Book Review: A Daring Arrangement by Joanna Shupe


Title:  A Daring Arrangement *  Arthur: Joanna Shupe *  Publisher:  Avon Books

Pages: 372   *   Rating: 5 stars


My Review


This is first book in the Four Hundred series by Joanna Shupe. This book takes place during the gilded age, one of my favorite time periods in history.

The main character Nora was sent away to live with her Aunt and Uncle in America ( New York) after her father discovers that she was in a relationship that he thought was unsuitable for her.

Wanting to get back to her lover,  Nora devises a scheme to create a bigger scandal so that her father will be forced to send her back to England, which will reunite her with her love,  Robert.

She enlist the help of Julius Hatcher, wall street playboy,  millionaire, who has some skeletons in his closet. To pose as her fiancé. Things don’t go as expected and  Nora/Julius start to develop feelings for each other,  each in their own way afraid to commit to each other.

I thought this was very well written. Joanna Shupe has a way of taken you in a story and leaves you wanting more. I am super eager to read the next book in this series.

I thought all the characters in this was book was written very well.  Though I admit it took me some time to warm up to Nora.  Julius was definitely was my favorite character in this book.

I have to say that I never thought I find the stock market interesting. I liked how some of the plot was centered around the stock market.  One of my favorite scenes in the book was when Julius had taken Nora to the stock Exchange.  He had to sneak her in,  because they didn’t allow women on the floor, which is an interesting history fact, that I didn’t know about.

I have been reading a lot of romance as of late, this book  by so far has been the best.  I’m really looking forward to the next book in this serious.

So if you haven’t picked this up,  I highly recommend this book.



Short Reviews: The Trouble with Love By Laura Lee Guhrke



Hi everyone,  as you probably noticed that I have titled this short reviews,  this  is something that I just came up with.  This type of review  is not going to be long and maybe as detailed as normal reviews. Something short and sweet. I am not going to do this for all my books,  but its going to be a regular feature on here.  Thanks 🙂



My thoughts


This is the second book in the Dear Lady Truelove series. I just realized that this book was the second series. I haven’t read the first book, but I would say you don’t necessarily have to read these books in chronological order.

This book certainly can stand on its own.

This is the story of Clara Deverill, the younger sister of Irene from the first book of the installment. Irene leaves Clara in charge of running the family Newspaper.

One of Clara’s duties is to pen the Lady true love advice column. Needless to say she stressed out about handing out advice on things she herself never experienced. Taking her work to a tea shop, she overhears a conversation between two men, and is horrified to listen to a man teach his friend the honorable way of jilting a woman……and the roller coaster begins.

I really loved this book! Not only was it romantic, but it was humorous as well. I found myself laughing out loud more than once while reading this story.

I loved the pairing between Clara and Rex. Despite being a stud muffin himself, it was not Clara’s looks that attracted him to her. I liked the scene in the book where Clara realized how much power she had over him. I think that was a boost to her self-confidence which she desperately needed.

I liked that Clara suffered from Shyness, which I can relate, but she grew more confident as the story progresses. Aside from Rex and Clara, I thought this book as a whole had a lot of good characters.

I loved Aunt Petunia. I kind of wished that she had been played more towards the end. I would love to see her reaction to Rex finally settling down and getting married. Overall I thought this was a great book.

I have been taking a break from to romances, but this book was a great book to pull me back in.


Title:  The Trouble with True love

Author: Laura Lee Guhrke

Pages:  373

Publisher Books: Avon Books

Rated: Five Stars

Book Review: The Innocent by Bertrice Small


Title:  The Innocent  * Author: Bertrice Small * Publisher: Fawcett Books *

Pages:  374 *  Genre : Romance * Rated 5 stars



My Thought’s

The innocent  by Bertrice Small tells the story of  Eleanor de Montfort who is called Elf by her friends and family.  After her mother’s death Elf is left in the care of her older brother.

Richard De Montfort recently became engaged to a woman named Isleen de Warenne. He wants to keep Elf with him but is persuaded by Isleen and her parents that it’s best to send Elf to a convent.  So Elf is sent to St. Frideswide’s.

At first she doesn’t like it, but she eventually adjust to life there and is even planning on taking her vow as a nun. She is surprised when she is ordered back home to Ashlin due to her brother who is gravely ill and not long for this world.

Richard dies leaving Ashlind to Elf.

Elf intends to hand over Ashlind to the  church and continue in her plans in becoming a nun.  But her plans are  dashed when Saer de Bude, Isleen’s cousin and lover accuses her of having sex with him in hopes that he can marry Elf and become Lord of Ashlind.

Elf and the nuns at St. Frideswide manage to convince King Stephen that Saer de Bude is a liar and that Isleen had poisoned Richard.

Saer de Bude is sent to Blois, and Isleen is banished to live the rest of her life in a nunnery,  but she manages to escaping, not spending a single day in the convent.

Elf doesn’t have to marry Saer de Bude, but she is forced to marry a knight named Ranulf de Glandeville. Love blossom between her and new husband, but can they truly be happy with Isleen on the loose?

I have been reading a lot of nonfiction as of late. So I decided that I needed something lite to pick up. I decided to re-read The Innocent by Bertrice Small. I read this book several years ago, but I definitely needed a refresher on it. I am happy that I decided to pick it up again.

I am  finding that I am liking the second read on it better than the first.  This is not my first book of Bertrice Small. One of things that I like about Small’s book is that she adds history to it.

This particular book takes place during the reign King Henry II. Though when the story first start King Stephen is  in power.  In this book I didn’t find any historical inaccuracies.  The characters in this story were certainly interacting with royalty in this, but they were doing it in a way that it didn’t change history. I can’t say that for all her books,  but it certainly rings true for this one.

I love the characterizations in this book. I think that Small writes the best villains. Isleen de Warenne, Saer de Bude, and Marien ap Owen certainly made their mark in this story.  I don’t think that villians should be warm and fuzzy. Villains are villains because they go against what society expects of them. Their actions are supposed to make you feel uncomfortable. Hence Isleen poisoning her husband,  or when Merin AP Owen and his men gang bang Isleen) Who by the way enjoying every minute.  Or when Saer de Bude plots to rape Elf in order to marry her and ultimately get Ashlin.

I think it’s safe to say that When Small writes dark characters she doesn’t cut any corners or plays it safe.

I did enjoy the pairing of Elf and Ranulf,  but I have to admit that I thought she and Merin AP Owen had some big time chemistry. At one point in the story Elf did admit that if she was not with Ranulf she would be tempted by Merin AP Owen.

I think that in a way that Small was trying to reform Merin AP Owen character. I think that he turned out to be a better person towards the end when he discovered that he could love.

I highly recommend this book,  though I do warn that there are triggers like rape and general dark themes. So if your sensitive to that then you should pass on this.




Book Review: Little Deaths by Emma Flint.


Title: Little Deaths *  Arthur:  Emma Flint * Genre : Historical Fiction/Mystery.

Publisher: Hachette Books * Pages : 311  * Verdict : Buy it

My Review

This is the first book I have read off the  longlist of the  Baileys women’s prize for fiction 2017.  The Prize is the UK’s most prestigious  award for  fiction written by women. If you want to learn more about this prize I highly recommend  their website.

 Little Deaths  takes place in New York (Queen’s) in the sixties. In the beginning of the story we are introduced to Ruth Malone who is in prison.  The story then take us into the past and we learn exactly why Ruth is in prison.

We learn that Ruth is separated from her husband Frank, who is threatening to sue for custody of their two children  Frankie and Cindy. Ruth is not your definition of mother of the year,  she drinks to much,  and brings home different men.

Tragedy strikes Ruth when both of her kids goes missing from their apartment.  Eventually the police end up finding the kids but both of them are dead.  Due to her life style the police automatically assume that its Ruth that had murdered them.

The story is told in two perspectives. One from Ruth, and the other from Peter Wonicke  who is a reporter for the local newspaper.  At first Peter thinks that Ruth has done it,  but then he changes his mind. He then starts to develop a romantic obsession for her as the story progresses.

Before reading this,  I heard a lot of negative things about this book.  I am glad that I decided to go ahead and give this book a chance.  I loved it. It took me about a week to get through this.

I can easily see why this was nominated for the  Baileys women prize.

I am not sure why this book has been labeled a thriller? Yes there are some dark aspects in the story,  but it doesn’t read as a thriller.

I like how the story is told from two perspectives.  At first I was not really thrilled  by Pete’s character.   I’m still not,  but after thinking about I think he was there to shine light on other people’s perspective of Ruth and the situation.

This story was more then just two kids disappearing and the police suspecting that the mother did it. Though this was based on a real life case.

I think this story is all about perceptions and how we see people.  And how people see us.  Either fairly or unfairly.  I think that people have a preconceived notion of how people should act based on their in role in life.   Like if your mother, woman,  grandmother,  father etc. And when people don’t fit in that particular mold then we tend to look negatively at them and judge them.  Just like  the police and some of Ruth’s neighbors in this story did.

The head detective  (Devilin ) even pointed that even if Ruth was innocent it wouldn’t matter because she was not acting like a mother should, which got her kids killed.

There was also an undercurrent of sexism  and misogyny throughout the story.

Ruth is vilified because she likes to drink and go out with men.  But Frank (Ruth husband) is seen in a sympathetic light.  Though he hardly paid his child support,  and barely there in helping Ruth rear the children.  So much of the responsibility of raising the children was left up to Ruth.

I think that the biggest take away I got from this book is looks can be deceiving.

Not everything is how it appears to be. In the book,  Ruth was condemned for not grieving for her children.  As you read you can clearly see that this is not true.  But we are looking at it from Ruth perspective and not from an outsider who doesn’t know her.

One of things I liked about this book is that at the end Ruth comes to realize that though she didn’t kill her children,  she should have done more  protect them. Plus,  I think  she realizes that she doesn’t have to be dependent on a man to protect her. She can do that herself.

I really liked this book,  I highly recommend it.


Book Review: The Lost girl of Astor Street by Stephanie Morrill


Title: The Lost Girl of Astor Street * Arthur:  Stephanie Morrill  *  Genre: Mystery

Publisher:  HarperCollins * Pages: 347 *  Verdict:  Buy it

My Review

The Lost Girl of  Astor Street takes place around the 1920’s in Chicago. In the beginning of the story we are introduced to  Piper Sail and her friend Lydia Devine.  Who are in their last year of school.

Piper is the wild child of the two.  She is known for getting in all kinds of scrapes.  Plus her knuckles are bruised due to punishment handed out by her teacher.  Piper has been friends with Lydia since they were young. Lydia mother doesn’t really approve of Piper but seems to respect the relationship she has with her daughter.

As the story progresses we learn that Lydia is sick.  She suffers from seizures.  Her parents wants to keep this under wraps because Lydia father is a doctor and he thinks that if his patients finds out that it will hurt his practice. Lydia, herself,  doesn’t even know about the seizures because  she forgets that she has them after an attack.

  Piper knows because has witnessed a few of the seizures. The Devine’s have sworn her to secrecy,  she can’t tell anyone, including Lydia about the seizures.

The Devine’s finally decided to  seek more professional help in regards to Lydia seizures.  So they decide to send her away to a hospital that is out of town.  Lydia of course is upset and doesn’t want to leave.

She doesn’t want to leave her friends, and she doesn’t want to leave Matthew, the family driver, who she has fallen in love with.  She goes visit Piper, who convinces her to tell Matthew how she feels.  That is the last time Piper sees Lydia again, who goes missing that very day.  The rest of the book is  Piper investigating Lydia whereabouts.

I picked up this book up randomly at the library and ended up really loving . I am hoping that this author writes a sequel  to this.  I am really eager to get back in this world.  This is the first mystery I have read in a longtime. Which is making want to read more mysteries.

I thought the writing was really good and it was easy to read.  I couldn’t  put this book down.

I liked how it was also set in the twenties,  which from a  history perspective is a really fascinating era,  and I thought she did a good job in portraying this era.  When reading I felt like I was back in that time.

I didn’t really get a  Downton Abbey feel when I was reading this.  So I think that the “Downton Abbey in downtown Chicago”  description is kind of inaccurate.  I think that this story stands on its own and doesn’t need  Downton Abbey shadow to prop it.

I loved all the characters in this.  They all added something to the story.  Even Jane, who I thought was the most useless character in the story.

For me Piper was my favorite character.  Despite the hard persona that she put on,  she was a big softy on the inside.  She would go to anything any lengths to protect those that she loves.

I have to say I was enjoying the romance in this story.  Piper has three guys that are interested in her.  Walter,  Jeremiah and Cassano.  I am leaning towards Cassano,  but she seems to have chemistry with all three so its hard to pick who I want her with. Hopefully if this turns into a series it will become much clearer in the future.

If you have not read this,  please go pick it up at your library,  I would even go as far as saying to go buy it.  Its certainly worth the money.

Book Review: Only Enchanting by Mary Balogh



Title:  Only Enchanting *  Author: Mary Balogh * Genre: Romance  *

Publisher:  Penguin Radom House * Pages: 387 * Grade:  A+


Only Enchanting is the  fourth book in The Survivors club series.  Six men and one woman make up the survivors club.  Who had all been injured during the Napoleonic wars.  While recover they forged a friendship with each other.  Each year the group has a reunion at Penderris Hall,  where they spend a few weeks in each others company.

This year they decide to have the reunion at Middlebury Park which belongs to Vincent Darleigh and his wife Sophia.  Sophia just had a baby and Vincent didn’t want to leave her or their son. Agnes Keeping is a widow,  she also lives with her sister in a cottage that is close to Middlebury.

Agnes is reunited with  Lord Ponsonby,  who she met months earlier at a ball.  Who she fell in love with,  but being a relist,  thinking that she would never see him again after that night.  Learning that he is a visitor at Middlebury,  she tries to avoid him but is not successful.  He eventually ask her to marry him,  she is shocked and doubtful of his intentions,  considering that he told her  earlier that he had no intention of ever marrying.

She eventually  say yes,  but soon regrets her decision later on when she learns that the only reason that Flavian married her was to get revenge on his former fiancé who left him for his best friend.  Agnes has her bags packed and his ready to leave,  but Flavian stops her and begs her to give him a week to make their marriage work.  Will she do it???

My Review

The beginning of the story of this story went rather slow for me,  the story didn’t really pick until  Flavian asked Agnes to marry him,  which was probably a hundred pages into the book.  I am not usually a fan of this,  but after reading the book I come to appreciate it with Mary Balogh.  I like the slow build up, and then at the end you get this amazing ending.  She had me guessing until the very last second of the story.

I also liked the portrayal of her characters. I thought she wrote them well and portrayed them realistically. I like how she used issues that the characters to were dealing from their past to strengthen the story and the characters relationship. Agnes still had issues with her mother abandoning her, though she didn’t think that was an issues for her. Flavian also had issues that he was dealing with in regards to the death of his brother and lost memories from injury.

Though she did annoy me throughout the book, I thought that Velma was the perfect villainess. The type to smile to your face and then try to manipulate the situation to her own advantage. Though she didn’t end in the end, I wish she got more her just do. That is the only criticism if you call that I had with this book.

I loved the pairing of Flavian/Agnes. I really like it when characters don’t think that they are right for each other (Due to insecurities, or they don’t think that the other person is their type) but end up falling in love with each other.

I highly recommend this book, I really enjoyed reading it and looking to reading more from this author.

Book Review: An American in Scotland By Karen Ranney


Title:  An American in  Scotland.

 Arthur:  Karen  Ranney

Series: MacIain #3

Genre:  Historical Romance

Era: Antebellum Period

Publisher:  Avon Books

Pages :  345 ( Mass market paperback)

Grade: B +

Review: An American in Scotland is the third book in the MacIain series.  The book takes place during the American Civil War. In the beginning of the book we are introduced to  Rose Sullivan who has just traveled from America all the way to Glasgow, Scotland.  She has come to see Duncan MacIain,  who is the Scottish cousin of her brother-in-law Bruce MacIain who is the American side of the family. She has a business proposition, she wants to sell him cotton.  Duncan had reached out to Bruce before about buying cotton from him, Duncan who owns a mill,  can make great profit from this,  but due to clash of personalities the deal falls through.  Rose hopes that Duncan will have renew interest in buying the cotton that will save her family from starving and the proceeds will help them keep Glengarden, the family plantation. Rose is expecting to meet some kindly elder gentlemen but is shocked when first sees Duncan who she is instantly attracted to. She then falls in a dead faint due to exhaustion and lack of nourishment. She is nursed back to health by Duncan’s mother and the family servants.  Rose sees for herself how caring Duncan’s family is, and not the savages that Bruce makes them out to be.  Duncan and his family automatically assume that Rose is Bruce’s wife and that he died in the war leaving he widowed.  Rose doesn’t correct them on this, but she does feel guilty for deceiving them.  The truth is that she cannot stand Bruce, and wishes that he was dead.  Bruce had tortured her both emotionally and physically,  and  he is sadistic bastard all around, who left his family to fend for themselves while he went off to war. Duncan agrees to buy the cotton from Rose because it will help his mill,  and also he wants to stay close to  Rose.  As they set sail on the Raven to head to America,  Rose has no idea that Bruce has survived the war, and has returned to Glengarden.

 Overall ,  I really like this book, I got through it really quick,  and it was not hard to read. Its been a minute since I picked up a romance, and this book is making me want to read romance full time.  When I got this I didn’t realize that it was the third book in a series. Which I was excited about because I don’t want to leave this world yet.  Though I do suggest reading the previous two books,  I don’t think its necessary that you have to read them in order.  The Only thing that I was a bit confused on was Olivia ( Lennox’s mother)  But I managed to pick up what was going on as I continued with the story.   Despite her dubious background and that she abandoned her children I found myself liking Olivia.  Who was a complex character to say the least. Another character I love was Rose,  I just loved her spirit, and how passionate she about issues she cared about.  I felt that she was very well suited for Duncan.  I think that they complimented each other,  and changed each other for the better.  Plus,  I like that characters actually treat each other with respect throughout the book,  instead of the usual love hate thing going on. The only real problem I had was that  I thought some of the plot lines were a bit contrived.  Like Bruce forcing  Rose to work and live amongst the slaves.  I just don’t see Rose’s sister allowing that,  even if she didn’t like her sister, she would be protective of her family’s reputation. It would not look good  on the family that one of its members is working and living amongst the slaves .I also took issues with Duncan who was against slavery,  but he had no problem with purchasing cotton which was made with slave labor. Which I thought was hypocritical.  Plus I wanted to see more of Claire ( Roses sister)   She was pivotal in the plot, I would have liked to hear her more from her point of view than what other characters thought of her.  Other then this,  I really enjoyed this book.  I highly recommend this book.

Amazon link to book:








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