Showing posts with label Anthology. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Anthology. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Anthology: The Midwife's Legacy

Summary:
Peek into an aged journal that links the adventurous lives of four courageous midwives. Wisconsin farmer, widow, mother, and midwife Adele Marley is too busy for a smitten, unwavering banker. To survive in love and life, Polly Schultz must rise above her fears on the Oregon Trail. Christiana is in a battle to prove to one man that she can be both a wife and a midwife. Her confidence shaken, Kendra Silverstone needs confirmation of God’s hand in her life and love. How will God work to give these women the direction they need?


Reviewer: Fashionta


One family, one book, one profession and four women. This collection of four stories follows these women as they find love in the midst of their troubles and heartaches.


A Mother’s Cry

Adele is content in life until the local banker Jeremy decides to interfere in her life and the results are explosive as two adults who are set in the ways fall in love. The first book sets the background and the journal, which was created by her mother and gives advice about midwifery. I like the concept that was introduced and becomes a common thread. This topic seems to be taboo among Christian books and I can’t remember, in all my years of reading, books that heavily mention midwifery.



The Midwife’s Apprentice

Set in pioneering times, this story follows from the previous one with Polly, an adopted child of the heroine from the previous story. I thought we would of seen the end to her journey as this takes place a few months after the previous one. Instead, we get another interesting story as the author uses historical events to bring the story to life. But once again the common thread is troubles surrounding the heroine placing her in much the same situation and coping with new ones because of the author’s use of these historical events. I like the tie-in with the important historical events as the pioneer era was an important part of American history.


Birth of a Dream

Taking place during the Exposition in Oregon, this places the story timeline sometime in 1905. While not officially considered a World’s Fair, this event marking the 100 year anniversary of the Lewis and Clark expedition touted new inventions and technology to nearly 1.6 million visitors. In this story, we get more of a male perspective on midwifery as the heroine’s father is involved in putting together the grand exhibition.



Labor of Love


I see this book as a climax of the journeys featured in this collection of stories. It's set in present time but it is hard not to draw comparisons and see how things are not that different for midwives of today. One again, like the previous story, we see male opinion but this time in the form of fellow medical professionals. This story highlights the modern troubles that haven’t changed for midwives. Heartbreak has featured in each of these stories (except the third which has a slightly different focus) but this story is the strongest and the one most people will be able to empathize with.

I have to give this collection four stars. These are stories for adults. Teenaged girls won’t be interested in the theme of midwifery in general. But it great to see a collection that works together well because the family tree has been worked out.



Publisher: Barbour Publishing
Review Courtesy Of: Net Galley

Monday, April 30, 2012

Coffee, Tea or Me by Mae Powers & Megan Hussey

Summary:
Tea & Hart by Mae Powers
Lavera Tallys wants Zareth Hart, but he's part of a spoilt alien princess' endowment. Now if only she can barter for his freedom, so she could lay claim to his heart and body.

Coffee, Tea Or He? by Megan Hussey
A seductive alien masquerades as an airline steward to seduce a straight-laced female pilot. Will she take coffee, tea, or he?

Cosmic Coffee Café by Mae Powers
Security officer Terryc Valcon goes into the Cosmic Café and finds both the owner Chalea Jackson and her Earth beverages quite refreshing and stimulating. When trouble follows her, so does Terryc, ready to rescue and love her.

Reviewer: Dolce Amore
Tea & Hart by Mae Powers
Zareth Hart was exchanged by his father for grains and other priceless products his planet considered necessary to Orla, a spoiled princess. But he is rescued by an Earther woman, the boss of his sister, Natia; and they fall in love.

I tried to like the story, but I couldn’t. There was too much descriptions and that made it a little boring to me and although Zareth is supposed to be mute and deaf but in some scenes he seems to talk and hear. 2.5 stars

Coffee, Tea Or He? by Megan Hussey
Violet Steed is a pilot. She was overjoyed that her longtime employer, Valentine Airlines, was partnering with Eternian officials to explore some common ground. And she likes Valaria Jinga, the president of the planet Eternia.

She doesn’t know that Valaria set Varian, the ultimate pleasure ambassador, to seduce her. She finally gets rid of her husband, who's been cheating on for some years. Violet and Varian soon are falling in love but what will happen when she will find out the truth about him?

I liked this story. Varian is much younger than Violet, but he falls in love with her. And he decides to leave his work as an ambassador just to have her. 3.5 stars.

Cosmic Coffee Café by Mae Powers
Terryc Valcon had to do one more assignment for Galactic Trades Commission: to catch Nezzbum. He already has a job, as 2nd in command for the Station’s security team but he also went undercover as a regular mall cop just to make it easier to get some evidence on him and finally leave his old work. He falls for Chalea Jackson, the proprietor of Cosmic Coffee Café and Chalea for him.

The story was a little confusing. Terryc was searching for some secret of Chalea to help him with Nezzbum who wanted her Café… and he got rid of Nezzbum when some of his men threaten Chalea and were trying to steal her supplies. All that made me feel like something is missing. 3 stars.

Overall the anthology wasn't bad, although the stories have their boring moments. I give it 3 stars.

Publisher: Melange Books
Review Courtesy Of: ManicReaders

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Rainbow's End by Valerie Comer, Annalisa Daughety, Nicole O'Dell, Cara Putman

Summary:
Unexpected Treasure in the Missouri Ozarks
It’s always an interesting group of strangers who show up for the Rainbow’s End geocache hunt each summer, and the spectacular scenery along the bluffs of the Lake of the Ozarks is just one reason. . .
Lyssa, fired up for the ministry and anxious to talk about Jesus, is startled to find her former college professor among the group. Will he upset her mission?
City girl Madison is annoyed that her sister signed her up and then bailed—but now she’s been paired with a complete stranger! Worse, he’s one of those outdoorsy types.
Reagan has always played it safe, doing everything by the book. And then she meets her brother’s frat brother, a guy who’s got his life mapped out, too.
After winning her life-long battle to get fit, Hadley can’t wait to meet men who didn’t know her “before.” But Brad is that species of guy she has no experience with: a player.
God only knows if this adventure in the woods will lead to heartache. . .or love.

Reviewer: Fashionta
It's been a while since I read an anthology where the stories were related by a event set in a small town rather than family ties. They do link the stories though the characters in one small way or another but they all feature the geocaching hunt.

Topaz Treasure
The first book follows one of the organisers and her college professor. Let me say finally a college professor that is around the same age as his students. Most of the books where there is such a relationship there's a ten year plus gap. Nothing wrong with that but there are professors that are only a couple years older then his students and they never seem to be feature until now. Kirk is falling in love with Lyssa but he can’t figure out why she show dislike to him. It’s a cute story about forgiveness and finding love. I won’t say too much but there's more to the forgiveness then the blurb gives us and it's a touching story.

Beneath the Surface
in the previous novel, we get a scene where Kirk is helping two sisters with a GPS unit they bought from his brother’s shop. This story features the two sisters Madison and Brook. Madison is only here in her home area because she lost her job and Brook invited her to stay the summer. She's rather being doing something else and after a series of events, sees it as an opportunity to get out of the competition. But their neighbour has other ideas as he drops outs and tells her why don’t you join Grant his teammate and his grandson. Well sparks will fly as these to try to work together. Each of them have secrets and misconceptions about each other and it's cute as they discover their true selves and each other.

Welcome Home, Love
This story follows Noah, one of the other organisers and the Youth pastor. He was mentioned in the first novel. Noah has a childhood sweetheart, Hadley who he fell in love with and she's back in town. Hadley was mentioned in the previous story by Madison as a possible replacement for Brook so they could continue to work as a team to get Brook off her back. Hadley is back with a slimmed down body but she's not interested in Noah. She's more interested in the hunt and winning it but she getting sidetracked by Brad whose's secrets may bring them together or apart.

Love’s Prize
This one is less focused on the event in the sense there's less hunting of clues and more descriptions of the locations of the places as Colton and Garrett protect Regan, Garrett’s sister, from a stalker that was stalking her in their home town. This story has a bit of a mystery element as we unravel the mystery as new information comes to light and the answer finally comes out. This one is perfect for the fans of romantic suspense, it's toned down as the main mystery part is toward the latter half of the book. They are interested in winning the hunt though as Colton regularly checks the website to check the leaderboard and Hadley is mentioned because she was leading.

I have to give this book 4.5 stars and say this is one of the best anthologies I have read from this publisher.

Publisher: Barbour Publishing
Review Courtesy Of: NetGalley

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Quakers of New Garden by Claire Sanders, Ann E. Schrock, Jennifer Hudson Taylor, Susette Williams


Summary:
Four Quakers of New Garden face trials of the heart. When Josiah Wall postpones his marriage to Ruth Payne for a second time, Ruth is reluctant to give him another chance at love. Deborah Wall is thrilled to work at a hub of the Underground Railroad, until wounded Nathaniel Fox—a bounty hunter for runaway slaves—is left to her care. Leah Wall struggles to turn a marriage of convenience into a marriage of love. Christian Jaidon Taylor pursues Quaker Catherine Wall—but she’s convinced their differences will forever keep them apart. Will these women withstand the test of love?

Reviewer: Fashionta
I had serious problems with this one, though not with the writing. I wonder why the publisher went with three historical stories and wham the fourth was contemporary? It's nice to see how the Quakers interact in today’s society but I would have liked a bigger warning, as the classification was historical only. Ok, on the to the stories.

The first novel was about politics and lessons for all. The second one was about the Underground Railroad and the third was the famous North vs South aka the Civil war in America. The third one confused me, they must have been descendants from other children of the hero in the first book but which one we will never know as they don’t mention it. Same for the fourth story, all we know is all four of the heroines are related in some way but the third and fourth aren’t clear. I wished the authors could of communicated and worked out the family connections. 3.5 half stars.

Publisher: Barbour Publishing, Inc.
Review Courtesy Of: NetGslley

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Seattle Cinderella by Gail Sattler

Summary:
A modern Cinderella and her cohorts are enchanted by love in Seattle. Cindy is forced into running her late father’s muffler shop and employing horrid step-sisters, Annie and Zella. Can she garner the emotional energy needed to protect her heart against Luke’s princely charms? Annie Wilson’s past misdeeds have tarnished her reputation. Can she prove to herself and Brent that she’s a changed woman? Zella is busy writing her own life story. Will it involve murder or romance? Farrah, Cindy’s godmother, has caught a younger man’s eye. How long can she deter his advances? Will God make these couples’ dreams come true?

Reviewer: Fashionta
I liked this anthology a lot and it's an interesting take on things but I don’t think readers are going to enjoy this as there's some credibility issues that is created in the second story.

The first story starts setting the relationship between the four girls featured in the novel. The first is a Cinderella story where the story of Cindy is told and the troubles she has. It's like a first love story but with a twist. The guy has been waiting months to get her attention and when she does pay attention sparks fly.

Months have gone by since the first story and there's been massive changes that seem too much to comprehend and might not be credible to the readers. But yes, it works out and they have their happily ever after.

The third focuses on the third sister, who left with their mother who has dreams that go against her principles; so she joins a book club and uses one of the members to help her with interesting results.

The fourth story is bittersweet with two people who’s past is holding them back. This story will make you overlook the other issues.

I have to give this anthology 4 stars.

Publisher: Barbour Publishing, Inc.
Review Courtesy Of: NetGalley

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Highland Crossings by Laurie Alice Eakes, Pamela Griffin, Jennifer Hudson Taylor, and Gina Welborn

Summary:
An heirloom brooch unites the lives and loves of four women in historic North Carolina. Seona flees Scotland with the brooch in tow hoping to find peace before her past is revealed. Fiona tries to recover the heirloom but ends up on the whipping block—with her rescuer a man she’s not sure she can trust. Seren sells the brooch but soon regrets giving up something so precious for what could be a hopeless dream. Brynna seeks to reclaim the stolen brooch but risks losing something even more valuable in the process. Will God’s path become clear in a new world?

Reviewer: Fashionta
This story takes the reader from Scotland to America and follows one heirloom brooch and four girls through the generations. I loved these stories for different reasons. Seona’s story I loved because she was not afraid that she was accused of being a witch and acted as healer. It was tough in those days, so I liked seeing a woman doing a job that was still a man’s job. Fiona and her problems, that girl just couldn’t get a break. Seren made lollies but would people think they aren't medicine? Brynna is obsessed with history and her passion shows it but the dreams she has will they be haunted by her broken heart which has held her back?

I give this book 4 stars. It was nice to see the clear connections between the four girls and understand their place in their family history. I've read books where this has failed miserably and leaves you guessing. I also included the Young Adult tag as this anthology is suitable for that reader.

Publisher: Barbour Publishing, Inc.
Review Courtesy Of: NetGalley

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Spellbound by Jenny M Twist

Summary:
Spellbound at Midnight by Isabelle Kane & Audrey Tremaine
In the sultry Big Easy, Viole Godin is hired to restore Magnolia Place, an antebellum mansion which is crumbling under a mysterious curse. Marie Verret and her dangerously attractive grandson, Lucien, believe Viole is the key to ending the curse one magical Halloween night.

Room 1309.5 by John M. Mecom
Inspired by the works of Poe and Stephen King, Room 1309.5 is a story of revenge and despair. It is the author's first story to be published and received honorable mention in the Fifth Annual Writer's Digest Popular Fiction Awards.

Mansion of Nightmares by Walt Trizna
A mysterious mansion, long abandoned, harbors a past that claims those who enter. Then one day, by a stroke of luck, an intruder survives and uncovers its secret.

Ghost Taxi by Joanna Foreman
A man drowns heading for freedom in America, but his ghost is trapped. Washed up on the beach, the ghost is an illegal alien, not allowed to cross the street into Miami. A homeless man and a vacationing tourist search for his wife so the ghost can possess her.

Uncle Vernon by Jenny Twist
There's something very peculiar about Uncle Vernon. Nobody knows what he does in the cellar. But he's quite harmless, really. Isn't he?

Half Seen, Half Hidden by John Steiner
Nine dead. One missing. No suspects and no leads. What happened in the cabin outside Wilson Wyoming? Where and who is Mason Oliver? Deep within ourselves rests a greater mystery. Half Seen, Half Hidden traces the last three days of Mason Oliver and nine hitchhikers. Offering them shelter, Mason takes them to a secluded cabin. There they all sense the others aren't quite the strangers they seemed, and that they hold something extraordinary in common.

Telltale Signs by Tori L Ridgewood
Don't stay in the Dark Lake Museum after sunset! But Kate Elliot has a deadline to meet. Working overtime, she realizes she's not alone in the creepy old mansion...

The Origin of Fear by Tara Fox Hall
Four college friends mount an expedition to Latham's Landing-an abandoned island estate infamous for mysterious deaths-to gather pictures and inspiration for a thesis on the origin of fear.

Reviewer: Amlyt
The mix of paranormal and horror novellas in this anthology was the perfect balance and it kept my attention from the start right to the very end. They were engaging and reverting reads inspired by some of the best horror authors out there. There's something for everyone. From fiction to romance it will be perfect for any fan of paranormal and horror.
I have to give 4.5 out 5 stars . They were well written novellas, each had a complete story line and were so engaging that you didn’t notice that there were novellas.

Publisher: Melange Books
Review Courtesy Of: ManicReaders

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Stockings & Suspenders by Carolyn Rosewood

Summary:
As the temperature drops, the women in this collection of stories find naughty and delicious ways to warm up for the holidays.

A boss with a proposal to make her sweat, a promise from an Italian assistant, a cabin in the middle of nowhere with two men waiting to cater to her every desire, a special surprise for a lonely solider...

All of these encounters and more from ten talented authors. Get ready for some holiday loving...Evernight style

Reviewer: Dolce Amore
The Proposal by London Saint James
Grace Hale is having a bad day. For the first time in two years, she's late to work and she receives a write-up along with a stern scolding from the wicked witch, aka her boss, Charlotte Saxton.

Soon after, she discovers an impressive run in her new black silk stockings; that’s when Dravin Hall, partner and advertising hot shot appears and invites her for a drink. Later, when she broke a nail, Daven helped her. But when she arrives two and a half hours late to her date with Daven, will he still be there?

Marvelous story!!! Ms. London Saint James use of delicious irony, made me laugh over and over again. It also has a very hot scene, so you won’t be disappointed. 5 stars for her story, she deserves it.

Chasing Miss Kringle by C. R. Moss
Jack Vorst is a private detective and his latest case is to find an elf… or whatever it is, that's helping people using some kind of magic. He asks Kristina Cristkindle, a woman he meets in the gym, to go out with him. After a few scenes of hot mental sex, he realize that the elf has to be Kristina. Will they have a future together?

It's a hot story. I loved the mental scenes. Magic exists in the world if you know where to look. I give it 4.5 stars.

Snow Angel by Jezebel Jorge
Minerva Madison is driving to her sister's when she has a car accident and gets stuck in the snow. She is rescued by Brian Carson who recognizes her as the erotic writer she is.

I loved Brian’s home… It’s a hot story, perfect to be read in front of a fireplace; if you don’t have one, improvise. It deserves 5 stars.

Naughty & Nice by Lila Shaw
Chrissy is a succubus and she works for Santa. On Christmas, she gets a list of who's been the nicest of the nice and she pays them a visit. And now it's time for Lt. David Ramsey to enjoy his reward. However, there is some kind of confusion and she beds the wrong man.

I loved the story. Capt. Marcus Torino switched identities with Lt. David Ramsey and he got the junior officer’s special Christmas gift. I really enjoyed their meeting and the end was a surprise… Santa sees all, Santa knows all… and Santa gives presents if you are nice. I rate it 5 stars.

Making the Naughty List by Seleste deLaney
Daisy Duke was saved from the streets of Detroit by Brady, one of Santa’s elves; now she too works for Santa. Her last assignment is to bring Gage Thomas to his senses; he was on Santa’s naughty list for several years. But her boss didn’t tell her the whole truth…

Wonderful! Ms Seleste deLaney did a great job. I fell for Daisy and Gage, they are amazing characters. And the humor added to the story takes it to a new dimension. It deserves 5 stars.

A Very Naughty Christmas by Carolyn Rosewood
Nita is going to her Aunt Susie’s new house in the wilds of Portage County; but she gets lost in the snowstorm. She finds a refugee with Alex and Cameron. They fell for her two years ago, when they saw her for the first time; her visit is like a dream coming true, but will Nita stay or she will leave the only happiness she found in a long time?

Sweet and hot at the same time, this story is about lost and second chances. It’s about every women’s fantasy, finding two men who show their love and passion. I can’t give it less than 5 stars.

Promises by Xondra Day
After a traumatic childhood, Leda James doesn’t do relationships. However, Joey has decided to have her and when both of them were caught by the snowfall in Leda’s bakery, he decides to go for it.

I liked the story. The story line is simple, but it is a short story. I rate it 4 stars.

Santa's Little Helper by Kelly Yeakle
Miranda Wilson is a rich and vain young woman until her father temporarily revokes her access to her trust fund. He tells her that she has to find a job or she will lose everything. And the only job she gets is in O’Hurleys, as one of Santa's little helpers at the photo kiosk. Craig Davis, her boss, changes her by making her falling in love with him.

This is a story about redemption… you can change if you want. And like always, love is the deciding factor. Miranda is a smart woman, I liked her character. 5 stars for it.

Mistletoe Masquerade by Alaska Angelini
Jeanie has a secret admirer who invited her to a masquerade. There, she followed the sad and beautiful music and she finds Jared. Jared and his best friend Edward Collins sent her the invitation.

The hot scenes between them are very well written and very good for a short story. I give it 5 stars.

Letter to Santa by Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy
Elise writes to Santa asking for a lover. When Nicholas knocks at her door just after she drank her third glass of wine, she thinks he is her present. After a night full of passion, he tells her who he really is.

I enjoyed Elise and Nicholas’s story. Love can give your deepest desire if you believe enough and Elise believed. And who doesn’t want a hot and attractive lover? I give it 5 stars.

This anthology is perfect for this holiday season! It deserves 4.5 stars.

Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Review Courtesy Of: ManicReaders

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Mistletoe & Menage (The Sextet Anthologies, Vol. 5) by Elizabeth Raines

Summary:
Are there visions of sugarplums dancing in your head? Or are you wishing for a package filled with hot, sweet love for Christmas? If so, then be sure to check your stocking for the latest installment of the Sextet Anthologies, Mistletoe & Ménage.

The Sextet elves have been making a list and checking it twice to include something for every taste, whether naughty or nice. They’ve got the man—or men—of your dreams all tied up with ribbons and bows and ready for delivery just in time for your Christmas enjoyment. These guys are guaranteed to jingle your sleigh bells, deck your halls, and take you walking in a winter wonderland of sensuous treats. So, whether you want one, two, or even three sexy Santas beneath your Christmas tree this year, curl up with a cup of steaming hot chocolate and let us fulfill your Christmas wishes like never before!

Reviewer: RedHibiscus
Home for Christmas by Elizabeth Raines
Jayne Reynolds, Steve Mason, and Matt Wagner have been best friend since they were children, but things changed when Jayne fell in love with them. Now after being gone for 2 years she's coming home. Steve and Matt want her back in their live. Jayne keeps denying her feelings for Steve and Matt, she's afraid, and Steve and Matt will have to convince her that she can have a happy ever after with both of them.

I loved this story, I could feel the attraction between these three. Although this is a short stories, the author describe the story perfectly, the sex scenes were hot. Just what you expect when you read this genre, and Elizabeth Raines delivered a very hot book.
5 stars

Angel on Broadway by Cheryl Brooks
Even after 5 years, Ariel Nathanson is still mourning her late husband, then she meets Alexei and Nico Tomaris. Years ago, her late husband was a guitarist in a band Alexei and Nico Tomaris were part of.

Now Ariel meets them again and falls for both of them. I thought this was nice story, a widow willing to find love again, this time she falls for 2 men.

The sex was hot, I couldn’t believe prim and proper Ariel could engage in something hot with 2 guys at once. And I couldn't help but laugh at the pink sex toy with lips on it. I love the way the author described the relationship between these three, this girl needed her happy ending and who can resist 2 Greek gods? Ariel couldn’t and I loved every minute of it.
5 stars

Thrice Upon a Yuletide by Bethany Michaels
This is an unconventional love stories of three friends. They live in 1880s, and they have a ménage relationship. Anna is one lucky girl, she has 2 men that love her unconditionally. One is her husband Stephen, the other is their friend Phillip. Their relationship began from their childhood, then changed from friend to lover. But Phillip is in dilemma. He's craving a family and wife of his own, but he only loves his friend Anna, and Anna is married to Stephen. He's also afraid that the nature of their relationship will destroy his friends. Society already suspects and it’s up to him to save their relationship. To do that he will have to marry another girl. In the end, Phillip will have to choose between his love for Anna, or appearances for the sake of society.

I love the closeness of their relationship, but it was kind of unreal how Phillip's fiancee accepted that Phillip was in menage relationship, but this is fiction so for that I can accept it too. The love scenes were not as hot as the previous two stories.
5 stars

A Little Elfin Magic by Mellanie Szereto
Christopher Greene and Nick Slater are attracted to their best friend Noelle Merriweather. And without her knowledge, they decide to share her between them. I love the way Mellanie Szereto wrote this book; the hot love scenes, the relationship between friends. Overall this is the kind of book I love to read during the holiday season. And I can't forget the mocha flavor lubricants!
5 stars

Two Kisses Under the Mistletoe by Niki Hayes
Julie Logan is a writer who is returning to her hometown after 5 years. Her friend Kevin and her ex boyfriend John both love her and they want her stay in Irish Valley forever with them and will do whatever it takes to make that happen.

The plot was simple, after all this is a short story. Overall this is just a nice short erotica story to read this season.
5 stars

Each of these erotica short stories are about three best friends who find love with each other. This anthology is perfect to read this holiday season! 5 stars

Publisher: Siren-Bookstrand Publishing
Review Courtesy Of: ManicReaders

Sunday, December 4, 2011

A Regency Holiday by Allison Lane, Alicia Rasley, Lynn Kerstan, Rebecca Hagan Lee

Summary:
FOUR Favorite Regency Authors
THREE never-before-in-print Christmas novellas
TWO rakes, one rascal and a devilish Marquess
ONE beloved classic now back in print...
. . . adds up to the perfect Regency collection for holiday reading!

In Coventry's Christmas, Rebecca Hagan Lee offers a charming new story—with Christmas approaching, Amabel Thurston is ordered from the family home by her father's widow and must seek the protection of her guardian, Deverel Brookfield, eighth Marquess of Coventry. Unfortunately, the Devil of Coventry has little use for Christmas and even less for proper young ladies.

In the never-in-print Star of Wonder, Lynn Kerstan brings her special brand of magic to the page when an exotic and dangerous stranger arrives to disrupt the meager Christmas of Stella Bryar, who has struggled to support the family retainers in the wake of her father's death.

Allison Lane's newest Christmas treat is A Christmas Homecoming. When prodigal son Alex Northcote returns from a six year absence to take control of the family estate, he must run a gauntlet of possible brides, who have all been installed for a holiday house party by his determined grandmother. Avoiding the trap would have been so much easier, if the guest list hadn't included a quiet widow, who once jilted him for another.

In the classic Home for Christmas, Alicia Rasley gives us a Christmas with a bit of intrigue. When Verity receives an unexpected invitation from her estranged father to spend the holidays at his Cornwall estate, she accepts with delight. But, ever mindful of her father's attention to propriety, she must scramble to find a husband and "father" for her fatherless child. Could a handsome and enigmatic stranger solve all her problems?

Reviewer: Fashionta
I have mixed feelings when it comes to the historical genre in general as some authors make terrible mistakes which leave me wondering why was this not picked up in editing? In this case these four authors didn’t make those mistakes and made me love the four novellas.

The one that stood out the most to me was Lynn Kerstan's book which featured a sexy Montenegrin. It was interesting and welcome from other European nationalities that are normally featured in a regency period story. All these books put me into the Christmas spirit and with Christmas around the corner it was a perfect read.

I have to give four and half stars out five stars. Each of the novellas were well written and well thought out. However, Allison Lane’s novella didn’t fit the theme of instantly falling in love. The characters were betrothed to each other but the heroine ended up marrying someone else. Otherwise it was a very enjoyable Christmas read.

Publisher: Bell Bridge Books
Review Courtesy Of: NetGalley

Monday, November 28, 2011

Men Under the Mistletoe by Josh Lanyon, Harper Fox, Ava March, K.A. Mitchell

Summary:
A man receives the gift of pleasure at the hands of two expert lovers. Boyhood sweethearts get a second chance at romance. Two very proper gentlemen indulge their forbidden desires. And a Christmas tree farmer has an epiphany. It may be cold outside but these four holiday novellas will warm you up.

Anthology includes:
My True Love Gave to Me by Ava March
Winter Knights by Harper Fox
Lone Star by Josh Lanyon
The Christmas Proposition by K.A. Mitchell

Stories also available for purchase separately.

Reviewer: Fashionta
My True Love Gave to Me by Ava March
Thomas’ fear of disappointing his family and society led him to leave his love Alexander (Sasha to him) on the most important of nights and now four years later he is willing to do anything to win him back. As usual Ava March takes us through the ups and downs of love between men in old England. The Christmas night that was supposed to be the saddest memory for Sasha became the best he ever had. I loved the story, although it is very similar to her other books.

Winter Knights by Harper Fox
A nice story but God, it was so slow I don’t know how I finished it. Honestly, I would have skipped it, but I am the type that has to finish a book once I start, and I am glad I did because the ending was not what I expected! There was lots of details in the story that did not make sense to me, for example the miscommunication between the two characters that went on for three years, even the Christmas present of a sex toy doesn’t seem right when the two didn't have proper sex during their time together.

Lone Star by Josh Lanyon
This is about reminiscing, correcting past mistakes, and finding a future together. A very sweet story, of love lost and found. Beautifully written.

The Christmas Proposition by K.A. Mitchell
A beautiful story. It made me smile so many times. I just loved it, the setting and characters were amazing, what we always expect from K.A. Mitchell. I would love to read more about Bryce and Mel.

All in all, I give this anthology 3 stars.

Publishing Date: Dec. 05, 2011
Publisher: Carina Press
Review Courtesy Of: NetGalley

Friday, November 11, 2011

Maybe Baby by Melissa James, Michelle Douglas, Nikki Logan

Summary:
One tiny blessing. . . Anna and Jared West must reunite to look after baby Melanie at their Outback home. As if changing nappies and sleepless nights aren't enough of a challenge, Anna and Jared must confront what went wrong in their marriage. One new arrival . . . Sapphie turns up in the Outback to fulfil her sister's wishes and find her nephew's father. Instead she finds Outback cattleman "Uncle" Liam, who doesn't seem happy about a woman and baby landing on his doorstep! One big secret . . . When Lea became accidentally pregnant she decided that she would go it alone. Australian rodeo star Reilly wasn't the sort of man who'd want to be tied down. But five years later she needs to tell him her secret...

Reviewer: Fashionta
Maybe Baby is an anthology consisting of three stories about three sisters in the Outback, each of them dealing with baby issues. It can be infertility, a baby left in their care or a child's sickness, and while none of the sisters are searching for romance eventually they all find it.

One Small Miracle by Melissa James
The first story is about Anna and Jared West, a young couple who are still coming to terms with the fact that their son died and Anna had hysterectomy. Now separated, the couple are forced to come together as Anna is named temporary guardian of baby Melanie. Grief and regrets still stand between them but they are aware this is their second chance and will face trials and tribulations while working together towards agreement on their past and future.

The Cattleman, the Baby and Me by Michelle Douglas
The second story is about Sapphie who is best friends with Anna and her sister. However, what the girls don’t know is that Sapphie's actually their half-sister which is discovered in this story. Sapphie is at the end of her tether. Her sister Em just reappeared in Sapphie’s life and before going to jail dumped her son Harry on the unsuspecting aunt. What's more, to fulfil Em’s wish Sapphie now needs to find Harry's father who happens to be dead, and she ends up stuck with his brother Liam. The two strangers share only a blood bond with the baby and mutual hate, but they are forced to work together as Sapphie’s conscience doesn't let her to leave Harry on his own with Liam. As a typical Harlequin it ends with a happily ever after.

Their Newborn Gift by Nikki Logan
The third story is about Anna and Sapphie’s older sister Lea who has a daughter called Molly. She decided to take the single mother route but when she finds out her daughter is sick she's forced to seek the girl's father's help. She wants to have another baby with the same genes as it seems to be the only way to keep Molly alive. The father, Reilly, is none to happy to be suddenly confronted with all that but agrees to her wild scheme. However he forces Lea to sign a rather unsavory agreement. Of course later he falls in love with his ready-made family, but his pride won’t let him tear up the agreement.

I enjoyed all three stories, and liked in particular how they managed to fit them all in one 3-year timeline. This anthology didn’t stand out compared to other Harlequin ones so I had to give it three stars. Still, it was nice to see an anthology with the stories related to each other instead to the authors' other series which I may or may not have read.

Publisher: Harlequin UK
Review Courtesy Of: NetGalley

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Regency Marriages by Elizabeth Rolls


Summary:
Something had a wrought a change in Thea Winslow
As a girl, Thea had been bubbling over with mischief. As a woman she seemed half lost in shadow. Richard Blakehurst couldn't mistake the desire between them. But Thea must tame her wayward thoughts because she could never secure Richard's good opinion of her if he ever learnt the truth...

Marrying the governess...
Lord Braybrook urgently needs to hire a governess and companion, and the beautiful, headstrong Miss Christina Daventry is conveniently available. There is something so endearing about her that Julian quickly forgets how scandalous it would be to give in to the mounting attraction for his penniless governess...

Two classic and delightful Regency tales!

Reviewer: Fashionta
A Compromised Lady

I cannot say I was carried away by the first book. It was not so much the story in itself but rather the way it was told that bothered me.

For eight years Dorothea Winslow has been buried alive and forgotten in Yorkshire, when her father suddenly summons her to London in order to marry her off! Despite the fact that she wants neither a Season nor a husband she has no choice but to accept. At the beginning we are told that her betrothed died in a sudden accident but very quickly we are given to understand that she'd been compromised. In my opinion the unfolding of the story is too slow and I felt bored more than once. It has a lot to do with the fact that Rolls implies things after things about Thea's past without revealing it of course. At one point withholding information can become very irritating!

Step by step we discover Thea's traumatic past. When she was sixteen years old she'd been tricked and raped, after that - despised. banished and ignored. Fortunately her brother was able to shield her somewhat from the ugly aftermath. She learned to lock everything inside, both her painful past and her emotions. We will not know the whole truth until the very end.

She has a way to deal with her problem which is rather depressing and for me she is very difficult to like. Maybe it is because I wouldn't have in a thousand years reacted the way she did . She has been brought low by circumstances and by her father in particular. Nevertheless considering what she went through I can say she is strong and has honor, maybe even too much of it.

Mr. Richard Blakehurst is a second son (younger twin brother to Lord Blakehurst, hero of His Lady's Mistress) He and Thea were childhood friends but parted ways and he wasn't familiar with her drama. When they meet again eight years later he still doesn't know the truth.

Very quickly he starts feeling protective towards Thea and decides to help her any way he can. Their friendship slowly develops into something else. But it seems that there is no future for them. Each time, Thea has good reasons to refuse his love. Her past, which is her own fault, so she always says - and her constant feeling of unworthiness! But Richard is caring and very patient.

But again, just before the end, a last revelation will nearly keep them apart for ever.

I give 3.5/5.

Lord Braybrook's Penniless Bride 

This book could have been better. It began really good but when it hit the second half the plot just lost pace and started to drag on.

Lord Braybrook belongs to the fake rake type. Rakish ways or not, he has four half-siblings and an invalid stepmother in his care. And he doesn't appreciate it when his seventeen year old half-sister falls in love with a Mr. Daventry who's too poor to be considered suitable for the spendthrift Alicia. What's worse. Mr Daventry and his sister Christiana are soon to be evicted from their home

Lord Braybrook jumps at the opportunity and hires Miss Daventry as a companion to his stepmother and as a governess to his half-siblings. His intention is to show Alicia the life she might lead were she to run off with Christy's brother. And it would be a life without the luxuries she had grown up with. Nothing like a right dose of reality to quell the ardent impulses of a young romantic heart!

He is not a bad man but doesn't always know how to deal with people. Like a lot of his peers he has serious prejudices against illegitimacy which was the rule at the time. Christy and her brother being the bastard children of a Duke rather complicates the situation. Understandably she takes offence at this attitude and sparks fly between them.

Because of her parentage Christiana has a huge chip on her shoulder, she's understandably very guarded with her emotions but never at a loss for words. I liked her very much.

Unfortunately, I found the ending a bit rushed and overall the story was quite uneven. I give 3/5.

Expected Publishing Date: Nov. 4, 2011
Publisher: Harlequin UK
Review Courtesy Of: NetGalley

See the original review on goodreads
http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/229982608

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Love Finds a Way by Wanda E. Brunstetter

Summary:
Three stories of light-hearted romance from bestselling author Wanda E. Brunstetter prove Love Finds a Way. Widow Lorna Patterson returns to college looking for education not romance. Then she meets fellow student and culinary novice Evan Bailey. Will his persistence have her re-thinking love? When Shelia Nickels searches for her grandmother’s doll her hunt leads to antique dealer Dwaine Woods’s door. But will she find love instead of a lost treasure? Wendy Campbell doesn’t want a relationship, but her father does. . .for her. Will his matchmaking end with an unexpected romance for Wendy and paramedic Kyle Rogers?

Reviewer: Fashionta
If you have read Burnstetter's books before you'll know that she normally writes historical books about the Amish people. The three contemporary stories that compose this anthology make a nice change. These novellas are cleverly named after a theme that each of them is centered around.

The first Blueberry Surprise is set in a Christian College where two lonely mature students meet and eventually fall in love,even though the heroine does her best to hold back, believing she's not ready for a relationship. The hero tries to win her heart with his hilarious attempts at baking which get him into more trouble. That's also how the novella came by its name. Lorna buried her husband only a year ago and isn't looking for romance. However, she decided to do something for herself and went back to college. Ethan is the character that makes you want to laugh. He's interested in Lorna but there are two things against him. He's younger than her and she's not interested. Ethan tries to impress her with his baking skills, following recipes he gets from a blog. Problem is, he just can't get them right - and so the fun begins.

Grandma’s Doll, the second novella, brings memories of my grandma and her special mementos. In this story, the heroine is set on a doll that she has loved since she was a child and wants as her keepsake from her grandma. In her search for the doll she comes in contact with the hero and while they are seeking to fulfill her wish they inadverently fall in love.

Wendy has time only for her father and the barber shop she runs. So when her father takes to the heart the advice from one of their customers and decides to find a man for her, she's in trouble. Kyle doesn't have time for a relationship but he doesn’t mind playing matchmaker for Wendy's father. Wendy agrees with him on both counts and while the three stubborn people pursue their own matchmaking agendas, a lot of confusion occurs. Not surprisingly, the novella is called Matchmaker 911.

I give it 4.5 stars. I took half off as I didn’t like the last story Matchmaker 911 and I was skipping pages when I was reading it. It didn’t engage me as much as the other two did despite the character having an interesting job.

Expected Publishing Date: Jan. 1, 2012
Publisher: Barbour Publishing, Inc.
Review Courtesy Of: NetGalley

See the original review on goodreads
http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/218856647