Saturday, July 21, 2018

Revenant Gun (The Machineries of Empire #3), by Yoon Ha Lee (author), Emily Woo Zeller (narrator)

Recorded Books, June 2018

Kel Cheris, with Jedao's memories sharing her brain, is seeking to destroy the greatest threat to the new calendar, which makes exotic effects contingent on the consent of the people targeted. That's the Nerai Hexarch, Kujen, whose immortality depends on maintaining the old calendar. (Yes, third book of a trilogy. Don't start here. Start with Ninefox Gambit; then Raven Strategem. You won't regret it.)

Kujen has created his own Jedao, who doesn't remember anything past age 17, but despite not having his memories, does seem to have the abilities he's told he has. Unfortunately, the fleet and the soldiers he's placed in command have to obey him, but they are free to hate him, because of a shocking massacre he committed but, of course, has no memory of.

Friday, July 20, 2018

The Haunting of Hattie Hastings (Part 2), by Audrey Davis

Audrey Davis, March 2018

Hattie Hastings is being haunted--but not unpleasantly--by her late husband, Gary.  At the end of Part 1, her best friend, Cat, had just learned that Hattie is not delusional in her belief that Gay's ghost is a part of her life. Cat has also, meanwhile, met a much nicer guy than the jerk she used to be married to. The new guy is Jamie, a teacher and budding comedian.

With Gary three months dead, and his continued presence not evident to anyone but Hattie and Cat, guys are starting to notice her again. Gary has opinions, though not the opinion that she shouldn't be getting attention from guys. Son Johnny has gotten a job he likes, and brother Jack and his partner Ben have their own first encounter with ghostly Gary...

More seriously, Hattie and Jack's mother, Rachel, is clearly having health issues that, equally clearly, she's not willing to discuss.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

The Last Sister's Love (Brides & Twins #5)

Natalie Dean, July 2018

There's just one unmarried sister left in the Yankovich family, Anushka. She's eighteen now, and ready to marry and have her own home--but while her mother wants her to marry Pavel, the baker's son, she wants to join her sisters in Mesquite, Texas.

Meanwhile, in Mesquite, the oldest Turner son, William, is also eighteen, and thinking that next spring, when he turns nineteen, it a good time to get married. He's looking around, and seeing how happy the men are who've married Yandovich sisters.

This story doesn't just bring together two people ready for marriage and willing to take a chance. It also brings together to strong-willed, opinionated older women who had to raise their families alone after the tragic loss of their husbands--Eldora Kennesaw and Wanda Yankovich. It's an interesting conflict for everyone to deal with, especially as all the very independent Yankovich women find themselves fighting the impulse to revert to being daughters again.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Cottage by the Sea, by Debbie Macomber

Random House Publishing/Ballantine, ISBN 9780399181252, July 2018

Annie Marlow, living in Los Angeles and working a s a physician's assistant, has plans with her cousin and some friends for Thanksgiving day. When her mother calls just a few days before wanting her to come home for Thanksgiving instead, Annie stands her ground, and refuses to change her plans at the last minute. For a variety of reasons, I am cheering her on at this point, but I also know that this is a precursor to major guilt.

Early on Thanksgiving morning, she is awakened by a phone call from her aunt. A mudslide has swept her parents' home, and entire neighborhood, into the river. Her parents, brother and sister-in-law, and toddler niece, are all dead.

She has to return to Washington to deal with awful aftermath, painfully drawn out because of the class action lawsuit that follows. Annie can't deal with that from Los Angeles, so she stays in Washington, struggling with guilt and depression as well as the legal complexities.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

A Surprise Love:Mail Order Bride (Brides & Twins #4), by Natalie Dean

Natalie Dean, March 2018

Elzbieta Yankovich, the oldest unmarried Yankovich sister, was cheated of her chance at a marriage away from the Pennsylvania mines, when her sister Kasia got pregnant and their mother sent her to Texas, instead, to spare the family scandal and shame. Very much wanting a family of her own, Elzbieta is discouraged and unhappy, and considering becoming a nun, instead.

Then her sister Bonnie writes to her from Mesquite. Lincoln Duffy, something of a thorn in her side when she first arrived, has turned himself around. He's now the foreman on the Turner ranch, and has fixed up the foreman's cottage to be a comfortable home, even making a good garden for it. He's ready for a wife, and he's impressed by the two Yankovich sisters who have married into the Kennesaw household. He remembers that they have another unmarried sister, the one who was supposed to marry Will Henry, before Kasia was sent in her place.

Elzbieta decides that this is her chance.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Death in Dulwich (The London Murder Mysteries #1), by Alice Castle

Crooked Cat Books, September 2017

Beth Haldane, single mom getting by on freelance work, has landed the job of assistant archivist at swank local school Wyatt's. With her training mostly in journalism, she's not sure she's really up to it, but she was honest in the application process, and they've hired her. In addition to stabilizing their financial situation, she hopes it will eventually mean her son, Ben, will have a better chance at getting into this excellent school when the time comes.

She's hoping for a really good first day of work.

Instead, her new boss proves to be as creepy as she had hoped he wasn't really, and, in a mixed blessing, escorts her to the archivist shed and leaves her to go, he says, to a meeting. He doesn't return. At lunchtime, she heads out to meet the school's admin, Janice, for lunch, and stumbles over her boss's dead body. There's a knife, and a lot of blood, and a handkerchief over his face.

It's a really awful first day of work.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

The Wrong Bride:A Christmas Mail Order Bride Romance (Brides & Twins #3), by Natalie Dean & Eveline Hart

Natalie Dean, Eveline Hart, December 2017 decide

Encouraged by his brother Zachary's experience in marrying mail-order bride Bonnie Yankovich, Will Henry Kennesaw asks if her sister, Elzbieta, would be willing to come west and marry him. She agrees, and when the great day arrives, he, his brother Zachary, and sister-in-law Bonnie, are in town to meet the stagecoach bringing in...
Bonnieand  Elzbieta's younger sister, Kasia.

Who is pregnant.

Kasia was working as a maid in a wealthy family's home, and was seduced by the son of the house. He promised he'd marry her, but of course his parents fired her and sent their son off the Europe.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

The Haunting of Hattie Hastings (Part 1), by Audrey Davis

Audrey Davis, November 2017

Gary Hastings is, in a small way, demonstrating what a sweet guy he is, and why after more than twenty years Hattie still loves him, when he's hit by a car and killed.

It's a devastating loss emotionally, and there are endless practical details to be dealt with too, and on top of that, their son, Johnny, is still not getting his act together and getting a job after dropping out of university.

It's all right on the edge of being too much to handle.

Then, one evening, Gary pops back in.

He's not quite corporeal, but he can still enjoy his favorite whisky. And he is, after the initial shock, a pleasure and a comfort for Hattie to see and talk to again. Unfortunately, Gary can't control his comings and goings.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Taming the Rancher:Mail Order Bride (Brides & Twins #2), by Natalie Dean

Natalie Dean, September 2017

Bonnie Yankovich, determined not to marry a many who made his living in the dangerous and filthy coal mines, takes the risk of agreeing to be a mail-order bride. She travels from Pittsburgh to Mesquite, Texas to marry Zachary Taylor Kennesaw, a rancher.

When she gets off the stagecoach, she discovers her husband to be, in front of the general store, waiting for her. He has no hat and no shirt, and for the moment no horse, having lost them all in a poker game. But he's handsome and charming, happy to meet her, and not concerned about the losses.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Dear Sarah, by Nancy Kress

Solaris, September 2017 (in Infinity Wars:Infinity Project #6)

Aliens arrived, and they came bearing environmentally safe energy, and robots that do what was left of factory work. No mine work, no factory work, and the wonderful partnership with the Lickinites is profitable for those higher up the economic food chain, but devastating for those at the bottom.

There is, consequently, resistance, armed resistance, terrorist resistance.