Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Review of Merry Christmas Mrs. Robinson by Delilah Marvelle

I absolutely love Delilah's artistic whimsy.  She writes a lovely story full of laughs and love.  The Mrs. Robinson reference in the title, you know, an older woman and younger man.

This is the story of a pampered daughter of an Earl and a future Duke.  Jane grew up not knowing what it was like to wonder where her next meal was coming from or how much it costs for firewood to keep you warm.  Martin Nicholas Pierce is the sixth Duke of Somerset may never had to worry about his next meal, he just had to survive his father's daily beatings, which was his way of making sure that his son was clear on what makes a Duke.

There is five years difference in their ages.  She is older.  They used to be best friends until youthful mistakes define their lives for a long time.

When they meet again, she is living hand to mouth, a poor widow and he is a rich Duke.  He longs to tell her how much he has always loved her.  He was only seventeen when she disappeared from his life and got married.  

Now that they have met again can they possibly make a life together?  Can she love him and live happily ever after.  

I love Delilah's writing.  She can make you laugh in one paragraph and cry in the next. Her characters are marvelous.  This story is joyful and fulfilling, a perfect Christmas romance.  I have read all of her books and they are all keepers.

Review of Proud Mary by Lucinda Brant (audiobook) Performance by Alex Wyndham

Roxton Family Saga Book 4.  I have fallen in love with The Georgian Era.  It is so rich with history, clothing, the manners, and idiosyncrasies of the Aristocrats and Quality who inhabited the time period.  Lucinda's books are historically correct and her books are character driven.  If you have read the other books in this series you will love this one too and if you haven't this lovely book can be read as a stand-alone story.

Christopher Bryce is a local landowner who has been put in the difficult position of overseeing his late neighbors estate and co-guardian of his daughter.  Lady Mary resents the intrusion into her life and her beloved daughter Teddy.  Her marriage to Sir Gerald was not a happy one.  Now she has another arrogant male to deal with.  She is not allowed to leave the estate with her daughter.  She can visit her family but cannot take Teddy with her.

Mary is furious with her late husband's will.  She is not allowed to make any decisions that affect her household or worse her daughter.  She presents a haughty prim, proud mask that hides the vulnerable,  lovely woman who deserves to be happy.  The only one who sees the real Mary is her daughter Teddy. The only saving grace is the way he and Teddy get along.  Teddy calls him Uncle Bryce.  Mary knows that Christopher loves Teddy too and she tolerates him because he will protect Teddy with his life.

Christopher is also keeping his true feelings for Mary behind a mask of politeness.  He knows how her stupid unfeeling husband treated her.  He is secretly in love with Mary and has been for years.  He knows that she doesn't feel the same way. What he doesn't realize is that members of Mary's family are on his side.  Roxton, Antonia, and Debra just want Mary to be happy and fall in love, and they will do anything to make Mary realize it's ok to let down her guard.

This story has many layers like a sweet and tart dessert that will have you craving more.  Lucinda's stories are always centered around her characters and the Roxton family are simply Marvelous.  Mary, Christopher, and Teddy are so lifelike they jump right off the pages and into your heart.

I cannot wait to listen to the next book in the Series. The Satyr's Son.

The remarkable writing by Lucinda only adds to the riveting performance of the narrator Alex Wyndham.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Review of Splendid Defiance By Stella Riley Performed by Alex Wyndham

First I have to say that I never knew much about the English Civil War.  Which is understandable, I am from the US and in the US school system, we studied American History.  I have read other Historical Romance novels that mention historical figures like Cromwell, but it was brief.  I am happy to say thanks to Stella Riley I now understand the causes and effects of the war and how it affected The United Kingdom's history.  As I was reading/listening to this history of what transpired and the characters that made up both sides of the story, I not only got caught up on the history but there was actually a love story that transcended out of a bloody war and how two people from different sides found their happily ever after in a time of violence and death.

Captain Justin Ambrose, a Cavalier is a soldier with a strong sense of honor, integrity and is dangerous to anyone who opposed the Cavaliers and their cause.  Justin has no time or patience for the Puritans that live in the town that the Cavaliers hold for the king.  Especially a particular zealot name Jonas Radford a shop owner who demeans his family, particularly a young lady named Abigail who he had rescued from a perilous situation.  Justin is a gentleman to his core and like any gentleman, he believes that woman should be protected from harm and only feels contempt for Jonas and the way he treats his younger sister, Abigail.  

Abigail Radford is a young lady who has no life but what her older brother will allow her.  She is allowed to work the counter in her family's shop, other than that she has chores and prayers.  Then one day when she is running an errand that if her brother found out she would be punished severely, is accosted by two drunk soldiers, a Cavalier Captain arrives in the nick of time to save her.  She is stunned and speechless.  She has never seen a man like him and even though she knows it is forbidden she cannot help herself, she allows him to escort her home.

What follows is a secret relationship that is forbidden but neither Justin or Abigail can resist.  Usually, in a Historical Romance, there is sex between the main protagonists before you are halfway through the book.  Not so in this book, Justin sense of honor will not let him seduce Abigail, though both desire each other.  The awakening that Abigail goes through is glorious.  Stella is a master at bringing her characters to life.

There is one scene in the book that is truly terrifying.  Justin drops his mask of civility when he has to interrogate a traitor.  What makes this scene intense is that the traitor is a woman and the pain that he inflicts is intense.  Besides being a traitor she tried to kill Abigail and that cannot be tolerated by anyone, be it woman or man.  Alex's performance in this scene is so riveting you feel like you are in the room with Justin.

This love story is filled with a plethora of emotions, beliefs, and heart-stopping danger that will have you on the edge of your seat.

Stella's writing is historically addicting to me.  I love learning history of all kinds. With Splendid Defiance, I get a love story for all time and I learn at the same time.  

I can't wait to dig into the next book, The Marigold Chain.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Review of The Marquess's Chrismas Lily by Angelina Jameson

My first Angeline Jameson book and I enjoyed every word.  Charles and Lily are wonderful characters.  

The story begins with Charles finds himself being summoned into his father's presence, like all the other occasions he expected nothing but scorn and the feeling that he has always felt in his father's presence, dislike bordering on hate.  His father finally tells him that he never wanted to marry his mother, in fact, he wanted nothing to do with her.  He was forced into the arranged marriage and after he got his heir and spare, he left them in the country and went off to London, never to return. The point of the visit was to tell Charles that he had arranged a marriage for him.  Charles is stunned to find out that his father has picked out his best friend from childhood.  He thinks of her as a sister, not a wife.  If he doesn't marry her he will inherit the entailed properties but not the fortune to maintain them.

Lady Lily Dawson is a lovely young lady who has a wonderful family and her best friend Charles Houton.  They have spent their youth together and were inseparable. Now he is going off to do the grand tour.  Lily will miss him, but he will be back in a year.  A farewell kiss changes everything.  Do they feel like brother and sister or are there other feelings that surprise them both.

When Charles returns to England to bury his father.  Lily has had a Season in London and she knows that she is in love with Charles.  Now she just has to convince him that they belong together.  Charles doesn't believe in love and doesn't know if he could ever be in love and doesn't want to hurt Lily.

Can Lily show Charles that they are meant to be together forever and that love will always light their way? 

This is my first Angelina book and I enjoyed it very much.  Her characters drive the story and this was a wonderful holiday story.
I recommend this lovely story and will be picking up some more of her books. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Review of Someone to Trust by Mary Balogh

Mary has written another love story that will become an instant classic in the Historical Romance Genre.  Her stories are wonderfully original and her characters intelligent and unforgettable.  This is book five in The Wescott Family Series.  I really love to revisit the people in her previous novels, it's like catching up with old friends.

Elizabeth Overfield is a widow who survived a horrid marriage. She is spending the holidays with her family and friends.  She has decided she would like to remarry to a husband she can like and respect.  She desperately wants to have children and her own home.
There is a gentleman she has in mind seems nice and unremarkable. 

Colin Handrich, Lord Hodges hasn't been home since he left as a youth.  He comes from a dysfunctional family and has never had any desire to return to the estate that he inherited especially since his mother still lives there.  He is invited to join the Westcott family for the holidays.  Colin has finally decided to marry and will go to London to check out the crop of young ladies on the Marriage Mart after the Holidays.

Elizabeth and Colin meet at Westcott Christmas party.  They become fast friends and enjoy each other company.  Dancing, sleigh riding, snow ball fights and dancing the Waltz are just some of the fun they had it each others company.  The decide to make a pact to dance the Waltz at least once when they meet at Soirees and Balls in town.

They like each other a great deal and probably would make a great couple, but Elizabeth won't even consider it because he is nine years younger than her.  She knows how cruel the Ton can be and how fast gossip spreads.  She just wants a quiet peaceful marriage to a man she can trust. 

When in London for the Season nothing happens the way Elizabeth thinks it should and when scandal erupts she has to decide who she is going to spend the rest of her life with. 

I love the way Mary infuses Elizabeth and Colin with honor and kindness.  Her characters have flaws but are self aware and come to realize that maybe some of their life long beliefs are not as they appear. Will they admit that they love each other and can Elizabeth get over the age difference.  Colin doesn't believe it will make a difference. This is a wonderful book and I recommend this book and the whole Westcott series.  

Mary is my favorite writer of Historical Romance. I have most of her books and I will read them over and over again.  Do not miss this outstanding and beautiful love story.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Review of The Laird's Christmas Kiss (The Lairds Most Likely Book 2)

Anna has done it again, a absolutely wonderful love story with my favorite, rugged, handsome Highlanders.  Anna has a talent for creating unforgettable characters that stay with you long after the book ends.  Her stories are truly captivating and she is one of the most talented Historical Romance authors today.  

Elspeth Douglas is a young Scottish lass who has always been more comfortable in the background.  She has 3 beautiful sisters and everyone in her family has treated her the same, they love her but see her as she does, plain and shy.

Brody Girvan, Laird of Invermackie has always been a rogue and a rake.  Since he left home he has pursued pleasure as a way of life.  He is known to be a great friend and irresistible to the ladies.  Lately though he has been dis-satisfied with his hedonistic life style and doesn't know why.

Brody is spending the holidays with his best friends Hamish, Diarmid and Fergus.  Maybe it is the festive atmosphere or he is changing but for the first time he is intruiged by quiet shy Elspeth.  He realizes that she is just not a quiet mouse, but a vibrant young woman that he wants to get to know better.  

Will the Christmas Holidays bring together two people who have known each other for years, or so they thought.  An outstanding love story to enjoy while you curl up in front of the fireplace with a hot mug of cocoa.

I recommend all of Anna's books. She will always be a go to author for me.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Review of Dair Devil by Lucinda Brant and Performed by Alex Wyndham

A wonderful addition to the Roxton Series.  What I love about Lucinda's books, besides the characters, the historical accuracy, and her exceptional writing skill is that all the characters from the previous books in the series contribute to the overall continuation of the family saga in each succeeding book.

When you meet Dair in The Autumn Duchess you think he is just another womanizing rake and scoundrel.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.   I won't give away his secrets, you will have to read them for yourself.

Rory is a young lady born with a handicap that prevents her from participating in the Marriage Mart.  What she lacks in grace she makes up for in courage, kindness and a heart of gold.

No one who knows could ever imagine that they would fall in love.  Even the people close to them do not know all their secrets.  Always remember the age-old adage;" Never judge a book by its cover"  A story full of surprises that will make you smile.  So prepare for surprises revealed by both Rory and Dair.

I can't forget how Alex Wyndham's performance adds to the story and it is amazing how he remembers all the other character voices from the previous books.  He is awesome!!

I highly recommend this book and all of the other books in The Roxton Saga!!