Janni Lee Simner
Taking the Icelandic myths as a jumping-off place, Simner weaves a tale of enchantment about a contemporary teen separated from her father, searching for her missing mother. Helped along the way by a raven, a fox and a shape-shifting bear, Haley braves danger to find out the truth and her way back.
I really liked the fox character and wished he had more of a role to play in her search, but he was there when it mattered.
I once wrote a historical novel. It was August in Tucson, and I was stuck in town. So I did second best. I chose a place far, far away. I set my novel in Maine in winter. At least I could mentally escape. Simnel, a fellow Tucsonan, may have felt a similar urge to escape by choosing Iceland for her setting, far away from the desert heat.
Nina Kiriki Hoffman
I never seem to catch the first story in a series by Hoffman, but her writing is so engaging it doesn’t seem to matter. Who cares about what these people are, why they are where they are, and what their relationships are. It’s what happens next that is important.
Nick Verrou has to help his father run a small convenience store and a handful of tourist cabins near a lake. He enjoys watching the people in the cabins, not in a creepy way, but a curious boy way. His attention is caught by the people in the Lacey cabin. There’s something strange about them.
While Nick and we find out about just how strange they are, we discover Nick’s own strangeness. We see him develop from a boy to a man, and are intrigued enough to boy the previous book just to find out more about those Lacey people and what they are up to in that cabin.
This book is actually two novellas: Christmas Pride and Shaw’s Tail
The first tells the story of Mace Llewellyn, a rich beyond imagining lion shapeshifter and the love of his life, a human ex-marine NYPD detective, Desiree MacDermott. Mace has loved Dez ever since elementary school.
After serving his time as a Navy SEAL and bonding with a fellow SEAL who is a werewolf, he decides its time to make his move on Dez.
The story is an excuse to match the two in sex every page or so, yet somehow her humor and joy between the characters pull the reader in. The scenes are full of humor, and both characters enjoy themselves so much the reader is invited to enjoy it, too.
Shaw’s Tail offers the story of Mace’s brother, Brendon Shaw, who starts out badly: three broken ribs, a broken collarbone, broken kneecaps and internal bleeding. If he can only get out of the tunnel where he had an encounter with a pack of hyenas he will probably survive. Too bad he can’t walk.
Then he smells something wonderful and powerful; something to give him a reason to live. He was definitely in love. Rhonda Lee Reed was the most beautiful thing he have ever seen. He would just have to overcome one slight problem:
Both stories are full of joyful sex as the couple work out their differences.
I’m not very interested in rich lion SEAL shapeshfters so I won’t be buying any more of this series. Besides, I’m totally engrossed in her Call of Crows series. I guess I like stories based on Norse saga and eddas better that lions and dogs, also there is a lot less sex, and much more romance.