The Week: 18th – 24th July

Kingston Foreshore Lake Burley Griffin Canberra Australia Sonya Oksana Heaney 17th July 2016 21

On the lake in Canberra late Sunday afternoon.

Canberra Lake Burley Griffin 23rd July 2016 Australia Winter Nature Sun Sonya Heaney.

And driving over Lake Burley Griffin yesterday afternoon.

I have been reading for fun in the past week or so, and loving it. There are times when the review books I get are amazingly good, and other times I find myself thinking reading is homework! So I’ve bought some books and am rereading some favourites, including books by Toni Blake and Lisa Kleypas. I also picked up books by new-to-me authors Janice Preston and Angel Smits.

The aeroplane that landed with no fuel, no engines and no power.

On the 23rd of July, 1983 Air Canada flight 143 landed on a racing track in Gimli, Manitoba after experiencing both a fuel shortage and the failure of both engines.

‘London’s most expensive apartment’ on sale for a cool £150 million in Admiralty Arch

'London's most expensive apartment' on sale for for a cool £150 million in Admiralty Arch

Another week of terrible news in the world. I’m sure everyone’s talking about Munich (HOW many attacks will they get in the space of a few days?) – my aunt was just there.

My The World Is Terrifying rant of the week:  How about Trump all but announcing he won’t fulfil America’s NATO obligations, and will essentially let Putin invade NATO countries?! (He already supports the invasion of Ukraine, but this is the first time most people paid attention to that fact.)

Something that won’t make the news is the car bomb assassination of a Belarusian journalist who lived in Ukraine and wrote against Putin, and other violent Russian/pro-Russian attacks on Ukrainian journalists in Kyiv.

Trump supports Putin

This needed to be reinforced:

Photo souvenir gladiators who work at Rome’s top tourist attractions have been banned by the city’s new mayor

Photo souvenir gladiators who work at Rome's top tourist attractions have been banned by the city's new mayor.

The Unofficial Top of Summer

So glad people are FINALLY acknowledging that those “peasant tops” everyone has been wearing for a few years are actually Ukrainian designs! Some brands (cough-Valentino-cough) were actually using traditional Ukrainian and Belarusian patterns, and not acknowledging it!

Ukrainian tops in fashion.

The RITA Awards

Romance Writers of America (RWA) announced the winners of the 2016 RITA® and Golden Heart® Awards on July 16 in San Diego, California.

Book Cover Trends: The Man Holding Stuff

Rock Solid by Samantha Hunter

My review of Sawyer’s Rose (The McCades Of Cheyenne #1) by Kim Turner

Sawyer's Rose (The McCades Of Cheyenne #1) by Kim Turner

 My review of Wicked Intentions (Maiden Lane #1) by Elizabeth Hoyt

Wicked Intentions (Maiden Lane #1) by Elizabeth Hoyt

Wicked Intentions (Maiden Lane #1) by Elizabeth Hoyt

Wicked Intentions (Maiden Lane #1) by Elizabeth Hoyt

A man controlled by his desires…

Infamous for his wild, sensual needs, Lazarus Huntington, Lord Caire, is searching for a savage killer in St. Giles, London’s most notorious slum. Widowed Temperance Dews knows St. Giles like the back of her hand— she’s spent a lifetime caring for its inhabitants at the foundling home her family established. Now that home is at risk.

A woman haunted by her past…

Caire makes a simple offer—in return for Temperance’s help navigating the perilous alleys of St. Giles, he will introduce her to London’s high society so that she can find a benefactor for the home. But Temperance may not be the innocent she seems, and what begins as cold calculation soon falls prey to a passion that neither can control—one that may well destroy them both.

A bargain neither could refuse.

Wicked Intentions (Maiden Lane #1) by Elizabeth Hoyt

Set in the first half of the eighteenth century, this first book in Elizabeth Hoyt’s Maiden Lane series takes place about a century earlier than the time period I usually read in. First published a few years ago, when it turned up available for review again recently I thought it was about time I gave this popular author a go.

I’d initially hesitated on reading this one due to some reviews I’d read. Now that I’ve read it for myself, I can see both why people love it and also why others dislike it.

The best thing about this book is the setting. I’m a big fan of books involving working class London of the past, especially when they involve an area I am very familiar with. Hoyt captured the atmosphere and the dreary mood of St Giles wonderfully, and it’s what kept me turning the pages. I wish more authors were brave enough to tackle this aspect of the London of the past.

On the other hand, this is most definitely a “first book” in a series. We are introduced to many characters who will star in future books, all with bizarre and unfamiliar names. Many have storylines introduced that are not finished here, which makes the book feel like a first instalment in a serial rather than a complete book on its own.

I’m particularly confused about the masked superhero who kept popping up to save the day (er, night) and then disappearing again!

Our hero is original, and interesting in a lot of ways, but there’re some unanswered questions there, too. What is his actual title, for example? We know he’s a “Lord Something”, but it’s all very vague. And why he feels pain when he’s touched is never answered, and also feels a bit like something out of X-Men or something like that.

Our heroine is quite interesting, though her secrets aren’t really addressed until the end. I do find it odd she was using modern psychology to address the hero’s issues. These issues involved a BDSM subplot that I’m not sure I needed to read. The whole book doesn’t cover this in detail; mostly it comes up near the end.

I do think it was terrible that the heroine abandoned a dying baby, a sick and injured brother, and a building full of orphans for a bit of sex during her darkest moment!

There is plenty of potential in this book, enough that I will look into this author in the future. However, I’m not sure this is her best work.


Review copy provided by NetGalley.


What goes into creating a cover for historical romance?

Heroes and Heartbreakers had an article a few days ago about the making of Elizabeth Hoyt’s newest book cover.

I found it an interesting read, even though I disagree with some of the attitudes of people creating these supremely anachronistic covers!

I do love how they raided the author’s Pinterest account for inspiration both for the cover and the stepback. Who says Pinterest is just a waste of time…?!

What I found most interesting was the way they digitally added hair to the model’s head and removed some of his shirt so THEY COULD PAINT ON HIS MUSCLES! Not even a model body is good enough for romance readers, apparently! Poor man.

Original-Shot-235Elizabeth Hoyt's Duke of PleasureDuke-of-Pleasure-by-Elizabeth-Hoyt-300