fiction, Historical Fiction Book Reviews, Romance

Book Review: The Far Pavilions

Hello Everyone,

Not the best cover but not the worst!

Book Title: The Far Pavilions

Author: MM Kaye

Series: Book One of Two

Genre: Adult Fiction, Historical, Adventure, Romance

Publisher: St. Martins Press

Page Count: 1000

Goodreads Summary:

A magnificent romantic/historical/adventure novel set in India at the time of mutiny. The Far Pavilions is a story of 19th Century India, when the thin patina of English rule held down dangerously turbulent undercurrents. It is a story about and English man – Ashton Pelham-Martyn – brought up as a Hindu and his passionate, but dangerous love for an Indian princess. It’s a story of divided loyalties, of tender camaraderie, of greedy imperialism and of the clash between east and west. To the burning plains and snow-capped mountains of this great, humming continent, M.M. Kaye brings her quite exceptional gift of immediacy and meticulous historical accuracy, plus her insight into the human heart.

My Thoughts:

This book took me a solid week to read! Long winded, lots going on, a bit sexist here and there but those were the times, and I felt as though I would never finish reading this book. I learned there’s a part two. I’m not sure I’m going to read that, lol.

My Review:

This book was a struggle for me right from the start. While I was liking the adventure and the characters, it felt as though it went on and on and on. A 1000 pages of epic adventure, romance, and historical fiction at its best. While people adored Gone With The Wind this was the epic I wanted! The writing was lush, beautiful, and detailed.

I know a lot of newer book reviewers might not be enthusiastic about reading this 1000+ page time, but I’m insisting that it’s worth it! The ending is bittersweet, and the characters and setting will sweep you away. From India to England there’s something new to devour from each page.

The story starts with a premature baby being born in winter and the mother dying due to her not used to the fiercely cold winds. The story expands. It touches to n war. Cholera takes the baby-main character-father and uncle’s lives. More are lost. Travels are had.

This book does have it’s horribly sexist moments. While it’s a relic of the time it’s set in, there are certain things that are hugely sexist in the book. There’s dry spells here and there when it feels like nothing happened. And the ending was a slow burn that felt bittersweet; exactly as those on Google and Goodreads both have stated.

I feel as though this, while a hefty tome, is well worth the effort in reading. Especially if you’re a fan of Gone With The Wind and Outlander. This is equally as huge and well written as the pair.

My Rating:

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Until next time,

-Pass Me That Book

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fiction, Romance

Book Review: Riverbend Gap

Hello Everyone,

Such a pretty cover!

Title: Riverbend Gap

Author: Denise Hunter

Series: Book 1

Genre: Christian fiction, Romance

Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.

Page Count: 400

Goodreads Summary:

She came in search of the family she’d always wanted—and found the kind of love she’d never dared to imagine.

When Katelyn Loveland’s car veered off a winding Appalachian Mountain road, she thought she was done for. That is until Cooper Robinson, local sheriff’s deputy, came to her rescue. And though Katie narrowly escaped her brush with death, she still fell. Hard.

She wasn’t the only one. But soon Cooper learns that the woman he’s more attracted to than any he’s ever met is his brother’s new girlfriend—and therefore unquestionably off limits. Yet, despite his best efforts, Cooper and Katie can’t seem to avoid running into each other. Or ignore the undeniable chemistry between them.

As they grow closer, Katie shares the secrets of her past and the real reason she moved to their small North Carolina town. She also wins over Cooper’s welcoming and bighearted family. But they don’t know that her feelings for Cooper keep growing—all while she’s dating his brother. Soon the stakes of their emotional connection become higher than either of them could have imagined. Katie stands to lose the first family she’s ever had, and a scandal could doom Cooper’s campaign for sheriff’s office. Suddenly they find themselves on the edge of another precipice—and they’re forced to make a decision that could change their lives forever.

My Thoughts:

I wanted to like this, but I just am not a fan of christian fiction. The romance and all was fine but going into this book blind was not a good idea for me.

My Review:

I’ll be the first to say, I am not a Christian fiction reader. I’m not religious in the slightest. I picked this up because I wanted a good romance for Valentine’s day, and this had a good romance but the religious bits just weren’t for me. I also picked this up for the Appalachian mountains, as I love books that feature any sort of mountain terrain for romance novels. The writing was quite good, and I did like the characters, but it felt a bit… lacking in what I was wanting for a romance which is a “me thing” and no fault of the authors whatsoever. But I did enjoy this book, despite that it wasn’t what I thought. Fun, fast paced read, and I may or may not pick up the sequel.

My Rating:

⭐⭐⭐ 1/2

Until next time,

-Pass Me That Book

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Historical Fiction Book Reviews, Romance

Netgalley Review: A Suffragette in Time

Hello Everyone,

Book Title: A Suffragette in Time

Author: Connie Lacy

Genre: Historical, Romance

Publisher: Wild Falls Publishing

Page Count: ?

Series: Standalone ? (I think it’s part of a series but unsure however it works well as a Standalone.)

Book Summary:

A compelling time travel historical

Thrown back in time to the 1850s, Sarah Burns transforms herself into a suffragette. But traveling the speaking circuit can be risky in a time when men believe a woman’s place is in the home. It can be downright dangerous when she shares the stage with anti-slavery activists whose fiery rhetoric triggers violence.

Her uneasy alliance with an arrogant abolitionist may be heading toward romance, but it’s a bumpy road with perilous obstacles, including slave hunters intent on kidnapping anyone they can sell down south. Living with a family operating a station on the Underground Railroad doesn’t make life any easier.

A Suffragette in Time is a fast-paced time travel story set against the backdrop of one of the most acrimonious periods in American history, as the fight over slavery escalates toward the American Civil War. Danger, romance and one woman’s personal battle to make the world a better place.

My Thoughts:

I read this in two sittings, and only because it got late when I read it. I’m still having a few thoughts and feelings about this book. I had fun reading it, it was entertaining and dropped a couple historical names I didn’t immediately recognize and several I did (Harriet Tubman anyone?). I liked a lot of the references throughout from book titles to historical figures to how clothes were made. It was a good read.

I know this won’t be for everyone. It not only tackles women’s rights but it’s also very heavy on racism. It’s got several scenes that I found a bit far fetched-surprisingly, not the time travel though the way that was handled made me clap to the author as that was a clever idea I’d not seen yet. Very well done! I’m still thinking over this book, and am definitely interested in reading more. I think there’s at least two others linked with this one and the author has other books as well I may give a try. This was rather good, and I’m happy to have received an arc from the publisher on Netgalley. Thank you!

My Rating:

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Until next time,

-Pass Me That Book

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fiction, Historical Fiction Book Reviews, Romance

Start of a Series Book Review: Into the Wilderness

Book One

Into the Wilderness by Sara Donatti. This is described as a ambitious sequel to one of my favorite classics The Last of the Mohiacns, though you don’t need to read that to read this. Written back in 1998, after Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, this is one of my top five historical fiction romance books. Unlike Outlander, this doesn’t feature a time travel element, however it is directly linked to the series, as within the halfway point of book one, Clair Fraiser is outright mentioned for at least six pages as ‘the White Witch’. Its a nod to one of the biggest romance series of all time, that’s so well known it became a hit series on Hulu a few years back.

The story begins with Elizabeth, a spinster wishing to teach school in Paradise. But there’s problems. For one thing, her family is cash poor thanks to her brother’s gambling debts. For another, her father-the Judge-wishes her to marry Dr. Richard Todd. But she’s firm in remaining a spinster…until she meets Nathanial Bonner, direct descendant of Daniel (Dan’l) Boone. She is wary around him, unsure of what to expect of him-or this new land so rife with both bounty and troubles. Slavery is still legal. No one’s at first eager for a schoolmarm, worried more about cost and that what she teaches will not be useful to the students, apart from math or geography, reading or writing. She fights for her school, as well as her freedom in not to marry.

There’s lots of other problems scattered throughout the book. Someone attempting to run Nathanial and his people off of Lake in the Clouds, as they don’t want Indians on their territory. Rougher weather than usual settling in. A dangerous threat looming. And the potential for marriage in Elizabeth’s future, despite her wishes being made clear to her father. She struggles to grow used to her new home in Paradise, while the people struggle with the fact she’s not the spoiled princess they thought she’d be.

The story spans eight hundred plus pages, and evolves for at least six more books. I’d read book one at least ten times throughout the last fifteen years, and I’m still drawn in to the whole of it. Its one of my most favorite historical romances that I’d read in my life, and I am sincerely hoping it gets its own television series being linked with Outlander so. I cannot rate this highly enough, if you want fiction with depth, history, and romance as well as adventure, then I recommend picking up this book. You won’t regret doing so.

Final Rating: 6/5 stars

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fiction, Mystery/Thriller Book Reviews, Romance

Book Review: deep woods

Summary From Goodreads:

I was barefoot, sobbing, running for my life. But the men hunting me made one mistake: they chased me into *his* woods.

Cal Whittaker. Big, gruff and gorgeous, he’s made his home in the heart of the forest and has barely spoken to another person in six years. He deals with the men chasing me with a brutal efficiency that hints at a dark past. I should be scared…but when I look into his eyes, I feel a soul-deep longing I can’t explain. And the way he looks at me, like he just wants to push me up against a tree and tear my clothes off…

He offers me shelter on his smallholding. I’m used to the big city but I’ll have to learn a whole new way of life: a cow for milk, a wood stove for warmth and no one but the two of us for miles in any direction. I learn that Cal’s carrying a guilt that won’t let him get close to anyone…but neither of us can fight the attraction and in his tiny cabin, it’s impossible to keep our distance.

Even in the forest, though, we may not be safe. My escape has threatened a conspiracy so vast, so evil, that the men behind it won’t stop until they’ve silenced us. They know where we are. And they’re coming.

My Review:

Deep Woods was a fast paced, steamy romantic survival trope that I like. It’s got an adorable dog. An enormous giant of a man whose wildly protective towards our damsel in distress, as well as being the big, gruff, strong silent type-with a beard. The romance in this book was a bit of a slow build, though it felt a hint like instalove. The action in the book was…well. All over the place. You really need to suspend disbelief for a lot of it. It goes from action scene googly eyes action scene action scene googly eyes/wistful longing lots of action to backstory with hand holding…its pretty entertaining, but I definitely fiction.

That’s not to say I didn’t absolutely fall in love with the book. The characters were easy to like and get to know. Cal and Bethany are an awesome couple. Bethany wasn’t one of those annoying giggly heroines that’s To Stupid To Live, she’s smart and gutsy though she’s also a bit too weak compared to Cal. Cal was a tall, bearded, muscular man who was once a marine. Another perk for this romance novel. There’s surviving out in the woods. There’s guns, bears, cabins, and swoon worthy romance that’s a steady build into a solid relationship you believe in. I flew through the book in an easy two days, not wanting to put it down and only doing so because real life kept getting in the way.

For a brand new to me author? This was high on my list of favorites. I enjoyed this. A lot. It was full of romance, of action, of gruff alpha male heroes rushing to protect the damsel in distress.

It was as described-a wild, fun ride through the woods with a gruff grizzly of a man and his dog, taking down baddies one bad guy at a time. Definitely worth checking out for those who like that sort of thing. 4 out of 5 stars, and I’m definitely looking into the other works by this author.

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Historical Fiction Book Reviews, Romance

Netgalley Review: The Trouble We Keep

The Trouble We Keep

Hello friends,

The Trouble We Keep by Cara Devlin is a historical second chance romance. It has a strong start, and keeps up the pace throughout the entire book. I liked the main character, Emma, as she strives to survive pregnant, alone and searching for her wayward brother. While this was christian fiction, it didn’t have hardly any of the religious praying going on that I’m used to in christian fiction, and read more like a romantic western than anything else, a fact that surprised and delighted me. The little bit of christianity I did see wasn’t overpowering in regards to the story, and tied in neatly with the era that the characters were in.

I loved the author’s writing style of this; how it flowed, and made the characters have real depth to them. Jo, Ms. Lewis, and Dean all felt lifelike. I loved the survival elements, how realistic everything read. I sat and read this in two hours, and am now definitely adding this author to my favorites list, and searching out for more of her books.

If you’re looking for a good survival story about strong female characters determined to survive no matter what even while pregnant, then I suggest reading this. Emma doesn’t back down from a challenge, and she definitely gives as good as she gets. My hat goes off to the author-if I had a hat like the fine ladies in this book that is. Five stars, and my thanks to the publisher for granting me an arc of this delightful novel.

Until next time,
Pass Me That Book

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Mystery/Thriller Book Reviews, Romance

Book Review: The Haunting of Hillwood Farm

The Haunting of Hillwood Farm

Hello friends,

The Haunting of Hillwood Farm by Kathryn Knight starts off with a strong opening, and is essentially  a ghost story set on a haunted farm, complete with horses and dark, edgy vibes throughout the story.  The story itself began with an opening chapter of a woman named Alice with a haunted kitchen, where a sugar jar moves by itself-and then explodes, causing her to call up a psychic that can hear ghosts speak-a gift that Callie never wanted. Arriving at the farm, more accidents and dangerous events unfold throughout both the farm, and her own place later on through the story. Ghosts, apparently, want her gone.

It’s thought that Alice’s husband, Henry, is the spirit causing the distress as he unexpectedly passed away. There was a lot of suspects throughout the story of who the ghost might be, some nice scenes with the horses, and a few clips of adventure where there’s a fire, a scattering of dangerous accidents, and even a romantic element thrown in with Alice’s grandson, Luke Turner. The three get together to buckle down, and solve the mystery…before someone else gets killed or hurt.

Overall, the writing was strong, and I quite liked all the characters. Everyone felt fully fleshed out and real, and I spent a solid three hours breezing through this story, as once you start, you don’t want to quit. I devoured the book in one sitting, and gave it 4.5 stars. I recommend it for those who enjoy a good ghost story during the summer, or even for Halloween, it would be a perfect read for that spooky atmosphere. The romance was also well handled, and I definitely find myself intrigued in checking out the author’s other works. This book was available through Kindle Unlimited, for those that wish to grab it for themselves, and I highly recommend it.

Until next time,

Pass Me That Book.

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LGBT Book Reviews, Romance

Book Review (sort of): My Brother’s Husband

MyBrother'sHusband

Hello friends,

My Brother’s Husband by Gengoroh Tagame is wholesome, diverse, adorable. Despite the slow pace at the start, it built up into a well written plot, that I spent most of two hours devouring. The art was cute, and I liked the real life implications within the story. Canada + Japan culture were both intriguing, and the family within the book were fun as well as amusing at times to read.

Reviewing manga is hard. This is my first official manga that I’ve read, and I’m not even sure how to pronounce it correctly. It took a while to get the hang of reading a book backwards (which is just wrong, in my opinion) and while I enjoyed the art, I felt frustrated and stifled at not having a real book. Perhaps I’m just used to real books, as opposed to manga/graphic novels/comics. I rarely read those, and only when trusted friends (beg) ask me too.

I’m definitely intrigued by this story, and liked the slow relationship build up, however, I will say that the main character is a bit off putting within the first segment. It took a bit to grow to liking him, but now he’s my favorite out of the three in the family, but all of them are equally likeable.

I shall add volume two to my tbr pile, because I’d like to see how the rest of this plays out. A slow building plot, but still fun to read, I’m giving this a 3.5 out of 5 stars, rounded up to 4.

Until next time,

Pass Me That Book.

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Romance, Science Fiction Book Reviews

Book Review: The Colonists Wife

Colonists Wife

Hello friends,

The Colonist’s Wife by Kylie Scott is a science fiction romance. There’s miners, danger, explosions, and even horticulture within this book. There’s plenty of things to go around, in terms of enjoying a good science fiction romp towards an alien planet named Esther (I believe), and in colonization. Mail order brides set in space is always an interesting trope that I like reading, and I found Adam and Louise both likable characters, despite each of them having their own flaws.

The romance was easily one of my favorites as well, and this scifi romance novel soared to the top of my favorites list. I’ve barely read anything by Kylie Scott, but this author has made me sit up and take notice. Sadly, the author doesn’t appear to have a lot in terms of scifi romance just yet, but I hope that will soon change.

This story was well written, fast paced, and with plenty of romance. The setting was intriguing, and I found the characters flaws to be realistic as well as carefully handled. I liked how each character was fleshed out in the story. Louise’s tragic backstory was one I’d read, but in a different set up than what I was familiar with. I liked the side characters, as well as the overall plot. And the flow of the story was smooth, causing me to finish the book in one sitting.

4/5 stars for a new to me author, one that I’m sure that I’ll be enjoying a lot more in the future. I’ll keep a look out for this author, and their other works, as well as recommend them to those on my friends list who adores scifi romance as much as I do. This is a good, standalone scifi romance that I’m sure all of you will thoroughly enjoy.

Until next time,
Pass Me That Book

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Historical Fiction Book Reviews, Romance

Book Review: The Winter Witch

 

The Winter Witch

Title: The Winter Witch
Author: Paula Brackston
Series: Book 1
Genre: Adult Fiction, Romance, Fantasy
Page Count: 400
Received: Library
Type of Book: Paperback, Physical Copy, Library Loan
Review Word Count: 500
Rated: 3.5/5 stars
Notes: I loved the writing style, but the depressing mood the story set was not what I was after at all.

The Winter Witch is a book that’s been on my radar to read for a couple years now, and I’m pleased I finally got it done. The cover is one of my favorites, it’s a perfect holiday read, and the atmospheric writing and characters are beautiful and well wrought. With an air of Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, I was certain that this would be a new favorite.

Fledgling witch Morgana must defend her love, her home, and her life in this enthralling tale perfect for fans of Discovery of Witches

In her small early nineteenth century Welsh town, there is no one quite like Morgana, who has not spoken since she was a young girl. Her silence is a mystery, as well as her magic. Concerned for her safety, her mother is anxious to see her married, and Cai Jenkins, a widower from the far hills, seems the best choice.

After her wedding, Morgana is heartbroken at leaving her mother, and wary of this man, whom she does not know, and who will take her away to begin a new life. But she soon falls in love with Cai’s farm and the wild mountains that surround it. Cai works to understand the beautiful, half-tamed creature he has chosen for a bride, and slowly, he begins to win Morgana’s affections. It’s not long, however, before her strangeness begins to be remarked upon in her new village. A dark force is at work there—a person who will stop at nothing to turn the townspeople against Morgana. Forced to defend her home, her man, and herself, Morgana must learn to harness her power, or she will lose everything.

-Summary as seen on Goodreads

This, however, was rather depressing, and almost lax in that there wasn’t hardly anything going on. I liked Morgana a lot, and I liked that the character had chosen to be mute. I rarely find that in adult fiction, and I feel as though it were well handled. But the sheer amount of bullying, hateful and cruel comments, and general disregard for her intelligent simply because she chose not to speak was a serious mood killer at times. I appreciate the author attempting to be historically accurate with this, and I rather enjoyed the descriptive scenes of passages throughout the book. It alternated between character povs as well, but I didn’t mind overmuch, as it neatly flowed throughout the story.

Overall, I’m giving this a 3.5 raising it to 4 stars out of 5. Strong writing, great main characters…if it wasn’t just so depressing and moody for Morgana, I might have enjoyed it more. I might try the author again in the future. Strongly recommend that the reader keeps a box of tissues on hand for possible triggers in regards to abuse.

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book

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