Posted in Book Review

Ruby Moon by Jenny Knipfer

I believe it is important for readers and especially writers to read outside our normal comfort zone. As you can see from many of my reviews, I read an eclectic variety of books.

Ruby Moon reads at times like poetry. This debut novel is a blend of Ojibwe and 1890s Canadian society, with Biblical and other famous quotes to add thought or subtext to the story.

“God has destined me for a purpose?” Young Janay asks as she wanders the fields with the medicine woman, Maang-ikwe. Her affinity with plants and desire to learn the ways of her mother making her unique among the citizens of town.

Raised by her indulgent widowed father, Janay walks a fine line between the two worlds.

“Remember, what you leave and tend will grow. Weeds will not produce a harvest of good things.” Jacques’ father admonishes as he teaches him to pluck the weeds from the family garden, though the lesson will be one he will use throughout many areas of his life.

As secretary to Janay’s father, Jacques is known to be a good, honest man.

When Janay attracts the attention of a man who believes there is nothing he cannot possess for a price, it is Jacques who is tasked with seeing her safely away.

It was her father’s hope and prayer that she and Jacques might find love, and in the trials to come, it is the love and support of her family that sees her through.

A copper or ruby moon is one of joy. I am so thankful this story ends with a song of joy.

Strong female characters, Godly characters and realistic characters. A lovely story.

Posted in Book Review

The Prince by Katharine Ashe

Happy Release Day, Katharine!

History professor/historical romance author, Katharine Ashe brings the past into the contemporary with an understanding of human nature and historical facts. Her novels are rich in history with a modern relevance.

The Prince is a timeless story of the heart versus dreams and responsibility.

Mr. Kent (The Prince Ziyaeddin of Tabir) is in exile, making his way in the world as a renowned artist. He meets the inexhaustible Libby/Elizabeth Shaw at the devil duke’s home in The Duke and he has never forgotten her.

Dressed as Mr. Smart, Libby sits among the medical students during a public dissection. No one realizes the boy with the wild whiskers isn’t a lad at all. She has accomplished the impossible, a woman in the operating theater in Edinburg. Until she sees Mr. Kent and realizes he recognizes her.

The daughter of a doctor, it is Libby’s dream to become as surgeon but no one will accept a woman as a surgical apprentice. Women aren’t even allowed to study medicine.

Mr. Kent is awaiting the moment when he can return home and free his sister and his country from the people who assassinated his parents.

The Prince is a story about people risking everything to accomplish a dream and forfeiting it all for love. It is a story of friendship, respect and following your heart despite others’ expectations. These extraordinary characters face insurmountable odds.

This is Katharine’s best work so far. These characters are unique yet familiar. As a reader, I’m rooting for Kent and Shaw to get together yet that seems impossible. How can they accomplish their dreams and responsibilities if they give into their desires? The emotional rollercoaster ride brings us closer to this amazing couple and the other characters who support their story.

I’m so thankful for happy endings but it wasn’t the ending I expected.

If you’re a history buff like I am, reading the historical notes Katharine provides for readers is just as much fun as the stories they inspired. It is one of my favorite things about reading her books.