Originally posted on A Writer's Path:
by Victor Salinas
Every writer, at some point in time, is bound to ask themselves: How long should a book be?
As a novelist you want to make sure the length is right. Too short and your readers will be severely disappointed. Too long and you risk boring them.
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Overview: Sibyl’s dad has passed, but her mom has quickly remarried to her uncle (Sibyl’s dad’s brother). Now she is set to marry the Laird of the MacFalon clan. In her short time there she learns of a race of people, descended from Adam’s first wife Lilith, called wulvers. Shapeshifting wolves, and the Laird “hunts” them for sport. Finding his way of hunting despicable, she saves a beautiful wulver that is very pregnant. Subsequently she is captured by their King, and learns she is his mate. MacFalon will not be thwarted and takes one of the wulvers captive. To avoid war and save the lives of those she cares for most, Sibyl rushes back to save her friend and marry the MacFalon. Even though she saved the day, with only one casualty, her mate is mad because she tried to sacrifice herself.
Opinion: Now this is a romance novel! There is danger, romance, sacrifice and still everything turns out alright. It even had coups to overthrow the King of England and raw snapshots of women’s rights…or lack there of. Instead of just two people finding themselves in love, both are worried about the repercussions their union would have. The Wulver King is expected to mate with and conceive a wulver. Sibyl has been promised to the MacFalon Laird as a debt settlement between England and Scotland. The two try to stay apart for the better of the clan, but love wills out and steps are made by both to still avoid destroying the lives of others. Most romance novels say be damned to the consequences and jump in, this was actually settled by a couple thinking about others instead of just what they want.
Overview: Sorcha is a young girl mistreated by her attention-seeking mother. Dragged to a party, she seeks refuge in the kitchen where she meets a man named Johnny who just rescued a box of kittens. Discovers a murder plot and is sent into another dimension.
Opinion: It has potential, but seems unfinished. I would say it is only a third of the way completed, as Sorcha is just starting her time-travel, let alone being able to fall in love and warn Johnny of the murder plot against him. I understand it is a novella and part of a series but I would rather have the whole story in one book than end it how it did. There is not enough given in this one to keep me interested, especially if knowing the second book is probably going to end the same way.
Overview: Iain MacKinnon is Laird of the MacKinnon clan and full of guilt. His mother died giving birth to him, and then on the day his son was born his wife declared that she would rather die than have him touch her again. Then promptly leaped out of the tower window on to the jagged rocks of the moor below. Page is the daughter of a noble Englishman, and plagued with more than guilt, self-loathing. From the first moment she can remember, her father hated her and made it well known. He would hit her and treated her no better than he did a servant. Making it easy for her to sneak out at night for a swim, where she is kidnapped by the MacKinnon’s in hopes of retrieving Iain’s own kidnapped six year old son. Offering to trade the daughter for his son, Iain confronted Fitzsiomon, but soon learned he did not care what happened to Page. Threatening the life of the King, her father quickly handed the boy over and exclaiming he would kill his daughter if Iain brought her back. Not wanting to sacrifice her to that fate, or tell her what her father said, Iain told Page he was stealing her and taking her home with him. A long ride home, the two fought their own demons and growing love for each other. Both silently saying one could not love the other because of their pasts, not knowing the man who kidnapped the little boy was in their traveling group. Once home, passion ensues and all seems well for a few days, then everything explodes. Glenna, the midwife, locks herself in her home refusing to see anyone. Fitzsiomon comes to take his daughter back, bringing the Scottish King along to quell any trouble and the original kidnapper is revealed in a plot to kill both Page and the young boy.
Opinion: Loved it. The characters were so painfully real, that they almost seemed like satirical caricatures of real emotions. I laughed, I cried, became angry and frustrated. It is not often that one can find themselves so attuned to a character in a book, but for inexplicable reasons, I have found myself in this book and have no words for how much I love this book. Full of action and danger, it is not just a romance novel it is a thrill ride.