Wednesday, 23 November 2011

The Robin Hood Trilogy by Marsha Canham

This is a set of 3 books, spanning some 25 years in the life of the Wardieu family. It starts off with a battle between two brothers for a birthright and ends in Sherwood Forest in a grand showdown with Sir Guy of Gisbourne.

This is Marsha's take on the Robin Hood legend and it is utterly fantastic. Full of strong women, great heroes and plenty of action. They are great and solid historical romances. Plenty of emotion, as I said plenty of action and I shed a tear or two along the way. A fantastic adventure from start to finish!

I heartily recommend the trilogy as, although each story does stand on it's own, it is easier to read them altogether. Great for any fan of a good swashbuckling adventure!

The Last Arrow by Marsha Canham

This, the final story in the Robin hood Trilogy, is set some 11 years after the events of 'In the Shadow of Midnight'. This follows the life of the Black Wolf's daughter, Brenna. She meets a strange man poaching her father's fish, and her brothers and friend invite him back to their castle. Is there more to him than meets the eye? Thus begins a swashbuckling adventure filled with tournaments, dungeons (donjons), archery and a dangerous assassin bent on destroying the Wardieus of Amboise.

This is just as good as it's predecessors, if not better. I wholly identified with Brenna and it was great seeing a woman outbowing her rivals, most of them men! The story also sees the legend of Robin Hood finally coming together and all the old favourites are there. I loved the relationship between Gryffin and Brenna. it was an intensely passionate relationship from their first meeting and it took my breath away in places! There was much more action this time around, with the tournaments and culminating in the final showdown between the Wardieus and Sir Guy of Gisbourne. The ending was satisfying and tied up all the loose ends nicely.

Once again if you love swashbuckling historical romances, you will love this. Even if you are not sure, give it a chance. You won't be disappointed.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Friends of the Deceased by Dale J. Moore

This is the story of Katrina, the terminally clumsy, accident prone owner of Kat's Kuts, a hair salon in Toronto. She is asked by his lawyer to cut the hair of a recently deceased customer and from there she is plunged into a mystery involving jewellery theft, rogue charities and casket fraud. Paired up with an assistant from the salon, Marlene and a handsome detective, Jake - she tries to get to the bottom of the mystery.

This was a nice little detective story. I like the fact that the lead character is a female, and not a perfect one at that. Her interaction with the other characters was realistic and led to some genuinely funny moments. I really enjoyed this, and I did laugh out loud in places. It all came together for a happy and satisfying ending.

I recommend this as a happy little detective story. Not too long or too short, just nice enough to be read in a quiet afternoon.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my review.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

The Great Yellow Doom Bird by Jon A. Hunt

This is the story of a young boy. His father went off to sea and never came back so he goes to the beach every night with his uncle to see if he has come home. One evening he takes his neighbours dog for a walk and meets an odd gentleman up a tree. He is 7 feet tall and has eyes that are different colours, that also change with his mood. Thus begins an adventure that involves pirates, spy catchers, Eddies (whirlpools), Great Chiefs, volcanoes, enormous sea monsters and of course the Great Doom Bird of the title. I shan't say any more for fear of spoiling it.

I so enjoyed this. It put me in mind of Lemony Snicket (but better if I do dare to say!). Stultus (the odd guy) reminds me of Johnny Depp's Mad Hatter. He is this larger than life (literally!) chap with a personality that just jumps off the page at you. Patrick starts off as a quiet shy little boy who becomes a confident young man. Their quest to save the Doom Birds is an admirable (if fraught) one and anyone interested in conservation will appreciate it.

I recommend this for people of all ages. It is simply a lovely story, with enough action to keep everyone interested.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

In the Shadow of Midnight by Marsha Canham

This is set some years after the events of 'Through a Dark Mist'. Lucien and Servanne are now married and have children of their own and Eduard has grown up and established himself as a fine and noble knight in his own right. This time around, Eduard is the hero of the story and he has been charged with rescuing Eleanor, the Lost Princess of Brittany from the clutches of King John. They use the excuse of escorting Lady Ariel de Clare to her wedding as a cover.

Once again this was a fine historical romance, and a jolly good swashbuckling romp. I enjoyed this as much as the first (although there is no pressing need to read the first before this as it is a standalone story in its own right) if not more so as more of the familiar names from the Robin Hood legend crop up here. Names such as LittleJohn, Maid Marienne and Alan-a-Dale (albeit known as Alan-of-the-Dale here.) The smouldering romance between the feisty Ariel and the taciturn Eduard was played out to teasing perfection and there was plenty of swashbuckling action to boot. There were moments when I truly gasped out loud!

A fantastic historical story that I heartily recommend especially if you have read the first. I am eager to get on with the third now!