Book Review

ARC Book Review: A Captain for Caroline Gray by Julie Wright

Rating: ☆☆☆
Audience: Regency Romance
Length: 336 pages
Author: Julie Wright
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Release Date: March 2nd, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Caroline Gray’s third season in London society ends as badly as her first two—no marriage proposal, no suitor, not even a glimmer of an interested prospect. She suspects it’s because she is far too quick to speak her mind to men who are put off by her forthright opinions, her eager intellect backed by a formal education, and her unconventional ideas about the future. She is far more daring than demure to suit the taste of her class. Besides, Caroline thinks there will always be next season to find a husband.

However, her family’s dwindling income leaves Caroline with only one choice to secure her future: a one-way ticket to sail with the Fishing Fleet to India, where the son of a family friend waits. If the match doesn’t work, Caroline cannot return home.

Captain Thomas Scott loves the thrill of the open sea, and as commander of one of the ships of the “Fishing Fleet,” he ferries scores of young English girls to the shores of India to find husbands. The voyages pay well, but he struggles to understand why families would allow young women to be matched with total strangers so far away.

The trips have always been routine and uneventful—until this trip’s first night’s dinner with one Miss Caroline Gray. She engages in a lively political conversation, presenting opposing viewpoints to the conventionally opinionated gentlemen at her table. Captain Scott is secretly amused and delighted at her boldness, not to mention quite drawn to her beauty.

The rest of the passengers are shocked by her behavior and Caroline finds herself an outcast, suffering harsh judgments from the other passengers. However, she finds an unlikely ally in Captain Scott which quickly draws them closer.

Both know an arranged marriage awaits Caroline at the end of their voyage, yet the attraction between them is undeniable. Caroline will have to decide if she will honor her mother’s wishes and marry a man in India whom she has never met—thus securing a future for her and her mother—or be brave enough to throw convention to the wind and commit to love a sea captain. He may be enchanted by her bold and unconventional ways, but will his love and admiration last?

Thank you to Shadow Mountain Publishing for an ARC. All opinions are my own!

ROUGH SEAS.

This book was a bit of a hit and miss for me.

I did enjoy the regency romance aspect. And I did like Caroline as one of the main characters. She had a bold nature and allowed her education to shine. Caroline was more progressive and free-thinking which was a nice change of pace. I didn’t always love Captain Scott. He had some repetitive dialogue and was rather stubborn for way too much of this. They had some sweet moments and cute banter at least. Really enjoyed the good kissing scenes too.

The setting is what kind of dragged for me. With things set mostly out at seas it made any added drama really feel dramatic. I caught myself wanting to roll my eyes sometimes because it was a clear way to try to progress the story without really doing so. A shorter book with less fluff would have made the pacing better.

The overall journey was successful. I liked the ending and wish there would have been an epilogue! I wanted a touch more of Caroline and Thomas.

Overall audience notes:

  • Regency Romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: physical altercations, stormy seas, child abuse (one of the boys on the ship is beaten off screen by someone)

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Monthly Wrap-Up

Monthly Reading Wrap-Up: November 2020

What a good month! Took on less books because I read TWO books that were 1,000+ pages and I also read through many many holiday books. It’s that time of year!

Favorites this month: Tarnished Empire, A Breath of Snow and Ashes, The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, Anxious People and Rhythm of War
Least favorites: The Royal Treatment, Sinking City, and Jingle All the Way

  • [ARC] Tarnished Empire (Dark Shores #0.5) by Danielle L. Jensen – (☆☆☆☆☆)
  • The Royal Treatment (Crown Jewels Romance #1) by Melanie Summers – (☆☆☆)
  • In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren – (☆☆☆☆)
  • [Gifted] Sinking City by Megan Walker and Janci Patterson – (☆☆)
  • A Breath of Snow and Ashes (Outlander #6) by Diana Gabaldon – (☆☆☆☆☆)
  • A Deal with the Elf King (Married to Magic #1) by Elisa Kova – (☆☆☆)
  • Texas Cooking (Texas Hill Country #1) by Lisa Wingate – (☆☆☆☆)
  • The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab – (☆☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • Her Silent Knight (Belles of Christmas: Frost Fair #1) by Ashtyn Newbold – (☆☆☆☆)
  • The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella – (☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • Anxious People by Fredrik Backman – (☆☆☆☆☆)
  • All is Mary and Bright (Belles of Christmas: Frost Fair #2) by Kasey Stockton – (☆☆☆)
  • A Timeless Christmas by Alexis Stanton – (☆☆☆)
  • Christmas Cliche by Tara Sivec – (☆☆☆☆)
  • Jingle All the Way by Debbie Macomber – (☆☆)
  • Rhythm of War (The Stormlight Archive #4) by Brandon Sanderson – (☆☆☆☆☆)
  • All About Us by Tom Ellen – (☆☆☆☆)

How was your month? Do you have a favorite book you read?
Lets talk in the comments!

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Book Review

ARC Book Review: Brass Carriages and Glass Hearts (Steampunk Proper Romance #4) by Nancy Campbell Allen

Rating: ☆☆☆ 1/2
Audience: Steampunk Romance
Length: 368 pages
Author: Nancy Campbell Allen
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Release Date: October 6th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

A steampunk retelling of Cinderella.

Emmeline O’Shea is determined to save the world—single-handedly, if necessary. A strong voice for societal reform, she is the natural choice to deliver a key speech at the end of the International Shifter Rights Organization’s week-long Summit in Scotland.

But when a death threat arrives at Emme’s home, she is immediately placed into protective custody, watched over by none other than her personal nemesis, Detective-Inspector Oliver Reed. The two have crossed paths many times, with disastrous results, but now they will have to work together in order to reach the Summit before midnight of the last day in order to ensure legislation is passed to protect the Shifter community.

As unseen enemies close in around Emme and Oliver, they struggle to reach Edinburgh by any means necessary, only to find Emme’s vindictive stepsister, Oliver’s vampire brother, and a dangerous political minefield awaiting them in Scotland.

Even more difficult is their own refusal to admit that the fiery animosity that once burned between them might be turning into the heat of romantic passion. Could a straitlaced policeman determined to uphold the law and an outspoken activist willing to break the rules ever find true love? Or will all their dreams shatter like glass when the clock strikes midnight?

Thank you to the publisher, Shadow Mountain, for the ARC. All opinions are my own!

CHARMING AND INTENSE.

Before we dive in, I have NOT read the other books in this series. I don’t feel like I was lost on anything. I recognized what were the previous couples from books, but since I didn’t know their story it didn’t phase me one way or the other! I think this can be read as a standalone if you wanted to!

This was a charming read! It’s been awhile since I’ve read anything steampunk and it was fun to read in this sub-genre again. I liked the world that was built and the mechanisms that were used to fit the theme.

Emme was a stubborn and brave heroine. I thought her match-up with Oliver was fantastic. His more firm, yet relaxed personality connected well with hers. Even though things seemed sped-up (which is occasionally hard for me to get behind), I thought the speed here worked well. I felt the chemistry between them and love some tender endearments between characters. And their banter made me smile too!

I can’t say it was a heavy Cinderella retelling. You really noticed it at the end, but that was about it. This didn’t have any affect on my rating, just something I noticed. I do think some of the action that happened was too easily solved. There wasn’t ever a time where I was legitimately concerned for a character.

This was a good, quick proper romance. After reading this I am interested in going back to read the other books in this series!

Overall audience notes:

  • Historical / Steampunk Proper Romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: physical, kidnapping, paranormal creature attacks

Author Bio:

Nancy Campbell Allen is the author of seventeen published novels and numerous novellas, which span genres from contemporary romantic suspense to historical fiction. In 2005, her work won the Utah Best of State award, and she received a Whitney Award for My Fair Gentleman. She has presented at numerous writing conferences and events since her first book was released in 1999. Nancy received a BS in Elementary Education from Weber State University. She loves to read, write, travel, and research, and enjoys spending time laughing with family and friends. She is married and the mother of three children.

Visit her at nancycampbellallen.com, on Instagram @authornancycampbellallen, on Facebook at nancycampbellallen, or on Twitter @necallen.

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Book Review

ARC Book Review: Lakeshire Park by Megan Walker

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Regency romance
Length: 320 pages
Author: Megan Walker
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Release Date: April 7th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Brighton, England 1820

Amelia Moore wants only one thing—to secure the future happiness of her younger sister, Clara. With their stepfather’s looming death, the two sisters will soon be on their own—without family, a home, or a penny to their names. When an invitation arrives to join a house party at Lakeshire Park, Amelia grasps at the chance. If she can encourage a match between Clara and their host, Sir Ronald, then at least her sister will be taken care of.

Little does she know that another guest, the arrogant and overconfident Mr. Peter Wood, is after the same goal for his own sister. Amelia and Peter begin a rivalry that Amelia has no choice but to win. But competing against Peter—and eventually playing by his rules—makes Amelia vulnerable to losing the only thing she has left to claim: her heart.

Thank you to the publisher, and Netgalley for the eARC in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own!

WELL THIS WAS PRECIOUS.

Thanks to a lucky moment seeing a friends post saying she read and loved this, a Netgalley request that went through, and a feeling for a clean and sweet regency romance and here we are! I adored this book and love this feel good romance.

What I noticed at times was the tiny tidbits I recognized from Pride and Prejudice (I am a BIG fan of that book/movie). This wasn’t a bad thing at all to me because the story was wholly it’s own. I enjoyed seeing these moments and the vibe of this plot was perfectly set up for England 1820.

I didn’t know how smitten I was going to be with the romance at first. I thought it felt at bit insta-ish and it took me a little to grasp onto it. Once I did though, oh. I was smitten with Peter. SO PRECIOUS. I loved the banter between them and the enemies to lovers moments were on point. Amelia and Peter were just the cutest pair you guys.

It was crafty to have this book set-up over a two week time span. I liked that each day was something different and unique for the characters to interact with. It didn’t feel stagnant keeping the location at essentially one home. There was even some drama that never felt over the top (okay, maybe a little, ONLY because this is a regency time period so things that are no big deal now were a big deal then). I really enjoyed this and look forward to reading more books from this author!

Overall audience notes:

  • Regency romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: some kisses

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