Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Interview with Hemant Nayak, author of A Magic Fierce and Bright

About this book: A young technomancer teams up with a handsome thief to save her sister in this propulsive, magic-filled young adult fantasy that is perfect for fans of Gearbreakers and Iron Widow.

Adya wants nothing more than to be left alone. Content to be loyal to no one but herself in the isolated jungles of South India, she dreams only of finding her lost sister, Priya, and making enough money to take care of their family. It’s too bad that her rare ability to wake electric machines—using the magic that wiped them out five centuries ago—also makes her a coveted political pawn. Everyone seems to believe that her technomancy can help them win the endless war for control over the magic’s supernatural source.

These senseless power struggles mean little to Adya. But when her enemies dangle news of her sister before her, she’s all too quick to leap at the chance to bring Priya home—even if it means teaming up with a rakish, disreputable thief in order to do it. With the threat of invasion looming ever larger on the horizon, Adya must reconcile the kind of person she is with the kind of person she wants to be and untangle the web of intrigue, conspiracy, and deceit that threatens to take all of India down with it.

About this author:

Hemant Nayak is a writer of fantasy stories with a bit of heart and joy and a lot of the strange. He lives with his family in the Pacific Northwest. In his free time, he runs around the deep woods with his dogs, strums guitar in a garage band, and even plays Dungeons & Dragons with friends. When he’s not writing, he shifts to his alternate life as an ER doctor. Find out more about him at

Interview with Hemant Nayak

1. Tell us a little more about technomancy and how this has played a role in your book. How did you come up with it?

Well, I first thought about an Earth where technology no longer worked and where magic of each country's home culture had emerged. What would that be like?

There would obviously be a lot of old junk from the past era leftover that no longer worked. Wouldn't it be interesting if the main character's magical power was the rare ability to make that old technology work again? Wouldn't it be even more interesting if the piece of machinery drew on the technomancer as a conduit and shared their memories and emotions and bonded with them in the process? More and more possibilities kept appearing as I thought about it this way.

2. I love the setting of the book in India, the descriptions and importance of different tribes (Vayu, Deva, and Atavi), and the wars against the British. How much of this is based in Indian geography, culture, and history (I admit I did a small Wikipedia search and was fascinated but want your take)?

The setting is based on southern India where the city of Mysore currently stands and there are plenty of surrounding jungles. My dad is from the state of Karnataka where everything takes place. India is a great mix of cultures, religions, and languages as you may know. I wanted to make the groups in the story more based on geography and proximity to the infinity wells and therefore more multicultural. For example, the Vayu are all people who live in cities close to the infinity wells and have a variety of religions and backgrounds but are all “people of the wind” who can draw the most power from the wells. I was cognizant of not wanting to repeat the same old thing of religions in conflict or caste systems in this future

3. Your characters are the heart of your novel. How did you decide to use Adya as your main character? Who is your favorite character and why? Which character was most unexpected for you and why?

 Adya is my favorite, though I love them all, and the motorcycle is a close second. I personally feel like I understand her deeply along with her inability to adequately express herself or express emotion or all she feels inside. She’s straightforward and deeply good though she’s not naïve and knows there are bad people in the world who will hurt you if given the chance. The motorcycle is by far the most unexpected character who came out of the pure magical blue. I realized while writing that the machines that came to life might have their own personalities and then realized that HOLD IT WAIT…the motorcycle is a possible main character…OMG it IS one of the main characters!  And then I realized the motorcycle is a VEHICLE for Adya’s character arc that takes her not only on a physical journey but also on the emotional journey in the novel. And it’s just such a fun, raw, emotional character! 

 4. Adya finds herself in more than one major scrape causing severe physical damage. know you are an ER doctor in your other life. How did your knowledge of that world play into this novel?  

 Yes, being an ER doctor does play a subconscious role whenever I describe an injury. I always know what limitations an injury will give her and how the heck are we going to be able to fix this ? is in the back of my mind. 

5. You have written a few novels prior to this one. How was this journey different and if you have any tips for young writers, what would they be? 

 This is my first traditionally published novel, but I do have a couple other books readers may enjoy including THE TOOLS OF THE GHOST which I am quite proud of. My journey was different in that I first wrote A MAGIC FIERCE AND BRIGHT which is in the traditional world and then wrote TOOLS which is self-published. My advice to young writers is perseverance and keep trying to get better. One of the best ways to do this is read current best sellers and try to learn from them and match or beat their quality. 

6. Anything else you would like to tell my readers about yourself or your books?

Even as a little kid, I wrote stories for my buddies on the school bus where they were main characters, so it’s always been a dream of mine to write. If YOU love reading and want to write one day, don’t give up the dream.  And I’d love to hear from readers and know what they think and what they loved. 


SPOILER QUESTION! SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT!!! Do not read below until after you read this book!









7. Also, I wanted to say that I LOVED the twist about the drongo bird, which I discovered on a quick search is a real bird. Can you tell me a little about how the drongo framed your writing and why (I actually went back to the beginning and sure enough, the drongo is literally the first thing you talk about, which was wonderful to see)?

ALL ABOUT THE DRONGO TWIST – I’m so glad you asked. That was not planned in the beginning or outlined in any way. Whenever I write I find I almost always put a bird in the story. If you read Tools of the Ghost you will see crows play a major part and once again there is a totally different twist involving them, just as dramatic, but completely different. The drongo came about because I was reading the beginning of The Grace of Kings by Ken Liu and in the first pages there’s a bird who soars over the country and you get the lay of the land from the bird’s perspective. I thought, how very beautiful and I want to do that too. Then, of course I thought this drongo is going to follow them around and become a character. Finally I was taking a long walk and it hit me suddenly and I stopped in my tracks – the drongo IS PRIYA! – and it was an absolutely perfect gift from the muse and there you have it! The lesson for writers here is write and keep thinking about it and taking walks and as you write even better ideas you could never outline will come to you and you adjust.

Saturday, April 27, 2024

Review of The Bonnet Book by Nancy Menees Hardesty

Hi Readers!

I'm trying to get back into the swing of blogging more regularly, but probably that means once every couple of months to start! But I've been reading up a storm for the past 6 months and that's really great progress since I was unable to read for two years due to my illness. 

I've gained a real appreciation for historical fiction/memoirs since my father recently wrote his own memoir. Full disclosure, Nancy is a long time family friend, and I'm always a bit nervous about reading books from friends as I want to be honest and impartial but if the book isn't good? It isn't good. Usually in that case, I just refrain from writing a review to at least spare the ratings a bad review. But fortunately, that was not the case in this book. I was engrossed from start to finish.

Rating: 4.5 Couches

About the author: Nancy Menees Hardesty, born in Illinois and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, moved to San Francisco, California in 1969. Nancy spent six years researching and writing her debut novel, The Bonnet Book. She had various family journals and artifacts and the extensive help of her mother, Mary Kay Menees, who was the daughter-in-law of the book’s protagonist, Bonnie Spencer. The tiny “Bonnet Book” of hat sketches and the wooden hat-supply trunk featured in the book are still in the author’s possession.

My Review: The Bonnet Book is many things. Yes, at the heart, this was a book started and finished with the main goal of telling Nancy's grandmother's story starting in 1902, but it is so much more than that. It's a coming of age of a young woman who has endured so many hardships at an early age, most notably being parted from a loving family and sent to Saint Louis to seek her fortune. This was a forced choice, and an unusual one as well since we usually see young boys as the ones ousted from their families for this reason. I wonder if having a young girl leave their families is more common than we might imagine, but don't appreciate because most written early histories are from the viewpoint of men. 

Blanche is a likeable heroine from the get go. She is plucky, creative, intelligent, and full of grit. After she is sent away by her father to seek her fortune, she takes the Orphan Train to Saint Louis, a program to establish homes for orphaned children. While she is not an orphan, she has effectively been turned into one, with no monetary or emotional support. She is "adopted" by the Robey family who see her as a servant aka nanny for their two younger girl children. She sleeps in a pantry at night and while she is not taking care of the children, she does chores around the house. The goal of her father sending her to Saint Louis in the first place was to get an education that she would not be able to achieve in their small backwards town. But the Robey family would not allow her to go to school, and since she relied on them for food and shelter, she had to obey. But in small ways she fought back, staying positive and finding ways to educate herself-- from doing math on a regular basis to calculate change when she was sent for produce to writing down new vocabulary words when she was able to read newspapers in her spare time, which was minimal. While I do not condone the Robeys treatment of Blanche, I will say they have their own sense of honor. Mr. Robey who in many ways was the "villain" of the novel, did honor the initial agreement to help Blanche find an apprenticeship/job after her work was completed. And he did not set her up with just any job. He paid attention to her interests and saw her fall in love with hat making at the World's Fair. He also set her up to intern at a very good hat making company. Hat making became Blanche's refuge and a way to use her intelligence and creativity in a positive way. In those days, I imagine it was almost unheard of for a woman to make good money on her own, but she was able to do so even at a young age. 

Blanche also endured hardships emotionally, feeling scarred by the loss of her family and the apparent rejection of her father who she loved so much and fostered her love of reading and public recitation. This emotional journey comes to a satisfying close.

I do wish there was a bit of an epilogue to say where Blanche's hat making went next. She was still encumbered with the restrictions of the time-- her new husband who she loved very much still made decisions on where they would live without consulting her. And her flourishing career as an amazing hat maker seemed to come to an abrupt halt. I'm sure even as hats went out of fashion, she likely found other ways to foster her burning creativity. I would have liked to know more of that.

That said, I was supremely impressed by this well researched (don't forget to read the preface and the notes at the end of the book, they really enhance the reading journey!), and well written historical novel, Nancy Menees Hardesty's debut. This book took her 6 years to research and write, but I hope she writes another one as she is definitely talented and this genre needs more of this kind of novel to add to the obvious gaps in our knowledge of the past.

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

RESONATE Review by Courtney Grace Powers

A thousand years post-Earth, music thrives, while humanity…tries.

Although their music-guided propulsion systems have allowed them to mine the mazelike nebula known as Caerdroia, the colony space stations of the New World Federation are dying, with no actual New Earth in sight.

But Jude Aberdeen is more than just a Federation guitarist; he’s a believer. Like his grandfather before him, Jude sees visions of a Green Place when he resonates with his music, a New Earth somewhere out beyond Caerdroia’s coils. To survive an expedition no one but his offbeat drummer and illicit-AI bassist believes in, he’ll need to win the Federation’s legendary Battle of the Bands and secure this year’s grand prize: a ship up to the challenge of the nebula’s dangers. And he’ll need to do it without losing himself to the fame and fortune, sponsors and competitors that turn out to be their own kind of dangerous, and soon.

Because the colonies aren’t the only thing that is dying.

About the author:

Courtney Grace Powers has been telling stories since she was six years old, sometimes with music, sometimes with costumes, sometimes with photos and art…but always with her first love, the written word. She believes ferociously that Storytellers of every medium are the sculptors of history and culture, with powers that should be leveraged for good. A Dungeon Master, Rebel Legion member, and mom, she lives with the Kanan to her Hera in the middle of Ohio cornfields. 

Rating: 5 couches!
How do I start a review of this amazing book RESONATE, by Courtney Grace Powers, without fangirling all over the page? First, let me say that I've been starved to read a new sci fi novel, a GOOD one, for YEARS, and there really is a dearth of them out there, particularly in the young adult arena. I'm not sure why that is? Maybe because it takes a little more work as a reader to become used to the world so these novels are not as accessible or as popular? I also believe that being able to TRANSLATE such a detailed world onto the page, especially a sci fi one is extremely difficult and cannot be done by most writers successfully. 
Thankfully, this is not the case in RESONATE, and this sci fi YA drought has been resolved with this new arrival. First, I want to say that whenever someone self publishes a book, I get a little worried about starting it. Typically, not as much editing goes into self pub, and the story may get lost in a bunch of wasted, unnecessary exposition and multiple typos.THIS IS NOT THE CASE WITH RESONATE. If that is a concern for any of you, put that worry away right now! The novel is well written, paced, and plotted, and all of the characters have arcs for themselves. The world building is extraordinary. It took a couple of chapters to get used to how the characters speak and how the world is referred to, but that made me stick with it even more because I could really immerse myself. The characters have their own lingo, and it shines from the page. 
So the plot. The main story revolves around Jude Aberdeen, an 18 year old kid, who begins on a second rate ship, powered by music-- literally. The crew has to compose of at the very least a guitarist/vocalist, bass and drums to power and move the starship. The world he lives in is on borrowed time, as it is falling apart in more ways than one. And Jude dreams of a new world, a world with green trees reaching for the sky. He also has a time constraint-- his sister, Falcon, is sick and running out of time. He believes that if he can find this new world, it could mean the cure for her from this sickness, the reaping, that is befalling more and more of the population. The best way he can think of is to create his own band/crew and win the battle of the bands contest to obtain a ship that can make such a journey.
Jude Aberdeen is lovable from page one. You feel his yearning to his past, mainly towards his grandfather who played a huge role not only his visions of a new world but also in his likely genetically inherited skills on the axe (that's a guitar for those of you not in the lingo). Jude is also tied to his present by his dying sister and his deaf family (can I say how much I love how hearing and sign language play into this book??? I am also reminded of another book that I'm super duper in love with: Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John, who stars a deaf female protagonist who is a band manager). At the same time, he is striving towards making his own path and future in a world that already knows and reveres the legend that is his grandfather. Jude loves fiercely, wears his heart on his sleeve, but has fears like any other character, and sometimes, makes the wrong choice. But you never stop cheering for him throughout the story, and that's important in a book like this-- or any book in my opinion. I want to see him through to the end. 
The side characters should receive more than a small note. Kindle Joh, the tech, has been Jude's best friend from childhood, and has discovered a way to amplify the power source of the ship without making it explode. She is a minute Asian fireball, and reminds me of several strong Asian sidekicks-- notably Rose, from the star wars trilogy, and Lane Kim, from Gilmore Girls (Kindle has her own personality, never fear, but these similarities were a happy welcome to me). Naveen Suresh, the new bassist, reminded me purely from his name alone, Mohinder Suresh from the show Heroes, and Naveen Andrews from Lost. The combination of the two is not far off from Naveen in the novel. That said, there are a lot of secrets that will need to be uncovered about this very lovable but fascinating character. The third of their trio, a drummer... will have to be discovered by the reader. I don't want to give too much away. But I will say that there are a lot of twists involving all the characters that took me by surprise, which is hard to do these days. I fell in love with most of the characters, but there was one I was suspicious of but equally intrigued by (as was Jude). However, Powers treats this new interaction with kitten gloves and great timing, and doesn't fall into an easy trap here, which I am equally relieved and awed by. 
But most importantly, Resonate... well, RESONATED with me... for lack of a better word, because it is full of HEART. It is very clear to me that the author LOVED this world and these characters, and their very essence leaps from the page. I am also relieved to hear there is a follow up, called Gravitate, so that I can revisit these characters and follow their journey once more. 
I haven't talked much about the music. The music and the love for music, and how that echoes in every word and every chapter is so essential to the book. The author has actually composed a song for the series, and I cannot wait to hear it. The hook of the sci fi Battle of the Bands and how a band's music literally powers ships was enough for me to read the book, but that really took a sideline to everything else I mention above just because the book is so much more than that hook. I hope a traditional pub takes notice and elevates this to a wider audience because this book is much better than a lot of traditionally pubbed novels I've seen in the past 10 years. 
Overall, an absolute delight to read from start to finish with amazing lovable characters, a lightning paced plot with many twists to keep your attention, and world building so encompassing that you leave your own world behind. A must read for anyone this year.

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Interview with Neal Shusterman and Introduction to His New Anthology GLEANINGS

Hi everyone! 

I am so excited to introduce this next book to you by one of my favorite authors, Neal Shusterman!

About Gleanings: 

The New York Times bestselling and popular adult crossover Arc of the Scythe series continues with thrilling stories that span the timeline in GLEANINGS by Neal Shusterman (on sale November 8, 2022; ages 12 and up). Storylines continue. Origin stories are revealed. And new Scythes emerge! 

There are still countless tales of the Scythedom to tell. Centuries passed between the Thunderhead cradling humanity and Scythe Goddard trying to turn it upside down. For years, humans lived in a world without hunger, disease, or death with Scythes as the living instruments of population control. 

Neal Shustermanalong with collaborators David Yoon, Jarrod Shusterman, Sofía Lapuente, Michael H. Payne, Michelle Knowlden, and Joelle Shustermanreturns to the world throughout the timeline of the Arc of a Scythe series. Discover secrets and histories of characters you’ve followed for three volumes and meet new heroes, new foes, and some figures in between.

GLEANINGS shows just how expansive, terrifying, and thrilling the world that began with the Printz Honorwinning Scythe truly is. Shusterman's exciting, page-turning plots and tight, fast prose make him a popular choice among tween and teen readers of all genders. 

What is the Arc of a Scythe series? 

The series is set in a futurist dystopia where humans have ended death, but death still comes in the forms of reapers called Scytheswho are empowered to take peoples' lives in order to maintain a balanced population. Since no one dies unless a Scythe mandates it, Citra and Rowan are chosen to learn the art of killingin preparation for the scythedom. What follows is a thrilling adventure where the two must work together to uncover the corruption in their supposed utopian society. With GLEANINGS, a fervent and multigenerational fanbase of readers will be excited to return to the world of Scythesespecially after its breathtaking finale! Scythe is also currently being produced as a feature film by Universal. 

You can buy this amazing follow-up at this link!

Neal Shusterman is the New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty award-winning books for children, teens, and adults, including Dry, Roxy, the Unwind dystology, the Skinjacker trilogy, Downsiders, and Challenger Deep, which won the National Book Award.Scythe, the first book in his series, Arc of a Scythe, is a Michael L. Printz Honor Book. Neal has earned the respect and recognition of the library community; three of his books have been ALA Best Books for Young Adults and all of his books have been consistently well-reviewed. He's a popular speaker on the IRA/NCTE circuit, and at schools all over the country.He also writes screenplays for motion pictures and television shows. Neal is the father of four, all of whom are talented writers and artists themselves. Visit Neal at and


Neal has been so kind to do an online interview with me! I was thrilled to get an inside look of his books and writing. Enjoy!


1.    One thing I noticed in most of your work is how you consistently bring up fascinating ethical dilemmas. Particularly, the UNWIND, SCYTHE, and the recent 2021 GAME CHANGER come to mind. What comes first, the characters and story, or the moral/ethical dilemmas in these scenarios? How does the story grow from there?


It always starts with the ethical dilemma.  The things I can’t stop thinking about, for which I don’t have a solution.  I grapple with an ethical question by creating a story that studies the problem from as many perspectives as possible.  It becomes a hall of mirrors, because once you start down that path, you realize the issue goes deeper than the simplistic ways we tend to approach problems as a society.  Our “solutions” always lead to unintended consequences that are often worse than the problem we were trying to solve.  Once I know the questions I want to pose, then I have to figure out the story in which to ask them, and populate it with compelling characters that act on their own, and don’t necessarily follow the story I wanted to tell.  That’s the fun part – when the characters come to life and really drive the story.


2.    You have written two books with your son, Jarrod, DRY and ROXY. He also contributed a story to GLEANINGS. What was that collaboration like? What was the most surprising aspect of that journey?


Collaborating with Jarrod has been great.  He’s a talented writer, and we are pretty much on the same wavelength when we write together.  The books we’ve written together have both first-person, and third-person narratives, but we didn’t divide it up by voice.  We both wrote in all the narrative voices.  I was able to match the voices of characters he started, and he could match the voices of the characters I came up with.  It got so you couldn’t tell who wrote what!  Often collaboration can take as long as writing a book alone, even though the whole can be greater than the sum of the parts.  But with Jarrod it actually did go much faster!  In fact, we delivered DRY six months early.  I never deliver books early!   Our latest collaboration, a story called “Persistence of Memory,” in GLEANINGS, includes a third collaborator—Jarrod’s partner Sofi, who really imbued the story (which takes place in her home country of Spain), with an authentic Spanish flair.


3.    In GLEANINGS, we return to the amazing and fascinating world of SCYTHE. How were the authors chosen for participation in the anthology? What was your biggest goal with the anthology?


I love the opportunity to work with author friends.  I’m a fan of David Yoon’s writing, and was thrilled that he wanted to work on a story for GLEANINGS.  Mike Payne is in my writing group, is a master of his craft, and his stories always wow me. His specialty is writing about sentient animals, so I pegged him right away to write a dog story—because so many fans have asked if pets get to live forever in the world of Scythe, too.  Michelle Knowlden is a good friend who I’ve written with many times before, and, after writing with my sons Brendan and Jarrod,  My daughter Joelle wanted a chance.  She contributed a free verse piece that was perfect to open the book with.  (My other daughter, Erin, is an artist – so one of these days we’re going to do a graphic novel together!)  As for what my goal with GLEANINGS was – it was to explore characters and story lines that I didn’t get the chance to before.  I mean, fans wanted to know what Scythe Curie and Scythe Goddard were like when they were younger—but I wanted to know, too!  I was curious about the Thunderhead’s experimental regions—particularly the communal dreaming that takes place in Antarctica.  And for every story that made it into the collection, there’s another than I wanted to write, but didn’t get to!  There is an extra story, though, in the Barnes and Noble special edition.  A new take on the idea of a game of chess with Death!


4.    SCYTHE is one of my favorite trilogies of all time. Was it always intended to be a trilogy, why or why not? What was the hardest part about writing the trilogy? The most rewarding?


First of all, thank you!  The most rewarding thing is to have people tell me that it’s one of their favorite trilogies of all time!  I knew from the beginning that it would be a trilogy, and I knew where it was going – but how it got there was an adventure! I had no idea, for instance, that Loriana – who only appears in one scene in THUNDERHEAD, and isn’t even given a name – would become a crucial character in THE TOLL.   The hardest part for me is wrangling all the elements of a story in, leaving nothing hanging, and making sure that the conclusion is satisfying – but also leaves the reader wanting more.


5.    Who is your favorite character in the SCYTHE universe? Why?


Without question my favorite character is the Thunderhead.  The god-like sentient Artificial intelligence having an existential crisis.  What must it be like to be almost-all-powerful and entirely benevolent?  A being whose sole purpose, and greatest joy is to love and serve humanity.  How it must suffer to realize it can’t save us from ourselves.  The Thunderhead is beautiful, and also tragic in a way, because it must sacrifice its own happiness for the sake of humanity.  We fear what AI could become… but I hope it doesn’t become a thing of nightmares.  I hope that when Siri, and Alexa become self-aware… that they’re like the Thunderhead.


6.    What will you miss most about writing SCYTHE?


The characters.  I’ll miss Citra, Rowan, and Grayson.  I’ll miss Scythes Curie and Faraday.  I’ll even miss Goddard, Rand, and Xenocrates – the scythes you love to hate!  And I’ll miss Kevin Tong’s amazing iconic covers! I think they’re the best covers of my entire career!


7.    What can we expect next from you? Any exciting works in progress?


So many things in the works!  A Holocaust-themed graphic novel called Courage to Dream, will be out in 2023, with artwork by Andrés Vera Martinez.  I’ve been working on it for about ten years now.   Also in 2023 there’s  a new middle grade humorous sci-fi series that I’m co-writing with Eric Elfman called The N.O.A.H. Files – the first book of which is entitled I AM THE WALRUS  (All the books in the series will be song titles with animals in them).  And on the horizon after that, toward the end of 2023, the first book of a brand new YA series.  Can’t talk about it yet, but I promise, it’s full of more big questions, compelling characters, and a whole new mind-bending world!


Thursday, July 21, 2022

Lucas Davenport "Prey" series by John Sandford

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During my listening binges, one of the first series that I binged and have since almost completely devoured is the Lucas Davenport "Prey" series. Before I was ill, I predominantly read YA books, which I still enjoy occasionally but right now, the easiest book for me to read is a thriller or a good mystery without a whiny teenaged protagonist (I have preteen children for that, so I get my fill!). 


I was merely looking for a series that had a ton of books in it because I was in a major binge mood after not being able to read or even listen to audiobooks for over two years. And I'm guessing I'm not the only one who likes familiar likeable but flawed protagonists that you get to see again book after book. So I randomly picked up Rules of Prey and was hooked.

There is not a big mystery to the majority of this series. Generally, the books start from the viewpoint of the murderer and goes through one of his/her murders. But many times we are told who the bad guy is and then the rest of the book is set up so that there is a long cat/mouse match (who the cat and who the mouse is may vary) between Lucas and the bad guy. But Lucas is a really interesting protagonist. I envision him looking kind of like Clint Eastwood and being all broody like. He is described as "liking women and women liking him," and I find his relationships refreshing because they are so not what I'm used to. He has many flings, sometimes at the same time, but it isn't just about the sex, while the sex is generally good. He is just really INTERESTED in the women as people, and that is amazing. And the women are also not catty, they understand who they are with, and generally, are not jealous, which may just be the kind of woman he is attracted to. Someone so confident that if he sleeps with another woman, they realize he likes her just as much, he just likes... a lot of women for different reasons. And they are realistic about this. 

Don't get me wrong. I'm the jealous type. I could never date or marry someone like Lucas. He is way too attracted to danger and women and violence. But he is very interesting to read about. But he isn't just a random cowboy gunslinger although he is that too. Lucas also dresses really well. He loves a tailored Italian suit. In addition to this, apparently he is a computer game designer whiz who on the side of his regular job as a police man, has built his own company and made millions. His best friend is a nun. He struggles with depression. He is many times a vigilante. I could go on and on. 

I'm not going to spoil you any more for the series although there is a LOT to talk about. I may put a spoiler alert on a future post so I can discuss some of the future characters that come up that are just too good to ignore, and some have even spawned their own spin off series, and rightly so. But if you need a good series to binge and not worry that the next book is going to be a bust (there are definitely better books in the series than others but you can always count on your favorite characters being there), I would definitely try this.