Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Return to the House of Sin (Bastards of London #4) by Anabelle Bryant

Waiting for this book, in particular, has been a lesson in patience. Return to the House of Sin, the fourth and final book in the Bastards of London series, is a prime example of Anabelle Bryant's expertise in bringing a lost cause back from the brink and making him into a hero. Crispin Daventry, Lord Hastings, made a hasty exit of London after the "love of his life" marries one of the Bastards, and loses a mound of money at the Underworld. He runs from everyone who loves him, even the sister who was his best friend.

Wasting his life away in over-excess and debauchery has taken its toll on Crispin, who has resolved, though not wholeheartedly, to return to London to exact revenge on the gaming hell, The Underworld and the proprietor who stole his love. Crsipin has gained a fortune in his time away from London and will use all at his disposal  to regain his reputation. Traveling back to London from Italy on a ship along with his mischievous friend the Count of Este.

Lady Amanda Beasley, daughter of the earl of Huntindon was supposed to travel to France from Italy with her widowed father and her sister, but circumstances separate the family members, and Amanda ends up on the wrong ship headed to England while her family board their ship to France. Frantic and without help, Amanda stows away in the first open chamber she finds, which happens to be Crispin's. What a dilemma! 

Crispin is trying so hard to turn over a new leaf, but Amanda is a tempting morsel. Between attempting to keep her presence a secret from everyone on the ship to keeping himself , Crispin becomes a steadfast friend to Amanda whilst keeping her hidden from the crew. He makes sure she has food and drink and even comforts her when she falls ill. Amanda has never had any type of relationship with a man, but she falls into complacency with Crispin's friendship. Dare she  he ever hope for anything else? Crispin continually pushes back his emerging feeling for Amanda knowing she would make someone a perfect wife, just not him. He was far too heartbroken to accept any new possibilities of love. 

Once the ship docks in English waters and Amanda and Crsipin go their separate ways, but the inevitable happens when Crispin and Amanda begin to see one another at ton events. Denying the undeniable is a task neither will win when feelings eventually tear down the walls that both Amanda and Crispin have erected around their hearts, and the journey to the point of no return is sublime.

Author, Anabelle Bryant has written a superb send off  to the Bastards of London and everything is as it should be in the land surrounding the Underworld. Miss Bryant takes a character that readers had come to dislike through his actions in the past and wondrously redeem his to the point of his becoming a favorite hero in this tale. Amanda Beasley and he sensual innocence becomes the catalyst in this redemption, making RETURN TO THE HOUSE OF SIN one of my favorite books this year. I highly recommend this, and any expertly written book written by the ever talented, Anabelle Bryant.


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

A Place at Our Table (An Amish Homestead Novel) by Amy Clipston

Young Amish woman, Kayla Dienner  has already lost one family member to tragedy, she doesn't want anything to happen to her younger brother,Nathan , who is all about becoming a firefighter after he meets part time firefighter, Jamie Riehl. 

Kayla meets Amish firefighter, Jamie Riehl when he responds to a fire on the Dienner's property. Jamie was acquainted with the elder Dienner brother who perished in a fire the year before and when the younger Dienner, Nathan, shows an interest, he is glad to help in any way he can. Meeting Kayla also sparks an interest which Jamie has never had before, but knowing that Kayla is so against having Nathan go into firefighting, makes Jamie pause.

Jamie and Kayla begin a friendship and a courtship of sorts but both have reservations which can make or break their relationship.  It seems to Kayla, that she cares more for whatever the two have together since Jamie misses dates with her. When a heartbreaking tragedy strikes Jamie's family, he feels the weight of the world on his shoulders doubt that he can ever be what Kayla needs.

Can two people who obviously care so much for each other overcome the obstacles blocking their paths? Can both Kayla and Jamie set aside their sadness and look to a future with one another? All these questions and more are answered in Amy Clipston's A PLACE AT OUR TABLE.

Having only started reading Amish romance novels the past year or so, I have quickly fallen in love with Amy Clipston's stories subject matters and the people she so eloquently describes. This story in particular hits home for me because I have a son who is a volunteer firefighter who wants to make a career of it in the FDNY. Kayla's feelings for her brother Nathan mimic this reader's and add to the appeal. I enjoyed learning about the Dienner family and the Riehl family and I hope to reading more about them in the future.