Shattered Past by Lindsay Buroker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Whenever I'm having trouble settling on a book to read because I'm not in the mood for heavy, serious books, I'm always relieved if I find a Lindsay Buroker on my Kindle that I've autobought when it came out, and set aside for just such an emergency.
That was the case with this book. A minor antagonist from earlier books in the series becomes a main character, and gets a romance with the cousin of his rival. It does a nice job of humanising a grouchy and difficult established character and making us like him, while providing the usual enjoyable Buroker mix of banter, adventure, capable female characters and ancient magical science.
I was pleased, also, to see the author changing up the formula a little for this one. In past books in the series, both participants in the romance have tended to be lacking in self-confidence in a way that they completely hide from the other party, and this is what keeps them apart. Here, the elements that keep them apart are not that, and are not the same for the two characters.
The writing keeps getting better, too (she's certainly getting plenty of practice). I noticed a few word choice issues ("sheered" for "sheared", "cogent" for "coherent" and "macerated" for "lacerated"), but this is very minor in what is, overall, a good piece of craft and consistently entertaining.
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