Review: French Illusions – 4 stars

FrenchIlusions

RATING: 4 STARS

Linda Kovic-Skow’s dream is to become an international stewardess. Yet, one of the requirements of this job is that she must be bi-lingual – fluent English and at least one another language – preferably Spanish, French or German. Linda is determined to learn French and concocts a plan to make it happen. She applies for a job as an Au-Pair in France and learn French along the way. She lies on her application by stating she speaks French. She is hired and doesn’t reveal she isn’t fluent in French until she meets her future employers in person. Her future employers are a wealthy French family who live in a castle in the Loire Valley and aren’t amused to discover she isn’t fluent in French. Since no other Au-Pairs are available, they decide to let her stay, only if she attends French language courses in nearby Tours.

The story was interesting up until the end, when it ended abruptly,leaving many questions about her love interests. In order to find out what happens next,  you need to buy her next book. Unfortunately, this seems to be a trend in book publishing lately. The author should resolve the end of story, but leave some parts unresolved for a future book, not end the book in the middle of the ending.  I deducted one star for this reason. Overall, French Illusions: My Story as an Au-Pair in the Loire Valley is an entertaining book.

Review: Walk Through Fire – Motorcycle Gang Romance

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RATING: 4  STARS            

Publisher: Forever – Grand Central  

For ages 18 y.o +

Release Date: October 27, 2015

Walk Through Fire is the fourth book in The Chaos Series by Kristen Ashley. Motorcycle gang romance novels are not my genre of choice, but I gave this book a chance. Chaos is the Motorcycle Club where the main character, Millie, returns to reconnect with her ex-boyfriend, High. At first, High is a complete jerk when he first sees her. She walked out on High when he was in love with her twenty years ago, without explanation. Now,  Millie is ready to explain herself.

The first half of the book is intense with plenty of tension. Raw, painful feelings are exposed. Millie and High’s desire is palpable when they lash out at each other. Both of them have a lot of hot angry sex, before we understand why Millie left. What is her secret and why did she leave High years ago?

The pace of the first half of the book finds Millie and High sorting out their pain and dealing with a love that never died. The second half focuses on their rebuilding a life together. Kristen Ashley captured the biker dialogue pretty well. Throughout the entire book, I  envisioned Sam Elliot as High,  with his deep, booming voice.

Bikers Sam Elliot and Cher from the film
Bikers Sam Elliot and Cher from the film “Mask.” Source: wlbpa.org

I’d highly recommend this entertaining, emotional book. Walk Through Fire is easy to read as  a stand alone book, even though this is the fourth one in the Chaos Series. Now, I need to read the entire series from the beginning, since I enjoyed it so much.

ARC courtesy of publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review: The Witch of Painted Sorrows

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The Witch of Painted Sorrows by M.J. Rose    Published by Atria Books

RATING: 4 STARS

In her signature lush prose, M.J. Rose paints an intriguing gothic tale set during the 1890s Belle Époque Paris. Sandrine Salome, fleeing from her dangerous husband in New York, seeks refuge in her grandmother’s grand mansion in hopes of creating  a new life for herself. Upon arrival, she discovers her (courtesan) grandmother’s mansion is boarded up. When questioned, her grandmother’s evasive answer piques Sandrine’s curiosity to discover her secrets. Along with a charming young architect, she begins to explore the forbidden and dangerous night world of Paris. 

Sandrine becomes fascinated with the Maison de la Lune, a mansion which has been in the Verlaine family for centuries. As Sandrine becomes more involved in the secrets surrounding Maison de la Lune, she becomes prey to the life draining force of La Lune, a long-suffering ancestor of the Verlaine family.

M.J. Rose captures Sandrine’s sadness and obsessive desire to find her own identity. The Witch of Painted Sorrows blends a haunted Parisian mansion, a 16th century courtesan, and witchcraft, giving the reader a thrilling ride to the end. I’m looking forward to M.J. Rose’s second installment of The Daughters of La Lune.

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