Kristy McCaffrey writes contemporary and award-winning historical western romances. She likes the peculiar, the fascinating, and the scientific; animals and the outdoors; her husband and children; history, symbols, and mythology. Grab a cup of tea and hang out by the fireside. Let's travel together.
Thursday, February 23, 2017
All Reviews by Kristy McCaffrey
(Note: I've included an Amazon link for each book, but they may also be available on other platforms such as Nook, iBooks, Kobo, and Google Play, as well as print.)
In this epic dystopian novel, we’re introduced to a world in
which mankind is now living underground in a silo. Memories of why or how it
came to be are lost, and life in Silo 18 is rigorously controlled by the threat
of ‘cleaning’, a punishment for those who break the rules. When a member of
society commits a crime, they are sent outside, to an earth filled with
poisonous air and unlivable conditions. Despite being outfitted in a protective
suit, cleaners ultimately die, but not before they’re expected to clean the
viewfinders with a strip of wool, to ensure that those inside can still see the
world outside. While the novel follows many characters, at the center is
Juliette, a woman who works as a mechanic deep in the bowels of the silo. This
is her story, of her rise to the upper levels as the new sheriff, and the
realization that there is much more than just the confined world in which they
all reside. A well-written and complex tale of fear and the suppression of
ideas, brainwashing, and, ultimately, the will to live. I was enthralled.
Marshal Kaed Turner is left at Jessica’s doorstep near
death. As she nurses him back to health, they soon fall hard for one another.
But the renegade band of men perpetrating heinous crimes must be stopped, and soon
Kaed and a band of marshals must hunt them down, leaving Jessica and a child
not her own exposed. Ms. Pierson has crafted a deeply romantic tale with one of
the most vile villains I’ve ever come across. Andrew Fallon is crazy, and you’ll
keep reading to the end—despite the requisite happy-ending of a romance novel—to
know exactly how he gets his just rewards, as well as be assured of Kaed and
Jessica’s future. Great historical details and a steamy love story will have
you reading into the night. A wonderful read!
Rebecca Garvey is on a wagon train bound for California when
she is inadvertently left behind in the wilderness of New Mexico Territory. She
mistakenly believes that no one searched for her and, as days turn into months,
she remains in the wilderness and fends for herself rather than attempting to
make her way to a town. When she comes across an injured man, she’s compelled
to help him, but in doing so she can no longer hide from the pain of her
Seth Emerson is battling demons of his own, but he becomes
determined to reunite Rebecca with her family, along with the man to whom she’s
betrothed. During the journey, affection turns to love between Seth and Rebecca, and
they must both grapple with doing the right thing.
This is a quiet book with a slow-building romance. Both Seth
and Rebecca are stubborn in their misguided decisions regarding the course of
their lives, and Ms. Maygrove beautifully handles their blossoming maturity.
Grab a cup of tea and a blanket and settle in for a romance filled with grit,
sweetness, and passion. You won’t be disappointed.
In the late 1970’s, Barbara and her husband bicycled around
the world. This book is still readable today and offers amazing insights into
the cultures of other countries (Egypt was especially dangerous and
jaw-dropping in their treatment of the couple) as well as the U.S. This journey
was, in some ways, beyond comprehension. They rode a total of 23,000 miles over
the course of two years through places such as the U.K., India, and Tibet. Barbara
is a wonderful writer. A bittersweet endnote was her death in a cycling
accident near her home in California just before the publication of the book.
Hers is a voice lost much too soon.
This wonderful collection of stories will keep you
captivated from the start. Each centers around Bliss, a sprawling plantation
home located in North Carolina.
In S.K. McClafferty’s A Long Road Home, Livie Harrington
must confront her husband, a northerner who left her to fight in the Civil War
and now wants her back.
Marcy Waldenville’s The Healing Garden brings together
newly pregnant Jane Harrington, widowed in the sinking of the Titanic, and
Irishman Brennan Brown, on the run from aiding his brothers escape their
Jamie Denton’s Spellbound tells the steamy, romantic story
of Colin Harrington, injured in World War II, and Mary Elizabeth Callahan, also
Irish. She becomes housekeeper at Bliss, tending both the house and the
reclusive Colin himself.
Kathleen Shoop’s Home Again finds April Harrington on the
run from a ditched wedding. At Bliss, her family home, she encounters childhood
friend Hale Abercrombie, suffering PTSD from Vietnam and haunted by the death
of April’s brother.
And J.D. Wylde’s Beyond the Checkered Flag brings the
action to modern day and Nascar-driver Bobby Wayne. This story doesn’t feature
a Harrington, but Wayne buys the house for his beloved wife Lauren, whom he’s
trying to win back after an estrangement. Their reunion at Bliss sends sparks
flying as they hash out their differences and grievances. The rating for this
one is definitely hot.
Each story is vivid in historical and modern details and
will have you wanting to visit Bliss yourself. The characters come to life,
making you fall in love with each and every couple, rooting for them to make
it. A wonderful collection by five talented authors.
Aimee Donovan is a modern-day nurse transported to 1810
Yellowstone. Once there, she meets trapper Daniel Osborne. Aimee’s curiosity
and delight in experiencing the past is soon overshadowed by the harsh
realities of the land and the people in it. The growing relationship between
her and Daniel fills the first half of the story, while the second half deals
with the dilemma of Aimee returning to her own time after developing strong
feelings for the rugged mountain man. This is a romance novel in the truest
sense, so a happily-ever-after is guaranteed, but I was nevertheless spellbound
until the end. These characters will grab a hold of you. This is a fresh take
on time-travel romance, and Ms. Henderson’s descriptions of a historical
Yellowstone will make you yearn to see it for yourself. A heartfelt and
engrossing journey of a romance for the ages.
In this fast-paced thriller, Dr. Kate Warner is seeking a
cure for autism when she is attacked and two of her young patients—just children—are
abducted. She soon finds herself immersed in circumstances both dangerous and
unbelievable. David Vale is a covert operative who has uncovered clues to the
evolution of mankind and a current threat that could wipe out the human race.
Kate’s research holds the key. This story is a blend of action-adventure and
science fiction wrapped around historical facts from World War I and II.
There’s an alien race, hidden artifacts, evil henchmen, and romance. It won't disappoint.
In 1851, childhood friends Amy Stevens and Matthew Kane travel
with their families in a large wagon train bound for Oregon. Matt has long
known he loves Amy, but she’s only ever harbored brotherly feelings for him. As
the massive trek begins, Matt makes his intentions known, but Amy rebuffs him. However,
once the seeds of awareness are planted, Amy discovers that her attachment to
Matt gradually begins to change. When Matt’s vengeful brother starts trouble,
Amy is forced to hide the budding relationship because Matt insists on
protecting her reputation. With compelling and likeable main characters, colorful
and well-drawn secondary characters, and immersive descriptions of the Oregon
Trail, Ms.Trueax has crafted an epic novel that will pull you in, slowly but
surely. You won’t soon forget Matt and Amy, or their bumpy path to a
Ms. DesLauriers is the first person to ski the highest
summit on each continent, also known as the Seven Summits. In this revealing
and compelling memoir, she shares her journey from inception to completion. The
summits include Denali, Elbrus, Vinson Massif, Kosciuszko, Aconcagua,
Kilimanjaro and Everest. Each presented unique challenges and skill sets, and
yet she managed to finish within a two-year period. This is a wonderful read,
offering insights into the mind of a woman who engages in dangerous pursuits
while also detailing the risk minimization that she practices diligently.
Still, the Everest portion will leave you dangling on the edge of your seat. I
especially enjoyed the side-stories about her wolf dog. Well-written and
fascinating, I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
This nonfiction book explores how humans interact with the
ocean and the creatures within, and Nestor reveals some amazing insights. For
instance, the human body is uniquely equipped to function underwater, with
adaptations that can be triggered with proper training. He explores the world
of freediving, both competitive (and the high rate of fatalities and mishaps)
as well as people who use it to relate to the ocean and the creatures within in
a more intimate way. The deeper he goes, the more we learn about renegade
scientists who are trying to decipher cetacean language and the multitude of
life at depths that never see any light. He also touches on deep sea heating
vents and a very promising theory that life on earth began in these
high-pressure, super-heated locations. Well-researched and highly personal, Deep will open your eyes to a world more
vast than the one we currently know.