Spotlight/US Giveaway: The Witch House of Persimmon Point

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Description

Someone to Love by Mary Balogh

  • Someone to Love (11:1)Title:  Someone to Love
  • Series:  Wescott #1
  • Author:  Mary Balogh
  • Genre:  Historical Romance
  • Pages:  400
  • Pub. Date:  November 8, 2016 – Signet
  • Source:  Publisher; NetGalley

Description:  The New York Times bestselling author of Only a Kiss launches a new series with the death of an earl and the revelation of a scandalous secret…

Humphrey Wescott, Earl of Riverdale, has died, leaving behind a fortune that will forever alter the lives of everyone in his family—including the daughter no one knew he had…

Anna Snow grew up in an orphanage in Bath knowing nothing of the family she came from. Now she discovers that the late Earl of Riverdale was her father and that she has inherited his fortune. She is also overjoyed to learn she has siblings. However, they want nothing to do with her or her attempts to share her new wealth. But the new earl’s guardian is interested in Anna…

Avery Archer, Duke of Netherby, keeps others at a distance. Yet something prompts him to aid Anna in her transition from orphan to lady. As London society and her newfound relatives threaten to overwhelm Anna, Avery steps in to rescue her and finds himself vulnerable to feelings and desires he has hidden so well and for so long.  (publisher)

My take: Mary Balogh is back with the first in her new Wescott series: Someone to Love. I love a good historical romance and Balogh writes wonderful novels to escape into. This story is a little different in tone from the usual historical but I liked it every bit as much as all of her books.

It’s a Cinderella story to be sure but the prince is not your run-of-the-mill hero. No, Avery’s a bit mysterious – you just know he’s more than the public image most of the world sees. I won’t spoil because it was fun to learn his secret – nothing monumental but it made me smile just the same.

Anna was so courageous and was easy to cheer on as she met her new life head-on. It was fun to see her life change and yet she held on to certain aspects of her past. She was a refreshing character who I hope we’ll see more of in future books in this series.

If you’re a fan of the genre or Mary Balogh I think you’ll enjoy Someone to Love as much as I did. It will go on sale Nov. 8th.

Good Taste by Jane Green

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  • Title:  Good Taste: Simple, Delicious Recipes for Family and Friends
  • Author:  Jane Green
  • Genre:  Cookbook
  • Pages:  192
  • Published:  October 2016 – NAL
  • Source:  Publisher

Description: A lush and gorgeous guide to all things food and entertaining from Jane Green, New York Times bestselling author of Jemima J, The Beach House, and Falling.
 
Jane Green’s life has always revolved around her kitchen…

… from inviting over friends for an impromptu brunch; to wowing guests with delicious new recipes; to making sure her ever-on-the-move family makes time to sit down together. For Jane, food is enjoyable because of the people surrounding it and the pleasures of hosting and nourishing those she cares about, body and soul.

Now, Jane opens wide the doors of her stunning home to share tips on entertaining, ideas for making any gathering a cozy yet classy affair, and some of her favorite dishes, ranging from tempting hors d’oeuvres like Sweet Corn and Chili Soup, to mouthwatering one-pot mains like Slow-Braised Onion Chicken, to sinfully satisfying desserts like Warm Chocolate and Banana Cake.

This book is Jane’s perfect recipe for making a wonderful life complete with friends, loving family, and moments filled with good food, good times, and, of course, Good Taste. (publisher)

My take: At first glance Good Taste has a rather unassuming cover – until you take a closer look at the photo which shows the author readying a dining table for an outdoor meal. It looks quite inviting and lovely.

And that’s exactly how I felt about the cookbook – welcomed by author Jane Green to take a look at her favorite recipes and give them a try. She personalized each one with an anecdote about the family or friends a recipe bring to mind. I loved that.

The book is divided into Beginnings (starters and soups), Middles (main courses), and Endings (desserts). Gorgeous color photos accompany each recipe which is something I really appreciate. I’m not an accomplished cook by any stretch of the imagination so I like to have a clear goal in mind of what my finished product should look like 🙂

There are several recipes I can’t wait to try including: Tomato Tart Tatin; Slow-Braised Onion Chicken; and Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle. The photos of all three are gorgeous and what I really love is that after reading each recipe I feel confident I’ll be able to make them.

Good Taste would make a wonderful gift for the cook in your life this holiday season.

Blog Tour: A Most Extraordinary Pursuit by Juliana Gray

  • a-most-extraordinary-pursuit-104Title:  A Most Extraordinary Pursuit
  • Author:  Juliana Gray
  • Genre:  Historical Mystery
  • Pages:  416
  • Published:  October 2016 – Berkley
  • Source:  Publisher

Description:  In February, 1906 as the personal secretary of the recently departed Duke of Olympia—and a woman of scrupulous character—Miss Emmeline Rose Truelove never expected her duties to involve steaming through the Mediterranean on a private yacht, under the prodigal eye of one Lord Silverton, the most charmingly corrupt bachelor in London. But here they are, improperly bound on a quest to find the duke’s enigmatic heir, current whereabouts unknown.

An expert on anachronisms, Maximilian Haywood was last seen at an archaeological dig on the island of Crete. And from the moment Truelove and Silverton disembark, they are met with incidents of a suspicious nature: a ransacked flat, a murdered government employee, an assassination attempt. As they travel from port to port on Max’s trail, piecing together the strange events of the days before his disappearance, Truelove will discover the folly of her misconceptions—about the whims of the heart, the motives of men, and the nature of time itself. (publisher)

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My take: Having read a few books by Beatriz Williams I was surprised to learn she also writes under the name Juliana Gray. A Most Extraordinary Pursuit is the first book in a new series. I agreed to join the blog tour for this book mostly because I love reading about the era of the early 20th century. A few pages in I was surprised by some strange occurrences. No spoilers but what I will say is the reader should be prepared for a bit of time-travel and the occasional dip into the paranormal.

I think my favorite character was Lord Silverton. At first he seems a ne’er-do-well aristocrat but later reveals himself to be a sort of James Bond of his day. He made me laugh a lot with the things he said to Miss Truelove and her reactions were usually equally funny. I liked the (mostly) Greece setting and mythology theme.

Although it took me a bit to get caught up in the story I ended up enjoying the novel and would take a look at the next book in this unusual series due out late next year. Recommended to readers looking for something a bit different in a historical mystery.


Praise for A Most Extraordinary Pursuit:

“Packed with unforgettable characters, exotic settings, and unexpected twists, A Most Extraordinary Pursuit is a delicious adventure from the first word to the last. This book has everything a reader could want: lyrical prose, swashbuckling action, and a heroine worth rooting for. Three cheers for Truelove!” —New York Times bestselling author Deanna Raybourn

 

“If Elizabeth Peters’s Ameila Peabody and Deanna Raybourn’s Lady Julia had an intrepid younger sister, it would, without doubt, be the heroine of Juliana Gray’s new series, Miss Emmeline Truelove.” —New York Times bestselling author Lauren Willig

Christmas in Paris by Anita Hughes

  • christmas-in-parisTitle:  Christmas in Paris
  • Author:  Anita Hughes
  • Pages:  288
  • Genre:  Romance; Christmas
  • Published:  October 2016 – St. Martin’s Griffin
  • Source:  Publisher

My take: Christmas in Paris is the story of two people, Isabel and Alec, whose weddings to other people were recently called off. They end up in neighboring suites at the Paris hotel where their respective honeymoons had been scheduled and meet in a humorous scene on their balconies.

Each is nursing a broken heart but they can console each other by seeing the sites of Paris together. The city is a major part of the novel from the famous tourist stops to cafes to high-end boutiques.

After having her palm read at a holiday bazaar, Isabel is convinced she will meet a French aristocrat and become engaged soon after. Alec is certain he’ll never allow himself to fall in love again but he’s willing to help Isabel enjoy her time in Paris. Little by little he discovers he could love again and it might be sooner than he thought possible.

This novel seemed like a fairy tale. There were beautiful ball gowns and fabulous events and places. And not everyone was the way they appeared. In reality, I couldn’t believe someone as smart and sophisticated as Isabel would go all in on a palm reading! I needed to suspend belief in order to enjoy the story. That was key because once I did that the pages almost turned themselves. In the end, the two will learn a lesson about honesty and love they both knew all along.

Christmas in Paris is a fluffy snow-dusting of a novel. If things like Paris, fashion, food, upscale lifestyles and Romance are your catnip you’ll love this book. I liked it and think fans of Anita Hughes and light, romantic novels will as well.


About the Author:

anita-hughes_credit-sheri-geoffreys-newANITA HUGHES is the author of Monarch Beach, Market Street, Lake Como, French Coast, Rome in Love, Island in the Sea, and Santorini Sunsets. She attended UC Berkeley’s Masters in Creative Writing Program, and lives in Dana Point, California, where she is at work on her next novel. For more information visit anitahughesbooks.com.

 

Praise:

“Christmas. Paris. Star-crossed lovers. Yup, it’s the perfect holiday read!” —Debbie Macomber, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Dashing Through the Snow

“Gorgeously festive and evocative, this is a compelling story filled with characters you truly care about. I adored it.” —Melissa Hill, USA Today bestselling author of The Charm Bracelet


Purchase links: