Courting Miss Hattie by Pamela Morsi

 courting-miss-h.jpg

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
Tags: , ,

Dangerous to Know by Nell Dixon

dangeroustoknowsample.jpg 

I seem to be on a roll with Nell’s books. This one I read very quickly and like her other books, I enjoyed very much. This one has a lot more action than the others I’ve read, but it was just as good.

In this one we get to know Jerome and Gemma and how their relationship develops when Gemma is dumped by her boyfriend and Jerome begins to realise that he wants a more serious relationship.

I particularly liked the fact that the heroine was a character I’ve met before and that in the other story (Be my Hero) she was a bit of a mouse of a girl, but in this one she got to have her day (and get her man).

The plot was very interesting and had a lot of real life connections (the evil man who wants to trash the countryside to build houses for a start!) and you did wonder what was going to happen next. It’s a rollercoaster ride. Like Nell’s other books I wished it had gone on for longer.  

I liked it that Jerome has liked Gemma but could only make a move on her now that she’s single.  Also, the fact that Gemma needs to re-discover herself when she’s single again and realise that her ex was just bringing her down.

Jerome was very dangerous to know…poor Gemma, she certainly puts up with a lot, but he was worth it, I feel.

Rating: 8/10

Dangerous to Know is available as an ebook here.

1 comment March 31, 2008
Tags: , , ,

Ebooks

I’m always on the lookout for ebooks, and am continually dismayed how few publishers actually use this format. I’ve been told that in the USA, ebooks are very popular. I suppose eventually in this country we’ll catch up.

Anyway, here are a few links to ebook websites and publishers…if anyone knows of other publishers/ebook sites please feel free to add a comment and I’ll add a link. I’ll turn this post into a proper page shortly..

Project Gutenberg – Fabulous ebook site with over 20,000 free ebooks and 100,000 ebooks to buy. Most free books are available in HTML or plain text and you can convert to your own favoured format (I use Mobi pocket reader). 

Girl E Books – free ebooks written by women. Have some little known books as well as timeless classics.

Ebooks.com – site based in USA has many best sellers. Be warned though, some of the books they sell can only be sold within the USA (for copyright reasons). This is very annoying because, inevitabley the book I want I can’t get!

Fictionwise – similar to Ebooks.com

Regency Reads – Ebooks of previously paper published regency books.

Belgrave House – parent company of Regency Reads with a wider range of genre’s

Samhain Publishing – wide range of genre’s and sub-genre’s. Try not to be put off by the slightly scarey website

Moonlit Romance – small e-publisher of romance books

2 comments March 26, 2008
Tags:

Just Say Yes by Myretta Robens

justsayyes.jpg

I read this book a few weeks ago, and I had to buy from the USA via ABE books. It cost me 50p, though the postage was a few pounds on top. (You can order it from Amazon.co.uk, but you may want to read my review before you do!)

Ok, what can I say? This regency book had so much potential to be a great but was a bit of a let down. The blurb sounded great, and the book starts off well. The story is about a member of the aristocracy moonlighting secretly as a groom. He then falls for a local clergyman’s daughter. Thereby there are lots of class issues over their romance, as well as the fact that the hero is hiding his true identity from the heroine. However, there are parts that are just plain boring, and though I did manage to finish this book, I was just “going through the motions” because I felt that I’d got that far, I should finish it. Some of the minor characters seemed cliched too (the heroine’s mother and the squire’s son).

The problem is, I don’t actually know what was wrong with this book. The writer is american but she did a great job of not having an american tone to the book. The story is good, and the ending satisfactory. The writing and description was good, the heroine well rounded. The hero was also nice. But it just missed the “X-factor” or the book equivalent of the X Factor. (You you see what I mean).

So, I’m sure I can recommend this. My rating says it all really..

Rating: 5/10

PS  I also recently read her book “Once Upon a Sofa” which I won’t review because I hate to give ratings under 5….

Add a comment March 17, 2008
Tags: , , ,

A Rational Romance by Melinda Hammond

rationalrom.jpg 

This book I had to get from a neighbouring county’s library service again as my own county did not have it. Shame because I enjoyed reading this book.

The story is a regency and starts off in the midst of a gambling table. Then, soon after the plot takes a swift turn and the heroine (Rose) finds herself in the power of Elliot (the hero). However, Elliot is an honourable man and soon takes Rose under his wing.

This book was very readable, and what I particularly like about Melinda’s writing is that though her writing is not the most flowery or descriptive, she quickly pulls you in and her dialogue is excellent. Before you know it, you are half way through the book!

This is not my favourite Melinda Hammond book (that is still Dance for a Diamond) but this is still a very good read. I thought the heroine was a little too weepy (and perhaps dare I say, “needy”) in this. But she proved herself later on. The story took quite a few surprising twists, so as to keep me guessing.

There are a few very touching scenes, and lines between the hero and heroine- won’t spoil it for you by telling you, you’ll have to find out yourself! But I this book is a great way to while away a few hours. I admire touching scenes much more than cliched romance. Well done.

Rating 8/10

2 comments March 16, 2008
Tags: , , ,

Be My Hero by Nell Dixon

Having promised to look out some more of Nell Dixon’s writing, I did just that and have read “Be My Hero”, a novella (I think) as an ebook. (Again at a bargain price of £1).

This story didn’t disappoint – it’s one of love lost and re-gained (always a good one in my opinion). The plot revolves around two people who are tormented by their past and need to get over current problems in order to get together. It was heart-warming and though at times you really felt for their problems (especialy the woman – don’t want to give anything away) it was a lovely ending.

This story is one of a series (that can be read independently). I’ll be checking out the others because the supporting characters were well drawn and interesting. Thank you Nell for few hours of happy reading.

Criticisms? Well actually only one with the publishers website Moonlit Romance – it’s not easy to navigate or look around and I’m no techo-phobe! Though on the plus side – they do take paypal!

Rating 8/10

Add a comment March 13, 2008
Tags: , , ,

The Carstairs Conspiracy by Wendy Soliman

carstairs.jpg 

I eagerly awaited the release of this book, being a big fan of Wendy Soliman’s but for personal reasons, I have only just been able to get hold of this and read it. I was waiting for my county’s libary to stock it too, but it seems, though they stock Wendy’s other 3 books, they have not chosen to stock this one yet.

Luckily for me, I live near the border of another county and that library service stock it.

Right, onto the review…..

Mystery, intrigue, romance and a naked man in bed by chapter 2……what more could a woman want?? (Actually, this scene in chapter 2 is very funny..)

This book didn’t disappoint, and it was a real page turner. The heroine is feisty and though young, didn’t simper. She was brave and though innocent, was a real treat to read about.

The hero – well, I never thought a man called Sebastian could be attractive – but he was….he was just what a hero should be: strong, capable and a bit of a rogue (but not to our heroine of course!).

This book, though serious in it’s plot and mystery, had a wonderful amount of humour in it (I always love a bit of humour) and the last scene is so beautifully crafted, I didn’t want it to end…wonderful dialogue and sparring between the hero and heroine.

The plot hangs together beautifully, this really is a great read. It combined romance and intrigue so that I found I couldn’t put it down. (Well I did read it in 2 days). Can’t wait for Wendy’s next book out in June…

Rating: 9.5/10

Add a comment March 10, 2008
Tags: , , ,

World Book Day – 6th March

Today is world book day. I went to my local library and they are running a competition for people to vote for their most favourite book. I have a few days to decide, but I think I’m going to have to vote for Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.

I feel a little predicable by picking that, but I think it’s the one book I’ve re-read the most, and I can remember being swept away by. I haven’t re-read it in a while, but it is my one “comfort book” that I go back to time and again.

Other favourite books of mine can be found on my “My Favourite Reads” page.  I’m adding to this when I remember books I’ve read and loved…..so the current list isn’t exhaustive.

Feel free to comment on your favourite all time book!

Clorinda

3 comments March 6, 2008
Tags: , ,

Marrying Max by Nell Dixon

marryingmax.jpg 

This review is for my first EBook. Well, the first book I’ve purchased as an ebook….there are plenty of free ebooks available on the Girl Ebooks website. I have a Blackberry phone, and download my ebooks onto that. Very handy!

This book is the winner of the Romantic Novelist Association Romance Award in 2007. That is the sole reason why I read it, and I must say, I enjoyed it a lot. I’m sure what titles it was up against, and I must admit, it’s not usually the sort of book I read, it being a “category romance”, and it NOT being a historical.

The characters are are well drawn, believeable and likeable and the storyline is very good, and though the things that happen are not world changing, you feel they are for the characters. Which, in fact makes me think Nell Dixon did a very good job in writing it. As each chapter ends, you read on quickly to find out what happens next.

As usual, I won’t give away any plot details, but if you like escapism with a happy ending, then this book is definitly for you.

There is a gentle humour in the story and I found myself chuckling very often.

My only criticism of it is that at the ending could have been a bit longer. It felt a little rushed, but I suppose this genre has a shorter wordcount. But if the only criticism for a book is that it wasn’t long enough, then it can’t be too bad!!

I will be looking out for other works by Nell Dixon.

Marrying Max can be purchased from Samhain Publishing at the bargain price of approx £2.25. What are you waiting for?

Rating 9/10

4 comments March 3, 2008
Tags: , , ,

The Thieves of Ostia by Caroline Lawrence

thievesofostia.jpg 

When I said in my last post that I don’t usually read kids books, I’d forgotten to mention the fact that I have recently read the first book in the Roman Mysteries series “The Thieves of Ostia” by Caroline Lawrence.

This has recently been made into a CBBC series (I haven’t seen it), and is very popular with a lot of children at the moment. There are currently about 14 books in the series, so I have a lot of catching up to do! Luckily a really kind and generous friend bought me the first 10 books in the series, so they are sat on my book shelf calling out to me to be read!

Anyway, the Thieves of Ostia is the first book, and is a kind of introduction to the 4 main characters in the series. There is also a mystery for the kids to solve (the main characters are children) as they get to know each other.

The story is based around the main charcter of Flavia – a girl who lives with her father in the Roman port of Ostia. The other three characters are a boy who moves next door to Flavia, a slave girl and a mute boy (I’m very interested to see how his character develops and how the writer handles a character with no dialogue).

The story has some gorey bit, some funny bits, some serious bits. But overall it’s a good mixture to keep you interested.

“Roman” things are explained well without being patronising (always a plus!) and the characters are suitably different to give a great mix. This is an easy read (for adults) and I didn’t have any problem picking it up again once I had put it down.

I would recommend this book, at least to give it a try. Though I do love the Victorian period best, this is a great and “different” time period.

Rating 8/10

1 comment March 2, 2008
Tags: , ,

Montmorency by Eleanor Updale

montmorency.jpg

I don’t normally read “kids” books. Well, apart from Harry Potter that is. So this was an unexpected surprise.

Montmorency is a young adult book that was recommended to me by a friend. It certainly grabbed my attention before I read it, because it’s set in my favourite era – Victorian.

Without giving away loads of spoilers, the book is about a thief who, after he leaves prison sets out on a daring adventure. (Sorry to be vague, but I don’t want to ruin the story for you). But it involves the London Sewers and daring escapades….

Much of the time, the book doesn’t feel like a teen book. Well done Ms Updale on her excellent writing. She also has a great ability to make you like Montmorency despite some of the things he does….a rare thing in fiction I find.

The book has won a Blue Peter award (don’t let that put you off!) and it’s well deserved. I thoroughly recommend it. There are other books in the series, and I’m currently reading the second one. I’ll leave a review when I’m done with it.

Rating: 10/10

Add a comment March 1, 2008
Tags: , , ,

Welcome

Welcome to this book review blog, and more….

I will be posting reviews of books when I’ve read them. I’m not a journalist, just an ordinary member of the public. I tend to read books with a strong romatic theme – though I do read other stuff. I also particularly love to read fiction set in the Victorian era.

Each book will be given a mark out of 10.

I’m a very picky reader by the way! If you want to suggest a book for me to read, please leave a comment.

Please note: I *do* read self-published books, and e-books and welcome suggested reads in that arena.

Clorinda

x

Add a comment March 1, 2008
Tags: , , , ,

Pages

Categories

Links

Meta

Calendar

August 2017
M T W T F S S
« May    
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031  

Most Recent Posts