Saturday, December 28, 2013

2 Mini-Reviews of Books That Should Never Go Together!

I'm reviewing 2 books that I would normally not put in the same blog post - except that these 2 authors love to sign books together.  If it's good enough for them, then it's certainly good enough for me.  And, thank goodness, I liked both of them.  Ready?  Ok. One is steampunk, and one is erotic romance.  Are those far enough apart for you?

Steampunk is 1st.  What exactly is steampunk?  Here is a definition that I got from Urban Dictionary:

Steampunk is a subgenre of speculative fiction, usually set in an anachronistic Victorian or quasi-Victorian alternate history setting. It could be described by the slogan "What the past would look like if the future had happened sooner." It includes fiction with science fiction, fantasy or horror themes.

Google's definition is:

a genre of science fiction that typically features steam-powered machinery rather than advanced technology.

Pretty interesting, yes?  Shelley Adina, who wrote a trilogy about 3 Amish women (I read the 1st 2 and really enjoyed them) has now written several books about a 17-year old girl, Claire Trevelyan, in Victorian England in the late 1800's.  I just read book 1, Lady of Devices, of the Magnificent Devices series, mostly because Shelley came to Village House of Books a couple of months ago, and that's the book I bought and had her sign.  I don't think steampunk is a genre I would have sought out/lusted after.  Did I like it?  A lot.  It's the story of a young girl from a very privileged family in London who loses both her money and her father, at the same time.  Instead of moving to another part of England with her mother, circumstances place Claire on the streets with a homeless band of children.  How she handles that, using what she's learned from her position of privilege, with the help of steam-powered devices that weren't actually available in the late 1800's, makes for a very interesting story.  When I finished, my 1st thought was:  What is she going to do next?  I gave this a 3/4, and I will definitely be reading #2.

The erotic romance is from my favorite (and only) erotic romance author.  Jasmine Haynes has written a book called The Naughty Corner.  Yes, I recognize that this is not on any school reading lists.  But I liked it a whole lot.  What Jasmine does is make you care about the romance, even while you are reading explicit sex scenes (I skipped those pages...yeah, right).

In this book, the protagonist, Lola Cook, ends up having her 2 nephews, twins, for a whole summer.  She has never had children and has no idea how to care for them.  On top of that, she is working on a high tech project with a deadline that is taking up most of her spare time.  So she does what any (surrogate) parent would do.  She finds something for them to do during the day.  She ends up enrolling them in a football camp.  This allows her time to work on her project.  

What Lola doesn't count on is her nephews giving the coach, Gray Barnett, a bad time.  He threatens to kick them out - unless she agrees to take her nephews' "punishment" whenever they act up.  And what starts out as a simple sex relationship turns into something much more.  Add in shenanigans by the 2 boys, the rocky relationship between the coach and his own son, and behind-the-scenes maneuvering by the coach's ex-wife, and you end up having a truly engaging story - honestly!  By the end of the book, you are definitely rooting for Lola and Gray to get together. Don't laugh, but I gave this a 3.5.  It's in my top 19 for the year.  So there.

COMING UP:  On January 1, I will post my 2013 lists.  I may get another set of mini-reviews in before then.  We'll see.    


  1. Thank you so much, Lloyd! Shelley's Magnificent Devices series is fabulous! And I'm so glad you loved The Naughty Corner. I made it into the top 19! What an honor. Thank you.

    And I am currently reading another of your recommendations, Only Time Will Tell, the first book in the Clifton chronicles by Jeffrey Archer. I love it! And I'll pass it on to my mom when I'm done. Thanks for all the great reads this year!

  2. I'm glad you like The Clifton Chronicles. Books 2 and 3 are equally good.

  3. I'm so glad you liked Lady of Devices, Lloyd. Those books are just as much fun to write as they are to read … I'm thinking the next one must have smuggling and pirates! --Shelley Adina

  4. I'll be picking up #2 at your next signing. I've got to have my books autographed, don't you know.