Julianna MacLean is a talented, prolific, USA Today Bestselling author from Halifax (near me!), so when I discovered she wrote Highlander Historicals I raced out to get one. As I'd expected, her books are lots of fun, with enough battles and romance to keep the multiple series popular.
I have to admit … I never expected the artistry of her contemporary book (which was originally published under her pseudonym, E.V. Mitchell, and my cover still says that), "The Color of Heaven." I had no idea what to expect, but I had high hopes. And those hopes were well realized.
The story journeys through the tragic yet beautiful love stories of two women connected on so many levels, and the men who have helped shape who they are. Absolutely beautiful writing.
There’s often a definite separation between what people call Historical Romance and what they call Historical Fiction. “Historical Romance” as a genre is usually painted all with the same brush, and the expectation is for illicit love affairs, violations of salon etiquette, lords and ladies ripping off corsets and roaring around on horseback so randy couples can frolic in heather-filled green pastures. Historical Fiction is often portrayed as serious, passionless, and dull. Or at least void of sex.
This book is a perfect example of what happens when you mix two excellent examples of both. I loved “Dare the Wild Wind.” The research was beautifully done, digging deep into the tough dirt, and the writing gave dimension to every character, which is a tough skill to master. I know I may be the oddball here, but I tend to snap books shut when I see too many episodes of “thrusting manhood” or “bulging” whatever. When I ran across a few in this book, I let them go, reminding myself the book is called a “romance” and thus must contain scenes like this. But they were just enough to whet my appetite, not leave me nauseous. I highly recommend this book to all Historical Romance readers.
What an amazing debut! Katherine Scott Crawford let herself sink deep into Keowee Valley — she must have, because every aspect of the book is beautifully done. Her characters were multi dimensional (including secondary characters) and believable, and even though there wasn’t one clear cut “evil” guy, there still managed to be some wonderful tension and scary moments. She wrote skillfully and lovingly of the beautiful, rugged Keowee Valley and its people, going so far as to include Cherokee language in places (just enough, not too much!) and even include an index for those of us who wish they could remember those sorts of details! Her descriptions of the countryside were like masterful oil paintings. Beautiful colour and style.
If you’ve read my reviews, you know I’m an “adventure” reader, not into fluffy romance and (what I call) overdone sex, but Ms Crawford’s sex scenes were wonderfully written. There’s no denying the passion sparking between the feisty and adorable Quinn and the yummy Jack Wolf, and when they finally get together, they are delicious as a couple. I love that she left the ending open for future novels, and I will be looking forward to reading her next book!
It's so difficult to judge a book by its cover ... and from personal experience I now know that the author has very little say over their own book's cover. It is the publisher who decides what "will sell".
When I first saw Penelope's covers I feared they'd be schmaltzy romance, too sugary for me. Was I wrong! These are incredible books, full of controversy for the time, clinically evil bad guys, women who struggle on despite some pretty awful histories, men who become heroes despite themselves. Gorgeous writing.
I haven't been able to find Penelope online. If you do, let me know!
Sara Donati's series is a beautiful, epic historical adventure. It begins with "Into the Wilderness", which was the first novel I picked up while I was trying to find a new author when I'd finished all Diana Gabaldon's books (after I'd read them all at least three times).
"Into the Wilderness", the series, follows a wonderful, mixed breed kind of family through adventures thick with heroism and realism, passion and heartbreak. I loved 'em all.
I have to start with Diana Gabaldon, because her books are the reason I began to write in the first place. So much passion, excitement, heartbreak, information, humour ... and then there's Jamie ...
Absolutely everyone should read "Outlander". Some people tell me they can't make it past the first fifty pages, and I tell them to stick with it. That's just the intro. You're about to step on the ride of your literary life ...
Here's the 20th Anniversary special edition cover, though you can still get the regular price book!