Not Your Everyday Romance (Part 1) - Melting Pot
Valentine’s Day is coming! As a writer and lover of all things Romance, I had to feature my latest romance reads in this month’s column.
There’s a twist…
Both of my selections this month veer off the ‘traditional’ romance path. These ain’t your momma’s romances…not by a long shot.
Let’s add the unexpected flavors of complex savories to The Melting Pot.
Talk about the ultimate in May-December relationships… take a two hundred year-old sin eater and add a luscious, red haired, African-American banshee, then sit back and let the sparks fly.
Here’s the book to read if you love deep dives into character development, emotions, and relationship arcs. The push / pull between Gigi and Murdok absolutely aches on the page and pushes you to turn the page to see what happens next. This book was soooo hard for me to put down, I spent a couple late nights reading well past my bedtime.
Banshee’s Bite is a stand-alone story that takes place in a richly built world. It is my understanding that Ms. Fluharty is planning a series of paranormal romances set in this alternative, modern day, Portland, Oregon. I, for one, am looking forward to the next book. Like this book, I’m sure the next one will be absolutely dripping with snark and kick-butt heroines and heroes in action.
Banshee’s Bite by Gina Fluharty
Officer Gigi O’Shea is a good cop but a terrible banshee. A brush with death awakened unknown powers and forced her into a world of preternatural creatures that would send a sane cop screaming. Being a banshee conflicts with her cop nature. If she sings someone to death, how is that not murder? And the hottest man she’s ever wanted underneath her is threatening to kill her if she doesn’t get her shit together. Sex and death threats—who knew that would be so exciting? Murdok abhors what Gigi is. Banshees are weak and stupid, and Gigi is out of control. As Cleaner, it’s his job to make sure she doesn’t blow their collective cover to humans. Unfortunately, he can’t just kill her. First he’ll have to attempt to train her. But he’s an executioner, not a professor—not when the voices of the dead he carries threaten his control at every turn. Even worse, he wants Gigi more than he’s wanted any woman in centuries. But so do his dead.
There’s more than Gigi’s life at stake. As a banshee, only she can save the ghosts and Portland, and if she doesn’t find the strength to trust her new self, everyone dies.
Who said the princess had to fall in love with the prince? What if she fell in love with his sister?
Of Fire and Stars explores the convergence of love, family (both blood and chosen), and duty. My favorite books have a mystery to be solved mixed in with a romance and this book is an eloquent success on both fronts. It is also structured in my favorite way - first person alternating POV – which further enhances an immersive reader experience.
The romantic twist, tensions, and single love scene all drive a well-constructed and tender romance arc. Both characters prove that there is more to them than a superficial assessment would supply and it is this depth of character that places this book on my ‘favorite books’ shelf.
The story has a satisfying ending that leaves room for more books in the future. I’m not sure if Ms. Coulthurst is planning a series around these characters or not. All I can say is that I am most definitely looking forward to her next book.
Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst
An atmospheric and romantic debut fantasy perfect for fans of Ash and The Winner’s Curse.
Betrothed since childhood to the prince of Mynaria, Princess Dennaleia has always known what her future holds. Her marriage will seal the alliance between Mynaria and her homeland, protecting her people from other hostile kingdoms. But Denna has a secret. She possesses an Affinity for fire—a dangerous gift for the future queen of a land where magic is forbidden.
Now Denna has to learn the ways of her new kingdom while trying to hide her growing magic. To make matters worse, she must learn to ride Mynaria’s formidable warhorses before her coronation—and her teacher is the person who intimidates her most, the prickly and unconventional Princess Amaranthine, sister of her betrothed.
When a shocking assassination leaves the kingdom reeling, Mare and Denna reluctantly join forces to search for the culprit. As the two work together, they discover there is more to one another than they thought—and soon their friendship is threatening to blossom into something more.
But with dangerous conflict brewing that makes the alliance more important than ever, acting on their feelings could be deadly. Forced to choose between their duty and their hearts, Mare and Denna must find a way to save their kingdoms—and each other.
Columnist: C. Morgan Kennedy
I have a confession to make. I’m a time traveler. I love flinging myself into the future, then hurtling fast to an alternative past. In my usual time-space-dimension, I’m a mechanical engineer and business woman. So, I have a natural penchant for hover cars and steam or aether powered engines. Though I was born in the wrong era, I’m actually a child of the sixties – 1860, 1960, 2060.
My stories feature strong women, who know how to wield their minds like weapons. Their men are smart and often controlling….but, rest assured, my female leads give them a run for their money. They strive to follow their hearts and dreams for the betterment of themselves and their loved ones. Like my life, all of my stories feature a diverse cast of characters.
With my business partner, Therese Patrick, I work to demystify marketing principles for my author friends. Our first book, Author Marketing 101 Guide & Journal, was published by Gazebo Gardens Publishing and released in October 2013.
Steampunk, futurist, blerd, artist, author, and marketing maven…a real creative force of nature – that’s me in a nutshell.
Keep tabs on my adventures via my blog, Morgan’s Mix Tape, on my website: http://www.cmorgankennedy.com.