Publisher: Penguin

Review: American Princess: A Novel of First Daughter Alice Roosevelt by Stephanie Marie Thornton

Posted July 4, 2022 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: American Princess: A Novel of First Daughter Alice Roosevelt by Stephanie Marie ThorntonReviewer: Holly
American Princess: A Novel of First Daughter Alice Roosevelt by Stephanie Marie Thornton
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: March 12, 2019
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Genres: Biography, Historical Fiction
Pages: 448
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four-half-stars

A sweeping novel from renowned author Stephanie Marie Thornton...

Alice may be the president's daughter, but she's nobody's darling. As bold as her signature color Alice Blue, the gum-chewing, cigarette-smoking, poker-playing First Daughter discovers that the only way for a woman to stand out in Washington is to make waves--oceans of them. With the canny sophistication of the savviest politician on the Hill, Alice uses her celebrity to her advantage, testing the limits of her power and the seductive thrill of political entanglements.

But Washington, DC is rife with heartaches and betrayals, and when Alice falls hard for a smooth-talking congressman it will take everything this rebel has to emerge triumphant and claim her place as an American icon. As Alice soldiers through the devastation of two world wars and brazens out a cutting feud with her famous Roosevelt cousins, it's no wonder everyone in the capital refers to her as the Other Washington Monument--and Alice intends to outlast them all.

Alice Roosevelt MemeI recently saw a meme describing Alice Roosevelt online, which claimed, among other things that, “She smoked cigarettes in public, chewed gum, placed bets with bookies, rode in cars with men, stayed out late partying and kept a pet snake named Emily Spinach, which she often wore wrapped around one arm and took to parties.” It piqued my curiosity about her. I was hoping to read her memoir, Crowded Hours, but the only used copies I could find were outrageously expensive. I settled for this historical fiction novel based on her long life as “the other Washington monument”.

From all accounts, Alice was a formidable woman with a rapier wit and no fear of turning her barbed tongue on anyone – family, friend or foe. That was showcased well here, though I do wish some of it had been more show instead of tell. Emily Spinach, for example, the garter snake she used to carry in her handbag was mentioned in passing. I wish we’d seen more of that. Still, her life was a fascinating one. This novel details her childhood, her tumultuous relationship with her father and step-mother Eleonor, as well as her marriage and exploits well into adulthood to the end of her life. I know there were some creative liberties taken, but I found her life fascinating.

I enjoyed this novel quite a bit and plan to read her biography soon.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5

four-half-stars


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Guest Review: The Scoundrel’s Daughter by Anne Gracie

Posted May 2, 2022 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

Guest Review: The Scoundrel’s Daughter by Anne GracieReviewer: Tracy
The Scoundrel's Daughter by Anne Gracie
Series: The Brides of Bellaire Gardens #1
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: August 24, 2021
Format: ARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 336
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three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

When Lady Charlton is forced into becoming London's most reluctant matchmaker, sparks fly and romance ensues, from the national bestselling author of Marry in Scarlet.

Alice, Lady Charlton, is finally free of her dominating husband, but on the verge of her new life, she is trapped when a blackmailer threatens to publish letters that could ruin her. To protect the secrets of her past Alice must find a lord for his daughter, Lucy, to marry.

Alice reluctantly agrees to find the girl a noble husband but when Lucy arrives, she's difficult and uncooperative and has no interest in her father's scheme. A lord, she says, will only look down his nose at her—and she's having none of that!

Desperate to retrieve the letters, Alice enlists the aid of her handsome young nephew, Gerald, who in turn seeks the help of his former commanding officer, James, Lord Tarrant. James is soon beguiled by the marriage-averse widow and sets out to change her mind. And each time they meet, Gerald and Lucy strike sparks off each other.

To find happiness, Alice and Lucy will have to be brave and trust in each other and the men who are attempting to win their hearts.

Alice is thrilled to be alone.  She doesn’t have much money, but she’d rather that then what she had when her husband was alive.  Alice’s deceased husband was an ass (hereafter referred to as The Ass).  He belittled and denigrated Alice at every turn, especially in public.  He was horrid and when he died, he left most of his wealth to his mistress.

Alice is happy, despite her financial situation, until she receives a visit from a Mr. Bamber.  He is in possession of letters that The Ass wrote to his mistress.  In these letters The Ass wrote horrible things about Alice, even about their time in bed together during their marriage, that are most embarrassing. Bamber states he will release these letters to the public if Alice doesn’t do what he wants – which is to have Alice bring out his daughter in society.  Not wanting the letters to get out, Alice agrees.

After a rough start, Alice and Lucy soon start making the rounds of balls and routs to introduce Lucy to society.  Lucy is introduced as Alice’s goddaughter so this put’s Alice’s nephew’s guard up since he’s never heard of Lucy. While Gerald is looking into Lucy, Gerald’s commanding office when he was in the Army, James, has set his sights on Alice.  Of course after the marriage she had, Alice has no desire to marry again, ever.

This was my second time reading this story.  I liked Alice so very much and my heart went out to her.  After 18 years with The Ass she was done with marriage for good.  James really had his work cut out for him in trying to woo her.  He was a father to three girls, and I loved how much he cared for them.  They really came first for him and that was obvious to the reader.  I thought that Alice and James made a great couple though I felt their romance was on the slim side.  He saw her and decided she was The One and it moved quickly from there.  I did enjoy reading about their time together, but it was fast.

Lucy and Gerald were also perfect for each other.  Unfortunately, I felt there was even less of a romance between these two.  They argued constantly and then they were kissing and getting engaged.  Granted, Lucy thought it was a fake engagement, but only Gerald knew it was real. While we got to know Lucy, I didn’t feel like I knew Gerald all that much by the end of the book.

Despite my issues with the romances the overall setting and tone and writing in the book kept my attention and I enjoyed the story.  I’m looking forward to the next book in this series.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

The Brides of Bellaire Gardens

three-half-stars


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Review: Shadow Fire by Christine Feehan

Posted April 20, 2022 by Casee in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Shadow Fire by Christine FeehanReviewer: Casee
Shadow Fire by Christine Feehan
Series: Shadow Riders #7
Also in this series: Shadow Reaper, Shadow Reaper, Shadow Reaper, Shadow Keeper, Shadow Warrior, Shadow Flight, Shadow Storm
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: April 26, 2022
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 432
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two-half-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

Journey deeper into the world of Chicago’s most dangerous, alluring crime family in this incendiary installment of the Shadow Riders series from #1 New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan.
Shadow Rider Elie Archambault has been called many things: domineering, brash, loyal, but most of all fast. And there’s nothing faster than choosing to marry a woman you’ve never met. All he has is a signed contract and a list of his new bride’s expectations for their arranged marriage. He’s not expecting love or some happy ever after, just a partner that knows exactly what she signed up for. He’ll be faithful because he’s a man of honor, but she’ll never have his heart....
Elie knows who he is. A privileged member of the Archambault family. A skilled rider and fighter. A man who's always had things easy for all the wrong reasons. He's made his mistakes and lost his chance at real, true passion with his other half thanks to his own careless arrogance. Now he just wants to do his duty as a Shadow Rider and leave the past behind.
But Elie has no idea that his choice is about to spark a blaze that will burn all his carefully laid plans to the ground....

Years after he lost the woman he loved due to his own dickishness, Elie Archambault has decided to enter into an arranged marriage. As a shadow rider, Elie is among the elite. The Archambault family is renouned for their ability to ride the shadows. There are few very people in the world that can match Elie’s speed in the shadows. There are also very few women that can handle his sexual proclivities and his alpha personality. Although he doesn’t plan on falling in love with his future wife, he will respect her and be faithful.

Brielle was heartbreaking. She has gone through so much in her young life. From family that uses her as a servant to Elie, who shattered her heart with his cruel words on that day so long ago. Brielle has not a clue that her intended groom is the man that she has spent years running from. When she sees him at the ceremony, she immediately tries to back out. The only man that she won’t let herself have is Elie. Brielle knows he could break her heart with a few careless words. When it’s apparent that Elie won’t let her back out of the contract, she does the only thing she can. She accepts Elie as her husband, but is determined never to love him.

I think this is it for me. I’m breaking up with Christine Feehan. For real this time. She just has this repetitive storyline in all her books. There’s always a trafficking ring and BDSM involved. Now I can handle both those, but every single time she releases a book (aside from the GhostWalkers), those two things are always involved. Like, come on. Lets get some fresh ideas or fresh something. Brielle was really a kickass heroine. She could take care of herself and the ones that are around her. Elie doesn’t like her being in danger and forbids her from riding the shadows. It was really ridiculous. I understood that Elie wanted to protect her, but the way he went about it was all wrong. He was kind of an asshole. After the last couple of books, I really liked him. His book was a highly anticipated one for me. It’s unfortunate that it was such a letdown.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

Shadow Riders

two-half-stars


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Review: Phantom Game by Christine Feehan

Posted March 28, 2022 by Casee in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: Phantom Game by Christine FeehanReviewer: Casee
Phantom Game by Christine Feehan
Narrator: Jim Frangione
Series: GhostWalkers #18
Also in this series: Predatory Game, Street Game, Ruthless Game, Shadow Game, Power Game, Murder Game, Covert Game, Toxic Game
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: March 1, 2022
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 400
Length: 13 hours and 35 minutes
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Jonas "Smoke" Harper has watched his brothers find their perfect mates, never imagining he'd actually meet someone who complements every part of him — even the monster that lurks within. But his instant connection with Camellia goes far beyond wanting the intelligent, beautiful, and lethal woman in his bed. They are two parts of a whole, linked to each other and to a larger network that exists everywhere around them.
Camellia has lived on her own for a long time, relying on her unique psychic abilities to keep her safe. She knows that Jonas was literally made for her, and that makes their addictive connection more dangerous than a thousand enhanced super soldiers. Once the larger threat looming over them is dealt with she's going to get far away as fast as she can. Life has taught her that the only one she can truly trust is herself.
Jonas can sense Camellia is going to run — and the hunter inside doesn't want to let go. Not when he knows how good they'll be together. So he'll just have to use all of his considerable skills to convince her to stay...

Phantom Game is a wonderful addition to Feehan’s GhostWalker series. I haven’t been a huge fan of Feehan in the last few years. This book seemed to be like her earlier books, which was a nice change. After reading Annihilation Road, I thought about throwing in the towel. I was going to force myself to come to terms with the fact that Feehan just doesn’t write how she used to. Then this book came out. I’m more certain now than ever that she has a ghostwriter. Holly is too and she’s always right.

Camellia Mist lives for her plants and flowers. Since she was a small child under Whitney’s care, she knew she had an affinity for anything growing from the ground. She’s able to disappear into the mist (hence the last name) with the help of the Middlemist Red Camellia. Red helps Camellia stay hidden in the forest in Montana. When Jonas Harper is able to get around her traps, she knows instantly that he’s been paired with her. They have similar abilities and an instant and electric attraction.

Jonas has fought his aggression for years. When he was being enhanced by Whitney, he was injected with DNA of various animals. All of them aggressive (think tiger, leopard, etc). Camellia sooths the best and he knows he can’t let her go. She is very obviously independent and can take care of herself, yet his urge to protect her is fierce.

I really enjoyed this installment. I liked going back to Team One and seeing old favorites. Lily and Ryland had a cameo and it was heartbreaking. Camellia was such a wonderful heroine, strong yet kind. Jonas was a badass with a gentle side. The camaraderie between the GhostWalker teams added an element that made it hard to put this book down.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

GhostWalkers

four-stars


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Review: Annihilation Road by Christine Feehan

Posted February 16, 2022 by Casee in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Annihilation Road by Christine FeehanReviewer: Casee
Annihilation Road by Christine Feehan
Narrator: Ryan West
Series: Torpedo Ink #6
Also in this series: Judgment Road , Judgment Road, Vengeance Road, Vendetta Road, Desolation Road, Reckless Road, Savage Road
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: December 28, 2021
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 476
Length: 17 hours and 47 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
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three-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

All paths lead to destruction in the new Torpedo Ink novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan.
Savin “Savage” Pajari is convinced he’s not worth a damn thing. He’s not like his brothers. He’s a sadistic monster, a killer—a man no woman could truly love. So it completely throws him when a stranger risks her life for his, pushing him out of the way and taking the hit that would have sent him six feet under. If he had any kind of sense, he’d leave her alone, but Savage can’t get the woman with a smart mouth and no sense of self-preservation out of his head. With one kiss, he’s lost.
Seychelle Dubois has spent her entire life not feeling much of anything, until Savage comes along and sets her whole body on fire. Kissing him was a mistake. Letting him get close would be a catastrophe. He’s the most beautiful—and damaged—man she’s ever met. He has a way of getting under her skin, and what he’s offering is too tempting to resist.
Seychelle knows so little about Savage or the dangerous world of Torpedo Ink, but his darkness draws her like a moth to a flame. Loving him could mean losing herself completely to his needs—needs she doesn’t understand but is eager to learn. But what Savage teaches her could destroy her.

Savage is the most, well, savage of the Torpedo Ink members. His brothers and sisters believe that he is a time bomb, ready to go off over the smallest infraction. What his family doesn’t know is that he has a special gift. He can take pain (mental) from people, but then he takes it on himself. He knows he can’t live like this any longer. Then he meets Seychelle. Savage wonders is she’s been sent from heaven by a God that he doesn’t believe in.

I thought Seychelle was perfect for Savage. Seychelle was a true healer, just like Savage. Also just like Savage, she can take away pain & sickness, but then it transfers to her. She knows she doesn’t have long to live. Then she meets Savage.

I’m not a prude by any means, but this book was a little much for me. I understood the reasons that Savage had his particular sexual needs, but it was like a cloud that just hung over the entire book. It was this thing that you couldn’t put at the back of your mind. The book was mostly about Savage’s needs and the why of those needs. I was about halfway through the book & thought it should have ended then and there. It was just too much. I actually thought DNFing it, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. It’s the diehard Christine Feehan fan in me that couldn’t DNF it.

This book is the first of a duet within the Torpedo Ink series. I haven’t read Savage Road because I’m just not interested. It was a sad day when I realized that.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Torpedo Ink

three-stars


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