Posted by Nancy Northcott Jul 26 2014, 12:43 am in books, easy escapes, summer reading, virtual tourism
It’s really quiet in the Lair. Dismally quiet. Roughly half of the banditas are in San Antonio at RWA. They occasionally report in about how much fun they’re having. *sigh*
Sven, Demetrius, and Zach are rotating their guys for days off and doing basic repairs around the Lair. Sven is polishing the silver. I didn’t realize we had quite so much of it–platters, candlesticks, serving utensils, vases, even a soup tureen!
And the Golden Rooster is griping because no one is paying attention to him in between his visits to our various buddies who’ve graciously
put up with, er, hosted him.
“We should have a party,” he said. “There’s a women’s beach volleyball tournament in town. They might want to come–”
“No,” Demetrius said flatly, popping into the kitchen after a sparring match with Marcus. “You are not bringing women here. We always have to stop you harassing them.”
The rooster squawked, and Demetrius’s eyes narrowed. “Don’t push it, bird.”
So the rooster stomped off in a huff.
Meanwhile, our resident dragon, Ermingarde, is cruising the countryside and the rest of us are working on various projects. I’m working on Will’s book, Warrior, for release this fall, and updating my website.
In between the projects, though, I’ve been traveling in the easiest, cheapest way possible, via books. Yes, the trips are imaginary, but they’re relaxing and fun and do not involve airports, weather delays, traffic gridlock, sunblock, strange food, or odd noises from the room next door.
There are so many choices of destinations, too. We can visit in our contemporary world or check out other places or times. Or slightly altered versions of our world.
I enjoy visiting small towns that remind me of the one I grew up in. Only a small percentage of my reading is straight contemporary romance, but I love spending time in Jill Shalvis’s Lucky Harbor. The town has its share of eccentrics, but most of the people are good-hearted and look out for each other, even if things don’t always work out the way they intend.
This is the fourth book in the series, Lucky in Love. It’s one of my favorites. Its hero, Ty, is an Navy SEAL in town to recover from serious injuries. He’s just passing through and not interested in getting involved. Yet Mallory, a local ER nurse (and a member of the Chocoholics) who’s so busy looking after everyone else that she doesn’t do much of anything just for herself, catches his eye, and one thing somehow leads to another.
They resolve not to get involved, to just have a fling, but, as the saying goes, “life is what happens while you’re making other plans.” Sometimes love happens then, too.
Sometimes it’s fun to be in our contemporary world but spice it up with a hint of danger. I would far rather have my danger vicarious (or virtual, when it’s an ebook) than actual.
I recently discovered Elle Kennedy’s Killer Instincts series. This is the first book, Midnight Rescue. Abby is assigned to go undercover and kill an arms dealer who also engages in human trafficking. As so often happens, however, the operation takes a twist. Abby must blow her cover to protect innocent victims. Kane, an agent for a rival organization, is assigned to go in and rescue her.
The plot is gripping, the pace is fast, and the romance has both tension and heat. I’m hooked on this series.
Sometimes I want a break from our world, though. Sometimes I want to go somewhere completely different. Then I might reach for something like Kylie Griffin’s Light Blades series. This is the first book, Vengeance Born.
The heroine, Annika, is the half-breed daughter of the demon king. Scorned by the people at court, she uses her healing gift to gain access to a prisoner, Kalan, one of the feared Light Blade warriors. Though he is reluctant to trust her, she convinces him to make a deal. She’ll help him escape, and he’ll take her with him.
Kalan and Annika are brave, sympathetic, and reluctant to trust each other. Yet when fate throws them together, they can’t help seeing each other’s good points.
This is a beautifully constructed world with humans, demons, and half-breeds. War always adds an element of risk, and the story sets up future heroes and heroines.
Sometimes I might stay on earth but escape to a different era. There’s always Georgette Heyer. I also like another series I recently discovered, Lori Austin’s Once Upon a Time in the West. Set in the American West after the Civil War, the series is up to three books so far. The first is Beauty and the Bounty Hunter.
On a quest to find the man who murdered her husband, Cathleen has become a well known bounty hunter, so well known, in fact, that the man she’s hunting has put a price on her head. To stay alive, she has to return to her former lover, Alexi, a con artist and master of disguise who taught her all she knows.
Working together revives the attraction between them, but Cat can’t find peace until she avenges her husband, and Alexi carries emotional scars of his own. The book has a dark cast to it, but it’s also a story of how these two wounded people help each other heal.
I figure readers are never bored. We can go somewhere else, be someone else, anytime we want. And without all the hassles of actual travel.
What are your favorite types of book escapes, and why do you like these types? Have you recently discovered an author to add to your favorites?