Rosie’s #Bookreview Of #RegencyRomance THE SCOUNDREL’S BARTERED BRIDE by @VirginiaHeath_

The Scoundrel's Bartered BrideThe Scoundrel’s Bartered Bride by Virginia Heath

4.5 stars

The Scoundrel’s Bartered Bride is a Regency style historical romance. Lady Lydia Barton’s family are desperate; they plan a marriage contract for Lydia to pay off their multiple debts. Their only choice is an odious lecher – the Marquess of Kelvedon would certainly have enough money to clear the family debts and, sadly, Lydia’s family care little that he would be a dreadful husband for her.

Owen Wolfe spent seven years in a penal colony for a crime he didn’t commit. Now he owns a high end gambling hall in London, but he began life as a stable-hand. Lydia Barton’s impending nuptials interest him, enough for him to put his own offer of marriage on the table. Now there is a choice: an old man with bad breath and a wandering eye, or an ex-convict.

I liked the dark brooding and mysterious Owen Wolfe; his years spent in the Antipodes were an unusual theme for this genre. I also enjoyed the sub-characters who were part of his ‘new family’; they were a fun and lively mix.

Lydia and Owen’s relationship had several expected highs and lows, but they still managed to add a fresh feel to the story arc with their surprising responses to situations. I liked this and read almost all of it in one sitting; a very easy book with which to escape for a few hours.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Book description

Marriage…to the highest bidder!

Lady Lydia Barton cannot seem to avoid Owen Wolfe since he’s returned after being wrongly transported for stealing her family’s jewels! But Lydia has more pressing problems, like her impending arranged marriage. Until Owen makes her father a counteroffer for her hand. Is Owen purely after her society connections, or dare Lydia hope that the charming stable boy she once loved is still within her ruthless, wealthy new husband?

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Of 13th Century Knights Templar #HistFic #Mystery THE TEMPLAR PITT by Stephen J Phillips

The Templar Pitt (The Pitt Family Saga Book 2)The Templar Pitt by Stephen J. Phillips

3.5 stars

The Templar Pitt  is book two of The Pitt Family saga. This book is set in the 1200s and features The Knights Templar. Gervase, a young French carpenter, lives in England; his skills have secured him specialist work for the Templar monks and now he’s been invited to London to design a new building for them.

During excavations a secret document is discovered along with some aged bones, and, similar to book one in this series, Gervase is asked to help solve a mystery – one which could have complicated royal implications.

The author uses an omnipotent narrator to tell the story; at times I felt that some of the characters saw and knew details which were a little too convenient; however, this is just a minor niggle that others might not notice. The Templars were appealing to me, as they were in the first story, and the era in which the story is set works well with the choice of characters. This series might interest those who want to know more about life in the early medieval period.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

In 1201, a young carpenter discovers something in the foundations of a new building he’s designed for the Knights Templar in London, which could alter the shape of history.

He is subsequently thrown into a series of events which could result in the loss of King John’s throne and threaten the stability of the realm.

His life, and that of his adopted son are at risk. So too is his wife, who is kidnapped by a gang wanting to rob the Templars of a massive loan they are making to the king.

Only a concerted effort can ensure England’s stability – and save the Order from embarrassment.

But there will be a terrible cost.

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Celebrating 6 Years Of Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT With Team Member @judithbarrow77

Recently we celebrated our review team’s six year anniversary by revealing fourteen of the team’s favourite books.

You can find out which books they were in part one and part two.

I invited some of my team members to tell us more about being part of the book reviewing team.

Welcome to Judith Barrow, who also writes book reviews at Judith Barrow Blog

“It’s your review; to write as you want”. I carried  this advice from Rosie Amber (#RBRT) around in my head as I struggled to find a way to put into words what I thought about the first book I’d read and was about to review for her team. I’d never reviewed a book before – or anything, come to think of it.

As a creative writing tutor, I was used to reading essays, stories, poems – but this was different. Five tries later and I decided to break up the parts of the book into sections, as I do for my work: characters, dialogue, settings, points of view, plot etc. A moment of eureka; I didn’t need to tell the story of the book, I could say what I thought were the strong points and what didn’t work for me, because I know any review is subjective, and what I might like or not be so keen on, someone else will always have different thoughts. Writing it that way I could then recommend it to readers who like a book that had a good plot, is character led, told in a certain tense, and so on – or for readers who like particular genres.

One thing I do like with being on the #RBRT team is that if I really can’t get to grips with a book, I’m not expected to finish it; I’ll let Rosie know and that’s the end of the matter. And I don’t give below three stars; I don’t think it’s fair to any writer who has worked hard to produce a book but has probably not used either an editor or a proof-reader. It happens and I always think it’s a shame if the plot/idea is good.

“It’s your review; to write as you want”; something I would say to anyone thinking of joining #RBRT, with the one proviso (which goes unsaid but should be kept in mind) use constructive criticism and be kind. And enjoy the reading. Rosie is approached by many authors of all kinds of genres, eager for the team to review. Their books are put on a list and we can choose the ones we think we might like. I’ve had the chance to read some wonderfully written books of all genres … for free. Although I don’t always manage to review as often as I’d like for Rosie’s Book Review Team, due to other commitments,  I’ve loved being a member since I day  I joined and I’ve made some brilliant and supportive on-line friends in the team. And Rosie is always there for advice and to steer the ship. What more can one ask?

Thank you Judith.

Rosie’s #Bookreview Of #RegencyRomance BEAUTY AND THE BROODING LORD by @SarahMRomance

Beauty and the Brooding Lord (Saved from Disgrace #2)Beauty and the Brooding Lord by Sarah Mallory

4 stars

Beauty And The Brooding Lord is a Regency romance. Serena is fast approaching spinsterhood unless she can find a husband. However, she doesn’t want to marry someone stable and conventional; she is drawn to men of rakish behaviour, although she knows that they may be too much of a risk. What she would really like to do is ‘sample the goods’ before choosing.

Serena arranges an unchaperoned visit to the Vauxhall pleasure gardens with Sir Timothy, but events take a sinister turn. Luckily, Lord Rufus Quinn, known for his rudeness and cold-heart, uses his sense of honour to make a daring rescue and save Serena’s reputation.

I enjoyed the story of Serena and Quinn and how their relationship grew. My only regret was that the ending felt rushed and a little unconvincing, which was a shame as the rest of the story suited the genre well.

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Book description

Ruined by a rake

Rescued by the reclusive baron!

Following the death of his fiancée, Lord Quinn swore off all matters of the heart.

But when he happens upon an innocent lady being assaulted, his sense of honor insists he step in and rescue her…even if that means marriage to protect Serena’s reputation!

But his new wife remains distant, a stranger to his bed. Can Quinn help Serena fight her demons, and finally defeat his own?

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Celebrating 6 Years Of Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT With Team Member @NAGrangerAuthor

Recently we celebrated our review team’s six year anniversary by revealing fourteen of the team’s favourite books.

You can find out which books they were in part one and part two.

I invited some of my team members to tell us more about being part of the book reviewing team.

Welcome to Noelle Granger, who also writes book reviews at Sayling Away

Rosie Amber’s Book Review Team has now been up and running for six years!  I have been one of her book reviewers for much of that time. At first I only read books in my genre, but I gradually expanded to romance, sci-fi and historical fiction. That last is perhaps what gave me the push necessary to write my recent book about Mary Allerton Cushman, the oldest survivor of the Mayflower voyage.

The goal of Rosie’s book review team (RBRT) has been to spread the word about novels, novellas, short stories and non-fiction from self-published authors and independent publishers – to showcase talent found outside the mainstream publishing world.

I have had the enjoyment of corresponding with many of these authors about their books, making new friends along the way.

I highly recommend joining the team – it will challenge your review skills and introduce you to a wide assortment of genres!

Thank you Noelle.

Rosie’s #Bookreview Of #SelfHelp #NonFiction THE LIGHT WITHIN YOU by Gemma Smith

The Light Within You: Discover the power you've always hadThe Light Within You: Discover the power you’ve always had by Gemma Smith

3.5 stars

The Light Within You is a self-help book about personal empowerment. Using examples from her own life, author Gemma Smith hopes that her book may assist readers in searching for a life purpose, or will help those who want to make some changes in their current life-style.

Written in an easy-to-read manner, Gemma included a lot of material and ideas; I particularly enjoyed the sections on connection, power words and gratitude. I’ve read quite a lot of books around this subject, but I enjoyed being reminded about some of my favourite concepts.

One downside to reading this book on kindle was the vast quantity of non-essential material at the start; the dedication, quotes from readers, forward etc; this took up the first twelve per cent of the book. It was too much and nearly made me give up reading; most of it could easily have been placed at the back of the book, where I could choose to read it at my leisure.

I think the book would appeal to those readers who are just beginning their journey into this subject and who them might want to delve deeper into particular areas with further reading. However, the book might also appeal to people who want some positive thinking and direction in our current climate.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Book description

The Light Within You is a profound gem for those striving to navigate their way through transitional stages of life, supporting people to find their purpose and harness it with their inner light, encouraging people to shine.

This book is also for those who are on a quest for that glimmer of hope during life’s unexpected challenges. The Light Within You takes you on a journey to discover your life art, your inner passion, that you want to achieve, succeed in and unconditionally love.

Gemma Smith inspires you to find and utilise your inner light in a way that empowers you to achieve anything you set out to do while being aware of the infinite power that lives within you.

This book weaves gratitude and the magnetism of attraction together so that you are able to live a happier, more fulfilled life that is enriched with love and light. You are encouraged to operate on your highest potential to become the best version of yourself that resonates with your inner truth.

During the current climate and rise in poor mental health, this book is an essential read to shred any anxiety, find hope and gain true self-belief. There is an unlimited power, enriched with love and light, waiting to be discovered!

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Celebrating 6 Years Of Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT With Team Member @GeorgiaRoseBook

Recently we celebrated our review team’s six year anniversary by revealing fourteen of the team’s favourite books.

You can find out which books they were in part one and part two.

I invited some of my team members to tell us more about being part of the book reviewing team.

Welcome to Georgia Rose, who also writes book reviews at Georgia Rose Books

Regular readers of my blog will already know about #RBRT but I have been a proud member of Rosie’s Book Review Team since… well, I can’t actually remember when I joined, or how, but I suspect it had something to do with Terry Tyler. I think I’d started posting reviews for books I read and it seemed like a natural fit to join the team. And I’ve never regretted it.

I don’t accept review requests on my site, choosing instead to review any book that’s my choice to read, and that I finish. If I can’t finish it I don’t review it as I don’t think that’s fair. I also don’t give below three stars. If I was minded to give below that, I wouldn’t have finished the book, and I think you can see where I am going with that.

I like reviewing to be a positive experience. As we know, no book can please everyone and just because I didn’t like it I don’t want to slam it in case it is someone else’s favourite book ever…

Anyway, what I like with Rosie’s team is that there is no pressure. Authors regularly send their books to Rosie for review. Thankfully Rosie does all the admin (thank you, Rosie!) and they get put on a list. We are all busy, isn’t everyone, so we do what we can. I aim to choose at least one book per month from that list. I also belong to a reading group in my village so with the monthly book there and then one of my own choosing, three is about my limit for a month.

Also by joining this group I have read books in all sorts of genres I would never normally have chosen and thoroughly enjoyed myself doing so, discovering some real gems along the way, so it has broadened my reading experience considerably.

I have become stuck a couple of times, finishing books I perhaps should have stopped reading and then feeling obliged to review when I’m not so sure I can be as positive about them as I’d like. That’s where the support of being a team comes in as Rosie and Terry have always helped me out so that I have been able to give an honest review, as tactfully as possible.

You also don’t have to write anything elaborate by way of a review. Mine are not particularly sophisticated or in depth. Not like some that I am in awe of. I simply say how a book made me feel and what I liked about it. It’s easy. Imagine reading a book, enjoying it and wanting to tell your friends about it. I write that.

Plus, we get to use the photo below on our posts to distinguish the team reviews, and we have a cool hashtag to use for sharing, #RBRT.

Nowadays I don’t get to hang out on social media or in the blogging world perhaps as much as I once was able to but my closest online blogging friends are all part of this group and I’m delighted to be able to support them whenever I can in sharing their posts. They are a great group of people, some of whom I’ve met in real life now too, so if you fancy giving book reviewing a go you will find Rosie’s Book Review Team a friendly place to be, and authors will love you for it. Plus, there are, of course, free books! What’s not to like?

Thank you Georgia, it is a pleasure to have you as part of our team.

Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT Supernatural #Horror THE GIRL WHO WASN’T THERE by @NickClausen9

Today’s team review is from Karen, she blogs here https://mytrainofthoughtson.wordpress.com

#RBRT Review Team

Karen has been reading The Girl Who Wasn’t There by Nick Clausen

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The story starts when Andy leaves his little sister outside the library. When he returns some minutes later – she is gone.

With The Girl Who Wasn’t There”, Nick Clausen has created an intriguing plot about a boy who wants to save his sister; he is soon convinced that she has been abducted, and luckily gets unexpected advice at his favourite location. “The Girl Who Wasn’t There” comprises authentic characters with sufficient depth; I got very close to Andy and his mindset. Nick Clausen introduces his characters with care. I had a great time reading – this is a very compelling read; I was drawn into the story right away, close to Andy and his allies. The plot offers food for thought, still keeps me thinking. There were some surprising turns, and I was fascinated to see in what manner Nick Clausen’s story reaches the finishing line.

The cover is great – perfect for this story.

This is for you if you like thought-provoking stories and teen and young adult horror and mystery.

A remarkable story to read again.

Recommended.

Book description

Monsters are real. And they steal children.

A young girl disappears without a trace.
The police have no clue as to what might have happened.
The severed family is thrown into despair as weeks go by, and still no sign of her.
The girl’s older brother begins looking for her on his own.
Soon he becomes convinced that a supernatural being has taken her.
Unfortunately, it turns out he’s right …

The Girl Who Wasn’t There is a gripping supernatural thriller.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #Memoir Plumas de Muerte: Tequila Journals and Dreams by @philmotel

Today’s team review is from Georgia, she blogs here https://www.georgiarosebooks.com

#RBRT Review Team

Georgia has been reading Plumas de Muerte: Tequila Journals and Dreams by Phil Motel

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The reader is warned at the beginning of this book that it is unrevised for authenticity and, for what follows, that is exactly as it should be. These are typed and handwritten journals set mostly between Phil’s motel room and his place of work. The dreams segment fills probably the last 20% of the book and I wasn’t so interested in that part. But the journals absolutely drew me in.

The book journals the life of this author while he was writing his novel, Rum Hijack (which I highly recommend), and it shows an increasingly unhappy life both at home, which the motel isn’t, really, and work. The writer is under considerable pressure in his work life but I enjoyed the tales he told of day to day life with his colleagues and the politics involved.

Throughout this writer is struggling. He drinks enough to affect him at work and to a lesser extent takes drugs. However, his life completely spirals out of control when a former girlfriend gets in touch, brings happiness back into his life, then does something to break his battered heart completely. His grief is visceral and pushes him over the edge. That this book has been published shows he was saved from the abyss and I am thankful for that.

This writer is tremendously talented. He makes the most mundane conversation or scene interesting and there is plenty here for those who appreciate excellent writing to enjoy.

Book description

Life in a long-stay motel, overseen by the on-site muscle: ‘if this was a movie, he’d be played by Steve Buscemi’. Twelve-hour shifts at a mundane job alongside a host of strange characters with their own struggle to make it to the end of the day. Anecdotes from journals of adventures past: wannabe musicians, ill-fated relationships and the bottom of a bottle.

Musings on life, death, dreams, and the frustrations of the writing process: the journal entries were written while during the creation of the author’s debut novel, Rum Hijack.

Dream Diary
The second part of Plumas de Muerte is as it says: a small collection of dreams: what goes on while we are asleep?

A raw ride that makes no attempt to gloss over the darker side of the author’s life at the time, while acting as a cautionary tale about the nightmare of substance abuse – and the final road of alcoholism/addiction.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

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Celebrating 6 Years Of Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT With Team Member @TerryTyler4

Recently we celebrated our review team’s six year anniversary by revealing fourteen of the team’s favourite books.

You can find out which books they were in part one and part two.

I invited some of my team members to tell us more about being part of the book reviewing team.

Welcome to Terry Tyler, who also writes book reviews at https://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/

I have been a member of Rosie Amber’s Book Review Team (#RBRT) for five and a half years, now.  I first ‘met’ Rosie online when looking for reviews for my own early books, and through her some of the other bloggers who later became part of the team.

I admit to being wary of making the commitment when I joined the review team, but I’m so glad I did; Rosie has created something so positive for the independently published world (the team deals mainly with the self-published or those published by independents), and I am proud to be a part of it.  When I joined, I decided to start my own book review blog – I don’t profess to be a ‘proper’ book blogger as I’m primarily a writer; I don’t take submissions and use it only for reviewing for Rosie and my own reading choices, but it’s something I enjoy doing.

There are two main reasons why I’m so glad I joined the team, equally important.  The first is the discovery of some truly excellent books; now and again, you find a real gem, that you want to shout about; so often these are books that are hidden away on Amazon and you would have never discovered, had the author not submitted.  Here are a few that made me feel this way (link takes you to my review):

The Men by Fanny Calder
The Usurper King  by Zeb Haradon
The World Without Flags by Ben Lyle Bedard
Singularity Syndrome by Susan Kuchinskas
The Unrivalled Transcendence of Willem J Gyle by James D Dixon
The Unravelling of Brendan Meeks by Brian Cohn

The second reason I love being a part of #RBRT is that some of us have become real life friends, too, enjoying several meet-ups. Here’s to six more years of Rosie Amber’s Book Review Team!