Book – Zacharias Wythe, Sorcerer Royal, is having a rough time of it. England’s magicians are torn by internal strife at the same time the country is demanding their assistance in the war against Napoleon, and Zacharias’s own reform ideas are being shoved to the side. And the rumors surrounding his own ascension to the post after his mentor’s death are stirring. As the first African Sorcerer Royal, Zacharias is none too popular among England’s magical elite.
Meanwhile, Prunella Gentleman, the mixed-race orphaned daughter of a mysterious wandering magician who has been raised by the mistress of a School for Magical Ladies, is growing frustrated with her lot. Ladies, after all, are not supposed to be magical, and those who are unfortunate enough to suffer the affliction have to be carefully trained to avoid using it at any cost. Prunella, on the other hand, is sure she could do something great with her life, if only she were given the chance.
The collision of these two – Zacharias who desperately wants to keep the peace, and Prunella who is determined to fend for herself no matter what society thinks – provides the largest part of the enjoyment of Cho’s first novel. Despite the cover, this is a Regency fantasy of the best kind, featuring dignified English magicians, grasping English politicians, and, uniquely, powerful and fascinating main characters from the underside of the empire. Fans of Susannah Clarke’s Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell and Mary Robinette Kowall’s Glamourist Histories should love this.
Book – I love a good romance, but I want more than just lust and passion. My favorite love stories are those that come with a side fluff–be it puppies, cats, horses–the furry (and un-furry) creatures that so often bring people together in real life. This novel has all that, and more.
Home Is Where The Bark Is brings us former model Serena Oakley. Tired of being in the spotlight, Serena has worked hard to put the past behind her by disguising her looks and opening her own business, a doggy daycare called Paws-A-While. Everything is going great until Undercover Private Investigator Nick Whalen enters her shop with a tiny pup in tow. Serena knows something is up; this muscular, unsmiling man just doesn’t seem the type to have a precious Yorki-poodle mix.
However, Nick is there investigating the Paws-A-While owner over a series of identity frauds and he’s certain Serena has something to hide. Slowly, despite their mutual insecurities with one another the pair begins to bond over a helpless dog, and that just might be enough to bring them together.
This is one of my guilty pleasures of romance novels. Not your typical sexy posed woman draped across the cover type of books. A cute one that make you go “Awwww’ because there are puppies involved. Would recommend to anyone who loves a good romance of opposites attract and of course any animal lover. A perfect mix of puppy dog tales and love stories.
Book –The perfect novel for romantics and dog-lovers alike! Stay, by Allie Larkin follows Savannah “Van” Leone, a quirky young woman who has been hopelessly in love with her friend Peter since college. Unfortunately, love has other plans for her–her best friend Janie is marrying her beloved Peter, and Van is forced into the role of maid of honor. Love has never been so miserable!
Following the excruciating ceremony, Van drowns her broken heart in vodka and a Rin Tin Tin movie marathon, and promptly purchases a German Shepherd puppy online. She soon finds that her furry friend is not the little puppy she expected, but rather, a GIANT. As she wrestles with training her new pup, Van starts to mend her broken heart, and finds a new purpose in her life. Yet just as she begins to open her heart up to someone else, everything comes crashing down.
Full of hysterical moments, a lovable dog, and a cute vet, this is a wonderfully fun, light-hearted read. It’s The Holiday meets Must Love Dogs, cute, funny, with a side of fluff.
Book – Miss Alexia Tarabotti is not your average twenty-six-year-old spinster in Victorian London. Along with her Italian name, her headstrong temperament, her distressing complexion and her even more distressing nose, Alexia inherited something noteworthy from her father: her missing soul. Alexia is a preternatural, a soulless human whose touch can exorcise ghosts and transform vampires and werewolves back to their human forms. Her preternatural status is a closely guarded secret from humans, even from her own family, but it brings her to the attention of the Bureau of Unnatural Registry, headed by the exasperating alpha werewolf, Lord Conall Maccon. And when Alexia accidentally kills a vampire at a party and is launched into a web of supernatural intrigue extending far beyond her usual sphere, she finds herself entangled with Lord Maccon in all sorts of new and exciting–though still exasperating–ways.
As an infrequent reader of romances of any kind but a big fan of sci-fi and fantasy, I was pleasantly surprised by how entirely I found myself rooting for the romantic subplot in this scrumptious confection of a fast-paced steampunk adventure. Soulless is a purely fluffy read, but delightfully so, the kind of light-hearted, feel-good, take-you-away-from-your-troubles indulgence of a book that we all need every once in a while. It would make an outstanding book to take away on vacation–and with four other books in this series, a manga adaptation and two separate spin-off series in progress, it might just leave you eager to get home and read more of Alexia’s world.
Book – A fabulous introduction to the Cynster world and those who live in it. By Winter’s Light is the story of Daniel and Claire, a tutor and a governess for the next generation of Cynsters. Their romance is overseen and manipulated by their charges amidst a family holiday season in Scotland. With her usual deft style, Stephanie Laurens weaves a fun holiday tale that gives you insight into the personalities and abilities of the up and coming generation. I was delighted by the interactions between the cousins and really pleased with the romance that was built between Daniel and Claire. Both storylines meshed well and it was neat to see the older generation in love and happy all around.
This is the 21st book in the Cynster Saga, but they can all be read as stand-alones. I just enjoy revisiting ‘old friends’ as I continue to read about the exploits that only Cynsters seem to have and revel in.
Book – A Seamless Murder is the 6th book in the Magical Dressmaking Mystery series by Melissa Bourbon. While you don’t have to read them in order I highly suggest you do so.
From the glitz and glamour of New York’s fashion scene to the down-home styles of her hometown Bliss, Texas, Harlow Cassidy has come a long ways. When the local chapter of the Red Hat Ladies Club asks for her help making aprons for their upcoming progressive dinner, Harlow knows that no job is too small. Her dressmaking charm helps her to ‘see’ people in an outfit that will help them realize their heart’s wish, but will it help her to find out who wished Delta harm when she turns up dead. It has helped her before and she’s drawn into an investigation with more twists and turns than expected.
I adore Harlow and her magical family. They are such fun to read about. Her skills at sleuthing have developed over the series and so has her relationship with Will. This was a great addition to a sweet series.
Book- To quote Mr. Elton John, “It’s a little bit funny. This feeling inside…”
The year is 1986, in Omaha, Nebraska. This is a story about two misfit teenagers who were not looking for love, but fell into it together. Eleanor is a frumpy, fiery redhead with a broken family. Park is an average boy who wears eyeliner, and has a father who oozes masculinity. Eleanor is new in town, and she is forced to sit next to Park on the bus. Park reads comic books and listens to mix tapes to pass the time. Eventually Park notices Eleanor reading the comics with him, and their budding romance (and friendship) begins.
This is not just another sappy young adult romance novel. It deals with issues including, racism, bullying, body image, and domestic violence. Children of the ’80s and early ’90s would enjoy this book for the nostalgic factor alone. If you’re looking for a quick, easy read, but one that will linger on your mind, this one is for you.
Book – I was looking for a nice light read with a plot and characters that would invite relaxation. I got it in The House on Blackberry Hill by Donna Alward.
Abby Foster has had a difficult life growing up and her experiences from then have colored her attitudes about the house and history that she’s inherited. She wants nothing to do with a heritage that was denied her and her only goal is to sell and run. In order to sell, she needs to get the house in better shape. In comes Tom Arseneault, the contractor determined to work on the Foster estate. His specialty is restoring old homes and he cannot bear to see a house stripped and sanitized instead of restored.
While bringing this estate back to life, both Tom and Abby deal with their pasts in the hope of enjoying a future together.
A really fun, sweet read with enough twists and misunderstandings to keep it from being sappy, yet not so many that it defeated the purpose of a light, fluffy read. I enjoyed the journey that Abby made and some of the self-realizations were very well written and not once did I roll my eyes (that has often been the case in other books of this weight.) I will definitely revisit this series and look forward to the next one coming out in October.