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

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Review: Never Vie for a Viscount by Regina Scott


Heidi Reads... Never Vie for a Viscount by Regina Scott

My rating: 3 stars / I liked it

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Synopsis

The perky Lydia Villers is determined to leave behind her life as a social butterfly and do what she’s always dreamed of doing, pursue a career in natural philosophy. A shame the only scientist available to assist her is the one man she had once hoped to wed.

The brilliant Frederick, Viscount Worthington, Worth to his friends, has been betrayed too many times, including by the bubbly beauty who now wants to work at his side. How can he believe Lydia’s intentions are true this time? After all, someone is intent of sabotaging his efforts to create the perfect hot air balloon. But with the help of Miss Thorn and her beloved cat Fortune, the enthusiastic young lady and the wary lord might just discover that only together do they make the perfect chemistry.


My Review

I enjoyed getting to know Lydia better and how her curious mind works. The world of inventors and scientists during this era was fascinating and I found the procedures for testing the materials enlightening. There was a big focus on the work of creating and testing the hot air balloon and the challenges involved, which was great, but I felt like it detracted a bit from the development of the romantic relationship between Lydia and Worth. There is some conflict and scandal with a rival scientist and some suspense with the sabotage that brought excitement to the story. To fully understand Lydia's relationship with her brother and friends that are either mentioned or make an appearance, I recommend reading the previous books in the series. The author includes some backstory but I think this is a series best read in order. I like the writing style and unique plots she comes up with! Looking forward to the next book and also seeing if secondary characters Miss Thorn and Julian will finally get together!

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

Excerpt

Lydia was the picture of domesticity. Scarlet fabric flowed across her lap to pool on the floor on either side of the spindle-backed chair. Head bowed so the glow from the lamp on the table beside her glinted on pale curls, she took careful, even stitches. Something inside Worth unfurled, warmed, as if he’d come to the hearth after a long time in the snow.

She inserted her needle in the pin cushion on the table, smoothed her hands over the fabric, picked it up, and …

RIP!

He took a step back, and she must have noticed the movement, for she glanced up with her usual sweet smile.

“Experiment number twelve,” she announced.

He ventured into the room, feeling as if the walls leaned too near on either side. Now that he looked closer, he could see any number of holes in the fabric, thread hanging.

“Unsuccessful?” he asked.

“I suspect it depends on your measure of success,” she said, voice cheerful. “Miss Pankhurst advised me to attempt a stronger bond between two panels. I have attempted several lengths of stitches and now width, as in rows set side by side. So far, none has prevented the fabric from tearing on a good tug.”

“Perhaps you should test the strength of your thread,” he suggested.

She held up the spool. “I was only given one strength. Perhaps you could remedy that.”

“I’ll speak to Charlotte.”

She nodded. “Nothing coarse, I think. Silk, three-ply at least, undyed.”

Here less than a day and already she was dictating. “Rather specific. Your reasoning?”

“A hypothesis, if you will.” The world sounded strange on those rosy lips. “Miss Pankhurst reports that the more tightly woven fabric best meets the criteria you provided her, which she is, apparently, not at liberty to tell me. The combing and dying process must provide some stress on the thread. Therefore, tightly woven, undyed thread might also meet your criteria.”

Flawless. He bowed to her. “Madam, you impress me.”

She picked up her needle and drove it into the fabric. “I also hypothesize that you are too easily impressed.”

Worth straightened. “Based on what evidence?”

She began sewing again. “You must have accepted my brother’s word before pursuing me last year, though I’m certain you could have found evidence to suggest it wasn’t your best course. You accepted my word initially, with insufficient evidence in the end to sustain it. You obviously accepted someone else’s word against mine.


Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Review: A Cowboy in Shepherd's Crossing by Ruth Logan Herne



Heidi Reads... A Cowboy in Shepherd's Crossing by Ruth Logan Herne

My rating: 3 stars / I liked it

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Synopsis

From bachelor to daddy…

Cowboy bachelor Jace Middleton was ready to leave Shepherd's Crossing for good—until he learns his family's unspoken secrets.

Now Jace finds himself not only caring for his twin baby nieces, but working with beautiful, strong-willed designer Melonie Fitzgerald to renovate his grandmother's run-down estate. Love wasn't part of the plan…but Jace soon finds himself wishing Melonie could become part of his unexpected family 

My Review

I enjoy this author's writing style; her strengths are conversation and a cozy, homey sense of family and community. I had a hard time connecting with Jace and Melonie in this book, I think because there wasn't much character development before the plot takes off and becomes the focus. Usually the conversation and interaction between the characters allows for more development, but in this case I felt like skimming through the mundane chit chat. Jace and Melonie are attracted to each other, but an unfortunate first meeting left each with not the best impression, and they both hold themselves back and keep each other at a distance. The drama and obstacles in their lives provide the tension and conflict, and the projects that throw them together physically eventually bring them together emotionally.

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


Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Review: The Ultimate Bachelor Challenge by Annette Lyon


Heidi Reads... The Ultimate Bachelor Challenge by Annette Lyon

My rating: 3 stars / I liked it

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Synopsis

Two singles alone on Valentines Day: one is newly dumped, and the other has something to prove.


When Sam’s long-time boyfriend, Steve, texts that he has something important to ask her on Valentine’s Day, she’s sure that he’s going to propose. Determined to look great for the big day, she hits the all-night laundromat to wash her favorite outfit. When her clothes are chugging away in a machine, Steve calls and pops a question—and not one she’d ever expected.

Reeling with shock, she’s left facing the holiday alone, unless you count the only other person at laundromat, a guy leaning against his own washer, intent on his phone, a guy named Connor. But he had his own plans for Valentines Day—and while they might involve Sam, she’s in for another unexpected situation.

(Originally published in A Timeless Romance Anthology: Valentine's Day Collection)

My Review

Super fun and cute, I really liked Samantha and Connor together as they worked together on a YouTube challenge for Connor's channel in a face-off against his rival. The author did a great job with the set-up, bringing equal parts anticipation and character development. My only issue is that it ended so abruptly! I first read this story in the novella collection it was originally published in, and I remember being let down then by the chopped off ending. I was hoping that the author would develop the story more and finish the Ultimate Bachelor Challenge with Sam and Connor like other authors have done when releasing their novella as a single, but no luck. I would have loved to see more of their romance and the way they would take down Trevor and win the challenge.

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


Monday, December 10, 2018

Review & Giveaway for MissTaken Identity by Kimberley Woodhouse


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Welcome to the Blog Tour & Giveaway for MissTaken Identity by Kimberley Woodhouse, a novella included in The MissAdventure Brides Collection, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

the missadventure brides collection Title: MissTaken Identity  
Collection: The MissAdventure Brides Collection  
Author: Kimberley Woodhouse  
Publisher: Barbour  
Release Date: December 1, 2018 (print)
Genre: Historical Romance  

Love Is One of Life’s Greatest Adventures

Seven daring damsels don’t let the norms of their eras hold them back. Along the way these women attract the attention of men who admire their bravery and determination, but will they let love grow out of the adventures?  

MissTaken Identity by Kimberley Woodhouse
1883 Texas 
Headstrong, bubbly, accident-prone Abigail Monroe is on a quest for adventure away from society’s expectations. But her pursuits are unexpectedly thwarted when she is arrested by a handsome Texas Ranger.  

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | CBD | Book Depository

My Rating: 3 stars / I liked it

A wealthy and naive young woman gets in over her head when she's on her first solo adventure traveling in disguise as a man. Abigail didn't foresee any trouble notwithstanding the warnings she received, and yet was so incensed when she's exposed to the realities of a man's world in Texas- smelly stagecoach passengers and all ;) I didn't understand why she maintained her facade instead of clearing up the mess from the get-go. She would have helped the Ranger solve the case much sooner and saved herself from some rather dangerous situations. But that wouldn't have made a good story I suppose. The chemistry was a bit lacking and I felt like the romance was more told than shown. I didn't like that the villain's POV was shown in a few parts, especially since the case was wrapped up a little too quickly and neatly in the end without revisiting his perspective. Overall it was entertaining but didn't make me fall in love with the characters.

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

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

aboutkim

Kimberley Woodhouse is an award-winning and bestselling author of more than fifteen fiction and nonfiction books. A popular speaker and teacher, she’s shared her theme of “Joy Through Trials” with more than half a million people across the country at more than 2,000 events. Kim and her incredible husband of twenty-five-plus years have two adult children. She’s passionate about music and Bible study and loves the gift of story.  

CONNECT WITH KIM: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

misstaken identity giveaway

TOUR GIVEAWAY

Kimberley Woodhouse is giving away:
  • (1) grand prize of a Kindle Fire (US only)
  • (3) 1st prizes - a print copy of The MissAdventures Brides Collection (US only)
That's a total of FOUR winners! Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight December 4, 2018 and last through 11:59pm December 11, 2018. US only. Winners will be notified within a week of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!
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Friday, November 30, 2018

Review: Five Golden Wishes by Cari Lynn Webb


Heidi Reads... Five Golden Wishes by Cari Lynn Webb

My rating: 3 stars / I liked it

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Synopsis

Dylan King never intended to get involved with Christmas Town. He'd arranged his business trip to include a short visit with his Aunt Odette. But now he's fixing furniture for Over the River Retirement Home residents, welding a fence for the carousel and extending his stay every other day. If he stopped making up excuses to spend more time with Sadie Kent, he could finally get back to business like he wanted.

Sadie Kent has fallen to a new low. Not only has she ditched Santa School (a birthday gift from her young daughters to regain her Christmas spirit after her holiday divorce last year), Sadie has seriously embellished her culinary skills. Between keeping her volunteer commitments and trying to find a job that won’t interfere with her daughters’ school schedules, baking and decorating Christmas cookies to help raise money for the carousel refurbishment might be one step too far. If Dylan King stopped offering suggestions and distracting her, and reigniting her holiday spirit, Sadie could prove she had everything under control.

Welcome back to Christmas Town where wishes in the heart, no matter how deep they're buried, find a voice. And the power of family and love endures.


My Review

I've read a couple other books in the Christmas Town series, and was happy to revisit the community that really knows how to get into the season! This is a sweet story between two people who have their hands full, but despite their lack of time for romance, are pushed together by three well-meaning busybodies. There is plenty of humor, especially involving Aunt Odette and her friends who have their finger on the pulse of Christmas Town. I felt like the chemistry and romance was a bit lacking- there was more telling than showing- and because their relationship was so platonic for 2/3 of the book, I didn't really feel it when things finally got moving in that department. Overall it was a pleasant story and nice addition to the series.

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


Monday, November 19, 2018

Review: The Echo Ridge Romance Collection by Rachelle J. Christensen



Heidi Reads... Echo Ridge Romance Collection by Rachelle J. Christensen

My rating: 3 stars / I liked it

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

Synopsis

Come back to Echo Ridge and delight in 4 contemporary romances! Each heartwarming, inspirational story is set in beautiful upstate New York. This box set includes bonus epilogues and a sneak peek of Rachelle's new book! Savor a recipe with each of the stories and come back for more.

HOPE FOR CHRISTMAS
Anika Fletcher hates Christmas--its promises of good tidings and hope for the future are as tinseled as the ornaments on Kenworth's Hope Tree. Despite her feelings, Anika wants to maintain her daughter's faith in the magic of the season and gladly accepts a second job working with the handsome Carlos Rodriguez to restore Kenworth's old fashioned soda fountain. Carlos is no stranger to hard times and slowly shares his life of light and joy with Anika as they work together. Just as her fragile soul begins to feel hope again, an ill-timed act of charity changes everything. Anika isn't sure who she can trust or if hope is worth nurturing--especially at Christmas when it's easy to enjoy a kiss and believe love can last longer than the season.

THE KISS THIEF
As the head librarian of the Echo Ridge Library, Britta Klein thrives on order and categorization. Unfortunately, the old church-turned-library is in desperate need of a renovation. The Harvest Hurrah fundraiser seems to be the answer, but plans keep going awry. With help from Milo Geissler, accomplished musician, piano tuner, and kiss thief, each catastrophe is narrowly avoided. When Milo goes to great lengths to help Britta find a key classic book, she begins to wonder if there is more to life than books and order. Can she allow this man who speaks the language of music to tune her heart to a new song?
 

Welcome to Echo Ridge, New York where romance finds its way into the hearts and lives of the people who walk the streets of the close-knit community.
NOTE TO READER: THIS VERSION of The Kiss Thief contains a BONUS EPILOGUE!

THE PRINCESS BRIDE OF RIODAN
When a mysterious man offers to help Elise redecorate the old Bed & Breakfast, she gladly hands him a wallpaper steamer. After she discovers his true identity, she doesn’t know whether to curtsy or run and hide. Unfortunately, hiding isn’t an option because her heart is already tangled up with the handsome prince. At the same time, Elise’s old crush from high school wants a relationship and she’s forced to decide whether to chase after a fairy tale ending or stay grounded in reality.

COMING HOME TO LOVE
Do you remember your first love? Have you ever wondered what would happen if you had a second chance to follow your heart?
 

When Laney Richins left Echo Ridge, New York eight years ago, she vowed she’d never return, but life had other plans. Those plans included her cute little boy and a divorce, so Laney moved back home and started over. Working in the flower shop seems like the perfect plan until Billy Redford, the man she should have married shows up.

Billy Redford’s heart was broken when his high school sweetheart turned her back on him and fled Echo Ridge for the big city lights. Running into Laney in Echo Ridge now brings up past feelings he thought were long gone. She’s prettier than ever, still seems to read his mind, and despite his protests ends up on the building and decorating committee with him for the Homecoming dance. Billy knows how to build just about anything, but he isn’t sure he knows how to mend a broken heart.


My Review

I enjoyed each of these stories and the creative plots and likeable characters. They each have ties to the wonderfully cozy community of Echo Ridge, and it was fun to get to know more people there. The library is especially a place I would love to visit, and Britta and Milo's story was my favorite. Overall, I somehow didn't quite connect with the emotions and feelings so it was like I was simply reading about them instead of experiencing it with them. They were entertaining and fun though, so I'm planning to give the author another try with one of her longer books that has great ratings from my Goodreads friends.

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


Review: Seven Brides for Seven Texas Rangers Romance Collection by Erica Vetsch, Susan Page Davis, Vickie McDonough, Amanda Barratt, Gabrielle Meyer, Lorna Seilstad, Kathleen Y'Barbo


Heidi Reads... Seven Brides for Seven Texas Rangers Romance Collection by Erica Vetsch, Susan Page Davis, Vickie McDonough, Amanda Barratt, Gabrielle Meyer, Lorna Seilstad, Kathleen Y'Barbo

My rating: 3 stars / I liked it

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Synopsis

No One Is Too Tough to be Loved
Join seven Texas Rangers on the hunt for a menacing gang, who run straight into romances with women who foil their plans for both the job and their futures.

The Ranger's Reward
by Gabrielle Meyer
Texas Ranger, Griffin Sommer stops to check on the young widow, Evelyn Prentis minutes before the Markham gang arrives at her farm needing a place to hide. Griff and Evelyn are forced to pretend they’re married to keep Griff’s identity a secret, but will Evelyn’s young son let the truth out before Griff can bring the gang to justice?

More Precious than Rubies by Lorna Seilstad
Fun-loving, charismatic Texas Ranger Whit Murray is restless for an adventure. When bandits attack the train he is on and steal jewels Violet Tatienne is transporting home to her father’s jewelry store, the two of them must work together to find the thieves. Will each one’s individual goals keep them from discovering the real treasure is in each other?

Jesse’s Sparrow by Amanda Barratt
Former soiled dove, Sara Byrne longs for escape. . .and rides straight into danger. Ranger Jesse Rawlings wants only to defend and protect.  . .no love involved. But when Sara’s stagecoach is robbed and her possessions stolen, can she find the strength to aid a man she deems anything but trustworthy in bringing justice to the perpetrators?

The Countess and the Cowboy by Kathleen Y’Barbo
Ava Becker is furious that her brother sold her favorite stallion to the irritating Texas Ranger Ezra Creed. When the horse goes missing, Ezra blames Ava, who sets out to find the horse, landing in an outlaw’s camp instead. Can Ezra protect the persistent Ava without falling in love, or will love make for a dangerous chase?

Simple Interest by Susan Page Davis
While making his monthly deposit, Ranger O’Neal Brewster is forced to watch robbers escape with the prim and pretty bank teller as their hostage. Augusta Ferris quickly makes the outlaws regret kidnapping her, but she is determined to get back the bank’s money—whether the Ranger helps her or not.

Partners in Crime by Vickie McDonough
Micah McCullough, a Texas Ranger working undercover in the Markham gang, is tasked with guarding Laurel Underwood, a silversmith, who was kidnapped to create plates for printing counterfeit money. Laurel knows she doesn’t have the expertise. Her only option is to stall and seek escape. What will the outlaws do when they learn her secret?

Guard Your Heart by Erica Vetsch
When Constance Spanner witnesses a murder, Branch Kilborn is tasked with protecting her until she can testify against Cass Markham. This is the Ranger squad’s chance to abolish the Markham gang once and for all, but Branch soon finds that protecting Constance has become about more than just the job.


My Review

I liked the premise of this collection- each story features a Texas Ranger that is working to apprehend members of a notorious gang of robbers, and they each fall in love and have some success capturing at least one of the outlaws, with the final story wrapping up the case. I enjoyed the writing style and storytelling of some authors more than others; my favorite was probably Partners in Crime by Vickie McDonough. It was interesting and unique from the other stories with Micah undercover and Laurel as a prisoner of the gang. The subplots with Laurel's relationship with her father and the young son of one of the outlaws brought depth to the romance and showed admirable qualities of the main characters.  I also enjoyed Guard Your Heart by Erica Vetsch because Branch is the least likely of the rangers to fall in love and adamantly opposed to it, so his journey towards romance was fun to read ;)

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


Thursday, September 13, 2018

Review & Giveaway: The Neverland Inn by K.C. Grant





Heidi Reads... The Neverland Inn by K.C. Grant

My rating: 3 stars / I liked it

http://www.amazon.comhttp://www.amazon.comhttp://www.barnesandnoble.comhttps://deseretbook.com/p/neverland-inn?variant_id=165725-paperbackhttp://www.goodreads.com

Synopsis

Daniel Cavanaugh has it all—a lucrative career as a lawyer, a gorgeous fiancée, and his future mapped out for him. So why is he feeling increasingly dissatisfied with his life? When the assignment to handle his late grandmother’s estate takes him to the California coast, Daniel welcomes the escape. Staying at the nearby bed-and-breakfast isn’t really his style, but he soon realizes the inn may hold the key to the answers he’s been seeking. 

Spindrift Cove has few opportunities for a young unmarried woman like Sarah Michaels. Even so, she enjoys her solitude as owner and chef at the Neverland Inn. She thrives on catering to the needs of her guests and treating them to her fantastic cooking. But when Daniel walks through her door, he immediately tests her patience. Though he is handsome and well-bred, she finds him insufferable. Soon, however, the tranquility of the inn works its magic, and Daniel and Sarah forge a sweet and unexpected connection—until the life he left behind in the city demands his return and it seems that a happily ever after may not be on the menu after all.

My Review

This is a sweet and gentle story full of heart and delicious cooking. I liked that after each chapter was the recipe for the dishes that were mentioned and I plan to try a few! The pace was a bit slow and I was missing some depth and connection, but overall it was a pleasant read about two individuals that couldn't be more opposite, and the quaint inn off the beaten path that brings them together. Daniel is the one who did most of the changing, but it was a change he was ready for, one he didn't even know he was seeking. Once he allowed himself to turn off his father's voice in his head and tap into his softer side encouraged by his beloved grandmother, he became more likeable not only to the reader and Sarah, but to himself. The theme of finding "Neverland" by embracing sentiment and childlike joys gave the book a sweet and hopeful tone.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Review: A Respectable Actress by Dorothy Love


Heidi Reads... A Respectable Actress by Dorothy Love

My rating: 3 stars / I liked it

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Synopsis

When the illustrious India Hartley is accused of murder, she has to uncover the deceptions of others to save herself.

India Hartley, the famous and beautiful actress, is now alone in the world after her father’s death and embarks upon a tour of theaters across the South. Her first stop is Savannah’s Southern Palace. On the eve of the second night’s performance, something goes horribly wrong. Her co-star, Arthur Sterling, is shot dead on stage in front of a packed house, and India is arrested and accused of the crime.

A benefactor hires Philip Sinclair, the best—and handsomest—lawyer in Savannah to defend India. A widower, Philip is struggling to reinvent his worn-out plantation on St. Simons Island. He needs to increase his income from his law practice in order to restore Indigo Point, and hardly anything will bring him more new clients than successfully defending a famous actress on a murder charge.

Because India can’t go anywhere in town without being mobbed, Philip persuades the judge handling her case to let him take her to Indigo Point until her trial date. India is charmed by the beauty of the Georgia low country and is increasingly drawn to Philip. But a locked room that appears to be a shrine to Philip’s dead wife and the unsolved disappearance of a former slave girl raise troubling questions. Piecing together clues in an abandoned boat and a burned-out chapel, India discovers a trail of dark secrets that lead back to Philip, secrets that ultimately may hold the key to her freedom. If only he will believe her.


My Review

I have mixed feelings about this one- there are a lot of things I liked and enjoyed, but also a handful of things that didn't work for me. The Southern setting and history of the era was well-described and fascinating, I really liked India's character and personality, and the plot was intriguing. I had a difficult time with Phillip- he was so likeable and quite heroic, but at times he pulled back and there was a lack of emotion. The story is told from India's point of view, and I think more cues to how he was feeling in those moments would have helped the romance not be so awkward. The pacing didn't feel smooth to me, with scenes ending in the middle of observations and conversations that felt important but not resolved- in the moment or later. The climax of the outcome of the trial was satisfying, but then more clues kept cropping up, and it seemed like the story would never end as one secret after another came to light and had to be additionally resolved. And then in the end, there was one left hanging! So it was a bit frustrating to feel like the story was winding up, only to have in prolonged with more choppy pacing. I definitely enjoyed the first half of the book more, but had to keep reading to see how it all turned out. A more succinct wrapping up would have been appreciated.

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