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A Courtship for Cecilia by Ruth J. Hartman

Tuesday, October 28, 2014




Print Length
Publisher: EsKape Press (October 28, 2014)

From Goodreads.com: Cecilia Fletcher longs for true love with the man of her heart. A life of her own, away from her demanding mother would be an added benefit. But in order to do that, Cecilia must live a lie, making it necessary to use a false name in order to hide a family secret.

Barrington Radcliff has been betrayed by a woman who he thought loved him, having his heart broken in the process. Because of that, trust is hard to willingly give. When he meets pretty Cecilia Fleming, his heart longs to give her a chance. Something about her doesn’t ring true, but Barrington allows love to overrule his good judgment.

Can Cecilia and Barrington get past their hurt and secrets long enough to find true love?



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 My Rating: 5 stars out of 5

My Review: 
Oh my! This was another wonderful story from the mind of Ms.Hartman! There were so many times that I found myself aggravated (in a good way.. trust me it was in the characters best interest for the reader to side with them), sighing happily, biting my nails and (maybe best of all) laughing out loud. 

While I loved Cecilia and Barrington (secrets,  flaws and all), I have to admit that my favorite character of all was Barrington's Uncle Percy. He seemed to have a knack for getting to the "heart of the matter", even if his methods were a bit... unconventional. He added just the right amount of "spice" to the novel to keep the reader not only laughing, but glued to the pages just to see what happened next.

While speaking of the characters, I have to say that I thoroughly detested Cecilia's mother, as well as her would be suitor Horace (both for different reasons, although I have to admit that my hatred of them only added to the overall story). I cannot fathom the reasons behind their actions; even though her Mother tries to explain her reasoning, it still makes little sense that she wouldn't want something better for her own child. 

I also thoroughly enjoyed the way that Cecilia and Barrington interacted, not only with each other, but with their peers as well. Cecilia had a backbone that couldn't be ignored, and while still recovering from the betrayal of another, Barrington possessed a certain jealousy and possessiveness when it came to Cecilia that was not over-bearing, but rather endearingly sweet. 

This book appeals to those who enjoy a good, clean (and cute) regency romance. 

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. 


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: Killer Ambition (Rachel Knight #3) by Marcia Clark

Thursday, October 23, 2014


Print Length: 452 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (June 18, 2013)

From Goodreads.com: When the daughter of a billionaire Hollywood director is found murdered after what appears to be a kidnapping gone wrong, Los Angeles Special Trials prosecutor Rachel Knight and Detective Bailey Keller find themselves at the epicenter of a combustible and high-profile court case. Then a prime suspect is revealed to be one of Hollywood's most popular and powerful talent managers--and best friend to the victim's father. With the director vouching for the manager's innocence, the Hollywood media machine commences an all-out war designed to discredit both Rachel and her case. 

KILLER AMBITION is at once a thrilling ride through the darker side of Tinseltown and a stunning courtroom drama with the brilliant insider's perspective that Marcia Clark is uniquely qualified to give.


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My Rating: 4 stars out of 5

My Review: After reading the first two novels in her Rachel Knight series Guilt by Association & Guilt by Degrees, I was reluctant to continue reading anymore novels in this series. In the past, I have found there was too much attention paid to what the characters were drinking (and wearing), and not enough detail paid to the real "meat" of the story. However, I committed myself to reading four of the novels by this author, and I will finish them. 



That being said, Killer Ambition was (thankfully) completely different from the previous two novels in this series. Yes, the main characters still drank and occasionally spoke about what they were wearing, but it wasn't this constant run down of every little detail of their lives that had been consistent with the other two novels.  

Although part of a series of novels, this could be read as a stand alone without revealing any spoilers from the previous two books. There was less emphasis on the relationships of the characters (which after the first two novels I found refreshing), and more emphasis on the actual crime, the trial, and the good, bad and ugly that comes with taking a case to trial. There were also new characters introduced on the courtroom side of things, which not only kept the story-line interesting, also made for a handy "villain". Not in the actual sense of they did something wrong, but more in the sense of they said and/or did something that made them easy to dislike. 

Speaking of the characters, as in the two previous novels, they are well developed, and different in their own ways. I love the diversity in the main characters, and her "outside" characters (ie. the victims, the witnesses, etc) are also more developed than I would expect from an author who is only going to be using them to tell one particular story (although I sincerely hope this is not the last we see of Declan, as I loved him)! 

This is one of those novels that will appeal to many readers. Whether you like thrillers, or crime dramas, or even a good courtroom drama, this novel has something for everyone! 


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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Killer Ambition (Rachel Knight #3) is available from Amazon.com

Review: West Winds of Wyoming (Prairie Hearts #3) by Caroline Fyffe

Sunday, October 19, 2014



Print Length: 320 pages
Publisher: Montlake Romance (September 30, 2014)

From Goodreads.com: In Book Three of the Prairie Hearts series by USA Today bestselling author Caroline Fyffe, two broken hearts just might find a second chance at love.

When widower Charlie Rose shows up looking for work at the struggling Cotton Ranch, no one knows he’s secretly trying to outrun trouble—and he intends to keep it that way. He wants to start over fresh in the small town of Logan Meadows, where his blind daughter can grow up safe…and where danger can’t find him.

Feisty and independent, Nell Page is determined to protect the Cotton Ranch, despite threats from the bank…and the mysterious stranger lurking on the ranch’s borders. In spite of her better judgment, Nell instantly feels drawn to handsome, dependable Charlie. The more they ride together through the beautiful Wyoming mountains and plains, the more their feelings grow into a love that could be strong enough to last forever. But will Charlie’s past catch up with him and dash their hopes for a future together?



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 My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

My Review: To begin with, although this is considered book #3 in the Prairie Hearts series, it can be read as a stand alone novel. There are characters from the first three novels included in this story, however, you don't need to know their back-stories in order for this one to make sense. 


That being said, I have not (yet) read the other stories in this series. And based on my feelings of this particular novel, I'm not sure if I will or not. 

I did enjoy several aspects of this novel. I enjoyed the "non-romantic" aspects; such as the rustling of the wild horses, and the interaction with the rest of the townsfolk. I also thought that the "romantic" aspects were very true to the characters. There was an appropriate amount of hesitation, jealousy, and OMG SO ROMANTIC moments that it kept my attention.

However... I felt the overall story was slow moving. There was deceit, mystery, romance.. all the  things that make a good story. Unfortunately, they were so few and far between that it kept me from declaring this story one of my favorites. The final conflict (the one that kept Charlie from revealing his true name and story) felt so rushed and added that it was anti-climatic instead of adding to the plot. 


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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West Winds of Wyoming (Prairie Hearts #3) is available from Amazon.com

Review: Pillow Talk by Ruth J. Hartman

Thursday, October 16, 2014




Print Length
Publisher: Turquoise Morning Press (September 4, 2014)

From Goodreads.com: What happens when a tooth fairy falls in love with her dentist? 
The dental community may never be the same. 
*** 
Trixie Trident has a secret. Everyone knows she creates one-of-a-kind jewelry during the day. It’s what she does on her night job no one would ever guess. 


She’s a tooth fairy. Not the tooth fairy, just one of many. It would take her whole life just to combat the many misconceptions people have about TFs. Like how nobody wears tutus or uses a wand. Or stands three inches high. Nope, Trixie looks just like any other woman in her mid-twenties. And she’d tell people all of that stuff. If she was allowed to. But she’d sworn a sacred tooth fairy oath that she’d never tell a soul. And she hadn’t. Except for her best friend, who would never breathe a word to anyone. 

Gray Keebler meets Trixie when she comes to his dental office as a new patient. He’s had lots of single women patients before, but not one has ever sparked his interest like Trixie. What is it about her that’s so unique? He can’t quite figure it out but he’s determined to try, even when she turns him down for a second date. Trixie is attracted to Gray like she’s never been to any man before. He’s what she always dreamed of in a man. And they even have the subject of teeth in common. But a relationship with the gorgeous dentist can never be. How could it when she’s a tooth fairy? Not only can’t she tell him, but he’d never believe her anyway



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 My Rating: 4 stars out of 5

My Review: At first, I was a little... worried about reading a novel where the main character was a tooth fairy, but all in all this was a cute romance, filled with a lot of "laugh out loud" moments. 


I think Ms.Hartman did a wonderful job of taking a fairy tale, and turning into something that felt real. The chemistry between Gray and Trixie was undeniable, even though she tried to push him away, and despite being a "tooth fairy" and a "dentist", and all the reasons I thought I wouldn't like this novel, their romance really worked for me.  I was immediately swept up, and could not put it down until the last page when everything was laid out on the table, and the surprises were announced. 

I would definitely recommend this to anyone who is a fan of a fun, clean romance! 

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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Pillow Talk is available from Amazon.com

Review: Once Upon a Christmas Kiss (Wicked Widows #3.5) by Manda Collins

Wednesday, October 15, 2014



Print Length:139 pages 
Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks (October 14, 2014)

From Goodreads.com: When Sir Lucien Blakemore arrives at his cousin’s estate for a week long Christmas party, he’s shocked to see Miss Winifred Nightingale among the other guests. Employed by his neighbor back in Yorkshire, the governess with the lovely eyes has always seemed off limits, but she’s visiting here as a guest—and there’s nothing like a little mistletoe to make the spirits bright…

Miss Winifred Nightingale never dreamed a holiday visit with her sister would lead to both ladies spending Christmas as the local lord’s guests. But the big surprise is when she finds the handsome Sir Lucien Blakemore staying there too. Their attraction between is undeniable, but will an old nemesis and a party guest bent on mischief make their first kiss under the mistletoe their last?
                                                 
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 My Rating: 4 stars out of 5

My Review: 
This is one of those stories that when I requested it, I wasn't aware that it was part of an on-going series. However, even with that, this novella was written in such a way that it could be considered a "stand alone" story. I was not confused about the relationship between the characters, nor did I feel like I was "missing something" that would have been gained by reading the other novels. Based on this story alone, I would read more by this author. 

I enjoyed everything about this novella. From the romance between two people who were so very different (according to the class standards of the time), to the mystery surrounding who was behind all the evil things done to Miss Winifred... this book kept me reading and wanting to see what happened.

I must admit that I was both surprised at the identity of who was behind all of the things that had befallen Miss Winifred since her arrival, but I was also left hoping there is (or will be) a story centered around her sister and how things turned out for her. 

Overall, this is definitely a novel that will get you in the "Christmas Spirit", and one that I would definitely recommend for those looking for a quick & sweet Regency Novella.   

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novella 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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Once Upon a Christmas Kiss (Wicked Widows #3.5) is available from Amazon.com

Review: The Seduction of Emily by Rachel Brimble

Monday, October 13, 2014





Print Length:226 pages 
Publisher: eKensington (April 4, 2013)

From Goodreads.com: Seduction is a wicked game, and no one plays it better than the devilish Will Samson in Rachel Brimble's captivating new novel...

Since girlhood, Emily Darson has accepted that she will marry Nicholas, the son of her father's trusted business partner. The marriage contract safeguards her family legacy, Emily's fortune, and everything she values--except her independence. Only when a sinfully handsome scoundrel enters her life does Emily realize quite how much a loveless match will cost her.

Will Samson has advanced from expert pickpocket to confidence trickster of the highest caliber. Now he has come to Bath to exact vengeance on the man who destroyed his mother--the man Emily will soon marry. But from his first glimpse of the enemy's bewitching, spirited fiancée, Will's plan changes.

Amid the ballrooms and salons of elegant society, heated glances explode into scandalous kisses. Revenge is sweet, but surrender will be irresistible...
                                                 
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 My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

My Review: 
Let me begin by saying that I was originally drawn to the cover of this novel. So when you first meet the heroine and she does not have the same hair color as the cover model, I should have known the rest of the story would be just as disappointing. 

There was really nothing likable about the characters. Nicholas was a violent man who enjoyed the company of prostitutes almost as much as he enjoyed beating them. He constantly puts down Emily, and even at times, lets her get glimpses of the monster within. And although Emily cannot stand the man, she will not "cry off" or refuse to marry him because then he will get 100% of the business her father and his built (as well as all of her money). The worst part? She doesn't care about losing the business and money for herself so much as she worries losing it for the sake of her future children. That's right, she's more worried about money and social status for children she does not even have instead of being worried about their well-being being sired by and raised by an abuser. 

Also, I found it highly unlikely, given the time period this novel was supposedly set in, that Emily would through everything away on one night of passion with Will. Did she not realize that had she married Nicholas and he learned she wasn't a virgin, that he could have the marriage annulled and she would lose everything - including her reputation? What would she have done had she become with child? With Will's child? Surely Nicholas would be able to count the dates and realize she was trying to pass another man's child off as his - and then what would he have done? 

The ending did tie the whole thing together nicely, and even left it open for the potential for a sequel, although if there is one, I won't be reading it. 



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The Seduction of Emily is available from Amazon.com

Review: Hearts Awakening by Delia Parr

Tuesday, October 7, 2014





Print Length: 354 pages 
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (March 1, 2010)

From Goodreads.com: With no means to support herself, Ellie Kilmer agrees to work as a housekeeper for the young widower who lives on Dillon Island, hopeful she can obtain a proper reference. But Jackson Smith quickly realizes that Ellie's presence may solve his own problems--both the rearing of his young boys and the scandal that surrounds his first marriage. 

When a marriage of convenience is offered, Ellie is initially humiliated. Though she is past the age most women marry, she has more pride than to agree to his outlandish suggestion. Yet what options does she have? To marry would mean a home and stability. So despite the rumors circling Jackson and his first wife, Ellie accepts this unlikely proposal...


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 My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

My Review: I originally found this novel for free under the Historical Romance section, so was very surprised to learn that not only is it a "historical romance", but it is also a "Christian romance" as well. While that in itself doesn't bother me, there were enough "other issues" that caused me to give it a 3 star rating. 


First, lets focus on the positive aspects of this novel. The characters were very well written. Ellie was strong willed, and forced to choose between accepting this unconventional proposal, or being stuck with her cousin and his wife (who made it no secret that they did not like having her around). Jackson was a tortured soul who had not only lost his first wife in a scandal, but whose faith was also severely lacking (not to mention his heart belonged to another woman entirely). His sons were even well thought out and dealing with the loss of their mother in their own ways. The oldest Daniel, reminded Ellie at every turn of her short comings ("Mama never did this"), while the youngest Ethan, had not spoken a single word to anyone since his Mother's death. I thoroughly enjoyed the characters and their plights. 

Now on to the negative aspects. Even though Jackson was dealing with many things (as stated above), I found him to be a real jerk. He constantly jumped to conclusions with Ellie, even going so far as to throw coins at her feet and order her out of his home for "disobeying" him, even though he didn't know the dire circumstances that lead her to react the way that she did.   

Also, it seemed as though their relationship was too "rushed" at the end. Perhaps it was just me, but when there was little to no real "romantic" moments or "tender feelings" through 90% of the book (especially when Jackson himself refers to Ellie as plain, and does nothing to dispel the rumors that he married her because she wasn't the type to attract a man's affections), when the ending finally happened, I felt like I was missing something important. I feel there should have been more of these moments leading up to the ending, especially since the arrival of another key player could have lead to some tense and interesting moments above what was written. 


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Hearts Awakening is available (for free at the time of posting) from Amazon.com
 

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