Exciting book loot brought by the postman today! Sphere have just sent me a copy of the third in Jane Sanderson's 'Netherwood' saga, 'Eden Falls'. This series has become an annual treat - and this time we're promised an exotic shift in location, while at the same time keeping up with the characters still at home...
Here's the blurb:
"Jamaica 1909. Millionaire Silas Whittam is struggling to bring his dream of a luxury hotel to life. He’s relieved when his sister, Eve, arrives – basking in the success of her Yorkshire pies and puddings business. But as Eve befriends the staff, secrets hidden by Silas begin to emerge. In England, the Earl and Countess of Netherwood try to hide their empty marriage, as they enjoy the whirlwind of the London season. Yet the Earl’s suffragette sister, Lady Henrietta, could disgrace them all. And for new Labour MP Amos Sykes, times are tough. Especially with his wife decorating the homes of the very aristocrats he would like to see ruined."
The news of A. Crispin's death made me reread her wonderful Star Trek novel, 'Yesterday's Son' - and I found it just as wonderfully entertaining as I did 25 years ago. Looking at everything she'd written I wondered why I'd never read her fab-sounding Origins-of-Han Solo trilogy of novels for the Star Wars series. (And I remembered - possibly because the piss-bloody-awful prequel movies put me off ANYTHING to do with Star Wars for a loooong time.) Anyway - off I went to order a copy of 'The Paradise Snare' so I could find out how Han started out...
"Before the Star Wars movie, before the titanic battles that freed the galaxy from the iron grip of the Empire, here is the never-before-told story of the young Han Solo. In Book One of this exciting new trilogy, the famed rogue, con man, smuggler and theif struggles to survive on a sinister world where the chief export is slavery. THE PARADISE SNARE He was a child without a past, a Corellian street urchin, abandoned, foraging for scraps of food, when the cruel Garris Shrike whisked him away to a nomadic band of spacefaring criminals. Now, years later, chafing under Shrike's sadistic tyranny, driven by dreams of adventure and glory, Han fights his way free, his goal to become an Imperial Navy pilot. But first he needs hands-on experience flying spacecraft, and for that he takes a job on the planet Ylesia - a steaming world of religious fanaticism, illicit drugs and alluring sensuality…where dreams are destroyed and escape is impossible."
And finally - here's something that arrived last week, and I'm halfway through it. Nicholas Sparks' new novel, 'The Longest Ride' is published next week, and it's another effortless page-turner. It's like eating a whole bar of Dairy Milk in one go. I'll tell you more next week, after I've finished and thought about it - but I'm liking it so far.
"Ira Levinson is in trouble. At ninety-one years old, in poor health and alone in the world, he finds himself stranded on an isolated embankment after a car crash. Suffering multiple injuries, he struggles to retain consciousness until a blurry image materializes and comes into focus beside him: his beloved wife Ruth, who passed away nine years ago. Urging him to hang on, she forces him to remain alert by recounting the stories of their lifetime together – how they met, the precious paintings they collected together, the dark days of WWII and its effect on them and their families. Ira knows that Ruth can’t possibly be in the car with him, but he clings to her words and his memories, reliving the sorrows and everyday joys that defined their marriage.
A few miles away, at a local bull-riding event, a Wake Forest College senior’s life is about to change. Recovering from a recent break-up, Sophia Danko meets a young cowboy named Luke, who bears little resemblance to the privileged frat boys she has encountered at school. Through Luke, Sophia is introduced to a world in which the stakes of survival and success, ruin and reward -- even life and death – loom large in everyday life. As she and Luke fall in love, Sophia finds herself imagining a future far removed from her plans -- a future that Luke has the power to rewrite . . . if the secret he’s keeping doesn’t destroy it first.
Ira and Ruth. Sophia and Luke. Two couples who have little in common, and who are separated by years and experience. Yet their lives will converge with unexpected poignancy, reminding us all that even the most difficult decisions can yield extraordinary journeys: beyond despair, beyond death, to the farthest reaches of the human heart."