Five Stars, High Violence, Low Language, Low Religion, Low Romance, Low Violence, Moderate Language, Moderate Romance, Nichole Van, Three Stars

Give me a Break

Weekly Reading Round Up

With all the changes and life adjustments happening… this week I needed something familiar. I needed something that would make me smile and make my heart happy. Nichole Van‘s House of Oak Series might just get the label of ‘my favorite series ever’. It’s high praise, but well deserved. And I read them all this week, and loved them all over again. We’ve already given you our effusive praise for this series here. house-of-oak-series-by-nichole-van-L-m199uJ

However I realized in re-reading that post that I hadn’t mentioned my most favorite book in that series, which is Clandestine (book 3).

I love Marc and Kit’s story. It makes me laugh out loud. Modern pop culture references in a regency era setting make for some fantastic moments. I remember the first time I read it, I just about dropped my phone with the twist she throws in. Intelligent, witty, emotional writing was exactly what I needed this week. I could read this series again and again and be delighted every time.

***** Low Language, Low Violence, Low Romance, Low Religion

Aeva the Wild by Claire Marion 41hog8XXkSL

I (Aimee) had never read anything set in the viking era and it intrigued me. I should have processed however, the reality of how vulgar the vikings were into my decision to pick this book up. It is very violent, including sexual violence. And though there wasn’t a ton of language for most of the book, it oddly picked up in the last twenty percent of the book. So while the author was fantastic and the plot was very well done, the ratings are a lot higher than I’m comfortable with.

***Moderate Language, High Violence, Moderate Romance (The consensual romance was moderate. The sexual violence is categorized under the High Violence)

 

His Lady in Hiding by Jen Geigle Johnson41+midp8xiL._SY346_

You can find our blog tour review on this great book here.

 

 

Five Stars, Four Stars, Low Language, Low Religion, Low Romance, Low Violence, Lucy McConnell, Moderate Language, Moderate Romance, Nancy Campbell Allen, Sheralyn Pratt, Three Stars

No More Adulting

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Weekly Reading Round Up

Don’t Kiss Your Lab Partner by Lucy McConnell 51DKGSj1DAL
When I don’t want to adult anymore my go to reading is always young adult novels. They make me smile. Lucy McConnell is a favorite of ours, so when she comes out with an young adult novel on a week I’m really done adulting, it’s a time to rejoice. This was just what I needed. It was a quick, cute, fun read.  Adelle was an adorable character that you love right away. Such a great start to a new series.

**** Low Language, Low Violence, Low Romance, Low Religion

 

Road Trip with the Enemy by Kelsie Stelting411m+rv2+ZL

A little ironic that two of us picked young adult books this week that dealt with grief and death. Especially when that seems to be something so many are dealing with currently. The author handled it really well, such good emotion.  There were a few things that Sydney’s character did that I wouldn’t want my teenager to think was an okay way of grieving, but the author did a really good job of showing how people cope and grieve differently and the ramifications of that.

*** Low Language, Low Violence, Low Romance, Low Religion

 

Brass Carriages and Glass Hearts by Nancy Campbell Allen51SYSmFZNlL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_

I have been waiting rather impatiently for the next steampunk fairy tale. These books are so unique. They balance romance, suspense, fantasy and fairy tale components so well. This one however, wasn’t my favorite. The plot was intriguing and the suspense kept me engaged, but there were a few elements I’d come to expect from the others that felt missing in this one. I found myself often distracted from an otherwise interesting plot because I was trying to figure out the Cinderella aspects. In the other books in this series, the fairy tale connection felt natural and ingenious, this one felt a little forced. I really like the two sides of the same coin concept in the enemies to lovers trope. There were definitely swoon worthy moments between Emme and Oliver and I loved their snarkiness.  I may need to go back and read the last book to see if there’s a little more back story between the two characters that I just don’t remember, because the romance felt a little rushed. Despite not being my favorite, you can bet I’ll be waiting just as impatiently for the next steampunk fairy tale. I love this unique and wonderful world the author has created. 

*** Low Language, Moderate Violence, Low Romance, Low Religion

 

The Kiss That Launched 1,000 GIFS by Sheralyn Pratt 51g4igC4vsL

Not only is this book light and fun, and witty. The perfect romantic comedy. It also has moments of honesty about relationships that make me want to say, hey everyone, read this! I really love her writing so much!

***** Low Language, Low Violence, Moderate Romance, Low Religion.

 

 

The Ghost of You and Me by Kelly Oram pro_pbid_4258569

One of us stayed up until one o’clock in the morning reading this book, that’s how good it was. The author did a really good job of writing both sides of grief. There was accurate portrayals of what it’s like to be the one grieving and what it’s like to be the one on the outside affected.  The conversations and the emotions were real. It’s one I’d actually re-read.

**** Moderate Language, Low Violence, Moderate Romance, Low Religion

Five Stars, Four Stars, Heidi Kimball, Low Language, Low Religion, Low Romance, Low Violence, Melanie Cellier, Moderate Romance, Moderate Violence, Sian Ann Bessey

Genuine Reality

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Weekly Reading Round-up

A Man Worth Shaving For by Michelle Pennington 52215585._SY475_

Fun and flirty in a refreshing kind of way, but also honest. Tessa is a delightfully relatable character and the plot made me smile from the first page. Logan’s “data analysis” was an adorable addition.  The whole story is a pretty fantastic romantic comedy.

***** low language, moderate romance, low violence, low religion

The Heart of The Rebellion by Sian Ann Bessey pro_pbid_4457231

My favorite historical fictions are ones that prompt me to learn more outside of the book, and this one definitely did that! I found myself googling all sorts of welsh history the more I was pulled into the fascinating plot. The characters, even the minor ones, were well developed and I found myself interested in every little thing going on. The author balanced the medieval history with romance and rebellion to make for a well rounded, fascinating read.

**** low language, low romance, moderate violence, low religion

Where The Stars Meet the Sea by Heidi Kimball pro_pbid_4542127

This book has so much heart, there are so many powerful emotions you feel every one right to your core. Juliet is what every heroine should be and Halstead is her well written foil. Their romance brings out the best in each character. The author balances the tension and the humor very well. I think my favorite part is their counterparts, both Robert and Lady Margaret, aren’t “villains”. Neither character is malicious or catty, all the characters are flawed and all have some redeeming characteristics giving the novel a genuine feeling that I loved. I must admit I was pulled out of the story every so often because I never felt it was clear what Juliet’s mother’s standing in society had been before she married her husband. I might have missed it, but it was alluded to so often I wished for more than “a gentleman’s daughter”. Obviously the minor curiosity didn’t deter the five star rating, it was that good.

***** low language, low romance, low violence, low religion

A Princess of Wind and Wave by Melanie Cellier 51nfuIzMkWL

Aimee was the last one of the three of us to read this cute retelling of The Little Mermaid and we all loved it. There was a lot of it that kept us guessing. The author always weaves in important parts of the original while making the story so unique. The other thing that I love about her writing is how subtly she pulls in messages that uplift and inspire. She’s one of our favorite young adult fairy tale writers.

**** low language, low romance, low violence, low religion

Annette K. Larsen, Esther Hatch, Five Stars, Four Stars, Heather B. Moore, Low Language, Low Religion, Low Romance, Low Violence, Moderate Romance, Nichole Van, Rachael Anderson, Uncategorized

Fanciful

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Weekly Reading Round-up

A Note of Change (Timeless Victorian Collection book 5)

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Waiting for the Post by Esther Hatch –  A fun and lighthearted second chance romance with just the right amount of angst.

A Ring of Gold by Nichole Van – I love her writing. Sometimes while reading you connect with a character, or the plot. On rare occasions you find a writer whose writing, her words, her characters, her humor, her descriptions; the whole story speaks to your soul. Nichole Van’s writing is like that for me every single time. This one was no different.

A Rose by Any Other Name by Annette Lyon – A  cute cinderella story with sweet tender moments. I felt like the descriptions were a little wordy for me, but the romance was really well developed for a novella.

**** low language, low romance, low violence, low religion

 

PowerPlayHeather B Moore51ZsIjNEAJL

I’m more drawn to romances that are both sweet and realistic and this story was both. Sometimes when reading a romance the adults, don’t actually act like adults. I loved these characters and I loved their dynamic! Though I know next to nothing about hockey…it made me want to go to a hockey game.

**** low language, moderate romance, low violence, low religion

 

A Foolish HeartMartha Keyes50390637._SY475_

This story was absolutely delightful. As a fan A Midsummer’s Night Dream I was interested to see how she would tweak it. I loved all the subtle nods to the original and found it fascinating how she twined in the different original characters. I especially appreciated Mercy’s character development. Her grown maturity was well written. The author created really great tension and some awesome scene shifts. As a whole it was highly entertaining; a some how fanciful and yet realistic regency. (released March 3rd, pre-order now!)

***** low language, low romance, low violence, low religion

 

All That Stands Between UsAnnette K. Larsen 51gPBtupRLL._SY346_

A more healthy Romeo and Juliet with a Happily Ever After. My favorite thing about Annette Larsen’s writing is the emotion. As I read her stories I always feel every tug and pull of the character’s heart as if it was my own. All her stories are beautiful and this one was no different. I always come away feeling more.

**** low language, low romance, low violence, low religion

 

The Solicitor’s Son –  Rachael Anderson51-249QIswL

All her covers are beautiful I could just live in them. I love the familial relationships she always builds so well, they were so invested in her happiness. Rachael Anderson is a great story teller and this one is Super adorable!

****low language, low romance, low violence, low religion

 

Low Language, Low Religion, Low Violence, Moderate Romance, Three Stars

Break the Rules

I must admit I’m kind of a boring rule follower, however there are some rules that are made to be broken. The no jumping on the bed rule, or the no sweats before breakfast rule, or the don’t slide down the banister rule.

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“For almost a decade, Charlotte Dubois has loved Will Henderson from afar, squelching her heart’s silent yearnings. But no way could she date her best friend’s brother. Their whole friendship is based on one rule: No friend of Kelsey’s can ever date Will. Instead, Charlotte has watched him date and break more hearts than should be legal.

Will Henderson never got over that stolen kiss he shared with Charlotte years ago—though he’s tried valiantly to rid his system of his sister’s best friend.

When circumstances bring the two into each other’s arms again, Will wants to convince Charlotte to break the rules and take a chance on him. Can true love triumph, or will they both end up losing?”

Mylissa Demeyere knows how to build tension and this book does it really well. Mylissa creates a great back story and continues to balance the drama and the tension through the book.

I’m more of a romcom kind of girl, than I am a drama kind of girl, which is why Will was my favorite. He was a great character and really well written. I had a harder time with both Charlotte and Kelsey. I felt like their voice and actions came across a little juvenile at times.

According to our “rules” the romance is a little more on the steamy than sweet side, but the ending is definitely sweet and leaves you content and smiling.

Mylissa is running a giveaway to celebrate the release of her book, you can enter to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card here:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/37eb54092/

Ends 21/12/2019

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway is organized by Mylissa Demeyere. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

You can follow Mylissa on The Following Sites:

Website: http://www.mylissademeyere.com

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Five Stars, Jen Geigle Johnson, Low Language, Low Religion, Moderate Romance, Moderate Violence

It’s Official

We are officially in our new place, school has officially started and I’m officially behind on my reviews. But those first two things should help with the later.
I’m also officially a history nerd. I love learning about the details of the past; what made them great and what made them hard. Jen Geigle Johnson has a way of not only making history come to life, but making it relevant to the reader.
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“Molly O’Malley, lady’s maid to the progressive Lady Amanda Halloway, is determined to continue the life’s work of her lost love, killed in the Peterloo Massacre. But when her efforts and a trip to Lady Halloway’s charitable orphanage culminate in her own abduction, Molly’s eyes are opened to the horrifying crimes transpiring in the city’s slums. Despite the risks, she broadens her mission and is drawn ever closer to the peril all around them. 

Thomas Flaherty, a footman in the Halloway household, has been with Molly from the beginning, but he fears she will never trust him with her heart. Even though her cause and happiness are of foremost importance to him, his loyal patience is tested by the fears that keep her at a distance. But with their safety on the line, Thomas is resolved to sacrifice everything for the woman he loves. 

Risking their lives and their love, Molly and Thomas and a team of nobles on their side will stop at nothing to empower the powerless, no matter the personal cost.”

I loved the juxtaposition this book created against it’s predecessor, A Nobleman’s DaughterWhere the heroine and hero in that story were bold and fearless these were quite and somewhat reluctant heroes who grew into their roles and purpose. Both kinds of people have a place in this world and I loved that representation.
There was not one, but two relationships developing in this book and both added dimension to the story. It was beautiful to see Molly’s struggle with guilt, and the realization that it is possible to love again after loss.
Overall the story kept and held my attention, I felt invested in the characters success and a desire to learn more about this time in history. I officially love Jen Johnson’s historical romances and can’t wait for more!
Four Stars, Low Language, Low Religion, Moderate Romance, Moderate Violence

Historical Spymance

I love history and I learning little details, but I’m finding there is a very fine line that must be walked between the history and the fiction. Too heavy on either end and it comes across as too dry or not believable. Laura Beers did a great job of blending the historical and the fictional in her novel The Baron’s Daughter.

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Lord Morgan Easton is, first and foremost, an agent of the Crown. To achieve his purposes, he has become Society’s golden boy, and a renowned rake. When it’s discovered that notorious French spy, Genet, is attending a house party in a small seaside village, he is tasked to infiltrate the gathering and arrest the spy. But first, he must convince a certain woman to become his partner and pose as his wife. The challenge is that she would rather see him dead.

Miss Josette Northcott guards her secrets fiercely, trusts few, and enjoys the anonymity that goes along with being the headmistress of a private school in the rookeries. When Lord Morgan offers her a deal she can’t refuse, she makes it clear that this is nothing more than a business arrangement. No man, no matter how charming or infuriatingly handsome he is, can know the truth of her sordid and twisted past.  

Morgan and Josette must learn to trust each other however, trust does not come easily to either agent, and when the truth of Josette’s past is finally unveiled, will they be able to accept that not only is their mission on the line, but their hearts, as well?

Though I have read some of the Beckett Files, I haven’t read them all. And unfortunately for me I had not yet read book 5 when I was sent book 6. I wish I would’ve read that one first, though not strictly necessary, I do find there were some plot holes that could have helped my understanding of the characters personalities and current situations at the opening of the story.

Despite the missing pieces of the main character’s history together, I didn’t love them any less. They were well written and engaging. The mystery was intriguing enough that though I guessed Genet’s identity early on, I was never one hundred percent sure I was correct in my guess.

Laura Beers presented the side characters so well that you were always guessing at their allegiance and trying to piece together the puzzle, a mark of a great spy novel.

I always read the book blurb before I read the book, this time I wish I hadn’t. I mistakenly assumed more about Josette’s past than it entailed, but it was a pleasant surprise, one I was happy to be wrong about. I think I would like to read it again with out the assumptions I went in with the first time.

I was intrigued with her pieces of history. On a side note, this was one of few regency books that not only discussed The Whigs and The Tories, but gave you a very good layman’s description of the difference between the two. It was a well researched and delightfully mysterious regency spy novel.

Don’t you think that should be a genre? We have a whole section on our Pinterest Reviews board dedicated to them, we call it Historical Spymance, you should check it out!

High Violence, Low Language, Low Religion, Moderate Romance, Two Stars

A Whole New World

I confess I love getting into new worlds, being sucked into a fantasy so removed that I can just escape. However, if the world created by the author doesn’t have some common threads with reality it can be too hard to see yourself there and connect with the characters.

The world Somaiya Daud creates in Mirage is fascinating, but the words were so far removed from reality that I had a hard time remembering who was who and where was what.

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“In a world dominated by the brutal Vathek empire, eighteen-year-old Amani is a dreamer. She dreams of what life was like before the occupation; she dreams of writing poetry like the old-world poems she adores; she dreams of receiving a sign from Dihya that one day, she, too, will have adventure, and travel beyond her isolated home.

But when adventure comes for Amani, it is not what she expects: she is kidnapped by the regime and taken in secret to the royal palace, where she discovers that she is nearly identical to the cruel half-Vathek Princess Maram. The princess is so hated by her conquered people that she requires a body double, someone to appear in public as Maram, ready to die in her place.

As Amani is forced into her new role, she can’t help but enjoy the palace’s beauty―and her time with the princess’ fiancé, Idris. But the glitter of the royal court belies a world of violence and fear. If Amani ever wishes to see her family again, she must play the princess to perfection…because one wrong move could lead to her death.”

The timeline was a little confusing as well. I know there is such thing as too much detail of the past, but this almost had too little. I often was unsure if things they were mentioning were recent events or happened decades ago.

I’m not always turned off by violence, but this was a bit much, right from the get go. Though the overall story was interesting and in the genre of books that I like, the details were distracting enough to pull me out of the story again and again.

I’m a bit of a sucker for a well written make out session and the author did a wonderful job with the romance. The author described their emotions and interactions to create several swoon worthy scenes, but I never found myself completely immersed in the world she created. –A.B.

Donna Hatch, Four Stars, Giveaway, Low Language, Low Religion, Low Violence, Moderate Romance

Secrets

It’s hard to teach children the difference between a good secret and a bad secret. For instance, it’s not okay to tell daddy what mommy got him for Christmas, but there are other secrets that need to be told. We’ve tried to teach our kids that surprises, like presents are good to keep secret, but if the secret could hurt someone physically or emotionally, then it needs to be told. Lets hope over the next week and a half you have a lot of surprises and very few secrets.

“A stolen Christmas kiss leaves them bewildered and breathless.

A charming rogue-turned-vicar, Will wants to prove that he left his rakish days behind him, but an accidental kiss changes all his plans. His secret could bring them together…or divide them forever.

Holly has two Christmas wishes this year; finally earn her mother’s approval by gaining the notice of a handsome earl, and learn the identity of the stranger who gave her a heart-shattering kiss…even if that stranger is the resident Christmas ghost.”

Donna Hatch is an expert at swoon worthy moments. This book is no exception. The story is so fun and her enchanting characters make it come to life.

 

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Author Donna Hatch

Donna Hatch is the award-winning author of the best-selling “Rogue Hearts Series” and is published in sweet Regency romance and fantasy. Her professional memberships include Romance Writers of America (RWA)and American Night Writers Association (ANWA). A sought-after workshop presenter, she juggles freelance editing, multiple volunteer positions, not to mention her six children (seven, counting her husband), and still manages to make time to write. A native of Arizona who recently relocated to the Pacific Northwest, she and her husband of over twenty years are living proof that there really is a happily ever after.

 

 

 

You can find our review of “The Guise of a Gentleman” here.

 

Giveaway Details

$25 Amazon Gift Code or $25 in PayPal Cash Enter Here: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Ends 1/6/19

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner may be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, BookBub, Instagram, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. This giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader & Clean Wholesome Romance and is sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

 

 

Five Stars, Giveaway, Low Language, Low Religion, Moderate Romance, Moderate Violence, Rachael Anderson

Straight to the Heart

You know those books that make you go “Awww” and just get you right there? Those are Rachael Anderson’s books for me.

“Abigail Nash leads a lonely existence. Her mother died giving birth to her, her father’s business dealings took him away more often than not, and her ailing great-aunt, unable to provide much in the way of companionship, was a lack-luster guardian at best. So when her dear friends offered to launch her into London society, it appeared Abby’s life was taking a turn for the better, with suitors and social engagements aplenty. When she marries a proclaimed darling of the ton, it seems she will at last settle into the life of her dreams.

But appearances aren’t always what they seem, and dreams often become disappointments.

Just months into her marriage, Abby finds herself widowed, penniless, increasing, and determined to never hope again. But when her late husband’s brother, the Earl of Brigston, attempts to thaw the numbness surrounding her heart, Abby must decide if she has it in her to risk another chance at happiness, knowing the odds are not in her favor.”

This book is really so cute! Rachael Anderson handles some rather difficult topics very delicately. I was impressed with her focus on redemption, and the various relationships in the book including the brother’s and the mother-in-law. The romance was written with sweet chemistry and just the right amount of slow build. –M.V.

 

Read for FREE with Kindle Unlimited

 

 

Author Rachael Anderson

A USA Today bestselling author, Rachael Anderson is the mother of four and is pretty good at breaking up fights, or at least sending guilty parties to their rooms. She can’t sing, doesn’t dance, and despises tragedies. But she recently figured out how yeast works and can now make homemade bread, which she is really good at eating.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Newsletter

BookBub * Goodreads * Amazon Author Page

 

 

Giveaway Details

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Enter Here: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Ends 1/1/19

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.