Genre: Contemporary Fiction
This a review of two novels, Midnight Sky and its sequel Palomino Sky.
In the first book we meet the two main protagonists of both novels. They are Laura Brown and James Morgan Jones. They are attracted to each other from the start. But the many differences between them and the fact they’ve both lived long enough to have their own complicated backstories mean that for most of the first book the reader is intrigued by the ‘will they/won’t they component of the story.
And although this question is resolved to some extent in book one, it’s by no means a finished story with all loose ends tied up. There’s lots more problems and dilemmas waiting for Laura and James in the second book.
As in the novel Silver Rain also by this author, the dramatic Welsh landscape features strongly, and, as in her novels Wild Water and Dark Water, (which I reviewed here) there is once again a strong supporting cast of interesting three-dimensional characters. The main settings of the various houses and of the stables are vividly drawn and easy for the reader to picture.
The issues of early childhood influences, fertility, failed relationships, bereavement and serious physical injury are all sensitively dealt with and form strong story lines throughout both novels.
In both books, there’s a lot at stake for Laura and James. And because they are such interesting and sympathetic characters, the reader is gripped. The second book is even more introspective and intense than the first. And while Laura seems to be doing all the compromising, there is no doubt just how much James loves her. As you read, you are rooting for both of them to overcome their demons and find happiness together.
This is, as always from Jan Ruth, grown-up, romance-plus type of fiction and the endings to both books are satisfying but in no way sickly.
Type of Read: I recommend reading them both back-to-back in a sort of box-set binge way, with lots of tea and cake to hand.
Midnight Sky and Palomino Sky are published by Celtic Connections and are available in paperback and as e-books.