I spent part of this last weekend blowing through some shorter books and since I’m lazy and have to work today I’m putting them all into one post so here goes.

A Trail of Broken Promises by Jess Davon Joslin. This is a very short book, and that’s just not the 151 page count as the book measures 5″ x 7″ and can easily be finished in an hour or two. The story focuses on Elsie Feather and her family as the US Government forces the Cherokees to relocate and the long “trail of tears” to get to their new *home*. A promising premise for a novel, but there just isn’t enough meat on the bones to really engage this reader like a full length novel with better character development might have. If a copy falls in your lap (as mine did) and you have a bit of time to kill this might interest, but otherwise I’d give it a miss. 2/5 stars.

Heathcliff by Jeffrey Caine. Author Jeffrey Caine attempts the unenviable task of telling the reader what *might* have happened during Heathcliff’s absence from Wuthering Heights. But, therein lies the problem – throughout this 252 page novel there’s a whole lot of telling and not very much showing. Not a whole lot of interesting story either.

The book begins in 1803 as Lockwood receives a lengthy missive from Mrs. Dean with a long-lost (and incredibly long) letter written by Heathcliff and intended for Cathy. The POV switches to that of Heathcliff’s as he recounts his journey from Wuthering Heights to London and eventually hooking up with the
Durrants – the husband who appears to be a respectable landlord whilst truly dealing with the criminal elements along with his wife Elizabeth who wants his money but would rather be in another man’s bed. Could Heathcliff soon fall victim to Elizabeth’s charms? Do we care?

No, we do not. Or at least I didn’t. The latter third is then told from Elizabeth’s POV as Lockwood locates her and she recounts the latter part of the story, thus giving the reader another heavy dose of oh-so-boring info dumps. I know, I know that Heathcliff is not a likeable fellow but still I found nothing and no one to care about and what was happening bored me to tears and I skimmed a great deal just to end the pain of it all.

Only recommended for die-hard fans of Wuthering Heights who must know *the rest of the story*.  2/5 stars.

And last but not least and since it isn’t out until 2012 I haven’t a cover to share,

Ride for Rights by Tara Chevrestt

“They have been arrested, abducted, and everything else under the setting sun, they can handle a few nights in the desert by now!”

The story begins in 1916 as sisters Angeline and Adelaide Hanson attend a National Preparedness meeting and getting a bit put out at the attitude that women will be relegated to mending and such in the upcoming war effort (let alone not having a right to vote!). Anyhoo, the well-bred young ladies decide to make a “Ride for Rights” across country on Indian Model F motorcycles, and the reader follows their adventures through Chicago, Colorado, Utah, a side trip with Jose Cuervo and on to the end of the road in San Francisco and Los Angeles. The story is written in the third person, and fleshed out with excerpts from the diary of Angeline as well as news bulletins from reporter Joe Miller who followed the sisters’ story from the beginning.

This is a fairly short book at 185 pages (including the author’s notes), and as one who likes books with a bit more meat on their bones I’d have preferred to see the sisters and their travels fleshed out a bit more, but since this book is geared towards the YA market I’ll just have to live with what I get. According to the author’s notes, the Hansen sisters are  based upon the real Van Buren sisters who did ride cross-country in motorcycles. And speaking of the author’s notes, this reader very much appreciated knowing what was real, what was surmised and what was fudged for the sake of the story. Two thumbs up for that. 4/5 stars.

A very promising start for this new author, and I’m looking forward to what she’ll come up with next, and that includes the romance she once promised me 😉

FTC disclosure: Broken Promises was passed along to me from another reader. Heathcliff was purchased. Ride for Rights was sent to me by the author  (who is a friend) for input, there was no expectation of a review, and the choice to do so is mine and mine alone.

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