Monday, October 20, 2014

Claimed by the Laird

The title: Claimed by the Laird
The author: Nicola Cornick
Publication: Harlequin, 2014
Got it from: The library

I do seem to be in the habit of picking up books based on plot, regardless of whether it's in the middle of a series.  Look, ain't no busy thirtysomething woman got time to read a whole series unless it's amazing. 

And the plot for this book really had to hook me to have me drop everything else and read it, especially considering it's Scottish and I'm not a fan of Scottish romance.  But Nicola Cornick's name hooked me, given my earlier enjoyment of Desired

Also, consider the following plot elements:
Thirty-three year old spinster?  YES.
Who's a secret whisky smuggler who disguises herself as "The Lady"?  YES!
And a younger hero who is out to bring down her gang?  YES.
But he's really there to find out who murdered his brother?  YES.
And he has to secretly go undercover as her footman/gardener to do so?  OMG YES.

Don't go by the cover of this book or the title.  They're both stupid.  The fact that the hero, Lucas, is a laird barely plays any role at all in this book.  In fact, it all takes place at the heroine Christina's family estate. 

I loved this book.  It was fun, had hilarious one-liners, great dialogue, sparkling banter and an intriguing mystery.  It also had a wonderfully developed hero and heroine who were smart and interesting and funny and vulnerable and lovely.  It's not often I consider a romance novel to be a page-turner but the plot was so masterfully executed and the characters so appealing I zipped through this satisfying novel in a few days.  My only (minor) complaint is that there wasn't enough time spent on Christina's role of "The Lady."   Bravo to this book and to Nicola Cornick for achieving my rare must-read author list.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

An update

I have had limited opportunities to read much in the last month and what I read hasn't seemed worthwhile posting.  It's pretty hard to follow up after The Blue Castle. 

I did actually finish Northern Fascination by Jennifer LaBrecque (Harlequin, 2011), as I was interested in the Alaskan setting. But I didn't feel like writing a review, as I felt overwhelmingly meh about the whole thing.  I liked the concept of "businessman attempts to buy out town lived in by woman who once scorned him in high school."  But the whole thing felt like one big promo for the rest of the "Alaskan Heat" series and the main conflict got resolved way too quickly.  There was an intriguing side plot about the relationship between a local medicine man/doctor and a friend of the heroine's, but it got fairly short shrift.

However, things should be perking up because I just got back from a trip to the New York Finger Lakes region and got to visit one of my all-time favourite bookstores, the Paperback Place in Canandaigua.  Hunting down secret gems and favourite authors in used bookstores is one of my all-time passions.  They have a gigantic wall of 1000's of romances.  Check out my haul!

I also got to visit Seneca Falls and the Women's Rights National Park and the National Women's Hall of Fame.  I was really sad to see how modest both museums were, in the case of the former, a lot of the interactive exhibits were actually broken.  Still, it didn't deter from the awesomeness of the subject matter.  The Hall of Fame had so many women who I love and admire already, and many who I learned about for the first time and was intrigued by.  Both exhibits were really inspiring.  I bought a "I Would Have Been a Suffragist" t-shirt in the gift shop.

I should have a review up soon of Nicola Cornick's latest book, which is excellent.