‘Finding Fraser’ by K.C. Dyer

ff kcdSTORY: Sometimes searching for true love can be a little…Outlandish.

I met Jamie Fraser when I was nineteen years old. He was tall, red-headed, and at our first meeting at least, a virgin. I fell in love hard, fast and completely. He knew how to ride a horse, wield a sword and stitch a wound. He was, in fact, the perfect man.

That he was fictional hardly entered into it.

At 29, Emma Sheridan’s life is a disaster and she’s tired of waiting for the perfect boyfriend to step from the pages of her favorite book. There’s only one place to look, and it means selling everything and leaving her world behind. With an unexpected collection of allies along the way, can Emma face down a naked fishmonger, a randy gnome, a perfidious thief, and even her own abdominal muscles on the journey to find her Fraser?

REVIEW: This book has been out for a while now, but I just refused to buy it because, how good can it be?! I mean, I am one of millions of OUTLANDER fans out there that thinks no one can come close to writing as good as Herself, right?!

Imagine my surprise when I opened my Christmas gift from my husband. My first thought was, as I looked at it and then my hubby, OMG! He’s paying attention when I ramble on and on about OUTLANDER! My second was, SHIT! Now I have to read it, or I’ll hurt his feelings.

Well, I read it and WTH! I just loved it. It was interesting, engaging, funny, sweet and surprisingly very well written.

I enjoyed the heroine’s POV and loved the way author took me on a journey which I’ll never undergo. She made me feel like I was there!

If you’re like me and are having doubts about this book, please succumb and buy it. You’ll be so glad you did.

Melanie for b2b

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‘A Refuge at Highland Hall’ by Carrie Turansky

arahh  ctSTORY: In this third and final book in the Edwardian Brides Series, you’ll be swept away to England and France in 1915 as the Ramsey family and their staff and friends face the dramatic challenges and losses of World War One, yet they also experience the hope and triumph that comes as they put their trust in God to carry them through.

Penny Ramsey helps the family welcome a group of orphaned children to Highland Hall, but she soon discovers caring for them is more difficult than she’d expected. She writes to Alex Goodwin, a daring British pilot, who chases German zeppelins across the sky over the Front Line in France, and longs for the day she will see him again. You’ll be delighted by two pure and heartwarming romances: Penny and Alex, and Lydia Chambers and Marius Ritter, a lady’s maid and a prisoner of war. But most of all I hope you’ll be inspired by the characters’ examples of trusting God through the trials they face.

Fans of “Downton Abbey” will find many of the same elements in this series: A wealthy, aristocratic family living on a large English country estate with romance, conflicts, and family drama; and loyal servants with troubles and heartaches of their own.

REVIEW: 1915

Penelope (Penny) Ramsey is nursing her broken heart when the man she loved, Theo Anderson, said that he had fallen in love with a French woman and wanted to marry her. Such is the pain that many people are facing during this terrible war time.

Penny’s sister, Kate, is married to Jon Ramsey who is a doctor working on the war-wounded soldiers that have been sent to London. Kate is the cousin of Sir William Ramsey, Baronet of Highland Hall who is married to, Julia, the former governess of his children Andrew and Millie. After losing his wife, William hired Julia to teach his children. He then fell in love with her and married her. Afterward, they adopted a number of children who did not have a family. Thus, Highland Hall is filled with the sounds of happy children.

As the war is calling more men to the battlefields, Jon Ramsey and Sir William have decided to stay in London where Jon can treat his patients and William can keep his finger on the pulse of the events of the war. Thus, they have sent their wives, children and other family members to live at Highland Hall where they will be safe. Alex Goodwin is a friend of both Jon and Julia. A pilot, he recently crashed his plane and was treated by Jon. Soon, he will be heading back to the battlefields. He has met Penny and the two of them have formed an immediately friendship. As Alex does not have a loving and close family, Penny has promised to write to him and pray for him.

After having two failed pregnancies, Julia wants nothing more than to have a baby of her own. Kate is expecting and is having a difficult pregnancy. She is much larger than she should be for the stage of her pregnancy and the women do all they can to see that she rests.

The women care for the children at Highland Hall making sure that they receive the teaching that they should, in addition to enjoying organized activities outside.

We see that the downstairs workers do all they can to maintain things as they always have been at the Hall. With the shortage of certain items, that is not always easy.

The book intertwines many different stories with each of the characters that makes for very intriguing and wholesome reading. I was extremely impressed with the descriptions of the battles that were fought and even the obviously precise research that the author has done to detail the planes and cities involved in the fighting.

This is Book 3 of the Highland Hall Series. Book 1 is “The Governess of Highland Hall” and Book 2 is “The Daughter of Highland Hall.” Downton Abbey fans will love this trio of novels.

Connie for b2b

‘Montana Bride’ by Joan Johnston

mb jjSTORY: A Desperate Deception
The Promise Of Forever

When Karl Norwood’s mail-order bride meets an untimely demise on the way to the Montana Territory, Hetty Wentworth steps in to take her place. Hetty has no idea how she’s going to pretend to be all the things she isn’t—including the mother of two kids. She only knows her deception is necessary if she’s going to save two orphans from the awful fate she suffered as a child.

Karl smells a rat when a much younger woman than he was expecting arrives with two children who look nothing like her. But his mail-order bride is so beautiful, he doesn’t object—until he realizes that his charming new wife has been lying . . . about everything. Can a woman forced to keep secrets and a man hindered by distrust ever hope to find happily ever after in each other’s arms?

REVIEW: Ms. Johnson continues her Mail-Order Brides series with Hetty’s story, Hannah’s sister, the one that I was on a war path with in Hannah’s story. Holy Crap! She might have driven me to murder were I her sister! If there was trouble to be had, she was in it to her eyeballs!

She drove me crazy in the beginning of this story but then I slowly warmed up to her, as her character grew, I liked her more and more.

As I mentioned before in my earlier reviews of this series, Ms. Johnson is good when it comes to characterization. Hetty is the proof of that. She created a whiny, shallow and bratty girl and then turned her into a compelling, affectionate and determined woman I couldn’t help but care for.

As for Karl, he was a perfect Beta Hero. As smart, patient and kind man who is plain looking, he thought he hit a jackpot with his beautiful mail-order bride. Hetty on the other hand wasn’t of a similar opinion when it came to her opinion of her groom.

I’ve read all the books in this series and I’ve loved them all equally. I’m chomping at the bit to read Josie’s story in ‘Blackthorne’s Bride’!

If you like western romance then this author and her books, this series included, should be on your list.

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

‘The Thirteenth Earl’ by Evelyn Pryce

tte ep STORY: Dark-haired Victorian beauty Cassandra Seton will finally see her fiancé, Miles Markwick, after a separation of nine years. Nine years that have made her an object of pity. Marrying him now would save her further social humiliation, but it may cost her even more.

Jonathan Vane, Viscount Thaxton, has retreated from society, earning him the nickname “the Ghost.” He’s desperate to hide his father’s increasing madness and fearful that he too will eventually succumb to the same illness.

While attending the Spencers’ party in the country, both Jonathan and Cassie are awakened by unearthly wailing; instead of a ghost, they find each other—and fall into a passionate embrace. Guilt-stricken and searching for answers, they agree to a séance, but the medium’s words only deepen the mystery.

As the secrets of the past are revealed, Jonathan and Cassie band together to discover what’s really haunting Spencer House—and how to free each other from the specters looming over their own fates.

REVIEW: England 1884 – Spencer House

Percival Spencer, Earl Spencer is married to Eliza, Countess Spencer. They have decided to have a House Party and have invited many of their friends. One of their guests is a childhood friend of Percival, Jonathan Vane, Viscount Thaxton, future thirteenth Earl Vane.

Jonathan prefers to stay in his London home and rarely leaves. His father is ill and Jonathan thinks that the man is mad. Worry about his father has caused a noticeable weight loss in Jonathan to the point that some people are calling him The Ghost. Percival feels it will be good for Jonathan to get out of the house and be among friends.

Also attending the House Party is Miss Cassandra Seton, daughter of the Marquess of Dorset and betrothed to Miles Markwick, a cousin and huge irritant to Jonathan. Cassandra and Miles’s marriage is an arranged one as they were betrothed when they were babies. Cassandra has a very large dowry but Miles does not have any money. He has returned from Scotland where he spent nine years hoping to find a way to make some money. He has not been successful at that. Now, he must have the dowry that Cassandra offers to keep his home in Scotland from crumbling.

When Cassandra and Jonathan meet at the Party, they find an immediate attraction to each other and they steal a kiss. When they both hear a woman wailing in the middle of the night, they are convinced that Spencer House is haunted.

When Miles arrives, his haughty manner to Cassandra and, especially to Jonathan of whom he is jealous, is very irritating. Cassandra does not want to marry Miles but is frustrated because her father has decreed that this will happen.

It appears Miles knows a woman familiar with the spiritual world and a seance is planned. Lucy Macallister is the medium and it is obvious that Miles is taken with her. What happens at the seance shocks everyone.

Is there indeed a ghost? Will Cassandra truly be forced to marry the odious Miles? What about Jonathan and Cassandra’s attraction to one another?

This is a very good story with lots more to it than I have mentioned here. I do hope readers will enjoy the story. I promise that it will induce many emotions in you.

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

Connie for b2b

REVIEW: I finished this book real fast, not because it was short, it wasn’t; not because it was fast paced, it was; but because it was riveting.

Here are my Goodreads notes:

9.0 % in – “Love the prose! Complex hero, want to give him a hug!”

81.0% in – “Surprisingly fast read; LOVING the characters; exceptionally good dialogue.”

And here’s a teaser in regards to prose ….

“Good day,” she said to his back, his departure leaving her  slightly stunned, as if his presence had been a poisoned dart.

~~~ * ~~~

“He did indeed taste like brandy, but what was bitter in the glass was sweet on his lips.”

~~~ * ~~~

“The click of the billiards balls, the heavy thud into pocket, the smooth baize of the table; it was all somewhat reassuring. Physics worked, gravity prevailed. Miss Seton’s existence changed things, but the world still worked according to natural law.”

~~~ * ~~~

“Thaxton had never considered himself anything but alone.

Solo, unus, solitary, however you wanted to phrase it, he thought as he dressed. He was an island. Or a dead end.”

I loved everything about this story! Even the predictable villain! I could gush and gush, but I won’t. Please read an excerpt here and see for yourself.

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher.

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‘Knight of My Dreams’ by Lynsay Sands

komd lsSTORY: Lady Alice knows she is not the type to entice a man. She’s too voluptuous, too intelligent, too strong minded. Why, she even reads! But then Jonathan, Earl of Fairley, arrives at court. Tall, dark and handsome, the knight is any woman’s dream. And he has just been ordered by the king to find a bride … and Alice is to help him!

Jonathan has been evading his mother’s matchmaking schemes for years, so why does she insist that Lady Alice isn’t for him? Alice is only to aid in his search for a bride, yet Jonathan can’t help but be distracted by her glorious hair—the color of a sunset—and a figure that is like a lush berry about to burst to full ripeness … Has Jonathan fallen prey to love?

Originally appeared in the print anthology A Mother’s Way, under the title “Mother May I?”

REVIEW: As short stories go, this one was very well written and a lot of fun to read in one afternoon.

If you’re in a mood to spend a short time in Medieval Era than you should give this story a try. With unconventional heroine and an Alpha hero, the story moves fast and entertains on all levels and through the end.

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

‘Dear Thing’ by Julie Cohen

dt jcSTORY: Claire and Ben are the perfect couple. But behind the glossy façade, they’ve been desperately trying – and failing – to have a baby for years. Now, the stress and feelings of loss are taking their toll on their marriage. Claire’s ready to give up hope and get on with her life, but Ben is not. And then Ben’s best friend, Romily, offers to conceive via artificial insemination and carry the baby for them.

Romily acts in good faith, believing it will be easy to be a surrogate. She’s already a single mother, and has no desire for any more children. Except that being pregnant with Ben’s child stirs up all sorts of emotions in her, including one she’s kept hidden for a very long time: Ben’s the only man she’s ever loved.

Two mothers—and one baby who belongs to both of them, and which only one of them can keep.

REVIEW: Ben and Claire have been trying for 10 years to have a baby using IVF with no success. The doctors have told them that Claire’s eggs are simply not good. After their last failed try, Claire decides that she is done. She is not going through all this any more only to be disappointed again.

Romily is a single Mom to Posie who was conceived after a brief affair with Jarvis. They had both decided that she would have an abortion before they went their separate ways. However, she is did not go through with it.

Romily and Ben have been friends for a very long time. Posie loves Ben and Claire and enjoys getting to visit them and stay overnight too. A precocious child, she has even said she wishes they were her parents.

Ben is really devastated when Claire makes her decision. That’s when Romily says she will be a surrogate for them using her own eggs and Ben’s sperm. At first, Claire is not sure that she wants to do it, but her desire for a child is so great that she agrees.

Romily gets pregnant right away and while she had an easy pregnancy with Posie, she is nauseated this time around and bothered with all types of hormonal problems. Ben is over the moon and while Claire is excited, she is still somewhat uncertain about it all. She tries to make sure that Romily eats right which doesn’t settle well with Romily. Claire is a Type-A personality and Romily is a Type-B. In addition, Claire believes that Romily is in love with Ben and she truly is. But Romily knows a relationship with Ben can never be and truly wants to help them.

When Jarvis comes back on the scene and finds that he has a daughter he has mixed emotions. He is angry because Romily has not told him she went through with the pregnancy and he has lost time with a daughter he never knew he had.

Emotions build for all of the characters and when Romily suffers an accident that puts the baby’s life in danger, some truths come out that require careful examination.

I really liked this novel. The author created each of the characters perfectly. I feel like I know each of them as a friend. I did not know until the very end who would end up with the baby. This is a fabulous book. Don’t miss it!

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

Connie for b2b