I never seem to have as much to say about fiction as I do about nonfiction, so I’m going to provide short reviews of novels waiting on my To Be Reviewed stack.
I finished The Perfume Collector by Kathleen Tessaro during Dewey’s Read-a-Thon on Saturday. Tessaro gives us an intriguing structure that covers different time periods in the twentieth century, some beautiful prose, and a bewildered main character to identify with. Here’s a bit of lush writing to describe a couple who are business associates and former lovers:
Things were different now, expectations gone. Neither of them had the reserves for strong emotional gales. A respectful distance protected both of them. Kindnesses were rendered, trespasses ignored, narrow spaces negotiated in a state of amicable reserve. p. 430
Bitterblue is the long-awaited third installment of the Graceling Realm series by Kristin Cashore. I adore the world of this series. Bitterblue was a nice long visit in that world and with some of the characters from the previous books. I enjoyed the intrigue (complete with codes), the characters (some with startling powers), and discoveries. My favorite character was a grumpy librarian named Death (but pronounced to rhyme with teeth) with impressive skills that help save the day.
The last three books are romance novels by three writers I can depend on for a fun and spirited story.
Seduction in Silk is the thirteenth of Beverley’s novels set in the Malloren world, although only the first five really read as a series. In this one, the villain dies at the beginning of the book, which is unusual but his will makes sure that plenty of bad things will happen. At moments, I understood the reluctance to go to court because I once read Bleak House by Charles Dickens. I’m not that great a reader of classics, so I love it when one comes to mind.
The Arrangement by Mary Balogh is the second in The Surviors’ Club series that began with The Proposal. I recommend reading them in order. The Survivors’ Club is a group of men, and one woman, who were greatly damaged by the Napoleonic Wars and shared a healing place and experience at the home of the Duke of Stanbrook. The Arrangement is the story of Vincent Hunt, Viscount Darleigh, who was blinded in the war. His family feels they must do everything for him, including find him a wife. But he has other ideas.
Sometimes a Rogue by Mary Jo Putney is fifth in the Lost Lords series. It was fun to see Rob Carmichael, Bow Street Runner, have his own story. This ends up being almost two stories. In the first half of the book, the heroine is kidnapped to Ireland and Rob must get her back — I enjoyed the romping about Ireland bit since we visited there last year. The second half is a more typical Putney novel with introspection and healing through love.
Have you read any of these books? What did you think?