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aerysa
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PostSubject: Book Reviews   Tue Jun 18, 2013 9:35 am

First topic message reminder :

Since reading takes such a great deal amount of time, it's always nice to hear other people's opinions before deciding whether you want to dive into the book yourself or not. As we slowly get to know each other better, and our various tastes in books, manga, etc., it also helps us determine a book's interest value in comparison to our own potential enjoyment.

I for one would rather hear the opinion of someone I know, rather than that vague voice out there somewhere.

haha, I guess this thread is mainly for you silvery since you seem to be the most prolific reader among us, but anyone can feel free to share their opinions! Even if it's a book you didn't enjoy. Don't feel shy Smile

(This thread is more generic than the other topics where this has been happening.)

Nov 18, 2013
Some of the older reviews do not follow this guideline, but please use it to help structure your review so we can gain some consistency in this thread. Thanks to silvery for "developing" it~

Formatting for reviews:

1) Title + Author (+ Series info, if necessary)
2) Characters involved (optional)
3) Summary/Synopsis
4) Review
5) Rating (out of 5)
6) Sizzle meter (out of 10)

The Sizzle meter is used to give a warning regarding the smut content within a novel. People have different comfort levels with it, so this rating helps people weed out books they would or would not want to read, based on that criteria.

Sizzle meter ratings
0-2 = no smut to chaste kisses
3-5 = may contain smut, french kisses
6-8 = moderate to high content of smut, kisses that burn
9-10 = very high content of smut, erotica

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Last edited by aerysa on Tue Nov 19, 2013 1:28 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Added format guidelines)
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PostSubject: Re: Book Reviews   Thu Oct 29, 2015 5:46 pm

Angels at Christmas by Debbie Macomber

Found this at a used book stall in a flea market. Since this was a Debbie Macomber (author of Orchard Valley Brides), I couldn't resist. This was a book consisting of two novellas, Those Christmas Angels and Where Angels go.

Those Christmas Angels
What: (synopsis from debbiemacomber.com) Three delightful angels come down to earth -- just in time for Christmas!

Shirley, Goodness and Mercy: three well-intentioned angels who are occasionally allowed to intervene (or -- perhaps more accurately -- interfere!) in human affairs. Despite their frequent misadventures, despite the chaos they often cause, things always seem to turn out right.

Their latest prayer request comes from the Seattle area. Anne Fletcher sees her son, Roy, becoming a bitter, career-obsessed man. She prays for a special woman to be sent into Roy's life, a woman who'll show him what really matters.

The angels swoop down and find a way to throw Julie Wilcoff in his path -- literally! From that moment on, Shirley, Goodness and Mercy shall follow them...whispering suggestions, arranging encounters, hoping for the best.


Review: Shirley, Goodness and Mercy... for angels they sure have a mischievous streak... Earth holds many temptations to them so they indulge in it, and hope that Archangel Gabriel doesn't find out. Wink
The novella was light-hearted but touching at the same time. Not a typical love story, the lessons that the characters learn (along with what the angels learn) are the pivotal parts of the story. Roy started out as a cold intimidating man but he mellows out with his interactions with Julie. The story has a nice flow with quite a few characters for a novella. It might come off as preachy or maybe a little Sunday School for some but I guess it's ok as a Christmas story. I would recommend it.

Rating: 4/5 (Feel good stories are like that)

Sizzle meter: 1 (some kissing but that's about it)

Where Angels go
What: (taken from debbiemacomber.com) Shirley, Goodness and Mercy are back! These three irresistible angels love their assignments on Earth. They especially love helping people who send prayer requests to Heaven (even though the Archangel Gabriel, their boss, knows they're going to break his rules)!

This Christmas, Mercy is assigned to bring peace of mind to an elderly man— who discovers an unexpected answer to his prayer.

Goodness is sent to oversee the love life of a young woman afraid to risk commitment a second time. And Shirley has the task of granting a little boy's fondest Christmas wish.

Shirley, Goodness and Mercy go wherever they're needed. These three charming angels often find themselves in trouble, but somehow things always work out for the best—especially at Christmas.


Review: This one was slightly less of a love story than the first one. This one sorely reminded me of the old TV series "Touched by an Angel" the difference being that Shirley Goodness and Mercy can't show themselves to humans. The angels each have an individual mission that they must fulfill but they meet up with each other to discuss and try and work their problems out. Just as feel good as the first but may be a little distracting because it's three stories at once.

Rating: 4/5

Sizzle meter: 0? There's a couple that gets together but totally tame in the whole feel good at Christmas story

There was an overall feel good vibe with the book and I'm sure with it being a few months to Christmas, this book recommendation won't be out of place. Enjoy
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PostSubject: Re: Book Reviews   Sat Oct 31, 2015 6:59 pm

Back with more reviews!

When a Scott ties the knot by Tessa Dare

Who: Miss Madeline Gracechurch and Captain Logan MacKenzie
What: (synopsis from tessadare.com) On the cusp of her first London season, Miss Madeline Gracechurch was shyly pretty and talented with a drawing pencil, but hopelessly awkward with gentlemen. She was certain to be a dismal failure on the London marriage mart. So Maddie did what generations of shy, awkward young ladies have done: she invented a sweetheart.

A Scottish sweetheart. One who was handsome and honorable and devoted to her, but conveniently never around. Maddie poured her heart into writing the imaginary Captain MacKenzie letter after letter … and by pretending to be devastated when he was (not really) killed in battle, she managed to avoid the pressures of London society entirely.

Until years later, when this kilted Highland lover of her imaginings shows up in the flesh. The real Captain Logan MacKenzie arrives on her doorstep—handsome as anything, but not entirely honorable. He’s wounded, jaded, in possession of her letters… and ready to make good on every promise Maddie never expected to keep.


Review: I read the above while I was waiting for a friend and I was intrigued... but since my friend showed up before I could read anything else, I had to put it back and walk away. However, the premise of the story just kept haunting me so yesterday I caved in and rushed to the bookstore to get it (all the while praying that it would still be there)
It really didn't disappoint. Madeline is in her own words, "painfully shy" and panics at the thought of having to face a season of balls, musicales and such events. So she invents a beau to prevent her parents from forcing her to have a season. I had a good laugh at the initial interactions between Madeline and Logan. While Madeline doesn't do well in crowds, she is intelligent, compassionate and witty. Logan... I'll have to admit... this is the first time I've ever fell in love with the hero as I read. For a man who tried to seal his heart and act jaded, he is absolutely endearing with his brand of loyalty, leadership and wit. Oh, and a touch of humanity in the form of his past that made you long to comfort him. This is my first time reading this author but I really enjoyed it. There's romance (of course) a touch of humour (must have with me) a little action (just to reach the climax of the story) and touching moments here and there (they jerked a tear or two from me) And I finished it in a day... that's the best endorsement I can give Wink

Rating: 4.5/5 (haven't felt this way since The Bridgertons Laughing )

Sizzle Meter: 6-7 (Logan was trying his very best to seduce Madeline... so it's not just the smut)

I definitely wouldn't mind reading more of this author's works so If I do get my hands on some of her other works, you can expect a review Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Book Reviews   Thu Nov 05, 2015 2:47 pm

Whoa~ Reading Christmas stories already?! Lol~ It's still too early for that sort of thing!! Life has been sooo hectic for me, I have no strength to read. I tried... But I just lose focus and end up back at the beginning.

Hm... I will have to find time to dig around? I'm pretty sure I have some stuff of Tessa's XD I know I have at least one other thing sitting in the queue that you should like, if you didn't get your hands on it already.

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PostSubject: Re: Book Reviews   Fri Nov 06, 2015 6:00 pm

Daring Miss Danvers by Vivienne Lorret

Who: Emma Danvers and Oliver Goswick, Viscount Rathburn
What: (Summary taken from vivlorret.net) It's all fun and games … until someone falls in love.

Oliver Goswick, Viscount Rathburn, needs money—and soon. With time ticking away and his inheritance held hostage until he's properly wed, Rathburn's slim options point to a single solution: a faux engagement. In need of the perfect bride, he knows of only one candidate: his best friend's wallflower sister. The plan seems flawless, except for one problem … He can't help falling in love with her.

Poised, polished Emma Danvers knows nothing good can come of Rathburn's scheme. Spending the next two months engaged in a mock courtship is not what she'd imagined for her final season. Yet, charmed by his roguish ways and the inexplicable hammering he causes in her heart, she accepts his challenge.

For Emma, keeping the secret seemed easy when it was just a game … But as Rathburn begins to see past her reserved exterior to the passionate woman within, the risk of losing her heart becomes all too real.


Review: This book is part of the Wallflower Weddings series and there are three books and a novella, all of which I have finished. I will now proceed to swamp all of you with reviews. Wink

It seems like the usual childhood love stories but well, the problem would be that they don't realise that they are very attracted to one another. Emma's parents are eccentric artists and have more or less received the cut direct from members of the snobbish Ton. To minimise damage from her parents'behaviour, she proceeds to be a very proper young lady, if only to stay out of the radar. In doing so, she of course hides her true self and feels stiffled because of this. Oliver's maternal grandmother, the Dowager Duchess of Heathcoat has hinted that he can only get his money once he has betrohed himself to a young lady who has her approval. After narrowing down his candidates, Emma appears to be the only choice left. So he asks for her cooperation in the deception, to which she agrees. Things go along swimmingly, until it seems that their real feelings are thrown into the mix and they are unsure how to go about it. After all, they both feel that they would have wed under false pretenses.
The wedding goes on anyway and they now have the problem of finding out if their feelings are mutual. Definitely not the usual romance but enjoyable nonetheless.

Ratings: 4/5

Sizzle Meter: 4-5 they do get married in the middle after all...
I was planning to review the other three books here as well, but I have something else that needs to be done. Hopefully I'll be able to post the rest soon.

PS @aerysa: I never find it too early to read a seasonal story Wink but then again, it's all tropical here and some of our celebrations aren't really fixed on the calendar.
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PostSubject: Re: Book Reviews   Thu Nov 12, 2015 3:06 pm

Lol, I guess that makes sense? There really is no rule that says you have to read Christmas stories at Christmas time XD Unfortunately for me, I'm not from somewhere tropical so the weather change is too noticeable... Sad

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PostSubject: Re: Book Reviews   Mon Nov 23, 2015 3:52 pm

aerysa wrote:
Lol, I guess that makes sense? There really is no rule that says you have to read Christmas stories at Christmas time XD Unfortunately for me, I'm not from somewhere tropical so the weather change is too noticeable... Sad

It's the monsoon season now so we're getting rain every day. It's starts of sweltering in the morning and then sudden rain from afternoon till evening... But I'll take the rain over haze any day.

I was supposed to have posted these comments earlier but I was super busy. here are the rest of the reviews of The Wallflower Weddings...

Tempting Mr Weatherstone by Vivienne Lorret

Who: Penelope Rutledge and Ethan Weatherstone
What: (Summary by vivlorret.net)
Penelope Rutledge longs for passion, but only with the man of her dreams: the brilliant, dashing Ethan Weatherstone. If only her longtime neighbor would open his eyes and realize how much she loves him. If only they weren’t best friends with so much at stake. Penelope knows her future—and their friendship—is in her hands, but is she willing to take the biggest risk of all on the man she loves?

If it were up to Ethan, life and love would be as predictable as the figures in his ledgers—certainly nothing like the adventures Penelope longs for. Yet his childhood friend has grown into a beautiful, feisty woman blissfully unaware of the danger she causes when near. Ethan knows he must save Penelope and her reputation … but can he save himself from the temptation of her lips?


Review: Another childhood friends turned lovers story. But it was sweet and I do like that plot line so it's ok. Penelope has always loved Ethan, even if he's too much of a blockhead to notice. So when she finally gets tired of waiting and stirs up trouble, Ethan has to decide which is more important; the safe predictable world he's always enjoyed, or Penelope. As a rule, I don't quite like novellas because you can hardly get any juicy stuff and the duration in which they fall in love doesn't feel credible. But since they've known each other for so long, that gets the emotional part settled and all that's left is the catalyst that brings them together. A fun way to spend an hour or two.

Ratings: 4/5

Sizzle Meter: 3-4 (no smut but they do "make out" )

Winning Miss Wakefield

Who: Merribeth Wakefield and Bane, Marquess of Knightswold

What: (Summary taken from the same)
She's got nothing left to lose …

With her fiancé suddenly engaged to another and her reputation in tatters, Merribeth Wakefield needs a bold plan to reclaim her life. She must be brave. Confident. She must … kiss a rake? The suggestion is ludicrous! Yet when Merribeth finds herself alone with the dark and brooding Lord Knightswold, suddenly the plan doesn't seem so farfetched. So she does something she never thought she'd do—she kisses him.

But he has everything to gain …

The Marquess of Knightswold—Bane to most—has no use for the affections of women. Well, none lasting longer than a single night. A plot for revenge weighs heavy on his mind, leaving no room for romance. But then a shy, witty miss borrows a kiss from him in a darkened room, and everything he thought he knew about innocent debutantes vanishes along with her.

When a twist of fate brings Merribeth within Bane's grasp, he'll have to resist her charms—or risk losing everything—for the sake of his heart.


Review: After finding out that her so called fiance has had a change of heart, Merribeth is suddenly seen as an outcast. In a desperate attempt to save her reputation, Lady Eve Sterling, a friend of Merribeth's aunt suggests that she find a way to make herself more irresistible to win her fiance back. When you read the prologue of the story, you will realize that Lady Sterling has a motive of her own for "accidentally" setting Bane and Merribeth up. The interaction between Bane and Merribeth starts slow but there is undeniable attraction between each other. As they get to know one another better, they get conflicted and wonder if their goals are really worth it. Everything is revealed and they have a happy ever after. (sorry for this really short review, but I read this weeks ago and I can't remember more than the basics... oh and the romantic proposal)

Ratings: 4/5

Sizzle Meter: 4-5 (There's the first kiss that leads to more kisses that leads to you know what)

Finding Miss McFarland

Who: Delaney McFarland and Griffin Croft

What: (Summary from the same)
Delaney McFarland is on the hunt for a husband—preferably one who needs her embarrassingly large dowry more than a dutiful wife. After the unspeakable incident at her debut, Delaney knows marrying for love is off the table, but a marriage of convenience—one that leaves her free to live the life she chooses—is the next best thing, never mind what that arrogant, devilishly handsome Mr. Croft thinks. Delaney plans to marry for money … or not at all.

Ever since the fiery redhead burst into his life—in a most memorable way—Griffin Croft hasn't been able to get Miss McFarland out of his mind. Now, with the maddening woman determined to hand over her fortune to a rake, Griffin knows he must step in. He must help her. He must not kiss her. But when Griffin's noble intentions flee in a moment of unexpected passion, his true course becomes clear: tame Delaney's wild heart and save her from a fate worse than death … a life without love.


Reviews: Delaney is a hurricane. She is an unstoppable force of nature and will definitely speak her mind. Except when Griffin Croft is around. Which is why, after her disastrous first meeting with him at her debut, she has taken every precaution necessary to avoid him. That doesn't last very long when it turns out that Delaney's younger sister and Griffin's younger twin sisters are debuting at the same time. Griffin finds Delaney exasperating but at the same time, he can't get her out of his mind. So it's a game of cat and mouse as Delaney avoids and Griffin pursues. They start with getting to know one another, it turns into respect and of course love. Along the way, Delaney gets to know her estranged father better, learns that her so called spoiled little sister is human and gets rid of the oh so very painful thorn in her side. Not to my surprise, I liked this one best in the series.

Ratings: 4/5

Sizzle Meter: 3-4 (I remember the interaction but I don't remember the smut... =_=; )

Now I can post reviews of whatever other books that I managed to read before I got busy... Laughing
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PostSubject: Re: Book Reviews   Thu Dec 03, 2015 2:39 pm

Miss Treadwell's Talent by Barbara Metzger

Who: Miss Maylene Treadwell and Socrates, the Earl of Hyatt

What: (summary taken from fantasticfiction.co.uk)
Still unwed at twenty-one, an unconventional high-spirited woman finds her affections sought by a handsome, devilishly charming Earl, who is nicknamed "The Ideal" by the ton--for his combination of wealth and looks. Though at first she fights his advances, slowly she forms a heated alliance with him. But sparring with words soon turns into a succumbing passion...

Review: The summary above doesn't really do justice to the book, so here's my take on it... Maylene Treadwell and her mother have been left in a difficult situation by the debts from her late father, Baron Tremont. To supplement their income, her mother, who has strong spiritual powers, holds seances to connect the living lords and ladies with their dearly (and not so dearly) departed. Along comes the Duke of Mondale, who has lost his daughter and is at his wit's end. He's heard of Lady Tremont's ability and in desperation seeks her help. His Grace is accompanied by the Earl of Hyatt, who is Lady Belinda's unannounced intended. He's sceptical about the so called abilities and believe that Maylene and her mother are nothing more than charlatans and adventuresses. And that's the premise of the story.
Maylene and Hyatt can't stand each other but can't stop thinking about each other either. So they argue, get into one scrapes with each other and continuously think the worse of the other. Maylene is logical, practical and not afraid of a little work to ensure that her mother's seances are believable. She is also trying to get her mother to stop matchmaking her with every young gentleman who happens to require advise from the hereafter. Socrates can't understand why everyone seems to like the Treadwells, even though they are nothing more than swindlers taking advantage of people's uncertainty. Over all, I enjoyed the humour and playing detective to locate the missing heiress. The side characters are all enjoyable and help the story along nicely. Worth a read.

Ratings: 4/5

Sizzle Meter: 2 (some kissing but this book is rather chaste)

Luck of the Devil by Barbara Metzger

Who: Miss Rowanne Wimberly and Harmon Carisbrook 'Carey' Delverson

What: (Summary by fictiondb.com)
Though Miss Rowanne Wimberly had come to be appreciated for both her charms and her sizable dowry, it was her innocent yet very public flirtation with the notorious and dashing Carey Delverson that piqued London's interest in this paragon.

'Twas a good thing the blackguard was back off to the Peninsula. Storybook heroes were all well and good but were best left to the pages of novels. Rowanne was much too practical to wait for love to sweep her off her feet--or to fall for the silver-tongued young hero on every woman's wish list....

True--war and wicked women had kept Carey's heart at bay--until he met the enchanting Rowanne. Now he would have to sweep her off her feet... before the luck of the Devil ran out.


Review: This was an interesting story... the day after the two of them meet, Carey was shipped of to war and Rowanne was left on her own to be the toast of the Ton. In about three years that they were apart, they almost did not write to each other and the only time they had met during that time was when Carey came back to England to settle his father's business after his death. And when he finally returns for good, dark rumours about him has started to spread and Rowanne and her family all think him a blackguard. The wooing and courting only take place at maybe the last quarter of the book. During that time, there's still an abundance of misunderstanding and a whole lot of action (as if Carey hadn't seen enough in the war). With plenty of side characters to keep this story entertaining and engaging, it's a story that I wouldn't mind reading a second time. Really recommended.

Ratings: 4.25/5 (It deserves more than 4 but not enough for 4.5 =_=;  )

Sizzle Meter: 2 (really rather chaste with just some kissing)

Lady Sparrow by Barbara Metzger (yes, I appear to be on a binge again...)

Who: Lady Minerva (Mina) Cadwell, Dowager Countess of Sparrowdale and Lord Lowell Merrion

What: (summary taken from fictiondb.com)
Twenty-three-year-old heiress Minerva Caldwell has just buried her elderly husband--and she couldn't be happier. But when she starts rummaging through the old reprobate's account books, she discovers that the man she despised had plenty to hide. Starting with a slew of affairs--and twelve illegitimate children...

Mina vows to track down the orphans, and give them a home. Then she discovers that her own son--whom she thought dead at birth--may still be alive. With the help of handsome Lord Lowell, she embarks on a search that will risk her life--and her heart.


Review: The premise of the story is definitely interesting... Finding out your late husband was promiscuous is one thing, finding out that he left a trail of illegitimate children all over is another. When Mina finds out about them, her maternal instinct kicks in and she vows to find them all and give them a better life. She enlists the help of Lord Lowell, who fashions himself out as a private investigator as both a hobby and a career, much to the dismay of his mother the Dowager Duchess of Mersford. Along the way, there's a villain, a lot of fortune hunters and a pack of wild unloved boys to make the story exciting, funny and touching. I also noticed that the boys were all named like birds; some were quite obvious while others were subtle... have fun guessing what kind Wink As with the other books by this author, the stories are light and while not entirely cheerful will have happy endings to those that matter. Recommended.

Ratings: 4.25 (for the same reason as before)

Sizzle Meter: 3-4 (slightly more suggestive than the other books but no real description of smut)

After a few hectic weeks having some time to myself for reading is really a treat. Will have more reviews up, I hope.
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PostSubject: Re: Book Reviews   Wed Dec 16, 2015 3:41 pm

It's gone so quiet here! I guess everyone's getting into the holiday mood...

Wedded Bliss by Barbara Metzger (More of the same author, I know, but when I'm on a roll, I'll usually read the same author until I run out)

Who: Alissa Henning and Robert Rothmore, the Earl of Rockford

What: (summary taken from fictiondb.com)
When Robert Rothmore, Earl of Rockford, receives word that a neighbor has taken his son, he hastily vows to enforce the kidnapping laws. But he quickly discovers that widowed Alissa Henning is no criminal. Instead she is exactly the kind of woman who'd make the perfect mother for his sons. Marriage would be an ideal arrangement for both of them, wouldn't it?

At first, Alissa swears she will spend the rest of her life scraping pennies together rather than wed the insufferable earl and become a glorified governess. Still, she can't very well let her own children starve, and there is no doubt that Rockford will provide for them. So she reluctantly accepts his offer, but there's more to a good life than what's in one's pockets. And Alissa intends to find out what's in her new husband's heart....


Review: Ms Metzger has already won my favour for tempering humour in her romances but when you add children into the mix, then it usually becomes better (ok, so I have a soft spot for kids). Alissa has had to be head of the household after the passing of her husband and while the house is small, it is one that's filled with warmth and love. Robert on the other hand, hasn't really seen his son, William (Billy) in years, because it has been how he was raised. He realises that his son is a handful and that his aging servants can't control his son anymore and that Billy adores Mrs Henning. After much deliberation, he decides that he can provide for both his son and repay Mrs Henning if he just marries her (how like a man =_=). Alissa has to accept for reasons of practicality and security.

While not the ideal way to start a life together but it is understandable that this is a marriage of convenience. Then we include a villain, jilted lovers, unaccepting in-laws, cabbage-headed side characters and of course rambunctious boys, you have a very engaging story that will both make you laugh and (maybe) cry. I loved how Robert's extremely tidy and orderly life is turned upside down by his sons (both biological and by marriage)and of course the wife that he wants but is afraid to accept. Alissa on the other hand finally has a safe port from the storms and can finally stop being the pillar that everyone leans on. For those who love stories with children, this is another one you can enjoy.

Ratings: 4/5

Sizzle Meter: 3-4 (while no smut was actually mentioned, it was implied)

Saved by Scandal by Barbara Metzger

Who: Miss Margot Montclaire Penrose and Lord Galen Woodrow, Viscount Woodbridge

What: (Summary by fictiondb.com)
A Scandalous Proposal

When his betrothed leaves him stranded at the altar. Lord Galen Woodbridge is more embarrassed than broken-hearted. Desperate to deflect attention from his humiliating plight, he decides to stir up a bit of a scandal-by wedding London's most eligible and elusive songstress, the magnificently sensuous Margot Montclaire.

After Galen proposes, Margot confides that her sexy demeanor is merely an act. A baron's daughter, she took to the stage to escape the clutches of a diabolical uncle--and reluctantly left her fragile young brother behind in his care. To win Margot's hand, Galen agrees to save her sickly sibling--but in this marriage of mutual convenience, he never planned on losing his heart .... .


Review: Sounds like one of those Hans Christian Anderson or Grimm's fairy tale, doesn't it? A lady who has to disguise herself to escape a villain and a hero who would slay the proverbial dragon to rescue her. There is of course the prerequisite villain, though not as black as the ones in the Ms Metzger's other stories, a good friend who is not exactly playing with a full deck, a horribly spoiled sister and equally spoiled former fiance and (for some reason she has it in a number of her stories) an untrained mutt.

Galen and Margot were easy to like and emphatise with. Even Margot's brother, Ansel and Galen's friend Skippy are likeable. The ones I absolutely could not stand were Galen's sister, Lady Harriet and Lady Floria, his former fiance. In all previous stories, unconventional or spoilt siblings still had something loveable about them. Not these two... selfish, utterly willful and unable to see their mistakes, I was itching everytime I came to parts regarding them to turn both of them on my knee and spank them =_=; Other than that, it was still an enjoyable read that was filled with very human emotions. Another book that doesn't disappoint.

Ratings: 4/5

Sizzle Meter: 3-4 (Galen was trying very, very hard to seduce his wife. But again, nothing descriptive)

Just in case I don't come back here until next year; Happy holidays everyone! Have a great time with your families and loved ones and if you actually get a chance to read, don't forget to share your reviews Laughing
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PostSubject: Re: Book Reviews   Wed Jan 20, 2016 3:43 pm

Shocked Where did everyone go? life has finally caught up huh? Laughing

Romancing the Duke by Tessa Dare (Book 1 of Castles ever after)

Who: Isolde (Izzy) Ophelia Goodnight and Ransom William Dacre Vane, the Duke of Rothbury

What: (Summary taken from tessadare.com)
As the daughter of a famed author, Isolde Ophelia Goodnight grew up on tales of brave knights and fair maidens.  She never doubted romance would be in her future, too.  The storybooks offered endless possibilities.

And as she grew older, Izzy crossed them off.  One by one by one.

   Ugly duckling turned swan?
  Abducted by handsome highwayman?
   Rescued from drudgery by charming prince?


No, no, and… Heh.

Now Izzy’s given up yearning for romance. She’ll settle for a roof over her head.  What fairy tales are left over for an impoverished twenty-six year-old woman who’s never even been kissed?

This one.


Review: It's out of order, since I reviewed book three of the series (When a Scott ties the knot) before this. After that, thanks to aerysa's generosity, I got to enjoy the other book in the series. And we should always share a good thing so here's my contribution Wink
Based on my understanding of the books, the characters from the books are all unrelated, except that the heroines have each inherited a castle from the late Earl of Lynforth. So Izzy has come to Gostley Castle, expecting a small inheritance in the form of some money and has received a huge crumbling castle instead. On top of that, it appears to belong to Ransom, who has denied ever selling the castle and yelling at everyone to get off his property and leave him alone.
Ransom has no wish to see society after an accident has left him injured and Izzy has no place to go since her father's sudden death did not provide any provisions for her in his old will. Both refuse to leave the castle and so they form a strange cooperation while Ransom and Izzy get to the bottom of the mysterious sale.
Izzy is my favourite kind of heroine, a strong, independent character who makes do with what she has and learns to cope with whatever situation. Ransom reminds me of a bear with a sore head but given his injury and how Izzy has turned his routine upside down and inside out, I suppose that is understandable. Both have strengths and weaknesses and they try to accommodate the other even when they won't admit it.
Add in a legion of (this is so strange saying it in a regency romance) fanboys and girls (who cosplay! ), mishaps and drama, it becomes a rather interesting courtship Laughing But like all good romances, they need a happily ever after and that is what they get. All in all, I rather like this author... expect more reviews then! Wink

Ratings: 4/5 (my standard worth a read points)
Sizzle meter: 4-5 (there doesn't seem to be any of those genteel notions of propriety in this story...)

hope everyone is doing well, it's getting lonely here...
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aerysa
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PostSubject: Re: Book Reviews   Sun Jan 31, 2016 6:02 am

Oooh, someone else is finally around! I have been kind of lurking until life got too busy. Not to mention when I did drop by, there was never any activity...

I've been really busy both at work and outside of it. In October, my company went through a round of layoffs, and being one of the ones left behind, it has been chaotic. (It still knd of is... Yuck.) On top of that, I finally got possession of the condo I bought with my sister at the beginning of December, so the insanity ensued... Busy at work, then packing up our stuff and buying all the furniture we needed. Then spending every weekend at the new place trying to get everything organized... =_=;;

We've finally settled in and I've done some reading, but it was in such snippets I can't really remember much lol~ Even remembering what I read now would be a feat!

But good to see you back!! Very Happy

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silvery
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PostSubject: Re: Book Reviews   Tue Feb 02, 2016 5:15 pm

aerysa wrote:
Oooh, someone else is finally around! I have been kind of lurking until life got too busy. Not to mention when I did drop by, there was never any activity...

I've been really busy both at work and outside of it. In October, my company went through a round of layoffs, and being one of the ones left behind, it has been chaotic. (It still knd of is... Yuck.) On top of that, I finally got possession of the condo I bought with my sister at the beginning of December, so the insanity ensued... Busy at work, then packing up our stuff and buying all the furniture we needed. Then spending every weekend at the new place trying to get everything organized... =_=;;

We've finally settled in and I've done some reading, but it was in such snippets I can't really remember much lol~ Even remembering what I read now would be a feat!

But good to see you back!! Very Happy

Hey! Good to hear from you! It's great that life has finally managed to get under control again (sort of). Just in time for Chinese New Year then. I know I said that I would review again soon but at the moment life is just crazy for me too... Oh well, I hope that I'll have time to do so during my time off for the Chinese New Year. But I'm glad this thread isn't dead... (sort of)
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PostSubject: Re: Book Reviews   Mon May 09, 2016 12:46 pm

Is anyone still around? Shocked

Because of Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn

Who: Miss Sybilla "Billie" Bridgerton and George Rokesby, Viscount Kennard

What: (summary taken from juliaquinn.com) Sometimes you find love in the most unexpected of places…

This is not one of those times.

Everyone expects Billie Bridgerton to marry one of the Rokesby brothers. The two families have been neighbors for centuries, and as a child the tomboyish Billie ran wild with Edward and Andrew. Either one would make a perfect husband… someday.

Sometimes you fall in love with exactly the person you think you should…

Or not.

There is only one Rokesby Billie absolutely cannot tolerate, and that is George. He may be the eldest, and heir to the earldom, but he’s arrogant, annoying, and she’s absolutely certain he detests her. Which is perfectly convenient, as she can’t stand the sight of him, either.

But sometimes fate has a wicked sense of humor…
Because when Billie and George are quite literally thrown together, a whole new sort of sparks begins to fly. And when these lifelong adversaries finally kiss, they just might discover that the one person they can’t abide is the one person they can’t live without…


Review: What can I say? It's Julia Quinn and it's a Bridgerton. So the minute I saw it on the shelf you know it's following me home. Billie, having been the only child for eight or so years ran wild with the Rokesby boys for a very long time. She is therefore the unconventional lady that would never have fitted in the ton. Since this story takes place in the country, no worries there Wink George is the polar opposite (of course) of Billie. Groomed to take over the earldom from young, George was considered a stick in the mud by Billie. Then she gets stuck on a roof (Chapter one, the free exerpt is on Julia Quinn's website so I'm not spoiling anything), George comes to her rescue and the dynamics shift. They find themselves slowly getting attracted to one another, denying that it's happening, wondering why it's happening and finally, just accepting that it's happened. Along the way, there's a house party, a game of Pall Mall (The Viscount who loved me, anyone?), a family tragedy and a ball to bring them all together. There were of course mention of other characters (titles anyway) including the Duke of Ashbourne (Splendid) and the Earl of Billington (Brighter than the Sun). Overall, an enjoyable read.

Ratings: 4/5

Sizzle Meter: 4 (a little kissing, some smut, but nothing over the top)

It's so nice to finally sit down and read some romances...

I hope there are still people around that read these... Crying or Very sad
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PostSubject: Re: Book Reviews   Mon May 30, 2016 9:13 am

Oh wow... haha~ I haven't checked in months and when I finally do, there's actually a reply. I sort of started reading again, but mm... Been too lazy to review? Mostly just reading a couple older Mary Balogh stories since I dug out some old books.

That, or the stories I started reading, I haven't finished so... The reading has been in random spurts here and there.

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PostSubject: Re: Book Reviews   Tue Jun 14, 2016 2:10 pm

@aerysa: I know what you mean... Life is pretty busy here too. But I guess I'd like to keep this page alive... So here's a review   Wink

A Night to Surrender by Tessa Dare

Who: Susanna Jane Finch and Victor Bramwell, the Earl of Rycliff

What: (summary taken from tessadare.com) Welcome to Spindle Cove, where ladies with delicate constitutions come for the sea air, and men in their prime are…nowhere to be found.Or are they?

Spindle Cove is the destination of choice for certain types of well-bred young ladies: the awkward, the delicate, the painfully shy; young wives disenchanted with matrimony and young girls too enchanted with the wrong men. It’s a haven for the women who live there.

Victor Bramwell, the new Earl of Rycliff, knows he doesn’t belong in “Spinster Cove,” but he has orders to gather a militia. It’s a simple mission, made complicated by the spirited, exquisite Susanna Finch—a woman who is determined to save her personal utopia from the invasion of Bram’s makeshift army.

The scene is set for an epic battle…but who can be named the winner when both have so much to lose?


Review: So I know I owe one more review to castles ever after but I just wasn't in the mood to read Say Yes to the Marquess. Maybe after I review (deep breath) the 3 other novels and 2 novellas under Spindle Cove, 4 novels by Barbara Metzger and one other by Eloisa James (phew). Victor was born and raised on the battlefield and wants nothing more than to return there after an injury. To do that, he needs to gather a militia from a "ladified" village (there is no tavern, just a teashop). To add to that challenge is Susanna, who by birth is the highest ranking lady living in Spindle Cove and is therefore the unofficial leader. It drives Victor crazy when everyone says "ask Miss Finch" whenever he asks something. Susanna won't allow Victor to disturb the ladies little haven and Victor is trying to remind the men that they're men. A clash that leads to sparks, which thankfully did not ignite any gunpowder. The both of them then form an truce and compromises are made. Both  learn about the other and know that they are in love but will Victor give everything up to stay with Susanna? There's a happily ever after of course but you'll have to read to find out how Wink

Ratings: 4/5

Sizzle Meter 5-6 (it's pretty steamy in some parts Embarassed)

And when I have the time, the rest of the reviews as mentioned above...
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PostSubject: Re: Book Reviews   Thu Nov 24, 2016 9:07 pm

I know I promised a lot of other reviews but I thought I'd have this one up first... (I couldn't resist)

The Summer Bride by Anne Gracie

Who: Daisy (Smith) Chance and Patrick Flynn

What: (summary taken from annegracie.com) Fiercely independent Daisy Chance has a dream—and it doesn’t involve marriage or babies (or being under any man’s thumb). Raised in poverty, she has a passion—and a talent—for making beautiful clothes. Daisy aims to become the finest dressmaker in London.

Dashing Irishman Patrick Flynn is wealthy and ambitious, and has entered society to find an aristocratic bride. Instead, he finds himself growing increasingly attracted to the headstrong, clever and outspoken Daisy. She’s wrong in every way—except the way she set his heart racing.


Review: Book four of the Chance Sisters! Daisy has always been the practical, down to earth "sister" of the lot. She knows who she is (a cockney, illegitimate child who doesn't know who her parents are) and has so far resisted all attempts by Lady Beatrice and her sisters to change her into a lady. Her dreams of setting up her own modiste is fast becoming a reality but she's burnt the candle at both ends and is slowly becoming overwhelmed by the number of orders that she's received.

Patrick is also a self made man, who left Ireland when he was young and got to be where he is now through hard work and persistance. Not to mention some help from Max and Freddy. He's looking for a bride but he can't help enjoying his friendship with Daisy. All in all, it's Patrick that realises that he loves Daisy first and wants no other woman. Daisy on the other hand has not had a happy life. She's afraid of trusting others, especially men. It takes a lot of hard work to convince Daisy to marry Patrick but hey, it's a very short story if they all lived happily ever after in the first chapter, right? Wink

The timeline is set concurrently with Jane's story so it might be a little confusing if you haven't read (or like me, just plain forgot) her story, but still understandable. On the bright side, I get to reread a good story Laughing And that is the end of the Chance Sisters... or not, I hope. There are a few characters that are still hanging around that I would love for them to get their own happy endings (there's Blake Ashton in The Autumn Bride for one, and Lady Elizabeth from The Summer Bride is another) but that will of course have to be decided by Ms Gracie but one can hope Wink

Ratings: 4/5

Sizzle Meter: 4-5 (not that much smut but still a bit of it. Daisy and Flynn are rather earthy)

I have so many more books to review and let's hope I get down to doing those soon. Laughing
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