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Thursday, December 31, 2015

Robyn Reviews: Timeless Regency Collection A MIDWINTER BALL by Heidi Ashworth, Annette Lyon, and Michele Paige Holmes

Book Description: 
From the publisher of the #1 Amazon bestselling A Timeless Romance Anthology series in Clean Romance.

Join three bestselling regency romance authors, Heidi Ashworth, Annette Lyon, and Michele Paige Holmes, for three new regency romance novellas in A MIDWINTER BALL.

MUCH ADO ABOUT DANCING by Heidi Ashworth. Two years have passed since Lord Northrup declared his intentions for Miss Analisa Lloyd-Jones and forbade any other man to court her. Angry at the neglect, Analisa stopped reading his letters, never even breaking the seals. Tired of waiting, Analisa joins the house party at Mrs. Smith’s famous country home, determined to find a beau. When Lord Northrup unexpectedly joins the party, Analisa discovers she is no longer repulsed by the man who first laid claim to her hand.

SWEETER THAN ANY DREAM by Annette Lyon. Olivia Wallington is firmly established as a spinster, but that doesn’t stop her from dreaming about the perfect man. Ever since her father’s death, Olivia has been forced into seclusion by her mother. When her brother and his wife come for a visit, they discover the extent to which she lives under their mother’s thumb. With their help, Olivia sneaks out to attend a local ball, where she meets Edward Blakemoore. For a few divine moments, all of her dreams seem possible. But even someone like Mr. Blakemoore would be hard pressed to get past Mrs. Wallington’s fortress of protection—or past Olivia’s pride.

AN INVITATION TO DANCE by Michele Paige Holmes. Lady Ella has been isolated on her father’s estate since her mother’s death as her father travels the world. When Alex Darling arrives with a letter from her long-dead fiancĂ©, and a demand that she travel to London for a series of engagements, Ella thinks her father instigated the strange demands and agrees. In London, she discovers the truth behind her fiancĂ©’s death, and that new love might be possible in the arms of the most unexpected man

Audience: Adult (Clean)
Genre: Historical Romance
Length: 244 pages

Rating: 5

Review: The Timeless Romance books are always great to read. They are fun and always clean. I really like this collection because I’m a huge fan of regency romance. These novellas are reminiscent of Georgette Heyer.  They are funny, witty and romantic.

MUCH ADO ABOUT DANCING by Heidi Ashworth is a nice story about Analisa, who has been betrothed for 2 years but hasn’t seen her intended, Lord Northrup for that time. She has been upset and hasn’t read any of his letters. This sets the stage for misunderstandings and some interesting problems. I liked how they each had to realize their mistakes and then learn to trust each other and of course realize their feeling towards each other.

SWEETER THAN ANY DREAM by Annette Lyon is about spinster, Olivia. This is a sweet Cinderella story and I loved how her hero, Edward overcame the difficulties in the relationship and showed Olivia that he did indeed love her. I especially loved Olivia’s brother and wife and their help in making sure the romance happened. I really liked Olivia and her pride. She was a fun one.

AN INVITATION TO DANCE by Michele Paige Holmes is a very interesting tale of lost love, lost father and a little mystery thrown in to make things interesting. I enjoyed reading about Lady Ella and her suitor, Alex. It was fun watching them develop a relationship and watching Lady Ella realize what she really wanted

These stories are fun and interesting. They are a great way to spend a winter afternoon!

Sex -  0
Violence - 0
Language - 0
Overall Content Rating -  PG

Source: Review Copy

Monday, December 28, 2015

Review: CODE NAME VERITY by Elizabeth Wein

From AmazonOct. 11th, 1943-A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost the game before it's barely begun.

When "Verity" is arrested by the Gestapo, she's sure she doesn't stand a chance. As a secret agent captured in enemy territory, she's living a spy's worst nightmare. Her Nazi interrogators give her a simple choice: reveal her mission or face a grisly execution.

As she intricately weaves her confession, Verity uncovers her past, how she became friends with the pilot Maddie, and why she left Maddie in the wrecked fuselage of their plane. On each new scrap of paper, Verity battles for her life, confronting her views on courage, failure and her desperate hope to make it home. But will trading her secrets be enough to save her from the enemy? 

A Michael L. Printz Award Honor book that was called "a fiendishly-plotted mind game of a novel" in The New York TimesCode Name Verity is a visceral read of danger, resolve, and survival that shows just how far true friends will go to save each other.

Genre: Historical
Audience: Young Adult (?) (It's listed in Amazon under Teens>Historical Fiction. I can't remember if it states Verity and Maddie's ages, but I believe they're in their late teens.)
Length: 368 pgs

Rating: 5 

Review: There was a point in the book where I was considering giving 3.5 to 4 stars for this. The writing was exquisite, very much so. I felt sort of like I did when reading Matched by Allie Condie--that technically this book deserved a very high rating, but I wasn't connecting. Then BAM. I connected. And I wanted to go back through those parts I wasn't connecting on and reread them. I have a bachelors degree in history and I spent the better part of my time earning that learning about World War II and spent some semesters specifically studying women's roles in WWII, so this is so obviously up my alley. While I was reading it, it made me want so hard to be able to write what seemed like effortless sentences in this book, but what I know is very talented word crafting. Where all of them mattered. So. Well. Done. And all the feelings, of course. There's very little you can say about this book without giving things away. This book. 

Sex - 1 (Some innuendo. Minor things.)
Language - 5 (Verity admits right off she has a foul mouth and she really does. Littered with damns, hells, and the Lord's name in vain. 7 instances of bas*, 7 instances of sh*, 2 instances of a*, 2 f-bombs--To be honest, I'm strict about language, and if I'd known the extent, I'm not sure I would have read it. And these are the instances I noted on my Kindle book. I easily could have missed some in the thick of it.)
Violence - 4 (I'm vacillating between giving it that and a 5...or a 3.5. I mean, it's a WWII book, and it's about a girl who gets capture behind enemy lines. She's tortured and it describes some of it--but it could have been a lot more graphic, so I'll just go with 4.)
Overall ratingI - PG-16 (It has heavy themes and heavy things happening. As conservative as I am, I wouldn't recommend it to my 18 year old sister for a year or two, but you all know that's how I roll.)

Friday, December 11, 2015

Get a sneak peek at the pretty, back cover art for DOUBLE PLAY!

When I first saw this back cover art, I gasped. I love it; it's so pretty and the perfect finishing touch for the cover. While the front exemplifies Sophie Pope, the main character, the back cover art gives a taste of David Savage. The vlog is the only place I'll be posting it, so here's your chance to see the back cover before it releases in January!


About Me!

I've been writing since I was old enough to grasp a crayon--my grandma even has an early copy of a "book" I made her. I have a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Wyoming and will (hopefully) soon be starting a graduate program in English. When I'm not breaking up impromptu UFC fights in the living room or losing miserably to my boys at Uno, I'm ... well, writing or editing, of course! I'm married to my best friend, and we have three rambunctious but simply amazing little boys.


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