Sunday, February 28, 2010

Review: Catch of a Lifetime by Judi Fennell

Angel Tritone has always been fascinated with humans. As a mermaid, and a princess of the Mer family who rule the undersea world, she is the one that studies human ways, collects human items, wears human clothes. And she would like to put that accumulated knowledge to good use with a job as head of the new conservation coalition that is being discussed among the High Council. Not that the council is eager to consider her for the position, but she is determined to convince them that she is the Mer for the job.

To that end, Angel decides to do some close observation. Unfortunately her plans go awry when when she is chased by Harry the shark and ends up stranded on the deck of a boat where she befriends six year old Michael. He is a sweet, smart kid with a gorgeous dad, Logan, and soon Angel is falling for both of them. She tells herself that the time she spends with them on land is excellent research....

Logan can't believe that he has found a beautiful, kind woman who seems to care for both him and his son. But Angel can't bring herself to tell him the truth about herself and Logan is understandably furious when he finds out. He pushes Angel away and she leaves...but when Michael tries to find her the results are disastrous.

Catch of a Lifetime is the third book in Judi Fennell's fun, sexy under-the-sea series, the first two books are In Over Her Head and Wild Blue Under. All of them are witty and wonderful, full of interesting characters of all types: humans, mers, birds, reptiles, sharks, sea monsters. Well, one sea monster...Ceto is in a class by herself.

Have the winter blues, need some escape from the snow/rain/wind/cold? (I know I do!) Pick up these books, they will take you away to a sandy beach with warm blue water...what could be better than that? For more information about all three books, visit Judi Fennell's website.

Catch of a Lifetime is published by Sourcebooks, ISBN 978-1-4022-2428-7. My review copy was provided by the publisher.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Review: Island of the Swans by Ciji Ware

***Well, I've had a good long break...let's see if I can get back to it!***

Jane Maxwell was always a wild child. Growing up in Edinburgh, the daughter of impoverished aristocrats, she led her sisters and her best friend Thomas Fraser in adventure after adventure, each more outrageous than the last. At the age of eleven she lost part of a finger after riding a pig through the town, earning her mother's anger and displeasure for damaging her most valuable child. Jane was the one beautiful daughter her mother possessed and she was determined to shore up the family's failing finances by marrying Jane off to a wealthy man.

Unfortunately, Thomas was Jane's choice. And Thomas' parents had lost their land and their lives in the Highland clearances. His only hope of getting any of their ancestral lands back was to join the army and sail for America to fight for England in the Revolution. Jane begged him to consider eloping before he left, both her mother and Thomas' guardian were against them. Though they promise themselves to each other, they do not marry before Thomas leaves.

When word comes that Thomas has been killed by Indians, she is completely devastated. For months she is unable to function at all. Eventually, though, she finds a little bit of comfort in her friendship with Alexander, who happens to be the Duke of Gordon. He seems to understand Jane's pain, he recently lost his beloved mistress in childbirth. The more she gets to know Alex, the more comfortable she is with him. Soon it is apparent that Alex wants to marry her and Jane is unable to resist her mother's constant pressure to accept his proposal.

Of course, Thomas isn't dead at all. His return will tear Jane apart and shape the rest of her life. As she attempts to live with the jealous man that she married, bearing children and outwardly fulfilling her role as Duchess, she throws herself into the tumult of politics and social issues. She advises King George and becomes a patroness of Robert Burns. She assuages the pain in her heart by cultivating her brain, earning a position in eighteenth century Europe that few women achieved.

Island of the Swans is a fantastic historical novel, rich with the lush scenery of Scotland, the glitter of London and lively, interesting characters. The whole reason that I love this genre is the opportunity to learn about historical figures that you might never know about otherwise, like Jane Maxwell, the fourth Duchess of Gordon. I really enjoyed it and look forward to reading more books by Ciji Ware.

Island of the Swans is published by Sourcebooks, ISBN 978-1-4022-2268-9. My review copy was provided by Sourcebooks.

Thoughts from an Evil Overlord

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About Me

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New Hampshire, United States
Bibliophile, Anglophile, Traveller... I have been an avid reader all of my life, since I took the Dr. Seuss Dictionary away from my Mom when I was less than a year old because I wanted to read it myself. In college, where I earned my degree in English Literature, I was often asked "What are you going to do with it?" Now I finally have the answer to that question!!! Being employed as a Flight Attendant for twenty years has given me a lot of life experience and, better still, a lot of time to read. I love to travel for fun, too.