Announcement

Feminist Fairy Tale Reviews is currently on hiatus. I hope to return to blogging sooner rather than later.

I will still be posting mini book reviews on Goodreads and talking books on Twitter so feel free to find me there.

Thank you and happy reading1


Friday, July 31, 2015

REVIEW: "The Marriage Act" by Alyssa Everett

The Marriage Act
The Marriage Act by Alyssa Everett

For Ages 18+ (Language, Sensuality)
Historical Romance -- Regency England

Carina Press -- Published on July 28, 2015
eARC, 245  pages
Read in July 2015
Received from Netgalley

RATING: 3.5 STARS

THEMES/TROPES
Troubled Marriage, Road Romance, Big Misunderstanding

SUMMARY
When John, Viscount Welford, proposed to Caroline Fleetwood, the only daughter of the Bishop of Essex, he thought he knew exactly what he was getting—a lovely, innocent bride.

Five years later, he knows better. The woman who ran to another man on their wedding night—after they'd consummated the marriage—is hardly innocent. Years spent apart while John served as a diplomatic attaché have allowed them to save face in society, but all good pretenses must come to an end. When Caroline receives word that her father is dying, she begs John to accompany her on one last journey to see him.

But there's an added problem—Caroline never told her father that her marriage to John was a farce. As they play-act for others, Caroline is delighted to find she never really knew her husband at all. But can she be the kind of wife he needs—and does she want to be?


FIRST LINE
"If you'll come with me, my lord," the butler said, "Miss Fleetwood is in the morning room."

MY THOUGHTS
I received a free copy of this book from Carina Press via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

This is a difficult book to get my head around.  Overall, I enjoyed it and stayed up way too late one night to finish it which is usually a good sign.  There were just nagging things that kept popping up in my head while I was reading it that I couldn't ignore.  But, I guess that is also a sign of a well-written story that has me thinking about it long after completion.

The Marriage Act starts off with John, Viscount Welford asking Miss Caroline Fleetwood, the daughter of an esteemed bishop, to marry him.  John has fallen in love with her and is desperate to marry her in time to travel off to Vienna where he has been assigned in a diplomacy post.  Things unravel after the wedding night when Caro runs off to meet up with the man she is really in love with and is brought back by her heartbroken husband.  They live separate lives for the next five years, but are brought back together when Caro's father's health comes into question and she asks John to act like a loving husband in order to keep their marriage troubles a secret.

Let me start off by saying that I absolutely adored John!  He is so desperate for affection yet feels like he will never find it.  His heart was broken by Caro's betrayal and he reacted in anger as one could understand.  So, when Caro asks him to help her out, he can't say no to her and decides to just make the best of the situation.  What I really liked about his character was the growth that he achieved through this journey.  He learned how his actions are perceived by others and that he can often appear judgmental without meaning to.

Caro is a character who also had an emotional journey to take.  While I ended up liking her more by the end, she made it difficult for most of the book.  Her youthful folly was pretty egregious and she did take the "punishment" for it.  But, I had issues with her constant flip-flopping when it came to John and their marriage.  She claims to have grown up yet, every time John tried to explain his feelings, she pushed them aside.  I also did not appreciate her constant lying to John, her father, etc. which she finally admitted to at the last possible moment.

I do have to admit some admiration for the author for this story.  It is obvious that she intended for both John and Caro to have some major personality flaws that they needed to learn to overcome.  I also thought she did a good job of showcasing their character growth.  I guess I just wish that Caro's redemption hadn't come so late in the game especially since it was a source of frustration for me throughout the story.

The plot of this book could be divided into two parts.  The first section deals with Caro's reveal to John of her plan and their trip to her uncle's home (where her father is staying).  As with most road trips, there are plenty of hazards to deal with...physical and emotional.  The later half of the book has the couple arriving to visit Caro's father and pretending to be a happy couple.  I found myself liking the second part much more since that is when the characters made the most progress and learned to think of other people's feelings.  Though I could have done without Caro's annoying cousin, Sophia, who provided an interesting insight for Caro to see how foolish youthful declarations could be yet just spent most of her page time irritating the tar out of me.

After thinking about it, I can say that I would recommend Alyssa Everett's The Marriage Act due to the wonderful writing and the refreshing tone.  I do still have reservations regarding Caro's character, but it is possible that other readers may not see the same issues that I do.  I did find the story (as a whole) entertaining and will keep checking out more of Ms. Everett's books.

FAVORITE QUOTE
"Why would you want to keep that dreadful message from our wedding night?  It's one of my greatest regrets."
"Because you wrote it, Caro.  Insulting or not, it was all I had of you when I was in Vienna, my only remembrance of the one night we'd spent together before I left.  For that reason alone, I could never part with it."

Thursday, July 30, 2015

THEME THURSDAY: Returning Soldiers

This is part of a feature where I focus on a specific theme (or trope) that I have found in my years as a voracious reader/blogger.  I love finding commonalities between my favorite books and how that helps define me as a reader.

Please note this is not meant to be a comprehensive list.  I am just picking a few examples of this trope.  So, if you have a favorite example of this theme, let me know about it in the comments.  I'm always on the lookout for more books to be added to my wishlist.

RETURNING SOLDIERS

Yours Until Dawn (Fairleigh Sisters, #3)
Yours Until Dawn by Teresa Medeiros -- I gave it 5 stars.
Historical Romance -- Regency England
Gabriel Fairchild's valor during battle earns him the reputation of hero, but costs him both his sight and his hope for the future. Abandoned by the fiancée he adored, the man who once walked like a prince among London's elite secludes himself in his family's mansion, cursing his way through dark days and darker nights.
Prim nurse Samantha Wickersham arrives at Fairchild Park to find her new charge behaving more like a beast than a man. Determined to do her duty, she engages the arrogant earl in a battle of both wit and wills. Although he claims she doesn't possess an ounce of womanly softness, she can feel his heart racing at her slightest touch. As Samantha begins to let the light back into Gabriel's life and his heart, they both discover that some secrets -- and some pleasures -- are best explored in the dark ...

Ten Things I Love About You (Bevelstoke, #3)
Ten Things I Love About You (Bevelstoke #3) by Julia Quinn -- I gave it 4 stars.
Historical Romance -- Regency England
Annabel Winslow is in a pickle. Having newly arrived in London for her first season and being in possession of a voluptuous figure, is being openly courted the the Earl of Newbury, who is at least 75 and a nasty brute to boot. Annabel does not want to marry him, of course, but feels that she has no choice since her father has recently died and left the whole family, including Annabel's mother her 7 siblings, almost destitute.

Then, while attending a party in the countryside, Annabel met Sebastian Grey, the Earl of Newbury's nephew. And suddenly she found herself not only courted by the lecherous uncle, but also the charming young nephew. Should she follow her heart so that she can be with the one she loves, or should she marry the loathsome earl just so she can put food on the table for her family and make sure that her brothers get to stay in school?

Simply Love (Simply Quartet #2)
Simply Love (Simply #2) by Mary Balogh -- I gave it 4.5 stars.
Historical Romance -- Regency England
Anne first spied him in the deepening dusk of a Wales evening --- a lone figure of breathtaking strength, his handsome face branded by a secret pain.  For teacher and single mother Anne Jewell, Sydnam Butler is a man whose sorrows --- and passions --- run deeper than she could have ever imagined.
As steward of a remote seaside manor, Sydnam lives a reclusive existence. Yet he senses in Anne a kindred soul, and between these two wary hearts, desire stirs. Unable to resist the passion that has rescued them both, Anne and Sydnam share an afternoon of exquisite lovemaking. As scandal looms, suddenly the unwed mother and the war-scarred veteran must make a decision that could forever alter their lives ...

England's Perfect Hero (Lessons in Love, #3)
England's Perfect Hero (Lessons in Love #3) by Suzanne Enoch -- I gave it 5 stars.
Historical Romance -- Regency England
Lucinda Barrett's best friends ended up married to the men to whom they delivered their "lessons in love." So Lucinda decides to choose someone who definitely needs lessons, but someone who will not complicate her life. And that person is definitely not Robert Carroway.
Robert is nothing if not complicated, and though he is the brother of a viscount, he rarely goes about society, and finds the weather and hat fashions ludicrous subjects for discussion. Robert is attracted to Lucinda's unpretentious ways, her serenity and her kindness. When she chooses someone for her love lessons, Robert offers to help her deliver her lessons, but sets out to convince the woman he has fallen for to take a chance on love...and on him.

Lord of Ice (Knight Miscellany, #3)
Lord of Ice (Knights Miscellany #3) by Gaelen Foley -- I gave it 4 stars.
Historical Romance -- Regency England
Damien Knight, the earl of Winterley, is proud, aloof, and tormented by memories of war. Though living in seclusion, he is named guardian to a fellow officer's ward. Instead of the young homeless waif he was expecting, however, Miranda FitzHubert is a stunning, passionate beauty who invades his sanctuary and forces him back into society. Struggling to maintain honor and self-control, Damien now faces an even greater threat: desire.
A bold, free spirit, Miranda has witnessed the darkest depths of Damien's soul-and has seen his desperate need for love. But before she can thaw his unyielding heart, she must endure a terrifying nightmare of her own. . . .

A Gentleman Undone (Blackshear Family, #2)
A Gentleman Undone (Blackshear #2) by Cecilia Grant -- I gave it 5 stars.
Historical Romance -- Regency England
Lydia Slaughter understands the games men play—both in and out of the bedroom. Not afraid to bend the rules to suit her needs, she fleeces Will Blackshear outright. The Waterloo hero had his own daring agenda for the gaming tables of London’s gentlemen’s clubs. But now he antes up for a wager of wits and desire with Lydia, the streetwise temptress who keeps him at arm’s length.
A kept woman in desperate straits, Lydia has a sharp mind and a head for numbers. She gambles on the sly, hoping to win enough to claim her independence. An alliance with Will at the tables may be a winning proposition for them both. But the arrangement involves dicey odds with rising stakes, sweetened with unspoken promise of fleshly delights. And any sleight of hand could find their hearts betting on something neither can afford to risk: love.

Love in the Afternoon (The Hathaways, #5)
Love in the Afternoon (Hathaways #5) by Lisa Kleypas -- I gave it 4.5 stars.
Historical Romance -- Victorian England
She harbors a secret yearning.
As a lover of animals and nature, Beatrix Hathaway has always been more comfortable outdoors than in the ballroom. Even though she participated in the London season in the past, the classic beauty and free-spirited Beatrix has never been swept away or seriously courted... and she has resigned herself to the fate of never finding love. Has the time come for the most unconventional of the Hathaway sisters to settle for an ordinary man—just to avoid spinsterhood?

He is a world-weary cynic.
Captain Christopher Phelan is a handsome, daring soldier who plans to marry Beatrix's friend, the vivacious flirt Prudence Mercer, when he returns from fighting abroad. But, as he explains in his letters to Pru, life on the battlefield has darkened his soul—and it's becoming clear that Christopher won't come back as the same man. When Beatrix learns of Pru's disappointment, she decides to help by concocting Pru's letters to Christopher for her. Soon the correspondence between Beatrix and Christopher develops into something fulfilling and deep... and when Christopher comes home, he's determined to claim the woman he loves. What began as Beatrix's innocent deception has resulted in the agony of unfulfilled love—and a passion that can't be denied.

To Taste Temptation (Legend of the Four Soldiers, #1)
To Taste Temptation (Legend of the Four Soldiers #1) by Elizabeth Hoyt -- I gave it 3.5 stars.
Historical Romance -- Georgian England
The ton loves nothing more than a good scandal, and they're giddy with the appearance of wealthy Samuel Hartley. Not only is he self-made, American, and in the habit of wearing moccasins, but he is also notorious for fleeing a battle in which several English gentlemen lost their lives. What the ton doesn't know, though, is that Samuel is in London because of this massacre. He believes his regiment was given up to the enemy and won't rest until he finds the traitor.
Lady Emeline Gordon is captivated with Samuel. Not only does he defy convention with his unusual dress, his sensual smile, and his forthright manner, but he survived the battle that killed her beloved brother. Samuel suspects that the person responsible for her brother's death is Jasper Renshaw, Viscount Vale, a family friend since childhood—and Emeline's fiancé. Despite Emeline's belief in Vale's innocence and her refusal to break off her betrothal, she and Samuel begin a passionate affair. But can their relationship survive the fallout from Samuel's investigation?

How Beauty Met the Beast (Tales of the Underlight, #1)
How Beauty Met the Beast (Tales of the Underlight #1) by Jax Garren -- I gave it 4.5 stars.
Urban Fantasy
The Beast
Scarred. Damaged. Living with a terrible secret. Agent of the Underlight Wesley "Hauk" Haukon has nothing left but the fight for liberty against the oppressive Order of Ananke. He's starting to lose hope…and then he sees her.
The Beauty
Despite her night job as a burlesque dancer, grad student Jolie Benoit has always played the mostly good girl. That all changes following a scorching sexual encounter with a stranger whose face she doesn't see. After she's kidnapped by thugs and rescued by a man with a very familiar voice, Jolie becomes a pawn in a struggle she never knew existed.
Hauk knows he cannot have her, and resolves to protect his heart and his secrets. But as they work together and grow closer, he finds new reason to keep fighting. Dare he risk hope in a new life, one where Jolie can see past his ravaged face and where their friendship can grow into something more?

The Unleashing (Call of Crows, #1)
The Unleashing (Call of Crows #1) by Shelly Laurenston
Paranormal Romance
Kera Watson never expected to face death behind a Los Angeles coffee shop. Not after surviving two tours lugging an M16 around the Middle East. If it wasn’t for her hot Viking customer showing up too late to help, nobody would even see her die.
In uncountable years of service to the Allfather Odin, Ludvig “Vig” Rundstrom has never seen anyone kick ass with quite as much style as Kera. He knows one way to save her life—but she might not like it. Signing up with the Crows will get Kera a new set of battle buddies: cackling, gossiping, squabbling, party-hearty women. With wings. So not the Marines.
But Vig can’t give up on someone as special as Kera. With a storm of oh-crap magic speeding straight for L.A., survival will depend on combining their strengths: Kera’s discipline, Vig’s loyalty… and the Crows’ sheer love of battle. Boy, are they in trouble.

Broken (Redemption, #1)
Broken (Redemption #1) by Lauren Layne -- I gave it 4 stars.
New Adult Contemporary Romance
When Olivia Middleton abandons the glamour of Park Avenue for a remote, coastal town in Maine, everyone assumes she’s being the kind do-gooder she’s always been. But Olivia has a secret: helping an injured war veteran reenter society isn’t about charity—it’s about penance. Only, Olivia’s client isn’t the grateful elderly man she’s expecting. Instead, he’s a brooding twenty-four-year-old who has no intention of being Olivia’s path to redemption . . . and whose smoldering gaze and forbidden touch might be her undoing.
Paul Langdon doesn’t need a mirror to show him he’s no longer the hotshot quarterback he was before the war. He knows he’s ugly—inside and out. He’ll do anything to stay in self-imposed exile, even accept his father’s ultimatum that Paul tolerate the newest caretaker for three months or lose his inheritance. But Paul doesn’t count on the beautiful twenty-two-year-old who makes him long for things that he can never have. And the more she slips past his defenses, the more keeping his distance is impossible.
Now Paul and Olivia have to decide: Will they help each other heal? Or are they forever broken?

Something like Normal
Something Like Normal by Trish Doller
New Adult Contemporary Romance
When Travis returns home from a stint in Afghanistan, his parents are splitting up, his brother’s stolen his girlfriend and his car, and he’s haunted by nightmares of his best friend’s death. It’s not until Travis runs into Harper, a girl he’s had a rocky relationship with since middle school, that life actually starts looking up. And as he and Harper see more of each other, he begins to pick his way through the minefield of family problems and post-traumatic stress to the possibility of a life that might resemble normal again. Travis’s dry sense of humor, and incredible sense of honor, make him an irresistible and eminently lovable hero.

Yours to Keep (Kowalski Family, #3)
Yours to Keep (Kowalski #3) by Shannon Stacey
Contemporary Romance
Sean Kowalski no sooner leaves the army than he's recruited by Emma Shaw to be her fake fiance. Emma needs to produce a husband-to-be for her grandmother's upcoming visit, and, though Sean doesn't like the deception, he could use the landscaping job Emma's offering while he decides what to do with his civilian life. And, despite his attraction to Emma, there's no chance he'll fall for a woman with deep roots in a town he's not planning to call home.
Emma's not interested in a real relationship either; not with a man whose idea of home is wherever he drops his duffel bag. No matter how amazing his "pretend" kisses are...

Cut & Run (Cut & Run, #1)
Cut & Run (Cut & Run #1) by Abigail Roux and Madeleine Urban -- I gave it 4 stars.
Male/Male Romantic Suspense
A series of murders in New York City has stymied the police and FBI alike, and they suspect the culprit is a single killer sending an indecipherable message. But when the two federal agents assigned to the investigation are taken out, the FBI takes a more personal interest in the case.
Special Agent Ty Grady is pulled out of undercover work after his case blows up in his face. He's cocky, abrasive, and indisputably the best at what he does. But when he's paired with Special Agent Zane Garrett, it's hate at first sight. Garrett is the perfect image of an agent: serious, sober, and focused, which makes their partnership a classic cliche: total opposites, good cop-bad cop, the odd couple. They both know immediately that their partnership will pose more of an obstacle than the lack of evidence left by the murderer.
Practically before their special assignment starts, the murderer strikes again - this time at them. Now on the run, trying to track down a man who has focused on killing his pursuers, Grady and Garrett will have to figure out how to work together before they become two more notches in the murderer's knife.

WANT MORE?  CHECK OUT...
The Proposal by Mary Balogh (Historical Romance)
My Darling Caroline by Adele Ashworth (Historical Romance)
A Night to Surrender by Tessa Dare (Historical Romance)
She Tempts the Duke by Lorraine Heath (Historical Romance)
Off Base by Tessa Bailey and Sophie Jordan (Contemporary Romance)

UPCOMING THEMES
  • Secondary Romances -- August 6th
  • Librarians -- August 13th
  • Troubled Marriages -- August 20th

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

UPCOMING RELEASES: August 2015

A list of new releases that grabbed my attention for the coming month. As always, release dates are subject to change.  All titles link back to Goodreads.

1ST
One Good Dragon Deserves Another (Heartstrikers, #2)
One Good Dragon Deserves Another (Heartstrikers #2) by Rachel Aaron (urban fantasy)
  • I bought the first in the series after hearing Rachel Aaron's interview on the DBSA podcast.  I haven't read it yet, but I love the fact that the hero is a dragon and a beta! 
4TH
Magic Shifts (Kate Daniels, #8) The Veil (Devil's Isle, #1) A Lady's Guide to Skirting Scandal
Magic Shifts (Kate Daniels #8) by Ilona Andrews (urban fantasy)
  • I'm almost caught up on this series and am excited that there is more Kate/Curran action waiting for me.
The Veil (Devil's Isle #1) by Chloe Neill (urban fantasy)
  • I started the Chicagoland Vampires series and need to get back to it.  But, I am also intrigued by Neill's new venture.
A Lady's Guide to Skirting Scandal (Lords of Worth #2.5) by Kelly Bowen (historical romance)
  • I already read this thanks to an eARC and it was so good!  Surgeon hero that meets our reckless heroine on a ship to New York.

Dragonbane (Hellchaser, #7; Dark Hunter #24) Most Likely to Succeed (Superlatives, #3) The Lure of the Moonflower (Pink Carnation #12)
Dragonbane (Darkhunters #24) by Sherrilyn Kenyon (paranormal romance)
  • I'm not sure whether I have given up on this series or not.  There are many characters I'm intrigued by, but it feels like the world building is out of control and the writing seems bland.
Most Likely to Succeed (Superlatives #3) by Jennifer Echols (YA contemporary)
  • This just sounds so adorable!  I also know many people love Echols's writing.
The Lure of the Moonflower (Pink Carnation #12) by Lauren Willig (historical romance)
  • Series conclusion time!  I have only read the first in this series and need to get caught up. 

The Great Estate (Thornbrook Park, #3) Silent Melody
The Great Estate (Thornbrook Park #3) by Sherri Browning (historical romance)
  • I'm intrigued by the early 20th century setting.
Silent Melody (Heartless #2) by Mary Balogh (historical romance) *digital re-issue*
  • I adored this romance that features a deaf heroine and the man she has always loved.

10TH
Viscount's Wager (Gambling on Love, #3)
Viscount's Wager (Gambling in Love #3) by Ava March (M/M historical)
  • Love this author and series.  Ready for some sexytimes!

11TH
Brown-Eyed Girl (Travises, #4) Lonely Hearts (Love Lessons, #3) A Fashionable Indulgence (A Society of Gentlemen, #1)
Brown-Eyed Girl (Travis #4) by Lisa Kleypas (contemporary romance)
  • I've been waiting for Joe Travis's story for ages!  I still prefer LK's historicals, but I did enjoy this series.
Lonely Hearts (Love Lessons #3) by Heidi Cullinan (M/M contemporary)
  • Give it to me now!  I must learn more about Elijah and Baz!
A Fashionable Indulgence (A Society of Gentleman #1) by KJ Charles (M/M historical)
  • I haven't read this author, but I've heard good things.  I like the makeover premise of this one.

17TH
When to Hold Them (Bluewater Bay, #9)
When to Hold Them (Bluewater Bay #9) by G.B. Gordon (M/M contemporary)
  • Never read this author, but I'm always up for another trip to Bluewater Bay.

18TH
The Boy Most Likely To (My Life Next Door, #2) 
The Boy Most Likely To (My Life Next Door #2) by Huntley Fitzpatrick (YA contemporary)
  • The first book was fantastic and I'm hearing similar buzz for this one.

24TH
Lead Me Not
Lead Me Not by Ann Gallagher (M/M contemporary)
  • I usually avoid religion in my fiction, but this whole premise just intrigues me too much to pass up.

25TH
When a Scot Ties the Knot (Castles Ever After, #3) Luck Be a Lady (Rules for the Reckless, #4) Blurred Lines
When a Scot Ties the Knot (Castles Ever After #3) by Tessa Dare (historical romance)
  • Of course I'm excited about a new Tessa Dare!  And there are kilts this time!
Luck Be a Lady (Rules of the Reckless #4) by Meredith Duran (historical romance)
  • I've only read a few by Ms. Duran, but I'm feeling the excitement for this one.
Blurred Lines by Lauren Layne (NA contemporary)
  • Really liked Layne's Redemption series and am eager to see what else she can do.

Level Hands (Bend or Break, #4) You're the Earl That I Want (The Lords of Worth, #3) Legacy of Kings (Blood of Gods and Royals, #1)
Level Hands (Bend or Break #4) by Amy Jo Cousins (M/M contemporary)
  • I liked the first two in the series and own the third book.  AJC does a good job with both m/m and m/f romances.
You're the Earl That I Want (Lords of Worth #3) by Kelly Bowen (historical romance)
  • The Earl of Boden was one of my favorites in A Good Rogue is Hard to Find so I'm anxious to read his story.
Legacy of Kings (Blood of Gods and Royal #1) by Eleanor Herman (YA fantasy)
  • A mix of history and fantasy featuring Alexander the Great?  I'm sold!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

HR 101: Twitter Chat Day!!



Historical Romance 101

This just a reminder that there will be a second Twitter chat for #HistRom101 tonight at 9:00 pm est.

I had so much fun chatting with other historical romance readers last time so, if you are a fan of the genre or a newbie, come join us!  And be ready to have your wishlist explode!

Also, if you are interested, feel free to check out my Historical Romance 101 posts from this past April:


TOP TEN TUESDAY: Characters Who Are Fellow Book Nerds


Hosted by the ladies over at The Broke and the Bookish.

I did a similar list in April 2014 which can be found here.  I decided to try to find more bookish characters so that I wouldn't repeat.

Fangirl
1. Cath -- Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell (YA contemporary)

Romancing Mister Bridgerton (Bridgertons, #4)
2. Penelope -- Romancing Mr. Bridgerton by Julia Quinn (historical romance)

Romancing the Duke (Castles Ever After, #1)
3. Isabel -- Romancing the Duke by Tessa Dare (historical romance)

The Unlikely Lady (Playful Brides, #3)
4. Jane -- The Unlikely Lady by Valerie Bowman (historical romance)

The Texan's Wager (Wife Lottery, #1)
5. Carter -- The Texan's Wager by Jodi Thomas (historical romance)

You Don't Have to Say You Love Me
6. Neve -- You Don't Have to Say You Love Me by Sarra Manning (contemporary romance)

Darkfever (Fever, #1)
7. Mac -- Fever series by Karen Marie Moning (urban fantasy)

This Heart of Mine (Chicago Stars, #5)
8. Molly -- This Heart of Mine by Susan Elizabeth Phillips (contemporary romance)

Naked in Death (In Death, #1)
9. Roarke -- In Death series by JD Robb (romantic suspense)

Taking the Heat ( Jackson: Girls' Night Out, #3)
10. Gabe -- Taking the Heat by Victoria Dahl (contemporary romance)

Monday, July 27, 2015

REVIEW: "Saving the Rifleman" by Julie Rowe


Saving the Rifleman (War Girls, #1)
Saving the Rifleman by Julie Rowe
(War Girls #1)

For Ages 18+ (Language, Sensuality, Violence)
Historical Romance -- World War I Belgium

Carina Press -- Published on October 29, 2012
Ebook, 122 pages
Read in July 2015
Downloaded from Scribd

RATING: 3 STARS 

THEMES/TROPES
Wartime Setting, Road Romance, Nurse Heroine, Soldier Hero

SUMMARY
British Red Cross nurse Maria Hunt lives in daily fear that the Germans will uncover her secret: she helps wounded British soldiers escape.

Lieutenant John Bennet is wounded and running out of options. Trapped behind enemy lines while collecting intelligence, he needs to get out of Belgium if he's going to escape with the information and his life.

Maria is devoted to her patients and her cause, but something else compels her to risk her life for this soldier. While a man of Lieutenant Bennet's station would barely speak to her in other circumstances, something in his kind eyes inspires a passion deep within her.

As his injuries worsen, can Maria find the courage to guide him through the war-torn countryside? And should they make it back to England, will their burgeoning desire survive the ravages of war?



FIRST LINE
"Maria."  Alarm rippled across Maria's nerves, jerking her attention from the supply record book she was writing in.

MY THOUGHTS
I have had Saving the Rifleman on my to-read list for awhile, but never really got inspired to buy it.  Then I found it on Scribd and was so happy that I added it to my library.  I soon realized that it was part of the massive romance purge that Scribd is doing in August so I quickly read it.  And...it was okay.  I enjoyed it and it was easy to read, but I did feel a little letdown by it.

Maria Hunt is a nurse working in Belgium during World War I.  She works at a hospital run by the Red Cross that helps soldiers and civilians regardless of nationality.  Maria and her supervisor, Rose, use this position to their advantage by sneaking injured British soldiers out of the country right under the noses of the Germans.  I really liked her character for her loyalty and her capability.  I am squeamish so I really admired her ability to keep going through some of the more violent aspects of the book.  I also loved her devotion to her patients, no matter who they were.

The hero of Saving the Rifleman is John Bennett, an aristocrat and career soldier, who stumbles upon the hospital and needs Maria's help getting to the Netherlands.  What I liked about him was his protective nature that was never over-the-top.  He spends much of the book in awe of Maria's intelligence and bravery and often bowed to her valuable experience.  John also doesn't care much about her lower class background and believes that he can convince his family how amazing she is.

This was a very sweet road romance that has these two likable characters traveling across the Belgian countryside while escaping the Germans.  There was a lot of danger and some appropriate wartime violence.  This all caused the love story to get a bit rushed.  Both Maria and John have their emotions running high and it was not hard to understand their intimacy.

I did feel like things got disappointing once they reached England.  I wanted more page time devoted to Maria adjusting to her new life and dealing with John's family's upper crust sensibilities.  I guess I found myself in need of more proof that these two had a real connection once they were out of immediate danger, but the page length didn't allow for that.  But, if you are looking for a decent historical romance that isn't Regency or Victorian-era, it might be worth checking this series out.

BOOKS IN THE SERIES
1. Saving the Rifleman
2. Enticing the Spymaster
3. Aiding the Enemy

LEARN MORE
Goodreads -- LibraryThing -- BookLikes -- Shelfari
Author Website

WHERE TO GET IT
Amazon -- B&N -- Kobo -- Google Play -- All Romance