Sworn Enemy begins as Peter and Genevieve (introduced in Espionage) are trying to stay ahead of the Gestapo, making their way out of occupied France....moreSworn Enemy begins as Peter and Genevieve (introduced in Espionage) are trying to stay ahead of the Gestapo, making their way out of occupied France. While Sworn Enemy can be read alone, reading Espionage provides a richer history of the characters and makes reading Sworn Enemy an even better experience.
Peter and Genevieve are great characters. While Espionage focuses mainly on the beginning of their story and the events leading up to their escape from occupied France, Sworn Enemy finds them facing separation as Genevieve goes to nursing school and Peter leaves as part of team assembled for a specific mission in Romania. There are several other characters I enjoyed as well, especially a certain Polish soldier who I liked just as much as Peter. (Maybe a tiny bit more after that one scene in Bucharest, but you’ll have to read the book to see if you agree with me.)
Peter and Genevieve’s romantic relationship is not at the forefront of the novel. There is plenty of spying, captures, escapes, as well as a battle. Those who enjoy a little romance will like the side story of two other characters in the novel. For those of you who aren’t big romance fans, don’t worry. It’s a nice addition to the story but it is not the focus.
There was a stretch of chapters that focused on Peter and the events he was involved in and the reader doesn’t know what is happening with Genevieve for quite sometime. I would have liked a chapter somewhere in there to update me with Genevieve’s activities, because I was in suspense wondering about that for what felt like a long time. The nature of Peter’s mission (13 team members and some civilians, plus the German & Romanian soldiers and officials, along with occasional use of both first and last names) made for a lot of characters to remember at first, but as I read, it became easier.
What I like about A.L. Sowards’ writing is that the reader can tell that she has done her research and knows a lot about the events and time period, but not because she beats the reader over the head with facts. They are woven into the story and dialogue and it never feels stilted or like a history lecture.
Sworn Enemy is well-written, full of action and suspense, and an enjoyable follow up to Espionage. A.L. Sowards is one of my new favorite historical authors and I definitely look forward to reading more from her in the future.
Sadie hopes that a week-long cruise to Alaska will give her grown children, Shawn and Breanna, a chance to get to know her boyfriend, Pete Cunningham,...moreSadie hopes that a week-long cruise to Alaska will give her grown children, Shawn and Breanna, a chance to get to know her boyfriend, Pete Cunningham, a bit better. Things don’t work out so well right from the start. Shawn is hiding something from her and Sadie’s feelings are hurt that everyone seems to know what it is but her. Suspicious activity on the cruise ship leads to someone being hurt and the authorities take Shawn in for questioning. Determined to help clear Shawn’s name, Sadie embarks on a search for answers in a mystery that ultimately claims more than one victim.
When I pick up one of Josi’s culinary mysteries, I know I will be pulled in to the story until the last page. Baked Alaska was no exception. Just when I thought I had something figured out, a new twist sent me down another path. Though cruises aren’t my preferred vacation, reading about Sadie and company’s cruise to Alaska was an entertaining escape and just as much fun as the rest of Sadie’s adventures.
The Sadie Hoffmiller series has become more than just the mystery for me. Reading each book is like visiting good friends. I have loved watching the characters’ relationships change and develop from book to book. I really like Pete and the way he has accepted Sadie and her quirks. Breanna and Shawn have grown as well. I was surprised at the end and might have blinked away a tear or two. I closed the book (well, the PDF) with a huge grin on my face.
Fans of Sadie Hoffmiller are going to enjoy Baked Alaska. I can’t wait to see what happens in Rocky Road. This is one of my favorite book series and I can’t recommend it enough.
I loved reading Slayers, so it was great revisiting these characters again in Friends and Traitors. After a key member of the Slayers’ team is reveale...moreI loved reading Slayers, so it was great revisiting these characters again in Friends and Traitors. After a key member of the Slayers’ team is revealed as a traitor, two new dragon slayers join the team. Adventures are had, battles are fought, and relationships are forever altered.
I haven’t read a lot of YA involving dragons (only the Slayers series, the Dragon Slippers series by Jessica Day George and the first book in the Firelight series by Sophie Jordan), but it’s interesting to see different aspects of dragon lore portrayed in various ways in each one. If you like dragons, you will probably enjoy all three of these series.
The Slayers series is a lot of fun. I appreciate reading about a strong yet feminine lead character, as well as a group of teens working together as a team for the good of society. Both young men and young women, as well as their parents, will enjoy Slayers and it’s sequel, Friends and Traitors.
Review originally published on LDS Women's Book Review - www.ldswbr.com FTC FYI: received a free softcover ARC in exchange for an honest review.(less)
I knew that I would be giving The False Prince five stars within the first three paragraphs. I loved everything about this book. I devoured it in one...moreI knew that I would be giving The False Prince five stars within the first three paragraphs. I loved everything about this book. I devoured it in one day, savoring every word on every page. After I finished reading it I carried the book around with me, not quite ready to let go of the story yet.
So many times I thought I understood who did what and where the story was going, but I was wrong. I loved Mott and hated Conner. I laughed out loud and fumed with anger. I experienced disgust and disappointment and loyalty and triumph.
Sage is the most clever, infuriating, stubborn, independent, and contradicting character I’ve read in a long time. Maybe ever. He’s a talented thief, a protector and respecter of women, an orphaned young man with nothing to lose and no allies. When he finds himself swept up in a plot to place an impostor prince on the throne, he faces a simple choice: be the one Conner chooses as prince or die.
It is difficult to discuss in detail all of the reasons why I loved this book without giving things away. I look forward to re-reading The False Prince just as much as I do reading the next book in the series. I almost started reading it again as soon as I had finished my first time through.
I have heard so many good things about The False Prince in the months since its release earlier this year. My only regret is that I didn’t read it sooner. I eagerly recommend it to anyone who loves a good story and give The False Prince an enthusiastic 5 stars.
FTC FYI: Received a free review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
I’ve really enjoyed the Archer brothers’ series so far. I liked Stealing the Preacher–Crockett is a great guy. I love how everyone expects him, as a p...moreI’ve really enjoyed the Archer brothers’ series so far. I liked Stealing the Preacher–Crockett is a great guy. I love how everyone expects him, as a preacher, to be horrible at shooting and unfamiliar with hard physical labor but he proves them wrong, earning their respect.
Joanna Robbins is a likable character, young and maybe just a bit naive, but full of faith. She is friendly, but with a streak of fire for what she believes in, and loyal to the end. I really like the clean but chemistry filled, not-too-descriptive kisses. I love when I can feel a little swooney when characters kiss but not distracted by too much intimate detail. Another thing I appreciated was that Crockett was up front and direct with Joanna whenever it was needed.
This is the third book from Karen Witemeyer I’ve read, and it certainly won’t be the last. Short-Straw Bride is my favorite so far. I look forward to reading Neill’s story (A Cowb0y Unmatched, part of the A Match Made in Texas novella collection coming January 2014). What I like about her writing is that it’s fun to read and not overly preachy. Stealing the Preacher had a bit more than her others because Crockett is, after all, a preacher, but it was woven into the story appropriately without feeling like a sermon.
Overall, Stealing the Preacher is another enjoyable Christian historical romance and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys the genre.
Review originally posted on LDS Women's Book Review - www.ldswbr.com FTC FYI: received a free digital galley from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.(less)
4.5 stars. Love’s Reckoning was a great change of pace for me. As much as I enjoy the quick, light reads that many Christian historical romances provi...more4.5 stars. Love’s Reckoning was a great change of pace for me. As much as I enjoy the quick, light reads that many Christian historical romances provide, it was refreshing to read one that has greater depth and a more involved story. It was a little lengthier than most and took me several days to get through, which was nice because it gave me something to anticipate until I could read again.
Silas is a great character with good principles and a dream to go West. Eden is sweet, if a bit too submissive at times for my taste. She is used to her needs being shoved aside in favor of the selfish desires of her sister, Elspeth. Elspeth is a devious and selfish woman, though I wondered as I read if she would have opportunity at redemption. There’s a certain passage of time in the book that makes me curious about what happened to her then. Maybe nothing significant, though I doubt she could stay out of trouble for long.
Love’s Reckoning is rich with romance and anticipation. I loved visiting the eighteenth century. There are some heartbreaking circumstances that had me mourning with the characters and wishing for swift justice. Most of the book was strong and held my attention well. After a certain tragic incident though, I found that things felt a little rushed or forced. I felt a bit disconnected to the characters and floundered a bit. I hung on though, and soon things came back together, if a bit differently than I’d hoped.
As soon as I finished Love’s Reckoning, I put the sequel on hold at the library. I look forward to continuing this series and don’t hesitate to recommend Love’s Reckoning to those who enjoy Christian historical romance as much as I do.
Review originally published on LDS Women's Book Review - www.ldswbr.com FTC FYI: checked out from my local library (but want to buy my own copy soon)(less)
I can honestly say I’ve never read a book quite like Grave Mercy. Despite being well over 500 pages long, I read it quickly, drawn in and fascinated b...moreI can honestly say I’ve never read a book quite like Grave Mercy. Despite being well over 500 pages long, I read it quickly, drawn in and fascinated by the dark story of Ismae and her training as an assassin. Like the series name (His Fair Assassin) suggests, there a number of darker elements revolving around treachery, death, and warfare.
I felt for Ismae and everything she had suffered in her life. I liked seeing her character gain wisdom through experience and become more trusting of her instincts. While I was intrigued by Ismae and her ability to overcome death, I really liked Gavriel Duval. The contrast between these two characters taking different approaches to reach a similar end created conflict that added interest to their growing attraction to each other.
The historic setting and “serving” of various saints (formerly worshiped as “gods”) made me curious to learn more about the time period. I wanted to know if these were actual beliefs and places or a result of world-building by the author.
Ismae and Gavriel Duval were not the only well-drawn characters in the book. There were a a number of side characters with depth and history. The scenes involving de Lornay and the Beast were fun to read. I became just as devoted to the young duchess-to-be as the other characters, and my heart broke for her during one particular part of the book.
The villains are despicable and the intrigues are many. There was one twist I saw coming early on, but that didn’t ruin anything for me. Instead it kept me reading to see when the other characters would figure it out.
While Grave Mercy is technically YA, because of some of the darker themes I would personally consider it more adult. The next book, Dark Triumph, is scheduled to be released in Spring 2013. I will probably read the sequel eventually as I am curious about what is going on with that character’s assignment and situation, especially in regard to how her story intersects with Ismae’s in Grave Mercy.
- a few instances of swearing (heck, dang) - mature themes of death, murder, espionage & serving Mortain, the saint/god of Death, as well as discussion of methods and tools for killing - mention of a man’s “member,” talk of rougeing certain parts of a woman’s upper-body anatomy, “womanly charms” (innuendo) - Ismae must pose as Gavriel’s mistress for the mission, so he visits her room at night to maintain the illusion but sleeps in a chair - there is one part near the end where two characters lie together in dire circumstances but there are no details given and whether or not “something” actually happens isn’t discussed. (less)
I liked it better than Stardust of Yesterday. Cleaner than most paperback romances (including Stardust of Yesterday) but a bit more steamy than most c...moreI liked it better than Stardust of Yesterday. Cleaner than most paperback romances (including Stardust of Yesterday) but a bit more steamy than most conservative readers would prefer, including myself. Some swearing, sex but after marriage and no graphic descriptions. Mainly references to desire, etc.(less)
Stung opens with Fiona, aka “Fo,” waking up in her bedroom, but things are not the same. Everything looks old. Faded. Abandoned. She soon realizes she...moreStung opens with Fiona, aka “Fo,” waking up in her bedroom, but things are not the same. Everything looks old. Faded. Abandoned. She soon realizes she is not alone in the house and finds herself running for her life. She is hungry, thirsty, and lost in a world that should be familiar but is far from what she remembers.
Fiona must rely on strangers to help her understand what is happening until she is captured by the militia and finds herself a prisoner. The others are afraid of her, the level ten “beast.” They are expecting her to turn on them at any moment. Even the camp’s “Guardian,” her former neighbor Dreyden Bowen, is nervous and jumpy despite the electronic shackles on her arms and legs.
As time passes and Fiona proves to Dreyden that she isn’t an insane monster, memories begin to surface regarding events leading to the current state of the world. With everyone after the valuable honey they can get from turning Fiona in to the fighting pits or the lab, she and Dreyden decide to make a run to the haven of Wyoming. Unfortunately, things don’t go to plan.
I really enjoyed Shifting, Bethany’s first novel, so I was excited to read Stung. My curiosity was piqued from the beginning, wondering how Fiona got outside the wall and into her old bedroom. There is some good suspense right at first and it pulled me in. The descriptions of the tunnels and Arris/Arrin are effective. The unpleasantness of Fiona’s situation is easy to imagine, which means you probably shouldn’t eat while reading parts of Stung.
I liked Dreyden, though he wasn’t kind at first when he expected Fiona to rip him apart. It was confusing when his brother was talked about or present though, because they were both addressed as their last name “Bowen,” even in Fiona’s head. I think it would have been easier to have her consistently think of them as Dreyden and Duncan in her thoughts.
The story kept my interest. I wanted to know more about events leading up to the current situation, and the occasional memory/flashback provided that. It wasn’t until near the end that a few things gave me pause. They could be considered spoilers, though.
After the fighting in the pit was interrupted by Dreyden, things started feeling rushed, almost in a “let’s-hurry-and-wrap-this-up-in-a-bow” way. It’s possible that all the work and struggle leading up to that point made it seem like the finish was a little too easy. Maybe it’s just me. Probably it’s just me. For that as well as the your-kisses-are-keeping-him-alive thing that felt out-of-the-blue. It does kind of go with the Sleeping Beauty twist, but I didn’t really like how that suddenly came about. It almost felt….cheesy. And I really hate saying that, because the rest of the book wasn’t anything close to cheesy.
I will be reading book two, Cured, scheduled for release on March 13, 2014. I’m looking forward to another look at the post bee-extinction world. Watch for my review of Cured in the coming weeks. Recommended for adults and teens ages 15+ who enjoy YA Dystopian.
Review originally published on LDS Women's Book Review - www.ldswbr.com FTC FYI: checked out from my local library
Language: There may have been one mild swear word, but I don’t think there were any more than that
Sexual: Kissing, no graphic descriptions; no sex; one character refers to a woman’s breasts as “knockers”
Violence: Fighting; gun use; threats with and use of a knife; a few characters are cut and shot; fighting match in a pit; descriptions of injuries; character deaths
Drug use: None that I can remember, besides treating wounds["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I have a confession to make: I have a weakness for time-travel books involving handsome Scottish Highland lairds. It is complete and utter escapism, a...moreI have a confession to make: I have a weakness for time-travel books involving handsome Scottish Highland lairds. It is complete and utter escapism, and I love it.
I've read Going Back for Romeo twice now and enjoyed it even more the second time. It has everything I like: a strong heroine, a tough-yet-tender Scottish laird, and a pretty believable time-travel catalyst. There are good kisses, lots of romantic elements, and side characters with personality and depth.
There is a spot somewhere in the middle where I felt a bit disconnected, but I haven't been able to figure out why. It passed quickly and I was pulled back into the story for the remainder of the book. The writing is smooth and I really like the flow and voice. There were a few typos and small formatting issues but I got past them easily as I was pretty caught up in the story.
If you like a good time-travel romance with some laugh-out-loud moments, toe-curling romance, and a bit of adventure, then there's a good chance you'll enjoy Going Back for Romeo.
Content: There were a few swear words (heck, dang); some light innuendo and references to the hero wanting to "bed" the heroine; there is no premarital sex; there is one scene where the heroine comes downstairs in a "towel" to heat bath water in order to shock the hero; after marriage the reader knows they are consummating the marriage but there are no graphic descriptions and references to what is happening are vague and tender.(less)