Month: February 2016

Review: Where My Heart Used to Beat

Available Now:  Where My Heart Used to Beat

****3.5/5 stars-really liked it

Psychiatrist and WWII veteran Robert Hendricks attempts to square his past and his present when he receives an invitation from an aging man who claims to have known his father during the First World War.

Recommended readers:

  • Readers of war and memory
  • readers of WWII fiction
  • fans of the lifelong saga

Here’s my Rankings:

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

REVIEW FROM BOOKS FOR HER:

From Sebastian Faulks, the acclaimed author of Birdsong (always meant to pick that one up; now I will), Where My Heart Used to Beat is the beautifully-titled lifelong story of a man and his place in the war-torn 20th century.  Robert Hendricks is a doctor, a man of the mind who “won’t be defined” by his war experience, complete, naturally, with a devastating love affair.  Courtesy of a clearly very gifted writer, the story is suspenseful at moments, slow and and painful at others, but also very readable. And even if it is heavy and melancholy, I don’t think it gives too much away to assure readers of something of a beautiful ending.

Available Now: Where My Heart Used to Beat

Nowhere Girl by Susan Strecker

Available March 1: Nowhere Girl: A Novel

*****5/5 stars- loved itSusanStrecker-nowheregirl

Read Nowhere Girl before it makes the best-seller list – it’s that good!

Recommended readers:

  • If you like good, modern day fiction
  • If you like a mix of great characters and plot
  • and if you want to read it before it becomes a best-seller

Here’s my Rankings:

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

REVIEW FROM BOOKS FOR HER:

Cady’s popular twin sister was murdered when they were teens and authorities gave up finding the killer. Now, years later Cady is married, a best-selling author of psycho-thrillers and still struggling with the loss, when the case is reopened. The search for the killer, along with Cady’s own research for her novels, are expertly weaved together in an intricate web of people and events. While the cover originally caught my attention, the story has a depth and constant tempo that makes it easy to recommend. In her second novel, Susan Strecker has the perfect combination of good general fiction – from personal loss to intriguing twists and romance.

Available on Amazon: Nowhere Girl: A Novel

Romance Review: A Sinful Deception by Isabella Bradford

Available March 1: A Reckless Desire: A Breconridge Brothers Novel (The Breconridge Brothers)

***3.5/5 starsisabella bradfordRecklessDesire

Another great come-back story by Isabella Bradley.

Recommended readers:

  • If you like historical romance
  • If you like characters who challenge English society’s conventions
  • Fans of Julia Quinn, Eloisa James, and Sabrina Jeffries

Here’s my Rankings:

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

REVIEW FROM BOOKS FOR HER:

If there’s one thing that Isabella Bradley excels at – it’s creating a Cinderella come-back story. And Bradley continues the Breconridge Brothers Series with another great story of an abused play-house minion who meets Lord Rivers Fitzroy, a scholarly younger child who’s avoiding society’s pressure to marry. You’ll love the personal growth and challenges each face in their journey. For fans of historical fiction by Julia Quinn, Eloisa James and Sabrina Jeffries, you’ll love any of the Breconridge Series novels by Bradley.

Available on Amazon: A Reckless Desire: A Breconridge Brothers Novel (The Breconridge Brothers)

Tycoon by Joanna Shupe

Available February 23: Tycoon (The Knickerbocker Club)

****4/5 stars- loved it

Tycoon is a prequel novella set in the unique Gilded Age. It’s worth every cent!joanna Shupe Tycoon

Recommended readers:

  • If you’re a fan of not-your-typical setting: Gilded Age
  • if you like Candace Camp, Jane Feather and others
  • and if you like a super-quick read

Here’s my Rankings:

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

REVIEW FROM BOOKS FOR HER:

A prequel novella from a new series, Tycoon is worth every cent you pay for it (which is 99 cents on Kindle). With a mini-book this great, I’m hooked for the series! You’ll jump right into the Gilded-Age action as working girl Clara literally runs into wealthy banker Ted Harper. The advancing times of the late 1800s make the setting unique for a historical romance – and very refreshing. I loved the historical lifestyle details and challenges of travel, etc of the time. Can’t wait to see what’s next!

Available on Amazon: Tycoon (The Knickerbocker Club)

Available Today: I’ll See You in Paris

Available February 9th: I’ll See You in Paris by Michelle Gable

****3.5/5 stars- Really liked it

Because even a book about an English Duchess holed up in a countryside mansion comes down to Paris, right?

Lavender and book

Recommended readers:

  • Fans of a mother-daughter saga
  • fans of witty banter novels
  • and fans of the parallel story convention

Here’s my Rankings:

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

REVIEW FROM BOOKS FOR HER:

Like many  “finding yourself” novels, this one starts out in England and ends up in Paris- always a promising start.

Flailing English major Annie Haley has never known her real father, and the only thing she does know about her mother’s past seems to have something to do with a book about the real life, long-lost Duchess of Marlborough hiding out in her old age in a tiny English village… a place her mother suddenly needs to visit. There Annie is left to her own devices, where she finds  finds herself immersed in the puzzle of her mother’s past, and caught up in the love story between the writer of the mysterious book and and the supposed duchess’ caretaker.  As everybody knows, lost love, deception, and finding the truth about your father are all serious matters, right?  Wrong!  This one is really pretty funny.  Check it out!

I’ll See You in Paris will be available on February 9th

 

Valentine’s Day: Best Gifts for Book Lovers

PSA for book lovers this Valentine’s Day.

what women want for valentines day

And some Valentine’s Day gift ideas for book lovers:

  1. Books (duh). Shop Amazon’s books selection.
  2. Unlimited eBooks Online. With Oyster now out of business, you’ve got a few options for unlimited book sites. Most popular is Kindle Unlimited ($9.99/month and 30-day free trial), which admittedly is confusing to set-up especially if you’re not an Amazon user already. Also Scribd ($8.99/month and 14-day trial) has a great selection and is available on multiple devices.
  3. Kindle Device/Ebook Reader. For the techy reader or one who flies through 3+ books per month, a electronic reader is a great option. Kindle by Amazon is a great option – starting at $79.99. Bonus for Kindle owners: You get a free new book every month.
  4. Monthly/Quarterly Book Subscription. Book of the Month is an example of a site which will send you (print) books each month. We haven’t tried (so can’t endorse fully) – but worth a look.  We’ll do a full review if we get the chance.

Top 10 Historical Romance Authors

One of my favorite genres for many reasons, Historical Romance is obviously a popular option if you look at the shelves of booksellers (big and small). (They are also widely known for the embarrassing covers … muscly men and damsels with low-cut dresses. Just look at what a Google image search turned up!). There’s so many great hist-rom authors it’s hard to pick.

Historical Romance Search

Here’s Books for Her’s top 10 picks (at least those written in modern times). Feel free to leave us a comment with any you think we missed.

  1. Kathleen Woodiwiss – With plots spanning continents and travel, Woodiwiss carves beautiful, passionate characters into her action-filled plots.
  2. Stephanie Laurens – If you’re looking for series and then another series, Laurens has many family series with strong women and fierce men. You’ll love them all.
  3. Meredith Duran – A newcomer to the scene, but her novel Fool Me Twice got me hooked!
  4. Brenda Joyce – For the best Scottish/Highland romance, check out some of Brenda Joyce’s series.
  5. Rosemary Rogers – Maybe its that the first historical romance I read was Sweet, Savage Love – but Rogers’s novels have the classic stubborn woman and prideful man.
  6. Susan Wiggs – Weaving in historical details with her plot and characters, Wiggs’s Irish-English romance novels are almost saga material.
  7. Mary Balogh – The mark of this great historical romance writer is the depth of her characters and her ability to give them prominent flaws.
  8. Diana Gabaldon – A wizard of history, romance, action, time-travel and more … while her famous Outlander Series spans several genres, she’s a wizard of romance. (Bonus: Her Outlander Series is now Starz TV Series hitting it’s 10th season.)
  9. Paula Quinn – A master at weaving political intrigue with passion … typically with strong female and Scottish Highland setting.
  10. Beatriz Williams – Often with parallel storylines across different war times, Williams weaves challenging plots of love and heartbreak during War.

Did we miss any of your favorite historical romance authors? Let us know in the comments below.

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Review: Into the Fury by Kat Martin

Available today: Into the Fury (BOSS, Inc.)

****4/5 starskatmartin-intothefury

Action filled with the perfect mix of romance, you can read Into the Fury and then pass it on to your guy.

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, which is part of her new BOSS, Inc Series. Only I didn’t have to settle at all. Into the Fury is a non-stop page-turner with action-filled suspense and the perfect mix of romance. It seems Martin’s strong storytelling transitions across many genres. Into the Fury was just what I needed – after coming off of some pretty heavy fiction – I was ready for a quick reading, fun book. If you’ve read any Kat Martin contemporary fiction already, you’ll recognize some characters and meet some new ones – who have the same manly flare as always. Think tough men not looking for a girl, and stubborn women not wanting a guy. Makes for good fiction

Order on Amazon: Into the Fury (BOSS, Inc.)