Monthly Archives: April 2015

Heiress of Adventure, Trouble, and Love

Hello! So, I’m a few days late. Sorry about that. But I do have a treat this week. By now, I’m sure you’ve guessed that I love regency, but there’s quite a bit of regency that feels flat. The stories rely strongly on the societal structure, focusing on the two protagonists being in separate classes and having to fight family expectations. There’s usually a dowager lady who’s strict and up-tight, think Lady Catherine from Pride and Prejudice, who’s the main reason that the heroine must fight for the hero. But sadly, that drama and angst carries the story, and can feel flat. So when I find a regency story that doesn’t just use the societal structures, but also throws in intriguing plots, perhaps even adventure and intrigue, and a bit of a mystery, I get very excited. Lately, I discovered one such author who’s stories have hooked me from the very first page: Sarah E. Ladd. Her series, Whispers on the Moors, is amazing, each of the books unique and wonderful to read. So, for the next three weeks, I’ll be reviewing each of these awesome books, starting with her first: The Heiress of Winterwood.

This story hooked me from the first page and would not let go. It is spun so wonderfully, weaving together the regency culture along with a heart-pounding, sit at the edge of your seat mystery adventure. Amelia is a wonderful character. Yes, she is an heiress of a large estate and fortune, but she also has a heart of gold. The beginning shows her at her friend’s bedside, caring for her just before her death, and then takes in her friend’s child, helping to care for the infant as if she were her own. She is born to privilege, but is willing to work, not to mention she has a lot of courage and spunk. That is a refreshing character trait, to see a woman actually fight for what she wants, to go after it herself rather than wait on others to do it for her. Then you have Graham, a naval captain, who is out of his element on land, and as a father. He is adorable in his slight clumsiness, but I love how he opens up to his infant daughter. And I love the interaction these two have! From the beginning that is genuine and mutual respect for each other, something that’s very enjoyable to watch, even when they beat heads a bit. And the supporting cast was wonderful as well! Each character was unique and gripping, and many held great surprises. This story just took one turn after another, dragging me along with eager anticipation. (And yes, this is one of those stories that I couldn’t put down until I finished it around 3am lol.) I loved the surprises, and the relationships between the multiple characters, not to mention the message of trusting God woven through it. This is definitely a book I highly recommend to anyone who enjoys a good regency-romance and adventure.

So, curious yet? You can find this book for Kindle or NOOK (along with my personal favorite: paperback), and don’t forget to check out the author’s website, and follower her on Facebook and Twitter. I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did, and come back next week for the second installment: The Headmistress of Rosemere.


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A princess, a prince, a castle, and… sheep?

Hello! Okay, so I’ve learned that everyone shows up for a giveaway, but hardly anyone stay. 😦 Oh well, it is what it is. For those who are still checking with me, thanks so much for sticking around! Anyways, this week’s post is going back to an author that’s fairly new (for me, at least) Karen Witemeyer. Seriously, I don’t like western stories, but her tales are wonderful! This week I’m reviewing Head in the Clouds, her fairytale-meets-cowboy tale.

I love this wonderful blend of fairytale meets old west! This story just took my heart and ran with it. You start with Adelaide, a wonderful young woman who adores reading (what avid reader wouldn’t connect with her?) and is constantly wondering what her life would be like if she lived a story herself. I love her sense of adventure, her willingness to take matters in her own hand rather than just be a damsel in distress, even if her adventuring gets her into trouble. Then there’s Gideon, an honest-to-goodness English nobleman living in a mansion in the middle-of-nowhere Texas. He’s unafraid of work and has a good heart, and definitely sends Adelaide’s imagination running wild. I love watching the two of them together, both of them pushing any romantic thoughts from their mind, even as both are falling for each other, along with Isabella, the little girl Gideon took in after her mother’s death. But along with the sweet love story, there’s a much more sinister problem that none of them realize. I love the danger that slowly echoes through the book, growing in the mystery that’s slowly woven throughout the book. The adventure that both protagonists go through is wonderful, and I love the scenes where Gideon becomes a real knight saving his lady. This story is a wonderful blend of the promise of the old west along with classic fairytale ideals. It’s a great read and one I definitely recommend for anyone who likes a good romance with a bit of adventure.

Interested? You can find it for Kindle or NOOK (and paperback, of course), and don’t forget to check out the author’s website and follow her on Facebook!

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The Wonderful Uncertainty of Love

Hi everyone! Sorry I’m a day late. For starters, a huge congratulations to Nancy M. for winning The Sword of Forgiveness by Debbie Lynne Costello! I really hope you enjoy the book as much as I did. For everyone else, thanks so much for joining me last week! I had such a blast and I’m hoping to have a few more giveaways on my blog, so please feel free to follow. And I loved hearing from all of you! I love having a good discussion about books, so feel free to comment on any of my posts. 🙂 I look forward to hearing from you!

Now for today’s post. I figured since I started the Medieval mood, I might as well continue it with another recently released medieval tale: An Uncertain Choice by Jody Hedlund. Now this is a YA fiction tale, so not as heavy as last week’s, but still as good with several great messages. But, before you read this book, you should read The Vow. It’s a prequel novella that tells the story that begins this tale.

This little novella is a great pre-curser to An Uncertain Choice. Rosemarie is a sweet girl, on the cusp of becoming a woman. She is so compassionate and loving, with a heart desperate to help her people. She also gets her first taste of love, and it’s really sweet watching her. Though tragedy strikes, this is still a very cute store, and has a wonderful beginning to Rosemarie’s journey. Definitely good to read, especially right before An Uncertain Choice as it helps explain some things brought up in the novel.

As for An Uncertain Choice, this is a great coming-of-age story with some great messages, and a great tale, for women of all ages. Rosemarie learned that she was bound to a convent when she turned eighteen. While she accepts her place, she also struggles with balancing how to rule her people even while being secluded from them. That is, until she learns that if she marries before her birthday she will be exempt from the vow. She is introduced to three amazing knights, each vying for her hand. Now she’s faced with some difficult choices: is God’s will for her to be in a convent or a wife, and if she’s to marry, which of the three should she choose? To this sweet romantic tale, you add a bit of suspense, a strange illness that seems to sweep across her lands, killing her people. When one of the knights is charged with some shocking crimes, Rosemarie must rely on others to help solve these mysteries, but with her birthday just over the horizon, can they solve them in time? This book definitely had me on the edge of my seat almost until the very end waiting to see how it would play out. (Did I mention that I didn’t put it down until I finished it at 2am? Lol)

Along with the wonderful story-line, I love the messages in this book. For starters there’s the debate about whether she should be a nun or a wife. While convents and monasteries aren’t as widely popular today as they were in medieval Europe, the idea of serving in the ministry is still strongly encouraged in the Churches. That, along with becoming a missionary, is sometimes pushed as God’s calling to one and all. I love how this book shows that following God’s will doesn’t always have to mean serving in the ‘ministry’, how it could also be marriage, and even accepting a leadership position. The other message I love is concerning the knights. The three men are different in their wooing of Rosemarie: you have the one who enjoys giving her gifts, the one who speaks sonnets and enjoys the artistic world, and then you have the quiet, intellectual one. If you’ve ever read the children’s tales The Princess and the Kiss  or The Princess and the Three Knights you’ll have a general idea about these three knights, but the best part of this story is how all three are good men, with high qualities. For instance, there’s a few tales that warn against falling for a man who showers you with lavish gifts. But, see, my love language is gifts, so it was so nice seeing the ‘gift’ knight as being just as noble as the others, and with a good heart. Then you have the one who spouts sweet words, and even he isn’t shallow as most of his character are depicted. He is kind and compassionate as well. I love that. It just shows how the inside is important, regardless how the knight comes across, and that every one of them can be a good man. The last message I love is watching Rosemarie become her own woman. Since her parents’ death, she relies heavily on so many others to help her determine what to do. In many ways, she is still a child at the beginning of the book. But I love watching her come into her own, to be able to stand up for herself, even against trusted advisors. It’s wonderful to see her become a strong leader herself, showing that she doesn’t have to be under a man’s supervision to be the ruler of her people.

All together, this is a great story. It has such a sweet romance mixed with an edge-of-your-seat suspense. The setting is wonderful, the medieval castle and forests just jumping from the pages. The messages are clear and wonderful, great for a young woman, or any woman, in that time in her life where there’s more questions than answers. It is a book I highly recommend to anyone who wants a good read.

Interested? I hope so! You can get The Vow for either Kindle or NOOK, and An Uncertain Choice is available through Amazon and B&N in both e-book and paperback versions. And don’t forget to follow this amazing author through her website, Facebook, and Twitter. I hope you enjoy this book as much as I have!

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