Sunday, June 27, 2021

Book Review with Featured Author: A Duke in Time by Janna MAcGregor

A Duke in Time by Janna MacGregor

 

 


Publisher & Release: St. Martin’s Press, June 29, 2021


Setting:  Regency England


Genre: Historical Romance


Heat Level: 1 Flame


Rating: 4.5 Gold Crowns


Book Description: 


A Duke in Time is the first book in a three-story arc that will have you rooting for leading heroines, searching for lost dowries, and falling for swoon-worthy heroes. 

Katherine Vareck is in for the shock of her life when she learns upon her husband Meri's accidental death that he had married two other women. Her entire business, along with a once-in-a-lifetime chance to be a royal supplier, is everything she's been working for and now could be destroyed if word leaks about the three wives.

Meri's far more upstanding brother, Christian, Duke of Randford has no earthly clue how to be of assistance. He spent the better part of his adult years avoiding Meri and the rest of his good-for-nothing family, so to be dragged back into the fold is…problematic. Even more so is the intrepid and beautiful Katherine, whom he cannot be falling for because she's Meri's widow. Or can he?

With a textile business to run and a strong friendship forming with Meri's two other wives, Katherine doesn't have time for much else. But there's something about the warm, but compellingly taciturn Christian that draws her to him. When an opportunity to partner in a business venture brings them even closer, they'll have to face their pasts if they want to share each other's hearts and futures.

 

Buy Links:

 

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Duke-Time-Widow-Rules-Book-ebook/dp/B08FZ8B348

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-duke-in-time-janna-macgregor/1139150498

KOBO: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/a-duke-in-time

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Janna_MacGregor_A_Duke_in_Time?id=NtP3DwAAQBAJ

Audible: https://www.audible.com/pd/A-Duke-in-Time-Audiobook/1705034586?qid=1624817955&sr=1-1&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1&pf_rd_p=83218cca-c308-412f-bfcf-90198b687a2f&pf_rd_r=S1PHXH5NVW9KT50SHP53

 

Add to Goodreads & BookBub:

 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55690478-a-duke-in-time

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/books/a-duke-in-time-by-janna-macgregor

 

Vikki’s Musings

 

Thanks go to the publisher and Net-Galley for the complimentary digital copy of A Duke in Time by Janna MacGregor. I voluntarily agreed to read and review this novel prior to publication. My opinions are my own, and nothing has influenced my rating.

 

A Duke in Time is a well written novel set in the glittering world of the ton in Regency London. The pacing pulled me in from the first page to the last. This is the first book in Ms. MacGregor’s newest series, and it certainly starts the series on a high note. 

 

Katherine is an endearing character with all the qualities I most admire in a Regency heroine. Her heart is as wide as the ocean, and she exhibits an amazing amount of loyalty. Her shock and pain when she finds out her late husband had two other wives tugged at my soul. I could feel her anguish over wanting the hero but believing she had too many secrets that could destroy him if they ever came out.

 

Christian, Duke of Randford, is an amazing hero. His tenderness and determination to protect Katherine and the other two wives of his late rogue of a brother, won my heart, and his desire to right his late brothers wrongs is admirable.

 

At first, I feared this book would be an enemies to lovers story which isn’t my favorite troupe, but the romance between Katherine and Christian is lovely, and I truly enjoyed them as a couple and wanted them to find their happy ending. 

 

If you enjoy Regency romance with engaging characters and an emotionally charged plot, then you will love A Duke in Time as much as I did. I can’t wait to read the next book in the Widows Rules series. Happy reading!

 

 

Author Bio:

 


Janna MacGregor was born and raised in the bootheel of Missouri. She credits her darling mom for introducing her to the happily-ever-after world of romance novels. Janna writes stories where compelling and powerful heroines meet and fall in love with their equally matched heroes. She is the mother of triplets and lives in Kansas City with her very own dashing rogue, and two smug, but not surprisingly, perfect pugs. She loves to hear from readers. 

 

Social Media:

Website: https://www.jannamacgregor.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JannaMacGregor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JannaMacGregor

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jannamacgregor/

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/janna-macgregor

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15613220.Janna_MacGregor

 

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Book Review with Featured Author: Escaping the Duke by Melanie Rose Clarke

Escaping the Duke by Melanie Rose Clarke




 

Publisher & Release: Dragonblade Publishing, June 17, 2021


Setting:  Regency England


Genre: Historical Romance


Length: 269 Pages


Heat Level: 1 Flame


Rating: 4 Gold Crowns


Book Description: 


Ignore powerful dukes who sabotage your plans.

Welcome to book 1 in the debut series The Secret Crusaders from the talented Melanie Rose Clarke!

Priscilla Livingston has dedicated her life to social causes, fighting to right the cruel injustices the world ignores. Under the guise of a lord, she sends messages to Edmund Hawkins, the powerful Duke of Bradenton. He doesn’t know his informant is a lady, even as he investigates to uncover her identity. When her father demands she find a husband, she cannot choose Edmund, who would demand total surrender. 

But when he catches her spying, she may not have a choice.

Edmund is intrigued by the beautiful lady caught snooping through a dangerous lord’s home. Lady Priscilla may act the perfect duke’s daughter, but fiery mystery burns beneath the flawless fa├žade. He sees the passion she cannot hide, the spirited woman who would make the perfect duchess. He will discover her every secret.

Then he will make her his.

 

Buy Link:

 

Amazon: https://smile.amazon.com/Escaping-Duke-Secret-Crusaders-Book-ebook/dp/B094WYQ55K

 

Read for FREE on Kindle Unlimited

 

Add to Goodreads & BookBub:


Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58080197-escaping-the-duke

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/books/escaping-the-duke-the-secret-crusaders-book-1-by-melanie-rose-clarke

 

Excerpt: 

“What a gracious honor, Your Grace. How I wish I could say yes, but all my dances are taken.”  

Instead of disappointment, challenge lit his eyes. Focused. Unrelenting. Unstoppable. 

“You appear to have several spots remaining.” He pointed to her card, which was hanging at an angle to reveal empty lines.  

“I left those blank on purpose. I have something to do.” 

“I see. If you don’t mind my asking, what do you have planned?” 

Investigating. “I get a little tired after dancing and need a rest.” She batted her eyelashes. “Besides shopping, resting is my favorite thing to do.” 

The duke’s eyes lit again. The schemes that worked so well with other men had little effect on the clever lord.  

“That something you have to do is dance with the duke who was gracious enough to ask.” Her mother snatched the card off her wrist, her lips stretched in a smile so wide, it looked as if her face might crack. She handed the card to the duke. “Take as many dances as you would like, Your Grace.”  

Priscilla fought not to grab the card back. Of course as a gentleman, he would just hand it back to her– 

He scribbled his name across two lines. 

Vikki’s Musings

 

Thanks go to the publisher and Net-Galley for the complimentary digital copy of Escaping the Duke by Melanie Rose Clarke. I voluntarily agreed to read and review this Regency romance prior to publication. My opinions are my own, and nothing has influenced my rating.

 

Escaping the Duke is a well written debut novel with engaging characters and an emotionally charged plot. The pacing is good and kept me involved from the first page to the last. I enjoyed the light banter between the characters a great deal.

 

Priscilla, daughter to a duke, is a quirky woman determined to right the wrongs that plague the poor of London. She forms a sewing group, but the topic discussed have nothing to do with needlework. While she’s a bit of a do-good type, she has plenty of backbone and is not afraid to speak her mind.

 

Edmund, Duke of Bradenton, has all the qualities I enjoy most in a hero. He too, wants to help the downtrodden by backing bills that will make their lives easier. While he could easily come across as too good to be true, he has such a charming side, it makes up for that.

 

As a couple, Priscilla and Edmund are ideal for each other, and I could see them having a convivial union. While the romance is a slow burn and based on mutual interests instead of blinding passion, I enjoyed their love story. I’m all for keeping one’s card tight to one’s chest, but I did get a bit frustrated with her big secret. That went on too long, and I would have liked a less abrupt ending. It felt rushed to me.

 

If you enjoy traditional Regency romances with enchanting characters and a lovely plot, then you will love Escaping the Duke as much as I did. I’m amazing by the talent and potential Ms. Clarke shows in this delightful novel. Happy reading!

 

Author Bio:

 


Melanie Rose Clarke has wanted to be a writer since she was a little girl. Sixteen years ago, she married her own hero, and now she creates compelling stories with strong heroines, powerful males and, of course, happily every afters. She writes historical (regency) romance, contemporary romance, paranormal romance, romantic suspense and women's fiction.

Melanie is a three-time Golden Heart® finalist. Her manuscripts have earned numerous awards in writing competitions, including several first-place showings. With over two decades of professional writing experience, Melanie has written thousands of pieces for businesses and individual clients. She has worked in advertising and marketing, and her freelance articles on the web have garnered hundreds of thousands of views.

She writes amidst her five beautiful children, her dream come true. Besides writing, she loves to read, exercise and spend time outdoors. She is a member of Mensa. 

 

Social Media:

Website: https://melanieroseclarke.com/

Facebook: http://facebook.com/MelanieRoseClarke

Twitter: http://twitter.com/MelanieS_Clarke

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/melanieroseclarke/

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/melanie-rose-clarke

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/21196556.Melanie_Rose_Clarke

 

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Book Review with Featured Author: Out of the Mountain's Shadow by Rose Alexander

Out of the Mountain’s shadow 

by Rose Alexander

 


 

Publisher & Release: Canelo Saga, June 10, 2021


Setting:  WWII, Albania


Genre: Historical Fiction


Length: 247 Pages


Heat Level: 1 Sweetheart


Rating: 4.5 Gold Crowns


Book Description: 


A secret from the war with the power to change one woman’s future… 

1939: War has broken out, and in Albania Bekim’s family take in a Jewish family fleeing from Nazi Austria. The years of war will shape his life in unimaginable ways as Bekim grows to love Hannelore, doing everything in his power to protect her. But will he be enough to keep her safe?

2019: Following a shock redundancy, Ruth is taking an extended holiday in southern Italy where she befriends local Zak. When Zak’s dying father asks them to solve a mystery from his past, Ruth leaps at the chance. Journeying through his homeland of Albania, Ruth and Zak race to find the sacred artefacts hidden in the mountains during the war.

 

Buy Links:


Amazon: https://smile.amazon.com/Out-Mountains-Shadow-emotional-historical-ebook/dp/B091BZFNT3

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/out-of-the-mountains-shadow-rose-alexander/1139134576

KOBO: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/out-of-the-mountain-s-shadow

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Rose_Alexander_Out_of_the_Mountain_s_Shadow?id=IOEmEAAAQBAJ

 

Add to Goodreads & BookBub:


Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/57826301-out-of-the-mountain-s-shadow

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/books/out-of-the-mountain-s-shadow-an-emotional-world-war-two-historical-novel-by-rose-alexander

 

Vikki’s Musings

 

Thanks go to the publisher and Net-Galley for the complimentary digital copy of Out of the Mountain’s Shadow by Rose Alexander. I voluntarily agreed to read and review this book prior to publication. My opinions are my own, and nothing has influenced my rating.

 

Out of the Mountain’s Shadow is a well written novel with engaging characters and an emotionally charged plot. This book is written in dual timelines, one in 2019, and the other in WWII Albania. I thoroughly enjoyed this aspect of the book.

 

Ruth is the main character in the story set in 2019 in southern Italy. She’s on holiday where she meets Zak and agrees to help him solve a mystery for his dying father. I enjoyed her character a great deal. Her caring ways with her landlord’s young son stole my heart, and her determination to find Bekim’s first love made me love her even more.

 

Bekim is the main character in the story set in war-torn Albania and follows him from a young boy when he befriends Hannelore, a young Jewish child. As the war is fought around them, he falls in love while his family hides her family to keep them safe from the Natzi soldiers. He becomes a resistance fighter and fights to win his country’s freedom.

 

There are dual love stories in this book. Zak and Ruth are well matched, and I enjoyed their relationship a great deal. Then Bekim and Hannelore are wonderful. My heart wept for them when Hannelore leaves Albania bound for America.

 

This is a very emotional book, and it shows the stark reality of the brutal occupation of Albania by Natzi Germany. I loved learning about the resistance fighters and the fierce battle to protect their country.

 

If you enjoy historical fiction with amazing characters and an intriguing plot, then you will love Out of the Mountain’s Shadow. This is the first book I’ve read by Ms. Alexander but it will not be the last. Happy reading!

 

Author Bio:

 


I've had more careers than I care to mention and am currently working full-time as a secondary school English teacher. I write in the holidays, weekends and evenings, whenever I have a chance, although with three children, a husband, a lodger and a cat, this isn't always as often as I'd like. My book is the result of much hard work, research and patience. The greatest reward possible would be my readers' enjoyment, so I hope it does it for you!

 

Social Media:

Website: https://www.rosealexander.co.uk/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rose.alexander.98434

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RoseA_writer

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/rose-alexander

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3219717.Rose_Alexander

 

Sunday, June 6, 2021

Book Review with Featured Author: Admonition by Kathryn Amurra

Admonition by Kathryn Amurra

 


 

Publisher & Release: Independently Published, June 1, 2021


Setting:  115CE, Lugdunum (Present-day Lyon, France), Massilia (Present-day Marseille, France)


Genre: Historical Romance


Length: 228 Pages


Heat Level: 1 Sweetheart


Rating: 4.5 Gold Crowns


Book Description: 


Sabina is a young noblewoman who, based on her soothsayer aunt's prediction, believes her words are dangerous and will hurt those she loves. Following the death of her beloved husband, she takes a vow of silence to protect others from suffering the same fate. Ignored and scorned by those around her, who believe her to be cursed by the gods who took her voice, she is content to live in the shadow of her former life, avoiding society as best she can and staying away from the politics and drama of Rome's inner circles.


Lucius is an unwilling front-runner to inherit the title of Emperor from Rome's childless leader, Trajan. Although the soothsayer warns him to steer clear of a pretty face that hides a cursed soul, Lucius cannot help but be drawn to the silent and beautiful Sabina. After learning her secret, he is as determined to help her shed her cloak of silence as she is to keep him at a safe distance. But when Lucius becomes the target of a political plot, Sabina must decide whether breaking her silence will save his life or merely seal his fate.


Admonition was winner of the Georgia Romance Writers' 2020 Maggie Award for Excellence in the Unpublished Historical Romance category.

 

Buy Links:

 

Amazon: https://smile.amazon.com/Admonition-Soothsayers-Path-Book-2-ebook/dp/B096D4YK3B

 

Read for free on Kindle Unlimited

 

Add to Goodreads

 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58244186-admonition?from_search=true&from_srp=true&qid=6PqQzkCIsu&rank=2

 

Excerpt:

 

They walked along the path in silence toward the spot where her stepsister and Cyprian were standing, and she pushed her inappropriate thoughts of skin and warmth aside. She was in control, she told herself, the rhythmic sound of their sandals against the stone path reflecting her rigorous command of the situation. She raised her head a little higher and moved her shoulders back. He was to her like any other man; she was not a captive to his charms. Indeed, she had rejected his advances just the night before. Hadn’t she?

She observed that he, too, seemed unaffected by her presence at his side. It was not how she imagined he would be, and she found his behavior a little confusing. Perhaps she had misinterpreted the previous night’s incident with the rose. Perhaps he had meant nothing by it and held no grudge against her.

Glancing up at him, she noticed he wore a content half-smile on his lips. He was enjoying the feel of the fragrant evening breeze, no doubt.

They stopped near a small marble fountain several paces from where Cyprian and her stepsister still stood side-by-side. She could not hear the entirety of their conversation over the gentle splashing of the fountain, but every now and then she heard Priscilla’s girlish giggling, generally accompanied by nonsensical and high-pitched exclamations.

“Shall we stay here and give the two of them a moment, while of course strictly supervising their behavior from the shadow of the fountain?”

Sabina nodded her head in agreement. She could be at her stepsister’s side in a few seconds, should she see any action taken that would compromise her honor.

“Good. I appreciate the opportunity to have you to myself for a short time, as I would like to apologize for my behavior last night.”

She furrowed her brow in question as she tried to steady her breathing, which had become quick and shallow upon hearing him mention their encounter from the previous evening. She had just convinced herself that Lucius did not even remember her rejection of his flower. But here, he now wished to discuss it? And what reason could he possibly have for apologizing? He had merely presented her with a lovely flower to smell and perhaps place in her hair or in the folds of her dress. It was no more than any respectable young man would do as a gesture of thanks to a woman in his company. It was she who had been rude in refusing the innocent token. If an apology were warranted, it should have been from her.

She let go of his arm and shook her head, trying to convey that no apology was needed, but he only responded by taking a step closer to her.

“Pray, let me speak, for this weighs heavily on my conscience.”

With his face drawing slowly nearer to hers, she gave up all efforts of hiding her erratic breathing as she moved to step away from him. He caught one of her hands in his and reached up to trace the curve of her cheek with the fingers of his other hand.

“I was wrong last night, you see,” he began, his voice a low rumble, “for I thought you might enjoy a rose plucked from the governor’s bushes.”

His fingertips made their way down her cheek and onto her neck, then moved back to rest behind her head, his thumb making small circles near her jaw.

Unable to move under his touch, she closed her eyes and swallowed hard, then forced her eyes to reopen.

When he spoke again, his voice was even softer, and she strained to hear him over the sound of the fountain, unwittingly moving her face even closer to his. “I was such a fool. I now realize that what you wanted from me was not a flower at all . . .”

His mouth hovered over hers, and she wondered in a half-dazed state how it was that they could be so close and not touch.

“Rather,” he continued in barely a whisper, “what you truly desired was a kiss.”

Her heart stopped beating in her chest, and she closed her eyes. She could feel him there, so close, the warmth of his breath on her face, the heat that radiated from his skin warming hers. Her lips parted in a silent prayer that he would kiss her and end the torturous nearness.

 

 

Vikki’s Musings

 

Thanks goes the author for the complimentary digital copy of Admonition. An intriguing historical romance set in ancient times. I voluntarily agreed to read and review this book prior to publication. I apologize to the author for missing her publication date! My opinions are my own and nothing has influenced my rating.

 

Admonition is a well-written, emotionally charged romance with a plot that kept me reading, wanting to know what would happen next. There’s no doubt Ms. Amurra has done her research for this historical period and done it well.

 

Sabina is the heroine in this tale. She’s a young widow and her community believes she is cursed. She lives in a world of silence while she mourns her late husband. I enjoyed her character a great deal and my heart ached for her. She’s consumed by fear that if she loves again, a new husband could perish because of the curse.

 

Lucius is an incredible hero, and I quickly became vested in his character. He has the traits I most admire in a hero, and I loved his patience with Sabina. He never becomes frustrated with her, even when her fears could drive them apart. Near the end of the book, I could feel his heart ache over the betrayal he experiences. Since I don’t want to have any spoilers, you will need to read the book to understand my meaning!

 

The romance between Sabina and Lucius starts as simmering pot but slowly comes to a roaring boil by the end. The emotions between them is splendidly written. I truly wanted them to find their happy ending. 

 

If you enjoy historical novels set in ancient times with remarkable characters and an emotionally charged plot, then you will love Admonition as much as I did. This is the second book I’ve read by Ms. Amurra and both are wonderful. Happy reading!

 

Author Bio:

 


Kathryn Amurra is the author of Soothsayer's Path, a historical romance series of standalone books set in Ancient Rome around 115 CE. Her debut novel, Soothsayer, was published in May 2020, and her second novel Admonition will publish on June 5, 2021. Kathryn has been making up stories for as long as she can remember and writing since grade school. Against the advice of her 12th grade English teacher, she studied Mechanical Engineering in college, then worked as an Engineer for a few years. After finding and marrying her own hero, she and her hubby went to law school together. They currently live in North Carolina with their three girls and boxer pup.

 

 

Social Media:

Website: https://kathrynamurra.wixsite.com/mysite

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kathrynamurra/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AmurraKathryn

Email: http://kathrynamurra@gmail.com

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/kathryn-amurra

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20280375.Kathryn_Amurra