Audio Review: A Knight in Shining Armor (Montgomery, Book 16) by Jude Deveraux

A Knight in Shining ArmorHeroine: Dougless Montgomery is unhappy but fighting it. She’s determined to make her relationship with a man, who on paper is a great catch. In reality, he’s a douchebag who takes his bitterness about her trust-fund wealth out on her, while pretending he isn’t. He plays just enough of the lover to string her along, but he takes pleasure hurting her feelings and expectations. So is isn’t so surprising to learn, that a romantic trip for two, becomes a miserable nightmare when he insists his daughter tags along, which turns Dougless into the third wheel. Eventually, she snaps on the trip after an encounter with the nasty daughter, and runs weeping into a historic church. Her tears bring to life a man dead 400 years.

Hero: Nicholas Stafford, Earl of Thornwyck, a sixteenth-century knight, is not pleased to be pulled by magic to stand before a strange weeping woman. She is obviously a witch and he must return home because her trickery is too bizarre to contemplate. He especially wants to get back in time to his rightful place to clear his name of the slander of treason and find out who betrayed him to the Queen. He’s convinced staying near the witch woman will eventually send him back, if he helps cure what ails her. But being close to her and learning about her world change his heart forever.

Review: I really can’t stand it when a heroine stays with a fellow who is so obviously bad for her because she fears societal pressures or being alone. I am really unsympathetic toward her situation because she perpetuated it herself. It felt like a huge portion of the book was spent showcasing just how bad her current boyfriend was before the hero was introduced. Thank goodness Audible’s app has the ability to double and triple time the reading speed.

Once the hero is introduced the story and romance crackle like wild fire and take off just as fast. I loved their interactions, I loved the hero’s attempts to learn and understand modern society, I loved how they plan a future and the magic of time strips it from them. I especially loved when the heroine goes back in time to a point prior to him jumping forward and the hero had to fall for her a second time. Angsty and delicious. So much good stuff happened in the past. I really loved how both parties jumped and learned about the other’s time period and life.

BUT!!!!

Why is it that the hero and heroine do not actually wind up together? I do not care for this look-alike nonsense at all. Very frustrating. Extremely frustrating. Everything was great until “Bam!” Time separates them permanently and that’s it. No more time pretzels to bring the hero forward or the heroine backward. Not cool. It’s not the same, because the hero’s physical twin or reincarnation or whatever does not have the hero’s memories.

Narrator: Steve West, had a great voice. Had to turn the reading speed up though because he reads very slow and precisely. It’s very British in its reading in a good way, especially sped up a bit. I loved his accent.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: A Knight in Shining Armor

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Review: Heartwishes by Jude Deveraux

Reviewed by Susan S.

Edilean Series: Book Six

Heartwishes combines a charming setting with an intriguing plot, and then sprinkles it with a magical feel; presenting you with a comfort read you just can’t put down.

Summary: Gemma Ranford, heroine, was hired to piece together the family history for one of Edilean’s founding families-The Fraziers. Gemma relishes reading documents dating back to sixteenth century England. Perhaps working for Mrs. Frazier will help her decide on a dissertation topic.

As Ranford’s research progresses, two things will occur. She’ll uncover documents relating to a magical stone, and acknowledge her growing desire for the Frazier’s eldest son and Edilean’s sheriff, Colin. A professional thief now means to acquire the Heartwishes Stone; placing Gemma in harm’s way. But what about the repercussions of her involvement with her employer’s son? There’s the wrath of Colin’s former-maybe-current girlfriend (Jean), the possibility of being unemployed, disappointing Mrs. Frazier, losing credence with her adviser, not to mention, giving the town gossipmongers a new topic of discussion. Gemma has only one question to answer. Is love worth everything she’s risking?

Review: Heartwishes is the first novel I’ve read from the Edilean Series. I enjoyed it so much- my next course of action is to read Scarlet Nights. Would it have anything to do with the hero being a detective, and my loving novels with law enforcement officers? Don’t look at me! I’m not telling.

Because Heartwishes causes flare-ups of can’t-stop-reading-itis, I’m recommending you drink at least one heavily caffeinated drink “before” reading this novel. The most common symptom of my can’t-stop-reading-itis is the what ifs curiosity. And boy, did I suffer into the wee hours of the night. What if the antagonist finds the Heartwishes Stone? What if it really does have magical properties? What if Jean hurts Gemma in a jealous rage? Then again, what if Colin hurts Dr. Aldredge because of his own blinding jealousy? After all, the good ol’ doctor isn’t old at all. He’s gorgeous, smart, has dark black hair, blue eyes, and likes Gemma very much. All right, I’m being too polite. He’s freakin’ hot!

My Favorite Characters: Dr. Tristan Aldredge and Shamus Frazier

Why? Because Tristan is freakin’ hot. Lol. Actually, he’s also very attentive to people’s needs, is a great listener, can help you when you’re sick, and it doesn’t hurt that he’s easy on the eyes.

Colin’s youngest brother, the artist, has real depth. He’s a young man with few words and a big compassionate heart. I fell in love with him. Instantly!

Favorite Scenes:

Number 1: Colin’s dad is at home in Virginia, while his mom is in California visiting her daughter, Ariel. They find out Shamus is missing and they call Colin at the same time. One’s on the cell, the other is on the home phone. Colin places both phones together so they can scream at each other (while they pass the blame).

Number 2: When Tristan kisses Gemma in front of Colin.

Number 3: (The kitchen scene). Gemma’s in the kitchen hiding. When one by one, the Frazier men make their way into the kitchen. She gives them mashed potato lollipops. (Think what happens when you swirl a spoon into mashed potatoes.) All’s well until Mrs. Frazier discovers them and proceeds to berate them.

Others in the Series:

  1. Scarlet Nights
  2. Days of Gold
  3. Lavender Morning
  4. Promises Novella by Vook
  5. The Scent of Jasmine

Review-O-Meter Rating: ★★★★★

Buy: Heartwishes: An Edilean Novel (Edilean Book 6)

Atria Books, A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., Copyright 2011, Hardcover, Print Pages 363, Contemporary Romantic Fiction, ISBN-13# 978-1-4391-0800-0.

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Reader Highlight: Dhympna

How long have you been reading romance novels? What got you started?

I have been reading romance since I can remember. I remember sneaking off with my mum’s copy of Johanna Lindsey’s Silver Angel and any other historical I could get my hands on. I had always been a voracious reader so it is difficult to pin point what got me started. I know my first adult fiction was probably Ray Bradbury. I have been reading an odd mix of science fiction, fantasy, romance, and mystery books since I was about ten years old.

What are your favorite romance subgenres?

I will read any type of romance, but my preference would probably be historical romance. That being said, I am also the toughest on historical romance because I am a historian. I believe that what firmly differentiates a well written historical book from fantasy is research and a sensitivity to historical accuracy. I am not saying that a writer cannot play with the facts–what I mean is that using colloquial phrases or having a character eating corn in medieval England will probably irritate me to no end.  If a writer does not hold true to the period that she has has set her book in, then I will be tough on the book.

What author do you have the most books written by?
Oh jeez. I admit that I have oodles of books. Sharon Shinn, Tanya Huff, Sara Douglass, and Tanya Huff have their own bookcase for the most part. I never really had to buy many romance novels because our library was always well stocked or I would snag whatever my mum had. But if I had to count them at the moment I would have to say Sherrilyn Kenyon. But those books are on three different shelves (lack of organization on my part) Jim Butcher would probably be close tie in terms of number.

I tend to sample various authors for romance. I also tend to prefer “vintage” Harlequins. My grandmother used to buy me sacks full of early Harlequins.

Which do you like more: finishing a book or starting a new one?

Hmm I do not particularly prefer either. I like being absorbed in a book. A good book leaves you wanting more and there is a palpable sense of loss when you finish a really good book. When you start a book there is the excitement of entering into the unknown.

What do you look for in a heroine?
It is easier for me to say what I don’t like. I cannot stand whiny heroines. If a heroine grows up through the book, then that is fine. But if she is whiny and bratty–yuck. In series, I hate it when heroines are constantly being referred to as tiny and doll-like. This usually causes me to snort with derision.

What makes up your idea of the perfect hero?
I don’t really have a perfect hero. I like them to run the gamut. Wait. I may like the bad boys. Hmm maybe bad boys and warrior types. I have been on a Viking kick lately. I have been getting tired of the Regency and other early modern Historical Romances. I have not yet found a really kick ass Viking tale. Admittedly, I have not been looking that hard.

What is your favorite part of a romance novel?

I like the discovery bits. When the hero and heroine are learning about each other. The first awkward steps towards true wuv. :)

What is your secret guilty plot or character type that you love beyond reason?

Sigh. I admit that I like the poor heroine to be kidnapped, stolen, sold off. I think my mum had too many books by Deveraux and Rosemary Rogers with plots like that. Ooo harems and concubines. Hmm Viking tale with stolen female plunder? heh. I grew up with a taste for forced seduction and still like it.

For fun share two truths and one false fact about yourself.

  • I am planning the greatest shapeshifter beaver romance that will ever be written.
  • I am easily bribed with cheese and wine.
  • I run a Twilight fan club.

Whew! Normally I pose the hard questions. I try to post an interview with an author or artist every weekend.

Find Dhympna at Culinary Carnival!

Review: The Heiress by Jude Deveraux

bookreview

The Heiress by Jude Deveraux started off exceptionally well in my opinion but tapered off into mediocrity and stayed there after the jumpstart. It’s too bad that it did that as my initial impressions of the novel were four out of five stars. The editing felt choppy in the middle and was completely disconnected towards the end. There was a distinct lack of transitions between scenes and as I read I felt like I was missing the good parts, the parts that tied everything together.

It was hard to feel for the characters after the initial start as well. There was no chemistry between the two of them in the end and that’s what killed the book. I kept reading though hoping it would turn around and be the amazing story it started off as. No such luck.

Axia has forever been stigmatized by her fortune. When people first meet her, they dismiss her, but that soon changes when they hear about how she is the Maidenhall Heiress. Their entire demeanor would do a one eighty. Men previously uninterested would turn fawning gazes her way and declare their undying love and devotion. For once Axia would love to be wanted, needed, and desired for who she was rather than how much money she represents.

James, call him Jamie, Montgomery is a dirt-poor Elizabethan knight. He inherited his brother’s earldom after his death to a fever. Unfortunately for James, his brother had gambled away everything leaving the family with nothing and no way to support themselves. James had responsibilities to the tenets whose land had once been Montgomery before his brother’s debts, his withdrawn mother, blind twin sister, and tomboy younger sister. So when Maidenhall offered to pay him to escort his daughter Axia to her betrothed, James said yes.

But then his sisters found out and hatched a plan to use Jame’s beauty to save them from destitution. He would woo the Maidenhall Heiress while she was under his charge and convince her to marry him instead of the man she was betrothed too. However Axia outsmarts James and convinces her beautiful cousin to play the part of heiress to allow Axia freedom on the journey. The tale is a topsy-turvy ride through layers of deception, intrigue, and desperation.

Rating: 2 Stars