Genre: Fiction

Throwback Thursday Review: Love in the Afternoon by Lisa Kleypas

Posted June 3, 2021 by Holly in Reviews | 8 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: Love in the Afternoon by Lisa KleypasReviewer: Holly
Love In The Afternoon by Lisa Kleypas
Series: The Hathaways #5
Also in this series: Tempt Me at Twilight, Married By Morning
Publisher: Macmillan
Publication Date: June 29th 2010
Genres: Fiction
Pages: 352
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four-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

As a lover of animals and nature, Beatrix Hathaway has always been more comfortable outdoors than in the ballroom. Even though she participated in the London season in the past, the classic beauty and free-spirited Beatrix has never been swept away or seriously courted...and she has resigned herself to the fate of never finding love. Has the time come for the most unconventional of the Hathaway sisters to settle for an ordinary man—just to avoid spinsterhood?

Captain Christopher Phelan is a handsome, daring soldier who plans to marry Beatrix's friend, the vivacious flirt Prudence Mercer, when he returns from fighting abroad. But, as he explains in his letters to Pru, life on the battlefield has darkened his soul—and it's becoming clear that Christopher won't come back as the same man. When Beatrix learns of Pru's disappointment, she decides to help by concocting Pru's letters to Christopher for her.

Soon the correspondence between Beatrix and Christopher develops into something fulfilling and deep...and when Christopher comes home, he's determined to claim the woman he loves. What began as Beatrix's innocent deception has resulted in the agony of unfulfilled love—and a passion that can't be denied...

I’ve been really into re-reading Lisa Kleypas recently. I enjoyed this book just as much this time around. Beatrix is so wonderful.

This review was originally published on July 20, 2010.

I have to be honest and say I wasn’t really looking forward to this book until the very end of the last book. Up until that point, Beatrix still seemed very young to me. Even after the last book I still had reservations about her as a heroine.

I should have had more faith in Kleypas. Both Beatrix and Christopher were delightful. I loved the premise behind their romance. The letters they exchanged really set up the romance beautifully. It was easy to see how they’d fallen in love with each other as Christoper was at war, and Beatrix waiting at home for him. Those first few chapters were so emotionally charged they pulled me in completely.

But Christopher doesn’t realize it’s Beatrix he loves. Because Beatrix has been writing her letters in the name of her friend, Prudence Mercer. Pru shared Christopher’s first letter with Bea and it was obvious to her that he needed someone to correspond with. The selfish and shallow Pru didn’t want to hear tales of war, and refused to respond to him. So Bea offered to do it instead, agreeing to signing Pru’s name to the letters.

When Christopher returns home he expects to find Miss Prudence Mercer waiting for him. He knows she loves him, just as he loves her. But Pru isn’t there waiting, and he realizes he needs time to decompress before going to her in London. That’s when he runs into Beatrix Hathaway. He’s always thought Beatrix was unconventional, and not in a good way. He’s surprised to see she’s grown into a beautiful woman, one he desires. Not that it matters, since it’s Prudence he loves. But still, he’s a man and he noticed. He also starts noticing other things about Beatrix – how comfortable she is to be around, how understanding she is, and how much she challenges and frustrates him.

Once he reaches London it isn’t long before he realizes Prudence Mercer did not write the letters he received. She’s nothing like the woman he corresponded with. But who then? Certainly not..Beatrix Hathaway?

Christopher is a young, foolish, vain boy when he leaves for war. He’s what you would expect a spoiled, entitled man to be. But the things he sees in battle change him. He comes home with darkness in him, and a better understanding of himself and the word. It was really interesting seeing the way he matured. He also suffers from PTSD. I think Kleypas did a really excellent job of showing how that effects a soldier.

Beatrix was everything I expected from the earlier novels – loving and caring, helpful and more interested in animals than humans. She was also stronger and much more mature than I expected. I guess I always saw her as the youngest Hathaway, always into mischief and taking care of animals, so I didn’t think of her as a woman. She feels terrible guilt over writing letters to Christopher as Pru, but she just couldn’t not write to him. It was easy to see how something that started innocent got out of hand the longer it went on.

I loved that they admitted their feelings for each other early on. Neither of them play coy, or try to deny what’s between them. Christopher is worried that he’s too damaged for Beatrix. Not in a “I’m a martyr” kind of way, but he has very real concerns that, as a result of his PTSD, he might hurt her at some point. He’s against marrying her because he’s afraid of himself. But he doesn’t deny that he loves her, or try to pretend his feelings aren’t what they are, or try to push her away. I loved that.

I also loved how Beatrix stood beside him and pushed him to get better. She didn’t let him wallow in his misery, or fall into depression. She was just exactly what he needed.

Though this was a darker novel than some of the others in the series, it still had moments of great humor. There’s one scene in particular where I was literally laughing out loud. I won’t spoil it, but it has to do with squirrels. You’ll have to read it yourself to see what I mean.

It was lovely to see the Hathaway’s again, as always. The family is so quirky and strong. I adore them. Kleypas once again managed to include scenes with them without taking away from the main romance, which was great.

One last thing I have to mention: Beatrix’s animals. I loved all her pets. The goat scene was hilarious, and I loved the hedgehog. But it was Albert, Christopher’s terrier, who really stole the show. It was heartbreaking to see how much he was suffering, and delightful watching Beatrix work with him.

While I enjoyed Married by Morning more than many others, I’d have to say Love in the Afternoon was deeper and more emotionally compelling.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

The Hathaways

four-half-stars


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Guest Review: The One by John Marrs

Posted August 19, 2020 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: The One by John MarrsReviewer: Tracy
The One by John Marrs
Publisher: Hanover Square
Publication Date: February 20, 2017
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Point-of-View: Third person
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Fiction
Pages: 412
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four-stars

How far would you go to find The One?

A simple DNA test is all it takes. Just a quick mouth swab and soon you’ll be matched with your perfect partner—the one you’re genetically made for.

That’s the promise made by Match Your DNA. A decade ago, the company announced that they had found the gene that pairs each of us with our soul mate. Since then, millions of people around the world have been matched. But the discovery has its downsides: test results have led to the breakup of countless relationships and upended the traditional ideas of dating, romance and love.

Now five very different people have received the notification that they’ve been “Matched.” They’re each about to meet their one true love. But “happily ever after” isn’t guaranteed for everyone. Because even soul mates have secrets. And some are more shocking than others…

Match Your DNA is a scientifically proven way to find the one person in the world that you are genetically coded to love.  When you meet that person it’s like fireworks going on inside your body and you just can’t imagine living without that person.  Sometimes it takes a couple of days to kick in, but it always happens.  There has never been a mismatch and the company prides themselves on that fact. Unfortunately while billions had found their DNA match, there have been many broken relationships when people find their perfect match.

This book follows 5 different people who have gotten their perfect match.

First we have Mandy, a 37 year old divorcee who has been matched with Richard a man who’s about 10 years younger than her.   Mandy is a romantic and can’t wait to hear from Richard.  She’s old-fashioned and wants the man to contact her.  After weeks go by and she’s not heard from him she finally sends him an email, but she gets no response.  When she finally hears something, details come to light that change her mind about what love is and what her future is going to look like.  It’s utterly different than anything she could have imagined.

Next up we have Christopher.  Christopher is a psychopath and a serial killer.  Christopher meets his match with Amy, a police officer. Christopher is in the middle of a killing spree, but is finally meeting his perfect match changing him for the better?

Twenty-something Jade has met Kevin, but unfortunately, she lives in England and he lives in Australia.  She has an average paying job and credit card debt so she can’t just jump on a plane and meet him.  They’ve been texting and talking on the phone for seven months but they’ve never been on FaceTime or Skype.  When Jade decides to take a leap of faith and surprise Kevin by showing up in Australia, Jade finds out that lies have been told – big ones.  Does she stay and make the best of things?  Does she leave and lose her perfect “one?” What does she do when she finds herself in love?

Nick is 25 and engaged to Sally, but Sally thinks it would be great if they do the DNA matching anyway, just to prove that they’re truly perfect for each other. Nick insists that he will be with Sally no matter what, but when they open their emails, they find that Sally’s results show no match. Nick’s results, however, show he’s matched to a guy named Alexander.  What?  Nick’s not gay – not even bi!  He wants no part of the results, but Sally insists that he meets the guy to see if there’s any “spark.”  How will the DNA match end up changing Nick and Sally’s lives, or does anything change at all?

Ellie is the scientist who discovered the gene that became Match Your DNA.  She put her own DNA into the system 10 years earlier so she’s shocked when she receives an email saying that she was matched with someone.  She meets Tim and while he’s so different from her, she falls in love with him anyway. While Ellie isn’t completely truthful (at first) to Tim about who she is and what she does, is Tim being truthful to Ellie about who he is?

When I first started reading this book and every chapter was another person I wasn’t sure if I was going to continue.  Did I want to use my brainpower to keep track of all of these characters?  Lol  In the end, yes, I did.  The book kind of sucked me in and I wanted to see how all of these matches turned out.  Were they going to be together forever? How was it going to change their lives? Are they truly as perfect for each other as they thought they would be when meeting their DNA match?

While I enjoyed all of the different characters in this story, I really liked Nick and Ellie’s stories the best.  I’m not exactly sure what it was about their stories that spoke to me, but I found myself looking forward to their chapters.

Mandy was fine, but she came across as a bit desperate and needy to me.  She got herself into a fine mess and had a time trying to get out of it.  It did end on a hopeful note, so that was nice.

Christopher’s story was just…strange.  I’m not a fan of being a psychopath’s head and that’s where we were.  The end of his part of the book was definitely different, and completely unexpected.  I can’t say it was all together believable, but this is fiction, right? lol

Jade’s story was sad and frustrating all at the same time.  I wasn’t surprised at the outcome of that part of the book as I saw it coming from a mile away.  Her part wasn’t bad, but was too predictable for my liking.

Nick’s story made my heart hurt.  I felt for this man who was forced into doing things he didn’t want to do, and then had to suffer the consequences.  I just wanted to crawl through the book and give him a huge hug.

Ellie and her match Tim were an interesting pair.  They were so different from each other that I suspected something not so great was going to happen and I was proven right.  The magnitude of what happened was completely unexpected, but I loved that I didn’t see it coming.

Overall, I liked the book as Marrs is a good story-teller and the DNA match thing was intriguing.  While I didn’t love the whole book, I did read it in (more or less) one sitting, so that was a plus.  This was my first book by Marrs, but I’m sure I’ll be reading more by him in the future.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

four-stars


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Review: You Were There Too by Colleen Oakley

Posted January 30, 2020 by Casee in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: You Were There Too by Colleen OakleyReviewer: Casee
You Were There Too by Colleen Oakley
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: January 7, 2020
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Fiction
Pages: 320
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two-half-stars

Acclaimed author Colleen Oakley delivers a heart-wrenching and unforgettable love story about a woman who must choose between the man she loves and the man fate has chosen for her in a novel that reminds us that the best life is one led by the heart.

Mia Graydon's life looks picket-fence perfect; she has the house, her loving husband, and dreams of starting a family. But she has other dreams too — unexplained, recurring ones starring the same man. Still, she doesn’t think much of them, until a relocation to small-town Pennsylvania brings her face to face with the stranger she has been dreaming about for years. And this man harbors a jaw-dropping secret of his own—he's been dreaming of her too.

Determined to understand, Mia and this not-so-stranger search for answers. But when diving into their pasts begins to unravel her life in the present, Mia emerges with a single question—what if?

Wow. This book. This book was not for me. At all. It is marketed as a romance, but it was far from romantic. I was really annoyed by the time I finished this book.

Mia Graydon is happy with her life, or so it seems. She has an amazing husband, she just moved to a quaint new town, and she gets to paint whenever she wants. There is nothing Mia wants more than to have a baby. It’s devastating to her that she keeps miscarrying. It’s something that she doesn’t understand and she blames herself for. It eventually affects her living her best life and her relationship with her husband.

Mia loves her husband, Harrison, dearly, but she has a secret. Since she was in college, she’s been dreaming of a man. She doesn’t know why and doesn’t think it’s relevant enough to tell her husband. Especially considering that some of the dreams are rated R. Mia has written it off as being a little crazy and gives it no further thought. Until she runs into a man that looks exactly like the man in her dreams. When she learns that he has been dreaming about her, Mia knows she has to find out what’s happening.

Oliver hasn’t been dreaming about Mia long, but she dies in every dream he has. Together then visit experts on dreams and try to figure out what is happening to them. Mia is so involved in figuring things out that she doesn’t notice her marriage to Harrison imploding. Harrison has been beyond amazing about Mia and Oliver, but he has problems of his own. Problems that affect him deeply.

I didn’t like Mia. She was self-absorbed. The author tried to write it off as a woman that was caught up in what she lost (her babies) and trying to find her way. The fact was that she has always been selfish. She’s always let Harrison take care of her and never returned the favor. The status quo worked for awhile until Mia finally (finally!) realized what a selfish bitch she was being.

I hated, hated the ending. There was no HEA and I don’t think she plans on another book. If she does, I won’t be reading it.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

two-half-stars


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What Are You Reading? (+ Jennifer Archer Giveaway)

Posted April 26, 2019 by Casee in Features, Giveaways | 4 Comments

Casee: I don’t know what exactly my problem is this week (really this entire month). I finally finished At the Pleasure of the President (The Perfect Gentlemen #5) by Shayla Black & Lexi Blake. I loved it. Still, it took me two (2!!) weeks to read it. I started it on the 9th and didn’t finish it until the 23rd. When I realized that? Mind blown. I’m now back now back into comfortable, familiar territory with Wild Man (Dream Man #2) by Kristen Ashley. Ah, Kristen Ashley. How I adore her.

I actually DNF’d Lost Hearts (Masters and Mercenaries: The Forgotten #1) by Lexi Blake. I adore Lexi Blake, but this audiobook? Not for me. I expect that I will read the ebook, but not right now. One of my 2019 Reading Goals is to read more historical books, so I am listening to Cold-Hearted Rake (The Ravenels #1) by Lisa Kleypas. I’m told it’s not the best book in the series, but I’m not too worried. Yet.

Holly: I’m still not reading. I don’t know what my problem is. April is generally a very strong reading month for me, but I can’t seem to focus this month. I started listening to Halfway to the Grave by Jeanine Frost, but I didn’t care for the narrator, so I decided to read it instead. That was a week ago and I haven’t read a single page. I’m listening to One Fell Sweep by Ilona Andrews, which I’ve read before many times and Wishes and Wellingtons by Julie Berry with my daughter. It’s a really cute book, but we haven’t had a lot of time to listen to it. Aside from that I re-reads Oracle’s Moon by Thea Harrison (such a lovely book) and that’s it.

I still haven’t finished Getting Hot with the Scot by Melonie Johnson or Better Homes and Hauntings by Molly Harper. Send help, I clearly need it.

Rowena is out of town this week and not reading much anyway. She’ll be back next week with a list (hopefully).

Giveaway Alert

We are very fortunate here at Book Binge. We have loads and loads of books to read and we want to share the wealth so each week, we’ll be tacking on a Freebie Friday giveaway to our What Are You Reading posts. This week, we’re giving away…

What Are You Reading? (+ Jennifer Archer Giveaway)The Me I Used To Be by Jennifer Archer
Publisher: Harlequin Next
Publication Date: September 27, 2005
Format: Print
Genres: Fiction
Pages: 304
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THAT WAS THENMe, Allyson Cole. Age sixteen. Living in the world of endless summers, of going wherever you wanted. And yes, my parents may have worried that I was riding into trouble—but I was young and in love and growing up was something I had to do….

AND THIS IS NOWMe, again. Allyson Cole. This time, age fifty-one. I have everything I always wanted—almost. I don't have him…and I don't have me. Now's the time to find what I lost. To do that, I have to hit the road, and find the father of my child. And start a journey I never could have anticipated….

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

What Are You Reading: The Me I Used to Be by Jennifer Archer

What are you reading this week? Any new favorites or books that drove you crazy? Share!


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What Are You Reading? (+ Iris Johansen Giveaway)

Posted October 5, 2018 by Holly in Features, Giveaways | 13 Comments

WAYR-New

Casee: October is going well for me so far. I started Nalini’s Rock Kiss series. I remember beta reading Rock Addiction way back in the day, but for some reason I never read the rest of the series when it came out. I have no idea why. So I just reread Rock Addiction for the third time, which made me love it even more. Then I read Rock Hard. Now I’m reading Rock Redemption. I’m really enjoying this series.

I’m also listening to Steadfast by Sarina Bowen. I was telling Holly and Rowena that I didn’t understand what was so great about Jude. They both told me how much they lurved him. I still didn’t get it. Lets just say, I get it now. Jude. sigh

Holly: I had a slower reading week this week. Life has been kind of crazy. I finished Wild Hunger by Chloe Neill, which I didn’t love. It was just okay. It read more like young adult than straight UF, and that bothered me a lot. I reread Fire Touched by Patricia Briggs.

For audiobooks, I listened to On the Surface by Kate Willoughby. The hero was super adorable, but the final conflict was annoying and marred my enjoyment somewhat. I also listened to Once Upon a Sure Thing by Lauren Blakely.

Rowena: Like Holly, I’ve had a pretty slow reading week. I only listened to one audiobook at work because I was busy with other stuff but I did enjoy the books that I read. I read Rebel Hard (Hard Play #2) by Nalini Singh and even though Nayna was a bit frustrating at times, I enjoyed her story and even connected with all of the cultural stuff. The romance rocked too. Raj was such a dreamboat. I also read Fight or Flight by Samantha Young and after a rocky beginning, the hero stopped being a dickhead and I enjoyed the romance and how strong the heroine was. Lots of fun that story was.

I also listened to Archangel’s Consort (Guild Hunter #3) by Nalini Singh and enjoyed being back in Raphael and Elena’s world after a brief, okay I’m lying, a long ass break. I’ve got the next few audiobooks lined up and can’t wait to keep the Guild Hunter party going.

Right now, I’m reading Shadow and Ice (Gods of War #1) by Gena Showalter and then after this, I’ll be reading Kill the Queen (Crown of Shards #1) by Jennifer Estep.

Giveaway Alert

We are very fortunate here at Book Binge. We have loads and loads of books to read and we want to share the wealth so each week, we’ll be tacking on a Freebie Friday giveaway to our What Are You Reading posts. This week, we’re giving away…

What Are You Reading? (+ Iris Johansen Giveaway)No Easy Target by Iris Johansen
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: October 3, 2017
Format: Print
Source: Publisher
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Fiction
Pages: 400
Add It: Goodreads
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From #1 New York Times bestselling author Iris Johansen, an explosive thriller featuring fan favorite Margaret Douglas, an animal psychicON THE RUN Margaret Douglas has worked hard to put her painful past behind her. Raised off the grid in an abusive home, her only escape was the nearby forest where she sought refuge whenever she could. There, in the peaceful woods, she discovered a strange gift: the ability to understand animals and to communicate with them. Now, Margaret wants nothing more than to live a quiet life, close to the animals and under the radar. But her abilities have not gone unnoticed...and there are those who would use them for their own purposes. Determined not to be a pawn in anyone's game, every time someone gets too close, Margaret uproots her life and outruns them.INTO THE LINE OF FIRE When CIA operative John Lassiter breaks into Margaret's apartment, she vanishes again. Still, Lassiter has good reason to be persistent: one of his men is being held captive by an unrelenting enemy--someone who has set his sights on Margaret. Which means that Lassiter must control her to use her as bait...With danger in hot pursuit, Margaret finds herself matching wits with a man who refuses to stop or be stopped. Turning from the hunted to the hunter, Margaret must use everything she has ever learned to not only survive, but to defeat a great evil. And to prove once and for all that she's no easy target. . .

This edition of the book is the deluxe, tall rack mass market paperback.

What Are You Reading: No Easy Target by Iris Johansen

What are you reading this week? Any new favorites or books that drove you crazy? Share!


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