Our Reviews

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Monday, July 29, 2013

Genevieve Graham
Berkley Sensation
ISBN# 978-0-425-25489-9
July 2013
Historical Romance

Set in early America, 1730 North Carolina and after, young Maggie Johnson has always been able to see the presence of a young boy through her gift of sight. Through the years, they both can see each other in their dreams and visions, feel each other and help each other as they grow up. Then a horrific tragedy occurs, sending Maggie and her sisters down a dark path. Far across the ocean in the Highlands, Scottish warrior Andrew MacDonnell has watched the lovely girl grow into a beautiful woman. As he's watched in helpless rage, he sees her fight for her life in a twist of circumstances. However, his own life has taken a dramatic turn on a fateful day. As he struggles for survival, he vows to find his mysterious lady and make her his own.

This book is quite different from the usual historical romances on the shelves. First, there is little romance. It reads more like a drama play, each scene is set and plays out like episodes. The story switches between the heroine and hero often so the reader can see what they are going through and feel how desperately they want to find each other. Maggie's plight is horrendous, but she is able to overcome her situation through sheer will and faith that things will get better and that she will be able to find Andrew. Ms. Graham's writing is intense and dramatic but at the same time lyrical in it's prose. You are lulled into the setting, and without giving much away, she has the heroine living with the Cherokee people in North Carolina for a time. Seeing this setting was exciting, as few authors can do justice to the American Indian, but I believe Ms. Graham captures the essence of the Cherokee people beautifully. Andrew is a bold, brave Scottish hero, who has faced his own traumas with bravery, yet we still see the vulnerable side of him without him becoming a soggy mess. And as he makes his way toward Maggie, you can feel the pull these two have to one another. Still, it is more like a historical fiction rather than a historical romance, as there is very little romantic scenes except through their wants and visions. It is romantic in the sense that these two are romantically inclined and destined towards one another, but it is an intangible thing for most of the book. Bottom line, it is quite a unique story and setting and well worth it for those who enjoy something different.

Reviewed by: Jennifer Jones
Rating: 4

July Paranormal Release

Dark Age Dawning-Book 1
Ellen Connor
Berkley Sensation
ISBN: 978-0-425-26681-6
July 2013
Jenna always thought her father was way south of crazy, now she wonders if she just might have been wrong. When she is kidnapped by Mason and unceremoniously tossed in the trunk of her own car she is madder than hell, but her circumstances change when the world looses power and she sees what lurks outside the safety of the cabin she and Mason now share. There are demon looking dogs and Jenna and Mason are on the menu. Jenna changes and the stoic Mason gives little away only telling her that he made a promise to her father to keep her safe when the time was right. Mason has been fighting theses demons for a while and has prepared for the Dark Age they are now facing, only he didn't prepare for the feelings he has for Jenna. She is a distraction that he is not ready for and as more survivors knock on their door, he finds himself even more unprepared for the fight he is facing. Jenna knows that Mason is tied in knots by all the changes, but she is going to do everything in her power to save them all, even if it means breaking down Mason barriers one by one. 
NIGHTFALL is book one in the post apocalyptic trilogy and a great and exciting read for those with a penchant for this sort of tale.
Reviewed by Lori Sears
Rating: 4

Friday, July 26, 2013

A Most Delightful Read

Ladies Unlaced #1
Maggie Robinson
Berkley Sensation
ISBN 978-0-425-26581-9
July 2013
Historical Romance

The year is 1903 and heiress Louisa Stratton is returning home to England after a year of freedom gaddying about the continent with her best friend and maid, Kathleen. Returning home to Rosemont, the ancestral pile, with her is her 'husband,' Maxmillian Norwich, newly hired from the Evensong Agency. Capt. Charles Cooper, injured Boer War veteran, will impersonate Louisa's fictional husband created to mollify her horrified and stuffy aunt during the days Louisa lit the continent on fire with her escapades. Now Aunt Grace expects the adventuresome, 'poor little rich girl' and Maxmillian at Rosemont for the Christmas holidays...Captain Charles Cooper is no rich, cultured paragon invented by Louisa's fevered imagination, but is a product of the working class even if he had been selected to attend Harrow. Now he is a war veteran, injured in body and soul by the war and its atrocities, trying to drink the memories and nightmares away, intending to commit suicide and leave his family his journals explaining everything, and the large lucrative fee paid to him for masquerading as Maxmillian Norwich. As the dependable, heroic Charles and the effervescent, independent Louisa find their way to each other's arms, the magic of love and healing begins for them both. Yet all is not quite right at Rosemont: someone intends to do harm to Mr. and Mrs. Norwich.

IN THE ARMS OF THE HEIRESS is a historical romance novel not to be missed. The time period, the characters both primary and secondary, the writing, the humor, the suspense and the sensuality all add up to make this novel extraordinary. Louisa's such a fun heroine, madcap, vivacious, a 'Chattin' Stratton' as the hero calls her, imaginative, and oh, such a modern woman of 1903 with her fast automobile and views on sex. You will not want to say goodbye to Louisa and Charles! If you are looking for an entertaining, page-turning read, then IN THE ARMS OF THE HEIRESS is it!

4 1/2
Reviewed by Debora Hosey