I adore a good historical, and Tessa Dare is quickly becoming a favourite of mine in this romance genre. Say Yes to the Marquess is the second novel in the Castles Ever After series, and although not as steeped in fairy tale romance as the first novel, this was a delightful read.

Series: Castles Ever After, #2 
My Rating: 4 ❀'s
Genre: Historical Romance
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Clio is a character I liked very much. She has been waiting around eight years for her engagement to become a marriage and she is, at long last, done with waiting. Seeking to break the engagement, she seeks out her fiancee's brother, only to become embroiled in her own wedding preparations. Because Rafe will not hear of her not marrying his brother. Even though he secretly wants Clio for himself.

I liked Rafe. I liked his impulsive and yet, controlled nature. He only lost control if he was very upset, and that didn't seem to happen too often. And it was often in Clio's defense, which was sweet, if at times, not always the most prudent behavior. It was understandable, and made him a hero you could really admire. He and Clio fit so nicely together because both of them thought of themselves as not enough, as less desirable in the eyes of society, of their families. But where others saw perhaps only flaws, or failings, each saw in the other strength and good character and desirability.

I enjoyed this story of the heroine falling in love with the wrong brother, and I laughed throughout the novel as the humor and fabulous storytelling make this one enjoyable novel very easy to love.

Happy Listening,
Jewels

Devastating. Absolutely devastating. Claudia Connor proves over and over that she is a master storyteller, with romance novels that drip with emotion and poignant life. I love her books. Reading about Nick's story was beautiful and painful and I yearned for the happily ever after. I hurt for Nick and Mia. Their love story was heartache and yet, it was the kind of epic love that made you know that these two couldn't ever live without each other.

Series: McKinney/Walker, #1
My Rating:  5 ❀'s
Genre: Contemporary Romance
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I loved reading about Nick and Mia falling in love. It happened at a time when they were both young and they were each other's first real love. It also happened at a time when Nick was not only young, but responsible for his younger brothers and baby sister. He took that responsibility very seriously, and his deep love for his family and sense of responsibility nearly break Mia and Nick apart when Hannah is taken and so brutally treated.

I truly felt for both Nick and Mia as time shifted forward and they met again, their past thrust upon them, their feelings so close to the surface, neither one of them having put the other behind them. Their break up was something each had borne because they had had no choice. It hurt to know this, and even though I knew these two belonged each other, there were times where I wondered how they could put that hurt and misunderstanding behind them and find their way forward. It was still so much apart of each of their lives.

I loved the rawness of the story, the beauty of it, and the writing drew you in to the pain and deep love of this couple. I have admired Claudia Connor's writing since the first novel I read by her, and I always await her books with my breath held, knowing that I'm wading into a story that is thick as pea soup when it comes to plot and deep emotion. I cry, I hesitate I to read more, I agonize and then I sigh as things resolve. These are romances were happily ever afters are hard won, and I love that about her novels.

I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

Happy Reading,
Jewels


I love a good fantasy novel, and this one sounded right up my alley. It reminded me of the kind of story that would have captured my imagination as a little girl, and so I simply had to read it. Wintersong was everything I expected it to be, but also, so different than what I expected.

My Rating: 5 ❀'s
Genre: Fantasy/Romance
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The writing in this novel is superb. Absolutely superb. Beautifully crafted, it sets a tone that draws you into this world and story and keeps you wanting more, The richness of the writing made me yearn for more books with such exquisite attention paid to language. I wish every author, every book was so written. I adored reading this novel. And it's not just the writing that is good, it's the imagination, the characters, the world that is just so real, yet unreal.

Elisabeth is a character who is forgotten in so many ways. Overlooked at home, she has come to forget about her childhood friend, the Goblin King. But when he claims her sister as his bride, she struggles to save her sister, and the living world from a never ending winter. She succeeds, but at great cost. At first, you don't know what to make of her choice, of the Goblin King, and even of Elisabeth. She's such a complex, vulnerable and  yet strong character. I came to realize that this story is one of self discovery as much as love and romance, and that was likely the most beautiful thing about this romance, that the characters learn about themselves, entire.

It's so hard to know yourself, entire. This novel reminds me of that truth. For that reason alone, it stands out because this realizations as a reader dawned on me as slowly as it dawned on Elisabeth who she was, entire. And who the Goblin King was, entire. It was painfully beautiful, and I loved that about the book even though it also deeply saddened me.

Full of passion, beauty, and deep emotion, this is a subtly told love story set in a fantasy world that is both real and mysterious. I will be keeping my eyes on this author as I'm curious to see what her next novel might hold.

I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

Happy Reading, 
Jewels

I heard some buzz about this Sandra Brown and since my library had it checked in, I grabbed it. Such a good book! I soo love Sandra Brown novels. They are meaty, well told told and I love how the plot is dense. You need a dense plot I think for a novel to really stand out, and Sandra Brown novels certainly do.

My Rating: 5 ❀'s
Genre: Romantic Suspense

This novel is a little different from other others by the author in that there was no plot twist or great reveal. Which is fine by me, the story stood on it's own and didn't need it. It's just that I'm used to the unexpected with Sandra Brown and this time, it was pretty straightforward. I did love how they got the baddie at the end, I didn't see that coming until the last second when it all going down. Actually, by then it was obvious, so it's fair to say, I didn't see it coming!

I loved the plot and characters, Rennie was so cool and controlled and yet you knew all throughout the novel that she was more than meets than the eye. I loved her strength. I loved her kindness. It wasn't apparent or gushing, but quiet kindness is still kindness. It made her very human, as did the events she endured in this story. I also loved the hero, who has been dealing with the death of his brother, and the fact that he's a police officer on an undetermined leave and yet, still involved in his work thanks to his partner. He's hotheaded but he had excellent instincts and I admired him for sticking up for Rennie throughout this book.

The villain in his novel is sickening and I'm glad that the novel was resolved in the way that it was because I just couldn't stand him. He made my skin crawl. Sandra Brown has a knack for writing truly nasty villains. This novel was so good it was very hard to put down, and if you want an entertaining crime novel splashed with sizzle, I'd say you can't go wrong with this particular novel.

Happy Listening,
Jewels
I've been meaning to read a Tessa Dare novel forever and I am so glad that I finally got around to reading a novel by this fantastic author. The story is compelling, the writing is sharp and witty and I had a blast listening to this on audio. The audio was amazing, I must say, so hats off to the narrator as well. I can't wait to read more of Tessa Dare, I will say that right now.

 Series: Castles Ever After, #1 
My Rating:  5 ❀'s
Genre: Historical Romance
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I loved the characters in this novel, starting with the heroine Izzy. She was creative, kindhearted and smart. She doesn't have much in life, but she's determined when she inherits a decrepit old castle not to lose the only thing she has to her name. The only problem is that the castle is inhabited by a scarred, blind and devastatingly attractive grumpy duke.

Oh, how I loved Ransom. He made me laugh. He was ridiculous at times, but I loved how ridiculous he could be, how sardonic his quips, how thick headed he was at times, especially when it came to Izzy, and how to manage her. I loved that he loved her even when he himself had never been loved. I loved his pride, even though it was the most ridiculous thing about him--it also made him very human, and made me want to hold him close, as Izzy does. Le sigh, dear readers, le sigh.

This is a fairy tale story and one so artfully woven that it will sweep you away instantly and the more you read, the more in love with the tale you'll fall. I never wanted it to end. It made me laugh, it made me blush, it made me scoff with humor and it made my heart turn over with that le sigh feeling I mentioned. Tessa Dare is up there with authors like Lisa Kleypas in this genre and I cannot wait to read more of her wonderful novels. I've found a true gem. I intend to unearth more.

In want of a historical that is everything a romance should be? You will not go wrong by picking up this novel. It's everything it promises to be and more.

Happy Listening,
Jewels