Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Review: A Timeless Romance Anthology: All Regency Collection

A Timeless Romance Anthology: All Regency Collection
A Timeless Romance Anthology: All Regency Collection by Anna Elliott

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this Regency novella collection in the Timeless Romance Anthology series! I was pleasantly surprised to find that I enjoyed each one of these 6 short novellas.

In the first book, THE WEDDING GIFT: A PRIDE AND PREJUDICE STORY by Anna Elliott, the story opens two weeks before Elizabeth Bennet’s wedding to Mr. Darcy. Elizabeth is searching for the perfect wedding gift. When she obtains the gift she can't say no to, it leads to unexpected danger and the realization that the gift of love is more important than any one thing. Anna Elliott did a great job with this short follow-up to Pride and Prejudice. I'm going to have to look into her other P&P books!

In DREAM OF A GLORIOUS SEASON, a sweet novella by Sarah M. Eden, we meet Elizabeth Gillerford. Elizabeth is hopelessly in love with the man who has been destined for her older sister from birth by their respective families. But Julian is too good of a man for her mean-spirited sister and he's smart enough not to fall into her trap. When Julian discovers that Elizabeth has been denied a Season because her older sister is yet unwed, he undertakes his own stealthy measures to introduce Elizabeth to society, only to find himself falling in love with her himself. This was an enjoyable sweet short story with a perfectly sweet happy ending! :)

In the third book, THE MENDER by Carla Kelly, Thankful Winnings takes a sea voyage with her cousin in a last adventure before she settles down to marry one of her beaus. Unexpectedly they come upon the aftermath of a fierce ship battle, and Thankful is commissioned to help in the place of an injured surgeon on one of the Royal Navy ships. Adam Farnsworth, surgeon, has been at sea for years. Tired of war, but devoted to his post, it takes a resourceful lady such as Thankful to give him the hope of love and help heal his own wounds, the ones that show and the ones that don’t. I really, really liked this unexpectedly tender love story!

In BEGIN AGAIN, a novella by Josi S. Kilpack, Regina Weathers has given up on marrying for love. When the man she loved walks back into her life after fifteen years, Regina is too steaming mad to give him a chance to explain.
But Ross is determined to woo back the woman he has loved all these years. When Regina discovers a secret long since buried by her father, will the revelation be enough to thaw the coldness of her heart? Whew! This book started with a bang and I wasn't too sure I was going to like it but it redeemed itself and of course has the sweet ending that you want. :D

In Annette Lyon’s endearing story, THE AFFAIR AT WILDEMOORE, Mr. & Mrs. Anthony & Ellen Stanhope are reminded of their courtship and early years of marriage as they watch their oldest daughter flirt with a beau. The tragic death of their infant son had set them on separate courses in life and they have drifted apart. Will the reappearance of an old flame end in disaster or will the memories of their love bring reconciliation? I loved the tender emotions in this story! It's a sweet, endearing story you won't want to miss.

In the sixth and final novella, THE DUKE’S BROTHER by Heather B. Moore, Mr. Gregory Clark is having an awful day, and it only gets worse when he’s ran over by … a woman. Mabel Russell reluctantly visits her sister in London for the Season, even though she’d rather stay in the country cataloging insects and aphids. When she runs into Gregory Clark, quite literally, she’s afraid to show any interest, especially since he’s a member of the dreaded ton. But getting to know Gregory becomes an unexpected delight. This was a quirky, fun story about a heroine that is different and the man who is a perfect fit for her! A delightful way to finish the book. :)

*Thanks to eBooksForReview for providing me with a free e-book copy in exchange for my honest opinion & review.*

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Monday, March 23, 2015

Review: Esther: Royal Beauty

Esther: Royal Beauty
Esther: Royal Beauty by Angela Elwell Hunt

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is an awesome fictional telling of the biblical story of Queen Esther. Hadassah is a young Jewish orphan girl when King Xerxes calls for beautiful women to be brought to the palace to choose a replacement for Queen Vashti. After being captured and forcibly brought to the palace, Hadassah presents herself as Esther to conceal her Jewish heritage. Once she is chosen to be queen, Esther finds her life has changed once more. Loved by a king, Esther finds her position can be lonely and challenging. And when the time comes for her to stand with her people, does she have the courage to go before the King?

I loved this account of Queen Esther's story. There was such a depth to the story and I liked the way Esther grows and matures throughout the book. I also liked the way the story was told from two perspectives - Hadassah and Harbonah (the King's eunuch). It gave the story the uniqueness of seeing things from a male perspective and occasionally from the King's side also.

Angela Hunt is a great writer and you will have no problem being pulled into this story. You'll feel Esther's fear, excitement, sadness, boldness, and the growth of her faith. You won't be disappointed with this one!

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Thursday, March 19, 2015

Review: How to Catch a Prince

How to Catch a Prince
How to Catch a Prince by Rachel Hauck

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Corina Del Ray is an American heiress whose family has fallen apart after the death of her twin brother in Afghanistan. Unbeknownst to anyone but her, her secret marriage to Prince Stephen of the Brighton Kingdom also fell apart due to her brother's death. Now, 5 years later, Prince Stephen learns that the marriage was never annulled. Because he is still suffering from the effects of the war that killed his friend and his wife's brother, he seeks out Corina to get the papers signed to finalize the annulment. The survivor's guilt he feels that caused him to break up with her in the first place still plagues him and he assumes Corina has moved on. When Corina finds out that she is still married to the man she will always love she decides to fight for him and their marriage.

This book definitely has some deeper subject matters and is not as lighthearted as the first two. The author did a good job of addressing things like PTSD, the loss of a loved one, survivor's guilt and questioning God. Stephan and Corina both have to learn to let go of the past in order to learn to love again. I loved the chemistry between them and the story of their whirlwind courtship and marriage. But there were also parts of the story that seemed to be choppy and didn't flow well for me.

(MAY BE A SPOILER) I also didn't care for the whole mystery building thing. I don't mind having angelic beings helping someone (in fact I loved the two in this book) but to have Corina staying in a building that's not even there was a little over the top in my opinion. (END SPOILER)

*Thanks to Zondervan and NetGalley for providing me with a free e-book copy in exchange for my honest opinion & review.*

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Monday, March 9, 2015

Review: Working it Out

Working it Out
Working it Out by Rachael Anderson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Grace Warren is the best physical therapist around so when Seth Tuttle needs physical therapy for an injury to his knee, Grace's clinic is where he goes. Grace, however, is not happy to see him. Much to her chagrin, Seth doesn't recognize Grace as the woman he kissed at the charity bachelor auction a couple of weeks earlier. Seth appears to be the exact opposite of what Grace wants in a relationship - he's always pushing the boundaries in extreme sports which brings up tragic memories from her past. Can Grace let go of her fears for a chance at love?

I really liked this book. Grace still struggles with guilt from what happened to her brother when she was a teenager. She strives for safe and predictable as a result. As a physical therapist she also sees the results of injuries from extreme sports. So when Seth comes into her life, she's very reluctant to allow herself to be attracted to him. Seth also has a tragedy in his past which (unlike Grace) has pushed him to live life to the fullest and to push the limits. Talk about opposites attracting! I love how the author worked their relationship and how they grow and change throughout the book.

I also loved the supporting characters in this book. Grace's brother Alec and Seth's friendship with Lanna as well as Seth's circle of friends that support him in several different areas of the book.

I have yet to find a Rachael Anderson book that I don't like! She writes very well rounded stories that have lovely romances that keep you captivated and are clean to read.

*Thanks to eBooksForReview for providing me with a free e-book copy in exchange for my honest opinion & review.*

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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Review: Q&A a Day: 5-Year Journal

Q&A a Day: 5-Year Journal
Q&A a Day: 5-Year Journal by Potter Style

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This little journal (small in height but thick in pages) gives you the chance to document small parts of your life for five years. Every day of the year there is a new question to answer. You are given just a few small lines to write a reply and a place to add the year. And for five years you go back to the same question on that date every year. As you return to the daily questions over the years, you're given a chance to see how things have changed or not changed. With questions such as "On a scale of one to ten, how happy are you?" or "What can you smell right now?" or "If you could travel anywhere tomorrow, where would you go?", you get a variety of thoughts and feelings throughout the process.

I thought this was a very interesting journal and I love the single daily question because I'm not the type to want to sit down and make a big journal entry every day. I also loved the fact that it gives you five years of perspective to look back on. This would also make a nice gift for a new graduate. The paper bag brown of the cover is a little off-putting to me (rather have something in black or a pretty color or a leather look) but the inside pages are a nice white/cream color with gilded gold edges so all in all a nice looking book.

*Thanks to the Blogging for Books program for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion and review*

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