Category: romance



Perfect Strangers

Perfect Strangers by Rebecca Sinclair

 

 

In 1603, Gabrielle Carelton was a lady in Queen Elizabeth’s court for 6 years.  Black of hair, green of eye, heavy of weight, Gabrielle sees herself as a plain looking, plump woman. While she will devoted to her queen and her country, she is not afraid of speaking her mind when occasions warrant it. After the Queen compares her to a stuffed goose, she suffers even more from insecurities about herself.

 
When Queen Elizabeth calls a meeting with Gabrielle to take place in the early morning, Gabby is worried, very worried. Queen Elizabeth is not an early riser so Gabby knows that it can’t be good news. When Queen Elizabeth tells Gabby that she is to wed a Scotsman, she is shocked, when she discovers the Scotsman is Colin Douglas of the Douglas clan, she is horrified! Queen Elizabeth will not take no for an answer and Gabby, who has always been loyal to the Queen, knows that she will have to accept what she has been ordered to do.

 
The Maxwell clan and the Douglas clan have been enemies for decades. Gabrielle with her small drop of Maxwell blood is perfect for the Queen’s plan. Not only will it hopefully settle some of the strife on the borderlands by uniting the 2 clans, but it also rids the Queen of Gabby, who rumor has it, has been friendly with Robert Devereaux whom the Queen looks on as her special suitor. The only way Gabby can get out of this is if she goes against the Queen and that she will not do.

 
On the border, Colin Douglas’ twin Connor, known far and wide as The Black Douglas, devises a plan that will get him payback against his twin, and help to settle some of the unrest on the border. His plan includes kidnapping and then marrying Gabby, begetting a son, and having her die due to the harsh and uncompromising weather on the border (he believes that all Englishwomen are frail, helpless beings).

 
When a feverish and sick Gabby first lays eyes on Connor, she is instantly attracted. Little does she know, but Connor also sees something in her, something he wasn’t expecting. Gabby is slowly getting better and getting to know Connor. Things heat up when a kidnapping is carried out in Connor’s castle. Will he go after the kidnappers? What will happen to Gabby when she finally meets Colin? And if the rumor is true and the Queen is dead, is Gabby still obligated to marry?

 
Great scenes, good descriptions, and fun characters all make for an entertaining read. I enjoyed the historical facts that were incorporated into the story. A great historical romance novel.


What the Heck, Dec?!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What the Heck, Dec?! by Elizabeth Dudak

 

 

Martina Karnawski, red haired and freckled, is quite tall and she carries most of her weight around the boob and hip areas. She’s a week away from graduating with her teaching degree and needs a job badly. She applies for a position at Noteah North Middle School as a grade 6 teacher. The school is reputed to be the Beverly Hills of Illinois and the teacher turnover rate is ‘higher then a coaching position with the Chicago Cubs.’ But they pay very well and Marti needs to start paying off her bills.

 
Waiting at the school office for her interview she meets the two Dawns, two gossipy women employees at the school. They show little interest in Marti until a very gorgeous man comes. Declan Reed is late for his appointment, he was once a teacher but is now a social worker and is here for a job interview. After a few embarrassing moments with him and the two Dawns, Marti and Declan say  good luck to each other and head off for their individual meetings.

 
Marti is nervous, this is her first professional interview. She is shocked, but very happy to accept the job offer at the end of her interview.

 
On her first day at her new school, she sees Declan again. He’s been hired too. She also meets the very handsome gym teacher, Josh York who seems very interested in her. After a series of humorous events, Marti makes a decision about the men that will change her life. If its the right decision, as she keeps telling herself, why then is she constantly thinking of the other man? And why does she keep thinking that there is something more going on then what she knows about.

 
This is a great chick lit read. A very humorous, strong female lead character with loads of personality and 2 gorgeous men, both smart but with different attributes, both interested in Marti. Good romantic flavor throughout. The story is set at a posh school and is filled with quite the collection of people, including the two Dawns, Harper and Esther. A smooth story line that leads up to some  surprising revelations.

 

 

I received my copy from the author in exchange for my honest review.


"Ransom" ("The Light-Bearer Series" #2)

“Ransom” (“The Light-Bearer Series” #2) by Emily Guido

 

 

Charmeine is a Light-Bearer sent to Earth by God to battle Lucifer‘s minions. By looking into your eyes she can tell if you are lying. Her powers are growing and no one, including herself, is aware of just how powerful she is. Tabbruis is a Blood-Hunter, he needs blood to survive. While human blood is the best, he has given up human blood (unless it is given voluntarily) and exists on animal blood. He is very smart and capable and is trying to get all other Blood-Hunters to stop hunting humans. They are soul mates and together they are the Queen of Light and King of Darkness.

 
Charmeine and Tabbruis are at Castle Charmeine in Romania. They are there with their large family awaiting the birth of their child, nicknamed Baby Hunter. All the family are eagerly awaiting the birth. They aren’t idle while they wait, they are continuing to learn self defense and how better to use their unique powers.  Athena can see what you are feeling by the light radiating around your body; Hera, like Charmeine can see when you are lying; Neal is an extremely large and powerful blood-hunter and the other members of the family also have extraordinary powers. An attack by evil minions is always a concern, even with all the security measures and guards they have in place.

 
A group of Temple Guards arrive at the castle unannounced and demand to talk to the Queen of Light and the King of Darkness. They claim the Queen and King need to go to Athens to bring harmony and justice to the Blood-Hunters. It is actually a diversion so that the mysteriously alluring Bathsheba can enter the castle and get to Charmeine. Bathsheba says she is doing her Master’s bidding and then threatens Charmeine’s unborn child. Charmeine turns the tables on Bathsheba, however before she can get more information, Bathsheba injects herself with something and falls to the floor.

 
When Tabbruis and Dmitri come face to face with Bathsheba, it is as if time has stood still. Seeing her leaves both men in shock. As Charmeine demands to know who Bathsheba is and how Tabbruis knows her, Tabbruis turns on Charmeine, almost attacking her in his defense of Bathsheba. It is as if Tabbruis no longer sees Charmeine, only Bathsheba.

 
The action heats up as Charmeine and her family race to get answers to find and stop the Master before the next Blood-Hunter meeting.

 
Beautifully detailed locations from Romania to London to the shores of the Black Sea. interesting characters that are well fleshed out and who are slowly evolving from the first novel, and new characters that are both interesting and integral to the story are believable and very human but have surprising powers.  Add a well paced story and this all makes for a great read. A good mix of angels, blood-hunters (vampires), paranormal, action and romance. It continues the story told in the novel Charmeine, but also can be read as a stand alone novel.

 
The Light-Bearer Series will continue with the third novel “Conundrum”. I am really looking forward to the continuation of this series. I really enjoy how the characters are evolving and how the story continues to move forward, while containing additional information on the pasts of the characters.


Montana Wildfire

Montana Wildfire by Rebecca Sinclair

 

 

 

Amanda Lennox, blond, green eyed and intelligent, at least she thought she was intelligent until she lied to get this job of bringing Roger Thornton Bannister III home. The little monster was making the already rough trip through the western countryside unbearable. Amanda has always prided herself on her even temper but now, struck in the river, with the spoiled Roger splashing her and demanding lunch, Amanda is ready to blow. Even Roger realizes that perhaps he’s pushed her too far and goes rushing off into the forest to find someone to help Amanda.

 

 
To Amanda’s surprise and relief, Roger comes back with a man. But after just a few minutes with this man, Amanda’s wondering if maybe being trapped in the river wasn’t better than having to put up with this man.

 

 
Jacob Blackhawk Chandler is no one’s idea of a hero, including himself. A half breed Indian with a chip the size of the Rockies on his shoulder, Jake doesn’t want to get involved with Amanda and Roger but since there is no one else around to get Amanda out of the hole she’s in he steps up.

 

 
Getting out of the river requires a lot more body contact then Amanda was prepared for. She’s thankful that Jake was there to help but is uneasy with the new thoughts crowding her head. She just wants to get back on the trail and get Roger home.

 

 
Ready to leave Amanda and Roger to find their way through the country side is fine with him until Roger comes up missing. Amanda turns again to him for help and against his better judgement, Jake agrees to help find Roger.

 

 
As Amanda and Jake trek through the countryside on Roger’s trail, they find themselves drawn to each other. But what kind of life can a angry half breed offer a proper Bostonian white woman specially in a country where Indians and white people don’t mix, and being caught together can cause death?

 

 
I really enjoyed this novel. With wonderful commentary on the western countryside, the tiny towns and the relationships between people of different races this was a very readable novel. The characters are well rounded, with some flaws which helps to make them believable. The story clips along at a steady pace.


California Caress

California Caress by Rebecca Sinclair

 

 

 

Hope Benett is on a mission.  A mission to save her brother and ultimately her family home. The only person who can help her is notorious gunslinger Drake Frazier, but can she trust him?

 

 

 
Hope, a lovely red haired, brown eyed girl, loves her brother Luke. He can’t help that while his body is bigger than most grown men, his mind is that of an eight year old. The Swedes have declared their intent to take over the Benett gold claim and the only way to stop them is to take part in a no holds barred knock down fist fight. Luke is the only one big enough to take on even one of the Swedes, but he’s not smart enough to hold his own when the Swedes are known to use a knife and kill a man to get what they want. Hope’s dad sends her to find Drake Frazier, known gunfighter, drinker and fist fighter, possibly the only man in Thirsty Gulch that would agree to take on the Swedes.

 

 

 
Hope isn’t the only one with something to lose. Drake Frazier, handsome, blonde haired gunfighter, has his own agenda. Hope doesn’t know it but she’s going to help him in his plan to avenge a wrong doing done to him.

 

 

 
Can Hope and Drake help each other erase the scars of past hurts? Will they see that they are both worthy of love? Will they find love together before its too late?

 

 

 
Two of my favorite genre, romance and westerns, together in a tale spanning the gold mines of California, the city streets of Boston and the green grass of Virginia.

 

 

 

The story feels a bit forced and over thought at times, but has some beautifully written scenes.  An enjoyable read, with a strong willed, smart heroine which I like.


Charmeine (The Light-Bearer Series, #1)

Charmeine (The Light-Bearer Series, #1) by Emily Guido

 

 

 

I consider myself to be very lucky. As a book reviewer I am often asked by an author if I will give them an honest review of their book, usually in return for a copy of the book. I don’t often buy books anymore, I usually have a stack of to-reads waiting for me, although I never let my to-read list get so large that I can’t get to a book within 1 to 2 weeks.

 

 

 
I started following http://emilyguido.com  She is the author of Charmeine, the first book in the new Light Bearer Series. Everyday I would impatiently check my email waiting for another excerpt from her book Charmeine. When I found out that the next book in the series is going to be released soon, I decided that I needed to read the entire book, not just the snippets. So I purchased my copy (first book I’ve bought in ages) and started to read…

 

 

 
In Heaven, Charmeine and Tabbruis are worried. Charmeine, an Angel of Harmony, has a mission to provide harmony and peace in times of trouble. Lately she feels a serious drain on her power and her ability to provide harmony was lessening daily. Tabbruis is the Angel of Self-Determination and is several levels higher than Charmeine. He allows us to use our free will and inspires us to think of new ways to do things. He must  help an Archangel to have conviction in his beliefs and will therefore be unavailable to the family for most of the day. They are waiting to hear what the Prophecy will bring but neither believes it will be good news.

 

 

 
We then go back, back to a time before Tabbruis and Charmeine have met. When Tabbruis used another name and Charmeine had no idea who she really was or what her real name was. Back before love had finally made them complete.

 

 

 
Tabbruis is a Blood Drinker, a vampire. He believes his destiny is to walk earth always in need of blood. Human blood is best, but Tabbruis has learned to use wild animal blood instead to curb his craving. He can go out in sunlight, but prefers the darkness, he seldom sleeps, he is very wealth and very handsome. People usually bend to his will with little or no problem. He prefers to be alone. The sound, the smell and the action of the sea calms him.

 

 

 
Charleen has beautiful brown eyes and a very sweet nature. Summer is her favorite time of year, she loves the feel of sun on her skin. She learned Judo so she will never be a victim. She has never really dated and has never really been attracted to any man, and she has no interest in finding out why. She tries to tell herself she is happy but she knows that really she wants a man in her life, someone to share with. Charleen loves to go and watch the waves at the sea shore. its very peaceful.

 

 

 
Tabbruis and Charleen meet. They stare deep into each others eyes and they know. They have found the other half of themselves. But will it be enough to overcome all the obstacles both known and unknown in their paths? Can there be happiness between two such different creatures?

 

 

 
I am very satisfied with this story. There were many things to like such as vampires, the supernatural, action scenes, good characters who throughout the book evolve and a very emotional romance involving two people of different races/cultures.

 

 

 
I did at times feel the writing was a little stilted and it did effect the flow of the story. (I have the kindle edition from Amazon and like several kindle ebooks from Amazon that I have read there are many errors involving jumbled sentences, misspelled words and wrong punctuation. As I can’t be sure with whom the problem lies, I am not factoring those errors into my review).

 

 

 
This is a great read, and a terrific debut novel for Emily Guido! I look forward to the next book in the series. Check out some scenes from the book at http://emilyguido.com/


The Earl's Mistaken Bride

The Earl’s Mistaken Bride  by  Abby Gaines

 

 

 

The Earl of Spenford, Marcus Brookstone,with his prideful arrogance, has made a bargain with God. In return for allowing his mother to return to good health, the Earl will marry a chaste, pious woman who knows her place. The Earl has a chance meeting with one of Reverend Somerton’s 5 daughters, the very pretty and charming Constance. Disregarding the slightly uneasy feeling he has when he thinks back to the encounter, the Earl speaks to Reverend Somerton about marrying Constance. The Reverend‘s surprised look is quickly replaced with a smile and an agreement that should Constance assent to the marriage it could take place. The surprised look and the comment about Constance’s assent being needed make the Earl wonder if he has perhaps made a mistake but worry for his mother quickly dispels those feelings.

 

 
Constance Somerton is the happy, pious, and extremely stubborn second daughter of the Reverend and Mrs. Somerton. At 20 years of age, she is slowly giving up on her dream to marry. Since a chance encounter with the Earl of Spenford, Constance has been half in love with him. Hearing of the Earl of Spenford’s request for her hand in marriage is a dream come true for Constance. She believes she will make a good wife to the Earl and that they will have a happy marriage.

 

 
The Earl of Spenford is late, late for his own marriage. Constance believes its a good thing her sister has suggested she wear a veil for the ceremony. It is a fairly new thing to do, but Constance is so nervous and anxious that she is happy that her face will be covered. Finally the Earl arrives. The ceremony is performed and he slowly raises the veil covering his bride’s face.

 

 
Can a marriage of convenience become a marriage of love? What of the bargain Marcus made with God regarding his mother? Will Constance have the chance to share her love with Marcus?  Will Marcus’ pride and Constance’s stubbornness keep them apart?

 

 
I enjoy a good romance novel every now and then. On a quiet rainy day, spent alone, I revel in being able to kick back, relax, and enjoy a nice, light read. I like knowing that at the end of the book, no matter what has taken place, there is a happy, positive ending. This is the first inspirational historical romance I’ve read, and I would definitely read another.

 

 

The Governess and Mr. Granville, Love Inspired Historical, September 2012 is the second of the Parson’s Daughters series by Abby Gaines and I have already put it on my to read list.

 


Elemental Magic

Elemental Magic by Angela Wallace

 

 

Aileen Donovan isn’t just a research scientist at the Undina Research Center in Westport Washington who happens to be attractive and available.  Nor is she just Seamus’ daughter nor just Keenan’s sister. She is an elemental, a supernatural being tasked with caring for the earth and its animals. Very few know of her secret life as an elemental, and its a secret that must be kept safe!

 
Aileen is a water elemental and as such she has learned how to harness her powers to use the water but she is young, still an apprentice and it certainly doesn’t help that the very animals she is tasked to protect make her the butt of their jokes.

 
When her Coast Guard friend Colin, whom knows nothing of elementals,  asks for her help as a researcher to locate a ship that has been declared lost Aileen agrees to help.

 
With the power of a whirlpool, Aileen’s life has suddenly spun out of control…and not just in the elemental world!

 
This was a very engaging read. Quick paced story, with a few twists and turns, throw in some romance as well as great characters and that makes for a book that is hard to put down. I will definitely be reading the next in the series.

Dry Spell (Elemental Magic #2)

Dry Spell (Elemental Magic #2) by Angela Wallace


I am not much of a movie watcher (although I will admit to having a weakness for those really, really bad B-movies from the late 40’s into the early 70’s, especially if they have creatures or aliens…you get the picture) I do however love episodic books.

 

 
Explosive Eighteen is the 18th (actually if you include the 4 between-the-numbers books its 22) Stephanie Plum novel. It follows the exploits of a well intentioned, though fairly inept female bounty hunter in Trenton, New Jersey.

 

 

 

Explosive Eighteen (Stephanie Plum, #18) View a preview of this book online

Explosive Eighteen (Stephanie Plum #18) by Janet Evanovich

 

 

 

As she tries to bring in skips (people who make bail using her cousin’s bail bond service and then fail to appear at the scheduled court date) there are some amusing situations that can and do arise. With Lulu, her coworker, usually by her side (or on their backsides as the case may be) they cruise around Trenton dating, fighting, shopping and trace skipping. Who are the jokers who show up at her door? Are they for real or is this someone’s idea of a practical joke? Vinnie’s a weasel, Joyce is a bitch but who are the rats? And oh, what, oh what, is Stephanie going to do about Ranger and Morelli?

 

 
Now here is my dilemma. As a book in the Stephanie Plum series, I was disappointed. It was at times romantic, humorous, mysterious and yet so, so just a repeat of previous books. There was no real character development over previous books, no new action scenes that hadn’t previously been used (though with other names or species), and no real new romantic developments either. As a book in the series, I rate it a 3.

 

 
Now if I take away the ‘book in a series’ aspect, I liked it quite a bit more. The characters are crazy and funny, the situations are sometimes tense, sometimes romantic and again sometimes puzzling, but again it reads better if you take away the series aspect. If I were to rate it as a stand alone book, discarding the previous novels in the series, I would rate it a 4.

 

 
So overall if you’re looking for a light, romance with some slapstick comedy and action scenes this would be a good book to read. I do know that this an unusual way to review a book but those are my thoghts. I have enjoyed the Stephanie Plum books just a little less each time. I would have loved some, heck any, growth by the characters. I do adore Lula. I don’t care that she was once a whore as they say , she is a great comedic relief. I just wish her character would develop more as well.


Dangerous Waters

Dangerous Waters by Anne Allen

 

 

At 16, Jeanne was a happy young woman who loved her family, the sea and her Guernsey home. One horrible day she lost her parents and her love for the sea and within days her Guernsey home. After 15 years away, Jeanne Le Page is finally coming home to Guernsey.

 
Meeting up with old friends, feeling the fresh ocean breezes on her skin, having a safe haven have all caused her to think about being home and perhaps returning to Guernsey for good.

 
Still, its not the homecoming she had wanted. Her gran’s death, the breakup with her long-time boyfriend Andy and the fallout she suffered from the ending of her relationship have left her reeling. Its almost as bad as the horrible sea accident that caused her to leave.

 
She’s remembered little of the accident or the 10 days spent in the hospital afterwards. Being back in her gran’s beloved cottage, she is beginning to have flashbacks to that horrible day. Could there be more to the accident than she remembers?

 

 

Will going back to her old life in England work for her now or should she stay in Guernsey and start over?

 

A mystery romance novel with interesting characters, a good little mystery and an interesting subplot about genealogy and food.

 

I received a copy of this novel from the author and was asked for my honest review.

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