My love of reading is what started me on my path to becoming a published author. The sad irony is now that I’m an author with deadlines, edits, and marketing responsibilities, I have much less time to indulge in a good book. Once I turned in book three in the Countess of Harleigh series, that was the end of my contract. I did accept a contract for another three books in that series, but not before taking a little break where I spent many lovely hours with some fabulous books. I thought I’d share a few of my favorites with you this week.
One of the best things about being an author is that you sometimes get to read books waaay before anyone else. M. L. Huie’s Spitfire won’t release until January 7th and you should mark your calendar, or just pre-order, because you won’t want to miss this one!
Spitfire by M.L. Huie
There’s an adventurous side of me that wants to be Livy Nash, but I just can’t convince my other side, the one that cringes in self-preservation at the very thought. Livy was part of a British spy network in WWII. When the story opens, it’s 1946 and after the trauma and horror she experienced during the war, she’s finding it hard to adapt to civilian life and her dull job as a proofreader at a third-rate newspaper. Only Polish vodka helps her get through the day.
When she’s offered a chance to join the cold war spy game she wavers, knowing she’ll have to overcome her personal demons to do the job properly, but once she accepts, she throws herself into the job with all the breathless audacity you’d expect from a woman the Germans named Spitfire. Unbeknownst to her new employer, Livy’s also looking for a chance at revenge, a goal that isn’t always compatible with her assignment, leading to some dangerous twists and surprising revelations. I enjoyed the settings, the action, and the intrigue, but it was the character of Livy Nash that had me riveted to the page. If I can’t be Livy, I’ll just have to look forward to the next installment.
The Victorian era is my favorite period for mystery, but when it comes to historical romance, it has to be the Regency era. I’ve now read all three books in Minerva Spencer’s Outcast Series and loved them, but there’s something special about this one.
Scandalous by Minerva Spencer
I love the swashbuckling adventure in Minerva Spencer’s books but it’s her compelling characters that keep me coming back. Scandalous is no exception. Sarah is a missionary, capable of taking care of herself, eager to care for others, and used to taking charge. This does not sit well with Martin, a former slave and now privateer, whose ship she seems to be taking over. Martin’s past makes him suspicious of Sarah’s kindness and he reacts by lashing out. Regardless, they have a steamy chemistry, and mixed with Sarah’s patience and persistence, it leads them to an achingly slow and beautiful meeting of the minds and hearts. I could not put this one down.
I always try to read a series in order, but for some reason I picked up book two in the Hester Thursby mystery series first. The Missing Ones can definitely stand alone but it will leave you wanting more so you may just as well pick up book one in the series, Little Comfort, while you’re at it.
The Missing Ones by Edwin Hill
The first time I put down The Missing Ones, I noticed I was at the 42% mark. Uh-oh. How did that happen? I checked the clock and wondered if I could function on only 4 hours of sleep. I managed and it was worth it. The next time I picked it up, I finished it. It’s that kind of book. Hill skillfully weaves a mystery with threads that twist and turn but ultimately take you in the only possible direction—start reading and you’re lost to the story and to the characters, all of whom are a little messed up. Make sure you have a bit of time on your hands because you won’t want to put this book down.
There are more books I could add, but this post is getting a little long. Let me know if you enjoy my recommendations and I’ll keep them coming.