Saturday, September 16, 2017

The Secret of the India Orchid by Nancy Campbell Allen

Anthony Blake is in love with his best friend's sister, Sophia Elliot. But his plans to court her are put on hold when he is forced to resume his role as an undercover spy for the Crown. A secret document listing the names of the entire network of British spies-including his own-has been stolen. To protect Sophia, Anthony cuts off all ties to her and exchanges his life as an honorable earl for the fa├žade of a flirtatious playboy.

Heartbroken and confused, Sophia travels to India, hoping to find healing in one of the most exotic regions of the British Empire. But the exotic land isn't as restful as she had hoped. Instead, she finds herself embroiled in a mystery of a missing sea captain, a possible murder, and a plot that could involve the prince of India. And when Anthony appears at the British Residency, asking questions and keeping his distance from her, she is stunned.

She still loves him, and, in her heart, she knows he loves her too. But how can she rebuild her relationship with him if he won't confide in her? Does she dare offer her heart to him a second time, or will their love be lost under the India sun?


 Opening line:
"Anthony Blake, the new Earl of Wilshire, stepped from white'sGentleman's Club with a light heart and a smile on his face."

On the eve that Anthony Blake was going to propose to his best friend's sister, he is thrust back into the British spying game that he thought he left behind. Because of the danger his mission would bring to hs family and loved ones he cuts off his relationship with Sophia Elliott and resume his guise as a "womanizer."
Poor Sophia! She thought her and Anthony had a spark of affection for each other and now he's traveling the globe and flirting with all the women. How could she be so wrong about him? She decides to get away from England and explore a different country. And she's loving her adventure...until all of a sudden, Anthony Blake is there beside her. She's hurt, confused and angry. And she still loves him.
Trying not to blow his cover, Anthony has a hard time concentrating on his mission while Sophia is giving him the cold shoulder Or reminding him that they are brother and sister (as he stated in his letter when he broke ties with her.).
But it doesn't matter if he's trying to protect her. There's romance, intrigue and a murder.
I enjoyed this story! It clipped along with the tension and witty banter and mystery. I really did like how the characters were kind to each other and cared about each other. Other than the villain, of course.

Thanks to netgalle and Shadow Mountain for the early read!



5 STARS 

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Havencross by Julie Daines

When a shocking scandal involving her father spreads through London society, Elaine Cardinham and her parents are forced to retreat to their country home in Cornwall for refuge. But Havencross is no sanctuary for Elaine. She is haunted by the mysterious disappearance of her brother—and the heartbreak she left in her wake all those years ago. It has been five long years since Gareth Kemp last saw Elaine—when she rejected his marriage proposal. Her reappearance convinces him of one thing: he has never stopped loving her. To put his feelings for her aside, he focuses his attention on the dangerous smuggling plaguing the Cornish coast. As Elaine attempts to run from her past, she ventures ever closer to a dangerous truth—and Gareth may be the only one who can save her from a deadly finish.





 Opening line:

"Two hundred fifty miles into this journey and not a word spoken."

Deception, lies, romance, unrequited love and smugglers all roll along in Ms. Daines newest, delightful book.

Elaine's family is still reeling from the death of her brother and now from the scandal of something her father did. They move from London, and the wagging tongues of gossips, back to Havencross, their little country home. Elaine has no hope of marriage prospects now. How she wishes she would have accepted the marriage proposal of Gareth now.
Gareth's family is always reeling from a death. His father was killed by smugglers and he wants them brought to justice. But the local authorities don't seem to make any progress on finding the killers. When he sees Elaine again, he tries to stay away from her; she did break his heart, after all.

This story is set in Cornwall, England, in the era when there were smugglers. The story is woven masterfully to include tension, romance and suspense. There were tender moments between different characters. I really enjoyed the interchange between Elaine and her Aunt Rose and creating your own Camelot.

If you like regency romance, a well-written story and characters you can love, this book is for you!

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Romancing Daphne by Sarah M. Eden

As her first London Season looms before her, the thought of the impending social whirl fills Daphne Lancaster's timid heart with dread. She hasn't her sisters beauty nor their talent for conversing easily. Even her family's enviable connections may not be enough to prevent disaster.

But Daphne's misery turns to surprised delight when the first event of her Season brings an unexpected visitor to her door—James Tilburn, whose tender kindness stole her heart in her youth. When the handsome young gentleman expresses his desire to court her, Daphne is elated. Their feelings for each other quickly grow, and it appears that, much to Daphne s disbelief, her happily ever after is within reach.

Yet nothing is as it seems. The couple finds themselves caught in a tangled web of greed and deceit, leaving James and Daphne to determine whether they are willing to risk everything for true love.



 Opening line:
"Daphne Lancaster stood hidden in the shadows of her brother-in-law's terrace, spying on Society's first introduction to a young lady of unparalleled beauty."

Poor Daphne! She is overshadowed by her beauty sisters; placed in the corner and ignored. She feels this is justified as she had been told many times how plain she is. A chance encounter with a kind young man gives her hope that she isn't forgotten, and she falls in love.

James Tilburn was the young man who called the young girl Little Sparrow and stole her heart, unbeknownst to him, of course. Six years later they chance to meet again. But it turns out to be more than chance and the lies and manipulation could ruin James and Daphne's hope at love forever.

Sarah Eden does a superb job at giving her readers character they come to love as one of their own family members. The plot moves along nicely as we move deeper into the story and intrigue that is keeping the couple (or couples) apart.
I really liked Daphne. I enjoyed watching her overcome her shyness and become a stronger person. I liked James too but I really wanted him to man up and tell Daphne the truth! I do have a confession...I ADORE the Duke of Kielder!

Thanks to netgalley and Covenant Communications for the early read!


5 STARS!

Saturday, August 19, 2017

A Seaon in london (Timeless Romance Anthoogy) by Elizabeth Johns, Heather B. Moore, Rebecca Connolly

From the publisher of the USA TODAY bestselling & #1 Amazon bestselling Timeless Romance Anthology series in Clean Romance, comes A SEASON IN LONDON.

Three brand new Regency Romance novellas by Elizabeth Johns, Heather B. Moore, and Rebecca Connolly.

POOR RELATIONS by Elizabeth Johns
As a ‘poor relation,’ Emma Standrich has already pre-empted her dismal Season by applying for a governess post. Her aunt and cousin are kind enough to sponsor her, but in truth, Emma is just waiting for it to all be over. Emma’s grief over the death of her brother while in military service casts a pallor on everything else in her life. When Colonel Shelton, the man who was her brother’s superior, asks her to dance at her first ball, Emma is more surprised than anyone. But she has questions for him, and soon she’s caught up in an intrigue she wasn’t expecting—both of the heart and the mind.

EDWARD & EMILY by Heather B. Moore
As a second son, Edward Blackwood never anticipated becoming heir to his family estate, or the need to find a wife and secure that inheritance. But with the death of his older brother, Edward is thrust into a life he never wanted. When his mother encourages him to be kind to his long-time neighbor Emily Foster, a girl he’d hardly paid attention to while growing up, Edward realizes that returning home might not be such a set-back after all.

A SPORTING SEASON by Rebecca Connolly
Daphne Hutchins is no simpering female who aims for a husband with a fortune. In fact, she’d be more than happy to live her life free of the heartache that men seem to bring. So when she sets out to play the fool in front of the ton during her first Season in order to send all eligible men running, she’s quite unprepared for James Woodbridge. Bored, but with a sense of family duty, James arrives for the Season, anticipating going through the expected motions befitting any gentleman. What he isn’t prepared for is Daphne Hutchins and the way she completely upends his heart.


 Another great addition to the Timeless Anthology!

Poor Relations by Elizabeth Johns
""This is my cousin, Emma Standrich," said Jane Wetherby said for the hundredth time that evening."
Emma feels she needs to become a governess to save her family. Colonel Shelton is smitten with her and offers his hand in marriage and the access to his money to help her save her family.

Emily and Edward by Heather Moore
""You are nearly thirty years of age," Edward Blackwood's mother said in her sharp voice as se peered at him through a raised quizzing glass."
Ah! Emily and Edward! What a sweet story! Edward is happy with his life of solitude but one look at his neighbor all grown up and he wonders if he shouldn't change his plan.
Emily is reeling from the loss of her father and doesn't want to be out in society but her mother insists they go out. She finds Edward all grown up and wonders why she didn't notice how handsome he was before.

A Sporting Season by Rebecca Connolly
"A season in London."
What a fun read! Daphne is determined to ruin her season in London before anyone else does and Jaime is determined to have a front row seat. Their dialogue is snappy and intelligent and their chemistry sweet.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Bordi Ashton, Jodi Meadows

The comical, fantastical, romantical, (not) entirely true story of Lady Jane Grey. In My Lady Jane, coauthors Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows have created a one-of-a-kind fantasy in the tradition of The Princess Bride, featuring a reluctant king, an even more reluctant queen, a noble steed, and only a passing resemblance to actual history—because sometimes history needs a little help.

At sixteen, Lady Jane Grey is about to be married off to a stranger and caught up in a conspiracy to rob her cousin, King Edward, of his throne. But those trifling problems aren’t for Jane to worry about. Jane is about to become the Queen of England.


  CLEVER!

That's what this story is all about! It's clever. Funny. Smart. Hilarious at times. Intriguing all the time. The story of Lady Jane Grey, the Nine Day Queen, is told from the three different, rich viewpoints, thanks to three great writers. So many awesome quotes. Here's one that made me laugh out loud (I was listening to the audio book which made my laughter even more startling) and caused my children to look askance at me:
"Your mother was a hamster and your father reeked of elder berries!"

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Relax, I'm a Ninja by Natalie Whipple

A Clan of ninjas in San Francisco may sound improbable—but as the son of a ninja master, Tosh Ito knows what lurks in the shadows of his city. Or at least he thought he did.

When a killer with a poisoned blade starts cutting down teens, Tosh enlists Amy Sato—newest ninja recruit and his best friend’s crush—and sets out to uncover the killer’s identity. What they find is ninjutsu more evil than they could have ever imagined.

As Amy and Tosh grow closer, they discover their connection unleashes a legendary power that could stop the murders. Problem is, that power may be exactly what the killer is looking for, and wielding it could cost them both their souls.


  Opening line:
"All I wanted was sleep, but my stomach groaned until I couldn’t take it anymore."

Awesome, fun story about teen ninjas and how they kick butt and still have time to kiss and go to high school dances. I was drawn into the story right from the beginning! I never felt lost with all the karate, ninja talk or fight scenes. It was a unique story that I had to keep reading.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The Clockwork Dynasty by Daniel H. Wilson

Present day: When a young anthropologist specializing in ancient technology uncovers a terrible secret concealed in the workings of a three-hundred-year-old mechanical doll, she is thrown into a hidden world that lurks just under the surface of our own. With her career and her life at stake, June Stefanov will ally with a remarkable traveler who exposes her to a reality she never imagined, as they embark on an around-the-world adventure and discover breathtaking secrets of the past...

Russia, 1725: In the depths of the Kremlin, the tsar's loyal mechanician brings to life two astonishingly humanlike mechanical beings. Peter and Elena are a brother and sister fallen out of time, possessed with uncanny power, and destined to serve great empires. Struggling to blend into pre-Victorian society, they are pulled into a legendary war that has raged for centuries.

The Clockwork Dynasty seamlessly interweaves past and present, exploring a race of beings designed to live by ironclad principles, yet constantly searching for meaning. As June plunges deeper into their world, her choices will ultimately determine their survival or extermination. Richly-imagined and heart-pounding, Daniel H. Wilson's novel expertly draws on his robotics and science background, combining exquisitely drawn characters with visionary technology--and riveting action.


 Opening line:
"The age of the thing is in the feel of it."

I wasn't sure how much I would like this book but I then I couldn't put it down so I guess it's safe to say I did like.
The story is told in the past and present from two different viewpoints: Peter the avomat, or robot and June, the human. I liked the back and forth of the chapters and the telling of the history of our world. It intrigued me how the author wove our world and the avomat world together. He did a great job at world building.
Though I think the characters cold have been written with more depth, the way the avomats "lived" was detailed. I remembered the characters names and what place they had in the story. Spoiler: there is no romance. I just realized this as I was writing. Obviously, the story didn't need any. lol
I felt the ending came too quickly and maybe there will be another book? I'm not sure...

Thanks to netgalley for the early read!