Book Review: The Hamilton Affair by Elizabeth Cobbs

RATING: 4 out of 5 Stars

I have always been a history lover. Give me a factual, scholarly, historical tome or a historical fictional story of a time, place or person and I can sit and disappear into that time or place for hours.

Due to the Broadway musical “Hamilton” many people are being introduced or reintroduced to one of the brilliant founding architects of our republic and THE HAMILTON AFFAIR by Elizabeth Cobbs is an enjoyable historical fiction overview of Alexander and Elizabeth Hamilton’s lives and their love.

The beginning of the book alternates between Alexander’s harsh life on St. Croix as a boy. He and his brother were declared bastards as they were born into a second marriage by his mother. He refused to let anything stop his ambitions and arrived in the colonies to educate and better himself after his mother’s death. In the alternate chapters we get to meet Elizabeth “Eliza” Schuyler and her privileged family of wealth. From her life on the family farm and love of animals to her very open and honest opinions.

When the two come together in marriage, the book follows the couple through the remainder of the Revolutionary War and the author does an informative, yet entertaining, job of describing the establishment of our federal government with all of Hamilton’s achievements and also all of the political intrigue and mud-slinging. This is balanced well by the author’s descriptions of the Hamilton home life, children, extended family and friends. Hamilton’s affair that almost destroyed his marriage and most definitely put a stop to his further political ambitions is also covered.

I really enjoyed this book. It is well written and covered Alexander and Elisabeth’s lives in an easy to read historical fiction format.

Thank you to Skyhorse Publishing, Arcade Publishing and Net Galley for allowing me to read this eARC in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review: Married In Montana by Jane Porter

RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars

MARRIED IN MONTANA (Paradise Valley Ranch Book 2) by Jane Porter is a wonderful historical romance that takes you back to 1890 Marietta, Montana. This book has a marriage of convenience storyline that focuses almost completely on the emotional growth of the hero and heroine without any trope scenes of external jeopardy or harm to force a sudden declaration of love. This story has a few references to Book 1 in the series, but can easily be read as a standalone.

Ellie Burnett is the pampered and spirited child of Archibald Burnett who is dying. To protect their large ranch and her father’s legacy, Ellie must marry and quickly. Though she can ride, shoot and run the ranch, her father wants her settled with an honorable man. What Ellie wants is to still be in control even after she marries.

Thomas Sheenan has come from Ireland to work hard and be his own man. The last thing he wants is a wife. He had to care for and bury his family in Ireland and he believes he is emotionally dead inside. When Ellie comes to him and proposes, he cannot turn her or the opportunity down, but he tells her he will never love her.

These two strong, independent and stubborn characters are then taken on an emotional journey by this author. Ellie starts out not knowing why anyone would not want the ranch and money that comes with her and an immature view of marriage. Thomas starts the marriage by taking complete control to gain the respect of the ranch hands and keep Ellie at a distance. The death of Ellie’s father devastates her and after months of depression, we begin to see small steps forward in understanding as Thomas forces her back into day to day living.

Ellie and Thomas are portrayed with strong emotions that continue to change and grow as the two become a couple. The sex scenes are well written and add to the growth of intimacy between Ellie and Thomas. These two start from very different places in life and yet deserve to find their HEA together.

Written for and posted first on The Romance Reviews.com.

Book Review: A Killer Harvest by Paul Cleave

RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars

Paul Cleave is now on my MUST READ list and I feel he should be on every fan of thrillers book shelves, too!

I read “Trust No One” and loved it, so I was very happy to get this ARC of his new book. Now I can add A KILLER HARVEST to this year’s list of my favorite books. I am in love with this author’s writing, plotting and pacing. When you think you are at the climax or you have everything figured out Mr. Cleave continually throws another plot twist, big or small, into the mix which makes you even more anxious and desperate to continue reading.

Joshua Logan believes he is cursed. He was born blind and lost his biological parents at a young age. He was taken in by his uncle and aunt, who he now calls mom and dad, but he can never take his happiness for granted.

While investigating a suspect believed to be a serial killer, Joshua’s detective father is killed. His partner kills the killer, but the curse has struck again. Joshua’s dad left a specific request in his will. If he was ever killed, his eyes would go to Joshua for a transplant and a chance at sight. As the donated eyes are transported to Joshua’s operating room, there is a mishap and Joshua receives one of his father’s eyes and one of the serial killer’s eyes which were also taken for donation.

After the surgery, Joshua begins to have strange and disturbing dreams. Sometimes he feels like he is seeing his father’s death from his father’s perspective and sometimes from the killer’s. He is also able to identify people that he has never seen before. As Joshua tries to deal with all the changes in his life, the serial killer’s accomplice is out to avenge his friend’s death. Joshua and all those close to him are in danger.

You may believe that you know how this will end from the brief summary above and past thriller plots, but in the hands of this author, you are so wrong! I could not stop thinking about this book when I had to put it down and could not wait to get back to it. Mr. Cleave knows how to masterfully take the reader on a journey that makes the unbelievable possible. I definitely need to start working my way through this author’s past catalogue. I highly recommend this book to all and especially those who love older Dean Koontz and Stephen King works that take a normal situation and twist it.

Thank you so much to Atria Books and Net Galley for allowing me to read this eARC in exchange for an honest review. It was my pleasure!

Book Review: When Darkness Whispers by Lisa Carlisle

RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars

WHEN DARKNESS WHISPERS by Lisa Carlisle is a mix of military romantic suspense, paranormal/urban fantasy and serial killer thriller all woven together to make an AMAZING book!

Eva Montreaux is a biologically enhanced Marine. She leads the NEO (Night Eagle Operations) team 17 sent to Okinawa to investigate who or what is brutally murdering American servicemen. With the increased tensions between the American military and the Japanese it is essential to solve and stop these killings as soon as possible. As she works with her special team, she runs into military colleagues from her time in Afghanistan, but her enhancements have made that portion of her memory incomplete until she sees Gunny Delacruz.

Gunnery Sergeant Marcos Delacruz has had three years since Eva left Afghanistan to come to terms with promises not kept. When he runs into Eva on Okinawa, he cannot believe she shows no emotion at seeing him again. The past will have to be dealt with, but right now he is on a mission. With his special ability to communicate with spirits, his superiors hope he can solve the serial murders. What he does not expect is to continually cross paths with Eva during the investigation.

Eva and Marcos both have secrets that cannot be revealed to others in regards to their missions. They also have misunderstandings that are tied to their pasts in Afghanistan. As Eva struggles to remember Marcos and their shared past, they both have to find a serial killer that does not appear to be human.

I loved this whole book. Eva and Marcos are great main characters that are fully fleshed with flashbacks that in no way confuse or interfere with the main plot. Trust is a huge issue for them in the past and present that has to be resolved for them to work together. Their romance is written past and present and grows throughout the story. There is great sexual tension as well as tender yet hot sex scenes.  I also really enjoyed the last chapter of this book which is unique.

Ms. Carlisle has delivered a well written military romantic suspense with paranormal characters. She has then intertwined the whole story with Japanese folk lore that adds to the uniqueness of the story. This is a book that I highly recommend!

Written for and posted first on The Romance Reviews.com.

Book Review: Clone Me a Lover by Rosalie Redd

RATING: 4 out of 5 Stars

CLONE ME A LOVER (An Interstellar Lovers Novella) by Rosalie Redd is an enjoyable and quick sci-fi romance novella and a possible start to a new series.

Angelo Thirteen is a human clone from future Earth who desires to fall in love. All emotions have been banned on Earth, but Angelo Thirteen is good at hiding his so he will not be sent for reprogramming. When the spaceship he is piloting is hit by space junk, the pods disengage and his pod is sent tumbling into deep space. Before he passes out, all he regrets is that his chance to escape Earth and live a free life with emotions is over.

Elle is an Altonian spaceship captain on a mission. She must sell her payload to get the money to free her brother from a future in her home world’s prison mines and pay off her beloved ship. When she rescued the pod from space, she was not expecting to find a sexy life form on board. She has to keep to her goal, but this human clone keeps surprising her with his gentleness and kindness which is breaking down the hardened wall around her heart.

For the short length and the introduction of new world-building, this is a well written sci-fi romance. The sex scene was hot and sexy and well placed in the story. Both Angelo and Elle are well portrayed and realistically change and grow together in this short romance plot. My only problem with this story was the harsh transition between Chapters 2 and 3. It pulled me out of the story and had me checking back if I missed something.

Other than that one point in the story, it flows very well and had me anxiously waiting for how this author would give me my HEA. I was not disappointed and will be looking for more books in this series in the future.

Written for and posted first on The Romance Reviews.com.

Book Review: The Breakdown by B.A. Paris

RATING: 3 out of 5 Stars

I was a huge fan of B.A. Paris’ “Behind Closed Doors” and was anxious to read her next release.

THE BREAKDOWN was a letdown for me. I did finish reading it and was pleasantly surprised by a tiny plot twist in the ending, but the main character’s overall responses and reactions to what was happening to her were repetitive and wore very thin by halfway through the book. I believe I would have enjoyed it more if it had been a tighter plot and novella length.

The story is told by Cass, who returns home on stormy night via a road through the woods. She almost wrecks avoiding a car pulled to the side. She stops, but when the driver doesn’t come to her car, she continues home and forgets about it. She is later horrified to realize the woman in the car was a new friend that was murdered sometime later that night in her car. She is wracked with guilt and tells no one, not her husband or best friend, who worked with the murdered woman.

The reader also learns that Cass has been forgetting small things and is worried that she may be experiencing early onset dementia like her mother. This makes Cass a possible unreliable narrator. As she becomes more afraid and paranoid some of her reactions are just not believable. This is when I would have liked less Cass and fewer pages.

I finished to see if my assumptions were correct and they were. There are not that many characters in the story, so it is not hard to figure out, especially if you read a lot of this type of book. As stated earlier, there is a small plot twist at the end that did surprise me, but there is a lot of emotional drama to get through for the surprise. This was just an average thriller for me.

Thanks to St. Martin’s Press and Net Galley for allowing me to read this eARC in exchange for an honest review.