4 star review

Review: Rogue with a Brogue by Suzanne Enoch

Rogue with a Brogue

This was an Orange Public Library new release find.

This past week I did some traveling out-of-town and knew I would have some down time to waste in a book. After hitting up the local library, and stocking up on both audio and printed books, I was ready to hit the road.

The title of this book basically tells it all, unless you wanted to be difficult and use literal definitions of the words.In that case, it would be a fine book about a wild pachyderm who wears the shoes of an Irish peasant. While in some circles that may sound like quite the must read, I’m just not up for elephants at the moment. So, lets just assume that whoever you are, that you are a fellow bibliophile and have read a historical romance or two (or 500, whatever). In that case the title is very obviously about a Scottish bad boy.

Suzanne Enoch is yet another new author for me to explore. What I really enjoyed about this example of her work was that it wasn’t just sex sex sex sexxxxx, with throbbing this and jiggling that’s. There was a very good storyline, with great character development and interactions. I won’t lie and say I have never read a book like this before, because I have, but what made this different was that the attraction and romance between the characters actually took the time to grow as they went against the grain in a  centuries old familial conflict.

The MacLawry and Campbell dispute has a very Romeo and Juliet feel to it. They were raised to basically hate all members of the opposite clan, and this went of for many generations. It was to the point that the current generation had no clue as to why the other family was so despicable. Under normal circumstances the two families never would have had chance to interact. The Campbell’s had moved to England for a better life, while the MacLawry’s worked for growth and improvement in Scotland.When Ranulf MacLawry, the leader of the clan, set out to create a truce with the Campbell’s (and fell in love with a Sasannach) Arran MacLawry, traveled to England to set Ranulf straight. What Arran didn’t expect was that he would fall for one too.

I honestly enjoyed this title, and hope to find more by Enoch. Her style incorporated stylized writing to emphasize the accent of the Scottish characters, and it offered an appreciated sharp contrast to the more proper Englishmen. Another aspect was the usage of Scottish terminology as the characters spoke to one another.

If you have some down time, it wouldn’t hurt to give this one a try.

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4.5 star review

Review: Silk and Steel by Kat Martin

Silk and Steel

Earlier this month I was wandering around the Minneapolis/St . Paul airport, trying to waste some time while I waited for my flight.  I found a fairly good-sized book shop and my inner bookworm overpowered my frugal sensibilities and the hunt began.  My first time through, nothing caught my attention,  but on second glance the stereotypical cover art of a historical romance reeled me in! At the time I didn’t know this was the second book in a series, and it didn’t have the feel of a serial. I also didn’t know that this was an older title. I found it on the new release wall (with a new release price), but as I collected the image and link for this post I discovered that it was from the early 2000’s.

I love love love these cookie cutter books. Even though they mostly follow the same outline (ie lady in distress either convinced or entraps an affluent man into marriage ), I enjoy the nuances that each author uses to make their story unique.

Kat Martin’s SIlk and Steel is no exception to this concept. Her character development was well done, engaging and not too cliché. There was sex, but it wasn’t just about the sex. The characters had to learn about each other, and through that emerging friendship the reader gained some insight to the lives of each individual. I would recommend this title, without hesitation. It was a quick read, with a total time of about 4 hours. The total page count is about 370 pages.

Lady Kathryn Grayson has had a bit of bad luck. Her parents have both died, and with no close relatives to act as her guardian Kathryn (and her inheritance) was overseen by her Uncle Lord Dunstan. To keep the money close, and Kathryn out-of-the-way Dunstan has her imprisoned in a home for the mentally ill. This claim of insanity was based on a peculiar hobby Kathryn enjoyed taking part in during the late hours of the night. For nearly a year she suffered at the hands of those that should have protected her; but while she waited, she planned. Once an opportunity presented itself Kathryn made am escape and fell into the world she once had once belonged to…and into the home of Lucien Montaine.

It’s a topsy-turvy romance, with just enough suspense and drama to keep it interesting. It was a solid read and a great intro to a new writer for myself. I can’t wait to see what else Martin has to offer.

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2 star review

Review-Doctor-Patient Confidentiality (book 1) by Eme Strife

***ARC received from author in exchange for an honest review***

Doctor-Patient Confidentiality

By Eme Strife

Eme Strife, author of this series, reached out and asked if I would be interested in reading and writing a review for the first installment in her series “Patient Confidentiality”. After reading the prologue, I was hooked. It had just enough steamy romance/sexiness to reel me in.

I should have known it was too good to be true. After the prologue, I was tossed into the mundane ramblings of a college-aged woman who had an affinity for the f-word. A goodly portion of the first…second…maybe even third chapters was dedicated to her trek across campus to get to class. I waited and waited for things to pick up and get sexy but that never came through. The hot and heavy scenes from the prologue were no where to be seen in the book. I was so confused by this I actually downloaded the file again to ensure I had a full copy.

In short (and based on the length of this booklet that’s all I can give), if you are looking for a bait and switch, or something to pass the time in the bathroom, this may be a piece for you. It had 117 pages, and when read on my Kindle; the last 20% was dedicated to advertisements for other books written by Strife. If I had known, prior to reading, that this was essentially a small portion of a larger book, I would have skipped the review. I am not a fan of serial booklets, which could have been presented as a single standard length book.

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4.5 star review

Review: Love Finds You in Calico California by Elizabeth Ludwig

Love Finds You in Calico California

By Elizabeth Ludwig

I have been living on the edge lately! I have started to browse different sections of my local library and came across a local authors shelf. That is where I discovered Elizabeth Ludwig’s Love Finds You in Calico, California. This is Ludwig’s first  full length novel and I say she did a fantastic job.The cover really caught my eye, with a pistol and bold red boots!  I decided that I had to give this western a chance. I am glad I did! While this is not something I would have usually gone for, I could appreciate the author’s work and style throughout the novel. I generally don’t read books with a strong religious presence, but in this storyline, it worked really well. If I had to describe this title in a single sentence, it would probably go something like this, “Ludwig captures the purity and innocence of budding romance, set against the backdrop of sorrow and mystery”.

Abigail Watts and her father Anson, made their way out West to reap the benefits of the booming silver mining business found in Calico, California. Without her mother’s guidance, Abigail relied heavily on her father, and he on her. However, when a tragic, albeit suspicious, accident claims the life of Anson, Abigail must fend for herself, alone, in the Wild West. With the help of Nathan Hawk, widower and father to a young daughter Lizzy, Abigail is determined to uncover the truth about her father’s demise. Together they will find truth, and maybe true love.

I really, really enjoyed this book. There weren’t any steamy romance scenes, or foul language, nothing that would make my Grandmother blush, and I don’t think adding any of that would have worked with this couple. They each needed simplicity, honesty and love; nothing more. If you were looking for a quick, heartwarming read, this would be a great choice. My only critique is that it was too short. I want to know what happens to this small town, and the book really offered a lot of opportunity to expand on that.

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