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Book Review: Project Duchess By Sabrina Jeffries

 

 

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Title: Project Duchess ~ Author: Sabrina Jeffries

Publisher: Kensington Books  ~  Format : Kindle

 

 

My Review

Project Duchess is the first book in Sabrina Jeffries Duke’s Dynasty series. Fletcher Pryde, Duke of Greycourt, gets an urgent message from his mother informing him of his stepfather’s death. Grey was sent away to live with his Aunt and Uncle when he was younger. Ever since then he has a tense relationship with his parents. So tense that Grey has started calling his stepfather by his given name. There is more to it, but I don’t want to give the whole book away.

Despite the bad feelings, Grey loves his family, and is devastated by the loss of his stepfather. Traveling to his family estate, the first person he encounters is Beatrice Wolfe. Beatrice is the cousin of Grey’s younger brother Sheridan.
The family dynamics is kind of confusing at first but by the end of the story it’s easy to figure out whose who and how they are related. (Grey’s mother had been married multiple times and bore three Dukes).
There is instant attraction between Grey and Beatrice, but they both have reasons to stay away from each other. It doesn’t help things that Sheridan thinks that Beatrice’s brother killed their stepfather.

This is not my first Sabrina Jeffries, and once again she has yet to disappoint me. I love this story. I liked how the murder mystery was written in this story. At the end of the story we don’t find out who the murderer is. Which is fine with me, I hate when authors write a murder mystery. Because usually two things happen.

Either they spend most of the book building up the plot and then there is a really rushed conclusion, ruining the entire plot all together. Or they place the blame on the most predictable character. I’m liking how Sabrina Jeffries is taking her time with this plot and we are going to learn more about the Killer in the next upcoming books in this series.
Another thing I love about this book was the pairing of Grey and Beatrice. I liked how the plot focused more on them instead of getting caught up in this murder mystery. I love that both Grey and Beatrice can be their true selves around each other and not have to put on false airs around each other. One of my favorite scenes was when Grey made a truce with Beatrice that they would always be honest with each other. Not only that, but Beatrice would stop apologizing for everything little thing she says and be herself. Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book and cannot wait for the next book in this series. For any romance readers, I highly recommend adding this to your TBR.
5 Star Rating

 

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Book Review: The Earl Next Door by Amelia Grey

 

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Title: The Earl Next Door  ~~  Author:  Amelia Grey ~ Format:  Kindle

Publisher:  St. Martin’s Paperback

 

ABOUT THE EARL NEXT DOOR:

 

What does a fiercely independent young widow really want? One determined suitor is about to find out…

When Adeline, Dowager Countess of Wake, learns of her husband’s sudden death, she realizes she’s free. At last, she can do, go, and be as she pleases. Finally, she can have the life she has always dreamed of. She doesn’t need, or want, to remarry. Especially not the supremely dashing future Marquis of Marksworth, who makes Adeline yearn for his desire… 

Lord Lyonwood, son of a philandering marquis, will not be like his father. He wants to run his estates and watch them flourish—and find a wife who brings love to his life. When he meets spirited and self-reliant Adeline in a case of near-scandalous mistaken identity, Lyon feels he’s met his match. But Adeline isn’t interested in a marriage proposal. She will only accept becoming his lover—and Lyon finds it hard to refuse. Unless the fire of his passion can melt Adeline’s resolve…

 

My Review

First I would like to thank St. Martin’s paperbacks and Net galley for giving me an Arc of this book in exchange for an honest review.  I received no compensation for my review, and all thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.

The Earl Next door is the first book in Amelia Grey’s First comes love series.  I really enjoyed in this book. One of things I most enjoyed about this story was the chemistry between Adeline and Lyon.  You can practically feel the attraction between these two characters off the pages.

One of the my favorites moments between them was their first meeting. Lyon barges into Adeline and accuses her of being madam and trying to open a brothel in the neighborhood.  Despite his callous remarks we learn that Lyon on a mission from his Aunt and one of the neighborhood gossips Mrs. Feversham. Not only that he cares about the neighborhood and doesn’t want to see any unsavory  element moving in there.

The thing I liked most about this scene was not so much the scene itself,  though I was highly amused by  it, but what the characters were feeling. I thought that Amelia Grey did an Amazing job in creating the hidden spark between these two characters.

Another thing that stood out to me about this story and found really refreshing was  kind of the reversal between Adeline and Lyon. Usually it’s the woman that wants marriage and the man hesitating about if he wants that kind of commitment.

In story we learn that Adeline marriage was not a fairy tale for sure.  He led her to believe when he married her that he loved her. In reality,  the only reason he married her was because he thought that she would provide him with children.  He became abusive both verbally and physically when Adeline didn’t get pregnant. He threw the fact that his mistress was pregnant in Adeline face.  Adeline understandably doesn’t want to get back in that type of situation.

Lyon on the other hand has always been pressured by his father to marry so he can have a male heir to pass down the family name.  Lyon has always resisted this because when he wants to marry he wants it to be for love. And he won’t settled for nothing less. Even when Adeline turned down his proposal and suggested they be lovers.  Even though they had been intimate previously, Lyon thought that keeping her as lover would not only disrespect her, but disrespect their relationship as a whole and diminish it . In order to grow as a couple they needed to be in truly committed relationship that marriage would provide.

Some of the criticism i had towards the story really came at the end of the story.  After understanding some of the character motivations for both Adeline and Lyon I was kind  perplexed by the way they ended up together. Adeline has been having these fears that since she can’t get pregnant she will never make Lyon truly happy.  So instead of disproving these theories and having Lyon marry her despite the fact that she won’t be able to give him children. Adeline miraculously ends up pregnant. So they would have to marry regardless.  So that for me made the plot kind of self-defeating.

Then there was the introduction of Wade’s illegitimate daughter into the story. I guess I’m trying to figure out what she brought to the story? She was introduced at the end and  Adeline’s view of her didn’t shed a good light on Adeline. She was all but forgotten when Adeline gave birth to her own child. I was kind of hoping that Adeline would take her guardianship of the little girl  a little bit more seriously then just allowing her to attend the school. 

Aside from these minor bumps in the road I really did enjoy the story and would recommend reading this book.  I look forward to reading the next series in this book.

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Amelia Grey_credit Marcia Reynolds

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author AMELIA GREY read her first romance book when she was thirteen and she’s been a devoted reader of love stories ever since. Her awards include the Booksellers Best, Aspen Gold, and the Golden Quill. Writing as Gloria Dale Skinner, she won the coveted Romantic Times Award for Love and Laughter and the prestigious Maggie Award. Her books have sold to many countries in Europe, Indonesia, Turkey, Russia, and most recently to Japan. Several of her books have also been featured in Doubleday and Rhapsody Book Clubs. Amelia is the author of over twenty-five books. She’s been happily married to her high school sweetheart for over thirty-five years and she lives on the beautiful gulf coast of Northwest Florida.

 

Buy this book: https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250217608

Author website: http://www.ameliagrey.com/

Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AmeliaGreyBooks

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/491465.Amelia_Grey

SMP Romance Twitter: @SMPRomance or @heroesnhearts

SMP Romance Website: https://heroesandheartbreakers.com/

 

Excerpt from The Earl Next Door by Amelia Grey

Perhaps he should have stated who he was when he first entered the drawing room, but he’d thought it wasn’t necessary. He was only too well aware of how many private pleasure houses were hidden among the cozy streets of respectable London and how easily and quietly they were established. He’d certainly availed himself of more than a few over the years, which was why he’d promised his aunt he’d deal with the one she believed was moving in next door to him and down the street from her.

Lyon could now see that Lady Wake’s earlier perplexed expressions and her sense of outrage had flashed warning after warning, which he’d ignored. That the countess didn’t immediately engage him with welcoming smiles should have been a swift indication all wasn’t as it seemed, but he was already in an irritable state of mind when he arrived at her house and unwavering in his thoughts not to be persuaded from his mission by a tempting woman.

He’d returned home from a laborious meeting with his unprepared solicitor, wanting only to get ready for an evening at White’s so he could get caught up on the latest news and indulge in a game or two of billiards, a few hands of cards, and an expensive bottle of brandy. Instead, he’d come home to find his aunt in his drawing room wringing her hands in misery over the possibility of unmentionable women setting up a forbidden business in their quiet neighborhood. And insisting he must do something about it at once.

Given all that was put before him, including the countess’s attire, what else could he have possibly done other than assume she was a paid woman preparing to fulfill some lucky man’s fantasy for the evening?

“The mistake was mine. I thought this was the kind of house where a man is always free and welcome to come and go as he pleases without hindrance, and not have to reveal his name or wait around to be announced. If I had known you were a lady and not an angel of the evening, I wouldn’t have acted so freely.”

“An angel of the evening?” She puffed out a breath of exasperation. “What rubbish. Clever words or phrases won’t hide what you thought when you entered or how you spoke to me. Now that you know who I am, you are still free to speak to me as before.”

That she would suggest he continue to speak so openly with her surprised him and was downright refreshing. Most of the ladies he knew would have fainted when he made the remark about paying her fee for the evening and pray to never hear such a vile comment again.

“Nevertheless, I will give you the respect you deserve and watch my language now that I do know, my lady.”

He watched her breathing ease and calmness settle over her as they each assessed the situation. That her recovery was quick and solid was a testament to her strength.

“I heard you were out of Town when I moved into the neighborhood a few days ago,” she continued in a calm and confident voice.

“I returned last evening.”

“That doesn’t absolve your actions tonight. You should have checked with someone before you came charging over with uncivil actions, assumptions and untrue allegations.”

Lyon’s jaw clenched tighter. No doubt about that. He should have questioned his aunt more about her suspicions, but he wasn’t about to explain that to the countess and implicate his aunt and her friend. “I was reasonably certain I had good cause to act as I did.”

“But you didn’t.”

“No.” What else could he say?

“And earl or not, sir,” she added valiantly, “you are an ogre as I’ve found most of your ilk are.”

He couldn’t argue with that either.

“Before you go, I’d like to know what made you think this was a house of pleasure for men.”

Lyon shook his head slowly. She was unbelievable. Asking him to explain what she’d just slapped him for. He wasn’t going to get caught in that snare again. “I’d rather not say, my lady.”

“Of course you don’t want to, but you must. I need to know what caused you to act as you did. Others could make the same mistake.”

Something settled in Lyon’s chest. A feeling that he’d never had before. Lady Wake was no shy or simpering female. She was courageous, impassioned beyond belief, and probably too strong-willed for her own good.

That intrigued him. It made him want to answer her with candid freedom, but every fiber of his being as a gentleman warned against such talk with a proper lady.

Yet, after only a brief hesitation, he responded, “If you insist.”

“I do.”

“It was brought to my attention that there have been some peculiar things going on over here while I’ve been out of Town.”

“Peculiar?” Concern resurfaced in her expression. “What do you mean? There is no reason for us to stand on ceremony, my lord. We are quite familiar with each other now. Speak to me as you would a madam and tell me what made you think my home was a house of ill repute.”

“Very well. An abundance of deliveries of bed-chamber furniture going into the building behind this house.”

“Why would that be strange, sir?” she asked him crisply. “Beds are necessary for everyone.”

“And women coming and going at all hours of the day and night.”

“Ah, yes,” she said on a breathy sigh as the meaning of his words became clear to her and she relaxed once again. “Now I understand. Beds and women. What else is a man to think of other than pleasure?”

Lyon felt the only thing he could reasonably do at this point was lift his brows, and say, “For that I can offer no apology.”

“It’s true, there have been many beds delivered. The building behind this house is being furnished as a boarding school for girls, my lord. The women who have been seen coming and going will be their tutors. Currently, some of the women have different jobs they must return to each day. They are free to leave at whatever time they deem necessary to make their other duties and commitments.”

“A boarding school?” he repeated, wondering why the hell his aunt didn’t know that. She was usually one of the first to hear the latest gossip.

“Yes. So whatever tawdry vision you’d imagined would be taking place between these walls tonight or any other won’t be happening. My home is not what you thought it was, and anyone else who assumed the same will have to look elsewhere for his decadences.”

The countess opened the door for him.

Lyon felt his expression softening, his admiration growing. For a number of reasons, including the truth of her words, there was no repairing their inauspicious meeting.

He nodded without further words, turned, and walked out of her house.

 T

 

 

his story centers around Adeline, Dowager Countess of Wake, who has been a widow for tears now.  She lost her husband in a tragic ship wreck.  Upon seeing the

 

 

who has been widowed  for two years now. She along with two other widows decide to open up a boarding school rls.  

 

 

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Book Review: Cherokee America by Margaret Verble

 

 

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I first like to thank Historical fiction Virtual book tours and Netgalley for giving me a Kindle copy of this book to review on my blog.

Cherokee America by Margaret Verble is set in the late 1800’s. The setting of this story is Cherokee Nation West.  

Several different characters are introduced in the first part of this story and they have their own story.  But all the characters are tied to the singer family.

The matriarch of the family is Check.  Who is half-blood, she is part Cherokee and part white. Just like her mother she married a white man,  she is now raising five sons. Her husband is sick and eventually dies towards the end of the story.

Through Check we are introduced to Puney and Ezell. Former slaves who now work for Check.  Puney “woman trouble” causes a whole lot of mess throughout the story. Then we are introduced to Sanders,  who has a habit of getting people out of messes. Then we have Check’s eldest sons Hugh and Calum who are coming into manhood. Who are at period in their life that one wrong move can affect the rest of their lives.  The two main plots in this story were a hidden gold stash and murder.

The story for me started off slowly,  I think that introduction of so many characters and different plotlines slowed down the book somewhat. But eventually the book picks up and you can see how everyone ties into the story. I found myself really enjoying this book.  

I would caution readers to be patient with this book. If you’re looking to read something that instantly gratifies you then this not the book for you.  I would say that this more a slow burn.

I thought all the characters were very well written. I like that some of the characters were inspired by real life figures.

I kind of wished that this story was a sequel. I think it cut off too soon, and even though she gave an epilogue and told us what happened to them.  I kind of wanted more.

Overall, I really liked this book.  If your looking to read historical fiction on Native Americans.  I would highly recommend picking this up.

 

four-stars-copy

 

Book Info

Title: Cherokee America

Author: Margaret Verble

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Pages: 399

 

 

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Book Blast: CHEROKEE AMERICA

 

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CHEROKEE AMERICA BY MARGARET VERBLE

Publication Date: February 19, 2019
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Hardcover & eBook; 400 Pages

Genre: Literary/Historical Fiction/Native American

From the author of the Pulitzer Prize finalist Maud’s Line, an epic novel that follows a web of complex family alliances and culture clashes in the Cherokee Nation during the aftermath of the Civil War, and the unforgettable woman at its center.

It’s the early spring of 1875 in the Cherokee Nation West. A baby, a black hired hand, a bay horse, a gun, a gold stash, and a preacher have all gone missing. Cherokee America Singer, known as “Check,” a wealthy farmer, mother of five boys, and soon-to-be widow, is not amused.

In this epic of the American frontier, several plots intertwine around the heroic and resolute Check: her son is caught in a compromising position that results in murder; a neighbor disappears; another man is killed. The tension mounts and the violence escalates as Check’s mixed race family, friends, and neighbors come together to protect their community—and painfully expel one of their own.

Cherokee America vividly, and often with humor, explores the bonds—of blood and place, of buried histories and half-told tales, of past grief and present injury—that connect a colorful, eclectic cast of characters, anchored by the clever, determined, and unforgettable Check.

Praise for Cherokee America

“Highly recommended for readers of literary historical fiction in the vein of Lalita Tademy’s Citizen’s Creek and Paulette Jiles’s News of the World.”–Library Journal, STARRED review

“In Verble’s hands, this tale of a mother’s love and her gritty resolve in a shameful era of false promises and broken treaties makes for a rich, propulsive novel.”–Publishers Weekly

“An impressive, historical saga of Native American life in the mid-19th century.”–BookPage

Cherokee America does what all the best historical fiction does—it vividly captures its particular time and place, yet simultaneously offers valuable insights about our own era. Margaret Verble is an exceptional storyteller, and this novel will enhance her already considerable literary reputation.”—Ron Rash, author of Serena

AMAZON | BARNES AND NOBLE | CHAPTERS | INDIEBOUND | KOBO

About the Author

03_Margaret Verble

Margaret Verble is an enrolled and voting citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and a member of a large Cherokee family that has, through generations, made many contributions to the tribe’s history and survival. Although many of her family have remained in Oklahoma to this day, and some still own and farm the land on which the book is set, Margaret was raised in Nashville, Tennessee, and currently lives in Lexington, Kentucky.

Many of the characters of Maud’s Line are based on people Margaret knew as a child and the setting is land she roamed for many years of her life. In part, Margaret wrote this book to keep those people and that land alive in her heart.

Margaret’s new novel, Cherokee America, will be released by Houghton, Mifflin, Harcourt on Feb. 19, 2019. A prequel to Maud’s Line, it is set in 1875 in the Arkansas River bottoms of the old Cherokee Nation West.

Margaret is a member of the Authors Guild and Western Writers of America.

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | GOODREADS | AMAZON | BOOKBUB

Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, February 19
Feature at Coffee and Ink

Wednesday, February 20
Review at A Book Geek
Feature at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots

Friday, February 22
Review at Creating Herstory
Feature at What Is That Book About

Tuesday, February 26
Review at Jennifer Silverwood’s Blog

Wednesday, February 27
Review at The Lit Bitch

Thursday, February 28
Review at Tar Heel Reader

Friday, March 1
Feature at View from the Birdhouse

Monday, March 4
Review at Amy’s Booket List

Thursday, March 7
Review at The Old Shelter
Feature at Donna’s Book Blog

Friday, March 8
Interview at The Old Shelter

Monday, March 11
Interview at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, March 13
Review at Passages to the Past

Friday, March 15
Review at bookramblings
Review at The Reading Woman

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour we will be giving away five copies of Cherokee America by Margaret Verble! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on March 15th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

To enter in the competition just follow the link below

https://gleam.io/Vmr3g/cherokee-america

 

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Book Review: Ten Kisses to Scandal by Vivienne Lorret

 

 

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Title: Ten Kisses to Scandal ~~Author: Vivienne Lorret

Publisher: Avon Books ~~  Format:  Kindle~ Genre: Romance

 

My Review

I would first off like to say thanks to  Vivienne Lorret  for letting me be apart of her review team and for Avon Book for sending me this wonderful book.

Ten Kisses To Scandal  is the second book in Vivienne Lorret Misadventures in matchmaking series. The story centers around Briar Bourne who is an inspiring matchmaker. Her family runs a match making service and Briar has aspirations of becoming a match maker herself,  she wants to prove to her sister that she is good for more then just pouring tea.

So she decides to sneak out of the house in hopes of getting one of the town’s most eligible bachelor’s as a client.  While trying to hail a carriage she comes upon a scandalous scene of man and woman in the midst of passion. Instead of running away, she watches which catches the attention of the rake Nicholas Blacklowe,  Earl of Edgemont.

Edgemont is both amused and intrigued by Briar.  He doesn’t expect to see her again after their first encounter,  but is surprised to learn that she is friends with his cousin Temperance. He then hires her to help both his cousins, Temperance and Daniel, to find suitable matches.

Not only that he agrees to give her “lessons” in match making.

The payment ?

She has to kiss him with each lesson.

Things get more intriguing when a woman from Nicholas past hires Briar to match Nicholas.  At first she all up for the task but as the attraction grows between her and Nicholas the thought of him marrying another woman doesn’t sound so appealing anymore.

I really loved this story, once I got started reading this I couldn’t put it down. I love the Jane Austin quotes at the beginning of each chapter.  I thought that the story was written very well written and the pacing of the story was just right.

I think that the pairing of Nicholas and Briar was Amazing!  I fell in love with this couple from the beginning.  You could definitely see the sparks between them. I love the banter between these two,  I found myself laughing out loud. I also love the slow burn,  even though in one scene they could be kissing you still had that element of surprise wondering if they were going to get together or not .

I had several favorite scenes in this book,  but I have to admit the carriage scene at the beginning of the story when Briar first meets Nicolas is my favorite. Vivienne Lorret has a way of pulling you into the scene.  Its almost as though you are there yourself.

Overall, great book.  I cannot wait to read the next book in this series. If your looking to read a great romance for Valentines day then look no further.

 

5 Star Rating

 

About the Author:

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USA TODAY bestselling author Vivienne Lorret transforms copious amounts of tea into words. She is an Avon author of The Wallflower Wedding series, The Rakes of Fallow Hall series, The Season’s Original series, and the Misadventures in Matchmaking series. For more on her upcoming novels, sign up for her newsletter at http://www.vivlorret.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Blog Tour: The Darkest Corners by Sydney Jamesson

 

 

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The Darkest Corners by Sydney Jamesson

Publication Date: November 20, 2018
SJ Publishing
eBook; 332 Pages

Genre: Psychological Suspense

This standalone novel is not a romance. It is psychological suspense with a complex love story woven through it. Expect lots of angst, emotional scenes and edge of your seat suspense as a single father and a troubled young woman confront their deepest, darkest fears together.

After surviving a life changing event, celebrated artist Maxwell Grant has not touched a paintbrush or a woman in four years. During that time, he has tormented himself over an unspeakable act he dare not admit to, even to himself.

His one chance at redemption comes through a journal left behind by Harriet Harper, a mysterious woman in his night school class.

Shocked by what he reads about her tortured existence, he becomes obsessed by her and falls headfirst into a dangerous game of he said, she said, not knowing who to believe—who to trust.

When a dangerous character from Harriet’s past appears, events take a turn for the worse and he must say and do whatever necessary to save his sanity and, more importantly, his four year old daughter, Poppy.

Some secrets never get to see the light of day; others are just waiting to be uncovered … with shocking consequences.

Nook | Kobo | iBooks | Google Play | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CAN

Excerpt

Max

I PLACED THE JOURNAL on the pillow to my right, deep in thought, disbelieving that unassuming young woman I had met just over twenty-four hours ago could have lived such a life. It occurred to me that her life experiences had shaped her into an uncompromising, plain-spoken woman. No wonder she took it upon herself to speak up; to say what needed to be said to an arrogant, insensitive sod like me.

In my mind’s eye, I pictured her sitting nervously on that ten thirty-six train to Brighton, venturing into the unknown, starting over—alone—having experienced … who knows what?

At least I had a home to come back to; one Hope and I had designed together with an architect, shaping our ideas into something tangible and practical, reflecting both our personalities: my need for privacy and light, Hope’s need for satin cushions, storage and space for us to grow as a family. We had created our own piece of heaven, blissfully unaware that fate would see to it that she did not get to experience it for more than a couple of months.

And there was Harriet, courageously moving on, which is more than I had done.

As bad as it appeared—stealing a look into Harriet’s world, her private thoughts, her fears and aspirations—I could not help myself. Sure, her world was alien to me; the landscape was foreign, unrecognisable, but her emotions and sense of displacement were not. We had both loved passionately, and been forced to inhabit an unfamiliar world, forever altered.

I trotted back into the lounge, topped up my drink and threw in a couple of ice cubes, allowing them to chill the golden liquid before tasting it. Glass in hand I headed to bed, stopping to check in on Poppy first.

She was sleeping; gentle wisps of air escaped her lips as she dreamed of more precious trinkets, shopping trips, and colouring books awash with fluorescent shades that reflected a world filled with laughter and love—exactly where she belonged.

I could not sleep

Two brief encounters, and there I was allowing a young woman I barely knew to invade my psyche. Without even trying, Harriet had caused a chain reaction: what started out as annoyance and mild curiosity had morphed into something inexplicably provocative.

My skin was warm and prickly, as if it had been scrubbed clean. After my four-year hiatus, my entire body was throbbing. I turned on the bedside lamp, knocking my glasses to the floor, still trembling from what I assumed was a panic attack, or was it arousal? It had been so long since I’d felt something so visceral and unexpected, it was hard to tell. Whatever it was, there was no way I was going back to sleep.

I put Harriet’s journal to one side, deciding to ration out the entries. The last thing I needed was to become obsessed by it—by her. In hindsight, if I’d known how reading about her life was going to affect me and my life, I might have thought twice about opening what was turning into Pandora’s Box.

Then again, I wonder what would have become of me if I had not opened it and turned the pages, devouring her words like a starving man.

At least I was lucid enough to notice that the glass of Scotch I had poured myself was still there by the lamp, its contents luminescent in the light cast from beneath the shade. If nothing else, my liver was grateful for her disclosures.

Mildly anesthetized by the alcohol in my veins, I longed for sleep but it came in waves, angry tidal waves that stirred my soul and stole my breath. Like so many nights before, I began to feel ensnared, sandwiched between those browbeating buddies, Loneliness and Guilt. They were at their most potent in the hours between dusk and dawn, terrorising me with images from my past that I was still in no shape to confront. From the bottom of a glass they stared back at me, insistent and unforgiving.

My nightmare was always the same; it involved a bloodied hand reaching out to me. No matter how I fought I could not escape it. I could not see whose hand it was, but I knew the name of the phantom who haunted all my dreams. I just could not bring myself to say it out loud.

I woke, disorientated, drowning in perspiration.

Biting back frustration, I swallowed what was left of the elixir, inviting it to numb my senses, needing the deadening effect that it alone could produce in my body, in my mind.

I did not want to think.

I did not want to feel.

I wanted to forget. Not only my past but Harriet‘s too, for a couple of hours, at least.

All I had wanted to do was to step out of my shoes and into those of a free-spirited human being for a day or two, without dragging my heels or stumbling over obstacles only I could see.

In my desperation, I assumed Harriet was that person. I had her all mapped out.

She was at least six years younger than me. Her life was filled with parties, dates with twenty-something bartenders with a penchant for homemade wine and staying up all night watching boxed sets of The Walking Dead or Game of Thrones.

With every new entry I was being drawn in deeper. I bent down to pick up her journal, snatching my glasses from beneath the bed where they had landed. I decided I should do no more than flick through the pages to the very last entry, like a teenage boy about to fail a maths assignment; going straight to the answers without even trying to solve the problem.

But … that would be cheating.

Harriet was clearly a woman of many parts, an enigma with hidden depths and a past that I could either descend into, at my peril, or walk away from. She had fallen in love, experienced the joy of devotion, and yet, she’d ended up alone—like me.

So, taking a deep breath, I dived in…

About the Author

03_Sydney Jamesson

Sydney Jamesson is an English teacher by day and a USA Today bestselling author of romance, suspense by night. She is nocturnal by nature and loves nothing more than staying up late, listening to music and being inspired to write. She has always scribbled things down; in her home is one enormous waste paper basket full of discarded phrases, opening lines and pieces of dialogue that have hit her like lightning in the middle of the night or whilst parked up at a set of traffic lights. Her bestselling trilogy, The Story of Us is available worldwide, and she has been thrilled to continue Ayden Stone and Beth Parker’s epic love story in The Story of Us Series: Into the Blue, comprising: Blue Genes, Blue Hearts, Blue Moon. More recently, Sydney has focused on psychological suspense.

THE DARKEST CORNERS is a complex love story filled with lots of angst, emotional scenes and edge of your seat suspense as a single father and a troubled young woman confront their deepest, darkest fears together.

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Link to video Trailor: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-JT_9G9JK4s

 

 

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Book Review: Kiss Me at Christmas by Valerie Bowman

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Title: Kiss me at Christmas  *  Author:  Valerie Bowman

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press * Genre: Romance * Format: Kindle

 

 

My Review

I was beyond thrilled when  St.  Martin’s Press offered me a free review copy of  Kiss me at Christmas by  Valerie Bowman.  I have been seeing a lot of Christmas romances  and it has put me in the holiday mood.

This book is the 10th book in Valerie Bowman playful  Brides series.  This is my first time reading this series. There was a few established characters from other books that I didn’t know,  but I was able to catch on quickly. I don’t think you have to necessarily have to go in chronological order for this series.

Lady Regina who has been on the shelf so to speak is being forced to marry the man that her Uncle wants,  or she can chose another someone else.  So far she hasn’t found  anyone  else and its looking more and more that she going to end up marrying her Uncles choice

In one last ditch effort  of independence she makes an indecent proposal  to Bow Street Runner,  Daffin Oakleaf. She wants him to relieve her of her virginity. Daffin is tempted by her offer, but turns her down. Leaving Regina wounded and humiliated.

Regina has bigger problems because someone is out to get her or her family.  Which causes its own set of problems.  Daffin is hired to protect Regina and his best friends wife, Nicole.  Both Daffin and Regina agree to remain friends,  but that is easier said then done.

I loved this story,  I thought it was well written.  I thought that the overall plot was really good.  The book had me thinking one thing at the start,  but I came off with a totally different opinion at the end of this.

I thought the characters were all well written. I loved the pairing of Daffin/Regina. I like the slow burn of this romance,  and I enjoyed the playful and even naughty moments between them.  I’m definitely  going to continue with this series.  If your looking to start a new series,  or just read a good Christmas romance look no further.

 

5 Star Rating

 

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Valerie Bowman is an award-winning historical romance author who writes racy Regency romps! Her debut novel was published in 2012. Since then, her books have received starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly, Booklist, and Kirkus. She’s been an RT Reviewers’ Choice nominee for Best First Historical Romance and Best Historical Romance Love and Laughter. Two of her books have been nominated for the Kirkus Prize for fiction.

Valerie grew up in Illinois with six sisters (she’s number seven) and a huge supply of historical romance novels. After a cold and snowy stint earning a degree in English Language and Literature with a minor in history at Smith College, she moved to Florida the first chance she got. Valerie now lives in Jacksonville with her family including her two rascally dogs. When she’s not writing, she keeps busy reading, traveling, or vacillating between watching crazy reality TV and PBS.

Valerie’s next book is Mr. Hunt, I Presume and will be released on February 10, 2019.

Visit Valerie on the web at http://www.ValerieBowmanBooks.com