Category Archives: book review

Book Two: The Devil of Dunakin Castle

Right up front – let’s agree on the facts. I received an Advanced Reader’s Copy (ARC) of both of these books in exchange for an honest review. And I’ve always been up front that I won’t sugar coat things, and I won’t agree to a minimum number of stars for a book. If you wrote a 1 star book, I’m going to give it a 1 star rating. Reviews are subjective, and personal to each individual reviewer.

Scandalous RDB (1)

Sorry guys. I wasn’t given a picture of just this cover by itself.

The Devil of Dunakin Castle

Englishwoman, Grace Ellington, has made a home in Scotland, but to escape from the meddling people around her who seem to think she needs to wed right away—because women need saving, right? —she volunteers to journey north to aid a friend in childbirth. 

Keir MacKinnon, the younger brother of the MacKinnon clan chief, has been raised to strike fear in people, on and off the battlefield. Trained to uphold MacKinnon law, he has hardened into a lethal warrior. Caught in a Highland blizzard with the feisty Grace, Keir realizes the beautiful woman who saved him can also save his nephew’s life. 

Sparks fly when he takes her against her will to his home, and Grace’s courage is put to the ultimate test. Is Keir MacKinnon the passionate, kind man she saved in the Highland blizzard, or is he truly the cruel executioner who seeks to solve all issues by the sword?

✭ ✭ Purchase links ✭ ✭
Amazon: https://goo.gl/treaUE
B&N: https://goo.gl/GS6mFj
iTunes: https://goo.gl/WZ4oMv
Kobo: https://goo.gl/oSw4yc
Goodreads: https://goo.gl/6pCSte

So, about this book. Let me say that my ARC had formatting issues, and that made it difficult to read the book. I don’t believe that to be a fault of the author, however, and that will not affect my feelings toward the book.

Like the last book, I had a hard time buying the premise of this book. First of all, this involves kidnapping. While the heroine acknowledges that she’s been kidnapped, it’s otherwise fairly well glossed over. And sure, maybe it was for a good cause – the man’s nephew appears to be dying, after all.

And yet… I enjoyed the book. I like spirited, fiesty Grace. I liked her for leaving behind a life of wealth and privilege in England. I further liked her for recognizing her own worth. I enjoyed getting to know Kier, although he was a bit watered down. It was almost as if, in humanizing him, he just became someone other than who he was meant to be. I don’t actually know how to explain it.

There’s quite a bit of foreshadowing involved, and the bad guy is obvious from the first mention of his name. Despite the obviousness, the situation wasn’t easily resolved, which I enjoyed. I like to see people actually fight for their Happily Ever After.

I’ve not previously read anything by Heather McCollum, but I’m tempted to go back and read the others. I would definitely recommend this one.

✭ ✭ ✭ About the Author ✭ ✭ ✭

Heather McCollum

Heather McCollum is an award winning, historical and YA paranormal romance writer. She earned her B.A. in Biology, much to her English professor’s dismay, and was a 2009 Golden Heart Finalist.

When she is not picking her teen’s brain for authentic attitude for her YA books and finding time to write, she is usually found educating women on ovarian cancer symptoms. Ms. McCollum has recently slayed the cancer beast and resides with her very own hero and 3 kids in the wilds of suburbia on the mid-Atlantic coast.

Connect:
Site: http://www.heathermccollum.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HeatherMcCollumAuthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/HMcCollumAuthor
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4185696.Heather_McCollum

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Book One: Duchess by Day, Mistress by Night

Right up front – let’s agree on the facts. I received an Advanced Reader’s Copy (ARC) of both of these books in exchange for an honest review. And I’ve always been up front that I won’t sugar coat things, and I won’t agree to a minimum number of stars for a book. If you wrote a 1 star book, I’m going to give it a 1 star rating. Reviews are subjective, and personal to each individual reviewer.

DbDMbN

Duchess by Day, Mistress by Night

Georgiana Rutherford, the Duchess of Hardcastle, seemingly has it all—wealth, pedigree, and the admiration of the ton, except her heart hungers for a passionate affair. She meets the enigmatic and ruthless Mr. Rhys Tremayne, a man known to low and high society as the Broker. The attraction between them is impossible to deny, but she cannot be feeling it for this man. 

Rhys Tremayne has built his wealth and empire by dealing secrets on the black market of the London underworld. He is determined to take his sisters away from the depraved world they’ve known their entire lives, and the duchess is the perfect woman to help sponsor his sisters into society. The only problem is that he wants more from Georgiana, even if the social divide between them ensures she can only ever be his lover in secret.

✭ ✭ Purchase links ✭ ✭
Amazon: https://goo.gl/vgMaoC
B&N: https://goo.gl/88M4XG
iTunes: https://goo.gl/b1PyYG
Kobo: https://goo.gl/2bNQnC
Goodreads: https://goo.gl/SX7BU7

So, how did I feel about this book I received in exchange for my honest opinion? Well, it was just meh. Overall, the book was a quick, easy read with enough sex to qualify it as Scandalous. I had problems remembering how to access docs on my Kindle, and did not start this until Saturday. I finished it Saturday.

But…

The plot was weak. There were problems thrown at these characters, but they were, essentially, Deus Ex Machina‘d aside as if they were cobwebs, easily cleaned with a broom or cloth. Every.single.problem was too easily solved.

But the characters… Well, I enjoyed Rhys’ sisters. I did not particularly care for Georgiana’s family, however. Perhaps I was not meant to? As for the duchess herself? She was OK. Part of it was that she wasn’t standing up for herself with said family members. I mean, she’s a duchess, but her brother is bossing her about as if she’s living under his roof.

Would I recommend this book to others? Sure, if I think it’s their cup of tea.

✭ ✭ ✭ About the Author ✭ ✭ ✭

Stacy Reid

Stacy is an avid reader of novels with a deep passion for writing. She especially loves romance and adores writing about people falling in love. Stacy lives a lot in the worlds she creates and actively speaks to her characters (out loud). She has a warrior way, never give up on her dreams. When Stacy is not writing, she spends a copious amount of time drooling over Rick Grimes from Walking Dead, watching Japanese anime and playing video games with her love.

Connect:
Site: http://www.stacyreid.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/stacyreid
Twitter: https://twitter.com/st_reid
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8076768.Stacy_Reid

 

I’ve been so neglectful…

I know I’ve said this before – it’s cyclical with me. I read constantly. If it’s on my Kindle, I rate the book, but now that I have a library card again, I’m reading a lot of print books. I can’t leave stars to recommend the book. I mean, I could leave a slip of paper with a numerical rating, but…

That’s weird, right?

And when I started this blog, I specifically stated I was going to have reviews for you. But I don’t do them as often as I should. So, here are two. Now, I was supposed to have these up before noon, and I apologize that I didn’t. I actually just finished the second of the two books I agreed to review.

Right up front – let’s agree on the facts. I received an Advanced Reader’s Copy (ARC) of both of these books in exchange for an honest review. And I’ve always been up front that I won’t sugar coat things, and I won’t agree to a minimum number of stars for a book. If you wrote a 1 star book, I’m going to give it a 1 star rating. Reviews are subjective, and personal to each individual reviewer.

My reviews will be in a separate post, of course.

 

 

To Tame a Scoundrel’s Heart – a Review

I received a free ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.

First, as is tradition, the official blurb:

Katrina Needham had her whole life planned: Marry her beloved Major Richard Domont and live happily-ever-after … until he’s seen with another woman. Distraught, and needing a distraction, she agrees to assist the rugged, and dangerously handsome privateer, The Saint of the Sea, find a wife.

Dominic St. Monté loves everything about his life as a sea captain, but when he unexpectedly inherits a dukedom and the care of his young sisters, he reluctantly decides he must marry. Afterward, he can return to the sea-faring life he craves, leaving his duchess to oversee his dukedom.

Nic, now The Duke of Pendergast, enlists a family friend’s help in finding an acceptable bride and soon realizes Katrina possesses every characteristic he seeks in a duchess. However, he cannot ask for her hand. Not only is she promised to another, a man still determined to make her his, she has absolutely no interest in becoming a privateer’s wife.

Can Nic and Katrina relinquish their carefully planned futures and trust love to guide them?

Next, my opinion –

Quite simply, I loved it. The characters were fully fleshed out, and they just seemed to leap right off the page. This is part of a larger series, but I have not read any of the others, and I did not feel as if I was missing any information. (Something I’m working on in my own writing!)

The romance built at a believable pace – and was helped along by the fact that Dominic and Katrina knew each other beforehand, which allowed them to express already existing interest.

Perhaps the only thing I didn’t like is that the Major, Katrina’s intended, was made out to be a bit of a… butthead. Considering he had not yet asked for her hand, I don’t feel that was necessary. For the record, I like stories with bad guys – I just don’t like to write them, so this is 100% a personal opinion, lol.

I highly recommend this book, though. It’s a short, fun read!

 

No apologies…

This second half of the semester is going to be hard, and that means I’m super busy. And that means less time for writing. Which makes me sad. 😢😢

Just how busy? Let me show you my personal calendar.. 

  
And that’s just school. Don’t forget, I also have a 40 hour work week in there, too.

As you can see, I left Sunday’s blank in the hope they will become my Sacred Writing Day. So far, not so much. There’s just too much work. 

But, I have to stop and take a break, so I’ve actually joined a little reading group on Facebook. It’s hosted by author Colleen Gleason, whose book I recently gave away. Vampires, 19th century London. I’m sold. 

So, I look forward to sharing information about the book with you, and I’ve a few more reviews to post. Perhaps tomorrow!!

The Unforgettable Hero

No, I’m not talking about Rupert. At least, not right now. Be on the lookout for something in the future. We can get together and discuss crafting an unforgettable hero. No, today I wanted to share my review of The Unforgettable Hero by Valerie Bowman.

Where to start? Ah yes, the blurb. As always…

“To escape a forced marriage to her loathsome, social-climbing cousin, Cecelia Harcourt banks on selling a romantic novel. But when she’s hit by a coach on the way home from meeting a potential publisher and loses her memory, the accident leads to an encounter with a fascinating man. . . who she’s convinced is the hero of her novel.

Due to his brother’s influence, Lieutenant Adam Hunt finds himself honorably discharged from the army. Adam intends to make his way in the world without the help of a war-hero duke, brother or no. He finds his plans for independence sidetracked by a chance encounter with a lady whose memory has gone. She believes he’s a hero. Can Adam become the man he was meant to be and fill that lofty role?”

First of all, I’m sold on a Lieutenant Adam because I am slightly obsessed with Kylo-Ren. Adam Driver. Mmmm…

Anyway.

First of all, I was given a copy of this via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review…

Now, this is a novella, and I am finding that I love novellas that are done well. When done right, one gets all the emotional punch of a full length novel with not as much commitment, which one needs while attending school full time, working full time, and writing a novel of one’s own.

Here’s the thing about reviews – you get the gist of the story itself from the blurb, so I don’t want to bore you with that. What I do want to do is tell you why I feel you should read it.

1. It’s lighthearted, despite the presence of a thoroughly offensive cousin.
2. The characters are well-developed.
3. The premise (amnesia) is well-handled and not done too frequently.

I will state that there are a few minor mistakes with editing, but despite seeing them, I was able to glide right past them.

To summarize: fun, well-developed, quick read. Buy it.

Book Review – Bargaining With a Rake

It feels like forever since I started it, but I finally finished Bargaining With a Rake by Julie Johnstone. And I blame that on school and work, not the book itself. (That said, it took me a whole 3 weeks to finish, TYVM Goodreads.)

So, let me first share the blurb –

For eleven years, Gillian Rutherford has dreamed of escaping her family’s dark secret and living a normal life. Now, faced with an unwelcome marriage that will chain her to London and the secret slowly killing her, she’s desperate to save herself and the sister she adores. Salvation comes in the form of an American shipping tycoon, and all she must do is seduce him into marrying her. But Gillian’s scheme hits a snag when she makes a bargain with a notorious rake Alexander Trevelle, Lord Lionhurst. He’ll help her win the hand of his American friend, if she’ll assist him with exacting revenge against her unwanted fiancé. But the price of the pact may just be their hearts.

Now, let me share my thoughts – This is my first Julie Johnstone book, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Gillian and Alex are perfect for each other, and despite their almost instant connection, they fight it tooth and nail. I liked the slow build up to realization, and I felt the characters were both fully formed.

Shall we discuss the villain? I’ve seen a reviewer state they liked him, and even hoped for his reformation. No.

Seriously, just no. He is not redeemable, not from the moment he comes into play, and that is perfectly wonderful. If he were redeemable, he and Gillian would be together, would they not?

I’m not sure what you’re waiting for – go buy  the book. It’s currently free on Amazon. And don’t forget, the giveaway from my last review ends tomorrow. So far, I have like 3 persons who actually qualify. I’d love to open that field a bit…