Book Review: Mistress of Mellyn

Mistress of Mellyn

Title: Mistress of Mellyn
Author: Victoria Holt
Genre: Adult Romance/Suspense
Series: No
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Page Count: 400
Received: Yard Sale
Format: Physical
Review Word Count: 500
Rated: 4/5 stars
Notes: A rather nice, slightly spooky historical romance intrigue novel for Halloween.

==

Mistress of Mellyn is not my first Victoria Holt that I’ve read, though it has been a while since I’ve picked one of her books up. I’ve forgotten how much I enjoy her writing; the spooky atmosphere, the details, the characters-all of it is rather really well done. This one was just not quite spooky enough, but it definitely had a dark mysterious vibe to it that was ripe for Halloween, and made me glad that I selected this one for one of the last books of the month to read. I found myself reading this over the course of four days, letting the rich atmosphere build, until it reached a satisfying conclusion.

Goodreads Summary:

Mount Mellyn stood as proud and magnificent as she had envisioned… But what about its master–Connan TreMellyn? Was Martha Leigh’s new employer as romantic as his name sounded? As she approached the sprawling mansion towering above the cliffs of Cornwall, an odd chill of apprehension overcame her.

TreMellyn’s young daugher, Alvean, proved as spoiled and difficult as the three governesses before Martha had discovered. But it was the girl’s father whose cool, arrogant demeanor unleashed unfamiliar sensations and turmoil–even as whispers of past tragedy and present danger begin to insinuate themselves into Martha’s life.

Powerless against her growing desire for the enigmatic Connan, she is drawn deeper into family secrets–as passion overpowers reason, sending her head and heart spinning. But though evil lurks in the shadows, so does love–and the freedom to find a golden promise forever…

I liked the main character. She was gutsy, strong and had a no-nonsense manner about her that wasn’t off putting though sometimes seemed unreasonable in certain situations. I felt she could have handled the children better in some parts, but otherwise, she was not abusive or cruel towards them at all. There were some questionable teaching methods involved, but as this is an old book, I let that slide. Otherwise, I thought she handled everything nicely.

The mystery element was one of a ghostly nature. She’s apparently a dead ringer for the children’s mother, who passed away several years ago, or so people have claimed, but the stories don’t match up. The mystery is well woven, and kept me guessing until the end, though I suspected I knew where it was heading, I was surprised when I realized that I’d guessed wrong which is always nice in reading.

Overall, I really liked this. Strong writing, great characters, and a good read for Halloween. I gave it four out of five stars, and will continue on with reading more of Victoria Holt’s books.

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book

Book Review: Foul Play

Foul Play

Title: Foul Play
Author: Janet Evanovich
Genre: Adult Romance
Page Count: 250
Publisher: Harper Fiction
Type of Book: Paperback, Owned
Received: Thrift Store
Review Word Count: 500
Rated: 3.5 stars rounded up to 4/5 stars
Notes: A silly yet pleasant, a great read for fall

I randomly picked up one of my many, many Janet Evanovich books that I hadn’t read (I think I’ve about thirty of them I’ve not gotten my way through yet, I really need to re-read the series at the start too of Stephanie Plum) and finished this in one sitting, admittedly skimming through a large portion in the middle.

The book was silly, but not bad. I liked Amy and Elliot. I liked the animals. I liked the ridiculous situations that the characters got in. It didn’t wow the pants off of me as a story, but I still was entertained regardless. Amy reminded me similarly to Stephanie, in a weird kind of way. A subtle similarity that barely surfaced. I believe these books were pre-Stephanie Plum, though I could be wrong. I’d have to check on Goodreads to be sure.

The plot is as follows from Goodreads

When Amy Klasse loses her TV job to a dancing chicken, handsome veterinarian Jake Elliott rescues her with an offer to be his receptionist. Jake just can’t resist a damsel in distress, and Amy certainly doesn’t mind Jake’s charming sincerity.
Then suddenly the job-stealing chicken disappears and Amy is suspected of foul play. Amy and Jake search for clues to prove her innocence. But will Jake be able to prove to Amy that love, too, is a mystery worth solving?

Overall, I liked it. I’m glad I read it, because it was fun. I’m getting repetitive, so I’ll just end things here. If you’re a fan of Janet Evanovich? I’d recommend trying this when you don’t feel like reading anything serious during the holidays. It’s a good fall read, and with lots of funny moments, I found myself grinning quite a bit through this one.

3.5 rounded up to 4/5 stars.

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book

Book Review: Material Witness

Title: Material Witness

Author: LA Mondello

Series: book 1

Genre: Adult Contemporary, Romantic Suspense

Page Count: 300

Received: Amazon freebie

Rated: 4/5 🌟

Review Word Count: 500

Notes: This was a lot of fun. Definitely more action than romantic but I like that!

~•~

Hello all,

I really enjoyed this free read from Amazon. Purchased way back when so no idea if it’s still free or not. I’ve also never read this author before but will definitely try to make a dent in the other series that they have as they write mostly romance it seems.

(Back into reviewing and this review already feels awkward in writing but hopefully I’ll get into the swing of things before too long!)

Anyway.

This is romantic suspense. Featuring a woman character named Cassie, who is researching for her books at a rather suspicious bar in a bad part of town, she encounters trouble almost instantly in both terms of a tall dark and handsome fellow as well as a drive by shooting that she barely survives… becoming the primary witness to the murder of a dangerous individual.

Swept up into the police station and pressured into being kept safe by the FBI, Cassie gets far more research for her mystery series than anticipated as she gets treated like she’s in witness protection…but not quite. With the detective who helped save her life at her side, and the only person she currently trusts, the two work together to get their lives back… while falling for each other in the process.

I really enjoyed how fast paced this was, how the characters were smart, and the amount of danger was exciting at times. Definitely give this a try if you like the tv show Castle.

4/5 🌟!

Until next time,

Pass Me That Book.

Book Review: The Woman in the Veil

The Woman in the Veil

Title: The Woman in the Veil
Author: Laura Joh Rowland
Series: Book 4
Genre: Adult Fiction, Mystery, Historical
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Page Count: 400
Type of Book: Arc, Kindle Ebook
Received: Publisher, Netgalley
Review Word Count:
Rated: 4/5 stars
Notes:

I haven’t read any of the first three books, but will likely rectify that when I can because I very much enjoyed book four. While the mystery of Sleeping Beauty, as she’s called by the papers in this book, was interesting, I wasn’t fully invested in this book. I feel as though I missed out a lot on the characters, and their stories from previous novels. While the author does a great job of letting you know what’s happened, I feel it’s best to read this series in order.

There was a surprising gay couple in the book of which I very much enjoyed seeing, especially with one of the characters being a former priest. That was very surprising and nice to see in historical fiction for a change. I liked the main character, and I liked the mystery overall. But as I said, I think I’ll read the other three books and then re-read this one to see how I feel about it.

Overall I liked it, but I think I’ll enjoy it more when I read the rest of the series. 4/5 stars.

Until next time,
Pass Me That Book

Book Review: Hitting Black Ice

Hitting Black Ice

Title: Hitting Black Ice
Author: Heloise West
Series: Book 1
Genre: Adult Fiction, Romance, LGBT
Page Count: 200
Publisher: NineStar Press
Type of Book: Arc, Kindle Ebook
Received: Netgalley, Publisher
Review Word Count: 500
Rated: 4/5 stars
Notes: High action, lots of romance, and plenty of thrills.

This is one of those rare Netgalley arcs that I requested because it sounded like exactly what I wanted to read, got it within two hours, and then finished it three hours later. It left the book hanging wide open for a sequel, but I fell hard for Shawn and Hunter. Both young men were involved in a high stakes hostage situation, an mysterious FBI guy chasing after Shawn, guns, shootings, and more dangerous scenarios taking place in the snowy mountains during blizzard like conditions. Exactly what I wanted to read.

The only reason it’s four stars was because it left it hanging on a cliffhanger. Sigh. I very much need book two, and I am now invested in this series. The author immediately soared to my top ten favorite LGBT authors.

This made me think very strongly of the survival stories of Stargate Atlantis fanfiction that I used to read in a way, with lots of plot, romance, and characters. I very much enjoyed this and eagerly look forward to book two. Overall, I’m giving this 4/5 stars, and I’m hopeful book two will be out as quickly as possible. I especially liked the dogs that were thrown into the plot for good measure and the heroic rescue at the end. Highly recommended for those who enjoy fast paced action with lots of twists and turns!

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book

Book Review: The Duke I Tempted

The Duke I Tempted

Title: The Duke I Tempted
Author: Scarlett Peckham
Series: Book 1
Genre: Adult Fiction, Historical Romance
Page Count: 400
Publisher: NYLA
Type of Book: Kindle Ebook, Library Loan
Received: Ebook Library
Review Word Count: 500
Rated: 5/5 stars
Notes: Prepare to grab a box of tissues when reading this book.

My poor heart. The writer certainly knows how to write lost, tortured souls struggling to find some means of love and comfort in anothers arms. While it does seem to drag in the middle a little, and the characters keep making mistake after mistake with one another (Archer, I’m looking at you), the writing is excellent, and the story itself is wonderful.

Cavendish is a female botanist. Archer is a Duke who is intent on getting married so that he can have a heir for his legacy. Both have no interest in marriage, and both have their own priorities in the world.

Even so, Archer’s sister meddles into his affairs, and arranges a ball so that he might find someone to be married to. Poppy Cavendish arranges the flowers and helps prepare for the ball, even as she unintentionally grows closer to the grim, forboding prescence of the Duke.

The plot was well structured with this book; there’s a missing child at one point, both main characters have tragic backstories, Poppy at one point gets thrown from her horse and Archer carries her back to his place for safety…

It’s very romantic feeling throughout the entire book.

Overall, 5/5 stars for one of my new favorite books this year, and I will definitely be continuing on with this series.

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book

Book Review: Virgin River

Virgin River

Title: Virgin River
Author: Robyn Carr
Series: Book 1
Genre: Romance, Adult Fiction
Publisher:
Page Count: 500
Status: Completed
Type of Book: Kindle Ebook
Received: Library Loan
Rated: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Notes: Trigger warnings for detailed pregnancies, abandoned babies, army men returned from war, brief mention of spousal abuse, teens making poor choices, and occasional harsh language, as well as lots of injured patients, background death of a husband

This book didn’t quite live up to my expectations of what I wanted out of a romance. While the romance was very sweet and well handled, I just didn’t come away feeling super attached to the characters. I really liked Jack’s character, but Mel seemed a bit over the top and really dramatic. To be fair, she did have a lot going on but she seemed overall whiny and just not what I was in the mood to read about.

I should note, this is apparently being turned into a Netflix series, another reason that I snapped up the book to read and see if it was worth trying out. I love medical dramas, especially medical dramas set out in the wilderness where there isn’t as much medicine, help, or whathaveyou. The medical scenes in this book where well handled, coming from a grandmother who was a nurse and my mother who was a nurse, I recognized a fair bit of this book was definitely well researched. My hat goes off to the author for a splendid job, and I will be passing this book along to my grandmother who likes this type of romance more than I do.

I spent maybe three and a half hours with this 500 page chunker, fyi. I simply flew through the pages, staying up till eleven o’clock to see what happens with Mel and Jack. The author’s writing style makes me think vaguely of Nora Roberts and Susan Mallory; the book was easy to read, and there was plenty going on…it was just too “cute” and “awwww” for me, if you get what I mean. I wanted a bit more than just mellow romance that was barely a 4 out of the 10 romance scale for hotness.

Overall, not bad but not sure I’ll continue trying out the author. Depends on what mood I’m in I guess. 3.5 out of 5 stars, and the jury’s out whether I’ll try out the Netflix series.

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book

Book Review: The Bride Sale

The Bride Sale

Title: The Bride Sale
Author: Candice Hern
Series: Standalone
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Avon
Page Count: 400
Type of Book: Mass Market Paperback
Received: Library Loan
Rated: 4/5 stars
Review Word Count:
Notes:

First half of this book started off strong, and I very much fell in love. And then the plot took a direction about 200 pages in that I didn’t want or care about and the rest of the book was just a ‘meh’ experience, which is very disappointing. Verity is a strong character, the villagers are cruel and harsh, and the bride sale was a fascinating new historical detail that I hadn’t heard or read of before.

A Bartered Lady
Lord James Harkness is shocked to discover a “bride sale” taking place in his small English village — and surprised by the depth of his feelings for the unfortunate gentlewoman being auctioned off by a disreputable husband. But is it honor and nobility that compel James to outbid the townfolk for the proud, beautiful lady — or is it something more akin to . . . desire?
A Mysterious Lord
Verity Osborne is not sure whether good fortune or ill brought her to this dark, brooding man and his lonely manor house on the moors. Local talk brands James Harkness as evil — but Verity senses a gentleness underneath. She dearly longs for her liberty, but his sensuous touch causes her to stay. However, James must first trust Verity with his secrets if they are ever to share love’s rapturous freedom. And will the promised passion she sees flaming in his eyes warm Verity’s heart . . . or burn her?
-Description as Seen on Goodreads

This was is going on my ‘must buy at once’ shelf, because I just really adored the first half of this book. I should also note that I’ve never read Candice Hern before, at least not that I recollect, and so I’m definitely interested in reading more of the author’s works because she definitely has talent in regards to writing. The romance also wasn’t surprisingly heavy in this book, there was very little smut scattered throughout which made for a pleasant change as well.

Overall, I’m giving this 4 out of 5 stars, and hoping to discover more good books by this author in the future. I highly recommend reading this if y’all like learning about old Scottish villages, herbalists, scary castles by the sea, and a guy named Lord Heartless.

Until next time,
Pass Me That Book

Book Review: Artic Wild

 

Arctic Wild

Title: Artic Wild
Author: Annabeth Albert
Series: Book 2
Genre: M/M Adult Romance
Publisher: Carina Press
Page Count:
Type of Book: ARC, Kindle Ebook
Received: Netgalley
Rated: 3/5 stars
Notes: I was hoping for more outdoorsy survival scenario, not sickeningly sweet romance. Sigh.

This was a book that where it said ‘plane crash’ + ‘m/m developing romance’ = unexpected good times, I was all for ‘yes please’. But the two main male characters, while charming and adorable, were rescued far too quickly and most of the rest of the book was all just smutty smutness.

And while that’s not a bad thing, it wasn’t what I was in the mood for, or hoping for based on the plot that I read on the blurb. I was hoping for two men trapped in the wild for more than just a couple of chapters, and that is most definitely NOT what I received.

Ah well.

Still, it wasn’t a bad read, and I liked all the characters. Every character felt realistic, and the storyline was interesting if rather smutty, I wish it had been more about survival in the wild with just one strange man at your side.

3.5/5 stars for a overall decent job, but nothing super fancy or memorable (at least for me).

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book

Paperback Book Review: Stardoc

Stardoc

Title: Stardoc
Author: S. L. Viehl
Series: Book 1
Genre: Science Fiction, Adult Fiction
Publisher: Roc Fantasy
Page Count: 400
Type of Book: Paperback
Received: Library Loan
Review Word Count: 500
Rated: 5/5 stars
Notes: Trigger warnings for rape between alien/human species, harsh language, various illnesses, illegal cloning, and light suggested emotional abuse towards a child*

Discovered through Goodreads, not a bad find on the recommendations page. I just wish that I’d known it was the start to a series. I’ve got so many series started already that I wasn’t looking to be invested in another one, but I definitely am now. This one was a strangely delightful read, a feel good scifi romp with plenty of action, though with plenty of heavy hitting topics as well…from finding the love of your life to a dangerous contagion that might wipe out an entire planet’s worth of different species all in one go. The adventure was non-stop, and there was plenty of unusual aliens with their own histories and stories to make one really feel as if they were really a part of the story and not just reading it.

*light suggested emotional abuse towards a child is in reference towards the main character’s father being an absolute ass. He genetically engineered, aka cloned, his daughter and never told her. She found out through an anonymous tip that her entire life has not only been a lie but orchestrated by her father. It’s the primary reason for her packing up her belongings, including a cat named Jenner, and high-tailing it to another world that’s considered on the edge of the frontier with poor medical treatment centers, giving her the perfect excuse to being there, for she’s a highly trained medical doctor.

Nevermind the fact that she’s never operated on alien beings, she’d determined to learn and experience as much as she can while she’s there. It’s an entertaining read as she discovers that it’s a lot more to take in than what she originally realized, and her living area is much smaller than what she’s accustomed to as well. With plenty of aliens around, she also has to learn new languages and cultures, as well as figuring out the lay of the land with its laws and customs.

There’s plenty to discover and like within this book, from the characters point of view, to the aliens, to the in-depth descriptions of how to treat an alien woman giving birth to vicious babies that will eat you as soon as your born. There’s lots of action, adventure, and even romance in this book but there’s hefty topics to deal with too.

Overall, I’m giving this a 5/5 stars for a wonderful read, and definitely look forward to reading more of the series to figure out how she finds freedom and free will against that of her egotistical ass of a father.

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book

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