Book Review: The Princess Bride by William Goldman

What happens when the most beautiful girl in the world marries the handsomest prince of all time and he turns out to be…well…a lot less than the man of her dreams?

As a boy, William Goldman claims, he loved to hear his father read the S. Morgenstern classic, The Princess Bride. But as a grown-up he discovered that the boring parts were left out of good old Dad’s recitation, and only the “good parts” reached his ears.

Now Goldman does Dad one better. He’s reconstructed the “Good Parts Version” to delight wise kids and wide-eyed grownups everywhere.

What’s it about? Fencing. Fighting. True Love. Strong Hate. Harsh Revenge. A Few Giants. Lots of Bad Men. Lots of Good Men. Five or Six Beautiful Women. Beasties Monstrous and Gentle. Some Swell Escapes and Captures. Death, Lies, Truth, Miracles, and a Little Sex.

In short, it’s about everything

What is there to day about this classic? I have always loved the Princess Bride both the book and the film. The characters come alive and seem to leap off the page when you read this book. I for one make a point to come back every few years and re-read this favorite. I feel a little silly making such a short review, but really what is there to say about such a classic? It is wonderful, there is everything you could want in a book so it has a wonderful pace. You have action, romance and of course a great deal of humor. Bottom line if you are a rare person who has not read this book yet, well what are you waiting for?

My Gemstone Rating:


Book Review: Bah, Humbug! (Christmas Street #1) by Heather Horrocks

Lexi Anderson is an up-and-coming, Martha Stewart-type TV hostess whose two kids love the Jared Strong adventure novels, which happen to be written by their new neighbor, Kyle Miller.

For the first time in his writing career, Kyle has writer’s block – until he sees the snowman on his lawn and realizes this is the perfect place for his villain to hide the weapon. He digs into the snowman to discover two things: the weapon fits int he body just under the head, and the snowman was supposed to be the back drop for Lexi’s next show.

From this improbable beginning comes friendship. Can there be more for a woman who is afraid to get close again and a man who has shadows from his childhood?

Families join together and hearts are healed as this couple goes walking in a winter wonderland.

I do not usually get into Christmas or Holiday books in general, but this year I was making an effort to be a little bit more Holiday feeling and I had Bah humbug on my TBR so why not? The editing work on this book was not done very well and in all honesty, I am getting a little tired of so many books with typos and issues. I know small indie authors do not make huge sums, but I feel if you are going to publish a book you should proof read very well! Ask a friend! No ones perfect I know that, I know I am not perfect when I post my reviews but GAH! Okay little rant over and moving on.

This book is a fast cute little read overall and it was a fairly quick one as well. Lexi Anderson our female character reminded me a lot of Brie from Desperate Housewives and I am not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing. The best way she thinks to get new neighbor and author to get over being a Christmas Grinch is to essentially present to him Christmas on steroids. That may not work in the real world with most people (would not work on me!) but who knows in books things happen. I don’t want to give away the plot, of course, but what would Chic lit/Romance be without a little bit of rivalry in it as well right? Enter Author Kyle’s brother. Of course he shows up as Kyle is falling in love with Lexi.

The long and short of this review (many pardon’s if I am a little jumpy with this, post holiday cold requires lots of nyquil!) is that while it isn’t a particularly deep book it is fun. If you want something easy, cute and fitting for the holidays next time they come around you would probably be happy by picking up this little Novella.

My Gemstone Rating:


Book Review: The Temptation of the Night Jasmine (Pink Carnation #5) by Lauren Willig

A New York Times extended list bestseller and the exciting fifth book in the national bestselling Pink Carnation series.

After years abroad, Robert, Duke of Dovedale, has returned to England to avenge the murder of his mentor. To uncover the murderer’s identity, he must infiltrate the infamous, secret Hellfire Club. But the Duke has no idea that an even more difficult challenge awaits him-in a mistaken, romantic-minded young lady.

Charlotte Lansdowne wistfully remembers the Robert of her childhood as a valiant hero among men. Too aware of his own flaws, Robert tries to dissuade Charlotte from her delusions, even as he finds himself drawn to her. When Charlotte takes up a bit of espionage-investigating a plot to kidnap the King-Robert soon realizes that she is more than the perfect partner in crime.

Caught in a dangerous game full of deadly spies and secret rites, Robert and Charlotte must work together to reveal the villain…and confront their true love.

Another solid installment of the Pink Carnation series with the Night Jasmine and another enjoyable read. While for me this one started off a little bit slow it picked up the pace and became really enjoyable. Robert Duke of Dovedale is the kind of character I could conjure up a true image in my head of. I really liked him and even though some of his actions ticked me off (why couldn’t he just tell Lady Charolotte the truth?!) I also understood why he did them. He thought he was protecting her and that is of course how these books work.

While the spy craft is still around in this book it does focus a little bit more on the love and fairy tale aspect of a historical romance which to me made this one a little bit more light and fun. There is still the spy side and a little bit of danger to keep it spicy. Then there is the modern side of the story as we always have that bit to play with as well and this time we saw Eloise thinking that Miles was a spy. This lead to some very comical situations and then eventually he had to confront her.

Bottom line enjoyable and I look forward to reading the next installment.

My Gemstone Rating:


Book Review: Starry Night by Debbie Macomber

Perfect Christmas women’s fiction from international bestseller Debbie Macomber.

‘Tis the season for love and second chances …

Carrie Slayton, a big-city society-page columnist, longs to write more serious news stories. So her editor hands her a challenge first: Carrie must score the paper an interview with Finn Dalton, the notoriously reclusive author.

Living in Alaskan wilderness, Finn has written a bestselling book about surviving in the wild. But he stubbornly declines to speak to anyone, and no one even knows exactly where he lives. With her career at stake, Carrie sacrifices her family celebrations and flies out to snowy Alaska. When she finally finds Finn, she discovers a man both more charismatic and more stubborn than she expected. And soon Carrie is torn between pursuing the story of a lifetime and following her heart.

This is the first time I have read a Debbie Macomber book, I have several on my shelves but have not yet gotten to them. With Christmas just around the corner I decided I needed to pick a nice Holiday book to enjoy and this was just the ticket. I felt that Starry Night had just the right touches of light heartedness and the serious moments as well.

Finn and Carrie are characters that you can feel yourself in. I really enjoyed how their relationship developed and how well they seemed to know one another even from the start. If you need a nice light read that is fast and keeps you enjoying it for the Holiday season I would go with this one. I am feeling a bit more in the Christmas mood now thanks to this read.

My Gemstone Rating:


Book Review: Confessions of a Chalet Girl by Lorraine Wilson

Release date: June 27th 2013

Set in the exclusive Swiss ski resort of Verbier, the winter playground of the rich and famous, Confessions of a Chalet Girl is a fun and flirty contemporary romance novella from the fabulous Lorraine Wilson.

The slopes seriously start to heat up when chalet girl Holly is propositioned by her sexy new boss!

Well I am not sure the events would happen like they did so fast in real life. The casual hacking of face book and twitter that Magda did as well, was a little bit meh. However over all the story was a good one. This was a very fast read and cute. I rather liked Holly and the boss man Scott was the kind of handsome rugged fellow you would expect at a ski resort. I can admit I was a bit jealous of Holly not just for the super handsome fellow she was having and enjoying in all the ways you expect but the wonderful alps. I would not mind a nice fun swim in some of the natural pools that she enjoyed. All in all, fun, fast and flirty just what I needed after the heavy read I took on before this one. This is a good one for summer.

My Gemstone Rating:


Book Review: One more kiss by Mary S. Blayney

Release Date: April 30th 2013

Mary Blayney, the acclaimed author of Courtesan’s Kiss, returns to the Pennistan family with this new historical romance—the delectable story of a free-spirited beauty with no interest in marriage who gets more than she bargained for when a seductive kiss leads to the possibility of love.

Dispatched by their ambitious father to snag a titled husband, Beatrice Brent and her twin sister, Cecilia, attend a house party with an array of eligible gentlemen. Defiantly ignoring her father’s wishes, Beatrice flirts shamelessly with Lord Jessup Pennistan, a gamer with scandal in his past—and the one man her father has warned her against. But when flirting goes too far, Beatrice suddenly finds herself engaged and, worse, estranged from her family. Though convinced that her fianc�’s wicked ways will bring nothing but heartache, Beatrice is powerless against Jess’s masterful seduction and the anticipated delights of the marriage bed.

A gambling man who has lost more than his family is willing to forgive him for, Jess quickly realizes that compromising Beatrice was the best mistake he ever made. But to keep her he must right the wrongs of the past, reclaim his lost fortunes, and place the boldest wager of his life. For now he has everything to win . . . and everything to lose.

Well the first thing that came to my mind when I started reading this book was that I am going to need to go back and read the other 4! When I got it I did not know it was part of a series. At any rate it really does actually stand alone very well and you can get a good feel of the characters without having to worry about having missed to much of the past interactions.

Jess is by far my favorite character. A loyal, heroic and wonderful cut of a regency man who has a bad wrap because he allowed his reputation to take a hit to help a childhood friend. The twins are also enjoyable and boy little Cecelia turns into something I would not expect at the very end. A great fun and entertaining read. It is fast and fun!

My Gemstone Rating:


Book Review: Replacing Gentry by Julie N. Ford

When Marlie attends a cadaver ball at Vanderbilt Medical School, she did not expect to actually see any cadavers. Or, that a strange apparition would issue her such a chilling message. Despite the cadaver’s warning, a year later Marlie is married to Tennessee State Senator, Daniel Cannon, and living in a plantation-style mansion with two step sons. Add to the mix her growing suspicion that something is amiss with the death of Daniel’s first wife, Gentry, and newlywed Marlie is definitely in over her pretty Yankee head.

What begins as an innocent inquiry into her new husband’s clouded past, ends with Marlie facing a dangerous conspiracy. A modern twist on the classic Gothic romance novels like Rebecca and Jane Eyre, Replacing Gentry follows Marlie’s precarious journey as she seeks to learn the truth about the man she married.

Replacing gentry has a little bit of everything, ghosts, romance, swearing, mystery and more. Over all I found the book enjoyable and an entertaining book to read. However because of all the different things loaded into it I did find a few times I was a little overwhelmed. I think if a few of the things had been paired down I would have been able to call it a 5 gem review. That said it still gets 4 gemstones and so is still a very readable book that I think would appeal to many readers.

Marlie is a character that many people can relate too. If you can handle several things coming at you at once and stick out the little bit of a slow start your really going to enjoy Replacing Gentry.

My Gemstone Rating:



Book Review: The Heiress of Winterwood by Sarah E. Ladd

Release Date: April 9th 2013

Amelia Barrett gave her word. Keeping it could cost her everything.

Darbury, England, 1814

Amelia Barrett, heiress to an estate nestled in the English moors, defies family expectations and promises to raise her dying friend’s infant baby. She’ll risk everything to keep her word—even to the point of proposing to the child’s father, Graham, a sea captain she’s never met.

When the child vanishes with little more than a sketchy ransom note hinting to her whereabouts, Amelia and Graham are driven to test the boundaries of their love for this infant.

Amelia’s detailed plans would normally see her through any trial, but now, desperate and shaken; she examines her soul and must face her one weakness: pride.

Graham’s strength and self-control have served him well and earned him much respect, but chasing perfection has kept him a prisoner of his own discipline.

Both must learn to accept God’s sovereignty and relinquish control so they can grasp the future He has for planned for them.

The Heiress of Winterwood for me was a pretty good book but it did not blow me away. It was one the books I was talking about in my Musing Monday post though with the formatting issues so that did make it a bit harder for me to read and sit back and enjoy. I may visit it again when it is officially released to see if I can enjoy it more.

That said the story itself was pretty good. I liked the plot and it was not one that I had not read before. Amelia is a strong and independent of a sweet nature with a huge heart. You can not help but love a woman who would take on the responsibility that she did and take it to such a point that she would think to marry a man she did not even know just so she could keep a promise. The child vanishing without a single trace..well that adds a whole bunch of trouble into the characters lives. The ups and downs were enjoyable in this read and while I could not finish it with this read through I will give it another shot later on because I enjoyed what I could read.

My Gemstone Rating:


Book Review: A Secret Love by Stephanie Laurens (Bar Cynster)

All of Regency London knows that no Cynster male would ever walk away from a lady in distress…but their protection can come at a tantalizingly high price. And now, Stephanie Laurens has created her boldest Cynster yet–Gabriel–a man who has known the pleasure of many women, but who has given his heart to no one.

She was desperate for his help…When a mysterious lady, her face hidden by a black veil, begs Gabriel Cynster for his help, he cannot refuse her plea. For despite her disguise, Gabriel finds the woman alluring and he is powerless to deny her. But he exacts payment as only a Cynster would demand: with each piece of information he uncovers, she must pay him–in the form of a kiss.

He was powerless to resist…

Lady Alathea Morwellan knows Gabriel is intrigued, but despite the sparks that fly between them, they have never passed a civil moment together. Yet as the stakes get higher, so does Gabriel’s desire for payment. And with each overpowering kiss, each passionate embrace, Alathea knows that she will not be able to resist his ultimate seduction…but what will happen when she reveals the truth

Time to dive back into the realm of the Ton and the Bar Cynster. Gabriel is next in line who is running from destiny, he is determined (like those before him) not to marry. Of course he happens to be in town for the season and even though he chooses the events he goes to carefully he can not escape what happens next. A mysterious Countess approaches him and is in deep need of help, like any good Cynster male he can not say no to a woman in distress and so he accepts her deal of helping her and not knowing who she is. Will it stay that way however?

Well it is a Cynster book so of course he ends up finding out who the Countess is and it happens to be a woman he has known for his whole life his friend Thea. I really did enjoy this book a fair amount. While there were a couple of times I wanted to smack Thea and tell her just to admit how she felt, or admit to Gabriel who she was it was just because I wanted to see him turn on his full Cynster stubbornness. If your a historical Romance reader and a Stephanie Lauren’s reader there really are no surprises in the turns that take place, however that does not take away from the story. The characters are enjoyable the plot is good and over all it is a fun historical romance read, dive on in and give it a chance.

My Gemstone Rating:


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Book Review: Love’s Portrait by Monica Burns

When Julia Westgard commissions a nude portrait of herself, her rebellious behavior puts her at odds with the Marlborough Set’s most notorious rake, Morgan St. Claire. From the first moment Morgan sees Julia’s portrait, he’s determined to have her. But the woman he meets is a far cry from the image on canvas. What starts out as a simple exercise in seduction quickly evolves into a quest to reveal the true Julia Westgard. With each sensually, erotic encounter, he employs every seductive weapon at his disposal in hopes of making Julia see she really is the woman in Love’s Portrait.

My First thought when I finished Love’s portrait was “well crap”. That was because I said I would not start a new book until after new years once I finished that one and well there is a bit of time left until New years. Pushing that aside..

Love’s Portrait introduces us to Julia and Morgan who are both strong and stubborn personalities. However they both have their pains and things that hold them back from the happiness they could both have. For Julia her now dead Husband Oscar forced her into submission and I do mean forced her into submission. Securing her to their marriage bed and rutting, as well as several other forms of abuse they left her scarred and afraid of the bondage of marriage.

For Morgan he grew up in an unhappy household. His parents did not love one another by the time he came along and they fought constantly. So his Father ignored him until he came of age to take over the family Company and his Mother resented him as he looked more and more like his Father. So all of this made Morgan also swear off marriage. However what happens when the unmovable object meets the unstoppable force?

A very hot and erotic romance novel is what you get. Monica Burns has created a very intense relationship and I fully enjoyed each moment. The erotic scenes were plentiful but not over the top and all of them very well written. I love the give and take of the dominance and submission between Julia and Morgan but also the way that their relationship grows. Both of them without seeking it find solace in one another and healing for the past harms. I love it! This whole wonderful relationship thanks to a painting and a handkerchief.

My Gemstone Rating:


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