Thursday, September 26

Longing for Home: Book Review

Longing for Home: A Proper Romance

Sarah M. Eden

Shadow Mountain
August 6th 2013
Adult | Historical | Romance
Twenty-six-year-old Katie Macauley has placed all her hope in Hope Springs, a small town in the 1870 Wyoming Territory. But if she wants to return home to Ireland to make amends with her estranged family, she'll need to convince the influential Joseph Archer to hold true to his word and keep her on his payroll as his housekeeper despite her Irish roots. The town is caught in an ongoing feud between the Irish and the "Reds" the frontiersmen who would rather see all the Irish run out of town and the Irish immigrants who are fighting to make a home for themselves in the New World. When Joseph agrees to keep Katie on as his housekeeper, the feud erupts anew, and Katie becomes the reluctant figurehead for the Irish townsfolk. As the violence escalates throughout the town, Katie must choose between the two men who have been vying for her love though only one might be able to restore hope to her heart.
I picked this book up simply because it published by Shadow Mountain under the A Proper Romance umbrella. Since Edenbrooke and Blackmoore were good I decided it was worth a try.

Sarah Eden really did her research for this story. It all felt so real I was sure the characters weren't fictional. Surely these exact people suffered some time ago. There is so much detail and background. The entire Irish community and there troubles with the non-Irish locals was at times a bit scary.

Probably one of my biggest problems with the book was that the author did such a spectacular job making cases for both romantic men that I was evenly torn. If only Katie could be duplicated so that they both could be happy. I had a hard time getting to like both but once I did it was hard to know who might be best. I also didn't like that even in the end her choice didn't feel quite solid. Almost as if in the sequel something will happen to sway her to the other man. Maybe it will be a terrible misfortune to the current lucky guy or maybe he will just get lame in future. All this build up about who she will choose but there wasn't a marriage or even a date. Just more of a okay now we can start courting each other. I guess I wasn't expecting that. One way or the other I am sure the next book will prove very hard to read. The war is about to get ugly.

But it was a great read. I was hooked and just wanted to know what would happen next. Didn't take me much time to get through the long book but I am a bit hesitant to read further. I just don't want to see the characters get hurt all over prejudice.

Thursday, September 19

Blackmoore: A Proper Romance: Book Review


Julianne Donaldson

Shadow Mountain
September 9th 2013
Adult | Historical | Romance
Kate Worthington knows her heart and she knows she will never marry. Her plan is to travel to India instead—if only to find peace for her restless spirit and to escape the family she abhors. But Kate’s meddlesome mother has other plans. She makes a bargain with Kate: India, yes, but only after Kate has secured—and rejected—three marriage proposals.

Kate journeys to the stately manor of Blackmoore determined to fulfill her end of the bargain and enlists the help of her dearest childhood friend, Henry Delafield. But when it comes to matters of love, bargains are meaningless and plans are changeable. There on the wild lands of Blackmoore, Kate must face the truth that has kept her heart captive. Will the proposal she is determined to reject actually be the one thing that will set her heart free?

Set in Northern England in 1820, Blackmoore is a Regency romance that tells the story of a young woman struggling to learn how to follow her heart. It is Wuthering Heights meets Little Women with a delicious must-read twist.

From the description in the synopsis I wasn't quite sure I wanted to read this book. Mostly due to the fact it didn't sound like something I would enjoy. But Edenbrooke was such a delight I felt I just had to see what else Julianne Donaldson could write.

The opening came across very melancholy and left me rather concerned the whole book would be sad and depressing.

Henry is such a sweet character. I absolutely loved the friendship between Kate and Henry. In fact I think Henry really is the best thing about this book and without him it would really be hard to read. He is the ray of sunshine through all the gloom and unhappiness.

It was hard at first to separate Edenbrooke and Blackmoore in my mind. I would just keep comparing everything Kate said or did to Marianne and they sort of blended. But after a bit even if there are similarities, both trapped and very unconventional society wise plus the male leads are both in a tight bind as to expressing their feelings, it was easy to see Blackmoore as its own story and characters.  I think it took longer to get hooked into Blackmoore than Edenbrooke but inevitably I was hooked. A one day 4:30 in the morning read. So lovely! Such a delight. I am definitely picking up a copy for myself and some gifts for others.

A friend of mine shared that the family situation for Kate is very similar to that of Elizabeth from Pride and Predjudice. Ridiculous mother and sister and rather absent father. There were definitely time when Kate annoyed me but thankfully Henry would come around to lighten the mood.

The only reason this did not get five stars in my mind had to do with the ending. It just wasn't quite the traditional happily ever after. More of a semi-realistic vague happily ever after. Meaning it wasn't the one my mind was building up to. Still it was good.

Saturday, September 14

Pile Denial: 30

I am in denial.

It is ugly but it is nevertheless the state of things.

Here I will document my struggle with my book obsession. Behold my denial in all of its glory.

Pile Escalation:
Changeling by Phillipa Gregory
Extracted by Sherry D. Ficklin

Lure of the Dead by Joseph Delaney

Pile Reduction:
Fyre by Angie Sage
Auracle by Gina Rosati
Otherkin by Nina Berry
Longing for Home by Sarah M. Eden
Winterveil by Jenna Burtenshaw
Consume by Melissa Darnell
Made to Last by Melissa Tagg
If I Should Die by Amy Plum
Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
Grasping at Eternity by Karen Amanda Hooper
Opal by Jennifer L. Armentrout
My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century by Rachel Harris
Wolfsbane by Patricia Briggs
Body and Soul by Stacey Kade
Queen of the Dead by Stacey Kade
The Ghost and the Goth by Stacey Kade
Goddess by Josephine Angelini

Onyx by Jennifer L. Armentrout
First Frost by Jennifer Estep
Torn by Erica O'Rourke
Soulbound by Heather Brewer 
Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Angel Fire by L. A. Weatherly
Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Blurred by Tara Fuller
The Apothecary's Daughter by Julie Klassen
Quintana of Charyn by Melina Marchetta 

Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger
Pathfinder by Orson Scott Card

Bottleneck Effect:
Lure of the Dead by Joseph Delaney

It has been a long time since I took stock of my pile or really did much of anything. I just thought it would be nice to see if I have made any progress in all these months. Turns out my progress hasn't been all that great.

Until next time. . .

Here are the numbers of books hanging out on my TBR pile.

Pile Truth:
Books:34 (barely a decrease) :
eBooks: 16 (decrease) :)

How about you? Are you in denial?

Share in the comments or even in a post, just don't forget to leave a link, and help me feel a little better.