I have loved reading Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice since I first read it at age seventeen. Now I will be honest, I have not read any other works of Austen’s. I am not really sure why I haven’t before now, but that was the case. So I have decided to go ahead and read the rest of Austen’s novels: Emma, Sense & Sensibility, Mansfield Park, Persuasion, and Northanger Abbey. I am excited to try out these novels. I know what each one is about as I have seen the movies that have been made from these books.

emmaI have decided to start with the novel Emma.

The summary of this story is that there is a young woman, Emma, who plays matchmaker. This will get her into trouble. She will make mistakes and learn from those mistakes, which will lead her to what she had been looking for.

My first impression is that it was long. I liked it but there was a lot of detail in the everyday that was being written. With that detail it took me longer to finish. Now longer to finish is still only two days reading it in the evenings. I was happy that I had seen the movie of Emma, which let me keep track with what was happening. Personally for me I thought Emma was a little annoying and a busybody. She was thoughtless at times which caused her to not think about what she was doing. Although Emma was a young woman and we are all allowed to make mistakes. I liked that she did learn.

The other characters in the book were all well written. Of course I liked Mr. Knightly. He was a man you wanted on your side and he had some pretty great speeches in the book. Sadly they were a lot of the times telling Emma she did something wrong. With Frank Churchhill character, I felt he was the opposite of Mr. Knightly. He was just too immature. Then there was Mr. Elton who wanted more, which was not a bad thing. It just made me dislike his character as he went about it the wrong way.

I will have to say that Emma is probably not a book I will go running back to read like Pride and Prejudice, but it was a well written novel and true to Austen’s style.

A Good Debutante’s Guide to Ruin

A good debutante's guide to ruinDeclan, the Duke of Banbury, was a scoundrel in the eyes of society and thanks to his stepmother and father he’d done his best to become one. Unexpectedly he will find his estranged stepsister one night at his house in need of help. Declan’s world will be turned upside down by this new development especially when he starts to feel things towards Rosalie.

Rosalie Hughes needed help and Declan was the only person she could rely on. She knew that she was not wanted but she would do her best to stay out of the way, even though it was hard since Rosalie was in love with Declan.

A Good Debutante’s Guide to Ruin is the first book to the series Debutante Files by Sophie Jordan. I really liked this story. Now it is a little risky with the stepbrother and stepsister relationship, however, they didn’t really have a relationship as they were estranged. Though back then first cousins were marrying each other.

I thought that Sophie Jordan did a great job with the characters. Declan played the scoundrel well but you knew at the heart of him was a good man. What happened to him when he was fourteen was terrible, that stepmother should have been kicked out on her butt. Of course that didn’t happen. I liked that Declan opened himself up for love when it came to Rosalie. So the character of Rosalie I liked. She was very much the innocent but had a backbone, not a strong backbone but a backbone nevertheless. She gets stronger with that backbone as the book goes on, especially at the end.

The mother of Rosalie is a horrible and manipulative woman. She is also a sick minded woman who had no heart. What she did to Declan back then was horrible but then what she was doing to Rosalie now was worse since it was her own daughter. There is justice to be had for Rosalie and Declan when it comes to the mother.

I am reading An Heiress for All Seasons next which will be a novella in the series.

Back to Buckhorn

Back to BuckhornZoey Hodge was back in her hometown to help her mother. Back when she was a teen Zoey’s ex boyfriend got into an accident and was killed, Zoey was blamed for the golden boy dying. When she comes back there will be those who still blame her but she could always count on the Hudson family to have her back, especially Garrett.

Garrett Hudson had a crush on Zoey when they were younger and he will find that his crush was not over. With Zoey back home he finds himself thinking of the possibility of spending more time with her. Garrett will find plenty of excuses to stay around especially when it looked like Zoey could be in danger.

Back to Buckhorn is the seventh book to the Buckhorn Brothers series by Lori Foster. I really liked this novella. Another great story from Lori Foster.

I really liked how Foster wrote Zoey’s character. Zoey was a free spirit and did not let things get to her. She accepted things and moved on. Well her attraction to Garrett was one thing she would never let go. I felt for Zoey when she came back to town and how there were some that still thought she was to blame for her ex’s death which it clearly wasn’t. The boy made the mistake and he faced the consequences which was sad for his family.

Amber is playing matchmaker throughout these books which is humorous. She is a force to be reckon with. I hope that Lori Foster will write a story with Amber and then another story but with Adam.

The last book that I am reading from the Buckhorn Brothers series is A Buckhorn Summer, which I will be reading next.


A Tale of Two Lovers

A Tale of Two LoversLord Simon Roxbury was a rake and had no desire to change that is until his father too away his way of living. He was to marry or become penniless. Roxbury liked his wealth and reluctantly chose marriage which he found out would not be easy when a columnist decided to give rumor to him liking the opposite sex.

Lady Julianna Somerset created her column after her husband died. She lived for writing and was good at discovering peoples secrets. She will write a scandal relating to Lord Roxbury which will earn her an enemy with Roxbury.  This will lead to her downfall in reputation which will lead her needing to work with Roxbury.

A Tale of Two Lovers is the second book to Maya Rodale’s series Writing Girls. This was another great book from the author. The plot flows easy as I read the story about Julianna and Roxbury.

Now this was a romance novel certainly as you can tell from the cover but these two characters were not in love whatsoever, at least not in the beginning. In the beginning they were mortal enemies. It was like they brought out the worst in each other yet underneath that anger was the wonder of seduction and lust. Roxbury was all about the seduction but it was more to teach her a lesson and Julianna thought about lust but did not want to push that idea to reality as she had been burned before in her previous marriage. They start getting along as they spend time with each other which is partly due to the need of repairing their reputations. I liked that they bonded over the hunt for the mysterious Man About Town and his identity.

Alright so now about the Man About Town this was a mystery. This person was a columnist who is competition for the Writing Girls. The person could be anyone but an older man since he had been doing the column for forty years. So my guess for this man was not even possible until Rodale gave one clue and then I knew exactly who this person was. I liked how Rodale ended it with this person which certainly gave Julianna the upper hand.

I am reading the fourth book next. I had previously read the third book to the series which featured Eliza. I can’t wait to find out more on Mr. Knightly.

The Marriage Trap

The Marriage TrapJack Rigg, Earl of Raleigh, did not want to be married and least of all trapped in one. Nevertheless he will be in that situation and find that marriage might not be so bad with the right woman. He now just has to prove that his brother in law was not a murderer.

Ellie Hill or Aurora as she has gone by is a woman who was bent on surviving. She takes care of her brother but trouble will find its way to them. She will have to prove that she is not a thief or that her brother is a murderer. Jack will proved her a way out of that trouble.

The Marriage Trap is the first book to the series Trap by Elizabeth Thornton. This was a book that I enjoyed. Things were deceiving when it came to the book and not just the plot but the characters. The mystery of who murdered the actress and stole the jewels were the topic for the book and it was something that kept my interest throughout the book.

I liked the character of Ellie as she was feisty and a little rebellious when it came to following the rules. For the gambling part she is acting out of character to save her brother from creditors so its not all about her wanting to have fun. For the most part she puts on a brave face and doesn’t want to give into charity. She will take it at times especially when it came to Jack but she will still go toe to toe with him. Jack was a man who avoided traps especially the marriage kind and he will find himself being trapped twice by the same woman. There is animosity between the two but that also brought heated passion. Passion will not be the only thing that will hold their attention as there is still the mystery of the murder that Robbie was being accused of and there was a good twist that I didn’t see coming.

The villain was the mystery but they were one and the same with the murder and the theft. I was not expecting the person who was the villain but if I were to look back there were hints but they were subtle enough that they didn’t grab you and point out the bad guy.

This author sounded familiar and as I started to think about her when I finished the book. I thought about it and found that I have read one book from her list of novels long before I started this blog. With this book done I think I will definitely have to follow up with the other two books from this series.

Fat Free and Fatal

Fat Free and FatalSavannah Reid was always looking for work and her friend, Detective Dirk Coulter, and ex-partner on the force got her a bodyguard gig for a celebrity. Savannah figured it would be easy until dead bodies started to show up.

I haven’t found many mystery novels that I liked to read or wanted to read more after the book was done. I am always searching for something that peaks my interest with a who done it plot. I think I found something with the book Fat Free and Fatal. Picking up the book I did not know it was a continuing series from the author G A McKevett. The series is called Savannah Reid. I started the series at the twelfth book and even though it was a book in progress with the characters you are able to read it without feeling like you are missing everything.

So about the book, it was fun to read. The mystery had characters who were a little quirky. I liked the character of Savannah obviously. She was snappy with her comebacks especially with Dirk, had some wit, humor and was good at her job. I liked Dirk as well. He was the cliche of an overworked cop but was a good man. There wasn’t any romance between them but you can tell that there is something there and I look forward to reading about how it will progress.

The murder/mystery aspect kept you on your toes with misdirection and it wasn’t a doom and gloom type of mystery. There was humor and the mystery was kept lighthearted especially with the type of characters in the book.

I think that I found a mystery series that I like, now I just have to start from the beginning to see how Savannah Reid got her start. If the beginning is as good as the twelfth book then I will have a new series to read.

Crazy For Love

Crazy for LoveChloe Turner has had her world turned upside down when her fiancee is thought to be dead. Really he jumped out of a plane running from her. Chloe wants the paparazzi to leave her alone. She will find her troubles lifting away especially when she meets Max but all good things come to an end.

Max Sullivan had come to the island with his brother. He wasn’t looking for love but there walks Chloe who looks to be perfect girl next door but he will find that she is not the perfect girl next door.

Crazy For Love is a stand alone novel by Victoria Dahl. With everything I have read from Dahl I have liked. Her stories are steamy, humorous and heartwarming. The story has all of it but I will have to say this would not be my top favorite of hers. I think what hinder me from loving it was the fact I couldn’t decide if I liked all the characters. Like Max who wouldn’t even listen when the time came. When Chloe needed him at that moment or Jenn since she was hiding something big from her friend as the guilt drove her to tears. I didn’t know if she was the other woman, I hoped she wasn’t. You learn the secret eventually and is forgiven but not at first. I did like Chloe even though her situation was a little out there with the paparazzi following her every move but it could happen.

I will say Dahl keeps you on your toes with what was happening with Jenn and the secret she was holding. The plot is a little crazy which fit the title of the book but as I said it was a good book to read from Victoria Dahl.