Audiobook Review: STORM CLOUDS ROLLING IN by Ginny Dye ~ a lesson in history you will never forget. This is a story of the Civil War of the United States, a Historical Fiction saga of nine books, vibrantly told–totally compelling.

Storm Clouds Rolling In AudiobookTitle: Storm Clouds Rolling In 1860-1861   Bregdan Chronicles book 1
Author: Ginny Dye
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: 514
Published by: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Published Date: February 7, 2015
ISBN-10: 1503326667
ISBN-13: 978-1503326668

 

 

Narrated by: Christine Cunningham Smith
Length: 17 hours, 46 minutes
Release Date: December 6, 2013
Published by: A Voice in the World Publishing

Bregdan Chronicles Series ecopy:
Storm Clouds Rolling In 1860-1861
On to Richmond 1861-1862 Dark Chaos 1863-1864
Spring Will Come
The Last, Long Night
Carried Forward by Hope 1865
Glimmers of Change 1866
Shifted by the Winds 1866
Always Forward 1867

About the Story: Carrie Cromwell comes of age as the dark clouds of the Civil War swallow the country. Born with a fiery spirit and a strong mind, she finds herself struggling between the common wisdom of the South and the truth she has discovered.   The activities of the Underground Railroad and her close friendships with the Cromwell Plantation slaves create difficult choices. But when her decisions put her at odds with her heritage, and challenge her dreams, will she be able to give up all that is precious to her?   This first book of The Bregdan Chronicles historical fiction series will pull you in and never let you go. You’ll experience the Civil War era (and all the years to come) through the eyes of both White and Black, free & slave, Southern & Northern – and you’ll fall in love with every character.

My Thoughts:  This is a series you will not be able to put down.  To think, I’ve been sitting on this book and its audio for a couple of years…  The title did not intrigue me, nor did the cover, but I felt guilty not reading something I’ve purchased.  Let me tell you reader, I could kick myself!  Should I learn from this?  Not always will the cover OR the description of the book draw you in, and yet the story could be terrific.

When we study history in school, we only learn facts, but here, we learn the emotion and anguish people lived during this time facing the tide of events.  Book one on audio is over 17 hours, narrated by  Christine Cunningham Smith who did an excellent job with voice nuances and flexibility moving between the various southern accents of the south.  Truly, it was a masterpiece.  I am still reeling over the emotion of these characters who had to make life and death decisions, what they feel in their hearts is right and how so many sacrificed themselves for the better good.

This is the kind of book I’ve been dying to read spotlighting this time period.  Ginny Dye tells an amazing story wrought with so much emotion and heartache, tears flowed. The author made sure the reader feels how difficult the choices were, some were life and death choices.  Even though these characters were fictional, the setting and choices made by opposing points of view were not. Racial tension began in those days and still we feel it today as evidenced by listening to the news. The author gave us a well-rounded view of the situation, not a biased.  Simple. Loved. It!!!

 

ginny-dye-2From the Author:  Hello Readers! I was only 16 years old when my dying grandfather called me to his bedside, took my hand and said, “You have the gift of writing that I never used. Whatever you do, don’t let it go to waste like I did.”

Scared I wasn’t as talented as my beloved “Dandy”, I quit writing. 14 years later, bedridden in California from one of the first diagnosed cases of Epstein-Barr Virus, this athletic, active woman wrote her first book to keep from going crazy. I finished the book, got better, and stuffed the book in an envelope – never intending to do anything with it.

3 and a 1/2 years later the book was discovered by a friend who then proceeded to harangue me about publication. Worn down, I finally submitted it. It was my first book published. Almost 20 years later, there are now 25+ books published, but that is just the beginning. I have so many more inside me!

I believe in the power of the written word to change lives. I also believe that historical novels can implant the Bregdan Principle in people’s hearts and minds.

The Bregdan Principle…Every life that has been lived until today is a part of the woven braid of life. It takes every person’s story to create history. Your life will help determine the course of history. You may think you don’t have much of an impact. You do. Every action you take will reflect in someone else’s life. Someone else’s decisions. Someone else’s future. Both good and bad.

My passion is to write powerful and entertaining historical fiction through the sweeping saga called the Bregdan Chronicles.

I am also passionate about my Fly To Your Dream Series, the 101+ Ways Series, my business building books, and everything else that can be communicated via writing! Basically – I’m just PASSIONATE!

When I decided to write Children’s books, I never imagined how much FUN I would have! The fact that children and parents love them so much makes it even MORE FUN! I started with the When I Dream Series – that will grow to 50+ titles in 2014. I hope you’ll read them all.

I will admit writing is not my only passion, however. I am also the CEO and Founder of Together We Can Change The World, Inc. This amazing organization is committed to providing all the resources people need to make a difference with their life – and mobilizing them all over the world. Want to make a difference? What to know your life counts? Go to http://www.TogetherWeCanChangeTheWorld.us.

And when I’m not writing or running my company? I love anything outdoors, but tops on my list are hiking in the mountains with my dog, rowing, biking, swimming, tennis, windsurfing, snowshoeing… I have a very big “tops on my list”!

Mostly, I am just very happy to have you in my world! You can come visit me anytime at http://www.AVoiceInTheWorld.com!

 

Posted in Audiobook, Audiobook Review, Historical Fiction | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Do you believe in magical trees? Jacob Kent and Casey certainly didn’t. William knew better…. FAIRLY SAFE from the Love of Fairs Series, by Deborah Ann Davis

28074989Title:  Fairly Safe Love of Fairs, Book 2
Author: Deborah Ann Davis
Genre: Mystery, Thriller and Suspense, Teen and Young
Adult Story Setting: 1938—Prologue; 1998—Chapter 1
Pages: 356
Published by: D&D Universe, LLC
Published Date: July 7, 2016
ASIN: B01I5YB6FK

Love of Fairs Series:
Fairly Certain
Fairly Safe
Fairly Obvious 
forthcoming

 

About the Story: Mistaken Identity collides with Secret Identity

Jacob has come a long way for an orphaned kid. He has a mentor, a great job, and has finally fallen in love. Granted, she mistook him for a stalker when they met, but every relationship has its little problems. Unfortunately, for the past few years, as the object of his affection pops in and out of his life, she has refused to share any personal info, like where she’s from…or her real name. Regardless, Jacob is ready to take their relationship to the next level. Now, if only he can locate her so he can tell her. Casey’s family is in the Witness Protection Program. Safety has to be their only priority. Their cover has been blown before, so at any given time they could be forced to disappear again. Obviously, a shy young man with hopeful eyes cannot possibly be added to the mix. Now, if only she can stop thinking about him. Jacob’s and Casey’s worlds unexpectedly collide when Jacob inadvertently helps hide her family. Exposed to their 24-7 vigilance, Jacob must come up with a plan to keep them out of harm’s way, because this time if Casey disappears, she will be taking Jacob’s heart with her, and his hopes of finally having a family of his own.

My Thoughts:  This is the second book in a series which has me totally engaged with this author.  She writes a story for young adults, but I swear, I loved it and I’m nearing 70!

The author engages on many fronts.  Her story telling doesn’t let the cat out of the bag.  I could not foresee how the story challenges would be resolved.   This read has suspense, a bit of romance, lots of complicated budding relationships, a tad bit paranormal and so beautiful in the telling, I had a hard time believing this author has only just started publishing.

It’s delightfully crafted with wonderfully well-rounded and intriguing characters from the stodgy Mr. Hanson, to the well-meaning with the best of intentions–Don, William, and Jacob, to the most adorable, little Robin.  Themes within the story—family is important, search for what you want, love if meant to be, will be, follow what is right and life will take you down the right path.

It’s not easy getting inside of the minds of children, let alone these children who spend their time training, an unusual endeavor taken seriously, but the author does an excellent job shaping Casey, Sam and Robin.

*****

Jacob Kent works as a chauffeur for Lenny’s Livery. William an elderly man comes in to rent a limo, only to find he is usurped by another hot-looking client who is quickly contracted by the branch manager, Clayton Neville, for the only limo left in the shop .  Clayton is described as sniveling, fawning and an opportunist.

Jacob feels bad, because William was at the shop before the hot-chick came in.  To right a wrong, both he and Rita agree to help the gentleman out. The scene that follows is very telling about Jacob’s character.

Jacob tries to make his boss understand that the elder gentleman was first.  Clayton, irritated beyond reason, fires Jacob and nearly fires Rita. Rita offers her car, Jacob offers his services to William. The customer must be satisfied.

Without a job, Jacob drives to Springfield, on the way to a fair, The Big E.  This is where Jacob’s life takes an altogether different path by simply being at the right place and the right time—The Gypsy Kissing Booth.

I’m Fairly Certain you will love this story, and I feel Fairly Safe to tell you, if you start this series, you will read it all. A great cast to give you hours of entertainment!

 

DebDavisAbout the Author: DEBORAH ANN DAVIS writes Quirky New/Young Adult Fiction with a Twist. She began by searching for inspiration for her 5th grade English Journal. Lo and behold, she found her world was full of funny tales just waiting to be told. As she grew older, it never occurred to her to pursue writing, not even when she discovered her flare for telling stories at college parties.

After a string of undergrad majors, she realized she could reach a captive audience EVERY DAY in the public school system. As you probably know, teenagers love to laugh, and what could be more entertaining than Biology, Earth Science, and Environmental Science? Then there’s an added bonus: Once kids know you like to laugh, they want to make you laugh. Go figure.

In addition to Writing, she is also an Educational Speaker and a Certified Personal Trainer. She taught for 25+ years, although somewhere in the middle of all that educating, she stepped out of teaching to do the Mommy Thing, and run the office for their family construction company.

Even though they had followed separate paths, Deborah reunited with, and married her childhood sweetheart, twelve years after their first kiss. Together they coached their daughter’s AAU Basketball Team, which swept States two years in a row. (Yay!) Then, for several years, their daughter and their money went to college.

They currently reside on a lovely lake in Connecticut. When she isn’t writing novels for her Love of Fairs series, she enjoys dabbling with living a sustainable life, dancing, playing outside, and laughing really hard every day. She also promotes increasing your movement throughout your day via Wiggle Writer in her Merry Meddling blog.

 

 

Posted in Book Reviews, Clean Read, Coming of Age, Fantasy Romance Author, New Adult, New Book Release, Young Adult | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Discover the complexity of family life in the highlands with HOW TO MARRY A ROYAL HIGHLANDER by Vanessa Kelly

22891461Title: How to Marry a Royal Highlander Renegade Royal, book 4
Author: Vanessa Kelly
Genre: Historical Romance
Story Setting: 1815, London, Scotland
Published by: Zebra
Published Date: June 30, 2015
ISBN-10: 1420131281
ISBN-13: 978-1420131284

Renegade Royal Series:

Secrets for Seducing a Royal Bodyguard
Confessions of a Royal Bridegroom
How to Plan a Wedding for a Royal Spy
How to Marry a Royal Highlander

About the Story: Illegitimate yet thoroughly irresistible, the Renegade Royals are leaving behind their careers as daring spies for the greatest adventure of all…

At sixteen, Alasdair Gilbride, heir to a Scottish earldom, fled the Highlands and an arranged betrothal. Ten years later, Alasdair must travel home to face his responsibilities. It’s a task that would be much easier without the distracting presence of the most enticing woman he’s ever met… After one escapade too many, Eden Whitney has been snubbed by the ton. The solution: rusticating in the Scottish wilderness, miles from all temptation. Except, of course, for brawny, charming Alasdair. The man is so exasperating she’d likely kill him before they reach the border—if someone else weren’t trying to do just that. Now Eden and Alasdair are plunging into a scandalous affair with his life and her reputation at stake—and their hearts already irreparably lost…

My Thoughts:  Edie, Eden Whitney, is a lovable character, full of life, energy and intriguing as a personality.  Captain Alasdair Gilbride certainly things so. Edie is forever getting into trouble and gets caught in one too many escapades.  Now she’s boarded off to Scotland, along with her mother to let the ton forget, if they can, that is.  Captain Alasdair offers to have them stay at his castle.

Edie doesn’t know how she’ll be able to spend five long months in Scotland with her mother who is so tiresome and Captain Alasdair who simply drives her crazy.

The captain works through his plans for Edie.

Still, he’d need Edie’s help once they arrived at Blairgal Castle, which meant he had to get on her good side by then. Yes, he was a manipulative bastard and his plans for her were a tad ruthless, but he was convinced that Edie needed someone to take care of her. Every moment he spent in her company told him that he was exactly the right man for the job…

Once in Scotland, Edie finds Blairgal Castle fascinating, convinces herself she can win over Captain Alasdair’s father, his sister and Fergus, the captain’s cousin.  She has lots to learn about the highlands and the captain’s family.  She’ll find her mother, Lady Reese, is more than just an annoying, complaining travel partner. She’s exceedingly entertaining. She certainly knows how to control a situation.  Alasdiar’s aunt is one unbalanced woman I’d not want to cross.  I liked the part she played, however, adding just another layer to the complexity of highland families.

Captain Alasdair has been skirting his duties far too long.  He needs to go home, face his father and face the music of a betrothal he can’t accept.  The little minx, Edie, fills his mind.  He’s determined somehow to get out of the betrothal to his cousin who is much too passive for him—he doesn’t love her.  Edie’s difficulties play into his hands—her visit works perfectly for him. He doesn’t tell her about the betrothal, he doesn’t tell her about his father, Lord Riddick, who is stuck in medieval times, he doesn’t tell her about his cousin and the secret the family holds.  All this not telling, makes an explosive, funny story, you won’t want to miss!

vanessa-kellyAbout the Author: Vanessa Kelly is an award-winning author who was named by Booklist, the review journal of the American Library Association, as one of the “New Stars of Historical Romance.” Her sensual, Regency-set historical romances have been nominated for awards in a number of contests, and her second book, Sex and The Single Earl, won the prestigious Maggie Medallion for Best Historical Romance.

Vanessa’s current series, The Renegade Royals, is a national bestseller. Now, in a delightfully witty new spin-off series, she introduces The Improper Princesses—three young women descended from royalty, each bound for her own thrilling adventure. MY FAIR PRINCESS, book 1, releases in August, 2016.

When she’s not dreaming up plots for her next Regency historical novel, Vanessa is writing USA Today Bestselling contemporary romance with her husband under the pen name of V.K. Sykes.

You can find Vanessa at http://www.vanessakellyauthor.com or at http://www.vksykes.com. For all of Vanessa’s latest news and contests, please sign up for her newsletter: http://bit.ly/1SrNioi

 

 

Posted in Book Reviews, Highland Romance, Highland Stories, Historical Romance, New Book Release, Romance | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Have you tried Claire Delacroix books? Whatever she writes, she will take you to a world you wish not to return! THE LAST HIGHLANDER review

Quotable Quotes:

Loving was about knowing when to shelter and when to set free. 

‘Tis not stupidity to trust someone held within one’s heart.

A promise made was a promise kept.

A man’s honor was the only thing of value he could call his own.

 

23824280Title:  The Last Highlander
Author: Claire DelaCroix
Genre: Time Travel
Story Setting: Scotland, 1314; Scotland, 1998
Pages: 336
Published by: Deborah a. Cooke
Published Date: Feburary 10, 2012
ISBN-10: 0987839950
ISBN-13: 978-0987839954

The Last Highlander

 

About the Story:  Scotland, 1314: After the Scots reclaim Edinburgh Castle, Alasdair MacAuley only wants to celebrate. But the revels are interrupted by an old crone who claims the castle’s true owner is the legendary witch,  Morgaine le Fee. Dared by his fellow warriors to go meet the witch, Alasdair heads down a flight of stairs — and tumbles right into another century… Scotland, 1998: American Morgan Lafayette is in Scotland to enjoy the history, not to ogle men in kilts. So when she stumbles upon a brawny man in a kilt, she is less than enthralled. She is certain he’s drunk for he claims Morgan is a powerful sorceress who has brought him to her magical kingdom! Despite her reluctance, she is intensely drawn to this handsome Highlander and the mystery surrounding him, a mystery that has the power to alter history — and her heart — forever…

My Thoughts:  I’m partial to time travel.  I mean, after all, what is better than experiencing the real thing instead of reading about it in history books?  Author Claire DelaCroix made it very enjoyable plenty of comical situations and many moments where I related to the anguish of the main characters, eyes brimming with tears or laughing out loud to the reactions of the hero of the hour, Alasdair MacAuley.  It is so much fun seeing the 20th century in the eyes of someone from centuries before.

In this delicious read the past (one Alasdair MacAuley) ‘experiences’ the modern world. Morgan has come to Scotland with her sister Justine and her sister’s husband Blake.  She’s hoping to give them some downtime, pull Blake out of his ultra organized way of approaching things and just maybe have them start a baby.  She would never marry, not after the huge mistake she made with her first. She wanted to see Scotland, the real Scotland, listen to tales of the past, something to jumpstart an illustrated book about Scotland.

Alasdair MacAuley takes a dare from a wee witch, ends up going through a portal heading seven centuries in the future.  His world is full of tales of Morgaine Le Fee, so when the first person he meets is Morgan, he immediately knows he’s met the queen of the Fey in another realm.  All he sees belongs to her world, so he doesn’t know anything more than he somehow ended in the land of the Fey.

“Aye, she was all he had heard of her and more, an enchantress of the highest order. What manner of woman would flaunt such shapely legs before the eye of a red-blooded man?”

Alasdair is a hero in denial.  He has lost his present and can’t grasp he’s in the future,-rather he holds to the idea of the sorceress, Morgaine Le Fee has turned his world upside down.

With his moving into the future, he has changed the past.  Robert the Bruce is no longer a hero, battles hadn’t been won.

Alasdair never believed in love, the kind his gran’s tales spoke of, until he met Morgan.  He also has a tongue of gold, melting Morgan’s hardened heart and having me out-and-out bawling.

“Do not dismiss my tribute, my lady. You are like the rose, which blooms in beauty all the season long, though few appreciate the challenges it overcomes to bring those blossoms to light. ‘Tis a stalwart plant, a harbinger of fair weather, yet of sufficient strength.

Morgan had a problem trusting men.  Her first husband, she divorced ten years previous, left such a wound in her heart, it was deeply scarred.

I really enjoyed the scene where Morgan and Alastair were in the back of a small car heading to the Highlands along with her sister and brother-in-law who was driving.

Here’s the excerpt which had me laughing because I could truly relate (I’ve lived in countries where I’ve had to deal with the same, but thank heavens it wasn’t clockwise, but counter-clockwise).

Having conquered not only the unfamiliarity of driving on the left side of the road and shifting gears with the left hand, a North American tourist might consider himself an accomplished UK driver.

At least until he encountered the humbling experience of the roundabout.

Supposedly, this alternative to traffic lights is intended to make driving from point A to point B less of an ordeal—but to the uninitiated, the reality is a nail-biting contradiction.

The roundabout—as might be expected from its name—is a circular intersection, the converging roads radiating from the enter like spokes of a wheel. A given car enters at one spoke, merges with the traffic already on the roundabout, travels clockwise around the circle, then exists at the destined spoke to continue on its way.

The equation is complicated by the structure of the roundabout itself. There are usually at least two lanes: the outer one for traffic exiting at the next outgoing road, the inner one for vehicles traveling further around.  Incoming cars must take advantage of any break in the traffic and lunge into the appropriate lane.

The scene that follows is truly hilarious as it takes Blake, Justine and Morgan to navigate the circle the circle in their chariot (so named by Alastair).

“Shit!” Blake declared from the front seat. “This one has eight roads going into it!”

Alasdair glanced through the space between the front seats and had to close his eyes at the dizzying rate their little chariot chewed up the road…

The sorceress fairly bounced on her seat and her eyes sparkled with some challenge Alasdair could hardly begin to guess. “You bet. Which one do we need?”

Justine consulted an intricately drawn manuscript, then squinted at the road ahead. “The fourth one.”

“Got it,” Morgaine said.

“Jesus Christ, here we go,” Blake muttered. “Second gear.”

“Right turn signal,” Justine murmured. She leaned forward in her seat, pulling off her dark eyeshields as she did so.

An astonished stream of similar chariots sped across their path a breakneck speed. They looked like so many beetles and when Alasdair looked carefully, he could see people trapped within each one. They had the same dark shield over their eyes as his companions, making it look as though the insects had yet more insects in their bellies.

He thought of his gran’s tales of Faeries riding the backs of moths and beetles.

Blake inched their chariot forward, watching the stream avidly. Evidently they were going to enter this rush of shiny beetles.

Alasdair was not certain he wanted to watch.

“First gear,” Blake gritted out.

“After the red one,” Morgaine declared, her nose fairly pressed against the curved window.

Blake leaned forward, his knuckles white on the stick between himself and Justine. A red chariot not unlike their own flashed by.

“GO!” the women roared simultaneously.

The Micra squealed in protest, and Blake urged it forward. Alasdair’s eyes widened at the proximity of an extremely large vehicle that was closing in at great speed and he nearly squealed in sympathy.

Instead, he crossed himself. It seemed rather a timely moment to find his long-misplaced religious beliefs.

Need I say more about this wonderful read?  It’s funny, at the same time the story will clench your heart.  Will love win out in the end?

This is a five-star review.  I highly recommend Claire DelaCroix’s books, whether time travel, historical romance or fantasy.  She will surely entertain!

5-starsSONY DSCAbout the Author: NYT bestselling author Claire Delacroix always loved stories, both telling them and hearing them. She sold her first romance novel – THE ROMANCE OF THE ROSE – in 1992 and has published over fifty romance novels since. She writes in a variety of subgenres, including time travel romance, historical romance, medieval romance, fantasy romance and fantasy with romantic elements. She has also written under the names Claire Cross and Deborah Cooke. She makes her home with her family, a number of incomplete knitting projects and a lot of overgrown houseplants. Claire loves to travel, to cook, to ride her bike and to read.

Claire is currently writing The Champions of Saint Euphemia series of medieval romances. She also writes paranormal and contemporary romance as Deborah Cooke.

Subscribe to Claire’s monthly newsletter at:
http://eepurl.com/UCUdf

Visit Claire’s website at:
http://deborahcooke.com

Posted in Book Reviews, Medieval Romance, Romance, Time Travel | Tagged , , , , | 13 Comments

“The only thing that stays constant is the fact that the sun will rise in the morning. Everything else will change. It is life. You now have a choice. To live your life or hide from it.” Quote from THE GOVERNOR’S DAUGHTER by Jerri Hines

“The only thing that stays constant is the fact that the sun will rise in the morning. Everything else will change. It is life. You now have a choice. To live your life or hide from it.”  Quote from The Governor’s Daughter

the-governors-daughterTitle: The Governor’s Daughter Winds of Change Book 1
Author: Jerri Hines
Genre: Historical Romance, Regency
Story Setting: Elm Bluff in Virginia; London
Pages: 332
Published by: Jerri Hines
Published Date: June 14, 2016
ASIN: B01FEIRT1K

About the Story: Cathryn Blankenship has no desire for a season in London! Why on earth would her father want her to leave her home in Charles Town? Upon Cathryn’s steadfast refusal, Governor Blankenship is forced to assign a young lieutenant to watch over Cathryn on the journey and ensure his daughter’s appearance in London. Cathryn finds Lieutenant Jake Pennington the most aggravating, maddening man she has ever met…a man Cathryn soon admits she is in no hurry to see leave. But fate has other plans for her in a world she is ill prepared to enter. She descends into a place where love and betrayal go hand and hand, where greed and treachery are second nature, but moreover the threat her father believes he has sent her is awaiting her arrival. When fate tears her apart from her Lieutenant, Cathryn finds herself desolate and alone. Soon, Cathryn makes fateful decisions that will send her back to her home. A home far different than the one she left. A war rages. Soon, she discovers her life is in danger and the only one that can save her is the one who left her heartbroken. Author’s Note: This book was previously published with Whiskey Creek Press as The Judas Kiss and The Promise under the Tides of Charleston Series.

My Thoughts:  Jerri Hines writes a wonderful, compelling story.  I have read another of her  series, The Winds of Betrayal-truly a riveting time in history and so well depicted in how she presents the emotion behind the events of the time.

Just finishing The Governor’s Daughter, I’m awed by her fierce story line and plot.  Many these days can relate to the same kind of precarious position people in Virginia found themselves.   Communities can be polarized by political and religious inclinations–enough to die for their cause.  We see this in evidence even today.

Ms. Hines begins the story on a plantation where sister and brother eventually are on opposing sides, yet they love each other deeply.  The story is one of love, hate, honor and greed.

Cathyrn, daughter to John Rolf Blankenship, the governor in their community, loves her home, Elm Bluff.  She has a fiery temper and scheming, determined mind.  She works against her father’s wishes for her to leave her home.  She secrets off with William, only to be caught by Lieutenant Pennington, the Englishman her father has asked to take her safely to England. She is to visit her mother and his family back in England, just for a year, he says.  Times are dangerous, but he keeps the worry from his daughter. He needs her to leave, for her safety.  He tells her he promised her mother before she died, he would do this for her when she comes of age.  For the love of her father ,she leaves, and only finds more peril for herself in England.  Who is her friend, her foe, and who can she trust?

She says her farewell to her father, half-brother, Sumner, and his mother. Would she ever see them again?

Ms. Hines’s characters are compelling, flawed and entirely beguiling.  My heart aches for two men who love Cathryn.  As well as hot-tempered, she is also a strong woman, capable of bearing up when sorrow holds her heart.  She continues. She must walk a new path, begin yet again, and buries her feelings even from herself. She is a character who breaks my heart.

All mayhem and events of the times, turmoil in both Jake and Philip’s lives, their decisions, their honor and personal need, shape Cathryn’s life well beyond the point she has hope in controlling the whirl storm of her life.

Author Hines fascinates me how she is able to engage me most thoroughly in her characters.  She springs jaw-dropping surprises within the story, I have no inkling would happen.  Likewise, she wrings tears from me, leaving my heart swollen with ache.

All coalesces into a beautiful, memorable read, not to be missed if you enjoy the early days of Colony life, intense emotions of impassioned people and just darn good writing!

5-stars

5-star review

 

About the Author: Jerri Hines is an Amazon bestselling author of the Winds of the Betrayal series and Southern Legacy serial that were inspired by her fascination with history. She is a Southern gal who has lived the last thirty years near Boston with her Yankee husband. She believes in love and the power it holds. It is the reason she writes romances. Her next release under Jerri Hines will be the much anticipated conclusion to Winds of Betrayal, Set Fire To the Rain, coming in 2016.

She is also an Amazon Bestselling author under her penname, Colleen Connally. Her historical romance series, Secret Lives, is riddled with romantic suspense and a touch of paranormal. Fragmented, Book One Boston’s Crimes of Passion, marks her first contemporary suspense thriller. Framed, Book Two, will be released in 2016.

She is a supporter of The Home For Little Wanderers in Boston and the Alzheimer’s Association.

Jerri invites you to visit her website where you can follow her: http://jerrihines.org/
Follow her on twitter: @jhines340 https://twitter.com/jhines340

Romantic Picks can be found here… https://romanticpicks.com/

Find her on Facebook: Novel Works : http://ow.ly/Uh8C0
Southern Legacy : http://ow.ly/Uh8JR
Jerri Hines : http://ow.ly/Uh8PF

 

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If destiny brings two people together why should it rip them apart? Come to Netherworld, a castle in Wales to experience true evil and true good.

 

netherworldTitle: Netherworld Ancient Kings of Anglecynn and Ceri
Author: Kathryn Le Veque
Genre: Historical Romance, Medieval
Story Setting:  Wales, 1197
Pages: 300
Published by: Dragonblade Publishing; 3 edition
Published Date: August 18, 2014
ASIN: B00M9IS7L0

Narrated by: Brad Wills
Length: 11 hours, 34 minutes
Release Date: December 12, 2014
Published by: Kathryn Le Veque Novels

Audiobook at Audible
Ecopy at Amazon

Publisher’s Summary:

1197 A.D. – Smarting from the loss of his betrothed, Sir Keller de Poyer has learned not to trust women. A bear of a man with a brilliant mind, Keller is socially awkward but an accomplished knight. He is so accomplished in fact that his liege William Marshal gifts the man with lands in Wales for his meritorious service. But there is a catch – in order to secure the lands and titles, he must marry the Welsh heiress.

And so begins the journey into the Netherworld – a castle with a dark reputation and an heiress who hides her own terrible secrets. Death lives at Nether and Keller is caught in the maelstrom. Can he save his new wife from danger and betrayal before it’s too late?

©2014 Kathryn Le Veque (P)2014 Kathryn Le Veque

My Thoughts: Once again, I’m captivated by this author-narrator team.  I had the opportunity to listen to this audio twice.  Second time around, it was just as exciting and suspenseful as the first.  A great production from start to finish. Ms. Le Veque’s stories intensify emotions with her captivating plots.  She brilliantly draws the reader/listener emotionally–hook, line and sinker.  You love, laugh, hate, stomp your feet, and ultimately draw swords and daggers, ready to do battle, alongside hero and heroine.

Nether Castle, located in Ireland, is controlled by Gryffyn, a madman, son to the Laird. Griffin is ill-pleased with his father who’s recently traded his keep and lands and his sister’s hand in marriage to a knight of William Marshall’s choosing, Sir Keller.  He terrorizes his father and two sisters.  He takes great pleasure watching them beg for mercy.

In fact, Gryffyn is ill-pleased with both sisters, as well.  His youngest sister, Izlyn, now 12, has known fear and terror since her mother birthed her.  She’s been thrown in the dungeon countless times by her brother.  At a young age, Izlyn stopped speaking, further angering her brother.  All comes to a head when the new owner of Netherworld, Sir Keller, arrives at the castle.

The prologue drops the reader into violence and anger, scarcely leaving room to breathe.  After the furious fight, all is put to rights. I can breathe again, but very dramatically the tables are turned and the impossible happens.  This cliff hanger sucked the air from the room once again. Chapter one takes us back in time to the day before. Now we find what leads up to this gut-wenching moment.

Sir Keller is a great knight.  His battle field strategies have carried him to the point in this story.  He finds he’s to marry a woman 21 years younger, Chrystobel.  Frankly, he’s not interested.  That is, he’s not interested until he happenstance meets her outside the gates of the keep before he’s introduced.  Life isn’t looking too bad after all.  Sir Keller is very shy with women, but she intrigues him.  His stance of protection and kindness to these two abused women softens my heart.  His love, tenderness and concern for Chrystobel and her sister charm the most hardened heart. The rest of his fellow knights (very interesting men—can’t wait to hear stories about them) understand what the girls have incurred in their lives.  They are ready to defend them with their lives.

Both Chrystobel and Izlyn are very skittish.  Their brother has been abusive for so many years, they expect a heavy-hand from men in general.  These girls learn a lesson from Griffin. They learn men cannot be trusted, rather they need to be feared.  Just as I think Gryffyn has been cornered, his reign of terror can be not more, he connives his way into the keep.  His sole aim?  To kill and take what is his.

Narrator Brad Wills pulls the story’s action from its pages, wraps us in the turmoil of evil. I enjoyed experiencing the girls’ hesitancy. I love how he captures the timidity of Chrystobel, his marvelous job in conveying her fear of telling the truth and what it may cost her. Within a battle, he takes me there – the quickened pacing of words and tone, produces the desired effect.  Tension builds in my chest like a spring wound tighter and tighter.

Come to Netherworld to experience true evil and true love.  You won’t be quite the same when you depart.

5-stars

 

 

Posted in Audiobook, Audiobook Review, Historical Romance, Medieval Romance, Romance | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Take a turn on the dance floor–you’ll never know who you’ll meet! Review: VIENNA WALTZ by Mary Lancaster

Title: Vienna Waltz The Imperial Season, book 1
Author: Mary Lancaster
Genre: Historical Romance
Story Setting: Vienna, 1814
Pages: 245
Published by: Dragonblade Publishing, Inc.
Published Date: September 6, 2016
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
ASIN: B01L0ZXUI2

 

 

About the Story: A fabulous new Regency author makes her debut….

In 1814, with Napoleon finally defeated, the great and the good of Europe descend on Vienna to plan a lasting peace – and to dance.

Ejected from her home on the death of her father, Lizzie Gaunt – along with her gaggle of siblings and a large, unruly dog – finds herself in Vienna with her diplomat uncle. But Lizzie is determined not to remain dependent upon her aunt and uncle for long. After witnessing a daring theft, she recruits the unusual thief to carry out her plan – which should hurt no one except her father’s heir, the vile Russian cousin she’s dubbed Ivan the Terrible.

However, Lizzie’s simple scheme is soon complicated by a wounded Austrian spy, a formidable English matron, a masked Russian rakehell from the Emperor’s masquerade ball, and a mysterious villain selling information that could ruin the Congress before it properly begins. And then there’s Cousin Minerva’s romantic difficulties, and Cousin James’ gambling debts to sort out.

While Vienna dances, Lizzie tries to solve everyone’s problems, and ends by falling disastrously and dangerously in love.

My Thoughts: What an appealing read!  Mary Lancaster lays the foundation of a complex story at a time in history where allies and ex-enemies are jostling for a superior position in the political arena.   Her characters, not all terribly likeable, have personal agendas they are determined to carry out.  As she weaves new characters into the mix, you feel the chaos, and excitement of life in Vienna, immediately after the war.

Lizzie is caught up in this society.  Her problem, however, is upmost in her mind.  How to care for her brother, sister, and Dog, with hardly anything left to her name.  Her father recently passed away and barely in the ground when they were asked to vacate their only home.  A distant cousin had inherited the estate.  Luckily, Lizzie’s aunt and uncle took the family in. They went to Vienna to celebrate along with many noble and titled people.

Lizzie has a very active mind, finding ways to save her family from desperate poverty.  Lizzie in her joie de vivre, quick, creative mind and seemingly desperate straits comes to a decision rather quickly.  The necklace her aunt wears has to be used to get her out of a pickle.  She would not let some cousin in Russia dictate her life and take everything from her.

Her aunt had borrowed it at the time, and was still in her possession.  In Lizzie’s mind, it really didn’t belong to her aunt, so she wouldn’t be stealing from her. She could sell it and live on the money until her beautiful younger sister was old enough to marry.  Oh, she has it all planned out.  And providence helps her!  But providence didn’t show her total hand, just starts Lizzie on the right path.

While at the Theatre an der Wien, Lizzie sees a man march up to a woman in the next box, snap a necklace from her neck and march out, even whistling as he saunters out.  Lizzie’s mind connects the dots.  She knows he is the answer to her problems. (He knows how to steal necklaces!)  Dashing out of her box, she chases the man into the street.

Spying a shadow vanishing around the corner of the theatre building, Lizzie hurried after it. She knew she was running out of time. Everyone said Vienna was full of police and police spies, and she couldn’t imagine any of them taking the blatant theft of a lady’s necklace very lightly…

The thief glanced over his shoulder. He must have at least heard if not see his pursuers, for she thought he laughed, although the sound could have come from one of the nearby coachmen.  However, he was clearly a thinking thief, for he didn’t immediately bolt and draw attention to himself. Instead, he seemed to look about him as he walked. Then he paused, gazing at the crest on a waiting carriage. Lizzie hurried on. With a jolt of excitement, she realized the carriage was her aunt’s.

The man walked on, but a least his brief halt had given her time to catch up.

He turned and the glow from the nearby street lamp showed her black brows raised in surprise on a lean, handsome face. Although unexpectedly young, he gave off an air of recklessness and sheer danger that caught at Lizzie’s quickened breath. His hair looked wild and unkempt and his rather hard eyes glittered in a way she recognized.

No one was perfect.

She grasped the handle of the carriage door and yanked it open. “Get in.”

And this, dear reader, is why you have to read this book. What sane woman would chase after a man in the street who had just done a robbery, asking him to share her carriage, effectively, concealing him from the authorities and putting herself in danger?

Yes, there is a romantic element in the story, where good versus evil pulls the plot forward. The surprises and twists of events and the basic goodness of people, made a purely delightful, superb experience.

I love a book which makes me laugh out loud.  And when, at a most desperate moment where I was expecting the worst I was laughing instead!  Great writing, Ms. Landers.

Lizzie and her siblings along with Dog steal the show. (Whoever names their dog, Dog, anyway!)  Book titles which come to mind are Little Women, Little Men, and Eight Cousins.  That warm good feeling when you meet people unaffected by their circumstances and the light of happiness shows in their eyes.

mary-lancasterAbout the Author: Mary Lancaster’s first love was historical fiction. Her other passions include coffee, chocolate, red wine and black and white films – simultaneously where possible. She hates housework. As a direct consequence of the first love, she studied history at St. Andrews University. She now writes full time at her seaside home in Scotland, which she shares with her husband, three children and a small, crazy dog.

Connect with Mary on-line:

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Website: http://www.MaryLancaster.com

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Posted in Book Reviews, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, New Book Release, Regency Romance, Romance | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments