Julia London~~ 4 1/2 and 5 Star Reviews

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Summer of Two Wishes
Julia London
Pocket StarMass Market
978-1416547082
    
**** +

          When Macy married Finn Lockhart, it felt like a dream come true. But when he was killed in the line of duty, the dream became a nightmare. After drifting in a painful hell, she slowly let Wyatt Clark in, and she married him seven months ago. Now the unthinkable-- and wonderful-- happens: The military tells Macy that Finn is not dead, but was a prisoner of the Taliban for three years. Macy is ecstatic that Finn is home, but she can't imagine leaving Wyatt. She loves both men, and cannot choose between them.
        Wealthy Wyatt is sure that Macy will return to him, so as time goes by, he's upset and dismayed that she still needs time to think. He's growing desperate for her to come back. Finn has come home to discover a world turned upside-down. His ranch is abandoned, the livestock sold, and his wife married to another man. He sees bombs exploding in his sleep, so he drinks to numb an unpleasant reality. Macy is so concerned about how her choices affect the men in her life that she doesn't really consider what she wants for herself. Still, she finally comes to a decision-- but then a new bombshell puts everything back in doubt.
        Julia London is well known for her Regency-era romances, but all lovers of good writing should give this wrenching tale a try. Her characters, one of whom is a descendant of her well-loved Lockhart clan, behave in an utterly convincing fashion, in both positive and negative ways. And while the book, like its heroine, is initially lacking in focus, you will find yourself turning the pages faster and faster to see how the story ends.

Heather Nordahl Files

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The Book of Scandal

Julia London

Pocket Mass Market

978-1416547112

**** +

 

          Three years ago, Nathan and Evelyn Grey's marriage was shattered when their young son died of a fever. She fled her memories and her bottomless grief, and moved to London, where her heart healed well enough for her to contemplate an affair. Nathan stayed in Eastchurch, where he gained a reputation for drink and debauchery. But now the kingdom is rocked by scandal, as Princess Caroline has reportedly written down every one of her indiscretions in a document simply called "The Book." Nathan is told that Evelyn may be named in this book, and is warned that unless he and Evelyn present a united front, the King may take Evelyn in for questioning. She is completely unwilling to return to Eastchurch, so he abducts her and takes her there by force.

         Evelyn can't believe her husband dares to force her back to the scene of her heartbreak. Every room holds memories of her precious son, and the pain is eating her alive. Surely Nathan never suffered as she does. But at Eastchurch she slowly remembers what was good about her marriage, and if she dares, she may yet heal the rift between them. Nathan and Evelyn are victims of random accidents and attacks, and a mysterious man is watching. Could the accidents be attempts on someone's life, and if so, who is the target and why?

        The talented Julia London launches a new trilogy set shortly before the official beginning of the Regency, centered around a real scandal. But the heart of this sometimes wrenching tale is the fractured relationship between Nathan and Evelyn. I have a small son of my own, and some of Evelyn's memories brought tears to my eyes. This beautiful novel is about healing as well as grief, and should not be missed.

Heather Nordahl Files

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