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The Girl from Summer Hill: A Summer Hill Novel
The Girl from Summer Hill: A Summer Hill Novel
Offered by Random House LLC
Price: $13.99

5.0 out of 5 stars RRT's Review of THE GIRL FROM SUMMER HILL, May 3, 2016
A Summer Hill Novel, Book 1
Ballantine Books
ISBN: 978-1-101-88326-6
eBook ISBN: 978-1-101-88327-3
May 2016
Romantic Comedy

Summer Hill, Virginia, the Present

Although a highly regarded master chef in a famous restaurant in Washington, D.C., for personal reasons, Casey Reddick decided it was time for her to start afresh. She moved to a small town in Virginia and was allowed by a friend to live in the guest house on an otherwise uninhabited plantation. At least it was supposed to be empty. Just before dawn on a misty morning, a man appeared on her porch. At first Casey was terrified, but he proceeded to strip naked and to take a shower. (Who knew a shower was there!) As he soaped his gorgeous body, however, her fear left her and she relaxed and enjoyed the show. Tatton Landers, a Hollywood superstar of romantic movies, eventually saw a strange woman watching him and took her for a paparazzi. He stormed into the cottage to chase her off. After all, Tattwell is his ancestral home. Not being a fan of romantic films, Casey didn’t recognize him; she didn’t like his manner and angrily ordered him out of her house.

Thus began a highly antagonistic relationship between the two.

The friend who loaned the cottage to Casey renovated an old building on the grounds. He’s turning it into a theater where he can stage the play he wrote based on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. He plans several performances with the proceeds going to charity. Perhaps he can even get Tate and his action actor friend to take part.

THE GIRL FROM SUMMER HILL is wonderful . . . funny and gripping with many things going on with a large number of divergent characters. I finished it way past my usual bedtime. My only problem was keeping all the people straight in my mind. They have names and nicknames, sometimes screen names, and are often referred to by the names of the Austen characters they play. Besides that, the relationships can be confusing. Casey has several half-siblings, for instance. You will find out why along the way.

Like Casey watching Tate, I eventually just relaxed and enjoyed the Casey/Tate story and the rest of the subplots along with it. I can’t wait for the next episode.

Jane Bowers
Romance Reviews Today

Scandalous Endeavors
Scandalous Endeavors

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This reckons without Lady Amelia's love for her home and a bon- deep streak of ..., January 18, 2015
Three Worlds Press -
ASIN: B00QH0PGNS (at Amazon)
BN ID: 2940149991846 (at Barnes & Noble)
December 2012
Short Historical Romance eBook

London 1842

Sadly, Nineteen year-old Amelia Cosgrove finds herself an orphan with only one remaining relative, her maternal Uncle Lewis, who lives on his plantation in America. But Amelia is not just an orphan. When her father's title was created, it had a special provision: it can pass to a female heir if no male heir exists. So now she is Lady Amelia, Viscountess of Everthorne, with a house in London, an estate in the country, and a tidy fortune. All of which she much leave behind to live in America with Uncle Lewis, her guardian, until she reaches twenty-one. This reckons without Lady Amelia's love for her home and a bone-deep streak of stubbornness. With the help of her good friend Lady Sarah and family friend Her Grace, the Duchess of Abernathy, Amelia gets her uncle to agree to leave her behind in England for two months, with the duchess as chaperone, while she prepares for the move. At least that was the excuse. What she really plans is to find a suitable gentleman to serve as her husband, even if she has to compromise him into offering marriage.

So Amelia moves in with the duchess, and though she is in mourning--she hates the black she must wear, with no disrespect to her much-loved father--she hopes to compromise Sarah's brother in the library. It doesn't go as planned, no thanks to the duchess's troubling nephew Richard, Duke of Goldstone. Wouldn't you think Amelia would set her traps for him? He's single and gorgeous and does strange things to her innards. But he's a Scottish duke who--horrors--lives in Scotland!

Amelia is the focus of SCANDALOUS ENDEAVORS. The point of view is all hers, and we get to know her well. The rest of the cast serves as foil to her sometimes outrageous doings. It's a light tale, with amusing antics by Amelia and growing (lustful) attraction between her and Richard. But no way would she willingly leave her beloved England. . . .

Jane Bowers
Romance Reviews Today

Staged to Death (A Caprice De Luca Mystery)
Staged to Death (A Caprice De Luca Mystery)
by Karen Rose Smith
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $7.99
67 used & new from $0.01

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars New Direction for a Favorite, December 4, 2013
STAGED TO DEATH – Karen Rose Smith
A Caprice De Luca Mystery, Book 1
Kensington Books
ISBN: 978-0-7582-8484-6
December 2013
Cozy Mystery

Present Day Kismet, Pennsylvania

Caprice De Luca stages houses for sale. After she has had the sellers de-clutter the home, they decide on a theme to present the house at its most desirable. Her open house showings reflect the themes even up to the catering done by Caprice’s sister Nikki. The showing of the Winslow mansion reflects a rather medieval theme to go along with architecture that her friends, Ted and Roz Winslow, came up with when they built. The showing is a success…except for Caprice’s spying Ted kissing another woman. Caprice debates whether or not to tell her friend, but the decision is moot some days later when Caprice and Roz, together, discover Ted dead on the floor of his sword room, a dagger in his back.

As is often the case, the prime suspect in a murder is the spouse, and so it is with Roz. But Roz is Caprice’s friend, and Caprice is positive Roz did not kill Ted. She has already taken Roz under her wing and is determined to prove her innocent, even if she has to find the killer herself.

STAGED TO DEATH has a large cast of characters. There are seven alone in the De Luca family: Caprice, her brother and two sisters; her parents and grandmother, and that’s not counting sister Bella’s husband and two children. Then there are other friends and the people she does business with. Kismet is a small town, and we get to meet some interesting persons who further the plot and provide local color—and suspects.

At thirty-two and single, Caprice has suffered two disappointments in her love life and has a hard time trusting men. However, Ms. Smith has a long backlist of warm family based romance novels, so her foray into writing mysteries is not devoid of family or romance. This will be an ongoing series, however, so in this first book we just get intimations of two possible future developments. After all, brother Vince and sister Nikki are single. . . .

You will also need to pay attention to everyone, for we don’t learn who the murderer is until Caprice does.

A word to the wise: have a snack handy because there is cooking and eating involved, even recipes in the back of the book. For a taste—and to get to know Caprice—check out [...] .

Jane Bowers
Romance Reviews Today

April's Promise (Forever Love Series Book 1)
April's Promise (Forever Love Series Book 1)
Price: $2.99

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars April's Promise from RRT, June 21, 2013
APRIL'S PROMISE - Karen Rose Smith
Forever Love Series, Book 1
Amazon Digital Services
June 2013
Short Contemporary Romance

Present Day Cedar Corners, Virginia

Several years ago, two good people were falling in love with each other. Gabe, an entrepreneur with his own business, was ready for marriage, but April, a financial analyst, was afraid of it. Her fear led her to take a year's job in Singapore for her Boston firm, leaving behind a wounded Gabe. Then April's sister Vanessa captured Gabe's interest, and he was charmed by her. They married, but eight months ago, an accident left Gabe a widower with a captivating daughter of three. He's a great daddy, and with the help of a nanny is getting along quite well, but then the nanny's own family needs her for several months. Working at home and caring full time for little Stephie isn't easy. His mother-in-law, Winnifred, steps in and sends April, now back in Boston, to Gabe's aide.

Here is April's dilemma: she still loves Gabe, but she has a secret she promised her dying sister that she would never reveal, but as it concerns Stephie, doesn't Gabe have the right to know? But she also promised to look after Stephie, and she would never want to do anything that could hurt her. April is able to take time off and ends up moving in. Gabe sees in her all the things he once admired, and the old attraction stirs again. The situation is explosive, and it doesn't help that his best friend seems to be taking an interest in April as well. And she doesn't seem to mind.

Very much a character driven story, in APRIL'S PROMISE we get to know April well and are allowed into Gabe's mind and heart as he examines the present and the past. We meet Winnifred and learn what shaped her daughters. We also meet Gabe's friend Nicholas, who will star in the next Forever Love tale. For a warm, uplifting romance, add APRIL'S PROMISE to your to-be-read list.

At the moment, APRIL'S PROMISE is only available in a digital edition, but Ms. Smith hopes print and audio versions will be out before long, perhaps by the end of July.

Jane Bowers
Romance Reviews Today

A Regency Christmas Eve (Signet Regency Romance)
A Regency Christmas Eve (Signet Regency Romance)
by Diane Farr
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
52 used & new from $0.01

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All Five Keepers, October 18, 2000
One rarely encounters an anthology such as this where all the novellas are equally appealing, though this should be no surprise considering the five Signet stars represented here. Nothing more need be added to the abundance of warmth, love, humor and poignancy found between the covers of A REGENCY CHRISTMAS EVE.
LITTLE MIRACLES, Barbara Metzger On the night before Christmas, the creatures were stirring--stirring up a bit of trouble. Well, actually, on two successive Christmas Eves they fail in communicating a secret to man; a secret only the resident rodents remember. Once again, their intent for the approaching season is to bring prosperity to themselves, to the Village of Lower Winfrey and to the Church of St. Cecelia's in the Trees. If they are instrumental in bringing lovers together as well, that is surely in the spirit of the season.
Beware of Barbara Metzger; she'll put smile lines on your face. Her way with words is as delightful as the meanings they convey.
THE MARRIAGE STAKES, Allison Lane After Miss Sophie Landiss rescues her very young, widowed and nearly to term half-sister Caroline from a possessive aunt-in-law, a broken carriage wheel halts their long flight home to Cumberland. Their chance rescuer seeks a temporary respite from Westlake Abbey and a large houseparty that includes all his relations, two dozen eligible young ladies and their hopeful papas and mamas. All await Christmas Eve, when Damon must name his intended bride, the next Countess of Westlake.
While suspense builds, a moving friendship develops between Sophie and Damon, two intelligent, decent and mature individuals. Read this endearing story to find out if Damon will recognize the treasure under his nose when Allison Lane treats readers to a lively expose of a 'marriage mart' taken to extremes.
THE GIFT OF THE SPOONS, Nancy Butler Desperate to help his son recover from a wasting disease, Christopher Herne's last hope sends him to a cottage in Chatham Wood to find the wisewoman healer, Pippa Spoon. Expecting a crone, he finds a young woman instead. Pippa hasn't the healing powers of her mother, but what power she has may well prove sufficient to heal both wounded spirits, Christopher's and his son's.
THE GIFT OF THE SPOONS will warm your hearts as the magic of Christmas joins forces with older mysteries under Nancy Butler's masterful touch.
THE RECKLESS MISS RIPLEY, Diane Farr Glad of the warmth and the passable accommodations to be had at the Coaches and Horses Inn on such a nasty night, Fred Bates takes his ease before continuing down the coaching road to Bath on his journey home for Christmas. At least, that's his plan before a lone female stumbles in from the snow and the cold--before Miss Claudia Ripley turns her beguiling smile his way.
With a lovable hoyden for a heroine, a thoroughly nice hero, and all the humorous banter that Diane Farr does so well, THE RECKLESS MISS RIPLEY becomes a delightful road romance.
THE CHRISTMAS THIEF, Edith Layton When his brother dies, Lt. Major Maxwell Evers leaves war behind to take up civilian life and his responsibilities toward his new barony and his orphaned niece, Gwenn. He also plans, at long last, to spend the rest of his life with his great love, Lizabeth. On his way home, however, he chances upon a newspaper article describing the failure of the venture in which all his funds are invested. Max hits bottom so hard that he must toil at hard labor, earning barely enough to settle himself and Gwenn in the country. Christmas is coming, and Max is determined to have a gift for Gwenn, even if he must steal it.
Max may be a bumbler as a thief, but he's a wonderful character--a true hero. The trials this honorable man goes through when pressed to do a wrong will tickle your funny bone while tugging on your heartstrings. Edith Layton's tale is a fittingly emotional conclusion to a collection of delightful Christmas stories.
Romance Reviews Today

Mustang Annie
Mustang Annie
by Rachelle Morgan
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
37 used & new from $0.01

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A new-to-me author. A very nice surprise., September 15, 2000
If you like frontier stories of people who overcome hardships, you'll love Brett and Annie as they struggle against their pasts and the attraction they feel toward each other while following a herd of wild horses. Ms Morgan created great characters who tug at the heart strings--an adventure, a romance and a two hanky read. ~ Romance Reviews Today ~ Coming Soon

Ride for the Roses
Ride for the Roses
by Christina Kingston
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
30 used & new from $0.01

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars W hy hasn't this sleeper made a bigger splash?, April 6, 2000
Serendipity brought RIDE FOR THE ROSES to my attention. I had never heard of the book or its author till I found it in my PO Box to review for Romance Communications. It only took a few pages before I realized it was a gem. The heroine is uniquely strong and intelligent, the hero one of those complex rakes so many of us love, and the minor characters engaging. The plot is many-layered, with excitement, suspense, humor and mild sensuality. This author is a dark horse who will surely win, place and show in future.

The Marplot Marriage
The Marplot Marriage
by Beth Andrews
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
4 used & new from $3.44

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No Marring of This Plot., January 8, 2000
Arriving home to Camberly hours before he was expected, Charles Hargood went immediately to bed and to sleep. It is hard to say who was more surprised when he awoke snuggled next to his cousin's widow, he or Phoebe, who had been assigned his room for the night by his mother. Perhaps it was Phoebe's friend, Letitia, who found them, and whose scream awakened the household. It didn't really matter for no one, least of all his fiancée and her fearsome mother, would believe that nothing had happened--nothing at all.
This is just the beginning of the tale of a somewhat stuffy hero and a mischievous hoyden of a heroine as they find themselves landed in marriage. Sparks of antagonism had flown between the two from the day they met. Would society and their own natures let those sparks ignite into love?
One of the best loved themes of the Regency romance, the marriage of convenience, is very well done by the author who has a fine feel for the era and its customs and language. While the plot may not be new, Charles and Phoebe are an engaging pair who give it freshness. Both protagonists are fully formed characters who are shown to act and react with consistency. Enough of their histories was revealed to engage our sympathy as they play against each other and their circumstances. Both are thoroughly likable with admirable qualities but with exasperating flaws to overcome. There are well-drawn minor characters, some friend, some foe. The latter provide Phoebe with some of her wittiest scenes.
Beth Andrews is a polished writer who moves the people and the story along smoothly. The bumps on the way are those met by the characters and not the reader. THE MARPLOT MARRIAGE is either a thoroughly enjoyable romp with an affecting romance, or a gripping love story with some very funny bits. In either case, it will satisfy the taste of any Regency lover.
Jane Bowers (AKA Lily Martin) Romance Communications

The Legend Mackinnon
The Legend Mackinnon
by Donna Kauffman
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $7.99
78 used & new from $0.01

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really Out of the Ordinary, December 16, 1999
I totally enjoyed this unusual book with its three couples as heros and heroines from different ages. It was so well done that I could connect to all the characters--each had a distinct personality. Though Cailean was my favorite heroine, the three were nearly equally divided among my friends' favorites. Choosing among the three heroes was not an easy task; I guess I could take any of them.

Scandal's Bride (Cynster Novels)
Scandal's Bride (Cynster Novels)
by Stephanie Laurens
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $7.99
151 used & new from $0.01

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Bar Cynsters work for me!, October 14, 1999
I lIked the Bar Cynsters when I first met them in DEVIL'S BRIDE, with their love of family and their belief in marital fidelity. And the author gives them and the family heroines to match them. The only drawback I find, especially in A RAKE'S VOW, is that the hero and heroine get together too soon. I like the suspense and sexual tension generated before the consummation. I'm sure many readers enjoy long and frequent love scenes, but, for me, they get in the way of the story, no matter how well done. Still, I plan to buy, read and keep the whole series.

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