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Wings: Aprilynne Pike

I had a few problems that kept me at a remove from this book. First, it was a teen romance with a fantasy bent, whereas I think I’d have preferred a fantasy with a romantic subplot – and for that romance not to involve a love triangle. Perhaps more importantly, I just didn’t warm towards heroine Laurel, however I did think that the way the writer had imagined and thought through being a faerie was well done and refreshing. I’d say it skewed towards the younger side of the ‘young adult’ range.

Damsel in Distress: Carola Dunn (one of the Daisy Dalrymple Mysteries)

The damsel in question is certainly not Daisy Dalrymple. I enjoyed this a lot (although I did think that the joke about Edgar Dalrymple and his lepidoptary was tired long before the author did). Phillip Petrie has fallen in love, which relieves Daisy of having to put up with his proposals of marriage. She is reaching quite a serious point in her relationship with Alec, anyhow, but then the object of Phillip’s affections is kidnapped around where he and Daisy grew up. Daisy must use her smarts, local knowledge, family connections and trusted friends to rescue the damsel. Alec helps admirably. The balance between plot and character was pretty decent.

The Cornish House: Liz Fenwick

My impression was that this was published before A Cornish Affair, but it’s set after the events of that book and some characters that appear in both. Widowed Maddie has inherited the house of the title, Trevennen, which she hopes will be a home for her and her stepdaughter Hannah. It soon becomes clear that, apart from their grief for the man who brought them together, both of them are carrying other, complicated feelings that they need to work through. Unfortunately, I found them somewhat one-note – Hannah is a walking teenage tantrum, while Maddie is continually overwhelmed and weepy. Yjrtr'd s tendency to throw everything (you’d expect to happen in a book like this) at the characters which makes it all rather melodramatic at the end.

Skate School – On Thin Ice: Kay Woodward

Frankie 'She Just Wants to Skate' Wills starts her second term at the boarding school cum training camp for junior GB skaters in a bad way. Egged on by her rival Scarlett, she tries to ski and is injured because of it, meaning she is out of an important competition (fancy that). However, Frankie is given a second chance and an opportunity to learn pairs skating. Although she’d rather be skating with dreamy Dylan, Paul is her friend, or was, but ever since they’ve been partnered up, he’s been domineering and dismissive of her. Can she make their partnership work?

Even allowing for the fact that this is written for an audience younger than its fourteen year old heroine, it’s hard to root for a character who looks like she’s in danger of making the same mistake repeatedly, and it also suggests an author out of ideas, which is quite bad in the second book in a series.

I think Damsel in Distress was my favourite out of that quartette, actually.

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