November 21, 2013
Lacey Miszlak wanted nothing more than a home of her own, where she and her husband would raise their unborn child and make memories to cherish-a home life that she never had, growing up with a mother who could never stay in one place for long. When she first sees the house, she knows it’s the one. Despite the subtle discouragement from her real estate agent, Lacey will not back down, and finally the house is theirs. But Lacey is starting to see a little boy in the yard, in the kitchen, all over the house. And no one else can see him.
When incidents start to frighten Lacey, and she ends up on bed rest, she calls upon her spiritualist mother to help her find out just what is happening in her house, before the worst happens to her, or her child….And events will take place that make any reader’s skin crawl….
Starter House, by Sonja Condit, is a thriller with supernatural elements. If you like haunted house stories, you won’t want to miss this one, which will surprise you with a climax that will blow your mind. If you need a good scare, be sure to check it out!
November 17, 2013
A group of women are drawn together in the interest of the local private school attended by their children. The intention : to raise money for the school doing various fundraisers. The outcome : DISASTER. Playground politics are laid out brutally in a world where bullying occurs even among the mothers. The queen bee of the hive is power-hungry and thrives on exclusivity, and some of the mothers have truly had enough. What will happen when the tension is finally too much? Can the queen bee be overthrown?
Anyone who has ever been mother to elementary school-aged children knows about the politics that go along with participating in school events/fundraisers, etc. The Hive, by Gill Hornby, is set in the U.K., but is easy to relate to, even for Americans. Good women’s fiction. I listened to the audiobook while I was at work and found myself smiling and shaking my head as I listened to this novel.
November 15, 2013
Lady Emma Avery is in quite a predicament-since her debut into society, she has very little to show for herself by way of marriage prospects-the one man who has shown her attention would love to settle down with her, but he needs to marry a lady with a dowry or his family will be ruined…And Lady Emma Avery hasn’t a penny to her name. One night, while drinking too much sherry, her lady friends come up with a scheme that will be sure to have her married by the end of the season…All she has to do is announce her engagement to a man who doesn’t even know she exists-the bachelor of the year, the womanizing Duke of Ashbrooke.
Little does Emma know, their little joke is about to have a domino effect-and the Duke of Ashbrooke may just need something Lady Avery can provide…But can they both maintain a “professional” relationship as they pull off their little ruse, or will they be overtaken by the temptation of one another and lose everything they know?
This novel is, obviously, the genre I refer to as “bodice-rippers” and is full of stolen kisses and impassioned arguments leading up to passionate lovemaking and inevitable happy ending..So if that sounds like something you like, be sure to pick up The Wicked Wallflower and give it a shot. Maya Rodale is one of my favorite authors in this genre, she adds a humor that many authors fail to integrate and you will be giggling throughout the entire novel.
November 6, 2013
The third installment in The Sinners Trio series, by Anna Randol, is here. You may remember the preceding novels, Sins of a Virgin and Sins of a Ruthless Rogue-Sins of a Wicked Princess is about the exiled Princess Juliana who is determined to get her country, Lenoria, back, after her castle was burned in a rebellion. She calls upon someone she knows who possesses a certain skill set to help her get the documentation she needs to regain control over her lands….She calls upon a spy, the famous man known in the underground as Wraith.
Ian Maddox has one goal, to ensure the safety of himself and his friends from an unknown threat. When he is summoned by the Princess of Lenoria he has no intention of assisting her in whatever petty problem she may have…But he quickly learns that her troubles may be woven into her own somehow, and decides to join forces with the girl and face the enemy together…Besides, she’s terribly attractive, especially when provoked to annoyance….
This is a mystery/historical romance that will satisfy anyone who loves bodice-rippers, so if you need a fix, buy Sins of a Wicked Princess. After a long week, everyone needs a guilty pleasure….
November 6, 2013
John Gower is commissioned by Geoffrey Chaucer with a very vague and mysterious mission-find a book of songs that has gone missing. He is intrigued by the mission, but he has no idea how deep the plot will go until bodies begin to pile up. What is in this book that seems to be traveling in London’s underground? Does it have the power to set in motion terrible events, including the death of King Richard II? The more Gower learns, the more danger builds up around him. The surprise arrival of his formerly exiled son makes for very suspicious timing amid it all-how do all of these events tie together? What is the connection between a dead Lady in the woods, a handful of prostitutes, the famous Geoffrey Chaucer, a group of butchers, and his majesty, the King of England? Only the book will reveal all-and someone is killing to get their hands on it. Can Gower solve the mystery before the ultimate crime occurs?
This novel portrays 1300s London in a very harsh light-nothing is sugar coated, so if you are looking for something pleasant and romantic, this is not the book for you. The language, while probably very accurate, is a lot to take in, especially from the mouths of the prostitutes and the men who commission them. All in all, however, this novel is great suspense fiction, and an incredibly detailed account of what life might have been like during the time of Chaucer. If you enjoyed The Bones of Avalon, by Phil Rickman, you will want to pick up A Burnable Book, by Bruce Holsinger.
October 20, 2013
Jane Austen lovers, you followed Elizabeth Bennet as she stumbled down the path to love with the stuffy Mr. Darcy, and maybe you even read one of the many “tribute-like” novels written in present day, telling the story of Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy’s life after marriage (The Pemberley Chronicles by Rebecca Ann Collins, Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife by Linda Berdoll….there are hundreds actually). Once you’ve had your fill of Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam, you may have even read a novel or two devoted to one of her other sisters- she had 4, if you recall-of all the sisters, however, one must wonder what would have become of Mary Bennet, the studious and unapproachable young lady who spent more time in her father’s library than looking for love.
I, personally, found myself drawn to this novel, because I am a booknerd, myself… Could someone like Mary Bennet find love? When reading Pride and Prejudice, you automatically assume that she will become a spinster (mostly because this seems to be what she wants). The Pursuit of Mary Bennet tells the story of a young lady who must decide what she wants to do with her life, whether it be in a governess position, or finally married off (which seems an unlikely option at first), and fortuitously, a handsome gentleman appears and turns the Bennet household upside down. Sibling rivalry being one of many issues that arise upon his arrival.
If you do love Jane Austen spinoff novels, this one is worth a read. If you haven’t read Jane Austen you may want to start at the beginning with Pride and Prejudice, however.
October 20, 2013
Lady Elizabeth wants what every young woman wants…A little independence, a purpose in life, and maybe, if she’s lucky, fulfilling true love. Unfortunately, in 1914, a blossoming lady from an aristocratic family has only one true purpose. To find a husband who will be suitable for the fortune of the family line and become a respected lady of society, just like her mother. Elizabeth longs to see the world, experience life, help people in need…But her mother will hear none of this, and the young lady of the house is forced to walk away, with almost nothing to her name, and no survival skills whatsoever, braving a world that would resent her if she told them her true social standing.
Seeking the one man who ever seemed to see her for who she is and what she can become, Elizabeth works hard to learn skills that would make the ladies back home faint with shock. A young lady driving a vehicle? A young lady in a war zone, hauling men from battle to the hospital? This young lady faces a world that barely embraces women in the workforce, experiences events that would give anyone nightmares, risks her own life every day, all without complaint…But with her heart full of love for Dr. Robert Fraser, a man who cannot acknowledge their relationship but whose passion for her surpasses all sensibility.
If you love novels with a “Downton Abby” feel, you will adore this novel. I, personally, love novels set in World War I, although I’m not sure I can tell you why, specifically, that is so, except that women came into their own during that war, they joined the workforce, they learned to survive at home without men to take care of them, in the most dire of situations…Which sets the tone for these novels, making you want nothing more than to see the heroine come out on top before the novel ends…