Skip to main content


Showing posts from November, 2013

I, Claudia

I, Claudia AUTHOR: Charity Bishop PLOT: "The nightmares began in my childhood… Since then, they have grown stronger. Horrific dreams of blood and death, of dark specters and betrayal haunt me. Mother wants me to become a seer in the temple of Minerva. I would much rather marry the dashing military commander, Pilate, instead. Every augur that sees me, fears me. They know, as I do, that something is different about me, something I cannot control, and that will haunt me until a Jewish messiah takes my hand in Judea. Not even he can save me from what lies ahead in Rome, nor, I fear, can he save Pilate from a choice that will change the course of history forever. My name is Claudia, and this is my story."
OPINION: This was an awesome read! I, Claudia is a balanced work of historical fiction with straightforward writing, intriguing characters and a solid plot. Choosing to write this story through the eyes of Claudia, Pilate’s wife, was pretty much perfection. Claudia is completely hu…

The Merchant's Daughter

The Merchant's Daughter
AUTHOR: Melanie Dickerson
PLOT: A merchant's daughter is forced to work in servitude to the town's lord, a wounded, "beastly" man who evokes fear in the hearts of others.
OPINION: It's been a while since I've read a book this fast - which is a good sign. The story is pretty simple here, but I found myself really enjoying this fairy-tale retelling. Perhaps it was the early medieval background or just that Beauty and the Beast is my favorite fairy-tale. I really enjoyed the romance. My only negative critisism is there was no complexity to the story and no other characters, besides the main ones, that had any real bearing on the story. (I love the cover by the way. So beautiful.)
CONTENT: mild descriptions of physical attraction, a man tries to force himself on a girl several times (it is written mildly, i.e. veiled threats), a girl tries to coerce a man to sleep with her, a girl accuses a man of coercing her to sleep with him

Pompeii: A City on Fire

City on Fire: Pompeii
AUTHOR: T. L. Higley
PLOT: A Jewess on the run from an unsavory master disguises herself as a boy and becomes a gladiator in Pompeii, but a certain Roman senator learns her secret and becomes entangled in her life.
OPINION: This was a pretty cool, dramatic story. I don't often read books about ancient Rome, so it was a nice change of pace. My favorite aspect was the girl gladiator. There wasn't much romance simply because the hero and heroine didn't see each other that much. I did find the story dragged after a while - too much description on the city of Pompeii and other story-lines that were a bit boring.
CONTENT: the Jewess and many other women (and even men) are horribly abused by their masters, brothels are talked about (not in-depth though), incest is mentioned, a man thinks two men are in relations, two evil men are described as demonic cult followers who initiate others through horrible sexual rituals (not talked about too extensively)

Some Thoughts About the Modern Romance Novel

While writing up my book review for Ransome's Honor, I started thinking again about what romance novels have become today (and I'm mostly talking about Inspirational here, because I rarely read secular romance novels).
And let's just say things have really changed.
If you think about when romance novels really began to take form, I'm sure authors like Jane Austen or Charlotte Bronte come to mind. These women not only knew how to write with style and wit, but they wrote some of the most endearing romances to this day.
If you have recently read a Jane Austen novel, you obviously noticed something: there aren't long making-out scenes or gushy descriptions of how attractive and sexy the love interest is. Instead, Austen tells a story, pure and simple. The couple rarely even touches and still we end up falling in love with this romance.
Don't get me wrong - I like romance. I'll read romance books - even those with endless paragraphs of a girl looking at a guy&#…

Ransome's Honor

Ransome's Honor
AUTHOR: Kaye Dacus
PLOT: A Georgian British woman's lover who broke her heart returns to England just as an undesirable cousin seeks to gain her hand and her inheritance.
OPINION: I love it when a novel hits all the right notes for me. And Ransome's Honor definitely did that for me. I'm a sucker for Regency era stories, and this brought that era to life for me. Add some Royal Navy to that, and you've got the icing on my cake. I loved both the hero, a no-nonsense Navy captain, and heroine, a genuinely sweet and bright woman. The romance was the kind that I would like to write. It felt real and touching without being ridiculously excessive like most romance novels are. The novel even took me for some twists I wasn't expecting.
CONTENT: a few mild allusions to roguish men and their interests in pretty girls
STARS: 5 out of 5