Wednesday, March 28

Review/Commentary times three

The Leopard Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt

From the Publisher:
Wealthy Lady Georgina Maitland doesn't want a husband, though she could use a good steward to run her estates. One look at Harry Pye, and Georgina knows she's not just dealing with a servant, but a man. Harry has known many aristocrats-including one particular nobleman who is his sworn enemy. But Harry has never met a beautiful lady so independent, uninhibited, and eager to be in his arms. Still, it's impossible to conduct a discreet liaison when poisoned sheep, murdered villagers, and an enraged magistrate have the county in an uproar.
This is a fun book, George is an interesting change from the average historical heroine, she's a little older (29), she's independently wealthy (thanks to an aunt) and she's not looking for a husband and not being forced to look for one either. She's quirky, independent and loved by her family and staff. Harry is also strong and independent, confident and comfortable with who he is, pulled himself out of tragedy and has worked hard for what he has. She wants him, and goes after him. Maybe not the most historically accurate because of class distinctions, but works because neither George nor Harry are typical or average characters.

I picked up Vivi Anna's Blood Secrets because I liked the cover and the blurb. The "Otherworld Crime Unit" really caught my attention.
From the Publisher
Caine Valorian and his Otherworld Crime Unit crack all the unusual cases before any humans take notice. When a young woman is found ritualistically murdered it's his team of professionals with paranormal gifts who must stop the nameless evil stalking the streets. But the toughest case of Caine's 200-year career gets even harder when a new member, Eve Grant, is assigned to their unit. Not only is she green and eager to impress, she's human.
As they sink deeper into the workings of the case, Caine's attraction to the alluring Eve is causing his blood to boil. And with war brewing between species, the all-consuming passion between a human and a vampire won't be the only thing to spill on the city's mean streets...
It's obvious from the blurb and Ms. Anna's "Dear Reader" letter in the book that she's a huge fan of CSI. Me too.

Simple world building, strong story, excellent chemistry between Eve and Caine and secondary characters screaming for their own stories. It felt like a paranormal CSI episode, which I'm hoping was Ms. Anna's point. This series is going on my auto-buy list.

I picked up Rosina Lippi's (Sara Donati) Tied to the Tracks because I found the review on SBTB interesting. I also discovered a very good review by Monica Jackson. I'll wait while you check out their reviews... Are you back?
From the Publisher
Miss Zula Bragg, award-winning writer in residence at Ogilvie College in Ogilvie, Georgia, has finally said yes to a documentary about her life. She insists that Tied to the Tracks, a shoestring film company from up North produce it-because, she says, they have an edge. So the entire company is summoned to Ogilvie-Angie Mangiamele, who writes, produces, and keeps it all together; Rivera Rosenblum, who photographs and edits; and Tony Russo, principal photographer and soundman. Only Angie is reluctant to head south because the new chair of the English department at Ogilvie is John Grant, and John and Angie have a fiery past.

A member of the founding Ogilvie family on his mother's side, John has finally returned home after years "up North" to take up his place in the community and to marry the lovely Caroline Rose, the last unmarried daughter of the prominent Rose family in what Ogilvie residents regard as the wedding of the century. The town-rich with tradition and rife with gossip-is fascinated by the three Yankees, but when it seems as though sparks still fly between John and Angie, the townsfolk rally to protect their own.

From Monica Jackson's Review:
The book has a pleasing literary turn of phrase, the words don’t get in the way of the story. But it could have been more.

There is no black point of view in the book at all, which detracted for me. I know what it’s like being black in a small Southern town and it’s profoundly different from not being black. Miss Zula and her story was far more interesting than the central love story and it was glossed over, lost in the blinding whiteness of it all.

But don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the book and give it a recommend. The author was correct in not taking on what she possibly couldn’t have been sure of pulling off–a black southern small town point of view.
I had the hardest time writing a review for this book. As much as I liked it, I kept waiting for more. I wanted not only Miss Zula's back story, I wanted it from her POV. I wanted her sister's POV, I wanted more about her relationship with Miss Junie. As good as it was " could have been more."

PS Hopefully 4th time lucky and this time the damned post will go through.


jmc said...

I have Blood Secrets and Tied to the Tracks TBR. I haven't felt the urge to pull either off the stack. But I read The Leopard Prince over the weekend. I liked both characters, but I felt like the plot really fell apart in the second half of the book. And Georgina's two TSTL stunts near the end put her perilously close to being On Notice for me.

Jenster said...

I've vascillated about reading Tied to the Tracks. Sara Donati's "Wilderness" series is one of my favorites, but it's because of the strong historical theme. So I'm not sure. I really need to check out the local library here.

Tara Marie said...

jmc, George has her moments :) I can certainly see why she got so close to being On Notice--LOL

Jen, Tied to the Tracks was a library read for me too. I doubt I'll buy it when it goes mm, but it's an interesting read.

CindyS said...

I haven't decided about the newest Hoyt - I enjoyed her debut (?) but I'm not sure I'm sold - then I remember the sensuality of the book and wonder if I'm over judging. Will have to wait to see what others think but TSTL moments can make me fidget.

But the real question - whadya think of cable internet? I will never go back to dial up!


Tara Marie said...

Cindy, the TSTL stunts aren't horrible, but do extend the story a little, I thought it was still a good book.