Category Archives: Book review

Deet’s Bucket list for 2018

 

 

hrr-dot-lace

Yes, that’s me about 18 months ago. Before my year of a health crisis. But I got through it and now it’s time to get to my bucket list. There is nothing like a close call to wake one up to the fact that our time on earth is not infinite. I’m going to travel with my husband. We are going to Europe, then to England and Scotland. Along the way I hope to see old and new friends. I have a ” live in the moment ” attitude since my wake up call. I encourage all my friends and followers to enjoy each day and live it to the fullest.

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Recent Release Review- Cottage By The Sea by Debbie Macomber

Cottage By The Sea

Title: Cottage By The Sea: A Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Debbie Macomber
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Publisher: Ballentine Books, July 17, 2018
Pages: 352
Rating: 3
Sexy rating: 3
Violence rating: 4
Description from Amazon:

Annie Marlow has been through the worst. Rocked by tragedy, she heads to the one place that makes her happy: Oceanside in the Pacific Northwest, the destination of many family vacations when Annie was a teenager.

Once there, Annie begins to restore her broken spirit, thanks in part to the folks she meets: a local painter, Keaton, whose large frame is equal to his big heart—and who helps Annie fix up her rental cottage by the sea; Mellie, the reclusive, prickly landlord Annie is determined to befriend; and Britt, a teenager with a terrible secret. But it is Keaton to whom Annie feels most drawn. His quiet, peaceful nature offers her both comfort and reprieve from her grief, and the two begin to grow closer.

Then events threaten to undo the idyll Annie has come to enjoy. And when the opportunity of a lifetime lands in her lap, she is torn between the excitement of a new journey toward success and the safe and secure arms of the haven—and the man—she’s come to call home.

In this heartwarming tale, Annie finds that the surest way to fix what is damaged within is to help others rise above their pain and find a way to heal.

**
Since this is only the second book that I have read by this author, I hesitate to be too dismissive, but this book was not a good fit for me. That said I’m sure there are those readers who would genuinely like this story. The melodrama is a bit over the top with all of the characters having serious devastation in their backgrounds. There was little to be happy about in anyone’s life until the very pat ending. As expected the dialog was well written and the characters well developed. But this story was just “okay”, although I found it depressing.

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Filed under Book review, Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Recent Release Review- An Affair With A Spare by Shana Galen

An Affair With A Spare

Title: An Affair With A Spare (The Survivors, book #3)
Genre: Historical Romance/Regency
Author: Shana Galen
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca, July 3, 2018
Pages: 416
Rating: 4.5
Sexy rating: 5
Violence rating: 4
Description from Amazon:

He’s turned seduction into an art form…
Rafe Beaumont, fifth son of an earl, uses his irresistible charm with the ladies to glean dangerous war secrets. Now he’s putting those skills to the ultimate test: capturing an elusive assassin by seducing his daughter. The problem? She’s entirely immune to Rafe’s flattery.
Never before has Collette Fortier met a man as attractive as Rafe. But her father’s life is at stake, and succumbing to Rafe would be disastrous. But when Rafe turns the tables on her, offering support and friendship instead of a fleeting affair, Collette finds herself tempted in ways she never could have imagined…
The Survivors Series:
Third Son’s a Charm (Book 1)
No Earls Allowed (Book 2)
An Affair With a Spare (Book 3)

**
I am completely enjoying this series. The Survivors Club is a group of men who fought together during the Napoleonic Wars in a platoon(?) that was basically a suicide squad. Only 12 members survived and bonded like brothers on their return home to Regency England. Each member was especially skilled at a task. Rafe Beaumont was skilled at seduction and was a spy for the group.

When Rafe’s former commanding officer requests his help in ferreting out a French spy for the Foreign Office, Rafe accepts and is tasked with meeting and seducing Collette Fortier the daughter of a known French assassin. Collette is in England to seek out secret codes that will free her father from prison.

Shana Galen has added another swoon worthy hero to this wonderful series. Each book is a standalone but I encourage you to read this delightful, intelligent, humorous series. I would have liked more from the Survivor Club members in this book and I hope Ms. Galen will give us more as the series progresses. The Survivors are all so full of personality that I really missed more interaction.

 

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Filed under Book review, Books Historical Romance, Romance

Release Day Review- The Singular Mr. Sinclair by Mia Marlowe

The Singular Mr. Sinclair

 

Title: The Singular Mr. Sinclair ( The House of Lovell)

 

Genre: Historical Romance

 

Author: Mia Marlowe

 

Source: Free for review from the publisher

 

Publisher: Lyrical Press, July 17, 2018

 

Pages: 222

 

Rating: 4

 

Sexy rating: 5

 

Violence rating: 4

 

Description from Amazon:

Lord and Lady Chatham were blessed with five sons and only one daughter. But when it comes to Caroline, one is more than enough . . .

Caroline is about to embark on her third Season and her parents fear she’ll be permanently on the shelf if she fails to make a match this time. Unfortunately for them, that is precisely what Caroline wants! Curious and adventuresome, Caroline longs for a life of travel, excitement, and perhaps even a touch of danger . . .
If only she can remain unmarried until she turns twenty-one, Caroline will inherit her grandmother’s bequest and gain her freedom. It’s not a staggering amount, but it’s enough to fund her dreams without a husband’s permission. She has her future all planned out—until Lawrence Sinclair appears on the scene . . .

Intense, intriguing, and handsome, the man reminds Caroline of a caged lion. In fact, the more she knows of him, the more questions she has. And when she learns how dangerous he really is, he may just become her new fascination—the one she can’t resist . . .

**

No man interests Caroline until her brother brings  home a friend from his year abroad. That friend, Lawrence, feels like a fish-out-of-water as he tries to fit into the Season. He grew up being ignored by  his uncle Lord Ware so he knows little of ton-ish manners and he can’t dance. Caroline takes him in hand to help him navigate but in spite of her vow to never marry, finds she is falling for Lawrence. Lawrence has been in love at first sight. There are several obstacles in the way of true love and fulfilled dreams.

 

This is my first book by this author and I was quite pleased.  The characters were well presented and the plot held enough angst to make it interesting. The wrap-up at the end was a bit too much of a fortunate surprise. But all in all a good read.

 

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Filed under Book review, Books Historical Romance

Advance Review- Mary B. by Katherine J. Chen

Mary B

Title: Mary B.: A Novel
Genre: Historical Romance
Author: Katherine J. Chen
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Publisher: Random House, July 24, 2018 (preorder available)
Pages: 336
Rating: 5
Sexy rating: 0
Violence rating: 0
Description from Amazon:

The overlooked middle sister in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice casts off her prim exterior and takes center stage in this fresh retelling of the classic novel.

I will tell you the story of how I knew myself to be plain and therefore devoid of the one virtue which it behooves every woman to have.

What is to be done with Mary Bennet? She possesses neither the beauty of her eldest sister, Jane, nor the high-spirited wit of second-born Lizzy. Even compared to her frivolous younger siblings, Kitty and Lydia, Mary knows she is lacking in the ways that matter for single, not-so-well-to-do women in nineteenth-century England who must secure their futures through the finding of a husband. As her sisters wed, one by one, Mary pictures herself growing old, a spinster with no estate to run or children to mind, dependent on the charity of others. At least she has the silent rebellion and secret pleasures of reading and writing to keep her company.

But even her fictional creations are no match for the scandal, tragedy, and romance that eventually visit Mary’s own life. In Mary B, readers are transported beyond the center of the ballroom to discover that wallflowers are sometimes the most intriguing guests at the party. Beneath Mary’s plain appearance and bookish demeanor simmers an inner life brimming with passion, humor, and imagination—and a voice that demands to be heard.

**
So well written. Ms. Chen develops Mary’s character so that we totally understand how the hurts and slights that are heaped upon her damage her own view of herself. But Mary is not to be put in the trap of other’s opinions she struggles to be her own person.

This is a wonderful addition to the Pride And Prejudice bookshelf. Follow Mary’s mistakes and triumphs. Brought beautifully to life in this special book.

 

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Recent Release Review- A Lady’s Guide To Passion and Property by Kate Moore

A Lady's Guide to Passion and Property

Title: A Lady’s Guide To Passion and Property
Genre: Historical Romance
Author: Kate Moore
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Publisher: Lyrical Press, July 3, 2018
Pages: 239
Rating: 4
Sexy rating: 5
Violence rating: 5
Description from Amazon:

Lucy Holbrook has recently inherited her father’s south London inn, the place she’s always called home. Now her fashionable friends, arming her with The Husband Hunter’s Guide to London, are urging her to sell the establishment and become a society lady, just as her father always hoped. Lucy would rather toss the little book into the hearth—she could never desert the alehouse or its patrons, including an elderly blind man who depends on her care. But she may need every bit of good advice when a handsome stranger arrives with a secret agenda and a baffling crime to solve . . . and Lucy finds herself navigating a most dangerous attraction!
**
If you want to feel like you are actually a part of the Regency era then Kate Moore is your go-to author. Her dialog sets the scenes and feels so authentic. Captain Clare is perfect for Lucy. Lucy is a kind caretaker of Adam. It is only surprising that Lucy’s father didn’t give her more information about Adam and her own history. But then there wouldn’t have been a book with such a page turning mystery and romance.

This is the second book in the series and can standalone but it does make you want to read the first book.

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Filed under Book review, Books Historical Romance, Mystery

Advance Review- Dangerous by Minerva Spencer

Dangerous

 

Title: Dangerous (The Outcasts, book #1)

 

Genre: Historical Romance

 

Author: Minerva Spencer

 

Source: Free for review from the publisher

 

Publisher: Zebra, June 26, 2018 (preorder available)

 

Pages: 368

 

Rating: 5

 

Sexy rating: 5

 

Violence rating: 5

 

Description from Amazon:

What sort of lady doesn’t make her debut until the age of thirty-two? A timeless beauty with a mysterious past—and a future she intends to take into her own hands . . .

Lady Euphemia Marlington hasn’t been free in seventeen years—since she was captured by Corsairs and sold into a harem. Now the sultan is dead and Mia is back in London facing relentless newspapermen, an insatiably curious public, and her first Season. Worst of all is her ashamed father’s ultimatum: marry a man of his choosing or live out her life in seclusion. No doubt her potential groom is a demented octogenarian. Fortunately, Mia is no longer a girl, but a clever woman with a secret—and a plan of her own . . .

Adam de Courtney’s first two wives died under mysterious circumstances. Now there isn’t a peer in England willing to let his daughter marry the dangerously handsome man the ton calls The Murderous Marquess. Nobody except Mia’s father, the desperate Duke of Carlisle. Clearly Mia must resemble an aging matron, or worse. However, in need of an heir, Adam will use the arrangement to his advantage . . .

But when the two outcasts finally meet, assumptions will be replaced by surprises, deceit by desire—and a meeting of minds between two schemers may lead to a meeting of hearts—if the secrets of their pasts don’t tear them apart . .

 

**

Mia’s secrets are really scandalous for a regency lady.  She has been in a sultan’s harem for the past 17 years.  Now after being rescued she is home and her father wants her married before scandalous gossip ruins the family. As it is, just her returning has caused all kinds of gossip and that’s before anyone knows of the harem. Adam needs to marry to produce an heir to carry on the family name. His reputation has been shredded by gossip so a marriage of convenience with Mia is really his only option. But both have deep secrets that could ruin their budding romance.

I really liked the romance that was the main focus of this book but then the book took a fabulous turn and became an action/adventure romance.  Very well written. Highly recommend!

 

 

 

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Review- A Man of Character by Margaret Locke

A Man of Character

Title: A Man of Character: A Magical Romantic Comedy (book #1)
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Fantasy
Author: Margaret Locke
Source: Purchase, Kindle $.99
Publisher: Locked On Love Publishing, May 2015
Pages: 336
Rating: 4.5
Sexy rating: 5
Violence rating: 0
Description from Amazon:

What would you do if you discovered the men you were dating were fictional characters you’d created long ago?

Thirty-five-year-old Catherine Schreiber has shelved love for good. Keeping her ailing bookstore afloat takes all her time, and she’s perfectly fine with that. So when several men ask her out in short order, she’s not sure what to do … especially since something about them seems eerily familiar.

A startling revelation — that these men are fictional characters she’d created and forgotten years ago — forces Cat to reevaluate her world and the people in it. Because these characters are alive. Here. Now. And most definitely in the flesh.

Her best friend, Eliza, a romance novel junkie craving her own Happily Ever After, is thrilled by the possibilities. The power to create Mr. Perfect — who could pass that up? But can a relationship be real if it’s fiction? Caught between fantasy and reality, Cat must decide which — or whom — she wants more.

**
This one will keep you up turning pages into the wee hours. All of Cat Schreiber’s conjured boyfriends are swoon worthy but are they for real? Do they want Cat because THEY want her or because she has made them to want her? Then there is Ben, another swoon worthy man who Cat didn’t invent. Is he the ONE or is the One really another?

I really enjoyed all the men that Cat conjured from her stories of years past. I also liked her interaction with her best friend Eliza (Lizzie). The premise was delightful and the execution was good. My only complaint was that Cat should not have complained about her failing business when most days she was closing the bookstore to go have coffee at the café across the street. She and roommate Eliza seemed unable to make coffee or hot Chocolate for themselves.

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Filed under Book review, Contemporary Romance, Fantasy, Romance

Happy 4th of July 2018

 

July 4 b

I’m ready for the neighborhood BBQ.  My broccoli salad is chilling and I’m about to make a pan of brownies. Weather here is sweltering so, although burgers will be on the grill, we will be eating the yummies in the air-conditioned indoors. Then maybe take a dip in the pool. I hope all my dear friends in the good-ole USA have a joyous day remembering our founding fathers and their vision for this great country.

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Filed under Book review, History, Holiday

Review- Now That You Mention It by Kristan Higgins

Now That You Mention It

Title: Now That You Mention It
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Author: Kristan Higgins
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Publisher: HQN, Dec. 2017
Pages: 416
Rating: 5
Sexy rating: 5-not graphic
Violence rating: 5-very graphic
Description from Amazon:

One step forward. Two steps back. The Tufts scholarship that put Nora Stuart on the path to becoming a Boston medical specialist was a step forward. Being hit by a car and then overhearing her boyfriend hit on another doctor when she thought she was dying? Two major steps back.

Injured in more ways than one, Nora feels her carefully built life cracking at the edges. There’s only one place to land: home. But the tiny Maine community she left fifteen years ago doesn’t necessarily want her. At every turn, someone holds the prodigal daughter of Scupper Island responsible for small-town drama and big-time disappointments.

With a tough islander mother who’s always been distant, a wild-child sister in jail and a withdrawn teenage niece as eager to ditch the island as Nora once was, Nora has her work cut out for her if she’s going to take what might be her last chance to mend the family. Balancing loss and opportunity, dark events from her past with hope for the future, Nora will discover that tackling old pain makes room for promise…and the chance to begin again.

**
Spoiler Trigger Warning: There is an attempted Rape in this book.

Kristan Higgins can bring characters to life like no other author. They live and breathe on the page and because of this they draw us into the web of their lives so that we are living on that small Maine island along with them. Nora has had more hard times than anyone should have to endure but she is not a quitter, she is determined to bring her family together in spite of all their objections.

I love this author! I love that she can write violent dark scenes and then bring about laugh-out-loud scenes. She has me turning pages and losing sleep because I cannot put the book down. She is brilliant. I highly recommend this book.

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