Phyl's 5 Phaves from May

5. A Night Like This by Julia Quinn. You know, I had some issues with this book. My main issue was that the hero, Daniel Smythe-Smith, wasn't more careful with the reputation and circumstances of the heroine, Anne Wynter. But darn, I do love the humor and emotion that Quinn can infuse into a book. I cared about Daniel and Anne and enjoyed their story. I don't have a lot more to say about this other than this was a quick and fun read.

4. The Proposal by Mary Balogh. For Balogh's fans, this book has been a long-awaited story involving a minor character from previous books, including the first Balogh I ever read, A Summer to Remember. It's also the first book in a seven-part series (7!) featuring six men and one woman who are survivors of the Napoleonic wars. Plenty of fodder for angst, something Balogh often does really well. In The Proposal Gwen, Lady Muir, is a widow. Her marriage had been a troubled one, and just before her husband's death she'd suffered a riding accident that left her with a permanent limp and cost her the life of her unborn child. Gwen is the daughter and sister of an Earl, raised in and comfortable with the aristocratic society of the ton. Hugo Emes survived the wars physically, but carries many emotional scars. He's inherited his father's profitable businesses and is also responsible for a stepmother and half-sister. Hugo's background is very different from Gwen's and their class differences provide an interesting backdrop to their story. It struck me as very real and I appreciated the way Hugo and Gwen learn to communicate about those differences. By no means among my favorite Baloghs, this was still a solid, enjoyable read.

3. Sydney Harbor Hospital : Tom's Redemption by Fiona Lowe. Lowe's Boomerang Bride came this close to making my November 5 Phaves list and I bought this book wanting to read more by Lowe. Tom's Redemption is part of a connected series of medical romances by different authors, all taking place at Sydney Harbor Hospital. This book is about Tom Jordan, a neurosurgeon who had suddenly taken an unexplained leave of absence two years previously. When he comes back to the hospital it's revealed that he'd lost his sight. He meets Hayley Grey, a surgical registrar (is that what we would call a resident?) who is preparing for her medical exams and has some personal issues of her own. In his two years away, Tom has adapted to being blind and he is discovering that he can teach. Still, is Tom ready to share his life with Hayley? And what about the baggage Hayley brings to their relationship? I liked how their issues were resolved. I don't read many medical romances, so I think that aspect of the setting, as well as descriptions of Sydney, were what made this book so appealing to me.

2. In Enemy Hands by K.S. Augustin. This was probably the most unusual romance I've read in a long time. And if the ending hadn't been so rushed, this would have been my favorite of the month. Anyhow, In Enemy Hands was part of Carina Press's launch in June 2010. It has been sitting on my Kindle for quite some time. Dr. Moon Thadin is a research physicist who believes she has discovered a way to bring dead stars back to life. The Republic wants to test her theory, so she is put into a makeshift lab on a military space vessel that will take her someplace suitable to perform the test. She needs an assistant, and Srin Flerovs is assigned to her. He is capable of performing complex math equations in his head, faster than a computer. However, it turns out that Srin's memory is erased every 2 days. The trick in this book is making a romance believable when the hero "meets" the heroine anew every other day. Shades of "50 First Dates." Only not. Moon has been a loner, focused on her research, and hasn't paid much attention to politics. She only considers the positive ways her research can be used. But Srin manages to make her see that the Republic has much more sinister plans. And so the book becomes an adventure as Srin and Moon find a way to keep Srin's memories intact and free themselves from the Republic. I really enjoyed this and finished it pretty quickly. As I indicated, though, I really would have liked a bit more to the ending.

1. Twisted by Laura Griffin. This is book 5 in Griffin's "Tracers" series, although each book stands alone quite well. This time Allison Doyle, a rookie detective, is involved in what looks to be a simple murder case. But FBI profiler Mark Wolfe is convinced that this murder is the work of a serial killer he's been tracking for 10 years. Mark's job is emotionally taxing and there's also a fairly large age difference between Mark and Allison. He's reluctant to enter into a relationship with Allison, despite the attraction. There's plenty of sexual tension to go along with the suspense of stopping a brutal killer. As usual with Griffin's books, I found it hard to put down. I liked both characters, especially their respective dedication to their jobs. Just another solid entry in the series and easily my favorite read of the month.


  1. Welcome back, Phyl!

    I totally agree on your take of these books! The Quinn was enjoyable, fun and light... and the Balogh? I always, always, enjoy her books! But, it wasn't a favorite for me either. Sigh... I'm still waiting anxiously for the next one in the series, though.

    Oh, and you read In Enemy's Hands by KS Augustin! I'm still looking to the follow up book to that one. The end left me... hanging? I want the sequel. It felt rushed and incomplete. Such a good premise though. I enjoyed it too.

  2. Hils, I meant to reply to this the other day. I was reminded by your comment to see if Augustin had published a sequel yet, and sure enough it was released just a week ago on the 19th! It's self-pubbed and right now available only through Amazon. The title is Balance of Terror. I'm definitely going to get it.

    1. Oh, thanks for the heads up, Phyl! I've been looking for it since last year and missed the release. Running over to Amazon now. :D

  3. I have one of Laura Griffin's Tracer books on my shelf but haven't read it yet. Same old story, you know?

    1. I think you'll like them when you get around to it. I promise to be patient!


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