Friday, July 10, 2009

Street Magic ~ Caitlin Kittredge

Street Magic can be found in any brick and mortar bookstore or at Amazon.com and the like.

street-magic

Her name is Pete Caldecott. She was just sixteen when she met Jack Winter, a gorgeous, larger-than-life  mage who thrilled her with his witchcraft. Then a spirit Jack summoned killed him before Pete’s eyes—or so she thought. Now a detective[MSOffice2] , Pete is investigating the case of a young girl kidnapped from the streets of London. A tipster’s chilling prediction has led police directly to the child…but when Pete meets the informant, she’s shocked to learn he is none other than Jack. Strung out on heroin, Jack a shadow of his former self.  But he’s able to tell Pete exactly where Bridget’s kidnappers are hiding: in the supernatural shadow-world of the fey.  Even though she’s spent years disavowing the supernatural, Pete follows Jack into the invisible fey underworld, where she hopes to discover the truth about what happened to Bridget—and what happened to Jack on that dark day so long ago…

I really don’t know where to start with this novel since there are just so many appealing aspects…

I guess I will start with the voice – this is the first book I’ve read by Ms. Kittredge and I am now a fan.  Plain and simple.  The style of writing she uses with this story is just magical.  Very old world with a present-day feel.  I don’t know if that makes any sense to anyone but me, but there it is.  When I first began reading, I almost expected it to be set in the past with the way the style made me feel.  I was in for a pleasant surprise, however.

Next you have Pete and Jack.  Pete is a detective inspector with more troubles than she cares to count.  Pete is gritty, tough, but often insecure and unsure of what she’s doing.  She’s very endearing with the way she never gives in or gives up and just keeps plugging along.  Jack… what can I say about Jack aside from the fact that he’s an ass?  But, he’s the kind of ass we all have in our lives – the one we can’t just say no to, the one that we love despite the fact we want to pop him in the jaw at any given time.  Together, he and Pete make up an otherworldly dynamic duo, fighting the paranormal and saving children.

All in all, Street Magic is a wild ride through both mundane London and Black London – London’s secret magical side.  A wonderfully written and intense urban fantasy.  If this first novel of the Black London series is any indication, it’s going to be a great series. 

Thursday, July 9, 2009

A Most Lamentable Comedy ~ Janet Mullany

Available in the United Kingdom on July 23, 2009… no idea when it will be available in the United States, however.  You can buy it here.

(Note: fixed the issue with the cover not showing, sorry about that)

 

comedy

1822, England: Lady Caroline Elmhurst is twice-widowed, down on her luck and pursued by creditors. But she’s optimistic about finding a new husband – or if necessary, a rich lover – and when she meets handsome, mysterious Nicholas Congrevance at a house-party in the country, she sets out to entice him. For his part, Nicholas simply sees Lady Caroline Elmhurst as just the sort of woman he’s used to exploiting – rich, available, and gullible. Neither realizes the other is penniless and neither has any intention of falling in love…

Billed as ‘regency chick lit’, A Most Lamentable Comedy is a sure-fire hit.  I have never laughed so hard at a historical novel as I did with this one.  I was completely reminded of a regency-era Bridget Jones’ Diary sort of thing.  The best part had to be the ‘edited’ letters that are written throughout the course of the novel, leaving you to see what might have been said and what really was said…

Lady Caroline would totally fit in with today’s society.  Completely absorbed with obtaining a comfortable life for herself, she never once stops to think that maybe, just maybe, the object of her affection is conning her too…

Nicholas Congrevance is a gigolo for all ages.  Having hired out his manly services in the past, he’s ready to find himself a wealthy woman to settle down with…  And I’m sure you can see just where this is headed.

Insanity ensues and you are whisked right along with the players.  Even more entertaining is that its not just the main characters plotting and scheming but everyone involved in the story!  Really and truly a wonderful novel sure to brighten your spirits.

Rain at Midsummer ~ Teresa Noelle Roberts

Story can be found here

An escaped slave daunted by freedom. A nobleman fighting his destined birthright. Their love defies logic, but when the spirits of the land speak, you’d better listen.

Nikos curses the day his brother died and left him as Lord of Thermanae. What’s an educated man to do in a place so backward his tenants expect the Lord and Lady of the estate to bring rain through sex-magic? Jaenna, a runaway Kulchu slave, curses the fate that forced her to flee a murderous master to the neighboring Soranian Empire. Freedom means frightening choices for a woman whose entire life has been spent serving men’s sexual whims, and she can’t communicate with the spirits of the land enough to work the healing magic that might earn her a respectable place here.

The forbidden desire that burns between Nikos and Jaenna could save them both, if they see beyond what they think they know. But it takes desperate need—and advice from a madwoman who may be crazy like a fox—for Nikos to see that magic isn’t merely a metaphor and Jaenna to learn that love is the most powerful magic of all.

Note: Rain at Midsummer is set in the same world as Lady Sun Has Risen and is part of the Seasons of Sorania cycle.

This was a different kind of story, but in a good way.  Reminds me a bit of when I first started reading books from the Dark Sun realm of Dungeons & Dragons – a desert world with few oasis here and there… and while the world that Rain at Midsummer is set in isn’t quite that desolate, it still put me in mind of that.  But then, I’m known for making strange associations now and again…

All in all, the story was well-written with a likeable hero and heroine.  Jaenna, an escaped slave, is intelligent, eager, and adapts to her new role as a free woman quickly.  Nikos, the Lord of Thermanae, isn’t happy in his role as the new lord, but he doesn’t exactly shirk his duty either.  He is the perfect compliment to the shy and insecure Jaenna. 

I think that if you like fantasy worlds and stories about finding love in unexpected places (like the woman falling at your feet maybe?), you’ll enjoy this novella.  Ms. Roberts creates a familiar world that holds so many surprises and possibilities.

Next, I would really love to see a story about Dela and her love.  I really liked Dela and would love to read more about her and how she and Nikos came to be such good friends.