"Moonstruck Madness" Review

"Moonstruck Madness"
by Laurie McBain

Publisher: Sourcebooks
Release Date: Feb 1, 2011 (first published 1977)

Source: sent by publisher

My Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Summary from goodreads.com:


She's one thing by day, something else altogether by night...
After escaping the slaughter of her clan at a young age, Scottish noblewoman Sabrina Verrick provides for her siblings by living a double life, until the night she encounters the Duke, and her secret and all she holds dear is threatened...
He's so disillusioned, he's completely vulnerable...
With his inheritance at stake, Lucien, Duke of Camareigh, sets a trap for the Scottish beauty with the piercing violet eyes, never imagining what will happen when the trap is sprung...
As their lives become irreversibly entangled, Lucien and Sabrina become each other's biggest threat, as well as their only salvation...

My Review: 

This book was originally written in 1977, and wow, have times changed for historical romances! And boy am I glad!

Lucien is not the type of hero who should be put on a pedestal. Most of the bad things that happen to our heroine are his fault, but he wants to be praised when he fixes them again. The book timeline goes a little like this: fight (and we're talking Ronnie and Sammi on Jersey Shore style fighting, not playful banter) jump into bed, fight, jump into bed, repeat. This style of story just isn't for me. I understand that a lot of readers are into alpha males, even though I'm not, but Lucien is another breed altogether.

The part of the book where Sabrina has amnesia and actually believed she was in love with Lucien was my favorite part. This was a happy, loving romance! But of course, it was based on forgetting all the unforgivable, deal-breaking things that Lucien had done. 

 
Main Characters: 2/5
Supporting Characters: 3/5
Setting: 3/5
Romance: 1/5

Uniqueness: 3/5
Cover: 4/5
Writing: 4/5



Bottom Line: This book was definitely written in a stylized way, that I really don't see used any more. I'm sure there are readers who like to read about this rough sort of love, but it's not for me. This book made me appreciate the world of today's historical romances even more!



Since the book was published in 1977, I wanted to post the original cover: 
(cover pic from goodreads)



I adore this cover!! I love this illustration style, and I can't resist a book with a horse on the cover. I love the gothic feel, like the heroine is going to meet a handsome heroic stranger on a dark spooky night. I'm not sure this is really an accurate portrayal of the story inside the book, but I'd definitely pick this one up.

"Fallen Grace" Review

"Fallen Grace"
by Mary Hooper

Publisher: Bloomsbury
Release Date: Feb 1, 2011

Source: ARC sent by publisher

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Summary from goodreads.com:


Life has been nothing but unfair to Grace Parkes and her sister. Penniless, the two orphans manage to stay alive—but only barely, like so many on the streets of Victorian London. And Grace must bear a greater heartbreak, having become pregnant from terrible circumstances and then given birth to a stillborn baby. But the infant's death sets Grace on a new path, bringing her into contact with people who hold both riches and power. A great fraud has been perpetrated on young Grace and her sister, and they are the secret recipients of a most unusual legacy—if only they can find the means to claim it. Mary Hooper's latest offers Dickensian social commentary, as well as malicious fraud, mysterious secrets, and a riveting read.

My Review:

Poor Grace and Lily have been through so much! Every horrid thing that could possibly happen to them does happen. They are orphans, they are both abused by a benefactor at their workhouse, Grace become pregnant, and her baby dies. And these things all happen at the very beginning of the book, so you can only imagine how hard times become as the story moves on. The story never has a dull moment it hops right along from one scary adventure to the next.
 
I was most intrigued by Grace's work at the Unwins. The Unwins were in the funeral business, and wow was that a shady business in Victorian London. This book was a real eye opener to how much these business took advantage of those were mourning and in an emotionally weak place. All of the 'neccessities' of funerals were invented in order to make more money. Grace herself worked as a mute. What is a funeral mute, you ask? She stands there and looks spooky, sad, and beautiful to add atmosphere to a rich person's funeral. Can you get any more creepy!? It's really sad the lengths that people like the Unwins went to in order to prey on grieving families.

Grace truly is an admirable character.  She perseveres through all of these hardships and survives with her values and morals intact. Her hardships have toughened her up, but they haven't broken her down. And through it all she takes constant care of her sister, too.


Main Characters: 5/5
Supporting Characters: 4/5
Setting: 4/5
Romance: 3/5

Uniqueness: 5/5
Cover: 3/5
Writing: 4/5



Bottom Line:
This book is a tale of hardship, but it's a story you won't soon forget.  

In My Mailbox (56)

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren, and is a way for everyone to show their new books for the week, including those bought, swapped, won, or received for review.

My parents gave me a Borders gift card (Thank you Mom and Dad!!) and what better time to spend it than when my local store had their going out of business sale with 30% all romance books!!



bought: 


 "After Dark with a Scoundrel" by Alexandra Hawkins


 "Lord Lightning" by Jenny Brown


 "Seducing the Duchess" by Ashley March 


 "Tainted by Temptation" by Katy Madison


 "Unveiled" by Courtney Milan

  
"Wedding of the Season" by Laura Lee Guhrke
  

What did you receive in your mailbox this week??

Book Blog Follow and Book Blogger Hop Feb 24

Happy Friday, Everyone!!

It's time for Book Blog Follow Friday hosted by Parajunkee.com and The Book Blogger Hop hosted by Crazy for Books!







My answer: I gotta say Glee too!
 
 

My answer: No way, I love my blog name! :)

Don't forget to enter to win Lauren Willig's newest, "The Orchid Affair"!

If you're visiting for the first time, I'd love to hear from you, so please leave a comment and say hi!! :)

"Mad Love" Review and Blog Tour

"Mad Love"
by Suzanne Selfors

Publisher: Walker Books for Young Readers
Release Date: Jan 4, 2011
Source: sent by publisher

My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Summary from goodreads.com:

When you're the daughter of the bestselling Queen of Romance, life should be pretty good. But 16-year-old Alice Amorous has been living a lie ever since her mother was secretly hospitalized for mental illness. After putting on a brave front for months, time is running out. The next book is overdue, and the Queen can't write it. Alice needs a story for her mother—and she needs one fast.
That's when she meets Errol, a strange boy who claims to be Cupid, who insists that Alice write about the greatest love story in history: his tragic relationship with Psyche. As Alice begins to hear Errol's voice in her head and see things she can't explain, she must face the truth—that she's either inherited her mother's madness, or Errol is for real.

My Review: 

This fantasy reminded me a lot of one of my favorite movies, "Don Juan DeMarco." As in the movie, a troubled legendary character comes to life seeking help from the main character, but really ends up helping the main character even more.

Errol, aka Eros, aka Cupid, was just too lovable. Sure he had a bad boy vibe that I rarely fall for, but he was just so tragic, I really wanted to help him. I loved Alice's relationship with Errol, it wasn't romantic, but there was chemistry bubbling under the surface. It was great to see how complex their friendship was and how much they cared about each other even though they weren't in love.

Tony couldn't be any more of my type of guy. A super hot, sweet guy, and he has glasses! The jealousy between Tony and Errol was cute and never over the top. I loved that ultimately he understood Alice's friendship with Errol and never got possessive or creepy.

Alice was a great lead character and she was so well written that you could really understand her feelings about protecting her mother and having to hold it all together. But she was never hopelessly alone because she always had the support of her neighbors who were basically her family.

I love a unique story and this one really fits the bill. The author knows how to make the fantasy world of Cupid believable while still dealing with real world problems and issues.


Main Characters: 5/5
Supporting Characters: 5/5
Setting: 4/5
Romance: 4/5

Uniqueness: 5/5
Cover: 3/5
Writing: 4/5



Bottom Line:  I loved this story and the characters really made this book a keeper for me.


Waiting on Wednesday (56)

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine, and it is a way to show off the books you can't wait to be released!!

This week I chose:

"Ruby Red"
by Kerstin Gier
Henry Holt and Co.
Release Date: May 10, 2011

The following description is from goodreads.com:


Gwyneth Shepherd's sophisticated, beautiful cousin Charlotte has been prepared her entire life for traveling through time. But unexpectedly, it is Gwyneth, who in the middle of class takes a sudden spin to a different era! Gwyneth must now unearth the mystery of why her mother would lie about her birth date to ward off suspicion about her ability, brush up on her history, and work with Gideon, the time traveler from a similarly gifted family that passes the gene through its male line, and whose presence becomes, in time, less insufferable and more essential. Together, Gwyneth and Gideon journey through time to discover who, in the 18th century and in contemporary London, they can trust.


This book sounds super cute and kind of different from what we've been seeing lately in YA. The romance sounds especially cute to me! It was originally released in Germany in 2009.



What are you waiting for this week???

"My Love, My Enemy" Review

"My Love, My Enemy"
by Jan Cox Speas

Publisher: Sourcebooks
Release Date: Feb 1, 2011 (first published 1961)

Source: sent by publisher

My Rating: 3.75 out of 5 stars

Summary from goodreads.com:

Played against the exciting background of the War of 1812, My Love, My Enemy ranges in colorful setting from Annapolis and Washington to Bermuda, Europe and the high seas...and has for its central character a most appealing and impulsive heroine.

The trouble started with Page Bradley's determination to risk the British blockade and steal a ride aboard her father's boat to Annapolis. Once in town, she could hardly have stood quietly by while a mob of angry seamen prepared to lynch the handsome young Englishman. It was only natural to intervene, claiming the stranger as an expected guest of her father.

Perhaps all still would have been well if, on its return home, the Bradley sloop had not been captured by a British frigate. It was small consolation then for Page to learn that the man she had rescued was not only a nobleman, Lord Hazard, but a possible English spy.

In the following months Page more than satisfied her taste for adventure. When she finally found herself trapped aboard a warlike vessel, bound for a distant foreign shore, and in love with one of the enemy, she had ample reason to regret her recklessness. . .

My Review: 


Fans of adventure on the high seas are going to love this one. The romance is overshadowed just a bit by the adventure, but the snippets we get of the romance are quite good. Sometimes I wanted more of the romance or social interaction of all of the great characters instead of discussion of war strategies though. 


Considering the book was originally written in 1961, I didn't feel like the book seemed dated at all. I was worried that there were going to be some gender issues or that the hero was going to be all overbearing alpha-male, but I'm guessing that trend didn't start until the 70s because Hazard was a great guy and I can definitely see how Page fell in love with him.


All of the characters were very relateable and well-written. I loved Hazard's dual sides as both an English gentleman and a 'pirate.' The secondary characters were fun addition s to the story and I liked how the author tied up the ending for everyone involved. Farley, Hazard's valet, especially stood out. He was just too adorable, and great for some much needed comic relief.



Main Characters: 4/5
Supporting Characters: 4/5
Setting: 4/5
Romance: 3/5
(not enough of it!)
Uniqueness: 3/5
Cover: 4/5
Writing: 4/5




Bottom Line:  This was a fun swashbuckling adventure, even though I did want to see a little more of the romance. 



Just for fun, I wanted to post the past covers of this book. 
(pics from goodreads.com)


This is the original 1961 cover from William Morrow & Co.


Actually, I think this cover is adorable and really represents what the book is. A young girl peering over the high seas, because the book really is mostly about Page's journey, with a little romance too. There's also an innocence about the cover that I saw in the book as well.


Next is the 1978 cover from Avon.


While I actually really like this illustration style, the portrayal of Hazard really scares me!! He doesn't ever act so grim and mean! Thank goodness! I don't think Page is quite so submissive to him, either. 

In My Mailbox (55)

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren, and is a way for everyone to show their new books for the week, including those bought, swapped, won, or received for review.


for review: 

 
"Exit the Actress" by Priya Parmar
 
Another book about Nell Gwynne! I can't wait to read Priya Parmar's version of her story :)

"Defiant" by Kris Kennedy
 
 Yay for historical romances :)

bought:
 
"Blameless" by Gail Carriger

 Gotta love a steampunk romance!

What did you receive in your mailbox this week??

Winners Announced!! "To Tempt a Rake"

Winners Announced!!

The winners of the "To Tempt a Rake" giveaway are:

WolfBear
RobinK
LillyBear

Winners were chosen via random.org random number generator. Congrats to the winners!! I have emailed the winners for their mailing addresses. Winners have 3 days to respond :) A huge thank you goes out to Hachette sponsoring the contest and to everyone who entered!! Congrats!!

"Etched in Bone" Review

"Etched in Bone"
as Adrian Phoenix

Publisher: Pocket
Release Date: Feb 22, 2011

Source: sent by publisher

My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Summary from goodreads.com:

SON OF A FALLEN ANGEL. FORGED IN VAMPIRE’S BLOOD. SWORN TO A MORTAL WOMAN. IF DANTE FALLS, THE WORLD FALLS WITH HIM. . . .
THREE LEGACIES ETCHED IN BONE
More beautiful and powerful than any creature the world has ever seen, Dante Baptiste has become the supreme target of the three worlds that spawned him. The mortal agents of the Shadow Branch have tried to control his mind through psychological torture. The vampire elders who guide nightkind society have plotted to use him in their bloodthirsty bid for power. And the Fallen have waited for millennia for Dante to claim his birthright as their Maker. But Dante belongs to no one—except the woman he loves. . . .
ONE PASSION SWORN IN BLOOD
Determined to face the Fallen and the world on his own terms, Dante hopes to piece together his shattered past and claim his future, with FBI agent Heather Wallace at his side. But in Heather’s human family awaits an unexpected enemy. One who could rip Heather from Dante’s heart and fill the holes with bullets. One who could force Dante to choose his darkest destiny—as the Great Destroyer. . . .

My Review:

This Urban Fantasy wasn't really my style, but I thought I'd give it a try anyway. While I'm still not really a fan of the genre, I was able to see both the good and the bad in this story.

I liked the author's voice, it was much more natural than the other Urban Fantasy books that I've read. She wasn't trying so hard to say how hip, cool, and funny her main character was. Heather was much more natural, she just was cool and hip, she didn't have to use forced dialogue to prove it.

I also liked Heather and Dante's ability to speak to each other through their bond. The author was able to do a lot with it. Also, while the emphasis was definitely on the hot, passionate side of their relationship, you could tell they really loved each other too. There were even some tender moments that surprised me.
 

However, I wasn't into all of the violence in the book. That's part of why this isn't the genre for me. A lot of it felt like it was done for shock value. There was a lot of cursing in the book too, many times multiple times on the same page. I'm not against cursing, but this amount was distracting to me. 



Main Characters: 4/5
Supporting Characters: 3/5
Setting: 3/5
Romance: 3/5

Uniqueness: 3/5
Cover: 3/5
Writing: 4/5



Bottom Line: This was a well written tale for fans of Urban Fantasy, the rest of us may just not get it!

Book Blog Follow and Book Blogger Hop Feb 18

Happy Friday, Everyone!!

It's time for Book Blog Follow Friday hosted by Parajunkee.com and The Book Blogger Hop hosted by Crazy for Books!






My answer: I'm not huuuge on the actual SciFi genre, but I do like Fantasy, especially YA fantasy.
 
 

My answer: question not posted yet

Don't forget to enter to win Lauren Willig's newest, "The Orchid Affair"!

If you're visiting for the first time, I'd love to hear from you, so please leave a comment and say hi!! :)

Giveaway and Review: "The Orchid Affair"

To celebrate the release of Lauren Willig's newest book, "The Orchid Affair", I have my review and a giveaway of the book, sponsored by Dutton!

"The Orchid Affair"
 by Lauren Willig

Publisher: Dutton Adult
Release Date: Jan 20, 2011

Source: sent by publisher


My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
 
Summary from Goodreads.com:
"Pride and Prejudice lives on" (USA Today) in Lauren Willig's Pink Carnation series, which has been hailed for its addictive blend of history, romance, and adventure. In The Orchid Affair, Willig introduces her strongest heroine yet. Laura Grey, a veteran governess, joins the Selwick Spy School expecting to find elaborate disguises and thrilling exploits in service to the spy known as the Pink Carnation. She hardly expects her first assignment to be serving as governess for the children of Andre Jaouen, right-hand man to Bonaparte's minister of police. Jaouen and his arch rival, Gaston Delaroche, are investigating a suspected Royalist plot to unseat Bonaparte, and Laura's mission is to report any suspicious findings.
At first the job is as lively as Latin textbooks and knitting, but Laura begins to notice strange behavior from Jaouen-secret meetings and odd comings and goings. As Laura edges herself closer to her employer, she makes a shocking discovery and is surprised to learn that she has far more in common with Jaouen than she originally thought...
As their plots begin to unravel, Laura and Jaouen are forced on the run with the children, and with the help of the Pink Carnation they escape to the countryside, traveling as husband and wife. But Delaroche will stop at nothing to take down his nemesis. With his men hot on their trail, can Laura and Jaouen seal the fate of Europe before it's too late?

My Review: 

There's a reason why Lauren Willig's books are so popular, and "The Orchid Affair" reminded me of why. I didn't want this book to end. The story is an excellent, well-rounded historical. There's lots of adventure and mystery, great characters, and a lot of sweet romance.

The book started a little slow for me, there wasn't a lot of action at the start. But I felt the story picked up as soon as Andre and Laura ran into the boisterous painter, Daubier. I feel like that's when the secrets really started to come out in the open.

At first, I couldn't tell if Emma's relationship with Andre was going to lead to romance or not, but once it did, I was on the edge of my set for the rest of the book. Their love had it all, secrets, jealousies, insecurities, and always and foremost, respect and friendship. I loved that they were a little older and wiser than romance heroes and heroines normally are. That made their love so much deeper and more real. 

Andre was so strong and such an honorable character. I loved that his quiet strengths were so much different than a typical hero. I also loved that Andre had eye glasses and that he was always actually wearing them. It wasn't a detail that got lost in the story, it was very much a part of his character.

I really liked the secondary characters, they made the story come alive. The two children were so cute and seem so real, they weren't used just for laughs. Daubier was a lovable bachelor Uncle type of character, and I'm not going to lie, de Barry was hot!

The mystery was very well plotted and had me guessing the whole time. I was often shocked at the twists and turns in the story. I loved trying to decipher the messages form the Pink Carnation.

I wasn't totally a fan of the present day part of the story. I see it as a way to tie the series together, but I felt it took me out of the real story sometimes. At one particularly exciting point, I was so upset to turn the page and see the modern characters. It was like the dreaded "to be continued" at the end of your favorite tv show.


Main Characters: 5/5
Supporting Characters: 5/5

Setting: 5/5

Romance: 5/5

Uniqueness: 5/5
Cover: 5/5
Writing: 5/5



Bottom Line: This book perfectly balances a sweet and tender romance with an adventurous historical mystery. I can't wait to read the books that I've missed in this wonderful series.



GIVEAWAY RULES:

Dutton has generously provided a copy of this historical romance for readers of my blog!
(This contest is closed)

All you have to do is follow my blog publicly and leave a comment on this review with your email address!
Please follow publicly or I can't tell that you are following :) Also, if you aren't comfortable leaving your email here, go ahead and leave a comment and then send me an email with your email addy.
 
Extra Entries:
  • +1 Tweet this contest (leave link in comment)
  • +1 Post link in sidebar of your blog (leave link in comment)

Rules:
  • US only
  • Must be a follower to enter
  • Extra entries are optional and can all be left in the same comment
  • Leave a comment with your email address
  • Ends Friday March 4
Thanks to everyone for entering! Good luck!

Waiting on Wednesday (55)

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine, and it is a way to show off the books you can't wait to be released!!

This week I chose:

"Chime"
by Franny Billingsley
Dial
Release Date: Mar 17, 2011


The following description is from Goodreads.com: 

Before Briony's stepmother died, she made sure Briony blamed herself for all the family's hardships. Now Briony has worn her guilt for so long it's become a second skin. She often escapes to the swamp, where she tells stories to the Old Ones, the spirits who haunt the marshes. But only witches can see the Old Ones, and in her village, witches are sentenced to death. Briony lives in fear her secret will be found out, even as she believes she deserves the worst kind of punishment.
Then Eldric comes along with his golden lion eyes and mane of tawny hair. He's as natural as the sun, and treats her as if she's extraordinary. And everything starts to change. As many secrets as Briony has been holding, there are secrets even she doesn't know.

This one sounds really unique and I love the cover!! I haven't seen it around a lot, I'd love to know more about it!

What are you waiting for this week????

Winners Announced!! Follower Love Giveaway Hop!

 Winners Announced!!

The winner of the "Follower Love Giveaway Hop" giveaway is:
 
 
Cialina at Muggle-Born.net
 

Winner was chosen via random.org random number generator. Congrats to the winner!! I have emailed the winner for her mailing address. Winner has 3 days to respond :) A huge thank you goes out to everyone who entered!! Congrats!!

"Jenna & Jonah's Fauxmance" Review

"Jenna & Jonah's Fauxmance"
 by Brendan Halpin and Emily Franklin

Publisher: Walker Books for Young Readers
Release Date: Feb 1, 2011

Source: sent by publisher

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Summary from goodreads.com:

Fans of romance don't need to look any further than the fauxmance brewing between teen idols Charlie Tracker and Fielding Withers—known on their hit TV show as Jenna and Jonah, next-door neighbors flush with the excitement of first love. But it's their off-screen relationship that has helped cement their fame, as passionate fans follow their every PDA. They grace the covers of magazines week after week. Their fan club has chapters all over the country. The only problem is their off-screen romance is one big publicity stunt, and Charlie and Fielding can't stand to be in the same room. Still, it's a great gig, so even when the cameras stop rolling, the show must go on, and on, and on. . . . Until the pesky paparazzi blow their cover, and Charlie and Fielding must disappear to weather the media storm. It's not until they're far off the grid of the Hollywood circuit that they realize that there's more to each of them than shiny hair and a winning smile.

My Review:

This book was really cute, I couldn't help but think of the tv show, "Sonny with a Chance," with the portrayal of teen stars in love while in the public eye.


The story was told in alternating chapters told from each character's point of view. In the beginning, I found Jonah/Fielding?Aaron much more interesting, but Jenna/Charlie really started to grow on me. I was sympathizing with her by the end of the book.


My favorite part was when they were hiding from the paparazzi at the beach house. I think they really started to realize their true feelings about each other and their careers while in that isolated atmosphere. 


I did like the journey they took with their acting career at the Shakespeare theater. It was great to see them reflect on their past acting on "Jenna & Jonah," as well as see how far they could stretch their acting skills.


There were some really deep one liners in this book. I found myself identifying with a lot of the quotes about love, life and our true selves. 



Main Characters: 4/5
Supporting Characters: 3/5
Setting: 4/5
Romance: 4/5

Uniqueness: 4/5
Cover: 2/5
Writing: 4/5



Bottom Line:
"Jenna & Jonah's Fauxmance" is a fun Hollywood romp with many tender moments and lots of reflection on life and love.

Winners Announced!! "Notorious Pleasures"

Winners Announced!!

The winners of the "Notorious Pleasures" giveaway are:
Allison
Cecile
lulilut

Winners were chosen via random.org random number generator. Congrats to the winners!! I have emailed the winners for their mailing addresses. Winners have 3 days to respond :) A huge thank you goes out to Hachette sponsoring the contest and to everyone who entered!! Congrats!!

In My Mailbox (54)

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren, and is a way for everyone to show their new books for the week, including those bought, swapped, won, or received for review.


for review: 

 
"Etched in Bone" by Adrian Phoenix
 
 
 "Rogue Oracle" by Alayna Williams
 
 These two aren't my usual style so we'll see what happens!
 
"Dragon Warrior" by Janet Chapman
 


bought:
"Prelude to a Scandal" by Delilah Marvelle

This one is more my style than the others!


What did you receive in your mailbox this week?

Free Ebooks for the Weekend!

I found some free ebooks today and wanted to share them with you! Both are available for the Kindle and the Nook. I have both of these books on my (real not virtual) shelf, and have heard nothing but great reviews for them both.

"Talk of the Town" by Lisa Wingate

  

"Fools Rush In" by Janice Thompson



Now you should have some great books to keep you out of trouble this weekend! Enjoy!


Book Blog Follow and Book Blogger Hop Feb 11

Happy Friday, Everyone!!

It's time for Book Blog Follow Friday hosted by Parajunkee.com and The Book Blogger Hop hosted by Crazy for Books!









My answer: I love a sweetheart!! Nice guys finish first in my book!!


My answer: my links are to the contests that I posted this week!
If you're visiting for the first time, I'd love to hear from you, so please leave a comment and say hi!! :)

"The Mistress' House" Review

"The Mistress' House"
 by Leigh Michaels

Publisher: Sourcebooks
Release Date: Feb 1, 2011

Source: ARC sent by publisher

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Summary from goodreads.com:


First in a smart, sexy, Regency romance series intertwining three love stories from an award winning, bestselling author.
A rakish Earl buys a love nest and winds up falling madly in love with and marrying the lady he installs there. Because of its proximity to the Earl, and his rakish reputation, the next two ladies who move into the house after that can't avoid a scandal, but each one is on her way to true love...

 

My Review:

At first, I didn't realize that this book was actually three interconnected short stories instead of one long story. I was pleasantly surprised at how well the author wove the stories together.

I loved the first story about Thorne and Anne. Their affair was fun and tender at the same time. The scenes where they were keeping their affair a secret were really cute to read about. I loved Thorne's lazy confidence and how he really cared about Anne's feelings. I loved Thorne so much in the first story that sometimes I didn't like the way his character and their romance played out in the later two stories.

The second story, about Richard and Felicity was definitely a cute tale. I really liked that Felicity had been in love with Richard's brother. It created jealousy as well a complex feelings toward each other.

The last story, Julian and Georgette's romance, fell a little short for me. I appreciated the unexpected twist, but I just didn't think they had as much spark as the other couples.



Main Characters: 4/5
Supporting Characters: 3/5
Setting: 4/5
Romance: 4/5

Uniqueness: 4/5
Cover: 4/5
Writing: 4/5



Bottom Line:
This is a great collection of romances to read when you're in the mood for some fun regency era short stories!

Waiting on Wednesday (54)

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine, and it is a way to show off the books you can't wait to be released!!

This week I chose:

"The A Circuit"
by Catherine Hapka and Georgina Bloomberg
Bloomsbury
Release Date: May 24, 2011


The following description is from Goodreads.com:


The A Circuit is the top of the top when it comes to horse shows. It's a world with its own rules and superprivileged lifestyles. Teens travel the circuit all year, showing horses that cost as much as some homes.
Tommi, Kate, and Zara are all elite competitors on the circuit, but they come from totally different backgrounds. Tommi is a billionaire heiress trying to prove she has real talent (not just deep bank accounts). Kate puts the working in working student—every win has been paid for with hours of cleaning stalls. She's used to the grueling schedule, but Fitz, the barn's resident hot guy, is about to become a major distraction. And then there's Zara. She's the wild child of a famous rockstar, but she's ready to take riding seriously. Can a party girl really change her ways?
Readers who enjoy peeking into the elite world of Gossip Girl or The A-List will feel right at home in this new series with its friendships, drama, and privilege set against the backdrop of competitive horseback riding.

The reason this book caught my attention is the cover. It's beautiful, I'll pick up anything with a horse on the cover :) We see horseback riding a lot in younger children's and middle grade books, but you don't see it much in YA, I think it'll be an interesting book!

What are you waiting for this week??

Teaser Tuesday (24)

Yay for "Teaser Tuesday" from MizB of Should be Reading!!

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:


  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! 

My teaser Tuesday pick:


" 'If you only read the same things over and over again, how do you expect to learn? A narrow library leads to a narrow mind.'  "



p 42 "The Orchid Affair" by Lauren Willig

Follower Love Giveaway Hop!!

Welcome to my stop on the "Follower Love Giveaway Hop" hosted by Kathy at I am a Reader, Not a Writer!




Here at In the Hammock Blog, I'm giving the winner two choices for his/her prize! 

I couldn't decide if I should feature a YA book or a historical romance, so YOU get to pick! 

There will be one winner, and the winner gets to decide which book he/she wants:

"Love on Assignment" by Cara Lynn James

Or

"Jenna and Jonah's Fauxmance" by Emily Franklin and Brendan Halpin

Both books are paperback finished copies.


GIVEAWAY RULES:

There will be one winner, winner gets their choice between these two books. You can tell me in the comment which book you prefer, but you don't have to decide now :)


All you have to do is follow my blog publicly and leave a comment on this review with your email address!
Please follow publicly or I can't tell that you are following :) Also, if you aren't comfortable leaving your email here, go ahead and leave a comment and then send me an email with your email addy.
 
There are no extra entries for this one, I know you all are wanting to get to each giveaway quickly! All you have to do is be a GFC follower! The contest is called Follower Love after all :)

Rules:

  • US only
  • Must be a follower to enter
  • Leave a comment with your email address
  • Books will be mailed out by me
  • Ends Sun Feb 13
Thanks to everyone for entering! Good luck!


I also have two more contests running on my blog right now: 


Don't forget to check out the other stops on the giveaway hop!

Giveaway and Review: "To Tempt a Rake"

As part of the "To Tempt a Rake" blog tour, I have my review and a giveaway of 3 copies of the book, sponsored by Hachette!
"To Tempt a Rake"
 by Cara Elliott

Publisher: Forever
Release Date: Mar 3, 2011

Source: sent by publisher


My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
 
Summary from Goodreads.com:
Kate Woodbridge has spent most of her life sailing to exotic ports around the globe, acquiring an expertise in botany, along with a few less ladylike skills. So when a deathbed promise to her parents brings her to London to seek reconciliation with her grandfather, the imperious Duke of Cluyne, she feels like a fish out of water. Her outspoken views and fiery temper tend to set off sparks in Society-especially with the rakish Conte of Como.

A devil-may-care rogue, Marco finds the alluring and mysterious Kate a tempting target for his flirtations. But when murder strikes at the duke's country house party he begins to suspect that she's hiding a dark secret. He has his own clandestine reasons for offering to help her prove her innocence . . . And so begins a journey of dangerous deception that leads from England to the glittering ballrooms of Vienna, where Marco and Kate must duel with a deadly villain . . . and their own explosive attraction.

My Review:

I really liked the first two books in this series, but this installment fell a little short for me. I felt like the mystery and intrigue outweighed the romance and character development too much for my liking. I wanted to see more interaction between the two leads. As it was, I didn't feel like their relationship was developed enough to be anything more than lust.


I thought Kate's character was intriguing but I didn't care for Marco. Everyone loves a rake, but Marco was almost sleazy and I didn't buy his reformation. Kate was more complex than Marco and I understood why she tried to remain so tough on the outside. She wanted to be able to let down her guard and let someone help her with her burdens but she just wasn't able to let go.


The author wove a very complex mystery with lots of players, but much more time was spent unraveling the clues than getting to know the characters and why the leads loved each other.


Another aspect of the first two books that I missed was the comedy. I think for someone who enjoys a mystery to be a large part of their historical romance, this book might be a good fit.



Main Characters: 3/5
Supporting Characters: 3/5

Setting: 4/5

Romance: 3/5

Uniqueness: 3/5
Cover: 4/5
Writing: 4/5



Bottom Line: I'm still looking forward to more from this author, even though this one fell a little short of her other books for me.




GIVEAWAY RULES:

Hachette books has generously provided three copies of this historical romance for readers of my blog!


All you have to do is follow my blog publicly and leave a comment on this review with your email address!
Please follow publicly or I can't tell that you are following :) Also, if you aren't comfortable leaving your email here, go ahead and leave a comment and then send me an email with your email addy.
 
Extra Entries:


  • +1 Tweet this contest (leave link in comment)
  • +1 Post link in sidebar of your blog (leave link in comment)

Rules:
  • US and Canada only
  • No PO Boxes please
  • Must be a follower to enter
  • Extra entries are optional and can all be left in the same comment
  • Leave a comment with your email address
  • Books will be mailed out by Hachette
  • Ends Thurs Feb 17
Thanks to everyone for entering! Good luck!

In My Mailbox (53)

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren, and is a way for everyone to show their new books for the week, including those bought, swapped, won, or received for review.


for review: 
 "Madame Tussaud" by Michelle Moran
 "Cleopatra's Daughter" is one of my favorite books, so I jumped at the chance to review this one!

"Fire the Sky" by W. Micheal Gear and Kathleen O'Neal Gear

 This one isn't my normal style, but it looks really interesting!

"Sovay" by Celia Rees

  
"The Twin's Daughter" by Lauren Baratz Logsted

 These last two books were sent with some others from Bloomsbury a while back.

What did you receive in your mailbox this week??
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