Monday, October 29, 2012

Review: Wife for Hire By Christine Bell

I loved this fun, sexy, fast-paced romp! It was just what this girl needed after a couple of stressful days! 

Owen is after Nico, the man who conned his sister out of her life savings, but it’s not just her savings he took...the man broke her heart too. Going to the police isn’t going to work, since she gave Nico the money. No, Owen needs to catch him in the act of conning someone else. To do that, he needs a “wife”.

Financially in trouble, Lindy, looking for a job in the wanted ads on Craigslist, comes across an acting job. The pay is $20,000 for a three week gig. Lindy is sure it’s a scam, but it won’t leave her mind. She decides to check into it. 

Nervous about her interview with Owen, Lindy panics when he tells her that they will be posing as a married couple at The Healing Place, and quickly reaches in her purse and sprays him the face with the first thing she can grab, body spray! After Owen explains to her there will be no sex involved in the arrangement, Lindy calms down, and they come to an agreement. Although, it doesn’t take long to figure out they are strongly attracted to each other. Lindy is a sweetheart of a girl and is afraid to give her heart over to Owen knowing he is only in it for a few nights of pleasure. But is it too late for that, has she already lost her heart to Owen? 

I really liked Lindy! She is filled with compassion and wants to live life to the fullest. After losing both her parents when she was 10, she knows life is too short to be afraid to live, and to love. Her parents loved each other deeply, and Lindy wants nothing more than to find what they had.

Wife for Hire is a fun, quick read, filled with humor and sexual tension.

5 out of 5 stars

I would give this a mature rating for some sexual scenes and strong language.

I purchased my copy of Wife for Hire.

You can buy a kindle copy here.

At thoughts? I'd love to hear from you!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Review: Pulse and Prejudice By Colette L. Saucier

Book Description:

When the haughty and wealthy Fitzwilliam Darcy arrives in the rural county of Hertfordshire, he finds he cannot control his attraction to Elizabeth Bennet – a horrifying thought because, as she is too far below his social standing to ignite his heart, he fears she must appeal to the dark impulses he struggles to suppress.

Set against the vivid backdrop of historical Regency England, this adaptation of Pride and Prejudice follows the cursed Mr. Darcy as he endeavours to overcome both his love and his bloodlust for Miss Elizabeth Bennet. Although Pulse and Prejudice adheres to the original plot and style of the Jane Austen classic, it is not a “mash-up” but an imaginative, thrilling variation told primarily from Darcy’s point of view as he descends into the seedier side of London and introduces Elizabeth to a world of passion and the paranormal she never knew existed.

My Review

Halloween is not my favorite holiday, but I needed to read a paranormal for the Jane Austen Spinoff Challenge, and I thought this would be the perfect time of the year to do that! And Wow! Colette Saucier’s Pulse and Prejudice was just the right book! This is the second book of Saucier’s that I’ve read, and I’ve loved both of them! You can read my review for that book, All My Tomorrows, soon on Indie Jane.

Pulse and Prejudice is not only a paranormal, but it’s also a Pride and Prejudice retelling. It is told mostly from Darcy’s point-of-view in the beginning but does switch back and forth between Darcy and Elizabeth towards the end.

In this story, Mr. Darcy is a vampire, but he is ashamed of his affliction. I love that he is still a good and honorable man. (I’m not so fond of a dark/evil Darcy.) He tries to resist his need to feed on human blood and feeds on animal blood instead. Because of his curse, he vows never to marry, but when he meets Elizabeth he is drawn to her in a way he has never experienced before. At first, he confuses his feelings for her as an intense bloodlust and tries to sedate himself with more blood, even human blood, but that can’t fill his desire for her.

One thing I really liked about the story is how Saucier slowly gave us information about Darcy’s affliction, for example, we are told much later in the story about when Darcy became a vampire. I also liked how Darcy would contemplate eternity, with all the pain he has suffered in his twenty-eight years, to him eternity is daunting.

Although we are told when and why, we are not told how Darcy became a vampire (unless I missed something, which is entirely possible). Apparently it is not from a vampire bite, because we see a couple of people bitten that don’t become cursed. Maybe we will learn more about that in the sequel!

I liked finding out why Mr. Gardiner is more of a gentleman, and a person of fashion, when his two sisters are so vulgar, and how Jane and Elizabeth are genteel compared to their younger sisters.

Pulse and Prejudice held me mesmerized! I enjoy Saucier’s writing, and I’m looking forward to the sequel to Pulse and Prejudice, Dearest, Bloodiest Elizabeth, where Darcy and Elizabeth will be traveling to New Orleans to look for Wickham! Sounds exciting!

5 out of 5 stars!

I would give this a mature rating for some sexual scenes.

I won my copy of Pulse and Prejudice on Indie Jane.

Buy: Amazon
Add to Goodreads

FTC Disclaimer: Link to Amazon. I am an Amazon Associate. Should you purchase a copy of the book through the link provided, I will receive a small commission. Thanks!

About the Author:

Colette Saucier has been writing poems, short stories, and novellas since grade school and experienced early success in having several of her poems published in her junior high school newspaper. Her interest in literature led her to marry her college English professor, but eventually a love of history encouraged her to trade up to a British historian. Technical writing has dominated Colette’s career for the past twenty years; but finding little room for creativity in that genre, she has spent the last several years traveling to Europe and Britain, researching Regency England and vampire lore and literature, to complete her first full-length novel, Pulse and Prejudice. She is currently researching and writing a sequel to Pulse and Prejudice set in Antebellum New Orleans.

Colette is also the author of the new release All My Tomorrows, a modern tale of Pride & Prejudice for the new millennium.

Colette lives in South Louisiana with her historian husband and their two dogs.

Connect with Colette:

This completes my paranormal category of the Jane Austen Spinoffs 2012 Reading Challenge.

>>>If you would like to listen to an excerpt of Pulse and Prejudice, head over to Leatherbound Reviews and watch Jakki's vlog.<<<

Any thoughts? I would love to hear from you!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Pride and Prejudice: A Royal Disposition By Amy Cecil

What if Elizabeth listens to Lady Catherine’s tirade about how Elizabeth’s low rank and connections would disgrace the Darcy name, and they would be shunned by family and friends? Would Elizabeth break their engagement to protect Darcy and Georgiana from disgrace?

That is what happen’s in Pride and Prejudice: A Royal Disposition. Early on in the story, we learn that Elizabeth is not a Bennet, but the daughter of Prince Fredrick, the Duke of York. She is of royalty and out ranks Darcy.  Elizabeth doesn't know this, and she thinks she is the daughter of Mr. Bennet’s deceased sister. Mr. Bennet has kept this secret even from his wife.

Elizabeth, fearing that Darcy will come to resent her, believes she is doing the right thing by breaking their engagement. When Darcy learns the secret of Elizabeth’s true identity, he patiently waits to reveal the truth for the right time. The question is, will the truth bring them back together or will it drive them further apart?

I liked how the first time Elizabeth sees Darcy at the Meryton Assembly she is drawn to him. She is able to discern that underneath that proud, disagreeable surface is a strong and honorable man. She was also able to see right through Wickham’s lies.

I liked the Duke, and his story with Lady Sophia, Elizabeth’s biological mother. Lady Sophia was the Duke’s true love, but to build an alliance with Prussia, King George commanded that the Duke marry his cousin Charlotte. That was a decision the Duke would regret the rest of his life.

The storyline was enjoyable. I liked Elizabeth being royalty, and the obstacles that Darcy and Elizabeth face, but, unfortunately, I felt the story lacked emotion, and obstacles that Elizabeth and Darcy faced were removed too easily. I would have like to see Mr. Bennet or the Duke get mad at Darcy for interfering. Everything just went along at an even keel.

I did enjoy the story. There are some interesting twists and turns. I look forward to reading Amy Cecil’s next novel, Relentless Considerations -- A Tale of Pride and Prejudice.

3 out of 5 stars

I won my copy of this book from Darcyholic Diversions.

Buy your copy here.

Any thoughts? I'd love to hear from you!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Review: A Killing in Kensington By Mary Lydon Simonsen

In Mary Simonsen’s first book of the Patrick Shea Mystery series, Three's a Crowd, we meet Patrick Shea. It is a lighter read intended to introduce us to his character. In A Killing in Kensington, we get down to the nitty-gritty.... 

Clifton Trentmore, president of Trentmore World Imports, is found dead in his flat located in one of London's poshest neighborhoods.  Patrick and his new partner, Tommy Boyle, are assigned to the case. Trying to find who murdered Trentmore is not going to be easy. Trying to find someone who liked him is going to be even harder.

While looking for Trentmore’s killer, Patrick and Boyle find plenty of corruption and sexual harassment surrounding Trentmore and his company. To make matters worse the more they investigate, the longer the suspect list grows.

This mystery was very much like CSI or Law and Order, British style. I found it very well written and thought out, with strong characters that were believable. With so many people hating Trentmore, I wasn't sure who killed him! As the story get's closer to the end, I could start narrowing it down, but I still didn’t know until the conclusion, a telltale sign of any good mystery.

Unlike Three's a Crowd, there is no romance in A Killing in Kensington. The romantic in me was hoping to see more of Annie Jameson, but that relationship has ended with Annie moving to the States. Besides that, Patrick needs to put all his time into this high-profile case. However, there does seem to be a bit of sexual tension between Patrick and one of the suspects. Could this jeopardize his case?  

Mary Simonsen has amazed me with her ability to switch from romance to mystery, with seemly little effort.  At the same time, Simonsen’s humor is seen throughout the story. If you’re a mystery buff, I would highly recommend A Killing in Kensington!

4 out of 5 stars

I received a copy from the author for review.

Buy a copy here.

Connect with Mary:

Monday, October 8, 2012

Review: Find Wonder in All Things By Karen M. Cox

From the back of the book:

James Marshall and Laurel Elliot are out of sync. After a whirlwind summer romance during their youth, he is ready to zoom ahead to Happily Ever After, but she is persuaded, by family pressures and her own doubts and uncertainties, to remain behind. Years later, Laurel has carved out a quiet, self-sufficient existence in the Appalachian foothills of Kentucky, while James has taken a more illustrious road, filled with extraordinary accomplishments and success neither of them could have imagined.
Now, their paths cross once again, but it appears both have moved on with their lives. Could a spark from the past still ignite between them? Can they find their way back to each other or has too much time passed? Will their timing ever be right for a happy ending?

Find Wonder in All Things is a new modern romance from award-winning author Karen M. Cox, inspired by the classic Jane Austen story, Persuasion.

IPPY Winner:  GOLD Metal for Romance

My review:

Could’ve, would’ve, should’ve were thoughts that played through Laurel Elliot’s mind often. She had many regrets about not going to Nashville with James Marshall, but what was done was done. She needed to push past the memories of him and move on with her life. Eight years had past since she told him she couldn’t go, and he walked out of her life.

Laurel stayed in college and earned a liberal arts degree. Working and living in the little cabin her grandparents owned, she creates beautiful pieces of pottery. With her simple lifestyle, the pottery she sells earns enough to make ends meet. Laurel still works down at her father’s marina once a week, going over the books and doing payroll. Life is much the same for her as the day James left. 

I love how down to earth Laurel is; she is sensible and stable. She is happy with her solitary life, until the day James comes back to spend the summer at the lake. Seeing him again, Laurel realizes how much she still loves him and how terribly lonely she truly is.

James Marshall had come along way in his life. Now rich and successful, he seemed to have it all, but does he? Deep down he isn’t happy. He can’t forget Laurel. There was no one who could even compare to her. He thought if he could see her again, see her for the real person she is, not the fantasy he had create of her, then, maybe he could move on with his life.

Just like Captain Wentworth in Persuasion, James annoyed me with his indifference, his flirting with Heather and Carrie, his stubborn bullheadedness, but that all melted away when he finally tells Laurel his feelings, but not in a letter, with a song. 

Set in the foothills of the Appalachians, Karen Cox transported me to a simpler lifestyle, with the description of the lake, marina, isolated cabin, and the sound of the gravel crunching in the driveway. I could see the bright stars in a dark, warm summer night. In the prologue, Cox, takes us all the way back to their youth, giving us a glimpse of how James, and his friend, Stu, Laurel and her sister, Virginia, would spend their days together. The lazy days of summer exploring caves around the lake or spending time fishing. I love the nostalgic feel of it.

Find Wonder in All Things is a Persuasion inspired romance. This is a beautiful story! I loved it!

5 out of 5 stars

I won my copy of this book from Darcyholic Diversions.

Buy a copy here. (Disclaimer: link to Amazon. Should you purchase a copy of the book through the link provide, I will receive a small commission. Thanks.)

About the Author:

Karen Cox was born in Everett, Washington, and moved around the country until her family returned to their home state of Kentucky when she was eleven.  She still lives there with her husband, son and daughter —in a quiet little town that is similar to the ones in her stories.

Karen has been a Jane Austen fan for twenty years.  She became enamored of Jane Austen fan-fiction in 2006 and began posting stories on-line in 2009.  She is the author of two published works: 1932a variation on Pride & Prejudiceand Find Wonder in All Thingsa modern romance inspired by PersuasionBoth titles have been honored with Independent Publishers Book Awards in the Romance category for 2011 and 2012.

Connect With Karen:

Any thoughts? I'd loved to hear from you!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Review: Still a Young Man: Darcy Is In Love By P. O. Dixon

In this Pride and Prejudice variation, after being forced into a loveless marriage, Elizabeth, vows never to marry again. She has just come out of morning the loss of her late husband when she meets a young Mr. Darcy. After overhearing his disparaging words about her and her family Elizabeth thinks Darcy is overbearing, rude and pompous. As Darcy learns more about Elizabeth, he becomes intrigued by her. He sees a sadness in her that most don’t see and feels the need to protect her. Elizabeth however, is not willing to listen to him when he cautions her about the new friends she is  making.

Traveling to London with Jane and Bingley, Elizabeth is determined to enjoy the Season. She becomes friends with the widow Lady Marie Hargrove. Having received a nice settlement from her late husband, Lady Marie has money and independence, which she has no intention of giving up by re-marrying. Elizabeth is also receiving the attention of Lord Winthrop. Darcy, suspicious of both, tries to warn her but she is unwilling to listen to him.

I found Elizabeth to be a bit naive. She wants to have the freedom and fun she had before she married, but doesn’t realize the position she is in now. While she is dancing and enjoying the company of certain men, they on the other hand have entirely different ideas of what the company of a widow might bring. Also, I was not fond of the fact that Elizabeth is older than Darcy. It just didn't seem right with me, but I was able to ignore that and enjoy the rest of the story.

I loved finding lines from Pride and Prejudice put in a variety of places throughout the story. In some cases, it would be the same character, in the same setting, saying the line. Other times, it would be a different character, in a different setting, saying a line. Quite fun!

I always enjoy reading P O Dixon’s stories! Still a Young Man is a fun read with an interesting twist!

4 out of 5 stars

I purchased my own copy of Still a Young Man.

Buy a copy here.  (Disclaimer: Link to Amazon. Should you purchase a copy from link provided, I will receive a small commission. Thanks!)

About the Author:

P O Dixon writes Jane Austen Pride and Prejudice adaptations with one overriding purpose in mind—falling in love with Darcy and Elizabeth all over again. Her initial exposure to Pride and Prejudice was in 2007. After watching the 2005 film at least two times a day for as many weeks, she determined she needed to know much more of the story's hero. After reading the novel, along with several excellent ‘what-if’ books that told the story from Mr. Darcy’s perspective, she came across a link to the online Jane Austen Fan Fiction community. Her life has never been quite the same.

She lives in North Carolina with her husband and preteen daughter, Elizabeth.

Connect with P O Dixon:

Twitter: @podixon

Any thoughts? I would love to hear from you!
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