The Lost Duke of Wyndham

The Lost Duke of Wyndham by Julia QuinnThe Lost Duke of Wyndham by Julia Quinn tells the story of Grace Eversleigh who is the companion of the dowager duchess of Wyndham. Traveling one night, their carriage is overtaken by highwayman Jack Audley. The dowager duchess sees something in Jack and believes him to be her long lost grandson and brings him back to her home to try to prove that he is the son of her deceased favorite son. As his title is threatened, the current duke and cousin to Jack must find a way to prevent everyone from learning whether Jack’s parents were legitimately married in Ireland. As Jack tries to come to terms with his possible increase in social standing, he finds himself enamored by Grace, and she by him. But if Jack is a duke why would he ever want to marry a lowly servant?

I was emailed a preview of this book a while ago and always wanted to read it, so when I was at the library and saw it out of the corner of my eye, I knew I had to finally see how it ended. I was sad to say that it was not as good as I anticipated. Things seemed to come so neatly together, and the characters did not have the depth I would have liked. It was an extremely light read without enough substance. I’m glad that I only checked it out of the library and didn’t buy it. It wasn’t terrible by any means. I just was expecting something with a little more depth to it.

Late Night Talking

Late Late Night Talking by Leslie SchnurNight Talking by Leslie Schnur is about Jeannie Sterling who has a late-night radio show. One night Jeannie has a less than pleasant run in with a Hummer driver and proceeds to rant about him on-air only to find out that this same man is Nicholas Moss, the new owner of the radio station. She soon finds herself attracted to him but finds her life spinning out of control as she starts to lose her best friend Luce.

This novel was just okay for me. I didn’t like it as much as I was expecting too. There was something about the characters that didn’t quite work for me. I read Leslie Schnur’s previous novel, The Dog Walker, and felt pretty much the same way. I felt the book had potential but didn’t quite live up to my expectations.

Bright Eyes

Bright Eyes by Catherine AndersonBright Eyes by Catherine Anderson begins when Zeke Coulter’s house is vandalized by a young boy. Zeke chases after him and meets his single mother, Natalie Patterson. Zeke is instantly drawn to her but knows that the damage her son Chad caused can not go unpunished so he strikes a bargain with her for Chad to work off the damage. As Zeke gets to know Chad, he sees that Chad is not a bad kid just one who needs encouragement. Zeke finds himself not only falling in love with Natalie but with her son and daughter as well.

Natalie struggles as a single mother, trying to support her two children. The nightclub she owns is not doing as well as it used to, so when Zeke appears in her life, he’s a bit of fresh air. Things seem to be going well for once, until Natalie is suddenly accused of murdering her ex-husband.
My friend lent me this, and I really enjoyed reading it. The characters were very believable, and the plot was realistic, even with Natalie’s accusation of murder. Anderson made sure there were conflicts and hardships for her characters to overcome before they could finally be together. The writing was good, and I wouldn’t mind reading another novel by this author.

If Tomorrow Comes

If Tomorrow Comes by Sidney SheldonIf Tomorrow Comes by Sidney Sheldon was interesting to say the least… Tracy Whitney is framed for stealing an expensive painting and finds herself serving a long prison sentence. She doesn’t take anything laying down and fights back. Eventually being released to exact her revenge on those who put her in jail.

Each chapter after her escape details another adventure she has, many of which include an encounter with Jeff Stevens who is every bit as talented as she is in the less than legal activities they take part in.
I found this book laying on my floor and the summary seemed interesting so I started reading it. And to tell you the truth, I’m not quite sure why I kept reading it. I didn’t like it one bit. Tracy is not the smartest woman, and I found her not very likable. She didn’t have much depth. Neither did the story for that matter. There wasn’t much conflict after she gets rid of the men who stick her in jail. I also thought some of the scenes were in poor taste and completely unnecessary.
There wasn’t much of a plot to the novel. Each chapter could have stood alone and been read in any order really. There was only a thin thread tying them together. I have no idea how this book came to be in my room, and I’m sorry I read it.

How to Sleep with a Movie Star

How to Sleep with a Movie Star by Kristin HarmelHow to Sleep with a Movie Star by Kristin Harmel was a lot better than I expected. Claire Reilly has just caught her boyfriend in her bed with another woman. Claire is heartbroken and decides to drown her sorrows at a bar. There she runs into Cole Brannon, a famous and handsome movie star she had interviewed earlier that day for the entertainment magazine she works for. Cole is unlike the other movie stars she’s interviewed and makes sure she gets home safely and that her ex-boyfriend is no longer around.

Unfortunately, the tabloids publish a story that places Claire in Cole’s bed. Claire’s reputation is ruined, and she blames Cole. Her life continues to spiral downward, and she can’t seem to stop it. Can she see that not everything is as it seems before she loses the man of her dreams?
I picked this book up on sale and wasn’t really expecting much, so I was pleasantly surprised when I couldn’t put it down. The writing was wonderful, and the characters were more than enjoyable. Cole was adorable and Claire was realistic. I loved reading this and am glad I gave into my impulse to buy it. I have to say that the title is a little misleading, and that’s mainly why I was so surprised. It held a lot more depth than I was expecting. Wonderful!

The Tea Rose

The Tea Rose by Jennifer DonnellyThe Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly is the prequel to The Winter Rose. The Tea Rose is the story of Fiona Finnegan and Joe Bristow. Both work in a tea factory run by William Burton and are in love, after having grown up together. Fiona is very talented at her job and wants nothing more than to open her open business selling tea with Joe. Just as things seem to be going well, Fiona’s life is torn apart. Her father is murdered for trying to start a union, her mother is brutally killed by Jack the Ripper, Joe is ripped away from her and tricked into a loveless marriage, and her brother Charlie is found dead in the river Thames. Fiona finds her life in danger when she tries to gain compensation from Burton for her father’s death and overhears how he plotted to kill her father. Fiona wastes no time in getting her younger brother Seamie and leaving the country as quickly as she can with the aid of Nicholas Soames.

Fiona runs to the only relative she knows is still alive, but when she arrives at her uncle’s apartment in New York, she finds a shell of a man, heavily in debt as he mourns the loss of his wife and child. Having nowhere else to go, Fiona has no choice but to rebuild her uncle’s grocery business. She is more than successful and finds a way to come back to exact her revenge on the man responsible for her father’s death.
I loved this book as much as I loved the sequel. Fiona is such a strong character that I couldn’t help but emphasize with her. She is determined and will do everything she can to accomplish her goal. She takes terrible situations and turns them around so that she comes out better off. The characters are all believable, and I couldn’t help but love Joe even through all the mistakes he made. The settings were realistic and added wonderfully to the story. I cannot wait to read more by this author. She is wonderful!

Secrets of my Hollywood Life

Secrets of My Hollywood Life by Jen CalonitaSecrets of my Hollywood Life by Jen Calonita is told in the point of view of Kaitlin Burke, famous teen actress on the soap Family Affair. She is about to go on hiatus and is almost completely burned out. Her family is just as ensconced in Hollywood life and see Kaitlin taking a break as career suicide. Kaitlin is tired of the backstabbing from her fellow castmate Sky Mackenzie and just wants to feel like a normal girl for once.

Kaitlin’s solution is to enroll herself in disguise at her best friend’s school Clark Hall. It takes a lot of convincing to get her parents, her assistant, and press coordinator on board. But soon she’s entering the halls of Clark Hall sporting contacts, a wig, glasses, and a British accent as Rachel Rogers. There she learns what doing homework, having normal friends, and even crushing on a normal guy is like.
Although I enjoyed this book, I think I would have enjoyed reading it a few years ago. I didn’t realize that it was more of a teen novel when I picked it up. But I think teens would really enjoy this novel. It gives them a chance to immerse themselves into the life of Hollywood with a teen actress who has a good head on her shoulders. The characters were fun to read about, and I loved to hate Sky.
I would definitely recommend this book to teens, and if you like this, there are three more in the series: Secrets of my Hollywood Life: On Location, Secrets of my Hollywood Life: Family Affairs, and Secrets of my Hollywood Life: Paparazzi Princess.

Remember When

Remember When by Judith McNaughtRemember When by Judith McNaught was the first non-historical novel I have read by her. Diana Foster and Cole Harrison met as teenagers. Cole worked as a stable hand for one of Diana’s friends. The two become friends even though they came from incredibly different world. Several years later they meet again, only it’s for drastically different reasons.

Diana is now the CEO of a family run business that brings the unique style of her family into the homes of Americans across the country. Diana is under incredible scrutiny, and when her fiancé of two years marries someone ten years younger, Diana finds herself humiliated and her business in serious jeopardy as a result.

Cole who has climbed his way from stable hand to hard, powerful CEO of a multi-billion dollar corporation needs to find a wife in order to keep half of his company from falling into incapable hands. Marriage between Cole and Diana seems the perfect solution. Cole gets his wife, and Diana saves the image of her company. But neither know if they can handle what comes after the wedding vows.

I have to admit that I was a little hesitant to read any of Judith McNaught’s more modern fiction because I was afraid they wouldn’t live up to the wonderful ones I’ve read so far. I was a little let down, but only because she didn’t have as much buildup to the relationship between the two main characters. They seemed to overcome their hurdles a little too easily.

This is not to say that this wasn’t a fantastic novel because it was. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Both Cole and Diana were characters of depth, and I truly cared for them and their happiness. The supporting characters were equally as detailed and enjoyable to read about. The writing was beautiful. And although this doesn’t top Whitney, My Love, it is one I would recommend to all.

The Love of Her Life

The Love of Her Life by Harriet EvansThe Love of Her Life by Harriet Evans was another novel I loved by this author. Kate Miller has run away from her life to New York to live with her mother and stepfather. Three years after a broken engagement and the loss of her job, Kate returns to her home in England when her father falls ill. She must face what she left behind and the events that drove her away.

The novel switches between the past and present, and with each flashback, we get closer to finding out the reason for Kate’s hasty departure to New York. The big question is whether she is ready to face her problems to continue on with a life which has reached a standstill. Kate is a strong character whom I couldn’t help rooting for.
I really enjoyed this novel. I read and loved A Hopeless Romantic by the same author and was eager to read this one. I enjoyed it almost as much. The mystery kept me reading, and I laughed as much as I wanted to cry. I would recommend this to everyone, especially those who have read and enjoyed her other novel. I’m eager to read more by her.
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