In this month’s roundup of the best-reviewed BookLife titles, we highlight a pair of historical romances, a work of urban fantasy, a mystery about abducted animals, and a novel set in a world still plagued by the War of the Roses.
By Linda J. Wright
Synopsis: This series kickoff introduces Kieran Yates, a former Crown Counsel, who has left practicing law to work as an investigator of crime related to animals.
PW’s Takeaway: Wright combines her passionate commitment to animal rights with a riveting whodunit that’s not dependent on murder to sustain interest.
Comparable Titles: Robin Lamont’s The Chain and The Trap
Sample Line: “I brooded. I drank immoderately. I bathed irregularly. I ate seldom and unwisely. I shut off my phone. I was becoming more and more unhinged, and I knew it.”
★ The Cost of Hope
By G.S. Carr
Synopsis: Carr delivers a poignant message about the meaning of freedom in the first Cost of Love historical.
PW’s Takeaway: The message about freedom not always being simple is significant and well conveyed without being preachy or overstated. This well-told historical romance is intense and powerful.
Comparable Title: Alyssa Cole’s An Extraordinary Union
Sample Line: “Sarah stared into the coffin-sized hole that represented the end of her hope. Mrs. Williams was dead, and with her had died the little protection she provided.”
★ A Queen from the North
By Erin McRae and Racheline Maltese
Synopsis: This series kickoff introduces an alternate world in which the Wars of the Roses never ended.
PW’s Takeaway: A perfect cocktail of intrigue and romance.
Comparable Title: Rachel Hauck’s Once upon a Prince
★ On the Edge of Daylight
By Giselle Beaumont
Synopsis: A beautifully crafted historical romance about the journey and eventual sinking of the Titanic.
PW’s Takeaway: This expertly characterized and tautly plotted story is an impressive debut.
Comparable Title: Danielle Steel’s No Greater Love
★ Hero Forged
By Josh Erikson
Synopsis: Erikson blazes onto the urban fantasy scene with a cornucopia of deceptively simple worldbuilding and meticulously plotted storytelling.
PW’s Takeaway: This is an intricate mystery laced with humor and lore.
Comparable Titles: Jim Butcher’s the Dresden Files series