Tag Archives: historical

Review: One for the Rogue by Manda Collins

One for the Rogue (Studies in Scandal, #4)

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Geologist Gemma Hastings has no interest in pursuing romance—and no patience for Lord Cameron Lisle, an esteemed fossil hunter who has a way of always honing in on her territory. . .annoyingly handsome though he may be. But when a shocking attack puts Gemma in very real danger, she may have to accept Lisle’s offers of protection. Even if that means entering into a dangerous flirtation. . .

Lisle was once amused by Gemma’s dedication to her work. But now that he understands how much he’s underestimated her—a woman whose beauty is matched only by her genius—Lisle is desperate to prove his respect…and prove himself worthy of her. But is he too late? A bitter rival, desperate to steal Gemma’s scientific findings, is still at-large. Can Lisle help uncover the culprit and keep her safe—forever, in his loving arms?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

One for the Rogue by Manda Collins is an exciting historical tale. A tale of two geniuses who start off fighting against each other only to fall deeply in love. A young woman, the last of the four heiresses, is trying to prove herself among the male scientific geology community. She searches and discovers a skull that might make her career in geology. Another geologist wants the skull for himself. However, that man ends up dead and the skull goes missing. A murder investigation begins…and Gemma is warned to stay out of both the danger and the investigation. Like the other women in her family, she does not listen. Instead, she drags Cam into it with her. While they investigate they find they enjoy geology as much as the other one and they also enjoy each other’s company. Despite the danger, the two single people end up putting themselves in repeatedly scandalous situations. Marriage is bound to happen…but will they willingly marry one another or be forced by society? Manda Collins kept me intrigued. Her words had me laughing all the way. I was rooting for both Cam and Gemma. Their intelligence and personalites were fun to follow. I adored both of them. I was so happy for their story…with the way it ended. Overall, I recommend this scandalous yet funny novel to all readers.

 

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Review: In Hitler’s House by Jonathan Lane

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

William Weber was on tour in Germany in the summer of 1931 when he chanced to meet a struggling politician, Adolf Hitler. Hitler soon discovered that Willy was a wealthy innocent and set out to exploit him in every way that he could. There follows a startlingly vivid exploration of inner life of this deeply evil man. In two volumes so richly detailed that they seem to have actually been created by somebody who lived through the events they depict, the private world of Adolf Hitler comes into focus in all its perversity and strangeness.

Willy soon realizes that Hitler is a monster and resolves to use his extraordinary position as his friend to try to derail his plans. In the process, he becomes a invaluable British intelligence asset and an extremely vulnerable spy in Hitler’s House. He also meets and falls in love with Hitler’s ultra-secret mistress, Carlotta Krause, a Berlin prostitute who is a year younger than Willy and has known Hitler since she was a child. As their secret love affair explodes into great passion, they both must play roles in the weird fantasy life that Hitler successfully hid from history.

In exploring the private life of Adolf Hitler, the story also by extension offers a warning to the world about such men, and a means of seeing beyond Hitler into the hidden lives and distorted psyches of many dictators and demagogues.

In Hitler’s House is the work of a pseudonymous history scholar, an expert on both modern European history and the history of the later Roman Empire.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

In Hitler’s House by Jonathan Lane is an interesting historical insight into men like Hitler. The lives of such evil men leaves behind a lot of questions. What makes them into such devils, are they like that 24/7, or do they have more hidden secrets than we were aware of? This book dives deep into all this and even goes much further. I found it intriguing. A historical that goes back to a deadly terror and showed more betrayal, deception, and other sides not commonly known to many.

As a huge history fan, this caught my full-attention. Exploring into the lives of evil men and who they were really makes for an entertaining tale. One that can leave so many options. But it also opened up the lives of those close to Hitler himself. That’s where I got glued into this book. After reading some of it, I could not stop. I had to find out more. Overall, I would recommend this novel to all who love history, politics, and thrillers.

Review: The Love Letter by Rachel Hauck

The Love Letter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Wedding Dress comes a story of long-lost love and its redemption in future generations.

Romance has never been actress Chloe Daschle’s forte—in life or on screen. But everyone knows who to call for a convincing death scene . . . and it might be killing her career.

When Chloe is given a peek at the script for an epic love story, she decides to take her destiny into her own hands and request an audition for the lead female role, Esther Kingsley. The compelling tale, inspired by family lore and a one-page letter from the colonial ancestor of scriptwriter Jesse Gates, just might break her out of this career-crippling rut. Jesse would rather write about romance than live through it after his past relationship ended in disaster. But once on-set together, the chemistry between Jesse and his leading lady is hard to deny.

Centuries earlier, in the heart of the Revolutionary War, Hamilton Lightfoot and Esther Longfellow wrote their saga off the silver screen. Esther’s Loyalist father opposes any relationship with Hamilton, but Esther must face her beloved father’s disapproval and the dangers of war in order to convince Hamilton of their future together. Hamilton has loved Esther for years, and on the eve of battle pens the love letter she’s always wanted—something straight from the heart.

Set in stunning upcountry South Carolina, The Love Letter is a beautifully-crafted story of the courage it takes to face down fear and chase after love, even in the darkest of times. And just maybe, all these generations later, love can come home in a way not even Hollywood could imagine.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Love Letter by Rachel Hauck is a wonderful engaging story. It takes from the past and brings it to the present…and as for the future, it’s up to the present day couple to figure out their hearts. I love a good romance and a historical tale. Rachel Hauck gave me both of these worlds in this one book of hers.

The whole love letter from the past theme worked. It was fun to follow along the past characters’ lives as well as what was happening to both Jesse and Chloe. This present day couple, had this give and take tension and built up passion that was it for me. I enjoyed their personalities and getting to know them. Their story made me want to care, want to know more about them, and sucked me in heart and soul. Overall, yes, I would recommend this deeply emotional love story to all.

Review: The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER  •  FEATURING AN EXCLUSIVE NEW CHAPTER

GoodReads Choice Awards Semifinalist 

“Moving . . . a plot that surprises and devastates.”—New York Times Book Review

“A masterful epic.”—People magazine

“Mesmerizing . . . The Women in the Castle stands tall among the literature that reveals new truths about one of history’s most tragic eras.”—USA Today

Three women, haunted by the past and the secrets they hold

Set at the end of World War II, in a crumbling Bavarian castle that once played host to all of German high society, a powerful and propulsive story of three widows whose lives and fates become intertwined—an affecting, shocking, and ultimately redemptive novel from the author of the New York Times Notable Book The Hazards of Good Breeding.

Amid the ashes of Nazi Germany’s defeat, Marianne von Lingenfels returns to the once-grand castle of her husband’s ancestors, an imposing stone fortress now fallen into ruin following years of war. The widow of a resister murdered in the failed July 20, 1944, plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler, Marianne plans to uphold the promise she made to her husband’s brave conspirators: to find and protect their wives, her fellow resistance widows.

First Marianne rescues six-year-old Martin, the son of her dearest childhood friend, from a Nazi reeducation home. Together, they make their way across the smoldering wreckage of their homeland to Berlin, where Martin’s mother, the beautiful and naive Benita, has fallen into the hands of occupying Red Army soldiers. Then she locates Ania, another resister’s wife, and her two boys, now refugees languishing in one of the many camps that house the millions displaced by the war.

As Marianne assembles this makeshift family from the ruins of her husband’s resistance movement, she is certain their shared pain and circumstances will hold them together. But she quickly discovers that the black-and-white, highly principled world of her privileged past has become infinitely more complicated, filled with secrets and dark passions that threaten to tear them apart. Eventually, all three women must come to terms with the choices that have defined their lives before, during, and after the war—each with their own unique share of challenges.

Written with the devastating emotional power of The Nightingale, Sarah’s Key, and The Light Between Oceans, Jessica Shattuck’s evocative and utterly enthralling novel offers a fresh perspective on one of the most tumultuous periods in history. Combining piercing social insight and vivid historical atmosphere, The Women in the Castle is a dramatic yet nuanced portrait of war and its repercussions that explores what it means to survive, love, and, ultimately, to forgive in the wake of unimaginable hardship.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck is an outstanding tale. One that brings me back to the past during the start of WWII. The lives that were lost, held captive, and tortured during this time brings back an unforgettable sadness. Families torn apart and gone…with only their memories living on…

I am a huge historical buff especially for WWII. Hitler is by far one of the worst devils ever presented to this world. How it went on for so long…still bugs me. The lives of the characters is amazing. The Holocaust and the German support of Hitler are explored on these pages.

Three women who are strong, determined, and battling their future head on…I instantly was taken with each of them. Their stories were so real. It was like I was living through each one of them. Brilliant story telling on Jessica Shattuck’s part. Her book carries a lot of history as well as entertainment. Themes of survival, hope, and love are found in this novel. I highly recommend it to all readers.

Review: Breathless by Celeste Bradley and Susan Donovan

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A sensuous, delightful romantic women’s fiction novel from New York Times bestselling authors Celeste Bradley and Susan Donovan!

She was “the Swan.” London’s premiere courtesan. Men want to be with her. Women loathe her success and yet admire her beauty, her riches, her independence. But when the jealous wife of her lover moves to have the Swan banished from her home on the high seas, she winds up crashed against Spain’s rocky coast with no shoes, no clothes-and no name. Taken in by a tortured, sensuous man known as The Artist, the Swan comes to know the woman she wants to be—her artist’s siren.

When Art Professor Brenna Anderson is in danger of losing her post at Harvard, the rule-following, prim professor is at a loss of how to salvage the shreds of her life. But when a new painting in the mysterious Siren collection is discovered in a dusty old house in France, Brenna does the unthinkable—hops on a plane to uncover the identity of the beautiful, enigmatic woman who is the subject of the paintings.

There’s just one hitch—the frustrating, irritating, bold and beautiful art hunter, Fitch Wilder, is also looking for the Siren. He’s been a thorn in Brenna’s professional side for years, but when their individual quests lead them to team up despite being enemies, a whole new sumptuous world of art and culture opens up for the two of them. And with it, they enter a realm of passion and love…

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Breathless by both Celeste Bradley and Susan Donovan is a book unlike any other. A contemporary romance that brings a story about erotic art paintings to life. In this story, I got to learn more about this modern like art that would appear to be just sexual in form to me. But to those who really know art, it really wasn’t about the sex appeal. It was more than just that. That’s where an academic woman scholar and a sexy male art hunter come together to find out more about The Swan paintings. These paintings have a story that needs telling. The art portraits themselves, sound so appealing and realistic that it was like being there seeing and experiencing what the characters got to experience firsthand.

Breathless is more than just a sexy romance that burrowed deep into my skin. It caught my attention and held it fast. The journey from the present to the past of the woman courtesan, who was painted as The Swan, was a woman who lived many lives. She had to find herself and that happened when she found and fell in love with the male painter. Following her historical journey from England to the Americas was fascinating. I felt disinterested as first, but after learning more, I could not stop reading.

The modern cast of characters include Brenna Anderson. She’s clever, gorgeous, and talented. Her former lover is an idiot and loses her by his betrayal. Then, there’s the work issues about the subject of art that Brenna is teaching to her students. Some parents who fund the art program were complaining about her choices. Brenna wanted to tell them to stick their opinions…but the university has its hands tied. And that is where her life journey begins…chasing after a portrait that may link The Swan series and letters to the life of the woman whose protairt is the talk of the century. But she might have to work with a man who defies what she normally trusts.

Fitch Wilder is the next modern day character who makes this a lot of fun to read. He was vibrant, sexy as hell, and adventurous. Sometimes he broke the rules but finding out more on the identity of the woman in The Swan painting was worth the risks. Even if the led him to the fiery yet most engaging woman he has ever met…Professor Brenna Anderson.

The Courtesean in the paintings somehow has brought two modern people together. Finding a love tha burns as deeply as the one she experienced. Love, sex, history, and art are all found in this epic tale. A journey of survival, loss, and new beginnings. I loved it. Overall, I would recommend this novel to all readers. It was the best thing that I have read in a long time.

 

Review: It’s All About the Duke by Amelia Grey

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Nearing thirty, the Duke of Rathburne is finally ready to make amends for the wager that caused him and his best friends such scandal―but taking on a ward who needs a husband is a feat he’s not sure he can manage. The last he saw of Miss Marlena Fast, she was a spirited little ruffian, not the sort of bride most bachelors on the marriage mart sought. But one glance at the lovely lady she has become is enough to convince him otherwise…

Orphaned young and shuffled from family to family, Marlena counts on her fierce independence and quick wits to keep herself content. Being the responsibility of a notoriously wicked duke who upended so many lives is an unexpected challenge when she realizes he arouses her decidedly feminine desires. Marlena must be careful. She has her own scandalous secret to protect. If he finds out, will it shatter her chances of a happily-ever-after with the notorious rake?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

It’s All About the Duke by Amelia Grey is one of a kind. This historical romance shows a man who goes about being a rake all his life is actually more of a gentleman underneath all that cockiness. He’s confident, bold, and everything a woman wants in her lifetime partner. His bachelor ways are soon coming to an end.

The Duke, aka Rath, is made a guardian of a young woman of his age. He didn’t want to be her guardian of free will. But he felt, it was his destiny towards making up for his terrible ways. A way to show his father and family friend tha he can be the Duke that wanted him to be. No more scandalous plans…until, he meets his ward. All thoughts of propriety gone…thoughts of having her as his…keep him troubled.

Marlena is a young woman who is different than her peers. She adds refreshment where past heroines are concerned. I couldn’t help but to love her personality and felt thankful that the writer created such a fun character. Strong, independent, and a bit scandalous, Marlena writes scheming stories on the Rakes of St. James. Little does she know, her life is about to be turned upside down when the very rake comes into her life, as her guardian. Of all things impossible, Marlena finds herself growing attached and more attracted to her guardian than she has proper rights to…plus, her secret of writing about him and his friends will surely mean nothing
can come between them, right?

Amelia Grey has wonderfully captured my full attention. This new title, was everything I had hoped for in a good read. It went beyond my expectations. Sizzling sparks, chemistry, and scandal all wrapped in one delicious piece. Plenty of action to enjoy, as well as mystery. Overall, I highly recommend It’s All About the Duke to all readers. Looking for a romance that sucks you into the time period and keeps you begging for more….then, this is it!

 

Review: Laird of the Black Isle by Paula Quinn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

This Highlander will risk everything to find his daughter…

Lachlan MacKenzie has nothing left to lose since his wife and daughter were killed. But when a shadowy figure reveals his little girl might still be alive, Lachlan will do whatever it takes to find her—even abduct a lass from the MacGregor clan for an exchange. Being caught would mean certain death. But the laird of the Black Isle won’t let anything—or anyone—interfere with his mission…not even his beautiful, stubborn captive.

Even his heart

All Mailie MacGregor wants is to return home to her family. And the Highland beast who captured her can go to the devil. Her plan: to thwart him at any cost and win her freedom. But she never expected to be so drawn to the fierce warrior and the desire in his eyes.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Laird of the Black Isle by Paula Quinn is a romance that pulled at my heart stings. A warrior who lost his family while away from home, lives in isolation. Until a messenger comes, bearing news that his boss has word of his daughter’s life. Lachlan diminished the news but his heart couldn’t ignore the possiblity that his daughter may still be alive. All he has to do, is kidnap a MacGregor clan woman and give her to a monster. Yet, even that plan has flaws…

Lachlan is a tough man who has had to endure many demons. While on a journey, his wife and Home were burned to the ground. His daughter was thought to be dead as well. Lachlan distanced himself from others but his heart of gold never stopped him. He helped feed his clan and still did whatever he could for them. No matter the distance he put between him and his clan, Lachlan still earned respect from everyone. A grizzly bear with a good heart. A heavy heart full of woe. Until her kidnapped her…a woman who got under his skin and into his heart…

Mailie MacGregor is a strong woman from a fierce warrior clan. They hover around her like guards all day and night. When they all least expect it, a stranger kidnaps her. Taking her away from everyone only to soon hand her over to the very man she fears. But Mailie is more potent than either she nor Lachlan deem she is. Her presence causes chaos for the fearless warrior. She ends up defeating the walls he has built to protect himself. Mailie is his light…in his dark world. But then, there’s her heart falling to him when she would hate him…

Laird of the Black Isle is funny, charming, and full of action. Themes of family, faith, and second chances are seen here. The pages enchanted me from the beginning. Two heroes who have tugged and pulled at my heart. Until, I have fallen in love with their story. Danger, intrigue, and happy endings are inside this novel. Overall, I highly recommend this Highland romance to all.

Cover Reveal: Laird by Cassia Brightmore

 

 

Laird by: Cassia Brightmore

Genre: Historical Dark Romance

Release Date: June 23, 2018

Cover Design: Simply Defined Art

Model: Lance Jones

Photographer: LJ Photography

 

 

Sold.

Traded into the hands of a vicious man as a pawn in war.

Blair Cowan might have been brave, but nothing terrified her more than the dark soulless eyes of the Laird that owned her.

Fearing for her life or not, if he thought she would ever bend to his will; he was about to embark on the greatest battle of his life.

 

Grown men feared his wrath.

The fiercest warriors ran from his sword.

Battlefields stained in blood spoke of his victories; while vast lands sang of his savage need to possess everything in his path.

And yet, one slip of a girl dared to defy him.

Laird Duncan MuCullogh was not a man to be underestimated. Blair’s fate was his alone to decide. Breaking her would be his greatest accomplishment.

 

Ensnared in a deadly battle between clans, betrayal ran deep and death knocked often. Amidst the struggle to rise, two powerful Lairds would stop at nothing to be the last man standing. No matter the devious acts they needed to commit to get there.

 

Conquer. Annihilate. Defeat.

The Highlands of Scotland will never be the same.

 

 

 

Head on over to Cassia’s Author Page on Facebook to enter an exclusive giveaway!

 

 

 

 

Cassia Brightmore is a Canadian dark romance author. She loves writing dark stories with twisted characters that she hopes will thrill the reader as well as make them fall in love.

 

She loves hockey, video games and online shopping. If she’s not writing or editing, you can usually find her doing one of these things. Writing is her passion and publishing her first book as an indie author is truly a dream come true.

 

Her titles include:

 

The Darkness Series

Book One: Malevolent

Book Two: Evanesce

Book Three: Denouement

Book Four: Repentance

 

The Trauma Series

Book One: Lincoln Hospital

Book Two: Flatline

Book Three: Resuscitation

 

Standalones

Unworthy

The Book Splash Horror Story

 

FACEBOOK     WEBSITE     EMAIL     INSTAGRAM

 

 

Review: Trumpets of Jericho by J. Michael Dolan

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The Trumpets of Jericho is the first book, and only novel, devoted in its entirety to one of the more remarkable if lesser-known stories of the Holocaust–the defiant 1944 Jewish armed revolt at the Nazi death camp Auschwitz– and the just as inspiring account of the four young female conspirators arrested and savagely tortured by the Gestapo during the investigation that followed.

As one of the architects of the rebellion, the 22-year-old Roza Robota, arguably the greatest Jewish heroine to come out of the Holocaust yet little remembered today, is brought to vivid and long-overdue life. Meet her and the rest of the heroes, and villains, in this epochal saga that will both thrill and horrify you at the heights and depths our unpredictable kind is capable of reaching.

In Trumpets, the historian, J. Michael Dolan has produced a work that he believes will stir you as deeply as its subject has him. In conjunction with bringing this epic tale to light, he explores, among other themes, religion and the existence of God, the psychology of genocide, friendship and romantic love, sexual and other pathologies, the nature of good and evil, right and wrong.

Above all, he shows how the most monstrous crime ever committed was in the end no match for the indomitability, the grandeur of the human spirit.

“As moving as Schindler’s List, horrific as Son of Saul, heroic as The Grey Zone… an adventure of a book destined itself for Hollywood.” –Raja-Rao Literary Endowment

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Trumpets of Jericho by J. Michael Dolan is a fascinating account of World War II. The darkest time period in history. I am a huge fan on anything that shows me what it was like during that time era. The horrors of what people went through was an emotional journey unlike any other. I loved how historian, J. Michael Dolan, used both fictional and real characters for his book. It was easy to follow along. Loss, grief, and death followed every page. The plot was engaging. It portrayed a realistic telling of those events in 1944. I greatly appreciated how much history and research the writer did. It was like being teleported back in time. A  time full of dangerous, deadly, and intense situations. Danger existed everywhere back then.

Trumpets of Jericho, is a must read  for all. It is both an educational and entertaining story. S much history to relive and remember. Plus, there are some heroic figures I do not remember studying in school and have learned by reading this novel. One such heroine, was Roza Roberta.   I was able to connect with her immediately. She fought against the wrongs of this horror from the Holocaust. She was a strong character that I really liked. The story took me straight back to Auschwitz, known as the death camp. I cried reading this…It was well-told. I can see this historical novel being a bestselling movie one day. I would so watch it! There are multiple themes associated with the crimes committed during this era. It was interesting to read. Overall, I recommend this powerful story, Trumpets of Jericho, to all readers.

 

 

Review: Journey to Munich by Jacqueline Winspear

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Working with the British Secret Service on an undercover mission, Maisie Dobbs is sent to Hitler’s Germany in this thrilling tale of danger and intrigue—the twelfth novel in Jacqueline Winspear’s New York Times bestselling “series that seems to get better with each entry” (Wall Street Journal).

It’s early 1938, and Maisie Dobbs is back in England. On a fine yet chilly morning, as she walks towards Fitzroy Square—a place of many memories—she is intercepted by Brian Huntley and Robert MacFarlane of the Secret Service. The German government has agreed to release a British subject from prison, but only if he is handed over to a family member. Because the man’s wife is bedridden and his daughter has been killed in an accident, the Secret Service wants Maisie—who bears a striking resemblance to the daughter—to retrieve the man from Dachau, on the outskirts of Munich.

The British government is not alone in its interest in Maisie’s travel plans. Her nemesis—the man she holds responsible for her husband’s death—has learned of her journey, and is also desperate for her help.

Traveling into the heart of Nazi Germany, Maisie encounters unexpected dangers—and finds herself questioning whether it’s time to return to the work she loved. But the Secret Service may have other ideas. . . .

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Journey to Munich by Jacqueline Winspear is a historical novel that took me back to Nazi Germany. It would have been more beneficial to me, if I had read the previous books in this series. I would have loved getting to watch the main protagonist, Maisie Dobbs grow and work her way through each plot. This journey had its filling of danger, intrigue, and mystery. The focus was on the secret service and their recapturing of a war prisoner from Germany. This is where famous Maisie Dobbs came into the factor. She is sent to retrieve that prisoner being released from Germany.

Maisie Dobbs has worked as a detective and nurse. Her knowledge is great. She has been avoiding her family. Loss, grief, and moving forward are just a few of the things Maisie went through in this story. I was able to connect with the character. She was strong, determined, and restless mostly. Always needing something to preoccupy herself.

I enjoyed the historical time period and how it was captured for my entertainment. I felt like I did get sent back into time. However, the government spies and handling was strange. It didn’t feel like it was good representation of how they operated. But still, this was a work of fiction, and thus, it could be anyway the writer wanted it. The gossip and other minor characters were fun to follow. Priscilla is an interesting lady. I really liked her. She made me laugh and feel like I was right there the whole time. Journey to Munich offered action, adventure, and suspense. I was happy with the plot. It wasn’t fast-paced but it was steady enough that I did not give up on it. There were plenty of risk that made reading this novel worth it. Overall, I recommend it to readers everywhere.

 

 

 

Review: The Summer I Met Jack by Michelle Gable

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

New York Times bestselling author imagines the affair between JFK and Alicia Corning Clark – and the child they may have had.

Based on a real story – in 1950, a young, beautiful Polish refugee arrives in Hyannisport, Massachusetts to work as a maid for one of the wealthiest families in America. Alicia is at once dazzled by the large and charismatic family, in particular the oldest son, a rising politician named Jack.

Alicia and Jack are soon engaged, but his domineering father forbids the marriage. And so, Alicia trades Hyannisport for Hollywood, and eventually Rome. She dates famous actors and athletes and royalty, including Gary Cooper, Kirk Douglas, and Katharine Hepburn, all the while staying close with Jack. A decade after they meet, on the eve of Jack’s inauguration as the thirty-fifth President of the United States, the two must confront what they mean to each other.

The Summer I Met Jack is based on the fascinating real life of Alicia Corning Clark, a woman who J. Edgar Hoover insisted was paid by the Kennedys to keep quiet, not only about her romance with Jack Kennedy, but also a baby they may have had together.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

The Summer I Met Jack by Michelle Gable is a great read. It is based off some realistic events. I found that part intriguing. My mind spun with how would those characters have survived, done, and moved forward. The consequences of their actions and the choices they have made will affect them like a domino affect. The book was similar to some soap opera themes but had a real life tune. There was plenty of drama, sacrifices, and emotions that flew across the pages. I was deeply entertained. The intensity and curiosity of what would happen to and between both Jack and Alicia caught me.

This novel was historically interesting. Michelle Gable did her research into the whole affair JFK and Alicia Corning Clark. The writing was engaging. I could not stop reading her book. The more I got into it, the more I had to read it. There was and still is a mystery surrounding the real historical events and the ones in the novel. I loved that! A romance that soon turned forbidden, and then distorted and kept hidden in such a way tha no one really knows the answers was appealing to me. Overall, I recommend The Summer I Met Jack to all readers.

Review: I’ll See You in Paris by Michelle Gable

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

After losing her fiancé in the Vietnam War, nineteen-year-old Laurel Haley takes a job in England, hoping the distance will mend her shattered heart. Laurel expects the pain might lessen but does not foresee the beguiling man she meets or that they’ll go to Paris, where the city’s magic will take over and alter everything Laurel believes about love.

Thirty years later, Laurel’s daughter Annie is newly engaged and an old question resurfaces: who is Annie’s father and what happened to him? Laurel has always been vague about the details and Annie’s told herself it doesn’t matter. But with her impending marriage, Annie has to know everything. Why won’t Laurel tell her the truth?

The key to unlocking Laurel’s secrets starts with a mysterious book about an infamous woman known as the Duchess of Marlborough. Annie’s quest to understand the Duchess, and therefore her own history, takes her from a charming hamlet in the English countryside, to a decaying estate kept behind barbed wire, and ultimately to Paris where answers will be found at last.

Rating: 3-stars

Review:

I’ll See You in Paris by Michelle Gable sounded like an interesting story according to the plot summary. Yet, it was too dragged out and too slow for my taste. The mystery of who was the young woman’s father and when she finds out was just stretched out too much. I wanted there to be more action and more of an emotional journey. Sure, I was able to understand the protagonist’s frustration and determination to find answers. But I really could not connec with her. The ending made me connect to her finally but it was still was not the best.

The plot was heartfelt, sad, and sent me traveling to the past. Secrets and mystery combined to create a story of love, hope, and peace. Women who loss loved ones  are connected by blood. Figuring out the real father of a young proved harder than one thought. There was a promising future for this tale but it fell flat to me. I had to push myself to keep reading it.

Review: A Chance at Forever by Melissa Jagears

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Mercy McClain joined the school board to protect the children of Teaville, Kansas, from the bullying she experienced as a child. When the worst offender from her school days applies for a teaching position, she is dead set against it. Yet Aaron Firebrook claims to be a changed man. Can he earn Mercy’s trust–and her support for the challenges to come?

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

A Chance at Forver by Melissa Jagears is a sweet, heartfelt, and engaging tale. I was instantly taken in with the main protagonists. Their journeys were both internal and external. A you woman was tormented every day by a peer of hers. Now, years later, the meet again. This time, he has changed his name and appearance. But something about him is different.

Mercy has a difference that is visible to everyone’s eyes. Her stump of a hand puts her on edge. She feels handicapped by it. When she was a girl, a boy made fun of her daily for her stump…yet she still survived. Now grown, Mercy is still struggling with her physical appearance. It went from a physical to an emotional handicap.

Aaron was a young boy who tormented others to make himself feel better. He knew what he was doing was wrong yet he still did it. His family life was awful and he thought others should not be happy if he wasn’t. Now as a grown man, Aaron wants to apologize to all his peers and hope to make a difference in his students’ lives. But Mercy might prevent that…and his past has a way of hindering him from his future happiness.

Together Mercy and Aaron have a long way to go. Both need to learn what is stopping them from being happy. Forgiveness is not just one sided. Each protagonist has suffered pain, loss, and trauma. But with some faith, friends, and new beginnings they might just find the peace they’re looking for…

A Chance at Forver deals with bullying, handicaps, faith, and hope. Second chances are given and found here. I felt sorry for both characters and the other side characters that they influence throughout their journey. Melissa Jagears has captivated me with her novel. I could not stop reading this heart tugging story. It was powerful, educational, and inspiring. Overall, I would highly recommend this historical novel to all readers.

 

Review: The Weaver’s Daughter by Sarah E. Ladd

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Kate’s loyalties bind her to the past. Henry’s loyalties compel him to strive for a better future.

In a landscape torn between tradition and vision, can two souls find the strength to overcome their preconceptions?

Loyalty has been at the heart of the Dearborne family for as long as Kate can remember, but a war is brewing in their small village, one that has the power to rip families asunder—including her own. As misguided actions are brought to light, she learns how deep her father’s pride and bitterness run, and she begins to wonder if her loyalty is well-placed.

Henry Stockton, heir to the Stockton fortune, returns home from three years at war hoping to find a refuge from his haunting memories. Determined to bury the past, he embraces his grandfather’s goals to modernize his family’s wool mill, regardless of the grumblings from the local weavers. When tragedy strikes shortly after his arrival, Henry must sort out the truth from suspicion if he is to protect his family’s livelihood and legacy.

Henry has been warned about the Dearborne family. Kate, too, has been advised to stay far away from the Stocktons, but chance meetings continue to bring her to Henry’s side, blurring the jagged lines between loyalty, justice, and truth. Kate ultimately finds herself with the powerful decision that will forever affect her village’s future. Born on opposite sides of the conflict, Henry and Kate must come together to find a way to create peace for their families, and their village, and their souls—even if it means risking their hearts in the process.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Weaver’s Daughter by Sarah E. Ladd is a heartfelt journey full of surprises. I was entertained from the beginning. The main characters have a heavy weight on their shoulders. Both of  their families and the town are hanging by a thread. A wrong decision could make everything much worse. Two families are fighting among each other. The past held bad memories. Kate is bound to her father but things have changed. She will have to make choice between her father and the man that holds her heart. Henry is also bound by duty. He and Kate kept meeting and fate has taken over their lives. Good things are on the horizon but loss and grief may still exist. Some things may never change…

Sarah E. Ladd has written a fun historical fiction piece. I was charmed and lured by both Kate and Henry. The younger generation trying to to hold together what their families have created is a daunting task. I felt as though I had slipped back in time. Loyalty, hope, and love are some of the major themes explored here. It was well-written. Overall, I recommend this novel to all.

 

 

Review: The Diplomat’s Daughter by Karin Tanabe

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

During the turbulent months following the 1941 bombing of Pearl Harbor, twenty-one-year-old Emi Kato, the daughter of a Japanese diplomat, is locked behind barbed wire in a Texas internment camp. She feels hopeless until she meets handsome young Christian Lange, whose German-born parents were wrongfully arrested for un-American activities. Together, they live as prisoners with thousands of other German and Japanese families, but discover that love can bloom in even the bleakest circumstances.

When Emi and her mother are abruptly sent back to Japan, Christian enlists in the US Army, with his sights set on the Pacific front—and, he hopes, a reunion with Emi—unaware that her first love, Leo Hartmann, the son of wealthy of Austrian parents and now a Jewish refugee in Shanghai, may still have her heart.

Fearful of bombings in Tokyo, Emi’s parents send her to a remote resort town in the mountains, where many in the foreign community have fled. Cut off from her family, struggling with growing depression and hunger, Emi repeatedly risks her life to help keep her community safe—all while wondering if the two men she loves are still alive.

As Christian Lange struggles to adapt to life as a soldier, his unit pushes its way from the South Pacific to Okinawa, where one of the bloodiest battles of World War II awaits them. Meanwhile, in Japanese-occupied Shanghai, as Leo fights to survive the squalor of the Jewish ghetto, a surprise confrontation with a Nazi officer threatens his life. For each man, Emi Kato is never far from their minds.

Flung together by war, passion, and extraordinary acts of selflessness, the paths of these three remarkable young people will collide as the fighting on the Pacific front crescendos. With her “elegant and extremely gratifying” (USA Today) storytelling, Karin Tanabe paints a stunning portrait of a turning point in history.

Rating: 3-stars

Review:

The Diplomat’s Daughter by Karin Tanabe is a historical novel that just never hit it off with me. I felt more distaste for the characters than I have for any other book’s characters. They sunk my interest. The Japanese woman, Emi, was completely unlikable. I couldn’t connect with her on any level. She believes she is far greater than anyone else. She fell in love with two men. When one of them found happiness with another woman more mature than Emi, Emi tore the letter bearing the news. Anger, hatred, and sadness crept into her nature. Yet, there was still Christian remaining in the equation. Hope seeped into her being…and when she found him, she thought he was still the most handsome man he was when she first met him. Thoughts of what if she found him missing an eye or other body part…or what if he became ugly due to war injuries, would she have still accepted him or simply reject him? I could not like her at all. Even at the end, I still did not find anything about her to like.

Karin Tanabe wrote about the war time periods with great detail. I enjoyed that part of this book. The plot was slow and unbearable due to the characterization. The Diplomat’s Daughter was a crazy love triangle that quickly dissolved. Only at the very ending, did one man still hang on for the young Japanese woman. I could not fanthom why he liked her. I could not stand her personality. Looking for romance, do not read this book. If you want a picture of what world wars were like, then read this book. Overall, I would not recommend this to readers.

Review: In the Name of the Family by Sarah Dunate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

`It is better to be feared than loved’ – Niccolo Machiavelli

In the bear pit of renaissance politics, a young Florentine diplomat finds himself first hand observer on the history’s most notorious family – the Borgias.

In the Name of the Family – as Blood and Beauty did before – holds up a mirror to a turbulent moment of history, sweeping aside the myths to bring alive the real Borgia family; complicated, brutal, passionate and glorious. Here is a thrilling exploration of the House of Borgia’s doomed years, in the company of a young diplomat named Niccolo Machiavelli.

It is 1502 and Rodrigo Borgia, a self-confessed womaniser and master of political corruption is now on the Papal throne as Alexander VI. His daughter Lucrezia, aged twenty-two, already thrice married and a pawn in her father’s plans, is discovering her own power. And then there is Cesare Borgia: brilliant, ruthless and increasingly unstable; it is his relationship with the diplomat Machiavelli which offers a master class on the dark arts of power and politics. What Machiavelli learns will go on to inform his great work of modern politics, The Prince.

But while the pope rails against old age and his son’s increasing maverick behavior, it is Lucrezia who will become the Borgia survivor: taking on her enemies and creating her own place in history.

Rating: 3.5-stars

Review:

In the Name of the Family by Sarah Dunate is deep political read. A family swamped with political tension, betrayal, and revenge. A daughter who helps her father as much as her brother tries to destroy their father.  So many themes are found inside this book…it was an adventure of a lifetime. The historical novel captured the time period and politics down perfectly. It felt as though I traveled back in time. There was plenty of action to keep me attention. Murder, corruption, and power were the central themes featured on every page. The children of the Pope felt more like pawns than anything else. The daughter was a pawn for the Pope’s own gain. The son became a hungry Mongolia for more power and influence. The level that each of these three main characters stooped to was engaging as it was sad. Too many viewpoints were told in this book. I would have enjoyed it more if there just two different viewpoints at most telling their side of the story. The historical time period was what made this an entertaining tale. I couldn’t connect with the main characters, which was really disappointing. Overall, good but could have been better.

Review: Sharks (A 400 Million Year Journey) by Ted Rechlin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Sharks have been cruising our planet’s waters for millions of years. They were here long before us. They were here long before the dinosaurs. Sharks are a window into the distant past and into deep time. See how the most legendary ocean dwellers got their start, and how they became the sharks we know today.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Sharks: A 400 Million Year Journey by Ted Rechlin is another great educational read for children everywhere. Sharks are world known and an interesting topic. Here, I got to follow the history of sharks and learn about the different species as well. The pages were bright, colorful, and engaging. The book reads like a comic book but the illustrations are amazing. Overall, I recommend this stunning book to parents, guardians, and teachers everywhere.

Cover Release: The Maybrook Trilogy by Nicole Strycharz

 

 

 

 

 

 

~*~The Maybrook Trilogy ~*~
by Nicole Strycharz, Author of The Divorce

Come to a place where love grows the apples. 🍎 🍎 🍎

From the gilded late-Victorian Age to the sweeping elegance of the Edwardian era, Maybrook is a town hidden away in Pennsylvania where each book brings you new mysteries and nostalgic romances.

~A Lieutenant, in pursuit of a predator who’s next victim might be the woman he loves.

~A young woman torn from her first sweetheart and made to be an open-minded suffragette, returns.

~An attorney works to free an innocent while harboring dark family secrets.

~A young show girl crosses the Atlantic on the ill-fated Titanic but from the wreckage finds a place to call home.

** Each book is better read in sequence but the prequel can be enjoyed in any order.**

Join the party in the link below to stay up to date with the re-release of The Maybrook Trilogy, April 10th!!!!

There will be an enormous box set giveaway of paperbacks and a takeover party full of bestselling authors giving away prizes!

https://www.facebook.com/events/598243780524677/?ti=icl

You can also follow Nicole, here:
https://www.facebook.com/nicolestrycharz/

Review: A Duke Like No Other

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

First comes love, then comes marriage. Unless it’s the other way around. . .

General Mark Grimaldi has sacrificed everything for his military career, working his way through the ranks without the benefit of a nobleman’s title. Now, his years of dedication are about to pay off—with an offer for a prestigious promotion to Home Secretary. There’s only one condition: Mark must be married. Aside from the small matter of not actually wanting to be wed, Mark faces another troubling problem: he already has a wife.

Nicole Huntington Grimaldi has spent ten contented years in France without her husband—and without regret. When Mark asks her to return to London and play the part of his beloved wife, she sees her chance. But neither of them is prepared for news that will throw Mark’s future into chaos…nor the undeniable desire they’ve rekindled. Maybe happily-ever-after can happen the second time around in A Duke Like No Other, the next Regency romance from Valerie Bowman.

Valerie Bowman’s Playful Brides novels are:

“Wholly satisfying.”—USA Today

“Smart and sensual…readers will be captivated.”—RT Book Reviews

“Smoldering.” —Booklist

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

A Duke Like No Other by Valerie Bowmanis another enchanting romance. A historical that pushes boundaries and sinks its teeth into my heart. The plot was fast-paced, engaging, and emotional. Two protagonists both with a desire to work in a dangerous field and do what is right. Despite their Desiree and attraction, both hide things from each other. This causes a rift to form and both fall apart. A marriage based on love but broken by secrets. Neither one was able to let his or her pride down to set things right between them. Ten years later, life has a way of bringing them back together. One wants to become a mother and the other the Secretary of State.

However, to become Secretary of State he needs his wife back in England to assume the position of a family man. General Mark Grimadali is more of a family man than most presume and more than he, himself thinks he is. It was funny watching his troubles, fears, and heart explode among the pages. His wife Nicole is jus s strong of character as her husband. Stubborn to a fault…she can’t hide her feelings any longer. Afraid of a broken heart again, she is prepared to leave her husband she loves one more…but could he really not love her? Both are grave, smart, and charming. I fell hard and fast for these characters. Their personalities and struggles were exciting to follow. Overall, I highly recommend this historical regency novel.

Review: The Luck of the Bride by Jana MacGregor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Can a woman who’s down on her luck find love with a dashing Duke-to-be? Find out in The Luck of the Bride, the next Regency romance in the Cavensham Heiresses series from Janna MacGregor.

She’s leaving nothing up to chance. Not even love…

March Lawson is an orphan who, for the past eight years, has struggled to raise her siblings on a meager allowance. Most women March’s age would be picking out ball gowns for the upcoming season. But March’s focus is not on finding a husband. First, she must devote her energies to just one man: the coldhearted skinflint who refuses to release her inheritance.

Michael Cavensham, the Marquess of McCalpin, is not a heartless man. When he learns that Miss Lawson has been forging his name to procure funds, he can’t bring himself to have her arrested—not when the bold-faced embezzler is so enchantingly beautiful. Instead, McCalpin agrees to visit her home to assess the situation more closely. March has no choice but to accept. But how can she manage the handsome trustee who controls her purse strings—when he tugs at her heart strings as well?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Luck of the Bride by Jana MacGregor is another interesting tale. A historical romance that takes readers deep inside a family’s woes. A young girl of 16, eldest daughter, lost her parents. After losing them both, she had to grow up quickly and take care of her family. Two other sisters and a baby brother, plus managing their family estate isn’t what March should have been left to do. Yet she took her responsibilities seriously and made do with what they had. Until too much of the burdens were adding upon her shoulders. Now, seeking her inheritance to help her family eat and stay well, she forges a letter. This letter leads March and her siblings into a headfast journey. One that brings trouble, trials, laughter, memories, and maybe, love.

Next, there is Michael. A Marquess who has a heart of gold. All his life he has struggled with a secret. He cannot add or subtract numbers. In fact, he can’t do anything with numbers. But he’s very smart with reading, arguing, and hard labor. The man helps anyone who needs him. But his brother fears of March using Michael’s generosity and kindness for her own personal gain. But as Michael and March hang out together, a path so unknown to them opens up…I was immediately enchanted and deeply engaged.

Jana MacGregor definitely knows how to lure readers, like me, into her world of fiction. The characters were memorizing. Believable, charming, and realistic…they were. I couldn’t help but to fall in love with them all especially, March’s young brother, Bennett. I hope to read his adult story. He will become a great man one day. This novel, was wonderful. I highly recommend it to all.

Review: A Refuge Assured

 

 

Synopsis:

Vivienne Rivard fled revolutionary France and seeks a new life for herself and a boy in her care, who some say is the Dauphin. But America is far from safe, as militiaman Liam Delaney knows. He proudly served in the American Revolution but is less sure of his role in the Whiskey Rebellion. Drawn together, will Liam and Vivienne find the peace they long for?

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

A Refuge Assured by Jocelyn Green is full of historical events like the Whiskey Rebellion. I felt as though I have traveled back in time. The characters really portrayed their time periods. The accents and actions made the historical moments come alive. I was impressed. The plot was steady but good. Danger, risks, and hope are filled on these pages. A single woman traveling with a boy under her care looking for a safe place. A man wanting to run his farm but might be forced to fight for it again. These were strong independent characters. I could easily relate to their troubles and connect with them on many levels. Overall, it was a great read. I recommend it to others.

 

Women’s History Month: Author Nicole Strycharz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two special ladies from my books are Abigail Everett and Henrietta Dexter. Both of them are from my Edwardian historical works, ‘The Maybrook Trilogy’.

Abigail is a woman that suffered the early loss of her mother and the wrath of her abusive father. After being separated from her first love, she becomes a suffragette and broad thinking woman, ahead of her time. Wearing trousers, being an activist in support of the women’s vote, and showing one special little girl how to reach for any star she desires is Abigail’s way of making the world brighter one day at a time.

Henrietta is the daughter of a small town judge. She begins in the trilogy as a snobbish, apathetic, and perfectly traditional woman of the era. As the trilogy continues, she begins to face the things about herself she does not like and begins to see the importance of embracing her self-worth. Henrietta may never be an outward crusader of the woman’s movement but in her heart, she has begun to see the value of her thoughts, her abilities, and her strengths.

Re-release of The Maybrook Trilogy Event
https://www.facebook.com/events/598243780524677/

Nicole Strycharz’s FB Author Page
https://www.facebook.com/nicolestrycharz/

Nicole’s Website
http://nicolesbooks.wixsite.com/authorpage

All the books in the trilogy and the prequel will be released April 10th 2018 in honor of the Titanic’s maiden voyage, since the ship plays a role in the stories!

Historical figures that star as characters, are mentioned in the books, or have cameo appearances are:
Lady Duff-Gordon
Henry Ford
The Benz Family
Anna Howard Shaw
John Jacob Astor IV
Isidor Straus
Johnny Appleseed
Jane Avril
Woodrow Wilson
William Howard Taft
Alice Paul
Theodore Roosevelt

Review: A Tale of Two Murders (book 1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

On the eve of the Victorian era, London has a new sleuth . . .

In the winter of 1835, young Charles Dickens is a journalist on the rise at the Evening Chronicle. Invited to dinner at the estate of the newspaper’s co-editor, Charles is smitten with his boss’s daughter, vivacious nineteen-year-old Kate Hogarth. They are having the best of times when a scream shatters the pleasant evening. Charles, Kate, and her father rush to the neighbors’ home, where Miss Christiana Lugoson lies unconscious on the floor. By morning, the poor young woman will be dead.

When Charles hears from a colleague of a very similar mysterious death a year ago to the date, also a young woman, he begins to suspect poisoning and feels compelled to investigate. The lovely Kate offers to help–using her social position to gain access to the members of the upper crust, now suspects in a murder. If Charles can find justice for the victims, it will be a far, far better thing than he has ever done. But with a twist or two in this most peculiar case, he and Kate may be in for the worst of times…

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

A Tale of Two Murders by Heather Redmond is a both classic and an exciting mystery. This plot shows us, readers, a young Charles Dickens in love who ends up going after the bad guys. His investigation leads to many suspects. Especially, those in the top circles of society. His lady, Kate helps him get into the top circles to question the possible suspects. I was enchanted with this book. Intrigue, suspense, and a repeat of murders just like in the past…everything held my attention to the last page. The writer brilliantly took a famous person, Charles Dickens, and wove a masterpiece entailing him and his younger life. I cannot see how readers would not be hooked. My curiosity peaked the pages flew by. The intensity of mystery grew the further I dug into it. Overall, A Tale of Two Murders is a must read. A little bit of mystery, suspense, and history all wrapped into one stunning book.

Review: The Lost Castle

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Launching a brand-new series, Kristy Cambron explores the collision of past and present as she discovers the ruins of a French castle, long lost to history.

A thirteenth century castle, Chateau de Doux Reves, has been forgotten for generations, left to ruin in a storybook forest nestled deep in France’s picturesque Loire Valley. It survived a sacking in the French Revolution, was brought back to life and fashioned into a storybook chateau in the Gilded Age, and was eventually felled and deserted after a disastrous fire in the 1930s.

As Ellie Carver sits by her grandmother’s bedside, she hears stories of a castle . . . of lost love and a hidden chapel that played host to a secret fight in the World War II French resistance. But her grandmother is quickly slipping into the locked-down world of Alzheimer’s, and Ellie must act fast if she wants to uncover the truth of her family’s history.

Sparked by the discovery of a long forgotten family heirloom, Ellie embarks on a journey to French wine country to uncover the mystery surrounding The Sleeping Beauty–the castle so named for Charles Perrault’s beloved fairy tale–and unearth its secrets before they’re finally silenced by time.

Set in three different time periods–the French Revolution, World War II, and present day–The Lost Castle is a story of loves won and lost, of battles waged, and an enchanted castle that inspired the epic fairy tales time left behind.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Lost Castle by Kristy Cambron is an interesting historical journey. A young woman is wanting to learn everything she can about her family history. Her grandmother provides the clues but is slipping away fast into Alzheimer’s. The clock is ticking fast, and Ellie Carver must find the answers. Soon, I was following her as she traveled to a castle that has holds so many secrets. Many generations of women, and their historical time periods were brought to life in this engaging tale. Captivating and intriguing, I was hooked. The Lost Castle peaked my interest. What were the women’s lives like…and how it all ties in with the present, kept me reading. Ellie is a good character. Her personality makes her easy to like. Overall, I enjoyed traveling back in time with The Lost Castle. I recommend it to all.

Review: The Sea Before Us

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

In 1944, American naval officer Lt. Wyatt Paxton arrives in London to prepare for the Allied invasion of France. He works closely with Dorothy Fairfax, a “Wren” in the Women’s Royal Naval Service. Dorothy pieces together reconnaissance photographs with thousands of holiday snapshots of France–including those of her own family’s summer home–in order to create accurate maps of Normandy. Maps that Wyatt will turn into naval bombardment plans.

As the two spend concentrated time together in the pressure cooker of war, their deepening friendship threatens to turn to love. Dorothy must resist its pull. Her bereaved father depends on her, and her heart already belongs to another man. Wyatt too has much to lose. The closer he gets to Dorothy, the more he fears his efforts to win the war will destroy everything she has ever loved.

The tense days leading up to the monumental D-Day landing blaze to life under Sarah Sundin’s practiced pen with this powerful new series.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

The Sea Before Us by Sarah Sundin takes me back to the rush of World War II. Dorthy is a beautiful yet smart woman. Her work helps the war effort in more ways than most imagine. She meets Wyatt. A soldier missing his family. Together, Dorothy and Wyatt find hope and courage to get through the rough times ahead. What they never thought would happen is the love they find for each other. Somehow, each character gives the other one exactly what they needed. Themes of friendship, love, hope and new beginnings can be felt throughout this engaging read. I couldn’t stop reading it. Both characters risks their hearts and lives to help win the war. Sarah Sundin created memorable characters in a time period that still haunts many of us, today. Heartfelt and intriguing, I highly recommend this historical romance to all.

Review: A Passionate Hope

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Hannah and her husband, Elkanah, share a deep and abiding love, for each other, for their God, and for his tabernacle at Shiloh. Greatly disturbed by the corruption of the priests, they long for restoration and pray for a deliverer. But nothing changes as the years pass. Years that also reveal Hannah to be barren.

Pressured by his family to take another wife, Elkanah marries Peninnah, who quickly begins to bear children. Disgraced and taunted by her husband’s new wife, Hannah turns again to prayers that seem doomed to go unanswered. Do her devotion and kindness in the face of Peninnah’s cruelty count for nothing? Why does God remain silent and indifferent to her pleas?

Travel back to the dusty streets of Shiloh with an expert guide as Jill Eileen Smith brings to life a beloved story of hope, patience, and deliverance that shows that even the most broken of relationships can be restored.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

A Passionate Hope by Jill Eileen Smith is a wonderful Jewish tale of love, hope, faith, and forgiveness. During this time period, the struggles were harder. Especially, when their coveted ark disappears. Yet they still remain hopeful and obedient to God. I liked how Hannah turns to prayer when life brings her curveballs. She is strong, independent, and faithful. She is an inspiration to all women. Jill Eileen Smith’s historical fiction is well-written. It engages me to follow Hannah as her life dramatically changes for good to problematic to good again. Her love of her husband and God are strong. Hannah felt sad, angry, and hurt when her husband married another women. I wanted to hug her immediately. Her pain is real. It is easy to connect with her on many levels. The title is exactly what this book is about…and I recommend this read to others.

Review: Phoebe’s Light

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Phoebe Starbuck has always adjusted her sails and rudder to the whims of her father. Now, for the first time, she’s doing what she wants to do: marrying Captain Phineas Foulger and sailing far away from Nantucket. As she leaves on her grand adventure, her father gives her two gifts, both of which Phoebe sees little need for. The first is an old sheepskin journal from Great Mary, her highly revered great-grandmother. The other is a “minder” on the whaling ship in the form of cooper Matthew Mitchell, a man whom she loathes.

Soon Phoebe discovers that life at sea is no easier than life on land. Lonely, seasick, and disillusioned, she turns the pages of Great Mary’s journal and finds herself drawn into the life of this noble woman. To Phoebe’s shock, her great-grandmother has left a secret behind that carries repercussions for everyone aboard the ship, especially her husband the captain and her shadow the cooper. This story within a story catapults Phoebe into seeing her life in an entirely new way–just in time.

In this brand-new series, bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher brings her signature twists and turns to bear on a fascinating new faith community: the Quakers of colonial-era Nantucket Island.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Phoebe’s Light by Suzanne Woods Fisher is an enlightening Quaker journey. I love historical novels that take me back in time and hold me captive. The main cast of characters were interesting. They felt three-dimensional. The Quaker language and cultural is captured on every page. Phoebe wanting a different life than the one she has on land leaves for a life at sea. Until she leaves home, Phoebe does not realize just how much being on land means to her. Marrying the sea captain brings a whole new adventure to her life. Quipped with a journal from her great-grandmother, Phoebe learns a lot. Phoebe is wanting an adventure. That is exactly what she gets. Matthew is another main character that was easy to like. He’s a good man. Phoebe’s Light is inspiring in many ways especially, to women. Secrets, murder, and an emotional rollercoaster ride…all inside this intriguing story. Overall, I enjoyed reading this book.

Review: Last Stop in Brooklyn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

It’s the summer of 1894, and an infidelity case has brought PI Mary Handley to a far corner of Brooklyn: Coney Island. In the midst of her investigation, Mary is contacted by a convicted man’s brother to reopen a murder case. A prostitute was killed by a Jack the Ripper copycat years ago in her New York hotel room, but her true killer was never found. Once again it’s up to Mary to make right the city’s wrongs.

New York City’s untouchable head of detectives, Thomas Byrnes, swears he put the right man behond bars, but as Mary digs deeper, she finds corruption at the heart of New York’s justice system, involving not only the police, but the most powerful of stock titans. Disturbing evidence of other murders begins to surface, each one mimicking Jack the Ripper’s style, each one covered up by Thomas Byrnes.

As Mary pieces together the extent of the damage, she crosses paths with Harper Lloyd, an investigative reporter. Their relationship grows into a partnership, and perhaps more, and together they must catch a killer who’s still out there, and reverse the ruthless workings of New York’s elite. It’ll be Mary’s most dangerous, most personal case yet.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Last Stop in Brooklyn by Lawrence H. Levy is an interesting plot. I was curious who was behind all the jack-the-rippers killings and how far the corruption went. Murder, danger, and risks are shown here. I liked the main protagonist, Mary. I found it unusual for a woman during her time to be a PI but still it was good. A bit of romance is hinted in the relationship between Mary Harper. Both of their careers made this even more engaging to read. After reading this novel, the question of why the police are always terrible at catching the bad guys has seemed to frightening. I see a pattern of this happening in the real world as well as the fictional one here. Overall, this story had every hook that kept me intrigued until the last page. I would recommend this historical murder mystery to others.

Review: Highland Conquest

Highland Conquest (The Sons of Gregor MacLeod, #2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

HE WAS LOOKING FOR VENGEANCE

Laird Lachlan MacKay never planned on leading his clan, but when his older brother was murdered, he was left with no choice. His vow to avenge his brother has led him to the MacPherson clan—and their bewitching healer, Amber.

INSTEAD HE FOUND HER

Amber MacPherson is desperate. Dressed as a boy to escape her clan’s treacherous leader, she runs right into Lachlan—who orders her detained. At first she causes him nothing but frustration, especially when she blackmails him into helping her clan. But when she’s threatened by the same man who murdered his brother, Lachlan will do whatever it takes to keep her safe—and by his side.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Highland Conquest by Alyson McLayne is out of this world good! I have never been more excited to a historical romance. This Highlander tale was deeply engaging. Danger, risks, and romance all in one captivating read.  A strong female character took me by surprise. Amber MacPherson is both a lady and a warrior. She can make men listen to her demands. I loved how tough she was. Amber was also a caring sweet woman.  Her only worry was rape…a bad man, who is obsessed with her, has scared her from wanting to be intimate with any man, including her fiancé. Her fear was so strong it felt like it was my own fear. Amber is a lady who stands up for women to fight just like their men. Last but not least, is the sexy warrior, Laird Lachlan MacKay. He is attracted to the stunning yet fierce beauty, Amber. Lachlan does not want to marry but he ended up falling for a woman in every way possible…but first they must survive the danger chasing after them. Overall, I highly recommend Highland Conquest to all readers.

Review: A Devil in Scotland

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The dawning of desire…

1806, Scotland: Wild, reckless Callum MacCreath is in no hurry to become someone’s husband. But when his responsible, steady older brother Ian announces his engagement to their childhood friend Rebecca, Callum makes a startling discovery: he wants the lovely young lass for himself. But it’s too late, and when Ian banishes him for his duplicity, he’s only too happy to leave Scotland forever…

…is delicious and dangerous.

1816: Marrying Ian was the practical, logical thing for Becca to do. But once Callum sailed away to America, she missed his rakish charm and lust for life. Now, ten years later, Becca is a widow when a much-changed Callum returns to his Scottish homeland. Will he remember their spirited, fiery connection, or does he blame her for his brother’s unexpected death? This time neither of them can deny their scorching attraction, but will their hearts be burned in the blazing heat of scandal?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

A Devil in Scotland by Suzanne Enoch is a very satisfying romance. I was instantly in love with the characters. Especially, the fallen hero who ends up redeeming himself. It’s a story I couldn’t resist.

Callum MacCreath is a Highlander at heart. Ten years ago, he figured out that the woman he loved was betrothed to his older brother, Ian. Wanting Becca, Callum tries to persuade Becca to marry him instead. Yet she wasn’t having it. And to top if all, he insulted his older brother, and made a drunken fool of himself in front of everyone, including Becca and Ian. Ian pushes Callum to leave their only home. Callum doesn’t hesitate and leaves without a penny to his name. Now, he’s brought back home by news of his older brother’s death. A drowning…his brother was the best swimmer and the water he drowned in was not deep enough to drown in…Callum knows who the killers are and his going to get them both. But first, family duty calls.

Becca was Callum’s and Ian best friend. Until she gets betrothed to Ian. That’s when, Callum realizes he’s loosing the one thing he thought he’d always have, Becca. Becca has always had a thing for Callum. However, all he has done was prove that he’s irresponsible, ignorant, and a drunk. He’s not to be trusted. That was ten years ago. Now, Becca has lost her husband and her father not too, long after each other. Becca is doing everything she can to find her way in life. Until Callum returns and comes claiming his inheritance. He always brings with him a lot of trouble. Enough to rattle Becca’s heart, and the two killers’ scheme to get Becca’s inheritance….plus, there’s Callum’s niece aka Becca’s daughter to consider.

A passion that never died…

Heat, danger, risks, and trust are found on every page.

A Devil in Scotland was everything I expected and more. Suzanna Enoch writes well. Her characters were charming. The Scottish rogue held my heart from the beginning. Then, there was the little girl, who brought so much joy and humor to Callum’s and Becca’s intense situation. I can’t wait to read more by this writer. Overall, I recommend this historical novel to all.

Review: Tales of Titans Vol. 2

Synopsis:

Tales of Titans, by award-winning author Rich DiSilvio, brings great historical figures to life with concise yet compelling essays, coupled with engaging narratives that enlighten readers to their miraculous deeds, and misdeeds, that have significantly shaped Western civilization.

This handsomely illustrated series offers readers brief biographical overviews and cogent analysis, while the quasi-fictional scenarios transport readers into a fascinating past, whereby putting flesh on the bones of several titans and offering glimpses into their hearts, minds, and actions.

Even those less inclined to read history will be drawn into DiSilvio’s rich narratives that read like novelettes. Yet these engaging tales are constructed from actual events and are infused with original quotes that prove to be both humanizing and instructional. Meanwhile the essays offer unique factoids and perspectives that broaden understanding.

This volume features: The Medicis, Gutenberg, Lorenzo the Magnificent, Savonarola, Leonardo, Machiavelli, Martin Luther, Queen Elizabeth I, Shakespeare, Galileo, Darwin, Marx, Stalin, Freud, Marconi, Edison, Tesla, Einstein, Fermi and von Braun.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Tales of Titans Vol. 2 by Rich DiSilvio is an interesting book. A journey all history lovers, like myself, would enjoy. This volumes features many popular figures and turns them into three-dimensional characters. Characters that intrigue, fascinate, and hook me further into their tales. I loved how Rich DiSilvio captured history and wove fictional elements into them. It made history more fun to follow. I wished this volumes didn’t the others in the series were used back when I was so a student…overall, Tales of Titans was informative, educational, and engaging to read. I highly recommend it to all.

Review: Secrets of Cavendon

Secrets of Cavendon (Cavendon Hall, #4)

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

 

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author, a stunning, epic novel featuring the characters of the beloved Cavendon series.

 

For years things have run smoothly at Cavendon Hall, with very few quarrels, dramas, or upsets among the Inghams and the Swanns. But since the end of World War II, things have changed. The Secrets of Cavendon picks up in the summer of 1949, with the new generation of the estate at the forefront of the scandal and intrigue. With romance, betrayal, heartbreak, and possible murder threatening to tear them apart, the Inghams and Swanns will have to find a way to come together and protect each other in the face of threats they never could have predicted.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Secrets of Cavendon by Barbara Taylor Bradford is an engaging historical read. It’s similar to Downton Abbey. A big enormous place that is getting harder to keep up with…and families that have poured their money into keeping it alive. Then, there’s the secrets and history that are revealed. Plus, it too is set after the war. I enjoyed reading this novel.

As with all wars, things change. Drastic changes affect the Ingham and the Swann families. Finding ways to manage the finances and ways of the heart intrigued my attention. There was a lot of backstory and made this hard to get into quickly. I couldn’t move between pages that fast, because I needed to learn what was going on and who was involved with what.

The history of Cavendon is explored on these pages. Major themes of betrayal, romance, and heartbreak are incorporated into the tale. Some characters I enjoyed following more so than others. One of the ones I loved was Aunt Charlotte. She and Cecily Ingham had personalities that just drew me more into the plot. But others were not as captivating as them. There is a bit of mystery to follow here. Other than that it’s mostly a drama novel. So much drama within this book.

Overall, I was intrigued but bored. It has a historical slash women’s fiction genre to it. The strong characters were the females. The males seemed to be left behind mostly in the background of the story. Secrets of the Cavendon is good, but could have been better.

Review: Wallflower Most Wanted

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

THE PICTURE OF ROMANCE

A dedicated painter, Miss Sophia Hastings is far more concerned with finding the right slant of light than in finding Mr. Right. But when an overheard conversation hints at danger for another local artist, Sophia is determined to get involved. Even if it means accepting help from an impossibly good-looking vicar who insists on joining her investigation—and threatens to capture her heart…

Reverend Lord Benedick Lisle knows that Sophia is no damsel in distress. But he won’t allow her to venture into peril alone, either. . .especially since he finds Sophia’s curious, free-spirited nature so alluring. But protecting her from harm is becoming more difficult than the vicar could have expected as he and Sophia confront their fiery mutual passion. Who could have known that the art of love would prove so irresistible?

Wallflower Most Wanted by Manda Collins is a page-turning Regency romance and part of the Studies in Scandal series.

 

 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Wallflower Most Wanted by Manda Collins is an interesting tale. This historical romance, brings out the most unusual characters for this genre. Beautiful yet exceptionally talented women who are looked at as strange among the society of their time period. However, their family and closest friends love them for who they are. Then, there are the men they meet…seduction, heat, and passion are mixed into the atmosphere creating a raw and unforgettable story.

The men can’t resist temptation in the form of the these exciting women. Strong, independent, talented and smart women…who know what they want in life. It was hard not to love the especially the main characters focused in this novel. Miss Sophia Hastings has been made an heir. Her talent is painting. She’s an outstanding artist that can make people think and feel what she has painted. I loved her fiery spirit. Her strong will and determination came from her Aunt who is a force to beware of…

Miss Sophia Hastings ends up injuring her leg and meets the dashing yet remarkable vicar in her area. Every lady wants to marry him. His good looks cause for the flock of women to surround him. Yet Miss Hastings isn’t flocking him despite how attracted she is to his looks and charms. When Reverend Lord Benedict Lisle pulls his full on charms, there’s no resisting him…

Reverend Lord Benedict wants to help people. He has no stomach for war yet he can defend himself and those he cares about…especially, the wallflower known as Miss Hastings. Both him and her suffer with the opposite sex coming to them for attention. Neither one enjoys this. Yet as their chance meeting happens, so does the danger. Over hearing a crime plot, both characters end up pulling closer than they ever dreamed. Maybe, they’ll find their match after all…unless the danger gets to them first.

Wallflower Most Wanted by Manda Collins is a super sweet, funny, and charming book. I couldn’t resist it. The temptation was too great. The characters were lovable. Each one had a personal connection to the situations happening and their personalities made the story that much better. It was believable. Manda Collins beautifully wove this tale into a romance unlike any other. Overall, I highly recommend it to all.

Review: Out of the Ordinary

Synopsis:

When shipping magnate Harrison Sinclair’s mother catches Gertrude Cadwalader, paid companion to the light-fingered Mrs. Davenport, returning a pilfered item, she comes to the wrong conclusion. However, Harrison is eager to mend fences once he realizes the error. After a real thief starts preying on society, can Gertrude and Harrison catch the culprit?

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Out of the Ordinary by Jen Turano is a historical tale readers do not want to miss. Is an exciting adventure. A woman,Gertrude, is wrongly accused, her employer is strange, and her employer’s son is highly attracted to her. Adventure, humor, and trouble are found on these pages. I was entertained from the beginning. Jen Turano has a way of sending deep into her plot. One full of mischief, love, and hope. I was rooting for Harrison and Gertrude all the way. Both like one another but don’t really know how the other one feels. It was quite interesting to follow. A man who goes out of his way to impress a lady he loves, is worth keeping. Harrison is just that. The scenes may feel ordinary but the feelings that Jen Turano creates with her words are extraordinary. I laughed and liked the characters. Their troubles were believable. I felt like I was there watching them as the events unfolded.

Review: The History Makers

Synopsis:

What would the world be like today had the greatest civilization never fallen?

By the time Spanish explorers reached the Americas, the Aztec Empire was one of the greatest powers in the world. The ancient priests would slaughter human sacrifices, sometimes by the thousands, all under the pretext that their gods needed blood to make the sun rise every day. What would have happened had this empire prevailed over the Spanish and survived to this day? How would its bloodthirsty theocracy fit in with our world?

Myla is an upper-class teenager in modern-day Azteca, partying her days away with her friends and the man who has claimed her as his wife. On her seventeenth birthday, she is finally “enlightened” and told the truth: that the Priesthood is lying to everyone. Then, in an intriguing twist of fate, she finds herself in the hands of Aztec’s rebels and their leader, Tezca.

Myla must now sort through all the lies she has been told her whole life and confront old secrets buried deep. Can she trust these people? Are they terrorists or freedom-fighting revolutionaries? And will she join them to dismantle the theocracy and its lies, or will the price she would be made to pay be too high?

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The History Makers by Val Bodurtha is a fascinating novel for historical lovers, like myself. I found myself of immediately taken with the story. A what if journey that is just as enticing as it is frightening. Take a major historical empire and seeing it survive…is amazing. But their way of living…is something that would horrify all. Human sacrifices. Not just one sacrifice but thousands just to keep a tradition of ruling alive. Imagine living your life among people and a culture that believe human bloodshed is the way to keep their Gods happy…then, to find doubt within that culture. Are they really telling lies and killing innocents or is it just another plot to over take the already existing empire?

Val Bodurtha’s writing is haunting. I was hooked. It kept me turning the pages. Myla is a character that I really enjoyed following. She developed into a stronger character as the tale unfolded. I liked her from the beginning and loved her overall transformation, too. Intrigue, danger, coming of age, and some romance can be found in this exciting adventure. The History Makers spins the Aztec culture and life into a modern world. It was quite good to read. I recommend this novel to readers worldwide.

Review: The Rogue is Back in Town

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Hide your daughters and your maiden aunts…Lord Samuel Travis is back.

—The London Hearsay, special society edition

Equal parts scoundrel and seducer, he’s returned to London determined to mend the rift with his older brother. All Sam must do is take possession of a tumbledown town house. A seemingly simple task, except the house is occupied—by an infuriating, whip-smart beauty who refuses to do his bidding.

Miss Juliette Lacey’s wallflower days are over. She has a plan to turn her eccentric family into the toast of the ton—but the devilishly handsome rake trying to oust them from their home thwarts her at every turn. How can one man be so vexing and make her simmer with desire?

As her attraction to Sam deepens, Julie’s problems grow—she may have, once upon a time, secretly shared a kiss with his honorable older brother. Suddenly, Julie’s caught between a rogue and a marquess, between passion and respectability. Torn between two brothers, what’s a girl to do?

 

Don’t miss the Wayward Wallflower books by Anna Bennett!

My Brown-Eyed Earl (Book 1)

I Dared the Duke (Book 2)

The Rogue is Back in Town (Book 3)

What Reviewers are saying:

“Sharply drawn characters, clever dialogue…simmering sensuality.” – Library Journal

“A new favorite among romance enthusiasts!” – BookPage on I Dared the Duke

“Will truly win readers’ hearts.” – RT Book Reviews Top Pick on I Dared the Duke

“Bennett brings new life to traditional Regency stories and characters. ” – Kirkus Reviews on I Dared the Duke

 

 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Rogue is Back in Town by Anna Bennett is sexy yet charming tale. I was delighted by Anna Bennett’s talent. Her words were enchanting. I laughed out loud and felt in love with the rogue and his charming beauty of a lady. The lady was smart, gorgeous, and loyal to her family. She fell under the rogue’s brother’s charm. Juliette thought Sam’s brother was the good man. But he only turned out to be a no good scoundrel. The funny but sweet part was that the noted and famous brother aka scoundrel was the real gentleman. Sam proved to be more than he and society originally thought he was. He was a good man like his father was. It was his brother who proved to be the dirt bag…

The novel was intense. Lusty, hilarious, and downright scandalous. Anna Bennett had me hooked. This novel was intriguing from the first page. I couldn’t stop myself. It was just that good. Oh, Sam, is a man that would melt any woman’s heart. He has so much to offer but isn’t aware of it until he met his match, Juliette.

The Rogue is Back in Town by Anna Bennett is a historical romance, I won’t forget. Its characters are believable. Strong, determined, and good natured. It’s hard to not love them all especially, Juliette’s uncle. That older man is a sweetie! Overall, I highly recommend this title to all readers. Family, love, and adventure are found deep inside this book.

Review: When You Love a Scotsman

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

New York Times bestselling author Hannah Howell sweeps readers away with the passion-filled adventures of the MacEnroy brothers, seven daring Scotsmen who take on America in her most turbulent days—and capture the hearts of the ladies each is destined to wed . . .

With danger closing in from all sides, Abigail Jenson works tirelessly to protect her small Missouri farm. She doesn’t require saving—but a handsome officer appears on horseback just as ruthless marauders set her cabin ablaze. With nowhere else to turn, Abigail allows the soldier with the seductive Highlander’s gaze to escort her to shelter in a nearby town.

Matthew MacEnroy was reluctant to join his adopted nation’s conflict—until an enemy attack wounded two of his brothers. Bravely doing battle has its price when a proud, independent beauty comes under his watch—no military man can risk the powerful emotions their attraction has unleashed. But when Matthew himself is caught in the crossfire, Abigail leads their long journey home to MacEnroy valley . . . and her caring touch sparks the promise of a bold future together.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

When You Love a Scotsman by Hannah Howell is a great read. This story wasn’t what I thought it would be. Meaning, it was exactly as the title stated…but it was different from similar titles. Here, a young woman loses her brother, pet, and both parents. The house also burnt down…leaving behind the barn if it didn’t get caught with enemy fire. Abby had to learn how to survive. She takes after her dad on shooting. A sharp eye, she has. Making the soldiers who are good guys feel less sufficient at shooting. I thought that moment was funny and sweet. A strong female protagonist took form from there.

Matthew is a solider on his was out of the war. His last stop leads him to Abby. A beautiful young woman who can shoot better than most men in the war. Her skill of stitching people also comes in handy. Matthew feels sympathy for Abby. Hearing what she has endured and watching as her parents both died in the fire during an enemy attack. Matthew drags her with them to a town house for abandoned women. There their journey only grows tighter.

Abby finds a young boy to love. A promise to a dying woman leaves her with adopting a baby instead…leaving behind the young boy. A boy brighter than his age and one determined to live with her. Abby thinks about Matthew…

Matthew can’t stop thinking about Abby. He brings her to his home along with the infant. Only time can tell where their hearts and lives will go…

Overall, When You Love a Scotsman by Hannah Howell was an interesting journey. One filled with action, adventure, and hope. Some humor humor and steam can be found within its pages. I enjoyed reading this entertaining title. This historical romance was steady paced with bits of heat, humor, and emotion.

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.

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.