Tag: Tracy’s Reviews

Guest Review: It Must’ve Been the Mistletoe by L.P. Dover

Posted March 23, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: It Must’ve Been the Mistletoe by L.P. DoverReviewer: Tracy
It Must've Been the Mistletoe by L.P. Dover
Published by L.P. Dover
Publication Date: December 15th 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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Finding your soul mate is a dream Adeline Hamilton thought was just that … a dream. After several failed relationships, she realizes she’s not capable of falling in love. The only passion she’s ever had is teaching U.S. History at the local high school.

A week before Christmas, Adeline is all set for her best friend’s wedding, even though she dreads having to go to it alone. But when she’s given a Christmas wish that could change her future forever, she’s whisked away to the past, to a completely different place and time. It’s also when she meets him, William Blair, the man who steals her heart.

As their relationship grows, Adeline realizes that true love does exist. What she doesn’t know is that her wish can’t last forever, that soon she’ll have to leave the past behind. Will Adeline and William find their way back to each other? Or will their love have to stay where it all began . . . in 1865? With mistletoe and Christmas magic, anything’s possible.

Adeline is a bit frustrated with her family and friends.  They keep wanting to set her up on dates and so far nothing has panned out.  Sure, she wants to get married and have a family but striking out time and again gets frustrating after a while. Her best friend Jessica (who is getting married) now wants to set her up with her fiancé’s brother, Will, who is moving back to Asheville from California. She agrees but he ends up missing his flight so she doesn’t meet him at the wedding rehearsal dinner.

During the rehearsal dinner she speaks with the wedding planner, Margaret, who gives her her wedding gift from Jessica.  It’s an antique locket with mistletoe inside.  Adeline thinks it’s odd but Margaret assures her that mistletoe is magical.

When Adeline falls asleep that night she wakes up and is in 1865.  Everyone thinks that she is Adeline-Jane.  Since Adeline is a history buff she’s fascinated with everything but knows it’s all a dream.  She meets William Blair while in 1865 and they fall in love.  When Adeline awakens the next morning and meets Will, she finds he’s the same guy – only he doesn’t remember the “dream”.

This was a cute story.  I liked the semi-magical aspect of it as we really didn’t know if Adeline was dreaming or if she had really been transported into 1865.  Since she was supposed to be Adeline-Jane she met her (fifth) great-grandparents and she was thrilled.  (In real life Adeline -Jane had died in a carriage accident on the way to visit.)  The history part of the story, for Adeline was wonderful.  I thought that Dover did a great job of showing us the time period and the lovely family traditions that the Hamilton family had.

Adeline and William’s relationship grew quickly which I thought was a bit strange, but Dover made it work.  William loved that Adeline was different from the other women of 1865.  When Adeline returns to present day and meets Will it’s hard for her as she fell in love with William and Will has no idea who she is.  She also has no idea if he was the will in her “dream” or not.  I liked how Dover worked things out between Will and Adeline and in the end they got their HEA.

Now my mind started going all over the place once I finished the book because of questions.  In the dream that Adeline had she had given money to one of her great-grandmother’s servants to start her own dress shop.  Of course the real Adeline-Jane never made it to the house for the visit so there would have been no one to give the servant money in real life.  Of course when Adeline looked up the servant to see if she was real a newspaper showed her in front of the dress shop she purchased.  If it was all a shared dream, and not real, how did the servant get the money?  Gah!  Things like this make me crazy! Lol

Despite that odd question I enjoyed the book and thought it was a lovely Christmas romance.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5



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Lightning Guest Review: The Chosen by Thea Harrison

Posted March 22, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Lightning Guest Review: The Chosen by Thea HarrisonReviewer: Tracy
The Chosen: A Novella of the Elder Races by Thea Harrison
Series: Elder Races #9.7
Also in this series: Lord's Fall, Pia Saves the Day & Peanut Goes to School, Dragos Takes a Holiday, Night's Honor, Night's Honor, Dragon Bound, Midnight's Kiss, Midnight's Kiss, Dragos Goes to Washington, Shadow's End, Pia Does Hollywood, Liam Takes Manhattan, Pia Does Hollywood
Published by Self-Published
Publication Date: March 19th 2018
Point-of-View: Third Person
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 176
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From New York Times bestselling author Thea Harrison

A Wolf on the hunt... Wulfgar Hahn, better known as the Wolf of Braugne, is a man on a mission. Determined to avenge the murder of his brother, he stops at Camaeline Abbey to meet with the Chosen of Camael, goddess of the Hearth. Unfortunately, it appears the Chosen wants nothing to do with him.

A leader in disguise... Captivated by the Wolf of Braugne despite herself, Lily poses as an unassuming priestess in order to learn more about this ruthless man. But things are not as they seem, and after foiling an assassination attempt, Lily must decide if Wulf is the destroyer from her visions, or the hero of her dreams.

A choice to be made... As war looms on the horizon, passion sparks between them, but an enduring relationship between a soldier on the march and a leader who reveres hearth and home is impossible—or is it? Among the swirling snows of the winter Masque, the gods and goddesses of the Elder Races dance, and love will find a way..

The Chosen is the single title release of the novella that was previously published in the holiday anthology AMID THE WINTER SNOW in December, 2017.

This review was originally published in the Amid the Winter Snow anthology review. We’ll pulled it out and are publishing it as a standalone to celebrate the single title release of The Chosen.

This story takes place in the same world as the Elder Races but in one of the parallel magical universes. The Goddess has a Chosen one and she has prophetic dreams. She sees violence coming to her country and she’s not sure who she can trust among the warring men. One man, makes his way into her heart and helps her grow as a Chosen.

I really love Harrison’s Elder Races novels and this was a lovely glimpse into the more magical places in that world. I really loved both the hero and heroine in this story – I just wish it was longer! Lol I was totally into it and then it ended. sigh

4 out of 5


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Guest Review: On Hart’s Boardwalk by Samantha Young

Posted March 22, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: On Hart’s Boardwalk by Samantha YoungReviewer: Tracy
On Hart's Boardwalk (On Dublin Street #6.7) by Samantha Young
Series: On Dublin Street #6.7, Hart's Boardwalk #2.5
Also in this series: Down London Road (On Dublin Street, #2), Before Jamaica Lane (On Dublin Street, #3), Before Jamaica Lane, Fall From India Place, Fall From India Place, Castle Hill, Echoes of Scotland Street, Moonlight on Nightingale Way, Moonlight on Nightingale Way, One King's Way, One King's Way, One King's Way, The One Real Thing, Every Little Thing
Published by Intermix
Publication Date: March 20th 2018
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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Nate and Liv have a great life together but they miss the spontaneity and freedom they enjoyed early on in their romance. Careers and their children have inevitably kept them busy, so when Nate discovers Liv is feeling disconnected from him, he plans an anniversary trip to the idyllic seaside town of Hartwell, Delaware. There he hopes they will have the opportunity they've been craving--a chance to reinvent themselves and fall in love all over again.

With each new day comes a new adventure, from wedding crashing at the five-star boardwalk hotel to pretending they are two strangers having a chance encounter at the boardwalk bar. In the midst of this daring, sexually-charged game of romantic rediscovery, Nate and Liv discover the only constant they need is each other.

Nate and Liv have been together for 14 years, and married for 10 of those.  They have two beautiful children and Liv is just as in love with Nate now as she was when they first got together.  The problem is that Nate seems to have lost his love for Liv.  Since one of his friends died suddenly Nate has pushed Liv away and when Nate finds out how Liv is truly feeling he plans a trip to Delaware.  At one time, Liv had told Nate of vacations taken near Hartwell, Delaware and Nate wanted to recreate that joy for her.  He wanted to make his own memories, however, so he chose Hartwell.  They have a great location and it’s just the two of them, but can they work through the issues that have been haunting Liv for the past six months?

This was a pretty great novella.  I’ve been reading the Hart’s Boardwalk series so when I saw a novella for that series I was excited.  I had no idea I’d get the wonderful double whammy by getting the On Dublin Street series cast of characters as well as Hart’s Boardwalk characters.

Nate and Liv got their HEA in the novel Before Jamaica Lane, and if you read that you know that these two are incredibly hot together.  Their sex play in this book was no different but the even better than that was watching two people in love communicate and find the core issue to their problems.  It was well written, and Young didn’t slack on giving us the nitty gritty of their relationship – arguments and all.

On top of the greatness of that part of the book we also got to see, as I said, all of the characters from On Dublin Street as well as Hart’s Boardwalk.  I loved reading about the ODS crew and hearing a little about their families now that it’s been years since their HEA’s. HB is a newer series but it was still fun to catch up with those characters as well.

Overall I thought this was really good.  The love, friendship and feeling of contentment it left me with was incredible and I definitely recommend this one.

On Dublin Street Series

Rating: 4.5 out of 5


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Guest Review: Lady in Waiting by Marie Tremayne

Posted March 15, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Lady in Waiting by Marie TremayneReviewer: Tracy
Lady in Waiting (Reluctant Brides #1) by Marie Tremayne
Series: Reluctant Brides #1
Published by Harper Collins, Avon Impulse
Publication Date: March 13th 2018
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 384
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She wants to escape her present . . .

When Clara Mayfield helps her sister elope, she’s prepared for the scandal to seal her fate as a spinster. What she doesn't expect is to find herself engaged to the vile Baron Rutherford as a means of salvaging her family's reputation. Determined not to be chained to a man she loathes, Clara slips out of Essex and sheds her identity: she becomes Helen, maid at the Earl of Ashworth’s country estate. After all, below stairs is the last place anyone would think to look for an heiress . . .

He wants to forget his past . . .

William, Lord Ashworth, is attempting to rebuild his life after the devastating accident that claimed the lives of his entire family, save his beloved sister and niece. Haunted by memories of what was and determined to live up to the title he never expected to inherit, William doesn’t have time for love. What he needs is a noble and accomplished wife, one who can further the Ashworth line and keep the family name untarnished . . .

Together, can they find the perfect future?

From their first encounter, the attraction between them is undeniable. But Clara knows William is falling for Helen, a woman who doesn’t even exist. The question is, if she reveals the truth about her identity, can she trust the broken William to forgive her lie and stand by her side when scandal—and the baron—inevitably follow her to his door?

After helping her sister elope, Clara Mayfield is not someone that the ton wants to associate themselves with.  After a whole season of being a wallflower Clara is approached by a reprehensible man named Baron Rutherford.  He basically threatens her with marriage and to my shock her parents accept his proposal the next day.  Six weeks later Clara is climbing out her bedroom window the night before her wedding in order to escape her fate.

With the help of her lady’s maid she finds a position with the Earl of Ashford’s household in Kent.  Clara, now Helen, barely gets a position as a maid and when she does she doesn’t really have a clue what she’s doing, obviously.  She is helped by her fellow, friendly maids but none of them can teach her how to keep her mouth shut when needed.  She is outspoken when she shouldn’t be and it’s constantly a trial to try to act like a maid.

The Earl of Ashford has been in seclusion since a carriage accident killed his father, older brother and brother-in-law.  He was in the accident as well and has had to deal with the physical, but mostly emotional, pain of losing so many in his family.  When William sees Clara in the village and then saves her from getting run over he’s smitten from minute one.  When she becomes a maid in his household it’s all he can do to keep her at arm’s length when she affects him so deeply.  Can he keep himself away from the Helen as he knows he should? Will Clara continue to be able to hide from Baron Rutherford? Will she be able to live with her love for William, never being able to show it because of their differences in station?

The book started off just jumping straight into Clara’s sister’s elopement and then her impending, unwanted marriage.  I loved how the author just got right down to it.  We knew all the details but as that wasn’t the main part of the story it was nice to be able to get the facts and move on.  Don’t get me wrong, it was well written, I was just happy that the author didn’t spend an unneeded amount of time on laying out the story.

Clara was awesome.  I loved her strength of character, her compassion, friendliness and almost everything else about her.  I can’t imagine how hard it was for a woman raised in wealth (her father was a banker) to suddenly be ordered around and do the back-breaking work that maids did back then.  It couldn’t have been easy, but she didn’t complain and learned what she needed to learn in order to keep herself hidden.  She was a genuinely nice person and that helped her win friends in the end.

William took me a little longer to like.  The man was hot and cold but I really tried not to fault him for that as he was trying to be honorable and not make a move on his housemaid!  He tried to keep himself away, he did!  Some of his actions were a bit abrupt but I got it.

I really enjoyed this book and how it was written.  I’m definitely looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

Rating: 4 out of 5


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Guest Review: Lost to a Spy by Sharon Cullen

Posted March 14, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Lost to a Spy by Sharon CullenReviewer: Tracy
Lost to a Spy (All the Queen's Spies #3) by Sharon Cullen
Series: All the Queen's Spies #3
Also in this series: Wed to a Spy, Bound to a Spy
Published by Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept
Publication Date: March 13th 2018
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 222
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Ladies in waiting can’t help noticing more than they let on. After so many years at the court of Mary, Queen of Scots, Emma Howard sees quite plainly that the royal couple is anything but happy. Reeling from a failed marriage herself, Emma sympathizes with her beloved queen. But the last thing she wants is for the king to be murdered, let alone to witness the shocking act herself. With her whole world turned upside-down, Emma is saved by the quick thinking of a lowly printer . . . who, unbeknownst to her, is one of England’s most daring spies.

At Queen Elizabeth’s behest, Tristan has been stirring discontent against the Scottish nobility. Now that the king is dead, his mission is even more critical. There’s only one complication: the exquisite courtier who’s unexpectedly fallen under Tristan’s protection. Emma rouses his body and his soul. But after she learns that he’s a traitor, the fate of two nations hangs on her response. Tristan’s prepared to risk his life in exchange for hers. Will Emma do the same for the man she’s come to love?

Emma Hamilton lives at Holyrood Palace and is close with Mary, Queen of Scots.  She feels safe there and Mary has been kind to her since her Emma’s evil husband died. She’s a Scot through and through and doesn’t plan on leaving the palace any time soon.

One night while walking home from dinner she witnesses what might be a murder but before she can think too long on it, there’s an explosion and Emma is knocked unconscious.  The sound rouses the Edinburgh residents from their homes, including printer Tristan Fitzherbert.  He finds Emma and takes her back to his home above the print shop to nurse her back to health.  He did this as he could tell she was nobility by how she was dressed and feared that she would be arrested when she was found as she was so close to the explosion site.

Emma fears all men after her husband treated her so badly during their marriage.  She’s frightened when she wakes up in a strange place but Tristan puts her at ease and soon she’s enjoying spending time with him. As the explosion killed the King consort, Lord Darnley, they talk a lot about that and Emma tries to sort out what she saw that night.  Tristan, for his part tries to get Emma to see that the Queen’s right-hand man, Bothwell, is most likely responsible for the death.  The more he talks, the more she sees things might not be as safe in Holyrood Palace as she thought.  In just a few days she starts to have feelings for Tristan and he for her.  Emma’s a smart girl, however, and soon figures out that Tristan isn’t necessarily who he says he is – a lowly printer.  More like an agent for Queen Elizabeth of England.  She fears for his safety when she hears about printers being gathered up and questioned for printing seditious placards but what can a woman do to help the man she loves?

This was another wonderfully intriguing book by Sharon Cullen.  I’m just loving this series so far and this book was no different.

Emma and Tristan were farther apart in station then I think the previous couples in the series were so that made it a bit more interesting for me.  They were so cute together!  The main part of the story takes place in the span of about 2 weeks which is a short time to fall in love, but I guess when you know, you know.  The pair just clicked from the first and of course Tristan’s protectiveness kicked in when Emma was hurt.

I’ve loved reading about all of the intrigue throughout this series.  When I first started I didn’t know much history about Mary, Queen of Scots but I’ve done a little reading up on her since then and I think Cullen has kept pretty closely with the actual events in history, taking just a little license with it all.

If you haven’t read any of the books in this series I definitely recommend them.

All the Queen’s Spies Series

Rating: 4 out of 5


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