Tuesday, January 30, 2024

A Battle of Past & Present by Sharayah Maurice (Book Review and Deleted Scene)


The Battle of Past and Present by Sharayah Maurice
Rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Genre: YA Fantasy Romance
Source:  Received to Review
Release Date: February 2, 2024
Series: The Chronicles of Tanithor: Age of the Oracle Book 2

Book Description: Journey back to Tanithor in A Battle of Past and Present, the action-packed sequel to A Bounty of Secrets and Rebellion where the threats are greater, the stakes are higher, and the future of Tanithor remains unknown. 

It's been one week since Prince Fynnegan Corden Greenway arrived in Latera to claim his promised bride. Upon discovering the kingdom to whom he is to ally through marriage is mistrusting of his intentions toward their princess, the Gaellen prince has been hard at work restoring their faith in him. However, the one person with whom he wishes to find favor is the only one who seems resistant to his efforts. His betrothed. 

Fynn may be entitled to Alana's hand in marriage, but her heart is something he must earn on his own merit if he wants to have the future of which he has always dreamed.

Griff has been left reeling. After a shocking revelation in which he discovers an ability he never knew he had, he and Halyn seek to unravel the truth of his past while they struggle to survive in yet another foreign kingdom. Together they will face seemingly impossible odds while they, once again, attempt to return to Hoken where the fate of the kingdom's future hangs in the balance.

My thoughts: Why do I like to read books when they first come out?  Needless to say, I will be anxiously awaiting the next book in the series! 😁

Ok, this book takes place right after A Bounty of Secrets and Rebellion.  It was wonderful to get back into the world Sharayah Maurice created.  It was easy to get back in touch with the characters and resume their journey to bring peace to the Kingdoms.

One of my favorite things is that they all come together in this book!  Yay!  I have been waiting for this.  This forces secrets out in the open and the young adults realize a lot is riding on their decisions for their future.

Before that happens, they have battles to face as they travel Gaellen..  There are factions against the marriage of Fynn and Alana.  Griff gradually realizes that his past is not what he thought it was, and characters from a new Kingdom join the story.

I honestly love this story.  It captured my attention and kept me flipping the pages on my Kindle.  If you love fantasy and an eclectic group of characters, you definitely want to check this series out.  If you haven't started the series, what are you waiting for?

Online purchase link:

Read a deleted scene!

*author’s note: I never intended for this scene to be a part of the book but when it came time to come up with some extra material for this book tour, I thought it would be the perfect scene to bring to life as part of Griff’s history. This scene is referenced in A Battle of Past and Present so when you read the book, you will have a picture of this moment.
To give you some context, and not to give away anything from book 2, this scene takes place in Viho village in Hoken when Griff was 15 years old and Alo was 14. Griff and Halyn were friends at this time but she is back in Elu village. I imagine that if she had been present, Griff would have capitalized on this opportunity… ;)
I hope you enjoy! 

“You’re not going to get a girl just by staring at them,” Griff teased his baby brother. “You’re more likely to scare them away with that approach.” He sat down on the overturned log next to Alo before the massive bonfire where a dozen or more Hokens were dancing and stomping around the flames in celebration of the Makawi’s union earlier that day.

“What do you know about it?” Alo retorted with a huff. “You’ve never had a girl.”

Griff bristled. “Who says I haven’t?”

“I’ve never seen you with one.”

“That doesn’t mean I’ve never had a girl,” Griff countered, watching the dancers hop and clap to the rhythm of the drums beating in the background.

Alo snorted in disbelief. “Sure. I bet you’ve never even kissed a girl.”

“I’ve kissed plenty of girls!” He hadn’t.

“Oh yeah? Name one.”

“That’s none of your business.”

Alo scoffed again. “You’ve never kissed a girl, because you’ve never had a girl.”

“I can get a girl anytime I want,” Griff shot back petulantly. “And kiss them too.”

“Prove it,” Alo snapped, shoving his shoulder.

Griff twisted and pushed him back with more force. “I don’t have to prove myself to you. You’re just upset because you’ve never had a girl and don’t know how to get one.”

“Fine! Then I dare you!” Alo hissed, shoving him off the log with both hands.

Griff shot up to his feet, clenching his fists at his sides as he turned around to face his brother.

Alo smiled devilishly. “I dare you to find a girl here and kiss her.”

Griff scowled at him. “Fine.”



Alo crossed his arms and quirked a brow. “What are you waiting for?”
Griff lurched forward and pushed Alo as hard as he could, sending him toppling backward to fall in a heap behind the log before he turned on his heel and marched toward the fire.

He released a heavy breath as he melded into the dancers around the flames, catching the beat and joining in on the stomps and claps. Out of the corner of his eye he saw Alo scramble back up to the log, perching himself upright to watch his dare unfold.

Griff made his way around the fire, dancing and laughing as the rhythm kicked up. He twisted and turned and clapped and stomped and then, mustering up his nerve, he reached for a girl he’d noticed earlier that day and pulled her into a partner’s dance. Yazzie was her name, he thought. She had been part of the bride’s entourage through the village before the wedding ceremony began and had cast small glances his way throughout the day. Griff locked eyes with Alo and smirked triumphantly, pulling Yazzie around the bonfire.

Alo continued to glare.

When the beat slowed and Griff’s confidence was boosted after Yazzie’s interest was made clear by her flirty smiles and playful attention during their dance, he discreetly shot Alo a pointed look before he tugged her away from the bonfire and behind a large tree for a bit of privacy.

His heart was thundering against his ribs as he pulled her up next to him, the both of them giggling with nerves and excitement due to the attention of the other. Before he could give it another thought, he quickly leaned down, keeping his eyes open so that he could be sure his aim was right, and pressed his lips to hers. Yazzie puckered her lips in a quick return peck before she leaned back, face flushed with embarrassment. Griff gave her a goofy grin as she covered her mouth and giggled into her hand before she darted off back to the party.

Buoyant and slightly dazed, Griff loped out from the behind the tree and headed for Alo with confident swagger, ready to crow his victory to his younger brother. 


About the author:  Sharayah Maurice has been a lover of books since she first learned to read and has dreamed of being an author for just as long. She is the author of The Chronicles of Tanithor: Age of the Oracle series. Her stories are filled with adventure, political intrigue and swoony romance that will leave you desperate for more. She lives in north Texas with her husband and five children. 

Social links 

Website: www.sharayahmaurice.com

Instagram: @thesharayahmaurice

Amazon: www.amazon.com/author/sharayahmaurice 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/40418491.Sharayah_Maurice 

Join Sharayah’s mailing list: https://sharayahmaurice.ck.page/a60929dee9 

Saturday, December 16, 2023

Codes of Courage by A.L. Sowards - Perfect for all Historical Fiction Readers


Codes of CourageCodes of Courage by A.L. Sowards
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Source:  I received a review copy and I purchased my own.
Genre:  Historical Fiction

Book Description:  In a battle of torpedoes, depth charges, and secret codes, nothing is as vulnerable as the human heart.

1940: Austrian refugee Karl Lang has lost everything―his country, his home, and his family. All that is left to him is a burning ambition to see the Nazis defeated. Desperate for work and a way to help the war effort, he finds the one place that will take a refugee like him: a supply steamer traversing a deadly path past enemy U-boats.

Since their first meeting, Millie Stevens has felt an undeniable connection to Karl. As the war rages, she shares his determination to oppose the Nazis and finds work at the British codebreaking center at Bletchley Park. There she uses all her intellect and determination to break German codes and read U-boat transmissions―or risk losing the man she loves.

Rolf Denhart will do anything to defend the Fatherland, including long patrols in a cramped U-boat. But rumors from Germany leave him uneasy, forcing a choice between loyalty to his homeland, the safety of his family, and his peace of conscience.

In the midst of war, three lives are woven together to create an epic tapestry of love and loss, joy and pain, sacrifice and courage.

My thoughts: I'm writing this with tears in my eyes. I don't usually get emotional while reading a book. Codes of Courage is well written and I felt as if I were there with Karl and Millie. In my mind, I was with Millie when she eagerly read Karls's letters and telegrams. I was with him when his ship was torpedoed and he was on a lifeboat.

I now have a better understanding of what life was like during WWII.

I loved the book. I love reading about the period. I felt that the characters were real people and I was peeping in on their love story. I wish that it would have ended a little differently (a lot differently), but feel that it shows resilience and the domino effect and how a good person and good deeds can make a big impact.

I highly recommend this book and all of the Heirs to Falcon Point books.

Online Purchase Links:

About the Author: I love books, so that makes Goodreads my favorite social media site. As a reader, I enjoy a variety of books. As a writer, I create historical novels with a wholesome mix of action, adventure, and romance. My stories include a Whitney Award winner, several Whitney finalists, and a Gold Medal winner in the Readers' Favorite International Book Awards.

I'm a wife and a mother of three, and I've called Washington State, Utah, and Alaska home. I'm usually reading a couple books at once and working on multiple writing projects too. Other than that, my life is pretty ordinary. I'm grateful for that. I'll let the characters in my books have all the adventures.

Stay in Touch:
Newsletter sign up: https://alsowards.com/newsletter/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/a.l.sowards/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ALSowards/

Monday, November 27, 2023

Book Review: Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Lord by Celeste Connally


Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Lord (Lady Petra Inquires #1)Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Lord by Celeste Connally
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Source:  Received to Review
Genre: Regency Mystery

Book Description:  Bridgerton meets Agatha Christie in Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Lorda dazzling first entry in a terrific new Regency-era mystery series with a feminist spin.

When Lady Petra Forsyth’s fiancé and soulmate dies just weeks ahead of their wedding, she makes the shocking proclamation—in front of London’s loosest lips—that she will never remarry. A woman of independent means, Petra sees no reason to cede her wealth and freedom to any man now that the love of her life has passed, nor does she intend to become confined to her country home. Instead, she uses her title to gain access to elite spaces and enjoy the best of society without expectations.

But when ballroom gossip suggests that a longtime friend has died of “melancholia” while in the care of a questionable physician, Petra vows to use her status to dig deeper—uncovering a private asylum where men pay to have their wives and daughters locked away, or worse. Just as Lady Petra has reason to believe her friend is not dead, but a prisoner, her own headstrong actions and thirst for independence are used to put her own freedom in jeopardy.

My thoughtsAct Like a Lady, Think Like a Lord is an interesting book. There are several twists and turns that can keep the reader engaged and eager to find out how they all fit together.

Petra is an intriguing young woman. She grew up in a home where she was given leeway and didn't act like a lady should in some circumstances. I would say that she is a free spirit, something that was frowned upon during the Regency Era. She is also intelligent and curious. When the women of the ton start disappearing, including her best friend who died unexpectedly, she is determined to find answers.

The plot is intriguing. While the book didn't conform to the time period. I read the story ignoring the time period errors, this helped me to enjoy the book and appreciate the plot and characters.

The book contains sexual innuendo, crass views of women, and closed-door intimacy.

Source: I received a complimentary copy of the book. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

Online Purchase Links:

About the Author: CELESTE CONNALLY is an Agatha Award nominee, and a former freelance writer and editor. A lifelong devotee of historical novels and adaptations fueled by her passion for history—plus weekly doses of PBS Masterpiece—Celeste loves reading and writing about women from the past who didn’t always do as they were told.

Friday, September 29, 2023

An Unsuitable Heiress by Jane Dunn

  • Title: An Unsuitable Heiress

  • Author: Jane Dunn

  • Genre: Historical Romance, Regency Romance

  • Publisher: ‎ Boldwood Books (May 22, 2023)

  • Length: (350) pages

  • Format: Trade Paperback, eBook, & Audiobook 

ISBN: ‎978-1804835364

Book Description: Following the death of her mother, Corinna Ormesby has lived a quiet life in the countryside with her cantankerous Cousin Agnes. Her father's identity has been a tantalising mystery, but now at nineteen Corinna knows that finding him may be her only way to avoid marriage to the odious Mr Beech.

Deciding to head to London, Corinna dons a male disguise. Travelling alone as a young woman risks scandal and danger, but when, masquerading as a youth, she is befriended by three dashing blades, handsome and capable Alick Wolfe, dandy Ferdinand Shilton and the incorrigible Lord Purfoy, Corinna now has access to the male-only world of Regency England.

And when she meets Alick's turbulent brother Darius, a betrayal of trust leads to deadly combat which only one of the brothers may survive. From gambling in gentleman’s clubs to meeting the courtesans of Covent Garden, Corinna’s country naivety soon falls away.

But when she finds her father at last, learns the truth about her parentage and discovers her fortunes transformed, she must quickly decide how to reveal her true identity, while hoping that one young man in particular can see her for the beauty and Lady she really is.

Sunday Times-bestselling author Jane Dunn brings the Regency period irresistibly to life in a page-turning novel packed with romance, scandal, friendship and colour.  Perfect for fans of Jane Austen. Janice Hadlow, Gill Hornby, and anyone with a Bridgerton-shaped hole in their lives.

My thoughts: I was intrigued when I read the book description. I like Regency stories where the heroine takes drastic steps to change her future. This book fits in that category 100%.

Corinna meets her new friends when she is about to be beaten and Alick steps in and saves her, I mean him. They take the weak, but amiable, young man under their wings and Corinna is introduced into the world of men of leisure. For a naive young lady, it is eye-opening. Particularly when they take her to a brothel. Oh, my stars! Don't worry, there is nothing graphic happening to her. A nice game of cards is in order.

The book explores Corinna's journey. The author pays attention to detail and takes the reader on a process. Corinna's desire to find her father to his death. She finds her place in the world with the encouragement of good friends.

Romance is not at the forefront of the story. It happens toward the end, but there are sparks between the two from the time they find out she is really a girl.

All in all, I would say that the book is entertaining. I am glad that I picked it up and started reading. It is a little different than your typical Regency romance. You might find yourself falling a little in love with Alick too.

Source: Recieved to Review
Rating: 4 of 5 stars.

About the Author: 

Jane Dunn is an historian and biographer and the author of seven acclaimed biographies, including Daphne du Maurier and her Sisters, and the Sunday Times and NYT bestseller, Elizabeth & Mary: Cousins, Rivals, Queens. She comes to Boldwood with her first fiction outing – a trilogy of novels set in the Regency period, the first of which, The Marriage Season, is to be published in January 2023. She lives in Berkshire with her husband, the linguist Nicholas Ostler.

INSTAGRAM | FACEBOOK | X (formerly known as Twitter) | BOOKBUB | GOODREADS


  • 5 STARS “…a compelling and enthralling story of a determined young woman’s journey to find her father and her own place in the world.”— Jo Shaw, BookMadJo.com 

  • 5 STARS “…you should allow yourself to be carried away by it as if by a tall dark stranger in a carriage and four. I enjoyed it even more than The Marriage Season, and that's quite a lot.”— Paul Feldwick, Goodreads 

  • 5 STARS “…a fun-filled romp through Regency England, with a smattering of romance, a sense of adventure and a wonderful heroine at its core. What's not to like?!”— Jo, Jaffa Reads Too

Tuesday, September 5, 2023

What Would Jane Austen Do? by Linda Corbett


What Would Jane Austen Do?What Would Jane Austen Do? by Linda Corbett
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Received to Review

Book Description:  It's a truth often acknowledged that when a journalist and Jane Austen fan girl ends up living next door to a cynical but handsome crime writer, romantic sparks will fly! When Maddy Shaw is told her Dear Jane column has been cancelled she has no choice but to look outside of London’s rental market. That is until she’s left an idyllic country home by the black sheep of the family, long-not-so-lost Cousin Nigel. But of course there’s a stipulation… and not only is Maddy made chair of the committee for the annual village literary festival, she also has to put up with bestselling crime author –and romance sceptic – Cameron Massey as her new neighbour. When Maddy challenges Cameron to write romantic fiction, which he claims is so easy to do, sparks fly both on and off the page…

My thoughts:  Maddie enjoyed her time writing a "Dear Jane" advice column. She enjoyed it until she got fired. (Some people are just a little too sensitive.)

She is offered the chance of a lifetime. She lives in her father's cousin's home for one year and inherits the mansion. What would a girl who was just fired from her job do? Take the deal. Unfortunately, the home comes with a neighbor who Jane has crossed paths with before, Cameron Massey, the crime author. Their ideas of worthwhile writing do not match. Maddie challenges him to write a romance, but it is too easy so he says. Hmmm.. time will tell who is right.

I enjoyed this book. It falls into the trope of "enemies to lovers". From the moment they meet, you can see the potential for sparks. The story is fast-paced and has fantastic characters. I love the small-town vibe of the book. The neighbors are friends and the spirit of cooperation makes this a "feel-good" book. I enjoyed the plot and the characters.

I have not read a Linda Corbett before, but I am very interested in picking one up in the future. The book contains fade-to-black intimacy and one instance of the "f" word.

Source: I received a complimentary copy. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

Online Purchase Links:


  • “Witty, sharp and beautifully observed – I feel sure Jane would approve.”— Julie Caplin, author of The French Chateau

  • “Sparkling romance, secrets from the past…Witty and romantic, I couldn’t stop myself from turning the pages.”— Alison Sherlock, bestselling author of The Village of Lost and Found

  • “…sheer fun from beginning to end, beautifully written, and with a real touch of originality.”— Anne Williams, Being Anne

  • “What a lovely book! It also fills my need to see British colloquialisms on occasion. Yes! I highly recommend this book!”— Michelle, Tales Untangled 

About the Author:  Linda Corbett lives in Surrey with her husband Andrew and three permanently hungry guinea pigs. As well as being an author, Linda is treasurer and fundraiser for Shine Surrey – a volunteer-led charity that supports individuals and families living with spina bifida and hydrocephalus. For many years she also wrote a regular column for Link, a disability magazine, illustrating the humorous aspects of life with a complex disability and she is a passionate advocate of disability representation in fiction. Love You From A-Z is her first published novel.