Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Book Review: A Love By Any Measure by Killian McRae

A Love by Any Measure by Killian McRae
Publisher: Tulipe Noire Press
Publish Date: November 8, 2011
Paperback, 344 pages 
Fiction, Historical, Romance
 ISBN: 978-0983979708

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

My Review: 
Killian McRae mentioned in my interview this morning that A Love By Any Measure was critiqued as "an unromantic romance".  I can kind of see where the person who critiqued the book came up with that and the author agrees, but I also see the subtle romance in the book.

I was more sold on the characters and the setting of the book than on anything else and I love my romances, but I love a great historical as well and don't think they have to be mutually exclusive.  Ms. McRae has done a brilliant job mixing the historical setting with getting to know August and Maeve both in the present and in some flashbacks.  I loved seeing how they interacted with each other and also how they interacted with others and how the social system of the time was set up.

There is also some intrigue to move the plot along as well which I enjoyed.  As I turned the pages there were new surprises for me all through the book and I loved it.  I was captivated from the first page with Maeve who only wants to save her family home and August who only wants to see the girl who knew long ago.  Both have truly missed each other but really don't know what to do about it since they come from different countries and different stations in life as well.  Also Maeve is engaged to be married.  Lots of complications to the relationship from the very beginning, but these just make the book even stronger.

I learned some new history while reading A Love By Any Measure and this is one of my favorite thinigs about historical fiction.  I found history boring in school but if I can pick up little things here and there from great fiction stories I feel smarter.  So thank you Ms. McRae for helping educate me a little more while entertaining me thoroughly.

If you like an extremely well-written historical romance with an innocent yet spunky heroine then A Love By Any Measure is a book for you. There are so many layers to this book that you will find yourself continually amazed while reading and you will not want the book to end.

My Rating: 4.75/5.0

About the Book:
An Irish lass. An English lord.
A love that overcomes all boundaries.

August Grayson has secretly dreamt of the girl living on his family’s Irish estate since childhoods spent together in Killarney. Now a proper Lord of the British Empire, he knows that Maeve could never be more than just a distant fantasy. Still, if only...

Maeve O’Connor owns nothing in this world but her good name, which proves just enough to win a proposal for a marriage of convenience to a good, Irish lad. Until the wedding, however, she’s in dire straits. Rent on the cottage she and her father share is due, but there simply isn’t the money to pay. Driven to desperation, Maeve hopes Lord Grayson, her childhood-chum-turned-dashing-English-rogue, will prove lenient when she comes seeking clemency.

The temptation presented proves too much, and August offers Maeve a compromise: should she permit him twice as long on each succeeding visit to do whatever he wishes in pursuit of his pleasure, he will consider her rent paid. Starting with a mere five seconds, pulses soon out race the ticking clock, as August’s desires become Maeve’s own. Passion blinds them to the challenges closing in on both the Irish and English fronts, threatening to destroy the love they’ve discovered.

Working to bridge that which divides them, tempting fate with each stolen kiss, and torn between desire and obligation, Maeve and August must strive to overcome all and find a love by any measure...

About the Author (from 
History is Killian's primary love in life, outside her family and, yes, sadly her dog. Therefore, her works of fiction often are packaged inside historical wrappers, as she tugs and twists on the edges of reality to ask the ever-present "What if?"

Born and raised in rural Michigan, Killian used the local library- a single room in her village's firehouse- as an escape, before actually escaping to the relative jungle of Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan. There, after several minor attempts to establish a major, she finally completed a BA in Turkic History and nearly attempted a Bachelors of Music in Vocal Performance. ("Theys call it the opry 'round these parts," she says in her heavy, Michiganian accent.)

Though she had written three novels before graduating high school, she never thought of trying to publish for- oh, it must have been well into her 30's. 12.21.12 was her first published work, released in late 2010. A second work, "A Love by Any Measure," is a historical romance set in 1860's Ireland and is due out in Fall 2011.

Killian is a member of Stanford University's Writer's Certificate program and a PRO member of the Romance Writers of America. Her other interests include musicology and did we mention history? She currently lives in the San Francisco Bay area, though she is quite often unhappy about this fact.


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FTC Information: I received this book from the publisher for an honest review. 

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Author Interview: Killian McRae (A Love by Any Measure)

Today I close out the Tulipe Noir Press Blog Tour for Killian's McRae's A Love by Any Measure first with an interview with Killian and later today I'll post my review. 

Describe the area you write in.

Oh, this is a tough one. I write in many areas. My tendency is towards the paranormal, though if that means science fiction or urban/paranormal romance depends on the day. I also write romance, as well as fantasy and even some literary works.

What's your favorite season?

In California, where I live now, summer. However, back in the Midwest where I lived until my early 20’s, autumn. Nothing smells as good to me as the scents of a crisp autumn day.

Describe your ideal reading space (no expense spared here).

I don’t think it needs much of a budget. I like places with a low hum of humanity tempered by enough
serenity that lets my mind wander. When I get a chance, I like to hand out in coffee shops downtown.

What is a typical day like in your life?

My typical day is very mundane. I have a day job, like most writers, and that keeps me pretty Monday-
to-Friday regular. If I don’t have any evening obligations, the kids and I will have dinner then head to the
gym for an hour, or take the dog for a walk. Then back home for chores, and about 8 or 9 the children
settle down to reading or studying and I have 2-4 hours of writing/author work time.

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?

Do I have to choose just one place? Both Egypt and Ireland hold an equal pull for me. Ideally, I’d like to
spend some time in both locales. But if we’re talking more general, my idyllic getaway involves a fire, a
cup of cocoa, and a small cottage in the mountains.

Tell us a little bit about A Love By Any Measure.

Someone writing a critique described it as a very unromantic romance. While I believe she meant it as a
criticism, I believe that’s a very accurate summation. It’s a historical romance set in Ireland and England
(and a bit of Boston) during the early Victorian period. While there are scenes of fire between the English
landlord August and the Irish tenant Maeve, there’s much more focus on the historical considerations
and consequences such individuals would have had in that time period. I generally shy away from simple,
formulaic plots and characters. If you like historical romances but feel like they’re becoming cookie
cutter, this could be a good read for you.

What made you choose to write in the historical romance genre?

History has always been a fascination of mine. Both of my two books in publication are historically-
themed (though the other is Science Fiction). And what girl growing up in the age of Disney doesn’t like a
love story?

Which character really spoke to you when you were writing A Love By Any Measure?

Rory O’Connor, Maeve’s father. As the old saying goes, he doesn’t say much, but he says it loud. Though
he doesn’t often appear in the story, when he does he’s always far more in the know than he lets anyone
know. Ultimately, while Maeve initially sets up to save her father, it is her father who sacrifices his
happiness for hers.

What are you working on now?

Two projects right now: The first is a mini-novella that will release in January, the first of a four-part
installment that continues in the universe I created in 12.21.12, and will lead up to the release of the
sequel in winter 2013. The other is an YA fantasy that I hope will release late winter 2012.

Do you have any upcoming tours, blog tours or events you would like people to know about?

The ALBAM tour is wrapping up now, but I urge others to check out some of the stops that have come
before during November. I’m planning on laying pretty low for the next several months, as projects have
me very busy in the foreseeable future. I’ll also be launching weekly podcast in January (because I don’t
like to sleep, obviously.)

Anything else you would like to share?

Just my thanks to you as well as to all the courteous hosts on the tour this month!

Thanks Killian!

About A Love By Any Measure

Lord August Grayson is a self-admitted English bastard. Or so he would like to have the beautiful Maeve O’Connor believe. Secretly, August has dreamt of the Irish girl since childhoods spent together in Killarney. He knows, however, that his poor Irish Catholic tenant would never be accepted in his world of propriety and pomp, but isn’t about to let a chance to have her, even if only in his bed, pass him by.

Maeve owns nothing in this world or the next but her good name, which proves just enough to net a proposal for a marriage of convenience to a good, Irish lad. Though she dreams of home and hearth with a man she truly loves, poverty and her father’s care limit her options. When Maeve seeks clemency on her family’s rent until she weds, August seizes the opportunity to present her with an alternative way to settle her debts. Allowing twice as long on each succeeding visit, she must permit him to do whatever he wishes in pursuit of his pleasure. Starting with a mere five seconds, pulses soon out race the ticking clock, as August’s pleasure and passion become Maeve’s own.

Working to bridge that which divides them, tempting fate with each stolen kiss, and torn between desire and obligation, Maeve and August strive to overcome all and find a love by any measure…