Saturday, December 30, 2006

The Deception of the Emerald Ring by Lauren Willig

This is the third book in the series by Willig, following The Secret History of the Pink Carnation and The Masque of the Black Tulip. They are sort of a combination of Regency romance and chick lit that are fun to read.

Eloise Kelly is in England to find information on the flower spies The Purple Gentian and The Pink Carnation, since everyone knows about The Scarlet Pimpernel. She manages to find the information unmasking The Pink Carnation in family papers belonging to Mrs. Selwick-Alderly, but her really cute great-nephew Colin Selwick is adamant that it not be published. Throughout the first two books, the story alternates between Eloise and Colin (the chick lit part of the story) and the Regency romances that tell the story of the flower spies and their organization. In this third volume, Letty Alsworthy tries to stop her sister Mary from eloping with Lord Pinchingdale, who is a good friend of The Purple Gentian. When Letty is the one found kissing Lord Pinchingdale at midnight in his coach wearing her nightgown, they must marry. Immediately following the wedding, Lord Pinchingdale goes missing, and Letty discovers that he has sailed to Dublin, so she follows. Together with The Pink Carnation, they manage to stop the Irish revolution of 1803.

I like the historicals better than the story of Eloise and Colin. The current story is stretched out over all the books and gets annoying at times. I had taken The Secret History of the Pink Carnation home and not gotten it read, but after Nancy Pearl recommended it in one of her columns, I checked it out again and enjoyed it. The covers, while beautiful, don't really do a lot to recommend these books, in my opinion.

Monday, December 04, 2006

The Circle Trilogy by Nora Roberts

Morrigan's Cross, Dance of the Gods, and Valley of Silence
Hoyt Mac Cionaoith is grieving. His brother Cian has been killed, and worse, changed into a demon. Because Hoyt is a sorcerer, his grief has conjured up a raging storm. The goddess Morrigan appears to him in a vision--telling him the creature his brother has become is a vampyre and that Hoyt is part of a charmed circle of six needed to defeat the vampire queen Lilith. She sends Hoyt from his home in eleventh century Ireland to twenty-first century New York City, to find Cian, who will also need to be part of the circle, which is to include a sorcerer, a witch, a warrior, a shape-shifter, a scholar, and the damned one.

When the group has assembled, (Hoyt, Glenna, the red-haired witch, Blair Murphy, a vampire slayer descended from Hoyt and Cian's sister, Larkin the shape-shifter, cousin of Moira, scholar and future queen of the mythical Geall, and Cian) they must learn to hunt and kill the demons before Samhain, when they will travel through the Dance of the Gods to the mythical Geall and fight Lilith's army at the Valley of Silence.

Nora Roberts' trilogies have been leaning more and more to the supernatural. It isn't something I would have picked up by any other author, but she tells a compelling story. People who enjoy her trilogies will probably enjoy this one, if they can get past the idea that they are reading "vampire books". As in other trilogies, there is plenty of steamy romance and suspense, and I found them hard to put down.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

I Read Romance

I Read Romance is the place to come to find good romances to read--or listen to. Librarians in Iowa are always on the lookout for good books, always reading, always ready to connect readers with the right book.