The Flame and the Arrow
Series: Annika Brisby #1
Tags: Fantasy, other world, romance, elves, fairies, pixies, trolls, awfulness
Rating: the "Booo!" speech from the hag in Princess Buttercup's dream in the Princess Bride.
It's called The Flame and the Arrow because those are two of the twelve ways I want to kill each character.
This was the book for our next episode of Getting Lit, so I'll save all my vitriol for the recording.
Next episode coming out sometime next week!
For the Love of Pete
Tags: Contemporary Romance, FBI, kidnapped!, hijinks!, mafia
I've read most of Hoyt's books, since she largely writes historical romances. Highlights of her series (in no particular order):
- The Maiden Lane series, in general: Regency vigilantes!
- The Duke of Midnight, Maiden Lane series: he literally is Batman.
- Dearest Rogue, Maiden Lane series: blind heroine, grouchy soldier hero.
- Scandalous Desires, Maiden Lane series: "Charming" Mickey O'Connor, the ruthless river pirate!
- The Duke of Sin, Maiden Lane series: sociopath evil protagonist.
- Darling Beast, Maiden Lane series: big fella runaway convict loses his voice and charms actress with son.
- The Raven Prince, the Princes trilogy: grouchy duke, estate manager heroine.
- To Beguile a Beast, Legend of the Four Soldiers series: scarred Scottish recluse meets mysterious widow.
If you are saying to yourself, "Wendy just named all of the Maiden Lane series as her favorite," you are wrong. There are 12 books in the series, not counting novellas. I think I did pretty well narrowing it down to five.
I skipped over this one at first because it looks like a Christmas book. It's not. It's a winter book. ...I suppose Christmas specials all have Christmas in the name, then?
I quite liked it once I gave it a chance, however. The side characters are comedic relief. Two elderly Indian women accidentally kidnap two babies. One baby was previously kidnapped by a mafia goon, and one is the goon's son. Into the mix are the two main characters: the first baby's aunt (a Whole Foods employee), and the FBI agent on the case. Hijinks ensue!
The older women are very Arsenic and Old Lace. The cheerful heroine is a great foil to the serious and laconic FBI agent.
The FBI Agent tries unsuccessfully to interrogate a non-English speaking old Indian man. The girl comes up:
The Indian man takes a Twizzler, and immediately starts helping them.
The only thing I can say against it is that sometimes the heroine would do the character development for the hero. "Oh, his grunt of approval must mean he has deep seated vulnerability about so-and-so" etc.
And what he really said was,
Other than that, just cute, funny, light, airy.
Also, it was published in the 2015, and yet NO ONE has smartphones. Was it written earlier, or is it a stylistic choice? Because the widespread use of Google Maps definitely cuts down on the hijinks?
Tags: Contemporary Romance, FBI Agent, bank heist!, light suspense, salt and pepper fox, woman on the run, dog sidekick
Hooray! Fun, humorous, steamy as usual.
A bank employee is caught on camera stealing her employer's safe deposit box during a robbery.
The robbers are two dumbass kids that are pure comic relief. They are the kind of bad guys that would have an oboe or tuba in their soundtrack. Bum bom bum bom bum bom...
The woman is a surprisingly smart and tenacious librarian who has been trying to seek justice for her wrongly accused uncle for the past four years.
A seasoned FBI Agent on the robbery case is strangely enthralled with the woman who so nonchalantly uses a bank robbery to cover up her own theft. He's one of those kinda crotchety kinda older guys. He has an estranged 16 year old daughter.
She's on the run, trying to find the evidence; he's trying to bring her in. In a series of slightly creepy moves, their relationship blooms into something worthy of The Fugitive fanfic, if such a thing exists. Can't you just see Tommy Lee Jones saying to Harrison Ford,
I'm bringing you in... Now. What are you wearing?
Oh, and there's a dog. Yay! He's a black and white Great Dane named Squeaky. She steals him from the bad guy because he was being neglected! Aw!
All around high marks. I'm putting this on my list of Elizabeth Hoyt Highlights.
Once and Always
Tags: Contemporary Romance, cowboy, police, fashion designer, mafia, theft, dog sledding, light action
The niece of a ex-Russian Mafia hitman and a cowboy hat wearing, smooth drawling Wyoming deputy sheriff have been playing a game of cat and mouse for two years. He pulls her over every time she comes into town, just to flirt with her. She always turns him down. They are thrown together in more ways than one when a hapless former mafia accountant blows into town, with stolen diamonds in tow.
I didn't like this one as much as the others. I wasn't quite sold on Sam West's character. He was a little too smooth for my taste, and his cowboy act a little too pronounced.
Could be because of the accent that the narrator used with him. I'm already suspending my disbelief with a woman speaking the guy parts with a lower voice. I don't need to compound the problem with fake-Texan-or-something accent.
Also, kind of got bored with all the action.
But hey! Still fun and cute.
This time the secondary romance is between a dumb Native American musher (dog sledding) and his much-too-smart-for-him Native American childhood sweetheart.
There were a lot secondary romances in this. For a moment, I almost thought there would be one between a sledding dog and a house pet dog. I'm glad we didn't go there.
I bet Tessa Dare would go there.