Review: Lords of Love and Legends by Allie Mackay, Brenda Jernigan and Sue-Ellen Welfonder

From USA Today Bestselling and
National Award-winning Authors
Allie Mackay, Brenda Jernigan and Sue-Ellen Welfonder

Four magical tales of timeless desire

MY REVIEW

What a marvelous collection of historical romances! Though each story is different, the characters just come alive and transport me into their story. I found myself rooting for each couple, that they would get their HEA. The difficulties they experienced spurred on their growth, rounding out their character, and their romantic developments are realistic and very enjoyable to read.

It was a new thing for me to read Scottish dialogue, all those “didnae” and “ye” etc, but once I got used to it, I thought it brought an authenticity to the story that immersed me fully in that time and place. Love also the hint of magic and supernatural/mystery in the stories–like how the heroine in Winter Fire by Sue-Ellen Welfonder thought the hero is a god, but is he really? As well as the presence of the Cailleach (witch) Devorgilla, and the ghost in Some Like it Kilted by Allie Mackay, and just who is Jewel in The Duke’s Lady by Brenda Jernigan.

There are 4 stories in all in this collection, so there’s something for everyone in this book. Happily for me, I truly enjoyed each and every one of these stories, and I’m looking forward to more.

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Review: A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas

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A STUDY IN SCARLET WOMEN is a breath of fresh air in the market of historical romances, where one story tends to blend into another. A phenomenal read, and by the time I reached the end, I wanted more! I can’t wait for the next book, which comes out in 2017!

Anyway, my review: I became interested in all things Sherlock due to the BBC show Sherlock. That’s why I was intrigued when I read the blurb. I wanted to know if Sherry Thomas, whose historical romances I loved, could pull it off. And she did!

I don’t read a lot of mysteries, but I thought the mystery here was well done and logical. There are enough red herrings to keep you guessing, and there are also lots of surprising twists and turns in the story–both in Charlotte’s life and in the mystery–that would keep you involved until the very end.

For me, one of the factors of this novel’s success is the heroine–Charlotte Holmes. She’s a very unusual heroine, strong, very smart, her mind runs on a different plane than ours, and I guess it’s reasonable to assume that she’s modeled after Sherlock Holmes. However, the way the author presented her, Charlotte is not a sociopath. She’s just…different, and her powers of observation are top-notch. She’s also empathetic, enough that I was rooting for her until the end. Continue reading

Review: Do You Want to Start A Scandal by Tessa Dare

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And she’s back! DO YOU WANT TO START A SCANDAL is vintage Tessa Dare–with heartwarming romance and cheeky laugh-out-loud banter.

I haven’t read the 3rd book in the Castles Ever After series, but for the first two books, I thought the theme of having the heroines inherit a castle and for the story to revolve there sounded a bit forced. And well, rather limiting. And well, some rather ridiculous stuff happened in the books. I’m glad to see the author had abandoned it in this book and decided to have the heroine get the castle in the usual way–by marrying the man who already owned it.

Though this book is the 4th book in the Castles Ever After series, the heroine is Charlotte Highwood, sister of Diana and Minerva Highwood from the Spindle Cove series. Continue reading

Review: The Widow’s Auction by Sabrina Jeffries

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THE WIDOW’S AUCTION is a hot and romantic novella that I enjoyed a lot in one sitting.

Both Isobel and Justin are solid characters with believable motivations. Even at the start, although they were attracted to each other, each had ruled out the other as a potential mate due to some perceived realistic, albeit mistaken, reason. I like how, in the course of one night, they got to know who the other is beneath the facade that they present to the world.

The entire novella happened over 2 days, but the characters had known each other a long time before that, so their romantic development had started way before page 1, and we are merely witness to when that romance has come to full bloom. Nevertheless, the story was a satisfying and enjoyable read that fans of historical romance would surely enjoy. Continue reading

New series I think I’m gonna be in love with!!

And the author and publisher has to thank Sherlock (BBC) for that.

You know I’ve never been one for reading mysteries that had not a drop of romance. I mean, of course I’ll still read it, because my brain (for some reason) loves them. But if they had some romance to them, I’ll probably love them better.

So, even though I’ve heard of Sherlock Holmes, I’ve never been motivated enough to pick up the books.

Robert Downey Jr. piqued my interest a bit, but…not enough.

Then came Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock and I was hooked! Maybe because the series is only 3 episodes each. Maybe it’s the superb acting from all the cast. Maybe it’s because I’ve become a Sherlock/Molly shipper. Whatever it is, I now love everything Sherlock! (Well, not everything.)

Anyway, when I saw this book about a Lady Sherlock, I just have to grab it, right???? Though it’s mainly mystery, the author promises a strong romantic element. And I’ve read some Sherry Thomas’s books before, so I’m sure this will be a story worth reading!

With her inquisitive mind, Charlotte Holmes has never felt comfortable with the demureness expected of the fairer sex in upper class society.  But even she never thought that she would become a social pariah, an outcast fending for herself on the mean streets of London.
 
When the city is struck by a trio of unexpected deaths and suspicion falls on her sister and her father, Charlotte is desperate to find the true culprits and clear the family name. She’ll have help from friends new and old—a kind-hearted widow, a police inspector, and a man who has long loved her. But in the end, it will be up to Charlotte, under the assumed name Sherlock Holmes, to challenge society’s expectations and match wits against an unseen mastermind.

 

My Top Ten of 2015

If I could give it 10 stars, I would!

PLAYING WITH FIRE is the magnificent, hot hot hot follow up to Flirting with Fire. What makes it hot? Dominant hero, saucy-mouthed heroine, power games in and out of the bedroom. Combine that with witty dialogue, and you’re in for an amazing ride you don’t want to end!

This book is so so good that I wonder how the author could top this one. Still, I’m willing to see her try with Wyatt’s book, Sparking the Fire.

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BLURRED LINES is a raw, no-holds-barred portrayal of two best friends making the choice to become lovers, and it’s the best I’ve ever read!

There was no slow moment in the story; the stakes got progressively higher with each chapter, along with the tension. The pace was just right, and the writing flowed smoothly. The characters were empathetic, flawed and believable, and together, they were hot hot hot! There was no superfluous intimate scene, and I love that!

Full review here. Continue reading

Review: What Happens Under the Mistletoe by Sabrina Jeffries, Karen Hawkins, Candace Camp and Meredith Duran

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WHAT HAPPENS UNDER THE MISTLETOE features four heartwarming Christmas stories by four talented authors.

While all the stories are good in their own way, Sweet Ruin by Meredith Duran is my favorite, because it seems to me to be the most romantic. It’s also kind of a lovers-to-enemies-to-lovers story that I like, especially the enemies part where both the hero and the heroine do their best to deny their continuing attraction to the other, all while gripped in the rejection of the past. Continue reading