Month: April 2014

Review: Half Moon Harbor by Donna Kauffman

Available April 29: Half Moon Harbor (The Bachelors of Blueberry Cove)

***3.5/5 starsDonna Kauffman

It’s time to step away from real life … and drop into Blueberry Cove, where you’ll meet two people starting their American dream.

Recommended readers:

  • If you dream of starting a life in a cozy coastal town
  • If you like Debbie Macomber

Here’s my Rankings:

  • 3.5/5 for characters
  • 3.5/5 for plot
  • 3.5/5 overall

REVIEW FROM BOOKS FOR HER:

The cover paints a beautiful picture of a gorgeous, small East Coast town – and that is my favorite part of the book!  In the third book in The Bachelors of Blueberry Cove series, Irish shipbuilder Brodie Monaghan is trying to save his family’s shipbuilding heritage when Grace Maddox buys one of his docks.

I love the setting – the small coastal town where everyone knows everyone. I love the importance of the heritage and the dreams that Grace and Brodie are trying to achieve. It’s a dream we’ve all had – to start our own business or leave a good-paying job to open an inn. I often daydreamed while reading this book … thinking of that sleepy coastal town. Even though I wanted a few more dramatic plot twists, I found this to be a nice, relaxing read.

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Romance review: Secrets of Seduction

On sale May, 2014, Secrets of Seduction (Legendary Lovers)

***** 3.5/5 starsNJordan-SecretsofSeduction

Secrets of Seduction had the makings of a great romance and was an enjoyable read. My main concern: I wish it was longer; I wanted a few of the plot lines to play out more. A recommended read for any romance lover!

Here’s my rankings:

3.75/5 stars for hero/character
3.0/5 stars for plot
3.5/5 stars for overall

Recommended readers:

  • all romance lovers, especially historical- who like less dramatic and believable characters

REVIEW FROM BOOKS FOR HER

Secrets of Seduction by Nicole Jordan tells of the story of the emotionally and physically scarred Earl of Hawkhurst and a persistent and comfortable Lady Skye.  Part of the Legendary Lovers series, Jordan sets the tale in the Earl’s run-down and emotionally haunted castle, where Lady Skye has planted herself on his doorstep. While I wanted more build-up to this moment on how Lady Skye could have fallen so hard for this man, the book immediately pulls the reader into an intense moment, followed by a series of events that have a great flow and rhythm.  Despite Hawk’s reservations, he finds himself falling but is forced to put his duty first. Hawk chooses duty and I desperately wanted the plot to continue on this path for longer, teasing the reader.

I was happily surprised that the book was not an exact copy of Beauty and the Beast. The publisher synopsis scared me with those words – but the plot had a believable tweak to the classic tale that fit well into a historical romance. Lady Skye was a believable character, with maybe a little too much patience for a typical heroine, and the Earl of Hawkhurst certainly earns the reader’s respect and concern.

In Secrets of Seduction I met a variety of characters, and I’m looking forward to reading the next Legendary Lovers novel too!

On sale April 29.  Order:

Romance Review: Twice a Fool

Available now: Fool Me Twice

****4.5/5 starsMeredith Duran Fool Me Twice

Mystery, romance, splendid characters: Meredith Duran delivered with Fool Me Twice, and I’m ready to be fooled thrice!

Recommended readers:

  • If you love a strong, independent heroine
  • If you love mystery tied into your romance

Here’s my Rankings:

  • 4.25/5 for characters
  • 4.5/5 for plot
  • 4.5/5 overall

REVIEW FROM BOOKS FOR HER:

From the moment I glanced at the cover all the way to page 385, I was enthralled! The cover art was so vibrant and non-traditional historical romance; I was excited to see what was inside.

Olivia was a delightful character from the beginning, when she was fighting for her freedom, trying to uncover secrets to set her free … and the only way for this independent heroine to find freedom is by becoming an employee of the reclusive, dangerous Duke of Marwick. Unlike so many romance novels that lean too heavily on the romance, Meredith Duran develops mystery and action into the romantic plot line.

I’ve found a new top 10 historical romance author!

PS – Did I mention I LOVE the cover.  Orange – who would have thought?

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You might be a book addict if

Hiding. Lying. Rule-breaking.  We do it all to enjoy a book!  Here’s a start to our ‘You might be a book addict’ list:

You might be a book addict if ... your collection looks like this. Photo: New Yorker: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/books/2011/03/book-hoarding-bibliomania.html

You might be a book addict if … your collection looks like this. Photo: New Yorker.

  1. You want your family to disappear …. for the rest of the day/weekend/month.
  2. You sit on the toilet longer than needed to get some alone time with your book.
  3. You’re still in bed and PJs at 1 p.m.
  4. You put the kids to bed early to get your book started.
  5. Your husband won’t go into a bookstore with you.
  6. You have a set of rules before entering a bookstore.
  7. Your only reason for joining Twitter is to follow authors.
  8. You have a backlog of 10+ books to read.
  9. You start a book/reading blog.
  10. You have more books than friends.

Comment and let us know your book addiction confessions. We’ll add our favorites to the list.

Fiction Review: Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter

For sale now: Beautiful Ruins: A Novel

****4/5 starsJess Walter - Beautiful Ruins

On a remote stretch of Italian coastline in 1962, a beautiful dreamer and a beautiful actress meet by accident, and become the center of a story weaving around an interconnected series of  characters looking for a path to redemption– both toward and away from what they might deserve.

Recommended readers:

  • If you like a little bit of real historical figures thrown in with fictional characters…
  • If you suspect life is a journey and the answers may not come in the beginning…
  • If you have a penchant for old Hollywood, this book is for you.

Here’s my Rankings:

  • 4/5 for characters
  • 4/5 for plot
  • 4/5 overall

REVIEW FROM BOOKS FOR HER:

I picked this up because at first glance it looked like a good girly summer read, but it is much more. I love when an author effectively warps the story’s chronology in order to reveal just what they want to reveal, and Walters does it beautifully in this novel.  There are so many different characters involved, with just a little something for everybody: romance, redemption, tragedy, humor, and more.

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Fiction Review: Gods in Alabama by Joshilyn Jackson

On sale now, Gods in Alabama

*****4/5 stars

gods in alabama

Gods in Alabama grabs you from the beginning with a great hook, quirky characters, and a few surprises along the way. It’s just plain good fun, but then it delves deeper into truth, race, and redemption.

Here’s my rankings:

4/5 stars for character
4/5 stars for plot
4/5 stars for overall

Recommended readers:

  • For readers of Southern Lit…
  • For readers who have not yet discovered Southern Lit…
  • For anyone who has a female-dominated family to the point of hilarity…
  • For anyone who knows what it’s like to try to escape your history…
  • For anyone who has to both love and hate the South… this book is for you.

REVIEW FROM BOOKS FOR HER:

Arlene Fleet has a brand new life and a secret or two that’s kept her out of South for years—until one chases her all the way to Chicago to drag her back to face her past. Gods in Alabama grabs you from the beginning with a great hook, quirky characters, and few surprises along the way. It’s just plain good fun, but then it delves deeper into truth, race, and redemption.

Romance review: Just a Kiss

On sale April 28, 2014, $.99Romance Novella

*****4/5 stars

Just a Kiss grabbed me from the beginning with its Cinderella-style plot. Well-written but short, this novella captivates with amazing characters. I want to see more from this author!

Here’s my rankings:

4.0/5 stars for hero/character
4.0/5 stars for plot
4.0/5 stars for overall

Recommended readers:

  • all romance lovers, especially historical regency.
  • readers who love a come-back, a character who defies the odds.

REVIEW FROM BOOKS FOR HER

Just a Kiss by Ally Broadfield is a touching, exciting novella – and a quick, captivating read.  Penniless and alone, Charlotte Lightwood is cast as the Regency Cinderella, stuck in the home run by her sister-in-law and forced to endure the disgusting and lecherous cousin daily. She has one season in London to make a match or marry the lecher, and meets the Earl of Marley, who is searching for an heiress of equal rank and fortune.  The two agree to help each other in their matrimonial search.

A well-written and smooth read, I didn’t even notice the plot was Cinderella-esque until I finished. I fell in love with Charlotte and the Earl of Marley – though they may have been just a touch too perfect – but lovable nonetheless. It was very short – 108 pages – and my only hope is that the story could be longer, with a few more plot twist and turns, to make it a complete novel. And the book left me wanting more – and there were other characters in the book that I hope Broadfield will build from in another story.

On sale April 28. Buy Now:
Just a Kiss (An It’s in His Kiss Novella) (Entangled Edge)