WARWOLFE releases in just a few hours! Review: WARWOLFE, beginning book of the de Wolfe Pack, by Kathryn Le Veque

34598874Title: Warwolfe de Wolfe Pack, Book 0
Author: Kathryn Le Veque
Genre: Medieval Historical Romance
Pages: 420
Published by: Dragronblade Publishing, Inc., 1 edition
Published Date: June 8, 2017
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
ASIN: B06XKJJZR4

 

Publisher’s Summary:
1066 A.D. – Discover the origins of the original de Wolfe pack, led by the man known as WARWOLFE. Before the Duke of Normandy conquered England, a legend arose. A man so fierce, so brave, and so noble, that the mere whisper of his name could strike both fear and admiration into the hearts of all men.

That name is Warwolfe.

Gaetan de Wolfe is this man. A legend from a family of legends, the greatest de Wolfe warrior arises as William the Conqueror sets foot in England to claim what he believes is his birthright. Gaetan brings with him nine of the fiercest knights the realm has ever seen, plowing their way into the English countryside, forging their legacies at the Battle of Hastings. But when one of Gaetan’s men is kidnapped by the rogue brother of the Earl of Mercia, Gaetan refuses to let his man go. His loyalty to his men is above all.

A rescue mission of epic proportions begins.

Guiding the original de Wolfe Pack on this task into deadly enemy territory is a lady warrior known as Ghislaine of Mercia. The sister of the man who kidnapped Gaetan’s knight, her loyalties are torn. Wary of the big Norman knight with the fierce manner, her attraction to Gaetan is nonetheless undeniable. There is a spark between them that refuses to die. Together, Gaetan and Ghislaine embark on a dangerous adventure where myths are revealed, loyalties are tested, and where a growing passion between them becomes all-consuming.

My Thoughts: As I read further into the Le Veque’s mighty library of Medieval stories of adventure, passion, honor, and battle, I’m ready to slide into her world all over again.  She’s a prolific writer who entertains with battle scenes, knight camaraderie, humor, and poignant moments.  Her series overlap so much with characters from previous ones, the joy of old friends, the rich understanding of historical events and her developed characterization is thoroughly captivating.

In this book, the de Wolfe pack has its beginnings. The house of de Wolfe, de Lohr, de Russe, de Reyne, de Moray, De Winter, de Lara, St. Hever, du Reims and Wellesbourne.

I love how the story starts.  In present day, Abigail Devlin, an American student working on her Ph.D. dissertation in Medieval history at the University of Birmingham is presented the opportunity to learn about the men who support the Duke of Normandy’s push into England.  She discovers a goldmine of unpublished historical events, written by a priest Jathan de Guerre. Her dissertation, to unearth who the unsung heroes of the Norman Invasion were and their affect upon the Conquest.

Through the eyes of this character’s journal, detailing the Battle of Hastings and aftermath, Le Veque not only breathes life into historical events, she provides the reader a deep understanding of the kind of friendship, honor and passion between men of like mind and body.  These ten men were known as the Anges de Guerre (Angels of War), Special Forces, if you will, for the Duke of Normandy.  These were the heroes which Le Veque takes through many of her stories.

I always learn something about the Medieval period when I read ‘Medieval Le Veque’.  I learned about the Book of Kells, Medieval Christian calligraphy and took a side trip to Google to see what she was talking about.  Yet, Le Veque seamlessly weaves her magical imagination into the historical period, breathing evocative scenes of purpose, a place where her characters are challenged, whether physically, emotionally or both.

A young woman warrior, Ghislaine of Mercia, sister to a slightly insane half-brother, Alary, finds herself facing the sword tip of Warwolfe, Gaetan de Lohr on the battle field.

He realizes she’s a woman.

“Let me go!” she demanded. “Release me or I will kill you!”

Frankly, Gaetan was shocked that a woman had been in the midst of the battle. It was enough of a shock that he stopped trying to squeeze her throat. “A female?” he said, sounding somewhat incredulous. “What foolish commander allows women to fight?”

She twisted violently and he caught a glimpse of her face; dressed as an archer as she was, including a cap, at a distance she could very easily be mistaken for a boy but now that he was close to her, he could see that she was no boy. In fact, her features were quite exquisite.

“I can kill you just as easily as a man can,” she hissed. “Let me go and I will give you a fair fight, poubelle.”

This scene is a typical spirited response Gaetan would get from this woman when they later meet.  Poubelle isn’t a very flattering French word.  She called him garbage in his own language.

He lets her go and says,

Remember Norman mercy the next time you intend to do one of us harm.

These words stay with her when she returns to camp, to find a prisoner had been taken, a Norman of great stature, and gravely injured.  The prisoner is Kristoph de Lohr, Warwolfe’s closest friend and knight.

The words ring in Ghislaine’s mind.  She has a debt of honor to pay. Her life was spared.  She would spare this knight’s life. Her men understood this debt of honor, but not her insane brother.

The story takes off at a fast clip.  Short of it, Ghislaine takes up with the Normans to help her save the knight, paying her debt of honor, and kill off her brother.

As Gaetan gets to know the woman, these are his thoughts:

He didn’t want to talk to her. He didn’t want to look  at her. He’d kept himself well away from her, and she’d kept herself away from him as well.  He was content. Not happy, but content. But now, here she was, and in looking at her he realized just how much he’d missed her.  Something about his woman was growing on him, inside him, just like a parasite, and he couldn’t shake her no matter how hard he tried.

A parasite, you say, Gaeten?  You will surely see there is no escape.  Once the heart and soul are engaged, you are lost. Fight her, but you won’t succeed!

If you haven’t read any of Le Veque’s work, this would be the book to start with.  Her writing will take you to her enthralling world full of treachery, honor, greed, power and passion. A must-read author if you are a fan of Medieval Historical reads.

 

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Early Review: FORBIDDEN KNIGHT by Diana Cosby ~ delve into Sir Thomas and Alesone’s world of forbidden thoughts and secret desires

32716424Title: Forbidden Knight  The Forbidden Series, book 2
Author: Diana Cosby
Genre: Historical Romance, Medieval
Story Setting: 1307 Scotland
Pages: 234

Published by: Lyrical Press
Published Date: June 6, 2017
Sold by: Penguin Random House Publisher Services
ASIN: B01LZF5NGL

 

The Forbidden Series ecopy purchase link:
Forbidden Legacy

 

Forbidden Legacy  http://wp.me/p40XtX-1Jb (my review)

Forbidden Knight
Forbidden Vow
coming soon

 

Publisher’s Summary:

Deep within Scotland, a healer and a warrior join forces to protect Scotland’s future . . .

There is an intruder in the woods near King Robert Bruce’s camp, but when Sir Thomas MacKelloch comes face-to-face with the interloper, he is shocked to discover his assailant is a woman. The fair lady is skilled with a bow and arrow and defiant in her responses. The wary Knight Templar dare not allow her beauty to lower his guard. Irritated by his attraction, he hauls her before his sovereign to expose her nefarious intent.

Outraged Sir Thomas dismissed her claim, Mistress Alesone MacNiven awaits the shock on the arrogant knight’s face when he learns that she has told the truth. But it is she who is shocked, and then horrified, as it is revealed that her father, the king’s mortal enemy, has betrothed her to a powerful noble, a deal that could jeopardize the king’s efforts to unite Scotland. Robert Bruce orders Sir Thomas to escort Alesone to safety. As they embark on a harrowing journey through the Highlands, Alesone tries to ignore her attraction to the intimidating warrior, but as she burns beneath Thomas’s kiss she realizes this fearless knight could steal her heart.

 

5-Star Review

 

My Thoughts:  Author Diana Cosby’s books take the reader deep into minds of conflict, most of their inner conflict is as intense as danger from without.  Her writing style, descriptive scenes in historical settings put me on site experiencing the history of the time. Additionally, her special characters make her a go-to favorite of mine. This is the third series Cosby is writing.  If you haven’t discovered her work until now, you have two other fantastic series to read — The MacGruder Brothers and The Oath Trilogy.

I read/reviewed book one. If you haven’t read it, stop a moment and read my review of Forbidden Legacy.  The link is above the Publisher’s Summary.  It will explain some of the background of the Templar Knights, why a select few are in Scotland, why the Knights find themselves no longer in Brotherhood.  These are trying times for the Templar Knights who had given their lives to protect the weak and wrongly accused, finding themselves now wrongly accused,  and used as pawns.  Will the goodness of these men find their places of happiness outside the Brotherhood?

Templar Knights have a moral compass, one strong and unbending with phenomenal weaponry skills, and acute minds.  They are chaste men who live much like monks within the Brotherhood.

Sir Thomas MacKelloch has lost his compass.  He can’t go home to his family, nor back to a Brotherhood which no longer exists.  He’s full of guilt for the accidental death of his beloved brother, many years back.  He dared his brother to fight with swords in a dangerous setting; he fell into a raging river.  Thomas had been a young man at the time, just become a squire.  It changed his life.  The Brotherhood had been a place of satisfaction, but never one to be happy.  Once his mission for the Templar’s was completed he decided he would join his sword with Robert the Bruce.

Alesone had been brought up by a healer, and is grieving for her death – her father’s men killed her.  They found her dear friend through an action Alesone did as a healer.  She’s not only grieving, but has lots of guilt.  She is a kind and gentle woman, yet quite capable of taking care of herself with her skill with a bow, arrow and daggers.  She’s also a woman of determination, fortitude, inspiring trust and loyalty from those who meet her.

They both are broken, bleeding with guilt and sorrow, not aware happiness can be obtained.

A life alone. A life without a bond. A life buried beneath service to others.

Thomas is attracted, but knows he cannot offer anything to the woman.  Alesone is attracted, but knows she cannot provide him the kind of home he should have. She is running from her father and until he’s dead, she must keep on running.  Thomas hesitates to commit to anything other than friendship.  But his thoughts tell us differently.  Then his actions follow suit, yet his mind is blasted stubborn.  God’s teeth, man, get some bollocks! Well, you see, they made me a wee bit frustrated!

These two are so back and forth with their feelings, at a point, I wanted to just shake the daylights out of them both.  When one decided they might have a chance together, the other withdrew.  Then feelings were hurt and explanations needed to be made.  Ugh! Couldn’t they see they were meant for each other?

Cosby brings all this turmoil to a blissful end when Thomas and Alesone finally accept what their hearts tell them.  You’ll love the battle scenes of danger with Alesone right in the thick of it, the love scenes of passion and tenderness, and the scenes of forgiveness.  If you’re like me, you’ll certainly shed a few tears. I’m looking forward to continue the series with the other Knights Templar, who, too, will find their true love and happiness.

Posted in Book Reviews, Diana Cosby, Highland Romance, Highland Stories, Historical Romance, Medieval Romance, New Book Release, Romance | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Early Review of DUKE WITH BENEFITS by Manda Collins

Duke_With_Blog_Benefits_Excerpt Blitz Banner

 

Title: Duke With Benefits Studies in Scandal
Author: Manda Collins
Genre: Historical Romance, Regency
Story Setting: Beauchamp House, England
Published by: St, Martin’s Paperbacks
Published Date: June 27, 2017
Sold by: MacMillan
ASIN: B01MYWH0RT

5-Star Review

 

Studies in Scandal Series ecopy purchase link:
Ready Set Rogue
Duke With Benefits
Wallflower Most Wanted

 

Duke with Benefits_CoverPublisher’s Summary:

LADY + DUKE = TRUE LOVE?

Lady Daphne Forsyth is a brilliant mathematician with a burning passion for puzzles. When she learns that the library belonging to her benefactress houses the legendary Cameron Cipher—an encrypted message that, once solved, holds the key to great riches—Daphne is on the case. Unfortunately, her race to unlock the cipher’s code is continually thwarted by a deliciously handsome distraction she hadn’t counted on. . .and cannot resist.

Dalton Beauchamp, the Duke of Maitland, is curious as to why Daphne is spending so much time snooping around his aunt’s bookshelves. He’s even more intrigued by her bold yet calculating manner: She is unapologetic about her secret quest. . .and the fiery attraction that develops between them both. But how can they concentrate on solving a perplexing enigma once the prospect of true love enters the equation?

“Witty, sensual historical romance that will captivate readers.” —Romance Junkies

Duke with Benefits is the second in Manda Collins’ Studies in Scandal series set in Regency England.

 

My Thoughts:  I’ve read a few of Manda Collins’s books.  Book two of Studies in Scandal, is the first I’ve read of this series.

People come in all colors.  There are those who are socially adept and then those who are, well…not.  Intelligence shines where apparent.  Most of us manage to have some intelligence and social breeding, but there are those who excel way beyond the pack.

This being said, the heroine, Daphne, is very clever in the field of mathematics, but, dear readers, dismally failing in social politeness.  Her problem?  She is unerringly accurate in what she says.  It must be from how she looks at the world.

Her father has used Daphne’s cleverness in the past to make money to pay his debts.  She’s a master at cards.

When talking to Daphne, you can be rest assured she knows she’s more than qualified in mathematics, making sure you are aware, too,  and her plain-speech can be a bit offsetting.  Did I say a bit?  She is very offsetting to most people, but one Dalton Beauchamp, Duke of Maitland is intrigued, amused and outright entertained with Daphne’s manner of speech.

Dalton is easy-going, another nephew to Lady Celeste, always making those around him comfortable.  He has occasion to smooth things over when Daphne starts telling people what she thinks.  She has me chortling and embarrassed for the poor girl. Daphne realizes her plain-speech is considered to be rude and may also hurt people’s feelings.  Unfortunately, she doesn’t know how else to talk.

Daphne has never been attracted to a man.  She’s actually avoided them for some time, ever since she was accosted by her tutor’s son.  But she is attracted to Dalton.  When she discovers her feelings, she proposes she bed him (yes, this is true)! He is shocked and tells her, it wouldn’t be appropriate.  This creates bad feelings and humiliation for Daphne, but Dalton can’t seem to get the idea out of his head.  Hell yes, he wants to bed her!  Very comical situation.  Dalton is nothing but the gentleman. Daphne is discovering herself, making her thoroughly confused.

Lady Celeste, recently passed, left her wealth to four young women, all acclaimed in their field of study. Of the four, Ivy has married Marquess of Kerr, nephew to Lady Celeste (their story in book one).

Each woman inherits ¼ of Beauchamp Hall and to retain her share she must remain at the hall for one year. Additionally, Lady Celeste, a person of intelligence herself, concocted a puzzle with hints to the ultimate treasure. This was left for Daphne. The Cameron Cipher is a message, in code, which locates where the leader of clan Cameron hid the Jacobite gold meant for the Pretender in ‘forty-five. Daphne’s competitive nature is brought out while working on the cipher.

This story, well-written, fast-paced with great engaging developed characters, a romance with mystery and suspense aspects, kept me entertained, particularly with the humorous tones throughout the read. There was no way I could put the book down.  Upper-most in my mind was what will happen next?  I look forward to reading book three.

ARC copy provided by the author in exchange for a fair review.

 

Excerpt:

“There you are, my dear,” said the Earl of Forsyth with a beaming smile that didn’t quite reach his eyes.

Maitland saw at once that Daphne favored him. Her green eyes were the same shade as his, though there were lines of dissipation bracketing the earl’s. And though his expertly cropped blond hair was shot through with silver, what remained of its original color was the same shade as hers. But whereas Daphne’s gaze was focused off to the left of whomever she conversed with, like a bird hovering just over a branch, Forsyth’s speared one with cold calculation. As he did to Daphne now.

“You are looking well, Daphne,” the earl continued, stepping forward to embrace his daughter, who looked as uncomfortable with the contact as Maitland had ever seen her. “The sea air agrees with you. As I knew it would.”

“The sea is very beautiful,” Daphne replied woodenly. “Why are you here, Father?”

“Is that any way to greet your Papa?” the earl chided, stepping back from her and wandering farther into the room, standing to stare out at the gardens below through the window. “I’ve traveled all the way from London to see you. And this lovely estate. I must admit that when I first learned of your inheritance, I thought it was all some sort of trick. But you would have your own way and leave the loving bosom of your family no matter what I said. Now that I’m here, though, and see it in person, I must admit that it’s a lovely spot. And your chaperone, Lady Serena, is quite beautiful, isn’t she? A widow, I take it?”

His jaw clenched at the man’s mention of Serena, and Maitland thought perhaps it was time to announce himself. Daphne seemed not to realize he’d followed her in, and the earl was too busy waxing rhapsodic over the beauties of Beauchamp House.

“I don’t believe we’ve met, Forsyth,” he said forcefully, stepping up to stand side by side with Daphne. He gave a slight bow, perhaps not quite as deep as was warranted, but not caring. “The Duke of Maitland. I am a friend of your daughter’s, you might say.”

What he meant by that last, he could not say, but the man made every bit of protective instinct within him go on the alert. He was her father, but all the same Maitland knew that Daphne was no safer with him than she would have been with Sommersby if he still lived.

At the sound of the duke’s voice, Lord Forsyth turned with almost comical haste from the window and stared. For the barest flicker, he looked angry. Well, if he were upset at the knowledge that his daughter was not without friends, then he would simply have to swallow it. Because Maitland was damned if he’d leave her alone with the fellow.

“Duke,” Lord Forsyth said with a tilt of his head, “I am pleased to make your acquaintance. I was a friend of your father’s, and had little notion I’d be meeting you here. He was a good man, your father.”

His father had been nothing of the sort, but Maitland was hardly going to discuss it with Forsyth.

“I am here visiting my sister, Lady Serena,” Maitland said coolly, letting the other man know in tone rather than words that he had not appreciated the older man’s speculative words about her earlier. “And of course my cousin, Kerr. He only recently married another of the heiresses here, and resides here with her.”

Forsyth’s eyes narrowed at the implication that Daphne was well protected should her father wish to cause trouble. At least that was the message Maitland was endeavoring to send. And by the looks of it, Forsyth read him loud and clear.

“Capital, capital,” the earl said with false cheer. “A merry party you must all make here. I had no idea you were in such fine company here, Daphne. No notion at all.”

“Because we have not spoken since I left,” Daphne said, looking from her father to Maitland then back again, as if wondering what went on between them. “And now, father, I really must ask you to leave. I have a great deal of work to do and . . .”

“Don’t be absurd, Daphne,” her father said with a shake of his head. “I only just arrived. And there is something very important I must speak to you about.” He turned to Maitland with a raised brow. “I’m sure you’ll excuse us, Duke. I’m afraid what I need to tell my daughter is private family business.”

Maitland was opening his mouth to tell the man he would leave Daphne alone with him when hell froze over, when Daphne did it for him.

“Maitland stays,” she said, reaching out to grasp him by the arm. It was as much of a cry for help as he’d ever thought he’d see from her. Wordlessly, he slipped her arm into his, as if they were about to promenade round the room. He covered her hand with his, keenly aware of the thread of tension in her.

Once more, the earl’s eyes narrowed, and he turned an assessing gaze on Maitland, perhaps realizing for the first time the threat coming at him from that direction.

His jaw clenched, Forsyth said grimly, “Very well. If you wish your friend to witness our dirty linen, so be it.” As if needing to be in motion in order to speak, the earl began to pace the area between the window and the fireplace. “You know, Daphne, you left me without any obvious means of recouping what I lost from years of paying that tutor of yours, old man Sommersby.”

“You agreed to pay him,” Daphne said tightly. “After I threatened to expose . . .”

Hastily, Forsyth continued, “And I am currently in need of funds. As such, I must insist you return to London with me for the time being and meet a particular gentleman who has expressed interest in marrying you. Though his birth is not as high as yours, he’s quite wealthy and will make you a good husband, I trust. He’s assured me he has no concern about your odd ways, if you’re as beautiful as your portrait.”

Before Maitland could burst out with the string of invectives the other man’s pronouncement inspired in him, Daphne said, “I cannot marry this person. I’ve never even met him. You promised me that I would not have to marry someone for money as long as I won enough at the tables. I did so. You promised me, father.”

“I never actually promised, Daphne.” Forsyth said with a shake of his head. “If you chose to interpret it as such, that is not my fault. Now, go pack your things.”

Daphne’s hand on Maitland’s arm gripped him tightly. And before he even knew what he was doing, he said, “I’m afraid that’s impossible, Forsyth. Daphne is staying here.”

“I don’t know who you think you are, Maitland,” said the earl through clenched teeth, “but I am her father, and I am well within my rights to take her back to London. Now, kindly take your hands off of her and let her go pack.”

“It might once have been your right, Forsyth,” Maitland said coldly, “but Lady Daphne is my betrothed now and as such, she will remain here. With me.”

Copyright © 2017 by Manda Collins and reprinted by permission of St. Martin’s Press.

 

Buy Links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/s/?index=books&keywords=9781250109880&tag=macmillan-20

B&N: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbninquiry.asp?EAN=9781250109880&afsrc=1&lkid=J29980420&pubid=K239557&byo=1
BAM: http://www.booksamillion.com/product/9781250109880
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/book/duke-with-benefits/id1183035057?mt=11%E2%80%9D
Indiebound: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781250109880
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/duke-with-benefits
Powells: http://www.powells.com/partner/33241/biblio/9781250109880

 

Manda CollinsAuthor Bio: Manda Collins is the author of several books, including Ready Set Rogue and The Lords of Anarchy series. She spent her teen years wishing she’d been born a couple of centuries earlier, preferably in the English countryside. Time travel being what it is, she resigned herself to life with electricity and indoor plumbing, and read lots of books. When she’s not writing, she’s helping other people use books, as an academic librarian.

Manda’s Social Links:
Twitter: @MandaCollins
Facebook: @MandaCollinsAuthor
http://www.mandacollins.com/

SMP Romance Social Links:
Twitter: @SMPRomance
Facebook: @SMPRomance
http://smpromance.com/

 

Posted in Book Reviews, Historical Romance, New Book Release, New Book Release Tour, Regency Romance, Romance | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Review: GARDEN OF DRAGONS by Meara Platt ~ the Stone of Draloch prophesies the future. Does evil win?

35118131Title: Garden of Dragons Dark Garden Series
Author: Meara Platt
Genre: Historical Romance, Paranormal Regency
Story Setting: 1818 England, Lake District
Pages: 331
Published by: Dragonblade Publishing, Inc. 1 edition
Published Date: June 1, 2017
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
ASIN: B072BJ7DC2

 

Dark Garden Series ecopy purchase link from Amazon.com
Garden of Shadows
Garden of Light
Garden of Dragons

Garden of Destiny coming soon

Publisher’s Summary:

Garden of Dragons, Demon blood runs in the Draloch men, and for this reason, many believe Saron Blakefield, the fearsome Duke of Draloch, holds the key to the destruction of the demonic underworld as foretold in the Fae prophecy etched in the Stone of Draloch. But fighting demons comes at a high price, for he loses a piece of his soul with each battle.

Lady Anabelle Harleigh, is locked in a battle of wills with the dangerous Duke of Draloch. However, when he wins her beloved estate and is awarded guardianship over her, she comes to realize that he may have won her heart as well. Is she brave enough to teach Saron that love is his salvation? Only by admitting his love for Anabelle can Saron reclaim his soul and escape his fate as a heartless, hideous Dragon Lord.

My Thoughts:  This is the third of a series set during the Regency period, but anything but usual.  I’ll never quite look at bluebell flowers the same again!

A Fae prophecy unfolds in this series, etched in the Stone of Draloch.  Some people believe, some do not.  Some do not want to for the simple fact they want to control the outcome of events.  But fate has spoken, or has it?

Lady Anabelle loves Harleigh Hall—tied to the people, the animals and the land.  In fact, she fights tooth and nail to keep Duke of Draloch, Saron, from owning the property.  Her ferociousness is admirable, particularly if you meet the Duke of Draloch who happens to be man and dragon. Men cower in his presence. The Duke could have taken the property from her, easily enough, but he enjoyed the correspondence with this woman, and now has the property with the added responsibility of guardianship for her and her brother.

Lady Anabelle will have nothing to do with him.  If only he’ll leave her to manage the estate.  He has the property, but just let her stay.   She spends considerable time to convince him, showing him the estate with all the efforts she’s done to improve harvest’s quality and quantity. The author’s scenes takes us into her world and we see the love she has for this place.

Although, from early appearances, the duke is not attracted to Anabelle.  This changes and with it, her safety, his sanity, and the fate of the world. But can the stubbornness of this duke take from him what has become so precious? Ah, this is the dilemma.

They disagree on so many issues, these two.  She believes in love, its power is stronger than evil.  Saron is so caught up in the evil he’s experienced, how evil has shaped him, and what he knows to be absolute truth, he can’t accept her words. Here follows a conversation very telling.

“I do find farming fascinating, but I sense that you do not, she said, interrupting his thoughts.

He shrugged his shoulders. “It serves an important purpose.”

“Ever the practical businessman.”

He cupped her chin. “And you are ever the fanciful dreamer.”

She frowned, managing to look pretty even while peeved. “Those dreams give me hope for the future. How can we progress or enjoy life if we have no dreams?”

“Dreams avoid reality.”

“No, Your Grace. Dreams create reality.”

The genre is an interesting one.  I enjoy this time period, Regency, and with the mystic of dragons, the underworld, and the Fae realm, it creates a story where anything can happen, and often it does.

If you are a lover of the unusual, following love struggling to take hold, experiencing fierce emotion to protect what is yours, you’ve come to the right series and the right author.

Posted in Fantasy Romance, Historical Romance, New Book Release, Regency Romance, Romance | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Audiobook Review: IN THE KINGDOM’S NAME — a marvelous, enthralling listen, written by Amy Jarecki, narrated by Dave Gillies

In the Kingdom's Name AudiobookTitle:  In the Kingdom’s Name Guardian of Scotland Series, book 2
Author: 
Amy Jarecki
Genre: 
Historical Romance, Scottish, Time Travel
Story Setting: 
Scotland, 1297; present day, Scotland
Pages:  
313
Published by: 
Rapture Books
Published Date: 
February, 2016
ASIN: B017QKCC1Q

Narrated by: Dave Gillies
Length: 9 hours and 52 minutes
Release Date: May 6, 2016
Published by: Amy Jarecki

Sample the audio with this link!

Guardian of Scotland Series ecopy purchase link:
Rise of the Legend
In the Kingdom’s Name

5-Star Review and then some!

Publisher’s Summary:

Can history rewrite itself? As the time of treachery draws near, hope is but a fleeting whisper.

After his success at the Battle of Stirling Bridge, William Wallace becomes Guardian of Scotland and is thrown into the machinations of court. But when disaster strikes, the love of his life, Eva MacKay, is hurled back to the 21st century. Frantically she tries to return, only to face failure with her every attempt. In this tale of breathtaking love and heartbreaking farewells, destiny twists and turns until all hope expires…but does it?

©2016 Amy Jarecki (P)2016 Amy Jarecki

My Thoughts: I read this book about a year ago, and loved it so much—one of my favored stories penned by Amy Jarecki.  The audiobook only intensified those feelings.  Where I shed tears in the read, I was all out bawling in the listen.  This one wrung and twisted my heart so many times, there were chapters I had a hard time reading for all the tears, but with the listen I was a total puddle!

Narrator Dave Gillies brings out all the emotion and terrifying moments making the reader experience the anguish faced by these men of history who had very short lifespans as compared to today.  I enjoy listening to a book I’ve already read, not the other way around.  I also prefer some time pass before I pick up the audio.  I know what the story is about, but don’t remember the specifics of the story as clearly.  I encourage you, dear reader, to use the great deal Amazon.com has for you.  If you purchase the book, the audiobook with Audible.com is only $1.99.  Another great feature: If you want to reread the book at the same time as listening to it, you can.  When you want to pick up the audio later, with your Bluetooth, you’re set while doing mundane tasks.

To be caught up in a greater cause, the freedom of the Scottish people, William Wallace gave it his all.  He was a powerful man, very spiritual, led with his heart and intellect, but also understood his failings. Here is a man who stands above the ordinary.  He willingly martyrs himself for the life of Scotland.  Author Jarecki has written so profoundly the plight of the man entangled with his hope for his people, it wrenches the emotions.

With all the passion this man had for his country, Ms. Jarecki further entices the reader with time travel, total, crazy love which should not even be considered and finally hope when this reader can hardly continue.

If you are a fan of Ms. Jarecki, this is her best.  If you are a fan of medieval times, this one shouldn’t be missed.  If you are of fan of love with pure sacrificial acceptance — do not—I say, do not let this one pass you by.  If there were greater than 5 stars on the ratings, this one, dear reader, is one which surpasses the lot. Amen!

Posted in Audiobook, Audiobook Review, Highland Romance, Highland Stories, Historical Romance, Medieval Romance, Paranormal Romance, Romance, Romantic Suspense, Time Travel | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Early Review: NOT SO SWEET MARIA by Jessica Spencer ~ a humorous, light-hearted Regency read

Ti34517177e: Not So Sweet Maria, Book 1
Author: Jessica Spencer
Genre: Clean Regency Romance, Historical Romance
Story Setting: 1805, England
Pages: 178
Published by: Unit Books
Published Date: June 1, 2017
ASIN: B06XHBZRZ7

 

4-Star Review

Publisher’s Summary:

LOVE UNDER MISTAKEN IDENTITY.

The ton calls her Sweet Maria and, even in her fourth Season, eligibles continue to offer her marriage.

They do not know Lady Maria despises the hypocritical ways of Polite Society and is trying to sail away to America!

Though the granddaughter of a duke, Lady Maria is a Child of Scandal because her mother was an American commoner.

She blames the duke and the duchess for her parents’ death. Had they not disowned them, they would not have died of a virulent fever in America, leaving her an orphan at the age of five.

She has not forgotten the coldness she had met with as a child, and how there were those who examined her features for tainted blood, and disparaged her mother to her face.

She agrees to an arranged match to ward off her persistent suitors, treating the engagement as a sham one to be ended at her convenience.

Then, most unexpectedly, she finds love with a commoner.

Only he isn’t a commoner but the Earl of Daventon.

Gareth, Earl of Daventon is no stranger to Scandal. Rumour has it that his father had banished his mother for adulterous behavior. He remembers his mother as a sweet, gentle woman and knows the late earl yearned until his last breath to have her back.

Love is a quagmire and I shall not be caught in it, he decides. But love finds him. The object of his ardour is a mysterious young woman who dresses like a shop girl and behaves like a lady.

Lord Daventon remedies the situation by accepting an arranged match, his betrothed being Lady Maria whom he hasn’t met.

All of which leads to a delightful tangle of affairs.

My Thoughts:  This is a story where Maria’s memories at age five and her perception of reality, cause heartache, not just for her, but her grandmother, a rather cold fish of a woman. She is the one to change the most in this delightful, sweet and hilariously funny situation.

Lovely Maria, once known as Mary, knows how to play the rules of politeness in the ton, With a quick-wit, and spirited, she finds a way to circumvent the rules.  She is quite talented in designing hats using the balance of geometry to set off even the most plain-known woman’s face.  Her plans are to make enough money to purchase her old homestead in Virginia, returning there, where she lived with her parents before they died.

She has opened a shop under her trusted old maid’s name, Gwen Matthews.  Very cleverly, she sits behind a one-way mirror, as women come in to purchase a hat.  She’ll design one specific for that woman’s coloring and shape of head. Her hats are selling extremely well, particularly since the sweet Maria, is seen about town sporting many of these bonnets.  Everyone wants to emulate her.

In the meantime, because of her sweet demeanor and perfect poise, she is accosted (strong word, but nevertheless true) many times a week to make a man the happiest of men – marriage, to be exact.  Her grandmother has decided for her, because Maria pays no mind to these men who are very appropriate for her.  She will marry the Earl of Daventon.  He hasn’t been one of those demanding her hand.  He decides to marry her sight unseen—after all, she is from a good family, with a good personality.  The idea of love doesn’t enter his head.  He treats it much like a business. He leaves it in the good hands of his aunt.

Maria’s reaction is rather bland, too, about the impending marriage.  Her plans are to escape back to America. She’s just trying to figure out how to break the engagement.  Her ideas of marriage change when she spies a man in the lawyer’s office just a couple of doors down from her shop. Earl of Daventon sees her, as well. (Yes, Lord Daventon!) They are both wearing clothes suitable for this part of the city, rather common in nature.  Maria always goes out dressed as a shop girl, wearing fringe for bangs, and scuffed shoes, etc.

When first they meet, Maria gives a false name and so does the Earl.  After all, he doesn’t want to scare the girl away.  It all gets rather funny, each keeping their real identity from the other.  Their hearts are soon given to each other, but both must follow convention and marry someone who doesn’t believe in love.

The story is light-hearted, yet feelings of indecision make the hero and heroine a bit miserable.  I found it a lark, since I knew what would happen.  If you enjoy a fun read, without your own emotional entanglement with plenty of levity, this clean Regency will surely do the trick.

The author provided an advanced copy to read in exchange for a fair review.

Posted in Book Reviews, Clean Read, Historical Romance, Young Adult | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

ELUSIVE by Ali Dean ~ Release Day Blitz

Kate Walker has a new identity. She’s escaped her past, and lives a fairly normal life for a 22 year old. She’s about to graduate college and bartends to pay the bills. But when her past begins to catch up with her, Kate’s reminded that normalcy is only a façade.

When unexpected events land her rooming with billionaire heirs Sebastian and Evan Webster, remaining reclusive becomes more difficult. As Kate fights her attraction to one Webster brother, she begins to wonder if living in hiding is really living at all.

Is her safety worth sacrificing a chance for love and friendships?

 

After all, safety may just be an illusion.

BUY IT ON AMAZON

~*~ABOUT ALI~*~
7237069
 
Ali Dean lives in Colorado with her husband, twin toddlers, and golden retriever. In addition to reading and writing, she loves the outdoors- everything from marathon training and biking to snowboarding and skiing.
My Thoughts:  I haven’t had the opportunity to read this author before.  I enjoyed this first person, present tense writing style — a chapter in Kate’s point of view and then again in Evan’s, alternating.
     Evan can’t seem to keep away from Kate.  He’s never felt this way before in his 25 years.  From the moment he meets her, she is on his mind.  His problem is he’s full of money and is used to being used, manipulated and women chase him FOR his money.  A past engagement, based on lies, with Camilla, has him wary about any other.  He’s afraid of trusting, but knows that a solid, healthy relationship can be built only by trust.  What if he lets himself go and lets his emotions take over his common sense?
I wasn’t sure when exactly it happened; hell, probably sooner than I was willing to admit. Touching her, holding her, I’d never felt anything close to the tumultuous mixture of tenderness, possession, vulnerability, and yeah, horniness, as I had around Kate Watson.
     Kate is running from a past, from a man who killed her mother.  She starts a new life, new name, studying at the university to be a licensed nurse.  She’s on the home stretch — just a month to go.  Why do things have to go wrong now?  Has he found me?  Who can I trust? She can’t forget her realty, she must be prepared to run, to hide, to defend herself. Then there is Evan.  Kate feels happy with him, and actually safe with him.  Could it be too much to dream to have a life after all? She’s not telling the whole truth with Evan. How could a relationship happen when her life is one big deception?
     The author has me hook, line and sinker.  I knew all sh*t would happen.  OMG!  I am riveted.
     I loved the story, the suspense, the caring, the friendship, and learning to trust.  Yes, this author had me crying, not small, little tears, but big ones that just kept on going.  Thank you, Ali Dean, for the experience and letting me be there every moment!
Posted in Book Reviews, Contemporary Romance, New Book Release, New Book Release Tour, Romance, Suspense, Thriller | Tagged , , | Leave a comment