Jennifer McKinnon has had enough, after her apartment in Manhatten gets broken into for the fourth time she is ready to concede that there are no knight in shining armor remaining and maybe, just maybe, a change of scenery will let her figure out what she wants from life. In When I Fall In Love by Lynn Kurland, Jennifer travels to England to spend time with family and roam the hills and castles. But things get a little too real when Jennifer unexpectedly finds herself in medieval England, about to be burnt as a witch.
Nicholas de Piaget is a Knight without peer, chivalrous and one of the best swordsmen in England (second only to his father and older brother Robin), Nicholas is tired of the parade of women his grandmother has brought all wanting his lands and his title but not wanting him. When he saves the beautiful Jennifer from burning he has his suspicions about where, or more importantly when, she is from. Can he get past his fear of her leaving to see if they can hav e a meaningful connection or will he let his fear ruin his chance at happiness?!
I have to admit this was a reread for me. I love Lynn Kurland’s unsugarcoated view of how things really were during the middle ages. Jennifer is great if a little timid for me but it is Nicholas, who we got to know in the previous de Piaget novels that I really love. My biggest issue with When I Fall In Love is it feels like it takes a quarter of the novel before the story really starts moving. It is well worth a read but I kept feeling like smacking Nicholas upside the head to get him to start getting to know Jennifer and move the plot along. While there is some reference to sex in When I Fall In Love, it all happens after the couple are married and it is NOT descriptive which is why I gave it a four heart instead of five.
When I Fall In Love is an interesting cross over of Kurland’s de Piaget story line and her MacLeod’s story line. Obviously Nicholas is the second son of Rhys de Piaget and Jennifer is the sister of Victoria in Much Ado In the Moonlight.
You can read an excerpt here.
De Piaget Reading Order
The Christmas Cat (novella)One Enchanted Evening (you can read my review here)
The MacLeods Reading Order:
Title: When I Fall In Love
Author: Lynn Kurland
Format: Paperback, eBook
Page Nos.: 464
Release Date: April 2007
Available for purchase: Amazon
Melody Mackay is an inventor for the Order of the Round Table, while a role not traditionally held by women, Melody isn’t about to let gender stereotypes stop her from fulfilling her calling. But in Dragons and Dirigibles by Cindy Spencer Pape, Melody crash lands on the front lawn of Victor, Earl of Blackwell, too bad she finds herself attracted to the very conservative, very appealing Victor.
Victor is struggling to keep things together at Black Heath, unexpectedly inheriting the title of Earl when his brother dies and becoming guardian to his young niece, Victor doesn’t have time for things like sexy inventors. When things go awry and Victor needs Melody’s help, will they be able to move passed their stubbornly held ideals to allow for love to grow between them.
Dragons & Dirigibles is another fun addition to the Gaslight Chronicles. I didn’t see the twist at the end coming (don’t worry, I won’t spoil it for you) but I loved the various steampunk contraptions used by the characters, especially the submarine at the end of the story. Melody was another great female character from Spencer Pape and fans of Wink will enjoy Melody’s energy and attitude. Once again, I felt like the story was a little short (and maybe a little rushed on how quickly Melody’s health recovered from her horrible crash) but the action was entertaining and the romance delightful.
Gaslight Chronicles Reading Order
Ether & Elephants (Feb. 2015)
Title: Dragons and Dirigibles
Author: Cindy Spencer Pape
Page Nos.: 125
Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date: May 19, 2014
Available for purchase: Amazon
Zoey Donovan is an Aegis, like her mother before her, a caretaker and safe-haven for the monsters and mythical creatures that live in hiding from the human world. In Golem in my Glovebox by R.L. Naquin, Zoey finds out she is the only remaining Aegis, all the rest have gone missing, so Zoey does the only thing she can think of–she sets out to find out what happened to them. In the midst of her searching she learns that her mother may still be alive, now Zoey must find her before someone captures Zoey as well.
I admit I love the Monster Haven series, a fun mix of fantasy, paranormal, romance, and humor. Golem in my Glovebox, was a great addition to the series. While you can read Golem in my Glovebox without having read the previous books in the series I do think it is less confusing if you read them in order (and you can come to love Maurice, the closet monster). While I love reading about Zoey and everything she goes through (I love her big as life heart) it is Naquin’s supporting characters that steal your heart without upstaging the main characters. Not always the easiest thing for an author to do. For example, I really want a Maurice to take care of me and Gris the Golem who is struggling to find his humanity (because he is a created nonthinking creature who has gained the ability to reason) is a fabulous addition to the series. Like I said, I recommend that you read the series in order for the best experience, they are all quick reads and well worth your time.
Demon in My Driveway ( October 2014)
Phoenix in My Fortune (2015)
Novel Reaction Liking:
Title: Golem in my Glovebox
Author: R.L. Naquin
Format: Paperback, eBook
Page Nos.: 218
Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date: Aprile 2014
Available for purchase: Amazon
**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.
Novel Reaction is excited be a part of the Blog Tour for Katharine Ashe’s I Adored a Lord, the second book in the The Prince Catchers series. First let’s get to know a little more about Katherine.
Award-winning, best-selling author KATHARINE ASHE writes intensely lush historical romance, including How To Be a Proper Lady, among Amazon’s 10 Best Books of 2012 in Romance, and eight other acclaimed novels set in the era of the British Empire. With the publication of her debut novel in 2010, she earned a spot among the American Library Association’s “New Stars of Historical Romance.” She was a nominee for the 2013 Library of Virginia Literary Award in Fiction, and in 2011 she won the coveted Reviewers’ Choice Award for Best Historical Romantic Adventure. Katharine is also a finalist for the 2014 RITA® Award, the highest honor in the romance fiction industry, for How To Marry A Highlander. She lives in the wonderfully warm Southeast with her beloved husband, son, dog, and a garden she likes to call romantic rather than unkempt. A professor of European History at Duke University, Katharine writes fiction because she thinks modern readers deserve high adventure and breathtaking sensuality too. For more about her books, please visit her at www.KatharineAshe.com.
I thoroughly enjoyed my way through I Adored a Lord (your can read my review here) and am thrilled to be able to share with you an excerpt from it.
He was nearly a head taller than she and certainly the most handsome man she had ever stood so close to, with his shirt of close-woven linen and waistcoat of brocaded silk. The whisker shadow of the night before that had scratched her chin had gone; his cheeks were smooth and high-boned, his jaw firm. “You seem remarkably comfortable with all of this.”
“I was at war, Miss Caulfield. There is little that can discomfit me now.”
But that was not the entire truth. He was not at ease as he seemed to study her features now.
“As you can see, I have knowledge that can help you find the murderer,” she said.
“What suggested to you that I have any intention of pursuing such a course?”
“Of course you have, or you would not have brought the body here and bribed the servants to keep it a secret from everybody else.”
“I did not bribe them.”
“You must have. I would have. After you tell the prince, I suppose he will summon the local law to investigate. When it arrives, let me help.”
“I cannot in good conscience allow that.”
“Then allow it in bad conscience.”
“You must allow me to help.”
“And yet I will not, despite my wish to please you.”
“You don’t wish to please me. You wish to thwart me.”
“You are correct. In this at least.” His gaze slipped to her shoulder, then her arms she was hugging to her waist, passing over her breasts as though they were not there. “Your lips are blue. You must retire to the warmth of your bedchamber. I will instruct Monsieur Brazil to send up a maid to build your fire again.”
“Aren’t you concerned that the murderer might realize we have discovered the body and will know that I know about it, and will come after me?”
That muscle twitched in his jaw again, but she did not know if humor or pique inspired it. “Yes.”
“If you keep me close, he won’t be able to get to me easily.”
“Interesting choice of words from the woman who vowed not two hours ago that she would not in this life come close to me again.”
“To solve the mystery of the murderer,” she said, her tongue abruptly dry, “of course.”
“Ah.” A smile caught at the corner of his mouth, the dent peeking out. “Of course.”
“I have plenty to recommend me to this investigation that the local police will appreciate.”
“An expertise in deaths involving medieval armor, perhaps?”
“A female body.”
That stalled him. Again his gaze dropped but this time it more than grazed over her breasts; it lingered. “I will admit I am not seeing how that makes you an expert investigator to murder.” He lifted his eyes to hers. They were decidedly dark and not entirely focused. The night before, his eyes had looked like this when his body atop hers had become aroused.
“I can speak to the women at this party in a manner in which I suspect you cannot. In regular conversation that seems like gossip I can encourage them to reveal information that could be valuable to discovering why this man was murdered and stuffed into a suit of armor. I will investigate this murder whether you or the local police wish me to or not.”
There was a stillness about his contemplation of her that at once made her breathe more deeply and unnerved her.
“You have me against the wall, it seems,” he finally said.
“The moment I have cause for concern over your safety, I will remove you to the village.”
“You will do no such thing. You haven’t the right. I may not actually be a lady, but I am a guest of the prince—”
“Who will do as I advise.” He seemed entirely confident of this.
Suspicion prickled at Ravenna. “Who is to say you are not the murderer, and now that you know I have useful information you won’t dispatch me too?”
“None but me.”
She glanced into the darkness where the butler had disappeared, then back at the tall, dark man who had subdued her quite effectively in a stable the previous night. “This is the part where you pull out the bloodstained dagger, isn’t it?”
“Why wouldn’t I have done it earlier, before Monsieur Brazil knew of your involvement?”
“No doubt you only thought of it at this moment.”
“It seems I am carelessly shortsighted.”
“You are not the murderer?”
“Go to bed.” He grasped her fingers and tucked them around the lamp handle. For a moment his large, strong hand encompassed hers, and she thought that no man who murdered another could possibly have such a marvelously warm, gentle touch. Then he released her. “The prince will call the party together after breakfast. If you truly intend to assist in this—”
“You must have your wits about you.”
“I always have my wits about me.”
“I think I am coming to see that.”
“You haven’t dispatched me because you know you need my help.”
“Do I?” He took a half step closer. “Or perhaps I have not yet dispatched you because, as depraved as I am, when I look at your lips I can feel your body beneath mine in the straw. If I were to do away with you now, that scenario could never be repeated.” …
I missed reading the first book in The Prince Catchers series but I will definitely be reading the rest of the books in the series.
The Prince Catchers Reading Order:
I Loved a Rogue (February 2015)