Je suis Charlie

Je suis Charlie

Samstag, 25. März 2017

To Charm a Bluestocking - Renee Dahlia











Blurb:
 
She wants to be one of the world’s first female doctors; romance is not in her plans. 

1887: Too tall, too shy and too bookish for England, Lady Josephine moves to Holland to become one of the world’s first female doctors. With only one semester left, she has all but completed her studies when a power-hungry professor, intent on marrying her for her political connections, threatens to prevent her graduation. Together with the other Bluestockings, female comrades-in-study, she comes up with a daring, if somewhat unorthodox plan: acquire a fake fiancé to provide the protection and serenity she needs to pass her final exams. 

But when her father sends her Lord Nicholas St. George, he is too much of everything: too handsome, too charming, too tall and too broad and too distracting for Josephine’s peace of mind. She needed someone to keep her professor at bay, not keep her from her work with temptations of long walks, laughing, and languorous kisses. 

Just as it seems that Josephine might be able to have it all: a career as a pioneering female doctor and a true love match, everything falls apart and Josephine will find herself in danger of becoming a casualty in the battle between ambition and love.


Wow, this book was amazing! I loved how the author mixed historical facts with her story and made me feel with those young women, trying to find their way in a world that was reluctant to allow women to learn and to study.

The story kept me on my toes, I loved the main characters a lot and I loved how they interacted. I was so proud of Nicholas for not being an ...idiot and underestimating Josephine but I loved how he enjoyed her intelligence, that he was willing to change his ways, to learn how to accept her independance and how proud he was of her and everything she achieved.

Sometimes in between I was seriously upset because of the things that happened and because I feared for some newfound (book)friends of mine and to say that I detest Van Percy...well, that's probably the understatement of the century.

I also loved how Claire, Marie and Josephine as the only female students in their year worked together and stood together against their not always sympathetic fellow male students. It took a strong personality and a strong will for women to study medicin in those times even though the University of Amsterdam was more open and more welcoming than for example the british Universities but there were still many men (and women) who thought that no woman should have a place there. Wasted time because a woman should marry and have children and shouldn't meddle with all those stupid things that would get her nowhere useful - at least in the eyes of many people. unfortunately many of their fellow students shared this view and were harassing them whenever they could.

Where Nicholas was supportive and proud of Josephine and not just because it was part of his job, it is her professor Van Percy who treats her with the least respect and who constantly harrasses her. Well, that's why Josephine's father sent Lord Nicholas St. George over to help her and pose as her fake fiancé, didn't he? The only question is - did her father have something else on his mind when he chose this very handsome, very charming and utterly irresistible and most distracting man as her fake fiancé?

I really loved how open both, Nicholas and Josephine, were to their feelings even if they were not totally happy in the beginning about this potential deviation from their set course. No games of cat-and-mouse, just open minds and honesty. Josephine, being shy, bookish and due to her unusual hight (for a woman) not very confident, nees some time to adapt at the idea of a not that bad looking man caring for her but you can feel her grow and get more confident and you can feel the steel at the core of her personality that made her pursue such an unusual and difficult career. I really loved to see her spread her wings and become more confident.

A wonderful and gripping book that I couldn't put down and that lets me hope for another book by this author - and soon, please!

★★★★★



Freitag, 24. März 2017

Spring Rain by Edie Claire, Julianne MacLean and Mary Campisi









Blurb:

 Immerse yourself in three full length romantic women’s fiction novels from some of the most beloved authors in the genre – more than 800 pages of emotionally uplifting, heartfelt family drama—where falling in love is only part of the story…

ALASKAN DAWN – By Edie Claire

Overachieving attorney Haley Olson has always done the responsible thing. So when her twin sister Micah needs a surrogate mother, Haley willingly volunteers. Like most feats the capable workaholic attempts, her pregnancy goes perfectly... until the results of prenatal testing threaten to tear Micah’s marriage apart.

Pregnant, overworked, and driven to the end of her rope by the neediness of the sister and widowed mother who depend on her, Haley seeks refuge with a week’s vacation on the Alaskan coast. As she soaks up the serenity of the unexpectedly vast and beautiful wilderness, Haley finds something else she doesn’t expect -- deep feelings for the wildlife-loving boat captain who reminds her how to laugh.

With her unborn niece or nephew on the way and thousands of miles of ocean between their lives and careers, Haley and Ben settle for a friendship. But back home in California, the emptiness in her heart refuses to heal, and when her pregnancy takes a frightening turn Haley must examine what really matters -- and rediscover the childhood dream she never realized she had lost.

THE COLOR OF HEAVEN – by Julianne MacLean

A deeply emotional tale about Sophie Duncan, a successful columnist whose world falls apart after her daughter’s unexpected illness and her husband’s shocking affair. When it seems nothing else could possibly go wrong, her car skids off an icy road and plunges into a frozen lake. There, in the cold dark depths of the water, a profound and extraordinary experience unlocks the surprising secrets from Sophie’s past, and teaches her what it means to truly live...and love.

PULLING HOME – Mary Campisi

It's taken nine years and a cross-country move, but Audra Valentine Wheyton has kept her secrets safe. She's created the perfect life: a husband who loves her, a daughter she adores, and a position as head writer for an award-winning daytime soap. When her husband dies suddenly, Audra returns to her hometown for the funeral and faces a community that has not forgotten her meager beginnings and the man who has never forgiven her for marrying his brother.

Jack Wheyton is a successful pediatric neurosurgeon who is about to become engaged when Audra walks back into his life with her daughter. He forgave his brother long ago for taking something that had been his, something he hadn't even realized he wanted until it was gone. But forgiving Audra is another story...and forgetting her? Near impossible.

When a shattering illness strikes Audra's daughter, she turns to Jack to save her child and risks exposing a secret that will change their lives forever.


 
This is not easy. Usually I read all the books before I rate a bundle but in this case I found that one of the books in this bundle hit a bit too close to home and I just couldn't read it.


Anyway, this is not the book's or rather in this case, the story's fault, as it is well written (otherwise it might have been easier) but cancer and the danger of loosing your child are due to our personal history a bit problematic. We almost lost our daughter a couple of years ago and we've lost too many loved ones to cancer so, well, I couldn't deal with that. Again, this is not due to the book but to my personal history.


Despite my problems with THE COLOR OF HEAVEN by Julianne MacLean, I really enjoyed the other books of the bundle. I loved to feel the chemistry between our hero and our heroine in ALASKAN DAWN by Edie Claire and I loved to see how those two fight for their love and their happiness and how much they are willing to give up for it.

What I also loved about the book was the way it dealt with topics like being a substitute mother and everything that implies. It was great (and hard) to read about the potential of a special needs kid as a result. The respect and the love for a well-loved aunt with a Down Syndrome and the mixed feelings at the idea of having a child with those very special needs - all those are at war and it's not easy to find your way in a situation like that. Well, some of those involved in that little mite that's on the way have more problems with it than others, which results in the substitute mother fleeing to Alaska to get away from all the demands, the worries and the smothering.

Throw in some amazing descriptions of Alaska and nature that almost had me pack my suitcase right then and there, great characters and an interesting plot and you'll know why I was hooked.

Nature is a big part of the book as well, actually, not just due to the main characters' love for it but also in their jobs. On the one hand there's Ben who is working as a captain to show tourists all those amazing whales and other animals, who tries to make them aware of nature's beauty and who also tries to fight for nature, to fight against the corporations polluting the sea - and then there's Haley. Haley who is working for the bad guys, actually.

Take Haley's needy and exhausting family (they made me scream with frustration..) and Ben's very lively, very loving, female-dominated family with his numerous sisters, their different jobs and top that with some real hot chemistry . yup, that's it. Sounds like a good story, doesn't it? And that's exactly what it is.

And then there's is PULLING HOME by Mary Campisi. I have already read several books by Mary Campisi and knew that I really love her books which was one of the reasons why I wanted to read this bundle. Pulling Home was great - and it did need a bunch of handkerchiefs and it was heartbreaking and I was so upset and - it was also very hopeful and sweet and I loved it. I loved to see how Audra got a chance at happiness because I was so upset by the way she was treated by her former neighbours, I hated all this judgement, this hypocrisy and - well, let's the, the brutal ironie of reality when all secrets are revealed. I felt sorry for those whose lives where lost to peoples' mean-spiritedness and I was furious thinking of all those narrow-minded people making other peoples' lives hell. In the end, despite everything that went down and all the bad things that happened, I was just happy to see Audra blossom and start a new life.

So, apart from the one book that was  just not my cup of tea but well written nontheless,  I really enjoyed this bundle and can defintily recommend it. 


★★★★

Oh, did I mention....



...that I'll attend the 


RARE 17 - Booked Up In Berlin 

 in June?

And just look at all those amazing authors that'll be there:




Donnerstag, 23. März 2017

A Special Obsession by A.M. Hargrove










Blurb:

From the author of For The Love of English, comes a new a stand-alone contemporary romance.

Rule Number One: Never let anyone get too close…

Weston Wyndham has more money on his tattooed wrist than I’ll ever have in my bank account.

Drunk, he was gorgeous, wicked, sexy… an inked god.
Sober, he is the most arrogant man ever.

If he thinks I’m going to let him order me around like one of his servants, he’s wrong. If he wants me to date him after all this, he’s out of his mind. I don’t care how rich he is, or that he drives a Ferrari and a fancy truck. Those walls I put up are there for a reason … and they were built to last.

But he’s relentless, and hot, and it turns out he likes his girls a little fiery. Giving in doesn’t have to mean disaster—unless I break my number one rule.

Special O’Malley is a handful. With a name like that, she ought to be. Sassy as hell, bossing me around, but damn if I don’t deserve it.

I’m used to getting my way, dealing with difficult people, only she’s not buying any of it. Usually my money attracts women. Not Special. She doesn’t give a damn about it … or me.

There’s more than one stubborn player in this game. I have a few tricks up my sleeve and I’m not planning on giving up any time soon … at least not until I’m between her thighs, making her moan. And those concrete walls she has … I have news for her. Concrete crumbles if you strike at the right place.



I really enjoyed For the Love of English by A.M.Hargrove but I loved A Special Obsession even more.

Special (yes, that is her name, really...) and Weston are wonderful characters with an amazing chemistry and I really loved to see how Special helped Weston to spread his wings and to find his own way, away from his ....indescribable....parents (who are just amazing - at least if you really really want to hate somebody....). Weston is really nice but he has to grow up a bit more and to learn to stand up for himself and those he cares for. Cody, Special's adoptive son and Mimi, her grandmother are also great characters but I also loved the other minor characters a lot.

It was great so see Special start to trust Weston and I loved to see Weston open up as well. Both of them need love and people who care for them in their life. Mimi and Cody are wonderful but, well, every girl needs someone special in her life, right? Even the owner of "Special's Stripper Squad" - if such a squad existed. And the lap wasn't out of order. And.. well. 

Interesting characters and an interesting and gripping plot with many twists and turns that kept me glued to my ereader - this book was great. Action packed, fast-paced and gripping and at the same time sweet and one of those books that make you sport some really goofy grins because it's just so very sweet and nice and...*sigh*

★★★★
 
 
 
 

For the Love of English by A.M. Hargrove











Blurb:

 Single dad, Beckley Bridges, is sexy as hell.
No, really, he’s the hottest thing since the sun was created.
Honest to God, crack an egg on him and the thing will sizzle.
So what’s the problem?
He’s also a gigantic jerk.
I hate the bastard.
I try to avoid him at all costs.
But for some reason, everywhere I go he seems to show up.

Only the real issue is his daughter, English.
She’s an adorable quirky first-grader who’s the sweetest thing since iced tea.
And she’s one of my students but also the love of his life.
So I have to deal with him on a professional level.
It’s not easy.
On a scale of easy to hard, dealing with Beckley Bridges is like nails screeching across a blackboard.

But when English’s mother tries to gain custody after abandoning her on Beckley’s doorstep as an infant, he’ll do anything possible to keep English under his roof.

That’s how he ends up propositioning me.

And crazy as it sounds?
I find myself considering it.

 

Do you know this kind of story that leaves you with an aching face because you've been grinning all the time? Well, not all the time, there were times when I was really shocked and when I feared the worst, reading on and on while barely breathing, there were times when I was so furious and just couldn't believe what happened and, of course, there was a time when I felt crushed. I was devastated and just couldn't believe what had happened...

The story is nice but not that unusual but the wonderful, very very loveable characters make this book special. You definitely have to get used to Beck but his devotion to his daughter and the easy acceptance of his situation as a single father and of course, the loving way how he raises English, make it easy to warm up to him, despite his, well, let's say -  his grumpyness - at the beginning.

Sheridan is sweet and loving and English, well, I'd take her, like, right now. Sweet, loving, charming, smart and just the right amount of wild and tomboyish...perfect. And don't forget Beck's parents, they are amazing as well!
The characters are not very complex but in this case it doesn't matter as the story and the characters just fit. I loved this book and will definitely read it again - and other books by the author as well.

Oh, just a little warning - this book contains explicit scenes so if you prefer clean books, this might not be the right one for you. 

★★★★

 

Dienstag, 21. März 2017

Romancing the Rogue by Erica Ridley








Blurb:

When the new earl inherits, poor relation Miss Rebecca Bond must wed immediately or be out on her ear. The only man she’s ever loved is summoned to hear the will—but he already rejected her so soundly that they haven’t spoken in years. Yet who better than a rakish Viscount to teach her how to snare a gentleman who appreciates her charms?

Daniel Goodenham, Lord North-Barrows, regrets nothing more than the lost friendship with the one woman who treated him like a man, not a title. Fate has given him the perfect pretext to win her forgiveness—even if it means having to matchmake her to someone else. But now that she’s back in his life, he’ll do anything to convince her to choose him instead...

As much as I loved the hero and the heroine I was a bit disappointed in the end when everything turned out just fine - just like that. I even turned back some pages because I thought that I might have missed something. It was a believable and realistic ending but something was lacking. Rebecca starts to hunt for a husband and - poof - game over. Husband found. Not necessarily the one she expected  but...well.

On the whole I was also irritated when suddenly the heroine was not just some "ghost" anymore haunting the estate but somehow without anybody really caring for her, but someone with a maid who accompagnies her and so on, even though before nobody even knew anymore that she existed (Horrible idea! Made me think how many spinsters and their likes may have had a similar fate in those times. Non-existent and invisible to those around them and just happy for the roof over their heads. ) and her uncle didn't strike me as someone who'd take care that everybody is aware of her needs and her presence.

I really liked Rebecca and her strong and independent ways, I liked how she defied society and their opinions again and again and showed her briliance and her strong character along the way.
I know that Daniel was also very young when they first met and still rather young and insecure when all the bad stuff went down but nevertheless I was really upset with him - despite the fact that I like him. Fortunately for him (and my patience), he remembers at last that he has a backbone and that he should trust Rebecca otherwise I would have been a very unhappy reader. Due to his new-found backbone and so on, I liked the book in the end even though it is not a book that I will read again very soon.

★★★