Category Archives: Book Reviews
I’d like to extend my thanks to St. Martin’s Press for not only letting me participate in this tour event, but also for providing me a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review, murr! =^.^=
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Date Released: May 2, 2017
Series: The Cavensham Heiress #1
The first in an all new historical romance series by a debut author, I enjoyed reading this novel, though I shall admit that I often found myself frustrated with both characters to the point where I wanted to throw my paws up and growl. That being said, this is a good start to what I feel is a promising series, and I believe fans of the genre will enjoy it. The writing is strong, the characters are varied and complex, and the plot twists enough to leave readers guessing. As a debut novelist, MacGregor’s got a great deal of talent and potential, and I can see this series getting better with each book that is released.
Claire’s lead a rough life, and being “cursed” hasn’t helped her. She’s a sweet soul who dreams of marriage and a family to call her own, but she’s tormented by a tragic event from her childhood and several failed engagements. I truly felt for her throughout most of the book. It’s not easy to overcome a fear that stems from such a terrible event, but Claire tries and knows that she has to overcome it, and so I have to give purrs of support for it. Yet I also was frustrated with her because of her strong belief in the curse. I wanted to smack her a few times with my paw in order to get her to realize that life happens, and just because three engagements failed doesn’t mean she’s cursed. It simply means they’re not the paths she was meant to travel. Yet she insists she’s cursed, and the ton doesn’t help quell that belief. Alex, meanwhile, is a man dedicated to protecting his family and avenging his sister, going so far as to not being concerned if others are hurt in the process. He’s charming, and while I feel that he genuinely cares about Claire, his behavior and actions made him unworthy of her in my eyes. He’s one of those characters whom I loved at times and despised at others, and by the end of the book I had a grudging respect for him…doesn’t mean that I don’t think he deserve a good swipe across the face with my claws.
As a romantic couple they are exactly what the other needs in the sense that Claire’s the guiding, gentle hand that drives Alex to realize his mistakes and actively work to repair the damage caused by them, and Alex is the one who helps Claire realize the curse is folly and helps soothe her fears, he’s patient with her while others aren’t or wouldn’t be. My biggest complaint about them as a couple is that neither of them actually talks about their problems. They dance around the issues, misunderstanding the other and sometimes even presuming the worst. By the time they finally do confide in the other I just shook my head and sighed because by then I felt any person lacking in patience would have walked away from the other a long time ago. Now I’m not saying that I disliked their relationship, they actually have a number of steamy, whisker curling moments together that left me purring in delight, but I do feel that theirs is one of the most frustrating relationships that I’ve read in a while.
For secondary characters, I’m rather curious about Emma, Will, and McCalpin, Claire’s cousins, and am looking forward to reading their stories when they come out. Lord Paul is a snake, and I didn’t find any real redeeming quality in him. As Claire says, no one held a pistol to Paul’s head, so as far as his actions and behavior goes, while some may feel he got the short end of the stick in this book, I believe he never would have made a good husband for Claire and he only would have used her in the end. Aileen is a spitfire sweetheart and I loved her immensely for her dedication to Claire. Would love to see more of her if possible. And Somerton, being the voice of reason, earned my respect, it’s just a shame Alex was too bull-headed to listen to him most of the time.
As I said, this was an enjoyable read. Yes, there were times where the story lagged and yes, I grew frustrated with the characters, but I had a great many moments where I found myself laughing, smiling, nodding in approval, and cheering. The book also took a few twists that I wasn’t originally expecting, certain things mentioned in the earlier chapters about Claire lead me to believe one thing when in fact the actual truth wasn’t something I’d thought to consider at all. In this I have to give a tail wave of approval to the author for keeping me guessing where Claire is concerned.
On the whole I would say that while I am not bowled over by this book, I did enjoy it enough to want to continue with the series and see how MacGregor improves as a writer. She has promise and potential, and I for one am looking forward to seeing what she has in store for everyone next, murr! =^.^=
About the Author:
Janna MacGregor was born and raised in the bootheel of Missouri. She credits her darling mom for introducing her to the happily-ever-after world of romance novels. Janna writes stories where compelling and powerful heroines meet and fall in love with their equally matched heroes. She is the mother of triplets and lives in Kansas City with her very own dashing rogue, and two smug, but not surprisingly, perfect pugs. She loves to hear from readers. The Bad Luck Bride is her first novel.
I wish to extend my sincere thanks to Tasty Book Tours for letting me participate in the virtual tour event for Christy’s newest novel, and I’d also like to thank Avon Books for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. If you would like to see all of the blogs involved in this event, please click on the banner above, murr! =^.^=
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Date Released: April 11, 2017
Series: Romancing the Rules #2
As the second book in Carlyle’s Romancing the Rules series, I enjoyed this book much more than the first, and I’m looking forward to continuing this series as more books come out. Fans of Carlyle’s novels and of historical romances will want to add this title to their lists of books to read in the coming weeks.
I’ve wanted Sophia’s story ever since I met her in Rules for a Rogue, so I was excited to learn more about her in this novel, and I was also looking forward to learning more about Grey, too. There was no question that these two would end up together, it was simply a matter when and of how would they connect. Sophia is a proper society lady, she’s never questioned the rules of etiquette, and has spent the majority of her life caring for her family. She’s as close to a spinster as a woman could be without actually being one. Yet she’s also a woman who craves adventure and excitement, as evidence by her writing mystery novels. Grey is her complete opposite. He’s a scoundrel of the highest order and an actor. He cares nothing for displays of proper behavior or being responsible, he prefers to live of carefree enjoyment. But he’s not as carefree as he appears, Grey harbors a painful past which he is running from. Together they complete each other and provide just the right amount of incentive to change and find the happiness they both deserve.
I really enjoyed watching their relationship grow as the story progressed. Theirs is a slow build affair, both initially denying their attraction, but fate and Grey’s sister keep bringing them back together. I honestly can’t imagine Sophia ending up with anyone other than Grey. She’s his voice of reason, someone who is able to understand his pain and help him find his way through it, while he’s her motivation to live and let loose every once in a while.
Likewise I enjoyed seeing Sophia’s siblings again, if only for brief cameos, and meeting Grey’s family. Liddy, Grey’s sister, is your typical teenager. Some might call her a brat and may find her overly annoying, but she struck me as behaving as many a sixteen/seventeen year old would behave nowadays, which is to shun proper decorum and get into trouble. I can’t fault her acting as she did, even if I was rolling my eyes the entire time. Cate, Sophia’s friend and housekeeper, was a gem. I instantly loved her and couldn’t help but smile every time she nudged Sophia to follow her heart while acting like that wasn’t what she was doing. If there was a matchmaker in this book, Cate filled the role perfectly.
As for the writing, the pacing of this book was much smoother and didn’t drag as much as the first book did for me. The search for Liddy helped keep the story moving, and it allowed for plenty of will they/won’t they moments both in regards to whether they would find her, and if so in what condition, and whether Sophia and Grey would give in to their desire for the other. I also enjoyed the idea of Sophia actually “investigating” Liddy’s disappearance and taking on her character’s role of detective, regardless that it was just Sophia using common sense and thinking as a young woman would think. She accomplished more than Grey did regardless.
This is a wonderful addition to what is turning into a lovely series and I’m greatly looking forward to reading Clary’s novel later this year. I also hope that Carlyle considers continuing the series and allowing Liddy and Juliet to have stories of their own. Honestly, if you haven’t given the Romancing the Rules series a try, what is stopping you? Take a moment and give the Ruthven siblings a try, I promise you won’t regret it.
About the Author:
Fueled by Pacific Northwest coffee and inspired by multiple viewings of every British costume drama she can get her hands on, USA Today bestselling author Christy Carlyle writes sensual historical romance set in the Victorian era. She loves heroes who struggle against all odds and heroines who are ahead of their time. A former teacher with a degree in history, she finds there’s nothing better than being able to combine her love of the past with a die-hard belief in happy endings.
If you would like to enter for your chance to win 1 of 2 print copies of Rules for the Rogue, book #1 in Christy’s Romancing the Rules series, please click on the Rafflecopter link below. This giveaway is open to US Residents only!
I’d like to extend my sincere thanks to Tasty Book Tours for letting me participate in this tour event, and to Avon Books for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. If you would like to see all of the bloggers participating in this event, please click on the banner above, murr! =^.^=
Publisher: Avon Books
Date Released: March 28, 2017
Series: The Penhallow Dynasty #1
As the first book in a new series, I have to say that it proved to be an enjoyable read and that the series shows promise. Fans of historical romance will definitely want to check this one out for its slow burning romance and memorable characters. I greatly look forward to reading Berne’s next novel in the series when it comes out.
I loved Livia. She’s lived most of her life being the “orphan girl,” easily ignored or pitied by those around her. In reality she is a compassionate, spirited, and intelligent young woman. She’s easily my favorite out of all the characters simply because she’s someone I could readily relate and connect with. While I initially felt sympathy for her in the beginning, I was soon cheering her on and smiling like a Cheshire Cat every time she stood up to the various members of the ton. I wanted her to take society by storm, and while she didn’t quite go that far, she did give them much to get their knickers in a twist over. Gabriel, on the other paw, managed to both frustrate the hell out of me and surprise me throughout the book. My initial feelings toward him were all over the place, and I honestly thought that I would end up despising him because of his behavior and thoughts toward Livia, but he managed to redeem himself enough to warrant my grudging respect. I truly believe that so much of the grief these two went through could have been avoided had they both not been so firmly set in their opinions of each other. It certainly lead me to question whether their relationship was realistic because they were so aloof throughout a good portion of the book.
While Berne’s leading characters had me divided in my feelings toward them, her secondary characters likewise left me liking some and downright loathing others. Cecily was just asking for me to take swipes at her insipid face with my claws. She’s so shallow and so true a representation to how many young ladies of the ton behaved and thought back then, I just couldn’t refrain from hissing whenever she showed up. Mrs. Penhallow (Grandmama) likewise made my fur crawl a lot in the beginning, but unlike Cecily, she managed to turn my feelings toward her around and I ended up warming up to her considerably in the end. Mrs. Cott is a dear and I only wish that we had gotten to see more of her, but she mostly was kept in the background so we never get a full feel for who she is. Hugo, Gabriel’s cousin, is awesome. His scenes left me smiling and I look forward to seeing more of him at some point hopefully. I have to give a few purrs to Berne for her skill at making every character in the story standout and draw upon the reader’s emotions, be they ones of love or hate. It certainly didn’t make for a dull read in that sense, murr!
For the most part this was a smooth, easy book to read. Yes there were some moments where it felt like the story lagged a bit and I found myself wishing for the action to pick up, but I never lost full interest in the plot. Since Livia was so likeable a character, I was emotionally invested in seeing how everything played out in the end, even if it meant gritting my teeth over some of the moments while everyone was in Bath. Likewise while I initially questioned the relationship between Gabriel and Livia, there were plenty of little moments scattered throughout the story where you could see each of them slowly seeing the other’s true qualities and soul so when they did finally come together I could accept it because I had those moments to look back on.
Overall this was a solid read from a debut author, which is why I have to give this book four paws and a tail wave of appreciation.
About the Author:
Lisa Berne read her first Georgette Heyer book at fourteen, and was instantly captivated. Later, she was a graduate student, a grantwriter, and an investment banker, but is thrilled to be returning to her roots and writing her own historical-romance novels! She lives with her family in the Pacific Northwest.
If you would like to enter for your chance to win a $25 gift card to a book seller of your choice, please click on the Rafflecopter link below:
I’m excited to be a part of the tour event for Abby J. Reed’s novel, and would like to extend my thanks to Rockstar Book Tours for letting me share this review with you today! And I’d also like to thank Soul Mate Publishing for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. If you’d like to see the names of everyone involved in the tour, please click on the banner above. =^.^=
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing
Release Date: April 12, 2017
Series: Stars Fall Circle #1
I will be the first to admit that when it comes to science fiction, I’m hit or miss with the genre mostly because it is difficult for me to envision space technology and such, but when I read the description of this book I knew I had to give it a try. As the first in a series, I was pleasantly surprised with how enjoyable the story was, and am looking forward to seeing what happens to everyone in the next book. This is one of those titles fans of young adult novels and science fiction will want to check out. It’s unique, filled with unexpected twists and turns, likeable characters, and will leave you on the edge of your seat in suspense.
I liked Malani the moment I met her. She’s been dealt a hard life, passed from one family to the next never knowing what a true home or acceptance feels like. She’s also experienced torturous pain at the hands of her enemy, so it’s no surprised that she has a lot of problems when it comes to self-worth, trust, etc. While she may come across to some readers as being a jerk, I saw her as vulnerable, but with a strong internal spirit. It was hard not to feel sympathy for her after everything she’s experienced in life. Breaker, on the other paw, was a jerk in my eyes. He’s demanding, unwilling to see the other side of issues, and got on my nerves a lot while reading. While I understand his goal is to protect his family and people, his behavior throughout much of the book left much to be desired, and his initial treatment and feelings toward Malani were horrible. I didn’t start to really like him until the final chapters of the book, which is sad when you consider the fact that he’s the primary character. This isn’t to say that other readers won’t enjoy his character, I can easily see why others would appreciate and gravitate toward him rather than Malani, I just personally struggled with my feelings toward him. Having said all this, Luka was probably the most genuine character out of the three for me. His motivations are clear, he doesn’t sugar coat his behavior, what you see is what you get. This isn’t to say that I liked him, but I had more respect for him than I did Breaker because I at least knew what to expect from Luka, and the fact that I could respect him made him a character I could appreciate in the end. I’m curious to discover how these three will develop and connect in the next book. I don’t know as if I could see them becoming fast friends, but I would love to see them reach an understanding and respect for each other as the series plays out.
I really enjoyed how Reed set up the chapters to be told from alternating character point of views. Rather than have the story centered solely around Breaker and told through his eyes, we’re given the story through Malani and Luka’s as well, which allows us to learn more about the people living on the planet Scarlatti and experience the world and events in greater detail thereby creating a richer, more memorable story. It also keeps the reader invested in all three characters lives, you want to keep reading in order to discover what happens to everyone and experience their internal growth as events progress. I would say my only complaint was there were not as many chapters given to Luka as there were Breaker and Malani, but that could be simply because he is that clear cut a character and so doesn’t need to have as much time devoted toward explaining his motivations as the other two.
The overall pacing of the story was good. There weren’t that many places where it felt like things were dragging, if anything I felt more of a desire for the story to progress faster simply because I wanted to know what happened next. I felt Reed did a great job creating a sense of urgency, both with the deadline Breaker had to repair the starship and the unrest between the three cultures. Likewise I enjoyed the plot of the book and felt it was a unique concept.
Honestly, what kept me from loving this book, aside from my frustration with Breaker, who really was the primary focus, was Reed’s word usage for the passage of time and for swearing. I wasn’t sure at first if the words used were actually what she meant to say until I started seeing it happen often in the book, so at first I thought it was an error while writing that would end up being fixed later on. When I first began reading I found myself pausing every time I came across words like dia and cycle whenever a character talked about time. Yes, it is more than obvious what is being conveyed every time you read a sentence discussing time, but the changes in words used to convey it caused my mind to stop simply because they are not the words I expected to see in these moments. I actually ended up substituting hour, year, day, etc. just so I could read the sentences at a smoother pace. And Reeds use of words like banging to convey swearing really put my mind in a tizzy. It took me a few times to realize what she was doing in those moments, and I will give a nod of admiration to her for finding a way to swear without actually swearing, but it pulled me from my reading enjoyment just enough each time to make me a bit frustrated with the novel.
On the whole I feel this is a great start to what promises to be an engaging and intriguing series. Just when you think you know where the book is heading and think you know what will happen next, Reed adds a twist that will leave you flipping to the next chapter in order to find out how it all will be resolved. And just when you think you have your answers, a whole new set of questions arise toward the end, which will leave you asking, how long until the next book? Yes, the book ends on what some might call a cliffhanger, but I tend to think of it more in terms of the adventure finally starting, and the journey ahead the mystery we get to explore at a later point in time.
About the Author:
Abby J. Reed writes young adult science fiction and fantasy novels that ask what if. She has a degree in English Writing and is drawn to characters with physical limitations due to her own neurological disorder called Chronic Migraine. Her debut novel, WHEN PLANETS FALL, will be published in April 2017 by Soul Mate Publishing.
Abby lives in Colorado with her husband and two fluffy pups. If her hands aren’t on the keyboard, they are stained purple and blue with paint.
If you would like to enter for your chance to win a signed copy of When Planets Fall and assorted swag, please click on the Rafflecopter link below. This giveaway is open to US Residents only.
I’m thrilled to be participating in the tour for Megan Frampton’s newest novel, and would like to thank Tasty Book Tours for letting me share this post with you today. I’d also like to extend my sincere thanks to Avon Books for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review, murr! =^.^=
Publisher: Avon Books
Date Released: February 28, 2017
Series: Dukes Behaving Badly #5
I’ve greatly been enjoying Frampton’s Dukes Behaving Badly series, so I knew when this book was announced that I would like it. As with the previous books in the series, this novel can be read as a stand-alone and contains just the right amount of humor, wonderful characters, slowly burning romance, and engaging plot. Fans of Frampton’s books will not be disappointed in this one, and new comers to the series will find this to be a delightful read.
Genevieve is one of those people who is much stronger than she realizes. While she may feel that she is not cut out and knowledgeable enough to be a Duchess and run a dukedom, I feel she knows quite a bit and simply lacks confidence in herself. Archie was a bit hard for me to get a solid read on personality wise when I first met him, and as I continued reading I still wasn’t entirely sure what my true thoughts were where he was concerned. He has a playful side that is enjoyable, especially when it comes out around Genevieve, but he’s also got a side of him that is guarded and prefers things to be ordered and regimented (unsurprising since he is a retired military captain). Together these two have a fun and slow burning chemistry that fully comes into its own toward the end of the book. I loved that Archie taught Genevieve to have confidence in herself and that she in turn taught him to let go and have fun by setting aside proper behavior from time to time.
This is one of those books that left me smiling periodically while I was reading, and sometimes even chuckling to myself. Genevieve just has this fun quality to her that you can help but love. Her grandmother and her godmother also bring a bit of mischief and humor to the reading; I’m reminded of a scene toward the end of the book that deals with “sparkling” sheep. It’s this quality to Frampton’s writing which I enjoy immensely and always look forward to when reading this series. They’re all just fun books, and I was happy to see this quality carry over into this novel.
There were only two things that kept me from fully falling in love with this title. The first was that there were issues that came up in the story that were never fully resolved. I don’t want to say that the ending felt rushed, but I do feel that one particular issue wasn’t as explored and dealt with as I would have liked. There’s a moment in the final chapter where you think you’re going to see something happen, but it’s left hanging there unresolved. Now this could be because Frampton plans to bring this particular character back in the next book in the series as an obstacle for the main characters in that story, at least that is my hope, but I was a tad disappointed with how easily this issue was handled. And actually, now that I think about it, this issue ties in with my primary problem with the book which was that the conflict was too simple, and we don’t see nearly as much of it as we could have. We have a character, a woman mind you, who has inherited the title of Duchess, something that in this time period was practically unheard of. She also hasn’t been trained to handle the proper running of an estate and all that the title entails. You would think that there would be more focus on the social stigma this would engender and more examples of Genevieve not knowing how to handle things, but we don’t really see that a whole lot in this story. Yes, we get some training, but what we primarily see is lessons in how Genevieve should act toward people, which in the grand scheme of things isn’t all that different from lessons young ladies receive prior to entering the Ton. Now, please bear in mind that I did find the overall plot of the story to be engaging, but I believe that there was more that Frampton could have done to truly let this book shine, and thus standout, especially since she chose to twist societal convention around.
Overall, I honestly feel that this was a wonderful addition to what is an enjoyable series, and I’m greatly looking forward to seeing what Frampton has planned next. Would I recommend this book to others? Most assuredly! As I said toward the start of my review, this book works well as a stand-alone, and I feel that anyone who hasn’t read Frampton’s books would enjoy this one. But I also would recommend the series as a whole for readers to enjoy because each installment in the series brings about its own bit of fun and wonderful characters. Honestly, you can’t go wrong with Frampton’s books, murr!
About the Author:
Megan Frampton writes historical romance under her own name and romantic women’s fiction as Megan Caldwell. She likes the color black, gin, dark-haired British men, and huge earrings, not in that order. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband and son. You can visit her on her website, @meganf, and at Facebook.
If you would like to enter for your chance to win 1 of 3 print copies of Megan’s Why Do Dukes Fall in Love, book #4 in the Dukes Behaving Badly series, please use the Rafflecopter link below. This giveaway is open to US residents only.