Imagine helping your mother clean up an old house that is part of the Historical Society’s inventory and finding a loose board that holds an old, old...moreImagine helping your mother clean up an old house that is part of the Historical Society’s inventory and finding a loose board that holds an old, old diary. Would you tell your mother and give it up or would you keep it and read it? Emily Grace (called Em) did what I would do: She kept it to read.
Ms. Norkus mixes Civil War history, time travel, slavery, and a modern girl all together in a story that I found fascinating. The more of the diary she reads, the more Em gets caught up in Sarah’s life. When she finds out Sarah’s husband dies at the hands of the military, she is devastated.
The author makes Em a young woman who has begun to fall away from God and her church. She doesn’t believe God is there. None of her prayers get answered. Reading about Sarah’s husband Robert dying makes her angry and she shouts at God, giving Him her whole list of grievances. Em is fifteen and I remember what puberty was like; I cried all the time. Em carries a lot of anger. What she didn’t expect was to be transported back in time. Apparently God does listen. Going back 150 years means things are quite different there. She finds Sarah and they take her in but she has no real plan to save Robert.
The author works with the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, so her information about the times and practices of the era are accurate. The only hesitation I had about the story was that Em changes history while she’s there. And, any change you make in history would affect the future, but the only thing that really changed in the future was the diary and a sign. I had a difficult time believing nothing else was affected.
Overall, this is a very nice read and young women readers should find it fascinating. There’s history, the beginning of romance for Em and it has a happy ending. It also might lead them to read more about the Civil War era. The Christianity is lightly stated and not overwhelming. Why not give it a try and see what you think?(less)
This is a tale of love, betrayal, dragons, and an impossible quest. It is set very loosely in the dark ages in Ireland and the seas to the northwest.
T...moreThis is a tale of love, betrayal, dragons, and an impossible quest. It is set very loosely in the dark ages in Ireland and the seas to the northwest.
The duke’s son-in-law is killed at the end of a ten year war, and the duke, in failing health, needs to secure the power for his grandsons. He therefore requires Kale mac Tadhg to break off his betrothal to his beloved Aoife and instead marry the slain prince’s widow, because Kale and his father are completely loyal to the duke. Before the marriage can take place, Kale is betrayed by the duke’s enemies, and as Kale attempts to save Aoife from abduction, he is captured and handed over to corsairs. He is taken aboard their ship to be sold as a slave in a distant port. However, the corsairs are attacked by draugr… and thus begins a tale fit for legends.
L. T. Getty demonstrates that she has researched both Irish and Norse cultures in the 1000’s and her novel accurately reflects these societies. She has woven a complex and intricate plot filled with interesting, well-defined, and well-rounded characters. She has described a heroic quest undertaken by a strong woman, the former betrothed Aoife. Along the way Aoife is aided by others in her attempt to find Kale and defeat the witch in the tower. Getty has fashioned a believable world filled with humans, gods and dragons. Her descriptions of sailing across uncharted waters towards Nordic colonies are harrowing and compelling.
Getty does an excellent job of shifting between Kale and Aoife after Kale is carried away. The shifts are natural and easy to follow so that the timeline of events is consistent and well presented. The novel is fast paced, and the pages just turn themselves. The ending of the novel is most satisfactory, and the story lines are tied up in a way that seems natural and believable.
I really enjoyed this novel, and I can certainly recommend it to any fans of historical fantasy. I hope to read more of Getty’s novels in the future as she is an excellent story teller and writer.
Looking for an entertaining historical read that’s not your typical? I recommend giving Alaina Claiborne a try.
I was ready to review this as soon as I...moreLooking for an entertaining historical read that’s not your typical? I recommend giving Alaina Claiborne a try.
I was ready to review this as soon as I saw the words “British Agent”. Admit it, that sounds very James Bond, doesn’t it? And, perhaps our hero, Tristan, doesn’t have all the 007 trappings, but he still makes a fine spy. Of course, he doesn’t count on falling in love with Alaina, and that changes everything. The good news is, she is the perfect match for him.
Ms. McClintock does a fine job creating interesting and memorable characters in this book. While the plot might be a bit predictable in spots, it’s still entertaining and in some cases will keep you on the edge of your seat. Too, I rolled my eyes a few times at some of Alaina’s choices, but I still very much enjoyed the read mainly because I was attached to the characters. Each was an individual and very well drawn, to the point I’d have recognized them if they walked down the street.
The romance is sweet and touches the heart. They are so genuinely fond of each other, and are friends first and that makes it memorable and different than the norm. I’d love to find my own Tristan (or even one of his friends … they were yummy and noble, too, and I’m guessing they’ll be featured in upcoming releases in this series, thankfully).
So if you like a sweet historical romance that doesn’t have all its scenes in ballrooms (or even in Europe), and if you like a bit of mystery with your courting, I recommend Alaina Claiborne.
The quiet, safe life Hedra St Neot has lived all her twenty-two years is not like the Cornish coast she moves to, where the ocean beats against the co...moreThe quiet, safe life Hedra St Neot has lived all her twenty-two years is not like the Cornish coast she moves to, where the ocean beats against the coast, storms come quickly, and caves for smugglers abound.
This is a good story to settle down with after a long day of stress. It takes the reader to another time and place and reveals a slice of life from the point of view of Hedra who is a naïve, but spunky young woman. She has a strong sense of right and wrong. Even though she comes from wealth and position, she relates to the needs and circumstances of the hardworking people of Mellin Cove. She is appalled at the way her villainous Uncle Edgar has treated them.
Hedra goes to live with her brother Kit who inherited Mellin Manor. She renews her acquaintance with Jem Pentreath the hardworking fishing boat owner and the son of a farmer. He sets her heart aflutter making her realize that the rich mine owner Edward Tremaine, who wants to marry her, is nothing more than a good friend. How she works out the dilemma of Jem seemingly not wanting her when she wants him and Edward wanting her and her not wanting him keeps the reader turning pages.
The secondary characters mainly set the stage for Hedra’s love story, while showing the living conditions, hopes and desires of the people in Hedra’s life.
Danger at Mellin Cove is a gentle story that is told in a way that made me feel as if I were seeing the action from a distance and not experiencing what was happening. The danger scenes and love scenes were not developed enough to rev up emotions for me. However, I did enjoy this book and had the feeling that all was right with the hero and heroine’s world at the end and that they had acted honorably in all their dealings. Hedra and Jem would make super good neighbors.
One of the things I enjoy most about Ms. Trissel’s writing is her amazing ability to transport readers directly into her...moreMs. Trissel has done it again!
One of the things I enjoy most about Ms. Trissel’s writing is her amazing ability to transport readers directly into her stories. Her mastery of descriptive language never ceases to amaze me. “Green-gold light streamed through the rippling leaves while high overhead a yellow warbler trilled sweet, sweet, sweet and the warmth of hay-scented fern wafted on the mild breeze.” After reading this first sentence, I already felt as if I were standing next to Kira in the woods. I could see, hear, and smell everything she did. Completely immersed in the story, I eagerly dove into the pages that followed.
Kira is certainly a spirited young woman. She wants to live her life on her own term, but that proves to be much more difficult than she ever imagined. Logan is the only man Kira has ever loved and she is determined not to marry anyone else. Kira goes to extreme measures to ensure that no one else wants to marry her. While her odd way of behaving has successfully kept unwanted suitors away, it has also ensured that people have a hard time believing her when she is actually telling the truth.
Kira’s brash behavior frequently gets her into some interesting situations. I couldn’t help but laugh the first time that Logan and Kira meet. Kira is alone in the woods when she sees someone coming toward her. Before Kira realizes who Logan is, she makes an ill fated attempt to hide that had me smiling and shaking my head.
Logan is the perfect man for Kira, but he is also deeply conflicted. Logan claims that he belongs with the Shawnee, but it is very clear that he still harbors strong feelings for his old home and community. I have a feeling that Logan and Kira are going to face a very tough decision concerning where they are going to make their home. Logan has found a new family among the Shawnee, but Kira desperately wants him to reclaim his family’s old homestead. Will they ever find a place where they both truly belong?
I have been a fan of Ms. Trissel’s work for years. Kira, Daughter of the Moon completely lived up to every one of my expectations. I highly recommend this wonderfully written tale to anyone who loves historical romance.
Never too Late by Chris Quinton I liked this book because it reminded me to live every day and to love every day. Stuart lost his love, and thought tha...moreNever too Late by Chris Quinton I liked this book because it reminded me to live every day and to love every day. Stuart lost his love, and thought that he was going to die. He was physically ill and heartbroken. Tom loves Stuart, but after Stuart’s second chance at love he is still not ready for a second chance at love. Age difference also plays a part in Stuart’s decision.
Chosen by Pelaam This is a nice dark Gothic tale. I actually wanted the Vampire Dragomir to get his love. When his love is not ready to embrace the life a vampire, he gets used as a pawn to destroy Dragomir. I really liked the Vampire world that Pelaam created, and I want to go back. Alexandru is innocent and young, which is the case for many vampire victims. However the attraction and love that Alexandru feels proves that he is not a victim at all. I liked the dark and frightening aspect of this story! I cannot wait for sequels, or a longer look into Pelaam’s imagination.
Smoke Break by Allison Cassatta What would you do if you saw an attractive man enjoying himself? I know what I would do! That is what Daryl does when he sees Charlie after their brief encounter. This is a hot, steamy, short and arousing story! You’ll need a cold shower after this one.
Watching for Love by Sara York This is a sexy look into Mac, a man who cannot stop watching the man he loves: Ryan. He is afraid to talk to him, so he uses voyeurism as his only release. Ryan is not afraid and finally decides to call Mac on his behavior. Ryan uses dominance to teach Mac a lesson, and the lesson he learns is that he loves Ryan even more than he thought. If you fantasize about voyeurism, and brief dominance, then you will love this story.
Far from Home by Serena Yates I think that two men who want to be left alone make the perfect match! When Luca gets rejected from his family for being gay he has no choice but to live alone. On his adventure he finds a wounded dog. The dog’s owner finds him just in time to accuse him of hurting the dog. After a trip to the Vet, and after Jonathan realizes that he was wrong in his assumption there is an apology. Along with Jonathan apologizing he offers Luca to spend the night. Luca falls for Jonathan’s plan, and a night turns into a lifetime of true love.
Lord Godiva’s Pony Training by S.A. Garcia Would you help your lover live out his fantasy? Matt’s lover does when he comes home early to catch Matt engaging in Pony Play. This older couple definitely loves each other enough to live out each other’s fantasies. Matt made a great story teller and was indeed funny. There were a few times I found myself laughing and smiling. I learned something, love a good fantasy and laughed all at the same time!
A Return to Normalcy by Anel Viz This is a story about a man that cares about everyone else but himself. He still eats dinner with his wife once a week while having a bipolar lover. This only confuses the family members more, especially his son. It is only after Patrick learns to take care of himself that the people in his life do as well. This leads to a happy coexistence for all of them. I liked the story and would not mind hearing more about the other characters.
Solitude Disrupted by Andy Slayde and Ali Wilde I didn’t know what to expect with 2 different authors. What I found was the touching story of how Heath opens up Quinn’s heart. Quinn is a shut in, and does not want to deal with anybody, especially not Heath. However as Heath uses his determination on Quinn a bond is made. They decide to let each other be and to live with each other. Before that truce can happen there is a lot of arguing and power plays, in and out of the bed. If I was stuck in Paradise with a hot man, I would find reasons to argue and make up too!
Leap of Faith by Lexi Ander A bachelor party gone wrong changes everything for Ben. It is only after he finds himself that he can let Dawson love him, like he thought his previous fiancé did.
Clean Monday by A.J. Llewellyn and D.J. Manly When you are at the end of your rope, and no one cares about you, what do you do? Aleczander decides there is nothing left for him. So he jumps off the Golden Gate Bridge. Only he survives, and discovers that people do care. Especially about him. He realizes that there are support groups. Then he finds Tommy. I believe in life. Death is never the answer and this book proves that point beautifully.
My Unintended by Faith Ashlin The grass is not always greener on the other side. This book to me was about sibling rivalry. Noah is living with Greg. However, when his parents change their will to leave their house to his sister with kids, he starts to think that he is missing something. It is only after he realizes that he is giving up more by leaving Greg does he learn what he truly wants.
Roadside Rescue by Nicole Dennis I would love to be rescued by a strange sexy man who invited me back to his house! Especially if he is a Deputy! He must have handcuffs! This story was fun to read and the ending of this one alone was worth buying this whole book!
Unmasked by Patricia Logan This story had everything, sexy men, BDSM, love and trust. Byron becomes Anthony’s slave, and he likes it. This story was written in a very steamy way! If you like reading about sex, than you will love this story.
Checkmate! By SammyJo Hunt I liked this story because I liked the idea of using chess as a sex game. I also enjoyed thinking about a hot lifeguard and how willing I would be to trap my king for my opponent. Chess is a mental game, and when the author mixed it with great sex scenes I was hooked.
Overall I am giving this book a 4 because I didn’t like that very few people accepted their gay loved ones. I thought that this would be a better book if a few of the stories started with happy beginnings, too.
Amelia had a real crush on Rising Wolf, but she knew it would never amount to anything. She was a half-breed and Rising Wolf was an important warrior...moreAmelia had a real crush on Rising Wolf, but she knew it would never amount to anything. She was a half-breed and Rising Wolf was an important warrior in his tribe. He’d undoubtedly marry a full-blooded Indian tribe member.
This author takes you for a walk back in history. The story is set in the time period when Native Americans were first being confined to reservations. Indians had their own ceremonies, their own land, and their own lifestyles. The Army was only interested in confining them and had no remorse in the way they abused the Indians and killed the warriors. All they wanted was to have them confined. And, once they did, they stole the meat the government sent to feed them and told them they couldn’t hunt their own food. This is a shameful piece of history that the author shows accurately. It doesn’t take long until you’re rooting for the Indians and hating the bad white men, too.
Amelia is amazed when Rising Wolf makes an offer for her. She lets him know she won’t live in marriage without love, and he tells her she need not worry about that. She knows he’s a big part of her life, but she doesn’t find out just how much she loves him until a bear attacks him and he almost drowns in the river. She’s deathly afraid of the river because her mother almost drowned in it long ago. There’s no hesitation on her part, though. She leaps in, fights the bear, and drags her husband out of the river. Unfortunately, he’s been injured very badly and no one knows if he will live…
Ms. Smith’s tale is factual and leads you down an ugly path in our history. She makes Amelia’s family and the Indian tribe feel alive and vital. Love is a strong power when shared. Her words flow well and make you feel like you’re living in that time era. This story is suitable for young adults as well as adults. History can be a good teacher if we listen.
The true bonds of friendship are tested in this explosive story with that left me speechless at times.
Boogie and Trapper where known all around town f...moreThe true bonds of friendship are tested in this explosive story with that left me speechless at times.
Boogie and Trapper where known all around town for their wild and crazy antics. I immediately recognized the special bond these two had, and could understand why neighbors couldn’t tell them apart even if they looked nothing alike. Reading this story made me reflect on my own childhood and bonds I shared with my peers. The flood of emotions this story brought back to me was exhilarating and one I will not forget for a while.
The conflict and plot buildup of this story was monumental. While the storyline was a bit slow to start, once it began to pick up I was mesmerized about what would happen next with these two heroic boys. With their quick wit and intelligence I knew they would figure out a way to get out of their predicament and I was just happy I could go along for the ride with them.
This story is based on an old man writing about his childhood, but it’s also a historical story. The author had a way of transporting me to that time period with their words making me feel as if I had a front row sheet of Boogie’s life. Since this story was based on the 1940′s for the most part some of the language was a bit difficult to understand since they spoke differently than what I am use to, but I was still able to follow along pretty easily. Another aspect of the language was the vulgarity and racial slangs. There were a few occasions when I had to remind myself that unfortunately that was the mindset and language used during this time period by both children and adults alike. While Boogie and Trapper may have only been kids in the story in that time period they were almost men in their day.
What first attracted me to this story was the time-period of the story. I have read other stories based in this time period that involved a lot of racial confrontation that was common during that time. I also knew that kids in that period tended to live wild and free which I enjoy. This story did not disappoint I can say that it was truly entertaining.
Ivy is so tired of her parents trying to match make for her. She doesn’t want to marry for money; she wants to marry for love. After all, her sister f...moreIvy is so tired of her parents trying to match make for her. She doesn’t want to marry for money; she wants to marry for love. After all, her sister found love and enjoys her marriage. She’d rather be an old maid than marry a man she can’t stand, especially not one three times her age!
The author does a nice job of setting this story in the Christmas season. She has created independent, stubborn characters who are determined to make their own choices and she throws them together by chance. I found it amusing to watch Ivy and Phillip blush when they meet and then accidently meet several more times while helping needy children have a special Christmas. The interaction between the two is sweet and they act more like young teens than adults.
While activities and festivities abound that both must attend, they find themselves thinking about their chance acquaintance. My favorite part of the story is the fact that Ivy doesn’t want to even meet the Duke of Greenbriar. Why should she, she’s already met the man she loves. It’s unfortunate that he’s a toymaker. On the hand, Phillip, the toymaker is actually now the Dean of Greenbriar because his Uncle died. Since he hasn’t admitted that to Ivy, he’s in a real pickle.
Watching the two characters dance around each and make mistakes in courtship is fun. Ivy even insinuates more has happened between them has. When he admits he is a Duke, things go downhill from there. The author does a very nice job with development of the relationship and demonstrates how easily it is to mess one up if you don’t communicate well.
Mr. Springsteen’s novel reads well and she adds a nice little surprise at the end of the story. You feel like you’re living in that time period, and you certainly care about the characters. I really enjoyed this read. Why don’t you grab a copy and see what you think?
One day, while horseback riding around their ranch, Cam and his young son, Eli stop for some water by a river. Cam discovers a note tied into a tumble...moreOne day, while horseback riding around their ranch, Cam and his young son, Eli stop for some water by a river. Cam discovers a note tied into a tumbleweed. The poignant scrap of paper speaks to his heart, full of longing, yearning and a quiet sort of desperation he understands all too well.
Sophie Flannigan’s job is keeping the local whorehourse spotless – though many believe she works there, Sophie has her pride and merely cleans. Terrified of her past and willing to do her best to outrun it, only her secret letters help ease the helplessness she feels almost every minute. When Cam and Sophie meet they can clearly help with what the other is lacking, and Eli makes his toddler views on the matter plain in a whimsical and lovely manner. Both Sophie and Cam are prisoners to their own pasts. Needing each other far more than they first thought, all too soon they’ll need to make some hard decisions, or live with regret for the rest of their lives.
I really enjoyed when Cam and Eli first meet Sophie in the store. It made me laugh and was a fantastically set scene, showcasing perfectly how the author has managed to blend humour, passion, real-life absurdities and mingled them all into a historical setting. The instant chemistry between Cam and Sophie was lovely – and racy for a Western novel – but it still managed to click together perfectly for me. Despite the amazing attraction and the clarity of how a marriage of convenience would work for both Sophie and Cam I felt that part of the story was a little rushed. The explanation Cam gives Sophie as to why it’s so fast is logical, but as a reader I still would have preferred even just a few scenes with them getting to know each other before getting married. I’d have enjoyed a bit more time between them in this initial stage – maybe even something funny like their first meeting – and think it could have gotten rid of the rushed feel.
The author does an amazing job of filling the story with all the romance, loneliness and history of the Old West. There were a number of plots interwoven and the storyline felt full, gratifying and dense enough I became really engaged in the book as a whole. I read this slowly, relishing each page and thoroughly enjoying the characters and world the author has created. Many of the images painted were wonderful and took my breath away. I really felt that taste of dust on my tongue, and felt the hardships faced by the characters. With complex, three dimensional characters, a solid plot and vibrant setting this is a lovely book and one I’d strongly recommend.
This is actually the first book that I have read by Gem Sivad and I can tell you now that it will not be the last. Gem Sivad is a wonderful storytelle...more This is actually the first book that I have read by Gem Sivad and I can tell you now that it will not be the last. Gem Sivad is a wonderful storyteller who can make a historical western come to life with combustible erotic romance.
Wolf’s Tender is the first book in the “Eclipse Heat” series.
Half Kiowa, Charlie Wolf McCallister is a rough and tough bounty hunter who works with his two cousins. The prejudice of the era follows him continually as many during this time cannot accept a half Indian as a member of society. This has colored Charlie’s world making him seem ruthless and dangerous.
Naomi Parker oversees a girl-school that has been attacked by outlaws who have just run off with the girls. Naomi was spared being kidnapped also only because she hid during the invasion of the school. Loaded with guilt for hiding as well as many insecurities from the hard-knocks of life, Naomi is determined to find someone to help her rescue the girls.
When Naomi Parker sees Charlie Wolf McCallister she knows that he is the man to help her. Without money to pay, she ends up offering herself in exchange for his services. Charlie was already planning on going after the outlaws who took the girls but he cannot resist taking Naomi up on her sexy offer. Soon these two scarred and lonely hearts discover that it is each other that makes them strong.
I fell in love with this story and the written characters in it. It was a well choreographed love story that offered intrigue, romance and even pulled at the heart-strings. I found myself lured into the world that Gem Sivad has created, and I was so enthralled that I found it difficult to put this book down once I started reading it.
We have the hunky, tall, dark and handsome bounty hunter who is strong, protective, yet dangerous. And then we have the heroine who is scarred from life’s viscous attacks yet she comes back fighting. Two people completely different, searching for acceptance in the chaos of life; these main characters faced many challenges which showed their true strengths. Charlie and Naomi were passionate and sensual, yet vulnerable and humorous. I really enjoyed these two characters and found myself constantly pulling for their “happily-ever-after”.
As with all Ellora’s Cave books I found this story to be extremely heated as it sizzled with sensual content that made this reader want to continually fan herself.
The side characters were charmingly interesting and splendidly illustrated. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series as I am excited to see what unfolds in the remaining bounty hunter’s lives. There are a number of plot twist in this story adding mystery and thrills.
I did feel that some of the side stories were a bit rushed and needed further exploring, and perhaps a few too many details were added at times that distracted from the mail focus. This however did not make the story any less exciting, as I found myself continually anticipating the next page. This story had a good flow to it that made this reader enjoy it’s banters and quirks.
If you find yourself wanting a hot tale that shows the true historical western attitudes and
The Sweetest Dark had a little bit of everything, romance, a gothic setting, a mystery, a lot of paranormal elements. I enjoyed Ms. Abe’s writing styl...moreThe Sweetest Dark had a little bit of everything, romance, a gothic setting, a mystery, a lot of paranormal elements. I enjoyed Ms. Abe’s writing style which is rich and layered. The main character, Lora was interesting and I found myself reading on to learn more about her. Some of the chapters in between the main ones threw me off a little at first but then as I read on they became clearer to the overall plot.
The book does have some historical inaccuracies about what happened during first half of World War 1 when the book is set, for example nightly bombing, children being evacuated, and the mention of Land Girls but if you can overlook these it’s a fun read with an almost creepy setting. And true to the gothic sub-genre, characters who you’re not quite sure if they can be trusted or not.
I really enjoyed seeing Lora and Jesse’s relationship unfold and I found myself wanting these two to be together. I think girls will probably enjoy this book more than boys and, while it’s a long read, the pacing is such that even younger girls shouldn’t have a problem. If you enjoy a slice of romance, mystery, especially gothics, with lots of supernatural elements, this would be a good pick.
He’s a recovering alcoholic who has been taken in by the Amish. He’s not Amish, but he appreciates what they have done for him and he’s adjusting to a slower life on the farm. She’s an Amish widow and still feels the loss of her husband. She also has a very over-bearing father-in-law.
I enjoy reading books about those who choose to live a simpler life and follow their own religions. One of their concepts about protecting against jealousy or envy is to wear the same color and style of clothing. That’s something the Catholic school required when I was growing up. We all wore the same uniforms. I always thought it was boring, but it stops those with more or less money from standing out in the crowd, as well as dressing fancier for flirting.
The authors have done a good job of representing the Amish community and lifestyle and how everyone takes care of each other. They also make this a story that shows there can be conflict even within an Amish community. That made it very interesting to read for me, along with the cattle baron trying to take over a ranch and Jesse trying to stop that. What I most appreciated most was that the authors had their characters stay true to the Amish way; they didn’t take the easy way out.
I found it entertaining with a good plot and a nice word flow. Almost every character in this book changes in some way and it was fun to watch them develop new strength and survive the crisis in their life. If you like Amish stories, this one is better than average. You should give a try.(less)
If ever a blurb was misleading then the little snippet for A Wedding in Springtime is totally off base. This story isn’t all fluff and boring internal angst between the classes and a man overcome by a lady’s charms. Not by a long shot. This book has intrigue, action, mystery, betrayal, twisted intentions, and a love scene that was totally not what a person expected. This tale started off so innocently and slowly built with starts and stops, but that was only a ploy to lull a reader into thinking that this was going to be an historical romance like all the rest. Ms. Forester wove a tale that embraced humor, women with spunk and men who are unwittingly at their mercy. In short, it was a blast to read.
This novel is also busy with a lot of story threads that work through the main story arc and which involves many secondary characters. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that there were more than just Genie and William on center stage. Some of the supporting cast were just as integral and strong in presence as if they too were the focus of the story. It is because their lives are so intertwined that it’s hard to think of only the hero and heroine. Even with stating this, the author should be commended for her strength of writing. Every time someone else was on stage, it benefited the plot movement that swirled around William, a/k/a Grant, and Genie. Everything they did and said had a domino effect that propelled the main protagonists to discover important things about each other, to make certain choices that ultimately lead them to a romance reader’s ultimate goal – the happily ever after. To that end, the author was wildly successful if unconventional.
Eugenia a/k/a Genie starts off in a pickle. The man who sealed her doom eventually becomes her salvation. Before that can happen, however, I was treated to a young woman who has an adventure beyond anything she could have imagined. She is faced with difficult choices, some fun, some heartfelt, and others that showcased what a wonderful, caring and ingenious woman she could be. There was one scene that made me think of her as a cross between Mary Poppins and Dirty Harry – sweet but don’t mess with her or she’s going to make you pay. I didn’t expect that and didn’t know she had it in her. It was awesome.
Grant was a typical rogue and confirmed bachelor. Many an historical romance features a man filled with ennui and it takes an ‘original’ to bring him to life and lust to the point he rethinks his aversion to marriage. Fans of Regency romances will find that is true for the hero in this book as well. Unlike other rogues, he’s not a bad sort at all. In fact, Grant is charming, suave, happy-go-lucky and in his estimation, delightfully clueless about things regarding estates. It’s said that a good woman makes a good man better. That is how I saw the hero. He was good but everything that transpired during the course of this tale made him grow as a person, a man and a son. If asked, I’d say the most dramatic element of the book was seeing Grant go from frivolous male to an aware, decisive and proactive man, willing to do what needs to be done to do the right thing. His inspiration was Genie and his proposal was as original and spectacular as could be. He was a terrific hero.
As for secondary characters, this book was flush. I enjoyed getting to meet every single one, everyone that is, except the villain. I suspected who the cur was but I never anticipated the nasty nature that the bounder hid. In fact, I strongly and completely suspect that all is not wrapped up in a neat and tidy bow. There was someone else I didn’t trust and I was taken aback when it didn’t turn out the way I thought it should. I could have sworn that he was in collusion but I am supposedly proved wrong. I’m going with my gut feeling. You see, the Duke of Marchford and Penelope, the companion to the dowager duchess, have this buzz thing zinging between them. They don’t recognize what’s going on but as a fan of all things romantic, I believe I saw a sequel starting to bloom and when Ms. Forester does write James’ story, which I implore her to do, I fully expect to have my suspicions confirmed. To that end, I firmly and loudly state that Ms. Forester’s next book is going to be an auto-buy for me. The people she has introduced me to during the telling of this tale have completely enchanted me. I also want to know what becomes of the quick-fingered Jem.
A Wedding in Springtime is simply delightful with storytelling filled with charm, heart and a good dose of addictive fun. I never knew what kind of ploy Genie would come up with, when the next twist of the plot would occur or what would make Grant swallow that lump in his throat and get around to proposing. The external conflict kept the pages turning and the well rounded characters kept me engaged. This might have been the first book written by Ms. Forester that I’ve read, but it won’t be the last. I liked her writing style and if this is what I can expect, I expect to be a happy reader. I encourage other readers to give this book a whirl and discover what made me like Genie and Grant so much.(less)
If you’re looking for a story that will engage both your heart and your mind, Reconstructing Jackson may be just what you need. Both edifying and touching, the story Ms. Bush has created is wholly satisfying.
Reed Jackson may not have started out as the most sympathetic of men. He’s angry at the loss of his leg, and at having to start his life over. He’d expected to run his family’s plantation, marry a lovely Southern belle and live life as he always had. But the loss of his leg changed everything. His father changed the will, giving the estate to his younger brother, as well as his fiancee. His mother (a truly lovely woman) encouraged Reed to move west and start a new life with a cousin, Henry.
Belle Richards is as far from a Southern belle as once could imagine. Dirt poor, horribly abused by her family, and determined to learn how to read and create a better life for herself, she ends up in a whole pile of trouble. You see, she’s learning to read from a “darkie” — a former slave — so it’s double the sin. And her brother makes sure to share his opinion of her desires with his fists.
Reconstructing Jackson might not have been the light-hearted romance I typically choose, but I’m really glad I had a chance to experience this book. I honestly don’t know that much about the Reconstruction following the Civil War, so this was an eye-opening reminder that things were incredibly difficult for nearly everyone. Ms. Bush tosses a little of everything in: a confederate, a few former slaves, rich folks, poor folks, working folks and so on. We see things from many points-of-view (not technically — the book is only told from the hero and heroine’s POV) and I admit to struggling to understand some of them. It’s hard to walk in the shoes of folks who have such closed minds, like Reed’s father or Belle’s brother Jed.
So, though this book may not be the fastest paced story, it’s exceptionally well written with a good, steady pace, interesting plot and well-constructed characters. I was so involved with some of them, my heart broke in a few places. Ms. Bush didn’t pussyfoot around about how things were back then, and it wasn’t always pleasant.
If you’re looking for a solidly written American historical romance, this is one I happily recommend to fans of the genre.(less)
A Fistful of Dreams is the fourth book in Heather Long’s western paranormal series, and takes up right where the last one ended. I loved the first three books in this series, and I went into this book expecting to love it and I can say that I did. I was very enraptured with the characters and the storyline. I couldn’t put this book down.
Delilah Rinaldi is a woman who’s suffered and is afraid to love. Watching Delilah come to the realization that not everyone is out to use her, and to grow into a woman that is free to love was beautiful. I felt every single emotion she felt, and how the circumstances around her shaped her.
Buck Morningstar is a man who wants to teach her that love is nothing to be afraid of. Buck was so patient, kind and steady. He was always helping others. He’s the kind of man that I would easily fall in love with, and seeing him love Delilah just made him more desirable.
The cast of secondary characters and past characters from the previous books are back, and they add to the story. The interaction between families is integral to this story. It’s obvious that family is so very important to the characters and that’s something I can relate to. I fell in love with older characters even more just from the way they treated their family.
This a sweet, sensual historical romance with a paranormal twist that is best read as part of the series. There are so many twists, and moments where I screamed and other moments when I felt like weeping. In my opinion, that’s a mark of a great book and an excellent writer, the very fact that I was so invested in the story and the characters that I felt real emotions. I was emotionally drained by the time I put this book down. I’m aching for the next book and I don’t know how I’m going to wait patiently for it.
I highly recommend this book for historical, western, and paranormal romance fans alike. This is a love story that I think transcends genres, and this series is a must read.(less)
Will Carver is a beast of a man who knows about loyalty, who is unimaginably strong (perhaps because of that ‘beast side’) but whose heart is long since lost to lovely, treacherous Lena.
And clever, seductive though Lena is, she too might well be a victim: living in this alternate White Chapel District, one seems almost slated to be some kind of victim, either ‘thrall’ to a protector…or simply a blood supply.
The dark aura that McMaster creates permeates this work from start to finish. It is a combination of exquisite descriptions and delicious suspense along with small descriptors. You will imagine the pea-soup fog under the gaslights, feel the eerie cold rise off the cobblestones. My only complaint: some specific description bore a strong similarity to her earlier Kiss of Steel.
Heart of Iron takes us into an alternate world/history in nineteenth century London. Society is a far different realm than we might expect – unless we are already fans of Vampire-dom. Even then, few could imagine the realm McMaster here creates; where blue bloods feed on lesser classes, but the victims themselves can be dangerous.
It’s easy to say that this will certainly appeal to fans of the genre, however, I rather suspect that this will rate high on the list of anyone who enjoys a hot romance! Steampunk fans will also adore.(less)
Vivian’s innocent compassion set her up as an object of gossip and possible ruin before she was really old enough to realize she had done something that Regency rules deemed taboo. She tells herself she will act just the way she should and not cause her brother anymore grief, but her delightful, high-spirited ways keep her life teetering on the edge of social disaster most of the time.
She was only a child when she was betrothed, but is determined to be the perfect lady when her intended, the duke, comes. The threat of the village gossip, Mrs. Honeywell and her brother’s threat of sending her to a nunnery loom, but her curiosity and exuberance for life keep her in trouble most of the time.
Lucas (Luke) Forest, the Twelfth Duke of Foxhaven, does not want the responsibilities of a duke nor does he want the young woman his father betrothed him to years ago. However, her brother insists the agreement be honored. He writes that his nineteen-year-old sister is obedient, docile and domesticated. Luke gets a jolt when he learns his affianced swims like a water sprite in only her chemise, rides horseback astride, skips stones on water, shots a pistol quite well, is inclined to act before she thinks, and freely expresses opinions that seem to “sprout up like dandelions”.
Luke’s near-fatal accident in his youth changed his world. He is shamed by some of his disabilities but knows he should not have dumped ducal responsibilities on his brother Richard like he did. How he sets things to right after he takes Vivian to his mother’s house party at Irvine Castle reveals much about his character. Even more revealing is his emotional struggle when his plan to help Vivian find a husband so he will not have to marry her. This proves to be an insurmountable problem for him—nobody is good enough for her.
As the secondary characters grow in number so do Vivian’s problems. What she wants with all her heart is Luke but her compassion makes her consider the shame she would bring to his family should her ‘indiscretion’ ever come to light.
Samanatha Grace keeps the reader turning pages as she creates near-disasters with Vivian’s actions. She adds to the tension with characters like Mr. Collier that is a villain of the first order. Also, Johanna Truax, a cousin of Luke’s mother, adds an undercurrent of treachery that makes the reader want to shout ‘watch out’ to Luke and Vivian.
Ms. Grace uses an uncomplicated plot and slips in the sense of love in Luke’s family that is unconditional along with side stories about Luke’s brother Andrew and his adorable family; of Vivian’s Cousin Patrice and Vicar Ramsey; her brother Ash and his harridan of a wife Muriel. She also works in tidbits of Vivian and Luke’s past. Best of all she lets the reader share poignant moments, humorous moments, scary moments, and breathtaking lovemaking moments with Vivian and Luke.
Lady Vivian Defies a Duke has just the right ingredients blended together to give a marvelous vicarious experience that makes the reader gives a happy sigh that love wins again. Most enjoyable reading!
It was not love…it was lust…fueled by too much champagne.
Obsession is a fitting title that expresses obsession from two characters in the book. One is a vampire tale of passion. The second is a tale of a lovers revenge. Lucien St. Clair, a mysterious blue eyed, blond mane of thick hair, lacked feelings of stimulation and sensation for over 300 years, that is until songstress Blanche Paradis becomes the object of his desire. Blanche refuses Lucien’s advances being that she is committed to her involvement with Bart Donovan. One night this commitment is tested. Bart is away on business and isn’t able to attend Blanche’s performance, but her admirer Lucien is there and feeling confident that tonight will be the night that Blanche will choose him.
While on stage in song Blanche finds herself caught in Lucien’s avid gaze and feels her heated desires rise. Something about Lucien’s persistence and obvious desire flatters and arouse Blanche’s curiosity. The events that night leave Blanche satisfied but full of guilt and shame. When Bart returns she begs for his forgiveness after she confesses to him her discretion. As with all love triangles they can get complicated and when dealing with a vampire someone is likely to get bit. Lucien isn’t one to give up and makes Blanche “like him” in hopes that she will come to him willingly. This obsession that Lucien has for his Cherie (Blanche) fuels and starts the obsession for Blanche to seek solace in the vengeance she has for Lucien.
I am not sure if the author is playing a cruel joke, but I found myself cheering for Lucien to win Blanche’s heart over. I felt the passion and the attraction and was pushing Blanche on to do the same. I feel in love with Lucien’s distinctive qualities and his swag. The passion between the two was so real and so much more than what she shared with Bart. What really made me enjoy this novella is the 1850 setting in New Orleans, the strong attraction and desire that Lucien has for Blanche but he wasn’t over barring in his confidence to where he was conceded and a turn off. I enjoyed the thrill of Blanche being torn between Bart and Lucien. Her fighting the passion and lust that was obviously there. I think the author did a great job in incorporating a few French lines which really added to the context.
I would highly recommend reading Obsession by Paige Bennett. It’s a short magnifque read of one man’s desire and passion for a woman who is already spoken for.(less)
Two strangers converse in the dark as they retreat from the “Ballroom Battlefield” for a respite. They kiss for luck. His kiss speaks of kindness, hers of wonder and courage. Nicolas Haddonfield, Viscount Reston and Leah Lindsey connect as fellow sufferers. He deems her a damsel in distress and sets in motion actions to ease her seemingly hopeless plight. Thus begins an ardently giving, loving love story that is brimming over with lifelike characters. Nicholas is a Regency romance lover’s dream come true.
Nicholas, a gorgeous, gentle giant of a man has been no better than he had to be as he sowed his wild oats, but now feels duty bound to put his “wild and free” years behind him and marry as his ailing father wishes. He loves the ladies and is whispered about as “the berserker of the bedrooms”. He deals amiably with his public image, but his private person is another story all together—intriguing and compelling. Unknowingly, he operates from a false premise, but with the best of intentions as he seeks a wife for a “white marriage”. My goodness, what a tangled web he gets himself into with Leah somehow getting tangled in the same web. This makes for amazing reading.
Leah is a “staked goat” in London’s Polite Society marriage market as she is long past her prime. Even though her brothers, Darius and Trenton, help her as much as they can, her cruel father is determined to make a profit off her marriage and is in negotiations with an odious, diseased old man who has had several wives, all of them now dead. Leah’s has suffered much from her father all ready and knows she will lose all hope and what little self worth she has if she has to marry the old man; but she is penniless and defenseless—at the mercy of her merciless father.
The captivating secondary characters, some of whom the reader will recognize from Darius and the fabulous Moreland Series, influence the main characters and support while giving the reader insight into the ‘doings’ of the times. Valentine Windham’s music speaks to Nicholas as he struggles to do the ‘right’ thing and keep a balance in his life. Valentine’s declaration that “it would destroy you not to marry for love” sets Nicholas on edge. Nicholas’ grandmother, Della, Dowager Marchioness, loves him dearly but is not above manipulation and machinations to nudge her grandson in the direction she sees his true happiness lays. She is a darling who does much to reconnect Nicolas with his family and especially with Ethan, his half-brother, that has a unique place his Nicholas’ heart. Leonie is a mystery that unfolds as the story progresses. She and Leah’s little half-brother add a new layer of love to the story.
Grace Burrowes exquisite writing style with its subtle humor (I love the scrappy little duck in the park) and revealing metaphors brings vibrant characters into a compelling plot with many subplots to create a love story that is breathtaking and heartwarming. Much of the story is told from Nicholas’ point of view and reveals an awesome giving love from both the hero and heroine. Nicholas is chocked full of special spots of love and actions that give the reader a vicarious experience long to be remembered. Nicholas is a keeper to be enjoyed more than once.(less)
Hotties and Hawaii . . . really, what more do we need for a stellar romance? Well, a good plot helps. Fortunately, Ms. Cade supplied that, also.
Burning Up the Rain is part of the “Hawaiian Heroes” series, so readers get to visit the Ho’omalu family again. This time, a cousin and a family friend experience the romantic magic and chaos that seem to surround the members of this family. Added to the steamy interactions, a potential marriage, familial expectations, a drinking problem and that pesky drug family all rear their head. Oh yeah. . . Pele makes an appearance, too!
This time, the Ho’omalu in question is Lalei. A cousin of the Ho’omalu’s met in previous stories, she is expected to marry a gentleman her mother feels is suitably wealthy enough to take care of both of them. Lalei is not happy about this, nor is she sure how to get out of the situation. This leads to many twists and turns that keep the reader guessing as to what is going to happen next.
Enter Jack, alcoholic best friend and Californian high-end realtor. He also happens to have a thing for Lalei. As if that wasn’t enough conflict, the Helman drug family appears to be harassing the Ho’omalu’s from beyond the grave.
As with past stories, there are plot twists and tangents, plenty of hot, steamy-hot sex, and personal struggle. There is also the possibility of the family’s relationship with Pele, the protector of Hawaii, to show itself and their unique powers. While these facts, at times, make for difficult reading (one might have to re-read passages from time to time), it leads to a well-written conclusion and thoroughly satisfying end to the book.
Speaking of the end of the book. . . while I am going to claim “spoiler alert”, I don’t think I’m giving away too much by saying a few key things that might tempt the reader to pick this book up now instead of placing it into their “to be read” pile. First off, visits with Pele are not uncommon in the family, but not necessarily with family friends. Secondly, there is nothing like a courtroom drama to give the possibility of your jaw dropping and an inability to stop reading (both of which occurred with this reviewer!)
I’d like to make note of the author’s use of the Hawaiian language throughout the book. It is, in all instances noted by the reviewer, followed by an English explanation.
Despite being a bit more confusing and full of personal angst and torment than previous interactions with this family, the story is well worth reading. The sex is definitely on par with past books, and the evil just as present. All-in-all, I would recommend grabbing this one now and start reading it immediately.
Ten-year-old Nikki Landry lives in the same home she was born in, but she has moved several times each and every year of her life. She lives with her mother, father, and younger brother on a houseboat, and her father relocates them frequently as he searches for the best crabbing spots. Nikki hates moving. She no sooner starts making friends when she is uprooted once again. The latest move to a really mysterious bayou takes her from her best friend, Lydia, and forces her to start over yet again in a new school. If that weren’t enough, Nikki thinks she is being watched by something on a nearby island.
Rita Monette has spun a wonderful mystery based on the life of the Cajun people in Louisiana during the mid-1950’s. The reader is immediately drawn into life along the Bayou. The characters are believable, and the hardships of life aboard an old houseboat, where the family is living in poverty and the father is doing his best to keep things together, is portrayed with sensitivity and compassion. Monette details clearly Nikki’s trials as she tries yet again to adjust to a new school, make friends, and avoid a bully. Nikki’s bond to her beagle, Snooper, is shown as a vital element in Nikki’s life, providing companionship and stability through all the family’s moves. So when Snooper goes missing and there is a legend of someone on the nearby island stealing dog’s souls, the reader is right there, following Nikki into danger as she hunts for Snooper and tries to solve the mystery of the island with the strange howling sounds.
I really enjoyed this book and I think Monette has done an excellent job of capturing a time and place now gone. The issue of language, for instance, is shown as Nikki wants to learn Cajun French after hearing her father and others speaking it. This novel is set during the time when it was illegal to speak French in public. The laws changed in 1961, but for Nikki, learning French was like a forbidden fruit.
Monette also describes in mouth-watering detail the food that was common for the Cajun community. She uses a number of words common to this part of Louisiana as well, and she provides a brief glossary at the beginning of the novel defining the terms. I found that this technique of using a glossary first, but then letting the words flow naturally in the novel, was most effective. Monette’s own drawings scattered throughout the novel are most effective in showing Nikki’s world. I really think that Monette’s readers will find it easy to learn about the Cajun people as they read a suspenseful story with plenty of action. The ending ties things up a bit too neatly, but it is satisfying to have everyone sorted satisfactorily.
I think that this novel would be a fun read for anyone from middle-school upwards. It is a very good story in its own right. In addition, I could really see this being used in a classroom with the possibilities for many teaching moments.(less)
Originally posted at: http://www.longandshortreviews.com/bo... Ruined. Sarah Vere is the victim of early nineteenth century society – and events that s...moreOriginally posted at: http://www.longandshortreviews.com/bo... Ruined. Sarah Vere is the victim of early nineteenth century society – and events that she never expected. She does her best to face down the rumors, and the delighted horror of society. To be abandoned by that same society might be a relief.
But she’s abandoned by more than society: her best friend is forbidden to speak to her …and Claire, who might have been wonderful and supportive, suddenly looks on her with society’s eyes.
Abandoned by those around her (can we afford to associate with a house of questionable morals?) rejected by all that matter, Sarah is, quite suddenly, invited by those who don’t… don’t behave that is: the legendary demi-monde. Her reaction is simply to hide.
This is an absolutely emotionally gripping tale; readers find themselves on Sarah’s side from the first, wanting to fight back. Oh there’s cousin Hatty, who wants to be brave … there’s Mama, undoubtedly right, but hardly a help…
We hope for a friend to step forward, some escape to appear, anything. Sarah is no coward, but life is difficult. Sarah escapes the world via thunderous gallops on her wonderful filly. It will bring her under the eyes of someone she could not have expected…
And it seems a friend may indeed introduce her to a different part of society, and a very different sort of man. I don’t want to spoil it, so will say no more on plot, however, cast and characters are wonderful here, conversations lively, emotions amazing. I didn’t care for the abrupt change in point of view, however, we moved fluidly forward, so it is a small point in such a wonderful story. Do read.(less)
The unnamed narrator of this book certainly has his hands full! It’s difficult enough to travel on horseback over rough roads with a stranger when you’re not worried about her safety. He comes across as a man with little to no experience communicating with members of the opposite sex who come from his social class much less a noblewoman. I imagine that he’d much rather protect someone who doesn’t have such strong opinions about life.
Lady Daphne’s astute description of her impending arranged marriage made me instantly like her. She is understandably wary of marrying a stranger based on what he’s told her about his life in a letter before but is determined to give it her best shot. At times I wished I could view certain scenes from her point of view as she was such an intriguing character.As interesting as the narrator was I actually found myself spending more time wondering about Lady Daphne’s thoughts.
The metaphors were also quite memorable. The most vivid example of the care Mr. White took in painting unforgettable scenes involved a ship called The Alexander violently crashing into a dock in one of the first scenes. I shuddered in sympathy as he described the hull being torn apart by the terrible collision as if it was a living entity.
Despite clocking in at 20 pages Shades of Blue feels like a full length novel. I finished it wishing there could be more to this tale and hoping that Mr. White gives readers another opportunity to get to know these characters better in the future.
Shades of Blue is the perfect choice for anyone who loves surprises. I had a tentative theory about what might happen to Lady Daphne and the narrator early on but learning the truth was as entertaining as revising my predictions along the way!
I love this wonderfully unique series that is quickly making Anna Randol one of my favorite Regency romance authors. The series is about the trials and tribulations of three infamous spies who are now retired and embarking on their new lives and finding love along the way. Each book is a thrill packed adventure for these three very unique leads. I was privileged to review the first book , Sins of a Virgin , and was impressed with the Ms. Randol’s writing style as well as her vibrant characters and clever dialogue. Sins of a Ruthless Rogue is Cipher’s story and this time the author takes the readers on an exciting journey to St. Petersburg, Russia.
Clayton Campbell is exactly what his country made of him. A ruthless man who will destroy anyone that gets in his way. Years ago, he was condemned as a traitor and sentenced to hang for another persons crime. Now he’s back and out for revenge against those who betrayed him. As a young girl , Olivia betrayed the boy she loved. By the sin of omission she let him be blamed for her own father’s crime. Just as Clayton is set to destroy all that she loves Olivia is mistaken for a spy and kidnapped by political zealots. Even though Clayton is angry at Olivia he wastes no time in racing to her rescue her from danger.
I liked the characters even more in this second book.The intriguing Clayton was dark and dangerous… the perfect hero. Olivia was a spunky heroine who owned her mistakes and tried to make up for them. This story was more action packed than the first one and seemed to move at a super fast pace. Readers who are paying extra attention may catch a glimpse of whats to come in the third and final book of this series. At least I hope so because I’m breathlessly awaiting the enigmatic Ian’s story. I’ll give this book four stars and gladly recommend it to anyone looking for a historical romance filled with suspense and intrigue.(less)
With the threat of a secluded life surrounded by others of her kind hanging over her head, Honoria must find a way to fulfill her greatest desires before her father’s dying request is fulfilled. With only five days to find her dreams of passion and romance, Honoria enlists the help of her tutor, Jude, to help her win the object of her desire – Esau. But will her crazy adventure end when her ship sails? Or will the strong-willed Honoria defeat her disability and continue on her own way?
Honoria is an oddity in her time. Deaf from infancy, she’s considered deaf, dumb, and unimportant. However, like so many other misunderstood and underestimated women of her time, she sees and knows more than anyone expects. Her character is inspiring in the way that she refuses to let her deafness – or her femaleness – be a barrier to getting what she wants. The only issue I did have with her is that she had a tendency to be a bit of a spoiled brat when she didn’t get her way, but not overwhelmingly so.
Esau is Honoria’s opposite in every way. She’s cultured, educated, and refined and he’s… not. A coarse, rough dockworker, he’s astounded and a bit offended by Honoria’s proposition. But, like a true man of his station, one that knows he had better take the opportunities when they present themselves, he quickly gets past his uneasiness and agrees to help the lady out. I really enjoyed Esau’s character. The author really infused him with life and character. It’d be easy to just write him in as an uneducated laborer, but he’s so much more.
As Honoria’s teacher, translator, and friend, Jude is the real wildcard in the story. While Honoria sees him as her right hand man, he looks at her much differently. He impressed me with the way he swallowed his pride, for the most part, and helped her achieve her goals before being shipped off to a life of boredom. His love for her is strong enough that he both cautions her and helps her, even when he knows she’s being stubborn. He’s the steady and reliable one, but he has a hidden rebel within him as well.
Silent Surrender is an erotic novel of self-discovery. Honoria surprised me at every turn. Her dedication to getting to experience life despite what all the men in the world thought was inspirational considering the time period she lived in. She, combined with her two protectors, Esau and Jude, are a wild combination of sexy, fun, and so not meant to be, but somehow they work. Perfectly. Sexy, engaging, and so different from anything I’ve ever read, I had a hard time putting it down.
Set in Kentucky in the late nineteenth century, A Forbidden Union is sweetly endearing and inspirational. Full of faith and hope from the start, this short gem of a story takes us on a journey nonetheless. Anna , a young woman on the prairie, feels no contentment. She has a nice home, is part of a devotional community of Shakers, and has specific duties –even friends – but in her heart, yearns for something more. And the yearning brings her guilt: She is a gentle-hearted character that is so easy to sympathize with. Any reader can understand her perspective. Her doubts might be considered universal.
We as readers hope that things will change, even as we suspect those changes will cause Anna, herself, to change – and challenge her faith. James confronts Anna with a challenge – a heart-wrenching challenge, and we readers know what we’ll hope for, but with such regret! The well-constructed characters kept me turning pages to see what would happen.
The Forbidden Union has some nice surprises. This heartwarming tale is gentle and thoughtful and lovely. Do read.(less)
This truly spectacular book features a dynamic plot line with a multitude of twists and turns that kept me reading into the wee hours of the knight.
Polyxena and Arsenio’s (the Lorengar-Lorraine) were never honored enough to meet one another, but that did not change the fact that they were forced into an arranged marriage which began with scandal that never seemed to end. Polyxena never got to meet her late husband, but her determination to honor the man he was, as well as herself, is noble and made me take a instant liking to her. I really enjoyed that she immediately considers the people of Lorengar-Lorraine her people, even if they do not know or trust their new Duchess. While the people of Lorengar-Lorraine may hold her attention, the mysterious knight Duccio somehow takes grip of her heart, even if it leaves both of them extremely vulnerable to their enemies.
The romantic development definitely plays second fiddle to the external conflict within this story, which pleased me. I found the conflict between the Duke Ludwig of Saxe-Hanover and Polyxena and her deceased husband completely enthralling. The action and tension is immediately and increases beautifully until the final climax. I typically do not favor this time period, or know much about it, but found this book entertaining. If you enjoy a unique and dynamic plot line, you’ll undoubtedly want to read this story over and over again.
The author did a great job depicting the time period without losing her audience. I have read some historical fiction stories that are to0 modern to believe, and others that are to historical to understand and this story is neither. While the history or stories about the knights templar do play a role in the story you do not need to be familiar with them to understand or follow the storyline. Though I would have liked to have known a little bit more about the secret hidden treasures, I understand and appreciate the mystery because that was one of the largest aspect of the knights that made them fascinating.
I would highly recommend this story to practically everyone, and will absolutely re-read it myself again on a few occasions. I have a feeling this is one of those stories that you learn a little bit and appreciate it more each and every time you pick it up no matter how many times you have gone through it.
Holy Smoke is set in 29 CE. A murder victim is discovered in a sacred place in the temple. Who could have left the body or, indeed, was his death a result of his mere presence in this holy and restricted area?
The Sleuth (a Rabbi named Gamaliel) wastes no time considering other-worldly interference. He refers to the local doctor for forensic information on the body and pursues a logical course in unraveling events. His character is clear and well-written, but without great any great feeling. At no point do you wonder how events will impact him as an individual, or if our hero is changing because of his endeavors. It just doesn’t seem to matter. He does engender some admiration. There is satisfaction in following his train of thought. Conversations are convincing.
The pace never picks up, although more events (and deaths) occur. They are presented as a ever-increasingly complex series of problems, with inter-church/political causes and possibly ramifications – all in a precise and complex, yet not confusing manner. Gamaliel’s pursuit reveals his cleverness…but not much more. We believe the importance of solving the mystery, but never really care.
Holy Smoke is a well-designed story with clear, readable style…but I never felt much for any character throughout. It is very much plot driven, and not reliant upon the reader’s attachment to characters involved. The cover is completely wonderful, and quite possibly the most dramatic part of the whole work.
Negotiating for the creation of a child, time allotted, price, and after-the-fact requirements, make for page-turning, breathtaking reading. Darius is filled with startling events and clandestine agendas.
A beautiful man, an earl’s son no less, selling his ‘services’ is not the usual setup for a Regency romance. It gives pause, but compelling characters, exceptional plotting, and exquisite writing by Grace Burrowes lured me in and captivated me with a riveting, tangled love story that makes one believe that even the flawed and damaged can find redemption with the right incentive.
Darius Lindsey, in his determination to protect and take care of those he loves, engages in activities abhorrent to him. When a hush-hush proposition that can make him independent comes along, he breaks almost all of his ‘rules’ to honor his part of the agreement. What he gets in the bargain far surpasses all he ever hoped for. How Ms. Burrowes creates Darius to be sympatric and understandable makes him come alive. How he copes with extracting himself from his past relationships is amazing. Fighting fire with fire is not easy.
At age twenty-five, Vivian Longstreet, quiet, compassionate, intelligent, and loyal, lives like an old woman tending her old and ailing husband, the Fourth Viscount Longstreet, William, who is good to and protective of Vivian but is still in love with his first wife, Muriel who is dead. William longs to be with Muriel again. But first he is determined to do right for Vivian and his family name.
Lord William Longstreet is a respected, shrewd politician and maneuvers and manipulates to be sure his heir holds on to the family title and properties. He knows his way around London Society and does what needs to be done to assure Vivian’s independence from a villainous ‘past’ step-father, Thurgood Ainsworthy, a shyster deluxe.
Seeing the metamorphosis of Vivian is like watching the gradual unfolding of a rose. Vivian blooms during the month she is a guest at Darius Lindsey’s home in Kent. Under his tutelage, she learns to dress beautifully, learns how to use her ‘woman weapons’ to get what she wants, and how to protect herself. But most of all she learns the joy, pleasure, and ecstasy of love with Darius who never fails to ‘take care’ of her. She also learns a sad fact. They must be ‘unacquainted’ when her sojourn in Kent is over.
Many of the secondary characters do not have the best interests of Darius and Vivian at heart. Blanche Cowell and Lucy Templeton that Darius deals with for money have ‘turned mean into a hobby’. How he free himself from their clutches creates some nail-biting moments. Thurgood Ainsworthy and his underhanded schemes or closely rivaled by those of Portia who is the wife of Lord Longstreet’s bastard son. Her plans to get her husband legitimized and to become lady of the manor are mind-boggling.
Of course, there are some characters that reach right out and touch the heart like John, Darius’ little relative that is in Darius’ care. It is not hard to see why Darius will go to any length to protect him. Gracie, Darius’ loyal housemaid and the other servants in his home give the reader a close look at Darius’ real personality.
Once I started reading this tale of redemption I didn’t want to put it down. It nurtures the deep belief that there is hope for all humanity even the ‘soiled’ bits and pieces of it. And the old saying that there is a little bit of good in the worst of us and a little bit of bad in the best of us (according to the mores of the society we live in) seems so true.
Grace Burrowes, just like in her Moreland series, enchants with love finding its way even if it has to navigate around a multitude of obstacles that get thrown in its path.