Reviews

Review: The Determined Miss Rachel by Laura Rollins

Book Review

The Determined Miss Rachel by Laura Rollins
(Daughters of Courage #2)
Regency Romance

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Synopsis
She wants nothing more than to leave.
He wants nothing more than for her to stay.

Change may be the only constant in life, but for Rachel Chant change has only ever meant loss. First her father passed, then she was forced to leave her mother, and now she has even lost her home. Enough is enough and Rachel determines to find a way to be with her mother once again. She is no longer a little girl, dependent on those charged with her care, and she won’t stand by while her mother slips beyond reputable society and further into poverty.

Christopher Dunn has always lived among the comforts of high society, but never as a true member. The son of a musician and now a tutor, he has long since given up on having a home or family. Change and disruption are a way of life for him. He’s a man without roots, and he’s fine with that. That is, until he meets Rachel.

Steady in the face of uncertainty and with a love of music that runs as deep as his own, Rachel first captures Christopher’s interest and soon afterward his heart. However, Rachel’s determination to return home won’t let her rest. But to return home would be to leave Christopher. Life, it seems, is not yet done taking away those she loves, and this time it just might be more than either of them can endure.

As the second stand-alone novel in a new series by author Laura Rollins, The Determined Miss Rachel continues the Daughters of Courage series. This charming story is a light-hearted, clean and wholesome romance set in the Regency era (think: a clean Bridgerton). All books in this series have their own Happily-Ever-After and can be read apart or enjoyed in proper order.

What I thought
I received a copy of this book from the Author, for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Laura Rollins does not disappoint.  This is book 2 in the Daughters of Courage series.  These books are Proper Regency Romance books, which means they are clean romance books.  These books can be read as stand-alones or in order. Personally I suggest that you read them in order since they are a continued story just focused on different characters.  I loved book 1 in this series The Audacious Miss Eliza and really did not think that this book was going to top it. You can find my review here if you are interested.

To be honest I liked the character of Rachel in the first book, however, I was not sure how I was going to feel about a whole book dedicated to her.  Well I will be surprised if any of the other books in this series tops this one for me.  Rachel is focused on one thing and one thing only, finding out if her mother is okay.  Rachel’s uncle keeps telling her that her mother is fine and that she should be focusing on her season, however, that is the last thing that Rachel wants to do.  

I really liked how early on in the story Fitzwilliam and Rachel discover that they do not “fit” well and decide to become friends even though they know that the goal of their families is for them to become a match.  The ending and what Fitzwilliam does is just perfect.  I really want to know more about him in the future.  

Christopher is such a loveable person and whether titled or not I wanted the absolute best for him.  He and Rachel were just perfect for each other and I think that everyone could see that.  I want to gush so much, however I don’t want to spoil the story for anyone.  There are so many cute scenes.  

When it comes to happily-ever-afters this has got to be one of my favorite endings.  All loose ends (some that you may not have even realized) were all tied up perfectly.  I really can not wait for the third book to come out in October!

My Rating: /5

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Reviews

Review: In Solitude’s Shadow by David Green

Book Review

In Solitude’s Shadow by David Green
Empire of Ruin #1
Fantasy

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Synopsis
An army is at the gates of Haltveldt, a nation built on war, and nothing is as it seems.

Calene Alpenwood, a powerful warrior-mage gifted with the Spark, makes a shocking discovery that sets into motion events that put her at odds with the very masters she serves. Reuniting with her mother Zanna, a woman banished after a terrible crime, they team up with unlikely allies as they attempt to save the fortress of Solitude from destruction.

One thing’s for certain; ruin approaches if Solitude falls and life will never be the same when The Banished return.

What I thought
I received a copy of this book from the Author and R&R Book Tours, for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

When I picked up this book I just thought It would be a fun read and something about that cover just called out to me.  This isn’t a very long book, it’s only 172 pages,  so I did not expect what I got.  Before I continue I am going to point out that this book is only 172 pages. Why is that important…well…I have read books that were over 600 pages that could not accomplish all that this author did in that limited amount of pages.

This book feels like an epic fantasy.  I felt like I was reading a much larger book than I was and I am simply amazed at all that the author was able to accomplish.   Everything was so fleshed out and the stakes were so high. I am so invested and can not wait for the next one to come out.  

This is a multiple POV story and I loved the characters and the politics of this world.  I really loved how all of the POV’s came together towards the end of this first book.  I can not wait to see how the second book is set up.  

My Rating: /5

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Reviews

Review: Tidepool by Nicole Willson

Book Review

Tidepool by Nicole Willson
Horror, Fantasy, Gothic, Mystery

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Synopsis
If ye give not willingly, the Lords will rise…

In 1913, Henry Hamilton disappeared while on a business trip, and his sister, Sorrow, won’t rest until she finds out what happened to him. Defying her father’s orders to remain at home, she travels to Tidepool, the last place Henry is known to have visited. Residents of the small, shabby oceanside town can’t quite meet Sorrow’s eyes when she asks about her brother.

When corpses wash up on shore looking as if they’ve been torn apart by something not quite human, Sorrow is ready to return to Baltimore and let her father send in the professional detectives.

However, after meeting Ada Oliver, a widow whose black silk dresses and elegant manners set her apart from other Tidepool residents, Sorrow discovers Tidepool’s dark, deadly secret.

With this discovery, some denizens of Tidepool—human and otherwise—are hell-bent on making sure Sorrow never leaves their forsaken town.

What I thought
I received a copy of this book from Parliament House Press, for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

I enjoyed the first ¾ of this story.  I loved the gothic atmosphere of the town of Tidepool and the drive of Sorrow to find out what happened to her brother Henry.  I am still undecided on how I feel about Charlie.  Charlie is Henry’s best friend and business associate and he picks such bad timing to ask if he can call on Sorrow when they get back home.  I mean she is looking for her possibly dead brother and you think now is a good time to push a match.  I mean that bothered me a lot for some reason.

Sorrow  is such a strong woman during a time when women were still not taken very seriously.  However, she was sometimes very wishy-washy regarding leaving Tidepool and staying to find out what happened to Henry.  Sometimes it was frustrating because you had chapters of her trying to get out of there and then when the chance for her to leave finally came she decided to stay.  

I enjoyed getting the back story of Ada and Quentin.  Personally I would have loved to have had more time with Quentin throughout the first ¾ of the story.  Sorry I can’t go into it more here without spoiling something.  

For me the ending felt really rushed.  After the climax of the story it felt like they just wanted to quickly wrap it up.  For me the story just fell off. There was so much build up for something to happen, which it did, then the story felt flat.  

My Rating: /5

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Reviews

Review: Stranger in the Shogun’s City: A Japanese Woman and Her World by Amy Stanley

Book Review

Stranger in the Shogun’s City: A Japanese Woman and Her World by Amy Stanley
Nonfiction, Historical, Japan

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Synopsis
A work of history that explores the life of an unconventional woman during the first half of the 19th century in Edo—the city that would become Tokyo—and a portrait of a great city on the brink of a momentous encounter with the West.


The daughter of a Buddhist priest, Tsuneno was born in a rural Japanese village and was expected to live a traditional life much like her mother’s. But after three divorces, she ran away to make a life for herself in one of the largest cities in the world: Edo.

In the book we experience the drama and excitement of Edo just prior to the arrival of American Commodore Perry’s fleet, which transformed Japan. During this pivotal moment in Japanese history, Tsuneno bounces from tenement to tenement, marries a masterless samurai, and eventually enters the service of a famous city magistrate. Tsuneno’s life provides a window into 19th-century Japanese culture—and a rare view of an extraordinary woman who sacrificed her family and her reputation to make a new life for herself, in defiance of social conventions. 

What I thought
This is the story of Tsuneno a woman born in the Japanese countryside in 1801.  Her story is not conventional for that time and she did not accomplish amazing feats, however, stories about any woman during that time are rare.  This book is truly a wonderful look into what a woman’s life in Japan during the early 1800 really was like.  

Tsuneno’s story isn’t a particularly happy one but one that probably wasn’t that uncommon during this time.  Tsuneno was first married off at the age of 12 and was sent home divorced 15 years later.  She was then married off 2 more times by her family and sent home divorced each time.  It appears through the letters that the issue was only that she wasn’t baring children.  And during a time when that was one of a women’s main “duties” through no fault of her own, she was not wanted.  There is only so much a person can take before they have had enough and for Tsuneno that was hearing that they were going to marry her off again this time to an old widow who needed a mother for his children.  Tsuneno decided to take her life into her own hands and go to Edo to try to make a life for herself.  Sadly this did not work out well for her but she was living life on her terms.  

We are lucky that Tsuneno was an avid letter writer and that her family kept every letter or we would never have been able to hear her story.  

I highly enjoyed this look into Tsuneno life.  I feel like I was given a peek into a time in history that I rarely get to see. 

My Rating: /5

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Reviews

Review: The Selkie Scandal by Rosalie Oaks

Book Review

The Selkie Scandal by Rosalie Oaks
(Lady Diviner #1.5)
Historical Fantasy

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Synopsis
A royal ransom, a dangerous rescue, and the famous Beresford jam…

England, 1804: the Earl of Beresford has his morning interrupted by naked selkie royalty. The seal-woman in question wants Beresford to find her brother, the High Prince of Skerry, who has been taken hostage for two thousand guineas.

Lord Beresford knows the coast better than he knows his own cravat—but his wits alone may not be enough to stop a war and save a selkie prince from death. Thankfully, he also has a whole case of the famous Beresford Jam.

Who stole the seal prince? How will Beresford find him? And what really happened at the royal birthday party?

What I thought
I received a copy of this book from the Author, for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

This is a novella in the Lady Diviner series.  I know that it is listed as book 1.5 but it is really a prequal story.  This is the story where Beresford meets our favorite Selkie Jaq.  

I always enjoy getting a back story because it fills in some information when characters reference things. However, this was not my favoite book.  Jaq is one of my favorite character in this series and now I kinda think less of him.  I quess it shows how much he has grown since when that books takes place but still, he was a pretty crappy person then.  

I can’t wait for book four in this series to come out. 

My Rating: /5

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Reviews

Review: The Ikessar Falcon by K.S. Villoso

Book Review

The Ikessar Falcon by K.S. Villoso
(Chronicles of the Bitch Queen #2)
Fantasy

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Synopsis
The spiral to madness begins with a single push. Abandoned by her people, Queen Talyien’s quest takes a turn for the worst as she stumbles upon a plot deeper and more sinister than she could have ever imagined, one that will displace her king and see her son dead. The road home beckons, strewn with a tangled web of deceit and impossible horrors that unearth the nation’s true troubles – creatures from the dark, mad dragons, and men with hearts hungry for power. To save her land, Talyien must confront the myth others have built around her: Warlord Yeshin’s daughter, symbol of peace, warrior and queen, and everything she could never be. The price of failure is steep. Her friends are few. And a nation carved by a murderer can only be destined for war.

What I thought
This is the second book in an amazing trilogy.  After reading the first book I could not wait to pick up the second one.  And just like the first one I was sucked into the story from the beginning, so needless to say  I was not disappointed. I have already ordered the third and final book in this series, and I am not so patiently waiting for it to arrive.  

This is a character-driven story that is told by future Tali.  The storytelling is just amazing and when the stakes were so high I tended to forget who our storyteller is and feared what was coming next.  If she is telling the story then she has to survive but there are times that I forgot about that.  

I love how this book does not shy away from Tali’s dark thoughts when she feels that she has lost everything.  It makes the story feel more real.  I appreciate how we watch how Tali had to deal with all the trauma that is being inflicted on her and how she debates the different paths and who all would be affected by her choices.  In the end, her love for her son keeps her going.  Throughout this book, Tali is having to learn who she is balanced against who everyone else thinks she is or who they believe she should be.  

I really hope Tali gets some form of a happy ending by the end of this series.  And I would be lying if I didn’t say that I hope Khine is part of her happy ending.  Khine is amazing and I could just gush about him all day long.

My opinion about Rai has not changed, he can go jump off a cliff for all I care.  He can try to justify all that he does but it’s all so selfish.  He has not considered even once how his actions affect his family.  As sad as it is I am happy that I think Tali is finally realizing this. It is really hard to believe that Rai did not see what was coming at the end of the book.  I mean really you set all this stuff in motion and didn’t think anyone was going to take advantage of it.  For someone that is supposed to be so smart, he can’t see beyond what is right in front of him.

If you enjoy epic character-driven stories then you really should pick up the first book in this series.  

My Rating: /5

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Reviews

Review: Ember of Night by Molly E. Lee

Book Review

Ember of Night by Molly E. Lee
(Ember of Night #1)
Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal

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Synopsis
I am a weed.

Unloved by my abusive, alcoholic dad. Unwanted by my classmates. Unnoticed by everyone else.

But I’d suffer anything to give my kid sister a better life—the minute I turn eighteen, I’m getting us the hell out of here. And some hot stranger telling me I am the key to stopping a war between Heaven and Hell isn’t going to change that.

Let the world crumble and burn, for all I care.

Draven is relentless, though. And very much a liar. Every time his sexy lips are moving, I can see it—in the dip of his head, the grit of his jaw—even if my heart begs me to ignore the signs.

So what does he want?

I need to figure it out fast, because now everyone is gunning for me. And damn if I don’t want to show them what happens when you let weeds thrive in the cracks of the pavement…

We can grow powerful enough to shatter the whole foundation.

What I thought
I received a copy of this book from the Publisher, for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

I will be honest, I was on the fence about this one before I picked it up. There was just something about it that kept piquing my interest so I decided to give it a chance. Thankfully I listened to that little voice because I really enjoyed this book. There is so much that happens in this book that you can’t put it down. There is just something about Harley that spoke to me and I can not put my finger on exactly what that is yet. Out of all of the things that I expected to happen in this book, the ending was not one of them. I have to say that I am so happy that the next book is coming out this fall because I need to see what happens next.

My Rating: /5

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