Monday, August 24, 2009

Book Review: The Pirate and the Puritan by Mary Clayton

Title: The Pirate and the Puritan
Author: Mary Clayton
Genre: Fiction/Romance/Historical
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
ISBN: 1601541198
Format: e-book, 358 pages
List Price: $6.00US
Reviewed: August 20, 2009
Rating: 5 stars (4.6)

Warnings: None

Synopsis: Kidnapped by pirates, a mute Puritan finds herself drawn to the pirate captain, intrigued by his protection of her and his obvious dislike of his own lot in life. He is drawn to her by her innocence and strength, unable to forget her even though he knows he should.

My two cents: The Pirate and the Puritan is one of the best clean reads I've had the privilege to peruse this year. Taking place several years after the Salem witch trials, the heroine is Mercy Penhall, a young woman whose voice was lost after witnessing one of those horrific trials firsthand. I was immediately drawn to this woman, feeling the pain, frustration and fear that were a part of her daily life. I loved her overall calm demeanor that could quickly turn to fiery defense when those she cared about were threatened.

The hero is Edmund Gramercy, an unwilling pirate whose choice at one time was piracy or death. He was an interesting character and I would have liked to have had more glimpses into his mind as well as his background. I really liked him and wanted to know more. The story is told more from Mercy's POV with only a few forays into Edmund's.

The novel is very well-written, obviously well-researched and a beautiful romantic story. If you like action, adventure, sweet romance, and a history lesson that doesn't feel like homework, then this story is for you.

Blog Updates

  • Blog tour for Joyce DiPastena's Illuminations of the Heart is in full swing. Check out the blogs listed below for reviews and the occasional interview. Leave your comment on those posts to be entered in the drawing for one of four great prizes.
  • My apologies to anyone who is expecting a review of their book. It will happen, I promise. I am in the middle of Illuminations of the Heart for the blog tour mentioned above. Next in line is Rachel Rager's By Love or By Sea (for another blog tour) and Donna Hatch's The Stranger She Married.
Here's those blog tour links:

Saturday, August 22, 2009

A Regency Pearl Giveaway

I am hosting a giveaway over on my author blog. One very fortunate winner will receive a signed copy of my Regency romance, Redemption, and a string of genuine cultured freshwater pearls. For details and how to enter, visit Into the Mind of Jaimey Grant. Entry deadline is August 31.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Counterfeit Husband by Elizabeth Mansfield

Title: The Counterfeit Husband
Author: Elizabeth Mansfield
Genre: Fiction/Romance/Regency
Publisher: Berkley
ISBN: 0425053369
Format: Mass Market Paperback, 219 pages
List Price: Out-of-Print
Reviewed: August 13, 2009
Rating: 5 stars (4.5)
Warnings: None

Synopsis: Camilla, the widow of an earl, is under the thumb of her domineering sister-in-law. To escape, she moves to London where she finds it necessary to fabricate a husband to fool her late husband's family. To play the part of her husband is her unorthodox footman, an escaped press-gang victim.

My two cents: I loved this story from the first sentence. The story opens with our hero and his best friend, a fellow shipmate. They are set upon by a press-gang, which was a rather unpleasant feature of the early 1800s in Britain. It was the middle of the war with Napoleon and many of the British were not willing volunteers of his majesty's navy due to the inhumane conditions experienced by those who enlisted. Hence, the press-gangs.

The hero Thomas and his friend Daniel escape. After collecting Daniel's wife Betsy, they enter domestic service, hoping to hide from the authorities. Thomas and Camilla do not start off with a great impression of each other as he mistakes her for a servant.

I really liked Thomas. He was strong, loyal, funny, and charming. I thought he was a well-rounded character, believable and lovable.

Camilla was a little weak but she gradually grew a spine. She seemed to rely a little too much on the sage advice of her ten-year-old daughter. I suppose this was believable behavior when one considers her life up to that point. And I have no problem with a Regency heroine who does not fit the “strong” perception of what a woman should be. It was 200 years ago, after all.

The daughter Philippa was an amusing delight but far too intelligent and wise for believability. This doesn't mean I didn't like her. It was actually hard not to. Especially after she made friends with Sybil Sturtevant.

My favorite line:
Thomas, in reply to Camilla's request that he masquerade as her husband: “...there's no role in the world I'd rather play than that of your husband.”

In closing, if you are against a heroine who is meek and submissive to nearly everyone around her, avoid this book. If you just love a good star-crossed romance, try this squeaky-clean Regency tale. This book is tied to Passing Fancies which is the love story of Camilla's daughter Philippa.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Blog Tour for Joyce DiPastena's Illuminations of the Heart

The upcoming blog tour for Illuminations of the Heart is scheduled to begin Monday, August 10th and extend through Friday, September 18th. This does not include the weekends and Labor Day. There will be daily reviews and the occasional author interview.

My day is September 16th when I will post a review of the book and an interview with the talented author, Joyce DiPastena. I'm very excited as this will be the very first author interview being held here at Romance, Old School!

If you leave a comment on my review, you will be entered to win either an autographed copy of Illuminations of the Heart or one of three $10 online gift certificates good at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Deseret Book to go toward the purchase of Illuminations of the Heart. You can even enter multiple times by commenting on multiple reviews of Joyce's book. How great is that?

Here's the list of participating blogs:

August 10: Mormon Hermit Mom's Book Habit
August 11: Amesbury Reads
August 12: Heather Justesen
August 13: Rachelle's Writing Spot
August 14: Cami's Books and Fit Mommas
August 17: Jewel's World
August 18: Of Writerly Things
August 19: Frespa Fan
August 20: Of Good Report
August 21: Rachel Rager
August 24: Boojoos and Aprilcots
August 25: Musings from an LDS Writing Mom
August 26: Queen of the Clan
August 27: Write Bravely
August 28: Dreams of Quill and Ink
August 31: *Tristi Pinkston
September 1: Vicissitudes
September 2: Tangled Words and Dreams
September 3: Random-ish by Nichole and LDSwritersBlogck
September 4: Seriously... and latterdayauthors
September 7: Lu Ann's Book Review
September 9: Reading for Sanity
September 10: Taffy's Candy
September 11: The Write Blocks
September 14: Why Not? Because I Said So! and LDSWomensBookReview
September 15: Ink Splasher
September 16: Romance, Old School
September 17: Blog the Day Away
September 18: Walnut Springs Press

I will post again when it is close to my date. Thanx for looking and have a great day!


Blog Widget by LinkWithin