Wildfire (by Mary Pauline Lowry)


Railing against the path her grandmother has set for her, Julie joins a Hotshot crew, an elite team of remote area forest firefighters who use chainsaws and shovels to fight fire. At first the crew is uncertain about this woman intruding into their male dominated world but with determination and grit and a lot of hard work she manages to carve a niche for herself.

With the respect of her comrades she has everything she wants, but the job is dangerous and every time they fight fire, their lives are on the line.

hotshotsWildfire is a truly amazing book. The Hotshots are hard men and women and just like them this book is brash and occasionally crass. They speak their own language and the author has just put it out there without any explanations –– and that’s really how it should be. You don’t need to know everything to get this story.

I’m going to make the call. This is one of my best five books of 2014!

Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 6.07.24 pmMany thanks to Skyhorse Publishing for providing me with this ARC

Yellow, Orange, Red –– what it means: http://wp.me/P2B7b5-9l

Once Haunted, Twice Shy (by H.P. Mallory)

Paranormal Romance

In exorcising a demon from her home, Peyton found herself inadvertently possessed by the ghost of a French speaking New Orleans police officer who died in the early 20th century. Now she can connect to the spirit world and all the ghosts of the city are running scared.

It soon becomes clear that something is very wrong and the demon they exorcised has decided to make the streets of New Orleans run red with blood, starting with Peyton.

There is a lot going on in Once Haunted, Twice Shy. At times it felt like a little too much, like there were too many players. Presumably H.P. Mallory is setting the scene for future books but that busyness didn’t help this story. Added to the mix this book has a love triangle of sorts (do I have to call a four sided love triangle a square?) which is one of those tropes I don’t particularly like.

That said, despite the shaky start, the book ended strongly with a voodoo battle to end all battles. If you like voodoo, ghosts and demons in your pages, this is a pretty good read.

Screen Shot 2014-02-16 at 4.32.33 pmMany thanks to Montlake Romance and Netgalley for providing me with this ARC

Yellow, Orange, Red –– what it means: http://wp.me/P2B7b5-9l

A Love to Call Her Own (by Marilyn Pappano)

Contemporary Romance

Swamped with grief and guilt after her husband was killed in action in Afghanistan, Jessy has coped by hitting the bottle and picking up nameless men for meaningless hook-ups. The one positive in her life is the Margarita Club, a group of women who, like her, have lost their husbands.

Dalton’s wife committed suicide after both her legs were blown off by a roadside bomb. Carrying his grief he has isolated himself on his ranch and avoided people preferring the company of his animals.

Jessy and Dalton both have baggage, they both have secrets, but together they manage to find the motivation to try to move on with their lives.


I have a great deal of respect for Marilyn Pappano. The issues of depression, grief, ptsd which she is exploring in this series have been attempted by other authors, but I don’t think any of them get it like she does. She gets that depression doesn’t just manifest itself in one way but in dozens of ways.

There are things in this series I am not entirely comfortable with. The author is plainly a christian and that comes through in her books, but for writing these subtle and nuanced love stories I’m more than willing to choke on my discomfort. A Love to Call Her Own is another great contemporary romance in a series that are all personal favourites.

Screen Shot 2014-02-27 at 9.23.18 pmYellow, Orange, Red –– what it means: http://wp.me/P2B7b5-9l