Sunshine and autumn colours in Canberra on Tuesday.
How is ANOTHER month over?!
Small town police officer Emma Ross loves her simple life––but it takes a hard turn into crazy when she’s kidnapped by MI6 and is put under the protection of an over-bearing, albeit sexy, Scotsman. A man who believes she’s lying to protect her father—a father whom she had no idea worked for British Intelligence and is now missing.
Liam Macknight’s partner was assassinated and he’s certain Emma’s father had something to do with it. But the stubborn woman isn’t talking, and she’s determined to get herself killed trying to find out the truth. Locking her in a room does no good––he tried that. So he’s forced to work with her, even if he’s not sure he’ll ever be able to trust her.
When he’s assigned to kill her dad to protect the identity of British spies in the Kremlin, he knows what little trust they’ve gained is about to be destroyed forever…
I haven’t read much romantic suspense lately, but I’ve been meaning to change that, and the plot of London Calling sounded pretty interesting. Espionage? Kremlin shenanigans? London? Great.
Veronica Forand has a knack for writing suspense stories, and – honestly – it’s a hard genre to get right. Getting those action scenes you have in your head onto the page so they read the way you’ve imagined them is SO much harder than it seems, but Forand can do it.
The author has also done some good research. Some authors in the genre don’t bother with all the little details, and write about their settings and the government agencies their characters deal with in very bland terms, but that’s not the case with this book. The details are there, and a look at the author’s blog tells me she takes her research seriously.
However, I feel the need to do a bit of nitpicking: WHY do all the British characters speak in perfect American English? It’s the basic stuff that’s wrong: vacation instead of holiday, asshole instead of arsehole, windshield instead of windscreen, cookies instead of biscuits, pants instead of trousers. And “buddy” is a term of endearment I’ve only ever heard in North America.
This is just British English #101, and I feel like an editor should have noticed if the author did not.
However, I’ll forgive her the mix-up with Eastern European naming customs (different gender; different surname), as it wasn’t a major thing in the book.
That aside, I’m always happy to dip back into the romantic suspense genre to find someone who knows how to write their action and adventure, and this was an original plotline borrowing from present-day events – exactly the sort of suspense I want to read.
Review copy provided by NetGalley.
For weeks now, I’ve been getting generated ads from The Book Depository on every second website I visit. And the two books above? They’re the two the company keeps recommending for me.
The Navy SEAL hero of Pamela Clare’s Striking Distance (read recently; reviewed soon) is a little different to wannabe macho man Vladimir Putin, who only a few days ago failed miserably – and publicly – at riding a horse (skip to 35 seconds into the video for a laugh), putting to rest the propaganda lie that he sexily rides around Russia topless.
Go and buy Striking Distance – it’s good. Vladimir Putin: Life Coach? Not so much.
Happy St Patrick’s Day! (And happy birthday to my uncle, whose middle name is – you guessed it – Patrick!).
What a terrible week for New Zealand. I don’t think there’s anything that can be said about it that hasn’t already been said a thousand times over. Since I first visited Christchurch nearly a decade ago they have had a really rough time with earthquakes, and now a terror attack.
There was recently an interesting interview with the prolific Jayne Ann Krentz over at The Seattle Times. can read it a the link below:
With the elections in the US taking place this week, I thought I’d mention Stacey Abrams, who is running for Governor of Georgia (and attempting to become the first black woman in the country to achieve such a position).
Why? Because Abrams also happens to be romantic suspense author Selena Montgomery!
The Washington Post had an interview with her a few days ago, where she discussed her books.
I have a subscription to the newspaper, but I’m not sure if you can access it without, so I’ve copied a couple of the questions here:
Q: How has writing romantic suspense novels prepared you to run for — and hold — office?
Leadership requires the ability to engage and to create empathy for communities with disparate needs and ideas. Telling an effective story — especially in romantic suspense — demands a similar skill set. Effective storytelling takes the reader into a life that is both familiar and foreign, enough of both to make space for others to feel empowered to tell their stories.
When I began writing novels, I read Aristotle to learn how to perfect structure, Pearl Cleage to sustain tension and Nora Roberts for characterization. Good romantic suspense can never underestimate the audience, and the best political leaders know how to shape a compelling narrative that respects voters and paints a picture of what is to come.
Q: Many readers find it easy to make fun of romance novels. What do you have to say to critics of the genre?
Telling a well-crafted story is hard. Full stop. Regardless of genre, good writing is good writing. Romance is one of the oldest forms of storytelling, and I’m honored to be in the company of extraordinary writers.
Note: I am featuring some of the review books I’ve had for a while, but run out of time to do a review for. That’s not to say I’m not going to read them; it’s just that I’ve fallen behind, and think the authors deserve an appearance here!
Deputy Marshal Garrett McKendrick does not get involved with witnesses he’s tasked to protect. Especially when his boss has a very personal reason for keeping Samantha Hutchinson alive. Can you say off limits?
But as Garrett battles to keep Sam safe from the powerful and influential people out to silence her—permanently—he finds she’s strong, feisty, and willing to risk everything to tell the truth. And totally irresistible.
Losing everything you know and love might just be worth it to meet an amazing man like Garrett. But when Sam learns he has been keeping secrets from her—big ones—she’s convinced his affectionate words were all for the sake of the job. She sends him packing. But can her new protective detail be trusted? The last team betrayed her to the enemy…
Garrett isn’t about to take any chances. Not with the woman who has stolen his heart.
What a week. I am very busy at the moment.
In the world? We’ve had about 120 bushfires in the region in the past few days. To people who deny climate change: it’s WINTER here. Canberra’s kangaroo plague is getting worse (also due to climate change!). Then there was another terror attack in London, and that horrendous bridge collapse in Genoa…
Then there was the shock death of Soviet gymnastics star Yelena Shushunova. She was the 1988 Olympic Champion and a five-time World Champion. I still have video tapes of her. She died so young that one of the gymnasts she trained with still competes.
Today is Vietnam Veterans Day in Australia. Over sixty-thousand Australians served in Vietnam between 1962 and 1972.
It’s about an American veteran, but I might pick up Suzanne Brockmann’s The Admiral’s Bride (yes, it’s a “category” title, but don’t let that put you off!).
And here’s a real Vietnam veteran (my father!):
Friday afternoon drinks on the patio near the lake at the National Library. Canberra put on a sunny and surprisingly warm day. It was a gorgeous end to the week.
Australian Parliament from the car on Friday afternoon.
There was a terrible fatal accident involving a truck, three cars, and many people right near where I live yesterday morning. It’s on a patch of the Monaro Highway where, recently, I’ve seen a car run off into a paddock, a huge truck overturned, and, a few weeks ago, it was the exact spot we nearly got cleaned up by an aggressive male driver who ran a red light several seconds after ours turned green. And that’s before mentioning the endless kangaroos/foxes/wombats/possums that have been hit by vehicles and now line either side of the road.
We had to drive past the scene yesterday (and will have to travel past there twice today), and it wasn’t a pretty sight.
The Monaro Highway is the thoroughfare for interstaters going to and from the Snowy Mountains, the country, and Sydney, and is also where all the reckless ute-driving workmen (who’ve never met a road rule they won’t break) travel from early morning through to late afternoon.
I had a lot of posts this week, with all the news floating around!