Review: Once Upon a Kiss (Book Club Belles Society, Book 1) by Jayne Fresina

once upon a kissHero: Darius Wainright doesn’t know it, but the ladies of the local book society of Hawcombe Prior have labeled him a real-life Mr. Darcy. He doesn’t have plans for matrimony, he just wants to sort his uncle’s things, sell the house, and leave for society as quickly as possible, but all that changes when he realizes who is in town — that young lady who jumped on him in his bed one year ago in Bath.

Heroine: Not only does Justina Penny not understand her friend’s fascination with Darius Wainright, but she doesn’t understand the appeal of the priggish brute Mr. Darcy. Clearly Mr. Wickham is the hero of Pride and Prejudice. So while she has her sights set on a certain local captain, Jussy plans to help her sister snag Darius… only things don’t quite go as planned as Darius Wainright is the WRONG MAN she encountered a year ago.

Review: Jussy is a fun heroine to read due to her misadventures. She loves a good romp, a fast dash, and a delicious escapade here and there. Her parents have no hope for her to get married and rely on their other daughter to make a great catch. Justina is virtually overlooked when compared to her sister – that is until her scrapes call attention to her unladylike ways. Darius catches her in two scrapes involving his property and decides to teach her a lesson which leads to quite a lot of fun and misadventure. Darius draws on Mr. Darcy in a number of ways, but is still a unique character. Like Justina, he grew up under the shadow of his sibling, but whereas Jussy’s sister is kind, his brother was not. Darius has never been comfortable around women and had to go to great lengths to overcome a strong stutter. Around Jussy, he gets tongue-tied and that my dear readers makes him all the more adorable. I fully recommend this book and consider it one of the best reads of the year.

Rating: ★★★★★

Buy: Once Upon a Kiss (Book Club Belles Society)

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Review: The Ringmaster’s Daughter (The Foxhall Series, Book 1) by Grace Elliott

ringmaster's daughterReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

Tobias Wolfson meets Henrietta Hart in a very interesting way. Hetty and I both have something in common – we take care of our fathers. Tobias is all about business but that was before he meets her. He’s a man of vision.

Grace takes the reader back to a time when the circus was all about the talent and not about the theatrics and pyrotechnics. What grabbed people’s attention back then would probably be almost boring by today’s standard. It also makes you wonder what those people would think about our circuses today. Our author’s descriptions are so realistic that I felt as if I was a part of the audience watching the show.

Hetty is a young woman who has a lot riding on her shoulders – makes the reader feel sorry for her. You want to keep reading so that you can see how she handles herself. It also shows how brave she is. This story shows a young lady growing up into a strong woman.

If there’s one character that fits into the hate category, that would be Uglow. I can almost picture him with a moustache and him twirling the ends. But he also fits into the storyline and I don’t think the story would be the same without him.

At times, it did seem a little slow but our author does give her reader a lot for their money. Don’t expect the romance to start at the beginning – you will have to be patient. The scenes aren’t too graphic so it lets the readers use their imagination. But just remember that nothing ever runs smoothly but it’s how the author resolves any issue that makes it interesting.

I found this book to be more historical than romance although I was very pleased with the ending. If you’re on the fence on whether you want to purchase the book, or not, stop at your local library. Even though this is an e-book, a lot of libraries do lend them out. This is the first book in a series and I would see what the next book brings. I did go to her web site, http://graceelliot-author.blogspot.com, but I was unable to get any indication of what it will be about.

Rating: ★★★½☆

Buy: The Ringmaster’s Daughter: A Georgian Romance (The Foxhall Series)

Book Intro: Only You by Deborah Grace Staley

OnlyYou-screen.jpg Fans of Debbie Macomber will enjoy this sweet, small-town romance set in fictitious Angel Ridge, Tennessee. Author Deborah Grace Staley has mixed the well-known elements of a quiet librarian with the town’s former bad boy to produce a charming read filled with southern flavor. The first book in a series about the town. Bestselling author Jo Ann Ross calls Staley “a great storyteller.”  Trade paperback, 14.95, at Amazon.com and other online stores.

Purchase: Only You