Sunday Post: August 31

 

Happy Labor Day to everyone in the U. S.

rp_sundaypostmeme13.jpg

 

The Sunday Post is a meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

I like this meme because it gives me an opportunity to take a look back at last week and forward to next week in both my personal life and my blog and book life! I also like to see what other people are doing and what books everyone is reading. This is a great meme to take part in every week and I thank Kimba for hosting it!

 bailey082714-redchair

Last Week

Home & blog

My sister-in-law and father-in-law came for a short visit Sunday afternoon–just time for a house tour, meet Bailey and have lunch. That was fun!

We drove to eastern Iowa Friday night for the Labor Day weekend to visit my father-in-law. My husband and older daughter met us there. We’re all having a good time. Bailey has a huge backyard to play in and a new house to explore. It’s great to see all the family members. I’m spending another 10 days or so in Iowa with my daughter and Bailey.bailey-082714

Blog posts

Books

What I’m reading

Small Favor by Jim Butcher

What I read this week

Chimes at Midnight by Seanan McGuire

E-books & Audiobooks bought (or free)

Royal Airs by Sharon Shinn

Small Favor by Jim Butcher (from the public library)

The Assassin’s Blade: The Throne of Glass Novellas by Sarah J. Maas

Audiobooks

 I bought many Audible books this week during the First Anniversary Sale of Daily Deals. 100 books were for sale at the Daily Deal price–up to $5.95 per book.

Some of the books I bought: Persuader by Lee Child; Hyperion by Dan Simmons; Call the Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy and Hard Times by Jennifer Worth and The No. 1 Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith.

Next Week

Home & blog

Bailey begins puppy kindergarten this week and goes to the vet to get microchipped so we’ll have a busy week!

COYER Summer Vacation ends this week so I’m trying to get my reviews posted before the end of the reading challenge.

Posts

  • September books on my radar . . .
  • Review: Bloodshifted by Cassie Alexander
  • Review: John Golden: Freelance Debugger by Django Wexler
  • Review: The Cloud Roads by Martha Wells
  • Review: Chimes at Midnight by Seanan McGuire
  • Sunday Post

What books did you collect last week? What are you planning next week?

Review: Suddenly Last Summer by Sarah Morgan

Suddenly Last Summer
Suddenly Last Summer

 

Suddenly Last Summer
by Sarah Morgan
Series: O’Neil Brothers, Book 2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published by Harlequin HQN, 2014
E-book, Purchased
384 pages
Grade: B
Synopsis: Fiery French chef Élise Philippe is having a seriously bad day. Not only have the opening day plans for her beloved café fallen apart, but Sean O’Neil is back in town, and looking more delectable than ever. Last summer, they shared an electrifying night together…and the memories have Élise really struggling to stick to her one-night-only rule! Her head knows that eventually Sean will be leaving, so all she can do is try to ignore her heart before she spontaneously combusts with lust.

Being back in Vermont—even temporarily—is surgeon Sean O’Neil’s worst nightmare. For Sean, returning home to the Snow Crystal Resort means being forced to confront the reasons and the guilt he feels about rejecting his family’s rural lifestyle years ago. But discovering that Élise has settled in Vermont and still sets his blood racing is a very welcome distraction! Thinking he can persuade her into a replay of last summer is tempting, but remembering how good they are together is going to make walking away more difficult than he could imagine…

More often than not, he saw a family as stifling, whereas in fact it was a cocoon. Not a straightjacket, but a protection. He’d always had that, it had always been there, even when he hadn’t noticed, or wanted it.

and

“What she means is you are truly terrible at cooking.” Élise poured coffee into mugs and set them on the table. “What? Why are you all looking at me?”

Brenna grinned. “Because you don’t know the meaning of the word tact.”

“I speak the truth so none of us is poisoned….”

Cheers

  • The O’Neil Brothers series celebrates family–the love, the anger, the belonging, the fear for our loved ones, the friendships. Sure, it’s idealized, but the family isn’t perfect either. They have problems to work out and don’t always do the best communicating.
  • I like Élise and Sean. Neither wants a relationship (for different reasons), but there’s mutual attraction (which they fight against at first). They get to know each other better and they become friends.
  • Élise and Sean must learn to trust each other and Élise especially must bury the ghosts of the past.
  • I like the humor and comradery found between so many of the characters.
  • I like the cooking Élise does in the book. Not too much detail, just enough. I wish I could cook some of her dishes!
  • A nice summer read.

Jeers

  • I was bored sometimes in the early part of the book. I think this is just me…I’m not reading much romance these days and even less contemporary romance.

And a few thoughts

  • The third book in the series–Maybe This Christmas–comes out on November 1 of this year. I look forward to this one since I love Snow Crystal in winter and at Christmas!

Have you read this book? How did you like it?

Review: Break In by Dick Francis

break-in

 

Break In
by Dick Francis
Narrated by Simon Prebble
Series: Kit Fielding #1
Genre: Mystery
Published by Berkeley, 2005 (originally published 1986)
Audiobook, Purchased
320 pages
Length: 9 hours, 14 minutes
Grade: A-
Narrator Grade: B+
Synopsis: Steeplechase jockey Christmas “Kit” Fielding has had more than his share of close calls both on and off the course. But trouble hits close to home when a grudge between his family and his sister’s in-laws turns into a blood feud.

(I don’t have any quotes since I listened to the audiobook and wasn’t thinking about quotes as I listened.)

 Cheers

  • I enjoy Dick Francis’ writing so much.
  • Dick Francis’ books are mysteries which deal in some way with the racing world. That’s one of the things I always love about them since I learn so many peripheral things–like about airplanes flying race horses to distant races or about an ex-jockey private investigator.
  • His heroes are brave and must overcome high odds when the villain tries to stop him. Sometimes even physical challenges when the villain tries to kill him. I like the courageousness of these heroes who overcome the odds to do what is right not just for themselves but also to help others.
  • His heroes aren’t ambiguous about what is right and wrong like some modern-day anti-heroes. That’s really nice sometimes.
  • There is some romance in the book, but it doesn’t take over the story. I like that.
  • I like the secondary characters a lot. Kit’s twin sister–Holly–is very likeable, his brother-in-law who doesn’t really know if he likes Kit some of the time, the Countess whom he rides for and likes and respects.
  • The narrator is good. However, I sometimes had trouble remembering who all the characters were…partly because I had to stop listening for a couple of weeks. I was able to figure out and remember who people were when I listened a little more.

Jeers

  • No jeers!

 And a few thoughts . . .

  • I read almost all of Dick Francis’ books when they came out. My mother and I loved his books and read them and discussed them through the years. It was a yearly ritual for us since he wrote a novel a year for 38 years. They all deal in some way with the racing world.
  • Dick Francis wrote one more book about Kit Fielding called Bolt. Most of his books are stand-alone mysteries.
  • He wrote several mysteries in the last few years (until his death in 2010) with his son–Felix Francis. Felix has continued to write books with his father’s name in the title.
  • I want to read and re-read more of Dick Francis’ books.

Have you read this book or others by Dick Francis? How did you like it or the book you read by him?

Review: Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey

 

leviathan-wakesLeviathan Wakes
by James S. A. Corey
Series: Expanse #1
Genre: Science Fiction Space Opera
Published by Orbit, 2011
E-book, Purchased
561 pages
Grade: B+
Synopsis: Humanity has colonized the solar system – Mars, the Moon, the Asteroid Belt and beyond – but the stars are still out of our reach.

Jim Holden is XO of an ice miner making runs from the rings of Saturn to the mining stations of the Belt. When he and his crew stumble upon a derelict ship, “The Scopuli,” they find themselves in possession of a secret they never wanted. A secret that someone is willing to kill for – and kill on a scale unfathomable to Jim and his crew. War is brewing in the system unless he can find out who left the ship and why.

Detective Miller is looking for a girl. One girl in a system of billions, but her parents have money and money talks. When the trail leads him to “The Scopuli” and rebel sympathizer Holden, he realizes that this girl may be the key to everything.

Holden and Miller must thread the needle between the Earth government, the Outer Planet revolutionaries, and secretive corporations – and the odds are against them. But out in the Belt, the rules are different, and one small ship can change the fate of the universe.

Seven years in Earth’s navy, five years working in space with civilians, and he’d never gotten used to the long, thin, improbable bones of Belters. A childhood spent in gravity shaped the way he saw things forever.

and

Havelock shook his head again, this time in mild disbelief. If he’d been a Belter, he’d have made the gesture with his hands, so you could see it when he had an environment suit on. Another of the hundred small ways someone who hadn’t grown up on the Belt betrayed himself.

Cheers

  • The story is told in alternating chapters by Miller and Holden. This gives interesting points of view. At the beginning of the book they don’t know each other and are in different locations. Later on they meet. Miller is a Belter and Holden is from Earth. Their viewpoints are fundamentally different. It’s helpful to understanding this world and what’s happening to see the different points of view.
  • Humans have traveled throughout the solar system, but not discovered how to leave it.
  • An exciting space opera–just the kind of science fiction I like. Even though the book is almost 600 pages (and I was on vacation with a large family group while I read the end of the book), I read it quickly.
  • I like the way the author imagines and describes the way the solar system develops–both the habitats humans develop and the way humans change based on where they live in the solar system.
  • Ceres–where Miller lives–with the multitude of people, businesses, living quarters, foods, the need for shipped-in water is vividly described. I feel like I can see it.
  • Great world building.
  • I like the political dynamics in the book–the inner planets v. the Belters; Earth v. Mars, corporations v. everyone else and so on.
  • The differences which have developed between all the people has created misunderstandings and prejudices on both sides. I think that’s realistic.
  • Holden is young, idealistic and thinks people are basically good; Miller is the cynical policeman who’s seen it all. I relate better to Miller than Holden. Does that say something about me?!!

Jeers

  • Toward the end of the book I got irritated with Holden when he never seems to learn. In some ways that’s nice–he’s idealistic–in other ways, I thought he was stupid and willfully blind!

And a few thoughts . . .

  • This is the first book I’ve read by James S. A. Corey and I really enjoyed it.
  • James S. A. Corey is the pseudonym of Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck.
  • My kindle edition also has a full copy of The Dragon’s Path by Daniel Abraham. This is the first book of the Dragon and the Coin series. The fourth book in that series–The Widow’s House–just came out in August 2014.

Have you read this book? How did you like it?

 

I want to read it, but don’t own it

toptentuesday2

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme which I take part in occasionally. It’s a great meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish blog. Every week a new topic is presented. It’s not only fun to think about my list, but to read what other people come up with!

This week our topic is the books I Really Want To Read But Don’t Own Yet. The reason I don’t own them in every case is because of the cost.

As I write this on August 25, 2014 the Kindle price is $11.99 to $8.89. I try to pay no more than $8.00 for my electronic books. (I make a few exceptions when it’s a favorite author and/or series!)

I keep track of Kindle books and their prices using the website: eReaderIQ. It’s a great way to keep track of books I want while waiting for the price to come down. I found out about the website when Li @ Me and My Books blog wrote an article last December about Free and Cheap E-books and how to find them.

The books are listed from high price to lower price. The links for each book go to Goodreads.

Moth and Spark by Anne Leopard

  • I heard lots of good things about this book when it came out and I’ve read some great reviews for it.

Half a King by Joe Abercrombie (Shattered Sea #1)

  • So many good reviews from people whose blogs I follow.

Caliban’s War by James S. A. Corey (Expanse series #2)

  • I read Leviathan’s Wake, Expanse series #1 and loved it.

The Serpent Sea by Martha West (The Books of the Raksura #2)

  • I just finished Cloud Roads. That is one of my favorite books I’ve read this year.

The Martian by Andy Weir

  • This sounds like an exciting science fiction and it has good reviews.

Long Live the Queen by Kate Locke (The Immortal Empire #3)

  • I read the first two books in this series and would like to read the last book in the series (which came out in November 2013), but the price never seems to come down.

Masks by E. C. Blake (Masks of Aygrima #1)

  • Book 2 came out in August 2014. Both sound very good and this book has a beautiful cover.

Split Second by Kasie West (Pivot Point #2)

  • I read Pivot Point (book 1) last January and really liked it, but haven’t bought Split Second yet.

A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent by Marie Brennan (Memoir by Lady Trent #1)

  • This book came out a year and a half ago. It has a beautiful cover and good reviews.

Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal (Glamourist Histories #1) 

  • I bought book 3 when it was on sale awhile ago, but I’d like to read book 1 first!

What books do you want to read, but haven’t bought? Why haven’t you bought them?

Sunday Post: August 24

rp_sundaypostmeme13.jpg

 

The Sunday Post is a meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

I like this meme because it gives me an opportunity to take a look back at last week and forward to next week in both my personal life and my blog and book life! I also like to see what other people are doing and what books everyone is reading. This is a great meme to take part in every week and I thank Kimba for hosting it!Bailey-082014

 

Last Week

Home & blog

Lots of puppy time this week. We took her to the Vet this week to have her checked out and make sure she’s healthy. She is 🙂

She’s 9 weeks old now and she sits quite reliably (before eating, before going into another room, going up or down stairs). She loves to play with her toys, but she especially liked a gallon size plastic milk carton! We have some steep stairs to go down to get outside and she hasn’t gone down those yet. We’ve had to carry her and both my daughter and I had sore backs by the end of the week (she weighs about 17+ pounds already!) The next step is for her to learn to go down those stairs so we don’t have to carry her as often!

I’ve spent a lot of time reading and listening to books this week. I didn’t get as much blogging done as planned. I was too busy playing with Bailey to concentrate on writing posts!

 Blog posts

  • Sunday Post
  • Books recommended to me. . .
  • TBR Review: The Heiress Effect by Courtney Milan

Books

What I’m reading

Chimes at Midnight by Seanan McGuire

What I read this week

The Heiress Effect by Courtney Milan

Jhereg by Steven Brust

John Golden: Freelance Debugger by Django Wexler

The Cloud Roads by Martha Wells

E-books & Audiobooks bought (or free)

Bloodchild and Other Stories by Octavia E. Butler

Tea with the Black Dragon by R. A. MacAvoy

The Human Division #1 & #2: The B Team  & Walk the Plank by John Scalzi (series of short stories)

The Falconer by Elizabeth May

Doon by Carrie Corp & Lorie Langdon

Talk Sweetly to Me by Courtney Milan

Storm Siren by Mary Weber

Audiobooks

The Stainless Steel Rat by Harry Harrison

Neverwhere (BBC adaptation) by Neil Gaiman (link connects to Audible)

Elantris by Brandon Sanderson

Around the internet

The 2014 Hugo Award winners were announced!

Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie won the Hugo for Best Novel. I bought this book awhile back and I really should read it.

There are awards for many different categories including lots of short form stories as well as dramatic presentations, editors and many others. Check out the nominees and winners in all categories.

Next Week

Home & blog

More puppy stuff this next week! We’re going to eastern Iowa this week to visit my father-in-law. My husband and older daughter will be there, too. We’ve been taking Bailey for rides in the car so she gets used to riding in the car.

Posts

  • Top Ten Tuesday
  • Review: Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey
  • Review: Break In by Dick Francis
  • Sunday Post

What books did you collect last week? What are you planning next week?

TBR Review: The Heiress Effect by Courtney Milan

the-heiress-effect

The Heiress Effect
by Courtney Milan
Series: Brothers Sinister, Book 2
Genre: Historical Romance–1867 England
Published by Courtney Milan, 2013
E-book, Purchased
280 pages
Grade: B+
Synopsis: Miss Jane Fairfield can’t do anything right. When she’s in company, she always says the wrong thing—and rather too much of it. No matter how costly they are, her gowns fall on the unfortunate side of fashion. Even her immense dowry can’t save her from being an object of derision.

And that’s precisely what she wants. She’ll do anything, even risk humiliation, if it means she can stay unmarried and keep her sister safe.

Mr. Oliver Marshall has to do everything right. He’s the bastard son of a duke, raised in humble circumstances—and he intends to give voice and power to the common people. If he makes one false step, he’ll never get the chance to accomplish anything. He doesn’t need to come to the rescue of the wrong woman. He certainly doesn’t need to fall in love with her. But there’s something about the lovely, courageous Jane that he can’t resist…even though it could mean the ruin of them both.

“I worry about you,” he finally said to Free. “I’m afraid that you’re going to break your heart, going up against the world.”

“No.” The wind caught her hair and sent it swirling behind her. “I’m going to break the world.”

and

“Is it a thorny question of ethics? Or is it the sort of ethical question where the right choice is easy, but the unethical answer is too tempting?”

and

“And nothing says lace like…more lace.”

Cheers

  • I’ve mentioned this before, but Courtney Milan does such a good job self-publishing her books.
  • The two main characters–Jane and Oliver–are so well written. I feel I understand them and their motivations. They aren’t perfect people, but they are people I would like to know (if I knew to look beneath the surface).
  • Oliver is the illegitimate son of a Duke. He went to Eton, but wasn’t liked by many of the other students. They felt he didn’t know his place. Slowly he learns he has to keep quiet even though he’s determined to make his mark. I like the fact that Oliver realizes the man who raised him is his father–not the man who sired him. And Oliver loves his mother, father and half-sisters. I like that!
  • Most people don’t look below Miss Jane Fairfield’s surface. She hides in plain sight by dressing in brightly colored often clashing colors with three or four different kinds of lace or perhaps beads. She talks loudly and often says impertinent things to people. Society people laugh at her behind her back. They are polite to her face since she’s an heiress with $100,000 pounds.
  • Oliver comments that poisonous plants and animals are brightly colored to tell everyone “I’m poisonous. Don’t touch!”
  • Jane isn’t easy to know in society since she’s trying to camouflage herself so men won’t want to marry her. If Jane marries she would have to leave Emily with her guardian.
  • The supporting characters in the book are interesting, too. There’s even an additional romance which I enjoyed and continues the theme of the book–look below the surface.
  • The book isn’t a fluffy romance. The characters in the book face hard decisions.
  • I like the way history and politics are woven into the story. The Reform Act is an important part of 1867 England. Courtney Milan makes use of this very effectively in her book. Oliver is trying to get the Reform Act to pass in Parliament even though as the bastard son of a Duke he can’t be a member of Parliament. Of course, if the Reform Act passes the common man will have more say in government. And Oliver plans to be an influence in the future.
  • Oliver is very ambitious and will do almost anything to get the Act passed. Perhaps even humiliate Jane.
  • When this part of the book come to light–humiliate Jane and get a number of Lords willing to support the Act, my first thought was “Oh, no, I don’t want to read a book where a main character humiliates another character.” I should have known Ms. Milan would turn this idea on it’s head.
  • Oliver feels it’s impossible for him to love Jane, because as a bastard he has to be above reproach. Jane is too loud, too opinionated, too badly dressed and doesn’t know how to act in society.
  • During the course of the book, Jane learns to value herself and not compromise who she is.

Jeers

  • Oliver almost goes too far when he continues to accept other people’s views of both Jane and himself.

And a few thoughts . . .

  • I don’t read many romances these days, but I still have a few auto-buy authors. Courtney Milan is one of these authors. She writes such good books. I’m interested in the people she writes about as well as the time periods she writes about.
  • I’ve had this book for about a year so it was definitely time to read it.
  • The suggested type of book for the August book for the TBR Challenge is to have luscious love scenes. This book is definitely not erotica, but there are some love scenes so that’s close enough for me!

Have you read this book? How did you like it?

 

Books recommended to me . . .

toptentuesday2Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme which I take part in occasionally. It’s a great meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish blog. Every week a new topic is presented. It’s not only fun to think about my list, but to read what other people come up with!

This week we’re talking about the books recommended to us.

  • Most are books I’ve bought already,
  • Most are books from authors I haven’t read yet and
  • Most are recommendations from blogs I regularly read because we read a lot of the same kinds of books.

1. The Magicians series by Lev GrossmanMogsy from Bibliosanctum wrote a review of the third book which makes me want to read these even though she didn’t like the first book nearly as much.

2. Elantris by Brandon Sanderson–A number of the people whose reviews I trust and who read a lot of the kinds of books I read–For example, Tabitha @ Not Yet Read gave the book 5 stars.

3. The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch–Another book which so many people whose reviews I read recommend. Anya @ On Starships and Dragonwings gave it 5 stars.

4. His Majesty’s Dragon (Temeraire series) by Naomi Novik–And another highly recommended book. I think Lark @ The Bookwyrm’s Hoard was the first blogger to mention this book to me. She gave the book 5 stars.

5. Underground by Kat Richardson (and the whole Greywalker series)–recommended by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer as a series I would like. I’ve read the first two books in the series and liked them a lot. Kimba gave this book 5 stars.

6. Memory Zero by Keri Arthur (and others in the Spook Squad series)–recommended by Lark @ The Bookwyrm’s Hoard

7. Cress by Marissa Meyer–This series is very popular, recommended by many bloggers and I’ve read the first two books and like them a lot.

8. Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie–This book won the Hugo, Nebula, British Science Fiction, Locus and Arthur C. Clarke Awards for 2013. Nathan @ Fantasy Book Barn gave this book 5 stars.

9. The Apple Orchard by Susan Wiggs–recommended by Lark @ The Bookwyrm’s Hoard

10. The Jack Reacher series (Killing Floor, book 1) by Lee Child–recommended by Li at Me and My Books

Sunday Post: August 17

rp_sundaypostmeme13.jpg

 

The Sunday Post is a meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

I like this meme because it gives me an opportunity to take a look back at last week and forward to next week in both my personal life and my blog and book life! I also like to see what other people are doing and what books everyone is reading. This is a great meme to take part in every week and I thank Kimba for hosting it!

 

Last Week

Home & blogBailey_081614

My older daughter visited last weekend. She left Sunday to go home. We talked her into a short detour and went to visit the puppies. That also gave us a chance to ask questions and make sure we’re ready for the puppy on Saturday. So exciting.

The puppy–Bailey–a black Labrador Retriever–came home with my daughter and I yesterday. She already comes pretty well when we call her name, rode home in the crate with a minimum of fuss and is so much fun! I’m putting up a picture of her. I’m a proud grandma! I’m sure I’ll be adding photos for the next few weeks while I’m here…LOL

I’ve spent some time reading and blogging, visiting other blogs and getting caught up. I had a backlog of comments I had missed. I think I got caught up.

 Blog posts

Books

What I’m reading

The Heiress Effect by Courtney Milan

Unhinged by A. G. Howard (audiobook)

What I read this week

Break In by Dick Francis (audiobook)

Suddenly Last Summer by Sarah Morgan

E-books & Audiobooks bought (or free)

The Magicians & The Magician King by Lev Grossman

Underground by Kat Richardson

John Golden: Freelance Debugger by Django Wexler

Skinwalker by Faith Hunter

Audiobooks (2 for 1 sale and Daily Deals on Audible)

Hammered by Kevin Hearne

The Rose and the Thorn by Michael J. Sullivan

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson

Izzy and Lenore by Jon Katz (I bet you can tell why I got this one!)

Bellwether by Connie Willis

Jhereg by Steven Brust

Around the internetUprooted

A new series by Naomi Novik

Uprooted–described as a dark fairy tale. Not too much info here, but it doesn’t come out until June 2015.  I love the cover of this new book. Naomi Novik is the author of the Temeraire series (which I haven’t read, but plan to!)

Next Week

Home & blog

Lots of puppy stuff this next week! I’m taking care of her during the day so I’m getting ready for that! She’s a bundle of energy. I hope I get time for reading and some blogging!

Posts

  • Top Ten Tuesday
  • TBR Review: The Heiress Effect by Courtney Milan
  • Review: Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey
  • Sunday Post

What books did you collect last week? What are you planning next week?

Review: The Escape by Mary Balogh

the-escape-whitedress

The Escape
by Mary Balogh
Series: The Survivors’ Club, Book 3
Genre: Historical Romance
Published by Dell, 2014
E-book, Purchased
394 pages
Grade: B+
Synopsis: In this poignant novel of longing and salvation, a hopeful widow and a resilient war hero discover the promise of love’s magic and new beginnings.

After surviving the Napoleonic Wars, Sir Benedict Harper is struggling to move on, his body and spirit in need of a healing touch. Never does Ben imagine that hope will come in the form of a beautiful woman who has seen her own share of suffering. After the lingering death of her husband, Samantha McKay is at the mercy of her oppressive in-laws – until she plots an escape to distant Wales to claim a house she has inherited. Being a gentleman, Ben insists that he escort her on the fateful journey.

Ben wants Samantha as much as she wants him, but he is cautious. What can a wounded soul offer any woman? Samantha is ready to go where fate takes her, to leave behind polite society and even propriety in her desire for this handsome, honorable soldier. But dare she offer her bruised heart as well as her body? The answers to both their questions may be found in an unlikely place: in each other’s arms.

Includes Mary Balogh’s charming short story “The Suitor.”

And was that what his problem was? That wherever he went, he had to take himself with him? Was it in denial of that fact that he had decided to travel? The eternal quest to escape from himself, from the body that slowed him down, made him grotesque and ungainly, and stopped him from living the life he wanted to live?

and

It might have amused Samantha that Sunday service had become the big outing and social event of her week, if it had not also been so pathetic.

Cheers

  • I like Mary Balogh’s writing very much.
  • The setting in Wales sounds wonderful. (I want to visit Wales!)
  • I like all the characters in the series so much and it’s nice to catch glimpses of them in each book.
  • Ben is an inspiring character. He refuses to give up and he refuses to feel sorry for himself. However, he’s also not sure what to do with his life. He always thought he’d be a military officer and now that that’s impossible he’s lost his way.
  • Both Samantha and Ben must make a journey both to Wales and to decide who they really are and where their lives are going.
  • Ben is completely different from Samantha’s deceased husband who never tried to do anything for himself and insisted Samantha wait on him all the time.
  • The whole Survivors’ series deals with the effects of war on the survivors. Sometimes there are physical injuries, sometimes psychological injuries and sometimes both.
  • The way Ben and Samantha meet is pretty funny. Neither of them reacts well and they don’t want to see each other again, but Ben knows he needs to see her to apologize. They gradually see each other more as Samantha becomes friends with Ben’s sister.
  • The way Ben and Samantha fall in love is wonderful. I really feel they are in love and will stay in love.

Jeers

  • No jeers!

And a few thoughts . . .

The Escape
The Escape
  • I like Mary Balogh’s writing very much. She does a great jobs Making her characters unique. I always feel like I know them when I’m finished with her books.
  • I didn’t read The Suitor so I can’t comment on that story.
  • The above cover is apparently the cover of the Kindle edition (according to Goodreads). I like it much better than the cover I saw when I bought my Kindle book. (However, it does look a little too modern for me.)
  • The next book in this series–Only Enchanting–is due to come out at the end of October 2014. It is Flavian, Viscount Ponsonby’s story. I can’t wait!

Have you read this book? How did you like it?