West Coast Bound

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I should have known better for this one. Sadly I did not realize until after reading that this is the same author that wrote Silver Storm and I didn’t enjoy that one much either in the end.

Brighter than Gold, first in the Rogues Go West series by Cynthia Wright was pretty good at first, just like Silver Storm. Thankfully I enjoyed this one more since the featured couple weren’t ‘I’m going to slit your throat in your sleep’ hostile with each other, and even then the hostility that was there was one sided.  Our heroine Katie Mackenzie does not much care for our gold digging hero Jack Adams, a point she makes blatantly clear to him but is also equally clear to us that it’s more of a defense mechanism than anything else.

Jack Adams meanwhile, is hiding like 3 lives. One as the editor (owner?) of a highly successful paper in San Francisco, one as the infamous outlaw The Griffon, and one as lowly western country boy Jack Adams. My what tangled webs this one weaves, and how he gets trapped in his own threads when he tries to untangle himself.

And he almost loses the woman he loves when he marries her, brings her back to San Francisco and expects his wild desert flower to play the part of the dutiful society wife. At first the two fight over this, but I love the revenge she gets.  Instead of throwing hissy fits, she is determined to be the best societal wife ever, to the point where she does not have time for him and he’s forced to come crawling back to her all ‘ok…yeah…I effed up.  My bad.’

SUCH a better ending than Silver Storm. Yeah the man was an ass, but in the end she stood up for herself, he apologized, and they began working on their relationship together.  THAT is the kind of ending I like.

Well one more to go and I think it’s the end of Ja No Read Mo 2018. Fortune’s Flower, book 1 in the Passport to Romance series by Anthea Lawson next.

Before she must wed, Lily Strathmore decides upon one final adventure – a botanical expedition through the wilds of North Africa with her uncle and his family. In search of a fabled bloom, James Huntington soon joins them. Handsome to a fault and rakish to boot, he has the maddening habit of catching Lily at her most improper. And his sensual kisses are only the beginning of their passionate intimacy…Huntington finds the beautiful Miss Strathmore impossible to resist. With each passing day, their desire for each other grows. And in his wildest dreams, Lily is his – and his alone. Forever…

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Start The Chase!

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Amethyst is the first in the Chase Family series by Lauren Royal and I loved it. Historical, romantic, I loved the writing and the characters and just everything about this book.

We’re introduced to Amethyst Goldsmith, daughter and heir apparent to the Goldsmith and Sons business and fortune. Betrothed to a man she loathes, she is determined to make the best of her situation until the Great Fire of London in 1666 rips through the city, taking her home, her business and her father with it.  She would have been swept away in the flames as well if not for the timely passing by of a certain lord Colin Chase, Earl of Greystone with a wagon full of children.

Alone in the world, having lost her mother years before to plague, Amethyst has nothing but a mysterious locked box and a promise to her father that the family business would not end with her. Thrown into the world of aristocrats and royals when Colin and his family take her in, she is determined to move on and honor her vow to her father, despite the attraction that sparks between her and the Earl.

So the story is pretty typical, but it was still enjoyable. I actually liked the creative way the two work around her vow to her father.  See one of the biggest obstacles stopping the two lovers is that an Earl’s wife cannot work, and Greystone manor is not financially well off.  But our two protagonist actually come up with clever ideas and ways of looking at the situation they found themselves in so that they are able to live their lives together.  Least I thought so.

And of course this is after her attempt to leave her intended behind and his attempt at kidnapping her and marrying her against her will…but you need to read it to find out how THAT turned out.

These free books are 50/50 so far. I’m always a bit excited and nervous to check out the next one, and this is no different.  We’re looking at Brighter than Gold next, first in the Rogues Go West series by Cynthia Wright.

In 1864 Columbia, California, the gold rush is over. Spirited Katie MacKenzie helps her father run a saloon and writes articles for the local newspaper about the Griffin, a Robin Hood-style highwayman who robs the unscrupulous mine owners and gives back to the townspeople.

Irresistibly roguish Jack Adams, an adventurer with a dark secret, rides into the sleepy Sierra town one summer day and changes everything.

A powerful attraction smolders and burns between Jack and Katie despite their efforts to resist, but when a tragic death occurs during one of the Griffin’s stagecoach robberies, Katie is haunted by thoughts of revenge.

Can Jack reconcile his life in Columbia with his surprising true identity in San Francisco… and will this couple find their way to happiness in spite of the dangerous secrets that separate them?

Bruising Storms More Like

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So I started off liking this one, and ended hating it.

First in the Rakes and Rebels series, The Ravenau Family by Cynthia Wright, Silver Storm introduces us to young Devon, a girl in New England just as the American revolution starts who has been in love with a French pirate captain Andre Ravenau for years.

After the British attack her town, her home burned down, her mother vanished and she is almost violated, Devon is taken aboard Andre’s ship.  At first she thought she had found a friend in the man who snuck her on board, but he only intended for her to relieve the physical stresses of the crew.

Thankfully captain Andre discovers her and saves her from such a fate, and the two start a love/hate relationship before Andre abandons her on his own private island, unknowingly pregnant, and facing alone the animosity of the steward and mystery of the island’s past.

Now what made me really hate this book in the end is Devon really.  I liked her character, I enjoyed aaaaalll the set up, but Andre treats her so horribly throughout and in the end he comes back to her and he’s all like ‘Yeah I love you’ and she’s all like ‘oh Andre I’m so happy!’

And I’m all like ‘BITCH! NO! Slap his smug ass face and lay down some ground rules!’ But no no no no. As soon as he says ‘I love you’ that’s it. No need to apologize, no need to discuss how he treated her to try and come to an understanding as to why and that it will never happen again, just ‘I love you’ and ‘omg take me’.  Like Stockholm Syndrome much.  Just…no.  I actually regret reading this one.

Ugh.  Lets scrub the bad away with something hopefully good shall we.  Amethyst, first in the Chase Family series by Lauren Royal is next.

Amethyst Goldsmith makes dazzling jewelry, but her future isn’t nearly as bright as the pieces she creates. Though custom dictates she wed her father’s apprentice, her heart rebels against the match. In mere days Amy will be condemned to a stifling, loveless marriage, and she sees no way out—until the devastating fire of 1666 sweeps through London, and tragedy lands her in the arms of a dashing nobleman who knows a diamond in the rough when he sees it…

Colin Chase, the Earl of Greystone, has his future all figured out. He’s restoring his crumbling castle and estate to its former glory, and the key to its completion is his rich bride-to-be. But the Great Fire lays waste to his plans, saddling him with trouble—in the form of a lowly shopkeeper’s daughter with whom he’s most inconveniently falling in love…

High Lands With Few Lows

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Now THAT is what I’m talking about!  I’m not even sure why I liked it so much, but I really enjoyed MacFarland’s Lass.

First in the Scottish Lasses series by Glynnis Campbell, MacFarland’s Lass is the tale of young Florie, goldsmith apprentice on the run from a local lord towards the mysteries of her past, but shot by one of the lord’s hunstman Raine and claims sanctuary in an almost-abandoned church.  Meanwhile the local lady, spy for the English, banished to these Scottish backwoods has taken special umbrage with Flor and does everything in her power to be a spoiled brat and stamp her feet and pout and try to get at Florie even while she is held in sanctuary.

But of course young, handsome, valiant Raine will not hear of it.

Yeah it’s a yawningly typical romance, but it was well written, I liked the characters and the setting so it was very much worth the read for me. No big reveals or any such thing here, just boy meets girl, boy tends/protects girl, boy and girl get married, have babies, the end.

I have a feeling a lot of these free romances I got from Kobo are going to be like that.  Ah well.  Let’s see if my prediction rings true with Silver Storm, first in the Rogues and Rebels: Raveneau Family by Cynthia Wright is next.

Set in 1781, during the Revolutionary War, SILVER STORM is the passionate tale of Andre Raveneau and Devon Lindsay who are thrown together when she stows away on his privateer after the British burn her home in New London, CT. The irresistible Captain Raveneau agrees to take her to Virginia to find her childhood sweetheart, but fate has other plans. Through intrigue, misunderstandings, and swashbuckling sea battles, Devon and Andre are swept away by a love that won’t be denied.

Closed Door Open Mysteries

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First and foremost, not a romance so not what I wanted to read.  Secondly, it was ok.  Did not like it enough to continue the series, but did not dislike enough to completely trash it.

The House of Closed Doors is the first in the series if the same name by Jane Steen.  Here we are introduced to Nell, a young woman of the American Midwest who is ruled by a domineering, borderline abusive stepfather who tries to marry her off as most families of their time and station do.

But Nell has gotten herself into trouble with a lad, and before she can be married off she must first be rid of what her stepfather deems to be a burden.  So Nell is packed off to a farm to give birth to a beautiful girl and give her up for adoption as planned.

And of course things don’t go to plan.  Aside from the fact that Nell becomes attached to her child and does not want to leave her, the bodies of another woman and her child are found on the property of the home she is staying at so of course she must needs solve it before making her own way in the world.

Very Meh.  I feel like this could have been something, I’m not sure what it’s missing though.  It just feels lacking and I’m not sure if it’s writing style or content.

Ah well.  Hopefully McFarland’s Lass fares better, first in the Scottish Lasses series by Glynnis Campbell.

When Florie Gilder, the once-respected jeweler to Queen Mary, claims sanctuary in an abandoned church for a crime she didn’t commit, huntsman Rane MacFarland, a local hero of the common folk, vows to protect her. But when his overlord charges him with preventing the fugitive lass’s escape, Rane finds himself torn between duty and desire when he begins to fall for his spirited captive. And when powerful foes conspire to turn Rane and Florie against each other, they need courage, wits, and, most of all, love, to survive.

Dark Disappointments

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 was really disappointed with Dark Desires. It looked really good, Victorian gothic romantic horror I guess you would call it, but in the end it just fell flat for me.

First in the Dark Gothic series by Eve Silver, Dark Desires tells the story of a young woman, orphaned daughter of a merchant as she walks the streets of Whitechapel in the time of Jack the Ripper, trying to find some way to survive.  After first trying the home of her sister turned bordello madam, she practically falls into the lap of a gentleman atomist, a man who dissected bodies and documented them for science.  Hired on as a maid for the household, she quickly rises to the role of assistant after her talent for art was discovered.

But young Darcie has her doubts about her benefactor Damien.  Strange men calling in the night, blood soaked clothes, and a killer on the loose all serve to allow her imagination to run wild and she is torn between her fear and her desire.

Give you three guesses which one wins out in the end.

Yeah I just did not like this one.  It was just ‘too typical’ I feel, Darcie was such a weak female protagonist and Damien was completely predictable.  So glad I did not have to pay for this one.

Well they can’t all be good ones.  Lets try another.  House of Closed Doors by Jane Steen, first in the House of Closed Doors series.

In Nell Lillington’s small Midwestern town of the 1870s, marriage is the obvious fate of a young woman of some social standing. Yet Nell is determined to elude the duties and restrictions of matrimony. So when she finds herself pregnant at the age of 17, she refuses to divulge the name of the father and even her childhood friend Martin is kept in the dark.

Nell’s stepfather Hiram sends Nell to live at the Poor Farm of which he is a governor, to await the day when her baby can be discreetly adopted. Nell is ready to go along with Hiram’s plans until an unused padded cell is opened and two small bodies fall out.

Nell is the only resident of the Poor Farm who is convinced that the unwed mother and her baby were murdered, and the incident prompts her to rethink her decision to abandon her own child to her fate. But the revelations to which her questions lead make her realize that even if she manages to escape the Poor Farm with her baby, she may have no safe place to run to

 

The. End. Like for Realsies.

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Sooooo HUGE milestone for me.  I finally completed my Forgotten Realms collection!  WOOOOOO!

I decided to finally cave and get myself a Kobo for Christmas, and thanks to that and a very generous gift card from my dad and sister I now own one copy of every fiction book printed in the Realms universe since Darkwalker on Moonshae was released in 1983, as well as .

This is a huge accomplishment for me and I am so proud of my collection.

I know I am no where near 100% complete of ALL things Realms.  I haven’t really touched the RPG source books and I am missing a few games, but my main goal/focus was one copy of every novel and I duddits!

For 2018 I’ll focus on getting PDF copies at least of all the RPG stuff and pick up the computer games I’m missing.

But yea…super woot day for me 🙂

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