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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Romantic Suspense

           Romantic suspense novels are popular with many readers because of their pleasing combination of the elements of romance, mystery, and thriller. Here are some recently published selections.
            Beyond the Sunrise, written by Mary Balogh, tells the story of teens in a love that cannot be because the hero is of illegitimate birth. Eleven years later, during the Napoleonic wars, they meet again as spies on opposing sides. Despite this, their passion still lives.
            The Devil’s Own, is written by Sandra Brown. In the book, the heroine Kerry must rescue nine orphans from a South American war zone. She asks Linc, who she thinks is a mercenary soldier, to help them escape; not knowing that he really is a renowned photojournalist.
            The book Facing Fire: Bad Boys Under Cover is written by HelenKay Dimon. It is the story of Josiah, a member of an elite black-ops group “The Alliance”, who meets up with Sutton, a Baltimore private eye. They have a common goal: to capture a killer who has murdered the relatives of both of them.
            In Curious Mind: A Knight and Moon Novel, written by Janet Evanovich, financial analyst Riley and genius Emerson join forces to uncover an embezzlement scheme at the bank at which Riley works.

            Beautiful Storm, written by Barbara Freethy, is the story of news photographer and storm chaser Alicia, who thinks she has witnessed a murder occur during lightning flashes. However, the police cannot find the body. Alicia investigates on her own with the help of Michael, a member of Miami’s Cuban-American community. 

Monday, August 29, 2016

Christmas in August

            Escape the August heat with some cool holiday romances – popular at any time of year.

            What Happens at Christmas, written by Victoria Alexander, is about Camille, Lady Lydingham, who is planning her engagement to a prince at Christmas. But fate intervenes when a former love interest with plans of his own shows up.

            The Christmas Cat, written by Melody Carlson, has protagonist Garrison in a dilemma when he has to find homes for the six cats left to him by his late grandmother. He is able to relocate the cats and find friendship and romance too.

            Home for Christmas: a Sanctuary Island Novel is written by Lily Everett. Magazine writer Libby has a plum assignment: set the stage for returning Army Ranger and single father Owen for his first Christmas with his daughter. Romance also intervenes.

            Marry Me at Christmas, written by Susan Mallery, features bridal boutique owner Madeline who is hired to arrange a Christmas wedding. The bride’s brother? Movie star Jonny Blaze. Madeline falls head over heels in love.

            The Heart of Christmas is written by Brenda Novak. The heroine is Eve, the manager of a B&B in Whiskey Creek. She feels like a fifth wheel because she is the only single among her married friends at Christmas. Then a handsome stranger comes to town.

            Evergreen Springs is written by RaeAnne Thayne. It features physician Devin who arranges for her patients to access the hot springs owned by rancher Cole, a single father. All she has to do is help his children have a happy holiday.


Thursday, August 18, 2016

Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania

            Written by noted non-fiction author Erik Larson, this is a densely researched recounting of the sinking of the Lusitania, a British passenger liner, during World War I. Several American citizens were among the passengers. In 1915, when this incident occurred, the United States was a neutral party in this war between European nations. Many Americans were isolationists, including then President Woodrow Wilson. Great Britain grew increasingly frustrated and hoped to encourage our country to join their side.

            The naval ships of Great Britain and France were increasingly under attack by German U-boat submarines. Officials mistakenly believed that the enemy would not attack passenger ships, but the German Navy was becoming more aggressive.

            Larson presents a highly descriptive narrative about the days leading up to the Lusitania’s sinking; including facts about her passengers and ship operations, operations of U-boat 20, and political events occurring in Great Britain, the United States, and Germany. All information was garnered from original documents and correspondence. The reader also learns about Great Britain’s secret “Room 40”, a government department tasked with translating encrypted German messages. This might mean that Britain knew about a possible attack against the Lusitania and did nothing to prevent it, hoping that it would stir the US to declare war against Germany.

            The resulting tragedy, killing more than one third of the passengers and crew, did not cause the United States to join the war at this time. This didn’t occur until 1917.