#Review – Heroic Measures by Jo-Ann Powers (@CeriseDeLand) #WW1 #Romance #Historic #HeroicMeasures @WildRosePress
Honoring those who have served their country in war, most focus on those who have fought on the battlefields. But one group’s heroics under fire have slipped through the pages of history, a group whose blood and sweat were left in operating rooms and hospital tents, a group whose heroism has seldom been measured.
For nurse Gwen Spencer, fighting battles is nothing new. An orphan sent to live with a vengeful aunt, Gwen picked coal and scrubbed floors to earn a living. But when she decides to become a nurse, she steps outside the boundaries of her aunt’s demands…and into a world of her own making.
Leaving her hometown for France, she helps doctors mend thousands of brutally injured Doughboys under primitive conditions. Amid the chaos, she volunteers to go ever forward to the front lines. Braving bombings and the madness of men crazed by the hell of war, she is stunned to discover one man she can love. A man she can share her life with.
But in the insanity and bloodshed she learns the measures of her own desires. Dare she attempt to become a woman of accomplishment? Or has looking into the face of war and death given her the courage to live her life to the fullest?
I knew when I came to read this book that it would be an emotional ride as I walked in the footsteps of such heroic and supremely inspiring women, but I was over-awed and whilst reading this book. I felt in so much awe of Gwen and her fellow nurses who did the most incredible job, these women were vital for the war effort. Jo-Ann Power has gone above and beyond with telling these extraordinary women’s stories, the depth of research is incredible at times it was like actually being standing right beside them. It painted an emotionally raw and brutally real picture of what these women went through.
I think what really struck me most when reading this book was just how little I knew about front line nurses from America. I think that being from the UK, we take all our meticulous record keeping via the archives and the War Graves Commission for granted and we tend to be a little ignorant to the fact that the Great War affected not just us on Europe and the common wealth but those from America also feature heavily, we just don’t really know about them. Which is why this book is so damn important, It is exactly what we need in this world and it is one of those rare books that will stand the test of time,
The story really follows one young nurse; Gwen – who is a hugely likeable character, a woman after my own heart she has spirit, determination, she has seen her fair share of troubles before she even goes into nursing, but those issues have made her the strong, reliable and passionate woman I found her to be. We first see her in nursing college where her and her close knit group of friends have fun between studies, once graduated they now face the real world. Unfortunately this world is now at war and Gwen soon finds herself facing all the horrors of the front, as she is sent to battled destroyed France.
This is definitely the most heart breaking part of the book what Gwen and her friends face day in day out is harrowing. The picture of that dark and soul destroying place is vivid and real, Ms Power has done an absolutely incredible job at portraying the scene with the utmost realism and respect and this is where the authors research and brilliant writing comes in to it’s own, she captures your attention through out the book and I can guarantee that there is times you will get a lump in your throat ad tears in your eyes.
Heroic Measures is an emotionally powerful read that will leave the reader in absolute stunned silence, it’s true, poignant and highlights an aspect of women’s history that I think a lot of us may have forgotten.
Very highly recommended one of the best books I have read and one that everyone should read.
This was a complimentary copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Heroic Measures can be purchased at Amazon.
#Review – Lady Joy And the Earl : A Christmas Novella by Regina Jeffers (@reginajeffers) #Christmas #Regency #Romance
They have loved each other since childhood, but life has not been kind to either of them. James Highcliffe’s arranged marriage had been everything but loving, and Lady Joy’s late husband believed a woman’s spirit was meant to be broken. Therefore, convincing Lady Jocelyn Lathrop to abandon her freedom and consider marriage to him after twenty plus years apart may be more than the Earl of Hough can manage. Only the spirit of Christmas can bring these two together when secrets mean to keep them apart.
Well this is a wonderfully heart-warming and emotional seasonal story. I am a big fan of Regina Jeffers work, she has a real gift at story telling, she magically captures the readers attention with her charming stories which have some of the most wondrous characters who the reader can really get behind and cheer on. Lady Joy and The Earl is no different, I found this to be a magical story full of raw emotion and a delightful cast of character’s.
Jocelyn (or Joy) and James have been in love with each other since they were children, as their family’s estates are right next door to one and other, they often used to spend many hours and days together. They both new where they wanted their lives to go and that was to be together, unfortunately James’ father had already arranged a marriage for James ever since he was still in the cradle and it wouldn’t be with the neighbouring Marquess’ daughter. Joy was obviously devastated when hearing of James’ marriage, because she didn’t know the details of the arrangement she felt both cheated and disappointed that James would do such a thing to her after she had loved him all her life. Which into the an arranged marriage of her own, never to see each other for another twenty two years.
Both had very unhappy marriages, in different ways so twenty-two years later once widowed and past their moaning period they can both be and do what they want to be. For Joy that means she finally has her freedom, even if that freedom does come at a cost due to what happened when her husband died. She wants nothing more than to go about her life with her children and finally be able to live. For James there is only one thing that he wants, the one thing that was stolen from him; Joy! He is set on finally claiming his Joy for his own, just as he wanted in the first place. But first he must make it past her high defences, for she is far from the spirited woman he knew she has become a shell of her self and he knows that gentleness and a little Christmas magic is the only way forward for both of them to be happy.
Joy hasn’t had the best of luck, first the one man she loved with all her heart suddenly ups and marries someone else, true that it was all arranged when he was a baby, but she doesn’t know that. Her confusion and hurt is always there, even after twenty years apart her heart may do a jolt and speed up at the mere sight of this distinguished, handsome man but also present is her devastation. She was then married off to a horrible man and his treatment of her has left an imprint on her, she is such a wonderfully kind and loving woman but that sparkle tat James loved about er has been put out. But James, being the wonderfully self assure and slightly arrogant man – but in a very good way he can see that there is a flicker of the woman beneath the hurt, I love this man he really is wonderful and oh, so handsome he isn’t cruel or nasty he is utterly charming and he oozes sex appeal. Joy is an amazing woman, she is strong when it comes to her children and she is fierce yet she is vulnerable and fragile. I love the gentleness James shows her and how with his careful wooing she becomes her real self, I particular love the way he subtly flirts and cajoles her into bantering with him. So sweet and funny!
I love this book! The story is very well developed and refreshingly new for the genre, it moves from scene to scene flawlessly. But the thing that I do love about this sweet short story is the chemistry between the leads, James and Joy are a match made in heaven they have both been scarred – if emotionally scarred by the turn of the events when they were young. The feelings for each other is constant, you can feel the emotion on every page, from the rapidly beating hearts to the fact that they can’t stop gazing at one an other. It’s beautiful written, but I expected no less from talented Ms Jefffers .
Gorgeous story, just perfect!!
This was a complimentary copy via the author in exchange for an honest review.
Lady Joy and The Earl can be purchased from Amazon.
Who ‘s meddling with happily ever after?
The Wedding: it’s a set up.
The Break-up: it’s a con.
The Reconciliation: it’s a trap.
When high society bride, Samantha Carroll, devises an ingenious plan to ditch her meddling matchmaking mamma’s groom of choice, the banker’s son, instead of the ordinary Irish guy Johnny Belen she’s pining for, all pandemonium breaks loose.
In the meantime, Johnny has devised his own plan to thwart monster-mamma-in-law’s matchmaking for the wedding of the season, but it is soon clear that Sam is not the type of girl who can be scooped up by just any man…
Well this is a wonderfully original and enjoyable story, this is the first book I have read by Ms Chara and I thoroughly enjoyed her entertaining and refreshing writing, and I absolutely adore the laugh out loud humour that had me giggling away – which did resort to bemused expression from the family – and I know I will be reading Sun Chara again.
Sam is a from a very, very wealthy family she is used to the luxuries in life the only thing that she doesn’t like is the fact that her mother is a control freak, I mean literally her mother is like the devil incarnate and I did really hate her from the beginning. Her mother wants nothing but high status and everything that comes with it, she wants her daughter to marry this snobbish banker just so that they can all cement themselves into the highest of society. Whereas Sam has only eyes for the rugged, working class penny-less Irishman; Johnny.
Well the wedding of the year has arrived but one thing leads to anther and she ends up not marrying the man she was supposed to but her true love; Johnny – or so they both think! That is until once settled into not so happy married life, they get the shock of their lives plus both have secrets on the closet all this could destroy their relationship.
With a bit of divine intervention from the wonderfully quirky; Mirabella, these two strive for what they both want, but will they get it?
I am known for having soft spots for down on their luck, regular heroes so it’s not surprising that I took adorable Johnny into my heart right from the off. He is a genuinely good man, he has a kind heart and he just wants to do the right thing and show Sam and her pretty horrendous family that he is exactly that; a good man and that he can make Sam happy. Johnny may comes across as all fun and games, never serious but he is trying, he wants him and Sam to work. At times I don’t think that Sam really deserved Johnny’s love.
I did find the beginning a little confusing especially with the jumping from different character POV’s – don’t get me wrong I do enjoy character hopping perspectives, that flitting from character to character can really get the reader to become immersed in the story, but the first part did have me scratching my head. I do have to say that once I settled into the story, I really saw how that first part was essential for the whole frame work of the story. I could clearly identify where the author was going as the story began to develop through the book.
I liked the sound of the blurb which interested me enough to want to read it, then I found that there was so much more going on then what the blurb was saying. There is a certain, shall I say magical quality to the plot that I thought was a unique twist on the stereotypical romantic comedy genre. It was that twist to the tale that really made the book shine for me, I loved the addition of Mirabella and what she brought to the story.
Over all this is a charming, humorous and quirky story, it is one of those books that some readers may feel not for them once started reading but I highly recommend that you persevere don’t give it up and I can guarantee that you will fall in love and go on an interesting journey.
Quirky and fun, a must read for fans of romantic comedies that have a certain edge.
This was a complimentary copy via the author in exchange for an honest review.
A Match Made in Heaven can be purchased from Amazon.
#Review : Awakened by The Prince’s Passion (Russian Royals of Kuban #3) by Bronwyn Scott (@Bronwynscott)
A lost princess…
And the prince who will protect her!
In this Russian Royals of Kuban story, Crown Princess Dasha is plucked from the flames of rebellion and sent to London with no memory of her past—everyone says she’s heiress to Kuban’s throne. Yet she trusts Ruslan Pisarev on first sight—he becomes her protector, her confidante, even her lover… But can Ruslan claim her for ever when she is awakened to the truth of her identity?
I have been avidly reading this series since day one and I have been looking forward to reading this one, since the moment I saw the cover I was in love with it….I know, never judge a book by it’s cover, but this one is beautiful. I have to say that this has got to be my favourite so far, I do think that Ms Scott has out done herself with Awakened by The Prince’s Passion. It is a deeply emotional, passionate and enchanting romance that will stay with the reader long after the last page. This series has so far been full of intrigue, high on emotion and has captured my attention from day one. As with the previous books in the series Awakened by The Prince’s Passion can be read as a stand-a-lone.
Prince Ruslan is woken in the middle of the night with an unexpected guest suddenly arrive at his door, Princess Dasha has been saved from the rebellion, literally pulled from the burning palace and smuggled to London and delivered into the hands of Ruslan, who may be the only person to help protect her, but there is a catch; Princess Dasha has no idea who she is. One thing that she can be certain of is that she can trust this devilishly handsome man who promises to keep her safe and stand by her side no matter what may lay ahead for her. But various persons that either want to use Dasha to enhance their goals or assassinate her just for being who she is, she needs a friend more then ever. Which is when we see just how caring and wonderful a man Ruslan is, he instantly takes this beautiful, fragile yet fiery minded woman under his protection. The difference between him and every other man is that instead of telling her what is going to happen, he lays everything out for her to make the decisions and then he follows and respects her for it. That is the kind of man any woman wants in her life.
What a man Ruslan is, no wonder Dasha is in love with him. He is a wonderful man; caring, strong, passionate, sexy, he has a certain hypnotic quality about him and I find that so rare…I think he could be my favourite of Ms Scott’s heroe’s. I also love that he isn’t just a pretty face he has real intelligence, he is like a bird of prey, beautiful yet calculating and deadly. Ruslan has a gift at planning, he may be a diplomat and a Prince but he is an expert strategist with his help many, many people have had their lives saved because of him, which also includes his best friends and fellow Prince’s Nikolay, Stepan and Illarion.
Both Dasha and Ruslan have got serious decisions to make about both of their futures, does Dasha claim her birth right and go back to try to mend and lead her country? Or does she stay in London with the man she is falling in love with and begin a new life? But this decision is harder as the days go by she become more and more attuned to the danger that is surrounding her, especially the danger of a completely different kind, in the brutally handsome man who is by her side.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it is rich in both excitement, romance with some very cleverly written twists that keep the reader hooked. From page one the story has an element of danger, mystery and sexiness that is so wonderful to read. It’s fresh, stylish and exotic – and that is just Ruslan 😉 I mean, seriously he s a swoon-worthy, heart throb!! Ms Scott has woven an illuminating and charming story.
A pure joy to read, highly recommended!
This was a complimentary copy via the author in exchange for an honest review.
Awakened by The Prince’s Passion can be purchased from Amazon.
Historical Romantic Suspense and Mystery with a Dash of Rebellion …
Dublin 1882: When determined but impoverished Louisa Campbell inherits a large estate in the north of England, it appears to be the answer to her prayers. Her younger sister, Eleanor, is gravely ill, and believing the country air will benefit her, they take up residence at Bowes Farm.
However, they soon realise all they have inherited is trouble. Their mysterious benefactor’s reputation leaves the young women battling to gain acceptance in polite society, especially with Nicholas Maxwell, their handsome neighbour and local magistrate.
Louisa unearths secrets from their family’s past that threaten their future and she must dig deep to find the courage to solve them before their lives are destroyed. But most importantly of all, can she trust and love the man who is surely her sworn enemy?
B.R.A.G. Medallion Award: A ‘Discovered Diamond’ Novel: Shortlisted for The Carousel Aware Prize 2016: Longlisted for the HNS 2016 Indie Award.
Well, what an exhilarating and wonderfully enchanting story, this is the first I have read by Pam Lecky, I was fascinated by the sound of this book the moment I saw it, but the actual words within the pages are far more than I would have expected. The Bowes Inheritance isn’t just your stereotypical historical romance, there is a real raw and exciting edge to this that kept me hooked and turning the pages with lightning speed. What surprised me about this book was that it is Ms Lecky’s debut novel. I was just amazed by that as this has a quality that I would never have expected from a debut.
Louisa is practically destitute, she and her ill sister; Eleanor are living literally off the cuff after their father’s death. When she receives word that she has just inherited a large estate in Cumberland from an uncle she never even knew existed, but why hadn’t her family ever spoken of the mysterious ‘Uncle Jack’? This couldn’t have come at a better time for Louisa and Eleanor, she fully intends to sell of the estate and make sure that her sister has every luxury she needs. She sets sail for England, but once face to face with her inheritance she soon sees that the Bowes Estate is just the thing that they need.
No sooner has she stepped foot through the front door then she realises that all is not as it seems, there are secrets coming out of the woodwork at every corner and the more she finds the more her life becomes threatened on top of that she has the disarmingling handsome magistrate; Nicholas Maxwell on her back, making her blood boil with both lust and absolute anger. And the blackened reputation of her mysterious and some-what nefarious uncle Jack constantly lurking in the back ground, plus her ill sister to care for.
Ooh, what a tangled web of darkness, lies and deceit our Louisa has found herself entwined in, I do hugely like Louisa, she is a breathe of fresh air amongst the all the debutants out there, she is very resourceful, proud of who she is and where she is from, loyal to her family – even of they don’t deserve it, but more than that she is a genuinely lovely person who has a good heart and a feisty spirit.
This is a brilliantly crafted, atmospheric and satisfying historical story that entwines romance with mystery, The Bowes Inheritance has an impressive plot which see takes the reader on a whirlwind journey through the Victorian era and into the dangerous underworld of the Irish Rebellion, which I will admit I didn’t know a lot about but Ms Lecky has created a strong and intelligent storyline, that will have the reader wanting more. I do love an historical that has a lot of historic detail and this is wondrous, it is rich and vivid the writing is stunningly real, every aspect of the story is captivating. I have to say that Ms Lecky has captured the atmosphere with spot on clarity, you can feel every emotion that Louisa goes through as through your were right there with her, the prejudice and uncertainty that she has to face would make a lesser woman hide away but not strong and resilient.
I do love this book, I was blown away and instantly charmed with the style and quality of Ms Lecky’s writing, so much so that I know for a certainty that I will be reading more from this talented author.
A stunningly beautiful debut from an author I know will go far.
This was a complimentary copy from the author via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
The Bowes Inheritance is available now and can be purchased from Amazon.
Italy, 1492. A ruthless mercenary skilled in the art of conquest. An heiress who refuses to be tamed. The Devil’s own bargain . . .
Cara di Montessori has a price upon her head. Her traitorous uncle has murdered her father and seized her home. Her only hope of survival, and of regaining her birthright, is an alliance with her childhood nemesis, the infamous mercenary Il Diavolo. The most irritating—and seductive—man Cara’s ever met.
Battle hardened and world-weary, Alessandro del Sarto has earned the sobriquet Il Diavolo. He needs a politically expedient marriage to secure the lasting peace he craves, but the simpering ladies of court hold little interest. More than anything, he longs for a challenge.
Headstrong beauty Cara has always been Il Diavolo’s only weakness, the one woman he’s never been able to forget. When she appears at his door begging for help, the two strike a devil’s bargain. In return for his assistance, for two weeks Cara must entertain his guests, relieve his boredom—and warm his bed.
Cara has no intention of succumbing to del Sarto’s studied seduction, but the passion that simmers between them is more potent than her paper twists of gunpowder. Surrounded by danger and intrigue, she must choose between what she’s always thought of as her destiny, and what could be the greatest prize of all—her heart’s desire.
From #1 Bestselling author K C Bateman comes a witty romantic adventure filled with passion, vengeance, and redemption.
I am in absolute love this book (Or should that be, I am in absolute love with Il Diavolo?) I haven’t read an historical set during the Italian Renaissance in years, now after reading The Devil to Pay it has just reminded me of how much I love stories set during this era. This was also the first book I have read by K.C Bateman, and what a wonderful introduction into this author’s work. From the quality of this I will certainly been looking to read more by this author.
Cara di Montessori is running for her life, after the death of her father she now has a price on her head by her traitorous uncle who, knowing she is the rightful heir to the di Montessori ancestral estate wants her out of the way. The only person she knows who has the ability to help her regain her home and save her life is one of the last people she wanted to ask; the lethally, ruthless and way too devilishly handsome for his own good, mercenary Alessandro del Sarto – other wise known as Il diavolo. Once there the manipulative devil twists her request for help around to something far more dangerous, for her.
Cara isn’t your stereotypical heiress, she isn’t spoilt or useless she knows the ways of the world and she knows how dangerous that world can be. She has a proper head on her shoulders, with a brains and nerve to match any mercenary she is no wilting wallflower. She can fight as good as any man, she is intelligent and she knows where her place is in life and that place is to be the lady of her little kingdom just as her father has being training her for.
The devil himself has his eye on innocent Cara and what his dark gaze lingers on and wants the man gets, Alessandro agrees to help her reclaim her ancestral home and vows to protect her from her treasonous uncle, under one condition….she stay with him for two weeks and play the part of his hostess/ wife for his guests, which also includes complying with all wifely duties in and out of the bed chamber. Cara should have expected such a devious and dastardly proposition, but it doesn’t take away her shock. She is inexplicable drawn to the brute, but she has vowed she will not – no matter what he does to her – give in.
But will how long can she really resist the one man who makes her heart beat a frenzied tune?
My goodness, how much do I love Alessandro? Really there isn’t enough words or heart eyes to convey what a fantastic character this man is. Dark, deadly and ruthless, I do have a thing for the more dangerous and flawed character and this man is everything you would ever want on a bad boy. Being a mercenary he is feared by everyone. He is a brilliant warrior, but he is also tired of it, deep down he craves peace and solitude, which is why he must himself a wife who will ensure that the fragile peace he has literally fought so hard for continues. Alessandro is a smoking hot, devil who oozes sex appeal, he can make any woman with a pulse swoon with just a mere look from those deadly dark, manipulative eyes. He is definitely a devil, or a pirate…either way he is so swoon-worthy! But as well as being extremely easy on the readers eye, deep down he has a soft, kinder heart hidden – very well hidden – he has always held a light for Cara and I do think that she is the perfect woman for him. She is feisty, imaginative, intelligent and not at all intimidated by his bullish and brooding personality which he finds to be a refreshing change from the simpering dull women that surround him.
The Devil to Pay is an imaginative, sexy and captivating romance that engages the readers attention from page one. The plot is fresh, fun and engrossing, the mix of the super sexy enemies to lovers story and a thrilling edge of your seat sub-plot of getting Cara’s home back this book has it all. The thing that really caught my attention with it was the interactions between Cara and Alessandro, they go through so many emotions and as the reader you feel it too. At times it is heated, sexy and passionate and then there is when Cara literally hold a dagger to the deadly mercenary’s heart – she has got real pluck. Ms Bateman has created a wonderful story that really has you at the edge of your seat, her writing is strong, articulate and engaging and I can not wait to read more from this new to me author.
I do love this book, I have always had a soft spot for this era and I am so pleased that I got the chance to read this one. For those that love the likes of Gabriella Kimm then I can guarantee that you will love this too and if you haven’t read an Italian Renaissance era story, then read this. It is marvellous!
An incredibly sexy and mesmerising book that will hook you with a devil of a lead man 😉
This was a complimentary copy via the author in exchange for an honest review.
The Devil To Pay is available now and can be purchased from Amazon.
Major Matthew Southam returns from India, hoping to put the trauma of war behind him and forget his past. Instead, he finds a derelict estate and a family who wish he’d died abroad.
Charlotte MacKinnon married without love to avoid her father’s unpleasant choice of husband. Now a widow with a young son, she lives in a small Cotswold village with only the money she earns by her writing.
Matthew is haunted by his past, and Charlotte is fearful of her father’s renewed meddling in her future. After a disastrous first meeting, can they help each other find happiness?
Well this is truly wonderful, I am simply amazed at the quality of this debut and will definitely be reading more from Jayne Davies. I was instantly hooked from the prologue which is basically a brief look into why the hero is how is, I make it no secret how much I love a vulnerable, troubled veteran and this one is a beautifully crafted one who will pull at your heartstrings. I loved those first few pages during the bloody war, it reminded me of a Bernard Cornwall book. It was honest and gritty and instantly made me sit up and take notice.
Our very unlikely hero; Major Matthew Southam returns from the war in India, he is basically a wreck of the man he was, emotionally anyway. He has seen and experienced way too much to ever have peace of mind with his wonderfully adapt Sergeant Webb at his side Matthew is forced to face having to take on the responsibility of an unwanted title and estate, pus having to navigate his way around a family who hoped he had died in the war as they have been helping themselves to his fortune for years. Matthew wants nothing more than to lock himself away with a drink…and another drink and try to forget everything or just to drink himself into a stupor he may never wake up from, which ever comes first. Anyone who has read any of my reviews will know how much I love a good war hero, and Matthew is a wonderfully flawed character, how he suffers from his experience from the war is heart-wrenching.
Thank goodness for Sergeant Webb, who really is a miracle worker. This intelligent, conniving and fun man really takes control of Matthews life, he takes care of him and subtly manoeuvres him around where he needs to be. I was very taken with this Webb, he has a real charm and wit, for an extra he certainly stood out to me.
Charlotte MacKinnon is a widow, living a quiet life that is until her mother dies and suddenly she and her son are thrust into her malicious father’s gaze. The only reason Charlotte entered into her loveless marriage was to escape the marriage her father had proposed for her. To make ends-meat and make certain that she can always provide for her young son, she writes charming children’s stories and she has a column in the local newspaper. I do really admire Charlotte she has forged this life for herself, she is resilient and determined that her manipulative father doesn’t get his hands on her son. She is strong willed, intelligent and caring she takes no-nonsense form anyone.
They may not appear at the first like peas in a pod, but there is something very magical about them. They both have not just personal issues with family getting in the way of them doing what they need to. But they do work well together, they bring out the lightness that has disappeared in their lives and I think it is rather beautifully done. Matthew needs someone special in his life that will love him and help him move forward from the horrors of his war past and Charlotte needs a man who will truly love her for herself and who will help her when her malicious father returns into her life.
For me though, the star of the show is definitely Webb, he is such a fun and magical character who can really make you laugh and sigh. This is a wonderfully different story that has reall heart to it. Their is darkness and passion in equal amounts, the charming characters draw the readers into their lives and you are gripped by the intricate and engaging story. Ms Davis has a stylish and articulate writing style that really captures the readers attention and I Cannot wait to read more from her.
This was a complimentary copy via the author in exchange for an honest review.
The Mrs MacKinnons is available now and can be purchased at Amazon.