Month: May 2015

Review: The Ways of the World

Reissue June 2nd: The Ways of the World by Robert Goddard

***3/5 stars- liked it

As great powers construct a fragile peace following The Great War, ace British pilot James ‘Max’ Maxted  investigates the mysterious death of his diplomat father in Paris, and soon finds himself in the middle of a dangerous spy game.

Recommended readers:

  • Fans of historical fiction
  • fans of historical mystery
  • fans of Maisie Dobbs
  • and readers of WWI-era fiction

Here’s my Rankings:

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

REVIEW FROM BOOKS FOR HER:

The first of a promising new trilogy from Robert Goddard, The Ways of the World blends historical fiction and mystery against the backdrop of postwar Paris and London.  It’s quite a history lesson in its own right, but neither does it skip out on the adventure– an adventure complete with spies, a sidekick, peril, suspense, and a girl (because hey, there’s always a girl.) it was a good setup for the rest of the series, which I have a feeling just gets better and better.

The Ways of the World is available on Amazon

Review: Against the Tide by Kat Martin

Available May 26: Against the Tide (The Brodies Of Alaska)

****3/5 stars- Liked it through and throughagainstthetide

The Brodie’s are at it again!

Recommended readers:

  • If you’re a fan of Kat Martin or Julie Garwood (at least their contemporary writings)
  • If you like romantic suspense, this one is for you.

Here’s my Rankings:

REVIEW FROM BOOKS FOR HER:

Liv Chandler is hiding in a small Alaska town and creating a life for herself. Rafe Brodie is a charter boat captain and former Coast Guardsman, who’s had his eye on Liv for a while. When Rafe’s first hand is found murdered, the two come together to help solve the murder. As the third novel in The Brodies of Alaska series, Against the Tide has plenty of passion and a suspense (though I enjoyed the last Against the Sky, the second novel much more).

Available on Amazon: Against the Tide (The Brodies Of Alaska)

The Best Thing That Never Happened to Me

Available now: The Best Thing That Never Happened To Me

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

In this novel by two dueling authors, childhood best friends Alex and Holly meet again in London:  Is it love, or is it something else?

Recommended readers:

  • If you like chic lit,
  • if you like a dialogue-driven novel,
  • and if you are a fan of Love Actually and Bridget Jones, this one is for you.

Here’s my Rankings:

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

REVIEW FROM BOOKS FOR HER:

Take the chance to explore what might have been in this fun British novel.  The Best Thing That Never Happened to Me is a refreshingly different novel written by two authors writing back and forth, allowing us to see from both character’s perspectives both as  kids and as they meet again as adults.  Clever, snappy, and fun, it’s worth picking up even if you can’t find it on Kindle!

Get it on Amazon (But only in paperback)

Review: Devil’s Moon

Available now: Devil’s Moon (Border Nights)

*** 3 stars:  Liked it, through and throughdevilsmoon

Betrayal and misunderstandings are hard to overcome in The Harlot Countess.

Recommended readers:

  • If you love historical romance
  • If you are a sucker for Scottish Highland men

Here’s my Rankings:

  • 2.5/5 for characters
  • 3.5/5 for plot
  • 3/5 overall

REVIEW FROM BOOKS FOR HER:

While Lady Robina Gledstanes’ child brother is Laird of her family’s home, she’s the one making sure her home is protected and provided for. And taking risks as any man would is part of her role – until she runs into her deceased twin brother’s mentor. Devil’s Moon has the set-up for a fun, fast read, but after the early plot and passion, the story doesn’t draw you in deeper and maintains a slow, steady rhythm. Not my favorite Amanda Scott novel.

Available now on Amazon: Devil’s Moon (Border Nights)

Review: The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry

Available now: The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

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

“There ain’t nobody in the world like book people…”  If you believe this, give A.J. Fikry and his bookstore a try.

Recommended readers:

  • If you love books, and I mean actual books,
  • If you truly appreciate, but occasionally cringe at, the number of books you can read electronically,
  • and if you are in a book club, this one is for you.

Here’s my Rankings:

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

REVIEW FROM BOOKS FOR HER:

A.J. Fikry owns a small bookstore in a time when it is no longer viable to own a small bookstore, and that’s the least of his worries. He’s a widower, and he’s just lost his most prized possession, only to have it replaced by another item of dubious provenance– but it’s something that will change his life forever.  A novel about books, book clubs, and book people, told with  humor, surprises, and love in its many forms, A.J. Fikry is an unusual and uplifting read.

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry is available now on Amazon

Nicholas Sparks Review: The Longest Ride

Available now as book or movie: The Longest Ride

***2.5/5 stars- It was ok

Two parallel love stories develop around cowboys, rodeo, World War II, and art history.

Recommended readers:

  • If you like chick lit,
  • if you you’re a fan of Nicholas Sparks,
  • and if you’d like to catch the book before the movie, this one is for you.

Here’s my Rankings:

  • 2.5/5 for characters
  • 2.5/5 for plot
  • 2.5/5 overall

REVIEW FROM BOOKS FOR HER:

I’ve read exactly one other Nicholas Sparks novel (give you one guess which) and have seen a good portion of his movies over the years, but when I saw the preview for the latest (cowboys AND art history!) I decided to pick up the book first.  While I wasn’t actually disappointed, I think the thing to say about a Nicholas Sparks novel is that it is what it is:  A chick flick in a book.  Which is why they all get turned into chick flicks.  It’s not rocket science, after all.  And if you enjoy that sort of thing, you will enjoy it.  Let’s put it it this way: while Mr. Sparks did not fully address my cowboy complex, I have a feeling that the young Mr. Eastwood will.

Get the book on Amazon and catch Scott Eastwood in the feature film

Review: The Scandalous Secret of Abigail MacGregor

Available now: The Scandalous Secret of Abigail MacGregor (The MacGregors: Highland Heirs)

*****4.5/5 starsscandaloussecret

Scottish-English political intrigue meets passion in The Scandalous Secret of Abigail MacGregor. You won’t want to put it down.

Recommended readers:

  • Fans of Paula Quinn, Kat Martin, and Mary Balogh
  • Those who like multiple genres in one book – historical, drama, romance and more
  • If you like Scotland and historical romance genre

Here’s my Rankings:

  • 4.5/5 characters
  • 5/5 plot
  • 4.5/5 overall
  • 3/5 Steaminess (pretty steamy)

REVIEW FROM BOOKS FOR HER:

I’ve always been a fan of Paula Quinn, and The Scandalous Secret of Abigail MacGregor definitely met expectations – and more. As the final novel in The MacGregors: Highland Heirs series, it was easily my favorite. The perfect combination of political drama and intrigue with passion and romance, Scandalous Secret is a fast-paced, late-night read with clashing Scottish and English cultures. It’s a must-read for any historical romance lover – and, despite the mushy cover, might even be a good fit for some who prefer a little more political drama to passion. Just a hair short of a perfect 5-star, there’s everything to love about this novel.

Available now: The Scandalous Secret of Abigail MacGregor (The MacGregors: Highland Heirs)

Review: The Harlot Countess

Available now: The Harlot Countess (Wicked Deceptions)

*** 3 stars:  Liked it, through and throughharlottcountessbook

Betrayal and misunderstandings are hard to overcome in The Harlot Countess.

Recommended readers:

  • If you love historical romance
  • If you like a romance that overcomes misunderstandings

Here’s my Rankings:

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

REVIEW FROM BOOKS FOR HER:

When Lady Hawkin’s debut goes from magical to heartbreaking, she learns to survive in her own way and bounce back from a loveless marriage and many misunderstandings. Drawing under a male pseudo-name, she finds revenge via her cartoons. An interesting plot of misunderstandings and love, The Harlot Countess is an entertaining read with a combination of love, betrayal and passion.

Available now on Amazon: The Harlot Countess (Wicked Deceptions)

Book Review: Tiffany Girl

Available May 5: Tiffany Girl: A Novel

**** 4 stars: Loved it!TiffanyGirl

Part heartwarming and part heartbreaking, Tiffany Girl is the perfect read for historical fiction lovers.

Recommended readers:

  • If you like independent females in historical times
  • Historical fiction lovers with a dash of romance

Here’s my Rankings:

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

REVIEW FROM BOOKS FOR HER:

At the turn of the century in Chicago, budding artist and uniquely independent Flossie Jayne has the opportunity of a lifetime: To join the Tiffany Girls, a group of women who have taken the jobs of men to create beautiful stained glass. Tiffany Girl is a compelling story about the struggle of pre World War I times, equally heartening and realistic.

Available on Amazon now: Tiffany Girl: A Novel