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A Female Guard?

High Heels and Handguns
Kate Howard #1
Lisa Heartman
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense
Publication date: February 7th 2020

For Kate Howard, former Army Special Forces Sergeant, life as a one-woman personal protection detail comes with challenges. Wearing civilian camouflage while guarding high-profile clients is a dangerous game of rock, paper, hollow point.

After an explosive and deadly end to her client’s reelection fundraiser, which left his young son in critical condition, Kate must accept help from an unwanted source: the soldier she loved and left in Afghanistan, bloody, broken, and barely alive.

Special Forces Officer Paxton Banks, Kate’s former captain—now an FBI agent—is assigned to investigate the attempt on her client’s life. After ten years, old emotions and new threats whip Kate’s world into complicated chaos. But when other elected officials are threatened, Kate and Paxton must tamp down their fiery feelings to catch a madman hell-bent on revenge.

So if you were a female personal body guard, would you want to be tottering around in 5 inch heels? 6 inch? [never figured out how anyone walked anywhere in those] Even if they were designer heels gifted to you?

How can you run and catch the bad guys? Can you find a way to have an ankle holster? And look really smart and professional and NOT like a beefy bodyguard but like a personal assistant?

And then you find that the FBI get involved and an ex-boyfriend comes on the scene. So how were you going to prove yourself in your chosen career?

I liked the heroine and her desire to be a kick ass female and thought the storyline was reasonably well undertaken and written. I look forward to seeing how Kate develops in future books.

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Icelandic Noir

The Darkness Book Cover The Darkness
Ragnar Jónasson
Women Sleuths, Norse and Icelandic Stories, Murder Mystery, Psychological Thriller
Michael Joseph
March 15, 2018
352

After being unceremoniously forced into early retirement at the age of 64, Detective Inspector Hulda Hermannsd ttir of the Reykjavik Police is refusing to go quietly. Hulda is told to pick a cold case to investigate for two more weeks and she knows just the one. A young woman found dead on the seaweed-covered rocks of the Vatnsleysustrond. A woman who had come to Iceland in search of refuge and found only a watery grave. Her death was ruled a suicide after a slapdash investigation. But when Hulda starts to ask questions she soon realises that there was something far darker to this case. That this was not the only young woman to disappear from the hostel where the asylum seekers waited for their judgement and that no one is telling the whole story. And that if she uncovers something she shouldn't her own life might be in danger.

It was a dark and dreary time in Iceland – but then Iceland doesn’t get much sun and fun at the best of times – and if I was an asylum seeker, it is one of the last places I would chose to go to. Winter lasts a very long time indeed – and there aren’t a lot of people there (it is the most sparsely populated country in Europe) – and there isn’t much that is green and… bits of it are falling off – [Personal fact – I saw a glacier ‘calving’ once in Alaska – it was outstanding and so blue!]

But if needs must, then you go. But what you don’t want to find is a system where being female is something that puts you in yet more danger.

We have e new detective to me in this book – a Hulda Hermannsdóttir of Reykjavik, who doesn’t get on so well with her colleagues and thus is left investigating a cold case – the death of an asylium seeker. But what she gradually uncovers is rather more than she expected.

I am not a great Nordic Noir fan, whether in books or on TV, but this book fascinated me. It was well plotted and well translated and the style was polished. It was basically good storytelling for a murder and in the classic style.

I enjoyed it and the as for the ending – well a good plot with plenty of red herrings (and the Icelandic folks probably know quite a lot about them) – and unexpected ending.

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Look harder!

A Royal Christmas Quandary Book Cover A Royal Christmas Quandary
Samantha Hastings
Young Adult Fiction, Macmillan Children's Publishing Group, Swoon
Swoon Reads
October 6, 2020
256

Readers looking for a light, fun read full of holiday mischief will be delighted by Samantha Hastings' A Royal Christmas Quandary, perfect for fans of A Christmas Prince and The Crown. When you spend Christmas in a castle, anything is possible. 1860. Lady Alexandrina Gailey is looking forward to a cozy holiday at Windsor Castle with her best friend, Princess Alice, and her long-time crush, Lord George Worthington. But Drina's plans are all but dashed when Alice's parents, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, declare that Alice must choose one of two royal princes to become engaged to before Christmas. There's just one problem: George, a junior member of the Foreign Office, has accidentally misplaced one of the princes. Together, Drina and George scour the town of Windsor for the missing prince, desperately hoping to deliver him to the royal dinner party with the queen none the wiser. They might just need a royal Christmas miracle to pull it off.

I liked the way this story mixed fact with fiction – faction in truth except that the people you would normally write faction about, were bit part players here. Queen Victoria appeared here in all her majesty and dictates. A suitable story for tweenagers.

Unfortunately for our heroine the entailed Estate was still legal at this time. In fact: England only outlawed the entail in 1925 applying to real estate. But England still allows male-only primogeniture for aristocratic titles, but this was changed for Royalty in 2013 whereby an Act of Parliament replaced male-preference primogeniture with absolute primogeniture for those in the line of succession born after 28 October 2011, which means the eldest child, regardless of sex, precedes their siblings.

And as for the crinoline and corsets – well – the fact that women had difficulty going through doors was well known as it was considered fashionable to have the largest crinoline you could, with the most furbelows!

or!

I liked the adventures that our hero and heroine got up to, no matter how silly or unlikely, but still come back to the idea that 18 is much too young to decide on who to marry even though it was common then – and as for the Princess who was engaged at 14, well…

I also liked the parlor games and thought they could be great fun considering the lack of other entertainment – and as for the forfeits they were rather cheeky. Ice skating was a popular pastime too as it was rather colder during this period than it is now – partly because of the mini Ice Age being experienced, but also because of the Krakatoa explosion in 1883 which dropped average temperatures by at least 1 degree for over a year due to the dust cloud cover.

Over all a nice romp through a Victorian romance .

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Wild witches

Wilde and Witchy
complete series
Ruby Raine
paranormal romance -- urban fantasy-- supernatural suspense & mystery
Independently published
(23 July 2019)

"Sassy. Steamy. Magical. -- A cold shower is needed after reading this series!" Dani doesn't know she's a powerful witch - her unknown protectors murdered before passing on their knowledge. Now, evil sets their murderous intent on Dani: wanted dead--not alive, before she discovers she's the only witch powerful enough to stop the ultimate evil from rising. Join thousands experiencing Wilde & Witchy Today! All Dani Harper wanted was a vacation in the one place she could still call home.After tragedy strikes and she loses her mother, Dani needs a dose of the next best thing--her Aunt Marni, her three never-seem-to-age Siamese cats, some much needed summer sun, and endless moonlight and mojitos under the bright starry island sky each night.What she got, was thrown into the middle of two murder investigations, an old flame--in the form of the sexy local police chief--telling her the supernatural not only exists, but that she's a witch with a price on her head. He offers protection from this supernatural hitman, but Dani soon finds out its her heart and soul that needs the protection most because she's falling--again--for Galen Wilde, and he's got a wicked supernatural secret of his own.**The Complete Series Bundle:Book 1: The Day the Witch Stood Still Book 2: Gone With the WolvesBook 3: A Mating Most FoulBook 4: When the Shift BlowsBook 5: Phantom of the Opera House B&BBook 6: Someone to Witch Over MeBook 7: It's a Witchy Life (Series Finale)

So we have the Wilde witches – a family of female witches from New England – Blueberry Island – who have inherited powers. Each witch inherits powers as her forebears die – until the last witch standing will inherit all of them – and also a mega million fortune and loads of land and a mansion.

Finally there are 3 sisters and one goes bad – embraces the dark and is cast out of the family. The 2 sisters are murdered leaving only the one daughter left – who initially hadn’t realised that she was a witch as her mother and aunt had kept her powers from her. But on their death she inherited them and the millions and the mansion and and.. Whilst including a great many different magical and paranormal creatures and ideas from curse, werewolves, shifters, intersexuality; homophobia and the general issues of living on a small island where things often go bump in the night; the storylines also deal with the different social issues that result from sexuality and ability to bear children and others in a very nuanced and sensitive manner following up the characters and their emotions and fears.

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Quasi? Apparently but not really.

Quasi Redux
(Angelbound Origins, #8)
Christina Bauer
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult
Published by: Monster House Books
Publication date: September 29th 2020

“Myla is a magnificent heroine, fierce and outspoken, hilarious and mischievous … And did I mention that her demon tail is sentient? Best. Sidekick. Ever.” – The Nocturnal Library Myla Lewis has her life back. Wife. Mother. Queen. Great Scala. Queen of the Thrax. Yay! Then one day, Myla runs across a supernatural waterfall that makes her igni screech like crazy. Our heroine speaks the fateful words, “Some days, I wish I weren’t the Great Scala.” The waterfall grants her wish. A moment later, Myla is back at Purgatory High. No husband. No child. No powers beyond her old quasi days. And without Myla around as the Great Scala, all quasis now live under Armageddon’s rule. That sucks. Hard. So Myla sneaks into Antrum—she simply must find Lincoln and figure this out. Once she arrives, two problems arise. First, her husband doesn’t know her. At all. Second, Lincoln is married to someone else. Fuuuuuuu…

How excited are you for this interview?

So freaking excited, I can’t even tell you. The Bouncing Tigger Reads is the BEST!!!

Can you tell your readers something about why you chose this particular topic to write about?
My Angelbound book series is set in the after-realms, an imaginary place that includes Heaven, Hell, Purgatory and some other stuff. I grew up Roman Catholic and always asked the nuns fun questions such as, what’s it like in Purgatory? Needless to say, I didn’t get all the answers I wanted. When I got to be an adult, I figured I’d ‘fill in the blanks’ and Angelbound was born.

What appealed to you about it?

I have a nasty habit of filling in backstory on stuff. It’s a lot of asking questions in my head… and then answering them while I’m driving around or whatever. For Angelbound, I was like, who are all the archangels and archdemons as people? What if Purgatory isn’t fire and suffering but more of a nasty strip mall? Things like that. Living inside my head is a very strange place to be.

I also fell in love with writing the heroine, Myla. Every character is a part of me, both the good and so-called bad. In terms of Myla, she’s a side of me that’s irreverent and full of energy. It’s a blast to put her on the page!

Why do you think it is different and your approach is unique?

What’s different about my stuff:

-I write my books in the first person voice, so it’s like the character is sitting next to you and dictating their life.

-I use pop culture references, f-bombs and make up my own words and phrases (shitburger is a new one I’m using in QUASI REDUX. You’re welcome.)
-There’s always lots of action and mind-bending imaginary situations

-You’re either obsessed with my work or you think I’m super annoying

-Aaaaaaaaand that’s about all I can think of right now. Thanks for having me stop by!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Christina Bauer thinks that fantasy books are like bacon: they just make life better. All of which is why she writes romance novels that feature demons, dragons, wizards, witches, elves, elementals, and a bunch of random stuff that she brainstorms while riding the Boston T. Oh, and she includes lots of humor and kick-ass chicks, too. 

Christina Bauer knows how to tell stories about kick-ass women. In her best selling Angelbound series, the heroine is a part-demon girl who loves to fight in Purgatory’s Arena and falls in love with a part-angel prince. This young adult best seller has driven more than 500,000 ebook downloads and 9,000 reviews on Goodreads and retailers. The first three books in the series are now available as audiobooks on Audible and iTunes. Bauer has also told the story of the Women’s March on Washington by leading PR efforts for the Massachusetts Chapter. Her pre-event press release—the only one sent out on a major wire service—resulted in more than 19,000 global impressions and redistribution by over 350 different media entities including the Associated Press. 

Christina graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BA’s in English along with Television, Radio, and Film Production. She lives in Newton, MA with her husband, son, and semi-insane golden retriever, Ruby.

Be the first to know about new releases from Christina by signing up for her newsletter: http://tinyurl.com/CBupdates

Blog: http://monsterhousebooks.com/blog/category/christina
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorBauer/
Twitter: @CB_Bauer
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/christina_cb_bauer/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/christina-bauer-481b12139/
Web site: http://monsterhousebooks.com/authors/cbauer

iBook: https://books.apple.com/us/book/quasi-redux/id1484006020
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/quasi-redux

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