Yes I liked this story, yes there was a huge power imbalance between the characters and occasionally it did feel a little awkward, but at the same time the author pointed these things out and amde the characters very firmly strong, I was rooting for the characters.
When scullery maid, Rose Nightingale, mended a red dress in the Gentlemen's Club Vitium et Virtus from one of the entertainers there, she couldn't resist trying it on, and dancing. Her dancing attracts the attention of one of the owners of the club, Jacob "Jake" Duke of Westmoor, who has inherited a title and guilt about his inheritance. The two share a kiss and he's entranced and she's interested but the power dynamic...
He finds out who she is and offers her a job as his grandmother's companion, living under the same roof leads to more complications.
It's a nice romance, some minor issues, but mostly the author addresses them. The ending felt a little rushed.
This is a novella that was originally published in the anthology Daughters of a Nation.
I read this for square 7 (International Human Rights Day) as it takes place in Harlem (in 1917) as the state of New York prepares to vote in the November elections, especially the amendment to the state constitution giving women the right to vote. Bertha is a business woman running her own restaurant/night club/whorehouse and is working hard to help the suffragettes get the vote. She also has to fight off some men who were former clients when she was selling sex now that she is widowed. Her dead hubby wasn't a great guy and there is no lingering grief going on....seems Bertha saw it as much of a business decision as anything else in her life. Bertha wants the right to vote so that she can help her fellow women business owners and her girls, pretty much every woman who are often overlooked or mistreated. She also has to contend with the vice squads that are bringing down the hammer on clubs like hers due to selling sex and race mixing. I liked Bertha as a boss lady and teacher (she taught civic classes to her girls and other people when the club was closed so that those that can (or will soon be allowed to) vote can do so with a foundation of knowledge.
Amir left the British navy as a cook hoping for a more stable and socially upward mobile life in America. Unfortunately he has only met with brick walls and is just trying to survive. He is unsure if he wants to return to Bengal and live as a farmer under British rule or keep surviving in America. He has no papers, so staying out of law enforcement's grasp is a daily reminder he is Other. Bertha needs another cook to help/sub for her club's cook who is mightily pregnant. Amir has political/community organizing, along the lines of labor unions, but Bertha's lessons open him up to refining his political beliefs. I really liked Amir and his friends/roommates, especially Syed. I also like how Amir is identified as a Muslim, first in the dialog between him and Bertha and then later on while he was praying for her safe return from jail.
The characters were great, the setting and issues of the day were well written, but the romance sucked. I did believe they had sexual chemistry, but not an emotional connection. Bertha acted like a cold bitch to Amir several times and every time he apologized but she never admitted she was out of line. Maybe if the story was longer, there would be more time for Bertha to open up to Amir the way he did with her.
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.***
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.
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.
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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!
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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