Review: His Chosen Bride by Sherry Gloag

His Chosen Bride by Sherry Gloag

Title: His Chosen Bride (Gasquet Princes #2)

Author: Sherry Gloag

Publisher: Astraea Press

Release Date: February 14, 2012

Pages: 98 pages

Format: ebook ($1.99)

Summary: Prince Henri is too busy running a country to worry about minor details like marriage. His father has been sick, and he has taken the reins in his more than capable hands. But his family is worried about him, and they all but force him to take a vacation.

Having no choice in the matter, Henri travels to his brother’s quiet country horse ranch. It’s there he sees Monica again.

He had met her before…at his brother’s wedding. And he knew then she would be trouble for him if he let her get too close. Now, thrown together by his well-meaning family, Henri has to fight his growing feelings for the mysterious, beautiful woman.

So much for letting his father choose his bride.

Review: This is a novella, so a pretty quick read. Henri is your typical work-a-holic with a twist. He’s the crown prince in line to inherit the throne. He acts the way you would expect him to when he finds out that he is being relieved of his royal duties and forced into taking a much needed vacation. He’s upset and takes it out on any likely scapegoat, in this case Monica.

Both characters are likable and well-written. The reader wants them to end up together from the beginning. There is good chemistry between the two main characters and the sense of duty on Henri’s side versus the sense Monica has of not fitting in anywhere provides a solid conflict they both believe to be insurmountable. It’ll keep you reading to the end.

There are a lot of flashbacks that can cause confusion if you’re not paying attention. Pair that with a few places near the end where significant time lapses occur, and the storyline can be a bit difficult to follow in certain parts. Not impossible, but challenging.

Recommendation: This is a sweet romance, so suitable for romance readers of all ages. It is the second book in a series, and it mentions characters and plot points from the first book, and I hadn’t read the first book. It is possible to read it out of sequence without feeling like you are missing critical pieces of the story, but I found that it made me want to read the first book to get in on the story of the secondary characters. I have added From Now Until Forever to my TBR list. Can’t wait to find out how Liam and Melanie got together. I give this one  three quills: Three Quills

Summer Lovin’ Giveaway Hop

Summer Lovin' Giveaway Hop

For this Summer Lovin’ Giveaway, a fun, light beach read:

Every Girl Does It by Rachel Van DykenEvery Girl Does It by Rachel Van Dyken

COVER BLURB:

Amanda turned down Preston’s prom invitation in front of her entire high school, but that was eight years ago.

Somehow, her past mistakes always have a way of catching up with her, and making her pay. Amanda’s sarcastic wit mixed with Preston’s insufferable ego make sparks fly in more than one way.

Preston, against his better judgment can’t fight the desire to get under Amanda’s skin and mercilessly tease her, but when that teasing becomes flirting, and flirting becomes something dangerously more, neither of them are prepared for the adventure that follows.

(This is classified as Christian romance)

~OR~

You might prefer the contemporary Regency-styled romance,

Compromising Kessen also by Rachel Van Dyken

COVER BLURB:

Compromising KessenThe last thing career-driven Kessen Newberry wants is to leave her home in Colorado to spend a Season in London, far away from her job, her friends and the memories of her mother. However, her father, the Earl of Newberry, threatens to disinherit her unless she gets in touch with her British roots. She complies, but has no intention of enjoying the experience.

That is until she meets Christian Vandenbrook, the arrogant and irritatingly handsome future Duke of Albany and her father’s business partner. Unfortunately, Christian hates Americans. And coffee. And apparently, Kessen.

A hatred this passionate can only lead to one thing… marriage.

Caught in the middle of a Regency-inspired nightmare, Kessen and Christian are forced to marry in only one week’s time. Resigned to their fate, the two resolve to give the relationship a chance—which would be much easier if everyone would stop interrupting them every time they found a moment alone.

The winner of this giveaway will receive her or his choice between these two ebooks. All you have to do to enter is FOLLOW my blog (upper left corner in the dashboard line) and then leave your following name and email in the comments. One winner will be chosen at random, notified and posted on July 18th.

THANKS FOR PARTICIPATING! Back to the linky list.

Review: The super spies and the cat lady killer by Lisa Orchard

The Super Spies and the Cat Lady Killer by Lisa Orchard

Title: The Super Spies and the Cat Lady Killer

Author: Lisa Orchard

Publisher: Astraea Press

Details: released March 12, 2012, 175 pages, $2.99 (ebook)

Buy Links: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Astraea Press

Summary: Sarah Cole and her sister are visiting their uncle and aunt in a small town for the summer.  Sarah meets a skinny girl named Jackie right away, and they get along famously.  In the midst of getting to know each other they stumble on the body of the local old lady recluse who has been murdered.  The rest of the book unfolds with interesting twists and a second mystery is uncovered by the girls.

Review: These characters were likable, and the villain totally scary. It started a little slowly, but the plot developed nicely and ended up having several loose ends tied up neatly.

Recommendation: This is a good book for a middle school readership.  I liked it, and would read more by Lisa Orchard. I give it four quills.Four Quills

Review: Life on the Edge by Jennifer Comeaux

Life On the Edge by Jennifer Comeaux

Title: Life on the Edge

Author: Jennifer Comeaux

Publisher: Astraea Press

Format: ebook ($2.99) Paperback ($12.99)

Length:  435 pages

Release Date: January 3, 2012

Genre: contemporary romance, sports fiction

Available at: AmazonBarnes & Noble, Astraea Press

Summary: Emily Butler is a pairs figure skater with Olympic aspirations. It’s a life that revolves around the rink. Training all day every day to become the best of the best. With so little time to spend socially with anyone outside of the skating world, it is natural that her circle of friends consists of only other skaters. When Emily starts to spend time outside the rink with her coach, a young Russian man who used to be a champion pairs skater in his own right, she finds she has a lot more in common with him than just skating.

The two struggle with their growing feelings for one another. Relationships between coaches and skaters are frowned upon and can cause Emily’s Olympic dreams to grind to a screeching halt. And not just hers. Crossing that line can do more damage than any of them are willing to admit.

Review: I love the level-headed yet innocent Emily, who tries to fight her feelings for Sergei. A losing battle, of course. And Sergei, a man with integrity, though still mysterious, is willing to risk everything for Emily. Two well-developed characters the reader can fall in love with. The life of a skater was shown in living color. All the work that goes into preparing for the Olympics. How one wrong move in a competition can crush those dreams and the emotional roller coaster of the competitors. Jennifer Comeaux is a talented writer with true voice.

Recommendation: Though I’m not necessarily a fan of figure skating, this book was a wonderful love story and well worth the time and money spent. Clean with strong values exhibited. Good for anyone who loves a good clean romance. Loved it! I give it five quills.

Five Quills

Looking forward to the sequel!

Review: The Last Great Wizard of Yden by S.G. Rogers

The Last Great Wizard of Yden

Title: The Last Great Wizard of Yden

Author: S. G. Rogers

Publisher: Astraea Press

Format: ebook ($2.99) Paperback ($10.99)

Length:  296pages

Release Date: October 12, 2011

Genre: Young adult fiction, fantasy, paranormal

Available at: AmazonBarnes & Noble, Astraea Press

Summary: On Jon Hansen’s sixteenth birthday, his father mysteriously disappears, but no one believes Jon’s claim to have seen someone kidnap him. In fact, a media leak makes Jon into a laughingstock at his school, drawing the wrath of the school bully.

When the family heirloom he received on his birthday turns out to have magical powers, Jon soon finds himself the target of a wizard’s greed for absolute power. Jon, along with a handful of friends and one bully, transport to an alternate dimension and undertake to rescue Jon’s father and save Yden from vicious warlords and one evil wizard.

Review: Rogers wove an amazing and intricate world, a world that captures the imagination and leads it on a quest for adventure. The characters, though they come from a variety of backgrounds, meld together so well, one cannot imagine the story without any one of them.

Recommendation: Well-written and intriguing full length novel. I didn’t want to put this book down until it was done. It is a fantastic and fun read for young and old alike, anyone who likes to use their imagination while reading. Loved it! I give it five quills.

Five Quills

Midsummer’s Eve Giveaway Hop

Midsummer's Eve Giveaway Hop

The giveaway on this leg of the blog hop is an author signed paperback copy of All We See or Seem by Leah Sanders (if the winner prefers an ebook, that can be arranged). This is a sweet sci-fi romance with is a fast-paced and enjoyable storyline. It will keep you engaged from page 1!

All We See or Seem by Leah SandersCOVER BLURB:

Gryff’s orders lay unopened on the table.

The silent tension caused Gem to bite her lip. She tucked a loose strand of auburn hair behind her ear and shifted uneasily in the chair. Wide-eyed, Gryff sat stiffly beside her, regarding the envelope. He was like a statue—hands on his knees—staring interminably at the table.

Finally, Gem cleared her throat. Gryff jolted as if in a daze and turned to look at her. A look of uncertainty hung in his eyes. She swallowed the dry, sticky taste in her mouth and reached for his hand. It felt cold…clammy. Gem could feel the faint tremor of his fear radiating through his fingers. She took Gryff’s hand between her own and squeezed, trying to infuse heat and reassurance at the same time.

“Sometimes they come back,” Gem’s voice was barely a whisper. It was a feeble attempt, but she was grasping at straws here.

Everyone knows.

They don’t come back. Never whole, anyway.

To enter the giveaway, leave a comment with your contact email below. I would also love it if you would “follow”! 🙂 Thanks for participating!

*This book is available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle formats. It is available on Barnes & Noble in Nook format.*

Review: Upon a Midnight Dream by Rachel Van Dyken

Upon a Midnight DreamTitle: Upon a Midnight Dream

Author: Rachel Van Dyken

Publisher: Astraea Press

Format: E-book ($3.99)

Pages: 223 pages

Release Date: March 27, 2012

Genre: Regency Romance, Fairy Tale

Available at: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Astraea Press

Summary: Rosalind Hartwell’s family has fallen under a curse, and it is all her fault… Well, it’s half her fault.

The other portion of culpability falls on Stefan Hudson, the recently returned prodigal, the Marquess of Whitmore and soon to be Duke of Montmouth. It was their responsibility to marry and join the two families in order to avoid bringing the full fury of the family curse crashing down around them.

When Stefan and Rosalind call off their engagement, members of both families start dropping like flies, starting with the fathers of both houses. It seems as though Stefan and Rosalind have no choice but to follow through with marriage after all. But Rosalind insists on being wooed, and Stefan had been stranded on a deserted island for so long, he has all but forgotten most of the social graces.

In their quest to reverse the family curse, they find out there is much more to all the strange sickness and death than meets the superstitious eye. But will they figure out the secret in time to save the rest of their families?

Review: A much-loved favorite fairy tale re-mixed in a new and intriguing story. Rachel Van Dyken was able to weave a brand new story out of the old, which is not easy to do. Between the heroine’s narcolepsy and the over-protective, cane-wielding godmother there is a wonderful mix of the original fairy tale with Van Dyken’s own inventions.

The hero, who suddenly re-appears after having been presumed dead, is an interesting mix of knight in shining armor and unbearable shipwrecked savage returning to polite society.

The heroine, who is convinced she is dying, is a strong female lead holding out for love even in the midst of the threat of a curse befalling her family. She is a worthy opponent of the stubborn, arrogant Stefan, and often gives him a taste of his own medicine in more ways than one.

Recommendation: This is an enjoyable read, a bit steamy in some places, but clean overall. It was written for an adult audience, and I probably wouldn’t recommend it for readers under fifteen. It has mystery, betrayal, romance and suspense all rolled in, so there is a little something for everyone. It is an excellent start for the new series, and I am looking forward to the next installment about Beauty and the Beast. I give Upon a Midnight Dream four quills.

four quills

For those of you who haven’t yet read the House of Renwick trilogy, the characters in this book do make an appearance in The Redemption of Lord Rawlings. It’s definitely worth picking up. You can check out the review here.

Like Free?

Astraea Press, a publishing company that put out several of the books we have reviewed here, has announced the first book they are offering in their monthly book club.

The Book of the Month in June is The Last Wizard of Yden by SG Rogers. The cool thing? All you have to do is ask for it. You can join the club here. All the books offered are ebooks for quick and convenient distribution. At the end of the month you can discuss the book with the other club members, and if you feel led, they do encourage you to write a review (Amazon, B&N, Goodreads, your blog, wherever you want).

I don’t know, but free sounds like a pretty good deal to us.

SG Rogers also wrote Minna and the Valentine, which was an excellent Valentine’s Day novella. Check out the review! Here’s more about the book and how to get your copy (provided by Astraea Press Book Club).

Astraea Press Book Club June Book

 

This is already on my Kindle to read. Can’t wait to get into it!

Review: The Fairy Godmother Files: Cinderella Complex by Rebekah Purdy

The Fairy Godmother Files by Rebekah L. PurdyTitle: The Fairy Godmother Files: Cinderella Complex

Author: Rebekah L. Purdy

Publisher: Astraea Press

Format: E-book ($2.99)

Pages: 235 pages

Release Date: March 19, 2012

Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Fairy Tale

Available at: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Astraea Press

Summary: Maggie is hoping her junior year will be the best year yet, but her hopes are dashed on the very first day when the school mean girl targets her as the victim of displaced anger.

Add to that the family secret she discovers at her grandmother’s retirement party, leaving Maggie with no choice but to take over for her grandmother as the newest…fairy godmother–wings, wand, and all–and her prime directive is to make sure all her assignments get their “happy ever after”.

Easier said than done.

Her first mission turns out to be none other than her nemesis, mean girl Katrina Melville. But naturally, the indignation doesn’t stop there. Kat’s HEA includes the one guy Maggie has been crushing on since puberty hit, school hottie Connor Prince.

To top it all off, her new responsibilities require to disappear at a moment’s notice (literally) to answer every beck and call of the assigned prima donna. And Maggie’s friends don’t take very kindly to being ditched in the middle of bonding time. So much for junior year being the best yet.

Review: This was exceptionally well written. The story was engaging from the very beginning and it had everything you could want: romance, action, suspense, love triangles, evil stepmother, monsters… And of course, it sets up for a continuing story at the end. I did think it was a little strange that while her “knight”/body guard received ongoing training for his job, Maggie herself received none. Of course, that just added to the humor when her spells kept going wrong, and to the suspense when she ran into the evil Grimms–so not necessarily a bad thing.

The dialogue between the characters is so well-timed and well-written it gives a great sense of the characters and the age group. The sibling rivalry and the anger towards the father (I hated that guy) for the way he was treating Maggie and her brother were both funny and realistic. Loved the character interaction.

Recommendation: I laughed out loud throughout this whole book. So many funny lines and lots of physical comedy. Great for young adult and adult readers alike. It’s a clean read, but there are some older themes, so I wouldn’t recommend for younger than high school age. I give The Fairy Godmother Files: Cinderella Complex  four quills.

four quills

Can’t wait for the rest of The Fairy Godmother Files!

Review: Desperate Measures by Candice Hern

It Happened One Night

Title: Desperate Measures (a Regency short story)

Author: Candice Hern

Publisher: self

Format: E-book

Pages: 32

Release Date: May 29, 2011

Genre: Romance – Regency/Historical

Available at: Amazon (free)

Summary: Lydia Bettridge is in love with a man who seems not to notice her existence. But she has a plan and has enlisted her brother’s friend to assist her in carrying it out. Things fall apart however, when her co-conspirator stands her up and sends in his place the very man she was plotting to catch, Geoffrey Danforth. He knows the plan. He doesn’t know he is the intended victim. Together Lydia and Geoffrey spend an evening pretending to be love-stricken in order to make her “intended” victim notice her enough to become jealous.

Review: Short, sweet and straight to the point. This was a delightful read which can be read in one sitting. Of course, you want more. That’s the point. Get a taste of what the author can do and then go buy her novel-length books, because her writing is like a Pringle’s potato chip. You can’t just have one.

Recommendation: Well worth the time and the price (Um, it’s free. Can’t really go wrong.). You will want to pick up a few of her other titles after you’re done. I enjoyed this and will read it again. I give it four quills:

four quills

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