Servant of the Crown by Melissa McShane (Review)

Servant of the CrownServant of the Crown
(The Crown of Tremontane #1)
by Melissa McShane
Adult Fantasy
Paperback & ebook, 405 Pages
July 15th 2015 by Night Harbor Publishing



Summary

Alison Quinn, Countess of Waxwold, is content with her bookish life—until she’s summoned to be a lady-in-waiting to the Queen of Tremontane’s mother for six months. Even the prospect of access to the Royal Library doesn’t seem enough to make up for her sacrifice, but Alison is prepared to do her service to the Crown. What she’s not prepared for is Prince Anthony North, Queen Zara’s playboy brother, who’s accustomed to getting what he wants—including the Countess of Waxwold.

When the fallout from an unfortunate public encounter throws the two of them together, Alison has no interest in becoming the Prince’s next conquest. But as the weeks pass, Alison discovers there’s more to Anthony than she—or he—realized, and their dislike becomes friendship, and then something more—until disaster drives Alison away, swearing never to return.

Then Alison is summoned by the Queen again, this time to serve as Royal Librarian. A threat to Tremontane’s government, with her treasured Library at stake, draws Alison into the conflict…and into contact with Anthony once more. Can they work together to save the Royal Library and Tremontane? And can she open her heart to love again?

Nikki's Heart by Nona J. Moss (12 Days of Back To School Books)


I'm taking part in Loving the Book Launch Party's 12 Days of Back To School Books over the next couple of weeks. I'm not participating every day, but you'll still see a handful of posts for this event coming up.

Nikki's Heart
by Nona J. Moss
YA
Paperback & ebook, 164 Pages
October 15th 2014 by Amazing Things Press

Summary

March 25,
It has been ten days since that horrible night. Ten days since my world crumbled, and my heart shattered into a million pieces. It has been ten days since my life ended.

I have been unfaithful to you, Dear Journal, because I could not bear to think. And I knew if I opened you, it would be to spill the rest of my broken heart.

It was so awful. I will never forget it as long as I live. It is fresh in my mind every waking hour. The memories invade my dreams whenever I close my eyes.

Annette Lyon Collection by Annette Lyon (Book Tour Review)

A Timeless Romance Anthology: Annette Lyon CollectionAnnette Lyon Collection
(A Timeless Romance Anthology)
by Author
Adult Romance
Ebook, 350 Pages
July 3rd 2015 by Mirror Press

Summary

The ANNETTE LYON COLLECTION contains brand new contemporary romance novella OUR SONG, as well as five hand-picked readers’ and reviewers’ favorites of Annette’s popular Timeless Romance Anthology novellas. Readers will love this selection of three contemporary and three historical romance novellas.

In OUR SONG, a charming romance novella, Cassie and Matt have been dating in the Yellowstone area for two years, and things are, well, average. When Cassie meets up with two college friends who are visiting, their love lives like sound like fairy tales: rose petals, chocolates, candles on the beach… Cassie goes home feeling like she’s missing out. After all, repeatedly watching Old Faithful erupt and walking through sulfur-smelling gases at Fountain Paint Pot don’t exactly say “romance.” Maybe things with Matt aren’t going anywhere, and it’s time to move on. Then she discovers that perception and reality are completely different things. Now she can only hope it isn’t too late to show Matt how much she really cares.

In the sweet novella GOLDEN SUNRISE, Natalie takes time out of her crazy schedule to fly to Vegas for her best friend’s wedding. Sierra and Jason, high-school sweethearts, are finally getting married. Fortunately for Natalie, her old high-school flame, Adam, has a work commitment and can’t be there as best man. But when she arrives at the wedding rehearsal—late and ragged—Adam is there. When Adam makes a wild suggestion, Natalie just may take him up on it, even though she knows he’s moved on. A single choice may mean Natalie is taking a shot at reclaiming the past—or that she's putting her heart in harm’s way a second time.

FIRSTS AND LASTS, an enchanting novella, begins with Dani’s last week in New York. She’s failed in her dreams to catch a break as an actress and is now ready to return home and dust herself off. As she visits the places on her final to-see list, she meets Mark, another New York City transplant with big dreams. Except Mark hasn’t given up on his. As they spend the day together, Dani realizes that even though she hasn’t hit the “big time” she might be living her dream after all. Only problem: she has a one-way ticket back home.

In the compelling novella WAR OF HEARTS, Anna, a journalist, is desperate to escape the magazine where Pete, her now-former boyfriend, also works. Heartbroken and still in love with him, Anna snags an assignment to cover the Winter War in Finland. She arrives at a snowy Finnish battlefront only to discover that Pete is already there—as her photographer. She’s determined to be professional about the situation until a battle breaks out in camp, putting her and Pete in harm’s way and putting their love to the test.

The captivating novella BETWEEN THE LINES follows Jane Martin, who is intelligent but extremely shy, especially around men. When the Aid and Cultural Society proposes a letter-writing program, Jane signs up, hoping she can find true friendship. The program doesn’t run as smoothly as expected, and unknown to Jane, one of the men in her city becomes her writing friend. Thomas Allred has always known shy and quiet Jane, but reading her letters written to his secret persona, opens his eyes to what an amazing woman she is. The only trouble is, Jane doesn’t know that the man who she is falling in love with through letters is also Thomas, the man who is falling in love with her in person.

In the charming novella A TASTE OF HOME, we meet Claire Jennings, who’s on her way to spend Christmas with her family. As she rides the train with William Rhodes, who grew up across the street, memories of Christmases past flood her mind. He may be twenty-one now, but she can’t forget his torturous teasing from their school years. At the rail station, Claire discovers that her home is under quarantine because her little brother has measles. She's stuck in town, away from her family, on her favorite holiday. William stays behind with her, and as Christmas Day approaches and her homesickness deepens, she discovers that perhaps he has changed in more ways than one.

Veils and Vengeance by Rachelle J. Christensen (Review)

Veils and Vengeance (Wedding Planner Mysteries Book 2)Veils and Vengeance
(Wedding Planner Mysteries #2)
by Rachelle J. Christensen
Adult Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Paperback & ebook, 347 Pages
July 7th 2015 by Peachwood Press

Summary

When wedding planner Adrielle Pyper orchestrates a destination ceremony in Hawaii, she’s prepared for anything—except murder.

After the trauma of her last event, the beautiful isle of Kauai is the perfect place for Adri to unwind and do what she does best – plan. She even lets herself indulge in the attention of the groom’s handsome brother. But just when everything seems to be perfect, an afternoon snorkeling trip turns deadly when Adri discovers the body of a young woman. 

Shaken, but unable to let go, Adri’s sleuthing leads her into more danger than she bargained for. When a number of “accidents” threaten her own life, it soon becomes apparent that someone will do anything to keep Adri from interfering with their vengeance. 

For great craft tips, visit Adri's website, www.mashedpotatoesandcrafts.com.

  

When Magic Fails by Alaina Stanford (12 Days of Back To School Books)


I'm taking part in Loving the Book Launch Party's 12 Days of Back To School Books over the next couple of weeks. I'm not participating every day, but you'll still see a handful of posts for this event coming up.

When Magic Fails
(Hypnotic Journey #2)
by Alaina Stanford
Fantasy
Paperback & ebook, 242 Pages
August 18th 2012

Summary

What good is magic if it can't heal a broken heart?

Risking everything to save Sarah from the elven council’s decision to execute her for treason, the elf Prince Cabal rescues her and the others. They quickly disappear in search of the menacing storm cloud responsible for assassinating the wizards of the elf council.

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Lord Fenton's Folly by Josi S. Kilpack (Waiting on Wednesday)

"Waiting on" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

A Proper Romance line of books from Shadow Mountain has probably become one of my favorite lines across the board. They're clean, sweet, historical romances that also have fantastic writing, characters, and depth. Their soon-to-be newest is my WOW pick this week:

Love on a Whim by Aubrey Mace (Blog Tour Review & Giveaway)

Love on a Whim Blog Tour Banner

Welcome to my review tour stop for Love on a Whim by Aubrey Mace! I really loved reading this one in all it's quirkiness, fun, heartbreak, and romance. Check out my full review and the giveaway below...

Love on a Whim
by Aubrey Mace
LDS Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 272 Pages
July 15th 2015 by Covenant Communications

Summary

Six months out of law school, Rachel Pearce is completely disillusioned by her job hunt. Despite pounding the pavement with her Ivy League degree in hand, her job prospects are no brighter than the day she graduated. Then in a chance meeting with a former acquaintance, eccentric young millionaire Henry Walker, Rachel finds an unexpected opportunity: Henry is looking for a personal secretary. Swallowing her pride, Rachel sets aside her law firm aspirations for what she envisions as secretarial work—mountains of paperwork and filing. But when she finds her most demanding duty to be daily cookie runs for her new boss, she’s baffled by her unconventional job responsibilities.

As she’s pulled into Henry’s delightful whims, caught in a whirlwind of private jets and fancy dinners, Rachel finds herself inexplicably drawn to this handsome and charismatic man. But reality always has a way of intruding, and logic tells her that this adventure can’t last. When real life inevitably comes calling, Rachel must decide if she’s willing to trade in her dream of success in the courtroom for a chance at love.

   

Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor by Melanie Dobson (Blog Tour Review)

Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor
Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor
by Melanie Dobson
Christian Suspense, Romance
Paperback & ebook, 352 Pages
June 16th 2015 by Howard Books

Summary

When Heather Toulson returns to her parents’ cottage in the English countryside, she uncovers long-hidden secrets about her family history and stumbles onto the truth about a sixty-year-old murder.

Libby, a free spirit who can’t be tamed by her parents, finds solace with her neighbor Oliver, the son of Lord Croft of Ladenbrooke Manor. Libby finds herself pregnant and alone when her father kicks her out and Oliver mysteriously drowns in a nearby river. Though theories spread across the English countryside, no one is ever held responsible for Oliver’s death.

Sixty years later, Heather Toulson, returning to her family’s cottage in the shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor, is filled with mixed emotions. She’s mourning her father’s passing but can’t let go of the anger and resentment over their strained relationship. Adding to her confusion, Heather has an uneasy reunion with her first love, all while sorting through her family’s belongings left behind in the cottage. What she uncovers will change everything she thought she knew about her family’s history.

Award-winning author Melanie Dobson seamlessly weaves the past and present together, fluidly unraveling the decades-old mystery and reveals how the characters are connected in shocking ways.

Set in a charming world of thatched cottages, lush gardens, and lovely summer evenings, this romantic and historical mystery brings to light the secrets and heartaches that have divided a family for generations.

    

The House at the End of the Street by Jennie Jones (Book Blitz)

 
On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

Fall in love in Swallow’s Fall with
The House at the End of the Street
by bestselling Australian romance author Jennie Jones!

Introduction and Exclusive Excerpt
By Author Jennie Jones

The House at the End of the Street follows the adventures of the heart for Gemma Munroe (blond, sporty, home-loving artist and would-be toy shop owner) and the love of her life – Josh Rutherford (tall, tanned, skilled with horses and carpentry and reticent to say where he’s been for the last ten years). Now he’s back for a week and sparks are flying. Josh owns the toy shop and Gem wants to buy it. But there’s more trouble at Gem’s back than she’d thought, and Josh can’t bring himself to leave town without knowing she’ll be safe.

The House at the End of the Street is book #5 in the bestselling Swallow’s Fall series. But each book in the series can be read alone and frequently are – Jennie’s had plenty of readers buy book #4 and then go back for books #1, #2 and #3. 

Jennie’s fictional town of Swallow’s Fall is set in a remote country area in the Australian Snowy Mountains and boasts 100 residents. Lots of them falling in love, some of them longing for dreams to come true, some of them scheming or creating mayhem with their matchmaking plans – but all of them leaving a mark on this small country town.

Jennie has a great rapport with her readers all over the world and recently asked them if they’d read a new series: Daughters of Swallow’s Fall – and the resounding answer was – Yes!

Read on for the excerpt...

“What do you know about Grandy’s place?" he asked.

Gem’s eyebrows shot up. "The lonely homestead?"

"Why d’you call it that?"

She shrugged. "It’s been empty since he died. Most people just call it the house at the end of the street. What’s it to you anyway?"

"This and that." 

Gem’s exasperation bubbled, overwhelming the original idea of coming out here to calmly persuade him to leave town. ‘This and that,’ she parroted. "Is that all you’ve got? Why don’t you want anyone to know what you’ve been doing?"

The way he bowed his head and studied the ground, his broad shoulders slumped in some kind of despair, caused Gem some remorse.

"Are you in trouble, Josh?" she asked in a whisper. Maybe that’s why he was so evasive. Maybe he’d made a big mistake in life. Maybe he’d been in prison. No, wait—he had a tan.

He smiled at her, the skin creasing around his eyes. A little more depth to the crinkles now, suggesting that he’d done a lot of smiling over the years. That he’d enjoyed himself.

"No. I’m not in trouble." He seemed to come out of his reverie. He lifted a hand and swept it through her hair, brushing it back from her forehead. "Not the way you’re thinking." 

Gem stilled. The gesture was one she remembered from their best-friend days of long ago, but there had been nothing more than friendship in it then—this touch spoke of everything undealt with and unsaid between them since their moment this afternoon.

Dancing to an Irish Reel by Claire Fullerton (Blog Tour Review & Giveaway)

Picture

After seeing that this book was rated as one of Amazon's "Best Books of 2015 So Far"
my interest was peaked in this book. I wanted to know what made it stand apart
from other new releases. Find out what I thought in my review below...

Dancing to an Irish ReelDancing to an Irish Reel
by Claire Fullerton
Women's Fiction, Romance
Paperback & ebook, 237 Pages
March 6th 2015 by Vinspire Publishing

Summary

On sabbatical from her job in the LA record business, Hailey takes a trip to Ireland for the vacation of a lifetime. What she finds is a job offer too good to turn down.

Her new job comes with one major complication—Liam Hennessey. He’s a famous Irish musician whose entire live has revolved around performing. And Hailey falls in love with him. Although Liam’s not so sure love is in the cards for him, he’s not willing to push her away completely.

And so begins Hailey’s journey to a colorful land that changes her life, unites her with friends more colorful than the Irish landscape, and gives her a chance at happiness she's never found before.

Weekly Update #125


Welcome to my Weekly Update where I post my blog's schedule for the week. I'm linking up to The Sunday Post, hosted by Kimba @ The Caffeinated Book Reviewer,. I won't be linking up to Stacking the Shelves or Bought, Borrowed, & Bagged this week due to me being out of town, but next week I'll have the books I've added.

This week has been pretty busy for me. I thought I was getting back to being a little bit ahead and then... I wasn't. We also went out of town to attend a small-town rodeo and parade and made some great memories with friends and our kids. We even got to see some bull and bronc riding. It always makes me feel mixed emotions of adrenaline (because it is amazing how they hold on) and nervousness (because it is so freaking dangerous!!!). There were even some youngsters riding some young cows and that really about gave me a heart attack, especially when they almost got trampled on. A few actually did get stepped on, but the ambulance didn't have to be called in, thank goodness.

Things will start to pick up with tours and review book from here through the end of August. I hope you all find something to like and add to your tbrs. Here's what to expect this week:

Silver in the Blood Read-Along Wrap-Up #SilverRA

Join the read-along!

The SILVER IN THE BLOOD READ-ALONG hosted by 
Dena @ Batch of Books and I (Tressa @ Wishful Endings) has officially come to a close! 

This has been the schedule for the read-along:
July 10th: Kick-Off (My Post/Dena's)
July 17th: Mid-Point, Chapters 1-16 (My Post/Dena's)
July 24th: Wrap-Up, Chapters 17-32 (My Review/Dena's Wrap-Up/Dena's Review)
Final Thoughts on the Book

Thoughts about the characters. 

I love Lou! She's fabulous and I love how she evolves and comes into her own in this first book. Dacia also changes quite a bit too and I ended up really liking her versus just tolerating her in the beginning. It took her a while to get there, but when she does she is very fierce. I still love Lord Johnny as well. I'm a little undecided about Mr. Arkady. I'd like a better picture of him and who he is. I know he has feelings for someone specific and that they are intense, but he's still a vague character to me. I was happy with the final roles that Aunt Kate, Radu, and Lou's father all played.

Then lets just mention the villains. I hate Prince Mihai and Lady Ioana. At page 260 my thoughts about Prince Mihai were: "Oh, THE GALL!!! The man is very conceited. And spoiled. How could anyone follow him???" And then my thoughts on Lady Ioana on page 266: "And how could they blindly follow her? She's pretty much evil." So, I think hate is a pretty accurate word for them.

Thoughts about the plot.


The first half was slow and steady and the intensity just kept building and building. I liked it. By the time the end was coming you could just feel the intensity. The pace worked for me and I really like how things end.

Least favorite part, if there is one. 


I really hated the way people so blindly followed others, but I would say my least favorite was with Prince Mihai and Dacia because of how she becomes timid.

Most favorite part.


The ending. I would say even more specifically when Lord Johnny says "Beautiful." Dacia finally takes charge and Lou is fantastic and... Yeah. That's my favorite part.

Any favorite lines or quotes?

There was the one line I mentioned above, but nothing else really stuck out to me. 

Thoughts about the conclusion. 

It was crazy, chaotic, a little scary, violent, triumphant, sad, romantic... I could go on.  It wasn't a cliffhanger, but more of a segue into the next book. I felt it was the perfect ending for this book.

Any predictions for book two? 

Well, I know for sure that we'll be seeing more of Lord Johnny and Mr. Arkady and the girls, of course. I'm thinking Lady Ioana will probably appear in some way as well.

Other thoughts...


It would be interesting to actually meet Dacia's mother. She wasn't involved in Romania and I'm wondering which side she'll be on. We also don't meet Dacia's father and I'm curious about him as well.

Any questions?


1. What will Lady Iona decide to lead the family to do next?
2. Where will Dacia and Lou go and what other things (magical or creatures) will they face?
3. Will we get to know more about Mr. Arkady?

Check out Dena's wrap-up and review as well. You can see my full review here.


If you read with us how did you do and what did you think? If you didn't, feel free to share any thoughts.

Now I'd like to welcome Author Jessica Day George to my blog to answer a few questions about Silver in the Blood...

Review: Silver in the Blood by Jessica Day George #SilverRA

Join the read-along!

I'm reviewing SILVER IN THE BLOOD as part of a read-along hosted by 
Dena @ Batch of Books and I (Tressa @ Wishful Endings).

In case you want to check them out, you can see the author's intro to the book here,
my mid-point thoughts here, and an interview with the author and my final thoughts here.
Don't forget to enter the Amazon gift card and book giveaway as well!

Silver in the Blood (Silver in the Blood, #1)Silver in the Blood
(Silver in the Blood #1)
by Jessica Day George
YA Urban Fantasy, Paranormal
Hardcover, 358 pages
July 7th 2015 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Summary

New York Times bestselling author brings dark secrets to life in a lush new YA perfect for fans of Libba Bray or Cassandra Clare.

Society girls from New York City circa 1890, Dacia and Lou never desired to know more about their lineage, instead preferring to gossip about the mysterious Romanian family that they barely knew. But upon turning seventeen, the girls must return to their homeland to meet their relatives, find proper husbands, and—most terrifyingly—learn the deep family secrets of The Claw, The Wing, and The Smoke. The Florescus, after all, are shape-shifters, and it is time for Dacia and Lou to fulfill the prophecy that demands their acceptance of this fate . . . or fight against this cruel inheritance with all their might.

With a gorgeous Romanian setting, stunning Parisian gowns, and dark brooding young men, readers will be swept up by this epic adventure of two girls in a battle for their lives.