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Review: A Passion Most Pure (Daughters of Boston #1) by Julie Lessman

Monday, December 15, 2014


Print Length: 481 pages
Publisher: Revell (January 1, 2008)

From Goodreads.com: She's found the love of her life.
Unfortunately, he loves her sister.
As World War I rages across the Atlantic in 1916, a smaller war is brewing in Boston. Faith O'Connor finds herself drawn to an Irish rogue who is anything but right for her. Collin McGuire is brash, cocky, and from the wrong side of the tracks, not to mention forbidden by her father. And then there's the small matter that he is secretly courting her younger sister. But when Collin's affections shift, it threatens to tear her proper Boston family apart.
Book 1 of the Daughters of Boston series, A Passion Most Pure will carry your heart from the sophisticated streets of Boston to the green hills of Ireland as men go off to war and women long for their return. Full of passion, romance, rivalry, and betrayal, it will captivate you from the first page.
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 My Rating: 2 stars out of 5

This was a free offering on Amazon that instantly drew my attention. The cover caught my eye, the synopsis grabbed my interest, and when I was hooked after the first page, I believed that I had found the makings of a 5 star novel.


Unfortunately that was diminished as I read on. 

What I did not know when I first began reading was that this novel is considered a "Christian" novel, and while those do not bother me (I have in fact read my fair share of 5 stars), this one came across much too hypocritical and, for lack of a better word, "bible thumping". To begin with Faith has harbored a secret affection for Collin for much of her life, so she is understandably upset when she finds him kissing her younger sister. The pair have words, and she allows him to kiss her. Then unintentionally rats her sister out to their parents getting her in trouble. The story moves on, Faith delves deeper into her faith, praying every day for the Lord to help heal her hurt from her affections for Collin. Then Collin becomes engaged to her sister, and she faints, giving away her feelings for him. 

Time goes on, Faith's parents send her on "errands" or "out with friends" hoping that time will heal her heart. And it seems to work... until Collin shows up at the house one night drunk, and Faith allows him to kiss her repeatedly, and passionately, until her sister catches them at it. 

That was a lot of the plot summed up right there. This sinful rogue being passed back and forth between two "Christian" sisters. One who uses her "feminine charms" to tempt him again and again, and the other who berates him for his "lust" and tries to turn him to God moments before (or sometimes after) allowing him to plunder her mouth and neck. This to me, does not set a good example for a Christian novel. 

Interwoven throughout the entire story are random bible passages, which instead of coming across as "comforting" or "teaching" for the characters, it seemed more a point for the reader, to turn someone's opinion on religion, or to entice them to read more Christian romances if this was their first. 

The characters were .... alright at best. Most were true to form and age appropriate (if not always what I would consider "godly"), however Charity is a vile little wench who deliberately sabotages Faith's happiness, and who is often downright mean to her sister above and beyond what one would consider "normal" for siblings. In fact, even if I had loved this novel, I would not want to read  the next novel in this series as it centers not only on Charity, but on her feelings for Mitch - the "considered too old for her sister" man that she met while the family was living in Ireland. 

Overall, I'm sure there are people who will thoroughly enjoy this novel, but I am not one of them. 


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 A Passion Most Pure (Daughters of Boston #1)  is available from Amazon.com

Review: Romancing the Jewel by Katherine Bone

Wednesday, December 10, 2014



Print Length: 164 pages
Publisher: esKape Press (September 22, 2014)

From Goodreads.com: Caroline Beugre is a small town girl who longs for her own upscale jewelry store. To fund her nest egg, she’s created a copy of an emerald necklace, hoping the gems will be her ticket to stardom. Little does she know her decision would lead her into the hands of an intensely powerful charismatic man determined to uncover the secrets of her past.

Italian prince Gian-Paolo Montovanni risks losing his throne if he doesn’t put an end to his playboy ways and produce a fiancée no later than his thirtieth birthday. The problem? His princess-to-be must be wearing the Montovanni emeralds, which haven’t been seen for twenty years. When he discovers an American is selling a copy of the necklace, he will do anything to find them.

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 My Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

I picked up this novel due to being a fan of Ms.Bone's other works. And while it was a quick and (mostly) enjoyable read - there was one aspect of this novel that really got under my skin and perhaps made me enjoy it less than I normally would have. This is the behavior of Gian-Paolo. What he calls "research" on the person that made the copy of his mother's necklace really borders on stalking. He knows her clothing size, where she shops, what she buys - the list goes on and on. He also had her luggage moved from her hotel room to his palace before he even lays eyes on her, and subsequently announces her as his intended to a room full of people before essentially kidnapping her. And instead of fighting for what her freedom, or at least standing up to the man who has taken her hostage, Carolina swoons whenever he touches her, and actually begins to enjoy herself even when he denies her time and again the right to go back to America. 

On the flip side of that, I enjoyed the fairy-tale romance that was a common American girl finding her way to becoming an Italian Princess. There was a definite chemistry between the two, and watching them realize that their "farce" had become something more was sweet. I was also drawn in by the mystery surrounding the original necklace, although I wish there had been more explained as far as the background story of Gian-Paolo's mother, and who exactly stole the jewels in the first place. 

All things considered however, I would recommend this novel to fans of a quick and unusual romance. 


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Romancing the Jewel is available from Amazon.com

Review: Time for a Duke by Ruth J. Hartman

Friday, December 5, 2014


Print Length: 118 pages
Publisher: Astraea (November 1, 2012)

From Goodreads.com: Izzy Hodgkin just wants an adventure. Who knew that involved being locked in a closet in 2012, then being transported to 1812 when the door is opened later? 

Charles Hamilton Douglas Wade, Duke of Bramblewood Green, thinks he will never find the right woman. When he opens his closet door one day, imagine his surprise to find a woman in there. And she’s from the future!

Will Izzy stick with her plan to return to 2012 America to achieve her goal of financial independence? Or will she and Charles find happiness in 1812?

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 My Rating: 4 stars out of 5
This one one of those quick reads that is not only a lot of fun, but will have you shaking your head and laughing out loud. At first, I wasn't sure if I would enjoy this novel or not, having attempted my own version of a "time travel" novel some time ago, however I was more than pleasantly surprised. 

The characters were fun and quirky, and I thought the fact that they could find enjoyment in each others company given the huge gap in time periods both unique and refreshing. I also loved how overprotective Charles was of Izzy when he took her to the ball. For a short novel, I thought the story was wonderfully executed, however I do wish there would have been an epilogue to see how the future turned out for them. I would definitely want to read more about this couple in the future, such as how did the ton react to news that Charles had in fact married an American woman? 

I would definitely recommend this novel. 

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Time for a Duke is available from Amazon.com

Review: The King Of Threadneedle Street (Rougemont #2) by Moriah Densely

Tuesday, December 2, 2014


Print Length: 309 pages
Publisher: EsKape Press (December 03, 2013)

From Goodreads.com: He owns three shipping companies, a diamond mine, and his own castle.
He knows Portuguese, Hindi, Mandarin and Morse code.
His assets net thirteen million.

Everyone thinks Andrew Tilmore, Lord Preston, the financial prodigy dubbed “The King of Threadneedle Street,” has it all, but he wants the one prize money can’t buy: his childhood sweetheart.

Alysia Villier can’t say if it’s worse having Andrew’s father in control of her inheritance or Andrew in control of her heart. He’s ruined her for any other man, but she simply can’t give in to him. She knows he’s destined for great things — marrying a courtesan’s daughter would jeopardize everything he stands for.

Keeping Alysia out of trouble and away from eager suitors becomes a cross-continental quest for Andrew, and he won’t be stopped by his old-fashioned family or the disapproval of the ton. After all, he’s a man with the power to play newspapers and investors like pawns, tumble world markets and incite riots… but can he win the biggest gamble of his life?


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 My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

I wanted to love this novel. In fact, I fully expected to love this novel as much as (or moreso than)  Book #1 in this series A Song for Sophia. However, where A Song for Sophia was gripping, diverse and well interesting.... this one fell flat. 

Please don't get me wrong, there were a lot of good things to be had in this story. To begin with, I thoroughly enjoyed catching up with several of the characters that I had first been introduced to (and come to love) in A Song for Sophia. I also found certain details of this story (that unfortunately I can't go into as they are definite spoilers), to be thoroughly unique as well as little details that kept me interested and added to the overall plot. I also admired the restraint these characters showed. Instead of giving in to their more carnal pleasures, they were both able to pull back and not engage in any marital "going ons" before they were actually married, and even then, there was no explicit detail given which will appeal to certain readers. 

On the other-side of that, this story had a lot of back and forth that didn't make sense, and some of the key plot details left me shaking my head as well. To begin with, Alysia has an unfortunate habit of "running away" from Andrew, and in one instance, almost got stuck with more than she bargained for (but thankfully our hero was able to find her in time and ride to her rescue). However, even once he had rescued her from one situation, she ended up leaving again. 

I was also a bit confused as to why they continued to push each other away. By all accounts, neither character cares overmuch for society and their rules and opinions, and neither of them would hurt for money should they marry regardless of what his parents or the ton should say. Even when some surprising details come to light, they would still choose to fight what is in front of them, and would rather suffer the bitter disappointment and broken heart than succumb to their hearts desire.  

It feels like this story could have been a lot shorter (and maybe had time for an epilogue where we find out if Alysia gets the son she had always dreamed of) had there not been so much back and forth constantly covering the same ground that had already been previously discussed. 

All of that being said, I will continue to read more works by this author. I saw what she is capable of with A  Song for Sophia, and I hope her next novel lives up to the high standard she set with that story.

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The King Of Threadneedle Street (Rougemont #2) is available from Amazon.com

Sneak Peek! Portrait of Passion by Lynne Barron

Friday, November 28, 2014


Title:  Portrait of Passion
Author:  Lynne Barron
Event organized byGoddessFish Promotions


Book Description:

What’s a Viscount to do when a mysterious lady with a secret past and a reputation frayed
around the edges suddenly appears in London in hot pursuit of his naive young cousin, setting the gossips’ tongues wagging, stirring his family into pandemonium, and driving him mad with her irreverent ways?

 If the Viscount in question is Simon Easton, the answer is quite simple. Seduce the beguiling lady. But Miss Beatrice Morgan isn’t your average tarnished lady. She’s lived a slapdash life wandering the globe like a gypsy, painting fantastical portraits of Duchesses as Sirens and landscapes featuring a crumbling old fountain, all the while harboring a secret desire to return to Idyllwild, the only home she’s ever known. 

What Simon does not know is that Beatrice just might be willing to sacrifice her honor, her virtue, her very heart to reclaim Idyllwild.




Book Excerpt: 
“Who is she?” asked Simon Carlisle, Viscount Easton.

“Isn’t she beautiful?” replied his cousin Henry Tinsdale, the Earl of Hastings.

She was beyond beautiful, Lord Easton thought as he watched her across the ballroom. She was mesmerizing. The willowy blonde had captured the attention of every person in the room as soon as she had entered on the arm of Viscount Moorehead only moments before. Simon heard whispers of conversation behind the fluttering fans of a group of ladies standing behind him. 

“A scarlet dress, can you imagine?”

“Not so surprising, surely? They say she’s an artist, of all things.” 

“Artist? Is that what they are calling them these days?” 

While the ladies of the ton whispered and stared, the gentlemen silently watched and circled about her, gradually closing the distance. From Simon’s vantage point some twenty paces away, the men appeared to be involved in a slow dance whose moves were carefully orchestrated to appear subtle. They were anything but. 

Moorehead had yet to introduce his beautiful companion to anyone in the ballroom. They simply stood off to the side of the cavernous room, framed by two potted ferns, as if waiting for the hordes to come to them.

With a gesture that clearly spoke of familiarity and affection, her escort placed his hand upon the small of her back and leaned in to whisper in her ear. She evidently found his remark amusing, for she tossed her head back and laughed. Even across the crowded room he Simon could hear the echo of that laughter, mellow and dark.

PURCHASE LINKS: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Ellora's Cave


GIVEAWAY! 
The author will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner during the tour.




About the Author: 
Write About What You Know.

Every Creative Writing Teacher and College Professor said these words to Lynne Barron in one form or another. But what did she know?

She knew she enjoyed the guilty pleasure of reading romance novels whenever she could find time between studying, working and raising her son as a single mother.

She knew quite a bit about women's lives in the Regency and Victorian era from years spent bouncing back and forth between European History and English Literature as a major in college. 

She knew precious little about romance except to know that it was more than the cliché card and a dozen red roses on Valentine's Day. 

Then she met her wonderfully romantic husband and finally she knew. 

Passion, Love and Romance.

And she began to write.

If you would like to learn more about Lynne Barron and the Idyllwild Series, please visit 

her website at LynneBarron.com or follow her at Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ LynneBarronRomanceAuthor




Review: The King by Tiffany Reisz

Tuesday, November 25, 2014



Print Length: 443
Publisher: Harlequin (November 25, 2014)

From Goodreads.com: Cunning. Sex. Pure nerve. Only this unholy threesome can raise him to his rightful place as a rule of Manhattan's king kingdom.

Bouncing from bed to bed on the Upper East Side, Kingsley Edge is brilliant, beautiful and utterly debauched. No carnal act of chemical compound can relieve his self-destructive heartache—only Søren, the one person he loves without limit or regret. A man he can never have, but in whose hands Kingsley is reborn to attain even greater heights of sin.

Kingsley's plan to open the ultimate BDSM club—a dungeon playground for New York's A-list—becomes his obsession. His expertise in domination can't subdue the one man who wants to stop him. The enigmatic Reverend Fuller won't rest until King's dream is destroyed, and so the battle lines are set; it's one man's sacred mission against another's…
 

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WARNING: This book is recommended for mature audiences ONLY due to language and explicit sexual content.

My Rating: 5 stars out of 5

My Review: Is there no end to the brilliance that is Tiffany Reisz? Once again she manages to take an erotic novel and seamlessly blend in just the right about of mystery and intrigue that the reader is sucked in immediately and held until the very last word. 

Out of all the characters in her novels, Kingsley is probably my third favorite (after Søren and Nor of course) so I loved the fact that this novel was his story. To see him rise up from the depths of his personal despair, to find something (his club) to be passionate about and focus his attentions on, was a sight to behold. When he was reunited with Søren for the first time in eleven years, I had a smile on my face so big, people kept asking me if I was ok. 

"That must be some book you're reading" was the popular comment. My answer? "Yes.. yes it is". 

As with all of her books in the series, getting his hearts desire does not come without a price, nor does it come without sacrifice. And for me, it was a defining moment for Kingsley and a great testament to his character when he was willing to make that sacrifice to put his "people" above his own goals and desires. 

I will say that some people may be disappointed because Nora does not make a lengthy appearance in this story. She is mentioned by Søren (specifically when he calls to ask Kingsley for his help in getting her out of jail), and Kingsley does catch a glimpse of her through a doorway, but if you're looking for some King/Nora interaction, and more of their back-story, unfortunately you will be disappointed. 

That being said, I enjoyed getting to know more about Sam, even when there were times that I didn't especially like her, and some of the other characters that we read about from time to time, but really know next to nothing about. The way that Ms. Reisz is able to take all of these different characters and personalities and weave them together so flawlessly never ceases to amaze me. 

Overall, I would definitely recommend this story to anyone who is already a fan of The Original Sinners, or someone who is a fan of erotica (although if you haven't read the entire series yet, I would definitely recommend doing so before starting this novel). 

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own. 

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Review: Compromising Miss Tisdale by Jessica Jefferson

Friday, November 21, 2014


Print Length: 222 pages
Publisher: Soul mate Publishing (November 5, 2013)

From Goodreads.com: Ambrosia Tisdale is the very picture of propriety and the epitome of what a respectable young lady should be. Haunted by a memory and compelled by her family, she pursues perfection to a fault.

The Earl of Bristol, Duncan Maddox, has returned to London after years of familial-imposed exile. As the second son, he has led a life filled with frivolity, leisure, and a healthy dose of debauchery. Now his older brother has died, leaving the family’s flailing legacy in Duncan’s unwilling arms.

At the behest of his uncle, Duncan is advised to do the one thing that could provide instant fortune and respectability—he must marry. But there is only one prospect who meets the unique requirements to solve all the Earl’s problems—the lovely Miss Ambrosia Tisdale. But securing the prudent daughter of a Viscount’s hand proves to be more challenging than this scandal-ridden second son of an Earl has bargained for.

With scandal, extortion, treachery, and even love itself threatening to keep him from his goal, will Duncan succeed or find himself compromised by Miss Tisdale?


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My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

My Review: I have so many mixed feelings about this novel. To begin with, I often found myself annoyed with the heroine, which is never a good thing. While I admire her "desire to remain proper at all times", I felt that her actions were inconsistent with who the author wanted her to be. Straightaway, we find her kissing Duncan in the library.. without evening knowing his name! Later on in the story, he finds her alone out in her own garden (during a party no less), and not only bares her breasts, but kisses them; once again leaving me shaking my head and wondering who this girl was and why, if she considered herself the epitome of "propriety", would she allow this to happen. 


The majority of this story is fairly slow going (and somewhat repetitive). Miss Tisdale gives Duncan the cold shoulder. Duncan gets a rise out of her, they find some sort of common ground, Duncan oversteps her "boundaries" (when they show up), and they find themselves at odds, only to repeat the process again. Being that this was a historical romance novel, I knew they would end up together in the end, I just wish there had been more detail about them actually falling in love, and less of them being at odds and suddenly discovering their love for each other. 

I found that although the last few chapters held some surprises, overall, it felt a bit rushed and thrown together. I wish there had been more depth to the events that took place, and more leading up to the "big reveal" (for lack of a better word). 


Compromising Miss Tisdale is available for purchase from Amazon.com

 

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