Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT FULL CIRCLE – A DUKE LOST by @NicciMayne #Romance

Today’s team review is from Luccia, she blogs at http://lucciagray.wordpress.com

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Luccia has been reading Full Circle- A Duke Lost by Nicci Mayne

25954576

Review of Full Circle – A duke Lost. 4 stars.

This is a historical romance, set in Regency England. It has three main characters and four distinct parts.

The first part is poetic and unhurried. It takes us through an intense and beautiful love story between a Duke and a young deaf girl. Bram is the honourable Duke of Bramford, who has fought for his country and is very loyal to the crown. The wedding had been arranged by his mother since the bride was two years old! Anna is an orphan who has been living practically on her own all this time, in an isolated castle in Scotland, waiting for her betrothed. When they meet, in her 18th year, they are both surprised to fall in love. I thought I was going to read a sweet, traditional romance, because their love story was drawn out in great detail. I didn’t mind, because I love historical romances, but I did wonder where the story would be going.

The second part of the plot moves on with the only obstacle to their happy marriage, namely Bram’s best friend, Michael, Earl of Milford, who thinks Bram should marry a richer and more worldly society lady. Surprisingly, Michael also falls in love with Anna, and although their friendship is threatened, Michael finally remains both their friends.

The plot then takes a third surprising twist (I can’t go into any detail without including a spoiler), and Anna will learn that her husband is not the man she thought he was, and that he has other priorities and duties in life, which exclude Anna and their children. Anna must turn to Michael for support, with Bram’s approval.

Finally, the title refers to the end of the story in which harmony is restored, at great emotional cost to all involved. It’s not a sad ending, although it’s not a perfect HEA either. I think it’s the best possible ending, although I can’t help feeling sorry for the way in which one of the characters is excluded from ‘the circle’.

The three main characters were engaging, and the plot, which was slow at first, moved on well in the second part. Especially for lovers of historical romance.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Shiri by D.S. Taylor @DSTaylor1#Bookreview #wwwblogs #AncientEgypt

ShiriShiri by D.S. Taylor
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Shiri is a historical romance set in Ancient Egypt. It tells the tale of a humble man whose wife was stolen by the Pharaoh, driven by his love for his wife he was determined to rise up against the Noble House and free her. They called him the Shepherd King and long after the loss of his wife he sought freedom for the people from the Gyptos.

We meet his grown son Josef in a small rural village where he is seeking support for a rebellion, he rallies the men to go with him to support the Shepherd King and he leaves the village unprotected and vulnerable. Prince Amenhotep and his warriors sweep through the village maiming, killing, raping and taking slaves on their way to destroy The Shepherd King. A young girl out checking the sheep escapes, but not before she sees her parents violated and murdered. She stumbles ahead of the war party to warn the rebels, but they have little time to gather their forces.

With the battle lost Josef makes a drastic decision to save his life and in doing so he plays a role where he can save others too. He disguises himself as Yuya of Heliopolis and vows he killed the Shepherd Prince himself. He rescues Shiri before she is bought in the slave market and together they travel to Heliopolis. Here Josef discoveries he is heir to the high sun priest and is betrothed to his daughter. This presents an opportunity to gain access to enough wealth to buy his people who have been sold as slaves and treat them well. It’s a daring move under the noses of the Pharaoh’s and the warring nobles and one which needs clever details to keep the secrets safe.

This Ancient Egypt setting was very well done. The details of the setting and the characters were very believable. The level of violence, and sexual scenes are no more than you would expect from a time of warring factions, slavery, sacrifice, multiple wives and fear of the Gods. These were ruthless times with power, corruption, disloyalty and death going hand in hand with love and devotion as they still do today.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

View all my reviews On Goodreads

Hawk’s Gift by Mary M Forbes

Hawk's GiftHawk’s Gift by Mary M. Forbes

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hawks’ Gift is a historical romance set in Canada in the late 1800’s. We first meet Damien Larocque as a boy who witnesses the death of his parents on the same day in 1860. He is Metis a member of one of the aboriginal people of Canada.

In 1881 he is in Winnipeg. Now a grown man he finds himself bidding $1000 to rescue a young lady. Roberta Taylor is a reporter. Head-strong and ambitious she wants to interview Big Bear, a leader of one of the indigenous Indian tribes who is currently refusing to move to a reservation. He’s holed up in Montana and Roberta’s brother pays Damien to take his sister to meet the Indian Chief.

Roberta has a knack for finding trouble and is a source of confusion, contradiction and frustration to Damien. She blows hot and cold and wants answers in a way any reporter does. He’s determined to teach her a lesson as well as make her understand what the White man is doing to the land and it’s people.

This book is a great way to learn about the history of the time from less famous battles between the White man and the Native people and to hear about such events as The Riel Rebellion of 1885 and The Frog Lake Massacre. With it is a feisty romance between two great characters.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT Luccia reviews An Independent Woman by Frances Evesham

Today’s review is from team member Luccia, she blogs at http://lucciagray.wordpress.com

rosie3

Luccia chose to read and review An Independent Woman by Frances Evesham

22532295

Here is her review.

When I chose An independent woman to read and review for Rosie’s Review Team, I was thrilled even before I started reading it, because when I read the blurb I realized it’s my favourite type of book. I enjoy reading neo-Victorian novels, so although I’m easy to please with this genre, it’s also not easy to surprise me with something new.

Well, I’m glad to say that I was pleasantly surprised, because I found an entertaining, moving, exciting, and romantic novel, set in Victorian England, which I would highly recommend.

The novel is beautifully written with prose that flows smoothly, enticing the reader to turn the pages. There are just enough descriptive elements to submerge the reader comfortably in Victorian England, moving effortlessly from foggy, filthy London, to the tranquil countryside.

Philomena’s intriguing character keeps the reader connected to the story, feeling for her plight from the first sentence, as she creeps up the twisted stairs and flees from London, to the last line.

I loved the first chapters, when she was disguised as a young boy in order to escape from London, and her ‘chance’ arrival at the country estate on Christmas Eve after a fateful train accident.

We also feel we get to know the other characters such as the mysterious Lord Thatcham, his mother, the demanding Dowager Lady Thatcham, her frivolous yet charming daughter, Selena, and the kind Mrs. Rivers and Mrs. Bramble. There’s naturally a despicable villain, who causes havoc, and whose real motives are not revealed until the end, keeping the plot moving forward with mysterious twists and surprises.

It has many gothic elements which will remind readers of Rebecca, Jane Eyre, and Oliver Twist, three of my favourite novels. Firstly, the mansion where the action takes place, Thatcham Hall, becomes a character, with its servants’ quarters, main living areas, bedrooms, and the dark, forbidden wings. The reader will also find a gloomy widower, a wife deceased in unclear circumstances, a rich and lonely child, an exploited and abused child, and a well-read governess, among others, all leading to an eventful and enjoyable read.

Frances Evesham shows expert knowledge of Victorian England, which she transmits wrapped up in an enjoyable parcel of mystery, action, and romance.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Romancing September #RomancingSeptember – Day 17

rosie1

Welcome to Day 17 of Romancing September Across The World Tour. Today our guest is Monica La Porta. Catch up with more from Monica in a few hours with the second part of our tour when Stephanie chats to her.

The Lost Centurion_new design

Where is your home town?

I am from Rome, Italy, but I moved to Washington State in the summer of 2000.

How long have you been writing romance?

I’ve been writing love stories since I was a kid, but I started writing professionally five years ago.

What is your favourite sub-genre of romance?

I have several favourites, among them paranormal, urban fantasy, and science fiction romance.

Tell us who Marcus is?

Marcus is the main character in The Lost Centurion. Once a proud commander in the Imperial Roman Army with hundreds of men under his lead, Marcus is now a lonely renegade whose life is powered by a thirst for revenge consuming him.

Who has he been searching centuries for?

As an immortal, Marcus has spent the last two thousand years looking for a vampire.

What does he think of Vampires?

He hates vampires, because one of them killed his wife, Aurelia.

How does he meet Diana?

After years of fruitless search for Aurelia’s killer, Marcus has finally a lead. An informant has promised him information about the vampire he’s looking for. The rendezvous is at the Roman Forum, but when Marcus arrives he finds his informant is being attacked. Marcus can’t save the man, but he ends up having to care for the informant’s vampling—a new-born vampire—Diana.

What locations have you used to mix Old and New Italy?

I took a virtual tour through Rome, mixing places I used to frequent when I was living there, and Marcus’s memories of the same places in Roman times. The Forums first and foremost, where the majority of Roman daily life happened, but also the modern neighbourhoods built on top of the ancient city. Marcus travels south to Amalfi to hide with Diana in his friend’s villa perched atop the rugged coast, and takes her to the Blue Grotto for a romantic evening. Finally, he must follow her to Castel Gandolfo, the medieval city where the Pope retires for his summer vacation, where the vampires keep Diana prisoner.

Tell us what you are working on at the moment.

I have just released the second title in The Immortals series, The Immortal Greek. My editor has finished her corrections on The Broken Angel, which should be out in October. And I am writing the fourth in the series, The Hidden Demon.

Where can readers find out more about you?

Monica La Porta

I have a blog and an author page on Facebook where I talk about my writing, my hobbies, my outlandish gluten-free, dairy-free, and soy-free recipes, and my love for beagles. I welcome questions from my readers, because interacting with them gives me great joy.

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/monicalaportaauthor

Blog http://monicalaporta.com/

twitter https://twitter.com/momilp

mailing list http://eepurl.com/znSHT

The Lost Centurion buying links:

  1. co.uk: http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Lost-Centurion-Immortals-ebook/dp/B00KMJB4OA/
  2. com: http://www.amazon.com/Lost-Centurion-Immortals-Monica-Porta-ebook/dp/B00KMJB4OA

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/442440

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-lost-centurion-monica-la-porta/1119629009?ean=2940045970778

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-lost-centurion/id883335328?mt=11

 

Find out more about Monica from Stephanie Hurt’s blog and all our Romance writers http://stephanie-hurt.com/

Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT Crystin reviews An Independent Woman by Frances Evesham

Today’s book review comes from team member Crystin, she blogs at http://crystinlgoodwin.wordpress.com

rosie3

Crystin chose to read and review An Independent Woman by Frances Evesham

22532295

Here is her review.

  • Title: An Independent Woman by Frances Evesham
  • Genre: Historical Romance – Mystery Romance

Orphaned Philomena is fleeing London to not only escape her tormentor, Joseph, but to start a new life for herself. Unfortunately, fate has other ideas when a train crash places her under the protection of the darkly attractive Hugh, Lord Thatcham. It doesn’t help that she first meets Lord Thatcham disguised as a boy …

An Independent Woman is a typical historical romance – very fun, light, and easy to read. The mystery aspects of the story were also done very well, infusing the story with suspense and tension. I also really enjoyed the fact that the romance stayed clean and focused on romance – not sex.

I’d recommend this to fans of historical romance – especially Victorian or Regency romances, as well as romantic mysteries.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT An Independent Woman by Frances Evesham

Today we have a review from Book Review Team Member Suraya, find her at http://www.thestorymint.com

rosie3

Suraya chose to read and review An Independent Woman by Frances Evesham

22532295

Here is the review.

An Independent Woman

by Frances Eversham

Four and half stars

When I end a book I am always interested in how I feel after I have read the last word.

This first reaction tells me whether or not I have had a satisfying reader experience. It is key to whether or not I will read another of the author’s books.

At the end of An Independent Woman I found myself smiling; satisfied with the experience I have just had.

An Independent Woman tells the story of Philomena who is married illegally to a villain after her father gambled away her inheritance and forced her to marry a stranger with cold green eyes. She was a child and the memory lingered as a haunting dream. The dream takes shape in reality when she meets Lord Thatcham, they fall in love and Muldrow re-enters her life.

I will say no more about the plot as I think readers will enjoy following it as it twists and turns. It has all the ingredients of an absorbing historical Romance…an individual intent on wreaking evil, a virtuous maiden and a heroic and wealthy Lord. Lord Thatcham reminded me of Austen’s Darcy and it was no surprise to read that the author is an Austen fan.

However, this story is no copy of any other I have read. The skilful story telling is economic and has excellent pace without leaving the reader puzzled or confused due to too little description. Nor does it ramble.

The only point I would make was we could have done with fewer rhetorical questions. They started to whine in my head as Philomena weighed up her options and as Lord Thatcham wondered what Philomena thought and felt.

Apart from that the narrative voice was authentic. For example, ‘a woman of low virtue would travel alone’ is superb.

The truly satisfying thing about any read is to find there are no events or objects that have no bearing on the story’s outcome. For example a brooch is introduced into the story. By the time it happened I knew it would relate to the story in some way as I had come to expect that all elements to the story related to events either in the past or the future. That is probably the most satisfying aspect of the novel for me.

I will leave others to read and enjoy.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT Elizabeth reviews An Independent Woman by Frances Evesham

Today we have a review from Book Review Team Member Elizabeth, she blogs at http://lizannelloyd.wordpress.com/

rosie3

Elizabeth chose to read and review An Independent Woman by Frances Evesham

22532295

Here is her review.

An Independent Woman by Frances Evesham

From the first few lines of, “An Independent Woman,” I knew that I would enjoy this book. The scene of a poor area of London is set, the clothing is of the Victorian era and Philomena, the heroine has our sympathy as she is already threatened by an evil foe.

The fast moving plot involves Philomena’s need to escape. Disguising herself and taking only a tiny portrait of an unknown woman, she boards one of the open-topped railway carriages bound for a new life in Bristol. But there is a dramatic change of circumstances when the train crashes in the Berkshire countryside. Philomena finds herself in the upstairs, downstairs world of Lord Thatcham, tempted by the hint of passion but convinced that she must escape once again.

The tortured soul of Hugh, Lord Thatcham is complex yet believable. His feelings of guilt and duty are at odds with his need for love and his interest in, “modern,” technology. Philomena also has a dark secret which she believes denies her any chance of happiness. Yet they share a common enemy who could unite them or dash their hopes for ever.

This beautifully composed story contains all the ingredients for a successful historical romance, including separation and misunderstanding. The minor characters are warm or evil and the historical details accurate and particularly interesting. A thoroughly good read.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Romancing September #RomancingSeptember – Day 1

WELCOME to the second year of Romancing September Across The World.

For the next thirty days we will be bringing you with some fantastic Romance books from across the wide range of books within the genre.

Everyday there will be a different book and there are two posts about the book and the author. The first is here in the Uk and the second is with Stephanie in the USA.

Each post is different and will introduce you the author and their book, so let’s see if we can find a book to tickle your literal taste buds.

rosie1

Our first guest is Caroline Storer. Catch up with more from Caroline in a few hours with the second part of our tour when Stephanie chats to her.

The Roman

Where is your home town?

I live in a small village called Llanfechell, which is on the lovely island of Anglesey in North Wales. It’s a lovely island with some wonderful beaches and is just on the doorstep of the Snowdonia National Park. You may also recall, that Anglesey was recently the “home” of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (William and Kate) whilst William was serving with the RAF up here at RAF Valley. I did invite them over for tea, but unfortunately they were too busy to pop over (only kidding!)

How long have you been writing romance?

I first put pen to paper; or rather fingers to keyboard back in 2007. But saying that, I have always dreamt of writing romance, and over the years hundreds of ideas for books have bubbled away in my over active imagination.

What is your favourite sub-genre of romance?

Historical romance without a doubt! I love most periods of historical romance; but if I had to pick three, then Ancient Rome, Viking and Regency romances would be my favourites.

When is your book set?

My book is set in Ancient Rome, in AD79

How was Marsallas betrayed?

The heroine, Justina was forced to lie to him when they were young by telling him that she wanted to be with his uncle, Quintus instead of marrying him. Believing the worst, Marsallas denounces Justina to Hades and leaves Herculaneum vowing never to return.

What has Marsallas been doing for the last 6 years?

Marsallas has thrown himself into the deadly world of chariot racing, gaining fortune, fame, and a salacious reputation throughout Rome. His bed could be kept warm by a different woman each night if he chooses, but his heart remains iced over as the memory of Justina’s betrayal continues to haunts him.

How does he meet Justina again?

Quintus is dying, and forces Justina to go to Rome to persuade Marsallas to return to Herculaneum to see him before he dies. Justina doesn’t want to go, but has no choice. When they meet for the first time in six years, Marsallas feels hatred for her; but underneath it all there is still a spark of desire for her that he can’t resist.

How does he believe he will avenge his broken heart?

When Justina steps back into his life he sees a chance to avenge his broken heart. He’ll take her for one night only, and then walk away from her as she walked away from him. But beneath the hurt, an attraction so intense still burns between the two, and as their fates begin to intertwine once more, their determination to resist one another starts to falter…

Tell us what you are working on at the moment.

I’m currently finishing off a Viking Romance. It’s a Viking with a twist, though. In my story, the heroine is the Viking and the hero is the Anglo Saxon lord who captures her when Vikings invade England in 1066.

Where can readers find out more about you?

Caroline Storer

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/caroline.storer.50?ref=tn_tnmn 

Twitter – https://twitter.com/CarolineStorer6

You can also find me on my blog at – http://carolinestorer.blogspot.co.uk/

Find a copy of The Roman here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

On Barnes and Noble – http://ow.ly/tPHvY

On Kobo – http://ow.ly/tPI1N

Google Play – https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Caroline_Storer_The_Roman_HarperImpulse_Historical?id=aR-hAgAAQBAJ

iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/roman-harperimpulse-historical/id804712321?mt=11

Find out more about Caroline from Stephanie Hurt’s blog and all our Romance writers http://stephanie-hurt.com/

 

Guest Author Olivia Stocum

Today our guest is Olivia Stocum author of yesterday’s book “Moonstone”  and last weeks book “Dawning”. Here are links to those posts. Moonstone: http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-4UA Dawning: http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-4T3

Let’s find out more about Olivia and her writing.

Olivia Stocum Author

1) Where is your home town?

I live in Owego, New York, a historic town by a river that floods at little too often for comfort, in a two hundred and fourteen year old house, that has the uncanny ability to be completely surrounded by water and yet still not succumb to the rising floods.

2) Tell us the significance of the title “Moonstone”

Originally Moonstone was meant as a description of my hero, William’s eyes. There is something in the Celtic gene pool that produces very dark hair with pale gray eyes. (Which is what William looks like.) Eventually, it came to mean more… but you’ll have to read the book to find out.

3) Where is Moonstone set?

Historic Scotland, early 1600’s, in the North Highlands. The exact location is completely fictional.

4) I don’t think I’ve read the word “Kilt” in your book? Is there a historical reason?

Yes. The kilt as we know it did not exist until the late 1700’s. I know some writers use the term anyway, but I’m kind of a stickler about such things. You’ll also note that I don’t use the word Sporran  for the same reason.

5) I love your rugged brave Scottish men, tell us how William got his shoulder injury.

William was injured in a battle in Sweden, where it was common for young Scottish men to hire themselves out as soldiers.

6) You had fun with some Gaelic words in this book, tell us a couple that William was caught saying.

LOL. Yes, he was caught, wasn’t he.

Here’s a few of the words used in the book:

Mo leannan – this means, my darling, sweetheart, love …

Bean sídhe – A female fairy, otherwise known as a banshee. Often she heralds the coming of doom. (Which sounds awful, but when William first met Rhiannon she was tied up with rope, and he got some of her blood on him. He knew their destinies where somehow intertwined, but he wasn’t entirely sure why or to what end.)    

Fey – Again associated with fairies, meaning one who is destined for tragedy.

Tha gràdh agam ort – I love you, or literally, I have love on you. Rhiannon is actually the one to say this (at least in Gaelic anyway)

 7) Tell us the motives behind Reginald’s actions.

Laird Reginald was a troubled man from an abusive past. I felt bad for him, really, and wished there was some help for him, but there weren’t any therapists around in the 1600’s, and William had to deal with Reginald for what he was; a threat to his family.

8) If I was around in the 1600’s I think I’d want to be rescued by some of the men in your books, who is your favourite?

Oh boy, you ask a lot of me. Let’s see… Ronan (from Dawning) is my beef head. He can be a tad dense, especially when it comes to women, but he’s completely loyal to Triona. William is my strong, sensitive guy. Unfortunately, he loves a little too deeply, and that makes him overprotective to the point of sometimes smothering Rhiannon. Then there’s Graham, my giant Norse throw-back. On the surface he’s a bear. Inside, he’s a big softy. And lastly, there’s Alec. He’s young and has a few lessons to learn about love, but his current broken heart won’t last forever…

OK, so I didn’t pick a favourite, and I don’t think I ever could! I love them all for who they are, AND for who they will become.

9) I did enjoy all the Scottish vocabulary, which of those words did you enjoy using the most?

Probably mo leannan, but I like all of it.

10) I feel there’s a story to be told for young Graham next, what do you think?

Absolutely. In fact, that is why he wasn’t present at the beginning of the book. While he was away visiting his niece, I was busy getting him in over his head with a certain young noble woman.

Moonstone by Olivia Stocum

Find a copy of Moonstone here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Dawning: Historical Romance

Find a copy of Dawning here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

I’ll certainly keep a look out for the next book in the series.