Friday, March 13, 2020

Duke Darcy's Castle by Syrie James ~ Review

Title: Duke Darcy's Castle
Author: Syrie James
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Release Date: February 25th, 2020
Number of Pages: 384
Format Read: Kindle ebook

Book Blurb: Lance Granville, the Tenth Duke of Darcy, was none too happy to give up his career in the Royal Navy to inherit the family title, complete with an ancient crumbling castle he needs to renovate. When an architect arrives on his doorstep, Darcy is astonished to discover that she's a woman.

Kathryn Atherton has one goal: to become the first woman architect in Britain. Marriage doesn't figure in her plans. Despite the odds, her schooling is behind her. Now she needs experience. When she's sent to a small tidal island in Cornwall to remodel a castle, the last thing Kathryn wants is to be attracted to its roguishly handsome owner.

Kathryn is determined to keep things professional, but the sizzling attraction between her and the duke quickly blazes out of control. When Darcy learns that Kathryn is an heiress whose fortune would save St. Gabriel's Mount, he wages the most important battle of his life: to woo and win the woman who's captured his heart. But duchesses can't be architects. And Kathryn has worked too long and too hard to give up her dreams…

My Review: At the beginning of this book we see Kathryn Atherton (the youngest Atherton heiress) finally getting ready to start living her dream of being the first female architect in Britain. But once she makes it to St. Gabriel's Mount to start working on remodeling the castle she is mistaken for the new village schoolteacher. The misunderstanding is quickly cleared up and the current Duke of Darcy hires her to remodel some rooms in the castle even though he doesn't have the money to remodel the rooms. We quickly get into the meat of the story where Kathryn fights her attraction to the Duke while trying to get her license to be an architect. The only way she gets it is because Lance has to bully the school board into giving her the degree she earned over two years prior.

I really did enjoy this book and while you don't have to read the first two books in the series to enjoy it it does help you understand who some characters who show up are. I definitely recommend picking up the entire series if you haven't already.

Rating: 4 stars

* I received an advanced copy of this novel. All opinions are my own.

Author Bio: SYRIE JAMES is the USA TODAY and Amazon bestselling author of thirteen novels of historical, contemporary, and young adult fiction and romance. Her books have hit many Best of the Year lists, been designated as Library Journal Editor’s Picks, and won numerous accolades and awards, including Best New Fiction by Regency World Magazine (the international bestseller “The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen”), and the national Audiobook Audie for Romance (“The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte”, also named a Great Group Read by the Women’s National Book Association). Los Angeles Magazine dubbed Syrie the “queen of nineteenth century re-imaginings,” and her books have been published in twenty languages. A member of the Writer’s Guild of America, Syrie is also an established screenwriter and playwright who makes her home in Los Angeles. An admitted Anglophile, Syrie has addressed audiences across the U.S., Canada, and the British Isles.


International bestselling author Syrie James tours the blogosphere February 24 through April 24, 2020 to share her new historical romance, Duke Darcy’s Castle: A Dare to Defy Novel (Book 3). Twenty-three popular book bloggers specializing in historical romance and Austenesque fiction will feature, spotlights, exclusive excerpts and book reviews of this acclaimed Victorian romance novel featuring a strong, independent heroine and complex, swoon-worthy hero. 

February 24 Austenprose—A Jane Austen Blog (Review)
February 25 Laura Lu's Reviews (Review)
February 26 Scuffed Slippers Wormy Books (Review)
March 02 Unabridged Chick (Review)
March 04 Drunk Austen (Review)
March 06 Austenesque Reviews (Review)
March 09 From the TBR Pile (Review)
March 13 Half Agony, Half Hope (Review)
March 16 Romance Junkies (Excerpt and giveaway)
March 20 Courtney Reads Romance (Review)
March 23 My Jane Austen Book Club (Excerpt and giveaway)
March 26 Laura's Reviews (Review)
March 30 Chicks, Rogues and Scandals (Review)
April 01 Robin Loves Reading (Review)
April 06 Frost Magazine (Review)
April 07 Frolic Media (Review)
April 13 Let Them Read Books (Excerpt and giveaway)
April 15 Dena Garson (Spotlight)
April 17 Romantically Inclined Reviews (Review)
April 20 Book Rat (Review)
April 23 Unwrapping Romance (Review)
April 23 Delighted Reader (Review)
April 24 The Lit Bitch (Review)

Monday, February 24, 2020

Promised by Leah Garriott ~ Review

Title: Promised
Author: Leah Garriott
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Shadow Mountain Publishing
Release Date: February 18th, 2020
Number of Pages: 368
Format Read: Kindle ebook

Book Blurb: Margaret Brinton keeps her promises, and the one she is most determined to keep is the promise to protect her heart.

Warwickshire, England, 1812
Fooled by love once before, Margaret vows never to be played the fool again. To keep her vow, she attends a notorious matchmaking party intent on securing the perfect marital match: a union of convenience to someone who could never affect her heart. She discovers a man who exceeds all her hopes in the handsome and obliging rake Mr. Northam.

There’s only one problem. His meddling cousin, Lord Williams, won’t leave Margaret alone. Condescending and high-handed, Lord Williams lectures and insults her. When she refuses to give heed to his counsel, he single-handedly ruins Margaret’s chances for making a good match—to his cousin or anyone else. With no reason to remain at the party, Margaret returns home to discover her father has promised her hand in marriage—to Lord Williams

Under no condition will Margaret consent to marrying such an odious man. Yet as Lord Williams inserts himself into her everyday life, interrupting her family games and following her on morning walks, winning the good opinion of her siblings and proving himself intelligent and even kind, Margaret is forced to realize that Lord Williams is exactly the type of man she’d hoped to marry before she’d learned how much love hurt. When paths diverge and her time with Lord Williams ends, Margaret is faced with her ultimate choice: keep the promises that protect her or break free of them for one more chance at love. Either way, she fears her heart will lose.

My Review: I was very intrigued when I got asked if I wanted to be a part of the blog tour for this book. With a young lady who has been unlucky in love and a Darcy-esque main love interest, I was ready to read it. I was not prepared for how much anger that Margaret holds on too because of her broken engagement two years prior and how she doesn't want love in a marriage. It's funny to watch her interact with Lord Williams as he trying to get her to marry him (even after a forced engagement) and she wants nothing to do with him at all. Eventually, she falls in love with him but finds out his interest in her was because of a bet. They eventually work things out and get married. 

I really enjoyed this book and I would love to see more books from Leah Garriott again in the future. 

Rating: 4½ stars 

*I received an advanced copy of this book. All opinions are my own. 

Friday, February 14, 2020

Sanditon by Jane Austen & Kate Riordan ~ Review

Title: Sanditon
Author: Jane Austen and Kate Riordan
Genre: Austenesque, Historical Fiction
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Release Date: December 10th, 2019
Number of Pages: 400
Version Read: Print
Buy: Amazon

Book Blurb: In the vein of Downton Abbey, Jane Austen's beloved but unfinished masterpiece-often considered her most modern and exciting novel-gets a spectacular second act in this tie-in to a major new limited television series.

Written only months before Austen's death in 1817, Sanditon tells the story of the joyously impulsive, spirited and unconventional Charlotte Heywood and her spiky relationship with the humorous, charming (and slightly wild!) Sidney Parker. When a chance accident transports her from her rural hometown of Willingden to the would-be coastal resort of the eponymous title, it exposes Charlotte to the intrigues and dalliances of a seaside town on the make and the characters whose fortunes depend on its commercial success. The twists and turns of the plot, which takes viewers from the West Indies to the rotting alleys of London, exposes the hidden agendas of each character and sees Charlotte discover herself... and ultimately find love.

My Review: Alright, so I went into this novel without knowing much about it at all. I knew it took place in a resort town being built and that's all I knew. We have some real characters in this book. We have the hoity-toity Denham step-siblings, the grasping Clara, Ms. Lambe with a chip on her shoulder and the opinionated Lady Denham and Charlotte Heywood. And then we have the Parker family along with the rest of the minor players in this tale. 

So this story does take some creative liberties with Jane Austen's original tale as I don't think there was incest in her version but it has made the book interesting. So while Sidney was a good pairing for Charlotte (which went nowhere) I think that young Stringer would have been a better match for her. But he gracefully stepped down when Charlotte showed a preference for Sidney. This book was left open for a sequel and I hope it happens as now I'm invested and I need more.

Rating: 4 stars

January 13 Austenprose—A Jane Austen Blog
January 14 History Lizzie
January 17 Babblings of a Bookworm
January 20 Confessions of a Book Addict
January 20 Living Read Girl
January 25 Margie’s Must Reads
January 26 My Jane Austen Book Club
February 03 The Lit Bitch
February 10 Unabridged Chick
February 10 Laura’s Reviews
February 13 Bookfoolery
February 14 Half Agony, Half Hope
February 17 Scuffed Slippers, Wormy Books
February 18 Impressions in Ink
February 23 From Pemberley to Milton
February 24 So Little Time…
February 24 Vesper’s Place
February 26 Austenesque Reviews
February 28 My Vices and Weaknesses

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer

Title: A Heart So Fierce and Broken
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Release Date: January 7th, 2020
Number of Pages: 445
Version Read: UK Kindle
Buy: Amazon

Book Blurb: Find the heir, win the crown.
The curse is finally broken, but Prince Rhen of Emberfall faces darker troubles still. Rumors circulate that he is not the true heir and that forbidden magic has been unleashed in Emberfall. Although Rhen has Harper by his side, his guardsman Grey is missing, leaving more questions than answers.

Win the crown, save the kingdom.
Grey may be the heir, but he doesn't want anyone to know his secret. On the run since he destroyed Lilith, he has no desire to challenge Rhen--until Karis Luran once again threatens to take Emberfall by force. Her own daughter Lia Mara sees the flaws in her mother's violent plan, but can she convince Grey to stand against Rhen, even for the good of Emberfall?

My Review: This novel is the sequel to A Curse So Dark and Lonely and I have a few thoughts. So I get why they did this but you only really see the points of view of Grey and Lia Mara for the majority of the book. I would have loved to see what was happening in Emberfall while Grey was traveling to and during his stay in Syhl Shallow. I hated that Lia Mara was made out to be this weak female but she was actually very strong and she proved it at the end of the book. I wish Grey had been upfront with Rhen and told him the truth. Communication is a thing that most people don't seem to like doing. Also since he didn't want the crown he could have just denounced it but no he had to try to be noble and stupid and run away like a coward.

This was a fine second book in the series but ultimately I enjoyed A Curse So Dark and Lonely better. That being said I will be continuing with the series as I want to see the conclusion.

Rating: 4 Stars

Monday, January 06, 2020

Find Wonder in All Things by Karen Cox ~ Review

Title: Find Wonder In All Things
Author: Karen Cox
Publisher: Adalia Street Press
Genre: Persuasion retelling
Release Date: Re-released January 6th, 2020
Number of Pages: 306
Buy: Amazon

Book Blurb: “There could have never been two hearts so open… Now they were as strangers”—Persuasion

Mountain Laurel Elliot is like her name—she blooms best in the cool comfort of shade, hidden in the Kentucky foothills of Appalachia. Alone on her mountain, she lives a private existence with only her pottery—and her regrets—for company.

James Marshall had a secret dream and Laurel was part of it, but dreams sometimes lead to unexpected places. James’s heart broke when Laurel cut him loose, but he moved on—and became successful beyond his wildest dreams.

For one glorious summer, James and Laurel had each other, but life has kept them far apart.

Until now.

My Review: When this was released back in 2012 I will admit I wasn't that much into Persuasion and couldn't care less about it so I never read this book. But now I have a love for all that is Persuasion and I still hadn't read this book. So with the re-release, I jumped at the chance to finally read the book. I have to say I wasn't disappointed. I really love this new cover over the old one.

I wasn't expecting the book to be this good since most of the time modern retellings fall short for me. I loved all the great characters in this book even Mrs. Elliot who took the place of Lady Russell in this story.  I was not expecting all the steamy bits in this story but they were a welcome addition nonetheless.

I definitely recommend this story if you love Persuasion.

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

*I received an advanced copy of this book. All opinions are my own.