Thursday, December 23, 2010

Judith McNaught- Once and Always review

Judith McNaught is one of my favorite writers of historical romances. I don't like her contemporary romances all that much (I have read Paradise and Double Standards).

Once and Always is a historical romance- one genre where she is at her best.

Across the vast ocean sailed Victoria Seaton, a free-spirited American beauty left suddenly orphaned and alone. Eager to claim her long-lost heritage, she was amazed at the formal elegance of Wakefield, the sumptuous English estate of her distant cousin...the notorious Lord Jason Fielding. Sought after at plays, operas, and balls by London's most fashionable ladies, Jason remained a mystery to Victoria. Bewildered by his arrogant demeanor, yet drawn to his panther-like grace, she came to sense the searingly painful memories that smoldered in the depths of his jade-green eyes.
Unable to resist her spitfire charm, Jason gathered her at last into his powerful arms, ravishing her lips with his kisses, arousing in her a sweet, insistent hunger. Wed in desire, they were enfolded in a fierce, consuming joy, free at last from the past's cruel grasp. Then, in a moment of blinding anguish, Victoria discovered the shocking treachery that lay at the heart of their love...a love she had dreamed would triumph...Once And Always. (taken from

Victoria is the classic Judith McNaught historical heroine- she has spirit, vitality, energy and is innocent. Jason Fielding is the typical historical romance hero- dashing, playboy, a bad past, cold on the outside, rich with good title. I am unable to understand why every one of Judith McNaught's heroes are so perfect (rich with good looks and good title).

Neverthless, the book is quite good. It resembles her book Something Wonderful which I read just recently. Both the heroes are somewhat similar.

Overal, the book had almost all the ingredients of a successful romance novel- good characters, interesting plot and lots and lots of emotion. Definitely wroth reading. It is sad that Judith McNaught writes novels so slowly. We never have enough to read!



Overall- 4.3

Lisa Kleypas- Someone to watch over me review

I decided to read this book by Lisa Kleypas after reading good reviews of her other books. It is a historical romance- a genre that I seem to read a lot these days.

She couldn't remember who she was...
A temptingly beautiful woman awakens in a stranger's bed, rescued from the icy waters of the Thames, her memory gone. Told that she is Vivien Rose Duvall, one of London's most scandalous beauties, she finds herself under the protection of enigmatic, charming Grant Morgan. Her life is in his hands. Deep in her heart, she knows he has mistaken her for someone else...
He was the only man she could trust.
As one of London's most eligible and unattainable catches, Grant Morgan is a man who has known every kind of woman. And the one in his arms now seems so innocent, so vulnerable, that he can't help but be enchanted. And as his love for this mysterious beauty grows, he's determined to unravel the secrets of her past and discover the truth -- no matter what.  (Taken from official website)

The more historical romances I read, the more convinced I become that they are similar to each other. Lisa Kleypas is just as good as other historical romance writers, in fact if I judge her on the basis of this book, she is very good.

The characters are good and much like stereotypical historical romance characters. the hero is strong and mysterious with a bad past, the heroine is naive. But Lisa gives it a twist through the amnesia plot. The explanation is quite good and real and even unexpected (you can read and find out).
One more thing that was unique was that the hero was not a duke, viscount or marquess or in fact any titled person. Historical romances are usually populated by rich and titled heroes. This book is unconventional in that respect because the hero is a Bow Street Runner (which, according to what I gathered was something like a government detective)

This book is part of the Bow Runner series. I am in the process of reading the second book in this series. I have been reading a lot of series these days (Malory Family by Johanna Lindsey and Once and Always by Judith McNaught which I don't exactly know is part of which series. I will review those books also.)

Overall, the book was not long so it was a quick read. She didn't bore, either and I would definitely recommend you to read this book, especially if you have not read any other book by her like me.


Overall- 4

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Author Interview- KP Wee

Hello everyone. It's already December and the new year will be starting soon. I have with me today, K.P. Wee, author of Fess Up, Jessup (which I will be reviewing shortly) and other books. This is the author interview of the month December.

 KP Wee is a teacher and market researcher in Vancouver, Canada. He enjoys writing, hockey, and baseball.

While he has written short stories in the psychological fiction genre, he much prefers chick lit and sports biographies.

KP has previously published "Showing Their Scales." He began writing because he often had to write stories as lessons for his students, and he realized, "Hey, writing is fun. I can do it. I can write stories and try and get them published." And that's how it all began.


Favorite color- Blue
Favorite author- Camy Tang.
Favorite book- Zodiac sign- Scorpio
Your motto- Don’t Say I Can’t. It’s the motto of my favorite athlete, Tom Candiotti, and it’s something that I firmly believe in.
Here is the interview:
RC-  Is the life of a writer what you imagined it to be?
KP Wee- Not necessarily. I think as a writer, it’s not solely about writing. You need to think about things like marketing, having a blog or website that promote your books, and you need to come up with interesting content on your blog to get people to come back and check your site out. There are things like Twitter and Facebook too. If you don’t have those things, you’re not going to be successful. So essentially, it’s not what I imagined it to be – you have to basically worry about the business side of it, the marketing and promoting aspect of things. So, it’s kind of like running a business as well as being able to write.

Also, there’s a fair amount of research to be done. You want to get your facts straight. You want to make sure what you write about makes sense. For instance, if your character is a teacher, you better make sure you can portray his or her occupation in a story in a realistic way. Even the lingo he or she uses, you have to get that right. I once had to interview people in the engineering and marketing professions to determine if those occupations were suitable for my main character! There are all these types of details you need to be sure about before you can use them in your stories.

RC- What genre do you write and why?

KP Wee- I’ve written psychological fiction – I enjoy writing stories where you expect the unexpected. You see perhaps the bad guys getting what they want, or someone getting back at others for revenge, for instance. My philosophy when I began writing was that we’ve seen enough books were the good guys win, the bad guys lose, and everyone’s happy at the end. I stayed away from those kinds of endings because I wanted to be different. I liken my stories to those you see from the TV series, "Tales from the Crypt," where there isn’t a happy ending but perhaps a tragic and even violent one to certain characters. That was my genre, at least when I first started writing. My first published book, "Showing Their Scales: Three Tales of Lies, Lust, and Deception" was exactly like that. "Fess Up, Jessup!" is a little different in that you do see a bit of justice, so to speak, by the end of the stories.

More recently, I’ve been working on chick lit, realizing it’s not always about what I want to write. It’s more about what people want to read. Statistics do show that women tend to read more than men do, so the reality is to write what women want to read about. It’s been quite an adjustment, for sure, going from one extreme of violence and revenge to a genre where the heroine gets what she wants at the end.

RC-What quality do you think is essential for becoming a good writer?

KP Wee-I believe you need to do a lot of research. You need to be creative. You need to get inside the heads of your characters and think like they do, and be able to convey that in the story. You need to describe things well. You need to get the lingo right. Basically, you need to have a strong understanding of how people think, how to make your characters compelling, and you need to be creative and funny. You need to incorporate all that into your writing and if you think about it, it’s not an easy task to accomplish.

RC-Who are your favorite authors?

KP Wee-When I was younger, I enjoyed mystery novels. I would always pick up novels by Agatha Christie and other detective/mystery authors. As I have gradually tried to write chick lit, I’ve tried to read novels written by chick lit authors. I find Camy Tang’s novels to be funny.

RC-Have you ever suffered from the dreaded writer's block? How did you deal with it?

KP Wee-I wouldn’t say I’ve had writer’s block. What I do have is too many ideas, and I would try to set one story aside if I don’t feel motivated to write it, and move on to the next one. I think the biggest enemy I have isn’t writer’s block, but a lack of time. Being employed full-time doesn’t help with my writing, because there have been times when I return home and do not feel motivated enough to spend a few hours writing.

RC- What message would you like to give your fans?
KP Wee-I would say, "Never give up." No matter what people may say or what negativity you may hear about what you can't do, always believe in yourself, try your best, and maybe you CAN do it. Having the proper attitude and the willingness to try goes a long way.
RC- That was so inspiring! Thank you so much for doing this interview with us. You can learn more about SP Wee by visiting his website
You can read more about his book Fess Up, Jessup on its page and also buy it there-

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Book Review- Barbara Cartland- Hungry for Love

Just as the title suggests 'Hungry for Love' is a romance novel by Barbara Cartland that focuses on food. It is not something expected of Barbara Cartland.

The story follows Araminta (a strange but cute name), a poor girl who is a great. After her parents die, she is forced to cook to earn a living because she has not got any other skills. Her influential uncle helps here by placing a bet worth a lot on money on her. She is hired by a Marquis who is willing to pay lavishly to hire her. She amazes everyone including the royalty with her delicious and exotic food. She however, does not get to see the Marquis during their initial meeting. Someone who attends the party takes her to a restaurant and tries to take advantage when the Marquis rescues her. They eventually fall in love and strive towards one of Barbara Cartland's specialities- a happy ending.

The 'gourmet' twist to the novel made it interesting. Romantic development was slow but satisfactory. The name of the protagonist is unusual. The names of many exotic dishes are mentioned during the novel which sometimes make your mouth water.
The story has a complex plot for a novel of that length. The romance was great as expected from Barbara Cartland.

The cover was good with a nice colour scheme and apt title.

Overall, an above average-average book from Barbara Cartland which is a good way to pass time.




Weak female lead
Typical male lead

Book Review- Barbara Cartland- Who can deny love?

Who Can Deny Love? is one of the seven hundred+ books written by the 'True Queen of Romance', Barbara Cartland.

The story is a unique one for Barbara Cartland who experiments with a woman of higher family rank falling in lvoe with a man of lower family rank.
The heroine of the story forges paintings for a living. Her mother, a duchess married a painter because she loved him. They found it hard to pay for her mother's needs after she fell ill due to which she later died. Now, the heroine forges paintings to make a living.
The hero, a marquis comes across one of her forged paintings of herself when he meets his friend, the prince who loves to invest in paintings. On coming to know that the painting is a fake, he demands the address of the forger from the company that sold the painting and hence lands up in the hreoine's house. She is a dead ringer of the woman in the painting. The marquis begans visiting her frequently and they fall in love. Towards the end, she goes back to her father (a duke) without informing the Marquis. He accidentally discovers her and pleads her father to give him permission to marry his daughter. He refuses because the Marquis' reputation as a flirt preceeds him. In the end, he gains the Duke's trust and they marry.

The painting/art angle to the story was unsual. The heroine was shy and introverted while the hero was frank and open. Characterisation was not all that great but she filled a lot of stuff into a 160 page story. The story has more twists than any of her other novels I have read. It has two parts- one before her disappearance and the second after the Marquis finds her. In case all these titles seem alien to you, you can google it. A Duke is the highest rank that can be obtained by a commoner.

The story's flow was good. It was boring initially but the end covered up for it.

Overall, one of Barbara Cartlands's better novels. She has experimented a bit here with great results. The title like most of her book titles contains the word 'love'.




Boring initially

Book Review- Judith Mcnaught- A Kingdom of Dreams

A Kingdom of Dreams is a prequel or sequel (it is supposed to be first in the series but was written after Whitney, my love) to her smash hit Whitney, my love. It narrates the love story of the first Duke of Clarymore who is referred to many times during Whitney, my love.

The story is a little different from other novels of Judith Mcnaught. It is set in the fourteenth or fifteenth century unlike her other novels which are set in eighteenth and nineteenth century.
It narrates the story of a proud scottish girl, Jenny Merrick who is the daughter of her tribe's leader. Her town is going to be attacked by 'The Wolf' a dreaded english commander of troops. Jenny and her sister are captured by The Wolf's (Royce Westmoreland) troops and imprisoned. It is in the camp of the english army that Jenny falls in love with the Wolf (who later becomes the Duke of Claymore). Later, she is forced to marry him and reluctantly agrees. They evetually fall deeper in love and conquer their differences.

The story has a dark atmosphere because it is set is medieval times. The male character was a little unconventional (even though he was a Duke) because he wasn't spending his time courting ladies at high end parties. He was rotting in camps trying to conquer lands. Jenny is a little bit stronger than other heroines of Judith Mcnaught because she is stronger physically than mentally and is famous for her troublesome nature. She is sent to be a nun at the church but later comes back.

There is some humour in the story which diverts attention from the dark atmosphere. There is war going on all the time and most of Jenny's love happens in the camp so, the atmosphere tends to be a little depressing. The love is quite slow. The book begins well with Jenny complaining of the hostile atmosphere before her marriage but later slows down (and is a bit boring) as Jenny narrates her adventures before the marriage.

I felt the end was a little abrupt. Their love could have been given more time to develop after they arrive at Royce's house. While there was all the romantic development that was needed, the story could've dragged a little more. It felt a little incomplete (even with the happy ending).

The hero and heroine were equally strong in the book unlike many of her other books where the heroines try to show they're smart by showing intellect with no success.

Overall, this books was not as great as her classics but is one of the good romance novels written by Judith Mcnaught. My only complaints were the abrupt ending and depressing atmosphere. There are no balls or social gatherings- only wars. The story is set in medieval times with more of knights and wars than balls and parties.

Overall rating- 4.1/5


Strong side characters


Abrupt ending
Dark tone

Book Review- Judith Mcnaught- Something Wonderful

Judith Mcnaught is a multi million selling writer of a string of romance novels. I have reviewed two of her books earlier. I started reading her because a friend recommended her books and I got addicted immediately. I read her historical novel Something Wonderful last week. It is a 'historical romance'- the genre Judith Mcnaught is famous for.

It revolves around the life of Alexandra, a seventeen year old girl whose father dies. Her father was accused of bigamy and her mother spends her life depressed over marrying someone like Alexandra's father. Alexandra is very smart with a great interest in philosophy. Her grandfather teaches her about various philosiphical writers and texts. While going to visit her friend one day, Alexandra saves a man from bandits. He takes her to an inn. When he takes her back home, there are rumours that the two are in love because they were seen together. Concerned about Alexandra's reputation, her mother forces the man to marry her. The man turns out to be the Duke of Hawthorne who is a famous lady killer. He plans to leave Alexandra to rot in his country house. But they eventually fall in love. A few days after marriage, Jordan (the duke) drowns in the sea. Alexandra goes into mourning. After a year, he returns and tells he was imrpisoned, not killed. However, now Alexandra knows of his way with women and wants to run from him because he is a reckless flirt. The story progresses furthur with twists and turns and as expected of Judith Mcnaught, has a happy ending.

This book was a step down from the last book I read- Whitney, my love. With every consequent book, I feel Judith Mcnaught's style is getting repetitive (Law of diminishing marginal utility). A repetitive feature I noticed was that all her heros are Dukes (with the exception of Until you's hero who is an Earl).

After reading four books by her, I now know every move she is going to make. All her heroines are similar but not identical like heros.

The book was quite long but not as long as Whitney, my love. I found Almost Heaven her best so far. The after marriage plot was unusual.

If it is your first or second book by Judith Mcnaught, you'd probably like it.
The romance is great, as usual. That's where Judith Mcnaught gets ahead of her contemporaries. Her books are full of spontaneous feelings of love.

Overall, an average historical romance. It is a little above average because it comes from Judith Mcnaught.

Overall rating- 3.8/5





Thursday, December 2, 2010

Free book giveaway- Roses of Doom by S.P. Wish

It's already December and time for christmas. Why not spice up your christmas with this new, free ebook? December's free ebook is Roses of Doom by S.P. Wish. It is a horror/thriller/children's book and it is available for free on Here is the link-

Here is a short summary of the book-

When horror strikes, black roses are left behind........

A school camping trip leads quirky middle schooler Mizu, her smart brother Kaji and her friends Akumu and Seiya to a strange mansion in the mysterious Greenfire forest. Mizu's best friend mysteriously disappears and reappears, Mizu finds old newspapers which are two hundred years old. From these, she manages to unearth a centuries old with deadly consequences on the present. Who is behind these mysterious happenings?

You can also view the book trailer on youtube at-

Enjoy the ebook!