Although I thoroughly enjoy reading writers new to me and enthusing about their stories, it’s always a treat to come across new or unfamiliar backlist stories from favourite writers
I can never resist any stories by Clare London and so I jumped at the chance of reading Romancing The Ugly Duckling, the second in her re-released Romancing The stories, a series of themed one-off romances.
I thoroughly enjoyed this opposites attract romance in Romancing The Ugly Duckling where both men get the wrong initial impression of the other. Fashionista Perry and outdoors-type Greg are thrown together by circumstances out of their control.
Greg’s four media-savvy London-based brothers are contenders for a new reality tv programme and they need to complete the set of siblings to be in with a chance of sealing the deal. But Greg has not only cut himself off from his mercenary family but also civilisation as far as Londoners are concerned.
Put upon stylist Perry is given the task by his exploitative PR company boss to hunt down the elusive Greg. He’s packed off to Scotland not realising that Greg has already refused to have anything to do with the offer. I enjoyed how this close proximity story of misunderstandings unfolded in the beautifully described surroundings of a remote Scottish island and its quirky and likeable inhabitants.
This sweet, funny and romantic story developed with both members of our couple having to overcome their own difficulties and insecurities, which made their story all the more emotionally engaging. Another really lovely read from Clare London.
As you know, I can’t resist K.L. Noone’s stories and have a weakness for her contemporary couple Wes & Finn, the medieval history professor and Hollywood actor, whose main story thread was concluded in An October Question with their engagement. I was thrilled when Kristin mentioned an upcoming spin-off story so I had to snag my copy of December Beginnings.
We first met Matthew in Under an August Moon, as Finn’s stunt double, privately nursing a serious long-term crush on the star. In December Beginnings, while on set in Canada, Matthew is coming to terms with the news of Finn’s engagement to Wes in California. He slowly realises that he’s not the only cast member to have hidden feelings for another and that this time, he might be the oblivious recipient. Matthew and Dylan make a super cute couple in this gorgeously romantic tale about letting go of impossible dreams to grasp reality for a chance at love.
K.S. Murphy co-wrote the fabulous Spells & Sensibility with K.L. Noone, (can’t wait for the sequel!) so it was a real treat to dive into the first book in her new historical fantasy series, The Full Moon Chronicles Book 1: 1847. I loved the lush and slightly fantastical setting of mid-19th century London and the grand mansion (or rather lair) of vampire Laurent as he encounters ragged stranger Seth in his study, who is far more otherworldly than he seems, hiding from the full moon rather than pursuers.
This was a delicious, atmospheric and sensual start to the series, with lots of world-building and a terrific connection between Laurent and Seth. I really enjoyed Kelly’s interpretation of vampire and lycanthrope tension which made their initial meeting all the more resonant and passionate, complete with a flip in the balance of power. I’m already looking forward to Book 2 of their story.