Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Finally a Bride by Vickie McDonough

Finally a Bride (Texas Boardinghouse Brides)Finally a Bride by Vickie McDonough

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Sensuality Rating: Sweet

Keep your eyes wide open for romance in Lookout, Texas. Jody Chapman, aka Butch Laird, returns to town determined to make up for past misdeeds. Will reporter Jacqueline Hamilton uncover his secret before Jody can capture her heart? With nowhere else to go, ex-con Carly Payton returns to the Lookout boardinghouse. Garrett Corbett is looking for an upstanding wife, not some jailbird. What will he do when overpowered by Carly’s appeal? Twice-widowed Christine Taylor isn’t looking to get re-hitched. Will love-stricken Rand Kessler find a way to woo her into wedlock? Does love deserve a first, second, or third chance?

I received this book as a pre-publication from netGalley

        This was my first book by Vickie McDonough and I am impressed.  I thought it was very sweet and moved along at a nice pace. I like the fact that we could see what both Jack and Noah's thoughts were... I love knowing the H/H's thoughts! The side story between Carly and Garret was sweet also but a little distracting and I caught myself skimming through to get to Noah and Jack. I personally thought is was VERY unlikely that Jack wouldn't have recognized Noah and that point was hard to get over since it kept going back to that.

         This was definitely a inspirational/Christian book and referenced back to God's plan enough to make it a little excessive even for a someone that has a relationship with Jesus Christ. I enjoy a Christian romance but it causes me to feel miffed when the dialogue has to re-explain that the person in question is born again and no longer the same as they use to be over and over again.

         That being said, I would definitely recommend this book to any and everyone because it has a positive and uplifting story with a great outcome. The story itself is very entertaining and it was hard for me to put down. It goes to show that when someone willingly commits their life to Jesus they have to change from their old ways, no matter how major or minor, to truly follow Him.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Marrying The Captain by Carla Kelly

Marrying The Captain (Channel Fleet, #1) (Harlequin Historical Series)Marrying The Captain (Channel Fleet, #1) by Carla Kelly

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sensuality Rating: Heated

Ever since her father tried to sell her as a mistress to the highest bidder, Eleanor Massie has chosen to live in poverty. Her world changes overnight when Captain Oliver Worthy shows up at her struggling inn. Despite herself, Nana is drawn to her handsome guest....

Oliver planned to stay in Plymouth only long enough to report back to Lord Ratliffe--about Nana. But he soon senses that Lord Ratliffe is up to something, and Oliver will do anything to keep this courageous, beautiful woman safe--even marry her!

What a sweet book, I truly enjoyed it and look forward to Ms. Kelly's next book. Marrying The Captain was a breath of fresh air for an adult romance. While I cannot claim it is clean due to a few love scenes, the H/H were married and I am always able to personally get over those when they are not explicit. I was so glad that Nana and Oliver held true to their own moral convictions. While it was touched on that the Captain is not a virgin Nana was.  Had she been a promiscuous woman this story could have been taken down an entirely different road.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

River Marked by Patricia Briggs

River Marked (Mercedes Thompson #6)River Marked by Patricia Briggs

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Sensuality Rating: Fluff - Heated (somewhere in between)

Car mechanic Mercy Thompson has always known there was something different about her, and not just the way she can make a VW engine sit up and beg. Mercy is a shapeshifter, a talent she inherited from her long-gone father. She's never known any others of her kind. Until now.

An evil is stirring in the depths of the Columbia River-one that her father's people may know something about. And to have any hope of surviving, Mercy and her mate, the Alpha werewolf Adam, will need their help...

Another great installment in the Mercedes Thompson Series. River Marked had everything I enjoy in a book and couldn't have been better! There was great growth in Mercy and Adam's relationship and while the original supporting characters were almost non existence, we learned much more about Mercy's Indian relations and had some new characters introduced. I look forward to the next book!!!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Regency Buck by Georgette Heyer

Regency BuckRegency Buck by Georgette Heyer

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sensuality Rating: Sweet

Miss Judith Taverner and her brother travel to London to meet their guardian, Julian St. John Audley, Lord Worth, expecting an elderly gentleman. To their surprise and utter disgust, their guardian is not much older than they are, and is determined to thwart all their interests, hoping to return them to the country until they reach majority and his job is done.

But Miss Taverner begins to move in the highest circles of society and Lord Worth can't do a thing about it ...

        While Heyer's sparkling Regency romances usually depicted the secondary nobility, with an occasional Duke, in Regency Buck, Heyer mixes her fictional characters with real-life personages of the highest of the haut ton-the circle of the Prince Regent and his brothers (all huge men with huge appetites), and Beau Brummell, the famous dandy who single-handedly set the fashions for male attire and manners.

Sylvester by Georgette Heyer

SylvesterSylvester by Georgette Heyer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Sensuality Rating: Sweet

Sylvester, the Duke of Salford, is a polished bachelor who has stringent requirements for his future wife—she must be well born, intelligent, elegant and attractive. And of course she must be able to present herself well in high society. But when he is encouraged to consider Phoebe Marlow as a bride, Sylvester is taken aback by the coltish woman who seems to resent him.

When Phoebe runs away, circumstances find the two striking up an unusual friendship. Phoebe discovers that the duke isn't the villain she first thought. And Sylvester stumbles upon something he never dared hope for.

Great Book! The reasons I love Heyer are all in this book! So good!

Arabella by Georgette Heyer

ArabellaArabella by Georgette Heyer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Sensuality Rating: Sweet

The prolific Georgette Heyer--author of more than 70 novels--is perhaps best known for her Regency romances. A consummate storyteller, Heyer was also an astute historian of the times she wrote about; every detail of the language, dress, and customs rings with authenticity. Arabella is one of Heyer's most charming Regency novels. In it, young Arabella Tallant, the beautiful daughter of an impoverished clergyman, comes to London for her social debut and almost immediately runs afoul of Robert Beaumaris, a wealthy, eligible aristocrat. Beaumaris suspects that Arabella engineered a carriage accident in order to meet him; Arabella, in a rage, leads him to believe that she is the heiress to a massive fortune and thus quite uninterested in his own riches.

Having set the stage for inevitable misunderstandings between this arrogant Romeo and hotheaded Juliet, Heyer then peoples it with unforgettable secondary characters. Arabella's warm heart and strong principles lead her to befriend such unsavory types as an abused apprentice to a chimney sweep, a stray dog, and a fallen woman happily known as "Leaky Peg"--all of whom she foists on the reluctant but gallant Mr. Beaumaris. Arabella is an intelligent, witty romp--both a romance with a hearty sense of humor and a historical novel that remains true to the times it depicts.

A great book! This is the reason Heyer is one of my favorite authors. Funny and sweet... with everything working out in the end in a realistic way! GREAT!

Venetia by Georgette Heyer

VenetiaVenetia by Georgette Heyer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Sensuality Rating: Sweet

Her beauty rivaled only by her sense, Venetia Lanyon is nearly resigned to spinsterhood, thanks to the enormous amount of responsibility she inherited with a Yorkshire estate, an invalid brother and the lackluster efforts of two wearisomely persistent suitors. Then she meets her neighbor, the infamous Lord Damerel, a charming rake shunned by polite society--exactly the type of man that a woman of quality should stay away from.

Though his scandalous past and deepest secrets give Venetia every reason to mistrust him, a rogue always gets what he wants. Without warning, his demanding kiss threatens to become a bachelor's undoing…and a spinster's most passionate awakening.


Lady of Quality by Georgette Heyer

Lady of QualityLady of Quality by Georgette Heyer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Sensuality Rating: Sweet

Miss Annis Wychwood, at twenty-nine, has long been on the shelf, but this bothers her not at all. She is rich and still beautiful and she enjoys living independently in Bath, except for the tiresome female cousin, who her very proper brother insists must live with her.

When Annis offers sanctuary to the very young runaway heiress Miss Lucilla Carleton, no one at all thinks this is a good idea. With the exception of Miss Carleton's overbearing guardian, Mr. Oliver Carleton, whose reputation as the rudest man in London precedes him. Outrageous as he is, the charming Annis ends up finding him absolutely irresistible.

Another classic Georgette Heyer. When Lucilla Carleton runs away from an unwanted marriage she finds Miss Annis Wychwood to take her in. Little does Miss Wychwood know but her life is about to completly change because of one young girl.

This book was full of witty humor and quips and a sweet building romance. I would recommend this book for Jane Austen and P.G. Wodehouse lovers as well as anyone looking for a good clean romance.

The Convenient Marriage by Georgette Heyer

The Convenient MarriageThe Convenient Marriage by Georgette Heyer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Sensuality Rating: Sweet

A dashing hero, with an equally dashing rival, and a sword fight that will take readers' breath away.

Horatia Winwood is a plain girl with a stutter. When she rescues her sister from an undesired marriage to the Earl of Rule by proposing to him herself, he is thoroughly impressed by her spirit and enjoys watching her take the ton by storm. When Rule's archenemy, Sir Robert, tries to kiss Horatia, she spurns his advances, and in the ensuing scuffle loses an heirloom brooch. Horatia's brother's hare-brained scheme to recover the brooch fails, and then the Earl himself must step in, challenging Sir Robert in a sword fight that is Heyer at her most stirring.

This book was classic Heyer!! I listened to this in audio book format and it was So Funny! Horatia gets herself in trouble ofter but her husband Lord Rule is always there to save her. Everyone should read it at least once!

Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers

Redeeming LoveRedeeming Love by Francine Rivers

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Sensuality Rating: Heated (due to the Heroines life changing experiences)

Best-selling author Francine Rivers skillfully retells the biblical love story of Gomer and Hosea in a tale set against the exciting backdrop of the California Gold Rush. The heroine, Angel, is a young woman who was sold into prostitution as a child. Michael Hosea is a godly man sent into Angel's life to draw her into the Savior's redeeming love. This remarkable novel has sold over a million copies globally and has been a fixture on the CBA bestsellers list for nearly a decade. A six-part reading guide, suitable for individual use or group discussion, is included in this best-selling novel.

This was a really good book. It was a deep read and at times you felt really sad for Angle and other times you just wanted to smack her and tell her to wake up. This was a good parallel to God's love for His people and while it was definitely a Christian book it wasn't all roses and censored life experiences. It wasn't a preachy book and I would recommend it to any and everyone that loves a good clean romance that has a marriage that is Christ based.

The Tide of the Mermaid Tears by Marcia Lynn McClure

The Tide of the Mermaid TearsThe Tide of the Mermaid Tears by Marcia Lynn McClure

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Sensuality Rating: Sweet

Ember gasped as she looked forward up the shore to see a man struggling in the water. He was coughing—spitting water from his mouth as he crawled from the water and onto the sand. As he collapsed face-down on the shore, Ember lifted her skirt and ran toward the man, dropping to her knees beside him.

“Sir?” she cried, nudging one broad shoulder. The man was stripped of his shirt—dressed only in a pair of trousers—no shoes…

Ember shook her head, rolling her eyes at her own foolishness.

“Sir?” she called again, nudging his broad shoulder once more. The man lay on his stomach—his face turned away from her. “Are you dead, sir?” she asked. Placing a hand to his back, she sighed with relief as she felt he yet breathed.

“Sir?” she said, clambering over the man’s broad torso.

The man coughed. His eyes opened—his deep blue eyes, so shaded by thick, wet lashes that Ember wondered how it was he could see beyond them.

“Sir?” Ember ventured.

He coughed, asking, “Where am I?”

“On the seashore, sir,” Ember answered.

A sweet story. More of a 4.5 but overall a classic Marcia book. Read it in one sitting.

Beneath the Honeysuckle Vine by Marcia Lynn McClure

Beneath the Honeysuckle VineBeneath the Honeysuckle Vine by Marcia Lynn McClure

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Sensuality Rating: Sweet

Civil War-no one could flee from the nightmare of battle and the countless lives it devoured. Everyone had sacrificed-suffered profound misery and unimaginable loss. Vivianna Bartholomew was no exception. The war had torn her from her home-orphaned her. The merciless war seemed to take everything-even the man she loved. Still, Vivianna yet knew gratitude-for a kind friend had taken her in upon the death of her parents. Thus, she was cared for-even loved. Yet, as General Lee surrendered signaling the war's imminent end-as Vivianna remained with the remnants of the Turner family-her soul clung to the letters written by her lost soldier-to his memory written in her heart. Could a woman ever heal from the loss of such a love? Could a woman's heart forget that it may find another? Vivianna Bartholomew thought not. Still, it is often in the world that miracles occur-that love endures even after hope has been abandoned. Thus, one balmy Alabama morning-as two ragged soldiers wound the road toward the Turner house-Vivianna began to know-to know that miracles do exist-that love is never truly lost.

This was an excellent book!!! A story of a loyal girl in love that finds when her love returns is no longer the man he once was. Now she must make a choice to stand by him or follow her heart in another direction.
SO SWEET! Marcia's writing is so clear. She can weave a story that is so endearing and creative and that you finish the book with all your questions answered! GREAT BOOK!

The Pirate Ruse by Marcia Lynn McClure

The Pirate RuseThe Pirate Ruse by Marcia Lynn McClure

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Sensuality Rating: Sweet

An instant before the sea swallowed her, Cristabel Albay gasped her last breath. She was certain it would truly be her last breath… Yet, mere moments later, her head broke the surface of the sea and she exhaled the breath she had been holding—the one that had not been her last—gasping for another.

“Do you swim, woman?” the pirate Navarrone growled.

“Y-yes,” Cristabel stammered. Her thoughts were muddled—for panic was her only ally. Yet, she was cognizant enough to know that her life was still in danger—not from pirates perhaps—but from the sea.

“Then swim!” the pirate growled. “If you want to live to see another sunrise, then swim for The Merry Wench.”

…She glanced up to the Chichester where pirates and British sailors yet battled. The Screaming Witch was already sailing, and Cristabel would rather have died than be the victim of the atrocities that would have met her aboard it.

Yet, to abandon one pirate ship for another? It was madness! Still, she could not fathom drowning—for drowning terrified her more than any other fate of death. Her only hope in surviving was to do as the pirate ordered. …She had heard tales of The Blue Blade Navarrone—tales of mercy. …Perhaps he would take pity on her… Thus, with no other venue to follow, Christabel began to swim—to swim for The Merry Wench and whatever fate awaited her there.

This was a very good book. I am not a pirate story kind of girl but would still recommend this. Trevon and Cristabel were a very sweet couple and I absolutely loved their interactions and thoughts about one another . .

Mini Spoiler(don't read if you don't want to know)
It was heartrendingly sweet and sad when he took the beating for her from the cat of 9 BUT how could he leave her there!!!!! WHAT ON EARTH!!I wanted to scream for her! If he died after he left her she would have had no closure... or she would have been waiting the rest of her life for him to possibly show up when he knew there was talks of war!!! Thank goodness it worked out but those where the things I was thinking when he said he was leaving her.

The kisses were as wonderful as ever and VIRTUE was still upheld. . . so 5 stars!!

The Inimitable Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse

The Inimitable JeevesThe Inimitable Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Sensuality Rating: Total Humor

Since his first appearance in print in 1919, Jeeves has become synonymous with British tongue-in-cheek humor. Valet to bumbling aristocrat Bertie Wooster, Jeeves is continually helping his employer out of scrapes. In this debut novel, Wooster's lovesick pal Bingo Little decides to marry and enlists his friend's help. Luckily for Wooster, Jeeves comes to the rescue.

This book was very funny and totally clean! Not my usual but definitely recommended.

Friday, March 4, 2011

**Not Recommended** Water For Elephants

Water for ElephantsWater for Elephants by Sara Gruen

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Though he may not speak of them, the memories still dwell inside Jacob Jankowski's ninety-something-year-old mind. Memories of himself as a young man, tossed by fate onto a rickety train that was home to the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. Memories of a world filled with freaks and clowns, with wonder and pain and anger and passion; a world with its own narrow, irrational rules, its own way of life, and its own way of death. The world of the circus: to Jacob it was both salvation and a living hell.

Jacob was there because his luck had run out - orphaned and penniless, he had no direction until he landed on this locomotive 'ship of fools'. It was the early part of the Great Depression, and everyone in this third-rate circus was lucky to have any job at all. Marlena, the star of the equestrian act, was there because she fell in love with the wrong man, a handsome circus boss with a wide mean streak. And Rosie the elephant was there because she was the great gray hope, the new act that was going to be the salvation of the circus; the only problem was, Rosie didn't have an act - in fact, she couldn't even follow instructions. The bond that grew among this unlikely trio was one of love and trust, and ultimately, it was their only hope for survival.

(Let me explain that the reason I read this book was because of the upcoming movie and more specifically the actor in the movie.)

          This is not my typical book to read due to the fact that it has animals in it. Animals always seem to be the victim of a tragic accident or inhumane act by a villain in books and movies and they makes me feel sad. I read to feel happy and be entertained. This book was no exception, the animals were abused throughout and the language was atrocious. I don't understand why authors choose to use crass language as I feel it "dumbs down" the feat of writing a book.
           The romance was a side line in the story and and was not explicit.  The heroine being married while "getting to know" the hero left a bad taste in my mouth regardless of her reasons for being married.  While this was a very interesting story I cannot recommend this book due to it's low moral characters, horrendous language and animal abuse.