Review: Pucked by Helena Hunting

Format: ebook, trade
Pub Date: 2015
Publisher: Self Published
Length: 382 pages
FTC: Borrowed from a friend

If you've followed me on Twitter or read this blog at all, you'll know that I hate, LOATHE, despise first person, present tense. It's all over NA and YA and has been creeping into contemporary romance and I. Hate. It. But after nonstop urging from a friend who knows my sense of humor, I gave this hockey book a try. And for some strange reason, the 1st person present tense did not make me want to gouge my eyeballs out. It's a first.

I think what makes this tense combo work is the sheer outrageousness of Hunting's book. It is CRUDE. Like, in your face, no holds-barred, I-can't-believe-she-wrote-that crude. And funny. So, so funny.  The book starts with Violet masturbating. There are beaver jokes. And beaver clip art. I started this on the plane ride back from RT, with my ereader angled away from fellow passengers, because ... it's pretty explicit.

Review: Cold Memory by Leslie A. Kelly

Format: ebook
Pub Date: January 2017
Publisher: Self Published
Length: 260 pages
FTC: Purchased myself

I was a HUGE fan of the first two books of this series, which Leslie Kelly published under the name Leslie Parrish several years back. (Cold Sight was 2010) Unfortunately, they didn't sell well enough for her publisher to continue to support the series. Thankfully, Kelly decided to bring the series back on her own.  This is book 3, but I believe they can all stand alone.

What I love about these books is that the paranormal aspects aren't too far outside of what we already consider normal. It's light on the woo woo. These are pretty much standard romantic suspense, and 3/3 the mysteries are good and compelling.


Review: Mogul by Joanne Shupe

Format: mass market
Pub Date: February 2017
Publisher: Kensington
Length: 306 plus a novella of Tycoon
POV: 3rd, past
FTC: Received a copy for free at RT17

After lamenting that we have lost the wide variety of time periods and settings in romance, I did a happy dance when I picked this book up at the RT Convention this year. It's set in the US during the Gilded Age (last 30 years or so of the 1800s). I like my Regencies just fine, but I was happy to see something different.

I have never read Joanna Shupe before, but I enjoyed this one. It's not perfect, but I was glad to see a diverse NYC represented. And not just in the background. Much of the plot involves Chinatown (yes, I can hear the groans) but it's not a caricature.  We get the expected criminal element, but we also get a complex story about the Exclusion Acts, about a man trying to help his (Chinese) friend bring his wife to the US. It's thoughtful, and the characters here are not cardboard cutouts slapped on to satisfy some passing attempt at diversity. It feels organic and real.