Book Reviews

The Days of Elijah by John Noble

My edition: Kindle Unlimited
Pages: 233
Standalone
Genre: Biblical Fiction
Published: Sept. 10, 2018
Rating: 2 stars

Synopsis:

Elijah’s friends are dead, and without a miracle, he’s next.

Elijah is a young prophet studying the Torah, when the soldiers of Queen Jezebel burn his school and massacre his teachers. He escapes, barely, but finds himself on the run and hunted as Queen Jezebel attempts to stamp out the worship of the Hebrew God in Israel and replace it with the worship of Ba’al.

As the queen’s soldiers close in on him, Elijah discovers a little known promise in the Scroll of Deuteronomy and prays for something impossible – that God would turn the skies to bronze and stop the rain on the kingdom that has abandoned Him.

And God says yes.

As drought and famine grip the cloudless land of Israel, God tells Elijah to hide and sends him to the land of Tyre, to a widow and her son who are on the edge of starvation. In Tyre Elijah finds a darkness at the heart of the city, a darkness that threatens to consume Israel next. But even if he survives, will Israel listen to his warning?

This is a re-imagining of the story of Elijah from the Bible.

Review:

To find Elijah’s story 1 Kings 17-19; 2 Kings 1-2

Trigger warning: Involves child sacrifice

Elijah is one of my favorite OT prophets. When I saw this book, I jumped on it. Then I saw it was on KU and my excitement when through the roof. I quickly grabbed it and started reading.

To say I was disappointed would be a correct statement. While this book is an easy read with less than 250 pages, I could have had it done in a day. The reason that did not happen was due to the writing. I didn’t feel like I was in Ancient Israel. The world-building wasn’t the best either. I wish there were more descriptions of the surroundings. The dialogue sounded modern. It took me out of the story.

It sucks because like I said Elijah is one of my favorites but this re-imagine of his life events fell flat.

I do have a trigger warning that I will not hide with a spoilers tag. This does include child sacrifice which many pagan religions are extremely known for doing during this time. It was a hard scene for me to get through and even harder to read Dema’s reaction to Elijah being sickened by it.

Book Reviews

In Pursuit of a Gentleman by Arlem Hawks

My edition: Kindle Unlimited
Pages: 114
Series: Forever After Retelling #6
Genre: Historical Romance, Retelling, Regency
Published: Nov. 20, 2019
Rating: 2.5 stars

Synopsis:

He’s running from love. Can she outfox him?

Andrew Backus was never supposed to be an heir. But with the possibility of a fine inheritance looming, every Society matron is throwing her daughters at him in hopes to catch the careless dandy. Unfortunately for them all, Andrew will not be caught and dragged into the responsibilities of matrimony.

The youngest of nine children, Isabella Todd longs for a match that would finally make her parents and Society take notice of her. When she crosses paths with Mr. Backus, she realizes a marriage to him could give her the desired recognition and she hatches a plot to snare the heir before he suspects.

Acting the part of friend, Isabella unintentionally falls for the fun-loving Andrew rather than his expected fortune. When he uncovers her plot just before Christmas, Andrew must decide if he can believe the truth of her love before her parents call her to London for their own schemes.

Review:

Well, I wasn’t much for this one. I didn’t really like Isabella. I kind of feel like she took advantage of Andrew. She started being like all the other ladies. And for what, so her parents would notice her. Ick.

Book Reviews

Maiden in the Tower by Heidi Kimball

My edition: Kindle Unlimited
Pages: 92
Series: Forever After Retelling #5
Genre: Historical Romance, Retelling
Published: April 8, 2019
Rating: 3 stars

Synopsis:

He’s the first man she’s ever met. She’s the exact opposite of the woman he’s supposed to marry.

Lisette Hunt has been hidden away her entire life, with nothing but a large window up in the cottage turret to give her a glimpse of the outside world. Until Gerry Worthington stumbles into her garden in search of his runaway dog. 

As a second son, Gerry has never seen the need to take life too seriously. Less than pleased with his frivolity, his mother orders him to marry a woman of means and banishes him to his family’s small, rundown estate. Unfortunately, innocent and penniless Lisette is the very opposite of what he needs.

But Gerry cannot resist the mystery surrounding Lisette, and soon he can no longer resist Lisette and her endearing peculiarity. As Gerry slowly opens Lisette’s eyes to a larger world, she begins to open her heart to him. However, when Gerry uncovers the truth about who Lisette really is, it may cost them a chance at happiness together.

Review:

Gerry comes across a cottage on his land and meets a mysterious woman. Lisette has only known the cottage and Dorthea all her life. Of course, there is their benefactress Lady Garrick who said if Lisette ever left she would leave them penniless. Gerry is trying to figure out who Lisette’s benefactress is and why she didn’t want Lisette to leave.

This is a quick read. I started to get a little bored towards the end, but I think that has more to do with the fact I’m starting to get burnt out of my historical romance mood.

Book Reviews

The Steadfast Heart by Arlem Hawks

My edition: Kindle Unlimited
Pages: 128
Series: Forever After Retelling #3
Genre: Historical Romance, Retelling
Published: Feb. 27, 2019
Rating: 3 stars

Synopsis:

A broken sailor looking for a purpose, a jilted lady longing for the past, and a chance at happiness neither expected.

After losing his foot in battle, Lieutenant Robert Brenton can’t find his place in the navy or society, where he fears he is seen only as a cripple. He retires to his small estate to find peace, not anticipating the distraction awaiting him.

Holly Addison has the world at her feet, until her prized beau cancels their engagement and ruins her reputation. Banished to Cornwall, she finds herself a guest in Robert’s run-down manor by the sea. She writes repeatedly to her former love, trying to persuade him to take her back to society. But Robert’s charm and simple life make her consider what she really wants—a life of excess, or a life of meaning.

As time runs out on their chance to be together, both are forced to examine their hearts and uncover a strength neither knew they had.

Review:

At first, I didn’t think I was going to like Holly. She seemed to be the typical spoiled debutant at the height of Society. When the man she is engaged to breaks off the engagement and ruins her reputation, she is sent to Cornwall.

I didn’t think there for a long time I would like Holly but I did end up liking her. The story was good. I kind of hoped for a little bit more in the end when it came to Mr. Pelhem and what happens to him. He was a drat scoundrel for sure. But a good quick read.

Book Reviews

Beauty and the Baron by Joanna Barker

My edition: Kindle Unlimited
Pages: 121
Series: Forever After Retellings #1
Genre: Retelling, Regency, Historical Romance
Published: Jan. 15, 2019
Rating: 3 stars

Synopsis:

A penniless maid determined to save her father, a broken baron bent on isolation, and the undeniable draw between them that will lead to happiness—or disaster. 

Rose Sinclair has run out of options. With her father in prison and their bookshop sold to pay his debts, she has no choice but to turn to Henry Covington, the Baron Norcliffe. But the baron has more than earned his harsh reputation, and Rose must face his wrath in order to save her father—and herself.

Since the deaths of his parents, Henry Covington has isolated himself from society, ensuring the solitude of his estate with his deliberate callousness. However, when the beautiful Miss Sinclair appears on his doorstep, begging for a chance to repay her father’s debt to him, a moment of weakness finds him offering her a position—as a maid in his own house.

They both soon learn that first impressions are not to be believed. Henry is surprised—and intrigued—by Rose’s optimistic charm, while Rose slowly uncovers Henry’s true self, his compassion concealed behind the pain of loss and betrayal. But when a shadow from Henry’s past returns, their newfound hope is tested. They must decide for themselves who to trust—and what they will risk for their happily ever after.  

Review:

The beast is not in physical form but in personality. Henry has shut people out of his life since the passing of his parents. Rose goes to Henry asking for a position to pay off the debt her father has with him. He allows her to become a maid.

This is a quick and cute read. I loved it. Wish it was a bit longer but it’s meant for a quick read. While it has romance it also has a tiny bit of drama from Henry’s past. I loved it and will move on to the next book.

Book Reviews

A Stolen Heart by Clarissa Kae

My edition: Kindle Unlimited
Pages: 226
Series: Victorian Retelling #3 Finale
Genre: Historical, Romance, Retelling, Robin Hood
Published: Jan 29, 2022
Rating: 2.5 stars

Synopsis:

Nikolas Whitworth, the Earl of Rochelle, is handsome, charming—and a traitor. He can outwit and outcon any Englishman, or Englishwoman for that matter. When his debts are called in, a savior appears, the criminal mastermind known only as the Tailor. Nikolas is bought and sold, his future no longer his.

Abandoned as a baby because of her heart condition, Rosalyn Devereaux trusts no one. She secretly dresses as a stableboy to inspect the horses and place bets. Without fail, her chosen horse wins.

When the Tailor orders Nikolas to kidnap the mysterious stableboy, he discovers the beguiling Rosalyn. He is captivated and utterly smitten, but Rosalyn refuses to be a pawn in the Tailor’s schemes.

Nikolas has a plan to escape, but can Rosalyn trust her future—and possibly her heart—to a conman?

Review:

Spoilers if not read the previous two books.

Our author sure loves her MCs with disabilities/scars. Rosalyn has a heart condition. Nikolas was shot at the end of the second book. Nikolas also, at the end of the second book revealed that he has been in love before with a woman named Rosalyn. This is a second chance story.

I wasn’t as into this book as I was in the previous two. The MCs weren’t together as much as the others. I wanted to see more romance blossom but it seemed as if the heroine wanted to stay away as much as she could while at the same time being near the hero.

The tailor aspect was lackluster when it should have been more intriguing than in the previous books. I just don’t necessarily know how I feel about this book. When the heroine is given an opportunity to help the crown and instead of looking at it as getting close to someone who can help out the poor she snubs it. Nikolas snubs the rich but he tends to forget that his father was raised in a position making Nikolas part of the rich. Whether he likes it or even sees it, he is part of that society. Instead of making a difference, he gambled his money away.

Another reason I don’t think I liked this one as much is due to me not liking either of the MCs. I can understand Rosalyn and her deals, but I don’t understand Nikolas who in previous books seems to be a rich arrogant person. Everything you think of Nikolas in previous books seems to go against what he thinks in this book. Sometimes it’s also hard to determine what is a flashback and what is present. Or at least it was for me.

This was going to be a three-star but the ending ruined the book for me. I think everything was wrapped up fast. I just wasn’t feeling this book.

Book Reviews

Cinders Like Glass by Clarissa Kae

My edition: Kindle Unlimited
Pages: 228
Series: Victorian Retelling #2
Genre: Historical, Romance, Mystery
Published: August 15, 2021
Rating: 4 STARS

Synopsis:

Grieving her father’s sudden death, Lady Ada Whitworth’s childhood stutter resurfaces. She seeks solace in her charcoal sketches secretly published in London’s Thames & Times newspaper. Her brother’s sharp tongue and quick temper shame Lady Ada into complete silence but not before she overhears his traitorous plot to kill the queen at the upcoming International Ball.

Mute and heartbroken, Lady Ada’s private pain is mistaken for arrogance, earning the ire of society.The Duke of Girard is tasked with sniffing out the elusive French spy called Tailor while an anonymous artist pokes fun at the duke’s failed pursuit, taunting him every step of the way. With the upcoming International Ball just weeks away, the Duke will stop at nothing to bring stability back to his beloved Britain-including finding the artist behind the sketches.

When Lady Ada’s accused brother disappears, she becomes the target of the Duke’s wrath, assuming her silence is from guilt, not grief. To loosen her tongue, the Duke demands Lady Ada be interrogated at his estate, a home hidden in the wild Welsh countryside. She sweeps the chimney, launders her clothes and helps the cook-she will do anything but speak to the Duke.

Lady Ada’s quiet service softens the Duke, his mind often turning to thoughts of her. But can he earn Lady Ada’s trust in time to save the queen?

Review:

If you have not read the first book, I highly suggest that you do. While the MCs are different it still follows the mystery line from the first book. Lord Rochelle also is a big play in this book.

I love the stutter aspect with Lady Ada. The mystery thickens on who the Tailor is and what he wants. A few more nobles are introduced and you don’t know who to trust after the ending.

I hope we get to see more of the ton in the next book. I want to see more of court since I have a thing for court drama. I’m glad that the author has done her research on not only the technology that was available at the time but also the dress. While on Goodreads main tag page, this is listed regency, it’s actually not. The regency era of Britain is 1811-1820. This is set after the regency era so I don’t know why on Goodreads it’s listed as a regency. This is fully victorian and you can tell by what the characters are wearing to the technology. This is another reason why I love that the author did her research. If you are extremely knowledgeable about the era, you don’t need the date to tell you nor do you need the series title to tell you.

I wonder if the next book is the final or if there is more to come. But it is Nikolas’s book and I don’t know quite how I feel about Nikolas.

Book Reviews

A Dark Beauty by Clarissa Kae

My edition: Kindle Unlimited
Pages: 216
Series: Victorian Retelling #1
Genre: Historical, Victorian, Romance, Fairy-tale retelling
Published: March 7, 2021
Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis:

A Victorian Twist on Beauty And The Beast

Bold and brilliant, Georgiana has a gift for fixing machines—from clocks to carriages—while her father has a penchant for finding trouble. In an accidental fire, Georgiana and her father scar the once handsome face of Lord Pichon, cousin to the queen.

Rumors of Georgiana’s gift raise her family’s status. Her incomparable beauty captures the eye of many gentlemen and the wrath of Lord Pichon. Abandoned by his peers and alone in his cold castle, Lord Pichon is determined to enact revenge.

When Georgiana’s father makes a terrible mistake, she sacrifices herself to pay his debt—as a lowly maid in Lord Pichon’s castle.

Her wit and warmth begin to thaw Lord Pichon’s estate, making him question his version of the past. Will her kindness break the beastly lord or will he hold her family hostage forever?

Review:

I liked this more than I thought I would. I had two dull books before this (one DNF and a one-star) so my hopes weren’t entirely high. But I soldiered on to find out that I actually really like this.

Both MCs, Dominic and Georgiana, are scarred. They were harmed in a fire that took the life of Georgiana’s sister. In this retelling though, the father is so not worth the daughter’s sacrifice. He’s non-existent in her life. He so does not deserve her loyalty.

I love the mystery aspect of this as well. This also goes into the next book which is a Cinderella retelling who has a heroine that has a stutter. I’m looking forward to that.

Book Reviews

A Convenient Engagement by Ashtyn Newbold

My edition: Kindle Unlimited
Pages: 184
Series: Brides of Brighton #1
Genre: Historical, Regency, Romance, Fake Fiance
Published: Oct. 20, 2018
Rating: 4

Synopsis:

A false engagement. A mysterious coast. Two reluctant hearts.

Much to her father’s dismay, Miss Amelia Buxton aspires to become a spinster, just like her eccentric aunt. Growing up with parents who married for every reason but love, she has never seen a joyful marriage. When Amelia requests a summer trip to the legendary waters of Brighton, her father allows her the excursion, but with one requirement: she must return engaged, or agree to the proposal of the man of his choosing.

Crawling with tourists, Brighton is not the town Adam Claridge once loved. When his sister Eleanor disappears without warning, Adam is desperate to bring her home. In his search, he happens upon Miss Amelia Buxton, a young tourist that proves vital in his search for Eleanor. But Amelia is conducting a search of her own—a search for a husband—and Adam has little choice but to offer a fair trade: he will play the role of Amelia’s betrothed in exchange for her assistance in finding Eleanor.

Convenient at first, Amelia and Adam’s arrangement quickly plummets into disarray. Falling in love had not been part of their bargain.

A Convenient Engagement is a sweet and clean regency romance novel.

Review:

Amelia is from Nottingham. Her father is overbearing while her aunt is free. In order to go to Brighton, Amelia makes a deal with her father. She will return engaged or she will marry the man her father picked.

Amelia goes to Brighton with her Aunt Margeret and a maid named Fanny. They have a run-in with Adam on the beach. A man whose sister is missing and his father is ill. Quickly Amelia agrees to help Adam in finding his sister, while Adam agrees to be Amelia’s fake fiance.

What is one thing I love about historical romances? The flirting. I enjoyed Amelia’s sarcastic insults as well. We have lost such good language when it comes to insults and flirting nowadays. Plus what happened to the courtship? Dating is overrated. If I wasn’t married, I’d make a man court me. Also, I wouldn’t mind dressing in regency clothes.

I did find in the author’s note that she was inspired by the real-life dipper Martha Gunn. I did not know that Brighton at one point in history was known for a cure in its waters. I loved finding out about that. I do plan on moving forward with this series. I have a few more books to read but I will love to return for a visit to the Brighton waters in the near future.