Monday, April 17, 2023

A Perfect British Romance....


Book Summary (Amazon): Lieutenant Charles Heywood has had his fill of adventure. Battle-weary and disillusioned, he returns to England, resolved to settle down to a quiet, uneventful life on an estate of his own. But arranging to purchase the property he desires is more difficult than Charles ever imagined. The place is mired in secrets, some of which may prove deadly. If he’s going to unravel them, he’ll need the assistance of someone as daring as he is.

At only twenty, Lady Katherine Beresford has already earned a scandalous reputation. As skilled with pistols as she is on horseback, she’s never met an obstacle she can’t surmount—or a man she can’t win. That is, until she encounters the infuriatingly somber Lieutenant Heywood. But Kate refuses to be deterred by the raven-haired soldier’s strong, silent facade. After all, faint heart never won handsome gentleman.

From the wilds of rural Somersetshire to the glittering ballrooms of early-Victorian London, Charles and Kate embark on a cross-country quest to solve a decades’ old mystery. Will the greatest danger be to their hearts—or to their lives?

My thoughts...Some days I just want to curl up with a historical romance and be transported to one of my favorite places...England. And who better to take me there than Mimi Matthews?! I've read all of her novels to date, and each one has affected me differently. All of them are closed door romances, but the way Mimi builds the tension is fantastic. I also love the variety of characters and two are alike.

    All of this is true, once again, in Return to Satterthwaite Court. While this novel does travel down the family tree to the children of two of her previous literary couples, Charles and Kate have a unique story of their own. Charles has a bit of tunnel vision, set on establishing his own estate, not necessarily with a lady by his side. Kate enters like a whirlwind and helps him see some other options, and I love her for it! For me, she is the shining star of this novel. I admired the way her confidence and intentions towards Charles were portrayed. She was definitely ahead of her time, not waiting for him to take the initiative, but saw what (or whom) she wanted and didn't let societal rules get in her way! She made herself known, but wasn't off-putting or offensive. She's quickly become a new favorite heroine! The mystery aspect was not too suspenseful, but added a little more intrigue to the plot. I liked the way it added another connection to some of Mimi's previous novels. You don't have to read these other novels, however, to enjoy this one.

    Go grab your copy of Return to Satterthwaite Court!

Many thanks to Mimi, Rel Mollet, and the publisher for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest review, which I gave.


Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Happy Valentine's Day! It's the perfect day for a new romance!

 Book Summary (Amazon):After surviving a trauma several years back, Remy Reed relocated to a cottage on one of Maine’s most remote islands. She’s arranged her life just the way she wants it, spending her time working on her wood sculptures and soaking in the beauty of nature. It’s quiet and solitary—until the day she spots something bobbing in the ocean.

Her binoculars reveal the “something” to be a man, and he’s struggling to keep his head above water. She races out to save him and brings him into her home. He’s injured, which doesn’t detract from his handsomeness nor make him any easier to bear. He acts like a duke who’s misplaced his dukedom . . . expensive tastes, lazy charm, bossy ideas.

Remy would love nothing more than to return him to his people, but he has no recollection of his life prior to the moment she rescued him. Though she’s not interested in relationships other than the safe ones she’s already established, she begins to realize that he’s coming to depend on her.

Who is he? What happened that landed him in the Atlantic Ocean? And why is she drawn to him more and more as time goes by?

There’s no way to discover those answers except to walk beside him down memory lane.

My thoughts...First of all...I LOVE the fresh, new cover art for this book! It's so different from Becky's previous novels, but it's fabulous. The details give clues to the story and really draw you in before even starting the story.

    Not only is the cover art different, but the tone of this novel feels different. The heroine, Remy, is very skittish and withdrawn from society. It took a while for me to warm up to her. I had to understand her, which Wade does a great job of slowly letting the reader get to know her and her reasons for the way she is. The mystery man she rescues also takes time to get to know because he has amnesia, but his persona is very obvious from the beginning. His injuries and basic invasion into Remy's world builds a connection and tension between the two that I loved. 

    Becky always does an amazing job of building complex layers in a story. In Memory Lane, there are a variety of characters, there's just the right amount of mystery and suspense, and her specialty, romance. This all comes together to make a very interesting, cohesive plot. I'm basically a super fan of all of Becky's books, but if you haven't read any of her books before, this is a great one to start with! (There are some elements that may be triggers for some readers.) 

    I'm grateful to have received an advance copy from the publisher in order to give my honest review, which I did. Happy Valentine's Day and happy reading!

Monday, January 30, 2023

Kicking off the new year with a great book! The Rose and the Thistle by Laura Frantz


Book Summary (Amazon): In 1715, Lady Blythe Hedley's father is declared an enemy of the British crown because of his Jacobite sympathies, forcing her to flee her home in northern England. Secreted to the tower of Wedderburn Castle in Scotland, Lady Blythe awaits who will ultimately be crowned king. But in a house with seven sons and numerous servants, her presence soon becomes known.

No sooner has Everard Hume lost his father, Lord Wedderburn, than Lady Hedley arrives with the clothes on her back and her mistress in tow. He has his own problems--a volatile brother with dangerous political leanings, an estate to manage, and a very young brother in need of comfort and direction in the wake of losing his father. It would be best for everyone if he could send this misfit heiress on her way as soon as possible.

Drawn into a whirlwind of intrigue, shifting alliances, and ambitions, Lady Blythe must be careful whom she trusts. Her fortune, her future, and her very life are at stake. Those who appear to be adversaries may turn out to be allies--and those who pretend friendship may be enemies.

My thoughts...At the finish of this novel, I was doing all of the sighing. There were so many things I loved about it. I loved the hero-- certainly swoon-worthy. Brave and honorable, he was the perfect counterpart to the heroine, Blythe. While described as plain and highly intelligent, I love that Frantz expertly wove the two opposites into a beautiful--believable--love story, with the backdrop of political intrigue that was happening in 18th century England, France, and Scotland. 

Laura Frantz' has an amazing ability to create and build tension. While the first half of the novel was a little slower than the last half, it was setting the scene of the building rebelling between the religious and political groups of the day. It was intriguing to gain a little understanding of all that was happening historically. Add two fictional characters caught in the middle of it all, trying to navigate how to survive and live peaceably, it added another layer to the plot. Laura also expertly wrote the slow burn romantic tension that I love! Using beautiful descriptive language, it had all of the romantic feelings without venturing behind closed doors. That is quite a feat and I enjoyed every moment of it! While I love the history, I'm really here for the romance! : )

I received a complimentary of this book from the publisher in order to share my honest review, which I did. I highly recommend this beautifully written novel by Laura Frantz!