“A Hope Divided” – Alyssa Cole

Amazon Buy Link here: http://amzn.to/2GGf9QM

These are not easy times and Alyssa Cole does not go easy on these Characters. Marlie is a Free woman, Half Black, Half White. She is raised from an early age in her white family’s house with most of the privileges & protection that come with that. She’s taken all the herbalist knowledge her mother taught her in her youth and enhanced it with a love of science. Her semi peaceful life is shattered with the arrival of her secessionist sister in law who aids the Home Guard putting Marlie’s life in jeopardy. Ewan McCall, Unionist Soldier, escapes from prison, where he’d met, admired and discussed philosophy with Marlie. He finds himself a refugee at Marlie’s house, hidden away in her sanctuary, both of them trying to survive.

As someone who didn’t grow up in the US my Civil War knowledge is exceptionally limited. I love this series of books as they drop you into the difficult lives of African Americans experiencing the harshest of times, and yet they leave you with the knowledge that even in the most treacherous of times, there is still family and love and hope to be found.

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“Paris A Go Go” – Tracy Whiting

Amazon Link Here: http://amzn.to/2BRFHzc

Maybe would have gotten more from this if I’d read the 1st one. Set in Paris mainly, Havilah is kinda dating Thierry who was her French police force bodyguard linked to a murder in the first book. Now she’s caught up in another series of murders based around the anti-immigrant movement in France. Given that this was set in 2010, it felt incredibly pertinent to a lot of the current discussions around immigrants and assimilation. I did get confused every now and then with all the secondary characters floating around, and frustrated how Havilah slut shamed people at several instances in the book. There were even a few moments of double standards, but her Aunt Neet called her out amazingly in those instances. It was a fun read, pretty “clean” read i.e no doing the do, for *reasons*, but I don’t feel the need to read more in the series.

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“Spice and Smoke” – Suleikha Snyder

Amazon Link Here: http://amzn.to/2GDKofa

I tried explaining this novel to a friend and almost had to draw a venn diagram. There’s a lot going on in this novella. It’s pretty effective in explaining the various character’s histories with each other that allows each pairing to make sense in the current day.

I do doubt that none of the more illicit assignations would have been kept secret by the film crew though given the character’s popularity in the film industry, that seemed a stretch too far.

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“Unveiled” – Courtney Milan

Amazon Link Here: https://amzn.to/2pW7dnI

Hidden identity, vengeance, Familial ties.
Courtney Milan writes wonderfully flawed characters, Ash is ruthless, Margaret is holding on to family loyalty with all she can. Margaret is smart, sassy and takes no prisoners. She’s pretending to be her Father’s nurse rather than his daughter for *reasons*. Ash is enacting revenge for past wrongs by the Duke by planning to inherit his title. He’s curmudgeonly and burdened by his own perceived failings but has such a deep heart for his brothers, sacrificing so much for them without looking for any praise.
Margaret is dealing with the death of her mother and the impending death of her asshole father when it looks like she’ll be losing her inheritance, reducing her to reliance upon her uninterested brothers, or becoming a governess. She has plenty of reasons to hate Ash but as the story unfolds she finds that more and more difficult.
Courtney at her best.

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8th October Book

Amazon Link: Seized by Seduction: A Compelling Tale of Romance, Love and Intrigue (The Protectors)

Second in Brenda Jackson’s The Protectors series.

Dr Randi Fuller uses her psychic abilities & behavioural analysis skills to help solve law enforcement cases. Quasar Patterson met Randi on a case involving his found family. She knows from a psychic vision that the two of them are destined to be, but can he overcome his emotional resistance to embrace a relationship. Throw in a LA gangland clash, despotic father and a Mr Big looking to rid the world of Randi and you’ve got a hot paranormal romantic suspense.