Saturday, February 16, 2013

Everard Legacy by Regina Scott

This was a fun new regency series, one that you would definitely want to read in order. There is an overlapping mystery throughout and you may be a little lost if read out of order. Each book also has a lovely romance that really outshines the mystery aspects. It did feel at time that the mystery was there to help bring the characters together. I read these more for the relationship than for the mystery. The first three books focus on the story of three men, two brothers and a cousin. They all at one point in their lives came to live with their uncle and are very close. They are brought together again when their uncles dies under mysterious circumstances, but also when they find out he had a daughter they never knew about. The first three books of the series focuses on uncovering the truth behind their uncles death. The last book takes place about eight years later, but has strong ties to the first three books. It is probably the only one that could really stand on its own, but would probably be better appreciated if read in order.
Overall, I thought it was a fun series. I liked each of the different romances and thought we were given some very likable characters. It was fun to see the different couples come together. I especially liked the last book, it was nice to see how close everyone was. These would fall under Christian fiction, to be honest, I kind of skipped some of the preaching stuff and all of the prayers were in italics (which were easy to skip). Not that there is anything wrong with that stuff, but I prefer to have good characters without the obvious preaching. It was pretty mild compared to some and again easy to overlook if you don’t like that stuff, but also well done if you do.
Content: Clean
Reading Order:
Book One: The Rogue’s Reform
Book Two: The Captain’s Courtship
Book Three: The Rakes Redemption
Book Four: The Heiress Homecoming

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Redeeming the Rogue by CJ Chase

With a chip on her shoulder and a pistol in her pocket, Mattie Fraser comes to London determined to find answers. What fate befell her brother after he was forced to join the British navy? Military official Kit DeChambelle knows something, she's sure. But can she trust him—or anyone— as a conspiracy of silence surrounds her? Kit knows altogether too much—about the guilt that drives Mattie, and the peril she faces. The battle against Napoleon is over, but for Kit, peace is elusive. In helping this brave, stubborn woman, he may be endangering her further. Especially if she learns about the orders he's received, placing them on opposite sides…

I liked this one. I thought it was well written and had a pretty good plot. I liked Mattie and Kit; they both have pasts that they are trying to forget. There is a mystery that brings them together and they have to rely on one another to try and figure things out. There were a few twists that I didn’t see coming and I wanted to keep reading to see what would happen next. I thought the Christian elements were okay, not overdone, but also seemed a tad forced. I think I would have preferred if all the preaching had been left out.

The romance part felt a bit unbelievable. I could see them maybe being friends, but by the end I wasn’t sure where all their sudden feelings of love were coming from. It’s only been a few days and most of that time has been spent not trusting each other, so how do we get from total lack of trust to head over heels in love? They are obviously physically attracted to one another, but they have nothing in common. They come from totally different worlds and upbringings. I want a happily ever after and that’s what I got, so I guess I can’t complain too much.

I just have to say, the title and cover don’t really match the book. First, the title would imply that our hero was a rogue. Aside from his habit of drinking a lot, he is a really nice guy. He loves his family, friends and goes out of his way to help those he cares about. So, I’m still not sure where the whole rogue thing comes from, aside from being a catchy title. Second, the cover would imply, at least to me, that the story takes place on a ship. It doesn’t. Owell.

I look forward to reading more from Ms. Chase.

Content: Clean.

Reading Order:
Book One: Redeeming the Rogue
Book Two: The Reluctant Earl

Monday, February 4, 2013

The Dreamer by May Nicole Abbey

A dream in the night. A leap of faith. A quest for truth and treasure. From term papers and instant coffee to blood-thirsty pirates and buried treasure, Rachel Madera, a gifted university professor, finds herself travelling through time on a journey of discovery and danger, all because of a simple dream. Despite the threat, Rachel is undaunted, certain she holds the keys to unlock the mystery of a Pharaoh’s treasure … and alter the course of history. The only thing that stands between her and peril is Captain Mallory Tucker, a man with a tragic past and intractable moral code. Born of the sea, he is among the leading mariners of 18th century Europe. But the derelicts who make up his crew and the capriciousness of the ocean have taken their toll, and Captain Tucker is tired and jaded. The last thing he needs is a precocious young woman dropping onto his ship and creating havoc. But he’ll fight to the death for her honor, her beliefs…and her love.

I had my doubts about this when I first started; I didn’t hit it off with our main character Rachel. But, I knew my good friend Deb loved it, so I buckled down and before I knew it I was sucked into the story. I loved The Captain. He was a great lead and he really kept me wanting to read more. I also loved the pirate Captain Fredericks, he was hilarious. I even thought the villain was well done. My only problem with the book was Rachel; I just didn’t care for her. Luckily, as the book progresses she gets better. I did think that she had good chemistry with the captain and I enjoyed their scenes together. I thought it had a fun plot and was well written.

 Content:  Clean.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee. Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling. Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha…and the secrets of her heart.

I saw the first five chapters of this were free on Amazon, so I thought I’d give it a try. I was hooked pretty early on and went ahead and bought the book. I had to know what happened with our heroine Alina and Mal. While I love high fantasy books, I always get a little frustrated with all the crazy names and places. I guess it’s a personal pet-peeve of mine, but I did think it was a bit much in this book. There are a lot of crazy names, different levels of Grisha (magic people), places and slang to keep track of. Overlooking all of that though, I did like the story. It’s kind of your typical plot, but with enough original ideas to keep things interesting. I liked Alina, for the most part. I liked her history and relationship with Mal. I liked that they were good friends and depended on one another. I definitely felt potential for them at the start of the book, some things happen though that kind of dampened it for me. There were just a couple things that kept me from really loving the story, probably more of a personal preference than anything else. I think it will probably be a fun series and I can see why a lot of people like it.

Overall, I did enjoy it and it kept me reading. I liked how it all wrapped up, but may be curious enough to read the rest of the series. For full review, with spoilers, visit my Goodreads review.

Content: Pretty clean, mild innuendo. One makeout scene gets a little steamy, but nothing happens. Was pretty violent and dark. I think maybe a handful of swearwords.

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