Ever wonder just how a read is a great read? See what I’ve planned for next month.

I’m so excited to start another aspect of my blog—learning how to write a novel.  I’m doing it to help me and to help those who are interested in becoming good writers. It may also make reading more interesting because to understand how much effort is put into good writing, you’ll be able to hone in on those writers who just simply have it together.

This year I wanted to spend more time on my development as a good writer and fewer book reviews.  However, to be a good writer, you must be a very good reader.  I’ve nailed the part about reader!

Ever since 2012 when I returned to the United States after eight years of living in Lebanon, I wanted to write.  The word blog and what it did was new to me. I took up the challenge. I’ve loved the experience and hope you have enjoyed following me.

We all know how good dialogue sets off a story, in any genre.  It simply propels the story forward, making the reader eager to hear what the characters have to say. This is not the only purpose, and should not be.  If it is, the writer is missing a great opportunity in bringing narration of the story into dialogue. To actually know what the writer is trying to do with dialogue is fascinating. It is part of my journey to learn.

10569In reading a delightful book from author Stephen King titled A Memoir of the Craft, On Writing, he says there are three aspects of good writing essential to learn—one is narration.  I intend to reread his book and do a review.  He is in-your-face funny and spot-on!  Dialogue, he says, must sound real, authentic.  But it shouldn’t mirror the dialogue we engage in.  There is so much said, unimportant, and would only drag a story to a literal stop.  Readers don’t have time for nonsensical chatter in dialogue.  Be on the lookout for my review, including some of his gems of wisdom.

I’m presently reading Crafting Dynamic Dialogue: The 26384466Complete Guide to Speaking Conversing, Arguing, and Thinking in Fiction.  It is packed with good information and examples of what they are talking about.  It’s part of the Writer’s Digest collection.  I’m sure to read it several times to absorb what is said.  I have started looking at dialogue with a keener eye, asking myself the characteristics of the dialogue being played out.

Dialogue is used to communicate.  But to communicate what?

I’ve invited a couple of my favorite authors to be guests to my blog to discuss dialogue.  Both write delightful—Diana Cosby and Elizabeth Rose.  Each will bring their own personality and what they wish to convey in dialogue.  I can’t wait to hear what they have to say!  Stay tuned! You may want to peruse their work on Goodreads.com.

Diana Cosby

Elizabeth Rose









Posted in Diana Cosby, Elizabeth Rose, Novel Development, On Becoming a Writer | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Blog Tour: Discover J.R. Ward’s The Black Dagger Brotherhood series with this new release (January 7) PRISONER OF NIGHT Book 16.5


The Black Dagger Brotherhood series
by J. R. Ward
On Sale: January 7, 2019
Gallery Books | E-book Original
E-ISBN: 9781501195174 | $5.99

(My review follows book excerpt)

Publisher’s Summary:

From #1 New York Times bestselling author J.R. Ward comes an unforgettable story of passion and vengeance in the Black Dagger Brotherhood world.                                                                           

When Ahmare’s brother is abducted, there is nothing she won’t do to get him back safely. She is unprepared, however, for the lengths she will have to go to save his life. Paired with a dangerous but enticing prisoner, she embarks on an odyssey into another world.
Duran, betrayed by his father, imprisoned in a dungeon for decades, has survived only because of his thirst for vengeance. He has been biding his time to escape and is shocked to find an unlikely and temporary freedom in the form of a determined young female.

Battling against deadly forces and facing unforeseen peril, the pair are in a race to save Ahmare’s brother. As time runs out, and the unthinkable looms, even true love may not be enough to carry them through.


About the Author:

J.R. WardJ.R. Ward is the author of more than thirty novels, including those in her #1 New York Times bestselling Black Dagger Brotherhood series. There are more than fifteen million copies of her novels in print worldwide, and they have been published in twenty-six different countries around the world. She lives in the South with her family.

Purchase Link: https://www.simonandschuster.com/books/Prisoner-of-Night/J-R-Ward/The-Black-Dagger-Brotherhood-series/9781501195174



Twenty-One Years, Three Months, Six Days Ago . .

“Where is it! Goddamn you, where’s it at!”

Duran spit blood out of his mouth and spoke over the ringing in his ears. “I’ll never tell you—”

Chalen the Conqueror swung his open palm again, nailing Duran’s lacerated face like a bat hitting a fastball. But it didn’t hurt as much as the other shit they’d been doing to him in this castle’s great room. They’d already pulled out his fingernails, broken all of his toes, and whipped his back until strips of his own flesh flapped against his ribs. At the moment, he didn’t have the strength to keep himself on his feet, but no worries there—two guards, with grips locked under his pits, were holding him up off the floor.

As his head flopped back into its lolling hang, he shook it to get the sweat and blood out of his eyes. In the hissing, kicking light of the hearth, the male in front of him was stocky of build and ugly of feature, an oak stump with a bulldog’s muzzle and a hungry bear’s bad fucking attitude.

“You are going to tell me the location.” Chalen took Duran by the throat with one of his meat hands. “And you’re going to do it now.”

“Sorry, not . . . a big talker—”

The conqueror grabbed onto the lower half of Duran’s face, squeezing so hard his jaw split and the inside of his mouth was forced between the hard-and-sharp of his molars. More blood welled, spilled, fell on his bare chest.

“Why are you protecting the male who put you here?” Chalen’s opaque eyes searched Duran’s expression as if he were trying to extrapolate a map of Maryland in the features. “All you need to do is tell me where that facility is.”

Duran waited for that grip to release. When it did, he spit more blood out. “I’m not . . . protecting him.”

“Then what are you doing?”

“Making sure you don’t cheat me of what’s mine.” Duran smiled, aware he must look deranged. “You kill him . . . I don’t get to.”

Chalen crossed his strong-man arms over his barrel chest. He was dressed in weapons, whatever clothes he had on underneath the holsters of guns and knives largely hidden by metal. No daggers, though. He’d never been Black Dagger Brotherhood material and not just because he was a mutt according to his lineage: Even among black market thieves, there was a code of conduct.

Not for Chalen. He had no code. Not in the Old Country, and not during his last century here in the New World.

There was only one male who was worse.

“I will break you,” Chalen said in a low voice. “And I will enjoy it.”

Duran laughed in a wheeze. “You have no idea what I’ve already been through—”

Chalen swung that palm wide again, the crack so heavy Duran lost his vision, everything going checkerboard. And then there was a drop in blood pressure, his brain emptying of oxygen, floaty disassociation riding in, a foggy savior buffering the suffering.

The sound of chains moving and gears shifting brought him back to reality. A section of the sweaty stone wall rose by inches, the great weight ascending like a gate, revealing a corridor . . .

Revealing a male who was naked but for a black hood that covered his head.

“I will make you pray for death,” Chalen said. “And when you give me what I need, you will think back to this moment. When you could have saved yourself from so much.”

Duran exhaled in a gurgle. His body was on fire, the pain burning through his veins, turning him into a semi-living, kind-of-breathing, sort-of-conscious incubator for agony.

But fuck Chalen.

“Do what you will,” he mumbled. “I’m not going to give you a goddamn thing.”

“I will make you wish you were never born.”

As the hooded male came forward, Duran was dragged over and slammed face-first down onto a table, his torso bent parallel to the floor. Turning his face to the side, he smelled the spoiled meat and rancid fat embedded in the fibers of the planks.

“Already there, asshole.”


My Review:

A read that kept me riveted to my sofa, gripping my iPad in angst while swiping those pages!

I haven’t had the pleasure of reading this author.  She basically shook me with a story so realistic, a world of vampires (who knew they have similar problems as us poor humans), it was hard to find a stopping place to continue my own life outside of her deliciously well-built chaotic one.  What did I take away of the reading?

  1. Life is full of wrong decisions with terrible consequences;
  2. Life dishes out bad, not necessarily from our own actions;
  3. To survive it takes a bundle of courage, trust, bravery, forgiveness, and love.

Slam! Bam!  This author doesn’t pussy-foot around telling this story.  She goes directly to the grit, anguish, torture with pure evil having the upper-hand, coiling the reader’s stomach with her choice of words in her unique style of writing.  The dialog was superb–crude and in the reader’s face, setting the tone of all its gore.

Ahmare was pretty much a normal vampire until her parents were killed.  From that moment she learned to defend herself and to kill if need be.  Her younger brother got mixed up in drugs and things really started spiraling out of control until he was nabbed by Chalen, an old vampire who got-off torturing other vampires. Ahmare, with the love for her brother, the only family she has left, negotiates for his release, doing what Chalen asks of her.

As with most evil, one deed is never enough.  Chalen demanded more.  For her brother, she would do it with the weapon Chalen supplies.  A vampire, in captivity for 20 years, who knows where Chalen’s beloved is, but wouldn’t tell Chalen even under massive torture.  Can she trust this vampire?  Will he kill or hurt her?  Life gets worse before it gets better — love prevails. And what a journey!

I was thrilled to discover another author which pushes my buttons, gets my heart racing and has an underlying theme of wisdom in her story.

Posted in Action/Adventure, Book Reviews, Fantasy Romance, New Book Release, New Book Release Tour, Paranormal, Paranormal Romance, Romantic Suspense, Suspense | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

Review: THE WINTER OF THE WITCH by Katherine Arden ~ seep yourself in the winter forests of medieval Russia in this fantasy triology ~ releases January 8, 2019



Title:  The Winter of the Witch  Winternight Trilogy Book 3
Author: Kathleen Arden
Genre: Literary Fiction, Fantasy
Pages: 384
Published by: Del Rey
Published Date: January 8, 2019
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
ASIN: B077LT812J

 Winternight Trilogy:
The Bear and the Nightingale
The Girl in the Tower
The Winter of the Witch

The first two books are also reviewed on Booktalk with Eileen. Use the search box to locate them.


Publisher’s Summary:

Following their adventures in The Bear and the Nightingale and The Girl in the Tower, Vasya and Morozko return in this stunning conclusion to the bestselling Winternight Trilogy, battling enemies mortal and magical to save both Russias, the seen and the unseen.

“A tale both intimate and epic, featuring a heroine whose harrowing and wondrous journey culminates in an emotionally resonant finale.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Reviewers called Katherine Arden’s novels The Bear and the Nightingale and The Girl in the Tower “lyrical,” “emotionally stirring,” and “utterly bewitching.” The Winternight Trilogy introduced an unforgettable heroine, Vasilisa Petrovna, a girl determined to forge her own path in a world that would rather lock her away. Her gifts and her courage have drawn the attention of Morozko, the winter-king, but it is too soon to know if this connection will prove a blessing or a curse.

Now Moscow has been struck by disaster. Its people are searching for answers—and for someone to blame. Vasya finds herself alone, beset on all sides. The Grand Prince is in a rage, choosing allies that will lead him on a path to war and ruin. A wicked demon returns, stronger than ever and determined to spread chaos. Caught at the center of the conflict is Vasya, who finds the fate of two worlds resting on her shoulders. Her destiny uncertain, Vasya will uncover surprising truths about herself and her history as she desperately tries to save Russia, Morozko, and the magical world she treasures. But she may not be able to save them all.


My Review:  Having read and reviewed the first two book of this trilogy, I was well-primed to enjoy the events unfolding in this story set deep in the myths of Russia.  It was a time where old beliefs fade from people’s minds while new one are taking root.

Vasya Petrona is caught between the two beliefs.  She has special powers of perception; able to see and hear the demons who guard each dwelling, protect the ovens of their homes, dwell in the forest, the waterways, and even demons who take the dead.  This world is in an uproar.  The smaller demons are becoming weaker, also losing their powers.  They want to fight back.  People have turned their backs on them.  They were the ones to protect homes and dwellings.  While they were believed in, people were able to see them and provided for them as well.  They grew strong.  But no more.

The Winter King, the demon of death, has grown an attachment to Vasya. He protects her when those would call her witch. His twin, the Bear, works against him, using hate and lust of a ‘man of God’ to destroy Vasya.  The Bear wants to destroy Morozko and take over the world.  He insights hatred and war among men, gaining more power as he does.

Vasya is in the middle of this battle.  Will she be overtaken by Morozko or the Bear?  Is she clever enough and powerful enough to stop the down-spiraling demise of the mythical world? She knows that to have Russia a country of peace the worlds must work together.

The dialog among the demons and Vasya is very well done.  It shows clearly the stress of the events and the power behind each demon. It sets the tone of the story, along with author Arden’s description of the setting.  I find myself in Russia, in the Midnight Forest where there is never day.  All the events create a perfect fantasy of battles, evil, and love – the kind that endures.  You will be surprised by the events and completely happy with the ending. This tale is memorable.

Uniquely written with a style suited to the time, author Arden shows us the underbelly of the demon. I took away a theme, intentioned or not.  In every good person, there is evil, and in every bad person, there is good.

I recommend this series to dreamers of the unknown.

Posted in Action/Adventure, Book Reviews, Dark Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction, New Book Release | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Review: THE HIGHLAND RENEGADE by Amy Jarecki set to release January 8, 2019



Title:  The Highland Renegade  Lords of the Highlands Book 5
Author: Amy Jarecki
Genre: Historical Romance
Pages: 368
Published by: Forever
Published Date: January 8, 2019
Sold by: Hachette Book Group

 Lords of the Highlands series:
The Highland Duke
The Highland Commander
The Highland Guardian
The Highland Chieftain

Publisher’s Summary:

Fans of Hannah Howell and Diana Gabaldon will love this “flirtatious, sensuous…mesmerizing” (Publishers Weekly) Scottish historical romance from the bestselling author of The Highland Chieftain.

She is the daughter of his sworn enemy.

Famed for his fierceness, Laird Robert Grant is above all a loyal Highland clan chief. But when redcoats capture his rival’s daughter, he sets aside their feud and races to her rescue. Aye, Janet Cameron is beautiful, cunning, and so very tempting, but a Cameron lass is the last woman he should ever desire.

He is her one hope of happiness.

Janet refuses to meekly surrender, not even when surrounded by foes. She takes every chance to escape, first from the English soldiers and then from the wickedly handsome Robert. Yet with each day they spend together, his unexpected gallantry chips away at her reserve little by little. As danger and treachery loom, can she trust him enough to choose love over vengeance?


My Review:

Damned if you do and damned if you don’t.  Laird Grant is in an untenable predicament. His clan has been fighting with the Cameron’s for so long it is hard to remember just how the debauchery of whose wife happened.  Equally, it is easy for Grant to accuse the Cameron’s of thieving his yearlings.  They’ve been thieving back and forth each other’s stock like an itch of a mosquito bite, where it is second nature to ‘scratch’.  This time it is extreme – 66 yearlings just gone.  Who could have done it if not the Cameron’s for it would take a large group to organize this?

When Grant is forced to protect the lovely Janet Cameron from the queen’s dragoon he does it because it’s the right thing to do—not for any other reason…maybe.

 Janet’s brother Kennan follows much as his father has in the feud.  It is what he learned as a child and as grown up he doesn’t believe they are trust worthy.  He shows his dislike to Grant, yet Grant again, shows he’s made of better stuff.  As a reader, I took Grant’s side, hands down. 

Bad goes further south when Lieutenant Cummins takes notice, one too many times, to Janet. This finds Janet and Grant both running to stay away from the English prison.  The pursuit is on, the journey is terrifying and edifying.

Janet’s mindset is shifting. She is starting to see Grant is more than the feuding enemy of her father. She sees a kind brother, fair laird who is loved by his people. Passion ends up sizzling underneath the surface.  Each know what they feel can’t go further, because feuding clans have no tolerance for each other.

Grant’s life is on the line and so is Janet’s.  Can there be a coming together of the clans to protect their own from the English? Will their own personal relationship win the day?  Can each clan support is new paradigm?

A note about Janet:  I loved this character.  She is everything I would like to be if I were in her place.  She’s strong-willed, even-tempered with a just and fair spirit, all wrapped in feisty temperament!

Author Jarecki has again created another tale in Lords of the Highlands which will entertain you with dangerous suspenseful scenes in one moment, emotional passionate scenes or tender moments in another.  Her character development and ARC is spot-on.  She is an author I can safely say you will enjoy.

Posted in Action/Adventure, Book Reviews, Highland Romance, Highland Stories, Historical Romance, New Book Release | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Audiobook Review: UNENDING LOVE by Kathryn Le Veque ~ part of the de Lohr Dynasty

Totally worth listening to more than twice.  Great story in production!


Title: Unending Love de Lohr Dynasty
Author: Kathryn Le Veque
Genre: Historical Romance, Medieval
Pages: 293
Published by: Dragonblade Publishing, Inc., 3 edition
Published Date: May 7, 2014

Narrated by: Sean Patrick Hopkins
Length: 10 hours, 39 minutes
Release Date: April 14, 2014
Published by: Kathryn Le Veque Novels

Publisher’s Summary:

1234 A.D. – For as long as she can remember, the Lady Adalind de Aston has loved Sir Maddoc du Bois. Being sent away to foster did nothing to cure her of her unending love for Maddoc, a sentiment he did not return. Years later, Adalind returns from fostering as a cultured and beautiful woman. So beautiful, in fact, that tales of her beauty are legendary and a string of hopeful suitors follow her home. Maddoc, now faced with this exquisite and refined creature, is tasked, as the captain of the army, with chasing the suitors away.

One suitor after another is turned away by Maddoc’s blade. Some go easily; some do not. Meanwhile, Maddoc has come to know Adalind on an adult level and is coming to think he has been very stupid about rejecting this sweet and beautiful woman. In fact, the more suitors that come around, the more Maddoc finds himself succumbing to Adalind’s charms and soon joins the parade of suitors. Adalind is thrilled when the man comes to his senses and offers for her hand. Finally, what she has always dreamed of will soon be hers.

But a new suitor pledges for Adalind’s hand, a cunning and powerful knight who will not be deterred by Maddoc. Maddoc and the knight face off in several fights, each one more brutal than the next, until the knight finally challenges Maddoc to the ultimate battle to the death for Adalind’s hand. A brutal battle ensues and Adalind, in her attempt to help Maddoc, ends up nearly costing the man his life. As Maddoc lays wounded, presumably dying, the challenger knight abducts Adalind and flees.

Adalind’s grandfather is the great David de Lohr, Earl of Canterbury. With Maddoc lingering near death, David gathers some of his oldest and dearest friends to help rescue his granddaughter.

©2012 Kathryn Le Veque (P)2014 Kathryn Le Veque


My Review:

Adalind, the heroine, has loved a knight who works for her grandfather, David de Lodhr, since she was five.  She was so sure of it, she asked Maddoc to marry her then. Time changes much except this love she has for Maddoc.  Between fostering and away at court, she hadn’t seen Maddoc for six or seven years.  Her heart tells her the same as when young.  “The heart wants what the heart wants”.  She loves the man more than when he was a boy.  But a female just can’t throw herself on a man when it is obvious, he avoids any entanglement.  His job is to protect the keep and the family within. That’s it.

How many women would wish to have the beauty that Adalind had? Adalind was chased by every man at court, the women were jealous of her beauty and were mean and sometimes cruel to her. Hence, after three years she returns home.

She is with her family when Maddoc who now is captain of the guard for the keep sees her again. She no longer is the girl with the buck teeth, but an exquisite creature, so lovely, he had never seen a woman of such beauty. Worst part – he doesn’t even know how to flirt. With her flirtation, his heart is utterly caught.  She is his to protect—she is his, period.

Adalind has not only beauty from the outside, but she is also sweet, vivacious and unpretentious.  Her woes at court follow her home. Men come knocking at her door, insisting she accepts their suit.  Men battle for her.  It seems rather crazy to see how men grovel at her feet, at first, I was amused by the situation.  But it later became irritating and then just dangerous.  By that time, I had stepped into Adalind’s shoes and found myself escaping across the highlands for safety.

I love the way narrator Sean Patrick Hopkins portrays each of Adalind’s suitors, some are rather simple-minded and obtuse (I found myself feeling sorry for them), others were cunning using position and power in the clans to get what they want, still another will appall you what he would do to get her hand.  Hopkins makes the characters pop from the page.

Le Veque’s writing and Hopkin’s narration make for an exciting read with action-packed, emotional scenes, where men will kill and go to battle over the hand of a woman. Surprises await you. I listened to the book twice and it is absolutely superb. 


Posted in Action/Adventure, Audiobook, Audiobook Review, Highland Romance, Highland Stories, Historical Romance, Medieval Romance, Romance, Suspense | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Review: EARL OF HEARTS from the Farthingale Series by Meara Platt. Releases January 1, 2019!



Title: Earl of Hearts The Farthingale Series Book 6
Author: Meara Platt
Genre: Historical Romance
Pages: 303
Publication Date: January 1, 2019
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC


Publisher’s Summary:

Love comes to those who need it most.
What will happen when an earl determined never to love meets the only woman who can tear down his defenses?

Lady Nicola Emory adored her brother’s best friend, John Randall, Earl of Bainbridge, from the moment she met him. But the handsome earl, a mysterious and tormented agent of the Crown, never gave her any notice until the eve of her betrothal to another man. How was she to know that her intended betrothed was plotting to overthrow the Crown? When Nicola stumbles upon the proof of his treason, she’s suddenly on the run for her life and John is the only one who can protect her. But in saving her life, will he put his heart at risk?

John Randall long ago decided never to allow anyone into his heart. Protecting the royal family and defeating England’s enemies are all he needs in his life. That suddenly changes when he’s forced to go on the run with Nicola Emory, the one girl with the power to steal his heart. With every hour they spend together, he finds his solid wall of protection collapsing. He’s faced death many times before and doesn’t fear it. But admitting his love for Nicola will force him to confront the demons haunting him since childhood. Will digging up those dangerous memories free his heart? Or close it to love forever?

My Review: 

This is a story where love prevails. It’s also a story where childhood events mark a person’s emotions for all time. Can John Randall work through them and be able to live again?

Lady Nicola is an incredibly kind person.  She is also betrothed to a man she finds distasteful—finding him bedding a woman just before her marriage. She seeks out the man in her life she’s been attracted to for comfort and advise, but being a friend of her brother’s, he can’t do more than just comfort her.  John Randall, Earl of Bainbridge.

“She’d gotten into his heart long ago and he hadn’t been able to get her out no matter how hard he’d tried. But she was his best friend’s sister, so it was hands off for him.”

Of which makes a very hurtful position for Lady Nicola and a bit of irritation to John Randall. She couldn’t get him to acknowledge attraction, but his actions showed her. She mattered to him. His heart leads him one way and code states another. But one thing is clear to John. He’ll protect the girl with his life and as the story unfolds, destiny comes to call. Their ‘relationship’ stalls but moves forward when Nicola’s life turns from spurning a nasty man she was betrothed to, to being chased by Somersby and his outlaw ruffians. The beast within John is unleashed and he protects her anyway he can.

Lady Nicola is well suited for John.  She’s intelligent and quick in coming to conclusions. She’d make a good agent for the Crown John thinks. In this story, she does a fair amount of sleuthing.  John doesn’t feel he is good enough for her.  He is also afraid that she’ll buckle under the danger of his job. He cannot lose another loved one.

John whisks Lady Nicola away with a little something she discovers at Somersby’s mansion. Something Somersby wants desperately, and he’s ripe for the killing. Lady Nicola needed proof he is not suitable marriage. But her proof is even more than that.

More is afoot besides Somersby.  Selena, an excellent agent, is somehow involved.  She has always wanted John for herself.  She sees how he looks at Lady Nicola.  Nothing is worse than a woman spurned. This just makes the story juicier.

The tension is palpable with the unfurling of events.  I couldn’t help but be caught up with the deplorable situation Lady Nicola and John find themselves and how they manage to survive.

The story is crafted in a style I enjoy.  Both protagonists grow, John learns he is a worthy person. Lady Nicola finds she has quite the adventurous spirit and a back-bone of steel. There are no slow moments, but fast-paced scenes with emotionally packed moments as John does what he does best as an Agent of the Crown. Of course, Platt has provided added entertainment with the growing romance between the Lady Nicola and John—enough to curl one’s toes.


Posted in Action/Adventure, Book Reviews, Highland Romance, Highland Stories, New Book Release, Romance | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Review: ONCE UPON A DUKE by Erica Ridley ~ fun holiday reading throughout the year!


Title: Once Upon a Duke   12 Dukes of Christmas, Book 3
Author: Erica Ridley
Genre: Historical Romance
Pages: 159
Published by: WebMotion
Published Date: November 20, 2018
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC

Publisher’s Summary: 

Love, Actually…

Rumor has it, charming adventurer Christopher Pringle is finally ready to settle down. He’s searching for a free-spirited bride to join him on his travels. But when the matchmaker he hires turns out to be the woman he had a public spat with the day before, nothing goes as planned!

Miss Gloria Godwin loves exploring the world… from the safety of a book. She detests her dashing client’s attempts to force her from her comfort zone. It should be easy to marry off the handsome heir to a dukedom. But the more she tries to match him to other women, the harder it gets to say goodbye…

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Erica Ridley’s newest regency romance series features twelve delightful laugh-out-loud romps… and plenty of delicious dukes!


 Four-Stars poinsettiapoinsettiapoinsettiapoinsettia


My Review:  Enjoy this light-hearted and rather silly romp as author Erica Ridley takes you through the season of Christmas—in a village which celebrates Christmas all-year-round.

Christopher Pringle is rather a character if I must say so.  He likes things tied up in nice little packages (all puns intended), rather a control freak and definitely a very serious man.  He had one passion—the stars, the night sky and that happened to be the linchpin for a romance and happy ever after ending.

It’s true, he needed to get married.  His betrothed had to fit into his schedule and be a person who would travel with him, for he loved to travel.  Christopher had only two weeks to find a wife in this little village.  It suited him better than searching in London.  He was also noted to never stay more than one month in any one place.  He never broke rules and always stayed on schedule.

But even though he was much of a pill, I liked him.  He was polite, curious, and intrigued with life. Running out of time, he engaged Miss Gloria Godwin, NOT ENGAGED as engaged, but to have her help him with his ‘project’.  Based on his criteria, Miss Godwin provided many candidates, but none intrigued Christopher. But, she intrigued him.

Miss Gloria Godwin loved the stars, passionately love them.  Her father taught her everything about the stars since he sailed the seas and they were his navigator.  She stayed in this little village which celebrated Christmas all-year-round because she is scared to leave it.  She is full of phobias as you’ll see. But she is full of romance and the need to marry for love if she marries at all.

When Christopher and Gloria meet, they clash.  She teaches the tourists about the stars, but in her tour she adds her own take on them.  They are not The Chained Maiden, The Bird of Paradise,  or the Scorpion.  They are something else entirely.  This disturbs Christopher’s sensibilities and the two get off on the wrong foot.  But this very irritation keeps Gloria in his mind and eventually he is hooked!

Love is not an easy path for Christopher and Gloria.  Personalities insist each of their ways is best.  Watch what happens as the story unfolds.

This is an easy read, light and entertaining.  It is also a bit unique which will keep you thinking about it long after you’ve closed the cover.


Posted in Book Reviews, Historical Romance, New Book Release, Regency Romance, Romance | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Review: A SULTRY PERFORMANCE by Jessica Lauryn ~ entangle yourself in mystery and suspense within The Rabourn Theater Series



Title: The Sultry Performance The Rabourn Theater Series Book 3
Author: Jessica Lauryn
Genre: Contemporary Suspense
Pages: 303
Sold By: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Published Date: December 4, 2018


The Rabourn Theater Series:
A Passionate Play       my review https://wp.me/p40XtX-2rz
An Amorous Dance    my review https://wp.me/p40XtX-3I3
The Sultry Performance


Publisher’s Summary:

Chris Gordon, stage manager at Rabourn Theater, suspects his late wife’s hit and run was never an accident. He believes the man she was having an affair with, Oakley Sutherland, was responsible and he vows to get Evelyn justice, igniting a plot to ensnare Oakley, working through Oakley’s fiancée, Victoria. 

A well-known exotic dancer by night, Victoria Morrow has been fighting to make a better life for herself, and she won’t be taken advantage of. But when the most handsome man at Rabourn Theater takes an interest in her, she finds herself spiraling down a path she never expected to. Can Victoria resist Chris’s charms? Or will both of them fall prey to the danger that lurks in the wings?


My Review:

I’ve enjoyed this unique series by Jessica Lauryn.  Lauryn’s setting involves personalities who are involved in running Rabourn Theater with a past history of dirty dealings and double crossings.  The story deals with revenge and control, and taking, by any means, what you feel is yours.  In the ugly mire of life springs the unexpected—love.

I gravitated to Victoria Morrow, a dancer who dances with her heart, no matter what type of dance.  She is also drop-dead gorgeous. Her soul is pure, and even though her circumstances are not very good, she looks out for the other dancers.

Her dream is to someday own the club she dances in.  She saves as much money as she can.  The owner of the club happens to be her betrothed, although she isn’t interested in the man.  He’s mean, controlling and manipulative.  He only gets meaner when Chris Gordon who works at Rabourn Theater starts seeking her out.

Yes, they are attracted to each other, but if Chris Gordon pursues her, he is asking for a death wish. From Victoria’s perspective he should stay away—but his kiss awakes something in Victoria which has never been tapped. From Chris’s perspective, he wants answers about his wife’s death and thinks Victoria holds the key.

Chris is a great guy, but he has an agenda for this relationship.  He eventually is torn between what his heart feels and what his believes.  Will it blow up in his face?  Will he get himself killed? Suspense coils tighter, while surprising twists and mystery will keep you engaged.


Posted in New Book Release, Romance, Romantic Suspense, Suspense, Women's Fiction | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Review: THE HIGHLAND CHIEFTAIN by Amy Jarecki ~ part of Lords of the Highlands Series! Next month a new release!




Title: The Highland Chieftain Lords of the Highlands Series, Book 4
Author: Amy Jarecki
Genre: Historical Fiction, Scottish
Setting: 1711, Scotland
Pages: 352
Published by: Forever
Published Date: July 31, 2018
Sold by: Hachette Book Group

Lords of the Highlands series:
The Highland Duke
The Highland Commander
The Highland Guardian
The Highland Chieftain


Fans of “romance à la Outlander” (RT Book Reviews), will love this sexy, action-packed Scottish historical as a battle-hardened Highlander will fight with all he has to save the woman he loves–even if she can never love him back. 

After being unceremoniously jilted by her betrothed, Lady Mairi MacKenzie is humiliated and heartbroken – but she’s not desperate. As the daughter of an earl, she won’t give her hand to just anyone, and she definitely isn’t swayed by a last-minute proposal from Laird Duncan MacRae. The powerful clan chieftain may be disarmingly handsome and charming, but he’s not a nobleman. Mairi doesn’t want his pity or his charity – even though his dark smoldering gaze makes her melt with desire.

 Dunn may be a battle-hardened clansman, but he’s always had a soft spot for Mairi. For years, she tormented him with flirtation – only to reject him. But he’s not giving up. When Mairi is attacked by redcoats, Dunn goes after the woman he loves. Through brute strength and fierce action, he will protect her life at any cost. But to win her heart, he will have to show her the tenderness in his own.


Review:  Mairi sees her life in shambles.  I see she is her own worst enemy when it comes to self-esteem.

She was betrothed as a young child to a boy child destined to be the earl of Seaforth, and her life was planned for her, which made life pretty easy, and rather suited her. But the unbelievable happens – the groom to-be breaks off the betrothal to marry someone else.  Mairi is beyond humiliated, wishing to stay home and never show her face in society again–from the butterfly of the party to a dismal existence.  

A certain Duncan MacRae, chieftain of Clan MacRae obviously had felt sorry for her because he asked for her hand.  She only became further embarrassed.  She would take no pity from someone who only would pick up the shattered pieces of her existence. Her father made that clear to her – the man only felt sorry for her.

Her father forces her to go with him to a gathering at Urqhart Castle.  He wants her to marry well – perhaps a peer of the peerage.  He will force her hand if necessary!

Duncan MacRae, even though a chieftain, who works to protect Seaforth and family has always been smitten by the spitfire, Mairi.  She is so vivacious. When Seaforth begged off on the marriage, Duncan presented himself to her father to ask for her hand.  Alas, she was not to be his.

Duncan is part of the festivities at Urqhart Castle and can’t keep his eyes off Mairi. While in the middle of the games, redcoats show up itching to make trouble and trouble they bring.

Where is Mairi?  She traipses off into the forest just before they show up.  Duncan notes redcoats take the same path. 

Duncan isn’t in control of his emotions as he chases the men.  He finds Mairi with her skirts up around her waist fighting off three lewd men.

This scene is terribly exciting as danger surrounds Mairi and now Duncan for having killed three men. He wants to keep Mairi’s reputation and honor intact, but as events unfold, it begins more and more difficult to do so.

Author Amy Jarecki keeps the tension coiling as they are chased through the highlands, but a Highlander knows his way better than any Redcoat while a Highland lassie pulls strength from her innerself.  Now Mairi’s father is working against Duncan  The man who saves his daughter is now being hunted with a bounty on his head!

You will simply love this nail-biting tale. I, as a reader,  highly recommend Jarecki’s work.  Don’t miss the rest of the series. She’ll keep you entranced.

Posted in Action/Adventure, Book Reviews, Highland Romance, Highland Stories, Historical Romance, Romantic Suspense | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Advanced Reader’s Copy Review: TRIAL OF A WARRIOR by Mary Morgan ~ indulge in this fantasy world where Fae and human collide

Trial of a Warrior

Title: Trial of a Warrior  Legends of the Fenian Warriors, Book 3
Author: Mary Morgan
Genre: Fantasy, Time Travel, Paranormal
Pages: 283
Published by: The Wild Rose Press, Inc
Published Date: December 12, 2018


Publisher’s Summary:

“You met them in the Order of the Dragon Knights. Now, journey to the realm of the Fae and witness their legends!”

A warrior sentenced to die.

On trial for breaking a supreme Fae law, Fenian Warrior, Liam MacGregor has no regrets. He is prepared to accept his sentence—even if it means his death. However, freedom comes in an unexpected manner, and brings with it certain dangers as he travels through the Veil of Ages.

A princess honor-bound to remain hidden.

Princess Abela might be a priestess and the daughter of royalty, but that doesn’t prevent her from doing the unimaginable. She sacrifices duty and honor to set free the man who captured her heart so many years ago. No matter the severity of his crimes, she cannot let Liam die.

A rescue that will bring about a war and divide a kingdom!

In their quest to secure a treaty to forestall Liam’s death sentence, they must fight their desires for one another, as well as the Fenian Warriors sent to capture them.


This series purchase link:

Legends of the Fenian


Order of the Dragon Knights purchase link:

order of the dragon

My Review:

Author Mary Morgan has built a wonderfully real fantasy world where the human and Fae work to keep both worlds safe.  In her previous series, Order of The Dragon Knights where five warriors are on paths of redemption, quests to gain favor again with the Fae, this series, Legends of the Fenian Warriors, continues with quests of the Fenian Warriors, those very Fae who helped the Dragon Knights. The warriors broke laws, so severely wrong, they are facing death. Two of the three have already completed their quests (book 1 & 2).  Liam MacGregor must now face his due punishment.

Liam, imprisoned really has lost hope.  He knows what he did broke Fae laws. One wee princess, Abela, changes all for him.

Princess Abela, sister to Conn, the prince of the Fae and eventually in line to be King, had chosen to be a daughter of Mother Danu. She has lived much of her life in the temple where knowledge of what is happening outside the walls is rarely heard.  She preferred it that way.  She had buried her love for Liam MacGregor in the bosom of the Mother when she did not capture his heart as he had captured hers.  She entered into the priesthood and Liam became a Fenian Warrior. Much time has passed and they both moved forward – or so they thought.

I love this princess because she has so many sides of who she is.  She’s a warrior, innately curious about the human world, simply because Liam spends much of his life protecting and guiding the humans.  She’s courageous and not afraid to do something quite unethical as we experience with her breaking in to where Liam is imprisoned and breaking him out.  Her love for him (which she finally admits to herself) has her saving his life, even when she very likely forfeits her own.

Both Liam and Abela are unwilling to speak of their love for each other for their past together makes them wary.  They plan on changing the timeline, rewrite or amend a law.  They are already slated for death, so why not try to amend the past? Their quest is filled with hardship.  Abela is unschooled in the power she has and this doesn’t make it easy to complete their quest and Liam has none of his powers, taken away when sent to prison.

Liam and Abela have heated discussions which are rather edifying.  If Abela is unable to continue to cloak their whereabouts, their mission will end before it’s begun, and both will be punished by death.

This tale will push all your buttons—highly emotionally charged where much is at stake – including lives.  You will love how Abela is very much a princess, priestess and warrior.  Liam is ever the honorable warrior. He must return her to the Fae Realm for physically she can’t remain long in the human world, not like the Fenian Warriors. Will Liam, faced with all the obstacles they encounter, get her back in time?  Will she, too, face certain death, even though the sister of the prince?

Morgan has created an exciting, nail-biting story, where a surprise awaits the reader.  No spoilers here, but this is jaw-dropping stuff!  If you haven’t read Morgan’s other series, do yourself a favor, you won’t regret the journey and it will give you better insight to Morgan’s world.

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