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review 2017-07-25 05:34
Sweet Romance Novella
The Pirate and I: A Novella (Devil's Duk... The Pirate and I: A Novella (Devil's Duke) - Katharine Ashe

Summary:

Years ago, Miss Esme Astell fell hopelessly in love with Charles Brittle, an unassuming and highly respectable London bookmaker.

Then he disappeared without a word.

The last thing Esme ever dreamed was to meet Charlie again —

In a dark alleyway —

In a drenching rain —

In a chase with the police —

In Scotland.

Can she resist falling again, this time for the dangerous scoundrel he’s become?

 

Review:

This picks right up from another novella of the author titled The Scoundrel and I. I realized this about 20 pages into the book and went back and re-read that novella out of curiousity but this was really not necessary at all. The book can stand-a-lone for sure. I actually liked it better than The Scoundrel and I - the characters were more likeable and relatable and had great chemistry. I really liked Esme. She was so spunky and vibrant that it was fun to discover more about her personality and the reader wasn’t the only one as the hero, Charles, was discovering her to be a revelation as well.

 

The story was very complicated and hard to follow at times. I marveled at where the idea must have come from to include a quest for a dog in exchange for freedom. I have to say though that many of Katherine Ashe’s books contain creative and complex plots and this really makes her unique. It’s hard to know what might happen next and I appreciate that as too many times books are so predictable.

 

This is a pleasant, sweet and endearing book that I tremendously enjoyed. It wasn’t too short and actually felt like a full and complete novel. Absolutely worth reading!

 

Received an ARC from the publisher

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review 2017-07-18 19:30
Review: A Family for Christmas (Texas Grooms #3) by Winnie Griggs
A Family for Christmas - Winnie Griggs

This inspirational historical romance started with a lot of promise to be another excellent book by Ms. Griggs, but fell flat after the first 25% of the book. I will say this is the first book in the series I read and I had no problem with the world building or keeping previous relationships straight in my head, so the books can be read out of order without a problem.

 

Eve (the heroine) is on her way to Tyler, Texas for employment opportunity/banished from the family home due to her "behavior" issues; however, she leaves the train in Turnabout, Texas after problems involving a 10 year old stowaway on her train come to light. Not one to leave an unchaperoned minor to his own supervision, she takes physical guardianship of the Leo. I really liked Eve in the beginning; she was feisty, but only in defense of Leo and was the only one to see a lost boy rather than a criminal.

 

At the train depot they meet Chance Dawson (hero) and Dotty Epps, who take them in and give them shelter and food. The sheriff works to verify Leo's story. This is all good.

 

Then the book takes a turn into a too-sweet story. Chance is a little too perfect of a hero that it was hard to believe him as a real character; he was given a back story (functionally illiterate and the black sheep of a well to do family in Philadelphia) that had potential, but never really materialized into something that matters. Eve was a wet blanket of a heroine and scared of her own shadow to boot; she was so boring to read and tiring being in her head. At this point I just read without being invested in the story, which turned predictable plot twist after predictable plot twist. Everything is coming up roses until Eve gets into a bitchy mood and is unforgiving and selfish about Chance's secret - she blew up at him for admitting he is illiterate. I couldn't even with Eve after that...she needed Dotty to verbally slap her upside the head for her to realize her reaction was less than awesome.

 

I recommend skipping this installment of the series.

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review 2017-07-09 01:36
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Throne of Glass - Sarah J Maas

Genre: Paranormal Romance / Fantasy

Year Published: 2012



Number of Pages: 404 pages

 



Date Read: 5/30/2017

 



Publisher:  Bloomsbury

 


Series: Throne of Glass #1

 

 

Throne

“You could rattle the stars," she whispered. "You could do anything, if only you dared. And deep down, you know it, too. That’s what scares you most.” 

Now, I have a shameful confession to make: even though I had heard nothing but good things about Sarah J. Maas’ “Throne of Glass” series, I have never actually read the first book in the series “Throne of Glass” (although I had read “The Assassin’s Blade” first) until just recently and this book has been on my TBR shelf for many years now! Now that I finally got the chance to read “Throne of Glass,” I am seriously awed by the highly creative and intense world that I was thrown into!

The story starts off with a young assassin named Celaena Sardothien who was toiling away in the slave mines of Endovier and just as it seemed that all hope of was lost for Celaena to ever break out of Endovier, the young crown prince of Adarlan named Prince Dorian Havilliard came in and said that he will set Celaena free if she becomes the King of Adarlan’s Champion. However, Celaena must first go toe to toe with other assassins, thieves and warriors in a competition that will determine who will be strong enough to be the King’s Champion. Although Celaena hates the King of Adarlan for destroying her hometown, she does want to be set free from her hardships and agrees to the terms. However, once Celaena appears in the kingdom of Adarlan, she finds out that some kind of monster is brutally killing each Champion contestant and she will have to figure out a way to save the kingdom from this mysterious evil force! Meanwhile, Celaena starts having relationship problems with both Chaol Westfall, the stern and loyal Captain of the Guards who believes that Celaena is a threat to the Crown Prince and Prince Dorian Havilliard, the intelligent and optimistic son of the King of Adarlan who has fallen in love with the assassin. Who will Celaena choose?

Wow…. just wow!!! I cannot believe I waited this long to actually read this book from one of the most acclaimed novels ever written! Sarah J. Maas has done a spectacular job at creating this intriguing fantasy world where magic exists, but got banned by the kingdom and it forces the characters to rely on their wits and strengths to survive in this world. I was also a bit surprised at how the story seems to be like a medieval version of “The Hunger Games” as the competitors have to risk their lives to become the King’s Champion, but the story never felt like an exact replica of “The Hunger Games” as it has the main character, Celaena, entering the competition to regain her freedom rather than have the competitions be a yearly thing for the kingdom. Sarah J. Maas also did a great job at writing these characters, especially Celaena, Chaol and Dorian themselves and I loved the fact that Celaena is portrayed as a strong female protagonist who is not afraid to stand up for what she believes in and is an awesome fighter to boot! I also enjoyed the characters Prince Dorian and Chaol themselves, as they provided an interesting dynamic with not only themselves, but with Celaena also. I loved the fact that Chaol is the stern and highly protective Captain of the Guards who is always looking out for both Celaena and Dorian, no matter how gruff he appears to both of them, while Dorian is the carefree and optimistic prince who wants to see the good in everyone, no matter how suspicious that person is. As for the obligatory LOVE TRIANGLE that occurs between Celaena, Chaol and Dorian, I will discuss that in the CONS section down below.

Throne

For anyone who does not like gory violence, there is a good bit of gory violence going on in this book with various characters getting murdered in a graphic manner, such as having their organs ripped out of their bodies and having their faces being skinned off.

***Begin Rant***

Alright, so this is a small nitpick that I had with this book and that is the obligatory LOVE TRIANGLE that happens in the story. Now, luckily, the LOVE TRIANGLE in this story is not played up too high, but there were times where I was a bit annoyed with the fact that Celaena had a hard time trying to choose between Chaol and Dorian throughout the book and I actually wished that Celaena actually chosen who she wanted to be with early on in the story rather than spend most of the book going back and forth on whether she wants to spend her time with Chaol or Dorian.

***End Rant***

Overall, “Throne of Glass” is a fantastic book that fans of strong female assassins and magical worlds will greatly enjoy and now I am off to read the second book in the “Throne of Glass” series, “Crown of Midnight!”


Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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review 2017-07-06 17:18
Book Review of Hidden in Her Heart by Thomas Dellenbusch, translated by Richard Urmston
Hidden in Her Heart - Richard Urmston,Thomas Dellenbusch

Translated Version from the popular German book series
of Movie-Length-Stories

 

A young, attractive single mother moves into a small Lower Bavarian village in the Summer of 1963. She is not looking for a job, nor is she looking to make friends. When the villagers discover that several men are visiting her regularly, they are horrified. They assume that this stranger is a prostitute, and look for ways to chase her away. The only one to take her side and stand by her is a young journalist living in the village. He suspects she is hiding here. But from whom or what? And is his support genuine, or was he sent to discover her secret?

 

Review 4*

 

This is a wonderful novella. I really enjoyed it!

 

Yvonne Schmidt is an interesting character. I liked her a lot. She is a mother, newly arrived in the town of Seilersfeld, Bavaria, with her son Paul. Wanting to keep to herself, the local gossips think she's there to seduce their men away from them. But one man is determined to learn the truth.

 

Benedict Marguardt is also a wonderful character and I liked him a lot too. He is a resident of Seilersfeld and a newspaper reporter working for a newspaper in Passau. He has a deformity which some see as a disability, but he has a sharp mind and, even though he has been treated badly by some residents, he carries on as normal. When he hears the gossip about the mysterious new resident, his reporter's interest is piqued. But he also finds himself attracted to her. Determined to uncover her secrets, he digs a little deeper. However, will this lead to heartbreak or happiness?

 

Having previously read a couple of this author's other works, namely the first two books of his Chase series, when I heard that this book had become available, I decided to give this novella a try. I'm glad I did because I really enjoyed it.

 

This book is set in Bavaria in 1963, when single mothers were looked at as being odd and unwelcome in a small village. Seilersfield is a small community of people who are wary of strangers, especially pretty young women, and because Yvonne kept to herself and didn't seem to want to make friends even though she received gentlemen callers, gossip soon revolves around her sudden appearance in their town. The story is woven in such a way that, just like the residents of Seilersfield, the reader is left wondering as to why she appeared in the village. There is also a hint of romance as Yvonne and Benedict get to know each other. However, as Benedict investigates, the truth is revealed in a startling twist that I didn't see coming.

 

Hidden in Her Heart is a mixture of historical fiction, romance and mystery that kept me turning the pages. In a way, I wished this story had been a little bit longer than novella length, as I would have liked to have gotten to know the characters a little more. Yvonne didn't feel as real as Benedict to me, she felt more one dimensional and flat in comparison. Having said that, it is a tale of mistakes, guilt and redemption. It took me on an emotional journey (especially near the end) and I am now looking forward to reading more books in the Movie-Length series.

 

Thomas Dellenbusch has written an intriguing historical, romantic suspense thriller. I love his fast paced writing style, which had me turning the pages, and the flow was wonderful. I would definitely consider reading more books by this author in the future.

 

Although there are no explicit scenes of a sexual nature (though there is mention of it), I do not recommend this book for younger readers due to the nature of the tale. However, I highly recommend this novella if you love historical fiction/romance/thrillers/mystery/suspense genres, or you are looking for a quick, entertaining read. - Lynn Worton

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review 2017-07-01 00:53
THE RETURN OF THE EARL by Sandra Schwab
The Return of the Earl - Sandra Schwab
  M/M romance of the new Earl and his stablemaster. They have not seen each other in 7 years as the new Earl was banished from his home by his father for the relationship between the two men. The old Earl is dead and the new Earl finally comes home. He is angry and bitter and wrong in his thoughts.

I liked Bryn, the stablemaster. Con, the Earl, I had problems with. He was a brooder. Too much of the story was Con's brooding and kicking himself for what he believed. He did not believe that the people who lived on his estate and the servants in his employ were happy to see him. Once Bryn was able to get Con to see it differently then the story lightened up and got better. Unfortunately, there was not much story left by then. I would rather have seen more Bryn and Con loving then Con angry and punishing.
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