Wednesday, November 29, 2017

REVIEW Highland Dragon Warrior by Isabel Cooper

Sportochick's Musings ~  reader will be deeply satisfied by the end of the book.




Highland Dragon Warrior

Dawn of the Highland Dragon #1

by Isabel Cooper


Find The Book At ~ Amazon | B&N | Goodreads
Publisher ~ Sourcebooks Casablanca
Genres ~ Dragons, Paranormal Shifter, Fantasy


Legend claims
When Scotland fell to English rule
The Highland dragons took a vow:
Freedom at any price.

The war may be over, but so long as English magic controls the Highlands, not even a dragon laird can keep his clan safe. What Cathal MacAlasdair needs is a warrior fierce enough to risk everything, yet gifted enough to outwit an enemy more monster than man.

What he needs is Sophia.

Alchemist Sophia Metzger traveled to Loch Arach in search of knowledge. She never dreamed she'd learn to do battle, ride through the stars on the back of a dragon, or catch the eye of a Highland laird. But as her quest turns to sizzling chemistry and inescapable danger, she'll soon discover the thrill of being caught in a dragon's claws.


Interesting and unforgettable is what I think of this book. The author does an exciting job of adding mysticism and Dragons together to created a memorable story between relationship weary Sophia and Cathal. Though they both don't really trust each other they need each other to save a life. 

It was gutsy of Sophia and her friend Alice to travel so far and go to a place that hates people of their kind so that Sophia could help many people. Her alchemy process was intriguing and how she works to save Cathal's friends soul was mesmerizing

The fact that she went after the bad guy by herself was either very foolish or extremely brave but it sure made for an intense storyline. This situation throws Cathal and her together a lot leading to a see saw relationship. But I guarantee that the reader will be deeply satisfied by the end of the book.

For this reason I give it 4 STARS.


Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.


My Reviews Of The Dawn of the Highland Dragon Series
Highland Dragon Warrior #1 - My Review ~ Amazon
Highland Dragon Rebel #2 - My Review
Highland Dragon Master #3 - My Review ~ Amazon


Isabel Cooper lives in Boston, Massachusetts with her boyfriend and a houseplant she's managed to keep alive for over a year now—a personal best. By day, she's a mild-mannered editor at a legal publishing company. By night, she's really quite a geek: polyhedral dice, video games, and everything. She only travels through time the normal direction, and has never fought any kind of demon, unless you count younger sisters. She can waltz, though.

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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

A BIG 4 STARS for Deck the Halls by Donna Alward

Sportochick's Musings ~ I give this 4 STARS for breaking my heart and putting it back together with love.




Deck the Halls

Darling, VT #3.5 

by Donna Alward


Find The Book At ~ Amazon | B&N | Goodreads
Publisher ~ St. Martin's Press Swerve
Genres ~ Contemporary Romance, Christmas, PTSD, Military


With shades of It’s a Wonderful Life, one man must face his past to find his future this Christmas.

In the last year, George's life has drastically changed. The formerly homeless veteran now has a job he likes, a family in the residents of Darling, VT, and for the first time in years, a home. But while his present is good, he's still haunted by the past, a past that appears shortly before Christmas when the older sister of his brother-in-arms hunts him down and finds him in Darling, working at the Ladybug Garden Center.

Amy’s looking for closure for her family after her brother's death in the Middle East, but the serious man she finds working in Vermont doesn’t resemble the soldier she remembers from years before. This man is hardened and yet somehow fragile, too, and in her desire to find out what really happened to her brother, she learns more about George than she ever expected.

With a little Christmas magic and the whole town supporting them, can these two bruised hearts make a future together?


The perfect love story for Christmas this book deals with PTSD, homelessness, redemption, self forgiveness, letting go of the past, that family can be anyone who cares for you and finding out that there are all types of love in the world. And that you deserve it...to be loved!

A lot of content is packed into this novella and it will bring tears to your eyes as well as delight the reader as they are taken through the life of George since his friend's death in the Middle East and he came home from duty. Sad to say that this story happens more often than not but it is uplifting on so many levels that it will give people dealing with this medical condition hope that there is a better tomorrow.

Amy's courage to find George and seek closure is also filled with compassion for the George she finds. Her character makes tough decisions on whether what she seeks is worth breaking someone beyond repair.

I give this 4 STARS for breaking my heart and putting it back together with love.

Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.




While bestselling author Donna Alward was busy studying Austen, Eliot and Shakespeare, she was also losing herself in the breathtaking stories created by romance novelists like LaVyrle Spencer, Judith McNaught, and Nora Roberts. Several years after completing her degree she decided to write a romance of her own and it was true love! Five years and ten manuscripts later she sold her first book and launched a new career. While her heartwarming stories of love, hope, and homecoming have been translated into several languages, hit bestseller lists and won awards, her very favorite thing is when she hears from happy readers.

Donna lives on Canada’s east coast with her family which includes a husband, a couple of kids, a senior dog and two crazy cats. When she’s not writing she enjoys reading (of course!), knitting, gardening, cooking…and is a Masterpiece Theater addict.

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5 ✨ REVIEW The Scotsman Who Saved Me by Hannah Howell

Sportochick's Musings ~ I give this 5 STARS for the spectacular opening to a new series.


The Scotsman Who Saved Me

Seven Brides for Seven Scotsmen #1

by Hannah Howell


Find The Book At ~ Amazon | B&N | Goodreads
Publisher ~ Kensington Books
Genres ~ Historical Romance, Western, Scotland


From New York Times bestselling author Hannah Howell comes a brand new series featuring the MacEnroys, a family of seven strong, seductive Scottish brothers who have come to America with nerves of steel—and who will take no prisoners when it comes to love…

A brutal attack on Emily Stanton’s family has left her for dead . . . until she is found in the woods by a handsome stranger with a thick brogue who vows to protect her. There’s only one problem: As a woman with a noble English background, she has no business keeping company with such a man. 

For Scotsman Iain MacEnroy, Emily’s high-tone accent is a bitter reminder of the oppressive regime he left behind. The last thing he needs is to be burdened by the needs of a beautiful, blue-eyed Englishwoman. But taking care of elegant, educated Emily begins to transform Iain in ways he never imagined. Could it be that the deep divisions from the old world no longer apply in the new—and that Iain and Emily can share a passion as lush and wild as the Scottish highlands themselves? 


Author Hannah Howell is one of my all-time favorite authors having read all her books she continues to amaze me with her rich detailed stories and this book is no exception. Starting out with a dramatic opening chapter the story continues with Emily and her nephews fast paced hard hitting fight for survival while Iain and his brothers fight to keep her alive from hired guns.

I wondered how the author would pull off the Wild West, Scotsmen and an English woman to my satisfaction but she did a superb job. There were enough strong elements of Ian and his brothers Scottish side prevalent in their characters that combined with their Wild West survival skills it was believable. Emily was extremely well done. She had just enough English reserve as well as proper carriage and tone to satisfy the avid historical romance reader. But I really loved her ability to jump in and work hard doing things she wasn't trained in because of her titled life. This helped her feel like Neddy and her weren't an additional financial burden on the brothers and others people living with them.

Neddy, the nephew, was adorable beyond belief. His fears, love for Em, his desire to protect his special box and his cute comments just made me want to grab him and hug him. Everything about him was age appropriate and perfectly done.

The ending was very dramatic and deeply satisfying. There are six more brothers that need to find their women and I am looking forward to reading everyone of these books.

I give this 5 STARS for the spectacular opening to a new series.


Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.


My Reviews of Seven Brides for Seven Scotsmen Series 
The Scotsman Who Saved Me #1 - My Review   Amazon 
When You Love a Scotsman #2 - My Review    Amazon



After five years and many rejections, I finally got my first book on the stands in 1988 – Amber Flame – from Leisure Books (reissued a while back under the title His Bonnie Bride).  Also the western – A Taste of Fire published by Kensington in 1988.  (and reissued by them several times since then)  After about 10 years of writing English, Scottish and western historicals for several publishers (even venturing into the occasional pen-name)  I settled in at Kensington writing Scottish historicals.  Thus was born the great Murray clan (and a very prolific clan as well.)  In June 2009 I started a series set in late-Georgian England concerning two connected families – the Wherlockes and the Vaughns.  The first – If he’s Wicked – was that June, the latest – If He’s Tempted – was released April 2013.  My cunning plan is to then do one of the Wherlockes and one of the Murrays each year.  We’ll see how that works.

I grew up in New England and my family (on the maternal side) has been here since the 1630s.  The paternal side is half Nova Scotian and half English.   Met the hubby in England on a trip to meet and greet the English side of the family, bought him a drink in a pub, and the rest is history.  Been married for 42+ years now.  I have two sons, one a graphic artist (Sam) and one a mechanical engineer (Keir), a daughter-in-law who is a teacher (Beth), and three stunningly attractive, highly intelligent grandchildren (boast much?) – Benjamin, Jennifer, and Evelyn Rose.  And they all live within driving distance – hooray.   Being mildly insane I also have five cats – Matilda (high strung), Shadow (who is a little ferally and lives under a chair in my living-room because she does not like the ‘kittens’ I brought home years ago.), the demonic duo – Jackson and Perkins, and the latest addition, Mungo.

When I am not writing – which isn’t often – I play games on the computer, play the piano (took 13 years of lessons when growing up), crochet (very addicting), read, and garden (someday I will conquer the demon weed).

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REVIEW 4 ⭐️'s for Grigori by Lauren Smith

Sportochick's Musings ~ Author Lauren Smith's presentation of the people and how they do or don't understand each other due to the language barrier is well executed.



Grigori

Brothers of Ash and Fire #1

by Lauren Smith


Find The Book At ~ Amazon | B&N | Goodreads
Publisher ~ St. Martin's Press Swerve
Genres ~ Paranormal Shifter, Dragons


He’s one of the last of a powerful but vanishing bloodline …
Grigori Barinov is the eldest in an ancient line of dragon shifters and the guardian of his family’s lands and fortune. Sworn to protect their history and magic, he won’t rest until he neutralizes any threat to their existence. When he discovers an ancient manuscript that exposes his family and their dragon lineage has fallen into a mortal woman’s hands, he knows he must get the book back by any means necessary. If that means seducing a nosy American woman with an intoxicating scent, he is more than willing to carry her off to his palatial home deep in the heart of Russia.

She’s the one woman who could expose him to the world…
Madelyn Haynes has never fit in. As an adopted child she grew up in a loving home but never felt as though she belonged. Plagued by mysterious dreams she’s had of a silver scaled beast ever since she was a little girl, she is convinced dragons are real. While in Russia working on her PhD in mythology in order to escape the ridicule from fellow professors, she unexpectedly crosses paths with the sexy and dominating Grigori, and after just one night with the man whose eyes seem to burn, she starts to change inside. Isolated in the Russian wilderness Grigori calls home, Madelyn can’t help but fall under his sensual spell, yet something deep inside her calls out that she can’t trust him. She has to show the world dragons are real to salvage academic reputation, even if it means costing her the heart of the dragon she’s falling in love with.


What an unusually different read! I really enjoyed it. Now how to explain it is another matter.

This book mainly takes place in Russia so the author does a great job of making the reader feel like they are not only in that country but amongst the Russian people. Her presentation of the people and how they do or don't understand each other due to the language barrier is well executed.

Grigori holds an air of mystery and it enhances the interaction and conflict between Madelyn, his brother and himself. His character though alpha strong does show a softer side allowing the reader to fall in love with him and understand why he is such a hard nose.

Madelyn is full of surprises and at times she is so stubborn and inflexible that I want to shake her and knock some sense into her. Eventually she sees reason and as the book gets further along her character becomes more confident and stronger willed in a positive manner.

I give this 4 STARS because of it's unique storyline.


Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.



Lauren Smith is a USA Today Best-Selling author and an Oklahoma attorney. She knew she was destined to be a romance writer when she attempted to re-write the entire Titanic movie just to save Jack from drowning. Connecting with readers by writing emotionally moving, realistic and sexy romances no matter what time period is her passion. She’s won multiple awards in several romance subgenres including: New England Reader’s Choice Awards, Greater Detroit BookSeller’s Best Awards, Amazon.com Breakthrough Novel Award Quarter-Finalist and a Semi-Finalist for the Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Award.

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Sunday, November 26, 2017

5 STARS Once Upon a Maiden Lane by Elizabeth Hoyt

Sportochick's Musings ~ I give this book 5 STARS for fulfilling all my expectations on Mary as an adult.


Once Upon a Maiden Lane

Maiden Lane #12.5

by Elizabeth Hoyt


Find The Book At ~ Amazon | B&N | Goodreads
Publisher ~ Forever (Grand Central Publishing)
Genres ~ Historical Romance


Miss Mary Whitsun is far too intelligent to fall for the rakish charms of a handsome aristocrat. But when the gentleman in question approaches her in a bookshop, mistaking her for his fiancĂ©e, Lady Johanna Albright, the flirtatious encounter only raises more questions. Could Mary, a servant raised in a St Giles orphanage, actually be Lady Joanna's long-lost twin sister? If so, Mary has been betrothed since birth—to the rakishly handsome artistocrat himself.

Henry Collins, Viscount Blackwell, is far too intrigued by Mary to let her go so easily. He's drawn to her sharp mind, indomitable spirit, and the fiery way in which she dismisses him—ladies simply don't dismiss Lord Blackwell. But as Mary makes her first hesitant steps into society, she can't help but wonder if she truly has a place in Henry's world—or in his heart.


What a perfect way to tell Mary's story. I have read all the books to this series and she has been in many of the books starting as a baby left on the doorstep. Watching her grow and mature has been delightful and her character in this book was presented in a manner that was befitting of her upbringing. 

Through the many twists and turns to this story the author shows a young woman who knows who she is, what she believes in and her strength through adversity. It also emphasizes her ability to change while holding firm to how she was raised.

Lord Blackwell's character is extremely interesting. He sometimes manipulates things to his benefit but as time goes on you see a change in him where he starts to think of others happiness and what he really wants. HIs character expands as the book gets more intense and the reader will come to admire his character.

I give this book 5 STARS for fulfilling all my expectations on Mary as an adult. 

Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.


My Reviews of the Maiden Lane Series
Wicked Intentions (#1) ~ My Review   Amazon
Notorious Pleasures (#2) Review to Follow   Amazon
Clever John (#2.5) Review to Follow   Amazon
Scandalous Desires (#3) Review to Follow   Amazon
Thief of Shadows (#4) Review to Follow   Amazon
Lord of Darkness (#5) Review to Follow   Amazon
Duke of Midnight (#6) Review to Follow   Amazon
A Maiden Lane Christmas Special (#6.5) Review to Follow   Amazon
Darling Beast (#7) Review to Follow   Amazon
Dearest Rogue (#8) Review to Follow   Amazon
Sweetest Scoundrel (#9) Review to Follow   Amazon
Duke of Sin (Maiden Lane, #10) ~ My Review   Amazon
Once Upon a Moonlit Night (#10.5) ~ My Review   Amazon
Duke of Pleasure (#11) ~ My Review   Amazon
Once Upon a Christmas Eve (#11.5) ~ My Review   Amazon
Duke of Desire (#12) ~ My Review   Amazon
Once Upon a Maiden Lane (#12.5) ~ My Review   Amazon



Elizabeth Hoyt is a New York Times bestselling author of historical romance. She also writes deliciously fun contemporary romance under the name Julia Harper. Elizabeth lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with three untrained dogs and one long-suffering husband.


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