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Tag: "Romance"

Giveaway: Watch the Lady by Elizabeth Fremantle

[ 13 ] June 10, 2015

watch the lady book coverI have 1 signed copy of Watch the Lady by Elizabeth Fremantle to give away!

Open to US residents only

About the book

From “a brilliant new player in the court of royal fiction” (People) and the author of Queen’s Gambit and Sisters of Treason comes the mesmerizing story of Lady Penelope Devereux—the little-known, daring beauty in the Tudor court, who inspired Sir Philip Sidney’s famous sonnets even while she plotted against Queen Elizabeth.

Penelope arrives at Queen Elizabeth’s court where she and her brother, the Earl of Essex, are drawn into the aging Queen’s favor. Penelope, though promised elsewhere, falls in love with Philip Sidney who pours his heartbreak into the now classic sonnet series, Astrophil and Stella. But Penelope is soon married off to a man who loathes her. Never a damsel in distress, she chooses her moment and strikes a deal with her husband: after she gives birth to two sons, she will be free to live as she chooses, with whom she chooses.

Meanwhile the devious politician, Robert Cecil, ever loyal to Elizabeth, has his eye on Penelope and her brother. Although it seems that Essex can do no wrong in the eyes of the Queen, as his influence grows, so his enemies gather. Penelope must draw on all her political savvy to save her brother from his own ballooning ambition and Cecil’s trap, while daring to plan for an event it is treason even to think about.

Smart, meticulously researched, thrilling and romantic, this book is a brilliant standout in its genre.

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Blog Tour: The Proposal at Siesta Key by Shelley Shepard Gray

[ 2 ] June 8, 2015

siesta key book coverPlease welcome Shelley Shepard Gray, author of The Proposal at Siesta Key, who is touring the blogosphere with Litfuse Publicity!

Reviewed by Charity Lyman

Every now and then you come upon a series that just keeps sneaking into your thoughts as you go throughout the day and you come to think of the characters within the pages as real people. You find yourself wishing you were a member of their community and that their stories would just continue for many books to come. That is how I felt when I picked up the first novel in this series by Shelley Shepard Gray. And the second installment has just reinforced that feeling a hundred-fold. I am seriously in love with the community of Pinecraft, Florida as portrayed in these books!

I was happy to find many old friends/characters as I dove into The Proposal at Siesta Key and was also pleased to make the acquaintance of a few new people in town. Penny Troyer is a young woman who has been sheltered all her life. Most girls her age are already married but when she was little, her older sister was brutally murdered and the family never moved on from the tragedy. Now Penny feels like she needs to get out into the Amish community and live the life she was meant to. On a whim, Penny attends an Evangelical meeting with a friend. While there, she meets Michael Knoxx. Michael is a Mennonite man who lost a limb after an accident and now goes around telling others his testimony. The first time the two of them meet, Michael is an absolute bear and Penny doesn’t realize the pain he is going through.

I really want to be careful with how much I give away in this review because you just have to pick up a copy for yourself. The characters will grow on you like friends. One of the main things I find intriguing about these stories is that I know this area. I have seen the Mennonite and Amish communities in Florida so I can just feel the atmosphere and I love it! I was definitely grateful to “meet” these people – even if it was just in a book – and hear their stories.

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Charity lives in Illinois and is the oldest of 6 children. The family also has 3 dogs and a cat. Reading is a hobby when not cooking, baking, sewing or enjoying music. She reads many different genres but Christian fiction is a favorite. Charity can be found often at her blog, Giveaway Lady

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Avon Inspire. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.

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Review: Captive by Brighton Walsh

[ 2 ] June 2, 2015

captive book coverReviewed by Melanie Kline

Madison Frost is miserable. She makes every attempt to make herself invisible to those around her at school, in public–basically anywhere she goes. At home, she is already invisible to her parents. Her immensely dysfunctional family includes an alcoholic, pill-popping mother and a father who hardly ever comes home from work. On the rare occasion that he does show up, he turns a blind eye on the entire situation. Madison feels helpless, useless and cannot wait to escape her situation. Unfortunately, guilt keeps her there day after day, making sure that her mother doesn’t overdose or cause herself even more harm.

Imagine Madison’s surprise when she is kidnapped by a huge, frightening man who is as sinfully gorgeous as he is terrifying. Who would want her kidnapped? And an even better question…who would be willing to pay the ransom? Terrified but intrigued, Madison studies not only her situation but also her captor, “Ghost”, waiting and biding her time to make an escape.

Captive becomes much more predictable once Madison makes her escape attempt – which of course fails – and she and Ghost begin talking and getting to know each other better. Both find themselves falling for the other against all odds and rationality. As a reader, I felt as though I fell straight into a Harlequin romance. The predictability multiplies until until Madison and Ghost finally admit their feelings and sleep together. At that point, the book finally moves on.

Once back on track, Captive presents another twist. We find out who actually arranged for Madison’s kidnapping and why and the story regains some of its credibility.

I’d recommend Captive to anyone who doesn’t mind the typical romance, or is looking for a quick easy read that doesn’t require their full attention. The book showed great promise, but I would have preferred the midpoint of the story to be more interesting and much less predictable.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by St. Martin’s Griffin. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.

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Review: When It’s Right by Jennifer Ryan

[ 1 ] June 1, 2015

when it's right book coverReviewed by Amanda Farmer

When It’s Right is book two in Jennifer Ryan’s Montana Men series. If you have not read book one, At Wolf Ranch, you will not be lost. There are returning characters from the first book but Ryan does an excellent job of explaining who they are and providing their back stories.

When It’s Right is about a young woman named Gillian and her younger brother, Justin, growing up in an abusive home. They are uprooted due to strenuous circumstances and moved to the Montana countryside to their grandfather’s horse ranch. Unfortunately, they have never met the man and hope he will be good for them and to them. Once at Three Peaks Ranch, they meet their grandparents and Blake, the co-owner of the ranch. Blake immediately takes Justin under his wing and teaches him a lot about horses. Gillian and Justin adapt to ranch life quickly and are able to feel safe in their new home.

When It’s Right was a quick read for me. The story had some aspects that were unbelievable to me, which made the book hard for me to review. For instance, I am all for instant love but have a hard time believing that a person who has lived an abusive life would fall in love with someone they just met. Or that someone who has never been around horses or ridden them before could get on one and within a short amount of time begin to race them. Another thing that was off about the story was the “villain” and how he tried to get even with Gillian and Blake. It seemed too far fetched.

If you can put aside all of those unbelievable problems (there are more that I have not mentioned) and just go with the flow of the story, it’s a quick, fun read that will not disappoint. I unfortunately will not be reading book one or three of the series when it’s released later this year. I did not find myself caring one way or another about the characters or their lives. I would recommend this story to those looking for a quick vacation read and not to those looking for something with more substance.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

Amanda loves spending time at home with her husband and their dog, Oreo. She loves reading, playing puzzle games, beading and watching movies. When she’s not reading, she’s working on her Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Avon. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.

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Review: After Dark by M. Pierce

[ 2 ] May 27, 2015

after dark book coverReviewed by Melanie Kline

After Dark by M. Pierce was one of the most difficult books I have ever read. It was a book that was easy to put down and extremely difficult to pick back up. I still haven’t finished the last few chapters and have, instead, chosen to call “uncle” and just write my review on the parts of the book that I did manage to get through.

After Dark reads like a bad porn movie. There is too much sex and too little storyline. It also didn’t help that I entered into the storyline in the third book of a series and had no idea as to what was going on. M. Pierce gave no hints, recaps, flashbacks or any indications as to what transpired in the first two books. We are only told that Matt Sky faked his own death, but is actually very much breathing and living with his girlfriend Hannah in this installment of the series.

While I’m no prude, I found the amount of sex in this novel to be extreme and unnecessary. From what I managed to force myself to read, I gleaned that that Hannah wants to marry Matt and while Matt finally proposes to her, he is keeping secrets from her and sees a therapist about them. The therapist suggests that he keep a journal about his secrets. When the secrets are revealed, they are only about his fondness for bondage and S & M and you guessed it, more sex.

I would only recommend this book to people who are looking for a change from the same old, sad, worn out porn movie as there is no storyline in this waste of time and paper. I was extremely disappointed in the amount of time that I put into reading it.

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆ 

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Macmillan. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.

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Review: Geek Girl by Holly Smale

[ 3 ] May 16, 2015

geek girl book coverReviewed by Benish Khan

Geek Girl is a read one can easily get lost in; the word “geek” in the title alone was enough to make me want to dive into the story. I liked how entertaining the book was. Harriet Manners is a geek and she calls herself one as well. I think that all bookworms usually do have some geek in them, so I can definitely relate to her character! I loved reading Harriet’s inner dialogue–she’s quirky and witty but can sound quite self-obsessed sometimes. I alternated between really liking her character and feeling irritated with it. Harriet is not vain but she has a bad case of self-pitying that can get pretty bothersome to read about.

Harriet is teased at her high school, however, she’s soon given a life changing opportunity to turn herself from geek to model. I did like that modeling came naturally to her–it’s like her inner goddess came out once she was given the right platform to perform. Geek Girl is a cute novel with some minor romantic undertones. It’s essentially a novel of self-discovery and readers will see Harriet’s character grow as the plot progresses. I do think the book could have been better if there was more depth to the romance.

The concept of Geek Girl was wonderful but overall it was a typical coming of age novel and nothing anything particularly unique. There was nothing extraordinary and it did lack the magic I was looking for. That said, I did like the message that the author was trying to get across to the readers and think the book would appeal to the younger audience.

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

Benish Khan has her B.A in Psychology and Religion from the University of New York. She’s a psychologist and artist by day, and a bookworm by night. She currently blogs at feministreflections.com.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by HarperCollins Publishers. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.

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