Friday, October 1, 2021

Book Review: Texas On My Mind

 

Author: Delores Fossen

Title: Texas On My Mind

Publisher: HQN Books

Publish Date: Feb 23, 2016

Buy: Amazon

Book Blurb: 

The McCord Brothers are the most eligible bachelors in Spring Hill, Texas. But these cowboys are about to get wrangled by the love of some very special women—the kind who can melt hearts and lay it all on the line.

Air force Captain Riley McCord has come home on medical leave to find one heck of a welcome reception. Every unattached woman in Spring Hill, Texas, wants to nurse him back to health. That includes his childhood friend Claire Davidson—the only person who understands how damaged he really feels. In high school, she chose his best friend over him. According to Riley's rules, that should make her off-limits forever. But when Claire suggests a no-strings fling, he can't refuse.

Claire always wanted Riley—but she also craved the safety and stability he couldn't offer. So she chose another path, only to end up crazier about him than ever. She's even convinced herself that this time she won't be devastated when he leaves. Yet once Riley realizes the depth of Claire's feelings—and his own—he'll have to make the ultimate choice: return to the job he loves or stay home for the woman who's always lived in his heart.

Review: 
I'm seriously burned out on romance and this book didn't help matters. I'm not sure which killed romance more for me the main story aka Riley and Claire or the short story at the end Heath/Anna.

Either story combines the good ole boys that annoy me the most in reading, Cowboys and Super Military Dudes.

Groan.

Too much testosterone.

Oh and in Texas on my Mind there's the matter of Claire and her mommy issues, which are a big thing, as well as who the father of her son, Ethan is.

Truth be told, I started skimming at the end of the book and I'm not even sure if we got closure on Ethan's daddy.

The problem with this story for me is it just felt like so many other plot lines for the hero. Military guy suffers an injury and may end up having to become a civilian, and perish the thought, he might have to live like the rest of the world.

Nothing pulled me in here, which is why it took forever for me to read it. There wasn't even a lot of conflict other than the two exes that were really in the middle of the book. Nothing, and I do mean nothing made this book stand out for me.

The writing was fine. The characters were likable. Ethan was probably the best of the bunch. He was just adorable, but all young kids are in stories, at least for me. I wish I could say this was a great book, but for me it just fell flat.

Rating: 3 flowers

Monday, September 20, 2021

Book Review: Honor Thyself

 

Author: Danielle Steel

Title: Honor Thyself

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Publish Date: Feb 26, 2008

Buy: Amazon

Book Blurb:

A world-renowned actress falls victim to a terrifying explosion in Paris—and begins a courageous journey of survival, memory, and self-discovery in Danielle Steel’s mesmerizing new novel.

Carole Barber has come to Paris, with its rain-slick slate roofs and winding streets, to work on her novel—and to find herself after a lifetime in the spotlight. A legend of film and stage, Carole has set a standard of beauty and grace, devoting herself to her family and causes around the world. But on this cool November evening, as her taxi speeds into a tunnel just past the Louvre, a fiery instant of terror shatters hundreds of lives—and leaves Carole alone, unconscious and unidentified in a Paris emergency room.

At the Ritz, they wonder where their famous, incognito guest has gone. From California to London, Carole’s friends and family begin to make inquiries. Then comes a moment of shock as they all realize that Carole is far from home and fighting for her life.

In the days that follow, the paparazzi swarm. A mysterious stranger, a man famous in his own realm, quietly visits the hospital to see the woman he once loved and never forgot. Carole’s two grown children rush to her bedside, waiting and praying—until the miraculous begins to happen.…But as a woman who the whole world knows slowly awakens, she knows nothing of herself. Every detail must be pieced back together—from a childhood in rural Mississippi to the early days of her career, from the unintentional hurt inflicted on her daughter to a fifteen year-old secret love affair that went tragically wrong. But for Carole an extraordinary opportunity has arisen in a life-threatening crisis: a second chance to count her blessings, heal wounded hearts, recapture lost love… and to live a life that will truly honor others—beginning with herself.

A tale of survival and dignity, of small miracles and big surprises, Honor Thyself creates an unforgettable portrait of a public figure whose hopes, fears, and heartbreaks are as real as our own. Her courageous journey inspires us all.

Review: I want to put it out there that I review Danielle Steel books differently from most books I read, though as you see, this year I am failing miserably reading anything. But with her books, I base my reviews on how much I want to toss the book at the wall while reading it. Steel's writing is never deep and she tells the story to you without letting you get into the hearts and minds of her characters.

I will give her credit, she comes up with great plots. Wonderful plots. I just wish they were all executed differently. This book was no exception to that rule.

Honor Thyself seems to twist a lot of ideas together. The idea of a beautiful beloved actress being involved in a horrific attack in a Paris...wait for it...TUNNEL...made me think of Princess Di quite often while reading it, though that is where the similarities end.

The problem with Carole Barber for me, was that she seemed to have no flaws. She has 3 relationships, divorced, widowed, and the other is the one that got away. Her ex still loves her, the one that got away still loves her...and well, she loved the husband that passed away deeply.

Her children are mostly well adjusted and love her, though her daughter has her issues. (None bad). The story is served to you on a silver platter, of the attack and recovery and her rediscovery of her memories that she lost in the attack.

This plot should have delivered a punch. We should have seen so much more, especially of Carole's relationships. I wanted to know Jason and Matthieu and her children. I wanted their feelings to come across, but like all Steel's novels, you don't get that. You get the story but nothing more.

I didn't want to toss the book, but I was sad, because if these characters could have become more real and less flat, the book would have been amazing.

Rating: 3 flowers


Sunday, July 25, 2021

Book Review: The House

 

Author: Danielle Steel
Title: The House
Publisher:  Dell
Publish Date: January 30. 2007
Buy: Amazon
Book Blurb: 
The restoration of a majestic old home provides the exhilarating backdrop for Danielle Steel’s 66th bestselling novel, the story of a young woman’s dream, an old man’s gift, and the surprises that await us behind every closed door...

Perched on a hill overlooking San Francisco, the house was magnificent, built in 1923 by a wealthy man for the woman he adored. For her and for this house, he would spare no expense and overlook no detail, from the endless marble floors to the glittering chandeliers. Almost a century later, with the once-grand house now in disrepair, a young woman walks through its empty rooms. Sarah Anderson, a perfectly sensible estate lawyer, is about to do something utterly out of character. An elderly client has died and left her two gifts. One is a generous inheritance. The other, a priceless message: to use his money for something wonderful, something daring. And in this old house, surrounded by crumbling grandeur, Sarah knows just what it is.

A respected attorney and self-described workaholic, Sarah had always lived life by the book. With a steady, if sputtering, relationship and a tiny apartment that has suited her just fine, Sarah cannot explain the force that draws her to the mansion and its history–to the story of a woman who once lived in the house, then mysteriously left it, to a child who grew up there, and a drama that unfolded in war-torn France...and to a history she never knew she had.

Taking the biggest risk of her life, Sarah enlists the help of architect Jeff Parker, who shares Sarah’s passion for bringing the exquisite old house back to life. As she and Jeff work to restore the home’s every detail, as one relationship shatters and another begins, Sarah makes a series of powerful discoveries: about the true meaning of a dying man’s last gift...about the extraordinary legacies that are passed from generation to generation...and about a future she’s only just beginning to imagine.

In a novel of daring and hope, of embracing life and taking chances, Danielle Steel brilliantly captures one woman’s courageous choice to pour herself into a dream–and receive its gifts in return.


Review: Danielle Steel has never been a favorite author, but every so often I get sucked in by one of the blurbs and I'm drawn in to the bad writing and thin plots.

I have to admit though, that though the writing could be a lot better, The House was definitely one of her more palatable novels.

Sarah was definitely a sweet likable character, though like all novels by Steel, she is very flat. I would have loved some more depth to her, to know what really made her tick and why she really stayed with a jerk like Phil so long.

Her family, particularly her grandmother, Mimi were great side characters that helped carry the story.

OH and lets not forget the love interest, Jeff. 

Sigh.

I seldom crush on any romance hero, but Jeff was the epitome of sweetness. I wanted to shake her at times near the end for being stubborn in what she wanted.

The House itself and its owner play a huge part in the story, and I really wished this book were longer and focused on Lili and why she left and more about the house and family that she left.

There were a lot of loose ends and things that I wanted answers for, but didn't get, but the story did flow beautifully.

If you are going to read any of Steel's books, this one is definitely a nice light one to lose yourself in for a few hours.

Rating: 4 flowers



Sunday, May 23, 2021

Book Review: The Next Wife

Author: Kaira Rouda

Title: The Next Wife

Publisher: Thomas and Mercer

Publish Date: May 1, 2021

Buy: Amazon

Book Blurb: 

There is no limit to the lies, suspicion, and secrets that can poison the perfect marriage in this twisting novel of suspense by USA Today bestselling author Kaira Rouda.

Kate Nelson had it all. A flourishing company founded with her husband, John; a happy marriage; and a daughter, Ashlyn. The picture-perfect family. Until John left for another woman. Tish is half his age. Ambitious. She’s cultivated a friendship with Ashlyn. Tish believes she’s won.

She’s wrong.

Tish Nelson has it all. Youth, influence, a life of luxury, and a new husband. But the truth is, there’s a lot of baggage. Namely, his first wife—and suspicions of his infidelity. After all, that’s how she got John. Maybe it’s time for a romantic getaway, far from his vindictive ex. If Kate plans on getting John back, Tish is one step ahead of her.

She thinks.

But what happens next is something neither Kate nor Tish saw coming. As best-laid plans come undone, there’s no telling what a woman will do in the name of love—and revenge.

Review: This is really the first book I've really gotten into this year. I've struggled with books for some reason, but when I started this one, it really pulled me in and I'm not a 100% sure why.

The plot is so similar to at least 30 others I've read or want to read. The 2nd wife and the 1st battling it out. A husband that ends up dead. Yada yada yada.

The plot isn't very inspired, but it works because the level of crazy each of the main characters has is stellar.

You instantly know that Tish isn't all there, but as things unravel and you learn about John and about Kate and Ashlyn, you definitely see the crazy coming out on all ends, and I think that's what excited me the most about this story. All the characters were loose cannons and you didn't know what to expect from them.

Who was trying to kill who and why?

Who really was the smart one?

Or in this case the smarter one?

I loved all the twists and turns of the story and how all the evil unfolds proving that no one really is as they seem.

Rating: 5 flowers



Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours Book Blast: Fiery Girls

 


Fiery Girls by Heather Wardell

Publication Date: March 25, 2021
Heather Wardell

Genre: Historical Fiction


Two young immigrant women. One historic strike. And the fire that changed America.

In 1909, shy sixteen-year-old Rosie Lehrer is sent to New York City to earn money for her family's emigration from Russia. She will, but she also longs to make her mark on the world before her parents arrive and marry her to a suitable Jewish man. Could she somehow become one of the passionate and articulate "fiery girls" of her garment workers' union?

Maria Cirrito, spoiled and confident, lands at Ellis Island a few weeks later. She's supposed to spend four years earning American wages then return home to Italy with her new-found wealth to make her family's lives better. But the boy she loves has promised, with only a little coaxing, to follow her to America and marry her. So she plans to stay forever. With him.

Rosie and Maria meet and become friends during the "Uprising of the 20,000" garment workers' strike, and they're working together at the Triangle Waist Company on March 25, 1911 when a discarded cigarette sets the factory ablaze. 146 people die that day, and even those who survive will be changed forever.

Carefully researched and full of historic detail, "Fiery Girls" is a novel of hope: for a better life, for turning tragedy into progress, and for becoming who you're meant to be.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound

About the Author


Heather is a natural 1200 wpm speed reader and the author of twenty-one self-published novels. She came to writing after careers as a software developer and elementary school computer teacher and can't imagine ever leaving it. In her spare time, she reads, swims, walks, lifts weights, crochets, changes her hair colour, and plays drums and clarinet. Generally not all at once.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Goodreads

Book Blast Schedule

Monday, March 15
Novels Alive

Tuesday, March 16
Bookish Rantings

Wednesday, March 17
Crystal's Library

Thursday, March 18
With A Book In Our Hands

Friday, March 19
Just One More Chapter
The Whispering Bookworm

Monday, March 22
I'm Into Books

Tuesday, March 23
CelticLady's Reviews

Wednesday, March 24
Coffee and Ink

Thursday, March 25
What Is That Book About

Friday, March 26
Bookworlder
View from the Birdhouse

Monday, March 29
Chicks, Rogues and Scandals

Tuesday, March 30
A Chick Who Reads

Wednesday, March 31
Reading is My Remedy

Thursday, April 1
Bibliostatic

Friday, April 2
Pursuing Stacie

Monday, April 5
Books, Cooks, Looks

Tuesday, April 6
Passages to the Past

Wednesday, April 7
The Book Junkie Reads

Friday, April 9
Rachelle Loves Books

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

The giveaway is open to the US only and ends on April 9th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

Fiery Girls

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours: A Deadly Fortune

 


A Deadly Fortune by Stacie Murphy

Publication Date: January 5, 2021
Pegasus Crime

Genre: Historical Mystery


A historical mystery in the vein of The Alienist, in which a young woman in Gilded Age New York must use a special talent to unravel a deadly conspiracy.

Amelia Matthew has done the all-but-impossible, especially for an orphan in Gilded Age New York City. Along with her foster brother Jonas, she has parleyed her modest psychic talent into a safe and comfortable life. But safety and comfort vanish when a head injury leaves Amelia with a dramatically-expanded gift. After she publicly channels an angry spirit, she finds herself imprisoned in the notorious insane asylum on Blackwell’s Island. As Jonas searches for a way to free her, Amelia struggles to control her disturbing new abilities and survive a place where cruelty and despair threaten her sanity.

Andrew Cavanaugh is familiar with despair. In the wake of a devastating loss, he abandons a promising medical career—and his place in Philadelphia society—to devote himself to the study and treatment of mental disease. Miss Amelia Matthew is just another patient—until she channels a spirit in front of him and proves her gift is real.

When a distraught mother comes to Andrew searching for her missing daughter—a daughter she believes is being hidden at the asylum—he turns to Amelia. Together, they uncover evidence of a deadly conspiracy, and then it’s no longer just Amelia’s sanity and freedom at stake. Amelia must master her gift and use it to catch a killer—or risk becoming the next victim.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound


Advance Praise for A Deadly Fortune

“The 1893 world of the infamous lunatic asylum on Blackwell’s Island comes alive in frightening and horrific detail as a string of murders for profit is discovered when a young woman with a gift for contacting the dead becomes an accidental patient. She must fight for her life as well as her freedom in this engrossing mystery that reveals that all was not golden in Gilded Age New York.” —Rosemary Simpson, author of Death Brings a Shadow: A Gilded Age Mystery

“This engrossing mystery, rich in period detail, probes the dark side of Gilded Age New York and the even darker side of life at the insane asylum on Blackwell’s Island. Plucky Amelia Matthew rises to the considerable challenges that surround her, uncovering increasingly dangerous secrets that point to the presence of a murderer in the asylum. Amelia has a special gift that both helps and complicates her search for the truth, making her a unique heroine. A Deadly Fortune builds to a satisfying conclusion that will whet the reader’s appetite for more of Amelia’s adventures!” —Clarissa Harwood, author of Impossible Saints and Bear No Malice

“Stacie Murphy proves herself to be a masterful storyteller with A Deadly Fortune—an elegantly written, fast-paced mystery that blends the dark side of the Gilded Age, great characters, and a paranormal twist. Impossible to put down.” —Julie McElwain, author of the Kendra Donovan Mystery Series

“Murphy serves up a dark side of the Gilded Age with intrigue, historical detail, and captivating characters. This is a mystery to savor!” —Dianne Freeman, award winning author of the Countess of Harleigh mysteries.

About the Author

Stacie Murphy grew up near Nashville, TN. She began writing A Deadly Fortune in 2017 as a way to force herself to stay off Twitter in the evenings. She lives in Northern Virginia with her husband, daughter, and the worst cat in the world.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Review: Dear lord it took me 4 months to read this book. Please don't let this be a reflection on the author or on the book, but rather on me. I have the attention span of a fruit fly.

The story is an absolutely dark and delightful one that fans of historical mysteries will definitely love.

Amelia and Jonas are characters you can really appreciate. The dynamic between these two characters is perfect. I loved that they were written as brother and sister but they are really just friends with Jonas as the protector, making sacrifice for her because she is special to him, but not in a romantic way.

I loved that they weren't wealthy characters but urchins making their way through whatever means was possible aka Amerlia's gift which landed her in the asylum where the action of the story takes place. 

If you know anything about mental illness in the late 1800's and early 1900s you know that to land in such a place was not a good thing and when women end up dead...well there is a mystery to be solved.

I love how Amelia's gift played a part in solving the mystery as well as in saving her life and that of her companion, Doctor Cavanaugh. I hope as this series progresses they have a romantic relationship. These two seem very well suited. I also hope Jonas and his lover.

The story was well paced and I really did enjoy it even though my mind wouldnt let me read for the last 4 months.

Rating: 5 flowers



Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, January 11
Review at Coffee and Ink
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Tuesday, January 12
Excerpt at Probably at the Library

Wednesday, January 13
Review at McCombs on Main
Review at Gwendalyn's Books

Thursday, January 14
Feature at The Lit Bitch

Friday, January 15
Review at A Darn Good Read

Monday, January 18
Review at Novels Alive

Tuesday, January 19
Review at Rajiv's Reviews

Wednesday, January 20
Guest Post at Novels Alive

Thursday, January 21
Feature at What Is That Book About

Friday, January 22
Review & Excerpt at Books & Benches

Monday, January 25
Review at Chicks, Rogues, and Scandals

Tuesday, January 26
Review at Bitch Bookshelf

Wednesday, January 27
Review at A Chick Who Reads

Thursday, January 28
Excerpt at Always With a Book

Friday, January 29
Review at Amy's Booket List
Interview at Madwoman in the Attic

Monday, February 1
Review at Book Bustle

Tuesday, February 2
Review at Tangents and Tissues

Wednesday, February 3
Feature at Reading is My Remedy
Review & Excerpt at The Book Review Crew

Friday, February 5
Review at Passages to the Past

Giveaway

Enter to win a copy of A Deadly Fortune by Stacie Murphy & a $50 Gift Card to Amazon or your favorite Indie store. Winner's choice.

The giveaway is open to the US only and ends on February 5th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

Loxby Manor

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

HFVirtual Book Tours Book Blast: A Mother's Promise


A Mother's Promise by K.D. Alden

Publication Date: January 19, 2021
Forever/Grand Central
Paperback & eBook; 384 pages

Genre: Historical Fiction


Based on the true story behind a landmark U.S. Supreme Court Decision, K.D. Alden’s debut is a rich and moving story of one woman’s courage and strength at a pivotal point in America’s history.

Virginia, 1927. A chance to have a family. That’s all Ruth Ann Riley wants. But because she was unwed and pregnant, she was sent away and her baby given to another woman. Now they’re trying to take Ruth Ann’s right to have another child. But she can’t stand the thought of never seeing little Annabel’s face again, never snuggling up to her warmth or watching her blue eyes crinkle with laughter. Good thing she has a plan.

All the rich and fancy folks may call her feeble-minded, but Ruth Ann is smarter than any of them have bargained for. Because no matter how high the odds are stacked against her, she is going to overcome the scandals in her past and get her child back—and along the way, she just may find unexpected friendships and the possibility of love in the most unlikely of places.

"A Mother's Promise is a powerful, heart-wrenching, ultimately uplifting novel about the bonds of family and one woman's courage in the face of adversity. K.D. Alden brings history to life with rich storytelling and deep emotion."―V.S. Alexander, author of The Magdalen Girls

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Books-a-Million | Hudson | IndieBound | Powell's | Target | Walmart


About the Author


K.D. Alden is the pseudonym of an award-winning author who has written more than twenty novels in various genres. She has been the recipient of the Maggie Award, the Book Buyer’s Best Award, and an RT Reviewer’s Choice Award. A Mother’s Promise is her first historical novel.

K.D. is a graduate of Smith College, grew up in Austin, Texas, and resides in South Florida with her husband and two rescue greyhounds.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads


Book Blast Schedule

Tuesday, January 19
Novels Alive

Wednesday, January 20
Bookworlder

Thursday, January 21
I'm All About Books

Friday, January 22
Chicks, Rogues and Scandals

Saturday, January 23
Jessica Belmont

Monday, January 25
The Review Crew

Tuesday, January 26
Reading is My Remedy

Wednesday, January 27
A Chick Who Reads

Thursday, January 28
Passages to the Past

Friday, January 29
What Is That Book About

 
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