Category Archives: Award Winners

Review- Flowers From The Storm by Laura Kinsale

                             Print (e-book)         &            Audio

Title: Flowers From The Storm

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Laura Kinsale

Narrator: Nicholas Boulton

Publisher: E-Book: Harper Collins, 2009

                    Audio: Hedgehog, 2013

Source: Purchase, $1.99 e-book & $3.99 Audio

Pages: 565 (listening hours 18+)

Rating: 5+

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 4

Description from Amazon.com:

The Duke of Jervaulx was brilliant and dangerous. Considered dissolute, reckless, and extravagant, he was transparently referred to as the ′D of J′ in scandal sheets, where he and his various exploits featured with frequency. But sometimes the most womanizing rake can be irresistible, and even his most casual attentions fascinated the sheltered Maddy Timms, quiet daughter of a simple mathematician.

He’s the Duke of Jervaulx…powerful, rich, and intelligent and locked in a lunatic asylum.

**

Christian Langland, The Duke of Jervaulx, is a brilliant mathematician and so is the father of Maddy Timms.  Mr. Timms and Christian collaborate on a paper to be presented to an austere assemblage.  At first Maddy thinks him an egomaniac and rude human, as she sees his interactions with her father her opinion softens but she is totally shocked when she and her father go to stay with her uncle at his insane asylum and find the Duke a patient. The young Duke has had a stroke (Apoplexy) and appears to be wild.  Maddie makes it her mission to help him overcome his affliction. This is the story of her efforts and the Duke’s progress.

This book is revered by many as the quintessential Historical Romance and for good reason. Originally published in 1992, it is brilliantly realized by the author’s use of prose and her ability to evoke the emotions surrounding the duke’s affliction. The romance is slow to bloom and passionate.  There are terrible trials and much suspense about the outcome of both the duke’s life and the romance. Christian is certainly one of the most tortured heroes in romantic novels, perhaps he is at the top of the list.  That he may or may not recover is always a possibility throughout the book.

Currently this book is only $1.99 for Kindle and $3.99 on Audible when you buy the Kindle book.  I chose to listen to this book mainly as I was challenged to do so by a friend who said that Nicholas Boulton, the narrator, was one of the best. I shall forever defer to this friend’s judgement for Mr. Boulton’s narration was absolute perfection. That makes the book 5-stars and the narration 5-stars.

If you are hungering for a wonderful romance, here it is.

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Filed under Audio books, Award Winners, Book review, Books Historical Romance, Historical Fiction

Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald

Title:  The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend

The Readers of broken Wheel

Genre: Literary Fiction/Romantic elements

Author: Katarina Bivald

Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark, Jan 19, 2016

Pages: 386

Source: Free for review from the Amazon Vine Program

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 4

Description from Amazon.com:         

Once you let a book into your life, the most unexpected things can happen…

Broken Wheel, Iowa, has never seen anyone like Sara, who traveled all the way from Sweden just to meet her book-loving pen pal. When she arrives, however, she finds Amy’s funeral guests just leaving. The residents of Broken Wheel are happy to look after their bewildered visitor — not much else to do in a small town that’s almost beyond repair. They just never imagined that she’d start a bookstore. Or that books could bring them together – and change everything.

There’s a book for every person … and a person for every book.

**

This is a book about Sara, yes.  It also has another protagonist, the town of Broken Wheel, Iowa.  It is the personification of small towns everywhere, especially small dying towns.  Many of the residents have left for better opportunities but there are those who hang on, and they are devoted to helping one another. They somewhat adopt Sara and when she wants to set up a bookstore with Amy’s room full of books they are skeptical but lend her a hand. No one thinks this endeavor will work since there are no other readers in Broken Wheel.

A story of friendship, personalities, secrets, and love.  The romance is realistic and slow developing on many levels.  Almost totally character driven with a gentle story arc. I felt like I too was a resident of Broken Wheel, that is how well Ms. Bivald brought this town to life.

Truly a wonderful, feel good, book and perfect for book clubs.

 

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Deet’s Keeper Shelf Review- Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie

Title:  Bet Me

Bet Me

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Author: Jennifer Crusie

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press Paperbacks, Sept. 2004

Pages: 391

Source: purchase

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

Author Jennifer Crusie’s novel about long shots, risk management, true love, and great shoes. . . .

Minerva Dobbs knows how to work the odds. Calvin Morrisey always plays to win.

But when they face off, neither one is prepared. Because when real life meets true love, all bets are off. . . .

Minerva Dobbs knows that happily-ever-after is a fairy tale, especially with a man who asked her to dinner to win a bet, even if he is gorgeous and successful Calvin Morrisey. Cal knows commitment is impossible, especially with a woman as cranky as Min Dobbs, even if she does wear great shoes and keep him on his toes. When they say good-bye at the end of their evening, they cut their losses and agree never to see each other again.

But fate has other plans, and it’s not long before Min and Cal meet again. Soon they’re dealing with a jealous ex-boyfriend, Krispy Kreme doughnuts, a determined psychologist, chaos theory, a freakishly intelligent cat, Chicken Marsala, and more risky propositions than either of them ever dreamed of. Including the biggest gamble of all—true love.

Bet Me is the winner of a 2005 RITA Award.

**

This book is 11years old but it is still one of the very best examples of snarky, romantic dialog.  It will have you laughing from the beginning because misunderstandings abound and coincidences push the story along.  It is a quick read in spite of the nearly 400 pages.  Min and Cal are meant for each other, we know that, but they are having all kinds of trouble coming to the same conclusion.  They also have friends who doubt their compatibility and each has a former ex who is trying to sabotage the budding relationship.  Min has body-image insecurities and Cal does his best to reassure her that she is perfect the way she is.

This is a book on my keeper shelf and I promised myself to reread it this summer.  I’m so happy that I did and realize it deserves a reread more often than every eleven years.  It is impossible for me to give a book less than 5-stars when it leaves such a big smile on my face.

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NPR (National Public Radio) List of top 100 Romance Novels and Series

romance_SIGN

National Public Radio has published a monumental list of 100 Romance books. Undeniably they are the best of the best. Go to their sight and you can have a printable list to take to the bookstore or the library. I’ve been busy checking off the ones I’ve read and staring the ones I want to read.

http://www.npr.org/2015/07/29/427477293/100-swoon-worthy-romances-the-printable-list

After you swoon over the list then go to this page where they tell you how and why.

http://www.npr.org/2015/07/29/427126789/heartbreakers-why-some-books-didnt-make-the-final-romance-list

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Book Review- Sweet Filthy Boy by Christina Lauren

Title: Sweet Filthy boy

Sweet Filthy Boy

Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult

Author: Christina Lauren

Publisher: Gallery Books, May 2014

Pages: 416

Source: purchase

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5+

Description from Amazon.com:

One-night stands are supposed to be with someone convenient, or wickedly persuasive, or regrettable. They aren’t supposed to be with someone like him. But after a crazy Vegas weekend celebrating her college graduation—and terrified of the future path she knows is a cop-out—Mia Holland makes the wildest decision of her life: follow Ansel Guillaume—her sweet, filthy fling—to France for the summer and just…play. When feelings begin to develop behind the provocative roles they take on, and their temporary masquerade adventures begin to feel real, Mia will have to decide if she belongs in the life she left because it was all wrong, or in the strange new one that seems worlds away.

**

Okay, does that title grab you? Hm-m-m, do you think maybe this is a sexy book? Does the fact that Romantic Times Magazine dubbed it “Book of The Year” at this year’s convention mean anything? Well, what can I say, yes, the title grabbed me, I figured it was sexy and if Romantic Times thought it that good maybe I should just see what the fuss was all about.

Sexy does not begin to describe all the sex in this book. Some sensuous, some rough, some play-acting all written VERY well. Ansel is truly a gorgeous hunk and who could resist his French accent. Mia is confused about her future for most of the book but has fallen for Ansel although she tries to deny the attachment. What happened in Vegas started something that traveled all the way to Paris.

Yes, I read this cover to cover, all 416 pages in two days. I had trouble putting it down when I really needed to sleep so I picked it up again first thing the next morning. These characters were believable and their lusting for each other was also believable. I kept waiting for this initial infatuation to wear off. I could not see how these two were to get a happily-ever-after. That is why I kept turning pages. I was totally hooked on their attraction and their scorching chemistry. Throw in an ex-lover and the suspense ratchets up.

I recommend this book to those who don’t mind lots of sex in their well written stories.

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Kindle Deals- By author Courtney Milan- One Free One $.99

Free Today

The Duchess War

Miss Minerva Lane is a quiet, bespectacled wallflower, and she wants to keep it that way. After all, the last time she was the center of attention, it ended badly–so badly that she changed her name to escape her scandalous past. Wallflowers may not be the prettiest of blooms, but at least they don’t get trampled. So when a handsome duke comes to town, the last thing she wants is his attention. But that is precisely what she gets. Because Robert Blaisdell, the Duke of Clermont, is not fooled. When Minnie figures out what he’s up to, he realizes there is more to her than her spectacles and her quiet ways. And he’s determined to lay her every secret bare before she can discover his. But this time, one shy miss may prove to be more than his match…

Only $.99

The Governess Affair

 

THE GOVERNESS AFFAIR-.$.99

Hugo Marshall earned the nickname “the Wolf of Clermont” for his ruthless ambition–a characteristic that has served him well, elevating the coal miner’s son to the right hand man of a duke. When he’s ordered to get rid of a pestering governess by fair means or foul, it’s just another day at work. But after everything Miss Serena Barton has been through at the hands of his employer, she is determined to make him pay. She won’t let anyone stop her–not even the man that all of London fears. They might call Hugo Marshall the Wolf of Clermont, but even wolves can be brought to heel…

The books in the Brothers Sinister series: 

½. The Governess Affair (prequel novella) 201 PAGES

1. The Duchess War 265 PAGES

1½. A Kiss for Midwinter (a companion novella to The Duchess War)

2. The Heiress Effect 

3. The Countess Conspiracy 

4. The Suffragette Scandal

4½. Talk Sweetly to Me

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Kindle Deal- Sweet Filthy Boy by Christina Lauren $1.99

I’m calling this book to your attention because it is the

Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award winner of “Book of The Year”.

Sweet Filthy Boy I snatched up this Young Adult novel and I thought you might like a heads-up for this sale. Probably only today so get over to Amazon and grab it. (at B&N it is $7.99 for Nook)

 

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“Romantic Times” Award Winner Review- The Viscount Who Lived Down The Lane by Elizabeth Boyle

Title: The Viscount Who Liveed Down The Lane: Rhymes with Love

The Viscount who lives Down the lane

Genre: Historical Romance/Regency

Author: Elizabeth Boyle

Publisher: Avon, 2014

Source: Purchase

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

She has no desire for love . . .

As she arrives in Mayfair, Louisa Tempest is horrified when her incorrigible cat bolts from the carriage and dashes into a neighbor’s house, where she comes face-to-face with the reclusive Viscount Wakefield. But even more dismaying than his foul temper is the disarray in which she finds his home. Convinced his demeanor would improve if his household were in order, Louisa resolves to put everything to rights.

. . . until she meets the viscount who lives down the lane

Much to his chagrin, Wakefield finds it impossible to keep the meddling Louisa out of his home, invading his daily life with her “improvements,” and his nights with the tempting desires she sparks inside him. Wounded in the war, he’s scorned society ever since his return . . . until Louisa opens the door to his heart and convinces him to give love a second chance.

**

This is a book chock-a-block full of wit, humor and splendid writing. We are treated to Louisa’s indomitable spirit for she is a young woman who knows her own mind and certainly thinks she knows what ought to be done when she sees an aristocratic mess. Pierson, Viscount Wakefield was perfectly content to wallow in his depression and drink until Louisa invaded his home with her good intentions. Louisa is the whirlwind that cannot be stopped no matter how much bluster and foot stomping is done by the Viscount.

This is the fourth book in the RHYMES WITH LOVE series. It is a standalone novel so feel free to pick it up and not be lost. There are kisses and more so keep your fan at the ready for things can get steamy hot. Winner of the Romantic Times 2014 Love and Laughter award. If you are looking for a lighthearted read dripping with romance than this is the one.

 

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News-Romantic Times 2014 Award Winners

2014rtawardswinner

http://www.rtbookreviews.com/blog/82892/announcing-2014-rt-reviewers-choice-and-career-achievement-awards-winners

For the complete list of winners go to the website above.  Here is a taste:

Historical Romance of the Year: Once More My Darling Rogue by Lorraine Heath

First Historical Romance Novel: A Gentleman at Midnight by Alison DeLaine

Love & Laughter: The Viscount Who Lived Down the Lane by Elizabeth Boyle

Digital Historical Romance: The Suffragette Scandal by Courtney Milan

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