Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #HistoricalRomance MISS TAVISTOCK’S MISTAKE by @LinoreRBurkard

Today’s team review is from Sandra, she blogs here https://www.firthproof.co.uk/index.php/book-reviews

#RBRT Review Team

Sandra has been reading Miss Tavistock’s Mistake by Linore Rose Burkard

53303839. sy475

In Miss Tavistock’s Mistake, Margaret, orphaned at the age of nine, is living in Yorkshire as the ward of the Duke of Trent. Finding life at Toadingham a bit dull, and eager to meet the elusive Captain Rempeare again, Margaret hatches a plan to go to London for the rest of the season. In the meantime, Gabriel Rempeare turns up unannounced and, having believed some not very flattering things she read about him in the papers, Margaret pretends to be someone else.

Instead of just owning up, Margaret now proceeds to carry the deception to ridiculous lengths. On arriving in London, Gabriel is tasked with introducing her to society. What follows is a tale of misunderstanding and miscommunication, and it becomes increasingly obvious that she has completely misjudged Captain Rempeare; then, as now, it is a mistake to believe a lot of what you read in the press.

A lot of research has gone into the period detail in this novel which I found fascinating – stories of naval battles and life at sea, the wonderful variety of food that was eaten and the colourful slang words and expressions that were common in Regency England.

The main characters are very likeable, the villains suitably nasty and there are a lot of laugh-out-loud moments as we join Margaret on her first visit to London. We can understand why she is reluctant to come clean about her identity – she has dug herself a pretty deep hole – but by the final scene she has nowhere left to turn. It is fortunate that Gabriel is a very patient man, and we have to bear in mind that Margaret is still only nineteen.

I really enjoyed Miss Tavistock’s Mistake and would definitely recommend it. My only criticism would be the cover; it’s a bit busy, and doesn’t do the book justice. This is the first book by Linore Rose Burkard that I have read, but it certainly won’t be the last. It’s always great to find a new author with a substantial back catalogue.

Book description

Young Miss Tavistock is promised in marriage to Captain Rempeare by the wish of her dearly departed papa. But the captain’s been at sea for a decade. When she finally meets him, tempestuous sparks fly, and she impulsively adopts a daring false identity. Going by “Lady X,” she vows never to marry such an infuriating man.

Captain Gabriel Rempeare is prepared to fulfill his duty and marry Miss Tavistock—if only he can clap eyes on her. One circumstance or another keeps them apart, though he cannot seem to avoid the beautiful, maddening, Lady X. When fate throws them together in London, Miss Tavistock discovers the real nature of the captain, and regrets her subterfuge. But can such a noble man forgive deceit? Or has her mistake already cost her everything?

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT Irish Family Drama SEASON OF SECOND CHANCES by @aimeealexbooks @denisedeegan

Today’s team review is from Sandra, she blogs here https://www.firthproof.co.uk/index.php/book-reviews

#RBRT Review Team

Sandra has been reading Season Of Second Chances by Aimee Alexander

52910745. sy475

Season of Second Chances opens as Grace, with her children Jack and Holly, drives away from her life in Dublin towards a new start in West Cork where she grew up. Grace will take over from her recently retired father, Des, as a local GP; she will be ‘Young Doctor Sullivan’ to the locals.

At this point we have no idea what Grace is running away from, only that it must be serious to justify such extreme action. Initially, her father has no idea why they have come to Killrowan, but is happy to have them there. Since he retired, and found out he was in the early stages of Parkinson’s Disease, he has been feeling a bit pointless. Having his daughter and grandchildren there seems to give him a new lease of life.

The story is told from multiple points of view; we see the past, and the present, through the eyes of Grace, Des, Jack and Holly. This gives us a much more rounded picture of why they had to leave, and how they are getting on now. It also makes us realise that Simon, Grace’s husband, is not going to leave them alone. A sense of imminent menace pervades the narrative.

Aimee Alexander depicts small town life perfectly; the claustrophobic feeling of everyone knowing everyone else’s business, and putting their own interpretation on it. At first, the patients don’t want to see Grace as they are suspicious of her big city ways, but slowly, by persevering and doing a good job, she wins them round.

The ending is satisfying, but leaves just enough loose ends for a sequel which I understand the author is currently writing; I look forward to visiting Killrowan again very soon. I will also be looking out for other books by Aimee Alexander as this was the first one I read, but it won’t be the last.

Season of Second Chances is well written with believable characters, a great location, and humour to offset the seriousness of the underlying threat. As the full extent of the abuse is revealed, Grace finds the strength and courage for a new beginning. I loved the way she realised that she could do whatever she wanted, now free of her husband’s controlling influence – simple things like what she wore, how she styled her hair and being able to spend time with friends both old and new.

Book description

When leaving is just the beginning… A novel of family, love, and learning to be kind to yourself by award-winning, bestselling Irish author, Aimee Alexander.

Grace Sullivan flees Dublin with her two teenage children, Jack and Holly, returning to the sleepy West Cork village where she grew up. No one in Killrowan knows what Grace is running from – or that she’s even running. She’d like to keep it that way.

Taking over from her father, Des, as the village doctor offers a real chance for Grace to begin again. But will she and the family adapt to life in a small rural community? Will the villagers accept an outsider as their GP? Will Grace live up to the doctor that her father was? And will she find the inner strength to face the past when it comes calling?

Season of Second Chances is a heart-warming story of friendship, love and finding the inner strength to face a future that may bring back the past.

Perfect for fans of Call The Midwives, The Durrells, Doc Martin and All Creatures Great and Small. The villagers of Killrowan will steal into your heart and make you want to stay with them forever.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

52910745. sy475

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT #RomCom TEN THINGS MY CAT HATES ABOUT YOU by Lottie Lucas @LottieAuthor

Today’s team review is from Sandra, she blogs here https://www.firthproof.co.uk/index.php/book-reviews

#RBRT Review Team

Sandra has been reading Ten Things My Cat Hates About You by Lottie Lucas

50755057. sx318 sy475

I chose to read this book mostly because of the title (a play on one of my favourite films) and the involvement of a cat. It’s as good a reason as any.

Not having much luck with boyfriends, Clara has decided she will trust the opinion of her cat, Casper, when embarking on her next relationship; then two interesting men come along at the same time. I was not impressed with the vet, Josh, though Casper was putty in his hands. Right from the beginning, I was hoping the professor, Adam, would be the one to win Clara’s heart.

This humorous, light-hearted romantic comedy is lifted out of the ordinary by the unusual setting in the academic world of the colleges and museums of Cambridge. Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Book description

Not everyone gets nine lives…
So he better be the love of a lifetime!

When Clara’s ginger cat Casper chases yet another romantic prospect out the door she’s ready to give up on love altogether. But then the fussy feline causes two meet cutes in the space of a day and suddenly Clara has two gorgeous men driving her to distraction.

But who is in control of happy ever after? Clara, fate…or the cat who started it all?

AmazonUK |

50755057. sx318 sy475

Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RomCom HANDS OFF by D. E. Haggerty

Today’s team review is from Sandra, she blogs here https://www.firthproof.co.uk/index.php/book-reviews

#RBRT Review Team

Sandra has been reviewing Hands Off by D.E. Haggerty

50651538. sy475

Hands Off is the third in the Love in the Suburbs series, but I did not enjoy it as much as the previous two. I found the character of Roman Cadwell to be a bit two-dimensional; I can’t quite put my finger on it but something was missing. There was too much emphasis on Roman’s wealth and not enough on his character. He just didn’t convince me that he was a real person, and at times he was overly forceful; he was aptly described as a ‘bulldozer’ at one point. This was not a problem in the first two books where the characters came across as very believable.

Bailey seemed to be unable to forgive herself for what had been a genuine error of judgement; she put up a bit too much resistance, once the truth had been uncovered, to the idea of dating Roman even though they were really attracted to each other.

Frankie’s grandma was her usual delightful self, determined to bring Bailey and Roman together no matter what. I imagine it would not be so much fun being on the receiving end of her matchmaking. I liked the strand where Bailey got to know her father; it was sad that it had taken so long for them to find each other. What a piece of work her mother was – I don’t want to give anything away, but I don’t understand how anyone could treat their own daughter that way?

While you could read this as a standalone, it would be a much more rewarding experience to start at the beginning, and I’m glad I did. The next in the series, Knee Deep, is Luke and Violet’s story, and I’m very much looking forward to finding out what happened to make them so antagonistic towards each other. Thanks to the author for a copy that I review as a member of Rosie’s Book Review Team. #RBRT #HandsOff #DEHaggerty

Book description

I am done with men. D – O – N – E. DONE!

I don’t care how much billionaire Roman Cadwell pushes (and, oh boy, does the sexy man push ALL my buttons), I am not dating him. Especially not when he’s wearing a golden band around his ring finger. I do not get involved with married men. Call it my line in the sand. If a man can’t be faithful, I want not one single thing to do with him.

But what if Roman isn’t really married? What then? No, no, no. I will not fall into Lying McLiarson’s trap.

Only every time the man touches me, my body forgets I’m a good girl and wants to give in. Hands off, Mr. Lying Pants, before I forget I’m a good girl.

Although – no one said I had to be a good girl forever.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

50651538. sy475

Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT 1932: Pride And Prejudice Revisited by @KarenMCox1932

Today’s team review is from Sandra, she blogs here firthproof.co.uk

#RBRT Review Team

Sandra has been reading 1932: Pride And Prejudice Revisited by Karen M. Cox

1932: Pride and Prejudice Revisited by [Cox, Karen M]

This is a loose reinterpretation of Pride & Prejudice set in rural Kentucky during the Depression. The Bennet family, now in straightened circumstances, returns to live in the house where Mrs Bennet grew up. It has little in the way of modern conveniences (literally!), and they all have a lot of adjusting to do.

Some reviewers have bemoaned the fact that 1932 does not slavishly follow Jane Austen’s original plot, but surely that is the point. Karen M Cox has taken the bones of the original story, let her imagination run with it, and come up with this very enjoyable, and very different, homage to Jane Austen. Obviously, having moved continents, and more than a century in time, people in 1930s America behave and talk a lot differently than they did in the original story, so it’s not so easy to compare them; this is a good thing as nobody wants to read a pale imitation of such a beloved classic.

The main focus of this story is the relationship between Darcy and Lizzie Bennet, with most of it occuring after they marry, but Lydia and George Wickham still manage to cause havoc. However, Jane and Bingley’s relationship is not as prominent, and Mr and Mrs Bennet are a lot more ‘normal’.

To be honest, if you changed the names, 1932 would work very well as an independent novel, enabling it to reach a wider audience as not everyone has read, or is a fan of, Jane Austen.

I really enjoyed this and thought the characters were believable and convincing in their own right. Darcy and Elizabeth’s behaviour did change for the better, and they overcame their pride and prejudice.

Book description

…do anything rather than marry without affection.”
—Pride and Prejudice

During the upheaval of the Great Depression, Elizabeth Bennet’s life is torn asunder. Her family’s relocation from the bustle of the big city to a quiet family farm has changed her future, and now, she must build a new life in rural Meryton, Kentucky.
William Darcy suffered family turmoil of his own, but he has settled into a peaceful life at Pemberley, the largest farm in the county. Single, rich, and seemingly content, he remains aloof—immune to any woman’s charms.
Until Elizabeth Bennet moves to town.
As Darcy begins to yearn for something he knows is missing, Elizabeth’s circumstances become more dire. Can the two put aside their pride and prejudices long enough to find their way to each other?

1932, Karen M Cox’s award-winning debut novel, is a matchless variation on Jane Austen’s classic tale.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

1932: Pride and Prejudice Revisited by [Cox, Karen M]

Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #RomCom AT ARMS LENGTH by @dehaggerty

Today’s team review is from Sandra, she blogs here https://www.firthproof.co.uk/index.php/book-reviews

#RBRT Review Team

Sandra has been reading At Arm’s Length by D.E. Haggerty

48739919. sy475

Why does Jackson always give Shelby such a hard time? While you could easily read this without having read the previous book in the Love in the Suburbs series, About Face, I always like to start at the beginning in case I miss something. Jackson is Shelby’s friend Frankie’s business partner and she likes him but can’t understand why he’s so off with her. Shelby is a freelance computer game software developer and geek, with a slightly unorthodox sense of style and a Star Wars obsession.

This book is not about the plot – there isn’t really much of one – but the characters; they are so vividly drawn they positively jump off the page. Having read a lot of books, I know this can be quite a difficult thing to pull off successfully.  How many books have you read where the main characters are simply not believable, but more  like cardboard cut-outs?

I noticed something that happens in all the books I have read by Ms Haggerty; the men (Jackson and Brodie included) are all a bit macho and overprotective of the women; maybe this is how American readers like their men to be? In the end I just found it amusing – most British men don’t behave like that. I also thought she used the word ‘growl’ to describe how the men speak quite a lot!

Once again Frankie’s grandma features heavily in the story, and she’s up to her old tricks – matchmaking! Somehow, she gets Frankie and all her friends to come to Sunday dinner every week, and is not happy until they have a partner (she even had the others betting on how long it would take Jackson and Shelby to get together). She would be so annoying in real life, but is hilarious in the book. There is more humour in the chapter headings; song lyrics have been turned into witty one-liners. It’s fun trying to work out which songs they came from. I really enjoyed At Arm’s Length and look forward to the final book in the trilogy which will be about Bailey and Luke.

Book description

Jackson Schmidt is the biggest jerkity jerk ever. They should totally erect a statue to commemorate his jerkityness, jerkdom— Uggh! There are literally not enough words for ‘jerk’ to depict the man.

Unfortunately, Jackson is also the most gorgeous specimen of manhood I’ve ever laid eyes on. One look at him and I want to jump and climb him like a tree. But whenever he opens his mouth, his status as the biggest bastard on the planet is immediately reinstated. It’s impossible for the man to say anything remotely nice – at least not to me. To my best friend, though? To her, he’s Mr. Perfect Gentleman. Did I mention he’s carrying a torch for my engaged best friend?

My libido does not give one flying hoot Jackson is a dick who has a crush on my bestie. Nope. Not at all. No matter how much of a schmuck the man is – and trust me he takes schmuck to the next level – I continue to pant after him like a nerdy freshman crushing on the prom king. If I want to keep my sanity, I’m going to have to keep Jackson at arm’s length.

Sanity is totally overrated.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

48739919. sy475

Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #RomCom LOVE, LOOK AWAY by @LisetteBrodey #TuesdayBookBlog

Today’s team review is from Sandra, she posts her reviews here http://www.firthproof.co.uk/index.php/book-reviews

#RBRT Review Team

Sandra has been reading Love, Look Away by Lisette Brodey

48415672. sy475

Set in Swansea (New York not Wales), like her previous novel Molly Hacker is Too Picky!, this is the story of Sage Gordon who owns the gift shop, Sage Earth Gifts. It is not a sequel but does feature some of the same characters. We see the world through Sage’s eyes, and at the start of the book she is not in a good place.

The book opens with a ‘difficult’ customer causing a scene and introduces the other main character, Godiva Genevieve Jones. The two women bond over their recent romantic troubles and become firm friends really quickly. Running through the story is the mystery of Sage’s childhood friend, Jimmy, who just disappeared in the night and was never heard from again. She has tried and failed to trace him, and it’s almost like she can’t move on until she finds out what happened to him. All I’ll say is that it seems like we’ll never know, but in a wonderful, dramatic movie-style ending the truth is finally revealed.

While the new-agey theme of the shop is not to my taste, anyone who has ever worked in retail will recognise the ‘difficult’ customers; unlike real life these ones are also very funny. In fact, there is a lot of humour to lighten the heartbreak, often involving the dogs, Rufus and Vizzy; two cats live above the shop with Rufus but are never seen, which is a shame. The characters are well-written and believable, though some are a bit full-on. The only slight criticism I have is that the dialogue is a bit stilted in places, not quite the way real people speak. Overall Love, Look Away is a very enjoyable read and I look forward to the next instalment of life in Swansea.

Book description

Twenty-nine-year-old Sage Gordon has had it with love. When she’s not busy running her metaphysical gift shop in the old-money town of Swansea, New York, she’s content with the company of her dog and two cats.

Years ago, the boy she thought she’d marry some day disappeared in the middle of the night and was never heard from again. Haunted by the loss of Jimmy, she remains wary about love, until she is set up with a gorgeous NYC marketing executive. Love moves quickly, and she finds herself engaged — but if only he had betrayed her before she sent out the save-the-date cards.

Sage reverts to her former mindset: love, look away. Forever. Despite her best efforts, though, two completely different yet wonderful men enter her life. Still haunted by the past, can she let romance back into her life?

AmazonUk | AmazonUS

48415672. sy475

Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #RomCom ABOUT FACE by @dehaggerty

Today’s team review is from Sandra.

#RBRT Review Team

Sandra has been reading About Face by D.E. Haggerty

46777378. sy475

Having previously read and enjoyed DE Haggerty’s Not So Reluctant Detective series, I was pleased to be able to read and review About Face.

After a serious car crash, Frankie is recuperating in the suburbs at her grandparents’ house. She is now facing months of physiotherapy to enable her to walk again on her injured leg. As a distraction, her grandma tries to set her up with her friends’ grandsons, much to Frankie’s dismay (and our amusement).

Brodie is her physio and when she asks him to pretend to be her date, to stop Grandma inviting any more weirdos to dinner, he surprises her by asking her out for real. Frankie is on a steep learning curve, gradually coming to terms with how shallow her life and her friends were before her accident. It turns out they were not true friends after all. With the support of her grandma, her assistant, Jackson, and her new friends Shelby and Brodie, will she be able to move on?

The story is narrated in the first person so we only get Frankie’s view of what’s happening. I would have quite liked a bit of insight into what some of the other characters were thinking. My only slight criticism is that I would have expected the writer to fill in some of the backstory about the car accident. Frankie seems a bit fixated on her facial scar and takes a lot of convincing that it’s not the first thing people notice about her, but I suppose that’s only to be expected. I also thought that Francis was the male version of her name, but maybe that’s only in the UK? There is a lot of humour, and a cinematic quality to the story – it made a great rom-com. I also hope we hear more about Shelby in another book.

Thanks to the author for a copy that I review on behalf of Rosie’s Book Review Team.

Book description

My grandma is trying to hook me up.

To be painfully specific, my seventy-five-year-old grandmother thinks a little hanky-panky would cheer me up. Direct quote. Since I’m currently living with her, I can’t escape the endless line of grandchildren of friends who keep ‘dropping by’ for dinner. Literally, I can’t escape. I can barely manage the trek to the dining room at this point.

While Grandma’s determined to find me a husband, I’m determined to learn how to walk again so I can walk away from her matchmaking skills. Spoiler alert: She has no matchmaking skills.

But then I get a brilliant idea. I can fake date my physical therapist. Only he wants a real date. Gulp. A real date with me? Is he for real? I’m no longer the stylish girl with the glamorous job. Now, I’m a woman with a shattered leg and a scarred face.

If I’m going to learn to live with my new reality and give love a chance, my attitude needs to do an about face. Easier said than done.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

46777378. sy475

Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #RegencyRomance THE WORK OF ART by by @MimiMatthewsEsq

Today’s team review is from Sandra.

#RBRT Review Team

Sandra has been reading The Work Of Art by Mimi Matthews

46133134

Set in the Regency period, The Work of Art is the first book I have read by Mimi Matthews, but it certainly won’t be the last! I love finding a new writer and knowing there are lots of books to catch up on. The Work of Art was such a delight to read. The main characters, Philly and Arthur, jump off the page fully formed; they are not the usual stereotypes, but slightly unconventional and therefore much more interesting to read about.

All alone since the death of her grandfather, Philly is in London to find a husband (or so she thinks). What she doesn’t know is that her Uncle has promised her to the Duke of Moreland, a despicable character, who only wants to add her to his collection of unique objects, due to the unusual colour of her eyes.

What starts out as a marriage of convenience, to save Philly from the clutches of the Duke of Moreland, works out so well because of the foundation of friendship, trust and mutual support between her and Arthur. Their romance blossoms but the author manages to avoid the kind of explicit descriptions that would have made Georgette Heyer blush!

In London, both Philly and Arthur are not in their natural environment – they are both much more at ease in the countryside, horse riding, walking the dogs, away from the superficial restrictions imposed by society.

The ending is a real surprise; I won’t say any more but I don’t think you’ll see it coming.  I am looking forward to reading many more books by Mimi Matthews.

Book description

An Uncommon Beauty…

Hidden away in rural Devonshire, Phyllida Satterthwaite has always been considered more odd than beautiful. But in London, her oddity has made her a sensation. Far worse, it’s caught the eye of the sinister Duke of Moreland–a notorious art collector obsessed with acquiring one-of-a-kind treasures. To escape the duke’s clutches, she’s going to need a little help.

An Unlikely Hero…

Captain Arthur Heywood’s days of heroism are long past. Grievously injured in the Peninsular War, he can no longer walk unaided, let alone shoot a pistol. What use can he possibly be to a damsel in distress? He has nothing left to offer except his good name.

Can a marriage of convenience save Philly from the vengeful duke? Or will life with Arthur put her–and her heart–in more danger than ever?

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

46133134

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT #WomensFiction THERE SHE GOES by @LynneB1

Today’s team review is from Sandra.

#RBRT Review Team

She has been reading There She Goes by Lynne Shelby

46289783. sy475

There She Goes is the second in Lynne Shelby’s series of novels set in the world of the theatre, but it is not a sequel, and you can easily read them independently of each other. Told mainly from Julie’s point of view, with occasional glimpses of Zac’s thoughts, we learn what everyday life is like for struggling actors trying to break into musical theatre, with the holy grail being a part in a show directed by Joe Garcia.

I’m not a fan of any kind of theatre, but I was drawn into the world Lynne has created here as it seems thoroughly convincing. The story is well written and the characters are likeable and believable with brief appearances of some from the previous book – The One That I Want; my particular favourite is Nadia – no spoilers here, so I’m not going to tell you why!

I enjoyed reading There She Goes but felt it would have benefited from slightly more dramatic tension; none of the obstacles in the way of Julie and Zac’s relationship seemed that serious, and they were easily overcome. In some ways, this story is more about friendship than romance, as the young actors all support each other in their quest for recognition.

Book description

When aspiring actress Julie Farrell meets actor Zac Diaz, she is instantly attracted to him, but he shows no interest in her. Julie, who has yet to land her first professional acting role, can t help wishing that her life was more like a musical, and that she could meet a handsome man who d sweep her into his arms and tap-dance her along the street…

After early success on the stage, Zac has spent the last three years in Hollywood, but has failed to forge a film career. Now back in London, he is determined to re-establish himself as a theatre actor. Focused solely on his work, he has no time for distractions, and certainly no intention of getting entangled in a committed relationship…

Auditioning for a new West End show, Julie and Zac act out a love scene, but will they ever share more than a stage kiss?

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

46289783. sy475