Tag: Cindy Spencer Pape

Reviews: Kilts and Kracken by Cindy Spencer Pape.

Posted July 22, 2012 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments


Rowena’s review of Kilts and Kracken by Cindy Spencer Pape.

Hero: Magnus Findlay
Heroine: Geneva MacKay

Magnus, Baron Findlay, longs to bring the wonders of the steam age to his remote island home, but his hands are full fighting the vicious kraken ravaging the coast. When he’s swept to sea during battle and washes up on the shore of an isle in the Hebrides, he is near death.

Struggling to establish herself as one of the first female physicians in Edinburgh, Dr. Geneva MacKay is annoyed when The Order of the Round Table sends her north to care for an injured highlander. To heal him, Geneva escorts the handsome warrior home, just in time to defend the villagers from another onslaught.

As the attacks escalate and they work together to fight off the threat, neither Geneva nor Magnus can resist the overwhelming attraction between them. But as their relationship deepens, a new threat arises-from within the village itself…

This is the very first steampunk romance that I’ve ever read and it took a little getting used to but I did end up enjoying it. This book came in the Carina Press Editors Choice eARC on NetGalley and I was really stoked to read the Stacey book so I requested it. I’d never heard of this author before getting this book for review but after reading this book, I know her now.

The story follows Magnus Findlay and Dr. Geneva MacKay as they bumble along toward their happy ending. Magnus is the Laird of his clan and he lives on the a magical island that helps heal him when he’s injured and in order for him to survive this last attack against the kraken, he has to return home. Dr. Geneva MacKay came to Muir to attend this patient at the request of her father. Since Magnus was on his deathbed, she thought she was take him home to die but once they got back home, in a couple of days, he’s good as new (well, almost).

I thought Pape did a wonderful job of packing a great story into a small page count. This story was short but it didn’t feel like it. It was interesting to see the steampunk world come alive in this story but to be honest, I spent most of the book trying to make sense of the steampunk world. I’m not too familiar with the steampunk genre but I can’t say that I was disappointed in the romance that bloomed between Magnus and Genny. The story flowed well, the characters were enjoyable but all of the monster squids coming out of the sea to attack people didn’t really do much for me.

Overall, the story was good but as much as I enjoyed it, I don’t see myself becoming a fan of steampunk. But still, this was a good story.

Grade: 3 out of 5

This book is available from Carina Press. You can buy it here in e-format.

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Review: Kilts and Kraken by Cindy Spencer Pape

Posted July 11, 2012 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Holly‘s review of Kilts and Kraken (Gaslight Chronicles, Book 3) by Cindy Spencer Pape.


Magnus, Baron Findlay, longs to bring the wonders of the steam age to his remote island home, but his hands are full fighting the vicious kraken ravaging the coast. When he’s swept to sea during battle and washes up on the shore of an isle in the Hebrides, he is near death.
Struggling to establish herself as one of the first female physicians in Edinburgh, Dr. Geneva MacKay is annoyed when The Order of the Round Table sends her north to care for an injured highlander. To heal him, Geneva escorts the handsome warrior home, just in time to defend the villagers from another onslaught.
As the attacks escalate and they work together to fight off the threat, neither Geneva nor Magnus can resist the overwhelming attraction between them. But as their relationship deepens, a new threat arises-from within the village itself…

I loved this story. Can that be my entire review? No? Fine!

The world-building was tight and interesting. My experience with Steampunk is limited, but I fell right into this world and couldn’t wait for more. I love that it was set in Scotland, rather than London as so many others are. The characters were well-developed. The storyline and conflict were interesting and compelling. I really wanted to know what was going to happen. Would they be able to work things out?

I especially loved that hte heroine was a doctor in a time when women weren’t. She was strong and confident in herself, which I enjoyed.

Toward the end I think it..not necessarily fell apart, but became kind of rushed. I would have liked to see a couple extra pages so things weren’t pushed.

All in all, an excellent story.

4.5/5

This book is available from Carina Press. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

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Eagle’s Redemption by Cindy Spencer Pape

Posted February 5, 2011 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 1 Comment

Judith‘s review of Eagle’s Redemption by Cindy Spencer Pape.

Dash Hyde is a former Chicago cop, scarred both inside and out.  When he inherits a share in a Texas ranch, the last thing he expects is to meet a woman who can see past the scars to his very soul–even though she’s nearly blind.


Carmen Whitefeather loves taking care of wildlife, but the damaged man she finds on her doorstep with an injured eagle fascinates her even more.  The spark between them is instant and overwhelming, and she’s determined to enjoy every second.


As Carmen and Dash explore the passion they find in each other’s arms, they both take the risk of getting burned.  When an old enemy of Dash’s targets Carmen, Dash will have to face his deepest fears and walk into the flames to fight for the woman he loves.


This is the second in a series of novellas which tell the story of three siblings, a daughter who is the legitimate heir of an uncaring, self-centered, mean, vengeful Texas rancher, and her two half-brothers, illegitimate sons who were never acknowledged by their dad and about whom he cared nothing.  However, he has now willed his ranch to them–each with a one-third equal share, only because he refused to leave his ranch to a woman. However, these three have discovered a new family, new connections with special people unexpectedly, and together they are rising above the hurt and uncaring of their father.

Dashiel Hyde is wounded and scarred, wondering where his future lay, finding out that he can learn new skills even with hands that are scarred and not working well, and a leg that has never regained its strength after being grossly wounded by gun fire.  He avoids crowds, is unwilling to be around strangers who see his facial scars and observe his limping gait, and he can no longer tolerate their pitying looks.  His mother, an attractive African-American woman who struggled to raise Dash for ten years alone, found the love of her life and Dash’s three half-siblings and their stepfather and his mom are all in Chicago.  He doesn’t know if he will return or make Texas his home.  He just can’t seem to find a mooring for his life.

Now he has met Carmen Whitefeather at his half-sister’s wedding and even though he can barely dance, was sort of pushed into dancing with her.  Fortunately for him, she doesn’t dance too well either–she is legally blind–and he finds that he is attracted to her, partly because he knows she can’t see his scars, and partly because she feels so good in his arms.  Their attraction is mutual and their affair begins.  But not only is their relationship in jeopardy but their very lives because of an arrest and shooting while serving on the Chicago police force.

This is not a long book–a novella–but it is rich in content.  Through Carmen’s character the richness of the Cherokee legends are shared and the love of nature and respect for all life comes through loud and clear.  Carmen is open and accepting, a quality in people she has not often found because of her own disability.  But she and Dash seem to be made for one another.  This is a gentle love story with an edge, just that little bit of danger that keeps the reader wondering if these two will make it to their Happily Ever After.  There is also a them of renewal in this story.  Dash’s physical wounds seem to be healing well.  Riding every day is strengthening his leg, and helping with the computer entry tasks for the ranch are strengthening his hands.  But his heart is wounded, his sense of being a productive human being has been impaired, and he wonders if he can ever function without feeling like a monstrous oddity.  Through Carmen’s acceptance and their mutual loving comes healing for Dash’s inner wounds.

There are some really good background characters in this series and they show up in each of these books giving depth and color to the story’s context.  Each book is written by a different author so each story reflects the particular writing style of that author.  Ms Pape is certainly a writer with a proven track record as a storyteller, and she seems to have done some fine work here.  I have already gone back and re-read book one and I intend to read this one again.  Lots to like here and themes and ideas to make one feel like they have encountered good people.  Carmen’s life wisdom is quite awesome at times.

So I recommend this novella as worthy of spending time with these individuals and celebrating their journey of discovery as they grow into a family with a lot of enduring connection and authentic devotion to one another.

I give this book a 4.25 out of 5.

You can read more from Judith at Dr. J’s Book Place.

This book is available from Ellora’s Cave. You can buy it here in e-format.

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Guest Review: Like Bunnies by Cindy Spencer Pape

Posted June 26, 2010 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 3 Comments

Judith’s review of Like Bunnies by Cindy Spencer Pape

Star Holiday never paid much attention to her father’s claims that their family was descended from the Celtic spirits of the seasons, and she certainly never expected to turn into a rabbit every time she stepped foot outside her family’s cabin on the weekend of the Spring equinox. Now all she can do is stay holed up with her sexy-as-sin ex-boyfriend, Theo Morgan, until the magic goes away

Or maybe the magic is just beginning as the former lovers have time alone to rekindle old passions and even ignite some new ones.

Many contemporary Americans are ignorant of the fact that many of the holidays we celebrate, while being lodged in the Christian calendar for 2,000 years, really had their inception in the ancient celebrations of nature, some of which are so ancient that their beginnings are lost in the mists of the unknown past. Such is the celebrations surrounding each of the seasonal changes that we ignore so often in our contemporary American existence. Oster, the Spring equinox celebration from which we get our word Easter, is just such an observance, and it is the background of this particular short story.

Star Holiday, whose given name is Ostara, is seeking some solitude on the Spring weekend closest to her birthday. Coming from a closely knit family, she has difficulty convincing them that she just needs some time alone on this significant occasion—something of a rite of passage on the occasion of her thirty-first birthday. Encountering a fierce Spring storm, her car hits mud, she slides into a deep ditch, decides to walk the rest of the way to the vacation cabin—it is not very far by this time—and is unaware that in the process of her walk there, she turns into a bunny, stranded in the center of the road, dragging one of its back legs, a result of a wrenched ankle during her rainy walk.

Six months earlier, Theo Morgan and Star had been lovers in a torrid affair that ultimately ended, and ended badly. Now he is on his way to visit his parents in Greenville, So. Carolina, but Star’s brother, his best friend, talks him into “checking up on “ Star—it was only a few miles out of the way to the family vacation cabin. As the Spring storm continues unabated, Theo struggles just keeping his windshield clear enough to see ahead in the dark, but fortunately he sees an injured bunny in the middle of the country road. He stopped because he couldn’t bypass an injured animal. He was, after all, a veterinarian. And so, unbeknownst to him, he picks up Star, wraps her in a warm towel, places her on the passenger seat in her car, and drives on. Imagine his shock when the bunny he carries into the cabin transforms into the naked form of his former lover.

This is about as close to fun fantasy as it gets! Because Theo and Star resume their physical relationship, there even comes a moment during the weekend when Theo transforms when he steps outside the cabin. But the substance of this short story goes beyond the fun stuff. In reality it is heart warming to see these two intelligent and loving people recognize that while they may have been mating “like bunnies” the previous summer, they had never taken the time to become friends, friends that cared enough to really get to know one another’s joys and strengths, their likes and hopes, their dreams and disappointments. In the short span of time they spent together that weekend, they talked more and grew up more than they had in all the previous time they spent together. Their journey of discovery of each other as well as themselves makes this story a very gentle and poignant love story. It is a short read, but I can’t help but believe that all true romance fans will find it well-worth time spent enjoying it. The story itself is beautifully written and in spite of its bevity really tells all that it needs to give the reader an understanding of these two people as well as the circumstances that bring them together.

I give this short story a 4.25 out of 5.

This book is available from Ellora’s Cave. You can buy it here in e-format.

You can read more from Judith at Dr J’s Book Place

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