Sunday 31 May 2015

Elizabeth I and Her Circle by Susan Doran

A very accessible book in that it engages the reader, academic and non academic alike, on a stroll through the times of 
Queen Elizabeth I. 

This book is not simply an academic retelling of Elizabethan times but an entertaining read for anyone interested in history or historical figures who have made a lasting impact on the world.
The paranoia of plots and treason, the ambitions and back stabbing that went on around Elizabeth and the ever looming presence and usage of the Tower, before and during her reign, made for good reading and proves that historical, factual texts can compete with popular fiction in the entertainment factor.
I was captivated by the wealth of research that went into this book and how it was communicated to the reader. I didn't feel like I was reading a history book, I was living it. 
Highly recommended 

Friday 22 May 2015

Taken by Dee Henderson

Taken                                                                                  Abducted at the age of sixteen and coerced into assisting the Jacoby crime family, Shannon Bliss has finally found a way out. She desperately wants to resume some semblance of normal life, but she also knows she has some unfinished business to attend to. She has enough evidence to put her captors behind bars for a very long time.

When Shannon contacts private investigator and former cop Matthew Dane to help her navigate her reentry into society, she quickly discovers that gaining her freedom doesn’t mean her troubles are over. For one thing, her brother is the leading candidate in the race for Illinois governor, and news of her escape will create a media frenzy. For another, the ransom her family reportedly paid years earlier appears to have been a scam; no one knows what happened to the money. And then there’s the fact that Shannon’s escape involved faking her own death. If the Jacoby family learns she is still alive, they’ll stop at nothing to silence her.

If justice is to be done, and if Shannon’s life is ever to get on track again, Matthew will need to discover exactly what happened to her–even if it means stirring up a hornet’s nest of secrets.

Christian fiction would not be my first choice of genre but this novel was labelled as romantic suspense and so I thought I would give it a go.
I quite liked Matthew's character and thought he was well written. I could understand his intentions and motivations. I was also relieved that the Christian element was not 'preachy' and over done but simply complemented Shannon and Matthew's personalities.

The novel had a very safe and sedate pace to it. The story unfolded very calmly and in a very matter of fact kind of way. The story centred round the aftermath of a missing person being found after many years and her adjustment to being free. I felt that Shannon adjusted too easily and showed very little emotion. The story unfolds in a very controlled way as Shannon takes her time in divulging information and mentally ticks the boxes as she marks off each piece of information in her list. She is quite robotic in her dealings with people and we are never made privy to anything that happened to her during her years being held captive.  I was disappointed in the suspense aspect of the novel as there wasn't any! The threats to Shannon, alluded to in the blurb, never materialise. Even the arrests, that are made towards the end, take place behind the scenes and are simply stated as having happened.

I couldn't wait to get to the end of this book so that I could read something else. There just wasn't enough excitement in it to keep me interested. 

The Likelihood of Lucy by Jenny Holiday, 2015 (Entangled Select Historical) (Regency Reformers #2)

Product Details

London, 1815
'Trevor Bailey is on the cusp of opening the greatest hotel in London. His days as a gutter snipe are behind him, as he enjoys a life of wealth, society, and clandestine assignments as a spy in the service of the Crown. Until one tumultuous night churns up the past he'd long left behind...

Turned out by her employer for her radical beliefs, Lucy Greenleaf reaches out to the man who was once her most beloved friend. She never expected that the once-mischievous Trevor would be so handsome and gentleman-like and neither can deny the instant attraction.

But Lucy's reformer ways pose a threat to the hotel's future and his duties as a spy. Now Trevor must choose between his new life and the woman he's always loved...'

Jenny Holiday has become one of my auto buy authors after reading this instalment in her Regency Reformers series. I enjoyed this book even more than the first in the series, 'The Miss Mirren Mission,' and I can't wait for more.

This heart melting story of two childhood friends being reunited as adults and falling in love will have fans of the genre sighing in delight and clamouring for more from Jenny Holiday. 
The added tension of spies, intrigue and murder made this novel unputdownable. 

I loved the detail of Trevor and Lucy's shared past and how it shaped the course of their lives. Even though many years have passed since they have seen each other, their friendship is as true as it was when they were children. These two characters are very endearing and I didn't want to get to the end of their story!

I loved this book and I wholeheartedly recommend it to readers who love historical romance with a bit of mystery.

'The Likelihood of Lucy' is available to pre-order now in Kindle format and is to be published on the 26th of May.

Monday 4 May 2015

The Millionaire Daddy Project (Entangled Indulgence) ( Men of the Zodiac) 2015

The Millionaire Daddy Project

Let's face it, the book has a cheesy title and the same old same old story tropes- another 'sexy millionaire' story, another 'secret baby' story, another 'secretary falls in love with her boss' story. 

So, eventhough I was quite looking forward to this guilty pleasure escapist read, I didn't have overly high expectations. 

How surprised was I when I couldn't put the book down?! 

It is well written and fast paced, but, at the same time, the romance between Pamela and Dane didn't feel rushed. Their relationship developed in a romantically sedate pace thanks to the presence of Danielle. The interplay and bonding between Pamela, Dane and Dani was  entertaining, touching and sweet.  

I enjoyed this title immensely. It is a quick, easy read and perfect for a lazy duvet day or a sunny day at the beach.