Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Book Review: A BRIDE FOR A SEASON by Jennifer Delamere

Lucinda Cardington was nothing like the other social butterflies of London’s polite society. Socially awkward Lucinda found herself at parties always wishing she could melt into the walls and disappear. Her little sister Emily on the other hand was her complete opposite. She loved all the girly things in life like dresses, parties, and men. The sisters made social appearances regularly and the Beauchamp ball was another event Lucinda cringed at being forced into going. Emily partied the night away pursuing London’s most eligible bachelor James Simpson. Caring nothing for these events she stole away from the party with a photography book even though her father did not approve of her reading such books. By chance she accidentally crossed paths with James and rekindled their mutual love for photography. Emily was always hot on James heels and she burst in and ruined the moment they shared.

Later that night Lucinda caught Emily sneaking out of her room to surprise James at his scandalous gentlemen’s club. Fearing her sisters reputation would be forever destroyed Lucinda had no other option but to follow her and force her sister to come home before it was too late.  Arriving at the club just in time to see her sister in a secret embrace with James, Lucinda threw a hissy fit to get her sister home. But the whole time a gossip reporter was documenting the whole drama as it unfolded. It would be the top story in the Times gossip column the next morning. To save Emily’s reputation James the long time bachelor decided it was time he settled himself down with a wife. Emily was young and frivolous but he felt in time she would grow to become the woman he really needed yet there was one problem in the way.  The sister’s father had put one condition on the engagement agreement; James must help find Lucinda a husband before he could marry Emily. It would be no easy task and the more time he spent with Lucinda the more he developed feelings for this unique woman.

3/5 Loved this one too but I have to admit the ending was a bit too cheesy for me. I still read it and enjoyed it greatly. This is the third book in the Loves Grace trilogy that I highly recommend for romantic historical fiction lovers

PG - 13 rating for slight sexual reference

FTC - This novel is from my personal collection.
Amazon A Bride for a Season by Jennifer Delamere

Book Review: A LADY MOST LOVELY by Jennifer Delamere

Margaret Vaughn was part of London’s social elite. She put up a good front hiding the fact that her father had died leaving her seriously in debt on the verge of financial ruin. Realizing she had little options of saving her family estate she knew she had to marry into money or loose everything. Her fiancé at the time was a well-bred entrepreneur that would have the resources to bring her back from the brink of finical ruin. Everything was working out as planned until after some careful detective work she found out that her fiancé was a fraud and a liar. Breaking off the engagement Margaret found herself in serious trouble with her debtors.

Tom Poole had freshly arrived from making a fortune in gold mining in Australia. He was struggling to fit in with London’s polite society. His sister Lizzie was forcing him into social circles he was not fond of. The first time he saw Margaret at her engagement ball he knew on the spot that she must be his at whatever the cost. In a coincidental turn of fate Tom barged into Margaret’s home with the intention of rescuing her. The aggressive loan sharks had forced themselves into her home demanding payment of all loans immediately. Being the willful woman that Margaret was she refused Toms offer of help and his hastily stated marriage proposal. Margaret realized that she had no other choice but to strike a deal with him to save her estate. Tom would loan her the funds she desperately needed while putting her families racehorses up as collateral.  There was no denying that she felt a connection to this rough adventure man from Australia. Yet Margaret had always done everything alone and saving her family estate was no different. Tom found he could not give up on her. He knew Margaret was tough on the outside but he was determined to beak down the walls she worked so hard on keeping up.

5/5 LOVED this one too! It was super romantic and I honestly could not tell where the story was going to go. One second she hated him and in another she acted like she loved him. If you enjoy romance with a historical flare I highly recommend this trilogy. This is book is number two in the Loves Grace trilogy.

PG - 13 rating for slight sexual reference
FTC - This novel is from my personal collection.
Amazon A Lady Most Lovely by Jennifer Delamere

Monday, December 28, 2015

Book Review: THE POISONED CROWN by Maurice Druon

King Louis X of France was a weak king. He inherited none of his father’s noble features. He ordered his first wife strangled and his heart was now set upon his marriage to the beautiful Princess Clemence of Hungary. Her arrival from Italy was a tumultuous sea journey. Her ship barely survived the sea crossing. Married almost on the spot they immediately found themselves in the middle of a blood feud between Robert of Artois and his headstrong aunt Mahaut.  The battle between the two was a never-ending drama fest. Robert was still insisting that his aunt stole his right to rule Artois. Determined as he was Robert would never give up his fight and might end up causing an all out civil war in the process.

As if the fights between Robert and Mahaut were not enough, king Louis decides this was the perfect time to go wager war against Flanders. Failing miserably he retreated home and finds his wife disgruntled over his past discretions. Louis finally opens up to Clemence and tells her everything including the details of his first wife’s death. Clemence being the pious woman demands that does penance for all his dastardly deeds and ends up bringing out Louis’ better nature. Soon after Clemence finds herself with child and the war between Robert of Artois and Mahaut reaches its highest point forcing Louis’ hand. He forces them to peace terms, which left many of the nobles extremely unhappy with the terms and some in disgrace. It was a social war Louis was fighting in his court with no end in sight. Waiting for his child to be born Louis finds the only peace he ever had was with Clemence that is until the Templars curse came back to destroy another member of the Iron Kings family.

4/5 I love this series. All the novels have been short, to the point, brutal and scandalous all in one. This is the third novel in the Accursed Kings series by Druon. I would highly recommend this series but I would not recommend reading this as a stand-alone novel because you will need the back history to make sense of the intrigues of the later novels.

PG -13 Rating for mild violence and sexual references.
FTC- this novel is part of my personal collection

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Book Review: AN HEIRESS AT HEART by Jennifer Delamere

Victorian era Lizzie Poole had made many bad choices in her life but running away to Australia with her brother was not one of them. In Australia the pair met a beautiful couple that would impact their lives deeply. Lizzie and her new friend Ria were each other’s doppelgangers; the resemblance between the two was striking. In a tragic turn of events Lizzie looses everything including her new best friend Ria.  Upon Ria’s deathbed she forced Lizzie promise to return to her family in England and take her place to right all the wrongs Ria had done to her family.

Left with no other choice Lizzie went back to her native England but this time as Ria, Lizzie Poole no longer existed. Upon her arrival Lizzie almost lost her courage to go to Ria’s grandmother Lady Thornborough. In a flash Lizzie was hit by a passing carriage and knocked completely out of her senses.  Almost knocked to death Lizzie was lucky that the man in the carriage had scooped her up out of the street to safety. Coincidently the man in the carriage was Geoffrey Somerville, Ria’s own brother in-law that she had never met. Geoffrey ran Lizzie to the closest friendly home he knew and that was Lady Thornborough’s grand home.  Geoffrey took her to the one place she needed to be.

Before coming to her senses Lizzie is almost immediately taken for Ria by the household staff. Upon waking she confirms to all that she really is Ria the runaway granddaughter of Lady Thornborough. Officially taking Ria’s place meant that Lizzie was now part of London’s elite upper class and not poor Lizzie from the working class. As she comes to and put everything together she realizes that this handsome man that carried her here was actually Ria’s brother in-law making her charade of becoming Ria even more complicated. How long could she keep this up? Her plan was to go on indefinitely as Ria but she suddenly finds herself falling head over heels in love with the one man Ria was not ever meant to have. 

5/5 I LOVED this novel. I happened to find this book at my work and was so bored one night that I picked it up and gave it a go. I literally could not put this book down. I read it in two days because the story was more of an adventure than a love story. I would highly recommend this novel because it was romantic in all the right ways with a flare of adventure that added up to a real page-turner.

PG -13 Rating for mild violence

FTC – This novel is part of my personal collection
Amazon An Heiress at Heart by Jennifer Delamere

Monday, December 21, 2015

Mailbox Monday: Ken Follett

World Without End by Ken Follett
"Eighteen years after the publication of The Pillars of the Earth, Ken Follett has written the the long awaited sequel, World Without End.World Without End takes place in the same town of Kingsbridge, two centuries after the townspeople finished building the exquisite Gothic cathedral that was at the heart of The Pillars of the Earth. The cathedral and the priory are again at the center of a web of love and hate, greed and pride, ambition and revenge, but this sequel stands on its own. This time, the men and women among an extraordinary cast of characters find themselves at a crossroad of new ideas -- about medicine, commerce, architecture, and justice. In a world where proponents of the old ways fiercely battle those with progressive minds, the intrigue and tension quickly reach a boiling point against the devastating backdrop of the greatest natural disaster ever to strike the human race: the Black Death".

Friday, December 18, 2015

Book Review: ROYAL LOVE STORIES by Gill Paul

This book is a visually stunning compilation of fourteen real love stories of the royals through out Europe. Many of the stories mentioned had tragic ends but not all of them. The book includes sections on: Peter I of Portugal, Ines de Castro, Shah Jahan, Mumtaz Mahal, Catherine the Great, Gregory Potemkin, Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette, Napoleon Bonaparte, Josephine de Beauharnais, Ludwig I of Bavaria, Lola Montez, Victor Emmanuel II, Rosa Vercellana, Rudolph Crown Prince of Austria, Baroness Mary Vetsera, Nicholas of Russia, Alexandria, Edward VII, Wallis Simpson, Prince Bertilof of Sweden, Lilian Craig, Prince Rainier III, Grace Kelly, King Hussein of Jordan, Lisa Halaby, Prince William, and Catherine Middleton.

My favorite of the love stories was Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal. In a time where rulers had numerous wives, I found their love unique and truly moving. Shah Jahan loved his wife dearly and he literally could not spend a day with out her. She even went to battle with him pregnant and when she died he spent his final years building the Taj Mahal for her mausoleum. His plan was to build one for each of them but his son took over the throne and locked him away before he could start his own mausoleum.

5/5 Visually stunning, this non-fiction work is detailed with pictures and facts about the era of the story mentioned. I picked up this lovely book from Barnes and Noble in the bargain book section for 10$. I absolutely could not pass up this one because Grace Kelly is drop dead gorgeous on the cover. I would highly recommend this book to history lovers across the board because it is visually stimulating and is a great addition to any library.

PG – 13 Rating for mild mentions of sex and violence.

FTC- this novel is from my personal collection.
Amazon Royal Love Stories by Gill Paul
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