Archives:: November 2009

Review: Captive of Sin – Anna Campbell

Lady Charis Weston is England’s wealthiest heiress, but she would swap all her money in a heartbeat if she could just find a way to escape her conniving stepbrothers who wish to marry her off to a lecherous old lord in order to get their hands on her substantial dowry. With no other option open to her, Charis realizes that the only way she can be free of her stepbrothers’ tyranny is if she escapes from the stifling confines of the family home and seeks sanctuary elsewhere. But Charis soon learns that the streets of Regency England are fraught with malevolence, danger and wickedness…

Sir Gideon Trevithick has returned to England after years of fighting and unrest in India. Although, the newspapers and polite society proclaim Gideon as England’s most heroic gentleman, the atrocities and cruelties which he witnessed in India have scarred him for life. Not a day goes by where Gideon doesn’t remember or has nightmares about the misery and wretchedness which he had suffered at the hands of the enemy, which is why when he comes across Charis, huddled fearfully in his stables, Gideon vows to protect her at all costs.

Gideon is immediately captivated by this beautiful woman. Although dressed in rags and with her face bruised by incessant beatings, Gideon is positive that this woman who announces herself to be plain and poor is in fact a gently reared society girl who is fleeing for a miserable existence. But, Gideon cannot help but wonder, why is it that every time he tries to ask her questions about her life she either clams up or else comes up with a convoluted story? Gideon is determined to get to the bottom of Charis’ tempestuous story…largely because the more time he spends with her, the more he realizes that he is falling in love with her!

On his return to England, Gideon had vowed to give women as wide a berth as possible. But with every passing day, he finds himself unable to resist Charis. With danger fast closing in on them, Gideon realizes that the only way he can keep Charis safe is by marrying her. Although he makes it clear that theirs can only be a marriage of convenience, on their wedding night Gideon soon realizes that he has not just given Charis his name, but also his heart…

But will the mental scars which refuse to heal prevent him from moving forward? Or will he run the risk of losing the only woman in the world who can bring him redemption and forgiveness?

In Captive of Sin, Australian author Anna Campbell has truly outdone herself! Her characterization is flawless, her understanding of the human heart outstanding, her conflict poignant and believable and her ability to make her readers feel every emotion which her characters are going through absolutely superb!

A stunning emotional tour de force that will leave readers breathless, Captive of Sin is a highly intense, breathtakingly dramatic and immensely romantic Regency from a writer who never fails to raise the bar: Anna Campbell!

Be the first to like.
Comments Off

Review: Last Christmas – Julia Williams

As a harassed mother of four, Catherine Tinsall had needed an outlet to let off some steam. When she had started writing a tongue-in-cheek blog titled The Happy Homemaker, where she described in excruciating details the minutiae of family life, Cat had never imagined that she would become an Internet sensation with a legion of devoted followers all eagerly anticipating the next installment of her diary. But things for the Happy Homemaker aren’t as rosy as they might appear. Recently, Cat seems to be veering from one domestic crisis to another, with her husband becoming more and more distant as the days go by, her eldest daughter’s behaviour getting stranger and stranger and her elderly mother’s actions becoming more and more bizarre. As if that wasn’t enough to be getting on with, Cat also has to contend with an au pair who seems to be more of a hindrance than a help and a very stressful job which she doesn’t feel she can do anymore.

Cat’s husband, Noel, is well aware that his relationship with his wife seems to be teetering on the brink of collapse. But Noel has other things to worry about other than his marriage. Having lost all of his enthusiasm for his work, Noel cannot help but feel like a spare part at the office. Although he has dedicated most of his professional career to the agency, Noel is well aware that he is not as young or as on the ball as he was – and that the young pretenders snapping at his heels have made an immensely good impression on his superiors. With the axe hanging over him, Noel cannot help but be miserable – until he stumbles upon a charming rural village that could be the answer to all his prayers: Hope Christmas.

Deep in the Shropshire countryside, the village of Hope Christmas is the home of Marianne Moore, a young schoolteacher who has come to the beautiful rural town to heal her broken heart after aristocratic rogue Luke Nicholas had completely humiliated her. Marianne had vowed never to let another man close to her ever again, but when she meets the charming – and devastatingly attractive -shepherd Gabriel North, Marianne begins to wonder whether she had been too hasty in writing off the entire male sex.

Gabriel cannot deny that he has fallen in love with Marianne. But, Gabriel has a young son, Stephen, who has already been through enough turmoil – thanks to his mother, Eve, who had walked out on them on Christmas day. Is Gabriel ready to put his heart on the line again? And what about Stephen? Will he accept another woman in his life when he is still heartbroken about his mother’s desertion?

Gabriel, Marianne, Noel and Catherine are all at a crossroads in their lives, but will the magical town of Hope Christmas force them to reassess their priorities and realize that happiness is within reach, but only if they are willing to grasp it with both hands!

I was utterly enchanted by Julia Williams’ mesmerizing third novel, Last Christmas! Although Last Christmas is a wonderful romantic comedy imbued with a wonderful cast of characters and plenty of laugh out loud moments which will make readers chuckle, it is also a novel which tackles pertinent social issues that will tug at the heartstrings and have readers reaching for the tissues.

Replete with two enterprising heroines, gorgeous heroes, a delightful supporting group of colorful folk, charm, wit, warmth and heart, Last Christmas is simply the perfect book to curl up with on a cold winter’s afternoon!

Be the first to like.
Comments Off

Review: Fire Song by Roberta Gellis

Fenice d’Aix had only been married a short time before her husband died, leaving her Fuveau a large keep.  Fenice is sent to a convent immediately after his death, leaving the property in her husband’s mothers, Lady Emilie, hands while Fenice is being enticed to take the veil.  Fenice deciding that she needs to fight for what is hers, devises an escape in to the hands of her grandfather.

With the reestablishing of territory Fenice is once again in control of her lands, but never  feels quite at home. In order to give her the life she deserves her step-mother proposes that she marry Aubery of Ilmer who will acquire the land of Marlowe as well.  Aubery having lost his first wife and found the prospect of remarrying rather disconcerting since his first wife was not quite what he had expected, agrees to the union with some  apprehension.

Fenice only wanting to please her new husband Aubery, holds the one secret she is the most at ease with.  Aubery never able  to express his feelings of disappointment in his first wife, finds reasons to find  displeasure in Fenice constantly comparing the differences in character and questioning them.

Fire Song was previously published in 1984, Cerridwen Press has reissued this intricate tale of historic times, political intrigue, and finding love.  Roberta Gellis writes a detailed  story about second guessing your feelings and not seeing  what is front of you, until  it maybe too late.  I was completely captivated by this story, both Fenice and Aubery share so many vulnerabilities it translates beautifully across the pages. Watching them grow into a couple was delightful.

Be the first to like.
Comments Off

Review: Angel and The Lawman by Barbara W. Starmer

This story, set in 1895 Oklahoma territory, has great characters and lots of shoot-em up action!  The mystery behind the attacks adds extra excitement.

Alexandra O’Shay is a strong, independent Irish beauty.  She is used to hard work and protecting herself!  This is a wonderful female character! She is perfect for the wild west where women might be tender but they have to learn to be tough enough to survive!

Marshall James Black is also a great (hunky and yummy) character!  He is a big, strong, handsome and honorable lawman!  As Federal Marshall he has faced a lot of bad men and fortunately has a well developed sixth sense for danger to go along with his fast gun!

The story jumps right into action with Alex tripping up an outlaw into the hands of a blue eyed stranger and then slipping out to the train.  There she meets the blue eyed Marshall as they both calmly and courageously face train robbers!  Seeing her quick reactions and steadiness Marshall Black is intrigued!  As much as he admires her courage and resourcefulness, he is afraid that any relationship will only put her in danger.

Soon it becomes clear that someone is out to hurt or kill Alex and they don’t mind taking out the Marshall to get to her.  So Marshall Black realizes that Alex may be safer with him there to protect her than away from him – at least for the time being.  Alex wonders if she can convince him that being a team and backing each other up might work for more than just a temporary arrangement.  But first they have to survive the continued attacks!

The writing is fast paced and direct.  The romance develops sweetly and builds to sensual.  I highly recommend this very engaging romance full of old time western action!! This is another new to me author whose books I will be looking up!!

Be the first to like.
Comments Off

Review: LOVE FOR CHRISTMAS by Kate Hofman

nullEloise Dumaresq never thought that an all expenses holiday to a Quebec hotel would result in an accidental meeting with her ex-husband Nick Quentin, the man who broke her heart. Nick didn’t know that Ellie would be there either but he isn’t about to look a gift horse in the mouth nor let Ellie get away again. But suddenly Monique, the woman that separated them, is back. Is she there with Nick? And will Nick and Ellie be able to reveal their true feelings without holding back?

LOVE FOR CHRISTMAS by Kate Hofman is a spectacular tale of rediscovering a lost love during a time of giving and sharing. I really enjoy perusing Ms Hofman’s books and again this book was no different. I enjoyed Nick and Ellie, and the drama that surrounds them. I loved how after losing their marriage because of a lie they are able to revive the relationship between them and discover the truth, that they had never stopped loving one another. LOVE FOR CHRISTMAS was enjoyable every step of the way and seeing as it’s now the Christmas season it is very appropriate. If you love romance and happily-ever-afters then LOVE FOR CHRISTMAS by Kate Hofman is definitely a book that needs to be purchased and read in front of a burning fire while sipping on something warm and soothing.

Be the first to like.
Comments Off