Books Reviewed by Moi!

All these novels and novellas are available via Amazon Kindle and some in paperbacks! 
I review books I enjoyed reading = simple as that. 
Books I didn't enjoy (for whatever reason) I will not waste valuable time criticising by nit-picking nor will I tell other readers why I didn't like a said book. 

There's a well-known saying of which I use as a watchword to book reviewing:

"One wo/man's meat another's poison".


In Charlotte, the author takes us beyond Pride & Prejudice and Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy's trials and tribulations, to that of Mr. Collins, a thoroughly despicable creature, whom, as a character in Jane Austen's classic P&P was in all honesty her party piece. Mr. Collins appeared as a larger than life toadying and lecherous would-be suitor to Elizabeth Bennet, and one could almost hear his shuddering intakes of breath (sucked between teeth) and as a reader paid witness to drool at the side of his mouth.

I'm not sure how, but Ms Aminadra shines new light on Mr. Collins and one wonders if it was possible to have sorely misunderstood Jane Austen's previous characterisation of Collins in P&P as an obsequious and vile tongued manipulator. Charlotte, however, remains reasonably true to her original characterisation: seeking sense of direction and a house all her own, and views marriage with Mr. Collins a necessity at the outset. Likewise, as in P&P, Lady Catherine de Bourgh is true to character, and then comes the twist as Charlotte rallies strength to rebel and Mr. Collins ever the submissive to his patroness Lady de Bourgh suddenly becomes beholden to Mr. Darcy.

As a novel this is a fun read and highly amusing, though I'm not sure the Mr. Darcy of Austen's P&P would readily have paid court to Collins. Nevertheless, this is not an Austen novel, this is what amounts to a spin-off and "what might have been" had Jane Austen written a sequel to P&P.

Available at Amazon 

Where the Bulbul Sings by Serena Fairfax 
A romance, yes, but a tragic romance.

After reading the first few pages to this novel I knew I wanted to read on. Set against the backdrop of India at a time when the sun never set on the British Empire, the author portrays the poignant plight of a young Anglo-Indian woman torn between two cultures. Unable to claim either as her rightful place in society, and although privileged in the sense the British afford preferential working status to Anglo-Indians, their Indian counterparts envy and despise them. As with all cultural divides there are exceptions to the friendship rulebook and cross-cultural bonds occur for all manner of reasons. But for the heroine, although beautiful and intelligent, life has cruel twists and turns. Whilst Hermie dreams of her Home, as that of England, she loses her heart to the Maharajah of Walipur, but in his little black book of pleasure sex is one thing and love another. Devastated by turn of events, England is again her dream goal and one man becomes her ticket to Home. Can she be sure her dreams are his, too? 

Where the Bulbul Sings reminded me of John Master’s famous novel Bhowani Junction. However, Serena Fairfax’s characters are just as stunning and her writing equally strong in projecting the atmosphere of India throughout the specified period.


Historical Romance.

A Scandalous Countess – Jo Beverly:

With lyrical prose and sparkling witty dialogue, Jo Beverly paints a landscape of 18th century Georgian England in which intrigue, lust and romance culminates in a life lesson Georgia Lady Maybury will never forget. Once enchantress to the elite of the beau monde and eager to shed her widow’s weeds, she has first to clamber from the fall of scandal and dip her toes in the waters’ of the upper echelons of society: long before any hope of her former position as that of darling to the beau monde can be visualised or for that matter, regained. But another lesson, a lesson in love is to be learned along the way when a man, not of her intended station, steals her heart, her breath and poses the greatest dilemma of her life. A Scandalous Countess is a delightful fun read, and the hero Lord Dracy, although deadly sexual remains honourable throughout: if a tad wicked!


Review -Gifted copy:

This is an intriguing rendition of Jane Lane's brave assistance in Charles II's perilous trek through the English countryside, and fits precisely with Charles' own accounts of his safe escape to France. Beautifully written as fiction based on true fact, the reader is presented with a romantic-minded young woman given to flights of fancy. 

On the brink of sexual self-discovery: albeit a bit late in the day at age twenty-five, a young handsome Gypsy masturbating in the orchard heightens Jane's interest all things sexual pleasure. Needless to say, when a twenty-one-year old darkly handsome individual (Charles Prince of Wales, destined to be King Charles II) and looking not unlike the Gypsy fellow, Jane is smitten. No wonder then that fantasy soon becomes reality and Jane indulges Charles in a somewhat reckless manner.

As an avid sceptic to the belief Jane was ever his mistress per se, I nonetheless enjoyed the fictitious element of romance between Jane and Charles Stuart. After all, he had a voracious appetite for female flesh, and it's not so difficult to imagine that an infatuated Jane (older than him) would be easy prey to the likes of a royal rake. That said, given Charles' virility, I think Jane would without doubt have given birth to a King's bastard had she been his mistress in the true sense of the word mistress. The King's Mistress is a lovely story and it does highlight Jane's immense bravery and, gives account of Charles undying respect for those who helped him when in desperate need. Many of his followers were rewarded grandly, none more than Jane who not only risked her life, her family too risked all for the sake of a king


A billion dollar electronic heist, industrial espionage and all within the exotic business of beauty and perfumery, this seems an ideal assignment for Adriana, a hotshot IT security specialist. Hired to find the missing loot, can she also uncover the identity of the culprit behind a stolen skin product formula worth millions to Matt Granger? While the tech business of IT presents few problems, Matt Granger proves to be a major distraction. He not only hinders her investigations with pleasurable asides he impacts on her in a way she has sworn would never happen again after major betrayal by her ex-lover. So, can she wrap up the assignment and walk away from Matt? To find out you’ll have to buy the book.    


Historical Romance Novellas.

This is a delightful Regency romance, in which the Lady Violet Flowers believes her imperfections contribute to lack of offers to walk out with young gentlemen. A brave soul nonetheless and of caring disposition, Violet doesn't think twice about jumping in to a river to save a child from drowning and, triumphantly returns the girl safe to her father. Ellis Viscount Haverlane, supposedly in deep mourning for his late beloved wife displays immense gratitude toward her. Needless to say, Violet's wet gown clinging to her contours fails to pass unnoticed by his lordship, despite his having a mistress in the wings. And so, it can be said this particular incident is where the Lady's Fate is set in motion. Both Ellis and Violet's crossing of paths will take them on a journey of discovery neither anticipates nor fully understands. And, while heartache and tears, in Violet's case tear her apart and set her to flight, utter despair and furious moods plague Viscount Haverlane whilst he engages in battle to be rid of a possessive mistress. Can Violet and Ellis ever find happiness, or will Violet wed another suitor now that she's blossomed into a slender temptress?


 Lovely romantic tale of young handsome Viscount Winsbarren, a rather amusing if wicked lady friend, a dour dowager duchess, and a young snip of a girl who loves him dearly but because of specific circumstances dare not reveal her true identity. The young viscount, of course, is man of impeccable tastes though somewhat prone to youthful clumsiness and manner brusque, which always seems to result in young ladies spurning his tentative advances. No wonder then the wicked Lady Penelope sets out to find him a wife. The way in which she selects suitable candidates for a wife to Winsbarren is such a fun read, and lovely twist ending. A must read for any fan of Jane Austen.


Sometimes little gems come along, and this little novella is one of those gems one feels proud to own!

Dancing with Fate is a delightful mixture of Greek myth and Welsh legends. A fantasy romance it is, true enough, yet it captures and enchants a reader into believing semblance of truth, for whence came the oral legend of Merlin (myrddin), and when might such have first captured the imagination of listeners?

Who can resist a Greek Goddess whom possesses power to enchant with help of a lyre and who dances in a captivating manner? No one it seems is safe from her charming engagements, but will Myrddin succumb to Terpischore and will he survive dangers that await him? Ah well, that you will have to find out for yourself by buying this lovely tale of myth, legend and romance.


Historical: "The Uncatchable Miss Faversham" by Elizabeth Moss .

Eleanor Faversham is renowned as the “Uncatchable Miss Faversham” by the Beau Monde. A woman of haughty disposition and heiress to a relative fortune, she bears no desire to be wed to any man: with exception of the one whose offer of marriage she refused outright some five years previous. However, a return to her home county of Warwickshire is called for, and once there formalities of polite society inflict purgatory upon both her and Nathaniel, Lord Sallinger. For when faced with Eleanor Faversham’s tempting and teasing ways, old hurts and desires mingle in a dangerous cocktail of lustful thoughts. Nathaniel finally succumbs to inner desires, and his act of male dominance sets Eleanor alight with renewed passion. But when self-restraint is summoned in the throes of unmitigated desire it is Eleanor who suffers the awfulness of rejection. Shocked by her own vulnerability to a broken heart and sexual hunger within she now understands the pain Nathaniel has endured since her hasty departure years beforehand. How can she survive this agony, this dire need for his body against hers? Ha ha, buy the book and find out. 


 Historical:   “A Dead Man’s Debt” by Grace Elliot.  

Set in 1780, Ranulph Lord Charing, is the ideal hero. Tending arrogant, a man of means with a mistress to boot, of hawkish good looks and superb horseman, he suddenly finds himself attracted to the delightfully charming Celeste Armitage. Torn between duty to a long-standing mistress and desire for young Celeste, he commits the unthinkable in wild moment of rash indulgence. News of his interest in Celeste soon stretches beyond the confines of Hazeledene House, and listened to with vindictive intent by his mistress. Forced by circumstance of a dead man’s debt and his mistress’ cunning, Ranulph has no choice but to sacrifice his own happiness and that of Celeste’s. And, without spoiling the plot, I can tell you there are twists and turns aplenty as truths come to light and debts settled, though not without heartache and much soul searching as Ranulph sets out to counter his mistress’ hold upon him.


Contemporary:    “His Leading Lady” by Paula Martin.

For those who love a sweet contemporary romance with smouldering sexual tension, “His Leading Lady” fits the bill. Set against the backdrop of theatre-land in the West end of London, and a new musical production nearing its opening night, the star of the show, Lora Harper, has vanished.  Naturally, Kyle Drummond, director of the show is none too pleased, and Lora’s sister suffers the brunt of his sharp-edged tongue when he comes knocking demanding to know where in hell Lora is. Stunned in more ways than one by Kyle’s fury, Jess nevertheless holds her own and makes a lasting impression on the one man who’s about to turn her world upside down and inside out. With Lora’s agent wishing to stall for time in order to salvage Lora’s career, Jess sees no alternative but to masquerade as her twin sister. But, as events unfold Jess ponders Kyle’s former relationship with Lora. Was it purely innocent?  And, she begins to wonder if Kyle sees only Lora when he kisses with passion in his eyes and fire in groin? Ha ha, to find out the answer, buy the book.   


Historical:   “Trade Winds” by Christina Courtenay.

It’s 1731 and Killian Kinross - a professional gambler and ladies man - throws the dice for the last time. Amazed by his own luck in a make or break game of chance, his win is set to change his life forever and dispatch him on a venture he never envisaged with a woman he’s never met. He trades Scotland for Sweden and once there, aims for a new and honest life: devoid of gambling, and a good way to escape his dark past. Whilst keen to learn the art of trading and of sailing the South China Seas, he encounters a prickly young miss whom stirs delightful sensations within. Miss Jessamin van Sandt, on the other hand seems immune to his charms, but as time passes and Jessamin uncovers a dark family secret of her own, they strike a business deal. But, to be married to a business partner in name only tests their resolve to remain as such. As they struggle with inner desire and physical attraction to one another, events soon tear them apart and their individual dilemma' momentarily solved. What happens next is for you to find out, because this is a fabulous story of love, trauma, adventure and lust in the snowy wastes of Sweden and on the high seas. The Scottish lilt throughout adds to Killian’s already charming attributes.     


Contemporary:  “This Can’t Be Love” by Debra St John.

This contemporary romance sets precedence for extreme conflict and unmitigated attraction between Jessica Hart and Zack Rawlings. The story begins with Jessica’s arrival at her grandfather’s cabin uninvited and unannounced, where she discovers a stranger in her grandfather’s bath. While she sets about him with verbal hell, he brazenly displays his assets and declares his right to be there as temporary janitor. Naturally, male hair bristles for various reasons and female resistance to manly charm increases, which effectively leans more toward war zone than pleasant country retreat. As tempers cool, frustrations of a different kind begin to sizzle, and the inevitable occurs in a most unexpected way. But, what feels good at the time, with hindsight can seem reckless. Jess rapidly builds metaphorical walls against Zach’s increasing lure to her inner needs. How this dilemma is resolved is for you to find out, but believe it, there’s much heartache ahead for both. So be prepared for a big surprise outcome.


Historical WWI:   “The Silver Locket” by Margaret James.

In this historical WWI drama, a little piece of Rose Courtenay’s heart has always belonged to Alexander Denham though she cannot and will not allow her self to consider that to be true. Plus, the English class system is strongly upheld by Rose’ parents, and they envisage their daughter married to a man of some means. Rose, though, is somewhat headstrong and has it in her head she will never marry. To that aim she rebels against her parents and leaves home and becomes a nurse. As war sweeps across Europe, she volunteers for service overseas and soon finds herself working aboard hospital trains and seconded to ambulance duties. Fate brings Rose and Alex together, and suddenly life takes on new meaning for both, as each declares their true feelings. But, numerous twists and turns in this WWI story set it apart from many others of similar ilk, and one often wonders can Rose and Alex ever find the happiness they seek from each other. I loved this novel, because it really brought alive the horrors of mud-laden trenches, not to mention Alex’s despair alongside heroic actions against all the odds of his surviving the awfulness of it all. And Rose is a heroine in her own right even though terrified by her own reckless behaviour and, acts of bravery.


Contemporary:  “Starting Over” by Sue Moorcroft. 

Tess is in a quandary: get married or run? She runs, and whilst on the last leg of her proposed new life in the village of Middledip, she collides with a breakdown truck. Brittle, vulnerable, upset, and a blooded nose, of course, it’s entirely the truck driver’s fault for having parked in a narrow country lane. On the other hand, Miles Rattenbury, mechanic-cum-proprietor of a local car workshop and classic car enthusiast, sees the obvious of someone not paying attention to bends in the road. So, this troubled meeting is set to change Tess’ life in more ways than one. And Miles, Ratty to his friends, has no idea the impact Tess will have upon him once settled in her idyllic cottage. A bit of a ladies man and not looking to a permanent relationship, Ratty soon finds himself drawn more and more to Tess despite her prickly nature. After all, when one has a dodgy motor, which has a tendency for regular breakdowns, Ratty is close at hand. Not unaware of her interest in him he plays a waiting game and renders her putty to his aloof if sexual appeal. But, the road of true love can be treacherous when old loves from the past drive centre stage. What occurs next is sometimes scary, funny and basically a lovely read with earthy characters in a village setting where gossip can make or break a loving relationship. Enjoy!