Thursday, July 30, 2015

Review: Rescued by the Rake by Bess Greenfield

From the Back Cover:

A Lady in Disguise

Desperate to leave her past behind, Claudine Valencourt is less than thrilled to encounter the one man she could never forget. Not surprisingly, gorgeous self-made millionaire Leonardo Barnett doesn’t recognize her when he walks into a sleazy Paris cabaret in the middle of her performance. He never took much notice of her in the first place, and seven years have passed since her unfortunate infatuation. No longer na├»ve about men, she’s well aware of his womanizing reputation, but when he promises her exactly what she needs—escape, a means of independence, a new beginning in New York—she can’t resist.

Despite her best judgment, she can’t resist Leo either. When the allegedly self-absorbed entertainment magnate surprises her with compassion, tenderness, and wit, her dormant longings flame back to life stronger than ever. But dare she trust him with her secrets and her heart? With adventure and exquisite passion come disturbing revelations and inconceivable dangers for a lady pretending to be someone she’s not.

A Millionaire’s Prize

After one woman’s treachery destroyed his future, it took years for Leo to rebuild his life and succeed on his own terms. It only takes a few days for a vulnerable young beauty with a heartbreaking voice to pierce through his cynicism and defenses. Her warmth and guileless sensuality reveal a protective instinct he never knew he had and a desire that was there all along. His self-restraint battles with his yearning to keep his precious discovery for himself, and he soon realizes the folly of promises he could never keep.

My Thoughts:

I loved Bess Greenfield's historical romance debut, The Count's Last Mistress, and so I couldn't wait to read the follow-up. Rescued by the Rake takes place many years later and features Claudine, the daughter of that book's hero and heroine, Jeanne and Olivier, and Leo, the son of Jeanne's best friend, whom we also met in the first book. It is not necessary to read The Count's Last Mistress first, though I recommend it if you get the chance!

Monday, July 27, 2015

I've Got Some Winners to Announce!

Amber T.

Allison M.

Daria C.

Emails have gone out to the winners.
Thanks to everyone who took the time to read and comment on these posts! Check my sidebar for more great giveaways!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Spotlight + Giveaway: The Lady Bornekova by Sara R. Turnquist

Publication Date: July 14, 2015
Publisher: Clean Reads (formerly Astraea Press)
Format: eBook
Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance

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The red-headed Karin is strong-willed and determined, something she inherited from her father. She tries to keep her true nature a secret to avoid being deemed a traitor by those loyal to the king. Karin and her father butt heads over her duty to her family and the Czech Crown. She is then sequestered to the Royal Viscount’s hunting lodge.

Not aware of everything that is happening, she becomes the target of an individual with murderous intent. Her heart soon becomes entangled though her father intends to wed her to another. The turmoil inside Karin deepens and reflects the turmoil of her homeland, on the brink of the Hussite Wars.

The Lady Bornekova Available at

Amazon

About the Author

Sara resides with her family in Middle TN. Though she has enjoyed her career as a Zoo Educator, Sara's great love of the written word has always drawn her to write. An avid reader, she has been, for many years, what she terms a “closet writer”. Her travels and love of history have served to inspire her to write Historical Fiction. Sara has made several trips overseas to the Czech Republic for short stints in the summer over several years. Her time among the Czech people and the landscapes of the country inspired her and greatly influenced her work on her debut novel, The Lady Bornekova, set in the Czech town of Hradec Kralove.

For more information please visit Sara Turnquist’s website. You can also follow her on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Spotlight: The Road Home by Kathleen Shoop

OAKGLEN PRESS
Publication date: June 23, 2015
Paperback price: $12.99 | eBook price: $4.99
Paperback ISBN: 978-1511801249
eBook ISBN: 1511801247

The Road Home is the follow-up to Kathleen Shoop’s award-winning debut novel, The Last Letter. Inspired by real letters shared between her great-great grandparents, the series is rooted with raw emotion and visual descriptions that make the characters come alive.

Find your way home...

1891—Living separately for three years, fourteen-year-old twins, Katherine and Tommy Arthur, have done their best to make each boarding house feel like home. But unrest grows as they are driven to questionable actions just to survive. Meanwhile their desperate mother is confronted with breaking yet another promise to her children. Then a miracle descends. Hope rises on a cold, rainy night and changes everything. If Jeanie could just get word to Katherine and Tommy, she knows she can set their lives right again. Agitators, angels, and dangerous “saviors” illuminate the Arthurs’ unmatched determination and smarts. 

1905—Though she tries to forget the awful years that hurt so much, the memories still haunt Katherine. Now, tearful mourners at her mother’s funeral force her to revisit a time in her life that both harmed and saved her in the most unexpected ways. Tommy grieves his mother’s passing as well. He too is thrust backward, compelled to rediscover the events in his life that shaped the man he has become. Will he commit to reconstructing his broken life? The Arthurs come to understand that forgiveness is the only way back to hope, the only way to find all that was good in the misfortune that transformed their lives forever.

Praise for The Road Home:

“I loved this riveting tale of hope and redemption. The Road Home comes to life with gorgeous imagery and a setting that eased me seamlessly and beautifully back and forth in time. Each character stood out, coaxing me into her story, making me want more. With the turn of every page there’s a revelation, something hidden or something wonderful and unexpected. The Road Home is a must read for any book lover and a perfect follow-up to The Last Letter.” –Melissa Foster, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Blog Tour Review: The Wild Girl by Kate Forsyth

From the Back Cover:

Dortchen Wild fell in love with Wilhelm Grimm the first time she saw him.

Growing up in the small German kingdom of Hessen-Cassel in early Nineteenth century, Dortchen Wild is irresistibly drawn to the boy next door, the young and handsome fairy tale scholar Wilhelm Grimm. 

It is a time of War, tyranny and terror. Napoleon Bonaparte wants to conquer all of Europe, and Hessen-Cassel is one of the first kingdoms to fall. Forced to live under oppressive French rule, the Grimm brothers decide to save old tales that had once been told by the firesides of houses grand and small all over the land.

Dortchen knows many beautiful old stories, such as 'Hansel and Gretel', 'The Frog King' and 'Six Swans'. As she tells them to Wilhelm, their love blossoms. Yet the Grimm family is desperately poor, and Dortchen's father has other plans for his daughter. Marriage is an impossible dream.

Dortchen can only hope that happy endings are not just the stuff of fairy tales.

My Thoughts:

I'd been waiting for so long to read this book, and it hooked me from page one. In fact, the prologue had me itching to turn to the last page to see how it ended, but I resisted! The story has an enchanting fairy-tale quality from the very beginning as we meet young Dortchen Wild, a precocious, starry-eyed, imaginative girl who revels in the beauty of nature and the transcendent quality of folk tales. The fifth of six girls born to a frail mother and an overbearing father, hers is not a life of ease, but she sees the good in everything and determines to make the most of what life has to offer her.

She becomes fast friends with Lotte, the only girl out of six children in the Grimm family, who has just moved into the house across the alley, and begins to spend all of her free time with the poor yet loving family. Secretly worshiping the scholarly Wilhelm, the second oldest brother, she endeavors to help him and the oldest, Jakob, as they compile a collection of old tales in the hopes of finding fame and fortune with its publication. Dortchen shines under their attention, surrounded by a circle of friends sharing stories and laughter, even though her generous nature in wanting to help her poor neighbors often lands her in trouble with her father.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Book Blast! Naked: A Novel of Lady Godiva by Eliza Redgold

NAKED: A NOVEL OF LADY GODIVA
by ELIZA REDGOLD

Publication Date: July 14, 2015
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Formats: Ebook, Paperback
Pages: 320
Genre: Historical Fiction

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We know her name. We know of her naked ride. We don’t know her true story.

We all know the legend of Lady Godiva, who famously rode naked through the streets of Coventry, covered only by her long, flowing hair. So the story goes, she begged her husband Lord Leofric of Mercia to lift a high tax on her people, who would starve if forced to pay. Lord Leofric demanded a forfeit: that Godiva ride naked on horseback through the town. There are various endings to Godiva’s ride, that all the people of Coventry closed their doors and refused to look upon their liege lady (except for ‘peeping Tom’) and that her husband, in remorse, lifted the tax.

Naked is an original version of Godiva’s tale with a twist that may be closer to the truth: by the end of his life Leofric had fallen deeply in love with Lady Godiva. A tale of legendary courage and extraordinary passion, Naked brings an epic story new voice.

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOKS-A-MILLION | ITUNES | INDIEBOUND | KOBO

ADVANCE PRAISE

“Redgold’s variation on this enticing legend is often lyrical and offers a satisfying blend of history, lore, and romance.” (Booklist)

“Breathes new life into the story of the woman who would stop at nothing to protect her land and people.” (Romantic Times)

“NAKED delivers far more than the famous ride of Lady Godiva. It’s a beautifully woven story of love, loyalty, and the determination of a young woman trying to protect her people and their way of life, no matter the price. Godiva is a wonderfully strong woman in an age of dangerous men, and in NAKED, she certainly meets her match!” (Amalia Carosella, author of HELEN OF SPARTA)

“A wonderful, romantic retelling of the Lady Godiva legend. There is the colorful Anglo-Saxon backdrop, warriors, battles, peacemaking, desire, revenge and love – everything a fan of medieval romance could desire – plus a strong-willed heroin. Written with a lyrical lilt to her prose, Redgold adds realism to the myth and love to the lusty tale, allowing readers a glimpse into what might have been.” (RT Book Reviews)

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Blog Tour Guest Post: Sword of the Gladiatrix by Faith L. Justice

Please join me in welcoming Faith L. Justice to Let Them Read Books! Faith is touring the blogosphere with her new book, Sword of the Gladiatrix, and she's here today to bust some gladiator myths! I had the pleasure of meeting Faith at last month's Historical Novel Society conference, and I am so excited to read this book! Read on and enter to win your own copy of Sword of the Gladiatrix!

Two women. Two swords. One victor.

An action-packed tale that exposes the brutal underside of Imperial Rome, Sword of the Gladiatrix brings to life unforgettable characters and exotic settings. From the far edges of the Empire, two women come to battle on the hot sands of the arena in Nero’s Rome: Afra, scout and beast master to the Queen of Kush; and Cinnia, warrior-bard and companion to Queen Boudica of the British Iceni. Enslaved, forced to fight for their lives and the Romans’ pleasure; they seek to replace lost friendship, love, and family in each other’s arms. But the Roman arena offers only two futures: the Gate of Life for the victors or the Gate of Death for the losers.

Busting Gladiator Myths
By Faith L. Justice

Thanks Jenny Q for hosting me on your beautiful blog (please give a shout out to your designer). (That's me! Thank you!) I almost hate to dirty it up with my brutal topic, but here goes. (Oh, we get dirty around here. Let her rip!) Before I researched Sword of the Gladiatrix, I got most of my ideas and impressions of gladiators from the media: Russel Crowe in Gladiator and (for those of us of a certain age) Kirk Douglas in Spartacus. More recently Starz had a fantastic (in more ways than one) show that ran for three seasons titled Spartacus: War of the Damned. All of these shows perpetuate some myths that I hope to bust wide open in this guest post.

Myth #1: All gladiators were men.

Most were, but not all. Here I’ll give Gladiator a weak thumbs up—they had women in chariots fighting against a group of men in a re-enactment” of a classic battle in an arena scene, but other than that, women gladiators don’t show up in most visual media. It’s left to us lowly writers to correct the balance. If you look closely, women in the arena show up in art, literature, and law. Sword of the Gladiatrix was inspired by a particular stone carving of two female gladiators that I saw in the British Museum. Tacitus, Suetonius, Dio, Martial, and Juvenal all write about female gladiators—usually (except for Martial) with some element of dismay or sarcasm. An organizer in Ostia brags on his tombstone that he was the first person to put women in the arena as fighters. My favorite evidence is in the law: The first Roman Emperor Augustus forbade recruiting noble and free women as gladiators. Nearly two hundred years later, Emperor Septimus Severus banned single combat by women in the arena. If women weren’t being recruited and fighting, why have a ban? Human nature being what it is, these prohibitions probably made the fights all the more popular because they were illegal. I’m sure female gladiatorial contests continued for some time.