Monday, August 25, 2014

Back to You - Review

Paperback version
Reviewed by Lisa Hutson
The order this series was published in has
been more than a little hard to follow. It does
matter in some of the storylines. Though I have
 read the ones I have out of order.
And still enjoyed every story.
This one is the story of Trent & Laura. They have
been important parts since the beginning. But I believe you
could read this story and understand just fine.

Trent and Laura are trying to make it through
as a family. Sometimes, love isn't all it takes.
When you have to be stubborn and determined.
 There are times you need help from your friends.

 And maybe even a hamster or two.

Jessica writes stories that I don't believe anyone else can.
I think she has experience that no other romance writer has.
 Her stories are not political. They are romantic love
stories about people living a life in and around the military.
So her characters have challenges, kind of the same and
kind of different, from any other romantic story.
Substance abuse, loss of limb, cancer,
 mental health issues, adultery....
All the sorts of challenges in every romance novel.
But different.

The characters are so human. Each different.
After a while, you will know who is
speaking just by the dialogue.
There is laughter, sadness, fear and love. There are
friends, family and chains of command.
I cannot recommend this series and this author
enough. I have only a small number of
auto buys. Jessica Scott is one of them.

This story has been available for some time in the
kindle version. Only recently available in the
paperback version.

This may be a starting point for information and
where to go for help with PTSD.

This is a place to begin if you are looking
for information about breast cancer.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Then Came You - Audio version review

Audio version
"We are strangers," she said.
"Yeah. Strangers who know what
each others O-face looks like-"
She covered his mouth but it was too late.
And great, now she was sweating again.

Typical, perfect Jill Shalvis.
Wyatt & Emily. Great character driven
romance reading. If you have read Jill before,
you know what I mean. If you have not and ever
wanted to, this is a perfect starting point.

Jill has a way of getting you to feel every emotion
in her writing. You will laugh. Not just a little but often.
You will cry, in sadness and happiness. She brings it all
about. There is always sizzling physical heat.

Emily and Wyatt work at the animal hospital,

in Sunshine, Idaho. The two of them have an
interesting fleeting past. Now, they are going
to be together in their work.
The attraction that drew them together

in the past is as strong as ever.  
Emily simply cannot help herself.
 And Wyatt does not let her forget it.
Of course,
he can't help himself either.
He just hides it better than she can.

I believe you can easily enjoy this series out
of order. This story does well as a stand alone.
Karen White does the narration. She has a sort

of jerky kind of speech pattern. Some times more
noticeable than others throughout the story.
But it did not ruin the story for me.

Lessons learned from this story.
One night stands are not always only one night.
 Do not use bar napkins as stationery.  

Review by Lisa Hutson

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

I Adored A Lord - Review

I Adored A Lord is FANTASTIC!

The novel is set in a remote castle in the mountains of France. Ms. Ashe crafts a classic whodunit complete with a unique cast of characters. A wealthy English earl, his wife and daughters, the Feathers family , a Scottish Duchess and her daughter, a French war hero and his daughter, an Italian bishop and his niece and Lord Prunesly, his daughter and son gather for a bride-hunting party. The intended groom is Prince Sebastio. Each eligible young lady seeks to win the Prince's affections at any cost.
Our heroine Ravenna Caulfield reluctantly travels to the party with her employer Sir Beverley Clark and their friend Francis Pettigrew. I was drawn to the story's heroine. Ravenna's spirits are low. Her beloved dog, Beast, has died, her sister has married a Duke and her life of solitude and peace is changing. And she is wondering why she is at a house party filled with wealthy titled members of the aristocracy and their spoiled adult children.                                   
Our heroine and our hero, Vitor , first meeting does not go well. He surprises her and she responds with a pitchfork! It's classic meeting crafted by Katharine Ashe that readers will remember for a long time! Vitor is my favorite type of hero. He is an honorable man with secrets. Ravenna and Vitor's love story is played out during the course of the house party. I enjoyed how their romance progressed with the story. Their poignant romance was believable, it was not forced or rushed.

The adventure begins as one of the houseguests is murdered and Ravenna and Vitor join forces to figure out which guest is the murderer. The are a few surprises, a dog napping, a kidnapping, a scandalous secret or two and several confessions before the murderer's identity is revealed. I read the last 150+ pages in one sitting as I was invested in the characters and the outcome of the story. I admit, I cried at the ending. It was fabulous!                            

 I read between 2-3 books each week. I can count on one hand how many books have impressed me in 2014. Katharine Ashe's I Adored A Lord is one of them!

Lady Celeste Gives I Adored A Lord a Six Pack

I Adored A Lord is the second book in The Prince Catchers series and can be read as a stand alone novel.
Reviewed by Susan Gorman

Monday, August 11, 2014

The Captive by Grace Burrowes

The Captive is the first novel in Grace Burrowes' new Captive Hearts trilogy.

The novel's hero Christian Donatus Severn, the eighth Earl of of Mercia, was captured by the French, tortured and left for dead. The Captive is an intense, moving story which deals with the aftereffects of war and one man's healing process. The novel contains a very wonderfully written romance which will make you believe that people can put their troubles behind them, hearts can mend and love does exist.

Christian wasn't precisely glad to be alive. Surviving torture turned a man into a ghost toting a bag of memories that could not be shared, and inhabiting a body no longer reliable or easily maintained. That body after torture, did not sleep well, did not exert itself unproblematically, did not ingest food easily, and certainly could not be relied upon to deal with amatory pastimes--not that Christian would be indulging in any of those. 

Not soon. Not immediately. 

But the hour he'd spent with his daughter made it plain that the child, at least, was delighted her papa had survived, and this changed the complexion of Christian's existence.
Ms. Burrowes drew me into this complex story with her characters. The first few chapters of the novel are intense, dark and at the same time very compelling. Christian was both a nobleman and an officer. Why wasn't he rescued? What was the motive behind the capture, the torture and starvation?

 A nervous Gillian, Lady Greensdale visits Christian in London shortly after he returns to England. She is concerned about Lucy, Christian's daughter. Lucy has not spoken a word to anyone since the deaths of her mother and younger brother. Why can't Lucy speak? Is she injured? Did she see something when her mother died? Why is Lady Greensdale so nervous?

Each of the main characters was held captive in the story. During his imprisonment, Christian refused to speak and focused on revenge to get through the torture and humiliation. Gilly suffered in silence. Lucy withdrew into her own silent world after her mother's death.

The Captive is a thought provoking story which contains the right amount of romance, suspense and mystery. I enjoyed the witty banter between Gilly and Christian. There are unexpected plot twists which kept me on the edge of my chair. I read the last 100+ pages of the book in one sitting. I highly recommend this book!

Looking forward to The Traitor, the second book in the series.

Reviewed by Susan Gorman

This review by Susan Gorman originally appeared at Fresh Fiction.

Sweet Talk Me - Review

HE’S SURE GOT A WAY WITH WORDS… The last person True Maybank expected to run into while picking up her wedding gown was country music superstar Harrison Gamble. Years ago, when they were small-town teens in Biscuit Creek, South Carolina, they shared a forbidden night of passion. Now that she’s about to settle down, True’s love affair with the handsome crooner is a thing of the past. Or is it? In Sweet Talk Me, from the moment he says hello, she has to fight swooning like an adoring fan.

CAN SHE RESIST HIS CHARMS? Today he’s rich, famous, and on every woman’s hot list. But back in the day, Harrison wasn’t good enough for debutante True. Since then she’s had her fair share of marital prospects, including the perfect Southern gentleman she’s about to settle down with. Is Harrison the only one to realize the mistake True’s about to make? Can the society girl and the sexy singer make music together—this time around? 

This is the BEST contemporary I have read! Sweet Talk Me is the first novel by author Kieran Kramer which I have read. I enjoyed it immensely. I was so invested in the novel and the characters that I stayed up until 1am to finish it! Could not put it down! The novel is a second chance at romance novel which features country singer Harrison Gamble and his childhood friend True Maybank. Harrison grew up in a trailer park while True grew up at Maybank Hall, her family's estate. Harrison and True meet by accident as True is departing from a bridal shop with her wedding gown.

He drives her home and realizes that True's home is in disrepair and that True and her sister Weezie are running a U-Pick tomato farm on the family estate. Harrison is interested. Interested in True. Interested in True's wedding to the rich Dubose. Why is she marrying him, anyway? Harrison is charming and he is going to figure out why True is planning her wedding while her intended is away on business. Harrison oozes Southern charm and is a sweet talker. True is the epitome of a modern southern woman; pretty poised and practical.

The secondary characters in the novel are well written and so charming. Harrison's brother Gage is a famous crossword puzzle author living in a trailer decorated in Brady Bunch decor. Hmm. . . Harrison needs to build Gage a new home. True's sister Weezie is a hoot, she says what is on her mind much to her sisters horror. Harrison needs to convince True to let Weezie live on campus when she attend college. I laughed out loud at the Weezie and Gage scenes. Their friendship was an awesome piece of the book and added to the book's charm.

Our hero and heroine have several obstacles to overcome during the course of their love story. Harrison needs to overcome his writer's block and write some new songs. True needs to decide if she should choose marrying for true love or marry someone that everyone thinks she should marry. Is Harrison inspired to write another top 40 country best seller? Does True follow her heart? Read and won't be disappointed. I am looking forward to reading more contemporary novels by Kieran Kramer.

Thank you for such an enjoyable book!

Lady Celeste gives Sweet Talk Me by Kieran Kramer
a six pack!

  Review by Susan Gorman

The Smuggler Wore Silk - Review

The Smuggler Wore Silk - Review
Alyssa Alexander's debut novel The Smuggler Wore Silk is fabulous! Loved the hero, heroine, the well developed secondary characters and the plot line. I stayed up late to finish the last 100+ pages.

A shift in the shadows at the edge of the cliffs caught her attention. She waited, watching the jagged rocks, heart pounding. The shadow shifted again and the figure of a man rose up from the cliff edge.

The shadow was well above her, and if it were not for the sliver of moon attempting to shine through the clouds, she wouldn't have noticed him against the horizon.Then the man slipped away from the cliff edge into the surrounding darkness. She continued to wait, eyes straining against the dark, but she didn't see him again.

Who was it? The traitor?

Julian Travers is the type of character who appeals to me; a strong , brooding hero with secrets. Julian is the Earl of Langford and is well known in London society. His nickname is the Wandering Earl. But, Julian is really a spy known as the Shadow. Julian's identity has been compromised and he is given one last assignment. He is to return to his country estate and uncover a traitor who smuggling secret documents.

Grace Hannah is the niece of Lord Cannon. She is treated as a servant by her relatives and many of their peers. In truth, Grace is an intelligent woman who runs her uncle's home during the day and a smuggling operation at night. Grace is smart, resourceful and brave. She is loved and valued by the local townspeople.

Julian suspects that Grace is the traitor and is determined to prove it. Julian and Grace are attracted to each other. Their attraction develops in to romance as they join forces to flush out the traitor. Great dialog--Julian is quite the charmer -- very witty and sexy! This book is well written and contains lots of romance, action, red herrings and intrigue.

Alexander keeps the reader guessing the identity of the traitor end the very end of the story.

I found the book hard to put down. I wanted Grace and Julian to solve the mystery and I enjoyed the resolution immensely.

Congratulations to Alyssa Alexander for an excellent debut novel! I am looking forward to the next book in the series!

Reviewed by Susan Gorman

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Review of Hadrian

Review of Hadrian
Lord of Hope
Lonely Lords Book 12

"She really and truly loved him,
and he loved her back.
How very, very delightful.
Also quite messy."

Messy indeed. The story is made up of one mess after another.
Many cases of love. All messy situations.
Long standing love. Love between siblings.
Love for friends. Love from a deranged selfish mind.
And messy love that simply cannot be stopped.

While there is plenty of it, the love does not come easy.  
You will root for the good guy to be successful. And you won't
be sure until the very very end who the bad ''guy or guys" is.
You will be relieved when the final hurdle is met.

Grace has written this long string of Lonely Lord stories. Every one
unique and completely its own. Yet they are connected
and a part of each other. They do not have to be read in order.
Her writing style is always easy to read and enjoy. Her vocabulary
is astonishing. It adds to the stories without disrupting the flow.

I always take pleasure in reading Grace Burrowes. The story
of Hadrian & Avie was one to rejoice in.
Love does conquer all.

Reviewed by Lisa Hutson

Hadrian is available for sale in ebook and paperback forms.