Thursday, January 9, 2020

BLOG TOUR : Under the Stars by Carolyn Twede Frank


ABOUT THE BOOK

When the new marshal in town needs volunteers, one of the first to sign up is Miss Rosie Decker. And why wouldn’t she? She’s a sharpshooting, horse-taming tomboy—and she’s out for revenge. Marshal Hank Walker is forming a posse to find the man who killed her sweetheart, and Rosie is determined to help track him down. When the marshal refuses her service on account of her being a woman, Rosie is undeterred. If it’s a man Marshal Walker wants, it’s a man he’ll get.

With his posse assembled, Hank Walker is confident he’ll be able to track down the criminal. His confidence grows as he recognizes the incomparable skill of one young man in his posse—Ross. That is, until the day Ross’s mustache falls off, revealing “his” true identity. Rosie Decker has duped him. Banished back to town, it’s time for Rosie to prove her mettle. Though working alongside the unwilling marshal is complicated, it is the unexpected tenderness she feels for him that proves most problematic. How can she demonstrate her skill while also setting out to win the heart of the man who seems bent on keeping her out of his way?

REVIEW

I read this author's previous two books in this series (Heart of the West and Saving Susannah Jones) and enjoyed them immensely.  So I was eager to read this new one, especially when I heard the summary.  Rosie and Hank sounded like quite the pair.  I am happy to say that the book lived up to my expectations.  Rosie and Hank were delightful characters whose interactions often made me smile and sometimes laugh.  Rosie's skills and determination made her easy to root for, even though it was evident from the beginning that her efforts to disguise herself as a man were going to get her in trouble at some point.  It was impossible for me not to cheer Rosie on as she tried to convince the marshal that she would be a good deputy.  Her growing feelings for the man complicate her efforts as does the marshal's relationship with the banker's daughter.  But Rosie isn't one for giving up, not even when outlaws get in the way.  I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book.  The banter between Hank and Rosie was fun to read as were Rosie's interactions with the outlaws.  Frank has written an engaging and amusing tale of romance and law enforcement.



 

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

A SHADOW MOUNTAIN PROPER ROMANCE : The Lady in the Coppergate Tower by Nancy Campbell Allen


ABOUT THE BOOK

Hazel Hughes believes there is nothing remarkable about her, not even her strange ability to heal the sick and injured. Her employer, Doctor Sam MacInnes recognizes her special talent, but because of the difference in their social status, he can't tell her how much he admires her. When a mysterious count arrives in London and reveals to Hazel the existence of a twin sister, she agrees to accompany him to the wilds of Romania, where she learns that her healing skills are needed to save her twin's life. Worried for her safety, Sam insists on traveling with her.

Faced with dark magic, malfunctioning automatons, and dangerous magical artifacts, Hazel and Sam learn to rely on each other as they untangle a deadly web of mystery surrounding the count and search for a way to free Hazel's sister from the cursed walls of the Coppergate Tower before time runs out on all of them.

REVIEW

Having adored Allen's previous two steampunk novels (Beauty and the Clockwork Beast and Kiss of the Spindle) I was eagerly anticipating this new book.  And I was not disappointed in the least.  Allen really knows how to tell a compelling story.  In this one, Hazel Hughes and Dr. Sam MacInnes set out to find and help her previously unknown twin sister.  But traveling with Count Petrescu proves to be more dangerous than either of them thought and only by trusting each other can they find a way to save themselves and help her sister.  I enjoyed the great writing, the intricate plotting and steampunk devices (especially Sam's ton, Eugene and his wit), as well as a sweet romance.  The banter between Hazel and Sam provides the kind of entertainment that I especially enjoy in my romances. And the way the characters' skills balance each other, making them valuable allies, is fabulous.  I'm not a fan of stories where the females have to be rescued by the males, which this book definitely is not.  A great read for those who enjoy a strong dose of history and fantasy along with their romance.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

BLOG TOUR w/ GIVEAWAY : Kit and Elizabeth by Karen Tuft


ABOUT THE BOOK

Lady Elizabeth Spaulding's world has fallen apart. Despite living her entire life to please her demanding parents, the Duke and Duchess of Marwood, she has little to show for it. After Elizabeth's second failed betrothal, her father's debts and appalling acts of retaliation force him to flee the country, consigning Elizabeth and her bitter mother to a life of poverty and exile. But Elizabeth's fortunes change one day when an elderly acquaintance makes her an offer she can't refuse. Lady Walmsley, widowed and childless, is in need of a lady's companion—and who better than the lovely Lady Elizabeth?

Determined to rescue Elizabeth from her dreary life in the country, Lady Walmsley secures the help of Kit, the dashing Earl of Cantwell, in her quest. But the young woman they find is a ghost of the charming girl they once knew. Taken in by Lady Walmsley, and with Kit's enthusiastic encouragement, Elizabeth finds herself pushed further and further from her empty solitude as she discovers the joy of truly living. Now, for the first time in her life, she must decide for herself who she is and if she deserves to be loved.

REVIEW

I very much enjoyed reading this book, just as I've enjoyed reading Tuft's other Regency's. This follow-up to The Earl's Betrothal focuses on the Earl of Cantwell and Lady Elizabeth Spaulding who were secondary characters in the earlier book.  The beginning of this book does go back and retell some of the events from the first book so the reader has a context for the situation that poor Lady Elizabeth finds herself in.  I found myself sympathizing with Elizabeth or Lizzie as the Earl likes to call her, from the beginning.  A naturally kind person, Elizabeth has spent her entire life being groomed to to marry for her parents' benefit.  When things don't work out the way her parents' demand, they heap an awful lot of emotional abuse on her.  So it's hardly surprising that when Kit (Earl of Cantwell) runs into her again, she's not in a good place.

But thanks to the efforts of Lady Walmsley and Kit, Elizabeth starts to develop into her own person, a person of character and courage.  But it takes everything she has to learn to see herself as more than her parents' pawn.  And when she finds herself back in the place where so many bad memories were created, can she find the courage to create new ones?  Elizabeth is a sweet, sympathetic character, while Kit is the charming rascal that made me smile.  He proves to be a nice foil for Elizabeth as she's first starting to learn who she is.  I enjoyed reading this book and found myself reading quickly in order to find out what would happen next.  Tuft does an excellent job of writing a charming romance that has some depth to it which for me makes for a more satisfying read.

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Thursday, November 7, 2019

BLOG TOUR w/ GIVEAWAY: The Heart of the Rebellion by Sian Ann Bessey


ABOUT THE BOOK

September 1400
 
King Richard II of England is dead. And after three years in His Majesty's service, Rhys ap Tudor and his brother Gwilym are finally free to return to their ancestral home in North Wales. Their long-anticipated homecoming is overshadowed, however, by the harsh changes they encounter in their once peaceful land. The new king, Henry IV, rules with an iron fist, and the country is ripe for rebellion. Instantly thrust into the forefront of the conflict, the proud Tudor brothers enter the fight for their freedom.

Lady Catrin Buckley is alert to the unrest swirling around her. As the daughter of an English father and a Welsh mother, she know too well the trouble her lineage poses. Her own battle, however, is one of the heart: she is to be married to a man she neither knows nor loves. Then an unexpected encounter with the enigmatic Rhys ap Tudor changes everything. Soon, Catrin finds herself swept into a rebellion that could not only change history but also rewrite her own future.

REVIEW

I've read a lot of historical romance novels over the years.  Many of them from the Regency era, but from other time periods also.  It's always refreshing to come across one from a time period and location that I'm not as familiar with.  Bessey's love and knowledge of Wales shine through in this tale of love and rebellion.  Rhys ap Tudor and Lady Catrin Buckley make for an interesting pair especially as their growing romance comes at an awkward time for both of them.  Lady Catrin has just become betrothed to a man twice her age who she has never met and knows little about.  Rhys has just returned home and is having to make choices about his future.  Neither planned on becoming involved in a revolt.  Yet they both do get involved and their growing feelings for each other complicate matters mightily.  Bessey does a fine job telling her story of love and loss, courage and conviction, and passion and power. Even more intriguing is the fact that some of the events in the story actually happened, making me wonder about the real people the story is based on.  A well-told story that I very much enjoyed reading.

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Tuesday, October 15, 2019

BLOG TOUR w/ GIVEAWAY: Mistaken Reality by Traci Hunter Abramson


ABOUT THE BOOK

Hadley Baker can't believe her boyfriend finally invited her on a fancy hotel dinner date only to break up with her in public. Even more unbelievable is the moment FBI Agent JD Byers finds her crying in the women's restroom and demands she evacuate. Seconds after JD ushers Hadley outside, an explosion shatters the building. Could her life be any more disastrous?

JD didn't anticipate seeing Hadley, the beautiful schoolteacher, again after he saved her from the hotel attack. But soon after he ex-boyfriend became a lead suspect in the hotel bombing case, the man turned up dead—and now it seems that Hadley herself is a target. Determined to keep her safe, JD shelters Hadley as they join forces to put together the pieces of the perplexing case. When they discover the horrifying truth behind her ex-boyfriend's nefarious work, Hadley realizes her life is far from the only one being threatened. Countless others are in danger, and she and JD might hold the key to saving them.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE AUTHOR AND HER BOOKS SEE HERE.

REVIEW

Like many of her previous books, Abramson starts this one with a bang.  Literally.  Hadley Baker flees to the restroom after her boyfriend abruptly breaks up with her.  FBI Agent JD Byers finds her there moments before a bomb goes off.  Afterwards, Agent Byers is forced to inform Hadley that the man she thought she knew may have been involved with the bombing.  When men associated with the bombing ransack Hadley's house looking for something, she goes into hiding with Agent Byers.  What neither of them expects is to develop feelings for the other.  Meanwhile, they continue to work on the case along with Byers's partner and others (including the guardians and Saint Squad from Abramson's other books) work to bring down the man and organization behind the bombing.  As with her previous works, Abramson writes a compelling narrative with an interesting story line and sympathetic characters.  And it's always fun to hear more about characters met in previous books.  If you enjoy clean romantic suspense I can easily recommend this new book by a favorite author.

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Thursday, September 19, 2019

BLOG TOUR w/ GIVEAWAY: Deborah, Prophetess of God by H.B. Moore


ABOUT THE BOOK

After years of mistreatment, the Israelites prepare to defend themselves against the oppressive Canaanites. Readying for war not only takes secret military training but also an Israelite leader who is willing to both stand against generations of oppressions and follow God.

Deborah, a young Israelite woman, lives a quiet and isolated life with her father and brothers. As a shepherdess in the hills near her home, she knows well the perils of her work. But when faced with incredible danger, she witnesses a series of remarkable events that preserve her life. The hand of the Lord is apparent, and it is clear that hers will be no ordinary life.

REVIEW

One of the things that I enjoy about Moore's biblical-based novels is how the characters come to life.  Deborah really feels like a real person in this novel.  Her family and friends, neighbors and enemies all play an important role in Deborah's life.  But most of all it's her faith in God that changes everything.  Faith in God leads to some pretty incredible answered prayers not only for her, but for her people as well.  This novel conveys a pretty incredible story from the bible with the author filling in some of the missing pieces from her research and imagination.  It makes for a very enjoyable read.

GIVEAWAY 

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Thursday, September 12, 2019

BLOG TOUR w/ GIVEAWAY: All Hearts Come Home for Christmas by Sarah M. Eden, Anita Stansfield, Esther Hatch, & Joanna Barker


ABOUT THE BOOK

Christmas at Falstone Castle by Sarah M. Eden - The Dowager Duchess of Kielder eagerly anticipates spending Christmas with her son and his family. Though their relationship has been strained, the duchess is determined to heal the chasm. Even with the help of the widowed local vicar, her plan will take a Christmas miracle. But during this magical season, anything is possible . . . even two second chances for love.

The Heart of Christmas by Anita Stansfield - When a chance meeting brings together a gentle seamstress and a widowed banker, each lonely soul finds a first hint of hope. As their lives become entwined, it will take Christmas spirit to guide a broken family to love and healing.

'Tis the Season to Be Daring by Esther Hatch - Elizabeth Davenport has had quite enough of the London season. Determined to evade a parade of unsuitable suitors, she seeks help from the one gentleman who has no regard for Society's rules. All of Society knows Lord Hawthorne is not interested in marriage, yet he cannot deny Miss Davenport's unique charm. And as the Christmas season works its magic, their charade begins to feel less like playacting and more like love.

The Christmas Dress by Joanna Barker - Seamstress Nell Addington is thrilled when her childhood friend Jacob Hammond commissions a dress for his sister. But when Nell realizes her feelings for Jacob run far deeper than friendship, an unexpected snowstorm—and some holiday cheer—may convince them both that love is worth fighting for.

AUTHOR INFORMATION

Esther Hatch : https://estherhatch.com/

REVIEW

I have a special fondness for Christmas stories.  I eagerly gather new ones every year.  Combining Christmas with the Regency Era and I was truly excited to read this book.  And I was truly delighted by each of the four stories.  I smiled throughout Christmas at Falstone Castle as I read about familiar and well-loved characters.  I yearned for the characters in The Heart of Christmas to find happiness amidst their loneliness and sadness.  I laughed at the antics of Elizabeth and Lord Hawthorne in 'Tis the Season to Be Daring.  And I enjoyed the exchanges between Jacob and Nell in The Christmas Dress.  If you enjoy characters old and new, laughter and tenderness, and some great banter all wrapped up with a bow in the Christmas season, I can highly recommend this collection of stories.

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Monday, September 2, 2019

BLOG TOUR w/ GIVEAWAY: Entangled by Stephanie Black, Clair M. Poulson, Gregg Luke & Traci Hunter Abramson


ABOUT THE BOOK

Mystery and desperation collide in Entangled, a compilation of novellas that twist, turn, and terrify, penned by four popular suspense authors: Traci Hunter Abramson, Clair M. Poulson, Gregg Luke, and Stephanie Black.
  • A woman on the run from a man who is always one step ahead
  • A mother who will stop at nothing to find her missing daughter
  • A wife determined to discover the source of the illness attacking her husband
  • A newlywed caught in a web of murder, unsure of whom to trust
Featuring a chilling cast of villains, these stories tell the tale of strong heroines forced to make perilous snap decisions in their quest to outwit evil. With an abundance of intrigue and danger, each masterful mystery is sure to leave you breathless.

REVIEW

One of the things I love about novellas is how quickly they can be read.  They get to the heart of the plot quickly and they move rapidly all the way through.  The problem that can happen with a collection like this though is that you may not like all the stories equally.  I am pleased to say though that that didn't happen here, at least not for me.  I enjoyed all four stories and they were all intriguing and very different.  One story revolves around a woman who is trying to get her oldest son back from her drug dealing ex-husband, who also seems to want her dead.  But with the help of a kind FBI agent, she hopes to see Henry again.  The second story revolves around a woman whose daughter is kidnapped and her detective boyfriend must help her find the girl.  The problem is that corrupt cops seem to be involved.  The third story is a medical mystery with Taryn working with the doctors to try to figure out what is wrong with her husband.  And the fourth story revolves around a woman, her shop, antagonistic neighbors, and a murder.  Each story is well-written and pulled me in completely despite how short each story was.  I will admit that one story broke my heart a bit, but life, even in stories doesn't always have a happy ending.  I would recommend that you read these when you have some time because the book is hard to put down.  A well-done collection of stories perfect for those who enjoy a good suspense.

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Thursday, August 8, 2019

BLOG TOUR w/ GIVEAWAY: A Lady's Maid by Jen Geigle Johnson


ABOUT THE BOOK

Molly O’Malley, lady’s maid to the progressive Lady Amanda Halloway, is determined to continue the life’s work of her lost love, killed in the Peterloo Massacre. But when her efforts and a trip to Lady Halloway’s charitable orphanage culminate in her own abduction, Molly’s eyes are opened to the horrifying crimes transpiring in the city’s slums. Despite the risks, she broadens her mission and is drawn ever closer to the peril all around them.

Thomas Flaherty, a footman in the Halloway household, has been with Molly from the beginning, but he fears she will never trust him with her heart. Even though her cause and happiness are of foremost importance to him, his loyal patience is tested by the fears that keep her at a distance. But with their safety on the line, Thomas is resolved to sacrifice everything for the woman he loves.

Risking their lives and their love, Molly and Thomas and a team of nobles on their side will stop at nothing to empower the powerless, no matter the personal cost.

REVIEW

A Lady's Maid isn't just a regency romance.  It's a historical tale revolving around the fight for suffrage, the right to vote, a fight for those whose voices were so often ignored or deliberately set aside.  A problem that remains with us today.  I found it fascinating though to get a glimpse at the time and place.  I like to think that though Lady Amanda, Molly, Thomas, and the others are fictional, that there were those like them, who worked hard in support of their causes.  I loved reading about their efforts to help the orphans.  Not only does Johnson do an excellent job in creating her setting, but she has also created a compelling plot with several subplots, as well as some fabulous characters.

In her previous book, A Nobleman's Daughter, Lady Amanda and Lord Halloway's story and romance is told.  That story revolves around the fight for working people's rights but resulted in a massacre.  This new book tells the story of Molly, Lady Amanda's maid, and takes place ten years after the previous book ended.  Despite the time having passed, Molly still grieves the loss of her love, Charlie.  Still, she is attracted to Thomas, a footman in the Halloway's household, and a partner and friend also involved in the Halloway's work for the poor and for suffrage.  In addition to Molly and Thomas's story, which gives the reader a glimpse at the work of the working class, Johnson tells the tale of Lady Chloe and Lord Annesley. 

Lady Chloe gets involved in Lady Amanda's work but struggles with shyness as well as her feelings for Lord Annesley.  Lord Annesley is a childhood friend of Lady Chloe and the Halloways, who is also part of their cause.  Unfortunately, because of his father's poor financial decisions, he soon finds himself caught between a rock and a hard place, when he is blackmailed into spying on the suffrage movement by the prime minister.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and the way all the different characters interacted through the various plotlines.  If you enjoy regency romances or well-told historical fiction, I highly recommend this one.

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Thursday, July 25, 2019

BLOG TOUR w/ GIVEAWAY: Secrets Never Die by Laurie Lewis


ABOUT THE BOOK

Tallie Brown's life has never made any sense. Raised in isolation by her mother, Julia, Tallie was dragged suddenly and without explanation from one third-world outpost to another until life normalized seven years ago when Julia took a position on a mountaintop in the Pacific northwest. But when Julia unexpectedly dies, Tallie uncovers clues suggesting that Julia had a secret life.

Journalistic phenom Jackson James is still recovering from the devastating mistake that flatlined his promising career. Now he's paying the price, working as the editor of a syrupy community rag in a posh D.C. suburb. But when the very man who destroyed him drops a tantalizing lead about a potential D.C. scandal, the reporter sees his chance for redemption and sets off to chase the story.

Jackson's investigation leads him to Cutler's Ridge, a dying Virginia coal town, and directly into the path of the mysterious and beautiful Tallie. As these two mistrustful loners follow their leads, their stories begin to intertwine until they reach an alarming conclusion - something terrible happened in Cutler's Ridge. As they doggedly pursue the story, the town's cold reception spirals into threats and danger, proving that there are those who will stop at nothing to keep the past hidden forever - because secrets never die. 

REVIEW

Coming soon!  Haven't finished it yet. 

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