All For You – REVIEW

3.5 out of 5 stars

All for You by Lynn Kurland book cover - Medieval castle with trees in background, waterlily pond in foreground

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Synopsis

FALLING THROUGH TIME IS DANGEROUS…

Peaches Alexander is thrilled to receive an unexpected invitation to a weekend party given by the handsome, eligible Duke of Kenneworth. The only problem: Stephen de Piaget, a stuffy medieval studies scholar who seems determined to get in the way. Peaches has absolutely no desire to get involved with Stephen, until a quirk of Fate sends her hurtling through time…

UNLESS THERE’S SOMEONE TO CATCH YOU.

Stephen de Piaget has been leading a double life: respectable professor by day, knight-in-training during holidays and summer terms. When Peaches goes missing, Stephen knows he’s the only one who can rescue her from medieval peril. Little do they know that the greatest danger they’ll face won’t be the business end of a sword, but their own unruly hearts…

Line illustration of swords

Review

All for You by Lynn Kurland is the 12th book in the de Piaget series and the 18th in the de Piaget/MacLeod crossovers. While Lynn Kurland is one of my favorite authors, I have to say that I did not feel this book was as good as some of her others.

The book was not horrible, but it seemed much more stilted than some of her other books. There were times when it felt as though the story itself did not know where it was headed.

Peaches is also one of those heroines that I tend to despise – she doesn’t have a spine. She constantly allows people to just walk all over her. Stephen, on the other hand, I’ve found charming since the first time he showed up (in ‘One Enchanted Evening‘).

While it’s certainly never going to be among my favorites and while it’s not as well-written as some Ms. Kurland’s other offerings, it was not horrible. I will also admit that it’s possible I could be more biased because I have read so many of her books and I expect a certain level of quality which I felt was missing here. Give it a try, but if you’re disappointed in it, please consider trying at least one of her other titles before you decide you don’t like her as an author!

Promise Me – REVIEW

4.5 out of 5 stars.

Promise Me by Richard Paul Evans book cover - Orange and red background with mistletoe hanging down from a red ribbon

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Synopsis

Beth Cardall has a secret. For eighteen years, she has had no choice but to keep it to herself, but on Christmas Eve 2008, all that is about to change.

For Beth, 1989 was a year marked by tragedy. Her life was falling apart: her six-year-old daughter, Charlotte, was suffering from an unidentifiable illness; her marriage transformed from a seemingly happy and loving relationship to one full of betrayal and pain; her job at the dry cleaners was increasingly at risk; and she had lost any ability to trust, to hope, or to believe in herself. Then, on Christmas Day, as she rushed through a blizzard to the nearest 7-Eleven, Beth encountered Matthew, a strikingly handsome, mysterious stranger, who would single-handedly change the course of her life.

Who is this man, and how does he seem to know so much about her? He pursues her relentlessly, and only after she’s fallen deeply in love with him does she learn his incredible secret, changing the world as she knows it, as well as her own destiny.

line of candy canes with green ribbon tied around some
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Review

Promise Me by Richard Paul Evans is very different than many Mr. Evans’ books. It’s still an excellent book, but it is not his “usual” fare.

I’ve been a fan of Mr. Evans since shortly after The Christmas Box came out and an even bigger fan after I met him at a book signing for Finding Noel and was impressed by how awesome he is with his fans. 🙂

Mr. Evans did warn his newsletter subscribers that there was going to be a twist to this book that may throw off some readers. I was not as thrown with the plot twist as my mom and some other fans because I actually enjoy books with that sort of plot twist and I’m used to reading about them.

That being said, Promise Me is still filled with the well-rounded, fleshed-out characters that we’ve come to expect from Mr. Evans. They’re still facing the life-changing events and learning to trust, love, and live again like many of his stories. There are still important reminders within the story such as how the seemingly small changes in our lives can have the biggest impact.

I would’ve preferred that the story to go a bit beyond where it ended. It would’ve given readers a chance to see how the characters handled things once everything was back to normal, it was still a beautiful Christmas story.

I’ve recommended it highly to many of my friends, though I do make sure to tell them that it is a bit different from his previous works. You just have to stretch your mind and open it up to new possibilities. So, are you willing to suspend your disbelief? If you are, buy it, read it, love it! 🙂

Enchantment – REVIEW

5 out of 5 stars

Enchantment by Orson Scott Card book cover - Goldenrod background, reproduction of "Ophelia" painting by J.E. Millais

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Synopsis

The moment Ivan stumbled upon a clearing in the dense Carpathian forest, his life was forever changed. Atop a pedestal encircled by fallen leaves, the beautiful princess Katerina lay still as death. But beneath the foliage a malevolent presence stirred and sent the ten-year-old Ivan scrambling for the safety of Cousin Marek’s farm.

Now, years later, Ivan is an American graduate student, engaged to be married. Yet he cannot forget that long-ago day in the forest–or convince himself it was merely a frightened boy’s fantasy. Compelled to return to his native land, Ivan finds the clearing just as he left it.

This time he does not run. This time he awakens the beauty with a kiss . . . and steps into a world that vanished a thousand years ago.

A rich tapestry of clashing worlds and cultures, Enchantment is a powerfully original novel of a love and destiny that transcend centuries . . . and the dark force that stalks them across the ages.

Line of gold crowns with alternating green, red, and blue tips
© Graphic Garden

Review

Enchantment by Orson Scott Card is a one of my all-time favorite “fairy tales retold”. I’m a fan of the genre in general, but in my opinion, this one is particularly well done.

This retelling is set in the Carpathian mountains and the United States. The first time our hero, Ivan, comes across the sleeping beauty in the forest, he’s only 10 and doesn’t know what to do. He runs away but yet throughout the years, he can’t forget the beauty. He has the opportunity to go back to the area as part of his graduate degree rework in obscure old Russian dialects. This time he wakes the beauty and is sucked into a world of magic, time travel and intrigue.

Bouncing between modern-day United States and medieval Russia, Mr. Card does a terrific job of interweaving Russian folklore with the Sleeping Beauty story and adding in modern day issues and settings.

I love re-reading it every few years because it’s such a wonderful retelling of the story. I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys fairy tales retold in other formats/settings or loves the story of Sleeping Beauty.