Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss

At the beginning of the 19th century, adventure awaits…

May 22, 2005

Mr, Impossible by Loretta ChaseWell, two good paranormal books down, I also read two historicals…MR. IMPOSSIBLE by Loretta Chase and THE CHASE by Cheryl Sawyer. (Enough “chase” in that sentence?). Loretta Chase has been a favorite historical romance author of mine for years — way too many to admit here. One of my very favorite historical romances is LORD OF SCOUNDRELS and I wish I could say that MR. IMPOSSIBLE was up there with the best of the best. But it’s probably not possible to hit homers every time. So, let’s start with the title. Good grief, who came up with that one? It is just not a good historical title and along with MISS WONDERFUL, Chase’s book from 2004 and the beginning of this series, the titles just don’t do it for me as a harbinger of a great historical book. Probably, just me, but once you get past the unfortunately modern sounding title (it just sounds like fluff to me) you’ll find a delightful book set in 1821 Egypt.

The Companion by Susan SquiresAh, an exotic land, filled with poverty and newly uncovered mysteries and treasures, fought over by warring Europeans and local tribesman. What a setting for a romance! Like Susan Squires’ THE COMPANION you won’t want to leave this Egypt. It isn’t the kindest place to be — Chase doesn’t cover up the poverty and disease — but it is exotic, romantic and filled with adventure. And Rupert and Daphne dash along on their mission to rescue the kidnapped Miles (brother of Daphne, I say, does this remind one of THE MUMMY II sans kiddo?)

And does Rupert have to be so stupid that he doesn’t know he’s in love? Only one of the things that really spoiled the story for me. And we were doing so well. Even the villains were better portrayed in this go round.

I think though, if you compare, and it’s really not possible except on the exotic setting of Egypt, both women being Egyptian experts/scholars, THE COMPANION has the lead for adventure and erotic appeal while MR. IMPOSSIBLE (shudder on the title, again) has the lead in romance. The stronger female lead is Squires’ Elizabeth Rochewell since she is definitely not a dummy Egyptian scholar but Chase’s Rupert Carsington is a fun loving scoundrel. Plus I think it takes more to love a vampire than a scoundrel.

The Chase by Cheryl SawyerBut on to the Hundred Days — Napoleon has escaped from Elba and is on the loose in France. The Continent and British kingdom are in an uproar. Just when they thought it was safe….sounds almost like a horror movie, doesn’t it? Well, think again. THE CHASE is a historical with romance. If you like good, old fashioned, well researched historicals, you’ll enjoy this book. If you like a romance with a bit of historical fluff added, you’ll probably hate it. Me, I’m on the side of well-researched historical story telling. The romance in THE CHASE is hit or miss, but the characters’ stories are sublime.

After reading you’ll want to dive back into Sharpe’s War and more. Maybe it’s because I just finished a glom of my Jane Aiken Hodge period novels, but this one hit the spot. I didn’t like her previous novel, SIREN nearly as well as this one.

Longmire Does Romance Novels
And from my husband — found in the back of his PC Magazine, the reason why I hate clinch covers — it is so easy to be made fun of, but you must admit, some of these are truly funny. Also, why doesn’t he do the men’s adventure covers? Some of them are just as silly, and those old scifi/fantasy ones? Drawn by hormonal boys? Huh???

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