Rise from Ash rose above!

Review: 4.00 Stars

Summary:

Rise from Ash is book 2 in Michelle Irwin’s Daughter of Fire Series. The first book Through the Fire was by far my best read of 2014.

Love has cost Evie Meyers everything. Wounded and alone, she has no choice but to learn how to survive without becoming the monster she is thought to be by the man she loves.

When she discovers a cryptic message from that very man, Clay Jacobs, her mind is thrown into turmoil. It’s second nature for Evie to run, but there is no escaping the memories of their time together. While she is certain it’s a trap, she longs to discover the true meaning of his words. With heart battling mind, her choices send her on a collision course with what was once lost, leaving her life hanging in the balance.

Can Evie rise from the ashes of her charred dreams, or will she burn in the attempt?

Positives: 

This is a continuation of perhaps the most dramatic and tear provoking book ever Through the Fire. It stands up with continuing drama, pain and, the message of love overcoming everything even long-standing family hate and violence.

The paranormal world that Michelle Irwin created continues to be an excellent example of the genre, both engaging and different from so much that is out there.

Negatives: 

Don’t read this first. Through the Fire is a must, you can also read the first book in the companion series Besieged by Rain.

This was a great book. Ms. Irwin had a big mountain to overcome and I will admit this was not quite as good as the first one.  But with that said it is still 100 times better than most of the paranormal NA out there.

Overall:

Rise from Ash by Michelle Irwin is a great paranormal read that will leave you wanting more!

Keep Reading!

J.A. Kenney

Genre: New Adult Paranormal Romance

Publication date: June 28th, 2015

Length: 265 Pages

Blush Quotient: Pink (This story contains love scenes and may contain strong language.)

Disclaimer: This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for a fair review.

Tremaine’s True Love is Another instant Classic!

Review: 4.0 Stars

Tremaine’s True Love by Grace Burrowes!

He’s had everything he could ever want…until now
Wealthy wool magnate Tremaine St. Michael is half French, half Scottish, and all business. He prowls the world in search of more profits, rarely settling in one place for long. When he meets practical, reserved Lady Nita Haddonfield, he sees an opportunity to mix business with pleasure by making the lady his own.

Nita Haddonfield has a meaningful life tending to others, though nobody is dedicated to caring for Nita. She insists the limitations of marriage aren’t for her, then Tremaine St. Michael arrives-protective, passionate, and very, very determined to win Nita’s heart.

Positives:

This is another great offering from Grace Burrowes!

Tremaine is a business man by nature, and a French Comte by birth. Raised by his Scottish grandfather after the revolution claimed his parents lives, he has spent his life in trade.

Nita might be an earl’s daughter, but she left dreams of family and children behind her. Unconcerned about appearances or social niceties, she has focused her efforts on health and well being of the local people.

Each has an unconventional passion, and no expectation of marriage.

Together they discover true love can be a true partnership.

Negatives:

As always I struggle to complain about anything in Ms. Burrowes books.  This new series seems to embrace difference histories and struggles more than her previous books did.

SO perhaps the only complaint I can make is that it is not truly unique, but very few historical romances are.

Overall:

Tremaine’s True Love is a pleasant and enduring historical romance that will just leave you wanting more of the same!

Keep Reading!

J.A. Kenney

Genre: Historical Romance 

Publication date: August 5th, 2015

Length: 384 Pages

Blush Quotient: Red – This story contains more love scenes and sexy situations and they are described in detail using frank, explicit language.

Disclaimer: This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for a fair review.

I can “Never Resist a Rake”

Review 4.00 Stars!

Never Resist a Rake is the 2nd book in Mia Marlowe‘s Somerset Park Series!

John Fitzhugh Barrett was raised as an unwanted illegitimate son. Fostered to a family who fed and clothed him, but gave him little else.

In the previous Somerset Park book A Rake by any other Name, it is revealed that John is the true heir because the marriage of the current Marquess to his mother was never annulled.

The shock of this revelation, his anger at his family, and the distaste of the glittering ton have driven him down a dark path.

He rescues Rebecca Kearsey, a Baron’s daughter from a bare knuckle match in the depths of White Chapel, and delivers her back to her impoverished family.

Grateful to her rescuer, Rebecca helps John’s desperate family track him down. They convince him to return to the family seat.

Where, his grandmother, the dowager marchioness conspires to marry him off to an eligible young woman. No less than the daughter of an earl of course.

The hunt begins, but the prize “buck” has other plans.

Positives:

This is a story about love overcoming expectations! And family accepting that they are not doing good when they push a “worthy” match.

John’s father was broken from his mother because she was not worthy, and he was abandoned as an illegitimate son. But he was the heir, and he has no loyalty or love for the family that shunned him.

The last thing he wants is to be paired up with a proper wife for his “station”.

A impoverished Baron’s daughter is so far below him, he shouldn’t even contemplate her, but she captures his heart!

Negatives:

This was a very good book, if anything I can say it was a bit TOO classic. But if you love historical romances where love bridges society and wealth, this is the perfect book!

Overall:

Never Resist a Rake is a great example of  Mia Marlowe‘s historical romances!

Great love, great challenges, and great will to overcome!

Keep Reading!

J.A. Kenney

Genre: Historical Romance

Publication date: June 2nd, 2015

Length: 384 Pages

Blush Quotient: Red-This story contains more love scenes and sexy situations and they are described in detail using frank, explicit language.

Disclaimer: This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for a fair review.

50 Ways to Ruin a Rake…FUN and SMART Historical!

Review: 4.00 Stars

In 50 Ways to Ruin a Rake by Jade Lee

Mellie has a plan…

Mellie Smithson is trapped in the country with no suitors and no prospects on the horizon except, perhaps, the exasperating—although admittedly handsome—guest of her father. She’s looking for any excuse to go to London to meet more eligible men.

Trevor has a problem…

Trevor Anaedsley’s grandfather has cut off his funds until such time as he gets engaged. Trevor escapes to the country—ostensibly to visit his old tutor, Mr. Smithson, but actually to duck his creditors—where he meets Smithson’s lovely daughter, Mellie. The obvious solution is suddenly before him—but the lady has ideas of her own, and Trevor’s going to have to measure up…But trying to keep things impersonal, and unemotional does not work so well!

Positives:

This is a great historical romance. An emotional story about life, love, and the difficulty of class, and family expectations.

This is a story about the changing state of noble stature to merchant success that embraces both.

A smart blue stocking, and a duke’s heir fake an engagement to get her out of an unwanted courtship, and him out of the threat of financial ruin.

They find that they cannot live apart, love conquers all!

Negatives:

I admit the whole…I am going to catch a man concept bothers me. However, I understand the reality of this era and so I accept this motivation!

The money goal is perhaps even worse but more usual. If you read a lot of historical romances this will all be par for the course.

Both of these are fairly standard in the genre.

That is at its base my only true complaint…the story line is a bit too standard.

Overall:

I loved the forbidden love and class shattering aspects of this story!

It is a very good historical romance novel!

Keep Reading!

J.A. Kenney

Genre: Historical Romance 

Publication date: May 5th, 2015

Length: 384 Pages

Blush Quotient: Red – This story contains more love scenes and sexy situations and they are described in detail using frank, explicit language.

Disclaimer: This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for a fair review.

The Duke’s Disaster is no such thing!

Review: 4.0 Stars

The Duke’s Disaster is the newest novel from my favorite historical romance author Grace Burrowes!

Noah is a practical and serious man who became both the Duke and the guardian of his younger brothers and sisters at the tender age of 17. Long ago he promised his grandfather he would wed before his next birthday, and so he creates a list narrows down his options and is promptly refused by the lady in question.

So instead, he proposes to her seemingly practical and reasonable companion Thea.

Thea accepts to give her sister a chance at the life she was denied.

Both go into the marriage expecting nothing more than a practical business like relationship, and with secrets they do not share.

But together they vanquish all their demons, and learn that marriage can be a true Happily Ever After.

Positives:

Another great Historical Romance in Grace Burrowes’s catalog! Always a joy to read this one echoes back towards her first book The Heir, which to this day I consider to be the finest Regency historical ever written. The Duke’s Disaster provides both passion and adventure in addition to top class romance.

While an occasional reference is made to existing characters from previous books and series, this novel can stand alone in total and does not rely on knowledge of the author’s previous works.

Negatives:

Burrowes does go a little bit off of the standard historical romance script, which is both a good and a bad thing.  They marry early in the book, a marriage of convenience and duty. So while they do eventually come to love each other there is a great deal of heart-break and drama early on caused by the characters themselves, their pasts, their families, and their lack of honesty with each other.

In addition, while the subject of sexual assault is handled well, some readers may find the heroine’s past trauma to be disturbing.

Overall:

The Duke’s Disaster was a unique and exciting take on the classic Regency Historical Romance!

Keep Reading!

J.A. Kenney

Genre: Historical Romance 

Publication date: April 7th, 2015

Length: 448 Pages

Blush Quotient: Red – This story contains more love scenes and sexy situations and they are described in detail using frank, explicit language.

Disclaimer: This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for a fair review.

The Scandalous Secret of Abigail MacGregor…long title….lovely story!

Review: 4.0 Stars

The Scandalous Secret of Abigail MacGregor by Paula Quinn is all I want in a historical romance!

Abigail promises to meet her aunt the queen of England to reassure her that her mother, the true heir has no desire to claim the throne!

The queen’s champion is sent to claim her. Daniel Marlow has just learned that his queen has kept a horrible secret from him all of his life.

But he goes to claim the mysterious Abigail knowing only that she is a highlander and his enemy….a Jacobite. And that the queen wants her to be her handmaiden. While at court, a duchess haunts his steps determined to win his favor at any cost.

Positives:

Drama, love, and action! This is a well-written and very enjoyable story.  I had not read the previous books in the Highland Heirs series, but will definitely be doing so now!

An embodiment of the classic and well established combination of true historical places and people, fleshed out with fictional characters and events.

The tumultuous period in history, the reign of Queen Anne Stuart, and the twisted politics of the era add to the drama of the story.

Abigail chooses to go to London to protect her family and her clan from the queen’s wrath.  Her aunt, the widowed and childless Queen of England, has threatened war on their home if she is denied. So, against her father’s wishes she volunteers to face the queen on her own terms.

Daniel has been the queen’s favorite throughout his life, her general, and right hand at court. Many refer to him as the son she never had, a rumor far closer to the truth than he knew. Known in the Highlands as the Jacobite killer, he has fought to protect his queen against all threats.

Danger surrounds them from all sides, and they are forced to rely upon each other to survive.

Together these two can do anything!

Negatives:

For those who love a traditional highland romance this book is almost perfect.

However, those seeking more nuanced secondary characters and more subtle villains might be disappointed.

I blame some of this on my not having read the previous two books. Several characters from those are featured in secondary roles and a certain level of familiarity is presumed. So, reading the other two Highland Heirs novels starting with The Seduction of Miss Amelia Bell is highly recommended!

My only true complaint was that the villains were both “too evil” and not given sufficient back story or justification for their actions.

Overall:

The Scandalous Secret of Abigail MacGregor was a very enjoyable historical highland romance.

A great blend of political intrigue, action adventure, and steamy romance.

Keep Reading!

J.A. Kenney

Genre: Historical Romance 

Publication date: March 31st, 2015

Length: 384 Pages

Blush Quotient: Red– This story contains more love scenes and sexy situations and they are described in detail using frank, explicit language.

Disclaimer: This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for a fair review.

Sebastian’s Lady Spy abounds with intrigue and adventure!


Review: 4.0 Stars

In Sebastian’s Lady Spy by Sharon Cullen we take a step back in time within the “Secrets & Seduction Series” that started with “The Notorious Lady Anne

This story takes place early in the series, but was never fully explored! Until now!

Sebastian is an English spy and an Earl. But, he views his title as less than what he can do for his KING.

The Contessa Gabrielle Marciano has lived as an Italian Countess, but she was born on the streets of London.

The two share a life of lies and intrigue!

They spent three wonderful days together in Venice. Seven months later, Sebastian & Gabrielle are thrust together by the government they both work for, and set on the trail of a traitor to the crown.

Positives:

Sebastian’s Lady Spy was a very enjoyable read! Action, adventure, and steamy romance. I had actually not read the previous books in the series, but I did AFTER I got this as an ARC! This may very well be my favorite in the series!

A beautiful story about love overcoming the weight of duty!

This is the story of an Earl spy and his Italian countess lover revealing the truth in each of their lives.

The street urchin who became and spy and the Earl who had to prove himself.

Negatives:

This is out-of-order by the standards of historical romance. I read this story first, but if you have read up to book 4….this is a backtrack.

Also, as seems to be very common in Sharon Cullen’s books the female leads are very unusual for historical romance heroines.  I love that, but some readers new to the series may find it tad anachronistic.

Overall:

Great story, great action, and great romance!

Keep Reading!

J.A. Kenney

Genre: Historical Romance 

Publication date: March 31th, 2015

Length: 168 Pages

Blush Quotient: Red – This story contains more love scenes and sexy situations and they are described in detail using frank, explicit language.

Disclaimer: This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for a fair review.