Review of The Beggar Princess by Lidiya Foxglove

The Beggar Princess
Fairy Tale Heat Book 4
By Lidiya Foxglove

Star Rating: 
Genre: Fairy Tale Retelling, Romance
Number of Pages: 154

Started: August 28, 2017
Finished: August 29, 2017

Synopsis: (From Amazon)
“You will marry the very next man who walks in that door.”

As the only princess of a prosperous kingdom, I have wanted for nothing—and refused all suitors. What real man is worthy of my interest, when I secretly pen tales of handsome lords and beautiful brooding counts? But now my father has gathered up every eligible royal bachelor in all the realm. And it’s just as I suspected, not one to capture my fancy—especially King Brennus of the Wood Elves, who looks like a bandit and has the accent of a man born in a barn. I’d rather be on my own forever. I refuse them all. The last thing I expected was for my mild-mannered father to insist, in a fit of anger, that I marry the next man who walks in the door, even if he’s a peasant…and what do you know?

“No, lass. I won’t let you starve. But you won’t exactly be free either. And just remember, any time you like, you can stop me. All you have to do is work or beg.”

My new husband looks like a laborer and lives in a little cabin in the forest, but something tells me he’s not what he seems. He says he means to teach me humility in the form of honest work, making stew and scrubbing floors. But somehow or other, he knows all my secrets, all the deepest desires of my heart, and there is no one in the forest to hear me beg him for mercy…except the wolvenfolk who howl in the forest at night. They haven’t made any trouble in fifty years, but when the wolves are at the door, I don’t know if a peasant can save me…

The Beggar Princess is a retelling of the Brothers Grimm’s King Thrushbeard, a standalone fairy tale romance for those who like unabashedly adorable happily ever afters with a side of serious steaminess!

Review:
This book is great. You see a princess who has desires outside the norm, but that doesn’t stop her from being too spoiled and pampered. While I quite loved seeing her new husband attempt to teach her humility, I thought that while he might be playing into what he knew her deep desires were, she was far too… eager, and quick to admit love and need to serve him. Despite that, or perhaps because of that, she does try to become more humble, attempting to do what he had asked.

While she does actually do all the work he had hoped she might gain some perspective from and then some in the end, I couldn’t help but hope that something else might have happened. I did like the story overall, but I would have really enjoyed seeing our heroine in her new role at the end.

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

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Review of Her Secret Desire by C. J. Archer

Her Secret Desire
Lord Hawkesbury’s Players Book 1
By C. J. Archer

Star Rating: 
Genre: Historical Fantasy, Historical Romance
Number of Pages: 316
Summer 2017

Synopsis: (From Amazon)

Prepare for a romp through Elizabethan England, where finding love is written in the stars…

Comely, courageous Minerva “Min” Peabody, a poor but passionate playwright, is determined to make her mark. Ill-fated to live in Elizabethan England, when women—deemed the inferior sex—most assuredly did not write plays, Min will prevail. With her finished play in hand, she implores Roger Style, a local theatre manager in London, to read it. Though desperate in his own right—due to a string of commercial failures—all Style sees before him is a woman playwright, and refuses to even look at her work.

On impulse, Min changes her story, claiming the play was written by the man standing across the street, and secures the manager’s agreement to review it. But her choice of surrogate, Robert “Blake” Blakewell, promises to be a mixed blessing indeed. Blake, a handsome blue-eyed sea captain with his own agenda, is a man with a mysterious past, a pair of breathtaking shoulders, and an irresistible aura of intrigue. Though he agrees to her outlandish proposal, she has to wonder, as she gets lost in his eyes, what in the world she’s gotten herself into.

Blake’s own mission? To ferret out the cad in Roger Style’s theatre company responsible for getting his sister with child. And when that objective threatens to derail Min’s nascent career, his dilemma is a daunting one: protect either his family’s honor or the woman who’s slowly but surely softening his heart and winning his love.

Funny, fast-paced, and with a deliciously dark edge, Her Secret Desire speaks to any woman who’s ever had to fight for her dreams in a world that just won’t take her seriously.

Review:
Too often is it easy to forget that jobs women now thoroughly enjoy and thrive doing had once been considered taboo. This book did an amazing job of showcasing what was expected of a woman, and how men were able to dictate exactly what a woman was allowed to do.

Min is a relatable heroine with worthy ambitions and goals. While she wants something unattainable her reasons for pushing so hard are admirable. Even in the face of complete ruin she is only willing to do what it takes to keep the ones she loves safe, even if it means sacrificing her own desires in the process.

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.

cj
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:
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CJArcherAuthorPage
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/cj_archer
Tumblr: http://freakhouseresidents.tumblr.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorcjarcher/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/cjarcher/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4615377.C_J_Archer

Review of Kiss of Ash by C. J. Archer

Kiss of Ash
The Witchblade Chronicles Book 2
By C. J. Archer

Star Rating: 
Genre: Historical Fantasy, Historical Romance
Number of Pages: 331

Date Started: April 8, 2017
Date Finished: April 9, 2017

Synopsis: (From Amazon)
Pippa Ingleside will do anything to escape her ruthless uncle, but even she is surprised when her previously dormant powers aid her. Surprised and afraid. Her newly discovered abilities may have saved her but they condemn her at the same time.

Disguised as a boy, she travels to the home of Lord Ashbourne to find her one and only friend. To maintain her disguise and put a roof over her head, Pippa accepts a job as page of the wardrobe to Ash, a man as mysterious as he is dangerous. If he discovers her lie, he’ll send her back to her uncle and her witchcraft will be exposed to the authorities.

As the lies build it gets harder for Pippa to maintain her disguise, especially when she falls in love with the man she must serve.

Her only hope is to find her friend. But when the friend is murdered, Ash investigates and where he goes, his page goes too. Together they uncover a web of secrets that could destroy Ash and condemn Pippa. But that’s nothing compared to what happens when he discovers she’s a woman…

Review:
From the beginning one cannot help but feel for Pippa, who has been imprisoned unfairly for five years. As Pippa attempts to flee and find a way to keep safe from her uncle and whatever he might try to throw at her, she finds herself with Ash. Seeing Ash again was quite nice after how distraught he seemed to be in Honor Bound.

Soon the couple find that there is more mystery than simply that of why a friend has died. Between the lies and deception, Pippa and Ash have to fight to find what is real, and what can save them both.

While both are quick to speak and perhaps too brash for most, Pippa and Ash quickly have an understanding, and neither wants to be the first to admit there is more than duty and lust between them. Their stubbornness and quick wits make them a pleasure to read about in all aspects.

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.

cj
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:
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CJArcherAuthorPage
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/cj_archer
Tumblr: http://freakhouseresidents.tumblr.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorcjarcher/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/cjarcher/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4615377.C_J_Archer

Review of Honor Bound by C. J. Archer

Honor Bound
The Witchblade Chronicles Book 1
By C. J. Archer

Star Rating: 
Genre: Historical Fantasy, Historical Romance
Number of Pages: 267

Date Started: April 7, 2017
Date Finished: April 7, 2017

Synopsis: (From Amazon)
7 years ago a woman with too many secrets and a man with too many lies fell in love. Then she left him.

Isabel’s quiet life as an assistant to one of London’s famous apothecaries hides a deadly secret. A secret that could see her put on trial for witchcraft if the authorities uncover the truth. But when the authority figure who turns up at her shop is Sir Nicholas Merritt, she’s at risk of losing more than her life. She could lose her heart and soul, and the man she loves.

Royal spy Sir Nicholas Merritt can’t believe his luck when he stumbles upon Isabel during an investigation. He’s been searching for her for seven long years and now he has her again, in his bed and his life. Except she’s resisting all the way. Worse still, she’s somehow tangled up with a plot to assassinate the queen. To hold onto her this time, he must find out why she left him while hiding a secret of his own that could tear them apart forever.

Review:
The connections in this story were absolutely fantastic, as was the mystery. I went back and forth between a few different people that I thought had tried to assassinate the queen, and while I believe I had figured out who it likely was before it was revealed, I had only been grasping at straws and wasn’t secure in my belief that the character had done so.

The relationships were so realistic, convoluted and yet utterly perfect. Nick and Isabel were absolutely amazing together. While they both changed, they both accept how the other had developed in their time apart, and they come out stronger for it. Isabel isn’t the typical damsel in distress, but then, she’s also already married, so it’s great to see how she and Nick work together to try to overcome everything that plots to keep them apart.

The romance scenes were steamy, and oh so good. I much prefer Honor Bound to The Charmer.

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.

cj
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:
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CJArcherAuthorPage
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/cj_archer
Tumblr: http://freakhouseresidents.tumblr.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorcjarcher/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/cjarcher/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4615377.C_J_Archer

Review of Hex on the Beach by Gina LaManna

Hex on the Beach
The Magic & Mixology Series Book 1
By Gina LaManna

Star Rating: 
Genre: Mystery

Number of Pages: 254

Date Started: December 27, 2016
Date Finished: December 29, 2016

Synopsis: (From Amazon)hex-on
Welcome to The Isle… Lily Locke has never believed in witches and wizards, ghosts and magic, shifters and vampires—especially cute blonde vamps with blood-intolerance issues. A rising star at a hotshot marketing agency in Minneapolis, Minnesota, all Lily knows is that she’s a PowerPoint guru, an Excel ninja, and a coffee-maker extraordinaire. Not to mention she’s next in line for a huge promotion. All that changes when Lily’s assistant delivers a strange quiz to her, one titled A Magical Assessment for Normal Folks. With it comes the promise of a land she’s never known existed. A land where Lily not only discovers her biological family for the first time, but a place where she can make a difference, change lives, and step into the role she’s destined to fulfill. But first, Lily must admit she’s a witch. Then, she has to acknowledge that the tall, dark, and mysterious man who offers his help is strictly focused on business…at least, for now. When a body turns up dead and the next target is Lily, she must trust her powers and accept the help of her newfound friends. Otherwise, she’ll never survive the trials of the magical island tucked far, far away in the frigid waters of Lake Superior. Welcome to The Isle.

Review:
I really like the premise of this book, but the characters and the situations really seem more written for YA than an adult crowd. The characters weren’t very well developed and seemed much more like stock teenagers than adults. None of the characters ever demonstrated any interests.

This book felt as if it was a constant state of expedition. What should have been climatic wasn’t really worrisome, and absolutely nothing was solved by the end of the book. There are lots of questions and absolutely no answers, that, of course, leads you to the next novel…

What irks me most is that this book is considered a mystery. Sure, there are mystery elements, but there is no big mystery here; nothing is solved. If this was under Romance and Mystery it might be excused, but this is under Mystery and a mixture of various supernatural creatures– not all of the creatures it is listed as a mystery of actually make an appearance in the novel!

ginaAuthor Biography: (From Amazon)
Gina LaManna is the USA TODAY bestselling author of the Magic & Mixology series, the Lacey Luzzi Mafia Mysteries, The Little Things romantic suspense series, and the Misty Newman books. Stop on by and say hello on Facebook!
Link: https://www.facebook.com/authorginalamanna

Review of The Charmer by C. J. Archer

The Charmer
Assassins Guild Book 1
By C. J. Archer

Star Rating: 
Genre: Historical/Medieval Romance
Number of Pages: 286

Date Started: October 20, 2016
Date Finished: October 24, 2016

Synopsis: (From Amazon)cover-the-charmer
Handsome. Charming. Devastating. He was the last man she needed, but the only one she wanted.

Orlando Holt has never assassinated a woman before. The lovely, feisty Lady Lynden will be his first. She’s supposed to be a vicious murderess, but when Orlando begins to have doubts, he sets out to discover the identity of the person who hired him. What he learns will turn his world upside down, and propel him headlong into love with a woman who’s immune to his charms.

Twice widowed by the age of twenty-four, Lady Susanna Lynden has had enough of charming men. Her last husband knew all the right things to say to get her to the marriage bed…then made her life miserable. Money may be scarce and her house falling down around her, but the exotic fruit from her orange trees will keep poverty away. Except someone is thwarting her at every turn. Someone who may even want her dead.

Review:
I wasn’t certain what to expect out of Archer, having already become completely addicted to her Ministry of Curiosities book series, but this book surely didn’t disappoint.  While different in the lack of supernatural, this book had quite realistic deep characters that were easy to connect with.  Through learning about the characters and their relationships one might be able to guess the mystery, but for me, although I did have an inkling who it might be, I hadn’t figured out the why for certain.

Several amazon reviews state that this book dragged and there wasn’t enough action in it, but I can tell you that I didn’t want to put this book down, and it wasn’t until I was falling asleep trying to continue reading on the kindle that I did so.  The ending was perfect, and it was a quite wonderful read.

Oh, and guess what– this amazing one is for free on kindle!  I certainly recommend this book, and will be moving on to her latest series I have yet to start on.

cj
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:
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CJArcherAuthorPage
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/cj_archer
Tumblr: http://freakhouseresidents.tumblr.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorcjarcher/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/cjarcher/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4615377.C_J_Archer

Review of Tangled Beauty by K. L. Middleton

Tangled Beauty
Tangled, Book 1
By Charlie N. Holmberg

Star Rating: 
Genre: Romance
Number of Pages: 220

Date Started: July 6, 2016
Date Finished: July 6, 2016

Synopsis: (From Amazon)tangled
Sinclair Jeffries thought she knew what she was getting into when her zany, gay friend, Jesse Eddington, talked her into portraying his girlfriend during his parent’s anniversary party on Huntington Beach. That is, until she met Reed, Jesse’s sexy as hell older brother, and ends up getting much more than what she’d bargained for.

Reed Eddington assumed his future was settled until he met Sinclair, his brother’s so-called “girlfriend”, but the raw, sexual tension between them is hard to ignore. As he watches their ruse from the sidelines, he finds himself wanting to uncover more than just their amusing little facade.

Due to sexual content and heavy subject matter, this book is recommended for ages 18+. This book has dark humor, romance, and suspense.

Review:
I am still trying to fill the void in me that not being able to instantly continue with The Ministry of Curiosities left.  Unfortunately, I seem to be looking in all the wrong places.  I was really psyched to start this novel.  The premise sounds like it could be quite intriguing but the writing itself is atrocious.

Not only do the characters talk in a way that seems unnatural and odd, but a lot of the novel is filled with clichés, idioms, stereotypes, and unrealistic scenarios that it was almost instantly a book I knew I’d dislike.  Some of these include, but are not limited to: someone outright having a conversation with her “boyfriend’s” mother about how she was adopted, models having bad tempers and only eating vegetables, people in the show business being cheaters and into drugs, and several bits of advice such as “you only have to please yourself” and “women are predictable but most are unpredictable.”  On top of that, there also seems to be no relevant plot, with a villain thrown in seemingly so he can later be in the next book which I will NOT be reading.  A lot is told to the author from the narrator without showing the reader anything, which gets monotonous, boring, and dry.  Even the ending left much to be desired, with the supposedly strong and in charge female protagonist letting go of why she was upset without ever confronting Reed about it.

Author Biography: (From Amazon)
K.L. Middleton is from the Midwest. She is also the author of the popular Zombie Games (series) and Night Roamers (series). Visit her website at http://www.kristenmiddleton.com.