Shorts.

I have written a whole 3 short book reviews. Success!

Infected: Prey by Andrea Speed has been a great book, so far. I’ve actually just finished the 1st book, there are two that make up the novel. I liked it so much that I’ll give it a gold star just on part one alone. The story telling was excellent with a nice scooby mystery, and the romance between Roan and Paris very much underpinning it rather than being sole focus. What surprised me I guess is the lack of sex in the book. Sex is usually pretty high on my list of must haves and yet the story itself was so compelling that the lack of sexfest became less important than the characters development and the mystery. This is not to say that there is no tension between them, just that the bedroom door is firmly closed to pervs like me. Great paranormal, urban fantasy werecat story . Well worth purchasing. Check it out here.

Stray by Ash Penn was a bit of a hesitant purchase for me. I was not sure I would like it going on the blurb (guy is slutty, likes his roommate and ends up screwing his loves lover) But I brought it anyway, because I liked the cover. God, I am truly hopeless. The book is set in England and I think this is what I found the most charming about the story. It has a certain Bristishness about it. The characters, the way they interact and their speech just totally appealed. The sex was pretty grubby and the characters were just so damn likeable. I think I’ve been watching too many episodes of Skins and have certainly read waaaay to many Jilly Cooper novels over the years to not find this novel utterly charming in a kind of over the top way. There were a few bits that felt less than well paced and maybe the characters did stuff that was a little wanky but over all it was a totally cool read. More please authors from Britain!!!!! Buy here.

I Fell In Love With A Zombie by Sean Kennedy was cool. I think I brought this mainly to see how in gods name he’d make a Zombie into a sexorin fest… without appendages falling off during important, intimate moments. This was a totally cool read and I cannot believe he made a zombie seem sexy. I mean, ewww! The story was nicely paced with loads of great world building and plenty of scope to maybe write more. Zombies, true love and an apocalyptic world. Get it here from DSP.

Best contemporaries from 2009

Contemporary ebooks are my main squeeze. I love books that will make me laugh and give me that big sigh of satisfaction at the end. Sometimes a hint of angst is nice and I love a broody hero. While there are many established authors in this group, it is great to see some incredibly cool new talent coming through. 🙂

Below are my favorites from 2009, click on the covers for more information.

Best historicals from 2009

Many historical romances caught my eye in 2009 and some have been brilliant reads. I think it’s a difficult genre to do well, with some struggling to find that all to important believability factor which I find essential in making a book memorable and entertaining!

Below are my favorites from 2009, click on the covers for more information.

Dash and Dingo by Catt Ford and Sean Kennedy

In 1934 Henry Percival-Smythe spends most of his time tucked away at Ealing College studying the almost extinct thylacine. A shy and rarely seen creature that has been hunted to the brink of extinction, the thylacine fires Henry’s imagination and he becomes obsessed with cataloging what is left of this strange and unusual animal. When he is given the chance to go into the wilds of Australia and actually see the tiger he is apprehensive and excited. But, in order to do this he has to travel with charismatic Jack “Dingo” Chambers. While on the journey Henry discovers there is more to himself than dusty, old academia and that he not only has a passion for conservation, but also his wayward and wild Australian guide.

DashandDingoLG

Henry was such a great character. He was rather uptight, sheltered and kinda geeky, and considering the time period I felt he was well drawn. His reticent nature was a great foil for Dingo’s brash temperament and this clash made for great tension. Each finding their way, learning about each other and how to deal with their feelings and as a result much late night reading for me. 🙂

The story itself was interesting and part of that was the era it is set in. I sometimes wish there were a few more books written about the 20’s and 30’s in the genre. There is huge potential for that whole forbidden love trope! That the majority of the book is also set in the Antipodes was a huge plus. I think I’ve made mutterings before, about how most published work I read is set in the northern hemisphere. This book felt very familiar and the use of language, setting and over all feel was very entertaining as a reader from this part of the world.

I did feel that Dingo’s family treated his sexuality with incredible acceptance considering the it was set in the 30’s and this required a leap of faith on the readers part. However, as it is fiction and it did not stick out unduly it was not a huge problem. The only other thing I felt could have been tighter were a few of the latter chapters, I got a little impatient with all the ferreting around in the bush. I am an impatient bint though, so that might have just been me and thinking that those boys needed a shower after all that sweaty… hiking.

After reading books from both Catt Ford and Sean Kennedy this year, I felt that both their strengths were very apparent within the book. It was erotic (ZOMG – dream sequence at Dingo’s parents house O-O. Naughty!) and was reasonably faithful to the era it was set in, the world building was vivid, with maybe just the odd bit of mysticism and angst to round it out.

A delightful read with much heart and something quite unique. Move over Indiana!

Check it out here at Dreamspinner Press and ARe.

Tigers and Devils by Sean Kennedy.

tad-webFootball, friends, and film are the most important parts of Simon Murray’s life, likely in that order. Despite being lonely, Simon is cautious about looking for more, and his best friends despair of him ever finding that special someone to share his life. Against his will, they drag him to a party…
From Dreamspinner Press. 

This was the most addictive book to read. Written in first person, I found Simon’s story rather difficult to put down. At times he was a bit whiny and I did get a little over his trials and tribulations with his mates, but Simon was an appealing character who I found myself cheering on silently in his relationship woes. He does try, really!

Although I am not a huge sports fan, I am a total freak for sports romances and seeing one about the very high testosterone field of football was a definite winner for me. That it was also set in a city not too far away from where I am was also a huge plus. Most romance novels are set in the US. Which is fine for the most part, but it is nice to read about other places in the world and this one felt very familiar and the authors voice was incredibly engaging.

While I did enjoy the book a great deal, I had a few problems with the length. Some parts in the last third or so of the book felt extraneous and I wondered if the latter parts of the novel could have been a little tighter. Sometimes less is more. Despite this, I thoroughly enjoyed the book, it was a great holiday read. More please!

Get the book here from All Romance ebooks.
Sean Kennedy’s website.