Review of The Convent’s Secret by C. J. Archer

The Convent’s Secret
Glass and Steele Book 5
By C. J. Archer

Star Rating: 
Genre: Historical Fantasy, Gaslamp Fantasy
Number of Pages: 270

Synopsis: (From Amazon) 
To find the one man who can fix the magic in Matt’s watch, he and India are led to a convent where the nuns will do anything to keep their secrets private. Including murder? Matt and India must uncover the truth behind the disappearance of the mother superior and two babies given to her care many years ago. But sometimes, the truth is painful and its exposure can have deadly consequences.

With his magic watch slowing down, Matt needs all the help India and his friends can offer before time runs out. But his nemesis will do anything to bring about his downfall, including rock Matt’s family with a scandal that can ruin them, and Matt and India’s chance of happiness.

Review:
Oh my goodness. There were such revelations from the convent! While I’m glad for important information gleamed I cannot help but be upset about how we end. I am fairly certain I have figured out what it is that is being held over Matt, forcing his hand. I can’t wait for the next book!

C. J. Archer is such a great, wonderful person on top of being a great author.  She has a fan group on Facebook, CJ Archer’s Ministry of Fans, where people who like her books can talk about them, and Ms. Archer interacts with her fans frequently (which makes her even more endearing).  If you are like me and adore her books, join the group and chat with like minded individuals.

Author Biography: (From Amazon)
C.J. Archer has loved history and books for as long as she can remember and feels fortunate that she found a way to combine the two. She has at various times worked as a librarian, IT support person and technical writer but in her heart has always been a fiction writer. While she has written historical romance in the past, she now writes exclusively in the historical fantasy genre (with a large dose of romance). She has several series which occur in the same Victorian-era “world”, one after the other. Each series can be read alone, but it’s more fun to start at the beginning with THE EMILY CHAMBERS SPIRIT MEDIUM TRILOGY. Follow that up with all 9 FREAK HOUSE books, then the MINISTRY OF CURIOSITIES series. GLASS AND STEELE, her newest series, is set in an entirely different alternate Victorian London.

Subscribe to C.J.’s newsletter to be notified when she releases a new book, as well as get access to exclusive content and subscriber-only giveaways. Join via her website: http://www.cjarcher.com

She loves to hear from readers. You can contact her through email cj@cjarcher.com or follow her on social media to get the latest updates on her books:
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Review of Loved by the Dragon by Vivienne Savage

Loved by the Dragon: A Dragon Shifter Paranormal Romance
Dawn of the Dragons Book 1
By Vivienne Savage

Star Rating: 
Genre: Fairy Tale Retelling, Romance
Number of Pages: 335
Winter 2018

Synopsis: (From Amazon) 
Two complete stories/No cliffhanger/120,000 words/Adult content/PROFANITY
Author’s Note: Be prepared for kinky sex and bad language. Originally published as Saved by the Dragon, Mated by the Dragon, and Taming the Dragon.

Chloe’s weekend getaway doesn’t go according to plan when she’s trapped in a cave with a gorgeous, golden-eyed rescuer named Saul. His fiery secret and a hot, one-night stand will set in motion events able to change her life forever — but all dragons aren’t ready to accept mortalkind. As shadowy forces in the draconic world object to their new union, Chloe must find the strength to fight for a future with the man she holds dear.

When Marceline Vargas agrees to join her friend Chloe for an island vacation in Mexico, she’s ready for fun in the sun and an escape from her hectic career. After crossing paths with the resort’s owner, she soon discovers the billionaire dragon shifter is a charismatic enigma — sexist but kind-hearted, intimidating yet generous. Can his chauvinistic patterns be tamed? Marcy intends to find out.

Review:
Chloe and Saul’s story is so sweet and nice. You can’t help but hope that Chloe will come around. While I understand that part of the big climax was to introduce other characters for the following books, I thought it was a bit annoying/unrealistic. The language used in this book is very different from Savage’s usual language when writing romance, and I don’t particularly care for the word choice.

Marceline and her billionaire shifter friend I didn’t find as endearing because it seemed a bit too contrived and forced. Could he not have pushed forward during the time they were apart to try to explain, or is it just because time is so different for dragons?

I did like these stories, but I prefer Savage’s fairy tale romances personally.

Author Biography: (From Amazon)
Sign up at http://www.viviennesavage.com/newsletter to receive an exclusive, free novel.

Vivienne Savage is the pen name of two best friends who write everything together. One works as a nurse in a rural healthcare home in Texas, and the other is a U.S. Navy veteran. Both are mothers to two darling boys and two amazing girls. When they aren’t raising children, writing fantasy, or concocting ways for shapeshifters and humans to find their match, they play online RPG games to pass the time.

All works by Vivienne range from urban fantasy and sweet adult romance to spicy shifter fiction with an erotic kick. Visit her site to determine which series is best for you!

Official Site: viviennesavage.com
Facebook: facebook.com/savage.books
Twitter: twitter.com/msvsavage
Instagram: instagram.com/msvsavage
Email: vivi@viviennesavage.com

Review of Taming Red Riding Hood by Lidiya Foxglove

Taming Red Riding Hood
Fairy Tale Heat 8
By Lidiya Foxglove

Star Rating: 
Genre: Fairy Tale Retelling, Romance
Number of Pages: 164
Winter 2018

Synopsis: (From Amazon) 
I finally have a home, reunited with my human father. He’s well-to-do, with a pretty wife and a grand house, and the moment I step in the door, I’m expected to begin lessons in reading, writing, and behaving like a lady.

But I’m no lady. I’m a wolf.

And much to my surprise, so is my tutor. Mr. Arrowen has a human name and human manners, but golden eyes don’t lie. He’s wolvenfolk, to be sure, pretending to be a proper gentleman. Wolves know their mates right away, and I can’t deny the attraction I feel—but somehow, he can, and he does. He doesn’t want to risk his reputation, especially when wolves have been killed over less than laying a hand on a wealthy girl. My family would like to see me marry my distant cousin Patrick.

Patrick is as handsome as Mr. Arrowen, but he’s a hunter. He has his sights on the most wanted creature in the kingdom: the white wolf accused of killing a sacred stag. Patrick wants my help to track him and claim the reward. I yearn to run through the woods, but my father would never let me—unless I pay a visit to my grandmother’s cottage. But do I want to hunt one of my own kind, even if he is a criminal? And what if he isn’t a criminal at all, but someone all too familiar…?

Taming Red Riding Hood is a standalone fairy tale retelling for those who like an unabashedly adorable happily ever after with serious steaminess! Although it is definitely standalone, it doesn’t hurt to read The Beggar Princess before this one.

Review:
Imagine being born into two cultures but only raised in one. After a tragedy and a few years of hard labor our heroine finds herself trying to fit into her father’s world, which becomes more and more difficult when she finds her wolf instincts taking her over. Through the steamy wolf mating season to the mystery of her tutor, you can’t help but want her to find a way to coexist with her father’s world.

If you like steamy fairy tale romance, this is another Foxglove book not to be missed.

Author Biography: (From Amazon)
Lidiya Foxglove likes her fairy tales to be very naughty indeed. She grew up on a steady diet of fairy tales, folklore and fantasy and loves the swoon-worthy romance and happily ever afters, but thinks the best fairy tales also have the thrill of forbidden desires. If she’s not writing, she’s probably reading. Come hang out with her on Facebook at:
https://www.facebook.com/Lidiya-Foxglove-1702249670069437/
Contact: lidiyafoxglove@lidiyafoxglove.com

Review of Bleeding Heart by Allana Knight

Bleeding Heart: A Reimagining of Beauty and the Beast

The Baroque Fae Series Book 1
By Allana Knight

 

Star Rating: 
Genre: Young Adult Fairy Tale Retelling
Number of Pages: 175
Winter 2018

Synopsis: (From Amazon) 
Magic is dangerous in seventeenth-century Venice. Fairies are outlawed. No one can quite remember why. Mirabelle is what the city folk call sangua de fata, tainted — a girl with fairy blood. Abandoned on the streets of Paris, Mirabelle has come to live with a merchant’s family on the outskirts of Venice. Brought up as one of their own, still she is daily reminded that she doesn’t belong. Cursed with the power of fairy blood as well as its beauty, experience has taught her that magic, especially hers, comes with a terrible price. As her family’s fortunes dwindle each day, the people of Venice mutter that Mirabelle is cursed. And when her father returns from a fateful journey with a magic rose, Mirabelle will have to face her worst fears if she wants to save him from a fae curse. She will have to enter Ombre Mondiale, the Faerie Realm, and become the wife… of a beast.

Bleeding Heart is a reimagining of Beauty and the Beast, the first in a series of fairytale retellings set in an alternate version of seventeenth-century Europe, where magic is common and the fairy kingdom is one of many world powers striving for domination.

Review:
While this story is a reimagining predominately of Beauty and the Beast, there are various other fairy tale story elements. I did like the connection between the Beast and the faeries, and thought that was a quite ingenious way to connect an “enchantress” in. I loved Mirabelle’s reason for feeling comfortable with leaving home to be with the beast as well as the role of the rose. I loved how Mirabelle’s parentage played into the story, especially with her connection to her father.

This was certainly a decent read that I would definitely recommend.

Author Biography: (From Amazon)
Allana Knight is the pseudonym of a Southern author and educator who enjoys fantasy, fairy tales, and young adult fiction. She is a reader by day and an author by night. She only accepts authentic reviews, and it is her policy not to solicit reviews or recommendations of her work.

Review of The Unbreakable Curse by Jenna Thatcher

The Unbreakable Curse: A Beauty and the Beast Retelling
By Jenna Thatcher

 

Star Rating: 
Genre: Young Adult Fairy Tale Retelling
Number of Pages: 210
Winter 2018

Synopsis: (From Amazon) 
When Helen is kidnapped from her home, she enters a life of horror where lies are woven as she slowly begins to fall apart. For centuries, a great Beast hides in his castle, the forgotten story of his curse now a bedtime fable. A powerful Witch is certain her curse will hold, and as time passes, it seems inevitable. Until one day a young girl is given a choice; to live or die. Magic, adventure, and romance come together in this beautifully reimagined tale where Beauty and the Beast meets the tales of Scheherazade.

Review:
A nice, unique retelling while still maintaining a lot of the original fairy tale’s elements. It was neat how Helen’s love for stories developed a connection between she and the Beast, and it was even more ingenious how her “stories” were true things that had happened in their world during the time that the Beast had been removed from society.

The way magic works, or presents itself, to the humans in this world is quite unique. I like that while the magic powers give people a heads up, it doesn’t necessarily save them from danger even if they knew to be wary.

I quite enjoyed this novel, including the ending. I’d definitely recommend it to those who like fairy tale retellings.

Author Biography: (From Amazon)
Jenna Thatcher lives in a quiet little valley surrounded by mountains. She has been to every state in the US (except Alaska), and has a soft spot for volcanoes. Her favorite job ever was as a children’s librarian where she ordered the 500s – 600s. Three kids and a smart-mouth cat keep her busy, but thankfully she has an amazing husband to juggle them all (not literally). You can find Jenna on Goodreads and at her website; jennathatcherauthor.wordpress.com

Review of A Goose Girl by K. M. Shea

A Goose Girl: A Retelling of The Goose Girl
Entwined Tales: Book 1
By K. M. Shea

Star Rating: 
Genre: Young Adult Fairy Tale Retelling
Number of Pages: 117
Winter 2018

Synopsis: (From Amazon)
As a royal lady’s maid, Rynn has one task: Escort the princess of Astoria to her intended’s kingdom and return home. Unfortunately for the former goose girl, the princess has other plans.

When her charge flees, Rynn’s not only forced to take the princess’s place, but she must also contend with a spiteful fairy horse, a good dose of political intrigue, and Conrad…the mysterious and all-too observant lord who consumes more of her thoughts than he should.

But with war looming on the horizon, Rynn stands to lose more than her heart. Can she convince the princess to return, end the charade, and make peace between the kingdoms?

More importantly, can she possibly avoid a death sentence when the truth is revealed?

A Goose Girl is a romantic fairy tale novella. It can be read on its own but is more fun when read as a part of the Entwined Tales, a series of interconnected fairy tales by six different authors. Each story follows the adventures of one of seven children from the same family as they seek out their own happily ever afters in spite of their reluctant fairy-godfather.

Review:
Wow. This book was fabulous. The characters had such depth and there was such a unique plot line in place. I thought I might have had an idea what was going to happen since I knew the original story, but I was nowhere near close. While the Princess is infuriating, Rynn is a very relatable character. Acting aside, one cannot help but absolutely love the royal family, and how Rynn infiltrates what could be a dastardly war.

Author Biography: (From Amazon)
K. M. Shea is a fantasy-romance author who never quite grew out of adventure books or fairy tales, and still searches closets in hopes of stumbling into Narnia. She is addicted to sweet romances, witty characters, and happy endings.

She is also extremely committed to her readers—who have set up their base camp at kmshea.com—and lives in the idyllic Midwest with her furry pet, Perfect Dog.

Review of Goldheart by Kenley Davidson

Goldheart
The Andari Chronicles: 2
By Kenley Davidson

Star Rating: 
Genre: Young Adult Fairy Tale Retelling
Number of Pages: 200
Winter 2018

Synopsis: (From Amazon)
Sometimes, spinning straw into gold is the easy part…

Elaine Westover is the last person you’d expect to find locked in an attic… again. A shy but brilliant artist, Elaine wants only to paint in peace, but is forced to accept a commission from a wealthy client in order to save her family home.

Her client proves to be as powerful as he is rich, and after a chilling encounter reveals his twisted ambitions, Elaine refuses the job. That is, until he imprisons her and threatens to destroy everything she loves unless she meets his demands.

Held captive in a house haunted by tragedy and despair, Elaine fears that neither her courage nor her abilities can save her from her fate. To defeat her captor and win back her freedom, Elaine must accept the aid of a mysterious stranger, who may be hiding his own reasons for wanting her to stay.

Goldheart is the second book in The Andari Chronicles, a series of interconnected fairy tale retellings that evoke the glittering romance of the originals, while infusing them with grit, humor, and a cast of captivating new characters.

Review:
Elaine’s innocence and uncertainty in what’s appropriate in life is realistic and refreshing from all the stories with similar attempted heroines. While I thought the connections between some characters were a bit obvious (though it was supposed to be foreshadowing) that didn’t at all deter me from enjoying the story entirely. The story was inspired by Rumpelstiltskin to be sure, but the gold looked for here is entirely different from any version I’ve seen before. This unique story is one I quite enjoyed, and would certainly recommend to others.

Author Biography: (From Amazon)
Kenley Davidson is an incurable introvert who took up writing to make space for all the untold stories in her head. She loves rain, roller-coasters, coffee and happy endings, and is somewhat addicted to researching random facts and reading the dictionary (which she promises is way more fun than it sounds). A majority of her time is spent being mom to two kids and two dogs while inventing reasons not to do laundry (most of which seem to involve books).

Kenley is the author of The Andari Chronicles, an interconnected series of fairy tale retellings, and Conclave Worlds, a romantic science fiction series.

She also writes sweet contemporary romance under the pseudonym Kacey Linden.