a new review on Romance Novels for the Beach Blog via Upon Your Return by Marie Lavender
Category Archives: Reviews
So, I am bursting to give you this news! I just stumbled across this awesome five star review for Upon Your Love, a historical romance/family saga novel and book three of the Heiresses in Love Series.
This is what the reviewer said on Amazon:
“I always thought historical romances were boring, but I was wrong!!!, June 13, 2017
Although it’s a historical romance, it doesn’t feel dated or stylistic in any way because of the way the author has captured the essence of human nature and relationships. The characters are likable which is no ordinary feat because I find it very difficult to like female protagonists.
Wow! Thanks for your kind comments!
Readers, don’t forget to check out the whole Victorian maritime romance series as well! 😉
As most of you know, I released this new adult romance short story in February. It originally appeared in the Valentine’s anthology, Cupid’s Arrow, for Solstice Publishing, but the publisher decided to release it on its own as well. Here are two great recent reviews:
Woo hoo! Thank you, Linda and Kim, for your kind commentary! ♥
Thanks, David, for your awesome commentary about Upon Your Love, book three of the Heiresses in Love Series!
By David Burnett on May 17, 2017
Amazon Universal link: https://bookgoodies.com/a/B06XBPVS7D
CreateSpace link: https://www.createspace.com/6969887
Readers, don’t miss the whole trilogy!
Great news! Two new reviews popped up this week for my new adult romance story, The Missing Piece. Yay! 🙂
It’s a sweet novella about Alyssa, who with the help of Justin, tried to figure out what happened the night before.
The story was well written, and probably would have been better as a novel, than a novella, but the plot and details that are needed to make a great novella is here. It takes a lot of talent to write a thorough novella, and Lavender definitely has that writing talent. The story was sweet, and likable, and engaged the reader on the journey that Alyssa was forced to take.
Can one mistake cause someone to find love and change their entire life? Author Marie Lavender writes about that possibility in her new romance The Missing Piece.
The Missing Piece is a short story about good-girl Alyssa Masters. One morning Alyssa wakes up on her college fraternity’s lawn with a massive headache and a spotty memory, and instantly panics. Parties aren’t her scene, she’s a recluse and doesn’t drink. She’s a good student and doesn’t do anything that involves too much risk, until last night, apparently.
As Alyssa struggles to take in her surroundings and figure out what day it is, a young man named Justin helps her to put some of the pieces together. She finds that she did, in fact, attend the frat party and clearly drank, but much of what happened afterward is still a mystery. All she knows is what Justin has told her – that she had spent time with a fraternity member named Brendan and eventually followed him upstairs after doing some jello shots. In an instant frenzy, she thinks of the worst possible outcomes, only to be assured by Justin that Brendan is a good guy. He vows to help her figure out the pieces of her missing memory, but they could very well find that they were each other’s missing piece all along.
The Missing Piece was a quick and fun read, and I enjoyed meeting Alyssa and the other characters. Given the constraints of the short story format – this is a 30-page story – it’s difficult for the author to “flesh out” the characters and really develop them. I would have loved to see the characters be more deeply developed, and I would have loved to be more involved in this story. I really did want to keep reading more, as the style of writing was easy to follow and intriguing. I am hoping for a sequel to this short story, as I would like to know how the romance between characters develops and if Alyssa comes to change her good-girl ways or finds someone who will accept her for everything she is and always was.
Quill says: The Missing Piece is a mysterious and romantic read that readers will find themselves wanting more of and definitely looking for other stories by this author.
Thank you, Amy and Diana, for your kind words! 😀
Thanks, R.R., for taking the time to read book one of the Heiresses in Love Series! I am honored by your kind words! 🙂
Upon Your Return portrays the social and political struggles in France within the 1860’s. Particularly, the challenges Fara faces as a woman. The author touches upon the stirrings of feminism, classism, giving the read reality and life behind the romance.
Fara and Grant are strong, brave characters, both who defy the conventions of the time. Overcome obstacles for their love. Both characters are written with such care the reader keeps turning pages just to find out what will happen next.I highly recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys romance stories and appreciates good writing. It is one of those books you won’t want to put down and in the end the characters will stay with you, much like, Catherine and Heathcliff. Enjoy.
Universal Amazon: http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00I0D9LQ8
CreateSpace link: https://www.createspace.com/4284739
Yowza! Thank you so much! ♥♥♥
As some of you may already know, I put myself to the A to Z Challenge for blogging during the month of April.
Basically, it required participating bloggers to do a post every day focusing on each letter of the alphabet. Sundays were the only excluded days. As you can imagine, this was a lot of work.
So, what really compelled me to take on this challenge? Well, I have to give my talented author friend, Devika Fernando, some credit here. Last year, she took on the challenge with her blog and absolutely nailed it. Check out one of her posts here!
Therefore, this year it was with courage and a bit of fear that I said, sure, what the hell…I’ll try it too. I decided to use a rating system for each book I covered, almost like a book review but not quite the same.
To make a long story short, the experience was actually fun! 🙂 I not only got to revisit some titles on my shelf I hadn’t looked at for awhile, I also found some new books I wanted to try.
I hope you found some interesting reads as well. If you missed my A to Z Challenge posts, here they are in order:
Perhaps you’ll find some interesting romance books in there, ranging from contemporary to historical, paranormal to fantasy, comedy to multicultural, even a time travel/science fiction. It was so much fun to participate in the A to Z Blogging Challenge, to see your comments and interact with you (many thanks for the shares and reblogging!), and to check out other bloggers’ sites who were part of the challenge. Here is a full list of the 1,348 participants this year. And to do my part, here are some links to a few other blogs from the April A to Z Challenge:
Thanks again for sticking it out with me during the challenge. I’m always happy to see some friendly faces around here. Please stay tuned for future posts on any random thoughts about love, articles or advice on romantic relationships…
and, as always – our favorite topic – learning about new romance authors and their book releases!
Have a wonderful May, everyone! 😀
As you probably already know by now, I put myself to the A to Z Challenge for blogging this past month.
For these posts, I gave an I Love Romance Blog score, not an official review, for books currently on my shelf at home (I know readers must wonder what books inspires us as authors) or ones that were on my TBR list (what I wanted to read so bad I couldn’t stand it!). For each book, I gave the blurb, a few lines from the text, then why I liked the book or why I wanted to read it. And for fun, I gave a heart rating! ♥
This was my scoring system:
I hope these A to Z Challenge suggestions helped you find a new favorite author, or further cemented your love for one, if that’s the case.
Let’s jump into our final book, shall we?
Zenith Rising by Marilyn Campbell
Genre: Erotic Time Travel Romance
Maggie Harrison’s temp assignment sounds glamorous. As assistant to bestselling author Noah Nash, she’ll be staying in his penthouse suite at the legendary Davenport Hotel. However, Maggie is more interested in whether Noah will remember her from high school.Tales of ghosts and paranormal activity enticed Noah to set his next book in the Davenport, but his reason for hiring Maggie is entirely personal. He hopes the old spark can be fanned into a new flame. What happens between them is more like a raging wildfire.Their passionate reunion takes an even wilder turn when they’re suddenly transported to the Roaring Twenties, when the new hotel sparkled like champagne in a speakeasy…and several murders went unsolved. For Maggie and Noah to return home, they must prevent one of those deaths—but first they need to figure out which one.
A few choice lines from the book:
“So you’re saying fate had something to do with my being here today, with you.”
“It’s the only explanation that makes sense. I had an idea for a new book called Hotel Hellgate. One of those ‘you can check in but can’t check out’ stories.” He noted how she wrinkled her nose and laughed. “I take it you’re not a fan.”
“Sorry. It’s not you. It’s the genre.”
He shook his head. “Not a problem. I actually requested an assistant who wasn’t a huge fan. Anyway, after doing a lot of research about haunted hotels, I decided the Davenport had everything I was looking for but I had to wait five months to get a long-term reservation in this suite.”
“Yeah, I’ve heard they stay pretty booked up. Wait. Why this suite?”
“The founder, Robert Davenport, put a bullet through his brain here in 1930. At least that was the official ruling. The family always insisted foul play was involved. But this suite isn’t the only supposedly haunted place. There were a number of other unsolved deaths and disappearances in other parts of the hotel property. Plus there were thousands killed around here during the 1928 hurricane. And for a while during World War II this place was used as a hospital and not all the patients survived. In other words, if ghosts really do hang around, it seems probable this could be a good place to find them.”
“I’ve heard stories but I’m not sure I believe any of them.”
“I have no interest in proving or disproving those stories. I just figured it would make the perfect backdrop for mine. Anyway, when it got close to time for me to come here and get started, my assistant was too far along in her pregnancy to be away from her husband and home. I asked the hotel to send me five résumés to review. When I saw your name…” He remembered feeling his heart leap in his chest and excitement race through his bloodstream. “Well, I checked it out, confirmed you were the Maggie Harrison who helped me pass biology one year and told them to give you the job. If that’s not fate stepping in, I don’t know what else you could call it.”
He grinned. “Same difference. Point is, we were meant to get together again and I’m really looking forward to working with you. It’ll be like old times.” He was actually hoping it would be nothing like those days but that would have to be up to her.
“Okay, I’m sold. Only, can I ask one favor?”
His eyes widened. “Uh-oh. I seem to remember the last favor was a pretty big one.” That left me with a constant hard-on for an entire school year. “I’ve never been sure we came out even on that one.”
She gave him a little punch to his shoulder. “Smartass. This is a little request. Please don’t ever call me Sugarlips again.”
He grabbed her hand. “Only if you’ll stop punching me.”
“Deal,” she said with a giggle and gave him a quick peck on the mouth. Instantly she jerked away, looking more shocked than he felt. “I’m so sorry. I wasn’t…it just seemed…”
He leaned toward her, stopping an inch from her mouth and waited for her to retreat farther but she didn’t move. He could feel her breath exiting in tiny puffs from her parted lips. He lightly touched his lips to hers, giving her a chance to object but instead she sighed into his mouth. It was all the encouragement he needed. His mouth slanted over hers, urging her lips apart so he could taste the sweetness he remembered.
Her arms snaked around his neck and he pulled her into a full embrace, the way he had only once before but thought of countless times. His fingers traced the line of her neck and down her arm. She was all silk and heat, melting in his hands. She was no longer the pretty high school girl. She was one hundred percent woman now. But she was still Maggie.
He stroked her tongue with his and she sucked him deeper as she repositioned herself to be cradled in his arms. Her hands suddenly seemed to be all over him at once as though she didn’t know where she wanted to touch. He had wanted her as a horny teen. But that was nothing compared to the inferno of need she was raising in the man. His erection strained against his jeans and when her fingers brushed over it, he thought he would explode right then. He needed her to release the beast, hold it in her soft hands and take it into her body. But he also needed it to be her desire. His hand cupped her breast and found the puckered nipple. What more did he need?
Abruptly her hand covered his and held it still as her whole body stiffened. “Wait. This is crazy. Noah, please…”
It took a moment for his body to catch up with her words. It took several more seconds for him to take his hand off her breast and take a deep breath. “Do I need to apologize?” he asked quietly.
She closed her eyes and shook her head. “Absolutely not. That was my fault. I broke our rule.” As gracefully as she could, she eased away and returned to her own space on the couch without looking at him.
He gave her chin a gentle nudge with his crooked index finger. “Hey. C’mon, Sugarlips. Talk to me. Tell me it’s too fast. Or you’re committed elsewhere. Or even you never mix business and pleasure. But don’t try to convince me you weren’t caught up in that as much as I was. And by the way, the ‘no kissing’ rule was never a good one.”
She slowly raised her eyelids. “Okay. It’s way too fast. Mixing business with pleasure is a really bad idea. And the rule was a good one. It was necessary. And considering what just happened, it still is. I’m very happy to see you again but I’m here to do a job, not…”
He waited for her to finish saying what she was not here to do but she just left it hanging. Meanwhile he was hanging on the fact she did not say she was committed elsewhere. He had thought the memory of the pain she had caused him would be enough to stave off any lingering desire but apparently neither memories nor time could keep him from banging his head against the same old brick wall. “You’re right. It was all your fault.” He winked at her and got a raised fist warning in return. “You were also right about having a job to do. I was thinking we could go over what I expect from you and some of my work habits first.”
Her demeanor changed from friend to professional in an instant. “Perfect. I’ll just get my notebook.”
As she headed for her room he said, “Let’s talk over dinner. Would you prefer the restaurant or room service?”
She glanced back over her shoulder and arched one brow at him. “I think leaving this room for a few hours would be the wiser option. Then we can come back here and pretend the last fifteen minutes never happened.”
“Swell,” he mumbled to himself. “We’re back to pretending.”
Ooh…love the tension here! 🙂
I adore any time travel romance story, and I couldn’t resist adding this one to my Wishlist when I saw it! Also, knowing it’s from Ellora’s Cave, I expected it to be sexy and I was right!
It sounds fascinating, with a touch of paranormal and mystery. And who doesn’t like the Roaring Twenties? I can’t wait to find out what kind of trouble Maggie and Noah get into! And I just love a second chance romance. 😉
I give this one five hearts, for what looks like a fun ride!
By the way, this is book one of the Crystal Island Series.
Well…that wraps up the April A to Z Blogging Challenge. This was a lot of fun! 🙂
Stay tuned to the I Love Romance Blog for future posts about romantic relationships and romance novels! Feel free to follow my alternate blogs, Marie Lavender’s Books! and Writing in the Modern Age, where you can always catch past, present and future posts about writing, guest authors, new releases and other cool info! Check out my author website here to learn more about me and my books. You can also subscribe to my monthly newsletter here, to keep apprised of everything.
Have a wonderful rest of your April and an even better May! 😀
As you know, I’m putting myself to the A to Z Challenge for blogging for the month of April.
For these posts, I’ll be giving an I Love Romance Blog score, not an official review, for books currently on my shelf at home (I know readers must wonder what books inspires us as authors) or ones that are on my TBR list (what I want to read so bad I can’t stand it!). For each book, I will give the blurb, a few lines from the text, then why I liked the book or why I’d want to read it. And for fun, I’ll give a heart rating! ♥
This is my scoring system:
I hope these A to Z Challenge suggestions will help you find a new favorite author, or further cement your love for one, if that’s the case.
Let’s jump into our next book, shall we?
You Make Me Feel Brand New by Chicki Brown
Genre: Multicultural Romance
One year ago, personal chef Jan Davis signed her divorce papers after a miserable twenty-five-year marriage. She is single again, and romantic attention is as foreign to her as ancient Carthaginian cuisine. When she meets her new client, sports management agent Mac Sinclair, who is eleven years younger, Jan’s life takes a complete turnaround. She’s thrilled, but everyone in her life isn’t as pleased.
A few choice lines from the book:
This story certainly looks interesting! I am an avid believer in destiny, especially when it comes to romantic relationships. So, I say despite the age difference, should that really keep a fated couple apart?
I just added this book to my Wishlist, and I look forward to seeing how Jan and Mac’s story unfolds, how they finally figure everything out.
I give this one four hearts! 🙂