Hannah’s Moon ( American Journey #5) by John A. Heldt-a review

Hannah’s Moon (American Journey #5) by John A Heldt-a review

Hannah's Moon

Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / Amazon. uk /

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date February 8, 2017

After struggling for years to have a child, Claire Rasmussen, 34, turns to adoption, only to find new obstacles on the path to motherhood. Then she gets an unlikely phone call and soon learns that a distant uncle possesses the secrets of time travel.

Within weeks, Claire, husband Ron, and brother David find themselves on a train to Tennessee and 1945, where adoptable infants are plentiful and red tape is short. For a time, they find what they seek. Then a beautiful stranger enters their lives, the Navy calls, and a simple, straightforward mission becomes a race for survival.

Filled with suspense, romance, and heartbreak, HANNAH’S MOON, the epic conclusion of the American Journey series, follows the lives of four spirited adults as they confront danger, choices, and change in the tense final months of World War II.

••••••••••

REVIEW:

5 out of 5 for this reader folks!

Predictably AMAZING John A. Heldt! Predictably INCREDIBLE John A. Heldt! I say predictably because I expect you to always deliver an easy flow, rich in history and charming time travel story with a dose of romance. You did it once again! 🙂

Hannah’s Moon by John A. Heldt is the 5th book of his American Journey, time travel, historical fiction, romance series and please PLEASE do yourself a favour and go back and read the first four books. This fifth book is his last book of this series and I am so sad to see it go. Truely! (small disclaimer .. all books can be read as standalones, but characters are revisited).

Claire Rasmussen is our leading lady and she was my fave of all the characters John has ever written. The book begins with utter devastation as Claire and Ron realize that holding their own child in their arms is too far out of their reach. Adoption is hard in current time, and both want a baby badly. Fate just so delivers a time travelling relative that thrust both Claire, Ron and David into 1945 just as WWII is slowing down. All three are soon met with the culture shock of what 1945 brings and while they have travelled with the intent of adopting a child during a time when orphans were plenty, they all begin to realize they are getting much more than they have bargained for.

Ron soon finds himself enlisted at a time when enlistment could mean death, Claire’s brother David is falling in love with a woman and Claire has to deal with being a woman with a child in an era she is not familiar with. So much more to it than all that but I am not spoiling any of this book for you!

John is an expert in my humble opinion, of writing many storylines concurrently and having them all flow together with no confusion what so ever. His writing style is so easy to follow, yet there is so much rich story packed into his pages. I always get a history lesson when reading this series and being a history lover you know I love that. I often find myself thinking about these books long after I am finished and I have concluded I think I may be living in the wrong era at times. LOL What an experience it would be to be a character in John A. Heldt’s book.

Speaking of characters .. incredibly developed, easy to fall in love with, easy to empathize and sympathize with, easy to grieve/be happy/be angry etc with them. Easy to identify with.

I feel like I have gushed so much in previous reviews, I am trying to find new ways to say the same thing. Hannah’s Moon is packed full of adventure, intrigue, suspense, romance and tied up in the end in a perfect way. As expected, I had a box of tissues on demand just incase and I absolutely needed them for this story!

Thank you John A. Heldt for allowing me to be one of your “go to” reviewers for this series. I strongly recommend this series to my fellow history lovers and anyone else who likes an intense ride when they allow themselves to get swept away in a story.

HAPPY READING!

Reading Order and Previous Reviews
September Sky
Mercer Street
Indiana Belle
Class of ’59
Hannah’s Moon

Copy supplied for review

Reviewed by Rachel T.

About The Author

John HeldtFollow John: Goodreads / Website/Blog/ Twitter /

John A. Heldt is the author of the critically acclaimed Northwest Passage and American Journey series. The former reference librarian and award-winning sportswriter has loved getting subjects and verbs to agree since writing book reports on baseball heroes in grade school. A graduate of the University of Oregon and the University of Iowa, Heldt is an avid fisherman, sports fan, home brewer, and reader of thrillers and historical fiction. When not sending contemporary characters to the not-so-distant past, he weighs in on literature and life at johnheldt.blogspot.com.

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Royally Bad ( Bad Boy Royals #1) by Nora Flite-Review, Excerpt and Giveaway

Royally Bad (Bad Boy Royals #1) by Nora Flite-Review,Excerpt and Giveaway

Royally Bad

Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / B&N / BAM /

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date April 1, 2017

Getting close to an arrogant bad boy like him is dangerous. Too bad it’s her only choice.

Kain Badd looks great on paper: rich, handsome, and he’s even a prince. But after spending a few minutes together, Sammy sees the real him—arrogant, possessive, and too hot for his own good. If she hadn’t agreed to help plan his sister’s wedding, she could have avoided him. Instead, she’s waking up in his bed after an unforgettable night she definitely wants to forget. But he won’t let her.

When Sammy thinks her life can’t get any crazier, the wedding is raided by the police, and she spends her first-ever night in jail. The irresistible Kain isn’t just bad in name—his family is connected to a dangerous underworld. Now she’s mixed up in a power struggle between his family’s empire and their rivals. She has no choice but to put herself back in this filthy prince’s extremely capable hands.

Sammy must trust Kain to keep her safe. She’s just not sure she can trust herself to resist temptation.

••••••••

REVIEW: 4.5 out of 5 for this reader folks!

Oh how I love me a Bad Boy! Add a dash of royalty to him and I am sold baby! LOL

Royally Bad by Nora Flite is the first book in her contemporary romance series called “Bad Boy Royals”. This author is brand new to me, and I am happy to have found her as I am eagerly looking forward to the next books in this series.

Kain Badd (yup seriously that’s his last name ..lol) is one bad boy. A hottie in looks, a charmer in personality, he has never had trouble getting the ladies with his straight forward dirty approach. Love em’ and leave em’ has always worked for him and he has no intention of changing that anytime soon. Family and family business is tough work, and he has no time nor desire to worry about a partner as danger and money is the name of his game. A partner is just a worry no one needs. Until ….

Sammy is not necessarily a sweet innocent girl, but she is kind and very caring. She now owns a small wedding dress shop that is sucking in business in her small town, after returning home from a high fashion job in a large city, to take care of her sick mother while still grieving the loss of her father. YUP that’s as consuming as it sounds. She has no time, no interest in love. Until ….

Kain walks in to Sammy’s shop with his tornado of a twin sister (Oh Fran you stole this book ..lol), and before she can wrap her head around anything, Sammy is not only making Fran a wedding dress, but planning her rehearsal dinner, becoming the maid of honour, ending up in the very sexy sack with Kain, trying not to get killed, and living as a well kept prisoner for an undisclosed amount of time. WTF!? LOL Once she can actually stop and take a breathe, she has come to find that she has fallen in love with Kain as he has with her, and secrets so deep begin to surface. Secrets that this Royal Bad guy (oh and yes he is actually ROYAL) and perfect woman for him, have to live with … and then make sure their families can.

There is a whole lot of story going on. Twists and turns that seriously are incredible, and if you believe in fate, then you’ll get a kick out of this book. My only complaint would be that there was a lack of flow at times which took away from some of the believability. It felt like we’d go from one situation to the other and some of it felt far fetched. However, once I decided to let that be what it was, I just kicked back and went on the wild ride too! 🙂

A very fun, very sexy kind of read! If you like to laugh while you enjoy your bad boys, then this book is for you!

HAPPY READING! 🙂

Reviewed by Rachel T

Copy supplied for review

 

excerpt

 

She held me like I was the only thing keeping her on the planet. It was a grip reserved for lovers or, in her case, people who had never been on a motorcycle before.

I didn’t have a spare helmet, so I’d forced her to wear mine while I went without. My father would have praised me while my mother would have cracked me upside my temple for choosing someone’s safety over my own.

But she wasn’t here.

And Sammy was.

My engine crackled, gravel flying away from my front tire as I pulled up outside the impound lot. The metal beast purred between my thighs, then it went silent. “Here we are,” I said, twisting to look at Sammy.

Inch by inch, she eased her hands off my middle. They were bent like claws, clearly cramped. I missed them instantly. When she pulled the helmet off, her hair fell from it in tangled strands.

The sight of her stunned face—wide lips, sparkling eyes, and tomato cheeks—made my heart jump. It was a confusing sensation that left me dizzy.

“Are you okay?” I asked.

She focused on me, blinking. “I know how it feels to be a cannonball.”

Laughter exploded from me. “That’s one way to describe it.” My hand came up, stroking hair from her forehead before I could stop myself. We touched through our skin . . . but it was more than that.

Heat plucked at the base of my neck. I couldn’t stop how my brushing fingertips became a firm palm cupping her cheek. My mouth tingled; I knew how she’d taste, I wanted to experience her soft lips as they buzzed with the last of her adrenaline.

Sammy started to lean in. In the blackness of her dilating pupils, I saw my half-open mouth. She must have seen her own expression in my eyes, too. My thumb grazed the corner of her lips; her hand closed on mine, pushing me away.

“Come on,” she said, leaving the helmet on the seat. “Let’s go.”

Recovering from the rejection, I followed her down. Her bare feet touched the hot gravel, but it was her bones—still vibrating with the violence of my bike—that gave up. Sammy buckled sideways, her dress flipping upward as her face crashed straight toward the ground.

Faster than I had any right to be . . . but I just needed to be . . . I caught her by her elbow. It was like the other day in my driveway all over again. We were tangled dancers, and while no one had seen us yesterday, a confused impound worker gawked at us now.

Gentle as a breeze, I scooped her up in my arms. Sammy gasped, which was good, because it muted my subtle groan. Holding her against me was pure pleasure. Her weight was perfect, just enough to keep me grounded so I wouldn’t float into the heavens.

“Kain, put me down.”

“Nope. Have you seen this place?” Stepping over rocks and broken glass, I headed for the gate. “You don’t want to put those heels back on, that’s fine. But if you try to step on this shit with your silky feet, you’ll be seeing blood.”

“My silky feet? Jeez, don’t tell me you have a foot fetish.”

The man waiting by the gate stood up like we were royalty coming his way. He had no clue that one of us actually was. “Hey there,” I said, squinting at his name tag. “. . . Larry. My lady friend here has a car she needs to grab. Show him the paperwork, Sammy.”

Pulling her purse into her lap, she fumbled the yellow papers out, handing them over. The young man took them hesitantly, saying, “Uh, all right. Give me your key, I’ll go grab it.”

Sammy gave them up, then we both watched as Larry trucked off across the giant lot of vehicles. It was like a graveyard for cars, their bodies in various degrees of decay.

The wind kicked dust up, and on instinct, I shielded Sammy from it. Doing so pushed my face close to the top of her head. Hair strands tickled my cheeks, a sensation as nice as her fingers would have been on the small of my back.

“Kain,” she whispered.

My veins quickened. “Yeah?”

“After this . . . I don’t want to see you again.”

 


 

About the author

Nora FliteA USA Today bestselling author, Nora Flite lives in Southern California, where the weather is warm and she doesn’t have to shovel snow—something she never grew to love in her tiny home state of Rhode Island. All her romances involve passionate, filthy, and slightly obsessive heroes—because those are clearly the best kind! She’s always been a writer, and you’ll probably have to pry her keyboard/pen/magical future writing device out of her cold, dead fingers before she’ll stop. Visit her at www.NoraFlite.com, or drop her a line at noraflite@gmail.com.
 
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The Duke of Desire (The Untouchables #4) by Darcy Burke-Review,Book Tour & Giveaway

The Duke of Desire (The Untouchables #4) by Darcy Burke-Review, Book Tour & Giveaway

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THE DUKE OF DESIRE
The Untouchables #4
by Darcy Burke
Release Date: March 28,2017
Genre: historical, romance

The Duke of Desire

Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / B&N / KOBO /

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date: March 28 2017

Ten years ago Ivy Breckenridge’s life was ruined. She had to reinvent herself, and now, after painstakingly making her own way in the world, she’s nearly forgotten the dreams of home and family she’d once nurtured. Until one man peers into her soul and awakens every one of her hidden desires. But no matter how good he makes her feel, she can’t trust him—alone by choice is better than alone by necessity.

With a notorious reputation for training married women in the art of passion, Sebastian Westgate, Duke of Clare, is reviled by some and celebrated by others. He doesn’t allow anyone close enough to see past his charming exterior. When Ivy uncovers the man beneath, the seducer is suddenly the seduced. Enraptured by her mind and spirit, he wants more but revealing his darkest secrets is a price he won’t pay.

••••••••••••

REVIEW:  4.5 out of 5 for this reader folks!

OK small disclaimer before I start in on the review. I have NOT read the first three books in this series. This is the reason I knocked off .5 and to be honest it’s not really fair to the author, but I feel like I was missing something by not knowing the back story of some of these characters. Thank goodness there is some “retelling of storyline”, BUT I hate that feeling of not knowing the little ins and out that I know would of made this book a solid 5. SO .. please go back and read the first three books before starting with this one, I know I will be for sure.

OK .. on with the review ….

The Duke of Desire by Darcy Burke is the fourth book of her “Untouchable” Series. A historical romance, it was a fantastic read, and a series I am eager to really dive into.

Sebastien Westgate is the Duke of Clare, but he is known as The Duke of Desire by a group of friends. Sebastien has a rather odd job, especially for a man from the 1800’s. He like to bed married woman with their husbands consent in order to teach her how to find pleasure and to enjoy the marriage bed. Yup you read that right! LOL Sebastien is quite handsome, a little aloof is the sense that he only let’s people get so close, and while I admit I was a little put off by his choice of occupation, he really is endearing and quite interesting to read about.

Ivy Breckenridge is our heroine and truth be told she kinda stole this book for me. I loved her. She is smart, beautiful in her own way, and so broken from a tragic past she has pretty much sworn off the possibility of a marriage. She is a companion and likes things proper. It’s her defence mechanism, and a crutch. Something about her however, screamed for me to understand her.

Crazy arse sparks/heat, chemistry and tension .. OH MY … are happening between these two and while it takes them a while to get their lives and hearts aligned together, at the same time, it is one wild ride while they try. Lots of smexy scenes in this book that kept the smut lover in me very satisfied and a perfect amount of romance/angst to keep the romantic in me happy. These two have personal obstacles to get over before either can even entertain a love match. Their stories are sad, and when the HEA comes it’s rewarding.

I LOVE Darcy Burke’s writing style. I am really looking forward to diving into the previous books and maybe check out her other books. If you are looking for a truely endearing story about two people who take the path least travelled to find the other, with a side of “YAH THAT’S HOT!” then this book is absolutely for you!

HAPPY READING! 🙂

Copy supplied for review by Netgalley

Reviewed by Rachel T

The Duke of Desire Teaser

Excerpt

 

Ivy hurried downstairs and made her way across the hall to the drawing room, which was the center room at the back of the house. The group had started to thin—either to take part in some activity or rest before dinner.But because Ivy had the luck of the devil, she found Lady Dunn’s cane in a most inopportune place: the clutches of the Duke of Clare.

He stood near the chair Lady Dunn had vacated, her cane in his hand. His dark gaze swept toward Ivy. “It’s you.”

She resisted the urge to snatch the cane from his grasp and flee. “Yes.” She flicked a glance at his fingers. They were long and rather slender. Almost elegant. “I came for Lady Dunn’s cane.”

“You are her companion, then.” It wasn’t a question. He’d deduced the answer, and they both knew it. There was a cool confidence about him that was just shy of arrogance. His gaze raked over her, and she decided he wasn’t shy of anything.

“Yes. May I have it, please?” She held out her gloved hand.

“How about I offer it in trade for your name?”

She scowled at him. “How about you just give it to me and cease this preposterousness?” She kept her voice low, and the end of that word rushed from her mouth in an angry hiss.

He exhaled but didn’t look perturbed in the slightest. “I don’t know why you find my amiability preposterous.”

Because you’re a degenerate scoundrel. Instead of voicing what was in her mind, she forced a smile. “I am merely in a hurry. I am Miss Breckenridge. The cane, please?”

He set it in her hand but made sure to brush his fingertips along the edge of her palm.

Ivy closed her fist around the cane and yanked her hand back.

He arched a dark brow at her. “You’re a bit touchy, aren’t you?”

“And you’re more than a bit unseemly. Good afternoon.” She turned and marched from the drawing room, paying no attention to anyone who might’ve witnessed their conversation. She hadn’t noticed if anyone was close enough to hear them. No, she’d been too intent on him.


 

About The author

Darcy Burke

Darcy Burke is the USA Today Bestselling Author of hot, action-packed historical and sexy, emotional contemporary romance. A native Oregonian, Darcy lives on the edge of wine country with her guitar-strumming husband, their two hilarious kids who seem to have inherited the writing gene, and three Bengal cats. Visit Darcy online at www.darcyburke.com and sign up for her newsletter, follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/darcyburke, or like her Facebook page, www.facebook.com/DarcyBurkeFans.

 

 

Connect:
Site: www.darcyburke.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/DarcyBurkeFans
Twitter: twitter.com/darcyburke
Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/5823441.Darcy_Burke

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Highland Vixen (Highland Weddings #2) by Mary Wine-Review, Excerpt & Giveaway

Highland Vixen (Highland Weddings #2) by Mary Wine-Review, Excerpt & Giveaway

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HIGHLAND VIXEN
Highland Weddings #2
by Mary Wine
Release Date:February 7, 2017
Genre: adult, historical, Highland, romance

Highland Vixen

Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / Books-A-Million / Barnes & Noble / Chapters /Indiebound

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date February 7 , 2017

Fierce Highland war chief seeks comely lass for fun, frolic, and marriage

Marcus MacPherson is every inch the fearsome Highlander. He’s used to men averting their eyes and women cowering before him. He thinks he’ll eventually settle down with a nice, obedient bride. Instead, he gets Helen Grant… Stubborn as the day is long, fearless and dedicated to raising as much hell as possible, Helen is definitely going to challenge Marcus. And challenge him some more. And then some.

It’s anyone’s guess who’ll win this battle of the heart..

••••••••••••

REVIEW: 5 out of 5 for this reader folks!

Another fantastic Highland read by Mary Wine! LOVE LOVE LOVE! 🙂

Highland Vixen by Mary Wine is the second book in her “Highland Weddings” series and it sure lives up to its name. Vixen indeed! We met our leading characters in the previous book of this series called “Highland Spitfire” and while I suppose it is not necessary to read the first book you would miss out on so much back story, which in my opinion makes this book so good as the story continues on! Besides, there are returning characters in Highland Vixen, and I love reading how characters progress in a series after they get their HEA! 🙂

Marcus MacPherson is one studly, “don’t mess with me!”, fierce, scary , hot badass Highlander. He is the war chief of the MacPherson clan, second to his half brother (who happens to be the lead in the first book). He doesn’t mess around, and icky love stuff is the furthest from his mind .. despite the little vixen lass that resides as a “protected prisoner” of sorts in his castle.

Helen Grant is our vixen. She is fierce and bold, smart and very angry at her current living situation. While she has shared a steamy moment with Marcus, Marcus won’t claim her as his, but won’t allow another to step forward safely either. She is at her wits end and only wants to return to her home (which Marcus has threatened to burn if she leave MacPherson land).

Circumstance allows Helen to sneak away, but not without Marcus hot on her trail. When trouble comes about for Marcus, Helen agrees to marry Marcus, but NOT consummate the marriage so she can get an annulment once danger passes. Well Marcus is having none of that and despite the danger that comes knocking and threatens to take all he stands for, he has decided he is keeping Helen married to him at all costs! He is going to consummate this marriage one way or another and keep her forever.

YES, this is as steamy, perfectly angsty with a side of sass as it sounds! I love my Highland men all fierce and demanding, but deeply kind and protective, like Marcus … and my Highland woman full of attitude and courage, yet seriously lovely underneath like Helen. They are a perfect compliment to the other. Mary Wine really weaves some serious SOB villains as well! Ones that give you the creeps deep to your soul. You can almost smell their evil.

This is a perfect love story that carries an adventure that one would expect to find in a really fantastic Highlander story. If you love a good back and forth match between two well written characters then I highly recommend this book. The story line and side characters are a very decadent cherry on this perfect Highland sundae! LOL

HAPPY READING! 🙂

Reviewed by Rachel

Copy supplied by the publisher

 

excerpt

 

“I did nae have me hands on ye at all, lass,” he responded arrogantly. “And I owe me sire a wee bit of an apology for me thinking last evening because his advice is sound.”
She rolled over and over and right off the edge of the huge bed, but her knees were shaky, so she stumbled, grasping one of the posts that held the bed curtains. Marcus was watching her, his grin widening as he took in his effect on her. He was wearing nothing but his shirt, and his member was sticking out in the front of it.
He’d lulled her into a false sense of ease. She realized he was every bit as menacing as ever and had simply waited for his moment to pounce on her.
“Do nae look at me like that, Helen.” Marcus sat up on the side of the bed and watched her move away. “Ye told me yer maidenhead was the only thing ye have left that is yer own, so I pleasured ye without taking it. Is it so hard to think of me as a man who does nae want to act the brute to ye?” He patted the surface of the bed. “I want ye to choose me.”
Did she dare?
Dare was certainly the correct word. He was looking at her, every inch the hardened man she’d faced time and again, and yet there was much more to him now. He was attempting to push inside her, to that place where no one had ever been, to her deepest feelings. However, he was offering her a glimpse at his own in return.
Such a tangle of possibilities.
She looked at the pile of clothing that she’d left on the bench, caught between the need to maintain her pride and the desire to simply let it go in favor of… Well, she wasn’t sure what exactly she’d find in his bed. She ended up looking back toward him, seeking the answer in his eyes.
“Naught to say?” he asked. “There is a first.”
“Oh, for Christ’s sake,” she exclaimed with her hip roll half laced. “There was a time when I knew how to speak kindly. Why do ye needle me until I can nae hold me tongue?”
He flashed her an arrogant grin. “Because I like ye the way ye are, no’ disguising yer nature to appease everyone about ye. Do ye have any idea how long it has been since a lass was honest with me? Since one came to me seeking me, and no’ me position? Ye are not the only one who feels isolated. As War Chief, I must be hard on the young lads, lest they fail to build up enough strength to survive. Smiling at them would be a disservice.”
Sometime during the night, he’d taken the time to pleat his kilt on a table that ran along the side of the bedchamber. His wide belt was already under it. It took only a moment for him to lean back, grasp the sides of the belt, and pull it all around himself. Most men used the floor, but clearly Marcus wanted to be ready, should there be a need to dress in a hurry during the night.
“It fell to me to either take ye or know without a doubt that I’d be sending me own men up against yer brothers because they refused to admit the cattle were ours.” He was buckling a second belt in place to make sure his kilt was secure. “Ye think I enjoyed it?”
“Yes, ye did,” she answered him. “Somewhat, anyhow. Admit it. Yer nature is suited to yer position.”
He offered her a cocky grin. “If ye’ll match me by admitting ye did nae think to notice I do nae always care for what me duty demands of me. That’s the thing about duty. Ye do it because it needs doing and others depend on ye seeing things through.”
“Fairly spoken,” she said softly while pulling her skirts over her head. The waistband caught on her hip roll, and she began to lace the waistband closed. “Ye are no’ a brute.” His smile was widening with victory. “But swine fits well, for ye knew well ye were twisting words last evening to get me into yer bed.”
He chuckled and opened his arms wide. “Taming a vixen requires cunning.”
Helen felt her temper stir at the use of the word taming.


 

 

Guest Post=Black and Red

For me, research is a two part thing. First off is doing the ‘foot work’ so to speak. That’s the researching. You either know that Elizabeth the first was born in 1533 or you don’t. If you intend to set your story in that era, this is information you need to know. Her mother was beheaded and if you want to go deeper, you learn things such as she was given the mercy of a French swordsman for her execution because the ax was often clumsy. Deeper still and you discover that some of the dates she was accused of having adultery were during her lying in, so completely false as her ladies would have been with her.

That’s part one. The dates, the circumstances. I actually love this stuff because for me, after I absorb the dry facts, I start to think about things like…okay, if there was a young daughter attending court, and in service to queen Elizabeth, what would her duties have been? What exactly was a lady in waiting. I would then learn that Elizabeth had ladies of the Bed chamber, of the presence chamber, and one the list goes. The duchess of Norfolk slept on a trundle bed that came out from beneath Elizabeth’s because that’s how close together they lived.

I like to take it all in and craft a book set in the era. Yes, it’s a fantasy story but I want my characters to be people of the time.

A second part of this is something I have done my entire life and that is historical re-enactment. I make the clothing and wear it. I take sword class. Dances that would have been done in Elizabeth’s court? Yes, I know a few. It’s also the little things, like turning bread on a table and trying….grrr….to bake it in an oven that you have to heat up with coals and no yeast during Elizabeth’s era. You learn to hum a tune because there is no music or make sure you are by the fire at night when someone pulls out an instrument.

I love to find little ways to fold all these details into my stories while still letting my charaters fall in love. It’s a challenge and a fun one.

Cheers!
Mary Wine

About The Author Black and Red

Mary WineAcclaimed author Mary Wine has written over 30 works of Scottish Highland romance, romantic suspense and erotic romance. An avid history-buff and historical costumer, she and her family enjoy participating in historical reenactments. Mary lives in Yorba Linda, California with her husband and two sons. Website | Goodreads | Facebook

 

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Mary’s publisher is graciously offering a paper copy of HIGHLAND VIXEN to ONE (1) lucky commenter  at The Reading Cafe

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Wild Poppy (Wildflower #4) by Vivian Winslow-Review

WILD POPPY (Wildflower #4) by Vivian Winslow-a review

Wild Poppy

Amazon.com / Amazon.ca /

The daughter of a renown media mogul, Poppy Koslowski has her life turned upside down overnight when her father is indicted for a massive fraud that leads to the loss of her family’s fortune. In the wake of the scandal, Poppy moves to Paris at the behest of her aunt, the Countess Domel, who, unbeknownst to Poppy, intends to find a wealthy husband for her niece in order to ensure her future. Poppy, however, has her own dreams of finishing school and realizing her goal of becoming an award-winning journalist. When she meets Henri Olin, the passionate and seductive illegitimate son of one of France’s most powerful politicians, his political and social ideology introduces Poppy to a world very different from her own. Yet, Poppy ultimately learns that everything comes at a price, even love. After suffering a devastating loss, Poppy finds herself alone and virtually penniless, and is forced to make her way back to America to piece together the remnants of her life in New York City. There, she rediscovers her passion once again, only to be confronted with yet another life choice, one that will forever shape her destiny.

REVIEW

5 out of 5 for this reader folks!

Be still my freaking aching heart VIVIAN WINSLOW! Give a reader a warning next time why don’t you hunny! I was a freaking mess of emotional goo by the end of this book and I have to say you delivered some serious “AHA” moments here. This out of all of the books I have reviewed for you is my absolute FAVE!

Wild Poppy by Vivian Winslow is a contemporary romance and the fourth book in her “Wildflowers” Series. I suppose you do not have to read the previous 3 to appreciate this book, but I will say that you will be missing out on a great experience if you do not. This book is about a character in previous books that is very influential and understanding why she is the way she is was the best part of this book for me. You can totally love the story for what it is, but you will enjoy it so much more understanding the history.

Poppy Koslowski is the daughter of a prominent couple, privileged and her direction is mapped out for her. When her father is arrested her mother and her are left with nothing and Poppy is sent away to Paris to stay with her aunt. She meets and falls in love with a man named Henri who shows her a life she never could have imagined possible. But not all is as it seems and before we know it she is desolate and alone again. Her next step in life takes her across the ocean where she is hoping to put the pieces back together and live her dream of becoming a journalist. She however is afforded an opportunity that can shape the rest of her life and she is left with a question of living for the now or for the future.

Ok so not quite the best synopsis of what this story is about, but I am not ruining any of the story for you an quite frankly I want to review something far different than mapping out how this story happened. I want to review what Vivian so wisely did here. Vivian laid out a “life lesson”, “heart vs security”, “what would you do” kind of story. So much has been thrown at Poppy in her young life. So much hurt and pain, cruel life lessons that one has to wonder how she picks herself up and carries on. How does one believe in dreams and love when one has been beaten down? This book really made me stop and think. Would I want a life of maybe’s and happiness, or of security and a colder existence? After what this strong woman went through I can only imagine how hard of a choice that is. I tell ya Vivian, I sure understand Poppy a whole heck of a lot more in the previous books now.

Poppy is one of the best female characters I have read in a while. She is multi-layered and while naive (that comes with her age), she is developing into a very strong woman. I am really looking forward to the next book and I am really anxious to see what decisions are made next. Excellent story flow with some yummy scenes, and I love that we travelled the world a bit as well.

HAPPY READING!

Copy supplied for review

Reviewed by Rachel T.

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Highland Spy (The Mercenary Maidens #1) by Madeline Martin-Review, Book Tour & Giveaway

Highland Spy (The Mercenary Maidens #1) by Madeline Martin-Review, Book Tour & Giveaway

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HIGHLAND SPY
The Mercenary Maidens #1
by Madeline Martin
Genre: adult, historical, romance
Release Date:January 10, 2017

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Highland Spy

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Ariana Fitzroy has lost her family and her fortune. The fight for survival leads her to the shadowed card games of court where she discovers she has quite a talent for slipping cards into her favor. While the winnings are enough to sustain her at present, they will not last forever…

Connor Grant, trainer of the fallen women from the English court and personal assassin to the king, is just as broken as the women he trains. After losing his own land and all his people in a brutal attack from a trusted friend, he has no choice but to rebuild any way he sees possible – even if it means going against everything he’s ever believed in.

After catching Ariana cheating at cards, Connor has a new trainee to instruct at one of the king’s many confiscated castles. In the dilapidated ruins, he discovers Ariana is more than she appears and falls in love with her incredibly tenacity and dedication – a love that is challenged by Connor’s chance at reclaiming the inheritance he once lost and has sought so desperately to regain.

This story is one of second chances, of realizing a strength where only hopelessness once resided – a story of rising above the bad hand one has been dealt into a life of accomplishment and love.

••••••••••

REVIEW

5 out of 5 for this reader folks!

FANTASTIC HIGHLAND ACTION PACKED READ!

Ok! I got that out of my system! But seriously .. FANTASTIC! LOL

Highland Spy by Madeline Martin is the first book of her brand new “The Mercenary Maidens” series. A historical romance set in the early 1600’s at a time when King James ruled over both England and Scotland, this story follows a smexy highlander who is stuck between a rock and a hard place in life, and an English noblewoman who he saves in the most unconventional way.

Connor Grant is the Laird of the Grant tribe by law, but after a devastating past, he is now King James personal “task” man. His tasks general consist of blackmailing young woman to join his little spy group, assassinating anyone the king needs gone, and to be obedient in the midst of it all. King James has something over Connor .. his lands and people. With hesitation and a heavy heart, Connor goes about finding the right sort of ladies, ensures they are compromised, recruits them, trains them and sends them off on missions to seek information for the crown.

Ariana Fitzroy is down and out despite being a woman of nobility. She has lost her family and discovered she has no means to live. She decides while not moral and most certainly illegal, cheating at cards is the only way she can put food on the table. When she is discovered and compromised by Connor Grant he propositions her with a promised future. One she really has no choice but to take.

Connor and Ariana undergo many adventures together in this book, be it through spying and/or personal. They are drawn to each other. They also admire and respect the other which lays out the foundation to a friendship. But when attraction and desire stirs, friendship is the last thing on their minds .. even despite the swirling danger that surrounds them.

Madeline writes an action packed, wonderful layered story! We have flashbacks of Connors life and why he is in the position he is today! He really is a true hero and my heart ached for him many times during this story! Ariana though .. she blew me away. Sure she’s a spitfire and tough, but her soft feminine side left her vulnerable and believable. She is the true epitome of what I love in a historical romance female lead. She wasn’t a push over, but she also wasn’t annoying in a “I am woman hear me roar” way either.

The secondary cast of characters I find are just as important to mention here as well as they held a good chunk of my interest in this story. I can already predict enjoyment of their personal stories as well!

I highly recommend this read if you like your romance a little action packed. Never a dull moment that is for sure. I also have to applaud Madeline Martin for tying this love part of the story up with a simple card game. No one ever loses when poker is played that way! BAHAHAHA

HAPPY READING! 🙂

Reviewed by Rachel T

About the author

Madeline MartinMadeline Martin is a USA Today Bestselling Author who lives in Jacksonville, FL with her two daughters and menagerie of pets. Her hobbies include rock climbing, running to Mud Runs, and just about anything exciting she can do without getting nauseated. She grew up in Europe and still enjoys traveling overseas whenever she can find the time to get away. Her favorite place to visit thus far: Scotland. She is the author of three Scottish Historical novels: Deception of a Highlander, Possession of a Highlander, and Enchantment of a Highlander. Visit her online at www.madelinemartin.com.

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Madeline Martin’s publisher is graciously offering a paper copy of HIGHLAND SPY to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe

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9.. Giveaway runs from January 11-15, 2017

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The Trouble with Dukes (Windham Brides #1) by Grace Burrowes-Review, Book Tour & Giveaway

The Trouble With Dukes (Windham Brides #1) by Grace Burrowes-Review,Book Tour & Giveaway

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The Trouble with Dukes

Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / Barnes & Noble/Books-A-Million / Google Play / iBooks / Indiebound / Kobo

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date December 20, 2016

Add to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2hsagl0

THEY CALL HIM THE DUKE OF MURDER…

The gossips whisper that the new Duke of Murdoch is a brute, a murderer, and even worse—a Scot. They say he should never be trusted alone with a woman. But Megan Windham sees in Hamish something different, someone different.

No one was fiercer at war than Hamish MacHugh, though now the soldier faces a whole new battlefield: a London Season. To make his sisters happy, he’ll take on any challenge—even letting their friend Miss Windham teach him to waltz. Megan isn’t the least bit intimidated by his dark reputation, but Hamish senses that she’s fighting battles of her own. For her, he’ll become the warrior once more, and for her, he might just lose his heart.

•••••••••••

REVIEW:

5 out of 5 for this reader folks!

You know when you have been away from something you love for a while, and then you come back and get all warm and happy and satisfied and want to to bask in the afterglow of this??? YAH THAT! LOL

Oh Grace Burrowes! You reminded me once again why you are one of my absolute fave historical romance authors. You never disappoint me .. NEVER! 🙂

The Trouble With Dukes by Grace Burrowes, is the first book in her “Windham Brides” series. This series is a spin off of her historical romance series “Windham” and a small disclaimer here, I have not read the Windham series yet. I know, I know, so many books so little time! LOL The point is, I read this book pretty much as a stand alone and while I did feel like I was missing something, it didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the story or understanding who was who. I will however be bumping that series up on my TBR list!

Hamish MacHugh is known as “The Duke of Murder”. He’s a war vet, socially awkward, could give two you know what’s about polite society, and is a man who most certainly loves his family. In order to give his sisters a chance to participate in the upcoming London season and find good matches, Hamish is willing to face all he hates. Little does he know that a match will indeed be happening .. “The Duke of Murder” is about to meet his own match.

Megan Windham is in trouble. She is being blackmailed by a real douchebag who she believed to have once been in love with. While Mr Douchebag was away at the war, Megan wrote some pretty smutty letters to him to keep his spirits up. Now Mr Douchebag is in dire need of money, and Megan comes with a pretty plump dowry, never mind that she wants nothing to do with him. When Megan meets Hamish however, a light just may appear at the end of the tunnel. Hamish over looks and admires quirky Megan with the thick spectacles. He also feel protective of her and before we know it, much more blooms.

Hamish .. oh sweet Hamish. Grace writes some pretty awesome leading males and this awesome man has moved into my “one of her best” list. He is truely a really wonderful man. He loves deeply and when he decides Megan is for him, nothing will stand in his way .. especially Mr Douchebag. Megan surprised me too. I thought she would of been a little more meek, but I should of known Grace doesn’t do meek … LOL Megan bloomed into a fierce woman, who was proactive in her own salvation as opposed to sitting there fainting in the parlor room. Together, OH MY, these two lit things up. So passionate and full of love, I cannot gush enough!

Another thing I love about Grace Burrowes and her books and I say this every time I write a review on her work, she has a style all of her own. A maturity unlike many other authors, flows through her storyline and characters. There is true friendship formed, which to me make a love story. So much respect and honour weaved into scandal and passion .. impressive in this genre in my opinion.

If you are looking for a great historical romance for the holidays, I cannot recommend this book more! Don’t stop there though, pick up any of her books and I promise you will not be disappointed .. now I am off the start the Windham series myself! 😉

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY READING! 🙂

Reviewed by Rachel T.

Copy supplied by the Netgalley

Guest post-White and Red

Grace Burrowes Top 5-favorite classic movies

The Adventures of Robinhood—The 1938 version with Errol Flynn and Oliva de Haviland. Little known fact: That handsome palomino Maid Marian is trotting around on? That’s Roy Roger’s Trigger.

Holiday Inn—Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire. Cannot beat the classic musicals.

Forty-Second Street. Just typing the title gets the ear worms activated.

It’s a Wonderful Life. No explanation needed!

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964 animated television version). This is the longest running television special, and the Island of Misfit Toys makes me cry every year.

The Trouble with Dukes Teaser

excerpt

 

“I don’t want any damned dukedom, Mr. Anderson,” Hamish MacHugh said softly.
Colin MacHugh took to studying the door to Neville Anderson’s office, for when Hamish spoke that quietly, his siblings knew to locate the exits.
The solicitor’s establishment boasted deep Turkey carpets, oak furniture, and red velvet curtains. The standish and ink bottles on Anderson’s desk were silver, the blotter a thick morocco leather. Portraits of well-fed, well-powdered Englishmen adorned the walls.
Hamish felt as if he’d walked into an ambush, as if these old lords and knights were smirking down at the fool who’d blundered into their midst. Beyond the office walls, harnesses jingled to the tune of London happily about its business, while Hamish’s heart beat with a silent tattoo of dread.
“I am at your grace’s service,” Anderson murmured, from his side of the massive desk, “and eager to hear any explanations your grace cares to bestow.”
The solicitor, who’d been retained by Hamish’s late grandfather decades before Hamish’s birth, was like a midge. Swat at Anderson, curse him, wave him off, threaten flame and riot, and he still hovered nearby, relentlessly annoying.
The French infantry had had the same qualities.
“I am not a bloody your grace,” Hamish said. Thanks be to the clemency of the Almighty.
“I do beg your grace’s—your pardon,” Anderson replied, soft white hands folded on his blotter. “Your great-great aunt Minerva married the third son of the fifth Duke of Murdoch and Tingley, and while the English dukedom must, regrettably fall prey to escheat, the Scottish portion of the title, due to the more, er, liberal patents common to Scottish nobility, devolves to yourself.”
Devolving was one of those English undertakings that prettied up a load of shite.
Hamish rose, and for reasons known only to the English, Anderson popped to his feet as well.
“Devolve the peregrinating title to some other poor sod,” Hamish said.
Colin’s staring match with the lintel of Anderson’s door had acquired the quality of man trying to hold in a fart—or laughter.
“I am sorry, your—sir,” Anderson said, looking about as sorry as Hamish’s sisters on the way to the milliner’s, “but titles land where they please, and there they stay. The only way out from under a title is death, and then your brother here would become duke in your place.”
Colin’s smirk winked out like a candle in a gale. “What if I die?”
“I believe there are several younger siblings,” Anderson said, “should death befall you both.”
“But this title is Hamish’s as long as he’s alive, right?” Colin was not quite as large as Hamish. What little Colin lacked in height, he made up for in brawn and speed.
“That is correct,” Anderson said, beaming like headmaster when a dull scholar had finally grasped his first Latin conjugation. “In the normal course, a celebratory tot would be in order, gentlemen. The title does bring responsibilities, but your great-great aunt and her late daughter were excellent businesswomen. I’m delighted to tell you that the Murdoch holdings prosper.”
Worse and worse. The gleeful wiggle of Anderson’s eyebrows meant prosper translated into “made a stinking lot of money, much of which would find its way into a solicitor’s greedy English paws.”
“If my damned lands prosper, my bachelorhood is doomed,” Hamish muttered. Directly behind Anderson’s desk hung a picture of some duke, and the old fellow’s sour expression spoke eloquently to the disposition a title bestowed on its victim. “I’d sooner face old Boney’s guns again than be landed, titled, wealthy, and unwed at the beginning of London season. Colin, we’re for home by week’s end.”
“Fine notion,” Colin said. “Except Edana will kill you and Rhona will bury what’s left of you. Then the title will hang about my neck, and I’ll have to dig you up and kill you all over again.”
Siblings were God’s joke on a peace-loving man. Anderson had retreated behind his desk, as if a mere half ton of oak could protect a puny English solicitor from a pair of brawling MacHughs.
Clever solicitors might be, canny they were not.
“Then we simply tell no one about this title,” Hamish said. “We tend to Eddie and Ronnie’s dress shopping, and then we’re away home, nobody the wiser.”
Dress shopping, Edana had said, as if the only place in the world to procure fashionable clothing was London. She’d cried, she’d raged, she’d threatened to run off—until Colin had saddled her horse and stuffed the saddle bags with provisions.
Then she’d threatened to become an old maid, haunting her brothers’ households in turn, and Hamish, on pain of death from his younger brothers, had ordered the traveling coach into service.
“Eddie hasn’t found a man yet, and neither has Ronnie,” Colin observed. “They’ve been here less than two weeks. We can’t go home.”
“You can’t,” Hamish countered. “I’m the duke. I must see to my properties. I’ll be halfway to Yorkshire by tomorrow. I doubt Eddie and Ronnie will content themselves with Englishmen, but they’re welcome to torment a few in my absence. A bored woman is a dangerous creature.”
“You’d leave tomorrow?” Colin slugged Hamish on the arm, hard. Anderson flinched, while Hamish picked up his walking stick and headed for the door.
“Your pugilism needs work, little brother. I’ve neglected your education.”
“You can’t leave me alone here with Eddie and Ronnie.” Colin had switched to the Gaelic, a fine language for keeping family business from nosy solicitors. “I’m only one man, and there’s two of them. They’ll be making ropes of the bedsheets, selling your good cigars to other young ladies again, and investigating the charms of the damned Englishmen mincing about in the park. Who knows what other titles their indiscriminate choice of husband might inflict on your grandchildren.”
Hamish had not objected to the cigar selling scheme. He’d objected to his sisters stealing from him rather than sharing the proceeds with their own dear brother. He also objected to the notion of grandchildren when he’d yet to take a wife.
“I’ll blame you if we end up with English brothers-in-law, wee Colin.” Hamish smiled evilly, though he counted a particular few Englishmen among his friends.
A staring match ensued, with Colin trying to look fierce—he had the family red hair and blue eyes, after all—and mostly looking worried. Colin was soft-hearted where the ladies were concerned, and that fact was all that cheered Hamish on an otherwise daunting morning.
Hope rose, like the clarion call of the pipes through the smoke and noise the battlefield: While Eddie and Ronnie inspected the English peacocks strutting about Mayfair, Hamish might find a peahen willing to take advantage of Colin’s affectionate nature.
Given Colin’s lusty inclinations, the union would be productive inside a year, and the whole sorry business of a ducal succession would be taken care of.
Hamish’s fist connected with his brother’s shoulder, sending Colin staggering back a few steps, muttering in Gaelic about goats and testicles.
“I’ll bide here in the muck pit of civilization,” Hamish said, in English, “until Eddie and Ronnie have their fripperies, but Anderson, I’m warning you. Nobody is to learn of this dukedom business. Not a soul, or I’ll know which English solicitor needs to make St. Peter’s acquaintance posthaste. Ye ken?”
Anderson nodded, his gaze fixed on Hamish’s right hand. “You will receive correspondence, sir.”
Hamish’s hand hurt and his head was starting to throb. “Try being honest, man. I was in the army. I know all about correspondence. By correspondence, you mean a bloody snowstorm of paper, official documents, and sealed instruments.”
Hamish knew about death too, and about sorrow. The part of him hoping to marry Colin off in the next month—and Eddie and Ronnie too—grappled with the vast sorrow of homesickness, and the unease of remaining for even another day among the scented dandies and false smiles of polite society.
“Very good, your grace. Of course you’re right. A snowstorm, some of which will be from the College of Arms, some from your peers, some of condolence, all of which my office would be happy—”
Hamish waved Anderson to silence, and as if Hamish were one of those Hindoo snake pipers, the solicitor’s gaze followed the motion of his hand.
“The official documents can’t be helped,” Hamish said, “but letters of condolence needn’t concern anybody. You’re not to say a word,” he reminded Anderson. “Not a peep, not a yes-your-grace, not a hint of an insinuation is to pass your lips.”
Anderson was still nodding vigorously when Hamish shoved Colin through the door.
Though, of course, the news was all over Town by morning.


 

About The Author

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Grace Burrowes’ bestsellers include The Heir, The Soldier, Lady Maggie’s Secret Scandal, Lady Sophie’s Christmas Wish and Lady Eve’s Indiscretion. Her Regency romances have received extensive praise, including starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist. Grace is branching out into short stories and Scotland-set Victorian romance with Sourcebooks. She is a practicing family law attorney and lives in rural Maryland.

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Class of ’59 (American Journey #4) by John A. Heldt-a review

Class of ’59 ( American Journey #4) by John A Heldt-a review

Class of 59

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When Mary Beth McIntire settles into a vacation house on June 2, 2017, she anticipates a quiet morning with coffee. Then she hears a noise, peers out a window, and spots a man in 1950s attire standing in the backyard. She panics when the trespasser sees her and enters the house though a door to the basement. She questions her sanity when she cannot find him.

In the same house on March 21, 1959, Mark Ryan finds a letter. Written by the mansion’s original owner in 1900, the letter describes a basement chamber, mysterious crystals, and a formula for time travel. Driven by curiosity, Mark tests the formula twice. On his second trip to 2017, he encounters a beautiful stranger. He meets the woman in the window.

Within hours, Mary Beth and Mark share their secret with her sister and his brother and begin a journey that takes them from the present day to the age of sock hops, drive-ins, and jukeboxes. In CLASS OF ’59, the fourth book in the American Journey series, four young adults find love, danger, and adventure as they navigate the corridors of time and experience Southern California in its storied prime.

REVIEW

5 out of 5 for this reader folks!

OK, so I have been reviewing for John Heldt for a while now, and I admit that when I start one of his books, he is already at a 5 star rating, simply because he ALWAYS delivers. Every time I review I think, “my goodness, seriously there has to be something that I can pick at?”, but NOPE, NEVER IS! This time is not the least bit different, and I struggle to find new ways to gush about John’s writing. So instead of trying to find new ways to write an “OMG, I LOVED IT!” review, I am just going to write the gush of happy that I felt, and if it comes across repetitive, well it’s John’s fault for writing another freaking fantastic book! LOL

Class of ’59 is the fourth book of John A Heldt’s American Journey Series. This book was MY FAVE! I always make mention of my dislike of time travelling books (other than The Outlander Series) and for sure now, other than American Journey Series. This book had a more lighthearted feel, with it’s own unique sense of danger and angst, but forefront to all of John’s books, and especially in this one, is romance and love. I love a gritty dirty book, but John doesn’t deliver this, thank goodness, because what he has done, that many dirty gritty book authors do not, is make me believe in timeless romance and sweet true love. How refreshing!

Mary Beth lives in 2017, and is vacationing with her sister Piper, when she sees a man strolling into the house’s basement. This man is dressed as if he comes from the 1950’s. Before we know it, an elaborate story of finding a letter that the original home owner wrote, with description of time travel, surfaces. Deciding, “well let’s see what happens!” we are back in the 1950’s where poodle skirts, sock hops, drive in movies and old fashioned teenage fun is being had by our characters. Mark (who was the man entering the basement) has a brother Ben who becomes paired up with Piper. Essentially, sisters Mary Beth and Piper become romantically involved in brothers Mark and Ben.

Innocent fun and experiences are being enjoy by both couples, and true love is blooming. However, time travel comes with consequences, and times are dangerous for our couples. Before long, the questions of “Where is it the most safe?”, and “Is it fair to ask one person to jump into life with another outside of their planned existence?” are asked. Is this even possible? Unfortunately, fate takes over and separation must occur. What does one do when they have found a once in a lifetime love with another, but decades is what is separating you? Is there a way back to each other or was it only ever meant to be brief?

Ya, my heart string got pulled as well! LOL I found I asked myself more than once, if I was ever presented with the ability to time travel, would I do it? It also made me reflect of how different eras produce such different generations, but love will always be love.

Strong, well rounded, and believable characters. Strong story with vivid examples of a time I have never experienced but think I came about as close to it as I could reading this book. John, you never cease to amaze me with your talent. If you are looking for a fantastic time travel series, please, PLEASE do yourself a favour and read John A Heldt!

HAPPY READING! 🙂

Reading Order and Previous Reviews
September Sky
Mercer Street
Indiana Belle
Class of ’59

Copy supplied for review

Reviewed by Rachel T.

about the author

John HeldtFollow John: Goodreads / Website/Blog/ Twitter /

John A. Heldt is the author of the critically acclaimed Northwest Passage and American Journey series. The former reference librarian and award-winning sportswriter has loved getting subjects and verbs to agree since writing book reports on baseball heroes in grade school. A graduate of the University of Oregon and the University of Iowa, Heldt is an avid fisherman, sports fan, home brewer, and reader of thrillers and historical fiction. When not sending contemporary characters to the not-so-distant past, he weighs in on literature and life at johnheldt.blogspot.com.

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