Tag: Historical

Mini Review Round Up (5)

Posted October 5, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

The Prize by Julie Garwood
Release Date: August 1, 1999
Publisher: Simon & Schuster, Pocket Books
Genres: Historical, Romance
Pages: 408
Format: eBook
Source: Bought
Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

In the resplendence of William the Conqueror’s London court, the lovely Saxon captive Lady Nicholaa was forced to choose a husband from the assembled Norman nobles. She chose Royce, a baron warrior whose fierce demeanor could not conceal his chivalrous and tender heart. A resourceful, rebellious and utterly naive, Nicholaa vowed to bend Royce to her will despite the whirlwind of feelings he aroused in her. Ferocious in battle, seasoned in passion, Royce was surprised by the depth of his emotion whenever he caressed his charming bride.

In a climate of utmost treachery, where Saxons still intrigued against their Norman invaders, Royce and Nicholaa revelled in their precious new love … a fervent bond soon to be disrupted by the call of blood, kin and country!

Julie Garwood was one of the first romance authors that I’ve read and she has always held a special place in my reading heart because it was through her books that I found some of my closest friends. Friends that, all of these years later, I still keep in contact with and I’m still just as close with them as I was when we first met on the Julie Garwood Bulletin Board.

Last week, one of those friends who has stopped reading as regularly as I do, wanted to read a book together so Holly and I agreed to read The Prize with her.

I’m so glad that we re-read this book because holy cow, it brought back so many memories of how much I loved this book back in the day. From Royce and Nicholaa’s first meeting to seeing them fall in love and then Justin! Oh, be still my heart, Justin. I fell in love with him all over again and gah, I wish that Julie Garwood would have given him his own story because there was so much material to work with and he was so deserving of having his story told.

This scene is one of my favorite scenes of all time and one of the so many reasons that I love this book.

“I noticed that over the past few weeks you’ve seemed more concerned about training me than the others. Was that because you had less faith in my ability?”

Royce held his smile. Justin as experience an attack of pre-battle worries. It was a common affliction, especially among the younger, unseasoned soldiers.

“As your baron, I have complete faith in your ability. I didn’t give you this honor, Justin. You earned it. As your brother, however, I’ll admit I’ve forced you to work harder. You have to be better than the others, remember?”

“I remember.”

“You have fulfilled my expectations,” Royce announced, giving him the praise he knew he needed to hear.

“Thank you.”

Royce did smile then. “You insult me by giving me your gratitude,” he said. “As your baron, I was only doing my duty.”

Justin didn’t look at Royce but kept his gaze directed on the center of the field. “I wasn’t thanking my baron,” he said. His voice was gruff with emotion. “I was thanking my brother.”

You guys have got to read this book if you haven’t already. There’s much to love about it. A smart, strong and loving heroine, a hero who leads his people with care and secondary characters that will jump right into your heart and plant themselves there forever. This is the Julie Garwood that I know and love and I highly recommend this book to everyone.

My Rating

4.75 out of 5

The Wedding (Lairds’ Fiancee’s #2) by Julie Garwood
Release Date: August 1, 1996
Publisher: Simon & Schuster, Pocket Star
Genres: Historical, Romance
Pages: 377
Format: eBook
Source: Bought
Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Lady Brenna MacAlister harbored no illusions that her husband, a quick-tempered highland laird, was in love with her. How could he be enamored of his bride when on their wedding day, he had assured her that she could return to her home in England as soon as she had given him a son?

Marrying Connor MacAlister had been impulsive act for Brenna. But MacAlister and his warriors a savage-looking band who had captured her and her arranged marriage to another offered precious few alternatives. Nor could Brenna deny that in fact, she had proposed to MacAlister—even if that had been ten long years ago, when she was just a child, and Connor a visitor to her father’s castle. Actually, Brenna scarcely remembered the secret missives she’d sent to MacAlister, abetted by her mischievous older sister… yet she had never forgotten the tall visitor’s dazzling, unexpected smile.

Now, after a hasty forest wedding, they were man and wife. Determined to be happy, Brenna soon endeared herself to most of the clan, despite—or perhaps because of—her uncanny knack for getting into trouble. And although she grew to adore her brave superstitious, gentle husband she had no clue that Connor lived for the moments she whispered “I love you”… words she never meant him to hear. But when a rival lair struck out at the MacAlisters, trapping Brenna in a web of dangerous intrigue, she knew that only her faith in her gallant mate could save her….

After reading The Prize with Grace and Holly, I went on to glom a bunch of Julie Garwood’s other books and The Wedding was one of them.

What a joy it was to read this book again. I had forgotten so much about what happened in this book but man, there’s a lot of good stuff.

Lady Brenna and Connor were a fabulous couple that had me laughing one minute and happy sighing the next. Brenna was strong and she was capable and above all else, she was kind. Connor was fierce and he was protective and everything that I love in a hero.

The romance between Connor and Brenna was fun. It was passionate and well written. Their chemistry felt real and the book as a whole was packed with Garwood’s classic humor and sweetness that you won’t find in the newer historicals. For me, there has always been something magical about Connor and Brenna’s story. This book will always be special to me because I connected with pretty much everyone in this one. From Brenna and Connor to Crispin and Quinlan and Alec and Jamie, I loved them all and it’s always a great time when I read this.

I loved this book so much that I carried a copy of it when I went to the hospital to have Brenna, my daughter. Hahaha, yep. You got it. After poring through baby name books and not really seeing anything that I liked, my sister gave me this book out of my bag and said, “What about Brenna? That’s a pretty name” and my baby was born Brenna Lily.

I will never get tired of reading this book and when I’m asked to quote one of my favorite romance novels, I will always quote…

She let him know how much she liked what he was doing by scoring his back with her nails and crying out with pleasure.

“Oh, God.”

“Nay lass, tis Connor.”

Hahaha, this book is great and if you haven’t read it…why the heck not? Change that, you’ll love this one!

Laird’s Fiancees’ Series

My Rating

5 out of 5


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Buddy Review: Duke of My Heart by Kelly Bowen

Posted September 27, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Buddy Review: Duke of My Heart by Kelly BowenDuke of My Heart by Kelly Bowen
Series: Season for Scandal, #1
Published by Hachette, Forever on January 26th 2016
Genres: Historical, Romance
Point of View: Alternating Third Person
Pages: 368
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add It: Goodreads
four-stars

Scandal can be handled...

Captain Maximus Harcourt, the unconventional tenth Duke of Alderidge, can deal with tropical storms, raging seas, and the fiercest of pirates. But he's returned home from his latest voyage to find a naked earl—quite inconveniently deceased—tied to his missing sister's bed. And he has only one place to turn. Now he's at the mercy of the captivating Miss Ivory Moore of Chegarre & Associates, known throughout London for smoothing over the most dire of scandals.

Miss Moore treats the crisis as though it were no more serious than a cup of spilt tea on an expensive rug. As though this sort of thing happened on the job every day. Max has never in all his life met a woman with such nerve. Her dark eyes are too wide, her mouth is too full, her cheekbones too sharp. Yet together, she's somehow...flawless. It's just like his love for her, imperfect, unexpected—yet absolutely true.

Rowena: September’s buddy review book went to Duke of My Heart (Season for Scandal #1) by Kelly Bowen and it was a book that I had high hopes for. You see, our heroine, Ivory Moore, is the Olivia Pope of her time.

She works for Chegarre & Associates and they specialize in making your scandals go away. They kill scandals and rumors and plant stories to put out there instead and everyone who needs a scandal killed, hire her, because she’s the best at what she does. Ivory’s latest case brings Maximus Harcourt, the Duke of Alderidge into her life. He also brings a mystery surrounding the disappearance of his sister and a bond that she wasn’t expecting or ready for.

Max has come home to find his sister gone, his Aunt panicking and a strange but beautiful woman acting like she’s in charge. To say that he’s a bit panicked himself, is putting things mildly but for someone who has never had anyone in charge of him, he’s hesitant to give up the control that his family needs him to give up. His sister needs him but he has to give over the finding of her to a stranger? Not bloody likely…though the farther his sister seems out of reach, the more he finds himself leaning on the stranger that is starting to become so much more than a stranger.

Alright, Ames….what are your immediate thoughts on this book? Did you like or not like it?

Ames: Great recap Wena!

Okay, to be completely honest, I enjoyed the book but wasn’t blown away by it. It didn’t ‘grab’ me right off the hop and it took to about 25% into the story before I was like ‘I can work with this.’ ​I don’t know if it was the book or the fact that I’ve been on a contemporary binge lately so just wasn’t feeling a historical? I am a big fan of Scandal so I liked that Ivory was a fixer.

Wow. That was rambling. LOL And you Wena, what did you think?

Rowena: Same. The book was really slow to pick up for me and because of that, I didn’t connect with either Ivory or Max for a long time. Not to mention, Lady Beatrice. So in the end, while I did enjoy it, I didn’t love it.

As far as romance goes, the chemistry between Ivory and Max was completely believable. The attraction, the interest, and all of that was done well but for some reason, I couldn’t completely connect with the characters or the book. I was a bit bored in the beginning which is weird, considering the book literally starts with a bang. A really big bang that goes south.

I feel like I’m rambling too but I can’t help it. Like you, the book didn’t grab me right from the jump and because I didn’t absolutely love everything that was going on, I kept reading just so that I can finish. Had I not been reading this book for this review, I probably would have DNF’d it.

Ames: I am just going to chalk this one up to me not being in the mood for a historical. I did like the relationship that developed between Ivory and Max. Max was a captain and was used to men following his orders. So when he deals with Ivory, who is also used to giving orders and not taking them, it was fun to see how he was the one who had to learn how to bend and make himself vulnerable to someone else for a change. Ivory knew things that he didn’t know and he had to trust her judgement.

Another thing I liked about Ivory was how different people were loyal to her. And she could take care of herself. She was a good strong heroine. I am usually all about heroes in my romances but in this book I was all about the heroine. She was good stuff!

Rowena: Haha, yes…I was half expecting Max to bend the knee to Ivory. I enjoyed getting to know them and I should probably chalk this one up to not being in the mood for historicals but that can’t be the case since I was reading hella Julie Garwood historicals at the same time. So…I’m thinking it wasn’t wasn’t that. Oh well, sometimes it just happens like that for me. I enjoyed this book but I didn’t love it.

I did enjoy that Ivory took care of others and in turn, they took care of her. They all lived by a code, those street workers and yet they all respected and were respected by Ivory. That was great.

Who are the other books about? I’m sure Alex and Miss DeVries will get a book, huh? Do you have plans to read the other books?

Ames: LMAO I love how you made a GoT reference in our review. 😛

I do have plans to read the rest of the series. I liked the characters Kelly Bowen brought to life in this story.

All right Wena, I’m going to grade this book a B-. Slow to start but the characters were great and the story did pick up.

Rowena: I give it a C (3 out of 5) because while it ended up being good, the slow beginning and my lukewarm connection to the story and characters just didn’t tip this one over into the B category.

Final Grades:

Ames: 4 out of 5
Rowena: 3 out of 5

We’re almost done with the year, and we’ve done a buddy review every single month. Woot! I don’t think that has ever happened. Anyway, we’ll be reading On a Tuesday by Whitney G. for next month’s buddy review so if anyone is interested in reading along with us, feel free. Everyone is welcome because the more the merrier!

Happy reading everyone!

four-stars


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Buddy Review: Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas

Posted April 25, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Buddy Review: Dreaming of You by Lisa KleypasDreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas
Series: Gamblers of Cravens #2
Published by Harper Collins, Avon on June 30th 2015
Genres: Historical, Romance
Point of View: Alternating Third Person
Pages: 373
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add It: Goodreads
four-stars

She stood at danger's threshold—then love beckoned her in.

In the shelter of her country cottage, Sara Feilding puts pen to paper to create dreams. But curiosity has enticed the prim, well-bred gentlewoman out of her safe haven—and into Derek Craven's dangerous world.

A handsome, tough and tenacious Cockney, he rose from poverty to become lord of London's most exclusive gambling house—a struggle that has left Derek Craven fabulously wealthy, but hardened and suspicious. And now duty demands he allow Sara Fielding into his world—with her impeccable manners and her infuriating innocence. But here, in a perilous shadow-realm of ever-shifting fortunes, even a proper "mouse" can be transformed into a breathtaking enchantress—and a world-weary gambler can be shaken to his cynical core by the power of passion...and the promise of love.

Ames: It’s been ages since I’ve re-read Dreaming of You but it’s still a favorite, even after all these years. What about you Wena, did you still enjoy it?

Rowena: Yes! It took me a while to read it this time around but that had more to do with my reading slump than my enjoyment of the book. I still loved the hell out of ornery ass Derek Craven and I still adored Sara. It was also great to see Lily, Alex and Nicole again and all of the workers.

What wasn’t so much fun again was being reunited with stupid ass Joyce Ashby or whatever her stupid name was. As great as this re-read was, I was annoyed with Derek for not doing something about Joyce. I mean, sure there wouldn’t have been much of a story but dude…you’re putting your loved ones in danger by not handling Joyce. I low key wanted him to finish strangling that stupid bitch. Is my bloodthirst showing too much? Haha.

Ames: Um…just a little bit! LOL

I still get swept up into their story. Derek was literally born in a gutter and raises himself to probably man the richest guy in England. And Sara is a bit of a country mouse but she has such strength of character and bravery so it’s no wonder Derek falls for her. I too didn’t care for the ex-mistress piece but it didn’t bother me too much. I loved how all his employees love her and are protective of her.

You know what bothered me? The young man back home that Sara thought she was going to marry…ugh I can’t remember his name. What an odious prig of a character! Spineless since his mom still ran his life and then he has the gall to say things to Sara when she wants him to kiss her? HE bugged me.

Rowena: I haven’t re-read this book very much but I’m glad that we chose this book as this month’s buddy review book because I loved getting to know Derek Craven again. He was so mean and yet it was so obvious that he loved the hell out of Sara. I don’t care what anyone says, that he carried Sara’s glasses close to his heart completely melted me. I loved seeing Sara teach him to love, seeing him soften toward her until he was so full of love for her that he didn’t know if he would survive without her.

Perry was such a waste of a man. The way that he was turned off that his fiancee wanted to kiss him made me want to knee him in the balls. Sara deserved so much more than the likes of him. I loved that Sara was all for shoving Derek’s wealth in their faces with her parent’s new house.

So what were some of your favorite scenes in this book?

Ames: Perry! I couldn’t remember his name. LOL

I loved that Derek kept her glasses too. They are such a part of her and he had to have a piece of her to himself. Awww.

Ok, there’s a scene at the beginning, after Derek’s face is cut up and Sara rescues him. The doctor who’s come to stitch Derek up finds out Sara is an author and he’s talking to her about her character Mathilda and Derek is all “Excuse me, I’m frigging bleeding to death.” This scene made me laugh.

Another scene that was more touching was when Derek flips right out when he thinks Sara died in the fire. Heartbreaking.

What about you?

Rowena: My favorite scene in the book is when Derek finally says I love you to Sara and then explains why he couldn’t say it before. My heart hurt for him so much because he literally came from nothing and even when he had everything, he didn’t think he deserved it. He didn’t see himself as a person worthy of good things. So when he realizes that Sara is not dead and he’s crushing her to him and begging her not to leave him? Ugh, hit me right in the feels.

That scene after Derek’s attack was a good one too. Funny. I also liked when Joyce took Sara and Sara tells the driver that if he doesn’t help her, her husband is going to make him pay. The complete faith that she had in Derek warmed my heart.

This was such a great book. So full of passion and love and I just ate everything up. I have so much love for this one so yay for us on choosing to read it again. I give this book a 4.25 out of 5. You?​

Ames: Those are all good scenes. This book is definitely chock full of goodness. Which is why I do like to re-read it from time to time and it is on my list of all time favourite books. I love how devoted Derek is to Sarah and the depth of their love, but another thing that always appeals is Sarah’s strength. It’s understated but when she was in danger, she totally handled herself!

Like you I’m giving this one a 4.25 out of 5.

four-stars


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