Free Ebook for Kindle and Nook! Nov 29


Hi everyone! 

There is a great Christmas ebook available for free for Kindle and Nook!
Grab this sweet holiday book while it is free!

"The Christmas Dog" by Melody Carlson
 
  
Kindle
Nook

I can't wait to read this! How cute is the cover? :)

"A Royal Pain" Review

"A Royal Pain"
by Megan Mulry

Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Release Date: Nov 1, 2012
Source: sent by publisher

My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Summary from goodreads.com:
Bronte Talbott follows all of the exploits of the British royals. After all, they're the world's most preeminent dysfunctional family. And who is she to judge? Bronte's own search for love isn't going all that well, especially after her smooth-talking Texan boyfriend abruptly leaves her in the dust.

Bronte keeps a lookout for a rebound to help mend her broken heart, and when she meets Max Heyworth, she's certain he's the perfect transition man. But when she discovers he's a duke, she has to decide if she wants to stay with him for the long haul and deal with the opportunities-- and challenges-- of becoming a royal.

My Review:

Like the lead character of the book, Bronte, I read a lot of historical romances, so when I had the chance to read about a modern day romance with a Duke, I couldn't resist. I have to say that I was very pleasantly surprised by this book. It was way more 'romance-y' than I expected it to be, and for me that is a great thing! I thought it would be more of a chick lit book, but even the writing style was like a romance, because the reader is able to see both Bronte and Max's points of view.

Max is pretty much perfect. I mean, there aren't any flaws that I can think of at all. Of course, Bronte finds about 25 flaws in Max per day. She was a little irritating in how much she pushed him away and put him off even though he had proved himself to her time and time again. This was one of the only aspects that I didn't care for about the book. I also didn't really like their long absence from each other, but that's something I never care for in romances. I want the couple to be together 24/7!

Once they finally made it to England, it was really fun to read about Max's eccentric family. I loved his brother, Devon, and I just found out that the second book in the series will focus on Devon and one of Bronte's American friends!

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

Romance: 4/5

Uniqueness: 5/5
Cover: 5/5 (yay fascinators! I also like that the back cover shows Bronte from the back, cute detail)
Writing: 4/5


Bottom Line: A very fun, very romance-y modern tale of a royal romance.

Check out the author's guest post here!


"Christmas Roses" Review

"Christmas Roses"
by Amanda Cabot

Publisher: Revell
Release Date: Sep 1, 2012
Source: sent by publisher

My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Summary from goodreads.com:
Celia Anderson doesn't need anything for Christmas except a few more boarders, which are hard to come by in this small mining town. She certainly doesn't have a husband on her Christmas wish list. But when a wandering carpenter finds lodging at her boarding house, she admits that she might remarry if she found the right man--the kind of man who would bring her roses for Christmas. It would take a miracle to get roses during a harsh Wyoming winter. But Christmas, after all, is the time for miracles . . .

Amanda Cabot invites readers to cozy up with a romantic, heartwarming tale of the greatest gift of all--love.

My Review:

This is a sweet Christmas novella, I really enjoyed the story. The author's writing really pulls you in to the story, and you get to know the characters even in the short amount of pages. I really like these old fashioned Christmas stories, and this one really fit the niche nicely for me.

I thought Mark was very sweet, he was always so helpful without ever looking for credit. Celia was a different kind of strong. She was so strong in learning to run a boarding house after her husband passed away, and taking care of her baby all by herself. But she was never stubborn and she always asked for help when she needed it.

The secondary characters were great as well, which to me shows what a good writer Cabot is. She made me want to get to know the whole town, and find out everyone's personalities.


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

Romance: 4/5

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


Bottom Line: A sweet Christmas novel with great characters and a lovely romance.

"The Lady Risks All" Review

"The Lady Risks All"
by Stephanie Laurens

Publisher: Avon
Release Date: Sep 25, 2012
Source: sent by publisher and publicist

My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Summary from goodreads.com:
Neville Roscoe, notorious and enigmatic, lives resolutely outside society, bound only by his own code of honor - until challenged by his desire for the one woman he cannot have.

Miranda Clifford is a lady imprisoned by rigid respectability - until tempted by a passion beyond her power to deny.

Flung together in peril, through danger and intrigue, they discover a love impossible to ignore ... or keep.

My Review:

This is the first book I've read by Laurens, and I must say I enjoyed it quite a lot. I attempted to read one a few years ago, but I felt like the story was lost in all the Regency era manners and witticisms, so I only read a few chapters. While this story is still a hefty 450 pages long, I feel like it wasn't as bogged down with bows and how do you dos.

The characters were very likable. I worried that the hero would be that old fashioned 70s and 80s style of creep, since the author has been writing for so long. But Roscoe was actually quite modern, and a very stand up kind of fellow. He sacrificed so much for his family from the very beginning of the book, it was really admirable. Miranda wasn't an old fashioned heroine, either. She was very strong, but also able to admit when she had made a mistake. Both characters deal with a very real sort of dilemma, what to do when you don't feel needed anymore.

Sometimes, the wordiness was a bit unnecessary, but I'm glad that we were able to know so much about the main characters, and the side characters as well. The book moved along quickly despite the somewhat daunting length, since most historical romances are about 100 pages shorter.

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

Romance: 4/5

Uniqueness: 4/5
Cover: 5/5 (I may not like 80s era romance stories, but this 80s era cover is sooooo pretty!)
Writing: 4/5


Bottom Line: I am looking forward to reading more from this author in the future, and I am wondering why it took me so long to give her books a try!


Check out the author's website:  http://www.stephanielaurens.com/


Giveaway, Guest Post, and Review! "The Twisted Tragedy of Miss Natalie Stewart"

 As part of the blog tour for The Twisted Tragedy of Miss Natalie Stewart, I am happy to have the author stop by for a guest post, and a giveaway along with my review!

Review

"The Twisted Tragedy of Miss Natalie Stewart"
by Leanna Renee Hieber

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: Nov 1, 2012
Source: sent by publisher

My Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars

Summary from goodreads.com:
For Natalie Stewart, a normal life has never seemed so far away. Her only solace, Lord Jonathan Denbury, is wanted for murder. To clear his name, Denbury must return to England and assume the role of his demon doppelganger. But Natalie begins to doubt his true motives, especially as a new gentleman begins whispering in her ear. Natalie and Denbury may be able to visit each other in their dreams, but they can't escape the darkening shadows. Amid spontaneous explosions, friends turned enemies and dangerous secrets revealed, there's still a demon who has Natalie's scent, and someone is trying to resurrect the ultimate evil.

My Review:

This book is a great mix of historical, mystery, romance, and good deal of creepiness. I really enjoyed how unique this story is. The interesting and new story combined with the great characters really kept me turning the pages.

I haven't read the first book in the series, but wow, I really want to now. I want to see how Natalie and Jonathon met and fell in love, and I'd really love to see how his being trapped in a painting played out.

I wasn't sure about the demon angle to the story, but it ended up not being so bad for me, and I'm scared easily. It was more of a gothic, creepy tale, instead of shocking horror. Perhaps the fact that it was a historical story made the scary parts more gothic in tone and feel. Some of the dastardly plots reminded me of Frankenstein, which was another gothic, not horrifying, story.

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

Romance: 5/5

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


Bottom Line: A great story with something for everyone, and the vivid cast of characters makes the story complete.


Guest Post
Now, I'd like to welcome Leanna Renee Hieber to In the Hammock for a guest post!

Here's Leanna!

Triple Talent:
by Leanna Renee Hieber  


It’s no secret that bestselling author Leanna acts, writes, and even combines the two to create a play.  Leanna describes what it’s like to be a working actress while also making a bestseller book.



I wear many different hats. And I don’t just mean cute little Victorian hats, though I do have quite a collection. I’ve always been a Jack of All Trades and it’s my varying interests that have kept me busy, employed in the arts and happy in always having a project or two to work on. The trick to doing anything well is time and discipline, it’s very hard to juggle theatrical pursuits and writing and promoting your books full time. I have to pick and choose and shift focus. While I was a full time professional actress on stage in various regional theatre productions around the country, my writing took a back seat. Today my writing is at the foreground and I do theatrical and/or film projects sporadically. The ability to shift focus from one priority to another depending on deadlines is a skill I’ve been trying to sharpen forever. The biggest challenge is self-discipline of one’s own time. It’s something I struggle with day in and day out. Storytelling is at the core of all my interests, and while I’m very selective now about the stories I tell and the mediums I use to tell them, I’m blessed to have several different avenues to pursue the stories that intrigue me. One of the most fascinating ways that my worlds have blended is in adapting my first novel into a musical theatre production with Broadway talent on board. My time as an actress and brief stints as a playwright made it easier for the production company behind the musical adaptation of The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker to approach me to be on the collaboration team. I’m uniquely suited as having experience in all these fields to weave a story together in an entirely new medium, a show. And it’s that process of adaptation and collaboration that then allows me to have fresh insights and new tricks to make an engaging story come to life when I return to my novels, such as THE TWISTED TRAGEDY OF MISS NATALIE STEWART.


Giveaway

GIVEAWAY RULES:

The publicist has generously provided a copy of "The Twisted Tragedy of Miss Natalie Stewart" for a lucky follower of my blog!
All you have to do is follow my blog publicly and fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Please follow publicly or I can't tell that you are following :)
  • US/CAN only
  • Must be a follower to enter
  • Books will be mailed out by the publisher
  • Must be 18 or over 
  • Ends Sun Dec 2
Thanks to everyone for entering! Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday Shout Out 23


Recently, I introduced a new feature here at In the Hammock on Sundays. It's called "Sunday Shout Out" and it's a place where I can give a special shout out to those publishers and authors who have sent me books over the week, as well as those bloggers who have hosted contests that I've won! I'll also be giving shout outs to any other cool books, blogs or bookish news that I've spotted during the week.

Check out my first Sunday Shout Out post for even more info, here!

For Review
"Pandora the Curious" Goddess Girls #9 by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams


Yay!! My favorite MG series :))

"Poseidon and the Sea of Fury" Heroes in Training #2 by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams


Now there's Mount Olympus featuring the boys too!


"At Every Turn" by Anne Mateer

Too cute to resist!

"Lady Eve's Indiscretion" by Grace Burrowes


Yay! One of my fave historical romance authors!

"Once Again a Bride" by Jane Ashford


Gotta love historical romances!

"Warlock's Curse" by M.K. Hobson


Recommended by Candace.


Contest Wins
"Easy" by Tammara Webber


won from Actin Up with Books

"Out of Oz" by Gregory Maguire


won from Reviewed by Mom
Contests
 Check out the contest running right now at In the Hammock!


 Win "iFrankenstein" Ebook Ends 11/18

Win "Dog Trots Globe: To Paris & Provence" Ends 12/2




"The Christmas Pony" Review

"The Christmas Pony"
by Melody Carlson

Publisher: Revell
Release Date: Sep 1, 2012
Source: sent by publisher

My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Summary from goodreads.com:
Eight-year-old Lucy Turnbull knew better than to wish for a pony that Christmas in 1937. Her mother had assured her in no uncertain terms that asking for a pony was the same as asking for the moon. Besides, the only extra mouths they needed at their boarding house were the paying kind. But when an interesting pair of strangers comes to town, Lucy starts to believe her Christmas wishes might just come true after all.
The queen of the Christmas novel, Melody Carlson pens another magical tale of expectation and excitement as one little girl dreams big and the impossible becomes possible.

My Review:

I can't resist a book with a horse on the cover, so I couldn't wait to read this! The book is a really sweet Christmas story, told from an eight year old's point of view. She sees the world through such innocent eyes, you can't help but like her story.

The book is a shorter novella, so it can be read without the stress of a 400 page book during the holiday season, which is great. The story was a bit different than I thought it would be. When I read the description, I thought that it might be on the sad side, but it wasn't. Lucy and her mother's boarding house had a really nice feel about it, even as they struggled financially during the Great Depression.

I can see this book being made into a sweet holiday tv movie. I do think that the characters of George, and especially Mama, could be fleshed out a little more. George was just such a sweet heart, but I would have liked to have known more about him. Veronica was the perfect nemesis, and I really appreciated that even though Lucy admired her glamour so much at first, she was smart enough to catch on to her true nature quickly.

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

Uniqueness: 4/5
Cover: 5/5 (Love it!!)
Writing: 4/5


Bottom Line:
A light, sweet holiday read.



"The Sweet Life: The Serial" Review

"The Sweet Life: The Serial"
by Francine Pascal

Publisher: St Martin's Press
Release Date: Oct 30, 2012
Source: sent by publicist and publisher

My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Summary from goodreads.com:
For Jessica and Elizabeth, the sweet life begins at 30…

Beautiful blonde twins Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield are back in The Sweet Life, now available in one volume!

Three years after the events of Sweet Valley Confidential by Francine Pascal, Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield are back in Sweet Valley and inseparable once more. Things are looking up for both twins: Elizabeth is a star reporter at the LA Tribune, and Jessica’s PR career is on the fast-track. But while the professional lives of the Wakefield sisters are secure, their personal lives may be in jeopardy. Jessica, now a mother, finds that managing parenthood, marriage, and a job is harder than she expected, while Elizabeth and Bruce must face a scandal that could strengthen their bond…or tear them apart forever.

Meanwhile, life goes on in Sweet Valley. Families are made, hearts are broken, and . . . Lila Fowler is a reality TV star? Some things never change.

The Sweet Life, first published serially as digital originals chronicling the continuing adventures of Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield, is now available to read in one volume!

My Review:

The 6 Sweet Life e-novellas that were released over the summer are now in print in one volume. I really enjoyed this book even more than the author's first book about the Wakefield twins in their 30's, Sweet Valley Confidential. This novel really drew me in more so than the first book

The book follows all of our old favorites from the Sweet Valley High series, some haven't changed at all, like Liza, and some are on a new path, like Jessica and Todd. My favorite story was Elizabeth and Bruce's scandal. This is the story that really kept me turning the pages. You'll have to read it to see what happens to the pair!

Liza was her typical self, actually, she may have grown even more dramatic and deceitful in her 30s. Still at least she was interesting. Jessica seemed neither her impulsive teen self, or a new and improved version either. She was slightly blah and so was Todd. Jessica was never my favorite to read about, and the same applies here, but luckily, there are so many story lines that there are bound to be those that the reader is more interested in than others.

I'm glad I was able to read all six episodes at once. It would have been so hard to wait to find out what happens after the cliffhanger endings! There was very little repeating of information at the beginning of each 'episode.' It really wasn't noticeable at all, the author would just go over one or two key details, and then jump right into the rest of the story.

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

Romance: 4/5

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


Bottom Line: Our old favorites from Sweet Valley with a twist!

Pick up the e-serials or the print version here.

Check out my review of the first book, Sweet Valley Confidential.


Giveaway and Review: "Dog Trots Globe"

 As part of the "Dog Trots Globe" blog tour, I have my review of the book as well as a contest for a lucky reader to win their own copy!

by Sheron Long (and Chula!)
 
Publisher: OIC Books
Release Date: Nov 10, 2011
Source: sent by publicist and publisher

My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Summary from goodreads.com:  

In this fun read — Chula, a 9-year-old Sheltie, shares her dog’s eye view of France. She sniffs around the boulangeries, lavender fields, and big outdoor markets of Provence. In Paris, she trots across the Seine, stands on her hind legs in awe of the Eiffel Tower, and attends opening night at a gallery. Through more than 150 color photographs, four videos, and Chula’s unique perspective, you’ll get a delightful view of Paris and Provence.

In the videos (built into the enhanced eBook for iPad and online for all customers), you’ll visit markets of Provence, see sheep in the streets, admire the sparkling Eiffel Tower, and take a glorious walk with Chula through Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. The book also includes a helpful Afterword with tips and suggestions for taking a dog to France
 

My Review:

In this adorable book, Chula, a Sheltie, recounts her experiences in Provence and Paris, France. There are beautiful photos of Chula and the sights that she comes across on her adventures. We even get to see the flight from her point of view. There are also adorable illustrations of Chula's world, in which she is the queen of course!

The print version of the book is such high quality, that it makes reading a pleasure. It's a hardback with full color photos and illustrations on every page. The pages are semi glossy and the substantial paper is a rare treat in books these days. It's the perfect book to curl up with a cup of tea and spend an hour or so reading.

The story doesn't have super deep or philosophical moments, it's just a sweet, relaxing read. I do like the over all message of stopping to smell the roses though! This book is written for adults, but I do think kids would enjoy it too. I think maybe it's something you could read together. Just a small warning, on the first page, there are a couple of mentions of a word similar to 'darn' :) Personally, I would have left those words out just to make the book 100% family friendly, since the rest of the book is suitable for all ages, and I think kids would really enjoy it.


Bottom Line: A high quality book with plenty of photos and illustrations, with a fun, relaxing dog's eye view of Paris and Provence. This would be a wonderful gift for dog lovers and readers who love France.

Here are a few examples of the fantastic photos you will find inside the book! All photos are used with permission, copyright c Sheron Long.

 photo copyright c Sheron Long
Chula at an Outdoor Provencal Market 

 copyright c Sheron Long
Chula at the Sault Fountain

 copyright c Sheron Long
Chula at a Sidewalk Cafe in France

 
 copyright c Sheron Long
Chula at the Hotel



Catch up with Chula on Facebook and for contests and free ebooks! 





GIVEAWAY RULES:

The publicist has generously provided a print copy of "Dog Trots Globe" for a lucky follower of my blog!
All you have to do is follow my blog publicly and fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Please follow publicly or I can't tell that you are following :)
  • US and Canada only
  • Must be a follower to enter
  • Books will be mailed out by the publisher
  • Must be 18 or over 
  • Ends Sun Dec 2
Thanks to everyone for entering! Good luck!

iFrankenstein Giveaway and First Chapter Preview

As part of the blog tour for iFrankenstein, I have a preview of the first chapter and a digital copy of the book for a lucky reader of my blog.

Here is more info about the book!
"iFrankenstein"
by Bekka Black


Release Date: Sep 16, 2012


Summary from the publisher: 


Frankenstein comes to life for the wired generation.

Following her critically-acclaimed iDrakula, award-winning author Bekka Black breathes life into a modern re-telling of iFrankenstein, using only text messages, web browsers, tweets, and emails.

Homeschooled teenager Victor Frankenstein is determined to write his own ticket to independence: a chatbot to win the prestigious Turing prize and admission to the high tech university of his choice. He codes his creation with a self-extending version of his own online personality and unleashes it upon the internet. But soon he begins to suspect his virtual clone may have developed its own goals, and they are not aligned with Victor’s. The creature has its own plan, fed by a growing desire to win darker and more precious prizes: unfettered power and release from loneliness.

As the creature’s power and sentience grows and its increasingly terrible deeds bleed over from the online world into the real one, Victor must stop his creation before his friends and humanity pay the ultimate price.
 


Website: http://bekkablack.com/
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Bekka_Black
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bekka-Blacks-IDRAKULA/216973029998?fref=ts
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3353633.Bekka_Black


First Chapter


Here is a peek at the first chapter so you can really see how different this book is!

(used with permission from publicist)



GIVEAWAY RULES:

The publicist has generously provided an e-copy of "iFrankenstein" for a lucky follower of my blog!
All you have to do is follow my blog publicly and fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Please follow publicly or I can't tell that you are following :)
  • US and Canada only
  • Must be a follower to enter
  • Books will be mailed out by the publisher
  • Must be 18 or over 
  • Ends Nov 18
Thanks to everyone for entering! Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday Shout Out 22


Recently, I introduced a new feature here at In the Hammock on Sundays. It's called "Sunday Shout Out" and it's a place where I can give a special shout out to those publishers and authors who have sent me books over the week, as well as those bloggers who have hosted contests that I've won! I'll also be giving shout outs to any other cool books, blogs or bookish news that I've spotted during the week.

Check out my first Sunday Shout Out post for even more info, here!


For Review

"Stardust" by Neil Gaiman (Gift Edition)



A beautiful new hardcover gift edition.


Contests

 


 



Free Ebooks
Download the first book in the Iron Fey series, along with one of the novellas and an excerpt of the newest book, here! They are PDF downloads.
  
The Iron King (Book 1)

Iron's Prophecy (novella)

The Lost Prince (extended excerpt)
  

I read about this on Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell

It looks like the books have been unlocked, but why not still tweet the message on the page as a thank you to get the word out :))

Kindle Freebies:

"Brightest Kind of Darkness" by PT Michelle

  

 I saw a great review of this one at Juju's Tales of Whimsy!

"Moonlight" by Tim O'Rourke



If you like this cover as much as I do, you may also want to check out the wallpapers on the author's website here!


"A Royal Pain" Guest Post with Megan Mulry


As part of the blog tour for "A Royal Pain" by Megan Mulry, I have a guest post from the author!

  I'd like to welcome Megan to In the Hammock and thank her for taking time to stop by and write about the topic I was curious about!

Here's Megan!
Guest Post


by
Megan Mulry


Question from In the Hammock: What draws you in about royalty and made you want to write a book with royal characters? Is it something you've always been interested in?
Thanks so much for having me In The Hammock. This question makes me laugh because when I first wrote A Royal Pain, the duke wasn't even royal! At the time I came up with the idea for the book, I was more interested in the notion of The Ideal Man. In my mind that pretty much means one man: Fitzwilliam Darcy. Full Stop. So I knew my modern version had to be British. I also wanted him to be intellectually brilliant (but modest), fabulously wealthy (but modest), and (duh) blindingly handsome—he's not always modest about that, but you can't have everything. I was (and remain) pretty much obsessed with Regency romances, so I knew he would also be titled and that his heritage, family, etc. would be a big part of the conflict in their relationship. Anyway, it's the same book (British-Aristocrat-Meets-Saucy-American) but that word "royal" kind of haunts me a bit. Here's why.
When the book was acquired by Sourcebooks editor Deb Werksman, she had A Vision. She actually said those words on The Call, that she had A Vision. I was the usual freaking-out-happy-about-getting-The-Call new author, and then Deb was on about The Vision, so I tried to ride out the crushing waves of excitement. When someone likes your manuscript it's exciting enough; when they are having visions about it? Just. Yeah. Anyway, Deb dubbed the series of books "The Unruly Royals" during that conversation and I was like, "YAY! How clever!" Then I was like, "Uh. But he's not royal…" And she was like, "Just make him royal!" And I cheerfully replied, "Okay!"
As Americans (or just as me!) I'd always lumped together the words aristocracy, royalty, peerage, upper crust, The Ton, etc. They were all stewed together in a pot of people-who-are-up-there-versus-the-rest-of-us-who-are-down-here. All of a sudden I started doing research and it turned out this word 'royal' means something very specific and distinct, especially to British readers. Adding to my anxiety was that people who care about this sort of thing, REALLY care about it. There are very particular forms of address. Bloodlines. Hereditary and non-hereditary titles. It is seriously complex. Before I started the additional "royal research", I'd say I was the type of person who understood the entail on Downton Abbey. Steep learning curve alert!
To further complicate matters (or so it seemed to me) I had fashioned the Heyworths after the Howard family, the real-life Dukes of Norfolk. One of the reasons the Howards have endured so long in the midst of centuries of turmoil in British History (the family's title goes straight back to Henry VIII without interruption) is their Roman Catholicism. As such, they could never actually ascend the throne themselves, and therefore they were always kingmakers, not kings. That is to say, they could never be royal. I went into a bit of a fever. He couldn't be Catholic. He couldn't be too famous or Bronte would be an idiot for not knowing him. He couldn't have a vault full of jewels from Henry the VIII. (Well…as far as the vault of jewels, of course he could!)
After consulting with several British friends and people who are far more knowledgeable about these sorts of things than I am, I realized it was not going to be a quick matter of adding a sentence about oh-by-the-way-he's-royal. In the event, I concocted a little-known younger sister of Edward VI (no need to point out that Colin Firth features prominently in the world of my imagination) and made her Max's grandmother. That way Max would be royal (from his grandmother's bloodline) AND a duke (from his father's hereditary title). When I told a friend, "Okay, so he's a royal duke!" I was gently chastised. She corrected me: "No. He's royal. And he's a duke. But he is not a royal duke. If he were a Royal Duke he would be Prince William!" Again, there are many people who know far more about this than I do. But I did what I set out to do and now Max is "legitimately" royal.
That's the royal story within the book. My own personal fascination with royalty, on the other hand, is not quite as keen as Bronte's. Okay, yes, I got up at four in the morning and put on my 15-year-old wedding dress with six similarly attired friends to watch William and Kate tie the knot. But it was mostly to see the Cullinan diamonds on the Queen and the hats and dresses of everyone who attended. So I guess I do have a "thing" for royal watching, but I don't follow the royal comings and goings much more than the occasional cover of a magazine in the grocery check-out line or daily peeks at What Kate Wore.
Personally, my fascination is much more about American Anglophilia on a broad scale. I love England. I love British culture. I love London. I love the mix of eloquence and snark in the language itself. There is a joyful tendency in the British people I know to take great pleasure in others' foibles without the requisite hand-wringing that many Americans find so necessary. Of course, these are sweeping generalizations, anecdotal and all that, but basically I love very old buildings, and drinking, and vast landscaped gardens, and fancy dress parties, and a jovial attitude toward human sexuality. And England often has much of that on offer. And coincidentally, so do many royals!
Thanks again for inviting me to your blog!



Thank you, Megan!! What a wonderful post! 

I am reading this book now, and I love it! I will have my review posted early next week. Until then, here is a little more about this gem of a book:



About the Book





"A Royal Pain"
by Megan Mulry

Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Release Date: Nov 1, 2012




Summary from goodreads.com:  


Bronte Talbott follows all of the exploits of the British royals. After all, they're the world's most preeminent dysfunctional family. And who is she to judge? Bronte's own search for love isn't going all that well, especially after her smooth-talking Texan boyfriend abruptly leaves her in the dust.

Bronte keeps a lookout for a rebound to help mend her broken heart, and when she meets Max Heyworth, she's certain he's the perfect transition man. But when she discovers he's a duke, she has to decide if she wants to stay with him for the long haul and deal with the opportunities-- and challenges-- of becoming a royal.
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