A Widow’s Vow – Rachel Brimble

Welcome back everyone, I feel like it’s been forever since I last read a regency/historical romance.

Although this isn’t a regency romance, it is set in those times. Why isn’t it a regency romance if it’s set in that time?

Because neither of the characters are from or involved in the aristocracy. Well other than their “business” dealings. None of which are legal.

Both Louisa and Jacob have faced hardship after hardship, which wasn’t uncommon in those years, and yet found ways to rise above it and make a life for themselves. Even if that life wasn’t what they were expecting, they made it so they were in control.

I admire that both of them were able to make difficult decisions and used their limited skills to create a profitable and (mostly) happy life. The way Jacob and Louisa’s best friend were able to break through her self-imposed grief to help her accept her life was amazing. Definitely an ending I was happy with!

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review; next week I’ll be reviewing Venators: Promises Forged by Devri Walls. Continue to read further down to find out about the author.

Author Bio

Rachel lives with her husband and their two daughters in a small town near Bath, England. She is the author of over 20 published novels including the Pennington’s department store series (Aria Fiction) and the Templeton Cove Stories (Harlequin).

Her next project is a Victorian trilogy set in a Bath brothel which she recently signed with Aria Fiction. The series will feature three heroines determined to change their lives and those of other women. The first book. A Widow’s Vow is due for release in September and available for Amazon preorder now.

Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and has thousands of social media followers all over the world. To sign up for her newsletter (a guaranteed giveaway every month!), click here!

The Eternal Banquet – Jennifer Macaire

Welcome back everyone, we’re up to the last book in the series and I can’t believe I’m finally done with the series!

Those little things that frustrated me in the last book were all corrected in this book while Ashley, Alexander and Plexis found their way through the rest of their lives.

The focus of this book is on their travels home from the land of the Eaters of the Dead. There were several revelations that, for the first time in this series, made me think about something philosophical. Normally I’ve found this series to be a great relaxation read rather than a reflective and learning kind of book.

The moment that hit me was when they were leaving Carthage for Rome. If you read the book, you’ll know what I mean with that moment. I was left wondering if maybe she was always meant to travel back in time to ensure that history played out exactly as it was meant to. Maybe every time traveller that got stuck back in time had a vital role to play in the history of the world and the Institute of Time let them make changes while also keeping up the reputation of wiping them from the Earth to discourage too much control.

As much as I loved the story, the style of the writing felt a touch off at a few points. Even the last couple of chapters felt a little bit rushed. Yet I can’t see how the ending would have been satisfying any other way.

Given the difference in the whole story compared to history, I can see why we needed the wrap up of what happened to Ashley’s children and where she ended up. I’m not sure if the main reason I didn’t like this was because I didn’t want the story to end, or because there really was something missing.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, next week that last instalment of The Circle Opens quartet will be reviewed. After that, I’ll be starting a new set of series to replace this one.

The Soul of Time – Jennifer Macaire

Welcome back everyone, today’s review is the second last book in the series. We’ve moved on from the filler book and it’s now full of action and everything I love about this series!

We pick up the start of this book right where we ended the last book, Chants to Persephone with everyone heading into the Eaters of the Dead territory. One of the best things about this book is that it’s full of suspense, action and surprises.

The prophecies Alexander and Ashely heard in the previous book start to make sense, bit by bit.

I found myself held in suspense for the majority of the book wondering what would happen. So many questions were raised and answered one at a time in this book. Yet, if I tell you any of them, I’ll probably ruin the story for you.

Although I loved the story and the action and how it all played out. There were a few small details that were a little bit off to me. One of them was how many pregnancies Ashely had had. In the first 4 books she’d been pregnant 5 times (possibly a 6th, not 100% sure without going back through them) yet in this book they said 4 times.

It might have been a mistake. They do happen. But it did throw me for a minute, and I had to go back through my memory and count all her pregnancies.

The other thing that started to bother me in this book was Ashely getting prophetic dreams. She hasn’t had them in any of the previous books (except maybe a brief introduction to them in the previous book) and I don’t feel like this is something that someone would develop all of a sudden.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, next week I will be picking the Tamora Pierce series again. So stay tuned!

Of Night and Dark Obscurity – Nicola Italia

Welcome back everyone, we went from a regency romance to an erotica and today it’s a Victorian romance with a murder mystery!

It was quite some time ago when Nicola contacted me asking if I’d like to review this book. At the time it was still a work in progress, and she wasn’t sure when it was going to be released. Other than a really brief idea on what the novel was going to be about I didn’t know anything about it when I agreed to read it.

I mean. I’ve read and reviewed two of her other books, The Sheik’s Son and Sea of Revenge and loved both of them. Surely I’d like this book that I hadn’t been told much about. Right?

It took me ages to get to reading this book but I got there! I don’t know what book I was thinking of when I started reading it, but the cover made me think it was something other than it was. But that’s totally on me coz it was ages between getting it and reading the blurb and reading it!

Unlike most romances that I read this one primarily followed Valentine, our male protagonist. While alternating to Caroline for a short stint once a chapter (roughly) to add context and her voice to the story. Given that this book focused around a murder investigation this makes a lot of sense.

Having Caroline drive the story from the victim’s perspective while Valentine drove it from the investigation perspective felt well done. While Caroline’s character was consistently concerned for others, charitable and interested in Valentine, I had a couple of moments of confusion with Valentine’s behaviour. He was always so considerate of Caroline and her safety, yet s couple of times felt aggressively possessive and jealous. It didn’t feel like it fit with his personality.

A few times sporadically throughout the book Nicola included snippets of what was happening with the criminals responsible. I loved this. Not only were no names or details included in these, as Valentine came across a new bit of evidence we were kept in the dark until the last possible moment. I loved this because it allowed me to try and guess who the culprit was right until the very end.

Even when they are caught, we aren’t told who they are. Until literally the last chapter. It made for a bit of a nail biter that I enjoyed every second of.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review; on Wednesday I’ll be reviewing New Beginnings at Glendale Hall by Victoria Hall.

Chants to Persephone – Jennifer Macaire

Welcome back everyone, I’m finally back into my series reviews so I hope you’ll forgive me for kicking it back off with The Time for Alexander series. I couldn’t help but come back to it!

Last year I read the first four books in the series and I finally decided to bite the bullet and buy the rest of the series coz I loved them!

After the ending of the last books I was desperate to see what Ashley would do next. Since I hadn’t read any of the blurbs for the remaining three books, I had no idea who was alive, who was dead and where the stories were set. Given how much travelling Ashley and Alexander did in the first four books I assumed that there’d be more travelling.

The overall feel of this book was that we needed context and background on the latest adventure to understand the future books. I know series need these, but it also makes me feel a little dejected when I do read them.

As we’ve seen in previous books the oracles prophecies tend to guide the actions of those in the past, but they are just plain weird! I honestly don’t know how people back then managed to decipher anything to be able to go about their lives. Yet they somehow manage to do it and find their way through horrible times.

The final thing that felt different to me was that we had a clear direction for the next book. The other books had a general direction, but nothing set in stone. This time we were left knowing exactly what we were working towards, who was going to be involved and a general idea of what the outcome is going to be.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, next week I restart the Tamora Pierce reviews and in two weeks I’ll be reviewing Legend of Love by Lisa Kessler.

Storms Over Babylon – Jennifer Macaire

Welcome back everyone, we’re back to Ashley and Alexander in the Time for Alexander series. I swear I become more and more obsessed with this series with every book I read. Please hurry up and let me read the next three!

I chose to stay up on my flight to Brisbane to read this one instead of sleeping. To put this into context, I normally go to bed about 9pm and my flight took off at 9.30pm. To say I was dead tired when we arrived in Brisbane a couple of hours later is an understatement.

But I did smash out like 90% of the book in that couple of hours on the plane. And man was it good! I actually checked how long I had left to finish the book because I didn’t want to have to stop to get off the plane. Luckily, I finished the book with 5 minutes of my flight to spare.

If you’re familiar with the previous books (not just my reviews of them) then you might remember that Plexis was told all his questions about Ashley would be answered on his death bed. Well, Ashley is faced with the knowledge of when he’s meant to die alongside Alexander being adamant, he doesn’t want her to save him.

Well in this book we get to discover how Plexis dies, along with Alexander a few months later. Knowing that there’s a fantasy element to this story and just loving Ashley’s relationships with Alexander and Plexis and that this is only the 4th of (currently) 7 books, I was left wondering when this book would end.

Well, spoiler alert! (not really) It ends When Alexander dies, and his kingdom begins to crumble with Ashley and her family fleeing the violence. As soon as I was finished, I was like “NOOOO!!!! I want more!” So rest assured, once the 5th book comes on tour I’ll be jumping for a spot to give you more deets!

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, tomorrow (yes you read that right!) I will be reviewing The Determined Lord Hadleigh by Virginia Heath. Continue to read
further down to find out about the author and any extra giveaways available.

Author Bio

Jennifer Macaire lives with her husband, three children, & various dogs & horses. She loves cooking, eating chocolate, growing herbs and flowering plants on her balcony, and playing golf. She grew up in upstate New York, Samoa, and the Virgin Islands. She graduated from St. Peter and Paul high school in St. Thomas and moved to NYC where she modeled for five years for Elite. She met her husband at the polo club. All that is true. But she mostly likes to make up stories.

Son of the Moon – Jennifer Macaire

Welcome back everyone, I hope you enjoyed my review of One?. I found it difficult at times as an Aussie but still enjoyed it, but time to get back to a series I’m really enjoying, the Time for Alexander series!

Writing Style

The first thing I want to say is that it seems Jennifer has either gotten over those overly direct sentences, or she got a new editor for this book that managed to get rid of almost all of those annoying, jarring sentences. YAY!

That left me being able to focus more on the story rather than feeling like I was thrown out of it because of a string of short sentences that just felt weird to read.

Overall, I feel like there’s a maturity to Jennifer’s writing that hasn’t quite been there with the first two books. And I’m loving it. It feels like the story is more cohesive and purposeful rather than a string of great ideas and plot points strung together.

That doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy the first two books. It means that I found this book much easier to engage with which meant I could enjoy it much easier and quicker.

Initial Thoughts

I’m struggling to remember what exactly happened at the start, but I remember that I was a little on edge wondering if Ashley and Alexander would find their son. Given there are 7 books in the series I wasn’t sure if this quest was meant to span all those books or whether there’d be more to their story if they found him.

After a harsh climb up a mountain pass, they were met by an old man who welcomed them but seemed to be delaying and delaying them seeing their sun. Which of course made me wonder if their son was even still there or had yet again been stolen away from them.

What they discovered was certainly not what they, or me, were expecting which brought about another question. What were they going to do now?

And that’s what drove the rest of the books story.

Final Thoughts

As usual, I finished this book dying for the next book. Which makes me think, if anyone wants to know what they should ever gift me (in case you were wondering), get me this series with matching covers in paperback. Coz this is a series I will come back to again in the future (I can already tell) which mean’s I want it in my burgeoning library for proud display.

I’ve mentioned already that I really engaged with this book better than the first book. I loved the battles, I loved that Ashley sacrificed for love and I love that she’s willing to ask for what she really wants. A full life with Alexander where they can live in peace without the people from the future killing them and erasing them from history.

This really brought me back to the start of the first book which made me wonder if this was a clue as to what was happening then. Maybe, maybe not. I’ll have to wait to find out.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, next week I will be reviewing Probably the Best Kiss in the World by Pernille Hughes. Continue to read further down to find out about the author and any extra giveaways available.

Author Bio

Jennifer Macaire lives with her husband, three children, & various dogs & horses. She loves cooking, eating chocolate, growing herbs and flowering plants on her balcony, and playing golf. She grew up in upstate New York, Samoa, and the Virgin Islands. She graduated from St. Peter and Paul high school in St. Thomas and moved to NYC where she modeled for five years for Elite. She met her husband at the polo club. All that is true. But she mostly likes to make up stories.

Brooklyn – Colm Toibin

Welcome back everyone, I hope you enjoyed the latest instalment of the Shift series. The rest of my reviews for that series will be coming out over the coming month! This is my VERY FIRST book box ever! So I of course had to take some photo’s when it arrived. And I gotta say, the people who pick what to send me are GOOD.

Writing Style

I feel like I’ve been learning a lot about writing in the past week (thanks to an editor at work who keeps telling me to make changes to my work until it’s “good enough” lol) but at the same time learning nothing. (Case in point, that sentence started with a “so” and I just removed it coz I got told off for doing that too much!)

Anyway! Brooklyn feels like it was written in the style that people in the 1940s-1950s thought and behaved. It was very much formal, with properly structured sentences and thoughts throughout the story.

If I was reading this going to and from work, I’d probably find the writing style a bit dull. Since I was reading this to chill in the evenings with a glass of wine before going to bed, I found it perfect. There was nothing too complex going on, what I was reading was what was happening.

Perfect to just relax with when your brain and eyes are tired and just want to go to sleep. On that note, I did stay up late 2 nights in a row because I couldn’t put the book down.  

Initial Thoughts

Going into this after reading the blurb, I thought there’d be some serious drama, intrigue etc going on throughout the book.

What I got on the other hand was a story written like a journal of a very plain, boring girl in a quiet, country town of Ireland. Her sister Rose on the other hand sounded like quite the character, and the one I’d normally expect the story to be about.

As I read more and more about Eilis, I wondered how on earth she ended up along in Brooklyn. Turns out her sister secured her passage and a job there through an Irish priest.

Not so interesting, but I figured the interesting stuff would happen once she got to Brooklyn. So, I kept reading.

Final Thoughts

Up until Eilis went back home and ended up meeting Jim, I was really liking the book. When Jim was introduced and they struck up a friendship (progressing towards marriage), I was getting more and more confused.

Honestly, I didn’t like what Colm did with that relationship. I know when people are young, long distance relations can have the feelings diminish a little with distance. But that just felt weird.

Without spoiling the story for you I can’t explain exactly why this left such a bad taste in my mouth. Up until the last section of the book when Eilis extends her stay in Ireland, I quite liked the book. If I could re-write that last section or just end it just before it turned bad, I’d be much happier.

Since this book doesn’t even use chapters I can’t tell you where you might as well stop reading. Sorry guys.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, next week I will be reviewing One? by Jennifer Cahill.

Legends of Persia – Jennifer Macaire

Welcome back everyone, last week I participated in a pretty epic book tour, so I hope you checked out some of the other’s involved in that one.

When Rachel put out that Jennifer had come back pretty much as soon as the tour for the first book was over to have the second book reviewed, I did not waste a second replying and pretty much begging for a spot on the tour schedule.

And lucky me got a place! Yay! If you haven’t read my review of The Road to Alexander, I suggest popping over there as well.

Writing Style

I really love the way Jennifer writes about Ashley and Alexander throughout the book. It’s done in a way that captures my attention, and better yet, HOLDS my attention. Whenever I have to put this series down I hate it, and I just keep thinking about what could be in store for them.

My one grumble about the writing was that a few descriptions felt a bit jarring. Like they were so to the point with no preamble that it felt a little off-putting. I don’t really remember if this happened in the first book or not. But after 2 or 3 chapters I stopped noticing it because I was so wrapped up in the story again.

Initial Thoughts

Jennifer recapped the previous book in the first chapter, which is great for newbies or those that haven’t read the first book in a while. And I think this is important to do, especially when you’re writing a longer series.

After we got past the recap we jumped straight back into where we left off last time. Maybe fast forward a week or two. Which is great for me because I didn’t want to miss a minute of the story! What I also loved was that Jennifer also referred to the modern-day names of many places which meant I could jump onto Google Maps and check out where they were.

Sometimes.

It’s not always easy to tell, and in a few cases I had to kind of guess roughly where they were. But that might just be me liking to know where people are when they are travelling. Does anyone else like following characters along on a map?

Final Thoughts

I love that Ashley seems to have grown bolder with Alexander in this book. In the first book she often deferred to him which I thought was a bit odd given how strong her voice was in her own time. An example of this is when Alexander is drugged and doesn’t notice Ashley being raped because he’s off with some other woman.

Boy did Ashley tell him where to stick it then! And the fact that she knew what was going to happen and essentially told him that she wouldn’t wait for him was pretty cool to read.

The one part of this section of the story line was that Ashley talked about her being from the future when others were in their tent. I thought no one could know this? And yet she’s blatantly telling Alex what his future is with like 3 other people in their tent who could hear them? That didn’t really make sense to me, and actually bugged me a little bit.

So please, I beg you Jennifer. Keep the rest of the series coming to Rach Random Resources so I can save my money to buy physical copies of the books!

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, next week I will be reviewing Truth of Bear by Zoe Ashwood. Continue to read further down to find out about the author and any extra giveaways available.

Author Bio

Jennifer Macaire lives with her husband, three children, & various dogs & horses. She loves cooking, eating chocolate, growing herbs and flowering plants on her balcony, and playing golf. She grew up in upstate New York, Samoa, and the Virgin Islands. She graduated from St. Peter and Paul high school in St. Thomas and moved to NYC where she modeled for five years for Elite. She met her husband at the polo club. All that is true. But she mostly likes to make up stories.

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