July 30, 2016

The Princess Companion: A Retelling of The Princess and the Pea by Melanie Cellier

The Princess Companion: A Retelling of thePrincess and the Pea is the first book of The Four Kingdoms Series by Melanie Cellier.

Cold and hungry as she tries to find her way out of the woods, Alyssa knocks on the door of the Winter Castle for temporary refuge for the night. Alyssa is a woodcutter’s daughter who intends to find a job in Arcadie, the capital of the Kingdom of Arcadia. Instead, the king hired her to be a companion to his energetic twin daughters, Princess Lily and Princess Sophie. Being a Royal Princess Companion, Alyssa is not considered a servant nor is she considered a guest in the Winter Castle. Either way, Alyssa wins the hearts of the members of the royal family as well as those of the servants.

As the summer approaches, however, Alyssa is undecided whether to go through her plans to find work in Arcadie or remain as a Princess Companion and watch as the king and queen find a suitable bride for Prince Maximillian.

I love this book and needless to say, I enjoy it immensely. It is a charming story of a smart and brave girl who finds her place among the royals, the nobles and the servants. The author created admirable and endearing characters. Alyssa, though she has a low tolerance for physical pain, has a sharp mind and a loving heart in addition to her natural beauty. Max is the promising prince, willing to learn, willing to work hard and willing to do anything for everyone and everything important to him.

The book not only features grand balls and exquisite princesses but also treason, espionage and deception. It keeps the reader hooked from beginning to end. 

Congratulations to Melanie Cellier on such a lovely book! 

July 28, 2016

Teepees and Trailer Parks by Hope Callaghan

Teepees and Trailer Parks is Book 1 of the Sweet Southern Sleuths Series written by Hope Callaghan featuring twin sisters Loretta and Lacy Sweet.

Loretta and Lacy inherit a southern style mini-mansion in Misery, Mississippi from their late Aunt Tess. In addition to the house is the adjoining property from where stand rental trailers and teepees.

The ball starts rolling when the twins meet with Aunt Tess’s attorney at the property and learn that there is a ‘stipulation’ regarding their inheritance. On top of that unexpected stipulation is the shocking discovery of a dead body in the bathtub of the house. Whose body is it? And who put it there?

With a natural propensity for solving mysteries, Loretta joins Uncle Ichabod as he goes around the neighborhood fishing for information that might shed some light on the mystery at hand. Until then, the twins, Uncle Ichabod, Savannah, Cameron and everybody else are suspect for the death of the body in the bathtub. 

Teepees and Trailer Parks is a short but highly entertaining and very enjoyable story that will keep you reading from the moment you start until the last page.

The plot, though simple, is stimulating. The characters are delightfully endearing. While Loretta is plump, smart, sweet and kind, Lacy is thin, sly, vain and superficial. Then we have Uncle Ichabod, Aunt Tess’s sprightly husband, Cameron Oglethorpe, the handsome attorney and Savannah Dogwood, the housekeeper.

Congratulations to Hope Callaghan (@Hope_Callaghan) on such a great book! Can't wait to read Book 2, Bag of Bones

July 27, 2016

A St. Louis Bride Trilogy by D. D. Boone

A St. Louis Bride Trilogy is a series of western historical romance written by D. D. Boone.

The books feature Olivia Corcoran, a neglected and unloved girl who found a way to escape from her mean and controlling father, a wealthy businessman from St. Louis, by exchanging letters with and agreeing to marry a cowboy from Cody, Wyoming.

Book 1: Loved by the Alpha Cowboy
Olivia arrives at the train station and meets Jack Halstead for the first time. Jack is a handsome and hardworking cowboy who works on his own property he inherited from his father. On their way to his ranch, Olivia nearly died of hypothermia but Jack saves her from freezing to death and they get married the following day. However, their blissful, albeit whirlwind romance is marred by a problem that threatens everything Jack worked all his life for.

Book 2: Desired by the Alpha Cowboy
Jack falls into a state of helplessness when he finds himself unable to provide for his new and beautiful wife. That, in addition to their personal differences, tears the newlyweds apart very early in their marriage. Meanwhile, Olivia feels blessed to finally find people who show her genuine affection.

Book 3: Touched by the Alpha Cowboy
Jack resolves his problem but put himself in a precarious situation. When his health turns for the worse, he set things up to secure a future for Olivia. However, an outsider comes to Cody threatening Olivia’s newly found happiness with her new family.

I enjoyed this trilogy. It has a simple and not-too-complicated plot with delightful characters. Steaming love scenes are enjoyable to read and the ending leaves the reader that feeling one gets when satisfied with a book. My only problem with the entire series is that each part is too short that it should have been written as one long book instead of three very short ones. Still, this is a great read.

Congratulations to D. D. Boone! 

July 22, 2016

Aisuru by Anma Natsu

Aisuru is the first book of the Hakodate Series and is a beautiful and fantastical love story written by Anma Natsu.

It is about Sakura, a young girl who is about to die soon. A terrible event that happened eight years ago left her alone and ill. To spare another person the pain of losing someone, Sakura decided to stay away from everybody and gave the impression that she wants everybody to stay away from her.

A meeting gone awry sends mythical Prince Kazuki of Troklana straight to Sakura’s house. In no time, Sakura’s self-imposed isolation comes to an abrupt end as she finds herself sharing her house with the hadsome yokai and his young tengu.

The story is set in Japan and features the Japanese culture including mythical creatures. The plot is great, not the typical romantic novels with characters of contradicting personalities. This book shows what love is and how it should be, selfless and unconditional.

I love the characters especially Sakura. She is smart, sweet and very kind as is evident in her treatment of Karasu who antagonizes her from the moment they met. Prince Kazuki is the ultimate prince charming, handsome, caring and selfless.

In addition to the great plot and lovable characters is the easy-to-read writing style that makes this book one great reading material. Moreover, I appreciate the author’s inclusion of the end notes. It makes the story easier to understand thus more enjoyable.

Congratulations to Anma Natsu on such a lovely book!        

July 15, 2016

Cyber Storm by Matthew Mather

Cyber Storm is a fast-paced, exciting, suspense novel written by Matthew Mather.

Two days before Christmas, a series of disasters strike New York City. Internet is down. Power is off, followed by a terrible snow storm. Mike Mitchell and his family and friends find themselves stuck in their apartment speculating what was going on. With food and water running out fast, they have to find ways to survive.

After only several days, the city of New York turned from frozen wasteland to war zone where formerly decent citizens resort to stealing, killing and probably worse and unthinkable acts.

I enjoyed this book immensely. For one, it made me contemplate on the possibility of this story coming true. Second, it made me realize how dependent we became to the internet. Third, it made me think of what life would be like without the wonder of electricity. Finally, it made me appreciate the simple pleasures of life like hot coffee, warm bath and clean clothes.

The writing is top rate; casual and easy to read and the characters are endearing. We have Mike, a simple guy but a loving husband and father; Chuck, the practical one who is the most prepared of them all; Damon, the wonder boy who keeps things going and Tony, the gentle and kind friend. However, I find the ending a little rushed and forced. Still, it is one great read.

Congratulations to Matthew Mather (@PhutureNews)on such an amazing book! 

July 5, 2016

The Faerie Guardian by Rachel Morgan

The Faerie Guardian is the first book in the Creepy Hollow Series by Rachel Morgan.

Violet’s ultimate dream is to be top of her class of graduating faerie guardian trainees. So, when Nate, the human assigned to her, manages to follow her to Creepy Hollow, violating the first Rule of the Guild, which states ‘never bring a human into the fae realm..’, Violet suffers the consequences which might diminish her chances of making her dream come true.

The questions are why and how does Nate see through her faerie glamour and how does he survive the journey through the faerie paths?

Naturally, Violet needs to take Nate back to his home. On their way, however, they are kidnapped by an unlikely pair, a human and a faerie.

I enjoyed this book immensely. I find it different from other faerie books that I read where faeries are mostly described as gentle, exquisite and harmless. I like the concept of faerie warriors like Violet who is adept in combat and can handle various weapons.

The storytelling is engaging making the book very difficult to put down. The action scenes are so vivid I feel like I am watching a movie. That being said, I hope this book is turned into a movie. The characters are fascinating. Violet, for me, is the perfect protagonist, smart, tough, brave, firm but compassionate.

What I like most about the book is the unpredictability. It is hard to guess what will happen next making the story very interesting with its twists and turns.

Congratulations to Rachel Morgan (@AuthorRMorgan) on such an awesome book. So excited to read Book 2!

July 3, 2016

Peter's Sisters by LM Foster

Peter's Sisters is an amazing book by LM Foster.

The story begins with Susan in the mental hospital. For her to get better, she is advised to write down her feelings on a composition notebook. So, she writes about how everything began.

She writes about Peter and the secret they keep. Then, she writes about Bonnie. Somehow, Susan wants to show the doctors that she is well and that she is telling the truth. Then, maybe they will release her and Bonnie will believe what she has been trying to tell her all this time. 

I love everything about this book. I love the plot. I find it very original. I love the characters. Peter is smart, quiet and charismatic. Susan is just as smart and tough for a girl. Her only flaw, that I see, is that she cares too much about Bonnie. Bonnie is devious and stupid. She only cares about herself. She probably cares about Susan but not because she really cares but only because she knows Susan cares about her.

The writing is superb, casual, smooth and easy to read. Most importantly, the book is very short and contains no irrelevant details nor any dull moments. 

Overall, this is one amazing read. Congratulations to LM Foster (@9thStreetPress) on such a great book!