The Brigadier’s Runaway Bride by Erica Ridley (review by Kristi)

the brigadier's runaway brideFrom Goodreads:

Miss Sarah Fairfax is having a wretched year. Her intended perished at war. His child is in her belly. To secure her future, she resigns herself to a loveless marriage. Just as she’s about to say “I do,” her fiancée returns from the grave to crash the wedding… but he’s no longer the charming, carefree man she remembers.

After being left for dead on the battlefield, Brigadier Edmund Blackpool is scarred inside and out. He fights his way home only to discover his intended before the altar with his best friend. He’ll be the one to marry her, no matter what she wants! But when his new bride disappears with his child, he must reopen his wounds to win the most important battle of his life.

My review:

What does a girl do when she is pregnant and about to give birth and her fiance, the father of her baby, is dead? She marries one of his friends who is a Duke and can provide for her and the baby and keep her reputation from being ruined. Well, she does that until her dead fiance shows up at the wedding and puts a stop to things.

This, the fifth installment of the Dukes of War series, is Sarah and Edmund’s story. Edmund, who everyone thought was killed during the war has finally returned home and must adjust to being around family and friends again. He also must adjust, and quickly, to the fact he is soon to become a father. Sarah is happy Edmund is back but is afraid that the fact she is pregnant is just too much for him. He has changed since she last saw him and the closeness they once had is gone. Can they find their happily ever after?

I enjoyed reading this story. It isn’t your typical historical romance. There is no love/hate relationship but a relationship that naturally progressives throughout the book and seems real. The two main characters are easy to like and it is hard to pick sides as they struggle through the early days of marriage and parenthood.

Maybe it was because the book was good and I was so engrossed in it but it seemed to be too short. I would have had to have liked a bit more story between the two. (But saying that I’m glad the author didn’t put in a bunch of “filler” to take up space and make the word count higher and bored me to tears.) The ending was a bit abrupt and I was hoping for a bit more substance at the end.

All in all this was a good book and having only read the fourth book and this one I look forward to going back to read all of the previous books. I will also be marking my calendar for the release of the next book in the series.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review which I have given.

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What to Do with a Duke by Sally MacKenzie (review by Kristi)

what to do with a duke

(Let me start out by saying I fell in love with the cover of this book.  I loved the dress, the flowers, all the colors used and the cat!  I know you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but that’s what I did.  I got this book without even reading what it was about!)

“She had no desire to wed. And he had no desire to die”. These two sentences sum up the plot of this book. Isabelle Catherine “Cat” Hutting has no desire to wed and, in fact, wants to be a writer. Marcus, the Duke of Hart, needs to produce an heir but knows that, due to a centuries-old curse, he will not live to see his heir. The two meet when Marcus goes to the village of Loves Bridge to fulfill his duty of naming the next Spinster House spinster. The attraction between the two is instant but due to their circumstances they try to fight it.

For the most part, this book was a fairly fun read. The characters are believable and, with the exception of a couple, are easy to like. My favorite character has to be Polly the cat. I’m thinking the author has owned a cat or was a cat in a previous life. She was spot on in writing Polly’s character.

The book is written on the humorous side. The author seems to have an edgy sense of humor and it shows in her writing. I did enjoy this aspect of the book. With all the talk of the curse, the book could have taken a turn to the darker side but the author kept the book light with her sense of humor.  Here is an excerpt which I think showcases this:

(While Marcus and Cat are looking around inside one of the bedrooms in the Spinster House) “Or perhaps it was the thought that his future had been stolen from him in this room–in that bed.  The huge fourposter was dark oak as well, with heavy red curtains and–

And Poppy sitting right in the middle of the bedclothes, studiously licking her private parts.”

I did have a couple of issues which kept me from giving the book five stars. First, I think some of the dialogue was a bit too brazen and modern day for the setting of the book. Of course, I wasn’t alive back then but I’m pretty sure some of what was said amongst the single ladies would have been considered downright scandalous. My other issue was the sudden ending of the book. I knew I was approaching the end but fully expected an epilogue or something to tie up all the loose ends. Nope. Didn’t happen. I know there are more books in the series, but the next book doesn’t seem to pick up where this one left off. I don’t like to be left hanging as I’m not a big fan of cliffhangers.

Warning: this book contains sexual content and language. If you don’t mind these things and are looking for a fun, light historical fiction read, I think you might enjoy this book.

I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion which I have given.

Brightest and Best by Olivia Newport(Review by Cathy)

Brightest and Best

This is the third book in this series by Olivia Newport, I have not read the other two in the series. Having said that, I will say that I enjoyed this book very much.

The story is set in 1918 in Ohio. The Amish community finds their way of life and decisions regarding the education of their children is being undermined when the state demands they must send their children to the Seabird Consolidated Grade School with the English community.

 

It’s a very interesting story. I found it quite sad that the fathers in the community were being threatened with fines and even jail time if they didn’t comply.

I liked the characters and the interactions with the second grade English teacher Margaret Smith who was dispatched to speak with the parents in the Amish community to persuade them to send their children to the English School.

I found the Amish couple,Ella and Gideon had a relationship that was quite sweet and caring.

A very well written book.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

 

Promises Kept(The McBride Brothers, #1) by Scarlett Dunn(Review by Cathy)

Promises Kept

This is a new to me author,so I wasnt sure what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised.

I enjoyed the characters immensely and loved the storyline.

I loved the inner strength of Victoria Eastmen and her determination to protect two little boys in her care.

I admired Colt McBride for his determination, too.

This is a fast paced book that held my interest from the first page to the very last page. It has a several characters that are as entertaining as the two main characters.

It’s a story of letting go of past hurts, learning to trust and opening your heart.

I recieved a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

 

Brightest and Best by Olivia Newport (review by Kristi)

Brightest and Best

I must say after reading the previous book in this series and not really enjoying it I wasn’t sure if I would like this book. I tried to keep an open mind as I began reading. I was pleasantly surprised to find I really enjoyed this story.

This story takes place in 1918 Ohio. It tells the story of the Amish who fought the authorities to keep their children from going to the consolidated public schools. While not strictly based on the actual events of the real case the author did her research and used facts that make the story genuine and real.

Through the author’s storytelling, it was easy to understand why the Amish felt the way they did. The author made it easy to feel the emotions of the characters, especially the tension between the two groups. The story had a good flow and it was easy to stay interested in the story.

I liked the characters in the book but especially liked Margaret Simpson, the teacher who was given the task of trying to get the Amish to send their children to school. She was easy to like and I think that I liked her more and more through the book as she tried to understand the way the Amish felt.

This book would be a good read for anyone who likes Amish fiction and those who like a bit different story. I also think fans of fiction based on historical events would enjoy this book.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinions.

The Potter’s Lady by Judith Miller (review by Kristi)

The Potter's Lady

From beginning to end, I enjoyed reading this book. With characters I could easily relate to and a story that was entertaining and interesting, I found this book easy and fun to read.

I immediately felt a connection to Rose, the main character in the book. It was easy to like her and she came across as genuine throughout the story. All of the characters were easy to like with the exception of a few. Once you read the story you will understand why. They became the characters I loved to dislike.

I enjoyed the storyline of this book and the book flowed from one chapter to the next easily. The author did her research on potteries and it really came across in the book. There was enough information to educate the reader without being boring or reading like a textbook.

I recommend this book to anyone who likes historical fiction and a good clean read.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinions.

The Gift by Wanda E. Brunstetter (review by Kristi)

The Gift

I have been reading Wanda E. Brunstetter’s books since she was one of the very few writing Amish fiction. Unlike some authors, Wanda’s stories have always remained fresh and new while at the same time being reliably good reads. The Gift definitely fits this description.

I loved the storyline of this book and was eager to get started after reading the blurb on the back cover. I was not disappointed as the book was just as good as I imagined it would be. The characters are realistic and easy to like (even though I did want to bop Adam on the head at times). The storyline was fantastic and had a great flow to it. The story moves at just the right pace and builds up to a nice ending. I wanted to read the book quickly to find out what would happen but at the same time didn’t want to have to leave the characters and town at the end.

This is a must read for fans of Amish fiction. Set aside some uninterrupted time to read this book because once you get started you won’t want to put it down.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion which I have given.