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Tag: 5 Star

Multi-Review – Books by Sydney Salier

Posted in Book Blogger

I recently read through nearly the entirety of Sydney Salier’s oeuvre. Because I read so many books, and because I don’t want to dedicate my blog to just book reviews for the next couple of months, I’m going to group my reviews of Sydney Salier’s works. This post covers all of their “one-off” books. There will be separate posts for The Denton Connection series and the Unconventional Education diptych — or duology, depending on how you want to look at it. Be aware, there are spoilers in some of these reviews. There is a note at the beginning of each review that contains spoilers, as well as an asterisk on the links below.

Unseating the Firma Flex Notebook?

Posted in Fountain Pens, and Reviews

Three years ago, I wrote about my favorite notebook at the time, the Franklin-Christoph Firma Flex. It remained my favorite notebook for years, until, sadly, it was out-of-stock for an extended period of time late last year and early this year.

In that time, I went looking for a replacement notebook. This was partially because I wasn’t sure if the Firma Flex would ever be available again and partially because I’ve been looking for a notebook with paper that will better show ink shading.

Review – Elegant Etiquette in the Nineteenth Century

Posted in Book Blogger

Elegant Etiquette in the Nineteenth Century

by Mallory James

Elegant Etiquette in the Nineteenth Century

Genres: Non Fiction
Release Date: November 30, 2017
Pages: 152
Purchase from: Amazon
My Rating: ★★★★★

Have you ever wondered what it would have been like to live in the nineteenth century? How would you have gotten a partner in a ballroom? What would you have done with a letter of introduction? And where would you have sat in a carriage?
 
Covering all these nineteenth-century dilemmas and more, this book is your must-have guide to the etiquette of our well-heeled forebears. As it takes you through the intricacies of rank, the niceties of the street, the good conduct that was desired in the ballroom, and the awkward blunders that a lady or gentleman would have wanted to avoid, you will discover an abundance of etiquette advice from across the century, and a lively, occasionally tongue-in-cheek, and thoroughly detailed history of nineteenth-century manners and conduct.
 
This well-researched book is enjoyable, compelling reading for anyone with an interest in this period. In exploring the expectations of behavior and etiquette, it brings the world of the nineteenth century to life.

Review – Paper, Scissors, Rock

Posted in Book Blogger

Paper, Scissors, Rock

by Nicole S. Goodin

Paper, Scissors, Rock

Series: Rock Games, book 1
Genres: Romance, Contemporary, Adult
Release Date: September 30, 2017
Pages: 364
Purchase from: Amazon
My Rating: ★★★★★

“This is Shelly Corbett, reporting to you live for HDN news, I’m outside ‘The Jett’ nightclub where we have reports coming in left, right and centre that serial womaniser, ‘the world’s gift to music’ – Parker Sloan, has set his sights on a mystery redhead. Breaking footage has revealed the talented musician carrying the unknown woman across a crowded nightclub, and later kissing her passionately in the street. Could it be that Parker Sloan is finally off the market?”

When Parker sees something he wants, he goes for it. The moment he lays eyes on Charlotte, he has to have her. ‘No’ isn’t a word Parker has heard for the past five years, and he doesn’t have any intentions of starting now.

Charlotte Watson has already had one devastating brush with fame, and she swore that was enough to last her a lifetime.

Will she have what it takes to resist the self proclaimed ‘sexy rock star’?

Review – Hating the Rock Star

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Hating the Rock Star

by B.B. Hamel

Hating the Rock Star

Series: Rock Hard, book 1
Genres: Romance, Contemporary, Erotica, Adult
Release Date: August 7, 2018
Pages: 243
Purchase from: Amazon
My Rating: ★★★★★

I hate the rock star, but he’ll make me learn to love him…

Joss Myers is a gorgeous rock star jerk and my celebrity crush. I never thought he’d notice me, not in a million years. 

Let alone marry me in a stupid Las Vegas mistake. 

I thought I wanted him, at least until I became his wife. 

Now I know I hate him. 

He’s arrogant, conceited, self-centered, and a million other not-so-nice things. He’s refusing to make this sham-marriage easy for me, and he thinks it’s funny to watch me squirm. 

If I want an annulment, I have to go on tour with him. He wants to keep me in his room like a trophy, ready and waiting for his every desire. 

Screw that. I’m not going to be that bastard’s plaything, even if the thought sends shivers down my spine… 

He keeps putting his hands on my hips, his lips against my throat, his words in my ear: You’re the rock star’s wife now, sweetheart, better get used to it.

But there’s more to this situation than I realized. The band is teetering on the brink of breaking apart, and Joss doesn’t seem to care. 

All he wants is my body, and I’m afraid that if he gets it, I’ll never want to walk away again. 

Review – A Duel in Meryton

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A Duel in Meryton

by Renata McMann and Summer Hanford

A Duel In Meryton

Genres: Regency Romance, Historical Romance, Romance, Classical Re-write, Adult
Release Date: August 18, 2019
Pages: 233
Purchase from: Amazon
My Rating: ★★★★★

With his young sister Georgiana’s reticence a constant reminder that his onetime friend, George Wickham, should not be trusted, Darcy decides a trip to rural Hertfordshire is in order, for both him and Georgiana. Darcy believes the people there are of so little consequence, Georgiana will know no fear in interacting with them. He soon learns he’s wrong about both his sister and Hertfordshire, but not about Wickham.

Even bearing the brunt of Mr. Darcy’s insult doesn’t soften Elizabeth to her husband-hunting cousin, Mr. Collins, and her first reaction is to disdain both men. As the two join forces against Meryton’s newest militia member, the charming Mr. Wickham, Elizabeth comes to see a different side to Mr. Darcy and Mr. Collins. Their presence in Hertfordshire, along with Mr. Darcy’s other companions, will forever alter the lives of Elizabeth and those she cares for most.

Review – Fitzwilliam Darcy Elopes

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Fitzwilliam Darcy Elopes

by Beth Wood

Fitzwilliam Darcy Elopes

Genres: Historical Fiction, Romance, Classical Re-write, Adult
Release Date: September 24, 2019
Pages: 116
Purchase from: Amazon
My Rating: ★★★★★

When Elizabeth receives the news concerning Lydia’s elopement with Mr. Wickham, Mr. Darcy proposes a plan to divert gossip away from Elizabeth’s younger sister in order to save her from a life as Mrs. Wickham.

This humorous variation on Pride and Prejudice follows Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet on a rather unexpected adventure.

Review – A Lady’s Reputation

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A Lady’s Reputation

by Amy D’Orazio

A Lady's Reputation

Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Classical Re-write, Adult
Release Date: July 29, 2019
Pages: 470
Purchase from: Amazon
My Rating: ★★★★★

“Mr. Darcy, I am eager to hear your explanation for the fact that quite a few people believe we are engaged.”

It starts with a bit of well-meant advice. Colonel Fitzwilliam suggests to his cousin Darcy that, before he proposes to Elizabeth Bennet in Kent, perhaps he ought to discuss his plans with their families first.

What neither man could have predicted however was that Lord Matlock would write the news to his sister, or that Viscount Saye would overhear and tell his friends, or that his friends might slip a little and let their friends know as well. The news spreads just as quickly through Hertfordshire once Mrs Bennet opens the express Mr Bennet receives from Mr Darcy, and in a matter of days, it seems like everyone knows that Mr Darcy has proposed marriage to Elizabeth Bennet.

Everyone, that is, except Elizabeth herself.

Her refusal is quick and definite—until matters of reputation, hers as well as Jane’s, are considered. Then Mr Darcy makes another offer: summer at Pemberley so that Jane can be reunited with Mr Bingley and so that he can prove to Elizabeth he is not what she thinks of him. Falling in love with him is naturally impossible…but once she knows the man he truly is, will she be able to help herself?

Review – The Unexpected Past of Miss Jane Austen

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The Unexpected Past of Miss Jane Austen

by Ada Bright and Cass Crafton

The Unexpected Past of Miss Jane Austen

Series: Austen Adventures, Book 2
Genres: Time Travel, Romance, Friendship, Historical Fiction, Adult
Release Date: November 7, 2019
Pages: 322
Purchase from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo
My Rating: ★★★★★

Rose Wallace thought her time-travelling adventures were over. Jane Austen is about to prove her wrong.

After becoming trapped in present-day Bath due to a mishap with her time-travelling charm, Jane Austen is safe and sound back in the 1800s thanks to Rose’s help. Now, Rose is ready to focus on her fledgling romance with dreamy Dr Aiden Trevellyan.

But when Jane reappears in the present, it looks like Rose and Aiden have no choice but to follow her back to 1813…

Staying in the Austen household, Rose and Aiden are introduced to a number of interesting figures from the past, including Jane’s eccentric – and surprisingly modern – neighbour. Suddenly Rose’s life is in need of a re-write as she discovers some unexpected ties to Jane Austen’s world and her past.

Review – The Particular Charm of Miss Jane Austen

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The Particular Charm of Miss Jane Austen

by Ada Bright and Cass Crafton

The Particular Charm of Miss Jane Austen

Series: Austen Adventures, Book 1
Genres: Time Travel, Romance, Friendship, Adult
Release Date: September 12, 2019
Pages: 366
Purchase from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo
My Rating: ★★★★★

When a time travelling Jane Austen gets stuck in modern-day Bath it’s up to avid Janeite Rose Wallace to save her… because she’s the only one who knows that Jane exists!

​Rose Wallace’s world revolves around all things Austen, and with the annual festival in Bath – and the arrival of dishy archaeologist, Dr Aiden Trevellyan – just around the corner, all is well with the world…

​But then a mysterious woman who bears more than a passing resemblance to the great author moves in upstairs, and things take a disastrous turn. Rose’s new neighbour is Jane Austen, whose time travel adventure has been sabotaged by a mischievous dog, trapping her in the twenty-first century.

​Rose’s life is instantly changed – new home, new job, new friends – but she’s the only one who seems to have noticed! To right the world around her, she will have to do whatever it takes to help Jane get back home to write Rose’s beloved novels. Because a world without Mr Darcy? It’s not worth living in!

Review – Taming Demons for Beginners

Posted in Book Blogger

Taming Demons for Beginners

by Annette Marie

Taming Demons for BeginnersSeries: The Guild Codex: Demonized, Book #1
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Occult, Supernatural
Release Date: September 13, 2019
Pages: 360
Purchase from: Amazon
My Rating: ★★★★★

Rule one: Don’t look at the demon.

When I arrived at my uncle’s house, I expected my relatives to be like me—outcast sorcerers who don’t practice magic. I was right about the sorcery, but wrong about everything else.

Rule two: Don’t listen to the demon.

My uncle chose a far deadlier power. He calls creatures of darkness into our world, binds them into service contracts, and sells them to the highest bidder. And I’m supposed to act like I don’t know how illegal and dangerous it is.

Rule three: Don’t talk to the demon.

All I had to do was keep my nose out of it. Pretend I didn’t find the summoning circle in the basement. Pretend I didn’t notice the shadowy being trapped inside it. Pretend I didn’t break the rules.

But I did, and now it’s too late.

From the author of The Guild Codex: Spellbound comes a new series that will plunge an unprepared young woman into the darkest magic of the mythic world.

Review – The Events at Branxbourne

Posted in Book Blogger

The Events at Branxbourne

by Caitlin Williams

The Events at BranxbourneGenres: Classical Rewrite, Historical Fiction, Romance
Release Date: May 30, 2018
Pages: 232
Purchase from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
My Rating: ★★★★★

“Whatever else happens, and we may expect dark days ahead, never doubt that in this moment, beneath this perfect blue sky, on this warm September day, you are loved as no other woman has ever been loved before. You are loved for all that you are, for all you once were, and for all that you will come to be.”
– Fitzwilliam Darcy

Lady Lambert, or Elizabeth Bennet as she was once known, appears to have made the perfect match. Having refused Mr. Darcy’s proposal of marriage at Hunsford, she is now married to a viscount. While everything seems well, beneath her fine clothes beats a heart filled with regrets. Dark secrets lurk in every corner of her elegant London townhouse, and while she might have at her disposal many excellent and numerous carriages, they all seem to take her places she does not truly want to go.

Into her now desolate existence comes Mr. Darcy again—a changed man, a better man, the very best of men, and still very much in love with her. Is it all impossible? She ought to resist him, yet she cannot stay away. Theirs is a dangerous, scandalous love that proves impossible to resist.

In an age when women are owned by their husbands, can a wife escape a husband she has come to loathe, and when there is blood on her hands, how will Elizabeth explain herself?

Review – The Coming of Age of Elizabeth Bennet

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The Coming of Age of Elizabeth Bennet

by Caitlin Williams

The Coming of Age of Elizabeth BennetGenres: Classical Rewrite, Historical Fiction, Romance
Release Date: June 6, 2016
Pages: 502
Purchase from: Amazon
My Rating: ★★★★★

The very worst has happened. Mr Bennet has died, leaving his wife and five young daughters bereft. The family estate, Longbourn, is now lost, entailed away and fifteen-year-old Elizabeth Bennet is to go two hundred miles away to live with strangers. George Darcy, repaying a debt of gratitude, has offered to take her to Pemberley, to live under the mantle of his care and be raised alongside his own daughter, Georgiana.

But on the day she is to leave Longbourn forever, young Elizabeth, grieving and confused, runs off into the Hertfordshire countryside. Fitzwilliam Darcy gives chase, telling his father he will have her back in an hour or two. Luck and fate, however, are not on his side and capturing Elizabeth Bennet turns out not only to be more difficult than he could ever have imagined, but events will conspire to turn her little adventure into his worst nightmare.

The prideful man and the girl prejudiced against him, meet much earlier in this rethinking of Jane Austen’s masterpiece. Elizabeth grows up under the ever-watchful eye of Mr Darcy, from fifteen to twenty one. She errs and falters, there are stumbles and trips, but could this ‘disobedient little hellion’ one day become mistress of Pemberley and the keeper of his heart?

Review – Ardently

Posted in Book Blogger

Ardently

by Caitlin Williams

ArdentlyGenres: Classical Rewrite, Historical Fiction, Romance
Release Date: June 7, 2015
Pages: 312
Purchase from: Amazon
My Rating: ★★★★★

So much in life depends on chance and sheer luck. How much do we often owe to being in the right place at the right time?

In Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth Bennet plans to visit the Lake District with her uncle and aunt, yet ends up at Pemberley instead, just as, by coincidence, Mr Darcy also arrives home. They meet, understand one another better and all eventually ends well.

But what if they did not have such luck? What if Elizabeth actually went to the Lake District and was nowhere near Pemberley, and she and Mr Darcy never met again until another four years had gone by?

Now they are very different people, altered by marriage, time and situation, although, Mr Darcy’s failed proposal in the Parsonage at Hunsford still haunts both of them in different ways.

Elizabeth is a companion to her Aunt, Mrs Mountford, a widow of great standing in society who married exceptionally well and ‘Miss Bennet’ finds herself accepted in the very best of circles and able to marry whomever she might chose.

Mr Darcy did his duty by his sickly cousin, Anne de Bourgh, and married her to protect her from the tyrannical force of her mother Lady Catherine. He has come to Bath, however, a widower, with his family, the Fitzwilliams, and his sister, Georgiana. Darcy sees Elizabeth, the woman who rejected him, in the opposite box at the theatre and cannot help falling in love with her all over again. Now though, it seems there are even more hurdles to overcome for them to be together, including Elizabeth’s new suitor, the handsome and charming Mr Yorke.

Mr Darcy is still a little proud, still not able to ‘perform to strangers’. Can Elizabeth see past his reserve and awkwardness to the decent man underneath?

This book is a re-telling of Pride and Prejudice from Chapter 36 onwards (Darcy’s failed proposal and the delivering of his letter). It is a light-hearted mix-up of Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion, with a nod and a wink towards Northanger Abbey.

Review – The Ruin of Elizabeth Bennet

Posted in Book Blogger

The Ruin of Elizabeth Bennet

by Darcie Rochester

The Ruin of Elizabeth BennetGenres: Classical Rewrites, Historical Fiction
Release Date: September 27, 2018
Pages: 340
Purchase from: Amazon
My Rating: ★★★★★

After the deaths of their parents and the public disgrace of their youngest sister, the Bennet ladies are alone in the world. It falls upon Elizabeth to navigate their way, a nearly impossible task given their meager funds. When she becomes reacquainted with Mr. Darcy, she hopes she has found her salvation. But it is ruin he offers her.

This book contains dark themes and scenes of a sensual nature. Reader discretion is advised.

Review – Ditching Mr. Darcy

Posted in Book Blogger

Ditching Mr. Darcy

by Samantha Whitman

Ditching Mr. DarcySeries: Ditching Mr. Darcy, Book 1
Genres: Classical Re-write, Historical Fiction
Release Date: December 7, 2017
Pages: 357
Purchase from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
My Rating: ★★★★★

What would you do if you crashed your car into a ditch and woke up as the main character of your favorite book? What if nothing happened the way it was supposed to? What if you met the dreamiest romantic hero in literary history and yet you fell in love with someone else instead? What would happen if you never woke up again? What would happen if you did? Elizabeth Baker is about to find out.

Review – My Plain Jane

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My Plain Jane

by Cynthia Hand Jodi Meadows, and Brodi Ashton

My Plain JaneSeries: The Lady Janies, Book 2
Genres: Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Retelling, Classic Rewrites
Release Date: June 26, 2018
Pages: 464
Purchase from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo
My Rating: ★★★★★

You may think you know the story. Penniless orphan Jane Eyre begins a new life as a governess at Thornfield Hall, where she meets one dark, brooding Mr. Rochester—and, Reader, she marries him. Or does she?

Prepare for an adventure of Gothic proportions, in which all is not as it seems, a certain gentleman is hiding more than skeletons in his closets, and one orphan Jane Eyre, aspiring author Charlotte Bronte, and supernatural investigator Alexander Blackwood are about to be drawn together on the most epic ghost hunt this side of Wuthering Heights.

Review – Shifters and Glyphs

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Shifters and Glyphs

by Christina Bauer

Shifters and GlyphsSeries: Fairy Tales of the Magicorum, Book 2
Genres: Paranormal, Fairy Tale, Romance
Release Date: October 30th 2018
Pages: 334
Purchase from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Google PlayKoboiBooks
My Rating: ★★★★☆

After being raised by the meanest fairies in the history of ever, Bryar Rose is now free to live her own life. For the first time, she’s attending West Lake Prep, a regular high school. Well, mostly regular. Some students are actually hidden members of the Magicorum. In other words, they’re really wizards, fairies, or shifters. Bry doesn’t mind, though. She’s thrilled to enjoy all the new experiences of being around normal kids her age, from locker pranks to lunchtime mystery meat. Everything is going along great, except for one thing.

Bry’s dreams about the pyramids of Egypt have gotten darker and more sinister. Every night, she sees her new man Knox and her best friend Elle in danger.

With no other choice, Bry plans to leave school to explore the pyramids on her own. But her new man Knox discovers the scheme and is having none of it. He wants to stay by her side, no matter what. It’s a good thing too, because Bry must solve the mystery of her attraction to the pyramids and soon. Otherwise, it could cost the lives of those she loves most.

And that means not only Knox, but also her best friend Elle.

Review – Wolves And Roses

Posted in Book Blogger

Wolves And Roses

by Christina Bauer

Wolves And RosesSeries: Fairy Tales of the Magicorum, Book 1
Genres: Paranormal, Fairy Tale, Romance
Release Date: October 31, 2017
Pages: 331
Purchase from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Google PlayKoboiBooks
My Rating: ★★★★★

Seventeen-year-old Bryar Rose has a problem. She’s descended from one of the three magical races―shifters, fairies, or witches. That makes her one of the Magicorum, and Magicorum always follow a fairy tale life template. In Bryar’s case, that template should be Sleeping Beauty.

Should being the key word.

Trouble is, Bryar is nowhere near the sleeping beauty life template. Not even close. She doesn’t like birds or woodland creatures. She can’t sing. And she certainly can’t stand Prince Philpot, the so-called “His Highness of Hedge Funds” that her aunties want her to marry. Even worse, Bryar’s having recurring dreams of a bad boy hottie and is obsessed with finding papyri from ancient Egypt. What’s up with that?

All Bryar wants is to attend a regular high school with normal humans and forget all about shifters, fairies, witches, and the curse that Colonel Mallory the Magnificent placed on her. And she might be able to do just that–if only she can just keep her head down until her eighteenth birthday when the spell that’s ruined her life goes buh-bye.

But that plan gets turned upside down when Bryar Rose meets Knox, the bad boy who’s literally from her dreams. Knox is a powerful werewolf, and his presence in her life changes everything, and not just because he makes her knees turn into Jell-O. If Bryar can’t figure out who―or what―she really is, it might cost both her and Knox their lives… as well as jeopardize the very nature of magic itself.