For All Time (Nantucket Brides #2) by Jude Deveraux

For All Time Front Cover (Ballantine/Random House)

For All Time Front Cover (Ballantine/Random House)

This is the book Jude’s fans have been waiting for.

I’ll be honest: I liked the Edilean series. I was disappointed when I heard she was abandoning it to return to the Montgomery-Taggerts. Having said that, it seems that Jude has entered a second Renaissance with this series, and this book is just everything a fan could ask for, and then some.

THE PLOT: Graydon Montgomery is the Crown Prince of Lanconia. He has come to Nantucket with his twin, Rory, for the wedding of Jared Montgomery Kingsley to Alix Madsen  (see Book 1 in the series, True Love, reviewed here.) He’s immediately smitten with bridesmaid Toby Wyndam, who has simply never found a man worthy of tempting her into a love affair. However, Graydon is engaged-to-be-engaged to an appropriate lady in Lanconia. Graydon immediately tells Toby who he is, thankfully, so there’s none of this “I have to tell you something…” later. They start out as friends. Graydon arranges to stay on Nantucket for a week while his twin pretends to be him back home. As Graydon and Toby get to know each other better, they are swept back into the past to fix a two-hundred-year-old love affair that ended in tragedy.

MY TWO CENTS: For a veteran Jude fan, this book is like a wish list woven together as enthralling entertainment.  The return of the Lanconians! Many inside-joke references to past Mongomery books! (Toby is “A Maiden,” wink-wink, nudge-nudge!) Time travel! A cameo by J.T. and Aria!!!! (I know, they HAVE to be in their 90s, but…hey, royalty lives long lives, right? Look at Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip.) And even though you might think halfway through that the ending is going to be predictable…it’s not.

Even though it’s difficult for me, someone who has read Jude Deveraux’s books for about 25 years, I tried to seriously look at this from the point of view of the non-fan. Could you jump into this book with no prior knowledge of other books and enjoy it? I think the answer is yes, but with a strong recommendation to read True Love first. Some of the characters, such as Victoria and Caleb, have a very detailed and involved backstory that is not retold here. The reader may be able to pick up on it, but…just read True Love first. It’s also a great story, and then you’ll get it all.

If you’re a Montgomery-Taggert newbie, I also highly recommend reading the following to enhance your enjoyment of this book: The Maiden (Rowan “the Great” and Jura’s story); The Princess (story of Graydon’s grandparents, J.T. and Aria), and, to further explain “the one who can tell the twins apart,” Twin of Ice (Houston Chandler and Kane Taggert).

If, after that, you’re still ready for more, I next recommend The Awakening (story of Graydon’s great-grandparents, Hank and Amanda), A Knight in Shining Armor (time travel, plus there’s a shout-out in For All Time to Nicholas..heh heh!), and The Raider, which is one of my all-time favorite books and shows how the Montgomerys and Taggerts became one big happy family. By then, you should be very thoroughly in love with the Mongomerys, Taggerts, and Jude Deveraux.

BOTTOM LINE: As if it’s not obvious by now…I loved this book, I think Jude fans will LOVE this book, and new readers should enjoy—plus be intrigued enough to check out other titles.

TEACUP RATING: Five plus out of five teacups. It’s a keeper. Put it on your shelf next to A Knight in Shining Armor and Sweet Liar.

ON SALE DATE: It will be available in Hardcover on July 1, 2014.

Note: Review is based on an ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley and Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

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Star Wars: Honor Among Thieves (Empire and Rebellion #2) by James S.A. Corey

18209565

Honor Among Thieves Front Cover (Random House)

Honor Among Thieves is the second book in the “Empire and Rebellion” series that started with Leia’s book, Razor’s Edge. I liked this one, the Han-centered book of the series, much better. These books take place between Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back.

THE PLOT: Han and Chewie are sent to pick up a rebel agent. Sounds simple, but of course it devolves into a complete life-risking debacle. Han is being pursued by an old-smuggler-friend-turned-bounty-hunter who was stupid enough to already spend some of Jabba’s money. No matter what else happens, he HAS to bring Han to Jabba or end up being hunted as well.

So of course, picking up the agent, Scarlet, isn’t the easy job it was supposed to be. And obviously, there’s going to be more to it than just bringing her to the Rebellion’s rendezvous point. Turns out the Empire is on the verge of controlling Hyperspace; obviously, that can’t happen.

As in Leia’s book, Luke plays an extremely minor role. (But Han and Leia are always thrown together to help show their blossoming relationship. I’m okay with that.)

MY TWO CENTS: I was surprised at how short this book was; about 250 printed pages. (I know it lists as 288 pages, but some of that is sample chapters of other books.) Despite that, I didn’t feel like it was too short. Some Star Wars books are just bloated with filler, so this one is pretty much all pertinent to the adventure. I loved how Han questions what the Rebellion’s intentions are…obviously, there will be some sort of government no matter who wins. Does Leia intend for her government to be a better alternative to the Empire, and how, exactly?

Again, if you’ve read any of the Expanded Universe books…well, heck, if you’ve seen the rest of the original trilogy…you know our main characters are never in any real danger here, but the authors make it seem suspenseful anyway. That helps make for a good read.  I enjoyed the main two “new” characters, Scarlet Hark and Baasen Ray, add good entertainment without messing up continuity.

BOTTOM LINE: I’m not sure if we’ll see Luke’s book in this series…apparently it and the “Sword of the Jedi” series are on hold because of the new movies. If this is the last Star Wars book with the original characters we see for a while, at least it’s a pretty good one. (Note of interest: the original cover for this book was much closer to the Razor’s Edge cover. Did they replace it because there may not be a third book, or at least not for a while?)

TEACUP RATING: Five out of five cups of tea. I applaud the authors for writing the story and not padding it unnecessarily.

Note: Review is based on an ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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