I recently read a historical romance that quite surprised me. It's a bit of an older read, but extremely well written and the characters captured me. It took me a while due to a busy schedule to read this novel but I can assure you, I was gobbling up every single word.

Series: Clan Kennedy, #2 
My Rating: ❀'s
Genre: Historical Romance 

I'm going to start off by saying this can easily be read as a stand alone. I knew while I was reading it that there was likely a first book, which Goodreads confirmed for me, but I didn't feel like I was missing out on anything. So go ahead and grab this great read.

What I really enjoyed about this novel was the bit of mysticism woven throughout. Both the hero and heroine practice a kind of magic but this story in no way dwells on the paranormal or supernatural. It's there in the background, and makes for an interesting way to draw Raven and Heath together, but the story is firmly grounded in reality.

I adored both Raven and Heath. Raven is so wildly independent, so strong willed. I love these older romances for this reason, the women are always proud and strong and have no fear in standing up for themselves. Raven comes to know more about herself as the novel progresses because she comes into contact with Heath, and this allows her to examine what she wants in life. She always knew she wanted freedom, but to me it seemed that Raven came to to understand that she also sought respect and love. Heath gave her both, and over time Raven knew that her happiness was going to be intertwined with Heath.

Heath was amazing. Shrewd, fearless, honorable and proud, he wanted Raven to love him. He seduced her, but was he was always honest with her and I loved that about him. You knew you count on Heath to do what was right, and he always did. He was proud, but he knew when to bend as well. These characters really fit together and with all the history and intrigue going on in the novel, you were never for a moment bored. This story had meat and that was what made it such enjoyable reading for me. Plus the steamy. My friends...the steamy. 

A devastating read from beginning to end.

Happy Reading,
Jewels
Who doesn't love a good RS novel? It's not for everyone, but I've really gotten into this genre. This series so far has proven interesting, and the second novel has brought danger much closer to Evelyn than she ever has been in so far in the series.

Series: The Evelyn Talbot Chronicles 
My Rating: ❀'s
Genre: Romantic Suspense
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This novel focuses largely on Evelyn's interactions with a criminal at Hanover House, Lyman Bishop. Although he is guilty of heinous crimes and is an above average intelligent psychopath, he nearly convinces Evelyn of his innocence,. He is also going to be released due to tampering with the investigation of his crimes.

The novel also largely focuses on Jasper, who is plotting to get a position as a CO at Hanover House. That idea is chilling, but so is Jasper's actions in this novel. He is truly remorseless and I still hate him, but I found him less engaging in his novel. He came across as immature and cocky instead of as the slick killer who was always evading capture.

Even Evelyn wasn't as compelling a character as I'd found to her be in the past. A lot of her conversations felt scripted, and even repetitive. She somehow didn't seem as interesting or sympathetic as I'd found her to be in the past. And some of her romantic decisions seemed questionable as well.

I've become a big fan of Forensic Files these past few months, and I'm wondering if that is colouring my perception of the book. I'm very skeptical by the fact that Jasper has never been linked or even suspected of any of the crimes he's committed since high school. The tiniest thing can link a person to a crime scene and I can't believe he's never left fibers, DNA or something behind on a body or in his car that would link him to a victim. Perhaps that's why this novel was not as gripping for me as others; I just don't buy into Jasper being so intelligent and capable and lucky as to evade police for so long.

For me, there was too much that far fetched to give this novel a five stat rating. But I am very interested in finding out what will happen next in this series now that Jasper is so close to Evelyn.

A copy of the novel was provided to me from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

Happy Reading,
Jewels
Howdy all! I'm  here today to reassure you I have not fallen off the face of the earth. I am still kicking around. But you will have noticed I have not been reviewing books as much lately.

I had a busy summer. And I've had a busy fall. I also run two blogs now, so I am busy. But that's no excuse for not keeping up with my reviews. But the thing is I realize that I have a problem when it comes to my reading life of late. I still love to read, but my tastes have changed. I have always enjoyed romances and I've been returning to reading other genres and sampling new sub genres in romance. But these past few months, I've almost meh about a lot of the books that I've been reading. So I'm literally in the middle of several books and not all that interested in them. I think for some of them I was expecting an entirely different kind of read so now I am disillusioned by what the novel actually is, if you follow. Still, I'm curious enough to want to finish the books but I'm taking it at a slower pace. And having several on the go like this means that I'm not getting any of them read quick, especially when things have been so hectic lately.

Also, I haven't been able to read as many audios because I've been unlucky with my local Overdrive library! It's been a real thrown in my side, let me tell you! So my changing reading tastes are messy with me, as are my own time management skills and my lack of audio reading. And really, all I want is a great read! I've never had such a hard time finding a book to suck me in as I have lately.

So I've decided to return my favourite romance genre for a while, historical romance. This is a genre that rarely disappoints me so it's a safe bet I'll be speeding through the reads soon. As soon as I finish up some ARCs from Netgalley, I'm going to get back into the groove by bingeing on my sub genre of choice. I can't wait!

What's up next on the blog? I am going to finish reading and review a great romantic suspense soon. Hello Again is the second novel in this gripping series by Brenda Novak.


I'm really loving this read and cannot wait to share a review with you. Stay tuned as My Devastating Reads will soon be back into the swing of things! For those of you who love romantic supense, I do have some I'll be finishing up and reviewing soon along side Hello Again, so keep your eyes peeled for those as well. 

Happy Reading,
Jewels



Reported Missing immediately caught my eye because of the blurb. How could the disappearance of a young girl and an older, married man be connected? There are lots of possibilities, and I was excited to see the connection between these two disappearances. I've become increasingly interested in crime based stories, so this sounded right up my alley.

My Rating: ❀'s
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense 
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I really wanted to like this book more than I did. I wanted to know the stories of Kayleigh and Chris, how they were connected--if they were connected--and find out what had happened to them. However, the novel didn't deliver any real answers because it was told from the point of view of Chris's wife, Rebecca.

At the beginning, I thought Rebecca would begin to look into these disappearances herself, possibly uncovering things the police had missed, or overlooked. But as the novel went on, the focus was less on what had happened, the connection of these two missing people and was instead focusing on the fallout Rebecca was suffering. She had become something of a pariah because it was assumed by the public that her husband, Chris, who went missing on the same day as Kayleigh, had something to do with Kayleigh's disappearance. That he was a criminal who had taken this young girl and was abusing her somewhere. Rebecca could not believe that this was true, but then where was Chris? Why had he disappeared? And why were his actions leading up his disappearance so questionable? Rebecca cannot help but wonder.
The novel is an exploration of happens to the loved ones of crime victims--or this case, of a missing person. It's exploration of what it might be to left behind, to be connected to someone who is a violent criminal, as Chris was thought to be.

That wasn't the novel I thought I was getting into, and therefore, I was disappointed. Even so however, I have to say that not all of Rebecca's activities and choices made a lot of sense to me. I could understand her inability to work, even her need to lose herself and therefore drinking way more than she should have been. However, I can't understand why she would seek Kayleigh's friends to find out more about Kayleigh. I suppose her depressed state of mind and constant state of doubt could be used to explain away her behaviour, but I did not feel connected to Rebecca. I found her drinking excessive, her daily activities non productive and her conversations with others never lead to any bits of the mystery being unraveled. Sadly to me, this character came across as rather two dimensional and immature. I really wish I could have connected with her more.

The ending cleared up all the questions, but I found it too quick and easy and way too much of it happened off page and then was never explained. I really was disappointed with how this book played out, from beginning to end. Maybe that's because I was expecting a different sort of novel, one more focused on the crime, but this was not a page turner in my books. It may be for other readers however, and I admire that the author tried a different tack in depicting a crime story.

A copy of the novel was provided to me from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

Happy Reading,
Jewels
It's been a while since I've read a novel by Michelle Moran, and I have to say, she does not disappoint in her ability to bring historical settings and people to life. I do not know much about the history of India, and much of their customs and traditions I know only through television or conversations with people from that land. Reading this novel was most enlightening.

My Rating: ❀'s
Genre: Historical Fiction
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As many of my readers know, I adore novel setting somewhere in the pages of history. Whether it's a novel like Ms. Moran that seeks to tell history through fiction, or a romance set in the past, I just love the romance if you will of historical settings. Rebel Queen helped India to life for me. I hadn't known that women could train to become part of the queen's guard or even that India had queens and kings. I am curious to learn more about this.

The character of Sita is compelling because she is a very modern in her way. Nearly sold by her grandmother after the death of her mother, Sita's father decides that she should be well educated and trained to become part of the guard of Queen Lakshmi. Her ambition is fueled by the need to gain money to fund her sister's dowry, and Sita is successful, winning not only a place among the queen's all female army, but the respect of the queen herself.

Politics do not play a huge of the novel, but it does bring the novel to it's climax and eventual end, and Sita does have to aware of who her enemies are and who her friends are. But overall, the novel was more about Sita and her journey to become part of this elite world, her life as a part the court and then the eventual rebellion which brings the novel to it's close. Sita is a compelling character who leads an interesting life and through her we learn something of Indian values and points of view--on sexuality, on modesty, and manners. The novel is easy to read and is well paced so that you are always engaged in the story.

I did enjoy this novel, and find that Michelle Moran generally tells a cohesive tale in an intriguing chapter of history.

Happy Reading,
Jewels