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review 2017-11-09 20:52
Review: Love's First Flames (Banished Saga #1) by Ramona Flightner
Love's First Flames - Ramona Flightner

The storyline for the first half of this book was just depressing; the second half was repetitive. This is a prequel to the Banished Saga series, featuring the childhoods and early adulthoods of the three McLeod brothers (heroes in the series). I have book one on my TBR pile, but I'm in no hurry to read it since the writing changes from third person past tense in the prequel to first person tense in book one (at least from the excerpt of book one I read at the end of the prequel). Also, nothing is really engaging me in terms of characters or plot; just a lot of depressing back stories so far. I read this book for one of the squares on the 16 Tasks for Festive Season challenge.

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review 2014-07-29 19:47
Review - The Right Wife
The Right Wife - Beverly Barton

I haven't encountered too many romances set in the post-Civil War South. And I can fairly say that I haven't come across too many romances like The Right Wife either. Readers should be aware that this book has its uncomfortable moments involving race, together with some uncomfortably rapey moments and religious stereotyping. There is something about it that really stands out, though. It's that vivid but difficult to completely categorize quality I like to call WTF-ery.

With her sharecropper father now dead, 18-year-old Maggie Campbell now must find a way to provide for herself and her two younger siblings. When her aunt and uncle volunteer to take them, Maggie agrees and as the book opens, she is leaving Tennessee for Tuscambia, Alabama. At the train station, the family is drawn into a nasty incident as someone attacks their mixed-race maid (yes, poor sharecroppers traveling with a servant - let's suspend disbelief starting with page 1!) and Aaron Stone rides to the rescue.

Naturally, Maggie is left all atwitter about her brief encounter with the virile stranger. And naturally, Aaron and his friend Thayer are headed to Tuscambia themselves. So, what's the conflict? Well, we're going to have so many to pick from. First of all, Aaron has a somewhat mysterious and perhaps even shady past. Maggie, on the other hand, is going to live with an aunt who is very religious and whose son is the local minister. This isn't an inspirational, so don't be surprised when aunt and son turn out to be narrowminded, hypocritical prudes. Oh, and if the religious stereotyping isn't enough, be warned that the author does use the offensive racial language typical of the book's setting at various points in the story.

This is a partial review. You can find the complete text at All About Romance.

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review 2014-02-28 23:36
Review - Taming the Sheriff
Taming the Sheriff - Cynthia Hickey

I just couldn't get through this one. Considering how short the Heartsong Presents novels are, that's pretty sad. This book isn't so badly written; it's just a very cutesy, kid-intensive story that I couldn't get into.

The story revolves around Charlotte Nelson's arrival in rural Arkansas to teach school. When she gets there, she discovers a town divided by a Hatfield and McCoy-esque dispute that she decides will be set to rights by having a town Christmas pageant. She also crosses paths with the hunky town sheriff, who is raising his three wild nephews, whom Charlotte will of course turn into little angels. After a few chapters, I decided that I just couldn't deal with Little Miss Sunshine. As I mentioned above, this isn't a horrible book but it is super sugary in tone. If you are in the mood for that, you may like this book but this one was just a little too much for me.

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review 2013-11-24 14:42
Historical Irish Rose
Rose of Skibbereen - John McDonnell



*Book source ~ Many thanks to the author for providing a review copy in exchange for an honest review.


In 1880 Rose Sullivan left her home in Skibbereen Ireland and sailed to America with her cousin Mary. Another cousin, Kate, had gone to America years ago and she made enough money to send home so that her family lived like royalty in the poverty stricken country. She wrote and told Kate and Mary that she could get them jobs as serving girls in the household where she works. So Rose and Mary left the only home they knew and crossed an ocean to America.


I thought it was a bit strange that the evening before Rose and Mary left there was a party to see them off. That wasn’t the strange part. It was called an American Wake. Why call it a wake? I guess because family, friends and neighbors figured the girls (or whoever the party was for) were never coming back. So, even though Rose plans to return in 10 years, they were given an American Wake. Fascinating.


This short story is part one in a series documenting Rose’s life after she leaves Ireland, docks in Philadelphia and ends up as a serving girl in a rich man’s home in Pittsburgh. At her party she meets a handsome mysterious 16-year-old boy/man named Sean McCarthy. They talk, he kisses her and then he walks away. Rose spends a lot of time thinking of him on her journey to America and even after though she’s so busy working she falls asleep exhausted. The ending is a cliffhanger as Rose’s life takes a serious turn. What is she going to do now? Very well-written and I’m looking forward to reading more about Rose’s story.

Source: imavoraciousreader.blogspot.com/2013/11/saturday-shorts_23.html
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review 2013-11-14 21:28
Review - Dancing on Air
Dancing On Air - Nicole Hurley-Moore

Ballerinas and opera singers often appear in historicals only as the mistresses that aristocratic heroes discard once they meet their more gently-born True Love. Dancing on Air features a ballerina heroine in Victorian England, so I thought it could end up being an interesting spin on convention. Unfortunately, weak writing doomed it almost from the start.


Following the death of her mother, a celebrated dancer, Lisette practically grew up in the somewhat rundown Imperial Theater with her harsh Aunt Marie determined to mold her into a prima ballerina. We see Lisette's life in rather simplistic language from the opening scenes of the book - harsh taskmaster of an aunt who is never pleased, special snowflake ballerina who is obviously different from all the rest and so on. At least the supporting cast of dancers and theater workers make an interesting crew.


Despite the lack of ellipses in the dialogue, Lisette still comes off as a wide-eyed, purer than pure Barbara Cartland heroine. And of course, when Lord Gainswith heads out to the ballet, it's love at first sight. We need some drama, though, so there is also an eeeevil depraved aristocrat with his eye on Lisette. A tale of good suitor vs. evil could have been fun in the right hands, but everything in this book is told in such overly simplistic language that it's hard to engage with the story. Basically, Lord Gainswith is a generic sort of guy and Lisette is a Special Snowflake. We know that she will be a great dancer and we know that she will draw a hero's eye because she is Just. So. Special. If ever a reader should start to forget this, just wait a few paragraphs and you'll be beaten over the head with it once more.


This is a partial review.  You can find the complete text at All About Romance.

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