Book Review

Book Review: Come Back to Me (Waters of Time #1) by Jody Hedlund

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Historical fiction romance
Length: 384 pages
Author: Jody Hedlund
Publisher: Fleming H. Revell Company
Release Date: June 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

The ultimate cure that could heal any disease? Crazy.

That’s exactly what research scientist Marian Creighton has always believed about her father’s quest, even if it does stem from a desire to save her sister Ellen from the genetic disease that stole their mother from them. But when her father falls into a coma after drinking a vial of holy water believed to contain traces of residue from the Tree of Life, Marian must question all of her assumptions. He’s left behind tantalizing clues that suggest he’s crossed back in time. Insane. Until Marian tests his theories and finds herself in the Middle Ages during a dangerous peasant uprising.

William Durham, a valiant knight comes to Marian’s rescue and offers her protection . . . as his wife. The longer Marian stays in the past, the more she cares about William. Can she ever find her father and make it back to the present to heal her sister? And when the time comes to leave, will she want to?

Bestselling author Jody Hedlund is your guide down the twisting waters of time to a volatile era of superstition, revolts, and chivalry in this suspenseful story.

AN INTRIGUING IDEA.

This plot was interesting!! It had been described to me as Outlander-ish (without a very long list of trigger and content warnings). I’d have to agree, this did remind me of that series, but it’s also very much its own book.

Marian was a intelligent woman who ends up in the 1300’s trying to save her Dad. Little does she know, she’s about to fall in insta-lust/love with William Durham. With the instantaneous nature of it all I never caught up to fully being invested in the romance, but I did like it by the end. They seemed well matched. I did wish I knew going in that this is a STANDALONE. The second book follow another couple. You’ve been made aware.

I definitely had a hard time putting this down. The story is engaging and the pace moves fairly quickly. I would have loved more set-up on both sides of the world, but it was good overall. More length would have made the present time period have a clearer direction. There’s much more here and I hope the second book will expand on that.

Overall audience notes:

  • Historical fiction + romance
  • Language: very little
  • Romance: kisses / heated make-outs
  • Violence: sword battles, physical altercations, being beaten
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: hostage situations, loss of a parent, loss of a spouse, brief mention of a side character discuss miscarriage, a sibling with a terminal illness

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Book Review

ARC Book Review: The Unknown Beloved by Amy Harmon

Rating: ★★★★★
Audience: Historical Romance
Length: 413 pages
Author: Amy Harmon
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Release Date: April 19th, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

From the bestselling author of Where the Lost Wander and What the Wind Knows comes the evocative story of two people whose paths collide against the backdrop of mystery, murder, and the Great Depression.

Chicago, 1923: Ten-year-old Dani Flanagan returns home to find police swarming the house, her parents dead. Michael Malone, the young patrolman assigned to the case, discovers there’s more to the situation—and to Dani Flanagan herself—than the authorities care to explore. Malone is told to shut his mouth, and Dani is sent away to live with her spinster aunts in Cleveland.

Fifteen years later, Michael Malone is summoned to Cleveland to investigate a series of murders that have everyone stumped, including his friend and famed Prohibition agent Eliot Ness, now Cleveland’s director of safety. There, in a city caught in the grip of a serial killer, Malone’s and Dani’s paths cross once again.

Malone is drawn to Dani and her affinity for the dead and compassion for the destitute. It doesn’t take long for him to realize that she could help him solve his case. As terror descends on the city and Malone and Dani confront the dark secrets that draw them together, it’s a race to find the killer or risk becoming his next victims.

Thank you to the author for an eARC.

ALL THE STARS.

I am forever attached to Harmon and her writing magnificence. The beauty and portrayal of the nuances of every aspect of her stories is immersing and impossible to turn away from. The moment this dropped onto my kindle I read it was quickly as I could as once again, I have nothing but good things to say.

AH THE ROMANCE. If you love a good age gap romance, this one is for you. I looooved the way that Dani and Michael came together. Through learning about each other’s backgrounds, to the slow forced proximity of their situations. And at last to the clashing of their souls has love took them under. It was everything subtly beautiful I love in a romance. I constantly needed more of them because each interaction pulled at my heart and while I loved Dani and Michael separately, I also loved the way they stood together.

The gritty murder mystery throughout was definitely hard to read in the dark at times. A bit gruesome and will keep you on your toes. I constantly was waiting for the other foot to drop and for the those final throw down scenes to ramp up my heartrate. Don’t worry, IT HAPPEEND. I liked the conclusions that were brought through to the end to tie up things for a book (even with the author’s note at the end explaining creative differences for the sake of the story).

This review is already a lot longer than my usual because I can’t STOP. I loved everything about this story. Amy Harmon writes historical romances like no other.

Overall audience notes:

  • Historical Fiction Romance
  • Language: very little
  • Romance: closed door
  • Violence: med/high blood and gore
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: kidnapping, gruesome depictions of murder, dismembering, gun violence, murder/suicide

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Book Review

Book Review: A Fall from Grace (Clavering Chronicles #1) by Jennie Goutet

Rating: ☆☆☆
Audience: Regency Romance
Length: 236 pages
Author: Jennie Goutet
Publisher: Self published
Release Date: April 13th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

She needs a champion. He needs one less person to worry about.

Selena Lockhart comes with neither fortune nor connections, and she knows better than to expect Society to give her a welcome—especially after her father gambled away his fortune, precipitating the family’s sudden fall from grace and Selena’s betrothed to break off the engagement. It therefore comes as no surprise that her new neighbor, Sir Lucius, treats her with disdain. Why should he look beyond appearances when her own promises so little?

Sir Lucius Clavering is not married, but he may as well be, considering he is expected to escort his widowed mother to watering holes, round out the numbers at his married sister’s dinners, and come to the aid of his scapegrace younger siblings. It doesn’t help that single women and matchmaking mamas jostle each other for his face, fortune, and title so that he’s left without a moment’s peace.

When Selena shows up at Lucius’s doorstep looking for help, he is sure it’s another ploy aimed at cutting up his prized bachelor existence. Although his prejudice does not last long, Lucius fears his first reaction might have ruined his chances with her. How can he save her from Society’s teeth when she continues to hold him at arm’s length?

SUB-PLOT TAKEOVER.

Regency romances are hit and misses for me, but I always keep going back because I really do love them. This one was a bit of a miss for me, but I’m hopeful for the next in the series.

I liked the main characters, Selena and Lucius. And there was dual POV!! My absolute favorite in any romance. I love getting both sides of the story and this was no exception.

What dragged me down was how thoroughly the lesser plot took over the main plot. Selena was entirely engrossed in her duties and that was seemingly the only thing she could ponder on. Which is usually fine, when the whole book isn’t a romance. If that’s the whole idea I want the plot to further the romance, not feel like it’s own separate entity.

The moments Lucius and Selena were together were fantastic! Great banter, a bit swoony, all the things I love in a regency (I love any time a regency romance puts the couple together without anyone around, THE SCANDAL). But there weren’t enough interactions for me to feel fully invested. Things fell flat by the end when some really sweet sentiments were passed between them.

Overall audience notes:

  • Regency romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: loss of a parent because of gambling addiction and alcoholism

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Book Review

Book Review: The Viscount Who Loved Me (Bridgertons #2) by Julia Quinn

Rating: ★★★★★
Audience: Historical Romance
Length: 391 pages
Author: Julia Queen
Publisher: Avon
Release Date: December 5th, 2000
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

ANTHONY’S STORY

This time the gossip columnists have it wrong. London’s most elusive bachelor Anthony Bridgerton hasn’t just decided to marry—he’s even chosen a wife! The only obstacle is his intended’s older sister, Kate Sheffield—the most meddlesome woman ever to grace a London ballroom. The spirited schemer is driving Anthony mad with her determination to stop the betrothal, but when he closes his eyes at night, Kate’s the woman haunting his increasingly erotic dreams…

Contrary to popular belief, Kate is quite sure that reformed rakes do not make the best husbands—and Anthony Bridgerton is the most wicked rogue of them all. Kate’s determined to protect her sister—but she fears her own heart is vulnerable. And when Anthony’s lips touch hers, she’s suddenly afraid she might not be able to resist the reprehensible rake herself..

THE ANGST.

This was a complete, bookstagram made me do it. I had no designs about picking up this series and a friends review convinced me to give it a try and Y’ALL. WHY DID I HOLD OFF ON THIS.

THE PINING. THE PASSION. THE ANGST. THE HEATED GLANCES.

It is everything I LOVE about enemies to lovers and I couldn’t get enough. There were so many rememberable scenes and I loved watching these two fall in love. Fantastic banter and the quiet moments where they learned more about each other were so tender. I liked how much background was added for both characters to give credence to decisions and actions. I found the steam scenes to actually be really sweet and work well into the story.

I liked the way the side characters worked into the plot but didn’t over shadow the romance. They added to the story and I loved many of them. I bet I’m going to find myself reading the rest of these books.

The ability for both Kate and Anthony to overcome different aspects of their pasts and find love together was CHEF’S KISS. There was no way I wasn’t throwing five stars at this book and now I already want to reread it.

Overall audience notes:

  • Historical romance
  • Language: little
  • Romance: two low explicit open door
  • Violence: low
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: PTSD, death from anaphylaxis recounted, death of a parent discussed

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