Monthly Archives: May 2014

Her Roman Protector by Milinda Jay

Her Roman Protector

Roman commander Marcus Sergius is ambitious, but also risks his career saving exposed children.  Noblewoman Annia doesn’t know Marcus means to save her newborn daughter and the two collide. Annia’s devotion to her child, cheerfulness and strength call all Marcus wants into question. Marcus’ kindness and strength attract Annia and make her think she could love again. When Annia must leave Britain and a shameful secret of Marcus’ arises what will the two do?

Annia and Marcus both have positive traits: strength, concern for others and a yearning for happiness. Marcus’ wrestling with ambition and Annia’s doubts over her future further help the reader connect to them. Jay pulls the reader into the world of Ancient Rome with how the characters’ thoughts on women’s clothing to newly developing Londonium. The plot is suspenseful but also relaxing because the reader feels sure obstacles will be resolved. The book’s characters are Christian but not preachy. Her Roman Protector could a match for those looking for likable characters, a tale in Ancient Rome, a Christian romance and/or a sweet romance.

Want other books like Her Roman Protector?

A slave woman struggles with growing love for a nobleman and to remain true to her faith in A Voice in the Wind by Francine Rivers.

A Roman commander rescues an injured woman near Jerusalem unaware of the impact she will have on him in Love’s Pardon by Darlene Mindrup.

A gladiator and a Roman noblewoman face a killer, their pasts and love for each other in The Protector by Carla Capshaw.                –If you find yourself liking a romance also try checking out the publisher’s website for more books published under the same label. For instance, I found The Protector by searching Harlequin’s website for “Rome” and then limiting the results by the “Love Inspired” label which Her Roman Protector is published under.

 

 

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While Beauty Slept by Elizabeth Blackwell

While Beauty Slept

Former queen’s lady Elise is haunted by the true tale of “Sleeping Beauty”. She knows why the witch hated and that revenge was not a spinning wheel. She remembers a princess who was more than a sleeping maiden waiting for a kiss. What is the truth, beautiful and tragic, behind the tale?

Elise’s character is a mixture of ambition, loyalty, deep but reluctant bravery and regretful hindsight. Through her eyes we see beauty and darkness in people and things mixed with foreshadowing of tragedy. The retelling adds depth to the tale and its message of love and bravery overcoming evil. It makes the tale of “Sleeping Beauty” feel like it could be based on real people and events. While Beauty Slept could be a match for those looking for interesting characters and/or historical fiction retellings of fairy tales.

Want other books like While Beauty Slept?

“Snow White” is reset 16th century Italy with Lucrezia Borgia as the evil stepmother in Mirror, Mirror by Gregory Maguire.

The story of why a woman took Rapunzel, locked her in the tower and the events which took place after are told in Sold for Endless Rue by Madeleine Robins.

Like Elise, Katherine Ashley is a woman from a poor family that rises to become the confidant of a queen. Her story can be found in The Queen’s Governess by Karen Harper.

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Red Rising by Pierce Brown

Red Rising (Red Rising Trilogy, #1)

Darrow, like all Reds, toils beneath Mars to make its surface livable. He is filled with vengeance when he learns the ruling Golds have lived on Mar’s surface for generations. He is determined to take the Golds down from the inside. He becomes Gold physically and is selected to attend their elite Institute. Darrow must keep his secret, face ruthless competition and win highest honor to make his mission attainable. Can he overcome his enemies without losing himself?

Red Rising’s tale is of a teenaged man facing physical and philosophical challenges. Darrow faces dangerous enemies in his House, his classmates and in higher levels. He faces what he is willing to do to win and who his enemies really are. The tale feels harsh because Darrow’s relationships and morals are hit with harsh choices. Brown’s story has a group based atmosphere. Human society is grouped into colors and the Institute into Roman god named Houses. Red Rising could be a good match for those looking for a human against the world tale, philosophical suspense and/or an interesting class-based world.

Want more books like Red Rising?

Ender Wiggins battles to save Earth from aliens- not in a game but in life in Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card.

A teen takes her sister’s place in a deadly competition held to reward and divide the people in The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.

In a future Earth, a genetically engineered soldier finds out the rich plan to leave Earth and kill those like her in Mind Storm by K.M. Ruiz.

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Dominion by C.J. Sansom

Dominion

1940: Britain is overwhelmed at the cost of another war and makes peace with Nazi Germany. Twelve years later: Britain’s citizens live carefully, support the Nazis or fight in the Resistance. Civil servant David Fitzgerald lives an ordinary life… except when he passes information to the Resistance. This changes when an old friend learns a powerful secret and turns to David for help. Can David get his friend, his wife and himself to safety? Or will the Nazis learn a secret that could make their dreams of victory a reality?

Sansom makes his alternate world feel real by how he incorporates details from our history. For instance, Pro-Fascist Oswald Mosley -who fell from power in our world- helps create a ruthless police force. The main characters being ordinary people also makes Sansom’s world feel real. The main characters are not powerful political figures or larger than life. David wants to be ordinary, his friend Frank is burdened and their Nazi antagonist is weary. The plot slowly builds up and then is suspenseful on several levels. Dominion could be a match for those looking for an alternate history world that feels real and/or are interested in world history 1918-1952.

Want Dominion read-a-likes?

In 1964 Hitler Germany an overworked police inspector and an American reporter come across a dangerous secret in Fatherland by Robert Harris.

When Prime Minister Chamberlain refuses to let Hitler’s invasion of Sudentenland stand Hitler starts WWII in 1938 in Hitler’s War by Harry Turtledove.

Books such as Never Again: Britain 1945-1951 by Peter Hennessy provide more prospective on this time period.

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Mars, Inc. The Billionaire’s Club by Ben Bova

Mars, Inc.: The Billionaire's Club

Tycoon Art Thrasher is determined to get to Mars or bust. He risks his company, gathers a group of billionaire financiers and gets some of the best personnel. Unfortunately, Art faces a territorial NASA, technological problems and people with multiple agendas. Can Art succeed or will he lose everything before liftoff?

Art is a likable mixture of energetic, cunning, a bit of a reprobate and a dreamer. Bova shows how a mission could get to Mars with a light touch. He puts in technology, human conflicts and the experience of space flight without inundating the reader in details. Art’s character also adds a touch of humor to the process even as he faces some serious challenges to his mission. Mars, Inc. The Billionaire’s Club could be a match for those looking for a tale of getting to the Red Planet and/or a likable protagonist.

Want other books like Mars, Inc. The Billionaire’s Club?

Another humorous story that also examines some of the issues in getting to Mars is Voyage to the Red Planet by Terry Bisson.

When a tragic failure leads to NASA giving up getting to Mars billionaire John Axelrod steps in The Martian Race by Gregory Benford.

Books such as The Case for Mars: The Plan to Settle the Red Planet and Why We Must also look into how humans could get to Mars.

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