Apr. 18th, 2014

annathepiper: (Castle and Beckett and Book)

It is my distinct pleasure to feature Susanna Fraser on Boosting the Signal today. Some of you may have seen me post about Susanna before, since she’s a fellow Carina Press author–and she’s also one of the authors that falls squarely into the somewhat narrow bracket of historical romances I like to read! I have read both of the books we’ll be featuring today, Regency-era romances, and was very pleased to learn in particular that Susanna is a fellow Browncoat. If you check out The Sergeant’s Lady, see if you can spot the same Firefly reference I did!

Also–be advised that A Marriage of Inconvenience actually is a prequel to The Sergeant’s Lady, even though it came out later. So I’d recommend reading them in reverse order.

And without further ado, here’s Anna Wright-Gordon, the sister of the hero of A Marriage of Inconvenience. At the halfway point of her brother’s story, she has a complaint!

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The Sergeant's Lady

The Sergeant’s Lady

My brother James likes to think he knows everything. When I was younger, I believed it was true. Of course to a little girl of 5, a 10-year-old brother, especially a kind and affectionate one, will seem quite splendid and wise. He taught me my letters and gave me my first riding lessons on his old pony, years before Papa thought I was ready.

But I’m 19 now, and he still cannot accept that I’m a grown woman who knows her own mind and heart. He thinks I am mad to marry Sebastian Arrington on so short an acquaintance, that I cannot truly know him. Well, I know enough! I know that he is nothing like any other man I know. He is neither frivolous youth nor callous rake, which is enough to set him apart from most of the gentlemen who attempted to court me during my Season. Sebastian is serious, even grave, and the way he watches me, so hungry and fascinated and almost worshipful, makes me feel honored and cherished in a way I’ve never experienced before.

James himself said I should marry an officer, a diplomat, or a politician–someone whose career I can help to advance. I don’t know how he can complain when I am only following his advice. And it’s all very well of him to say that if Sebastian and I truly love each other, we would be willing to wait a year or two. Has he forgotten that we are at war, and that Sebastian must return to his regiment on the Peninsula next month? Surely James knows how short and uncertain life is. What if Sebastian…dies, and we never had the chance to live together as husband and wife?

A Marriage of Inconvenience

A Marriage of Inconvenience

And I know something about James that he has yet to discover: he is going to marry Sebastian’s cousin Lucy Jones. I don’t think he even realizes how he watches her every time she enters the room, nor how he spends more time at her side than with anyone else. But I do, and so do our aunt and uncle. They think that James could do better than to marry a poor relation with no fortune at all. Yet while it’s true that he could, James’s own fortune is so large that he doesn’t need a wife with money, so I think he should choose a woman who will make him happy. And Miss Jones will. He needs someone with her peace, quietness, and calm, or he will never develop any of those qualities himself.

Best of all, once he marries Lucy and I marry Sebastian, our families will be doubly connected, and we will be so much in each other’s company. No matter how much James exasperates me, I don’t want to drift apart from him now that we are both grown. He is the best of brothers, after all. I’ll never forget the pony.

You can read James’s story in A Marriage of Inconvenience, and Anna’s further adventures are found in The Sergeant’s Lady.

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Buy A Marriage of Inconvenience: Carina Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Buy The Sergeant’s Lady: Carina Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Follow the Author On: Official Site | Blog | Twitter | Facebook

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

annathepiper: (Beckett and Book)

Luna: La cité mauditeLuna: La cité maudite by Elodie Tirel

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It’s a challenge to properly review this on the grounds that I’m very new to the French language–and this was the first book I tried to read in order to practice my reading comprehension with Quebecois French! So I have to comment on this book with the caveat that my understanding of it is therefore decidedly imperfect.

But that said, I was very pleased to be able to follow the broad strokes of the plot even though I missed a lot of the detail. Right out of the gate we start with a prologue in which the elf Ambrethil, a slave of the drow, is giving birth to a child. She’s scared out of her wits that her child will be born half-drow and a girl, which will run a huge risk of the baby being raised in the evil cult of the spider goddess Lloth. Ambrethil will have exactly NONE of this, so she arranges to have her baby smuggled out of the drow city, Rhasgarrok.

Commence the A plot, fast-forwarding twelve years, to when our young heroine Luna is being raised by wolves. Like ya DO. Her only bipedal family figure is a solitary mage, Le Marécageux, who taught her how to speak, read, and write. When her adoptive wolf pack is attacked and apparently wiped out by a drow attacker, Luna learns the truth of her origins from Le Marécageux, and resolves to venture into Rhasgarrok in search of her mother.

Meanwhile, over in plot B, the warrior Darkhan is also infiltrating Rhasgarrok on a mission of his own. He’s promptly captured by the sorceress Oloraé, who forces him to become a gladiator. Again, like ya DO.

I was entirely unsurprised that plot A and plot B eventually intersected, but was pleasantly surprised by what transpired then. Luna, despite her initial introduction being quite cliched (because of course she’s unbelievably beautiful and looks exactly like her mother, yadda yadda yadda), was quite a bit more mature and clever than Darkhan was willing to give her initial credit for. Sure, the whole “oh this sweet innocent young thing I must protect from the awful things in this city” thing is another heavily used trope, but Luna and Darkhan both carried it out in a surprisingly likeable fashion. Which is the overall thing about this book; it uses a lot of heavily used tropes, but it does it surprisingly charmingly.

And, despite how my ability to follow the French was rough at best, I was able to pick up on how there’s some surprisingly grim bits with Darkhan in the gladiatorial bouts. My rough impression of the interactions between Darkhan and Oloraé suggested there was probably innueundo there, too. But overall this certainly seemed appropriately written for a YA audience.

So if you’re an Anglophone looking to practice your French, this would be a fun way to do it. I’ll be checking out more books in the series, since they’re digitally available to US customers on a few different sites. I’ll give this one four stars, mostly out of pleasure for the language practice, but also for finding it generally charming.



View all my reviews

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

annathepiper: (Blue Hawaii Relaxing)

Forgive me Internet, for I have delayed MIGHTILY in finishing up posting about my and Dara’s trip to Victoria and Cumberland in March!

This post therefore will be dedicated to Day 3 of our trip, which was mostly all about Dara and me heading northward from Victoria to Cumberland, and what happened once we got there and safely arrived at the abode of userinfosiestabear and userinfomaellenkleth!

Pictures of snow and trees and flags behind the fold!

Read the rest of this entry »

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

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