Book Review

Book Review: Voyager (Outlander #3) by Diana Gabaldon

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Historical fiction romance
Length: 870 pages
Author: Diana Gabaldon
Publisher: Delta
Release Date: December 1st, 1993
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Their passionate encounter happened long ago by whatever measurement Claire Randall took. Two decades before, she had traveled back in time and into the arms of a gallant eighteenth-century Scot named Jamie Fraser. Then she returned to her own century to bear his child, believing him dead in the tragic battle of Culloden. Yet his memory has never lessened its hold on her… and her body still cries out for him in her dreams.

Then Claire discovers that Jamie survived. Torn between returning to him and staying with their daughter in her own era, Claire must choose her destiny. And as time and space come full circle, she must find the courage to face the passion and pain awaiting her…the deadly intrigues raging in a divided Scotland… and the daring voyage into the dark unknown that can reunite or forever doom her timeless love.

BEST ONE [YET].

Ahhhhhh.

It’s official.

I’m involved.

Like, REAL involved in Claire and Jamie.

It’s fine. I’m fine. BUT CAN WE JUST GET SOME HAPPY MOMENTS FOR THEM? Goodness, my heart is in my throat every chapter wondering who’s jumping out next with a knife and a gun. Okay okay, I do admit there’s plenty of good moments too, but wow, do they live a life of danger.

I just loved how this story unfolded. I hated waiting for that reunion, but FLIPPIN’ LOVED how it went down. That’s how you reunite lost loves. Claire and Jamie treat each other with such love, respect, and fire. FIRE. I appreciate that there’s nothing held back. They have their conversations out there in the open, and come what may, they continue to love each other body and soul.

Not to mention that Jame purely angered MY soul with his shenanigans. Yes yes, explained away well, doesn’t mean I can’t have my feelings over it. I thought it was a good twist and definitely amped up the story as a whole. Also my sweet babe Fergus, all grown up! He’s one of my favorite side characters. Which makes me think that his ending is going to be make me sob, so let’s hope that doesn’t happen. I’ve got quite a few books to go.

With 870 pages, you’d think I’d have A LOOOOT to say. And I do, but I don’t. It’s one of those big books you sink into. Reading it takes as long as it does, but you’re not even noticing because the story has you wrapped up. That’s one of my favorite things about big sagas. I’m allowed to wholly immerse myself in the world and characters and feel the depth of the story.

Overall audience notes:

  • Historical fiction romance
  • Language: a little
  • Romance: kisses / make-outs; a few love scenes ranging in detail from little to quite a bit
  • Violence: poison, swords, pirate attacks, ship wrecks, physical, murder, knives
  • Trigger warnings: sexual assault on a minor; sexual assault; intense depictions of slavery (specifically in the West Indies)

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Book Review

Book Review: King of the South (Belgrave Dynasty #1) by Calia Read

Rating: ☆☆☆☆ 1/2
Audience: Historical romance
Length: 404 pages
Author: Calia Read
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: February 21st, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

The year is 1919, and the Great War has ended. As everyone picks up the pieces of their lives, I have only copious amounts of alcohol and women keeping me together.

Most of the men I went to war with didn’t make it home, including my best friend, Miles. I thought I knew everything about him until I discovered he made me the executor to his little sister Rainey’s dowry.

Rainey Pleasonton is anything but pleasant. Most men in Charleston found her wild and carefree ways to be terrifying, which explained why she was twenty-eight and still unmarried.

I have sixty days to help her find a husband before she loses her inheritance, her family’s legacy, and I lose the last of my sanity.

The only problem is, I’ve watched her go from a little girl who chased us around with a bow and arrow to the only woman in the South immune to my charm. And the men who were once scared of Rainey? They now find my le savauge beguiling, and I do not care for it one bit.

WORTH IT.

I went into this book pretty blind. I saw a favorite author of mine recommend it and thought, why not? Thank you Kindle Unlimited for having so many hidden gems. I loooooved this book y’all.

One of my favorite tidbits is the setting. The time period is right after World War 1, but set in the Southern US. I don’t know if I’ve read any historical fictions from that time and I was smitten with the way this was written. I loved the twangy way everyone spoke and how the world was set-up.

There was a lot of French in this book and I wish it was more clear what the words meant. I was fortunately reading it digitally so I used the translate function on the Kindle to know what was being said. Very sweet and tender words, just wish I didn’t have to look them up!

I was very much into this from chapter 1. It was one of those books where I just *knew* it would be a favorite of mine. The childhood friends/frenemies to lovers was stunning. There was plenty of heat, banter, flirtations, and soft moments between Rainey and Livingston to leave me swooning for days. The steam was a biiiiit much for me at times, but the overall story was a song for my soul.

Both of these characters were raw and human. I adored Raina and appreciated her strong and stubborn attitude. She didn’t take things lying down and faced her issues head-on. Raina’s counterpart, Livingston was without a doubt her match. He was incredibly dark and brooding, but insanely handsome. I can’t help it, I love that combination. The soft spirit in Livingston was begging for a reprieve and Rainey was that for him. They really were a power couple, a King and Queen.

Overall audience notes:

  • Historical romance
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: kisses/intense make-outs; a handful of very detailed love scenes
  • Violence: physical, arrows
  • Trigger warnings: PTSD (in relation to war), depression, abusing alcohol

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Book Review

Book Review: Dragonfly in Amber (Outlander #2) by Diana Gabaldon

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Historical fiction romance
Length: 743 pages
Author: Diana Gabaldon
Publisher: Bantam
Release Date: July 1st, 1992
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

From the author of Outlander… a magnificent epic that once again sweeps us back in time to the drama and passion of 18th-century Scotland…

For twenty years Claire Randall has kept her secrets. But now she is returning with her grown daughter to Scotland’s majestic mist-shrouded hills. Here Claire plans to reveal a truth as stunning as the events that gave it birth: about the mystery of an ancient circle of standing stones …about a love that transcends the boundaries of time …and about James Fraser, a Scottish warrior whose gallantry once drew a young Claire from the security of her century to the dangers of his ….

Now a legacy of blood and desire will test her beautiful copper-haired daughter, Brianna, as Claire’s spellbinding journey of self-discovery continues in the intrigue-ridden Paris court of Charles Stuart …in a race to thwart a doomed Highlands uprising …and in a desperate fight to save both the child and the man she loves.

TALK ABOUT SOUL CRUSHING.

I was warned 100 times over that the ending would make me sob and that it would rip my heart out. I can’t say I sobbed (which I will explain why), but I definitely had plenty of emotions coursing through me with that finale.

Okay, why I didn’t cry. The set-up. I wish organization of the book was a bit different. That was my only complaint for this book and I’m curious how the next novels will continue. By adding in the present time section in the beginning it already gave me an inkling as to what was going to take place over the book. So by the time it happened, the writing was beautiful and made me invested, BUT, I also knew what was coming and with 6 more books [currently, I heard she’s writing a 9th one] there’s clearly more to the story.

Jamie and Claire. Ohhh I’m starting to love their relationship more and more. Since it was incredibly rocky at first I struggled to connect with them. Now that I’ve got nearly 2,000 pages of them together, I’m feeling it. Jamie is bold, brash and incredibly tender-hearted. He smooths my soul and makes me want to throw things at him (I feel you Claire). It’s a great combination that keeps me wanting more. I love Claire’s nature and passion. Still think she’s crazy for choosing to stay in Scotland, but it’s fine. Claire makes her own path and I will follower her gladly.

SO MUCH HAPPENED in this book. Oh wow, I could barely keep up, even with it being a slower read. What I finally started grasping by the end was the understanding of the aristocracy and royalty in France, Scotland, England, etc. I don’t know much about this history and the amount of people that are included can be a wee bit mind-boggling. Now that I have a firmer knowledge I think subsequent books will go much more smoothly.

Truly another fantastical tale. I am smitten with all thing Scottish now.

Overall audience notes:

  • Historical fiction romance
  • Language: a little
  • Romance: kisses/make-outs; a few detailed love scenes
  • Violence: battles, swords, be-headings, hangings, physical; see trigger warnings
  • Trigger warnings: rape, sexual assault, miscarriage, mentions of abortions (by a side character, not Claire); PTSD for prior sexual assault and rape [There are a lot and I apologize if I missed any]

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Book Review

Book Review: Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Historical fiction + Contemporary + Romance
Length: 361 pages
Author: Chanel Cleeton
Publisher: Penguin/Berkley
Release Date: February 6th, 2018
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

After the death of her beloved grandmother, a Cuban-American woman travels to Havana, where she discovers the roots of her identity–and unearths a family secret hidden since the revolution…

Havana, 1958. The daughter of a sugar baron, nineteen-year-old Elisa Perez is part of Cuba’s high society, where she is largely sheltered from the country’s growing political unrest–until she embarks on a clandestine affair with a passionate revolutionary…

Miami, 2017. Freelance writer Marisol Ferrera grew up hearing romantic stories of Cuba from her late grandmother Elisa, who was forced to flee with her family during the revolution. Elisa’s last wish was for Marisol to scatter her ashes in the country of her birth. 

Arriving in Havana, Marisol comes face-to-face with the contrast of Cuba’s tropical, timeless beauty and its perilous political climate. When more family history comes to light and Marisol finds herself attracted to a man with secrets of his own, she’ll need the lessons of her grandmother’s past to help her understand the true meaning of courage.

OKAY, THIS BOOK HURT.

When Audible has a two for one sale using your credits, you use them. I had a Bookstagram friend help me decide on this one and y’all, not disappointed. I definitely recommend as an audiobook too. The voices of the two POVs are soothing and it’s easy to imagine everything they’re describing.

The intense passion and love for Cuba that I could feel radiating off the book was astounding. I felt this. It made me so conflicted myself because I understood both sides of the the characters stories and how desperately everyone was searching for peace, even when two poor choices stood before them. Everything that happened/is happening to the nation they love really had me emotionally wrecked.

The stories themselves, whoa. I didn’t realize how much the romances were going to play a part in this book. They brought out so many more layers that had me gasp and yell as I heard what was happening and couldn’t believe it. Some truly devastating moments that I’m still upset about. The whole concept of life isn’t fair is driven home.

I loved the flip back and forth in time and getting to know Elisa and Marisol on new levels. It goes to show you don’t always know everything about your own family. The connections and lasting relationships brought in side-characters that I could get behind as well. A lot of love between family, friends, care-givers, and relationships and how this love carries over a lifetime.

The historical aspects of this book brought Cuba to life and I was swept off my feet by this tale. I am definitely going to be checking out Cleeton’s next book!

Overall audience notes:

  • Historical fiction + romance + contemporary
  • Language: sh* used once
  • Romance: a few kisses, two fade to black scenes (with really no description prior)
  • Violence: guns, physical, off-screen torture, mentions and depictions of war

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