Thursday, December 13, 2012



Amid the carnage of war, he commandeers far more than just her home.

Widowed plantation owner Emaline McDaniels has struggled to hold on to her late husband’s dreams. Despite the responsibilities resting on her slender shoulders, she’ll not let anyone wrest away what’s left of her way of life—particularly a Yankee officer who wants to set up winter camp on her land.

With a defiance born of desperation, she defends her home as though it were the child she never had…and no mother gives up her child without a fight.

Despite the brazen wisp of a woman pointing a gun at his head, Colonel Reece Cutteridge has his orders. Requisition Shapinsay—and its valuable livestock—for his regiment’s use, and pay her with Union vouchers. He never expected her fierce determination, then her concern for his wounded, to upend his heart—and possibly his career.

As the armies go dormant for the winter, battle lines are drawn inside the mansion. Yet just as their clash of wills shifts to forbidden passion, the tides of war sweep Reece away. And now their most desperate battle is to survive the war with their lives—and their love—intact.

Warning: This novel contains complex emotions and battlefield gallantry wrapped around the inherent risks of falling in love with one’s enemy.

My Review:

“No Greater Glory” is the first novel I’ve ready by Cindy Nord, and I’m so glad that I randomly searched Civil War historical fiction novels and found her book! I have always been incredibly interested in anything to do with the Civil War, but over the past few years, I’ve gotten away from reading books based on events from that time period. I have kind of been “stuck” in the Medieval England time period when it comes to my reading choices. I randomly found Ms. Nord’s novel on amazon, and decided to give it a chance.

I loved the book from start to finish. Emmy and Reece’s story is extremely compelling, and there was the perfect amount of romance and adventure throughout. I liked that she kept it historically accurate, mentioning important battles and people who were main figures in the Civil War. I love when historical fiction novels give you a history lesson, without you even being aware of it!

Emmy and Reece are the perfect couple for a work of romantic fiction. Emmy is a strong, independent woman, who also has an aspect of vulnerability that makes her a likable character. Reece is the strong, intelligent man, who makes mistakes when it comes to love, but does everything possible to be with the woman he loves. Of course, there are mishaps that keep the couple apart, as well as bring them together. However, the author keeps the story realistic, which is where I think a lot of romance novels struggle. I also like that she balances the action and romance in this story. The book isn’t all SEX, SEX, SEX! There is a perfect balance between the obstacles that Emmy and Reece go up against, their adventures, and the hot, steamy scenes.

I would definitely recommend this book to readers who enjoy historical romance. I think that it’s a great novel, and I’m so happy that I stumbled across it!

I give “No Greater Glory” five out of five stars.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

UNEASY LIES THE CROWN, A Novel of Owain Glyndwr by N. Gemini Sasson


The story of Owain Glyndwr, the last Welsh Prince of Wales.

In the year 1399, Welsh nobleman Owain Glyndwr is living out a peaceful gentleman's life in the Dee Valley of Wales with his wife Margaret and their eleven children. But when Henry of Bolingbroke usurps the throne of England from his cousin Richard II, that tranquility is forever shattered. What starts as a feud with a neighboring English lord over a strip of land evolves into something greater--a fight for the very independence of Wales.

After a harrowing encounter on the misty slopes of Cadair Idris, the English knight Harry Hotspur offers Owain a pact he cannot resist.

Peace, however, comes with a heavy price. As tragedies mount and temptations loom, Owain questions whether he can fulfill the prophecies and lead his people to freedom without destroying those around him.

For centuries, the bards have sung of King Arthur's return, but is this reluctant warrior prince the answer to those prophecies?

My Review:

I have yet to be disappointed by one of N. Gemini Sasson’s novels. Her novels have the perfect balance of romance, adventure, and historical accuracy. This is the first novel I’ve read about the Welsh struggle for freedom, and I was able to learn so much about it from this book. 

The characters/historical figures in this novel are written so incredibly well. As a reader you are completely pulled into their lives and struggles. Their stories are so incredible and well written.  More than once, tears came to my eyes while reading.  I found the story of Owain Glyndwr and his family to be absolutely fascinating. His long struggle for the freedom of his country is so inspiring. His family went through so much during his struggle for freedom. From the early years of love and happiness, and then through the years of sadness and pain while Owain struggled for the freedom of his country. It reminds me of the struggle that Robert the Bruce went through while attempting to save his country, Scotland.

I love Sasson’s writing style. The way she describes the setting of the story, takes the reader right into the action. I was able to clearly picture the terrain of the Welsh lands while reading. I was able to ‘see’ the battles taking place, and the different journeys that they were taking through the land. I love that she is able to describe things so clearly, without bogging the reader down with unnecessary details. The thoughts and feelings of the characters are described so clearly, that as a reader you almost feel what they’re going through.

N. Gemini Sasson is an amazing author of historical fiction. She keeps the events historically accurate, and gives the characters personalities that are so real, that you can believe they might have actually been like that when they were alive.  I would recommend this book to all lovers of historical fiction, regardless of the time period of your interest. I knew absolutely nothing about the Welsh struggle for freedom, but by the end of this novel, I feel like I had a pretty good understanding. Overall, I thought this was an amazing book, and I’m looking forward to all future books by N. Gemini Sasson.

I give this book five out of five stars.

Friday, November 30, 2012



Love is for women who have choices. She has none.

In eleventh-century France on the eve of the First Crusade, Isabel de Vermandois becomes the wife of a man old enough to be her father. He is Robert de Beaumont, Comte de Meulan. A hero of the Norman victory at Hastings and loyal counselor to successive English kings, Robert is not all Isabel had expected. Cruel and kind by contrast, he draws her into the decadent court of King Henry I. As Robert's secrets are unraveled, Isabel finds her heart divided. Her duties as a wife and mother compel her, but an undeniable attraction to the young William de Warenne, Earl of Surrey, tempts her. In a kingdom where love holds no sway over marital relations, Isabel must choose where her loyalties and her heart lie.

Based on the life of a remarkable medieval woman forgotten by time, The Burning Candle is a story of duty and honor, love and betrayal.


This is the first book that I’ve read by Lisa J. Yarde, and I was pleasantly surprised by it. I think that the author really did justice to this time period. The characters at times come across as ‘cold’, but that’s part of the reason I believe the novel felt ‘real’ to me. People during the Middle Ages aren’t really thought of as being exceptionally loving or soft. So many children died young, and marriages between royal and/or wealthy people were often arranged, so in order to survive I believe the people had to be a little ‘cold’.

I really enjoyed reading Isabel’s story as she grew from an abused child to a moderately happy woman. Part of the reason I enjoy historical fiction, is the fact that I am able to get a feel for how this real person, from history, may have actually felt or acted. I think that the way Isabel’s character is described is perfect. She is a strong woman, and though as a reader you may dislike her at times, you also are able to relate to her, because she’s not perfect. I really enjoyed reading about the relationship between her and her husband, Robert de Beaumont, who she was contracted to marry at such a young age. I feel it clearly showed the true dynamic of many royal medieval marriages. The author obviously uses her creative license, but it definitely helped to make the story more interesting. And, Thorold’s character was the perfect villain!  His twisted influence in the story definitely helped to add to the suspense.

The thing that truly makes a historical fiction novel great for me is the addition of a love story, and the love story in this novel is amazing. As a reader, you are able to see the hardships that Isabel has suffered all of her life, and I think the love story helps to lighten the book up a little and to give the reader a little hope. I was completely caught up Isabel’s story, and the fact that the novel is based on actual historical figures and situations, makes it that much more interesting as a reader.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction from the medieval time period. I read it in two days, and had trouble putting it down. I love reading novels based on actual historical figures, especially people like Isabel, who led such fascinating lives. The only issue I had with this novel is the grammatical errors. The book definitely needs to be proof read again, because it’s frustrating to be reading an amazing book, only to keep coming across spelling/grammar errors.

I give this novel five out of five stars.

Sunday, November 18, 2012



1062, a time many fear is the End of Days. With the English King Edward heirless and ailing, across the grey seas in Normandy the brutal William the Bastard waits for the moment when he can drown England in a tide of blood. The ravens of war are gathering. But as the king's closest advisors scheme and squabble amongst themselves, hopes of resisting the naked ambition of the Norman duke come to rest with just one man: Hereward.

To some a ruthless warrior and master tactician, to others a devil in human form, Hereward is as adept in the art of warfare as the foes that gather to claim England's throne. But in his country's hour of greatest need, his enemies at court have made him an outlaw. To stay alive—and a free man—he must carve a bloody swathe from the frozen lands outside the court, in this evocative tale of a man whose deeds will become the stuff of legend.

My Review:

I have read many historical fiction novels that take place in medieval times, but this was the first novel I've read that took place during this time period (1062). I didn't have much background knowledge regarding William the Bastard or King Edward. All I really knew was that the Norman Conquest took place in 1066, but not what led up to it, so it took me a little while to catch on to what exactly was happening and who the people mentioned in this novel were. I admit, I had to do some googling while I was reading this book. However, after finishing this novel, not only did I have knowledge regarding this time period, but I also found that I was extremely interested in learning more about England during the Norman Conquest.

It is a bloody, violent novel, full of betrayal, and it stays that way from beginning to end. The main character, Hereward, is an extremely violent and vengeful character, but the author gives him an element of mystery, which allows the reader to believe that he is a good person underneath all of his external acts of violence. Alric, the monk who accompanies Hereward, is the perfect foil character. He helps to balance out Hereward's violent personality. Both characters are extremely strong, believable, and well written. I was able to clearly imagine what they would be like, and their stories fit in perfectly with the overall 'dark' feeling of this novel.

I tend to enjoy historical fiction novels that have a little more romance in them. However, Hereward and Alric were both such strong characters, that this novel had no problem keeping my interest from beginning until end. I would definitely recommend this novel to historical fiction fans who have an interest in this time period, especially those who love a novel that deals with betrayal, revenge, and violence. 

I give this novel 4 out of 5 stars.

Friday, October 26, 2012



BOOK ONE: The Stolen Bride Series She belonged to another… But was destined to be his… Lady Arbella de Mowbray abhors the idea of marrying an English noble occupying Scotland. When she arrives in Stirling, she is thrown into the midst of a full battle between the Scots and the English. Besieged by rebels, she is whisked from her horse by a Highland warrior who promises her safety. But when he kisses her she fears she's more in danger of losing herself. The last thing Magnus Sutherland wants is to marry the beautiful English lass he saved. As the laird of his clan, he has a responsibility to his clan and allies. But when Arbella is attacked by one of his own men, he determines the only way to keep her safe is to make her his. A decision that promises to be extremely satisfying. Magnus brings Arbella to his home of Dunrobin Castle in the Highlands. And that’s where the trouble begins… Their countries are at war and they should be each other’s enemy. Neither one considered their mock marriage would grow into a deeply passionate love. What’s more, they were both unhappily betrothed and those who've been scorned are out for revenge. Can their new found love keep them together or will their enemies tear them apart?

My Review:

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. It had the perfect mix of adventure, action, and romance in my opinion! Arbella was a very likable heroine, who was a strong character, but also feminine enough to make her a good romance novel character. 

I love historical fiction romance novels, and this definitely had all of the characteristics of a good one. My favorite historical fiction romance novels involve characters who fall in love in spite of the fact that their countries are at war, and the English/Scottish rivalry definitely helps to spice up this story and add to the overall interest. Not only is this story a great romance novel, but it has enough historical content woven throughout, that the history nerd inside of me is happy. I loved the author's descriptions of the surrounding landscapes, and the way she was able to add real historical content into the book definitely makes it more interesting and more realistic.

I would definitely recommend this book to both lovers of historical fiction and lovers of romance novels. It kept my interest the entire time, and I would gladly read another book by Eliza Knight.

I give this novel 5 out of 5 stars.


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

THE HONOR DUE A KING by N. Gemini Sasson



In the dawn of a kingdom, loyalties and lies collide. The truth will change England and Scotland forever.

In the triumphant aftermath of Bannockburn, Robert the Bruce faces unfamiliar battles. His wife Elizabeth, held captive in England for eight long years, has finally returned home to Scotland. With his marriage in ruin and hopes for an heir quickly fading, Robert vows to fulfill an oath from long ago-one which will not only bind his daughter to a man she does not love, but challenge the honor of his most trusted knight, James Douglas.

While Ireland falls to the Scots, King Edward II of England must contend with quarrelsome barons. Hugh Despenser is the one man who can give him both the loyalty and love he so desperately craves. War with France looms and Edward's only chance at peace rests with his queen, Isabella-a woman who has every reason to seek her own revenge.

Tormented by his past, James returns to a solitary, ruthless life of raiding into the north of England. When a bewitching spy promises him the ultimate victory, James must weigh whether to unveil the truth and risk losing her love-or guard his secrets and forever preserve Robert's faith in him.

My Review:

I enjoyed everything about this book, in fact, the entire series was amazing to read. I've always been very interested in the life of Robert the Bruce, as well as the history of Scotland. Sasson's trilogy brought everything to life for me. The characters are well rounded and it's easy to empathize with them. As a reader you're drawn into their lives, and you feel their pain. You get to know The Bruce on a personal level that you don't get in any other books that I've read about his life. Her writing style is smooth flowing, and the timeline in which the events take place follow along with history quite well. I finished this book within a week, because I couldn't seem to put it down. 
I would recommend all of N. Gemini Sasson's novels. I've read her trilogy on Robert the Bruce, as well as her novel Isabeau. I will definitely continue to read any novels that she puts out in the future. I love the topics she chooses to write about, and the care she takes when it comes to the characters in those books. If you're a fan of medieval history and/or historical fiction, than you won't be disappointed.

I give this novel five out of five stars.