Book Reviews

The Miller’s Girl by Nina Clare

My edition: Kindle Unlimited
Pages: 332
Stand Alone
Genre: YA, Fairy tale retelling
Published: April 16, 2017
Rating: 2.5 stars

Synopsis:

Once upon a time there was a foolish miller who claimed his daughter could spin straw into gold…

All Adela wants is to keep her family together, keep a roof over her brothers’ heads, put food on the table, and not draw attention to herself – for she’s no time for suitors.

But all that is shattered when she’s dragged from the village by a greedy king and ordered to spin straw into gold – or die. Suddenly life has become very dangerous, and which impending fate is worse – execution or a forced marriage to a mad, old king?

It will take faith, courage, and otherworldly help for Adela to outwit those who would destroy her and her loved ones. And a happy ending is something she can only hope for.

Review:

Adela is the daughter of the village miller. She has three brothers Lukas, Herbil, and Six. Her father is a drunk who spends all their money. Adela has several suitors after her, one being the bailiff who works for the king and collects their monthly fee. When the bailiff comes to collect, Adela outwits him with the terms of the contract between miller and king. They have two weeks to get the monthly fee along with the late fees as well.

Prince Johann has returned to govern in his father’s place. His father is slowly losing his mind. (My guess is dementia.)

I wasn’t really a fan of this story. I was kind of bored through most of it. About the 70% I just skimmed to the end and read the ending. It took a long time before the romance started and by then I wasn’t invested in either Adela or Johann.

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

The Captain and Miss Winter by Sally Britton

My edition: Kindle Unlimited
Pages: 102
Series: Forever After Retelling #2
Genre: Historical Romance, Regency, Retelling
Published: Feb. 5th, 2019
Rating: 3 stars

Synopsis:

A captain seeking to repair the past and the daughter of a fallen gentleman, searching for a treasure that will change their lives forever.

The end of the Napoleonic wars comes as a relief to Caspar Graysmark, but before he can settle into the comfortable life of an English lord he has a duty to the people of France. A treasure lies hidden in the heart of the forest, stolen gold that would save the lives of many who lost everything during the war. In his quest, Caspar stumbles across a hidden cottage in the woods, and a different sort of treasure altogether.

Scarlett, living with her sister and grandmother, belongs nowhere. Her father’s mistakes led to their exile from England and their banishment into the forest. The cold winter months have taken their toll on Scarlett’s spirits and her grandmother’s health. The Englishman who arrives at Scarlett’s door, looking more like a bear than a captain of the British army, reminds her of all she lost to the war.

With winter drawing to a close, Caspar must find the missing gold, but his quest to right the wrongs of war has changed. Can Scarlett let him rescue her, too?

Review:

Little did I know when I started this series that all the books have different authors. I just grabbed the first one and then went down the line without really paying attention.

Out in the middle of the woods, Casper comes across a cottage where Scarlett is staying with her grandmother and sister. Casper is in search of some gold that he wants to return to the people. Scarlett’s father left them in a bad situation.

Again, another cute novella. Short and to the point. Had some action and a bit of treasure hunting. I do like the MCs together.

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

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

Queen of Snow: A Snow Queen Retelling by Laura Burton & Jessie Cal

My edition: Kindle Unlimited
Pages: 157
Series: Fairy Tales Reimagined #1
Genre: Fairy-tale retelling, Fantasy, Romance
Published: March 2, 2021
Rating: 1 stars

Synopsis:

Before she was The Snow Queen… she was a Princess on the run.

Princess Aria has one goal: collect the mirror shards to the Mirror of Reason to create a portal that will take her far away from the Chanted Kingdom. Before The Evil Queen kills her like she did to Aria’s family.

But when Jack Smith from Oxford stumbles into her life through a portal in his grandfather’s study, there’s something familiar about him. A connection so strong, she can’t ignore.

Jack is not only shocked to discover that fairytales are real, but confused as to why a pirate is after him.

So, if he wants to survive in this foreign land, and return home, he needs to help Aria complete the Mirror of Reason.

But as Aria struggles to control her ice powers, something awakens inside of Jack.

As his heart stirs for the young Princess, he cannot help but wonder if he’s found his true home, after all? 

Review:

I can’t tell you the last time I 1 stared a book.

Jack is from our world. More specifically, England. At his grandfather’s funeral, Jack sees a woman dressed in white. Then at the wake, Jack finds a mirror in his grandfather’s study where he sees the woman again. Suddenly, he falls through the mirror. He meets Aria who is trying to collect shards of the Mirror of Reason.

I can’t tell you what really transpired throughout the book. Things happened but not a full thought was put behind why they happened if that makes sense. Characters made choices and the reasoning behind them wasn’t fully flushed out I guess that would be a better way of saying it. And of course the worst part of this… insta love.

I can’t even tell you what drew these two together. To be honest, I skipped half of this book after the whole her showing him the mirror which shows one’s true form or something to read the ending. If this was drawn out more and the characters had depth, I think it would have been a decent read. But when my brain immediately starts forgetting what happens while reading, not good.

Sorry just not for me.

Book Reviews

The Barnyard Princess by Katherine Macdonald

My edition: Kindle Unlimited
Pages: 202
Standalone
Genre: YA, Fairy-tale retelling, Fantasy
Published: April 23, 2020
Rating: 4 star

Synopsis:

During the annual peace talks, Princess Elodie is less than amused to discover that her childhood nemesis, the arrogant-yet-charming Prince Bastien, has been turned into a frog. Blessed by fairies at birth, Princess Elodie can speak to animals and is now the only one who can help Bastien break the curse before his father declares war on her kingdom. With the help of their servants, Henry and Matilde, and her equally-blessed sisters, they set off on a quest to restore Bastien to his former self, but it is her feelings towards him that begin to reverse.

A charming, lighthearted fairy tale retelling, full of romance and delightful witty banter.

Review:

Even though this is a frog Prince retelling, I feel like there are elements from other fairy tales added in.

Most people thought these were fine gifts. Who didn’t love beauty, after all? People with sense, Elodie would retort. People that can see that beauty is superficial, that it’s all anyone ever seems to notice of a person, and reduces others to simpering fools.

Elodie and Bastien have been nemesis since they attended their first peace talks. Bastien made fun of Elodie’s gifts which were granted to her by three fairies at birth. One of the gifts happened to be talking with animals. This gift comes helpful when Bastien turns up a frog after the first day of peace talks between kingdoms.

Bastien at first seemed like a crappy hero. I ended up liking the bickering between Elodie and Bastien. I just love bickering like this. Super cute and easy to read. This may even be put on my reread list. That’s how cute it was.