Review: A Secret History of Witches by Louisa Morgan

A Secret History of Witches
Author: Louisa Morgan
Publication Date: September 5, 2017
Publisher: Orbit
Genre: Paranormal, Historical Fiction
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

An ancient and dangerous power is being handed down from mother to daughter through some of the most consequential historic events of the last two centuries.

After Grandmére Ursule gives her life to save her tribe, her magic seems to die with her. Even so, her family keeps the Old Faith, practicing the spells and rites that have been handed from mother to daughter for generations. Until one day, Ursule’s young granddaughter steps into the circle, and magic flows anew.

From early 19th century Brittany to London during the Second World War, five generations of witches fight the battles of their time, deciding how far they are willing to go to protect their family, their heritage, and ultimately, all of our futures.


A Secret History of Witches is a multi-generational tale of witchcraft being passed down in a family throughout the ages through the female bloodline. Normally, I like multi-generational stories, but this one fell a little flat for me.

This book started off very strong. I was very interested in the characters and how their gift had an effect on their lives in the early times. I loved the beginning of the book and then Nanette’s section. After that, I started to get bored. The story became a bit stale as it passed through generations. There were new characters added, but none of them stood out. All seemed to go through the same crisis, and basically used their magic when it came to obtaining a mate. There wasn’t enough action for me. I wanted to see magic used in other circumstances like it was in the beginning of the story.

Don’t get me wrong, there were some other characters who were interesting. Irène especially. She was such a horrible person that she at least stood out. And Veronica. I liked how her gift was tied into the war. I just didn’t like how her story seemed to abruptly ended, and along with it the book.

Overall, Louisa Morgan’s writing and intent were good. For a début novel, it was pretty strong. I just think A Secret History of Witches needed a little more spark and a lot less repetition. I can only imagine Morgan’s writing will grow and flourish with future releases.

Review: Team Player Anthology

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Eleven authors. Eleven Novellas. This is one thick . . . book.

Christmas just became a whole lot merrier…


TEAM PLAYER, A Christmas Anthology featuring titles by LJ Shen, Kennedy Ryan, Adriana Locke, Mandi Beck, Emma Scott, Charleigh Rose, Ella Fox, Sara Ney, Meghan Quinn, Kate Stewart and Rochelle Paige is LIVE!

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Publication Date: December 14th, 2017
Genre: Contemporary/Sports Romance

Hot jocks. We love them all.

Sexy baseball players. Intense footballers. Sweaty MMA fighters, and sizzling hockey hotties. Score!

The good news? Eleven bestselling authors have gathered to give you a set of stories focused on the men we love most—sports heroes. We bet you’ll love this thick…book.

The bad news? The men in these novellas don’t actually exist.

*This anthology does not contain calories, just eleven original, never-before-seen stories by the following authors: Adriana Locke, Mandi Beck, Charleigh Rose, Kennedy Ryan, LJ Shen, Meghan Quinn, Rochelle Paige, Ella Fox, Kate Stewart, Emma Scott, and Sara Ney. We aren’t responsible for melted devices.

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Read Today!

(FREE in Kindle Unlimited)

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2j7MCK1

Amazon Universal: http://mybook.to/TeamPlayerAnthology

Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2iVSpFW

My reviews:

Sin Bin (Mandi Beck) – ★ ★ ½

Here’s the deal. This story wasn’t for me. I wasn’t a fan of Jason or the way he thought about women. It bugged me. If it wasn’t for him, I might have liked this one more. I also wish the six months that was skipped had been included. I might have been more attached to the characters and their story that way.

Yard Sale (Charleigh Rose) – ★ ★ ★

I liked Yard Sale. I might have enjoyed it more if I hadn’t been comparing it to Sin Bin the entire time I was reading it. They were surprisingly similar. Both had the same relationship trope. I liked this author’s characters and writing style more. It wasn’t as harsh. I kind of wish this would have been a full length novel, so I could spend more time with these characters.

Sweeping the Series (Kate Stewart) – ★ ★ ★ ★

I was impressed by Kate Stewart’s writing. I’ve never read a book by her before, but this novella had me wanting more of her writing. I loved Ren and Erica’s second chance romance. I didn’t get to see much of their beginning, but I would have loved to because their time in the present was so good. I completely connected with them in this short novel. I believed in their romance and cheered them on. I was surprised how deep this short novella went.

Full Court Press (Kennedy Ryan) – ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

From the moment I started Full Court Press, I knew it was going to be one of my favorite novellas in this book. It had everything I love about Kennedy Ryan’s writing. It was humorous and sweet. I was shocked at how much emotion she fit in this short novella. I loved Avery and Deck. They were so different, but they had such an amazing connection. Overall, it was an outstanding story. I wouldn’t have minded this being a full length novel!

Slapped Into Love (Rochelle Paige) – ★ ★ ★

Slapped Into Love was good, but there wasn’t much that stood out to me. I didn’t fall completely in love with the characters and their story. It progressed too quickly for my liking. The concept was great, though.

Out of Formation (Ella Fox) – ★ ★ ★ ★

This was my first time reading anything by Ella Fox, and I really liked her writing style! I was sucked into her story quickly and didn’t want it to end. I’m excited to check out more of her books.

Back in the Game (Meghan Quinn) – ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

This novella is a precious gem. It was so, so, so, so good! I absolutely loved it. Meghan Quinn made laugh so hard! Not only that, but she created such a touching story about a single father who is a professional athlete. I couldn’t get enough of it. I’m so happy it leads into her next release! This book would be worth buying just for this story!

One Good Man (Emma Scott) – ★ ★ ★

I was surprised that One Good Man was historical fiction set during the Vietnam War. It wasn’t centered around the war, but around a young woman who wants to be a reporter at the time. She ends up in France interviewing a professional soccer player and falling for him. I liked it, but didn’t love it. Historical fiction is harder for me to read, and it takes a lot longer for me to get into. Emma Scott’s writing is just as good as it always is, though; so I’m so historical fiction fans will love this one.

Switch Hitter (Sara Ney) – ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

I loved this story so much! The twin switch part of it made Dash and Amelia falling for each other so much fun! To top it off, this is a prequel of sorts to a new series called Jock Hard. I can’t wait for it after a taste of the characters!

The End Zone (L.J. Shen) – ★ ★ ★ ★

As always, I loved L.J. Shen’s writing. She creates the best bad boys, like Sage. There were a couple of things in this novella that weren’t my favorite, but over all it was really good. I would love to read books about some of the supporting characters I met!

Cross (Adriana Locke) – ★ ★ ★ ★

 I loved this second chance romance! Cross and Kallie were too cute! I couldn’t get enough of them. My only small complaint was how quickly they were back together. I guess it does happen like that in life sometimes…I also wish I could have seen their time together as teenagers. I just wanted more of them! I’m definitely going to check out the related books to this story!

Overall, this was a great anthology! It had so many of my favorite authors, and so many fun stories. I would highly recommend it!

Meet the authors:

LJ Shen

L.J. Shen is an International #1 best-selling author of Contemporary Romance and New Adult novels. She lives in Northern California with her husband, young son and chubby cat.

Before she’d settled down, L.J. (who thinks referring to herself in the third person is really silly, by the way) traveled the world, and collected friends from all across the globe. Friends who’d be happy to report that she is a rubbish companion, always forgets people’s birthdays and never sends Christmas cards.

She enjoys the simple things in life, like spending time with her family and friends, reading, HBO, Netflix and internet-stalking Stephen James. She reads between three to five books a week and firmly believes Crocs shoes and mullets should be outlawed.

Connect with LJ Shen

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorljshen/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lj_shen

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/authorljshen/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorljshen/

Stay up to date with LJ Shen by signing up for her mailing list:

http://bit.ly/2umcYPg

http://www.authorljshen.com/

Kennedy Ryan:

Kennedy Ryan is a Southern girl gone Southern California. A Top 100 Amazon Bestseller, Kennedy writes romance about remarkable women who find a way to thrive even in tough times, the love they find, and the men who cherish them.

She is a wife to her lifetime lover and mother to an extraordinary son. She has always leveraged her journalism background to write for charity and non-profit organizations, but enjoys writing to raise Autism awareness most. A contributor for Modern Mom Magazine, Kennedy’s writings have appeared in Chicken Soup for the Soul, USA Today and many others. The founder and executive director of a foundation serving Georgia families living with Autism, Kennedy has appeared on Headline News, Montel Williams, NPR and other outlets as a voice for families living with autism.

Connect with Kennedy

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KennedyRyanAuthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/kennedyrwrites

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kennedyryan1/

Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+KennedyRyanAuthor

YouTube: http://bit.ly/2gsAGkp

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2x0qCtC

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/kennedy-ryan

Reader Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/681604768593989/

http://kennedyryanwrites.com

Adriana Locke:

A contemporary romance author running on coffee and sticky kisses from my rowdy four little boys.

From Indiana, I’m a true Mid-Westerner. Life, for me, is about family, faith, and food. When I’m not running my kiddos around or having a lunch date of fajitas with my husband (and high school sweetheart), you can find me outside. I love a good sunny day almost as much as I love candy, random quotes, and steamy bad boys in fantastic books.

I’m on nearly every social media platform. Please find me on the ones you frequent – I love chatting with readers.

Connect with Adriana

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authoradrianalocke

Twitter: https://twitter.com/authoralocke

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authoradrianalocke/

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/adriana-locke

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8379774.Adriana_Locke

Amazon Alerts: http://adrianalocke.com/release-day-notifications/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/authoradrianalo/

http://adrianalocke.com

Mandi Beck:

Mandi Beck has been an avid reader all of her life. A deep love for books always had her jotting down little stories on napkins, notebooks, and her hand. As an adult she was further submerged into the book world through book clubs and the epicness of social media. It was then that she graduated to writing her stories on her phone and then finally on a proper computer.

A nursing student, mother to two rambunctious and somewhat rotten boys, and stepmom to two great girls away at college, she shares her time with her husband in Chicago where she was born and raised. Mandi is a diehard hockey fan and blames the Blackhawks when her deadlines are not met.

Connect with Mandi

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authormandibeck

Twitter: https://twitter.com/authormandibeck

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/authormandi/

Newsletter: https://www.authormandibeck.com/newsletter

https://www.authormandibeck.com

Emma Scott:

I write romances with flawed characters, characters with artistic hearts: builders, poets, and writers of various makes and models. I love to write book lovers; those who have found refuge, companionship, and escape in books, much as we do in real life. I like realism, honesty, authenticity in storytelling. I love to write about enduring love, soul-deep love, in as real a setting as I can make, but with big smooshy HEAs. I believe in diversity, open-mindedness, and inclusion. I like sweetness mixed with steam, love conquering all, and above all, hope. Love always wins.

Connect with Emma

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EmmaScottwrites/

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/10405165.Emma_Scott

Blog: http://emmascottblog.blogspot.com

Charleigh Rose:

We are a duo of an international best-selling author and a blogger who teamed up to write the taboo, thought-provoking stories we want our audience to have–without filters.

Both Charleigh and Rose are committed to giving you witty, sexy, intelligent novels that will leave you wanting more.

Connect with Charleigh

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/charleighroseprose/

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15569269.Charleigh_Rose?from_search=true

Ella Fox:

When she’s not writing, Ella indulges the gypsy in her blood and travels the country. Ella loves reading, movies, music, buying make-up, reading Tmz, Twitter and pedicures… not necessarily in that order. She has a wild sense of humor and loves to laugh. Her favorite thing in the world is hanging out with her family and watching comedy movies.

Connect with Ella

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EllaFoxAuthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/authorellafox

http://www.authorellafox.com

Sara Ney:

Sara Ney is the USA Today Bestselling Author of the How to Date a Douchebag series, and is best known for her sexy, laugh-out-loud New Adult romances. Among her favorite vices, she includes: iced latte’s, historical architecture and well-placed sarcasm. She lives colorfully, collects vintage books, art, loves flea markets, and fancies herself British.

Connect with Sara

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/saraneyauthor/

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2Ay8lT2

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/saraneyauthor/

GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2g32hJO

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/saraneyauthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SaraNey

http://authorsaraney.com

Meghan Quinn:

A BLONDE AT HEART

Born in New York and raised in Southern California, Meghan has grown into a sassy, peanut butter eating, blonde haired swearing, animal hoarding lady. She is known to bust out and dance if “It’s Raining Men” starts beating through the air and heaven forbid you get a margarita in her, protect your legs because they may be humped.

Once she started commuting for an hour and twenty minutes every day to work for three years, she began to have conversations play in her head, real life, deep male voices and dainty lady coos kind of conversations. Perturbed and confused, she decided to either see a therapist about the hot and steamy voices running through her head or start writing them down. She decided to go with the cheaper option and started writing… enter her first novel, Caught Looking.

Now you can find the spicy, most definitely on the border of lunacy, kind of crazy lady residing in Colorado with the love of her life and her five, furry four legged children, hiking a trail or hiding behind shelves at grocery stores, wondering what kind of lube the nervous stranger will bring home to his wife. Oh and she loves a good boob squeeze!

Connect with Meghan

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/meghanquinnauthor

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authormeghanquinn/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2_j4HJ91yQLxZ0EC4p2PEA

YouTube: https://twitter.com/AuthorMegQuinn

Website: http://authormeghanquinn.com

Kate Stewart:

Kate Stewart lives in Charleston, S.C. with her husband, Nick, and her naughty beagle, Sadie. A native of Dallas, Kate moved to Charleston three weeks after her first visit, dropping her career of 8 years, and declaring it her creative muse. Kate pens messy, sexy, angst-filled contemporary romance as well as romantic comedy and erotic suspense because it’s what she loves as a reader. A lover of all things ’80s and ’90s, especially John Hughes films and rap, she dabbles a little in photography, can knit a simple stitch scarf for necessity only and does a horrible job of playing the ukulele. Aside from running a mile without collapsing, traveling is the only other must on her bucket list. On occasion, she does very well at vodka.

Connect with Kate

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorkatestewart/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/authorklstewart

http://www.katestewartwrites.com

Rochelle Paige:

Rochelle Paige is the Amazon bestselling author of nineteen books. She absolutely adores reading and her friends growing up used to tease her when she trailed after them, trying to read and walk at the same time. She loves stories with alpha males, sassy heroines, hot sex and happily ever afters. She is a bit of a genre hopper in both her reading and her writing. So far she’s written books in several romance sub-genres including new adult, contemporary, paranormal and romantic suspense.

She is the mother of two wonderful sons who inspired her to chase her dream of being an author. She wants them to learn from her that you can live your dream as long as you are willing to work for it.

Connect with Rochelle

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rochellepaigeauthor/

Reader Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1436132763270558/

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2n6RkMX

http://www.rochellepaige.com/home

Review: A Taste of Honey by Rose Lerner

A Taste of Honey
Series: Lively St. Lemeston, #3.5
Author: Rose Lerner
Publication Date: September 12, 2017
Genre: Historical Romance
Note: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Fire and ice cream…

Robert Moon risked everything, including his father’s hardwon legacy, to open his beloved Honey Moon Confectionery on the busiest street in Lively St. Lemeston. Now he’s facing bankruptcy and debtor’s prison.

When a huge catering order comes in, he agrees to close the sweet-shop for a week to fill it. There’s only one problem: his apprentice is out of town, so his beautiful shop-girl Betsy Piper must help Robert in the kitchen.

Betsy’s spent the last year trying to make her single-minded boss look up from his pastries and notice that she would be the perfect wife. Now the two of them are alone in a kitchen full of sweet things. With just one week to get him to fall in love with her, she’d better get this seduction started…

She soon discovers that Robert brings the same meticulous, eager-to-please attitude to lovemaking that he does to baking, but can kisses—no matter how sweet—compete with the Honey Moon in his heart?


Historical romance isn’t a sub genre I normally reach for when I pick out a book. Those books tend to take longer to catch my attention than contemporary romances. This is not so with Rose Lerner’s books. Her characters immediately pull me into their stories. I enjoy getting to know them, and their historical lives are always so interesting. I was excited to get the chance to read another one of her books. A Taste of Honey was a very fun, romantic novel.

I’ve read books about baker’s before, but never a book quite like A Taste of Honey. That’s probably because I’ve never read about a historical baker before. I loved reading about the different sweets Robert and Betsy made and the processes they had to go through. Not only did I get to have fun reading their love story, but I learned some new information.

As for Robert and Betsy’s romance, it was so good! Robert and Betsy were in love with each other, but neither knew the other was interested. Both characters had hang ups that kept them from showing interest in each other. With prompting from her friend, Betsy decides to take the first step to seducing Robert and showing him she’s perfect for him. I loved the way the two of them threw their concerns away, and gave everything to each other. It so romantic!

If you’re a fan of historical romance or looking to start reading it, I highly recommend picking up one of Rose Lerner’s books. In fact, this novella would be the perfect place to start!

Review: See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt

See What I Have Done
Author: Sarah Schmidt
Publication Date: August 1, 2017
Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press
Genre: Historical Fiction, True Crime

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Haunting, gripping and gorgeously written, SEE WHAT I HAVE DONE by Sarah Schmidt is a re-imagining of the unsolved American true crime case of the Lizzie Borden murders, for fans of BURIAL RITES and MAKING A MURDERER.

When her father and step-mother are found brutally murdered on a summer morning in 1892, Lizzie Borden – thirty-two years old and still living at home – immediately becomes a suspect. But after a notorious trial, she is found innocent, and no one is ever convicted of the crime.

Meanwhile, others in the claustrophobic Borden household have their own motives and their own stories to tell: Lizzie’s unmarried older sister, a put-upon Irish housemaid, and a boy hired by Lizzie’s uncle to take care of a problem.

This unforgettable début makes you question the truth behind one of the great unsolved mysteries, as well as exploring power, violence and the harsh realities of being a woman in late nineteenth century America.


Lizzie Borden was a name I had heard before, but her story wasn’t one I was familiar with. When my friend picked See What I Have Done as our next book club pick, I wasn’t sure what to think. Was this book going to be gory? Was it going to be thriller suspenseful? I didn’t know how to prepare myself for it. Luckily, for my sake, See What I Have Done wasn’t a gory or stressful read.

If you’re unfamiliar with Lizzie Borden like I was, I’ll give you a little history. Lizzie was an adult woman who lived at home with her father, step-mother, older sister and maid, Bridget. While her sister, Emma, was spending time out-of-town at a friend’s, their parents were murdered. The weapon was an ax. Lizzie and the maid were both home at the time of the murders. Lizzie was tried and acquitted of the crime, but many still suspect that she was the murderer. (I had to look all of this up after reading the book to find out what was fact and what was fiction.)

See What I Have Done tells the story of the murder of Andrew and Abby Borden through the eyes of four narrators: Lizzie, Emma, Bridget and Benjamin. The story mostly takes place over the day before the murder and the day of. The events of those days are set up by each character. Together, their point of views craft a look at what might have happened and who might have been the killer.

If this was a true account of the crime, I could understand why Lizzie was charged with murder. Lizzie was a little off and I wasn’t quite sure what to think of her. Listening to her thoughts made her seem like the most likely murderer. I completely understood why Emma felt the way she did about Lizzie. Lizzie was pretty horrid to her. That made me question some of Emma’s later devotion to Lizzie, though. I understood their relationship, but it was really weird.

Another thing that was really weird were the parents. Andrew Borden was made out to be a horrible man. Abby wasn’t made out to be much better. The dynamic in the household between the parents and the daughters was odd. The fact that Lizzie and Emma were grown women made it even weirder. I kept wondering if this is really how people saw the Bordens in real life?

The character I felt most sorry for was Bridget. I’m surprised she wasn’t the killer. (Maybe she was???) The Bordens were horrible to her. She waited on them hand and foot, and they took complete advantage of her. I liked her thoughts on the murder and the suspects. I have to admit that I was happy the murder let her escape the horrible household.

As for Benjamin, I wasn’t sure what to think of the addition of his character. He’s not in any of the official accounts of the murder. I guess he was a “What if?” situation to show what might have happened if someone other than Lizzie was possibly involved.

As you can probably guess, this book had me a little confused! In real life, the case was never solved. In See What I Have Done, there is only speculation. I wish I could find out the truth! Too bad the people who could answer the tough questions are long gone.

Overall, See What I Have Done was a fun read. It took an unsolved crime and gave it new life. I liked the author’s writing and the way she brought the characters to life. I was impressed that this is her début novel. It’s a book a would recommend to those who like true crime or historical fiction. It had me looking up the history behind the story the moment I finished reading it.

Review: Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly

Lilac Girls
Author: Martha Hall Kelly
Publication Date: April 5, 2016
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Genre: Historical Fiction

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Synopsis:

Inspired by the life of a real World War II heroine, this debut novel reveals a story of love, redemption, and secrets that were hidden for decades.
 
New York socialite Caroline Ferriday has her hands full with her post at the French consulate and a new love on the horizon. But Caroline’s world is forever changed when Hitler’s army invades Poland in September 1939—and then sets its sights on France.

An ocean away from Caroline, Kasia Kuzmerick, a Polish teenager, senses her carefree youth disappearing as she is drawn deeper into her role as courier for the underground resistance movement. In a tense atmosphere of watchful eyes and suspecting neighbors, one false move can have dire consequences.

For the ambitious young German doctor, Herta Oberheuser, an ad for a government medical position seems her ticket out of a desolate life. Once hired, though, she finds herself trapped in a male-dominated realm of Nazi secrets and power.

The lives of these three women are set on a collision course when the unthinkable happens and Kasia is sent to Ravensbrück, the notorious Nazi concentration camp for women. Their stories cross continents—from New York to Paris, Germany, and Poland—as Caroline and Kasia strive to bring justice to those whom history has forgotten.


Lilac Girls is one of those books I’ve been seeing around since its release but didn’t really know much about. It wasn’t until a friend picked it for our next book club read that I became aware it was based on a true story from World War II.

The history recapped in Lilac Girls was new to me. Or at least it felt that way. I’ve read several other books set in the same time period, but this was the first I’ve read that included the “rabbits”. I knew the Nazis experimented at concentration camps, but I’ve never experienced it quite the way I did in this book. Nor have I read a book that included the perspective of someone involved in the operation of a concentration camp. Those things made Lilac Girls stand out to me in the World War II historical fiction genre.

Novels revolving around World War II are always tough reads. They evoke so many negative emotions from me. Anger. Sadness. Frustration. Relief. I felt all of those things while reading Lilac Girls. It’s tough realities stuck with me evening when I wasn’t reading it. I woke at four in the morning thinking about this book. It’s hard to imagine such a horrible time. If it wasn’t based on a horrible truth, it would be hard to believe.

I can’t say I loved reading Lilac Girls because it made me incredibly sad, and it took me a bit to get into. I can say that it was well written and informative. It made me want to know more about the real story behind several characters in this book. I will be headed to Google to search them once I finish this review. Historical fiction readers or anyone who has an interest in World War II would enjoy this book.

Review: Alex & Eliza by Melissa de la Cruz

Alex & Eliza: A Love Story
Author: Melissa de la Cruz
Publication Date: April 11, 2017
Publisher: G.P. Putnum’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Romance
Note: I received an ARC from the publisher via Goodreads in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

1777. Albany, New York.

As battle cries of the American Revolution echo in the distance, servants flutter about preparing for one of New York society’s biggest events: the Schuylers’ grand ball. Descended from two of the oldest and most distinguished bloodlines in New York, the Schuylers are proud to be one of their fledgling country’s founding families, and even prouder still of their three daughters—Angelica, with her razor-sharp wit; Peggy, with her dazzling looks; and Eliza, whose beauty and charm rival that of both her sisters, though she’d rather be aiding the colonists’ cause than dressing up for some silly ball.

Still, she can barely contain her excitement when she hears of the arrival of one Alexander Hamilton, a mysterious, rakish young colonel and General George Washington’s right-hand man. Though Alex has arrived as the bearer of bad news for the Schuylers, he can’t believe his luck—as an orphan, and a bastard one at that—to be in such esteemed company. And when Alex and Eliza meet that fateful night, so begins an epic love story that would forever change the course of American history.

In the pages of Alex and Eliza, #1 New York Times bestselling author Melissa de la Cruz brings to life the romance of young Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth Schuyler.


I haven’t seen Hamilton. I don’t know much about Alexander Hamilton. What I do know is that I loved this take on his relationship with Elizabeth Schuyler.

I’m not one immediately pulled in by historical fiction. It usually takes me a while to get into the time period, but Alex and Eliza captured my attention from the start. It was beautifully written and completely enchanting. It may have been based in the past, but the writing felt fresh and new.

Everything about the characters made me want to know more about their story. Eliza was a strong, somewhat outspoken young woman of her time. The way she stood up for her beliefs was inspirational. Alex wasn’t quite the war hero he wanted to be, but his book smarts were impressive, as was the way he was infatuated with Eliza. I loved how Alex & Eliza began with their first meeting and impressions of each other, and then ended with their marriage. I’m not sure how much of Melissa de la Cruz’s account was real and how much she crafted, but the relationship felt like it naturally progressed. All of the little bits of drama were fun and important to the story.

Eliza and Alex weren’t the only stars of this story. I absolutely loved Eliza’s sisters. They had such strong personalities of their own. Their stories seemed just as important as Eliza and Alex’s. If Melissa de la Cruz were to write their stories, I would be quick to read them!

Alex & Eliza was a truly delightful read. It was a captivating historical love story that all readers are sure to enjoy.

Review: The Guests on South Battery by Karen White

30068929The Guests of South Battery
Series: Tradd Street, #5
Author: Karen White
Publication Date: January 10, 2016
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Mystery, Historical, Romance, Fiction
Note: I received an ARC from Berkley via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Synopsis:

New York Times bestselling author Karen White invites you to explore the brick-walked streets of Charleston, where historic mansions house the memories of years gone by, and restless spirits refuse to fade away…

With her extended maternity leave at its end, Melanie Trenholm is less than thrilled to leave her new husband and beautiful twins to return to work, especially when she’s awoken by a phone call with no voice on the other end—and the uneasy feeling that the ghostly apparitions that have stayed silent for more than a year are about to invade her life once more.

But her return to the realty office goes better than she could have hoped, with a new client eager to sell the home she recently inherited on South Battery. Most would treasure living in one of the grandest old homes in the famous historic district of Charleston, but Jayne Smith would rather sell hers as soon as possible, guaranteeing Melanie a quick commission.

Despite her stroke of luck, Melanie can’t deny that spirits—both malevolent and benign—have started to show themselves to her again. One is shrouded from sight, but appears whenever Jayne is near. Another arrives when an old cistern is discovered in Melanie’s backyard on Tradd Street.

Melanie knows nothing good can come from unearthing the past. But some secrets refuse to stay buried….


I was excited when I heard Karen White was going to be continuing her Tradd Street series. I was sure the fourth book, Return to Tradd Street, was going to be the end. That made me so sad because I loved every minute of this quirky series. Luckily, I was wrong!

The minute I began The Guests on South Battery, I was immediately sucked back into Melanie Middleton Trenholm’s world. It was fun to be back in her uptight mind, traversing around downtown Charleston, South Carolina. Despite getting married and having twins, Melanie hadn’t changed much. She still had her insecurities and anal-retentive compulsions. I enjoyed seeing how Jack, her husband, dealt with them. Their relationship was changing and progressing throughout the entire story and I loved that a lot.

I also loved how Karen White brought back all of my favorite characters from the entire series. She gave them each the perfect part in this story. There were also some great new characters introduced. They added some cool twists to the mystery of the story and brought a new depth to the recurring characters and their histories. I especially liked Jayne and her role in The Guests on South Battery.

My favorite thing about The Guests on South Battery, though; was the mystery of the story. I was fascinated by Jayne randomly inheriting the house on South Battery. I was dying to know why the previous owner chose her the entire time I was reading. I knew the ghosts inhabiting the house were somehow involved in the answer, but I never would have guessed why.

My only little issue with The Guests of South Battery was Melanie’s insecurity surrounding her post-baby life. She’s always been insecure, but there was denial she was going through that was a little odd. I didn’t like the way those around her acted about it. They were all controlling a part of her life and I didn’t really understand why. It was almost like I was missing a piece of their interactions or something. It didn’t make me dislike the book, but I just found it a bit…odd.

Once again, Karen White has written a beautifully crafted mystery. I truly loved reading The Ghosts on South Battery and being back in Charleston with the Middletons and the Trenholms. It was such a fun ghost story/romance/mystery. I especially loved the ending and how I felt that it left things open for the possibilities of more books in the series. I highly recommend the entire Tradd Street series to readers who like mysteries with a historical touch.