All posts by auraleewallace

Punishment – Linden MacIntyre GUEST POST REVIEW

GUEST POST – Auralee Wallace

Punishment

Punishment

Linden MacIntyre 

In Punishment, his first novel since completing his Long Stretch trilogy, Scotiabank Giller-winner Linden MacIntyre brings us a powerful exploration of justice and vengeance, and the peril that ensues when passion replaces reason, in a small town shaken by a tragic death.

Forced to retire early from his job as a corrections officer in Kingston Penitentiary, Tony Breau has limped back to the village where he grew up to lick his wounds, only to find that Dwayne Strickland, a young con he’d had dealings with in prison is back there too–and once again in trouble. Strickland has just been arrested following the suspicious death of a teenage girl, the granddaughter of Caddy Stewart, Tony’s first love.
Tony is soon caught in a fierce emotional struggle between the outcast Strickland and the still alluring Caddy. And then another figure from Tony’s past, the forceful Neil Archie MacDonald–just retired in murky circumstances from the Boston police force–stokes the community’s anger and suspicion and an irresistible demand for punishment. As Tony struggles to resist the vortex of vigilante action, Punishment builds into a total page-turner that blindsides you with twists and betrayals.

REVIEW

Ah, November. I could not pick a better release date month for Linden MacIntyre’s Punishment.

That doesn’t sound very good, does it?  Yet, in my biased opinion (redundancy intentional), Punishment is a good book.

Let me begin by saying, I am not the best person to review Punishment. I have a long-held bias towards Canadian Literature. It probably started back in university when I signed up for a Can. Lit. class. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but the first short story assigned was entitled “Snow,” and from there we ventured into tales of incest, disease, rape, and more general winter suffering. This is not to say these works didn’t have merit, on the contrary, they were assigned university readings, therefore someone with a PhD already had vetted them as “good,” or at the very least “important” and I was deeply affected by their powerful deliverance of messages of…of what? Cold, horror and dismay? I’m only half joking here, but the point is, I wouldn’t argue their literary merits, I just felt like I needed to be treated for depression afterwards.

Now, I’m not claiming to be an expert on Canadian Literature as I took only the one course, and I’m sure there are many shiny, happy examples of Canadian books out there that wouldn’t leave me feeling like I had been emotionally carved out. I just haven’t found them.

Fast-forwarding to present times, when I picked up MacIntyre’s book, I thought maybe I was ready to dip a toe once again into frigid Canadian waters. After all, it had been at least a year since I had read any other Canadiana, and it has been a relatively warm and sunny fall.

I still can’t decide if it was a good idea or not.

From a more clinical point of view (I’m not going to pretend to strive for objectivity), the book’s story questions were compelling. I read it quickly. I was invested in what was happening. I found the themes of justice and punishment intellectually satisfying, and I admired the weaving of the characters’ struggles against the aftermath of 911. As for the publisher’s promise of a “total page-turner that blindsides you with twists and betrayals,” well, the problem with such a claim is that I found myself looking for all the twists. As a result, I wasn’t so much blindsided at the turn of the page, as I was turning the page to be validated in my suspicions – a nonetheless satisfying experience (let’s be honest, sometimes even more satisfying). So yes, for me, Punishment, meets most, if not all, of my criteria for a really good, maybe even an excellent, book. More to the point, perhaps it will meet yours. I will say, however, that I’m going to wait at least a year again before I delve back into any Canadian literature…maybe even longer. I’ll re-evaluate in the spring.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Linden_MacIntyreLinden MacIntyre is the co-host of the fifth estate and the winner of nine Gemini Awards for broadcast journalism. His most recent book, a boyhood memoir called Causeway: A Passage from Innocence won both the Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction and the Evelyn Richardson Prize for Non-Fiction.


RELATED ARTICLES

ABOUT Auralee

photo (1)Auralee Wallace is an author of humorous commercial women’s fiction and occasional guest blogger at Penny Dreadful Book Reviews https://pennydreadfulbooks.me/. She is a member of the RWA, and her debut novel, Sidekick, a superhero urban fantasy, placed as a finalist in the Virginia Fool for Love Contest, The TARA Contest and The Catherine. Sidekick has been picked up by Harlequin’s Escape Publishing and is due for release June 1st, 2014. Auralee has an undergraduate degree in psychology, a Master’s degree in English literature and has worked in the publishing industry for a number of years before teaching at the college level.

Auralee has always been fascinated by the power of stereotypes in terms of race, gender, and disability and how those beliefs colour our understanding of the world and of each other.

When this semi-natural blonde mother of three children and two rescue cats isn’t writing or playing soccer, she can be found watching soap operas with lurid fascination and warring with a family of peregrine falcons for the rights to her backyard. She can also be found on Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook, and her blog http://auraleewallace.com.

 

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NEED YOUR HELP! VOTE FOR SIDEKICK!

GUEST POST – Auralee Wallace

Thank you Addicted 2 Heroines for nominating SIDEKICK’s Cover! Escape Publishing’s cover artists do know their stuff.

Sidekick

http://www.addicted2heroines.com/2014/12/hottest-heroine-covers-round-4-giveaway.html

I’ve got some pretty stiff competition. Check them out!

addicted2heroinesheader_5

If I Were in Claire’s Shoes: An Exploration of Alternative Reactions to Being Sent Back in Time or “Dude, Where’s My Car?”

GUEST POST – Dude, Where’s My Car? by Auralee Wallace

Disclaimer: This post in no way is intended to insult Outlander. I understand the power of Outlander. I bow to all that is Outlander. Please don’t hurt me.

outlander0807141280jpg-0d271d_1280w

So I finally watched the first episode of Outlander the other day, and my reactions were many and varied (actually not so varied). First, the filming was beautiful (Why oh why can’t I see it in HD in Canada? Boo). Second, the costumes, settings, props, they, too, were beautiful (my husband even got sucked in for a minute or two based on his admiration of the cut Frank’s jacket.) Third, Jamie is BEAUTIFUL. Let’s pause for a brief Jamie moment, shall we?

Boom!

Oh my. Yes, that’s better.

I did, however, have one little hiccup in my generally glowing reactions. Claire. I have difficulty relating to Claire. I just don’t get the way she thinks sometimes. It got me thinking, how would I react if I were suddenly sent back in time? Would Claire’s strategies really help her survive? Would mine? I just couldn’t figure out the answer. But maybe you can…

Below I will present the evidence. Then after I ask you:

Who is Woman Enough to Survive 18th Century Scotland?…or …Who Will Get Booted Off the Horse?

off the horse

EXHIBIT A

THE SITUATION: you just woken up after being sent back in time…

CLAIRE:

time travel

Claire: What?

Her lovely figure dressed in flowing white gown wanders over lovely hill and dale.

BANG! Gunshot rings out.

INTERNAL DIALOGUE: When confronted with the impossible, the rational mind will grope for the logical. Perhaps I had stumbled onto the set of a cinema company filming a costume drama of some sort. But there was no logical reason for actors to fire live ammunition.

Runs.


AURALEE:

Beeker

Auralee: What the…? Did I pass out? Think, Auralee think. Did you mix allergy medication with wine last night? No…no…I swore I would never do that again. Where’s my car? Don’t tell me I forgot where I parked again. I hate it when I do that. God, every freaking time! You think I could study a landmark, remember a freaking tree or something.

Her figure, dressed in soccer shorts, t-shirt and running shoes, stomps angrily over lovely hill and dale.

BANG! Gunshot rings out.

INTERNAL DIALOGUE: What the f*#@ was that!

Runs…faster. Running shoes, remember?

Commentary: I think I totally nailed that one, don’t you?

EXHIBIT B

THE SITUATION: You’ve been taken back to what seems little more than a hut to a group of rough looking highlanders. They’re joking about assaulting you. Yeah, not funny. One of them, a rather fine looking lad, is injured and sitting by the fire. His arm is obviously dislocated. You know how to fix it.

CLAIRE:

Jamie

INTERNAL DIALOGUE: The wisest course of action would have been to keep my head down, my mouth shut, and wait for the search parties Frank must have called out by now.

Big man moves to pop handsome and also big man’s shoulder back in wrong way.

Claire: Don’t you dare! Stand aside at once. You’ll break his arm if you do it like that.


AURALEE:

Burn the witch

INTERNAL DIALOGUE: They think I’m witch. Stupid soccer shorts and running shoes. They totally think I’m a witch. I’m just going to keep my head down, and my mouth shut.

Big man moves to pop handsome and also big man’s shoulder back in wrong way.

Auralee: Oh! Pardon me. Pardon! Yes, if I a lowly witch woman, sorry, I mean, just woman, could have a word? I think perhaps I could show you how to do that perhaps without breaking his arm…then maybe you could consider not killing me?

Commentary: I’ll admit, I’m not quite sure which is the best approach here. I don’t like to consider myself snivelling, but I not at all am convinced that Claire’s feisty approach would go over too well…at least not long term. I typed into Google “treatment of women in 18th century Scotland”. Let’s just say I didn’t find anything really great.

EXHIBIT C

THE SITUATION: You’re on a horse with hot highlander. You’re freezing. It’s raining.

CLAIRE:

plaid
Claire: Careful. What are you trying to do?

Jamie: I’ll get my plaid loose to cover ye. You’re shivering.

Claire: Thank you. But I’m fine, really.

Jamie: You’re shaking so hard, it’s making my teeth rattle.


AURALEE:

Auralee: Um…what’s going on back there?

Jamie: I’ll get my plaid loose to cover ye. You’re shivering.

Auralee: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Oh God, thank you. So, what do you have on underneath that plaid? (Just kidding. I wouldn’t ask that last part. But I’d totally be thinking it.)

Commentary: Feisty be damned. I hate being cold. I always feel like Jack Nicholson when I’m cold.

So cold

EXHIBIT D

THE SITUATION: You’ve been riding forever now. You’ve almost been killed. It’s cold and freezing. Jamie offers you some alcohol.

CLAIRE:

Jamie: Have a wee nip. It willna fill your belly…

Claire angrily yanks head away.

…but it will make you forget you’re hungry.”

Claire deigns to drink.


AURALEE:

drinking

Commentary: Not necessary…I’m mean, seriously.

Well, there you have it. I’ve presented all the evidence. Who do you think would survive being sent back to 18th Century Scotland? I’m dying to know your thoughts, but until that time, I’ll just tide myself over with more Jamie. Ah, Jamie…

 

ABOUT Auralee

photo (1)Auralee Wallace is an author of humorous commercial women’s fiction and occasional guest blogger at Penny Dreadful Book Reviews https://pennydreadfulbooks.me/. She is a member of the RWA, and her debut novel, Sidekick, a superhero urban fantasy, placed as a finalist in the Virginia Fool for Love Contest, The TARA Contest and The Catherine. Sidekick has been picked up by Harlequin’s Escape Publishing and is due for release June 1st, 2014. Auralee has an undergraduate degree in psychology, a Master’s degree in English literature and has worked in the publishing industry for a number of years before teaching at the college level.

Auralee has always been fascinated by the power of stereotypes in terms of race, gender, and disability and how those beliefs colour our understanding of the world and of each other.

When this semi-natural blonde mother of three children and three rescue cats isn’t writing or playing soccer, she can be found watching soap operas with lurid fascination and warring with a family of peregrine falcons for the rights to her backyard. She can also be found on Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook, and her blog http://auraleewallace.com.

ABOUT SIDEKICK

SidekickHeroes meets Bridget Jones in this brilliant, hilarious debut novel about a girl who just wants to save the world…

Bremy St James, daughter of billionaire Atticus St James, has been cut off from the family fortune and is struggling to survive in a world that no longer holds its breath every time she buys a new outfit. To make matters worse, her twin sister is keeping secrets, loan sharks are circling, and the man of her dreams — a newspaper reporter — is on assignment to bring down everyone with the last name St James.

Things are certainly looking bleak for the down-and-out socialite until a good deed throws her into the path of the city’s top crime-fighter, Dark Ryder. Suddenly, Bremy has a new goal: apprentice to a superhero, and start her own crime-fighting career.

Ryder has no need for a sidekick, but it turns out the city needs Bremy’s help. Atticus St James is planning the crime of the century, and Bremy may be the only one able to get close enough to her father to stop him.

Now all she needs to do is figure out this superhero thing in less than a month, keep her identity secret from the man who could very well be The One, and save the city from total annihilation.

Well, no one ever said being a superhero would be easy

 BUY LINKS

AMAZON UK | AMAZON CA | AMAZON US | AMAZON AU | B&N | KOBO

Sidekick and “The Five Stages of Goodreads Grief”

GUEST POST – Auralee Wallace

Sidekick
 71062-goodreads-badge-add-38px255b1255d255b1255d

Scheduled Post: Guest Blog – The Five Stages of Goodreads Grief

By Auralee Wallace, author of Sidekick

My debut novel, SIDEKICK, was released June 1st of this year. Coming up to the date, I thought I was prepared for all that is Goodreads. Much like when I boasted about my ability to handle natural childbirth because I was “pretty good with pain,” I naively reasoned that I could manage bad reviews because, logically speaking, not everyone was going to love my book – different tastes and what not, yadda yadda. Then it happened, and again, much like my experience with natural childbirth, the day I received my first one star review was filled with agony, despair, and may or may not have involved lots of screaming.
Now that a month or two has passed, I feel like I am able to reflect on my thought processes at the time with some clarity and share them with other authors. Not to prepare them. Nothing can do that. But for them to have something to look back on when their first one star rears its ugly head. Then maybe they’ll remember they’re not alone.
So here’s how it happened…blow by ugly blow.
(On a side note, this is my first time using .gifs. I’ve been a holdout partially because, as a writer, I feel I should be able to express myself more than adequately with words…but then it occurred to me that perhaps I was being a bit of a snot because I was intimidated by all this newfangled technology. So I’ve decided to give them a try. I hope you enjoy them…but if you don’t, please don’t feel obligated to tell me so on Goodreads.)
1. Denial
One star? ONE STAR?
 Denial
Maybe Goodreads got it wrong. Sometimes the numbers don’t match up. I’ve read that happens. Or…or maybe that reviewer hit the wrong star. It’s an honest mistake. It happens. I’m sure he or she (or other of your choosing – I know that’s a Goodreads hot button) will fix that just as soon as he or she realizes the horrible, HORRIBLE mistake that has been made. After all, there are at least six other people on here that LOVE my book. I mean, really LOVE it…and only one of them is related to me. Surely, this is all just a silly mistake.
2. Anger
Wait…wait…wait. It’s still there…and now there is a review! And they said WHAT?????
Anger (1)
I was being SATIRICAL! Ever heard of satire Oh-my-opinion-is-better-than-everyone-else’s-stupid-face? Son of a b…!!!! The character didn’t even say that! Why I oughta…!!!!
3. Bargaining
Maybe if I just explain to the reviewer why he or she is so very, very wrong, he or she will change his or her mind? (You can nail me for the discriminatory pronoun use. I got nothing) We’re all reasonable people here. There’s no reason why we can’t work this out. In fact, have I told you ColdheartedCat67 how much I love your name? I’m thinking of using it in my next book. Maybe we can work something out…
That’s right. When I’m through with you, Reviewer, you’ll be putty in my hands.
Bargaining
(Disclaimer: I’m joking here. I’ve read the warnings. I would never, NEVER – no matter how tempted – contact a reviewer. I realize that’s about as wise as sticking my hand in a blender.)
4. Depression
Nobody…nobody likes my superhero chick lit. (Well, statistically, according to Goodreads, most readers do, but not this one star reviewer. Nooo.  I will never write again. In fact, I shall now retreat under my bed where my children can visit me after school (That’s right, Reviewer. You’re picking on somebody’s mom! I hope you’re proud of yourself.) because I’m hated…HATED! by all readers, everywhere.
depression
5. Acceptance
Not all readers are going to like my book, and that’s okay. Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion…even if it’s stupid. (Whoops, I may have slipped back into some kind of passive-aggressive anger-type thing there. That happens with stages. They’re fluid.) It’s cool. Goodreads is a site for readers to express honest opinions…everybody says so. Besides, bad reviews add legitimacy. That’s right. It’s all part of the bigger picture. So you do your thing, Reviewer, and I’ll do mine, and maybe we can both have our HEA, or at least HFN…but so help me, if you give me one more review like that…whoops, there I go again back to anger. As I said, the stages, they’re fluid.
We’re all good.
Acceptance (1)

ABOUT Auralee

photo (1)Auralee Wallace is an author of humorous commercial women’s fiction and occasional guest blogger at Penny Dreadful Books and Reviews https://pennydreadfulbooks.me/. She is a member of the RWA, and her debut novel, Sidekick, a superhero urban fantasy, placed as a finalist in the Virginia Fool for Love Contest, The TARA Contest and The Catherine. Sidekick has been picked up by Harlequin’s Escape Publishing and is due for release June 1st, 2014. Auralee has an undergraduate degree in psychology, a Master’s degree in English literature and has worked in the publishing industry for a number of years before teaching at the college level.

Auralee has always been fascinated by the power of stereotypes in terms of race, gender, and disability and how those beliefs colour our understanding of the world and of each other.

When this semi-natural blonde mother of three children and three rescue cats isn’t writing or playing soccer, she can be found watching soap operas with lurid fascination and warring with a family of peregrine falcons for the rights to her backyard. She can also be found on Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook, and her blog http://auraleewallace.com/.

 

GUEST POST: The Burning Sky (The Elemental Trilogy #1) by Sherry Thomas

GUEST REVIEWER – Auralee Wallace

  • TBSTitle: The Burning Sky
  • Author: Sherry Thomas
  • ISBN: 0062207296 (ISBN13: 9780062207296)
  • Series: The Elemental Trilogy #1
  • Published: Published September 17th 2013 by Balzer + Bray (first published September 15th 2013)
  • Format: eBook
  • Genre/s: YA
  • Print Length: 464 pages
  • Source: Purchased
  • Rating: B

It all began with a ruined elixir and a bolt of lightning. 

Recently I reviewed The Luckiest Lady in London, and looking back, it read more like a love letter than a review. Sadly, I am a less gushy of The Burning Sky

Iolanthe Seabourne is the greatest elemental mage of her generation—or so she’s being told. The one prophesied for years to be the savior of The Realm. It is her duty and destiny to face and defeat the Bane, the greatest mage tyrant the world has ever known. A suicide task for anyone let alone a sixteen-year-old girl with no training, facing a prophecy that foretells a fiery clash to the death.

 Don’t get me wrong. There is a lot to like about this book. I did enjoy the world Thomas created with its promises of earth-shattering power. The story was also riddled with super-cool elements like its beauty witches and lightening elixirs. My main problem, however, was with the pacing. I actually put down the book halfway through, not certain if I would pick it up again. I’m glad I did. The second half moved more quickly than the first, but it never quite reached page-turner status. I found the scenes at Eton dragged quite a bit. I’m not sure if the threat and worry regarding Fairfax’s cricket prowess really hit its mark. What’s more, I found Iolanthe, overall, to be a reactive character. I realize the story goal was to take down the Inquisitor/ protect Iolanthe from being kidnapped by the Bane, but there was never a clear picture as to how these goals would be achieved. As a result, I wasn’t led into worrying about upcoming events. As much as I’m not a fan of The Lord of the Rings, I did read several hundred pages of seemingly endless travel through Middle Earth just to see if Frodo would ever throw that damn ring in the Volcano thingy. I wasn’t entirely sure what I was supposed to be reading towards in The Burning Sky.

There were two other minor issues I had with the book. First, the occasional “bum-boy” reference killed some of the romance for me. I get that English boy schools have a certain reputation, but bringing to mind thoughts of hazing rape incidents was a bit jarring for me. This, however, was a small issue. In fact, I wouldn’t even mention it, but then there was the Sleeping Beauty thing. I love Sleeping Beauty. What’s not to love about enchanted castles and dragons?  But I am also aware of the rape theme. Thanks a lot Anne Rice. I could have happily forgotten this aspect, were it not for Iolanthe bringing it up herself.

She wanted to see the girl he used to kiss before she came along. And did he stop at kissing? Or did he do a great deal more to that pretty, grateful, pliant girl?

Yeah, that’s not good. Maybe as a teenager I would have found a prince kissing an unconscious, conjured image of me romantic, but now I find it creepy. As an experiment, I imagined, for a moment, my husband making out with a “virtual” me in another room, and the result was not warm and fuzzy.  In fact, I had the sudden urge to punch him in the face. 

 All that being said, I could not end this review without gushing just a little about Sherry Thomas’s technique. The descriptions!  Oh, the descriptions. Sherry Thomas you are a descriptive god or goddess – whichever you prefer. YA fantasy is not exactly known for exquisite craft or writing technique, but Thomas is a master. As a soon to be published author, I am so very jealous. I’m not sure every reader will appreciate the level of difficulty she is demonstrating here, but let me tell you, she’s making a lot of us look like bumbling hacks.

The fear that seized her made time itself stretch and dilate. The man reading a timetable under a streetlamp yawned, his mouth opening endlessly. The diner at the next table asked his mate to “Pass the salt,” each syllable as drawn out as pulled taffy. The mate, moving as if he were inside a vat of glue, set his fingers on a pewter dish with a small spoon inside and pushed it across. […] She was not safe here. She was not safe anywhere.

 And that’s why, despite any plot slow-downs, I’ll still read her next book, and her next, and so on and so on…for evermore.

STSherry Thomas is one of the most acclaimed romance authors working today. Her books regularly receive starred reviews from trade publications and are frequently found on best-of-the-year lists. She is also a two-time winner of Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA® Award.

The Ideal Romance Novel – The Luckiest Lady in London by Sherry Thomas

GUEST REVIEWER – Auralee Wallace

I will be completely honest.  I am not a fan of the bodice ripper.  Maybe I read too many of them, stolen from my grandmother’s bookshelf, as a young teenager.  Maybe I studied too much Literature with a capital “L” in university which turned me into a book snob. Or maybe the market is just over-saturated with bad examples.  Whatever the reason, for the longest time, if I saw a half-naked man or woman in period dress on a book cover, I would scoff and roll my eyes, before mentally droning, Next. This was the case until I was introduced to Sherry Thomas.

LLIL

The Luckiest Lady in London is a perfect example of what I like best about Thomas’s work.

Rivendale, the Marquess of Wrenworth, is The Ideal Gentleman, a man all men want to be and all women want to possess. Felix himself almost believes this golden image. But underneath is a damaged soul soothed only by public adulation.

Louisa Cantwell needs to marry well to support her sisters. She does not, however, want Lord Wrenworth—though he seems inexplicably interested in her. She mistrusts his outward perfection and the praise he garners everywhere he goes. But when he is the only man to propose at the end of the London season, she reluctantly accepts.

Louisa does not understand her husband’s mysterious purposes, but she cannot deny the pleasure her body takes in his touch. Nor can she deny the pull this magnetic man exerts upon her. But does she dare to fall in love with a man so full of dark secrets, anyone of which could devastate her, if she were to get any closer?

In this novel, Thomas’s talent for description is, once again, at the forefront. She pulls and stretches the language to an almost ridiculous degree, deliciously mirroring a society obsessed with the beautiful – if not torturous – forging of decorum and manner.

Her gaze traveled up Lord Wrenworth’s expertly pressed trousers to the flute of champagne at the his side, dangling from his fingers.  Many of the guests at the ball had such crystalware in their hands—Lady Tenwhestle, for one, held hers decorously before her person; Mr. Drummond , for another, idly turned his round and round. Lord Wrenworth’s champagne glass, however, gave the impression that it had leaped off a table of its own will into his hand, because it would never fit better elsewhere, or emanate a quarter so much ease and aplomb.

On that same hand he wore a signet ring, a coat of arms engraved upon a crest of deep, rich carnelian. The white cuff of his shirt extended a perfect quarter inch beyond the dark sleeve of his evening jacket. The cuff links were simple gold studs—or perhaps not so simple studs, for she could see lines and patterns to fine for her to make out the design from where she stood.

She was stalling, she realized, lingering in the same spot because she was…not afraid, exactly, but rather apprehensive about looking higher.  But really, what could he possibly do to a woman as practical as herself?

YummyI admire so many things about this passage.  She doesn’t go for the easy kill (height, build, face, hair) in describing her Ideal Gentlemen – at least not right away.  She goes for the more subtle tells that speak volumes – from bottom to top, building anticipation.  The way he holds the glass naturally leads to the question of what else he can handle expertly with those fingers.  Next, his attention to detail in his dress points to easy wealth which – let’s face it – is an expected convention.  And finally that question, But really, what could he possibly do to a woman as practical as herself? I can’t help but answer it with a, “What, indeed?” (Insert waggling eyebrows here.)

I have found in the four and five novels of hers that I have read, she always manages to fulfill my Cinderella/Happily Ever After expectations without the story going stale or my brain going numb.  It is a little like being a child again and wanting the same bedtime story every night – I know I’m going to fall asleep with a smile on my face.

I doubt that period romance will ever be my favourite genre, but Sherry Thomas has stopped me from dismissing these books out of hand after a glance at the cover.  In fact, lately, I have caught myself stopping to take a good look at the artwork for this type of romance, and, you know what?  While I still may roll my eyes at the heaving bosoms, I have to admit, some of the dresses are really pretty…

Excerpt – http://sherrythomas.com/luckiest-lady-in-london.php#read-an-excerpt