book review, review

The Inheritance

Today, I’d like to present to you Irina Shapiro’s first ever book, The Inheritance. Since The Inheritance was written, Shapiro has published dozens of heart pounding, tear jerking, stories of loss and survival, and it’s exciting to see where everything began.

  • Genre: Historical and Contemporary Romance
  • Narration Rating: 4/6 Glass Slippers
  • Story Rating: 6/6 Glass Slippers
  • Heat Level: ❤️❤️

In 2010 Katie Price is stunned when a man she never met leaves her a brewery and a castle in Scotland. She thought her grandfather had been dead for years, but as she goes to Scotland to inspect her inheritance with the help of local lawyer Danny, she learns more about herself than she ever thought possible.

In 1744 Isobel McBride enters an arranged marriage that leaves both parties miserable. Her husband is a careless brute who loves another and she craves the affection she thought she’d one day have. But another man offers her his heart, the entire future of the clan is in danger from more than just the coming war.

Two women two hundred and fifty years apart, brought together by a pile of love letters and a castle filled with memories.

It’s always so exciting to see how Shapiro writes her time hopping style of work. Each series and standalone book flip between worlds, connecting through memories, second lives, or faded letters in a hidden alcove. The methods she uses never grow stale and I’m always thrilled to see a new book in her collection.

I did have some issue with the narration. I think Wendy Wolfson spoiled me in her other work with Shapiro’s Echoes From the Past series and it was easier to find fault with the narrator in this book, particularly when it came to the Scottish accents. But as the book went on and I was drawn deeper into the story, it was easier to ignore.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and wish there was more of Katie’s story out there, particularly when it comes to her handsome Scottish lawyer.

audiobook, book review, New Book

To Marry a Morgan

A new day, a new audiobook, just how I like it. Today I want to introduce To Marry a Morgan (Pathways to Romance Book 1) by Cinnamon Worth, narrated by my girl Megan Green.

  • Genre: Sweet Regency Romance
  • Heat Level:❤️
  • Narration Rating: 6/6 Glass Slippers
  • Story Rating: 4/6 Glass Slippers

Philip Heartford never wanted to step foot in his ancestral lands again after the death of his brother. But as the new lord of the manor, he must return and take a wife. But he can’t just pick any girl at the garden party, he believes he must atone for his sins by marrying the woman his brother once loved, Allison Morgan.

Julia Morgan has always been in her beautiful sister Allison’s shadow and has contented herself with being a spinster, too ill suited for marriage. She would once have married a certain Mr. Heartford, but he made it clear he intends on righting old wrongs by taking Allison to be his bride. So ever the dutiful sister and friend, Julia plays match maker.

Allison despises Philip and Philip is annoyed by Allison’s refusal of him. Yet Julia works hard to unite them, if only to see her elder sister wed before she becomes a spinster too. Entangled lives lead to a mess as the English countryside echoes with wedding bells.

So, this isn’t my first Cinnamon Worth book. I enjoy her short, sweet historicals and the small touches she puts into them to make them believable. They’re all full of balls and gardens and secret meetings between lovers. Her pieces were basically made for the playful voice of Megan Green who has the perfect accent for period pieces like this one.

Phillip is wounded and prideful, too wrapped up in himself to see how he comes off. He bosses poor Julia around and proposes to Allison like, “You’re old and nobody’s going to marry you. Marry me and you’ll live on the country estate alone, taking care of my land while I go have fun in London…wait, where are you going? Why didn’t you accept?” He was a little on the dense side sometimes, but once more of the story is revealed, you see why he’s so forcefully detached and forgive him.

Julia was a gem, and in my opinion. She has a low opinion of herself, thinking she’s too “fat” and ugly compared to Allison, which is why she’s all too happy to buy herself a little cottage to live out her days. Her heart is too big for high society and the pressures that come with it. By the first few chapters, I was firmly on her side and wanted to scream at her to go find her happiness, since out of everyone in the book, she deserved it the most.

Overall, I enjoyed this story, brought to life by the ever talented Megan Green and suggest regency lovers take a peak.

audiobook, book review

Ask Me to Marry You

Summer means summer reading and road trips. And for me, road trips mean audiobooks. Actually, I find any reason to listen to them, especially if Meghan Kelly is involved. Enter Ask Me to Marry You by Heather Blanton, a two part book with some familiar faces I know I was excited to see again.

    Genre: Sweet Western Romance
    Heat Level: ❤️
    Story Rating: 5/6 Glass Slippers
    Narration Rating: 6/6 Glass Slippers

Part one: Audra is used to hard work and running the show, but the death of her father leaves her with a ranch she can’t run. The ranch hands don’t respect her, and she knows it’s because she wears a skirt. She needs a husband, and the one old man who has his eye on her property doesn’t fit the bill. She’s stuck between a rock and a hard place, but she’s not about to give up.

Dillon is in trouble, and his lawyer has a plan to keep him out of jail. He has to marry Audra for a year, and only a year, to be released. Dillon isn’t thrilled, but sees the upside. He’ll be free after his “sentence” and she’ll get a man to back her up on the ranch. But this mail order husband isn’t ready for what life in a Wyoming small town really entails.

Part 2: Dent never expected to fall in love with Amy, but once he realized how precious she was, he knew he could never let her go. As he makes plans for their future, someone from her past appears, bearing gifts and a few plans of his own.

I’ll start this review by saying you should listen to or read Hang Your Heart on Christmas, the first book in The Brides of Evergreen series. While you could hypothetically just listen to this one, you’d miss out on some world building and characters from the first book, and miss out on how Amy and Dent got together! You can read my review on that HERE. I loved seeing their relationship grow from basic enemies to the couple we see now.

I’ll start by saying I adored Audra. She was witty and strong, even when the odds were stacked against her. While some women might have sold the farm or married someone simply based on their ability to provide, she decided she would only marry on her terms.

As always, Meghan Kelly astounds me with her range. She can be a sultry temptress, a gruff cowboy, a little kid, or a witch at the drop of a had. She gives everyone a distinct voice, making it a breeze to follow along with who’s talking without thinking you missed something.

Overall, this sweet romance has plenty of heart and enough drama to keep any reader, or listener, thoroughly entertained.

audiobook, book review, history, New Book, review

The Unseen

I feel like I’ve waited forever for the lovely, talented Irina Shapiro to grace my Audible App with the next installment of Echoes from the Past. This addictive series steeped in history, mystery, and enough drama to keep anyone on their toes has easily become one of my persona favorites. Today, we’ll discuss The Unseen, book five in the epic saga that is Quinn’s life.

    Genre: Historical Fiction with Time Travel
  • Story Rating: 6/6 Glass Slippers
  • Narration Rating: 6/6 Glass Slippers

In 2014 Quinn is settling into a routine, trying to juggle her work as an archeologist, being a mother two two children, one of whom is a newborn, being a wife, having a social life, and still using the past to investigate murders from long ago. When she’s brought to a London flat, she finds it frozen in the Edwardian ages, but that’s not the strangest part. There’s a skeleton in a clawfoot tub, hidden behind a secret door. Now Quinn is left to use her special talents to find out who the person was, how they died, and who killed them.

In 1917 aristocratic young lady Valentina narrowly escaped Russia with her life, as being well-born was a death sentence in the Revolution. She makes it to London with her mother and younger siblings without the wealth and prestige she once enjoyed. When a relative named Dmitry offers his help, Valentina’s family accepts without considering the secret cost. Who was once to be their savior soon becomes Valentina’s worst nightmare as the family fights for survival in a new land.

Armed with a Fabergè egg necklace, Quinn dives into the past to solve the mystery of the body left to rot in a London flat for a hundred years. But that’s not the one on her mind. The whereabouts of her long lost twin still haunt her and she’s left to wonder who she will find first, the killer or her sister.

I really identified with Quinn in this book as she tried to find a balance in life with a new baby. It’s nice to see a normal character who doesn’t immediately fall into the role of picture perfect mom who has it all without a care. She puts in the work, as all parents do, and it was lovely to see her overcome different challenges. Although most challenges she’s faced so far like a plot to murder her, the reveal of her birth family, and the fact she can see through time are some many people will ever go through.

Valentina’s story was an interesting one. When we think about the Russian Revolution, we usually think about the lost princess Anastasia and the rest of the Romanov family or the wild death of Rasputin. We don’t see much about the aristocrats that managed to hop trains, flee their homes on horseback, or buy their way to a different land, dressed as a peasant. Her struggle to grieve the loss of her former life and her father and fiancé while trying to keep her remaining family afloat was something I can assume many faced when in a supposed safe place. From page one, I worried what would happen to poor Valentina.

Shapiro did a fantastic job weaving in Russian history and facts into a thrilling drama of betrayal and loss. I suppose that shouldn’t be surprising since Shapiro herself was born in Moscow. Still, many authors forgo historical facts to focus more on just the story. She does neither, perfectly pairing the past and present to create a book that doesn’t sacrifice a thing.

I don’t think there will ever be enough praise for this series, which is perfect for lovers of women’s fiction, historical fiction, mysteries, time travel, romance, or just plain good books.

audiobook, book review

Consumed

If you’ve been following the blog for the past few months, you know I’m a fan of narrator Meghan Kelly. I’ve listened to several of her works and today I have something a little different to share. Consumed by Sara Fields is a super hot book you’ll want to wear headphones for. Trust me.

Genre: Paranormal Erotica

Heat Level: ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Story Rating: 4/6 Glass Slippers

Narration Rating: 6/6 Glass Slippers

Undercover agent Kassandra thought taking underworld mogul Marcos into custody would be a cake walk. But the billionaire has been at the game longer than she’s been alive and won’t go in without a fight. And although she tries to break free, it doesn’t matter where in the world she is because Marcos has her twisted around his little finger and wants to show Kassandra what he does to girls who don’t play by his rules.

Marcos isn’t an easy man to please. He has rules and standards one must abide by, or suffer the consequences. His hard hand has made him a master of the boardroom and a devil in the bedroom. The way he weaves himself into Kassandra’s mind and dreams leaves you wondering if he’s more incubus than vampire. It also begs the question of if she will stick around long enough to find out.

While I expected a ton of sex, I was hoping for some more story between the spankings. I have a lot of unanswered questions and felt as if it was more erotica than romance, which is fine, I was just left wanting more. More character development, backstory, and a well rounded ending with no loose ties. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the audiobook is only about four and a half hours long, and for that length, Fields did manage to fill the time with a lot. Maybe one day we’ll get an extra large version with plenty of plot to go around.

With Kelly, I’m pretty familiar with her work and could pick her voice out of a crowd. While I’ve listened to her give life to werewolves, cowboys, and yoga teachers, I wasn’t prepared for Consumed. I’ve never listened to an erotica and she had me blushing! While I’m no prude, I don’t know if I could do her job, which is why I’m such a fan. Writing is hard work, but creating different voices for an entire cast is no laughing matter.

Overall, I dub this book best for readers and listeners that are looking for some darkness and some serious heat in their stories. This is no 50 Shades level fire, this is a whole other level.

book review

Bad to the Crone

I love all things witchy, so when the fabulously talented Meghan Kelly came to me with Bad to the Crone by Amanda M. Lee, I was sold. I’ve heard of the author, but this was my first work by her.

  • Heat Level:❤️
  • Genre: Paranormal, Cozy Mystery
  • Story Rating: 4/6 Glass Slippers
  • Narration Rating: 6/6 Glass Slippers

Scout’s origins are a mystery. After being left as a toddler at a fire station with no memory of her parents, she’s taken in and given a name. As she grew, it became apparent that she had a special set of gifts. She feels it’s her duty to use her powers for good and joins a biker club called the Spells Angels to fight evil. It means a nomadic lifestyle, loose roots, and the chance to find out where she came from.

When she rolls into Hawthorn Hollow, it’s quieter than she expected and Scout can’t imagine what dangers the small town could possibly hide. It’s so little, she doesn’t even need her bike to get around. But it turns out evil likes small and quiet, the kind of cozy places where neighbors trust one another and never lock their doors.

With a team of powerful witches, including a broody, handsome Gunner, Scout fights to keep her new post as monster-free as possible. But questions about her own past and getting to know the ins and outs of her new crew makes for a complicated time for our witchy heroine.

I wish the actual Spells Angels bikers played a bigger part in the book. It had great potential and I thought a witch on a motorcycle was such an awesome idea, but once she’s in Hawthorn Hollow, Scout’s biker crew is just, well, a crew. It would have made more sense to just make it a coven instead of build up the biker stuff in the beginning just for it to fall a little flat. Since this is a series, I’m hoping the next books have some serious Harley vibes.

Scout was a fun character and I really want to know the rest of her backstory. Strong female leads who don’t take any back talk are some of favorites and her sassy comebacks were always welcome. Perhaps Gunner might be strong enough to take her on, but who knows what their idea of romance would be! Knowing them, it’d be rounding up some varied and hitting the biker bar for some wings.

The narrator Kelly couldn’t disappoint me if she tried. This particular cast of characters was wild compared to the traditional romances of hers I’ve heard in the past. The range of her voice is always impressive. She’s gone from a sweet school teacher in the Midwest to a werewolf king to a strong biker witch and have none of them sound the same. I like to think I could identify each of the books she’s worked on with nothing more than a character clip! Maybe I’ll try that one time and put my possible skills to use.

Overall, Bad to the Crone was a fun, light listen that’s squeaky clean, making it safe for fans of all ages.

book review, New Book, review

Hang Your Heart on Christmas

It may not be Christmas anymore, but New Jersey is still completely freezing, meaning that books with a winter feel get first dibs on my list. This lovely Friday, I have the sweet audiobook Hang Your Heart on Christmas, written by Heather Blanton, Narrated by Meghan Kelly.

Genre: Sweet Western Romance

Heat Level: ❤️

Story Rating: 5/6 Glass Slippers

Narration Rating: 6/6 Glass Slippers

Dent wasn’t always a stone cold killer. Granted, a steady shot and a way with a noose has made him one of the best US Marshall’s in the west, but with each dead outlaw, he loses more of himself. And until he finds the man who killed his father so many years before, he won’t hand in his badge or hang up his guns.

Amy just moved to Evergreen, Wyoming to be the sleepy town’s new school teacher. She fled her home for her new post with a few scars that left her scared of men, the dark, and the unknown. She was promised the quiet life, and intends to heal with the help of her adorable students and a new place.

They’re so different, they immediately butt heads. Any thinks Dent is surly and abrasive. Dent thinks Amy is dull and too bookish. But you know what they say about opposites attracting. And when the towns new mayor and a mystery from the past invades Evergreen, the marshall and the teacher might have to join forces.

I thought this book was adorable. The romance was sweet with a nice, slow burn that really built up over time. It allowed me to get invested in Dent and Amy as characters without the “insta-love” some stories have. They had their own identities outside of the romance, which I loved. It wasn’t just a man and a woman, it was two individuals with complicated feelings and pasts that weren’t just slapped on a page.

The action in the book, which I won’t go into so I don’t spoil anything, also added a nice layer. Sometimes with sweet romances, it’s easy for me to get bored. But with murder, crime, and mysteries to keep things spicy, I was fully invested. The one thing I felt was missing, was the Christmas. They were carving pumpkins, not decorating for the holidays, so I would have liked to see more Christmas from a book with it in its title.

Finally, how is it that Meghan Kelly seems to get more talented with every book? Really, I was impressed with the first, but it’s like she keeps surprising me with the range of her voice. I think by the next one, I’ll be able to identify each character by tone alone! Between the light accents and the inflections unique to each character, she does a lovely job.