taprobane?

The Fountains of Paradise

Arthur C. Clarke

I first read this book a long, long time ago as a library book. A few years ago, with fond memories, I bought a second hand paperback copy of the book to revisit at some point.
Having a desperate need to spend more time away from screens now that I’m working from home during the lockdown I picked a physical book from my shelves to give me that diversion.
The plot is that superstar engineer Vannevar Morgan has decided that his next project should be a space elevator. He has a special low-g developed wonder material that will allow it but he needs to build it on a mountain somewhere on the equator. The best spot just happens to be on the site of an ancient monastery.
This book is solid entertaining Science Fiction but honestly nothing outstanding – definitely not as good as I had remembered.
Worth a read but not worth going out of your way to get a copy.

Rating: B

subway?

A City Dreaming

Daniel Polansky

M is a magician or as he would put in it “in with the management”.
This book is a series of rolling vignettes as we see what M gets up to after washing back up in New York after drifting all over the planet.
The main character is a charming rogue and the writing enjoyable.
The problem for me was that the story never coheres. Some vignettes are utterly trivial tales of life as a debauched New York who just happens to have magical abilities and others have a genuine sense of danger and high stakes.
The stories just feel random – there’s no sense of tension and release. It’s never building to something and certainly the war between magical queens promised in the blurb never materializes.
I don’t regret reading it – there was much to enjoy – but I just felt it could have been great if was a more conventional fantasy story.

Rating: B

princesses?

Holiday in the Hamptons

Sarah Morgan

This is a re-read of a perfectly enjoyable romance novel. You can read my earlier, still accurate, review here. I picked it up because I’d just finished listening to the audiobook of New York Actually (which is the first of the Knight siblings books) and remembered that I liked this one best of the series and the audiobook wasn’t at a price I was prepared to pay.

Rating: B

portland?

A Red-Rose Chain

Seanan McGuire

a red-rose chainThe latest instalment of the Toby Daye story finds her in Portland on a diplomatic mission to avert war between Faerie kingdoms. Obviously this being Toby nothing quite goes to plan.
I read this because I have been going through the series as audiobooks and this was the first I couldn’t find at a reasonable price. So old-fashioned physical reading was my only option.
Last time I read this I gave it a higher rating because I genuinely really enjoy the October Daye series but on a re-read in the context of the series it felt like a lesser work. Still good but not as good as the best books in the series

Rating: B

hudson?

The Prenup

Lauren Layne

Very solid “fake married” contemporary romance.
Charlotte Spencer and Colin Walsh got married ten years ago. He wanted a green card and she needed to be married to come into an inheritance.
They’ve basically not seen each other since the wedding day. When Colin asks for a divorce it triggers a clause in their prenup that requires them to spend three months living together before they can part.
The result is inevitable but it’s a very entertaining journey. Worth the cost of a cheap ebook if you like a fake relationship tale.

Rating: B

pita?

The Trouble With Mistletoe

Jill Shalvis

Willa runs a pet shop that’s also a sanctuary for waifs and strays – human or animal.
Keane’s just had a cat dumped in his lap and Willa’s shop may be the perfect solution.
Only trouble is she remembers their high school past and he doesn’t…
Solid, enjoyable and fluffy contemporary romance.

Rating: B

franchise?

Just Married?

Natasha West

When an English bookseller is dumped by her fiancee for being too predictable she takes a spontaneous journey to Las Vegas.
She wakes the next morning married to a C-List TV actress with a shot at the lead role in the next big movie franchise.
Things happen and the next thing you know we’re in a fake relationship story.
This is a solid contemporary romance novella with a WLW twist. It’s sweet and fluffy with a little bit of family drama thrown in.

Rating: B

fours?

The Lemon Sisters

Jill Shalvis

Brooke Lemon’s life is shaken out of it’s routine by the sudden arrival of her sister Mindy (with her kids in tow) at her home in Los Angeles.
Seeing that Mindy is at the end of her rope she volunteers to take the kids for a couple of days.
Ending up in her childhood home in Northern California she begins to confront her past and think about her future with the sexy guy next door.
Solid, entertaining contemporary romance.

Rating: B

heels?

Accidentally on Purpose

Jill Shalvis

Elle is a the super savvy manager of a building complex in San Francisco.
She survived a traumatic childhood to get where she is now. Except every day she has to deal with Archer the ex-cop who threw his career away to save her as a teenager.
If only they didn’t have this dangerous chemistry.
Solid, entertaining contemporary romance.

Rating: B

snails?

In At The Deep End

Kate Davies

This a novel about a woman whose life has become aimless after giving up her dancing career.
Her lovelife is non-existent and work is insecure and uninspiring.
Getting drunk at an arty party she makes out with a woman and the experience brings the realization that she’s attracted to women.
She throws herself into this new world with abandon. Quickly she finds herself with new hobbies, new friends and in a relationship with a woman who encourages her to explore her boundaries.
I life my romances fluffy. This is NOT a fluffy story even if you do get a sweet resolution after the drama plays out.
If you want a coming out story combined with complicated emotional dynamics then you’ve found it.
It’s well enough written – it’s really just not my cup of tea.

Rating: B