JoRead

Writers write. Storytellers feed your imagination. My imagination has a hunger that can't be satiated.

Arc Review: The Marriage Pact by Michelle Richmond

The Marriage Pact: A Novel - Michelle Richmond

I found this story frightfully intriguing with a fascinating concept at its core.
Jake the therapist and Alice the lawyer, both successful in their own careers, receive a gift on their wedding day that will change their lives forever.

The concept of the story and “The Pact” itself is jarring at times, intriguing at others. It draws the question does the perfect model of marriage exist? Once the couple joins the Pact, it becomes the overseer that makes sure each couple succeeds at being perfect. If they “choose” not to follow its rules then they will face the consequences.

As newly weds, Jake and Alice weren’t sure what to expect of marriage but had a fairly good idea due to their own past history with their parents. The way I see it, one of the two became more content with the idea of the Pact because it became a sort of guide to accomplish what was wanted out of the marriage. The other partner was more reluctant to accept it because of fear that anything could change what they had already built together.

Alice appeared as a cold and distant person yet content with the role of a wife and I found that contradicting. As the story progressed and she got herself in deep waters with The Pact, Alice herself makes a confession that puts her in a better light and her role starts making more sense. Perhaps it’s the fact that the story is told from Jake’s perspective but I found him more likable and more relatable. There was a time in the story that I actually wondered if they were meant for each other or if the marriage was just an illusion they created for themselves because they didn’t seem to be in love.

To be honest, the book started a bit slow for my taste, so much so that I had to put it down several times and then come back to it. By almost 45% of the book, it was just ok but nothing out of the ordinary. And then it started to pick up and that was when I was unable to put it down and everything started to click and fall into place.

The book is full of quotes and facts that albeit provided an insight into Jake’s mind I thought at the time were somewhat random. It was later that I realized they were there to help me understand the underlying idea and helped tied up all events together. It took me a while to understand the full notion of the plot and tie up the knots once I finished reading the book (blame it on my slow-working brain) but all in all it was an enjoyable read.

I received this book from Netgalley at no cost to me and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.

Past Crimes: A Compendium of Historical Mysteries by Ashley Garner

Any fans of historical mysteries here? Ashley Gardner is a pseudonym for author Jennifer Ashley. Ashley is the author of the Captain Lacey Regency Mysteries series and the newly released the Leonidas Gladiator mystery series. She also writes the Kat Holloway Victorian (Below Stairs) Mysteries as Jennifer Ashley. And if you like historical and paranormal romances like me, you probably know she's also the author of the Mackenzies series and Unbound Shifters series.

 

 

Step into the past through three historical mysteries that reach from Imperial Rome to Victorian London.

 

A Soupçon of Poison
(Kat Holloway Victorian Mysteries)

Kat Holloway, a young cook who is highly sought after by the wealthy of Victorian London, becomes embroiled in murder and must clear her name. Only the mysterious Daniel McAdam, who is much more than he seems, can come to her aid.

Blood Debts
(Leonidas the Gladiator Mysteries)

Leonidas, freedman, once the most popular gladiator in Rome and champion of the games, now must fight for his life outside the arena. A man who owed him money was murdered, and Leonidas is a prime suspect. With the assistance of Cassia, daughter of a Greek scribe who has been bestowed upon him as his slave, Leonidas fights for justice in the back lanes of Imperial Rome.

The Necklace Affair
(Captain Lacey Regency Mysteries)

Captain Lacey agrees to help a society matron discover what has become of her cherished diamond necklace and to clear her maid, who has been arrested for its theft. Lacey quickly becomes enmeshed in scandal and past secrets, and finds himself competing with the underworld criminal, James Denis, for the necklace's retrieval.

This collection includes three previously released novellas of about 25,000-30,000 words each.

 

Buy Links: 

 

Kindle: http://tinyurl.com/ydfgjkue
Nook: http://tinyurl.com/yafj5ryz
iBooks: http://tinyurl.com/y8usdhp6
Kobo: http://tinyurl.com/ya7hy68e
Google: http://tinyurl.com/yavq3k8t
Paperback Amzn: http://tinyurl.com/y9syx5aa
Paperback B&N: http://tinyurl.com/yboukudv

Review: Keeping Her: A Dark Romance by Angela Snyder

Keeping Her: A Dark Romance (Keep Me Series Book 1) - Angela Snyder

What a roller coaster of emotions! One moment I was hating the characters, the next I was sympathizing with them, the next I was in love, and before I knew it was exasperated and then back in love. Crazy stuff! 

Now, I feel the most important thing I need to point out is that this is a dark romance and that there are some serious **** TRIGGER ISSUES **** that may make some readers uncomfortable so read with caution. 

The story, which was narrated in first POV by various characters, gave me that feeling of intense passion and angst. I think the author made a good job by portraying Lucian with so many emotional and character flaws, otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to overlook his numerous acts of possessiveness and cruelty, even after a very important truth is uncovered and he has no reason to keep acting that way. Adeline is the sweet and innocent girl that captures his attention in a way that no one thought possible. And when I say innocent, I really mean it, and for good reasons too. Odd thing was that it was hard for me to connect with and understand her character but I think that was because of everything that happened in her previous life and her current situation. I just couldn’t relate to her in any feasible way. 

The story has a good pace and flow although I found the characters talking too much to themselves and at times I found their inner dialogue a bit repetitive. However one thing I liked a lot was that even though Adeline started as a victim, she never behaved as one and that made her a more realistic character. 

On a side note, I was totally blindsided by what happened towards end and the cliffhanger. It’s a good thing we don’t have to wait too long how this story ends as the next installment will be out in only a couple of months. 

I received this book from the author at no cost to me and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.

Cover Reveal: Bama Girl Blues by Gracen Miller Contemporary Rocker Romance

— feeling excited

 
 
 
 
 
It was supposed to be one night of passion…
 
 
Winston “Keys” Cornell is the guitarist for Hot Wired, the hottest band around. With hard work and dedication his band has become a household name. He’s no stranger to a high profile life. Being the heir to a New York fortune meant he was nurtured beneath the scrutiny of the public eye. The paparazzi have been kind, dubbing him the gentleman rocker, a man that plucks the heart strings of women everywhere.
 
 
…an agreement between friends, nothing more.
 
 
Nessa Hayes is a woman on a mission. She’s outspoken, foul-mouthed, and has her life mapped out. Determined no one will sidetrack her dreams, she’s surprised by her attraction to her childhood friend, Keys. Engaging in an affair with no-strings seemed like a great idea at the time, but falling in love might be the least of her heartache.
 
 
But scandals never sleep and…
 
 
When their different worlds collide, can they overcome their diversity for a chance at romance? Or will they be broken hearted, left to sing a sad and lonely tune?
 
 
…this one might leave Keys singing the Bama Girl Blues!
 
 
 
Buy Links:
 
 
 
 
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
 
GRACEN MILLER is a hopeless daydreamer masquerading as a “normal” person in southern society. When not writing, she’s a full-time lacrosse mom for her two sons and a devoted wife to her real-life hero-husband of over twenty years. She has an unusual relationship with her muse, Dom, but credits all her creative success to his brilliant mind. She’s addicted to writing, paranormal romance novels, horror movies, Alabama football, and coffee... addictions are not necessarily in order of priority. She’s convinced coffee is nectar from the gods and when blending coffee and writing together it generates the perfect creative merger. Many of her creative worlds are spawned from coffee highs and Dom’s aggressive demands. Gracen writes in multiple genres—paranormal romance, paranormal erotic romance, rock star contemporary romance, and dystopian romance. To learn more about Gracen or to leave her a comment, visit her website at www.gracen-miller.com.
 
 
 
Stalker Links for Gracen:

 

Arc Review: Resurrection (Redemption Harbor Series #1) by Katie Reus

Resurrection (Redemption Harbor Series Book 1) (Volume 1) - Katie Reus
Action-packed, romance-filled, and riveting to say the least; this story will grab you from page one! 

CIA agent Skye fakes her own death to protect her partner and lover Colt Stuart and all those he holds dear. She’s never stopped loving him and knows she hurt him deep but she’s also sure what she did was for the best. When a dear friend of Colt is kidnapped she sees her rescuing as an opportunity to somewhat make it up to him, and although he might never know it was she who rescue his friend, she still goes for it. What she didn’t account for was that Colt would find out she didn’t die and once he did he wouldn’t let her go ever again. Not only that but he would go to extremes to protect her and never have to lose her again. 

OMG! This story! To me it had one of the best opening convos ever! It was funny while setting the pace for what was coming. Sky was one of the most assertive, self-confident, witty, and cool heroines I’ve ever read. Kudos to the author for giving me such an awesome character. Colt is your typical self-assured and overprotective alpha CIA agent that will do anything to protect those he loves (and I mean AN-NY-THING), however what’s great about his relationship with Skye is that he sure as hell knows Skye’s boundaries and as the gracious and romantic lover he is, he also knows how to make her feel safe and cared for. 

The dynamics between the friends was heartwarming and was pulling my heart strings at every corner. As a reader I could feel how much they really cared for each other. Once the “mission” is officially over we are immediately introduced to the next one and luckily we don’t have to wait too long as the second installment will be out within the next few months. This story was the perfect introduction to the series and if it’s any indication of what the whole series will be then we sure are in for a heck of a ride.

I received this book from the author at no cost to me and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.
 
 
Buy Links: 

✮ ✮ ✮ ✮

►kindle smarturl.it/i17clu
►iBooks smarturl.it/732l2d
►Nook smarturl.it/41ivzh
►Kobo http://bit.ly/2sCMZ5U

 
 

 

Add your signature and then share. Of course you don't have to but it would help the cause if you did.

ACLU voter suppression petition

Reblogged from Grimlock ♥ Inhumans:

I've already signed.

 

And I'm linking to help them out and so anyone who wants can sign.   No pressure, not even to read this, but in case you didn't know and wanted to?   You do now.

Freebies, Giveaways & Book Sales Facebook Group

 

 

Hey guys, 

 

I know many of you are not too fond of Facebook but to me it's the easiest, simplest, most common way to interact with people. Anyway, I started a new group where I share news about Free books, book sales and even Giveaways related to books. 

 

If you're already on FB, you can always request to join the Group to stay on the loop ;) 

Here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/567637953425929/

 

** Edit: An earlier version of this post said that anyone could access the group without having to log into Facebook but apparently that's not possible *sad face* and you actually need to be part of FB to see this group even if you don't want to join it. Sorry! 

Review: Warrior of Fire (Blood & Silver #2) by Shona Husk 4 out of 5 stars

Warrior of Fire - Shona Husk

This is the second installment in the Blood and Silver series. I honestly feel that this story cannot be read as a stand alone to be fully enjoyed as there are many aspects that would be missed if the first story is not read, well, first.

Leira and Julian are both part of an ancient yet almost extinct magical race called Albah. Because of prejudice and misconceptions about magic, their race has been hunted for as long as they can remember and now Julian is a target of those that want to end the Albah.

Fate plays an important role here but it’s not the focal point. The author manages to dance around it by making the characters think there is an already established path for everyone but also plays with the outcome by giving them infinite options depending on the choices people make.
In the case of Leira, and because of her magic, she knew she and Julian were supposed to meet but as the story progressed she wasn’t so sure anymore if that meant if they were supposed to be lovers or if he was just supposed to be in her life as something else. Julian knew there had to be more than magic and fate involved in their relationship because of the chemistry between them, and it was not just physical attraction but something deeper. And I definitely thanked the author for that because she didn’t go for the insta-lust here.
In the end, in spite of magic, fate, and crazy people going after them, they decided that risking it all for an uncertain but happy future was worth the risk.

The pace was a little slow for my taste but I’m willing to overlook it because I really liked this fantasy world, the complex characters and I thought this was a well-developed story.

*** I received this book from the author at no cost to me and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.***

This is interesting! I always thought that only authors could use the Giveaway tab but now it seems anyone can use it!

Giveaways: win free books and give your titles away

Reblogged from BookLikes:

If you have books to spare, want to promote and popularize you titles, give your books a second reading life, please do! With the giveaway program you can give the titles away as well as win ARCs and review copies right now.

 

Hey, I want to create a giveaway!

 

If you haven't visited the Giveaways page yet, it's hight time. Let's start with setting up a new giveaway and them we'll move on to winning some free books.

 

The giveaway can be started by all BookLikes members, readers, writers, publishers. To make you giveaway happen press the upper menu and choose Giveaways.

 

 

The very first giveaways page presents available books. Let's leave the free books aside (what?!?) and proceed to the next tab called Create your Giveaway:

 

 

The giveaway form is short and easy to follow, let's have a look at the specific spots with short descriptions:

 

Search the book title -- this will save your work and time. Once the book is found in the BookLikes catalog almost all book information will be filled up automatically (based on the details available on a book page): a book cover, a title, an author, a description note, and a book language -- they will pop up once the book is found.

 

If the book is not in BookLikes catalog, you can fill up all the date manually and upload the book cover image.

 

Fill up the giveaway dates -- the start date and the end date.

Please have in mind that if you choose a future date, you'll schedule the giveaway to go live accordingly to the start date, until then it will stay hidden and invisible for the readers and guests.

 

We've noticed that the giveaways lasting 2-4 weeks are the most effective but it's up to your how long your giveaway will last.

 

Copies -- how many books do you want to give away? 

That's easy. Decide how many books copies you're willing to share.

 

Select winners -- who will pick the winners: you or BookLikes?

If you appreciate when the hard work is done for you, choose BookLikes algorithm. This means that BookLikes will choose the winning readers based on the bloggers' reading history, BookLikes activities and other attributes. 

 

 

If you wish to create more personal bonding with the winners, choose me.

This means that when a reader requests your book he/she will have to answer the questions "Why do you want to read this book?" and you'll receive all the notes and when the giveaway comes to an end you'll be able to choose the best answers = winning readers. We highly recommend the me option :)

 

Book format

All book formats are available, you can giveaway paper books (hardcover, paperback, mass market), e-books and audiobooks. Make sure to choose a right format for your giveaway.

 

If you wish to give away the title in different formats, please create a separate giveaway for each book format.

 

Let's move on:

Book ISBN: to make sure which book edition you're giving away, add the ISBN number.

 

Book language: the language will be added automatically if you searched the book via BL book catalog, if it won't be added, select one.

 

18+: Make sure to notify if the book is restricted to adults only. then the giveaway entry will receive a special note:

 

 

Comment & Video comments: tell the readers more about the titles, add your own insights and a video link to engage more readers.

 

 

Available for countries: This spot is important manly when you;re giving away paper books -- before choosing the countries the book(s) will be available for you should take into consideration the shipping time and costs (remember that it is the giveaway creator who is responsible for the shipment)

 

Book categories: select up to 5 genres the book falls into.

This information will help readers decide whether the title is for them. 

 

 

Before making your giveaway public, read the terms, tick the agreement and Save.

 

Now you just have to confirm your giveaway and it's all ready - your giveaway is on! Congratulations!

 

By the way, did you know that you can share the Giveaway news by using the giveaway widget (menu->Goodies->Widgets)? The widget can be added to your BookLikes webpage (copy the code and paste it in the customization tab in the Widget Area) or any other www webpage of yours.

 

Let's go back to the main Giveaways page (menu->Giveaways) and let's have a loot at the other tabs:

 

 

Giveaways tab: the main page where all BookLikes giveaways are listed

Create your giveaway: a short form to create your own giveaway

Giveaways I've entered: a list of giveaways you take part or you took part (if the giveaway came to an end it will have the finished  note in the upper right corner.

My giveaways: the giveaways you've created, i.e. books you're giving away to other readers

 

Important! When your giveaway comes to an end you'll receive a notification that the winners are ready to be picked. Click the link from the notification or simply go to your giveaway and select the winners. Once it's done you'll receive the winners contact information on the very same giveaway page.

 

Now all you have to do it to send the books and set up a new giveaway!

 

 

Hey, I want to win free books!

 

The main Giveaways page presents the sneak peek into each giveaway with some core information. You can also use the filters and sorting options or just scroll down to look for a perfect book match.

When searching the giveaways, remember to pay attention to the countries the book is available for. If you've found your next read, press Enter to win.

 

 

The next steps depend whether the book is a paper book or not.

 

If it's a paperback/hardcover/mass market paperback you'll be required to fill up the postal address and hit Request button.

Please add your correct data, otherwise the author won't be able to mail you the book you've won.

 

If you've chosen the digital copy (e-book or audiobook) you'll be asked to confirm your e-mail address (the same as the one your BookLikes account is created on). Hit I want this book and Request if the e-mail address is correct.

 

Please make sure to use the correct and up to date e-mail address. Otherwise, the author won't be able to send you the book you've won. If you want to update your e-mail address you can do it anytime in the general Settings (menu->Settings).

 

 

Important! If you won the book you'll receive a notification (Congrats!), the author of the giveaway should inform you how you can collect your free book. Your e-mails and addresses are visible only to the author and cannot be seen or used by anyone else.

 

Now all you need to do it to visit the Giveaways page, choose your next read and wait for it :D

 

 

Happy reading!

ARC Review and Goodreads Giveaway: Blackmailing the Bad Girl by Nina Croft

Blackmailing the Bad Girl - Nina Croft

Set in England, billionaire Nik Masterton is out to get the woman that took not only his money but also a piece of his heart. Summer Delaney has learned her lesson and promises to lead a better. Unfortunately the man she stole from wants has re-entered her life and it appears the new life she envisioned will have to wait.

This was a sweet and charming, yet totally hot and sexy second chance story. I loved the way Nik and Summer got to get reacquainted with each other because even though they got really, really close *wink wink* to get each other out of the other’s system –you can imagine how well that worked- they took their sweet time to start with the actual “romance.” They were both funny, witty, hard-headed, and protective of family and friends. Loved the chemistry and the dynamic they each had with secondary characters. I haven't read the first one in the series but I will soon remedy that and of course I'll continue the series and will read more by this author.

*** I received this book from the author at no cost to me and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.***

 

 

Enter the Goodreads* giveaway here: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/239366-blackmailing-the-bad-girl

 

*Must be a Goodreads member to enter

I always find these posts quite useful =D

How to add Facebook and Twitter widgets

Reblogged from BookLikes:

 

No matter whether you are a writer, publisher or a book bloggers, it's important to present all possible information about your profession and links to your other webpages and other social platforms. Only then your readers will be able to look through your dossier and get to know you a little bit better. Recently we've shared some tips how to include all the professional information on your book blog and now we're moving to widgets, another great way of presenting your writings. 

 

Did you know you can add Facebook Fan Page and Twitter widget to your BookLikes webpage? If you didn't OR if you did but still wasn't sure how to do it, well, here's BookLikes team for a rescue!

 

Once you add the social media widgets to your BookLikes blog your readers can start following your Twitter account and like your Facebook Fan Page instantly. They can also have a peek at your social media channels directly from your blog page. That is very convenient both for the author/publisher/blogger and for the readers so we definitely recommend adding them.

 

 

How to add a Facebook Fan Page widget on your BookLikes webpage

 

That's easy-peasy! Let's do it!
1. If you have a Facebook Fan Page (the widget is only for the Fan Pages, not the Facebook profiles) just copy the Facebook link you see when you're visiting your FB Fan Page:
 
 
2. Paste the link in the customization tab in the Facebook Like Box widget frame (menu->Settings->Blog->Customize http://booklikes.com/template/customize) and Save (like in the screenshot below):
 
 
Done!
 
How to add Twitter widget to your BookLikes webpage
 

When it comes to your Twitter widget, you should create a widget on the Twitter page and then add it to your BookLikes account. Here's a step by step instruction with screen shots to make it all clear. It may sound and look tricky but it's really fast and easy when you know where to click and paste :)

1. First you should go to your twitter account and the press Settings and Privacy in the menu, and choose Widgets on the left menu

 


2. Then choose "Create new" and choose Profile from the list:

 
3. Paste your Twitter address and choose a display mode, we like the embedded timeline.
 

4. The widget looked really big (below is the preview) so we decided to click "set customization options" to make it similar to the Facebook like widget and to adjust it to the blog page:
 
5. Once we entered new size dimensions it looked perfect (you can use the same dimensions for yours).
6. Click Update.
 
7. Then press the code and it will be automatically copied.
8. And go to your BookLikes.

 
​9. Go to the customization tab on BookLikes (menu->Settings->Blog->Customize http://booklikes.com/template/customize) and paste the Twitter widget code in the Widget Area
10. Remember to press Save.
 

 Voila! The social media widgets are on on your BookLikes blog page.

Happy writing!

Review 4/5 stars: Lord of Chance (Rogues to Riches, #1) by Erica Ridley

Lord of Chance (Rogues to Riches Book 1) - Erica Ridley

This is sort of a re-release since it first appeared in the Scandal’s Daughters Anthology, but fret not as this “is an expanded ‘Author Edition.’"

Charming and complex characters, well-told story, and not your usual rags to riches plot make this a delightful and engaging story. Anthony was a gambler down on his luck and up to his neck in debt when he met Charlotte. They were both fleeing from a dark past at the same time that they were looking for a different, brighter future. Unfortunately a play of words in a foreign place bound them together into marriage and their hopes at a brighter future just tumbled down.

The romance itself was emotive and believable. They grew to care for each other over a feasible amount of time to the point of willing to sacrifice their love for the sake of each other’s happiness. If anything, the only thing I didn’t find plausible is that they spent a lot of time together, alone, in a bedchamber, and there was no mention of any kind of sexual frustration. There were plenty of good reasons why the deed wasn’t done but I would have thought some tension would have been more palpable. Other than that, I loved their relationship because more than anything they were friends and they supported each other, even when they could become pariahs in society.

The settings were rich in detail and the story had that fluidity that I love because it keeps me engrossed in the story. I also loved that it dealt with deep themes such as addiction and prejudice yet it kept a light side and didn’t turn into a sob-inducing story. I do believe addiction is a tough subject and even harder to overcome however I’ve also witnessed that given the right circumstances and for the right reasons a person can actually beat it. That’s one of the reason I don’t think Anthony’s recovery was that far-fetched and it could very much have happened quickly indeed.

Twists and turns and the fact the story definitely did not have the ending I expected make this a most delightful and entertaining read and I definitely recommend it to those looking for a well-told, unique, romantic story.

*** I received this book from the author at no cost to me and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.***

Arc review: Indiscretion: A Standalone Forbidden Romance by Lane Hart

Indiscretion: A Standalone Forbidden Romance - Lane  Hart

 

Not what I was expecting! 

Although I’ve heard great things of this author this is actually my first book by her. I’m not much of a contemporary romance reader unless it’s packed with action and suspense but there was something about the blurb that caught my attention and I just couldn’t pass the chance to read this book. 

 

So, for starters, Clark Kent as my physical therapist? Sign me up!

 

 

 

The story begins with what Sam thinks is a little white lie to her PT, Dr. Grant Matthews, never imagining it could potentially ruin the man’s future. What starts as silly flirtation and later sizzling make-out sessions turns into something deeper and more meaningful before either one of them realizes it.

 

I’ll be honest and say that I’m not too fond of stories told in the present tense or in the first person POV but that didn’t even bother me here because it was just that well-told. All characters’ personality jumped out of the pages and that’s something I can always appreciate. Sam was innocent without sounding dim-witted; I think she was just a woman acting her age. Grant on the other hand kind of grew on me because when the story started I sort of hated the man, like big time, sexy glasses and all.

 

The story had plenty of twists and turns that I did not expect, some that I could see coming but were still interesting, plenty of laugh out and tear-jerking moments, and some that had me cheering for love and justice to triumph over everything. I’m not so sure about the ending because I thought it was tied up way too nicely however overall it was a great story and I’ll definitely be reading more from this author.

 

 

 

** I received this book from the author at no cost to me and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.***

Arc Review: Jane Grey: A Homage to the Brontë Classics (The Brontë Brothers #1) by Nina Mason

Jane Grey (The Brontë Brothers Book 1) - Nina Mason

 

I’ll start by saying that Jane Eyre happens to be my least favorite classic historical romance. So when offered the chance to read this story I was truly intrigued and couldn’t pass the opportunity to read it.

 

Well, Jane Grey was a great romance story indeed! I don’t want anyone to think it wasn’t based on my rating. I did enjoy it from start to finish, true, however I also did have a few issues with the story itself. At any rate, I still recommend it to any fan of the original and to those looking for a worthwhile happy ending.

 

Matthew and Jane have a lot in common and that’s obviously what drew them together. They were both hopeless romantics to the point they could both recite poems by heart and Matthew was a painter hoping to revive his then-dormant muse.

At the start of the story, Matthew was hurt and vulnerable, thus he gave me the impression of just having fallen in love with the idea of the perfect woman that could possibly be Jane as opposed to the woman herself. As the story progressed and they got to know each other better, his attitude left no doubt in my mind that he had in fact fallen for Jane as a woman so I was happy on that end.

 

Their relationship was endearing and heart-warming. The story was heart-wrenching at times and hopeful at others. The descriptive settings made me feel I was part of the story itself and the writing was as beautiful as ever when it comes to this author.

 

As for Jane, she was sweet and considerate, but to an almost maddening point in my opinion. Most of the time she showed strength of character and common sense but when it came to trusting unworthy people or when it came to continue on the path she had already set her mind to follow she was inconstant and mutable. That whiplash attitude was one of the reasons I couldn’t enjoy the story more.

Also, the story is set in a place where propriety is not as strict as it would have been in England at the time but I still thought Jane didn’t come up to scratch as a governess to some extent. I’m not going to give specific examples because I don’t want to give spoilers but suffice to say her pupil would act incredibly unlady-like and Ms. Gray would just stand there and do nothing. I know, I’ve been told I need to let go of certain things when it comes to historicals but I just can’t!

 

As I said earlier dear reader, it IS a lovely story, full of passion, regrets, ambition, and true love. If this sounds like your cup of tea then I’m sure you are going to love it. 

 

*** I received this book from the author at no cost to me and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.***

Arc Review: It's Me Again, Baby (O'Connor Family #3) by Katie Reus

It's Me Again, Baby (O'Connor Family Series Book 3) - Katie Reus

*** 3.5 stars ***

Katie Reus is the queen of the second chances trope. She’s got that down to a science and this book only reinforced that thought for me.

Samantha and Maguire parted ways a while ago because of a misunderstanding but neither got over the other one. Now that they finally got a chance to talk things over they’re giving their relationship another chance.

The narrative of the story was fast-paced and so was the romance however it was still well told. Throw in the dynamics of one of my favorite fictional towns (not to mention some super hot sex scenes) and you have a nice, fun read. I didn’t like the ending much as I thought it was too rushed and expected but other than that it was an enjoyable read.

*** I received this book from the author at no cost to me and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.***

Arc review: The Bad Luck Bride (The Cavensham Heiresses #1) by Janna MacGregor

The Bad Luck Bride (The Cavensham Heiresses) - Janna MacGregor

First of all, call me shallow but that cover has something that would definitely beckon me to pick it up from the shelf and at least see what the story is about.

At the beginning, Alex had no idea what Claire looked or what she was like because they had only met briefly and that had been a few years prior. Nonetheless, he proposed and was immediately drawn to her fragile and sweet demeanor. They both understood their union was out of necessity and agreed that just like many other marriages of the time, theirs could be based only on affection if not everlasting love.

And affection was given, in fact, affection was given too much too soon in my opinion. Supposedly, Alex’s motives were based on a wrong made to his family. However just days after they met again he was already thinking of protecting her, and not only because of his personal motives or out of honor but rather because of the feelings she stirred in him ~ really? That quickly? After that there were all kinds of romantic moments that obviously cemented the romantic aspect of the story still I wish their love would have been fleshed a bit more.
Also, Alex’s behavior was confusing in general. He was supposed to be a man of honor and yet he was manipulative, jealous, and revengeful, oh, and add to that a bad friend. In the end, he finds a way to find redemption for all his wrong-doings but man, did he take his sweet time to get there.

As for the story itself, there were a few plot holes that I’m sure will be filled in the next book in the series but I thought they should have been explained here. I also think the two different arcs (Claire’s bad luck and Alex’s revenge) overlapped each other in a way that it got distracting at times. Not to mention that I feel there was a lot of telling when there could have been more showing, especially at the beginning of the book. And one thing that bothered me to no end was that one of the characters was being referred to as Lord Paul by his so-called long-time friends when his full name was Lord Paul Barstowe, second son of a duke. Ok, I shamelessly admit it, I’m a nitpicker, and for that reason I cringed every time they called him that. I know! I’m a petty and I know it :/

In short, I did enjoy the book but I didn’t love it. It had its good moments, particularly when it came to Claire’s life and complex characters. If a reader is not as demanding as me when it comes to their romantic stories and plot lines I’m sure they will be able to enjoy it even more.

*** I received this book from the author at no cost to me and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.***

Challenge Participant Professional Reader