Tuesday, March 20, 2018

ARC Review: What a Highlander's Got to Do by Sabrina York

What a Highlander's Got to Do (Untamed Highlanders, #5)From the blurb:

Isobel Dounreay Lochlannach is a fierce and independent Scots lass. She has no intention to marry—to submit to a man—especially not an Englishman. 
But when she meets a devilish stable lad on the way to London, she can’t help but sneak a kiss with the handsome stranger, sure to never see him again. 
Nick Wyeth is not a stable lad. He’s Viscount Stirling, and heir to one of the most powerful dukes in the realm. If their indiscretion is discovered, Isobel will be forced to marry him, to succumb to a fate she has always spurned. Nick wants nothing but to call this wild Scottish lass his own, and is determined to show her how an English Viscount can make her swoon, and be his forever.

Heather's rating:

I really, really needed a light fun read, and that's exactly what I got with What a Highlander's Got to Do by Sabrina York.

I have a weakness for Scottish men and women, especially in historical romance, and so when my brain needed an escape, I reached for this one. I jumped into the series at book #5 (this can be read completely as a stand-alone, by the way), and now I have to go back and read all of the previous books in the series because I'm in love with this feisty family!

The story is certainly an example of a strong woman/beta male historical romance, which is something I'm liking more and more. The main couple had intense chemistry, and I could not get enough of them together.

Audiobook Review: Memories of the Heart by Felice Stevens

From The Blurb:
8 hrs 3 mins 
Ruthless, Controlling, A Loner. All words used to describe Dr. Micah Steinberg by the hospital staff for their next head of surgery. When a letter arrives from his grandmother’s friend at the assisted living facility, his orderly world tilts dangerously out of control. 
Josh Rosen had everything until it was revealed much of his world was a lie. Forced to re-evaluate his life, Josh gives up his career and returns home to New York City to care for his beloved grandmother. What Josh didn’t figure on was an attraction to a man who on the surface, appears to be exactly like the life Josh chose to leave behind. 
As Micah struggles with the reality of his grandmother’s illness, the bond these two share deepens, as Josh helps Micah heal, then open his heart. Micah discovers there is more to life than work, control and success. Josh is in deep but has yet to tell Micah who he really is. 
When the fight for the hospital’s head of surgery turns ugly, Josh’s past and present collide. Micah must let go of the past and accept who he is, if his life is going to move forward. 
Life is full of surprises, and as both Micah and Josh learn, love can happen whether you plan for it or not.

Karen's rating:

Sean Crisden saved the day on this one...

I'm getting reviewed out here and truthfully I listened to this one because I felt like it and for no other reason...thank you once again Audible.com Romance Package. So I'm going to try and keep this one short and sweet.

First off there are already some really good reviews out there for this book both for and against so to speak. Truthfully for me the story was maybe 2 or 2.5 stars with the rest of the stars that make up my 3 stars rating being for Sean Crisden and the awesome job that he did on the narration of this one.

I needed the story to be a little tighter...which translates to a bit shorter to get rid of some of what felt like repetitive thoughts/ideas/conversations. I needed Micah to just generally be different...not as whiny, with a more believable transition to being the kind, courteous person that he became.

I needed the 2 hospital administrators who were such huge dicks to just generally not exist because along with just generally being a**holes, they were TSTL!!!

Release Blitz: The Moth and Moon by Glenn Quigley

Title:  The Moth and Moon
Author: Glenn Quigley
Publisher:  NineStar Press
Release Date: March 19, 2018
Heat Level: 2 - Fade to Black Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 63000
Genre: Alternate Universe, Historical, LGBT, historical, gay, friends to lovers, sailor, baker, pirates, family drama

Add to Goodreads


In the summer of 1780, on the tiny island of Merryapple, burly fisherman Robin Shipp lives a simple, quiet life in a bustling harbour town where most of the residents dislike him due to the actions of his father. With a hurricane approaching, he nonetheless convinces the villagers to take shelter in the one place big enough to hold them all—the ancient, labyrinthine tavern named the Moth and Moon.

While trapped with his neighbours during the raging storm, Robin inadvertently confronts more than the weather, and the results could change everything.


The Moth and Moon
Glenn Quigley © 2018
All Rights Reserved

Chapter One

Mr. Robin Shipp pulled his cap lower as he took a deep breath of salty morning air and watched the sun emerge from behind the headland. Stepping from the pier into his little boat, he ran his heavy hand across the prow, catching his coarse fingers on the loose, chipped paintwork. He picked a jagged flake off the wooden frame and held it up to the light, the vivid scarlet catching the pinks and oranges of daybreak. He let go and it drifted through the air, carried away on the gentle breeze, before settling on the soft, lapping tide. Most of the paintwork was in some state of distress. Deep cracks marbled the entire hull, belying the fisherman’s profound affection for his vessel. Bucca’s Call had seen better days.

“I’ll paint you tomorrow, Bucca, I promise,” he said.

He made this very same promise every morning, but every day, he found some reason to put it off. Before too long, he was humming to himself and hauling his well-worn oyster dredge over the stern of Bucca’s Call.

“Beautiful!” he said as he emptied the net into a nearby tub. The shells clattered against one another as they fell. The boat bobbed about gently on the waves while gulls screeched and circled overhead. Her nameplate was missing a couple of letters and her white sails were truthfully more of a grimy beige these days, but she was as reliable as ever.

He was close to the shore and could see the whole bay—from the headland to the east, down to the harbour, past the pale blue-and-white-striped lighthouse that sat out at sea on its desolate little clump of rocks and scrub, and over to the beautiful sandy beach curving around and out of sight to the west.

The little fishing village of Blashy Cove sloped up the hills beyond the harbour, and with his gaze, he traced the low, stone walls lining each cobbled road. It was the only significant settlement on the tiny island of Merryapple, the southernmost point of a little cluster of islands nestled off the Cornish coast. The village had everything one would expect to find, except a place of worship. No lofty cathedral had ever been built there, no church of granite and glass, not even the smallest wooden chapel. When the empire of the Romans had fallen a thousand years earlier, its church had fallen alongside it.

The invaders hadn’t lingered long on the mainland, and had never set foot on these islands. Once they were gone, the people picked through the remains, seeing the value in certain aspects and thoroughly disregarding the rest, scouring the regime clean from the face the world and consigning it meekly to the tomes of scholars and students. In its absence, the old gods returned to their forests and deserts, their mountains and streams, their homes and hearths. Spirits of air and land and sea. Woden and Frig, The Wild Hunt and the Bucca, piskies and mermaids, the Green Man and the wights, all were changed, made kinder and gentler by their brief exile. On these islands, the old ways had been the only ways, but even these had mostly died out, sloping into traditions, superstitions, and habits. It was now August in the year 1780, and people believed in themselves.

At this time of morning, sunlight hit the brightly painted houses and sparkled on the gentle, rolling waves. The village’s livelihood mainly revolved around the sea, but there was more to life than just luggers and lines and lobster pots. The Cove had long been a haven to those of a more creative bent. Painters and sculptors, engineers and inventors, they all found their home there. Some of them had come from the nearby Blackrabbit Island, which wasn’t known for its love of the finer arts. This abundance of skill, and the nurturing of it, meant Blashy Cove had adopted some innovations not yet common in the rest of the world.

Robin had been out for some time by now and, as usual, had already eaten his packed lunch. Soon, his substantial belly rumbled and he decided it was time to head back to port. Packing away his nets, he heaved in his empty lobster pots, secured the tub filled with this morning’s catch, and sailed the small craft homeward. As he did, he noticed a thin, grey line on the horizon.

“Looks like some bad weather on the way, Bucca,” he muttered to the little boat.

The stern of the curious little craft sat low in the water, due equally to the weight of the morning’s catch and the significant heft of Robin himself. While at first it appeared to be a traditional lugger, the kind of boat used by most fishermen in this part of the world, Bucca’s Call was actually much smaller and faster, a one-of-a-kind built many years previously.

Huge ships from the mainland drifted past, their enormous sails billowing in the breeze. Merryapple was part of a small group of southerly islands, and the last sight of land some of the mighty vessels would see for weeks, or even months.

Merryapple Pier was the oldest one anybody knew of. The brainstorm of a local fisherman many years earlier and copied by many other villages since, it might well have been the first of its kind. This clever fisherman realised if there was a way for larger boats to offload their cargo directly, rather than having to put it onto smaller vessels to ferry back and forth between harbour and ship, it would increase the traffic through the little port. The pier stretched out past the shallower waters near the coastline. Little sailboats like Bucca’s Call could dock right up close to the beach or even on the sand, if need be, while bigger fishing vessels could use the far end, in deeper waters. The pier was constructed from huge boulders hewn from the island’s cliff face and supported by a framework of long wooden poles from the woodlands. In the evening, bigger boats from the village fleet usually dropped anchor in the bay, while smaller vessels stayed moored to the pier.

At the shore, some children were chasing each other around a pile of crab pots, hooting and hollering while May Bell finished her deliveries for the bakery. May was around the same age as the other children, but she was of a more industrious bent. She saw Bucca’s Call approaching and ran to help Robin secure his mooring line as he lugged the tub of oysters onto the pier. When he clambered up the weathered stone steps, he steadied himself with a hand against the wall. The steps were wet and slippery, with dark green mould threatening to envelope his heavy boots should he linger too long.

“Morning, Mr. Shipp,” the girl called as she finished tying the worn rope around an old, pitted stone bitt.

“Mornin’, May! Thanks for your ’elp,” he called back, waving to the girl as he lumbered past. Taller than any man on the island, he dwarfed the little girl, drowning her in his shadow.

“Time for food already?” she asked.

Monday, March 19, 2018

ARC Review: Walking on Water by Matthew J. Metzger

Walking on WaterFrom the blurb:

When a cloud falls to earth, Calla sets out to find what lies beyond the sky. Father says there’s nothing, but Calla knows better. Something killed that cloud; someone brought it down. 
Raised on legends of fabled skymen, Calla never expected them to be real, much less save one from drowning—and lose her heart to him. Who are the men who walk on water? And how can such strange creatures be so beautiful? 
Infatuated and intrigued, Calla rises out of her world in pursuit of a skyman who doesn’t even speak her language. Above the waves lies more than princes and politics. Above the sky awaits the discovery of who Calla was always meant to be. But what if it also means never going home again?

Heather's rating:

I read What It Looks Like by Matthew J. Metzger last year and loved it, so I ran to pick up every other book from him that I could find. However, Walking on Water isn't my typical kind of book so I initially passed it up. In the end, I'm glad I gave it a shot, even if I had some small issues with the story.

Walking on Water is a The Little Mermaid retelling, and I think that's important to keep in mind. Though The Little Mermaid is a charming and exciting story, remember that the two main characters fell in love without saying a word to each other, in only a matter of days. What worked for me in a movie when I was a child didn't quite work for me in a book form, mainly because I loathe insta-love. I like my love to come from days and weeks of getting to know one another, and the depth of feeling the two MCs had in Walking on Water from just a short time together felt strange. I get attraction and even loyalty to one another, especially after their shared intense experiences, but love... yeah, I need much more to feel it. However, if you like a vibe that is more similar to the original story, then perhaps you won't mind it as much.

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