2014 – Book #63


The sixty-third book I read in 2014 was the novella Storming the Castle by Eloisa James. This novella is book 1.5 in the Fairy Tales series by this author. I finished this book on 7/29/14. I rated this book 3.5 stars out of a scale of 5. This book tells the story of Jonas Berwick (illegitimate brother of Prince Gabriel from book #1 in the series A Kiss at Midnight) and Miss Philippa Damson.

Phillipa is betrothed to a man that she realizes is just awful. Fleeing the confines of her betrothal, she finds freedom at Pomeroy Castle where she becomes a nursemaid to Princess Kate’s newborn son, little Jonas. The baby cries and cries and looks so sickly that everyone in the castle is worried he will soon die. Phillipa recognizes these symptoms to be from colic due to the knowledge she gained while helping her uncle. Phillipa helps Kate and Gabriel bring their son back to good health, all the while becoming more and more infatuated with the castle’s majordomo, Wick.

Jonas Berwick has always been treated as part of the royal family even though he is really only the bastard son of Gabriel’s father. Now that he is living in England and has become a servant to his brother (by choice) he can not offer for Miss Phillipa’s hand in marriage without bringing her down to the level of a servant as well. So he must formulate a way to be more than just a servant so he can spend the rest of his life with her.

Overall this novella was ok. I was very interested in hearing Wick’s story after being introduced to his character in the first book in the series and it was a quick read. It only ended up being about 125 pages and was well-paced for the length. While some of the plot was a bit choppy to accomodate a faster paced, it was a sweet story and a good addition to the series.

Link to other novels in the Fairy Tales series: https://rebeccabookreview.wordpress.com/category/book-reviews/book-series-book-reviews/fairy-tales-series/

Link to author website: http://eloisajames.com/index.php

Link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Storming-Castle-Original-Short-Content-ebook/dp/B00486UF6G/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1406749186&sr=8-1&keywords=storming+the+castle

2014 – Book #62


The sixty-second book I read in 2014 was Full Bloom by Janet Evanovich and Charlotte Hughes. This is the fifth book in their “Full” series. I finished this book on 7/29/14 (partly due to the parking lot that was Highway 84 W traffic this morning). I rated this book 3.25 stars out of a scale of 5. This book is about small-town B&B homeowner Annie Fortenberry. Annie is extremely stressed out due to the high-profile upcoming wedding being held at the eccentric B&B she inherited from her grandmother. The last thing she needs to add to her to do list is clear herself of murder charges!

Wes Parker shows up at Annie’s B&B to try and find out what happened to Annie’s missing husband. And it takes Wes all of 5 minutes to realize that Annie couldn’t have murdered anybody. After the gardener finds Annie’s husband’s body buried out by the carriage house though, the police turn they’re eyes towards Annie. Wes has to figure out who actually murdered Charles before Annie gets put away for a crime she didn’t commit.

Overall this was an ok book. It was funny, witty, and a quick read but I thought that the ending could’ve been better. There wasn’t really a villain in the end, the killer turned out to be someone we already knew and honestly liked. I felt like it would’ve been better with a real villain in the end. And whatever happened to all the side characters? Many of their stories were left open, like Norm and Donna Schaefer’s. And I thought it was a little weird that Wes got there so fast after Annie called him. So while I thought the ending could’ve gone a little better, the book overall was a quick and entertaining read.

Link to author website: http://www.evanovich.com/

Link to “Full” series page: http://www.evanovich.com/novels/romance-novels/co-authored-romance-novels/charlotte-hughes/

Link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Full-Bloom-Janet-Evanovich/dp/0312934300/ref=tmm_mmp_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1406652406&sr=8-1

2014 – Book #61


The sixty-first book I read in 2014 was A Kiss at Midnight by Eloisa James. This is the first book in the Fairy Tales series by this author. I finished this book on 7/28/14 (just past midnight). I rated this book 4.25 stars out of a scale of 5. This book tells the story of a girl named Katherine Daltry. Kate has lived practically as a servant in her own household ever since her father died and left her step-mother as her legal guardian. Kate has been managing multiple pieces of her father’s estate on her own for the last few years, as her step-mother has a tendency to fire most of the servants on the estate.

Prince Gabriel bundled up all the people who were thrown out of his country by his over-zealous religious brother and brought them all to his castle in England. The only problem with this is that now he has to find a way to pay and support this horde of family and friends. While the income from the estate will fund the castle’s needs in future years, the estate won’t make any income for the first year. Therefore the prince decides he must wed a wealthy heiress in order to care for the people living under his roof. When Kate arrives at the castle for the ball that is to be held in a few days time, Gabriel has a princess on her way from Russia with a significant dowry.

Kate ends up taking her sister’s place at the Prince’s betrothal ball through a twist of Fate, but she must attend while posing to be her step-sister Victoria, along with Victoria’s fiancee Algie. The whole thing reminded me slightly of a comedy of errors and it was very entertaining and funny. Once the prince figures out that Kate is.. well Kate and not Victoria, he begins to pursue her in earnest even though he is betrothed to a Russian princess. 

Overall I thought this was a great book and I look forward to reading more books in this series. As Kate goes through the story she realizes she has many people she can consider family who support her. The story was very sweet and also was interesting. 

Link to author website: http://www.eloisajames.com/

Link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Kiss-at-Midnight-Eloisa-James/dp/0062232568/ref=tmm_mmp_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1406561491&sr=8-1

2014 – Book #60


The past couple days have been a very difficult time for me. I find most that when I am working my way through a difficult time, I tend to turn to the escape of fiction more than I might at other times. There has been something inherently soothing today and yesterday about reading beside my grandfather’s bed as I struggle to say goodbye to him. And while this may not have been the best book I’ve ever read, I am profoundly grateful that for a few moments of time I can escape to a place where there is no pain, no sadness, and only happy endings. And as this was the book that I am meeting my goal with for the year, I can’t think of a better person to share this with than my Pop-pop. So I hereby dedicate the following blog post and my accomplishment of meeting my 60 book goal for 2014 to a man who watched over and cared for me my whole life, Henry Barnum.

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The sixtieth book I read in 2014 was Black Ties and Lullabies by Jane Graves. I finished this book on 7/25/14. I rated this book 3.0 stars out of a scale of 5. This book was about Bernadette Hogan, body-guard extraordinaire, and her current employer, multimillionaire Jeremy Bridges. Jeremy grew up in the slums and now that he is successful he allows himself every comfort and luxury possible. Bernadette on the other hand scrimps and saves to be able to take care of her aging mother. As his bodyguard, Bernie watches for years as Jeremy works his way through all the blonde starlets and models that life has to offer.

But on one evening Bernie decides she has had enough of trying to protect Jeremy’s life and quits. The argument and the flaring passion that ensue are unexpected and unplanned, as is the pregnancy that follows. At first Bernie decides she wants Jeremy to have nothing to do with their child, but as the weeks progress and Jeremy shows her how much this child and her both mean to him, she begins to think that maybe she was wrong about Jeremy after all.

Overall I didn’t love this book. I have liked the other books I have read by this author but this one I just couldn’t connect with. A millionaire sweeps in and says he’s just going to take away all your problems? How often does that actually happen?? And while it might be more realistic, both of the main characters had some serious insecurities that they needed to work on. That being said, it was a fairly good story and I was interested the whole time in how the book would play out. And the ending was sweet, if unbelievable.

Link to author website: http://www.janegraves.com/

Link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Lullabies-Central-Publishing-Contemporary-Romance/dp/0446568473/ref=tmm_mmp_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1406318148&sr=8-1

2014 – Book #59

taming of ryder

The fifty-ninth book I read in 2014 was The Taming of Ryder Cavanaugh by Stephanie Laurens. I finished this book on 7/22/14. This is the second book in the Cynster Duo and the twentieth book in the Cynster family series. The Cynster Duo is actually a sub-series within the Cynster family series. I have read other books in the Cynster series and have many other blog posts on them (see link below). I rated this book 3.5 stars out of a scale of 5. This book tells the story of Mary Cynster and Ryder Cavanaugh.

Mary Cynster is the last unwed Cynster of her generation and as such is a great catch. The last available Cynster of her generation, she pretty much has her pick of who she’d like to marry. And her pick is not Ryder Cavanuagh, who annoys her and who she believes would be a dictator-like husband. The hilarious twists of fate though bring them together and Mary realizes that her and Ryder would actually suit, their strong personalities melding to form a powerful force.

Ryder has been looking for a woman to share his life with, a woman who will bring the broken pieces of his family together. And he knows that Mary Cynster, with her extended family and their obvious familial bond, is just the woman to help him accomplish that. But when an unknown villain starts threatening Mary’s life, Ryder knows he must do whatever it takes to save the woman he is falling in love with.

Overall this book was good and was an interesting addition to the series. Honestly as this point it is starting to get hard to get all the branches and members of the family straight because there are just so many of them. This book ends with all the Cynsters and connections gathering for a summer family picnic and the author spends like 3 pages alone just listing out all the children and who belongs to who and what not. It just gets to be a bit long. Otherwise is a good book and I look forward to hopefully seeing more books about the “Next Generation” of Cynsters from this author. Currently only one on the drawing board per her website is an in between book about the tutors of 2 of the Cynster Next Generation. I want to see Lucilla’s (future Lady of the Vale’s) story though.

Link to other reviews in the Cynster family series: https://rebeccabookreview.wordpress.com/category/book-reviews/book-series-book-reviews/cynster-family-series/

Link to author website: http://www.stephanielaurens.com/

Link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Taming-Ryder-Cavanaugh-Cynster-Sisters/dp/0062068652/ref=tmm_mmp_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1406125599&sr=8-1

2014 – Book #58


The fifty-eighth book I read in 2014 was Dangerous Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. I finished this book on 7/14/14. I rated this book 3.5 stars out of a scale of 5. This is the first book in the Dangerous Creatures series (hopefully there will be more to come!) which is a spin-off from the Beautiful Creatures series. All the other books in the Beautiful Creatures series are reviewed on this blog as well. This first book in the Dangerous Creatures series tells the story of Lena’s cousin Ridley and Ethan’s best friend Link. Link heads off to New York to try and make it in the music business and Ridley decides to tag along. Unknown to Link though, Ridley has some motives of her own for heading up to the Big City. 

Over the summer, Ridley lost it big in a Underworld poker game. Now she owes a lot to a very scary (but handsome) man named Lennox Gates. The least of Ridley’s debts is that Lennox needs a drummer for the band that will play at his new club in New York. What really worries Rid though is the house marker that Gates currently holds over her, the one that can make her do anything he wants whenever he asks for it. Getting Link to New York and getting him into the band is the easy part, avoiding Gates turns out to be not quite so simple. 

Things start going from bad to worse and Ridley finds herself alone on the street after her and Link have a falling out. And when Lennox takes her in (out of the goodness of his heart I’m sure) Ridley finds herself uncovering a lot more questions than answers about Lennox Gates. 

Overall I thought this was a great book. It was a good continuation from the Beautiful Creatures series and the novella published before this (Dangerous Dream) is a great lead in to this spin-off series. I was very interested in Ridley’s story and I am glad we got to see her grow as a character in this novel. I found myself empathizing alot with Ridley and wishing I could help her. 

Link to other blog reviews of Beautiful Creatures series: https://rebeccabookreview.wordpress.com/category/book-reviews/book-series-book-reviews/beautiful-creatures/

Link to authors’ website: http://beautifulcreaturesauthors.com/

Link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Dangerous-Creatures-Kami-Garcia/dp/0316370312/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1405473024&sr=1-1&keywords=dangerous+creatures

2014 – Book #57

Current cover of And Then She Fell










The fifty-seventh book I read in 2014 was And Then She Fell by Stephanie Laurens. I finished this book on 7/5/14. This is the first book in the Cynster Duo and the nineteenth book in the Cynster family series. The Cynster Duo is actually a sub-series within the Cynster family series. I have read other books in the Cynster series and have many other blog posts on them (see link below). I rated this book 3.75 stars out of a scale of 5. This book tells the story of Henrietta Cynster and James Glossup.

After Henrietta, known to polite society as “the Matchbreaker” for her part over the years in breaking up various matches that would not suit in the long run, finds herself in a difficult position when she ends one of her brother Simon’s friend’s possible courtship. James is furious when Henrietta involves herself in his situation but when the girl he has been courting rebuffs him, he knows he needs to do something quickly. As part of his aunt’s will, he must marry within a year after her death to keep his inheritance. And with so many staff depending on him for their livelihoods, he has to find a wife and soon.

After explaining his situation to Henrietta, she starts to feel guilty for her part in his problems. She offers to help him find a suitable new bride. As they spend time together in their search though, they realize how much they care for each other and how attracted they are to each other. But when Henrietta starts being threatened by a mysterious gentleman, James begins to realize he may have to fight in order to hold on to her for long.

Overall this was not my favorite book in the Cynster series. I found it really hard to stay interested in the story. The hero and heroine were likable I just couldn’t get involved in the plot.

Link to other reviews in the Cynster family series: https://rebeccabookreview.wordpress.com/category/book-reviews/book-series-book-reviews/cynster-family-series/

Link to author website: http://www.stephanielaurens.com/

Link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/And-Then-Fell-Cynster-Sisters/dp/0062068644/ref=tmm_mmp_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1404582969&sr=1-1