12 Summer Brides Collection-Novella #4

Publication Date: September 1, 2015 Publisher: Shiloh Run Studios 154 Pages

Publication Date:
September 1, 2015

Thou wilt show me the path of life

Psalm 16:11

NKJV

When authors come together to compile a collection of stories based upon a mutual theme into one book you have in my belief a wonderful afternoon entertainment at your fingertips.  I love certain themes, such as mail order brides, so when I have in my hands a book that has not one but multiple stories to read I plan ahead.  I will find somewhere to send my kids, grab my throw for these cold days and a cup of hot chocolate and cuddle into my favorite chair while escape into bliss page after page.

I have several of these collections just waiting for me to pick them up.  The first one I read brought back thoughts of that wonderful warm summer we had not too long ago.  The collection is titled, “12 Brides of Summer” Novella #4.  There are three stories within each book by various authors.  Novella #4 contains stories by authors Vickie McDonough, Diana Lesire Brandmeyer, and Davalynn Spencer.

The first story in the novella is, “The County Fair Bride” by Vickie McDonough.  This is a short, sweet romance that begins with two characters that seem an unlikely match.  But that old saying says that opposites attract, right?

Prudence Willard is a woman who is of a strong, forceful personality.  A year ago in the story, Prudence with her overwhelming attitude caused problems for the church pastor and his fiancée and had to leave town to live with her aunt.  In that year, Prudence, under the tutelage of her Aunt Louise realized what kind of person she had become and how much trouble she had caused.  Deciding that she had been more like her Mother than she cared for, Prudence vowed to change her ways.

Prudence’s father, who is the town mayor, falls ill and Prudence travels home to be with him and to help where she can.  She is nervous of course of facing the town, especially the pastor and his wife, after her behavior.  Soon after arriving home, Prudence decides that the best way to help her father is to make sure that the man who has taken over the position is fully aware that he will not be keeping her father’s job.  She is determined to dog his every step to make sure her father’s interests are secure.

Adam Merrick has heard about Prudence Willard and her headstrong behavior, but he isn’t at all prepared for the whirlwind she creates in her wake.  He finds her beautiful but rather difficult to deal with.  No matter how much he tries to tell her he doesn’t need her help, she keeps showing up.  Then to have her accuse him of ill managing the town funds is just ridiculous.  When Prudence demands to know what his plans are for the town and building up the funds, he explains his idea of holding a county fair.

Adam and Prudence are both excited over the county fair and they decide to work together to make it happen. By spending time together and slowly growing to admire each other, Adam and Prudence find they do feel more than friendship for the other.  It isn’t until an accident occurs on the day of the fair that those feelings are admitted by Prudence.  But is it too late to say what she feels to Adam?

The County Fair Bride is a where to very opposite people are brought together through redemption and learning to overlook faults in favor of strengths. Vickie McDonough is a wonderful author of sweet western romances to enjoy.

The second story is “The Honey Bride” by author Diana Lesire Brandmeyer.  This is a story that has the underlining lesson that if our lives go up in flames, God will make something beautiful of the ashes.

Katie Tucker loses her father in a fire leaving her to look after the farm, her brother and her grandmother.  But she has a problem….her father called her delicate and said she will never marry for it.  But Pete Dent sees her courage and her shyness and knows she is far from delicate and wants to marry her.  When Katie finds that her father took a loan out on the farm she tries to find a job to pay the loan that is coming due soon.  To add to her sorrow she will also feel guilty as she discovers that the loan was for the Queen bees she begged her father for in order to sell honey and the wax.  Determined to save the farm as her brother’s legacy she prays for help from God knowing she can’t do it alone.

Pete Dent has had a rough life.  He lost his parents and then his younger brother was adopted separating them.  Pete spent several years drifting trying to find his brother and never settling down which lead to be branded with suspicion.  When Pete meets Katie he falls for her and decides he wants to stay.  When Katie’s father dies in the fire, Pete wants to step in to help and enlists the aid of his friends to convince Katie to hire him to work the farm.

When a drifter shows up at the farm saying that he was hired by Katie’s father she isn’t sure what to do but knows she isn’t comfortable with him.  Pete shows up to help with the drunken, foul mouth drifter but still feels lead to help the man.  W.D. as the drifter calls himself proves himself to be less than ideal to be around with his drinking and attitude.  When God leads Pete to confront W.D. a discovery is made that may force Pete to leave Katie.  Will Katie accept the news or is just too much after all that has happened?

A very good and easy read to enjoy the afternoon with.  Learn the lesson with Pete and Katie that God has planned for them and watch HIS work unfold.

The third book is by author, Davalynn Spencer and is titled, “The Columbine Bride”; A beautiful story of personal strength and determination with God’s love leading the way.

Buck Reiter gave up his life plans to help his widowed sister raise her so and care for the ranch.  Now years later he feels it is his time to leave and find his own place.  He wasn’t expecting God to place him in the mercantile at the same time widow Lucy Powell and her children would be.  Believing his offer to help comes from the Lord’s command to help widows and orphans; Buck doesn’t expect to lose his heart to this family and wish to become a part of it.  Over time, Buck comes to admire Lucy and must choose between her and his life dream.

Lucy Powell cannot accept any more charity.  She has had enough and is determined to support herself and her children.  Her neighbor, Buck Reiter, comes to her aid but she is stubborn. His persistence soon wears her down and she finds she has come to depend on and care for Buck.  Her children love Buck and ask her if he will be their Pa.  Asking God daily for Him to show her the path to follow and placing her trust in His guidance, Lucy finally admits that she loves Buck and wants to marry him.  Lucy informs her daughter that a lady must wait for the man to ask her for marriage… so she waits for Buck to do so.

When Buck is late coming back from the range, Lucy is scared that she has lost him just as she had lost her husband.  Placing her faith in God, Lucy waits and trusts that Buck will come home.

This collection of summer brides was inspiring in that it shows we don’t know what God has planned for us, but if we allow him to take charge and follow the path he sets for us, then we may find ourselves surprised in ways we never imagined.  I love collection such as these for their easy reading and loving messages.  Each story had characters you will love.  Inner strength shines in the women and the men show they admire, respect, support and love them just as they are.

If you are like me and love to settle down for a relaxing afternoon of stress free reading.  I believe you would love these novellas with soul touching inspiration.  I do have more collections waiting for me to read.  Keep watch for the post….medieval times, cowboys, and pioneers.  Sounds like a few great days ahead for me!

 

Amazon Link:   http://amzn.to/1YPU9Kk

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The Baron’s Bounty (Barons of the Cinque Ports Series Book 2) by author Elizabeth Rose

Publication Date: October 5, 2015 Publisher: Elizabeth Rose Novels 284 Pages

Publication Date:
October 5, 2015
Publisher:
Elizabeth Rose Novels
284 Pages

Elizabeth Rose is an author I have read quite a bit from.  I enjoy her humor and how diverse she is in her genres.  She has written books from medieval times, mythology, westerns and contemporary.  Her characters are strong and independent and most times very stubborn. Her plots are sometimes twisted so well I can say “I didn’t see that coming”!

My favorites of her series have to be “The Tarnished Saints” (contemporary), and Barons of the Cinque Ports (Medieval).  She has several wonderful series set in Medieval or ancient times which are very enjoyable.  Her complete listings can be found on her website: http://elizabethrosenovels.com/ .  I have read most of her books and can say that I believe there is a book in her list for just about everyone to enjoy.

Her newest series, The Barons of the Cinque Ports is one I have really enjoyed the most.  I love the history in the storylines.  I posted on the first book, The Baron’s Quest, in which a lot of the history relating to spinning and weaving was used not to mention how those working in those skills were subjected to rules of the local guilds.  Her heroine in this story had to walk and spin at the same time.  I have trouble walking and talking at the same time on occasion so I can’t image having to do all three as Muriel did.  We also were given history in the Barons of the Cinque Ports which truly did exist.  The Barons were put in to place by the King and were granted privileges in exchange for limited service and securing the coastal villages.

In the second book of this series, The Baron’s Bounty, we are granted a look into the next Baron and his troubles.  Baron Sandwich (yes this is actually the true name of one of the Baron’s and not a joke by the author), has made an agreement with a Scottish Laird in order to secure an alliance.  Baron Sandwich, Lord Conlin de Braose, has been married and lost his wife to child birth and has but one daughter left of six children. Lord Conlin is strict in how he keeps schedules and performs his duties but has a heart that grieves behind the stoic face.  After establishing the agreement, the Baron hears some unsavory gossip surrounding his soon to be wife, but having given his word he is determined to continue with the wedding.

Isobel MacEwen is an orphan and being raised by her uncle alongside her cousin, Catherine.  Catherine is extremely spoiled and also happens to be the Baron’s fiancée. Isobel has over the years developed an excessive interest in shoes.  She loves shoes so much she can change her shoes multiple times during the day in order to fit every purpose.  Catherine enjoys using Isobel’s love of shoes to manipulate her.  One of these manipulative tricks is for Isobel to stand in as her proxy in marrying Lord Conlin.

Nothing is as simple as it should be is it?  Isobel finds herself the only “sort of” witness to a murder, the murder of the Scottish king no less.  She has a horrific experience at sea travelling to Baron Sandwich as her cousin’s proxy.  And then to top it off her uncle slams the lid on her own future!

Lord Conlin can’t believe how beautiful Isobel is and wishes she were his real bride and not the proxy of his fiancée. Upon reading the stipulation set forth by Catherine’s father, Conlin is shocked!  Manipulated and cornered! Lord Conlin and Isobel can’t help but begin to love one another and with each day that Catherine doesn’t show, they must fight that attraction even more.

When Catherine arrives, she isn’t alone.  The murder has come as well….Isobel must now use her skills and knowledge of shoes to find the murderer before he finds her.  Can Conlin save Isobel, his daughter, and find a way to be with Isobel instead of Catherine?  In a race against time, will Lord Conlin win?

This story is full of action and drama between the characters.  The murder plot is twisted and will surprise you in the end.  I love the historical knowledge the author included about the various shoes, the methods of making them and the materials that were used.

Elizabeth Rose has the third book in this series due out soon.  The title will be, “The Baron’s Destiny” and is scheduled for release in December.  If you like the series check out the author’s website for updates on this next release.  She has covered textiles and shoe making, so I wonder what interest her next heroine will have.

 

Amazon Link:  http://amzn.to/1RiLhXU

The Art of Ruining a Rake (The Naughty Girls Book 4) by author Emma Locke

Publication Date: July 21, 2015 Publisher: Intrepid Reads 345 Pages

Publication Date:
July 21, 2015
Publisher:
Intrepid Reads
345 Pages

Roman Alexander is a known rake with mistress after mistress.  But what most of the ton and that certainly includes Lucy Lancester, his friends little sister, doesn’t know is that Roman has a secret.  Roman’s father just about destroyed the family with his gambling which caused his own death in debtor’s prison, but also caused each of his sons to face that problem differently.  Roman is the oldest and holds the title of Marquis, but it is his brother Tony that kept the business matters of the estate going as Roman gallivanted about town.  When his father went to prison, Roman was immature and wanted costly things but had no money. When approached by a woman of the ton who offered in exchange for his ….ahem…personal favors she would cover his debts at one of his establishments, the young Roman Alexander had no problem with such agreements. Soon, Roman was a kept man by enough women that he earned the name of “whore” but which of course was spoken behind closed doors and not in polite society. The knowledge of what he has become rips Roman apart when he must open his secret up to Lucy and risk losing her.

Lucy Lancester has been in love with Roman since she was a little girl, but doesn’t believe she can offer anything other than a fling because of her Mother’s history.  Her Mother was crazy and in a fit she killed Lucy’s father and then herself. Lucy believes she is the same as her Mother and that history will repeat itself.  During a night of seduction, Lucy has her one night with Roman. She then steals away and begins a new life as headmistress of a girls school.  Months later who should come knocking at her school but Roman!  “Get out” she says, but somehow they are found in a compromising position with her legs wrapped around him not long after!  Lucy is asked to step down as headmistress of her own school.  Now what is she to do?

Roman wants to marry Lucy but she continually turns him down.  What started out for him as asking to keep her from ruination, develops into quite the interest as he becomes closer to her and learning more about what makes Lucy, well Lucy.  In trying to make an honest man of himself he sends notice to his women which all but one seems to accept.  That one will make things very difficult for Roman and Lucy.  Roman also throws himself in to his role of Marquis and begins his journey of maturing and building a life that he can include Lucy in.  Lucy on the other hand is building her own life.  She is to become an authoress and be famous!  She feels she must refuse Roman’s marriage to protect him from herself and decides that only a friend with benefits relationship is what they can have.

As these two souls move forward, and slide a bit now and then they must also battle outside influences.  They have jealousy from both men and women surrounding them, an arsonist on the loose, abounding titillating gossip and their own undeniable attraction for one another. Will these two finally get together? Especially when they can’t keep their hands off each other? Will they finally share their secrets and admit their love or continue to deny that love as only a physical attraction?  Who is the arsonist and what is their purpose?   Ah, Roman and Lucy are quite the pair in this wonderful regency romance by Emma Locke.  Luckily, these two will find some unexpected help from their siblings.

The Art of Ruining a Rake is the fourth book in The Naughty Girls Series by Emma Locke. Roman and Lucy first begin their journey in the book 3, A Game of Persuasion: Extended Prologue for The Art of Ruining a Rake. I received this eBook from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.  The Art of Ruining a Rake is a great read in a wonderful series.  It was amusing to read a story where it wasn’t the woman who had the reputation for being a mistress but the man!  Enjoyable read!

Amazon Link:  http://amzn.to/1TpfBI0

Vexed by a Viscount- An All’s Fair In Love Novella by author Erin Knightley

Publication Date: August 11, 2015 Publisher: Night Shift Publishing 112 Pages

Publication Date:
August 11, 2015
Publisher:
Night Shift Publishing
112 Pages

Prudence Landon is stuck!  I mean stuck!  She has been the most dutiful daughter and always bent to her parents’ wishes, but this one takes the cake!  Her father accepted the local squire’s marriage offer and being the dutiful daughter she also accepted but the man is at least twice her age and let’s face it the guy is a creep.

Determined to live her life before she must become the dutiful wife instead of the dutiful daughter, Prudence creates her own form of a bucket list.  This is her chance of a little rebellion to live as she wants and go against everyone else’s wishes including those nasty little rules set be society.  While indulging in the first of her list, she is caught swimming naked in a rather questionable pool of water.  Trying to maintain her calm while unknown water creatures are rubbing against her, she faces her neighbor, Lord Ashby and his amusement.  Can things get any worse for Prudence?  Now she has to figure out a way to shut Lord Ashby up before he tells anyone what she was doing.

When they meet again that night for dinner, Lord Ashby is shocked to learn of Prudence’s upcoming marriage.  While having a moment alone, Prudence explains her list and Lord Ashby is more than happy to help her achieve each item and even add to it.  As partners in crime, Lord Ashby and Prudence can’t help but develop feelings for one another….of course they are just friends as each of them is betrothed to others.

When Squire Jeffries uses his time alone to express his own desires to Prudence let’s just say the creepiness comes out.  Yuck!  Can you imagine being a young women and having an old man tell you how he has a seamstress that understands what he likes in the lingerie department?  Or better yet how he is going to teach you about the wedding night and that he has particular tastes?  When Prudence attempts to dislodge herself from the squire she is hurt, which rouses anger in Lord Ashby but her ever selfish and narrow-minded parents think she should not be so dramatic and allow the squire his wishes.  Ok this part made me mad!  I know that the time period of the story people did look the other way for abuse, and for the sake of the story the parents were written in that way, but in story or life hiding abuse is sickening to me.  Alright, I am done with the rant.

Lord Ashby leaves without a goodbye to Prudence.  While she is alone she realizes that she doesn’t want to live like this anymore and finally stands up for herself. Good girl, about time!  She calls off the wedding and stands her ground against the threats from the squire and her parent’s attitudes.  So what people, you sold your daughter and she no longer wants to be your pawn.  Get over it!

Lord Ashby returns to find slightly drunk Prudence who delivers the news of her calling off the wedding. Nothing could make him happier.  When he shares that he also has called off his own betrothal, Prudence is shocked but delighted and in her drunken state and his amusement they share their feelings for one another.  **sigh** Of course a happily ever after happens for these two characters.

This book was provided by Netgalley for an honest review.  I haven’t read the other three books in this series, although my opinion would be they are just as good as this one.  I was delighted with the story and its humor, rebellious antics and how the characters to came together.  Having only 112 pages it is a quick and enjoyable read.

Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/1TQz7qU

The Earl’s New Bride by author: Frances Fowlkes

Publication Date:  September 7, 2015 Publisher: Entangled Scandalous 214 pages

Publication Date:
September 7, 2015
Publisher:
Entangled Scandalous
214 pages

Frances Fowlkes gives us a story of two people who are afraid of what others think, say and believe about them.  One is running from a horrific tragedy and hiding behind scars both inside and out, while the other is hiding from restrictive social rules.  Wonderful characters that once are allowed to let go of their bindings and show who they are, their lives find the happiness they have been seeking.

The Earl of Amhurst, Simon Devere, has been hurt by three beautiful women in his life with the last, his mistress, having caused the most damage.  Accused of murdering his mistress, Simon lived with the gossip for five years before evidence cleared him and allowed him to assume his title.  Gossip was not the only source of his pain.  Left with facial scars and loss of an eye combined with the rumors, Simon is faced with trouble finding a suitable bride.  Having had his life brought to this point by beautiful women, Simon wishes a homely wife that will cause him no more problems.  Upon finding that his own brother wants his title he must act quickly to find a wife and produce an heir to secure his title.  Asking his friend, a confirmed bachelor to set up a selection of women, Amhurst begins his hunt.  Unknown to Amhurst, he will meet his predecessor’s daughter,  Lady Henrietta Beauchamp, a distant relative and she will rule his head and heart even though he fights being with her.

Lady Henrietta Beauchamp is an intelligent, caring young woman with knowledge most young women do not have.  Henrietta loves plants and using herbs to heal.  She would much rather commune with them than people due to her own impediment.  She loves the gardens and home and wants to live in it forever as it holds many memories of her late father.  Determined to do so, Lady Henrietta along with her Mother and sisters put into motion a plan for Simon to marry her and no other.

Simon convinces himself that Henrietta is not for him, but cannot seem to stay away from her.  They are thrown together through circumstances neither can control.  Henrietta aids him with herbal reliefs for his headaches and inability to sleep.  Love blossoms between the two even though neither can admit it.

Soon, the women are falling ill and sabotage is evident, but who is trying to harm the women and to what end?  Simon must also deal with his jealousy as his friend shows too much interest in Henrietta while trying to interest Simon in another of the candidates. What happened to being a confirmed bachelor?    Henrietta falls victim to several humiliating incidents in front of Simon and begins to doubt she can gain his interest.  When she is offered marriage to another due to her inappropriateness to being paired with the Earl, Henrietta leaves Simon and the estate.

When Simon discovers Henrietta has left the estate, he must make a decision to go after her or let her go.  If he lets her go, will he choose the woman whose father can gain him access to the ton and make him more acceptable to society?  Will his friend marry Henrietta?

I received this book through Netgalley for an honest review.  I enjoyed reading this story and how the characters developed through their painful pasts to love and trusting others as well as themselves.  I would recommend this book to those who enjoy Regency historical fiction.

Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/1WcHjbd

Heaven on Earth by author: Virginia Brown

Publication Date: July 28, 2015 Publisher: Bell Bridge Books 280 Pages

A charming historical romance that incorporates guardian angels, murder, intrigue and of course love.  What more can you ask for in a romance?

Ms. Brown gives us characters that are as different as night and day and yet love abounds. Is it love doomed to fail?

Kincade MacKay is a jaded rogue.  A Scottish Lord with no money, no home and no love, he just has a sense of survival that is strictly about what is easiest and his own protection.  After losing his parents at a young age, Kincade is left in the hands of his uncle.  Poorly treated and eventually on the run, Kincade learns love and trust are emotions he cannot risk.

Elizabeth Lee is a proper lady at the ripe old age of 25.  Travelling back to America after being humiliated by a man she thought she loved, Elizabeth is thrown into the path of Kincade MacKay.  Ah, but he is not the only companion she acquires.  You will meet Tabitha and Ian two unlikely paired guardian angels who may cause just a much trouble as Kincade and Elizabeth themselves.

As their lives continue to intertwine, Elizabeth falls in love with Kincade hoping he will return that love. Kincade loves Elizabeth, but pushes her away time after time.

Ms. Brown gives us a story of two characters that fall in love despite their differences.  Through challenges, she shows how we may not always know what we are capable of until we are faced with the loss of what is important.  She also leaves the reader wondering what exactly would our ancestors think of us and what may they see us doing?

 

Amaon Link:    http://amzn.to/1U9h6ac