Showing posts with label Karen Tuft. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Karen Tuft. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Review & Giveaway: Wager for a Wife by Karen Tuft

Heidi Reads... Wager for a Wife by Karen Tuft

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing


William Barlow's life has been forever altered: his estranged father is dead, and William has inherited the title of Viscount Farleigh. Along with the title comes a neglected estate, an enormous amount of gambling debt, and one astounding acquisition that will turn William's world upside down . . .

It is her first London Season, and Lady Louisa Hargreaves could not be more pleased. She has attracted the attention of the Earl of Kerridge, and the two are on the cusp of an official betrothal. That is, until she learns of a generations-old family debt: her grandfather gambled her hand in marriage and lost, and now Louisa must pay the price. She will marry not the earl but a man she just met, who has taken her freedom in one fell swoop. Even as she struggles to understand the handsome and aloof man she is to wed, Louisa is irresistibly drawn to him—and he to her. But she soon realizes he is harboring secrets, and as her wedding day approaches, she must discover what her future husband is hiding before she makes the gravest mistake of her life.

My Review

I enjoyed this Regency romance and the characters that came to life in their unusual circumstances. I loved the premise of the plot- the difficulties that both Louisa and William are dealing with, and the relationship that slowly develops between them, despite their differences. I learned some new details about the Regency era as new plot twists surfaced. A lovely romance with emotion, angst, tension, and a wonderful ending!

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

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Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Review & Giveaway: The Gentleman's Deception by Karen Tuft

Heidi Reads... The Gentleman's Deception by Karen Tuft

My rating:4 stars / I really liked it


Renowned actress Ruby Chadwick, The Darling of Drury Lane, has long planned and prepared for her final performance. With exceptional beauty comes the unwanted attention of men, and after years of fending off odious suitors, Ruby is ready to leave it all behind in favor of a quiet life. The first step is to reclaim a piece of her past: her true identity as Lavinia Fernley. But leaving town unnoticed proves impossible, and in one desperate moment, she embarks on the greatest act of her life when she throws herself into the arms of a stranger to avoid recognition.

Lucas Jennings is shocked to find the stunning redhead in his arms, but something moves him to play along with her ruse when she calls him her husband. This charade marks the start of an unpredictable journey as he escorts the lovely Lavinia and her traveling companions to Primrose Farm, far from the glaring lights of London. Soon, the tables are turned when Lucas introduces Lavinia to his family—as his fiancĂ©e. Before long, their mutual deception begins to feel all too real. But when the truth of her past is revealed, will Lavinia’s dream of a happy ending slip through her fingers?

My Review

While this is one of my favorite genres to read- Regency romance, I haven't read many with an actress as the main character, so I was intrigued to learn more about the details of that life. I found it interesting that Lavinia had to "escape" to a new life that is more respectable in order to keep men from pursuing her. I enjoyed her character and her relationship with Lucas, even though their deception provided conflict and uncertainty. The cast of supporting characters rounded out the story and it was fun to see how everything worked out in the end. Recommend to fans of Regency romance and sweet romance!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Review & Giveaway: The Earl's Betrothal by Karen Tuft

Heidi Reads... The Earl's Betrothal by Karen Tuft

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it


Out of the war and into another, Captain Lord Anthony Hargreaves finds the politics of romance to be as uninviting a battle as the one that nearly cost him his life in Badajoz, Spain.

Wounded both mentally and physically from the Peninsular War in 1812, Anthony returns home to find that his older brother has died, placing Anthony next in line to inherit the estate. But he’s not ready for such responsibilities. And when Anthony’s dying father pleads with him to marry and produce an heir to preserve the family title, it nearly sends Anthony over the edge; nevertheless he dutifully faces a long line of hopeful young ladies who await him. No one grabs his attention, though, like Amelia Clarke, his mother’s stunning companion, who is off-limits for the earl. But when Anthony unwittingly puts Amelia in a compromising situation, he dedicates himself to protecting her reputation.

But the horrors Anthony faced while away from home have left him feeling broken and tormented. And Anthony finds himself drawn to Miss Clarke, the only one who can chase away his demons, but he must overcome the hostility of a society driven by class, a jealous duke bent on revenge, and himself—for could Amelia ever really love a haunted man?

My Review

If you're in the mood for a Regency sweet romance with depth- in characters and in content, then The Earl's Betrothal is a book I recommend for you! Amelia is kind and compassionate, feeling grief not only for her own losses but the more recent losses of the family she now serves. I admired the strong foundation of faith that sustained her and helped her stand up in the face of society's disdain.

Anthony struggled with the darker aspects of war- the abuse of the citizens of Spain by his own soldiers, especially the women who suffered at their hands in the aftermath of battle. He has a soft heart for the women in his life and Amelia's presence in the family allows her to slip right under his defenses and offer what he needed most- acceptance.

I particularly enjoyed Anthony's friend Lucas, who shared wartime experiences with him and was in the unique position of providing support simply by knowing what he had been through and encouraging him to work toward forgiving himself.

The story doesn't follow a typical timeline for the developing relationship which was a bit refreshing, and kept me on my toes to see what twists would keep the plot moving forward. There are pleasing details of some fashion and dresses, balls and society gatherings, but it never distracted from the drama- instead the author used them as opportunities to develop and show the personalities of her cast.

Without revealing any spoilers, one particular twist in the story seemed out of place and incongruous with the rest of the book, adding a level of melodrama I didn't think was necessary.

Overall, the exchanges between Amelia and Anthony as they seek to protect each other are the best parts that stand out and had me reading swiftly to reach their next interaction :)

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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Review & Giveaway! Trouble in Paradise by Karen Tuft

Trouble in Paradise by Karen Tuft

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it


Andy Kendrick has always dreamed of bigger things than tiny Eagle Bluff, Arizona. So when the opportunity arises to shake off the dust of his hometown and move to the tropical paradise of Hawaii, he grabs it. But he never imagined that apiece of his past would follow him to his new life . . . Kimberly Briggs has lived her life on the fringes of the crowd, timid and afraid since the death of her brother, but when she learns that Andy, her lifelong crush, is moving to Hawaii, she's finally ready to step out of the shadows and take a risk.

Kimberly is the last person Andy expected or wanted to see in Hawaii. But when fate incessantly throws the pair together, there's little to be done but make the best of the situation. As the awkwardness fades and Kimberly begins to emerge from her shell, Andy realizes there's much more to her than he realized. But even as they revel in the adventures of island life, drawn together by a growing attraction, an unforeseen peril threatens Kimberly's life.

Can the once-timid young woman now draw upon the inner strength Andy has helped her discover so the two of them can build a life together? Will Andy grasp that love knows no geographical bounds?

My Review

First off I just have to say that I was glad to discover when reading the book that Kim does not follow Andy to Hawaii like it says in the synopsis... she moved there first in fact! It relieved my mind to know that she wasn't that stalker-obsessed with him and their meeting again really was a true coincidence. I totally identified with Kim's unrequited crush from elementary and high school- there's something about confident and charismatic boys that shy girls really admire and fall for.

Kim and Andy both have great character arcs and help each other to stretch and become better. Kim has already started the process of living outside her tiny comfort zone and breaking out of the shell of fear and overprotective parents. Andy is a typical guy- I struggled a bit with liking him in the beginning since his inner thoughts make him seem shallow and insensitive, but I eventually appreciated the realistic perspective. Kim inadvertently helps him to recognize and overcome his selfishness as he learns to get over himself and the sibling rivalry that motivates him and appreciate her for who she really is. Once he realizes how great Kim is their friendship finally blossoms and the sweet moments they share propel their relationship into something more... which brings a whole new level of drama :)

As an art major I loved that Kim was an artist and one of the ways she took risks was through her artwork. The Hawaiian setting was awesome- the author did a fabulous job painting a picture of the environment, culture, and community. The bit of mystery and action spiced up the plot and created a nail-biting climax. Since the characters are Mormon there are some occasional references specific to the religion but I think any Christian would enjoy this book.

(Thank you to Covenant communications for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)

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