Tuesday, July 26, 2016


Spring 1813
The exotic splendors of India are legendary, and the colorful sights of her new home in Calcutta immediately captivate eighteen-year-old Lady Helen Poulter. Whereas many of her fellow British expatriates despise the culture they see as barbaric, Helen sees excitement in the unusual locale. It is in this vibrant, bustling city that she finds a kindred soul in Captain Michael Rhodes, an Englishman whose lifelong love of India runs deep. Their friendship quickly grows, yet despite their undeniable connection, she could never think of Captain Rhodes as more than a dear friend.

Her love, in truth, has been captured by dashing British Lieutenant Arthur Bancroft. This handsome soldier represents the embodiment of all she's dreamed of in a husband. Preoccupied by her growing affections, Helen never dreams that beneath the glamor of the city, hostilities are reaching a boiling point. When battle ultimately threatens both of the men in her life, she must make a choice: pursue the man who symbolizes her British past, or let herself love a man who promises an unknown future in the land she loves. But amid the casualties of war, will her declaration of love come too late?

 Opening line:
"Lady Helen Poulter stood on the deck of the ship, her gloved fingers tapping on the railing, playing invisible keys in a melody only she could hear."

 So now I want to go to India and eat exotic food and have a pet monkey. Thanks a lot Ms. Moore!
This story is about Lady Helen finding herself or her "song" and finding romance in India. She is kind and smart and funny and I immediately started rooting for her to find her way. She is traveling there with her mother and stepfather and finds everything in her travels wonderful and adventurous, unlike many of the British women who live in India.
Every character has depth, including Badmash, the monkey. The two men vying for Lady Helen's attention are distinct in their own personalities. Captain Rhodes and Lieutenant Ashcroft kept the tension going throughout the story.
I recommend this story to anyone who likes Regency Romance!

V: a few scary moments in the jungle
L: No
S: No

Thanks to netgalley for the advanced read in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

ONE PARIS SUMMER by Denise Grover Swank

Most teens dream of visiting the City of Lights, but it feels more like a nightmare for Sophie Brooks. She and her brother are sent to Paris to spend the summer with their father, who left home a year ago without any explanation. As if his sudden abandonment weren't betrayal enough, he's about to remarry, and they’re expected to play nice with his soon-to-be wife and stepdaughter. The stepdaughter, Camille, agrees to show them around the city, but she makes it clear that she will do everything in her power to make Sophie miserable.

Sophie could deal with all the pain and humiliation if only she could practice piano. Her dream is to become a pianist, and she was supposed to spend the summer preparing for a scholarship competition. Even though her father moved to Paris to pursue his own dream, he clearly doesn't support hers. His promise to provide her with a piano goes unfulfilled.

Still, no one is immune to Paris’s charm. After a few encounters with a gorgeous French boy, Sophie finds herself warming to the city, particularly when she discovers that he can help her practice piano. There’s just one hitch—he’s a friend of Camille’s, and Camille hates Sophie. While the summer Sophie dreaded promises to become best summer of her life, one person could ruin it all.

 Opening line:

 “We are now making our final descent into Charles de Gauelle.”

Sophie does not want to be in Paris, much less live with her father and his new wife and the new stepsister. But both her mother and father insisted that Sophie and her brother Eric enjoy a few months in France.

Once there, Sophie is bullied by her stepsister and friends, she clashes with her dad and her need to be loved by him but pushing him away because he left her and she has no piano for an outlet for her emotions. Basically, her summer sucks.

Even though there is a lot Sophie can whine about, and she does, she doesn’t come across as a self-centered teenager. She’s trying her best to please everyone and be happy but there are so many elements working against her. Even the cute Parisian boy she meets doesn’t seem to like her.

I enjoyed the storyline of a blended family trying to work out for the best. Those emotions were real to me and I think will resonate with many readers. The characters were well-developed and had their own arcs throughout the story. There were characters I wanted to hug and others I wanted to throat punch. The love interest wasn’t love at first sight, thank heavens, but progressed through the story.
The setting was lovely and felt authentic (now I want to visit Paris!). Overall, I think this was a great summer read for any age and I would defiantly pass it along to any teen (or adult).

A good, clean read.

I received this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Monday, July 11, 2016

A Night Divided by Jennifer A Nielsen

  From New York Times bestselling author Jennifer A. Nielsen comes a stunning thriller about a girl who must escape to freedom after the Berlin Wall divides her family between east and west.

With the rise of the Berlin Wall, twelve-year-old Gerta finds her family divided overnight. She, her mother, and her brother Fritz live on the eastern side, controlled by the Soviets. Her father and middle brother, who had gone west in search of work, cannot return home. Gerta knows it is dangerous to watch the wall, to think forbidden thoughts of freedom, yet she can't help herself. She sees the East German soldiers with their guns trained on their own citizens; she, her family, her neighbors and friends are prisoners in their own city.

But one day, while on her way to school, Gerta spots her father on a viewing platform on the western side, pantomiming a peculiar dance. Then, when she receives a mysterious drawing, Gerta puts two and two together and concludes that her father wants Gerta and Fritz to tunnel beneath the wall, out of East Berlin. However, if they are caught, the consequences will be deadly. No one can be trusted. Will Gerta and her family find their way to freedom?

I have a hard time reading or watching anything about WWII. It hearts my heart. I literally can only read OR watch one story about the time a year. A year! That’s how much the injustices and hardships and pains and deaths weigh on me. And then I get Jennifer’s book and I HAVE to read it, even if I’d already read a WWII book this year. Why did I HAVE to read? Because Jennifer is an awesome writer and I will read anything she writes. Even if it’s just her signature on a napkin (smiley).
This story is set right about the time the Berlin Wall went up. Gerta and her family are seperated and she’s determined to reunity them, even though she’s only twelve. She’s spunky and brave and leaves the reader wondering if we can be brave too. I found myself rooting for her and her plans, especially toward the end of the book.
A good, clean read that I would recommend to all ages but especially to younger readers (sixth grade up) to help understand a little bit what went on behind the wall.

L: No
V: Scariness because of the times
S: No

Monday, July 4, 2016

The Sheriffs of Savage Wells by Sarah M. Eden

He's the most fearsome sheriff in the West. A force to be reckoned with. The stuff of legend.

So is she. . . . May the best sheriff win.

Paisley Bell knows the eccentric people of Savage Wells. From the absentminded shopkeeper who always thinks she's been robbed to the young man who has returned shell-shocked from the war, Paisley has compassion for them all. When the sheriff up and leaves town, Paisley steps up and assumes the responsibility, partly because she loves the work, but also because she needs the income to take care of her sick father. So when the town council decides that the position of sheriff should really go to a man, Paisley finds herself fighting to prove that she's the perfect candidate for the job, even though she wears a skirt.

Cade O'Brien is heartily sick of shooting people. In his many years as a lawman, Cade has seen his share of blood and violence. So when he answers an advertisement for a sheriff job in the sleepy town of Savage Wells, he believes he's found the peace and quiet he's always desired. But when he discovers that his biggest competition for the job is a woman, he begins to question his decisions.

Tension between the two begins to sizzle when both Cade and Paisley realize the attraction they have for each other, but when Paisley's former beau shows up in town, along with a band of bank robbers, the blossoming relationship between the two sheriffs is tested. They will have to work together to thwart the bank robbers and keep the town safe.

First line:

"Sheriff Cade O'Brien was heartily sick of shooting people."

And with that line we know we are about to begin a fun and witty ride into the Wild West, courtesy of Sarah M. Eden, who is also fun and witty.

The Sheriff of Savage Wells (nice name!) has up and left his post for trees. Now, Savage Wells needs a new sheriff and the application pool is full of men and one woman.
Paisley Bell filled the temporary position and feels she should keep the job. But most people is the 1800's don't think a woman should be the sheriff. Paisley is spunky and smart and the conversation between her and Cade is brilliant. Paisley is also very caring and loves her little town.
Cade O'Brien is sick of rounding up and/or shooting bad guys. He wants to move somewhere boring. Savage Wells may just be the place. He also doesn't want any complications but Paisley might be a problem to that goal.
The characters in the book are all unique and it's easy to fall in love with them.
Sarah Eden is a great storyteller and writer. You should read her books!!

Thanks to Shadow Mountain and Netgalley for the early read!

V: a tad bit
L: in this day and age? No!
S: holding hands *blushes* talk of courting *blushes*