Posted in Book Reviews

Review of Love Without a Compass by Lindy Zart

 

*Disclaimer: I received a review copy from NetGalley

Love Without a Compass by Lindy Zart is the story of two advertising coworkers who get stuck together on a company retreat. Unfortunately for both Ben and Avery, their boss is a bit eccentric, and the company retreat is a weekend of survival in the Illinois wilderness. What should be a fairly simple team building exercise of hiking in the wilderness turns out to be a life-threatening experience when the two end up lost and without most of their supplies. To make matters worse, Ben and Avery can’t stand one another and are constantly competing. Can the two of them work together long enough to survive? And more importantly, could this experience be just the thing to bring them closer?

 

Love Without a Compass is another fantastic novel by Lindy Zart. I have loved every book she’s written, and this one is no exception. Avery is a quirky character that is also smart and caring. Her bizarre fears cause her and Ben plenty of trouble, but they also make her interesting and fun to read. Ben has a big heart—even when he doesn’t want to. His kindness and compassion make him a lovable man that anyone would want. I really loved the plot. Getting lost in the wilderness initially seemed like a plot that would be predictable, but there was so much more to this story than I expected. The characters and the plot made this book a truly enjoyable read, and I definitely recommend it.

Posted in Book Reviews

Review of The Captain of Her Fate by Nina Mason​

Blog Tour

Today, we are featuring The Captain of Her Fate, a saucy and sophisticated Regency romance by Nina Mason, the author of Devil in Duke’s Clothing and The Governess Next Door, among many other books.

 

Here’s the blurb:

Captain Theobald Raynalds lost his leg at the Battle of Trafalgar and with it, his belief any woman could find a cripple like him unobjectionable enough to love.

Louisa Bennet finds Theo incredibly attractive—both as a man in his own right and as an alternative to the odious cousin her father has arranged for her to marry.

First, however, she must convince the Captain her interest in him stems from the man he is, scars and all, and not on his being the lesser of evils.

captain Teaser.jpg

Here’s an excerpt:

After the Captain’s sister quit the room, Louisa took her advice and dozed until a knock on her bedchamber door brought her back to herself. Just as she opened her mouth to ask who was there, Capt. Raynalds called through the door, “Miss Bennet, may I have a word?”

She hesitated before answering. As desperately as she wanted to see him and hear what he came to say, her sense of propriety told her to refuse him entry. Entertaining a gentleman in her bedchamber was shockingly improper. Under the circumstances, however, she could not bring herself to send him away.

Pulling the bedclothes to her chin to cover the sheer nightgown his sister had loaned her, she said, “Yes, Captain. You may enter.”

He opened the door and, with the aid of his cane, limped to the bedside and looked down at her, his expression inexplicably stern. “Does my sister speak the truth?”

The question at once shocked Louisa’s heart and aroused her fury. She could not decide which she would rather do, curl up and die or strangle his sister with her bare hands. How could the girl betray her confidence by telling her brother her plans?—if, indeed, that was what she had disclosed. Perhaps it was not, in which case, Louisa would be wise to tread carefully to avoid betraying her own secrets (and his trust in the process).

She blinked under his probing stare. “How can I answer that when I have no idea what she might have told you?”

“She told me your father intends to marry you off to a man you despise.”

He looked very unhappy, which pleased her immeasurably. “Yes, that is true. He wants me to marry the cousin to whom his estate is entailed—to ensure my mother and sisters will have somewhere to live after he departs this world.”

The Captain, hands stacked atop his cane, shifted his stance uneasily. “I can understand his motives—he is only doing what he believes best for his family, one can only presume—but I cannot agree with his forcing you to marry a man you abhor. Does he know how much you loathe your cousin?”

“He does.”

“And he insists upon you marrying this man in spite of your feelings?”

“My feelings are of little consequence to my father, I assure you.”

He scrubbed a hand down his face. “Surely there must be some way around marrying this person.”

Did she dare share her idea? No, she mustn’t. If she did, he would never come to trust her. “There is not, short of running away and living as a gypsy.”

He stood there a long time, as if fighting an inner battle. At length, he said, “There is one way I can think of…but I fear I am not the man for the job.”

Louisa’s heart wilted. “You are right. We are strangers. So why should you care what becomes of me?”

Softening in demeanor, he came closer and sat beside her on the bed. “I do care what becomes of you, Miss Bennet—beyond what I am willing to admit—but my heart is not quite invested enough to put a ring on your finger. Neither is my trust. And now, in addition to my standard reservations, I suspect you mean to use me to avoid marrying this cousin of yours.”

“That is untrue!” She looked away so he would not see the desperation in her eyes. “Well, it might be partially true…but I shall endeavor to fall in love with you as soon as I’m able.”

He smiled at her sympathetically. “Forgive me. I by no means wish you unhappy. Truly, I do not. But neither can I consent to binding myself to a woman on the off-chance she will fall in love with me.”

“So, you refuse to help me?”

Turning away from her, he said, with an indignant edge to his voice, “That is supremely unfair, Miss Bennet. Have I not helped you already? Did I not come to your aid when you fell off your horse? Did I not take you in when your own mother left you to my care? Have I not kept my distance to protect you from scandal and ruin?”

The last bit astonished her. Did he really fear what might happen if they were alone together? Were that indeed the case, she might exploit his passions to aid her cause. Much as she hated to resort to such deceitful measures, she could see no other way to escape her marriage to Charles. And it would not be entirely an act; for just now, with him sitting so near, so dangerously near, she wanted nothing more than to be in his arms.

“What if I want you to ruin me?”

 

My Review:

*I received an advanced review copy, but I also purchased a copy.

 

The Captain of Her Fate by Nina Mason is a historical romance set in 1800s England, a time when a woman married for security and status rather than love. In the case of poor Louisa, she must marry a man she doesn’t love because that is who her father has chosen for her. But like many of Mason’s female leads, Louisa has no intention of following the path someone else has chosen for her. One of the reasons I love Mason’s books is because her female characters are intelligent and follow their own minds and hearts, yet they are still able to love fully without losing themselves. Captain Theobald Raynalds is a man who has been hurt both physically and emotionally, and he is hesitant to fall in love. Despite that, he is a man who cares deeply about others, especially his sister. Theo is the kind of male character I love to read in this setting because he’s ahead of his time in wanting a woman to be happy based on what she wants and not what a man wants for her. The love scenes are passionate, and there’s just the right amount for the story. The descriptions of the setting brought the time period to life for me. The Captain of her Fate is a great historical romance, and I highly recommend reading it.

 

You can get your copy here:

Buy it now on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2FGgJSA

Or add it to your TBR at Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37913733-the-captain-of-her-fate

 

Here are Nina’s author bio and stalker links:

devils who would be king

Nina Mason, the author of eleven published books to date, is an incurable romantic who strives to write love stories that entertain and edify. A research fanatic, she goes to great lengths to ensure the locations and time periods in her books are accurately portrayed (and thanks the Powers That Be for the internet). Born and raised in Southern California, Ms. Mason lived in Oregon briefly before moving to Georgia, where she lives with her husband and college-bound daughter. When she isn’t writing, she makes historic dolls, fairy babies, and putters in her garden.

Here are Nina’s stalker links:

Visit Nina’s website

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Posted in Book Reviews

Review of Girl Love Happens Season Two by T.B. Markinson

 

girl love season two

*I received a review copy, but I also purchased a copy because this series is great!

 

Genre: Romance, LGBTQ

 

Girl Love Happens Season Two by T.B. Markinson is the second season in a series. I recommend reading Season One before starting this book. This review potentially contains spoilers for Season One.

 

Blurb:

 

Tegan and Gemma are about to discover how complicated growing up can be.

 

Colorado, 1993. Tegan wants her second year of college to be drama-free. But a case of blackmail forces Tegan to take extreme measures. After attempting to eliminate potentially damaging evidence, Tegan gets embroiled into one crisis after another that could destroy her relationship with Gemma.

Ever-loyal Gemma tries to be Tegan’s rock, but can she keep her green-eyed monster in check and help Tegan navigate the tricky waters that threaten their relationship bliss?

 

My Review:

 

Girl Love Happens Season Two by T.B. Markinson kept me just as enthralled as the first season. Tegan’s antics frequently made me chuckle—and sometimes cringe. I enjoy Tegan because she’s a goofy person with a good heart, and her naivety makes her an endearing character. Gemma is much more confident in life and love than Tegan is, but she uses that confidence to help build others up, which made me love Gemma. She genuinely cares about her friends, and although she likes to tease Tegan, it’s always in a good-natured way. One of the things I really enjoy about Markinson’s books is that they often go beyond the getting together of the couple and delve into the ups and downs of the relationship.  This is true of this season of Girl Love Happens as the romance between Gemma and Tegan is fairly well-established, but there are many obstacles to happily ever after for them. The drama of friends and family, the complications and pleasures of a new relationship, and the difficulty of learning to be an adult are all dealt with in a very realistic way in Girl Love Happens. As someone who grew up in the 90s, I loved that these books are set in that time period. I was hooked by the great characters and the realistic setting, not to mention the hot love scenes! I highly recommend reading Girl Love Happens.

 

You can purchase Girl Love Happens Season Two here.

Posted in Book Reviews

Review of A Family Woman by TB Markinson

A Family Woman

 

Genre: LBGT, romance

*Disclaimer: I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

 

A Family Woman by TB Markinson is the third book in the A Woman Lost series. If you haven’t read the other two books, I recommend doing so before reading this one. You can find her books here. A Family Woman is the latest installment in the journey of love between Lizzie and Sarah. Lizzie and Sarah have just found out they are about to be parents – to twins! As Sarah’s pregnancy progresses, both women realize that family has more value to them than ever before. With this understanding of the importance of family, Lizzie and Sarah work to bring what remains of Lizzie’s family closer together. But Lizzie’s family takes an unexpected turn when her father announces his engagement to his long-term mistress. Can Lizzie and Sarah face the challenges of becoming new parents to twins while undertaking the obstacles of bringing together Lizzie’s family?

 

A Family Woman is a fantastic read, and so far, it’s my favorite in the series (although I have enjoyed all three). Lizzie’s family has always been complicated and difficult, but her family changes in many ways in this book and I loved how the changes have made Lizzie (and even her brother, Peter) grow so much. I love the characters in this series because they are so real. Their flaws are abundant, and I love that although the characters do grow, they don’t lose all of their flaws and they don’t change overnight. The family dynamics are extreme, which makes for a fantastic read, but even though they are more extreme than most, they are still dynamics with which the average person can identify. I love how Markinson captured the essence of being a new parent so well, the sleepless nights, the joy of these strange little creatures, and the way that little ones bring people together, even when those people aren’t so sure they like each other. A Family Woman is a love story that shows us the struggles and joys beyond “happily ever after.” I highly recommend reading it.

Posted in Book Reviews

Review of Dark Goddess Craft by Stephanie Woodfield

Genre: Pagan, self-help, spirituality, non-fiction

*I received a review copy from NetGalley

Dark Goddess Craft by Stephanie Woodfield is a non-fiction book about working with the dark goddesses of the Craft. Woodfield delves into the nature of the dark goddesses and how we can get to know them. There are several goddesses the book specifically explores, including Eris, Persephone, Bloudewedd and more. Dark Goddess Craft explores the dark goddesses as essential aspects of transformation, connecting with the shadow, and defensive magick. The book includes spells for charging protective amulets, meditations for getting to know the dark goddesses, and spells for working with each goddess.

 

I thoroughly enjoyed Dark Goddess Craft. I think the dark goddesses are crucial for growth and transformation, and I was thrilled to see a book dedicated to working with them. Woodfield explores numerous goddesses, so finding a few I resonated with was easy. One aspect of the book that I particularly enjoyed was the story of meeting the goddess at the beginning of each section. The story is written like a meditation, but it is the myth of each goddess. I particularly loved Woodfield’s interpretation of Bloudewedd’s story. I am a huge fan of Welsh myth, but Bloudewedd’s story always struck me as sad and unfair. However, Woodfield has interpreted Bloudewedd’s story as one of choice and freedom, which has given me a whole new outlook on one of my favorite goddesses. I think Dark Goddess Craft is a wonderful read for every pagan, but it’s a must-read for anyone going through a rough patch or needing to grow through transformation. I found insights in this book that have already helped me better understand transformation and how to work with the dark goddesses to grow. I highly recommend reading it.