Review: American Witch

American Witch

Author: Thea Harrison

Molly Sullivan had been the perfect wife and hostess until she finds a pair of purple panties in her bed and the final straw breaks. She causes a scene, leaves her home and soon to be ex after cleaning out the safe. She finds more than a few surprises in the paperwork and soon knows she is in danger. She also finds herself with a few powers she didn’t know about and doesn’t know how to handle. Josiah Mason is the only person she can turn to, he knows what she is and though he has an agenda of his own, he will help her train to be an American Witch.

What an amazing way to start a new trilogy! If you are a fan of author Thea Harrison’s Elder Race series American Witch will blow you away. The characters, drama, danger and the good hit of somewhat reluctant romance is amazing. I also loved that Molly isn’t a 20-something but a woman who is older, lived what she thought was a good life and got it all thrown in her face. Even her own mother doesn’t support her decision to leave the cheating husband.

This is an eye opening look into the world of magic, it’s pain as well as the pleasure of being who you are meant to be. The coven of witches who are with Josiah is filled with intriguing character, all fighting together to search out and destroy an evil entity.

American Witch is a page turner that will have you impatiently waiting for the next one to arrive.

Advertisements

Review: REBEL by Beverly Jenkins

ebook, 384 pages Publication: May 28th 2019 by Avon

ISBN13: 9780062861696         Series:   Women Who Dare #1, The Le Veq Family #4

Rating:  5*

This compelling new series follows a Northern woman south in the chaotic aftermath of the Civil War and the historical references used in this novel were truly an eye opener in what and why the country became so divided.  Not only is this a very sensual and unusual love story but it’s one that needs to be read by all lovers of historical romance.  

Traveling to the South was both a very brave thing and not without risk for Valinda Lacey.  Her goal was a mission in the steamy heart of New Orleans to help the newly emancipated community survive and flourish. However, she soon discovers that here, freedom can also mean danger. When thugs destroy the school she has set up and then target her, Valinda runs for her life—and straight into the arms of Captain Drake LeVeq.

As an architect from an old New Orleans family, Drake has a deeply personal interest in rebuilding the city. Raised by strong women, he recognizes Valinda’s determination. And he can’t stop admiring—or wanting—her. But Valinda was spoken for and as much as Drake wanted it otherwise, he was too much of gentleman to pine after a betrothed woman.  

In this I had to admire both Valinda and Drake – Valinda was all that was good and pure and as much as she felt the undeniable pulse of passion for Drake, she had made a promise to her very dear friend.  The secondary characters were so very much a part of the whole and added such substance to the entire story. Not only was this a wonderful love story but it was also about family love and values which I found to be incredibly satisfying.

Marilyn Rondeau

Review: Smitten by the Brit by Melonie Johnson

Bonnie Blythe is an English professor who has been engaged many years to her long-term boyfriend with dreams of  tomorrow as married and happy.  Her best friend met a fellow overseas last year and within months Bonnie is helping to plan her wedding.  Secretly Bonnie might be just a tad jealous that within months she was helping to plan a wedding that wasn’t hers.  However, a shocking discovery leads Bonnie to end her engagement, and she decides to close the book on love.  But in a romance novel – never say never.

Theo Wharton is like a romantic hero straight out of a Jane Austen novel – sexy, virile, handsome and impeccable manners. Fate has put Bonnie in England for the summer—to teach her favorite subject and conveniently very close to Theo. They had agreed to be friends-with-benefits but just as Bonnie begins to believe she’s falling in love she learns a bitter truth that makes her take a step back. Will she forge ahead and tell him or hold off so he can complete his ‘duty’ to his family!  Or, will she have the courage to risk her heart again?

The characterizations in this were spot on! I could truly feel Bonnie’s rage, disappointment and insecurity when she discovered her ex in HER bed with another woman!   Devastating as it was – Bonnie had been true blue even when she had met the most devastatingly handsome Brit the year before and the physical attraction had been powerful.  So to discover it had all been in vain – horrible!

So, giving in was only to discover that Theo was ten times more sexy, kind , courteous and such a superb lover she kicked herself that she’d wasted all that time with such a loser. But now she also discovers Theo’s secret and the fact that he was being nagged into a marriage of convenience by his mother – life couldn’t get much worse.   But if you want to find out if it does or doesn’t you will just have to read this book!  

Marilyn Rondeau

Review: My Ex-Best Friends Wedding by Wendy Wax

Paperback, 368 pages                     Publication: May 14th 2019 by Berkley Books

ISBN13: 9780440001430   RATING;  5*

Loved this story of a  wedding dress passed down through generations until it unravels the tangled threads of the last three women who wore it.  It’s about friendship, family, and forgiveness and I couldn’t put it down!  NOTE: At times I really wanted to reach in and shake some of the protagonists to knock some sense into them!  HOWEVER – I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS BOOK!

It had been carefully stored away for safekeeping, a timeless ivory wedding dress, with scooped neck and cleverly fitted bodice, whispering of Happily Ever Afters. To Lauren’s mother Kendra, who wore it briefly; to her daughter Lauren who’s looking forward to wearing it; and Brianna her best friend who got to wear it first.  To all three women  it’s a reminder of what could have been, the promise of a fairy tale, and a friendship torn apart. But as Kendra knows firsthand: it wasn’t the dress’s fault.

Once closer than sisters, Lauren and Bree were sisters of the heart!  They grew up together, shared the same dream together, but then made choices that transformed their lives as they grew apart. Each held just a bit of resentment against the other blaming each other allowing broken promises and unfulfilled dreams to destroy their friendship. 

Now as a successful author, Lauren returns home to the Outer Banks, fiance in tow, to claim the dress she never thought she’d wear. While Bree, a bookstore owner, grapples with the realities of life after you marry the handsome prince. As the former best friends wrestle with their uncertain futures, they are both certain of one thing: some betrayals can never be forgiven.

Never expecting her past to catch up with her, Kendra struggles with a secret she’s kept for far too long. She vows to make sure the dress will finally bring Lauren and Bree back together – knowing they’ll need each other to survive the coming storm after the bomb drops from the revelation of her life.  

Marilyn Rondeau

Review: No Other Duke But You by Valerie Bowman

Mass Market Paperback, 320 pages        Expected publication: April 30th 2019 by St. Martin’s

ISBN13: 9781250121677                         Series: Playful Brides #11

Rating: 4-1/2*

I absolutely loved this book!  It was so lifelike in that here are two protagonists, Delilah and Thomas,  who grew up sharing many daring escapades together and were like brother and sister with everything in common!  Perfect together but ‘clueless’ in that they couldn’t quite see they were made for one another!  But I digress.

Lady Delilah Montebank is a treasure, only her mother doesn’t see it and has hounded Deliliah to find a husband – or she’ll find one for her!  After being picked on once too many times Delilah pronounced she would have the most eligible Duke of Branville up to snuff by her birthday – within weeks of her announcement!  

Her best friend, Lord Thomas Hobbs, the Duke of Huntley, thinks Delilahs quest to become a Duchess is ridiculous.  Naturally he was a confirmed bachelor.  But with Delilah thinking her ‘love potion’could possibly win over Branville, Thomas switches rooms whereby Delilah mistakenly gave Thomas the potion.  

With room switching and ladies attempting to compromise other bachelors at the house party, the story gets pretty hilarious at times.  But when push came to shove it would be Dukes to the rescue, but who would win the prize of Lady Delilah?

To find out I highly recommend you read the book!  

Marilyn Rondeau

Review: Sifting Through Clues by Daryl Wood Gerber

Crystal Cove is celebrating Book Club Bonanza and the Cookbook Nook is geared up and ready to participate. One of the planned festivities involves one of the book clubs traveling to various homes to eat and discuss the mystery the members are reading. Jenna Hart, co-owner of the Cookbook Nook, can’t wait to participate, but unfortunately things go seriously wrong when one of the hosts is found dead in her home during the event. Worse yet, one of the prime suspects is the chief of police’s mother, Pepper Pritchett. Can Jenna help exonerate Pepper without destroying her relationship with her police chief daughter, Cinnamon?

SIFTING THROUGH THE CLUES is the eighth book in the Cookbook Nook mystery series and can be read as a standalone story. Daryl Wood Gerber helpfully provides a quick cast of characters at the beginning of the book so that new readers can quickly jump into the series and enjoy the story. I have to admit that I can’t imagine reading one book in the Cookbook Nook series and not wanting to read them all!

While I love the entire Cookbook Nook series, SIFTING THROUGH THE CLUES is probably my favorite book yet. Daryl Wood Gerber’s inclusion of the book club theme meant we had plenty of mentions of books other than just the usual intriguing cookbook references. In fact, I’ve added several of the cookbooks to my list to buy as a result! And oh, I love how Daryl Wood Gerber worked in references to her two other series and I can’t wait to hear all about Jenna and Rhett’s visit to Maison Rousseau!

SIFTING THROUGH CLUES is another fun and engaging mystery series from the talented Daryl Wood Gerber. Not only will culinary mystery fans delight in this entertaining story, but I suspect book lovers everywhere will appreciate the numerous book references that are a centerpiece of the tale. Highly recommended!

Review: Breaking Without You

Breaking Without You

Written by Carrie Ann Ryan

This story with have you in tears. Anyone who has lost a loved one or close friend to a sudden death should read this book It isn’t therapy but it does reach into the thoughts and actions of survivors.

Cameron Connolly and Violet Knight had both suffered the pains of life. He as a foster child until the Connolly’s had taken him in and she at the loss of him when he suddenly walked away with her heart and now a close friend to death. The last thing either expects is a second chance but life and fate hands you what you can handle – ready or not.

I cried from the beginning, though there is some laughter and loved watching the growing love between this couple as well the Connolly brothers who had some ground to make up too. While all worked toward healing, survival and love.

The healing touch of love is felt throughout this book, but the romance is steamy, the brothers are funny as well as jerks to each other and Violet and her friends are there for each other as only friends and sisters can be. If anyone can make you understand how to handle the heartbreak that life can hand you it is author Carrie Ann Ryan, with this amazing beginning to her new Fractured Connections series.

Review: Anything But A Duke by Christy Carlyle

Publish date  – 4/30/19     by Avon                                

ISBN13: 9780062854001              Series  Duke’s Den #2

Take one very independent lady who has the  capability and quick mind for inventions and one self-made man who often backs said entrepreneurs and what you get is an intriguing story of two brilliant people who haven’t got a clue that they were meant for each other.  

Perhaps because self-made man Aidan Iverson had more doors closed  in his thirty years than he’s ever cared he wasn’t being as broad minded by Ms Diana Ashby’s need to be recognized for the useful things she had invented.   As a member of the elite Duke’s Den, he has all the money he could possibly need, but the one thing he can’t purchase is true power. If roguish Aidan can’t buy his way into the aristocratic  hallowed halls, he’s ready to try a more extreme measure: marriage.

As  a proper lady, the only thing Diana Ashby desires is to be left alone to create her own devices. When her dreams are crushed, she must find another way to secure the backing for her invention. Knowing Aidan’s desire to enter her world, Diana strikes a deal to arrange Aidan’s marriage to a perfect lady—as long as that lady isn’t her. Diana doesn’t want any distractions from her work, particularly of the sinfully handsome variety.   As Diana and Aidan set out to find him an aristocratic match, neither are prepared for the passion that ignites between them or the love they can’t ignore.

So much fun, loved all the gadgets Diana came up with to make life easier!  Definitely can recommend this book.

Marilyn Rondeau

REVIEW: MARRYING WINTERBOURNE BY LISA KLEYPAS

Review: Marrying Winterbourne By Lisa Kleypas

Publishing – May 31, 2019

ISBN13: 9780062371843.            SeriesThe Ravenels #2

Characters  Lady Helen Ravenel, Rhys Winterborne

First of all MARRYING WINTERBOURNE was delightful and Ms Kleypas’        originality and creative scenarios have left me with that wonderful ahhhhhh…. feeling once again.     I discovered Lisa Kleypas many years ago, and I find that as the years progress her writing  gets more and more refined like a fine wine. It just gets better than ever and one must give high marks to this new series The Ravenels.    

Common-born Rhys Winterborne’s vast wealth and success weren’t given to him.  In business and beyond, Rhys gets exactly what he wants through a unyielding determination to succeed.   From the moment he meets the shy, aristocratic Lady Helen Ravenel, he is determined to possess her. And if it takes ruining her to ensure she marries him, then so be it.  However as his all consuming lust changes into a love he’s never felt before, he’s afraid of losing her.

Right from the start Lady Helen was a bit frightened of the Rhys but as she gets to know him better she sees the vulnerability and the gentleness of the man.   Helen realizes she is in love with Rhys but then discovered something about herself that could destroy the man she loves.  Her biggest decision, should she trust in love or continue the lie that if Rhys knew would destroy his faith in her?

Marilyn Rondeau