This book was everything, Everything, EVERYTHING I was hoping it would be!! My heart is overflowing. Exciting, emotional and so very romantic. Ms. Byrne has a way with these flawed and imperfect characters. You can’t help but fall in love with all of them.
Gavin had my heart from the very beginning. Granted it was rather squeezed a little, since it was a little uncomfortable, but he had it nonetheless. He also wasn’t quite the anti-hero that I thought he was going to be. But I’m very happy about that. While he wasn’t an angel exactly, I totally understood where he was coming from and why he did the things he did.
Samantha has so many secrets, I’m amazed she kept a clear head. But she was the perfect person to heal Gavin. And the same for Gavin healing her. I just loved her.
I loved all the side characters and returning characters. It was quite fun to see them. I’m glad Gavin and Samantha aren’t the only ones who were healed through this experience. I have found my new favorite historical romance series. These Victorian Rebels are so much fun! They’re interconnected standalones, but I recommend you read them all. They’re so good.
I have so many things going around my head. Plus I have some high hopes for the next one. In fact, I’m all a flutter with the thought of it. It would be so grand!
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Diane Chamberlain does it to me every time. She writes stories that are so amazingly compelling that I find myself rushing through them while at the same time savoring the brilliance of the story. Her latest is even better than that.
Tess has everything she’s ever wanted. She’s surrounded by family and friends, close to graduating from nursing school, and engaged to the love of her life. Then one mistake, one night, changes everything. A drunken encounter with a strange man leaves her pregnant. Suddenly her entire life is in upheaval. Having a child out of wedlock in 1944 is out of the question. So she does the only thing she knows to do. She leaves the life she knows behind without much of an explanation to anyone.
When she settles in North Carolina with the father of her child, things definitely don’t go as expected. She’s seen as an outsider by almost everyone in the small town. Her new mother-in-law doesn’t care for her, and neither does her sister-in-law Lucy. Although Henry’s kind to her and she wants for nothing, he doesn’t really act like a husband. And then there’s the accident. Lucy’s dead, and everybody blames Tess.
But as her outsider status grows, so does her suspicion that something’s going on with Henry. Not only is he increasingly distant, he’s gone for long periods of time during the night. Oh and there’s that stash of hidden money she comes across…
I loved this book. That’s not really surprising because I love this author. But this one’s a bit different. The historical fiction element was wonderfully written and made for one heck of a story. This story will likely go down as one of my favorites from Diane Chamberlain.
Buy It Now: The Stolen Marriage
Really hard to get my thoughts around this novel. Yes it’s a novel about war. Yes it’s a novel with a love triangle. Most of all it’s a novel about the human condition.
Why do people do the things they do? I’m still not sure what motivated these combat photojournalists. Why they continued to push the boundaries. I’ve read other novels (both non fiction and fiction) about journalists and war…but none have touched me this way. Often after reading these novels I am left angry. Angry at politics, angry at impossible circumstances people find themselves in. I’ve even been angry at journalists that seem to place themselves in danger and danger to others with nothing but fame and glory on their minds. However, I felt none of that with this novel. I felt incredible sadness, and an inability to understand the motives of these journalists. I guess that’s not exactly true. I did understand, but it was all so complex. Almost as if everything was right there…I could see it, but it just remained a sliver of air out of my grasp.
That’s why I really loved this novel. I’m not so sure I can explain, but Helen, Sam and Linh had so many parts that made the whole. The depth of what drove them forward day after day and shot after shot…well…it left one breathless. It shows us just how complex the human psyche can be. There might be one thing that started them each on their journey, but there were so many facets that all combined to build them into the people that they were. So many parts that pushed them through day after day. Yes, glory was part of it, but only a small part. They were all products of their history…they were all products of their present. They were all products of their future. Products of their jobs. Of their countries. Of their families. And finally, products of each other. You take away one single element and the whole thing collapses.
How they started their journeys, how they took those journeys and how they ended those journeys were all part and parcel of who they were. But who they where could not have existed without the journeys that shaped them. One would be hard pressed to decide where one started and the other one ended.
Again, all of this continued to go around my head as I listened and really felt for these characters. It’s a novel that contained, for me, far more ideas than could be contained within the pages. For me, this is the best kind of novel. One that makes you exam more than just the words you are reading…
Extraordinary characters…well done, Tatjana Soli!
Until next time…
Buy it now The Lotus Eaters by Tatjana Soli
This is the story of two best friends and follows their 30 year friendship. This was an alright read..it’s not the best I’ve read but certainly it isn’t the worst either….it’s just that it seemed like it went on and on for 30 years as I was trying to read it! Yammer Yammer Yammer…that’s all I heard in my head…the longer it went on the more I was annoyed. Honestly, no matter how good a book is (or isn’t) you don’t want it to feel as if you are actually experiencing every single one of the 30 years…
Have you guessed yet? I didn’t much like this book. It was a miss for me…
Until next time…
Buy it now Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah
Lisa Scottoline is greatness. She has a way of pulling you in from the very first sentence and then not letting you go until the last page. This latest thriller is no exception.
Chris Brennan is not who you think he is. He seems like a perfect candidate for a small-town coaching/teaching position. But everything about him is a lie. And there’s a lot at stake, including lives. Among the cast of characters are high schoolers with troubles of their own, single moms trying to get by, and married couples coping with lies as well.
I will tell you that this book made me think one thing at the beginning but then made me change my mind several times along the way. It’s not who you think it is, and it’s not why, either.
This one is a great suspense story. My only complaint is that the ending seemed a bit rushed in a bid to tie up loose ends. That doesn’t take anything away from the riveting story, though.
Buy It Now: One Perfect Lie
This book was so much fun!! The banter. The sexy times. The very sense of family. I loved it all.
I’m glad I read book one immediately beforehand, so it was fresh in my mind what was happening. This pretty much takes place right after Hero in the Highlands ends.
Right from the start, I loved all the brothers. Each had their own quirks and very loud personalities. Not having a woman’s influence on them in eight years makes them a bit rougher and I think that’s why I like them.
The romance was a slow burn. Obviously. Being kidnapped has a way of making that happen. But once Marjorie realizes why the young boys did what they, she knows she must help them, or she risks her life and theirs as well. Their love was a bit of a shock to them. I enjoyed watching it grow. She’s this proper young woman who’s been thrusted into the highlands with a four pack of wild boys.
This is where things get tricky. Graeme saw what happens when your true love is lost. It destroys you. He wants no part of that. But fate has a way giving you exactly what you need before you know you need it.
“I didnae want to meet a lass who could twist me up inside. I didnae want my heart to pound or my breath to catch when a particular lass entered a room.”
This is my first experience with Suzanne Enoch’s books, I know it won’t be my last.
Buy My One True Highlander HERE
I absolutely love Chevy Stevens. She’s one of my go-to authors, one of the few whose new books are definite must reads. This latest from her didn’t disappoint.
When Lindsey met Andrew, she thought all her dreams were finally coming true. He was loving, attentive, wealthy, handsome…basically everything you could want in a husband. And things were very good for awhile. But then he began to change. Or rather, his true personality began to show. Controlling and abusive, this wasn’t the man she fell in love with. As things get more and more dangerous, she starts to plan her escape.
Finally it happens. She and her daughter get away, and Andrew is sent to prison for several years. When he’s released, though, all those feelings come barreling back. The paranoia, the fear that she’s being followed. And has someone been in her house, messing with her things and with her mind? Andrew swears it’s not him, but clearly he’s not the most trustworthy individual. And lest you think you’ve got it all figured out, don’t blink.
In some ways this is your typical “wife leaves abusive husband” drama. But then it becomes more. Because Chevy Stevens. She has a way of taking the ordinary and weaving it into a compelling story that you just can’t put down. Don’t miss this one!
Buy It Now: Never Let You Go