Tag Archives: Contemporary romance

@FTThum #BookReview ‘Sarabande’ by Sarah Hina

This book is captivating!

Title:          Sarabande
Author:        Sarah Hina
Publishers:     CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (January 10, 2017)
Format:          Kindle, Paperback
Pages:             372
Genre:           Fiction – Contemporary; Romance

 

What’s it about?

“Sarabande” is a story of two people navigating through their lives, bound by their pasts which they must reconcile in order to have a chance at a future they want.

Colin Ashe is a man losing his identity. He suffers from epilepsy which is triggered by music. His anxiety surrounding the possibility of unexpected occurrences keeps him away from a job he loves, and costs him the respect of his wife and potentially the love of his son. Then Colin digs up a box buried in his backyard some twenty years ago by a then young girl.

Anna Brawne is now a renowned cellist, committed to music and Bach. She had buried the box with its secrets to maintain a connection to the one place she calls home.

This box forges a link between her and Colin, creating an intimacy which is the catalyst for the events to follow. With the death of her mother, Anna broke free from the bonds of expectation, only to encounter Colin’s desperate attempt to hold on to his.

Where does integrity lie, in the this age of online connection? Is emotional intimacy enough to sustain a life longing to be complete? Will love redefine the measures of a real life?

What fate awaits Colin and Anna?

Would I recommend it?

Yes, Sarabande is a beautiful love story of triumph and love. I could not put it down and I’d bet neither will you.

And I cannot resist – here is Yo-Yo Ma’s interpretation of JS Bach’s Cello Suite No. 1 (Sarabande).

My rating:                  4.5/5

Buy it at:

Amazon Kindle USD 1.55
  Paperback USD 13.95
 Bookdepository  Paperback  GBP 15.62

~ FlorenceT

 

@FTThum
MeaningsAndMusings

© 2017 LitWorldInterviews

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@FTThum #BookReview ‘From a Paris Balcony’ by Ella Carey

My birthday isn’t here yet, but I have just finished “From a Paris Balcony”, a gift from a dear friend. Here’s what I think of it.

Title:          From a Paris Balcony
Author:        Ella Carey
Publishers:     Lake Union Publishing  (October 11, 2016)
Format:          Kindle, Paperback
Website:         www.ellacarey.com
Pages:             290
Genre:           Fiction – Contemporary

 

What’s it about?

“From a Paris Balcony” tells the stories of two women from two different centuries, both lost. Louisa Duval (nee West) longed for freedom and independence in conservative 19th century Europe, while Sarah West longed for the husband and family she would now not have.

They are bound by a devastating death, Louisa’s through suicide. To escape the pain in her life, she fled to Paris on a personal mission to discover the story of Louisa, her great great-aunt’s death after discovering a letter written to Louisa’s husband, Henry from one of Belle Epoque Paris’ notorious courtesan, Marthe de Florian. Guided by her instinct, Sarah searched for answers as her path crosses that of Laurent Chartier, an acclaimed artist who seems to be on his own private journey.

Will Sarah find the answers she is searching for? Did Louisa?

The women’s lives ran parallel in their attachment to their ideals and the future they wanted. Will they dare to embrace the lives they have, instead of the lives they wish?

Other than the romance, “From a Paris Balcony” highlights the conflict and hypocrisy of morality, class and norms in late 19th century Europe, particularly Paris and London. It also brings the issue of gender inequality to the fore.

Would I recommend it?

Yes, and enjoy it. There are whimsical and reflective elements to this book, and few could escape the romanticism of the City of Light.

Now I wish I was back there 😉 !

 

Ratings:
Realistic Characterization: 3/5
Made Me Think:                   3/5
Overall enjoyment:               3.5/5
Readability:                           3/5
Recommended:                     3.5/5
Overall Rating:                  3/5

Buy it at:

Amazon Kindle USD 4.99
  Paperback USD 6.32

~ FlorenceT

 

@FTThum
MeaningsAndMusings

© 2017 LitWorldInterviews

#BOOK REVIEW BY @COLLEENCHESEBRO OF “A Merry Mountain Christmas, BY AUTHOR @PCZick

a-merry-mountain-christmas-p-c-zick

  • Title:  A Merry Mountain Christmas: Sweet Romance (Smoky Mountain Romance, Volume 4)
  • Author: P. C. Zick
  • Print Length: 102 Pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Publication Date: August 31, 2016
  • Sold by Amazon, LLC
  •  Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1537152130
  • ISBN-13: 978-1537152134
  • Formats: Paperback and Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Romance, Clean & Wholesome,

*I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book*

In the author’s words:

“Fran is adjusting after her husband’s death when her first love comes back to town upsetting her family and leading her to inspiration. Fran first fell in love with Michael as a teenager. When he broke her heart, she married Carl and lived a happy life for more than thirty years until Carl died tragically. Just when she’s becoming fed up with the well-meaning, yet tiresome comments about Carl’s death, her first love returns, and stirs long-forgotten emotions. Rescue dogs and a love resurrected bring a sweet Christmas celebration to the Smoky Mountains.”

My Recommendation:

I like nothing better than finding a character from a previous book starring in their own book! That is exactly what P. C. Zick did. I read and reviewed Mountain Miracles (click here to read the review) and the character of Fran, was a real standout! This novel is a continuation of Mountain Miracles and one of the sweetest romances. Not only that, but the characters leap off the page as if you already know them.

Fran does the baking for Beanery Joe’s, a local coffee shop owned by Cecelia Jones. Fran’s husband, Carl, is recently deceased. Life has dealt a blow to Fran, and she isn’t sure how to cope.

The one shining light that helps to keep Fran moving forward is the impending marriage of her friends, Cecelia Jones and David Bellwood. When David’s father, Michael shows up to attend the wedding, Fran realizes he is her long lost boyfriend from high school. It doesn’t take long for the old sparks to ignite feelings that Fran and Michael had hidden for years.

The fact that Michael betrayed her and married someone else complicates their friendship. To make matters worse, Fran’s son Nick, and Michael’s son, David, struggle with their parents new found relationship. Fran’s memories of Carl and their life together muddle things further ensuing in plenty of fireworks.

Fran is one of the most endearing characters I have read in a long time. I really connected with her and felt the pain of her loss, and the joy of her new love. P. C. Zick deftly spins a love story that is poignant and real. If I met Fran today, I would want her as my friend.

This story is more a journey of healing for both families. It centers on dealing with life and the choices we made in the past and learning how to forgive, and move on. The theme of getting a second chance at love resonates through the entire story.

I read quickly to find out what happened next. I could not put the book down. If you love a romance where the characters walk off the page to meet you, this is the book for you. It was a “me time” read and I loved it! ❤

me-time

My Rating:

Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 5
Reader Enjoyment: 5
Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 stars

5gold-star3

 

 

 

p-c-zick

Author, P. C. Zick

About P. C. Zick:

P.C. Zick describes herself as a storyteller no matter what she writes. And she writes in a variety of genres, including romance, contemporary fiction, and nonfiction. She’s won various awards for her essays, columns, editorials, articles, and fiction.

The three novels in her Florida Fiction Series contain stories of Florida and its people and environment, which she credits as giving her a rich base for her storytelling. “Florida’s quirky and abundant wildlife—both human and animal—supply my fiction with tales almost too weird to be believable.”

Her contemporary romances in the Behind the Love trilogy are also set in Florida. Her most recent works are set in the Smoky Mountains. All of her books are stand-alone reads, even if they appear in a series.

Her novels contain elements of romance with strong female characters, handsome heroes, and descriptive settings. She believes in living lightly upon this earth with love, laughter, and passion, and through her fiction, she imparts this philosophy in an entertaining manner with an obvious love for her characters, plot, and themes.

You can keep track of P.C. Zick’s new releases and special promotions by signing up for her newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/0o6-D. Visit her website to find out more about her writing life at http://www.pczick.com.

Make certain to connect with P. C. Zick through Twitter at @PCZick

Book Review by @ColleenChesebro of colleenchesebro.com

Colleen 5.3.16

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#BOOK REVIEW BY @COLLEENCHESEBRO OF “Mountain Miracles,” BY AUTHOR @PCZICK

mountain-miracles

  • Title:  Mountain Miracles
  • Author: P. C. Zick
  • File Size: 713 KB
  • Print Length: 170 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN:
  • Publication Date: September 13, 2016
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services, LLC
  •  Language: English
  • ASIN: B01JMJDZ06
  • ISBN-10: 1536850705
  • ISBN-13: 9781536850703
  • Formats: Paperback and Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Women’s Fiction, Romance, Multicultural & Interracial Romance, Native American Romance

*The author provided me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review which follows*

In the author’s words:

When Sissy Jones moves to the Smoky Mountains, she’s determined to follow her dream of owning a business by opening a coffee shop, right next door to a new paper starting up at the same time. The handsome publisher, David Bellwood, and Sissy discover an irresistible attraction to one another, but first, they must deal with mothers who aren’t always as they seem. After her mother has a stroke, Sissy must take care of her, and David must find out the truth behind his Cherokee mother’s disappearance when he was five. When Sissy tries to help David, he views her assistance as interference as he fights for his legacy. As both of them seek the comfort of family they’ve never known, they struggle to forgive, allowing the attraction to turn into something more.

My Recommendation:

When you first meet Sissy Jones you find her at a crossroads in her life. Starting over is never easy. The Smoky Mountains beckon and so does a new career. She opens a coffee shop in the small town of Murphy where Sissy meets David Bellwood, a new business owner himself. David begins a small newspaper in town, hoping to be near his boyhood cabin, where memories of his mother haunt him.

Both David and Sissy are smitten with each other and friendship blossoms into love. Each character has issues with a parent. Sissy has a controlling mother and David has a father who is hiding a deep secret from him. As their family lives spiral out of control they find solace in each other’s arms.

This is my favorite kind of romance – You know, the kind where there is a mystery involved. David was told his mother died when he was young. Hungry for the truth, he hires a private investigator who finds out what really happened. Sissy tries to help but seems to make matters worse. Can their love survive?

I enjoyed this story as much as all of P. C. Zick’s novels. Somehow, she writes characters that seem to sneak their way into my heart. I always enjoy when there is a life lesson intertwined into a romance novel, and Mountain Miracles doesn’t disappoint.

This sweet story is filled with the feelings and desires of a first true love relationship. Add some family drama and mystery and you have a recipe for a story that reminds you of your own first love.

This is the perfect novel for a Sunday afternoon or for a vacation. Short, sweet, and oh, so good!

love

My Rating:

Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 5
Reader Enjoyment: 4
Overall Rate: 4.5 out of 5 stars

4.5 stars

p-c-zick

Author, P. C. Zick

About P. C. Zick

P.C. Zick describes herself as a storyteller no matter what she writes. And she writes in a variety of genres, including romance, contemporary fiction, and nonfiction. She’s won various awards for her essays, columns, editorials, articles, and fiction.

The three novels in her Florida Fiction Series contain stories of Florida and its people and environment, which she credits as giving her a rich base for her storytelling. “Florida’s quirky and abundant wildlife—both human and animal—supply my fiction with tales almost too weird to be believable.”

Her contemporary romances in the Behind the Love trilogy are also set in Florida. Her most recent works are set in the Smoky Mountains. All of her books are stand-alone reads, even if they appear in a series.

Her novels contain elements of romance with strong female characters, handsome heroes, and descriptive settings. She believes in living lightly upon this earth with love, laughter, and passion, and through her fiction, she imparts this philosophy in an entertaining manner with an obvious love for her characters, plot, and themes.

You can keep track of P.C. Zick’s new releases and special promotions by signing up for her newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/0o6-D. Visit her website to find out more about her writing life at http://www.pczick.com.

Make certain to connect with P. C. Zick through her Twitter @PCZick

And Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/PCZick

Book Review by @ColleenChesebro of silverthreading.com

Colleen 5.3.16

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Taken by Her Unforgiving Billionaire Boss by @NadiaLee. #BookReview

Taken by Her Unforgiving Billionaire Boss Image4 Gold Stars Image

 

Taken by Her Unforgiving Billionaire Boss

by Nadia Lee

Fiction: Contemporary Romance/Sagas. 256 Pages Print. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (April 12, 2016)

Author Biography

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Nadia Lee writes sexy, emotional contemporary romance. Born with a love for excellent food, travel and adventure, she has lived in four different countries, kissed stingrays, been bitten by a shark, ridden an elephant and petted tigers.

Bilingual and formerly a management consultant Nadia Lee currently shares a condo overlooking a small river and sakura trees in Japan with her husband and son. When she’s not writing, she can be found reading books by her favorite authors or planning another trip.

Stay in touch with her via her website nadialee.net or her blog nadialee.net/blog.

Book Description

Alex Damon is the self-made billionaire who has been possessed in recovering his father’s reputation and attaining not only the wealth his father lost but surpassing it beyond imagining, all while exacting revenge on the woman he lays the blame for his father’s ruin and death.

Natalie Hall is an intelligent executive, the loyal adopted daughter of a powerful political father, and hated by her father’s wife and sister. She’s the object of more plots and secrets than she could know possible and caught in the middle of a fight she has nothing to do with. Where will his loyalties end up?

Why I Picked Up the Book

I first picked up this book for three reasons: 1) It was written by a New York Times bestselling author, 2) It was free (and still is as of this review), and 3) I wanted to see how romance and seduction was written by a woman. You see, I write romance and wanted to see if I were getting it right on a certain level. I wanted to see how the seduction parts were written.

What I ended up finding was a good story that could have been taken to a whole new level if the author had that intention. I mean new level as in this could easily have been a political thriller. However, a full blown political thriller was not her intent. I honestly could see this being a movie.

Book Review

Natalie Hall is a strong character who is not only intelligent but independent as well. Her life does not depend on her family ties. Her career has been built on her own merits. Alex Damon is more complex than one first thinks. He has some typical aspects I’ve seen in other books of this genre, but I think Ms. Lee has taken steps to give him a touch more depth than I expected. I was very pleased. I could see the truth in a lot of his motivations, thoughts, and actions from a male perspective. Nicely done.

The supporting characters are well done, for the most part. Alex’s best friend is just what a powerful corporate raider needs. Natalie’s family is dysfunctional at best, except for her father who loves her, but holds a secret that may just tear the entire family apart. Her godmother is very proud of Natalie but holds secrets of her own that end up causing problems in Natalie’s life.

Alex never suspects that his plans to ruin a family name and business would end up with his own agony and need for something he never knew he wanted. Something he never knew he needed before.

I would recommend this book for a quick escape and lovers of the alpha male with an independent woman thrown in the mix.

DID IT DELIVER

Did the book give me what I wanted when I chose it? I have to say the romance and the “scenes” as I call them are well done, descriptive without being over the top. Except for some word choices for things, I would say she nailed it. (Pun unintentional, sort of.) And I don’t mean the use of profanity, which there was very little of, almost to the point I can’t even say specifically where some may have occurred.

RATING: 4 out of 5

When determining a rating I look at the book itself and not my expectations. Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect. The writing was strong, as was the plot and main characters. A couple of the supporting cast were a little weak, but I saw why things were done from a writer’s view point. The ending was good and no real loose ends were left to wonder about. But I could see where another book could come about with these two as main characters. (The rating was very close to a 4.5, which surprised me since this is not my usual sub-genre to delve into.)

Review by: Ronovan Hester

Get the ebook at:

amazon logo apple logo barnes & noble logo  kobo logoGoogle Play Books Image Link

Get the print options at:

http://www.nadialee.net/bookshelf/taken-by-her-unforgiving-billionaire-boss/#order-book

Visit Bestselling Author Nadia Lee at

http://www.nadialee.net.

Connect with Nadia Lee on:

facebook logo goodreads logo google+ logo tumbler logo with linkPinterest Logo with Link twitter logo

Book Review of a Romance. Violet Chain by J. Kahele. @JanelleKahele

Author: J. KaheleViolet Chain by J, Kahele
Title: Violet Chain
File Size: 1552 KB
Print Length: 243 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publication Date: July 17, 2015
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English
ASIN: B011WHGT9K
Text-to-Speech: Enabled
Word Wise: Enabled
Lending: Enabled
Formats: Kindle
Price: $3.99
Genres: Romance, Contemporary Fiction
 

As always with any Book Review, these are one person’s opinions. That includes the great, the good, and the bad.

Violet Chain is a story of two people on roads to recovery. One to recover her self-worth and identity, and the other his life as a man and not a character he plays in the playboy world he’s created.

I received this book to form questions for an upcoming interview and not to do a book review. And truthfully I wasn’t intending to do one. But one of the mottos I’ve put forth is “Read a book, write a review.” And with that in mind I could not keep from writing a review.

Violet Chain falls into the genre of Romance. Throw in some sex and you’ve got what you might think of as your typical fare these days. For me, I look underneath the surface of a story to the characters center, what’s driving them. I am not setting centric as much a I am emotional and thinking centric when I read a book.

The book starts off with Violet Townsend, the leading lady of the book, walking in on her fiancé in a sexual situation with another woman at their engagement party. For Violet, the world flips upside down and her journey begins to define herself as Violet Townsend and not the girlfriend of someone. She’s alone. She’s hurting in a deep way. This guy has messed her up emotionally and mentally. She doesn’t want a man.

Not even 48 hours passes and she meets Chain Alexander, millionaire playboy builder of malls across North America. Self-made man who likes to be in control and doesn’t know how to live any other way. That is until the night he meets his best friend’s fiance’s best friend, Violet. The two forces meet and almost everyone tries to stop the inevitable from happening.

While one person attempts to become emotionally detached, the other finds himself feeling emotions he’s never experienced before. And he can’t do a blessed thing about it. From one night stands to one woman dreams.

The characters are believable on the level in which they are played. They stay true to who and what they are as the story goes along and as the characters grow in their emotional lives. Kahele does a great job of character building and giving them layers of personality. The supporting cast is great. Some are humorous at times, some annoying, and some you think were written about people you know. And none of them are perfect. In other words, we get real, albeit on a big rich people scale.

But the rich are people to and they get just as screwed up in life as the rest of us and have to deal with it. That’s what the author Kahele has recognized. People are the same no matter what, take a relationship and just put it in a setting you want to. We can all connect with characters that are authentic on the base emotional levels.

I believe there were only a very few areas of concern with the book and that was the speed of change in Violet’s character, her apparent personality that is pointed to throughout the book differs greatly from this new Violet that we see. I kind of see how it works being that there is an emotionally stressful situation that perhaps cracks her a bit or flips a switch during certain moments. That part doesn’t really take away from the story as it progresses, but it gave me pause for a moment so I am mentioning it. This was perhaps the only big issue of character believability for me.

The part of Harrison, the cheating fiancé, was a bit repetitive to me in his scenes and annoyed me to no end. Now this annoyance was intentional I am sure. You are not supposed to like the guy.

The final area is the ending. Now there is a sequel coming in November, so the ending isn’t as final and shocking with that in mind. The new Violet isn’t liked by everyone in the book, unlike the old Violet.

My favorite take away from Violet Chain is Chain Alexander. That could just be the guy in me. Kahele describes certain situations and emotions from a man’s perspective perfectly. I could actually feel what Chain was going through. The writing was urgent at times when it needed to be to convey what Chain was feeling.

I guess that is really the great thing about the book, the pacing of the sentence structure and word usage. Kahele does a great job of switching between the soft and touching to the hard and edgy to carry you along where she wants you to go. She divides the chapters up between first person in the first half of the chapter being Violet and the second half being Chain. I have to say I like this better than the full chapters that are done much the same way. These are smaller bites and don’t take you away from the either character’s perspective for too long.

When J. Kahele gave me the book, she warned me about the sex in it being edgy. She knows of my sensibilities. All I can say to that is, lady, you don’t know me as well as you think. The sex scenes are well done without being over the top and unbelievable and graphic. Some of the situations are awesome. Oh that balcony. Mm, mm, mm.

Recommendations

For the most part this is a safe book for most adults. Nothing too extreme. The ending disturbed me a bit. I’ve taken about a week to think about it and been able to decide that with a sequel coming, I can handle it. I might ask to read the next one to see what happens. A lot of Kahele’s fans trust her and have no problems with it so far, so I’m going to trust her as well to handle it as well as she did the rest of the book.

Character Believability: 4Violet Chain by J, Kahele
Flow and Pace: 4
Reader Engagement: 4
Reader Enrichment: 3
Reader Enjoyment: 3
Overall Rate: 3.6

The Rating– First off, a 4 out of 5 from me is a great book. The score is lower than I expected, but I think the reason is the ending for me personally, and just little factors that took away from my own overall enjoyment. The book was well written, great layers to it. Don’t let a 3.6 keep you from the book. I am a tough reviewer.

About the Author

j_kahele_author.jpg“I am a proud mother of three daughters who are my absolute complete existence. I write to relieve the scattered thoughts that stream through my mind, constantly. My biggest downfall is that I am a huge procrastinator, which makes my life at times hectic!”

www.janellekahele.com

 

www.facebook.com/J-Kahele

J. Kahele on Google+

 

About the Reviewer

Ron_LWIRonovan is an author, and blogger who shares his life as an amnesiac and Chronic Pain sufferer though his blog RonovanWrites.WordPress.com. His love of poetry, authors and community through his online world has lead to a growing Weekly Haiku Challenge and the creation of  LitWorldInterviews.WordPress.com, a site dedicated to book reviews, interviews and author resources.  For those serious about book reviewing and interested in reviewing for the LWI site, email me at ronovanwrites (at) gmail (dot) com to begin a dialogue. It may not work out but then again it might.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

@RonovanWrites

 © Copyright-All rights reserved by LitWorldInterviews.wordpress.com 2015

#Book Review of Dancing to an Irish Reel by @cfullerton3

Author: Claire FullertonDancing to an Irish Reel
Title: Dancing to an Irish Reel
File Size: 373 KB
Print Length: 237 pages
Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0990304256
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: Vinspire Publishing (March 6, 2015)
Publication Date: March 6, 2015
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English
ASIN: B00UCOZJXM
Text-to-Speech: Enabled
Word Wise: Enabled
Lending: Enabled
Genres: Romance, Contemporary, Fiction, Literary Fiction
Kindle: $1.99
Paperback: $13.99
Audible: $17.95

I received a copy of this book from the author for an honest review. And of course with me, you know that’s what you get. Good or bad. Here we go!

What happens when an L.A. music exec goes on sabbatical to Ireland? Well this is a romance, so I’ll say romance, along with love, music, and most of all confusion—caused by love, language, and longing. You might think a Southern girl who moved to L.A. might be accustomed to culture shock and speaking a different language, but Ireland is an island unto itself.

Dancing to an Irish Reel is about American Hailey meeting real Ireland and new-to-love Liam Hennessey. What you get is a story of Hailey learning about the place she comes to call home and as she learns about it and begins to understand it, she also begins to understand the man she falls for.

I like the character of Hailey. She is not your stereotype romantic leading lady that people like to think of. She is strong, knows what she wants, has common sense, and above all—she doesn’t do the typical damsel in distress routines.

Men, you will like this book. I say that because men need to realize that a great deal of books with Romance in the genre are not exactly what you may think. Movies men seem to like have romance in them and could be labeled as such in genre. So get a clue.

In other words this will hit with all people.

I found this book a bit of a surprise in some ways. Things don’t happen the way you expect, which to me is good. You want to be surprised these days. I do want to say that the character of Liam, well—Fullerton does a great job of explaining the Irish male in several places from different viewpoints. Very interesting, I thought.

You might at times want to hit Liam over the head with something, like his accordion, but then, he is a man, it’s love, and he’s young, so what else would you expect? And that is one thing that makes this book real and allows the reader to connect with it. No one is perfect in the book. Even those thought to be perfect are flawed deeply, and not entirely due to their own doing. And as for the accordion, it’s a loved instrument in Ireland and makes Liam somewhat of a local celebrity.

I loved the description of Ireland, the people, how the language works and the culture itself works in so many different ways. Those parts alone make you think you have read a much larger book because you learn so much. I view the romance part of the story as a side by side symbolic representation of Hailey’s coming to terms and coming to understanding Ireland itself.

How does the book end? Is it a happy ending? That’s something you have to find out for yourself. Does Fullerton leave things open for a sequel? Could there be a trilogy or even a series of Hailey books? Personally, I would like to see more of Hailey in Ireland. How Fullerton uses Hailey to teach us about the real Ireland is something that needs to be revisited.

Recommendations:

I recommend this book to lovers of Ireland, real people, common sense romance, and reality.

Character Believability: 5Dancing to an Irish Reel
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 5
Reader Enjoyment: 4
Overall Rate: 4.8

 

You may be looking at that Reader Enjoyment number and wondering why. There were certain characteristics of Liam that somewhat annoyed me at times. I think maybe it was because I’m American and he’s Irish and as Claire Fullerton explains in the book, those two types of men are different. But Liam is real to the Irish male character. Perhaps being of Scottish background, maybe it’s just me.

http://www.clairefullerton.com/about-claire
https://www.facebook.com/clairefullertonauthor
http://www.vinspirepublishing.com/#!about/cjg9
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7388895.Claire_Fullerton
https://twitter.com/cfullerton3
 
 

Claire Fullerton PhotoClaire Fullerton grew up in Memphis, TN and now lives in Malibu, CA. She is the author of literary fiction, “Dancing to an Irish Reel,” which is set in Connemara, Ireland, where she once lived. She is also the author of “A Portal in Time”: A paranormal mystery that unfolds in two time periods set on California’s hauntingly beautiful Monterey Peninsula, in a little village called Carmel-by-the-Sea. Both of Claire’s novels are published by Vinspire Publishing. Claire is a three- time award winning essayist, a former newspaper columnist, a contributor to magazines including Celtic Life International and Southern Writers Magazine. She is a five-time contributor to the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” book series and can be found on Goodreads as well as the website under her name. Currently, Claire is writing her third novel, which is a Southern family saga based on her award winning essay in the 2013 San Francisco Writer’s Conference.


 

Ron_LWIRonovan is an author, and blogger who shares his life as an amnesiac and Chronic Pain sufferer though his blog RonovanWrites.WordPress.com. His love of poetry, authors and community through his online world has lead to a growing Weekly Haiku Challenge and the creation of a site dedicated to book reviews, interviews and author resources known as LitWorldInterviews.WordPress.com.

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BOOK REVIEW BY @COLLEENCHESEBRO OF “Louisiana Ghost Story” by M. A. Harper

Louisana Ghost Story

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(Images from Amazon)

Title: Louisiana Ghost Story
Author: M. A. Harper
ISBN-10: 0151011168
ISBN-13: 9780151011162
ASIN: B00CHQBDMO
http://www.maharperauthor.com/index.htm
Pages: 368
Published: January 10, 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal-ghosts, Contemporary Romance, Mystery, Thriller, Paranormal Romance

Phil, the owner of an upscale restaurant in New Orleans, and his new wife Michelle have recently married blending their kids, her home, and their work together as a brand new family. Only a few months into their marriage, strange appearances by Michelle’s late husband, A. P. Savoie, who was a famous Cajun musician, begin to occur. Phil is haunted by visions of Savoie, which begins to take a toll on his health and their marriage. As the haunting images increase, Phil and Michelle are forced to consult psychics and even a Priest looking for answers to the horrifying occurrences. I could not wait to find out why Savoie was coming to them from beyond the grave.

I found myself immersed into the life of this family in New Orleans, with just the right amount of Cajun spice and ghostly images thrown in. I was drawn to Michelle, as she was still dealing with the loss of her husband, and how it affected her and her children; even though she was newly married to Phil. The dynamics between Phil, Michelle, and the dead Savoie were especially enlightening to the story. It really made me think about the reach and depth of love between two people.

This family had realistic challenges just learning how to become their own family, let alone the paranormal activity that encircled them. The fact that the children all got along together made me want them to find success as a family. I found the step children endearing and loved how Michelle’s son wanted to follow in Phil’s footsteps at the restaurant when his own children did not have an interest.

Unfortunately, this book has several titles. I downloaded the Kindle version called, “Louisiana Ghost Story.” I understand the original title to be, “The Year of Past Things/Ghost in the Bedroom.” Now the book is listed as, Cajun Spirit (The Jolie Blonde Series: A Louisiana Trilogy Book 3).” Get past the confusion with the title and you will find a great old fashioned Southern ghost story that will keep you guessing from start to finish.

I felt this was a story about the deepness of love shared between a family, and at the same time, about learning how to let go of things that are out of our control. I deeply cared about this family and what was happening to them. It was a joy watching them learn about forgiveness while they moved from the past into the future as a family unit.

I absolutely loved the end of this book. I never saw it coming! On that note, I was also sad to let go of the characters. By the end, I felt like I had lived through this event with them, I was so emotionally involved in the plot.

I totally enjoyed the realistic haunting experience that Phil had. It was not portrayed as a Hollywood version of a horror movie. I was comfortable with that characterization because the story seemed so down to earth and not really fiction at all. As the events unraveled in this ghost tale, I was instantly hooked and drawn in to the intrigue.

If you are a fan of old fashioned ghost stories, this book will enthrall you from beginning to end. Watching a family handle their grief, while learning how to love again was especially poignant and sweet, as they form their own special family unit.

M. A. Harper

Ratings:
Realistic Characterization: 4/5
Made Me Think: 3/5
Overall enjoyment: 5/5
Readability: 4/5
Recommended: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4.5
Buy it at: Amazon
Format & Pricing
Paperback: “The Year of Past Things,” “Ghost in the Bedroom.”
Kindle: $2.99Cajun Spirit (The Jolie Blonde Series: A Louisiana Trilogy Book 3)”
Find the book on goodreads

 

Colleen Chesebro

Colleen_Silver_Threading

 

 

 

@ColleenChesebro

www.SilverThreading.com

 

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BOOK REVIEW BY @COLLEENCHESEBRO OF “The Reach of the Banyan Tree” @SASSEVN

The Reach of the Banyan Tree

Title: The Reach of the Banyan Tree

Author: Mark W. Sasse

Publisher: Mark W Sasse (June 29, 2014)

ISBN-10: 1499713002

ASIN: B00LE5MNP0

http://mwsasse.com/

Pages: 301

Genre: Historical romance, Contemporary romance, Fiction, Historical fiction

*A copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review, which follows.

I was instantly transported back into time to August 1945, French Indochina, where Charles Regal Carson, an American soldier with the OSS Deer Team, was tasked to assist Ho Chi Minh and General Vo Nguyen to fight against the Imperialist Japanese in World War II.  What ensues is a hauntingly lovely contemporary romance filled with suspense and intrigue that brought me to tears, as I lived through the lives of Charles (Cha Le), Mai, Long, Thuy, and Charles III.

From there, Charles’ (Cha Le’s) story unfolds through the chaotic life of his grandson, Charles Regal Carson III, (Chip) who in the year 2000 left the family oil business to pursue his own ventures in Vietnam.  Surrounded by the natural beauty of Vietnam, Chip falls in love with a young woman named Thuy. Their love leads them on a journey of discovery though cultural differences, language barriers, and age old traditions that lead them to face some ultimate truths in their own lives.

This romance spans fifty years through three generations of American men whose lives are interwoven through the women they love, their courage to face reality, and the lifetime friendships they forged.  I loved the richness of the characters and the rites of passage into adult-hood that each endured.

The banyan tree plays an integral part in this story. To me the banyan tree represented the hearts of the people of Vietnam.  The tree celebrates life by leading you through the lives of Chip, his father, and his grandfather representing the reach of family ties through the generations.  I also gained a new insight into the ancient culture of Vietnam where family loyalty at all costs is still represented in modern society.

Sasse’s descriptions of the Vietnamese countryside placed me within the story.  I could see the emerald green rice paddies, and I could feel the heat and humidity that is Vietnam.  At times, I felt like I could even taste the food and wine, so detailed were the descriptions.

The cultural and societal differences between Vietnam and America were an uncomfortable truth I had to reconcile with myself.  Women in many Asian cultures are not valued as much as males are.  I was struck by how the death of the only male child in the family was viewed as a total sense of failure for the family.  The loss was such a deep scar that it consumed them and left them unable to move forward.  I was awed that these feelings and beliefs were so deeply ingrained within the culture of Vietnam and still exist today.

What struck me the most was that even though these cultural differences plagued the characters, their love and honor to each other overcame all obstacles placed before them.  I was taught that love and family truly live on through the reach of our ancestors.

Sasse is an expert story teller.  He weaves colorful characters that possess great compassion and an emotional complexity that I seldom see in romance novels.  I was deeply drawn to these characters.

This book has something to offer everyone. A splash of true historical facts, passionate love, action, and intrigue will take you on a journey you will not easily forget.  This story will remain in a soft place within your heart.

mark_w_sasse.jpgMark Sasse’s Author Interview here on LitWorldInterviews appears Friday, Dec. 5.

RATINGS:

Realistic Characterization: 5/5

Made Me Think: 5/5

Overall enjoyment: 5/5

Readability: 5/5

Recommended: 5/5

Overall Rating: 5

 

Buy it at:  Amazon

FORMAT & PRICING:

Paperback:  $11.25 USD

Kindle:  $2.99 USD

 

Colleen Chesebro

Colleen_Silver_Threading

 

 

 

@ColleenChesebro

SilverThreading.com

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