Thursday, March 9, 2017

The Rise of Miss Notley by Rachael Anderson

The Rise of Miss Notley by Rachael Anderson

Summary from Goodreads:
To escape an undesirable match, Miss Notley must give up her riches for rags.

When Miss Coralynn Notley’s father barters her off to the first titled gentleman to come along, she realizes she must flee her home or be forced to wed a despicable man. Driven by desperation, she applies for the position of housekeeper at Tanglewood Manor, the home of the handsome Mr. Jonathan Ludlow.

The moment Jonathan sees Miss Notley, he is intrigued. She is far too young and inexperienced, yet there is something about her that inspires a certain hope within him. Does he dare offer her the position of housekeeper or will doing so result in catastrophe?


5 Stars

Received ebook in exchange for an honest review

My Review:
The Rise of Miss Notley is the 2nd book in Rachael Anderson's Tanglewood Series. Each is stand alone, but there are characters that cross over. The first story is The Fall of Lord Drayson.

Like The Fall of Lord Drayson, this historical story has some twists in it. At the same time, some of the story is predictable. Once you read the summary, you know that Miss Notley is going to get the job as housekeeper. 

At times I am nervous reading about her trying to do her job. I think Rachael Anderson did a good job of keeping it real though. Miss Notley makes lots of mistakes and she "gets in trouble" for them. But somehow with her positive attitude she is able to persevere.

The romance is just right. The attraction builds until the 2 characters admit there is more. One of the twists for me is how the two are able to eventually come together (let's be honest, we knew they'd get together). It is not an easy process since Miss Notley is at one time the housekeeper. And, her parents are horrible. They are able to overcome these obstacles and it is a satisfying ending without being boringly predictable.

I look forward to the next book The Splash of Lady Harriet.

Warnings: None

I would let my 15 year old read this book.

You can purchase this book:
Amazon

Thursday, February 9, 2017

The Vicar's Daughter by Josi S. Kilpack

The Vicar's Daughter by Josi S. Kilpack

Summary from Goodreads:
Cassie, the youngest of six daughters in the Wilton family, is bold, bright, and ready to enter society. There's only one problem: her older sister Lenora, whose extreme shyness prevents her from attending many social events. Lenora is now entering her third season, and since their father has decreed that only one Wilton girl can be out at a time, Cassie has no choice except to wait her turn.

Evan Glenside, a soft-spoken, East London clerk, has just been named his great-uncle's heir and, though he is eager to learn all that will be required of him, he struggles to feel accepted in a new town and in his new position.

A chance meeting between Evan and Lenora promises to change everything, but when Lenora proves too shy to pursue the relationship, Cassie begins to write Mr. Glenside letters in the name of her sister. Her good intentions lead to disaster when Cassie realizes she is falling in love with Evan. But then Evan begins to court Lenora, thinking she is the author of the letters.

As secrets are revealed, the hearts of Cassie, Evan, and Lenora are tested. Will the final letter sent by the vicar's daughter be able to reunite the sisters as well as unite Evan with his true love?


5 Stars

Received ebook in exchange for an honest review

This book is due to release in April 2017

My Review:
This is another book in Shadow Mountain's A Proper Romance Line. Josi Kilpack has written several books in this line. This one is excellent, just like the others.

I could tell from the description of this book that I was going to be uncomfortable. I have a hard time with the "reveal" of deception. I always wonder how it could possibly work out. So I went in to this book already wondering "how can this possibly work out?".

I enjoyed reading the development of the relationships in this book. Some of these relationships include Cassie's relationships with her sister, her parents, herself and Evan as well as Lenora's relationship with Evan, her parents, and herself. The relationships change in the course of the book to a deeper level. They mature as the characters gain more understanding and develop their own selves.

As much as this is a romance, one of my favorite aspects of the book is the development of Cassie and her sister, Lenora. Both women are stilted in their emotions. Both are somewhat self absorbed. As they reap the consequences of their actions, they see life from a different perspective. They see each other from a different perspective as well. They mature in being concerned for others.

And, I truly loved both Cassie and Evan as their relationship unfolded. I hoped that they could find happiness, hopefully with each other, but if not, then somehow with someone else. There were painful moments and happy moments and I'm glad that I had a smile on my face when the book ended. Josi Kilpack found a way for the conflict to "work out". 

Warnings: None

I would let my 15 year old read this book.

You can pre order this book:
Amazon
BN
Deseret Book


Sunday, February 5, 2017

A Timeless Romance Anthology: Valentine's Day Collection

A Timeless Romance Anthology: Valentine's Day Collection by Janette Rallison, Heather B. Moore, Jenny Proctor, Annette Lyon, Heather Tullis, and Sarah M. Eden

Summary from Goodreads:
A BRUSH WITH THE LAW by Janette Rallison
Bethany has endured a streak of depressing Valentine’s Days. And this one is turning out no different. Her friend set her up on a blind date—and Bethany can only hope that James will be a decent guy. But it seems the fated day has other plans, and Bethany finds herself in the middle of a comedy of errors that make a blind date with a stranger the least of her problems.

EVERY OCCASION by Heather B. Moore
When Maurie moves back to her hometown to open up her dream shop, she calls a local construction crew for help. Former teenage crush Grant shows up on her front porch, answering the call for the construction job, and Maurie’s memories of her troubled childhood return with full force. When she discovers Grant has a troubled past of his own, Maurie realizes that she might have misjudged him all along.

HOLD YOUR BREATH by Jenny Proctor
As Kayla trains for the Olympic swimming trials, she vows to never let another boyfriend get in her way. When she finds out her younger sister’s new high school swim coach is Nate—the guy Kayla had a huge crush on when they were in school together—Kayla realizes that her resolve is weakening. But Kayla isn’t willing to risk giving up her Olympic dream for anyone, not even charming Nate.

THE ULTIMATE BACHELOR CHALLENGE by Annette Lyon
When Sam’s long-time boyfriend, Steve, texts that he has something important to ask her on Valentine’s Day, she’s sure that he’s going to propose. Determined to look great for the big day, she hits the all-night laundromat to wash her favorite outfit. When her clothes are chugging away in a machine, Steve calls and pops a question—not one she ever would have expected. Reeling with shock, she’s left facing the holiday alone, unless you count the other person at laundromat, a guy leaning against his own washer, intent on his phone.

DEAL BREAKERS by Heather Tullis
The last place Colette wants to be stranded is the snowed-in Denver airport, especially when her sister is enduring chemo treatments and needs Colette’s help back home. When Colette runs into another stranded passenger—none other than former college boyfriend Drew—she can’t believe how much he’s changed . . . and hasn’t changed. Drew is still the same amazing guy that Colette was foolish enough to blow off for someone else. By the time she’d realized her mistake all those years ago, Drew’s heart had been too broken to give her a second chance. Now Colette can only hope that she can work her way back into his heart.

HEY, HELEN! by Sarah M. Eden
On the surface, Helen seems to have her life figured out. Her advice column, Hey, Helen!, is gaining more readers every week. She regularly hangs out with the guy next door, laughing and chatting over pizza and work. But when her feelings for her handsome neighbor begin tiptoeing toward something more than friendship, Helen can’t help hoping Neil might feel the same way. Between her own uncertainties, his friend-zone treatment of her, and a pair of loudly interfering parents, Hey, Helen! could use a little advice in love.


3.5 Stars

Received ebook in exchange for an honest review

My Review:
This collection of stories does not cover simple, romantic Valentine's Day dates. Each of these stories seems to find something embarrassing, awkward, and yes, fun too. I enjoy some of the stories better than others. I have a hard time reading stories about people in extremely embarrassing situations and some of these do have those. One thing I like about A Timeless Romance Anthologies is that the stories will end on a positive note. So even as I'm cringing while I'm reading some of these stories, I know that there will be a positive resolution.

If you are looking for pure romance, this isn't that collection. Yes, there is romance, but working through some sort of conflict to get to that point is the bulk of the stories.

Warnings: None 

I would let my 15 year old read this collection.

You can purchase this collection:
Amazon
BN
Kobo

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Timeless Regency Collection: A Season in London by Elizabeth Johns, Heather B. Moore, and Rebecca Connolly

Timeless Regency Collection: A Season in London by Elizabeth Johns, Heather B. Moore, and Rebecca Connolly

Summary from Goodreads:
POOR RELATIONS by Elizabeth Johns
As a ‘poor relation,’ Emma Standrich has already pre-empted her dismal Season by applying for a governess post. Her aunt and cousin are kind enough to sponsor her, but in truth, Emma is just waiting for it to all be over. Emma’s grief over the death of her brother while in military service casts a pallor on everything else in her life. When Colonel Shelton, the man who was her brother’s superior, asks her to dance at her first ball, Emma is more surprised than anyone. But she has questions for him, and soon she’s caught up in an intrigue she wasn’t expecting—both of the heart and the mind.

EDWARD & EMILY by Heather B. Moore
As a second son, Edward Blackwood never anticipated becoming heir to his family estate, or the need to find a wife and secure that inheritance. But with the death of his older brother, Edward is thrust into a life he never wanted. When his mother encourages him to be kind to his long-time neighbor Emily Foster, a girl he’d hardly paid attention to while growing up, Edward realizes that returning home might not be such a set-back after all.

A SPORTING SEASON by Rebecca Connolly
Daphne Hutchins is no simpering female who aims for a husband with a fortune. In fact, she’d be more than happy to live her life free of the heartache that men seem to bring. So when she sets out to play the fool in front of the ton during her first Season in order to send all eligible men running, she’s quite unprepared for James Woodbridge. Bored, but with a sense of family duty, James arrives for the Season, anticipating going through the expected motions befitting any gentleman. What he isn’t prepared for is Daphne Hutchins and the way she completely upends his heart.


4.5 Stars

Received ebook in exchange for an honest review

My Review:
I love all things Regency. I'm delighted that A Timeless Romance Anthologies has been doing the all Regency Collections. 

This lovely collection centers around the ups and downs and ins and outs of the London Season. There are rules, there are places to see and be seen, and there are lots of matchmaking mommas. In each of these stories, the characters push the boundaries of London Society's rules in one way or another. They may show interest in someone who is not who their "momma" would like. Or they may purposefully sabotage their season in an effort to control their fate. These stories each take a different look at the typical London Season.

Warnings: None

I would let my 15 year old daughter read this collection.

You can purchase this collection:
Amazon
Itunes
Kobo

Friday, December 23, 2016

A look back at 2016 and a look forward to 2017

Here are some authors and books I enjoyed in 2016 and books I'm looking forward to in 2017. What authors did you discover and want to read more of their books?

Sarah M. Eden - Loved The Sheriffs of Savage Wells in 2016. Looking forward to three new books from Sarah in 2017! 

Julie Daines -  Loved Willowkeep and Eleanor and the Iron King. Looking forward to reading more books by Julie.

Taylor Dean - Loved Chasing Fireflies and look forward to reading other books by Taylor.

Nancy Campbell Allen - I have had books by Nancy on my to-read shelf and this year I read My Fair Gentleman. Looks like I need to get going on her other books on my shelf. 

Michele Paige Holmes - I have read several books by Michele in the past, but one of my favorites this year was Between Heaven and Earth. I wonder what she's working on for this year.

Annette K. Larsen - A couple of years ago I read Just Ella. This year I read the rest of the books in the Books of Dalthia series. She had twins this year so I don't know if there will be more in the Dalthia series, but I would love it if there were.

Donna Hatch - I had read The Stranger She Married previously and this year read the other books in Donna's Rogue Hearts series. Are there more coming this year? I hope so.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

The Reformer by Jaima Fixsen (The Power of the Matchmaker series)

The Reformer by Jaima Fixsen (The Power of the Matchmaker series)

Summary from Goodreads:
Mary Buchanan has bigger worries than the radical journalist moving in next door who’s spoiling her father’s digestion: unrequited love for a footman, a fractious aunt, patiently awaiting her destiny…

Already she’s nearly eighteen. No sign of destiny yet, but Mary’s certain he’ll be handsome.

Then she meets the reformer, this Mr. Samuel Brown. Destiny is closer at hand than Mary has supposed—if she can just get Mr. Brown to realize it.


3.5 Stars

Received ebook in exchange for an honest review

My review:
This last book the Power of the Matchmaker series has a different feel than the others. 

First, Miss Pearl is never called Miss Pearl in this book. If you've read the other stories, you know it's her. If you haven't read the other stories, you know it's the matchmaker, but it just isn't as overt as some of the other books.

Second, this story has more mature content. There is talk of sexual intercourse and how it is done in a round-about way. I was surprised when I read it. It isn't too graphic, but definitely discussed more than in any of the other books.

Third, the romance isn't as "sweet" as some of the others. There is a bit of a love triangle and lovey feelings aren't discussed as much. 

Having said all of this, I still like this book. I don't love it like I did some of the other Power of the Matchmaker books, but I find it an interesting read based on the time period and the situation the characters are in. Like some of the other Power of the Matchmaker books, it takes me to a time and place I don't know much about and I find that engaging. 

Warnings: Talk of sexual intercourse

I would let my 15 year old read this book after I warned her that there would be talk of sex in it.

You can purchase this book:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Kobo


Thursday, November 10, 2016

To Move the World by Regina Sirois (Power of the Matchmaker)

To Move the World by Regina Sirois (Power of the Matchmaker)

Summary from Goodreads:
Eve Brannon never had to bother planning out her future. In the Yorkshire dales where life is harder, it is also simpler. Next in line to inherit her family's farm, she will raise another generation of children and sheep high in the uplands of England. Waiting until next year when she is 19 to marry her father's handsome hired hand, Alan, is the detail she added herself. 

But in 1939 even the most stalwart corners of the world are vibrating with the tremors of change. Eve's long-anticipated proposal comes on the wings of losing Alan to the Royal Army and at the brink of the farm's profitable war years the sheep herd is decimated by a mysterious illness. With her steady future suddenly in the clutches of a capricious fate, Eve is introduced to Jonathon Doran, a land manager anxious to prove himself in a crisis, and she discovers that the solid earth beneath her feet is moving after all.


4 Stars

Received ebook in exchange for an honest review

My Review:
This is the next installment of The Power of the Matchmaker series. Twelve authors got together and are releasing 1 book a month for this entire year of 2016. Each story has an appearance by Miss Pearl, the Matchmaker. To Move the World is the 10th book, or October's installment.

This story takes place in England just before World War II. The main character is convinced that there is no war coming. She won't accept it. As she sees her friends enlisting, she can no longer ignore that change is coming.

The change for Eve comes in several ways. Not only does her beau enlist in the army, but her sheep farm is decimated by an unknown illness. As much as Eve and others try, there is nothing they can do to stop the illness. Her life seems to be turning upside down. These challenges bring Eve to a new level of maturity. She discovers her strength, her wants, and her needs. She no longer ignores the world outside of her area.

This book brings the romance in the form of a love triangle. Eve has been "in love" with Alan for years. But when her world opens up to new possibilities, she meets Jonathan. Both love interests have positive and negative qualities. Miss Pearl helps Eve discover what her feelings are toward these 2 men.

I am a little disappointed with the ending of this book, but I also understand why it is the way it is. As a reader, I don't always get what I want and that is OK. The book is an interesting story about a time and place I haven't read much about. And, I always love seeing how Miss Pearl makes her appearances in each story. 

Warnings: None

I would let my 15 year old read this book.

You can purchase this book:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble