Monday, September 29, 2014

Book Review: Destined for Doon

I hope like how I redecorated on my blog!

If you recall, last December, I wrote about a book called Doon by Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon. I wrote in frustration of the cliffhanger the book ended with. Well, my misery has ended somewhat as the second book Destined for Doon has been published. I bought it and read it within a few days.

About the Book

Destined for Doon
Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon
In this sequel to Doon, Mackenna Reid realizes she made a horrible mistake in choosing to follow her dreams of Broadway instead of staying in the enchanted land of Doon. To make everything worse, she's received her Calling—proof she and Duncan are each other's one true love—and it's pure torment, especially when visions of the very alluring Scottish prince appear right before she goes on stage. So when Duncan tells her an ancient curse threatens to overtake Doon and the new queen and Kenna’s best friend, Veronica, needs her to return, Kenna doesn't have to think twice. With darkness closing in on all sides, Kenna and Vee must battle a world of nightmares in order to protect the kingdom. But it will take the ultimate test of courage for Kenna to salvage her happily ever after.

My Review

Destined for Doon picks up where Doon left off. Kenna, as expected, makes it back to Doon, but her relationship with Duncan is ruined. Meanwhile, Veronica is trying to fit into her new position as queen. However, Jamie is having a hard time relinquishing control and is extremely overprotective in her eyes.
Then they are faced with a horrible curse called the limbus. It literally zombifies anything that touches it and it is slowly surrounding and infecting the entire nation. How can they stop it, when they can’t even go near it? Add to that the fact that it is invisible…
I enjoyed this book. It is the continuation of a story I am interested in, set in a beautiful world with lots of adventure. The characters are interesting and unique. I loved that Kenna is always singing and mentioning musicals; it brings her to life in that even her thought life is affected bu the things she loves. Also, Vee and Kenna’s friendship is beautiful. The constantly comment on how they “share each other’s brain” which shows the depth of their friendship. I also enjoyed the plotline, which is the main thing I consider when liking a book. It held my attention with a mix of romance and crisis.
Destined for Doon didn’t pull from me the same emotions as the first, however. Part the reason for this is the fact that much of the turmoil between the couples are misunderstandings which could be rectified if they would just talk and actually listen to each other. Of course, the existence of misunderstandings is probably a pretty accurate portrayal of any relationship.
The curse was interesting. The authors never really explained how the witch made it since Vee and Kenna stripped her of her powers in the first book. How then could she have revived the curse, and where exactly is she? I assume it will be explained in the third book in the series, especially since this book is a cliffhanger as well.
I enjoyed this book and look forward to the sequel as an answer to my questions and a hopefully epic conclusion to the series.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Pre-Order Party for the "Unexpected Bride" by Lena Goldfinch

Some of you might remember a blog tour I hosted this spring called "Lena's Sweet Spring Reads." The blog tour promoted several fantasy/paranormal books by author Lena Goldfinch. I really enjoyed her books and was super excited to join this Pre-Order Party for her newest book, The Unexpected Bride, the first in a series of western historical romances. I am certain it will be as thrilling as Lena's previous novels. It will be released on October 6, so mark your calendars!

About the Book

The Unexpected Bride
Lena Goldfinch 
What's a man to do when his father orders him a bride?
Rebecca Sullivan has been "Becky" all her life, a real hoyden. Her childhood sweetheart taught her to ride bareback and shoot a rifle, but then he chose a "perfect lady" for a wife—a real Southern belle, who's now expecting a baby. Heartbroken, Becky signs up to be a mail-order bride to a Seattle man, sight unseen. She resolves to squelch her hoydenish ways and become a "perfect lady" for her future husband.
If logging-operation owner Isaac Jessup had wanted a bride, he'd have chosen a sturdy frontier woman, not some fragile lady from back East. Ready to explain the mistake, honorable Isaac takes one look into Rebecca's vulnerable eyes...and knows he'll marry her, even though this delicate waif is obviously unsuited for wild Seattle.
Could an unexpected marriage be a match made in heaven?
Book One in The Brides Series
Sweet Historical Western Romance / A Mail-Order Bride Novel
Release Date: October 6th, 2014
Available for pre-order in ebook format:

Author Bio

LENA GOLDFINCH writes romance and fantasy for adults and teens. She’s a sucker for a good old-fashioned romance, whether it’s a novel, novella, or short story, young adult or adult, fantasy or realistic, contemporary or historical. Elements of romance, fantasy, and mystery have a way of creeping into her writing, even when she's writing historicals or something light and contemporary. Lena has been a finalist in several national writing contests, including the RWA Golden Heart and ACFW Genesis contests. She lives in a scenic small town in Massachusetts with her husband, two kids, and a very spoiled Black Lab. Visit Lena at www.LenaGoldfinch.blogspot.com.



The lean-to was chilly and not for the first time, Isaac considered boarding it up proper and calling it a barn. He sat on the stool and began milking the goat, all the while mentally preparing for the worship service they planned to go to later that morning. The Scriptures he'd read first thing that morning were fresh in his mind, and his prayers kept returning to the problem of Rebecca. One inner voice urged him to send her back home, but another voice spoke of commitment. He'd said vows before God to love and keep her till death do them part. Those weren't words he was willing to dismiss lightly.

"What's her name?" Her voice was suddenly in his ear, quite close.

Isaac jumped. The goat bleated at him.

"Sorry, girl." He patted her side and resumed milking her with slow, careful hands. He glanced over his shoulder toward the subject of his thoughts.

Rebecca stood watching him, leaning over the rail and peering in at them with curious eyes. He was surprised to see her out this early. She usually left him to his morning chores, and most times he'd get back inside the cabin and find her already up preparing breakfast.

"What's her name?" she repeated.

"Name? The goat?" He looked at the goat dumbly. It was a goat. He'd never gotten much further than that. She gave them a daily supply of milk, but other than that she was generally a nuisance. She liked to butt down the stall door. And whenever she got loose, she'd eat what few vegetables he was able to grow in the summer. She also liked to nip at his shirts and underthings when he hung them out on the line--if he was lucky. Most times she'd tug the whole line down and drag it through the mud.

"Yes, the goat," Rebecca said, a pleasant-sounding smile in her voice. "Don't tell me she hasn't got a name?"

There was something nice about hearing a woman's voice in the morning. It reminded him a little of when he was young, and his mother had chatted with him in soft tones while they ate breakfast. As if speaking too loud would jar them too quickly out of whatever dreams they'd had the night before.

Rebecca's soft voice put him much in mind of those times.

"All right. I won't." Isaac focused on his milking.

"She doesn't have a name?" Rebecca pressed. "How can you have an animal that doesn't have a name?"

"Never gave it much thought. She's good for milk, but other than that she's nothing but trouble, always munching on the laundry."

"Well, then I think your choice is clear. Either you call her Milky or you call her Trouble." Her teasing tone brought a reluctant smile to his lips.

"Well, then, if I have to choose, then I guess she's Trouble."

The real Trouble was standing behind him, her elbow propped against the top of the rail, her chin cupped in one dainty hand.

Rafflecopter Giveaway

Celebrate the upcoming release of Lena Goldfinch’s new historical romance with this sweet giveaway! One winner will receive a book locket necklace from the Lily Pickford Etsy shop, as well as a paperback copy of The Unexpected Bride. Open to residents of the U.S. and Canada only.
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Sunday, September 21, 2014

Mark of Distinction

Mark of Distinction
Jessica Dotta


London is said to be the glittering jewel of society, a world unto itself—but to Julia Elliston it is a city of shadows. Her life is swiftly dissolving into scandal. And in Victorian society, even a whisper of scandal—substantiated or not—can be the death of a young woman’s reputation.

Now under the watchful eye of Lord Roy Pierson, one of most influential men in England, Julia begrudgingly accepts his protection. But Chance Macy’s power is far-reaching as well, and he is eager to assert his claim over her.

Thrust into society as the Emerald Heiress, Julia is the toast of London, a celebrated curiosity. But in reality she’s trapped between the clutches of two powerful men. Aided only by a gentleman whose intentions she prays she can trust, Julia must finally take control of her own fate—but outwitting one’s foe rarely goes according to plan.

Amazon    Barnes and Noble    Goodreads

My Review

Mark of Distinction, by Jessica Dotta, is the continuation of the story of Julia…whatever her last name is (she has several). Julia struggles with her identity as she is thrust into the world of the gentry as the esteemed Lord Pierson’s daughter and Mr. Isaac Dalry’s intended. How can she embrace this world when her heart is back home with Edward and Elizabeth and with Mr. Macy threatening her at every turn?

I enjoyed this book very much, but not as much as I enjoyed the first book Born of Persuasion. This is due in part because Julia spends much of her time moping or locked in her father’s house. I had also wished Mr. Macy was good—he could have made and amazing husband to Julia if he was who he originally said—but he is proved more and more evil as time goes by.

In any case, the book was a little disappointing in that it did not surprise me at every turn as did the first book. The sending was a surprise, a very good one, in fact, but the surprise was utterly improbably considering the circumstances.
On the good side, Julia is becoming less and less the naïve girl she began the first book as. She is growing and maturing as the story progresses.

Also, the story is yet rich with unique personalities. Each character is a study in human behavior. The book shows the result of bitterness through one character as well as a son and daughter choosing to be different than their parents, specifically their parents’ mistakes and weaknesses. 
In all, Mark of Distinction has its ups and downs but still points to an epic conclusion in the third and final novel. I can hardly wait!