From Companion to Mannequin...

The Mannequin
A Victorian Romance #1
Suzanne G. Rogers
Idunn Court Publishing, 2015
Kindle ed, 226 pages, also in paperback
Genre(s) Historical Romance
Source Author's rep

Other books in this series: Grace Unmasked #2

Synopsis
When she was a poor country girl in a hand-me-down dress, Rosamund saved the Duke of Swanhaven from the brink of despair…only to fall in love with him. Now a celebrated mannequin for an exclusive London dressmaker, her glamorous life is empty without the man to whom she gave her heart. Can a beastly duke and a beautiful mannequin ever find a fairy-tale ending?


About the Author:  
Originally a California native, Suzanne G. Rogers now lives with her husband and son in romantic Savannah, Georgia, on an island populated by deer, exotic birds, turtles, and the occasional gator. She's owned by two Sphynx cats, Houdini and Nikita. Movies, books, and writing blush-free young adult fiction are her passions.

For her historical romance blog, go to http://suzannegrogers.com/


For her fantasy blog, go to https://childofyden.wordpress.com/


My Disclaimer:  
I was provided a free copy of this book by the author's representative. I am providing an honest review in which all opinions are fully my own. I am not being compensated in any way.
~ Judi E. Easley for Blue Cat Review

My Review:  ✭✭✭
This is supposed to be another fairy tale re-tale. This time of Beauty and the Beast. Beauty is a young woman named Rosamund Ashfield, who has been so kindly taken in by her Aunt Lucretia’s family...and don’t you forget it, girl! The beast is by default, Aubrey Whittingham, Duke of Swanhaven, a man who has lost his parents and beloved sister and withdrawn from life to the point of ill health.


Rosamund is ever so helpful to everyone. She doesn’t see bad in anyone unless it’s forced on her. For all her efforts, she gets the short end of the stick more often than not. Her cousins use her as the butt of their jokes. Her aunt holds her in contempt and can’t seem to say anything nice about her at all. Very few people know her circumstances, and there is no one to look out for her.


Things change some for Rosamund once she befriends the Duchess, Aubrey’s grandmother. The Duchess asks Rosamund to help with her grandson. Initially, he absolutely can’t stand having her around and yells at her to go away and leave him alone. She’s been living with her cousins and Aunt Lucretia, so no sick little Duke is going to intimidate her! And she tells him so. Instead of polite conversation, they have arguments and trade insults back and forth. Their conversations are quite amusing at times as they go at it, attempting to insult each other. Invariably, of course, the worst wounding is done when it isn’t meant. Rosamund actually has some very tender feelings and Aubrey is always wounding her with his careless comments.


Eventually, they reach a sort of teasing equilibrium in their relationship. And then they are off to London, the Duchess and Rosamund, at least. But not before Aubrey says a few things that put a sparkle into Rosamund’s eyes and heat into her cheeks.  But she has to face her grandfather before she sees the Duke again. And her grandfather wants nothing to do with her. He disowned her mother when she married beneath her and had her baby. He’s in no mood to be forgiving to the next generation.


Enough storytelling! What you want to know is whether the story is worth reading. Well, yes. I wouldn’t rush right out and buy it, but, yes, it is worth reading. Though it is a bit skimpy. Seems more like a play than a book to me. Aubrey and Rosamund are always walking out of the room or storming off on each other or leaving a note and disappearing. Exit stage left.

I thoroughly enjoyed the early conversations and verbal dueling between Aubrey and Rosamund. These were really well written and revealed so much about the two characters. The Duchess was rather delightful, too. She set her plan in motion and then sat back and let it work, no micromanaging. When major plan changes were called for, she didn’t hesitate to implement them. Aunt Lucretia and her two daughters were just as awful as possible and still be accepted into a drawing room. And I haven’t mentioned a thing about a mannequin. And I’m not going to. I leave that for you to discover when you read the book.

I have the second book, so I'm going to fit it into my reading time and see how the next one goes. Ms. Rogers has twelve books listed on Amazon with beautiful covers and very good ratings. Perhaps I need to read more of her work to really see her worth. Try this one, which is definitely worth reading and see if you add a new author to your list.

Cinderella with a Mulan twist!

Dance: Cinderella Retold
A Medieval Fairytale, Book 3
Demelza Carlton
Lost Plot Press, Feb 2017
Kindle ed, 122 pages
Genre(s) Fairytale Re-tale
Source Purchase

Other books in this series: Enchant: Beauty and the Beast Retold (#1), Awaken: Sleeping Beauty Retold (#2), Revel: Twelve Dancing Princesses Retold (#4)

Synopsis:  
A dutiful daughter. A prince forced to find a bride. If the shoe fits...

Once upon a time...


When the Emperor's army comes recruiting, Mai signs up, seeing it as the perfect escape from her stepmother and a lifetime of drudgery. Armed with her mother's armor and a pair of magic shoes, Mai marches off to war...only to find herself sharing a tent with the General's arrogant nephew, Prince Yi.


The best swordsman in the Empire, Prince Yi wants to make war, not love, but the Emperor insists this will be Yi's last campaign before he must marry. Prince Yi has never met his match...until now.


Can one woman win the war and the prince's heart?


About the Author:
Demelza Carlton has always loved the ocean, but on her first snorkeling trip, she found she was afraid of fish. She has since swum with sea lions, sharks and sea cucumbers and stood on spray-drenched cliffs over a seething sea as a seven-metre cyclonic swell surged in, shattering a shipwreck below. Sensationalist spin? No - Demelza tends to take a camera with her so she can capture and share the moment later; shipwrecks, sharks and all.

Demelza now lives in Perth, Western Australia, the shark attack capital of the world. 

The Ocean's Gift series was her first foray into fiction, followed by the Nightmares trilogy. She swears the Mel Goes to Hell series ambushed her on a crowded train and wouldn't leave her alone.
To get an email whenever Demelza releases a new title AND get a free book, sign up for her VIP newsletter at http://www.demelzacarlton.com

My Disclaimer:  
I purchased this book for full price. I am providing an honest review for which I am receiving no compensation of any kind. All opinions are fully my own.
~ Judi E. Easley for Blue Cat Review

My Review:  ✭✭✭✭
This is a Cinderella re-tale with a Mulan twist. Yeong Mai's mother was a great strategist and her father is a great general. Her father only knows one dance, the dance of war. He has taught his daughter how to dance because that is what his wife told him to do before she died. Her stepmother is a witch, literally.

The Emperor asks for more soldiers to assist his current general. His son, Prince Yi, is all ready to go because he loves fighting and war. The Emperor tells him he can go, but this will be his last time because he must marry when he comes home.

We all know the Cinderella story. Well, Mai's Fairy Godmother only does a make-over on Mai's mother's magic shoes before she goes off to the ball. Mom's armor fits fine and she already has her own sword. This is a really good fairy re-tale. Ms. Demelza keeps to the gist of the story but gave it a whole new feel and, of course, an HEA ending. Definitely recommended for fairy tale re-talers!

Some party games are just no fun...

Pretty Monsters
Six Degrees #2
R. Kitt
Self-pub, 2017
Kindle ed, 77 pages
Genre(s) YA, Urban Fantasy
Source Author

Other books in this series: Macaria #1

Synopsis:  
15-year-old Haylee Keese has recently come home from her all-girls school to start at Hawkins High, her brother Hayden's school.

18-year-old Devon Radshuck is finishing senior year with his best friends who are in a band together.

One Halloween party and a revenge scheme leave Haylee and Devon getting closer than they ever would have on a regular day. Friendships will end.


About the Author:  
Just a gal who loves to read and write varying genres of romance fiction, but mostly New Adult romance fiction touching on the dark side, with happily ever afters.
My usual read is a light-dark contemporary romance.

I love my family and friends. I love to eat. I love to cook. I love the arts. I love to be easy going and positive. I love the outdoors.

~xoxo~

My books are available to read for free on KU/kindle unlimited: amazon.com/author/r.kitt


My Disclaimer:  
I was provided a free copy of this book by the author. I am providing an honest review for which I am receiving no compensation of any kind. All opinions are fully my own.
~ Judi E. Easley for Blue Cat Review

My Review:  ✭✭✭✭  
Macaria and Adam are the older and wiser players in this story. It's a party and a bunch of friends get together. Some coupled up and some not. Some a little wilder than the others, some a little more daring. Some a little jealous and looking for revenge.

The monsters weren't demons or anything like that this time. At this party, the monsters walked around looking like pretty high school girls. It was the unhappiness and evil in their hearts that made them monsters. The type of monsters that every high school seems to have these days.

Fortunately for the two young people these monsters attacked, no permanent harm came to them from the incident. The physical and mental damage was such that some medical and psychological help over a short time would heal all. For the monsters, perhaps the incident would have long lasting implications.

Ms. Kitt covered a lot in this short book. The characters revealed themselves quickly in the conversation in the car before the party, so they were real throughout the book. The pacing was fast as everything came together quickly to the crisis for the young couple involved. Then there was a complete stop for dramatic effect before the decision was handed down. I was so impressed with these young people at how they handled the situation. They thought it out and made a decision. There was no violence committed, but it certainly had devastating effects on each of the people involved. I know this all sounds mysterious and probably a bit confusing, but to give you more would be a spoiler.

A small package with a large impact. Looking forward to seeing what's in book three in this series, which comes out on August 31st, Haunted.

Is it a P&P or just a Wannabe?

Find You in Paris
An Enemies-to-Lovers Romance, The Darcy Brothers
Alix Nichols
Self-pub, 2017
Kindle ed, 273 pages, also in paperback Sayn Press
Genre(s) Contemporary Romance
Source Purchased

Other books in this series: #2 Raphael's Fling, #3 The Perfect Catch

Synopsis:  
If there’s one man that fledgling art photographer Diane Petit really, really, actively hates, it’s fragrance mogul Sebastian Darcy who stole her father’s company—and wrecked the man’s health in the process.
But the arrogant SOB had better brace himself because Diane has vowed revenge.
And revenge she will have.

WARNING: Just like in Pride and Prejudice, expect to find one rich, brooding and handsome Mr. Darcy and one feisty small-town girl who can't stand him. Unlike Pride and Prejudice, this book also contains artful nude photos of said Mr. Darcy and nights of wild passion in Paris.
About the Author:  
Alix Nichols is a caffeine addict and a longtime fan of Mr. Darcy, especially in his Colin Firth incarnation. She is a USA Today bestselling author of sexy and humorous romances.

At the age of six, she released her first rom com. It featured highly creative spelling on a dozen pages stitched together and bound in velvet paper.

Decades later, she still loves the romance genre. Her spelling has improved (somewhat), and her books have made Amazon Top 100 lists, climbing as high as #1. She lives in France with her family and their almost-human dog.

**For exclusive giveaways, excerpts, and special offers subscribe to the monthly newsletter on her author website: www.alixnichols.com and connect with her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AuthorAlixNi....**

My Disclaimer:  
I purchased this ebook at full price. I am providing an honest review for which I am receiving no compensation of any kind. All opinions are fully my own.
~ Judi E. Easley for Blue Cat Review

My Review:  ✭✭✭✭
Is this a P&P cousin or just a wannabe? That's the question. Well, it's been a lot of years since I read P&P, but I will fix that just as soon as I can. However, that doesn't assist me right now. I will tell you that Diane Petit is very protective of her family and especially close to her father, as Elizabeth Bennett was. She also believed every bad rumor about Count D'Arcy as Miss Bennett did about Mr. Darcy. The use of the name Darcy certainly adds weight to the feeling of P&P.

Count D'Arcy also was overheard in his opinion of Diane as was Mr. Darcy in his opinion of Miss Bennett. But the Count was heard to say "she was lower in the societal food chain than most every person in my employ" and that "falling in love with her unpalatable" as she was a "radical leftist, undereducated have-not". Words I believe Jane Austen might have written had she been born in the proper time to use such terms.

While Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett made every attempt to avoid each others company, Count Darcy and Diane Petit were involved in a contract that brought them into almost constant contact. And, as with Elizabeth Bennett, with each bit of the truth that is revealed and the more she gets to know the real Sebastian Darcy she falls deeper and deeper in love with him. 

These two characters are very well written and their love story is sweet and hot. Truly, it steams! Certainly a modern day descendant of P&P, I think.

Would you marry someone known as the Mad Duke?

For Love of the Duke
The Heart of a Duke Book 1
Christi Caldwell
Christi Caldwell Publications, 2014
Kindle ed, 309 pages, also paperback and audible 
Genre(s) Historical Romance
Source Author's Newsletter

Other books in this series: #0.5 In Need of a Duke, #2 More Than a Duke, #3 The Love of a Rogue, #4 Loved by a Duke, #5 To Love a Lord, #6 The Heart of a Scoundrel, #7 To Wed His Christmas Lady, #8 To Trust a Rogue, #9 The Lure of a Rake, #10 To Woo a Widow, #11 To Redeem a Rake, #12 One Winter With a Baron, #13 To Enchant a Wicked Duke

Synopsis:
After the tragic death of his wife, Jasper, the 8th Duke of Bainbridge buried himself away in the dark cold walls of his home, Castle Blackwood. When he’s coaxed out of his self-imposed exile to attend the amusements of the Frost Fair, his life is irrevocably changed by his fateful meeting with Lady Katherine Adamson.

With her tight brown ringlets and silly white-ruffled gowns, Lady Katherine Adamson has found her dance card empty for two Seasons. After her father’s passing, Katherine learned the unreliability of men, and is determined to depend on no one, except herself. Until she meets Jasper…

In a desperate bid to avoid a match arranged by her family, Katherine makes the Duke of Bainbridge a shocking proposition—one that he accepts.

Only, as Katherine begins to love Jasper, she finds the arrangement agreed upon is not enough. And Jasper is left to decide if protecting his heart is more important than fighting for Katherine’s love.

About the Author:
USA TODAY Bestselling author CHRISTI CALDWELL blames Judith McNaught's "Whitney, My Love!" for luring her into the world of historical romance. While sitting in her graduate school apartment at the University of Connecticut, Christi decided to set aside her notes and pick up her laptop to try her hand at romance. She believes the most perfect heroes and heroines have imperfections, and she rather enjoys torturing them before crafting them a well deserved happily ever after!

Christi makes her home in southern Connecticut where she spends her time writing her own enchanting historical romances, chasing around her feisty seven-year-old son and caring for her twin princesses in training!


My Disclaimer:  
I was provided a free copy of this book for joining the author's newsletter. I am providing an honest review for which I am receiving no compensation of any kind. All opinions are fully my own.
~ Judi E. Easley for Blue Cat Review

My Review:  ✭✭✭✭
I don't know about you, but I started out with historical romances, and they have remained my favorite genre to this day. If this first book in the series is what the rest of them are like, I have twelve more to read, because this is just like the classic historical romances I cut my teeth on. A heroine with a head on her shoulders. A handsome hero with his own set of problems. And friends and family interference to complicate things.

I'm not saying that this blew me out of the water, because that would mean that it would have five stars up there and there are only four. It is a typical storyline with typical characters...but I cried! There was something in the way Ms. Caldwell wrote of Katherine's love, of his letting her go and the pain in it. OMG, yes, I was in tears. So poignant. I would have liked more at the ending, but it was neatly tied up. That seems to be the style currently.

Up there at the top of the page is a list of the rest of the thirteen books in this series, which I must now add to my poor overburdened TBR list. But what fun! I'll cry, and laugh and fall in love another dozen times! Christi Caldwell has delivered up a baker's dozen of great reading, what's wrong with that? Absolutely nothing. Historical romance is a fast read because they have a certain formula and style. But they are such a comfort to the reader for that familiarity. When you pick up a new historical romance, you know what you have in your hands. And don't we love it!

"Do not die with me"

The Soldier's Bride
A Music Box Romance
Rachelle J. Christensen
Self-pub, 2016
Kindle ed, 284 pages, also in hardcover
Genre(s) historical romance, women's lit
Source author's rep

Other books in this series: Carve Me a Melody

Synopsis:  
As WWII ration cards and battle scars become commonplace across America, it seems to Evelyn that even love is rationed out. When she finds a message from her late husband tucked inside a music box, Jim’s words have the power to change her life: Don't die with me.

Words written out of love, long-lost but never forgotten.

Grief stricken, Evelyn is unsure of how to honor his request, but she finds the courage to keep on living. Jim’s note urges her to give the music box away to unlock the secret within, and although it breaks her heart again, Evelyn trades the music box for a cradle to hold her infant son. Thus begins the decades-long journey of the music box, mending broken hearts, reuniting lost loves, and giving people the courage to heal themselves along the way. This romance crosses battlefields and time as the music box touches the lives of two soldiers, a broken father, a crippled child, a struggling farmer, and a woman once called the soldier's bride.


About the Author 
Rachelle J. Christensen is a mother of five who writes mystery/suspense and solves the mystery of the missing shoe on a daily basis. She graduated cum laude from Utah State University with a degree in psychology and a music minor. She enjoys singing and songwriting, playing the piano, running, motivational speaking, and of course reading.

Rachelle’s first novel, Wrong Number was awarded Outstanding Book of the Year from the League of Utah Writers and was also a 2010 Whitney Finalist. She is also the author of Caller ID and the Rone Award-winning novella with a Timeless Romance Anthology, Fall Collection. Her latest novel kicks off a new wedding planner mystery series, Diamond Rings Are Deadly Things.

Rachelle's new nonfiction book, What Every 6th Grader Needs to Know: 10 Secrets to Connect Moms & Daughters is co-authored by Connie Sokol. Learn more about this new series at www.coachmom.org

Visit www.rachellechristensen.com to learn more about upcoming books.

My Disclaimer:  
I was provided a free copy of this book by the author's representative. I am providing an honest review for which I am receiving no compensation of any kind. All opinions are fully my own.
~ Judi E. Easley for Blue Cat Review

My Review:  ✮✮✮✮⭒
This was a really sweet story about a music box and its messages of love. It's the last music box that Donovan makes and Jim buys it for his wife, Evelyn just before he leaves for WWII. He leaves a message in it for her. Something for her to find if he doesn't make it home.

Evelyn swaps it to Rhonda for a cradle. Rhonda gives it to Leland. He gives it to Shunsaku for his daughter Emika. Jim sees it when Emika's sick. Emika gives it to her son, but it's lost. Henry finds it and Mallory sells it to Sterling at the Farmer's Market. Sterling gives it to his wife. So it goes over the years. Each adding to the message in the box. Each one being comforted by the unique music in the box.

This is a story to cry with and to appreciate the way that someone who has experienced pain in love and loss can help someone else who is also experiencing pain in love and loss. To cry when a small girl who loves to dance gets polio. To smile when a deaf boy learns to make beautiful music. It is simply beautiful. I strongly recommend it to any of you who enjoy women's lit and stories of life.
Half-Blood Dragon
Dragon Born Trilogy Book 1
K. N. Lee
Self-pub, 2017
Kindle ed, 200 pages
Genre(s) Dystopian Fantasy Romance
Source Author's Newsletter

Other books in this series: Magic-Born Dragon #2, Queen of the Dragons #3

Synopsis:  
Pirates, dragons, mermaids. Embark on a coming of age journey that will leave you breathless.

A lady-in-waiting's job is to follow orders. For Rowen, it is to execute her stepfather's plan to elevate the family's station by an advantageous marriage to the crown prince. Intrigue and seduction fill Rowen's days, but the prophecies that haunt her dreams at night warn her that death awaits.

The taunts of her sleepless nights are realized when she is framed and sentenced to death for the prince's murder.

For a human, there’s nowhere to run and no one to turn to in a kingdom where power is tightly held by full-blooded dragon shifters.

It will take a stranger from the shadows to save Rowen from execution and reveal a truth full of terrifying potential. It is time for Rowen to find the courage to accept her fate, awaken her gift, and set the world on fire.

Change is coming. So is a new prophecy that threatens the fate of the entire world.


About the Author:  
K.N. Lee is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who resides in Charlotte, North Carolina. When she is not writing twisted tales, fantasy novels, and dark poetry, she does a great deal of traveling and promotes other authors. Wannabe rock star, foreign language enthusiast, and anime geek, K.N. Lee also enjoys helping others reach their writing and publishing goals. She is a winner of the Elevate Lifestyle Top 30 Under 30 "Future Leaders of Charlotte" award for her success as a writer, business owner, and for community service.

She is signed with Captive Quill Press and Patchwork Press.

K.N. Lee loves hearing from fans and readers. Connect with her!

www.knlee.com

www.WriteLikeAWizard.com

www.Facebook.com/knycolelee

www.twitter.com/knycole_lee

www.wattpad.com/user/KNycoleLee


My Disclaimer:  I was provided a free copy of this book for signing up for the author's newsletter. I am providing an honest review for which I am receiving no compensation of any kind. All opinions are fully my own.
~ Judi E. Easley for Blue Cat Review

My Review:  ✮✮✮✮
What would your status be in a world where magic is important if you were the only one without magic? It's called "low man on the totem pole". Well, that's where Rowen is in her world. Lady Rowen Glenick is under her stepfather's orders to raise the family's standing by marrying the Crown Prince. She's a lady-in-waiting to the Princess. She's also the only half-dragon blooded person in the whole bunch and cannot shift form. So how she did it, I don't know, but she and Prince Lawson are planning on getting married.

His younger brother, Prince Rickard, is a wastrel and a profligate as far as she is concerned. Yet, he seems to be after her. The more she resists him, the harder he pursues her. She hates him and his circle of lascivious friends. 

All of a sudden, the Crown Prince is dead and Rowen is accused and condemned. Strangely enough, Prince Rickard seems to be trying to help her. She narrowly escapes her own hanging and ends up at sea on a pirate ship with a mermaid who hates her. But it's not too long before the army shows up looking for her.

She's left with so many questions and so few answers. Like why did the mermaid hate her? Who was the pirate captain really? Would her mother, the Duchess, be all right? Why didn't her friend, Lady Brea, speak up for her? Where was Macana? Who really killed Prince Lawson? And who was the Red Dragon who was so gentle with her?

Through the whole book, there was a sense of anticipation. The pace throughout was really good. Lady Rowen was a well-developed character. She had a lot of depth to her and was well-rounded. The pirates were also well done. The other characters were not as well developed, but they were secondary. Perhaps we will be seeing them more in the second and third books and they will be more developed then. Characters such as the Duchess and Prince Rickard are sure to be in the following books, so there is much to look forward to with their characters. Possibly with Macana and Lady Brea as well. And Princess Noemie perhaps?

One of the characters mentioned something that I thought was an excellent point, and I wish I could remember which character it was now. But the point was that the dragons chose to spend their lives in human form rather than dragon form, so why should they look down on Rowen or humans as they did? I thought that was a really good point! If being a dragon was so superior, why did they spend all their time in human form? Silly dragons!

I strongly recommend this book to those of you who enjoy fantasy. And I'd add the other two to your TBR list as well. I certainly have them on mine.




Gargoyles in the Garden? You bet!

Sorceress Awakening
Gargoyle and Sorceress Book 1, The Avatars Book 1
Lisa Blackwood
Self-pub, Nov 2011
Kindle ed, 257 pages
Genre(s) NA, Paranormal Urban Fantasy 
Source Author's rep

Other books in this series: #0.5 Sorceress Found, #2 Sorceress Rising, #3 Sorceress Hunting, #4 Sorceress at War 

Synopsis:  
Author's Note: Sorceress Awakening was previously published as Stone’s Kiss and was part of the Urban Fantasy series called The Avatars.

As a child, a near-drowning accident stole Lillian’s old life. Her new life began the moment she awoke at the foot of a brooding, stone gargoyle.

Years later, Lillian still finds comfort in Gregory, her gargoyle, never guessing he is more than cold stone until demonic creatures called the Riven attack. Gregory senses her terror and wakes from his healing sleep.

After the battle, Lillian learns the humans she thought were her family are a powerful coven of witches at war with the Riven. Lillian is something more than human, a powerful worker of magic, an Avatar to the gods. Gregory has been her protector for many lifetimes, but troubles in their homeland forced him to flee with her to the human world. And it wasn’t an accident which stole her memories—it was Gregory. He suspects Lillian is host to an infant demon, one capable of evil greater than the Riven.

Despite everything, Lillian fears she’s falling in love with her guardian. While she might be able to defeat the Riven with Gregory’s help, she doesn’t know if her fragile new love can survive the evil growing in her own soul...

About the Author:  
Lisa Blackwood is a writer of fantasy romance, gardener, lover of music and all things book related. She grudgingly lives in a small town in Southern Ontario, though she would much rather live deep in a dark forest, surrounded by majestic old-growth trees. Since she cannot live her fantasy, she decided to write fantasy instead. 

An abundance of pets, named after various Viking gods, helps to keep the creativity flowing. Freya, her ever faithful and beloved hellhound, ensures Lisa takes a break from the computer so they can rid the garden of cats with delusions of conquest.
My Disclaimer:  I was provided a free copy of this book by the author's representative. I am providing an honest review for which I am receiving no compensation of any kind. All opinions are fully my own.
~ Judi E. Easley for Blue Cat Review

My Review:  ✮✮✮✮
This was a good story. Gregory sounds like a whole lot more fun than the gargoyles in The Hunchback of Notre Dame! He's a lot bigger for one thing. And he's sexy!

I felt the characters were well-written. Humorous at times. While Lillian had no memory of their joint history, what Gregory shared was really interesting. In this life, Lillian is a young woman, so the book seems to be more YA than NA. She responds and acts out more childishly than I would prefer in some instances. I think I would have liked her to be a more mature character to handle all that's thrown at her. It also kept the relationship between the two on a certain level. So, it almost seemed like this was written to prepare for a series where she grows up and their relationship changes. That was a bit frustrating when I could see their relationship already.

Finding out that she is more than just what she appears changes the whole picture and possibilities for Lillian and Gregory. The ideas that went through my head when I found out left me with a bunch of questions, but I can't mention them without spoilers. So, I can't go into this like I'd like to. But what it does mean is that I'd like to read at least one more book in this series to see if any of my ideas and questions carry through or get answered. But for now, nothing can happen while Lillian's trapped in her Hamadryad and purifying the baby demon she's been carrying. 

Sit down and read Sorceress Awakening this summer and see if you decide to add gargoyles to your garden! I'm definitely adding them to mine! 
Maid for the Rock Star
Romance Island Resort series Book 1
Demelza Carlton
Lost Plot Press, 2015
Kindle ed, 310 pages, also in paperback
Genre(s) Contemporary Romance, Celebrity Bad Boys
Source Author's Newsletter

Other books in this series: Rock Star's E-mail Order Bride #2, Rock Star's Virginity #3, Rock Star and the Billionaire #4, The Rock Star Wants a Wife #5, The Rock Star's Wedding #6, Maid for the South Pole

Synopsis
A maid at the exclusive Romance Island Resort, Audra knows how to handle rock stars, billionaires, and celebrities. She keeps their secrets, cleans up their messes, and makes sure their holiday is a memorable one. There's just one rule: no relationships with guests. And Audra never breaks the rules.

Jay Felix is rock royalty and he knows it. When one of his bandmates threatens to break up the band, he goes into hiding at the Romance Island Resort. Looking for a distraction, he sets his sights on the unattainable Audra. But what's a rock star to do when the girl he wants is the one woman he can't have?

Welcome to paradise, where the romance is as hot as the weather and the tides aren't all that's surging beneath the surface.

About the Author
Demelza Carlton has always loved the ocean, but on her first snorkeling trip, she found she was afraid of fish.
She has since swum with sea lions, sharks and sea cucumbers and stood on spray-drenched cliffs over a seething sea as a seven-metre cyclonic swell surged in, shattering a shipwreck below. Sensationalist spin? No - Demelza tends to take a camera with her so she can capture and share the moment later; shipwrecks, sharks and all. 
Demelza now lives in Perth, Western Australia, the shark attack capital of the world.

The Ocean's Gift series was her first foray into fiction, followed by the Nightmares trilogy. She swears the Mel Goes to Hell series ambushed her on a crowded train and wouldn't leave her alone.

To get an email whenever Demelza releases a new title AND get a free book, sign up for her VIP newsletter at http://www.demelzacarlton.com



My Disclaimer:  I was provided a free copy of this book when I signed up for the author's newsletter. I am providing an honest review for which I am receiving no compensation of any kind. All opinions are fully my own.
~ Judi E. Easley for Blue Cat Review

My Review:  ✭✭✭
Audra's the hard working maid at the resort who's trying to stay out of trouble so she can get the internship she's applying for with the weather service. She's got her degree, now she wants to put it to use. She's well-written and has good depth to her. She's an educated young woman with a degree working a job to get through until she can make that connection to a career.

Along comes the rock star. He's arrogant and demanding and he wants her. She spends all her time answering his service calls and fending off his advances. Jay Felix is shallow and crude, that's how he's written. A bit too crude for my taste. His one thought is sex. 

He's also extremely good looking and in great shape. He can't seem to keep his clothes on, either. And she's having a hard time keeping her eyes and hands off him. The action is good and quite often amusing.

When he's injured, she nurses him and pampers him. And resists him, right up until the end. Is she off for Antarctica to forecast the weather? That would be telling.

Get your own copy of Maid for the Rock Star and read all about the frolics taking place at Romance Island Resort when rock royalty drops in.
Sweetwater American
Eileen Cruz Coleman
Self-published,2010
Kindle ed, 282 pages
Genre(s) Interracial, Cultural
Source Author's rep

Synopsis:  
Sandy is young, smart, and attractive, and as an aspiring film student at a prestigious university in Washington, D.C., she seems to have everything going for her, including the attraction of one of her young, handsome professors.
But Sandy also has a past.

While very young, she is sent to live with her godmother in a small town in El Salvador. The town is nondescript in every way but one: in over seven years, no babies in the town have been born alive. Without a scientific reason for the stillborn children, it seems the only explanation is that the town is cursed.

Now grown and attending college in America, Sandy continues to carry the weight of her childhood with her, a burden that has always prevented her from ever being truly happy.

Then one day she meets a cafeteria worker named Elena, and Sandy instantly feels the pull of something mysterious and intriguing in the woman.

Reluctantly, Elena agrees to be the subject of Sandy’s film project, and in the process provides the key to unraveling the secrets of Sandy’s past and the path to finding true love in the future.

About the Author:  
Eileen Cruz Coleman was born in Washington, D.C. to an immigrant El Salvadoran mother and a Puerto Rican father. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland with a degree in History. Her short stories have appeared in numerous literary journals both online and in print. She lives in Maryland with her husband and two children.
My Disclaimer:  I was provided a free copy of this book by the author's representative. I am providing an honest review for which I am receiving no compensation of any kind. All opinions are fully my own.
~ Judi E. Easley for Blue Cat Review

My Review:  ✭✭✭
Sandy seemed to walk around in a fog for about three-quarters of the book. She was in her own little world even when she was forced to deal with people. It was like she stepped outside herself and watched her body go through the emotions of life. Even in her grieving process.

For me, it was hard to relate to the strong Latino aspect of this. It was stressed so much. Suffering is suffering no matter where you come from or the color of your skin. Why do we have to make such distinctions?

The book dragged and was depressing even with a happy ending. All of the sadness of the past is suddenly gone because the boy is with her, she finished her film, and Michael came back when she called. It seemed too neat and tidy after all the pain and sorrow, all the back and forth, present and the past. All tied up with a neat little bow of her inheritance.

The writing in this book is solid, but the book just doesn't work. It's another one where I'm stumbling around in the dark. Perhaps, I am not the right reader for the book.



The Little Paris Bookshop
Nina George
Crown Publishing Group, Jun 2015 
Originally published in German as Das Lavendelzimmer
Translated by Simon Pare
Kindle ed, 320 pages, 
Genre(s) Women's Lit
Source Purchased

Synopsis:  
There are books that are suitable for a million people, others for only a hundred. There are even remedies--I mean books--that were written for one person only...A book is both medic and medicine at once. It makes a diagnosis as well as offering therapy. Putting the right novels to the appropriate ailments: that's how I sell books." 

Monsieur Perdu calls himself a literary apothecary. From his floating bookstore in a barge on the Seine, he prescribes novels for the hardships of life. Using his intuitive feel for the exact book a reader needs, Perdu mends broken hearts and souls. The only person he can't seem to heal through literature is himself; he's still haunted by heartbreak after his great love disappeared. She left him with only a letter, which he has never opened.

After Perdu is finally tempted to read the letter, he hauls anchor and departs on a mission to the south of France, hoping to make peace with his loss and discover the end of the story. Joined by a bestselling but blocked author and a lovelorn Italian chef, Perdu travels along the country's rivers, dispensing his wisdom and his books, showing that the literary world can take the human soul on a journey to heal itself. 

Internationally bestselling and filled with warmth and adventure, "The Little Paris Bookshop" is a love letter to books, meant for anyone who believes in the power of stories to shape people's lives. "From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author:  
Born 1973 in Bielefeld, Germany, Nina George is a prize-winning and bestselling author (“Das Lavendelzimmer” – “The Little Paris Bookshop”) and freelance journalist since 1992, who has published 26 books (novels, mysteries, and non-fiction) as well as over hundred short stories and more than 600 columns. George has worked as a police reporter,
columnist, and managing editor for a wide range of publications, including Hamburger Abendblatt, Die Welt, Der Hamburger, “Politik und Kultur” as well as TV Movies, and Federwelt. Georges writes also under three pen-names, for ex “Jean Bagnol”, a double-andronym for Provence-based mystery novels.

In 2012 and 2013 she won the DeLiA and the Glauser-Prize. In 2013 she had her first bestselling book “Das Lavendelzimmer”, translated into 27 languages and sold more than 500,000 copies.

In November 2011, Nina George established the “JA zum Urheberrecht” (YES on Author’s Rights) initiative, which supports the rights of authors, artists, and entertainers and is dedicated to resolving issues within the literary community as well as establishing fair and practical rights-license models for the web-distribution. 14 writers’ associations and 27 publishing partners have since joined the JA…-Initiative. George supports the “Initiative Urheberrecht” (Author’s Rights Initiative—www.urheber.info) as well as the “gib 8 aufs Wort”-campaign of the VG Wort.

In August 2014 George initiated the Amazon protest in Germany www.fairer-buchmarkt.de, where over 2000 German-speaking authors – Nobel prizewinning Elfriede Jelinek or Bestselling author Nele Neuhaus – signed an open letter to Jeff Bezos and Amazon, protesting against the banned-book-methods of the giant retailer in the Hachette/Bonnier-dispute.

In 2015, George founded the Initiative Fairer Buchmarkt e.V., which supports questions of law in the daily business of authors – for example in contracts, fees or author’s rights and e-Business.

George is Member of PEN, Das Syndikat (Association of German-language crime writers), the Association of German Authors (VS), the Hamburg Authors’ Association (HAV), BücherFrauen (Women in Publishing), the IACW/AIEP (International Association of Crime Writers), the GEDOK (Association of female artists in Germany), PRO QUOTE and Lean In. Nina George sits on the board of the Three Seas Writers’ and Translators’ Council (TSWTC), whose members come from 16 different countries.

Nina George teaches writing at Literaturbüro Unna, Alsterdamm Kunstschule, Wilhelmsburger Honigfabrik, where she coaches young people, adults, and professional authors. George also moderates (bilingual) readings and works as a speaker.

www.nina-george.com

find me also on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/NinaGeorge.S...

My Disclaimer:  I purchased this book at full price. I am providing an honest review for which I am receiving no compensation of any kind. All opinions are fully my own.
~ Judi E. Easley for Blue Cat Review

My Review:  4+Stars!
This book could have not been written by an American writer. There's is just something about it that says it was written by a European writer. They really write differently. There is an intimate knowledge of their countries and customs that Americans simply don't have. It does show in their writing.

This book has something I haven't seen in awhile. That's a true dedication. One where it is set formally at the front with intent and quotes and such. This book is dedicated to the departed and to those who go on loving them. Nina George lost her father, who she was very close to, shortly before writing this book.

Jean Perdu (John Lost) is the owner of La pharmacie litteraire (The Literary Apothecary) where he prescribes the correct books for people. La pharmacie litteraire is a converted river barge, basically a floating bookshop. 

Monsieur Perdu has two women in his life. One is from twenty years ago and she left him a letter he never read. Since her time, Monsieur has had no other woman, until Catherine literally fell into his life. Now she is collecting postcards and waiting. 

Monsieur has finally read Manon's letter and must make this voyage and find closure to their relationship. It is a quest for answers, for peace.

The author used diary entries from Manon, Monsieur Perdu's first love, to bring her into the story. I felt that really helped to bring her presence into the story and to keep her real while all the action was going on during the river cruise. The pace was a bit uneven, but the storyline was great and the characters were interesting. Each one added something to the story. I was left with a quiet, mellow feeling that I wanted to hold on to.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough to any reader of women's lit. To readers of books, it will be fun following the book discussions. To travelers, you can follow the river cruise. And to romantics, there is plenty of romance!
Millie's Angel
Kim Petersen
MashPit Publishing, Feb 2017
Kindle ed, 294 pages, also in paperback
Genre(s) debut novel, romantic suspense, magical realism, faith
Source Author's rep (AXP)

Other books in this series: A Stroke of Faith #2 (prequel)

Synopsis
When her mother abandons her, Millie is left to pick up the pieces and care for her little brother, Ace. Just as she begins to accept her mother’s disappearance from their lives, Millie discovers the shocking secrets surrounding her birth; leaving her anguished and torn between her feelings for her father.

Through friendships, romantic connections and heartbreak, Millie learns that she is never alone to face the many obstacles life throws her way - for her life becomes centered on the celestial presence of an angel. As Millie becomes a young woman, she learns that in loving herself and directing the train of her thought-world, she holds the key to the Kingdom of Heaven: right here on earth.

When her mother contacts her a decade later, Millie visits with her just in time to realize her own angelic gift, when she finds she is not alone in discovering her mother’s whereabouts. With evil lurking between the cracks in her family, the appearance of Millie’s gift - a phenomenon that will heal and shine brighter than she could ever have imagined - changes her family’s perspectives and the direction of their lives forever.


About the Author:  
Kim Petersen is the first-time published author of a magical realism novel. Millie's Angel follows the story of a girl as she struggles between her mother's abandonment and her father's dark side.

Mother of five wonderful children, Kim enjoys balancing family life while working from home and never ceases to find inspiration among the moments shared with loved ones.

Kim’s passion is reflected in her writing when she pens stories that stage beautifully twisted characters who ponder the secrets of life and death. She is currently working on part two of Millie's Angel.


My Disclaimer:  I was provided a free copy of this book by the author's representative. I am providing an honest review for which I am receiving no compensation of any kind. All opinions are fully my own.
~ Judi E. Easley for Blue Cat Review

My Review:  4-Stars
I really wasn't sure how to classify this book when it came to a genre. It is sort of in a class by itself. Yes, it is a love story and a story about a dysfunctional family. But this is so much more than that. This is a story about good vs. evil, about good driving out evil. Be ware, there are angels among us.

Emily and her twins, such a sad story. A story of God showing us the way, but giving us the choice, allowing us self-will. 

Glen, Millie's father, finally made it to the light he kept striving to find all along. He had kept fighting against the serpent within him and finally, there was help strong enough to help him cast it out.  
Damon seemed to know what Millie was all along. And then there was Ace, Millie's brother. The serpent had its teeth into him when he was young. As he grew, the attachment grew stronger and finally, he became the host and fled.

The Bible says, "God has given believers the Holy Spirit to help us on our walk of faith. He will guide us in the right direction." Throughout Millie's life, she turned to God for guidance. Sometimes she did it directly and sometimes she turned to Him through her angel.

This book is about faith and yet it is still a very comfortable read for anyone, even those not looking for a "Christian" book. Faith is the main focus and you are still not preached at. This is a very uplifting book in many ways. Though is has many very dark times and many bad things happen. It is a book of struggle and pain. The pace of the book is good, though there are some areas where it does bog down with all the sorrow and some predictability. This book comes with my strongest recommendations.

It's just old news, right? Not to some!

Yesterday's News
Yesterday's Paranormal Mysteries #1
Sam Cheever
Electric Prose, 2017
Kindle ed, 171 pages, also available in paperback
Genre(s) cozy mystery paranormal, ghosts
Source Author's newsletter

Other books in this series: Threads of Yesterday #2, Yesterday's Ghosts #3

Synopsis
Antiques can be a dangerous business. Especially when you're dealing with a desperate politician, a sexy ex-cop, and a couple of "spirited" companions.

Anna Yesterday owns Yesterday's Antiques in small town USA. When she finds an old newspaper clipping lining the drawer of an antique dresser, she realizes she's never heard the horrible story of rape and suicide detailed on the yellowed newsprint. So she starts to dig, and her sleuthing exposes an ugly cover-up that casts the residents of Crocker, Indiana into danger and intrigue, and leaves them with a corpse.


About the Author:  
USA Today Bestselling Author Sam Cheever writes romantic paranormal/fantasy and mystery/suspense, creating stories that celebrate the joy of love in all its forms. Known for writing great characters, snappy dialogue, and unique and exhilarating stories, Sam is the award-winning author of 50+ books and has been writing for over a decade under several noms de plume.

Website: www.samcheever.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sam-Ch...
Twitter: https://twitter.com/samcheever
Blog: www.samcheever.com/blog
My Disclaimer:  I was provided a free copy of this book from the author's newsletter. I am providing an honest review for which I am receiving no compensation of any kind. All opinions are fully my own.
~ Judi E. Easley for Blue Cat Review

My Review:  5-Stars!
This cozy mystery has it all! Sam Cheever is a prolific author in the cozy genre. If you aren't au courant with cozies, you really should check out what's there. It's a world all its own, and it's a rich gold mine!

Anna Yesterday is the owner of the antique store. Her "guardian angel" is a hunky cowboy ghost she wishes weren't a ghost. His sidekick is a snarky saloon girl who also happens to be a ghost. Anna's recently hired a guy who seems too good to be true. And you know what they say about things that seem too good to be true...

Then there's the newspaper article Anna finds in the old chest she bought the other day from a local family. It's all about a rape in town, but she's never heard this story. Given that it's about the former mayor, whose son is the present mayor, she can't understand why she's never heard the story. Inquiring minds want to know...

Anna and her new hire, Pratt Davies, get into and cause all kinds of trouble in town when they start poking their inquiring noses into this story. It takes 2 ghosts, a cat, and an autistic teenager to solve this one! It's dangerous and it's hilarious all at once. And then there's just a bit of it's so sweet, too. But let's save that for the end, okay? Go get your copy of Yesterday's News and settle in for a really great read.

Books 2 & 3 in the series: