Je suis Charlie

Je suis Charlie

Samstag, 30. Juli 2016

Stormswept by Sabrina Jeffries




A book set in Wales 
and 
written by the author of the first historical romance that I ever read:






 Blurb:

New York Times bestseller Sabrina Jeffries reignites a daring love affair in this intriguing tale of desire and deception—originally written as Deborah Martin and newly revised for today’s audience. The first wedding night that Lady Juliana St. Albans spent with the dark and daring Rhys Vaughan was intoxicating, the heady culmination of her new husband’s driving hunger and her own awakened sensuality. When he mysteriously disappeared the next morning, she waited for him in hope and desperation. And when he was finally proclaimed dead in a shipwreck, she bitterly mourned the loss of her love. The second wedding night that Juliana spent with Rhys Vaughan was six years later, after he returned to claim her just as she was about to wed another. This Rhys was different—bolder, harder, and convinced that she’d betrayed him. Only their blazing passion remains from their years apart. But is it enough to light their way through the maze of mystery, menace, and mistrust—to the love they once shared and would have to find again?


Everyone who likes to read historical romance, knows that there are many books about the Highlands and the Highlanders or England and its Dukes and Lords and whatnots. Like Scotland, Wales has its own history of a fight for freedom and the right to preserve their culture, but despite that fact,  Wales is very rarely a topic of those books. This is one of the many things that make "Stormswept" so special.
What makes it even more special is the fact that it is extremely well told, gripping, shocking and romantic as well. It has an interesting plot full of betrayal, love, second chances, mistrust, hard truths and, well, in the end it all comes down to trust, doesn't it?

I couldn't put the book down, I was so upset by some of the things that happened and especially by the actions of Juliana's brothers and their ruthlessness, I could never have imagined the length to which they went for their own gain - even against their own sister. Oh, and of course I was also worried for Juliana seeing that Rhys was so set on revenge when he thought that she had betrayed him and had condemned him to six long years in hell.

Once more a book where I was also furious because of the power the men had over the women and the few chances women had to create their own life. In this case it is also about the English against the Welsh and about the restrictions against the Welsh and their culture.

Apart from the story that I really loved (and reread more than once since I've read it the first time) I enjoyed the view on Wales and its history, I loved to read about their life and their fight. Those who've read other reviews by me, might have noticed that I always enjoy a challenge. So naturally a book about Wales and its history (even nicely wrapped up in a romance) calls for a search for more information - and I enjoyed reading about it and learning more about this beautiful country.
"Stormswept" is a wonderful and well written romance with amazing and very authentic characters that I can wholeheartedly recommend, I really loved this book.

★★★★★

 

 

...die Reise geht weiter!



Über Bath führt uns die Reise weiter durch Wales:



Donnerstag, 28. Juli 2016

Auf Reisen....



Einen Ort gibt es, den ich als echter Jane-Austen-Fan natürlich unbedingt besuchen muss:

 BATH

Mal gucken, was ich hier so an interessanten Dingen sehe, ich werde berichten!




Mittwoch, 27. Juli 2016

A Scandalous Wife (Scandalous #1) by Ava Stone








Blurb:

As the head of his family, Robert Beckford, the Earl of Masten, was accustomed to dealing with various problems his siblings had caused of one sort or another. However he wasn’t prepared when his cad of brother ruined and then abandoned a young lady. To right the wrong, Robert married the girl himself; but his chivalry only went so far. He didn’t want a wife, and most certainly not a scandalous one. So after repeating his vows, he sent her packing, off to a secluded estate and expected her to stay put.

After years of mistreatment at the hands of her family, Lydia was prepared to be an accommodating wife; but her rigid and unforgiving husband asked too much of her. After languishing for years in her opulent prison, Lydia leaves her country estate for the glamour and excitement of London—and unfortunately her husband’s path.



I don't know how often I've read this book already but I just can't get enough of it. You know the kind of book that make you feel well and cozy and that never fail to cheer you up? That's the kind of book  "A Scandalous Wife" is for me.

Seeing overbearing, arrogant Robert Beckford, Earl of Masten fall head over heels in love with his own wife is wonderful to read - even though he fights it, of course and, well, considering their history it is no wonder that Lydia is not ready to trust him and his new feelings for her. The more you get to know about Lydia, the more you wish her well. She is sweet and loving and after everything she's been through, you just want to protect her and make everything alright. But some things can't be changed. You can't change history but you can change the future and that's what Lydia and Robert are doing. A big help in this endeavour are Peter and Penny, Robert's wards aka Lydia's pickpockets.
Unfortunately not everybody is happy when Robert and Lydia fall in love after having been married (and separated) for five years and very soon Robert has to defend Lydia and their love against more than one adversary....

When I started to explore more audio books, I found that everything hinges on the narrator. There are wonderful books that I couldn't listen to despite the fact that I've read and loved them just because I can't stand the narration. So, seeing how much I enjoy reading this book, I was a bit sceptical when I bought the audio book whether I'd like it or not but - I loved it. Stevie Zimmerman is a fantastiv narrator and I really loved every minute of this audiobook. No matter what edition, kindle, paperback or audio book, you can't go wrong with this book.


★★★★




Montag, 25. Juli 2016

The Scottish Lord's Secret Bride by Raven McAllan ~Review in English~










Blurb:
 
Secrets never stay buried for long…
Reluctant heiress Lady Morven Weston is tired of her mother interfering in her love affairs. At twenty-six there’s only so many more society balls she can attend before resigning herself to life as an unmarried maid.
But when Lord Fraser Napier, the man Morven ran wild with one long, hot summer, returns to Scotland, his shocking revelations change everything. Fraser never annulled their whirlwind marriage all those years ago!
Preparing to take up his ancestral seat, Fraser’s not letting go of his secret bride that easily – he needs an heir. It’s only a matter of time before Morven surrenders to Fraser’s seductive touch and finds herself in his bed…

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and I was never tempted to put it away because it is really well written and the characters were also complex and interesting especially - or rather - at least the heroine and the hero. So this should have been at least for stars instead of three, right? Right.
And I must admit that I changed my mind about that again and again and... well, you get the point. In the end I decided that I loved this book and will definitely read it again but there were some inconsistencies in the plot that really bothered me and that finally tipped the balance.

I will try to phrase it in a way that I don't spoil anything for other readers, of course.
On the one hand, we have two people who are very obviously in love. You can feel it, you read about it and you feel that they belong together. Soooo.....no problem there? Well, actually there is a problem concerning their marriage. Yes, their marriage is a problem for those two people in love, you got that right!
Apart from this marriage problem which might have been handled differently, those two are subjected to a fair amount of meddling and matchmaking attempts from their families, which is not only confusing for them but also for the reader especially as their families' feelings and actions seem to contradict each other every other minute.

Due to that, you never get close to the other characters, so it is just the hero and the heroine that are more developed and appear authentic whereas the other characters remain a bit flat.

For good measure there is also some mystic element represented by some feelings or intuitions and, of course, the gypsies.

Okay, rereading all that, I must admit that it sounds rather bad but as a matter of fact it isn't. Not at all.
I really loved reading about Morven and Fraser and I loved how open they were with their feelings for each other despite everything that had happened and that had torn them apart - and I wouldn't have minded to send their families to the northpole or wherever far away because they got a bit on my nerves with their contradictory actions. The story about the lovers is sweet and the hero and the heroine are both very lovable and loving characters and -which was really refreshing- despite their past, they are not given to misunderstandings and false accusations.

Sooo....on the whole I really liked the book and will definitely read it again but the flaws in the plot are still rather ovious.

★★★

 

 

Samstag, 23. Juli 2016

Und es geht auf die Reise!



Da mein Mann zu Hause die Stellung hält, dürfen wir anderen eine tolle Tour machen.
Der eine oder andere erinnert sich vielleicht an die vielen Reiseführer, die ich im Laufe des letzten Jahre hier rezensiert hatte? Na, wohin geht es?

Genau!

Erst einmal an die Südküste Großbritanniens....



Freitag, 22. Juli 2016

Parthena's Promise - Valerie Holmes


England, 1815


London barrister and gentleman, Jerome Fender, has just returned to England after five years as a Captain in the killing fields of the Napoleonic Wars.


With the harrowing scenes of battle still haunting his every thought, he sets out to start a new life and to find a wife who will share it with him.


Meanwhile recently orphaned 21-year-old Miss Parthena Munro has also arrived at a North Yorkshire market town.


She has been sent away by her scheming sole relative, cousin Bertram, to be governess to a local family, only to find that the family has already moved away from the area.


Left stranded far from home with no job and no place to stay, Parthena encounters Mr Fender outside an inn, where she takes a chance to steal his money in a witless moment of desperation.


She whispers a promise to return the money one day and makes off across the wild Yorkshire moors.

But it’s not long before Fender catches up with her.


However, on learning of her plight they set out on a plan to seek justice against the wrongs plotted by Bertram.


With Jerome’s help, Parthena returns to her home to the great surprise of Bertram, who, thinking that Parthena, the rightful heir to the estate, was now out of the way, was about to clear his debts by selling the family estate.


Jerome endeavours to hatch a new plan to thwart Bertram, but Parthena’s rightful inheritance can only fall to her if she marries within the month.


Parthena and Jerome discover the flame of love has been kindled between them, but is it already too late?


(Well, I think the blurb will be much longer than the review itself in this case....never had that before...)

This book was nice and I really enjoyed reading it even though it is a rather straightforward story. Solid, reliable - a couple falling in love, the good guy helping the innocent girl who has been wronged and the bad guy going down.

The story is well told, the characters are very likeable and the story is interesting and gripping despite its straightforwardness. Nevertheless I was a bit disappointed at the end because I felt that it wasn't really finished. Right it was an ending it was obvious what would happen but when I just leaned back and wanted to enjoy this last romantic bit and see how everything turns out - poff - the story was over. Done. Fini. Ende.

I know that the story is short but in this case I missed a real ending. Yes, I am mean and vengeful, I would have loved to see Thena's Cousin fall, I would have enjoyed to see him go and the less vengeful but very sentimental part of me would have loved to see Parthena and Jerome find love and buld their life together. Sure, this story would have been much longer than the one I read now but I think it would have been worth it.


★★★

Donnerstag, 21. Juli 2016

Origami Jewelry - Mayumi Jezewski










Blurb:
 


I really like this book!

Not only does it offer a number of wonderful ideas for beautiful origami jewelry but it also gives detailed and easy to follow instructions on how to make them. Due to the origami style not all of the jewelry is fitting for a grown woman, especially some hairpins are more suitable for kids but it all depends on the occasion and your own style.

Probably most of the jewelry won't last for ages but it makes for beautiful eyecatchers and allows a very individual style.

Apart from that it is fun to create the tiny charms and to play around with different papers and the different models to create unique  jewelry that doesn't cost much but is fun to create and fun to wear!

★★★★★


Mittwoch, 20. Juli 2016

To Love a Stranger - Colleen Coble






 To Love a Stranger by Colleen Coble


Blurb:




I hadn't realized when I downloaded this book that it is an inspirational romance. The hero and the heroine regularly read their bible and their belief is a fundamental part of their beings so if you don't enjoy books where religion is an important part this might not be the right book for you.

Apart from that I liked the story even though I'm starting to get a bit frustrated with all these men who know that for some mysterious reason they'll never be able to love their wife. Talk about being dramatic...*roll*

Bessie is a very sweet but determined girl who has been living in the shadow of her younger sister for ages and who takes this chance to build the life she always dreamed of. Okay, it is not exactly the life she dreamed of, her idea of the ideal life didn't really include scorpions, poisonous spiders, snakes and all those lovelies especially not in her house but...well, some girls know how to deliver a mighty whop with their broom, just saying! And obviously her idea of a perfect life never included to find out by chance that her sister had her married by proxy to some man Bessie had never heard of. But sometimes all those things that we never wanted turn out to be just perfect. It takes a bit longer for Jasper to realize that Bessie is the right woman for him but in the end....well, all's well that ends well, isn't it?


I liked the book and its story but Jasper's struggle to trust and to love sometimes is a bit too much. Nevertheless I like Jasper and Bessie a lot, especially Bessie with her kind heart and her determination but Jasper is a really nice guy as well.

★★★

 

 

Highland Lady (Scottish Fire Series, Book 1) - Colleen French











Blurb:

Elen Burnard, Lady of Dunblane, learns her sister has been kidnapped by her adversary, the Forrests of Rancoff Castle. Leading the men of Dunblane in heated pursuit, she brings home her prize: Munro Forrest, the Lord of Rancoff himself. All that remains is to barter Munro's life for her sister's safe return... and ignore the unexpected emotions her prisoner stirs in her heart.

Munro Forrest finds his jailer as bewitching as she is beautiful, and soon it is desire, more surely than shackles, keeping him at Dunblane.

But Elen and Munro are playing with fire, and in the end, longing of the soul must reconcile with duty, if both wish to stay alive.


Dieses Buch ließ mich insgesamt etwas ratlos zurück, da ich es zwar einerseits sehr unterhaltend fand und die Charaktere interessant und sympathisch, aber die Handlung selbst war extrem unrealistisch und ließ mich des Öfteren mit dem Kopf schütteln. Nein, es war nicht die Tatsache, dass Elen Laird des Clans ist, die ich unrealistisch fand, sondern alles drum herum, bei der Entführung ihrer Schwester angefangen bis hin zum Treiben in Munros Castle. Das Einzige, was ich realistisch fand, war die Tatsache, dass die Frauen mal wieder keiner gefragt hat, was sie wollen, ansonsten war diese ganze Handlung sehr merkwürdig, vom Anfang bis hin zum Ende.

Dennoch war das Buch unterhaltsam und ließ sich locker und leicht weglesen, auch die Charaktere sind gut entwickelt und ausgesprochen sympathisch, aber .... nachdem ich das Buch am Ende zugeklappt hatte, fragte ich mich schon, wie man auf so eine Handlungsidee kommt.
Lieder ließen diese Zweifel das Buch letztlich insgesamt nicht ganz überzeugend werden, so dass es zwar insgesamt gut und flüssig geschrieben ist, aber es dennoch nicht in meinen "Immer-wieder-lesen"-Ordner wandern wird.

Wer sich trotzdem an Elens und Munros Geschichte herantraut, wird sich vermutlich auch amüsieren und das Buch schnell gelesen haben, allerdings muss ich sagen, dass meine Irritation mit der Handlung doch recht groß war und ich deshalb trotz des Unterhaltungswertes, das Buch nicht so ganz genießen konnte.
Elens Schwester ist einfach ein egozentrisches Biest, die die Trageweite ihrer Handlungen offensichtlich nicht erkennt und Munros Bruder ist irgendwie ziemlich dusselig, dass er sich von ihr blenden lässt. Elen selbst gefällt mir, allerdings machen es ihr die Umstände nicht wirklich leicht, ein auch nur halbwegs normales Leben zu führen. Die jüngsten Entwicklungen im Konflikt mit den Forrests, entspannen die Lage nicht unbedingt, auch wenn Munro versucht, ihr zu erzählen, dass er mit der Entführung ihrer Schwester nichts zu tun hat....

Wer nicht zu kritisch ist, was die Zusammenhänge anbelangt, findet ein unterhaltsames und nettes Buch vor, das ihm vermutlich Freude bereiten wird, wer allerdings etwas kritischer ist, sollte vielleicht nicht unbedingt zu diesem Buch greifen.

*I received a copy of this book from eBook Discovery in exchange for my honest review.*

★★★

 

 

Dienstag, 19. Juli 2016

Rock Wedding (Rock Kiss #4) by Nalini Singh ~Review in English~










Blurb:

After a lifetime of longing for a real family, Sarah Smith thought she’d finally found her home with rock star Abe Bellamy, even if she knew Abe didn’t love her the way she loved him. But their brief relationship, filled with tragedy and heartache, nearly destroyed her. Alone, emotions in turmoil, and already shaky self-esteem shattered, Sarah struggles to pick up the pieces in the wake of their divorce.
Abe knows he’s to blame for the end of his marriage. Caught in a web of painful memories, he pushed away the best thing in his life – the sexy, smart woman he adores – breaking them both in the process. Then fate throws him a second chance to get things right, to prove to Sarah that she means everything to him. Abe desperately wants that second chance at love…even if he knows he doesn’t deserve it.
But can he convince Sarah – now strong and independent without him – to risk her wounded heart one more time?

One of those books....yes, this is one of those books, where you need enough hankies at hand and enough time because believe me, you wouldn't want to put it down just when things get tight and - very important: never read it in public! People might worry about your sanity if one moment you sit there and cry and the next you just start to smile somewhat goofily or mumble angrily or whatever.

I must admit, when Abe broke Sarah's heart mine broke along with hers. I was so upset and I just would have loved to tell her that he is just an idiot and well, things like that. When Sarah became stronger and Abe came back and started to slowly push his way back into her life, I kept hoping that he wouldn't mess it up this time, that he wouldn't hurt her like that again.

Abe has grown up as well and it was good to see how he tried to stay on track and how he owned up to everything he did before. His addiction did cost him his marriage and his love, now that he is clean, he tries to prove that he has indeed changed for good. I really liked how the other members of Schoolboy Choir supported him and were there for him when he had to fight the temptation to give in to the drugs.
This close-knit group of friends with their significant others are everything a man - or a woman - needs. Despite their closeness they open up to others like Charlotte and Gabriel whose story is told in Rock Hard or Sarah herself and her friend Lola and let them become a part of their group.
Seeing how Abe and Sarah slowly find their way back to each other, how Sarah starts to trust and how she finally gets the life she always dreamed of was so sweet and so .... sigh.

Reading the book, you feel how Abe and Sarah have grown and become more confident, more secure. Abe has learned to deal with the pain and the anger that consumed him after the death of his baby sister, Sarah has learned to stand up for herself. I really loved how both were trying to make their relationship work, to trust and to own up for everything that happened.
And even though many things happen and Abe will always have to deal with his addiction and his feelings and Sarah understandibly still has trust issues but the author never resorts to stupid misunderstandings or other things like that that are frequently used to keep up the suspense. Their path to happiness is rocky but it is always about real issues, real fear, real feelings and never about pettiness or misunderstandings. They talk about their problems, they talk about their pain and their fears and you can feel how that helps them heal.

Okay, okay, this is supposed to be a review not a novel so I'll stop now...just - well, read it, it's worth it!


★★★★★

 

 

Too Wicked To Kiss (Scoundrels & Secrets #1) - Erica Ridley








 Blurb:

HIS TOUCH HOLDS HER CAPTIVE…
From the ravens circling its spires to the gargoyles adorning its roof, Blackberry Manor looms ominously over its rambling grounds. And behind its doors, amid the flickering shadows and secret passageways, danger lies in wait…
 
TO HIS EVERY DARK DESIRE…
Evangeline Pemberton has been invited to a party at the sprawling estate of reclusive Gavin Lioncroft, who is rumored to have murdered his parents. Initially, Gavin's towering presence and brusque manner instill fear in Evangeline…until his rakish features and seductive attentions profoundly arouse her.
But when a guest is murdered, Evangeline is torn. Could the man to whom she is so powerfully drawn, also ­be a ruthless killer?



Okay, brooding, scowling, scarred - how can you not fall in love with such a man? Throw in an impoverished, honorable Miss, another Miss on the hunt for a husband, some less honorable relatives, a dark and unwelcoming manor and some dark secrets - sounds like a well known plot, doesn't it? It is, indeed, but it is well done and - well, don't forget about the murder!
The murder stirs it all up and creates an atmosphere of suspense reminding me sometimes of an Agatha Christie mystery. I really tried to find out who the murderer was but ...I failed. Not for lack of suspects, mind you. I think I suspected every member of this ill-fated house party at least once...all, except for the real murderer.

The whole plot was well done and well written and I really enjoyed reading this book. I may have rolled my eyes once or twice when a certain lady and her mother were plotting, I abhorred said mother and her despicable plots to gain a husband for her daughter and the lengths to which she was willing to go to ensure Evangeline's help, I was furious when some of the men behaved far, far less than honorable and I was upset when, well, ...then.

A mystery and a love story spiced with some mystic elements and some ruthless characters - "Too Wicked To Kiss" has it all and the result is captivating and enjoyable!

★★★★

 

 


Montag, 18. Juli 2016

Reforming Harriet (Love in Disguise #4) - Eileen Putman











Blurb:



I already read a couple of books by Eileen Putnam and really liked them but "Reforming Harriet" and I didn't get along that well. Somehow it took me ages just to read the first third of it. Things got a bit better afterwards but on the whole I had a problem with the characters and the plot.

Apart from the hero being a bit too much a victim of his higly developed olfactorial senses and the heroine being part naive and part disillusioned and disappointed by life I don't really get the feeling that they belong together, that they fall for each other. The supposed help or the intrigues of the other characters are not convincing either.

There are some rather unexpected twists but mostly they are unexpected due to the fact that they don't make sense, there is no reason for them to take place. One example is their faked betrothal. I didn't understand what that was about, it didn't make sense, especially when one looks at the conditions and at what she is giving up for this farce.

Somehow I got the feeling that she was living on love and air because she didn't need money, gave it up (but, well, she needed it, didn't she?) but, well, no love either so.... Her resources seem to be endless even though they are clearly limited and ... well. Misunderstandings and their likes litter their way and make life complicated and their love difficult. All in all it is rather predictable even though on the whole it is well written and I really liked the idea of the story.
So, not bad but not exactly my cup of tea either.

★★★

 

 

Sonntag, 17. Juli 2016

Rebel Warrior (Medieval Warriors #3) - Regan Walker








Blurb:

When your destiny lies far from where you began …


Sometimes it is not easy when a book is really good because life in the middle ages wasn't that easy and people, especially women didn't have many rights, at least not when it came to things like love and marriage. Alright, this was the one thing where the lower classes might have had more choices then those living at court although I don't know enough about that to be sure.

Okay, the hard part here was to feel and to see how much some people mean to each other just to have the king and his queen sweep in thinking that they know much better and that they shgould ignore everybody's wishes just, well, they know better, you know?

It's like everybody else must be a child with no sense of right and wrong and no knowledge of their own mind  no matter how old they are and how much they already experienced. It drove me to distraction. First I was so furious that I wanted to rate this book with less stars because of it then I realised that it is not the author's fault that she described things too vividly and made me feel too well with the hero and the heroine, well, of course it is her fault and her intention as well but it's not her fault that life in those times was a bit different. Don't shoot the messenger, right? Obviously the author did a very good job here, describing everything in a very intense and very personal manner, letting us feel with her characters and hope and despair with them.
Throughout the book you get a feeling of authenticity, facts are skillfully interwoven with fictional parts, forming a wonderful and delightful story.

I must admit that I was worried because for a rather long time I wasn't sure that there would be a HEA, for a (long) while things didn't looked hat well for Steinar and Catriona and - alright, I was really upset. But believe me, I wasn't upset at all, when she finally got rid of this so-called fiancé of hers, no, not at all. This man...nope. She's definitely better off without him.

This book takes you right back to the middle ages, telling a wonderful story of love and friendship at a time where love wasn't meant to be. A time where a woman was considered not much more than a prize and even a man more often than not had no say in who he wanted to have as a partner for life. A time of war, of hardship, of raids and murder.

Probably that is exactly what makes these times so fascinating for us because it is so much different from our life and Regan Walker does a fine job of evoking those times for us in this book.
I really enjoyed reading this book and can wholeheartedly recommend it!

★★★★★

 

 

Freitag, 15. Juli 2016

His Wicked Seduction (Regency Hearts Redeemed #2) by Jade Lee


 

 

 

 

 



Blurb: 

Seven years enslaved by Barbary pirates, Kit Frasier finally earns his freedom and returns to England, his heart hungry for revenge.

Rose, flower of the English aristocracy, believes Kit to be dramatic, rich, and the catch of the Season.

Maddy, Rose's poor relation, will do anything to improve her situation, including help Rose ensnare Kit.

But when treachery rains down upon their schemes, one will run, leaving the other to choose between respectability and wickedly wonderful seduction.

 
As I enjoyed reading Her Wicked Surrender, the first book in the Regency Hearts Redeemed Series, I had to read His Wicked Seduction as well, obviously.
This book was rather intense because the hero and the heroine are both at crosspoints in their life, Kit has just returned from captivity after having suffered as a slave for years and Maddie faces ruin and despair at the hands of....well.
The characters were different enough to entice me once more but a certain scheme is detectable, which makes the story despite its many twists and turns somewhat foreseeable.
Nevertheless I liked Kit and Maddie well and loved reading how their lives change for the better so I still enjoyed reading this book as well despite the similarities. I must admit though, that Rose and her naivete sometimes were a bit trying. There were times when I wasn't sure how much of this naivete was supposed to be real or how much might be faked but I fear that she is really as self-centered and naively innocent as she is portrayed.
Kit and Maddie are much more worldly, Kit is torn and a victim of his horrible experiences, bearing no resemblance any more to the somewhat carefree easy-going young man we met in Her Wicked Surrender, whereas Maddie, our heroine, tries to be brave and survive on her own in a time where women had almost no rights and were easily preyed upon by unscrupulous men.
On the whole the book is really well written and captivating especially for those who wondered about Kit's fate at the end of the first book.


 *I received a copy of this book from eBook Discovery in exchange for my honest review.*
 

 ★★★★

Donnerstag, 14. Juli 2016

Emily's Vow (A More Perfect Union #1) by Betty Bolte









 Blurb:

Emily Sullivan’s greatest fear is dying in childbirth, as did her twin sister and their mother. Then she’s thrown in a loyalist prison for her privateering father’s raids on the British, and her accuser--a former beau--promises to recant if she will marry him.

Frank Thomson always loved Emily despite her refusal to return his affections. A patriot spy posing as a loyalist officer, when Frank learns of Emily’s plight, he challenges her accuser to a duel.

Freed from prison, Emily ponders returning the affections of her rescuer--the only man she's ever loved and who married her twin to save the Sullivan family's reputation. But Frank cannot afford to be discovered. For the sake of young America, he must deliver his secrets.




"You needn't worry your pretty little head...."
Argh, is there any sentence more enfuriationg and annoying than this one? Unfortunately this sets the note for a major part of the book. There's a lot of condescension in it, usually based on the fact that Emily is a woman, when it is not about Emily's fear of loving and losing people or dying in childbed herself - hence the vow to stay unmarried the title refers to. Okay, some other part is about her falling in love (again) with her late sister's husband and about the difficulties of life in a town under occupation.

Many things happen but I must admit that even though it was well written I couldn't really get into it. I was getting really upset by the way all the men acted and I must damit that I didn't really like the heroine that much either - and our hero, Frank, neither. So all in all it is a solid book with a solid story but it took me quite some time to read it because I kept putting it away. Not bad just not my cup of tea.
            
                        *I received a copy of this book from eBook Discovery in exchange for my honest review.*

★★★

 

Dienstag, 12. Juli 2016

Surrender to you - Shawntelle Madison











Blurb:

In this seductive novel from the author of Bound to You, two career-oriented friends with benefits discover that good morning doesn't have to mean goodbye.

Late-night booty calls are the most romantic gesture that Carlie Jason expects from business magnate Tomas Goodfellow. Ever since they were teenagers, they've provided each other the kind of no-strings pleasures that don't involve regrets. Now Carlie finds it easier to kiss and run rather than face the fact that she wants so much more. But when she takes a job as a concierge at one of Tomas's properties, a hotel where the rich and famous get their kink on, Carlie's tempted to reconsider the rules of surrender.

As the head of an international empire, Tomas knows how to bring out the best in his employees. Putting Carlie in charge of managing the desires of his wealthiest clients was a stroke of genius—only now that she's close enough to touch, he finds he doesn't want to let her go. Their long, dark history has built up intimacy in ways he's only just beginning to understand, but Tomas isn't ready to trust her just yet. He knows his feelings are more than skin-deep. But first he needs to convince Carlie of one thing: the ties that bind go straight to the heart.



Alright, in hindsight, I can see that the description of the book might have given me an idea that it is a bit kinky and deals with some light BDSM. Nothing "dramatic" but I must admit that the whole thing is just not my cup of tea which is one of the reasons why I usually don't read books with anything like that in it. But this book being an ARC I didn't want to put it aside either.

Apart from the kinky stuff which was also described in a tasteful manner, the book was well written and I enjoyed reading it.

Tomas and Carlie are an awesome couple and I liked how they slowly find their way to each other despite everything in their past threatening to keep them apart. Carlie is a sweet and complex character, who doesn't trust easily whereas Tomas is a really nice guy trying to find a way to make her trust him and to keep her around. Not an easy thing if the one you love is prone to run when things get personal.
But when Carlie really needs him, he is there and somehow, little by little, he finds his way in and can show her how much he cares - and how much she needs him in her life, perhaps even forever....

"Surrender to you" is a sensual and emotional book with very interesting characters and a well plotted story, that I can recommend - at least if you don't have a problem with the kinky stuff.

★★★★

 

 

An Affair in Winter by Jess Michaels ~Review in English~



Living with your arms wide open...





Blurb: 
 


This book was simply amazing! I fell for Rosalinde from the first page on. She is such an amazing and sweet character, I just couldn't help falling in love with her! Well, fortunately I wasn't the only on to do so...

When circumstances - and bad weather - force widow Rosalinde to spend the night at a small inn, she doesn't know that her whole life would change that night. Meeting Gray will change her life, to be exact.
Unfortunately Gray is set on breaking up his brother's engagement with none other than Rosalinde's sister, a fact that doesn't go down well with Rosalinde. Not well at all. But no matter what happens around them, Gray and Rosalinde can't help feeling drawn to each other and soon others start to notice it as well...

I already said that the book is simply amazing, didn't I? Well, it is. Simply. Amazing. You feel the pull, you feel how much they are attracted to each other. I wanted to kick Gray for being so slow to realise that he is in love, I felt with Rosalinde, when she was upset, I hated the sister's grandfather and....well, I really really loved this book. Once started I didn't put it down till I had read the last page.

This is not the first book by Jess Michaels that I've read and it definitely won't be the last. Up to now I've read quite a number of her books and I loved each and every one of them and have read them multiple times. "An Affair in Winter" is definitely one that will never be too far from my mind and that I'll read again ... and again ... and ... The books by Jess Michaels are not just well written but they are also emotional, well constructed, sweet and steamy.

★★★★★

 

 

Love: The Lion - Frederic Brremaud ~Review in English and German~





Ab und an lese ich ja auch Comics und "sowas" sehr gerne:







On the whole I liked this story telling about the life of a lion and all those around him, friends and  well, prey. Even though it has a distinct disney-like character it is not entirely a story suitable for (all) kids because some situations are rather gruesome, for example when  the lions kill an zebra or one of the lions dies.
I really enjoyed the wonderful pictures and I didn't miss any text here. The stories about life, death and everything in between that were told in those drawings were understandable without words. My husband on the other hand liked the drawings alright but he thought that the story was missing something. 

                                                            -----------  ★★★★ -----------

Alles in allem gefiel mir diese Geschichte oder eher gesagt die Geschichten über das Leben eines Löwen und den Tieren um ihn herum, seine Freunde und, nun ja, seine Beute. Obwohl der ganze Comic von den Bildern her einen deutlich disneyartigen Charakter hat, ist er nicht unbedingt uneingeschränkt für (alle) Kinder geeignet, da doch auch einige eher grausame Szenen dargestellt werden wie etwa das Töten eines Zebras oder der Tod eines der Löwen.
Ich habe die  schönen Bilder wirklich genossen und fand nicht, dass hier Text fehlte. Diese Geschichten über Leben, Tod und alles dazwischen, waren auch ohne Worte gut verständlich. Mein Mann hingegen fand die Bilder zwar auch recht schön, allerdings fehlte ihm insgesamt etwas bei dieser Geschichte.




Sonntag, 10. Juli 2016

Loyal Heart (The Von Wolfenberg Dynasty Book 1) by Anna Markland ~Revew in English~










Blurb:

An impossible choice…love or family loyalty.
Book I of a brand new series from Anna Markland, The Von Wolfenberg Dynasty. Sophia falls in love with a guest at her brother’s wedding, but he is an envoy sent by her father’s enemies.
Brandt intends to return home as soon as his unwelcome obligation to attend the wedding is fulfilled. It quickly becomes apparent he’ll be lucky to leave the celebrations alive. 



When the Fraconian Brandt Rodermark is sent as an envoy to the wedding of an important Saxonian diplomat's son, he certainly fears that there might be a bit trouble as the war hasn't been over for long and peace is still a very fragile thing. And being sent there as a nobody in the place of his overlords....well, that might be seen as an insult. So Brandt is prepared for a certain amount of unpleasantness but he isn't prepared for the possibility that he might not survive this visit!
Sophia von Wolfenberg never expected to fall in love at her brother's wedding - and she could never have imagined that falling in love would mean that she'd have to chose between love and her family....
But first of all she has to make sure that Brandt survives his time at her family's place!
Circumstances force Brandt to stay much longer with the von Wolfenbergs than he had planned and he gets to know Sophia and her family really well. Even though he is betrothed to someone else, Sophia and Brandt fall in love. Now it is up to fate - and politics - what will become of their love!

I really really loved the von Wolfenbergs. It is such a wonderful family and you just have to love them! Their interactions, their acceptance of others and of Brandt specifically and their ever-present love for each other make them very special. Especially in contrast to Brandt's upbringing and his horrible father it is nice to see the von Wolfenbergs and to see how Brandt, despite being the enemy, in theory at least, slowly becomes a part of their family.

Politics, wars, kings, princes, beautiful and courageous maidens - this book has it all and combines a wonderful love story between two amazing characters with an interesting and well written story. The characters are complex and authentic and the whole story is captivating with some twists and turns that keep the reader on his toes.
The books has no real cliffhanger but the end is somewhat open nontheless and leaves the reader anxious for the next book in the series to come out ...

★★★★


Samstag, 9. Juli 2016

The Duke of Daring (The Untouchables #2) by Darcy Burke

  






Blurb:

Miss Lucinda Parnell is out of money, a dismal failure at the Marriage Mart, and she’d just as soon leave Society far behind. Desperate to earn funds to retire with her grandmother to the country, Lucy disguises herself as a man to gamble in London’s hells. But the Earl of Dartford, an Untouchable she never imagined speaking to let alone spending time with, is onto her in a trice. When he insists on joining her, Lucy fears her desire to remain an independent woman is destined to go up on flames.

As a boy, Andrew Wentworth, Earl of Dartford lost his family to illness, leaving him a hollow shell. Obsessed with conquering one adventure after another to fill the bitter holes inside of him, Andrew has set his sights on parachuting. Nothing will stop him from trying to achieve his goal—not the hazard of death and certainly not a woman who’s gotten far too close. Love is the one risk he doesn’t have the heart to dare.


I really liked this book. It has an interesting story even though some of the elements are rather well known, like the spinster falling in love at last and the Earl who has lost someone he loved and who doesn't allow himself to love anymore. Sounds familiar, doesn't it? Right. In this case the story is a bit different and I must admit that I always love an intelligent, independent heroine who knows how to use her brain. 

There were parts of the book when I was just a teeny tiny bit furious.....or a bit more....because I 
hated how Andrew treated Lucy. Yes, I know, he has suffered, he is traumatized and it is understandable but - no matter what, that's not the way to treat a lady!

Okay, apart from that Andrew was not just an interesting character but also a really nice character and I enjoyed spending time with him and Lucy. It was great to see how he sincerely appreciated everything that made Lucinda special and set her apart from the other ladies of the ton. I loved how he helped her and how he cared for her and, of course, I also loved to see how those two inevitably fall in love with each other and how Andrew slowly opens himself to love and life and friendship.

The book is well written and kept me hooked from the first page on. I can really recommend it!

★★★★


Freitag, 8. Juli 2016

Inseverable (Carolina Beach, #1) - Cecy Robson ~Review in English~




I loved the Shattered Past-Series by Cecy Robson
and I was really looking forward to read this book, 
the first one in her new Carolina Beach-Series:








Blurb:

How can you imagine forever with someone who's leaving everything behind?

Callahan, a former army sniper, wants to make an escape from his past and everything he experienced at war, but most of all, just not feel. Feeling leads to pain and he’s suffered enough. When he inherits a house on South Carolina’s Kiawah Island, he packs his bags, lured by the peace and seclusion he thinks it will bring. But, Callahan never counted on meeting anyone like Trinity . . .

Trinity has always been the cute, and funny one, who most guys overlook in pursuit of her "hot" friends. She became used to being everyone’s pal, until the day the young man she was attracted to, was drawn to her in return. He became her first great love, and first crushing heartbreak when she found him in bed with one of her closest friends.

To move forward, and to carry out her commitment to helping those in need, Trinity enlists in the Peace Corps, but not before returning to Kiawah for one last memorable summer. She just never imagined it would be so unforgettable.

Callahan doesn’t want to get close to anyone—let alone Trinity. He finds her perkiness insufferable and her attempts to entice a smile distracting. After all, he’s in Kiawah to leave all feelings behind. But when it comes to Trinity, who feels everything, it's hard not to feel something.

Neither expected to fall in love. And no one could have predicted how inseverable they’d become.



Trinity Summer  is like a fresh breeze, like a ray of sunshine lighting up the lives of those around her. When she meets Callahan who  came to Kiawah to find peace after having served one too many tours as a ranger in Iraq, he tries to ignore her but ignoring Trin when she's on a mission? Boy, that's impossible! With a sweet smile and the persistence of a terrier, she worms her way into his heart. Against a force like Trin, Callahan is powerless and without even knowing how it happened, he finds that he cares for her. A lot.

And I was powerless against her charme either. Trin is cute and funny, making dry obervations that make you read twice and laugh out loud, she is passionate and loving and you can feel how much she gives to those around her.

Callahan starts to open up to Trin and very soon, the two of them are inseverable. But the clock is ticking - soon Trinity will have to leave for the Peace Corps. Will their newfound love be strong enough to get them through this time?

I loved Trinity, well, you can't not love her, actually. Despite knowing that life is not just sunshine and roses, she just makes those around her feel good. She is very compassionate and instinctively knows how to reach out to Callahan. And I was celebrating every sign of a smile with her, every little sign of his surrender. I really liked him and felt with him. He had suffered a lot and I just wanted him to feel better and to heal.
Apart from the lovable and authentic characters, I was fascinated by a wonderful, well written and well plotted story
This was once again a book that made me laugh and cry and smile and sigh - and I loved every single page of it!

★★★★★

 

 

Donnerstag, 7. Juli 2016

Brandon Sanderson's White Sand



Just a short note concerning....



Brandon Sanderson's White Sand

 

Inhalt: 




I'm a bit torn when it comes to this book because on the one hand I really like the story and the graphics. On the other hand it took me some time to read it even though I liked the story and it was interesting and well done.

Due to the style in which the graphics are done I found it sometimes hard to concentrate on them for a longer period of time. The lines are very fine but not very precise and clear  and as most of the picures are white in white in (almost) white it looks rather blurry after a while. I liked it but couldn't concentrate on it for a long time.

★★★

 

Mittwoch, 6. Juli 2016

Kiss Me Darkly - Cecilia Gray ~Review in English~

   





Blurb: 

Meet Dinah Belle—the Blasé Belle—who never gets emotional because there is no problem—including love—that she cannot solve with her superior intellect. The irrational emotion of love has destroyed her family, but it must have a cure, and she has the perfect test case by which to discover it.
Meet Graham Abernathy—the popular duke's son—a gentleman who goes out of his way to please others and be well liked. Not that it's done him any good, since the woman he loves has thrown him over for someone else. Heartbroken, he attracts the interest of one Dinah Belle, who has her sights set on him—for research, of all things.
Dinah has no intention of failing. He has no intention of being cured.



This book is ...a bit different. For a rather long time I wasn't really sure whether I liked it or not because I felt that I was missing a lot due to the style in which it is written.
While Dinah Belle, when she meets Graham Abernathy, sees an opportunity for a thorough research on the subject of love and the chance to cure this destructive emotion, Graham Abernathy is not very willing to be cured of his heartbreak. Despite that he agrees to go along with her scheme.
The two meet occasionally over the course of some years and share quite a number of letters concerning Dinah's latest theories on how to defeat this fatal malady called love. Useless to say that she is not really successful in curing Graham but, well, something changes for sure...

The story and the style are rather unusual which makes the book an interesting reading experience and I was really astonished how well the characters are developed despite the fact that the reader jumps from event to event and has to fill in many things for himself. Even though the letters links the occasions when Dinah and Graham meet somewhat there are still big gaps and that's where I felt I was missing something. The book being a romance it made sense that Dinah and Graham fell in love over the course of the years but you couldn't really feel it.
On the whole I couldn't connect well with the characters and felt a bit detached.
Nevertheless I enjoyed reading the book.

★★★★


Must Love Kilts (Must Love Time Travel #3) by Angela Quarles ~Review in English~









 Blurb:

The Jacobite Rebellion--not the best time to get drunk, hook up with a guy, and lose your sister.
A drunken bet...
When computer game designer Traci Campbell gets too close and personal with a bottle of Glenfiddich while vacationing in Scotland, she whisks her kilt-obsessed sister back to 1689 to prove hot guys in kilts are a myth. Hello, hundred bucks! But all bets are off when she meets Iain, the charming playboy in a to-die-for kilt.

Wrong place, wrong time, wrong name...
Iain MacCowan regularly falls in love at the drop of his kilt. The mysterious red-haired lass with the odd accent is no different. But when his new love is discovered to be a Campbell, the most distrusted name in the Highlands, his dalliance endangers his clan's rebellion against King William.

It’s all hijinks in the Highlands until your sister disappears...
Traci thinks men are only good for one thing--thank you, Iain!--but when she awakens once again in Ye Olde Scotland and her sister is gone, she must depend on the last person she wants to spend more time with. He wants to win a heart, she wants to keep hers, but can these two realize they're meant for each other before the Jacobite rebellion pulls them apart?



This book was a really nice variation of the time travel motif.

Our less than glorious hero and heroine don't find each other, they kind of stumble upon each other when Traci and her sister Fiona travel back to 1689. Getting to know each other worked pretty quick for Traci and Ian at least... well.. you know.
Unfortunately Ian realizes too late that Traci is a Campbell. A Campbell - obviously at this time right before the first Jacobite uprising for those who didn't support King William, the name "Campbell", name of the most ferocious supporters of the protestant King William, was nothing that they wanted to hear and they definitely didn't want to host one of them....or two.

The two-part is the other problem. Not only does Traci have to jump  back unexpectedly to today's Scotland after a night of far too much whisky and a (very nice) encounter with one of those hot guys in kilts but when she arrives there she realizes that her sister is missing. Or rather - she left her behind in 1689. Of course she travels back again but....no Fiona. Setting out to find her is not really easy for someone whose experience with nature and the rough life is based completely on RPGs. Finding Ian is the first step but by far not the last....

I loved the chemistry of the hero and the heroine and I loved how they cared for each other and helped the other realize their own value. Both of them are insecure and hide behind their mask of carelessness all the time to prevent themselves from getting hurt. Finally, slowly, they start to see their own worth and their destiny.
It's up to you now to find out where this destiny will lead them - or rather "when"!
And I'm looking forward to find out what exactly happend between Fiona and Duncan! The end left me a bit curious...just a little bit, sure, but...well...I hope that the next book will be out soon!

 ★★★★


Dienstag, 5. Juli 2016

Copping It Sweet - Anna Clifton








Blurb:

Sara Sullivan has a landlord who wants to evict her, a 1960s Beetle that rarely starts, and a looming exam she’s all set to fail. But none of that compares to the return home of Detective Sergeant Cooper Halligan, her best friend’s brother and the single biggest threat to the secret she’s guarded for years…
Cooper Halligan is happy to be home. But he’s not happy to discover that Sara Sullivan is a permanent fixture within his family, especially when he’s the only one who knows about the sinister marriage lying hidden in her past.
Sara’s crime-boss husband is the prime suspect in the murder of an innocent street kid, and now Cooper’s prepared to do anything to find out what Sara knows.


How would you react if you were a cop and coming home after having spend some years abroad you find the wife of a crime-boss right in the middle of your family, being best friends with everyone of them? Even worse -  the wife of a crime-boss whom you are still trying to prove guilty of the murder of an innocent kid? - Well, Cooper doesn't take it well either but when circumstances force Sara and Coop to spend with each other he realizes that there are more (and nicer) reasons to spend time with her apart from the investigation into her husband's crimes...

I really liked the story. It was well written and captivated me from the first page on. Once started, I didn't put the book down.
The story, was thrilling and the complex and well developed characters were easy to like and sympathize with. I loved to see how both of our main characters start to trust each other and to realize how much more they mean to each other. The whole of it made up a fascinating story that I really enjoyed!

★★★★★

 

 

A License to Wed: Rebellious Brides - Diana Quincy







Blurb: 

Lady Elinor Dunsmore made the mistake of falling for her older brother's best friend, who vanished after a night of unbridled passion. Six years and a lifetime later, their eyes meet across a Paris salon. Her friends and family believe she's dead, but Elle is very much alive. She's now associated with a ruthless general, who wants her to seduce the man who broke her heart in order to learn his deepest secrets. Is Will a mild-mannered scholar—or the notorious agent they call The Razor?

The bastard son of an earl and an actress, Will Naismith always knew he was an unsuitable match for Elle Dunsmore, no matter how powerfully he ached for her. And yet he almost allowed his desires to spoil her glittering future. After the agony caused by Elle's supposed death, Will has devoted himself to the Crown, but his entire life has been leading up to this unexpected reunion. As much as he still wants her, though, he must not succumb to lust once again. For his mission is delicate—and Elle is delectably dangerous.

 


First I fell in love with the description of the book, then, after a couple of pages, I realized that this is the sequel to Spy Fall which I really really loved and - this book is as good as Spy Fall and I simply love it!
Alright alright, lots of love for one, okay, make that two books, but really they are amazing! Strong and complex characters and imagine - they don't just presume and pout but they try to talk to each other and they acknowledge when they have been wrong and they apologize! They are not infallible, they are authentic, they make mistakes, they make the wrong decisions, they hurt each other but they use ther heart and their brain to figure things out and  - I must repeat it: They talk. To each other. About their problems. Ain't that something? Right!

Apart from that this is a fast-paced and well plotted story that is set a bit after the events that took place in Spy Fall. Both of them are standalones but I would read Spy Fall first because some things are mentioned in License to wed that are important parts of the story in Spy Fall.

We met Will, the hero of our book in Spy Fall where he was introduced as a friend of Cosmo's and, well, as a friend of Cosmo's. License to wed sees him in Paris where he discovers that Elinor, Cosmo's sister and his former lover is still alive and not dead as they had all been led to believe. Due to the aftermath of the French Revolution, Elinor and Will seem to be on different sides as Elinor is forced by a member of the French intelligence network to find out if Will, nice, sweet, well-mannered scholar Will, a simple numimatist, is the famous agent "The Razor".
Will they be able to overcome not only the differences posed by their current circumstances or will they be able to build the life they were meant to have if fate - and some less than benevolent friends - hadn't interfered?

I guess, I mentioned it but - I really loved this book! Both books are well written, gripping and imaginative - this author just made it on my very short auto-read/auto-buy list!

★★★★★