Thursday, December 31, 2015

Tasty Book Tours Book Review: All I Want For Christmas Is A Duke

All I Want for Christmas is a Duke

By: Valerie Bowman, Tiffany Clare, Vivienne Lorret, & Ashlyn Macnamara

Four popular romance novelists come together to bring readers delightful tales of

Christmas Magic and the dukes that make us swoon… The holidays are a time for dining,

dancing, and of course—dukes! Celebrate the Christmas season with this enchanting

collection of historical romances featuring the most eligible bachelors of the ton…

The Duke and Duchess Trap by Valerie Bowman

A childish prank may have reunited the Duke of Hollingsworth with his estranged wife, but only

the magic of Christmas will show this couple ‘tis the season of second chances…

Sophie and the Duke by Tiffany Clare

Sophie Kinsley planned to remain a wallflower at the Duke of Helmsworth’s ball. Yet when a

dance with him leads to a stolen kiss, will the duke be willing to let her go? Or will Sophie’s

Christmas wish be granted at last?

The Duke’s Christmas Wish by Vivienne Lorret 

To the Duke of Vale, science solves everything—even marriage. When the impulsive Ivy

Sutherland makes him question all of his data, he realizes that he’s overlooked a vital

component in his search for the perfect match: love.

One Magic Season by Ashlyn Macnamara

Patience Markham never forgot the fateful dance she had with the future Duke of Kingsbury. But

when a twist of fate brings them together for Christmas Eve, will the stars finally align in their

Link to Follow Tour:

Goodreads Link:


Buy Links:  Amazon | B&N | Google Play | Indie Bound | iBooks |Kobo









VALERIE BOWMAN grew up in Illinois with six sisters (she’s number seven) and a

huge supply of historical romance novels. After a cold and snowy stint earning a degree

in English with a minor in history at Smith College, she moved to Florida the first chance

she got. Valerie now lives in Jacksonville with her family including her rascally dog, Roo.

When she’s not writing, she keeps busy reading, traveling, or vacillating between

watching crazy reality TV and PBS.





USA Today bestselling author VIVIENNE LORRET loves romance novels, her pink

laptop, her husband, and her two sons (not necessarily in that order ... but there are

days). Transforming copious amounts of tea into words, she is proud to be an Avon

Impulse author of works including: Tempting Mr. Weatherstone, The Wallflower

Wedding Series, and the Rakes of Fallow Hall series.





Deciding that life had far more to offer than a nine to five job, bickering children and

housework of any kind (unless she’s on a deadline when everything is magically

spotless),TIFFANY CLARE opened up her laptop to write stories she could get lost in.

Tiffany writes sexy historical romances set in the Victorian era. She lives in Toronto with

her husband, two kids and two dogs.





USA Today bestselling author ASHLYN MACNAMARA writes Regency romance with a

dash of wit and a hint of wicked. She considers writing her mid-life crisis but reckons it’s

safer than hang-gliding or rock-climbing. She lives in the wilds of suburbia outside

Montreal with her husband, two teenage daughters, and one loudmouth cat. Although

she writes about the past, you can find her in such newfangled places as her website

Facebook, and Twitter.





from THE DUKE AND THE DUCHESS TRAP by Valerie Bowman
London, September, 1810
Lady Evangeline Hollister?” The headmistress’s voice rang out across the huge banquet hall.
Evie swallowed. Oh, she didn’t like this. Not one bit. She bit her lip. Being shy was such a curse. Why did she have to be the first to be called upon on the first day at her new school? Apparently, new students were first to be inspected and provided with a class schedule. She stared up at the monstrous carved chandeliers that hung like gargoyles from the wood-beamed roof of the hall. Attending the most exclusive school in London was her birthright. Mother had said she must be brave. She’d promised Mother. Never mind that the idea of leaving Mother, her home, her dog, her beloved horses, not to mention the servants, made Evie want to cast up her accounts.
She blinked away the tears that stung her eyes. Tears would not do. Mother said the daughter of a duke did not cry. Even at the tender age of twelve. Evie smoothed her blue skirts and glanced down at her perfectly clean and orderly white stockings which peeped out at the ankles. She pressed her palm against the thick wooden table, preparing to stand. She tucked her book under her arm. The book had been another recommendation from Mother. “One cannot be homesick when one is reading a compelling book,” she’d said. “When you’re reading, it doesn’t matter where you are.”
Mother was right, and Evie had been clutching her copy of The Canterbury Tales ever since she’d arrived at Miss Hathaway’s School for Young Ladies. But she somehow doubted that Headmistress Hathaway would take kindly to her reading during roll call.
Lady Evangeline,” the headmistress called again. Evie pushed herself to her feet. The short heels of her leather slippers clicked against the polished wood floor, and the eyes of all the other girls swiveled to watch her. She gulped and stepped forward, forcing herself to take another step and another, shuddering at each smack of her heels. She pressed her hand to her book, clutching it so tightly her fingers drained of color.
Present,” she managed to force from her dry throat.
The headmistress’s head snapped up, and she eyed Evie’s approach over the rim of her golden spectacles. It seemed as if hours passed before Evie arrived, trembling, at Miss Hathaway’s table that was perched on a dais at the front of the cavernous hall. The middle-aged lady lowered her spectacles and glared at Evie through narrowed dark eyes. She spoke in a pinched, unhappy voice. “I’m not amused, Lady Genevieve. I said LadyEvangeline Hollister.”
Evie gulped. “I beg your pardon, madam.” Her voice trembled. “Iam Lady Evangeline Hollister.”
Miss Hathaway pursed her lips. It was an unfortunate look for her. She contemplated Evie with a suspicious glare while the giggles of the other girls grew louder. Evie swallowed and clutched the book to her chest, crossing her arms over it, desperately wishing she could disappear. There couldn’t possibly have been a mix-up, could there? Mother would have seen to all the details. Mother was kind, and beautiful, and full of laughter. And Mother never made mistakes. It was absolutely inconceivable.
The headmistress’s eyes narrowed further, if that were possible. “What have you done to your hair?”
Evie pushed her free hand up to her red locks. “My . . . my hair, madam?”
Don’t pretend you don’t know what I mean, Lady Genevieve. You’re forgetting that I was present when you decided to run off into the park without your bonnet, resulting in that unfortunate incident with the pine sap which led to Miss Lancaster having to cut your hair—and seriously displeasing your father, I might add.”
My . . . my father?” Evie cocked her head to the side and stared at the headmistress as if she were speaking a foreign language. Evie hadn’t seen her father since she was a babe. Or so Mother had told her. Evie certainly didn’t remember him or their last meeting. What in heaven’s name did Miss Hathaway mean? And why did she continue to refer to her as Genevieve?
I beg your pardon, Madam,” Evie managed, “but to my knowledge, I’ve never had the misfortune to get pine sap in my hair, and I have yet to make the acquaintance of a Miss Lancaster.”
There was more tittering from the other girls. Evie’s cheeks heated. She clutched her book even tighter in her slick palms, wishing she could disappear into the volume. She had the distinct impression she was about to be dismissed from the most exclusive school in London before she’d even begun. What would she tell Mother?
The headmistress tapped the end of her quill against the wide mahogany table in front of her. “Lady Genevieve, as usual, I do not find your behavior amusing in the least. Now, I shall ask you for your full name one final time. I warn you, your father will hear about this if you give me anything short of the truth.”
Evie swallowed and nodded.
Miss Hathaway’s nostrils flared. She raised her chin and pressed her spectacles farther up her beaklike nose. “Your name, if you please.”
Evie didn’t blink. “Evangeline Marie Sandford Hollister.” Her voice was low and weak as usual, and she silently cursed herself for it.
The headmistress’s hand cracked against the surface of the table, making Evie jump. She jumped a second time when the door to the hall slammed open and an urchin with short red hair, sagging stockings, and an askew bonnet came running across the wide expanse of wood flooring. She passed the banquet tables filled with girls and skidded to a halt in front of the headmistress, her hair flipped across her brow, obscuring her face. She smelled like sherbet lemons, reminding Evie of home. Mother’s favorites.
The girl was breathing heavily and seemed to be balancing precariously on one foot. Evie also noted with no small bit of wonder that the urchin was missing a button from the back of her gown, and one of her gloves appeared to be stained. Blood? Good heavens! Or was it chocolate? She wasn’t sure which was more alarming. Mother wouldn’t approve of Evie missing a button from her gown, let alone being in possession of a stained glove. What sort of mother did this urchin have? And how in heaven’s name had the creature managed to matriculate at Miss Hathaway’s School for Young Ladies?
I was told you were looking for me, Miss Hathaway,” the urchin stated in a loud, clear voice. “I am sorry, ma’am, but I was in the science hall feeding the lizards and quite lost track of the time.”
The urchin turned to look at Evie. She swiped the unfashionably short crop of red hair from her forehead and her face came into full view.
Evie gasped.
Miss Hathaway gasped.
The urchin’s eyes (which were the exact same shade of blue as Evie’s) grew wide. “Oh, my. How wonderful. You must be my twin sister, Evangeline. I cannot tell you how lovely it is to finally meet you.”

I have always been a sucker for Christmas Historical compilations. This book is absolutely fabulous. Usually there's a week story in the bunch, but not here.

Of the four novellas included in this book I loved The Duke and Duchess Trap. You can guess by the title that it is a twist on The Parent Trap. It is done so beautifully well. The children were perfect. I just love Gena and Evie and their pranks. 

Like The Parent Trap each parent has custody of one twin and the children don't know about each other until they meet at school. 

The reason Nathan and Elizabeth lived apart isn't really a good one in my eyes, but that made it so easy for them to fall back into love and they were so perfect together.

Sophie and the Duke was my next favorite of the bunch. It was a bit of a take on Cinderella, at least in my eyes. The Duke, Adrian, is having a ball to find a wife, when he encounters Sophie.  She is a childhood friend, and even though they haven't seen each other in years, they seem to easily slip back into their friendship.

Sophie comes complete with a nasty stepmother and a stepsister.

Then there's The Duke's Christmas Wish. This is another fun one. The Duke is a bit of a science geek, think of him as a character from Big Bang Theory, only good looking. Ivy is really the perfect match for him, but she's trying to find a match for her good friend.

The Duke has a Marriage Formula that supposedly will help the aristocracy find mates without having to go through the motions of a season. The problem is Ivy falls into his unmarriageable ledger. His formula doesn't take into account what happens when feelings are involved. 

I loved North, I only wish he would have been socially awkward to go along with his intelligence.

The last story, One Magic Season was the one I liked the least. In comparison to the other stories, that had something unique to recommend them, this one was more formulated. Patience and Nathaniel have found each other after years apart and different marriages.

A snow storm finds them trapped together and they rekindle their romance. Their original romance was thwarted by his family. That's actually what put me off of this story. I wanted her to really stand up to his family, especially his sister Diana who was really wretched.

If you love holiday stories, you mustn't miss this compilation, it is really the best one from this year.

Rating: 5 flowers

Rafflecopter Giveaway (e-copy of ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS A DUKE)

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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Book Review: A Holiday Prayer

Author: Deb Kastner
Title: A Holiday Prayer
Publisher: Love Inspired
Publish Date: Dec 1, 1998
Buy: Amazon
Book Blurb: 
From the first, Maddie Carlton felt that she'd met mysterious Rory March before. Now he appeared on her doorstep when she least expected--and vanished just as swiftly. Yet, at each visit, Rory brought Maddie and her boy the warmth and joy their lives had been missing for so long--ever since the tragedy that had taken her husband. But who was Rory really? And could the man who'd restored her faith--and saved Christmas for her son--teach Maddie to love again?

Review: This is a sweet love story of faith that takes place during the holidays. Maddie lost her husband at a department store the previous Christmas, when holiday display catches fire. Her son, Nicky is also hurt.

I loved how the author used the Phantom in the story. The Phantom of the Opera has always been one of my favorite stories and musicals, though her inspiration came from the other Phantom musical and not the Andrew Lloyd Webber.

I also loved the character Rory, though I have to say I had a hard time picturing the character as the author described him, as I'm a huge Doctor Who fan, and all Rory's look like Rory Williams

This story was one of forgiveness on Maddie's part. She had to come to terms with what happened to her husband and the thoughts she had about their relationship prior to his death. I really hated that things didn't seem all that rosy until the end of the book.

So many books with the heroine as a widow seem to have the previous relationship as a poor one, yet they grieve as though the spouse was their one true love. There is a specter of mistrust hanging over Maddie's head, and I hated that. I felt bad for Peter because of how he died and that he died without giving Maddie any closure. When you find out what he was doing you will want to smack her.

The other thing that was a little bit off for me was Nicky and how he called Rory, The Fireman. This was a giveaway to Rory's real character. He's more than he seems, even when you find out who he really is.

I wish that there would have been more romance between Rory and Maddie. There was so much more angst than love, yet the two fell in love in a matter of months.

All that aside, this was a beautiful holiday read. It was a little heavy on the faith aspect, but not so much as to be obnoxious. Plus, its Christmas, and faith should play at least a small part in the holiday.

Rating: 4 flowers

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Book Review: Her Mistletoe Cowboy

Author: Marie Ferrarella
Title: Her Mistletoe Cowboy
Publisher: Harlequin American Romance
Publish Date: December 1, 2015
Buy: Amazon
Book Blurb: 
Kimberly Lee isn't sure what she'll find when she comes to Forever, Texas, to do a story on a groundbreaking program that could put this small town on the map. It certainly isn't the warm, friendly community that makes the roving reporter feel instantly at home. Or the accident that lays her up at Garrett White Eagle's ranch, where the blue-eyed rancher awakens feelings she long ago gave up.

Giving people hope again is the goal of the healing ranch Garrett started with his brother. And the lovely, hardworking writer is no exception. Doesn't Kim realize how much good they can do—together? Her future is here with him. If she's willing to trust in a love that could fulfill the promise of forever.

Review: Marie Ferrarella is one of the reigning queens of cowboy romances. I love her writing. I wish I could say I loved this story. This year, I haven't liked many of the holiday romances I've read and all for the same reason, I didn't like the heroine.

Kim isn't all bad, but she is so jaded that it makes her hard to like. When she comes to The Healing Ranch she really thinks the worst of Garrett and Jackson, even though they are doing something good. There is no way you can't like these two guys.

Kim professes to be a good journalist, or wants to be one, but she doesn't see the benefit of doing a feel good story. She wants to uncover something bad about The Healing Ranch and the men the run it.

Her attitude made it hard to figure out why Garrett would be attracted to her. Maybe that's why there wasn't a hint of romance between them until the book was more than half way through. It was very unnerving. I wanted a bit more romance to this book and it simply wasn't there. There wasn't much holiday either, so that was another disappointment for me.

I like my holiday books to be fun and lighthearted. Sadly this book missed the mark for me.

Rating: 3 flowers

Friday, December 25, 2015

Book Review: A Wrong Bed Christmas

Author: Kimberly Van Meter, Liz Talley
Title: A Wrong Bed Christmas
Publisher: Harlequin Blaze
Publish Date: Oct 20, 2015
Buy: Amazon
Book Blurb: 
Ignited by Kimberly Van Meter

What do you do when a sexy, naked fireman gets into your bed? If you're Alexis Matheson, you freak out. But now she's snowed in with Layton Davis, and suddenly Alexis's best intentions to behave seem to have disappeared up the chimney. Because a hot 'n' naughty firefighter in her bed might be the best Christmas surprise ever…

Where There's Smoke by Liz Talley

Emma Rose Brent is sure she's dreaming when Erik Matheson, her bestie's Überhot older brother—who she's been crushing on for years—mistakenly slips into her bed, all gloriously naked. But Emma must have been a very good girl this year, because she's been given the best gift of all: the chance to be really, really bad…

Review: A Wrong Bed Christmas is a twofer. Two novellas that are intertwined. The two stories involve two bffs and two super hot guys. I usually like the premise, but for some reason this book didn't work for me as much as I would have liked it to. I enjoyed it, but I have read better.

Alexis and Emma are one their way to Emma's parents when they get stuck in a storm. Alexis decides to stop back home thinking her brother was working, only he finishes up and arrives home with a friend who finds his way into bed with Alexis.

I had such issue with both of the stories. With Ignited, I just didn't like Alexis. She had boyfriend issues, so she decides that Layton can only be a fling, only they both seemed to enjoy each other for more than that.

The second story is Emma and Erik. Of the two stories, I liked this one better. Emma is a little more straight laced. Emma's had a crush on him for years.

That part of the story I was good with. I love when crushes actually come to something. The probably was everything was cheesy, foolish or just left me with a wtf.

First, their is a snow storm and Erik and Emma decide to go out in it?


They wreck the car and then stay in an abandoned cabin?

What could go wrong?

Of course everything works out and they fall madly in love.

And that is why this book didn't work for me.

Rating: 2 flowers

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Book Review: Plum Pudding Murder

Author: Joanne Fluke
Title: Plum Pudding Murder
Publisher: Kensington Books
Publish Date: Oct 1, 2009
Buy: Amazon
Book Blurb:  The yuletide season in Lake Eden, Minnesota, guarantees a white Christmas, delectable holiday goodies from Hannah Swensen's bakery, The Cookie Jar—and murder…

The Cookie Jar's busiest time of the year also happens to be the most wonderful time...for Christmas cookies, Hannah's own special plum pudding—and romance! She also gets a kick out of “Lunatic Larry Jaeger’s Crazy Elf Christmas Tree Lot,” a kitschy carnival taking place smack-dab in the middle of the village green. But then Hannah discovers the man himself dead as a doornail in his own office...

Now, with so many suspects to investigate and the twelve days of Christmas ticking away, Hannah's running out of time to nab a murderous Scrooge who doesn't want her to see the New Year...

Review: I admit it, I'm addicted to the Hannah Swensen Mystery Series. I'm totally reading them out of order, but I don't care. The festive stories are the best, and this one was really great. It was really more story than mystery. In fact, the murder didn't happen until the story was almost over.

The best part of the story is always the recipes. Joanne develops the best cookie recipes. It is one of the reasons why I always go for these books.

The whole story revolves around  The Crazy Elf Christmas Tree Lot, who seems to be doing well but his books show otherwise. When more people seem to be finding out about what Larry's doing, he ends up dead and as always, Hannah is on the case. She found him, after all.

Cozy mysteries always make me laugh, because its hard to believe one small town could have so many murders and all found by the same woman. 

In the real world, Mike would have be be wondering if Hannah was a serial killer!

This is the twelfth book in the series, and Hannah is still dating two guys. I really wish Hannah would make a decision on which guy she wanted. I have to admit, I'm team Norman. I don't know why, but I like the guy that is a bit more reliable.

I didn't guess the killer in this one at all, which is actually unusual. I'm actually pretty good at figuring out the killer in these books.

The subplot in this book involves Norm's mom, Carrie, and that was actually a little bit more interesting than the actual murder.

These books are kind of fluffy, but I enjoy them. I enjoy Harlequin romances too. I wish this one had more mystery to the story, but it really doesn't matter, because I enjoy all the goings on in Lake Eden.

I will inevitably read more in this series.

Rating: 4 flowers

Friday, December 18, 2015

Book Review: I'll Be Home For Christmas

Author: Lori Wilde
Title: I'll Be Home For Christmas
Publisher: Avon
Publish Date: October 27, 2015
Buy: Amazon
Book Blurb: Christmas in Twilight, Texas, is all merriment and mistletoe. The Cookie Club is whipping up their most festive sweets, the townspeople are scrambling to get their holiday shopping done, and Joe—a hometown guy with a restless heart—is dreaming about the woman he wants to kiss most . . .

. . . And who happens to be staying at his sister's place over the holidays, while Joe's sister is away. But Joe isn't quite sure he wants to be a living Christmas present to runaway law student Gabi Preston.

Joe thinks the sassy sweetheart he nicknames "Trouble" won't inconvenience anything but his healthy sex drive. But when he discovers the reasons Gabi escaped from her life, he aches to give her everything she's never had. As the magic of the season draws them together, the gift of love is the only one worth giving…

Review:  I have read a lot of the Twilight, Texas novels.This is book 6 in the series, and I love coming back to this town to visit the residents.

The book is kind of a play on the film The Holiday where two women swap houses and lives, in this case its Gabi Preston and Katie Cheek. When Gabi finds Katie's home she meets her brother Joe and from the start things between them are electric. Oh and the place she's staying is a yurt. I didn't know what a yurt was, but apparently it is a sort of tent.

Gabi is there to find herself and to figure out what she wanted to do with her life. She recently discovered that being a lawyer just wasn't her thing.

Gabi and Joe seem to start their relationship pretty quickly. I wasn't all that keen on the sex aspect between the two. especially the age old frigid part when it came to Gabi.  Somehow the sex didn't work for me in this book, but thankfully there was more to the story than the love scenes, so that made this easy to overlook.

All that aside, I loved these two characters. I really loved how responsible Joe was in regards to his daughter, Casey, who really isn't his daughter. I also like that he did care about his ex-wife as well. She's more than a little bit screwed up.

Gabi is quite an interesting heroine. Her parents are power attorneys, she has hiccups when she gets nervous and she had a brother who passed away when she was young. There's a Jodi Picoult twist here too. In that aspect the plot lacks originality, but the characters are so lovable. Even the one character that you think you aren't going to like, well you end up liking her too.

If you have watched the film The Holiday you'll notice some plot similarities. I actually wished this book would have gone as to have a relationship with Katie, but maybe that would have taken The Holiday twist a bit too far.

If you are into holiday novels this is wonderful heartwarming story to make your Christmas merrier.

Rating: 5 flowers

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours: In The Shadow Of The Storm

02_In the Shadow of the StormIn the Shadow of the Storm (The King's Greatest Enemy, Book One)

by Anna Belfrage
Publication Date: November 1, 2015
Silverwood Books
eBook & Print; 398 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

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Adam de Guirande owes his lord, Sir Roger Mortimer, much more than loyalty. He owes Sir Roger for his life and all his worldly good, he owes him for his beautiful wife – even if Kit is not quite the woman Sir Roger thinks she is. So when Sir Roger rises in rebellion against the king, Adam has no choice but to ride with him – no matter what the ultimate cost may be.

England in 1321 is a confusing place. Edward II has been forced by his barons to exile his favourite, Hugh Despenser. The barons, led by the powerful Thomas of Lancaster, Roger Mortimer and Humphrey de Bohun, have reasons to believe they have finally tamed the king. But Edward is not about to take things lying down, and fate is a fickle mistress, favouring first one, then the other.

Adam fears his lord has over-reached, but at present Adam has other matters to concern him, first and foremost his new wife, Katherine de Monmouth. His bride comes surrounded by rumours concerning her and the baron, and he hates it when his brother snickers and whispers of used goods.

Kit de Courcy has the misfortune of being a perfect double of Katherine de Monmouth – which is why she finds herself coerced into wedding a man under a false name. What will Adam do when he finds out he has been duped?

Domestic matters become irrelevant when the king sets out to punish his rebellious barons. The Welsh Marches explode into war, and soon Sir Roger and his men are fighting for their very lives. When hope splutters and dies, when death seems inevitable, it falls to Kit to save her man – if she can.

In the Shadow of the Storm is the first in Anna Belfrage’s new series, The King’s Greatest Enemy, the story of a man torn apart by his loyalties to his baron, his king, and his wife.

Series Graphic


Review: I've read Anna's Graham Saga, so I was very interested to see what this new series would be like.


Anna once again shows you how wonderful her writing is. This story is totally engaging. I found it impossible to put this one down.

I've actually been reading more books from this time period in the last year or so. I've always been a huge fan of European history and I love the amount of detail Anna pays when writing her books.

She was a contributor to Castles, Customs and Kings a book of essays written by historical fiction authors about things they uncovered in their research. I think that speaks volumes for the author. That's also a book I highly recommend you picking up if you love historical fiction.

But back to In The Shadow of the Storm, this book deals with Edward II and Roger Mortimer. These were very turbulent times and I guarantee once you will love Kit and Adam. Some of the other characters you might not like so much. (One of Adam's brother's is particularly evil)

Kit is is the love child of Thomas Monmouth and she's being forced into marriage to Adam de Guirande. This two have an instant attraction even though their match was one based on deception. Through the beginnings of the Despenser War the two of them forge a love that is very strong.

Both characters are strong, but none so much as Kit. The things she does for her husband are admirable.

Kit and Adam are fictional characters but the events in the book are real. I love reading about Edward II and Isabella. Isabella is a fascinating Queen and though she wasn't a huge part of this novel, I look forward to seeing the part she plays in the next novels.

Rating: 5 flowers

03_Annna_Belfrage 2015 About the Author

Had Anna been allowed to choose, she’d have become a professional time-traveller. As such a profession does as yet not exists, she settled for second best and became a financial professional with two absorbing interests, namely history and writing. These days, Anna combines an exciting day-job with a large family and her writing endeavours.

When Anna fell in love with her future husband, she got Scotland as an extra, not because her husband is Scottish or has a predilection for kilts, but because his family fled Scotland due to religious persecution in the 17th century – and were related to the Stuarts. For a history buff like Anna, these little details made Future Husband all the more desirable, and sparked a permanent interest in the Scottish Covenanters, which is how Matthew Graham, protagonist of the acclaimed The Graham Saga, began to take shape.

Set in 17th century Scotland and Virginia/Maryland, the series tells the story of Matthew and Alex, two people who should never have met – not when she was born three hundred years after him. With this heady blend of romance, adventure, high drama and historical accuracy, Anna hopes to entertain and captivate, and is more than thrilled when readers tell her just how much they love her books and her characters.

Presently, Anna is hard at work with her next project, a series set in the 1320s featuring Adam de Guirande, his wife Kit, and their adventures and misfortunes in connection with Roger Mortimer’s rise to power. The King’s Greatest Enemy is a series where passion and drama play out against a complex political situation, where today’s traitor may be tomorrow’s hero, and the Wheel of Life never stops rolling.

The first installment in the Adam and Kit story, In the Shadow of the Storm, will be published in the autumn of 2015.

Other than on her website,, Anna can mostly be found on her blog, – unless, of course, she is submerged in writing her next novel.

Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, December 1
Review at I'm Shelfish
Review at Let Them Read Books
Spotlight at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, December 2
Review at Beth's Book Book
Review & Interview at Bookish

Thursday, December 3
Review at So Many Books, So Little Time

Friday, December 4
Review at Singing Librarian Books
Spotlight at Historical Fiction Connection

Sunday, December 6
Review at A Bibliotaph's Reviews

Monday, December 7
Review at One Book Shy of a Full Shelf

Tuesday, December 8
Review at Book Nerd
Guest Post at One Book Shy of a Full Shelf

Wednesday, December 9
Review at Flashlight Commentary

Thursday, December 10
Review at Book Drunkard
Review at Impressions in Ink
Interview at Flashlight Commentary

Friday, December 11
Spotlight at The Never-Ending Book

Monday, December 14
Review at Unshelfish
Review at CelticLady's Reviews
Guest Post at To Read, Or Not to Read

Tuesday, December 15
Review at A Chick Who Reads
Review at Historical Fiction Notebook

Wednesday, December 16
Review at Room with Books
Review at Griperang's Bookmarks

Thursday, December 17
Review at Just One More Chapter
Review at Oh, For the Hook of a Book

Friday, December 18
Interview at Just One More Chapter
Interview at Oh, For the Hook of a Book

Monday, December 21
Review at Puddletown Reviews
Review at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book

Tuesday, December 22
Review at Bookramblings
Review at Broken Teepee

04_In the Shadow of the Storm_Blog Tour Banner_FINAL

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Book Review: Lucky Shot

Author: BJ Daniels
Title: Lucky Shot
Publisher: Hqn
Publish Date: Nov 24, 2015
Buy: Amazon
Book Blurb: 
When hotshot reporter Max Malone gets a rare shot of Buckmaster Hamilton with a blond woman near Beartooth, Montana, he chases down one of the senator’s daughters to verify that the woman is Hamilton’s supposedly long-dead first wife. But Kat Hamilton won’t give him the time of day, let alone any information about her mother.

Kat can just tell that Max isn’t used to female sources denying him anything with his tousled blond hair, sexy stubble and an old straw cowboy hat topping off his long, lean frame. But when her own life is put in jeopardy, it’s Max who comes to her rescue. Seems someone is prepared to kill to keep the past in the past. Kat can’t deny she needs Max to find out what happened to her mother, but will getting closer and closer to each other lead them to the truth or to danger?

Review: Lucky Shot is book 3 in the Montana Hamiltons series. B.J. Daniels is a master at writing romantic suspense. She's written tons of books for the Harlequin Intrigue line. If you haven't read any of her books, this series is a good place to start. Heck, this book is a great place to start, because it is one of her absolute best!

I usually don't like books that involve politicians, especially ones that are Republicans, but all that aside there's no politics in the book, but a lot of drama surrounding a senator's former wife, who disappeared 22 years ago and returned and reporter Max Malone want to find out more about her. He does this by getting involved with the senator's daughter Kat, and together the try to find out more about her mother Sarah Hamilton. There's a lot of intrigue surrounding Sarah and it involves an anti-government terrorist group from the 70s called The Prophecy.

I know this is a romantic suspense, but it is the Sarah Hamilton part of the story that was really what I loved. That's not to say that there wasn't great chemistry between Kat and Max, because there was, but this book was more about the suspense rather than the romance between Kat and Max. Not to worry, romance lovers, their is a love story here as well, it just isn't front and center.

The mystery is really what kept me turning the pages, because there's so much creepy stuff involving this women. Did she fake her death? Why? Whats with this brain wiping stuff? Does she really have amnesia.

There are so many questions, and the ending is quite the cliffhanger. I usually hate cliffhangers, but for some reason this didn't bother me. In fact it really makes me want to read the next book. In short,without spoiling anything, you get answers but not all of them, and some of the answers you get may not be the right ones.

Highly recommended!!!!! Really! Go buy this book now!

Rating: 5 flowers

Thursday, December 10, 2015

TLC Book Tours Book Review: The Raven Room

The Raven Room COVERAbout The Raven Room

• Paperback: 250 pages
Publisher: Diversion Publishing (November 3, 2015)

A searing erotic thriller perfect for those tantalized by A.R. Torre's Deanna Madden series...

Anything you can imagine. Everything you crave. For the members of The Raven Room, it’s every fantasy fulfilled. But for some, that desire is a matter of life and death.

Drawn by needs he cannot control, Julian ventures to The Raven Room, a secret and exclusive sex club in the underbelly of Chicago. It goes beyond sex. It goes beyond kink. The Raven Room is the only place where Julian finds release from the dangerous urges that threaten to destroy the successful life he’s worked so hard to build.

When the police link the Raven Room to the death of a young woman, it threatens to expose a number of powerful people—people who would kill to stay anonymous...

Meredith’s body can’t get enough of Julian. He has opened her sexual horizons to tempting new possibilities. But out of bed she’s an aspiring journalist, and The Raven Room is the story she’s been looking for. By writing an exposé on the club and its elite clientele, she plans to launch her career.

As Meredith embarks on a sexual journey into the forbidden world that Julian inhabits, questions emerge, and dark appetites threaten to swallow her whole.  How much can she trust the man who has laid bare her erotic nature and how much will she sacrifice in order to protect him?


"If you’re looking for an exciting novel that can balance erotic sections with a thrilling who-done-it, look no further; The Raven Room will have everything you could possibly want and more." - San Francisco Book Review

"Readers who enjoy complex stories with strong characterization and psychological depth will find The Raven Room a satisfyingly story of emotional turbulence…” - D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

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Review: I'm not a huge fan of erotica but there was something about this book that really made me want to read it and once I started, I really couldn't put it down.

There is a lot of smoking hot sex almost from the very start, so this is definitely a book for the faint of heart, but along with all the sex there is a plot and that's really what kept the pages turning for me. I also loved that though the sex was rough and tumble at times this wasn't the same old same old BDSM novel. Have I mentioned I'm sick of every erotic novel being about BDSM? Seriously?

The characters were really interesting and well developed, there were some that you loved and some that you hated. I did like Julian, and I hated his friend Pete. There were a lot of intricate relationships and Julian was definitely one of the most complex characters that I've encountered in this genre. He's flawed and damaged but there is something that draws you to him that makes you want to know more.

Meredith is really badass. She makes being slutty cool and she was smart on top of it all.

Alana was a mystery. I wasn't really fond of her, but she was glue that brought the whole story together.

Then there was The Raven Room itself. There's definitely more to this sex club than we know so far in this book.

The ending however is enough to make me spit. One word, cliffhanger, and a huge one. The kind that make you say, WTF did the author do that just to torture us? The answer is yes, and now I have to wait for the next book.

Rating: 5 flowers

Photo by: Garfield L. Miller

About Ana Medeiros

Born in the Azores islands, Portugal, Ana Medeiros has a background in Photography, Sociology and Psychology. For the last seven years she has worked in the magazine industry. She currently lives in Toronto, Canada, with her boyfriend and two cats. The Raven Room, book one of a trilogy, is Ana’s first novel and is published by Diversion Books.

Visit Ana at her website and connect with her on Facebook.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Book Review: The Faberge Secret

The Faberge Secret
by Stephanie Burkhart

GENRE: contemporary romance



Elise Goodwin operates a heritage museum in Brattleboro, Vermont. Needing to buy some items for her museum, she travels to Boston and acquires a delicious surprise that would excite any curator – a Faberge Egg.

Enter Russian businessman Dimitri Romanov, the true owner of the jewel. He's following a lead hoping to reacquire his stolen egg when he bumps into Elise. He can't hide his attraction to the petite brunette with doe-like eyes.

Dimitri's rival, Gustav Kelch, wants the rare Faberge jewel and will do anything to find it, including destroying Dimitri's life. Can Dimitri keep Elise and his Faberge heirloom safe or will his attraction place their lives in jeopardy?


Review: Stephanie Burkhart is one of the author's I've discovered in the last few years that never disappoints me. I really love her steampunk series. This is a suspenseful novella and I liked the characters. It was really easy to fall for Elise and Dmitri and their whirlwind courtship.

My only gripe is that I wished it were longer, but that's a common gripe with me when it comes to novellas, I always want more, especially when it is an author that I love.

It is a nice twist on the typical holiday stories that are out there too, because this isn't an Easter egg, it is a rare Faberge Christmas egg. Stephanie really went to great lengths researching this book. I found myself wishing that there were really Christmas Imperial Faberge eggs.

I have always had a love for Russian history especially during WWI and how the history of the eggs ties in with the the mystery Dmitri's stolen egg.

Highly Recommended!

Rating: 5 flowers

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Great Escapes Book Tours Book Review: High Strung

High Strung
(Glass Bead Mystery Series)
(Volume 1)

Cozy Mystery
Paperback: 218 pages
Publisher: Booktrope Editions (August 31, 2015)
ISBN-13: 978-1513700335
E-Book ASIN: B014QH483C
After inheriting a house in Seattle, Jax O’Connell is living the life of her dreams as a glass beadmaker and jewelry designer. When she gets an offer to display her work during a bead shop’s opening festivities, it’s an opportunity Jax can’t resist—even though Rosie Perez, the store’s owner, is the surliest person Jax has ever met.
The weekend’s events become a tangled mess when a young beadmaker is found dead nearby and several oddball bead enthusiasts are suspects. Jax must string together the clues to clear her friend Tessa’s name—and do it before the killer strikes again.

Review: What a fun quick cozy mystery. This is the first book in the glass bead mystery series and it is a wonderful introduction to this series.

Jax moves from Miami to Seattle to the house she inherited from her aunt. The characters are all believable and some are quiet eclectic. I really loved Jax's friend Tessa and Dylan was really great too and I loved how he tied in with the mystery.

This is definitely is a first in the series book. There was a lot of buildup before the first crime, and yes there were two and they were kind of tied together.

Rosie was definitely a character that you could understand someone wanting to kill, though not to worry, she wasn't the character that was killed. Then there was the poor homeless beadmaker that was found dead in the dumpster behind Aztec Beads

There are a lot of things that are quite funny in this book. Jax and Allen's first meeting and the Mojitos was hilarious and then there was the neighbor Mr. Chu

I loved learning about bead making, which isn't something I ever really thought about. The story had some really funny parts too, which is always a plus for me, as I'm a fan of comedy in my books, because what would life be without some hilarity?

There's also some good-looking guys  in the horizon for Jax. Allen a local reported, and possibly the detective on the case. This could definitely make for an interesting love triangle.

The person "whodunit" was definitely not who you would expect. In fact, as the pieces started to fall into place I have to stay I was really surprised.

I can't wait to read the next book.

Rating: 5 flowers

Friday, December 4, 2015

TLC Book Tours Book Review: An Old Fashioned Christmas

About An Old-Fashioned Christmas: Sweet Traditions for Hearth and Home

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Countryman Press; 1 edition (November 2, 2015)
With its snowy streets, pine forests, sleigh rides and woodsmoke curling from the chimneys, Vermont was practically invented for the Christmas postcard. And no one celebrates the season better than Ellen Stimson, author of the best-selling Mud Season, and now the author and home cook behind this cozy new collection of holiday magic.
From warm drinks for the first snowfall to treats for furry friends, from indulgent snacks for carolers to a traditional menu for Christmas day, An Old-Fashioned Christmas will keep you and your loved ones eating, drinking, laughing and baking all through the holiday season.
Anyone who loved Mud Season will remember Stimson’s hilarious and heartwarming stories of life in her small Vermont town—and An Old-Fashioned Christmas brings her trademark touch to holiday memories new and old. Readers will be inspired to begin their own family traditions like the Stimsons’ annual Christmas Adventure, the collection of nostalgic tree ornaments, and of course, the legendary Christmas party attended by friends and family from all over. This is a book you will return to year after year.
A guide to celebrating Christmas in proper Vermont style—from sleigh rides to country stores—rounds out this deeply personal and completely delicious collection. The 98 homey recipes in this book will soon become annual favorites for your family too, including:
Maple Pecan Cookies
Root Beer Pulled Pork
Maple, Fennel, Sausage and Cheddar Meatballs
Chestnut Mousse
“I’ve been a little uneasy about Christmas for a long time and now I shall stop. ‘A festival of debauchery’. I like that idea. A big party. Cut out the stuff you don’t enjoy. And a whole raft of stimulating recipes. And a good snowstorm. Wonderful——Garrison Keillor
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Review: I absolutely love this book. This isn't the type of book you read cover to cover. It is the type you flip through when you have a few minutes. Its a mixture of stories and recipes and all sorts of wonderful things.  Its not quite a coffee table book and its not quite a cookbook. It really is somewhere in between, and that place is a wonderful somewhere.

Oh and I have to gush about the cover. This is actually one of my dreams, to be pulled in a horse drawn carriage at Christmas. Yup that's a bucket list cover for me.

The Maple Pecan cookies are on my to bake list this year and I took her advice the last time I made mashed potatoes too. Yukon Gold and butter and you don't even have to take the skins off the taters! Yummo!

I was reminded of a fictional book in Sheila Robert's Christmas On Candy Cane Lane. It was a book on how to make a perfect Christmas. I can almost see this being one such book. Actually this book can be a guideline for making your own Christmas memories.

I loved the stories Ellen shares here, particularly about her deviled eggs and the story about their dog. But for me, the best part are the recipes and the pictures of the food. (I'm not a fat girl for nothing...I love food).

This is the type of book you can revisit all through the holiday or winter months or anytime you feel the need to feel Christmasy.

Rating: 5 flowers

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