Because you can't judge a book by its cover

Monthly Archives: April 2014

Isabelle de Piaget must get to France immediately in order to save her grandparents, but she must do so without the overprotective care of her family and survive the perils of medieval England and France in the process. In Dreams of Lilac by Lynn Kurland, Isabelle is able to sneak away from her family by dressing as a lad but while crossing the channel from England to France her ship is sunk in a storm and Isabelle washes ashore without any money or memory of who she is or what she is doing in France.

Gervase de Seger’s rescue of Isabelle from a group of thugs is not the noble chivalrous rescue he would have been able to perform a year ago, due to almost dying in a fire in his castle and breaking numerous bones, Gervase is barely able to move, let alone lift a sword to defend himself. But after rescuing what he thinks is a lad, he takes her home and puts her to work in his kitchen. When Gervase realizes his mistake, he just hopes he can survive Isabelle upsetting every aspect of his life. 

Dreams of Lilac is a fabulous addition to the De Piaget series. If you haven’t read a Lynn Kurland book yet, I HIGHLY recommend that you do! Her novels are historically fabulous, not glossing over the reality of living during medieval times, but it is the relationships between her characters that I absolutely love. Her portrayal of the complexities of family relationships, the good with the bad and how those complexities can impact our own view of ourselves is incredible. I have to admit I was shocked when I looked back over my last almost five years of reviewing that I have only reviewed handful of her novels because she is one of my default purchase authors (you know, those authors what you automatically purchase without even reading the book’s synopsis). That being said, Dreams of Lilac is a great blend of mystery, danger, and love. Isabelle is used to standing on the sidelines, considered the less attractive sister compared to Amanda (of Dreams of Stardust) Isabelle is unused to finding herself the center of attention but that is exactly where she finds herself after she is rescued by Gervase. I loved how Isabelle handled herself in difficult situations, unwilling to stand back anymore she rushes headlong into everything that comes her way.

Gervase, once one of the best tourney knights in France and England now can barely ride a horse, let alone hold a sword to defend his keep. Struggling to figure out who almost killed him and come to terms with his new limitations Gervase is definitely not looking for love, especially to a certain beautiful but headstrong noble woman. Gervase is a strong man, brought low by circumstances and trying his best just to get through each day. The only real issue I had with Dreams of Lilac is that I felt that Gervase’s recovery after Isabelle appeared seems a little fast but I understand why Kurland moved things along as quickly as she did. Dreams of Lilac is a stand alone novel but I recommend you read the entire series (not all of which is available in ebook format) to appreciate the fear Gervase feels when finding out who Isabelle’s family is and because they are just a fabulous read.

De Piaget Reading Order

Another Chance to Dream

If I Had You

Dreams of Stardust

When I Fall In Love

The Christmas Cat (novella)

One Enchanted Evening (you can read my review here)

This is All I Ask

The More I See You

From This Moment On

Tapestry (anthology)

Stardust of Yesterday

Till There Was You

One Magic Moment

All For You

Dreams of Lilac

Rating:  Star 5copy

Content:favicon no background

Title: Dreams of Lilac

Author: Lynn Kurland

Format: Paperback, eBook

Page Nos.: 336

AISN: B00FX7LVJO

Publisher: Penguin Group

Release Date: April 29, 2014

Available for purchase: Amazon

Reviewer: Jessica

 

**I received a copy of this book from the publisher but was not required to provide a review and it did not impact my review in any way.

Amity Doncaster is used to facing dangers as a globe-trotting writer but she is completely unprepared for being kidnapped in London. In Otherwise Engaged  by Amanda Quick, Amity is kidnapped by the serial killer known only as The Bridegroom, thanks to her quick thinking and always traveling prepared she is able to escape the masked man but knows he is going to come after again. Having caught the Bridegroom’s attention because of her connection to the mysterious Benedict Standbridge during their boat trip from the Caribbean, Amity is upset when she finally reconnects with Benedict in London.

Benedict Stanbridge owes his life to Amity, when he hears about the attempted kidnapping he rushes to her side, eager to protect her from further harm. Benedict is shocked by Amity’s reaction but is determined to protect her at all costs, even if he has to marry her to do so.

Otherwise Engaged by Amanda Quick is a stand alone historical romantic mystery. In some ways it is your typical Amanda Quick, clever main characters, complex plot and passionate connections, however, the path to true love is never smooth and that is especially true in Otherwise Engaged. After feeling an immediate connection, Amity and Benedict are separated for a time and then the Bridegroom gets involved. Amity was fabulous, independent, strong-willed and resourceful. Benedict was clever and continually finding himself in situations that his previous experiences have left him unprepared for but he rose to the occasion admirably. I really loved what Ms. Quick said about monsters, “For some reason the most jarring thing about [name omitted to protect the surprise of discovering the murder yourself] was that he appeared so normal. There was nothing remarkable about his neatly combed light brown hair, his thin face or his lean build. It would have been quite easy to pass him by on the street without taking any notice of him whatsoever. But that was the thing about the true monsters of the world, Amity thought. They were so dangerous because they were able to hide in plain sight.” I recommend Otherwise Engaged as a fun quick read.

You can read an excerpt here.

Rating: Star 4copy

Content: favicon5 NB

Title: Otherwise Engaged

Author: Amanda Quick

Format:  Hardbound, eBook

Page Nos.: 352

AISN: B00FX7R5QM

Publisher: Putnam

Release Date: April 22, 2014

Available for purchase: Amazon

Reviewer: Jessica

 

**I received a copy of this book from the publisher but was not required to provide a review and it did not impact my review in any way.

Reaver is an angel with a past of doing what he thought was right, regardless of what his orders have been. In Reaver by Larissa Ione, Reaver finally understands exactly what motivations Harvester had during the events of the almost Apocalypse (events that unfolded in the Lords of Deliverance series) and what her actions have cost her. Now he will do anything to rescue her.

Harvester is one of the Fallen, a once-heroic angel who sacrificed everything, including her wings, to work as an undercover agent in Hell. Now that her cover has been blown, Harvester fully expects to spend an eternity being tortured in Hell. So she is shocked when Reaver shows up to save her, but will they be able to escape Hell and their feelings for each other.

Reaver is technically the tenth book in the Demonica/Lords of Deliverance series and while Ione does cover a lot of the back history of Reaver and Harvester, I highly recommend you read the Lords of Deliverance series (Eternal Rider, Immortal Rider, Lethal Rider and Rogue Rider) before reading Reaver just so you have a better understanding of who everyone is and why Reaver is willing to do what he does to save Harvester. I am a late comer to Larissa Ione’s novels, I was aware of them but just hadn’t picked one up so I actually started reading the series with the Lords of Deliverance novels and then went back and read the previous  Demonica novels. Ione’s world building is complex and fantastic but she is definitely darker than most of the authors I usually read. Be aware that her novels usually have some kind of torture in them, rape (not super descriptive but it is there) and have language including the use of the “F” word. But her characters are complex, the heroes and heroines are strong-willed and I struggle to put them down. I gave Reaver a three star rating because while I enjoyed it I don’t know that I will ever reread it, not like I will the Lords of Deliverance series (I loved the bringers of the Apocalypse stories). 

You can read an excerpt here.

Demonica/Lords of Deliverance Reading Order:

Pleasure Unbound

Desire Unchained

Passion Unleashed

Eternity Embraced (novella)

Ecstasy Unveiled

Sin Undone

Eternal Rider

Immortal Rider

Lethal Rider

Rogue Rider

Reaver 

Rating: Star 3copy

Content: favicon5 NB

Title: Reaver

Author: Larissa Ione

Format: Paperback, eBook

Page Nos.: 401

AISN: B00CO7FNXQ

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Release Date: December 2013

Available for purchase: Amazon

Reviewer: Jessica

 

**I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley but was not required to provide a review and it did not impact my review in any way.

Seventeen-year-old “Hank” doesn’t know who he is or where he came from, he only knows that he woke up at Penn Station in New York City with ten dollars in his pocket and a copy of Henry David Thoreau’s Waldon in his hands. So Hank decides to start on his own journey to Waldon, trying to discover what it was that Thoreau discovered and, hopefully, in the process discover who he is and what his own journey is about.

I have to admit that Being Henry David is not the usual YA novel that I read, I read it because my book club chose it for the book for this last month. That being said, it was an interesting read. It took me a little while to get into it, especially since the beginning made me think it was going to be about teenagers and the underground drug culture, which it is NOT about. But once I started to get into I found myself traveling with Hank as he discovered who he is and what was so horrible in his past that his mind caused him to forget it (totally NOT what I thought it was going to be). Armistead mixes quotes from Waldon throughout the novel, weaving an interesting mix of the old and new as Hank experiences new things and discover old things he has forgotten. Being Henry David is worth a read.

Rating: Star 3copy

Content: favicon no background

Title: Being Henry David

Author: Cal Armistead

Format: Paperback, Hardbound, eBook

Page Nos.: 317

AISN: B00BNPI7GA

Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company

Release Date: April 2013

Available for purchase: Amazon

Reviewer: Jessica

Thatblogplace
Why Ratings?
It is true you can't judge a book by its cover, you also can't judge a book's graphic content by its cover. NovelReaction's goal is to provide readers with a graphic content so they can make an informed decision regarding the books they want to read. (Also, to have a great place for people to discuss books.) So sit back, pull up a beverage, and read on!
Graphic Ratings*

1 = kissing
2 = kissing, some fondling
3 = descriptive stripping but no sex
4 = sex scene but not descriptive in details
5 = full descriptive sex scene

*I am rating a specific book by an author, not the author's style. If I am aware an author writes a specific way, I will let you know.

Tags
Link to Me

Reading 2015
Archives
  • 2016
  • 2015
  • 2014
  • 2013
  • 2012
  • 2011
  • 2010
  • 2009