A Talent for Temptation by Sabrina Jeffries

There are a large number of likable characters in the Sinful Suitors series, and this novella gives two secondary characters the opportunity to fall in love if they will only take a chance. The author packs a whole lot of compelling moments into the few hours taking place in the story, where insightful details are learned and several secrets are disclosed. I can always count on Sabrina Jeffries to create an engaging plot which grabs my attention until the last word is read. A TALENT FOR TEMPTATION is delightfully satisfying because of appealing characters and a fun yet also emotional premise.

Since Meriel Vyse thinks she is obligated to follow the requests of her late husband’s brother, she will attend a ball instead of meeting with the man whom she is secretly seeing. As she prepares to leave her home, a stranger attempts to drag her to his coach. But before he can carry out his plan, Quinn Raines comes to her rescue.

After Meriel cancelled their latest tryst, Quinn decided to let her know how much he cares for her by devising a hasty scheme. However, things go wrong when he tries to prove he can keep her safe but is instead stabbed by a knife which she was carrying with her.  Now he feels more foolish than heroic, and Quinn hopes to redeem himself before it is too late.

While most happenings in the story are rather serious, amusement occasionally works its way into the situations. Sometimes it is a witty comment or some sharply-worded banter. Other instances have humorous thoughts flitting through their minds, and there are even a couple of scenes that really made me laugh. When an event is more somber and sincere emotions are being expressed, their honesty let me know exactly what Meriel and Quinn were feeling. Numerous facts have been concealed by her, and she believes too many differences will eventually keep her and the man that she is coming to love apart. I really liked her spunk and how she pushed forward even when all seems lost. Quinn feels the relationship he has with Meriel is stalled and takes desperate measures to ensure things move forward, and sadly the initial result is not at all what he wanted. I enjoyed watching this couple hash out what neither has been brave enough to discuss until forced to do so. Every situation in A TALENT FOR TEMPTATION captivates and provides entertainment.

I voluntarily reviewed the book from the publisher via NetGalley, and all comments are my honest opinion

Series:  Sinful Suitors

Publisher:  Pocket Star

Releases:  October 2, 2017

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/y84ytprh

Genre:  Historical

Author website:  http://www.sabrinajeffries.com/

Rating: 4 Stars

Caught by the Scot by Karen Hawkins

The Made to Marry series begins with a delightfully interesting novel filled with desperate plotting and lots of humor. What Conner Douglas thought would be an easy answer to an unexpected problem ends up having him devise one inventive plan after another in order to hopefully marry Theodora Cumberbatch-Snowe. He had believed this particular female would be easily persuaded to do his bidding, but it quickly becomes apparent that is not the case. From the moment these two longtime friends meet up, sexual longing increases the tension between them, often to a fever pitch. There are always plenty of humorous incidents occurring to the appealing characters in a historical story by Karen Hawkins, and CAUGHT BY THE SCOT intrigues with misadventures and witty banter.

Losing a beloved relative was bad enough, but Conner Douglas is downright angry upon hearing the terms of this person’s will. What he should inherit is to be given away if he does not wed within a certain number of months. While he could find a woman willing to be his wife, his intended must also be accepted in society. Though most of his female acquaintances are not well-regarded, Conner does know of one woman who would meet the stipulations that he must follow.

Although Theodora Cumberbatch-Snowe may seem to be shy and reserved, she is actually much more spirited than Conner thinks. While there was a time when she would definitely have married him if asked, the Scotsman has waited too long and now she is set to marry another man because she is ready for a change. But when Conner shows up with a surprising proposal, Theodora will have much to think over before her final answer is given.

When I started the book, I wondered how the author would handle the theme of the story where a man is forced to marry or suffer harsh consequences. Conner is shrewd when it comes to carrying out dealings as a privateer, and any relationships with women are for the sole purpose of gratification. He even thinks that having a wife will not truly change how he lives, and I enjoyed watching him come to comprehend what is really important in his life. It did take numerous unanticipated turns to make Conner realize several facts, and it was fun to see his devious mind at work as he plotted new strategies.

CAUGHT BY THE SCOT is entertainingly romantic. While love is certainly not on the mind of Conner when he uses trickery to keep Theodora from marrying another man, she has adored him for years. But this strong-willed woman wants her future to be genuinely happy, and she now understands that a sea-loving privateer cannot ever bring her lasting joy. The couple have much going against them of ever being together, and I was not certain on more than a few occasions if their differences could ever be worked out. When Conner and Theodora have discussions, their sharp wit is evident when cleverly worded comebacks are delivered. There are also some other characters whose remarks are very amusing. Karen Hawkins always manages to create scenes which leave me laughing and wanting more.

I voluntarily reviewed the book from the publisher, and all comments are my honest opinion

Series:  Made to Marry – Book 1

Publisher:  Pocket Books

Releases:  September 26, 2017

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/ycgabc8q

Genre:  Historical

Author website:  http://www.karenhawkins.com/

Rating:  4 Stars

Heart of Honor by Alexa Aston

In England during the 1300’s, marriages often took place because of political advantages or family duty. Though love is the deciding factor in why couples wed in the Knights of Honor series, their road to lasting joy is definitely filled with lots of dilemmas that may keep them apart. Alexa Aston makes any problems which arise very conceivable, and I could not foresee an easy solution to most of these troubling predicaments. As love is tested over and over again in the fifth book of the series, I became even more concerned over the future happiness of Lady Alys de Montfort and Sir Christopher “Kit” Emory. With each new development, I was drawn into the lives of this charming couple, where circumstances and every character are very believable. HEART OF HONOR is enthralling since your every emotion is profoundly affected.

When Lady Alys de Montfort and Sir Christopher “Kit” Emory first met, the two were rather young and had come to the English royal court in order to serve their rulers. She left for home shortly thereafter, and though she thought about the kind boy who consoled her during a distressing time, she knew they would never see one another again. Once back at Kinwick Castle, Alys continues learning from her mother about how herbs can aid those suffering from an illness.

Six years later, Kit remembers the skill of a girl for healing others, and he now needs her assistance because his mother is seriously ill. As he makes his way to where the healer lives, thieves attack him. With his severe injuries, Kit would surely have died if Alys had not been riding to a neighboring estate and took him back to her home. When he realizes that he does not know his name or background, he and the woman helping him know they must not speak about their growing attraction until questions about him are answered.

HEART OF HONOR is creative in how it entwines factual history with an imagined romance. Alexa Aston makes the daily details of those living in this period come to life with colorful descriptions, and even uses actual individuals from time to time. From showing encouragement to festive celebrations to pleasurable encounters, Kit and Alys took me on a riveting journey as they came to know one another more fully. The incidents where they were confronted by some form of danger had my own heart racing when situations turned uncertain. I often felt like I was right beside the characters experiencing the moment with them.

Alys has always been mature for her age, and greatly cares for people in need. Kit was much more carefree, and as the story progresses, I delighted in seeing how much he changed after observing her thoughtful behavior. Though she has been in the previous stories, reading those books only enriches your thoughts about this gifted healer. The author gives plenty of hints about her past history as well as that of other important characters to make this book a standalone. I simply adored Kit and Alys, as their every action made me want what was best for them.

I voluntarily reviewed the book and all comments are my honest opinion

Series:  Knights of Honor – Book 5

Publisher:  Dragonblade Publishing, Inc.

Releases:  August 21, 2017

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/y9ssvxb4

Genre:  Historical

Author website:  https://alexaaston.com/

Rating:  5 Stars

Traitor in Her Arms by Shana Galen

When a book can expertly interweave actual facts into a fictional love story, I am always delighted when the result has me feeling as though I am witnessing history in the making. The horrific reality of the Reign of Terror during the French Revolution is brought to life in such a way that I had to look up this historical period, and I discovered Shana Galen had definitely done much research in making her book come across as accurate. Though filled with frightening episodes at times, there are also moments where emotions take over a scene and cause a connection to be formed with the characters. From start to finish, I was constantly anticipating the next risky escapade. TRAITOR IN HER ARMS is an adventurous story of secret activities and unexpected romance.

Her decision of whom to marry turned out to not be the best choice, as Lady Gabrielle McCullough now owes much more money than was left by her deceased husband. To pay off those who are determined to collect what is due them, she has turned to thievery and has become quite adept. No one has caught Gabrielle until a man who was friends with her husband attempts to steal a particular item at the exact same time. Though he is the Earl of Sedgwick, Ramsey Barnes hides many secrets and she feels he cannot be relied upon.

It also seems another man has learned about her being a thief, because the legendary person called the Scarlet Pimpernel asks Gabrielle to assist in saving innocent French citizens from being killed. To carry out this request, she agrees to go from England to France and carry out a dangerous assignment. Gabrielle is shocked when she learns Ramsey is also going to Paris, as he has his own task to accomplish. As they both try to make sure their goals are achieved, the many tricky situations they have to face are made even more complicated when their hearts become involved.

Uncertainties keep TRAITOR IN HER ARMS suspenseful, while genuine emotions make the novel engaging. Gabrielle and Ramsey have found themselves in a challenging predicament, and both must make several very difficult choices. Though she has her own troubles, saving someone else is important to her. I really admired her determination to help others, even when the cost to her could be great. The quandaries in Ramsey’s life just keep mounting, and I worried over whether what he chooses to do would be the best for everyone. He is living with a terrible secret, and I had no idea what he would finally think is his best course of action. The honest emotions expressed by Ramsey and Gabrielle are certainly touching, and they convey their longing for one another with lots of passionate desire.

The way in which Shana Galen presents her compelling storyline made me believe the scenes could really have happened. During the Reign of Terror in France, many individuals were persecuted without a valid reason, and the author had me experiencing this fact through skilled writing. Numerous secondary characters play crucial roles in the book, and since some of these people did in fact live, the story seems even more realistic. I am eager to learn how the Scarlet Pimpernel will be included in the next installment of The Scarlet Chronicles series.

I voluntarily reviewed the book from the publisher via NetGalley, and all comments are my honest opinion

Series:  The Scarlet Chronicles – Book 1

Publisher:  Random House – Loveswept

Releases:  August 22, 2017

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/ycbcst3w

Genre:  Historical

Author website:  http://shanagalen.com/

Rating:  4.5 Stars

A Momentary Marriage by Candace Camp

Emotional circumstances at the very start of A MOMENTARY MARRIAGE grab your attention, and the enthrallment only intensifies with each new compelling development. The story takes place in England during the 1880’s, where a woman on her own without any foreseeable funds can face a grim future. When a medical condition leaves a man feeling hopeless, he and a desperate woman find themselves married to each other because it is logical. There are definitely no emotions involved, and they really do not even like one another. But as their true natures are gradually revealed and unanticipated events arise, the hero and heroine of the story come to comprehend there just might be more to their relationship than either ever imagined existing. A MOMENTARY MARRIAGE is an entertainingly original and believable novel written by Candace Camp.

When Sir James de Vere realized there was a very good chance of him dying, he knew exactly where he wants to live while waiting on the unavoidable. Grace Hill is his country estate and being away from his insufferable family will also give him some peace. Since no one in London seems able to do anything for him, James is advised to see Dr. Hinsdale in Canterbury before going home. But upon reaching the house where the doctor lives, he is informed by the man’s daughter that he has died.

The death of her father has caused Laura Hinsdale must heartache, especially since there is not enough money to pay all the debts. When James shows up, she is shocked to see the man with whom she once had an unpleasant conversation related to his cousin. Though he leaves after hearing her father has passed away, he returns the next day with a proposal of marriage. He would rather she inherit much of his wealth than family members for whom he has no respect. While there will never be any emotional connection between James and Laura, they come to an agreement for practical reasons.

A wide range of emotions are expressed in A MOMENTARY MARRIAGE, where the reactions of characters are always realistic. Lighthearted moments are conveyed with lots of clever banter, and the sharp-witted comments of James and Laura demonstrated they have a dry sense of humor. I chuckled often throughout the story, as the playfulness of their responses was often very unexpected. There are certainly several instances that pertain to his being ill that are very serious, and I was truly worried on more than one occasion. Ms. Camp could have me feeling anxious during one situation, and then being overjoyed when something positive happened. The relationship between James and Laura is convincing, as it changes from indifference to where feelings are surprisingly becoming entangled in what will ultimately occur.

There is an unforeseen turn in the story, one which leads to plenty of family drama and even some very suspenseful episodes. Ms. Camp has concocted a particularly intriguing mystery in the lives of James and Laura, and the unpredicted incidents that keep cropping up kept me from finding a place to stop reading. Numerous secondary characters added much interest to the scenes in which they are featured, and there is even a delightful dog whose antics made me smile. I have read books by Candace Camp for years, and A MOMENTARY MARRIAGE is another keeper.

I voluntarily reviewed the book from the publisher, and all comments are my honest opinion

Publisher:  Pocket Books

Releases:  June 25, 2017

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/yankyssh

Genre:  Historical

Author website:  http://www.candace-camp.com/

Rating:  4 Stars

Three Weeks with a Princess by Vanessa Kelly

In the second book of the Improper Princesses series, an illegitimate woman feels she will never find true love because of her background. She has lived an isolated life in the country, and now must make a crucial decision that will greatly affect her life and that of the man for whom she has always secretly adored. THREE WEEKS WITH A PRINCESS is a compelling historical novel, as the characters are charming while the premise is enjoyably delightful.

Though the father of Lia Kincaid is English royalty, her social status is seen as not acceptable because he never married her mother. She lives with her grandmother, a woman who has been a mistress to a marquess for years and even resides in a cottage on his property. The one bright spot while growing up was when Jack Easton stayed with his uncle, and she got to visit with him. Since he is now a soldier and will be gone for a long time, Lia dreams of him starting to see her as a woman and not a girl when he does return.

Upon the death of the Marquess of Lendale, the title goes to Jack. What he discovers about the estate is it needs immediate improvements or much could be lost. He also feels responsible for Lia and is totally unprepared for the effect she now has on him. When her grandmother comes up with a strategy which should help to ensure her granddaughter has a good future, Jack’s part in the plan could forever change his life along with how he perceives Lia.

Vanessa Kelly takes Jack and Lia on a journey of self-discovery, and what they come to comprehend could either bring them lasting joy or cause intense anguish. With much attention to each new development, the author had me coming to understand why her romantic couple reacted as they did, thus letting me see them as someone who could actually have been living through the circumstances these two had to face all too often. The Regency period had some very strict rules for anyone to live by if they did not want to be shunned, and Ms. Kelly uses this fact to the fullest as it influences every aspect of Lia’s life. I really felt sorry for her, because what her relatives did in the past is not her fault, but she is blamed nonetheless. Jack had always cared for her, and when he realizes his feelings are more than just those of a friend, society would surely condemn their relationship. All the major issues this couple has to overcome are depicted with believability, and I never knew how Jack and Lia would respond when an unexpected dilemma arose. But one thing for certain is their discussions were lively and packed with clever comebacks, while their determined natures kept interactions very interesting.

It was wonderful getting to revisit with the main couple from the previous book in the series, as Gillian and Charles made an engaging pair and her actions caused me to laugh more than once. Between countless amusing situations and mounting sexual tension, I was constantly entertained throughout the whole story. Vanessa Kelly has created an enchanting Regency story, and THREE WEEKS WITH A PRINCESS will long be remembered for its originality.

I voluntarily reviewed the book from the publisher via NetGalley, and all comments are my honest opinion

Series:  Improper Princesses – Book 2

Publisher:  Zebra

Releases:  June 27, 2017

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/y85rwcwb

Genre:  Historical

Author website:  http://www.vanessakellyauthor.com/

Rating:  5 Stars

Journey to Honor by Alexa Aston

All the books in the Knights of Honor series are filled with realism, and the fourth story had me experiencing the mid 1300’s in countless ways. From daily routines to vindictive schemes, I got a feel for what it could have been like to live during this changing period in history. Alexa Aston depicts every scene with details that are very convincing, as I could easily envision the moment as described. Each character is not only distinctive but also portrays someone who could have existed in the medieval era because of their reactions and personalities. When a story comes across as true-to-life as those written by Alexa Aston, then I feel as though the circumstances could actually have happened. JOURNEY TO HONOR is continuously enthralling because of vividly imagined developments.

Although Kenric Fairfax was actually the first-born son to the Earl of Shadowfaire, his twin brother was raised as the heir because of a vindictive plot. Upon turning twenty-one, he went through the Order of Knighthood Ceremony, which should have resulted in a good position immediately. Sadly, an incident makes him feel the need to leave the area, and Kenric eventually ends up serving Lord Devereux. When he is sent to retrieve the sister-in-law of his liege lord, he is eager to carry out this important duty.

While Avelyn Le Cler enjoyed some of her time at court waiting on the queen, she is ready to see her sister and be present for the birth of her niece or nephew. As Kenric watches over the woman under his protection, he comes to realize she is a considerate and knowledgeable individual. When Avelyn learns the hidden secret about the man for whom she is coming to deeply care, she is torn about what to do with the decisive information.

From the instant I met Kenric and Avelyn, I thought of them as being people with whom I would like to be friends. I could tell they were always concerned for others, as both tried to help when needed. They were honest and unselfish, not like so many people during this time when they only thought about themselves. Kenric could definitely have turned out much different after suffering through such a painful childhood, but he took it upon himself to never give in to his heartaches, which made me respect him very much. Avelyn was a delight with her positive attitude, and I really liked how she was not one to give up when she was confident an idea was correct. A few doubts do creep into the minds of these two characters, and I breathlessly waited to see what they would decide in the end.

JOURNEY TO HONOR is about discovering the truth and then acting accordingly. Knights were supposed to be loyal and righteous, and Kenric has tried to live his life in this manner, even when situations went terribly wrong. I ached for him when certain facts became known, and cheered when an event left him happy. I did lots of smiling over how Avelyn responded to several incidents, and even wanted to applaud her reaction to one episode. Many past characters make appearances throughout the book, and whether their stories have been read or not, enough was told to keep the reader well informed and not lost. I am hoping there are many more medieval books written Alexa Aston.

I voluntarily reviewed the book and all comments are my honest opinion

Series:  Knights of Honor – Book 4

Publisher:  Dragonblade Publishing, Inc.

Releases:  June 27, 2007

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/yd7fvojz

Genre:  Historical

Author website:  https://alexaaston.wordpress.com/

Rating:  5 Stars

The Pleasures of Passion by Sabrina Jeffries

When it comes to men who would make a good husband, Niall Lindsey would seem like a bad candidate. With his reputation as a rogue plus having taken part in a duel, he gives the impression of someone who enjoys a good time and does not think about his actions. But appearances can be deceiving, as Brilliana Trevor slowly discovers when the two must work together. As secrets come to light and opinions begin to change, the couple cannot keep from wondering if they can have a relationship that might just last this time. Historical romances written by Sabrina Jeffries are always convincingly realistic, and every detail in THE PLEASURES OF PASSION captures the imagination.

After a duel in which Niall Lindsey participated resulted in the death of the other man, the future Earl of Margrave knew he had to leave London or face grave consequences. When he asks Brilliana Trevor if she would accompany him, her refusal leaves him dejected. Hearing she married soon after his departure is a double blow. It sadly takes seven years for Niall to be exonerated of the crime, and he can now return home. It is not long before he and Brilliana come in contact during various social functions, but he has no intention of being involved with her again.

Unfortunately, Niall’s wish for him to avoid the woman whom he once wanted to wed is not granted. A government employee forces the couple to pretend they are engaged in order to catch a possible counterfeiter, a man related to her. Though neither wants to take on the assignment, the price of not doing so is too high. As Niall and Brilliana are seen together so everyone will actually think they are going to marry, their private conversations reveal inner hurts plus hidden truths and may even give them another chance.

The Sinful Suitors series is up to four books, and THE PLEASURES OF PASSION is filled with heartfelt emotions and a huge mystery. Though Niall and Brilliana were once very close, misconceptions led to them being apart for years. Now the couple has the opportunity to see if there is still something between them, but first they will have clear up any wrong ideas they have about the other or they can never have a future. A second chance storyline is one I like, especially if the reason two people broke up was beyond their control. Sabrina Jeffries carefully constructs a believable explanation for Niall and Brilliana’s previous relationship not continuing, and then gives convincing accounts of what takes place when they reunite. I could not keep from worrying over the fact that a big secret needed to be concealed, but at what cost. Niall gives plenty of honest reactions during many of the discussions he has with Brilliana, and her own are just as candid. Desiring each other is not one of their problems, as their intimate encounters are heated and definitely enthusiastic.

What is going on connected to any counterfeiting matters is cleverly carried out, and I kept trying to guess exactly who was behind any criminal activities. The author kept the suspense building until all is disclosed, as clues are subtle. This story easily stands alone, but will make the reader want to know what has been missed in earlier books.

I voluntarily reviewed the book from the publisher, and all comments are my honest opinion

Series:  Sinful Suitors – Book 4

Publisher:  Pocket Books

Releases:  June 20, 2017

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/ya3nwqzf

Genre:  Historical

Author website:  http://www.sabrinajeffries.com/

Rating:  4.5 Stars

The Dukes of Vauxhall by Vanessa Kelly, Christi Caldwell, Theresa Romain and Shana Galen

A mutual topic can be found in every storyline of the novellas that have been created by four notable authors. The French have been defeated at Waterloo, and the British are ready for some merrymaking. Parties are taking place, and several big gatherings will occur at Vauxhall Gardens. What will happen to eight individuals attending various entertainments will change their lives forever, and I was thoroughly enraptured by how cleverly the authors entwined common threads into each of their stories. There are also fascinating romances which are given a second chance at love or an unexpected beginning. All the authors have previously written outstanding romance books about the Regency period, and these fun novellas are totally gratifying. THE DUKES OF VAUXHALL has enchanting characters, original circumstances, and compelling emotional issues in every captivating story.

“Taken by the Duke” by Shana Galen

After recently becoming a viscount, Henry Selkirk gets chosen to organize a huge ball that will celebrate the British victory over the French at Waterloo plus observe the Prince Regent’s birthday. As he tours Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, the site of the festivities, he is taken by a group of ruffians whose leader is called the Duke. While held hostage, Henry meets Kate Dunn, a childhood friend with whom he was once very close. But she has grown into a woman with many secrets, and their lives depend on what choices each ends up making.

The interaction between Henry and Kate is often very interesting, as these two gradually discover whether they can ever trust the other or if they will only get hurt. I thought the current events in their lives led to plenty of surprising scenes, where emotions and hope played a huge part in deciding the course of their actions. Shana Galen makes “Taken by the Duke” constantly intriguing with unforeseen developments. A delightful story with subtle humor and charming characters.

“Fighting for His Lady” by Christi Caldwell

Though Patience Storm had once deeply cared for Godrick Gunnery, his lies caused her to never want him in her life again. However, a desperate need for her brother to win a prizefighting match has her contacting the man who became a champion after being taught by her deceased father. Previously called the Duke of the Ring but now retired, Godrick agrees to help Patience’s brother train in order to hopefully have a victorious bout. Fighting is all he has let himself think about since he last saw the only woman who ever meant anything to him, yet being around her brings back memories that he wants to turn into a reality once more.

“Fighting for His Lady” is an exciting story of lost dreams and optimistic wishes. The premise does not follow a typical Regency plot, as Godrick lives an unusual life for a Duke’s son, while the conduct of Patience is not the norm for women of the period. I was highly entertained when this couple interacted, because honest feelings led to earnest responses. Christi Caldwell has written a rousing and enjoyable romance.

“The Prodigal Duke” by Theresa Romain

There was a good reason for Leo Billingsley leaving London years ago, but now he has returned and will become the next Duke of Westfair. But he needs some assistance with a problem, and the only person who comes to mind is Poppy Hayworth, the woman with whom he grew up and is now a local tightrope performer. Since she has her own troubles, accepting his offer of a fictitious engagement will also benefit her. What was once between Poppy and Leo could have turned into more than friendship at one time, and they might just realize that the chance is still there.

Amusing comments had me smiling, while several more serious incidents made me anxious as I waited to see what would eventually take place. Leo and Poppy are pleasantly delightful, and I saw them as two people who were caught in difficult situations not of their making yet still tried to make the best of whatever they faced. Theresa Romain gives her couple much to prevail over, and I found their choices to be genuinely realistic. “The Prodigal Duke” has sincere emotions and enthralling occurrences.

“The Buccaneer Duke” by Vanessa Kelly

With two aspects about her life that English society sees as disgraceful, Antonia Barnett is not having any luck finding a man willing to marry her. Then she meets Captain Roman Cantrell. He was a privateer during the war, and now the illegitimate offspring of a royal prince is supposed to wed someone of good standing in the hope it gives him respectability. Though different in many ways, Roman and Antonia do share some similarities and their conversations are certainly lively. But there is no way her father will get his daughter be connected to the man who not only looks like a pirate but has acted like one.

Engagingly imaginative from beginning to end, “The Buccaneer Duke” is an engrossing romantic adventure. I was overjoyed for the chance to read another Renegade Royals story, as this favorite series has an innovative premise and unique characters. Roman and Antonia are truly beguiling, as they are quick-witted and make some of the most outrageous remarks. I repeatedly laughed at the more humorous moments in the story, while other instances profoundly affected me with their realism. The large number of candid scenes created by Vanessa Kelly for her appealing couple caused countless smiles.

I voluntarily reviewed the book and all comments are my honest opinion

Publisher:  Amazon Digital Services LLC

Releases:  May 9, 2017

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/lb2bx3f

Genre:  Historical

Rating:  5 Stars

Under a Sardinian Sky by Sara Alexander

Thoroughly detailed scenes and a vast assortment of distinctive characters makes UNDER A SARDINIAN SKY highly engaging. Sara Alexander has created a story filled with emotional issues that are very true-to-life, and I was deeply drawn into the lives of individuals who came alive because of the author’s perceptive writing. I may not have ever been anywhere like the island of Sardinia, but after reading Ms. Alexander’s debut story, I certainly feel as though I am well acquainted with its past citizens plus many of their local traditions.

After her aunt died, Mina decides it is time to learn about a part of her family’s history that has always remained unspoken. Since she writes travel articles for a newspaper, she is going to use some of her skills to hopefully discover the truth concerning Carmela Chirigoni, another aunt who was Italian and lived on the island of Sardinia. Mina knows little about her relative except for the fact the woman went missing back in the 1950’s.

With World War II having been over for several years, those living on the picturesque island are looking forward to better times. Carmela is from a farming family plus she makes fashionable clothing for others. She has been asked to wed a man who could one day be very rich, but she is not too fond of behavior at times. During a big fiesta in her hometown, she comes in contact with an American soldier from a nearby base. They keep meeting at different places, and she ends up becoming an interpreter for Lt. Joe Kavanagh as she speaks some English. This decision will change many lives forever.

While reading UNDER A SARDINIAN SKY, I got a glimpse into what could have easily occurred to someone living in a region once greatly affected by war. Carmela is a spirited yet respectful daughter who plans to obey the wishes of her family, but she dreams of seeing other places and having a rewarding marriage. Her life may be shaped by the wishes of someone else, but it does not stop her thinking about improbable possibilities. People trying to get back to normal after a huge war can find themselves still being influenced by outside forces for years, and Carmela meeting American soldiers deeply changes how she envisions her future. There are many times when her inner feelings battle, as she knows what path should be followed but often would rather not. Her thoughts about her intended husband causes many worries, while sentiments connected to a particular American soldier double her uncertainties. Sara Alexander gives much insight into what leads to the reactions of her characters, thus letting me come to really know these individuals.

The story is told because Mina wants to uncover what actually happened to her aunt, and the author skillfully let me know all the facts through colorful historical descriptions. Italian customs are depicted with much fanfare, while the daily lives of the island inhabitants are also vividly portrayed. From meals to parties to work, I got a sense of what various people experienced while living through these events. Food preparation is especially interesting and often lively.  The images visually conveyed throughout UNDER A SARDINIAN SKY cause enthrallment and pure delight.

I voluntarily reviewed the book via NetGalley, and all comments are my honest opinion

Publisher:  Kensington

Releases:  April 25, 2017

Purchase:   http://tinyurl.com/kar2u2k

Genre:  Historical

Rating:  4 Stars