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Powerful Medieval Giveaway!

Hello everyone! So, remember how I said I had something extra special coming up? Well, today’s the day!  I am hosting a giveaway! You should know by now that I absolutely love MaryLu Tyndall’s writing. She just has such amazing stories. And recently, she just published her first medieval tale: She Walks in Power. And wow. She may be far from the middle of the Caribbean, but it’s still awesome! So, to celebrate, I am giving away one e-copy (Kindle or NOOK) of this story away! But, more than that, I not only have a review with my thoughts, but a fun Q & A with this amazing author! So, first a little about the book, my thoughts, and of course the Q&A. And be sure to read down to the end for how to enter the drawing!

51lekss4uyl-_sx322_bo1204203200_Alexia D’Clere didn’t ask to be Protector of the Spear, but after her dying mother gave her the tiny metal object and made her promise to keep it safe, she had no choice. Orphaned at age eight, she began to take over the running of her parent’s castle with the help of a trusted steward. Yet, when a plot to murder her was revealed, a friar whisked her away to live hidden in the forest. There, she learned to shoot expertly with bow and arrow and hone her skills to see into the spirit realm.

Now, at eighteen, Alexia continues to keep the Spear protected, provide meat for the starving village, while secretly caring for her ill sister who still lives in the castle. With Alexia’s powers of spiritual discernment and her skill as an archer, she is no match for those who come for the spear. That is until she meets Ronar LePeine, one of the King’s elite guard.

Ronar desires nothing more than to do his duty to God and King and pay penance for past sins. Yet a forest sprite with red, flaming hair blocks his every move, all the while enchanting him like no other. Something evil lurks at Castle Luxley, and both Ronar and Alexia are soon thrust into the middle of a spiritual battle which will not only test their very beliefs, but put them both in mortal danger.

My thoughts?

Oh. My. Goodness. Talk about an incredible book! I’ve been a fan of MaryLu Tyndall’s from her first series, but this one really shines. I was hooked from the first page to the last, unable to put it down. Not only is it filled with MaryLu’s signature adventures, but she weaves in such a deep spiritual battle that had me on the edge of my seat. Then there are the amazing characters! Alexia is strong, devoted, and has a large heart. She cares deeply for those around her, though sometimes her emotions can get the better of her. Then there’s Ronar, a knight desperate to do good, to atone for his past. So, when he meets Alexia, he can’t understand why he is kind to her, even helps her, when she stands between him and his mission. They are so equal in intelligence, both skilled in strength, and were such a delight to read! While I love a good swoon-worthy, romantic knight (and don’t worry, Ronar does have his moments), it is also fun to read wills clash as each attempts to fight his or her own feelings for the other, and MaryLu’s dialogue just shines! Add in some truly evil villains, a few valiant friends, a battle greater than any on earth, all set in beautiful medieval England. This is a stunning novel, with a wonderful romance, a heart pounding adventure, a great spiritual battle, and a book I highly recommend.

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion – which I’ve done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*

And now, without further ado, how about we hear from the author herself!

First, I want to thank you so much for taking time from your busy schedule to chat with us.
My pleasure!!  Thanks for having me, Karen!
As this is your first medieval tale, what inspired this new story?
I’ve always had a love for the middle ages. Knights in shining armor, princesses in castles, evil magicians, who wouldn’t love that? It truly was an adventurous and romantic time, but also a dark time when the Holy Scriptures were withheld from the people and hence, many superstitions abounded.  What inspired She Walks in Power was the idea of a lady archer, a powerful hunter and protector, much like Robin Hood, but yet very different. Of course, I needed to give her something to protect, and I’ve always been fascinated with the myths surrounding the Spear of Destiny, the spear the Roman soldier stabbed Christ with on the cross.
What was it like branching out into a very different time period than the ones you’re used to?
Difficult at first. I’m pretty familiar with the 17th and 18th centuries in early America, but heading back in time over 400 years was definitely a challenge. Everything was different back then, clothing, food, culture, language, religion, government, customs, you name it. So, I had a fair amount of initial research to do. This is also one of the few books I’ve written that didn’t take place, at least some part of it, on the sea, so I had another challenge of being completely landlocked for the first time! 
What was the hardest part about writing in a new era? What was the easiest?
Hardest was all the research it required and learning the language, what words I could use and what words I couldn’t because they weren’t known at that time. The easiest I’d say was developing the characters. Human nature is the same regardless of what time period I write in. People in the middle ages had the same desires, needs, fears, and struggles as we have today.
Were there any fun tid-bits you learned when researching for this book?
Many people think that women throughout history had no rights until our modern age, but I discovered that women of high class in the middle ages had a fair amount of rights. For instance, they could inherit property and even run businesses.  Widows and single women had more rights than married women. This really came as a surprise to me, a nice surprise. Yet, for the most part, women were considered inferior to men and were from birth to death under the authority of either a father or husband. Many women joined convents to escape this tyranny and also to escape childbearing, which often resulted in death. In the Church, women could rise up through the ranks and obtain a great deal of power, even over men.
Alexia and Ronar were such fun characters to read, especially their interactions. What drew you to them?
 As I said above, I’ve always wanted to write a story about a female archer who lives in the forest. As I was creating Alexia, I knew she had to be strong, resolute, brave, and yet possess great kindness and deep emotions.  Ronar was just plain fun to create. He’s a handsome knight, valiant, loyal, brooding, determined, yet a man tortured by his past. He’s the perfect hero, the kind of man you always want on your side.
And, last and favorite question, any tid-bits of advice for aspiring authors?
Be humble and teachable. Question yourself as to your motives. If you’re hoping to become a best-seller and make a million dollars, don’t bother. If you write because you love to write and you can’t NOT write, then keep at it! Don’t give up your dream. Learn, grown, write, and write some more. Write the story burning on your heart. And then put all of it in God’s hands.
Wow, great advice. And thanks again for your time and letting us have a brief glimpse of what went into this fabulous tale!
Okay, now, like I said, I am giving away one e-copy of this book (Kindle or NOOK, your choice.) So, here’s what you need to do to enter: I want to know, what is your favorite part of the medieval era, or medieval era novels? Or, if this might be your first jump into the genre, what is your favorite genre and why? Comment below with your answer and I’ll be drawing a winner next next. 🙂
Or, if you just can’t wait to dig in to this delightful read, you can get a copy yourself on Kindle or NOOK, or paperback (which is always awesome). And do check out MaryLu’s website, along with follow her on Facebook and Twitter for news about upcoming novels!
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Medieval Saga Pt 5

Hi all! Thanks for joining me on this fun escapade, especially since I actually kept up with it! (Kinda proud of myself right now. lol). Anyways, here’s the last post for this week, and starting next week I should be back to my regular weekly reviews. 🙂 But here it is, book 5 in the Age of Faith series, Tamara Leigh’s The Longing.

51k5zdpqdhlTHE ONE HE CAN NEVER FORGIVE
For years, Lady Susanna de Balliol has borne the blame for betrayal—well-earned, though not as believed by the man she can never forget. Now her nephew must prove his legitimacy or lose his claim to his father’s lands. When Susanna is forced to flee with the boy following an attempt on his life, will the one man who knows the truth of her nephew’s birth grant them sanctuary within his walls? More, will he aid the woman whom he believes cost him the love of his life?

THE ONE SHE CAN NEVER FORGET
Eleven years—a long time to have loved and lost. Certain he will not love again, Everard Wulfrith has committed his life to the command of Wulfen Castle. But when the girl whose betrayal he can never forgive appears to him as a grown woman and demands he atone for his sins, can he lay bare his past to aid her nephew? And what of his unexpected feelings for the scandalous Susanna de Balliol whose indiscretions may very well put his own to shame? 

And, of course, my thoughts:

This is a wonderful book, and a wonderful tale for the final Wulfrith sibling. It is filled with intrigue and deception, and no small amount of danger. The language is lovely to read, both in dialogue and description, and the story line had me hooked from the first page to the last. And the romance! Oh, these two had probably the most beautiful romance of all the Wulfrith siblings. Susanna is considered a spinster, living her life raising the son of her sister-in-law, attempting to shield him from danger, and knowing she’ll be unable to have a family of her own. Fiercely loyal and protective, she’ll do almost anything to keep him safe. Then there’s Everard. Like his brothers, he’s a warrior, and trainer of warriors, and has no place in his life for a woman who he blames for his bachelor’s life. But while all he sees is the woman who once wronged him, she can’t help but see the man she once loved, and might still love. To say sparks fly between these two is an understatement; the romance and tension between them is lovely to read. All together, this was a wonderful conclusion to the Wulfrith family’s tales, and one I recommend, along with the rest of the series.

You can find this delightful tale for Kindle or NOOK (and paperback). And check out Tamara Leigh’s website and cover evolution blog, not to mention follow her on Facebook and Twitter for upcoming news.

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Medieval Saga Pt 4

Hello! And now for part 4 of my reviewing marathon, Tamara Leigh’s The Kindling.

51wpj8ppeil“’TIS SAID FAMILY CREATES A MULTITUDE OF SINS.”

Helene of Tippet is not her father or her brother’s keeper. Yet when she is enlisted to use her healing skills to aid a fallen knight, the secret she holds close threatens to visit her family’s sins upon her. Now she is in danger of loving where she should not—a man of the nobility, and one who has cause to despise her if ever he learns of the blood that courses through her veins. Dare she reveal herself? Dare she trust a warrior so bitter and intent on revenge? Dare she love?

Sir Abel Wulfrith, a man bred to battle, has the scar to prove one should never trust a woman. But when he is wounded by his family’s enemy, he finds himself at the mercy of one who could prove his undoing. Now he faces a battle against which no strategy can prevail, no blade can defend, no heart can escape unscathed. Can he forgive Helene the sins of the father—more, the sins of the brother? Can he reclaim his faith? Can he love?

My thoughts?

Yet another wonderful book in the series. While more introspective than the others, the internal struggles were a nice reprieve for me, though there are quite enough battles in this one as well. Like the others, the language is well used, and the settings well written. And it was fun watching the characters fight falling in love. First there’s Helene, a very gifted healer, but one who has to hide her past, not for anything she had done, but due to her family’s choices. She can’t help but care for the man who saved her from death, and who was kind to her son, but as her family’s the cause of his suffering, she knows that he could never care for her in return. Abel is a warrior who lost his ability to fight, and who believes there is nothing for him if he cannot protect others, especially not the woman whom he can’t seem to let go of. Can the two learn to forget the sins of others, escape the past, and embrace the future? Or will those same ghost forever haunt them and take away their chance at happiness? A well written tale about inner struggles and self worth, this one also has a bit of adventure and a wonderful romance.

You can find this delightful tale for Kindle or NOOK (and paperback). And check out Tamara Leigh’s website and cover evolution blog, not to mention follow her on Facebook and Twitter for upcoming news.

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Medieval Saga Pt 3

Hello! Welcome to day 3 of my reviewing marathon. 🙂 Today’s book is Tamara Leigh’s The Redeeming, third in the series, and one with probably the sweetest message of them all. But before I get into the details, here’s a little on the story line.

51upz6eelrlIN THE EYES OF THE CHURCH AND MEN, HERS IS NO SMALL SIN

Lady Gaenor Wulfrith is a woman scorned. And King Henry’s pawn. After three broken betrothals, she is ordered to wed her family’s enemy, a man she has never met and has good reason to fear. Faced with the prospect of an abusive marriage that will surely turn worse when her sin is revealed, she flees her family’s home with the aid of a knight—a man who could prove her ruin.

Christian Lavonne, the only remaining heir to the barony of Abingdale, has thrown off his monk’s robes—and God—to minister his lands. Determined to end the devastation wrought by his family’s feud with the Wulfriths, he agrees to marry his enemy’s sister, a woman no man seems to want. When he learns she has fled with a knight who has broken fealty with the Wulfriths, he pursues her, knowing that when they meet his own sin will be revealed and he will be as much in need of redemption as the woman who may carry another man’s child.

My thoughts?

This third book is a wonderful addition to the series, adding yet a little more depth to the family’s struggles. The language is beautiful to read, easy enough to understanding without tripping, but immersed in an old style that makes the setting feel even more real. Even more than the first two, this one is filled with adventure, and danger, not only continuing the wonderfully written individual combat scenes, but also true battles. But in the midst of this small war, there’s a greater tale of redemption that was so heart-warming as the characters struggle to find it. First, there’s Gaenor, the oldest daughter. She’s super tall, towering over most men, and not the beauty of her sister, and has had her heart broken several times. She yearns for a true family of her own, but fears her careless mistakes could ruin everything. Then there’s Christian, whose family has feuded with hers, and who carries his own burdens. They are broken characters, skeptical, and mistrusting, but they are both hopeful for something better. Their relationship is so wonderful to read, the strength in both making some wonderful dialogue. But with death threats hanging over their heads, can they learn to let go of the past, to truly forgive, before their pasts kill them? Like the others, it is a well written story, a tense adventure, a beautiful romance, and a wonderful story of redemption, and a lovely addition to the series. 

You can find this delightful tale for Kindle or NOOK (and paperback). And check out Tamara Leigh’s website and cover evolution blog, not to mention follow her on Facebook and Twitter for upcoming news.

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Medieval Saga Pt 2

Hello again! As I said, I’m doing one book per day this week. Today’s is The Yielding by Tamara Leigh, and before I get into my thoughts about the second book in the series, how ’bout a little more info on the story.

51x5mo9c03lSHE HAD KILLED A MAN. OR SO IT WAS SAID…

Convent-bound Lady Beatrix Wulfrith is determined to aid her sister in escaping marriage to their family’s enemy. Unaware of the sacrifice that awaits her, she leads their pursuers astray only to meet with an accident that forever alters her destiny and takes the life of a young knight whose brother vows he will not rest until the lady is brought to justice.

Lord Michael D’Arci is a warrior and a womanizer whose foul mouth and impatience bode ill for all who trespass against him. Falsely accused of ravishment years earlier, he refuses to believe Lady Beatrix’s accusations against his deceased brother. However, when he finds himself at the mercy of that same woman who clings to her convictions and faith even when it threatens to prove her undoing, his quest for justice wavers.

And now for my thoughts:

The second book of the Age of Faith series boldly follows the first, continuing the family saga with yet another delightful adventure. Just as the first, Tamara Leigh is brilliant in her language choices, keeping it easily readable but archaic, helping the reader immerse into the world. The adventure continues, filled with heart-pounding action scenes mixed in a political struggle between two powerful families. Beatrix is a gentle girl with a good heart, more than willing to help her family, but also quite intelligent. I love how smart she is, working hard to figure out the truth of the man whose death she caused, even if she doesn’t know it herself. Then there’s Michael, also fiercely loyal, but wary of women, and an intellect rarely challenged by anyone. I enjoyed reading their interactions, the intelligent banter and attempts to outsmart the other, especially when their animosity slowly recedes. But, even as Michael sets aside his vengeance, there are more powerful forces who’d love nothing more than to destroy the Wulfriths. Can Beatrix learn the truth in time, or will she still be doomed to die? This is a wonderful tale of adventure and danger, an enjoyable romance, and a great continuation of the Wulfrith clan’s tales.

You can find this delightful tale for Kindle or NOOK (and paperback). And check out Tamara Leigh’s website and cover evolution blog, not to mention follow her on Facebook and Twitter for upcoming news.

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Medieval Saga Pt 1

Hello everyone! This week is going to be something special, because I’m doing a post every day! *fingers crossed* lol. A while ago, I entered a drawing for paperback copies of the entire Age of Faith series by Tamara Leigh, and lucky me, I won! I’ve read a couple of her stories before, and I thoroughly enjoyed them, so getting an entire series, especially one with five books? Score! lol. So, this week, I am spending the whole week on the series, doing one book per day, starting today with the beginning of this wonderful series, The Unveiling. 

51l2bjuintdl-_sx322_bo1204203200_12th Century England. Two men vie for the throne: King Stephen the usurper, and young Duke Henry the rightful heir. Amid civil and private wars, alliances are forged, loyalties are betrayed, families are divided, and marriages are made. For four years, Lady Annyn Bretanne has trained at arms with one end in mind—to avenge her brother’s murder as God has not deemed it worthy to do. Disguised as a squire, she sets off to exact revenge on a man known only by his surname, Wulfrith. But when she holds his fate in her hands, her will wavers and her heart whispers that her enemy may not be an enemy after all. Baron Wulfrith, renowned trainer of knights, allows no women within his walls for the distraction they breed. What he never expects is that the impetuous young man sent to train under him is a woman who seeks his death—nor that her unveiling will test his faith and distract the warrior from his purpose.

And now, for my thoughts:

This is a great first book of a wonderful series. Set in medieval England, Tamara Leigh does a wonderful job at the setting, giving vibrant details without slowing the story, and her language is beautifully archaic, enough to make the reader feel immersed without tripping over the words. There are wonderfully written action sequences, along with court intrigue, both shining in their own way. And I just adore the characters! Annyn is brash, headstrong, and determined to avenge the unjustified death of her brother. She works to become strong, to hold her own in a world where women are only seen as men’s property to be used as needed. But, her courage and strength are tempered with deep kindness and intelligence, both of which help temper her revenge and search the truth of her brother’s death. Then there’s Wulfrith, a true warrior, who eats, sleeps, and breathes training other warriors as well, anything else, especially women, are just distractions. But, when Annyn challenges his beliefs, a part of his heart opens up to the possibility of allowing others in. As expected, these two fight more often than not, and makes for a very enjoyable read. Even as they learn to understand each other, the ghost of the past seem to still hang over them. Can they learn the truth of her brother’s death in time to save Annyn from a similar fate? All together, this is a wonderful story, a fun-to-read romance, and a nice introduction to the Wulfrith clan.

You can find this wonderful tale available for Kindle and NOOK (Though paperback was super fun to read.) And, be sure to follow the Tamara Leigh on Facebook and Twitter, not to mention check out her website, where you can find news of upcoming releases, and follow her fun blog where she shows how her covers come to be. 🙂

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Adventure and Romance in the Old West

Hey everyone! Sorry for the late post. It’s been a crazy few weeks. However, I did get to enjoy a wonderful new novel, which of course I get to share with you. 😉 So, if you’ve been reading my posts, you’ll learn that I’m not a big Western fan, I usually prefer really early American history or European. However, I absolutely adore Karen Witemeyer’s novels. She manages to write Western novels with that European feeling (or, if you read Head in the Clouds, the hero actually is British.) And her newest novel, No Other Will Do, does not disappoint!

Men are optional. T512b6e5az98l-_sx322_bo1204203200_hat’s the credo Emma Chandler’s suffragette aunts preached and why she started a successful women’s colony in Harper’s Station, Texas. But when an unknown assailant tries repeatedly to drive them out, Emma admits they might need a man after all. A man who can fight–and she knows just the one.

Malachi Shaw finally earned the respect he craved by becoming an explosives expert for the railroad. Yet when Emma’s plea arrives, he bolts to Harper’s Station to repay the girl who once saved his life. Only she’s not a girl any longer. She’s a woman with a mind of her own and a smile that makes a man imagine a future he doesn’t deserve.

As the danger intensifies, old feelings grow and deepen, but Emma and Mal will need more than love to survive.

My thoughts?

This was such a fun read! Emma is a strong woman, owning and running her own back, along with founding Harper Station. She has a kind heart, a willingness to bring in the downtrodden, and an inner flame to fight for those same people. But when her ladies are threatened, even she understands that she needs some help, and it doesn’t hurt that it’s an excuse to see her childhood friend and crush. When Mal receives her telegram, he’s instantly on his way to save her, since she once saved him. Now together, they have to work to figure out who’s behind the threatening notes, while fighting off the newest, and growing even more dangerous, attacks. Their relationship is adorable to read, the companionship that comes from being childhood friends, but also the awkwardness that comes from growing feelings that are much more than friendly. This was such a wonderful read, a great mystery with growing tension, wonderful adventure sequences, and a romance that’s sure to warm to heart. I especially love that it’s a story about women who run their own lives, own their own businesses, are strong and capable in their own right, but it doesn’t diminish the strength of the men in their lives. It’s really refreshing to read a story with both, and I’m very much looking forward to more stories of Harper’s Station’s ladies.

So, interested in this fun read? You can pick up a copy for Kindle or NOOK
, and of course the good old fashioned paperback. And do check out the author’s website, and follow her on Facebook for news of her upcoming fun. 🙂

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Double Medieval Romances

Hi all! So, I missed a week, again. Sorry about that. So, to make up for it, I’m doing two novels this week! From the wonderful author, Jody Hedlund, this week I’m looking at her YA novel A Daring Sacrifice, and the beginning of her new series, Luther and Katharina. And, without further ado, let’s dig in!

Let’s start with A Daring Sacrifice, the second novel in her YA series (You can check out my review of book51dphzuh6sl-_sx332_bo1204203200_ one here).

In a reverse twist on the Robin Hood story, a young medieval maiden stands up for the rights of the mistreated, stealing from the rich to give to the poor. All the while, she fights against her cruel uncle who has taken over the land that is rightfully hers. Forced to live in the woods and hide with the poor people she’s grown to love, she works to save and protect them, but she never anticipates falling in love with the wealthy knight who represents all she’s come to despise.

My thoughts?

The second book in this wonderful series is just as enjoyable and fun as the first. Jody Hedlund once again visits her medieval knights, this time following the story of Collin Goodrich. As the new lord of his family’s estate, he finds himself lost in trying to understand his new identity and position of power. What he didn’t expect was to find an adventure wrapped up in a fiery red-head from his past. Juliana Wessex must live in hiding, knowing she would have a death sentence on her
head if she was known to be alive. However, that won’t stop her from fighting to take care of her people, even if it means breaking the law a bit. When Collin shows back up in her life, and seems to whisk her off her feet, giving her a chance to remember what it felt like to be a true lady. But with several lives at stake, can she afford to put her trust in a lord who seems to enjoy what she considers frivolities? And can Collin learn to look past the annoyance of his position to truly do some good for those who need it? Add to this a villain who would do anything to gain and keep power, and whose ruthlessness is disguised by his charm. Filled with sweet romance, adventure, and a wonderful message about having faith in God, this is truly a story I highly recommend.

Aside from paperback, this wonderful story is also available for Kindle and NOOK.

And the second book I have today is Luther and Katharina.

She was a nun of noble birth. He, a heretic, a reformer…an outlaw of the Holy Roman Empire.  
In the 16th century, nun Katharina von Bora’s fate fell no further than the Abbey. Until she read the writings of Martin Luther. 51iwqdkk1zl-_sx336_bo1204203200_
His sweeping Catholic church reformation—condemning a cloistered life and promoting the goodness of marriage—awakened her desire for everything she’d been forbidden. Including Martin Luther himself.  
Despite the fact that the attraction and tension between them is undeniable, Luther holds fast to his convictions and remains isolated, refusing to risk anyone’s life but his own. And Katharina longs for love, but is strong-willed. She clings proudly to her class distinction, pining for nobility over the heart of a reformer. They couldn’t be more different.  
But as the world comes tumbling down around them, and with Luther’s threatened life a constant strain, these unlikely allies forge an unexpected bond of understanding, support and love.  
Together, they will alter the religious landscape forever.

My thoughts?

The story of one of history’s most notable couples is well written by Jody Hedlund. Not only does she capture the danger and turmoil of Reformation Germany, but she also manages to capture the essence of these people, and weave it into a fun to read romance. Luther carries the weight of the world on his shoulders, and has a target on his back. While he supports marriage, he knows anyone he marries would carry that same target, and he can’t bring himself to put any woman in that position. Katharina longs for a family, and a home to call her own, but she’s unwilling to accept anything less than an equal union. But when these two meet, sparks fly, and they can’t seem to stop pushing each other’s buttons, showing just how stubborn each of them were. She brilliantly weaves together historical facts with her own spin on the romance. The research put into this novel is evident in the well-described settings, and the supporting cast of characters are fun to read. All together, this is a great novel and quite an enjoyable read.

You can get a copy for Kindle or NOOK, or paperback.

Both these books were enjoyable to read, and I look forward to the continuation of both series. The links for the books are above, but feel free to check out the author’s website, to learn about her other series, and follow on Facebook and Twitter for upcoming news.

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Beautiful Romance

Hi all! Sorry I missed last week’s post. I kinda got caught up in a couple of amazing books… and then regular life stuff came up. lol. But hey, that does mean I’ve got some wonderful stories to share with you the next coming weeks, starting with today’s post! *^_^* It’s pretty evident that I love fairytales and retellings, and I love Melanie Dickerson’s personal take on the familiar tales. Well, her newest novel, The Beautiful Pretender, just came out last Tuesday. Let’s just say I pretty much finished it in one day… lol. I really couldn’t put this book down! But before I start gushing about it, how ’bout a little info on the story itself?

After inheriting his title from his brother, the margrave has two weeks to find a noble bride. What will happen when he learns he has fallen for a lovely servant girl in disguise?

The Margrave 51qqwum9qhl-_sx328_bo1204203200_of Thornbeck has to find a bride, fast. He invites ten noble born ladies who meet the king’s approval to be his guests at Thornbeck Castle for two weeks, a time to test these ladies and reveal their true character.

Avelina has only two instructions: keep her true identity a secret and make sure the margrave doesn’t select her as his bride. Since the latter seems unlikely, she concentrates on not getting caught. No one must know she is merely a maidservant, sent by the Earl of Plimmwald to stand in for his daughter, Dorothea.

Despite Avelina’s best attempts at diverting attention from herself, the margrave has taken notice. And try as she might, she can’t deny her own growing feelings. But something else is afoot in the castle. Something sinister that could have far worse—far deadlier—consequences.

My thoughts? Well…

It was an amazing story! I’ve been an avid fan of this author since her first book, but this one certainly tops my list of favorites. These characters are so wonderful! The Margrave is a good ruler with a good heart, even with his temper, who understands his place is to marry, but who also wants a true lady for his wife, someone with as good a heart as him. So, what better way than to invite numerous eligible ladies and put them through tests to prove their character? And then there’s Avelina, a girl who’s spent her whole life serving others, especially the spoiled daughter of her lord. She is kind, works hard, and yearns for a true romantic relationship. To save her family, and the others under the Earl of Plimmwald, she must take his daughter’s place at the Margrave’s selection. While feeling out of place, she manages to attract his eye with her good heart and strong opinions. They’re relationship is so adorable to watch, as each is falling hard for the other, even while trying hard not to. But with deadly accidents, plots against the Margrave, and jealous ladies, can their growing relationship survive, especially with her secret of being a servant? It has a wonderful supporting cast, great scenery, suspenseful scenes so well written my heart was pounding, and a suspenseful sub-plot that showcases each characters strengths. This is probably my favorite of her stories, and I’m looking forward to the next in this series!

Okay, so I might have geaked out about this book, just a bit. lol. But seriously, if I’ve peaked your interest, you can pick up a copy for yourself for Kindle or NOOK, and of course paperback. And be sure to check out this wonderful author’s website, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.
And come back next week for more awesome stories! 🙂

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Double Dose of Romance

Hi all! So, this week I’m doing another double-book feature. Why? Because I’m so behind… lol. That, and one of my favorite authors, Melanie Dickerson, has published 2 books recently (well, one was more late last fall, but it’s recent enough for me. lol) That, and she has a new one coming out soon that I can’t wait to dig into! So, without further ado, let’s dig into these recent books while I, for one, get excited about digging into the next!

 

Let’s start with The Golden Braid. The latest installment of her original fairytale retelling series, this one does a beautiful job with Rapunzel’s story.

 

The one who needs rescuing isn’t always the one in the tower.

Rapunzel can throw a kni519twhvahzl-_sx325_bo1204203200_fe better than any man. She paints beautiful flowering vines on the walls of her plaster houses. She sings so sweetly she can coax even a beast to sleep. But there are two things she is afraid her mother might never allow her to do: learn to read and marry.

Fiercely devoted to Rapunzel, her mother is suspicious of every man who so much as looks at her daughter and warns her that no man can be trusted. After a young village farmer asks for Rapunzel’s hand in marriage, Mother decides to move them once again—this time, to the large city of Hagenheim.

The journey proves treacherous, and after being rescued by a knight—Sir Gerek—Rapunzel in turn rescues him farther down the road. As a result, Sir Gerek agrees to repay his debt to Rapunzel by teaching her to read. Could there be more to this knight than his arrogance and desire to marry for riches and position?

As Rapunzel acclimates to life in a new city, she uncov
ers a mystery that will forever change her life. In this Rapunzel story unlike any other, a world of secrets and treachery is about to be revealed after seventeen years of lies. How will Rapunzel finally take control of her own destiny? And who will prove faithful to a lowly peasant girl with no one to turn to?

 

My thoughts? Rapunzel is a sweet character, with a good heart, but no pushover. She can protect herself, and has an inner strength to fight for what she wants. Then there’s Sir Gerek, a knight who’s a bit arrogant and driven, but after agreeing to help Rapunzel with her greatest wish, seems to have a sweet side as well. Though at first they seem to butt heads, these two find a way to understand each other in ways that no one else seems to understand. When Rapunzel discovers a mystery in her own past, she begins to question everything she knows, and who she can trust. Can Gerek prove that he’s trustworthy enough, and can Rapunzel gather the courage to go after what she wants? Though a beautiful tale in itself, it also builds onto the world of Hagenheim, and answers some questions woven through several of the previous books, and if you’re a fan of The Princess Spy, there’s a bit of a bonus as you get to read about some of those events from other eyes. It’s a beautifully written story with engaging characters and a plot filled with twists and turns that had me on the edge of my seat ‘til the last page. 

 

And the other, most recent book by Melanie Dickerson, is certainly a shock as she begins a new series by branching out into the Regency era. As I’m sure you’ve all guessed by now, I do love a good Regency, and A Spy’s Devotion does not disappoint!

 

In England’s Regency51tionxmmhl-_sx331_bo1204203200_ era, manners and elegance reign in public life—but behind closed doors treason and deception thrive. Nicholas Langdon is no stranger to reserved civility or bloody barbarity. After suffering a battlefield injury, the wealthy, well-connected British officer returns home to heal—and to fulfill a dying soldier’s last wish by delivering his coded diary.

At the home of the Wilherns, one of England’s most powerful families, Langdon attends a lavish ball where he meets their beautiful and intelligent ward, Julia Grey. Determined to maintain propriety, he keeps his distance—until the diary is stolen and all clues lead to Julia’s guardian. As Langdon traces an evil plot that could be the nation’s undoing, he grows ever more intrigued by the lovely young woman. And when Julia realizes that England—and the man she is falling in love with—need her help, she finds herself caught in the fray. Will the two succumb to their attraction while fighting to save their country?

 

Let me tell you, this novel was amazing, encompassing the Regency era in all its enjoyable nuances. Julia Grey is a poor relation to one of England’s powerful families, but who has a good heart and deep understanding of the Ton and politics of the ballroom. Then there’s Nicholas Langdon, who is no stranger to war or a battle, but now must learn to fight with words when he’s thrust into a plot against England herself. As he finds himself drawn to Julia’s intellect, he also finds an ally in her, though he is reluctant to bring her into the danger. Though Julia could lose everything, she cannot just sit by if she can do her part to fight for her country. As they find themselves drawn closer together, they also find themselves being pulled further into the dangerous plots. Can they navigate the treacherous waters, and save England’s greatest hero? Or will they find themselves caught in the storm and at the mercy of those who hate England? This story brilliantly weaves together the beauties of the Regency ballrooms, and manners and customs of the ton, along with espionage and intrigue of the war with Napoleon. It’s a great blending, with a suspense-filled plot, and a story I highly recommend.

 

So… interested? While they’re two different styles, one a medieval fairytale and the other a Regency suspense, they are both wonderfully crafted novels with beautiful romances. I’ll be posting the links for the books below, as both are available on Kindle while The Golden Braid is also available for NOOK, along with my favorite, print versions of course. And do feel free to check out Melanie Dickerson’s website, along with her Facebook and Twitter, to get all the up-to-date info on her future books, including The Beautiful Pretender coming out next month, and The Silent Songbird, that’s sure to be an interesting take on The Little Mermaid story.

 

The Golden Braid: Kindle, NOOK
A Spy’s Devotion: 
Kindle, B&N

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