I will take a moment to whine about the weather. Arrgghh. 8 inches of snow followed by 4 inches of rain and more snow on Sunday and then more rain on Tuesday. It's crazy. The rain on snow means a lovely layer of ice on side-walks. Not fun and I nearly did some groovy moves on the walk in today but didn't fall on my butt so it's all good.
Terrible news about the earthquake in Japan. It's been quite the season for natural disasters. The videos of the tsunami were just freaky, seeing the water just go and go and go. Mojo to all and I know the Red Cross in most countries are probably already accepting donations. I know in the US and Canada they are.
Anyway, I've read a book in just about every sub-genre out there. Historical, paranormal, sci-fi. Whew. Two of the three not my normal choices either.
Chasing the Mailman by Amber Redd
Usher is a horse farmer in ... somewhere they don't usually get tons of snow. One of his horses is killed by what he suspects is a large wolf, however the game warden ignores his calls for help. He helps the mailman (Jarreth) whose truck goes off the road in bad weather and they become friends. Usher would like it to be more since his partner died 8 years ago, but Jarreth gives off mixed signals and finally makes it clear he's not gay. Things start getting weirder and when Usher's dog runs off in the woods at night (ever heard of a leash?), Usher is attacked by a werewolf (movie-style) and protected by a large timber wolf. Soon other people are being killed around town and Usher, Jarreth, and a few of their friends and family are hiding out in Jarreth's house. When the police come to ask questions the big attack happens with lots of drama and a dementia-ridden mother saving the day. This is written in a very unusual style. Regular past tense point of view from Usher, but then every few paragraphs it would flip into his thoughts. An example:
He noted the snow chains on the vehicle too. Maybe I should wait another day and give the township more time to treat the roads before driving into Stone Trail.So rather than say "He wondered if he should wait another day ...." it hops right into his head and what he's thinking at that time. It was quite different and didn't really work for me and I found it rather distracting. I figured out the mystery of the guardian wolf and the werewolf pretty quickly. Personally I would have been more pissed off if I was Usher at Jarreth's confession later, but he seemed so desperate for the guy he didn't even blink about the lies, including the fact Jarreth WAS gay. Then again, as I've said before, I'm a bit of a vindictive bitch who would make them suffer more. For those looking for a different writing style with the present tense thoughts inserted it's an interesting read and I salute the author for trying something different. In light of all the snow we've had lately reading a story with lots of storms seemed kind of relevant.
The Nobleman and the Spy by Bonnie Dee and Summer Devon
Jonathan is a spy and former assassin who is tasked to keep an eye on a German nobleman. By chance he ran into Karl on opposite sides of the battle field years ago. Once Jonathan's cover is blown, there is instant chemistry between the two, despite Jonathan's reticence after being betrayed by his Captain and lover. However part of his job was to keep Karl safe if necessary and when a bomb goes off at a party nearly doing Karl in, they start to work together to solve the mystery of who wants him dead, while figuring out their relationship. I'm not a huge historical fan but I have read one or two of the other by these authors and enjoyed them and this was no different. While there is discussion of Karl and Jonathan being discrete, thanks to their positions they are able to be together and even back then, being royalty meant you could get away with a lot that the average guy on the street couldn't. I know some people didn't care for Jonathan and he is a bit of an everyman, kind of nondescript, no great personality, but I didn't mind him. He probably seemed more normal than most characters and I liked that he had less experience and was figuring out not only a relationship but sex with a more experienced Karl. So if you enjoy historical that while accurate (apparently), but not to the exclusion of a good romance - and I enjoyed the mystery part - this is another good one.
Retribution by Jambrea Jo Jones
And on to outerspace. It's like I have a time machine. Doctor, where are you? Okay, enough.
Rave and Kain were lovers working for the Alliance when Rave was falsely arrested for smuggling and sent to prison. As this happened Kain just so conveniently disappeared, leaving him dangling in the wind. A couple of years later, after getting out of prison (badly damaged by his treatment there) Rave and his best friend Sela are running a transport ship. Even though Rave knows Kain is still alive he avoids him until Kain comes on the ship and tells him it was all a big plot and know the plan is to pretend he's kidnapped so when Rave picks up his next shipment which is some kind of weapon, the Alliance will have an excuse to arrest him, thus getting the weapon. Well Kain should have clued in right there with that convoluted plan, but his main goal seems to be the convince Rave to give them another chance and he's not quite sure why Rave is pissed. Duh! When the whole story comes out, both men were used, but I found Kain's naivete at how his military used him, lying to him and coming up with plans that any normal guy would likely have called bullshit on, a bit much. I thought his expectation that Rave should just fall back in his arms after 2 years rather unbelievable. I was happy when Rave punched him. (See vindictive bitch comment from above.) I'm not a huge sci-fi in books fan, but there wasn't overkill and most of it seems to take you to a pretty comfortable sci-fi universe, something most of us have experience with in movies or on TV. I did like the BF Sela, which is unusual because usually the female BF is a raging overprotective/meddling bitch, but she was just right.