One thing to tell you about me and the rest of us here at LitWorldInterviews (LWI) is we are going to be honest, even about our own family and by family that includes the LWI Team members. Why, because if we’re not then we might as well not even be doing this at all.
If you’ve read the recent announcements here at LWI, then you know award winning author PS Bartlett has joined our team. You also know her latest novel, The Blue Diamond: The Razor’s Edge was released this past Friday.
I read the book.
I will say here and now that a Historical Adventure Romance was not exactly on my radar, even though I have actually written Romance in the past year and am working on revisions and all of that as I get feedback. But still, I’m a guy, right? Romance? And then the cover? I loved the cover but it just looked so . . . so . . . ROMANCE!
Yeah, my bad.
I’m an idiot. I admit it. Think about it. I have written Adventure novels. I have written Romance novels. I have written novels with Historical elements in them, I am a certified History teacher after all. So you would have thought this would have been something I would have read with no problem. Two Pirate Captains meet and the adventure begins and thoughts and worlds begin to be questioned.
I mean you have Pirates, Adventure and a lot more, why would I not want to read it?
Yeah, my stereotype manly man side peeked out and tried to show itself.
I started reading it and right from the start it wasn’t what I had expected. The more I read the more I liked it. Being a former History teacher I definitely enjoyed the history aspects, which were not in your face. They were there for no other reason than a backdrop to enhance the story. That is one thing I appreciated about the novel. Some people make some historical thing THE reason for the book. Not in this one. I’m not saying a historical thing cannot be the point of a book, but it can be over done.
I also appreciated that Bartlett handled the romance scenes with what I think was an eye to all readers. In my own novels, yes novels, the Romance I am doing is a Trilogy, I am concerned about what I call the ‘scenes’, if you know what I mean. Bartlett handled these with taste and oddly, as I think about it, she lets your imagination do a lot of the work.
Was the book perfect?
There were some passages between face to face scenes that I could have seen just a little shorter as I got farther into the book. As I said in my Amazon Review, I think this might be partly because toward the end of the book I was ready for more of the action and seeing what was going to happen next.
I at first wondered about the character displayed by Ivory Shepard and her cousins. Ivory “Razor” Shepard is the pirate captain of a ship that is attacked and sunk. The aftermath is where we enter the story. Her cousins are also women pirates. But the truth is they could very well be based on actual women pirates that operated in the Caribbean, one of which particularly comes to mind.
Even if there was no historical basis for a female pirate, Bartlett does handle how Ivory becomes captain well. I do wonder about the final action that makes her captaincy possible, but it is a believable and not fantastical idea. It is just something I might have wanted to see handled in a slightly different way, yet I do understand why it happened the way it did.
What did I really like?
I enjoyed the character of Maddox “Blacksnake” Carbonale a lot. He is a slightly typical Romantic Hero lead type, but with a few extra layers of development added. I’m not one for the typical. Bartlett made Carbonale believable in many ways and as the story progresses you understand more and more.
The supporting cast, which in reality is more than that, was developed well and was given enough attention for you to care about them. There were no unnecessary characters thrown in. There are a few surprises along the way that I enjoyed, and one that I caught onto just in time before a reveal. Bartlett definitely can tell a story and give you just enough to tell you all you need to know if you pay attention.
So what’s the score?
I gave The Blue Diamond: The Razor’s Edge 5 out of 5 stars at Amazon. I give it the same here. Why? I didn’t find the scenes overdone or unnecessary. The plot was excellent. The story was great. And it kept me wanting to read. I also liked the balance of the three genre elements. Historical enough to be scenery, Adventure enough to keep me wanting more, and Romance enough to make it believable and real. And one other big reason for a 5-I want to read the next book in the series. And isn’t that a sign of a successful piece of writing?
Since this is a ‘family’ member I reviewed and somewhat said there were some improvement areas, I do hope to see you again at LWI. If not, Bartlett knows where she buried the body.
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