Punya Reviews...

An avid reader of Romance novels and her reviews...

SPOILER ALERT!

Her Savage Scot

Her Savage Scot (The Highland Warrior Chronicles Book 1) - Christina Phillips

My review contains spoilers and they're mostly my thoughts...

Her Savage Scot, book 1 of The Highland Warrior Chronicles, had been in my TBR for a while now. Recently, when I felt the urge to check out some medieval Scottish-Highlander romance, I thought why not?. This was my first novel by Christina Phillips and it definitely won’t be my last because I enjoyed the book more than I thought I would.

Her Savage Scot is set during the time of Kenneth MacAlpin, arguably the first king of the Scots, around 843. He makes his appearance here too, but not really as someone I cared much about. You’ll find out the reasons in my review. He was also the king of now extinct Pictland. The author’s website has a short intro about the Picts and Pictland which I found fascinating.

Princess Aila, the eldest daughter of the current King of one Pictish segment called Ce, is introduced almost at the beginning of the story. A widow since 17, Aila’s life had not been the same when her young husband Onuist died saving her life from the marauding Vikings. At least that’s how the story is told all around Ce, where Onuist is revered as a hero. Just as her maternal grandmother and maternal cousin Elise, Aila has the same power of seeing visions and sensitive towards a coming incident through their Goddess Bride’s blessings. However, on that fateful day, Bride didn’t come to her rescue or Onuist’s for that matter. Since then, Aila had decided to abandon Bride and embrace the ‘new’ religion AKA Christianity. She’s also become a recluse, so much so that people outside of her closest kin aren’t allowed to see her. She doesn’t go out much unless the very close circuit of the castle and she has no interest in being introduced to the strangers who come to visit Ce. Hence no one sees her in attendance of any feast or celebration. She’s become some sort of a myth. It’s been 9yrs. but she’s not going to forgive Bride for her betrayal.

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Dark Temptation

Dark Temptation (Blackheath Moor #2) - Allison Chase

3.5 stars but I really thought this one's gonna make at least 4 stars. The story was rather interesting with the usual paranormal activities that were creepy and intriguing at the same time. And I really liked the H, who was a secondary character in book 1; a friend of the H there. I didn't like him in book 1 much but in his own book, I got to know him better so all in all, I thought this one's gonna be better.

However, the h of the story completely ruined it for me. She was an idiot, extremely stubborn and super irresponsible. If someone said 'don't do this, it's dangerous', she'd simply ignore that warning and do exactly that; all because she fancied herself a 'journalist', a detective too, by the looks of it. *eyeroll* I lost count of just how many times she had put herself in danger throughout the book and in the process, put the H in danger too cause he was always rescuing her. -_- Even though she'd later acknowledge some of her blunders, I don't think she learned much from any of it. Either way, by 70% I began losing interest and didn't care how it ended. I wished I could replace the h with someone smarter, more responsible. No idea what the H saw in her anyway! Meh.

I had high hopes for this series. Too bad. *sigh*

SPOILER ALERT!

Safe Passage

Safe Passage - Carla Kelly

My review contains spoilers and they're mostly my thoughts...

A full review of Carla Kelly’s Safe Passage would be kinda difficult to do for me, not because it’s a badly written book (I finished it in 2 days, a record for me TBH!) but because the historical facts integrated in this story. It’s very difficult to comment on war or revolution or whatever and the loss of the absurd amount of human lives in the process, to justify the horrifying affects it has on humanity. I’ll do neither in my review.

Carla Kelly has done amazing books where she included tales of war and its aftermath. But she’s always careful to be as subtle as possible while incorporating it with the storyline. Safe Passage is no different, yet there were moments where I felt like putting down the book and take a deep breath. This has a little different setting and background—Mexican Revolution of 1910 (setting here is 1912). The prologue introduces our h, Addie, who has been reminiscing about her past, and her marriage, which seems to be a done thing at this point. Addie lives in Mexico and was married to Ammon for 2 yrs. One sad incident, which led Addie to say some horrible things, had led to their break up. Ammon returned home from his freighting business where injured himself, only to find his wife enraged. He already had a broken leg to deal with, a broken heart now added to the mix. Addie, though, had a reason behind it, and I could try to understand her mental state, still the whole incident was really heartbreaking. Ammon left, heartbroken and in tears, not knowing what he’d done wrong. He had tried to communicate with Addie the first year but she was determined to keep her silence. I have no idea why she treated him so badly, but in the year since then she’d come to regret her action. So much so that she often thinks of Ammon but she doesn’t know how she can do anything to change their circumstances.

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SPOILER ALERT!

Miss Billings Treads the Boards

Miss Billings Treads the Boards - Carla Kelly

My review contains spoilers and they're mostly my thoughts...

Miss Billings Treads the Boards, a clean regency romance, is another one of Carla Kelly’s single novels where I went in blindly. I liked it for the most part because there were some really witty dialogues throughout. However, it won’t be my favorite. Somewhere along the way, the story fell short of being amazing, which I thought it could’ve been.

In the beginning, we’re introduced to a Marquess, who is also a war veteran. Henry Tweksbury-Hampton, the Marquess of Grayson is filthy rich and lives the life of a laze about peer. Over the 7yrs since he’d been off the army and took his “role” of a peer seriously, Henry’s gone mellow. Even with a tall physique, these days his paunch shows. A thinning head of hair does his looks no good either. So, all in all, even though he’s one of the most sought after bachelors because of his title and wealth, Henry knows his shortcomings. He had a vague feeling that no one wanted him for himself but for what he can offer to them. The feeling though, has grown tenfold since he’s been taking care of his sister’s family too, and made his only nephew Algernon his heir. Algernon, who goes by as Algie, is really something of the sort. He’s a super-dandy, spendthrift and completely empty in the brain-box. To say that Henry worried over the future of his title is a gross understatement. But when, to allay that niggling suspicion, Henry ends up asking Algernon if he likes his uncle, things began going downhill. How exactly? Let’s see if I can elaborate in the following...

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SPOILER ALERT!

Miss Grimsley's Oxford Career

Miss Grimsley's Oxford Career - Carla Kelly

3 stars but barely made it. This one definitely won't go down as one of my favorites. TBH, I was bored for the most part but it was mainly because I didn't care for our "beautiful and brilliant" heroine. To me, she was every bit silly and clueless as her dumb family. I don't even know what James saw in her, apart from her affinity towards the Bard's work (and her beauty?). She may have wrote some good papers on the Bard but I was bored through and through with her real self.

On the contrary, I LOVED our hero, who I thought deserved a better, and dare I say, more matured woman in his life. Even as I slogged through where Ellen shows her dumb self over and over again, by being a pushover for the half of the story, I lost my patience when she turned down James's marriage proposal for the umpteenth time, reason unknown. I mean for no valid reason at all! After all that he'd done for her, she still couldn't bring herself to come to a decision about his utmost devotion to her. :o I mean, was that part even up for debate? A young, handsome, brilliant, RICH Marquess wants to marry me, who also encourages my interest in Shakespeare, Geography and other things society won't let any gentle lady take part in. Who comes running if he thinks I'm in danger and would do anything to help me and my family so he's also extremely kind. Who already said he loves me... I like him too, but not enough to decide whether I should marry him. Oh geez! From her monologue, all I can say is that she was unquestionably dumb.

It took James's decision to not pursue her any longer (he at least had some reasons, not to retaliate in any way) for Ellen's brain to start working, and finally realizing what an idiot she'd been and how unfairly she'd treated him. Too late Ellen, you've already ruined my fun. -_- *yawn*

SPOILER ALERT!

Ever Crave the Rose

Ever Crave the Rose (The Elizabethan Time Travel Series Book 3) - Morgan O'Neill

My review contains spoilers and they're mostly my thoughts...

Ever Crave the Rose, the final installment of Morgan O’Neill’s The Elizabethan Time Travel, has been one of my most anticipated releases over the past 2.5 yrs. ever since I read book 1. I was very excited when I found out this sequel to The Thornless Rose is finally getting published; couldn’t wait to find out how Anne and Jonathan’s journey ends! The biggest query, on my mind, was to see whether they stayed in the Elizabethan-era, or returned to the present time. If so, how will that work out when we consider Jonathan’s own past with Anne’s grandmother and 2014 not being his original time-frame of living. Did I get my answers? I’ll try to elaborate in my review...

It’s true that I’ve never been overtly interested in the history of Tudor England but The Elizabethan Time-Travel series changed that for me. Apart from the chapters set in present time, much like book 1, book 2 also connects and heavily relies on Tudor England without being made to feel like taking a History lesson. The fusion of the historical facts with the fiction was done so well that you won’t think Dr. Jonathan Brandon once wasn’t one of Queen Elizabeth I’s royal physicians! Some major historical figures such as Robert Dudley, Thomas Howard, the Duke of Norfolk, Queen’s chief adviser Robert Cecil, not to mention the venerable Queen Elizabeth I played their roles as needed throughout, which is why I had to research online to find out who was who and how they were related to the story. The authors’ knowledge of Tudor history was admirable.

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— feeling excited
Today I'm being featured on Follow Friday. Do stop by and have a chat! :D

#2 Follow Friday with book bloggers: Punya Reviews…

Reblogged from BookLikes:

Follow Punya Reviews… : http://punya.booklikes.com

 

Let’s start with the first book you’ve read. Did that title made you a book lover?

 

OOn the Night of the Seventh Moon - Victoria Holth, I don’t really remember what the first book I ever read was but I do know that  reading books was something that has been instilled in me from childhood. My first book very well may have been a nursery rhyme or a fairytale. But I can tell you the first book that introduced Romance to me. It was a translated copy of Victoria Holt’s On the Night of the Seventh Moon. Yes I loved the title of this book enough to go in search of more Victoria Holt books. It sure did make me a Romance novel lover!

 

On your blog page you write that you love reading romance and watching anything that is related to ghosts and haunting. What’s the best romance book and the best ghost movie/series you’ve ever read and watched?

 Dreaming of You - Lisa Kleypas

I have quite the list of favorite books, mainly under Historical Romance, which is my  favorite Romance sub-genre. Lisa Kleypas’s Dreaming of You is one of my all-time favorite Historical Romances. I enjoy reading real life haunting stories. I don’t watch as many movies as I read books, but I do watch some ghost hunting shows.

Ghost Adventures is my favorite show. I also enjoyed a very short lived show called The Great British Ghosts. This show was quite fascinating because of the legends and folklore that went with the so-called haunting of an old castle or an even older inn. I wish there were more seasons.

 

Since you’re a huge music lover we’re wondering whether the music influences your book picks or is it just a reading time companion?

 

I don’t choose music based on a book but I have, at times, thought of a certain book while listening to a certain song, and vice versa. I never do both at the same time. For me, it’s either reading or listening to music.

 

What made you start writing about books/book blogging?

 

Probably my love for reading and writing both. When I joined goodreads for the first time back in 2010, it was simply going to be a place to keep track of my reading. I have written long papers while doing my MA but I never thought about actually becoming a book reviewer. Then I begin writing down my thoughts about the book I was reading in the comments section of goodreads, and this kind of started my interest in book review going. In 2011, my blog Punya Reviews… also started as another place to post my reviews. However, within a year I knew I’d like to continue book blogging as long as I can because I vastly enjoyed the process of talking about a book from my own perspective.

 

Did blogging have an impact on your reading life?

 

Yes, it had. When I started doing blog tours, it did take up quite a bit of my time. Alongside my work hours, I was juggling regularly. My reviews are generally long, and writing those reviews took time too. I had to figure out how to balance it all. How many tours I can do a month so I can read and review the books I want to. Yet, through book blogging, I have discovered new authors and their books. So yes, blogging has had quite an impact on my reading life.

 

You have a MA degree in English Literature (Bravo!), does it mean you’re lucky to be reading books at your workplace? :)

 

Unfortunately, no. I don’t try to read at my workplace because I’m always distracted by this or that and reading, for me, is like meditation. I don’t like distractions when I’m reading. It’s also the reason why I prefer an e-ink reader (kindle paperwhite in my case), rather than a smart phone or devices like that.

 

What are your favorite book covers?

 

There are many of those. I generally love the book covers of the Historical Romance published from different publishers; the vibrant colors and the dresses really appeal to me. If I can mention stepbacks, I absolutely LOVE the original stepback of Dreaming of You. I thought this should’ve been the cover!

 

I also really liked the cover of an old bodice ripper by Sharon Salvato called Bitter Eden. I’ve never read it but I added it to my TBR just for the cover. Then there were those where I’d gotten enamored of a cover because of the hot guy featured on it. That’s one list that’s gonna take up pages. hahaha  

 

 

Which books are your most exciting recommendation to your followers?

 

I always recommend books by my favorite authors like Lisa Kleypas or Elizabeth Hoyt or Carla Kelly if they’re a Historical Romance lover like me. Lisa Kleypas’s Wallflowers  and Hathaways series or Elizabeth Hoyt’s Maiden Lane  series. Carla Kelly has some ah-meh-zing books out there, most traditional regency or Christian-themed but I don’t mind.

By Lisa Kleypas Secrets of a Summer Night (The Wallflowers, Book 1) (The Wallflowers, Book 1) - Lisa Kleypas Wicked Intentions - Elizabeth Hoyt

 

I recently read A Moonbow Night by Laura Frantz. The narratives in that story were marvelous. The suspense in the end simply blew my mind. Very emotional, as well was a rewarding experience. If you’re going for a little erotically edgy Paranormal Romance, I’d highly recommend Janine Ashbless’s The Book of the Watchers series. I’m yet to finish book 2 cause I’m scared of another long wait until book 3 (waited for book 2 for almost 3yrs). I’m reading that one bit by bit, savoring it. I know, I’m weird like that.

 

A Moonbow Night - Laura FrantzCover Him With Darkness: A Romance - Janine AshblessIn Bonds of the Earth (Book of the Watchers) - Janine Ashbless

 

There are many authors I can mention here whose works I’ve recently come to admire, like Ramona Flightner, Emily Larkin, Morgan O’Neill, Scottie Barrett (steamy historical romance). The list can go on.

 

What’s your reading spot? We’d love to see the photos :)

 

Haha, I generally prefer my bed for reading, when I’m totally relaxed and not bothered by the outside world. I really wish I had a reading nook I could feature here. However, if you’d like to see a picture of the type of reading nook I’d love to have someday, here is one:

 

via Pintrest

 

A paper book or an e-book?

 

At the moment, definitely ebooks! I’m in love with my kindle PW and wouldn’t exchange it for anything the world. I do understand the appeal of paperbacks but ebooks are just too convenient to “carry around”, if I may say so.

 

Three titles for a dessert island?

 

Hmmm, I’ve never given thoughts on DIK books. Still, if I had to choose in a nutshell: Lisa Kleypas’s Dreaming of You, any Carla Kelly title, Scottie Barrett’s Branded.

 

Dreaming of You - Lisa Kleypas Branded - Scottie Barrett Marrying The Captain - Carla Kelly

 

A book that changed your life?On the Night of the Seventh Moon - Victoria Holt

 

Again I’d like to refer back to Victoria Holt’s On the Night of the Seventh Moon. It got me interested in the Romance genre, inspiring me to explore and discover the many wonderful authors and books that I’ve read in the years since then.

 

Favorite quote?

 

Funnily enough, my most favorite quote isn’t from a book but from a song. Don’t get me wrong, there are numerous book quotes I’ve loved but this one is just…special. It’s from Sting’s An Englishman in New York, where he goes…

 

Be yourself, no matter what they say.

 

He’s one of my favorite singers and I love to sing along with him. :)

 

 

If you could meet one author, who would it be?

 

Okay, this will be a VERY difficult task to choose only one author. I want to meet all my favorite authors at least once in my life but… Lisa Kleypas, definitely! I’d like to ask her Derek’s whereabouts. I miss him. hahaha

 

Shelfie time! Please share your home library photos :)

 

Sadly, I don’t have a home library. More specifically nothing that I can actually show off. I don’t own many paperbacks cause I’ve been buying and reading ebooks for a while. For now, that’s where I’m building my library. But I hope to build a home library someday.

 

 Punya's virtual bookshelf on BookLikes

 

You can also find Punya here:

 BookLikes:

http://punya.booklikes.com

 Punya Reviews…

https://punyareviews.blogspot.com/

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https://www.facebook.com/PunyaReviews/

 Twitter:

@PunyaHRashid

SPOILER ALERT!

In Bonds of the Earth

In Bonds of the Earth (Book of the Watchers) - Janine Ashbless

My review contains spoilers and they're mostly my thoughts...

I have no idea where to start, seriously! The Book of the Watchers series by Janine Ashbless is SO complex and absolutely amazing that I’m just....... speechless really. This series is rich in story telling with a great research and a marvelous writing style where the author blends many dimensions, of facts and fictions, together in such a way that the only thing I can say for this series is WOW! I had to read In Bonds of the Earth at a snail’s pace just to savor each chapter.

I’ve never read anything by the author prior to this series. I picked up book 1 of the Watchers series, Cover Him With Darkness, because 1. I was in search of a good angel-demon type book and 2. I loved the title. And boy it sucked me right in from the start; from the moment when little Milja met Azazel the Fallen, bound in a dank, dark cave, for eternity... awaiting another eternity. Azazel is called a demon, a fallen angel, Prince of Darkness or Satan as I found in some sources. I’ll personally stick to the story itself because many of these notions discussed in the book connected to the Book of Enoch is rather vague to me. But that didn’t hinder my enjoyment at all. The whole story behind Azazel and his many brothers’ fight with the good angels and how they were then entombed in various places in the world is told in book 1. It was such a fascinating story, with excellent visuals, such as Azazel’s fight with St. Michael and the destruction of his human family.

Milja, a girl born in a small mountain-bound village of Montenegro, has known The Prisoner since her childhood. The Prisoner was there always. Many had been in charge of him over the uncountable years, her father the priest, being the latest. Milja’s mother was already dead, so her father has been the center of her world... until the day she started having dreams of The Prisoner, whom she’d only met a few times; always with her father by her side. Her father has forbidden her to ever communicate with the prisoner, let alone release him, no matter how much he begs. Yet, the sad, heart-wrenching dreams of him in pain, absolutely misery of many, many years tore at Milja. Then one day, when she was around 20, she does the unthinkable. She goes to the cave alone to meet him for the first time in years since she went to school. The Prisoner was always in her thought, in her dreams, so much so that she only had one boyfriend but couldn’t even maintain that relationship. She knew by then who she belonged to, and she decides instantly that she’s going to release him.

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SPOILER ALERT!

The Lady's Companion

The Lady's Companion - Carla Kelly

My review contains spoilers and they're mostly my thoughts...

The Lady’s Companion by Carla Kelly is the latest in her backlist I finished a few days ago. It was amazing, to say the least. A very heartwarming traditional regency with an sweet heroine, a superb hero made grand with Ms. Kelly’s beautiful storytelling.

I decided to bring The Lady’s Companion up my TBR pile because for a reason. A few months ago, I read another book by Ms. Kelly titled Marriage of Mercy, where the reviewers criticized the book for having almost the same storyline as this one. Marriage of Mercy is a later publication (2012) whereas The Lady’s Companion was first released in 1996. The whole notion definitely intrigued me. I was expecting a pretty same storyline with different names for characters, and I agree with them to a certain extent. However, the storyline itself was very different. I mean very, if you can excuse the first 2 chapters where the h Susan’s fate spin almost exactly like that of Grace’s. I would call it plagiarism had the later not also been Ms. Kelly’s publication. I still don’t know how can anyone say both had the same stories so I decided I’m just gonna ignore it and enjoy. Which I did thank you!

Susan Hampton, daughter to Sir Rodney, should’ve had an amazing life with balls and parties and dreams of suitors, marriage and her own family. But no thanks to her spendthrift father, it’s now all just that— a dream. Since her mother passed when she was young, Susan, now 25, had been living on her father’s extravagant, and very fantastical, dreams of this and that—a grand life with loads of money he’d win of these days. Sir Rodney’s gambling habit was so extreme that everyone knew him, and avoided him as much as possible. So far, he’d sold every single thing worth selling one by one to get the money needed. Not only that, he has to live like a peer of the realm that he was, which he does even if he can’t afford it. You can only imagine Susan’s shattered dreams as well as disillusionment.

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SPOILER ALERT!

My Dear Lord Forrester

My Dear Lord Forrester (The Infamous Forresters Book 2) - Eliza Lloyd

My review contains spoilers and they're mostly my thoughts...

My Dear Lord Forrester is a novella  and book 2 of Eliza Lloyd’s The Infamous Forresters series. Honestly, I find no fault in the books of this series that I’ve read so far, only that I always end up wishing they were full-length novels instead of novellas.

Book 1, What A Mistress Wants is the story of the widowed Duke of Sterling, Adam Forrester and his mistress, Eloisa. Mistress stories don’t always appeal to me, but this one was an amazing read. It was a novella, but the author packed a lot of emotions between the pages. Adam and Eloisa had been together for at least 4yrs. when the story opens so they already have a long history. However it didn’t feel like I missed too much. Adam was devoted to his wife, Nellie, until the day she died. He’s got 4 kids, including the future heir to the Sterling Dukedom. He still misses his wife.

Adam hopes to remarry one day, but right now, he’s all set with an adventurous paramour to take care of his more basic needs. He adores Eloisa and has no intention of giving her up anytime soon. But Eloisa, who is the daughter of a gentleman fallen on hard times, has something else in mind. Though their liaison was build on needs based of money and pleasure—each helping the other out with what they desperately needed at that time—Eloisa is now hopelessly in love with Adam. However, he’s a Duke and he’d never marry his mistress. She certainly has no interest in competing with a ghost for his affection. Just how could she carry on being his mistress knowing her feelings are not returned? Eloisa decides she’d have to make a quick decision to whether or not she’d continue to suffer in silence or put her foot down and do something about it. To find out what she did and the turn of events, you must give this novella a try!

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Dark Obsession

Dark Obsession (Blackheath Moor #1) - Allison Chase

This book had a good storyline (Gothic toned with paranormal happenings - a combo I generally love!). I also liked the writing style, however too much melodrama between the characters ruined it for me. There were times I wasn't sure whether I should SMH or roll my eyes. *sigh*

SPOILER ALERT!

A Suitable Affair

A Suitable Affair (The Macalisters) - Erica Cameron-Taylor

My review contains spoilers and they're mostly my thoughts...

A Suitable Affair is Erica Taylor’s debut historical romance and book 1 of The Macalisters series. I do love well-written family sagas. When I went into this book, I didn’t know what to expect but glad to report that I emerged quite happy because the story and writing-wise, A Suitable Affair was wonderful.

In the beginning of the story, our H Ian and h Susanna met with quite a, uh, bang. Well, kind of a bang. She was strolling Hide Park with her soon-to-be fiancé Lord Riverton, while Ian was on the way to attend a meeting. And his horse almost collided with her, which could’ve been seriously bad but thankfully, it wasn’t. But it did introduce our H and h unofficially. Even from then I could tell these two are going to be a handful, their banters were already fun to read. True to that, I enjoyed most of Ian and Susanna’s banters to the fullest. After a while, you simply know these have to be together cause they’re going to have a lot of fun! :D

Susanna is one of the daughters of the Macalister family/Bradstone Dukedom, which somewhat reminded me of Julia Quinn’s Bridgertons. They have 10 siblings, now minus their eldest brother Sam, the heir to the Duke of Bradstone, who died in a carriage accident alongside their father. After Sam’s passing, the responsibilities of the Dukedom fell onto the next bother, Andrew, who wasn’t quite ready to shoulder it. This sudden and tragic transformation in their family took a toll on everyone, least of all Andrew, who had become distant and cold in the intervening years until he met Clara and fell in love. He’s now happily married to her. Susanna’s older sister, Sarah, was also married but now widowed. She’s got more brothers that I couldn’t keep a count on, 2 of them being overseas. Younger sister Norah has already had her come-out while the youngest, Mara is waiting. If all of them are getting a book each, we can safely say we’re in for quite a journey here!

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"The Great Fruitcake Quest"

The Wedding Ring Quest (Harlequin Historical) - Carla Kelly

... should be the more appropriate title. :P

SPOILER ALERT!

Miss Milton Speaks Her Mind

Miss Milton Speaks Her Mind - Carla Kelly

My review contains spoilers and they're mostly my thoughts...

Miss Milton Speaks Her Mind isn’t one of Carla Kelly’s best but it wasn’t bad either. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would because the first half of the story went over my head completely. The other half, of course, made the read worthwhile.

Miss Milton Speaks Her Mind is an older release by Ms. Kelly; a traditional (clean) regency at that. The story begins with Miss Milton AKA our h, Jane and her monologues. This book is mainly based on her POVs, though not first person. She’s the poor relation to a Marquess, Lord Denby. Orphaned at a young age, Jane had to go to the workhouse; an incident that had shaped her life so far. She had to grow up early, and ever since she’s been brought back as a charity case to Lord Denby’s household when her mother died, she’s been cruelly shown her place in the world many, many times. Though Lord Denby’s son Blair was nice to her, his sister, Lady Carruthers was another thing. She’s a mean, viciously entitled woman and a bully to boots. As a result, Jane has always been left in a place of neither a lady, nor a servant. More like a governess. If Lady Carruthers could, she’d be a servant of Denby House by now. However, Jane has persisted, maintaining a semblance of dignity so far.

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SPOILER ALERT!

A Moonbow Night

A Moonbow Night - Laura Frantz

My review contains spoilers and they're mostly my thoughts...

First of all, let me start by saying I didn’t know what a moonbow was until I read this story and went to check it out online. I never saw a moonbow but now I seriously want to! There were many such references in A Moonbow Night by Laura Frantz which I absolutely loved. I mean WOW!

A Moonbow Night is my third Laura Frantz book, and boy this was one explosive novel! It’s a clean, slightly Christian themed historical romance and her latest release. Previously I’ve read The Mistress of Tall Acre and The Colonel’s Lady; I loved the first, was very frustrated with the other but I knew I’d like to try another of her book soon. This one definitely takes the cake! It wasn’t just the writing and the historical research (loved how she integrated the Daniel Boone and family as a part of the storyline) - Ms. Frantz excels in both gracefully - but also the story itself. So many things were happening; sometimes warm and fuzzy that’ll put a smile on your face, while other times something really, really heart-wrenching! It says a lot when it took me about the first 40% of the book to get into the story cause I found all the references made quite confusing.

Sion Morgan, a Welsh descendant surveyor, was on a mission to survey the areas around the Shawnee Rivers (pardon my geography; I don’t live in the US). He had to check out this backwaters, where the lands are equally full of temptation and danger, for the approaching settlers. Sion knew it would be one of the most dangerous jobs out there, with the Indians on the hunt for human scalp, but he was very dedicated. He had a small group of men helping him, which included an elderly man called Nate, their mapmaker, and not so helpful, Cornelius Lyon and Cornelius’s manservant Aidan. Two chain bearers as well.

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SPOILER ALERT!

The Wedding Journey

The Wedding Journey - Carla Kelly

My review contains spoilers and they're mostly my thoughts...

It’s always a little difficult for me to review a Carla Kelly book, mostly because I know I won’t be able to capture the life of her stories. So I can only hope that I make anyone reading my reviews intrigued enough to consider checking out that book. The Wedding Journey is one from her quite lengthy backlist (thank God for that, I hope she continues to write for years to come!) and a book that was equally heartwarming and heartwrenching. I just don’t know how to else to put it but this is what her books do to you. They make you feel every single emotion her characters are going thru!

Much like many of Ms. Kelly’s books, The Wedding Journey, is set around wartime. The Napoleonic Wars to be precise. The story begins in a camp somewhere in Spain where we find little Elinore, AKA Nell Mason, working around the Head Surgeon’s tent. Her parents were the dumbest people out there, or so everyone knew them to be. She had a younger brother whom she had to take care of most of the times, much like she had taken care of herself since she’s learned to walk and talk. Her father, Major Mason, was always in his cups and never had enough money to take care of his family. Not that he bothered. Her mother, Audrey, had suffered thru it all. She’s now a shell of a woman after years of trudging thru war-zones with her husband. She simply didn’t care anymore. But Nell, even at the age of 10, knew she had to take care of her family.

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