Monday, June 5, 2017

An Uncommon Courtship

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What an uncommon courtship, indeed! Delightfully elegant and eccentrically awkward, in the most adorable way.
Introverted, accident-prone Adelaide is thrown into a sudden marriage with the extraverted, social elite Trent Hawthorne. Trent is determined to make the match work in spite of initial misgivings and bitterness, and with the help of his close-knit, hopelessly romantic family and well-meaning friends, he may accomplish that and more.
Both he and Adelaide must learn the meaning of true, sacrificial love; whether it be through deciding curtain colours, or faithfulness and honour in the face of doubts and social pressure.
You will laugh and cry through this sweet and hilarious courtship that may not be such a catastrophe after all.


Sincerely,

Behind the Scenes

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In the midst of a crazy schedule I have going on that's kept me from reading/blogging so much as I'd like, Turano provided me with many good laughs through this story!
I did not feel quite so close to the heroine as I have to several of those in the authors previous books, but I loved her hero and her wallflower friends (whose stories I am excitedly looking forward to reading).
One of the things I love about each of Turanos novels is the rapid fire, witty dialogue that passes between all of the characters!
I found the premise to this new series to feel fresh and fun, with surprising developments around every corner, and all historical romance readers will enjoy this romp through the outskirts of New York society!


Sincerely,

Thursday, March 30, 2017

A Lady in Disguise

Mysterious. Enchanting. Romantic.
 
Full of intrigue and unexpected turns, A Lady in Disguise will captivate you and hold you suspended in wonder.
 
Where does a young woman on her own with no protection, no idea whom she can trust, and her profession at risk turn for help?
 
In a race against time- away from the unknown and towards justice- Gillian Young seeks to clear the suspicions attached to her family name and bring peace to her heart and mind. A difficult task, when her mind is consumed with dangers and responsibility for those in her care, and her heart with the one who may be able to care for her.
 
Sandra Byrd has succeeded in pushing me to the edge of my seat from the start to the finish of her latest novel,  and kept my fingers turning pages as fast as my eyes could keep up! Byrd has such a way with her genre that is unique and vivid, holding the readers imagination completely captive as you race with Gillian towards the answers disguised so well within plain sight.
 
Hurry up! You don't want to be left behind.
 
Sincerely,
 


Thursday, January 5, 2017

A Portrait of Emily Price

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When an art restorer and an Italian chef get together on a renovation project, the results are lots of creativity and support, true love, and pasta.
Katherine Reay creates settings that are realistically flawed- even broken- and tackles the challenge of guiding her characters through them on a journey to find purpose and belonging past their work, lifestyles, and shortcomings, ultimately back home to their families in a beautiful and touching way. 
As I did with "Dear Mr. Knightley", the best way to give an overall review of a work like "A Portrait of Emily Price" is with words; words like inspirational. Cultural. Bookish. Artistic. Flowing. Tasteful. Authentic. Vibrant. White on white. Cappuccino. Loyalty. Murals. Vespa. Architecture. Classic. Pizza. Traditions. Sisters. Family. Feuds. Forgiveness. Acceptance. 
Restoration.


How I envisioned Emily and Ben when I read "A Portrait of Emily Price"!:
...meet the cast in the eyes of this reader...

Sincerely,

Monday, November 14, 2016

Finding Margo: GIVEAWAY


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Now that I've got you totally pumped up about "Finding Margo", here's your chance to win a signed copy from the author herself! Simply comment on this post and include your email address (else how shall I alert you if you win??) to enter! Feel free to share the opportunity with your reader friends! And, GO!

Thank you for your participation!
>Alice

Finding Margo

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If Jen Turano wrote a dishwasher manual, I think I would not only enjoy it, but it would also hold me captive.

Honestly, I never got swept up in the Amish fiction craze when the genre became popular- it's just not my thing and each time someone told me about an Amish novel they had read, each one sounded pretty cliche- but I believe Jen can add a unique spin to any genre or "typical plot", and "cliche" isn't in her authors' vocabulary. 

"Finding Margo" is correspondingly a comedy and a suspense. Add a tasteful dash of heart and romance and you have a perfect recipe for an intriguing and heartwarming story that puts emphasis on the importance of family.

There were some aspects of the whole mystery business that I would catch on to pretty quickly and think- "I have this all figured out" -beware such cocky thinking! My lesson was learned as in the end I was still surprised and amazed by how everything came together.

As true with Turanos' other works, "Finding Margo" has a great cast of characters. A spunky and quirky heroine with more heart than first meets the eye, an impressive hero who is the perfect gentlemen, their families, their matchmakers, the stylist, the villains (some obvious, some not-so obvious) and, of course, the faithful feathered friend.
Give them each a crazy past, drop them in the middle of a brilliant plot- which puts them all in the middle of nowhere (this particular "middle-of-nowhere" being an Amish community)- pour some blonde hair dye over it, and call it a work of art. You don't want to miss this!

Bravo, Jen!

Sincerely,

The Elizabeth Papers

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"The Elizabeth Papers" was brilliant fan fiction! The plot is original and the perspective unique in a way that draws the reader into a world where the Darcys' really did exist and where they left a bit of a mystery to their modern-day descendants.

I loved the style- this is a back and forth story between the 1800's and present day, and each era was presented so vividly and SO rich in culture. During the modern portions, I felt as if I had hopped right over to England and could smell the air, see the colours, and feel the weather that those perfect accents were discussing. It caught me right up and encompassed me- you truly "shut out the real world" while reading this novel, because suddenly- you're in the UK!

There was, unfortunately, some content that I don't personally condone. In movie lingo, I would rate it PG13 for language and sexual content. I'm thankful the author was tasteful with the latter, however, it was still there and, morally, I can't promote it (really at all, but specifically between unmarried characters).

Overall, the book was very well written and *adult* fan fiction lovers will definitely enjoy it!

Sincerely,


Monday, October 10, 2016

Love's Faithful Promise

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My personal favourite in this family saga!
Deidre and Matthew share a story that is sweet, and full with all the elements readers enjoy, from a love/hate to friendship to romance relationship, trials, joy, sadness, and a lot of growing in both characters' lives.
Matthew grows in faith, trust, and letting go, while Deidre discovers what is truly important and that God will give His best when we surrender our dreams to Him.
The side story in this novel felt a bit like a teen soap opera, with all the drama that began the moment young Conner and Jo met. With more time to develop (maybe their own book), the story would no doubt have been more enjoyable, but as it was, I found it somewhat juvenile and out of place. However, this did not take away from the main story and overall flow of the book, so everything wrapped up nicely in a satisfying conclusion!
I enjoyed the character of Mrs O'Leary, with her motherly schemes and wise insights, and I loved the bond between all of the sisters and sisters-in-law. Also, little Phoebe was precious. 
Mason has a vivid style that captures the setting and era perfectly, and brings her characters to life, almost right off the page!


Warmly,

Thursday, July 14, 2016

The Bronte Plot

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Katherine Reay knows how to blend the charm of classic literature with the sometimes-harsh realities of life into a book, and deliver it similar to the way you like your coffee. 
Her novels always hold something for everyone -yours for the taking- and never fail to draw readers in with the "cozy fireside, blanket, and whistling-wind" of her style. 
Katherine's characters are real and relatable and you can't help but get attached to them and their lives.
The Bronte Plot is a gentle, nostalgic, treasure of a story, full of true life, love, and emotions with a healthy dose of adventure and discovery. 
"Come further up, come further in," and enjoy this heartwarming journey of facing the past to make way for the future. 

Sincerely,

Monday, July 4, 2016

A Heart Revealed

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"Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall." (Proverbs 16:18)

So different from any and all other regency novels I have read, "A Heart Revealed" is a tale of true character and love. 
After being publicly humiliated, Amber Sterlington - the most sought-after debutante of the season- is sent to a remote family property as an outcast from London society, with just one frustratingly outspoken maid to accompany her. Accustomed to the life of privilege befitting her station, Amber knows nothing about surviving on her own in the seeming wilds of Yorkshire, where luxury seems like a distant dream and dinner doesn't cook itself. 
Rarely have I encountered this level of complete transformation and character development (in classic "Taming of the Shrew" style). Everything about this story was so real, while it's singularity to it's genre lent it a whimsical fairy tale charm. 
Amber's humbling journey to discover that true beauty lies within is an emotional and captivating page-turner.

Sincerely,