Book Review

Book Review: An Echo in the Bone (Outlander #7) by Diana Gabaldon

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Historical fiction romance
Length: 830 pages
Author: Diana Gabaldon
Publisher: Bantam
Release Date: June 22nd, 2010
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BOOK SUMMARY:

In this new epic of imagination, time travel, and adventure, Diana Gabaldon continues the riveting story begun in Outlander.

Jamie Fraser is an eighteenth-century Highlander, an ex-Jacobite traitor, and a reluctant rebel in the American Revolution. His wife, Claire Randall Fraser, is a surgeon—from the twentieth century. What she knows of the future compels him to fight. What she doesn’t know may kill them both.

With one foot in America and one foot in Scotland, Jamie and Claire’s adventure spans the Revolution, from sea battles to printshops, as their paths cross with historical figures from Benjamin Franklin to Benedict Arnold.

Meanwhile, in the relative safety of the twentieth century, their daughter, Brianna, and her husband experience the unfolding drama of the Revolutionary War through Claire’s letters. But the letters can’t warn them of the threat that’s rising out of the past to overshadow their family.

Diana Gabaldon’s sweeping Outlander saga reaches new heights in An Echo in the Bone.

ENJOYING THE RIDE.

If you haven’t noticed this already, the Outlander series is a slow-burn type of read. There’s power in the mundane things Gabaldon writes about and the high action scenes. It really feels like a true story of Claire and Jamie’s lives. Every little tid-bit. And I love every little tid-bit.

One of the things I noticed here was that a lot of the travelling was cut out. Not upset with that at all. I like that they quickly crossed an ocean or land. It made the story move a bit better and consistently.

I yet again love everyone here. Claire and Jamie (especially Jamie) have my heart. They really have a romance that stand the test of time. I love Bri and Roger. And really liked having two timelines again. Lord John Grey was also in here a lot more and I love his story too. I’m just smitten all around with this cast.

I’ve been mostly listening to these on audio and have really liked the narrator. She does an amazing job to where even when I’m reading a physical copy I can hear the voices of characters in my head. It’s really brought to life and I can’t wait to be caught up on this series soon!

Overall audience notes:

  • Historical romance
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: kisses to open scenes
  • Violence: depictions of war (Revolutionary War), physical, depictions of Claire acting as a surgeon (removal of body parts, lots of blood/gore)
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: I say this for every Outlander book, I apologize if I may miss some of the warnings because they’re generally many: PTSD from war, kidnapping, child endangerment, slavery, murder, animal attacks, loss of loved ones, accidental manslaughter, remembrance of stillborn child and miscarriages, and potentially more

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Book Review

Book Review: To Con a Gentleman (Dalton Family #1) by Sarah Adams

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Regency Romance
Length: 284 pages
Author: Sarah Adams
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Release Date: November 1st, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

He was her target. She was his diversion. Falling in love was never something they wanted.

As a con woman who has spent her entire life fending for herself on the streets of London, Rose Wakefield knows how to scam a gentleman out of his money without ever getting caught. That’s until she knocks on the wrong earl’s door and is faced with Carver Ashburn Earl of Kensworth and not the notorious rake she thinks she is approaching.

Carver is a good man, but even a good man will not pass up an opportunity to escape his grief. What better way to avoid his feelings than to play into a con woman’s ruse and offer to marry her?

Things only grow more complicated when Carver sweeps Rose off to his family estate and circumstances force them both into continuing the ruse. Carver needs to protect his family, and Rose needs to protect herself—and her heart.

With so much set against them, will Rose and Carver have a chance at love and freedom? Or is the possibility of more heartache not worth the risk?

ADORED THIS.

Such a sweet regency romance! It’s probably my favorite one that I’ve read in years. I love Sarah Adams writing and story telling.

I absolutely loved the banter between Carver and Rose. Goodness, that’s what more regency romances need. A bit of snark and moments to make me laugh. The plot for this was interesting and unique to most regency romances I’ve read. It was fun to have Rose to be a thief and con artist (with good intentions). Add in Carver, a strong, charming man with a tender heart and I was smitten with the romance.

The story was intriguing and I never wanted to stop reading. Having dinners, going to balls, romantic interludes on the roof, horse riding, so much was here. The story didn’t drag, but flowed easily. I love the intensity of emotions and substantially romantic. I wanted to be swept away and this was exactly what I got.

Overall audience notes:

  • Regency romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: falling from a horse, physical
  • Content Warnings: loss of loved one(s), mention and discussion of a past miscarriage, depictions of grief and depression

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Book Review

Book Review: His Disinclined Bride (Seasons of Change #7) by Jennie Goutet

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Regency Romance
Length: 270 pages
Author: Jennie Goutet
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: October 28th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

She agreed to marry on impulse; he agreed for money.

Kitty Stokes never imagined she’d be so weak as to sacrifice herself on the altar of family obligations, but when her brother impresses upon her that her only alternative to marriage with Phineas Hayworth is to play nursemaid to his own children, Kitty agrees against her better judgment. On her wedding day, the certainty she has made a grave error is only outweighed by the realization that it’s too late to back out now.

Phineas Hayworth refrained from setting eyes on his new bride before their wedding day. It was the price he forced himself to pay for being so mercenary as to contract a marriage with a wealthy merchant’s sister to save his estate from foreclosure. Her beauty, therefore, comes as a shock, as does her icy treatment, which he cannot but secretly feel he deserves. He swears an oath he will not approach her for an heir unless the invitation comes from her.

As Phineas sets out to repair the estate, dismiss lazy servants, and bring Kitty to Bath to present her to local Society, he finds his wife to be more enchanting than he could have hoped for, even in a love match. Kitty continues to hold him at arm’s length, although he suspects her feelings for him run just as deep. As Phineas’s love and desire for his wife grows, the oath he swore her begins to suffocate, and it soon becomes clear he must win her over completely or spend the rest of his life in a loveless marriage.

SUPER SWEET.

I wasn’t sure what I was expecting when I started this, some solid reviews from friends made it sound up my alley. I think I can definitely say it was! I seem to be in a regency romance mood and I’m not mad about it.

The premise of this with an arranged marriage was fun and different. I loved the relationship development and the way Phineas worked towards forming a bond with Kitty. I was also appreciative of Kitty not being totally obstinate and stubborn about her situation. It was a much better read with both wanting to make things work even if it took ironing out some creases first.

I didn’t feel this was overly dramatic. The side plots helped move Phineas and Kitty towards each other and it was pretty cute watching them flounder around with their emotions. A few perfectly regent kissing scenes and I was touched by it all.

Overall audience notes:

  • Regency romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses

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Book Review

ARC Blog Tour and Book Review: The Most Beautiful Girl in Cuba (The Cuba Saga #4) by Chanel Cleeton

Rating: ☆☆☆ 1/2
Audience: Historical fiction + Romance
Length: 320 pages
Author: Chanel Cleeton
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: May 4th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

At the end of the nineteenth century, three revolutionary women fight for freedom in New York Times bestselling author Chanel Cleeton’s captivating new novel inspired by real-life events and the true story of a legendary Cuban woman–Evangelina Cisneros–who changed the course of history.

A feud rages in Gilded Age New York City between newspaper tycoons William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer. When Grace Harrington lands a job at Hearst’s newspaper in 1896, she’s caught in a cutthroat world where one scoop can make or break your career, but it’s a story emerging from Cuba that changes her life.

Unjustly imprisoned in a notorious Havana women’s jail, eighteen-year-old Evangelina Cisneros dreams of a Cuba free from Spanish oppression. When Hearst learns of her plight and splashes her image on the front page of his paper, proclaiming her, “The Most Beautiful Girl in Cuba,” she becomes a rallying cry for American intervention in the battle for Cuban independence.

With the help of Marina Perez, a courier secretly working for the Cuban revolutionaries in Havana, Grace and Hearst’s staff attempt to free Evangelina. But when Cuban civilians are forced into reconcentration camps and the explosion of the USS Maine propels the United States and Spain toward war, the three women must risk everything in their fight for freedom.

Thank you to Berkley and Netgalley for an eARC in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own!

BEAUTIFUL STORY.

I have continually enjoyed reading Cleeton’s historical fiction books. They take me into a time of history that I know little about and add a dash of romance that I appreciate. This was another solid combination of both.

There’s three points-of-view in this story (as in her previous). Sometimes I wish the novel as a whole was longer so that I could get more of each woman’s story. The backgrounds and nuances of each character are remarkedly different and it’s easy to get caught up in what’s happening.

This time period of Cuba trying to break away from Spain was really great to learn more about. I hope to research some more because I feel like this only skimmed some of the surface. I had no idea about the dominating world of journalism at the time and the truly terrible conditions Cubans were facing from Spain. One of my favorite parts of the historical fiction genre is the inspiration to further gain knowledge on the time period and people brought to life.

Not to mention, I always love the subtle romances that work their way into my heart. They aren’t generally a heavy part of the plot, but it gives some hope and angst to the book. It’s the best little touch that I think always fits well.

My only major complaint was the pacing. I would get into one story line then jump too quickly to a different one. Or things would be too slow for too long which had me begging for some more action segments. Besides this, a really beautiful novel. I look forward to continue reading Cleeton’s books!

Overall audience notes:

  • Historical fiction
  • Language: some
  • Romance: kisses, closed door scenes
  • Violence: battles, wars, physical altercations, gun violence, kidnappings, ship explosions
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: being jailed without cause, reconcentration camps, losing loved ones, having to give up a child for a time (her child does come home eventually!), attempted sexual assault/rape, lewd remarks to women

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