Sunday, March 29, 2015

The Love of A Rogue--Christi Caldwell

Have you seen the gorgeous cover for author Christi Caldwell's The Love Of A Rogue? I admit that the cover piqued my interest to read the most recent story 
in the author's Heart of A Duke series. And I am pleased to report that I thoroughly enjoyed this sensuous love story between Lady Imogen and Lord Alex!

Betrayed by her younger sister and humiliated by her former fiancé , Lady Imogen Moore has retreated from polite society. She has decided to abandon her desire for a love match until her friend Chloe Edgerton gifts Imogen with a special pendant. Chloe tells Imogen that the heart shaped locket will help her find her true love. Chloe convinces Imogen to come out of hiding by suggesting a shopping trip or an evening at the theater. When Imogen protests, Chloe mentions that no one will gossip about Imogen because Chloe's brother, the Marquess of Waverly will accompany them.

Lord Alexander Edgerton is an unlikely choice for a chaperone. He is a scandalous rogue who is much more comfortable gambling and drinking with his friends than escorting Chloe on shopping expeditions and to the theater. Alex is upset that his brother, the Marquess of Waverly has decided that Alex must earn his allowance this season and is not too amused when Chloe insists that Imogen be included as well.

The first few conversations between Alex and Imogen are important as they explain each characters' perspective. This conversation takes place in the Duke of Waverly's carriage. Imogen is surprised to find Alex in the carriage.

"I'd prefer the marquess because he is respectable." Imogen gave him a pointed look. "And he is not a rogue."

At her insolent tone, he narrowed his eyes. "And you are disappointed that there is not marquess to work your charms upon."

Imogen snorted. "If I possessed any charms worth mentioning, I would have used them on my own betrothed." Her droll words cut into his anger, drove it back and in the dark confines of the carriage, he peered at her. That had certainly not been the outraged reaction he'd sought to elicit from the lady.

Christi Caldwell has crafted an emotional story of love and loss in this beautifully written novella. The main characters are multi-faceted and the storyline is well paced. I understood Imogen's feelings of betrayal and humiliation and felt deeply for Lord Alex. I wanted Alex to move forward and take a chance on love. And I loved Chloe as she had her best friend's interests at heart when she gave Imogen the gold pendant.

Will Imogen's mother insist she marry for a title and money instead of for love? Will Alex trust in his feelings for Imogen before it's too late? Spend an afternoon reading this charming novella and all will be revealed.

Reviewed by Susan Gorman *

Reviewer's Note: I was so charmed by Chloe Edgerton that I asked author Christi Caldwell if she was planning a story for Chloe. I have been assured by the author that Chloe will find her true love in a forthcoming novel.

"Doubt thou the stars are fire, 

Doubt the sun doth move,

Doubt the truth to be a liar,

But never doubt I love."

William Shakespeare , Hamlet

*Review copy provided by author.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Before I Fall by Jessica Scott

by Jessica Scott
Book One of the
Falling Series

This is the beginning of a new series for Jessica Scott.
It was yet another captivating story from her.
Her writing always keeps me interested.
The characters are so real.

Noah has come home to stay. He has done his duty in the
military. And he has the scars to prove it. The scars that
cover his body. The scars that distort his thoughts. He has
fallen onto the same path many do. Pain relief in a bottle.
Beth has been taking care of her father since she was a
teenager. Her mother could not handle it. She left. Somehow,
Beth has managed all these years. Her father served in the
military. Now, he struggles with physical and emotional pain.
He has been medicating himself any way he can all this time.
Alcohol and drugs. Just trying to make it from day to day.
He has been so thankful for his hard working, brave daughter.

If there is one thing Beth knows, she hates the military. They have
not taken care of her father as they should. Now, he is addicted to
the pain meds. Beth will never be with someone from the military.

Noah is trying to get through college. Get his degree. While most
classes are hard, one of them is impossible. Stats. But with the
help of a tutor, he stands a chance.
Beth is trying for her degree as well. Working. Taking care of her
father. Stretching every dollar til it squeaks. She needs the money
from tutoring. And Noah needs a tutor.
But Noah is a military man. And that is something
she cannot tolerate.
And that's where the story really begins.

Jessica's writing is sincere and true. You can feel the emotions
from the words. The characters are alive and real. I am always
impressed with her works.
Be prepared for drama. I felt angry at the truths in the story.
But they are truths from real life for many people today.
Beth and Noah have learned to be hard. To protect and cover
their hearts. They know how to fight for what they need. 
The biggest struggle may be to learn trust. 
I look forward to the rest of the series.

Review by Lisa Hutson

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel - Movie Review

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Movie Review
Opened 6 March 2015
Running time - 122 minutes

We have been looking forward to this one since we
heard about it. The same great cast from The Best Exotic
Marigold Hotel came together for it.
That happens so rarely. There is one main addition.
Richard Gere. He really fit in well.
Just a little over view.
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel has been a wonderful
success. They are looking for an investor to buy an
additional property so they can expand. That's the story foundation.
Then, there are the people. The wonderful characters
that are taking advantage of the final chapter in life.
They make the most of it all. Love, romance,
business opportunities, friendships, marriage.
They make a family.
They look after each other. They have kind of
adopted Sonny and his fiancée, Sunaina.
There are a number of story lines in this show.
Which kept my interest the whole time.

Its a wonderful romantic fun movie for date night.
We felt like it was a perfect set up for a third one
in this series. Which is ok with us.

Review from Lisa Hutson

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Kiss Me Hello -- Grace Burrowes

Grace Burrowes delivers a deeply romantic love story with drama, humor and compassion in Kiss Me Hello the final book in the Sweetest Kisses series. I read the first two novels in this series and sensed there was a bit of mystery about our hero Mackenzie Knightley. I wondered why this shy man who was the managing partner of his family law firm wasn't married or in a relationship. Something did not not add up....what was Mac's story?

Mac volunteers his time as a blacksmith shoeing horses at a therapeutic horse riding school for children. While at the stables Mac offers to visit a nearby farm to check on a pair of large horses who have mysteriously appeared on the property. He meets Sidonie Lindstrom, the new owner of the farm and her foster son Luis. Sidonie observes that Mac recognizes the draft horses as calls them by name. The horses, Daisy and Buttercup, are clearly pleased to see Mac. Sid has moved to the country to start over. Her brother died and she is tired of dealing with estate attorneys. As a foster mother, she has also grown weary of lawyers and intrusions from members of the social services department. Assuming that Mac is a full time farrier, Sid mentions her dislike for legal matters several times to him. Mac does not correct Sid's belief and this lie of omission is a key piece of the storyline. How long can Mac keep this secret from Sid? And how will she react when the secret is revealed?

Kudos to author Grace Burrowes for writing a sensuous love story about a couple in their mid -to late thirties. I loved it when Sid turned the tables on Mac and kissed him in a crowded restaurant. That kiss changed the game for Sid and Mac. Their relationship progressed from friendship to love at a believable pace. Loved how Sid and Mac spent time together baking pies, brownies and quiches and planning and planting a vegetable garden.

Mac, Sid and Luis suffered disappointments in their lives and were afraid to hope, trust and love. The last few chapters of the book were emotional and tense. Secrets were revealed and there were several unexpected plot twists. This well - written story is about love, family, & forgiveness which will warm your heart and make you believe that love triumphs over adversity every time.

In my opinion Grace Burrowes saved the best story for last!

Reviewed by Susan Gorman

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

When Lightning Strikes by Brenda Novak - Audio Verson

Audio Version

This is Book 1 of the Whiskey Creek series. And my first
Brenda Novak read. If you want to stop reading here,
let me just say, I have already bought and downloaded
Book 2, When Snow Falls. When Lightning Strikes was a
terrific story from the beginning. Once Gail and Simon
made their way to Whiskey Creek, there were quite a few
new characters introduced.  But I never felt over run with them.
 They were spaced out well. And they each had a reason to be
in this story besides just setting up for future tales.
Whiskey Creek is a very typical small town. I grew up
in one. Moved to another one. Loved them both. And I
love reading love stories from them.
The narration was terrific. Amy Rubinate did a great job
with different characters. She was steady and easy to
understand. The reader obviously can make or break a
story. She only made it better for me.
The romance between Simon and Gail builds over time.
They are both strong individuals. I don't think either of them
had any interest in finding ''the one'' any time soon.
But fate does not ask if this is a good time for you.
Whiskey Creek is a terrific place and this story is a great
beginning for this series. I am looking
forward to reading Book Two.
Review by Lisa Hutson

Sunday, March 1, 2015

I Loved A Rogue by Katharine Ashe

Katharine Ashe has written a  heartfelt conclusion to the Prince Catcher series.  I Loved A Rogue features the characters of Eleanor Caulfield and  Taliesin Wolfe. This is the story that I have waited to read. I am happy to report that Eleanor and Taliesin's story is fabulous!

The story centers on the Caulfield sisters, Eleanor, Arabella and Ravenna who were found by a fisherman after a shipwreck. The sisters were sent to a workhouse until they were adopted by Vicar Martin Caulfield. They believe in a gypsy fortune which states that one of the sisters must marry a Prince if they are to learn their parent's names. Arabella and Ravenna are married leaving Eleanor to solve the mystery. The sisters are reunited with their childhood friend Taliesin Wolfe at Martin Caulfield's wedding. Taliesin agrees to accompany Eleanor on her journey.

I love a well written, emotional, well -paced second chance at romance novel. Katharine Ashe's lyrical prose draws you into Eleanor and Taliesin's story. Their love story is complicated , emotional and rewarding. Throughout the novel, the couple misunderstands each other's actions and motives. Their love for each other is strong but they have to overcome past events, solve the Prince Catchers riddle and recognize and trust their true feelings for each other. 

She had waited for years for Taliesin to return to her. She could acknowledge this now. In her heart, she had known he would come if she truly needed him.

The characters in this novel are beautifully written. Both the primary and secondary characters contributed to the storyline and add to the suspense aspect of the novel. I loved reading the interactions between the Caulfield sisters: Arabella , Ravenna and Eleanor.  Katharine Ashe crafts great sisters in this series. Each sister and their story is unique. The bond between the sisters is very strong and is at the heart of each novel.  I enjoyed learning more about Vicar Caulfield, meeting Robin Prince, his sisters and Taliesin's friend, Evan Saint.


Ms. Ashe weaves several historical elements into the storyline. These elements give authenticity to the story and add to it's suspense.  Talieson named his horse Tristan and Ellie's mare was Iseult. I  loved the references to the medieval Princess and the Knight who loved her which appear through the novel. Throughout  the novel the reader is aware of the difference between the social classes and the prejudice towards the lower class and gypsies. This theme is important as Taliesin must make an important decision which effects his relationship with Eleanor. I enjoyed how this piece of the storyline played out and how each of the main and secondary characters reacted to the situation.

I Loved A Rogue is a beautifully written story which will take the reader on an emotional and satisfying journey. I was swept away into the character's adventure and read the book in three sittings I enjoyed every word written by Katharine Ashe. The resolution of the book was very satisfying and rewarding. I was so involved in the story that the ending made me cry--tears of happiness. 

Reviewed by Susan Gorman

*Quote card used with permission from Katharine Ashe and made by Sharlene Martin Moore of Graphics by Sharlene