In My Mailbox #1

In an ideal world I would live near a small, independent bookstore that carried every romance and mystery novel ever published.  But, sadly, this is not a ideal world, so I usually wind up ordering all my books from Amazon.  So, without any further ado, I bring you my first "In My Mailbox" post, detailing which books I just got from Amazon (and other places).

  • How to Tame a Wild Fireman by Jennifer Bernard  (Book 4 in the Bachelor Firemen of San Gabriel series)
  • A Lady Most Lovely by Jennifer Delamere (Book 2 in the  Love's Grace series)
  • Here Comes Trouble by Erin Kern (Book 2 of the Trouble series)
  • Run to You by Rachel Gibson (Book 2 of Lovett, Texas series)
  • Lady Jenny's Christmas Portrait by Grace Burrowes (Book 8 of the Windham Family series)
  • Bound by Night by Larissa Ione (Book 1 of the Moonbound Clan Vampires series)
  • How to Entice an Enchantress by Karen Hawkins (Book 3 of the Duchess Diaries series)
  • Summer is for Lovers by Jennifer McQuiston 
  • Never Desire a Duke by Lily Dalton (Debut Author; Book 1 of the One Scandalous Season series) 
  • Through the Smoke by Brenda Novak
  • Duke of Midnight by Elizabeth Hoyt (Book 6 in the Maiden Lane series)
  • Unbreakable by Kami Garcia (Book 1 in The Legion series)
  • Death, Taxes, and Green Tea Ice Cream by Diane Kelly  (Book 6 in the Tara Holloway series)
  • Secrets of a Scandalous Marriage by Valerie Bowman (Book 3 in the Secrets Brides
  • Teardrop by Lauren Kate (Book 1 in the Teardrop series)
  • Emerald Green by Kirsten Gier (Book 3 in the Precious Stone series)

My plan is to make this a monthly feature.  What did you order/buy from a bookseller recently?


Book Review: ONCE UPON A TOWER by Eloisa James

Eloisa James is one of my favorite authors because I know I can depend on a good story from her. But, alas, it is a truth universally acknowledged that every author, no matter how good, can have a clunker of a book from time to time. Once Upon a Tower, is I'm afraid, Eloisa's clunker. While the book does have many redeeming qualities, it has severe flaws that overcome the good.

Once Upon a Tower is the love story of Lady Edith Gilchrist and Gowan Stoughton, Duke of Kinross. The couple meets at a ball that Edith's father is giving. Gowan is there because he is in need of a no-nonsense wife, even if she is English. Did I forget to mention that Gowan is Scottish? Yummy! Edith is there because, well...it is her father's ball. She is attending the ball despite being sick with a cold. I did enjoy Edith being under the weather because it did lead to the plot gem of Gowan being entranced by Edith and Edith later having absolutely no clue who Gowan was, despite the fact that she agrees to marry Gowan while under the weather. Just the kind of levity I like from Eloisa.

The story starts off good, but slams to a halt once Gowan and Edith marry. Why? Because the big plot device keeping them apart, they're both virgins and the first time wasn't exactly magical, can be solved with a conversation that simply doesn't happen until later in the story. This unfortunately leads to pages and pages of stupidity on both characters fault. It drug on too long, and in the end, really wasn't worth all of the drama. It would have been far more fun for them to have the conversation, and then have them “practice” to get better. The heat was most definitely there between Gowan and Edith!

I found myself drawn in more by the story of Edith's father and step-mother. Their romance is the story of the disappointment that comes with a May/December romance that starts off happy and veers off track by the realization that your partner is not perfect and having infertility problems. Their story, to me, seemed more meaty and more deserving of being the lead couple than Edith and Gowan.

Overall, this wasn't the worst book ever written (Fifty Shades of Grey), but it was not an easy, frothy, fun read that is Eloisa's typical fare. The thing to remember is that a bad book by Eloisa James is better than some of the best books written by other authors. This book is only recommended to Eloisa James' previous readers and admirers. Newbies to Eloisa should start with her older titles, such as Duchess in Love.

2.5 stars out of 4



Book Details:

Once Upon A Tower (Eloisa's Fairy Tales #5)
Eloisa James
Avon Books--June 2013

New Reviews Coming Soon

Reviews for the following books are forthcoming:
  • Firelight (Darkest London #1) by Kristen Callihan
  • Moonglow (Darkest London #2) by Kristen Callihan
  • Once Upon a Tower by Eloisa James --Review is up here.
  • Obsession (Faces of Evil #1) by Debra Webb
  • Impulse (Faces of Evil #2) by Debra Webb

I'm so sorry that I've neglected this blog.  All of it is due to upheaval in my personal life, which led to a severe bout of readers drought.  It feels good to have broken through the drought a bit and getting back into blogging!