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review 2018-05-28 16:49
The Bashful Bride- Release day review!
The Bashful Bride - Vanessa Riley

"Hopefully, all you see is a girl going with a boy to Gretna Green to marry and live happily ever after."
Ester's father wants to marry her off to someone of his choosing. Problem is, Ester doesn't like the man chosen. He is a far too interested in all the ladies. Her friend, Frederica, is looking for a husband by advertising for one in the paper. When they realize one of the respondents is Arthur Bex, Frederica "gives" him to Ester. Ester has crushed on and admired Arthur for 2 years. They come to an understanding and elope to Gretna Green to get married. 
Ester I both liked and didn't at times. She was immature at times and judgmental. I did like her growth throughout the book. I thought her relationships with her mom and dad were a highlight for me and showed that she didn't know everything, but made assumptions anyway. They and she finally talk and she realizes she was very unfair. And she didn't know everything. Her fear of Arthur getting hurt or killed made her controlling. I admit to be being very annoyed that it took so long for her to accept that part of him. 
It does take her until the end of the book to fully accept and conquer her fear. 
Arthur I really liked. However, he held on to his secret for too long. He had so many opportunities to come clean to Ester. So many. And didn't. I remember reading and thinking, "just tell her dammit!." Multiple times. Because, knowing his backstory, one understands why he does what he does now.
And lastly, if you couldn't tell from the cover, Ester is black (Blackamoor) and Arthur is white. I haven't read a historical romance with a woman of color as the main character. That perspective adds a whole new dynamic to the story. It takes place in 1820 and even though slave trade was outlawed in the mainland, it wasn't in the colonies. Slavery was so pervasive in the attitudes and opinions of the time. 
Ester had to always plan her outings, where to go, what to wear. She not only was female, she was female and black. Arthur, on the other hand, got judged on his profession (actor), but never his skin color or his sex. 
I loved the author's note at the end. I will be checking out her back-list. I'm interested in Theodosia's story (1st book). Frederica's story is next! 

eARC courtesy of Entangled Publishing, LLC and NetGalley
Releases today May 28, 2018

the prequel novella-A Bittersweet Moment is free in the Kindle store now.

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review 2018-01-28 23:26
Historical Romance
Unmasked Heart: A Regency Romance (Regency Romance: Challenge of the Soul Book 1) - Vanessa Riley,Kim Huther,Felicia Murrell

Unmasked Heart by Vanessa Riley is an entertaining historical romance.  Ms. Riley has delivered a well-written book.  The characters are awesome.  Gaia and William's story is loaded with drama, humor and spice and quite a bit of angst.  I enjoyed reading Unmasked Heart and look forward to reading more by Vanessa Riley.  Unmasked Heart is book 1 of the Challenge of the Soul Series but can be read as a standalone.  This is a complete book, not a cliff-hanger.



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review 2018-01-08 14:22
Fun Hats for Kids or Chemo Patients
Animal Hats: 15 patterns to knit and show off - Vanessa Mooncie

This winter has been super cold for many of us and I have a friend who is ill. I have wanted to make her some fun hats and saw this book at the library and while the patterns are really nice looking, the yarn is bulky yarn. Not something I enjoy working with on hats. But for my friend, I would definitely hunt up the yarn and make these. 

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text 2017-12-01 17:31
Friday Reads - December 1, 2017
Let Us Dream - Alyssa Cole
Unleashed - Rachel Lacey
Burning Bright: Four Chanukah Love Stories - Jennifer Gracen,KK Hendin,Stacey Agdern,Megan Hart
Roller Girl - Vanessa North
Saga Volume 4 - Brian K. Vaughan,Fiona Staples

We are heading to our first holiday party of the year (base libraries hold a joint party for staff and volunteers) tonight. Our white elephant/dirty Santa gift is the two books I bought from a local author and had signed by the author plus a cross stitched bookmark from a charity shop in town. I love playing WE/DS because you never know what you will walk away with (last year's gift was a color me calendar that the kids colored in completely on day one of their winter break from school).


I read American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang today, my first book of December. It's for a square later in the game; highly recommend to middle grade and younger young adults.


On tap for this weekend, my reading will be lots of shorts - my mind can take only so much and I want to keep my reading to relaxing levels.


1. Saga Volumes 1-4  by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples - volume 4 is for another square in the game, but I want to refresh my memory so I will just start with volume 1. That will kill an afternoon.


2. Let Us Dream by Alyssa Cole - originally published in last year's Daughters of the Revolution anthology, I picked this up when it was published as an individual novella and on sale. Romance between a suffragette (and business woman) and her new chef. It's from Alyssa Cole, so expectations are high. Reading this for a game square.


3. Unleashed (Love to the Rescue #1) by Rachel Lacey - contemporary romance with a dog rescue foster mom (and almost completely in remission cancer survivor) and a PI. Not knocking my socks off, not annoying me to the point of DNF, so I am just plodding along for now. Reading for a game square.


4. Burning Bright: Four Chanukah Stories by Various Authors - a non-Christmas holiday romance!!! Also for a game square.


5. Roller Girl (Lake Lovelace #3) by Vanessa North - I spun the dreidel and landed on this book. F/F contemporary romance. Reading as a result of the game.


Happy reading weekend everyone!

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review 2017-10-28 14:59
Children's Review
Mama, I Want to See God - Vanessa Fortenberry,Leah Jennings

We received this book to give an honest review. 


In this story a child wants to see God and asks a lot of questions about visiting God, talking to him, being his friend and so forth. Questions that kids do ask because they are curious, the mother in this story has very good answers for the questions that are asked such as God is a great listener and and he loves you. God wants us to rejoice and he invites us to His table. Overall a really good book to read to kids who may have questions about God's love and what he would enjoy. I think the answers are very well thought out and honest. 

As far as pictures go they didn't see very well drawn i.m.o. though it does show the love between mother and child. 

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