Category Archives: historical romance

Book Review: Her Viking Heart by Heidi Herman

Hekla Publishing LLC
Published April 8th 2018

After losing her mother less than two years before, her father is suddenly killed, leaving Anna Miller alone. With no other family and a dismal dating history, loneliness and depression overwhelm her. As she struggles to cope with the loss, she comes across a family secret that changes her future.

She finds new purpose after discovering her father’s hidden research and is determined to complete what he had started. Anna begins a journey to unravel the family mystery buried in four generations of deceit. As she follows the clues, she opens herself up to a love and a new sense of belonging, but is it real? The answer she searches for may reveal her true heritage but might just threaten her own chance at happiness and a new life. – Goodreads

I was in a mood for a romance. A romance that promised intense emotion, history and a form of betrayal. Did this book have all three of those qualities? Kind of.

Anna is looking for not only family but a new chapter on life. As a only child and as her parents being only children in their families, Anna doesn’t have any blood relatives she can depend on. So when she find this project her father was working on, she jumps to it, which is understandable because I would too.

The story moves pretty fast. It doesn’t take her long to hit a huge breakthrough and it doesn’t take her long to find someone she has the heart eyes for. Literally, it was instant. Did I feel a chemistry between them? Not at all. They were attracted to each other. Extremely attracted to each other but how fast their romance moved was just amazing. Also, although Anna’s love interest had a point, he was a tool.

Another thing that bothered with this read was how every person, Anna spoke to always commented on her beauty and allowed her into their home with no second question. That form of welcoming just didn’t seem right and I was waiting for the worst to happen every chapter.

Not only did the story move really fast but it was predictable. You knew exactly where it was going from beginning and end. This book had a great a foundation but it did not live up to expectations. When you see Viking, you think Viking history, you think intense emotions, be it anger or passion, you see and feel excitement none of that was in the book. Even at the end when Viking history was mentioned, it was very slight. I wanted there to be so much.

This could have been a fantastic read but it just didn’t hit that spot.


2 Pickles

Book Review: A Will and A Way by Claudia Harbaugh

SilkWords, LLC
Published April 7, 2015
78 Pages

When Pippa’s father dies, she learns he was an earl — and that she is illegitimate. Part of her inheritance is a London Season, although she must masquerade as her half sister’s cousin.

Provincial Pippa knows nothing of rakes and routs, and she fears repercussions should Society discover her deception. In this sweet Regency romance, Pippa must remain faithful to herself as she navigates the ton and seeks a husband. But if she does meet a man she can love, will he be able to overlook the circumstances of her birth?- Goodreads

*Short review for a short read*

This is a very short story; 4 chapters, 78 pages. So it is a decent read in between your reads.

If you are expecting development of character or intense emotions or even a fight, it doesn’t happen in this read. It is very straight forward and the romance leaves a lot to desire. I wouldn’t say that it is insta love but the I loves you are thrown fairly quick and overall the men and selfish human begins.

Pippa is intelligent, strong willed and honest. Which apparently aren’t qualities you find in women of her time. Compared to her sister, she sticks out; only if she speaks. Other than that she is considered that beautiful plain. But to the point,

I don’t necessarily have an issue with this book. It is extremely short, so things move very fast and there isn’t a whole lot of build up. One thing I give this book credit for it does its best to stay away from predictably. Considering how short it is, I was surprised that everything I thought would happen didn’t happen, exactly how I thought.

I didn’t necessarily want more from this world or book. It was just a decent filler between reads. My recommendation is read it because you are curious because if you decide to read it because of hype, you will be disappointed.

2 Pickles

Book Review: The Disappearances by Emily Bain Murphy

HMH Books for Young Readers
Published July 4, 2017
388 Pages

What if the ordinary things in life suddenly…disappeared?

Aila Quinn’s mother, Juliet, has always been a mystery: vibrant yet guarded, she keeps her secrets beyond Aila’s reach. When Juliet dies, Aila and her younger brother Miles are sent to live in Sterling, a rural town far from home–and the place where Juliet grew up.

Sterling is a place with mysteries of its own. A place where the experiences that weave life together–scents of flowers and food, reflections from mirrors and lakes, even the ability to dream–vanish every seven years.

No one knows what caused these “Disappearances,” or what will slip away next. But Sterling always suspected that Juliet Quinn was somehow responsible–and Aila must bear the brunt of their blame while she follows the chain of literary clues her mother left behind. 

As the next Disappearance nears, Aila begins to unravel the dual mystery of why the Disappearances happen and who her mother truly was. One thing is clear: Sterling isn’t going to hold on to anyone’s secrets for long before it starts giving them up. -Goodreads

I’ve been sitting on this book for a while, unfortunately,  so when I actually began reading it, I was very pleased.

The Disappearances started off really well. It doesn’t take a whole lot of time for you to get to some big points in the novel. However, the first thing I noticed was how Aila acted. Although she is 17, her actions, the way she speaks and interacts with everyone makes it appear she is younger than what she is. It isn’t until she starts school… high school that you have a confirmation on her age. From there, how she interacts with others and what her own actions begin to shift. It was interesting to read because I thought she was 12 when I began the book.

Beyond that she was an alright character. I didn’t dislike her nor did I like her. I felt that she was one of those neutral characters that only saves the day because of how it affects her and her family and not necessarily because it may be the right thing to do or because she has that spark in her.

The love interest didn’t have enough chemistry for me to feel that it was truly genuine, which is unfortunate because it would have been nice. Half way through the book things staled a little as not a whole lot was really really going on. When some things did happen, it wasn’t the big explosion the book or even the summary made it seem it was going to be. It was disappointing the say the least.

But I kept reading the book even though my excited for it was dwindling. I couldn’t put it down because the author was very creative and it reminded me a bit of a movie I watch on Netflix called Perfect Sense (2011) featuring Eva Green and Ewan McGregor. It’s a decent watch with a lack luster ending, which surprisingly is exactly how I feel about the ending of this book.

Overall, I didn’t think it was a bad read and for the most part I enjoyed this book. But there were misses in the plot, backstory, romance and twists (the twist is not shocking at all). This book could have been amazing but for the most part, it was a nice between read.

3 Pickles

Historical Romance: One Pink Rose (Claybornes’ Brides (Rose Hill) #2) by Julie Garwood

Pocket Books Published June, 1, 1997 150 Pages
Pocket Books
Published June, 1, 1997
150 Pages

Travis Clayborne is the youngest of the Clayborne brothers and he knows exactly what he wants and what he doesn’t want in life. So when he is escorting, Emily Finnegan to Golden Crest, Montana, to become a bride… a mail order bride, he isn’t exactly sure what he signed up for.

Emily is determined to be in control of her life; even if that means marrying a man she has never met. But falling in love with a rugged stranger makes her question, is she really in control?

*Short Review*

Julie Garwood is one of my favorite authors. Her romances are lovely for a lack of better term and this book is no different.

It is a short romance; so things move rather quickly. However, it wasn’t distasteful nor did it feel rushed. I would say it takes place about three/four days and the chemistry is instant. What is great about this book, is it doesn’t feel like lust. Their attraction their love feel genuine and I chalk that up to good writing.

There was no predictability within this novel. Yes, the elephant in the room is there but that is known from the summary. Other details in this novel was placed very well without hint to what will happen next. There was color in the surrounding and there wasn’t extra characters that were unnecessary.

However, my biggest issue with this book is it was too short. I would have loved a bigger plot and some more tension between Travis and Emily. I have no problem was snippets of romances but I would have loved so much more of this.

This is book two but you don’t feel like you are missing something by not reading the first one.

3 Pickles

Historical Romance: A Raven’s Heart (Secrets and Spies #2) by K.C. Bateman

Lovesewpt To Be Published Oct. 18, 2016 266 Pages
To Be Published Oct. 18, 2016
266 Pages

The War with France is over but England is still on its toes. William Ravenwood knows he cannot trust anyone. After been kidnapped at the age of 19, he vowed never to let his guard down again. Part of a spy ring and a smuggler known as the Raven, Ravenwood is no longer a innocent man. 

Desperte to find his friend Kit, who is missing and presumed dead, Ravenwood teams up with the only woman who has ever made his blood boil, Heloise, his best friend’s little sister.

For the past 6 years, Heloise has been avoiding Ravenwood, since her confession when she was 16 years old. As brilliant coder and England’s greatest asset, avoiding him isn’t too hard. But when she decodes a message that details how Kit is alive, avoiding Ravenwood is not an option. 

Trying to ignore the heat between each other, Ravenwood and Heloise must find Kit and in the process let go of their secrets.

Surprise, surprise; I liked this book. To say it isn’t a typical romance novel, would be a lie but at the same time it is also untypical. It is typical in the sense you get that lust turned love at almost every page. I was actually surprised at how soon the desires started flowing. I guess maybe because this is book two? Which I didn’t notice until I was working on the review. It didn’t feel like a book two and I chalk that up to good writing.

I liked Ravenwood and Heloise because they were intelligent and not the I just read books intelligent but Heloise was passionate about words and history and that was shown throughout the book. I really loved that part of the book it made it so much more than two grown people worrying about society and their feelings.

The romance was typical, so I am not going to get too much into it. But will say that their lust/love was unconventional and I liked it. It was good to see something different and it was actually believable. I can’t say that I didn’t like something about this book. The pace was great, there was a good amount of drama and history and it balanced the romance well.

Overall, a quick read that will want you to read another one.

4 Pickles