Review: The Trouble With Dukes by Grace Burrowes

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Series: Windham Brides (Book 1)        Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages

Publisher: Forever – Grand Central Publishing    ISBN-13: 978-1455569960

Rating:  5* Publishing date:  December 20, 2016

Megan Windham is anything but a snob, and what she sees of the new Duke of Murdoch is one very big and to her mind ruggedly handsome man.   Megan’s heard the rumors calling Hamish,  the Duke of Murder and lord knows, he is not trying to hide his Scottish roots what with the kilt he wears everywhere and into some of the most prestigious ballrooms of the ton!   Heck no, and further she sees a man who is not some dandified aristocrat.   He’s definitely different, someone very different, and she likes what she sees.

Hamish disdains the fact that he is now a newly formed Duke, but as the head of the clan he knows he must face the fiercest of all battles – a London Season in order to make his sisters happy.  To that end he is even allowing their dear friend Miss Windham to teach him to waltz.  Megan isn’t at all like the normal debutantes flattered by his title, she doesn’t giggle, flap her eyelashes or try any of the other tricks to gain his attention.  She doesn’t seem the bit fazed at all by his title and she does not at all seem intimidated by his dark and murderous reputation, however as strong as she seems, Hamish senses Megan is fighting her own battles.  And, Hamish is ready to act the warrior again to save her from a fate worse than death, and just might lose himself to her estimable charms.

*** Ah, what can one say that has not been said already about author Grace Burrowes and her amazingly engrossing historical romances.  In THE TROUBLE WITH DUKES, she has once again created a masterful hero (Hamish) and another strong heroine (Megan Windham) and all in a brand new series – Book 1 of the Windham Brides!   I am so happy to have the privilege of getting to review the first in what I suspect will be another masterful series full of adventure, suspense and above all romance!!

Naturally, in order to have the angst required in a great romance we have to have one vile villain and Ms. Burrowes has come up with just that, a hateful man who has been blackmailing and continues to blackmail Megan into a betrothal in order to gain her dowery.  And just when you think Hamish has saved her from herself, up pops another hurdle to be overcome.   Nope that’s all you’ll get from me, but once you pick up THE TROUBLE WITH DUKES, you’ll find out exactly what that next hurdle is!  Happy reading.

Marilyn Rondeau

Review: The Pattern Artist by Nancy Moser

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Publisher: Shiloh Run Press; Gld edition (December 1, 2016)

ISBN-13: 9781634097925     Rating:  5*

As an under maid to a wealthy aristocrat young Annie Wood arrives in New York in 1911 with two ladies maids, their mistress and her daughter.   As a rule, Annie would not have been brought along, but the two ladies maids as it turned out needed Annie to continue covering for them their lack of basic sewing skills.  With the idea that Annie would soon be recognized for her skill and advanced to a new position of ladies maid herself, Annie continued to serve and work as hard as she could until she discovered that she had been a dupe all along and no one was aware of her talents, the other two Ladies maid taking all the credit for her work.

Striking out on her own, Annie finds employment in the sewing department at Macy’s and while she begins her new career in rising to top most sales clerks in selling, she also attracts the attention of a salesman from the Butterick Pattern Company.  With her natural talent for design Annie discovers she is indeed very good at fashion design and becomes a fashion designer for the Butterrick Pattern Company on a rise to the top of her profession.   But persons from her past who feel Annie had done them a disservice were not about to let her rest upon her new fame.  Would her new friend and beau  be able to save her from the brutality that was planned to take her down?

***  This was truly a tale rich in historical detail which I found completely engrossing, from the early days of the great department store Macy’s to the days of Butterick and McCall’s sewing patterns for the home sewer.  I found enormous enjoyment in reading of the past that was part of my childhood where a subject in school was Home Economics and learning to sew from a pattern to make your own clothing!  Yes, those were the days!  The characters were all covered in depth and it brought back those simpler days I was brought up in that held simple truths and rules to follow for a fulfilling life.    Bottom Line:  THE PATTERN ARTIST is a great sweeping and strong story that will have you turning the pages to the final end and leave you with a wonderful happy feeling.

Marilyn Rondeau

Review: Lone Wolf by Sara Driscoll

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Review:   Lone Wolf by Sara Driscoll

Series:  FBI K-9 #1

Published November 29th 2016 by Kensington Books     Rating: 4*

Meg Jennings and her Labrador, Hawk, are one of the FBI’s top K-9 teams certified for tracking, search and rescue. When a bomb rips apart a government building on the National Mall in Washington D.C., it will take all the team’s skill to locate and save the workers and children buried beneath the rubble. Discovering that a madman is on a bombing spree, Meg and Hawk are the key to stopping him before more innocents die.

While the first bombing was bad there was the relief of finding some victims who were still alive.  Unfortunately, the second bombing was much more catastrophic with no survivors.  The unseen bomber left messages indicating he would be continuing his reign of terror, bent on pursuing his own personal agenda of retribution. Meg and Hawk join the task force dedicated to following the trail of death and destruction to stop the killer.

LONE WOLF is actually more than just a thriller about a domestic terrorist creating his own form of terrorism as he enacts revenge against those who seem to be persecuting him. While the problem of  discovering the culprit is number one, I found I was just as focused on the relationship between handler and dog to be so fascinating.  I loved the details of how they were trained and the unique bond they develop with their handlers was fabulous.  Actually even identifying from a puppy who might be perfect enough to spend the time needed to train these dogs was thrilling.   Bottom line:   Loved every moment of LONE WOLF and highly suggest this for mystery readers and dog lovers alike!

Marilyn Rondeau

Angel for Christmas

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Written by Caroline Clemmons

Reviewed by Annetta Sweetko

An unexpected angel saves the day

There are angels everywhere and even some who never expected to be one.

Dr. Suzi Stephens needs a miracle and she certainly never expected it to come in the form of the children’s home’s new janitor.

Jacob Richison was a hard living, a bit reckless, very wealthy man who finds himself at the pearly gates and given a second chance. All he has to do to get inside heaven is save the home. But, he has to do that as Jacob Porter and do it by Christmas.

This new life he has been given brings many changes to the man who had been in the exact setting as these children. Now with this second chance will he learn to love and the true meaning of charity?

Angel for Christmas is a sweet, second chance (not at love this time but at life) Christmas tale that opens readers eyes to things that make you stop, think and be grateful. I enjoyed the book and the characters in it, especially sweet little Missy and the other children. The change in Jacob is subtle as he was always a good man, just a little caught up in possessions. Dr. Suzi is out of her depth in the business management side of things, she is a child psychologist and never wanted to run the place, just help the children cope with the life they had been handed.

If you need a sweet, contemporary that is perfect for the holidays or any day you need a touch of goodness then ANGEL FOR CHIRSTMAS by Caroline Clemmons is what you need.