Reviews

Review: The Peace of Christmas Yet to Come by L.G. Rollins

Book Review

The Peace of Christmas Yet to Come
by L.G. Rollins
(A Dickens of a Christmas Book 3)
Genre: Regency Romance, Proper Romance, Christmas Story
Expected Publication: December 9, 2020

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Synopsis
Miss Martha Cratchit is barely making ends meet. As a woman who once belonged to high society, options to secure a better income are limited. Blessedly, the aging vicar agrees to pay Martha if she will clean the church house for him. He even agrees to keep her employ a secret, allowing her to keep what little standing she has left in society. Hopefully, the coin she earns will be enough to keep her and her two brothers housed and fed. It is a tenuous plan, but it is all she has.

Peter De Ath, Duke of Pembroke, hates everyone and everything; he has no qualms with his reputation as the Silent Duke. He’s been alone nearly all his life and is content to remain so. All he needs is a few minutes a week, alone in the church house, to commune with the one being who won’t judge him for his incurable stutter.

When a wisp of a young woman stumbles upon him in the church house, Peter finds his solitude shattered. Martha, for her part, is far too terrified of the Silent Duke to wish herself anywhere but far away from him. But fleeing isn’t an option; the cost of caring for her ailing grandfather is growing and she’s running out of options. It seems this Christmas may be the one that finally breaks her family apart. 

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

This is the third book in the A Dickens of a Christmas trilogy. These books can be read as stand-alones, however, I suggest you read them in order.

This was a perfect ending to this trilogy. I rated all of these books 5 stars but this was my favorite book hands down this book was just perfection. Since this is the third book in this story am going to keep this brief and I will try to not spoil the story.

I love the strong family aspect of this story. Martha is just amazing. She is willing to go what it takes to take care of her family. Also she does not let Hugh just act the way he always has just because he is a duke. She sees so much more in him and pushes him to not hide who he is. Peter is a protective younger brother to Martha and older brother to Tim who really loves his family and I love his interaction with Hugh when he learns Hugh’s secret. It really shows how a lot of our reactions to things are learned. Tim was an amazing boy. He has such a big heart and truly sees the best in people.

Hugh the Silent Duke grew so much from the beginning of this story and it felt natural as the story progressed. I really felt for him. The more we get to know him the more we understand why he acts the way he does. And the more time he spends with Martha the more he sees that he doesn’t have to be the way he is.

Scrooge is our one common character in all three books. As the books progress you begin to see a change in him. And I loved how at the end of the story you get a small look into the future and you see where all of the characters from all three books end up.

I see myself reading these over and over again. I highly feel that you should pick up the first one if you like clean Regency Romances.

My Rating: /5

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New Releases

Waiting On Wednesday: The Peace of Christmas Yet to Come by L.G. Rollins

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting On Wednesday was a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine. Each Wednesday you got to highlight a book that you were really looking forward to. Unfortunately, the original creator is no longer able to host the meme and it has now linked up with Can’t Wait Wednesday over at Wishful Endings.

This week I’ve chosen:

The Peace of Christmas Yet to Come
by L.G. Rollins
(A Dickens of a Christmas Book 3)
Genre: Regency Romance, Proper Romance, Christmas Story
Expected Publication: December 9, 2020

Add to Goodreads

Miss Martha Cratchit is barely making ends meet. As a woman who once belonged to high society, options to secure a better income are limited. Blessedly, the aging vicar agrees to pay Martha if she will clean the church house for him. He even agrees to keep her employ a secret, allowing her to keep what little standing she has left in society. Hopefully, the coin she earns will be enough to keep her and her two brothers housed and fed. It is a tenuous plan, but it is all she has.

Peter De Ath, Duke of Pembroke, hates everyone and everything; he has no qualms with his reputation as the Silent Duke. He’s been alone nearly all his life and is content to remain so. All he needs is a few minutes a week, alone in the church house, to commune with the one being who won’t judge him for his incurable stutter.

When a wisp of a young woman stumbles upon him in the church house, Peter finds his solitude shattered. Martha, for her part, is far too terrified of the Silent Duke to wish herself anywhere but far away from him. But fleeing isn’t an option; the cost of caring for her ailing grandfather is growing and she’s running out of options. It seems this Christmas may be the one that finally breaks her family apart. 

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Reviews

Review: The Joy of Christmas Present by L.G. Rollins

Book Review

The Joy of Christmas Present by L.G. Rollins
(A Dickens of a Christmas Book 1)
Regency Romance, Proper Romance, Christmas Story

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Synopsis
Helena Spencer will never forgive the Earl of Chapman for snubbing her so publicly. It wasn’t her idea that they get married, after all. She was practically a bystander to the whole debacle, yet she alone bore the brunt of society’s judgment. Snubbed by an earl? She’d likely never recover. But then she finds herself at the same holiday house party with Lord Chapman. What a way to ruin Christmas.

After his father’s sudden death, Lord Chapman had little choice but to step into a life he hardly felt ready for. He quickly learned that everyone had opinions about how an earl’s life should look, even the aging relative who tried to marry him off to a woman he’d never even met. Now he had to spend Christmas at a house party with his mother and sisters? What a wretched way to spend the festive season.

With their shared history, Helena and Lord Chapman are unlikely friends. But when circumstances continue to throw them together, Helena presses the earl to help repair the damage he inflicted on her reputation by aiding her attempt to snag a husband from among the gentlemen at the party. The only trouble? Lord Chapman is falling for Helena’s charms himself. Would that she allow the gentleman that wins her heart to be him.

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

Another amazing book by L. G. Rollins!  Really she is an amazing author. Once again I was sucked in and I found it very hard to put down.  This is the second book in her A Dickens of a Christmas trilogy.  The first book focuses on Christmas Past, the second on Christmas Present, and the third on Christmas Future.  These books can all be read as a standalone so no worries if you have not picked up the first one yet.  You can start with this one and you would not have missed a thing.  These books are not a retelling of a Christmas Carol but use key elements from the original story to build the basis of this story.  The tie-in of these threes book is Mr. Scrooge, he plays a different role in each book.

I loved watching these characters grow and come into their own.  Helena and Fred both have so much on their plates and grow into their own as the story progresses.  Fred does some really dumb things, but his heart is always in the right place.  I loved how Emily, Christina, and Eleanor all banded together to help Helena. You can not go wrong with a strong female friendship in the midst of scandal and gossip.  

This book gave me everything that I needed when I read it and I can not wait until the next book comes out!

My Rating: /5

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Reviews

Review: The Hope of Christmas Past by L.G. Rollins

Book Review

The Hope of Christmas Past by L.G. Rollins
(A Dickens of a Christmas Book 1)
Regency Romance, Proper Romance, Christmas Story

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Synopsis
With so much at stake this Christmas Season, love will only get in the way.

Belle Young has waited three years for Lord Wilkins to return from his travels abroad—and a full seven years since he first promised to marry her and carry her away from her aunt’s oppressive home. What better time of year for their reunion than Christmas? Belle is certain Lord Wilkins means to make good on his word—that is, until she’s introduced to the vibrant young woman who followed him home from America, at his invitation. Shocked and confused, Belle is determined to remind Lord Wilkins of his promise to her. After all, she needs this marriage. It’s either that or spend the rest of her life as a nobody, an unwanted ward of her aunt, alone and wholly unloved.

Mr. James Radcliff has never minded his lack of title or high standing among society. He is quite content with his status as gentleman and cousin to the exuberant Lord Wilkins. But then he learns that his cousin is not actually the son of the late earl; if the information ever got out, James would find himself Earl and his cousin would be thrust from society. It may not be what most men would do, but James is determined to find the only proof of his cousin’s illegitimacy —and destroy it.

The Hope of Christmas Past is the first in A Dickens of a Christmas series. It is a clean and wholesome Regency Christmas romance; a story of goodness amidst adversity, holiday cheer, and, hope. Each book in this series is a stand-alone and can be read apart or enjoyed in proper order.

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

There is just something about the way this author’s writing that draws me in and makes me have all the feelings. I love reading her books and I am lucky that I have the privilege of being on her ARC team. All of her books make me feel a full range of emotions and I just love reading them.

From the very beginning of this story I was sucked in and I found it very hard to put down. This story is not a retelling of a Christmas Carol but uses key elements from the original story to build the basis of this story. There is a cameo of Mr. Scrooge in this story.

My absolute favorite character in this story is James. He is beyond your typical good guy. He is willing to put those he cares about before himself. James comes into information that could give him the title of Earl and he would never have to worry about money again. However, he does not want any harm to come to his cousin in any way and does everything in his power to make sure that any proof is destroyed. He is just a wonderful character and I wanted everything to work out for him.

Fezzi is such a character than even though his actions makes you want to not like him there is just something in the way that he is written and makes it just so you can’t.

Belle’s character grows so much in this story. Belle has so much to lose if she does not hold Fezzi to his promise. As the story progresses she grows so much. So as not to spoil this story I am just going to say that she learns what the phrase “Always a Lady” really means in the end.

I loved this story so much and I will suggest this for anyone who loves a good Regency romance.

My Rating: /5

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New Releases

October 2020 Books I’m Excited About

Books I'm Excited About

Hey Everyone!

A new month a new set of releases.  There are 8 books that are coming out this month that I am excited about.

The Heroine’s Journey: For Writers, Readers, and Fans of Pop Culture by Gail Carriger
Nonfiction
Expected Publication: October 1, 2020

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Tired of the hero’s journey?

Frustrated that funny, romantic, and comforting stories aren’t taken seriously?

Sad that the books and movies you love never seem to be critically acclaimed, even when they sell like crazy?

The heroine’s journey is here to help.

Multiple New York Times bestselling author Gail Carriger presents a clear concise analysis of the heroine’s journey, how it differs from the hero’s journey, and how you can use it to improve your writing and your life.

In this book you’ll learn:

  • How to spot the heroine’s journey in popular books, movies, and the world around you.
  • The source myths and basic characters, tropes, and archetypes of this narrative.
  • A step-by-step break down of how to successfully write this journey.

What do Agatha Christie, JK Rowling, and Nora Roberts all have in common?

They all write the heroine’s journey. Read this book to learn all about it.

From Harry Potter to Twilight, from Wonder Woman to Star Wars, you’ll never look at pop culture the same way again.

With over a dozen NYT and USA Today bestsellers, and over a million books in print, popular genre author and former archaeologist Gail Carriger brings her cheeky comedic tone and over a decade of making her living as a fiction author to this fascinating look at one of the most popular yet neglected narratives of our time. The presentation she does on this subject sells for hundreds of dollars.

“I’m not sure how you can just rewire my brain to see the heroine’s journey like this and then expect me to make coherent, thought-out comments about the text when all I want to do is hold it in my twisted little grip while I shove it at people screaming like a madman and pointing at passages.” ~ Author Beta Reader

Gail Carriger uses the heroine’s journey to produce bestselling, critically-acclaimed books that genre blend science fiction, cozy mystery, young adult, urban fantasy, romance, historical fiction, and alternate history. In this non-fiction book she uses her academic background and creative writing skills to bring to life the archetypes, tropes, story beats, themes, and messages inherent in the heroine’s journey. Part treatise on authorship, part feminist literary criticism, part how to write guide, Carriger uses mythology, legend, and Gothic victorian 19th century literature to explore movies, screenwriting, books, and audience desires.

This is an excellent reference guide for genre fiction authors seeking to improve their craft or for readers and pop culture enthusiasts interested in understanding their own taste. It is the perfect counterpoint to The Hero with a Thousand Faces not to mention Save the Cat, Women Who Run With The Wolves, and The Breakout Novelist.


Brass Carriages and Glass Hearts
by Nancy Campbell Allen
(Steampunk Proper Romance #4)
Proper Romance, Steampunk, Fantasy
Expected Publication: October 6, 2020

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My Review

A steampunk retelling of Cinderella.

Emmeline O’Shea is determined to save the world—single-handedly, if necessary. A strong voice for societal reform, she is the natural choice to deliver a key speech at the end of the International Shifter Rights Organization’s week-long Summit in Scotland.

But when a death threat arrives at Emme’s home, she is immediately placed into protective custody, watched over by none other than her personal nemesis, Detective-Inspector Oliver Reed. The two have crossed paths many times, with disastrous results, but now they will have to work together in order to reach the Summit before midnight of the last day in order to ensure legislation is passed to protect the Shifter community.

As unseen enemies close in around Emme and Oliver, they struggle to reach Edinburgh by any means necessary, only to find Emme’s vindictive stepsister, Oliver’s vampire brother, and a dangerous political minefield awaiting them in Scotland.

Even more difficult is their own refusal to admit that the fiery animosity that once burned between them might be turning into the heat of romantic passion. Could a straitlaced policeman determined to uphold the law and an outspoken activist willing to break the rules ever find true love? Or will all their dreams shatter like glass when the clock strikes midnight?


The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue
by  V.E. Schwab
Adult, Fantasy
Expected Publication: October 6th 2020

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France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.

Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.

But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.


Moriarty the Patriot, Vol. 1
by Ryosuke Takeuchi
(Moriarty the Patriot #1)
Manga, Mystery
Expected Publication: October 6, 2020

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The untold story of Sherlock Holmes’ greatest rival, Moriarty!

Before he was Sherlock’s rival, Moriarty fought against the unfair class caste system in London by making sure corrupt nobility got their comeuppance. But even the best-intentioned plans can spin out of control—will Moriarty’s dream of a more just and equal world turn him into a hero…or a monster?


Darkness Unknown by S.A. Fenech
Urban Fantasy, Paranormal
Expected Publication: October 12, 2020

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You have been lied to.

Werewolves, vampires, ghosts … they aren’t what you think.

After the death of her mother, Everly Boderleth has to go back to her spooky hometown, Shroudhaven, and she has a plan to get in and out as quick as possible.

Step one, clear out the family home and antique store.

Step two, watch her childhood sweetheart die violently at the hands of an indescribable, horrific creature.

Wait, what?

That wasn’t part of the plan. But it was just a dream, wasn’t it?

As the evidence mounts that what she saw was real, a broken heart is the least of her problems.

Everly thinks she’s close to the truth, but nothing is as it seems.

What is really lurking in the dark?

Darkness Unknown is the first book in the Beshadowed series by S.A. Fenech. If you’re looking for shifters with a twist, urban fantasy with a touch of horror, and a satisfying mystery, you’ll love Beshadowed.


A Golden Fury by Samantha Cohoe
Fantasy, Young Adult, Historical
Expected Publication: October 13, 2020

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My Review

In her debut novel A Golden Fury, Samantha Cohoe weaves a story of magic and danger, where the curse of the Philosopher’s Stone will haunt you long after the final page.

Thea Hope longs to be an alchemist out of the shadow of her famous mother. The two of them are close to creating the legendary Philosopher’s Stone—whose properties include immortality and can turn any metal into gold—but just when the promise of the Stone’s riches is in their grasp, Thea’s mother destroys the Stone in a sudden fit of violent madness.

While combing through her mother’s notes, Thea learns that there’s a curse on the Stone that causes anyone who tries to make it to lose their sanity. With the threat of a revolution looming, Thea is sent to live with the father who doesn’t know she exists.

But there are alchemists after the Stone who don’t believe Thea’s warning about the curse—instead, they’ll stop at nothing to steal Thea’s knowledge of how to create the Stone. But Thea can only run for so long, and soon she will have to choose: create the Stone and sacrifice her sanity, or let the people she loves die. 


The Midnight Bargain by C.L. Polk
Historical Fantasy, Romance
Expected Publication: October 13, 2020

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Beatrice Clayborn is a sorceress who practices magic in secret, terrified of the day she will be locked into a marital collar that will cut off her powers to protect her unborn children. She dreams of becoming a full-fledged Magus and pursuing magic as her calling as men do, but her family has staked everything to equip her for Bargaining Season, when young men and women of means descend upon the city to negotiate the best marriages. The Clayborns are in severe debt, and only she can save them, by securing an advantageous match before their creditors come calling.

In a stroke of luck, Beatrice finds a grimoire that contains the key to becoming a Magus, but before she can purchase it, a rival sorceress swindles the book right out of her hands. Beatrice summons a spirit to help her get it back, but her new ally exacts a price: Beatrice’s first kiss . . . with her adversary’s brother, the handsome, compassionate, and fabulously wealthy Ianthe Lavan.

The more Beatrice is entangled with the Lavan siblings, the harder her decision becomes: If she casts the spell to become a Magus, she will devastate her family and lose the only man to ever see her for who she is; but if she marries—even for love—she will sacrifice her magic, her identity, and her dreams. But how can she choose just one, knowing she will forever regret the path not taken?


The Once and Future Witches
by Alix E. Harrow
Historical Fantasy
Expected Publication: October 13, 2020

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In 1893, there’s no such thing as witches. There used to be, in the wild, dark days before the burnings began, but now witching is nothing but tidy charms and nursery rhymes. If the modern woman wants any measure of power, she must find it at the ballot box.

But when the Eastwood sisters–James Juniper, Agnes Amaranth, and Beatrice Belladonna–join the suffragists of New Salem, they begin to pursue the forgotten words and ways that might turn the women’s movement into the witch’s movement. Stalked by shadows and sickness, hunted by forces who will not suffer a witch to vote-and perhaps not even to live-the sisters will need to delve into the oldest magics, draw new alliances, and heal the bond between them if they want to survive.

There’s no such thing as witches. But there will be.


Are there any books that you are looking forward to this month?

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New Releases

Waiting On Wednesday: Brass Carriages and Glass Hearts by Nancy Campbell Allen

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting On Wednesday was a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine. Each Wednesday you got to highlight a book that you were really looking forward to. Unfortunately, the original creator is no longer able to host the meme and it has now linked up with Can’t Wait Wednesday over at Wishful Endings.

This week I’ve chosen:

Brass Carriages and Glass Hearts
by Nancy Campbell Allen
(Steampunk Proper Romance #4)
Genre: Proper Romance, Steampunk, Fantasy
Expected Publication: October 6, 2020

Add to Goodreads

A steampunk retelling of Cinderella.

Emmeline O’Shea is determined to save the world—single-handedly, if necessary. A strong voice for societal reform, she is the natural choice to deliver a key speech at the end of the International Shifter Rights Organization’s week-long Summit in Scotland.

But when a death threat arrives at Emme’s home, she is immediately placed into protective custody, watched over by none other than her personal nemesis, Detective-Inspector Oliver Reed. The two have crossed paths many times, with disastrous results, but now they will have to work together in order to reach the Summit before midnight of the last day in order to ensure legislation is passed to protect the Shifter community.

As unseen enemies close in around Emme and Oliver, they struggle to reach Edinburgh by any means necessary, only to find Emme’s vindictive stepsister, Oliver’s vampire brother, and a dangerous political minefield awaiting them in Scotland.

Even more difficult is their own refusal to admit that the fiery animosity that once burned between them might be turning into the heat of romantic passion. Could a straitlaced policeman determined to uphold the law and an outspoken activist willing to break the rules ever find true love? Or will all their dreams shatter like glass when the clock strikes midnight?

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Reviews

Review: The Lady in the Coppergate Tower by Nancy Campbell Allen

Book Review

The Lady in the Coppergate Tower
by Nancy Campbell Allen
(Steampunk Proper Romance #3)
Fantasy, Steampunk, Retelling
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Synopsis
Hazel Hughes has spent her life believing she is a Medium—someone who can talk to ghosts. But as of yet, that skill has remained frustratingly elusive. She is also suffering from a reoccurring childhood dream of someone who looks almost exactly like Hazel, but this dream version of herself is slowly going mad.

Sam MacInnes is a talented surgeon who runs in the highest social circles thanks to his family’s position and history. When Sam hires Hazel to assist him with his medical practice, he is immediately drawn to her intelligence, wit, and beauty.

Their potential relationship is derailed one evening when a mysterious count arrives in London and reveals to Hazel the truth about her past: she was abducted at birth and her twin sister has fallen dangerously ill.

Hazel agrees to travel to Romania with Count Petrescu in order to save her sister, and Sam insists on accompanying her. The count has secrets, though, and the journey grows more sinister with every mile that draws Hazel closer to her homeland. Even as her feelings for Sam become deeper and more complicated, she fears she might not survive the quest to save her sister with her heart intact, not to mention her life. She must learn to draw on gifts she doesn’t know she has if they are going to ever return home again.

Hazel and Sam must fight their way past dark magic, clockwork beasts, and their own insecurities as they try to reach her sister in the impenetrable Coppergate Tower before time runs out.

What I thought
This story is a Steampunk Rapunzel retelling. This is also a proper romance novel. I love Nancy Campbell Allen’s Proper Romance Steampunk Fairy Tale retellings. Even though this is the third part to this series these books can be read as stand-alones.

I really enjoyed watching Hazel and Sam together. Hazel believes her gift is being a Medium however she finds that she is a healer. Since Hazel works for Sam he knew that the balance of power was his so he was so very careful to not cross lines. My absolute favorite character from this book had to be Eugene. When things got tense you could count on him being the balance. He made me laugh so many times.

I guessed Count Petrescu’s big secret shortly after meeting him but there were sometimes when I doubted what I thought I knew. Even knowing what/who he was did not take away from this story for me. I was left guessing what I thought I knew enough times to keep me on my toes.

If you like a good character driven story than this is a great one for you.

My Rating: /5

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