Reviews Follow-up


Lisette Brody, Hotel Obscure

A Place to Live. A Place to Die

Hotel Obscure welcomes those who haven’t anywhere else to go. Hotel Obscure welcomes those who want to hide. Hotel Obscure provides shelter and a place to live or die according to need.

Nobody gets judged at Hotel Obscure, no matter what their reason for staying at this, once prestigious, hotel.

The neighbourhood is as rundown as the hotel, but several characters remember its glory days.

Ms Brody handles the shady characters and those who have a message to share with equal panache. Every story is a jewel in its setting, but you find strange connections and wonderful revelations on every page.

Graphic by HM Holten

Debi Ennis Binder, Dragon’s Revenge

Dragons and Humans Together on a Rescue Mission

Mayra and Wolfe, two powerful ring-witches have formed a strong bond.

Gaulte the Dragon, leader of the Ceshon Aerie Clan longs to reunite with his female counterpart and the younglings.

Hagan, the evil dragon, united with his helpers the shapeshifter and the gnome, is working towards destroying anybody who doesn’t yield to his power.

The setup is riveting. Debi Ennis-Binder writes a flamboyant fantasy novel and creates haunting pictures to remember and cherish.

Having said that, I’m not sure whether it matches the heights of Dragon Rings. All in all, it is still a worthy sequel to Dragon Rings.

Graphic by HM Holten

Sherrie Lowe, Song of the Phoenix

How to Overcome Loss and Learn to Live Again

Alannah has just lost her beloved Bernie to cancer. A divorced woman with grown-up children, she never expected to raise another set of girls. Worse, she must now do that alone.

Keeley and Sophie, grieve too, but in different ways. Sophie withdraws from everybody except her friends. Keeley shoulders her pain and does what she can to get on with life.

Ms Lowe poses difficult questions. How to bring up stepchildren when fighting your grief. How to cope with loss and learn to live. Song of the Phoenix is a poignant story about pain, but it also shows the reader the possibility of raising from the ashes and fly.

Graphic by HM Holten

Lizzie Chantree, Finding Gina

Going on a Quest Can Bring You to Unexpected Places

Gina has taken on a major pursuit. She travels the countryside to rectify old wrongs.

Toby, an heir to a manor house, offers her a site for her camper and may have hidden motives.

Lewis, a hungry journalist, has discovered a story that he can’t resist. To write it, he needs to find a mysterious do-gooder.

Finding Gina is a delicious tale of romance and family secrets. It is humorous and full of true-to-life characters that often wrangle with problems they could have avoided.

Ms Chantree has a light pen and a quirky story to tell. She does do with wit and elegance. Romance can be delightful in the right hands.

Graphic by HM Holten

Maureen Turner, Lucifer After the Fall Wings Unfurled Book 3

Fallen Angels and Human Women Attract One Another

When his fall comes, Lucifer decides to jump rather than let his fellow angels push him. His pride in his inner light and his integrity carries him through the centuries. Leader of the rest of the Fallen, he does what he can to control and protect the unruly bunch.

A huge part of the plot concerns the lust that consumes the ex-angels when meeting the beautiful daughters of men and the resulting Nephilim.

Lucifer After the Fall deals with many questions. Philosophy, the meaning of love, life (eternal and transient), crime, and punishment are just a few of those.
Ms Turner never disappoints, her crisp prose and cool wit, together with an intimate and shrewd look into the nature of an exile from Heaven, in other words, the former Morning Star.

This, the last part of the trilogy Wings Unfurled, brings the series to an absorbing conclusion.

Graphic by HM Holten

JS Frankel, The Window to Tellkar

Travelling Between Worlds can be Dangerous and Exciting

Mark Cornish is a normal guy, going to school and doing his best to get on with life. His mother keeps extremely busy, and hence, Mark is self-sufficient in many ways.

Glenda Cron is a bit of an outsider, but nobody knows to what degree.

The two teenagers get thrown together, and a story full of fantasy and parallel universes begins.

JS Frankel is a prolific author, and his fantasies pull you in, leaving you no moment to reflect. The bad guys are evil, but his protagonists come across as real people with real, but often troubled, lives. The Window to Tellkar is no exception. It is thought-provoking and compelling.

Graphic by HM Holten

Alice Renaud, Music for a Merman

Can an Eco-Warrior and a Merman Find Common Ground?

Rob Regor has a mission. His job as a policeman gives him the opportunity to scrutinise humans for his father, who hates the species.

Charlotte Fitzwilliam (Charlie) has left her family to save the environment, especially around the Morvann Islands and the nearby mainland. Her actions don’t please her rich family.

Both mistrust one another when they meet, but they soon find common ground. Will their connection make or break them?

Alice Renaud writes her fantasies for adults. Her style is compelling, and in Music for a Merman, the gallery of Mer-people, as well as humans, is delicious, the dialogue both amusing and complex. As a reader, you feel drawn into the waves, both in the figurative and the real sense.

Graphic by HM Holten

Nancy Jardine, Before Beltane, A Prequel

Northern Britannia AD 71 is Fraught with Tension

Princess Nara of Selgovae, an acolyte to the Goddess, finds herself back home with her unforgiving father.

Lorcan of Garrigill travels as an envoy for King Venutius. It is a dangerous post, and the danger only increases when he meets the Druid Maran.

As the title states, this is a prequel to the Celtic Fervour series. In it, Ms Jardine gives a view of the complicated politics of England’s early Roman occupation period. More than that, the two imminent protagonists of the series come to life as complex characters.

Graphic by HM Holten


©HMH, 2023


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