Je suis Charlie

Je suis Charlie

Dienstag, 28. März 2017

The Highland Duke - Amy Jarecky











Blurb:

 She'll put her life on the line for him . . .

When Akira Ayres finds the brawny Scot with a musket ball in his thigh, the healer has no qualms about doing whatever it takes to save his life. Even if it means fleeing with him across the Highlands to tend to his wounds while English redcoats are closing in. Though Akira is as fierce and brave as any of her clansmen, even she's intimidated by the fearsome, brutally handsome Highlander who refuses to reveal his name.

Yet she can never learn his true identity.

Geordie knows if Akira ever discovers he's the Duke of Gordon, both her life and his will be forfeit in a heartbeat. The only way to keep the lass safe is to ensure she's by his side day and night. But the longer he's with her, the harder it becomes to think of letting her go. Despite all their differences, despite the danger-he will face death itself to make her his . . .



Waking up on the battlefield in the aftermath of the desastrous  Battle of Hoord Moor, Geordie or rather George Gordon, the first Duke of Gordon does not only have to deal with a musket ball in his tigh but also with the fact that he mustn't be found by the redcoats as his lands would be forfeit if he was discovered. When Akira Ayres, the nearby village's healer finds him, he gets her to help him. When they are discovered by the redcoats, a wild ride begins and a flight that'll take them high up into the highlands. This trip will change their life forever ...

Akira's life hasn't been easy up to now and she isn't very happy when circumstances force her to flee with Geordie - and with a bunch of redcoats at their heels. A bunch of very determined redcoats at that.
Akira and Geordie not only have to try to stay ahead of their pursuers but Akira also has to try to keep the severely wounded Geordie alive. Fighting together and getting to know each other, the two of them form a bond. Could there be a future for a duke and a gypsy's daughter? And, even more pressing, will they be able to stay ahead of the redcoats and thwart all their plans to capture them?

I loved the chemistry between the two main characters and I loved that Geordie is very straight forward when it comes to his feelings and that even though he is a man and acts like one, he doesn't want to take advantage of Akira but wants to do everything for her that he can do. Well, the bad part is, that sometimes that is not enough. Sometimes all the feelings and all the good intentions are not enough no matter how much it hurts to realize that.

Akira's family - well, I guess everybody needs an Uncle Bruno, right? Someone who will protect you no matter what, someone who shows you how to survive and someone to watch out for you. Alright, I loved the story and I loved that the good ones win and the bad ones, well, they don't. And it felt so good to see them lose!

This book is sweet and wonderful, romantic, funny and gripping. I really enjoyed reading it!


★★★★



The Duke of Desire - Darcy Burke







 Blurb:

Ten years ago Ivy Breckenridge’s life was ruined. She had to reinvent herself, and now, after painstakingly making her own way in the world, she’s nearly forgotten the dreams of home and family she’d once nurtured. Until one man peers into her soul and awakens every one of her hidden desires. But no matter how good he makes her feel, she can’t trust him—alone by choice is better than alone by necessity.

With a notorious reputation for training married women in the art of passion, Sebastian Westgate, Duke of Clare, is reviled by some and celebrated by others. He doesn’t allow anyone close enough to see past his charming exterior. When Ivy uncovers the man beneath, the seducer is suddenly the seduced. Enraptured by her mind and spirit, he wants more but revealing his darkest secrets is a price he won’t pay.



"The Duke of Desire" is the forth book in the series  - and I loved it just as much as I loved the other books!

Well, I was a bit miffed at our hero, the Duke of Desi...,pardon, Duke of Clare's in the beginning because he was very insistent and very seductive and, well, let's face that fact once more, right: seduction was fine in those times - if you didn't happen to be a woman, then it just meant that you were completely and utterly ruined.

Unfortunately Ivy Breckenridge is a woman - and one who has suffered enough already. So no matter how well meaning and how whatever our Duke's efforts were, I was not very happy with him. So wasn't Ivy, actually, at least, well. Persistence and perseverance can change a lot, can't they? And slowly, very slowly, Ivy dared to dream of something more than just going on with her life as it was.

The Duke of Desire and I got along much better when he finally realized that there was much more to Ivy and that she meant much more to him than he thought possible. I loved to see their attraction grow, to see him fall for her - and when her past catched up to her ...let's just say that he really really won me over.

Well written with an interesting plot, very complex and likeable characters, especially an extraordinarily strong heroine - I really enjoyed reading this book and I'm already looking forward to the next book by the author!

 ★★★★


A Perfect Gentleman by Candace Camp








Blurb:

Forced to marry an American heiress to save his family, Graeme Parr, Earl of Montclair, vowed their marriage would be in name only. Abigail Price thought handsome, aristocratic Graeme was her knight in shining armor, rescuing her from her overbearing father. But when she was spurned by her husband on their wedding night, Abigail fled home to New York.

Now, years later, Abigail has returned. But this sophisticated, alluring woman is not the drab girl Graeme remembers. Appalled by her bold American ways but drawn to her beauty, Graeme follows her on a merry chase through London’s elegant ballrooms to its dockside taverns—why is his wife back? What could she want of him now?

Torn between desire and suspicion, Graeme fears that Abby, like her unprincipled father, has a devious plan to ruin him. But is Abigail’s true desire Graeme’s destruction...or winning his love at last?



Ohhhh, I really loved this book! And I hated Greame and was really really upset with him for the way he treated Abigail. I was crushed when he told "us" how he felt, had he been standing in front of me at that moment, I might have kicked him, somewhere, and I would have enjoyed it - soooo much.
Sometimes I wasn't sure if I thought him worse or his ... wonderful...family. And I loved Abigail, did I mention that?

Anyway - this book was well written and kept me glued to my reader. I simply wanted Abigail to be happy and just the way the book made me feel with Abigail and Graeme, who might have developed some redeeming qualities in the end, is a rather clear sign how completely absorbed by the book I was.

"A Perfect Gentleman" has an interesting story with some twists and turns, even though it was lacking some kind of gentleman, even the non-perfect kind for a very long time, at least in my eyes. Ah, well, I may be a bit prejudiced against "someone", so - never mind.

This is definitely one of those books that I will read again and where I will love to see the paperback on my shelf.




★★★★★



Gone Camping: A Novel in Verse by Tamera Will Wissinger








Blurb:

Hiking in the great outdoors, catching fish, watching the stars come out at night—camping is fun. Until it’s time to sleep. Then, Lucy wonders, what kinds of creatures lurk in the dark? With only her brother and grandpa as tent-mates, will Lucy be able to face her camping fears?
 

Filled with a variety of poetic forms—from aubade to haiku—as well as exuberant art and helpful writing tips about rhyme and rhythm, this entertaining companion to the award-winning Gone Fishing is packed with family humor and adventure. So grab a flashlight and get settled in to experience the joy of campfires, s’mores, and storytelling


This book is really great. I loved the drawings and the poems and it reminded me of the books my daughters loved most when they were small. The poems in those books made the texts special, they learned them by heart and already had a very large vocabulary at a young age. And what is more - they kept their love for language and literature and everything around it. I think that was also due to the fact that they learned that language and stories can be fun and that it is fun to play with the words and rhyme.

They would have loved this book about going camping either. We love to go camping and of course we had it all - the rustling leaves, the hedgehog coming to visit, the rats and mice - and I loved how all those fears were shown in the book and how a sleeping bag chant can help (okay, it doesn't help, when big bears get involved but that is something different, isn't it?) and other little things like that.
Different rhymes, different effects, on the whole a wonderful and adorable story that every child will love  - just beprepared that they might want to go camping afterwards!

For those who are a bit older or for the parents, there's a great part at the back of the book about the different kinds of rhymes with understandable explanations what they are, where in the book they were used and what they mean. Even if you don't want to become a poet, you may find that it is fun to play with words and rhyme along.

I really enjoyed reading this novel and loved its verses, I can definitely recommend this book!

★★★★


Sonntag, 26. März 2017

To Tempt a Viscount (Entangled Nobility, #1) by Naomi Boom










Blurb:

Lady Laura Rosing knows two things: first, she will marry for love, and second, she detests rakes. When she meets Lord Gavin Farris, she understands immediately that he fails both her criteria, and worse yet, he is an absolute cad who refuses to leave her be.

Lord Farris has always appreciated women and cannot understand why Lady Laura is so resistant to his charms. While pretty, she is not his usual type, but something about her intrigues him. Much to his chagrin, he finds himself desperately in love with her, but he may be too late. His adamant refusal to marry just might have planted her firmly in the arms of another.



I enjoyed reading this book and will probably read it again. It is a nice and charming story about oh-so-very-pretty-but-beastly stepsisters, insecurities, indifferent fathers and a couple of misunderstandings. A rake who turns out to be a wonderful person thus making him the love of our heroine's life but this rake doesn't wish to wed. Unfortunately a young lady has to marry - sooner rather than later.

Torn between his wish to stay independent (and unmarried) and his love for Lady Laura, Lord Farris is running out of time, especially as other men start to court Lady Laura. Laura is being pushed into a marriage of convenience by her despicable cousin and Lord Farris risks losing her.
Will he realize soon enough how he really feels about her or will he lose her? And will Laura be able to trust him and believe in his honorable intentions?

There was a lot in this book but it was rather predictable despite some twists and turns and some decisions didn't really convince me. I liked the chemistry between the hero and the heroine but, well, let's say that I thought that it was a bit strange that some actions of Lord Farris' when Lady Laura was ill, didn't lead to scandal (and a proposal), especially as he wasn't very subtle about it.  There were several of those inconsistencies and I was bit annoyed how long it took him to realize the depth of his feelings.

Nevertheless I really enjoyed reading this book and I will also look for other books by this author.

★★


Samstag, 25. März 2017

To Charm a Bluestocking - Renee Dahlia











Blurb:
 
She wants to be one of the world’s first female doctors; romance is not in her plans. 

1887: Too tall, too shy and too bookish for England, Lady Josephine moves to Holland to become one of the world’s first female doctors. With only one semester left, she has all but completed her studies when a power-hungry professor, intent on marrying her for her political connections, threatens to prevent her graduation. Together with the other Bluestockings, female comrades-in-study, she comes up with a daring, if somewhat unorthodox plan: acquire a fake fiancé to provide the protection and serenity she needs to pass her final exams. 

But when her father sends her Lord Nicholas St. George, he is too much of everything: too handsome, too charming, too tall and too broad and too distracting for Josephine’s peace of mind. She needed someone to keep her professor at bay, not keep her from her work with temptations of long walks, laughing, and languorous kisses. 

Just as it seems that Josephine might be able to have it all: a career as a pioneering female doctor and a true love match, everything falls apart and Josephine will find herself in danger of becoming a casualty in the battle between ambition and love.


Wow, this book was amazing! I loved how the author mixed historical facts with her story and made me feel with those young women, trying to find their way in a world that was reluctant to allow women to learn and to study.

The story kept me on my toes, I loved the main characters a lot and I loved how they interacted. I was so proud of Nicholas for not being an ...idiot and underestimating Josephine but I loved how he enjoyed her intelligence, that he was willing to change his ways, to learn how to accept her independance and how proud he was of her and everything she achieved.

Sometimes in between I was seriously upset because of the things that happened and because I feared for some newfound (book)friends of mine and to say that I detest Van Percy...well, that's probably the understatement of the century.

I also loved how Claire, Marie and Josephine as the only female students in their year worked together and stood together against their not always sympathetic fellow male students. It took a strong personality and a strong will for women to study medicin in those times even though the University of Amsterdam was more open and more welcoming than for example the british Universities but there were still many men (and women) who thought that no woman should have a place there. Wasted time because a woman should marry and have children and shouldn't meddle with all those stupid things that would get her nowhere useful - at least in the eyes of many people. unfortunately many of their fellow students shared this view and were harassing them whenever they could.

Where Nicholas was supportive and proud of Josephine and not just because it was part of his job, it is her professor Van Percy who treats her with the least respect and who constantly harrasses her. Well, that's why Josephine's father sent Lord Nicholas St. George over to help her and pose as her fake fiancé, didn't he? The only question is - did her father have something else on his mind when he chose this very handsome, very charming and utterly irresistible and most distracting man as her fake fiancé?

I really loved how open both, Nicholas and Josephine, were to their feelings even if they were not totally happy in the beginning about this potential deviation from their set course. No games of cat-and-mouse, just open minds and honesty. Josephine, being shy, bookish and due to her unusual hight (for a woman) not very confident, nees some time to adapt at the idea of a not that bad looking man caring for her but you can feel her grow and get more confident and you can feel the steel at the core of her personality that made her pursue such an unusual and difficult career. I really loved to see her spread her wings and become more confident.

A wonderful and gripping book that I couldn't put down and that lets me hope for another book by this author - and soon, please!

★★★★★



Freitag, 24. März 2017

Spring Rain by Edie Claire, Julianne MacLean and Mary Campisi









Blurb:

 Immerse yourself in three full length romantic women’s fiction novels from some of the most beloved authors in the genre – more than 800 pages of emotionally uplifting, heartfelt family drama—where falling in love is only part of the story…

ALASKAN DAWN – By Edie Claire

Overachieving attorney Haley Olson has always done the responsible thing. So when her twin sister Micah needs a surrogate mother, Haley willingly volunteers. Like most feats the capable workaholic attempts, her pregnancy goes perfectly... until the results of prenatal testing threaten to tear Micah’s marriage apart.

Pregnant, overworked, and driven to the end of her rope by the neediness of the sister and widowed mother who depend on her, Haley seeks refuge with a week’s vacation on the Alaskan coast. As she soaks up the serenity of the unexpectedly vast and beautiful wilderness, Haley finds something else she doesn’t expect -- deep feelings for the wildlife-loving boat captain who reminds her how to laugh.

With her unborn niece or nephew on the way and thousands of miles of ocean between their lives and careers, Haley and Ben settle for a friendship. But back home in California, the emptiness in her heart refuses to heal, and when her pregnancy takes a frightening turn Haley must examine what really matters -- and rediscover the childhood dream she never realized she had lost.

THE COLOR OF HEAVEN – by Julianne MacLean

A deeply emotional tale about Sophie Duncan, a successful columnist whose world falls apart after her daughter’s unexpected illness and her husband’s shocking affair. When it seems nothing else could possibly go wrong, her car skids off an icy road and plunges into a frozen lake. There, in the cold dark depths of the water, a profound and extraordinary experience unlocks the surprising secrets from Sophie’s past, and teaches her what it means to truly live...and love.

PULLING HOME – Mary Campisi

It's taken nine years and a cross-country move, but Audra Valentine Wheyton has kept her secrets safe. She's created the perfect life: a husband who loves her, a daughter she adores, and a position as head writer for an award-winning daytime soap. When her husband dies suddenly, Audra returns to her hometown for the funeral and faces a community that has not forgotten her meager beginnings and the man who has never forgiven her for marrying his brother.

Jack Wheyton is a successful pediatric neurosurgeon who is about to become engaged when Audra walks back into his life with her daughter. He forgave his brother long ago for taking something that had been his, something he hadn't even realized he wanted until it was gone. But forgiving Audra is another story...and forgetting her? Near impossible.

When a shattering illness strikes Audra's daughter, she turns to Jack to save her child and risks exposing a secret that will change their lives forever.


 
This is not easy. Usually I read all the books before I rate a bundle but in this case I found that one of the books in this bundle hit a bit too close to home and I just couldn't read it.


Anyway, this is not the book's or rather in this case, the story's fault, as it is well written (otherwise it might have been easier) but cancer and the danger of loosing your child are due to our personal history a bit problematic. We almost lost our daughter a couple of years ago and we've lost too many loved ones to cancer so, well, I couldn't deal with that. Again, this is not due to the book but to my personal history.


Despite my problems with THE COLOR OF HEAVEN by Julianne MacLean, I really enjoyed the other books of the bundle. I loved to feel the chemistry between our hero and our heroine in ALASKAN DAWN by Edie Claire and I loved to see how those two fight for their love and their happiness and how much they are willing to give up for it.

What I also loved about the book was the way it dealt with topics like being a substitute mother and everything that implies. It was great (and hard) to read about the potential of a special needs kid as a result. The respect and the love for a well-loved aunt with a Down Syndrome and the mixed feelings at the idea of having a child with those very special needs - all those are at war and it's not easy to find your way in a situation like that. Well, some of those involved in that little mite that's on the way have more problems with it than others, which results in the substitute mother fleeing to Alaska to get away from all the demands, the worries and the smothering.

Throw in some amazing descriptions of Alaska and nature that almost had me pack my suitcase right then and there, great characters and an interesting plot and you'll know why I was hooked.

Nature is a big part of the book as well, actually, not just due to the main characters' love for it but also in their jobs. On the one hand there's Ben who is working as a captain to show tourists all those amazing whales and other animals, who tries to make them aware of nature's beauty and who also tries to fight for nature, to fight against the corporations polluting the sea - and then there's Haley. Haley who is working for the bad guys, actually.

Take Haley's needy and exhausting family (they made me scream with frustration..) and Ben's very lively, very loving, female-dominated family with his numerous sisters, their different jobs and top that with some real hot chemistry . yup, that's it. Sounds like a good story, doesn't it? And that's exactly what it is.

And then there's is PULLING HOME by Mary Campisi. I have already read several books by Mary Campisi and knew that I really love her books which was one of the reasons why I wanted to read this bundle. Pulling Home was great - and it did need a bunch of handkerchiefs and it was heartbreaking and I was so upset and - it was also very hopeful and sweet and I loved it. I loved to see how Audra got a chance at happiness because I was so upset by the way she was treated by her former neighbours, I hated all this judgement, this hypocrisy and - well, let's the, the brutal ironie of reality when all secrets are revealed. I felt sorry for those whose lives where lost to peoples' mean-spiritedness and I was furious thinking of all those narrow-minded people making other peoples' lives hell. In the end, despite everything that went down and all the bad things that happened, I was just happy to see Audra blossom and start a new life.

So, apart from the one book that was  just not my cup of tea but well written nontheless,  I really enjoyed this bundle and can defintily recommend it. 


★★★★