#BookReview: Carnegie’s Maid by Marie Benedict @authormariebenedict @sbkslandmark

35478041He had vowed to her that he would carve out a different path from those materialistic industrialists and society folk, and he would keep that vow, even though she was gone.

Clara Kelley is in America as a source of income to help her family in Ireland.  Expecting to work in the textile mills or as a domestic when she arrives, fate (in the form of a misunderstanding) changes her path to become a lady’s maid for the matriarch of one of the wealthiest families in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  An occupation she knows nothing about, but fortunately, Clara is intuitive and intelligent and learns as she goes without anyone catching on.

Then Clara meets Andrew Carnegie, steel tycoon, eldest and favored son of her mistress.  His intellect and charm are attractive, but his ruthlessness and elitist ideals are not.  However, Clara’s sense of justice and hunger for knowledge about his business change Mr. Carnegie for the better.   Is Clara the catalyst for his philanthropy endeavors? Continue reading “#BookReview: Carnegie’s Maid by Marie Benedict @authormariebenedict @sbkslandmark”

Book Review: Copper Sky by Milana Marsenich @milanamarsenich @book_glow

16544640“No one had ever been there when she needed them.”

1917. Copper Camp of Butte, Montana.  Growing up as an orphan and losing her twin sister to a murder at the age of 10, Kaly Shane had a lot of ghosts and a lot of secrets.  Over the years she tried to live a decent life, but now as a prostitute living on her own in a destitute area of town, she finds herself pregnant by the man who murdered her sister.  But did he?  What really happened that night and what secrets will she find out about her family?

Continue reading “Book Review: Copper Sky by Milana Marsenich @milanamarsenich @book_glow”

Book Review: Until Tomorrow by Jill Marie Landis @JillMarieLandis

36063706“Always watch your step or you might land in something you can’t wipe off  – Nanny James”

Kansas at the end of the Civil War.  It’s her twentieth birthday and Cara Calvinia James is alone after the death of her family.  Her wish is about to come true…to go to California and start a new life, but a stranger and a baby enter her life that day and change it forever.  What is in store for Cara as she helps a man in need?

Dake Reed, former Union soldier, is going home to Alabama to face his family and friends who call him a traitor.  Little did he know that he would be responsible for taking a newborn baby home to Alabama after promising a dying mother he discovered lying on the road.  He hoped to find someone to help him care for Anna Clayton’s orphaned child on the way to Alabama, but can Cara, an independent, spirited woman from Kansas help him?

Continue reading “Book Review: Until Tomorrow by Jill Marie Landis @JillMarieLandis”

#BookReview: Magnolia Creek by Jill Marie Landis @JillMarieLandis ‏

cover122108-mediumWhen lovely woman stoops to folly
And finds too late that men betray,
What charm can soothe her melancholy,
What art can wash her guilt away?
—Oliver Goldsmith The Vicar of Wakefield

It had been 5 years since Sara Collier Talbot left Magnolia Creek, Kentucky, as a fallen woman who ran off with a Yankee lieutenant only a year after finding out that her husband, Dru, had been killed in the Civil War. With no alternative, Sara swallows her pride and returns to Magnolia Creek with a love child in tow, and to the disapproval of the townspeople, Dru’s sister Louzanna, “Lou”, takes in Sara and her daughter. How much more can Sara take? Is her life in danger?

After 6 long years the war is over, and Dr. Dru Talbot, finally released from a prisoner of war camp, is going home to his wife of one day. Their whirlwind courtship and marriage were fast, but having that one night as husband and wife before he went off to war is what kept him alive. His hopes of starting a family with Sara and opening a quiet practice are just what he needs to help forget the horrors of war. Can he forgive Sara for what she’s done?

Continue reading “#BookReview: Magnolia Creek by Jill Marie Landis @JillMarieLandis ‏”

$25 Cover Reveal Giveaway – My Sister’s Intended by Rachael Anderson

Coming Spring 2018
My Sister’s Intended by Rachael Anderson

For as long as Prudence can remember, it has been understood that her sister will one day wed the eldest son of their nearest neighbor. Such an alliance will benefit both families and bring a great deal of joy to all parents involved.

Continue reading “$25 Cover Reveal Giveaway – My Sister’s Intended by Rachael Anderson”

Book review: Hero of My Heart by Megan Frampton (0345542029) E-book

16085323“Merry” Mary Smith, the late vicar’s daughter, is in a very bad predicament.  Her half brother is gambling and drinking her inheritance away and has decided to sell her to the highest bidder who happens to be a devastatingly handsome man who seems to be ill. Little does she know she is in for the adventure of her life.  “So much for her prayers”.

Alasdair Thornham, Marquess of Datchworth, is in an opium laden state when he sees the man auctioning off a beautiful woman in the local tavern and feels compelled to save the damsel in distress.  Little does he know he will have a handful to deal with after coming out of his stupor.  “Welcome to hell, Alasdair, he reminded himself”.

This is a suspenseful and romantic adventure of two lost souls who are destined to torture and love each other no matter what the outcome.  I find Ms. Frampton’s style very clean and refreshing and her characters are playful as well serious.  The issue of opium addiction with soldiers of war is a new twist and very probable.

Thank you to Ms. Frampton, Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept Series and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to review this book.

Book review: The Wicked Wedding of Miss Ellie Vyne by Jayne Fresina (9781402266003) E-book

1402266006.01._SX140_SY224_SCLZZZZZZZ_ “Ellie Vyne never had much sympathy for men, until she temporarily became one.”  Her secret life as the gambling Count de Bonneville is helping her take care of her family and it is going to land her in more trouble that she ever dreamed.  She is classified as an outspoken old maid at 27 years old according to society’s standards, but she is perfectly happy being single and has broken several engagements to prove it.  Disguised as the Count she is given a lavish diamond necklace as an IOU payment from Lady Ophelia Southwold.  What she doesn’t know is that the necklace belongs to James Hartley.   The one man she despised since she was 16 years old when she overheard him denigrating her character in public.

“That Vyne woman is a danger to herself and to anyone who has the misfortune of crossing her path!”  James Hartley is rich, arrogant and furious with Count de Bonneville for taking “The Hartley Diamonds” and he will get them back one way or another.  However, when he goes to the Count’s dwelling, he finds Ellie Vyne lying in his bed.  The young lady he has disliked since she was young and who painted a mustache on his face when he was sleeping under a tree.

After having a scandalous dance at Lady Clegg-Foster’s party, they make a pact to become engaged to fend off the matchmaking crowd.  The provisions to their engagement become shocking and brazen and make for a sexy pairing.

With the help of the young Lady Mercy Danforthe, Ellie’s Aunt Lizzie and James’ valet, Grieves, this story is funny and engaging and there is never a dull moment.  I couldn’t put it down.

Thank you to Ms. Fresina, Sourcebooks and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to review this book.

Book review: Thirty Nights with a Highland Husband by Melissa Mayhue (9781416532866)

1416532862.01._SX140_SY224_SCLZZZZZZZ_This is the first book in the The Daughters of the Glen series which takes us from 21st century Colorado to 13th century Scotland.  Caitlyn Coryell has discovered her selfish, power-hungry fiance with another woman in his office and realizes that she didn’t really love the man in the first place.  Conner MacKiernan is desperate to save his sister Mairi from being forced to marry the horrible MacPherson and relies on his Fae ancestry to find a woman for him to marry (something he vowed he would never do) in order for him to have the power to rescue his sister.  Little do Caitlyn and Conner know that the Fae power will alter their lives forever.

This is my first Melissa Mayhue book and I’m looking forward to reading more in the series.  I always enjoy time travel romances and this was no exception.  The characters were fun and the plot line was unique with the Fae element added to it.  I would like to read more about Conner’s Aunt Rosalyn and his sister Mairi and hope to see them in Mayhue’s future books in the series.

Book review: Ravished by a Highlander by Paula Quinn (9781441774972, Audiobook)

Davina Montgomery is a lovely and caring woman and has a dangerous secret.  She is the eldest daughter of King James of England and has been cloistered away in St. Christopher’s Abbey all of her life.  Men close to the King have found out her hiding place and have sent an army to kill her.

Robert MacGregor is a rugged and brave highlander who happened to save Davina from a massacre at the Abbey and now no one will get in his way to protect her, not even the King.

Davina and Robert’s story is about obligation, sacrifice and most of all a love that knows no bounds.  They typically butt heads in the beginning, but realize the strength and beauty of each other and fall in love.

I liked the story, but not a lot.  I guess I am jaded in that I have read many highlander romances and found this one lacking the conflict between lovers that I like so much.  I felt that they fell in love too fast for my taste.  Perhaps it was also the narrator’s voice, Carrington MacDuffie, that I couldn’t quite get used to.  However, I liked the supporting characters, Finn and Will, and would enjoy reading their stories in the Children of the Mist series.

Book review: Drums of Autumn (Outlander #4 series) by Diana Gabaldon (9780553714524 – Book on CD)

This is the fourth book in the Outlander series and Claire and Jamie’s new adventures are in the Americas.  They travel with Ian Murray (Jamie’s nephew) to North Carolina where they meet Jamie’s Aunt Jocasta at River Run.  Even though Aunt Jocasta wants to leave Jamie her estate, he prefers to settle at Fraser’s Ridge which it is more secluded and something he can call his own .  Of course, Claire and Jamie  run into Indians and bears on the way and meet interesting characters as well.

In addition to Claire and Jamie’s story, Brianna (Claire and Jamie’s daughter) and Roger Wakefield MacKenzie (distant ancestor of Dougal MacKenzie and Gilles Duncan) join the adventures by doing some time travel themselves.  Brianna goes back on her own from the 1970’s to the 1770’s to warn Claire and Jamie about a historical fact that she finds out and Roger discovers where Brianna has gone and and follows her.

Of course I love this series, but I thought the whole Jamie/Roger misunderstanding and the search for him took too long.  However, that won’t stop me from continuing on to the next in the series, The Fiery Cross.  As always, Davina Porter is a fantastic narrator and I recommend trying out the books on CD.  They are excellent!

Book review: Voyager by Diana Gabaldon (9780553714548 – Book on CD)

At Jamie’s insistence Claire fled  for her and her baby’s life back to the 20th century to escape the bloody fight at Colloden.  Twenty years late in the 1960’s Claire discovers that against all odds Jamie survived Colloden and she must go back without her daughter.  The reunion between Claire and Jamie is unforgettable and her initiation back into the 18th century brings surprises.

The third book in the Outlander series is  my favorite so far. The story has much more action and adventure than the first two with fewer love scenes for you non-romance connoisseurs. This trip takes us from Scotland to the Caribbean with a few familiar characters popping up here and there. Some will surprise you.

Diana Gabaldon is a master story teller. Her wonderful descriptions of scenery, characters and historical events are fascinating and with the help of narrator, Davina Porter, the book on CD will transport you back in time.

I can’t wait to listen to Drums of Autumn!

Book review: Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon (0385335970-Book on CD)

This wonderful story continues.  I admit I was a little leery about the beginning because it started in the 1960’s with Claire’s present life and was too slow in my opinion, but when it returned to Claire and Jamie’s adventures, I felt at ease once again.

If you really want to feel the experience, get the book on CD (33 of them).  Davina Porter’s mastery of the accents is superb!

On to Voyager for me! (on CD of course)

Book review: A Courtesan’s Guide to Getting Your Man by Celeste Bradley and Susan Donovan (9780312532567)

Books with transitions between times is a difficult feat to keep both periods interesting and I found this book fell short. It is set in 19th century London and present day Boston. I preferred the historical transition about Ophelia, a woman who did not want to be ruled by a man and became a courtesan to take charge of her own life. However, the story about Piper, a museum curator who finds out about Ophelia’s secret life, was not as interesting to me.

The book is definitely erotic and intriguing and I did like that aspect of the book. I just think the present day piece could have been left out.  I did read the book in one sitting and recommend it to people who like romantic mysteries and hot, hot sex scenes.

Thanks to LibraryThing’s Early Reviewers for giving me the opportunity to review this book.

Book review: Outlander by Diane Gabaldon (9781419359705-book on CD)

Hold on for a terrific ride!

I have read this book two times…so far. The first was when it came out 20 years. Was it that long ago? And second when I recently listened to the audiobook on my ride to and from work every day. Even after all of these years, the story is still what I remembered. Brilliant! It has something for everyone. Time travel, romance, history, adventure and evil villains to name a few.

Claire Randall is happily married to Frank Randall and they are on holiday in the highlands of Scotland in the 1940s when Claire is magically cast back in time to the 1740’s and thrown into an era that changes her life completely. She meets a young Scot named Jamie Frasier with whom she marries for her safety and then the excitement begins. The heroes are breathtaking and the villains are pure evil.

After first reading this story 20 years ago, it stayed with me due to the wonderful writing and superb characterization. I also want to note that the narrator for the audiobook, Davina Porter, is fantastic! Her mastery of the Scottish, English and French accents is amazing and makes you feel like you are in the thick of it all.

I plan to continue the series, which I did not do 20 years ago and look forward to the continuing saga of Claire and Jamie.

Book review: Betrayed by Claire Robyns (9781426890314)

Amber Jardin is young, foolish, headstrong and ripe for someone to tame her fiery temper.  She had no kin left other than her uncle who despised her and wanted to marry her off to the nearest ruffian to get rid of her.  As she tries to save her friend from sure death, she is kidnapped by Krayne Johnstone, “The Grey Wolf”, and held for ransom.

Krayne is known for his victories in battle and his hard resolve to punish Amber for being his enemy, but destiny brings them together for better or worse and boy, do the sparks fly!

Ms. Robyns leaves no prisoners with this action-packed romance.  I am a big fan of highlander romances and this one did not disappoint.

Thank you to Ms. Robyns, Carina Press and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to review this ebook.

Book review: Broken Wing by Judith James (193383644X)

Gabriel is a broken man who was raised in a brothel as a prostitute and doesn’t think he is worthy of love. Sarah is a widow and free spirit who does not care about the conventions that life brings her. When Sarah meets Gabriel she feels a connection that few can see, even Gabriel. This is a great love story that is told mainly from Gabriel’s perspective which I found very intriguing. A wonderful read!

Book Review: Shadow Music by Julie Garwood (0345500741)

I have been a Julie Garwood fan for many years and found this book lacking. None of the characters really stood out at me and that disappoints me because I love highlander stories. It is a tried storyline where the beautiful princess is bequeathed to marry a stranger, the stranger dies and a tough but sensitive highlander hero steps in to save her from evil men.