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review 2017-05-16 23:09
Arc Review: Jane Grey: A Homage to the Brontë Classics (The Brontë Brothers #1) by Nina Mason
Jane Grey (The Brontë Brothers Book 1) - Nina Mason

 

I’ll start by saying that Jane Eyre happens to be my least favorite classic historical romance. So when offered the chance to read this story I was truly intrigued and couldn’t pass the opportunity to read it.

 

Well, Jane Grey was a great romance story indeed! I don’t want anyone to think it wasn’t based on my rating. I did enjoy it from start to finish, true, however I also did have a few issues with the story itself. At any rate, I still recommend it to any fan of the original and to those looking for a worthwhile happy ending.

 

Matthew and Jane have a lot in common and that’s obviously what drew them together. They were both hopeless romantics to the point they could both recite poems by heart and Matthew was a painter hoping to revive his then-dormant muse.

At the start of the story, Matthew was hurt and vulnerable, thus he gave me the impression of just having fallen in love with the idea of the perfect woman that could possibly be Jane as opposed to the woman herself. As the story progressed and they got to know each other better, his attitude left no doubt in my mind that he had in fact fallen for Jane as a woman so I was happy on that end.

 

Their relationship was endearing and heart-warming. The story was heart-wrenching at times and hopeful at others. The descriptive settings made me feel I was part of the story itself and the writing was as beautiful as ever when it comes to this author.

 

As for Jane, she was sweet and considerate, but to an almost maddening point in my opinion. Most of the time she showed strength of character and common sense but when it came to trusting unworthy people or when it came to continue on the path she had already set her mind to follow she was inconstant and mutable. That whiplash attitude was one of the reasons I couldn’t enjoy the story more.

Also, the story is set in a place where propriety is not as strict as it would have been in England at the time but I still thought Jane didn’t come up to scratch as a governess to some extent. I’m not going to give specific examples because I don’t want to give spoilers but suffice to say her pupil would act incredibly unlady-like and Ms. Gray would just stand there and do nothing. I know, I’ve been told I need to let go of certain things when it comes to historicals but I just can’t!

 

As I said earlier dear reader, it IS a lovely story, full of passion, regrets, ambition, and true love. If this sounds like your cup of tea then I’m sure you are going to love it. 

 

*** I received this book from the author at no cost to me 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 2017-04-21 07:06
Arc Review: I Dared the Duke (The Wayward Wallflowers, #2) by Anna Bennett
I Dared the Duke - Anna Bennett

Second installment in The Wayward Wallflowers series but can easily be read as a standalone. Both Alex and Beth are unique characters in that he’s not what he’s allowed the ton to believe and she’s not the meek mouse he’s thought her to be. Although there is some sort of spark when they first meet there is no instant physical attraction, which I truly appreciated. I was glad to see their feelings blossomed from engaging in actual conversations and from daily interaction.

There was an easy and funny banter between the two that made their relationship feel real and believable. Even though the Duke behaved roguish and intimidating at times, Beth showed plenty of resolve and strength of character, both to resist his charms and later to help him overcome some personal issues.

There was however that little issue with the so-called “incidents”. The heart of the matter is that it appears someone was trying to hurt Alex. Instead of enlisting the help of professionals or at least gather more intelligence before jumping to conclusions he actually secluded himself into his old home with the person he said he loved the most. There is also Beth, who at the beginning of the story showed such wit and an agile mind but towards the end was pushing Ben to act recklessly and even use her as bait to uncover the villain. It was as if she was a completely different person than the woman at the beginning.


In short, I was hooked when the story started but not so much as the story progressed and quite frankly I was conflicted in how I felt when I finished it. I suppose it was still a good story but in my opinion it just didn’t deliver in the mystery aspect nor did it provide the ending I needed.
3.5 stars.

*** I received this book from the author at no cost to me 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 2017-03-04 01:25
Review: Desert Eden (Devereaux Family #3) by Patricia Grasso
Desert Eden - Patricia Grasso

When I first started reading this story I thought it reminded a lot of the stories I remember reading back in the 90’s … and then I realized it was first published in 1993 so it’s actually a re-release. To be honest had this story been first released recently I would have rated it one star however back in the day things were different so I can see why the story was written the way it was.

So, our heroine Heather is a spoiled brat that is accustomed to getting away with pretty much anything and everything, except with choosing the man she gets to marry. When she meets dashing but “savage” Khalid and is threatened with becoming a slave she behaves as expected and never bends to his will. The interaction between the two was interesting to say the least. It was pretty funny at times but it also tended to be annoying.
I had too keep reminding myself of her age most of the time so I didn’t hate her for being such a shrew and him for acting so superior.

The story and plot were interesting enough to keep me up until late at night but I felt the pace and dialogue were somewhat stilted, but again that could have been my fault because I haven’t read anything like this in a looooong while. Overall it was an ok read and I’ll probably be reading more from this author.

*** I received this book from the author at no cost to me 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 2017-02-14 03:44
Review: Rake to Riches (The London Lords #2) by Nicola Davidson
Rake to Riches (The London Lords Book 2) - Nicola Davidson
Rake to riches is the second in the series but can be totally be read as a standalone.
Set in regency England, Louisa’s heart is more into the perils of science and experimentation (all kinds of it) than in fulfilling her parents’ wish of marrying a man of title if not money. Unfortunately the only man that could have at one time changed her mind about marriage holds no title and little can be said about his financial situation. Apparently something happened in the past that drew an edge between the two and made them become some sort of enemies after they had been good friends since childhood. Now Louisa wants nothing to do with the man but fate puts him again in her life and neither one of them have a choice but to learn to trust one another as they once did.

I adored the voice of this author, it just held my interest from page one. The dialogue was funny and engaging. The way she gave life to the characters was different from what I have read in the past. Each character was unique in their own way and not one of them tried to hide that uniqueness. For instance, George could have very well been the typical rake that sought pleasure because other things were denied from him but instead he simply rolled with the punches. Yes, he resented many things but he looked for solutions and not culprits. Another favorite of mine here was that Louisa was more concerned with being catalogued as a renowned scientist than a refined lady of the ton. She had her silly moments but she was at least trying to better herself. The romance was sweet yet passionate. The way George managed to keep Louisa to task with science was both endearing and entertaining. To me that said how much he knew her and that he truly care about her.
The rake to riches arc was interesting as well. If anything I would have loved to see what would have happened if George’s social circumstances had not changed at all or perhaps not so drastically. Either way the story ended in a satisfactory way and of course I will continue reading the series and anything else written by this author.

*** I received this book from the author at no cost to me 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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text 2017-01-31 18:32
Review: 4 out of 5 stars TO TAME A WILD LADY by Ashlyn Macnamara
To Tame a Wild Lady: A Duke-Defying Daughters Novel - Ashlyn Macnamara

TO TAME A WILD LADY (Duke-Defying Daughters #2)

 

To me this was a story of reverse roles where the rogue doing the seducing was the lady and the temptation was the gentleman.
We met Caroline in the first installment of the series as the second daughter of the Duke of Sherrington. Although a lady of good breeding, she had no interest in securing a husband and even the prospect of marriage was the least of her concerns. He main concern had always been her horses and more recently to take part in a very important race where only gentlemen were allowed. When Adrian was hired as the new estate agent some of his ideas did not sit well with Caroline because they would affect her horses and because they would only complicate her very private plans to be included in the men-only race she so desperately wanted to be part of.

Caroline and Adrian could sound the typical enemies-to-lovers trope but that could not be farther from the truth. Adrian is one of the most honest, caring, hard-working, loving heroes I’ve read in a long time, thus he really never behaved as an enemy to her; on the contrary, he was always protective and considerate. Every time Caroline tried to sound petulant or gave voice against one of his plans he very patiently explained why he thought his plans would work or simply put her mind at ease with straightforward logic. In other words, he always treated her with respect. Even when feelings for each other were expressed he clearly explained his position could never let him aspire to more with her and that for both their sakes he could not let her love him.
I liked how they resolved their love issues and how they reached their HEA. Throughout the book Caroline sounded impetuous, sometimes childish, and way too improper for a lady of her times (blamed it on her father that was never near to keep an eye on his unmarried daughters but was always willing to tell them what to do if he so saw fit) however the fact that she was willing to give up her most valued possession in order to see Adrian happy redeemed her in my eyes. I liked the first one better but this one is still another good read IMHO.

*** I received this book from the author at no cost to me 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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