WAKE UP by Claire Colley @clnauthor #BookReview Dealing with Relationship abuse

Wake Up by Claire Colley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Wake-up is a book which deals with the hardships of relationship abuse, a good opening prologue drip feeds the reader with details of Ruth and why she is currently in a coma. The main body of the book splits the chapters between those of Ruth the adult, Ruth the child and Ruth’s partner Max. We read of the life-story of Ruth as she looks back whilst in a non-verbal communicative state of her coma. Her brain still functions and she uses the time to re-evaluate her life and to look at the lessons life has given her.

As a child, Ruth was witness to a violent, drunk abusive father, who beat her mother to unconsciousness on more than one occasion. As an adult Ruth has a coping mechanism which she applies to relationships with men, she is a serial “other woman” and is the one to leave her men as she searches for “the one”. All she ever wanted was to be loved and for people to stop leaving her.

Ready to leave Max and move in with Fletcher, Ruth is shocked to find she was just another affair and she is not welcome. She returns to Max’s flat just before he arrives home from a trip and gets to stay a while longer. However Ruth can no longer be at ease with Max, he has Jekyll & Hyde characteristics. He switches from Mr lovely to Mr jealous and possessive in an instant and he uses his fists when he’s angry. In fact it is more than that, he is totally selfish and self-centred surrounding Ruth with his friends, his music, and his gifts as forgiveness when he has beaten her up.

With Ruth in denial of the situation, complications spiral when she finds herself pregnant and Max goes into selfish possessive over-drive. Even with Ruth lying in hospital in a coma Max still thinks only of himself, but Ruth has used the time to find her inner strength and the drive she needs to break from the mould of abuse.

There is some very good writing in this book, the author builds the layers which make a compelling read and the storyline, although sad, touches on real life subjects which are all very believable. For me the book needs one more run through editing to erase the last few hiccups and then this book would be a 5* read.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT THE DANCE OF DIMITRIOS by @PatrickBrigham #Crime #Thriller

Today’s team review is from Babus, she blogs here http://ajoobacatsblog.wordpress.com

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Babus has been reading The Dance Of Dimitrios by Patrick Brigham

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When a body of a woman is found in the river, local Greek police file it as the death of a Muslim refugee. No real investigation takes place as the body is considered of no consequence until it is suspected the body is of British National Marjorie Braithwaite. DCI Lambert working for Europol is despatched to investigate. He has been furnished with information about Marjorie Braithwaite that complicate the case further. Teaming up with an old colleague in Greece, Elektra Boulos, Lambert has his work cut out unravelling who Marjorie Braithwaite was in life and who could have wanted to and had opportunity to kill her.

This grown-up pan-European crime thriller laced with espionage and intrigue was compulsive reading with an edge of reality that set the story on fire. Whilst building out picture of the victim, we are presented with in-depth characterisations of both Lambert and Boulos, who are even at odds in this complex thriller whilst they try to make sense of the case they inherited. Lambert is very much his own man and a black sheep who picks his way through cases mostly singlehanded, as in his business it is default to trust no one. I felt no disadvantage from not having read any of the previous books in the DCI Lambert series.

There are suspects with motives ranging from getting bad book reviews to international espionage and human trafficking. If you like your police procedural crime thriller well written with that additional factor of plausibility and a huge dose of double dealing then you do not want to miss reading this one.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Wednesday Wing – #TwitterTip Part 3 Retweeting and Post Sharing #wwwblogs @TerryTyler4

Here on Wednesday Wing we bring you useful Tips and Notes.

Rosie's Notebook

Today @TerryTyler4 continues her #TwitterTips posts

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Twitter Tips

Part 3: Retweeting and post sharing

Twitter is a fast moving, constantly changing site. It’s said that the average life of a tweet is around 18 minutes, after which it fades away into oblivion. However, if you are only able to tweet once a day, building up a good network of people with whom you retweet regularly will mean that your posts will get exposure not just for hours but possibly for days to come.

Here’s how to make retweeting work best for you:

  1. ‘Pin’ a tweet to the top of your page. This makes it easy for anyone who clicks onto your page to retweet (RT) you. To do this, click on the three little dots at the bottom of the tweet, and select ‘Pin to your profile page’.
  2. Change your pinned tweet frequently, at least twice a week; if people have already RTd it they might just click off your page without looking for anything else to RT. Also, it’s good to vary your posts.
  3. Retweet with discretion. Retweeting rubbish, out of date stuff or random conversation is a fast way to lose followers. Although it’s nice to return a favour, RTing any old thing just for the sake of reciprocation is pointless. When I first started on the site I thought I had to return every one and used to do three daily sessions—it was ridiculous, took two hours out of each working day. Then one day I thought, this is crazy, and stopped. The world didn’t end (and I didn’t sell any less books).
  4. It’s not all about you. Just because something doesn’t interest you, it doesn’t mean it won’t interest your followers. I RT quite a few ‘mummy blogs’, for instance; I have zero interest in parenting but that doesn’t mean that my followers wouldn’t like to read them.
  5. Overkill: don’t do 100 RTs at a time. This makes it look as if you’re doing it via an app, and it can annoy followers who don’t want to see hundreds of tweets from people they haven’t chosen to follow.  I think doing a few sessions during the day of around 5-10 is a good plan, though of course this isn’t always possible.
  6. Thanking people for RTs: Most long term Twitter users agree there’s no point, and getting loads of ‘thanks for the RT’ tweets can get on people’s nerves, especially those ones that say “Thank you for RTing the amazing new review for Fabulous Book, Part One of The Best Selling Chronicles” ~ it just looks like a final grab at a bit more promotion. A RT back is thanks enough. Remember, a RT is better than a TY!

 

A word about Retweeting Apps: Just Say No.

Some people use a retweeting app called Roundteam. How do you spot those who use it?

  • Somewhere high on their timeline they will have a tweet advertising the app.
  • They will RT you the moment you post a new tweet, or tweet a certain word.
  • Their timelines consist of hundreds of retweets and little else.
  • If you make a comment to them via tweet, they don’t reply.

The people who use these apps rarely appear on Twitter in person, so they don’t see your tweets, your comments, your blog posts, your book promotions; they just programme certain accounts, key words and hashtags into the app, to be retweeted whenever they appear.

Don’t be tempted to use these apps; this isn’t social networking, and your timeline will be nothing but a stream of retweeted promotions for people like me who never return the favour. I retweet people, not robots.

NB: There are a few exceptions, ie, people who use Roundteam and appear on Twitter as well; one very generous lady I know, for instance, has medical problems that prevent her from sitting at a computer for a long time, so such an app means she can help her friends. You usually discover who these people are because they talk to you now and again, too!

Above all, don’t get bogged down with the retweeting thing. A while back a friend said to me that she came to dread the daily RT session, as indeed did I. It’s nice to do your bit, but if it becomes a chore it’s just daft.

Post Sharing

This is when you actually share someone else’s post via a tweet of your own, rather than just retweeting it. Most people do it via the share button on a blog; I don’t, so don’t know much about it, but Rosie has given some tips about it here:

Just 2 clicks to Twitter

Social networking is about generosity; if you read a good blog post, it’s a great idea to tweet saying ‘Excellent post by @username about blah blah’, with the link. I love it when people share my posts, I feel so pleased that someone has liked one enough to do so!

A few tips on post sharing:

  • Don’t forget to tag the author in the post with their @username, so that they know you’ve shared and can RT your tweet.
  • Don’t automatically share every single post that comes into your email inbox. Check them out first to make sure it’s something you actively want to share.
  • Overkill: if virtually all your tweets are shares of others’ posts, be aware that these will get retweeted rather than tweets about your own posts/books, most of the time. If you’re happy with that, that’s okay!

 

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Twitter Tips Part 1 Getting More Followers http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-90C

Twitter Tips Part 2 Expanding your reach http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-936

 

 

 

Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT BITTERSWEET FLIGHT by @AnneLHarvey1 #wwwblogs #FamilySaga

Today’s team review is from Terry, she blogs at http://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/

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Terry has been reading Bittersweet Flight by Anne Harvey

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Bittersweet Flight by Anne Harvey

3.5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed by me as a member of Rosie Amber’s Review Team

This is the sequel to A Suitable Young Man, and the two thread together well; it could possibly be read as a standalone. It starts in 1956, when Sally Simcox has run away from her home in Horwich, Lancs to Blackpool, because she is pregnant.   The father is Nick, with whom she had a one night stand after having liked him for a long time; he offered to marry her out of duty, but Sally knew he loved another, so pretended she’d had a miscarriage to let him off the hook.

Once in Blackpool she meets Phil, who is in the RAF, and he helps her find a job and somewhere to live; there is an immediate attraction between them. Alas, Phil is unaware that Sally has a connection to his family—and he already has a girlfriend, Pam, who is in love with him and hopes they will marry.

It being the late 1950s, Sally has to go into a mother and baby home. I thought this bit was very interesting, mostly because it shows the difference in attitudes between then and now. When I was in my teens, having a baby out of wedlock was still seen as a fairly shameful thing, but this is the generation before, when to be an unmarried mother could ruin a girl’s life.

Running alongside the main story is that of Joyce, Phil’s young sister, which is connected to Sally’s situation.

The book is very readable, certainly enough to keep me turning the pages because I wanted to know what happened, although I found it information heavy in parts; at times the dialogue was a little unrealistic. Near the end there is a revelation of sexual deviance which examined the darker side of working class life in those days, and an explicit sex scene, the latter of which I found incompatible with the otherwise ‘clean read’ tone of the book; it kind of jumped out and made me go ‘woah, what happened there?’ Aside from this, though, I would say that the many readers of nostalgia/family dramas will enjoy this book, as it’s a basically good story, and well plotted. Sally is real and likeable, and Phil’s dilemma very believable (though I thought Pam’s character and reactions could have been developed more).   There is plenty of day to day detail about life during the 1950s, too, that will appeal to this market.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

 

 

#BookReview Team THE DISOBEDIENT WIFE by Annika Milisic-Stanley #TuesdayBookBlog @MilisicStanley

Today’s team review is from Terry, she blogs at http://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/

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Terry has been reading The Disobedient Wife by Annika Milisic-Stanley

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The Disobedient Wife by Annika Milisic Stanley

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed by me as a member of Rosie Amber’s Review Team

I enjoyed this book very much indeed, it’s excellent and so unusual. It’s set in 2007/8, in Tajikistan, one of those countries that used to be part of the USSR; I’m ashamed to say that I didn’t know where it is, but looked it up (it borders China and Afghanistan).

The Disobedient Wife of the title could refer to Harriet Simenon, ex-pat wife of a Belgian diplomat who is unhappy in her current surroundings, or her home help/nanny Nargis, a young mother who has suffered much over the years; her first husband, who she loved dearly, died from cancer caused by toxic waste, and her second husband was violent. Under Tajikistan tradition, Nargis is seen as a fallen woman because she left him; he kept their son with him. I like book titles that could refer to more than one aspect of a book; it might also apply to a friend of Nargis who rebels against her controlling husband by taking a lover, a decision that has terrible consequences.

Nargis’s life is one of harsh drudgery, but she’s a fighter and I loved her character. Aside from the fact that the story is so well planned out and beautifully written, I was fascinated by the insight into the lives of the people of this country, and the effects of the release from Russia’s control.

At the beginning of the novel, English Harriet comes across as shallow, selfish and self-obsessed, but as her own marriage runs into difficulty and her friendships with her ex-pat friends are shown to be superficial, her relationship with Nargis deepens, and she begins to understand her strength, and examine her own way of life.

The story is written most from alternating points of view of Nargis and Harriet (some of Harriet’s is written in the form of her journal, which gives yet another insight), with occasional chapters looking at Harriet’s revolting ex-husband, who becomes involved with some dangerous people in an effort to better himself.

I was completely engrossed all the way through this book. There’s plenty going on, it’s quite a page-turner, and it’s as well written as any best seller by an established writer (and probably better than many). Highly recommended, I think it would be enjoyed by readers who love gritty crime/real life drama and more emotional women’s fiction alike, as it’s a mix of these two genres. Big thanks to the author for educating me about this country, too.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

 

DUBLIN’S FAIR CITY by @cathymansell3 #WomensFiction #BookReview

Dublin's Fair CityDublin’s Fair City by Cathy Mansell
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Dublin’s Fair City is Women’s Fiction set in the mid 1960’s in Dublin and Birmingham. This is a light easy read, a mix of family saga and light romance. Eighteen year old Aileen Maguire lives with her parents, they run a haberdashery shop. Eileen’s mother is ill and on her deathbed writes a small note asking Aileen to find her long lost brother and ask his forgiveness.

Aileen’s father is shocked by his wife’s death and secret revelation, he falls into despair and whilst grieving allows Aileen’s Aunt Lizzie to take over and Aileen finds herself cold shouldered out of the family home. She goes to Birmingham to stay with a distant relative and wishes to discover more about her mother and her past. However the answers are not in England.

Events in England test her relationship with boyfriend Dermot who is back in Ireland, they take their relationship to breaking point when Aileen finally returns home for good. Can she find the answers about her long lost brother? Will she make things right with Dermot?

The storyline is very much dialogue led which slows the pace and for me, misses opportunities for leading the read with descriptive sentences filled with emotion and passion. There is room to add depth to the writing by taking more time with the main points and considering if all the lesser story threads add to the main theme. To remain competitive in the saturated women’s fiction genre I’d like to see a slimming of weak words and sentences and a touch up of the dialogue to make it vivid, sharp and pace setting.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT JASPER by @tonyriches #HistFic #Tudor

Today’s team review is from Noelle, she blogs at http://saylingaway.wordpress.com

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Noelle has been reading Jasper by Tony Riches

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Book Review: Jasper – Book Two of the Tudor Trilogy

The Tudor Trilogy follows the emergence of the Tudor dynasty from its beginning with Owen Tudor, the subject of the first book, through Jasper, his son, the subject of the second.

I reviewed the first book and welcomed the chance to follow the story. This time period is a particularly difficult one, dealing with the War of the Roses, symbolized by the heraldic badges of the two battling houses of the Plantagenet line: the House of Lancaster (red rose) and that of York (white rose). Each claimed the right to the throne of England. During the thirty-two years of this prolonged war (1455-1487), there were sporadic battles with enormous loss of life, and – as the book so clearly illustrates – various men popping on and off the throne.

Given this long and convoluted history, the author, Tony Riches, does a yeoman’s job of taking us carefully through the years of involvement of Jasper Tudor in preserving and saving the Lancaster (Tudor) line, established by the marriage of his father Owen Tudor of Wales to Katherine of Valois. Katherine was the widow of the warring Henry V and mother of Henry’s son Henry VI.

As in the book, the real Jasper fought in battles, sieges and skirmishes and faced challenges from many sides, including friends who became enemies and enemies who became friends. In the War of the Roses, people flipped sides to improve their lot or just to save themselves, a never-ending game of chess.

Jasper’s path to putting a Tudor on the throne was determined by his brother’s son Henry, who together with his mother, Margaret, was given to him for safekeeping. The brother, Edmund, died of plague in 1456. His father, Owen, whose story is the first book, dies at the beginning of the second, in 1461, as a member of Jasper’s army in the battle of Mortimer’s Cross. He is captured and beheaded by Edward of York, and in the book, his death drives Jasper through the next decades and is the basis of his decisions of life and death for his enemies.

Jasper’s life is written as a series of unexpected and seemingly impossible escapes from death as he is pursued by York forces from Wales to Ireland to France and back. Along the way, the reader meets any number of fascinating characters, some real and some created: Gabriel, an Irish warrior and horse whisperer, who serves as a connection between Jasper and home and as the author relates, is the probably combination of a number of servants and friends; Lady Margaret, who gave birth to Henry at age 12 and who becomes the consummate politician, guaranteeing her survival and that of her son through deliberate subsequent marriages: Henry VI, a deeply religious man who experienced a mental breakdown during the protracted war, and spent time on both the throne and in the Tower of London as a prisoner; Máiréad, a young Irish woman with whom Jasper falls in love and takes with him on his wanderings but doesn’t marry; and Francis, Duke of Burgundy, a wily player in the French political scene.

Jasper Tudor was the greatest survivor of the Wars of the Roses, a man whose perseverance changed the course of English history. The author’s attention to the details of the often brutal world of the fifteenth century is exceptional and provides a rich background to a fast-paced story of courage and adventure and love and strength of family.

For aficionados of historical fiction with a strong basis in fact, this is a book you will love.

4.5 stars out of 5

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT THE FINAL VIRUS by @carolJhedges #YA #Dystopia #SundayBlogShare

Today’s team review is from Cathy, she blogs at http://betweenthelinesbookblog.wordpress.com

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Cathy has been reading The Final Virus by Carol Hedges

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In a dystopian future Earth’s environment has completely changed following a spate of natural disasters, which claimed a huge percentage of the populace, and caused extreme climate change, plus a total cybercrash which wiped the data from every chip, memory board and circuit on the planet. This new world is governed by just one president who revitalised the world and improved life for the remaining population. Seemingly.

Will is still reeling from the sudden, and as he believes, suspicious, death of his father. When he finds a calling card which is able to be read by Ned, the computer his father built which Will now uses, his misgivings don’t seem unfounded. Will is desperate to find out the truth behind his father’s death. He is helped by Amber, his strange and unpredictable classmate, both of them unaware of the danger they are placing themselves in. Will and Amber are complete opposites but despite that, develop an attraction to each other.

Completely different in writing style and genre to other books by Carol Hedges that I’ve read but nevertheless, the characterisation is just as good. Will and Amber are well defined and distinct, as are the secondary characters, nasty ones too, of which there are a few, but all have their part to play in moving the story forward. I like how the relevant facts of the world setting were revealed by the obnoxious teacher, Mr Neots, in the form of history lessons.

A well written story with some great twists. It’s quite a scary picture of the possible effects and consequences of severe climate change. I like how Will and Amber’s relationship evolves realistically, given the situation and the disparity between them, yet somehow they complement each other. There are a few plot points which don’t quite add up and perhaps needed to be expanded upon, (I’m wondering if there will be a sequel) but on the whole, this is a very enjoyable read.

4 out of 5 stars

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT THE FINAL VIRUS by @carolJhedges #YA #Dystopia #WeekendBlogShare

Today’s team review is from Terry, she blogs at http://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/

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Terry has been reading The Final Virus by Carol J Hedges

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The Final Virus by Carol Hedges

4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed by me as a member of Rosie Amber’s Review Team

I’ve read Carol Hedges’ three Victorian murder mysteries and loved them; even though I am not a fan of YA books I love the whole post apocalyptic genre, so was keen to give this a go.

In this future world all countries are one, with one president, and peace reigns. This follows a cybercrash in which the computer systems of the world were wiped out within a couple of hours, and also the effects of climate change which has altered the entire landscape of the planet.

The story centres around Will and Amber. Will is popular, clever and sought after; Amber is a non-conformist with strange intuitive capabilities. Oddly attracted to each other, they come together to investigate the truth behind the death of Will’s father and possible government conspiracies.

As always, Carol Hedges’ characters are immediately real and three dimensional, the dialogue sharp, realistic and often funny; there’s a definite element of dry humour throughout this book that I liked very much. However, I would have liked to know much more detail about how the current situation came to be, and how the people now live, how the world had changed as a whole; at the beginning I couldn’t quite work out what was going on, when and where it was supposed to be taking place, etc, though some of my questions were answered fairly soon (by Mr Neots, the boring teacher, a great character!), and more later.

The Final Virus is a good mixture of the sci-fi thriller/adventure and believable relationships between the teenage main characters, and I think YA fans of the genre will enjoy this series very much.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT THE BLACK ORCHID by @CelineJeanjean #Steampunk #WeekendBlogShare

Today’s Team Review is from Barb, she blogs at http://barbtaub.com/

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Barb has been reading The Black Orchid by Celine Jeanjean

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gold starMy Review: 5 stars out of 5

As I read The Black Orchid, Book 2 of Celine Jeanjean’s The Viper and the Urchin Series, I was thinking again about those three sliding variants of character development—competence, proactivity, and sympathy. In my review of her first book, The Bloodless Assassin (formerly titled The Viper and the Urchin), I talked about how those markers moved over the course of the book.

It was fascinating to see how they move again in the sequel. The motivating premise of the first book was, as its new title correctly proclaims, the anomaly of a master assassin who is reduced to physical incapacity by the sight of blood. But in this new book, would that be enough to continue moving the action forward? Not a problem! Working brilliantly within a mix of my favorite genres (steampunk/sword & sorcery fantasy), author Celine Jeanjean continues to move those sliders as both urchin Rory and assassin Longinus develop their relationship with each other and with others.

As The Black Orchid opens—to their mutual shock and not a little embarrassment— both Rory and Longinus find themselves in the position of being honestly employed in the service of Damsport’s ruler, the Old Girl. It’s devastating to both.

 

Longinus—”Damsport’s most elegant assassin”, clotheshorse, and bad poet—is used to stalking his contracted victims to the accompaniment of an internal monologue extolling his brilliant (and brilliantly accessorized) successes. But with legal employment, he’s reduced to stalking incoming shipments to discover the reasons for the shortage of luxury goods such as his trademark black silk (so essential to the Viper’s image you know…). And the elegant lines he formerly composed in praise of his prowess as an assassin are now replaced with love poems sent (anonymously, of course) to the Lady Martha, daughter of the Old Girl. While our sympathy for this new Longinus might be high, his rapidly diminishing competence and proactivity make him seem like an over-age and slightly whiny Harry Potter.

Well-dressed and no longer a scrawny, smelly urchin, gainful employment and regular meals have hit Rory hard as well. For the first time, her life plan of becoming a master swordswoman is tainted by the realization that “the Scarred Woman” she wanted to emulate for years is actively determined to destroy both Longinus personally and her city of Damsport. But Rory slowly realizes that if she’s no longer an urchin—the one thing she was supremely competent at—then she has no idea who or what she is. Like Longinus, the Rory we meet at the beginning of  The Black Orchid is hitting the trifecta of low sympathy, competence, and proactivity.

And the relationship between Rory and Longinus—the one area that could move those sliders up as they reinforce each other’s strengths and compensate for their weaknesses—is crumbling under the weight of respectability.

Luckily for Rory and Longinus, the one person whose sliders are at 100% for competency and proactivity, and near-zero for sympathy—Longinus lifelong enemy and sister Myran—is subtly orchestrating a series of events designed to destroy them. With their enemies a step ahead at every turn, Rory and Longinus both have to step out of their comfortably respectable new life, become proactive, and resurrect the competencies of their old lives to survive.

One of the things I love about Celine Jeanjean’s writing is all the stuff she does NOT say. In keeping faith with Rory and Longinus as narrators, she keeps explanations to a minimum and pays readers the compliment of assuming we’ll get relationships and motivations from actions, instead of from paragraphs of exposition. Instead of congratulating Damsport on having people of color—and especially women—be strong, clever, and brave, the author lets the unfolding story speak for itself. The love of a woman’s life? It can be another woman, one of a different race at that, and that relationship can be publicly acknowledged. The strongest person in town? Again, that can be a woman. The villain? Ditto.

In a particular level of genius, Celine Jeanjean lets us into Rory and Longinus heads, uses their point of view to narrate actions, and lets readers put together the clues that the bemused characters still haven’t understood. In addition, The Black Orchid meets all my remaining criteria for a successful mid-series book:

  1. Both the Black Moment when all goes to crap AND the turning point for the series overall. I don’t want to risk spoilers, but there is a moment when all truly seems lost, and when Rory and Longinus’ relationship is severed. Coming off that moment is, I believe, the real turning point for the series as a whole.
  2. Both its own self-contained story arc AND the setup for the final confrontation. Yes, the story arc is nicely wrapped up within this book, and the villains dealt with. But Rory and Longinus’ nemesis, the Scarred Woman/Myran, is still out there plotting. The young noble Rafe is still interested Rory, as he told her in Book 1. “I could be your sidekick, you know. Or your love interest. There’s always a sidekick and a love interest in stories.
  3. Characters who grow and develop within this book AND also have arcs that span all the books. Rory and Longinus meet this requirement individually, but even more in the form of their evolving and developing relationship.
  4. Villain/conflicts who suffer interim defeats in this book AND are still out there building to that climactic final book’s conclusion. And that brings us back to where we came in, with Longinus’ lifelong enemy/sister Myran pulling the strings that set the plot arcs dancing

Five stars? When a book has everything I like—diverse, well-developed and evolving characters, a steampunk setting, and entertaining dialog, what’s not to love?

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com