Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Review~Written in the Stars by Patricia Rosemoor & Sherrill Bodine

Written in the Stars

Written in the Stars by Patricia Rosemoor and Sherill Bodine

Book Blurb

In 1601, Lady Elizabeth York's star-shaped birthmark proclaims her a 
child of magic. When she arrives at Dunham Castle to marry Carlyle, 

heir to the Duke of Lennox, she finds enchantment in the eyes and 
touch of Will Grey, the Duke's bastard son. Bewitched by Elizabeth, 
Will defies all for their love, and his jilted half-brother places a 
curse on them both.

Searching for a treasure ship sunk long ago, present-day marine 
archeologist Cordelia Ward is pursued romantically by both salvager 
Innis Foley and treasure hunter Morgan Murphy. She is haunted by a 
murderous nightmare where one man is the killer and the other the 
victim. But which man is her enemy--which one her soul mate? Can a 
journal that belonged to her ancestress, Lady Elizabeth York show her 
the answers...in time to save her true love?

Chased by evil, two women discover their own magic to fight a 

villain's curse on the Posey rings that draw them to the men they are 
destined to love. 

My Review: 4.5 Stars

Historical fiction is one of my absolute favorite genres. This particular work also excellently wove together historical fiction, romance, mysticism, suspense, and love. I absolutely adored the characters and didn’t have any trouble relating to the characters or the time
I found the story and characters easy to identify with. Lady Elizabeth, approached Dunham Castle, ready to accept her fate as Carlyle’s bride, without ever meeting him. She is pleasantly surprised to immediately feel something for the first man she sees. Her stomach flips, first from happiness, then to disappointment as she soon finds out that the man she made a connection with was not Carlyle, but Will, the bastard son of the Duke. Can she accept her place as Carlyle’s wife when she had such a connection with Will? And, Will, well he feels the same as Elizabeth. But does he dare speak of it? He knows the consequences of being a bastard son. Will he risk everything to profess his desires?
Cordelia Ward has two suitors. She must decide for herself if her visions of one being a murderer and the other a victim are true. And if they are, who is who? Can she save them all from this horrible vision she foretells? Maybe the answer lies within the mysterious journal she finds that once belonged to her ancestress, Lady Elizabeth. Can Elizabeth help Cordelia find out the truth? And will she figure out who is who before her true love perishes?

This is an amazing story of two extraordinary women trying to realize their true worth in their own time of troubles. Can they depend on their hearts to show them the right way? Is the future they foresee changeable?
Strong story lines, excellent time shifts, along with the romance and strong female characters have made it easy for me to give this story 4.5 stars!

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Review~The Best Man's Baby by Victoria James

Book Blurb:
Florist Claire Holbrook has always played by the rules her entire life, but breaks them to spend one night with sexy lone wolf Jake Manning, a man she's adored since she was a teenager. Six weeks later, things get complicated when she discovers they created a bond that will last a lifetime

Jake has never played by the rules. Getting Minister Holbrook's daughter pregnant wasn't part of any life plan, but he won't run from his responsibilities. He'll step up and be the best man he can, even if he doesn't have a clue where to begin. The more time he spends with Claire, though, the more he wants her, and the harder it is to get close, because that would mean sharing the one thing he hasn't with anyone--the truth and his heart.

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My Review

The Best Man's Baby by Victoria James
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I normally do not finish books in one day. What can I say? This was an exception. I received this as an ARC and had not read the first in the series. I was concerned that perhaps I shouldn't dive into a book that is a sequel, but this is a stand alone story. Each book plays on the other, but each one is a different brother's story and are chronological in nature.

I devoured the story of Jake and Claire. From the prologue I was sucked in. I had to make myself not jump to the end of each page because I was anxious to see what happened next. Buy this story! You will not regret it!

Claire has a one night stand with the man of her dreams and wakes up to find him gone. Ok, so her heart was broken, but she can recover right? Wrong! She discovers she is pregnant and must tell her crush from high school that he is going to be a father. Claire owns her own business and her own home. Pregnancy was not in the cards for her at this time. She is a planner and this is unfamiliar territory.

Jake, to the casual observer, is a bad boy. He isn't one to settle down and runs from confrontations. Take the one night stand with Claire, for example. He had wanted her for quite some time, but she was too good for him. A one night stand should not have happened. She deserved better and her father certainly wouldn't approve. Jake tries to shake his desires for Claire by leaving town on business and not contacting her. Little did he know that the night they shared would change his life.

Jake must prove to Claire that his feelings for her are not because of the baby. But before they can move forward, they both must confront their own problems. Their story is one of past trials, self discovery, and love.

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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

5 Stars A Tale of Two Centuries by Rachel Harris

A Tale of Two Centuries (My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century, #2)A Tale of Two Centuries by Rachel Harris
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If one was to look up sixteenth century girls in an encyclopedia, (oh wait do they still have those? Maybe Google images then) you would most likely see someone like Alessandra. On the outside, she is like any other 16 year old from that era. She is willing and exited to be united in marriage to a man many years older than herself. Less is the picture of perfect bliss. She is proper and dutiful, but there is an adventurous side just waiting to get out. That side of her escapes when her dream of a perfect future is destroyed by the very man who inspired it. Alessandra needs an escape from her reality, and quick. If only her cousin, Cat, were here. She could help her make sense of all this. But alas, Cat had returned home to her own time in the future 2 years prior.

Enter Reyna. That quirky, always there at just the right time, riddle giving gypsy. Just as Alessandra felt as if she was as lost as could be, she is given an opportunity of a lifetime. Reyna sends her to stay with Cat, in the future, but is clear that she can only stay until the 3 riddles she has given her have come to pass.

Cat is absolutely shocked to see her sixteenth century cousin at her doorstep, in trousers none the less. For her, it has only been 2 months since she had arrived back from her own adventure, not two years as Less suggests. She immediately sets forth explaining dress, slang, and boys to Less. Now it is Cat's turn to help Less and she is going at it full throttle. She even gets Less enrolled as a foreign exchange student from Italy in her high school for the semester. Should be an educational experience. I mean, what can happen? Less is only here for a short time.

Surprises are just that, a surprise. Cat could not have imagined that in just one day, Less would be flabbergasted over a boy. Well, not just any boy, Austin! From the first time he tapped his fingers on the desk, Less was hooked, even though she didn't know it herself. What was happening to her? Austin was all wrong. He was trouble! He was also, all she could think about.

A Tale of Two Centuries is an imaginative, butterflies in your stomach, leaving you wanting more, read. I easily give it 5 stars and can't wait for my daughter to get just a bit older to read it herself. Rachel, you've done it again, girl! What talent! Congratulations!


Anyone who orders a copy of A Tale of Two Centuries this week and forwards a receipt to Rachelharris1 at gmail dot com will receive exclusive swag including an Austin trading card, a ticket to Alessandra's play, and a signed bookplate. And yes, ebook orders count!

Alessandra D’Angeli is in need of an adventure. Tired of her sixteenth-century life in Italy and homesick for her time-traveling cousin, Cat, who visited her for a magical week and dazzled her with tales of the future, Alessandra is lost. Until the stars hear her plea.

One mystical spell later, Alessandra appears on Cat’s Beverly Hills doorstep five hundred years in the future. Surrounded by confusing gadgets, scary transportation, and scandalous clothing, Less is hesitant to live the life of a twenty-first century teen…until she meets the infuriating—and infuriatingly handsome—surfer Austin Michaels. Austin challenges everything she believes in…and introduces her to a world filled with possibility.

With the clock ticking, Less knows she must live every moment of her modern life while she still can. But how will she return to the drab life of her past when the future is what holds everything she’s come to love?

~Special Flirt Squad Excerpt~

After several hours and rejecting more than, as Cat would say, a bazillion selections, we finally make our way home, bags brimming with a half dozen dresses and an array of ankle length skirts. And though our quest to find items that actually cover both my calves and elbows did prove time consuming, that was not really the reason for our extended excursion…it was my complete and utter awe over the vast display of readymade clothing! Modern women no longer have a need to select fabrics and patterns and hire a tailor—they merely step inside a store, choose an item off a rack, and bring it home. Marvelous.
I step inside Cat’s comfortably cool home and slurp the final remains of my creamy beverage. My cousin insisted she needed a ‘sugar fix’ on the way home, so Vivian stopped at a building with bright yellow arches filled with delectable delicacies. A chill seeps down my throat and I close my eyes at the blissful sensation, before recognizing the uncomfortable, full one tightening my stomach.
Wonderful, yet another experience in which to amuse my cousin. Since arriving, I seem to do little else. And though it is quite improper to discuss such topics, I have no other choice but to continue the entertainment now.
I turn to her, my cheeks burning with the ever-present annoying blush, and ask, “Pardon, but may I inquire where your garderobe is located?”
Cat grins in reply—as I expected—and I hang my head, following wordlessly in her wake back to the chamber she called a bathroom. She turns the knob on an interior door, steps inside, and lifts the lid on a bright white object.
“This, my time-traveling ancestor, is a toilet. Much cooler than your stinky garderobe business. See this?” She places her hand on a silver lever located near the top. “This means we have central plumbing.”
She lowers the lever and the toilet goes wild. A loud gurgling, much like the sound of a waterfall, erupts from the basin and I jump back and grip Cat’s arm with a muted squeal. The water pooled inside begins to bubble and fresh water cascades down from the rim above. The rumbling noise recedes to a gentler hiss but just when I think the excitement is over, the basin makes one last hurrah, twirling and whirling the water down the hole at the bottom with a final booming glug.
I slap my hand over my mouth then promptly remove it. “Do it again!”
Cat smiles and rolls her eyes, then pulls me into the tiny alcove. “Yeah, I don’t think so. You can do that when you’re done…using the facilities.”
The need to know where the contents go once they disappear is nearly overwhelming but I refrain from asking, having had quite enough of playing the simpleton cousin for at least one afternoon. But unfortunately, my role as entertaining time traveler plays on, as I do need to clarify matters a bit more. “So I sit on this toilet and, um, use it to…err…. relieve myself?”
My voice rising to a high-pitched squeak at the end does not help the situation.
Pushing my hair from behind my ear and ducking my head to hide my face, I clamp my eyes shut and will this moment over. Oh, why must every new discovery be such an embarrassing revelation?
My cousin, bless her, must take pity on me because I feel her brush past, pausing to give my arm a gentle squeeze. “Yep, nothing to it.” She pauses, and I hear her tap the frame of the door behind me. “So…I’m just gonna be in my room. Er,” she snaps her fingers together, “take your time.”
The door clicks closed and I shake my head. Suddenly, all of Cat’s humorous missteps from when she traveled to my time flash in my mind along with all my resulting merriment and I look to the heavens with a begrudging grin.
Yes, my present embarrassment is an apt form of divine justice.
When my head lowers, my gaze centers again on the silver lever and it is as if my insatiable curiosity is a living, breathing creature inside the alcove with me. I bounce on my toes, gnaw on my lip, and finally give in, shooting my hand out to depress the cool metal. The wondrous performance begins again, and my laughter echoes off the sage colored walls. 

About the Author

As a teen, Rachel Harris threw raging parties that shook her parents’ walls and created embarrassing fodder for future YA novels. As an adult, she reads and writes obsessively, rehashes said embarrassing fodder, and dreams up characters who become her own grown up version of imaginary friends.

When she's not typing furiously or flipping pages in an enthralling romance, you can find her homeschooling her two beautiful princesses, hanging out with her amazing husband, or taking a hot bubble bath…next to a pile of chocolate. A Tale of Two Centuries is her second novel.

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