Advance Review- A Kiss At Christmastide by Christina McKnight

Title: A Kiss At Christmas Tide

a-kiss-at-christmastide

Genre: Historical Romance/Novella

Author: Christina McKnight

Publisher: La Loma Elite Pub., Sept. 27, 2016, preorder available Kindle $.99

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 121

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 3

Violence Rating: 0

Description from Amazon.com:

Lady Pippa Godfrey has suffered the most ruinous London Season. She escapes to her Somerset estate for a quiet Christmastide holiday with her family, away from society’s prying eyes. But before her parents can join her, a storm crashes down on Somerset to destroy any hope of Pippa’s white Christmas dream. The roads have flooded and travel is impossible, leaving her stranded and alone. But a muddied, angry and devilishly handsome lord appears at her door demanding shelter. Lucas Hartfeld, the Earl of Maddox, has been summoned by his parents, the Marquis and Marchioness of Bowmont, to attend a holiday party in the wilds of the country, far from his London townhouse. He suspects they command his attendance for far different reasons than a simple country party. When a storm strands his carriage, he’s forced to seek shelter at the only home for miles around, a local manor called Helton House. When Lady Pippa is reluctant to admit him, he does what he’s been raised to do—demand she provide him and his servants with shelter until the storm passes. But the beautiful woman draws his interest far more than he’s willing to admit. Can Lucas find a way out of the predicament his parents are planning? As Lady Pippa scrutinizes another arrogant, demanding lord, she is bombarded with memories of betrayals in her past. Can she forget those difficult life lessons to claim a Christmastide kiss from a perfect stranger?

**

Oh yes, this is my favorite trope, two people stranded together by a storm. Both have troubles in their pasts to overcome and those same troubles prevent them from moving forward with their lives. However perhaps, as the author shows us, they can move forward together.

This is a sweet Christmas time story.  We not only hope for an HEA we hope that the H & h both can put the past to rest. I personally would have enjoyed a bit more dialog between the characters but that didn’t impact my enjoyment of the story.

This novella is only 121 pages, so it is perfect to sit by the fire and enjoy during the hectic holiday season. At this posting it is only $.99 on Kindle. I encourage you to take advantage.

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Recent Release Review- Thrice The Brinded Cat Hath Mew’d by Alan Bradley

Title: Thrice The Brinded Cat Hath Mew’d

thrice-the-brinded-cat

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Author: Alan Bradley

Publisher: Bantam, Sept. 20, 2016

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 352

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 0

Violence Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

In spite of being ejected from Miss Bodycote’s Female Academy in Canada, twelve-year-old Flavia de Luce is excited to be sailing home to England. But instead of a joyous homecoming, she is greeted on the docks with unfortunate news: Her father has fallen ill, and a hospital visit will have to wait while he rests. But with Flavia’s blasted sisters and insufferable cousin underfoot, Buckshaw now seems both too empty—and not empty enough. Only too eager to run an errand for the vicar’s wife, Flavia hops on her trusty bicycle, Gladys, to deliver a message to a reclusive wood-carver. Finding the front door ajar, Flavia enters and stumbles upon the poor man’s body hanging upside down on the back of his bedroom door. The only living creature in the house is a feline that shows little interest in the disturbing scene. Curiosity may not kill this cat, but Flavia is energized at the prospect of a new investigation. It’s amazing what the discovery of a corpse can do for one’s spirits. But what awaits Flavia will shake her to the very core.

**

Once again in book #8 of this series, Flavia DeLuce is stumbling upon a dead body. If you have read my other reviews of books in this series, you know that Flavia is a precocious 12 year old genius with a particular interest in chemistry and crime solving.  She has been compared to Eloise and Sherlock.  For me she is just delightful.  The mystery here wasn’t as interesting as some of the past books but Flavia’s crime solving and interactions with adults is absolutely joyous. The series is set in post WWII Britain and I’m guessing the early 1950’s or late 40’s.  There is still a recovering economy and no fancy crime solving helps like DNA testing, etc.  The crimes need to be solved by ruthless investigation and brilliant deduction, both of Flavia’s star qualities. Flavia’s family consists of a hospitalized father, a book addicted reader sister Daffy and a boy crazy older sister Feely. Her chief emotional support comes from a family retainer, Dogger, who appreciates her genius and comes to her aid without condescending to her age.

Each book in The Flavia De Luce Series is a standalone novel. You may enjoy later books in the series by reading the ones that went before for background but each mystery is solved in each book.

I highly recommend this book and the entire series.

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Deet’s Life-Deet’s Glorious Adventure

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I’m off to Spokane, Washington for the first ever Historical Romance Retreat, a four day event filled with readers and authors who love the genre. I’m sure I will have some photos to upload when I get home.  Here is a glimpse of the venue, The Historic Davenport Hotel.

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This is the gorgeous Lobby:

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I will be welcomed to the event and also do some gambling on Gaming Night here:

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In this room I will be entertained at High Tea:

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The room where the Grand Ball and Book Fair  will be held:

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Recent Release Review- The Cyn & Raphael Novellas by D. B. Reynolds

Title: The Cyn & Raphael Novellas: Betrayed, Hunted, Unforgiven and Compelled

Vampires In America Series

the-cyn-raphael-novellas

Genre: Paranormal Romance/Erotic/Urban Fantasy

Author: D.B. Reynolds

Publisher: ImaJinn, August 2016

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 270

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5+

Violence Rating: 5

Descriptions from Amazon.com:

Betrayed: Vampires in America 5.5

War has come to the North American vampires, and Vampire Lords are reaching across territorial lines to strengthen allies and weaken enemies. The most powerful Lord of them all, Raphael, could change the course of the war and determine who raises the final banner of victory. But at what price? And will his mate, Cyn, be the one to pay it?

**Deet’s Thoughts:

In BETRAYED The evolution of the impending vampire war is introduced. Cyn and Raphael have a few moments of mistrust and several very, very hot sex scenes that last longer than a few moments. No one writes hot and steamy better than D.B. Reynolds. No. One!

This is a genre bending series. Often billed as Paranormal Romance it is in my opinion more Urban Fantasy Romance and in more recent books in the series Erotic Romance. The vampires are scary and not sparkly, the women they fall in love with are strong and confident. The setting is contemporary and the vampires are known to humans.

 Hunted: Vampires in America 6.5

The Lord of the Midwest is dead, and the powerful vampires of North America are gathering to choose his successor. The Vampire Council will be there to oversee the competition-each of them focused on keeping the violence to a bloody minimum, including Raphael, who will do whatever it takes to ensure the victor is a vampire he can trust. But someone is hunting, determined to stop Raphael and his mate, Cyn, from ever reaching Chicago. Soon, the hunter may become…the hunted.

**Deet’sThoughts:

As I’ve come to expect from this terrific author, the sex is positively sizzling, the storytelling is so accomplished that I could actually visualize the action scenes and feel the adrenaline rush. At this point my impression of Aden (A soon to be Vampire lord) is not a positive one. Perhaps we are not supposed to like him. This makes me doubly excited to read his story. It is always a delight to have Raphael and Cyn in a book (originally introduced in the book RAPHAEL), these two are so much in love and they can’t keep their hands off of each other. “I love you, my Cyn” he whispered against her lips, “Remember that.” “I don’t have to remember,” she said fervently. “You’ll always be here to tell me.” We also get a look at the relationship of Lucas and Katherine and the budding friendship of Katherine and Cyn. Can this novella be read as a stand-alone book? Yes, it is a story unto itself and I believe there is enough background to fill in any needed history. That said, you would be advised to read the series since it will give you a stronger feel for the characters.

 Unforgiven: Vampires in America 7.5

War is imminent, and a spy has infiltrated Raphael’s estate. But his target is not Raphael; it’s his sister, Alexandra, whose earlier duplicity nearly cost Cyn her life. Raphael and Cyn are determined to play the spy’s game, traveling to Mexico to discover who their enemy is and just how far he’ll go to win. But once Raphael finds his sister, can he take the chance that she won’t betray him again?

**Deet’s Thoughts:

War is coming to the North American vampires. European Vampires are being crowded out of their territories and need to expand. Raphael is the vampire lord trying to keep the enemy at bay. At the same time there are those who would undermine him. Yes, there are allusions to previous incidents in earlier books but this is still a standalone book. 86 pages of hot vampire action, smoldering tension, and sizzling sex. The relationship of human Cyn and vampire Raphael is always super sensuous and loving and this novella once again shows their union to be one of trust and respect. Security chief, Juro, is becoming more of a presence in the series. (I’m hoping he gets his own territory.) Second in command, Jared, remains an enigma to me and apparently Cyn has reservations about him, too.

From the beginning of this series the author has kept true to the world she has built around these vampires. Also from the first book, where Raphael and Cyn are introduced, we have watched their relationship grow stronger.

 Compelled: Vampires in America 10.5

It was only a few months ago that Raphael lay helpless and dying, taken by treachery, while Cyn fought to save him. Unexpectedly, it was Nick who provided the key to his freedom. In exchange, he secured a promise that they would help him find and recover the same magical artifact that had been used to imprison Raphael. But when he calls on them to keep that promise, it will be Cyn who pays the price.

Torn between the two powerful men, struggling to keep them from killing each other, she undertakes a desperate search that will find her fighting for her life against a madman who wants her for himself.

**Deet’s Thoughts:

Once again, in the fabulous Vampires In America series, we are treated to our favorite lovers, human Cyn and vampire Raphael. This time they have sorcerer Nick Katsaros calling in a promise to help him find the magical Amber Manacles. Can Cyn keep Raphael and Nick from causing each other bodily harm? The power of Raphael bounces off the page. The mysterious Nick is more subtle and his power seems more controlled than Raphael. But then Raphael is jealous of Cyn’s past with Nick. I personally can’t get enough of Cyn and her vampire but this deeper introduction to Nick is putting him on my book boyfriend radar. Who wouldn’t want an ancient, all powerful, handsome as sin sorcerer? Well, hells bells, this guy is certainly no Dumbldore. And since Cyn is already totally occupied by Raphael that leaves Nick up for grabs and I call dibs.

I HIGHLY recommend this book of terrific novellas and the entire Vampires In America series for all Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy and Thriller readers. Start at the beginning. You won’t want to miss anything, and RAPHAEL (Book #1 in the Vampires In America Series) is currently only $2.51 on Amazon.

 

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Advance Review- Miss Goodhue Lives For A Night by Kate Noble

Title: Miss Goodhue Lives For A Night (Winner Take All Series)

Miss Good hue lives for a night

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Kate Noble

Publisher: Pocket Star, Sept. 19, 2016, Kindle preorder available

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: ? (number unavailable but it is short like a novella)

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 0

Description from Amazon.com:

Cecilia Goodhue is a schoolteacher with a past, living with her sister and her husband in a tiny English village. Resigned to a quiet life, Cecilia is surprised when she finds out that her young cousin has run off with a man of no means. Cecilia had once been a teenaged girl who also fell for a young man’s charms—only to be devastated by his betrayal. Determined to not let her cousin meet the same fate, she heads off to London to but is shocked when her investigation leads her right to the front door of the very man who broke her heart: Theo Hudson. Together, they reluctantly embark on finding her cousin and returning her to her family. During their searching in London, it soon becomes clear that they both remember their short-lived romance differently and perhaps now, years later, they have a fresh chance at love.

**

This is a very humorous romance.  Cecilia is a spinster schoolteacher who has a scandalous past.  She has been atoning for that past by being circumspect and the acquiescing roomer in her sister’s home with her sister’s vicar husband.  But when the need to rescue her cousin from the same fate that was the cause of her scandal became apparent, then she is off to do what she can to set things right.  That is when she runs into Theo who was the cause of her scandal, the boy who is now a man and the love of her life.

This is a short entry in the Winner Take All series.   It is such a pleasant, humor filled addition to a wonderful series that I must give it a high recommendation.  You do not need to read the beginning books to enjoy this one but there are side characters that make an appearance from previous books.

 

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Advance Review- A Change Of Heart by Sonali Dev

Title: A Change of Heart

A change of Heart 2

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Author: Sonali Dev

Publisher: Kensington, Sept. 27, 2016, pre-order available

Source: Free for review from the Amazon vine Program

Pages: 352

Rating: 3

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

Dr. Nikhil ‘Nic’ Joshi had it all—marriage, career, purpose. Until, while working for Doctors Without Borders in a Mumbai slum, his wife, Jen, discovered a black market organ transplant ring. Before she could expose the truth, Jen was killed.

Two years after the tragedy, Nic is a cruise ship doctor who spends his days treating seasickness and sunburn and his nights in a boozy haze. On one of those blurry evenings on deck, Nic meets a woman who makes a startling claim: she received Jen’s heart in a transplant and has a message for him. Nic wants to discount Jess Koirala’s story as absurd, but there’s something about her reckless desperation that resonates despite his doubts.

Jess has spent years working her way out of a nightmarish life in Calcutta and into a respectable Bollywood dance troupe. Now she faces losing the one thing that matters—her young son, Joy.  She needs to uncover the secrets Jen risked everything for; but the unforeseen bond that results between her and Nic is both a lifeline and a perilous complication.

**

After loving Ms. Dev’s first two romances I was truly disappointed in this book. Yes, she can write a good story and this one has a huge mystery going on but I never liked Jess and thought Nik was taken in by her. If I can’t get behind a main character then the book is not one of my favorites. I expected more romance. In the past I have enjoyed learning about the culture of India in this author’s books and that continues in this offering, so that it garnered 3-stars instead of two from me.

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Audiobook Review- A Marquess For Christmas by Christi Caldwell

Title: A Marquess For Christmas (Scandalous Seasons book #5)

a-marquess-for-christmas

Genre: Historical Romance/Novella

Author: Christi Caldwell

Publisher: Christi Caldwell, Nov. 2014

Source: purchase, Audible $1.99, Kindle $3.99

Pages: 149

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 4

Violence Rating:0

Description from Amazon.com:         

Lady Patrina Tidemore gave up on the ridiculous notion of true love after having her heart shattered and her trust destroyed by a black-hearted cad. Used as a pawn in a game of revenge against her brother, Patrina returns to London from a failed elopement with a tattered reputation and little hope for a respectable match. The only peace she finds is in her solitude on the cold winter days at Hyde Park. And even that is yanked from her by two little hellions who just happen to have a devastatingly handsome, but coldly aloof father, the Marquess of Beaufort. Something about the lord stirs the dreams she’d once carried for an honorable gentleman’s love. Weston Aldridge, the 4th Marquess of Beaufort was deceived and betrayed by his late wife. In her faithlessness, he’s come to view women as self-serving, indulgent creatures. Except, after a series of chance encounters with Patrina, he comes to appreciate how uniquely different she is than all women he’s ever known. At the Christmastide season, a time of hope and new beginnings, Patrina and Weston, unexpectedly learn true love in one another. However, as Patrina’s scandalous past threatens their future and the happiness of his children, they are both left to determine if love is enough.

**

This is a standalone novel with characters appearing from the previous book in the series. Although it can be followed quite easily I believe the readier will realize more enjoyment if they have read AWAYS A ROGUE, FOREVER HER LOVE book #4 in the series.

Because of Patrina’s scandalous recent past she is convinced that she will never wed.  She is also extremely contrite over the effect of her scandal on her sisters’ future.  Weston is a widower who also thinks he will never remarry because his marriage was unhappy.  Christi Caldwell tugs at our emotions in this wonderful story of two lost souls finding each other.  This is only incidentally related to the holiday season. It could have been placed in any winter setting.

Note: this book is also found in the box set of SCANDALOUS SEASONS BKs 4, 5 &6 on Kindle for $5.99 and individually on Audible for $1.99.

scandelous-seasons-box-456

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Audiobook review-Always A Rogue, Forever Her Love by Christi Caldwell

Title: Always A Rogue, Forever Her Love ( Scandalous Seasons, book #4)

always-a-rogue

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Christi Caldwell

Publisher: Christi Caldwell, Sept. 2014

Source: purchase , Audible $1.99, Kindle $3.99

Pages: 253

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 3

Description from Amazon.com:

Miss Juliet Marshville is spitting mad. With one guardian missing, and the other singularly uninterested in her fate, she is at the mercy of her wastrel brother who loses her beloved childhood home to a man known as Sin. Determined to reclaim control of Rosecliff Cottage and her own fate, Juliet arranges a meeting with the notorious rogue and demands the return of her property. Jonathan Tidemore, 5th Earl of Sinclair, known to the ton as Sin, is exceptionally lucky in life and at the gaming tables. He has just one problem. Well…four, really. His incorrigible sisters have driven off yet another governess. This time, however, his mother demands he find an appropriate replacement. When Miss Juliet Marshville boldly demands the return of her precious cottage, he takes advantage of his sudden good fortune and puts an offer to her; turn his sisters into proper English ladies, and he’ll return Rosecliff Cottage to Juliet’s possession. Jonathan comes to appreciate Juliet’s spirit, courage, and clever wit, and decides to claim the fiery beauty as his mistress. Juliet, however, will be mistress for no man. Nor could she ever love a man who callously stole her home in a game of cards. As Jonathan begins to see Juliet as more than a spirited beauty to warm his bed, he realizes she could be a lady he could love the rest of his life, if only he can convince the proud Juliet that he’s worthy of her hand and heart.

**

This is another yummy romance from Christi Caldwell’s Scandelous Seasons series.  I am personally delighted that the entire series is available for me to read and I don’t have to wait for any of the books.  I listened to this on audio from Audible, it was inexpensive, and narrated by Tim Campbell who is excellent at delivering the many male and female voices.

The author is adept at bringing these characters to life with delightfully differing personalities.  The side characters are as interesting and involving as the main characters. The entire story and premise is original and if I had been actually reading instead of listening I’d call it a page turner.  As it was, it kept me up late into the night listening. Now I’m off to read book #5 in the series. I’m nearing the end of the series but lucky for me there is another series already with a few books.

Note: This book (#4) can be found along with books # 5 & 6 in a boxed set for $5.99 on Kindle. The Audio books are $1.99 each.

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$0.99 on Kindle-The complete Works of Jane Austen

The Complete Works of Jane Austen

The Complete Works of Jane Austen includes all six novels, and Austen’s shorter works; Lady Susan, The Watsons, Sandition, and her complete Juvenilia. Jane Austen is famous for her six novels, Sense and Sensibility, Pride and prejudice, Mansfield Park, Emma, Northanger Abbey, and Persuasion. Her works of romantic fiction, set among the landed gentry, earned her a place as one of the most widely read writers in English literature. Her realism, biting irony and social commentary as well as her acclaimed plots have gained her historical importance among scholars and critics.

 

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Audio Review- Bargaining With A Rake by Julie Johnstone

Title: Bargaining with A Rake

Bargaining with a Rake

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Julie Johnstone, Audible narration- Tristan Hunt

Publisher: Night shift Publishing, Nov. 2012

Source: Purchase Kindle $.99, Audible $1.99

Pages: 292

Rating: 3.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 2

Description from Amazon.com:

For eleven years, Gillian Rutherford has dreamed of escaping her family’s dark secret and living a normal life. Now, faced with an unwelcome marriage that will chain her to London and the secret slowly killing her, she’s desperate to save herself and the sister she adores. Salvation comes in the form of an American shipping tycoon, and all she must do is seduce him into marrying her. But Gillian’s scheme hits a snag when she makes a bargain with a notorious rake Alexander Trevelle, Lord Lionhurst. He’ll help her win the hand of his American friend, if she’ll assist him with exacting revenge against her unwanted fiancé. But the price of the pact may just be their hearts.

**

This was a good book with characters that were a bit annoying.  I enjoyed it but Gillian’s reluctance to follow her heart to protect her sister was grating on me.  Alex’s refusal to see what was in front of him was also irritating. That the Tycoon would even think to propose was unbelievable since he hardly had anything to do with Gillian but spent most of his time with Gillian’s sister. Still, it was a cute story.

Tristan Hunt, the narrator on the Audible recording, was excellent in rendering the voices of the various characters. I truly enjoyed his baritone delivery. I will look for more books with him as a narrator.

I will also look for more books by Julie Johnstone, this being book one in the series.

Julie Johnstone and Tristan Hunt

 

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