The Forgotten

Remember that audiobook I raved about a few weeks back? The one by Irina Shapiro that was so good, I was low key jealous I hadn’t thought of a story like that first? The one that was so amazing, I keep Facebook messaging her, begging her to write a screen play so I can watch a feature film? If not, take a peek back at The Lovers. But today I’m raving about The Forgotten, the second book in the Echoes from the Past series, narrated by Wendy Wolfson. As always, unless you’ve read/listened to book one, this review may contain spoilers.

Overall Rating: 6/6 Glass Slippers

Genre: Historical Romance/Mystery

Heat Level: ❤️❤️❤️

In 2014, Dr. Quinn Allenby’s life is falling into place in some aspects and falling apart in others. While her engagement to Gabe is like living in a dream and her newly forged relationship with her birth mother is off to a timid, yet warm start, the hunt for her biological father is still on and each candidate leaves something to be desired. But it’s not only her uncertain parentage that leaves her feeling uneasy. An accident leaves Gabe with a series of obstacles and trials that forces her to put her needs on the back burner to support him and take on a new role she wasn’t prepared for.

Despite the whirlwind of her personal life, she needs to keep working on the Echoes from the Past television series. It brings her to a pair of skeletons, a woman and a young boy who had been buried face down in unholy ground. Whatever their crimes had been, it had been bad enough to cast shame over them for all eternity. Quinn has to use her gifts to find out who they were in life and how they ended up in the makeshift graves.

In 1346, Petra has just buried her husband, who was a good provider, but an abusive man who had no kindness in his heart. She’s left to care for her son and two young daughters alone and she takes a position as a companion to a sharp, old woman she once served in her youth. Petra’s mother pushes her to remarry, but Petra had only loved one man in her youth, and he had left her pregnant and alone, leaving her to marry in haste to hide her growing belly. An eligible man now wants to marry her, but the reappearance of her first love clouds her mind and before long she’ll need to choose between a man she doesn’t love who can offer her the world, or the man she’s always loved that she can never be with, the father of her only son.

Both Quinn and Petra are strong women who want to follow their hearts and find they true paths, but when their roads intersect in two different times, Quinn finds that Petra’s tale may be too much to bear.

Shapiro has done it again. I listened to this book every spare minute and couldn’t get enough. When I was in Quinn’s car, driving through Scotland, I worried about Petra. And when I was following Petra to market in her seaside village, I wondered what Quinn was up to. It’s easy to get lost in the characters since you’re inserted so firmly into their minds. It also makes their tragedies more painful, but that’s what makes a story stick with you.

At times, I wanted to shake Petra for her choices. As a historian, I understood firmly what her life would be like without a good husband and I wanted to push her into her wealthy suitor’s arms so she could finally have some peace. I wanted her son to get a good apprenticeship and her daughters have high dowries so they might pick their husbands. But she was in love, and although I didn’t want her to suffer for it, I knew she had to live her life her own way.

This book is perfect for mystery lovers, history fans, people that want some thrills with their romance, peppered with dramatics. I’m waiting with baited breath for book three in audiobook, but since the book itself is already on Amazon, I might just jump the gun.

For the Audiobook, click HERE

For the ebook/paperback, Click HERE

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Covet

Who here remembers Vice, a steamy little number by Rosanna Leo? Well, get ready to swoon because book two in the Vegas Sin Series, Covet, is here!

Heat Level: ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Overall Rating: 6/6 Glass Slippers

Dana’s fiancé crushed her in the worst way possible; over a stale muffin in a hospital cafeteria after she’s given a painful diagnosis. So she sashays away like Diana Ross and goes to drown her sorrows in a local bar. As the saying goes, the best way to get over a man is to get under another and her new friend at the bar, Alex, fits the bill.

Las Vegas developer Alex has a bit of a reputation and a bit of a following, so he gives a fake last name when he meets Dana, and they share an hour together that rocks his world. But when he goes back to find her, his Cinderella is gone and she doesn’t even leave a slipper behind. Months later, he’s still wondering what became of the girl with the midnight eyes that haunt his daydreams.

When their paths do cross, it might take more than a few glasses of white and a few minutes of privacy to pick up where they left off. They’re both carrying their own heavy baggage, but if they can learn to let go, they might just be okay.

As you know, I’ve already rated this book a 6/6 on the Slipper Scale. It was hot, hot, hot, sweet, dramatic, and hot. But it didn’t just make me blush, it made me think and feel, something that not every book can do.

I felt for poor Dana, left by a man mere minutes after being told her chances of having a child were down to almost nothing. And I felt for poor Alex, hounded by the press after a tragedy that basically forced him to move across the country. They had complex backstories that didn’t weigh down the story, but humanized the characters.

But their chemistry was electric. Their banter and the little ways they interacted made their relationship believable and fun. Their passionate climb out of the darkness has that perfect spin that makes you remember what you love about romance novels.

Her Invisible Soldier

For once I’m late in the Grace Risata game, but I’m glad to be back in the reading race with Her Invisible Solider: A Military Romance With a Twist. It’s a steamy novel with a good message and even better characters.

Overall Rating: 6/6 Glass Slippers

Heat Level: ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Genre: Interracial Military Romance

Working in the billing and insurance office at a dental practice pays the bills, but Alyce’s job calls for more than paperwork. All employees are expected to volunteer every month to give back to the community. Sounds great, but Alyce doesn’t seem to fit in well with the places she’s tried to help out at, mostly because of her big mouth. Her last resort is with a group that helps veterans get back on their feet and she hopes her tough love approach will be just what the doctor ordered.

Dixon has been scarred, literally and figuratively, by his time in the military. He’s jaded, angry, and struggles with PTSD. He’s scared off every other volunteer, making him the biggest challenge the group has ever seen, but he meets his match with Alyce, who doesn’t take any nonsense off anyone and isn’t scared of a man with a few sharp edges.

As Dixon tries to stonewall, insult, and ignore Alyce into quitting, she only digs in her heels and tells him where to put it. When two strong willed, sharp tongued people are forced together, something’s bound to happen…but your money should be on Alyce coming out on top.

Firstly, I adored Alyce. She’s funny, sassy, and so human, she might be a real person. The stuff that comes out of her mouth is so natural and relatable, you can instantly get into her head, which is a wild place to be.

The relationship between Dixon and Alyce was a slow build, rising from some anger-tinted ashes to turn into something hot and passionate. The rawness with how they communicated and interacted with each other had a good insight to some of the ways PTSD affects relationships. In fact, I thought how Risata approached the topic of PTSD was tasteful and informative. She didn’t “fetishize” the thought of a woman fixing a man how some authors do, which says a lot about how she tackles difficult topics in her work.

Overall, I found this book funny, heartwarming, and hotter than hell. If you’re looking for a read that checks all the boxes, look no further than Her Invisible Soldier.