Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Looking for Home, by Elle Fredrix

I received a copy of Looking for Home in exchange for an honest review.

M McCallister has been running from her past for so long, she has no one and no where to call home. Even her first name is an embarrassing reminder of a childhood without love or structure. But she needs a place to stay while she saves up money for her business, so she calls on her sister, who used her good looks to marry up. The last thing she expects is to meet the family her sister left behind in ruins, or to have them let her in.

This was a very sweet romance and I enjoyed reading it, getting the perspective of both M and Jonathan as they learn to trust each other, despite their different, but equally screwed up, pasts. As for the romance, I'd call it clean, but steamy. Recommended for adults who love a good romance. 3.99 on Amazon.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Dala Horse, by Lissa Johnston

I received a free copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It was entertaining, engrossing and well thought out. The protagonist Kaya was such a scrappy, enjoyable character. The historical aspects were well done. The author described this as Little House on the Prairie meets Nancy Drew, and while I get that, to me it was more Little House on the Prairie meets Perry Mason or Agatha Christie. Even though Kaya is 10, she deals with some serious issues and adults around her that make unstable, sometimes scary, and often selfish choices. This would be great for a junior high history or social studies class. I don't know that it would be okay for most 10-year-olds.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The Firethorn Crown, by Lea Doue

I've read lots of versions of the 12 dancing princesses. This one stood out to me for two reasons.

1. The underground prince was very well done, being moody and handsome and mysterious, but a fully developed character that made you at times sympathetic towards him and at other times mad at him.

2. Finally, someone added a much needed detail: A mother of 12 daughters who's a little bit off her rocker for never having a son. He died at birth.

Retelling this fairy tale has its obvious challenges. How do you distinguish between 12 daughters so the reader knows who is who? This book was above average on that.

The main character, Princess Lily, is the oldest and is strongly encouraged to make up her mind and marry already. The scheming around that is a fun element of the book. Sometimes you want her to be a little smarter with her choices. Her love interest is a great character and I enjoyed the friendship and backstory that unfolded with that.

The beginning of the book was a little confusing. It took me about half a chapter to figure out what was going on. Give it time. It's a good read.

Very clean and romantic. I borrowed this with my Kindle, or 2.99 to buy.

Friday, November 6, 2015

All the Way to Heaven, by Becky Doughty

I received a free copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

All the Way to Heaven is a about college student Anica Tomlin who learns the hard way not to date her college professor. She runs away to Italy for a much needed getaway.

I really loved this book. The side characters all felt real and were well rounded. Everything about Italy made me feel like I was right there and was described and woven in with the plot so I wasn't skipping past descriptions or getting bored. The romance was very satisfying. I'm normally leery of love triangles, but this was well done and added to the fun. This was clean, but aimed at adults. I didn't realize that it was part of a series until I looked it up on Amazon. It felt like a stand-alone to me. 3.99 for Kindle.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Love at the Fall Festival, by Belle Willows

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Brynn gets more than she bargained for when she's hired as the event planner for a Fall Festival in the small town of Sugar Maple. She comes up against Jack Oakley, the owner's son who's decided it's going to be a failure before they even begin.

I really liked the premise for this and the building up of town characters, since this is going to be one of many books taking place in this fictional town. However, this book moved a little slow for me and Jack came off not so much brooding as mopey. I was also hoping for more event planning details since the book is all about Brynn's job. There is no mention of anything for the fall festival besides selling pumpkins until about 75% of the way through the book. Not a bad read. It was squeaky clean and free of grammatical errors. 2.99 or free to borrow through Kindle Unlimited.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

My Fairly Dangerous Godmother, by Janette Rallison

Having read My Fair Godmother previously, I kinda knew what to expect going into this. Crazy teenage Godmother, check. Teen who gets more (or less) than she asked for, check. Cute romance that (almost) makes you want to be a teen again, check. Lots of humor, check. Janette Rallison is the perfect author for a mom and daughter who want to be able to share books. Nothing offensive, but it never feels sanitized either. In this version, Sadie Ramirez has a horrible brush with fame, and suddenly qualifies for a pitiful damsel in distress program. With Miss Everstar as her Godmother, that basically means she has to endure being The Little Mermaid and one of the 12 Dancing Princesses. Enjoyable throughout. I saved this for my monthly Prime book choice to borrow. Or it's 4.99 to buy from Amazon.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Love Unfeigned, by Nadine C. Keels

I received a free copy of Love Unfeigned in exchange for an honest review.

Lorraine is pulled out of traffic by a familiar face...
I have to admit that the first section before the flashback was confusing, especially as I was not yet acclimated to the writer's style, but I soon found myself amazed and did not want to put this down. The author did such an good job of developing her characters and moving through time, from elementary school to adulthood. If the author left out a detail, you soon realized it was a clue that came up later and took you by surprise as it unfolded. Her style of writing is so unique and descriptive and felt so realistic. The novella reads almost like memoir. Totally unforgettable. Loved it. As for content, this is a romantic, clean read, but with high school gossip about sex and a bit of violence. In my opinion, appropriate for 16+. 99 cents for Kindle and well worth it.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Beggar Magic, by H.L. Burke

Beggar Magic is a YA fantasy novel that I received for free in return for an honest review. The main character, Leilani, is a feisty common girl with big dreams. She befriends a highborn named Zebedy and gets pulled into her aristocratic, educated world. Together they must save the Strains, the musical magic that brings them together, but also separates them into classes. Zebedy can understand the Strains and use them more fully, while Leilani can only do Beggar Magic. There is some light romance and evil characters. Appropriate for any teen and up. I thought it started slow. Time was passing with not much going on, but the book picked up once the girls reached age 17. Great characters with interesting relationships. 2.99 or free with Kindle Unlimited.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Pippa of Lauramore, by Shari Tapscott

I enjoyed this tale about a rebellious princess full of adventures, handsome princes and hard choices. This is my preferred Fantasy genre. I had to get used to the present tense (ala Hunger Games), but otherwise really enjoyed it from start to finish. Very clean, very fun, romantic and interesting. Clearly there will be other books written now that the author's created this world, and if I had my say, I'd like to hear more about Lord Rigel, hint hint. 99 cents or free to borrow with Amazon Prime. Recommended.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Proper Attire: A West Indies Proper Romance, by Danielle Thorne

I must say that I loved this book. I saw it mentioned in a tweet and tried a sample and was hooked. Being 99 cents helped too. I did not hesitate to buy it once I'd read the sample and I wasn't disappointed once I'd finished. This was a magical mix of regency and pirates, set in the West Indies. I've read one other book by Danielle Thorne so I knew she'd be great when it comes to island locations and sea life. The action and adventure portions were great, the romance was better (while remaining squeaky clean), and was just overall good fun. A definite recommend.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Tempting Treasures, by Michele Buchholz

Elena St John is the last of her family running a crumbling estate. She's a young woman who loves her independence and has no intention of sharing her family secrets with the man who comes to inherit. James Stewart and Elena battle it out as he tries to find out what she's hiding and what to do with this fiery ward who is now under his care. The romance between the two gets a bit steamier than I prefer to read, especially being regency. My favorite character was Elena's ancestor, Kathrine, who haunts her with taunts and occasionally agrees to be helpful. A book for those who like mystery mixed with their regency. 2.99 or free to borrow for those with Kindle Unlimited. I received a free copy in exchange for a review.

Friday, March 20, 2015

A Gift for Fiona, by S.G. Rogers

I picked this up during a free promotion and thought it was a well done regency novel. Fiona has a hard time seeing herself as a good person and tries hard to make amends when her temper gets in the way. I have not read the first in the series, but this worked as a stand-alone and I didn't feel like I was missing anything. It was very clean and romantic, with some devious characters throwing problems in the way of the protagonist. I liked all the trickery, but I didn't think everyone needed to be redeemed. Regardless, l liked that all the characters had shades of good and evil that colored their actions. A definite recommend. $1.99 or free to borrow with your kindle.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Enchanted (The Woodcutter Sisters Book 1), by Alethea Kontis

I was drawn to this because I love fairy tales and it has a pretty cover. Darn those pretty book covers. The author did a good job of intertwining lots of different fairy tale ideas and there were parts of this that were brilliant, but overall, the characters were a bit wooden and the story was all over the place. It started out very sweet and Disney with a nice girl meeting a frog at a well, and then it got into dark magic and murder and ghosts and voices and blood, and occasional bawdy things thrown in. I guess I wasn't sure who the audience was supposed to be. I don't think I'll be moving on to read about the rest of the sisters in the series and I can't recommend it. I gave it three stars on Amazon. I paid 1.99 during a sale period, but currently the price is $7.55 or free to borrow with Prime.

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