Book Review: The Huntress by Susan Carroll

In a time of intrigue and betrayal, the huntress is on a quest that could jeopardize two empires and two great queens: Catherine de Medici and Elizabeth I.

year is 1585–and prophecy has foretold the coming of a daughter of the Earth whose powers are so extraordinary they could usurp the very rule of the Dark Queen herself, Catherine de Medici. Dispatched from Brittany to London, Catriona O’Hanlon, known as the Huntress, must find this mysterious young girl and shield her from those who will exploit her mystic abilities, which have the potential to change the course of history.

Catriona’s skill with weaponry is all she has to protect herself and her young charge from spies who snake through the courts of Elizabeth I, the Virgin Queen–including the girl’s own father, whose loyalties are stretched to the breaking point. But Catriona will soon face menacing forces and sinister plots unlike any she has ever encountered.

The Huntress is another stunning chapter in Susan Carroll Dark Queen series. In this book we once again find ourselves brought into the world of those in Faire Isle, Ariane and her husband Justice are present but the main story focuses on the fiery Irish woman Catriona or simply Cat.

With the ageing Dark Queen having found out that little Megera or The Silver Rose was not killed, there is a grave danger to the girl. And so Ariane sends her Gallowglass Cat to find the girl and her father the roguishly handsome Martin Le Loup and bring them back to Faire Isle. And once again Susan Carroll wraps you up in the world of magic and intrigue. There are so many delightful twists and turns you hardly know where to look.

Cat finds Martin and Meg in England, Martin having established himself well and with ambitions for more. While Meg has to be a lovely young Lady and she is in love with the Tudor Queen of England, Elizabeth. I have thoroughly enjoyed every single book in this series. Generally when I read series the fourth book starts to drag. But not this one. The Huntress does not disappoint with intrigue, love and danger. Cat proves to be the fiercest of the heroines yet. She can easily stand up to any man; handle a sword, and most of all a bow. She protects Meg, and earns a friendship with her and her father. And so much more. If you love historical fictions you must read The Huntress, I promise you it will not disappoint. Susan Carroll’s writing style is exciting and I know I am eagerly awaiting her next release in this series.

Book Review: And only to Deceive by Tasha Alexander

This book was the first I have read by Tasha Alexander, and I am impressed. I will be promptly seeing to adding more of her works to my TBR pile. She weaves an amazing story of a widow who is coming to terms with the loss of a husband she barely knew, with intrigue of what he possibly could have done. Lady Emily Ashton is a carefree character who was ever happy in a typical woman’s role. Agreeing to marry her husband purely to get away from her Mother, when he dies only months into their marriage away in Africa she finds herself able to be more as she wishes to be. This does not agree with society.

We meet a loveable bunch of characters in this novel, from Margaret the brash American socialite to Cecile, the eccentric French widow. The story unfolds in a plethora of twists and turns, and in the background there is just a hit of romance from the many suitors Emily finds at her door. Some are earnest and don’t fully appear so, and some are not earnest at all. You will find yourself surprised at just how things all unfold and turn out to be sure. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction, and some mystery. And if you’re a woman who likes to see ladies going against society’s rules, well pull up a glass of port and enjoy some time with Lady Ashton.

Book Review: The Handmaidens Necklace by Kat Martin

Five years ago Rafael, Duke of Sheffield, believed he was betrayed by the woman he loved and the pain haunts him still. When Rafe discovers that he was cruelly tricked, and that Danielle Duval was never unfaithful, he’s desperate to win her back. But Dani is already on a steamer bound for America to marry another man. Impulsively, Rafe follows her and, trapping her in a compromising situation, quickly makes her his wife.Promising her that with time he can prove his love and win her trust, Rafe presents her with a stunning necklace rumored to hold great power. As much as Dani wants to believe it can right the wrongs of the past, she fears there is one truth it cannot conceal, a truth that could cost her this second chance with Rafe, the only man she has ever loved.

The Thrilling ending to Kat Martins Necklace Trilogy, this book was just as great as the first two. The Brides Necklace, and The Devils Necklace. We got to talk with the characters from the other books again, and we finally see Rafe get what he needs. His beautiful Dani. As with the other books in the series, this is well written with some unseen twists and turns to keep it exciting. I am sad the series is over, but would highly recommend it to anyone else who loves Historical Romances.

Book Review: Mount Vernon Love Story: A love story of George and Martha Washington by Marry Higgins Clark

Charming, insightful and immensely entertaining in its unique presentation of one of America’s legendary figures, Mount Vernon Love Story, by famed suspense writer Mary Higgins Clark, shows the reader the man behind the legend, a man of flesh, blood and passion, and in the author’s skilled hands, the story and the man come fully and dramatically alive.
Mary Higgins Clark’s interest in George Washington was first sparked by a radio series she was writing in the 1960s, called “Portrait of a Patriot,” vignettes of American presidents.
Always a lover of history, she wrote this biographical novel — her first book — and titled it Aspire to the Heavens, which was the family motto of George Washington’s mother. With all events, dates, scenes and characters based on historical research, the book was published in 1969.
Its recent discovery by a Washington family descendent led to its reissue under its new title, Mount Vernon Love Story.
In researching George Washington’s life, Mary Higgins Clark was surprised to find the engaging man behind the pious legend. He was a giant of a man in every way, starting with his physical height. In an era when men averaged five foot seven inches, he towered over everyone at six foot three. He was the best dancer in the colony of Virginia. He was also a master horseman, which was why the Indians gave him their highest compliment: “He rides his horse like an Indian.”
She dispels the widespread belief that although George Washington married an older woman, a widow, his true love was Sally Carey Fairfax, his best friend’s wife. Martha Dandridge Custis was older, but only by three months — she was twenty-seven to his twenty-six when they met. Mary Higgins Clark describes their relationship from their first meeting, their closeness and his tenderness toward her two children. Martha shared his life in every way, crossing the British lines to join him in Boston and enduring with him the bitter hardship of the winter in Valley Forge. As Lady Bird Johnson was never called Claudia, Martha Washington was never known as Martha. Her family and friends called her Patsy. George always called her “my dearest Patsy” and wore a locket with her picture around his neck.

This book, I am not sure if I can find the right words. It is beautiful, a beautiful telling of the love between George Washington and his beautiful wife Martha. It is a charming romp through his memories, his life from child hood and on through. We find him remembering these things from his minds eye as he is giving over the reigns of his government to John Adams. It’s witty, and shows some funny jests about Thomas Jefferson (my all time favorite) and John Adams. This book was simply not long enough for me, I wanted more. I wanted to have more memories from George’s point of view. A wonderful book, that is making me wish to dig out my rev war books right now.

Book Review: Testimony of an Irish Slave Girl by Kate McCafferty

Kidnapped from Galway, Ireland, as a young girl, shipped to Barbados, and forced to work the land alongside African slaves, Cot Daley’s life has been shaped by injustice. In this stunning debut novel, Kate McCafferty re-creates, through Cot’s story, the history of the more than fifty thousand Irish who were sold as indentured servants to Caribbean plantation owners during the seventeenth century. As Cot tells her story-the brutal journey to Barbados, the harrowing years of fieldwork on the sugarcane plantations, her marriage to an African slave and rebel leader, and the fate of her children–her testimony reveals an exceptional woman’s astonishing life.

A very touching book. A heart felt story about a woman who was taken as a child and turned into a slave.An Irish slave. I enjoyed this book. It flowed a little different than most books I read but over all I did enjoy it very much. It is a good story, touching, and it will surely make you feel for the conditions and the situation that All Slaves have been in.

Book Review: Virgin: Prelude to the Throne by Robin Maxwell

…a riveting portrait of Elizabeth I as a romantic andvulnerable teenager, dangerously awakening to a perilousliaison with the wrong man.
England, 1547: King Henry is dead. Elizabeth’s half-brother, nine-year-old Edward, is king in name only. Thomas Seymour, brother to the ambitious duke who has seized power in this time of crisis, calculatingly works his way into Elizabeth’s home in genteel Chelsea House. He marries Henry’s widow, Catherine Parr, and uses his venerable charms and sexual magnetism to indulge his infatuation for young Elizabeth. Caught hopelessly under Thomas Seymour’s spell, surrounded by kind friends and hidden enemies, Elizabeth can only follow her heart to ensure survival.

Wonderful book! Great writing. And wonderful story telling. It wasn’t until I was almost done with this one that I found out it had two books before it.But that was still okay. This book stands alone perfect well for a Tudor fan.A wonderful story of the turmoil of young Elizabeth’s life. I highly recommend this one.

Book Review: Serpent Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt

Lucy Craddock-Hayes thought the man lying in the ditch was dead, but he survived the assault. With the help of her servant, Lucy brings the gentleman home, and learns that he is Viscount Simon Iddesleigh. As Simon slowly recuperates, he finds himself falling in love with sharp-witted and surprisingly sharp-tongued Lucy, but he also knows that the longer he stays, the more likely it is that his quest for vengeance will endanger Lucy and her family.

This was the final book in the “Prince” series. By Hoyt. And it certainly was the steamiest! Wow. This book is very hot. Simon, and Lucy a very mismatched couple who take deep desire in each others company and touches. But Simon has a dark side as well. Its a very good story, about a mans flaws, and his love of a woman. And the woman’s love of him. A story that asks, can True love really conquer all?

Book Review: Devils Bride by Stephanie Laurens

Governess Honoria Wetherby is determined not to marry; she plans to have adventures among the Egyptian pyramids in lieu of wedding a controlling husband. But even the best-laid plans can run afoul of luck and outrageous fortune, as is fatefully proven one stormy evening when Honoria happens upon a dying young man in the woods. After passing the night in a cottage alone with the corpse and his cousin, the rakish and very much alive Devil Cynster, it’s decided — by the handsome rake — that Honoria has been compromised by the unchaperoned evening and the only remedy is to marry. Despite her flat refusal, Devil is determined to have the beautiful and feisty governess; his family is overjoyed that he’s finally planning to marry. But Devil definitely has his work cut out for him as he attempts to convince Honoria to wed him and forego her plans for adventure. Luring Honoria to the altar is further complicated when she insists upon aiding him in the search for his cousin’s killer. Which will Devil accomplish first: seducing Honoria or unveiling a murderer? Or will Honoria foil the first plan and solve the second before Devil can?Devil’s Bride is the first of several novels by Laurens that feature the members of the noble Cynster family in Regency England. The larger-than-life hero is bold, brave, daring, and determined and meets his perfect match in the heroine, who is plucky, intelligent, practical, and wise. Lush sensuality, deft plotting, and charming secondary characters make this novel a stellar beginning for the Bar Cynster series. –Lois Faye Dyer

I don’t remember what made me decide to select this series to read, someone mentioned it on PBS I think. So in true me style. I collected all 15 books published in the Cynster series, before reading the first one. And I can say another GREAT choice of mine. This book is wonderfully written. Taking you through a colorful mystery of a family murder, as well as throwing that lovely Regency romance at you. Honoria is a wonderfully strong minded, stubborn female. And she’s put up against the Duke of St Ives Devil Cynster. And what a DEVIL he truly is. He will set any ladies spine a tingling. If you like romance, and you like action. Give this book a read. You will meet the strong clan of Cynster men, their Women, and help solve a murder Mystery.

Book Review: Wicked by Shannon Drake

Camille Montgomery is aware of the wicked man’s reputation. But as an expert in antiquities, she also knows his family’s Egyptian artifacts are the finest in England. The problem is, her wayward stepfather knows this, too — and he’s determined to steal them. So when he’s caught in the act of robbing the so-called Beast of Carlyle, Camille must swallow her fear and boldly confront the man whose mask is said to hide a face too loathsome to behold.
The Earl of Carlyle has lived in the shadows ever since the suspicious death of his parents. But he’s never stopped trying to unravel the mystery behind what he suspects to have been their murder. And now that the lovely Camille has stumbled into his life, he has the perfect pawn for his deadly game of vengeance and deceit. But in laying his ruthless trap, will he risk losing his own heart?

This was a great Book! A page turner at every angle. Its a constant mystery over the who dun it. With the romance layered on top. A great story also of a woman in Victorian age trying to make her own way. Trying to come up past what society would think of her. What society deems is proper, and what is not. And along the way she wins the “beast”. I was worried it might be a little to Beauty and the Beast want to be. But that is not the case at all.

*Also Used for my Historical Fiction Challenge*

Book Review: Just One of those Flings by Candice Hern

Following “In the Thrill of the Night,” this entry in Hern’s Merry Widows series finds Beatrice, Lady Somerfield, too busy overseeing her own daughters and niece to take a lover for herself. Until one night at a ball a masked stranger makes her realize the delights she’s been missing.

I will admit, this book took me a while to get excited about. A few chapters. But I loved the first book in The Merry Widows Series, In The Thrill of the Night. So I had to continue. And I will say I am very glad I did. Candice Hern paints a wonderful picture of romance. An older woman, a widow finding herself against all odds and against her own better sensibilities falling in love with a man six years her Junior. OH MY! What woman wouldn’t love that?! They embark on an affair that turns into me, and we follow them through several hard turns of their love. For them to come out on the other side.
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