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text 2017-11-15 17:13
Finding more books . . . .
The Imposter - Noel B. Gerson

I thought I had inventoried all the books that are stashed in the studio.  Apparently not.

 

In my never-ending quest to provide covers - even the wrong ones, if necessary -- for all the books on my BookLikes shelves, I got down on my hands and knees in search of The Impostor, which I knew was out there.  Sure enough, there it was on the bottom shelf in the middle of a stack of other mid-century book club editions.  Few of them have dust jackets, so they aren't worth scanning. However, I knew The Impostor not only still had its paper cover but that it was in reasonably good condition.

 

When I lifted the other books from on top of it, I checked their spines to see if there might be some surprises.

 

The first two titles were ones I recognized as being duly entered on my spreadsheet.

 

The third was the surprise.

 

No dust jacket, but a nice book club edition of Phyllis A. Whitney's Columbella!  I was certain I had inventoried all the Whitneys and none were in the studio.  Alas, this one somehow got skipped.  It has now been added!

 

 

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review 2017-11-12 13:17
Review: A Wreath of Snow by Liz Curtis Higgs
A Wreath of Snow: A Victorian Christmas Novella - Liz Curtis Higgs

This book was slated to be one of my December/holiday reading list book, but it fit in so well with the book theme for Penance Day in the 16 Tasks of the Festive Season I read it a month early.

 

As the book opens, Meg has just left her parents' home in Stirling and is making her way to the train station to head back to her home in Edinburgh. Meg couldn't take another minute of her passive-aggressive family, and after reading this story I don't disagree with her action. Unfortunately, Stirling is in the midst of a serious blizzard and the train is delayed...until a minor accident in route to Edinburgh makes travel difficult. Meg is forced to walk back to Stirling and into the den of a seriously dysfunctional family.

 

Gordon Shaw, a Stirling native who left in disgrace, had an interview in Stirling and is already itching to leave the town after the interview finished. He was on the same train as Meg and struck up a relationship with her when the train accident left them both stranded in the town they were hoping to leave. Turns out their pasts were very much tangled and bringing "Mr. Gordon" home would take a lot of maneuvering.

 

This book would have been better had Meg and her family accepted Shaw's first 100 apologies and if Meg hadn't said "I'm sorry" to her abusers every time she turned around. There was some serious gas-lighting going on in Meg's family. While Shaw was truly sorry for what happened 12 years ago to Meg's brother, no one wanted to forgive him because without their anger they had nothing. Until of course dear brother's injury was revealed to be a long con. Then everything was just so water under the bridge and we always did like that Shaw fellow.....spare me. I did believe in the Meg and Gordon's relationship and hoped that when they marry, they stay out of Stirling.

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review 2017-11-08 08:31
Review: Fall of Poppies by Various Authors
Fall of Poppies: Stories of Love and the Great War - Lauren Willig,Joshilyn Jackson;Hazel Gaynor;Mary McNear;Nadia Hashimi;Emmi Itäranta;CJ Hauser;Katherine Harbour;Rebecca Rotert;Holly Brown;M. P. Cooley;Carrie La Seur;Sarah Creech,Jennifer Robson,Marci Jefferson,Jessica Brockmole,Beatriz Williams,Evangeli

I won this anthology at the Smart Bitches Recommendation Party at RT con earlier this year and have been waiting patiently for November to come so I could read this.

 

1. Daughter of Belguim by Marci Jefferson - 3.5 stars

    Content warning: the beginning of the story deals with the rape of a teen girl and there is a brief description of what happened later in the story. This story had a lot of suspense and drama, including double agents and resistance fighters. As the story opens up prior to Armistice Day, the violence and war machine plays heavily into the themes.

   

2. The Record Set Right by Lauren Wilig - 3.5 stars

     I liked the heroine (Camilla) right from the get go and enjoyed her both in her past (as a young adult) and in her present day elderly self (loosely, as the story takes place alternately in 1918 and 1980). Camilla was smart and knew the game; when other players made their choice, she made hers with much more forethought. I didn't think Edward or Nicholas deserved her then or now, but I did like reading how Camilla and Edward reconciled after so much time.

 

3. All for the Love of You by Jennifer Robson - 4 stars

    I really liked the research that went into this story about face masks designed and produced by artists (with funding by the American Red Cross) for wounded soldiers. The romance was very well written and believable despite the timeframe the romance developed in.

 

4. After You've Gone by Evangeline Holland - 4 stars

    A different take on the war romance, this story features black characters (American and British) in France just after the Armistice started. The plot line centers more on the emerging jazz age in Europe via black Americans who fought in the war and decided to stay in Europe rather than return to Jim Crow-era US. I really enjoyed reading from the heroine's (Morven) POV and she had an interesting back story and strong character development.

 

5. Something Worth Landing For by Jessica Brockmole - 2 stars

    A marriage of convenience that never really got off the ground. It had the beginnings of a romance story but failed to tell the whole story through the brief meeting of the couple and her letters to him.

 

6. Hour of the Bells by Heather Webb - 3.5 stars

    Strictly a work of historical women's fiction, it is a great story of a war widow's grief and anger at the possibility of losing her son to the war as well as her husband. Her grief and anger leads her to action.

 

7. An American Airman in Paris by Beatriz Williams - 1 star

    Boring, depressing, with an unresolved ending. Waste of time reading this.

 

8. The Photograph by Kate Kerrigan - 3.5 stars

    I had a hard time getting into this story, partly because of the last story's lingering bitter taste. This story grew into something really good and takes on a wholly different event that happened during the war - the Irish uprising in 1916 (starting with, but not limited to, the Easter Rebellion). I really like how the present characters' situation ties in with the past.

 

9. Hush by Hazel Gaynor - 3.5 stars

    A really great way to end the book, especially with the mentions of poppies. This was a story about an English village affected by the war rather than individuals. The countdown to 11:00 on November 11th 1918 added tension to the story.

 

Out of the nine stories, only two were less than good, so I am going to recommend this book to historical fiction readers. Now I have a bunch of authors I want to read more from (luckily I have some more Robson and Kerrigan works on my NOOK). 

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review 2017-11-07 21:35
Review for Third Son's a Charm (The Survivors #1) by Shana Galen
Third Son's a Charm (The Survivors) - Shana Galen

This story has the best love declaration I have ever read! It had me having all the feels, specially for Ewan, the most alluring non-Viking Viking I've read. 
Lorrie is a young, passionate, spirited woman that has gone as far as try to elope because her parents won’t allow her to marry the man she loves. Seeing how his daughter will not be dissuaded from marrying the wrong man, her father hires Ewan Mostyn, the third son of an earl and an ex-soldier that’s mostly known for knocking heads together at a gambling club than for appearing at a dance ball. 
Ewan is a taciturn man, rejected by his father because he considers him an unworthy son, and judged by society because he is considered nothing more than a brute. Ever since he was a child, he was told he was stupid due to a learning disability and it wasn’t until he joined the army and later some sort of “suicide unit” that he finally felt he belonged somewhere. I fell in love with his honesty and quiet way of communicating. He had this genuine way about him that made him both charming and alluring in a very unique, gentle way. The author made a fabulous job conveying his emotions because to me they all felt real and relatable. 

People tend to forget that historicals include debutants and most heroines are barely of age when they are thrown into the marriage market. Lorrie is young so yeah, she’s going to act recklessly at times, but in my opinion she was not stupid but naïve. She was also determined, curious, and true to herself. She was capable of seeing in Ewan what he was not able to see in himself and that in turn gave him the strength to fight for what he wanted. If that’s not a worthy heroine then I don’t know what is. 

We get a secondary love story between Lorrie’s parents that I would have loved to see more of but at least it gave me more of an insight of why Lorrie and Ewan’s closeness was allowed. Oh, and let's not forget the other Saviors! There was such a brotherly banter and comradery among them that my heart melted a little bit every time I got to read about them. I was a little off put with something towards the end but other than this was a great book and a great start to a new series. 

** I was gifted a copy of this book and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.**
 

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review 2017-11-07 07:33
When a Texan Gambles by Jodi Thomas
When a Texan Gambles - Jodi Thomas

Title:  When a Texan Gambles

Author:  Jodi Thomas

Genre: Historical Romance

Year Published: 2003

Number of Pages:  304 pages

 

Date Read: 3/11/2011

Series: Wife Lottery #2

Publisher:  Berkley Books

Source:  Library

Content Rating:  Ages 16+ (Some Language and Gun Violence)

 

I have been currently reading Jodi Thomas's “Wife Lottery” series and after I have just finished the first book of the series, “The Texan's Wager,” which starred Bailee Moore and Carter McKoy, I finally got the chance to read the second book of the series, “When a Texan Gambles.” “When a Texan Gambles” stars Sarah Andrews and Sam Gatlin and boy, do they have wild adventures throughout this book! Expect a whole lot of drama, adventure and romance in this exciting sequel to “The Texan's Wager!”

After Sarah Andrews confessed to the murder of Zeb Whitaker along with her friends Bailee and Lacy, she was auctioned off in a “Wife Lottery” and ends up with a man named Sam Gatlin. Things were not going well for Sarah until she realized that Sam was stabbed in the back with a knife! Now that Sarah has taken care of Sam's wounds, she will soon discover that she is probably married to the most dangerous man the west have ever known!

Wow! I think this had to be the most action-packed story out of the entire “Wife Lottery” series so far! Jodi Thomas has done an awesome job at providing action throughout this novel, which just had me sitting on the edge of my seat every time I read about Sam and Sarah's escapades in escaping from various crooks who are after Sam's neck! What I really loved about this book were the characters themselves and my favorite characters in this book were Sam Gatlin and Sarah Andrews! I will admit that I really adored Sarah's spunk and kindness towards others as she is an innocent yet kind-hearted woman and I loved the way that she is willing to help anyone in their time of need, which includes helping various families reunite with each other. I also loved the little arguments that Sarah has with Sam because they were so cute and they always seem to make up at the end. Now, I am saving the best character for last and that is the sexiest and bravest cowboy to ever walk the planet, Sam Gatlin! Sam Gatlin is probably the most amazing romance heroes ever created because he is one-hundred percent all muscle on the outside and has a huge heart on the inside and that is what I like about my romance heroes! Here's what I think Sam Gatlin might look like:

cowboy

Now, this book does not just have adventure, it also has hot and sizzling romantic scenes! The sexual moments between Sarah and Sam were just so steamy that I was literally fanning myself every time I read these scenes between Sarah and Sam!

The reason why I gave this book a four star rating is because I often got a little frustrated with Sarah throughout the book because she does not seem to trust Sam enough and she rarely reciprocates her feelings for Sam. Now, I do understand that she is a little reluctant in loving someone again because of her empty relationship with Mitchell, her first husband, but sometimes I think that Sarah tends to go a little overboard with telling off Sam about showing his love for her and also the fact that Sarah keeps telling Sam about the rules of love sort of makes me a little uncomfortable because I always love seeing how love comes naturally to romance heroes and heroines, rather than base it on a set of rules.

Overall, “When a Texan Gambles” is a great sequel to “The Texan's Wager” that romance fans of Jodi Thomas's works will greatly enjoy. I am definitely looking forward to reading the third book in the series “A Texan's Luck” next!

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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