34 Booklist October 1, 2016 www.booklistreader.com
erated by Rachel Weisz and Brendan Fraser in
The Mummy. Forget Knossos and the artifacts
of ancient Crete; Gray’s latest, brilliantly conceived novel is the real treasure. —John Charles
Once a Gypsy.
By Danica Winters.
Nov. 2016. 290p. Diversion, paper, $14.99
Winters, an award-winning paranormal-romance writer, introduces readers to Helena
O’Driscoll, who is a Traveller, a Gypsy. She
knows which side of the tracks the townsfolk think she and her family belong on.
She knows what’s expected of her: to give
up school, marry, and have babies. But she
wants to go to university and learn. See the
world. This makes her an outsider. That and
her gift for the Forshaw, visions of the future.
When her beloved da gets out of jail and is
offered a job, he takes her with him. There she
meets Graham Kelly, who gets under her skin
like nobody else does. But she can’t ever be
with him because he’s not a Gypsy. Her family would never accept it. Graham is in need
of Helena’s gift to help heal his family. Torn
between her family obligations and her growing love for Graham, Helena must find the
courage in her heart to do what is right. Winters’ sweet opener to her Irish Travellers series
bodes well for future titles. —Ilene Lefkowitz
Picture Perfect Wedding.
By Lynnette Austin.
Nov. 2016. 384p. Sourcebooks/Casablanca, paper, $7.99
Tansy Calhoun and Beck Elliott were childhood sweethearts and the most perfect couple
in Misty Bottoms. Then Tansy went away to
college, got pregnant, and married another
man. Tansy returns home five years later after
a divorce and with her daughter, Gracie Bella.
Beck wants nothing to do with the woman
who broke his heart, but they seem to run
into each other at every turn. Tansy is nursing a broken heart, too, but she hides it well.
She has come back to open up a bakery and
design wedding cakes for Magnolia Brides,
but her ability to bake isn’t the only secret
she’s harboring. Austin’s outwardly light and
frothy wedding-planning romance has something deeper on the inside. The third book in
the Magnolia Brides series, following Every
Bride Has Her Day (2016), it will charm readers who love a good second-chance romance.
Fans of the series will enjoy catching up with
familiar characters, but new readers will have
no trouble starting here. —C. L. Quillen
By Amanda Heger.
Nov. 2016. 224p. Diversion, paper, $14.99
(9781682303030); e-book, $7.99 (9781682303023).
Evan Abramson is an intern at the low-rated
So Late It’s Early Show. Marisol Gutierrez is in
Los Angeles to compete for a grant that would
fund her mother’s clinic in Nicaragua. On a
day off, Marisol decides to go to a taping of
the late-night game show. Evan sees her in line,
talks her into doing a skit with him, and all of
a sudden, the show’s ratings zoom up. They’re
asked to do more skits, and the media decides
they’re a couple, dubbing them “Marivan.”
Marisol can’t get used to the fans and the paparazzi. She just wants to get her grant and go
home. Unfortunately, it looks as though PUBE
(People United for Body Euphoria), with its
proposal to teach obese Brazilian children to
dance, is a lock-in for the grant. Heger’s romance is light and funny, with lots of breezy
banter. And there’s a neat twist to the second
novel in her Wanderlove series, following
Without Borders (2016): the diabetic heroine
displays an insulin pump, demonstrating that
people with serious conditions can lead adventurous lives. —Shelley Mosley
Wild Montana Skies.
By Susan May Warren.
Oct. 2016. 352p. Revell, paper, $14.99 (9780800727437).
Award-winning Warren (You’re the One I
Want, 2016) brings her trademark mix of
outdoor adventure and romance to her new
Montana Rescue series. Kacey Fairing returns
home after years away as an army pilot only
to be quickly confronted with the past she so
yearned to leave behind. Ben King, successful country musician, is home for the summer
to assist his ailing father, but his heart is with
his music in Nashville. Or so he thinks. Kacey and Ben both volunteered to work with
PEAK Rescue, neither aware that the other
was back in town. As the two reconnect in
their professional rescue efforts, they must
build a bridge over their troubled past if they
want any chance at future happiness. A series
of misunderstandings and feelings left unshared from all those years ago has the power
to change their lives. Warren nails it again,
with sweeping Montana scenery, wilderness
suspense, and oh-so-relatable romance. Readers will root for Kacey and Ben to overcome
their pride and stubbornness and to realize life
is better shared. —Carolyn Richard
SF/Fantasy & Horror
By Emma Newman.
Nov. 2016. 384p. Roc, paper, $15 (9780425282403).
Set in the Planetfall universe, this is both a
murder mystery and a dystopian science-fiction
novel set in an all-too-realistic future. Atlas left
earth 40 years ago with 1,000 passengers seeking greater pastures in space. One of them was
Carlos Moreno’s mother, changing his life forever at an age too young to do anything about
it. Enter Alejandro Casales, leader of the Circle,
a religious cult that thrives on simplicity above
all else. Now, after Carlos has left the Circle in
his past, he is an indentured Ministry of Justice employee, assigned to the investigation
after Casales is found dead in his hotel room.
There is more to Casales’ murder than meets
the eye, however, and the Circle is no longer
the small group of Luddites it was 20 years ago.
Newman combines the classic mystery-novel
whodunit with a frighteningly possible reality
of corporate-owned governments. The mur-
der investigation will intrigue readers, while
the overall feeling of something more sinister
happening keeps the pages turning until the
unexpected conclusion. —Carrie Rasak
The Book of the Unnamed Midwife.
By Meg Elison.
Oct. 2016. 334p. Amazon/47North, $14.95
(9781503939110); e-book, $4.99 (9781503994119).
Recovering from a mysterious and nearly
fatal disease, the unnamed female protagonist
of Elison’s debut novel must adapt quickly in
order to survive a new and brutal world. This
disease swiftly wiped out a majority of the female population and has made healthy birth
impossible for survivors in its wake. Elison’s
unnamed protagonist has made it her mission to use her previous medical experience
as a midwife, providing birth control to any
women she meets during her travels. Men were
left almost entirely untouched by the disease,
though, and much of the remaining male population has degenerated into gangs of rapists
and slavers, hunting and selling the remaining
women they find. Cutting her hair and donning male clothing, will the protagonist be able
to save the women she encounters? Does civilization still exist in this new postapocalyptic
world? Elison takes readers on an exciting and
often excruciating journey, navigating issues of
gender and sex in a scorched, disease-ridden
world. —Rachel Colias
Certain Dark Things.
By Silvia Moreno-Garcia.
Oct. 2016. 320p. St. Martin’s/Thomas Dunne, $25.99
(9781250099082); e-book (9251250099099).
Moreno-Garcia’s latest, following Signal to
Noise (2015), envisions a fascinating near-future Mexico City with vampire drug lords
vying for territory. The story starts out simply
enough: boy meets girl on a train—she needs
blood; he can use the cash. Domingo, a street-smart garbage picker, is fascinated by Alt, a
young vampire from an ancient Aztec clan. Alt
shouldn’t be in the city, a vampire-free zone
controlled by human drug cartels and corrupt
police, constantly patrolled by crews checking
for vampire incursions. She is the pampered
child of vampire wealth with no knowledge of
the human world, running from the Necros,
a vicious vampire species that slaughtered her
entire family. Alt needs help to escape the city,
and Domingo may be the one person who
can aid her, if she can control her bloodlust
long enough to keep him alive. Vampires only
know hunger—and Alt is very hungry. This
fast-paced horror tale presents a new, alternate
world of vampire-human rivalry and will appeal to those who enjoy rooting for unlikely
heroes. —Lucy Lockley
Dracula vs. Hitler.
By Patrick Sheane Duncan.
Oct. 2016. 544p. Inkshares, $25.99 (9781942645085);
Written in an epistolary format akin to