Archives for November 2015

Review: First Season/ Bride to Be by Jane Ashford

first season bride to beReviewed by Shelly

Both of these historical romances are by the same author, Jane Ashford and brand new to me. I really enjoyed the second story, Bride to Be, much more than I did the first.

First Season was initially published in 01/1984 and I thought there was a significant difference in the writing from the second story. Lady Anabel Wyndham is a young widow with 3 children. She didn’t have a coming out season before her first marriage as it was an arranged marriage, but she’s not so lucky this time around. During the parties, dances and dinners she meets Sir Charles Norbury. Charles isn’t looking for a match made in heaven; in fact, he’s not really looking at all, but he’s smitten with Anabel. She’s different than what he’s used to. While Charles and Anabel’s romance is taking off, Anabel’s longtime friend, Christopher Hanford, comes to the city looking for Anabel. [Read more…]

Review: Sweet Ruin by Kresley Cole

sweet ruinReviewed by Jen

I know a lot of people were disappointed by Kresley Cole’s decision to feature two new characters in this book. They want Furie and Kristoff. Or Nix and… somebody. Cole has created such a vast landscape of characters already, we’re all greedy to get their stories. But this book does something important. It broadens the scope of the series and –in my opinion– ramps up the Ascension more than any book that’s come before it. It also introduces the guy who I think will be Nix’s HEA, but I’ll get back to that in a minute. [Read more…]

Review: Strings Attached by Stephanie Julian

strings attachedReviewed by Shelly

This is my first story by Stephanie Julian and what an enjoyable read it was. This is Julian’s first in the ‘Baseline Sins’ which is a spin-off from her ‘Salon Games’ series. Now, as I’ve not read any of the Salon Games, I don’t know if the writing style is similar. But what I can tell you is this – I’m not a fan of stories about rock bands. I find most of them full of sex, sex and more sex without any character development or decent plot lines. I didn’t find that with this story. I found this story engaging, quick and witty with some of the funniest dialogue I’ve read all year. [Read more…]

Review: The Highlander’s Accidental Marriage by Callie Hutton

highlanders accidentalo marriageReviewed by Jen

I liked the idea of this story: an English lady traveling to meet her sister, ends up accidentally married to a Scottish gentleman. But the execution fell more than a little flat. I wasn’t a big fan of either main character. I found the story predictable. And I had essentially no emotional connection to the romance or any character in the book. [Read more…]

Review: Doubleblind by Ann Aguirre

doubleblindReviewed by Jen

Life is never easy for Sirantha Jax. With every step forward she takes in her life, comes at least one step back. With every hard-won victory, comes a heartbreaking loss. But what is so undeniable about this character is her resiliency. She is no superwoman. She is vulnerable, breakable, and flawed. But no matter how hard of a hit she takes, she manages to get up again and keep moving. She is also loyal, smart, and so much more than anyone gives her credit for. It’s a combination that makes for a pretty fantastic heroine.

If you haven’t been reading this series from the beginning, I would not advise starting here. Each book grows from the continuing storyline before it. But here it continues in pretty spectacular fashion. The entire installment is set on an alien planet, with a unique culture and a very non-human alien population. My hat is off completely to Ann Aguirre for her spectacular world-building. I was already impressed by her concept of grimspace and Jax’s ability to see through deep space. But I grow even more so as she continues to build outward. I’ve never read anything quite like it, yet I never got lost and fell into it completely. [Read more…]

Review: Highland Heat by Jennifer Haymore

highland heatReviewed by Jen

This book delivers on one of my favorite tropes: a hero so beneath the heroine in social status, they believe they can never make it work.  Duncan is a Scottish soldier, injured at Waterloo. Lady Grace is sister-in-law to his superior officer. They are light years apart in station, but from the moment she tended him on the battlefield, they were like moths to a flame.

Grace doesn’t consider herself “too good” for Duncan. She is attracted to him and is fascinated by every word he says and every action he makes. She thinks she’ll never see him again after that first day –that first kiss– but circumstances bring him into her life over and over again. And she couldn’t be happier. Stolen moments grow into heated touches and a real emotional connection… all while reality insists they can never have a future. [Read more…]

Review: The Spinster’s Guide to Scandalous Behavior by Jennifer McQuiston

spinsters guide to scandalous behaviorReviewed by Jen

Lucy has never really fit in with her family’s plans for her. She is more comfortable wearing trousers in her greenhouse than wearing dresses and going to balls. She doesn’t want the suitors who she feels would only marry her for her dowry and her standing. But no one understands –and she fears no one ever will– until one day a surprise package arrives from her late aunt.

Lucy barely remembers her Aunt E, but suddenly she learns that her aunt has left her the cottage where she lived and the diaries she kept for decades.  Now Lucy has an alternative to the future she has been dreading. Except that her father has tried to sell her new home to some marquess for a paltry sum. Surely, he thought, she would have no use for the rundown property. He thought wrong. Lucy embarks on a secret mission to see the old place for herself, only she doesn’t make the journey alone: Lord Thomas isn’t quite willing to give up his quest to buy her property. [Read more…]

Review: A Fortunate Blizzard by L.C. Chase

fortunate blizzardReviewed by Janell

Warning: this novella kept me up late and made me cry and I want to hug it and squeeze it and love it. It’s also got that “trapped in a blizzard with only one hotel room” trope that works for so many people, including me.

Trevor is a successful artist, living in a small Colorado mountain town. He’s also dying. He’s been on dialysis for years, and the story opens with his doctor informing him that it won’t help much longer. Trevor has a rare blood type and no kidney donor. He’s preparing to fly home for Christmas to tell his wonderful family that he might not be around for the next one. [Read more…]

Review: Sweetest Scoundrel by Elizabeth Hoyt

sweetest scoundrelReviewed by Jen

I have to admit, Eve didn’t exactly thrill me as a character in Dearest Rogue. She struck me as odd and a weird mix of weak and ruthless. This book didn’t really change that impression of her, but it did explain why she is the way she is, and that does help a lot.  Despite my reservations about the heroine, I was definitely looking forward to this story. I am all about the Makepeace clan, and while Asa is decidedly different from his brothers and sisters, he was engaging and interesting in his own way. [Read more…]

Review: Three Nights Before Christmas by Kat Latham

three nights before christmasReviewed by Janell

I’m a fan of Kat Latham’s rugby series, and this Christmas novella is loosely related to it. The heroine of a prior book is the sister of this hero. But this book takes place in Montana, and there’s nary a rugby player to be seen. Basically, this can be a total standalone.

Lacey is just getting out of prison (my first ex-con heroine!). She spent three years behind bars because her boyfriend used her — and her job as a train engineer — to transport drugs. She’s learned a few lessons in prison, and now she looks forward to private bathrooms, hot coffee, and no more strip searches. She moves in with her brother on the family Christmas tree farm. [Read more…]