2019 Book #65 – Christmas in Kilts by Various authors

61R+s8NYm7LTitle: Christmas in Kilts
Author: Terri Brisbin, Lecia Cornwall, Bronwen Evans, Lavinia Kent, and May McGoldrick
Date finished: 9/1/19
Genre: Historical romance
Publisher: Swerve
Publication Date: October 31, 2017
Pages in book: 494
Stand alone or series: Many of the stories are part of other series
Where I got the book from: NetGalley
NOTE: I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

Tis the season to fall in love! These five bestselling authors bring you great tiding of highlanders and romances this holiday season!

A HIGHLANDER’S HOPE by Terri Brisbin
A village harlot who would never dream she could have a different life meets a Highlander who visits for the holidays and brings with him an offer and hope.

When a snowstorm forces a charming lass hiding a broken heart to take shelter in a castle with three fine Highland lairds just days before Christmas, there’s a game afoot—who will be the first to win a kiss and maybe her heart.

She’s ready to embrace her life and future as a spinster, he’s trying to have one last hurrah before he gives into his family’s wishes and proposes marriage to his neighbor, but fate has other ideas when the lady and the Scot meet at a holiday house party in the wilds of Scotland.

What happens when a highlander finds himself stranded, maybe kidnapped, with an English lady around Christmas… maybe the mistletoe will help answer that question.

An encounter between an English officer and a desperate aunt trying to keep custody of her young niece leads to a little magic during the holidays.

My rating:  2.5 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review.

I had originally requested this book back in late Fall 2017, thinking it would be a great into to the Holiday season. And I stand by that thought, I think if I had read this during a different time I might have enjoyed it a little more. I liked a couple of these stories ok but I can’t say that I loved any of them. Granted I was reading them over Labor Day weekend when Summer is just wrapping up and it was still really warm. I feel like part of the draw of these novellas specifically is that they’re geared to the Holiday season. I think I liked the last one (Sweet Home Highland Christmas by May McGoldrick) best, as it was (I thought) the cutest story line while not being overtly corny. There were things I liked and disliked about each book, however overall now of them particularly grabbed my interest. They were still sweet and easy reads and I sometimes enjoy an anthology since you can take each novella as it’s own part. I’d recommend it if you enjoy Highlander novels or Christmas novellas.

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2019 Book #34 – Bridal Boot Camp by Meg Cabot

41vGuBSXnaLTitle: Bridal Boot Camp
Author: Meg Cabot
Date finished: 6/1/19
Genre: Contemporary romance, women’s fiction
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Publication Date: May 28, 2019
Pages in book: 51
Stand alone or series: Related to another upcoming release of hers, No Judgments
Where I got the book from: Edelweiss
NOTE: I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

Looking for a tropical escape?

Welcome to Little Bridge, one of the smallest—and most beautiful—islands in the Florida Keys, home to sandy white beaches, salt-rimmed margaritas, stunning sunsets, and some of the quirkiest—but also kindest and most resourceful—people you’ll ever meet.

Physical trainer Roberta “Rob” James moved to Little Bridge hoping she’d found paradise, but things haven’t turned out quite as she’d hoped. The closest Rob has come to her “happily ever after” is happy hour at the Mermaid Café with her buddy Bree, the bartender slash waitress who’s got romance problems of her own.

But Rob’s situation suddenly changes when sheriff’s deputy Ryan Martinez accidentally enrolls in her bridal boot camp class. Turning mush into metal in time for the big day is Rob’s passion (because even the happiest bride could use a little toning).

But what happens when a guy who’s all mush meets a girl who’s all metal?

They discover they have a lot to learn . . . about each other, themselves, and the island paradise they’ve come to call home.

My rating: 3.75 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review.

I love love love Meg Cabot’s books. And while this was a short (very) story, it was still cute and interesting. It’s meant to lead into the next full length novel she has coming out later this year, No Judgments. I thought this novel was a tad lacking in Cabot’s distinctive humor and style, although it’s hard to pack enough humor into a short 51 pages. I’m looking forward to reading her novel coming out later this year and seeing where this story leads us!

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2016 Book #113 – Mistletoe, Mischief, and the Marquis by Amelia Grey

51wzq0b351lTitle: Mistletoe, Mischief and the Marquis
Author: Amelia Grey
Date finished: 11/27/16
Genre: Historical romance
Publisher: Swerve
Publication Date: November 29, 2016
Pages in book: 87
Stand alone or series: Heirs’ Club of Scoundrels series
Where I got the book from: NetGalley NOTE: I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

The Marquis of Wythebury, is expecting an ordinary Christmastide at Hurst—until he is set upon by a beautiful miss who takes him to task for not allowing his young nephews to play outside. In his mind, a five and seven year old needn’t get chilled in the snow; better to plop them in front of the fire with a book. Few people have ever been brave enough to challenge him over anything, much less the rearing of his wards. The cheeky Miss Prim has no such compunction. No matter how fetching he finds her, he can’t give in to his attraction…for she is the sister of his best friend.
Growing up the middle child of five rambunctious girls, Lillian Prim doesn’t understand why two young boys visiting Hurst don’t know how to play until she meets their dashing guardian. The Marquis of Wythebury is commanding and intensely serious-minded. To her surprise, she’s captivated by him. It’s all she can do not to give into her feminine fantasies about her kissing him. Lillian has no intention of falling in love with the Marquis, but she will create Christmastide mischief and teach the boys and the handsome Marquis how to play, in Mistletoe, Mischief, and the Marquis, by New York Times bestselling author Amelia Grey.

My rating:  3.25 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. This short story is about Lillian Prim and Seth, the Marquis of Wythebury. Lillian is the sister of Louisa from book #1 in the series, The Duke in My Bed. They are brought together to celebrate Christmas with Lillian’s sister and members of the Heirs’ Club. Seth’s sister and brother-in-law recently died of a fever and left Seth as guardian for two young boys. In the days leading up to Christmas, Lillian helps watch over the boys and tries to tell Seth that he’s being to strict with them and not letting them be young boys. Seth thinks that Lillian is a little to loose with her stricture and also a little too free with her opinions.
Overall I liked this short story it was sweet and had a good Holiday vibe to it. It was obviously a short story being only 87 pages so there was not a lot of detail to it but it was still a Holiday-spirited, romantic read. I would recommend it, especially for people who’ve read and enjoyed other books in this series.

The bottom line: I liked this, it was a nice short story. This was a quick read and was great for getting the reader into the holiday spirit. I would recommend, especially for fans of the series.

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2016 Book #41 – Lake of Dreams by Linda Howard

51gKes3bHzL._SX320_BO1,204,203,200_Title: Lake of Dreams
Author: Linda Howard
Date finished: 5/2/16
Genre: Romantic suspense
Publisher: Pocket Star
Publication Date: May 2, 2016, originally published 1995
Pages in book: 73
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
Where I got the book from: NetGalley NOTE:I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

House painter Thea Marlow hasn’t been sleeping very well. Her nights are plagued by dreams, the setting by the water and the mysterious man who appears in them always the same. But the outcome of the dream changes nightly: sometimes the man loves her…and sometimes he kills her. Desperate for some much needed relaxation, Thea travels to her family’s remote country lake house. Imagine her surprise when a knock at the door reveals the man from her dreams…who happens to have just rented the house next door.
So will he love her—or will he kill her?

My rating:  4.5 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. Also, this book will count towards my “PopSugar 2016 Checklist” reading challenge, marking off the “a book that’s under 150 pages” check box since this novella was only 73 pages. This one was actually a re-read for me but when I saw it available on NetGalley I thought this would be a great time to re-read it! This book is about Thea Marlow, who retreats to her family’s lake cottage after a month of strange, extremely detailed, life-like dreams, hoping that the rest and relaxation she usually finds at the lake will help her catch up on her sleep. Unfortunately, over the last month she has developed an extreme, debilitating fear of water, completely out of nowhere. And then she meets the man renting the neighboring cottage, who has eyes exactly like the man Thea’s been dreaming about every night for the past month.
Overall, I just love this novella. This was a re-read for me, so I already expected to like it but reading this again just reminded me how much I love Linda Howard’s books. For me she is the master of creating a gut-twisting suspense while also developing a love story. I thought the way she developed the relationship between the two main characters in such a short span of time (73 pages) was expertly done. And the plot line is really creative, I would love to read a full length book with the same plot line idea. This novella goes fast because it is so short but it is still a really good read and one that I would most definitely recommend!!

The bottom line: I would definitely recommend this one. I am a huge fan of everything Linda Howard writes and this one may be a short story but it definitely doesn’t disappoint. Suspenseful, thrilling, and sexy! Must read!

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2015 Book #125 – Before the Claiming by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

51hfe2A1SHL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_Title: Before The Claiming
Author: Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Date finished: 12/31/15
Genre: Young adult
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: October 13, 2015
Pages in book: 44
Stand alone or series: Novella in Beautiful Creatures series
Where I got the book from: Amazon purchase

Blurb from the cover:

While looking through her grandmother Emmaline’s keepsakes, Lena Duchannes comes across a little blue book with a big history–a book that changed Macon Ravenwood’s life and saved Lena’s.
When Lena was a baby, Seer and gifted card reader Amma Treaudeau saw a terrifying future in the cards that sent her to Emmaline’s door. When a powerful Dark Caster sets fire to Lena’s house with baby Lena and her father trapped inside, Amma, Emmaline, and Macon vow to protect the child. Lena’s grandmother and her Uncle Macon whisk Lena away, protecting her and moving her to a new place at the first sign of trouble. But a Caster can only hide for so long, and Macon must rely on the teachings in an ancient book to control his Dark nature. Ultimately, it will be his job to protect Lena–and keep her from surrendering to a Dark fate.
My rating: 3.5 stars out of a scale of 5
My review: This book will count towards my “Holiday 2015 Bookish Bingo” reading challenge, marking off the “Fantasy” square, since this book/novella is based around a plot line with a lot of magic.
Overall this was a good story, it was interesting to hear some of the back story for Lena and how her father died. If you’ve read the Beautiful Creatures series I would definitely check this one out.
The bottom line: I would recommend this book if you’ve read and enjoyed the Beautiful Creatures series, it was a good addition to the series and was nice to visit with some of my favorite characters!
Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2015 Book #41 – Seduced by a Pirate by Eloisa James


Title: Seduced by a Pirate
Author: Eloisa James
Date finished: 5/1/15
Genre: Historical romance
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Publication Date: October 30, 2012
Pages in book: 136
Stand alone or series: #4.5 Fairy Tale series

Blurb from the cover:

Seduced by a Pirate is an original, RITA-award winning e-novella from New York Times bestselling author Eloisa James. Sir Griffin Barry is one of the most feared pirates on the high seas, piloting the Flying Poppy, a ship he named after the wife whom he fondly (if vaguely) remembers, since they were together only a matter of hours.
What happens when a pirate decides to come home to his wife…if she is his wife, given that the marriage was never consummated? And what happens when that pirate strolls through his front door and is met by…
Well, that’s a surprise!

My rating: 1.5 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: This was a short story which in the sequence of events comes after The Ugly Duchess. The hero from that book ends up being a pirate/privateer with Sir Griffin Barry for 7 years,though Barry was actually out there for fourteen years. He technically was kidnapped and woke up on a boat but still he could’ve escaped and come home any time in the FOURTEEN YEARS he was gone. But no, instead he decided to leave his wife alone in England. For fourteen years. I obviously just couldn’t get past that. Anyways so the hero comes home after he becomes crippled and decides he’d like a wife now. After fourteen years. And his wife, who is kind of used to living on her own at this point, says no thanks. And he just doesn’t take no for an answer. He was obnoxiously forceful. It really turned me off to the whole story because it wasn’t romantic, it was scary and creepy. I didn’t like this really at all.

The bottom line: I would not recommend.

Link to author website
Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2015 Book #24 – Mortal Heart by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl


Title: The Mortal Heart
Author: Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Date finished: 3/29/15
Genre: YA (novella)
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: March 10, 2015
Pages in book: 54
Stand alone or series: Beautiful Creatures: The Untold Stories

Blurb from the cover:

Everyone in Gatlin has a story…
Before she met and married Mitchell Wate, the beautiful and brilliant Lila Jane Evers was an honors student at Duke University. Studying late into the night in the rare books library, she is captivated by a single line of text on an old piece of parchment: “In the Light there is Dark, and in the Dark there is Light.”
What can it mean?
Then one night, Lila Jane meets a mysterious young man who may have the answer. His name is Macon Ravenwood, and for every secret he reveals, he is hiding another. With Macon’s help, Lila Jane uncovers the wonders of the Caster world–the Light and the Dark. But a romance between the Incubus who is fighting his own dark side and this fiercely independent Mortal is doomed from the start. The closer Lila Jane and Macon become, the more her life is in danger.
Discover the unforgettable and untold story of how Lila and Macon fell in love in this all-new Beautiful Creatures novella from #1 New York Times bestselling authors Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.

My rating:
 3.75 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: This book will be counting towards my goal for the Pop Sugar Reading Challenge 2015 checklist under the “a book with magic” check box. While this was a short story (it was a novella after all), it was oh so very interesting. And such a tease. The end really just leaves so many worlds open on what could happen in future stories.
This novella tells the heart-breaking story of Lila Jane Evers and Macon Ravenwood. Lila Jane and Macon fell in love before Macon’s transformation into an Incubus. Macon has never wanted this fate and has fought his change at every turn. Lila Jane makes him wish more than ever that he was normal so that he could be with her forever. Unfortunately, he can not fight his family’s heritage. Macon gives her an Arclight to protect her in case he should attack her after he turns into an Incubus. I know that if Macon and Lila Jane had stayed together that Ethan never would have been born so obviously I can’t wish that they had been together always, but they loved each other so much it is just heart-wrenching.

The bottom line:
  For those who like the Beautiful Creatures series I would definitely recommend this novella!

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

2014 – Book #71


The seventy-first book I read in 2014 was Have You Any Rogues? by Elizabeth Boyle. This is book 2.5 in her Rhymes with Love series (between Book #2 And the Miss Ran Away with the Rake and Book #3 If Wishes were Earls). I finished this book on 8/13/14. I rated this book 4.25 stars out of a scale of 5. This book (novella) tells the story of Viscount Crispin Dale (cousin to Daphne Dale and mentioned in book #2 of the series) and Lady Henrietta Seldon/Astbury/Michaels/Juniper (sister to Lord Henry from book #2 and aunt to Christopher, Duke of Preston, from book #1).

As we learned in book #2, the Dale and Seldon families have a long standing feud. Crispin Dale tries with all his might to keep Daphne and Henry apart in book #2, even though he himself is in love with a Seldon as well. Crispin comes knocking at Owle Park (the Seldon family home) to demand that something be done, and instead ends up locked in a wine cellar with Henrietta Seldon, where they proceed to re-hash their entire past together and finally reach the conclusion that they love each other very much.

This novella jumped back and forth between past and present. I thought it was very interesting and I loved learning of the back-story to both characters, but at a couple points I got a tad bit confused. In order to help with the confusion, I found it best to create a timeline of events so I could keep track of the sequence. **SPOILER ALERT** This timeline reveals points of what happen in the book so if you don’t want to know what happens then don’t read it!


Overall I really enjoyed this novella. It was a great addition to the series. Also Henrietta and Crispin’s characters were very interesting to learn more about! Would definitely recommend.

Link to reviews on other books in the Rhymes with Love series: https://rebeccabookreview.wordpress.com/category/book-reviews/book-series-book-reviews/rhymes-with-love/

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

Link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Have-You-Any-Rogues-Novella-ebook/dp/B00ECAUBLM/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1407962730&sr=1-1&keywords=have+you+any+rogues

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