The Highlander’s Choice by Callie Hutton

The Highlander's Choice (Entangled Scandalous)The Highlander’s Choice by Callie Hutton

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Why I have not heard of Callie Hutton’s work is beyond me! This author needs more exposure to all historical romance reader fanatics. ‘The Highlander’s Choice’ is the fifth book in Hutton’s ‘Marriage Mart Mayhem’ series, and the story revolves around Lady Sybil Lacey, an Englishwoman, and Laird Liam MacBride, a full-bred Scotsman.

Both have their own reservations and opinion about the English and the Scots. Who could forget the historic battle of Culloden where many Scotsman lost their lives armed only with their swords against the cannons of the English. It was a blood bath! And that wasn’t the end of it. After Culloden, Scots had to flee their lands, lose their livelihood, and even to the extent of almost eradicating their rich history!

Lady Sybil and Laird Liam’s relationship did not start on good terms. Both despised each other because of their heritage. Both of them are determined to dislike each other by bickering and testing each other’s tolerance despite of the growing attraction with each other. But when they start to set aside their differences and embrace the beauty of Scotland together, they started to see the other person in a different light.

It’s a pretty exciting and thrilling story for me! Prejudice and stereotype attitude still exists in our society whether we like it or not, but it also teaches us that we can look past those attitude by knowing that person for who he/she is. You’ll never know that in those few minutes of conversation, that person you once judged before knowing may turn out to be one of your greatest friend and ally. Just like how Liam thought Sybil to be a pampered Princess, and how Sybil thought Liam a barbarian, who only likes to drown himself in whiskey, brawl, and bed women leaving illegitimate children all over the Highlands. Both were absolutely wrong! And they saw that once they got to know each other.

What entertains me though is how the attraction between the two builds up. From enemies to ‘frenemies’ to lovers. It was amazing! It was written with finesse. Not too dull, not too rushed. Just perfect! I don’t get to read a lot of stories like that nowadays.

Although, this is targeted more for avid readers of romance, I think people should give this book a chance and learn from the two characters in the novel on how to deal with differences (such as race, heritage, culture, religious belief, etc.). Maybe at the end of the story, we’ll realize what we’ve been doing wrong all these years and start to live a more peaceful and harmonious life.

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A Secret To Keep by Railyn Stone | Book Review

Keeping
secrets is a horrible way to live. Sloane Davis should know.
She’s
kept her son a secret from his father for almost a year.
Now,
her worst nightmare is coming true. Her ex is re-entering her professional life
in the midst of the biggest project of her career. She’s about to come face to
face with the only man she’s ever loved – her son’s father.
Gates
McCall is a brash man. He hasn’t always been this way, but when Sloane walked
out on him, something inside him broke. When his company’s newest acquisition
brings the two of them together once more, little does he know seeing her will
bring back a flood of memories, feelings, and an unexpected surprise.
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Railyn Stone hails from the Tar Heel State and is a romantic at heart.
She believes you can find romance in the simplest aspects of life and enjoys
letting her imagination run wild. Trying new restaurants, listening to music,
playing golf and writing over the top stories about ordinary people are the hobbies
she cherishes most.
Links for social media
Twitter: @railynwrites
Facebook Author Page: www.facebook.com/railynst
 3 stars

I love reading stories that involves unexpected pregnancies where the father has no knowledge about the child and discovers it in the middle of the story. To me, these kind of tale shows how a mother could fight, thrive, and do the right thing to provide for her child. The love of a mother is extraordinary! Sloane Davis shows her devotion to Brayden (her child with Gates). The relationship between Sloane and Gates is chaotic at first, what with Sloane leaving Gates for no apparent reason. Although, his love for her is real, the thought of being abandoned by the woman he only loves and values is too much to bear that he often expresses his anger instead of his undying love for her. Thus, having Sloane second guess in confessing her secret to him thinking that it would only cause more problems than resolution.

There were moments in the book that made me feel tearful. Felt palpitations as I read Sloane and Gate’s point of view, albeit written in third person the amount of information, emotions are just too real! Sloane’s friend are all wonderful characters! They are her voice of reason and pillar of strength when she’s about to give up.

Overall, it was a good story. However, some dialogue were reiterated a few times. It would be a lot more exciting if those repetitive conversation between characters are focused on character development, resolution of some conflict, or expanding minor characters.

 
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All of Me by Jennifer Bernard | Book Review

Enter to Win a Touch by Alyssa Milano 
Texas Rangers Women’s Addison Slim Fit 
V-Neck Burnout T-Shirt – Royal Blue
ALL OF ME
Love Between the Bases #1
Jennifer Bernard
Releasing May 26th, 2015
Avon Romance

 


Jennifer Bernard, the USA Today bestselling author of the Bachelor Firemen series, scores another homerun with a brand-new series about sexy, single baseball players.

Playing for the Kilby Catfish is hotshot pitcher Caleb Hart’s last chance to salvage his career after a major league meltdown. But the day of his opener with the minor league team, Caleb strikes out with the gorgeous woman who is delivering a petition to run the unruly Catfish out of town. Now to stay in the lineup, Caleb will need to score big with the feisty brunette he can’t keep out of his thoughts.

After the nasty lies Sadie Merritt’s rich ex-boyfriend spread about her all over town, she’s lucky to have a job at all. She can’t afford to screw it up by falling for the player who is supposed to be helping her change the image of the fun-loving Catfish. But that’s easier said than done when Caleb’s voice alone is enough to make her pulse race. And when he surprises her with a mind-blowing kiss, she knows there’s no turning back.

 
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THREE STARS

Jennifer Bernard is on my list of favorite contemporary romance writers! I always get excited what book she has in store next. The way she delves deep in the characters flaws, strengths, and weaknesses makes you feel all kind of emotions. Her characters will also test your patience. Just like real people, they tend to get in your nerves, makes you want to punch them and do some serious damage in their nasal septum or testicles! I sometimes need to stop for a moment, take a deep breath, and proceed to endure the rage I’m feeling inside. But of course, there’s always a silver lining in every difficult situation and guaranteed that Jennifer Bernard delivers a happy ending!

With this first book of ‘A Love Between the Bases’ series, All of Me tackles the life of a hotshot pitcher Caleb Hart who has fallen into hard times. He had to abandon his dreams for himself to provide a good life for his young siblings (three of them, in fact). What strike me most about the life of an athlete is what goes behind closed doors. When the game is over, what happens then? Caleb’s life is a peek into that life where we thought it’s just all glam, money, and endorsements. Honestly, I think they’re all overpaid players doing what they do: play around. But what some of us realize is (like myself) playing is just a temporary thing in life. Ten or twenty years being a baseball player (or whatever sport) it will soon end. And Caleb realizes that soon he will have to give up baseball whether he likes it or not, and that is why he tries so hard to make sure that his family is taken care of when his parents can’t.

Sadie Merritt also has her own issues. She has experienced so much emotional trauma from her past relationship, it’s amazing she can still put up living in a town that hold so many bad memories. Friends that she once trusted turned against her, a knobhead for an ex-boyfriend. I’m amazed that she can still go out and face the people who caused her so much agony. I don’t know if that’s brave or just daft!

For fans of baseball romance stories or any other sport romance, this is a must-read! This is just the beginning of a new series from Jennifer Bernard, that means there is more to look out for! So stay tuned!

 

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Jennifer Bernard is the USA Today bestselling author of the Bachelor Firemen of San Gabriels series. She is a graduate of Harvard and a former news promo producer. The child of academics, she confounded her family by preferring romance novels to … well, any other books. She left big city life for true love in Alaska, where she now lives with her husband and stepdaughters. She’s no stranger to book success, as she also writes erotic novellas under a naughty secret name not to be mentioned at family gatherings.


 

 

 

The Design by R.S. Grey | Book Review

The DesignThe Design by R.S. Grey

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I had high hopes for this book because it was well advertised with rave reviews and an interesting synopsis that will get your attention. This was the first book I’ve read from RS Grey, and to be honest, I am not disappointed at all that I have purchased this book and finally got the gist of her writing prowess. She writes with passion, humor, and truth. The characters in the book felt real to me. However, I felt that ‘The Design’ is dragged on for 30+ chapters and somehow the climax of the story just dissipated into thin air. I skipped many chapters of it and went straight to the ending because it felt boring in the middle. And no matter how much conflict Cammie and the people around her is being thrown at, it still gets a bit dull. Imagine riding a roller coaster, the story builds up as you went up, up, up to the very top, and as soon as gravity takes place, your cart careens in an unimaginable speed! It was fun, enjoyable, and yet as you reach ground level you just feel unsatisfied like, “that was it?”.

I have no complaints about the writing because that’s what made me go on, the characters are well verse and interesting especially Cammie. She’s headstrong, intelligent, and sassy. What irritates me is, she keeps worrying about Grayson all the time! For instance, what would she wear for dinner with Grayson, what would she wear at the office to get Grayson’s attention, who is Grayson boinking at this minute, or Grayson this, Grayson that! ANNOYING! She acts more like a teenager with a crush, than a grown up! Still, a fantastic character to meet. The story is what I’m having problems with. It just lack that unique luster. No matter how minuscule that sheen is, that could be the game changer for this book.

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Moriarty by Annelie Wendeberg | Book Review

Book One: The Devil’s Grin (reviewed May 16, 2015)

FOUR STARS!!

This was a rather interesting novel where the lead character is a female guise as a male German doctor where the cure and preventive measure for tetanus and cholera is yet to be realized. However, suspected victims of such vile disease are the impoverish citizens of London during the year 1889. To Scotland Yard, London’s elite fighting force and known for its exemplary detective work, this is just another cholera victim, but for Dr. Anton Kronberg this is far more than the usual unfortunate pauper. And with the help of Sherlock Holmes, they are bound to discover a far more sinister work at play.

Narrated in first person, Dr. Anton Kronberg (Anna Kronberg when not guise in her male form) unfolds the secrets and horror of unethical medical practice during 19th century London. In order for her to find the culprit and expose the maltreatment of human test subjects, she must delve deeper into this world of deception and cruelty.

The description in the novel are graphic and may not be for the faint of heart. It reminds me of World War II documentaries where the Nazis physicians perform various medical tests on their captives in concentration camps (e.g. Auschwitz). Test subjects in this novel were people from workhouses and asylums with no family, no relatives.

I believe this is a three-part novel with ‘The Devil’s Grin’ as the first book. Although Sherlock Holmes do not appear in the book as often as I like, the story still holds intrigue and the storytelling is phenomenal.

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All’s Fair in Love and Scandal by Caroline Linden | Review and Giveaway

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Alls Fair CoverSYNOPSIS

Nothing wagered…

Douglas Bennet can’t resist a good wager, especially not one that involves a beautiful woman. When a friend proposes an audacious plan to expose the most notorious woman in England, Douglas agrees at once. After all, it would be quite a coup to discover the true identity of Lady Constance, author of the infamous erotic serial scandalizing the ton50 Ways to Sin.

Nothing won…

Madeline Wilde is used to being pursued. For years she’s cultivated a reputation for being unattainable and mysterious, and for good reason: her livelihood depends on discretion. When Douglas turns his legendary charm on her, she dismisses him as just another rake. But he surprises her—instead of merely trying to seduce her, he becomes her friend…her confidant…and her lover. But can it really lead to happily-ever-after…or are they about to become the biggest scandal London has ever seen?

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FIVE GLORIOUS STARS!!

The plot of ‘All’s Fair in Love and Scandal’ reminds me of Lisa Kleypas’ Suddenly You, where the heroine has a secret identity and the hero is dying to find out what that secret was. But as I continue reading, this prose by Linden is absolutely different from Kleypas. In fact, ‘All’s Fair in Love and Scandal’ is more riveting with an original plot that keeps you guessing every turn of the page! Romance, humor, and mystery all brilliantly sculpted into one prose that will result in conflating emotions.

The story starts with Douglas Bennett, notorious for his pranks and wagers, conversing with William Spence goading him into doing a wager to get Madeline Wilde, a widower, infamous in rejecting every offer of a dance. This then started a wager among the men on who could start a dance with the widower, but none has succeeded. And because Douglas loves a contest, he wagers he could persuade her to dance with him. But Madeline Wilde was not a daft woman, she could see right through Douglas scheme and his motive for his approach. Madeline knew how to play the game, so she beat him to it by exposing his motive and leaving Douglas Bennett awestruck and partner less in a crowded ball. This has made Mr. Bennett determined to know the mysterious Mrs. Wilde.

“Every day I scheme for some excuse to call on you. I look forward to tedious balls and soirees because I know you’ll be there. You enchant me, Madeline, and while I want to be your friend… Yes, I also want much more.” -Douglas Bennett

The clash between two strong characters of the opposite sex is a breath of fresh air in my book! Both are intelligent, quick with facetious retort, but highly attracted to each other. I especially love the self-dialogues they have where they try to figure out each other, their feelings for the other, and the consequences their actions may lead to.

Madeline is not the kind of woman to be trifled with. Although, she had not been with a man after her husband’s demise, she is not so easily charmed by any available gentleman. She is smart, independent, and quick-witted. A feminist is her time, I should say. And as for Douglas Bennett, whom I admire for his perseverance, charm, and patience in gaining Madeline’s trust, is the perfect partner! He knows that his charm could only go so far, and befriending her is the only way to actually know who this woman is. Reading Douglas Bennett inner struggle is very amusing! Whenever he’s around her, his rogue-like defenses starts to crumble and he’s very unsure what to do with it. He completely has lost his mojo (if you like to put it that way)!

“I’m sorry I was an ass when we first met. I’m sorry I upset you so much that you made that wager to get rid of me. And I’m desperately sorry this is all I’ll have to remember you by, because I think I’ve lost my heart to you, Madeline.” -Douglas Bennett.

An absolutely entertaining story guaranteed to make you swoon and giggle.

 Linden, CarolineCaroline Linden was born a reader, not a writer. She earned a math degree from Harvard University and wrote computer software before turning to writing fiction. Ten years, twelve books, three Red Sox championships, and one dog later, she has never been happier with her decision. Her books have won the NEC Reader’s Choice Beanpot Award, the Daphne du Maurier Award, and RWA’s RITA Award. Since she never won any prizes in math, she takes this as a sign that her decision was also a smart one. Visit her online at http://www.carolinelinden.com

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