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 wh...moreOh 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. (less)
I debated exactly what to rate this story, 4 or 5 stars. Ultimately, though, it boiled down to one undeniable fact: Once I started reading, I couldn't...moreI debated exactly what to rate this story, 4 or 5 stars. Ultimately, though, it boiled down to one undeniable fact: Once I started reading, I couldn't stop. Thus, it receives 4.5 stars from me (rounding up to 5).
This novella is reminiscent of the older, traditional Regencies, fun and sweet. I could picture these characters so clearly and I adored their interactions. I laughed several times, smiled most of the time, and teared up at others.
The final chapter, however, was one I skipped, mostly, as it was a love scene between the married H/H. It was a little too graphic for my personal tastes. Other than that, I adored this story.
My Kindle copy was supplied by the author. I was not paid in any way for this review. The opinions expressed here are my own.(less)
Oh my. Can I just say I LOVED this story? It is such a sweet, heartwarming, feel-good kind of story, the kind that brings a tear to your eye...more4.8 stars
Oh my. Can I just say I LOVED this story? It is such a sweet, heartwarming, feel-good kind of story, the kind that brings a tear to your eye when you finish.
The heroine is someone anyone can relate to, trying so desperately to fit in somewhere and stamp out that little spark that tries to tell her she doesn't even like where she's trying to fit. I love that it takes a farmer, two dogs, three goats, and a whole town to show her what she really wants.
I can't even really object to the shortness of this novella. Ms Anderson packed so much into the 27,000 or so words that I'm not left feeling cheated. The romance is squeaky clean and the language is what I would call mild. Very, very well done!
Would I read more from Ms Anderson? Unless she drastically changes her writing, I'll read everything she writes! (And I'm not even a fan of contemporary romance.)
I won't rate this since I have two stories in this anthology and I don't feel right rating it. It would throw off the average rating since I am clearl...moreI won't rate this since I have two stories in this anthology and I don't feel right rating it. It would throw off the average rating since I am clearly a biased reader. That said, in my opinion, each of these stories has something to offer the reader. I recommend it and the best part, it's free!
Warnings: Graphic violence and abuse, numerous sexual situations, language; not recommended for readers under 18
Synopsis: Mistress of Rome chronicles...moreWarnings: Graphic violence and abuse, numerous sexual situations, language; not recommended for readers under 18
Synopsis: Mistress of Rome chronicles the life of Thea, a Jewish slave girl in the 1st century, starting with her life as a young slave to the spiteful Lady Lepida, and ending with her interactions as mistress to Rome's Emperor Domitian.
What I liked: The attention to detail. Sure, the battle scenes were rather graphic but I appreciated Ms Quinn's desire to stay as true to the brutality of the time as possible. There was a lot of sex but it was, thankfully, glossed over for the most part. I appreciated the author's note explaining which parts of the story were fictionalized in order to expand her fictional telling of real events.
What I didn't like: The POV flip-flops. It wasn't even the fact that the story was written in 3rd and 1st. I had no problem with that and I think I was better able to relate to Thea's character by reading her in 1st person. My problem was with Lepida's POV being 1st person, too. The first few times in her POV I was confused and had to go back and remind myself that I wasn't reading Thea in that moment, I was reading Lepida. These 1st person sections are clearly marked with the character's name but I had a little trouble getting used to the switches. (I admit, part of me also did not want to read the vicious Lepida's character as if she was me.)
Who would like this: I don't think it qualifies as a "romance" and I don't believe it really qualifies as "clean." However, readers who, like me, enjoy an occasional tale that doesn't turn history into an unbelievable fantasy, would like this book.
Overall: 4.3 stars. I loved this book. I was crying by page 9 and cried off and on 'til the end. I'll probably reread it and I eagerly look forward to Ms Quinn's future works. Bottom line, I don't regret paying for this book.
*Disclaimer: I have not been paid in any way, shape or form for this review. I purchased this book and this review is my honest opinion of this work.
Oh my, this was brilliant! I don't care if it was redundant, poorly written, or contained spoilers. (I'm not actually saying it was any of these thing...moreOh my, this was brilliant! I don't care if it was redundant, poorly written, or contained spoilers. (I'm not actually saying it was any of these things, by the way.) This epilogue was hilarious! I loved it!(less)
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 y...moreSynopsis: 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.
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: Tr...moreFor 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.(less)
My opinion: This is a very well-written story. It is easy to follow as events unfold and easy to see the correlation between the orchard and its worke...moreMy opinion: This is a very well-written story. It is easy to follow as events unfold and easy to see the correlation between the orchard and its workers and the US educational system. This is definitely something teachers and students need to read.
Synopsis: Jeffrey “Mad Dog” Madison is a playboy, finding a certain satisfaction in his romantic pursuits. Until he meets Beth Campbell, a farm girl w...moreSynopsis: Jeffrey “Mad Dog” Madison is a playboy, finding a certain satisfaction in his romantic pursuits. Until he meets Beth Campbell, a farm girl whose innocence is polar opposite. While unrest is rampant in the world, these two young people fall deeply in love, always aware that war may rip them apart forever.
My two cents: Oh, this book was so hard to put down! This surprised me, as the Vietnam war was not a subject that ever really interested me. But I was immediately intrigued with these two characters and wanted to know what was going to happen next. The emotion was believably written and very easy to get drawn into. I cried more than once, felt like I was living through history that my parents actually did experience and I finally understood some of the stories my mom told me. Not only was this hard to put down, I found myself thinking about these characters later. Kgcummings successfully created characters that the reader could care for. I look forward to reading the rest of the series. I want to know what happens to these characters as the story goes on.
And I just have to mention, this series has some of the most beautiful book covers I have ever seen. :o)
Synopsis: Kidnapped by pirates, a mute Puritan finds herself drawn to the pirate captain, intrigued by his protection of her and his obvious dislike o...moreSynopsis: Kidnapped by pirates, a mute Puritan finds herself drawn to the pirate captain, intrigued by his protection of her and his obvious dislike of his own lot in life. He is drawn to her by her innocence and strength, unable to forget her even though he knows he should.
My two cents: The Pirate and the Puritan is one of the best clean reads I've had the privilege to peruse this year. Taking place several years after the Salem witch trials, the heroine is Mercy Penhall, a young woman whose voice was lost after witnessing one of those horrific trials firsthand. I was immediately drawn to this woman, feeling the pain, frustration and fear that were a part of her daily life. I loved her overall calm demeanor that could quickly turn to fiery defense when those she cared about were threatened.
The hero is Edmund Gramercy, an unwilling pirate whose choice at one time was piracy or death. He was an interesting character and I would have liked to have had more glimpses into his mind as well as his background. I really liked him and wanted to know more. The story is told more from Mercy's POV with only a few forays into Edmund's.
The novel is very well-written, obviously well-researched and a beautiful romantic story. If you like action, adventure, sweet romance, and a history lesson that doesn't feel like homework, then this story is for you.(less)
In a nutshell: Lizzie Buckley sent a ranting email to the wrong person. It was supposed to go to her sister; instead, it went to her husband. Doesn't...moreIn a nutshell: Lizzie Buckley sent a ranting email to the wrong person. It was supposed to go to her sister; instead, it went to her husband. Doesn't really sound all that bad, does it? Unfortunately, the rant was about him. Finding herself suddenly alone with two small children and facing a divorce, she must come to grips with her own internal battle with postpartum depression. Easier said than done.
My opinion: Well, what can I say that hasn't been said already? Not much. This is a wonderfully written, nicely flowing tale of love with all the glories and pitfalls. Told entirely from Lizzie's third-person POV, the reader is a given a glimpse of life after children when the world should be bright and shiny but, as sometimes happens, is dreary and dull instead. I think Ms Chidley, although admitting that she has not experienced full-blown postpartum depression herself, has aptly captured the essence of this state of mind. She successfully conveyed Lizzie's feelings yet kept the tone light and humorous so as not to overwhelm the reader. There were times, however, where I found my eyes tearing up and times when I laughed out loud. It was a thoroughly enjoyable read.(less)
Synopsis: In an unusual twist on Arthurian-type legends, Merlin's Prophecy takes the reader on an adventurous journey, following a young Merlin on his...moreSynopsis: In an unusual twist on Arthurian-type legends, Merlin's Prophecy takes the reader on an adventurous journey, following a young Merlin on his quest to bring about the events that would shape ancient Britain and provide salvation for that war-torn land.
What I liked: Ooo, the historical detail was so breathtaking. I could visualize everything as it happened: Merlin's discovery as an infant, his ever-present hawk, bloody battles, drenching downpours, druidic practices, and the child prophet forced to grow into a man before his time, enduring heartache and strife no child should ever experience. Merlin's story was told in such a way that I was eager to learn more, learn about this "historical" figure as a child and discover just how pivotal a role he played in the eventual arrival of King Arthur. WARNING: This book made me cry more than once. Just FYI. I also loved the inclusion of a glossary of sorts, listing the people and places encountered in this adventurous tale. I'm thrilled this book is the first and we get to experience this world all over again just as soon as Ms Marie gets the sequel finished...hint, hint. :o)
What I didn't like: I hate this part of the review. I loved the book, the storyline, the characters. I already mentioned my anticipation for the sequel. However, there were times when I felt a little disappointed when learning about one character only to find myself suddenly following a different character when my curiosity with the first was not yet satisfied. This probably says more about my impatience as a reader than Ms Marie's abilities as an author...
Overall: 4.7 stars, definitely a keeper to be re-read and enjoyed. I recommend this book to fans of Arthurian legends and anyone who enjoys a good historical novel.(less)
Synopsis: Alicia Palmer must save her family from ruin by marrying and marrying well. Her choices, however, leave much to be desired. Enter Cole, Visc...moreSynopsis: Alicia Palmer must save her family from ruin by marrying and marrying well. Her choices, however, leave much to be desired. Enter Cole, Viscount Amesbury, a man with a deadly secret, a secret that could destroy the fragile trust growing between them. Meanwhile, someone is trying to kill off every member of her family.
My two cents: Oh my. I have a new favorite Regency author. I am blown away. Enough of that. Now for the reasons why...
Ms Hatch has a steady grasp of the period and a definite knack for characters, settings, and drama. There were so many times I didn't want to stop reading. Drat the responsibilities of adulthood! I was enchanted with the hero from the very first. All the characters were well-developed and likable--or unlikable, in the case of some. The plot was a rather common Regency theme (the young woman needing to marry to save her family from penury), yet done in such a way as to be entirely fresh and new.
And the twists. Wow. Just when I thought I knew who the killer was, I was proven wrong.
I loved how Ms Hatch refrained from including detailed love scenes and still managed to convey the emotions that ruled these characters. It was a thrilling, lovely, romantic adventure. I eagerly anticipate the next book in the series.