Author Petie McCarty — an author worth discovering! She graciously joins our blog talking about her writing.

Petie McCartyAbout Petie McCarty

Petie spent a large part of her career working at Walt Disney World — “The Most Magical Place on Earth” — where she enjoyed working in the land of fairy tales by day and creating her own romantic fairy tales by night, including her new series, The Cinderella Romances. She eventually said good-bye to her “day” job to write her stories full-time. These days Petie spends her time writing sequels to her regency time-travel series, Lords in Time, and her cozy-mystery-with-elements-of-romantic-suspense series, the Mystery Angel Romances.

Petie shares her home on the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee with her horticulturist husband, a spoiled-rotten English Springer spaniel addicted to pimento-stuffed green olives, and a noisy Nanday conure named Sassy who made a cameo appearance in Angel to the Rescue.

Find Petie online at:

http://www.petiemccarty.com

https://www.facebook.com/petie.mccarty

https://twitter.com/authorpetiehttps://

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6094579.Petie_McCarty

http://www.amazon.com/author/petiemccarty

https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephanie-mccarty-30851412

 

I’m so pleased to have you join us.  Writing and reading are my favorite pastimes and I love to have the chance to meet and discuss authors’ work.  Let’s get started Petie!

Please tell us a bit about your new release. 

I’d love to, but first let me thank you for allowing me to spend time with your Booktalk with Eileen readers today. Betting on Cinderella was released on October 18th and is book two in my series: The Cinderella Romances…fall in love with the fairy tale all over again. Although Betting on Cinderella is my seventh release, it is my very first sequel, with Garrett Tucker returning from Cinderella Busted for his own story.

Cinderella Busted (Cinderella Romances, #1)Betting on Cinderella (Cinderella Romances, #2)

I had never considered writing a sequel until my editor and I were exchanging edits for Cinderella Busted, and she asked me if I was working on Garrett’s story. The coincidence here is that I happened to be on one of our many vacations to Biloxi when I received her email. The wheels immediately started to turn.

I looked out of our high-rise window at the Beau Rivage and thought, I need a Prince for this story, so why not have Garrett inherit his grandfather’s casino empire and become the “Prince of Vegas?” That way I could bring him right there to Biloxi, a place I knew well.

 

Use no more than two sentences. Why should we read your book?

With a colorful supporting cast, Betting on Cinderella provides scene-to-scene suspense that will have you rooting for the delightfully “flawed” hero and heroine both.

 

What’s coming next, or what are you working on now?

 I am close to completing Par for Cinderella, book three in the Cinderella series. Aidan Cross had a big part in the first two books of the series, and now he returns for his own story—he visits quaint Cypress Key where he intends to build one of his world-famous golf resorts that no one in the small town wants.

I have also just finished final galley edits for Duke du Jour. In this historical time-travel romance—to be released by The Wild Rose Press—the present-day thirteenth Duke of Reston falls into an eerie, abandoned fountain in an overgrown section of his ancestral estate and wakes up in regency England in 1816, where he is immediately mistaken for his namesake and great-great-and-so-on grandfather, the seventh Duke of Reston, who has been missing since the battle of Waterloo. I haven’t had this much fun writing a story since Catch of the Day. This will be Book One of my new Lords in Time series. So you can see I manage to stay busy

  

If you could be any character in any fairy tale, who would you be and why?

I would love to be the fairy godmother in Cinderella. Heck, I do feel a bit like her already since I managed to write Lily Foster right into Rhett Buchanan’s arms in Cinderella Busted, even without the prop of the glass slippers.

Or, I would want to be Flora, Fauna, or Merryweather in Sleeping Beauty—more fairy godmothers who give true love a swift kick to help it along. Can you tell I used to work for The Walt Disney Company?  *grin*

 

Is Cinderella one of your favorite fairy tales?

Of course! Though Beauty and the Beast is my all-time favorite. Of all the Disney princesses, Cinderella is everyone’s hands-down favorite—regardless of age—and always has been. Yes, even middle-aged women visit the Bibbity Bobbity Boutique at Walt Disney World. *grin* So, it came as no surprise to me when the Cinderella Busted movie popped into my head.

 

Do you draw inspiration for your characters from real life? Any fun stories you could share?

Absolutely.  *chuckle* Everything that happened to Kayli Heddon in Everglades—the bug storm, the gators, the snakes, the palmetto bugs, doing doughnuts in an airboat—all happened to me while working in the field at some time in my career.

 

Do you have a favorite character you have written?

Skye Landers, the hunky airboat guide/hero from Everglades is my favorite. In my head, Skye looked like the Medjai warrior leader in the movie, The Mummy. An aquatic biologist by profession, I spent two years of my career surveying Florida waterways by airboat, and I never got to travel with a hunky airboat guide, so I created my very own hunk for the story.  * grin*  I wrote a yummy one, too.

Everglades

 

 

What are the elements of a great romance for you? 

Every reader is different, but for me, the best and most memorable romances have a hero who isn’t gorgeous or ripped. Instead, he is smart or funny or a little quirky, and he does things for the heroine that make you sigh and go, “Awww!”

Nora Roberts’ character, Carter Maguire, in the first book of her Bride Quartet, Vision in White, is a perfect example. The “professor” wasn’t a hunk; he was adorable with his quirky, sweet nature. I recently read another great example in Megan Bryce’s To Wed the Widow. Her hero George Sinclair was sweet, funny, and carried a Pomeranian puppy in his pocket. Altogether a memorable hero.

 

Do you prefer the love at first sight approach or a steady growth throughout?

I totally prefer love at first sight. A look, a touch, a scent, a sound, a taste – “love” senses that individually or in tandem incite inexplicable electrified impulses between a man and a woman, drawing them together with or against their will.

 

When in the day/night do you write? How long per day?

I left my fabulous “day” job at Walt Disney World to write full-time, so I’m lucky that I have the opportunity to write anytime. I try to set aside whole work days devoted to my Work in Progress.

While that sounds wonderful in theory, dazzling passages are guaranteed to pop in your head at the least opportune moments — in restaurants, in line at Walmart, in bed in the blessed moments before you succumb to much-needed sleep. Never, ever assume those passages will still be hovering in the atmosphere when you return to your computer. They won’t. They will swiftly dissipate like the smoke from the Pillsbury rolls you burned when you stopped to send a tweet about your latest interview.

I never go anywhere without a pocket pad in my purse, and yes, there’s one on the bedside table, too. My husband frowns at it whenever he walks by.  *snicker*

 

What is the hardest interview question you have ever had to answer…(and no, we don’t need the answer, not unless you want to share)

Any question that asks me for advice on writing technique or how to write a better book. I think writing skills are like putting on make-up. What makes me look good may make someone else look washed out and vice versa, so I always dread the advice questions. The only advice I am completely comfortable giving new writers is never, EVER give up. Like Stephen King once said, “the only difference between published writers and unpublished writers is the published writers never gave up.”

 

A random fact about yourself?

I am one of seven preacher’s kids, which probably explains why thus far in my writing career, I have only written PG-13 romance, safe enough for teens.

I want to thank Booktalk with Eileen and their loyal readers for allowing me to spend time with them today and share stories about my books. Happy reading or writing to all — your pick!

Posted in Interviewing authors | Tagged , | Leave a comment

I love Cinderella-based stories. This is an unusual one you should read–a page-turner! BETTING ON CINDERELLA by Petie McCarty

Stop by tomorrow.  Petie McCarty will be chatting about herself and her work.

Betting on Cinderella_850x1275

Title: Betting on Cinderella The Cinderella Romances, Book 2
Author: Petie McCarty
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published by: Soul Mate Publishing, LLC
Published Date: October 18, 2017
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
ASIN: B0765D15ZD

 Product Details

 

Publisher’s Summary:
Garrett Tucker inherits his grandfather’s casino empire and steps into the reclusive billionaire’s shoes as the “Prince of Vegas.” His first act is to buy a bankrupt casino in Biloxi. When he discovers embezzling in his new operation, Garrett goes undercover. His prime suspect is the new finance supervisor—the spitfire brunette who stole his heart at first sight.

Andi Ryan moves to Biloxi to care for her godmother and takes a job as finance supervisor for the renovated Bayou Princess casino. She discovers someone is skimming from the till and starts her own investigation, worried she will be blamed for the theft when the new owner discovers her godmother has a gambling addiction.

A rival Vegas competitor has sent a spy in to ruin the Bayou Princess, and Garrett and Andi are forced to work together to prove her innocence and discover the identity of their casino spy.

My Thoughts:  Everyone wants to be loved for who they are–not for their money or career position.  As you know when a guy has money, they are pollen to the queen bees out there looking for a plush existence.  How is a guy to know the difference?  Garrett holds his secret identity close to his heart.  He wants to win Andi over as a person in his own right.  But does he hold the secret too long? Can such a secret destroy trust building between two people?

This series only gets better.  Petie McCarty writes a riveting romance while indulging the suspense and danger element crucial to a read I enjoy. Her characters in Betting on Cinderella are reminiscent of Cinderella’s plight—a godmother who comes to her aid as a child, but now living in Biloxi appears to need aid of her own with a huge addiction to gambling.  

Her stepmother is a real piece of work kicking Andi from her own home when her father died. Andi was only 12 when she started living with her godmother. Now, she and her two daughters are working at the same casino Andi is.  Unfortunately, her stepmother is her boss.  She’s the boss from hell. Could it get any worse?  Irene takes after her mother, ribbing Andi anytime she can, creating a workload beyond beyond.  Andi is well-liked by her co-workers who step up to the plate to ease her load.

Andi’s best friend is heroine of book one and Garrett Tucker is the best friend of Rhett, her husband. I love how McCarty pulls the characters of book one into this book giving a nice backdrop to both Garrett and Andi’s lives in Florida.

This is very much a realistic setting where Garrett is rebuilding a casino, a project completely his own, where Andi decides to live in Biloxi to watch over the woman who saved her early in life.  Surprises pop up – it isn’t a slow-moving, easy plot.  It full of twists with an unbelievable ending. This story is highly appreciated, extremely entertaining with action, suspense, danger, and love. It gets five stars!

Posted in Book Reviews, Contemporary Romance, New Book Release, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Audiobook Review: HIS MAKE-BELIEVE BRIDE by Cynthia Wright

brideTitle:  His Make-Believe Bride Rakes & Rebels: The Raveneau Family, Book 5
Author: Cynthia Wright
Genre: Historical Romance, Regency
Story Setting: Cornwall & London, England 1818
Pages: 348
Published by: Boxwood Manor books
Published Date: October 12, 2017
ASIN: B075VHPYN1

 

Narrated by: Tim Campbell
Length:
9 hours
Release Date:
October 25, 2017 Published by: Cynthia Challed

 

Rakes & Rebels: The Raveneau Family series ecopy purchase link at Amazon.com

Silver Storm
Smuggler’s Moon
The Secret of Love
Surrender the Stars
His Make-Believe Bride
His Reckless Bargain Tempest

 

 

Publisher’s Summary:

From New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Wright comes an irresistible and steamy new Rakes & Rebels novel!  

GUARDED HEARTS A French pirate of smoldering passions, Justin St. Briac has vowed never to marry. However, when his manipulative mother beckons him to her deathbed in Cornwall, he succumbs to her plea that he take a bride – devising an elaborate charade to appear to grant her dying wish.

The old woman’s days are numbered, after all, and soon he’ll return to his life of unfettered romantic conquests and adventure.

 

A PRETEND MARRIAGE Mouette Raveneau, once the toast of the London ton, has been ruined by her dead husband’s crimes. When she reluctantly takes refuge in Cornwall with her two adolescent sons, Justin hires her to help carry off his grand scheme.

 

Soon, however their “business arrangement” begins to feel like what Justin has avoided his whole life–a real marriage, one where he could lose something much more valuable than his freedom…he might actually lose his heart.

 

My Thoughts: This gracefully and eloquently written Regency read/listen, with a humorous plot kept me entertained as it reunites a dysfunctional family.   Justin St. Briac has a complex about his mother, whom he sees as one who made his childhood miserable with her games of leaving the family, making his father run after her to bring her home. Marriage is not for him, even though his brother has a happy marriage. He’s more suited to one-night stands and unattachment. At 48 he is  a man the women look at when he enters a room.

He’s called back home, not having been there for many years.  His mother is dying.  He doesn’t know if he should trust her.  Is she acting as she had been so many times in his youth?  He feels a bit of compassion for her and tries to do the right thing when her dying wish is for Justin to find a wife.

Rather than argue the point, Justin cooks up a scheme – pulls Mouette Raveneau into the scheme by promising her lots of money she can’t refuse.  Her financial circumstances are left in tatters from her previous marriage and now at 36 she must look out for herself and two sons.

She accepts  this whole charade with the caveat he will not consummate the marriage and use physical touching only to convince his parents they are truly married.  But quite a few people know it is all a farce.

In the process of furnishing his rented home (which Mouette is very good at), they spend lots of time together…with interesting results.

It’s always a pleasure to add children and animals to the mix of a good story.  Children speak their minds and express that which many adults feel inappropriate.  I enjoyed both boys’ growing relationship with Justin and the surprising reaction Justin has to them.  The dog, Robinson, found on the road, becomes very much part of the family.

The rental becomes a home. The make-believe world created by this scheme is starting to feel for real. Justin decides it isn’t so bad – being a pirate does have its excitement, but holding Mouette in his arms has a bigger draw.  How can he turn a make-believe marriage into a real one?

Tim Campbell narrates most of Cynthia Wright’s work.  I’ve come to enjoy his French-accented English, his voice impersonations of the male characters with varying personalities.  His deep voice and the way he uses it pull out every nuance of Wright’s work. Campbell excels in dog barking!  Robinson has dialog, too.  Enjoy!

This stories of the Raveneaus and the Beauvisage, sometimes humorous, sometimes thought-provoking, and sometimes dangerous, will fill all your senses, quickening your heart with moments of passion. I highly recommend her work.  It’s classic!

Posted in Action/Adventure, Audiobook, Audiobook Review, Book Reviews, Re-release, Regency Romance, Romance | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Just Released: THE GIRL IN THE TOWER by Katherine Arden ~ a fantasy fiction of Russian mythological events ~ will evil prevail?

34050917Title:  The Girl in the Tower Winternight Trilogy, Book 2
Author: Katherine Arden
Genre: Literary Fiction/Fantasy
Pages: 384
Published by: Del Rey
Published Date: December 5, 2017
Sold by: Random House LLC
ASIN: B06X3TL4YD

 

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

 

Publisher’s Summary:

A remarkable young woman blazes her own trail, from the backwoods of Russia to the court of Moscow, in the exhilarating sequel to Katherine Arden’s bestselling debut novel, The Bear and the Nightingale.

Katherine Arden’s enchanting first novel introduced readers to an irresistible heroine. Vasilisa has grown up at the edge of a Russian wilderness, where snowdrifts reach the eaves of her family’s wooden house and there is truth in the fairy tales told around the fire. Vasilisa’s gift for seeing what others do not won her the attention of Morozko—Frost, the winter demon from the stories—and together they saved her people from destruction. But Frost’s aid comes at a cost, and her people have condemned her as a witch.

Now Vasilisa faces an impossible choice. Driven from her home by frightened villagers, the only options left for her are marriage or the convent. She cannot bring herself to accept either fate and instead chooses adventure, dressing herself as a boy and setting off astride her magnificent stallion Solovey.

But after Vasilisa prevails in a skirmish with bandits, everything changes. The Grand Prince of Moscow anoints her a hero for her exploits, and she is reunited with her beloved sister and brother, who are now part of the Grand Prince’s inner circle. She dares not reveal to the court that she is a girl, for if her deception were discovered it would have terrible consequences for herself and her family. Before she can untangle herself from Moscow’s intrigues—and as Frost provides counsel that may or may not be trustworthy—she will also confront an even graver threat lying in wait for all of Moscow itself.

FIVE-STAR READ

My Thoughts: Author Katherine Arden paints a picture with her eloquent prose capturing ancient winter in Russia, where people are vulnerable to the cold and the mythological protectors of the mankind can only be strong against evil if men believe in them. The old ways are weakening, belief in one god is sweeping the lands even into small villages and hovels. I felt my feet were knee-deep snow all the time, with blazing cold surrounding me.

Vasilisa is a unique girl, now a young woman who sees these small creatures who protect the world, as her mother did before.  Seeking a new life outside her small villages, Morozko, the winter demon of old mythological stories Vasilisa learned at her mother’s knee, comes to her aid.  Rather than receiving her at death, he steps in to give her life. 

Dressed as a young boy, she travels to a castle where she meets her brother who she hasn’t seen in eight years.  They are kindred in more ways than siblings.  They each have the curiosity of life and learning which makes it hard for Sasha to do what he feels is right for his sister. What woman can remain secreted in boy’s clothing?

As the story moves forward, unraveling Vasilisa’s deception is no longer easy. When it’s discovered, all what her brother wants to avoid happens.  Disgrace for him, his older sister and Vasilisa.

Solovey (magic speaking horse), adores Vasilisa and is a huge help to her on the way to discovering the world.  He empowers Vasilisa to escape or fight for her safety and as it happens, for others who she finds unjustly treated or injured.

This is a story where I fell in love with so many of the characters. If you are interested in the read, which I hope you are, start with book one, The Bear and the Nightingale.  Author Arden has written a beguiling series with surprises, where evil is just out of reach, prodding my curiosity who the bad characters are and who ultimately is behind all the evil.  

A complimentary ARC was provided to me for an honest, unbiased review.

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

Audiobook Review: BODY SHOT by Amy Jarecki ~ tighten your girdles ladies! (do we wear them anymore?) You’ll be absolutely enthralled with this series. I am! Oh, maybe just remove those girdles or corsets altogether. This trip doesn’t require formal dress!

Title: Body Shot: An International Clandestine Enterprise, Book 2
Author: Amy Jarecki
Genre: Suspense Romance
Pages: 277
Sold by:  Amazon Digital Services, LLC
Publication Date: August 29, 2017
ASIN: B071WQ448K

Narrated by: Joel Froomkin
Length: 8 hours, 19 minutes
Release date: November 10, 2017

An International Clandestine Enterprise Series ecopy purchase link:
Hunt for Evil https://wp.me/p40XtX-3Kn (my review)
Body Shot
Mach One releases January 2018 on pre-order

 Heart-pounding action with a woman who knows who she is and what she wants, author Jarecki gives me another opportunity to live on the edge, and in this particular story, this remark should be taken literally. 

Jarecki is one of those authors you know will entertain you engaging 100% your senses and emotions. 

I read this book back in August. I gave it a FIVE-STAR-READ.  You would think, even though I thought it a stellar one, I could put it aside, read another book, while listening to this one again.  Generally, I’ll listen to an audiobook in a different genre from a book I’m reading.  Not a problem keeping the stories straight.  Simply put, this story is totally over the top combined with narrator Joel Froomkin.  I. Was. Nailed. I couldn’t read anything else.  I had to listen to it.  And you what?  I’d listen to it again just for terrific storyline, accents in dialog and living on the edge!

Froomkin has a certain vibrato in his vocal cords when excited or in a moment of terror.  He puts me in the same state.  He also does something with the microphone, seemingly getting close to it in an intimate setting.  I can’t figure it out exactly.  But boy, his narration is powerful.  So, coupled with this hugely suspenseful novel by Jarecki set in some of the most dangerous parts of the world, I am blown away.  Dang it!  It was good!  Luckily, I don’t have too long to wait for book 3, Mach One, coming out in January 2018.  But let me get you caught up in the storyline.

Henrietta has worked for Delta Force. Her bullet killed Fadli’s brother. It wasn’t as if he didn’t deserve it. He’d had a grenade, ready to pull the pin which would have killed Henri’s entire squadron. Somehow, she was fingered by his brother, Omar Fadli and put behind bars for two years.  She’s been wrongly accused and spitting mad with this so-called justice.

She’s set free, offered another career by the very man handing her the release papers, saying they know who got her in prison.  Henri isn’t up to trusting anymore. She walks from the prison, turning down this trickster, who’s ready to set her up again.  No, never again.  She has little faith for the good guys, that is, if they ARE good. She prefers to walk out of prison and lose herself in her grandfather’s mine, on the Paiute reservation. A place to heal, lick her wounds and renew her spirit.

And I don’t need to be a hero. Been there, done that and was paid in misery. I am to flipping the Army the bird and moving on.

 This new outfit who’d offer the job let her cool her heels for a couple of months and then sent out a handsome Scot, named Mike Rose, to see if she was ready to reconsider.  Apparently, by her reaction she wasn’t.

She let him approach until she was sure he’d be able to see the muzzle of her rifle peeking between the sagebrush. “I could shoot you for trespassing,” she said, using her badass sergeant voice.”

The man took off his sunglasses and grinned. Good Lord, maybe not all the redheads on the planet were pasty. True, he had fair skin, but he looked buff—healthy, even. “Henrietta Anderson,” he said in a deep brogue, waving as if they were old pals. “’Tis good to see you’ve lived up to your reputation.” Jesus, he rolled his “rs”.

 

There is attraction and apparently from both sides.  But Henri is anything but obstinate, yet Mike is her match as you see through the story. He talks her into seeing how the new team, ICE, of which he is a member, could help her seek revenge.  She soon realizes that’s just what she wants, to stick it to Omar Fadli.

Henri joins ICE, training hard with the other team members.  She comes to respect them. Mike and Henri are thrown together in a mission that is frightfully believable and scary as hell. Y-e-a-h!  My kind of read.

I’m always eager to read author Jarecki, a writer who knows how to create thrilling, mind-blowing situations with characters you’ll love.  Secretly? I wish I could have the stamina, smarts, passion and drive to reach my goals as they do.  Oh, and Henri?  Well, she’s just dynamite.  Hope we’ll see her in the sequels. Henri, you go girl!

 

Posted in Action/Adventure, Audiobook, Audiobook Review, Book Reviews, Romantic Comedy, Suspense | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Audiobook Review: THE WICKED COUSIN, aka Sebastian Audley, written by Stella Riley ~ full of subtle humor ~ narrated by Alex Wyndham

The Wicked Cousin cover artTitle: The Wicked Cousin Rockliffe Series, Book 4
Author: Stella Riley
Genre: Historical Romance
Pages: 344
Publication Date: May 31, 2017
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
ASIN: B06ZY2B64K

 

Narrated by: Alex Wyndham
Length: 10 hours and 37 minutes
Release date: October 6, 2017

 

Rockliffe Series ecopy purchase
The Parfit Knight
The Mesalliance
The Player
The Wicked Cousin

 

Publisher’s Summary:

Sebastian Audley has spent years setting every city in Europe by the ears and keeping the scandal-sheets in profit. Word that he is finally returning to London becomes the hottest topic of the Season and casts numerous young ladies – many of whom have never seen him – into a fever of anticipation.

Cassandra Delahaye is not one of them. In her opinion, love affairs and duels, coupled with a reputation for never refusing even the most death-defying wager, suggest that Mr Audley is short of a brain cell or two. And while their first, very unorthodox meeting shows that perhaps he isn’t entirely stupid, it creates other reservations entirely

Sebastian finds dodging admiring females and living down his reputation for reckless dare-devilry a full-time occupation. He had known that putting the past behind him in a society with an insatiable appetite for scandal and gossip would not be easy. But what he had not expected was to become the target of a former lover’s dangerous obsession … or to find himself falling victim to a pair of storm-cloud eyes.

My Thoughts: Stella Riley continues to entertain with humor, providing the reader with a window seat into the antics of men and women who eventually come to terms with what society demands of them.

I enjoy the subtle fun-making author Riley weaves into the plot. Narrator, Alex Wyndham’s marvelous job in nailing down the perfect voice for each character, pulls the story together, delighting any connoisseur who wants to read/listen to a ‘damn good story’!

We get to reacquaint ourselves with memorable and sometimes tedious individuals from the previous reads in the sequel, along with characters of good taste and breeding, already holding a place in my heart.

Lady Sarre, wife to Adrian, first meets Sebastian Audley.  Her grandfather, Mr. Maitland, arrives from Halifax, on his heels.  Then Adrian, looking much like a farm laborer, Earl of Sarre, meets Hubert Maitland. It’s a wonderful scene, showing us what stock Caroline and Adrian come from.

Cassandra Delahaye has been attracted to Sebastian in the past, but since, word of his past roguish ways has put her off.  Cassie is at the marriageable age, a sweet, biddable young woman any mama would like as a daughter-in-law. But Cassie doesn’t like what she sees in the mirror. She’s not happy with herself.  She wants to work outside the box.

Richard Benhalligan, someone who pays attention to Cassie, is a man who blows hot and cold.  Is he, or is he not interested in Cassie?  Are his intentions honorable? And what about Sebastian Audley? Is he interested in her or just playing with her, true to his reputation?   

Charles, Cassie’s father, is a father who really cares for his daughter.  It’s very touching. Her French maid, plays a role in giving Cassie more self-esteem.

Sebastian and Adrian, being old friends of youth, and having been years apart, have a wager, privately recorded at Sinclair’s gaming house, which gives Sebastian some protection against himself.  He has problems NOT accepting any wager, and with this one, if he takes any other wager that jeopardizes this private wager, he won’t do it.  Adrian makes a very astute wager!

If you enjoy laughing at how society amuses itself, how men and women deal with the demands of society and their own esteem, you’ll enjoy engaging this read.   I am never disappointed with one of Riley’s books. 

Posted in Audiobook, Audiobook Review, Historical Romance, Regency Romance, Romance | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Enjoy a short Christmas story from Kathryn Le Veque, part of the de Wolfe pack series, A JOYOUS DE WOLFE CHRISTMAS

36584075Title: A Joyous de Wolfe Christmas de Wolfe pack
Author: Kathryn Le Veque
Genre: Historical Medieval Romance
Pages: 53
Published by: Dragonblade Publishing, Inc., 1 edition
Published Date: December 1, 2017
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
ASIN: B077CDGNZT

 

Publisher’s Summary:

The story de Wolfe Pack readers have been asking for! The reunion of Scott and Troy de Wolfe wrapped up in a holiday short story!

It’s Christmas 1274 A.D., and the House of de Wolfe and their allies are gathering for a wedding, the marriage of James de Wolfe to Lady Rose Hage.

But someone is missing.

The closely knit de Wolfe family is feeling the absence of Scott de Wolfe, the first born of the eldest de Wolfe twins, Scott and Troy. Four years ago, the twins lost their wives in a tragic accident and while Troy de Wolfe was able to work through his grief (DARKWOLFE), Scott’s reaction to the tragedy was to run away and never return (SHADOWWOLFE).

But now, Scott’s running has come to an end. He returns to the family who greatly misses him, but there are those whose forgiveness he must seek. Experience the return of Scott de Wolfe to his family and, most importantly, to his brother, Troy, in this tender tale of forgiveness, of love, and of holiday miracles.

(This short story can be read as a stand-alone but will make much more sense if read after DarkWolfe and ShadowWolfe, as it is an extended collective epilogue.)

My Thoughts:  I always read the author notes, usually placed in the front of the book in Le Veque’s work.  It gives me a bit of insight what to expect. This short story, easily read of an evening, had me bawling, surprisingly enough, not about James, which the author ‘killed off’ (more’s the pity!) sometime later in the chronological order of the books.  I’ve read most of the deWolfe pack series, so I knew of his demise.

I started the read with a tender heart.  You see, James got married in this story.  Knowing his marriage would be short, gave me pause listening well to the dialogue.  Had any of them anticipated him leaving them so soon? Did his parents, Jordan and William, say something which we can construe they felt more than just happiness for James marriage?

This story is also about Scott and Troy, James’s twin brothers, who haven’t talked for four years.  They share a tragedy which tears and shreds the relationship of love the two had.  You know how when something happens you generally are hurt and depending on the severity of the hurt, you remain so until you become angry?  Such is the case with the twins.  Troy left immediately after the death of his wife and children, not even there to bury them.  Scott considered him a coward after waiting for his return.  

Scott stayed, faced the music.  He, too, had lost his wife and children in the same tragic event.  If you want to read about this tragedy affecting Scott and then Troy, you can catch it in ShadowWolfe and DarkWolfe.

I absolutely loved this short story because Le Veque gets into the terrible emotional turmoil each of the twins carry, and with her exquisite writing she pulls me right into the thick of things.  Le Veque’s takes a moment of happiness, the marriage of James, brother to Scott and Troy, couples it with such anguish, it breaks my heart, hence the red, puffy, swollen eyes!  Even with that being said, Christmas with de Wolfes is one of renewal, forgiveness and vows.

May all you fans of Le Veque have a Merry Christmas!  Even if you haven’t started reading her yet, you’ve a New Year resolution you can add to the list.  Read this fantastic writer of historical Medieval romance.

Posted in Book Reviews, Historical Romance, Medieval Romance, New Book Release, Novella, Short Story, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Review: THE VANISHING OF LORD VALE by Chasity Bowlin ~ Regency spiced with mystery and suspense

36639845Title: The Vanishing of Lord Vale The Lost Lords, Book 2
Author:  Chasity Bowlin
Genre: Historical Romance, Regency/Victorian
Story Setting: Bath, 1820
Pages: 206
Published by: Dragonblade Publishing, Inc., 1 edition
Published Date: November 28, 2017
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC ASIN: B077NHJZYH

 

The Lost Lords Series ecopy purchase link:
The Lost Lord of Castle Black (my review)
The Vanishing Lord Vale

 

Publisher’s Summary: Elizabeth Masters has put her scandalous and painful past behind her. She’s taken a position as companion to the tragic Lady Vale and her primary duty is to dissuade the woman from believing that everyone from the butcher’s delivery boy to the ostler at an inn is her missing son. But a late-night visit to an alleged mystic in the city of Bath results in near tragedy as Elizabeth is nearly abducted by ruffians waiting for them outside. They are rescued by a handsome and mysterious stranger who calls himself Benedict, the very name of Lady Vale’s lost son.

Benedict has his own reasons for being in Bath—to locate his missing sister and see her safe once more. Waylaid by a pistol ball from the men who attacked Miss Masters, he finds himself dependent upon the assistance of Lady Vale to rescue his Mary. In exchange, he must consent to her investigation of his past to determine if he is, in fact, her missing son, an unlikely scenario in his mind.

As their investigation unfolds, it becomes clear that the danger they face, the attempted abduction of Elizabeth and Mary’s disappearance are all connected to the fateful night twenty-four years earlier when Lady Vale’s son was ripped from her arms, never to be seen again. Forced to work together, Benedict and Elizabeth cannot fight the attraction they feel for one another. Yet with every piece of evidence uncovered, the truth of Benedict’s identity threatens their burgeoning relationship… and the danger that brought them together looms larger at every turn.

Five-Star Read

My Thoughts: This read was most intriguing.  We all know you can’t rearrange the person you are by simply changing your hair style and clothes.  Elizabeth Masters is determined to do just that.  Her scandalous past no longer is a part of her. She seems the prim and proper and does well in her new job, companion to Lady Vale. But…

Lady Vale is heart-broken, having searched for her abducted son for the last ten years.  Her husband, Lord Vale, wouldn’t let her search for him, therefore she had to wait until after his death to try to find her dear boy.  The trail has long been cold. She’s a woman who is weary of the search, but she doesn’t want to give up, even searching through unconventional means.  Even when her brother-in-law saddles her with a companion to watch her actions (reporting back to him) for young men who would take advantage of her search.

Circumstances are quickly propelled forward when someone tries to abduct Elizabeth.  Luckily, a young man, who had been looking for his sister, happened upon the abduction.  He (his name is Benedict – coincidentally, the same name as Lady Vale’s son) aborts the abduction receiving a bullet.  He’s taken back to Lady Vale’s home and cared for by Elizabeth.

Lady Vale is convinced the man is her long, lost son.  Elizabeth sees him as an imposter.  He doesn’t want to have anything to do with the mad old woman, and Elizabeth who stirs his emotions.  He needs to find his sister, Mary, and get back to the gaming hell he owns.

Bowlin writes a fast-paced, action-packed story keeping my interest.  The story tells of the burgeoning relationship between Elizabeth (who just wants to go back to the prim and proper lady) and Benedict who’s led a life of hardship and has no particular liking for the ton.

The story shifts into high gear, as Benedict cares more for Elizabeth than he wants, when Mary isn’t to be found, when men are sniffing around Elizabeth and those characters in play provide bits of information about the head pin who is responsible for trafficking of human flesh.

I’ve enjoyed reading this series. Bowlin’s stories are entertaining, with an edge of fear, danger and mystery I love in a Regency/Victorian read.

 

Posted in Action/Adventure, Book Reviews, New Book Release, Regency Romance, Romantic Suspense, Victorian Romance | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Mystery and Nail-Biting Suspense in: THE BARON’S WIFE by Maggi Andersen

35096273Title: The Baron’s Wife
Author: Maggi Andersen
Genre: Historical Romance
Story Setting: England, 1899
Pages: 281
Publication Date: May 7, 2017
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
ASIN: B072F72WVK

 

Publisher’s Summary:

A dark cloud hovers over Wolfram, the ancient abbey Laura calls her new home. Can she trust the mysterious man she married?

After a whirlwind courtship, Laura Parr marries Baron, Lord Nathaniel Lanyon, and he takes her to live in his ancient home in Southern England. Laura comes to Cornwall excited to begin life with the passionate man she has married. But secrets lurk in the shadows. The death of Nathaniel’s first wife has never been solved, and some of the villagers believe him responsible. Struggling to understand her new husband, Laura tries to uncover the truth. With each stone unturned, she comes closer to danger.

Lord Nathaniel Lanyon had decided never to marry again. But when he meets Miss Laura Parr, the daughter of Sir Edmund Parr, one rainy afternoon, he realizes almost immediately that he must have her in his life. And the only way he could was to marry her.

Nathaniel believes that his troubled past is behind him and he can offer Laura a good life at Wolfram, even though he can never offer her his heart. But as soon as they come to live in the ancient abbey, the past returns to haunt him, revealing secrets that he thought had been buried forever. As he tries to fight the forces threatening to overwhelm him, he realizes that feisty Laura will demand more from him than he can give.

Five-Star Read

My Thoughts: I missed this one when it first came out.  It’s a story of dark nuances, yet always with hope.  Mystery and darkness cloud Nathaniel and Laura’s eyes, creating a rather exciting suspense!

Lord Nathaniel Lanyon has had his eye on the lovely Laura Parr for years, but his standing amongst the ton kept him from approaching her.  When at last he appears clear of his past, she arrives at his very door. Hope is rekindled. 

Nathaniel decides to restart a marital partnership.  Very methodically, Lord Nathaniel proposes to Laura.  She accepts, is awed by his charm and is thrilled to know someone could love her. Her parents willingly contract the marriage.

Laura is a sensitive person, feels the heaviness of Nathaniel’s heart, the angst of the village who aren’t sure how Nathaniel’s wife has died.  Rumors abound.  But one thing Laura wants to do.  She wants to make her husband happy, for she feels darkness underlying the façade he presents her.  This setting had me on edge, knowing that something terrible would happen, but not knowing where or who will strike. Andersen played this feeling for all it is worth.  A great suspense!

Aunt Dora, an old aunt who Laura loves, helps set the stage.  Aunt Dora is a bit of a psychic, with her Tarot cards, looking into Laura’s future, not one of roses. Laura seems to brush it off.  But the point is made.  This story will be scary.

Laura involves herself with the village, makes the castle a home with warmth, and generally spreads goodwill wherever she goes.  Her husband appears distant, but the reader will know he is anxious when Laura barely escapes with her life on several occasions.  He also has come to love his wife, but can’t seem to express how he feels.  Will Nathaniel be at Laura’s side when she needs him?

The ending is most surprising.  I never would have guessed, which made this read a devil-of-a-good read—nail-biting good.

Posted in Book Giveaway, Highland Romance, Mystery, Suspense | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Review: A BIRMINGHAM FAMILY CHRISTMAS by Cheryl Bolen ~ not quite what it was expected to be!

36369683Title: A Birmingham Family Christmas Brazen Brides, Book 4.5
Author: Cheryl Bolen
Genre: Historical Romance, Regency, Short Read
Story Setting: London, England
Pages: 69
Published by: Harper & Appleton
Published Date: October 30, 2017
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
ASIN: B0766V5CB6

 

Brazen Brides Series:
Counterfeit Countess
His Golden Ring
Oh What A (Wedding) Night
Miss Hastings’ Excellent London Adventure
A Birmingham Family Christmas

 

Publisher’s Summary:
When spinster Annabelle Lippencott is invited by her cousin, Emma Birmingham, to spend Christmas with the extended Birmingham Family, little does she expect to find Spencer Woodruff, the man who broke her heart eleven years earlier.

Five-Star Read

My Thoughts:  Cozy up near a fire for an evening of fun reading with A Birmingham Family Christmas.  A dislike between past lovers who have lived a spoken lie for eleven years, fueled by years of hurt and anger, written with the usual style Bolen displays, make this a lively, sometimes quite funny read. 

Both have grown into well-respected people.  Both know not to trust the opposite sex.  Hence, neither have married. Annabelle and Spencer join a three-day Christmas party.  They are brought together in happenstance fashion.  Annabelle is cousin to her happily married friend, Emma Birmingham.  She’s invited to spend the Christmas holiday with her cousin because her father recently passed away.  Adam Birmingham, Spencer’s employer, takes pity on Spencer whose family is not in town, invites him to spend the holidays.  The fun begins!

The only people who know their past connection are Spencer, Annabelle, and Annabelle’s French maid, Marie.  Sparks fly, both are extremely rude to the other.  Emma and Adam haven’t a clue what is going on.  Emma had been hoping to do a little match-making.  She, instead, adds fuel to the simmering battle!

A comical character much enjoyed is the little French maid with her inability to grab the correct word while expressing herself, embarrasingly so.  She’ll keep you laughing.

I enjoyed my evening. It provided Christmas spirit, enhanced by Christmas tradition.  You may just find yourself taking a fan to your face after experiencing what Spencer does when he catches Annabelle under the mistletoe!  An evening with a smile awaits you!

Posted in Book Giveaway, Historical Romance, New Book Release, Novella, Regency Romance, Romance | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments