Author: Stacey

Pride of Lions by Marsha Canham

707252Pride of Lions by Marsha Canham
Dell Publishing Company: 1997
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: Purchased secondhand

Beach vacation
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This has been on my to-read list for at least a year, and I finally got around to purchasing it secondhand recently. Unfortunately, it’s old enough that it’s difficult to find at the library.

I expected this to be a historical romance along the lines of Julie Garwood, but was pleasantly surprised to find it more substantial than that.

It still has all the classic romance tropes, so if that’s your thing then you’re sure to like this book. (more…)

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Unquiet Land by Sharon Shinn

28953458Unquiet Land by Sharon Shinn
Ace: November 1, 2016
Genre: Fantasy
Source: Free from NetGalley

I’d go there again!

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If you’ve been reading the Elemental Blessings series by Sharon Shinn, you’ll want to continue with this one. Especially if you read the third in the series, Jeweled Fire, and enjoyed Leah’s narrative. (more…)

The Mountain of Kept Memory by Rachel Neumeier

29088076The Mountain of Kept Memory by Rachel Neumeier
Saga Press: November 8, 2016
Genre: Fantasy
Source: Free from NetGalley

I’d go there again!
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In the past few months, my life has been in a state of near-constant chaos, so when I’ve made time to read, I’ve been reading comfort books and nonfiction. This, my first foray back into new books, enthralled me. I stayed up until the wee hours of the morning more than once because I couldn’t put it down. I read it during every free moment I had. My first book by Rachel Neumeier, it definitely won’t be my last. (more…)

Our lingering absence

Fellow book adventurers,

You may be wondering why we’ve been silent for so long. The short answer is, life happened. As it does. Because of this, we are currently brainstorming what direction we want to take this blog, and we would really like your feedback! Please let us know in the comments what content you love most and want to read.

In the meantime, we will post reviews less frequently, perhaps once a week. So check in with us on Mondays for new reviews.

Best wishes,

The Book Adventurers

 

The Lyre Thief

21895680The Lyre Thief by Jennifer Fallon
Genre: High Fantasy
HarperCollins / Voyager: March 1, 2016
Source: Free from publisher and library

Outstanding Adventure!
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Jennifer Fallon always delivers complex and fast-paced fantasies, and I loved this book at least as much as her other works set in the world of the Hythrun Chronicles, if not more. The characters are complex, the narrative voices distinct, the action tense, and the plot tightly woven.

The Lyre Thief continues the story of the Demon Child… sort of. The heroines are really two half-sisters, who are also half-sisters of the high-maintenance and clever High Princess of Fardonhya who played a supporting role in the Demon Child trilogy. this is a complex fantasy that brings together the politics of several countries within a continent, mixes them with the gods of thieves, death, love, and lies, and tells the intimate stories of several individual characters.

(more…)

Heroine Complex: It’s Complicated

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Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn
Genre: Contemporary Fantasy
Berkley Publishing Group DAW: July 5, 2016
Source: Free from publisher

I’d go there again!
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In a familiar-but-different San Francisco, a portal to another dimension opened eight years ago and spewed demons bent on conquering Earth. A handful of San Franciscans received minor otherworldly magical powers from the first demons to arrive. Ever since, smaller portals have opened that spew mini-demons who tend to take the form of the first thing they see, such as cupcakes. Cupcake demons, folks.

Evie is personal assistant to Aveda Jupiter, San Francisco’s local demon-fighting superheroine, who also happens to be Evie’s best friend. Evie, Aveda, and their friend Scott are a few of the people who received magical abilities. Aveda Jupiter, in fact, does not have enough telekinesis to fight demons, so she relies on her physical abilities and a strong PR strategy instead.

(more…)

A Promise of Fire: Romance, Thinly Disguised

27015399A Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet
Sourcebooks Casablanca: August 2, 2016
Genre: Fantasy/Romance
Source: Free from publisher

Beach Vacation
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Reading this book felt like eating too much candy and regretting it afterward.

It has all the romance tropes you could want (and probably more): a heroine with a terrible past and unique skills who has to hide from the world for political reasons, a hero who doesn’t tell her who he is for his own political reasons, a kidnapping, instant attraction, bickering between the hero and heroine, and gradual trust.

It’s set in a fantasy world, and the heroine, Cat, has run away from her family to avoid becoming like her ruthless, malicious, sadistic, abusive and power-hungry mother. She’s been with the circus since she was 15, until the day the local warlord, Beta Sinta – the most powerful man in the kingdom she’s visiting at the time – discovers her. They meet, sparks fly, he abducts her, and they learn to get along through forced closeness (he captures her with a magical rope she can’t escape from). He’s a decent guy, though, a good one, and completely alien to Cat, since she grew up surrounded by terrible people. So the abduction, kidnapping, and travel to his castle in another city is okay – because neither he nor his men mean her any harm. (more…)

Dawn of the Flame Sea: a false start

18743286Dawn of the Flame Sea by Jean Johnson
Berkley Publishing Group: April 19, 2016
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy
Source: Free from publisher

False start; Did not finish
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Recently I read two other novels by Jean Johnson. The first one, The Terrans, I loved. The second, V’Dan, I did not enjoy as much. It spent too much time telling about the cultural differences and not enough time showing the characters’ dispositions, relationships, and growth.

This, my third attempt, resembled the second experience more than the first. At its opening, it felt very Stargate the movie. Several beings enter a desert cave through a magical portal from a foreign world. Difference: these are not human, but magic-wielding fae. (more…)

Company Town and Blender Distractions

20447745Company Town by Madeline Ashby
Tor Books: May 17, 2016
Genre: Science Fiction
Source: Free From Publisher

I’d go there again!
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Full disclosure: I was going to focus on this review tonight, but I ended up spending about an hour on the phone waiting for customer service for my high-powered blender. And then a half-hour on the phone with customer service. Some of you may be familiar with this. I won’t name names until the issue is resolved. BUT. This is to let you know that my review may not be … as focused as it might have been otherwise.

Second pre-review note: Jaclyn reviewed this one earlier this week, read her take here. (Hint: she liked it more. She also thought more about the ideas the author explores in the novel).

Right. So I’m reviewing Company Town, which felt very Windswept by Adam Rakusa at the beginning, with a futuristic, unionized town that doesn’t quite fit into our world as we know it. This time, the union is a sex worker’s union – which reminds me, the whole book feels very Canadian. References to cultural things I became familiar with when I lived there, including a progressive attitude toward sex workers and a reference to a “cup” – which many Canadian women, probably a few American women (as in from the United States) will recognize. It’s also obviously set in Canada, but it’s the other details that make it so Canadian. (more…)

The Sheriffs of Savage Wells

29457615The Sheriffs of Savage Wells by Sarah M. Eden
Shadow Mountain: September 27, 2016
Genre: Historical Western Romance
Source: Free from publisher

I’d go there again!
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I haven’t read a historical Western romance since I was in high school, and I thoroughly enjoyed this re-introduction to the genre. The relationship between the hero and heroine is fantastic. Slow and sweet, with witty banter to fill in the corners. Both characters are fully developed and realistic, with layers of problems they’re dealing with (who ever has only one problem going on in their lives at once?). The town is full of delightful characters, and the plot, whether it’s focused on the romance or the lawbreaking, never falters.

Cade has just arrived in Savage Wells to apply to be sheriff in this quiet, safe town – a far cry from the dangerous and gritty towns he worked in his ten-year career as a lawman. When all the applicants arrive at the jailhouse, he and two other men discover that the fourth applicant is Paisley Bell – a woman! Cade has trouble adjusting to the idea of a female sheriff, and in the beginning he and Paisley bicker and fight verbal battles almost constantly. But as they get to know one another, a deep and mutual respect builds. Their mutual respect is the foundation of their romance, and really, one of the best things about this book.

The romance builds slowly, and there’s no sex. It is 1875, after all. This knocks down one of my major objections to historical romances. I’m no longer interested in reading historical books that completely disregard the setting. In this book, it comes to life. Lots of the town’s residents are given their own quirks, problems, and perspectives. The town’s problems are people problems, like the inconvenience of a jail filled with ribbons because that’s where they’re sold. And the two farmers who have an inordinate amount of affection for a single hen. There are real problems, too. Cade and other men in the town are dealing with the repercussions of fighting in the American Civil War. And Paisley is taking care of her father, who is unable to take care of himself.

Paisley is wonderful – struggling to hold on to her way of life, dealing with her father’s problems, and fighting to be able to perform a job she does well against nearly universal prejudice. She’s defiant, witty, strong, and vulnerable.

I challenge you to fall in love with these characters and this town like I did, and to cheer for Paisley and Cade as they work to protect their quirky town from robbers and crooks.

Similar Reads

Readers, I defer to you. I have nothing in my Have Read pile that fits. Have you read any sweet historical/Western romances recently that you would recommend to readers of The Sheriffs of Savage Wells?