Kentucky Bride by Norah Hess

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Blurb: Fleeing her abusive uncle, young D’lise Alexander trusts no man—until she is rescued by trapper Kane Devlin. There, amid the simple pleasures of cornhusking and barn raisings, she comes to recognize that the deep affection she holds for her savior is true love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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3.5 stars

I know. The cover right?  Sometimes I love these cheesy romances.  This was kinda one of those times.  This book was soooo slow.I mean, I liked the story, especially the slow simmer.  Which would have been required due to the early content in this book but it was like watching paint dry in some parts.  And the constant misunderstanding started to grate on my nerves.  I received this book for free through my Kindle for Samsung app. (great app!)

I’m partial to historical romances and equally partial to rescuees falling for rescuers, which is obviously one of those stories.  This was my first trip into Norah Hess’ work and also into this time frame.  I would absolutely read more in this time frame but I don’t think I have the patience to get through another long descriptive book like this  one right now.

It seemed each day was described and he timeline didn’t vary; i.e. flashbacks or others POV’s.  It was very linear and there wasn’t much of a subplot or it was so predictable as to seem non-existent. Which caused me to take many breaks while reading this.  It was also very predictable and while I do love those from time to time, this one kinda fell flat for me.

I think in the end the predictability of the book is what saved it for me.  Since I knew how it was going to go, I finished it.  And as I got through the second half the time seemed to pick up a bit too. Like I said I liked the story, it just took a while to get to the meat of it.

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Storm Warrior (Grim #1) by Dani Harper

17899157Blurb: Enslaved for millennia by the masters of the Welsh faery realm, the fierce Celtic warrior Rhys is doomed to wander the earth forever. But when a brave beauty unwittingly breaks the enchantment, he is drawn into a strange new world…and an all-consuming desire.

Sensible Morgan doesn’t believe in magic—until a mysterious being saves her from a fate worse than death, and life as she knows it changes forever. Now the man of her dreams has become flesh and blood, igniting a spark in Morgan’s soul which science cannot explain. But even a love that transcends time may not be strong enough to withstand the power of an ancient curse.

From the best-selling author of Changeling Moon, this stirring novel of passion and magic launches an addictive new series for fans of paranormal romance.

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4 stars

This story started out great, then it slowed down a bit, then it picked up, then…you get the idea.  I had a hard time with the ebb and flow of the pacing TBH.  I generally have found that the books I read are pretty consistent in their pacing so this one threw me off.

Rhys is a strong, typical welsh/celtic warrior.  I wasn’t too impressed with him except for his assimilation into the current culture.  Jay and Starr were happy hippies who loved their hobbies and were very supportive of Morgan.  Almost like older siblings. Leo was my favorite supporting character.  He was funny, straight to the point and I liked how he wasn’t the same age as the MC.  It gave the story a little more non-linear feel to it if that makes sense.

I found Morgan to be a bit confusing because the author kept referencing her love of her grandmothers fairy tale/myth stories yet she refused to believe that they could be true.  Then the major epiphany came across to me as a bit melodramatic.  Even the climax seemed a bit of a let down.  Her inner conflict seemed very important to her, yet it all seemed to fall away once the physical attraction came into play.   I will say I loved how she tried to always protect herself and doesn’t expect others to step in.

I did enjoy the story, character flaws notwithstanding.  I don’t think I will be reading the rest of the series anytime soon though.  I got everything I wanted out of this story and have no desire to continue in this world.  Maybe that could change in the future, but for now I need to focus on the series I have to finish before I go deeper into another one.

I received this book from the Kindle for Samsung app on my phone.  I get some great books from there.  Who turns down a free book a month?  Crazy people, that’s who.

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A Matter of Grave Concern by Brenda Novak

a-matter-of-grave-concernBlurb: When Maximillian Wilder hides his noble identity and joins the notorious body snatchers known as the London Supply Company, the last thing on his mind is love. He’s worried about Madeline, his vanished half sister, who was last seen in the company of Jack Hurtsill, the gang’s conscienceless leader. Raiding graveyards, stealing corpses, and selling them to medical colleges as dissection material is dirty work, but Max knows he must gain Jack’s trust. He’s determined to find out what happened to Madeline—and to bring Jack to justice if she was murdered for the coin her body could earn.

Beautiful, spirited Abigail Hale, daughter of the surgeon at Aldersgate School of Medicine, detests the challenging, hard-bargaining Max almost as much as Jack. But she must procure the necessary specimens if she is to save the college and her father’s career. She believes she is going to be successful—until Jack double-crosses her. Then she’s swept into a plot of danger and intrigue, one where Max must intervene to protect her, no matter the risk to his plan…or his heart.

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4 stars

This book was a great mystery/love/historical that made really sucked my in and made me believe it.

The chemistry was amazing!  The restraint and passion they both showed had a wonderful ebb and flow. It really gave this mystery a deeper layer that I enjoyed very much.  I suppose I should have been concerned with the fact that Abigail clearly suffered from Stockholm Syndrome but it was written so well that I couldn’t have cared less.

Abigail was a feminist during a time when it wasn’t socially accepted to be.  Her desire to prove herself was (I think) a driving force behind most of her actions.  That and her need to be treated equally.  And Max was pretty supportive of her for the most part.  He didn’t shy away from treating her differently than the men, for example the vulgar language he used around her wasn’t held back.  It was pretty funny to hear Abigail throw the same words back at him as if she spoke that way all the time.  Her manner was very clinical and came of as funny from an outsider.  But Max was there whenever she was unable to defend herself properly.  It was a nice combo.

The mystery was great and pretty intricate.  The author clearly didn’t hold back in any aspect of her story telling.  Sometimes you will see that one aspect is emphasized more in a novel but this one had equal billing between the love story and the mystery.

The only thing I will say kinda bothered me was the ending.  Without giving anything away I felt the ending was a bit melodramatic.  It would have read just fine without the added drama.  But that’s such a small part of the story as to barely tweak my radar.

I received this book from Kindle for Samsung‘s app.  Kindle for Samsung is a free reading app designed exclusively for Samsung customers. It gives customers a free eBook every month through Samsung Book Deals.

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The Other Guy’s Bride (Braxton #2) by Connie Brockway

the-other-guys-brideBlurb: Determined to prove her worth as a budding archeologist, Ginesse Braxton vows to solve one of the world’s greatest mysteries–to find the location of the lost city of Zerzura. Unfortunately, no man dares take the risk of escorting the resolute young scholar across the open desert. But on her way to Egypt, Ginesse engages in a daring deception–she will switch places with Mildred Whimpelhall, who is traveling to meet her fiancé.

Cynical adventurer Jim Owen will do anything to escape the dark secrets of his troubled past. Betrayed by the woman he loved, scorned by proper society, he agrees to carry out a danger-fraught task: escort Mildred Whimpelhall across a lawless desert to her intended. But Jim is about to learn that “Mildred” isn’t exactly what she seems . . . and the dangers they face together are eclipsed only by an even greater peril: falling in love, against all reason, with another guy’s bride . . .

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5 stars

This book was fantastic you guys!  I have always loved historical romances but this one takes the cake.

Ginny is clumsy, smart and refuses to be what people tell her she should be. She stands out in this historical since she isn’t demure and delicate like most woman of this time period are.  She won’t take no for an answer and is so hard headed that she will go it alone if need be. I love how she rationalizes her deception and almost never takes any blame when things start to go awry.  Most of the time its not her fault but when it is and she doesn’t own it, it makes for some funny dialogue.  All she wants is for people to accept her and it seems she is thwarted at every turn in her quest.  She never gives up though and she shows great courage in a time when woman are not known for it.

Jim Owens is my new book boyfriend!  I found him to be a bit abrupt at first, only wanting to fulfill his obligation. Which really only endeared me to him cause I knew his hard shell was actually just a candy coating waiting to be eaten.  Somewhere along the way, she stopped being an burden and he found himself craving her company.  He was quite talented at saving her from herself. He literally couldn’t contain himself where she was concerned.  And this man had a way with words.  He’s a closet romantic and indulged her deep romanticism with unexpected fervor.

The chemistry they had was OFF THE CHARTS.  And I know people say that a lot but damn if I didn’t need to take a break so I could cool down myself.  This was made all the more intense because of the predicaments they get into which just heightened their attraction toward each other.  It was so juicy guys, like I re-read those parts multiple times and they still make my tummy flutter.

The world building in this book was easy to follow, I could picture it in my head like a movie.  It had such great descriptions of Egypt and its pyramids I thought it was all true history. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical romances.

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The Wolf’s Pursuit (London Fairy Tales #3) by Rachel Van Dyken

The wolfs pursuitBlurb: What happens when one is both Hunter and Wolf?
You know it’s going to be a bad day when you get shot at—twice. Hunter Wolfsbane, Duke of Haverstone, also known as “Wolf” is having exactly one of those days. Things take a turn for the worse when he’s notified that he’ll be acquiring a partner for his newest mission. The rub? He’s kissed her—twice. In his defense, she was already ruined, but it didn’t help matters that she was the sister-in-law to his best friend in the world.

And how does a woman protect her heart from one who has the power to destroy every-thing she holds dear?
Lady Gwendolyn has only one thing on her mind–Finding the Wolf and strangling him where he stands. Unfortunately, she needs him to complete one final mission for the Crown and to keep her family safe. It has absolutely nothing to do with her attraction to him, or his golden eyes, or his wicked smile, or the fact that he’s convinced to keep his heart encased in ice—that is, if he still possesses one.

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Favorite quote: 

It’s easier to believe you’re a failure. So much easier than trying to wrap your mind around the simple truth or perhaps the idea that you are so much more than you choose to be.

4 stars

Another great story in this series.  I’ve been waiting for this one cause I had a feeling it would be my favorite and I was right.  I do love the Little Red Riding Hood re-tellings.

I loved Red’s spunk.  She wasn’t afraid to challenge cultural norms in this era and used her sex to her advantage in her missions.  Her loyalty to her country is steadfast and strong. She just had such a great depth of character.

The wolf was exactly what you expect.  He liked her, obviously, but he resisted temptation and the chance at a happiness because of fear.  He was incredibly vulnerable emotionally but physically strong, a compelling contrast in a historical romance. His loyalty was worth more than anything to him, you will see what I mean when you read the book.

The third book in this series can be read as a stand alone.  They are parallel stories about sisters.

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Brooklyn on Fire by Lawrence H. Levy

Brooklyn on fireBlurb: After closing a case with the Brooklyn Police Department, Mary Handley is determined to become an official detective in her own right. And when Emily Worsham shows up at her new office— convinced her uncle John Worsham was murdered and desperate for answers—Mary’s second assignment begins.

As she investigates the curious circumstances surrounding John’s death, Mary soon finds herself entangled in a high-stakes family scandal, a series of interconnected murders, political corruption, untrustworthy sources, and an unexpected romance with a central member of New York’s elite.

Featuring historic figures like Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, and the Vanderbilt family, Brooklyn on Fire takes Mary on a wild journey from New York City to North Carolina to uncover not only the truth of one man’s death, but to unravel the mystery in three murders – with links tied perilously close to her own personal world.

book bingo

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4 stars

I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.  This book took me a while to get through.  It had so much going on that I confess to not being smart enough to figure out the whodunit till the very end.  This happens so rarely that I’m still trying to wrap my head around it.  There were so many things wrapped up in the plot that I got confused and lost interest for a bit.  The many crimes that happened seemed to be separate but by the end you get a clear picture of how they were connected.

Mary is a feminist in a world before it was cool to be that way.  She is extremely smart and charming and has a knack for making the men in her life see past her gender.  One of the best things I enjoyed about this book is that a lot of the things that occurred in the book also happened in real life.  The notes in the back of the book were very interesting to look through.  And it had a bunch of questions specifically designed for book clubs.

I loved her rational approach and her ambition to want more than her gender normally had at that time.  I also was quite impressed with her selfless approach to her love life and how she didn’t care what most people thought.  She wasn’t afraid to speak her mind, but she wasn’t reckless and knew when to remain silent as well.

Her family life is the opposite of her professional life giving her character a nice contrast that I enjoyed. Even though this is the second book in the series, you can read it as a stand alone.  I would recommend this book to mystery lovers.  I really dig the cover too.

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Whispered Music (London Fairy Tales #2) by Rachel Van Dyken

whispered musicBlurb: Scarred at a young age, Dominique Maksylov, Royal Prince of Russia, has lived a reclusive life. As a musical prodigy, his music has wide reach into the world, but few ever see his face. He never ventures into polite society, but when he dis-covers he is the only heir to the Earldom of Harriss, he goes to one ball. And that one ball, was enough to change the direction of his life forever.
But how could he possibly have known that other person— the other half of his whole—would not only need his help but threaten his very existence?

She didn’t know how hard it would be to love the broken.
Isabelle Hartwell’s mother just sold her to the Beast of Russia. He’s mean, tem-peramental, and the most virile, handsome man she has ever encountered. But he has a secret, one he’s willing to die for and he refuses to let anyone in. Will she be able to reach his heart before it’s too late?

Find out if love prevails in this regency retelling of how Beauty tamed the savage Beast…

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4 Stars

This story closely followed the fairy tale.  I took a star off for the fact that their physical relationship seems to be the answer to their problems.  And that just bugged me.  I mean, yeah, they started to get along and yeah, he was being kind to her.   But when the main focus was their physical attraction and how they just couldn’t resist each other, I call bullshit.

Isabelle is a bit impulsive and naive.  Dominique was childish in his actions towards her, spoilt even.  In my opinion, Hunter was the best character in the book and I can’t wait to read his story.  But all that was minor compared to the writing, I am a huge fan of RVD’s writing style.  She can paint a great back story and the emotions are always intense and make my tummy flutter. The steamy scenes were hot but classy, not to much detail which I like when reading historical’s for some reason.  I think this is my third or fourth book I’ve read so far by her and I own four more I plan on reading as well.  The part when he demands she join him for dinner was almost an exact replica of the Disney version. And I liked it.  

These books are quick reads, a few hours tops. It’s only 99 cents right now, so its a great value if you are a fan of historical romances.  

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This book satisfies the Historical Romance block on my Book Bingo Challenge that I’m doing from Just Another Girl and Her Books blog.  If you are interested in checking it out click the link.

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Power of the Matchmaker

Synopsis:
25773945A prequel novella to the POWER OF THE MATCHMAKER Series
Mystical . . . Beautiful . . . Romantic . . .
12 novels by 12 bestselling authors
Released once a month in 2016
Read the matchmaker’s story to find out where it all starts . . .

Mae Li has been in love with Chen Zhu for years, and he with her. But when the matchmaker arrives at the Zhu family home, she recommends another village girl for Chen.

Heartbroken, Mae Li watches as Chen does his duty by marrying another. Mae flees her village with the clothes on her back and her only possession—a pearl embedded comb, given to her as a goodbye gift from Chen Zhu.

Upon Mae’s arrival in Shanghai, she quickly learns that she’ll starve within days unless she sells her prized comb or joins a courtesan house. She goes to the Huangpu River and promises the River God that she’ll always be selfless if he will save her from becoming a prostitute . . . Her wish is granted when Ms. Tan, the matchmaker of Shanghai, finds Mae. But Mae must completely change her future and her name if she is to become the next matchmaker.

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My Review:
3 stars — I received an arc of this book in exchange for my honest review!

I’m finally about to start the book in this series that I’ve been looking forward to forever, so I figured I should read the prequel novella that’s been sitting on my kindle for a few months…whoops.  Also, as an aside, I don’t actually know who the author of this novella is, since they list all the authors for the series.  Somehow I doubt 12 authors managed to collaborate on one story.  😛

Most of this novella left me feeling kind of meh.  Not bad at all, just nothing too terribly remarkable.  But maybe it’s my disinterest in historical settings coming through?  Maybe I really am that partial to romance?  Partly it was that the story was basically given away in the synopsis…there were no surprises, just extended details if that makes sense.  It did stir my emotions — I felt for her losing the love of her life b/c of a mismatch…  And her struggles in Shanghai definitely hit you in the heart…  I guess it just wasn’t lasting.  I will be curious to see what her role is in the upcoming books…  I’m mostly in it for one book, but there are one or two others that sound intriguing to me, so it was nice to be introduced to her character and her background.

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Upon a Midnight Dream (London Fairy Tales Book 1) by Rachel Van Dyken

upon a midnight dreamSynopsis: “I release you…” were the last words Rosalind remembered before her world went black. Stefan, the future duke of Montmouth, no doubt thought his words were welcomed but he couldn’t have been more wrong. Oh, he was handsome as a pagan Norse god, but that was unimportant when her life as well as those of her family hung in the balance.

With less than six weeks left, Rosalind has stopped believing in the fairy tale, the prince on the white horse, and the stolen kiss that would awaken her from her worst nightmares. Resigned to her fate, she waits for the inevitable curse to run it’s course.

“We must marry at once!” Stefan declared, fully expecting Rosalind to be delighted that he had come to save her, but he was sorely mistaken. Rosalind was no simpering docile female; she was a fiery temptress with a stubborn streak only matched by his horse, Samson. Insulting, infuriating, intoxicating and alluring enough to drive a man mad. Stefan found himself thankful for the curse that required him marry her, thankful for the betrothal contract he had so recently tried to release her from…With the fortitude of a sailor shipwrecked, abandoned, and a solider warring for his life Stefan decides to lay siege to the greatest prize, Rosalind’s heart.

Order it on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1Ov5oWj

Four book series for 2.97 on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1lW5VWf

Add it to you TBR list on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/14739756-upon-a-midnight-dream

3.5 Stars

These books are a steal right now. You can get all four for only 2.97! Or you can get the first one for FREE!

This book is a fairy tale re-telling of Sleeping Beauty.  It has a historical setting that I have come to love lately.  First book in the series, YA genre.  It was cute. The way the author wrote the sleeping curse was pretty cool.  There was a bit of sleight of hand with this curse, which I liked and I can’t go in to it more because: Spoilers sweetie!  The characters were good; but they didn’t really stand out for any particular reason.

Rosalind is the oldest daughter and she is incredibly stubborn, like not in an endearing way. In a nails on a chalkboard way. I found her character to be too picky and almost uppity and a bit self-centered.  At first Stefan came off as arrogant and condescending so I wasn’t really digging him either.  But then he tried to make things right and go back to her. Which I thought showed some humility. But Rosalind wasn’t having it.  And it was never good enough for her. I don’t know if it was some kind of verbal foreplay that the author was going for because he kinda took it in stride. That part of her character really rubbed me wrong.  The way that she dismissed everything that he tried.

I bought the whole series because you can get all four books and they are full length novels for like three bucks. I think I’m gonna read the rest because The Sleeping Beauty is my favorite fairy tale with Little Red Riding hood coming in a close second and I want to see what happens.  The author alludes to these other stories so I think I’m gonna check them out.

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