Posted in Book Reviews

Review of The Captain of Her Fate by Nina Mason​

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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.

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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 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.

Posted in Book Reviews

Review of Walking Through Shadows by Sheri Lewis Wohl

 

*I received a review copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

 

Genre: Romance, LGBT, fantasy

 

 

Walking Through Shadows by Sheri Lewis Wohl is a love story that defies time. Molly is a hereditary witch who has put all of her time and energy into her baking business, only to have her shop go up in smoke. When her friends, Angus and Winnie, invite her to go on a hike to take her mind off her loss, Molly reluctantly agrees. Aquene is a Native American woman who leaves her people to journey where the Great Spirit takes her. To save her people, Aqueene must help a strange woman from the future defeat a deadly witch hunter. But the boundaries of time may prove to be insurmountable to Aqueene and Molly’s blossoming love.

 

 

Walking Through Shadows had an intriguing storyline that caught my attention and kept me hooked through the story. I love a good time travel story, and the magic and romance enhanced the plot, which made this a fantastic read. The historical Native American setting was lovely, and one I don’t see enough in romance novels. I did wish there had been a bit more emphasis on the romance. However, the love between Aqueene and Molly was still sweet and enjoyable, and the rest of the plot made this story a great read. All of the characters were good, but I found myself loving to hate the witch hunter. He was so well written that I wanted to jump into the book and go after him! Walking Through Shadows is a fantastic read, and I definitely recommend reading it.

 

You can pick up your copy of Walking Through Shadows here:

Posted in Book Reviews

Hot Winter Nights: A Racy Regency Christmas Collection

hot winter nights

*I received a review copy in exchange for an honest review*

 

Today is Release Day for Hot Winter Nights: A Racy Regency Christmas Collection, which features eight steamy new holiday novellas by beloved authors Tammy Andresen, Amy Rose Bennett, Heather Boyd, Dawn Brower, Amanda Mariel, Nina Mason, Christina McKnight, and Lauren Smith. Here’s a summary of what you’ll find inside:

 

Taming a Christmas Wallflower by Tammy Andresen

It started as a bet. Will Maddox simply needed to kiss the Duke’s daughter, a bluestocking and a wallflower. But the more time he spends with Lady Amelia Chase, the more he realizes he wants so much more.
An Improper Christmas by Amy Rose Bennett

When Miss Lily Godwin has a chance encounter with the mischievous Lord Nash at a Yuletide house party, she is sorely tempted to throw all dictates of decorum out the window. After all, it’s Christmas.

 

The Duke and I by Heather Boyd

The Duke of Stapleton abhors Christmas nonsense, but could a kiss exchanged under mistletoe with his daughter’s shy companion alter his opinion of the season?
Secluded with My Hellion by Dawn Brower

In the midst of the blizzard, Gavin Barrington, the Earl of Havenwood, and Lady Odessa Lynwood must overcome the earl’s worst fears and figure out if their love can conquer the challenges they must face.
Her Perfect Rogue by Amanda Mariel

When Julia Honeyfield is sent away to a brothel, she runs away…only to find herself in the Duke of Selkirk’s arms. Dare she trust him to protect her?
The Twelve Nights of Christmas by Nina Mason

Rollo Gillingham has only twelve nights to win back Penelope Pembroke, the woman he left with his promise to return ten years before. Come Christmas Day, which will she choose–the man she loves or the man her parents want her to marry?
Bedded Under a Christmastide Moon by Christina McKnight

Brigham Clarke, Viscount Whitmore, has endlessly championed those less fortunate than himself by introducing social reform bills in London…all while his wife, Melloria, remains alone in Hertfordshire. When Brigham arrives for the Christmastide holiday, Melloria has only one thing on her mind–the seduction of her husband!

 

The Rogue’s Seduction by Lauren Smith

London’s favorite lady seeks the help and protection of London’s most wicked devil to escape one marriage, only to fall into another.

 

hot winter collage

 

My Review:

Hot Winter Nights: A Racy Regency Christmas Collection is just the book to warm your cool nights. With eight novellas, this book is packed with sexy historical romance that kept me up into the wee hours of the morning reading. None of these novellas disappointed me. The men were compassionate rogues that got my heart pounding. They loved deeply and took pleasure in women who were strong. Although this is a time period where women didn’t have a lot of rights, the women in Hot Winter Nights fiercely followed their hearts and their own minds. All of the stories are set at Christmas time, making them even more romantic. The novellas are a perfect mix of sweet and steamy. I definitely recommend getting your hands on a copy to heat up the cold night.

 

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Hot Winter Nights is available only in e-book format at Amazon.com:

 

hot winter logo

 

Author Collage

Posted in Book Reviews

Review of Unexpected by Jenny Frame

Review of Unexpected by Jenny Frame

*I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Genre: Romance, LGBTQ

 

Unexpected by Jenny Frame is the story of a woman whose life is turned upside down when her ten-year-old son unexpectedly turns up. Dale McGuire is a woman who likes fast cars and one-night-stands. To finance her business many years before, Dale donated eggs to a fertility clinic. The last thing she ever expected, however, was for the child from that donation to come and find her. Rebecca Harper’s life has taken an unexpected turn when she is forced to quit working because of medical issues with her pregnancy. With little money and a house badly in need of repair, Becca’s stress is already too high. When Dale turns up in her life, she only wants the woman to leave her and the children alone. But Dale refuses to turn her back on people who need her. Can Dale win Becca’s heart, or will the family she never knew she wanted remain out of her reach forever?

 

Unexpected by Jenny Frame is a delightful read. The premise of the story is unusual, which hooked me immediately. From the beginning, I was on the edge of my seat waiting for Dale and Becca to realize they were meant to be together. Becca is a struggling single mom who only wants what is best for her children, and I easily found myself wanting things to get better for her. Dale may seem like a player, but she has a big heart that loves fully, and that made me love her quickly. Both Dale and Becca were easy to love, although there were times when Becca’s behavior felt forced rather than authentic to her character. This complaint, however, did not detract from my reading experience, and I had a hard time putting this book down and returning to the real world. The characters and their unusual situation make this a romance story not to miss.