I’m going to start by saying I don’t read a lot of Historical Romance. When I do read the genre, there’s pretty much only one thing I want out of it: for the characters to hook-up. So you may ask, “why not just read erotica, then?” Because I want a tad more substance and historical romance generally scratches that itch, that’s why. I read these books because they are fluffy, don’t require a lot of thought, and it’s a formula where I will get exactly what I came for: the MC’s eventually having hot sex. I can be a creature of simple pleasures, occasionally. I wanted to read “Last Night’s Scandal” because I read “Lord Perfect” and liked it, but really enjoyed the antics of the two childhood friends the most in that story. So, this story is those kids all grown up but with a kind of Brady Bunch vibe. They are related by marriage but have confusing feelings for each other once Lisle returns from Egypt and discovers his childhood friend is a total babe now, and Olivia has a similar revelation about Lisle. It’s cute, plus, this book is about Lisle and Olivia going to his family’s castle in Scotland to repair it, and finding there may be ghosts AND hidden treasure there! But that’s when the book takes on a kind of Scooby Doo vibe.
I’m not a big fan of omniscient POV’s generally speaking. Of the works I’ve read that attempt a true omniscient 3rd person, I’ve never felt like I’ve gotten a good sense of the characters, and the jumps between what one character knows or is doing can be hit or miss, at best. But “Heart of Jet” may change all of that for me! The story follows two Manhattan socialites, I want to say in the very early 1900’s, as they embark on a journey to Scotland where their recently deceased relative has tasked them with easing the tormented soul of their family’s old estate on the Scottish moors. Shedd’s lyrical omniscient style of narration perfectly captured the setting of the era, as well as set the tone for the haunting love story that followed.
The first and most important thing you need to know about “Head over Feet in Love” is that Rebecca, the MC, is manic for a great deal of the book. But that’s what I liked about it, too. You see, Rebecca has anxiety and depression and passive suicidal tendencies, and when things get stressful, her mind shuts down. She doesn’t know how to deal with traumatic situations, so she runs away. That’s her coping mechanism, and in the case of our story, leads her to a friendship with a hermit named Mike. Their friendship is unexpected, but exactly what the other needs in order to get back on their feet again, and as the title implies, find true love.
“All the Tomorrows” is a lovely dive into a culture I am unfamiliar with outside of popular movies and music. Nasser brings the reader immediately into an authentic portrayal of India with its buzzing streets, fragrant foods, beautiful clothing, and traditional Indian family values such as arranged marriages and daughters caring for their parents if they are unwed. You have to be willing to accept those cultural differences or Jaya’s subservient behavior to her cruel mother will immediately anger you and make it hard to continue on. But that’s also what makes this book important: to see and be exposed to a real look at a different culture, not one that selectively shows you the good and fun bits like the Holi Festival. I really appreciated that in Nasser’s book and the author does a lovely job of describing the sights, sounds, and smells of Bombay to where I felt like I was on the streets with Jaya and Akash. I just wished I loved the characters themselves as much as I loved the rest of Nasser’s writing.
“A Dark Inheritance” is a modern vampire story, so you kind of already know what to expect. A woman with a rare blood type catches the attention of several vampires and is kidnapped once she reaches 40, ripped away from her life and her family, and told she can never return to them. Unlike most vampire stories, Tina did not want the attentions of Kalmar, or The Count. She didn’t even know vampires existed and now… well, now she can’t leave his castle and her daughter thinks she’s dead. No matter what Tina does, she can’t seem to escape Kalmar and even the few times she kind of manages it, she finds out that life is exceedingly more dangerous outside his castle walls than within. There were parts of this story that I absolutely loved, and parts that still leave me feeling uncertain, but all in all, I thought “A Dark Inheritance” was a nice twist on a creature type that has been done to death—ha.
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