Saturday, 26 May 2007

I've been tagged...

I discovered, I am not a very dedicated blogger. Between working, writing on my thesis and reviewing eight to ten books/month (with two to three edits), I can't seem to find the energy to blog about my other reading adventures. But every so often Rosario tags me in order to circumvent the extinction of my site *g*.

The following phrase I picked from her blog to explain the current tagging round: "Just list and describe three of your favorite books that other people might not be familiar with. Then tag five people."

Well, I came up with more books than requested. I tried to select my three favorite (unknown) keepers but it was too difficult, so I will present a fourth one. Like Rosario I had the problem that many of my favorite books come from well-known authors, that's why listing Carla Kelly, Nora Roberts or Linda Howard wasn't an option. Most of my recommendations are historicals which is quite funny, because over the year more than 75% of my read novels have a contemporary setting.

1. Olga Bicos - Wrapped in Wishes

(Contemporary/American Historical/Time Travel) Chloe Plum, seeing a therapist for insomnia, is put under hypnosis. While under, she takes possession of Constance Franklin's body at the time of her death in 1882. As Constance, Chloe is drawn to Egyptologist-turned-ghost-hunter Harrison Conners. Driven to communicate with his dead brother, Harrison is trying to locate his brother's ghost when he finds Constance. When she witnesses a ghost, Harrison realizes that Constance has the power to contact the other side, perhaps even his brother. Constance/Chloe learns much about Harrison and the others in Constance's life-all of whom parallel people in her own life. Even the untrustworthy Stedman, Harrison's enemy, is too much of a reminder of her ex-husband. When she comes out of her trance, returning to present day New Orleans, Chloe tries to answer the questions from the past and meets Parker Stevens, a dead-ringer for Harrison and the cartoonist who created "Hauntings," a paranormal comic strip based on Harrison Conner's adventures. Leaping back and forth in time, in and out of her hypnotic trances, Chloe/Constance and Parker/Harrison must stop a madman from bringing his evil to the 20th century and, in doing so, discover a love for all time.

I read this book years ago in German and absolutely adored it. Olga Bicos's heroines are very mature and independent, without loosing their vulnerable chore that endears them to the reader. I think Bicos nowadays rather writes suspense books with a dash of romance in it, but her early romances have everything a romance addict loves. Even if you don't like the time travel genre, this book may be an exception. The plot is quite enthralling with paranormal and scientific elements and the love story is comparable to some of LaVyrle Spencer's master pieces. I also would love to recommend Bicos's books Risky Games and More than Magic. The former a great and well-researched and unusual romantic suspense story, the latter a paranormal western historical about a female archaeologist.

2. Laura London - The Windflower

(Regency) SHE LONGED FOR A PIRATE’S KISSES, FOR A GOLDEN ROGUE’S CARESS… Every lady of breeding knows. No one has a good time on a pirate ship. No one, that is, but the pirates. Yet there she was, Merry Wilding – kidnapped in error, taken from a ship bound from New York to England, spirited away in a barrel and swept aboard the infamous Black Joke…. There she was, trembling with pleasure in the arms of her achingly handsome, sensationally sensual, golden-haired captor – Devon. From the storm-tossed Atlantic to the languid waters of the Gulf Stream, from a smuggler’s den to a gilded mansion, Merry struggled to escape… to escape the prison of her own reckless passions, the bondage of sweet, bold desire…

One of the best historical romances ever. Laura London is a pseudonym used by Sharon and Tom Curtis, a writing duo who also published under the pen name Robin James. They only have written about ten books, but each one is better than the former. They separated some years ago and thus also stopped their collaboration. Over at AAR you can find some interviews and reviews about their work, it is absolutely fabulous and emotionally very touching. The Windflower is their one and only long historical novel with a nautical theme. It's quite difficult to find and not very cheap, but definitely worth every cent. Damn, writing about this book makes me want to re-read it :-)

3. Sandy Hingston - The Suitor

(Regency) Beautiful, wealthy Katherine Deveraux doesn't think
she's better than everyone else—she knows it. Her snobbish ways alienate whomever she meets—and her parents fear her marriage prospects are ruined. Determined to uncover their hard-hearted daughter's soft side, they ask Countess Christiane d'Oliveri for help... The Countess has the perfect solution a French ne'er-do-well known as Alain Montclair. He agrees to seduce Katherine and then break her cold heart in two—a daunting task, to be sure. But this charming rogue is most surprised to find that Katherine—behind her haughty airs and petty pretensions—is a deeply lonely woman desperate for love ...

Some time ago I shopped with one of my favorite online used book stores where I bought this lovely tale. I wanted to profit from the free shipping offer and therefore needed some more books. Browsing the desert isle keeper reviews over at AAR I somehow decided upon this book by Hingston - without reading the blurb. Thanks heaven! It was my best historical discovery in 2006, a book I read in one day and read twice more after having finished it the first time. After the first few chapters I thought myself crazy for buying this book. The heroine was totally, absolutely unlikable in her behaviour and treatment of others. She is the daughter of a duke and as such sees herself in a position where she reigns from morning to evening over her inferiors. But Sandy Hingston did the unthinkable and described her astonishing character development so convincingly I not only started to like but really, really loved her. The book has a surprising and endearing ending I would - in a way - compare to Connie Brockway's ending from All through the Night. Sandy Hingston doesn't publish anymore, apparently because her novels don't sell very well. She's also published quite a number of books under the pen name Mallory Burgess.

4. Amy J. Fetzer - My Timeswept Heart

(American Historical/Time Travel) A SENSUAL SPRITE SPRUNG FROM THE SEA Street-smart, Olympic-trained gymnast Tess Renfrew was caught between the devil and the deep blue sea. Pursued by a gang of hoods, forced to choose between a bullet and a watery death, she leapt over the rail of a Bahama-bound cruiser ... only to be swept into a thundering wall of mist. Carried to safety on the back of a dolphin, Tess awoke in the arms of a ravishingly handsome 18th-century pirate! A BOLD BUCCANEER BATTLING DANGER AND DESIRE Captain Dane Blackwell was intrigued by the woman he'd fished from the briny depths ... enflamed by her fiery spirit and bold sensuality. His prisoner, his prize, she would sail with him on hs quest for vengeance -- and the teasure that was rightfully his. Though his seaswept enchantress came from a place he could never know, he'd risk life itself to keep her with him always, defying the past, the future ... and time itself!

I browsed the web for a picture of the English release, without success - therefore I choose the cover of the German edition. Another time travel romance set in a nautical sub genre it seems, though both aren't themes I particularly favor or search out. Fetzer nowadays writes romantic suspense stories with Brava and series romance with Harlequin, but in her early days she composed some wonderful historicals, this one being one of my dearest. This book offers first and foremost great entertainment and an absolutely adorable hero who lies the world at the feet of his chosen woman. The historical surrounding is totally romanticized but in this case I didn't mind at all because the book captured me so much I re-read it about six times in the first three months *lol*. If you would like to try out more of Amy J. Fetzer's old historicals I recommend her paranormal Irish trilogy which plays in a bewitching medieval setting on the green island.

I have no idea whom I shall tag, so I tag everyone who's interested :-) Despite having some blogs I religiously read, I rarely comment on them, therefore most don't really know of my existence *g*.

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Blogger Rosario said...

Hey, it worked, didn't it? Very nice selection. I actually have two of them in my TBR, so I'll have to tackle them soon.

PS - Nice new template! Does this mean you'll be posting more? ;-)

27 May 2007 at 18:41  
Blogger Chez Moi said...

I have no idea if I will blog more frequently. Perhaps, if one day writing in English comes more easily to me :-) One of the metioned books on your TBR pile should be Hingston's The Suitor, no? What's the name of the second one?

27 May 2007 at 19:16  

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