Thursday, May 25, 2017

Mr. Darcy Presents His Bride



This is my first read by Helen Hastead.

I'm a great fan of Ms. Austen and have read many authors tales of life after Pride & Prejudice. This one may be my favorite.

All the beloved characters are back, and even some unbeloved (Lady Catherine) to share in the bliss and trials of Lizzie and Darcy as they navigate the sometimes muddy waters of marriage. There are new characters to add to the cast, Marchioness of Englebury, playwrights, wits, those who wish they were wits...etc.

The manners are delightful, the setting engaging, and the writing stunning. There are moments of both comedy and tradgedy portrayed, and, of course, romance.

The only fly in the ointment, for me, was the head hopping, though this is certainly not a deal breaker.

Amazon

IN PRIDE & PREJUDICE, JANE AUSTEN brought together one of the most beloved literary couples of all time - Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy. Now, Mr. Darcy Presents His Bride continues the story of these passion-filled newlyweds as they enter London's glamorous high society. This page-turning novel finds Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy entangled in the frivolity and ferocity of social intrigues. Although Elizabeth makes a powerful friend in the Marchioness of Englebury, the rivalry and jealousy among her ladyship's prestigious clique threatens to destroy the success of her new marriage. Written in the style of Jane Austen, full of humor and sardonic wit, Mr. Darcy Presents His Bride brings Regency society vividly to life and continues the romantic, sometimes tragic, stories of other popular Pride & Prejudice characters including Georgiana Darcy and Kitty Bennet.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Meet Me at Sunrise Launch!

 Destined for Love

BOOK 2 of the Destined for Love: Europe Series is HERE! #destinedforlove
Meet Me at Sunrise by Lucinda Whitney 
When Vanessa boards her grandfather’s ship for a river cruise in northern Portugal, she doesn't expect him to ask the handsome captain to take her ashore on day trips.
But as she and the captain spend more time together, they find their assumptions of each other are wrong, and maybe eight days are not enough after all.

Grab it on Amazon! 

You can still preorder 12 Days to Love on Amazon, launching June 6th! 

Thursday, May 18, 2017

The Duke Conspiracy


The Duke Conspiracy by [Andrews, Wendy May]

I found this book as lovely as the other I read by Ms. Andrews.

I hope she continues to write strong female characters who aren't afraid to be exactly who they are even in the face of society and its rules, though they do it very discreetly.

Lots of the conflict is based on the past and clearing the air. Thankfully, Ms. Andrews does satisfy all the necessary questions.

There was good representation of feelings from all characters, though I could have done without the head hopping (a personal preference of mine).

If only there were more Alex's in the world!

Well written, a good representation of the time, and, most of all, clean and delightful.

Amazon

Miss Rosamund Smythe, the only daughter of a baron diplomat, is finding the Season to be a dead bore. After her stint at spying while in Vienna with her father, she wants a higher purpose in life than “just” being a wife. 

His Grace, Alexander Milton, the Duke of Wrentham, wants a quiet life with a “proper” lady as his wife after the tumultuous childhood he had. His parents had fought viciously, lied often, and Alex secretly wonders if he was even his father’s son.

Rose and Alex grew up on neighboring estates and have been best friends since she was four years old but a family feud has torn their friendship apart.

At a Society event Rose overhears a plot to entrap Alex into a marriage of convenience. Her loyalty to their old friendship as well as her knowledge of the conspirator, Sir Jason Broderick, causes Rose to overcome her aversion to Wrentham in order to warn him of his danger. Alex’s complicated childhood has caused him to despise all forms of deception so Rose avoids telling him how she knows so much about Sir Broderick.

When Rose is abducted by Sir Broderick to prevent her interference, Alex must deal with his own conflicted feelings to help her rescue herself. Can they claim their happily ever after despite the turmoil?

Thursday, May 11, 2017

The Countess Intrigue



This is my first read by Wendy May Andrews and I'll be back for more. 

I found her regency era world quite lovely. I really liked Lady Elizabeth. She is a strong female with well formulated opinions, yet still every inch a lady of breeding. She occasionally throws the strict rules of society away for what she deems a cause more important or worthy. 



The Countess Intrigue by [Andrews, Wendy May]The fact that she finds herself comprimised is horribly ironic as she is quite proper. Her betrothed being a suspected wife killer adds a mystery to be solved, an obstacle to be overcome. It's an ingenious plot twist.

The characters are well formed, complex, relatable, and I cheered them on from page one to the end. Consistent pacing. Strong voice. The writing bar is set high. There was some repitition of certain words that pulled me out of the story occasionally.

Also, I'm looking forward to reading more about characters who appeared as side parts in this tale.

A lovely regency romance.

Amazon

During her second Season, Lady Elizabeth Castleton is found in a compromising position with Lord Justice Sinclair, the Earl of Heath. Despite her attraction to him, she is dismayed to find herself betrothed to the man who is rumored to have killed his first wife. Regardless of the rumors, she is soon married and on the way to her husband’s estate.

After an attempt is made on her life, Elizabeth sets out to find out once and for all if she is married to a murder.

Can she stay alive long enough to find her happily ever after?

Thursday, May 4, 2017

One Last Summer

One Last Summer by [Noelle, Jo]

I've enjoyed Jo Noelle's books before.

Jenna and Cole have emotional hangups and difficult backgrounds to overcome before they can get together for happily ever after.

Uncle Walter does his best to encourage them to chuck their barriers and let their feelings bloom. He is a welcome father figure to both Jenna and Cole.

I liked the characters. They had interesting journeys.

For me, this book didn't feel as well rounded as some of the other books I've enjoyed by the author. I found myself pulled out of the story by inconsistencies in the narrative voice occasionally and think the emotional tug of war could've been more polished. Also, the cover doesn't look like what I picture the characters.

Overall, it's an enjoyable read for a clean and wholesome novella and certainly worth the price. I do recommend joining her newsletter.


Amazon
Jenna Brennan doesn’t believe in love. She doesn’t believe in marriage, and she’s learned to only count on herself. At her Uncle Walter’s insistence, and a little emotional blackmail, she returns to Misty Harbor Cottages to help him for one last summer in a place that's really the only home she’s ever known.

Cole Zamora has worked at Misty Harbor for more than half of his twenty-three years, and imagined someday owning the place. He met Jenna when they were ten-years-old, and his young heart fell hard for her, relishing every summer she came back. That is, until two years ago, when she broke his heart and never returned.

Uncle Walter proposes a challenge between the two, with the winner becoming the new owner of Misty Harbor. Now, there’s a real chance Cole could lose his heart and his home. Jenna isn’t sure which worries her more—a summer of rivalry or romance?

One Last Summer is a 100-page novella in the clean & wholesome romance category.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

A Long Journey Home


A Long Way Home: A Memoir by [Brierley, Saroo]
I didn't go see Lion, the film adaptation of this book, because I was afraid it would be too emotional for me.

I chose to read the book instead.

It's an amazing true story of Saroo and his journey away from home in India, gaining a new one in Australia, and searching out his original family in India.

This work of non-fiction reads like fiction. So crazy, it must be true!

It is a wonderful tale of love, of things coming together at the right place and time, and has a beautiful straightforward spirit about it.

An excellent read. I hope there is a sequel in thirty more years.

Amazon

This is the miraculous and triumphant story of Saroo Brierley, a young man who used Google Earth to rediscover his childhood life and home in an incredible journey from India to Australia and back again...At only five years old, Saroo Brierley got lost on a train in India. Unable to read or write or recall the name of his hometown or even his own last name, he survived alone for weeks on the rough streets of Calcutta before ultimately being transferred to an agency and adopted by a couple in Australia.

Despite his gratitude, Brierley always wondered about his origins. Eventually, with the advent of Google Earth, he had the opportunity to look for the needle in a haystack he once called home, and pore over satellite images for landmarks he might recognize or mathematical equations that might further narrow down the labyrinthine map of India. One day, after years of searching, he miraculously found what he was looking for and set off to find his family.

A Long Way Home 
is a moving, poignant, and inspirational true story of survival and triumph against incredible odds. It celebrates the importance of never letting go of what drives the human spirit: hope.


Thursday, April 20, 2017

The Prodigal Son


The Prodigal Son by [Palmer, Alison]

This is my first read by Alison Palmer.

I wasn't sure what to expect from this modern retelling of the biblical tale.

What I found was an emotionally deep story of a mother's dark journey. Sarah's baby is kidnapped while her other son is receiving medical attention at the playground after sustaining an injury. Talk about baggage!

Then when her son is returned fifteen years later, he's nothing like what she imagined and not likely how he would've turned out if she'd been the one to raise him.

The story is told from all the family member's viewpoints, including the kidnapping mom. Motives, fears, guilt, and regrets are all at the heart of this story. So, are love and how to find forgiveness of self and others.

This could be a good pick for book clubs.

Amazon
When Sarah opens the door, the last thing she expects to find is a lost piece of her life. Fifteen years ago her hopes and dreams were shattered and she thought nothing could be worse. Now, her missing child has been found and her life is about to change again. How can she learn to love a son her heart has longed for when he seems to be completely unlovable?

The Prodigal Son introduces a modern version of the Biblical parable. This engaging story represents an emotional exploration into the strength of love, the power of forgiveness, and the universal nature of the atonement.