Book review, Dundee, FinnMacCool, Jack Hughes Books, Joh Quinn, Jute, O Halflins and hecklers and Weavers and Weemin, Paul Andruss, Play, Regency, Shehanne Moore, The Writer and the Rake, Thomas the Rhymer, Time-travel
The Writer and The Rake
I can confirm Shehanne Moore is no Miss Barbara Cartland.
Now there is two ways you can take this news. If you are anything like me it will be with a lusty huzzah and an air punch. I was never one for simpering virgins and sex scenes discretely ending outside the bedroom door.
Shehanne Moore writes historical romance with a sci-fi twist that’s unapologetically smexy. For those who don’t know, smexy (her word, not mine) is a cross between smutty and sexy… raunchy romance in the raw… or is that with a roar? Cos, boy, does the gal deliver!
If you want a complex heroine, so feisty she could bitch slap you in a stand-up row, meet tough but vulnerable Brittany Carter – ‘brittle as porcelain and deadlier than shattered glass. An irresistible combination.’
If you like a ruggedly handsome man, oozing animal magnetism, you can’t go far wrong with Mitchell Killgower. He’s not so tough. Underneath them smouldering looks and icy demeanour beats a heart to make you melt. At least something will be wet by the end of the novel.
By that I mean if a ‘good man who needs saving from himself’ don’t bring a tear to your eye then you are no Brittany Carter – not matter how smexy and gorgeous you are – ‘darling!’
Brittany is a struggling historical romance writer and no simpering virgin. Like most good-looking modern women in their mid-twenties, she’s had her fair share of men; all of them disappointments.
The book opens when a stranger called Morte stops Brittany for her autograph. Or so she thinks.
To be honest she’s not taking much notice. The girl’s got a lot on her mind. Off to straighten out her finances with some crap-head she used to date – he took everything but somehow managed to leave her name on a mortgage he’s not paying.
Morte’s weird, more stalker than fan. As his ominous warning about making the right choice rings in her ears, lightning strikes him. Brittany does the decent thing: calls an ambulance; helps Morte live.
Next thing Brittany wakes up in a sixteen year boy’s dusty bed. Wound tight as a cheese wire garrotte, she desperately plays it cool, frantically struggling to keep herself together while figuring out what the hell happened?
The boy’s furious. Handsome dad’s furious too. Not with her; with each other.
All the while she’s praying it’s a nightmare and she’ll wake up. Gradually it dawns. She’s somehow travelled through time, back to 1765 to be precise. To a crumbling stately home in Georgian England and the middle of a bitter inheritance feud between handsome rakish father and puritan unloved son, and with a cow of a sister-in-law holding the purse strings and fuelling the whole debacle.
The Writer and the Rake starts at 100 miles an hour and never flags. It is an unrelenting tour de force; a dazzling pas-de-deux of searing wit and laugh out loud moments between Brittany and Mitchell. The frisson between them is tangible, popping and fizzing across the pages as they slog it out to gain the upper hand, only to have the other snatch it back.
Despite wanting to return to her own time Brittany can’t take her eyes off Mitchell; while he can’t keep his hands off her behind. So, what about Morte? Don’t worry, he’s there too. Intent on sealing his Faustian bargain.
When Mitchell sees Morte with Brittany, he’s jealous as hell of her secret lover. It’s just the spark they need for scorching emotions to boil over into reckless sex. Even if you don’t smoke, you’ll be reaching for that post-coital cigarette Brittany can never have because she ran out in the first few days.
Casual sex has consequences. Hell, Brittany knows that. But she’s not prepared for what they are. Ok it’s not the first time she’s woken in a strange bed. But this one’s oddly familiar. She’s leapfrogged forward to her own time to find she’s been missing for weeks, presumed kidnapped, and her books are now best sellers.
Morte picks his moment to explain it all; a drunken night out with the girls. Apparently she’s a time mutant – the mother of a dynasty. Shame she’s too pissed to take it in.
Talk about sealed with a kiss. One drunken snog with some bloke in the club and Brittany’s back to Mitchell’s crumbling house. Only one thing for it, seduce Mitchell and use the ride of her life to hitchhike through the centuries back to her duly deserved fame and fortune.
Here lies the rub.
Mitchell’s the man she wants, the one she’s been waiting for all her life. She knows it from the moment he sweeps her up in his strong arms and drops her on his big old bed. From the second he unbuttons her bodice, and she his breeches. If only he was from her time. If, if, if…
If this is her last kiss; the last time she can make love for fear of ricocheting through the ages with every orgasm, then there is no one she would rather do it with.
Life’s never that simple, is it Brittany? Not with destiny calling… loud and clear.
The Writer and the Rake is a genre-bending adventure. It confirms Shehanne Moore as an author who know today’s woman is as likely to be into science fiction, playing computer games or watching light porn as reading heavy romance. And Moore’s not afraid to give her readers what they want … without ifs, buts or apologies.
The dialogue is racy, witty and thoroughly modern. This is no cod 18th century comedy of manners. That would get in the way of the lust and punishing pace. Her characters are real: gritty, decent and flawed as the rest of us. And ultimately, as redeemable by love we all are. Though it’s bloody hard work for them sometimes!
And in case you are thinking this is just for the girls, I’d advise you to give it a shot, lads. Cos let’s face it… it does no harm knowing what your woman wants.