Anne Victory is a freelance editor specializing in romance, urban fantasy, and cozy mysteries. Her boutique editing business, Victory Editing, offers a full range of services from developmental, line editing, and proofreading to Oops Detection®, formatting, and a NetGalley co-op for e-ARC distribution. She provides clients, many of whom are NYT and USA Today best sellers, with a full editing team while giving them the convenience of a single point of contact. Anne is also a cofounder of the Association of Independent Publishing Professionals. And, finally, she's the chief cook and bottle washer for her husband, a boisterous spaniel who loves to wear dresses, three cats, and two birds.
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Under Witch Moon
on Nov. 19, 2010
Adriel is a witch for hire. Doing odd jobs here and there, she mainly provides healing aromatherapy, potions, and the occasional protection spell. Life is just fine until one of her clients, Delores, uses a protection spell not as defense against a were-wolf, but as a way to trap him. When her client turns up dead, things really start to get weird.
Adriel's world gets turned upside-down in short order. First, she finds out Delores' murder wasn't just a fluke, but was instead part of a series of killings. Just in case that wasn't enough, a handsome police detective, White Feather, wants to question her, a vampire is looking for her, and an evil witch is trying to kill her. To top things off her friend, Lynx, just turned up missing. Life just keeps getting better and better.
Adriel is a great heroine. She's spunky, she's got a code of honor, and she's got a heart of gold. The supporting cast is equally well done. Adriel's friend, Lynx, is a smart-mouthed, street-tough kid and White Feather, Adriel's contact with law enforcement, is sexy and mysterious.
Ms. Schneider's world of magic is very realistic feeling. She takes you through the process of Adriel's spell-crafting in a way that lets you know what it is possible for her to do, and also explains why she doesn't just wave a wand and "zap" the bad guy. Another reason it felt realistic is because it dove-tails pretty well with how actual pagans work magic. The method is realistic, even though the results are fantasy. It's laid out in such a way that it doesn't become boring but is, instead, pretty fascinating.
The story is exciting, with a fast-paced plot and plenty of villains. The only problem I really had with the book is that in a couple of places the dialog got a bit stilted, but overall it was a tightly woven tale with lots of action. A hint of future romance with White Feather also added to the appeal. I think fans of Mercy Thompson and Kate Daniels will enjoy this newcomer on the the Urban Fantasy scene.
Official review for TheRomanceReviews.com
Little Miss Straight Lace, Book One of the Unbreakable Series (Free Romantic Suspense)
on Nov. 19, 2010
Little Miss Straight Lace has a great story to tell, a great cast of characters, and a wonderful brace of villains that you enjoy hating.
Josie Natale is a bio-statistician - she makes her living checking and correlating the data produced by pharmaceutical trials. She's good at her job and has earned a reputation for being by-the-book, never fudging numbers or cutting corners - Little Miss Straight Lace. Nic Remedian is a South American security consultant brought in by Josie's best friend to investigate threatening emails that have been received by various employees and appear to be coming from a religious cult.
The relationship between Josie and Nic is wonderful to see unfold. Josie is a vibrant character and so is Nic. They work well for each other. The supporting cast of friends and family is also well-drawn and fully fleshed out, and the villains are both brilliant and scary.
My only problem with the book was the pacing. At points it would drag on, and on, and on, like the Energizer Bunny. As an example, Nic thinks he sees someone leaving Josie's apartment. He tells her about it and she thinks he's mistaken - and then NOTHING happens for chapters and chapters and chapters. I'd read something like that and would gear myself up for the action / confrontation to start and then it would just wither. It sometimes felt as if I was reading two separate books. One was a contemporary romance, and the other was a romantic suspense. For the first half of the book, it was straight contemporary with a smidge of suspense thrown in here and there, and then at the last half of the book the romantic thriller took over. I feel like the book would have been better if pacing and flow had been a bit faster.
Despite the plodding plot, it was still an enjoyable read. I was really rooting for Josie and Nic, they were a great couple. Miss Romana really nailed the chemistry between them and created something very sweet where you just ached for them to have a Happily Ever After. She delivered on that, too, in a very satisfying way.
Official Review for TheRomanceReviews.com