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Kristi Ann Hunter….Mini-Reviews

Earlier this month (or was it last month) I did a review on Kristi Ann Hunter’s novel An Uncommon Courtship. I mentioned that I wanted to read the rest of the books in the series…so I did! Here are some mini-reviews of the rest of the series:

A Lady of Esteem (Hawthorne House): A Novella by [Hunter, Kristi Ann]

The first book in this series is a novella. I found that I was a fan of both of the characters. I loved the idea of Amelia growing up forgotten amongst her servants and Anthony coming back to London, a reformed rake. What didn’t work for me was that Amelia would be so familiar with her servants. I think if she was raised by them, they would be well-known to her, but I also think, that for her sake, they would have enforced the rules of the regency. Nevertheless, a very good start to the series

A Noble Masquerade (Hawthorne House Book #1) by [Hunter, Kristi Ann]

When you start this book, if you’re like me, you’ll think ‘I know where this is going.’ And yet, the book took some surprising twists and turns. I completely fell in love with the family in the Hawthorne House. I love that each sibling is complex and fascinating. They love God and each other. I really enjoyed the romance in this book and didn’t want to put it down. The only thing that didn’t work for me was the insertion of Miranda into Ryland’s mystery. It felt a bit like an overreach. However, I really enjoyed this book, so I continued to the next.

An Elegant Façade (Hawthorne House Book #2) by [Hunter, Kristi Ann]

This was the last book I read. I will admit to being very excited to see how Colin and Georgina got together considering how Georgina feels about non-titled men. However, a portion of this book was a rehashing of the last book…from Georgina’s point of view. I will admit to skimming that section as the plot of the novel didn’t really change. But, once the book stepped into new territory, I found myself completely immersed in the story. There’s nothing like a bad girl becoming good and Colin was such a steadfast hero that I really enjoyed watching him fall for what seems like, a flighty Georgina.

Overall, a really enjoyable series. I cannot wait for the last book in this series!

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Stephanie Morrill’s The Lost Girl of Astor Street

The Lost Girl of Astor Street (Blink) by [Morrill, Stephanie]

When her best friend vanishes without so much as a good-bye, eighteen-year-old Piper Sail takes on the role of amateur sleuth in an attempt to solve the mystery of Lydia’s disappearance. Given that Piper’s tendency has always been to butt heads with high-society’s expectations of her, it’s no surprise that she doesn’t give a second thought to searching for answers to Lydia’s abduction from their privileged neighborhood.

As Piper discovers that those answers might stem from the corruption strangling 1924 Chicago—and quite possibly lead back to the doors of her affluent neighborhood—she must decide how deep she’s willing to dig, how much she should reveal, and if she’s willing to risk her life of privilege for the sake of the truth.

Review

I really enjoyed Stephanie Morrill’s contemporary YA (though I’m still burned about the romance in one series), so I decided to try her historical novel. So glad I did!

What I liked:

History. I loved the historical element of this novel. It’s not at all overwhelming and the addition of mobsters really adds a fun dimension to this story.

Piper. She’s described as kind of wild and out there, but she isn’t. She’s brave. She’s a hard-worker, but she never makes a decision without using some wisdom first. It made Piper a wonderful, relatable heroine.

Romance. I was worried for a second this book would be a romantic quadrangle. That’s right, quadrangle. However, it becomes clear early on which guy Piper is drawn too. I am concerned that if this is a series (and I hope it is!) that Piper will have time to date all of them. But I hope that’s not the case. I hope she sticks with her guy. Speaking of her guy, you know he’s the one for her because he works with her and not against her, though I do still wish we could have learned more about him.

Mystery. It was good. It was sad. But it was good in the sense that it was complicated and it wasn’t obvious who-done-it. It also made sense for Piper to get involved. Her presence did not feel contrived.

Family dynamics. Piper has siblings and a father who is in the process of getting remarried and it adds fascinating layers to who Piper is. I love that her siblings are siblings, they get along, but they fight too. Piper loves and respects her dad, but she’s not thrilled with her possible step-mother…and rightly so. Piper also learns so big family revelations that really forms to create a fascinating family.

Spiritually, Piper goes to church and questions God, but this book is a bit light spiritually. If this is a series (and I hope it is), I could see Piper growing in this aspect.

What I didn’t like:

I liked this book. The only thing that would have strengthened this book would have been to get to know Piper’s love interest more. He is interesting and yet so mysterious.

Romantic scale

7.9

Overall, I could not put this book down and I thought about it days later. Definitely worth reading.

 

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Sarah Sundin’s When Tides Turn

When Tides Turn (Waves of Freedom Book #3) by [Sundin, Sarah]

When fun-loving glamour girl Quintessa Beaumont learns the Navy has established the WAVES program for women, she enlists, determined to throw off her frivolous ways and contribute to the war effort. No-nonsense and hoping to make admiral, Lt. Dan Avery has been using his skills to fight German U-boats. The last thing he wants to see on his radar is a girl like Tess. For her part, Tess works hard to prove her worth in the Anti-Submarine Warfare Unit in Boston–both to her commanding officers and to the man with whom she is smitten. When Dan is assigned to a new escort carrier at the peak of the Battle of the Atlantic, he’s torn between his lifelong career goals and his desire to help Tess root out a possible spy on shore. The Germans put up quite a fight, but he wages a deeper battle within his heart. Could Tess be the one for him?

With precision and pizazz, fan favorite Sarah Sundin carries readers through the rough waters of love in a time when every action might have unforeseen world-changing consequences.

Review

Sarah Sundin is one of my auto-buy authors. I love the combination of WWII, romance, and friendship. My thoughts:

What I liked

Quintessa. While she had some flaws, I loved her joie de vivre. She was very excited about life and you could see that on the pages. I loved that she got excited to help others and was just generally a friendly person.

Dan. He’s the complete opposite of Quintessa as he is very focused and driven and doesn’t care too much for being distracted. And yet, he is also a very kind person.

The romance. Opposites attract in this book and quite honestly, the romance was the best part of this novel. I thoroughly enjoyed watching Dan and Quintessa first become friends and then slowly fall in love.

The friendship. This is the third book in the series which means that a lot of friendships have already been established and characters met. It was good to spend time with the previous characters.

Spiritually, Dan and Quinetessa each have spiritual issues that they have to address and I think it’s done really well.

What I didn’t like:

The mystery. Quintessa decides to solve a mystery and honestly, I didn’t know why. It kind of felt like there had to be a mystery and so the author created one. It made the heroine seem foolish and naive. She gets called on it, but still, I failed to be pulled into it.

The war. Whenever Dan was on the ship, I kept thinking hurry up, hurry up and I say this as someone who reads war novels on the regular. Maybe it’s just that it was a ship.

Romantic scale: 8

Overall, a very nice conclusion to a good series!

**I received a copy from Revell. My opinion was not affected in anyway.**

 

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Elizabeth Camden’s To the Farthest Shore

To the Farthest Shores by [Camden, Elizabeth]

It has been six years since army nurse Jenny Bennett’s heart was broken by a dashing naval officer. Now Lieutenant Ryan Gallagher has abruptly reappeared in her life at the Presidio army base but refuses to discuss the inexplicable behavior that destroyed their happiness.

Ryan is in an impossible situation. One of the few men in the world qualified to carry out a daring assignment, he accepted a government mission overseas that caused his reputation to be destroyed and broke the heart of the only woman he ever loved. Honor bound never to reveal where he had been during those six years, he can’t tell Jenny the truth or it will endanger an ongoing mission and put thousands of lives at risk.

Although Ryan thinks he may have finally found a solution, he can’t pull it off on his own. Loyalty to her country compels Jenny to help, but she never could have imagined the intrigue she and Ryan will have to face or the lengths to which they will have to go to succeed.

Review

I like Elizabeth Camden. She somehow manages to write different heroes and heroines every time she writes a book. And not just any kind of heroes and heroines, but incredibly smart heroines and gifted heroes. My thoughts:

What I liked:

The premise. Jenny is jilted by Ryan…but you know he has a good reason as to why. I loved being in Jenny’s head and trying to figure out what was happening.

Jenny. She’s tough and smart and yet vulnerable. Her character was complex and I could see where she was coming from every time she made a decision. I loved Jenny.

Interesting facts. I know that doesn’t sound interesting, but seriously Camden taught me about pearls, opium addiction, sailing, Japanese culture, the war, without ever making me feel like I was being taught.

Suspense. There’s a bit of a mystery here. Two really. Watching both of them unravel kept me invested in the story.

Secondary characters. I adored all of them: Lily, Finn, Simon. They each managed to make the novel rich and come to life.

Spiritually, the novel deals with forgiveness. Forgiving others and forgiving yourself and how ultimately you have to accept the grace of God.

What I didn’t like:

Ryan. I wanted to like Ryan. I usually adore heroes. But. Ryan messed up. A lot. I kid you not, what didn’t this guy do? He should have chased Jenny down. He should have been on his knees begging. He didn’t. Instead it felt like Jenny chased him down.

Romantic scale: 7.5

Overall, a very interesting read. It’s not my favorite of Elizabeth Camden’s but it’s worth reading.

**I received a copy from Netgalley. My opinion was not affected in anyway.**