Book Review: Mistress Spy by Pamela Mingle

Book Review: Mistress Spy by Pamela Mingle

Madeline just wants to avenge her brother but when she’s captured she is offered two choices: become a spy for the queen or hang.  Maddy chooses to spy ending up in a maid’s position at the home of suspected traitors.

Nicholas is ready to go his own way after years of service to Queen Elizabeth but his plan changes with the arrival of a feisty beauty who betrayed her country but has a chance at redemption.

As tensions rise and a plot unfolds the two must find a way to put aside their differences and embrace the danger that fraught their world.  I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review and all opinions are my own.  This book’s publishing date is August 27th.

I cannot, in all honesty, say this book was fantastic.  It was mediocre and at best somewhat interesting.  Overall I found the book to be a boring and tedious affair.  I simply could not get into the tale and the only reason I finished the book was to find out the full plot put into place against the crown and whether Maddy and Nicholas managed to stop it.  The setting was somewhat intriguing but the characters were just blah.

Image result for boring gifThe main characters, Maddy and Nicholas were boring to read about.  I never could feel the emotion that they carried and their interactions were so… I don’t know how to explain but they felt fake.  I don’t have anything against the characters but I just couldn’t see into their minds like I can in other books.  I hated reading about their characters and I wanted to put the book down so many times but I felt the need to finish what I started and I wanted to find out more about the plot to rescue Mary Queen of Scots.

The background and setting was the only intriguing part of this book.  There was a plot in place to rescue Mary Queen of Scots and I kept reading to find out whether the plan would come to fruition or not.  It was stopped and the book ended on a happy note.  However, I felt that the book was not completely historically accurate in the characters interactions and the phrases and words used throughout the book were too modern.  The idea for the setting was interesting but it could have been carried out better.

Related imageIn the end, I could not stand the book and would give it a low rating.  I don’t think it’s worth the time it takes to read it and even if you do read it you will find yourself falling asleep.  Mistress Spy was boring, inaccurate, and hard to get through and I would recommend not reading this book.

Book Review: Shunned No More by Christina McKnight

Book Review: Shunned No More by Christina McKnight

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Lady Viola Oberbrook is hiding from the past. A past where two brothers lives were taken because of her selfishness.  She now lives in the country running a business with a few trusted friends.  She has no plans to return to London until the past confronts her head on.

Brock Spencer, Earl of Haversham, just returned to England from war with plans to renovate his estate, find a wife and seek vengeance on the one woman who destroyed his family.  But his plans change when he falls for the woman who should never be apart of his life.

This book was stunning.  I loved the romance, the backstories, and the characters.  The two main characters Viola and Brock were a wonderful match for each other for they each had vibrant yet haunted characters.  Viola was brave yet constantly feeling guilty.  She strove to change and to never be the same girl as she was in her youth.  She ran a horse stable despite the fact that in the times most ladies did not run any sort of business.  Brock was haunted by his past and his family unwilling to let it rest.  He was ungracious at times but it was easy to understand why.  In the end, they both forgave each other and let the future take over instead of dallying on the past.

The romance between the two characters, however, was a little rough and underdeveloped.  The book spent most of the time focusing on the characters trying to get past their emotional pains but the relationship between the two main characters stuttered.  I think that the romance could have been less instantaneous for it seemed to just happen in the last two chapters of the book.  Related imageThere were hints throughout the book that Brock and Viola had feelings for each other and there was even a kiss but it was not generally acknowledged by the characters.  It wasn’t a bad romance and they were a good pair but their romance just seemed too quick.

The backstories were phenomenal.  The main characters and even the side characters each had their own pains and character development.  I loved the changes that the events in the book brought about in the characters, especially for Viola.  During the Prologue, I hated Viola because she was arrogant, selfish, stupid, and uncaring.  I almost stopped reading there because I couldn’t stand her character.  However, I was glad that I stuck that one chapter out for the Viola we met in the next chapters was much changed.  She continued to learn and grow from each mistake she made and Brock did the same which made the book all the better because the reader could easily witness the character development enacted.

Overall I adored this book and would recommend it as an excellent example of its genre.

Book Review: Goddess of the Hunt by Tessa Dare

Book Review: Goddess of the Hunt by Tessa Dare

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Lucy Waltham is trying to get one man to the altar.  In need of practice in her seductive whiles and sweet kisses, she turns to her brother’s friend, Jeremy Trescott, the Earl of Kendall who is as cold as ice.  As she sets up dozens of ways to seduce the man she loves to her side her kisses spark a deadly passion that could turn into a blazing fire at a mere spark.

Jeremy keeps a safe distance from emotions and Lucy who displays every emotion for the world to see.  But that changes with his need to save Lucy from certain heartbreak. Their sensual battle of wills is as forbidden as it is delicious and the closer Jeremy gets to taming his temptress… the nearer he comes to losing all control.

This book, simply put, was phenomenal.  The voice, the characters, the style, I loved all of it.  I was unable to put the book down and I continued to read it late into the night.  What I completely adored about the book and what really made up the entirety of the book was the characters.

Lucy was a wonderful character.  She preferred fishing and riding over sewing and she grew up traipsing through the woods with her brother and his friends.  She was an unrefined lady which made the book all the more entertaining.  What I truly liked about her was her passion.  Once she set her mind to something she saw it through.  I was slightly annoyed with her at the beginning of the book what with her constant planning to ensnare Toby.  It was made all the more galling by the fact that I knew he cared for her little beyond brotherly love.  Furthermore, Lucy refused to bend to her husband’s will and she accepted every dare placed before her.  Below her wild surface, she was sweet, brave, and unwilling to give up on others.  I adored her character because she was a bit of hoyden with unbending values and loyalty.

Her counterpart in this tale, Jeremy was a man hiding behind a cold facade and burying his emotions to forget the pain of his childhood.  His reluctance to reveal that part of himself to anyone added such sweet appeal to his character because it was a truly fantastic moment when we the reader were told about his past.  He was coarse at times but he was denying the fact that he loved Lucy and needed her while telling himself that Lucy could never feel the same.  I loved reading about Jeremy’s return to feeling again and I adored digging underneath the cold as ice countenance he had held onto for so long.

Image result for ahh sigh gifThe romance was truly stupendous.  Their attraction to each other at first was hard to conceive of, at least for Lily because she was determined that she was in love with another man.  It seemed for a while that Jeremy was the one truly falling while Lily attempted to be unfazed by their kisses.  After their marriage, however, Lily seemed to realize that she was falling for her handsome husband.  I noticed that Jeremy’s feelings kept growing for Lily but he denied it to himself and her for most of the book. In the end, the romance was powerful and sweet despite the obstacles in their path.

Since the book was built around the romance their is little else to say about the plot of the book besides the fact that I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Lily’s antics in her desperate bid to capture the love of Toby.  The side characters were entertaining and I loved Sophia who simply wanted love.

In whole, The Goddess Hunt was a prodigious tale that I would highly recommend.

 

Book Review: The Robber Bride by Jerrica Knight-Catania

Book Review: The Robber Bride by Jerrica Knight-Catania

Image result for The Robber Bride by  Jerrica Knight-CataniaVictoria knew she needed to enact change in the world when she saw a poor girl on the streets.  So, she robbed the rich and gave all of the money to those who needed it more than the haughty aristocrats.  Her friend Phineas Dartwell, Earl of Leyburn suspects that Victoria is hiding something.  He wishes that Victoria would confide him but she refuses and he severs their friendship because of a wounded pride and an injured heart.  But when Victoria’s activities are brought to life, Phineas will do anything to see that his friend and perhaps future wife be acquitted of the charges.

The Robber Bride was a wonderful tale that I truly enjoyed.  I adored the main character who cared about those more unfortunate than her.  Indeed, she stole from the rich and gave to the poor much like Robin Hood but she did it all alone and almost no one knew of her illegal activities.  She cared about everyone even though she was a part of the peerage.  I loved how she was not afraid to back down even if her impetuousness sometimes got her into trouble.  Her friend, Fin was quite a wonderful gentleman who loved painting and cared dearly about Victoria and her brother.  It was hard not to like his character.  I was further endeared to Fin when he adopted Sally even though she was from the streets.

Image result for it was perfect gifBesides the fascinating characters, I liked how the book did not completely focus on the romance.  In fact, the romance seemed to be a major side note.   The two main characters were in fact friends for the entirety of the book.  There were a couple kisses thrown in but it wasn’t until the very end of the book that the romance blossoming between Victoria and Fin finally came to a head with a proposal of marriage and a declaration of love.  This contributed to my enjoyment of the book for some books can become tedious and dramatic when they focus completely on the romance and add little action to spice the book up.

I would recommend this book especially to those who enjoy a romance with a lot of action.  In the case of this book a little action of a lady highwayman who steals from her peers to give to those who have less than she.

 

Book Review: The Duchess War by Courtney Milan

Book Review: The Duchess War by Courtney Milan

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Minnie is shy and timid, a common wallflower.  That is how she wants to be seen to escape from the scandal of her past.  A past that caused her to change her name and hide her nature.  However, her facade is soon threatened when the Duke of Clermont comes to town.  He is immediately drawn to the seemingly inane Minnie but he soon realizes she is not all that she attempts to appear to be.  He tries to uncover her secrets even as she searches for his.  But this women may prove to be more than his match…..

This book was an intriguingly simple tale of a Duke and girl who suffered scandal at the young age of twelve.  I adored the book especially the characters.  The main character Minnie hid behind a timid facade that I enjoyed uncovering throughout the course of the book. However, I was occasionally annoyed by her inaction and unwillingness to let herself go. Robert, the Duke, was sweet, likable, and kind.  He had a horrible childhood and he struggled to find peace with his mom.  I was endeared to him because he was a sweet talker.  Furthermore, he was concerned for the working class and wished for the peerage to be abolished even though he ranked highly among it. Minnie and Robert were two wonderful main characters whose adventure I loved to read about.

Image result for yes gifBeyond the characters, the premise of the story which took place in Regency England was quite like many other English historical romance books.  A girl was looking for a husband but she was not all that she seemed and then she met an unattainable man.  However, I enjoyed how the book mentioned the works being done for the poor and those who worked in factories.  It spent a portion of the book focusing on the rights of the middle class and lower classes and how the peerage of the time could have helped and how some did.  In the case of the book stirring pamphlets were written by the Duke.

The backstory continued to add appeal to the book for Minnie had been a world-renowned chess player.  I myself have always enjoyed chess and it was fun to read about a young girl who could beat grown men at the game.  The book also applied chess to Minnie’s character by constantly showing how she weighed each move she made like life was one big chess game.

The Duchess War was a fun and easy read.  I would recommend this book to those in need of a sweet story with lovable characters. I truly enjoyed this book and if you read it I know you will too.

 

Book Review: The Season by Sarah MacLean

Book Review: The Season by Sarah MacLean

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Lady Alexandra hates balls, gowns, and the idea of romance which doesn’t help her fit into the world of Regency London.  She is more interested in adventure than finding a suitable husband.

Between gown fittings, balls, dinner parties, and country weekends Alex and her two best friends, Ella and Vivi, manage to become entangled in a dangerous scrape.  When the Earl of Blackmoor is killed in an accident that suggests willful and evil intentions, Alex decides to help his son, the brooding and devilishly handsome Gavin, uncover the truth regarding his father.  She is wrapped up in murder, espionage, and suspicion but as she grows closer to Gavin her heart is dangerously threatened.  Romance and danger circle the high society of London as the year’s season begins.

The Season was a wonderfully light and easy read full of mystery and the pressures that women of the time faced.  The book portrayed the expectations of society that young women find a suitable match and quickly in their coming of age debut during the season.  The romance was slightly predictable but aren’t most romances?

The author kept it lively with the constant arguments and political conversations enjoyed throughout the book by the main character and the people around her.   The main character, Alex was the epitome of a rebellious strong-willed woman who is not afraid to state her opinion and conform to society’s norms and rules.

However, the first half of the book focused entirely on building Alex’s and Gavin’s relationship and we learned and heard little about the mystery regarding the death of the Earl of Blackmoor.  All we heard was that he was killed and it might not have been an accident.  In fact, we are shown what the season is like and the many love interests of Alex.  We get to know her character and the characters around her but the action does not happen until the middle of the book where the mystery is finally fully revealed and the relationship between Alex and Gavin hits its climax.

It was not boring exactly but the author could have reached the mystery quicker without building so much backstory.  If the author had not included humor, wit, intriguing characters, and the constant need to know if Alex and Gavin were a thing, the book would have been hard to get through.  Despite that I enjoyed it and would recommend it to people in need of a quick historical romance.