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

Saved by Scandal’s Heir (Men About Town #2) by Janice Preston

Saved by Scandal's Heir (Men About Town #2) by Janice Preston

Can he awaken dreams she thought lost forever…?

Harriet, Lady Brierley, is a respectable widow, determined to keep the secrets of her broken heart deeply buried. But when Benedict Poole—the very man who deserted her—returns, Harriet’s safe world threatens to unravel.

Believing Harriet left him for a wealthy lord, Benedict must fight to uncover the true consequence and tragedy of their affair years before. But with his family’s name now synonymous with scandal, can he hope to win back the trust of the woman he has always loved?

Saved by Scandal’s Heir (Men About Town #2) by Janice Preston

It is true that if there is an overused theme in romances, it’s the Regency era book. However it is popular for a reason, and when I find an author who can write well (not in Disney princess style!), and have a fairly original plot, I am happy. I chose Janice Preston because her book sounded exactly like what I was looking for, and I was not disappointed.

Amazingly, there is obviously a HUGE backstory for our heroine, and yet I did not feel like I was missing out by not reading the earlier books in the series.

I liked this one for so many reasons. Perhaps my favourite thing was the way the Regency era’s manners were used so that secrets were kept. I hate when people write books set in this era but then ignore the social rules.

In this one our hero and heroine pretty much despise each other a bit because of a big secret neither knows the entire truth about, and yet because of the social rules they cannot discuss it. This is something that would not happen in contemporary fiction – I love books that could ONLY happen in a past time.

Another thing I really liked was that while there were a few not-so-likeable female characters, the author provided us with plenty of positive female relationships. Not so common in the romance genre!

There were a few things that troubled me.

As historically accurate as it was, I struggled with how much blame was placed (by the hero) on our heroine. She went through HELL, and yet – almost until the last page – our hero was willing to think the worst of her.

The other thing: the word “sexy” came into use more than a century after this book was set. It sounded terribly anachronistic when used in 1812!

However, I loved this book, and it was yet another example of why Mills and Boon/Harlequin generally has the strongest historical romance line out there. I definitely want to try the author’s other books now.