa, etc.

As the series goes on we learn more about how the demons became imprisoned and what happens if they get out; I'm not super keen on this part because I'm really in it for the violent fluff (Liu is great at describing demons eating things), but there's definitely ongoing plot.

If you're curious, book #4 answers a lot of questions and tentatively wraps up some situations, but Liu is writing another Hunter Kiss novel now. There are also, I think, two novellas and a short story about Maxine. I've read one, "Hunter Kiss," which was published in an anthology (but is also available separately as an ebook) before the novels. It is more of a romance than the novels and explains how Maxine and Grant met, but I don't think it's as good as the novels.

My reviews on Goodreads:
0.5. Hunter Kiss
1. The Iron Hunt
2. Darkness Calls
3. A Wild Light
4. The Mortal Bone
coffeeandink: (Default)
[personal profile] coffeeandink
X-posted from my journal.

Although this novella makes an interesting attempt to engage with the social constraints of the time in a more realistic manner than many Victorian-set romances, it founders on inconsistent characterization and on a gender subtext greatly at odds with its surface. Despite some genuinely moving aspects -- particularly the heroine's delayed emotional reaction to traumatic events in her past and the hero's painful relationship with his frail and increasingly senile father -- the story fails for me due to disquieting elements in the central romance.

Cut for length and spoilers; trigger warning for statutory rape )
delfinnium: (Default)
[personal profile] delfinnium
(recommended to link here by Deepad. First post, first review thing!)

Thanks to [personal profile] deepad, I'm currently reading the series Gameworld Trilogy by Samit Basu. (can be found here. It can be bought here!)

And it does start off a little slow, in the beginning, especially if you're like me, and have very little familarity with the Ramayan other than a very vauge understanding of 'something happens, Demons evil attack! Princess is involved, there is a vanar, Lord of monkeys and a damn good archer, involved somewhere, there is a lot of fire, and a chariot happens to be there somewhere', you might be a little thrown by all the terms there.

And it's GOOD!

I like that!

I mean there are some books (like the God of War series) that use terms so obscure and strange that it is hard to actually understand what is going on in the world unless you read it several times (and I'm not so sure I'm drawn into it), but this world is not like that!

I mean there are creatures whom you don't know what they are - vaman, pashan, vanar (though since I know passingly from School the ramayana, i know what vanar are), khuldran, and so on and so forth, and Samit doesn't explain, not at first.

But then as the story opens up, you start to realise what they are. Vaman are the equivalent of dwarves, vanar are monkeys/apes, pashan seem to be troll types, asur are... I'm not sure what they are, really, other than that no one likes them and they do all the dirty shitty jobs that no one wants.

( Yet longer incoherent flailing review here! )


You like POC cultures and fantasy? Sick of male dominated Generic White Medieval Fantasy?


Genre: SFF, fantasy, parody
Subject: parody, trope inversion, non-white fantasy
Author nationality/ethnicity: Indian
snowynight: Kino in a suit with brown background (Default)
[personal profile] snowynight
Title: 暖床人 Nuan Quan Ren (The person who warms the bed)
Author: 三千界 San Qian Jie
Author Nationality and race: Chinese
Language: Chinese
Genre: Fiction
Length: novel
Subject: M/M romance
Summary: Losing his lover, Zhen wanders to another dimension and accidentally chooses him to warm his bed. Zhen warms his heart, and he warms Zhen's in return.
Review: I really like this author's style because it reads so relaxing and steadily paced. The development of the relationship feels very natural to me.
Link: Original site
annwfyn: (nonsense - priestess of pink)
[personal profile] annwfyn
'The Taming of Mei Lin' by Jeannie Lin

This isn't really a novel - it's more of a short story - so I feel like a bit of a cheat adding this. However, I'm lazy and therefore willing to do this.

First of all, this story is a bit of a spin off to 'Butterfly Swords' and is the story of Ai Li's grandmother and grandfather, who are mentioned in that novel, and if you're a 'Butterfly Swords' fan, it's probably worth reading for that. If you haven't read 'Butterfly Swords' or didn't enjoy it, I'm not so sure I'd recommend it.

I mean, it's not bad, it just feels a lot more generic. Yes, the setting is still a historical China, which is cool, but I felt that far less effort had gone into creating the texture and flavour that I adored in 'Butterfly Swords'. As well as that, the characters were infinitely less interesting, and I honestly found the hero quite generic. A lone brooding duellist, captured by a spunky young heroine? Really? Goodness, that's original!

I'm being harsh, I know, especially as it is only a short story and there isn't really as much room to build up the setting as there would be in a full length novel. I also suspect that because I enjoyed 'Butterfly Swords' so much, I've set the bar much higher and I probably should be kinder, but I'm a harsh person and don't want to give Jeannie Lin too much of a 'get out of jail free' card, because I know she's capable of so much more.


'Ash' by Malinda Lo

This novel is the novel that I think proves Father Christmas exists.

No, really. How else could it be that someone could write an awesome young adult lesbian fairytale romance, featuring two kick arse heroines, some fairies, awesome world building and a happy ever after filled with adventure and the promise of more awesome things they can do together? I mean, that doesn't just happen, does it?

I adored Ash from start to finish, and my only sadness about this book is that it wasn't around when I was a teenager. It reminds me a little of a non-hetero Robin McKinley novel - it takes a very traditional fairy story (in this case, Cinderella) and reworks it absolutely beautifully.

I would recommend this absolutely and wholeheartedly, and I am fighting back the urge to say that if you don't like it at all, you are dead inside, have no soul, and I pity you.

Um. Apparently I didn't fight back the urge that well, did I?
annwfyn: (nonsense - priestess of pink)
[personal profile] annwfyn
I am coming to the conclusion that I am a sucker for food in my young adult fantasy. Every time it turns up, I know I'm going to really like the book, and Tantalize was no exception.

This is an awesome novel - it's a fantastic blend of horror, romance, comedy, and also features some brilliant brilliant descriptions of Italian food, all set in Austin, Texas, which is where the author is from, I believe, and certainly she gives the book a real sense of place. The supernatural world she's created is also a little quirky, a bit different, but definitely holds together. Mild spoilers beneath the cut )

It's the first book in a sort of trilogy - Eternal and Blessed are set to follow - and I'm looking forward to reading them as well. This isn't deep literature, and I'm not sure if it counts as urban fantasy, young adult or paranormal romance, but it's a really fun, frothy, bouncy read and I'd totally recommend it.
ext_20269: (studious - reading books)
[identity profile]
Apparently this was originally published years ago, when Tess Gerritsen was still a romance writer (which is something I had not known about her), and is the novel she considers to be her ‘bridge’ between romantic suspense and crime writing. I have to say, it’s a really good bridge. It’s got more romance than is normal in her crime novels, but not enough to be overly dominant and whilst it is a good romance, there’s a really decent plot in there as well, and quite enough to keep you pulled along even if you’re not so into the love story (which I was).

The plot is fairly basic – Kat Novak is a Medical Examiner, who is also female, beautiful, and has clawed her way out of a low income neighbourhood to get where she is today, although it’s never really explained how she did this. I kinda presumed by doing really well at school and getting scholarships and a lot of part time jobs (plus debt) to get through medical school, but it must have been tough and there’s no back story which explains it. Still, there’s no reason why you need a back story for being smart and determined, which I guess she was. Oh, and Novak is her married name. Her maiden name was Ortiz, and I think she was meant to be half Irish, half Hispanic, as a vague point of interest.

Anyway, Kat is working the night shift when a body comes into the morgue; a young woman who has been found dead of an overdose from some mysterious drug. She has no ID and only a matchbook with a phone number scrawled on it. From there, conspiracy, murder, and romance with a very hot millionaire ensue.

I enjoyed it. The hero wasn’t nearly as alpha male as most romance novel heroes and I thought he and Kat had some good chemistry. The mystery aspect was well handled and plausible and I never felt like Tess Gerritsen was cheating or resorting to crazy coincidence.

Definitely recommended, and I’d make a special mention to romance fans who aren’t normally sure about thrillers and thriller readers who don’t do romance. It offers the best of both worlds quite nicely.
[identity profile]
2. Sarita Mandanna, Tiger Hills

Devi is a beautiful, strong-willed young girl, growing up in Coorg, a rural, mountainous area of South India, in the late 1800s. She's in love with Machu, a warrior famous for having killed a tiger single-handedly. Devanna, Machu's younger cousin, is a quiet, intelligent boy, studying to be a doctor, who's in love with Devi. As you might expect, things don't turn out well.

This novel has some beautiful descriptions of scenery (apparently Coorg- spelled Kodagu today- is known as 'the Scotland of India'), but the plot is a bit over-the-top, with tragedy following tragedy. I enjoyed reading to pass the time on a long bus trip, but I'm not sure I can genuinely recommend it, unless you're looking for something to read that won't require a lot of thought.

Book 25

Nov. 7th, 2010 05:22 pm
[identity profile]
Joplin's Ghost by Tananarive Due.

This is absolutely my favorite of Due's books so far. It's an odd blend of genres; I'd say about 60% historical novel, 30% romance, and 10% supernatural/suspense/horror, though it might take other folks differently. I didn't find it particularly scary except a little bit at the very end (not much even then), but I absolutely fell in love with her characters, especially her portrait of Joplin. There is a tenderness to her writing and her characterizations in this book that I hadn't encountered in her work up to this point, and it's that, rather than the main "ghost story" plotline which drew me in. I wouldn't characterize this as "timeless literature," but rather as a completely satisfying book to curl up with on a rainy day. My cat agreed! :D
[identity profile]
11. Farahad Zama, The Marriage Bureau for Rich People

Mr. Ali, a recently-retired Muslim man living in a city in South India, finds he has too much time on his hands. So, what to do but open a marriage bureau? It's sort of like a dating service, but with an emphasis on caste instead of personality-matching quizzes (emphasis on looks and occupations are universal, though). Secondary characters include Mr. Ali's estranged son, Rehman, who is a human rights activist; Aruna, a poor Hindu girl he hires as a secretary who is secretly worried about her own marriage prospects; and, of course, Mrs. Ali.

This book is being marketed to fans of "The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency" series, and I have to agree that if you like them, you will almost certainly like this new book as well. They share a similar simplistic-but-charming writing style, a focus on traditional values, and evocative descriptions of the beauty in rural and natural scenes. Zama's book is a bit marred by a heavy reliance on "As You Know, Bob" language to convey information about Indian weddings and marriages to the reader, but hey, if you don't know much about that topic, it's certainly an easy way to learn.

A fun, breezy book, with a very predictable happy ending. However, it's clearly aiming itself at an audience who's only looking for light reading, and it achieves its goal of being pleasant read.
[identity profile]
8. Anne Cherian, A Good Indian Wife

Leila is a teacher in a small South Indian town, who's beginning to worry that she might be too old to find a husband. Suneel is a doctor in San Francisco with a white girlfriend and no interest in returning to India. However, when Suneel goes to visit his sick grandfather, family machinations arrange a marriage between the two almost before they know what's happened. Now Leila has to adjust to her new husband and life in America, while Suneel strives to change as little as possible (including continuing the relationship with the girlfriend) and plots ways out of the marriage.

This book is a bit of a fairy tale, but despite that, it was a fun, quick read. I never felt very sympathetic to Suneel (HE'S TOTALLY A JERK, COME ON, HE DIDN'T BREAK UP WITH HIS GIRLFRIEND), but Leila is a great, interesting character, and I really enjoyed spending time with her. The writing is very good, and I was okay with the predictable plot for the sake of the vivid descriptions of food, clothing, sight-seeing, and Leila's gradual adjustments.

Not a deep book, but an enjoyable one. Recommended.
[identity profile]
The Final Passage by Caryl Phillips

Tells the story of Leila, a young woman from an unspecified Caribbean island, her doomed marriage and later migration to England.

Phillips' style is very poetic. There are some flat-out beautiful descriptions of the sea and the colours of the island, which are later contrasted strongly with the monotone grey of London. The connection between the environment and the state of Leila and Michael's marriage is cleverly intertwined the whole way through - as they cast off to sea it seems their relationship has a breath of futurity, but then the weather and poverty of life in England begin to make it claustrophobic again. Here for instance: The sky hung so low it covered the street like a dark coffin lid. The cars that passed by were just blurry colours, and the people rushed homeward, images of isolation, fighting umbrellas and winds that buffeted their bodies. . The book is much more focussed on tone than plot, however, and it ends quite abruptly. It is intentionally timeless, and it is a good exploration of the trials of emigration, but I think if it was less vague it would possibly have more authenticity and meaning. I enjoyed it though.

A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary For Lovers by Xiaolu Guo

Zhaung flies to the UK to learn English, then falls in love with an English man and discovers that the language of love is even harder to comprehend.

I absolutely loved this book. I loved Z. It's been a while since I read a female protagonist who is as smart, funny and bold as she is. I think this book might annoy some people because of the way it starts with deliberately broken English, but I am a word geek and I adored all the discussions about English vs Chinese words (there's a particularly moving section where Z and her English lover exchange the words for different plants). I am a sucker for romance, and I liked that it felt sort of clumsily natural and that there were problems and miscommunications, because that is real love. This book also had really great descriptions of London (like The Final Passage): The morning wind is washing my brain, and my small body. This is a city with something really heavy and serious in its soul. This is a city which had big wars in the history. And, I feel, this is a city made for mans, and politics, and disciplines. Like Beijing. Highly recommend this novel, I'll be checking out more of her writing asap.

Legacy by Larissa Behrendt

Simone is a young Aboriginal lawyer researching the legal arguments for Indigenous sovereignty. Her father is a prominent Aboriginal activist. The two have a troubled relationship due to his chronic infidelity. The novel explores the dynamics between all the people in Simone's life, as well as the legacy of Aboriginal dispossession. I have a heart that has been quick to fall in love with ideals ... but I’ve never been as willing to love realities

I struggled a little bit to get into this book because I thought some of the literary/historical references were forced in toward the beginning but by the middle, and certainly throughout all of the second part, the story really took off and I couldn't put it down. Again, Simone is a strong and sympathetic leading character, and it was great to see a female lead with such integrity. Behrendt is very talented at writing in more than one voice, she allows every character to have their say on the truth and to redeem themselves. I haven't read a book that was so good at heart for a long while. It is lighter than you might expect given some of the subject matter (not that it shies away from it or anything, just that it is the familial/romantic relationships that are the core of the plot not the political issues) and it is a great book if you just want something uplifting to read.
[identity profile]
An urban fantasy/paranormal romance set during Prohibition in an America in which supernatural beings called “Others” exist and are known to the public, but lack civil rights. Thankfully, they are not just stand-ins for real-life oppressed groups, as those groups also exist (and are oppressed) in the world of the novel.

New York City teacher and full-time activist Zephyr Hollis, who becomes widely known during the book as “the singing vampire suffragette,” is the daughter of a demon-hunter, but unlike her bigoted father, she has never met a social justice cause she doesn’t like. Zephyr is a little over the top – she gives her rent money to the poor, she belongs to thirty-one separate political organizations, and at one point she forgets to eat because she was too busy feeding the hungry – but she’s definitely a unique heroine, and the sometimes absurd lengths to which she takes her convictions make her plausibly obsessive rather than obnoxiously self-righteous.

The book is fast-paced and fun. Within the first few chapters, Zephyr rescues a boy in the process of turning into a vampire, gives her rent money to a student with a hard-luck story, teaches a class to immigrants and Others, is hired by the handsome and mysterious djinn Amir to investigate a local crime lord, crushes on Amir, and attends a rally. I enjoyed the convincing grass-roots politics and the amusing takes on the various supernatural beings, from the disgusting way that vampires die to how Amir, the romantic lead, has ears that sometimes billow smoke and eyeballs that sometimes burst into flames. I repeat: the romantic lead has flaming eyeballs!

Amir, despite a rather more interesting dark side than is common in the genre, is not the alpha asshole who so often appears in romances, and Zephyr, while naïve in some ways, is completely capable of rescuing herself. Amir and Zephyr’s relationship, however, didn’t quite work for me – she was attracted to him so quickly that the relationship didn’t seem based on anything other than that she’s the heroine and he’s the romantic lead, especially since she had such strong feelings for him long before we’d seen enough of them interacting to justify them. I would have liked it better if the romance had developed more slowly, as they were both fun characters individually and had genuine conflicts based on opposing worldviews, which is always interesting in a romance.

I would be curious to hear from someone who actually knows something about the period how accurate the historic details are – the language and attitudes about sex often seemed anachronistically modern to me, but I might be projecting my own preconceptions on the time.

Overall, I enjoyed this. (My favorite bit, for those who have already read it, was the egg whites.) If you like paranormal romance but are tired of heroines who do nothing but have sex and the asshole men who dominate them, this is definitely the book for you.

Note that this is the same author as YA fantasy writer Alaya Dawn Johnson.

Moonshine: A Novel
[identity profile]
Oh, Nalini Singh, you are so fond of horrendous gender roles and controlling alpha males controlling women and the word "exotic" and clichéd descriptions and the word “possessive” as the ultimate accolade for a man, and yet I can’t seem to quit you. Especially when I need something light to read on a plane, which is where I read this one.

In this book, the seventh in the Psy-Changeling series though all the ones I’ve read stand on their own, Singh is obsessed with the hero’s smell. This would make more sense if the heroine was a shapeshifter and had a wolf’s nose (I mean, when she shifts), but no, she’s a Psy. I don’t have the book with me, but from memory, Dev Santos smells like heat, cinnamon, steel, and an exotic wind of Asia, and also urgently male, unstoppably male, and relentlessly male. And a lot more things I forget. Many of them male.

Dev has the usual gem-colored or metallic eyes: Those eyes, the ones looking back at her, they were brown, but it was a brown unlike any she’d ever seen. There was gold in there. Flecks of amber. And bronze. So many colors.

There’s an accidentally hilarious line in there somewhere which I hope someone with the book will dig up and quote, but it goes something like, “His cock was harder than it had ever been. If she touched it, it would snap.” OW.

Dev Santos is a man who can control metal. Katya Haas is a telepathic amnesiac assassin sent to kill him. Together, they… hang out, fall in love, have sex, have more sex, angst, have more sex, and oh-yeah-that-assassin-thing-quick-get-in-an-action-sequence!

I wanted more assassinating and action and metal-controlling and worldbuilding, as those parts were really good. Though I enjoyed reading all the hanging out and angsting, and Dev (who is part Indian and speaks Hindi) is less of a jerk than most of Singh’s heroes. Unfortunately Katya does very little assassinating and spends most of the conclusion of the book dying from PsyNet deprivation (same as the heroine of some other Singh book, come to think of it.)

Not terribly good and surprisingly little happens for the first two-thirds, and yet I read the whole thing. If you haven’t yet encountered the evilly addictive Nalini Singh, this is a reasonable place to start.

Blaze of Memory (Psy-Changelings, Book 7)
ext_20269: (Seasonal - January)
[identity profile]
I got given this book for Christmas, and as a sad and closeted romance reader (OK, less closeted since I started this challenge, actually, as it has meant my posting up reviews of what I'm actually reading on the internet, thus revealing to the world that it features a lot of steel grey eyes and manly jaws), I devoured it in about 24 hours. I've actually not come across the Smart Bitches before, and so they were a bit of a revelation to me.

No, they aren't perfect; as I think has been said here before (now I've gone and read the old reviews) they are not very good on sexuality. Their idea of 'gay' romance means m/m, and in a world in which a mass marketed computer game like Dragon Age can have a sensitive, meaningful and well written f/f romance as one of the role play options, I don't think there's much excuse for anyone to claim that they weren't aware of its lack. They do talk about race and racism, but not in a very critical fashion, although I suspect that they are actually saying a lot of things to their main audience which may be comparatively new and is therefore pretty important. They also are, for all their description of themselves as 'bitches', pretty nice really, but then they are writing in a field in which I suspect it's very very easy to be a 'bitch', much like I was referred to as a 'goth' at my high school because I wore black clothes and smudgy eyeliner. In a field of daisies, the one slightly fuzzy thistle is, after all, comparatively very sharp.

For all those failings, which I wanted to get out of the way, this book (and the website that it comes from) is brilliant. It is a smart, witty, irreverent look at the romance genre, from people who actually like the genre and are not basically writing with the subtext of 'why do women like this stuff?'. It looks at the rapetastic nature of Old Skool romance novels, and the messed up focus on female virginity, which kept going well after real women stopped saving themselves for marriage, but also looks at how the genre has changed and expanded. It even has a 'choose your own adventure' romance novel section, which was fabulous.

There are lots of recommendations for new books in there too, as the authors shamelessly plug the books they like, which I actually found really helpful, and has lead to my adding a couple of books to my amazon wishlist.

If you read romance novels at all, I think this is definitely worth a read. It made me laugh out loud in several places, and their website has kept me amused most of this morning too.

Definitely recommended.
ext_20269: (seasonal - christmas (snow falling))
[identity profile]
This is the latest of Nalini Singh's Psy-Changeling series, which I continue to read. I've actually not read any of the books for a while, and so had to go back and read the previous two, just to make sense of this plot, which I think is fairly indicative.

Basically, if you've read the rest of the series, then do read this. The plot continues to be interesting and engaging, with a heavy layer of romantic schmaltz and slightly dubious alpha male/broken female power dynamics thrown over the top. Dev, the hero in this, is the Director of the Shine Foundation, Talin's boss from 'Mine to Possess'. He's also the first hero to be both PoC and have a clearly defined and explored culture - he's obviously Asian, has an Asian name, and speaks Hindi with his grandmother. I quite liked this, but other than that, he's a fairly standard Nalini Singh Alpha Male.

There are some nice moments from the characters from the previous books - Judd Lauren, Lucas, Sascha, in particular - and I did like some of the character development for the counselors. Overall, I did like this book, but I just wish Nalini Singh weren't quite so wedded to her slightly squicky male/female power dynamics.
ext_20269: (studious - reading books)
[identity profile]
This is the second book by Sherry Thomas that I've read, although I think it was actually the second one she had published. I actually liked this more than 'Delicious'. I adored Gigi as a heroine - she was just so very human, and flawed, and tough, and ballsy and so very unlike the average romance novel heroine. I also thought that the chemistry between the two characters was really strong and believable. There was also none of the normal alpha male bullshit which tends to characterize most romance novel heroes, with Gigi always been at least as tough as Camden, the hero.

The only downside to this was the lack of a secondary romance I could really engage with. Gigi's mother had a romantic story which trundled along throughout, but which I really didn't like. There was too much humour of embarassment in it, which rather made me cringe, and I never really understood why Gigi's mother's ducal love interest acted the way he did.

However, this was a very small niggle, and the rest of the book I adored. I loved the sex positivity in the book - both hero and heroine took an unashamed sexual joy in each other - and it left me extremely bouncy.

I'm prepared to concede that the history probably wasn't top notch, but I honestly didn't care. If you like romance novels, then I wholeheartedly recommend this.
[identity profile]
I began this challenge in August, but it's taken me a while to get around to posting.

1. Possessing the Secret of Joy, Alice Walker - I really love Alice Walker's writing. This book is loosely connected to The Colour Purple and The Temple of My Familiar, but I think it could be read alone or out of sequence as it's not really a sequel to those books. It deals with female genital mutilation and being a black woman from Africa in America and love and life.

2. Tiger Eye, Marjorie Liu - I am a fan of paranormal romance novels. Or maybe I should say I am a sucker for paranormal romance novels and a fan of well-written paranormal romance novels. After reading this book, I am now a fan of Marjorie Liu and am hunting down all her novels.

3. The Bone Garden, Tess Gerritson - An entertaining thriller about a woman who finds an old skeleton buried in her garden and the historical mystery that led to the burial.

4. Gravity, Tess Gerritson - This is a medical thriller set on the international space station! I could completely imagine it as a TV movie, in a good way.

5. Red Heart of Jade, Marjorie Liu - This book is solid weird, far more so than I expected from a romance novel. I found it compelling, though.
[identity profile]
Beverly Jenkins, Night Song (1994)

I really enjoyed this. It's a neat historical romance, with the focus on a sergeant in the 10th Cavalry and a schoolmarm in Kansas in the 1880s.

As a non-American I did start out by literally thinking 'Kansas? Isn't that one of the middle states? Aren't they mostly white? What is this Kansas Exodus of which she writes?'*

Then I remembered that John Brown came from Kansas and that there was fighting throughout Kansas before the American civil war even started. And, as I have learned, there was a massive immigration there after the war by African-Americans from the South.

So, in short, I learned something. And the history was blended very well with a really enjoyable romance of the most emotionally satisfying kind.

* I dare non-Australians to name three things about the colonisation of Western Australia.


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