The Second Season by Heather Chapman centers around a young girl named Caroline. She missed part of the last social season due to illness, but is backThe Second Season by Heather Chapman centers around a young girl named Caroline. She missed part of the last social season due to illness, but is back for her second season and has caught the eye of a duke. Her mother is anxious to make the match, but there is another suitor, who may not be exactly suitable. Will Caroline follow her heart?
This book actually highlights three romances--Caroline and her love triangle, Lucy, a sister who has a potential romance, but a frightening experience may ruin it, and also their mother Eleanor's romance through flashback. I really enjoyed two of the romances and wished the author would have given each woman her own book. With the way it is currently written as three romances squished into one book, the author isn't able to give the characters the depth they needed to truly make this story shine.
However, in spite of that, I loved Lucy and Eleanor and how the author explored their feelings about marrying for love compared to the alternative of marrying according to society's dictates or financial gain. I had a harder time relating to Caroline as she came across as very young, spoiled, and selfish. I actually liked the duke who was courting her despite her shortcomings, but who doesn't love a dashing duke? Not to mention the tradesman with a heart of gold that turned her head.
I also loved learning more about what a cordswainer did and thought the research was woven in beautifully. The author showed her talent in immersing the reader in the time period and social restrictions of the day. The flashbacks slowed down the pacing, but beyond that, the plot was an easy read. Ms. Chapman is a new author to me and I think she has a lot of potential in the regency genre. I would definitely try another book by her.
I really enjoy Melanie Jacobson's lighthearted romances, but after what happened in Louisiana the past few weeks, this book became much more than justI really enjoy Melanie Jacobson's lighthearted romances, but after what happened in Louisiana the past few weeks, this book became much more than just entertainment. Southern Charmed highlights the culture and landmarks of a beautiful state and when you see the devastation the floods have wrought on it, well, my heart just aches. I love that the author donated a portion of her proceeds from this book to help not only her own family members, but everyone affected by this tragedy.
Our heroine, Lila Mae, loves everything about Louisiana. She was born and raised there, and now lives at home with her widowed mother and teaches at the high school. Her mother gently reminds her quite often of how she should be out there looking for Mr. Right. Lila Mae wants to find him, too, but her only option at the moment seems to be Max Archer, a "Yankee" who once hated everything about Louisiana and humiliated her at a church dance while they were teenagers. She doesn't even count him as an eligible guy until they get put on a conference planning committee together. As they search out venues and ideas for the conference, they get to know each other and put away the prejudices they'd had from when they were teens. But Lila knows they can never go anywhere because she's not leaving Louisiana and Max won't stay. This sweet love story will have you turning pages to see if they can work it out and get their happily-ever-after.
I really liked both Max and Lila Mae. They both have passionate feelings for their work and family, they both have regrets that they try to make up for, and they both fight the answers that are right in front of them. I thought they both had a lot of depth to them and were easy to relate to. The dialogue was easy and fun and the romance was the kind to give the reader butterflies. (The perfection was only marred by a few typos, including a misspelling of the country of Colombia. That poor country never gets spelled right! LOL) But, the setting was done incredibly well and the venue search gives us a glimpse of several areas of Louisiana that made me wish I'd visited there. You'll definitely walk away with a feeling of being "southern-charmed."
I've really enjoyed Ms. Moore's previous novels and this one is a bit of departure from those, but still a great read.
A Place For Miss Snow is billedI've really enjoyed Ms. Moore's previous novels and this one is a bit of departure from those, but still a great read.
A Place For Miss Snow is billed as a regency romance, but for me, it wasn't traditional regency romance at all. My favorite regencies are generally set in London and have several foundational pieces of the time period with dashing heroes and heroines trying to finagle through all of society's restrictions. A Place For Miss Snow does have a British heroine and it takes place during the regency time period, but other than that, it is a historical romance set in Greece.
Diana Snow has been hired as a chaperone to a young lady traveling to Corfu. While there, they meet a man named Alexandros Metaxas. Diana feels a connection to Alex and when she tries to return his gloves to see if the connection was just a figment of her imagination, she is captured by pirates. Spirited away with Alex, Diana fights her feelings for the enigmatic man all the while trying to fit into the new life that has been thrust upon her until she can be rescued.
I loved the setting and the detail that Ms. Moore includes. It is easy to visualize the scene from the vivid descriptions and it made me want to go back to Greece! I thought the historical storyline, based on real people and events, was an entertaining lesson in Greek history and their wars with the Turks, although at some spots the pacing dragged a bit. Diana was definitely a relatable heroine who has never really belonged anywhere or to anyone and she is afraid to love in case she loses them. Her attempts to find order and control in her life are so endearing and yet frustrating when she puts up all those emotional barriers. Alex is a swoon-worthy hero who has endured unimaginable loss and heartbreak. His broken heart finds solace as he gets to know Diana, but he has so many secrets in his spy life, it would be too dangerous for them to be together. But how can they ever be apart?
I thought this book was a fun Greek adventure, with pirates, and Turks, and curses and villains, all wrapped up in a sweet romance that will leave you with a smile when you close the book. Another Moore novel for my keeper shelf!
Ms. Dean is a new author to me and I only picked up this book because it's part of the Power of the Matchmaker series, but there was a lot to like!
TheMs. Dean is a new author to me and I only picked up this book because it's part of the Power of the Matchmaker series, but there was a lot to like!
The book is set in China, which in itself gives the story another dimension. Our heroine, Savannah, was told at a young age by the matchmaker that she would marry a man named Paul and she's been searching for the right Paul ever since. Her search takes her to China where she will teach English, but her main goal is to meet a famous entrepreneur named Paul that she read about in a magazine. (Her quirky colleagues give a nice secondary cast to the entire China trip and I hope some of them get their own story!)
While she's experiencing China and all it's exotic flair, she meets an American cook at a restaurant called Burger, Burger. Julian seems to have a thing for her, but she's finally met Paul and things are going well between them. Everything comes to a head when she's torn between following the matchmaker's prediction she would marry a Paul or pursuing what she feels for someone not named Paul. She has a difficult choice to make.
I had a hard time getting into the story at first, and getting used to the first person narrative, but about a third of the way in I really started to identify with our heroine and the pacing picked up for me. I was a bit annoyed about the references to the Red Bird Incident that we aren't given any idea about until near the end, but I loved the setting of China and thought the author did an outstanding job with that. I loved the way the romance was developed and our hero was definitely sigh-worthy. I will definitely look for other titles by Ms. Dean.
This is a lush historical romance set during colonial times in America. Our heroine, Eleanor, is an English governess who is sent there to escape a leThis is a lush historical romance set during colonial times in America. Our heroine, Eleanor, is an English governess who is sent there to escape a lecherous employer. Eleanor has a letter of reference for when she arrives, and a bit of money, but both of those things are stolen. Eleanor has no choice but to be sold into indenture. A trapper, Samuel Heath, who is full of secrets and a past that won't leave him alone, decides to marry Eleanor in a marriage of convenience so he can have a mother for his young daughter. Yet, Eleanor and Samuel come from such different worlds, can they ever find common ground and truly be a family?
I really enjoyed the expertly drawn characters of Samuel and Eleanor. They both had quite a bit of emotional baggage going into the marriage and their efforts to overcome it all and understand each other is what makes this book so intriguing. The mystery of Samuel's past teases us throughout the book, but once revealed, gives us a three dimensional picture of this character and what drives him. Eleanor is trying to find her place in a new world---almost the opposite of the one she was brought up in. She is a fish out of water, but works hard to belong, which makes her relatable and likable since we all have that drive to be part of something. The setting is well done and the prejudices against Native Americans is poignant and realistic. And if that wasn't enough to draw in the reader, there is a little spy story on the side that will keep you turning pages.
Michelle Griep is a new author to me and I will definitely be looking for more from this author.
I've really enjoyed her contemporary romances so I was excited to see how she'd do with an historical romance. She did not disappoint!
Colin CavendishI've really enjoyed her contemporary romances so I was excited to see how she'd do with an historical romance. She did not disappoint!
Colin Cavendish has been handed the earldom and he's evaluating all the properties that aren't entailed. Deciding to sell the family home of Tanglewood, he realizes he's going to have to turn out the deceased vicar's wife and daughter from the dower house. It's unpleasant, but surely they will understand his wishes.
Lucy greets the earl's news with a slam of the door. How can such an odious man turn them out like that? He obviously didn't have half the honor his father did. They have nowhere to go and Lucy can hardly think of what they will do without the house they'd come to call home.
But then Colin is found injured and unconscious and when he awakens he doesn't remember who he is or why he was anywhere near Tanglewood. Lucy decides to teach the earl a lesson and tells him he was her servant. But as she gets to know him, she realizes that maybe all isn't as she thought. But how could he ever forgive her for such a terrible lie?
I thought the background was well done and the characters full of humor and depth. The romance was sweet and I was caught up in the story and couldn't wait to see how it all turned out. Colin is such a dashing hero, and I thoroughly enjoyed how he interacted with Lucy. She was a great heroine in her own right, with sass and spunk, but a lot of uncertainty about how to tell the truth and still keep Colin's regard. A great afternoon read for anyone who loves historical romance.