Austenland

AustenlandJane Hayes has lived for Pride and Prejudice and it has become a thing of dreams from the moment Colin Firth came into the picture. Thanks to an unexpected addition in her Great-Aunt’s “Will” Jane will have the chance to live the life she always wanted.

Austenland by Shannon Hale is exactly what I imagined, a little quirky and filled with women who want to life the Jane Austen experience. This was the perfect book to read for the Jane Austen fan. It was only 195 pages so I went through it pretty fast but enjoyed every page.

There are little surprises throughout the book especially with who some of these people really are in their own lives. I liked that Jane grew up through the book and knew she had to take charge and live her life. The part at the end with Mrs. Wattlesbrook’s and Jane was priceless and perfect. There were times that it got confusing who was good for Jane and who wasn’t. It was a tug between Martin and Nobley. I couldn’t make up my mind, secretly I was going for Mr. Nobley. The truth will come out in the end and the right man will be paired with Jane. The ending was what you wanted in a happy ending filled with romance and hope of a new beginning.

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One Naughty Night

One Naughty NightLily St. Claire loves her family and will do what she needs to do to save them. Even when her past starts to show up but she will not be alone as unexpected help will emerge from a rogue whose family had destroyed the St. Claire’s long ago.

Lord Aidan Huntington knew he wanted her the moment he saw her. Aidan searched for the actress and then found her three years later. He will find himself getting closer and will find himself caring and wanting to help her when danger gets too close.

One Naughty Night by Laurel McKee is the first book to the series Scandalous St. Claire’s. I really liked this book. Not only were the characters ones I wanted to know more about, this was a very steamy book. The plot stays true to the title with how Aidan and Lily interact. As they are together whether they touch or not they are always about to burst with lust. They have instant attraction and lust and it is still there three years later. Now the book isn’t all about lust especially as our characters don’t trust each other completely, but there troubles surrounding them. The man in Lily’s past who can only be a vile villain that you want to see destroyed. I loved how there was justice at the end and how St. Claire’s and Huntington’s banned together for a greater purpose.

Scandalous St. Claire series is still new so there is only one other book out which I will want to read to find out what was going to happen with Dominic and Sophie as the grudge is still not over for St. Claire.

The O’Hurley Siblings

Molly and Frank O’Hurley along with their only son Trace were expecting the fourth member of their family.  But Molly and the family were about to get a surprise.  Instead of one baby there were three.  Triplets, Chantel, Abby and Maddy.  These four stories The Last Honest Woman, Dance To The Piper, Skin Deep, Without A Trace, of Nora Roberts will charm you, make you laugh and feel for these siblings.

The Plot of The Last Honest Woman

Abby the middle triplet and the sensible one.  The only un-sensible thing she did was run off with a race driver, Chuck Rockwell at eighteen.  Now eight years later Abby is a widow with two children.  She has been a widow for five years and decided now is the time for her to give in to the book deal.  It’s for herself and her children who never really knew their father.  But the story is not what it seems to be and Dylan Crosby will find his answers.

Dylan Crosby an accomplished writer on biographies is getting the chance at Chuck Rockwell’s story.  Going there all he was thinking was that she was rich and had servants but he was finding out that was not true.  She was not who he thought.  Abby was hiding the truth from him and he needed to know.  But the truth is not always pretty.  Dylan will find out and experience more than he expected to with Abby O’Hurley.  And just maybe Abby will find something as well.

The Plot of Dance To The Piper

Maddy O’Hurley was a performer her whole life was on the stage, it was where she felt the most alive.  As the youngest triplet Maddy loved her sisters and brother but she wasn’t like them, not glamorous or generous she was just the cute sister.  She needed someone and that someone was Reed Valentine.

Reed Valentine was a cool business man running his fathers recording company.  They decided to try and back a play which is where he meets Maddy O’Hurley.  She isn’t anything he imagined.  She was so alive and it scared him.  He needed her but he was burned before by those he loved and was wary of a relationship with her.

But it may be just what Reed needs, Maddy’s spirit and love.

The Plot of Skin Deep

Chantel O’Hurley is an inspiring actress known for her roles and tabloid romances.  Chantel had everything going for her, she was loved by her family, doing something she loved and loved by fans.  But maybe one fan went a little too far.  A crazed fan is going above and beyond to get Chantel’s attention.  Matt, Chantel’s agent, gets an old friend Quinn Doran to help.

Quinn Doran is a tough P.I. and wasn’t thrilled with his assignment.  He thought she was overacting but then he saw the notes and the terror in her face.  Quinn decided to stay and help.  He wanted to protect her the best way he could but he disrupted her life and her life.

Quinn finds what he has been missing as he protects Chantel and Chantel will find the one man she is able to be truly happy.

The Plot of Without A Trace

Trace O’Hurley left his family early in his live to pursue something that is for him.  Trace knew that his father would be angry but he had to do this even though he would miss all of his family.  And now twelve years later Trace is looking forward to retirement from the agency.  A friend had died and he didn’t want to do this work anymore.  He had experienced a lot within these years but he wouldn’t be getting that retirement just yet.

Gillian Fitzpatrick was the woman who would bring Trace back to his work and towards his goal of retirement.  Gillian had a proposition to make for Trace.  She wanted his help to get her brother and niece back from the group Hammer who took them about six days before.  But she is also the one in danger as the men are also trying to get to her.

Trace takes the assignment against his better judgment.  One for the money and another for revenge.  There was also a part of him that wanted just to protect her.

The two are thrown into a whirlwind of action but end up finding comfort in each other.  Gillian knows what she needs and Trace just might find out what he really needs with Gillian’s help.

As I finished these four books I was amazed by the dynamic characters and plots which flowed through the pages of the stories.  I loved the fact that there were the set of triplets and only one brother.  It was also interesting with the family being performers and in one way each child possessed some side of this artistic trait whether they wanted it or not.  I really loved that all of the sisters or brother were talked about in each others stories.  You never forgot about the others.  These books were fantastic to read.

Tribute by Nora Roberts

“Virginia’s Shenandoah Vally, in the shadow if the Blue Ridge Mountains, is a long way from Hollywood.  And that’s exactly how Cilla McGowan likes it.

Cilla, a former child star, has found a more satisfying life working with her hands to restore homes from floor to ceiling and has come here to her grandmother’s farmhouse, tools at her side, to rescue it from ruin.  Sadly, no one had been able to save her grandmother, the legendary Janet Hardy.  An actress with a golden voice and a tumultuous life, Janet entertained glamorous guests and engaged in decadent affairs, but died of an overdose in this very house more than thirty years ago.  To this day, Janet haunts Cilla’s dreams.  And during her waking hours, Cilla is haunted by her melodramatic, five times-married mother, who carried on in the public spotlight and never gave her a chance at a normal childhood.  By coming to the East Coast, rolling up her sleeves, and rehabbing this wreck of a house, Cilla intends to take a shot at finding some kind of normalcy for herself.

Cilla has her work cut out for her, the house, once a place a comfort and simple rural beauty, is long neglected, crumbling, the grounds choked by weeds.  Plunging into the project with gusto, she’s almost too busy and exhausted to notice her neighbor, graphic novelist Ford Sawyer, but his lanky form, green eyes, and easy, unflappable humor (not to mention his delightfully ugly dog, Spock) are hard to ignore.  Determined not to carry on the family tradition of ill-fated romances, Cilla steels herself against Ford’s quirky charm, but she can’t help indulging in a little fantasy.

But love and a peaceful life may not be in the cards for Cilla.  In the house’s cluttered attic, she has found a cache of unsigned letters, tied with a faded red ribbon, suggesting that Janet Hardy was pregnant when she died, and that the father of her child was a local married man.  Cilla can’t help but wonder what really happened all those years ago.  The mystery only deepens with a series of cruel and intimidating acts and a frightening violent assault.  And if Cilla and Ford are unable to sort out who is targeting her and why, she may, like her world-famous grandmother, be cut down in the prime in her life.”

Reading any books from Nora Roberts you can’t help but be pulled into the story, into the characters and all that surrounds them.

As I started to read Tribute I was immediately pulled into Cilla’s life and her struggle for creating her life over, to start a new and actually have her own life.  Cilla is a fantastic character.  She is strong, determined, struggles in aspects of her life, which endures her character to the reader.

Ford is as well a very well-developed character.  He holds the humor of the book with his witty and words that he says.  I love how he is a very determined man to make Cilla his own.  She resists and resists but finally she gives into happiness which is in the form of Ford.

The shocking thing about the book which was nice to read was the idea that Cilla dreamt of her grandmother.  You learned a lot about the grandmother through the dreams but was it Cilla’s imagination or really her grandmother.  Another great part of the book is who really is behind the mischief that is plaguing Cilla and the mystery of how her grandmother really met her end.  The culprit(s) will reveal themselves and new ones will come to harm Cilla.

I wasn’t sure who the real person was until the very end of the book.

Laura Resnick’s “Disappearing Nightly” and “Dopplegangster

An ordinary girl living in an extravagant city gets sucked into an implausible situation.  These wacky, quirky, funny with some slap stick comedic books are fun to read and different from many things I have read.

The story line for “Disappearing Nightly” is Esther is working on stage and during one of the acts the main girl Golly Gee disappeared while she was put into the cage.  This of course was reported and the police came to investigate but Esther needed answers so she goes to the Detective Lopez, who has his own fascination with Esther.  But he doesn’t believe that Golly Gee disappeared, that it was a publicly stunt.

Before Esther knows it she is wrapped into the world of magic with Max, the wizard, and a group of stage people who have all had people in their act start to disappear.  Meanwhile Lopez is doing his best to see how he can handle this case and to get close to Esther.

I really liked the character of Esther Diamond in the first book.  She is a strong woman trying to make it as an actress while still trying to be a caring person.  The entire bunch of characters were comically while being mixed in this world of magic.  I really liked Max and his quest to fight the evil.  Lopez was fantastic.  There was no real romance till the end but I loved Lopez and Esther’s banter back and fourth.

The next book “Dopplegangster”, our heroine Esther Diamond is back.  Her show Sorcerer! is closed due to lack of interest and Esther is bummed to find another job but luck comes her way to get her old waitress job back.  Lopez is fine with that until he hears where the job is, which of course is in the middle of mob territory where  he will be working now.  Esther doesn’t believe there will be problems especially since she worked there before but low and behold she is dragged back into the world of magic and mischief as a man drops dead in front of her, and he isn’t the last to find death.

With the help of Max, Lucky the gangster and Lopez (who is helping with hiding evidence that would incriminate Esther), Esther is on the run from the mystical being that duplicates the victims.

Esther character is fantastic with her strange ways and the people that she meets.  She is truly a remarkable new heroine.

In this funny comedy/paranormal romance you will be laughing and intrigued with what happens with Esther and that antics which come from Max.  This was a great sequel to “Disappearing Nightly”.

“The Perfect Royal Mistress”

I don’t know why but I thought I would try another book by Diane Haeger.  I did like her other book but it just wanted to make me cry, so I hoped that this would not do so.

The story line of “The Perfect Royal Mistress” is about a lowly orange girl, Nell Gywnne trying to survive in this world in the time of 1666.  Her mother has been out of her life with drinking and Rose her sister took to prostitution to help provide food for them.  Nell has tried to keep her witt and strength in this time.

Charles II is king at this time married to Catherine but that doesn’t mean he stays faithful.  He has had many children with his mistresses.  He finds Nell as the lowly orange girl and finds her charming.  She tells him the truth with her witt, and she doesn’t know that he is king.

Nell finds herself being forced into sex by the actor Charles Hart which should have been the worst thing but Nell turns it into something she can use.   With the help of Richard Bell, Nell becomes a star on the stage in comedic plays.  It is at this time King Charles II sees her again and wants to get to know her better.

Nell lets the king and soon they begin their affair.  Nell though is different from all the other woman.  She ignores the other woman and lets him come back to her.  She continues on with her acting and all of London love her along with the King.

Okay so this book didn’t make me cry which was great.  Of course I was very frustrated throughout the book with the King and his commitment level to Nell.  I want them to always be together but he can’t stop with the cheating.  I personally would think that I would send the King packing with all the cheating but Nell is a different woman.  She loves the man and the King.  I wonder in today’s society would woman really be all that forgiving like Nell?  For me I know the answer is no.

What I also liked about this book was that its historical. These characters are real.  I liked how Diane places the facts and intertwines the fiction throughout the pages of the book.  It is also nice to have a little summary about what happens afterwards with Nell.

This book left me smiling more than “The Secret Wife of George IV”.  Over all I loved Nell strength in the book and found the atmosphere in that time fascinating to read.