Author Archives for Barbara

About Barbara

We're just two avid readers who want to share our love of reading with others. Mostly, we review Historical Romance, but every now and again we'll throw in a mystery or two. Most of our reviews are for ARC books but we'll also add in books we love that have already been released.

Too Scot To Handle by Grace Burrowes

Too Scot to Handle (Windham Brides, #2)Too Scot to Handle by Grace Burrowes

Barbara’s rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: Windham Brides #2
Publication Date: 7/25/17

I absolutely LOVE Grace Burrowes’ world. Yes, she has basically populated her own world. She has several series with dozens of books and in any given book, you might encounter characters from any of her other books or series. If you think about it, this just makes sense. After all, they are all existing in the same basic time and place so why wouldn’t they know or know of each other. I really like that she does that.

The Windham’s all believe in marriage for love, and so far most of them have found it. This Windham series features the nieces of the Duke and Duchess of Moreland. So far, one of them has found love and marriage and this book features the next one to do so – Anwen Windham.

Anwen is the youngest of four sisters and she is really feeling constrained. Because she was ill and almost died when she was young, everyone treats her as if she is an invalid. She isn’t. She’s actually healthier than most of the others. But, in deference to them, she presents a false front to the world. Meek and mild isn’t anywhere close to an accurate description of Anwen, but it is the face she displays. At least, it is the face she displays to everyone except Colin MacHugh. With him, she feels comfortable and free enough to express her true self.

Lord Colin MacHugh is a very uncomfortable Scot thrown into the midst of the ton. He didn’t ask to be among the aristocracy and really doesn’t want to be there. He’d prefer to be home in Scotland tending to his distilleries. However, his brother is a newly minted Duke and as the heir presumptive Colin must make his bows to society. He’d have an easier time of it if his brother were there, but he has married Anwen’s sister and they are off on their honeymoon.

I really like the way the love and trust grew between Anwen and Colin. It only moved forward and grew with no backward movement or distrust when events occurred that could have made one distrust the other. The immediate response was ‘I know he/she didn’t do that’ and there was no convincing them otherwise. That isn’t something you see very often in a romance book.

I won’t give you a rehash of the story because that would spoil your read. You can see the gist of the story by reading the book blurb. Just know that Colin was the target of a very nasty and cunning individual who was supposed to be his friend.

I’m giving it 4-stars because I just didn’t like what happened with the villains of the story. Yes, I understand this is the Regency period and that the aristocracy is immune to most prosecutions and that scandal is to be avoided at all costs. However, Colin, Anwen, and the Windhams are some pretty shrewd, crafty and inventive folks themselves and I think they could have come up with something better as punishment.

“I requested and received this book at no cost to me and volunteered to read it; my review is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.”

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Dangerous Minds by Janet Evanovich

Dangerous Minds (Knight and Moon, #2)Dangerous Minds by Janet Evanovich

Barbara’s Rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: Knight and Moon #2
Publication Date: 6/20/17

When I’m ready for smiles, giggles, and guffaws encased in an intriguing mystery, Janet Evanovich is my go-to author. Just picture sitting on your sofa listening to or reading this book and you just burst out laughing and your spouse looks at you like you have suddenly gone nuts. That is the way it is through this entire book. The characters are busy investigating a very serious mystery and you are sitting there with a huge smile on your face. It is a thoroughly enjoyable read. If you like Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series, then you’ll love this one as well.

Emerson Knight, gazillionaire, takes eccentric to a whole new level. He’s brilliant and loves solving impossible, improbable puzzles. So, a whole island going missing and megalomaniacs seeking world domination and/or destruction are right down his alley. Oh, and by the way, add that he is romance cover gorgeous and charming as well!

Riley Moon has multiple degrees from Harvard and she can also shoot, rope and ride with the best of them. She’s strong and resourceful – and attractive as well. Riley works for Emerson Knight because he caused her to lose her last job – and he pays her REALLY well. She always has really good intentions, but somehow she always gets caught up in the force of nature that is Emerson Knight and can’t manage to escape.

Emerson once studied under Wayan Bagus who is a monk, so when he shows up at Emerson’s home asking for help because his island has disappeared, Emerson dives right in and investigates. The investigation takes us to Yellowstone and Hawaii and includes a secret government organization bent on ruling the world.

I hope you’ll give this book a try because I think you will like it.

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Books Releasing June 20, 2017

Several great books we’ve reviewed are releasing today, so we thought we’d share a recap of those with you! Here is a quick list of the books releasing today:

The Pleasures of Passion
Say Yes To The Scot: A Highland Wedding Box Set
Seducing Mr. Sykes
The Confessions Of A Dangerous Lord
Leave It To Cleaver – Releases 6/23/2017

Scroll down for links to our reviews:


The Pleasures of Passion (Sinful Suitors, #4)The Pleasures of Passion by Sabrina Jeffries

Our Review: https://flippinpages.blog/2017/04/29/179/

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Say Yes to the Scot: A Highland Wedding Box SetSay Yes to the Scot: A Highland Wedding Box Set by Lecia Cornwall

Our Review: https://flippinpages.blog/2017/05/27/say-yes-to-the-scot-a-highland-wedding-box-set/

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Seducing Mr. Sykes (Cotswold Confidential)Seducing Mr. Sykes by Maggie Robinson

Our Review: https://flippinpages.blog/2017/04/20/seducing-mr-sykes-by-maggie-robinson/

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Confessions of a Dangerous Lord (Rescued from Ruin Book 7)Confessions of a Dangerous Lord by Elisa Braden

Our Review: https://flippinpages.blog/2017/06/14/confessions-of-a-dangerous-lord-by-elisa-braden/

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Leave It to Cleaver (A Vintage Kitchen Mystery Book 6)Leave It to Cleaver by Victoria Hamilton

Barbara’s rating: 4 of 5 stars

Our Review: https://flippinpages.blog/2017/06/14/leave-it-to-cleaver-by-victoria-hamilton/

Murder In Mayfair by D. M. Quincy

Murder in Mayfair (Atlas Catesby #1)Murder in Mayfair by D.M. Quincy

Barbara’s rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: Atlas Catesby #1
Publication Date: July 11, 2017

Delightful, cleverly plotted, well-developed characters and TWO mysteries that will keep you guessing right to the end. If you love Sebastian St. Cyr, Alec Halsey, Captain Lacey, etc. you will love this book as well. I believe this is Quincy’s first foray into writing a mystery, but it sure doesn’t seem like it.

Atlas Catesby, youngest son of a baron, is a restless wanderer. He is brilliant and solutions to complex puzzles just leap out at him – when he is calm and can concentrate. To ‘relax’ for concentration he often works on impossible picture puzzles that he special orders because ordinary ones aren’t enough of a challenge. For all of that brilliance, he is filled with guilt and that guilt causes him to constantly be in rescue mode – especially for damsels in distress. Hopefully, he’ll work through that guilt through the course of the series and come to realize he has no blame for what happened to his sister.

Lilliana Warfield is a strong, resilient, intelligent woman but she is also very soft and loving inside. Since the age of sixteen, she has been married to a monster. While he doesn’t physically abuse her, he uses whatever form of mental torture he can think up. Yet she manages to remain sane and defiant and produces two beautiful sons that she loves with all her heart. She also hides a secret that she cannot let anyone discover.

There are several other characters in the book that I hope will become the ‘supporting cast’ of the series. (1) The Earl of Charlton is Atlas’ very good friend. He also seems to have a tendre for Atlas’ married older sister. Will be interesting to see if something happens there or if he just loves teasing her or what. (2) Mrs. Thea Palmer, Atlas’ sister, and a mathematician. She is married but we never meet her husband because they live separately though they care for each other. Will be interesting to figure out that whole relationship. (3) Peter and Robin, Lilliana’s children. Delightful little scamps who just need some love and attention – especially from a caring male. (4) The Duke of Somerville is someone I won’t explain, you’ll just have to read the book to find all of his relationships, but he is a very dear and caring young man.

I won’t give you a blow-by-blow of the book because you can get the gist of the story from the blurb that the publisher has developed. What you should know is that there are many twists and turns and so very many possible culprits. The murder victim is a really nasty, hateful man and you are actually happy to see him gone – the only reason to care who the real murderer is – is because Bow Street is thinking that the murderer is either Lilliana or Atlas! The real murderer will be a surprise.

Lilliana and Atlas have a real attraction between them, but circumstances make Atlas think there is no chance of a future for them. So, we will have to wait and wonder if Lilliana and Atlas get together in a future book or will they each find happiness with someone else. Since I love both of them, I’m hoping for them getting together.

“I requested and received this book at no cost to me and volunteered to read it; my review is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.”

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Leave It To Cleaver by Victoria Hamilton

Leave It to Cleaver (A Vintage Kitchen Mystery Book 6)Leave It to Cleaver by Victoria Hamilton

Barbara’s rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: A Vintage Kitchen Mystery Book 6
Publication Date: June 23, 2017

Delightfully entertaining, well-written, and an interesting and exciting plot. What more could you ask for in a mystery? It literally keeps you guessing right to the end.

For me, this is Jaymie’s ‘coming of age’ story. As I was reading through the book, I kept feeling as if the author was saying goodbye and was tying up loose ends. I even wondered if this might be the last book in the series. However, I think that feeling of goodbye is more a goodbye to the youth and immaturity present in the previous books. I can’t wait to see where our more mature and settled Jaymie takes us. (Yes, there will be more books – I asked.)

Jaymie Layton doesn’t have a regular nine-to-five job. She has many jobs and businesses and even manages to fit volunteer work into her busy schedule. She also seems to manage to fit murder investigations into her schedule as well. That is a good thing because it seems she just keeps finding dead bodies.

Living in the same town (and house) where she was born and grew up is perfect for Jaymie who is an introvert and has trouble being the center of attention. She has no desire to live anywhere else. She also has a diverse set of very good friends and a much wider set of close acquaintances, which makes investigating murders much easier.

Those same good friends are also handling the planning for her upcoming marriage to Jakob. Jamie is so in love with him and his little daughter and can hardly believe her good fortune. She’s had a number of love interests in the past, but none of them were right for her – some were actual jerks. Jakob is a definite keeper.

There are so many things going on in Jaymie’s life that she hardly knows whether she’s coming or going. So, when she and her sister, Becca, discover human remains in a trunk in the basement of an old house they are cleaning out, she is absolutely determined she will not become involved. However, as she learns the identity of the deceased and that it was a high school friend of her sister Becca, she becomes more and more curious. Then, the police chief asks her to see what she can find out about it because she is good friends with many of the people who went to high school with the girl.

Then, there is a second body discovered in the river and the remains are identified as a girl who also disappeared on the same day as the first girl. Undoubtedly their disappearances and deaths are related – but – they weren’t friends and didn’t know each other — or did they?

The investigation takes Jaymie back in time to the 1980’s to learn more about her sister’s high school days. The investigation, reading the diaries of many of those involved, and talking to the friends about those times brings Jaymie and Becca even closer. The investigation takes many twists and turns and you’ll be guessing right up to the end.

One of my favorite parts was the wedding. You could just feel the love in the room and I also felt as if I were in attendance. I loved that the little dog was the ring bearer!

I did wish there was more of Jakob in the book and that he was involved in the investigation – at least a little. While the love between he and Jaymie was plain to see, it almost seemed like they were each doing their separate things and never the twain shall meet. Maybe in future books, he’ll be more involved because then they will be living in the same house.

Another thing I thought was odd and unworkable, especially with a young child, was their intention to live part of the year in Jaymie’s house and part of the year in Jakob’s house. I know they both love their homes and neither wants to give theirs up, but the switching all the time would seem to be unworkable to me.

“I requested and received this book at no cost to me and volunteered to read it; my review is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.”

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No Perfect Magic By Patricia Rice

No Perfect Magic: Unexpected Magic Book FiveNo Perfect Magic: Unexpected Magic Book Five by Patricia Rice

Barbara Rogers rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: Unexpected Magic #6
Publication Date: June 27, 2017

Delightfully entertaining and witty with a perfect hero and heroine. Any book that has a beginning paragraph like “Dead meat, lemme, lemme, oh no, heel! Yummy bite, wiggle, flower lady now, please. . .” just has to be a delightful read!

I have loved the entire Unexpected Magic series. Each hero and heroine are perfectly matched to compliment the others ‘powers’. This is another match-up of an Ives male and a Malcom female, so you know sparks fly. It is part of a series but could be read as a stand-alone book. However, I would strongly suggest reading the entire series from beginning to end because it is wonderfully delightful and the characters are so very interesting.

Lady Aurelia is the daughter of a duke. She lives in pampered luxury with lots of love and every material want or desire completely fulfilled. Yet, she is a prisoner in all that luxury. No, she isn’t a physical prisoner but is imprisoned none-the-less. Aurelia has ultra-sensitive hearing and sounds from everywhere bombard her so much that she cannot focus or even carry on a normal conversation. Aurelia stays at their country estate because she cannot tolerate all of the cacophony in London.

William Ives-Madden is the bastard son of a marquess and half-brother to the current marquess. William is quiet, very quiet. He seldom speaks and spends all of his time with the dogs that he trains for others. His dream is to purchase his own property where he could train the dogs rather than traveling all over the country to do it. He also has the lady he plans to marry all picked out. His life is all planned out and set and he’ll have enough money saved to buy the property he wants within the next year. William not only trains the dogs, he ‘communes’ with them. He can read their thoughts and send them commands with his thoughts.

William is training a dog for Aurelia’s father at their country estate when Aurelia comes running out to him just at dusk. She is very upset and says she hears a child crying in great distress and they must hurry to find her. Will hears nothing, but since Aurelia is so distressed, he decides to help her conduct the search. Will sees this as an excellent opportunity to work Argyle (the duke’s dog) further. At first, Argyle cannot pick up the sounds either, but finally, between Argyle and Aurelia, they find a badly injured little girl and her also badly injured pet.

That is how the mystery began – and quite a mystery it is. The search for the little girl is hindered by the fact that she is deaf and mute and very, very frightened. You’ll love the search for her family and what happened to them. It is filled with twists and turns and leaves you guessing right up to the very end!

During the course of their investigations, Aurelia discovers that William has a dampening effect on all of the noise that tortures her life. When Will is around, she can actually focus and carry on a conversation. Will admires Aurelia but knows that there is no chance of him ever being able to marry the daughter of a powerful duke. It would also require him to live in London, which he hates and there wouldn’t be a place to train his dogs. So, what is a girl and guy who have complimentary ‘gifts’ to do? Read the book and you’ll see.

A delightful read that I’m sure you’ll enjoy!

“I requested and received this book at no cost to me and volunteered to read it; my review is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.”

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Once Upon A Spine By Kate Carlisle

Once Upon a Spine (Bibliophile Mystery #11)Once Upon a Spine by Kate Carlisle

Barbara’s rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: Bibliophile Mystery
Publication Date: June 6, 2017

ONCE UPON A SPINE is the eleventh book in the Bibliophile Mystery series by Kate Carlisle. I seem to enjoy this series more and more with each new book. Brooklyn grows and matures more with each book and her relationship with the handsome, debonair Derek is heading toward the next level with their upcoming wedding. I can hardly wait!

I love books – and this is a book (and series) about books – what could be more perfect. Brooklyn is a book binder and antiquarian and each book in the series centers around a rare edition. This one features rare, first edition copies of ‘Alice In Wonderland’.

Brooklyn and Derek love their neighborhood and certainly don’t want it to change and become urbanized, so when the lovely group of businesses across from their apartment are vandalized and then a murder happens they simply MUST investigate. The businesses have been tagged by graffiti and nobody can catch the culprit. Then, when the cobbler is murdered things really heat up.

To add to the stress and confusion, Derek’s parents are visiting from England. This is the first time Brooklyn has met her future in-laws and she has been stressing out over it. Her main stressor isn’t meeting them, it is worrying about their reaction to her whacky, flower-child mother. She expects them to be very nice, but stuffy, dignified and very proper English parents. Boy does she get a surprise.

There are suspects aplenty for the murder and Brooklyn, Derek and both sets of parents are knee deep in investigating. Who in the world would have wanted to murder the very nice, sweet cobbler? Was the cobbler the real target of the murderer? Is someone trying to scare the business owners into closing their businesses so real estate developers can take over? Where did these extremely rare copies of ‘Alice In Wonderland’ come from and who really owns them? So many things to investigate and so little time to do it.

The only thing I didn’t care as much for in this book is that Brooklyn’s mom wasn’t her normal wacky self. She only did one ‘spell of protection’ and that was done very calmly with none of the weird stuff she usually does along with it. She’s usually way over the top for my taste, but this time she was too subdued. I know – no pleasing me.

This is a delightful addition to the series and I recommend it if you enjoy mysteries and romance.

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