Tag Archives: Historical Romance

Review: Delilah: Treacherous Beauty (A Dangerous Beauty #3) by Angela Elwell Hunt

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About Delilah

A Complex and Compelling Glimpse at One of the Bible’s Baddest Girls

Life is not easy in Philistia, especially not for a woman and child alone. When beautiful, wounded Delilah finds herself begging for food to survive, she resolves that she will find a way to defeat all the men who have taken advantage of her. She will overcome the roadblocks life has set before her, and she will find riches and victory for herself.

When she meets a legendary man called Samson, she senses that in him lies the means for her victory. By winning, seducing, and betraying the hero of the Hebrews, she will attain a position of national prominence. After all, she is beautiful, she is charming, and she is smart. No man, not even a supernaturally gifted strongman, can best her in a war of wits.

My Review

Hunt does a wonderful job with her interpretation of Samson and Delilah.

Achish was beyond loathsome, he makes your skin crawl. The fact Hunt provided an in-depth back story for Delilah explained her actions were motivated far more than by greed alone, she was blinded by vengeance, still her end choice was heartbreaking. Samson despite his fall to temptation embraced his faith and carried out his mission.

Love the messages of faith, forgiveness, and temptation. Hunt managed to alter an unpleasant story into a work more satisfying with a different and complex perspective on Delilah than what the Bible depicts.

Thoroughly enamored by the A Dangerous Beauty series, Hunt crafts wonderful Christian Biblical fiction at its finest.

Delilah read fine as a standalone, however, I encourage you to read all the books in the A Dangerous Beauty series, all fabulously crafted.

About Angela Elwell Hunt11dBT86byQL

Christy-Award winner Angela Hunt writes for readers who have learned to expect the unexpected in novels from this versatile author. With over three million copies of her books sold worldwide, she is the best-selling author of more than 100 works ranging from picture books (The Tale of Three Trees) to novels.

Now that her two children have reached their twenties, Angie and her husband live in Florida with Very Big Dogs (a direct result of watching Turner and Hooch and Sandlot too many times). This affinity for mastiffs has not been without its rewards–one of their dogs was featured on Live with Regis and Kelly as the second-largest canine in America. Their dog received this dubious honor after an all-expenses-paid trip to Manhattan for the dog and the Hunts, complete with VIP air travel and a stretch limo in which they toured New York City.

Afterward, the dog gave out pawtographs at the airport.

Angela admits to being fascinated by animals, medicine, psychology, unexplained phenomena, and “just about everything” except sports. Books, she says, have always shaped her life— in the fifth grade she learned how to flirt from reading Gone with the Wind.

Her books have won the coveted Christy Award, several Angel Awards from Excellence in Media, and the Gold and Silver Medallions from Foreword Magazine’s Book of the Year Award. In 2007, her novel The Note was featured as a Christmas movie on the Hallmark channel. Romantic Times Book Club presented her with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006.

In 2006, Angela completed her Master of Biblical Studies in Theology degree and completed her doctorate in 2008. When she’s not home reading or writing, Angie often travels to teach writing workshops at schools and writers’ conferences. And to talk about her dogs, of course.

Expected publication: June 7th 2016 by Bethany House Publishers

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Filed under 2016, Fiction, May, Review

Review: Out In The World (Oliver & Jack #4) by Christina E. Pilz

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About Out In The World

An orphan and his street thief companion escape the confines of a workhouse where they have been awaiting trial and travel through England in search of family and home.

After escaping Axminster workhouse, Oliver and Jack go to Hale to meet Jack’s parents and sister. They then travel to Chertsey to visit Oliver’s Uncle Harry and Aunt Rose. But family is not always what it seems, and the quest for connection can sometimes lead to disappointment.

Exploring taverns and river bends along the way, both young men are driven by the idea of what a family is. Oliver wants to find a home, both for himself and Jack, searching for the security of a past he once knew. However, for Jack, Oliver is all the family he needs, and the here and now is all he has ever known.

My Review

Great writing, compelling characters.

I loved the mental and emotional connection Oliver and Jack shared, although subtle, it was approached nicely, in fact I wish Pilz delved into the connection much deeper. Undeniably attached to each other, hesitant, yet hopeful of a future, their commitment blossoms during a time when their love could at the very least land them jailed.

These two are challenged, trying to find a home, reconnecting with family, looking over their shoulder, keeping their feelings and desires secret from family and society, it’s a lot for this duo to handle, however, they rely and depend on one another and face the judgmental world together. Pilz paints the turmoil of Oliver and Jack wonderfully.

Backstory and present conditions leave the reader curious as to what will become of this affecting couple. Enough is alluded suggesting their past is rather haunting their future uncertain.

My only complaint, less intimate scenes with more dealing with fears and concerns, hopes and dreams, sharing emotionally. I’m a fan less is best when dealing with sexual scenarios. Also the narrative dragged a bit as they tramp from town to town figuring things out with nothing of merit really occurring. Pilz missed opportunities to expand on the couple sans intimate moments focusing on their bond and past really showing the authentic Oliver and Jack both singularly and collectively.

Historical romance fans with an affinity towards the Victorian era will enjoy Oliver and Jack as they navigate the future.

About Christina E. Pilz03_Christina E. Pilz

Christina was born in Waco, Texas in 1962. After living on a variety of air force bases, in 1972 her Dad retired and the family moved to Boulder, Colorado. There amidst the clear, dry air of the high plains, as the moss started to grow beneath her feet, her love for historical fiction began with a classroom reading of Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

She attended a variety of community colleges (Tacoma Community College) and state universities (UNC-Greeley, CU-Boulder, CU-Denver), and finally found her career in technical writing, which, between layoffs, she has been doing for 18 years. During that time, her love for historical fiction and old-fashioned objects, ideas, and eras has never waned.

In addition to writing, her interests include road trips around the U.S. and frequent flights to England, where she eats fish and chips, drinks hard cider, and listens to the voices in the pub around her. She also loves coffee shops, mountain sunsets, prairie storms, and the smell of lavender. She is a staunch supporter of the Oxford comma.

Published February 21st 2016 by Blue Rain Press

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Filed under 2016, Fiction, March, Review

Spotlight & Guest Post: Oktober Heat by Doris Dumrauf

02_Oktober HeatPublication Date: March 10, 2015
eBook & Paperback; 310 Pages
ISBN: 1507603452

In a 1958 West German village, twenty-one-year-old German police officer Walter Hofmann wants nothing more than to dance to the latest rock ëní roll tunes at the nearby American air base. But the girls flock to the easy-going GIs, their dollars, and their fancy cars. Worse yet, the entire countryóincluding his younger sisteróis ecstatic about the recent arrival of Private Elvis Presley.

Old World values and New World pop culture clash, even before a young woman gets killed near the base and the military arrests Walterís GI friend Jeff for murder. Walter believes in Jeffís innocence, even after he learns that Jeff has won the heart of the girl he secretly adores. While Walter and his partner are on the trail of an elusive killer, his sister disappears in an attempt to see the famous singer and Walter races to her rescue before she becomes the next victim.

AMAZON (KINDLE) | AMAZON (PB) | B&N NOOK | KOBO

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GUEST POST

Interview with the Author

Q: Where did you get the idea for OKTOBER HEAT?

A: I grew up in the West German state of Rheinland-Pfalz, a region with a huge concentration of U.S. military installations. Walking to school with tanks, jeeps, and big American cars rolling down the street was nothing unusual. These bases and posts provided employment for thousands of Germans in this rural area. After high school and an apprenticeship, I worked as an administrative clerk on a large air base for many years and met my husband there. We moved to the United States during the 1990s. On one of my visits to Germany I bought a book about the 50-year history of the air base. I was fascinated by the early years, when American and German entertainers toured the enlisted clubs to entertain the troops. The local youth flocked to the bases to take in the shows. Excitement built up even more when Elvis Presley arrived in Germany on October 1, 1958, to complete a tour in the U.S. Army. Even though my novel does not take place at his post, it seemed like a perfect hook.

Q: Why do you write historical fiction?

A: I have always loved to read historical fiction. I was fortunate to have teachers who read stories to us kids. These were sagas and local lore that took place in my home state, a region with hundreds of castles and a long history of wars and occupation. As an author, I strive to focus on overlooked events in German history.

Q: How did you research your novel?

A: I bought several books about the military build-up and the relations between GIs and the local population. I also read about consumerism, pop culture, and Elvis Presley’s service in the Army.

Most importantly, I interviewed a retired police officer about details of police work and their interactions with the Air Police. I also studied old newspapers. Knowing what people wore and how much goods cost was very useful. I did not have to research village life and food because I have lived the life I am writing about.

Q: Does your novel include any real events?

A: The murder is complete fiction. The killer’s occupation is not. I based it on an arrest that occurred in my village during the late 1970s. The idea for the last chapter came to me after seeing a photograph in a book.

Q: Can you explain your title?

A: On October 1, 1958, Elvis Presley arrived in Germany on a troop ship to serve a tour in the U.S. Army. The novel takes place during October, except for the last chapter. I chose the German spelling “Oktober” because the term is often used in Cold War novels.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR03_Doris Dumrauf

Doris Dumrauf grew up in the West German state of Rheinland-Pfalz, a region with a huge concentration of U.S. military bases. She worked as an administrative clerk on a U.S. air base for many years.

After moving to the United States, Doris published numerous articles in magazines and newspapers while working on her novel.

Doris Dumrauf is also an award-winning nature photographer and public speaker.

WEBSITE | AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | GOODREADS

Thrilled to be included in the tour for Doris Dumrauf’s Oktober Heat. Be sure to click on the HFVBT banner to check out the entire tour schedule.

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Filed under 2015, Fiction, Guest Post, September, Spotlight

Review & Giveaway: The Sisters of Versailles by Sally Christie

imagePaperback: 432 pages
Publisher: Atria Books (September 1, 2015)

Carefully researched and ornately detailed, The Sisters of Versailles is the first book in an exciting new historical fiction trilogy about King Louis XV, France’s most “well-beloved” monarch, and the women who shared his heart and his bed.

Such a tantalizing story. As I turned the pages I felt as if I was a fly on the wall privy to intimate conversations and interactions. Christie’s layout of the book is in such a personal manner it emphasizes the drama along with tension without hesitation. I felt swept away for a moment in time, very well done.

The four sisters varying personalities and of reading their individual experiences matched with perspectives of King Louis XV made for an inside glimpse feel. The letters exchanged between the four detailed the behind the scenes drama of what was happening emotionally, romantically and mentally. As sisters turn competitive, envy, jealousy, hatred, and betrayal divide the sisters, destroying sisterly bonds. Each sisters predicament and motive adds plenty of intrigue and interest. Strain and heartbreak leave their mark, such a shame a family was torn to shreds over one powerful man few would deny.

Can’t say I was a fan of King Louis XV and seeing him through the Nesle sisters eyes made him more loathsome. You learn just enough of him to understand his motives and overindulgent narcissistic behavior. He failed to redeem himself in any way despite the smallest of efforts. A selfish man drunk on his own power and status with no regards to others. Tragic the Nesle sisters were part of his carnal web.

Christie creates an intelligent fascinatingly juicy story historical fiction fans will devour. Extremely well done, anxious for the next installment.

About Sally ChristieSC2-200x300

Sally Christie was born in England of British parents but grew up mostly in Canada. As a child she moved around with her family and then continued her wandering as she pursued a career in international development; she’s lived in 14 different countries and worked in many more. She’s now settled in Toronto and loving it.

Sally lives and breathes history; ever since she read Antonia Fraser’s masterful Mary, Queen of Scots when she was 10, she’s been an avid history junkie. She wishes more attention and technical innovation was devoted to time travel, because there is nothing she would rather do than travel back in time! Writing historical fiction is a poor substitute, but it’s the best one we have at the moment.

When not reading and writing history, she’s a tennis and Scrabble fanatic.

Connect with Sally
Website | Goodreads

Giveaway

Enter for a chance to win a copy of The Sisters of Versailles, please complete the giveaway form below. Open to US/CA residents only. Ends 8/26/15
ENTRY-FORM

Thrilled to be included in the tour for Sally Christie’s The Sisters of Versailles. Be sure to click on the TLC banner to check out the entire tour schedule. Thank you TLC!

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Filed under 2015, August, Fiction, Review

Review: The House of Hawthorne by Erika Robuck

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The unlikely marriage between Nathaniel Hawthorne, the celebrated novelist, and Sophia Peabody, the invalid artist, was a true union of passion and intellect.

It is the story of a forgotten woman in history, who inspired one of the greatest writers of American literature.

A wonderfully written story of the amazing woman along side Nathaniel Hawthorne, Sophie Peabody.

A romance deserving to be recounted, a connection suffering woeful interruptions as well as droll instances. The narrative alternates in time, however, it is definitive leaving the reader on point.

A tender love story of the choices, pertaining to her artistic talents, she generously gave in order to fulfill her role as wife to the man who stirred her soul as well as loving mother to their children. The numerous challenges facing artists, writers, the many obstacles facing the Hawthorns, their sentimental love story, including their journey together will be utterly lost in this affecting story. With Robucks mesmerizing prose you will be engrossed with the entire story, reminding yourself you are truly present in the 21st century not the 19th century. Absorbing, drawing the reader into an exacting time especially for artists and litterateur set.

Robuck never fails to raise her female protagonists to their deserved glory in intellect, strength, independence and integrity. Her melodic prose always adding to her competent and flattering narratives.


•Hardcover, 416 pages
•Expected publication: May 5th 2015 by NAL
•ISBN13: 9780451418913

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Filed under 2015, Fiction, May