A Kingdom of Dreams (Westmoreland, #1)
by Judith McNaught Series: Westmoreland #1 Published by Pocket Books
on May 31, 1991 Genres: Historical Pages:
Beautiful Historical Romance
“A toast to the Duke of Claymore and his bride!”
THE STORY: This book takes place in 1497 when disputes continue between the English and the Scottish. Jennifer Merrick is the daughter of a Scottish earl who has been sent to an abbey because of her stubborness. One day, Jennifer and her stepsister are taken captive by The Wolf. Royce Westmoreland, Earl of Claymore and the English King’s “Wolf”, takes the two sister to use as leverage to defeat Jennifer’s father. The Scottish girl soon challenges Royce in unexpected ways and her pride and willfulness intrigues him. Despite the fact that the two should be enemies, there is no doubt that the two find in one another something they both need. At the same time, danger and intrigue threatens to tear them apart.
OPINION: This book is complicated and layered and so is the relationship between Royce and Jennifer. In a world filled with violence and war, both Jennifer and Royce really want peace, but are constantly pulled toward discord and violence. Jennifer is spirited and is no victim when held captive by Royce. I liked how the balance between the two is always kept even when it seems that Royce should have the upper hand. The story was interesting and grounded firmly in historical events. My favorite part of the novel, however, was Royce. He is a hero whose gentle qualities are slowly revealed throughout the book. He makes serious mistakes that threaten his relationship with Jennifer and he takes action to make reparation and to draw his wife back to him. His willingness to treat Jennifer as an equal is also something that develops through the novel. This novel has definite emotional development and movement for the characters which makes the ending satisfying.
WORTH MENTIONING: There is some physical violence between Jennifer and Royce (including spanking), but I didn’t feel that it was particularly serious considering the book occurs in 1497.
FINAL DECISION: I ended up loving this book primarily because of Royce, who I initially thought distant but whom I ended up loving because of how he treated Jennifer.
CONNECTED BOOKS: A KINGDOM OF DREAM is the first book in the Westmoreland Saga that spans centuries of the Westmoreland family.
STAR RATING: I give this book 4.5 stars.
Three Little Mistakes (Blindfold Club, #3)
by Nikki Sloane Series: Blindfold Club #3 Published by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
on August 1, 2015 Genres: Contemporary
, Erotica Pages:
FINAL DECISION: Enjoyable book with plenty of hot sex and little angst. There is a “secret” that Joseph keeps from “M” that causes problem and that was a bit of a thin plot.
THE STORY: Joseph Monsato, at thirty eight, is the owner of a club and sees a young woman who he believes is underage and thus a threat to his business. When the young woman is an unintended victim in a “bar fight” Joseph comes to her rescue. The woman won’t give him her name but instead insists on “M”. She isn’t underage but rather is twenty-three and agrees to have Joseph take her home. The chemistry between the two is intense. But “M” has secrets that might threaten Joseph in another way.
OPINION: I thought this book was interested because the relationship between Joseph and “M” is one where “M” is more powerful than in many of typical books of this type. Although she is younger, less experienced, and submissive, she is strong and makes her needs known. I really felt that this journey was mutual and Joseph has vulnerabilities as well which are developed as the book progresses.
The negative of this book for me was the secret keeping, which is okay in the plot but a bit annoying as the main conflict.
I enjoyed the book, but it is definitely an erotic romance and heavy on the sex which is an important part of the book.
WORTH MENTIONING: This book has a group sex scene.
CONNECTED BOOKS: THREE LITTLE MISTAKES is the third book in the Blindfold Club series. This book can be read as a standalone. I haven’t read the other books in the series and didn’t feel that I missed anything. Characters from prior books appear, but I got all the info I needed in this book to understand the relationships involved.
STAR RATING: I give this book 3.5 stars.
The Unseen: A Novella of the Elder Races
by Thea Harrison Series: Elder Races #9.9 Published by Teddy Harrison LLC
on July 13, 2020 Genres: Fantasy
, Paranormal Pages:
FINAL DECISION: I’m so glad that Harrison decided to continue Dragos and Pia’s story. They are such compelling characters that I can read about their adventures any day. This novella introduces a new challenge for the couple as they leave New York and move to a new realm. It ends on quite a cliffhanger, and I want to know what happens next.
THE STORY: Dragos and Pia are sad to leave New York but anticipate starting a new, better world in the land of Rhyacia. Moving to a new land is complicated and while some friends are traveling with them, some things and people must be left behind. Arriving in Rhyacia, however, is even more complicated as there is something mysterious going on.
OPINION: This novella was great. Or more accurately, this first part of the story was great. In rating the story, I kept a half star because the story is not complete, and I have been burned by serialized stories before.
What I loved about this story: (1) Dragos and Pia: their interaction was as vibrant and interesting as ever. Dragos’ ancient attitudes and Pia’s thoroughly modern self. Their connection is still palpable and I loved seeing them deal with their relationship. Pia has matured and I loved how Dragos supports her in this story. (2) Stinkpot aka Dragos’ and Pia’s youngest son: is just adorable. (3) Appearances by other Elder Races characters: Other couples make appearances and have their own issues to be resolved. (4) Action: The book has a great hook by the end. I just want to read what is next.
What I didn’t love: That I have to wait to find out more of the story.
WORTH MENTIONING: This novella is part of a serialized story and this part ends on a cliffhanger.
CONNECTED BOOKS: THE UNSEEN is the book 9.9 in the Elder Races series. It is part one of a four-part serialized story. The book follows Dragos and Pia as they build a new life away from New York. The story here is self-contained, but the characters appear in the Elder Races series and therefore it is better read in order.
STAR RATING: I give this book 4.5 stars.
NOTE: I received an eARC from the author. I was not required to write a review or to write a positive review. All opinions contained herein are my own.
I received this book for free from Netgalley in order to prepare an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Outsider (Kate Burkholder #12)
by Linda Castillo Series: Kate Burkholder #12 Published by Minotaur Books
on July 7, 2020 Genres: Contemporary
, Mystery Goodreads
FINAL DECISION: The story is good, but the mystery wasn’t as engaging as others in the series. I love reading about Kate, but this one is my least favorite of the series.
THE STORY: Kate’s past arrives in the form of Gina Colorosa, the woman with whom Kate joined the police force. Gina arrives having been shot and on the run. Holed up at an Amish farm, Kate has to find out the truth while confronting the possibility that Gina might be a criminal herself.
OPINION: Things I liked about this book: we got to see quite a bit of John working with Kate; the stories where we learn more about Kate’s past are always better; I liked the Amish family involved in this story, and Kate was pretty savvy during the story.
Things I didn’t like as much: I didn’t really like Gina much and so I didn’t care as much what happened with her story; with the claustrophobic atmosphere of the book there were large parts where little action occurred; some of the turns in the book were not explained.
I enjoyed the story but felt that overall it is the weakest of the series. The mystery/suspense story didn’t work as well. However, I really did love seeing Kate and John working together/
WORTH MENTIONING: This story takes place in a very confirmed area with only a few prominent characters which is very different from the usual way this series works.
CONNECTED BOOKS: OUTSIDER is the twelfth book in the Kate Burkholder series. The mystery in this book is completely self-contained and can be read without any other book. There are continuing personal storylines, however. Reading the books in order gives the best experience.
STAR RATING: I give this book 4 stars.
NOTE: I received an eARC of this book via Netgalley. I was not required to write a review and all opinions contained herein are my own.