Showing posts with label book reviews. Show all posts
Showing posts with label book reviews. Show all posts

Sunday, April 7, 2024

Romance Book Review: Forever Winter by Amber Daulton

3.8 stars

In Forever Winter, we meet the stressful bride-to-be, Susanna Lorican. She had always admired Viscount Camden Beckinworth since childhood. She was drawn to his vulnerability and his kindness. Unfortunately, the cruel hands of fate placed roadblocks in her path and ruined the day that was supposed to be her special wedding. Even though preparations were made for the perfect ceremony, nothing went right.

Susanna had always wanted a winter wedding. She was not expecting her day to be postponed due to a snowstorm, a reverend being injured from an accident, and even her gown was not ready! Worst of all, she is harassed and blackmailed by her despicable brother-in-law. Of all the days for things to go wrong, it had to be on the day she was supposed to get married to the man she loves. Despite all the bad luck that came her way, she is intent on being married to her fiancé. Will Susanna and Camden get their happily ever after?

The setting of this historical romance is Southern Derbyshire, England 1834. While reading Forever Winter, I’m sure that readers will empathize with Susanna and Camden for having to go through so much distress. I liked how he was supportive of Susanna, especially when an awful incident happened to her. I was glued to the page to find out what happens next. The author created realistic characters and scenes that made the book easy to follow.

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Romance Book Review: Royal Mistress by Anne Easter Smith

Publisher: Touchstone

Publication Date: May 2013

ISBN: 978-1451648621

Reviewed by: M.A. Thomas From Feathered Quill

Review Date: May 2013

Ms. Anne Smith's latest historical novel, Royal Mistress is an intriguing story that is composed of a series of events that occurred in the fifteenth century. Jane Lambert is portrayed as a beautiful, kindhearted young lady who has a magnetism that attracts men. However, despite her beauty and intelligence, she is still unmarried at the age of twenty-two.

Due to her flirtatious nature with men, her father, John Lambert, who is a mercer of London, is concerned about protecting her reputation and his good name. He is determined to find her a suitable husband. Unbeknown to him, Jane was attracted to Thomas Grey, the Marquess of Dorset. Although her heart belongs to another, she is forced to marry an impotent and older merchant, William Shore. During her loveless and boring marriage, she remained hopeful of finding true love. Her attractiveness is soon observed by the king’s chamberlain, Will Hastings. He is captivated by her charm and mentions her to his friend, King Edward IV, who has an insatiable appetite for women.

After seven years as his mistress, Jane assumed the king would become bored of her. On the contrary, she had the strongest effect on Edward. Although he had numerous mistresses, Jane remained his favorite. With her at his side, he discovers love and happiness. However, this is short-lived.

As a result of Edward’s endless indulgence in sensual pleasures and his failure to continue being the powerful leader of his country, catastrophic events occur and affect the life of Jane and William Hastings. After Edward’s death, his younger brother Richard III became the new head of the monarchy. He is intent on amending Edward’s immoral court. Jane will have to use her intellect to survive the ordeal in which she is suddenly placed.

Ms. Anne Easter Smith is very talented in writing historical fiction novels that are accurately researched and realistic. As dramatic events unfold in Royal Mistress, readers are drawn into the compelling tale of life in the court of Edward IV.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Romance Book Review: Midnight Lord (Midnight Series #2) by Marlene Suson

4.5 stars

Midnight Lord by Marlene Suson is the second of her Midnight Trilogy. The setting of this historical romance is 1741, Virginia Frontier. The story begins with Stephen Wingate, Lord Arlington trying to escape his pursuers. Stephen had endured all the cruelty that fate offered him. He was kidnapped, robbed of his identity, and sold as an indentured servant in the colonies. During his escape, he collapsed from exhaustion.

Megan Drake and her younger brother Josh heard the noise outside. When they found Stephen, he was taken inside the cabin and nursed back to health. Due to his physical appearance and marks on his body from severe whippings, Meg assumed he was a transported convict and not the person he claimed to be. Throughout the story, he tries to convince her that he is a gentleman of the upper class and was given the identity of an English convict.

My Thoughts

The author wrote a captivating story of Stephen falling in love with Megan, despite her lack of beauty. He was thoughtful, hardworking, and he also had a very protective nature. Midnight Lord keeps the reader in suspense. Will Stephen be recaptured and returned to his cruel master? Read this story to find out!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Romance Book Reviews: Come Pride Come Passion by Jennifer West

One of my favorite books to read during the warm, summer months is Come Pride, Come Passion authored by Jennifer West. The setting of Come Pride, Come Passion is in Greenridge, South Carolina. In the first chapter, we meet Southern Belle, Elizabeth Hart. At the ripe age of twenty-eight, she is suddenly cast into the role of widowhood. She is used to living a sheltered life when her husband was alive, now she is alone and will have to fend for herself.

She finds herself drowning in debt. To keep her head above water, she rents her mansion to boarders and tries to maintain the operation of her mill that has been in her family for generations. One of her boarders is Cade Delaney, who came back to his hometown to settle old scores. He is consumed with hatred and a passion for revenge.

When he was a young boy, his father was brutally murdered by members of the upper class. He is also consumed with lust for the rich girl he could never have. In his youth, he was infatuated with Elizabeth, but he was ignored because of his poor background. Thirteen years later, he is financially independent and successful. When he saw her again, he instantly remembered her from his childhood. She was also the daughter of his father’s enemy.

Although he knows that she is innocent and was not responsible for the cruelty that was meted out to his father, he still sees her as his inherited enemy. Elizabeth is desperate to save her mill, but Cade is intent on exacting revenge on her since she is the daughter of the man who killed his father. His goal was to use her and to have her financially ruined.

However, the power of love is blocking his revengeful path. He tries hard to put aside his true feelings, but his desire for her is too strong for him to resist. Although he came back to settle old scores, the power of love led him away from the past and into the future. Come Pride, Come Passion by Jennifer West is a contemporary fiction romance novel that takes readers on a pleasant journey. The story consists of mystery, suspense, revenge, and love. There are dark moments in the book that were very realistic and heart-wrenching. There are also sensual scenes that will keep readers glued to the page.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Romance Book Review: The Scandalous Miss Howard by Nan Ryan

3.8 stars

The Scandalous Miss Howard by Nan Ryan is a well-woven story that consists of flawed characters, packed emotions, vengeance, forgiveness, and romance. I was drawn into the book, especially with the development of the plot.

The author penned a realistic situation where the characters were flawed and had their conflicts. Nan Ryan painted Ladd as a very sympathetic hero. His cruel intention for wanting to seek vengeance on the heroine is very understandable. I was glued to the page to find out how the story would end. Readers will not be disappointed with this touching story.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Romance Book Review: Sinful by Charlotte Featherstone

4 Stars

Matthew, Earl of Wallingford is a damaged soul who is known for his callous and indifferent ways toward women. His days are filled with boredom and visiting brothels to satiate his carnal pleasures. He knows he is a flawed, immoral person and doesn’t pretend to be otherwise like other members of the upper class.

One night, he was attacked and brutally beaten by ruffians. While he was being treated at the hospital, he was drawn toward an angelic voice that soothed the inner darkness within him. Shy and plain, Jane Rankin is the nurse taking care of Matthew and is attracted to him. At first, she is not aware that he is the infamous rake, Lord Wallingford!

My Thoughts:

Sinful By Charlotte Featherstone is a novel that consists of a hero who is broken, damaged, and hungry for the love of a good woman. The reader gets a close look at Matthew’s traumatic past and the disturbing side effects he has from the experience. I would recommend Sinful By Charlotte Featherstone to people who enjoy reading about a dark hero, and his strong desire for a heroine with an inner beauty that would never fade with time.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Romance Book Review: Taming Graeme by Kate Britton

Graeme Browning is an unhappy and lonely widower, trying to adjust to life. Although he is a billionaire, he did not have much enjoyment in his life after the death of his wife, Carrie. All this changed when he entered into a casual relationship with the beautiful, Olivia Stone. He is captivated by her personality and physical assets.

Olivia is also innocent. She is not used to the BDSM lifestyle or attending BDSM clubs, but she has a strong curiosity. Graeme took her to his club called “The Hedonists Pleasure” where she became more exposed to the lifestyle. During their relationship, Olivia becomes his sub and allows herself to be controlled. He tells her how to do her hair and make-up, how to dress etc. She tries so hard to please him and is devoted to his wishes. Within a few weeks, Graeme changed her life dramatically. She finds herself falling in love with a man who is very dominant. Will Graeme reciprocate the same feelings for a girl who is nearly half his age?

Taming Graeme by Kate Britton is a satisfying story that will hold the interest of readers who love erotic romance. I was not disappointed with the writing style of Ms. Kate Britton. The love scenes are very hot, detailed, and intense! The protagonists are likable and there is a good storyline.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Time Flies Book Review

Time Flies By: Claire Cook

Publisher: Touchstone

Publishing Date: June 2013

ISBN: 978-1451673678

Reviewed by: M.A. Thomas from Feathered Quill

Review Date: June 2013

Time Flies by Claire Cook is a humorous contemporary novel that takes readers on a pleasant adventure down memory lane. In Ms. Cook’s latest novel, self-employed artist Melanie is trying to get over the pain of losing her husband to another woman. In addition to her broken marriage, she has to deal with another important event in her life; a high school reunion.

Melanie is not feeling optimistic about the reunion since she knows that high school reunions were a test for personal success. She feels insecure about her looks and devastated by her bad marriage. Through the persistence of her best friend, B.J., and her frequent email conversations with an old flame from high school, she finally makes the decision to attend the special event.

Throughout the story, she reminisces about her life with her husband and her high school days. She feels that returning to her past will help her to recognize her future. However, there is a roadblock that is preventing her from moving forward. Melanie has a highway-driving phobia. Her heart is filled at times with hope, promise, and anxiety. In order for her to start living her future, she will need to rely on her inner strength to control her affliction.

Time Flies by Claire Cook is a delightful work of art that takes readers to a fun part of their own high school days. In the story, there are special songs, popular fashion trends, and other fond memories. Ms. Cook has an original, artistic style of writing and creates funny, memorable characters, a believable plot, and a storyline with a realistic flow. This is my first experience reading a novel authored by Ms. Cook and I must say that it was a very good reading experience. I am intrigued with Time Flies and very eager to read more of her novels in this genre.

Quill says: Time Flies is a fun and meaningful contemporary fiction that pertains to reinvention, overcoming adversity, and finding the freedom to live your life.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Yarn to Go by Betty Hechtman Book Review

Publisher: Berkley

Publication Date: July 2013

ISBN: 978-0425252215

Reviewed by: M.A. Thomas from Feathered Quill

Review Date: June 23, 2013

Betty Hechtman’s Yarn to Go is the first novel from the new Yarn Retreat Mystery series. Casey Feldstein is a dessert chef who is talented in baking delicious desserts and muffins for customers. Although she demonstrates proficiency in the kitchen, she lacks knitting skills. Her passion does not consist of mastering the technique of using needles and hooks. Her creative endeavors were more in the line of baking.

Casey finds out that her deceased aunt’s business Yarn2Go has a scheduled “Petit Retreat.” At first, she is reluctant to attend the event for her aunt due to her inexperience as a knitter and a hostess. She is overwhelmed with the responsibility. However, with the assurance of her friend and a master knitting teacher who will also be at the retreat, she makes the decision to go ahead with the event.

The peaceful, breathtaking scenery of the Monterey Peninsula is tarnished when danger suddenly strikes. While the retreat is underway, one of the members is found dead in her hotel room on the first night. Casey is suspicious since her aunt and a former member of the retreat had died recently. She feels that their deaths are somehow related to this current incident. During the course of six months, three people who were connected to the retreat have been found dead. Although her temporary experience working at a detective agency did not prepare her to solve a case, Casey feels a sense of responsibility for the victim. She begins her own investigation in order to find clues that might lead her to the identity of the real killer.

The mystery deepens when there is a suspicion that one of the retreat members could be the killer since the victim was found with knitting needles sticking out of her chest. This revelation becomes evident when Casey discovers that her aunt’s knitting needles were missing. Upon further investigations, Casey learns that if it hadn’t been for the knitting needles sticking inside the victim’s chest, the case would have been considered an accidental death due to the presence of drugs and alcohol that were found in the victim’s system. Until the case is solved, the retreat members and the victim’s boyfriend are all considered suspects. Will Casey postpone the retreat or stick through the ordeal until the end?

Yarn to Go by Betty Hechtman consists of various twists and turns that will leave readers in a shroud of mystery. They are in for a huge surprise when the identity of the killer is finally revealed. This is an interesting tale that ensnares the reader from the first page. In addition to writing a great mystery, the author also includes an easy-to-follow knitting tutorial and recipe. I would recommend Yarn to Go to readers who enjoy an enthralling mystery story where there are several suspects and clues to piece together. Ms. Hechtman effectively demonstrates her talent by creating an engrossing mystery plot and a cast of witty, complex characters. With these elements, I must say that Yarn to Go is the perfect summer read.

Quill says: If you enjoy a riveting mystery novel that keeps you guessing until the case is solved, you’re sure to have an entertaining time reading Yarn to Go.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Outrageous October Book Review by Barbara Levenson

Publisher: CreateSpace

Publication Date: February 2013

ISBN: 1480093661

Reviewed by: M.A. Thomas from Feathered Quill

Review Date: March 2013

Mary Katz is content with her life as a proficient criminal defense attorney and having a gorgeous fiancé, Carlos. Unfortunately for Mary, a rift developed in her relationship with Carlos the night she saw him with his ex-spouse in a restaurant. Without waiting to hear his explanation, she broke off her engagement with him, packed her belongings in her SUV, and made her retreat to High Pines, Vermont with her German shepherd, Sam.

During her stay at her friend’s summerhouse in Vermont, Mary came to the realization that she was living in the wrong house when she received a stack of mail addressed to the Brousseau family. Carolyn Brousseau is the name of the socialite who was found murdered in the same house. Her son, Tom was the prime suspect, but her murder was still not solved. As a result of this discovery and further investigations, Mary ends up meeting the charming lawyer of the village, Dash Mellman. He is intrigued with Mary and persuades her to provide legal assistance for one of his clients. Although Mary came to Vermont to heal her broken heart after seeing her ex-fiancé with another woman, she is dedicated to her career. She makes the decision to take over the legal case for Dash and suddenly finds herself immersed in a neighborhood feud that progresses into all-out warfare.

While her legal work is underway, Mary also learns that Lillian Yarmouth, one of her former clients has a daughter, Sherry who is missing. Her gut instinct tells her that Sherry’s new boyfriend is involved in her sudden disappearance. During the investigation, Lillian receives a phone call that her daughter is being held for ransom. She knows that time is of the essence before Sherry is found dead. Should Mary return to Miami to reconcile with Carlos or continue her involvement with the pending investigations in Vermont?

Outrageous October is the third mystery novel from the Mary Margruder Katz series. Ms. Barbara Levenson is a brilliant author who created a chilling tale that will captivate the imagination of readers as they turn each page. The characters are beautifully drawn and held my interest. Outrageous October is a suspenseful novel that I enjoyed and grateful for the chance to review. I am looking forward to reading Ms. Levenson’s fourth installment in her mystery series.

Quill says: Mystery fans will have a good adventure reading this gripping storyline that consists of an unsolved murder, mystery, and romance.

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