Review: Loving Lieutenant Lancaster by Sarah M. Eden

 

Orphaned as a child, Arabella Hampton was the unwanted and unloved charge of a cruel aunt and neglectful uncle. The only light in her young life was the kindness of the Jonquil family, and she clung to the childish dream of someday living with them at Lampton Park. Now, years later, that opportunity is presented to Arabella in a most unexpected way: she is to be the lady’s companion to the dowager countess. As she takes up residence at the estate, the young woman soon finds that life at the Park is far more complicated than she imagined. The lines of her position are blurred, and she is neither family nor servant. So when the countess plans a grand house party, Arabella is content to hide in the shadows. But one gentleman sees her there.

Lieutenant Linus Lancaster has retired from the navy and is not looking for love, especially when he finds himself entangled in his sisters’ scheme to trap him into finding a wife at a house party at Lampton Park. Yet amid the festivities, he’s impossibly drawn to the dowager’s quiet companion, Arabella. Their regard for each other is undeniable, but they are haunted by their pasts. Can the two find a way to bridge their worlds?


 

My Review:

I can’t recommend this book enough! Even if you haven’t read any of the Jonquil or Lancaster books, this is a must read book. 

It adds depth to the Jonquil family, and to the Lancaster family. I adored Arabella and truly understood her and Linus, especially Linus’s feelings on the loss of his brother. I really hope there’s more to Artemis and Charlie’s story soon.

Bits and pieces of the story fall into place as we share the experience with Arabella and Linus. Both are broken souls who find solace, love, and family together.  We see them through each others eyes, and the Dowager will play a key  role is helping them realize that love is worth the risk.

I adored each of the characters.

I received an ARC from the publisher. (Thank you!)

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Review: Squint by Chad Morris and Shelly Brown

 

My name is Flint, but everyone in middle school calls me Squint because I’m losing my vision. I used to play football, but not anymore. I haven t had a friend in a long time. Thankfully, real friends can see the real you, even when you can’t clearly see.

Flint loves to draw. In fact, he’s furiously trying to finish his comic book so he can be the youngest winner of the Find a Comic Star contest. He s also rushing to finish because he has keratoconus an eye disease that could eventually make him blind.

McKell is the new girl at school and immediately hangs with the popular kids. Except McKell’s not a fan of the way her friends treat this boy named Squint. He seems nice and really talented. He draws awesome pictures of superheroes. McKell wants to get to know him, but is it worth the risk? What if her friends catch her hanging with the kid who squints all the time?

McKell has a hidden talent of her own but doesn’t share it for fear of being judged. Her terminally ill brother, Danny, challenges McKell to share her love of poetry and songwriting. Flint seems like someone she could trust. Someone who would never laugh at her. Someone who is as good and brave as the superhero in Flint’s comic book named Squint.

Squint is the inspiring story of two new friends dealing with their own challenges, who learn to trust each other, believe in themselves, and begin to truly see what matters most.

 


My Review:

What can I say with out giving things away? This is a heart warming story about a 13 year old boy with a serious vision problem. He loses more than football when his vision changes, and it’s a classmate named McKell and her brother Danny that help him see, really see, the world around him. This is a story that will have you smiling, crying, and laughing.

I received an ARC from the publisher and voluntarily leave this review.

Review: The Roses of Feldstone

Standing before Feldstone Manor, site of so many happy memories, Rose Davenport feels nothing but dread. Her family’s annual visit to the stately home was once brightened by her friendship with the earl’s youngest son, William, but everything changed the day his elder brother was disinherited and William became heir to his father’s earldom. From that moment, William made it clear he has no interest in continuing an acquaintance with Rose. Heartbroken, she sets out to prove that she will simply not be ignored—or outdone—by the arrogant future lord of the manor.

When his elder brother marries for love, William’s entire life changes in an instant. He does not have the same option to marry whom he chooses, and he must let go of the feelings he has harbored for his dear friend, Rose. He steels himself against her annual visits, determined to keep his feelings for her a secret. But when he makes the hasty promise to marry within six months, he never dreams that his actions will lead Rose to impulsively undertake the same challenge


 

My Review:

The beautiful cover caught my eye.   With this story, I struggled to connect and like Rose. She seemed to misread everything in her dealings with William.  The romance between the two felt forced to a few touches and kisses, and seemed out of place for a (clean) Regency romance. These two desperately needed to sit down and talk with out the snark.

Rose does have a huge heart though, and that kept me reading. I wanted a happy ending for her and William. And this book delivered that.

I received an ARC.

Review: Healing Hearts by Sarah M. Eden

 

healing hearts sarah m eden

 

Wyoming Territory, 1876

As the only doctor in the frontier town of Savage Wells, Gideon MacNamara knows his prospects for a bride are limited. The womenfolk in town are either too young, too old, or already spoken for. So, being a practical man, he decides to take advantage of the matchmaking service of the day—mail-order brides—and sends away for a woman with nursing experience.

When Miriam steps off the stagecoach in Savage Wells, she sees a bright future in front of her. But when the town—and Gideon—meets her, ready for a wedding, her excitement quickly turns to horror. Somehow Dr. MacNamara’s message had gotten turned around. He didn’t want a nurse, he wanted a wife. When she refuses to marry him, she finds herself stranded in Savage Wells with some very unhappy townspeople.

But Gideon is not like the other men Miriam has met. Embarrassed by the misunderstanding, he offers her a job, and the two begin an awkward—and often humorous—dance of getting to know each other as they work to care for the people of their town. Romance blossoms between the two, but when a former medical associate of Miriam’s arrives in town, Gideon and the other townsfolk must rally around Miriam to protect her from a dangerous fate. Gideon and Miriam must decide if they are willing to risk their hearts for each other even as buried secrets are brought to light.


My Review:

I am going to start by saying I LOVED this book.  I laughed. I cried. I felt so many emotions as I was reading.  In fact,  I finished this book quickly, staying up most of last night to finish it.  I don’t often give star ratings here in my blog, but I would give this one 5 out of 5 stars.

The   story begins  swiftly, establishing that Miriam is heading to a new life after accepting a job as a nurse in a remote western town. Right off the bat I liked our leading lady. She had some big worries, but she was obviously strong and determined. Not once was I disappointed.  Arriving in Savage Wells, eager towns folk meet her at the station and whisk her away to a wedding–which happens to be for her and the much loved town doctor, Gideon.

Gideon is in for a shock.  But he’s a good guy, and decides to give Miriam a chance. We also start seeing Gideon’s beliefs on being a doctor, which run contrary to what Miriam’s experiences have been.

The supporting cast is filled with delightful characters and one dastardly villain.

This book is set to be released February 5, 2019, just in time for Valentines Day.

I received an ARC from Shadow Mountain.

#HealingHearts #Netgalley

 

Review: Lies, Love, and Breakfast at Tiffany’s

 

The Lie
Women in Hollywood are just pretty faces. But Silvia Bradshaw knows that’s a lie, and she’s ready to be treated as an equal and prove her worth as one of Hollywood’s newest film editors.

The Love
She and Ben Mason had worked together as editors before Silvia got her big break, so he’s the perfect person to ask for feedback on her first major film. But even as their friendship begins to blossom into something more, a lawsuit surfaces, jeopardizing both of their jobs—as well as their fledgling romance. Audrey Hepburn once said: “The most important things is to enjoy your life—to be happy—it’s all that matters.” Silvia agrees. Or she used to. It’s one thing to risk her job and her heart, but can she really risk Ben’s too? Does she have the right to make decisions for her own happiness when they affect so many other people?

The Breakfast
With everything to lose, Silvia meets Ben for breakfast at his favorite diner, Tiffany’s, for one last conversation before the credits roll on true love.


My Review

This book was fun in a lot of ways.  Silvia, a cancer survivor is both a courageous spunky woman and a woman that  is afraid of what she can’t see. Both literally and figuratively.  Will she take the risk and tell  Ben she loves him?

Ben is the perfect book boyfriend. He is loyal and willing to give up his dream for Silvia. Will she figure it out before she loses him?

Rounding out the cast is Grandma, Emma, and Walt.

Highly recommended. To say anymore will give spoilers.

 

I relieved an Advanced Reader’s Copy. (Thank you Shadow Mountain!)

New Release: Barefoot Seouls

Tired of trying to make it in LA, Heather North jumps at the opportunity to teach English in Seoul. But the land of kimchi and hanboks proves problematic when she unexpectedly finds herself jobless, homeless, and friendless in a foreign country.

Enters Hwa Yoon Joon, a young man Heather met at LAX and who wants her to teach him acting lessons. This is something Heather could do, especially if it helped her with her other problems. But in his youthful enthusiasm to get training he had to lie to his mother and manager that Heather is his American girlfriend and sneak her into his own apartment, going against his contract, until he can find a better situation.

When Heather discovers that the cute Yoon is really a Kpop star she realizes that going against his “contract” has much bigger ramifications than he let on. Even being seen with him could jeopardize everything for him. She knows she has to leave him behind but she has nowhere else to go, and no one she would rather be with.


 

My Review:

This was  a darling little romantic comedy. From the moment Heather loses her shoes at the airport, she’s on a downward spiral of disaster. This is also when her Prince Charming, Yoon, steps in.

If you like sweet romance and a fairy tale happy ever after then this book is for your.


 

 

Review: Christmas by Accident by Camrom Wright

Carter is an insurance adjuster whose longing for creative expression spills over sometimes into his accident reports.

Abby works for her adoptive father, Uncle Mannie, in the family bookstore, the ReadMore Cafe.

Carter can barely tolerate Christmas; Abby loves it. She can’t wait past October to build her favorite display, the annual Christmas book tree stack, which Carter despises.

When an automobile accident throws Carter and Abby together, Uncle Mannie, who is harboring secrets of his own, sees a chance for lasting happiness for his little girl. But there are so many hurdles, and not much time left. Will this Christmas deliver the miracles everyone is hoping for?

Release Date: Sept. 25, 2018. Pre-order Available.


My Review:

This was a nice story about finding joy in family, set to the  Christmas season.

This review will contain spoilers.

Continue reading “Review: Christmas by Accident by Camrom Wright”

Review: So I Married an Anti-fan

 

Modern-day woman Geunyoung Lee struggles to make ends meet working as a lowly reporter for a magazine. She lives with a friend and barely scratches out her rent every month. On the other hand, male sex symbol Joon Hoo currently rides on top of the world. His movies become instant hits. Corporations clamber all over each other to pay for his product endorsements. Women adore him. His public image stays squeaky clean…that is, until one night he runs into Geunyoung at a club. Lee accidentally snaps a photo of Joon dumping a heartbroken young girl. He suddenly goes nuclear trying to protect his image, forcing Lee’s magazine to fire her. Now, despite losing her job and apartment, the intrepid young woman has taken on a new mission in life: Destroy Joon Hoo at all costs. This manhwa is based on the novel of the same title written by Eunjung Kim, and its production is partly supported by SBA Seoul Animation Center.


 

If you are following me here (or on my main author site) then you know that all summer long I’m sharing books that feature something about Korea.  I discovered this manhwa series awhile back, and happily read. Beautiful artwork enhances this romantic comedy.

Geunyoung is a newbie reporter. While at an event she oversees an incident with famous actor Joo Hoon.  They both jump to conclusions about the other, which  leads to some rather comedic moments. When Geunyoung is fired, she is quick to blame Joo Hoon and declares herself his anti-fan. Something the netizens don’t like. When she confronts Joo Hoon about his causing her to get fired, he decides to take a reality show gig and make her his onscreen manager. What he doesn’t expect is that he would fall in love with her.

You’ll have to read to learn more.

There is some swearing (namely the  b word), and some violence.

BUY

Review: Miss Wilton’s Waltz

miss walton's waltzSynopsis (as provided by publisher)

A follow-up to Josi S. Kilpack’s bestselling Proper Romance title The Vicar’s Daughter.

Lenora Wilton has spent her life hiding behind the keys of her beloved pianoforte and the vibrancy of her younger sister, Cassie. But Lenora is ready for a change and travels to Bath to live with her Aunt Gwen and teach music at an all-girls’ boarding school. She is different in Bath—more comfortable with herself—and enjoys the freedom and independence of her new life there.

When Lenora meets Aiden Asher, she finds herself attracted to him, but her unexpected feelings become more complicated when she learns that Catherine—Lenora’s newest and most troublesome student in the school—is Mr. Asher’s niece. Catherine is a difficult student, and Lenora works hard to make progress with the girl.

When the chemistry between Lenora and Aiden increases, they share a passionate kiss by the River Avon, and Lenora feels it is the beginning of a new forever—until she learns that Aiden has withheld an important detail about his life that changes everything.

Lenora closes her heart to him, and Aiden, caught between his obligation and his heart, must do what he can to make amends. And Lenora, after years of hiding from everyone and everything, faces a decision only she can make.


My Review:

I  noticed this title pop up on social media, so I wanted to get my hands on a copy. I had read and enjoyed The Vicar’s Daughter. 

This story continues with Lenora’s story. She’s not residing in Bath with her Aunt Gwen and teaching music as a school for girl.  Lenora is also naive and  is now sneaking out dressed as a man to sit by the river at night, which has become her place of solitude.  Her false sense of security is shattered when a stranger catches her at the river. Their paths cross again at the school, and Lenora’s quiet life becomes quite a challenge.  Will she rise to it, or run away again when things become too hard?

I loved this book. You really got a sense of Lenora’s personality, and  found her admirable. I also liked Aiden and his niece Catherine, and I rooted for them to find their happy ever after.

I received an ARC.

AMAZON   *   BARNES AND NOBLE

 

*This title hits the shelves on May 1, 2018 and is available for preorder.

Review: Ashes on the Moor

ashes on the moorSynopsis:

When Evangeline is sent to live in a small mill town in Northern England as a schoolteacher in 1871, she finds herself struggling to fit in with an unfamiliar culture. Raised with the high-class Victorian values and ideals of a sophisticated upbringing, she is unprepared for the poverty she finds in the gritty factory town of Smeatley, where the locals speak with a hard-to-understand Yorkshire accent and struggle to thrive with few resources or opportunities.

Though she has no training as a teacher, she must prove herself successful before her grandfather will release her substantial inheritance to her and allow her to be reunited with her younger sister, the last remaining member of her family after a fever claimed the lives of her parents and brothers.

Evangeline’s sudden change in circumstances is complicated when her aunt—a woman who values class distinctions more than her family relationships—forbids her from acknowledging any connection to her or to her grandfather, Mr. Farr—the man who owns nearly the entire town. For the first time in her life, Evangeline is truly alone.

Heartbroken, she turns to the one person in town who has shown her kindness—an Irish brick mason, Dermot, and his son, Ronan. Despite the difference in their classes and backgrounds, Evangeline and Dermot become friends, due in part to her ability to connect with Ronan, whose behavior requires special attention. The boy is uncomfortable around strangers and rarely even speaks to the other children in town. He often fixates on details other people ignore, and he adheres to specific, self-made rules that give his life order and structure; for example, Dermot’s coat must be hung on a specific peg next to the door.

Evangeline attempts to prove herself a worthy teacher and earn the respect of her hard-to-understand students. Determined to find a way to introduce them to “proper English” while still honoring their unique language and culture, she enlists the help of a local family to write down familiar stories in the Yorkshire vernacular. Because of her efforts, the students and their families warm to Evangeline and she continues to look for ways to give the children a chance to become more than factory workers in the local cotton mill.

When the town learns of her upper-class status, Evangeline must work twice as hard to win back their trust–especially Dermot’s. In the end, Evangeline and Dermot discover that, even though they come from different social spheres, together they can overcome social prejudices, make a positive difference in the lives of even the humblest people, and enjoy the strength that comes when two hearts find each other.

Ashes on the Moor is the inspiring love story of one Victorian woman’s courage to fight against all odds, and the man whose quiet strength gives her the confidence to keep trying.


My Review

This book was just what I needed. I love those stories that settle in and just absorb you. And Ashes on the Moor by Sarah M. Eden is exactly that.

From the first page to the last, this lovely story of love and family will enchant readers.

I quickly came to love Evangeline, Dermont, and Ronan.  Evangeline and her sister Lucy have lost their entire family. Then they are, with out much in the way of explanation or warning, separated from each other.  Already broken hearts are needlessly smashed.

The first person outside of her cold aunt and distant uncle that Evangeline meets in her new town is Dermont McCormick, and his son Ronan.  Little by little Evangeline and Dermont become friends, and Evangeline bonds with Ronan–who was so much like the brother she lost. In one endearing moment, Ronan states that they should keep her. (If you hadn’t got misty eyed yet reading this, this scene is bound to do it.)

I enjoyed on Evangeline and Dermont’s relationship built slowly over time.

I received an ARC from Shadow Mountain.

Expected publication: March 6th 2018 by Shadow Mountain

Don’t miss out.  You can go to Goodreads here to add this to your reading list.

Roxbury Rating: PG