Showing posts with label Nichole Van. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Nichole Van. Show all posts

Friday, November 6, 2020

Review: Loving a Lady by Nichole Van


My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing

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

Synopsis

Ewan Campbell fought to free himself from his past. Quite literally. A former prizefighter, he now earns his living as an artist. But Ewan still fights more figurative opponents—dark memories that threaten to overwhelm him. Worse, when he is hired to assist a famous painter, Ewan finds himself falling for the man’s highborn niece, Lady Kildrum. Such feelings are pointless. Countesses do not fall in love with impoverished Highlanders, no matter what fairy tales say.

Violet Kerr, Lady Kildrum, struggles to make decisions. She is a countess in her own right, for heaven’s sake. Decision-making skills should flow through her blood. After all, her life’s path is clear—marry a nobleman, provide for her sisters, and see to the welfare of her tenants.

Though Violet has made one decision—

She must curb her attraction to Ewan Campbell, her uncle’s new art assistant. The lowly Highlander, no matter how alluring, is not a proper suitor for a countess. She definitely should not fantasize about the man.

Or, if she does, she should not allow such fantasies to lead to very real kissing. Because kissing could bring on the most difficult decision of all—

What happens if Violet chooses to fall in love with the one man she can never have?


My Review

I love how this series has a continuity plot that connects the books beyond the relationship of the group of men. It creates a mystery and sense of suspense while the main characters are also dealing with their immediate circumstances and obstacles. Ewan is full of contrasts which intrigue Violet, and I loved his depth of character that emerges through his art. Violet is in a unique position of power, however unprepared she feels for it. The way they develop a friendship and support each other through their personal struggles is lovely. Their attraction and chemistry is palpable, and brings a powerful tension to the story. This is a great addition to the series and I just can't wait for the next one!!!

 

Disclosure statement: A complimentary copy of this book was provided from a tour group, publisher, publicist, or author, including NetGalley, OR was borrowed from the library, including OverDrive, OR borrowed from Kindle Unlimited, OR purchased. A review was not required and all views and opinions expressed are unbiased and my own.




Don't miss the previous books in the Brotherhood of the Black Tartan series . . .







Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Review: Timeless Victorian Collection: A Note of Change by Esther Hatch, Nichole Van, Annette Lyon



My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing

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

Synopsis

Can a single note can change a life, start a romance, or drive two people apart?

Waiting for the Post by Esther Hatch
Now that Harrison Chase has finally made his fortune as a working man, he will risk it all to save his factory workers from starvation. In the middle of his charge to reverse the Corn Laws, his housekeeper helpfully mails a letter she finds languishing amongst his things. A six-year-old love letter. With no other choice, he rushes back to his childhood home on Christine Stone’s estate. If he can’t get his hands on that letter before she does, Christine will discover what a pitiful and pretentious fool he had been. The one thing he hadn’t counted on was the mail being delayed. Now Harrison must decide which is worse—waiting with Christine as he not-so-slowly falls back in love with her, or leaving, knowing once she reads his letter he can never return.

A Ring of Gold by Nichole Van
Viola Brodure longs for something more from her life. So when that something more arrives in the form of a letter from the renowned Highland Poet, Ethan Penn-Leith, she seizes her chance. After all, Mr. Penn-Leith merits every swoon-worthy adjective Viola can muster. What woman wouldn’t want to be in her shoes? But after journeying to Scotland and meeting the poet himself, Viola faces a difficult question: What happens if you don’t want the thing you thought you did?

A Rose by Any Other Name by Annette Lyon
As an orphan whose only home has been the Foundling Hospital, Rose is tasked to work in the fine houses of Bloomsbury. She knows her duty—take care of the family upstairs and never forget her place. But her traitorous heart won’t follow the rules, and she falls in love with Oliver Withey, a man far above her station. Though she feels like she’s found a home in Oliver’s arms, his mother has other plans for her oldest son—and marrying a servant isn’t one of them. She’ll do anything to keep Rose and Oliver apart, including making a devil’s bargain that ensures they’ll never see each other again. When a mysterious old woman appears, she seems to have answers to Rose’s past. Could those long-held secrets hold the key to the future with Oliver that Rose longs for?


My Review

Another lovely collection of Victorian-era romances from some of my favorite authors! When these Timeless collections have three stories instead of six, they are each longer and I feel like they have the time to really develop the characters and the story within the novella format.

Waiting for the Post by Esther Hatch is one of my favorites of this collection- 5 stars! I loved Christine's friendly personality and it's easy to see why Harrison fell in love with her as a youth and did so again so quickly when they are reunited. He doesn't feel worthy of her as a self-made successful tradesman when she is of a higher class in society. Her family's estate is at risk so some complicated dynamics come into play. Her brother who is also Harrison's friend brings some humor to the dialogue and it was a pleasure to read as this meant-for-each-other match overcame the miscommunications and hesitations to find their happily ever after.

A Ring of Gold by Nichole Van is another 5 star story! The setting in Scotland was amazing and I loved the way the author was able to portray the accents and customs. Viola is a spinster author so she seems to have a measure of independence, but it only extends as far as she follows her father's advice. Their adventure to Scotland to meet a poet she admires- and gives a public "shout out" to in her latest book- quickly spirals out of control when he and everyone decide that they would make an excellent match. It was funny how the author portrayed him with his success but also revealed how his process worked. His brother is the epitome of a manly Highlander and Viola can't help but form an unlikely friendship with the unassuming man who has poetry in his soul.

A Rose by Any Other Name by Annette Lyon was different than the other stories in that there wasn't as much character development and the focus was more on the plot. The villain of Oliver's mother was the driving force behind the conflict and while I liked the interesting setting, the story fell flat for me when it became rather melodramatic. I think that other readers will still enjoy the story, but it wasn't my cup of tea, especially as a follow up to the first two stories. I would rate this one 3 stars.

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



Don't miss the other Timeless Victorian Collections . . .

https://amzn.to/3a0QO6Shttps://amzn.to/2Pp5aGc

https://amzn.to/2HXVWNmhttps://amzn.to/2uwsjzo











Thursday, February 13, 2020

Review: Romancing the Rake by Nichole Van



My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing

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

Synopsis

Lady Sophronia Sorrow considers herself an unlikely heroine. Why, just her name alone proves this. Sophronia Sorrow sounds like a girl from a gothic penny novel—the foolish miss who falls prey to a rake and becomes an object lesson for the true heroine to avoid. No, despite her mawkish name, Sophie refuses to spend her life invisible and unwanted, relegated to the margin of the text. Despite her eccentric, bluestocking ways, there must be a place where she is wanted. If only she could uncover the identity of her natural father, perhaps she would belong there?

But one thing Sophie knows for sure—unlike that foolhardy miss in a novel, she will not succumb to a rake. No matter how thoroughly the rakish Lord Rafe Gilbert may tempt her.

Lord Rafe Gilbert longs for freedom—freedom from his controlling father, freedom to live his life as he chooses. He knows playing the rake keeps his autocratic father in check, but Rafe longs to determine his own destiny. Case in point, he fell in love with Lady Sophie years ago, but his father’s threats and his mother’s health prevent him from pursuing Lady Sophie in earnest. So when Fate thrusts Sophie into his path, Rafe knows he must turn her away and distance himself. But doing the right thing has never been so impossibly difficult.

Sophie and Rafe soon find themselves on a journey together from London to a castle in the Scottish Highlands. Along the way, can two kindred souls heal from past hurts and seize a second chance to write a love story of their own?


My Review

I thoroughly enjoyed Sophie and her frank bluestocking mannerisms! Her scientific categorization of members of society and the way she studies and interprets their behavior was hilarious. She and Rafe have amazing chemistry, and he adores her eccentricities. The unfairness and injustice that keeps them apart is difficult to swallow, but important lessons are learned as they each passed through their own refiner's fire. Sophie especially had wisdom for Rafe that helped him finally overcome his anger and find inner peace. Their journey together was exciting as they came to know each other again, but this time at a much deeper level, and long-held family secrets are finally revealed. The sense of mystery and suspense propelled the plot forward and the way history wove their two families together was surprising. There is also an overarching mystery of the shipwreck in Rafe's past that connects all the books together. I'm loving this series and can't wait for more!

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



Don't miss the first book in the Brotherhood of the Black Tartan series . . .

https://amzn.to/2HoxTa2





Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Review: Suffering the Scot by Nichole Van


https://amzn.to/2Ld3KiE

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing

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

Synopsis

Lady Jane Everard cannot abide the new Earl of Hadley. The unmannered Scot is a menace to genteel ladies everywhere, what with his booming laugh and swishing kilt and endless supply of ‘ochs’ and ‘ayes.’ Jane wishes Lord Hadley would behave as an earl should and adhere to English rules of polite conduct.

Andrew Langston, the new Earl of Hadley, knows that the English aristocracy think poorly of his lowly Scottish upbringing. This is hardly new. History is littered with the English assuming the worst about Scotland. By living up to their lowest expectations, he is simply fulfilling his civic duty as a Scotsman.

Jane sees Andrew as an unmannered eejit. Andrew considers Jane to be a haughty English lady. But, as the saying goes, . . . opposites attract.

And what if beneath his boisterous behavior and her chilly reserve, Andrew and Jane are not nearly as different as they suppose? Can Scotland and England reach a harmonious union at last?


My Review

If a book can make me both laugh out loud and later shed a tear or two- it's automatically a 5 star read for me! This was such an enjoyable book to read. I loved how the characters and dynamics between them are complex. Jane especially had many layers that she had to break through as she is faced with the choice to be herself or live up to others' expectations. Andrew shows her that her true nature is not something to be squashed, but embraced. Their friendship develops naturally as they give each other a chance and discover their common ground. He and his friends took a great deal of pleasure in exposing his distant relatives to the full Scottish experience, and it was highly entertaining! The humor and romance is balanced by the darker thread that runs through the story- the tragic events of Andrew's past that ties him to his friends in a brotherhood, and the mystery of who was behind the disaster and why. So many great scenes and a romance that grows with a slow burn and then suddenly ignites with chemistry- highly recommend!

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


Saturday, December 22, 2018

Review: Seeing Miss Heartstone by Nichole Van


Heidi Reads... Seeing Miss Heartstone by Nichole Van

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it

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

Synopsis

Miss Belle Heartstone—heiress and savvy businesswoman—needs a husband. Immediately. As in, yesterday would not have been soon enough. Her mother’s attempts at matchmaking have been disastrous. So Belle decides to solve the problem her way—survey the market and purchase the best groom available.

Colin Radcliffe, Marquess of Blake—debt-ridden and penniless—needs a large infusion of cash. Desperately. Preferably cash that does not come with a wife attached. It is no surprise, then, when he receives Miss Heartstone’s brazen proposal—her cash, his title, their marriage—that he politely declines.

But before he leaves her, Blake suggests something truly radical: Maybe before finding a husband, Belle should find herself.
 

His simple words send them both on an unexpected journey, spanning continents and years, entwining their lives in ways neither could have foreseen. Can two lonely souls move past societal expectations and forge a unique life together?

Please note: The basic storyline of Seeing Miss Heartstone was originally published as a novella titled, An Invisible Heiress, in the Spring in Hyde Park anthology. This current novel is a greatly expanded version of that plot, adding over 200 pages of text and creating a more robust, well-developed story.


My Review

I enjoyed the characters in this Regency story because of how they sought to expand their horizons and were courageous enough to make changes to achieve their goals. Belle and Colin challenge each other in the best ways, complementing each others strengths and forming a strong business and friendship. I liked that they helped those less fortunate, especially veterans of the Napoleonic wars and their families. I felt bad for Colin that he was kept in the dark for so long, but understood why. There is plenty of angst as Belle and Colin both struggle with how to reveal/expose the secret identity of LHF. The storytelling is enhanced with letters between the two over the years, and I can't imagine waiting six months for replies! I liked the story when it was a novella, and even better as a novel with more themes explored and a deepening of the thoughts and emotions of Belle and Colin. A sweet romance with ups and downs between two people who are perfect for each other- if only they can manage to forgive and trust. 

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


Thursday, November 8, 2018

#TFBRC Best Title




Book Four in the Brothers Maledetti series

https://amzn.to/2qktY4S

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing

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

Synopsis

Tennyson D'Angelo . . .

Darkness lives within each of us. Shadows. We are each capable of great goodness and unbelievable evil. It is the duality of being human.
I want to live in the light. I don't enjoy the shadows. But I'm not sure I've been given a choice in the matter. The shadows own me. They dance at my edges and tangle in my light. They torment my days and make my nights an anguished hell.
I simply want to be free. One way . . . or another.


They call him the Prophet.
Tennyson D'Angelo, the man who can foretell the future. A modern-day oracle. And Olivia Hawking desperately needs his help. She tracks him down in Italy, begging for his assistance. She has a life-or-death problem that only a bonafide psychic can solve. But Tennyson is slowly fracturing from within, the weight of the D'Angelo curse destroying him. 

Olivia and Tennyson join forces, each searching for answers. But their understanding of the D'Angelo curse keeps changing, and Time is not on their side. Even as they fall in love, Tennyson and Olivia realize they are in a race against the clock. Will they find answers in time to save themselves?

My Review

WOW. I've been immensely curious about Tennyson's GUT (Grossly Unusual Talent) and how the author would write his perspective. I didn't anticipate Olivia and how she fits into the mysterious puzzle of this genetic curse the brothers share. She is an unusual character, feeling awkward and like she doesn't belong in the world of the "hot people." I loved her funny perspective and how she brings light and laughter to Tennyson's life, as well as some crackling chemistry. It was good to see more of Judith, the mother of the D'Angelo siblings, since I just read the prequel novella of how she met and fell in love with Cesare. The intensity of the paranormal activity is increasing as Tennyson and Olivia both feel closer to being consumed by the darkness, and the strong bond between Dante, Branwell, Chiara, Jack, and Tennyson is evident as they work together to solve the mystery and find a solution. I was so happy and excited and appreciative that all the questions get answered, piece by piece, and I was astounded at how it all dramatically resolved. Best. Ending. Ever.

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

Friday, September 14, 2018

#FallingIntoBooks #JumpingGenres



http://www.iamareader.com/2018/08/fall-into-books-reading-challenge-sign-ups.html




I'm not typically drawn to the paranormal genre, but I'm so glad that I gave Gladly Beyond by Nichole Van a chance, because her Brothers Maledetti series is extraordinarily amazing!!! Each couple is unique, yet tied together in ways that are revealed bit by bit (or chunk by chunk) with each book. It's an unforgettable series that makes you want to start over and read it again once you've finished it! Highly recommend!


Book One
Heidi Reads... Gladly Beyond by Nichole Van


http://www.amazon.comhttp://www.amazon.comhttp://www.barnesandnoble.comhttps://www.bookdepository.com/Gladly-Beyond-Nichole-Van/9780996893602http://www.goodreads.com

Synopsis

An ancient curse, fractured at the birth of three brothers.
Two strangers helplessly drawn to each other.
A love story two hundred years in the making.


Claire Raythorn arrives in Florence, Italy, shattered, alone, and anxious to rebuild her life--preferably one without men. But she soon finds herself hunted and haunted-- literally--when a mysterious stalker dressed like Mr. Darcy from BBC central casting appears in her photos. And only her photos. Who is this man? And what does his ghostly presence mean?

Dante D'Angelo simply wants to safeguard his brothers, despite the family curse that hounds his vision. But then Claire Raythorn walks into his life, untouched somehow by his curse. Soon, everything Dante thought he knew about himself starts to unravel, dragging Claire down with him.

Set against the lush backdrop of Florence, Italy--both past and present--Claire and Dante fight for a future together. But, first, they must uncover their shared past . . .

Book Two
Heidi Reads... Love's Shadow by Nichole Van


http://www.amazon.comhttp://www.amazon.comhttp://www.barnesandnoble.comhttps://www.bookdepository.com/Gladly-Beyond-Nichole-Van/9780996893602http://www.goodreads.com

Synopsis

Branwell D'Angelo . . .
Six years ago, I fell in love with Lucy--my brother's girlfriend. Stupid of me, I know, but sometimes the heart doesn't listen to reason.
Six years, I've lived on the sidelines. Seeing him love her, be with her, bask in her sunshine . . .
I watched her break his heart and then cleaned up the shattered pieces of him she left behind.
She's the one woman I can't have but still the only one my soul wants.
Now she's back in our lives and needs the unique help only us D'Angelos can give.
He's not emotionally strong enough to face her. So he's sending me instead . . .


For her part, when tragedy strikes Lucy Snow on a visit to Italy, she can't bring herself to call any of the D'Angelo brothers for help. There are consequences for falling in love with your ex-boyfriend's brother. But Lucy desperately needs Branwell's paranormal skills and his gift of Sight. And if seeing him will negate at least three years of therapy? Well, it's a price she is willing to pay.

Thrown together in a desperate bid to save an innocent life, Branwell and Lucy struggle against their shared past, only to realize that something even more dangerous is reaching through the weight of time to stalk their every move . . .

Book Three
Heidi Reads... Lightning Struck by Nichole Van


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

Synopsis

Chiara doesn’t like Jack. Jack doesn’t like Chiara.
The story should end there.
Except . . . maybe Chiara finds herself daydreaming far too often about Jack. And maybe Jack finds Chiara aggravating in an adorable sorta way.
Maybe Jack and Chiara find themselves falling in love.
The problem, of course, remains.
Jack is a ghost.
And Chiara is not.


Jack Knight-Snow has had a bad year for losing things. So far he has lost a ship full of ancient treasure, his family, his friends, his title, his lands and money, his fiancĂ©, the century into which he was born . . . oh, and his physical body. Worse, feisty Chiara D’Angelo might just finish the job and make him lose his mind.

For her part, Chiara simply wants to help Jack get his body back and move on with his life. She doesn’t want to like his snarky humor or his gorgeous eyes or the way he accepts her exactly as she is. She’s a hot mess when it comes to romantic relationships. Case in point . . . she’s developing feelings for a ghost.

But tackling the problem of Jack’s ghostliness is not straightforward. Soon, Jack and Chiara find themselves embroiled in a mystery which creates more questions about the D’Angelo brothers’ gifts of Second Sight. Set against the backdrop of Tuscany, Italy, Jack and Chiara race to uncover answers about the past before becoming history themselves. 

Prequel Novella 
(released between publication of books 3 and 4)
Heidi Reads... Lovers and Madmen by Nichole Van


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

Synopsis

Florence, Italy. Summer, 1982.

Judith Campbell prides herself on her level head. She’s a scientist with a ten-year plan, a well-managed bank account, and clear understanding of what she wants out of life. Currently, that means a summer of fun touring Europe with her friends. She intends to see some amazing scenery, flirt with a cute guy or two, and return home ready to settle down for good.
 
Falling madly in love with an Italian playboy is definitely not on her life goals to-do list.
But then her eyes meet those of Cesare D’Angelo across a crowded piazza.
 
Cesare is everything Judith never knew she wanted. Handsome and charismatic, he challenges her assumptions and forces her rethink her logical approach to everything. Case in point—Judith finds herself falling for him, hard and fast. Definitely not her most carefully thought-out decision.
 
But Cesare keeps devastating secrets that will challenge Judith’s very understanding of reality. And soon Judith finds herself facing the most difficult decision of all—
 
Would you still chose to love someone even if your time together would be brief? Would you accept a relationship, knowing that only heartbreak and grief awaited you in the end?

Lovers and Madmen is a prequel novella for the Brothers Maledetti series. Lose yourself in Judith and Cesare’s story and understand where it all began.

Book Four
https://amzn.to/2qktY4S


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

Synopsis

Tennyson D'Angelo . . .

Darkness lives within each of us. Shadows. We are each capable of great goodness and unbelievable evil. It is the duality of being human.
I want to live in the light. I don't enjoy the shadows. But I'm not sure I've been given a choice in the matter. The shadows own me. They dance at my edges and tangle in my light. They torment my days and make my nights an anguished hell.
I simply want to be free. One way . . . or another.


They call him the Prophet.
Tennyson D'Angelo, the man who can foretell the future. A modern-day oracle. And Olivia Hawking desperately needs his help. She tracks him down in Italy, begging for his assistance. She has a life-or-death problem that only a bonafide psychic can solve. But Tennyson is slowly fracturing from within, the weight of the D'Angelo curse destroying him. 

Olivia and Tennyson join forces, each searching for answers. But their understanding of the D'Angelo curse keeps changing, and Time is not on their side. Even as they fall in love, Tennyson and Olivia realize they are in a race against the clock. Will they find answers in time to save themselves?