Review for Of Love and Vengeance by Louise Lyndon

of love

My Rating: 4.5/5

Author:  Louise Lyndon
Title: Of Love and Vengeance

Genre:  Romance/Historical Fiction

Background:

Amazon Description:
orced to marry Lord Aymon to ensure her young nephew’s survival, English Lady Laila vows undying hatred for the Norman she holds responsible for the deaths of so many innocents. Discovering Aymon has committed an act of treason gives her the chance to seek vengeance he deserves. But can Laila let Aymon die at the hands of the king once she learns the truth?

A hardened Norman warrior, Lord Aymon has lived through atrocities no man ever should. With the invasion of England over, all he wants is a quiet life and a wife who will give him heirs and obey his every command. Instead, he finds himself wed to feisty and outspoken Laila. But when she learns the truth of his treasonous act, can Aymon count on her to keep his secret?

Opinions:

Of Love and of Vengeance is a historical romance set during the Norman Conquest. For fans of Medieval England, romance novels, and historical fiction, you would probably enjoy this well-written book.

The two main characters are Laila and Aymon. Laila is a spunky young woman who is strong and caring. She holds a bitter resentment towards Normans who are responsible for the many innocent lives of her family and serfs. She is not a submissive lady, rather she challenges authority when she does not feel it is right. She cares for the those around her – even if they are enemies. Aymon is very similar to Laila. He also has a strong and caring personality. He’s a Norman and bastard brother to the King. He has a duty to his King, but he also has a moral conscience. He carries secrets – some of which are dangerous.

Throughout the book, the characters must face secrets, stereotypes, and trust issues. Laila and Aymon are wed early in the novel, and they must overcome all three as they learn more about each other. Not only do these two characters face these challenges, but other characters, as well. Their friends, servants, and enemies have their own secrets that cause trust issues and enhance stereotypical actions. This brings adventure into the story. The King’s men are after some stolen property and are searching Tynte – Laila’s home. Aymon knows about it and tries to keep his new home safe. However, danger lurks around the corner.

The only complaint that I have about the novel is the bad guy is pretty much one dimensional – completely bad. All in all, I really enjoyed this story.

Book Promotion: White Pine: My Year as a Lumberjack and a River Rat by Caroline Akervik

Today’s book promotion comes from Caroline Akervik and her book called White Pine: My Year as a Lumberjack and a River Rat. If you like Young Adult Historical Fiction novels, take a look below. You might just find another book for your “to read” pile!

 white plain

Book: White Pine: My Year as a Lumberjack and a River Rat
Author: Caroline Akervik
Genre:
Young Adult Historical Fiction

Publisher: Fire and Ice, an Imprint of Melange Books
Format: Paperback, ebook
Release Date:
3/24/2014

Summary:
White Pine is an historical fiction set in the nineteenth century. After Sevy Anderson’s father breaks his leg in a sawmill accident, the fourteen-year-old must take his place with the rough and tumble lumberjacks and river rats who harvest the white pine forests of Wisconsin. The men of the Northwoods live hard and on the edge, and Sevy must prove his courage and his worth in the company of legends.

Will he become the man he so longs to be?

Will the other men ever accept him?

And will he even survive his first winter in the Northwoods?

 

The Author:
Caroline Akervik’s Blog: Here
Caroline Akervik’s Facebook: Here
Caroline Akervik’s Twitter: Here

 

Q & A:

The best thing about writing this book?
The best thing about writing this book was that I learned so much about the 1880s in Wisconsin and that I can share that knowledge with my children and my students.

Where did you get your idea for this story?
This story was inspired by the Wisconsin Northwoods and the adventurous spirit of the lumberjacks.

What would you tell aspiring writers out there?
Don’t give up. Keep writing and be open to the inspiration in the world around you.

What is your favorite book?
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

Coffee, Tea, or Hot Chocolate?
Coffee

Anything else that you would like to add?
I am also the author of a YA horse story, A Horse Named Viking.

 

I want to thank Caroline Akervik for allowing me to promote her book on my blog. I hope this post has inspired you to go out and read White Pine: My Year as a Lumberjack and a River Rat!

 

Review for Viking Fire by Andrea R Cooper

roses2

My Rating:  4/5

Author:  Andrea R Cooper
Title: Viking Fire

Genre:  Historical Fiction/Romance

Background:

Amazon Description:
856 Ce, Ireland is a land of myth, magic, and blood. Viking raiders have fought the Irish for over half a century. Rival Irish clans promise only betrayal and carnage.

Kaireen, daughter of Laird Liannon, is suddenly forced into an arranged marriage with her sworn enemy, a Viking. She refuses to submit. With no mention of love, only land and the protection of her clan, she endeavors to get her betrothed banished from her country. Will love find its way around her stubborn heart?

Bram, the Viking, finds himself without future or inheritance as a younger son in his family. A marriage to the Laird’s daughter would grant him land if he swears fidelity and if his men will fight along with the Liannons against any foe – Irish or Viking. However, the Laird’s feisty daughter only holds animosity for him and his kind. Is marriage worth the battle scars of such a relentless opponent?

With the blame for a rival laird’s death treacherously set against the Liannons, Kaireen and Bram must find a way to lay aside their differences as an unforeseen darkness sends death snapping at their heels.

Sensuality Level: Sensual

Opinions:

Kaireen is a headstrong lady who doesn’t shy away from challenges. In the beginning of the book, she is against marrying Bram – a Viking – because she doesn’t trust him or them. Vikings have been ravaging the coasts of Ireland. She believes the marriage is a rouse for the Vikings to take their land and enslave/kill the people. For the time period, Kaireen is outspoken – which gets her in trouble. When tragedies strike, she finds out what Bram is really up to.

A neighboring clan has sworn peace with Kaireen’s family. However, trouble begins to brew within the walls. The bad guy(s) in the book are just that bad. They are not too multi-dimensional. Within the story, something else is going on underneath everything: Elva does not always act as a servant should. But, what exactly is going on? In summary, the book has some mystery, adventure/fighting, and romance.

The romance in the book is fairly standard for this time period: The defiant girl doesn’t which to marry but cannot get out of an arranged marriage. Bram is not a bad person as the reader learns fairly quickly. However, there are times when he forces himself on Kaireen such as kissing her – despite her saying no. Granted, this was probably common for the time period, but I’m not a fan of making it seem romantic. It’s technically sexual harassment. Regardless, Kaireen doesn’t seem to be upset by it, so I let go.

If you like historical romances set in Ireland/Vikings, you might want to try this book.

Standalone or Part of a Series: Standalone

Review for Witchrise by Victoria Lamb

witchrise

My Rating: 4 /5

Author:  Victoria Lamb
Title: Witchrise

Genre:  Paranormal

Background:

Amazon Description:
Only one witch can rise above the coming storm

When Tudor witch Meg Lytton receives an unexpected legacy—her mother’s magical wand, ring and spellbook—she has no idea her future happiness is in danger. For the witchfinder Marcus Dent is back in her dreams, and he will use any weapon to gain her newfound powers for himself.

Now Meg must discover the secret of Invictus—her mother’s magical ring. Summoned back to Hatfield, she knows a battle is coming. But Meg is no longer alone in her struggle against Dent. Surrounded by her friends, she faces her greatest challenge head-on: losing Alejandro, her beloved. For it seems the Spanish novice has been keeping secrets from them all.

Powers clash and hearts break in the spellbinding third book of The Tudor Witch Trilogy

Narration: First Person through Meg

Standalone or Part of a Series: Third book of a trilogy

Opinions:

**May contain spoilers for the prior two books**

[First of all, I have to admit that this was my own fault when I put in to win the book off of Goodreads. I did not realize that this book was part of a trilogy – and in fact, the last book. I have not read the first two books. Therefore, this review is based solely on me reading the last book as a standalone – which can be done. The only downside – besides missing what really happened in full detail from the other two books – is that the characters already knew each other and built relationships. I was unable to get the full effect of that in the last book.]

The story continues to follow Meg, a witch, from Tudor England. Meg tends to be outspoken and unwilling to yield in a man’s world – including magick. She must face Marcus Dent, a witchfinder, who has been given magick unintentionally by Meg herself. He is power hungry and a straightforward bad guy. Meg also has to deal with her love interest, Alejandro, who wants to marry her but does not want her to keep her magick once married. Richard, John Dee’s apprentice, continues to love Meg. At points, she is confused about Alejandro and Richard. I might have missed a few things in the other books, but the love side of the story seems to be fairly obvious rather than a complex love triangle. Elizabeth (currently exiled by Queen Mary) is a little weak for what I pictured her. She shows her royalty periodically in the book, but not the spitfire that I would imagine her to be.

The story moves along swiftly. Many things happen in the book. I have a feeling it was very similar to the last two books with action. It includes magic, deception, fights, and spying. Because this is the final book, Meg must decide her fate – magick or love – and defend that against Dent and the witchfinders.

Book Promotion: Legionnaire by James Gawley

Today’s book promotion comes from James Gawley and his book called Legionnaire. If you like Historical Fiction, take a look below. You might just find another book for your “to read” pile!

 

Book: Legionnaire
Author: James Gawley
Genre:
Historical Fiction, Fantasy

Publisher: Amazon
Format: Paperback, ebook
Release Date:
12/15/2013

Summary:
Primus has pledged to live and die beside his brothers. But is he ruthless enough to earn their respect?

Praise for Legionnaire:

“Stands out among the others like a beacon on a dark winter night.” –Cindy Callens, Draumr Kopa Blog

“I’m hooked, waiting for the next installment!” –David H. Birley, Amazon Vine Voice

“This book is a thoroughly enjoyable read.” – Eileen Granfors, Amazon Top 1000 Reviewer

Primus is the only son of the legendary general Marcus Seneca. In the wake of a civil war, he has grown to the cusp of manhood far from home, exiled along with his father’s army to the heart of the Boreal forest. Tested as much by his brutal comrades as the savage cold, he burns to prove himself a soldier worthy of his father’s name. But when a dangerous mission throws him into the center of the general’s schemes, Primus is confronted with the ugly truth behind his father’s towering reputation. With enemies closing in and treachery weakening the ranks around him, Primus must decide what he is willing to sacrifice in order to survive.

The Author:

James Gawley’s Website: Here

Q & A:

What would you tell aspiring writers out there?
Be honest. If you’re not terrified by what you’re exposing, you’re not doing your job.

What is your favorite book?
Robin Hobb’s “Assassin’s Hobb”

Coffee, Tea, or Hot Chocolate?
Coffee of course!


I want to thank James Gawley for allowing me to promote his book on my blog. I hope this post has inspired you to go out and read Legionnaire!

 

Book Promotion: Family Secrets by Dorit Silverman

Today’s book promotion comes from Dorit Silverman and his book called Family Secrets. If you like Historical Fiction, take a look below. You might just find another book for your “to read” pile!

 

Book:Family Secrets
Author: Dorit Silverman
Genre:
Historical Fiction

 

Publisher: Dorit Silverman
Format: Hardback
Release Date: 5/8/2014

 

Summary:
What would you do if your brother turned out to be your enemy?

When a child tries to understand something about his parents’ relationship, his vision is distorted, funny and touching. If his father has a lover, how could he not be cheating on his wife? Is it possible that all three, and even the lover’s husband knew and agreed to this?

“..Dad tries to Shake off Huda unsuccessfully He’s Stuck to her back. I do not understand what’s happening, should I call for help?..”

Little Abram’s thoughts raced when he saw his father in the workshop studio with his sick mother’s maid, who also happens to be the mother of his best friend. He did not understand why Atef, his best friend, had left him after this incident.

When he grew up he had realized what he had seen. He was furious with his father for his betrayal. The Anger and the hurt had turned into an obsession, as Abram is Jewish and Atef is Arab .
The complex relationship will fascinate you, and all the doubts and questions that arise in the child’s mind, will lead you to gradually uncover this family’s secrets.

 

 

I want to thank Dorit Silverman for allowing me to promote his book on my blog. I hope this post has inspired you to go out and read Family Secrets!

 

Review for A Game of Chance by Lauren Linwood

A Game of Chance - smaller version

My Rating:  4/5

Author:  Lauren Linwood
Title: A Game of Chance

Genre:  Historical Fiction/Romance

Background:

Amazon Description:
Lily Frontiere returns from a costly European trip to find her mother has accumulated large gambling debts. Things grow worse as her mother’s health deteriorates and she can no longer run Lucky Lil’s, the most famous whorehouse in San Francisco. Though Lilian shielded her only child from house life by sending her away to boarding school, Lily takes over and poses as Madam Lil. Her intelligence and astonishing resemblance to her mother help, but she’s entering a world she knows little about. Lily tries to extract the house from impending financial ruin until a handsome stranger turns up with the deed to Lucky Lil’s in hand.

Gambler Jed Stone journeys to California to track down Simon Morgan, the man responsible for his best friend’s death. Arrested for robbery and murder upon arrival, he is shocked to see his face on a wanted poster. Jed escapes before his hanging, unaware that the man guilty of those crimes is the twin brother he never knew existed. In a case of mistaken identity, Jed acquires Lucky Lil’s in a rigged card game his twin is meant to win.

Jed asks Madam Lil to stay on as he learns the business. Lily clashes with the new owner over ways to make the establishment profitable, yet she is attracted to the charming risk taker at the same time. Jed is fooled by Lily’s charade until he stumbles upon the real Madam Lil and learns the truth behind Lily’s deception. His admiration for Lily blossoms into love.

But Simon Morgan seeks both Lily’s hand and ownership of Lucky Lil’s—and he will go to any means to possess both. Will Jed foil his nemesis while bringing his outlaw brother to justice?

Opinions: For western historical fiction romance lovers, this is one that you might want to try. The story has an interesting concept of mistaken identities on both main characters.

First, you have Jed whose mother died while giving birth to him. His father takes his twin brother, Cal, and runs off to leave Jed’s mother for dead. However, before she died, she gives birth to another baby boy, Jed. The two have different upbringings but both tangle with gambling. What are the chances of meeting your twin many years later in the same town across the country? And one twin is wanted for major crimes?

The other identity switch is with Lily and her mother. To keep her mother’s business open, Lily dresses up and acts like her mother. Her mother, on the other hand, is very ill and unable to maintain the upkeep of the whorehouse and gaming parlor. Lily tends to like acting like her mother. It’s completely different than her own personality. Lily soon finds herself attracted to Jed, but she doesn’t know if he really loves her or her mother (through her acting.) She also is trying to stay afloat with the business and maintaining a respectable reputation as the daughter of a whorehouse owner.

If that’s not going to keep you interested, let’s add in a little past history of a baddie with all characters mentioned above, but unaware of the full connections. Stir in a millionaire that connects to them as well, but not everyone is aware of it. Finally, include a little romance and jealousy into the mix to get the full story.

The plot moves along well. There is that anticipation of when one identity would be called out and by whom. Will the law arrest the wrong man? Do the people find out about Lily impersonating her mother? Will certain people get revenge? It doesn’t necessarily pan out exactly as I thought it would, so you might have a few surprises to read about.

Narration: Multiple third person

Standalone or Part of a Series: Standalone

Review for Highlander Avenged by Laurin Wittig

highlander avenged

My Rating:  4.5/5

Author:  Laurin Wittig
Title: Highlander Avenged

Genre:  Scottish Historical Romance

Background:

This book is the second Book in the Guardians of the Targe series. Please be aware that spoilers for the first book – Highlander Betrayal – may be in this review.

Amazon Description:
Although the English king tried to wrest it away, the Highland Targe—ancient relic and protector of Scottish lands—still lies safely in the hands of clan MacAlpin. But for how long?

Jeanette MacAlpin trained her entire life to become the next Guardian of the Targe, but that duty has now fallen to her cousin Rowan—a duty Rowan can’t seem to master. Fearful for her clan’s future, Jeanette seeks the solace of a sacred wellspring, and there encounters tawny-skinned Highland warrior Malcolm MacKenzie.

Wounded in battle, Malcolm is desperate to regain the use of his sword arm and strikes a deal with Jeanette. In return for her skills as a healer, Malcolm will advise the MacAlpins in their resistance against the English. And when he can once again swing a blade, he’ll return to the ranks of the Scottish army to fulfill his duty as a soldier.

But as passion grows between the golden warrior and the fair-haired healer, duty collides with love. Will they follow their hearts, or will clan loyalties keep them forever apart?

 

Opinions:

Narration: Third person – mostly through Jeanette and Malcom

Character Development: The two main characters of the book, Jeanette and Malcom, are introduced with problems right off. From the last book, Jeanette’s mother was killed by the English spy, and Rowan (her cousin) has become the next Guardian of the Targe. She feels lost and unsure what her future holds. She grew up learning how to manage the stone, but now her cousin has taken that away from her. Her home is literally in shambles, and with the threats of the English coming back, she has a lot on her plate. When Malcom is introduced, he is injured and very close to a life-threatening infection. He is confused from the battle he fought in months before. He is supposed to be the leader and excellent fighter for the King. He is also to become the next chief of his clan. However, after battle that almost left him for dead and abandoned, he is not well physically. His hand does not work as it should and his infection keeps returning. As the book progresses, the relationship between Jeanette and Malcom grows. Jeanette learns more about herself and hidden abilities that question the chronicles that have been passed down through many MacAlpin generations. Malcom learns about making choices and how there is something more out there than fighting. They each help each other grow into a stronger person.

Plot Development/Flow: The story flows well. At first it might be a little slow as the characters are built up and the past book is reviewed, but everything starts picking up speed when English soldiers enter the picture. In this book, more is learned about the Targe, but also more questions are raised. I liked the how Jeanette and Rowan worked together and the support of Malcom in the turn of events. The story leaves off for another story to follow.

Standalone or Part of a Series: Second book in the Guardians of the Targe series.

Book Promotion: Per-Bast: A Tale of Cats in Ancient Egypt by Lara-Dawn Stiegler

Today’s book promotion comes from Lara-Dawn Stiegler and her book called Per-Bast: A Tale of Cats in Ancient Egypt. If you like Historical Fiction novels, take a look below. You might just find another book for your “to read” pile!

 per-bast

Book: Per-Bast: A Tale of Cats in Ancient Egypt
Author: Lara-Dawn Stiegler
Genre:
Historical Fiction

Publisher: Kielo Publishing
Format: ebook
Release Date:
3/17/2014

 

Summary: “As a plague spreads over Egypt, Neferure’s feline kind are the first to endure the fatal consequences. Ramses III, Egypt’s last great pharaoh, has saved the empire from countless incursions, but after many wars the kingdom is on the brink of bankruptcy. Labour strife, shifting allegiances, and now this deadly plague threaten to bring a close to Egypt’s Golden Age.

When the High Priest of Karnak Temple is found dead in a fire, Neferure is convinced that the death is not natural. Her love, Sahu, who would never leave her, is gone in that very blaze. With none acknowledging the deaths as mysterious, Neferure alone will hunt to uncover answers. What she will find is that a promise can defy death, and that a sinister plot threatens all of Egypt – one that reaches into the realm of the gods.”

 

The Author:

Lara-Dawn Stiegler’s Twitter: Here

.
Q & A:

The best thing about writing this book? Exploring the myths of ancient Egypt as well as learning about the mindset of that culture.

 

Where did you get your idea for this story? I got this idea by looking at a photograph of the Gayer-Anderson Cat. It’s a statue in the British Museum of a seated cat with a winged scarab upon its breast. I started wondering about the reasons why that cat was wearing that particular piece of jewelry, and from that an entire story was eventually born.

 

What would you tell aspiring writers out there? Always write about what inspires you, and write from your heart.

 

Coffee, Tea, or Hot Chocolate? Hot Chocolate for sure

 

 

I want to thank Lara-Dawn Stiegler for allowing me to promote her book on my blog. I hope this post has inspired you to go out and read Per-Bast: A Tale of Cats in Ancient Egypt!

 

Review for Beautiful Wreck by Larissa Brown

beautiful wreck

My Rating:  3.5/5

Author: Larissa Brown
Title: Beautiful Wreck

Genre: Science Fiction/Historical Romance

Background:

Amazon Description:
In a bleak future built on virtual reality, Ginn is a romantic who yearns for something real. She designs environments for people who play at being Vikings. But when her project goes awry, she’s stranded in the actual 10th century, on a storybook farm in Viking Iceland.

Heirik is the young leader of his family, honored by the men and women who live on his land. But he is feared and isolated because of a terrible curse. Ginn and Heirik are two people who never thought they would find a home in someone else’s heart. When forces rise against them to keep them apart, Ginn is called on to decide—will she give up the brutal and beautiful reality of the past? Or will she have the courage to traverse time and become more of a Viking than she ever imagined?

 

Opinions:

Narration: First Person through Ginn

 

Character Development and Plot:  The story is told through Ginn’s eyes. Coming from the 22nd century, her world is vastly different than Iceland she ends up in. Ginn is not satisfied with the life she had in the future. When she ends up 1200 years in the past, she takes in everything she can – the voices and surroundings. She ends up in a wealthy farmland. The chief of the land is Heirik – who is considered cursed by his strange birthmarks along much of his face and body. Ginn ends up falling in love with Heirik, and he with her. However, superstition remains in the way. No one has ever touched Heirik at all. How does she show Heirik that everything is okay? That she will not be cursed if he touches her. How does she show the people of the farm that as well? In other matters, Ginn does not do well with most of the chores done around the farm. Her thread making is terrible, and she tries to fit in. However, she makes a friend in Betta which helps her through the days in Iceland. The characters slowly grow over time in their own way. I’m not that familiar with Viking history – especially in Iceland. I would have to say that the only thing that I imagine should have been a little different is the reaction of the few characters that eventually learn that Ginn is from the future.

 

The story tightly weaves Viking history into it. There is a lot of tradition and daily life in the book. The flow of the story is a little slow for my usually reading. I think that some more dialogue might have helped in spots of long descriptions. The book contains a lot of breaks within the chapters. I know some people really like this and others don’t. I don’t mind either way.

 

Standalone or Part of a Series: Standalone