Saturday, November 10, 2018

The Spinster and I by Rebecca Connolly ~ Blog Tour with a giveaway!

The Spinster and I
The Spinster and I by Rebecca Connolly

Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: Received to Review
Genre: Regency Romance

Book Description:  Poor, unfortunate Spinster...

Prudence Westfall, spinster, has unexpectedly had the greatest misfortune of all: she has inherited a fortune, and is now an heiress. But as a Spinster, and a stammering shy one, nothing could be worse than having a bevy of suitors pay her attention. Opportunity strikes at a house party when the most unlikely person offers the perfect solution.
Camden Vale is no gentleman, and he’s not prone to saving anyone, but something about Prue changes all that. When his offer to befriend her extends beyond the house party, and his feelings extend beyond expectation, no one is more surprised than he. Except, perhaps, for the other Spinsters, and they have much to say on the subject.

My thoughts:  I love the dialogue in this book!  Rebecca Connolly is able to convey the emotions and thoughts of her characters eloquently.  I felt empathy and compassion for them as they struggled through Regency society.

Pru is a wallflower.  She is happy to remain in the shadows.  Her mother is overbearing, and frankly, not a nice woman.  To me, it the way that Pru acts in society is indicative of social anxiety.  Her mother shows no compassion, only ridicule as her daughter struggles.  The mother is only thinking of her own societal gain and reputation.

Camden is a hero, even if he doesn't realize it.  He befriends Pru, knowing that she the help he can give in making it through social engagements.  He knows how to calm her.  I love it when friends realize that there is more to their relationship.  I married my best friend.  It brings back fond memories as to when I thought of my husband as more than just my friend.

Pru also has an amazing set of friends.  We all need people in our lives who help and uplift.

This is a book that I wouldn't mind re-reading.  In fact, last night I ordered a couple of more of her books for my kindle!  I am looking forward to spending more time with the imagination and writing of Rebecca Connolly.

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Rebecca Connolly headshot  Rebecca Connolly writes romances, both period and contemporary, because she absolutely loves a good love story. She has been creating stories since childhood, and there are home videos to prove it! She started writing them down in elementary school and has never looked back. She currently lives in the Midwest, spends every spare moment away from her day job absorbed in her writing, and is a hot cocoa addict.

Author Interview:

1. Who are some of your favorite Regency authors? Do these authors inspire your own writing?
I love Jen Geigle Johnson, Sarah Eden, Jennifer Moore, Elizabeth Johns… And I am constantly meeting more lovely writers who love the same ears I do! I am inspired by so many authors, but in my time period and outside of it! The best inspiration of all, though, has to be Jane Austen.

2. If you could go to tea with one of your characters, who would you go with and why?
Oh, I think I would want to go to tea with Charlotte Wright. She doesn’t hold anything back, and I bet she has some fantastic stories!
3. What inspired the idea for The Spinster and I?
I had created a group of spinsters that had gotten to that point in their lives for different reasons. This particular story starred a girl who was painfully shy and wanted nothing more than to remain unnoticed by the world, and I wanted someone to notice her in a way that would actually work for her. He just so happens to be the most unlikely candidate, which makes it so deliciously fun!
4. What did you as an author take away from writing The Spinster and I?
I think the biggest thing I took away was that we need to look beneath the surface in everyone. There is so much more to a person than what we can see.
5. What is your current WIP?  What can you tell us about it?
My current WIP is part of the Spinster Chronicles series, and I can tell you that it is a VERY interesting pairing, and it is set at Christmas!

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Wednesday, November 7, 2018

The Gem Thief by Sian Ann Bessey ~ Blog Tour with a giveaway!

The Gem Thief by Sian Ann BesseyThe Gem Thief by Sian Ann Bessey
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Genre:  Mystery/Romance
Source: Received to Review

Book Description Gracie Miller is a small-town girl who has landed her dream job in New York City. As jewelry designer for one of the most prestigious jewelers in the world, she completed a particularly stunning piece, a custom setting for a large pink diamond. But when her billionaire client Mrs. Katsaros comes to repair a minor issue with the setting, Gracie is horrified to realize it is not the ring she created. Someone has forged her design, and the priceless diamond is gone.

Mrs. Katsaros has no desire to bring media attention to the jewelry heist, so she recruits her nephew, Quinn, and his FBI agent friend, Steve, to do some sleuthing off the record. When they discover that the missing ring is just one of many forgeries in the widow's collection, they look to Gracie for help. They need her to act the part of Quinn's fiancĂ©e. From the lights of New York to the shimmering islands of the Mediterranean, Gracie is swept into a thrilling hunt. But amid the search for the elusive thief, she and Quinn find themselves increasingly distracted by their growing feelings for each other. What neither realizes is how close the danger lies and how serious the vendetta is—because, apparently, it is worth killing for.

My thoughts: What is not to love about this book? You have quirky/lovable characters, mystery, humor, travel, and romance in one book!

The book starts off as Gracie Miller is on her way to work. A rude skateboarder barrel down the street forcing her to move quickly, spilling her hot chocolate and getting sprayed by muddy water as the cars drive by. That is the first page of the book. For me, when something like that happens, I know that it is the book for me.

Gracie is a jewelry designer who finds herself involved with investigating the jewelry theft of one of her customers. She is professional and trustworthy. She is paired up with Quinn, the wealthy widow's nephew, as they try to track down the thief. It begins in New York, and goes to Greece by a cruise.

The dialogue is well done. I loved learning about the characters and journeying with them.

I give this book a high recommendation.

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Sian Ann Bessey
About the Author: (Taken from Goodreads)  Sian Ann Bessey was born in Cambridge, England, but grew up on the island of Anglesey off the coast of North Wales. She left her homeland to attend Brigham Young University in Utah, where she earned a bachelor's degree in communications with a minor in English. 

She began her writing career as a student, publishing several magazine articles while still in college. Since then she has published historical romance and romantic suspense novels, along with a variety of children's books. She is a USA Today bestselling author and a Whitney Award finalist.
Although Sian doesn't have the opportunity to speak Welsh very often anymore, she can still wrap her tongue around, "Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch." She loves to travel and experience other cultures, but when she's home, her favorite activities are spending time with her family, cooking, and reading.

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Monday, November 5, 2018

A Convenient Engagement by Ashtyn Newbold

A Convenient Engagement by Ashtyn NewboldA Convenient Engagement by Ashtyn Newbold
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: Received to Review
Genre: Regency Romance

Book Description A false engagement. A mysterious coast. Two reluctant hearts.

Much to her father’s dismay, Miss Amelia Buxton aspires to become a spinster, just like her eccentric aunt. Growing up with parents who married for every reason but love, she has never seen a joyful marriage. When Amelia requests a summer trip to the legendary waters of Brighton, her father allows her the excursion, but with one requirement: she must return engaged, or agree to the proposal of the man of his choosing.

Crawling with tourists, Brighton is not the town Adam Claridge had once loved. When his sister Eleanor disappears without warning, Adam is desperate to bring her home. In his search, he happens upon Miss Amelia Buxton, a young tourist that proves vital in his search for Eleanor. But Amelia is conducting a search of her 
own—a search for a husband—and Adam has little choice but to offer a fair trade: he will play the role of Amelia’s betrothed in exchange for her assistance in finding Eleanor.

Convenient at first, Amelia and Adam’s arrangement quickly plummets into disarray. Falling in love had not been part of their bargain.

My thoughts: The book begins as Amelia makes a bargain with her father to become engaged while in Brighton, or to come home and marry the man he has chosen for her. Amelia has no desire to marry, but makes the bargain so her Aunt Margaret could be dipped into the waters and receive a cure for her bad leg.

From page one this book captured my interest. Amelia is smart and capable. She also loves her Aunt deeply. She shows resilience, conscience, and resourcefulness as she embarks on a quest to help Adam, a man she met on the beach, who will help her by entering into a false engagement to appease her father's demands. She in turn will help him find his missing sister.

There are many moments that are quite funny. Amelia and Adam have great conversations. I loved the banter between the two of them. When you add an eccentric Aunt, it gets better. The characters came to life for me and I loved reading what happens next to them.

I am excited that this will be a series and that I can get to know characters that appeared in this story when they have their own book. I can't wait to read them.

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Coming Soon!

Look for the rest of the Brides of Brighton series!

A Convenient Engagement (October 2018)
Marrying Miss Milton (November 2018)
Romancing Lord Ramsbury (December 2018)
An Unexpected Bride (January 2019)