Christmas Blitz in October!

Good evening,

I am posting this a bit early because I am working all day tomorrow and want to share in the joy of recently taking part in a Blitz before tomorrow evening which is when I would be able to ramble about six books I was invited to view! I know I said five books but alas I forgot one and here I am to rectify that. All of the books mentioned in this post, apart from the last one, are now available for you to get your own copy! I alas was not able to read all of these books from cover to cover (I will read all of them soon) but I did read a chapter for each one which helped me to decide which one to continue with first and the ones to read soon. These books are not in any particular order of what I want to read but I will let you know which one was the winner!

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Book #1- Hope At Christmas by Nancy Naigle

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I found this book really interesting which is a story about Sydney and her daughter RayAnne moving from Atlanta, Georgia back to Hopewell, NC where her grandparents left her a house. Sydney just wants a fresh start after the difficult divorce she went through with her jerk of an ex-husband Jon who was unfaithful to her and tried to be manipulative throughout the proceedings. Her ten year old daughter is not happy about the move but Sydney feels it was the best thing for everyone and she just wants to move on from the past.

There’s a bookstore called The Book Bea that Sydney used to visit a lot as a child and is still running which she can’t help but check out again as an adult because it brings back just wonderful memories and she’s a bookworm so that makes so much sense right there!

I love this quote she says shortly after rediscovering The Book Bea –

“Books had always rescued her, and she’d never stopped trusting a good book to bring her joy, erase her fears, and give her strength. That same excitement swirled inside her”.

I don’t know about you but I can already tell that I am really going to enjoy reading this book which will be number two on my list to read before the end of the month!

Book #2- A Season of You by Emma Douglas

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Mina and her yellow lab Stewie find themselves on the side of a road with a flat tire in the middle of the night with the start of a storm coming in Lansing Island, CA. Mina is attempting to fix the flat tire when she slips on the tarp she laid out and knocks herself out.

Will just happens to spot a car with its headlights on out the window not far from where he’s working at his Distillery and goes to investigate, finding his old friend Mina knocked out cold and rescues the both of them just in time.

It’s obvious these two have an interesting history and Will mentions the feelings he’d developed for her when they were younger but he kept his distance because she had been engaged at the time.

I’m really curious to know more details about these two and I think it’s really cool that Will owns a distillery!

Book #3- Christmas At Two Love Lane by Kieran Kramer

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Macy Frost is a matchmaker at Two Love Lane in Charleston, South Carolina whose ancestor Thomas Winston Frost claimed he was a direct descendant of Cupid so you could say that her skills run in the family though she’s one of the few people in her immediate family that hasn’t had much success with love on a personal level.

Then she meets a Northerner named Deacon Banks who is a George Clooney lookalike who strolls right into her office one day and though that annoys her a bit, she starts wondering who she can match make with him. He doesn’t want a partner for love though but strictly for business reasons.

Macy really doesn’t like the man’s attitude and starts to turn him away but then he offers to pay double what she normally charges. She’s tempted but turns him down though a part of her wants to say yes.

Sounds like this is going to be a very interesting read indeed and I’m curious how these two will really get on!

Book #4-  Deck The Halls by Donna Alward

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This book is a novella at the length of about 117 pages so if you’re looking for a fast read whether you’ve read the books before this one or are new to the series like myself, it’s a great way to go!

George Reilly works for The Ladybug Garden Center in Darling, Vermont and is helping set things up for the Christmas season when his old friend Ian Merck’s twin sister Amy shows up who he hasn’t seen in fifteen years and is really upset to see her. Apparently Ian had been in Iraq along with George and something happened to him that he felt responsible for and didn’t want to see Ian’s family because of the pain it brought.

He was so sure he had put that time of his life behind him, had moved on and wants to know why Amy found him. She wants to know what went on with her brother and why George had stopped contacted them especially after whatever happened in Iraq.

I too want to know what happened years ago and why George feels so responsible for something that I’m sure he had no control over. Hopefully the truth will be revealed!

Book #5- With This Christmas Ring by Manda Collins

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This book is also a novella at just under 200 pages and who can say no to the possibility of reading about two people getting a possible second chance at love?! I know I can’t!

Merry Parks bursts into her house with an infant named Lottie in her arms much to the shock of some of the servants whose Mother was her dear friend Charlotte Smithson that just passed away shortly from a fever shortly after giving birth and she had promised to take care of. Charlotte asked that Merry find Lottie’s father who is a Wrotham.

She found out that the child is cousin to Alexander, Lord Wrotham who apparently used to be someone that she had hoped to marry some day but didn’t for some reason. It would seem to me that she still has feelings for the man and I wonder what really broke these two up.

I can’t wait to see how the reunion of these two goes and I feel so bad for Lottie who I hope will find a happier life than the one she was born into. A very intriguing first chapter indeed!

Book #6-  Christmas in Kilts by 5 Very Talented Authors! *This is the winner of which book I am going to read first, also this book will be out 10/31!!*

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Five Scotsmen and their lady loves? Sounds like my kind of story!

I actually read the first two chapters and the beginning of a third with the first novel in this compendium which is called A Highlander’s Hope by Terri Brisbin and it really intrigued me. It’s a story about Iain MacKillop who lives in the 14th Century, is a widower and lately been asked to consider marrying again at the urging of his nephew Jamie whose first wife passed away before they could have children. He’s been pretty much set against it especially the thought of marrying a woman who is barely of age and seems to mostly be for the alliance of a clan.

Then he suddenly finds himself liking Robena MacKendimen as more than just a woman that he passes the time with and is known as the sort of Town Mistress. There’s another word used but I’d much rather use Mistress who has been treated very well and is drawn to Iain but doesn’t think she’d be the right kind of gal because of her Profession.

I can tell just from the beginning of this story that Iain doesn’t give a fig about her profession and could see himself being with this woman on a permanent basis and I can’t wait to see what happens with their story!

I have not read the other stories in this series but I know that I will because they are all by talented authors and I just can’t resist stories that involve men in kilts!

 

So that concludes my ramblings on these books taken from the first chapters. They all sound like very interesting books and once I have read them, I will give a more in depth review. I can’t wait to see how each one will turn out and I hope that you’ll enjoy them too!

Happy Reading!

~Meg

 

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If you would like me to review your book or send an ARC, you can email me- aworkinprogress85@gmail.com

 

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In Pieces Book Release Week Blitz!

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Good evening,

It has been quite the crazy week but I’m sure you’d much rather hear about my thoughts on a book I recently read than non-bookish things so let’s get to it! I was very lucky to be asked if I wanted to review an early physical copy of In Pieces and participate in the Release Week Blitz. Of course I couldn’t say no!

In Pieces - Book Jacket

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I generously received a paper ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review which is the second novel in the Something More Series.
This is the story of a young woman named Beth Caplan who has crushed on her big brother’s best friend David March since she was a little girl and has always tried to watch over her.
Beth grew up in a world where she went on family vacations along with other families, living in a large house and generally well off. She’s also had a difficult time dealing with depression, the abuse of her Mom and Brother Sammy by her Dad when he’d get drunk and occasionally lash out until she was around ten when her brother kicked their Dad out and didn’t hear from him for several years, her boyfriend dumping her and anxiety. It all comes to a head one terrible night when she was fifteen that will resonate a few years later when she goes off to college.
David has always felt drawn to Beth, spending a lot of time with her as a guardian of sorts until she’s in her teens when his feelings change though he fights them because he doesn’t want to damage his relationship with Sammy aka Cap who warned him not to attempt to date his sister or else.
Then they both end up at the same University and things start to get complicated to say the least.
Beth is trying to shake off the ghosts of her past, try to work past her anxiety, fight her attraction of David and try to stay focused on her studies to become a psychologist to help others who struggle with similar mental health.
David has a lot on his plate. He’s studying to become a play right (much to his father’s disapproval), a member of a sorority that has a lot of events going on, and can’t help keeping a close eye on Beth which is on the verge of smothering at times but he means well and beneath the surface, his feelings towards Beth keep growing way past friendly affection and into territory that he’s pretty sure is going to blow up in his face.
Then one drunken night, these two are unable to fight their attraction to each other and it will start a chain reaction that will be far from easy but could very well be just what these two need.
There’s a very shady person on campus who attacked a member of David’s sister sorority though she doesn’t seem to want to tell fully what has happened. The person accused has recently become a new friend to Beth who soon finds herself doing what she can to avoid being around him and moves in with David at his insistence after learning that he lives in the same building as her. Soon though, a truth of what happened to the woman that night will be revealed, appearances can be deceiving and sometimes the monsters are hiding in sheep’s clothing.
This book was a fascinating mix of finding love from a young age, how debilitating mental illness can be, the power of forgiveness and several steamy scenes. I flew through most of this book in a day and I loved how things turned out!
 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Danielle Pearl is the bestselling author of the Something More series. She lives in New Jersey with her three delicious children and ever-supportive husband, who– -luckily- — doesn’t mind sharing her with an array of fictional men. She did a brief stint at Boston University and worked in marketing before publishing her debut novel, Normal. She writes mature Young Adult and New Adult contemporary romance. Danielle enjoys coffee, wine, and cupcakes, and not in moderation.
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Win 1 out of 10 copies of IN PIECES (paperback)!
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If you’d like to read more about this series, be sure to check out Danielle Pearl! If you like steamy, love that’s meant to be and surprises, you’ll enjoy this book!

Happy Reading and good luck!

~Meg

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Five Christmas Books In October!

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Good afternoon, I was recently asked if I wanted to join in for a reading blitz and of course I couldn’t say no! I was given my choice of a variety of books and somehow managed to narrow it down to five ARCs. All but the last one are now available to get a copy for yourself so you too can enjoy Christmas early from the comfort of your favorite reading spot!

With This Christmas Ring

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A wallflower determined to fulfill a dying promise, the rogue she jilted years ago, and an orphaned baby are all brought together amidst the magic of Christmas in this new novella from Manda Collins.

Miss Merry Parks makes a deathbed promise to a schoolfriend that her infant daughter will be taken to her absent father. There’s only one problem—to find the baby’s father, she’ll have to consult his cousin, Viscount Wrotham, the man she jilted five years ago. The man she couldn’t forget.

Alex Ponsonby, Viscount Wrotham, is stunned to find Merry Parks—looking more lovely than ever–on his doorstep with an infant in her arms. His shock soon turns to dismay when he learns his own cousin William is the man who abandoned his wife and child. As head of the family he’s duty bound to see right is done. But he can’t let this opportunity pass. He’ll take Merry and the baby to his cousin, but he’ll woo her back in the process.
Merry agrees to travel with Alex and the baby to Wrotham Castle, where the entire Ponsonby family has gathered for Christmas, but her plans to see the baby settled then leave are ruined by a snowstorm. After five years apart, Alex and Merry will spend the week getting reacquainted. Perhaps it’s the spirit of the holiday, or the magic of the season, but there could be something else in the air this Yuletide…A Christmas Reunion.

 

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A Season of You

 

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It’s Christmastime in the quaint island town of Cloud Bay, where love is always in season… Will Fraser has believed in love at first sight since the day he first laid eyes on Mina Harper five years ago. There was only one problem: She was happily married. Then, when Mina’s husband was killed by a drunk driver, Will figured she’d want nothing to do with a guy who owns a whiskey distillery. So he’s kept his feelings locked away, knowing that not even a Christmas miracle would be enough to melt Mina’s heart. . . Mina believes her days of true love are behind her. Since losing her husband she’s kept to herself, content to do her own painting and stay out of the limelight that comes with her famous family. But when, after a freak accident, Will comes to her rescue, Mina can’t quite get him out of her mind. As curiosity turns into a fling during Cloud Bay’s first Christmas Festival, she finds it harder to convince herself that her feelings for Will are just mistletoe-inspired. Could Mina be ready to lay the past to rest and finally admit that what she really wants for Christmas―and forever―is Will?

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Christmas At Two Love Lane

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The best gift of all is the one you share with someone else. . .

From the moment he strode through the iron gate and into the offices of Two Love Lane on a crisp December day, it was obvious that Deacon Banks was something different. He wasn’t a Charleston native, not with that adorable Yankee accent. And unlike the usual client at the elegant matchmaking agency, he had no interest in finding a woman to marry―just a few no-strings dates while he was in town.

Macy Frost takes her professional services very seriously―how could she not, when she’s rumored to be a direct descendant of Cupid? Tech entrepreneur Deacon says he’s just trying to make his social-climbing aunt happy by being seen out and about with a few prominent beauties, but Macy insists she can make her client fall in love…for real. And Deacon can’t help but think she might be right. As charming as the palmetto trees and magnificent harbor may be, it’s the beautiful, breath-of-fresh-air Macy who’s become Deacon’s favorite part of the scenery. But can the hopelessly romantic Southern belle stop trying to fix him up and just let Cupid do his work on her own heart?

 

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 Deck The Halls

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With shades of It’s a Wonderful Life, one man must face his past to find his future this Christmas.

In the last year, George’s life has drastically changed. The formerly homeless veteran now has a job he likes, a family in the residents of Darling, VT, and for the first time in years, a home. But while his present is good, he’s still haunted by the past, a past that appears shortly before Christmas when the older sister of his brother-in-arms hunts him down and finds him in Darling, working at the Ladybug Garden Center.

Amy’s looking for closure for her family after her brother’s death in the Middle East, but the serious man she finds working in Vermont doesn’t resemble the soldier she remembers from years before. This man is hardened and yet somehow fragile, too, and in her desire to find out what really happened to her brother, she learns more about George than she ever expected.

With a little Christmas magic and the whole town supporting them, can these two bruised hearts make a future together?

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Christmas In Kilts

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Available October 31, click below to preorder!

Tis the season to fall in love! These five bestselling authors bring you great tiding of highlanders and romances this holiday season!

A HIGHLANDER’S HOPE by Terri Brisbin
A village harlot who would never dream she could have a different life meets a Highlander who visits for the holidays and brings with him an offer and hope.

A HIGHLAND CHRISTMAS WAGER by Lecia Cornwall
When a snowstorm forces a charming lass hiding a broken heart to take shelter in a castle with three fine Highland lairds just days before Christmas, there’s a game afoot—who will be the first to win a kiss and maybe her heart.

A SCOT FOR CHRISTMAS by Bronwen Evans
She’s ready to embrace her life and future as a spinster, he’s trying to have one last hurrah before he gives into his family’s wishes and proposes marriage to his neighbor, but fate has other ideas when the lady and the Scot meet at a holiday house party in the wilds of Scotland.

LEFTOVER MISTLETOE by Lavinia Kent
What happens when a highlander finds himself stranded, maybe kidnapped, with an English lady around Christmas… maybe the mistletoe will help answer that question.

SWEET HOME HIGHLAND CHRISTMAS by May McGoldrick
An encounter between an English officer and a desperate aunt trying to keep custody of her young niece leads to a little magic during the holidays.

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So that concludes my small glimpse into the Blitz. Be sure to check back on October 17th for more informationand my thoughts on the books. I hope you’ll enjoy the books and thank you so much for dropping by!

Happy Reading!

~Meg

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Earth Tales Meet Whovian Tales!

Good morning,

I recently read a fascinating tale that was just the thing I was looking for especially being a Whovian ( for non Whovians that means a Doctor Who fan).

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I received an advanced reading galley from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
I was so excited to be approved for this book because I’m a proud Whovian and love reading anything to do with Doctor Who.
This was an interesting collection of Earth tales that were turned into Gallifreyan tales, many involving creatures that I haven’t heard of but made sense to be a part of the Whoniverse. There were themes at times similar to our own and at others futuristic themes.

In the beginning of the book, there’s a reference as to who the Doctor Who tales we’re inspired by which was very helpful.

A wonderous tale full of aliens, magic, adventure, and the power of friendship, it was a pleasure to read these tales and a great companion for those who wish to know more about the Doctor Who world!

Happy Reading!

~Meg

When A 2017 American Lass Meets A 1601 Highland Lad!

Good afternoon,

It’s a beautiful Fall day here in Minnesota though if the temp would drop down from the 80s to the upper 60s, that would be even better!

I recently finished a book about a time traveling woman and a brawny 17th Century Laird which makes it my sixty eighth book I’ve read this year. I now have only twelve books to go until I reach my goal of eighty books for the year which I’m so excited about!

Enough about my bookish accomplishments, let’s get to the juicy stuff!

I received a digital ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
I’m always on the lookout for time traveling romances that involve the Scots or Irish and this one has definitely been added to my list of favorites!

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Available tomorrow, you can pre-order now!

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Abigail Cross is a young American woman from Oregon living in 2017 who has recently taken a vacation to Scotland for research and what she had hoped to be a great time. Things aren’t going so well as it has mostly rained while she’s there and decides to explore Druiminn Castle on the Isle of Skye. While checking out a quaint cottage with a lovely garden, she happens to touch a clay bottle and then blacks out.

When she comes to, she is met by a woman named Gwen who is wearing period clothing from the 17th Century and is told that magic was used to bring her back to 1601 in the hopes of marrying her brother Aedan MacLeod, Laird of Druiminn Castle, At first she thinks the woman is crazy about the time travel theory until she sees proof of what life would be like in that particular and accidentally runs right into the muscled arms of Aedan MacLeod himself who is a very handsome red-haired man with captivating green eyes.
Aedan MacLeod is a man who is in need of a wife who will take over his household, produce heirs and be mild mannered. He’s dead set against all of these qualities until shortly after meeting Abby who is anything but biddable and more than his match, she’s exactly what he needs. That is if he’d stop being so stubborn and admit it.

Abbu and Aedan come to an agreement which includes Abby being willing to partake in the Highland Games, pretend to be a friend from abroad and help look for a wife for Aedan. Seems like a fairly straightforward plan but things don’t go quite as planned especially in the potential wife department.

These two come from two completely different parts of the world and vastly different time periods but sometimes what can seem to be completely the opposite, is sometimes the perfect match.

Just when things seem to be going well for these two, a wolf hiding in sheep’s clothing shows up at The Highland Games and will throw things completely out of balance, causing Aedan and Abby to have to make a painful decision that could separate them for a very long time.

All is not lost though and fate may yet still have some interesting plans for these two. Only time will tell how they turn out and if they both have the courage to take a leap of faith.

I loved getting to know Abby who doesn’t let being a woman out of her element stop her from speaking her mind to Aedan and whose at times odd ways endear her to much of his clan.

Aedan is such a stubborn guy with quite the temper at times especially when clashing with Abby but he’s a great Laird, wonderful brother and underneath the gruff exterior, he’s a kind hearted romantic. He will do anything to ensure his clan thrives but also will stand against enemies who seek to harm those under his protection.

This book was a wonderful mix of adventure, magic, Highlanders in kilts, humor, steamy scenes, the power of friendship and love.

I’m so glad I was given a chance to read this book and I look forward to seeing who is next in this new series!

So that wraps up my bookish ramblings for now. I hope you’ve enjoyed my thoughts and feel free to stop in again to see what next bookish adventures I’ll go on.

Happy reading, I’ll be back soon!

Slainte

~Meg

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Fenris Is Back!!!

Good afternoon,

Today I will be rambling about Fenris who is one of Sunaya’s best friends and was turned from a mage into a shifter by a good friend of his for his protection  though it’s highly illegal and trusted few know about it not that  he used to be a High Mage himself. I was so sad when I  thought he had died and then ecstatic when I learned he wasn’t really dead! So this is still in the same world but in a different area which is fine by me because now he’s able to be himself… well sort of.

So  instead of giving away too much, I’ll briefly go over things in this second installment which is called Claimed By Magic. I also want to make a note that I generously received a digital ARC galley of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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I love this cover and love that Mina and Fenris have gotten together!    I’m so, so, so excited that Fenris has his own spin off story and that he’s doing well despite no longer being in Solantha.

In this story, Fenris takes a journey with his girlfriend Mina who has been hiding among humans for the last decade or so as a veterinarian though she is actually a mage from a prestigious family. She fled her home over ten years ago due to her terrible relatives and decides to return to claim her inheritance thirteen years later before it’s sold off or given to her relatives.
Due to the fact that Fenris has been recently declared legally dead in Solantha, he decides to discuss  himself as a very mature Mage who claims that he has been looking after Mina the last couple of years and helped her with some of her magic.

Fenris and Mina are certainly in for some surprises once they reach her hometown and several of them are not pleasant.

It will take cunning, a certain strong shifter nose, magic and unlikely allies to hopefully obtain Mina’s inheritance before it’s squandered or someone tries to do away with Mina.

Mina’s cousin is such a bully and I’m glad that Mina stood up to him! The way her family treated her, she had every right to sue them for taking money that was passed down to her through her Grandma. It just goes to show that Mina is a better person and just one of many reasons why they are so great together!

Full of adventure, mystery, magic, a few steamy scenes and a healthy dash of steampunk, this book was hard to put down.
I’m so very happy how things turned out and so very excited about Mina and Fenris!!!

Also, I’m anxious to read the next book in the series and see what adventures these two will go on together! Both have been through a lot and deserve to be happy!!

Well that wraps up my bookish ramblings for today. Be sure to drop by again to see what next book I am excited about.

Slainte

~M

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So I Married A Sorcerer Review

Good evening,

I was very lucky to receive a digital ARC of So I Married A Sorcerer which was released today and talk about a wild ride of a book!

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You can get your very own copy of this book here and local places where you may shop:

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One of the many reasons why I enjoy reading Kerrelyn’s books is because I know that there will always be a hot guy on the front and there will be lots of laughter to be had in the story itself. The guy looks like he could be a merman or Poseidon himself!

Here’s a snippet into what this book is about:

Brigitta has spent her life on the Isle of Moon in a convent with her fellow adoptive sisters. While it wasn’t a very exciting life, she grew up surrounded by the support of her adoptive family and aware that she has gifts though didn’t know who her parents were. She is on a journey to see her eldest sister Queen Luciana’s birthing along with her sisters when they are delayed by a fleet of ships, directed by a man from Tourin that demands Brigitta be turned over for she is the lost Princess of Tourin and her brother Gunther, the King, wishes her to be returned to her homeland. Just before she can decide whether to go along with this supposed truth, another set of ships show up involving pirates including the famous Rupert who is believed to be dangerous and powerful and Brigitta is forced to go with the pirates to save her sisters and one of the nuns that was making the journey also goes with.

Brigitta soon figures out that there’s more to Rupert and his fellow pirates than meets the eye and other than forcing Brigitta aboard, treat her and Sister Fallyn as honored guests… well sort of. I won’t give too much more away because spoilers but these two certainly make things interesting for a ship full of pirates.

Then it is revealed the real reason why Rupert wants to go after Brigitta’s brother who is King and quite the selfish jerk. Never one to sit idle and let fate take the reigns, Brigitta is determined to save those she cares for and finds herself drawn to Rupert whose hidden heritage will certainly throw a wrench in the monkey works of the Jerk King’s plans.

I loved the interactions between Rupert, Brigitta, Sister Fallyn and Captain Stefan. To make a long story short, Captain Stefan has raised and protected Rupert since he was a child and has a huge heart!. I was laughing through most of the book especially when Sister Fallyn realized she wasn’t so against Stefan who punches a guy later on in her honor for being so insulting.

Rupert and Brigitta are such a wonderful duo and really compliment each other though both are too stubborn at first to realize that fate meant for them to be thrown together.

Also, I really loved reading about Brody who can change shape and I really hope he will have his own special story at some point.

This book was full of adventure, humor, magic, mystery, and what can happen when a lass is determined to set things right plus there’s dragons too! I highly recommend reading this book and I can’t wait to see what next Kerrelyn has up her sleeve, also which adopted sister is next to find love!

I have here a peek at the first chapter for those who haven’t gotten their hands on this book!:

Chapter One

“I cannot play,” Brigitta told her sisters as she cast a wary
look at the linen bag filled with Telling Stones. Quickly
she shifted on the window seat to gaze at the Great West-
ern Ocean. The rolling waves went on for as far as she
could see, but her mind was elsewhere. Calm yerself. The
prediction will ne’er happen.
At dawn they had boarded this ship, accompanied by
Mother Ginessa and Sister Fallyn, who were now resting
in the cabin next door. This was the smallest vessel in the
Eberoni Royal Navy, the captain had explained, sturdy
enough to cross the ocean, but small enough to travel up
the Ebe River to the palace at Ebton. There, they would
see their oldest sister, who was now the queen of Eberon.
According to the captain, Queen Luciana had intended
to send more than one ship to safeguard their journey, but
at the last minute the other naval ships had been diverted
south to fight the Tourinian pirates who were raiding vil-
lages along the Eberoni shore. But not to worry, the cap-
tain had assured Brigitta and her companions. Since the
royal navy was keeping the pirates occupied to the south,
their crossing would be perfectly safe.
Indeed, after a few hours, it seemed perfectly boring.
“If we don’t play, how will we pass the time?” Gwen-
nore asked from her seat at the round table. “ ’Twill be
close to sunset afore we reach Ebton.”
“I wish we could wander about on deck,” Maeve
grumbled from her chair next to Gwennore. “ ’Tis a
lovely spring day, and we’re stuck down here.”
Sorcha huffed in annoyance as she paced about the
cabin. “Mother Ginessa insisted we remain here. I swear
she acts as if she’s afraid to let anyone see us.”
“Perhaps she fears for our safety because we are Em-
braced,” Gwennore said.
Sorcha shook her head. “We’re safe now in Eberon.”
But only in Eberon, Brigitta thought as she studied the
deep-blue waves. Being Embraced was a death sentence
anywhere else on the mainland. The other kings abhorred
the fact that each of the Embraced possessed some sort
of magical power that the kings, themselves, could never
have.
When Brigitta and her adopted sisters were born, the
only safe haven had been the Isle of Moon. They’d grown
up there in the Convent of the Two Moons, believing they
were orphans. But almost a year ago, they’d discovered a
shocking truth. Luciana had never been an orphan.
Since then, Brigitta had wondered if she had family
somewhere, too. Had they hidden her away or, worse,
abandoned her? She feared it was the latter. For in all her
nineteen years of life, no one from the mainland had ever
bothered to contact her.
You are loved, she reminded herself. She’d grown up
in a loving home at the convent. Her sisters loved her,
and she loved them. That was enough.
It had to be enough. Didn’t it?
Sorcha lowered her voice. “I still believe Mother
Ginessa knows things about us that she won’t tell.”
Brigitta silently agreed. She knew from her special
gift that almost everyone was hiding something.
“Let’s play the game and let the stones tell us,” Maeve
said. “I need to do something. This cabin is feeling smaller
by the minute.”
Brigitta sighed. Sadly enough, this was the largest cabin
on board. Captain Shaw had lent them his quarters,
which had a large window overlooking the back of the
vessel.
The ship creaked as it rolled to the side, and Sorcha
grabbed the sideboard to steady herself.
“Have a seat afore ye fall,” Gwennore warned her.
“Fine.” Sorcha emptied the oranges from a brass bowl
on the sideboard, then plunked the bowl onto the table as
she took a seat. “Let’s play.”
Brigitta’s sisters gave her a questioning look, but she
shook her head and turned to gaze out the window once
again. It had been twelve years ago, when she was seven,
that Luciana had invented the game where they could
each pretend to be the Seer from the Isle of Mist. They’d
gathered up forty pebbles from the nearby beach, then
painted them with colors and numbers. After the stones
were deposited in a bowl and covered with a cloth, each
sister would grab a small handful of pebbles and what-
ever colors or numbers she’d chosen would indicate her
future.
“We’ll just have to play without her,” Sorcha grum-
bled. A clattering noise filled the cabin as the bag of
Telling Stones was emptied into the brass bowl, a noise
not quite loud enough to cover Sorcha’s hushed voice. “Ye
know why she won’t play. She’s spooked.”
Brigitta winced. That was too close to the truth.
She could no longer see the Isle of Moon on the hori-
zon. As the island had faded from sight, a wave of appre-
hension had washed over her, slowly growing until it had
sucked her down into an undertow of fear and dread. For
deep in her heart, she believed that leaving the safety of
the convent would trigger the set of events that Luciana
had predicted.
But how could she have refused this voyage? Luciana
would be giving birth soon, and she wanted her sisters
with her. She also needed Mother Ginessa, who was an
excellent midwife.
“I’m going first,” Sorcha declared, and the stones rat-
tled about the bowl as she mixed them up.
“O Great Seer,” Maeve said, repeating the line they
spoke before each prediction. “Reveal to us the secrets of
the Telling Stones.”
“What the hell?” Sorcha muttered, and Maeve gasped.
“Ye mustn’t let Mother Ginessa hear ye curse like
that,” Gwennore warned her.
“These stones are ridiculous!” Sorcha slammed them
on the table, and out of curiosity Brigitta turned to see
what her sister had selected.
Nine, pink, and lavender.
Gwennore tilted her head as she studied the stones. “In
nine years ye will meet a tall and handsome—”
“Nine years?” Sorcha grimaced. “I would be so old!”
“Twenty-seven.” Gwennore’s mouth twitched. “Practi-
cally ancient.”
“Exactly!” Sorcha huffed. “I’ll wait nine months for
my tall and handsome stranger, and not a minute more.”
She glared at the colored stones. “I hate pink. It looks ter-
rible with my freckles and red hair.”
Maeve’s eyes sparkled with mischief. “Who said ye
would be wearing it? I think yer true love will look very
pretty in pink.”
“He’s not wearing pink,” Sorcha growled.
“Aye, a lovely pink gown with a lavender sash,” Gwen-
nore added with a grin.
“Nay, Gwennie.” Maeve shook her head. “The lavender
means he’ll have lavender-blue eyes like you.”
“Ah.” Gwennore tucked a tendril of her white-blond
hair behind a pointed ear. “Could be.”
“Are ye kidding me?” Sorcha gave them an incredu-
lous look. “How on Aerthlan would I ever meet an elf?”
“Ye met me,” Gwennore said. “And apparently, in nine
months, ye’ll meet a tall and handsome elf in a pink
gown.” She and Maeve laughed, and Sorcha reluctantly
grinned.
Brigitta turned to peer out the window once again.
Over the years, the Telling Stones had proven to be an
entertaining game. But then, a year ago, something strange
had happened. Luciana’s prediction for her own future
had actually come to pass. She’d met and fallen in
love with the tall and handsome stranger she’d foretold
in specific detail, using the Telling Stones. And if that
hadn’t been amazing enough, she’d become the queen
of Eberon.
Eager to experience something equally romantic, Bri-
gitta had begged her oldest sister to predict a similar future
for her.
A mistake. Brigitta frowned at the churning ocean.
Blue, gold, seven, and eight. Those had been the stones
Luciana had selected. Blue and gold, she’d explained, sig-
nified the royal colors of the kingdom of Tourin. Seven
meant there would be seven suitors to compete for her
hand. And eight . . . in eight months, Brigitta would meet
a tall and handsome stranger.
The eight months had now passed.
She pressed a hand against her roiling stomach.
When they’d boarded this morning, she’d quickly as-
sessed the captain and his crew. None of them had struck
her as particularly tall or handsome. Captain Shaw was
portly, bald, and old enough to be her father.
As for the seven suitors vying for her hand, she had
initially been thrilled, considering the idea wildly exciting.
But when her sisters had likened it to her being a prize in
a tourney, she’d had second thoughts.
Why would seven men compete for her? She had noth-
ing special to offer. Even the gift she possessed for being
Embraced was hardly special. And did this contest mean
she would have no choice but to marry whichever man won
her? The more she’d thought about this competition, the
more it had made her cringe.
So, five months ago, she’d played the game again, hop-
ing to achieve different results. But to her shock, there
had been four stones in her hand.
Blue, gold, seven, and five.
Had some sort of mysterious countdown gone into ef-
fect? Reluctant to believe that, she’d attempted the game
again a month later. Blue, gold, seven, and four. Alarmed,
she’d sworn never to play again.
But one month ago, Sorcha had dared her to play, taunt-
ing her for being overly dramatic. Those words never
failed to irk Brigitta, so she’d accepted the dare. With a
silent prayer to the moon goddesses, she’d reached into
the bowl, swished the pebbles around, and grabbed a hand-
ful. And there, in her palm, four stones had stared up at
her.
Blue, gold, seven, and one. A fate was shoving itself
down her throat whether she liked it or not.
And she did not.
Brigitta had been raised on the Isle of Moon, where
women were free to determine their own futures and
everyone worshipped the moon goddesses, Luna and
Lessa.
It was different on the mainland. Men were in charge
there, and everyone worshipped a male god, the Light.
Luciana had been fortunate to find a good man who
respected her independent nature. As king and queen,
they had declared it safe to worship the moon goddesses
in Eberon.
But it was not that way elsewhere. In the other main-
land kingdoms, Brigitta would be executed for making
the sign of the moons as she prayed. Executed for being
Embraced. So why did she keep picking the blue and gold
colors of Tourin?
And why would seven suitors compete for her? She
glanced at her sisters. Sorcha had always seemed the stron-
gest, with a fiery temperament that matched her fiery red
hair. Gwennore had always been the smartest. Maeve, the
youngest, had always been the sweetest. And Luciana—
now married—had been their brave leader. Brigitta had
never been quite sure where she fit in.
Gwennore, with her superior intellect, had always been
the best at translating books into different languages.
Maeve had excelled in penmanship, and Sorcha in artwork.
Luciana had been good at everything.
But Brigitta . . . the nuns had despaired with her. When
transcribing a book, she could never stay true to the text.
A little embellishment here, a tweak there, and eventu-
ally she would take a story so off course, it was no longer
recognizable. This, of course, upset the nuns, for their
male customers on the mainland were paying for an ex-
act copy of an old tale, not the romantic fantasies of an
overly dramatic young woman.
Whenever the nuns had fussed at her, her sisters had
come to her defense, insisting that her story was much
better than the original. And each time the nuns tried to
use Brigitta’s overly dramatic mistakes for kindling, her
sisters always managed to rescue the pages and give
them to her. They’d even begged her to finish her stories
about dashing young heroes, so that they could read
them.
Brigitta adored them for that. She’d do anything for
her sisters, including this voyage to Eberon that she
was so afraid would activate the events she’d been dread-
ing.
She shifted her gaze back to the rolling motion of the
ocean, and her stomach churned. Did a person’s destiny
have to be set in stone, in this case the Telling Stones?
This was her story, so why couldn’t it be one of her mak-
ing? Surely she didn’t have to stick to a text that had
already been written without her consent. Couldn’t she
be the author of her own destiny?
“Ye should watch the horizon, not the waves,” Maeve
said as she sat next to Brigitta on the window seat. “ ’Tis
a sure way to make yerself ill.”
“Oh.” Brigitta turned to her youngest sister. “I didn’t
realize . . .” Her stomach twisted with a sharp pain, and
she winced.
Gwennore gave her a worried look. “Ye look pale.
Would ye like some bread or wine?” She motioned toward
the sideboard and the food that had been left for them.
Brigitta shook her head. Perhaps if she sat perfectly
still for a few moments, the nausea would pass. “Did ye
finish playing the Game of Stones?”
“Aye,” Maeve answered. “Didn’t ye hear us giggling?”
Brigitta groaned inwardly, not wanting to admit she’d
been too engrossed in her own worries to pay her sisters
any mind.
“My prediction was the best,” Maeve continued. “In
four years, I’ll meet a tall and handsome stranger with
green teeth, purple hair, and three feet.”
Brigitta wrinkled her nose. “Ye call that handsome?
How can he have three feet? Does he have a third leg?”
Maeve waved a dismissive hand. “We didn’t bother to
figure that part out. But he is taller than most.”
“Aye.” Sorcha snorted. “By a foot.”
Maeve grinned. “As ye can see, the game is nonsense.
Besides, I have no desire to meet any man, no matter how
tall or handsome. I plan to live the rest of my life with all
of you at the convent.”
“Aye,” Sorcha agreed. “I’m not leaving my sisters for
an elf in a pink gown. ’Tis naught but a silly game.”
“Exactly.” Gwennore gave Brigitta a pointed look. “So
ye shouldn’t believe anything the stones say.”
They were doing their best to relieve her fear, Brigitta
realized, and as her heart warmed, the ache in her
stomach eased. “Thank you. What would I do without ye
all?”
The ship lurched suddenly to the right, causing Bri-
gitta and Maeve to fall against the padded wall of the
window seat. The oranges rolled off the sideboard and
plummeted to the wooden floor. Empty goblets fell onto
the floor with a series of loud clunks.
Sorcha grabbed on to the table. “What was that?”
Loud shouts and the pounding of feet sounded on the
deck overhead.
“Something is amiss,” Gwennore said as she gazed up
at the ceiling. “They’re running about.”
Maeve peered out the window. “I believe we made a
sudden turn to the south.”
“That would put us off course,” Gwennore murmured.
The door slammed open, and they jumped in their
seats.
Mother Ginessa gave them a stern look, while behind
her Sister Fallyn pressed the tips of her fingers against
her thumbs, forming two small circles to represent the
twin moons.

So that wraps up my review for this very entertaining book. This was my first foray into Kerrelyn’s new series and now I want to go back to read about Luciana’s story and read her other books that she’s written too!

Now I am off to read about more magic, Highlanders and other fantasy themes that may catch my eye. I will be sure to post again soon so please feel free to stop back again and thank you for taking the time to drop by.

Slainte

~Meg

I hope you’ve enjoyed my bookish ramblings and if you’re curious about this book, go check it out! If you’re curious about where else I post my bookish thoughts, you can find me here:

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