Month: January 2015

Review: The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

Available February 3rd: The Nightingale

***3/5 stars

“How can I start at the beginning, when all I can think about is the end?”

Recommended readers:

  • If you liked The Girl You Left Behind,
  • If you are a fan of WWII fiction,
  • And if you might be interested in reading about the war in France from a unique angle, this one is for you.

Here’s my Rankings:

  • 3/5 for characters
  • 3/5 for plot
  • 3/5 overall

REVIEW FROM BOOKS FOR HER

It may be a coincidence of my own interests, but WWII fiction seems to be taking center stage in historical fiction these days.  This time, in The Nightingale, Kristin Hannah brings us the story of two sisters in war torn France, each surviving the war in her own way. One waits for her husband to return, struggling to protect her daughter and reckon with the German officer billeted in her home.  The other, young and rebellious, becomes a symbol of the French resistance. Hannah’s treatment of the characters, who each bring a distinct voice to the struggle of WWII France, combined with classic storytelling style make this an engaging read.

Available on Amazon

Review: Against the Sky by Kat Martin

Available today: Against the Sky (The Brodies of Alaska)

****4/5 stars

Action filled with the perfect mix of romantic tension, anyone will love Against the Sky.

Recommended readers:

  • Looking for a page-turner romance
  • Want a book that both you and your guy will like?
  • Fans of Kat Martin

Here’s my Rankings:

  • 4/5 for characters
  • 5/5 for plot
  • 4/5 overall
  • 3/5 steaminess

REVIEW FROM BOOKS FOR HER:

My first introduction to Kat Martin is through her historical romance (which I thoroughly enjoyed – so I’ve been hoping for another). Instead I settled for her latest contemporary action-romance. Only I didn’t settle at all. Against the Sky is a non-stop page-turner with action-filled suspense and the perfect mix of romantic tension. It seems Martin’s strong storytelling transitions across many genres. Add in some studly men  and admirable women – and Against the Sky is pretty darn good.

Order on Amazon: Against the Sky (The Brodies of Alaska)

Romance Review: If the Viscount Falls

Available Tuesday: If the Viscount Falls (The Duke’s Men)

***3.5/5 starsIf the viscount falls

Another great Duke’s Men novel by Sabrina Jeffries.

Recommended readers:

  • If you like good mystery with your historical romance
  • If you’re a fan of Sabrina Jeffries and the Duke’s Men series

Here’s my Rankings:

  • 3/5 for characters
  • 4/5 for plot
  • 3.5/5 overall
  • 3/5 steaminess

REVIEW FROM BOOKS FOR HER:

Two broken hearts are hard to mend – especially when one of them purposely caused the hurt. Years later Dominick Manton carries the secret reasons for his hurt with him and now he’s thrown into Jane Vernon’s path again. In Sabrina Jeffries fashion, If the Viscount Falls carries the Duke’s Men series into another mystery.

Available on Amazon: If the Viscount Falls (The Duke’s Men)

Audio book review: Invisible City

Available now: Invisible City (Rebekah Roberts Novels)

****4/5 stars

Invisible City is a serious mystery, diving into Hasidic Jewish culture and the struggles of a young woman to understand her heritage.

Recommended readers:

  • If you like a peak into an underground culture/life
  • If you like mystery, coming-of-age stories

Here’s my Rankings:

  • 4/5 for characters
  • 4/5 for plot
  • 4/5 for voice-audio
  • 4/5 overall

REVIEW FROM BOOKS FOR HER:

Rebekah Roberts is a stringer for a mid tier newspaper, just going through the motions in her early career until she happens upon a murder mystery that forces her to evaluate her Hasidic Jewish heritage and her own motivations. I was surprised to find that Invisible City was written by a first-time author, former newspaper writer Julia Dahl. The story delves deeply into an interesting, underground-like culture and has a great mystery plot. Narrator Andi Arndt provides a seemless platform for the audiobook – letting the first-person narrative seem effortless and believable.

Available on Amazon: Invisible City (Rebekah Roberts Novels)

Romance Review: Viscount of Vice

Available today: Viscount of Vice: A Novella (Covent Garden Cubs Book 0)

***3.5/5 stars

A fun mystery-romance novella for Shana Galen’s next Regency series.

Recommended readers:

  • If you like good mystery with your historical romance
  • If you’re a fan of Shana Galen

Here’s my Rankings:

  • 3/5 for characters
  • 4/5 for plot
  • 3.5/5 overall
  • 3/5 steaminess

REVIEW FROM BOOKS FOR HER:

The novella that introduces the Covent Garden Series by Shana Galen kicks off with good mystery and a fun romance. Though Lord Chesham has one mission in mind, he ends up taking a persistent accomplice, Lady Emma with him. The story that develops is equal parts mystery and romance and a fun intro the the full series.  Get ready for the first book in the series out March 3, 2015 Earls Just Want to Have Fun (see our review to come in early March).

Available on Amazon e-book only:Viscount of Vice: A Novella (Covent Garden Cubs Book 0)

Review: River of No Return

Available now:  River of No Return: A Jake Trent Novel

****4/5 starsdrbertsch-riverofnoreturn]

Move over Jack Ryan [Tom Clancy], Jake Trent [David Riley Bertsch] is your new national hero – or at least another good one.

Recommended readers:

  • If you like Tom Clancy, James Patterson and some good suspense
  • If you like a bit of outdoorsmen in your heros
  • and if you’re looking for a good plot-driven, page-turner

Here’s my Rankings:

  • 3/5 for characters
  • 4.5/5 for plot
  • 4/5 overall

REVIEW FROM BOOKS FOR HER:

My kinda guy: Jake Trent. He’s a former attorney-spy-government man, who escapes to Wyoming to get away from the politics and baggage of his old job. But even in Jackson Hole (close to my hometown!), he soon finds himself up to the neck in several international mysteries. Think James Patterson or Tom Clancy meets modern day John Wayne. David Riley Bertsch is up there with the best of the mystery-suspense writers – and you’ll enjoy this plot driven read no matter your favorite genre.

Available on Amazon: River of No Return: A Jake Trent Novel

Review: Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake

Available Now: Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake by Sara MacLean

***3.5/5 stars- liked to the edge of love- call it a stage I crush

Next in rhyming romance, a near-spinster takes her future firmly in hand (See also Rogue with Brouge).

Recommended readers:

  • If you like an English rogue,
  • If you’ve ever fancied yourself a reformer of rakes,
  • and if you’re a sucker for an empowered cinderella story, this one is for you.

Here’s my Rankings:

  • 3.5/5 for characters
  • 3.5/5 for plot
  • 3.5/5 overall
  • Note: 4/5 Steaminess

REVIEW FROM BOOKS FOR HER:

Lady Calpurnia Hartwell’s lifetime of following the rules has brought her nothing but a fast-approaching spinsterhood and not a bit of fun. When she changes her tune, creating a clever little list of nine things a nice English lady ought not do, she must enlist the help of her old girlhood crush to accomplish her goals. Cheroots, duels, and stolen kisses: just one guess how this one turns out, but it’s lovely diversion, with clever dialogue, and a very funny heroine.

Nine Rules to Break when Romancing a Rake is available on Amazon

Review: Esther by Angela Hunt

Available January 6: Esther: Royal Beauty (A Dangerous Beauty Novel)

****4.5/5 stars

An emotional portrayal of Esther is touching, real and gives such depth to a favorite Biblical icon.

Recommended readers:

  • Anyone looking for a perspective on Biblical times
  • If you love the Book of Esther and women in the Bible
  • and anyone who loves to learn about a prominent female in history

Here’s my Rankings:

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

REVIEW FROM BOOKS FOR HER:

This Angela Hunt portrayal of Esther is dramatic and real – through the eyes of two characters: Hadassah (the Jewish name that Esther is called throughout) and Harbonah, the kind’s personal slave. The two perspective are brilliant in telling the full story and life of Persian times. I loved that this book didn’t glorify Esther, but instead made her real, human as she grows from a Jewish orphan girl living with her cousins to Queen of Persia to a wise and bold influencer of her husband King Xerxes.

Note: It’s interesting to read this and then read the Book of Esther. While Esther Royal Beauty is fiction, it is mostly factually based and gives a dramatic portrayal of Biblical times. While I can’t vouch for every Biblical accuracy of the book, there are no major contradictions; I recommend reading this book as fiction that gives a potential perspective to Esther’s story.

Available on Amazon: Esther: Royal Beauty (A Dangerous Beauty Novel)

Coming January 13th: The Magician’s Lie

Available January 13th:  The Magician’s Lie by Greer Macallister

***3/5 stars

A beautiful and famed magician accused of murder has but one night to convince a small town has-been of her innocence.

Recommended readers:

  • If you like a bit of intrigue in your historical fiction, with just a bit of romance for good measure,
  • if you enjoy a dual storyline,
  • and if you appreciate good old-fashioned storytelling , this book is for you.

Here’s my Rankings:

  • 3/5 for characters
  • 3/5 for plot
  • 3/5 overall

REVIEW FROM BOOKS FOR HER:

When policeman Virgil Holt takes the illusionist and murderess extraordinaire Amazing Arden into custody, she has story to tell, and one night to do it.  Not everything is as it seems in this engaging twist on a whodunit, complete with a hint of the supernatural and  flashbacks to the past that slowly flesh out the backstory and keep the reader guessing and wanting more.

Available soon on Amazon:

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