Showing posts with label 3 stars. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 3 stars. Show all posts

Monday, October 21, 2019

Review & Giveaway: The Duke's Second Chance by Jen Geigle Johnson


https://amzn.to/2oU2fvi

My rating: 3 stars / I liked it

http://www.amazon.comhttp://www.amazon.comhttp://www.barnesandnoble.comhttp://www.bookdepository.comhttp://www.goodreads.com

Synopsis

Second chances often come from surprising places. Will the Duke find another chance at love when everything seems to be combining against him?

Gerald feels as though he’s lost everything when his wife takes her last breath.

Amelia’s world turns upside down when the Duke of Granbury steps into her tea shop and leaves with her heart.

But when a secret from Amelia’s past unveils possibilities, will the duke get a second chance at love from an unexpected source?

Buy this first book in a Regency romance series for a taste of deep loyal friendship, beautiful second chances, and the path to heal a heart. 





My Review

Such a sweet story! I loved Amelia's tea shop setting and how she had genuine conversations with a man deep in grief, something she has experience dealing with. Amelia is the gem in this story, caught between two worlds and not daring to dream. The duke is something else- I was getting whiplash from his mood swings and irrational choices. I would have loved this book to be longer with further character development and exploration of the various situations that came up. When the resolution came about I was surprised at how quickly things were wrapped up. There is so much potential with this story and characters for more depth and development.

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)




Look for the other books in the Lords for the Sisters of Sussex series . . .
 
The Earl's Winning Wager (May 2020)
Her Lady's Whims and Fancies
Suitors for the Proper Miss
Pining for Lord Lockhart
The Foibles and Follies of Miss Grace



About the Author


An award winning author, including the GOLD in Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards, Jen Geigle Johnson discovered her passion for England while kayaking on the Thames near London as a young teenager.
 
She once greeted an ancient turtle under the water by grabbing her fin. She knows all about the sound a water-ski makes on glassy water and how to fall down steep moguls with grace. During a study break date in college, she sat on top of a jeep's roll bars up in the mountains and fell in love.
 
Now, she loves to share bits of history that might otherwise be forgotten. Whether in Regency England, the French Revolution, or Colonial America, her romance novels are much like life is supposed to be: full of adventure. 

GOODREADS | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | BOOKBUB | NEWSLETTER | WEBSITE

Giveaway 



a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Review: The Killing Tide by Dani Pettrey


https://amzn.to/2NGvRGi

My rating: 3 stars / I liked it

http://www.amazon.comhttp://www.amazon.comhttp://www.barnesandnoble.comhttp://www.bookdepository.comhttp://www.goodreads.com

Synopsis

A Corpse That Only Leads to Secrets.
An Old Flame with Danger Written all over Her.
Things Are about to Get Very Complicated.


When one Coast Guard officer is found dead and another goes missing, Coast Guard Investigative Service special agent Finn Walker faces his most dangerous crime yet. His only clues are what little evidence remains aboard the dead officer's boat, and the direction the clues point to will test Finn and the Guard to their limits.

The already volatile situation is complicated even further by the arrival of Gabby Rowley--Finn's boss's sister and an investigative reporter with unrelenting questions about the crime. Now that she's returned, the tug on Finn's heart is strong, but with the risks she's taking for her next big story, he fears she might not live through it.

Thrown together by the heinous crime, Finn and Gabby can't ignore the sparks or judgments flying between them. But will they be able to see past their preconceptions long enough to track down an elusive killer, or will they become his next mark?


My Review

There's plenty of action and suspense in this quick-paced novel that introduces us to a new team of agents, their friends and family. Gabby has a tough shell and is 100% devoted to her job and identity as an investigative reporter- and the risk to her life seems like an afterthought. I was surprised at how cavalier her attitude is about the safety of herself and others, but perhaps that's just her defense mechanism. She and Finn have had a relationship in the past but she left him behind to pursue a new job opportunity in another city. So in this book the chemistry and angst is already present in their interactions. Part of the story is told from Rissi's point of view as well, and I'm hoping the next book features her as the main character. She is the youngest member of the CGI team as well as the only female, and she also competes in various water sports competitions during the story with Gabby's brother Noah and Travis, another agent. The different loose threads and angles they are each investigating in the beginning tighten up as the plot progresses and the reading was full of tension as it drew closer to the climax. A great one for suspense fans!

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)


Sunday, August 18, 2019

Review: When Mountains Sing by Stacy Monson


https://amzn.to/2KycfCi

My rating: 3 stars / I liked it

http://www.amazon.comhttp://www.amazon.comhttp://www.barnesandnoble.comhttp://www.bookdepository.comhttp://www.goodreads.com

Synopsis

When the truth cost her everything, she thought there was nothing left to lose.

Mikayla Gordon loves nothing more than sleeping under the stars, reeling in the “big one,” and long hikes in the wilderness. A medical crisis reveals a 30-year-old secret that turns everything she’s known and believed upside down, unraveling her dreams and her identity.

In search of answers, she follows a trail from Minnesota to Colorado and discovers more unwelcome secrets even as she falls in love with the majestic beauty of the Rocky Mountains, and a wilderness camp leader who shares the greatest secret of all.

Knowing her life can never go back to what it was, she must make decisions that will impact far more than just her future.


My Review

I'm torn on this book- there are things I liked about it, and things that bothered me. It was difficult for me to get involved in the story and invested in the characters at first, I think because there was a lot of mundane in the narrative. When Mikayla steals DNA from her family members for a DNA test I thought that was pretty unethical, and then her extreme over the top reaction was off-putting. I thought it was strange that she wanted answers but wouldn't listen to anything from the people who had the answers she was looking for. Once she was off on her adventure, calmed down, and got a job at the camp while she waited for someone to return to Colorado, I felt like the real character building began. I was interested in her friendship with Dawson and how he gently led her to a place where she could open up to her fears and turn to God with them. I didn't feel any romantic chemistry on her end- she seemed ambivalent about developing a long-term relationship with him because she had plans to leave. I appreciated the messages of faith and the way Mikayla enjoys her hands-on job of helping the youth fall in love with the outdoors versus writing about it for a magazine. Overall, I think with tighter content editing and more expression from Mikayla about her feelings for Dawson, this would be a fabulous book.

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)


Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Review: Brentwood's Ward by Michelle Griep


https://amzn.to/2LLh0KN

My rating: 3 stars / I liked it

http://www.amazon.comhttp://www.amazon.comhttp://www.barnesandnoble.comhttp://www.bookdepository.comhttp://www.goodreads.com

Synopsis

“I suppose I can’t expect to keep you under lock and key. You’re hardly a criminal.  .  . are you?”   

It takes a criminal to catch one, and Nicholas Brentwood is just the man for the job. Reformed in more ways than one, the rough-around-the-edges Brentwood is a member of the Bow Street Runners, London’s early nineteenth-century fledgling police force. There’s none better than Brentwood at catching the felons who ravage the city’s streets, and there’s nothing he loves more than seeing justice served.  Beautiful and beguiling, Miss Emily Payne is not the sort of miscreant Brentwood usually hunts down. When he is assigned as her bodyguard, he vows to protect her from her father’s enemies, who will stop at nothing to carry out their mission fueled by greed and revenge.
       
All her life, Emily has longed for love, but it remains beyond her grasp. This season she’s determined to find a husband, which is quite the undertaking with a hound-dog guardian like Brentwood watching her every step. If he would just give her some measure of freedom, she is sure she could win the heart of society’s most eligible bachelor.

Emily’s headstrong persistence challenges Nicholas in ways he doesn’t expect but of one thing he’s certain—of all the cunning criminals he’s dealt with in the past, this time he’s met his match.

My Review

An exciting story with two characters who drive each other crazy... until they don't ;) I had a difficult time with Emily in the beginning because of her attitude, but as her past was slowly revealed, I grew to understand her a bit more. I enjoy stories set during the Regency era but delve into the lives of those not placed high in Society. It's always a little more gritty, but also interesting and eye-opening to the way of life back then.

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)



Don't miss the following books in the Bow Street Runners series . . .

https://amzn.to/2SJOfPlhttps://amzn.to/2ymNja0



Friday, August 9, 2019

Review & Giveaway: A Lady's Maid by Jen Geigle Johnson



https://amzn.to/2YGSd1u

My rating: 3 stars / I liked it

http://www.amazon.comhttp://www.amazon.comhttps://deseretbook.com/p/a-lady-s-maid?variant_id=179365-paperbackhttp://www.goodreads.com

Synopsis


Molly O’Malley, lady’s maid to the progressive Lady Amanda Halloway, is determined to continue the life’s work of her lost love, killed in the Peterloo Massacre. But when her efforts and a trip to Lady Halloway’s charitable orphanage culminate in her own abduction, Molly’s eyes are opened to the horrifying crimes transpiring in the city’s slums. Despite the risks, she broadens her mission and is drawn ever closer to the peril all around them.

Thomas Flaherty, a footman in the Halloway household, has been with Molly from the beginning, but he fears she will never trust him with her heart. Even though her cause and happiness are of foremost importance to him, his loyal patience is tested by the fears that keep her at a distance. But with their safety on the line, Thomas is resolved to sacrifice everything for the woman he loves.

Risking their lives and their love, Molly and Thomas and a team of nobles on their side will stop at nothing to empower the powerless, no matter the personal cost.


My Review

There is amazing history in this book. The kind that I am so grateful for as a woman and try not to take for granted the sacrifices of those who paved the way for suffrage. I was glad to learn about the historical details that were new to me. Even though this book has a slow beginning as it introduces a bevy of characters, the action and suspense picks up the pace with quite a few dangerous situations- much of it due to Molly's naive recklessness. I had an overall feeling of anxiety and stress as I read, and had a difficult time connecting with the emotions of the main characters. The narrative is split between several characters, and I felt like it divided my focus. I thought the romantic moments between Molly and Thomas were wonderful, but the ones between Chloe and Annesley fell flat. Perhaps if I had read the preceding book, A Nobleman's Daughter, I would have been drawn in more.

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Saturday, July 20, 2019

Review: Yours Truly, Thomas by Rachel Fordham


https://amzn.to/2FiBEgq

My rating: 3 stars / I liked it

http://www.amazon.comhttp://www.amazon.comhttp://www.barnesandnoble.comhttp://www.bookdepository.comhttp://www.goodreads.com

Synopsis

For three years, Penny Ercanbeck has been opening other people's mail. Dead ends are a reality for clerks at the Dead Letter Office. Still she dreams of something more--a bit of intrigue, a taste of romance, or at least a touch less loneliness. When a letter from a brokenhearted man to his one true love falls into her hands, Penny seizes this chance to do something heroic. It becomes her mission to place this lost letter into the hands of its intended recipient.

Thomas left his former life with no intention of ending up in Azure Springs, Iowa. He certainly didn't expect a happy ending after what he had done. All he wanted to do was run and never look back. In a moment of desperation, he began to write, never really expecting a reply.

When Penny's undertaking leads her to the intriguing man who touched her soul with his words, everything grows more complicated. She wants to find the rightful owner of the letter and yet she finds herself caring--perhaps too much--for the one who wrote it.


My Review

A sweet story with a fun twist! Penny and Thomas don't meet until much later in the book than usual, which made me anxious for the story to get on with it. And then she doesn't tell him about her connection to him with the letters, which made me even more anxious for them to get on with it! I liked the small town of Azure Springs and the sense of community there, especially with the woman who runs the boardinghouse and helps the wanderers understand what they are searching for. I didn't feel much chemistry between Penny and Thomas, but I liked them both as individuals.

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)


Saturday, May 18, 2019

Review: The Beauty (Ladies of Miss Bell's Finishing School) by Rebecca Connolly


https://amzn.to/2Eeeebl

My rating: 3 stars / I liked it

http://www.amazon.comhttp://www.amazon.comhttp://www.goodreads.com

Synopsis

Caroline Perkins cannot claim much in her life other than the dowry her uncle arranged for her and her physical beauty. Raised on the London docks, she bears the burden of being a tradesman’s daughter, and not one of respectability. In leaving Miss Bell’s School for Young Ladies, Caroline is leaving the only friends she has known and the only safe place she has lived. But she knows her companionship with Lady Ashby could give her the connections and opportunities she needs to secure a good future for herself. If her past does not return to haunt her present and future, that is.
 

Will Debenham isn’t certain what he is looking for in his life, but from the moment he sees Caroline Perkins, he is certain he has found it. Every interaction with her only enhances the feeling, and every day in her company makes him want her more. But can the son of an earl really marry a tradesman’s daughter? Or will station, birth, and Caroline’s own resistance keep them apart?

My Review

This is a sweet Regency story, but I wished for more in the way of plot and personality. The focus of the book is on Caroline's role as companion and her opportunity to find a husband as such. She was a bland character, and even as I attempted to find more interesting attributes about her, Will described her perfectly: "You are always so calm, so stalwart, so unaffected. You possess an unnatural serenity." She does feel the insults of others keenly, but instead of standing up for herself, she accepts it and even internalizes the belief that she is of less worth and undeserving. I was disappointed that she didn't have more of a backbone, although this is probably realistic of many women of the time who are victims of the precedence of status and birth in society. Will sees beyond all that and cherishes her for her beauty and grace, despite her unfortunate circumstances. My issue with him is that he observed her abuse and didn't do much to stand up for her either. He struggles with his desire to break out of his role as a gentleman, but doesn't take the opportunity to do so when she is in need of his help. I kept reading to the end to see how their happy ending would come about, and the final scene was lovely and emotional.

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)

Ladies of Miss Belle's Finishing School series:


https://amzn.to/2Vz5ZfVhttps://amzn.to/2LUR4gJhttps://amzn.to/2YIyY39







Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Review: The Paradox of Love by Teri Harman


https://amzn.to/2VBtie8

My rating: 3 stars / I liked it

http://www.amazon.comhttp://www.amazon.comhttp://www.goodreads.com

Synopsis

In 1889 in Paradox Valley, Colorado, Oakley Hallowell dresses like a boy, taking on the role left empty by her six dead brothers. Better than any cowboy, her hard work and mystic gifts are the reason Hallowell Ranch thrives—but her prideful, abusive father, Gideon, will never admit it. Despite his insults and beatings, Oakley refuses to abandon her grief-broken mother and beautiful home.

The Army killed Antero’s parents and the government forcibly removed his tribe of Utes from their beloved valley. His quest for revenge sent him down a dark path and into hiding. When he witnesses Oakley quietly, miraculously save a cow from a mud-bogged death he steps out of isolation to meet her.

Antero knows Gideon Hallowell will shoot him on sight, but this fascinating woman revives his bitter soul. How can he fight a world that despises him to keep Oakley by his side?

Oakley senses goodness and loyalty in Antero, unlike the other men in her life. But she’s afraid to get close, to trust. How can she open her heart to love, forgive her father, and forge a path to happiness?


My Review

I don't quite know what to make of this story. Oakley is a complex character- abused by her father, yet tries her hardest to be the son he never had. Cherishes her mother, but resents that she doesn't stand up for herself or her daughter. Has no interest in a relationship, but is inexplicably drawn toward a drifting Indian. The circumstances she cannot escape are difficult and trying, and there doesn't seem to be any hope or love there, until Antero shows her kindness and gentleness. I enjoyed their interactions, even though there are few before they become devoted to each other. They are each a rescuer of sorts to the other- he rescues her from harm, she rescues him from loneliness. They both struggle with the trauma they have experienced, and wonder together if forgiveness is possible. I liked the way they lifted each other, bringing light and even faith to their dark worlds. Just when I thought things couldn't get any worse, they do... and the ending was both messy and wrapped up a little too nicely. Overall, I found it interesting and was compelled to keep reading to see how everything would turn out.

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)