Monday, November 28, 2022

"The Heroic Sheriff's Abducted Bride"
by Florence Linnington

Laura Hart and her father have been traveling from town to town selling his "miracle cures" since Laura's mother had died. Laura would like to settle down in a nice town somewhere rather than constantly traveling from one location to another, selling "cures" that do very little of what they are claimed to fix. And when someone dies after taking one of these cures, the town's Sheriff finds himself with more trouble on his hands than he initially expected.

As with Ms. Linnington's previous books, I enjoyed reading this one. It had a slightly more complicated adventure than I usually expect in a mail order bride story and involved multiple twists and turns in the plot. I particularly enjoyed seeing the personal growth experienced by several of the characters in this tale. 

The only questions that I was left with were not important to the story itself, just a couple of small things that I was curious about that were left unanswered. But as I said, they were not something that impacted the story one way or the other in the end. Nor did my not learning those answers detract from my enjoyment of the story.

If you enjoy reading mail order bride stories or have enjoyed Ms Linnington's other books, then you should enjoy this one as well.

Monday, November 21, 2022

"Enchantment of Thorns"
by Helena Rockwell and Elm Vince

Once a year, all the village girls turning 18 must gather and enter the woods, following a magically appearing trail where one will be chosen as part of a tithe and taken away by a fae known as "the beast." No one knows what happens to the chosen girl and in 100 years,  none of those chosen have ever returned to her home. No one in the village knows why the tithe exists, other than it helps to maintain peace between the fae kingdom and the bordering human village, even if that peace is tenuous at best. 

Aster is the green witch protecting her town from the fae living across the border. This year both she & her sister are among those turning 18. When Aster protects and prevents her sister from being chosen, the beast takes Aster instead. Now who will protect the village if she doesn’t return and what will happen to Aster while in the fae realm, and what happened to the girls who had been chosen in the past?

I enjoyed this twist on the Beauty and the Beast tale. I found the setting of the faerie kingdoms an interesting twist and enjoyed the almost hidden disney-esque references  that showed up here & there amusing. I think that anyone who enjoys twisted fairy tales & retellings will enjoy this book just as I did.

Monday, November 14, 2022

"The Song of the Partisans" by Kathryn Gauci

A young member of the French Resistance in Paris is asked to accept a risky assignment in Reims, France. She's given the cover of working as a nurse for an elderly woman who owns a Champagne estate. The woman she is employed as a nurse for is also part of the Resistance and the job provides cover and access for the young woman to complete other assignments and otherwise help the Resistance during the last year of WWII.

There is much danger and intrigue in this novel. And while it is in itself a work of fiction, the author has very clearly done her research into real world events that took place during the time and locations in which this book is set which and inspired this tale. Not only did I enjoy the story itself, but I very much enjoyed the historical information that the author included after the story was complete.

If you enjoy WWII stories, historical fiction set in this time period, or any of Ms. Gauci's other books, then I would strongly recommend reading this one. It was very well written and quite enjoyable. It is definitely worth reading.

Monday, November 7, 2022

"Secrets of Mackinac Island:
The Complete Series" by Katie Winters

When Elise's mother died unexpectedly, Elise felt the loss deeply. She'd never known who her father was as her mother had refused to talk about the subject. But as she was going through her mothers things after the funeral, Elise discovered the diary her mother had kept during the year that she'd gotten pregnant. Not only had her mother never spoken about Elise's father, but she had apparently hidden the fact that she had worked for a time as a personal assistant for actress Jane Seymour during the filming of the movie "Somewhere in Time" on Mackinac Island. 

Having never known anything about it, Elise finds herself traveling to Mackinac Island, Michigan to try and discover more of her mother's hidden past, and maybe even manage to discover and hopefully meet her father.

I really enjoyed reading this 4-book boxed set. I grew up in Michigan myself and spent two summers working on Mackinac Island while in college. I also loved the movie "Somewhere in Time."  Anyone who has spent any time working on the island, will learn many stories from year round residents about the time that Ms. Seymour and her co-star Christopher Reeves were filming on the island. I know that I certainly did.

The four books flowed so seamlessly into one another that it felt more like I was reading one book rather than four books packaged together. The author must have spent at least some time visiting the island as her descriptions of the more notable landmarks were pretty accurate. It brought back to me many memories of my time on the island. 

I think that this story will appeal to those who have visited the island or who have seen the movie "Somewhere in Time" as well as to anyone who enjoys contemporary romance tales.

Edited to add: When I went to post my review of the box set, it appears that the box set is no longer available, and what I read appears to have been republished as books 1 & 2 in a 6 book series. (In other words, you'll need to buy both books if you want to enjoy what I have read thus far, and it looks like I'll need to read the remaining 4 books in the series to find out what happens next.)

Firefax by A. M. Vergara

During the Revolutionary War, there are rumors of a city of gold that is hidden on an island whose location is known only to the Firefax fam...