The Week: 29th January – 4th February

Wednesday summer sunset in Canberra

One of our (still fluffy!) young magpies hanging out on Friday afternoon.

Who Gets A Happily Ever After In 2018?

jemima-khan-impersonates-melania-trump-for-halloween-2016

My review of His Sinful Touch (The Mad Morelands #5) by Candace Camp

His Sinful Touch (The Mad Morelands #5) by Candace Camp

My review of Honor-Bound Lawman by Danica Favorite

Honor-Bound Lawman (Love Inspired Historical) by Danica Favorite

Rereading Tammara Webber

Easy by Tammara Webber

Formula One (finally!) gets rid of “grid girls”

Formula One Race Podium Melbourne Australia Sonya Oksana Heaney 20th March 2016 Lewis Hamilton Nico Rosberg Sebastian Vettel F1

For Chinese New Year

Chinese-themed Book Sculpture

 

Honor-Bound Lawman by Danica Favorite

Honor-Bound Lawman (Love Inspired Historical) by Danica Favorite

Her Rancher Bodyguard

When Laura Booth’s dangerous ex-husband escapes from prison, she turns to the one man who can protect her: Owen Hamilton. Living with the widowed former lawman—who once helped put her ex in jail—and his adorable twin daughters on their Colorado ranch is a welcome respite. For the first time, Laura feels safe—but after her troubled past, she’ll never trust her heart again.

Owen would like to say only obligation draws him to Laura’s side. But in his gut he knows his feelings for the gentle beauty run deeper than duty—and it stops him cold. After guarding their wary hearts for years, can Owen and Laura give love a second chance?

Honor-Bound Lawman by Danica Favorite

This book involves characters who seem a little more mature than some in this Harlequin line. They’re not all that old, but they have been through some things in life, have been married etc.

Danica Favorite is a solid, established writer for Love Inspired Historical now, and she is one of those people who manages to write Christian fiction without shoving the religion in your face – always appreciated. It was one of those books where I forgot it was meant to be Christian (this is a good thing).

I did take a little while to warm up to the hero. He thinks a lot of unkind things about the heroine at the beginning, and I’m not sure why. He kept thinking how annoying she was (she wasn’t), and that he wasn’t going to tell her anything because she was annoying (she wasn’t!).

Other than that, this is a decent entry to a Harlequin line you can usually depend on.

 

Review copy provided by NetGalley.

The Week: 8th – 14th May

This photo is not edited. THAT is how blue the sky was when this photo was taken!

Such a gorgeous week in Canberra! I kept putting on nearly-winter clothes, getting hot, and having to change.

I would like to point out EVERYONE should note that Eurovision is happening right now in KYIV – the correct name for Ukraine’s capital city. Please – for the love of God – stop calling it by the Russian name, “Kiev”! Look at the official image above!

I was actually in Kyiv (not “Kiev”!) last year when Ukraine won. I was the only person in the building still awake, but I was not watching, because the corruption disgusted me. However, I turned on the computer, and there was the news: Ukraine won, despite everything. I danced around, and then woke everyone up!!

I am guessing Kremlin voting mills have been established throughout Europe (and maybe Australia, as we are now contestants). Whatever result it is, I guarantee you the Russians have influenced it.

I am NOT watching Eurovision this year.

Spent half a day early this week trying to rescue our neighbour’s cat. She is over eighteen (very old for a cat!), TOTALLY blind, almost totally deaf, and still insists on going on adventures every day (most of them in our garden). But she became completely disoriented that day, got stuck on top of a metal fence a few metres high, and it took several hours to rescue her (because she sometimes panics when people get close, due to her blindness). She did get a big piece of chicken as a present from me, however!

I had my 2000th post on this blog yesterday. 2000!

Happy Mother’s Day for people who celebrate it today (like we do). We are heading out to lunch in Braddon. Is it really late this year, or am I imagining things?

My review of An Unlikely Mother by Danica Favorite

Watching The Americans

Struggling Genres

Don’t Call Me Honey

The death of Winnipeg the bear.

 This Cover!

An Unlikely Mother by Danica Favorite

An Unlikely Mother by Danica Favorite

Bound by a Child

Hoping to overcome her reputation as Leadville, Colorado’s biggest gossip, wealthy socialite Flora Montgomery offers to help a miner care for an abandoned child. But her growing affection for the sweet boy’s handsome rescuer could be a problem. Especially since her parents insist she must marry for money.

Undercover mine owner George Baxter is digging himself into a dilemma. The once-spoiled Flora has become a delightful, generous woman, and she’ll be devastated by his deception. Yet if he can’t discover who’s sabotaging the mine, George will lose any chance of making a home for Flora and Pierre. Can the little boy who holds both their hearts help them lay claim to a new dream of family?

An Unlikely Mother by Danica Favorite

There is clearly some background to this story (not sure what series it is part of), but this is the first novel by Danica Favorite I’ve read. An Unlikely Mother has a trope that seems to be gaining popularity: the heroine who was selfish or even a bully in the past, now redeemed. If it’s done well I do like it – it’s a nice change from misogynistic, one-dimensional characterisation of women.

I really appreciated that theme in this book. I also liked the slightly more innovative plotline involving a mine, immigrant workers, undercover work, etc. There are very similar themes in many of these books, and this was a little more original.

Some books in Harlequin’s Love Inspired Historical line (which is a Christian line) work just fine for non-religious people, with the Christian aspects only popping up every now and then, and having little impact on the story.

This is a different kind of book. Instead of the odd prayer peppered throughout, the religion is on every page, in most conversations in some way. I suppose this is really how Christian fiction ought to be, but it doesn’t work as well for people who don’t like the preaching.

I would have been fine with it except for one thing: the redemption of a “fallen woman” character. It is obviously a continuation of something that happened in another book, but it’s referenced multiple times here. The woman who had a child out of wedlock repeatedly talks about ‘God forgiving her for her sin’ in a way that made my stomach churn. While it is a historically accurate mindset, it is appallingly sexist. I’m not so sure about referring to babies as “sins”, either!

I think readers who are genuinely religious will enjoy this more than secular readers (like me). I’d like to try another book by this author at some point, however.

One little thing: a nineteenth-century woman named Shannon? It was mostly a man’s name until the 1970s!

 

Review copy provided by NetGalley.