Book Review: A Bride for Keeps by Melissa Jagears

A Bride for Keeps by Melissa Jagears was a sweet story but one that I found a little plodding at times.

Everett Cline has the misfortune of having many would be bride but no actual wife.  Julia Lockwood is running from an unsuitable arrangement back home.  A meaningful friend thinks it would be great if the two of them get hitched…but things don’t always work out the way that they should.

Everett is understandably gun-shy when it comes to women, and pretty women are even scarier than those that are less than attractive and Julia Lockwood is definitely attractive.  Everett feels he doesn’t have much to offer Ms. Lockwood and so he keeps his distance for fear of getting his heart stepped on.  Will he ever be able to find the helpmate, partner and love he so desperately wants?

Julia wants to prove that she can be a helpmate, but as the pampered child of a business man, she knows more about servants serving her than actually serving anyone.  She worries that she will only be considered a pretty face and nothing more.  She wants to be a woman with worth.  Julia also has some deep secrets that she fears have ruined her for life.  Will she ever be able to be to get passed this or will it forever determine her future?

I found the plot plodding only because I felt the author took too long to develop the characters personas.  At times it felt that we were given the same information over and over again about these two characters but then it never really went anywhere.  I think the plot would have moved much more quickly and the relationship would have been better developed if the two characters were more open with one another earlier on.  A greater depth of character would have made this book a lot more interesting.  I was not emotionally involved in these two characters though I did think their story was sweet in a simple way.

The sub plot’s within the story were interesting, especially with Everett and all of his potential brides who no longer belonged to him and how that dynamic played out.  I sort of wished that Julia’s past came up to find her and I felt that was a little unresolved.

All in all, this is a sweet story about two people who are both looking for the same thing; acceptance for who they truly are.

I was sent this book by Bethany House Publishers.  I am under no obligation to review it favorably, but I did since I enjoyed it.

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Book Review: The Bridgertons: Happily Ever After by Julia Quinn

In Julia Quinn’s The Bridgertons: Happily Ever After is her latest novel about the Bridgertons, the prolific family from eight of her novels.  Starting with:

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And there are two other novels involving a character named Mrs. Whistledown… she makes wonderfully acerbic remarks about everyone… but no one knows who she is!

This 2nd Epilogue was designed to put and ending to some of the many questions that many readers had about the lives of their favorite characters.  And Gentle Reader, they are good.  How can you resist such sweet little gems that include trickery, tom-foolery, love, romance, laughter, tears and life?

Kate and Anthony have a 2nd and it is AMAZING.  I love it when I can fall right back into a story as if I have never left.  And it is witty!  Who can resist a game of Pall Mall and the “Mallet of Death”!?

Daphne and Simon are involved in a story that intertwines with Colin and Penelope.  It is both lovely and heart wrenching.  If you are parent, you will know what I mean.

We learn what happens to Ms. Posy Reiling after her defection from her mother, Araminta.

We get to find out what happened between Eloise and Penelope and the HUGE secret between them…this story had my laughing because of one particular scene.

An interesting twist was the first person narration for Eloise’s step daughter and how she falls in love.

Francesca and Michael have a wonderful tale of heartbreak and love.  And it is lovely to see it end so well.  (I mean that in a good way)

Hyacinth and Gareth are amusing as always.  And Isabella is definitely a chip off the old block!

Gregory and Lucy had the MOST heart wrenching 2nd of the series.  It had me in tears.

There were a few surprises and I am still questioning who the man was that Violet (Violet, the mother FINALLY gets a small story…and she is rather fierce throughout the stories, so she definitely deserves to have her own story.) was dancing with.  I would have loved to have seen a story with her…but her love story is sweetly tragic!  We finally learn how she and Edmund met.

I would suggest reading all these stories (Kate and Benedict’s story is my favorite) before you delve into the 2nd Epilogues.

Happy reading, Gentle Reader!

I pulled the book covers off of Julia Quinn’s website.

 

Book Review: With This Kiss-Part Three by Eloisa James

Oh My!, gentle reader.

The ending of this novella is fabulous.  I absolutely loved it!  There is not much more than I can say, other than…I wished it were a full length novel.

Now, I am going to share with you some fun!

Eloise James has a Facebook page where you can connect with other readers.  The group I joined was specifically for With This Kiss.  And we had so much fun, not only discussing and dissecting this novella, but other Eloisa James books.

The other nice thing about her FB page is that she posted “in-between” the chapters specifically for this novella so we could read what was happening between key characters.  That made it so much more interesting.  AND Eloisa actually pops in and visits, answers questions and gets involved.

HOW COOL IS THAT?!?!?!  (Insert little girl squeal!)  🙂

I cannot wait to read more stories based on characters from this novella including a much maligned twin sister; a broken-hearted betrothed, and children with wicked senses of humor!  Does that not sound fabulous?

Happy reading, Gentle Reader!

Book Review: With This Kiss Part 2

Yesterday, Eloisa James’ 2nd part of her serial novella, With this Kiss, was released.

Ugh! Super frustrated!  IT WAS TOO SHORT!!!!

Don’t get me wrong gentle reader, it was fantastic!  But, just as I was getting into the reading…it ENDED!!!

In this installment, we meet up again with Collin and find out what has happened to him.  Stupid, noble, man…not to be confused with stupid nobleman.

Grace is being Grace and Lily is being Lily…but wait, is there something else going on…possibly…between Lily and Grace’s betrothed, McIngle???  (This reader really hopes so!)

There’s a carriage ride, a fall from grace…hehehe, such a bad pun…a false marriage and a wounded warrior.

I don’t want to wait until next week to find out what happens next.  Sigh.  Guess I will have to because part 3 doesn’t come out till next Tuesday.  Grrrr…

If you get a chance, Eloisa James has a Facebook group that you can join.  She posted a little side conversation that happens between the serial’s.  Good fodder to keep her readers happy and in a constant state of delirium…waiting for what happens next.

Happy reading, Gentle Reader!

Book Review: With This Kiss: Part One by Eloisa James

I am a HUGE Eloisa James fan.  She is one of my guilty pleasures…a good old fashioned historical romance writer.

With This Kiss: Part One is the story of two children from two previous stories.  Grace is the daughter of the Duke of Ashbourne (The Ugly Duchess).  She is oh so proper, unlike her younger sister, Lily.

Colin is the adopted son of Sir Griffin Barry (Seduced by a Pirate) and has always been amused by Lily.  In fact, he mistakes Grace for Lily…though, let me be clear, there should be no mistake.

Colin gets older and joins the navy.  Grace (and Lily) stay home and grow up.  Grace becomes even more talented at reading people and painting portraits, while Lily becomes a more audacious flirt.

What ensues next is a series of letters, portraits, unrequited love and tragedy.

I actually felt real sorrow when I was reading some of Colin’s innermost thoughts which doesn’t happen often.

This was a short read…and took me no more than 1/2 an hour to read.  It is a serial part of a novella.  Sigh…and it is good.  The next part will be released March 19th, 2013.

YAY!  But I totally hate waiting a week to read more.  I am NOT a patient person! 😉

Happy reading, gentle readers.

Book Review: The Tutor’s Daughter by Julie Klassen

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I was not sure what to expect when I selected The Tutor’s Daughter from my monthly list of books that I am able to review from Bethany House.  I have never read any Julie Klassen books before and I am sometimes leery of reading an author I know nothing about.  The description of the book was engaging and held my interest versus any of the other books.  I am also very choosey when it comes to period pieces since I am a traditional historical romance novel nut…and this foray into Christian Historical romance can sometimes be interesting.  That is not to say that I do not enjoy the writing, because I do…but definitely not what I am used to.  And I mean that in a very good way, gentle reader.  Don’t get me wrong, I can say I am happy with my choice.

The Tutor’s Daughter is a story about Emma Smallwood and her father.  They run a small, but slightly prestigious boys academy in the Devonshire, England.  Emma’s mother passes away and her father seems to lose interest in life and his surroundings, leaving an unfair burden on Emma.  Emma shoulders the responsibility but there is a longing in her that the reader can feel long before she even expresses the words herself.  Emma is a very dutiful daughter and since this is a period piece, it is nice that the author stuck with what would typically happen in this time frame.

The last student is leaving their establishment and Emma’s father has no inclination to get any more students.  Emma is left trying to figure out what they are going to do.  She makes a rash decision and decides to write to a former patron of the school to see if his other son’s would like to come.  She receives a letter back and it seems to be the answer to her and her father’s prayers…or is it?

Emma has a past with the older two sons of the their former patron.  The eldest son,  Henry, is a thorn in her side while he is at their school.  The reader is taken to the past as Emma recalls the incidents between her and Henry.  He is rude, sarcastic and sullen.  He plays tricks on Emma and steals her things.  He does not seem like a very likable person.  On the other hand, the younger son, Phillip seems to be everything that Henry is not.  Likable, amiable and nice.  How will Emma fit into their lives, now seven years later?

Emma and her father embark on a short journey but enter into a household in upheaval.  They are not wanted by the Mistress of the house and the Master seems to be floating through life without knowing what is going on under his own roof.

The story in engaging and leaves the reader wanting more.  There is plenty of suspense, love, heartache and redemption.  There is a sweet story of finding God in unexpected places and you start to root for Henry and Emma.  But which brother will she end up choosing, if she chooses one at all?

You will have to read The Tutor’s Daughter to find out.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I was very happy to have received it from Bethany House for review.  I look forward to reading more of Julie Klassen’s works in the future.