The Work of Art

I am coming back to an author that has quickly become a favorite of mine, Mimi Matthews. I have read several of her books and have been impressed with her writing. The words just come together and create an engaging story to read. The Work of Art is another well done story that left me wanting my own Captain Heywood.

Phyllida Satterthwaite lived a sheltered life with her grandparents but when they were both taken away from her, her life was quickly turned upside down. A distant male cousin will come and take her to his household which he will present her to the ton. Philly will realize that her cousin has his own agenda and she would have to do what she must. Philly will be shocked to find help from Captain Arthur Heywood.

Captain Arthur Heywood had been to battle and came back but injured. He was a shell of the man he had been but Philly will have him live again. When he sees her fighting to not be trapped he offers his service and his life will forever be changed because of her.

I really loved this story. Philly was a compassionate woman who was sheltered but had a good heart. Her love of dogs was heartwarming. She did not pity Arthur as some would have done, she found a friendship with him and when all was almost lost for herself she did not ask him for help for herself, but for her animals. I loved Arthur, he was a broken man but not that broken. He just thought it would be easier to not care, but he changed and I liked that it was a subtle change. Not an overnight change.

These were two characters who were very similar and brought out the best in each other. The mystery behind the letter and the danger to Philly had left me questioning who the villain was in the book. There were several options. I had not guessed the villain, but they were on my list of possibilities.

I am looking forward to my next Mimi Matthews books, A Holiday By Gaslight.

 

Cold-Hearted Rake

Cold Hearted RakeDevon Ravenel doesn’t want the estate he was given but he would do what he could. Devon and with the help of his brother will reshape the estate and tenants. Devon will also pay attention to the former lady of the estate, he will pursue Kathleen until she gives in to his pursuit.

Lady Kathleen Trenear was wary of the new owner but she would do what she could to protect her sister-in-laws. Kathleen will be surprised when Devon will not sell the property but help it become profitable again. She will also be shocked by his effort to seduce, she will fight it but for only so long.

Cold-Hearted Rake is novel by Lisa Kleypas. I really loved this book. I was so happy that Lisa Kleypas is back with more of her historical romances. Though I will say it did take a little for me to get into the story, but once I was into the story I couldn’t wait to read the rest.

Devon’s character did not want the estate or the title that went with it but he softens especially when he starts interacting with Kathleen. He first came as someone who didn’t care and he really didn’t but he changes. I liked how Devon treats his cousins, he is definitely a softy when it comes to them. Kathleen’s character was definitely icy when it came to Devon and it made sense as she knew she would be kicked out of the house. Kathleen was also very protective which I liked though she was a little too determined to help, she didn’t ask if they needed it.

The fire between Devon and Kathleen is definitely there but they fight it. Devon fights it at first and only very little. Kathleen will be fighting it with everything she has, but she will give in.

There is another story that is happening with Helen and Winterborne, and I am curious with what is the deal with Winterborne. I wasn’t sure I would like him but at the end you know there is more to the man than what you see. I can’t wait to read their story which has come out and I am on the list for.

The Leopard Prince

The Leopard PrinceLady Georgina Maitland doesn’t want a husband to run her estates. All she needed was a good steward, Harry Pye, but she will have a problem when she starts to feel things for the man.

Harry Pye prided himself on doing his job well but Lady Georgina was distracting. He will want her for himself but knows that would be impossible. The situation gets worse when he is thought to be a murderer but Georgina will stand by his side.

The Leopard Prince is the second book of the series Princes Trilogy by Elizabeth Hoyt. I had read the first book around three or four years ago and I had liked that book but I wasn’t amazed by it. I have to say I have the same feelings for this book. It wasn’t that there was anything really boring about the book but I just felt I was reading for the sake of reading. That is the complete opposite in the Maiden Lane series where I have loved each and every book.

So I will say that I liked the second book a little more. The reason being there was the intrigue of a murder that had happened in the village. The man suspected was Harry Pye but as the reader you knew he could not have been the murderer. It was not just in the his character. I did like Georgina and how driven and independent she was in her life.

I am on to the third book next. I don’t know if I will be blown away by the book but I am interested in trying as Elizabeth Hoyt is one of my favorite authors.

The Untamed Mackenzie

The Untamed MackenzieLady Louisa Scranton knows that she should marry a wealthy and respectable man as that was what she was brought up to do. Though Louisa was not attracted to those men, she wanted a stern but passionate detective Llyod Fellows.

Detective Inspector Lloyd Fellows worked hard at solving crimes. He never cut corners or lied about a report. That will all change when Louisa Scranton is accused of murder. Fellows knows that she was innocent but he knew that the system still found the innocent guilty. He would do anything he could to help Louisa.

The Untamed Mackenzie is from the series Mackenzies/Highland Pleasures by Jennifer Ashley. This novella is number 5.5 in the series. I really loved this novella. Like the others there is that intrigue and mystery but this was an actual case where you got to read about how Fellows worked as a detective. It was different and intrigued me from start to finish.

The character of Lloyd Fellows in the beginning of the series was a hard man and one who hated the Mackenzies. Well he is still that man but there is more trust with his half brothers and he is becoming part of the family. I liked that Fellows was a ruff man, he had to be in his line of work. There is not a lot of gentleness, although when he is with Louisa it can be seen. Louisa’s character was not a spoiled woman, but she had lived the life of privilege. I think that Louisa was a smart and vibrant woman who did what she needed to do. She also had passion flowing through her veins which only heated whenever Lloyd Fellows was around.

The Mackenize passion is alive and well as it flows through Fellows veins. The heat between Fellows and Louisa is passionate and it compels the characters to be together.

The mystery of the murder was interesting. There were a couple bad guys and the one that looked to be the villain was not the main villain, although that character was bad in what they were doing. So the true villain was a surprise and I liked how Fellows finally figured out the truth and all was explained.

I am reading Scandal and the Duchess next.

The Heiress Effect

The Heiress EffectMiss Jane Fairfield was out to make herself look foolish so that no man would want to marry her, which would protect her sister. Jane had become very good at that task until she meets Oliver Marshall. He was the one man that she might want more from.

Mr. Oliver Marshall had a goal which was to have everything. He was after a vote and would do what he had to do to get that vote. Though he will find that he was having a trouble getting that goal with Jane Fairfield as his obstacle.

The Heiress Effect is the second book to the series Brothers Sinister by Courtney Milan. I was waiting for Oliver’s story and was not disappointed. I loved this book. There is a way that Courtney Milan weaves a story that makes you compelled to read the story word for word.

Oliver was a man that did not know his place in society but was determined to get his place, for himself and for his father. I liked his drive that he had, but he was also a good man. When everyone laughed at Jane he did not. He knew what it was like to be laughed at. Now Jane’s character was also determined. Everything she did was to help her sister. Jane endured a lot of humiliation during those days.

I wondered about the romance between Oliver and Jane. It was a very slow build kind of romance and it was sweet as they were very much alike. Though because of those similarities that made the romance hard to handle at times.

The villain was clearly the Marquess and you disliked him greatly for how he was using Oliver and threatening Jane. There was also another villain in this book which was Jane’s uncle. He wasn’t a bad man on purpose but he was one that didn’t listen to reason.

There were several side story’s with Emily, Jane’s sister, and then one with Free, Oliver’s sister. I liked these side stories. I know that Emily’s story is over but Free will have her own story soon.

The Naked Prince

The Naked PrinceJosephine “Jo” Atworthy was a twenty eight year old woman and according to her father needed some fun. She will be forced into going to a house party where she expected there would be nothing to do until she meets her prince that she had been corresponding with. Jo will find herself wanting to experience the house party and join in on the scandalous behavior if Damien was with her.

The Naked Prince is a novella that is part of the Naked Nobility series by Sally MacKenzie. This novella is book number 6.5 to the series. I have read this out of order as I have already read the complete series with the exception of the 2.5 novella (I will be reading that one next). Well I liked this novella. I thought it was very much like the other novels. There was some humor, scandalous behavior and two characters that you couldn’t help but like.

I liked Damien’s character. He was a scholarly type but also the Prince of Hearts. He was a man who liked pleasures but he was not as lustful as the other men at the party. I liked that he was reserved but not when it came to Jo. With Jo there was that passion that was between them and it as sweet at the same time because of her innocence. I liked that the novella wasn’t just about the lust as Jo and Damien had to work together to stop Stephen from being trapped by a woman into marriage who he did not love (Stephen’s happy ending will come in the last book of the series).

I am reading The Naked Laird next which will complete the Naked Nobility series.

Tempting the Highlander

Tempting the highlanderRobbie MacBain is a foster parent trying his best to help troubled teens who kept scaring away housekeepers. He will find help from Catherine Daniels who was on the run from her ex-husband who had abused her. There will be another burden thrown on his shoulder when the old priest tells him he has to save the highlanders from traveling back in time. Robbie will have to travel back in time to find a book of spells to stop the spell from happening. As Robbie travels through time Catherine will help keep the teens protected.

Tempting the Highlander is the fourth book to the series Pine Creek Highlander by Janet Chapman. I liked this book. I thought there was more action in this book with what was going on, which would make sense as Robbie was time traveling back to his father’s time.

Catherine’s character was someone I liked. She was abused by her husband but she kept going for her kids. She did not break down but made a move that would get them away from their past. Robbie helps Catherine by giving her the housekeeper job. Robbie’s character turned out to be a strong man with good morals and a kind heart. I think there was still some of the highlander teaching in him with being a little demanding but it wasn’t overbearing. There will be a romance building between Catherine and Robbie. My hope was that Robbie didn’t get stuck in the past so he could keep his relationship strong with Catherine.

I liked that Chapman had Robbie needing to time travel to save his family. There will be several surprises when time traveling happens. I am reading the fifth book next. I only have a few more to read to finish off the series.

Half Blood Blues

Sid Griffiths will recap the time back in Berline 1939 when war was approaching and rebellion was the thing to do. With several friends they create jazz music in a time when all that was prohibited.

Half-Blood BluesHalf Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan is someone I wouldn’t have navigated towards on my own. My book club read this book and I will say it held my attention but nothing I was raving over. The characters left me wanting. I wanted more but it seemed that the plot and characters were always just dangling right at the edge of something more. That frustrated me as a reader as I wanted to find out more with the relationships and their past/future.

There were several main people in the book, all musicians, but once again they were not fully developed. I will say that all the characters were nothing to really love. They all had their flaws, well except the Kid. In the book Sid is the narrator jumping from the past to the present, that part is not difficult to follow. I will admit I do feel sad about everything that happened and hated what Sid did but understood it, still it was pretty bad. So Edugyan does provoke emotion to the reader. I don’t know if I will go towards another book of hers but I will always be open to the possibility.

Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter

I had told myself I would try Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter before I saw the movie. The movie is out on DVD now so I figured it was time to start the book. Its been several months since I first read Seth Grahame-Smith and his Pride and Prejudice and Zombies which still to this day I am not sure I loved or didn’t, so going after this book was a something I wasn’t still sure.

The premise of the book is basically Abraham Lincoln discovers vampires at an early age and swears to destroy each and everyone as they covered his life with death. Abraham becomes one of the best vampire hunters until he is stopped by John Wilkes Booth or is he?

So now that I have your attention I will say this Seth Grahame-Smith is a very interesting writer, strange but still interesting. I wasn’t enthralled with the book as it didn’t grasp my attention as Pride and Prejudice and Zombies did even with is absurdities. Now I am not saying this book is horrible as it is definitely not. The history of Lincoln’s life was intriguing but at times I felt a little bored with the history. The added aspect of vampires was kind of funny when Smith adds it into the text. I did like a little twist at the end of the book and actually the introduction that was written. It was clever to read and gave a certain mystery to the novel.

Overall again I am indifferent but can appreciate the idea behind this novel. Now as it happens I found myself picking up the movie the same night just out of sheer curiosity. The movie did grab me as I watched it. There were plenty of things that were cut out and the ending was okay. They ventured away from how the book ended but the movie was fun to watch all the same.

The Healing

Taking a break from the romance novels my book club got us to read a book from Jonathan O’Dell who wrote The Healing. We read this a month ago but I found myself thinking how to write this post.

The concept of the story is about the life and workings that goes on on a plantation. The story is primarily around Granada who was a little slave girl. She was almost as a pet to the master’s wife. Granada grew up in the world of the white class but could never find a place that was hers. At twelve she is sent from the house as an assistant to a medicine woman. Life will only be more complicated to this little girl as she tries to find where she belongs.

The story itself was good, it was certainly different from what I have read before and O’Dell gives a very good detail on the time back then. He wrote very enriched characters especially Polly who was the medicine woman. The part I was not a fan of at times was Granada who rebelled against her own but that is because she thinks the white woman is her friend and will still protect her. Throughout the story she has the same outlook as she did as a little girl. She does grow and understand but for me you don’t really connect at times with Granada.

What I did find interesting was the twist at the end of the story which gave it a true ending. O’Dell writes in an insightful way which will have you enjoying the book. With most of my books I tend to stay more towards the female authors, so this was a nice change. I usually navigate towards female authors as most romance authors are woman so its always nice to read from other authors you wouldn’t have normally gone to.