Fun Romance Romp

Disclaimer: I received this book free from the author in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed are my own.

Title: The Hidden Duchess

Author: Bree Verity

Celeste is about to be unjustly arrested for her husband’s murder. She needs a quiet place to hide out while her lawyers gets things sorted out. Marcel is her cousin. He has a little farm in the French countryside. It’s the perfect solution . . . If these two don’t kill each other first.

What a fun book! Like most romances, the question wasn’t whether these two would get together, but how. They had great chemistry. I have to say though I wasn’t so sure in the beginning. I liked Marcel right off, but Celeste was such a brat! So spoiled! But she gets better.

One caution – This book has some love scenes that were more explicit than I was comfortable with. If you like it steamy, you probably won’t mind, but I skipped ahead.

I’m recommending this one for fans of historical romance. Thanks for the chance to read it.

 

 

 

A Little Time Travel

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Galveston, Texas 1900

Title: September Sky

Author: John A. Heldt

Setting: Modern San Francisco and Galveston, Texas 1900

Disclaimer: I received this book free from the author in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed are my own.

If you had the chance to go back in time, would you do it? I know I would do it, as long as I could come back to the present day. Would I bring my kids? I mean, they’re adults, but still, I don’t know that I’m comfortable with them taking the same risks I would take myself.

Chuck Townsend and his son Justin get a chance to travel back in time to 1900. Both are at loose ends, looking for new experiences, and what could be more exciting than visiting the past? How about catching a murderer, falling in love, and getting caught in a hurricane? Sounds like this book would be really exciting.

But for some reason, I found it rather boring. There was so much dialogue about so many trivial things. Then the author skipped back and forth between POV so often than I never connected to any of the characters.

I want to end on a positive note, so I will say that I was impressed by the amount of research that the author did into the Galveston hurricane. It was truly a horrible catastrophe, and I think the author really captured what it must have been like.

Thanks for the chance to read this one. I know that the reviews have been pretty positive, so maybe I’ll try something else by this author later.

 

Cover Reveal – The Last Dragon Rider

The Last Dragon Rider

Summer is the perfect time for those sweet, special summer reads. Books about epic quests, about true love, about fighting for a noble cause and that perfect ending. Australian writer Errin Krystal has just such a book coming out next month, in time for the end of vacation reading before routine starts all over again this fall.

Book Description

Trained as an elite warrior from childhood, the elven crown prince Flintathriël fights to bring a stop to a war that began before he was born. With the aid of his betrothed Sairalindë, a skilled mage and dragon rider in her own right, they must find the Book of Souls – an ancient and mysterious tome rumored to have belonged to the god Hath’Raal.

When the missing book turns up in the hands of Mnuvae, the bastard child of the dead king, Flintathriël finds himself fighting to not only save his people from this new threat but also trying to keep Sairalindë safe when Mnuvae takes over the dragons in her attempt to win back the kingdom she believes is rightfully hers.

The love Flintathriël and Sairalindë share shines pure and true, but when the smoke of the battle clears, will their hearts survive the aftermath of war or will their love become a casualty that cannot be revived?

If this book sounds like something you’d be interested in, the book will be available August 9th! And you can find out more about the story, the characters, and see some additional artworth here:

Website: http://errinkrystal.weebly.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ErrinKrystal/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ErrinKrystal

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/errin.krystal.bookishwriter/?hl=en

Finally, what you’re waiting for, here’s a look at that amazing cover!

TheLastDragonRider Cover

More about the author!

Errin Krystal is a fantasy romance writer who has been writing since she was a small child. Her head has always been full of stories. She began work on her first novel when she was sixteen.

She lives with her family in regional Victoria, Australia, and works as a chef. In her quieter moments, she loves to indulge her passion for storytelling, basking in the joy that comes from creating vibrant characters, fantastical worlds and all manner of magical creatures. Dragons and elves, mages and warriors, troubled princes and beautiful princesses, romance, magic, and adventure can all be found in her writing.

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Reads & Reels Book Tours

This whole cover reveal tour was organized by R&R Book Tours. If you’d like to be in on the next event, contact Shenanigan here. This is my first time hosting one, and I’m sure I will do better next time, but it’s fun to be part of the event!

Review: A Lady in the Smoke

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Review: A Lady in the Smoke

Author: Karen Odden

Format: audiobook

Setting: 1874 England

Themes: love, family, medicine, addiction, revenge, politics, law

Lady Elizabeth Fraser and her mother are returning home after a miserable London Season only to be involved in a train wreck. Elizabeth has a minor concussion and her mother’s ankle is sprained, but she can’t manage anything without Elizabeth’s help. Only handsome Dr. Wilcox is able to provide the care her mother needs. Elizabeth is drawn to the young man, but such a match would never be permitted by Society. Elizabeth knows this, but her heart refuses to listen. She’s drawn into Dr. Wilcox’s life, his crusade for safer railway conditions, and the bitter struggle against his powerful enemies.

I found this one while browsing the titles my library had available for online audiobooks, and I have to say I was hooked. I love a good historical mystery and this one was very promising. Victorian setting, star-crossed lovers, class struggles, and a new author, it was lots of fun. Definitely recommended.

 

Review: Puss Without Boots

Title: Puss Without Boots, Fairy Tale Kingdoms #1

Author: Shari L. Tapscott

Genre: fairy tale romance

Themes: true love, magic, work, trust

Suzette, also called Etta, is the youngest child of the miller. Now that her aunt has passed, she left the mill to the oldest child, the donkey to the middle child, and Suzette – well, she gets the cat and some money – to buy boots for the cat. Suzette is less than thrilled. She uses the money to buy herself some boots.

But a few weeks later when Etta takes her first day off, she discovers that this is no ordinary cat. Puss can talk. He doesn’t mind about the boots, but he had definite plans for Etta. Plans that involve teaching her to hunt and stop spending time with the new chocolatier, Beau.

I really liked this book. After a string of books that I was only lukewarm about, this one won me over with it’s charming story and characters. Etta is such a refreshing change from so many stupid characters! And Beau, I mean come on, he has a chocolate shop! Plus their relationship developed slowly enough that I really cared about them as a couple.

This was a very quick read. I’m definitely recommending this one if you like clean fairy tale romance, and I’m pleased to see that she has several other books out. The next one is about Rapunzel.

Review: Midnight Pearls

Title: Midnight Pearls: A Retelling of the Little Mermaid (Once Upon a Time #4)

Author: Debbie Vigiue

Genre: fairy tale, YA romance

reprinted review

I am a big fan of the retold fairy tale, so I was happy to find this series of familiar tales and fables rewritten for teens. I just finished this one yesterday, and I enjoyed it. Finneas is out fishing one night when a terrible storm blows up. Just when he is ready to give up and surrender to the sea, he spots a child floating in the ocean. He rescues the girl and together with his wife, they raise the girl as their own. They name her Pearl. It’s a promising beginning, and I did enjoy the book. It’s not really anything unique, pretty much a classic tale. All the regulars from the original story are there – the handsome prince, the Sea Witch – but there are a few twists. I read it in a day, a quick fun story.

If you like this genre, I can recommend some titles from the ‘Once Upon a Time’ series. Overall, the writing is uneven. Some of the stories are really well done. My favorites are The Storyteller’s Daughter (1001 Nights), Sunshine and Shadow (The Magic Flute), and Golden (Rapunzel). Before Midnight, based on Cinderella, is my very favorite. But there are a few I just couldn’t read, one based on Little Red Riding Hood that has her falling in love with the wolf, and some one I can’t remember set in France during World War I. I got this one at the library.

 

Cover – 1, Story – 0

Emerson sees ghosts. Or something. That would be enough for any average teen to freak out a bit, but she’s also dealing with the death of both parents in a car accident. She’s been away at boarding school, but her scholarship funding ran out and now she’s back home, facing her demons. Not literal demons, unfortunately; that would have been cool. Her brother keeps trying to fix her, get rid of her visions. Medication helped, but she quit taking it. So now he’s called in the latest expert, a guy named Michael who works for a clinic or something called The Hourglass.

Michael is a hottie. And he sees the ghosts too. Turns out they’re not ghosts, they are shadows from the past. I can’t tell you much more without spoiling the plot, but let me say it becomes a lot like X-Men, but not as good. There was a love triangle like Twilight. Apparently that’s required for teen fiction now. And the whole series ends with a lot of unanswered questions, stuff about what the bad guy is really after, and something about saving the world, and something about it reminded me of Harry Potter.

I guess that was part of my trouble. It just struck me as derivative. I also didn’t like Michael, the love interest, at all. He seemed too secretive and too perfect otherwise. Every girl who sees him, and I’m not exaggerating, immediately starts drooling. I guess he’s so hot Emerson didn’t stop to think about the way he treats her like a kid and won’t tell her anything. Hm, it really DOES sound like Twilight.

Like I said, it’s the first book in a planned series, but I won’t be reading more. I wouldn’t have picked up this one either, except it’s for  book club, so I needed to read it. Looks like two duds in a row for book club. This one is not recommended. I hesitated between 2.5 stars and 3, so I split the difference and have it 2.75.

*This is an encore review, repeated here for new readers.*

The Princess Companion

Title: The Princess Companion: A Retelling of the Princess and the Pea, the Four Kingdoms #1

Author: Melanie Cellier

Setting: The Four Kingdoms, Not sure about when*

Theme: TRUE LOVE! Duh! What else? Oh, and true worth, the importance of trust and honesty, and other fairy tale stuff. But mostly true love.

Alyssa was looking for work, but she hadn’t planned on working for the Royal Family of Arcadia. Still, a job’s a job. And that hot prince is pretty nice boss.

So, what do you need to know about this book? It’s a fairy tale, with lots of fairy tale stuff – a woodcutter’s daughter, a handsome prince, his twin younger sisters, evil bad guys, and true love conquering all. The writing was good and I really enjoyed it. I would rate it as pretty solid, but not outstanding. Still, I would be happy to read the next one in the series, a twist on Red Riding Hood. And the cover is pretty cute.

*About the setting – I’m not sure when this is set. The bad guys were armed with guns, but that was the only clue. I’m guessing (and this is only a guess) somewhere around the late 18th century. But that could be way off.

This one is recommended, and it’s also clean enough for any reader.

Book Review: Sleeping Beauty

Title: Sleeping Beauty, Timeless Fairy Tales #8

Author: K M Shea

Genre: clean Fairy Tale romance

Themes: Duty vs Desire, Nature Vs Nurture, True Love

I just can’t get enough of this series! In the latest one, featuring Briar Rose or Princess Rosalinda, we get a strong, clever, brave heroine who it’s easy to root for.

It starts pretty much like the traditional story. The royal family has a new baby girl but an unexpected guest decides to throw a death curse into the mix to liven up the party. But Shea likes to weave all these fairy tales together into the story of a land that has been cursed so that everything that can go wrong, does go wrong. This one was great because not only did we get a wonderful main character, but we got to learn more about Angelique, the “enchantress in training” who’s been on hand to save the day numerous times.

I’m hoping to cajole K M Shea into doing an interview or guest appearance on my blog, so if you haven’t checked out her books, do it now and if you get a chance tell her Speedy Reader sent you. Crossing my fingers!