Friday, March 4, 2011

The Kiss of a Stranger Review

The Kiss of a Stranger by Sarah M. Eden
My Rating: 4.5 stars


When Crispin, Lord Cavratt, thoroughly and scandalously kisses a serving woman in the garden of a country inn, he assumes the encounter will be of no consequence. But he couldn't be more mistaken--the maid is not only a lady of birth, she's the niece of a very large, exceptionally angry gentlemen, who claims Crispin has compromised his niece beyond redemption. The dismayed young lord has no choice but to marry Miss Catherine Thorndale, who lacks both money and refinement and assumes all men are as vicious as her guardian uncle.

Trapped between an unwanted marriage and a hasty annulment, which would leave his reputation tainted and Catherine's utterly ruined, Crispin begins guiding his wife's transformation from a socially petrified country girl to a lady of society. Their unfolding relationship reveals encouraging surprises for both of them, and privately each of them wonders if theirs may become a true marriage of the heart. But their hopes are dashed when forces conspire to split asunder what fate has granted. As a battle of wits escalates into a life-threatening confrontation, will it be possible for Crispin and Catherine to live happily ever after?

My Review

Sarah M. Eden is fast becoming one of my favorite authors. Her Regency novels hit the mark. I loved watching the main characters in The Kiss of a Stranger grow as their unexpected romance flourishes. This book kept me turning pages. In fact, I was late to my dentist appointment because I lost track of time. : ) I loved Catherine's courage and Crispin's compassion. I did get a bit frustrated at Catherine and Crispin's misunderstandings. I wanted to jump in the story and shake some sense into them. I would have rather had them work out their misunderstandings before the final conflict. That being said, the ending left me completely satisfied. I really loved this book and its characters and situations. My favorite scene is when Catherine plays piano at a social gathering-- loved it!!! If you like Regency, you will eat up The Kiss of a Stranger just as I did! I can't wait for Sarah's next book to come out in the fall!  

Meg's Melody Review

Meg's Melody by Kaylee Baldwin
My Rating: 5 stars

Back Cover Blurb

She paced the small confines of her bathroom as she waited the obligatory two minutes for the result. Yet, part of her sensed the truth. Not only did Austin take her self-esteem and plans for happiness, but he also took her get-out-of-this-marriage-free card.

The plus sign glared at Meg from the white plastic frame of the pregnancy test. The test fell from her hands and clattered into the bathtub as Meg’s back slid against the wall until she reached the floor.

“I’m pregnant,” she said into the quiet.

Meg never imagined she'd end up like this. With nowhere else to turn, she's forced to rely on the family she pushed away, the church she abandoned, and an unexpected friendship to help her find her forgotten melody. Meanwhile Matt is still mourning the loss of his wife. But determined to keep things together for his daughter's sake, he decides starting over in a new place might be just what his family needs.

This touching story combines romance with redemption and real conflict to remind you it's never too late to find joy. Kaylee Baldwin's capable hand renders a sincere, heartfelt story of rediscovery and hope. Perfect for romantics of all ages, this book will captivate your heart and rekindle your belief in the magic of music.

My Review

Okay, so I said that I don't give out 5 stars easily, and that's true. I've just been reading a bunch of great books lately! So much so that my housework and daily life has suffered a little (a lot). Meg's Melody kept me reading into the wee hours of the morning. It wasn't necessarily filled with adventure and nail biting suspense but my love for the characters kept me reading. Kaylee tells this story in beautiful and flowing prose. The characters seemed so real, I could imagine seeing these people at church or running into them at the store. I just had to laugh and cringe at some of the situations Meg found herself in-- Larry, ew. It was a beautiful story and although it dealt with some sad topics, I never felt depressed. This story left me uplifted and feeling great. I recommend it to all. 

Loyalty's Web Review

Loyalty's Web by Joyce DiPastena
My Rating: 5 stars


In twelfth-century France, King Henry II of England has just finished crushing a rebellion by his power-hungry sons and now seeks to tame the lawless barons who supported them in this corner of his “Angevin empire.” To this end, the king has sent the Earl of Gunthar as his royal representative to ensure that Prince Richard and his former cohorts faithfully adhere to the terms of the peace treaty.

Far from being welcomed with open arms, Gunthar no sooner steps foot in the county of Poitou than he is greeted by a series of assassination attempts. All appear to be linked to the former rebellious prince through the agents of the family and friends of young Heléne de Laurant. A clever, intrepid young woman, she realizes that the only way to prove her loved ones’ innocence is by exposing the true assassin. Heléne races against time—and dark secrets of the past—to unmask the killer before the kingdom plunges back into war.

Fierce determination gives way to mutual attraction as Heléne and Gunthar spar over the identity of the traitor. But their blinding magnetism almost causes them to overlook an even deadlier threat from an entirely unexpected direction.

My Review

I'm not the type of person that throws 5 star ratings at every book. 4 stars--maybe, but in order to earn 5 stars from me, it must make an impression. Loyalty's Web definitely earned 5 stars. This book is more than just a romance. It had twists and turns that had me at the edge of my seat practically pulling out my hair in suspense and kept me reading until 3:00 am. One thing that I appreciate about Loyalty's Web is that it's clean! I could immerse myself in the romance without feeling guilty or worrying about what was on the next page. Joyce wrote a sizzling kiss-- and then kept it there. I think many authors and Hollywood take the easy way out and show that two people have a relationship by going straight to physical intimacy. It takes more work and character development to show the same bond without the use of sex scenes and Joyce does it masterfully! With sizzling (but clean) romance and adventure at every turn, Loyaty's Web took me on a wild and thrilling ride!