Night and Day by Rowan Speedwell

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

NightandDayLGNight and Day by Rowan Speedwell
Release Date: March 9, 2016
Pages: 52 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazon • ARe

2nd Edition

Nate Pederowski is about as far down as he can go when he’s tipped to a job as a singer in a speakeasy. Dishonorably discharged for being queer, broke and homeless during the Great Depression, Nate is embittered and lonely. The club’s handsome owner, Rick Bellevue, and his sister Corinna are wowed by Nate’s voice and offer him the job.

But the Starlight Lounge is much more than an ordinary supper club, and Rick and his sister much more than just the owners. It’s not ’til Nate gets caught up in a gangster’s plot that he discovers just what secrets they’re hiding. Nate’s life is going to change in ways he can scarcely imagine, let alone believe.

First Edition published by Dreamspinner Press, 2010, in the Myths and Magic: Legends of Love anthology.

four-stars

Wow. This was not what I was expecting and that is a good thing. Though I should have paid attention to the above note on it being a second edition and where it was first published, I am glad I glossed over that and just enjoyed the story as it presented itself.

From the dedication of the book I felt emotion and a connection but once I got into the story, I kinda got sucked in and transported back to the 1930’s and the world of speakeasies, prohibition and the mob.

Told from the POV of Nathan “Nate” Pederowski, we meet him as he is auditioning for a gig as a singer for the Starlight Lounge.  Nathan is down on his luck; dirty, hungry and in need of the basics to stay alive when a friend and manager tells him about the job. When Nate walks in and nails his audition with singing a bittersweet song, he is thrust in to the post-Depression world of the lounge life and into the strange relationship of the brother and sister duo who own the club.

From the beginning you know this story is different. There is a feeling, an uneasy and yet unrelenting feeling that though something is not as it seems, you need to know what it is.

 

“How the hell did I end up here?”

“Because you belong here…”

 

This story has a dream like quality. Maybe it’s the way it’s told, second person present tense, or maybe it’s the unique quality of the characters, either way it’s engaging and different than what I expect.

I thoroughly liked, Nate. His backstory is heartbreaking and I was not prepared for the feelings I got with such a short story and yet there were there punching me in the chest. I liked Nate and how he liked Rick and I liked that Rick was a man who could set the sheet on fire… *nods* Oh … Rick and Coco, our brother/sister team are magical, for lack of a better word and while you begin to realize just what they actually are, the story takes a twisted turn and I felt Nate’s reaction.

Once you’re in the music, you can open your eyes, but you don’t see anything; you’re blind with love and passion. It’s as pure as a homecoming, as hot as sex; it’s everything you need and have lost and found again. You let the passion burn through you until there’s nothing left, and the notes of the song drain from you whatever has been keeping you on your feet …

On a personal note, the music for me in this book was lovely, it reminded me of listening to jazz, big band and crooners with my father. His musical taste is something that stuck with me from the young age he first shared it opening my eyes, to today as a woman in her late 30’s. The music, it made me miss my dad who passed away 17 years ago this February but it made me cherish the all too inadequate time I had with him.

About Rowan Speedwell

An unrepentant biblioholic, Rowan Speedwell spends half her time pretending to be a law librarian, half her time pretending to be a database manager, half her time pretending to be a fifteenth-century Aragonese noblewoman, half her time… wait a minute… hmm. Well, one thing she doesn’t pretend to be is good at math. She is good at pretending, though.

In her copious spare time (hah) she does needlework, calligraphy and illumination, and makes jewelry. She has a master’s degree in history from the University of Chicago, is a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism, and lives in a Chicago suburb with the obligatory Writer’s Cat and way too many books.

Review: Marked (Eternal Guardians, #1) by Elisabeth Naughton

Review: Marked (Eternal Guardians, #1) by Elisabeth NaughtonSeries: Eternal Guardians #1
on April 23rd, 2010
Pages: 321 pages
AmazonNarrator: Elizabeth Wiley
THERON - Dark haired, duty bound and deceptively deadly. He's the leader of the Argonauts, an elite group of guardians that defends the immortal realm from threats of the Underworld.

From the moment he walked into the club, Casey knew this guy was different. Men like that just didn't exist in real life--silky shoulder-length hair, chest impossibly broad, and a predatory manner that just screamed dark and dangerous. He was looking for something. Her.

She was the one. She had the mark. Casey had to die so his kind could live, and it was Theron's duty to bring her in. But even as a 200-year-old descendant of Hercules, he wasn't strong enough to resist the pull in her fathomless eyes, to tear himself away from the heat of her body.

As war with the Underworld nears, someone will have to make the ultimate sacrifice.
three-half-stars

Acacia “Casey” Simopolous was working at a strip club to pay down the mountain of hospital bills that resulted from her grandmother’s bout with cancer. In fact, she was a waitress at night and during the day she managed the bookstore she inherited from her grandmother.
One evening, Casey rescued an man who was hurt outside the club, and thus began her introduction to Theron, an Argonaut and the leader of the Eternal guardians. Theron had followed his fiancée, Princess Isadora of the Argolea, to the club when he was attacked by demons. While he got Isadora to safety, he was too hurt to teleport to their realm. Casey took Theron home and nursed him to health. During an intimate moment, Theron noticed a “tattoo” on Casey’s lower back which identified her as otherworldly, but Casey was unaware of her heritage. Further investigation revealed that Casey was the human half-sister of Theron’s fiancée Isadora, and they were part of a prophecy where the two halves would reunite but the stronger would survive.
Both Casey and Isadora were weakening every day, and Theron needed to unite them so that Isadora, the Argolean princess, could survive as she was Ling Leonidas’ only heir, thus the only one who could continue the royal line.

Theron was caught between a rock and a hard place because he was engaged to marry the princess and become the new king, but he found himself in love with the half breed sister whose life was needed in order to make the princess whole again. The future of the race depended on Theron’s adherence to his duty even if he had to give up the only woman he will ever love.

I liked this book, but I didn’t love it. It has great potential as a book one of the series as the writing was pretty fast paced. Constant action and an interesting mix of mythology made the novel interesting. I really liked Theron, but I liked the sister Isadora more than I liked Casey. I didn’t want Theron and Isadora together, but I liked Isadora’s inner fortitude. Both sisters obviously had the capacity for self-sacrifice and get love, so that was really cool. I never quite understood King Leonidas and his fascination with humans when he didn’t really care about humans either. I also had a hard time with “Eternal guardians” who were more human acting, eating sandwiches and wearing jeans. But there was a clear sense of duty and what was right, and the guardians strived to do their duty. How they could spend time on earth fighting demons but be clueless about Misos, half breeds, was beyond me.

I actually enjoyed Hades, who was kind of a villain, and his wife Persephone. They brought a special kind of mischief to the table and it was entertaining. I also enjoyed having a woman, Atalanta, be the villain because of the discrimination she suffered. I felt her pain, though her means of exacting retribution was too extreme. I look forward to her next plan to slaughter the Argoleans. I am hoping book 2 will fill in some more background and tell us more about Isadora’s deal with Hades and Persephone.