Anna Campbell’s Book Reviews

anna_head.jpgI think quite a few of you know I’m a long-time fan of Madeline Hunter. Isolde Martyn from my Sydney critique group came back from her first American conference with an ARC of Madeline’s debut medieval, By Arrangement. When I read this, I knew I’d found another keeper author. Someone smart who wrote deep emotion and sizzling passion and great heroes.

Make a note of this – she really writes great heroes!

In recent years, Madeline has moved to writing Regency romance and her latest series centers on the mysterious and sexy Rothwell brothers and their circle. Lessons of Desire, which featured an unusual plot about a Regency feminist in the Mary Wollstonecraft mold and the very appealing Lord Elliot Rothwell, won the RITA Award this year for best …

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anna_head.jpgJudith Ivory is one of the best stylists in the romance business. I remember the very first time I read one of her books and from the first paragraph of the first page, I was hooked. Partly because she doesn’t sound like anyone else! You know the minute you’re in Ivory World!

I’m really sad that she hasn’t had anything new out for a while. ANGEL IN A RED DRESS, released in 2006, was actually a reissue of her 1988 historical romance STARLIT SURRENDER (must say I like the new title better, LOL!). She wrote STARLIT SURRENDER as Judy Cuevas. Then in 1997, Avon relaunched her as Judith Ivory with an amazing book that’s still one of my favorites, BEAST. She followed this with a book I may even like …

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Anna_head I’m a long-time fan of Anne Stuart. I adore her historicals which always feature dark, dark, DARK heroes and an edgy, complex plot. They’re powerful, emotional, passionate tales of difficult redemption. In fact, just the sort of stories tStuart_blackicehat translate perfectly to contemporary romantic suspense.

The first ‘Ice’ book, BLACK ICE, came out in 2006 and there are now five in the  series. Avid fans like me hope for more! They feature agents working for a mysterious, ruthless but ultimately benevolent (in a the means justify the ends kind of way) organization called The Committee. So plenty of scope for Ms. Stuart’s trademark tormented, dangerous heroes – you’re never quite sure in these books whether the hero will kill the heroine. In fact, the hero and the heroine are …

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anna_head.jpgFLOWERS FROM THE STORM by Laura Kinsale was published in 1992 and as far as I know, has never been out of print since. It often pops up on people’s lists of their favorite romances. I read it way back when it first came out and automatically counted it as one of the two or three best romances I’d ever read, amongst the best BOOKS I’d ever read!

I’m a re-reader, but for some reason, it’s years and years since I pulled FLOWERS FROM THE STORM from the bookcase to look at again. Perhaps because it provides such an intense experience. I tend to look at a book again when I want a comfort read so I generally reach for something light at such times. And while FFTS is many …

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anna_head.jpgI seem to be on a romantic historical mystery kick at the moment. And how’s that for genre-bending?

The last books I reviewed for RNTV were the first two instalments in C.S. Harris’s wonderful St. Cyr series, WHAT ANGELS FEAR and WHEN GODS DIE. This month, I want to talk about the second in Deanna Raybourn’s Lady Julia Grey series, SILENT IN THE SANCTUARY, which is set in the late Victorian era (1887).

The first book in this series (which I haven’t read) is SILENT IN THE GRAVE. It created a nice buzz and finaled twice in the 2008 RITA Awards in the best first book category and best book with romantic elements category, which it won. Wow! Pretty impressive.

I likened the St. Cyr books to great dark chocolate. …

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Anna_head What a treat! Fantastic historical mysteries with a great romantic subplot!

Both these books passed under my radar when they were first released and I wonder if it’s the same for you. There’s so much out there, sometimes it’s hard to keep track. Elizabeth Rolls, a writing friend of mine, said as a passing comment that they would be right up my alley. Well, she was spot on– they’re among the best books I’ve read in the last year. Fantastic to find more great Regency noir for me to sink my teeth into.

C.S. Harris wrote a number of excellent historical romances under the name Candice Proctor. They wereHarris_angelsreview notable for their intensity, their historical accuracy and their strong characterization and she’s carried all of those qualities through to her …

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