Oh, *squeak* Purely by accident I stumbled across Black Gate's review of HEART OF BRIAR, and I am a happy happy happy author....
"She got me. I didn’t expect to get caught up in this book, thought I would just read the first couple of chapters, because it’s not my usual kind of thing. Gilman uses some of the tropes of paranormal romance, but she’s using them to do bigger things, some of which I did not see coming....I can itemize the romance elements that have been deployed here, but each one has been turned on its head in some deliberate way."
My favorite line:
"Gilman’s fairyland bears a remarkable resemblance to the chilling otherworld of C.L. Moore’s great pulp sword and sorcery classic story “Black God’s Kiss.”
Oh, how I loved that story as a kid.... Was I thinking of it when I was writing the Portals duology? I can't say I was. But it was probably in my mind, however deep...
And then they go on to talk about Jan, and totally get her: It’s easy to root for Jan, even when she makes her gravest mistakes. She’s funny, she’s brutally honest with herself about the uglier moments of her inner life, and the love that drives her is genuinely complicated. It’s angry love, wronged love, but to her surprise she finds that it remains unconditional love.
I'm now going to be nervously waiting to see what they think about Book 2, SOUL OF FIRE