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review 2021-06-21 03:47
Knight of the Captive Heart - Carolina Valdez

Christina wants to be a knight but she is the daughter of Lord Michael, Earl of Gladsbury. Her father wants her to dress and behave as a girl. He has a plan but Christiana is not happy with it. Arriving to joust at Gladsbury is Rowan, the fifth son of a Normany lord. He pledges his allegiance to Lord Michael but his heart belongs to a woman in Normandy. Guy DeBere, a knight who saved Sir Michae's life in the Crusades, wants to marry Christiana. Chistiana does not want to get married. What is she to do?


I enjoyed this story. I did not think I would but I could not put it down. Christiana is feisty and has a mind of her own. Rowan is at a loss as to what to do. He has been besotted for years with Diantha but does not have enough money to provide a house for her. Now he is attracted to Christiana. When Christiana runs away, Rowan goes hunting for her and they come to an understanding. I liked their solution as well as her father's.


The medieval period comes through very well. I felt I was back in that time period. This is worth reading. I also have seen a few more books by Carolina Valdez that I want to read.

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review 2020-09-10 00:05
Locked Heart - Eden Finley

Cash has finally achieved a lifelong dream.  One thing he notices now, is that the one person he wanted to be with him there when he experiences it, is not a part of his life anymore.  Should he reach out?


Sherlock AKA "Locke" is not sure if he should open a door that has been closed for a decade.  Will he survive if he spends time with Cash again?  He took a lot to get where he is in his life.  If only he could stop himself from feeling attracted........


This book has a strong character base.  I found myself wanting to know more about all of them.  Such a solid story and the pace was pleasantly fast but not too much.  I really liked it and could not put it down and then I was done. Would love to see these characters again.  I give this a 4/5 Kitty's Paws UP!



***This ARC copy was given in exchange for an honest review only.

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review 2020-08-29 15:08
The Terrifying Tales by Edgar Allen Poe
Terrifying Tales: Tell Tale Heart; The Cask of the Amontillado; The Masque of the Red Death; The Fall of the House of Usher; The Purloined Letter; The Pit and the Pendulum - Edgar Allan Poe

Let me break down each tale, by telling you which ones I loved and which I did not.
I loved The Tell-Tale Heart. This is a story of how your own conscience can betray you and give you up. I also really enjoyed The Murders In The Rue Morgue. It was an interesting whodunnit with an unexpected outcome.
I did not like The Cask of Amontillado. It was just confusing and I don't get it at all.
I also did not like The Masque of the Red Death. I tell you this, the story made me never want to go to a ball and engage in revelry. Thankfully, I don't see any balls in my future. The rest of the stories were decent. And all-in-all I am glad I read some Poe. Another great classic writer that I can add to my read list!




Source: www.fredasvoice.com/2020/08/the-terrifying-tales-by-edgar-allen-poe.html
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review 2020-06-29 18:37
What is Given from the Heart - Patricia C. McKissack,April Harrison

For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

A sweet story about kindness and caring for others.

The artwork in this book is lovely. I really enjoyed the various textures used.

There are some rather dark themes in the beginning, such as the main character's father going to sleep on the porch and not waking up, which may not be a good fit for younger children. There are also issues of poverty that come up, which can be a great way to discuss the topic with older children.

Overall, it was a very lovely book. The ending was very sweet and it had a wonderful message about showing kindness to others and the beautiful idea of "what is given from the heart reaches the heart".

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review 2020-06-27 03:14
Heart Change by Robin D. Owens
Heart Change - Robin D. Owens
Content warning: Animals in peril, and one of the main characters has suicidal thoughts at the beginning of the book.
Signet D'Marigold believes she is doomed to be alone. Her parents died during her Third Passage, and none of her friends have ever stayed by her side or kept in touch for long. No one has ever been able to figure out what her Flair is, so she feels useless and lonely until the young prophet, Vinni T'Vine, tells her he's had a vision that her Flair can help his young brain-damaged HeartMate, Avellana Hazel, survive her First Passage.
Signet isn't the only person enlisted to help Avellana. Cratag Maytree, a personal guard for the T'Hawthorn Family, is hired to be Avellana's bodyguard. Cratag is secretly hurt to be hired out like this - he thought T'Hawthorn valued him more, and he'd prefer to be there for Laev Hawthorn's upcoming Passage. Still, he'll do as he's told, and he's certainly looking forward to spending time around Signet. He'd met her several times before and been attracted to her, but he's sure a beautiful and well-bred lady like her couldn't possibly feel the same about a man like him, a scarred outsider with little Flair.
The last time I read anything in this series was back in 2016: Heart Quest, which didn't hold up as well as I'd hoped but which is still one of my top favorites in the series, and Heart Dance, which I loathed. Rereading my review of Heart Dance reminded me of a lot of the things about Celtan society I've come to dislike, and I was glad that HeartGifts were barely mentioned in Heart Change.
I'd most recommend this book to people who are already fans of this series. Readers finally get a bit more progression in the Vinni and Avellana's storyline. I admit, I both enjoy this aspect of the series and am put off by it. In this book, Vinni is 13 and Avellana is 7. They're friends, but everyone knows they're also HeartMates - it makes me a bit uncomfortable that their lives are mapped out so early. Also, yes, this series does eventually work up to a book where Vinni and Avellana are both adults and stars of their own romance. Heart Change is as far as I've gotten, and I'm not entirely sure I want to work my way up to a romance novel starring characters I know best as children.
Anyway, in this book readers finally got to see Avellana make it past her first Passage and learn what her Flair is. However, there was of course a primary romance story, and that involved Signet and Cratag. I liked the basic setup: Signet, the lonely heroine who wanted someone in her life who wouldn't abandon her and who wasn't quite the ethereal and untouchable princess that Cratag imagined her to be, and Cratag, the rough fighter who secretly yearned for a place where he could belong and be needed. Cratag had previously been attracted to her from afar but hadn't thought those feeling would ever be mutual.
I figured he and Signet would spend some time awkwardly circling each other before flirting a bit and then eventually ending up in bed. Instead, they were kissing within a day or two of living in the same house together, and the only thing that kept them from falling into bed right away was Avellana. Luckily for them, Avellana liked schedules and could mostly be convinced to stay away long enough for a sex scene to happen.
I really wish the romance had been paced more slowly. As it was, it felt like they were all over each other way too soon considering they both had abandonment issues, and the story began to drag. Cratag's sudden withdrawal near the end didn't make much sense, and then the resolution happened way too quickly and easily.
The storyline with Laev wasn't much better. The way Laev's supposed HeartMate and her family acted should have been a giant red flag, but the whole HeartMate thing seems to destroy some characters' brains. I see that Laev is the hero of Book 10, Heart Search, and the thought of reading his story is only slightly less unpleasant to me than the thought of reading Tinne Holly's (the guy whose HeartMate was married to a much older and abusive man when she was a child).
I don't know that this is a series I'm ever going to finish. I think I can make it through the one other book I own that I haven't yet read, but I doubt I'll ever make it to Vinni and Avellana's book. The aspects of this series that used to work for me are starting to get overshadowed by the stuff that doesn't - the slight cheesiness (the Marigold family tap dances in order to enter their HouseHeart) and the way the world is set up (certain characters use HeartGifts in ways that qualify as sexual assault, divorce is difficult to obtain even though it's apparently easy for unethical people to trap people into horrible marriages). Even the cats are hit or miss, although I do still love the Residences (sentient homes run by AI). Heart Change's cats were among the good ones - Beadle was a clumsy sweetie, and Du wasn't quite as haughty as most of the series' other Fams and had a backstory that made me want to give him a hug.
One final comment: I don't know who the person on the cover is supposed to be, but he isn't Cratag. It's mentioned several times that Cratag's hair is shaved close to his skull, and I don't think that tattoo is accurate either. Also, I doubt Cratag would be stupid enough to hold weapons like that, even if he was repeatedly dumb enough to leave Avellana alone despite having been hired to be her bodyguard.
A character list, which was helpful, and a map, which I never even glanced at.
(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)
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