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Search tags: historical-romance
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review 2017-12-09 05:12
Review: Romancing the Scot (The Pennington Family #1) by May McGoldrick
Romancing the Scot (The Pennington Family) - May McGoldrick

The story wasn’t bad but I had a few issues that didn’t let me fully enjoy this story.
It was a good romance story, not to mention the suspense sub-plot indeed kept me turning the pages. The thing is, I think there were too many things this book could have done without and it still would have been a good story. 
It all started with lots of heart-pumping action. Someone murdered Grace’s father and now she’s trying to escape the same fate. Miraculously, she ends up in the land of a well-placed family that takes her as one of their own. After that initial encounter and Grace’s convalescence, the pace starts slowing down. 

The characters were charismatic and complex. Hugh was smart and charming; stern when needed yet wicked when he wanted to be. Grace was also smart with the gift of a super memory, although it took forever to get to why it was so important she had such a gift. Jo, Hugh’s sister had a tragic past, something that I also think we spend too much time on. I think they were setting ground for future books but again, I think it was not needed. The writing was impeccable and the historical accuracy was on point. The problem with that was that we spent too much time reading about history and not enough time with the main characters as people. Even the suspense that was so good at the start ends up being kind of a let down because I felt some things about Grace’s father were more guesswork than actual answers. 

** I received this book at no cost to me via Netgalley 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 2017-12-01 14:54
ARC Review: Highland Dragon Warrior (Dawn of the Highland Dragon #1) by Isabel Cooper
Highland Dragon Warrior (Dawn of the Highland Dragon) - Isabel Cooper
Highland Dragon Warrior

Dawn of the Highland Dragon #1
Isabel Cooper
Historical Romance - Paranormal Romance
Sourcebooks Casablanca
September 5th 2017
eBook
320
NetGalley

 

Legend claims
When Scotland fell to English rule
The Highland dragons took a vow:
Freedom at any price.

 

The war may be over, but so long as English magic controls the Highlands, not even a dragon laird can keep his clan safe. What Cathal MacAlasdair needs is a warrior fierce enough to risk everything, yet gifted enough to outwit an enemy more monster than man.

 

What he needs is Sophia.

 

Alchemist Sophia Metzger traveled to Loch Arach in search of knowledge. She never dreamed she'd learn to do battle, ride through the stars on the back of a dragon, or catch the eye of a Highland laird. But as her quest turns to sizzling chemistry and inescapable danger, she'll soon discover the thrill of being caught in a dragon's claws.

 

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Historical romances are few and far between for me to pick up and read, but when I saw it featured dragon shifters, well I just had to give it a try.

 

Highland Dragon Warrior was an interesting and pleasant read. It’s set in medieval times with magicians, sorcerers, dragon shifters, demons, and alchemy. It’s got mystery, action, and romance.

 

Sophie our heroine is a strong and determined women. She’s smart and stands up for what she believes in. Cathal our hero is a powerful and fierce warrior. He’s fiercely protective of his family and those he cares for and looks after.

 

I enjoyed the story. I loved the Scottish setting and the paranormal elements where fascinating. The author did a good job creating an intricate and appealing world, but man was the world-building extensive. I had a little trouble with the story; mainly their was just so much information with the world-building and historical aspects that the book felt slow. I also felt like I was back in school learning a lesson; especially when it came to Sophia’s alchemy and all the explanations that went into those scenes.

 

Now for the dragons their weren’t that many scenes with the dragon shifters and their magic. I would have liked more. Their also wasn’t much action either, until the very end, when Sophie’s soul is endangered.

 

As for the romance between Sophie and Cathal it was light and slow to bloom. I wish there was more interactions between these two to help build the romance. They spent a lot of time apart, watching each other across a room or briefly talking at dinner, but not doing much to move the romance along.

 

Highland Dragon Warrior is not a simple read. The world-building is extensive and various discussions that take place where excessive and a bit overwhelming. It’s an interesting set up and I’m intrigued, but I was a bit bogged down and felt like I was back in school.

 

Rated: 3 Stars

 

*Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy provided by Sourcebooks Casablanca via NetGalley with the sole purpose of an honest review. All thoughts, comments and ratings are my own.

 

Was this review helpful? If so, please consider liking it on Goodreads (Angela)!

 

 

 

 

Challenge(s): New To Me (Author/Series) | Pick Your Genre (PNR) | New Release (2017)

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was born and raised in Northern Indiana. I’m an outdoor sun loving reader living near San Fransisco. I’m a mother, wife, dog owner, animal, and book lover. I’m the owner, reviewer, and mind behind Angel’s Guilty Pleasures. My favorite animals are horses & dogs. As for reading I love all things paranormal & urban fantasy. My favorite shifters are dragons!

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Source: angelsguiltypleasures.com/2017/12/arc-review-highland-dragon-warrior-dawn-of-the-highland-dragon-1-by-isabel-cooper
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review 2017-11-30 17:41
Review: The Toymaker by Kay Springsteen
The Toymaker - Kay Springsteen

A book that had great potential that was killed by predictable writing and some really awful "cutesy" naming after the first 25% mark. I kept reading it hoping for it to regain some shine but after the 60% mark it just became a hot mess.

 

Ivy Plumthorne is the eldest and only unmarried daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Wythorpe. Her parents want her married and off their hands asap. Ivy has rejected the 11 previous suitors and is already throwing a tantrum about meeting number 12 at Lord and Lady Kringle's Christmas Eve Ball. Through a low-key meet cute she meets Phillip Green; unbeknownst to most in Hampstead, he is the new 12th Duke of Greenbriar after inheriting the estate and title from his uncle. Phillip's hobby is toy maker, a trade he learned from Jani Klaus, a man who mentored him when he was a teen. Ivy and Phillip fall in love, although Ivy thinks she is in love with a simple tradesman rather than the old duke. When she finds out the truth, she throws a GIGANTIC tantrum and vows never to see Phillip again. She then says and does stupid, impulsive things and gets herself in deep trouble with society at the ball, Phillip comes to her rescue.

 

Ivy is a brat and a stupid, reckless, thoughtless spoiled girl. Phillip was a decent hero but the writing at the end of the story made him too perfect for my taste. I didn't care for any of the side characters and the prologue and epilogue with the characters in present day rang so false I had to roll my eyes hard. The present day kids were not realistic at all and the mom was annoyingly smug. All the shoe-horned Christmas details were superficial and were really amateurish. Read this for a square on the 16 tasks challenge.

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review 2017-11-28 19:53
Fabulous Historical Romance
My Enemy, My Earl: Scottish Historical R... My Enemy, My Earl: Scottish Historical Romance (A Laird to Love Book 1) - Tammy Andresen

My Enemy, My Earl is an amazing historical romance by Tammy Andresen.  Ms. Andresen has given us another well-written book and filled it with awesome, lovable characters.  Ewan is returning home to Scotland, years after being drafted to fight in a war he was forced into by England.  Clarissa is running to her uncle in Scotland and from her embarrassment of her broken engagement in London.  Their story is a rollercoaster ride of love, hate, misunderstandings and pranks, creating plenty of drama, humor and sizzle.  I loved every page of this book and look forward to my next book by the talented Tammy Andresen.  My Enemy, My Earl is book 1 of the A Laird To Love Series but can be read as a standalone.  This is a complete book, not a cliff-hanger.

 

  

I voluntarily read an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

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review 2017-11-25 12:30
Review: Through Waters Deep (Waves of Freedom #1) by Sarah Sundin
Through Waters Deep - Sarah Sundin

I love it when a historical romance takes on the forgotten parts to well-known history and Sarah Sundin excels at the forgotten history. This is the story of young US Navy Ensign Jim Avery is stationed in Boston on board the USS destroyer Atwood, a boat built at the Boston Naval Yards where his childhood friend Mary Stirling works as a secretary to the civilian head of the naval yard. They meet up several years after graduation when the Atwood would begin escort duties. Although Mary had a small crush on Jim in high school, he only had eyes for her best friend who happened to be the girlfriend of his best friend. So Mary kept everyone as a friend but didn't once pursue anything more from Jim. Life at the Academy and in the early days of his naval career matured Jim, who is still an easy-going guy and natural people-person. Now with those mature eyes he sees Mary in a different light but doesn't want to be seen as the goofy guy she knew in high school; his pursuit of her is slow and methodical, and doesn't seem to make a dent in her friendship with him.

 

Meanwhile, the war in the Atlantic is heating up and American lives are being lost long before we officially entered the war. Tensions are high at the naval yard between interventionists and isolationists and sabotage is happening with increasing frequency, putting Jim and his sailors in peril on a routine training mission. Mary is smart and has the skills and intuition to suss out the true villain. All while trying her damnest not to fall for Jim and get over her fear of public speaking/attention.

 

I could not put this book down! The pages flew and I just wanted more of this realistic world and the characters that inhibit it. The action scenes were intense but the characters were smart and kept their wits about them. The story takes place over the course of 1941 (starting in March and ending on December 7th) so the reader needs patience as the romance is slow building and angsty without being dark. I love how the author weaves actual history (such as the Lend-Lease agreement with Britain, the constant changes to the draft, and how lingering feelings from the Depression color some of the characters' viewpoints). It is an inspirational story, but the religious aspect is interwined with the characters and not shoe-horned in, so it feels very natural to the story. The book also passes the Bechdel test; Mary often talks to her female friends about her investigation and they help her see different angles, and Yvette (a college friend/roommate and French refugee) and Mary often speak of the war and the politics while riding the train or subway on their way to do some shopping.

 

One quibble I had with the story was the naval jargon, but I just skimmed most of that. Can't wait to read the other two books in the series.

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