Book Review -Death Wears a Mask

SUMMARY

Following a tenuous reconciliation, Amory Ames and her husband Milo arrive in London. An old family friend invites them to dinner with the hopes that Amory can solve the mystery of some missing jewelry.

However, the night they put their plan into action at a masked ball, her friend’s nephew is found dead with pieces of the missing jewelry in his pocket. Unwittingly, Amory finds herself right in the middle of another murder investigation. But that isn’t the only surprise.  When the police investigator comes to interview her, she meets a familiar face from her first murder case.

In the meantime, Amory and Milo are still finding their footing in their newly restored marriage. But past hurts and doubts arise when an incriminating photo of Milo is published in the newspaper. Amory once again finds herself questioning whether she can trust the man she loves. At the same time she is pursued by another charming, wealthy man while also trying to solve two linked crimes. Continue reading “Book Review -Death Wears a Mask”

Book Review -Across the Blue

SUMMARY

Isabella Grayson is the daughter of a self-made newspaper magnate. Her parents are pushing her to marry in order to increase her family’s social standing. But Isabella has no interest in the old money, aristocratic young men that her parents prefer. In fact, she has little interest in marriage at all.  Bella has a secret dream of publishing as a journalist in one of her father’s papers. She has a particular interest in the brand new field of aviation.

James Drake is an orphan who has risen above his tragic beginnings. With the help of his mentor, James is designing an airplane he hopes will bring him enough prestige to start his own company. While test piloting his plane, he crash lands at the Grayson’s new country estate, where he meets Bella.

Striking a deal with her parents to encourage marriage minded suitors, Bella is given permission to write a series of articles on a contest for pilots to be the first to cross the English Channel. She and James develop an appreciation for each other as Bella uses him as a source for her articles. In addition, she decides to help James track down the mystery of his birth parents. However, though their friendship is acceptable, any romantic interest between them is not. As their feelings for each other deepen, they must balance their personal relationship with their professional interests.

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Book Series Review -Creek Country Saga; Beneath the Blackberry Moon, Books 1&2

SUMMARY

Adela McGirth is thankful her life is spared after a run-in with a small party of Creek Indians in a meadow by her home. Little does she know that this will not be the only meeting with the Indian warrior who saves her life.

An Indian attack on the fort where Adela and her mother and sisters are staying for protection, leaves her fiance and hundreds others dead. But an old connection between her mother and another Indian sees them saved but taken captive.

Upon arrival in the village of Kossati, Adela once again catches the eye of her savior, Totka Lawe. He is impressed by her courage and compassion and a spark of attraction ignites between them.

Despite their differences of language, culture and religious beliefs, Totka determines to claim the female he names Copper Woman for himself. Meanwhile Adela, her mother and sister must learn to survive and understand a very different way of life.

The longer Adela lives with her captors, the more she becomes Copper Woman as she builds relationships with those whose hearts are really not that different from her own. And the more she finds her heart bound to the warrior Totka, whose desire to care for his clan in peace conflicts with the warring desire to defend their lands.

Despite a deep love between them, Totka and Copper Woman wonder whether the differences between them are greater than their ability to overcome. Continue reading “Book Series Review -Creek Country Saga; Beneath the Blackberry Moon, Books 1&2”

Book Review -You’re the Cream in My Coffee

SUMMARY

Since the death of her fiancé Jack Lund ten years ago in the Great War, Marjorie Corrigan has remained in her small town, working in her father’s dry-goods store, letting life pass her by. Although she is now engaged to a great catch, she doesn’t love him like she did Jack. With grave doubts about marrying the most sought after bachelor in town, Marjie heads off to the big city of Chicago for a brief stay.

But Chicago makes her feel truly alive for the first time in forever. And when she bumps into a stranger who looks exactly like Jack, she knows she can’t return home. With the help of her new friend Dot, Marjie secures an apartment and a job with Marshall Fields where the familiar looking stranger is also employed.

While trying to reconcile the fact that Peter Bachmann looks exactly like her lost love Jack, Marjie is also experiencing a personal emotional journey of discovery. As she grows and changes so too does her desire for her current fiancé and her life back home. With her wedding quickly approaching and Chicago feeling more and more like home, Marjie has some big decisions to make. Continue reading “Book Review -You’re the Cream in My Coffee”

Book Review -A Dangerous Legacy

 SUMMARY

It is the turn of the century in New York City. Lucy and her brother Nick have inherited a decades old family legal feud  which requires all their resources to fight. While Lucy and Nick live frugally, their uncle lives like a king, thwarting their every attempt at justice.

Lucy’s work as a telegraph operator with the AP news service puts her in direct contact with the British Sir Colin Beckwith, who works for Reuters. Though they are attracted to each other, their companies’ rivalry precludes any type of relationship. Not to mention that Colin, who bears a noble name and heritage, is in New York seeking a wealthy wife to prop up his crumbling estate.

At the same time Lucy and Nick’s legal drama takes an unexpected turn, Colin learns something about her which could put their case in jeopardy. At the same time Lucy runs across a news item which could ruin Colin’s reputation and thereby his marriage hopes.  In an agreement of quid pro quo, Lucy and Colin decide to join forces while fighting their mutual attraction. Continue reading “Book Review -A Dangerous Legacy”

Book Review -Murder at the Brightwell

SUMMARY

When Amory Ames family friend and ex-fiancé Gil shows up at her home  asking for help, Amory agrees. Gil hopes that Amory will be able to sway his sister Emmeline from making a bad marriage.  He believes Amory’s own experience in marrying for love only to be disappointed might be the voice of reason Emmeline needs.

Amory accompanies Gil to the seaside resort of Brightwell. Here they meet up with Emmeline, her fiancé, and a host of other acquaintances. Amory’s straightforward task turns into much more when a member of their party turns up dead. Matters are further complicated when her estranged husband Milo makes an unexpected appearance at the Brightwell. Not only is Amory torn between two men she has loved, but she also can’t seem to keep her nose out the murder investigation. It’s a toss up which is more dangerous for Amory, looking for a killer or dealing with matters of her heart. Continue reading “Book Review -Murder at the Brightwell”

Book Review -At the Edge of Summer

SUMMARY

When Clare Ross’ father dies, her mother’s close friend whisks her away from Scotland to her family home in France. The lonely, grieving Clare finds a kindred spirit in Luc Crépet, the son of the household. She also finds understanding and encouragement of her artistic skills in this slightly bohemian family. Clare and Luc spend a golden summer together, before her grandfather unexpectedly comes to claim her.

Although they are separated, first by distance and then by war, Luc and Clare nurture their bond through letters. Eventually, this connection is severed and they lose track of each other. Until one day after the war, a familiar face walks into the prosthesis studio where Clare works. Though Clare has finally found her place, Luc has lost his. But Clare refuses to give up on the boy she once knew and is determined to rescue him as he once rescued her. Can a man scarred physically and emotionally by war and betrayal recapture the love and contentment of that one summer so long ago? Continue reading “Book Review -At the Edge of Summer”

Book Review -To The Farthest Shores

SUMMARY

Six years after the only man she ever loved left and broke her heart, Jenny Bennett is simply existing in her job as a civilian nurse for the Army. But when she happens to run into Ryan Gallagher and his daughter on base, it stirs up mixed emotions in her.

Ryan never intended to leave Jenny behind when he went to Japan, but his duty and commitment to his country forced him to make a  heart rending decision. He never forgot Jenny, but expected her to move on. When he finally meets Jenny again, he yearns for her forgiveness if not her acceptance.

When Ryan requires Jenny’s help in preparing his replacement they are forced to work and live together in a remote area. Ryan’s position with the government requires absolute secrecy which is a problem for a woman who longs for security and stability. But if Ryan succeeds in his plan, he will be able to remain in America and hopefully win Jenny back. Continue reading “Book Review -To The Farthest Shores”

Book Review -Phantom of the Opera

Having recently written reviews for both Andrew Lloyd Webber’s film version of The Phantom of the Opera as well as a sequel novel, I decided it was high time I actually read Gaston Leroux’s original novel.  As I’ve written in an earlier post, I don’t usually enjoy classic literature. I generally find it long-winded and with dour hidden message about the evils of life.  But when writing about film adaptations and book sequels, reading the source material is a must.

SUMMARY

For those unfamiliar with the story it is somewhat of a Beauty and the Beast type tale. The orphaned Christine Daae works as a dancer at the Paris Opera House, but has secretly been taking lessons from a figure she knows as the Angel of Music.  At the same time the opera’s new managers are under the impression that the stories of the Opera’s ghost are just an elaborate practical joke perpetrated by the former owners. Rumors and tragic events which have occurred are all linked to this mysterious ghost.

Meanwhile, a young Raoul, Vicomte de Chagny returns to Paris and notices his old playmate Christine. Initially Christine ignores him and then sends him mixed signals which drives the immature but lovelorn Raoul to distraction. He is never quite assured of Christine’s affection, but eventually they play at an engagement. Christine finally confesses her love, knowing it is for naught since she is bound to her music tutor.

Everything comes to a head when Christine disappears from the stage in the middle of a performance. Continue reading “Book Review -Phantom of the Opera”

Book Review – For Love of the Phantom

For Love of the Phantom is a sequel to Gaston Leroux’s The Phantom of the Opera. For those unfamiliar with the story, the original novel  is set in a Paris Opera house in the early years of the 1900’s. It features an innocent young orphan woman named Christine. She is secretly tutored in music by a man she only knows as the Angel of Music. Eventually, it is revealed that this same Angel is also the man feared by others as the Phantom of the Opera. Christine becomes embroiled in a love triangle with the Phantom and her childhood friend Raoul, the Comte de Chagny. Although, the Phantom initially wishes to keep Christine with him, using Raoul’s life as a bargaining chip, Christine’s compassion convinces him to let them both go.

Book Summary

For Love of the Phantom picks up right where the original Phantom leaves off. Raoul and Christine escape the Opera House, marry and eventually settle in London. Erik, the Phantom manages to fake his own death to throw his old nemesis, the Persian, off his trail. Erik then follows Christine to London, determining to remain unseen but near the woman he loves.

But all is not well. Christine discovers that Raoul’s love for her is more as a beautiful possession and not simply for herself. He also forbids her to sing, fearing that it will remind her of her divided loyalties to the Phantom, whom he despises. Christine’s fairy tale idea of love is slowly dismantled as Raoul disregards her wishes until she finally discovers his infidelity. Christine remains secluded in her home, her only friend, an elderly gardener known as Peck.

Additionally, there is also a killer at large, whom the Persian believes could be Erik. But Erik is determined to protect Christine from the man brutally murdering London’s women, while still maintaining his disguise as Peck. As the story of Christine, Erik and Raoul continues, what will the outcome be?

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