Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Book Review: The Reluctant Duchess

Brice Myerston has had a hard year. Beginning with a dramatic situation trying to save his good friends from a madman, followed by the death of his father, leaving him the new Duke of Nottingham, he certainly does not need any more complications in his life. On top of his new duties, he has also agreed to take the fire eyes into his possession - two priceless jewels that many would kill for.
On a trip to Scotland with his family, he hopes to find a little respite from all the chaos. But when he meets, heiress, Rowena Kinnaird, he feels that voice of God telling him that she is someone in need of help.
Lady Rowena Kinnaird has been the victim of abuse all her life, but after enduring the worst possible kind of abuse, she is desperate to get away from her home before she is doomed to live a life of violence. But surely this flirtatious Duke is not the answer! How could she possibly trust someone with easy smiles, but seems to have secrets of his own. In fact, he may end up putting her in more danger than ever!

This is the second book in the Ladies of the Manor series. I had read the first book a while ago and after just looking at all the people involved in the story, I definitely felt the need to go back and give the first book another read. There is a lot of stuff you need to know from the first book that relates to this story, so definitely pick up that one first (The Lost Heiress).
Once you have finished the first book you will love this one. I love this time period and the story of someone learning to trust after the ultimate betrayal. There are lots of great page turning moments and nail biting parts too! Highly recommend - even better than the first one!

Thank you to Bethany House Publishers for a free copy of the this book to review.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Book Review: Playing the Part by Jen Turano

Lucetta Plum has always had an air of mystery about her. The famous actress is known for slighting her admirers, despite the reputation of actresses of that time. But when one fan's admiration turns to something a little more dangerous, Lucetta must flee the city and find somewhere safe to hide.
It's a good thing that Lucetta's friend, widowed society matron, Abigail Hart has the perfect place to hide. And luckily for Abigail's matchmaking habit, that place is with her handsome but reclusive grandson, Bram.
But things at Bram's strange and gothic castle are not as peaceful and safe as they hoped for! Between ghostly sightings and midnight riders, Lucetta wonders if this place is really any safer, and if Bram can be trusted despite his very handsome face and kind ways. With so many secrets between them, can Bram and Lucetta find friendship, safety and perhaps something more?

The one thing that slightly frustrates me about Jen Turanos books is that they are not called a series, even though, I really feel like you need to read her previous two books before you read this one. The three books together follow three friends and I feel like even though you could probably pick this book up and read it by itself, you would be missing all the time getting to know the characters in the other books.
This book is lots of fun and while I kinda knew where it was going the whole time (I actually knew from the hints in the last book), it still had lots of great funny parts and twists in the plot. It was probably my least favorite from the stories of the three friends, but I still read it in a few hours and enjoyed it :-) A good book to pick up for a lighthearted, fun read.

Thank you to Bethany House Publishers for a free copy of this book to review.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Book Review: A Sweet Misfortune by Maggie Brendan

Rachel Matthews has lost everything. After her parents death, she and her brother couldn't keep up with the taxes on their beloved childhood home and ranch and while her brother is away trying to earn enough to get it back, she has run out of money to keep herself housed and fed. Feeling like she has no other choice, Rachel gets a job at the local dance hall.
Wealthy cattle baron, John McIntyre is pretty surprised when he receives a letter from a good friend asking him to rescue his sister from a life at the dance hall. So despite his having no time for women of ill repute, John sees it as his duty to help a friend in need and fetches the lovely Rachel from the saloon. When Rachel discovers that this so called rescuer also holds the deed to her family's home that her brother is working so hard to reclaim, sparks fly and drama ensues :-)

This is the second book in the Virtues and Vices of the Old West series. I have read the first book in the series and you will not have to have read the first book at all to be able to read this one. It is a stand alone novel, just set in the same setting.
What's funny about this book is that the story is very steady and while it keeps moving, it doesn't really feel like there is really one hugely climatic event on which the story hangs. And that is not even really a bad thing - a slowly building friendship and regard with events that tie in with life in the old West along the way make for a nice read. It probably wouldn't stand out to me as one I would read over and over again, but it was entertaining all the same.

Thank you to Bethany House Publishers for a free copy of this book to read and review.

Book Review: Always Watching by Lynette Eason

Olivia Edwards runs a bodyguard agency which is a little different than most - all of her employees are women. Coming from a variety a backgrounds making them an elite team, the women excel at their job. But when one of Olivia's team members is almost killed on the job, Olivia needs to step in herself and oversee this dangerous case.
Wade Savage, radio talk show host and psychiatrist, has a stalker. While being a handsome widower who is good at listening to people has drawn his fair share of admirers - this one is different. When innocent gifts turn threatening and start including those he loves, Wade knows he needs to put his life and maybe heart in the hands of Olivia Edwards.

It's been a while since I read a book by Eason, and I really enjoyed it. While I was fairly certain I had figured out who the bad guy was after a while, it doesn't diminish from the story line - in fact it makes you turn pages faster as you are hoping the main characters will figure it out soon! I also like that while there is a bit of romance mixed in, it's not overbearing and most of the time, the case is foremost in people's thoughts, not how attracted they are to each other (which has annoyed me in other books of the same genre).  Looking forward to the next book in the series!

Thank you to Revell Publishers for a free copy of this book to read and review.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Book Review: Thin Ice by Irene Hanon

Christy Reed has had a very hard year. First losing her parents in a car crash and then her sister to a house fire. Though she has held on to her faith, her life is only starting to feel normal again. That is, until a letter arrives addressed in  her dead sister's hand writing. The note inside claims that her sister is still alive, and though she is instructed not to include the authorities, Christy devises a way to contact the FBI without alerting the kidnapper.
Special Agent Lance McGreggor is assigned Christy's case and it seems the more he digs, the more questions surface. Way more questions than answers. Can they find answers to their questions before time runs out for Christy's sister and maybe even Christy herself?

So I have a love/hate relationship with Hannon's books. Well maybe not that strong, but I do always feel conflicted when I review her stories. I think she writes a good mystery and is able to keep the action going well. I really do not enjoy her romance writing part of the tale though. They all seem to follow the same formula. Strong woman needs help. Strong male immediately is attracted to her and she to him and they "try" to fight their feelings til the end of the case. It wouldn't bother me if they started to like each other toward the end of the book or something but especially at first, I wish it was more to do with the case than the romantic feelings. So I give the exciting, mysterious case part a thumbs up, and the romance part a thumbs down.

Thank you to Revell Publishers for a free copy of the this book to read and review.