2015 Book #15 – I Married the Duke by Katharine Ashe


Title: I Married the Duke
Author: Katharine Ashe
Date finished: 2/27/15
Genre: Historical fiction
Publisher: Avon Books
Publication Date: August 27, 2013
Pages in book: 363
Stand alone or series: #1 in the Price Catchers series

Blurb from the cover:

On the way to marry a prince in a castle, a lady should never: 1. Bribe an infuriatingly arrogant and undeniably irresistible ship captain, 2. Let him kiss her senseless on a beach, 3. Battle thieves at his side, and 4. Exchange wedding vows with him, even under the direst circumstances.
But daring, determined Arabella Caulfield isn’t just any lady. And Luc Westfall is no typical ship captain. He’s the new Duke of Lycombe, and to defeat a plot that could destroy his family he must have an heir. Now he knows just the woman for the job…and he’s not above seduction to turn this would-be princess into a duchess.

My rating: 2.75 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: This book will count towards my “Bookish Bingo” reading challenge, marking off the “Start a New Series” square. This book had an awful lot going on. A scarred, pirate, soon-to-be duke who needs to help a governess crsos to France for a new job where she’ll meet a prince that maybe she’ll marry and instead she almost gets raped (that part was pretty awful and scary) and then the pirate dies (or not really) and then he appears at the duke’s chateau in France where the governess just happens to be. And then the pirate ends up being blind and she leaves him at the altar and oh my goodness. I could barely keep up at some points, but was pretty bored at other points. It actually made for an emotionally confusing read. I think that the plot line of this book had real promise but there was just too much thrown in there for plot twists.
And to be honest, I couldn’t stand the heroine for most of the book. During the day she keeps pushing the hero away and rejecting him, thinking he doesn’t really love her and they shouldn’t have gotten married while he was dying on a beach, but then as soon as he comes in her room at night she’s like “take me,” Ugh it was so aggravating. I know that men and women have communication issues but the hero and heroine in this book had maybe 2 meaningful conversations. They couldn’t ever seem to actually talk to each other about how they were feeling. I don’t know where the relationship was but I missed it. There were parts of the book that I liked but overall I think it was frustrating. Hopefully the next book in the series is a little less frustrating.

The bottom line:  This was far from my favorite. I’m going to stick with the series though, I want to find out who marries the prince.

Link to author website
Link to Amazon

The Book Blogging Community


I just started blogging during the last year and I really feel that in the past year a whole new world has been opened up to me. The Book Blogging community is astoundingly vast. There are so many people who want to share their opinions on the books they read and to connect with other people who like those books as well. When my husband first suggested to me last year that I should start a blog about my reading, I thought to myself “no one cares what I think about the books I read.” But I’ve found that there is a large not only community but also an audience for book bloggers. People actually are interested in your thoughts about the books you’re reading, especially other book bloggers! The social aspect of book blogging is a great way to get the word out about your blog and increase your followers. Its also a great way to find new interesting books to read!


One of the things I recently discovered is the world of book memes. Book memes are a great way to become more involved in the book blogger community. A meme is usually where you take a picture and add words to them to make the picture more comical (examples can be found here) but a book meme, specifically for blog posts, is a posting with a certain topic that ties in with the day of the week. Usually one site will “host” the book meme and then everyone who posts on that topic can put a link on the host site’s page. This makes it easy to connect with other bloggers posting on the same topic and see how their ideas compare to yours. And the good news is that there are just tons of them. A few examples of book memes that I know of are Friday Finds, Waiting on Wednesday, and Top Ten Tuesday. These are just the few that I have participated in, but you can find a more extensive listing here.

Another interesting aspect of book blogging is reading challenges. The whole idea for my blog started because my mom and I decided we were each going to set goals for ourselves for the year (in 2014), me with my reading and her with quilting. Suffice it to say, I love challenging myself to read more books each year and to read a variety. Due to that, I have been very excited by the great number of reading challenges that are incorporated into the book blogging world. And its also fun to create your own reading challenges. Last year I “hosted” a Spooky Series Reading Challenge for October, and though I was the only one to participate, I still had a great time. This year I’ve joined into a few reading challenges from other blogs, including the TBR Pile Reading Challenge at the Roof Beam Reader site covering all of 2015 and Pop Sugar Reading Challenge for 2015. And a really awesome one I found in January is the Bookish Bingo from the Great Imaginations blog. You get a bingo square with different kinds of books in all the spots. Its really interesting and due to my LENGTHY to be read listing, I am usually able to find books to fit the categories from ones I have been wanting to read but never got around to. Plus I’m discovering a few new books that I never knew about! And that’s just a handful of reading challenges you can find on the web, here’s a listing of a few more.


I recently learned that there are a lot of great resources for book bloggers. There are directories and how-to’s and checklists and pretty much anything and everything a beginning book blogger could ask for. One of these sites is bookblogging.net, which I know will be a site that I am definitely going to use in the future. There are over 1,000 book blogs listed on this site, and the site has a directory for current reading challenges, book memes, blogs, giveaways, and events. Another site is bookbloggerlist.com which looks like a great site for finding other blogs to connect with. I liked that you could pick your blog to be listed under multiple categories on this site as well. I read a decent (though I could be better) variety of books and I don’t like to have my blog required to be pegged down to one category. And the last one I wanted to mention is the Book Blogger Directory Blog which also looks like it will be a great tool in discovering new blogs to connect with.

So overall I think you can tell that I’m really happy to be part of the book blogging community. I’ve learned a lot in the past year and I look forward to growing my blog in the future. Thanks to my loyal followers!

Friday Finds (Feb 27)


FRIDAY FINDS is hosted by Should Be Reading and showcases the books you ‘found’ and added to your To Be Read (TBR) list.  Whether you found them online, or in a bookstore, or in the library — wherever! (they aren’t necessarily books you purchased).

My finds this week include a twist on Sherlock Holmes, a fiction book about a bookseller (with an interesting alternate life), a YA thriller, and of course a romance:

1. Moriarty by Anthony Horowitz


One of my absolute favorite movies lately is the Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows that came out in 2011. I have wished for the past 4 years though that they would just make the next damn movie because I am dying to know what happened to Sherlock after he dove off the cliff with Moriarty and how he could have  possibly survived. Well guess what? THAT IS WHAT THIS BOOK IS ABOUT!!!! I can’t wait to read it!

2. The Bookseller by Cynthia Swanson


This book looks absolutely fantastic! One bookseller narrating two lives, one of which she lives by day, the other she seemingly lives while dreaming. What’s real and what’s not? Which life really exemplifies what she wants? It sounds fascinating to me! (To be released March 3)

3. The Fever by Megan Abbott


I read the description for this book and was immediately interested. An unexplainable seizure epidemic that causes panic within a small town? That sounds like a good thriller. I recently read another of Megan Abbott’s books, Dare Me, and while I wasn’t amazed with the book, I definitely want to give The Fever a try.

4. In Your Wildest Scottish Dreams by Karen Ranney


I haven’t read anything by this author yet but when I saw the cover and that it was featured so prominently in The Ultimate Romance Drinking Game recently discussed on Huff Post, I decided that I would give it a try and added it to my TBR list. The book also sounds good – woman is rejected by man she loves, goes to live in America for 7 years, and comes back to Scotland ready to kick butt.

So those are my finds this week! Please feel free to share your finds or leave a link to your own “Friday Finds” blog posting below! Happy Friday!

Waiting on Wednesday (6): Garden of Lies by Amanda Quick

New WoW

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights eagerly anticipated upcoming releases.

This week’s spotlight is on:


Garden of Lies by Amanda Quick

Release date: April 21, 2015

Blurb from the cover (Amazon):

The Kern Secretarial Agency provides reliable professional services to its wealthy clientele, and Anne Clifton was one of the finest women in Ursula Kern’s employ. But Miss Clifton has met an untimely end—and Ursula is convinced it was not due to natural causes.
Archaeologist and adventurer Slater Roxton thinks Mrs. Kern is off her head to meddle in such dangerous business. Nevertheless, he seems sensible enough to Ursula, though she does find herself unnerved by his self-possession and unreadable green-gold eyes…
If this mysterious widowed beauty insists on stirring the pot, Slater intends to remain close by as they venture into the dark side of polite society. Together they must reveal the identity of a killer—and to achieve their goal they may need to reveal their deepest secrets to each other as well…

Why am I waiting? 

I’m a big Amanda Quick / Jayne Ann Krentz / Jayne Castle fan. I’ve read many of her books under the various pen names and have liked the majority. And I think the description of the books sounds interesting!

Link to author website
Link to Amazon

Be Proud of What You Read


My love of reading really took shape when I discovered romance novels. My whole life I liked books and reading but my passion really began to form when I was in high school and read my first romance novel. I just absolutely loved the happy ending. And all through the next four years of high school when I was that awkward teenager who couldn’t seem to figure out who she was, I was able to take comfort in the knowledge that each and every romance novel I picked up, the heroine would be beautiful and there would be a man who loves her more than anything else in the world and they would be happy together.


And all through high school and in college, I met many people who would snicker when I told them I liked to read romance novels. I was told on various occasions that I was reading “trash” or “smut.” And I will admit, I was embarrassed. Because I was treated in a way that made me believe I should be embarrassed for the books I liked to read. And in all honesty, I liked romance novels that had a lot of emotional tension in them, not necessarily a lot of sex. In fact, one of my absolute favorite romance novelists is Kristan Higgins and her books take more of a “fade to black” approach in which the hero and heroine start getting down to business and then it pretty much moves on to the next scene. I would try to defend myself, saying that romance novels aren’t “porn” or “smut,” that they’re like romance comedies where there is a sex scene or two but its mostly about the feelings and the love story. I would still get the wary looks and the continued snickers so I would just drop the topic and talk about something else.

But really, what reason did I have to be embarrassed? I loved reading. And I loved reading more than romance novels, but even now romance novels tend to be my genre of choice in most cases. I love being able to escape to Victorian England or to another planet even and fall in love time and again. Romance novels are what introduced me to my love of reading, and I have no reason to be embarrassed. Who cares if there’s a half naked man on the cover? Does that really make you an inferior person for wanting to read it? No, it doesn’t. Does it make you less smart than people who read classics or what is known as “great literature”? Hell no. Whether you love graphic novels, romance novels, young adult novels or non-fiction, you have no reason to be embarrassed. Scream you’re love of reading from the rooftops.


Over the last few months I’ve read a lot of articles from various sources about not being embarrassed about the books you like to read. If you’re interested, below are a few of articles that I enjoyed.

Why Smart Women Read Romance Novels by Anne Browning Walker

No, Adults Should NOT be embarrassed to read Young Adult books by Heather Hogan

Stop Apologizing For What You Like to Read by Brenna Clarke Gray

2015 Book #14 – Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips


Title: Gods Behaving Badly
Author: Marie Phillips
Date finished: 2/21/15
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication Date: December 10, 2007
Pages in book: 292
Stand alone or series: Stand alone

Blurb from the cover:

Being a Greek god is not all it once was. Yes, the twelve gods of Olympus are alive and well in the twenty-first century, but they are crammed together in a London townhouse-and none too happy about it. And they’ve had to get day jobs: Artemis as a dog-walker, Apollo as a TV psychic, Aphrodite as a phone sex operator, Dionysus as a DJ.
Even more disturbingly, their powers are waning, and even turning mortals into trees-a favorite pastime of Apollo’s-is sapping their vital reserves of strength.
Soon, what begins as a minor squabble between Aphrodite and Apollo escalates into an epic battle of wills. Two perplexed humans, Alice and Neil, who are caught in the crossfire, must fear not only for their own lives, but for the survival of humankind. Nothing less than a true act of heroism is needed-but can these two decidedly ordinary people replicate the feats of the mythical heroes and save the world?

My rating: 3.0 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: This book will count towards my “Bookish Bingo” reading challenge, marking off the “Based on Mythology” square. This book was pretty interesting. I’ve always been fascinated by the stories about Greek gods and goddesses. I remember reading a book about Odysseus in middle school and I just devoured the book, I loved it. Due to this, I was really looking forward to reading this book. I have to say I was a little let down. The story was interesting and a couple points made me consider big picture ideas outside the exact scope of the book but I felt there was a lack of depth and a lack of emotion to the characters. Also I know they were supposed to be that way but I found the selfishness of some of the gods to be pretty annoying.

The bottom line:  Didn’t love it but didn’t hate it. If you’re in love with mythology then I would recommend. Otherwise, you can probably pass.

Author website
Link to Amazon

2015 Book #13 – Winning the Wallflower by Eloisa James


Title: Winning the Wallflower
Author: Eloisa James
Date finished: 2/15/15
Genre: Historical romance / fairy-tale retelling
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: December 6, 2011
Pages in book: 170
Stand alone or series: #2.5 in Fairy Tale series

Blurb from the cover:

A delightful ebook original novella from New York Times bestselling author Eloisa James. Winning the Wallflower introduces Lady Lucy Towerton, who is plain, tall, and considered very lucky to be betrothed to a man who lauds her irreproachable propriety. When she unexpectedly becomes an heiress—and belle of the ball—she breaks her engagement and makes up her mind to never be proper again.

My rating: 3.5 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: This book will count towards my “Bookish Bingo” reading challenge, marking off the “Romance” square. I ended up reading this book slightly out of order, it is actually a prequel to The Duke is Mine. In this story, Lucy Towerton (friend to Olivia Lytton from The Duke is Mine) becomes an heiress, and her mother decides that Lucy could do better than her current fiance, Mr. Ravensthorpe. Lucy doesn’t care that Cyrus doesn’t have a title. She thinks that he is the most handsome man she’s ever seen. But she also refuses to marry someone who doesn’t love her. And since Cyrus has barely paid any attention to her even after they became engaged, she doesn’t think that Cyrus is necessarily the one for her. I liked this book. It was cute and even though it was short, it was interesting and I found the plot to be well paced for a novella.

The bottom line:  I thought this was a cute book. It was short but it was a sweet story. I would say its worth the read, I thought it was cool that Olivia (from the third book in the series) is introduced in this story as the friend of the heroine.

Author website
Link to Amazon

2015 Book #12 – The Duke is Mine by Eloisa James


Title: The Duke is Mine
Author: Eloisa James
Date finished: 2/13/15
Genre: Historical romance / fairy-tale retelling
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: December 27, 2011
Pages in book: 367
Stand alone or series: #3 in Fairy Tale series

Blurb from the cover:

Tarquin, the powerful Duke of Sconce, knows perfectly well that the decorous and fashionably slender Georgiana Lytton will make him a proper duchess. So why can’t he stop thinking about her twin sister, the curvy, headstrong, and altogether unconventional Olivia? Not only is Olivia betrothed to another man, but their improper, albeit intoxicating, flirtation makes her unsuitability all the more clear.
Determined to make a perfect match, he methodically cuts Olivia from his thoughts, allowing logic and duty to triumph over passion…Until, in his darkest hour, Quin begins to question whether perfection has anything to do with love.
To win Olivia’s hand he would have to give up all the beliefs he holds most dear, and surrender heart, body and soul…
Unless it’s already too late.
Don’t miss a new version of The Princess & the Pea, asking an age-old question: What is a perfect princess?

My rating: 4.0 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: This book will count towards my “Bookish Bingo” reading challenge, marking off the “Fairy Tale Retelling” square. I have read the previous two books in the Fairy Tales series by Eloisa James and I have to say I really have enjoyed the series thus far overall. I loved fairy tales growing up and reading James’ interpretations of them in a historical romance novel setting are really interesting. There were many things that I liked about this novel, including the heroine’s less than slender figure (which I myself unfortunately suffer with as well) and how fiercely loyal Olivia is to her twin, Georgiana, even when it may mean turning her back on the only man she’s ever loved. I also liked that there was a happy ending for Georgiana that didn’t necessarily involve marrying someone else, this specifically I enjoyed mostly because I found it to be out of the norm from what you usually find in the historical romance genre. Which is another thing I liked about this book, I found it to be a little more unpredictable than most. Even towards the middle of the story, I knew there would be a happy ending but I had no idea where it would come from. And then it seemed like the happy ever after came like 100 pages before the end of the book and I thought to myself, what are we going to do with the next 100 pages, bask int heir happiness? But nope! Turns out there is another adventure on the horizon.

The bottom line:  I really liked this book. I think it would be great read on its own or especially as part of the series. I would recommend it!

Author website
Link to Amazon

2015 Book #11 – Soft Focus by Jayne Ann Krentz


Title: Soft Focus
Author: Jayne Ann Krentz
Date finished: 2/11/15
Genre: Romantic suspense
Publisher: Jove
Publication Date: October 1, 2000
Pages in book: 350
Stand alone or series: Stand alone

Blurb from the cover:

Elizabeth Cabot is all business. She knows how to maximize her investments and cut her losses–in both her career and her personal life.
So when she discovers that Jack Fairfax has deceived her, she’s determined to end their relationship. Putting a stop to their budding romance is easy. But breaking up their business deal will be more difficult. Despite all her efforts, she has no luck disentangling herself from Jack’s client company, Excalibur. But the situation becomes even more strained when a new obstacle emerges: a lethal act of sabotage that could put both of them out of business for good.
Elizabeth is no fool. If she can help Jack save Excalibur, she’ll recoup her substantial investment plus millions in profit. Putting her emotions aside, she insists on helping him search for the scientist who’s disappeared with a valuable new crystal that could revolutionize the high-tech industry. She’ll go in, solve the problem–and get out.
The trail leads Elizabeth and Jack to a fringe film festival, but their goal is as elusive as the shadowy black-and-white images from classic noir films. Life starts to imitate art, and double-dealing seems to be the name of the game. For these business adversaries turned reluctant partners, keeping an eye on each other–and the lid on a sizzling attraction–seems the only insurance against further treachery. But with millions at stake, trust can turn to betrayal in the blink of an eye.

My rating: 2.5 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: This book will count towards my “Bookish Bingo” reading challenge, marking off the “Mystery or Thriller” square. Elizabeth and Jack make an interesting team in this story. He’s a little heavy-handed with the orders and she’s a little strong-willed so it makes an ok balance tension wise. There wasn’t really much depth to the characters though and there wasn’t any character growth. And to be honest, I’m getting sick of the women in romance novels always being like, there’s no way he loves me, this is surely just a fling, don’t get too invested. Realize your own self-worth woman! Gosh if  you don’t think you’re worth falling in love with, then he for sure won’t either. Just grow a pair.
The story line in itself was fine. Nothing outstanding but wasn’t awful either. I was pretty neutral to the plot. I didn’t really get excited at any points and I was honestly somewhat bored at a few points. I normally love this author but this was just not one of my favorites.

Memorable Quotes:
“A lady with a past has nothing to lose. But a woman with a future can’t be too careful.”

The bottom line:  I don’t think I would recommend this book. It was not my favorite and its not part of a series so I probably wouldn’t bother.

Author website

Link to Amazon

2015 Book #10 – Dare Me by Megan Abbott

First of all, I’d like to announce that today is the one year anniversary of the RebeccaBookReview blog! Thank you to all of my readers and followers. The past year has been full of exciting twists and turns, and I am looking forward to growing even more with my blog in the coming year.


Title: Dare Me
Author: Megan Abbott
Date finished: 2/5/15
Genre: Weird thriller? Maybe YA?
Publisher: Reagan Arthur Books
Publication Date: July 31, 2012
Pages in book: 290
Stand alone or series: Stand alone

Blurb from the cover:

Addy Hanlon has always been Beth Cassidy’s best friend and trusted lieutenant. Beth calls the shots and Addy carries them out, a long-established order of things that has brought them to the pinnacle of their high-school careers. Now they’re seniors who rule the intensely competitive cheer squad, feared and followed by the other girls — until the young new coach arrives.
Cool and commanding, an emissary from the adult world just beyond their reach, Coach Colette French draws Addy and the other cheerleaders into her life. Only Beth, unsettled by the new regime, remains outside Coach’s golden circle, waging a subtle but vicious campaign to regain her position as “top girl” — both with the team and with Addy herself.
Then a suicide focuses a police investigation on Coach and her squad. After the first wave of shock and grief, Addy tries to uncover the truth behind the death — and learns that the boundary between loyalty and love can be dangerous terrain.
The raw passions of girlhood are brought to life in this taut, unflinching exploration of friendship, ambition, and power. Award-winning novelist Megan Abbott, writing with what Tom Perrotta has hailed as “total authority and an almost desperate intensity,” provides a harrowing glimpse into the dark heart of the all-American girl.

My rating: 2.75 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: This book will count towards my “Bookish Bingo” reading challenge, marking off the “Forgotten Friday” square. The Forgotten Friday category is from the Bookish Bingo site, they read books that were published over a year ago that they never got around to reading. You can see their post on the book here.
Honestly, this book was weird. I read through the posting on the Bookish Bingo site and I have to agree with Lyn when she said “F*** this book.” I felt like I was lost through the whole book, the story line was scattered and the plot twists didn’t really make any sense and nothing was connected. Around halfway through the story I did become interested in the outcome. There were parts of the book that made me like the overall story, in kind of a train wreck sort of way. You know, you know you shouldn’t look and that what’s going on shouldn’t be “interesting” but you can’t seem to look away. The relationships in this book (all of them) were extremely screwed up and unhealthy. There was not one healthy relationship in the entire book. How awful is that. Addy and Beth’s relationship (though way more screwed up) did remind me a tiny bit of Rachel and Darcy’s relationship from Something Borrowed.
I did find certain pieces of this book interesting. Like how the girls in the cheerleading squad became almost like women warriors. The book was dark and kind of scary and scrapes at you in a way. Beth should probably be under some kind of psych evaluation.
If you’re interested, the Reading Guide for this book can be found here. Reading these questions made me like the book a little more because I could see more where the author was trying to go with the story line of the book.

The bottom line:  I don’t think I would recommend this book. I was riveted by the middle but overall I can’t in good conscience say I liked the book. It might make a good book for a book club accompanied with the reading guide though.

Author website:
Link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Dare-Me-Novel-Megan-Abbott/dp/0316097772/ref=tmm_hrd_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1423177442&sr=8-1