Review: To the Duke, with Love

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

There may be times when a gentleman is desperate to gain a lady’s attention, but a gentleman would never resort to desperate measures to obtain it.

A Proper Gentleman’s Guide to Wooing the Perfect Lady

Sloane Knox, the Duke of Hawksthorn is guardian for his sweet, younger sister. Due to his misguided past as one of the infamous Rakes of St James, Hawk is hoping to avoid the Season by securing a match for her before it begins. He has the perfect gentleman in mind, but for one infuriating—and unexpectedly intoxicating—obstacle: the intended groom’s own sister, Miss Loretta Quick.

Having narrowly avoided her own arranged marriage to an unacceptable nobleman, Loretta is determined that her dear brother—a gentle, good-natured soul—should marry for love. Matching wits with Hawk may be her greatest challenge yet. . .until she realizes it may also be her greatest pleasure. For the young duke’s irresistible charm has not only begun to crumble her stubborn resolve, it has claimed her heart in true love as well. . .

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

To the Duke, With Love by Amelia Grey is an intriguing regency romance. Arranged marriages and refusal to be married to the wrong person…can create an irresistible plot like this one. Wow! So, the strong heroine is a bit biased on arranged marriages. However, as I discovered, she has some right to be biased. It happened to her and didn’t bide well. She ended up vowing to be celibate and forced to live alone in the country. But, she has a loving brother who dotes on her. He comes with her. Feeling like she finally accepted her fate…a Duke arrives. Causing chaos to her quiet lifestyle. Their banters are playfully wicked and charming.

I couldn’t stop laughing. They really are a couple to follow and love. Their siblings make it even more entangled and exciting. Temptation, isolation, humor, and sexy characters that have enticed readers like me, to read till the ending. What a perfect way to end this adventure…Amelia Grey has stunned me to the core with the level of depth from her characters and the visual scenes that are unforgettable. Overall, I recommend this historical romance to all.

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Review: Haunting the Deep

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The Titanic meets the delicious horror of Ransom Riggs and the sass of Mean Girls in this follow-up to the #1 New York Times bestseller How to Hang a Witch, in which a contemporary teen finds herself a passenger on the famous “ship of dreams”—a story made all the more fascinating because the author’s own relatives survived the doomed voyage.

Samantha Mather knew her family’s connection to the infamous Salem Witch Trials might pose obstacles to an active social life. But having survived one curse, she never thought she’d find herself at the center of a new one.

This time, Sam is having recurring dreams about the Titanic . . . where she’s been walking the deck with first-class passengers, like her aunt and uncle. Meanwhile, in Sam’s waking life, strange missives from the Titanic have been finding their way to her, along with haunting visions of people who went down with the ship.

Ultimately, Sam and the Descendants, along with some help from heartthrob Elijah, must unravel who is behind the spell that is drawing her ever further into the dream ship . . . and closer to sharing the same grim fate as its ghostly passengers.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Haunting the Deep by Adriana Mather is deeply engaging. Spooky, intriguing, and mysterious scenes keep me turning the pages. I love historical events. Here, the writer has brought another historical event to life. The terror of the horrible fate is relived once again. That alone brought chills to my spine. Then, there was the drama that the teen, Sam, faced. Someone is causing her trouble and if it’s not stopped soon, she could be added into that terrible fate…

Adriana Mather’s writing is good. I felt intrigued. My curiosity got the better of me as I continued to read. The main protagonist, Sam is very likable. Sam seems like a very normal teenage girl her age. She goes through the same issues every teen girl goes through…which makes t easy enough to connect with her. Themes of witchcraft and bullying are found on these pages. The ties to Salem witch trials and the Titanic made this one spectacular read. Overall, I enjoyed following the characters. I can’t wait to see what comes next. I recommend Haunting the Deep to readers everywhere.

Review: Tying the Scot

Synopsis:

At age eleven, Alex Sinclair pledges an oath to the Duke of Chatham promising to serve and protect his illegitimate daughter, Lucy FitzHarris. Nine years later, the duke unexpectedly takes Alex up on his vow, offering the future Laird of Balforss his daughter’s hand in marriage.

Now a man, hotheaded Alex has difficulty convincing Lucy—who would rather starve to death than marry a vulgar Scot—to go through with the arranged marriage. Once Lucy arrives in Scotland, she cannot resist the magic of Balforss or the allure of her handsome Highland warrior. But when Alex seemingly betrays Lucy right before their wedding, she is tricked into running away. Alex must rein in his temper to rescue his lady from unforeseen danger and Lucy must swallow her pride if she hopes to wed the Highlander she has come to love.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Tying the Scot by Jennifer Trethewey is a sexy yet irresistible tale. I couldn’t stop reading it. The characters…were out of this world good. A strong hero and a strong heroine. Feisty yet smart heroine and a strong yet sexy hero that engages readers in many ways. Their arguing and playful banter teases me. Funny, sweet, and intoxicating…Jennifer Trethewey definitely knows how to write a heated romance.

It all started at the age of eleven. Alex a Highlander youth swears loyalty and protection to a young girl. He protects her against her awful teasing brother. From that day forward neither has forgotten the other one. So many years have passed, and both are grown adults now. Lucy is an English woman bred as a lady. Yet since her parents didn’t wed, she can’t enter the society the way her heart wanted to…her father sends her off to Scotland to marry his best friend’s son, Alex.

Alex loved a woman who spurned him. His father offers him marriage to the young girl he protected a long time ago. Alex isn’t sure if marriage to Lucy will work. He sets out a scheme to figure out what kind of woman she is. Only it backfires on him…

Lucy is determined to give her marriage proposal to Alex a serious reflection. However,muse didn’t think he would be as handsome as he appeared nor did she think he would betray her…

Danger follows Alex and his fiancée. Threats, violence, and trouble escalates as they get to know each other.

Passion cannot be faked. Their attraction is real and addictive. Neither one can deny it. But do they really want to marry?

Tying the Scot is an adventure readers like myself won’t forget. Intriguing, bold, and smoldering….Jennifer Trethewey wowed me with her world of fiction. I love historical romances and this meet my every expectation and beyond…overall, I highly recommend this novel to readers worldwide.

Review: Romancing the Scot

Synopsis:

In this stunning series starter by USA Today bestselling author May McGoldrick, meet the new generation of Penningtons…five brothers and sisters of passion and privilege. Enter their aristocratic world…where each will fight injustice and find love.

Hugh Pennington—Viscount Greysteil, Lord Justice of the Scottish Courts, hero of the Napoleonic wars—is a grieving widower with a death wish. When he receives an expected crate from the continent, he is shocked to find a nearly dead woman inside. Her identity is unknown, and the handful of American coins and the precious diamond sown into her dress only deepen the mystery.

Grace Ware is an enemy to the English crown. Her father, an Irish military commander of Napoleon’s defeated army. Her mother, an exiled Scottish Jacobite. When Grace took shelter in a warehouse, running from her father’s murderers through the harbor alleyways of Antwerp, she never anticipated bad luck to deposit her at the home of an aristocrat in the Scottish Borders. Baronsford is the last place she could expect to find safety, and Grace feigns a loss of memory to buy herself time while she recovers.

Hugh is taken by her beauty, passion, and courage to challenge his beliefs and open his mind. Grace finds in him a wounded man of honor, proud but compassionate. When their duel of wits quickly turns to passion and romance, Grace’s fears begin to dissolve…until danger follows her to the very doors of Baronsford. For, unknown to either of them, Grace has in her possession a secret that will wreak havoc within the British government. Friend and foe are indistinguishable as lethal forces converge to tear the two lovers apart or destroy them both.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Romancing the Scot by May McGoldrick is one of the most exciting historical romances that I’ve read. Scottish romances are the best. The Scottish characters like the heroine is brave, intelligent, and beautiful. Her skill of memory serves it’s purpose in more ways than one. That’s part of the attraction that draws in the hero of the story.

Grace Ware is a Scottish young woman. She lives her life by taking care of her father. A single parent. He has been injured in war against the English. Due to his pride, his leg’s infection has spread throughout his body. Slowly killing him…then, just as they arrive to land, they’re attacked. Grace finds her father dead and the men are now, chasing after her. Running, she hides in a crate. Which ends up shipped tightly to an Englishman of noble birth.

The English are the enemy…

Hugh opens the crate only to find a woman barely alive. Grace Ware is crumpled from the crate and almost left for dead. Hugh quickly takes her out and calls for a doctor. Hugh wants her to live…after losing his wife and child, Hugh feels protective over the woman. The woman goes into a fever of sorts. Her gown and spoken languages suggests she’s a lady of high upbringing. Only Hugh and his sister aren’t quite sure. Plus, there’s the mysterious diamond found hidden in her ruined gown.

Grace Ware finds herself in a strange place. Not knowing who to trust. As she recovers, she pretends to not remember who she is…only when she finds out more of Hugh…her attraction grows and so does the danger that followed her to his home…

Can two enemies find love and be happy or will they be doomed?

Romancing the Scot was funny as well as sweet. I was hooked. My curiosity got the better of me, and I found myself in love. The characters were enticing. Their situations were entertaining to follow as the danger got more intense with every page. May McGoldrick is a talented writer. Overall, I highly recommend her historical novel to all.

Review: Enchanted by the Highlander







Synopsis:

Gillian MacLeod is shy and quiet, the least likely of all her sisters to seek out excitement and adventure. But on a moonlit night at a masquerade ball, Gillian steals a kiss from a mysterious stranger, knowing she’ll never see him again.

John Erly, disowned by his noble English father, started a new life in Scotland. Most people are suspicious of the foreign mercenary and he does everything is his power to avoid romantic entanglements. But he can’t forget the bewitching beauty who kissed him in the dark, and stole his heart, even though he has no idea who she might be.

A year later, John is given the duty of escorting Gillian to her wedding and immediately recognizes her as the temptress he’s dreamed of for months. There’s not much he can do when she’s promised to another man, but fate intervenes and this time, passion–and adventure–can’t be denied. Honor demands he stay away from the MacLeod’s enchanting daughter, but love has a very different ending in mind…

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Enchanted by the Highlander by Lecia Cornwall is an enchanting tale. I loved it! A heroine that is nothing like any other. I can’t remember laughing so hard or rooting for the characters so much…until this novel. 

Gillian MacLeod is a talented hunter. Her fierceness shows when she’s hunting and defending herself. But when in public, she appears to be the shyest woman around the land. Her sisters think she’s super shy and not quite as smart as she really is. Her father thinks of her as a porclien doll. And her clan is instantly at her feet to protect her. Only John Erly has been blessed with rare moments from the beauty. Her shyness doesn’t exist where he is concerned. She takes what she wants…him. 

A simple midnight kiss with masks…one taste a passion for more heats up their night. But they’re interrupted and John Erly has no idea who he just kissed…but Gillian knew him. 

John Erly aka English John, is a handsome man. Every woman wants to bed him. Including the shy one…Gillian. Gillian is the daughter of a Scotsman. That means John has no right to even want her or to go after her in any way. But something about the beauty teases him. Drags him in…

John has a past. Some of it haunts him. Despite what others say he is, he’s an honorable man. Gillian knows that without a doubt. 

Their forbidden romance is fun to follow. Humor, danger, intrigue all spun into one magnificent read. I couldn’t stop reading it. Enchanted by a Highlander is exactly that. One Englishman falls enchanted by a Scotswoman. Their troubles are far from just their forbidden attraction…Lecia Cornwall is a talented writer. I fell in love with the characters. Scotland sounds like an interesting place for all kinds of characters. Both, bad and good. And the rogue kind, too. Overall, I highly recommend this historical romance to all.

Review: Someone to Wed







Synopsis:

A very practical marriage makes Alexander Westcott question his heart in the latest Regency romance from the New York Times bestselling author of Someone to Hold.

When Alexander Westcott becomes the new Earl of Riverdale, he inherits a title he never wanted and a failing country estate he can’t afford. But he fully intends to do everything in his power to undo years of neglect and give the people who depend on him a better life. . . . 
A recluse for more than twenty years, Wren Heyden wants one thing out of life: marriage. With her vast fortune, she sets her sights on buying a husband. But when she makes the desperate–and oh-so-dashing–earl a startlingly unexpected proposal, Alex will only agree to a proper courtship, hoping for at least friendship and respect to develop between them. He is totally unprepared for the desire that overwhelms him when Wren finally lifts the veils that hide the secrets of her past. . . . 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Someone to Wed by Mary Balogh is a must read! I was immediately hooked. The plot line is addictive. Intrigue got me hard. 

The female protagonist is a recluse. By her birth she went through an ordeal most haven’t especially from being within a not so poor household. Yet, Wren suffered greatly. That past is part of her journey in healing. She lets her birthmark define her. Shutting herself away from people and life in general. Her birthmark covers the whole half of her face. A purplish mark that will not go away. Wren feels hideous because of it. She’s at the point now, that she should wed. Wren wants a husband and a family of her own. However, she thinks no one would want her…and she has more than enough money to buy a husband. 

Then, there’s Alex. He is beyond good looking but has a heart of gold. He feels something for his recluse neighbor. Her marriage proposal struck him hard. She thought she wasn’t worth marrying. All because of her birthmark. But her cold opinion of herself keeps Alex away from her. But something about her has him rethinking it. There were moments when he got to see her without wearing a veil and where she smiled or laughed. Those few precious moments showed Alex the real woman inside of Wren. Wren just needed to believe in herself…

A marriage of convienece. Alex needs the money and Wren wants a husband. Except Alex won’t marray her unless she can see herself as a person of greater value than what she holds herself as. And they must have affection…

Little do they know it…but affection has been and is being felt on both sides…

Wren’s horrible past comes to light and her journey of healing is due to Alex and his family. Their acceptance of her despite her birthmark, helps Wren get the courage she needs to walk among them without fear. Little by little she learns to be braver and find herself with a life of joy…

Someone to Wed is about facing fears. Overcoming those obstacles that bound the protagonist to her previous life. Good things can happen, if we open ourselves to the chance. Taking risks, trusting, and falling in love are themes throughout this beautiful tale. I couldn’t stop reading it. Overall, I highly recommend Mary Balogh’s historical romance novel to all.

Review: Third Son’s Charm









Synopsis:

Ewan Mostyn thinks a job as a duke’s daughter’s bodyguard will be easy–but Lady Lorraine has a few tricks up her sleeve that spark an undeniable passion

Fiercely loyal to his friends and comrades, Ewan Mostyn is the toughest in a group of younger sons of nobility who met as soldiers and are now trying desperately to settle back into peaceful Society. Ewan trusts his brawn more than his brains, but when he’s offered a job watching the Duke of Ridlington’s stubbornly independent daughter, he finds both are challenged. 

Lady Lorraine wants none of her father’s high-handed ways, and she’ll do everything in her power to avoid her distressingly attractive bodyguard–until she lands herself in real trouble. Lorraine begins to see Ewan’s protectiveness in a new light, and she can only hope that her stoic guardian will do for her what he’s always done–fight for what he wants.

Rating: 5-stars

Review

Third Son’s Charm by Shana Galen is charming, sweet, and enticing. I loved everything about this story! The hero is sexy as hell and a man who wasn’t loved as a boy. His father mistreated him, didn’t believe in him especially when Ewan told the truth, and he turned a blind a blind to everything. Ewan was traumatized and beaten. His stutter and learning disability had left him feeling dumb his whole life. Until he came back from fighting an evil war. Then, he had something. Ewan made friends. But he still felt below everyone. Until Lady Lorraine came into the picture. She makes him feel good and like he’s smarter than he gives himself credit for…their relationship is out of force and a good deed. Soon, fate intervenes and both fall for the other. Yet, their family lives make it hard for them. A third son with no money and a woman of title and an heritance come together. Shana Galen’s words swept me off my feet. I was hooked. Her characters were amazing. Three-dimensional characters whose lives are full of risks, drama, and romance. Overall, I highly recommend the Third Son’s Charm to all.  

Review: The Crooked Path

Synopsis:

As retired physician Lettie Louw looks back upon her life, she recounts her coming of age in WWII-era South Africa in this compelling story of delayed love, loss, and reconciliation.
Lettie Louw is the daughter of the town physician in their South African village. She spends her childhood in the warm African days playing with her friends and being adored by her doting parents. When she becomes a teenager, she experiences her first taste of unrequited romantic love in the form of her best friend’s older brother, De Wet Fourie. When De Wet pursues the beautiful and wealthy Annabelle, Lettie’s dreams are crushed, and she moves to Johannesburg to pursue her studies in medicine.
Life in Johannesburg feels strange to Lettie, and the world around her is in profound upheaval as the Second World War rages. Her feelings for De Wet never waver, and Lettie is heartbroken when he marries another of her childhood friends. Lettie soon meets Marco Romanelli, an Italian immigrant, and they marry and raise two daughters, as the racial and political tensions in South Africa swirl about them.
Lettie never forgets her first love, even as the ravages of time, war, and illness play upon her life and the lives of those she loves. In their later years, Lettie and De Wet are thrown into one another’s company again, and they are given another chance at a life together.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Irma Joubert is a fascinating writer. Her words automatically transfer the reader into another place and time. I was just as hooked with this novel of hers as I was with the last one. I’m stunned. Instantly, connecting with characters on a personal, physical, and emotional level. Out of all he books I’ve read none has come that far in connecting me to the protagonist. Wow. Vivid, detailed, and fast-paced describes the plot, here. The Crooked Path is her latest book. 

The Crooked Path is sad, entertaining, and wonderful. I fell in love with the characters. The were three dimensional. Both internal and physical conflicts are shown. The struggles were heartfelt. I felt everything. It was like being transported in time to where the characters are. Love, loss, and risks are a few of the major themes woven onto these pages. The novel is set in South Africa and once more, I got to meet some of my favorite characters from a previous book. I was thrilled when, I noticed them again. Yes! Irma Joubert knows how to keep her readers prisoner inside her fictional worlds. I could not put this book down. Memorable and unforgettable characters. Overall, I highly recommend The Crooked Path to all. 

Blog Tour: The Right Kind of Rogue by Valerie Bowman

             

CHAPTER TWO

“How in Hades’s name can you drink at this hour of the morning, Highgate?”

Hart tossed back his brandy, swallowed, and laughed at his brother-in-law’s words. The two sat across from each other at Brooks’s gentlemen’s club. It was decidedly before noon. The only reason Hart was up at this hour was because he’d promised to meet Lord Christian Berkeley. His brother-in-law rarely asked for favors and Hart suspected this meeting was his sister Sarah’s doing, but he would humor the viscount just the same.

“Berkeley, old chap, you don’t know the half of it.” Hart clapped the viscount on the back. “Helps with the devil of a head left over from last night, don’t ya know?”

Berkeley lifted his teacup to his lips. “No. I don’t. But I’ll take your word for it.”

That reply only made Hart laugh harder, which made his head hurt more. Hart liked his brother-in-law a great deal, but the man was decidedly humdrum when it came to amusements. Berkeley rarely drank, rarely smoked, and preferred to spend his time at his estate in the north of England or his hunting lodge in Scotland. Berkeley enjoyed quiet pursuits like reading or carving things out of wood much more than the amusements London had to offer. But Viscount Berkeley was a good man and one who clearly adored Hart’s sister, and that was what mattered.

The viscount had gone so far as to dramatically interrupt Sarah’s wedding to a pompous marquess and claim her for himself, thereby not only proving his commitment to Sarah but also saving Hart from having the self-involved Marquess of Branford as a brother-in-law. Overall it had been quite a fortunate turn of events for everyone. Everyone except Hart and Sarah’s enraged, thwarted parents, that is.

Berkeley tugged at his cravat. “How are your—ahem— parents getting on?”

Hart cracked a smile. “Still angry, of course, even after all these months. You and Sarah made a good decision, staying up north for the winter. Gave Father and Mother time to calm down.” His father’s anger at having a scandal mar his family name and his daughter marry a mere viscount as opposed to a marquess who had the ear of the Prince Regent had barely abated over the winter, but no need to tell Berkeley as much.

Berkeley leaned back in his chair and crossed one silk-stockinged ankle over an immaculately creased knee, his hands lightly clutching the arms of his chair. He shook his head. “They’re not calmed down, are they?”

“A bit.” Hart stopped a footman and ordered another brandy. “Don’t worry. They’ll be civil when they see you. For Sarah’s sake.”

“Well, that’s something. Are you seriously ordering another drink?”

“Are you seriously surprised?” Hart scratched his rough cheek. He’d been running late and hadn’t bothered to ask his usually drunken valet to shave him this morning. For Christ’s sake, that man drank more than he did. Not exactly someone he wanted near his throat with a straight razor. “Besides I have quite a good reason to drink today.”

“Really?” Berkeley tugged at his cuff. Ever since Sarah had taught him how to dress properly, the viscount was much more attentive to his clothing. He was downright dapper these days. “Why is that?”

“I’m getting married.” Hart emitted a groan to accompany those incomprehensible words.

Berkeley’s brows shot up. He set down his cup and placed a hand behind his ear. “Pardon? I must have heard you incorrectly. I thought you said married.”

The footman returned with the drink and Hart snatched it from the man’s gloved hand and downed nearly half of it in a single gulp. “I did,” he muttered through clenched teeth, wincing.

“You? Married?” Berkeley’s brow remained steadfastly furrowed, and he blinked as if the word were foreign.

“Me. Married.” Hart gave a firm nod before taking another fortifying gulp of brandy.

“Ahem, who is the, uh, fortunate lady?” Berkeley lifted his cup back to his lips and took a long gulp, as if needing the hot drink to banish his astonishment.

“I haven’t the first idea.” Hart shook his head. He was giving serious thought to the notion of ordering a third brandy. Would that be bad form? Probably.

“Now you’re simply confusing me,” Berkeley said with an unmistakable smile on his face. With his free hand, he pulled the morning’s copy of the Times from the tabletop next to him and scanned the headlines.

Hart took another sip of brandy and savored it this time. “I haven’t made any decisions as to the chit yet. I’ve merely announced to Father that this is the year I intend to find a bride. The idea of marriage has always made my stomach turn. After all, if my parents’ imperfect union is anything by which to gauge the institution, it’s a bloody nightmare.”

“Why the change of heart?” Berkeley asked.

Hart scrubbed a hand through his hair. The truth was, he wasn’t less sickened by the prospect of marriage these days, but he couldn’t avoid the institution forever. At some point he’d have to put the parson’s noose firmly around his own throat and pull. Wives were fickle, and marriages meant little other than the exchange of money and property. His own father had announced that fact on more than one occasion. His parents treated each other like unhappy strangers, and his father had made it clear that they were anything but in love. That, Hart supposed, was his fate. To live a life as his parents had in the pursuit of procreating and producing the next future Earl of Highfield. So be it, but was it any wonder he’d been putting it off?

“Seeing Sarah marry had more of an effect on me than I expected,” Hart admitted, frowning at his notquite-empty glass. “And if you ever tell anyone I said that, I’ll call you out.” He looked at Berkeley and grinned again.

“You have my word,” Berkeley replied with a nod. “But may I ask how it affected you?”

Hart pushed himself back in the large leather chair and crossed his booted feet at the ankles. “I started thinking about it all, you know? Life, marriage, children, family. I expect you and Sarah will be having a child soon, and by God I’d like my children to grow up knowing their kin. My cousin Nicole was quite close to Sarah and me when we were children. Nicole’s marriage isn’t one to emulate, either. She hasn’t even seen her husband in years. Last I heard, she’s living somewhere in France, childless. By God, perhaps I should rethink this.” Hart pulled at his cravat. The bloody thing was nearly choking him what with all of this talk of marriage.

Berkeley leaned back in his seat, mirroring Hart. “Perhaps you should focus on the positive aspects of marriage. I assure you, there are many.”

“Believe me, I’m trying,” Hart continued, reminding himself for the hundredth time of the reasons why he’d finally come to this decision. God knew it hadn’t been an easy one. “Whether I like it or not, it’s time for me to choose a bride. Sarah is my younger sister. While she wasn’t married, it all seemed like fun and games, but now, well, seems everyone is tying the proverbial knot these days what with Owen Monroe and Rafe Cavendish marrying. Even Rafe’s twin, Cade, has fallen to the parson’s noose.”

Just this morning when Hart had woken with a splitting head for the dozenth time in as many days, he’d thought yet again how he needed to stop being so reckless. He wasn’t able to bounce back from a night of debauchery nearly as quickly as he used to when he was at university. Seeing Sarah marry had made him consider his duties, his responsibilities, and his . . . age. For the love of God, he was nearly thirty. That thought alone was enough to make him want another brandy. It was his duty to sire the next Earl of Highfield, and duty meant something to him. What else mattered if he didn’t respect his duty? Hadn’t that been hammered into his head since birth by his father, along with all the dire warnings not to choose the wrong wife?

“It’s true that several marriages have taken place lately in our set of friends,” Berkeley replied, still leisurely perusing the paper while sipping tea. “But I thought you were immune to all of that, Highgate.”

“I have been.” Hart sighed again. “But I’ve finally decided it’s time to get to it.”

Berkeley raised his teacup in salute. “Here’s to the future Lady Highfield. May she be healthy, beautiful, and wise.”

“Thank you,” Hart replied. He tugged at his pythonlike cravat again.

Berkeley regarded Hart down the length of his nose. “Any ladies catch your fancy?”

Hart shook his head. He braced an elbow on the table beside them and set his chin on his fist. “No. That’s the problem. I’m uncertain where to begin.”

Berkeley let the paper drop to his lap. “What sort of lady are you looking for?”

Hart considered the question for a moment. What sort of lady, indeed? “She’ll need to be reasonable, well connected, clever, witty, a happy soul. Someone who is honest, and forthright, and who isn’t marrying me only for my title. Someone who doesn’t nag and has an indecently large dowry, of course. Father puts great stock in such things. Not to mention if I’m going to be legshackled, I might as well get a new set of horses out of the bargain. I’m thinking a set of matching grays and a new coach.”

“Oh, that’s not much of a list,” Berkeley said with a snort. “

I don’t expect the search to be a simple one, or a quick one.” The truth was Hart had no earthly idea who he was looking for. He only knew who he wasn’t looking for . . . someone like his mother. Or the treacherous Annabelle Cardiff. He wanted the exact opposite.

Berkeley tossed the paper back onto the tabletop. “Knowing your father’s decided opinions on such matters, I’m surprised he hasn’t provided you with a list of eligible females from which you may choose.”

Hart rolled his eyes. “He has. He’s named half a dozen ladies he would gladly accept.”

Berkeley inclined his head to the side. “Why don’t you choose one of them then?”

Hart gave his brother-in-law an are-you-quite-serious look, chin tucked down, head tilted to the side. “I’m bloody well not about to allow my father to choose a bride for me. Besides, after seeing you and Sarah, I hold out some hope of finding a lady with whom I’m actually compatible.”

“Why, Highgate, do you mean . . . love?” Berkeley grinned and leaned forward in mock astonishment.

“Let’s not go that far.” Hart took another sip of his quickly dwindling brandy. That’s precisely what confused him so much. He knew love matches existed. He’d witnessed one in his sister’s marriage. On the other hand, her choice had so enraged his parents, they still hadn’t forgiven her. Hart didn’t intend to go about the business of finding a wife in quite so dramatic a fashion. Love matches attracted drama. However, his parents’ unhappy union was nothing to aspire to, and he’d nearly made the mistake of marrying a woman who wanted nothing more than title and fortune before. It was a tricky business, the marriage mart, but he’d rather take advice from Sarah and Berkeley than his father. The proof of the pudding was in the eating, after all.

Berkeley laughed. “What if you fall madly in love and become a devoted husband? Jealous even. Now, that would be a sight.”

“Jealous? That’s not possible.” Hart grinned back at Berkeley. “I’ve never been jealous. Don’t have it in me. My friends at university used to tease me about it. No ties to any particular lady. No regrets.” He settled back in his chair and straightened his cravat, which was tighter than ever.

“We’ll see.” Berkeley took another sip of tea. His eyes danced with amusement.

“I was hoping you and Sarah might help me this Season.

Sarah knows most of the young ladies. She also knows me as well as anyone does. Not to mention, the two of you seem to have got the thing right.”

Berkeley glanced up. “Why, Highgate, is that a compliment on our marriage?”

“Take it as you will.” Hart waved a noncommittal hand in the air. He avoided meeting Berkeley’s eyes.

Berkeley settled further into his chair. “I shall take it as a compliment, then. I have a feeling Sarah would like nothing more than to help you with such an endeavor. She fancies herself a matchmaker these days.”

“Will you two be staying in London for the Season?”

“Yes. Sarah wants to stay and I, of course, will support her, at least as long as I can remain in the same town as your father without him calling me out.” A smirk settled on Berkeley’s face.

Hart eyed the remaining liquid in his glass. “I’ll be happy to play the role of peacemaker to the best of my ability.”

“I’m glad to hear that.” Berkeley inclined his head toward his brother-in-law.

“Who else is Sarah matchmaking for?” Hart sloshed the brandy in the bottom of the glass.

“She’s not merely matchmaking. No. To hear her tell it, she has an important mission this Season.”

Hart set down the glass and pulled another section of the Times off the table and began scanning it. He’d talked enough about marriage for one day. Odious topic. “A mission? What mission?” he asked, merely to be polite.

“To find Meg Timmons a husband.”

Hart startled in surprise, grasping the paper so tightly it tore in the middle. Tossing it aside, he reached for his glass and gulped the last of his brandy.

Meg Timmons. He knew Meg Timmons. She was Sarah’s closest friend, the daughter of his father’s mortal enemy, and a woman with whom Hart had experienced an incident last summer that he’d been seriously trying to forget.

 

 

Copyright © 2017 by Valerie Bowman and reprinted by permission of St. Martin’s Paperbacks.

  




Author Bio:

VALERIE BOWMAN grew up in Illinois with six sisters (she’s number seven) and a huge supply of historical romance novels. After a cold and snowy stint earning a degree in English with a minor in history at Smith College, she moved to Florida the first chance she got. Valerie now lives in Jacksonville with her family including her mini-schnauzer, Huckleberry. When she’s not writing, she keeps busy reading, traveling, or vacillating between watching crazy reality TV and PBS. She is the author of the Secret Brides and Playful Brides series.



Summary:

Can two star-crossed lovers come together—until death do they part?
Viscount Hart Highgate has decided to put his rakish ways behind him and finally get married. He may adore a good brandy or a high-speed carriage race, but he takes his duties as heir to the earldom seriously. Now all he has to do is find the right kind of woman to be his bride—ideally, one who’s also well-connected and well-funded. . .
Meg Timmons has loved Hart, the brother of her best friend, ever since she was an awkward, blushing schoolgirl. If only she had a large dowry—or anything to her name at all. Instead, she’s from a family that’s been locked in a bitter feud with Hart’s for years. And now she’s approaching her third London season, Meg’s chances with him are slim to none. Unless a surprise encounter on a deep, dark night could be enough to spark a rebellious romance. . .for all time?
Valerie Bowman’s Playful Brides novels are:

“Wholly satisfying.”—USA Today 
“Smart and sensual…readers will be captivated.”—RT Book Reviews “Smoldering.” —Booklist



Where to Buy:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Books-A-Million

Indie Bound

Powells



Social Links

Twitter: @Valeriegbowman

Facebook @ValerieBowmanAuthor

Review: Christmas in Kilts 







Synopsis:

Tis the season to fall in love! These five bestselling authors bring you great tiding of highlanders and romances this holiday season!

A HIGHLANDER’S HOPE by Terri Brisbin

A village harlot who would never dream she could have a different life meets a Highlander visitor for the holidays who brings with him an offer and hope!

LEFTOVER MISTLETOE by Lavinia Kent

What happens when a highlander finds himself stranded, maybe kidnapped, with an English lady around Christmas… maybe the mistletoe will help answer that question.


A SCOT FOR CHRISTMAS by Bronwen Evans

She’s ready to embrace her life and future as a spinster, he’s trying to have one last hurrah before he gives into his family’s wishes and proposes marriage to his neighbor, but fate has other ideas when the lady and the Scot meet at a holiday house party in the wilds of Scotland.

SWEET HOME HIGHLAND CHRISTMAS by May McGoldrick

A chance encounter between a ship’s captain and a desperate aunt trying to keep custody of her young niece leads to a little magic during the holidays.

A HIGHLAND CHRISTMAS WAGER by Lecia Cornwall

When a snowstorm forces a charming lass hiding a broken heart to take shelter in a castle with three fine Highland lairds just days before Christmas, there’s a game afoot—who will be the first to win a kiss and maybe her heart. 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Christmas in Kilts is a fascinating yet sexy tale full of Highlander romances. Every story was as enticing as the previous one before it. I couldn’t put this book down…too good. Heat, chemistry, and lovable characters. They pulled at my heart strings. Sweet, engaging, and funny, too. These writers have brilliantly captured my heart and soul with every page. 

A Highlander’s Hope by Terri Brisbin was good. Her hero falls for a woman of different standing. One that was considered below everyone in the clan. A herlot. The woman protagonist came from a mother who was a herlot. Her backstory of being rapped broke my heart. I felt sympathy towards her. Despite her position in life, she had good friends who supported her as an equal. That made me like the characters even more. Terri Bisbin created a beautiful heartfelt tale of overcoming obstacles and finding happiness. I recommend her story to all. 

A Highland Christmas Wager by Lecia Cornwall is funny and sweet. A young woman faces her past mistake from the age of eighteen. It haunts her still with the man who stole her virtue. He teases and pushes her in all the wrong ways. However, she’s not interested. The lady has grown up since that encounter. Strong, smart, beautiful and caring as ever…her grandmother is betting on her getting a husband. Yet, she’s determined not to wed. Tha was until a particular laird comes forth. Something about his kind eyes and listening speaks to her. Hishandsome features also make her heart beat faster. A few kisses in and both are wanting each other forever. Only, jealously and other problems get in the way. It was addictive to watch the characters fallhard and fast. I loved it. Lecia Cornwall can write well. Overall, I recommend her tale to all. 

A Scot for Christmas by Bronwen Evans is fun and addictive tale. The woman protagonist leads her own fate. I found that quite interesting. Tired of waiting for what may never come, the lady goes after her heart’s pleasure. It will cost her, her pride and maybe her friendship. But if she’s successful, all may be well. Loving a man whose wife died, is hard. He can’t let go. His wife never loved him and he only lusted after her. Not a great foundation for a marriage. Fate has brought two friends together in a way one of them never expected. Hot, sexy, and charming…Bronwen Evans delivers the most exciting Christmas journey ever. I recommend her story, A Scot for Christmas, to all. 

Leftover Mistletoe by Lavinia Kent is full of innocent love. A young innocent English woman is stranded with a Scot. His large form intrigues her. Thinking he’s asleep throughout the ride, she doesn’t push away from him too much. But little does she know, the Scot is very aware of her and her beautiful frame. His friend ends up bribing the coachmen to leave the pair stranded nearby a cottage filled with food, water, and drink. Christmas is approaching and the Heat intensifies with every page. Sexy, hot, and sweet. Both characters were charming. Their dilemma was interesting. Captivated me from the beginning to end. I couldn’t stop reading it. Lavinia Kent surely knew how to capture my full attention with every word. Overall, it was a perfect romance. 

Sweet Home Highland Christmas by May McGoldrick is a stunning yet hilarious tale. A Scottish soldier and a young woman with her niece are brought together. But it wasn’t by fate…the source that brought them together will surely surprise readers! I couldn’t believe it…it was so cute. I fell in love with all the characters. The good ones anyway. Love, hope, and a lot of laughter are found on these pages. The entire tale made my heart melt. An aunt must marry in order to keep her sister’s child. Or else lose her niece. An arrangement to marry a terrible cousin, she has no choice. Until a certain soldier comes into her life, making her dream of happiness. The niece loves the soldier…

Review: Love Held Captive 

Synopsis:

After the War Between the States, a Confederate officer longs to heal the heart of a beautiful woman—but first he’ll have to right the wrongs that were done to her.
Major Ethan Kelly has never been able to absolve himself of the guilt he feels for raiding a woman’s home shortly before he was taken prisoner during the Civil War. He is struggling to get through each day until he once again crosses paths with Lizbeth Barclay—the very woman he is trying to forget.
Life after the war is not much different for former Captain Devin Monroe until he meets Julianne VanFleet. He knows she is the woman he’s been waiting for, but he struggles to come to terms with the sacrifices she made to survive the war.
When Ethan and Devin discover that their former colonel, Adam Bushnell, is responsible for both Lizbeth’s and Julianne’s pain, they call on their former fellow soldiers to hunt him down. As the men band together to earn the trust of the women they love, Lizbeth and Julianne seek the justice they deserve in a country longing to heal. 

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Love Held Captive by Shelley Shepard Gray is a beautiful confederate tale. A story full of loss, grief, trouble, and regrets. But somehow, through it all, there is also hope. That built trust between characters. In that something more came between them. Something called love. Love bears all. Troubles, risks, and forgiveness are found on every page. Strong women and men. Suffered from one man…who tormented them. Then, with a newfound courage, they plan to bring their enemy down forever. Death lingers near. Rap, lies, beatings, and war are discovered here. Shelley Shepard Gray has created a realistic story and believable characters. It felt as thought I had traveled back in time. I felt everything the characters felt. Love Held Captive is exactly that. Each character ends up as a captive of their love. Pain and healing are two major themes featured inside this novel. It was heart breaking and heartfelt at the same time. Bittersweet…overall, I recommend this historical book to all. 

Review: Judas Son of Simon 

Synopsis:

Library Review, March 15, 2017 review: “In Molyneux’s skillful hands, the story comes alive in a new way that humanizes Judas and provides insight into the life of Jesus…Emotionally intense and intricately plotted, this provocative novel profiles Judas in unexpected ways.” 
Rome is waging a “culture war” against all things Jewish, seeking to wipe away Israelite identity, culture, and faith. Revolt simmers in Judea and Galilee, as common Israelites chafe under Roman rule. Conflict rages between the various Jewish parties. Plots swirl in the palaces of Pilate, Antipas, and Caiaphas, as they struggle to maintain their tenuous grip on power, worried that Jesus will lead the people to revolt against Roman rule.
The most influential and educated of Jesus’ disciples is Judas Iscariot. Israel is a thriving economic engine of wealth. Nazareth is a suburb of Galilee’s capital. Capernaum is a center of learning, taxation, and trade, on the world’s most important highway. Each chapter of Judas Son of Simon reveals new and starling surprises about Jesus, his disciples, and first-century Israel. Think you know about Judas’ death? You don’t!
Christian and Hebrew Scriptures provide the foundation for Judas Son of Simon, supplemented by the writings of Josephus, and numerous ancient and archeological sources. Join Judas, and the other disciples, on their perplexing spiritual journey. As you do, your understanding of Jesus will be transformed.
To find out more go to: https://www.amazon.com/Judas-Son-Simo…

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Judas Son of Simon by Daniel Molyneux is by far a great historical novel. The tale takes a deeper look into what, how, why Judas got to where he did. A better understanding of it came from reading this book. There are a lot of historical facts woven throughout the pages. Bringing the events to life. Faith, betrayal, hatred, violence, hope, and forgiveness are found here, as the main themes. The book needs some good proofreading. Other than that the plot was entertaining and enticed me to the characters’ journey. Overall, I enjoyed reading this book, and I recommend it to readers worldwide. Forgiveness is welcome to all you seek it. 

Review: My Interview with Beethoven 









Synopsis:

It’s 1826, and young Virginia newspaperman George Thompson leaves his unhappy past for Vienna, “the city of music.” His mission: interview the famous composer, Ludwig van Beethoven. But George wants more than an interview. He wants to get close to Beethoven because he’s been told the musical genius is his natural father. George also needs to know what his mother, Hannah Bekker, had meant to Beethoven. While Beethoven tells George of his rise to fame, his tragic deafness, and the women he loved and lost, George wonders about Beethoven’s intimate relationship with Hannah-and how he is to confess his real reason for interviewing the moody composer. What transpires turns George’s life inside out, and forces Beethoven to reveal a disturbing, personal secret. Inspired by true events, My Interview with Beethoven is about a young man’s journey that leads him to right wrongs, find love in unexpected ways, and heal the deep wounds of those he touches. 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

My Interview with Beethoven by L.A. Hinder Jones is a deep yet beautiful tale. I was instantly swept up in its current. Music, love, and choices. A heady combination making this, the best story I’ve read. I felt my heart pour, tear, and heal whole again. Heartfelt and heart breaking, too. L.A. Hinder Jones is indeed a talented writer. The words came off the pages and came to life. I enjoyed following as one young man goes about finding answers and healing. Love never dies. Overall, I recommend this novel to all. 

Review: Don Quixote Goes to Yale 







Synopsis:

Michael has a secret–he knows where the treasure is.

Months away from a Yale degree and blessed with a well-connected girlfriend who is hell-bent on pulling strings for him, Michael should be reveling in his good fortune. Instead, he has made a new friend, Boomie, who is, Michael discovers, a picaresque angel on his shoulder. And there is a tiny hitch to their relationship: only Michael can see and hear him.

Now Boomie hints that the literary treasure Don Quixote is also a treasure map. Abandoning his prospects for a Wall Street job, Michael drops everything to trace Cervantes through La Mancha. Whether he’s on the quest of a lifetime or merely tilting at windmills remains to be seen.

But as Michael is about to learn, he is not the only one with a secret. Powerful people at home and in Spain are watching his every move, and will do whatever it takes to silence him. With only Boomie, Cervantes, and Don Quixote to guide him, Michael will have to keep his wits about him if he wants to find the truth, keep the girl, and . . . live to see graduation. 


Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Don Quixote Goes to Yale by Eytan Halaban is one entertaining novel. He took history and turned it into an intriguing read. I was captivated by the plot. Plenty of humor was emmersed into this journey. From an invisible friend, to love, and a fascinating piece of history come alive on these pages. The main protagonist is a lit major. His personality was easy to like. He dislikes his teacher’s interest in his girlfriend. That was a bit creepy. Michael’s girlfriend, Liz, is another well-liked character. She’s in love with Michael just as much as he loves her. Their relationship was believable. Michael’s quest is to find a treasure, keep his relationship intact, and keep others from thinking he’s crazy. I enjoyed following him along this literary aka historical journey. Eytan Halaban created a crazy yet fun filled adventure that all ages can enjoy. 

Review: Across the Blue

Synopsis:

Set in Edwardian England and ideal for readers who enjoy Julie Klassen novels, this romance about an English aviation pioneer and the girl who falls in love with him is filled with adventure and faith.
Isabella Grayson, the eldest daughter of a wealthy, English newspaper magnate, longs to become a journalist, but her parents don’t approve. They want her to marry well and help them gain a higher standing in society. After she writes an anonymous letter to the editor that impresses her father, her parents reluctantly agree she can write a series of articles about aviation and the race to fly across the English Channel, but only if she promises to accept a marriage proposal within the year. When James Grant, an aspiring aviator, crashes his flying machine at the Grayson’s new estate, Bella is intrigued. James is determined to be the first to fly across the Channel and win the prize Mr. Grayson’s newspaper is offering. He hopes it will help him secure a government contract to build airplanes and redeem a terrible family secret. James wants to win Bella’s heart, but his background and lack of social standing make it unlikely her parents would approve. If he fails to achieve his dream, how will he win the love and respect he is seeking? Will Bella’s faith and support help him find the strength and courage he needs when unexpected events turn their world upside down? 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Across the Blue by Carrie Turansky is an adventure that I shall not forget. It was enticing from page one. Immediately, the writer caught my full attention. The plot was exciting. Tensions rose, said the drama was set, and the intensity of winning the aviation race was fun. 

Across the Blue is a historical tale. One that brought me back to the times women were forced to follow society’s rules. Get married, have kids, and be a wife. However, Isabella Grayson isn’t ready to do all that. She wants more from life than what is expected of her. Her parents force her to choose….and that choice soon became complicated. Fate has a way of knocking a man onto her path. An aviator hoping to win the race. Chemistry sizzles between them. However, his background can’t win her family’s approval. But perhaps the race can help…

I was deeply engaged with this story. The characters were exactly opposites in backgrounds. When it came to adventure, both shared it. Pressure leaned on both protagonists pretty heavily. It was fascinating to watch them both roll with their fate. Intriguing, exciting, and a charming tale overall. I loved it. Both characters were easy to like. Their personalities made them both enjoyable. I highly recommend it to readers worldwide. Action, love, and adventure.

Review: Near Haven 







Synopsis:

A forgotten shipyard at the edge of the world. Apocalyptic noise from the black-and-white television. A comet. A controversy. And a cat. 

1987. Tom Beaumont is a rural boat builder looking for reason in an age of blind panic. Even the remote town of Near Haven, Maine, can’t escape the tide of violence following news of a coming, global catastrophe. Doubtful of all but his own future,Tom turns to the sea, hoping to find a meridian separating human fictions from the objective reality beyond.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Near Haven by Matthew Stephen Sirois is a great apocalypse tale. Dark, haunting, and sad. I got to follow as madness erupted throughout the world. Death, loss, and anger. The plot was fascinating. Sucking me in deeper…the events were horrific. Imagine if those events actually happen one day to us all…it all felt so real. Captivating words. Matthew Stephen Sirois is a talented writer. I recommend his novel to readers everywhere. 

Review: The Han Agent 

Synopsis:

A THRILLER NOVEL DRIVEN BY REAL SCIENCE…
In the 1930s, Japanese scientists committed heinous crimes in their quest for the ultimate biological weapon.
The war ended. Their mission did not.
Eighty years later, Japanese-American scientist Amika Nakamura won’t let rules stand between her and scientific glory. When the ambitious young virologist defies a ban on the genetic manipulation of influenza, she’s expelled from the university. Desperate to save her career, she accepts a position with a pharmaceutical company in Tokyo. Soon after, a visit to a disputed island entangles her in a high-profile geopolitical struggle between Japan and China. Applying her singular expertise with bird flu in a risky experiment may be the only way out. Little does she know that Japanese ultranationalists and a legacy of unpunished war crimes lurk in the shadows, manipulating people, politics, and science.
But DNA doesn’t lie. Amika uncovers a shocking truth: a deadly virus is about to put the “gene” in genocide.
PRAISE FOR THE HAN AGENT:

“Amy Rogers’s latest medical thriller, THE HAN AGENT, is as exciting as it is frighteningly realistic. It could be tomorrow’s headline. Here is a story fraught with taut tension, sudden explosive action, and threaded through with scientific accuracy and speculation that will leave you stunned. Read it…if only to prepare yourself for what might soon become true.”

James Rollins, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Sigma Force series. 


Rating: 3-stars

Review:

The Han Agent by Amy Rogers is a science thriller. The whole synopsis sounds way better than the plot itself. The realistic situation of what the main protagonist does as a scientist is unbelievable. She does things halfway through instead of being thorough. A scientist always likes being thorough whether they’re right or wrong. Another situation was how did Amika, the scientist, get to be the main character…it kept me wondering. It sounded like she was still in the process of learning her field. I didn’t believe that she could somehow stumble against a virus that deadly. Plus, even if she did someone above her would have taken the claim for such a discovery. Last, there’s her personality. Amika isn’t likable to me. She comes across as manipulating and devious. It is only right that she does get entangled into a geopolitical situation. I have to say Amika deserves what she gets. If Amika was created innacting more like a real scientist would her title as a scientist would have been more believable. It was like someone tossed her the job and she just rolled with it. Overall, it sounded better than it actually was. Some changes need to be made, once made, I think this would indeed be a great thriller. 

Review: Jurassic 

Synopsis:

Welcome to the exciting land of Jurassic, a dinosaur graphic novel for all ages one hundred and fifty million years in the making – featuring the triumphant return of the Brontosaurs! For decades the beloved Brontosaurus was thought to have never existed and that its bones belonged to another dinosaur known as the Apatosaurus. In 2015, dinosaur fans were rocked as the paleontology community concluded that the Thunder Lizard (as the Brontosaurus is known) was indeed a species of sauropod! From the mind of Ted Rechlin, author and illustrator of “Tyrannosaurus Rex” comes a thrilling new prehistoric adventure whisking readers along a wild journey encountering many famous dinosaur species. 
Both educational and scientifically accurate, “Jurassic” centers around the survival story of a young Brontosaurus calf trying to maneuver through the golden age of dinosaurs. As deadly mega-carnivores prowl the forests and mighty whale-sized herbivores walk the land, “Jurassic” features illustrations ranging from the monstrous (and hungry) Allosaurus, Ceratosaurs, and Torvosaurus to the massive herbivore Brachiosaurus, the whip-tailed Diplodocus, the tree-top munching Camarasaurus, and the largest land animal in North American history, the Supersaurus.
From wild hunts and a congregation of Jurassic titans, to daring escapes and thrilling battles, witness the resurrected reputation of the Brontosaurus and watch one young calf’s journey to become the Thunder Lizard he was born to be. 
Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Jurassic by Ted Rechlin is a super awesome read. The graphic drawings fit well with the adventure inside…a young dinosaur finds danger everywhere. Survival is a must for these creatures. Their size, color, names were fascinating to follow. Ted Rechlin made this historical journey back to the dinosaurs time, one brilliant adventure. I was excited, entertained, and educated along the way. The plant and meat eaters of this time period were explored. Children can easily enjoy this book. Overall, I highly recommend it to parents, educators, librarians, and to children worldwide. 

Review: Danny and the Dreamweaver

Synopsis:

Danny is a grumpy video-game junky. He daydreams in school and has a long-standing rivalry with his neighbor.
Yet Danny soon finds himself ensnared in a bizarre dream. Controlling his dream is Nostrildamus, an odd-looking creature with a huge nose and no eyes, yet can oddly see into the future.
Taken on a time-traveling hunt to solve an art-related mystery, Danny meets strange looking artists, like Hippopotamus Bosch and Michelanjello, while Nostrildamus tries to impart subtle pearls of wisdom.
Yet, what does it all mean? And what effect, if any, will all this have on Danny?

Find out in “Danny and the DreamWeaver,” an imaginative adventure of criminal intrigue, time travel, and art history, infused into a bizarre dream that will have you scratching your head and smiling, until the end! 

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Danny and the Dreamweaver by Mark Poe is one of the most unusual books I’ve ever read. The cover also caught my attention. It was strange looking and made me wonder what it was about…

Inside this intriguing yet fascinating story, was a teen who meet a nose figure in a dream. From there, the main character, a teenage boy, learns a lot about famous artists as well as life. I love art and this story covered it in an interesting way. Mark Poe was creative. His book took me on an adventure. It was part fantasy and part time travel. Educational yet entertaining. I would recommend this book to YA readers everywhere. 

Review: A Blazing Gilded Age







Synopsis:

A Blazing Gilded Age is the epic story of a volatile nation burning with ambition, yet bleeding with injustice. It was a time of profound change; boldly transforming from an agrarian backwater into an industrial powerhouse.

Center stage in this turbulent saga, are the Wozniaks; a poor coal mining family struggling to achieve the elusive American dream. Confronted by the evil ways of their ruthless and depraved boss, Archibald Desmond Huxley, the Wozniak family is thrust into utter turmoil, thus igniting a blazing journey of revenge and survival.

During the Wozniaks’ quest, the lavish lifestyle of Huxley and his fellow titans, including J.P. Morgan, Carnegie, Vanderbilt, Teddy Roosevelt, Mark Twain and others, are woven into the story line, thus painting a broad and vivid canvas of 19th century America. Springing to life are legendary figures and historic events that accurately depict an era boiling with bravado, innovation and astounding progress, yet blistering with corporate greed, class warfare, and political corruption. After many unexpected twists of fate (some fortuitous and others heartbreaking), the Wozniaks emerge victorious, thus finally achieving the American dream, yet not without scars.

Both powerful and poignant, “A Blazing Gilded Age” serves as an entertaining and enlightening read of how and why America has gone astray, and why it became a world leader. While on a personal level, it imparts the harrowing, yet triumphant, tale of a family’s struggle to survive in an age that, in many ways, was as dark and rough as coal, and, at times, could be as blazing as Hell. 

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

A Blazing Gilded Age by Rich DiSilvio is a talented writer. His characters both big and small came alive on the pages. The plot was deep, heartfelt, and thorough. History mixed in with fiction. Made this a new favorite. America wasn’t always great…a lot of bad went with the good. Here, inside this tale, I got to explore the depth in which Americans suffered. Suffered for survival. Power, greed, corruption and progress we’re just several themes mentioned in the book. 

One particular family of low class is mentioned in great detail. They’re not famous. They work like slaves. Slaving for the bigger guys. Hard labor, suffering, and agnogy just to make a few pennies to survive…barely surviving. A Blazing Gilded Age is dark, haunting, and heartbreaking. Child labor, poverty, and loss are featured here in great detail. I felt like I traveled back in time to the late 19th century. Overall, Rich DiSilivio’s latest book is a must read for all. I highly recommend it. 

Review: Christmas at Carnton







Synopsis:

A novella to launch a brand new three-book series . . .

In the midst of war and the fading dream of the Confederacy, a wounded soldier and a destitute widow discover the true meaning of Christmas, the cost of love . . . and of loving again.

Recently widowed, Aletta Prescott struggles to hold life together for herself and her six-year old son. About to be evicted, she sees an advertisement for the Ladies Aid Society Auction and applies for a position—only to discover it’s been filled. Then a chance meeting with a wounded soldier offers another opportunity. And friendship. But can she trust him? Is Jake Winston the man he appears to be? Having lost everything once, Aletta is determined to guard not only her own heart, but also her son’s.

Captain Jake Winston, a revered Confederate sharpshooter, suffers a head wound at the Battle of Chickamauga. When doctors deliver their diagnosis, Jake fears losing not only his greatest skill but his very identity. As he heals, Jake is ordered to assist with a local Ladies Aid Society auction. He respectfully objects. Kowtowing to a bunch of “crinolines” isn’t his idea of soldiering. But orders are orders, and he soon discovers this group of ladies—one, in particular—is far more than he bargained for.

Set against the backdrop of the real history of Carnton Plantation in Franklin, Tennessee, Christmas at Carnton is a story of hope renewed and faith restored . . . at Christmas.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Christmas at Carnton by Tamera Alexander is a story of great loss and of great hope. The engaging historical tale was easy to read. I enjoyed following the characters. A woman lost her husband due to war. She’s carrying their second child. The first child is eager for Christmas. But all hope for a good Christmas ends when, Aletta looses her job. Then, the bank gives them two weeks to find a new home. A soldier injured from war returns back home doing work he doesn’t like. But then, fate brings Jake and Aletta into each other’s path. A chance for love, hope, healing, and new beginnings. Christmas approaches the characters and it was exciting to see where their future went.  Christmas at Carnton was believable. Entertaining and sweet. I recommend this novel to readers everywhere. 

Review: The Right Kind of Rogue







Synopsis:

Can two star-crossed lovers come together—until death do they part?

Viscount Hart Highgate has decided to put his rakish ways behind him and finally get married. He may adore a good brandy or a high-speed carriage race, but he takes his duties as heir to the earldom seriously. Now all he has to do is find the right kind of woman to be his bride—ideally, one who’s also well-connected and well-funded. . .

Meg Timmons has loved Hart, the brother of her best friend, ever since she was an awkward, blushing schoolgirl. If only she had a large dowry—or anything to her name at all. Instead, she’s from a family that’s been locked in a bitter feud with Hart’s for years. And now she’s approaching her third London season, Meg’s chances with him are slim to none. Unless a surprise encounter on a deep, dark night could be enough to spark a rebellious romance. . .for all time?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Right Kind of Rogue by Valerie Bowman is one sensational tale. I loved this journey. Epic, sweet, emotional, and teasing. Valerie Bowman created the right elements when writing this piece of literature. I felt right at home. The scenes were vivid and felt real. The characters were beyond believable. Beautiful souls inside and out…two opposites with a heart of gold. I loved these characters. Meg Timmons and Viscount Hart Highgate are my new favorites. 

Inside this novel, I got to explore one young woman’s journey as she dealt with her parents. Parents who didn’t love her. A father who drinks and gambles everything away. A mother who never liked her own daughter. Then, there was her life as a wallflower thanks to her parents. With no money and everything she owned needing repair, Meg had no chance of scoring a husband. Let alone, one for love. Meg has always loved her best friend’s brother, Hart. Hart stood up for her at her parent’s home. A place where no lady should need rescuing. Yet Hart never hesitated to stand up for her. From the moment onward her heart belonged to him. If only she could make him see her as the lady she is. Only her poor life and Hart’s own sister are preventing from encouraging the two together. 

Hart is a dashing Viscount. His father wants him to marry. Everyone he knows is marrying. Finally, deciding to get it over with, Hart agrees to look for a wife. But despite how rich and beautiful the women of the ton are…none make him want to marry. Then, there’s the kiss he and Meg shared. Hart can’t forget her or that kiss. Soon, choices have to be made…that and Meg is now, pursuing a husband of her own. 

I loved the emotional feelings from both characters. Moments of frustration, lust, love, anger, and fear. Both battle with their inner feelings and what society wants them to do. Being together feels right. The chemistry is there. However, confusion comes between them casting a net of bad feelings. Can these two overcome their obstacles? It was definitely fun to watch as they transformed. The plot was enticing. Humor, romance, and intrigue all wrapped into one marvelous read. I loved it. Overall, Valerie Bowman has satisfied my reading experience and made me hungry for more. The Right Kind of Rogue is a must read for all. 

Review: The Scandalous Flirt 






Synopsis:

Scandal begins with just one kiss. . .

Aurora Paxton was once the belle of the ball, the most sought-after debutante of the season—until a scandalous mistake ruined her.Shunned by her family, Rory was banished to the country to live in disgrace. Now she’s been summoned back to London by her stepmother, who is being blackmailed by the least likely person Rory can imagine: Lucas Vale, Marquess of Dashell.

Lucas is someone Rory’s known for years—a man as devastatingly handsome as he is coldly disapproving of her. What in the world could he want from her or her family? Rory intends to find out as soon as she comes face to face with her old foe. What she never expects, however, is that the icy aristocrat has a soft spot for her—and a secret plan to redeem her status. Could it be that Lucas has been in love with Rory all along. . .and has finally found a way to win her heart?

The Cinderella Sisterhood series is:

“Beautiful.”—RT Book Reviews 

“Breathtaking.”—Night Owl Reviews

“Magical.”—Once Upon a Romance




Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Scandalous Flirt by Olivia Drake is an outstanding read. I was impressed with her writing from the start. The characters and their flaws made this piece epic. Scandal, theft, first love…and dire situations can be found within the pages. The heat only intensifies, as the plot thickens. Raw yet believable characters. Aurora Paxton is a tough heroine. She brilliant. I loved her wit. Strong and very outspoken on some matters. That part of her made me like her that much more. Then, there’s the dashing Marquess, Lucas. He’s very easy on the eyes. Makes every woman want to swoon on spot. Yet his never smiling and dark mood may keep the on he really wants away forever. 

Aurora has been cast out of her society due to a man haven taken advantage of her. Now, eight years later, she has returned back home. But it’s not under happy terms. Someone is blackmailing her stepmother. Her sister is forced to marry a rich man old enough to be her father. And she must go under disguise to see if Lucas really is the culprit behind her family’s doom. The Scandalous Flirt takes on a wild ride. The journey was fun, hilarious, sweet, and engaging. I will never forget this tale. 

Olivia Drake has delivered a promising story. The Scandalous Flirt is a must read for all. I loved it. I couldn’t stop reading it. This, was one historical romance that gave me an unforgettable day of excitement. Overall, I highly recommend this novel to readers everywhere. 

Review: These Healing Hills

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Francine Howard has her life all mapped out until the soldier she planned to marry at WWII’s end writes to tell her he’s in love with a woman in England. Devastated, Francine seeks a fresh start in the Appalachian Mountains, training to be a nurse midwife for the Frontier Nursing Service.

Deeply affected by the horrors he witnessed at war, Ben Locke has never thought further ahead than making it home to Kentucky. His future shrouded in as much mist as his beloved mountains, he’s at a loss when it comes to envisioning what’s next for his life.

When Francine’s and Ben’s paths intersect, it’s immediately clear that they are from different worlds and value different things. But love has a way of healing old wounds . . . and revealing tantalizing new possibilities.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

These Healing Hills by Ann H. Gabhart is a wonderful historical romance. This, book was a lot of fun to read. I enjoyed watching the main characters grow. Life hands them lemons, and they still move forward with hope. A woman loved a man but her affection wasn’t returned. From there her journey led her into the wilderness where she meets a troubled soldier. Their meeting wasn’t just coincidental. It was fate.  Fate brought them together. It still lies within the characters to decide their ultimate fate. Their future. Love plain and simple. Ann H. Gabhart hooked me into her new story. I had to know the outcome after meeting both Francine and Ben. Healing with sweet rewards. Overall, I enjoyed reading this this beautiful yet realistic tale. I recommend it to all.

Review: All She Left Behind

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Jennie Pickett is a natural healer, but her dreams to become a doctor in 1870s Oregon put her at odds with the world around her. As she struggles to keep her dream alive, she finds that the road to fulfillment winds past love, heartache, and plenty of surprises along the way.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

All She Left Behind by Jane Kirkpatrick is a  heartfelt story of one strong woman. Jennie Pickett has a dream of becoming a doctor. Back then, only men occupied that spot. Yet with determination, hope, and hard work, she might just be the one female to accomplish just that. From seventeen years of age, Jennie has had both good and bad times. Married young, had children, pursued an education and a top career. But then, fate comes calling and as many joys that are felt so too, are the sad ones. Jane Kirkpatrick created an engaging tale from the start. I was immediately fascinated with Jennie. A woman who lived life and still wondered if she did all she could do. She’s a character, I can relate to, as well as feel connected with…hope, can move mountains. All She Left Behind is a story of one woman going beyond her boundaries and facing the world with each new step forward. Overall, I recommend it to readers everywhere.

 

Review: The Bride Who Got Lucky






Synopsis:

He would do anything to protect her. Even marry her…

The son of a cold-hearted duke, Nicholas St. Mauer isn’t one to involve himself in society…or open his own heart to anyone. But driven by honor, the reclusive Earl of Somerton feels obliged to keep a watchful eye on Lady Emma Cavensham. She possesses a penchant for passions unbecoming a woman that finds Nick in constant peril of losing his well-structured solitude. She even dared kiss Nick once—an utterly unladylike, and delightful, lapse…
Emma can’t deny the appeal of the earl’s attention, and occasional affection, but she has no need for a man. There are worse fates than spinsterhood, as Emma knows too well. She still mourns the loss of her dear friend Lena, and is determined to prove Lena’s husband responsible for her death before he lures another innocent woman into a brutal marriage. But as Emma pursues her prey, a compromising moment upends all her plans. Now, with gossip swirling and her reputation in tatters, Nick may be the only man brave enough to join in Emma’s cause. . .and fight for her heart.


Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

The Bride Who Got Lucky by Janna MacGregor is an exciting novel. This, historical romance is one of the most interesting novels I’ve read. The leading female protagonist is a true fighter for women. At first she dreamed of marriage, until other things like a friend falling into a bad marriage…left a sour taste for such dreams. Her new adventure is to create a bank that fianacea just for women by women. That was highly unusual for a historical tale. What a twist! I wasn’t expecting that. Whether she succeeds or not in that endeavor is for readers to figure out on their own. I loved Emma. Her whole personality was bright like a star in a night’s sky. Her gentleman was most intriguing to follow. He hid himself well, left me swooning, and kept me laughing throughout the book. Together they were a powerful match. Luck may just have arrived in time to save both from themselves. Change, love, danger, and new beginnings can be found on these pages. The Bride Who Got Lucky was a spectacular read. Overall, I highly recommend Janna MacGregor’s writing to all. 

Review: Highland Promise






Synopsis:

Five boys destined to become Highland lairds are fostered together as brothers. Darach, Lachlan, Callum, Gavin and Kerr fight for their clans, for each other, and for their own true loves.

When forced to choose between duty and honor…

Darach MacKenzie vowed never again to let a woman near his heart after his betrothed betrayed him. It sparked an intense feud between his clan and the Frasers. With all-out war on the wind, Darach can’t be distracted—not even by a sweet and charming lass who desperately needs his help.

This Highland Laird will find a way to have both…

When Darach rescued Caitlin MacInnes from the clutches of vile Laird Fraser, she vowed to never let men or misery rule her life again. With Darach and the MacKenzie clan, Caitlin finally feels safe. But when Laird Fraser shows up to claim what’s rightfully his, or go to war, Darach will have to use all his brawn and brains to protect Caitlin—even if it means losing his heart.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Highland Promise by Alyson McLayne is a promising read. I can’t remember the last time I laughed so hard. The innocence of the female protagonist is amazing. Like a child but inter form a of a beautiful grown woman. Her remarks and questions kept me glued to the pages. Then, there was the other protagonist…Darach MacKenzie. He’s a sexy Scot with a heart of gold. There’s nothing that I can’t like about him. Determined, brave, smart, and strong. Plus, there’s his clan of brothers, adopted, but still bonded so tightly. Their relationship war ed me heart as well. I couldn’t get enough of these beautiful characters. Their stories had me hooked. Intriguing, heartfelt, and entertaining from beginning to end. 

Highland Promise is just that. One highlander makes a promise to a bonny (pretty) lass (lady). He saved her from her tormentors. Ever since that moment she squirmed her way into his heart, mind, and soul. I laughed at Darach’s slight discomfort from the unknowing lass. She wasn’t aware of what her words nor actions did to her beautiful angel…she even called him so in front of his men. Alyson McLayne worked her magic with this book. I became addicted to the plot, the scenes, and to her characters. The emotions her words brought were good. I can’t believe it was fiction. I’m wanting to travel to Scotland one day now….overall, I highly recommend this historical romance to all.

Review: The Space Between Words

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

 

 

“There were seconds, when I woke, when the world felt unshrouded. Then memory returned.”

 

When Jessica regains consciousness in a French hospital on the day after the Paris attacks, all she can think of is fleeing the site of the horror she survived. But Patrick, the steadfast friend who hasn’t left her side, urges her to reconsider her decision. Worn down by his insistence, she reluctantly agrees to follow through with the trip they’d planned before the tragedy.

 

“The pages found you,” Patrick whispered.

 

“Now you need to figure out what they’re trying to say.”

 

During a stop at a country flea market, Jessica finds a faded document concealed in an antique. As new friends help her to translate the archaic French, they uncover the story of Adeline Baillard, a young woman who lived centuries before—her faith condemned, her life endangered, her community decimated by the Huguenot persecution.

 

“I write for our descendants, for those who will not understand the cost of our survival.”

 

Determined to learn the Baillard family’s fate, Jessica retraces their flight from France to England, spurred on by a need she doesn’t understand.

 

Could this stranger who lived three hundred years before hold the key to Jessica’s survival?

 

Rating: 4-stars

 

Review:

The Space Between Words by Michele Phoenix is a stunning read. The themes explored are loss, grief, and fear. As the characters go through their journey, it was hard not to relate to them. I felt as though I were in their shoes instead of my chair at home. Readers, like myself, got a taste of reality. A young woman lies through a terrifying crisis. But it leaves her with fear. The type of fear the writer wanted to portray and actually portrayed differed. The protagonist didn’t quite meet with what the writer intended. Jessica with her type of fear should have wanted her parents near her. Yet she doesn’t. It felt strange. I haven’t come across too many protagonists that keep away from their family’s comfort during a tragic event. Knowing what happened to Jessica, it just felt like she and her family weren’t connected. The parents should have come to their daughter’s aid even if she said no. But they didn’t. The romance bit of romance  was good. I felt that there was some closure for the characters. Peaceful, engaging, and well-written. The intrigue of the historical past from papers found was what really caught my full attention to this book. It was exciting. Overall, The Space Between Words by Michele Phoenix was an entertaining read. I recommend it to readers everywhere.

Review: Against A Crimson Sky







Synopsis:

The continuation of the sweeping story of young Countess Anna Maria, introduced in the epic PUSH NOT THE RIVER, as Poland picks up the pieces and joins forces with Napoleon in an attempt to bring down Russia.

 

AGAINST A CRIMSON SKY tells the interrelated stories of four characters in the aftermath of the violent dissolution of Poland in 1794 and culminates in the doomed 1812 winter march into Russia. Countess Anna Maria Berezowska has finally married her true love, Jan Stelnicki, but life is anything but ideal. Not long into their union, Jan takes to the battlefield in the hopes of ensuring a sovereign Poland for his children. Meanwhile, his best friend on the front lines continues to pine for Anna’s cousin, Zofia, but she has her sights set a little higher…on the emperor Napoleon. 

AGAINST A CRIMSON SKY interweaves these tales of intrigue, love and betrayal as one proud nation and one strong family struggle for unity.

Rating: 5-stars 

Review:

Against A Crimson Sky by James Conroyd Martin is a stunning historical read. I loved it. I got to experience the Polish culture and the people of Poland. My grandmother is Polish so, reading this was even more exciting for me. War times are difficult and can bring much sadness. Hope, courage, love, and family life are strong themes inside this novel. A noble woman loses her son and husband to war. Pregnant again, she’s hoping for a girl. Fate has a funny way of bringing a family together and tearing them apart. Intense, well-told, and engaging. I felt like I was inside the protagonist’s shoes. Her life became my own the instant I opened the book. Adventure of a lifetime was waiting for me on the pages. Pages that moved me quickly through the conflict, emotions, and actions from the scenes. James Conroyd Martin brilliantly captured a people and their lives in his writing. Words that became three-dimensional once they were read. Uncertainty, lies ahead but the ending was beautiful. I was happy it ended the way it did. Felt right. Overall, I highly recommend Against A Crimson Sky to readers worldwide. 

Review: The Monk Woman’s Daughter

Synopsis:

This eye-opening and entertaining first novel paints a vivid picture of the rough-and-tumble of 19th century urban America. Vera St. John is a resourceful girl growing into an unconventional woman. She comes of age through the wild streets of New York City, the quiet rural village of Flatbush, the mob violence of Baltimore, and the turmoil of Washington City during the Civil War, struggling to make her way out of poverty. All the while she hides an explosive secret: she is the daughter of the “infamous Maria Monk” one of the century’s most notorious women. Vera sees her world with irreverence and insight, and comes to learn about the corrosive nature of power, the importance of freedom, and the real meaning of belonging. 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Monk Woman’s Daughter by Susan Storer Clark is a historical mystery with a lot of suspense. Keeps readers like myself entertained. The historical parts to this fictional tale was well-researched. I felt like I stepped back to that particular time period. Susan Storer Clark brought up a lot of strong issues that were faced back then into her novel. That was interesting…it felt a little bit like an educational journey but in the most exciting way. One theme was centered around women. How they dealt with the life they were given or stuck within…like the main character, struggling with the weight of her parents. The Monk Woman’s Daughter is an intriguing tale that I recommend all to read. 

Review: Forgotten Reflections (A War Story)

Synopsis:

In the current international climate where North Korea takes center stage, “Forgotten Reflections” weaves an inspirational tale of family, lost memories, folklore and an unforgotten history, spanning three generations as South Korea rises from the ashes. 
DARE TO DREAM IN THE MIDST OF WAR. 1945.

Rice fields seem endless in a quaint farming village of South Korea, yet Iseul and the villagers have been on the verge of starvation for as long as they can remember. Their Japanese colonizers have taken every last grain with them as they are finally ousted from the Peninsula. In the newly independent Korea, Iseul and Jung-Soo dream of what their future might bring. Yet, war is on the horizon and Iseul has fallen for an alleged North Korean communist spy. 
Men are conscripted and rice is taken to feed the growing army as the Korean Peninsula is thrust into an international war that would determine if the strategic region will fall into the communist or democratic realm. With nothing but the news of death and hunger awaiting the village of women, children, and the aged, Iseul musters up whatever hope she has left to bring the village together to make paper. Soon, the village once known for its rice, becomes famous for its paper, becoming a beacon of hope for the battle-worn soldiers awaiting letters from their loved ones. Spies continue to roam South Korea, turning neighbors and families against one another. 
For years, Jung-Soo has been suspicious of his father’s allegiances. With a series of mysterious revelations about his father, Jung-Soo is forced to choose between his tainted communist past, and the future he hopes to have with Iseul after the war.

“Breathtaking, sad and beautiful. Truly gorgeous and a must–read for lovers of literature and historical fiction.” – Rebecca Charlton

“A touching story, not only about love or the Korean War, but also about our own identities and (re)unification in different forms.” – Utopia State of Mind

“A story about a grandmother’s secret life and what she sacrificed to make a better life for her children.” –- Niyati Mavinkurve




Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Forgotten Reflections: A War Story by Young-Im Lee is an interesting novel. One that swept me deep into the war story. A foreign country, South Korea is at war. Both the communists and democrats want to take it over….but their war brings the one village to starvation. Hunger, loss, and desperation can be seen and felt with every page. 

A young woman is determined despite the war and its effects on her people. Soon, she brings them hope. Hope soon blossoms into her village. Letters to the soldiers helps them carry forth int the war. Families torn between choices. Love and hope still prevail…

I enjoyed reading this tale. Forgotten Reflections is an engaging story. The plot rushes me through the pages. The characters and their dilemmas entice me further into their world. A culture readers can’t miss. Young-Im Lee has presented a heartfelt novel. One that won’t be forgotten by its readers…including myself. Overall, I recommend it to readers worldwide. 

Review: The Churchill Plot 





Synopsis:

As 90-year-old Winston Churchill barely clings to life in January 1965, Great Britain and the world prepare for the most significant funeral of the century. The long-planned grand farewell for the great man (code name: Operation Hope Not) will include the presence of a “who’s who” list of world leaders, all vying for the attention of the 350 million people who will watch it all via the relatively new Tel-Star satellite technology. 

But one world leader has decided not to go to London for the funeral of Sir Winston. 
Why would the President of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson, a consummate and ego-driven politician, who has just been inaugurated for his own term, following a landslide election victory the previous November, choose to stay home instead of taking the chance to make his presence known as the leader of the free world? And why would the president not send his new vice president, Hubert Humphrey, to the funeral? And why would the Secretaries of Defense and State eventually travel to London as part of the “official” US delegation, only to avoid the actual service at historic St. Paul’s Church? 

With these very true historical facts as a backdrop, we take a journey through the “looking glass” into a murky world of shadows, mystery, and intrigue. America and the world had not yet fully recovered from the assassination of Johnson’s presidential predecessor, John F. Kennedy. Yet, in a way that seems to connect back to that awful moment in November 1963, there are rumors of another vast conspiracy, one involving a terrorist attack connected to Churchill’s funeral, at the moment more when than 100 world leaders will be gathered together in one confined place. 

Just what part of THE CHURCHILL PLOT is history, and what is fiction? You may find yourself reaching for your smartphone to check facts on Google. 
Go for it. 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Churchill Plot by David R. Stokes combines both historical facts and fiction into one stunning read. This novel, has caught my interest from the beginning. I love exploring a bit of history and when writers take it and spin something like this…I can’t resist reading it. The characters ranged from people I recognized to others that I didn’t. I was thoroughly entertained. Action, suspense, and mystery all wrapped into this book. Churchill ignites an intense attention where the U.S. politics is involved. A lot of events cause for serious thinking and wondering…my mind was already spinning with ideas. David R. Stokes’s writing was well-done. I definitely recommend this to history and espionage lovers. 

Review: The Return

Synopsis:

Beautiful and winsome, Betsy Zook never questioned her family’s rigid expectations, nor those of devoted Hans, but then she never had to. Not until the night when she’s taken captive in a surprise Indian raid. During her captivity, Betsy faces brutality and hardship, but also unexpected kindness. She draws strength from native Caleb, who encourages her to find God in all circumstances. She finds herself torn between her pious upbringing and the intense new feelings this compelling man awakens within her. 

Handsome and complex, Hans is greatly anguished by Betsy’s captivity and turns to Tessa Bauer for comfort. Eagerly, Tessa responds, overlooking troubling signs of Hans’s hunger for revenge. When Betsy is finally restored to the Amish, have things gone too far between Hans and Tessa? 

Inspired by true events, this deeply layered novel gives a glimpse into the tumultuous days of prerevolutionary Pennsylvania through the eyes of two young, determined, and faith-filled women.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Return by Suzanne Woods Fisher is an inspiring tale. It’s also full of hardships, woe, and hope. The book is based off some realistic events from the past. I enjoyed following this historical Christian piece. A group of Christians find themselves in the wilderness. A new land that is just as dangerous as it is good. Indians are nearby. In fact, one Indian will become something more to one of the protagonists. Her faith is questioned. Danger escalates and loss is felt. A massacre happens. Half Indians are slaughtered out of fear by others. Anger and fear make for trouble. One Amish man finds himself in such a predicament. Caleb is half Indian and half Mennonite. Betsy feels protective of her new friend. But Caleb is struggling with what’s happening to his kind. Betsy is hopeful thinking one day, Caleb will be ready to enter her world.  But right now he’s hurt, confused, and not ready. Understanding and relating to each character inside this book was easy. I felt their emotions. Fear, anger, sadness, love, and hope. Kindness played a role throughout the troubled and terrible times. Overall, I would recommend The Return to readers everywhere. Themes of friendship, bullying, and respect are found here. It was a well-written yet engaging read. 

Review: To Wager Her Heart

Synopsis:

With fates bound by a shared tragedy, a reformed gambler from the Colorado Territory and a Southern Belle bent on breaking free from society’s expectations must work together to achieve their dreams—provided that the truth doesn’t tear them apart first. 
Sylas Rutledge, the new owner of the Northeast Line Railroad, invests everything he has into this venture, partly for the sake of the challenge. But mostly to clear his father’s name. One man holds the key to Sy’s success—General William Giles Harding of Nashville’s Belle Meade Plantation. But Harding is champagne and thoroughbreds, and Sy Rutledge is beer and bullocks. Sy needs someone to help him maneuver his way through Nashville’s society, and when he meets Alexandra Jamison, he quickly decides he’s found his tutor. Only, he soon discovers that the very train accident his father is blamed for causing is what killed Alexandra Jamison’s fiancee—and what has broken her heart. 
Spurning an arranged marriage by her father, Alexandra instead pursues her passion for teaching at Fisk University, the first freedmen’s university in the United States. But family—and Nashville society—do not approve, and she soon finds herself cast out from both. Through connections with the Harding family, Alexandra and Sy become unlikely allies. And despite her first impressions, Alexandra gradually finds herself coming to respect, and even care for this man. But how can she, when her heart is still spoken for? And when Sy’s roguish qualities and adventuresome spirit smack more of recklessness than responsibility and honor? 
Sylas Rutledge will risk everything to win over the woman he loves. What he doesn’t count on is having to wager her heart to do it. 
Set against the real history of Nashville’s Belle Meade Plantation and the original Fisk University Jubilee Singers ensemble, To Wager Her Heart is a stirring love story about seeking justice and restoring honor at a time in history when both were tenuous and hard-won. 

Rating: 4.5-stars 

Review:

To Wager Her Heart by Tamera Alexander is a brilliant historical romance. Full of emotions. Both protagonists find themselves in  a world of hurt that binds them together. Each one seeking something with the help of the other. Tamera Alexander brought me back into the era of railroads and their danger. High clout families, politics, and the risks of falling in love. The stakes are high and the scenes are engaging. Themes of loss, honor, and hope are found here. I was intrigued with both the southern belle determined to make her own way and the troubled man taking on a huge task. Heartfelt, entertaining, and well-developed. Alexandra Jamison is a strong female character. She worked hard and it paid off…the feeling of accomplishment back then in her time period was the best part of the book. To Wager Her Heart has won my heart over many times. I highly recommend it to readers worldwide. 

Review: The Transmigrant 






Synopsis:

The year is AD 8. In the backwaters of Galilee, the twelve-year-old carpenter Yeshua nourishes an impossible dream—to become a rabbi.

When a Buddhist pilgrim tells him about a country called Sindh, where anyone can be a monk, Yeshua’s hope rekindles. He joins a camel caravan and sets off on a thousand mile journey across the Silk Road into the unknown. Guided by the words of the Buddha and Krishna, but crippled by a stubborn reluctance to obey rules, Yeshua stumbles from temple to temple in search for a place where he may finally teach.

THE TRANSMIGRANT is a remarkable tale of self-discovery that explores the lost years of Jesus. It is a reflection on the lengths a man will go to be admired, accepted and, ultimately, loved. 

THE TRANSMIGRANT is an alternative take on the life of Jesus of Nazareth. Inspired both by ancient scriptures and relatively new findings, such as Russian traveler Nicolas Notovitch’s 1894 book “The Unknown Life of Jesus Christ”, THE TRANSMIGRANT explores Jesus’ life during the years not mentioned in the Bible.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Transmigrant by Kristi Saare Duarte is a unique historical tale. It takes readers back in time. A lot of research has gone into making this one of the best reads yet. I haven’t read anything quite this good. The Transmigrant is a journey of man. Searching constantly for what he needs. Easy to follow, relate to, and understand. The pages are full of deep meaning. Engaging, well-developed, and stunning. Kristi Saare Duarte showed me the depths of what humans are and will go to….it was amazing. Physically and emotionally. I highly recommend readers to open this book and explore the most famous of all men, Jesus. His life unravels here. 

Review: The Night Trilogy





Synopsis:

Night is one of the masterpieces of Holocaust literature. First published in 1958, it is the autobiographical account of an adolescent boy and his father in Auschwitz. Elie Wiesel writes of their battle for survival and of his battle with God for a way to understand the wanton cruelty he witnesses each day. In the short novel Dawn (1960), a young man who has survived World War II and settled in Palestine joins a Jewish underground movement and is commanded to execute a British officer who has been taken hostage. In Day (previously titled The Accident, 1961), Wiesel questions the limits of conscience: Can Holocaust survivors forge a new life despite their memories? Wiesel’s trilogy offers insights on mankind’s attraction to violence and on the temptation of self-destruction.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Night Trilogy by Elle Wiesel is a gruesome account of the suffering he and his family faced during World War II. A time of Death, loss, and torment. This was one of history’s nightmarish memories that will never be forgotten. The Nazis were cruel dictators killing innocent human beings without a hesitation. The page in this book showed it all. 
Young Elle Wiesel experienced what no other teenage boy should have faced. He and his family were just one of countless numbers herded onto cattle cars. Usuhered to their death. The showers of death, the endless starvation, beatings, and cruelty killed so many humans. Humans who didn’t know what lied ahead. 
As I read this book, it brought me back to something I wish I never knew about. Something that should never have happened. But it did. A memory that no being can wash away. The smoke from the screaming dying corpses in the “shower rooms” and the endless fears were terrorfying to revisit. It survivors like the writer who show the world what happened and may happen again. 
The Night Trilogy is memoir that will always be remembered. Survival, loss, death, and much more. Terrible days that never end. Even with so much time having passed. It is a gripping and well-written book. I recommend this Holocaust story to readers worldwide. 

Author Interview: Jean Sorrell


Interview Questions for “Shadow of Death”



What was it like studying English Literature?

Studying English Literature was like opening a gift box, a view of a world unknown to me before. The Brontes, Mary Shelley, Daphne du Mauier, Agatha Christie, Mary Stewart and so many other wonderful English women authors inspired me to want to be an author.

 

Should fiction authors consider getting a degree in Creative Writing like you did?

Everyone approaches the craft of writing in their own unique way. I should think writing comes more from “the doing” not just through academics. I’m glad I have my Ph.D. in Creative Writing, but I’ve learned so much more since then! I think it’s the process that’s most important.

 

You mentioned being a teacher and an art gallery owner. How have these career paths shaped your writing?

I love teaching. If I’ve imparted ideas that have encouraged others to write or just read great literature then I’ve been a successful teacher. I love Art. Maybe I should say I’m “in love” with Art, with every style from Classical to Post “Post” Modern, and every technique that artists have created.

 

How has living in Louisiana inspired your mysteries?

I search out and read mystery novels set in the British Isles, Ireland and other places in the world. Most of them offer atmosphere and images along with a plot that really appeals to me. When I decided to write mystery novels I wanted to create good stories, but also portray some of that wonderful eerie landscape I’ve enjoyed reading. Louisiana is that place and its sense of place and history inspires my stories.

 

Why is mystery your favorite genre?

Perhaps it’s because I like the puzzle of a whodunit. I also like entering a new place, seeing it for the first time, rooting for my protagonist to win the game, and ultimately her own personal stuggle.

 

When did you first begin to write?

I wrote my first story at the age of eight and I hope to still be writing at eighty-eight!

 

What advice would you give to writers struggling to find inspiration?

I tell my students all writing is personal. Search for inspiration everywhere but most often what you write about has a connection to your subjective self. Meditation helps.

 

I noticed your novel, Shadow of Death, is set during 1940 and in Louisiana. Why choose that particular time period?

I’ve been fascinated for years with the leper colony near Carville, Louisiana; the only hospital of its kind in America. In 1940 they were getting close to finding a cure for such a dreaded disease. That time frame, I decided, was important and would add texture to my story.

 

How would you describe your protagonist, Catherine Lyle?

She has just turned thirty and is a troubled woman. Her life has been filled with death and sorrow. She’s become a recluse in New Orleans, living in her own shadow world, buried beneath guilt and loneliness.

 

How many books have you written besides Shadow of Death?

One. “The Returning”
Will there be more mystery novels to come?

Yes. Catherine Lyle’s story isn’t finished.

 

How would you describe your writing using only three words?

Setting, Character, Plot.

 

Where can readers find you and your books online?

Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other e-book outlets.

 

 
 

 

Review: The Taming of Malcolm Grant 

Synopsis:


AN ALLURING LASS
Emmaline Grey spends her days with her beloved dog, dreaming of the sea-until a brawling Highlander shatters her quiet life to pieces. Though her blindness prevents her from seeing his face, his voice is a warm blend of velvet and silk, and his rakehell ways unmistakable. Risking the wrath of a rival clan as she nurses him back to health, Emma soon realizes the real danger is the magnetic pull she feels to this half-naked Scot recovering in her bed.


A RECKLESS ROGUE

With his rugged handsomeness and wicked charm, Malcolm Grant wants nothing more out of life than whisky, women, and the occasional war. The only lass he’s ever trusted left him with more scars than a battlefield. Yet now at the mercy of this sweet stranger, Malcolm can barely resist the gentle hands that make him feverish with desire-until Emma, the one he will never have, is the only woman he wants . . . 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Taming of Malcolm Grant by Paula Quinn is a charming read. Paula Quinn has captured the language and culture of her characters perfectly. I was sucked into their stories. Surprises were found on the pages. Here, I was brought a sexy historical romance with a strong heroine. She happened to be blind. Her blindness didn’t stop her from living her life. That was something that struck me deeply. Many of us complain with not getting certain things. Here was woman who didn’t complain. She just was limited in a way. I saw bravery in her. Emma still noticed things that most with full sight never see. I immediately connected with her. Then, there was the specter strong and vibrant man, Malcolm. He drank and slept with beautiful women. But he never loved any of them. Until Emma. Emma alone took his heart and changed him completely. The Taming of Malcolm Grant was stunning to read. I loved it. Sweet, powerful, and engaging. Overall, I highly recommend this novel to all. 

Review: Destined to Last






Synopsis:

Lady Kate Cole was a young woman of exceptional beauty, extraordinary talent, and notable charm. She was also a woman so remarkably prone to accidents that it was generally considered wise to keep as much distance from her as possible.
Yet Andrew Hunter simply couldn’t stay away. No other woman would do for his wife. He would give her adventure, fidelity, and a fortune so vast she’d need several lifetimes to go through half of it. What woman could ask for more?
All Kate asked for was a true love match. And Mr. Hunter clearly had no room in his heart for such a silly emotion. But then how was it that no matter what adventure he dragged her on, no matter what mishap befell her, the look in his eyes told her they were…DESTINED TO LAST. 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Destined to Last by Alissa Johnson is a sexy yet scandalous romance. A young woman turns downs suitors all for the search of true love. Yet one man bids his time. Trying to learn what she likes and wants from a suitor. Thinking he may have her yet, he makes a bold reach. It was entertaining to watch Andrew Hunter try to lure Lady Kate to him. Men think they understand women until the breaking moment comes. Hilarious, charming, and well-told. Destined to Last is indeed a fascinating adventure. Overall, I highly recommend this historical to all. 

Review: Shadow of Death

Synopsis:

1940 Louisiana. The body of Sister Mary Gretchen is discovered hanging from the balcony in a deserted mansion next to the leper colony on the banks of the Mississippi River.
In New Orleans, her sister, Catherine Lyle, doesn’t want to retrieve the nun’s body. It’s not because she doesn’t love her older sister, but because she’s afraid to go outside her house. For almost twenty years Catherine has lived with a terrible secret, carried deep inside her subconscious, suppressed behind the safety of her portraits and her restoration of damaged works of art. But while the journey terrifies her, Catherine knows she has no other choice but to go.
As Catherine tries to put her fears aside, she finds compelling reasons to reject her sister’s death was suicide. From the hemp noose around her sister’s neck to the brutal murder of a leper patient, strange, unrelated clues are compiled: clues of Nazi infiltration of the colony and death threats to others. As Catherine gets closer to discovering the murderer, she finds herself marked for death. In the midst of the lush, exotic setting of a lonely leper colony on the banks of the Mississippi River, readers will find themselves transported to a time and a place that is no more. 

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Shadow of Death by Jean Sorrell is an entertaining mystery. From the beginning, Jean Sorrell sucked me into her book. The main character, Catherine Lye, is interesting. Went from talking about her dolls associated to anger and loss to solving a murder case. Her sister died and it doesn’t look like suicide…Catherine is starting to piece the clues together. As she does so, she also marks herself as the next victim. Danger, risks, murder and even a bit of a romance can be found. It was exciting. Shadow of Death is a combination of a historical and a cozy mystery. The combination suits this novel well. Overall, I recommend this read to all. 

Review: In the Fullness of Time

Synopsis

In this sequel to Hattie’s Place, the year is 1913. Hattie Robinson is married to the widowed Charles Barton and has left her teaching position at Calhoun School to raise Charles’s sons and manage the Barton estate. Now she must reconcile her role as mother and wife with her work for woman’s suffrage, a cause that ignited her passion when attending the Woman’s Suffrage Procession in Washington, on the eve of Woodrow Wilson’s first inauguration. 
As a young bride, twenty-three years her husband’s junior, Hattie struggles for acceptance in the community and Barton family. And then, Will Kendrick, her first love, appears, causing old feelings to resurface. When Julia Martin, the widow of Charles’s best friend Percy, reaches out to Charles for legal advice in settling her husband’s estate, Hattie discovers clues casting doubt on Charles’s fidelity, and begins to question her marriage. 
As Hattie throws herself into her work to gain the vote for women, South Carolina’s reactionary politicians Ben Tillman and “Cotton Ed” Smith thwart suffrage efforts in the state at every turn. Even the progressive president Wilson drags his feet, invoking states rights as the only pathway to an amendment. Equally discouraging is the anti-suffragist sentiment among those of Hattie’s own gender. 
When Hattie’s sister-in-law Alice learns to drive and purchases a 1916 Saxon touring car, Hattie agrees to go on a road trip to join the peaceful protests in Washington on the eve of President Wilson’s second inauguration. Alice also invites Julia Martin to go along, and to Hattie’s chagrin, Julia is sitting in the passenger seat when the two arrive from Columbia to pick her up. The journey brings new insight and fresh perspective, enabling Hattie to resolve misunderstandings with Charles and convincing her to continue her work for suffrage, with her husband’s blessings. 
But the road Hattie has chosen becomes even more fraught with disappointing setbacks and delays. In 1917, the US declares war on Germany and the president mobilizes the country in the fight for freedom in Europe, ignoring the oppression of the rights of women at home. Public opinion shifts, casting the women’s movement as unpatriotic and subversive. 
Hattie does her part for the war and agonizes when Charles Jr. and the boys from Calhoun are drafted and sent to the front. She continues to support the suffrage cause, but must cancel a second road trip due to gas rationing. 
When the war ends, she travels with Alice and Julia and Charles Jr.’s fiancée Pauline, to Washington to join the peaceful protests at the White House, organized by Alice Paul and the Woman’s Party. The women become inspired to drive on to New York to join the demonstration against president Wilson, who is speaking at the New York Opera House on the eve of his return to the Paris peace negotiations. The peaceful demonstration turns violent when the police and soldiers, who have flooded the ports on their return from war, begin shoving the suffragists and breaking and burning their banners. 
Amidst the uproar, Pauline becomes convinced that she has spotted Charles Jr. in the crowd and is determined to go and look for him. Hattie persuades her that they must first go to police headquarters to find Alice and Julia, who have been arrested and detained there. 
The Susan B. Anthony Amendment finally passes the Senate in 1919. But Hattie and the South Carolina suffragists endure their greatest disappointment yet when the South Carolina legislature refuses to ratify the amendment by an overwhelming majority. They must now depend on the men of other states to ensure their enfranchisement. 
In August, the Tennessee legislature becomes the thirty-fourth state to ratify, ending the long struggle for suffrage, and making the 19th Amendment the law of the land, just in time for Hattie to cast her first vote in the 1920 presidential election.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review

In the Fullness of Time by Katherine P. Stillerman is a historical detailing the very life of one woman, Hattie Robinson. She lives during the time period of the women’s suffrage movement. A very important and trying time for women everywhere. Not every woman wanted to get involved due to the consequences men tossed their way. But others like the protagonist kept going. Luckily, she had a husband, who understood and gave her his blessings to continue work for the movement. An exciting adventure awaits readers. I was fascinated, hooked, and lured deep in the South. Women fighting to have the right to vote. I loved the female protagonist. Hattie is an incredible woman that all women can easily like and relate to…overall, I highly recommend this book to all. 

Review: Duke with Benefits

Synopsis:

LADY + DUKE = TRUE LOVE?
Lady Daphne Forsyth is a brilliant mathematician with a burning passion for puzzles. When she learns that the library belonging to her benefactress houses the legendary Cameron Cipher—an encrypted message that, once solved, holds the key to great riches—Daphne is on the case. Unfortunately, her race to unlock the cipher’s code is continually thwarted by a deliciously handsome distraction she hadn’t counted on. . .and cannot resist.

Dalton Beauchamp, the Duke of Maitland, is curious as to why Daphne is spending so much time snooping around his aunt’s bookshelves. He’s even more intrigued by her bold yet calculating manner: She is unapologetic about her secret quest. . .and the fiery attraction that develops between them both. But how can they concentrate on solving a perplexing enigma once the prospect of true love enters the equation?

“Witty, sensual historical romance that will captivate readers.” —Romance Junkies
Duke with Benefits is the second in Manda Collins’ Studies in Scandal series set in Regency England.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Duke with Benefits by Manda Collins is a brilliant historical. Manda Collins has a lot to offer readers in this exciting tale. From a strong heroine with a stunning mathematical mind to a good looking Duke. Both travel together to solve a mystery that the Duke’s dead aunt left behind for them all. A cipher most wanted by all. If uncoded, can lead to a massive amount of gold that in the wrong hands can led to a war. But that’s not all. A spy once for the government is after the cipher. One person has died, another struggling to live, and two are kiddnapped. The action, intrigue, and suspense are worthy for all. I couldn’t stop reading this engaging romance. The heat level was enticing…I loved the Duke and his soon to be wife. But first he’ll have to convince her marriage to him is what she wants and needs. Overall, Duke with Benefits is addictive. I recommend it to readers worldwide. 

Review: How to Keep a Knight

Synopsis:

Laws were always meant to be broken… 

Want to know the truth about Lady Matilda St. Clair? 
Well, there are two things she is not: 

She is not a lady. 

She is not Matilda St. Clair. 
So, who is she? 
She is Eudora ‘Dorie’ Gore, the daughter of London’s most legendary criminal, Captain James Gore, and she’s on the run from herself. 

For the last few years, she’s lived under the guise of Lady St. Claire, but everything begins to unravel when she meets her match. 
…Hearts were made to be mended… Together 
Sir John Abrams is known by the public as Sir Blackheart, the notorious knight-turned-thief who stole right from under the king’s nose. 

He was sentenced to Australia because of a lie created by Captain Gore, but escaped to the Continent. 
Now…he’s back to clear his name. 

For himself and for a little niece he’d never known was counting on him. 
And he’ll need help. 
But when help comes in the form of a woman who’s as beautiful as she is mysterious, John finds himself adding something to his list. 
Find out who the real Lady St. Clair is…and steal her heart. 
Will their adventure end in triumph? 

Can John and Dorie find a way to leave their past behind to forge a new future together? 
Rating: 5-stars

Review:

How to Keep a Knight by Eleanor Meyers is another brilliant masterpiece. I cannot fathom how she does it, but each of her books is superb. The writing is well-done. The charcaters are believable and highly entertaining. Never a dull moment. These two characters are not exactly good nor evil. They have a past they seems to keep following them. I was immediately enticed by their passion, fierce personalities and their troubles. It was easy to love them. Sympathy towards them happened. I wanted to see where their lives were headed. Wondered if their situations got fixed or were made worse. Eleanor Meyers hooked me from the beginning to end. This new regency romance was delightful to read. Full of action, daring, a clean yet boldness that left me in awe. Overall, this is clearly one adventure I highly recommend to all. 

Review: How to Design a Duke




Synopsis:

He’s charming. She’s skeptical. 

He’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and she sees straight through to his heart. 

It’ll never work. Or will it? 

Lady Laura Abbey has much adjusting to do. 

In a matter of one year she went from being a little seamstress … to a widow … to the heiress of the Season. 
She knows nothing about London and Society, but she’ll have to learn quickly if she plans to survive among the Ton’s casual cruelty. 

Ironically, the most charming rogue and scandalous gentleman of London lends her his aid. 
And like everything else in her life, it’ll come with a price. 
Albion Kay IV, the Duke of Oakley, has never been known to play the part of gentleman until he meets her- a lady he finds to be so different than other ladies. 
Lady Laura. 
Everyone knows him to be a rake, but in one night, everything changes. 

Fighting his past will be Oakley’s biggest obstacle. 

And Laura’s will come in the form of fighting her attraction for him. 
Can the duke change from his old ways? 

Will the lady find love or heartbreak? 
Page Count: around 330 pages 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

How to Design a Duke by Eleanor Meyers is a thrilling regency romance. This novel was addictive from the start. I couldn’t stop reading it. The brewing romance, the raw chemistry, and society’s pressure made for one brilliant tale. Plus, adding a man’s dark past just added to the tension that has me on edge. Explosive, well-told, and dramatic. These main charcaters have stolen my heart. Believable life scenarios and charming seductive characters made for an interesting read. I’ll never forget Lady Laura nor the Duke of Oakley. Overall, I recommend this talented writer’s latest masterpiece to all. 

Review: Never Trust A Pirate


Synopsis
The rules of engagement were never so scandalous. . .

A rumored pirate and the scurrilous black sheep of his well-to- do family, Cade Cavendish relishes his world of rebellion, deception, and seduction. Nothing and no one can hold him to be the duty-bound, honorable man he is expected to be. But when an unexpected run-in at his twin brother’s estate with a ravishing, raven-haired maid leads her to believe he’s actually a viscount, Cade’s renegade life is thrown wildly off-kilter. And even though a case of mistaken identity can be quickly set to rights, matters of the heart are quite different…

Miss Danielle LaCrosse is startled to learn that the handsome gentleman who radiates sin and has the devil in his eyes is not her employer the Viscount, but rather his infamous brother. A former heiress, orphaned and left penniless, Danielle has more than a few secrets of her own. Cade may be skilled at coaxing even the most hidden desires out of Danielle but can he earn her trust—and win her heart—as they embark on an adventure to confront a dangerous enemy from both of their pasts . . . and uncover the identity of the so-called Black Fox along the way?

Never Trust a Pirate
is part of the Regency-set Playful Brides series by Valerie Bowman.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Never Trust A Pirate by Valerie Bowman is a scandalous read. An English rogue who has a twin brother that’s a spy. But little does the spy know his twin, Cade, also works for the government. Cade goes about life feeling like a black sheep due to his mother. However, his life gets shaken when a so called lady’s maid, Danielle, walks into his life. She’s not what she seems. A spy plus more. She’s sent to spy on Cade because he leaves the English government suspicious of his absences. No one knows what his plans are or how long he plans to stay home. Danielle’s life has never been easy. Her mother is thrown in jail, and now, her mother’s health isn’t good. Danielle works as a spy in order to take care of her mother.  But now, danger is rising…both physical and emotional. Love might just hit both Cade and the mysterious lady, Danielle. I loved the humor and the brewing romance. The scenes were engaging and hot. Danielle is taught never to trust a pirate but then again, Cade isn’t a pirate. The suspense and heat is powerfully displayed on every page. I found Never Trust A Pirate very entertaining and well worth reading. Overall, I highly recommend it to all. 

Review: The Bad Luck Bride




Synopsis:

All were shocked at the announcement of the “cursed” Lady Claire Cavensham to Lord Alexander Hallworth, the Marquess of Pembrooke, especially since she is already engaged to another unfortunate Lord. Perhaps she will make it to the altar this time with one of these fine gentlemen! Could her run of bad luck finally be at an end? It’s highly doubtful in this writer’s humble opinion. —Midnight Cryer
No one is left breathless at the imperious pronouncement of her engagement to Lord Pembrooke more than Claire. She hardly knows the dangerously outrageous man! But after three engagements gone awry and a fourth going up in glorious flames, she isn’t in a position to refuse…especially once she realizes that Lord Pembrooke makes her want to believe she’s not a bad luck bride anymore…
Alexander requires the hand of his enemy’s fiancée in marriage in order to complete his plans for revenge. It’s his good fortune that the “cursed” woman is desperate. However, what begins as a sham turns into something scandalously deeper. The beguiling lady has no business laying claim to his heart. But as a mission of revenge turns into fiery passion, Alexander wants nothing more than to break Claire’s curse…and lead them both to their hearts’ desire.
“The Bad Luck Bride is a stroke of good luck for readers—the intricate plot, arresting characters,and rich emotional resonance will leave you swooning.”—New York Times bestselling author Sabrina Jeffries


The Bad
Luck Bride is the first in a new Regency romance series from Janna MacGregor!

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Bad Luck Bride by Janna MacGregor is a fascinating historical. Immediately readers are drawn deep into the tale. It lured me further by pure curiosity. The suspense of one charcater’s plan…and what will actually come of it got me excited. The Bad Luck Bride is about one man getting back at another by using his enemy’s fiancé. But little will both the bride and husband to be know that real love will play into the equation. I found it hilarious, enticing, and ful, of drama. Th action was never disappointing. Janna MacGregor has a flare for writinga romance that beckons and captivates readers whole. My heart was with the charcaters as their troubles unfolded. Society has a way of drawing the characters out…and pulling them closer than they thought they would ever be. Revenge is not to be toyed with…emotions ran strong within the book. I was highly entertained. Both Alexander and Claire are characters that readers like myself will always remember. Overall, I highly recommend this well-written plot to all. 

Review: Grace and the Preacher




Synopsis:

At the age of twenty-three, postmistress Grace Cristler has all but given up hope of finding a husband among the narrowing group of eligible men in her town of Fairland, Kansas. But when her uncle decides to retire from the pulpit, Grace is responsible for corresponding with the new preacher set to take his place. She can’t deny the affection growing in her heart for Reverend Rufus Dille—a man she deeply admires but has only met through his letters.

 

Theophil Garrison is on the run from his past. Ten years ago his outlaw cousins convinced him to take part in a train robbery, but Theo fled the scene, leaving his cousins to face imprisonment. Now they’ve finished their sentences, but the plan for vengeance has just begun. Branded a coward and running for his life, Theo has aa chance encounter that could provide him with the escape he needs.  

 

But the young man’s desperate con might come at an enormous price for the tenderhearted Grace—and the entire town. Will Grace’s undeserved affection and God’s mercy make something beautiful from the ashes of Theo’s past?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Grace and the Preacher by Kim Sawyer is a wonderful story about forgiveness. I was hooked. The story told of a man running from his past life that soon caught up with him. An offer as a preacher for a new town gave him a chance to leave and start new. But soon, the past came tumbling down his present life. A young woman writes to the new preacher. She soon grew attached to the man in the letters. Once he comes to her town, secrets come out and betrayal will take over…it will be up to both characters to face their situations and decide the results. 

Kim Sawyer’s writing is superb. The emotional attachment happens quickly. Each character faces real life issues that helped me relate easily to them. I could understand what they went through and why. Clean, intriguing, and well-written. Grace and the Preacher is a satisfying Christian historical tale. Love, sacrifice, and redemption can be found inside…I loved it. This is definitely a book that I recommend to all. 

Review: Human Acts by Han Kang



Synopsis:

From the internationally bestselling author of The Vegetarian, a rare and astonishing (The Observer) portrait of political unrest and the universal struggle for justice.

In the midst of a violent student uprising in South Korea, a young boy named Dong-ho is shockingly killed.

The story of this tragic episode unfolds in a sequence of interconnected chapters as the victims and the bereaved encounter suppression, denial, and the echoing agony of the massacre. From Dong-ho’s best friend who meets his own fateful end; to an editor struggling against censorship; to a prisoner and a factory worker, each suffering from traumatic memories; and to Dong-ho’s own grief-stricken mother; and through their collective heartbreak and acts of hope is the tale of a brutalized people in search of a voice.
An award-winning, controversial bestseller, Human Acts is a timeless, pointillist portrait of an historic event with reverberations still being felt today, by turns tracing the harsh reality of oppression and the resounding, extraordinary poetry of humanity. 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Human Acts by Han Kang is dark, haunting, and powerfully told. I haven’t read Han Kane’s previous work, but will definitely do so now. Her writing captured my attention immediately. The power of authoritarian rule and the suppression of its people…is not something anyone will ever forget. Especially the dead…

Bodies are building up…the numbers of dead are rising. Sadness broken out everywhere. Human Acts has caught a realistic event in South Korea. An uprising, a massacre, an a tragic situation overall. Violence hangs over the people like a heavy stone. Suffocating them little by little. Anger, censorship, and death. Families losing loved ones…the whole book was like a nightmare unfolding before my eyes. The pain, suffering, and emotions were terrifying. Like revisiting the Holocaust era all over again but more horrifying. 

Overall, Human Acts is well-told. The journey inside will never be forgotten. Han Kang’s characters have left their imprint…the terror was gruesome but entertaining to read. Definitely a page turner. I recommend it to readers worldwide. 

Review: The Fifth Petal 


Synopsis:

Salem’s chief of police, John Rafferty, now married to gifted lace reader Towner Whitney, investigates a 25-year-old triple homicide dubbed “The Goddess Murders,” in which three young women, all descended from accused Salem witches, were slashed one Halloween night. Aided by Callie Cahill, the daughter of one of the victims who has returned to town, Rafferty begins to uncover a dark chapter in Salem’s past. Callie, who has always been gifted with premonitions, begins to struggle with visions she doesn’t quite understand and an attraction to a man who has unknown connections to her mother’s murder. Neither believes that the main suspect, Rose Whelan, respected local historian and sometime-aunt to Callie, is guilty of murder or witchcraft. But exonerating Rose might mean crossing paths with a dangerous force. Were the women victims of an all-too-human vengeance, or was the devil raised in Salem that night? And if they cannot discover what truly happened, will evil rise again?

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

The Fifth Petal by Brunonia Barry is an enchanting read. Immediately, I was drawn ino the fictional world surrounding Salem’s dark past. The characters are quite interesting. One has visions. A local sheriff, John Rafferty, wants to find out if the murders are related to black arts or just vengeance. That’s where the new person, Callie Cahill, comes in handy. Her visions help. At first she struggles with the content of them, but soon manages. Then, there’s the lace reader who helps her husband, John Rafferty. An elderly lady being accused of the crimes is not sitting well with any of them. They need proof and they need to find the real killer before it’s too late. But digging into the past and present will be more dangerous than they think.  Brunonia Barry has created a spellbinding read. I was hooked. The plot itself was enough to drag me further into the tale. The characters kept me guessing as to what lies ahead. Action, adventure, and history coming alive on every page. I loved how the writer took a dark moment in history and wove it into a stunning piece. Overall, I highly recommend The Fifth Petal to readers worldwide.

Review: The Lucky Hat Mine 



Synopsis:

A recipe for true love or murder? Ingredients: one Southern belle, one Colorado gold miner, a wife wanted classified, and a fainting goat. Let simmer.

What’s a Southern belle to do in 1863? Wife-wanted ads are always risky business, but Millie Virginia never imagined she’d survive the perilous trip across the Great Plains to find her intended husband in a pine box. Was he killed in an accident? Or murdered for his gold mine? Stuck in the mining town of Idaho Springs, Colorado territory, without friends or means, Millie is beleaguered by undesirable suitors and threatened by an unknown assailant. Her troubles escalate when the brother of her dead fiancé, Dominic Drouillard, unexpectedly turns up.

Dom is an ill-mannered mountain man who invades Millie’s log cabin, insists that his brother was murdered, and refuses to leave until he finds the killer. Compelled to join forces with her erstwhile brother-in-law, Millie discovers the search for Colorado gold is perilous, especially with a murderer on their trail.

The Lucky Hat Mine interlaces the tale of a feisty heroine with frontier legend and lore making for an engaging historical mystery.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Lucky Hat Mine by J. V. L. Bell was brilliant! The story tells of one strong woman taking the chance on a new life for herself. Her friend brings to her attention of a mail bride order. This would give Millie, aka Red, the chance of a lifetime. Only does she realize that the journey would be anything but fun. Men taking advantage, men after her money, and then the death of her fiancé. Millie has it rough. She has very little. Men are proposing and offering to buy her out…then, she meets the insufferable man. Dom, so happens to be the brother of her dead fiancé. Once Millie informs him about his brother’s death both work together to find out who the killer is. Dom is sure his brother was murdered because the fats weren’t adding up…the last and expected thing neither of them wanted was to fall in love. A murderer is out there threatening them as they get closer.

The Lucky Hat Mine is intriguing, bold, and hilarious. J. V. L. Bell is a talented writer. I was impressed with the flow of the story. Before I knew it, I was finished reading it. Most engaging pioneer tale that I have ever read. Danger, romance, and murder. All wrapped into one masterpiece. I laughed, cried, and fell in love with both the story and the characters. Overall, I highly recommend this historical fiction to all.