Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Chimney Sweep Charm by Marcia Lynn McClure


Excerpt:

There was the muffled sound of audience members standing up, and Baylee and Candice turned to look behind them. 

"Holy smokes!" Baylee breathed. "It's like a Navy SEAL convention or something," Candice added. 

And it was! Baylee couldn't believe that over twenty-five of the people in the orientation audience were tall, dark, handsome, buff guys dressed all in black. Each man stood with his feet apart and hands held at his back-similar if not exactly like a military "at ease" stance. 

"They're all packing heat too," Baylee whispered to Candice as she noted all the holstered sidearms. 

"I guess Mr. O'Sullivan wants to be prepared," Candice said. "I suppose you girls are all wowed now, right?" Tate said from the front row. 

"Let's see," Candice began, looking to Tate and feigning an expression of thoughtfulness. "Let's say I'm being assaulted by some weirdo in the street...and who am I going to look to for protection? One of these guys?" she said, nodding toward the security staff. "Or you, Tate? You...who freaked out in June when we were in New York and you thought some guy was looking at you funny. You freaked out and slammed Megan's finger in the door and cut it off! Who do you think I'm going to trust?" 

"It was an accident, and you know it," Tate grumbled. 

Baylee did know it. Still, she found her eyes glancing down the row of chairs in front of her to Megan-to the missing first joint and fingertip on her right hand. 

"Yeah, it was," Candice admitted. "But you still cared more about yourself than Megan. The guy was stalking Megan...not you. Real heroic, Tate. Way to go to instilling a sense of confidence in me that you would have my back." 

"Whatever," Tate grumbled, turning around in his seat to pout. 

"Thank you," Brian said to his men. Baylee watched as the security staff sat down in unison. "So there you have it...our extra security staff for the next two months. As I said, if you need assistance...just grab a chimney sweep." 

Baylee giggled. "Grab a cab, grab a snack...grab a chimney sweep." 

Candice giggled too. "And you know what? I just figured out what I want for Christmas." 

"Absolutely," Baylee agreed. "I'll never ring 'Chim Chim Cher-ee' with the same mental pictures again."

My Review: 4 Stars

The Chimney Sweep Charm had me wishing it was Christmas and that I was with everyone in the Dickens Village! It also had me wanting my own Chimney Sweep for Christmas! ;)

When Baylee and Justice first meet each other it's at the Dickens Village where she is working as a hand-bell ringer and he's working security. They both feel something for each other instantly and have a pretty drama free relationship. Not only do they like a lot of the same things but they also pretty much have the same vocabulary. Of course Baylee can't believe that someone like Justice would ever be interested in her (the theme for a lot of heroines these days) but at least she decides that she's not going to dwell too much on that and just enjoy the ride for however long it'll last.

And boy does it last! These two are constantly neckin and enjoy every minute they can with each other. And can I just say that Justice's grandma is hilarious! I would've loved to see more of her!

The mystery element of the book is very low key and pretty much just happens in the background. I would have loved to see more of that come out. There were so many directions that this book could have taken and I just wanted more!!

For that reason and the book just ending had me rating The Chimney Sweep Charm only 4 stars. I really did enjoy it and will definitely read it again but really... I wanted more!! It was just such a fun book!! So if you are looking for a cute, quick, fluff kind of read... I say this one will be perfect for you!!

And of course... I cannot forget my casting!! These two are just PERFECT!!


 

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Pirate Ruse by Marcia Lynn McClure


Synopsis:

Abducted! Forcibly taken from her home in New Orleans , Cristabel Albay found herself a prisoner aboard an enemy ship—and soon thereafter, transferred into the vile hands of blood-thirsty pirates! War waged between the newly liberated United States and King George. Still, Cristabel would soon discover that British sailors were the very least of her worries—for the pirate captain, Bully Booth, owned no loyalty—no sympathy for those he captured.

Yet hope was not entirely lost—for where there was found one crew of pirates—there was ever found another. Though Cristabel Albay would never have dreamed that she may find fortune in being captured by one pirate captain only to be taken by another—she did! Bully Booth took no man alive—let no woman live long. But the pirate Navarrone was known for his clemency. Thus, Cristabel’s hope in knowing her life’s continuance was restored.

Nonetheless, as Cristabel’s heart began to yearn for the affections of her handsome, beguiling captor—she wondered if Captain Navarrone had only saved her life to execute her poor heart!


My Review: 4.5 Stars

Pirates.. mystery.. adventure.. romance.. The Pirate Ruse has it all!

Captain Navarrone comes upon a battle between a British Ship and the Screaming Witch. He sees Cristabel and knows that, even though he is a pirate, that she would be better off on his ship and proceeds to steal her away! Upon further questioning he finds out that she has been keeping company with traitors! And if there's one thing that Captain Navarrone does not like it's traitors! And ya might want to hold on loves... here is where the adventures begin! ;)

Trevon and Cristabel are probably two of my favorite Marcia characters. I enjoyed their journey of self discovery and love. You got to see their relationship progress naturally and their banter is hilarious! Cristabel has spunk and even though she is afraid of Trevon at times, she still stands her ground and shows how strong she can be.

The moral of this story is absolutely amazing! Both have a lot to overcome but they do and they are that much better and stronger because of it. I really wish Marcia would write more books like this! It is probably one of my favorites of hers! :)

So why only 4.5 Stars? There were just two things that bothered me. One would be it was a bit too wordy at times. I did skip over some parts because I wanted to get to the meat of the story! And the other thing is something that bothers me throughout all her books... it's the constant use of not only the first BUT the last names as well! I can see using it in the beginning and maybe once or twice in the middle or the end but not throughout the whole book! It drives me nuts! Some are worse than others and I really try to overlook them but it's getting harder and harder to do.

Other than that this was an awesome read!! I would definitely recommend it to everyone!!

And of course I can't forget my casting choices... Don't they just scream Trevon and Cristabel?! ;)

 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Rogue Knight by Marcia Lynn McClure


Synopsis:

An aristocratic birthright and the luxurious comforts of profound wealth did nothing to comfort Fontaine Pratina following the death of her beloved parents. After two years in the guardianship of her mother’s arrogant and selfish sister, Carileena Wetherton, Fontaine’s only moments of joy and peace were found in the company of the loyal servants of Pratina Manor. Only in the kitchens and servant’s quarters of her grand domicile did Fontaine find friendship, laughter and affection.

The life of a wealthy orphan destined to inherit loomed before Fontaine—a dark cloud of shallow, arrogant associations—of aristocracy, void of simple joys—and void of love. Still, it was her lot—and she saw no way of escaping.

Yet, one cold winter’s night, a battered stranger appeared at the servant’s entrance, seeking shelter and help. He gave only his first name, Knight—and suddenly, Fontaine found herself experiencing fleeting moments of joy in life. Knight was handsome, powerful—the very stuff of the legends of days of old. Though a servant’s class was his, he was proud, strong and even his name seemed to validate his persona—and he blissfully distracted Fontaine from her dull, hopeless existence.

Still, there were devilish secrets—strategies cached by her greedy aunt—and not even the handsome and powerful Knight could save her from them. Or could he? And if he did—would the truth force Fontaine to forfeit her Knight, her heart’s desire—the man she loved?

My Review: 3 Stars

This review is going to be different than the other ones I have done because the synopsis pretty much sums everything up. Instead I'll just give my own thoughts of the book. :)

The Rogue Knight was definitely harder for me to get through this time around. While I still liked it, I didn't love it like the first time I read it.

Fontaine and Knight were just absolutely amazing! I really did love them. Both of them were selfless and only wanted to do what was best for others around them. They were focused on others' happiness instead of their own. So their HEA was perfect in my opinion! :) I also really enjoyed all the side characters. They were fun and a definite bright spot when having to deal with the aunt.

And speaking of the aunt... she was just a horrible excuse for a human being! I could not stand her! I was really glad that she wasn't in the book as much as she could have been. I don't think I would have liked it much if that were the case. And I do have to say that while I liked the ending I really wish that something bad would have happened to the aunt. I mean seriously! She is horrible! So why in the world did she have to get everything?!

I think overall it was a good read for me. There were parts that were a bit too wordy and I found myself skipping things here and there just to get to the end. I did however love all the kisses! One of the things I love most about Marcia's books is the kissing! Boy oh boy does she know how to write a kissing scene! ;) Hehe.

And we can't forget the casting choices now can we... ;)

 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

A Better Reason to Fall in Love by Marcia Lynn McClure


Excerpt:

Tabby glanced up to see the sales and marketing analyst for the company, Jagger Brodie, walking-rather sauntering-toward the PR office. Without realizing it, a heavy sigh of something akin to longing escaped Tabby's lungs as she watched Jagger Brodie cross the main office space. He was entirely the most attractive man Tabby had ever known-not that she really knew him well, but she knew him well enough to know he was hot! Tall, dark, and handsome, Jagger Brodie looked as if he'd stepped directly out of some sort of trendy clothing store ad, only wearing a business suit instead of nothing but a pair of jeans. He had the deepest green eyes Tabby had ever seen, a flawlessly chiseled jawline, and ebony hair that alluringly beckoned to be combed with female fingers-Tabby's fingers. "Boom chicka wow wow!" Emmy whispered. "Absolutely!" Tabby breathed as she watched Jagger Brodie saunter past. She envied Jocelyn for a moment, knowing he was most likely on his way to drop something off on Jocelyn's desk or to speak with her. Jocelyn got to talk with Jagger almost every day, whereas Tabby was lucky if he dropped graphics changes off to her once a week. "Ba boom chicka wow wow!" Emmy whispered again. "He's sporting a red tie today. Ooo, the power tie! He must be feeling confident." Tabby smiled, amused and yet simultaneously amazed at Emmy's observation. She'd noticed the red tie too. "There's a big marketing meeting this afternoon," she told Emmy. "I heard he's presenting some hardnosed material." "Then that explains it," Emmy said, smiling. "Mr. Brodie's about to rock the company's world!" "He already rocks mine...every time he walks by," Tabby whispered.

My Review: 4 Stars

A Better Reason to Fall in Love is full of romance, friendship, laughter and of course a few HEA's!

Tabby and her 3 friends not only work together but they also eat lunch together everyday and each of them have their eyes on that special someone. ;)

Tabby has her eye on the office hottie, Jagger. When she starts seeing him outside of the office she starts to realize just how perfect he is for her. But of course she thinks that he's just too good to be true and that she doesn't even stand a chance with him.

However, she is proven wrong when her phobia of driving in a snow storm strands her and Jagger in her house for a night. They get the chance to just relax and get to know each other with no pressure and no negative nellies around them. After that night their relationship just seems to get better and better. They both start to fall in love with each other and they are truly happy.

Insert the negative nellies here. There are a few people in Tabby's life that think things are moving too fast and that they need "a better reason to fall in love". And I really wanted to just smack those people up the side of the head! Everyone is different when it comes to love and what they are looking for. I personally know people who knew within a few hours that they had met their special someone and I also know people who it took several months before they knew. Only the people in the relationship know if it will work or not.

Everything about this book was just fun! I loved the cliff diving, singing the blues and of course the whole 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon! I actually found out while reading this book that I personally have a Bacon number! And yes I got ridiculously excited about it and had to share it with everyone I know! Some where excited and thought it was just as cool as I did and others just thought I was nuts! Lol.

A Better Reason to Fall in Love is definitely one of my favorite Marcia Lynn McClure books! So why only the 4 stars? Because I wanted more! I would have loved an epilogue to just complete the whole experience. Even without it, it was still just a fun, easy read that puts and keeps a smile on your face!

And of course I found the PERFECT casting choice! I mean seriously! Does it get any better than this?! ;)
  

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Sudden Storms by Marcia Lynn McClure



Synopsis:

Rivers Brighton was a wanderer—having nothing and belonging to no one. Still, by chance, Rivers found herself harboring for a time beneath the roof of the kind-hearted Jolee Gray, and her remarkably attractive, yet ever grumbling brother, Paxton. Jolee, had taken Rivers in, and Rivers had stayed.

Helplessly drawn to Paxton’s alluring presence and unable to escape his astonishing hold over her, however, Rivers knew she was in danger of enduring great heartbreak and pain. Paxton appeared to find Rivers no more interesting than a brief cloudburst. Yet, the man’s spirit seemed to tether some great and devastating storm—a powerful tempest bridled within, waiting for the moment when it could rage full and free, perhaps destroying everything and everyone in its wake—particularly Rivers.

Could Rivers capture Paxton’s attention long enough to make his heart her own? Or would the storm brewing within him destroy her hopes and dreams of belonging to the only man she had ever loved?

My Review: 3.5 Stars

Rivers has been jumping the rails and traveling trains for sometime. She was in need of food and a place to stay for a couple of days when she stumbled upon Jolee and Paxton Gray. Jolee takes her in and the two become good friends. Grumpy ol' Paxton isn't happy about it at first but slowly starts warming to the idea... especially when he finds out what a spitfire Rivers can be! ;)

Paxton has been duped in the past by women and he refuses to let it happen again. Even though his heart is softening towards Rivers, he won't allow himself to act on his feelings. But when he realizes his sister won't move forward with her life unless he moves on with his, he asks Rivers to "play along" with him and act as if something was going on between the two of them. He informs her that once his sister is married, he will let her go.

My thoughts on that whole situation?! Grrrrr. Really?! He just ticked me off! I really wanted to knock him upside the head! Poor Rivers already has a self esteem complex when it comes to the gorgeous Paxton and for him to string her along?! Not cool! I felt so bad for her! She spent the entire book hoping that she could be the one he would fall in love and spend the rest of his life with but then he would turn around and squash that hope as quickly as it arose! He just didn't get what he was doing to her. *sigh* And let's talk about those kisses... holy wow! *dreamy sigh* No wonder she had hope!

And can I just say that the villain in this book is extremely demented and disturbing. Marcia did a great job of getting the crazy through.. I totally bought it!

So why only the 3.5 stars?! There was just something missing for me... I wanted more! There was an epilogue but I can't really consider it an epilogue because it was one day after the horrible incident. There were still some unanswered questions and thoughts of how everyone handled what happened. It was still a good book but I just didn't love it. I know I am in the minority here because the majority of my reading buddies absolutely loved it! If your looking for a quick, cute read with lots of swoon worthy kisses then I say read it! :)

And I just have to say this casting choice was almost the death of me! I had such a hard time with this one! I hope there are a few people out there that will agree with me! Lol.
 


Monday, October 6, 2014

The Time of Aspen Falls by Marcia Lynn McClure


Synopsis:

Aspen Falls was happy. Her life was good. Blessed with a wonderful family and a loyal best friend—Aspen did know a measure of contentment.

Still, to Aspen it seemed something was missing—something hovering just beyond her reach—something entirely satisfying that would ensure her happiness. Yet, she couldn’t consciously determine what the “something” was. And so, Aspen sailed through life—not quite perfectly content perhaps—but grateful for her measure of contentment.

Grateful that is, until he appeared—the man in the park—the stranger who jogged passed the bench where Aspen sat during her lunch break each day. As handsome as a dream, and twice as alluring, the man epitomized the absolute stereotypical “real man”—and Aspen’s measure of contentment vanished!

Would Aspen Falls reclaim the comfortable contentment she once knew? Or would the handsome real-man-stranger linger in her mind like a sweet, tricky venom—poisoning all hope of Aspen’s ever finding true happiness with any other man?

My Review: 5 Stars

The Time of Aspen Falls was my very first Marcia Lynn McClure book and I literally could not put it down! I loved it!

Aspen doesn't really trust extremely handsome men. She thinks that they are all the same... egotistical jerks who are only after one thing. From the first time she sees Rake she knows that he's just like the rest of them but she still enjoys looking at him! ;) Rake hasn't had the best of luck with women either. He has dated in the past but he thinks women are trouble and just not worth it. But when they finally meet each other things slowly start to change... ;)

I loved watching Aspen and Rake grow and become closer. Both of them are weary when it comes to the opposite sex and relationships. But the more time they spent together and the more they got to know each other they realized not everyone is the same as the ones who hurt them. The love they had for each other just made them perfect together! They are definitely one of my favorite book couples!

And can I just say how much I loved the side characters?! From Rake's family to Sean... loved them! And of course we can't forget Gina! She's just awesome! Loved how she was rooting Rake on from the very beginning and helping Aspen get over her weariness of men. And her obsession with UPS men was hilarious! But I loved that she was finally able to find her dream UPS man! It's the little things like this that help make a great book!

I loved the HEA... I loved all the kissing... I just loved it all! Grab a copy and read it! ;)

And of course my casting choices...

 

Friday, October 3, 2014

A Crimson Frost by Marcia Lynn McClure


Synopsis:

Beloved of her father, King Dacian, and adored by her people, the Scarlet Princess Monet endeavored to serve her kingdom well—for the people of the Kingdom of Karvana were good, and worthy of service. Long Monet had known that even her marriage would serve her people. Her husband would be chosen for her—for this was the way of royal existence.

Still, as any woman does—peasant or princess—Monet dreamt of owning true love—of owning choice in love. Thus, each time the raven-haired, sapphire-eyed, Crimson Knight of Karvana rode near—Monet knew regret—for in secret, she loved him—and she could not choose him.

As an arrogant king from another kingdom began to wage war against Karvana, Karvana’s king, knights and soldiers answered the challenge. The Princess Monet would also know battle. As the Crimson Knight battled with armor and blade—so the Scarlet Princess would battle in sacrifice and with secrets held.

Thus, when the charge was given to preserve the Heart of Karvana—Monet endeavored to serve her kingdom and forget her secret love. Yet, love is not so easily forgotten…

My Review: 5 Stars

I absolutely LOVE A Crimson Frost! It is one of my favorite books by Marcia!

A Kingdom on the verge of war... a secret love... exiled knights... adventure... laughter... it's the perfect book!

Princess Monet has always been in love with Sir Broderick. But she has grown up knowing that her marriage would be arranged and she would not be able to marry for love. When King James of Rothbain threatens the heart of Karvana, King Dacian makes the decision that she would marry Sir Broderick, but in name only. He then sends them into hiding.

This is where I fall even more in love with Monet and Broderick and their story! I really enjoyed watching them grow together, become closer friends. I also enjoyed watching them grow more and more in love. For our dear pretty knight, Sir Broderick, is indeed in love with Princess Monet! Their time in hiding is filled with lots of hard work, friends, laughter and of course love! *sigh*

War indeed comes to Karvana and things change even more for Broderick and Monet for now they are no longer married in name only. He is her true husband and she is true wife. With war also comes the return of a group of exiled knights... a brotherhood... the Knights Exemplar! And with them comes the return of another... you'll just have to read the story to find out who! ;)

Yes the good guys win... yes love and hope prevails... yes there is a HEA! All in all... I just LOVE this book!! You HAVE to read it! My review won't do it justice... I promise! It is just too good to put into words! So I say... go grab it and READ! You will NOT be disappointed! :)

And of course I just had to do a casting! My choices are...

 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Becoming Lady Lockwood by Jennifer Moore


Synopsis:

Amelia Beckett is delighted to be a widow. Married by proxy to a man she'd never met, Amelia recognizes that a fortuitous entry into widowhood frees her from meddlesome chaperones and matchmakers. Heiress to her mother's sugar plantation in Jamaica, she happily anticipates working in a man's world, with the additional credibility of her new title: Lady Lockwood. But with the arrival of Captain Sir William Drake, her plans quickly go awry...

William has traversed the Atlantic with one purpose. If he cannot prove that Amelia's marriage to his brother was a fraud, she will be entitled to a sizeable portion of his family's estate. He is determined to return this duplicitous "Lady" to London for an official hearing, and he carries with him a letter that will ensure her cooperation...

Left with no choice, Amelia joins the captain on his return voyage to England, and the two quickly find that ship life does not allow for evasion. Amelia and William are ceaselessly thrown together, and amidst fierce storms and ocean battles, what began as antipathy seems to be evolving quite unexpectedly. But as they draw ever closer to their destination, will the impossibility of their circumstances shatter any hope of a future together?

My Review: 4 Stars

I had been hearing lots of good things about Becoming Lady Lockwood and was not disappointed when I read it!

Amelia Beckett is actually happy to be a widow. She had never met Lawrence Drake, the Earl of Lockwood, and was married to him by proxy. Shortly after their marriage, he unexpectedly passed away. She is now Lady Lockwood and no longer has to worry about the scrutiny the single women are subjected too.

Captain Sir William Drake is now the Earl of Lockwood and is determined to expose Amelia and her father as a fraud and have the "marriage" to his brother dissolved. He is sure that Amelia and her father tricked his brother into the marriage and they did it so that they can obtain his wealth and property.

William has to take Amelia back to London to meet with the magistrates to have the issue cleared up. She is not looking forward to it but she has no other choice.

While on the journey William is determined to not like her or have anything to do with her but quickly finds that it is not going to happen. Amelia is not like any woman he has ever met before. She is not only kind, caring, friendly and loyal but she is a very strong, hard working woman who pulls her own weight on the ship. Rather than sitting back and doing absolutely nothing, she can be seen in the galley helping the cook, in the surgery room helping the doctor, on deck helping to mend the sails. She helps to bring light and laughter to everyone around her.

Watching William and Amelia fall in love was adorable! I really enjoyed their story! The only thing that I did not like is the fact that while Amelia is so strong in almost everything in life, she is not strong when it comes to her own self esteem. While she and William have shared quite a few memories, happy times and even a couple of kisses, she doubts that he feels anything for her. Everyone could see his feelings plain as day but she didn't and doubted her own worth. I don't know why but that just bugs me!

And what good story lacks adventure and trials?! Can I just tell you how much I enjoyed watching Amelia rescue the entire ship and crew?! That was just awesome! I loved how she considered every single one of the men her shipmates and how close she grew to the crew. She really is an amazing heroine!

I wasn't too shocked to find out who the bad guy was. I kinda saw that one coming. But to me it seems like something is missing there.. like there is more to that story.

All in all this was a cute, fun read full of adventure, friendship, loyalty and of course a HEA! What a great first novel by Jennifer Moore! Can't wait to read more by her!