The Week: 24th – 30th April

Gorgeous Friday afternoon in Canberra.

Autumn colours this week.

Autumn Flowers Garden Canberra Australia After the Rain Sonya Heaney 26th April 2017 Nature

After the rain. Wednesday afternoon. We have autumn flowers everywhere all of a sudden.

Autumn FINALLY hit us this week. So annoying that Tuesday – Anzac Day – was not a nice day, when we’d been having summer weather until now. We apparently had 38 000 people at the dawn service at the Australian War Memorial here in Canberra, thousands more than other cities with populations six or more times ours. Not a bad effort!

Christopher Heaney Australian Army Vietnam War 1968 1969 IMG_0078My father in Nui Dat (Vietnam) in the 1960s.

We went to lunch with my war veteran father, who’d been planning to march this year (he never does), but then changed his mind. The place we chose was almost completely booked out for a reunion of military intelligence people – so many men and women with their medals! My father impressed them, however. One actually commented he was a “real” veteran because of all the combat he’d seen.

On Saturday evening I went to buy some wine – and got asked for ID again (or “carded”, as I believe Americans say). Now, I’m closer to forty than thirty, and the legal drinking age here is eighteen. I first worked in a bar in the year 2000. Exactly what point in time are people going to stop asking me if I’m older than schoolchildren?! People keep saying: take it as a compliment. But… Especially when it’s a teenager at the cash register! I think: I am literally old enough to be your mother!

The bombed car on the back of a truck after the attack.

This week an American citizen was killed in a Russian car bomb in Ukraine. (RT News – the Kremlin’s English-language propaganda channel – was on the scene within three minutes of the bombing, because that’s NOT suspicious in any way!!). Whereas Donald Trump was all over Twitter about the American killed in the Westminster terror attack, calling him a hero and all of that, there was deafening silence from the US government over what was essentially a political assassination in Ukraine.

I guess the president only values some Americans…

My review of Blindsided (Men of Steele #3) by Gwen Hernandez

Anzac Day – Recommended Reads

Lisa Kleypas Interview

Vintage War Romance

Free read over at Harlequin

The Handmaid’s Tale Premieres

A note on something that happened last week.

Vintage War Romance

Tomorrow is the forty-second anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War. It wasn’t all that long ago authors like Suzanne Brockmann were still using Vietnam veterans as their romantic heroes!

There’s an idea that romances from decades ago were all doctor/nurse, boss/secretary power plays, but I came across Vietnam Nurse the other day.

I actually think this one, from 1966 and now fifty-one years old, sounds interesting. I wish more authors were brave enough to use current events in their stories (most military books I’ve read recently have involved totally made-up situations).

Vietnam Nurse by Della Field released September 1966

Natalie Knight of the Navy Nurse Corps had come a long way from Oregon to the battle-torn plains and jungles of Vietnam. But it was a journey of love and devotion. She was looking for Tom, her Green Beret fiancé. He had been reported as missing, but Natalie did not give up hope. She knew that Tom, and hundreds like him, needed her…

Blindsided (Men of Steele #3) by Gwen Hernandez

Blindsided (Men of Steele #3) by Gwen Hernandez

SHE’S RUNNING FOR HER LIFE
Framed for espionage, reformed hacker Valerie Sanchez has no choice but to run. Worse, when the proof of her innocence is destroyed, things turn deadly. Can she trust the sexy terrorist hunter who mysteriously turns up to protect her, or is he the real threat?

HE’S HOT ON HER TRAIL
Former Marine sniper Scott Kramer’s job was supposed to be easy. Follow the hot computer geek who stole plans for classified weapons until she meets her buyer, then let law enforcement take over. But when Valerie becomes an assassin’s target, Scott’s gut says she’s innocent. Now, he must risk his life—and his heart—to keep her safe.

Blindsided (Men of Steele #3) by Gwen Hernandez

I owe Gwen Hernandez an apology. I had a review copy of Blindsided sitting on my desktop from before I went away in February, and then forgot to review it!

Behind this generic Torso-Man cover is a VERY intelligent, detailed and complex romantic suspense book. Hernandez has done her research and put together a plot that involves hacking, espionage, and a whole lot of distrust.

This is not your generic romance.

You would never know this was part of a series; it’s a complete story in its own right, and because hero and heroine are on the run for most of the book the focus hardly shifts to secondary characters.

I go on about books with “more” quite often; this is one of them. I don’t know how it works, but some authors pack so much more plot, characterisation, more everything into the same word count as authors who use a lot of exposition as padding. I appreciate books like this one so much more.

I have no idea how the author knows so much about computer hacking, but the knowledge made the scenes involving it much more realistic. I really believed this was a heroine who was at the top of her game.

This is one of those romantic suspense books that is proper suspense, with each scene moving the action forwards, and things not being wrapped up until the very end (so no waffling scenes at the end to up the word count).

One thing I didn’t love was the way the hero kept referring to the heroine’s tits, and her rack, and all of that. It’s probably pretty accurate for a guy’s mind, but it made me think a little less of him. However, this did change as the book went on and his feelings towards her grew, which was a nice touch.

On the other hand, I loved that he was just average-sized. Not every hero has to be a hulking great giant. Another thing I loved about him was that his “I don’t do relationships” attitude that drives me totally insane in most books had an actual background and valid reason here, and he didn’t fight it too much when he realised things were changing.

I really enjoyed this solid suspense story that had a lot more depth than most in the genre. It’s nice to be reminded what’s so great about romantic suspense.

 

Review copy provided by the author.