Book Reviews – February 2016

It’s been a fairly hectic February, what with rewrites and final edits and getting all the publicity sorted for my release on 31 March 2016, but I did manage to squeeze in a few books during February:

WinterWinter by Frankie Rose – Romantic Suspense – 5 stars
Avery Patterson is in control of her life now that she has left the small town where her father is believed to have murdered three men, and then taken his own life. But she doesn’t expect to see Luke Reid, a blast from the past and one of the police officers who discovered the scene where her father was dead. Luke and Avery get together, however the shadows of their former lives draw them back to their old town, and together they work out exactly what did happen on that night.
I really enjoyed this, very much a page turner. I read it all the way through, and now I’m re-reading it, a bit slower, to savour it a bit more. I’ll certainly be looking out for the follow up book Summer, as soon as my to be read pile is starting to resemble a pile again instead of a tower.
Read your copy of Winter here.



NocturneNocturne by Elizabeth Ellen Carter – Gothic Romance – 4 stars
Governess Ella Montgomery discovers the stately Blackheath Manor hides all kinds of family skeletons in the closets, the most fascinating being Thomas, who returned from the wars scarred and blind, but who was thought to be dead. His brother, the current Earl of Renthorpe, will go to all kinds of lengths to ensure Thomas isn’t found, because Thomas is the real Earl.
I felt like the story built up, then built up, then scurried through it’s ending too quickly and cleanly. However, it’s still a great read for a quiet night in, and because it’s a novella, you’ll get through in just one sitting!
Read your copy of Nocturne here.



Grave ExpectationsGrave Expectations by CJ Archer – Supernatural Romance – 4 stars
The fourth book in the Ministry of Curiosities series, I was really looking forward to this one, having devoured the last three.
Charlie, the necromancer plucked from squalor and brought to live in Lichfield Towers with an unusual bunch of friends, including her love, Lincoln, has everything her heart desires… until it all goes horribly wrong.
I was disappointed in this one, not because it was badly written (because it wasn’t, by any means), but by the fact that it seemed to be stretched out to accommodate the fifth book in the series. Hopefully there will be a breathtaking fifth volume which will make up for the irritation caused by this one. (Lincoln is the most aggravating person in the world.) Having said that, the series is awesome, as are the Freak House books by the same author.
Find them all here



Outback DreamsOutback Dreams by Rachael Johns – Rural Romance – 4 stars
With the release of Outback Sisters, I decided to go to the start and read the first Outback book in the series, and work my way through.
Faith and Monty are both looking for love, but are they both looking in the wrong direction? A classic best friends become lovers story.
While the outcome was expected from the very first moment I found out Faith and Monty were both single and best friends, there was enough meat in the story to keep me interested until the end. Some characters were lightly drawn, and some situations a little far fetched, but all in all, a nice, comfortable read.
You can find Outback Dreams here.




Soldiers Email Order BrideThe Soldier’s Email Order Bride by Cora Seaton – Rural Romance – 4 stars
Soldier, Austin Hall is told he, and his three brothers, need to find a bride within a year, on the orders of their crazy old Aunty who wants to see the family line continued. So of course he places an ad on-line. Ella Scales is an actress with a cheating fiancee and an unlikely future. She just wants to disappear from Hollywood. Ella and Austin find each other and marry, although they are strangers. Sparks fly, but Austin finds it hard to love when he hasn’t been able to forgive himself over his friends death, and Ella is concerned that her cover will be blown.
Despite the cheesy premise (because in this day and age, you can’t tell three grown men to get married and pop out some babies and have them say “Yes Sir!”), this was a really sweet read. It’s light and easy, and I enjoyed it.
You can find The Soldier’s Email Bride here.



Echoes of the PastEchoes of the Past by Iris Blobel – Contemporary Romance – 3 stars
Emily Bradshaw waited over twenty years to see Connor again, but when she did, nothing turned out as expected.
I found the main character, Emily, to be a little bit pathetic. She’s been holding on to an expectation from twenty years ago, and when it doesn’t turn out as expected, she STILL holds on to it.
The plot was unlikely, the behavior of the characters unbelievable in places, considering the circumstances.
It was readable, but only if you don’t mind a weak female lead.
You can find Echoes of the Past here.


By the SwordBy the Sword by Alison Stuart – Historical Romance – 4.5 stars
Kate Ashley is a widow with a son. She receives a letter from her husband’s family, who abandoned his mother when she ran off with someone her father didn’t approve of. They visit Seven Ways, the home of the Thorntons and Kate meets Jonathon Thornton, the disgrace of the family, who is pursued by an officer called Stephen Prescott.
The historical detail is breathtaking, and I have only dropped half a star on this one because I felt like the story ended a few chapters short of the actual ending, and that the final chapters were only there to ‘tidy things up’. But don’t let that deter you from reading this one – if you love a good swashbuckling historical romance, this is the one for you.
You can find By The Sword here.



The Things We KeepThe Things We Keep by Sally Hepworth – Love Story – 4.5 stars
A novel of love undaunted by obstacles. Two people with early onset dementia, Anna and Luke, form a relationship despite the concern of their families. Meantime, the new cook/cleaner, Eve, is facing a future she doesn’t expect due to her husband’s involvement in a Ponzi scheme, and his subsequent suicide.
The book is written in a very interesting way – we hear Anna’s thoughts over a twelve month period, and interspersed are Eve’s which are taken over a much shorter period, with them intertwining toward the end of the novel. I enjoyed the book, however it was overshadowed by another book I have recently read about early onset dementia. This was a good read, interesting, satisfying and you will fist bump Eve when she finally shows her strength at the end.
You can find The Things We Keep here.



Take Me As I ATake Me As I Am by Charmaine Ross – Contemporary Romance – 4 stars
Kate Moore is the billionaire’s daughter trying to show she is capable of taking over the Moore Hotel chain from her adopted father. David Wright is a landscaping contractor hired to complete a landscaping job with an impossible deadline. There are sparks, but they need to fight their own personal challenges before they can find their space in the middle.
I found Kate to be a little bit wooden, but I fell in love with David. The story moves along nicely, but I’m not sure the premise of almost-brainwashing holds up when you consider the intelligence of the person who is brainwashed.
Read it for yourself – I could be totally wrong about that one.
You can find Take Me As I Am here.



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Book Reviews – February 2016
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