Saturday, 17 October 2015

RRM AWARDS



2015 awards!

The awards are a little behind schedule due to unforeseen events behind the scenes, but we are back up and running again. 

Bear in mind these are reviewer awards, and awarded to characters and plot that have remained memorable long after the book was read! Which means the books are not picked by anonymous votes cast in the first round, and there is no second level of judging.



 
Diana's Choice Award:
 
 
I have read all the books in this series and they are just great and the characters really stayed with me.
 

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A Review by Diana (RTAnnie)

Kelly McGuffin has been through a horrific trauma one that’s age old to women throughout the world.  Suffering a rape by two unsuspecting men Kelly is rescued by two of the Wylie brothers and leaves her remote mountain home to travel to Boonesborough to a new life.  Although she is sorting through her traumatized and demeaning affair Kelly is a strong minded young woman and looking forward to a better life and just maybe someone that will take the demons from her dreams.


Sheriff William Wiley was instantly drawn to the traumatized Kelly when he and his brother happen upon a small cabin tucked away in the mountains where he finds two men raping the young girl.  They quickly put away the rapists and secure Kelly with their traveling family en route to a new life in Kentucky.  William, a single, ladies sort of man has been one that loves all the women with his blond locks and good looks he’s never settled down to just one woman.  He’s not sure that he can until Kelly McGuffin comes into his life.  Williams is bound by the law acting as Sheriff in the town of Boonesborough and studying law to eventually become a lawyer, his heart is fatefully tied to the blond haired beauty that he and his brother rescued.

This book is another winner from Dorothy Wiley and the third one I’ve read.  I just love this series and this one in particular as the author touches on the subject of rape, and through her depth of the subject it gives women who have suffered a traumatic event like this a sense of hope.  True love can overcome the inner demons that women face after a brutal invasion of their body and soul.  I think the author has broached a subject that victims of rape need to know, that life does go on and there are good men out there that can help their minds to heal in a healthy way through endearing and continuing love of life.
 
 
 
 


Charlotte's Choice Awards!
 
I am gutted my second choice has been declared void by Francine. Her excuse remains firm that it's bad form for admin to accept an award.

 I liked this book for characters I can still remember and visualise.



 

Reviewed by Charlotte.


This is an American FBI based romantic suspense. We’re given a female agent - a complex stalker, and a classic covert romance budding between fellow agents. Thankfully that’s not all the author has given the reader. The heroine, Jess, has emotional problems linked to her past. Her love interest, Tom, similarly has a past he would rather forget. Neither reveals their covert feelings for one another, and I rather liked the way the author enlightens the reader to their innermost thoughts. This could easily have turned into a tired old cliché plot of agents shooting their way through crisis after crisis, then falling in love and straight off to bed. Ms Ford, though, luckily spins a little magic into her story with a dead agent brought back to life. And so the plot thickens. But who is watching Jess besides a dead agent, and who is stalking her? The more Jess puzzles over gathered evidence the more she fears the outcome. What is worse, the killer knows her name. Ordered off the case, Jess retreats to a safe haven. Jess is far from safe. Tom is far from safe. And the hero of the day is far from the expected hero. Well done Ms Ford for putting a jolly good twist in this tale. As a debut novelist I sense Ms Ford’s writing will grow with each new book she undertakes to write.

 



Francine's Choice Awards!

Memorable Characters!





Reviewed by Francine.



Make no mistake this is a 'sweet' romance in the traditional vein of Regency novels bearing chaste content. Albeit Sophie (the heroine) has led a relatively free and adventurous lifestyle within the protective custody of her doting father, and that of young officers at her father's Jamaican garrison, she is nonetheless a well brought up young lady. Her father's death comes as a double blow, for her loss is hard to bear and her fate suddenly lies within the hands of Sir Charles Wentworth who resides in England.


Upon arrival in London her worst fears are realised. It is made quite clear to Sophie - by Sir Charles' sister - that her presence is an encumbrance to the family, which duly bodes ill for conviviality and sense of belonging. And of course, flights of a romantic bent in the direction of Arthur Wentworth (the eldest son) or his brother Henry, will not be tolerated.

Lady Fate (chance, luck, call it what you will) has other ideas, and whilst Sophie's heart flutters, and young gentlemen warm to her charms, the Wentworth household is turned on its axis, and Sophie takes flight. Thus romance has blossomed in wrong quarters, hearts have been torn as affections waver, and an elopement sets precedence for shameful recriminations. All in all, Jericho's Child lives up to a good old fashioned Regency caper. It's a lovely and lively read.








Seventh Heaven by Elizabeth Bailey

Genius use of numerals for character names rendered this a most memorable story!


Reviewed by Francine.


A Classic Georgian Romp!


 

The usage of Latin numerals for the renowned rather extensive and impoverished Berowne family is sheer author genius, and whilst all the respective siblings’ character traits shine through, Septimus [poet] outranks them all with his theatrical gestures and poetically inclined satirical wit. And how can the wealthy heroine, Lady Louisa, bedevilled by a surname that immediately draws the poet’s ear, ever hope to escape his inclination to verse? What is worse, no matter which way Louisa turns Berowne males step across her threshold or path with intent to wrest her from widowhood and to the altar quick sharp.




Louisa is far from a walkover conquest and her abrasive tongue temporarily quells specific male desires, but she becomes so embroiled in the affairs of the females of the Berowne family, she cannot see the danger of one male Berowne’s ambitions to outflank his brothers and gain due reward from villainous means. If not for the affable if irritating poet who wins her regard, Louisa’s fate might have proved dire to that which inevitably befalls her. And love it seems, as of old, blossoms in the strangest of circumstances. Hence, Seventh Heaven wins the day and will no doubt rule the proverbial home roost, and pray to heaven the happy couple’s future existence bears no resemblance to a theatrical farce, for this novel had me roaring with laughter from start to finish. This is a classic Georgian Romp!




 

 

 
Nigella's choice Award.

 I outrank Francine on time served at RRM, therefore I am posting my choice as I see fit. Being that memorable characters are the prime reason for selecting books for the RRM award, the two featured on the front cover image are decidedly memorable characters.
 


 


Reviewed by Nigella (a maritime historian)

 

 

For Love of Captain Jack bears all the hallmarks of Thomas Hardy’s fabulously rich dialogue and prose that has for two centuries enthralled readers of English countryside fiction.  And here we have historical dialogue commensurate with counties surrounding Dorset and vital for nuance of the Regency. I remember when ‘Far From the Madding Crowd’ was obligatory reading for school children. I remember groaning as did chums of mine but the characters were so lifelike and vibrant they remained unforgettable as have the characters in ‘Tess of the d'urbervilles’.  Astoundingly Ms Howarth has captured that very same Wessex language Jane Austen and Hardy would recognise as theirs. What struck me most is the women folk in this novel enchant the reader with witty quips and outlandish gossip that is so reminiscent of the Pride & Prejudice Bennett clan. Where Mr Darcy was the cause of uproar in Ms Austen's tome,  it is the report of a murder most foul that strikes a blow to the peaceful and idyllic lives of Ms Howarth's gossips who soon turn to speculation and ponder as one might expect from a good old whodunit? Murders farther afield add to the mix for a thoroughly engrossing murder mystery.  More to the point the local naval hero becomes suspect number one as dark elements come to light in the neighbourhood of Port Seaton. The novel's hero is a lifelike naval officer of the Regency era and so long as the villain proves impossible to pinpoint any hope of Jack Trevellian's reprieve dwindles. This a grand whodunit with red herrings  and miniscule clues that may or may not unveil the murderer.  The eventual uncloaking of the villain is totally unexpected and had me on the edge of my seat fearing another death would prevent the coming of a happy ever after. Fear not, there is a happy ending and this is a rollicking good murder mystery with a deeply engrossing romance.




Reviewer notes:



Ms Howarth has a literary style and cadence that may take a little getting used to. And if you haven’t read a Thomas Hardy novel give him a go. You won't regret it.


Amazon com    Amazon UK

Monday, 5 October 2015

Latest Georgian/Regency!

 
 
 
 
 
 
Reviewed by Francine.
 
 
 
This novel is far from the traditional Georgian or Regency romance and it is indeed set within both time periods. I truly admire the author’s daring to venture to the darker side of life in what is regarded as Jane Austen’s lifetime. Unlike the literary lady of that period, who chose to represent a rather rose-tinted escapist perspective of her own era, Ms Knight has presented her heroine in the true light of a kept woman. Through no fault of hers Becky has become the victim of circumstance and has duly fallen foul to men of a ruthless bent. Nonetheless, determined to secure an independent future free of men who bet, barter and pay debts  with female assets (sexual favours), she masquerades under an assumed nom de plume until such time as sufficient funds can be accumulated by means of which are contracted in proper order to her specifications.
 
While men have come and gone, the reader enters Becky’s and her daughter's world with the introduction of a rakish hero who sports a modicum of honour.  Though a child becoming aware of her surroundings, as has recognition of presents lavished upon her by Becky’s latest high ranking benefactor, soon begins to complicate life somewhat.  Also, when circulating within the upper echelons of society, where secret mistresses are sought out and exposed as part and parcel of the gaming fraternity, danger lurks in every dark corner.  And just when hope of eventual independence and freedom seem to have come within Becky’s grasp, one more cruel twist of fate seems set to blight her future path. Knowing full well her present benefactor cannot, or will not wed her, exchanging one contract for another hurts her pride and that of another. Unfortunately, needs must when the devil rides, but can Becky hide her past from those around her, mark a new place in society with a husband, and find the happiness and contentment of a rural life she had longed for? Well to find out, read this lonely, lovely lady’s story, in which characters act true to form: pimples ‘n’ all.  Although the outcome of the book becomes evident mid story, it didn’t detract from enjoyment of the whole.