Category Archives: Books

Recent Release Review- The Little Bookshop On The Seine by Rebecca Raisin

The Little Bookshop on the Seine

Title: The Little Bookshop On The Seine

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Author: Rebecca Raisin

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: HQN Books, Jan. 7, 2020

Pages: 306

Rating: 2

Sexy Rating:4

Violence Rating:0

Description from Amazon:

When bookshop owner Sarah Smith is offered the opportunity for a job exchange with her Parisian friend Sophie, saying yes is a no-brainer—after all, what kind of romantic would turn down six months in Paris? Sarah is sure she’s in for the experience of a lifetime—days spent surrounded by literature in a gorgeous bookshop, and the chance to watch the snow fall on the Eiffel Tower. Plus, now she can meet up with her journalist boyfriend, Ridge, when his job takes him around the globe.

But her expectations cool faster than her café au lait soon after she lands in the City of Light—she’s a fish out of water in Paris. The customers are rude, her new coworkers suspicious and her relationship with Ridge has been reduced to a long-distance game of phone tag, leaving Sarah to wonder if he’ll ever put her first over his busy career. As Christmas approaches, Sarah is determined to get the shop—and her life—back in order…and make her dreams of a Parisian happily-ever-after come true.

**
Oh my goodness, is Sarah an immature teenager? No? Well that’s how she is written. On the other hand Ridge, the self-absorbed boyfriend is definitely portrayed true to himself. These characters are written like bad examples of Americans traveling in Europe. No longer the “Ugly American” now just the culturally obtuse American. I found it impossible to like Sarah and Ridge was not worth her time. The side characters were for the most part the bookshop employees. One was British, one American, one wealthy French. The rest of the part time workers were ignored except when they were busy trashing their boss, Sarah. She is in charge yet she lets everyone walk all over her. She has more of a workload than she can handle but does nothing to fix it. Ridge comes up with several explanations for his absence from her and although she questions their relationship she continually forgives the dirtbag. Sarah’s jaunts around Paris are designed to give the reader some atmospheric feels for the insiders Paris. But she keeps leaving the bookshop to wander alone or with a fellow employee which leaves me to wonder who is doing the work back at the shop?

I can’t recommend this book. It totally frustrated me. I did finish it but if it had been a paperback and not on my Kindle I would have thrown it across the room.

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Terrific Amazon/Audible Deal on 5-star HR

The work of Art

Yesterday I included this book in my “Best” of for 2019.  I just discovered that it is on sale on Amazon for Kindle for $.99. But that’s not the best part, it is available from Audible for $1.99 if you also purchase the Kindle book.   So for a total of $2.98 you get not only a terrific book, you get the narration by Alex Wyndham, who (IMHO) is the best narrator in the business.  I don’t do promos often because I’m doing this blog for the reader not the business but when something is truly a bargain I’ll be sure to let you know.

This is truly a Bargain!!!!! You’re gonna thank me.

(I receive no $ for promos.)

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The Best Books of 2019 from La Deetda Reads

All of these books received a 5-star rating from me this year. These are by no means the only “Good” books I’ve read this year,  there have been many. I encourage you to use the grid in the left column or the search function to see what other goodies you may have missed. 

Lachlan by D.B. Reynolds (Vampires In America, #13) Paranormal Romance

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren, Contemporary Romance

The Book Charmer by Karen Hawkins, Women’s Fiction

The Work of Art by Mimi Matthews, Historical Romance

Brazen and The Beast by Sarah MacLean, Historical romance

The Landowner’s Secret by Sonya Heaney, Historical Romance/Australia

Seduction on a Snowy Night by Madeline Hunter, Sabrina Jeffries, Mary Jo Putney (HR Anthology)

Betrothed by Christmas by Elizabeth Essex and Jess Michaels,  HR Anthology

A Convenient Fiction by Mimi Matthews, Historical Romance

Take it Off The Menu by Christina Hovland, Contemporary Romance

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Filed under Anthology, Award Winners, Book review, Books, Books Historical Romance, Contemporary Romance, Favorites, Paranormal Romance, Women's Fiction

Happy 244th Birthday, Jane Austen

Jane Austen

Have you often thought about the life Jane Austen led? What was her family like? What did she do for entertainment? How was she educated? These and more in wonderful detail. Everything you have been wondering about Jane Austen answered here at PBS.

https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/specialfeatures/jane-austen-answers-to-the-most-frequently-asked-questions/

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Recent Release Review- A Christmas Gathering by Anne Perry

A Christmas Gathering

Title: A Christmas Gathering

Genre: Holiday Mystery

Author: Anne Perry

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Ballentine, Nov. 5, 2019

Pages: 208

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 0

Violence Rating: 4

Christmasy Feeling: 3

Description from Amazon:

As beautiful as it may be, their friends’ country house is not where Lady Vespasia wishes to spend Christmas with her new husband, Victor Narraway. She’d have preferred a relaxing holiday at home with him—especially as Victor, former head of the London Special Branch, seems to be hiding undercover dealings with the other guests who have gathered at the spacious estate.

As tensions grow, the young and beautiful Iris Watson-Watt becomes the center of several men’s focus. Unbeknownst to Vespasia, Iris carries a sensitive package that she must pass to Victor in the hope of unmasking a British traitor. While Victor plots his moves, he is reminded of a similar case from twenty years before, when a young Frenchwoman also carried a clandestine message—one that resulted in her murder, unsolved to this day. Victor has always been tormented by his failure to protect her, and now, with all eyes on Iris, Victor must act fast before history repeats itself.

With the joy of Christmas at risk of being forgotten and Vespasia feeling alone with a distracted husband, Victor must ultimately learn to forgive himself in order to save both his country and the spirit of the holiday.

**
Sometimes the holidays are not so much fun, especially when there are spys and traitors in the mix. This book is a standalone mystery with some characters from previous books by the author. I found that there was some repetitive pages that took me out of the story at times but overall it is a good mystery. Vespasia is a a woman who notices details that others might miss and thus helps with the solving of the mystery. There is a surprise that makes sense but it is still very coincidental. For me this was a comfortable page turner on a chilly night.

You know if there is “Christmas” in a post then those elves will make an appearance.

sexy-santa

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Release Day Review- Twice In A Blue Moon by Christina Lauren

Twice in a Blue Moon

Title: Twice In A Blue Moon

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Author: Christina Lauren

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Gallery books, Oct. 22, 2019

Pages: 368

Rating: 3.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 0

Description from Amazon:

Sam Brandis was Tate Jones’s first: Her first love. Her first everything. Including her first heartbreak.

During a whirlwind two-week vacation abroad, Sam and Tate fell for each other in only the way that first loves do: sharing all of their hopes, dreams, and deepest secrets along the way. Sam was the first, and only, person that Tate—the long-lost daughter of one of the world’s biggest film stars—ever revealed her identity to. So when it became clear her trust was misplaced, her world shattered for good.

Fourteen years later, Tate, now an up-and-coming actress, only thinks about her first love every once in a blue moon. When she steps onto the set of her first big break, he’s the last person she expects to see. Yet here Sam is, the same charming, confident man she knew, but even more alluring than she remembered. Forced to confront the man who betrayed her, Tate must ask herself if it’s possible to do the wrong thing for the right reason… and whether “once in a lifetime” can come around twice.
**
This book has the romance that I expect from this writing duo but it just missed the mark somehow. I missed the usual humor of the authors’ other books. It centers around a Hollywood father, Ian, and his estranged daughter, Tate. To keep Tate out of the spotlight her mother has kept her in a small town under an assumed name. This anonymity is shattered when her secret life is leaked by her boyfriend, Sam, while in London. Tate is devastated but goes on to become an actress. Not hearing from Sam until they meet on the set of her “big break” film ,that she is sharing with her father fourteen years later.

Why is he there? Will this affect her performance? Will her father finally be close to her? Should she even think about reconciling with Sam?

Those questions kept me turning pages. Christina Lauren can write fascinating characters set in interesting scenarios. But I still wasn’t satisfied with this book like I had been with previous books by these authors. Still not a bad book so I can recommend it to those who like Hollywood stories.

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Release Day Review- Christmas In Vermont by Anita Hughes

Christmas In Vermont

Title: Christmas In Vermont

Genre: Contemporary Holiday Romance

Author: Anita Hughes

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: St. Martins Griffin, Oct. 15, 2019

Pages: 304

Rating: 2

Sexy Rating: 2

Violence Rating: 0

Christmasy Feeling: 0

Description from Amazon:

Emma can’t believe her luck when she finds an open pawn shop on Christmas Eve in Manhattan. She’s there to sell the beautiful bracelet her ex-boyfriend gave her when a familiar looking watch catches her eye. It’s the same engraved watch she gave her college boyfriend, Fletcher, years ago. On a whim, she trades the bracelet for the watch and wonders at the timing.
Practical Emma thinks it’s just a coincidence, but her best friend Bronwyn believes it’s the magic of synchronicity that caused Emma to find the watch. Fletcher was the one that got away, and somehow Emma never quite moved on.
When Bronwyn finds out that Fletcher is in snowy Vermont at a romantic inn for the week, she can’t help but give synchronicity a push. She signs Emma up to help the inn keeper as the children’s activity coordinator. Emma agrees that a week filled with quaint shops and maple syrup would do her good… and maybe Fate really does have a Christmas gift in store for her. That is until she sees Fletcher with his daughter and fiancée.
Suddenly, the fairytale trip seems doomed to fail… much like the innkeeper’s dwindling cashflow. It will take a miracle to save her heart and the inn. And that just might be what Fate has in mind.
**
Sometimes I choose to read a book and I wonder what possessed me to pick this one. Well, I liked the simplicity of the cover, I thought maybe Vermont would be ideal at holiday time. I got both of those hopes fulfilled but I just couldn’t wrap my head around a heroine and her bestie, both alone on Christmas, not spending the holiday together and what was Bronwyn doing with those kids. It just seemed like ineffective parenting, holiday avoidance, and why is Emma taking Ubers in the city if she has a car to drive to Vermont. (Okay I’ll give in on that one since city parking is horrendous.) but I was so annoyed with Emma from the get-go that I couldn’t warm up to her later on. Even though Fletcher’s kid was cute.

This one is not highly recommended by me. There are other holiday books much better than this.

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Advance Review- Child’s Play by Danielle Steel

Child's Play

Title: Child’s Play

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Author: Danielle Steel

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Dell, Oct. 8,2019

Pages: 288

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 0

Description from Amazon:

The lessons our children teach us are the hardest ones. What do we do when our children don’t pursue our hopes for them? In this riveting new novel, Danielle Steel explores how families can evolve and grow in unexpected ways.

A senior partner at a prestigious New York law firm, Kate Morgan couldn’t be prouder of her three grown children. Tamara, Anthony, and Claire all went to great schools, chose wonderful career paths, and would have made their father proud. A single mother for years after the death of her husband, Kate keeps a tight rein on her family, her career, and even her own emotions, never once asking herself if she truly knows her children . . . or if her hopes for them are the right ones, and what they want. She is about to find out.

During one hectic summer in Manhattan, Kate’s world turns upside down. One child has been keeping an astonishing secret while another confesses to an equally shocking truth. A wonderful match and picture-book wedding are traded for a relationship that shakes Kate to her core. A totally inappropriate love affair and an out-of-wedlock baby complete the chaos. Challenged as a mother and as a successful independent woman herself, Kate struggles to keep up with a dizzying and escalating chain of events, and begins to realize that she has a part to play in the chaos. Because Kate too has kept secrets from her children.

Sometimes the surprising choices our children make are the right ones . . . better than what we wanted for them. More often than not, parenting is about letting go of our dreams and embracing theirs.

**
The book description gives you a good idea of what this book is about and I will not pretend I can do a better synopsis. I enjoyed this book and fell into the author’s trap of needing to find out how everything would turn out. I really liked the several surprises and I really admired the protagonist, Kate. Tamara, Anthony and Claire are all successful adults to make any mother proud. That they each have a crisis in their lives only makes them more relatable and Kate more relatable. There is also romance around every corner as well as the problems that arise with romantic involvements.

I have not read this author in a number of years but I’m delighted that I picked up this book. A good read!

P.S.- I really dislike it when a book cover has absolutely nothing to do with the content of the book.  Like this one.

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Retro Review-A Christmas Return by Anne Perry

A Christmas Return

Title: A Christmas Return

Genre: Historical Holiday Mystery Novella

Author: Anne Perry

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Ballentine Books, Nov. 7, 2017

Pages: 179

Rating: 3

Sexy Rating: 0

Violence Rating: 5

Christmasy Feeling: 2

Description from Amazon:

As Charlotte Pitt’s grandmother Mariah Ellison finds herself investigating a long-unsolved slaying, it becomes clear that grappling with intrigue and foul play runs in the family. A festive Christmas package left on Mariah’s doorstep contains an ominous present, sparking memories of a twenty-year-old murder that shattered her friendship with the victim’s widow. Though the gift is a bitter reminder of that tragic time, in the spirit of the season Mariah travels to Surrey in hopes of reconciling with her estranged friend and solving the crime that drove them apart.

On arrival, Mariah joins forces with the murdered man’s grandson, a sleuth in his own right who’s discovered promising evidence as well as a suspect. But Surrey’s picturesque hills conceal dark doings and shocking revelations that could make the holiday anything but calm and bright.

Decked with intrigue and trimmed with Yuletide spirit, A Christmas Return is a holiday treat wrapped in the glorious storytelling talents of the reigning master of Victorian mystery.

**
I must admit that I accepted this book for review when it was first published in 2017 but that year I became very ill and this book slipped through the cracks. Ms. Perry writes a Christmas mystery every year, often with side characters from previous books but they are standalone mysteries.

This is an okay mystery but as a Christmas offering, well…not so much. We pretty much know who the murderer is from the beginning and proving it isn’t much of a task for Mariah and Peter. Why this murder wasn’t solved 20 years before is a mystery to me the reader. Christmas is just a token notion with mentions of a few garlands hung and a Christmas Eve party.

 

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Recent Release Review- Sapphire Flames by Ilona Andrews

Sapphire Flames

Title: Sapphire Flames (A Hidden Legacy Novel, #4)

Genre: Fantasy Romance

Author: Ilona Andrews

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Avon, August 27, 2019

Pages: 400

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 4

Violence Rating: 5

Description from Amazon:
In a world where magic is the key to power and wealth, Catalina Baylor is a Prime, the highest rank of magic user, and the Head of her House. Catalina has always been afraid to use her unique powers, but when her friend’s mother and sister are murdered, Catalina risks her reputation and safety to unravel the mystery.
But behind the scenes powerful forces are at work, and one of them is Alessandro Sagredo, the Italian Prime who was once Catalina’s teenage crush. Dangerous and unpredictable, Alessandro’s true motives are unclear, but he’s drawn to Catalina like a moth to a flame.
To help her friend, Catalina must test the limits of her extraordinary powers, but doing so may cost her both her House–and her heart.
**
You’re gonna love Catalina and Alessandro is definitely your new book-boyfriend. Catalina is new to being Head of House Baylor. Her sister, Nevada, was Head of House but she married and went to her husband’s family. Catalina is unsure of herself but gives us a forceful performance of her magic powers in defense of her family and friend, Runa. Alessandro insinuates himself into Catalina’s investigation of a murder. He saved her life and insists on being part of the team. Catalina is reluctant to have him but can’t seem to resist his magnetism.

I enjoyed this action packed novel with sexual tension that burns up the pages. It is a page turner that kept me up all night. The magical world of the Hidden Legacy series is both terror and horror filled with monsters and evil. But our heroes are truly smart and resourceful. This is a fun read. The side characters are well drawn. The ending was a bit frustrating so only a 4-star rating.

P.S.- The cover actually relates to a scene in the book.

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