Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Feature and Giveaway: Jackson by Emily March

From New York Times bestselling author Emily March comes Jackson, the newest novel in the critically acclaimed Eternity Springs series.

Sometimes it takes a new beginning
Caroline Carruthers thinks she buried her dreams along with the love of her life…until a stranger named Celeste dares her to chase a dream all on her own. Moving to Redemption, Texas, is chapter one in Caroline’s new life story. Opening a bookstore is the next. Finding love is the last thing on her mind as she settles into this new place called home. But when she meets a handsome, soulful man who’s also starting over, all bets are off.

to reach a happily-ever-after
Jackson McBride came to Redemption looking only to find himself, not someone to love. Ever since his marriage ended, he’s been bitter. Sure, he used to believe in love—he even has the old song lyrics to prove it—but the Jackson of today is all business. That is, until a beautiful young widow who’s moved to town inspires a change of heart. Could it be that the myth of Redemption’s healing magic is true…and Jackson and Caroline can find a second chance at a happy ending after all?

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N | Apple |

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

ARC Review: Three Weeks With a Princess by Vanessa Kelly

Three Weeks With a Princess by Vanessa Kelly was a let down for this reader, I am sorry to say. It dragged on too long for me, and a lot of things said about or in this book was misleading in my opinion.

Lia Kincaid is the illegitimate daughter of a prince and a courtesan. Her grandmother shared the same profession as her mother. Lia is made to grow up in the country raised by her grandmother who became mistress to the Marquess of Lendale. Growing up there, Lia befriended Lendale's grandson (or great nephew I can't remember exactly), Jack Easton, and established a school girl crush on him. He was always kind to her despite her lineage and looked out for her well being.

Unfortunately for Jack, upon the demise of both his father and grandfather (or great uncle) he must assume the title of Marquess and take over the responsibilities that come with it. In his opinion, this included Lia and her grandmother, much to his own mother's despair. However, since the late Marquess didn't provide anything for his mistress in his will, Lia and her grandmother believe they need to make their own way. Lia determines her only options are to either become an actress (as her mother has recently become) or a mistress. Jack does not like either option, and continually insists that she stay at his country home and he will continue to care for her and her grandmother.

I found I did not like barely any characters in this book. Lia was annoying in her determination to ruin herself. She didn't even try other potential options which may have been possible if she got lucky and put forth some serious effort. Jack and almost every other male in this book were just huge dictators trying to force Lia to do what they believed was best for her. Most of the female side characters had spunk but were also making dumb decisions that seemed completely silly and unrealistic.

I also disliked the flow of the story. Many of the scenes I felt were unnecessary and contributed to an overly lengthy book. I never really felt either character "fall in love". Lia has loved Jack from childhood which is just mentioned as a backstory, and Jack just seems overbearing, and I never felt his over protectiveness turn into love. I was looking forward to this story being a little more involving royalty as the title suggests a princess type is involved. It really didn't come into play very much at all. The three weeks timeline also really didn't match. I know I am nitpicking but it honestly it bothered me.

I am not really interested at all in continuing this series. I may give Vanessa Kelly's work another try someday, but with something separate.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | AmazonB&N | Apple | Kobo |

Monday, July 1, 2019

ARC Review: Someone to Honor by Mary Balogh

Someone to Honor is the sixth book in Mary Balogh's Westcott series. This book focuses on Abigail Westcott and Gil Bennington. If you need a reminder, Abigail is one of the three children discovered to be technically illegitimate in the first Westcott book because her father married her mother whilst having already being wed to another. This book takes place about six years after that first book.

Abigail Westcott has been pushed by her meddling (but full of love) family to return as best she can to society and find herself happiness through marriage. However, she finds herself no longer interested. She has gotten over the "Great Catastrophe" that happened to her mother, brother, and sister, but no one else seems to see that. They only see her as being lonely.

Gil Bennington is on his way back to England when he stumbles upon a healing Harry Westcott. Gil and Harry served together against Napoleon, and became friends. Gil insists on helping Harry get back home to recover from his wounds there. He stays with Harry even once they get to England to help Harry get his strength back. He doesn't realize the stampede of family determined to check on Harry as soon as they have word of his return. It is almost overwhelming to Gil, whose upbringing was very different to the love and concern shown to Harry.

Abby along with the rest of her family are over the moon to have Harry back home, but they are all worried about his weakened condition. She happens to find Gil chopping wood on the grounds when needing a moment and mistakes him for a servant. She lectures him about his state of dress (or lack thereof since he is bare from the waist up). Gil lacks to correct her incorrect assumption and just grits his teeth at yet another annoying lady of society.

Throughout their encounters, they find themselves disliking each other and yet being drawn to each other upon learning more of each other's character. Gil is struggling with personal/legal issues while he is there, and stemming from that, they find they need each other.

I found this book to not be very romantic. However, it touched my heart a lot! Gil is a tough guy with a hidden heart and I just wanted to give him hugs all the time! Abby was sweet and she was doing a lot of finding herself and figuring out what she wanted. It was a little too much for me with Abby though as I felt I didn't truly get to know her. I liked her; I just struggled to empathize I guess.

I did still very much enjoy this story. I believe the series will continue, and I am excited to see where it goes!

**ARC provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N | Apple |

Sunday, June 30, 2019

ARC Review: Kingdom of Exiles by Maxym M. Martineau

Kingdom of Exiles is a debut for new author Maxym M. Martineau. It was advertised on Goodreads as, "Fantastic Beasts meets Assassin's Creed." I LOVED Fantastic Beasts so it grabbed my attention, and I read the synopsis. Don't really know anything about Assassin's Creed but that's ok.

Leena Edenfrell has been exiled from her kind, Beast Charmers, though she keeps the skills she learned before her exile. In order to survive, she sells beasts that she charms for people, which is against everything she learned from the Charmers. She does the best she can, and it is all to go towards finding redemption for her false crimes. Unfortunately for her, she gets targeted by an assassin, one who though she defeats, means there is a bounty on her head that the entire organization will go after her to fulfill.

Noc is the leader of an undying people in a place called Cruor. They are assassins for hire. When Leena walks into their home with one of his brothers hostage, she immediately has his attention. They strike a deal; she will acquire four beasts for him and his people will spare her life. Noc hopes there is a possibility a beast can stop a curse put upon him. He is also clever though to create a loophole in their bargain so he can still keep his contract.

Leena, Noc, and three other Cruor members set out to find the beasts. All the while, the assassins do what they've learned they shouldn't do to get their job done. They get to know Leena and start to believe in her innocence. All the while, she sneaks into Noc's thoughts and heart, which could be fatal for them both.

Within this emotional struggle and new world was a great starting point for a fantasy romance. I loved learning about some of the beasts described, but I was disappointed that as the book progressed, we learned less about new creatures. The love interest between Leena and Noc wasn't as convincing to me, though it wasn't horrible. I found myself more interested in the three other members of the group.

For me this book had a great build up and idea, and then around the halfway mark, it began to lose my interest. Despite that, I did enjoy the tale overall and I hope to have the opportunity to continue reading the series. Definitely a great debut!

**ARC provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N | Apple |