Reviews

Her Ruined Reputation by Bridget Banks

Ruth West - Saturday, November 25, 2017

Title: Her Ruined Reputation
Author: Bridget Banks
Publisher: Blushing Books
Published: November 25, 2017
Genre: Historical Fantasy Romance, Medieval




Steamy and sizzling from the start of the story to the very last page of the book. Three stories are perfectly interwoven in this tale of political intrigue, murder, ambition, power, and sexual desire all revolving around Princess Isabella, Lady Hannah, and Madam Helene. The plot is fast-paced and hot, while leaving the reader throughly satisfied. The characters are bold and exciting, with a fairy-tale mystery that leaves you breathless for more. Princess Isabella desires to be queen and with the prince offering a proposal to wed and a chance at becoming queen soon due to his dying father, she hastily agrees and asks to bring her ladies along, including one that she is secretly intimate with. From that moment on, the story is full of murder and secrets, lies and betrayal as no one knows whom to trust. If you love historical romances or stories of kings, queens, and royalty than this book is for you. It's of course not for the faint of heart, as there are intimate scenes that don't necessarily fade to black.  
Reviewed by Samantha Peters

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Devious Maidens by Maryse Dawson

Ruth West - Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Title: Devious Maidens
Author: Maryse Dawson
Publisher: Blushing Books
Published: July 19, 2017
Genre: Historical, Medieval




I used to read medieval novels all the time, but haven’t picked one up in a while. I was excited to read this collection of short stories. First off, the “old world” language was very distracting. It almost made me not want to continue. Once I got passed that, the stories were entertaining, light but kind of forgettable. These stories have spanking in them, so if this is not your thing then don’t pick it up. Overall I give it a 3 star rating with probably my favorite the 2nd story in the lot.
Reviewed by: Noni Fro


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A Second Chance At Love by Kassandra Lynn

Ruth West - Thursday, August 24, 2017

Title: A Second Chance At Love
Author: Kassandra Lynn
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Published: August 7, 2017
Genre: Historical, Time Travel




Brilliant! Epic! A real page turner! A Second Chance at Love is truly spell-binding and magical. Not one for heavy fantasy stories, this historical romance adds a bit of time travel to the mix in a simple yet enjoyable manner. The young Empress Ursila Ufran had once run away with her healer, having leaved the cold-hearted Emperor only to discover that everyone she loves had been beheaded for treason, her lover Draven had betrayed her, and her own life is quickly snuffed out. Given a rare second chance at life and love, Ursila must fix what has been wronged, save her family, herself, and discover whether the acts of treason commited by her family were true. The characters are all well-developed with a solid backstory and a fast-moving but well-paced plot. This can be read as a stand alone novel and having discovered that there are in fact other books in the series, I can't wait to get my hands on those as well. I had no idea that this was a second story in Time Travel & Second Chance series. The author does a great job of fully developing a story without needing to read the first book. A novel full of suspense, intrigue, trepidation, love, angst, and twists and turns abound. I eagerly will pick up more stories by Kassandra Lynn. Her writing is smooth and seems effortless (though we know that's not the case).
Reviewed by Kaitlyn


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The Demon Duke by Margaret Locke

Ruth West - Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Title: The Demon Duke
Author: Margaret Locke
Publisher: Locked on Love Publishing
Published: June 6, 2017
Genre: Historical, Regency




I love Regency Romance novels but was a little skeptical of the title because I don't like supernatural. I started reading this book and became intrigued by the Duke's sense of honor and Grace's desire to read in peace. I have four children so reading in peace is not something I get to do unless it is late at night. I found myself skipping laundry, dishes, and meal prep to wander back to Clarehaven and spend time with them instead. I loved this book so much that I went out and bought the books before this one and can't wait for the next one in the series. Margaret Locke's story telling reminds me of Julia Quinn's Bridgerton series which is amazing. The characters in this book tie into the other books in the series so now I find myself wanted to reread them all again because I missed the references to the characters I didn't know yet. Thank you Margaret you are amazing. Gotta go headed back to Clarehaven like Eliza (read them and you will understand too.)
Reviewed by: Michelle Roderick


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A Love To Remember by Bronwen Evans

Ruth West - Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Title: A Love To Remember
Author: Bronwen Evans
Publisher: Random House
Published: August 29, 2017
Genre: Regency





This was a very engaging story. I felt a little like I was plunked down in the middle of a series - of which, I'd LOVE to read more! Our heroine, Rose, is easy to relate to. All she wants out of life, really, is to love someone and have them love her back. I really loved the wounded hero, Lord Cumberland, and felt like his back story made him a better character with that annoying desire to be honorable. And let's be real, it makes him more swoon-worthy. There's a prevailing theme of duty vs love, which always reminds me of Wuthering Heights. But this story is far less dark, and more pure romance. I was surprised to learn who the enemy was as well. I would've loved for that piece to have been explored in greater detail. But for a romance novel, I was satisfied. There's certainly too much detail in the love scenes for younger readers. But as long as you know that in advance, it makes for a very interesting read. I loved it. I'd love to read more in this series and by this author.
Reviewed by Liz


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The Princess and the Laird by C.A. Szarek

Ruth West - Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Title: The Princess and the Laird
Author: C.A. Szarek
Publisher: Paper Dragon Publishing
Published: May 9, 2017
Genre: Historical, Scottish Highlander



The book was good. It was exciting and grabbed me about 1/2 way thru to keep reading. The book was well written (meaning editing and punctuation) and the characters were trustworthy. Even the villain, although, there should have been a bit more interaction with this character, thought he was a bit lazy, but then he was a prince (ha, ha). I really enjoyed the heroine, but the hero needed more strength. He didn't seem to fight enough for me. If he had fairy blood, why didn't some of it come out? Could have given him strength. The book seemed a bit one sided, more heroine than hero, that's what lacked strength.
Overall it was a good book and I enjoyed the story enough to purchase the next one in the series.

Reviewed by Luv Smut


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Canary Club by Sherry D. Ficklin

Ruth West - Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Title: Canary Club
Author: Sherry D. Ficklin
Publisher: Crimson Tree Publishing
Published: October 16, 2017
Genre: Historical Romance, Young Adult



"Having people fear you gives you power. Having them love you gives you influence. Having both, well, that’s how you build an empire."

There is an obvious sense of wittiness from Masie which is both comical and dramatic. The young woman is powerful and feeds off the power and influence derived from her father, a crime boss. With a story full of speakeasies, bootleggers, and lots of action, Benny and Masie are an interesting combination. Although written with Masie, a character that is seventeen, I think the upper YA mature crowd of readers and adults will enjoy this book far more than most younger teens. The writing is reminiscent of the time period, historically written but not too difficult to read or decipher the intent of the author. There are quotes, like the one above which make you feel like the story flows gracefully and smooth, desiring for you to read more prose within the pages. Early on the author has us feeling for Benny, with his hardships after being released from prison, his fathers death, witnessing two bodies being dumped on the day of his release, and his sisters ailment that affects his family, including his mother. Getting a job with a crime boss to help pay for his sister's visit to a doctor far away seems already like trouble for a man with a prison conviction and for good reason. Add to that the fact that he will inevitably fall hard for the crime boss' daughter and you know trouble is brewing. Canary Clubpulls all the punches with witty writing, action at every turn, interesting characters, and intriguing dialogue that will make you tempted to keep reading from the first page onward. Overall, a satisfying conclusion to a well-rounded story.
Reviewed by: Marissa Vine


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Mail Order Groom by Dana Wayne

Ruth West - Friday, July 21, 2017

Title: Mail Order Groom
Author: Dana Wayne
Publisher: Y&R Publishing, LLC
Published: April 2017
Genre: Historical, Western 


I thoroughly enjoyed the story, but am confused as to the title in how it relates. The Hero was not mail ordered that I could tell. The Heroine and other main characters definitely made me feel for her and the Hero as well. I enjoyed the twists and turns and the Villain was just nasty enough I wanted to do away with him as well. I think the book was satisfactorily written but needs more editing. There were areas that were a bit confusing when first started to read the paragraph/chapter that you had to remember who was talking and what they were talking about, so it could use a bit more attention in that regard.
Overall it was a good book and I really enjoyed it.
Reviewed by Barb Wallace


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A Mail-Order Heart by Janelle Daniels

Ruth West - Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Title: A Mail-Order Heart
Author: Janelle Daniels
Published: April 19, 2016
Publisher: Dream Cache Publishing
Genre: Western, Historical Romance 




Traveling by train to meet her fiance, Clara quickly discovers she is one of nine brides promised to a man that died three days ago. Sawyer, the local sheriff is on the scene, attempting to settle the girls down and quell their fears. Clara immediately takes charge of the situation, and help settles all the girls down. Clara's personality is clearly defined based on her upbringing with twelve siblings. She is a strong character with a take-charge attitude that forces you to cheer for her from the beginning, even if she's making a mess in the process. Sawyer is also strong, causing them to tiff in the beginning, but at least he realizes that the women will need his help and isn't too bull-headed to offer assistance. I appreciate the lack of instalove between Clara and Sawyer. It is clear he feels something quite early on for her, as does she for him, but the romance isn't overplayed. The writing is easy to follow and the chapters are a quick page-turning read offering both Sawyer and Clara's point of view. With nine brides, there's a lot of characters to keep track of but the writing flows effortlessly and the ones that hold the most impact are easily remembered.
Reviewed by: Jenna Malone

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His Highland Heart by Willa Blair

Ruth West - Friday, July 14, 2017

Title: His Highland Heart
Author: Willa Blair
Publisher: self-published
Published: Feb 2, 2017
Genre: Historical Romance, Scottish



The story opens with Euan Brodie being shipwrecked on Ross lands, he is in hostile territory and has been separated from his crew. He is injured and wracked with guilt over the loss of his ship and crew. His first encounter with Muireall Munro is when he saves her from being swept out to sea.

Muireall was taken captive almost a month prior when the Ross clan raided her lands and stole her and two other girls as brides. Muireall has yet to be matched with a Ross clansman, but that will change in a matter of days if she cannot escape. She has tried more than once and has the marks to prove it. When she is cut off from the cove by the rising tide, she is sure that she will die. But Euan risks his own safety to save her and she feels a glimmer of hope that she might be able to get home.

Muireall and Euan don’t exactly trust each other, but they work together to reach caves above the tide line and hatch a plan to escape the Ross’. As much as she doesn’t want to, Muireall agrees to return the village and will try to persuade Ella, one of the other Munro girls to leave with her and to aid Euan escape.

After Muireall returns to the beach, she is immediately caught by the Ross laird, who promptly gives her to his second in command as a bride. Euan lets her go, but has promised to return her to her family. When she leave the cave and he doesn’t hear her, he follows her. Once he knows she is back in the village and decides to search for food and water and ends up finding Calum, one of his lost crewmen.

When Muireall is cornered by the Ross laird, she runs in the woods trying to find Euan. When she stubbles upon him, the Ross laird and his guard ambush them. In a fight for his life, Euan ends up killing the Ross laird and escaping with Muireall and Calum. When they make it to the cove to steal a boat, they find another crewman, unfortunately, he did not survive. Euan has promised to take Muireall home, but he must first return James’ body to his family. He asks her to try and be patient just a little longer.

When they arrive back at Brodie, Euan immediately wants to go back and find his other missing crew members, but Iain Brodie, Laird Brodie refuses to let him go, he also refuses to return Muireall to Munro until he knows what is happening with the Ross clan.

Over the next few days, Muireall is cared for by the Brodie clan and grows closer to Euan, but she just wants to go home, even when the Brodie clansmen return with news and Ella, she is impatient to leave.

When a Ross warrior shows up and tells Iain that they have one of his clansmen and will kill him if the man who murdered their laird and the girls are not returned to them, Muireall is frantic – she will not return to the Ross clan and she doesn’t want Euan to go either. Iain refuses to admit that they had anything to do with death of the Ross laird and sends the warrior back empty handed. Again Muireall asks to be sent home and is again denied.

When Euan is able to redeem himself and with the help of Muireall come up with a plan to make a peace offering to the new Ross laird, Iain gives Muireall permission to return home.

Before they leave, Euan admits his feelings to Muireall and is hurt that she doesn’t immediately agree to marry him. He returns her to her family and again makes his feelings known and is again rejected.

He leaves to return to Brodie and they are both heartbroken, until one of them finally swallows their pride and returns to their love. Even when our lovers are reunited, Ms. Blair isn’t finished with the story and throws in another twist or two.

This was a well written book, it flowed nicely, had a lot of tense moments, a lot of heartache and a little steam. I did feel like Muireall was unreasonable at times and maybe a tad selfish. And towards the end of the book, she really became annoying, rejecting Euan, yet being upset that he didn’t ask her father for her hand. If I was confused, I can only imagine what poor Euan was feeling 😊

All in all, it was a very entertaining read and I would be happy to recommend it to anyone who enjoys highland historicals.

Reviewed by Tracy Emro

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