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Search tags: historical-romance-america
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review 2018-12-21 21:32
Star Dust (Fly Me to the Moon #1) by Emma Barry and Genevieve Turner
Star Dust (Fly Me to the Moon, Book One) - Genevieve Turner,Emma Barry

*sigh* This book had such potential, but was weak limp noodle of a story. I shouldn't have been so excited to read a historical romance by two contemporary romance authors, but SPACE RACE ROMANCE was just something I couldn't resist. I didn't like the heroine and felt neutral about the hero and their chemistry just wasn't there but hey they had great sex so of course he fell in love. I think the heroine was tired of being a divorcee and having to work to support herself and the kids, so she was willing to marry again so quickly. She was also a judgmental scold with everyone she met, especially other women. The world building could've used more period pieces to make you feel you are in the time period; instead, it felt like a contemporary heroine wearing vintage clothing and having a contemporary romance. It just failed for me and I am bowing out on reading the rest of the series.

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review 2018-12-21 21:20
Toward the Sunrise (An Until Dawn #0.5) by Elizabeth Camden
Toward the Sunrise: An Until the Dawn Novella - Elizabeth Camden

There are only two books in the series, so it is more like a duology. This book is about Julia Broeder, a student at one of the country's few medical school for women. She did something impulsive to save the life of animal and is being dismissed from the school just six months before graduation. She returns home to the Vandermark estate (she is the sister of the current groundskeeper), not knowing what to do. She seeks out the Vandermark estate's custodian, Vandermark empire lawyer Ashton Carlyle. Ashton doesn't help Julia at first, as he felt her impulsive actions and then not begging for forgiveness from the board of trustees is what got her into the mess she is in. When the family patriarch yells at him for treating Julia like dog crap, Ashton promises to get Julia back into medical school.

 

They have much in common and bond over goats giving birth. As they slowly work their way into each other's hearts, Julia has to go back to the board and fight for her return to school. Ashton has to find a way to follow his dreams while also balancing family obligations. I really liked this story and the fact the series is set in the Hudson Valley was a nice twist in historical romance. I didn't want to leave the world of the Vandermark estate, so I read the three chapter excerpt for the next book and now I want to read that one too.

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review 2018-12-21 21:03
The Swan: The Seventh Day (The 12 Days of Christmas Mail Order Brides #7) by Piper Huguley
The Swan: The Seventh Day: The 12 Days of Christmas Mail Order Brides, #7 - Piper Huguley

This is Ms. Huguley's first western and it was wonderful. I love this book about Avis Smith, a biracial woman, coming to Noelle, Co to confront the mother that left her at age 6 with a family that abused her. Liam Fulton is the town's shopkeeper who didn't get the chance for a mail order bride, but isn't bothered because he is studying to become a lawyer (which the town also needs). When Avis is rejected by the asshole that she was matched with, Liam steps in with solutions to the problems. Avis will work for Liam to pay off her travel expenses. As they work together, Avis and Liam grow closer until they fall in love and become the seventh (or eighth? I am not sure about the sheriff's hasty marriage to Pearl counts for the premise of the series) couple to wed by January 6th/Epiphany. 

 

I loved Avis - she is not your typical mail order bride and honestly wasn't all that bothered that the asshole rejected her. She was here for the confrontation with her mother and didn't think or plan for much after that. She does try to make (and succeeds) friends with the other brides and with the few townswomen. But she shines as a businesswoman, which helps because as much as Liam is a wonderful guy and a smart almost-lawyer, he is a bit of an awful shopkeeper. Liam isn't strictly a beta hero, but he is definitely not an alpha, especially ones found in western romances. Liam's back story was amazing, but I wished Ms. Huguley had specified how his fiancé back east died. 

 

This was a lovely way to spend an afternoon. 

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review 2018-12-21 20:28
Love's Unfading Light (Eagle Harbor #1) by Naomi Rawlings
Love's Unfading Light: Historical Christian Romance (Eagle Harbor Book 1) - Melissa Jagears,Naomi Rawlings,Roseanna White

Ms. Rawlings went the self-publish route for her Eagle Harbor series, set in the small town of Eagle Harbor on the shores of Lake Superior. She has other inspirational romance authors as editors, and I think they should stick to writing. Editing has a different skill set than writing and this book would have rated higher except for the editing. One editing issue I found was that it was too repetitive in the characters' reasons for not being together; another issue was the massive pile-on with regards to the heroine's dead husband's debts (the two rich guys who own the most of the debt IOUs would have been more than enough). However, I love the world of Eagle Harbor and reading about how an 1880s town on the shores of one of the Great Lakes was a great twist in historical romance. I wished this book had more female friendships, but I am holding out hope the other books in the series have that. The characterizations and the plot was great and the writing is the high quality I have come to expect from Ms. Rawlings. I will return to Eagle Harbor (I have the prequel short story to book two and book two waiting in the wings) in 2019.

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review 2018-12-21 18:58
Amelia: An Autumn Bride (Brides for All Seasons #7) by Hilde McQueen
Amelia: An Autumn Bride - Hildie McQueen

I picked this book up because I wanted to read something from this author, who first came on my radar at the RT 2017 convention. When this popped up as a Kindle deal, I jumped at the chance to read a non-mail order bride western romance. 

 

Amelia came to Ranchester, WY to stay with her aunt and uncle after the death of her fiancé. The town plots to match her with the town blacksmith, who hasn't done much other than work since the death of his wife and infant son. A quiet book where the romance is based on conversation and working together is what I want in a romance. The humor develops naturally with the growing feelings for each other, but it is a sweet romance with. I also liked the female friendships written here. It had everything I wanted to read the afternoon away. I want to read more from Ms. McQueen.

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