Review: The Collector’s Daughter by Gill Paul

Like so many people, ancient Egypt is a source of endless fascination for me. When I saw this one was coming out, it was a no brainer—I had to read this one. I actually listened to the audio version on my commutes in Arizona. The narrator had a pleasant voice and made the book interesting while I was stuck in the desert traffic. Not to mention the story was equally interesting.

A few years ago I read a non fiction novel on the Countess of Carnarvon and I had a deep affection for Lady Almina when I finished it. This book does not portray the Countess in a favorable light though, at times that rankled but considering the era, the way she was portrayed in this novel would probably be a bit more accurate. In actuality, this book made me want to know more about the Countess of Carnarvon so maybe I will look for more books on her not just about her castle and charitable works.

This book alternates between Lady Evelyn Herbert’s accounting of her life as a young girl and as an older woman. If you love ancient Egypt and your historical fiction with some glamour and a hint of the occult then this is a wonderful novel to pick up and spend some time with. While I enjoyed the audio version, I think I might have been happier if I had read the book rather than listened to it. I like the narrator and found her soothing but I also wanted to devour the book faster than she could read to me. That was my only regret in choosing the audiobook over the hard copy.

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Review: On Location by Sarah Smith

This summer was the summer of National Parks for me! I explored quite a bit of Arizona this summer including The Grand Canyon NP and Saguaro NP along with a number of National Monuments. Then I came home to Oregon and visited Crater Lake NP and am heading the Mt Rainier NP and Olympic NP in Washington later this fall. So when I saw a book that was a travel/work place/vacation romance with National Parks, I was absolutely on board!

This book sounded so promising and I just adore travel romances. Sarah Smith has written a few other romances which I haven’t read but it sounds like the general consensus is this is the best of her romances. So with that in mind I eagerly opened this one and couldn’t wait to get lost in some beautiful landscapes with a sizzling romance.

As I mentioned in a review earlier this week, I have been reading so many historical romances lately that I feel like I need to shift from history to the modern era and read about modern women who fall in love rather than a stuffy old parlor with a crusty chaperone on the fringes. This was just the book that I needed to get me back into modern era romances. I loved the social issues and the characters and of course the settings! It was a great read and I adore Berkley Romances so much that I would eagerly read anything from that publishing house!

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Review: When Sparks Fly by Helena Hunting

I have been on a major romance kick lately but most of the romances I have been reading are of the historical variety. There is something so romantic about historical romances in a way that modern contemporary romances just don’t have. I think it’s the constraints of society and class in the historical romances that make them compelling but at the same time I am a modern woman and as a modern woman, I want to also read about modern women like me, not just the lone countess trapped in a marriage of convenience.

Enter this book. I decided it was time to take a bit of a break from the usual historical romances in favor of a more modern romance. Friends to lovers is such a great troupe (though I personally like enemies to lovers better) and I couldn’t wait to explore this book and the two friends who ultimately fall in love. The only thing I was worried about was sometimes the friends to lovers troupe doesn’t carry the same emotional impact for me as something a little more fraught with conflict like the enemies to lovers troupe—which is why I don’t read much of friends to lovers.

But this one sounded charming and I was eager to read something that didn’t involve a corset and buff colored breeches! Not to mention Helena Hunting has written a number of romances that sizzle and I couldn’t wait to read this one an explore the friends to lovers troupe in the modern world!

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Review: First Comes Scandal (Rokesbys #4) by Julia Quinn

After finishing a couple of other books in this series, I was primed to wrap the series up with this final installment. Nicholas was the brother I knew the least about as he was the youngest and I don’t know that I was looking forward to this one perhaps as much as the others simply because I didn’t know enough about his character from the previous books to really be interested in him.

But as I have said before, Julia Quinn is the master at historical romances so I was happy to see what Nicholas Rokesby got up to in this one. Not to mention this one was a marriage of convenience troupe and I love the marriage of convenience troupe. That alone made me really excited to read this one. Plus this had a very ‘girl next door’ feel to it so based on these two facts alone, I looked forward to the last Rokesby brother getting his HEA.

While I might love some of Julia Quinn’s books better than others, I have never felt fully disappointed in one of her romances. Romances for me are such a great escape and I find myself reading them more and more simply because I know I am going to get a happy ending and I love watching love bloom between two unsuspecting people. Romances always deliver that happy ending and during these stressful times, I find myself turning to them more and more simply to read something happy! No one does romance like Julia Quinn and she does always deliver on the HEA.

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Review: The Other Miss Bridgerton (Rokesbys #3) by Julia Quinn

After reading the second book in this series, I immediately closed it and opened this one up. I couldn’t wait to read more about the Rokesby brothers and their romances. Andrew was my favorite brother from the first book and I was really looking forward to reading his romance. I was actually really surprised by this one, it went in directions I just wasn’t expecting.

Julia Quinn is the master of historical romances and after reading just a couple of pages, I had to remind myself of that fact. I definitely questioned some of this book initially, but by the end I was swooning right along with Poppy over Captain Andrew. This book offered a bit of a change in scenery from the usual Kent countryside or London that many of Quinn’s books are set in and instead takes us to the high seas and to Portugal.

If you have been reading historical romances for a while you will know how quality Julia Quinn’s books are—Jane Austen-esque but with tasteful sex. The focus is always on the more tender feelings between hero and heroine and every time I finish one of her books I am always left feeling content and happy about how things resolved. Once again I was not disappointed. If you haven’t read any of Quinn’s books before then you need to stop and go pick one up. The dialogue is witty, the heroes sexy and charming, and the heroines are realistic and fully realized. You will not be disappointed.

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