Oh my. I seriously didn't expect to enjoy this story but lately, I've been interested in fairy tale retellings. This one was hard to put down (even whOh my. I seriously didn't expect to enjoy this story but lately, I've been interested in fairy tale retellings. This one was hard to put down (even while using Kindle for PC) and made me laugh quite a bit. I really enjoyed Ms Grayson's style, even with the multiple "brackets-within-parentheses" in the story. I loved the characters even when I wanted to slap them all, just to wake them up a little. I loved the feel-good quality of the story. It left me with a happy sigh. There were typos, of course, more than I expected, but nothing so bad as to cause frustration.
My favorite line (one that made me laugh out loud, much to my husband's amusement): "(...it was her experience that anyone with a shred of power should be pitched across a room [or down a staircase] every once in a while.)" (Her is in reference to the heroine, Mellie.)
I was also pleasantly surprised by the lack of sexual details. That's hard to find in romances, especially contemporary-set ones. There was a little bit of language, but nothing that pulled me out of the story and certainly nothing that made me consider walking away from it.
I definitely didn't take this seriously. It was entertaining, different (for me, anyway), and lighthearted, though I do appreciate the underlying message.
Would I read it again? Probably.
Disclaimer: I'm pretty sure I downloaded this free from Amazon. I could be wrong about the free part, but I know I got it from Amazon. I was not paid in any way for my review. The opinions expressed here are my own. ...more
Overall, a great story with a great message. I teared up in several places and the happily-ever-after is beautContemporary romance novella ~ 4.6 stars
Overall, a great story with a great message. I teared up in several places and the happily-ever-after is beautiful. It's the perfect length for a quick read, one you can start and finish easily in one sitting. The romance is totally clean, as well. ...more
Synopsis: A slave girl finds safety and freedom with an unlikely savior, a hardened mercenary.
My two cents: Although fantasy, there are no common fantSynopsis: A slave girl finds safety and freedom with an unlikely savior, a hardened mercenary.
My two cents: Although fantasy, there are no common fantasy elements present in this story. It has the feel of a medieval romance. This was a definite plus in my opinion. I love the fantasy genre but don't really care for the magic that is so often a part of it.
This is a story that starts out strong, in the aftermath of a battle, and continues in a fast-paced manner until the satisfying conclusion. I started it and was finished within a few hours. It was a short, but exciting, read. Every time I walked away, I was thinking about the main characters and wondering what would happen next.
The love scenes are few and very vague but Ms Rossano managed to infuse a remarkable amount of feeling into the brief scenes. It was very well done.
*This review is based on the e-book provided by the author....more
Synopsis: 16-year-old Darlene Moore is not allowed to date until she turns 18. Despite her mother's rule, she finds herself drawn to Parker Shane, a ySynopsis: 16-year-old Darlene Moore is not allowed to date until she turns 18. Despite her mother's rule, she finds herself drawn to Parker Shane, a young man newly returned from Vietnam who has the reputation of a playboy. Through betrayals by more than one person in whom Darlene once placed her trust, these two struggle to find a way to be together.
My two cents: This book started out with the feel of a typical young adult book. The heroine, Darlene, is 16 and in high school. Set in the late '60s with all the trappings of the period, it was an interesting journey into recent history. As the story progresses, however, the initial fluffy feel of the story is lost in a barrage of tragedy that left this reader in tears more than once.
I was surprised that this short novel managed to wring so many differing emotions from me. I chuckled, I cried and at one point, my jaw dropped. It is well-written, flows well, and has believable characters. This was a book that was hard to walk away from. If my copy hadn't been an e-book, I would have taken this book with me everywhere until I was done!
While the first few chapters were a little slow, getting to know who was who and what was what, the story quickly picked up pace. The author let tantalizing bits of mystery drop until all the pieces fell into place. In my opinion, it was very well done.
In conclusion, this is the first by this author that I have had the pleasure to read. It won't be the last.
Synopsis: A slave woman helps an outlaw escape capture and travels with him to the only place he knows he'll be safe. He gives her her freedom in exchSynopsis: A slave woman helps an outlaw escape capture and travels with him to the only place he knows he'll be safe. He gives her her freedom in exchange for her assistance.
My two cents: I loved this story! It was short at only 109 e-book pages (80 paperback) and every time I was forced to walk away from it, all I wanted to do was come back and finish it. I found the hero and heroine easy to like. Neither one was by any means perfect; they were both realistic and believable. The tale is fast-paced yet takes place over the course of many weeks. Any love scenes are completely vague, making this a suitable read for young adults.
Despite the novella length of this tale, the characters are well developed. I would have liked to have had more story, more detail in regard to their struggle, both internal and external. I wanted to spend more time with them.
*Review based on e-book provided free by the author....more
Synopsis: Two sisters, one is injured and in a coma from which it doesn't seem she'll wake and the other is suspected of being the one to have hurt heSynopsis: Two sisters, one is injured and in a coma from which it doesn't seem she'll wake and the other is suspected of being the one to have hurt her. While Allie sleeps, Savvy must try to determine who attacked her. Helping Savvy is Noah, the detective who suspects she is the culprit.
My two cents: This book had its funny moments, its scary moments and its "awwwww!" moments. I enjoyed each of the characters, most of whom had at least one scene told from their POV. I do like books where I get to see what all the main characters are thinking, instead of just the hero/heroine, as is the case with most romances.
I admit, I was first drawn to this book when I read a scene from the POV of the antagonist. But I felt it might have added to the suspense if I hadn't known from page 1 (literally) who the villain was. While the suspense was definitely there, it was the frustrated, "I-can't-believe-he's-standing-right-next-to-you-and-you-don't-know-it's-him!" kind rather than the edge-of-your-seat, "I-wonder-what's-going-to-happen-next" kind. (My apologies for my overuse of hyphens.)
Overall, it was a pretty good read. I would recommend this to anyone who likes a clean contemporary romance with a touch of suspense.
*This review is based on the paperback received for free from the publisher at the author's request. My apologies to Ms Checketts and her publisher for my delay in posting this review....more
Synopsis: Camilla, the widow of an earl, is under the thumb of her domineering sister-in-law. To escape, she moves to London where she finds it necessSynopsis: Camilla, the widow of an earl, is under the thumb of her domineering sister-in-law. To escape, she moves to London where she finds it necessary to fabricate a husband to fool her late husband's family. To play the part of her husband is her unorthodox footman, an escaped press-gang victim.
My two cents: I loved this story from the first sentence. The story opens with our hero and his best friend, a fellow shipmate. They are set upon by a press-gang, which was a rather unpleasant feature of the early 1800s in Britain. It was the middle of the war with Napoleon and many of the British were not willing volunteers of his majesty's navy due to the inhumane conditions experienced by those who enlisted. Hence, the press-gangs.
The hero Thomas and his friend Daniel escape. After collecting Daniel's wife Betsy, they enter domestic service, hoping to hide from the authorities. Thomas and Camilla do not start off with a great impression of each other as he mistakes her for a servant.
I really liked Thomas. He was strong, loyal, funny, and charming. I thought he was a well-rounded character, believable and lovable.
Camilla was a little weak but she gradually grew a spine. She seemed to rely a little too much on the sage advice of her ten-year-old daughter. I suppose this was believable behavior when one considers her life up to that point. And I have no problem with a Regency heroine who does not fit the “strong” perception of what a woman should be. It was 200 years ago, after all.
The daughter Philippa was an amusing delight but far too intelligent and wise for believability. This doesn't mean I didn't like her. It was actually hard not to. Especially after she made friends with Sybil Sturtevant.
My favorite line: Thomas, in reply to Camilla's request that he masquerade as her husband: “...there's no role in the world I'd rather play than that of your husband.”
In closing, if you are against a heroine who is meek and submissive to nearly everyone around her, avoid this book. If you just love a good star-crossed romance, try this squeaky-clean Regency tale. This book is tied to Passing Fancies which is the love story of Camilla's daughter Philippa....more
For my interview with Joyce DiPastena and a chance to win this novel, check out my reviews blog: Romance, Old School. (Contest ends 9/18.)
Synopsis: TrFor my interview with Joyce DiPastena and a chance to win this novel, check out my reviews blog: Romance, Old School. (Contest ends 9/18.)
Synopsis: Triston de Brielle finds himself the unlikely guardian of Lady Siriol Calendri, a young widow whose resemblance to his late wife is uncanny. Battling his feelings for his dead wife and his new feelings for his beautiful ward, Triston must also contend with his enemy's treasonous plotting.
My two cents: Illuminations of the Heart is an exciting tale of love and political intrigue. Ms DiPastena paints a vivid picture of the time. Her attention to detail in regard to Medieval garb, food, and politics is enough to give an accurate view of the time without being "textbook-y" or overly descriptive. She touches on several practices and beliefs of the time that are horrifying but refrains from getting too in-depth, thereby retaining the power that love possesses in all time periods. While this book is commonly described as "sweet"--and it is indeed sweet in regard to love scenes--I think there is enough reality present to keep one from thinking the time period was all fluffy romance and fantasy.
The characters, I felt, were believable, likable, and well-developed. We got a sense of Triston's feelings of guilt, his regret and his frustration. Siri's personality was strong without being the overbearing female so many authors seem to think a strong woman should be. She knew what she wanted almost from the start and when faced with opposition, she did what most people do: she made rash decisions. I found her to be quite realistically portrayed.
The story takes us from Siri's arrival at Triston's home, to his enemy's home, and to the palace of Duke Richard, a future King of England. There were no parts that felt choppy or out of sync. The story flowed along what felt like a natural path leading up to the HEA for Triston and Siri. Not to say there are no twists or surprises. But that is something you will have to find out for yourself.
Overall, I think this book was entertaining, well-researched, and a definite keeper. I am particularly pleased that the love scenes are not detailed and the main characters do not hop into bed together at the first opportunity. In fact, if you are looking for a book with sex, this is not the book for you. Everyone who enjoys the romance for the romance, give Joyce's books a chance. She does not disappoint....more
Synopsis: Lovely Lady Philippa Wyckfield gets drawn into any number of unfortunate situations due to her generous nature. Staying with friends she'd kSynopsis: Lovely Lady Philippa Wyckfield gets drawn into any number of unfortunate situations due to her generous nature. Staying with friends she'd known since childhood, she manages to catch the eye of two of the brothers. One wrestles with his disgust of her supposed madcap nature while the other wrestles with his invisibility.
What I liked: I loved the characters with their varied idiosyncrasies. There is Lady Philippa (Pippa), whose generous nature lands her in more trouble than any normal human can handle; William, the stiffly proper head of the Sturtevant household and oldest child of Lady Georgina; Lady Georgina, air-headed, well-meaning mother and lady of the house; Simon, a scientist whose head is more often cloudy with his work than not; Sybil, only daughter and incorrigible madcap; and Dolly, the youngest son whose madness for horseflesh leads to at least one of the unfortunate situations I mentioned earlier. These characters are fleshed-out rather well despite the shortness of this book. Even the Oxbroughs, the lady and her son who are more or less the antagonists of the tale, have their quirks, making them more believable.
There was something I noticed with this book that struck me as interesting. It is written in third person omniscient. Perhaps this POV was more acceptable in 1983 when this book was written. From the research I've done in regard to publishing houses, this POV is not acceptable now. However, I feel Elizabeth Mansfield pulled it off rather well. While reading, I knew what was happening in each character's head, the POV switches were graceful and hardly noticeable. Considering this book is not a mystery in any way, I see no reason why we should not know what everyone is thinking.
The story was entertaining, light and fun. Love scenes were limited to kissing and even those were few and far between. I laughed more than once and at one point I thought I might cry. All that aside, this book is a good choice if you want a delightful, light read...more
Synopsis: Alice Lind Frank is thrown for a loop when the boy she adored as a child--and believed to be dead--comes back as a man with a bitter secret.Synopsis: Alice Lind Frank is thrown for a loop when the boy she adored as a child--and believed to be dead--comes back as a man with a bitter secret. While falling for him all over again, the other man she'd promised to marry decides he will not let her go so easily.
My two cents: Ms Rager definitely has a talent for drawing you into a story and tugging your emotions. I found myself tearing up more than once but the smiles were prevalent throughout, also. It was a very, very sweet story, the kind that makes you sigh a little. Despite the fact that there was no clear distinction in regard to historical time period, it was still remarkably easy to visualize everything as it happened. The storyline was intriguing and the characters were quite likable. I appreciated that love scenes were kept at nothing more than a few kisses. I am looking forward to future books from this author....more