Archive for April 2008

Garters by Pamela Morsi


Following on from loving Pamela’s Morsi book “Courting Miss Hattie” I was eager to try another of her books. I wasn’t disappointed. 

Here is the synopsis:

When Esme Crabb steps into the Vader general store one day in 1888, she wants just one thing – the storekeeper – and she has only one way to ensnare him: with the longest legs in all Tennessee. Esme is determined to wed a rich man to save her featherbrained sisters and worthless pa from a life of poverty.

And Cleavis Rhys fits the bill perfectly….

This book was delightful, and I thoroughly recommend it. It’s not quite as re-readable as Courting Miss Hattie, but it’s a page turner and I read it in 2 days. There are some great comic moments and it was hilarious watching Esme chase after Cleavis – something you just expect a woman to do in a historical book. She was determined to get her man! Esme was a lovely heroine. Not well educated, but sharp and determined to get her and her family out of poverty.

The minor characters were great – Esme’s sisters, Armon Hightower (no relation to the tall cop in Police Academy!), Cleav’s mother, Esme’s father. They all had their little quirks and were really lovable. I think the best minor character was Sophrona who was annoying by her constant ability to quote the bible to answer everything! She turned out ok in the end though.

The hero – Cleav was very lovable, and poor man didn’t quite know what to do when he was ruthlessly persued. This book didn’t go on too long by the way – it was just about right.

The love scenes were well written and the sexual tension between the two main characters was great.

So overall a great read….will definitly be reading more Pamela Morsi….

Rating 8/10


Add a comment April 23, 2008

The Cinderella Substitute by Nell Dixon

After the disaster that was Pillow Talk, I needed something I knew would be a good read in order to restore my faith in modern fiction. So of course, I read a Nell Dixon!

The Cinderella Substitute is the first published of the Mayer family siblings (like the other’s I’ve reviewed). Here is the synopsis.

In the two years since the tragic car crash that killed his fiancée, Nathanial (Nate) Mayer has successfully avoided another relationship. His family and especially his twin sister Nathalie are worried.

Jennifer (Jenni) Blake is Nate’s personal assistant. Hired after the accident, she has had her own problems to deal with, including the deaths of her adoptive parents and the debts incurred by their nursing care. But those difficulties pale into insignificance when Jenni finally traces her birth mother…

This was another page turner from Nell. Each of the stories are very individual to the characters and this one was just as good as the others. I really liked Jenni, and the embarassments she felt at being poor. I also loved her slow “make over” she gave herself.

The picture painted of Nate was good too – a workaholic but with a big heart. He really swept Jenni off his feet. Really sweet the way he did little things for her. (And it’s the little things that make all the difference!)

Definitly recommended again!

Any criticisms? Well I’m a great hater of people who own second homes in rural area’s – and Nate had a holiday home in Devon that was at empty most of the time….ok ok I know it’s fiction!!! (Reality check!!) But I’m sure Jenni will get a lot more use out of it when they are married….won’t they Nell??

Rating: 8.5/10

1 comment April 21, 2008

Pillow Talk by Freya North


This book won Romantic Novel of the Year 2008. All I can say is this: if this book won, the rest in the competition must have been dire.

The book started off well, and the synopsis looks really interesting (I love a love lost but re-gained story):

By day, Petra Flint is a talented jeweller working in a lively London studio. By night, she sleepwalks. She has 40 carats of the world’s rarest gemstone under her mattress but it’s the skeletons in her closet that make it difficult for her to rest. The insomniac. At one time a promising song-writer, Arlo Savidge now teaches music at a boys’ boarding school in North Yorkshire. He assumes he’s happy with his isolated lifestyle. But, like Petra, ghosts from his past disturb his sleep. Putting the past to bed. Petra and Arlo loved each other from afar during their schooldays. Now, seventeen years later, in a tiny sweetshop one rainy day, they stand before each other once more. Could this be their second chance?

So, this is a book about two people meeting again….well not quite – not until a third of the way into the book, and after you have to read about Petra’s oh so good sex that quite frankly, as you read it doesn’t sound great at all. Then you have to put up with really boring scenes as she visits her parents and such. Several yawns later and I was starting to wonder what was going on – where was this award winning romance?

So, in the end I skim read the boring bits and finally got to the bit where they meet. – almost half way through the book! What a let down…esp as they meet then one runs off and they don’t meet again for about 5 chapters later!

Oh dear – by this time I’m really wondering why I’m reading this at all….so I flicked through the rest of the book and have given up on it. No point in wasting time on boring books where I lost any interest in the characters long ago…

It seems with chick-lit these days, the first half of the book you have to put up with the heroines dodgy boyfriend and guess how they will break up (usually it’s because he cheats – no exception in this book). I did keep wondering whether it was me – not the book…this book has some great reviews on Amazon…and of course it won that award I mentioned earlier…who knows, but this book wasn’t for me.

Rating: No rating because I didn’t finish this book


1 comment April 11, 2008

My name….

I chose the online name “Clorinda” because of this excerpt from “Regency Buck” by Georgette Heyer:

“What is your name?”

“Again sir, that is no concern of yours.”

“A mystery,” he said. “I shall have to call you Clorinda.”


1 comment April 10, 2008

Courting Miss Hattie by Pamela Morsi


Don’t you find it annoying when you are in the middle of a really good book and real life gets in the way of you reading it? You desperately want to read the next chapter but you have to cook dinner/answer the phone/etc etc…well this is me for the last 48 hours as I tried to find minutes in the day to read this book.

This historical novel is somewhat of a departure for me from my usual reads. It was listed as being Victorian historical, though I think it may be a bit later than Victorian as at the end there are motor cars in it…anyway, it was a departure for me because it’s set in the USA. I usually don’t go in for books not set in the UK but this one caught my attention from another book review website where everyone gave it high ratings.

The synopsis is this :

Handsome and dark farmhand Reed Tyler has always considered the hard-working Miss Hattie Colfax as a best friend and confidant, until widower Ancil Drayton comes to court Hattie, bringing Tyler’s true feelings to the surface.

There are so many things I loved about this book – the heroine (Hattie) was a “dried up old spinster of 29” with a nickname of “Horseface Hattie”. She is independent and owns her own farm, yet craves a family and a husband. The hero (Reed) is 5 years younger and engaged to the local beauty. How on earth was this going to end satisfactorly? Well, there are many twists and turns in this book, but it all worked out in the end. The author does a wonderful job of showing how Reed’s feelings change towards Hattie, and the same for Hattie. This is a very earthy book and filled with some wonderful characters and one-liners.

There are a couple of really touching scenes; many between the Hattie and Reed and one with Reed and his father as he tries to make sense of his new feelings for Hattie.

So, if you can get hold of a copy of this book (I got mine from the USA via ABE books) then do.

Pamela Morsi has quite a long back-catalogue, so I’m looking forward to reading some more of her books.

I was going to give this a 10/10 rating, however, I do feel that the end went on a bit too long (I know, I know: normally I’m complaining they don’t go on enough.) So my rating for this is:

Rating: 9/10

Add a comment April 4, 2008






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