Review: Cari Hunter’s No Good Reason. A great writer just got better.

caribookcoverI’ve been a fan of Cari Hunter’s writing ever since reading Snowbound. In this excellent thriller-romance debut, her vivid and economic style was already evident – very effective and affecting – as was her ability to bring alive brutal scenes in a way so realistic as to make many other books seem cartoonish. The injuries and scenes of violence are so intimately realised that if you didn’t know she was a paramedic by career you’d have serious misgivings about the author’s mental well-being and pastimes. But with Tumbledown, and even more so with No Good Reason, Cari is now delivering complex plots and sets of characters that go well beyond a simple adventure or thriller romance. Continue reading

Snowbound – a lesbian romance with a gritty difference

It’s always nice for me to find a UK lesfic novel, and especially one with a bit of a difference to standard romances. Snowbound, by Cari Hunter (published by Bold Strokes) certainly satisfies on those two counts.

Here’s the blurb:

“The policewoman got shot and she’s bleeding everywhere. Get someone here in one hour or I’m going to put her out of her misery.”

An ultimatum that forever changes the lives of police officer Sam Lucas and Dr. Kate Myles.

When heavy snowfall isolates the small English village of Birchenlow, a violent robbery shatters the community. Taken as a hostage and stranded with the increasingly desperate criminals, Sam is seriously injured during an ill-fated escape attempt. Already struggling to save the lives of the villagers caught up in the raid, Kate volunteers to walk straight into the lion’s den. Cut off from help, with only each other to rely on, Sam and Kate must find a way to fight the odds and stay alive if the growing attraction between them is to survive.

This novel has a great dramatic and vivid opening, and the novel’s first-half hostage scene, with its grim detail of the hostages’ injuries and treatment, was what made this book stand out for me. It has very convincing scenes where the heroines are suffering and their lives are in danger – gripping, sickening and fantastic stuff. (Since reading the novel I’ve found out that Cari Hunter is a paramedic and her knowledge really shows in this book.)

The second half of the novel is a more standard romance, but by this time I had been fully drawn into the relationship between the characters and I think I would have been a very unhappy reader if it had been anything different.

I loved the setting of the Peak District – I used to live on the other side of the Peak District so I have soft spot for the place and for being out in the hills in general.

A tiny, momentarily distracting negative for me, as a Brit, was the spelling out of some of the Britishisms, for example, the National Health Service instead of the more familiar NHS.

However, I found Snowbound a cracking read, and I loved it. I gave it 5 stars.