Friday, July 6, 2018

Review: Nancy Campbell Allen's Kiss of the Spindle



Book Description:

Kiss of the Spindle [A Proper Romance] by Nancy Campbell Allen



A steampunk Sleeping Beauty story from the author of Beauty and the Clockwork Beast.


Doctor Isla Cooper is cursed. Literally. Each night, at the stroke of midnight she falls into a death-like sleep from which she cannot be awakened for six hours. To make it worse, the curse has an expiration date--after a year, it becomes permanent. And the year is almost up.

In a desperate attempt to find Malette--the witch who cursed her--Isla blackmails her way onto Daniel Pickett's private airship bound for the Caribbean, only to discover she's traveling with three illegal shapeshifters and the despicable Nigel Crowe, a government official determined to hunt down and exterminate every shapeshifter in England. Isla and Daniel must work together to keep the identities of the shapeshifters hidden while coming to terms with their own hidden secrets, and their blossoming attraction to each other.


Filled with suspense, intrigue, and plenty of romance, Kiss of the Spindle is steampunk Sleeping Beauty story. It is a race against the clock as Isla and Daniel try to hunt down the elusive Malette before Isla's death-like sleep becomes permanent.


My Review:


Okay, you are going to think I love every book I ever read. You're also going to think I never rate a book less than five stars. Close. I do love almost every book I read. It's so fantastic that the writing world is NOT a competition. There's room for all authors to be great (not that all are) but I don't have to rate one over another. I kind of hate it when someone asks me my favorite author or favorite book. An impossible question, am I right? But I digress. The fact of the matter is, if I don't like a book, I don't review it. I don't always finish every book I start. If I don't connect with it, I don't recommend it to anyone else. This book, though, well, .... here's what I thought.

I have been waiting for this book ever since Beauty & the Clockwork Beast! While I absolutely adore any book written by Nancy Campbell Allen, these steampunk fairy tales are the best! What a treat to be able to read this book. It didn’t disappoint—in fact, I love how the author is able to surprise and impress me every time. Her characters in this book are fantastic, and the setting just great. The best part, of course, is the twist on the fairy tale. Well done!! Read this book! You’ll love it.



Kiss of the Spindle

A Proper Romance by Nancy Campbell Allen

Available in paperback, ebook, and audiobook

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And don't forget to add it to your Goodreads!





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Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Review: Miss Wilton's Waltz by Josi Kilpack


Book Description:

Miss Wilton's Waltz [A Proper Romance] by Josi Kilpack


Lenora Wilton has spent her life hiding behind the keys of her beloved pianoforte and the vibrancy of her younger sister, Cassie. But Lenora is ready for a change and travels to Bath to live with her Aunt Gwen and teach music at an all-girls boarding school. She is different in Bath more comfortable with herself and enjoys the freedom and independence of her new life there.

When Lenora meets Aiden Asher, she finds herself attracted to him, but her unexpected feelings become more complicated when she learns that Catherine Lenora's newest and most troublesome student in the school is Mr. Asher's niece. Catherine is a difficult student, and Lenora works hard to make progress with the girl.

When the chemistry between Lenora and Aiden increases, they share a passionate kiss by the River Avon, and Lenora feels it is the beginning of a new forever until she learns that Aiden has withheld an important detail about his life that changes everything.

Lenora closes her heart to him, and Aiden, caught between his obligation and his heart, must do what he can to make amends. And Lenora, after years of hiding from everyone and everything, faces a decision only she can make.


My Review:


I adore this book! A sequel to Kilpack's The Vicar's Daughter (2017) that I suggest you read first, Miss Wilton's Waltz takes us through getting to know the character of Lenora more intimately from the side character she was in the first book. Some things I appreciate about Kilpack's writing: the fact that she can take one family and create such distinct books and situations--I like reading a sequel that doesn't feel like a carbon copy of the first book. In addition, Kilpack carefully crafts characters that are easy to fall in love with and root for. I felt that the introverted  Lenora might have been difficult to write, but Kilpack does an amazing job with this! So believable and charming. Aiden is the perfect gentleman, a quiet hero that complements Lenora exactly. I couldn't love this book more!





Miss Wilton's Waltz

A Proper Romance by Josi Kilpack

Available in paperback, ebook, and audiobook

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And don't forget to add it to your Goodreads!






Friday, April 20, 2018

The Lemonade Year by Amy Willughby-Burle


Book Description:

The Lemonade Year by Amy Willoughby-Burle


Nina’s once-sweet life has unexpectedly turned sour. Her marriage is over, her job is in jeopardy, and her teenage daughter is slipping away from her. Then her father dies and issues with Nina’s mother come to a head; her estranged brother, Ray, comes home; and her sister, Lola, is tempted to blow a big family secret out of the water. They say the truth will set you free, but first it will make a huge mess of things.

All Nina’s got left is her final photography assignment shooting images for the book 32 Ways to Make Lemonade. Well, that and the attention of a younger man, but Oliver’s on-again-off-again romantic interest in her ebbs and flows so much she is seasick. And then Jack, her ex-husband, shows up, wanting to get back together.

As Nina struggles to find a way through her complicated relationships and to uncover her true path, she discovers just how valuable a second chance at life and happiness can be.


My Review:


I'm sorry, folks, but I am smack-dab in the middle of a 1200-mile move all while my youngest child is graduating high school and going off to college sooner than expected, and I just didn't get a chance to finish reading the book yet. So... I can't actually review it for you.

As you know, women's fiction is one of my favorite genres--I mean, come on, I wrote three myself--but with everything I had going on right now, I just wasn't feeling the women's fiction vibe. Be warned, however, since this blog is about "good and clean reads": while The Lemonade Year is published by Shadow Mountain, at least in the first few chapters I read, the character consumption of alcohol and coffee is normal behavior and several are involved in non-married relations.

Again, I hope I get the chance to read and enjoy The Lemonade Year by Amy Willoughby-Burle in a month or two when my life slows down and I can sit on my porch swing, sip my lemonade, and see how the main character, Nina, manages to make lemonade from the trials of her life.


The Lemonade Year

by Amy Willoughby-Burle

Available in paperback, ebook, and audiobook

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And don't forget to add it to your Goodreads!





Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Review: Rachael Anderson's "My Sister's Intended"


Book Description:

My Sister's Intended by Rachael Anderson


For as long as Prudence can remember, it has been understood that her sister will one day wed the eldest son of their nearest neighbor. Such an alliance will benefit both families and bring a great deal of joy to all parents involved.

Unfortunately, Prudence has never been able to feel as joyful. She believes her sister is mad to consider marrying a man she hardly knows, even if he will one day make her a countess. Titles and wealth shouldn't factor into matters of the heart, and as an aspiring romance novelist, Prudence cannot fathom how anyone could even think of settling for less than love. She certainly wouldn’t, and she doesn't want her sister to either.

Unable to stand by and do nothing, Prudence sets out to help the awkward couple discover the best in each other with the hope that they will eventually find love. What she neglected to foresee, however, was the possibility that she might fall in love with Lord Knave herself.


My Review:


It seems I say this every single time I read a novel by Rachael Anderson, but I LOVED this book! And this book was my favorite so far. The main character, Prudence, is exactly my kind of gal, and not just because she dreams of writing a sweet romance. Lord Knave was definitely a swoon-worthy guy in looks and manners and he sees Prudence for who she is and falls in love with her because of it. I'm not going to spoil the ending, but it was perfect. The way the couple handled the situation at the end made me insanely happy. Read this book! You will love it!




My Sister's Intended

by Rachael Anderson

Available in paperback, ebook, and audiobook

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And don't forget to add it to your Goodreads!





Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Review: Ashes on the Moor by Sarah M. Eden


Book Description:

Ashes on the Moor [A Proper Romance] by Sarah M. Eden


The life of an impoverished schoolteacher is not one Evangeline Blake would have chosen for herself. Torn from her home and her beloved sister and sent to work in the gritty factory town of Smeatley, Evangeline must prove herself to her grandfather, a man who values self-reliance above all else, before he will grant her access to her inheritance. Raised to be a lady of refinement, she hasn't any of the skills necessary to manage on her own nor does she have the first idea how to be a teacher. But failure means never being with her sister again.

Alone and overwhelmed, she turns to the one person in town who seems to know how she feels—Dermot McCormick, an Irish brick mason who is as far from home and as out of place as she is. Despite the difference in their classes and backgrounds, Evangeline and Dermot's tentative friendship deepens and grows. Her determination and compassion slowly earn her the faith and confidence of the skeptical residents of Smeatley, who become like the family she has lost.

But when a secret from her past comes to light, Evangeline faces an impossible choice: seize the opportunity to reclaim her former life and rejoin her sister or fight for the new life she has struggled to build for herself—a life that includes Dermot.

Ashes on the Moor is the inspiring love story of one Victorian woman's courage to fight against all odds, and the man whose quiet strength gives her the confidence to keep trying.


My Review:


I have to be honest that sweet contemporary romances are my favorite, but if I'm in the mood for historical that's not regency, Sarah M. Eden's books satisfy that craving, and Ashes on the Moor did not disappoint. I love how Eden is able to teach me things about history without me feeling like I was in school. Like the main character, Evangeline, Eden makes it fun to learn by reading what stories that speak to my heart.

I found the character of Evangeline, a smart and independent woman, refreshing and strong. Dermot is amazing and one of my favorite heroes. I love the balance of his softer, protective side shown to both Evangeline and Ronan, and his sense of humor and hard work. And little Ronan... ahh.

Wonderful characters, interesting setting, and a perfect lesson of independence, persistence, and priority. This book is sweet and perfect for anyone looking for an escape back in time.




Ashes on the Moor

A Proper Romance by Sarah M. Eden

Available in paperback, ebook, and audiobook

(click the images below to jump to each store).



And don't forget to add it to your Goodreads!