Reviews

Reviews for Marie’s Books

-from Amy’s Bookshelf Reviews

Blood Instincts by Marie Lavender (in the top 20 authors on her site now)

July 20, 2018

4 Stars

A wonderful sequel

In the first book, the readers were introduced to Alec and Desiree, and now, we get to know their child, Myah. The prologue reminds us that this is no ordinary connection. This is a romance about the undead, and the inhibitions of the undead. Myah is just realizing who she is, and she is “saved” by Oliver. Another great story from Lavender, and it doesn’t take away from the first story, while creating a new story for new characters, and new adventures. It’s about discovering oneself and being truthful. It may be a vampiric romance, but it’s more than just that. It’s not a typical vamp-romance, and I like that about this story.

-from Amazon and Goodreads

on July 17, 2018
I enjoyed the first book in the series, and the second book didn’t disappoint either. What I loved most is that Myah was special, strong and stubborn too, not a weak heroine being wooed by a vampire. She and Oliver seemed a great match, and I believed their sizzling chemistry. This book was neither too slow nor too fast-paced for my taste, and put some nice twists to the common vampire myths.

-from Amy’s Bookshelf Reviews

Second Nature by Marie Lavender

July 11, 2018

4 Stars

Something magical about an undead romance

It’s obviously not a typical romance, nor is it typical about an undead ravenous vampire story. The vampire is Alec, and the human he desires is Desiree. I am a big fan of Lavender’s work, so this was something I definitely wanted to read. A start of something new, and very intense and filled with grand vibrant characters. The story builds so much the reader can feel the intensity of the chemistry between the vampire and his “captive.” I really enjoyed this story, and how Lavender can spin a great tale of romance, even with the undead. It felt almost real. As Desiree says to Alec, “I can see inside of you, Alec. I know your heart. I swear I’ll keep that heart safe as long as I live.” It’s quite an undead story.

-from The Reading Cafe

Blood Instincts
Blood at First Sight series – Book #2
by Marie Lavender

Blood Instincts by Marie Lavender is the 2nd book in her Blood at First Sight series.  Oliver is a vampire, he was a turned vampire, and he’s lived his life to the best he can. He hunts other vampires that don’t wipe their “donors” minds or kill the “donor” (bloodlust can be a problem if not watched).But he misses his old family, and watched them from afar (until the line died out).

He’s having dreams (and Oliver never dreams) and feels he needs to be somewhere !!!

Myah is a normal human, she lives a normal life, she works and loves like a human.  But when she meets Oliver, he wakens something up in her, he asks “what” she is, and tries to convince her that what she is, isn’t fully human !!!

The attraction for Oliver is instant, but for Myah, it’s a little slower, she’s wary of the stranger, but she wants to know more about herself and him.

We meet characters from the first book (don’t want to give too much away) and I get a few answers from questions I had in the first book. It’s a little different from the usual vampire books, and that’s a good thing.

Another well written book to this series, and I’m hoping to have another soon.

Second Nature
Blood at First Sight series – Book #1
by Marie Lavender

Second Nature by Marie Lavender is the first book in her Blood at First Sight series.  It is set in a world much like our own, (with the exception of vampires, werewolves) 😉

Desiree is a recently divorced young woman, who has decided to immerse herself in her work. She has friends and family but is starting to feel like she needs a different path to follow, work or personal, she just hasn’t decided which one yet to choose.

Alec is a vampire, he was “made” when another vampire changed him by accident during the civil war !! Having no “sire” to show him how to be a vampire, Alec has made his own way in the works, he has a few rules he tries to live by, one being never drain a “human” and never leave a memory behind (so he erases their memory after feeding)

When Alec spots Desiree at a Jazz and Blues Festival he is captured by her. There is an attraction between Desiree and Alec that neither one of them can deny, no matter how hard Desiree tries to deny it. There is also a bond that neither one of them can explain. Desiree has some kind of connection that Alec has never experienced before with anyone else, and he wants to explore this and his feelings for Desiree further.

There are a couple of plot twists that kept the story interesting. Even though this is book one of a series, there is no cliffhanger.

The story is written well, and although both have their say, I never got confused with who was thinking what.
-Reviews by Julie B

-from Amy’s Bookshelf Reviews site and Amazon

Powerful Trilogy – A beautiful love story that was very well written. Lavender has a way of bringing the story to life. Deeply passionate story. A definite page-turner. I enjoyed this story and it may seem like the 1800’s would be a simpler time, but definitely not. Wonderful stories.

-from Remy Marie’s blog

Book Review:

I’m giving Blue Vision three out of five stars. This was my first time reading a science fiction romance. When I first opened the book, I imagined stunning worlds far off from our own, new creative aliens and an adventure that would take me out of my Kindle and into the captain’s chair. While Marie Lavender managed to check some of the boxes, I found she was lacking in other areas. I found myself reading the novel and questioning when was the science fiction going to be introduced? Yes, the main character was a blue alien, called an Endhivarian with physic powers, and he came from a different world, Endhivar, but the story was heavily focused on the relationship of Colin and Brooke. I had way too many questions about Colin’s race and was disappointed; they were never answered. My disappointment grew more in the third act when many of the subplots to Colin’s home world were destroyed. I was hoping at some point the story would shift and focus more on Colin’s mission, but I felt like the writer gave a few sentences on the science fiction subplot that could have made the novel more adventurous and focused more on the romance plot where both heroes have cabin fever and are stuck in a cabin for a week. When the sci-fi subplot reached its final arc, I found it disappointing and lackluster.

Overall, I felt like it could like the story read more like a contemporary romance than an adventurous sci-fi. However, the story plot was the only issue I found with the novel. The author’s writing ability is amazing. I feel like writing in third person in the romance genre is a lost art. To be able to write in third person well is a testament to the author’s writing ability. I found myself taking notes on her craft. Her descriptions and ability to convert emotions of her characters was very poetic. I could see why the author has numerous awards in writing. I liked qualities of both the main characters and liked the fact that she made Brooke contribute to the final act than just being a damsel in distress. As I read the story, I found myself asking what other titles Marie has created? Due to the fact, this sci-fi story was not working and wanted to read more of her contemporary additions. As I said before, the thin sci-fi plot was the deciding factor on the lower rating. The title of this review says it all. The romance is there, but the actual sci-fi is not. There are some other books in the series, and I hope that Marie Lavender goes into greater detail of the aliens and adventure than she did before. She seemed to be building to something big with the fighting experience Brooke gained in the epilogue. Perhaps I would read the second one in hopes that the novel advances the world building of the Endhivarians.

-from Romancing the Book blog

Review: I am sure that these books can be read on their own individually…I would like to recommend that they be read in order…They are much more enjoyable and they tend to flow smoothly one into the next. Ms. Lavender, all I can say is thanks for a wonderfully entertaining Trilogy.

Upon Your Return

Sometimes the most unexpected things become the best things ever. Ms. Lavender gives us a storyline that is smooth and strong with enough twists and turns to keep me, the reader, involved.

Fara wanted love but was taught that love was a dream …a fantasy, it wasn’t real.  Her Uncle dies and she runs from her newly acquired fiancé…Right into the path of Captain Grant Hill.

Right from the start I knew that these two were meant to be together. Fara had enough sass to light Grant on fire and Grant played things a little on the cool side. Ms. Lavender made a perfect pair in these two characters. I am not saying things ran smooth for them. Quite the opposite because they defiantly had plenty of ups and downs which made this story seem more realistic.

The research that was put into this story by Ms. Lavender gave the story that extra care in making a vivid portrayal of what life was like. I as a reader was able to see the towns, feel the in-depth characterization; I could sense the love, the loss, the problems, and the sense of what they were feeling all the time. The full richness in details helped in bringing this story to life.

I could feel the sensuous passion woven into the story. You could feel the steam without it actually written.

I am looking forward to the next installment in this series which delves more into the life of Fara, Grant, Aunt Lina and the newest addition to the Hill family.

Find your comfy chair…a glass of wine…and settle in for a story you won’t want to put down.

Upon Your Honor

This is the second installment in the Heiresses trilogy and I have to admit I may have liked this a bit more than the first. I loved the idea of keeping it family oriented and a smooth continuation of the first.   This book tells Gabe’s (Fara & Grant’s child) story.

We smoothly went from the previous story picking up where we left off and started right in with old friends. I liked this about Ms. Lavender. Once again she gave us characters that were not only realistic but very likable and easy to get to know and care about.

Once again we see a young girl that has gone through a lot in her young life. Chloe Waverly, has just turned eighteen/nineteen and is about to face another tragedy…the loss of her father. She is to marry a very evil man …so she does the one thing she thinks will save her she runs away and stows on board La Voyageur where she is found by Gabe.

This sets in motion a romance between her and Gabe which isn’t easy because it seems each time they dock at a port along the Eastern Seaboard trouble is there. Lamonte Beckett sends thugs to try and capture Chloe only to bring her back to Beckett. But, their attempts fail because Gabe has sworn to protect her till she gets to her grandma’s.

I found this to be another emotional story with another strong woman. I was on yet another adventure with more twists and turns adding to the realism of the story. A story that has romance woven within the adventure yet there was so much more to the story. If you wanted something predictable this isn’t it. At times you would think I know what is about to happen but you are thrown a curve.

I loved getting to know Gabe and Chloe…re-uniting with Aunt Lina…and the crew aboard La Voyageur also along with Fara and Grant. We are introduced to Gabe’s sister Adrienne who seems to be even more of a sassy spitfire than her mom and sister-in-law.

I can’t wait to read her story in the next installment.  So pick up Upon Your Honor and find out the story that is Gabe and Chloe’s. Enjoy as the family continues to expand and the adventure gets better…

Upon Your Love

Wow! Ms. Lavender gave us three books that were just…Wow.

Each one was woven with threads of love for family, life partners, friends and soul mate. I can say that as each story unfolded and I thought it just couldn’t get any better Ms. Lavender showed me how wrong I could be. As each installment came I found that the feminism that was coming alive during the era became more apparent within the story. Even though the men tried to hold onto their last bit of control the women tended to take over.

I enjoyed that each book incorporated the previous two it made the bonds of the family strong.

I loved Adrienne’s story. She chose and yes she really did choose Christian. For me they brought a playful approach to love. While they were matchmaking for friends things began to happen. Christian, the proverbial bad boy, seemed to be the only type that could give the feisty Adrienne the type of love she needed. I liked the way that there was fire in everything they did. I found the flirtatious conversations, touching…and also the gentle teasing seemed to add that extra bit of subtle eroticism to the story taking it to a whole new level. While the others were hot in a sensuous way; Adrienne and Christian were more erotic in a subtle way.

Christian not wanting to admit his feelings for Adrienne actually loved her without saying it because he I feel was drawn to the challenge of Adrienne…Her strength…her fierce love for her family and friends.

Also along with the gentle spirit that only he saw… that she kept hidden from others. I liked this about him.
Adrienne was the most feminist of all the other woman because she knew what she wanted not only in a man but also in bed and was not afraid to go after him or it. She wasn’t afraid for the most part…but there were times when she needed the strength of a man.

The characters blended from one story to the next bringing family, love, life and friendship into my life in a very realistic way. I fell in love with these characters they became my family. I feel that they will be remembered for a very long time.

So, if that comfy chair is still there…and there is a bottle of wine…settle in for another adventure with the Hill family…

-from Big Al’s Books and Pals

When Alyssa Masters, a freshman college student, wakes up on a fraternity’s front lawn. She’s hungover and not wearing her own clothes. She has very foggy memories of the night before. This is out of character for her, she doesn’t drink or go to parties like her roommates.

Aly is a straight-laced student and fears what she can’t remember from the previous night. Justin finds her on the lawn and offers to help her back to her dorm and to unravel the mystery of just exactly what happened at the party. Justin remembers seeing Aly go upstairs with Brendan, a frat brother. Unfortunately Brendan left the college early Sunday morning.

The plot has a nice pace as Aly and Justin search for answers. I found the dialogue mostly believable. This is a sweet story that challenges Aly to reevaluate her reclusive and introverted nature. The Missing Piece is a quick enjoyable story.

Reviewed by: ?wazithinkin

-from Readers’ Favorite

Reviewed by Natasha Jackson for Readers’ Favorite

Fara Bellamont has a problem; her uncle Michel. She returns to his estate as an adult, after being raised by nuns in Burgundy following the death of her parents. However, she discovers he is intent on finding her a husband -— whether she wants one or not. In Upon Your Return we get to know Fara right away and learn of her parents’ death and her desire for a life of adventure. Fara is not at all like other young French women of the 1860s: she’s strong-willed and longs for independence. Marie Lavender does a great job of pulling the reader in from the very first word. Early in the story, Uncle Michel tells Fara of her engagement at her celebratory dinner, to a man she’d met only moments before. Enraged and guileless, Fara admits to Jean LaCroix that she does not love him and he arranges for her to meet a very unfortunate end.

And that is where we meet the handsome and mysterious Captain Grant Hill, who promptly steps in to save Fara from her tormentors and would-be captors. From the moment Fara and Grant meet, their relationship is filled with intrigue, friendship, witty banter, and simmering with sexual attraction. Upon Your Return offers us a different heroine in that Fara isn’t just a lady who doesn’t fit into her ‘station’ but she just wants to be acknowledged for her brain and have a certain level of independence. Marie Lavender does a great job of crafting a tale full of emotions and obstacles without being melodramatic. It was a fine twist of brilliance to have a feminist heroine with a strong hero who isn’t afraid of or intimidated by her strength.

Truly a wonderful historical romance guaranteed to reel readers in from the start.

-from Readers’ Favorite

Reviewed by Natasha Jackson for Readers’ Favorite

When former cop Ethan moves to Oregon to forget his past, he encounters an enchanting woman dancing naked in the moonlight. The attraction is instant, even though Ethan and Wiccan Jessie couldn’t be more different. The only monsters Ethan believes in are the flesh and blood humans who commit unspeakable acts, yet despite his calm rational nature he is intrigued by Jessie. Marie Lavender’s Magick & Moonlight is truly adept at describing the instant attraction and chemistry simmering between the main characters. As much as Ethan wants to write Jessie off as a head case, his body won’t allow it. Unfortunately, Jessie has been taught to hide her true self, so her confession to Ethan must be somehow rectified and she decides to do it in the form of a love spell. Of course the spell works a little too well and Jessie finds herself quickly falling for Ethan.

Magick & Moonlight is a delightful love story that happens to feature a Wiccan. It doesn’t read like your typical paranormal tale; in fact at times it seems as though Wicca is the norm. The passion between Ethan and Jessie is off the charts and you just know that much passion has to spill over into life outside of the bedroom as well. Of course their relationship makes it out of the bedroom and Marie Lavender paints the perfect portrait of a couple falling in love so effectively it’s easy to forget that Ethan’s love is the product of witchcraft. When that spell morphs into real love, you’re left with a touching story of love, second chances, and living life out in the open.

-from Readers’ Favorite

Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers’ Favorite

A Little Magick (Magick Series Book 2) by Marie Lavender revolves around a cute little girl, Rosie, who goes to stay with her uncle. Uncle Adam’s home is big and he has built a tree house in the yard for Rosie, and has also made arrangements to work from home. He knows Rosie’s mother is a Wiccan and though he feels a little uncomfortable when she is around, he loves his niece. Rosie makes a lot of new friends and enemies while staying at her uncle’s place. Adam and Rosie get along well, but then slowly Rosie discovers she is a witch and begins to change, and her powers start coming to the fore. This story of fantasy is not just for children, even adults will enjoy the book.

The theme of bullying also runs through the plot, apart from the romantic angle between Adam and the cook Selena. All the characters are well sketched, especially that of Rosie. The book also conveys the message that with power comes accountability. The story is neat and simple and Rosie’s magick connects well with readers. The narration is detailed and descriptive, making the scenes come alive while reading.

It’s a thoughtful story for kids. Books with a message and moral are always good to read as children will be able to understand them better via a story. Little Magick is a good book and it’s quite interesting to read how Rosanna deals with her powers when she finds out about it.

on February 8, 2018

Second Chance Heart – Written by Marie Lavender

What did I like? This was a cute read that kept my interest from the first page. I liked the characters and especially Vince. He did wrong but everyone deserves to be given a second chance.

What will you like? Love, heartache, Love, and cuteness! Well written and developed to capture your heart. Awesome characters with the next door appeal. Quick read but does not feel that way. I received this from the Author for an honest review with no other compensation.

Dark Romance

on October 28, 2017

Ok lets see now…

Hot Vampire? Check

Love at first sight? Check

Hot Lovin? Check

Love with a stranger fantasy? check

Ok…so yeah this book has a bit of something for the dark romantic in all of us.  I tore through this book in two days, and I really enjoyed the read.  You are thrown into the book in the first chapter and its a take-no-prisoners romance that leaves you fanning yourself and turning the page for more.

Marie Lavender is an award winning author, and has published some 20 titles.  This one is great, I really liked it and I think you will too. It’s the start of a series.  And no cliffhangers here, everything in this one was tied up in a neat little bow so you won’t be left hanging at the end of this book.

on September 27, 2017

On his first night in town, he encounters a woman dancing naked around the camp fire. Instantly, he is allured by her. She claims to be a witch, but, of course, that’s just balderdash.

Afraid that he might reveal her secret, she casts a love spell on him, and, boy, does the passion ignite quickly. But what will she do when the spell is over and he starts to remember everything?

A quick read of love and magick with a conventional plot and ending.

http://roxiewrites.tumblr.com/post/165629721630/roxie-reviews-the-missing-piece-by-marie

-found on Sandra’s Book Club blog

Review: DIRECTIONS OF THE HEART by Marie Lavender

Two high school friends that have known each other their whole lives will be separated for the first time ever. Jenna and Reese will realize how much they mean to each other in “Without You.”
Plain Victoria has always been envious of her friend’s attractiveness, how men desired her. Just once, she’d like to know what that’s like. After all, “wasn’t there more to this existence than work, and feeding her cat, before she spent her evenings alone reading a book or taking a relaxing bath?” (65) This time, she’s letting the reins loose in “Strange Heat;” however, she’ll soon realize that when you play with fire, sometimes you get burned.

And can a battered woman learn to forget the severe trauma and find the strength to love and trust again? “Somehow, you’ve got to learn to push forward, keep moving on until one day, you don’t think so much about it. Maybe you’ll always remember. Maybe it will haunt you in some small way. But, being a survivor can strengthen you too. We shouldn’t let our fears paralyze us, Caitlyn. Believe me, I still feel it. But not as much as I used to.” (276) Still battling with their demons, Caitlyn and Jack struggle to break free from their pasts and find comfort in each other. This one was probably the best and the most gripping.

Directions of the Heart is a well-written and lovely compilation of love and friendship. Although long-winded at times, the stories are genuine and endearing. The author certainly knows the way to readers’ hearts. A fun, delightful read!

 An unconventional review for an unconventional book

on September 4, 2017
This review might sound a bit unusual but an unusual book deserves one. I’ll mainly focus on the prologue. This should suffice for anyone to decide if he or she wants to read the rest. (Hint: I did!!!)

It’s rare that a book offers something substantial as soon as you open it. Normally, the good stuff is either somewhere in the middle or toward the end (a lot of times nowhere at all) but Blue Vision has these lines in the prologue; “In their world mates existed, true mates, of course, but true mates were rare.” There are plenty of mates and meaningless mating rituals, true mates are rare. The world we live in, if a book helps its reader experience love vicariously, is a winner – at least, to me it is.

The question was posed by an eleven-year-old that how did his father know who his mate was? The father said, “Cambrilla was the first female I couldn’t look away from.” I’ve been wondering a lot why and how men fall in love. I haven’t found the answer yet but I guess if I asked how do we know a man is in love, the answer would be; he fails to look away from her after spending the night with her.

Maybe it sounds simplistic to those who expect complicated answers to the hard questions but sometimes the answers really are that simple. People often ask why do idiots fall in love? Because they grew up seeing love as a very real possibility, not simply an escape from reality. That’s how children learn to love and not drown in narcissism. Dare I call it positive programming? A lot of people roll their eyes at such ideas but just because you haven’t experienced something doesn’t mean it’s not real. Besides, that’s what life is really about; understanding, and there’s nothing significant about understanding personal experiences.

In the prologue, we see the boy throwing pebbles in the water and his mother’s eyes are compared to the color of the pebbles. For me, the whole picture is vivid and breaks away from the more traditional dark as the midnight hour or bright like the ocean in summer scenario. I like things that aren’t cliché.

The thing is that contemporary romance has lost symbolism and has become quite meaningless, but sci-fi and paranormals are retaining more depth. They play with emotions and broader human experiences and also hint at spiritual as well as anarchist tendencies along with imminent, existential threats that straightforward romances with diamonds and fast cars lack.

I’ve noticed that Marie’s books often have affectionate families and one individual with a rather active imagination as well as a certain amount of darkness stemming from personal experiences. An author once stated why he doesn’t do interviews; because you already know the author through their writing. I don’t mean to be nosy but I suspect we have caught on to some of Marie’s secrets through her books ^^

The story gets a tad bit erotic in the beginning. I started reading it at three in the morning and I could totally picture the naked woman. After that, and considering some of Marie’s other books, I was expecting something slightly dark but it was a very easygoing, not haha funny, but the kind of light read that has you smiling throughout the story.

If I have to describe it in one word, it’s cute. Even when Ethan stole a kiss and struggled to get his libido under control, it was cute with a capital C. I couldn’t shake the feeling that this book could become a full-length novel and darkness might take over the narrative in the longer version.

For a while, I wondered if the woman was a witch or nuts? My confusion didn’t last very long. Not to give away spoilers but Jessie reminded me of Sabrina from the Archie Comics. The story has the right amount of mystery to it; not too extreme, not too predictable.

I love books where people have tea instead of coffee. It’s a personal bias but there’s something way more romantic about tea as compared to coffee.

It made a great read for a warm night that assures you that good things do last and while any spell can break, the bond of love is unbreakable.

The cutest thing I’ve ever read!!!

on August 30, 2017

I guess we could say that Magick & Moonlight serves as a prologue to this story. Or maybe not. Both could be read as standalones, but for people who like to become attached to the characters, this story will have a stronger pull if it’s read right after Magick & Moonlight.

Stories that are told from a child’s POV often go for overkill. The child is either too childish or way too mature, but this was very well-written. Almost as if the author went back in time, remembered what it was like to be a little girl, and wrote the story in that mode. What Marie has done is very hard to do because a lot of authors make the mistake of observing other children and telling stories that are based on observation rather than experience. This book has avoided that mistake and that lends it an infinite amount of Magick!!!

I’m really not sure how much of it is fiction and how much a nostalgic memory. It just felt real to the point that it raised my hackles and there’s nothing scary about the story. The narrative has no darkness to it. It’s just as real as it gets and has the quality to transform any thorough reader all the way in the past. Yep, I agree with the author; the kids know way more than what adults give them credit for.

Uncle Adam’s relationship with Rosie is easy to understand. He obviously adores her. I’d like to know more about him. Maybe see the world from his perspective and get to know his story. Sure, there were bits and pieces with a brief shift in POV, but they were over way too fast which is understandable since it’s Rosie story and he shouldn’t be allowed to steal the show. But I wonder what his story would be like? (A romance with a lawyer who fails to see someone’s crushing on him?) He’s so interesting because he’s totes bland without being boring. That’s a rare trait.

Before I blab on and on, let’s just sum up and say that A Little Magick is an excellent read for adults and the little ones. Any mother willing to stick to reading bedtime stories for a week or two should seriously consider using it.

Very vivid, very picturesque, but not too grotesque. A little bit on the dark side, yes, but definitely not the kind to make anyone uncomfortable. I’m not used to the genre but I was able to read it with perfect ease.

I absolutely loved the name, Desiree. Somehow the names of major characters have a great impact, so it’s always nice to have a pretty name.

The shift in POV is handled very well from a technical perspective. It was amazing that I wasn’t able to detect a single instance of head-hopping.

Also, the narrative has a very strange kind of eroticism to it; strong, explicit, and yet soft and subtle.

When you read the book you’ll come across these lines;

“So, who was Desiree, this woman that drew not only the animal, but also the man in him?”

Not only did I love the words, but it sums up love beautifully. Love attracts the animal in us while awakening the human aspect as well.

I should add that since it’s a paranormal if you get scared easily, read it during the day instead of at night. But whenever you do, it’ll make a great read.

P.S. Beware that the mention of all those cookies gave me cravings so if you have a sweet tooth, keep double chocolate chip, chocolate peanut butter, and snickerdoodles within easy reach …

4 out of 5 stars

A fun short read that luckily didn’t go down a darker route with why Alyssa couldn’t remember what had gone on the night before which I was glad about.

So we’ve probably all overdone it at least once in our life in regards to drinking too much the night before but Alyssa is sure learning the hard way what the head and body feel like the day after. More so after she finds herself on a fraternity’s front lawn early the next morning. Clearly she went to a party the night before but she has absolutely no recollection of it, how she came to be there in the first place, or how she ended up on the front lawn. Confusion and panic soon start to creep in as snippets start to filter through about a conversation she had with her roommates. Seems she needs a knight in shinning armour to help get her home and hopefully fill in some blanks – enter Justin.

He remembers her from the party and has a few shocks in store when he tells her what she got up to and who she was spending time with. Seems the missing part of her memory could be filled in with a missing brother from the house – Brendan. Justin vows to help her find the missing time but the longer she spends with him the more she is grateful for how they met. An interesting way to meet someone but a spark is still coming to the surface nonetheless. He might be loyal to his friend thinking that on some level Justin and her might be together now but that doesn’t stop him feeling or acting the way he does. A knight in shinning armour to carry her away it seems. Even though he too is a stranger she feels comfortable with him and both feel like they have known each other forever with being so alike. I think we can all see where this story might lead.

For a short book it was still quite descriptive with the characters insights, back-story and the world as a whole they found themselves in. Quick contemporary romance that you know is just the start of what’s to come. Almost like the beginning of Alyssa and Justin’s story where you are only guessing on how it will move forward. Would be interesting to see how it would work as a longer read following the romance building more but fun all the same.

I received a copy of this book from the author for my honest review.

-from Reading Nook Blog

5.0 out of 5 stars This one had me at Dedication, and of course, the Hook, August 11, 2017
This review is from: Second Chance Heart (Kindle Edition)

Normally I don’t mention the hook because an effective one is rarely seen, but this story opens with the perfect hook. It’s not just visual but almost audible, and that’s rare.

I might be a bit biased here because I have a weakness for second-chances in fiction (and in life). I don’t think anyone’s incorrigible. It’s only a matter of trying. It’s always nice to read stories where people have made mistakes, instead of parting over misunderstandings that no one bothered clarifying.

It also makes sense that when two people reunite after a long separation, they have gained maturity and the ability not just to look past the mistakes of others, but to look into their own flaws.

I hope to read a full-length novel version of this story and get to know the male protagonist better. His character has a lot of potential to be a tsundere guy, and who doesn’t love that?

5.0 out of 5 stars Fast-paced with plenty of dialogue; a trait I love in any work of fiction, August 11, 2017
This review is from: The Missing Piece (Kindle Edition)

While the blurb lends the story an air of predictability, a book shouldn’t be judged by the cover and a story shouldn’t be judged by the blurb. The blurb made me want to speculate but what came my way wasn’t quite as simple. (I won’t add spoilers)

It’s the kind of story one should read instead of doing what a lot of people tend to do; relying on reviews for a summary and going, eh, I know enough.

With its round characters and solid storyline, this short story has the potential to be a full-length novel.

I’d totally recommend it not just to Marie Lavender’s fans but to those who haven’t read her work so far. Start here. You won’t be disappointed.

4.0 out of 5 stars Wild Ride with a Rainbow at the End, August 2, 2017

This review is from: Directions of the Heart: A Romantic Drama Collection (Kindle Edition)

Directions of the Heart is the newest release from popular Romance novelist Marie Lavender. The book is a collection of four stories and with the exception of the first story, “Without You,” takes the reader on a journey both hot and spicy and to the darker corners of love.
Ms. Lavender does not flinch as she puts her characters through their paces with many challenges and obstacles—all found in today’s world—real-life tragedies, real-life situations such as sexual insecurity, haunting memories, suicide, and rape that as a society we still do not comfortably face. Our courts and police forces in many areas of the country still do not know the best practices when faced with these situations, often leaving the victim feeling victimized not once but twice.
In “Strange Heart,” Victoria Weston lets her inner wild child loose, only to find she may not want to put her back. The encounters between Victoria and Rick are spicy and take the reader to the edge of their own wild child.
“Memories,” in part, details not only our heroine’s response to rape, but her lover Matt’s as well as the authorities and those who committed the crime.
In “A Touch of Dawn,” Caitlyn and Jack overcome their tragic past together.
Ms. Lavender presents these stories and characters head-on and boldly—there’s no soft-pedaling or pandering here.
She calls her book a romantic drama collection, which is apt as the majority of the time in these stories deal with the confrontations and love scenes between two people. One can easily see these pieces adapted to one act plays (spicier elements adjusted for the stage), or shot as short films—no adjustments necessary..
You will be taking a wild ride here, but make no mistake, Ms. Lavender knows her craft and there is always a rainbow at the end.
And isn’t that what we all hope for?

5.0 out of 5 stars Well written and heartfelt, July 26, 2017
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This review is from: Directions of the Heart: A Romantic Drama Collection (Kindle Edition)
This book has 4 stories. Each story was well written and kept me wanting to read more. These stories have many issues that many people face today. They include pain, struggle, happiness, faith and an HEA. This author is pretty new to me, but I would recommend her in a heart beat. My favorite story was A Touch of Dawn. I could relate to Jack. He was so well written I had tears in my eyes more than once. These stories do go into struggles like faith, intimacy and other issues. The author wrote about real problems that many people can relate to. This is a must read, I think. This book is very well written and it just seems to flow so smoothly. A great book.

5.0 out of 5 stars Sensitive issues tactfully interwoven into beautiful stories, July 25, 2017

By

This review is from: Directions of the Heart: A romantic drama collection (Paperback)

I have read Marie Lavender’s work before and liked it, but this was different. And by different I mean even better than before.

It felt like she wrote without putting too many restraints on herself. I can see her growing as an author and she seems more prepared to start dealing with the dark side that all of us have, but try to keep hidden even from ourselves.

I really believe that honest writing puts us in touch with who we really are. As humans, one of our flaws is that we prefer to live in denial about our own darkness. But everyone has a Mr. Hyde and I don’t have the words to express how much I loved reading this unrestrained book.

I always find memoirs more of fiction and good fiction an honest portrayal of life. Perhaps because we express ourselves way more freely under the guise of fiction.

I think I’d really, really like to see Marie Lavender unleash even darker aspects of human nature and experiences.

I know there’s a warning that this work could be a trigger for some, but there’s nothing offensive or off the mark; unless someone’s determined to be offended by the things that happen in the real world. I absolutely loved the fact that she talked about issues that it’s about time we start discussing more openly. Among the large stock of escapist fiction that we are being offered, this reasonable amount of reality bites was such a breath of fresh air.

I’d say keep it up and don’t be afraid of experimenting and offering more upfront reality bites in the future.

5.0 out of 5 stars Simply and absolutely ravishing, July 25, 2017
This review is from: Directions of the Heart: A Romantic Drama Collection (Kindle Edition)

As a fan of Lavender’s, I was looking forward to reading her collection for stories, and I was not disappointed. The stories she shares, hits the heart emotionally and puts that ever so gentle lump in the throat. The stories were put together very well and fit within the premise of the collection. My favorite of the stories was “A Touch of Dawn” and I was immediately stricken when Jack uttered the words “I won’t be like him” and it just made the story real, especially when he was dealing with his own issues, with being personal, with intimacy. I read that story twice, and maybe will read it again. A great collection and definitely highly recommended.

I received this book free in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. ~Amy’s Bookshelf Reviews

 

5.0 out of 5 stars I always thought historical romances were boring, but I was wrong!!!, June 13, 2017
This review is from: Upon Your Love (Heiresses In Love Book 3) (Kindle Edition)

The first thing I noticed was the length of the book which might startle a modern-day reader, but this one’s totally worth it. A solid storyline that flows from one page to the next. I think the length of this book is a plus point because it allows you to really, really get to know the characters. So don’t let the number of pages scare you. Most romance novels don’t give you deep insight into the characters. They are all about formulaic plots and stereotypical heroes and heroines. But in this book, the characters felt deeper than a typical romance. It was almost as if the author spent a lot of time building the characters in her head, and as the story proceeded, the characters kept growing.

Although it’s a historical romance, it doesn’t feel dated or stylistic in any way because of the way the author has captured the essence of human nature and relationships. The characters are likable which is no ordinary feat because I find it very difficult to like female protagonists.

Two-thumbs up.

This review is from: Directions of the Heart (Kindle Edition)

JoAnne

Marie Lavender is an author I’ve previously read and enjoyed, especially her Heiresses in Love series.

Directions of the Heart was not what I was expecting especially since there were 4 complete stories included in the book and each one was set in different locales and in different venues. Each had a couple looking for love but had a trauma or traumas in their life that brought them to this point. There were sensitive topics that were handled well but still gave an edge to the story and often made my heart clutch or race. The characters in each of the books was trying to reclaim their lives especially if they didn’t like themselves too much. If they couldn’t understand themselves they didn’t think anyone else would be able to.

There were family and friends but also some depraved people in the stories, heartache, fear, sadness, tears, anger, hate, hope, a chance for happiness, healing and peace. There was a nice flow to each of the stories and the characters were multifaceted. What you saw wasn’t always what you got and you had to delve deeper under the surface. All the stories had nice closure and I felt the endings were realistic.

The hardest characters for me to like were in “Strange Heat”. I had a hard time liking them since they didn’t seem to like themselves. Lyssa put herself into dangerous situations and Victoria, much more naive, seemed to follow in her footsteps but got herself into some ugly situations as well.

Lavender is an author whose books I look forward to reading. I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Kiss of Love, June 4, 2017
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This review is from: The Missing Piece (Kindle Edition)
By the time I reached the last page, l was encouraged. I am still smiling. I really enjoyed this story. For sure we need to be reminded, love is a many splendid thing. Excellent writing style for readers seeking a heart-warming experience. Great job!

The Missing Piece by Marie Lavender #mf #review @marielavender1


addtogoodreads_zps55cd15da14Kim Talks TomesTAGThe Missing Piece is a uniquely done love story where unexpected things happen to a college aged girl. She wakes up on the front lawn of a fraternity not knowing what happened the night before. A boy from the party offers to help her piece together what happened and they end up bonding and sharing a kiss. She begins to feel things she never felt before, until the boy she spent the forgotten night with shows up at her door.Just when you think you know what is going to happen, the author takes a sharp turn and offers up suspense and intrigue. This sweet story is well written and a definitely attention grabber! While I wasn’t immediately wowed by the subject of the story (college kids partying too hard and blacking out), I couldn’t put this book down! Luckily it’s not long and I absorbed it in one night.I highly recommend this book to anyone!

Upon Your Love is no exception, May 17, 2017
This review is from: Upon Your Love (Heiresses In Love Book 3) (Kindle Edition)
Marie Lavender’s books revolve around strong female characters who find themselves struggling to attain their goals in spite of opposition from the social conventions of their times and the attempts of men to control their lives. Upon Your Love is no exception. Set in the nineteenth century, it is the story of Adrienne Hill, the daughter of a sea captain, who lives on a plantation near New Orleans.
Adrienne is no “shy flower.” She fences and she rides. She travels about the plantation without a chaperone or a guardian, protected by weapons hidden on her person. She goes to sea with her father, and at times, wished she were a sailor.
The book traces the rocky development of her love for Christian, a strong man with a “bad boy” reputation who is attracted to the independent, strong-willed Adrienne.
If you enjoy historical romances with strong characters, plot twists, danger, and love, you will like this book.

from Sandra’s Book Club

The Missing Piece

Alyssa is a reserved college student, an English lit major that preferred the company of a paperback more than anything else. “She wasn’t prepared to venture into the dating scene like everyone else on campus. Of course, ‘dating’ was actually a pretty loose term these days. She preferred her own company to that of the male persuasion. They all seemed to be caught up in the weekend scene and were so full of themselves that it was probably better if she avoided them altogether.” (5)
One morning, she wakes up on the lawn in front of an unknown fraternity house with a raging hangover and absolutely no recollection of the night before. It’s at this point that she learns that, under the influence of too much alcohol, she actually went upstairs with a guy she didn’t know. Oh, no! You don’t suppose that they…that she…? With rampant thoughts of pregnancy and STD’s, Aly becomes paranoid and seeks to find answers to what happened that night. Did she go all the way with some guy named Brendan? Fortunately, the guy’s roommate, Justin, was willing to help her out.

The “missing piece” is finding the truth for young Aly, and the reader becomes interested to find out, too, especially when Aly is such a sweet girl that you can’t bear for anything bad to happen to her. You feel for her as she goes through the stages of confusion and panic over the possible what-ifs of that night. I liked that Justin was there for her, making Aly realize that her crisis may have revealed a very small and very cute diamond in the rough.

Short and compelling, story is a quick, satisfying read.

from Feathered Quill Book Reviews

The Missing Piece

By: Marie Lavender
Publisher: Solstice Publishing
Publication Date: February 2016
ASIN: B06W5RYBD8
Reviewed by: Diana Buss
Review Date: April 2017

Can one mistake cause someone to find love and change their entire life? Author Marie Lavender writes about that possibility in her new romance The Missing Piece.

The Missing Piece is a short story about good-girl Alyssa Masters. One morning Alyssa wakes up on her college fraternity’s lawn with a massive headache and a spotty memory, and instantly panics. Parties aren’t her scene, she’s a recluse and doesn’t drink. She’s a good student and doesn’t do anything that involves too much risk, until last night, apparently.

As Alyssa struggles to take in her surroundings and figure out what day it is, a young man named Justin helps her to put some of the pieces together. She finds that she did, in fact, attend the frat party and clearly drank, but much of what happened afterward is still a mystery. All she knows is what Justin has told her – that she had spent time with a fraternity member named Brendan and eventually followed him upstairs after doing some jello shots. In an instant frenzy, she thinks of the worst possible outcomes, only to be assured by Justin that Brendan is a good guy. He vows to help her figure out the pieces of her missing memory, but they could very well find that they were each other’s missing piece all along.

The Missing Piece was a quick and fun read, and I enjoyed meeting Alyssa and the other characters. Given the constraints of the short story format – this is a 30-page story – it’s difficult for the author to “flesh out” the characters and really develop them. I would have loved to see the characters be more deeply developed, and I would have loved to be more involved in this story. I really did want to keep reading more, as the style of writing was easy to follow and intriguing. I am hoping for a sequel to this short story, as I would like to know how the romance between characters develops and if Alyssa comes to change her good-girl ways or finds someone who will accept her for everything she is and always was.

Quill says: The Missing Piece is a mysterious and romantic read that readers will find themselves wanting more of and definitely looking for other stories by this author.

from Amy Shannon’s Bookshelf Reviews’ blog

4 Stars

Likeable story

It’s a sweet novella about Alyssa, who with help of Justin, tried to figure out what happened the night before.

 

The story was well written, and probably would have been better as a novel, than a novella, but the plot and details that are needed to make a great novella is here. It takes a lot of talent to write a thorough novella, and Lavender definitely has that writing talent. The story was sweet, and likable, and engaged the reader on the journey that Alyssa was forced to take.

 5.0 out of 5 starsLoved it!, March 20, 2017

By
This review is from: Second Chance Heart (Kindle Edition)
A great short Romance story. I really enjoyed reading this one. Looking forward to reading many more by this author! 🙂

four stars

Sweet clean romance with two very likable characters, March 25, 2017

This review is from: The Missing Piece (Kindle Edition)

The Missing Piece by Marie Lavendar is a contemporary clean romance in a college setting. Alyssa wakes up on the lawn in front of a fraternity house. She has very little memory of what happened. It is totally out of her character to attend a party. She is an introvert and majoring in English. Justin finds her on the lawn and helps her solve the mystery of what happened that night.
It was a clean sweet romantic suspense. I liked the characters of both Alyssa and Justin. I would have liked more closer on why she went to the frat party in the first place.
I received this book from the publisher/author. I was not required to write a positive review.
You can see my full review at More Than a Review dot com where I rate the level of sex, violence, language and drug/alcohol use in books.

4ibo7nyrT

 -official review available via Ethereal Pages blog, Amazon, Goodreads and LibraryThing.

The Missing Piece by Marie Lavender

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Actual Rating: 3


*Thank you to the author for providing a free e-copy in exchange for an honest review.*

The Missing Piece is a novella that begins when Alyssa wakes up on the lawn of a local fraternity with no memory of the night before. When Justin comes along and offers help, she accepts; as she tries to figure out the missing pieces in her memory, Aly begins to question who she is and what a single mistake could cost her.

This was a sweet, quick read, but once again, the first thing I find myself wondering when I finish this book is what it would be like if it was expanded into a full-blown novel. Unlike some short stories that I’ve read that seem to have a more narrower focus, The Missing Piece feels a little like an abridged version of a larger story.

(I’d also like to add that the blurb made the story seem much more mysterious than it turned out to be, but to be honest I was fine with it leaning more towards the contemporary/romance genre.)

The pacing, I would say, was quite quick, but I was glad to see the ups and downs in the plot. It did seem to feel, sometimes, like a collection of scenes that would move along the story faster; this is another reason that makes me wonder what The Missing Piece would be like as a full novel, because the plot had so much potential but didn’t quite have the “space” to execute it.

This story does seem more character-centric as well, which actually worked out great, because Aly’s personality and characterization were made clear, allowing the readers to really experience (and understand) her inner conflicts.

I also really liked Justin’s character, but – and this is a personal preference – when it comes to romance, I’m all about the journey, the “how we got there”. While I did like how Justin and Aly got to know each other, I couldn’t help but feel like the progression was too fast, and that I would love them together a lot more if I saw more of their interactions with one another, even all the way at the beginning when they were nothing more than acquaintances.

The writing style was engaging, and there were several scenes between Justin and Alyssa where I thought the author shined. Overall, I would say that this was a quick, fun read, a story that really leaves you wondering what the next steps for the main characters are, but at the same time, it leaves me wanting to know more about the setting, the characters’ backstories, and a lot of other information that just can’t be squeezed into 38 pages.


fivestars

Reviewed by Rosie Malezer for Readers’ Favorite

The Missing Piece is a romance novella written by Marie Lavender. After waking up on the front lawn of a college fraternity, the darkest of thoughts cloud Alyssa Masters’ mind, which is devoid of any memory of the night before. Interrupting those thoughts is Justin Abbott, who finds Alyssa, and offers to help her piece together what had happened that night. Justin escorts Alyssa to her dorm room in Sutter Hall, assuring her that they would solve the puzzle together, finding all of the answers they need. Alyssa quickly discovers that she’d spent the night partying hard, coupled with drinking and dancing – something she is never known to do – before retreating to a bedroom with one of the fraternity’s members – Brendan Coleman. During their search for the answers, Alyssa and Justin share an unexpected kiss, which leaves a yearning inside Alyssa’s soul, the likes of which she’d never before experienced … until Brendan knocks on her door.

One of the finest romance stories I have ever read, Marie Lavender’s book, The Missing Piece, is a perfect blend of suspense, mystery and romance. With an unexplained situation at the start, leaving the reader with so many questions, the journey of Alyssa and Justin is skillfully woven. Both are determined to find the truth of what had happened the previous evening, and with so many sinister possibilities, nothing can stop them from delving into the unknown, regardless of the secrets it might uncover. There are many instances where I am left holding my breath, wondering about the true intentions of certain characters. At no time, however, does the high standard of storytelling drop below par, with new clues to the mystery being dropped regularly to keep the reader engrossed. I recommend The Missing Piece to those who enjoy a lavish dose of mystery and suspense, as a new vortex of sensual emotions unravels.

upon-your-love-final-cover

 

Great Story – from Amy Shannon’s Bookshelf Reviews’ blog

First, when you read this story, read the prologue. It’s a prelude to the story. It gives a little something to the story that is about to begin. Adrienne is a woman before her time. She’s strong and independent and is a remarkable heroine of the story. There was the line in the book that I just loved “She might love Christian, but she did not have to like the man.” I enjoyed this story and it may seem like the 1800’s would be a simpler time, but definitely not. Wonderful story. Now, I have to go back and read the two that came before this one.

upon-your-return-new

5.0 out of 5 stars

I highly recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys romance stories and appreciates good writing., February 26, 2017

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This review is from: Upon Your Return (Heiresses In Love Book 1) (Kindle Edition)

Marie Lavender’s -Upon Your Return, is a beautifully written love story set in the 1800’s. The relationship and trials between Fara Bellamont and Captain Grant Hill are carefully worded to capture hearts and minds.
Upon Your Return portrays the social and political struggles in France within the 1860’s. Particularly, the challenges Fara faces as a woman. The author touches upon the stirrings of feminism, classism, giving the read reality and life behind the romance.
Fara and Grant are strong, brave characters, both who defy the conventions of the time. Overcome obstacles for their love. Both characters are written with such care the reader keeps turning pages just to find out what will happen next.I highly recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys romance stories and appreciates good writing. It is one of those books you won’t want to put down and in the end the characters will stay with you, much like, Catherine and Heathcliff. Enjoy.

4.0 out of 5 stars

Enjoyed this!, December 31, 2016

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This review is from: Blue Vision (The Code of Endhivar Book 1) (Kindle Edition)

It liked it! Clearly not my “usual” type of reading. I’m not usually a science fiction type, but this was really good! Romance, two worlds colliding, twists and turns……well written. Very enjoyable, indeed! I look forward to reading more!

5.0 out of 5 stars

We Are Not Alone, December 6, 2016

This review is from: Blue Vision (The Code of Endhivar Book 1) (Kindle Edition)

Blue Vision

An Alien in Love

Perhaps in a world in which Star Trek and Star Wars motion pictures set records at the box office, the prospect of an alien falling in love with a human is not as shocking as it would have been a couple of generations ago. In Blue Vision, though, Marie Lavender has given a different image of love between a human and an alien.

Aliens, of course, are different from humans. He has a different anatomy. He has the ability to enter another’s mind and to cause them to dream dreams. He has the ability to transport from place to place. Nevertheless, in Blue Vision we find a love story of two creatures that are in love, a story that is remarkably believable.

Easy to read. More than that, it is easy to be caught up in the story and to want to read it from beginning to end in a single sitting. The author has demonstrated her ability to write romantic scenes and she uses her abilities well in this book. Romantic descriptions are detailed, but not offensive.

If you like paranormal romance, even if you simply like romance, you will enjoy Blue Vision.

4.0 out of 5 stars

Score: 4/5

Genre: Romance/Sci-Fi

Blue Vision by Marie Lavender

Blue Vision primarily follows two characters. One is Ganardebragh (who later goes by Colin). Colin is an explorer from another race. As this story halfway involves aliens—I feel it’s worth covering some of their traits for those who like the Science Fiction aspect more than any potential romance.

Colin’s race isn’t violent. The last war they were in involved in was with another race for unique resources—that didn’t work out. They’ve since become more academic as their race reorganized. Now Colin’s race is willing to brainwash their own to keep peace and order. They’ve got androids to do their bidding. They also insert themselves into other world’s cultures with memory downloads—in the name of science of course. In addition, we learn that the idea of soul mates isn’t species bound and interstellar travel does not assume a lack of piety. So, the aliens are relatable but distinct from the mishmash that is humanity.

Aside from aliens, we also have Brooke—the other part of the romantic entanglement. Her story starts with escaping valentine’s day—far from the city up in a cold lodge. Brooke has lingering emotional damage from an estranged and violent father—while her remarried mother is pushing for grandchildren. It’s not good or bad—but it can be fairly cookie-cutter. If it weren’t for the alien aspect I probably wouldn’t have looked twice.

I’ll measure it on the genre rather than a lack of explosives. In sum; if you want a space alien twist in the standard romance storyline—this one is a four out of five. I, for one, wanted more alien abduction jokes during the tastefully standard sex scenes.

I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Stephan Morse @FrustratedEgo

 

This review is from: Blue Vision (The Code of Endhivar) (Volume 1) (Paperback)

YA fans may be tempted to dive into this one, take heed…it’s in the Paranormal Romance genre for a reason. I’m saying target audience is at earliest New Adult to Adult as there are some pretty “memorable” moments…

Though not my usual genre, as I’m not really into the whole alien bit, but Colin (as we come to know him and I shall call him because his Endhivarian name is beyond me to repeat) is a truly likable guy…err, alien. He has enough humanity built into his character that apart from the extra organs, blue tinged skin, and powers of persuasion (and then some), you’d never even know he was from another world. In fact, you might think he is a grand example of our species…wish the same could be said about the rest of his race. As it seems, Colin is not the first of his kind to make the trip to our stratosphere, and he may not be the last. Speaking of which, what about our girl Brooke? She’s definitely a tough cookie despite all the darkness that has affected her over her short-ish lifetime. I applaud her coming out the other side of those hard times with a protective shell intact but not making it so tough that nothing could ever break through. As it seems, all she needed was the heart of a good man…and boy, she gets it in more ways than one.

To conclude, this read has all the feels (and then some) that you could imagine with a story to back it up. The author utilizes her writing experience and spins a tale with appeal for sci-fi fans and newbies alike. She gives us the big “what if” as well as the potential for a happily-ever-after, while still having us keep a wary eye on the horizon.

**ebook received from the author for review…full post can be seen on my site here.

4ibo7nyrT

Location, love, and bad landings

on December 24, 2016

Format: Kindle Edition

Ganardebragh Trantusa, aka Colin Fielding, is one of the team sent to research and evaluate new worlds and civilisations in search of a new homeworld. Ganardebragh has been assigned to a planet named Earth, and he’s aware it may not be an easy mission. Ships have vanished there. He expected the population to be dangerous; he didn’t expect to have his crash landing observed. He really didn’t expect to fall irresistibly in love with the wary, emotionally damaged woman who came to see what had happened. In fact, nothing about Earth was exactly what he’d imagined…not even where it concerned his own race.

Marie Lavender’s Blue Vision: Code of Endhivar Series is an entertaining, well-paced romance read, starring a hunky alien explorer, a rough landing, and a woman on a solitary holiday. The book definitely has a number of strong points, not least of which the author’s undoubted imagination and story-telling ability. It’s also very solid technically, which I always appreciate: there are no typos and other grammatical nuisances to yank a reader out of the story, and the scene-setting is evocative and detailed. I found that Colin’s complete change of heart (can’t give too many details without a massive spoiler here) halfway through the book was a little unheralded, but it certainly allows for a very nice, dramatic wounded-hero scene.

So why three stars? Feeling Grinch-y? I have to admit, I’m a cynic. I don’t believe in love at first sight. I can, plied with sufficient alcohol, just about crank my credulity high enough to credit lust at first sight; after all, that’s largely based on pheromones and sure, maybe. Given that, I found that the immediate falling in love aspect of the plot stretched my ability to suspend my belief a trifle. It’s why I make a lousy romance reviewer, and this, despite the sci-fi elements, is definitely a romance story first and foremost. All that said, I think romance readers (as opposed to cynics like me) would highly enjoy this book; it’s got location, it’s got love at first sight, it’s got sexy scenes, and it’s well-written.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

blue-vision-final-cover

5.0 out of 5 stars New fascinating Paranormal Series, December 16, 2016
By
This review is from: Blue Vision (The Code of Endhivar Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Title: Blue Vision -The Code of Endhivar Book 1
Author: Marie Lavender
Published: 11-16-2016
Publisher: Solstice Publishing
Pages: 200
Genre: SciFy & Fantasy
Sub Genre: Paranormal Romance; Aliens
ISBN: 13-978-1625264800
ASIN: B01MXKPLYX
Reviewer: DelAnne
Reviewed For: Marie Lavender
My Rating: 4.25 StarsI received a copy of Blue Vision from Marie Lavender in exchange for my honest review.Colin Fielding and Brooke Sanders meet when Brooke decides to get away for a while at a remote cabin in Montana. She never expected to find romance. Nor did Colin imagine that his mission to recon Earth would have him finding his Fated Mate. He just can’t believe she is human. When someone stalks them and threatens not just their romance, but their lives as well.I have only just begun reading alien romances within the last year. I found Blue Vision a compelling read. With well developed characters and a solid plot you will find yourself falling into the story. Marie Lavender’s writing skills will make you believe you are truly right in the middle of the story as events take place. If you enjoy paranormal romances then be sure to get a copy of Blue Vision for yourself. My only complaint is the ending left me wanting more. To me it need a bit more filler. It felt a bit rushed to me. My rating is 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Review: 3.75 stars for Blue Vision by Marie Lavender

blue-visionTitle:  Blue Vision

Author:  Marie Lavender

Genre:  Science Fiction, Romance

My Review:

3.75/5 Stars!!!

I love sci fi and romance.  I enjoyed Blue Vision.  The writing was good, the concept was great and the little twists that Marie Lavender put in throughout the book kept me guessing.  Plus, I got a happy little epilogue at the end which always makes me happy.

Brooke wants to get away from things for a while and heads to Montana and a cabin in the middle of nowhere.  Enter Collin…an alien.  Yep, folks.  Collin is a sexy, snarky alien with secrets.  The chemistry between these two was great!

Blue Vision has a lot to offer…aliens, romance, chemistry, secrets and danger.  It’s a wild ride you will definitely enjoy!

ADD TO GOODREADS

Where to Buy:  AMAZON

What happens when an alien and human fall in love?, November 15, 2016

blue-vision-final-coverThis review is from: Blue Vision (The Code of Endhivar Book 1) (Kindle Edition)

I’m not usually a fan of the paranormal genre but have read books before by Lavender and agreed to be a beta reader for this book. Blue Vision was more enjoyable than I expected even with the paranormal twist. The book flowed effortlessly and kept my interest throughout.

Colin and Brooke have a lot of chemistry when they unexpectedly meet when Brooke is stranded in Montana due to the weather. Even with the paranormal twist of Colin being an alien and Brooke human their attraction was believable as was their romance. There were definitely mind games being played by Colin though which sometimes left Brooke wondering about what was really going on. The vivid descriptions made me feel that I was there. The descriptions of Colin’s body, his feelings and the mind games were necessary in the telling of the story.

There was some closure even though the story ended a little too abruptly for me. The epilogue was nice but there seems to be more story to tell and I wish the epilogue would have been a little longer. Could there be a novella in the future to revisit Brooke and Colin and see where life has taken them both?

Since this is the first book in a new series I do hope to return to The Code of Endhivar series. I have read the three books in the Heiresses in Love series and enjoyed them. Lavender is an author whose books I look forward to reading.

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.

When worlds collide, November 15, 2016

This review is from: Blue Vision (The Code of Endhivar Book 1) (Kindle Edition)

Brook is from earth, and Colin is from Endhivar and the connection is beyond chemistry. The story is well written and is very intense. The story takes the reader on a journey to another world, and there is a great deal of suspense, as there is someone lurking in the dark. The fate of two worlds are at stake, and this story keeps the reader on the edge of the seat, waiting to turn to the next page.

I received this book free in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. ~Amy’s Bookshelf Reviews

fivestars

 SecondNature-final cover

A bittersweet romance, beautifully written., June 12, 2016

Verified Purchase(What’s this?)

This review is from: Second Nature (Blood At First Sight Book 1) (Kindle Edition)

Alec is a powerful vampire who is drawn to Desiree, a beautiful independent young woman. She is not yet fully aware of her special powers. The author is tender and empathic in describing how their love blossoms and how they gather strength to face challenges. A must-read! And it’s a series!

4ibo7nyrT

SecondNature-final cover

3.0 out of 5 stars A very nice read!, March 12, 2016
Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: Second Nature (Blood At First Sight Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
The author of this knows how to create characters that draw you into their emotions. Alec in particular is such a torn being and his life as a vampire has confused him to the point where we hope Desiree will be his salvation. It has a certain something that makes a connection, predictable romance with a little depth.

fivestars

Second Chance Heart - final cover

5.0 out of 5 stars Five stars for this flawless short story., March 2, 2016
This review is from: Second Chance Heart (Kindle Edition)

Dana Nelson still loves Vince Reynolds even after twelve long years. She just can’t reconcile that love with the equally strong feelings of bitterness and betrayal that well up in her every time she sees him nowadays.

Dana’s dilemma stems from a brief dalliance she caught him at when the two were in college. Of course circumstances for an ongoing relationship were less than ideal. She was in Chapel Hill attending Duke at the time, and he was at NYU, and, well, Vince got caught with a blonde in his bed during a surprise visit by Dana to the Big Apple.

But, twelve years have gone by and she finds to her dismay that the intervening time has not cooled her ardor for the dark-eyed hunk.

They meet by chance in a small town during the present day and, in a sudden and unexpected close encounter, his hungry lips cover hers with the same old intensity that so stirred her emotions way back then.

They break apart after the impulsive embrace and his confession of remorse for his youthful transgression seems sincere.

But can she trust him once more with her fragile heart? What if she gives in to her feelings, and he hurts her yet again?

Author Marie Lavender does a masterful job of putting us squarely in the middle of Dana’s turbulent thoughts about her future with Vince, and makes us care deeply for the two central characters in the surprisingly brief narrative that is Second Chance Heart.

Their conflicted feelings ring true as they try to find closure on a once-promising romance.

Find out what Dana decides to do when the star-crossed pair meet again at the wedding of an old friend.

Five stars for this flawless short story. It is brilliantly executed and stands as a testament to the powerful emotions that can be wrung from a reader even in the space of a few well-written pages. Bravo, Ms. Lavender.

fivestars

 b1fe4-6a0120a583300a970c01b8d0a12eb5970c-pi

5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully told love story, April 15, 2016
This review is from: Upon Your Honor (Kindle Edition)

A beautifully told story, I fell in love with the characters almost instantly. Chloe is everything I look for in a book heroine. She is brave, courageous and assertive without coming across as brisk or overbearing. She has yet to come across a challenge she will not meet face on and surpass. Gabriel is handsome and brave. He is everything Chloe needs and completely sigh-worthy.

Watching these two characters fall in love was a joy. Ms. Lavender knows how to tell a great love story and I can’t wait to read more of her work.

fivestars

Second Chance Heart By Marie Lavender (A Review)

Review By Don Sloan

heart

Dana Nelson still loves Vince Reynolds even after twelve long years. She just can’t reconcile that love with the equally strong feelings of bitterness and betrayal that well up in her every time she sees him nowadays.

Dana’s dilemma stems from a brief dalliance she caught him at when the two were in college. Of course circumstances for an ongoing relationship were less than ideal. She was in Chapel Hill attending Duke at the time, and he was at NYU, and, well, Vince got caught with a blonde in his bed during a surprise visit by Dana to the Big Apple.

But, twelve years have gone by and she finds to her dismay that the intervening time has not cooled her ardor for the dark-eyed hunk.

They meet by chance in a small town during the present day and, in a sudden and unexpected close encounter, his hungry lips cover hers with the same old intensity that so stirred her emotions way back then.

They break apart after the impulsive embrace and his confession of remorse for his youthful transgression seems sincere.

But can she trust him once more with her fragile heart? What if she gives in to her feelings, and he hurts her yet again?

Author Marie Lavender does a masterful job of putting us squarely in the middle of Dana’s turbulent thoughts about her future with Vince, and makes us care deeply for the two central characters in the surprisingly brief narrative that is Second Hand Heart.

Their conflicted feelings ring true as they try to find closure on a once-promising romance.

Find out what Dana decides to do when the star-crossed pair meet again at the wedding of an old friend.

Five stars for this flawless short story. It is brilliantly executed and stands as a testament to the powerful emotions that can be wrung from a reader even in the space of a few well-written pages. Bravo, Ms. Lavender.

Amazon Link

https://donsloanauthor.wordpress.com/2016/03/03/second-chance-heart-by-marie-lavender/

Rating: *** Three stars

http://forums.onlinebookclub.org/viewtopic.php?f=44&t=33684

Magick and Moonlight

Official Review: Magick & Moonlight

Post Number:#1 by BookLover2280 » 25 Feb 2016, 09:17

[Following is the official OnlineBookClub.org review of “Magick & Moonlight” by Marie Lavender.]


3 out of 4 stars


Review by BookLover2280


Share This Review


By: Marie Lavender

Witches, magic, moonlight. Oh, my a great setting for a story. Fear can really drive one to do the craziest of things. Even impulsively cast a spell of love. No one likes the messiness that comes with love, but boy do we enjoy the fall. It is the most terrifying and yet exciting feeling in the world. Just as exciting as the fall is the sudden crash can be nearly suffocating. Although there are those rarities where love catches onto love and the impact isn’t as hard.

Ethan Hamilton was just trying to start his life over after tragic events in his life brought him to be in the woods the night Jessie Anderson was out there. He accidentally stumbled upon her dancing naked around a fire. He thought she was crazy, but she was far from it.Jessie was scared and didn’t know what else to do to protect herself so she cast a love spell. She needed to keep her being a witch a secret at all cost. She just didn’t anticipate her own feelings for Ethan being a complication.

When I first saw this book I was very intrigued. Then as I began to read it my interest start to fade. I felt the whole love was rushed. I wasn’t all that keen on the whole love spell being cast. Then Ethan opened up to Jessie about why he left Seattle and how he wasn’t close to his family. I found myself wanting to comfort him. Then Jessie began to really open up to him and my heart felt for them both. That was the moment where my interest was regained.

The more I read the more I found myself dreading the inevitable outcome of the spell fading. Jessie sincerely fell for him and felt guilty for casting the spell. Reading the inner turmoil she went through was heartbreaking. Just because Ethan was under a spell didn’t mean Jessie was. Her feelings were real. She knew at any moment the spell would wear off and his love would be gone. She still dared to think maybe it wasn’t all a spell. Which made her heartbreak that much more painful when it all came to light.

I give this story a 3 out of 4-star rating. I didn’t give it a 4-star rating because it did lack the thrill of watching their relationship evolve. I gave it a 3-star rating because I still enjoyed reading it. All in all, I would recommend this book and Marie Lavender to all my friends and fellow book lovers. She is a very talented writer one I look forward to reading more of.

Second Chance Heart - final cover

https://lostinsweetwords.wordpress.com/2016/02/13/second-chance-heart-marie-lavender/

** This book was kindly provided by the author Marie Lavender **

I really enjoyed reading this short story and unlike other short stories I’ve read in the past this is full of emotions and I got a proper feel for the characters.

Dana thought she was completely over her Ex Vince but after taking shelter from a storm brings her face to face with him she realises he still gets to her in a way no one else has and she still hurts from his betrayal.

Vince has changed alot about his life in the twelve years he’s been apart from Dana but one thing that hasn’t changed is his feelings and he’s determined to prove to her that it was a mistake to her hurt and he’s never stopped caring about her.

Fantastic read that I’m glad I got a chance to read. It was really well written and had a lovely happy ending.

Upon Your Honor

4.0 out of 5 stars Nice historical romance set mainly in the United States in the late 1800’s, February 6, 2016
This review is from: Upon Your Honor (Kindle Edition)
This is an historical romance set mainly in the United States in the late 1800’s and book two in the Heiresses in Love series. We meet up with Fara and Grant from the first book, Upon Your Return, and see where life has taken them.
The book takes place in many locales – New York City, Virginia, South Carolina, Nassau, Mississippi and New Orleans – but mainly at sea. Grant and his son, Gabriel, are setting out on a voyage with their crew to take them from New York to New Orleans where they live. We get to know them as well as Chloe and what she’s running from. While there’s immediate chemistry between her and Gabe they try to fight it at every turn without much success. As they grow closer there are always secrets between them and they all relate back to Chloe even the misfortunes that fall upon them. Unfortunately some of what was going on was obvious and Gabe just seemed not to put all the pieces together although he and his dad both seemed smarter than that. Lamonte, whom Chloe was running from, was evil incarnate and Chloe didn’t want to realize the full extent of the evil he was capable of and often seemed naive.
The descriptions of the ship, the cities and ports, the clothing, homes and scenery were very vivid and made me feel that I was there. There were many adventures, family and friends, sailing terms, French words, storms, travels on land and sea, fights, accidents, injuries, laughter, tears, pain, heartbreak, romance and love. The prologue set the stage of what was to come and the epilogue gives the happily ever after and some closure. I look forward to reading the next book in the series, Upon Your Love.This book was given to me by the author for my honest review.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Review: Second Chance Heart by Marie Lavender

 
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Short Story
Description:
 
“After a wild storm forces her to take shelter in a small town inn, Dana Nelson thinks that all she has to worry about is a brief stay before she heads back to the city. She gets far more than she bargained for…
The last thing she expects is to run into an old flame, and even worse, the man who broke her heart twelve years ago. She’s sure that the only thing remaining between them is a strong attraction for another.
She can’t be more wrong…
The more time she spends with Vince Reynolds, the more she begins to believe she can trust him again. But, can she put her faith in the one man who captivates her, body and soul, or are some wounds too deep to heal? “
Author:
 
“Marie Lavender lives in the Midwest with her family and three cats. She has been writing for over twenty years. She has more works in progress than she can count on two hands…
Since 2010, Marie has published 22 books in the genres of historical romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, fantasy, mystery/thriller, literary fiction and poetry. Her current series are The Heiresses in Love Series, The Magick Series and The Blood at First Sight Series. Feel free to visit her website for further information about her books and her life. Marie is also on Facebook.”
Appraisal:
 
This short story is a quick enjoyable read. Dana Nelson is a lawyer who had her heart broken by her first love, Vince Reynolds, twelve years ago. Vince came from a broken, dysfunctional family. Even as a boy growing up he was withdrawn and anti-social. Vince and his dad moved into town when he was about eleven or twelve. Dana, being a vivacious, outgoing child tried to make friends with him quickly. They dated in high school but the long distance dating in college hadn’t worked out well for either of them.
When confronted with Vince during a storm at a small inn in the middle of nowhere, Dana’s broken heart overwhelms her and all the old anger comes crashing back over her. The magnetism between them was palatable, but Dana can’t move past the heartbreak. Logically she tried to figure out why she still carried the hurt twelve years later when she thought she had moved on. I felt for them both, Vince wasn’t a bad guy but he had made a huge mistake, and he knew it. It was interesting watching Dana work through her self-imposed dilemma.
 
Buy now from:      Amazon US      Amazon UK
 
FYI:
Suitable for Young Adult readers.
 
Format/Typo Issues:
I didn’t find any proofing errors and my file said ARC (Advanced Readers Copy).
 
Rating: **** Four stars
 
Reviewed by: ?wazithinkin
 
Approximate word count: 8-9,000 words

 Second Chance Heart by Marie Lavender #mf #romance #review @marielavender1


 

Second Chance Heart - final cover

 

A sweet short story about love, betrayal, and facing the past with an open heart and mind. But, for such a short story, it packs a huge punch. Dana and Vince used to be a couple until he ripped her heart out. They come face to face years later and he feels terrible for hurting her so badly. Dana feels a whole host of emotions when she sees her ex, not knowing if she can move on and forgive him for his betrayal.

The author did a great job of creating characters who not only feel intensely, but whole heartedly in so little words. It was sad, romantic, heart-breaking, and endearing all at the same time. Definitely worth the little time it takes to read!

 

Kindle | Nook

Review of Second Chance Heart by Marie Lavender

SCH

Short and Sweet

Genre:  Short Stories, Contemporary Romance

Book Length (Est.): 35 pages

Book Description/Synopsis: 

After a wild storm forces her to take shelter in a small town inn, Dana Nelson thinks that all she has to worry about is a brief stay before she heads back to the city. She gets far more than she bargained for…

The last thing she expects is to run into an old flame, and even worse, the man who broke her heart twelve years ago. She’s sure that the only thing remaining between them is a strong attraction for another.

She can’t be more wrong…

The more time she spends with Vince Reynolds, the more she begins to believe she can trust him again. But, can she put her faith in the one man who captivates her, body and soul, or are some wounds too deep to heal? 

Mindy’s Review: 

*I received this book free from the author in exchange for an honest review*

Dana Nelson is forced into a Inn for the night in shelter of a storm coming through. She is caught off guard when she runs into the one person that broke her heart. This is a very short read about love, betrayal and forgiveness of two people that really never got over each other.

The author fits so many emotions into this short read. I think this was a very sweet read and would recommend it to anyone that just needs something to read and don’t know what they are looking for. This book makes you believe that maybe someone does deserve a second chance.

Mindy 3 star 

*Clicking on the book cover above will take you to the Amazon purchase page.

four stars

Do you forgive and forget?, December 17, 2015

This review is from: Second Chance Heart (Kindle Edition)

The book’s theme is really summed up in the dedication: “To anyone who has lived with regrets…and to those who have found forgiveness in their hearts…”Dana Nelson was betrayed by Vince Reynolds, the man she had planned to marry. Dropping in for a surprise visit from out of town, she finds a strange woman in his bed, and she walks away, never seeing him, never speaking to him again. She had not seen him in years, but her feelings are re-kindled the night she runs into him in the lobby of her hotel and she begins to ponder the problem of forgiveness.

Marie Lavender displays the issues involved in love and forgiveness in sharp form. The situation is clear. Vince was a jerk and Dana has every right to despise him. But should she hold his transgression over his head forever.

David Burnett for the Kindle Book Review
I received a copy of the book in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.

Second Chance Heart - final cover

 5.0 out of 5 starsGreat story, great characters and great writing

on October 21, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition

I was given an ARC of this book for an honest review.

What happens when you run into the one that destroyed your heart many years later? Dana Nelson comes face to face with the man who ripped out and stomped on her heart 12 years ago.

Vince Reynolds knew he wronged the one woman who had been with him since they were kids. Can he get her to talk to him again? Can he make her see his side now, after all this time?

This is a very short read, but there is so much drama and romance in it that all you want is for the story to continue. You develop a bond with the characters and want to know more about them and what happens. Great story, great characters and great writing, definitely 5 stars for me.


Reviewed by Cryssy

 second-chance-heart-final-cover1

 fivestars
on October 19, 2015

I was given an ARC of this book for an honest review.

What happens when you run into the one that destroyed your heart many years later? Dana Nelson comes face to face with the man who ripped out and stomped on her heart 12 years ago.

Vince Reynolds knew he wronged the one woman who had been with him since they were kids. Can he get her to talk to him again? Can he make her see his side now, after all this time?

This is a very short read, but there is so much drama and romance in it, that all you want is for the story to continue. You develop a bond with the characters and want to know more about them and what happens. Great story, great characters and great writing, definitely 5 stars for me.

Second Chance Heart - final cover

3.0 out of 5 stars 3.5 Rueful stars, October 19, 2015
This review is from: Second Chance Heart (Kindle Edition)

Favorite Quotes:

“She hadn’t realized he still had the power to hurt her. Like he said, that was fairly telling.”

“They’d always related well, their bond so natural that it was, at time, breathtaking.”

My Review:

A melancholy and moody short story about the inner musings of a woman finally working through the detritus of the betrayal and failure of her first relationship, who in retrospect – seems to have been the love of her life, the one. A chance encounter has stirred up residual anger and memories – good and bad. She realizes she needs to work it through and seek closure, but in doing so, she has to face some uncomfortable truths about herself. The story is easy to follow and brief. The writing is rather angsty and melodramatic, but it also squeezes the heart and provides a satisfying conclusion.

StarStarStarStarStar

Second Nature
Blood At First Sight Book 1
by Marie Lavender

Fiction – Paranormal
194 Pages
Reviewed on 10/10/2015

Book Review

Reviewed by Michelle Randall for Readers’ Favorite

Alec is not your ordinary drop-dead handsome man, he is a vampire, and he smells the most amazing blood he has ever met. He is looking for it when he finds it at a festival. Desiree is a young woman with a broken heart and soul. She has been unlucky in love, but she thinks she is okay. Alec has to know more about her, he wants to know her, not just have a taste of her blood, which is something he has never done. Desiree is stronger than she thinks and her mind is even stronger; she is able to resist the normal vampire mind thoughts. Alec knows there is something special about her, but it also puts her in danger. He takes a bold step and kidnaps her, taking her to his house. Second Nature follows Alec and Desiree as she begins to learn about Alec and trust him. Along the way, they find something more than they ever thought possible, but they both know in reality it can never work, right? A human and a vampire? Author Marie Lavender gives us a different look into vampire-human relationships.

Second Nature: Blood At First Sight Book 1 by author Marie Lavender is not your typical vampire novel. Alec is a lone vampire, he does not live in a group, or family. Vampires do not mix with humans at all, other than to take the amounts of blood they need, but only that much. So when Alec is taken with Desiree, this is something he is completely unprepared for and he has no idea how to handle it. Desiree has no idea vampires exist, but takes the news relatively well. Given her unlucky past with her ex-husband, she has a hard time trusting Alec, but he works to win her trust. In reality this is much more than a romance novel, it is the story of Alec and Desiree, and the fact that they are human and vampire is secondary. Anyone who enjoys a good romance should read this one; it is an emotional read!

A Little Magick - final cover

5star-shiny-web

Book Review

Star Star Star Star Star

Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers’ Favorite

A Little Magick (Magick Series Book 2) by Marie Lavender revolves around a cute little girl, Rosie, who goes to stay with her uncle. Uncle Adam’s home is big and he has built a tree house in the yard for Rosie, and has also made arrangements to work from home. He knows Rosie’s mother is a Wiccan and though he feels a little uncomfortable when she is around, he loves his niece. Rosie makes a lot of new friends and enemies while staying at her uncle’s place. Adam and Rosie get along well, but then slowly Rosie discovers she is a witch and begins to change, and her powers start coming to the fore. This story of fantasy is not just for children, even adults will enjoy the book.

The theme of bullying also runs through the plot, apart from the romantic angle between Adam and the cook Selena. All the characters are well sketched, especially that of Rosie. The book also conveys the message that with power comes accountability. The story is neat and simple and Rosie’s magick connects well with readers. The narration is detailed and descriptive, making the scenes come alive while reading.

It’s a thoughtful story for kids. Books with a message and moral are always good to read as children will be able to understand them better via a story. Little Magick is a good book and it’s quite interesting to read how Rosanna deals with her powers when she finds out about it.

Second Chance Heart - final cover

Early 5 Star Review…

https://jenacidebybibliophile.wordpress.com/2015/09/23/second-chance-heart-by-marie-lavender/

 A Little Magick - final cover

5.0 out of 5 stars Like mother, like daughter…, August 3, 2015
Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: A Little Magick (Magick Series Book 2) (Kindle Edition)
When nine-year-old Rosie discovers she’s a witch, she learns that along with supernatural powers comes accountability. In the first novella, Magick & Moonlight, her mama, Jessie, learns the same lesson. Although geared toward young children, adults will also enjoy this sweet story. I recommend reading Magick & Moonlight for yourself and then reading A Little Magick with your little girl!
4.0 out of 5 stars Great continuation to a great new series!, July 28, 2015
Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: A Little Magick (Magick Series Book 2) (Kindle Edition)
“A Little Magick” by Marie Lavender is about Rosie and her trip to Uncle Adam’s house over the summer. What starts off as a playdate with a new friend, Tina, soon turns into Rosie getting bullied by a neighbor kid. As she thinks about how mean he is things start to happen and not all for the good. Will she be able to get it under control before someone gets hurt, or is it too late for that?
I really enjoyed reading this book from little Rosie’s perspective, although I was not quite sure how young she was in this story I know she was pretty young. I liked the splash of romance between Uncle Adam and Selena, and also the moral lesson with bullying.
 Magick and Moonlight
4.0 out of 5 stars A short romantic magical story!, July 25, 2015
This review is from: Magick & Moonlight (Kindle Edition)
“Magick & Moonlight” by Marie Lavender is a great short story about a Wiccan named Jessie who gets caught in the forest skyclad (naked)by the sexy ex- cop, Ethan, while performing a ritual. He immediately thinks their is something alluring but dangerous about what she’s doing so he insists that she put out the fire and takes her home. To hide her secret she puts a spell on him, but will it ruin what could be between them. Only time will tell.
I enjoyed this sweet,magical, romantic read. It’s my first from this author but plan on reading more.

SecondNature-final cover

5.0 out of 5 stars A dose of mush & thrill, July 25, 2015

This review is from: Second Nature (Blood At First Sight Book 1) (Kindle Edition)

A cup of tea never goes out of fashion, nor do the kind of books that guarantee cosiness to go with it. We are, of course, talking here about romance. And Marie Lavender has a knack for serving it well.
As the author notes about the protagonist – a vampire, “All he’d ever hoped for, when you looked past the bitterness of fate, was acceptance. He had foolishly wanted to be accepted despite his supernatural flaws. And that just wasn’t possible.” That ironically is true for the very genre of romance in the sense that window of acceptance of deviations is rather slim. Readers around the globe are so invested in romantic stories on a sentimental note from the outset that little room is left for any dramatic manoeuvres. Unlike Scifi which allows unheard-of theatrics, Mystery which necessitates unforeseen twists or Adventure which guarantees unexplored arenas, Romance has to comply with specific human ideas of pleasure and love. For, these stories tend to our heart and are blind to all else, thus designed to bear an immense responsibility with a delicate touch. So there must be losses, a somewhat fairy tale approach, passionate lovemaking, an unquenchable thirst, a character both beasty and tender, and the joy of reunion. Perhaps no other element typifies this essence of a love story than vampires do.
Second Nature opens with a woman managing the strings of loneliness, work, a new life and bitter past. Her first rendezvous with the blood-sucking hero, Alec, is sudden and something of a fantasy, despite teetering on lines of “consensual rape.” It leaves us gasping for more, and the author caters to that well enough in the chapters that follow. The story bears ample juice, thanks to a nice little teleportation power she has accorded her lead character, while the lady gets a more subtle but spicier power of reading the other’s mind. There is something that Ms. Lavender seems to be building towards that doesn’t come out in the open. And while the two lovebirds part ways momentarily and go through revelations of their respective past, the source of Desiree’s powers remains a mystery. Cue: Book 2?
Marie Lavender does not complicate her writing. The descriptions are just about sufficient and well spaced to allow us a vision of wall-and-wood that surrounds the unfolding affection. But she pulls us into the latter’s steamy sessions and doe-eyed discussions well enough to draw our focus on matters of anticipation. Yet, the genius lies in her plot itself. It is well paced and simple, but shapes up the characters and their background to such an extent that one can’t help but wonder whether a larger set-piece is about to unfold in this series as a whole. Maybe I simply want that to happen. That is one area the plot can definitely improve upon and go all out on.
Regardless the status, though, we have a story in our hands that gives us what it promises – a dose of mush and thrill.

A Little Magick - final cover

5.0 out of 5 stars Sweet, July 25, 2015
Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: A Little Magick (Magick Series Book 2) (Kindle Edition)
I loved it! What is a sweet little girl to do when she learns she is a witch? That she can make things happen? Nine year old Rosie goes to stay with her Uncle Adam while her father is training for a new job and her mother is at a festival employing her craft. There are lots of surprises in store for both Rosie and her uncle. Very nice story with strong characters. I love Marie Lavender’s work.Carole McKee, Author
4.0 out of 5 stars Sweet and thoughtful story, not just for children, July 25, 2015
This review is from: A Little Magick (Magick Series Book 2) (Kindle Edition)
I had read the prequel to this book, “Magick and Moonlight”, and I really loved it. Seeing things from a child’s perspective this time was certainly different. The author pulled it off very credibly, I really felt as if I were in little Rosanna’s head. It was fascinating to see how she dealt with discovering her magick, and there was just the right amount of adult world and children’s world in the story. I really want to read about a grown-up Rosanna now.

 

UponYourReturn_E-bookCover

5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, July 21, 2015

By

Verified Purchase(What’s this?)

This review is from: Upon Your Return (Kindle Edition)

Excellent!

A Little Magick - final cover

Rating: **** Four stars 

Reviewed by: ?wazithinkin

 

Genre: Children’s Fiction/Magic/Urban Fantasy

 

Approximate word count: 20-25,000 words

 

Availability

Kindle US: YES UK: YES Nook: YES Smashwords: YES Paper: NO

Click on a YES above to go to appropriate page in Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Smashwords store

 

Appraisal:

 

A Little Magick is book two in Marie Lavender’s Magick Series. In book one Jessie and Ethan Hamilton meet in an awkward moment during Magick & Moonlight. It is about ten years later in this novella and Jessie and Ethan now have a nine year-old daughter, Rosanna. The story opens with Jessie driving Rosie to stay with Ethan’s brother Adam in Seattle, Washington for a few weeks. Jessie has other obligations right now and Ethan is training for a new job as Sheriff, which could involve late nights. Since Rosie has not come into her powers yet they don’t foresee any problems. Adam knows Jessie is Wiccan, but he doesn’t understand what all that means so he is a little uncomfortable around Jessie. However, he loves his niece and has made arrangements to work from home while Rosie comes to stay with him.

Uncle Adam has a huge house with a theater room and he has built a treehouse out in the yard for Rosie, complete with windows, a bean bag, and books. There is also a cook, Selena, who comes in and cooks breakfast and dinner. Rosie notices the way Selena watches her Uncle Adam when he isn’t looking and lets him know. Adam and Rosie are getting along great when through a serious twist of fate Rosie’s powers begin to manifest right under Uncle Adams nose.

This is a children’s book written for children, which I didn’t feel like Magick & Moonlight was. The story is told simply and I felt like Rosie’s nine year-old character was written a bit under aged, she seemed younger than nine to me. However, A Little Magick can be read as a stand-alone story. It’s an entertaining and thought-provoking novella kids will enjoy.

 

FYI:

This is book two in Marie Lavender’s Magick Series. Book one is Magick & Moonlight.

 

Format/Typo Issues:

I noticed no significant proofing issues.

UponYourReturn_E-bookCover

5.0 out of 5 stars A Fiery Adventure., July 9, 2015
This review is from: Upon Your Return (Kindle Edition)
A fiery adventure of unmistaken love. Never have I read such poignant literature. This author is my idol. I myself write historical romance, I can never hope to be as wonderful as she. This book will hold you captive and take you on a whirlwind of romance from the very first intriguing page to the very last. Well written and well executed. I cannot brag enough about this book.

5.0 out of 5 stars All around great book!, June 15, 2015

Verified Purchase(What’s this?)

This review is from: Upon Your Return (Kindle Edition)

UponYourReturn_E-bookCover

One of those great romance books that could make a great movie. The way the author researched France in the 1860’s, and then wrote a story around it was just magnificent. I couldn’t put the book down. Anyone that loves a good love story with a strong woman as the main character will enjoy this book. If I could give the writer more stars for her style of writing I would..

Second Nature by Marie Lavender

Read Angel‘s review

Jun 18, 15
Read on June 08, 2015

 

**I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange of an honest review**4 starsWhat a beautiful book!!
And What an enjoyable journey!!!I really loved Alec! He’s such a gentleman .. and a great person that it was hard sometimes to think of him as a vampire!I loved their story even though I wasn’t a 100% satisfied with the ending .. Too many things left unfinished for me!!!But still this is a great book for any one who loves a good paranormal romance with a sexy vampire .

 http://booksandpals.blogspot.com/2015/05/second-nature-blood-at-first-sight-book.html

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Second Nature (Blood At First Sight Book 1)/ Marie Lavender

 
Reviewed by: ?wazithinkin
 
Genre: Paranormal Romance/ Urban Fantasy
 
Approximate word count: 50-55,000 words
 
Availability
Kindle US: YES UK: YES Nook: NO Smashwords: NO Paper: YES
Click on a YES above to go to appropriate page in Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Smashwords store
 
Author:
“Marie Lavender lives in the Midwest with her family and three cats. She has been writing for over twenty years. She has more works in progress than she can count on two hands. Marie has published nineteen books. Her real love is writing romances. She has published historical romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, mystery/thriller, literary fiction and poetry.”
For more, visit Ms. Lavender’s website or blog.
Description:
“Desiree Edwards has a problem. She’s been attacked, kidnapped and forced to get along with a vampire of all things. It’s something right out of the story books she reads, or her worst nightmare. But, sometimes he’s not the monster he appears to be. He seems so humanlike that she can’t help it when her emotions betray her, when her body betrays her. To make matters worse, she finds out more about herself than she ever wanted to know.
She was unlike any other…
Alec has a problem. The animal in him wants Desiree. But, so does the man. The more he learns about her, the harder it is to deny what he wants. But, he’s a freak, and she’s just a human. The two species don’t mix that way. Then an old enemy surfaces and Alec is forced to make a choice. His life or hers.
Can Alec’s soul be saved by this unique human? Or will it be far too late?”
 
Appraisal:
 
Second Nature as an urban fantasy set in a contemporary world much like our own, with the exception of vampires, werewolves, and possibly other creatures we have yet to be introduced to. Desiree is a young divorcee who has immersed herself in her work to start a new life since the divorce. She has friends and family close by but is starting to feel like she needs a change of pace in her life or work. She hasn’t decided which yet.
The story is told expertly through alternating viewpoints so well that I was never confused about whose head we were in. Alec is a vampire, he lost his life from a sloppy vampire who changed him unknowingly on a battle field during the Civil War. So Alex was on his own, without a sire, to show him the ropes on how to be a proper vampire. This turns out well for Alec in the long run. He has made a good life, or unlife, for himself and has been quite successful. He doesn’t kill when he feeds, he erases his victim’s memory of the event and sends them on their way.
When Alec spots Desiree at the annual Jazz and Blues Festival he is mesmerized by her. Not only does she attract the vampire in him, she also attracts the man himself. There is an attraction between Desiree and Alec that neither one of them can deny, no matter how hard Desiree tries to deny it. There is also a bond that neither one of them can explain. Desiree has some kind of psychic connection that Alec has never experienced before with anyone else. This makes the story unique for me. The emotional turmoil that each character experiences is something I appreciated and it drew me into the story. I cared what happened to both of them.
There are a couple of plot twists that kept the story engaging. One I felt was coming, it needed to happen, it was tense and hard to read. However, I am glad it concluded the way that it did. Even though this is book one of a series, there is no cliffhanger. That made me happy. I look forward to more from Desiree and Alec, this story could go so many directions. Great job, Ms. Lavender.
 
FYI:
This book has sexually explicit scenes that may be unsuitable for some readers.
 
Format/Typo Issues:
I found a small number of errors.
 
Rating: ***** Five stars
 

5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Vamp-Rom That Does Not Leave You Disappointed, May 17, 2015

Verified Purchase(What’s this?)

This review is from: Second Nature (Blood At First Sight Book 1) (Kindle Edition)

Second Nature is everything a vampire romance should be…a strong human female, a tortured and extraordinarily handsome vampire, and an inexplicable connection between the two that almost doesn’t happen, but thankfully does.Despite their obvious species difference, vampire and human, Alec and Desiree are drawn to each other. There’s just something about Desiree Edwards that drives Alec mad….in the good sort of way. Her blood calls to him, her scent drives him wild. Why does this human affect him so? He must find out more about this woman. In a moment of weakness, Alec takes Desiree’s blood without her consent and gets more than he bargained for.Desiree has always felt like an outsider looking in. With a failed marriage in the not so distant past, she has committed herself to her work. However, when Alec abducts her, she finds out that she is more than ready to move on…she’s just not so sure she can accept it.Marie Lavender is quite skilled at utilizing all the tools available for a hot adult romance- good plot, great characters…ahem…steamy sex scenes! This first installment is a great foundation for more stories to come. Though we learn a lot about our two main characters, Ms. Lavender leaves us with opportunities to learn so much more. The characters have good dialogue and their personalities go well together. The writing is solid. The pace is great. There is never a lull in the story.I look forward to future books in this series.

SecondNature-final cover

4.0 out of 5 stars A fun take on vampires, May 3, 2015

This review is from: Second Nature (Blood At First Sight Book 1) (Kindle Edition)

* I received an ebook in exchange for an honest review. *This book is a paranormal romance book and it starts off a bit on the odd side – It begins with Alec stalking Desiree based on one glimpse and smell of her. I thought that the story was a bit slow going for the first few chapters but once Desiree and Alec actually meet the story gets much more interesting and has a much quicker pace.The author made sure that the fact that Desiree was weary of men, relationships and getting close to anyone jumped right out to the reader. I felt like this was important for the story. Alec was also weary of being alone, getting too close to anyone and being out in the sunlight – and they both had good reasons for the way that they were. The author did an amazing job with the details of the characters and the reader was able to feel a connection to them. The details that the author used to describe Baltimore and the surrounding areas was spot on – including the restaurants and this made me love the book even more. If you have never been to Baltimore it will feel like you have after you finish reading this book!The plot did start out a bit slow but by the middle you are hoping that it was a never-ending story. The reader can barely keep up with the twists, turns, loops and curves that the author throws out. The reader also can feel the emotions of the characters through the descriptive writing that the author uses. The ending was a bit of a cliffhanger in the fact that the reader wants to know what happens next to the characters that they have bonded with throughout the journey.This is a fun read that has a bit of a different take on vampires and their blending into society. If you like vampire stories you will enjoy this one! Make sure that you add it to your TBR list and add it soon – it is a great afternoon read!***Review has been done in conjunction with Nerd Girl Official.

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Title: Upon Your Return

Author: Marie Lavender

Published Date: February 13th 2013

Genre:Historical Romance

Rating:

1 star1 star1 star1 star1 star

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***Amanda #NerdGirlWitch Review*** – February 14, 2015

 This was a amazing read! Marie is a brilliant author and I enjoyed reading this immensely. The twists and turns flowed beautifully and the romance was epic and heart pounding.The Characters were sexy, compelling and stubborn, and the story was beautiful, romantic and at times even a little dangerous. I loved that the characters were kind of stuck with each other and at times had a kind of love/hate relationship as it added fire to the scenes, you could tell however that they didn’t ever hate each other and you could see their relationship continued to grow.I loved all the history that comes with reading a period story like this. Historical romance is chock full of history and intrigue, and that is one of the things I love about them. Marie did a fantastic JOB on this one and I loved all of the historical stuff that she added to the story to make it seem as if you had really been taken back.
Don’t miss out on your chance to read this piece of history!

Upon Your Honor

5.0 out of 5 stars The book was a great read. Very interesting character development, April 8, 2015
This review is from: Upon Your Honor (Paperback)
The book was a great read. Very interesting character development. The characters just pull you in wanting to read more about them. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in Historical romance.

5.0 out of 5 stars This is a great read. The characters just pull you in, April 8, 2015
This review is from: Upon Your Return (Paperback)
This is a great read. The characters just pull you in. The plot is amazingly put together. The over all love story is romantic. It also has a lot of funny moments. The fact that this is a great first start to a series put together makes me interested to read the others. If you love Historical romance and ship captains this is a great book for you. I would recommend my friends to read this novel any day.
UponYourReturn_E-bookCover
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best Vampire Romances I have read, March 14, 2015
By
Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: Second Nature (Blood At First Sight Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
One of the Best Vampire Romances I have read! I really enjoyed reading this book. Very well written and easy to read. This book is on my “favorites” book shelf… to be treasured! This story has it all…and best part is the happy ending. Left me wanting to read more about these two, and their future adventures together. So looking forward to reading many more stories by this author! If you are looking for a great Vampire romance… I Highly recommend this book!
SecondNature-final cover
Upon Your Return (Heiresses in Love Series, #1)
by Marie Lavender (Goodreads Author)

11894433

Cynthia‘s review

Feb 02, 14

bookshelves: romance

Read from January 30 to February 02, 2014

 

I was given this book by the author for an honest review.I loved the cover of this book, very nice and sexy. I found Captain Grant Hill to be a wonderful sexy character. He was a wonderful protector of a very stubborn lady who know what she wants and doesn’t let the world tell her what she should do. It took a lot of balls or I guess I should say backbone to do some of the things she does. I found this to be a very sweet, loving, passionate book. Fara was born in a time where women had little rights and others took control, you had no say even in marriage. There are a lot of twist and turns it is hard to keep up at times, and I did get a little confused but all in all it was a very good read.

http://www.amazon.com/review/R3NU5X2U788SEG/ref=cm_cr_pr_perm?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B00JTKTODG

4.0 out of 5 stars A story of finding true love, February 26, 2015
By
This review is from: Upon Your Honor (Kindle Edition)
This was intriguing story filled with excitement from Chloe running away after her father’s death to her being kidnapped along with falling in love. The author gives you a wonderful plot but at times it is just too long. I found this enjoyable read but found my mind wondered at times. The author did pull me back in with wonderful parts in the book.Chloe has already lost her mother at a young age, to lose her father at 19 was too much add a man that claims her father wanted her to marry him and take over her money was more than she could take. She decides she should go to her grandmothers, gets on a boat and leaves life as she knows it. Chloe is a very strong willed lady and goes through some trying times. Gabriel finds her and does his best to protect her, men kidnap her but Gabriel finds her. Both have a lot to learn as they travel the seas and endure many trying times.I thought the author gave us wonderful characters with a story to tell. I loved Gabriel for his strong caring ways. He grew to be a wonderful man you could lean on, one that cares so much and gives so much. Chloe grew to be a better person to learn to trust and found that not all mean are evil or have bad intent.I felt this was an enjoyable read at times long winded and could have been cut down a little. All in all it wasn’t a bad read. At times I was a little confused but I worked it out. The author does have a wonderful plot with wonderful characters. She tells a story of lost, pain and sorrow as they grow to become stronger more meaningful adults. I wouldn’t say this is your normal historical romance but a good one with a wonderful ending.

5.0 out of 5 stars This book was a gift for an honest review, February 25, 2015

This review is from: Second Nature (Blood At First Sight Book 1) (Kindle Edition)

I just loved this book. I will be keeping this in my library to read again. Marie Lavender has wrote a great book. Can’t w ait to read more of her books. Buy this book you will not regret it. If you love Vampires you’ll love this one.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

REVIEW: SECOND NATURE by MARIE LAVENDER

SecondNature-final cover

TITLE: SECOND NATURE

AUTHOR: MARIE LAVENDER

GENRE: PARANORMAL ROMANCE

PUBLISHER: SOLSTICE SHADOWS
PUBLISHED: DECEMBER 9, 2014

SOURCE: AUTHOR

Initially I found this story somewhat disconcerting. It started out with the heroine being stalked by the hero because he found the scent of her blood appealing. Eventually, he makes a move on her and this led to them having a sexual encounter. It may appear that the heroine was raped, but it depends on how you as the reader interprets this particular encounter. He then proceeded to kidnap  her to protect his identity because  he had difficulty erasing her memories.  However, has the story progressed, I was able to move past my initial reaction and found that this was indeed a cute romantic story with paranormal elements.

In Second Nature we meet Alec Sullivan, which I guess you figured by now is a vampire.  He has been a vampire for a 170 odd years and during this time he has amassed quite a considerable amount of wealth.  Alec experienced true love, however, he lost that love tragically and was not inclined to get closely involved with anyone again especially in light of his condition.  This changed, however, the night he found himself being drawn to Desiree.

Desiree  experienced pain and heartbreak when she found out that her husband has been  cheating on her. She tried moving on with her life, but family events made her a bit melancholy.  She felt that something is missing from her life, but she could not figure out what it was, that was until Alec stormed into her life.

Although their initial meeting was a bit on the creepy side, it was evident that they were good for each other. Desiree made him  realise that he is not a monster, but a man who is capable of love.  She reawakened his human side.  He on the other helped her realise that she s worthy of love and that her ex-husband was not appreciative of her.  His appearance in her life helped her to discover some shocking things about herself.

 

This is an engaging read that plays on the reader’s emotions.  The romance is sweet and adorable and one cannot help liking the characters. Overall, I enjoyed this story and cannot wait to read the next book in the series.

DISCLOSURE: Complimentary copy received in exchange for an honest review.

 

4.0 out of 5 stars I love a steamy vampire story, February 8, 2015
By
This review is from: Second Nature (Blood At First Sight Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.I really enjoyed this book. It was hot, sweet and cute.
Even though the beginning wasn’t all that inspiring, what with the attack for a bite turned into almost rape that was actually consensual but still really weird. Yeah, it’s complicated. It was a bit surreal that scene. But then after that it got much better. I’m still not a huge fan of insta-love but I guess we could say they were soul mates and fated to be together.
Needless to say, I loved Alec. Well, except for the first glimpse of him in the beginning and that scene of the first bite. After that I started to increasingly like him. And oh how hot he was. I love my vampire books with some steamy sex, and this got plenty. My hormones are grateful.
I liked Desiree. Mostly. There were moments when I was like “Dude, what the hell are you doing?! Are you nuts?” And wanted to swat at her head for being stupid. But I mostly liked her. Her family was also lovely. I’m shocked that she didn’t realize the truth sooner though. I mean, it was pretty obvious looking at her and then at them. Desiree’s father and sister were really sweet though.
The ending was cute.

Second Nature (Blood at First Sight Series, #1) by Marie Lavender

I’ll go ahead and admit it. Ever since Twilight, I’ve been a sucker for the forbidden human/vampire romance. That’s what attracted me to this book, and I was not disappointed.

Desiree has lost in love big time. She found her husband with another woman and now has supported her own sister in getting married and expecting a baby. She’s happy for the people in her life who deserve and get love, but finds herself wishing it could be for her. Alec is a vampire. He’s old, and has a system for getting his needs met. But when Desiree comes into the picture, she turns his world upside down. Can they make this unconventional love and passion work? Or is it doomed before it can begin?

This book was a pretty exciting read. It was not a traditional love story at all, in my opinion. I mean, it kind of has a creepy stalker type vibe to it. But hey, the guys a vampire…not human…so it works. It doesn’t try to fit Alec into the confines of the human world, and I think that’s why I was able to overlook a bit of his creepiness. I guess you could say that the world building was good enough that the whole thing came together pretty well and was an easy to follow and interesting story.

I thought this book went a bit deeper into the romance than these books tend to. It’s a bit overdramatic in parts, but for the most part I thought the questions it raises about the nature of relationships were very interesting. Overall, I enjoyed it. 4 stars.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

4.0 out of 5 stars Can Opposites Attract?, January 23, 2015
This review is from: Second Nature (Blood At First Sight Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Marie Lavender’s first venture into the paranormal is a success.Alec and Desiree are in love. The complicating factor is that he is a vampire and she is human. Alec exists on human blood, other food makes him ill, he must avoid sunlight, and he will live forever. Desiree is human. She loves wine and food, she sleeps at night, and she is mortal.
Can a human love a vampire?I suppose all who have seen Twilight feel they know the answer to this question, but Lavender raises it anew in Second Nature. Can two very different creatures find happiness? Or is their relationship doomed to exist solely on a physical level.On one level, this a straight romance, and, as a romance, it succeeds. It is fast moving, interesting, and very romantic. The reader comes to like the characters and roots for them to work things out so that they can be together. The fact that one of characters is a vampire, simply introduces new complications to the developing relationshipOn another level, the book explores the nature of relationships. Can opposites attract? Can two very different people (or creatures) be happy together, or is eHarmony on the right track, claiming that we are most happy with those who are similar to us? Seldom do we find a romance that deals with weightier issues, but Lavender does this, and she does it in a light-hearted, unobtrusive manner.
A racy story and food for thought. Quite a combination.David Burnett for the Kindle Book Review
I received a copy of the book in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.
5.0 out of 5 stars Romance and Action, January 19, 2015
This review is from: Leather and Lace (Paperback)
Quite a mixture of romance, danger, erotic romance, love, and action. Patrick is a detective and Angie is a stripper. He sees something in Angie that intrigues him, and he is falling for her, hard; but Angie is keeping a secret from him. The story is well-written and quite enjoyable. Both characters, Patrick and Angie warmed my heart. I loved it.Carole McKee, Author
4.0 out of 5 stars A Crazy Twisting Ride!, January 7, 2015
This review is from: Second Nature (Blood At First Sight Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
**3.5 Fiery Hearts!***I received this book free from the author in exchange for an honest review*Desiree thought she had the life until she caught her husband in bed with another woman, now she’s just trying to make a life for herself. With her sister newly married and expecting it’s a little heavy on her heart, but she’s truly happy for her and continually shows it.Alec has been around a long time, he’s had his love and lost her to her own demise, but he never ever expected to find someone who made him feel again…let alone a human.Each thought they’d known passion and love, but neither truly experienced it until they found each other.“But … sometimes I look at you and I can’t breathe. You rob me of words.”Second Nature started out with a bang. It pulled me right in, captivating my attention…but then it just kind of fell flat. There’s a mild conflict toward the end, but good overpowers evil and then it’s done. There was a slight anticipation that it was coming, but nothing that built up suspense toward it.As for the love story between Desiree and Alec it started with a creepy infatuation that led straight to carnal animalistic actions that despite denial both parties enjoyed very much.“Oh my God, she thought, as the evidence began to trickle down her inner thigh. She had been attacked. Violated. And it only got worse; she had submitted to him, let him take her.”The connection they are able to share because of their gifts made for interesting turns, but the whole ‘I love you and that’s why I have to let you go’ part seemed a little dramatically overplayed. All I know is that I felt so badly for Alec after they separated; poor guy thought he was going insane.

on December 8, 2014

Format: Kindle Edition

Second Nature, Marie LavenderWhat did I like? It’s been a long time since I have a read a book that hit me like this one did. I have always liked paranormal books and if they included a romance so much the better. This book has that and more! I started this book and could not put it down, the story started and from page one took hold of me and wrapped me up. The action and emotions were flying off the pages with the author’s signature writing of vivid descriptions and details that will start that mental video in your head. I loved the reaction between Desiree and Alec with the connection being so tantalizing that you could not help but be involved. I could feel the how the tension was building and you could just see how their lives were changing and knew that nothing would ever be the same. I was so involved that I cried and cried from the love that was pouring off the pages. There was nothing about this story that I disliked, I loved it from page one to the very end.What will you like? I have read other books by this author so I knew that I would fall in love with the story but if you have not read any of her work before be prepared for a well-developed story line that shows the work and effort that she puts in her writing. She has a remarkable way of describing the places and characters that pull you into the story from the beginning. You don’t have to read half the book to figure out that you’re going to like it, it starts from page one on! Her characters are always remarkable and loveable with details that leave no doubt that you either love them or hate them. I really like that when I read! When you finish the book you will be craving for the next book to be released soon. I would recommend all the books that Ms Lavender has written, the ones that I have read have all been great. Class A writing and a five star story, don’t miss it!

Second Nature by Marie Lavender
Second Nature (Blood at First Sight Series, #1)
by Marie Lavender (Goodreads Author)

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Devika Fernando‘s review

Dec 02, 14
5 of 5 stars

 

I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of “Second Nature” by Marie Lavender. Having enjoyed her novel “Magick & Moonlight” a lot, and being a huge fan of vampires, I dove in eagerly – and I loved the book!
It was great to see things through both protagonists’ eyes and really understand what motives them and what characterizes them. The heroine and the hero were both very well fleshed out, acted credibly and had me hooked from the start. I loved it that the author didn’t just make Desiree a weakling who blindly falls for an oh so droolworthy vampire, but that she gave her strength, will power, an intriguing family background and life – and a little something I don’t want to mention for fear of spoilers. I also found it awesome that Alec was a troubled soul hiding behind all that brain and brawn and vampire appeal. The two of them made a perfect match, and I was rooting for their happy end throughout the book. Their names are perfect, by the way.
The plot was tight, keeping me on edge with all the action, emotions and steamy scenes. As happens with good books, I wanted to know the end of the story, but at the same time didn’t want it to be over.
If you enjoy vampire fiction that is on the one hand typical for the genre but on the other hand bears the author’s smooth style and flowing language, then you’ll enjoy “Second Nature” as much as I did.
5.0 out of 5 stars A shipboard romance with lots of adventure…, December 2, 2014
This review is from: Upon Your Honor (Kindle Edition)
Having read Upon Your Return, I couldn’t wait to read the sequel…and lucky for me, I didn’t have to! The author gifted me the book in exchange for an honest review. Well, I enjoyed Upon Your Honor every bit as much as the first novel in the series. Grant and Fara Hill’s son, Gabriel, has grown into a handsome, decent young man–not unlike his charming father. It was fun to reconnect with the “mature Grant” and to travel the seas with Gabriel and Chloe, the hero and heroine in this story. If you’re looking for a shipboard romance with lots of adventure, you’ll fall in love with Upon Your Honor!

5.0 out of 5 stars Went straight to my heart!, December 2, 2014

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This review is from: Magick & Moonlight (Kindle Edition)

Okay, I admit I’m a big fan of Marie Lavender’s romances. Her novella, Magick & Moonlight, proved no exception: It went straight to my heart! That said, I couldn’t help wishing that the story were longer. I wanted to explore the hero and heroine in more detail. Ethan is a complex individual with an open mind; a wounded spirit who needs time to heal. Jessie is just coming into her own as a practicing Wiccan. She’s sweet, shy, and a bit unsure of herself. Marie combined all the right ingredients to tell an enjoyable story about learning to trust and finding true love. This is a good one to cuddle up with for an hour or two.

Upon Your Honor by Marie Lavender

Upon Your Honor (Heiresses in Love Series, #2)
by Marie Lavender (Goodreads Author)

3927336

Pattimari‘s review

Dec 02, 14

 

Upon Your Honor is a book I bought, read, and think is an outstanding story with a great author. I was impressed and happy to know that this author had more books to buy and read. Marie keeps her reader entertained and feeling all the characters actions. She has a way with allowing the reader to visualize exactly what the character looks like and feels.
Great job Marie.
Pattimari Sheets Cacciolfi, Therapist, Author, and VP of PnPAuthors

4.0 out of 5 stars Transport yourself in time and place!, November 15, 2014

This review is from: Upon Your Honor (Kindle Edition)

Author Marie Lavender creates an epic novel, as her characters travel from the docks of New York City, in 1881, to New Orleans. Via carriage, ship, or horse, Chloe Waverly attempts to escape the clutches of her unwanted fiancé, Lamonte Beckett, with the help of Gabriel Hill.Having already suffered the loss of her mother, the death of her father leaves Chloe at the mercy of society and the whim of a man who claims her father intended they marry. Unwilling to commit herself to a loveless relationship, Chloe stows aboard a merchant ship making it’s way to New Orleans. The telling of her daring escape is exciting and one of the most enjoyable parts of the book.Halfway down the eastern seaboard, Chloe is found out by the ship captain’s son, Gabriel. A chivalrous man with kind intentions, he protects Chloe from all manner of situations. Through their joint struggles and efforts Chloe begins to believe that not all men are unkind and uncaring.Ms. Lavender takes us on a journey from the docks of New York through the Bahamas, along coastal waters of the deep south. Beautiful visual imagery is written, allowing us to feel transported, both in time and place. We also feel the emotional angst that Chloe moves through, as she grows from frightened girl to confident woman. And well, Gabriel is to die for!Great read. Kudos, Ms. Lavender.

Upon Your Honor

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This review is from: Magick & Moonlight (Kindle Edition)

Can a Wiccan find true Love? Jessie and Ethan come across each other at what appears to be the right time in their lives, but not by his free will. She needs him and he needs her, and together they find each other. It’s a delightful romance about two people who are so different from each other. Opposites attract, or do they? Fun, sweet, exciting, and joyful make up this feel-good romance. So worth reading!Carole McKee, Author

This review is from: Magick & Moonlight (Kindle Edition)
I just fell in love with this book from the beginning. It was so romantic. I felt like I was there experiencing everything that happened. Hope to read more from you
Magick and Moonlight

 http://thenewbookreview.blogspot.com/2014/10/redheads-unite-read-upon-your-honor.html

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Redheads Unite! Read Upon Your Honor!

Title:  Upon Your Honor
Author:  Marie Lavender
Author’s Web site link:  http://marielavender.webs.com/
Genre:  Historical Romance
ISBN:  1625260423
Name of Reviewer:  Kayla West
Amazon Reviewer’s Rating:  5 Stars
Book Publisher:  Summer Solstice Publishing
Universal Purchase Link:  http://smarturl.it/uponyourhonor
Reviewed by Kayla West Originally for BookLikes.com

I loved this book so much! SO MUCH!!!

I know that I have probably mentioned this before in a previous review of mine, maybe not, but ever since I was a little girl I have had this love for ships. Sailing ships. I love the terms for everything. I love the idea of being able to traverse oceans and leading a band of miscreants, and just the camaraderie that happens when you sail for months at a time. Sure. there are bad days too when it comes to the sea, but I just absolutely  it. (Okay, so my kinds of ships are normally only in books, and the groups I’m talking about are mostly pirates, not those on a trading ship like the men on La Voyageur, but it’s kind of the same principle, right?) Anywho…that was one of the things I absolutely adored about this story. The fact that most of it takes place on a vessel of the seas.

I also loved the characters, mostly the supporting characters, my favorite being Gabriel’s father. He just seemed like such a sweet man, and his daughter Adrienne was a bit of a firecracker in comparison. Gabriel’s mother was also very sweet when it came to Chloe, and you could definitely tell she was a strong woman, considering what she herself went through for true love.

It also doesn’t hurt that she was a redhead…REDHEADS UNITE!! *ahem* Sorry, kinda slipped out. And Gabriel was a redhea….AUBURN. Sorry, his and his mother’s hair is auburn. The characters are kind of berating me for not getting that right. Now…where was I… Oh, yeah. I loved that I could sort of relate to those two because of hair color.

While Chloe was an integral part of the story – without her running away from her fiancé there would be no story – she definitely wasn’t one of my favorite characters I have ever read. I liked her, don’t get me wrong, I just sometimes felt a bit annoyed by the fact that she was SO proper, SO well brought up. At one point I just wanted her to spit on a bad guy or her fiance, just once. I was completely rooting for that to happen. That would have made my day. But other than that, she was a good character.

All in all, this was really great story. I freaked out a bunch of times while reading it, especially near the end, where…well, you’ll have to read to find out. This reaction always indicates to me that whatever I am reading has to be good. At first I couldn’t figure out how the other books were connected to this one, since this is the first I have read from the series, but it made me smile when I was able to connect all three with characters that I was pretty much introduced to in this second book. It reads very well on its own, but the other books are definitely on my to read list for the future.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Review: Upon Your Honor by Marie Lavender

My Rating

4

My Review

 Upon Your Honor is the second novel of Marie Lavender’s Heiresses in Love series (the first of which, Upon Your Return, I reviewed here). I actually think that I loved Upon Your Honor even more than the first novel. It was an absolutely gorgeous read that I couldn’t put down for a moment.

 The connection between this novel and the first in the series was wonderful. The hero is now Gabriel Hill, the son of Grant and Fara, and the heroine is a fresh face, Chloe Waverly. It was fantastic to still be in the same historical world as the first novel, with familiar characters, but also have the main spotlight be on new faces.

 I felt that this plot was very tight, with high stakes and great pacing. The pages kept turning, especially for a romance novel, and I was constantly eager as to what would happen next. The romantic development may have readers yanking their hair out on occasion, but it is so so worth it. I could not get enough of the pairing between Gabriel and Chloe. It was both sweet and sexy, realistic, and fun and somewhat aggravating. But I’d sail that ship from New York to New Orleans anyway.

Speaking of which, I loved how a large chunk of the book was set at sea. I definitely did not get enough of life on La Voyageur before, and that added an interesting spin to the story. The sense of time passing by worked wonderfully, and allowed for a much more believable transition in the relationship.

Chloe is a wonderful character, as she is sweet but intelligent, and can even be coy when she wants to be. Getting a glimpse of her complex backstory made for an even more interesting character. Gabriel is just as deliciously swoon-worthy (if not more) than his father, so ladies need not be disappointed. Even outside of the fantastic romantic leads, other characters were very well-developed. Although Lamonte may not be likable, it’s great how his thought and image acts like a menacing shadow throughout the novel. He makes quite the impact, and he isn’t in the story long, which definitely shows how fantastic supporting characters can be.

I loved Upon Your Honor. It has romance, suspense, action, laughs, and just about everything one can look for in a novel. Fans of historical romance, especially those who already indulged in Upon Your Return, are sure to enjoy.  

Posted by Justine YA at 12:00 AM

Friday, September 26, 2014

Review: Upon Your Return by Marie Lavender

http://theyalitchick.blogspot.com/2014/09/review-upon-your-return-by-marie.html

My Rating

3.5

  My Review  

Upon Your Return is a wonderfully written historical romance that a variety of readers will enjoy. The premise is quite fantastic in itself. A romantic hero that is also captain of his own ship? I can definitely jump onto that boat. The events of the story are smoothly intertwined, and make for a very interesting read. 

The characters of the novel are all very strong, and each are enjoyable in their own way. Fara may be unconventional in the sense that she is outspoken and fiery, which I absolutely loved but Lavender didn’t go overboard as trying to sell just how different she was. There are ways for a female heroine to be strong without physical strength, and occasionally needing “saving” doesn’t make one weak. Fara is proof of both these facts, and it’s wonderful. She’s strong, intelligent and passionate – but still has the convincing image of a lady. It’s a wonderful blend.

Just as Fara was a fantastic female lead, Grant Hill is a complete showstopper. If he has one thing, it’s personality, and it’s a good one. He’s smart, sexy, and courageous – and he really cares about Fara. Definitely swoon-worthy. Say what you want, but that’s important for me in romances.

And although the romance between Fara and Grant is sweet and steamy and just really great, there is so much more to the novel than the two of them. There is danger, excitement, complex characters and emotional situations. It’s more than a romance, but it has fantastic romance.

Although some parts read a bit slow, the overall pacing was fine. There are a few unanswered questions which make certain actions not totally clear and seeming no more than convenient, but not in abundance. (The only thing that really stuck out involved the motives of the first fiance, which is a pretty significant plot event.)

Nonetheless, I thoroughly enjoyed the read and recommend it for fans of historical romance.

Posted by Justine YA at 12:00 AM

 

25,Aug2014

Book Review: Upon Your Honor by Marie Lavender

Title: Upon Your Honor
Author: Marie Lavender
Publication Date: April 20, 2014
Publisher: Summer Solstice
Genre: Historical Romance

Blurb:

Deception is a dangerous path…

New York City, August, 1891 — Orphaned after the death of her father, Chloe Waverly stows away on La Voyageur to escape the clutches of her cruel fiancé, Lamonte Beckett. Gabriel Hill, a strange and compelling gentleman, comes upon Chloe and promises to protect her without knowing the true circumstances of why she is running away. During their journey, Gabriel doesn’t bargain on being distracted by her fair beauty or succumbing to her many charms. As their attraction to each other grows, so does the danger, and Gabriel suspects things are not as they should be.

Both are determined to get to New Orleans, where she can start a new life. But, once they reach their destination, events spin out of their control and Chloe is captured by the fiancé she escaped. Gabriel is left wondering if he can overlook her betrayal. Soon he finds himself in a race against time, to reach her before Beckett can exact revenge.

Kayla’s Thoughts:

I loved this book so much! SO MUCH!!!

I know that I have probably mentioned this before in a previous review of mine, maybe not, but ever since I was a little girl I have had this love for ships. Sailing ships. I love the terms for everything. I love the idea of being able to traverse oceans and leading a band of miscreants, and just the camaraderie that happens when you sail for months at a time. Sure there are bad days too when it comes to the sea, but I just absolutely  it. (Okay, so my kinds of ships are normally only in books, and the groups I’m talking about are mostly pirates, not a those on a trading ship like the men on La Voyageur, but it’s kind of the same principle, right?)Anywho…that was one of the things I absolutely adored about this story. The fact that most of it takes place on a vessel of the seas.

I also loved the characters, mostly the supporting characters, my favorite being Gabriel’s father. He just seemed like such a sweet man, and his daughter Adrienne was a bit of a firecracker in comparison. Gabriel’s mother was also very sweet when it came to Chloe, and you could definitely tell she was a strong woman, considering what she herself went through for true love.
It also doesn’t hurt that she was a redhead…REDHEADS UNITE!! *ahem* Sorry, kinda slipped out. And Gabriel was a redhea….AUBURN. Sorry, his and his mother’s hair is auburn. The characters are kind of berating me for not getting that right. Now…where was I… Oh yeah. I loved that I could sort of relate to those two because of hair color.

While Chloe was an integral part of the story, without her running away from her fiancé there would be no story, she definitely wasn’t one of my favorite characters I have ever read. I liked her, don’t get me wrong, I just sometimes felt a bit annoyed by the fact that she was SO proper, SO well brought up. At one point I just wanted her to spit on a bad guy or her fiance, just once. I was completely rooting for that to happen. That would have made my day. But other than that, she was a good character.

Verdict:

All in all, this was really great story. I freaked out a bunch of times while reading it, especially near the end, where…well, you’ll have to read to find out. This reaction always indicates to me that whatever I am reading has to be good. At first I couldn’t figure out how the other books were connected to this one, since this is the first I have read from the series, but it made me smile when I was able to connect all three with characters that I was pretty much introduced to in this second book. It reads very well on its own, but the other books are definitely on my to read list for the future.

5.0 out of 5 stars I loved it. Love is hard enough, August 11, 2014

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This review is from: Upon Your Return (Kindle Edition)

Such an emotional story! I loved it. Love is hard enough, but when Fara falls in love with Grant Hill, a man considered to be below her “social status” in 19th century France, it becomes hurtful. But Fara’s heart knows what it wants, and that leads her to be ridiculed, rumored about, and sneered at behind her back. Emotions run high and the danger builds, and I just couldn’t put the Kindle down. A wonderful story.Carole McKee, author

Journey with Books blog 

Not sure about star level?

Title: Magick and Moonlight
Author: Marie Lavender
Publication Date: March 2, 2014
Publisher: Solstice Shadows
Genre: Paranormal/Fantasy Romance

Kayla’s Thoughts:

I can definitely appreciate any book that has an element of witchcraft and spellcasting in it. Having red hair, I have always kind of identified with that sort of world. So at hearing that this particular novella had this aspect of the paranormal in it, and the fact that it was about a love spell where the caster falls in love with the castee, I was intrigued and quite excited to see what was going to happen.Now, being that this is a novella, I knew that it was going to be short. But I actually did not expect for it to be so short. I loved the story, the premise, the characters, but I felt the story went too fast to actually affect me in any way. I did feel a small connection after finishing the story, and I loved the ending, but I would have liked there to be a bit more development throughout the story. I would have liked some more intimate connections between the two main characters. You know, scenes where they just talk and tell each other their lives and just get to know each other better. I also would have loved more of Ethan’s point of view. For example, when we first meet him, he has already arrived in town and rented a cabin. I would have loved the first chapter to be him driving into this strange new town and maybe having the image of what made him run in the first place haunting him.I wanted more time to experience their relationship while Ethan was under the spell. It just seemed like at one moment he was under, and the next he wasn’t. I wanted to see her through his eyes, and I wanted there to be moments where a small thought in his mind made him question occasionally if what they had was real. And then I kind of wanted him to brush it away until finally something or someone jolts his memory and gets him out of his trance.I just would have definitely loved more. This story has such potential to go from being a mere novella to a full-blown novel. There are so many situations that could occur and so many more people to introduce. I want to know so much more about the town itself. I want to really be grabbed emotionally by the confusing state of the main characters’ relationship. I want to see the townspeople’s reactions to the sudden relationship as well.

Verdict:

I think this is a very unique storyline, and I do believe it is a good read. But, as I said before, I really wish there was more.

5.0 out of 5 stars Very well written!, August 3, 2014

This review is from: Haunted (Kindle Edition)

I really enjoyed this short novel. Erica Sutherhome knows how to weave suspense and thrills into a story with a little romance thrown in. Main character, Carmencita, is kidnapped near the beginning with great description of the kidnappers, as well as our heroine’s strengths and weaknesses during the ordeal. Her brother gives her a locket before he died. This locket is the reason for her kidnapping. I was flipping through the pages during her escape attempt, leading to her new life. As an author myself, I am inspired by this story. I know how it is to live in fear, whether it’s out of paranoia or stalking. Sutherhome writes with fantastic flow. I really wanted the book to go on so I could learn more about Carmen’s life, but I am and always will be a fan of short novels. I cannot wait to read another book from this author. This was truly a gem!

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1011636174 

http://kellisbookreviews.wordpress.com/2014/08/03/haunted-by-erica-sutherhome/

http://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2014/08/02/bts-red-carpet-review-nominee/ 

5.0 out of 5 stars Love and a fun read., July 25, 2014

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This review is from: Upon Your Honor (Kindle Edition)

Sweet Historical romance with twists! Well written and a positive page turner.

4****Stars (Paranormal Romance Guild)

Novelette:  Magick & Moonlight

Author:  Marie Lavender

Publisher:  Solstice Publishing

Genre:  Romance

Rating:  Adult

 

Ethan Hamilton is an ex-cop from Seattle who has decided to relocate to Yachats, Oregon to get away from his past, a past that haunts him daily.  He has rented a small cabin in the woods trying to make a new start. His new start occurs when a simple walk in the woods brings him face to face with a naked Wiccan named Jessie Anderson. 

When the two meet they feel that they know each other and because of that Jessie lets her guard down and admits that she was in the process of performing a spell.  After arriving home she realizes she told her secret to a perfect stranger; the only way out of it is to spell him with a love spell making him her puppet.

The spell works perfectly until the day that it wears off. Jessie and Ethan have admitted they love each other but will that love be strong enough to overcome her deception?  Will Ethan hate her when he finds out she used him? Is the love they professed to each other real or just part of the spell? 

This was a short magical romance that I really enjoyed.

 

Reviewed by:   Linda Tonis

Member of the Paranormal Romance Review Team

4****Stars (Paranormal Romance Guild)

Book:  Upon Your Return

In eighteen fifty-three in France, at the age of eight, Fara Bellamont lost her parents.  When her parents went off to a business meeting by boat they never expected to be attacked and killed by pirates, leaving their little girl an orphan.  Her only relative is her uncle Michel, whom both her parents disliked.  He took over guardianship of Fara and immediately sent her off to the convent to learn to be a lady.  She went from a home where she was loved to a life of loneliness.  Her uncle was a firm and cold man who seemed incapable to doing anything that didn’t meet with the mores of society.

At the age of eighteen, Fara returned to her uncle’s home where she was in charge of making sure that everything ran correctly. It was her duty to make sure that when he entertained all went smoothly.  At one such dinner she was shocked when her uncle just blurted out that she was to marry Jean LeCroix, a man she just saw for the first time at this dinner.  She knew that women of her era were no more than chattel and as a socialite it was her duty to follow whatever choices her guardian made for her.

That evening when Jean asked her to accompany him for a talk, he asked her if she loved him, which given that they just met was impossible.  Her honest answer was no, nor did she think love was in their future.  A message the next day apologizing for his behavior and asking her to meet him at the pier was the beginning of what would become a life changing experience for her.  She was not met at the pier by Jean LeCroix, but by men he hired to get rid of her after they had their fun.  Being saved a man named Captain Grant Hill was the turning point in her life.

Grant also knew what it was to lose his parents. When they died, he was too young to inherit their title or estate so it was an orphanage for him.  Going out to sea at a young age taught him that the sea was where he wanted to be.  In time, he obtained his own boat, the Voyageur.  Young and inexperienced in the ways of love and having just been betrayed by the man her uncle chose for her to marry, she begins to feel things for Grant she never felt before.  Is it him or is it that he saved her? 

When Fara’s uncle suddenly dies, she finds herself on her own and Grant insists on guarding her.  Before long she is his mistress and has fallen in love with him but he never says the words “I love you”.  Even when he offers to make her legitimate by marrying her she refuses, she will only accept love, the love she knew her parents had.

This is a story where we watch Fara grow into a woman, and a man who has secrets. It is his secrets that are causing him not to allow himself to feel love.  What is his secret?  Is there any hope in that day and age for a woman who is no longer a virgin?  Is there any hope for Fara and Grant?  It was interesting learning about the times and how women were less than nothing.  It was a time when the poor and starving had no hope and the rich just treated them as objects.

Reviewed by:   Linda Tonis

Member of the Paranormal Romance Review Team

 

4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Woman, June 18, 2014

This review is from: Leather and Lace (Kindle Edition)

The book is a good combination of romance and action, the first part heavy on romance, the second on action.
Patrick Dreyling , a police officer meets Angie Lewis while investigating a murder. They don’t actually meet. He sees her bending over the body of the murdered man, and she runs away before he can question her. He tracks her to the Glass Slipper, a strip club where she is employed.
Patrick finds himself strangely attracted to her. There was something about her eyes that fascinated him. He rules her out as a suspect in the murder, but he wants to get to know her better. As a result, he pays for her to come to his house to dance for him in private. Dancing becomes sex. Sex leads, in this case, to love.Angie dropped out of college when her little sister became an addict. She works where she does to pay her sister’s supplier, so that she can remain in rehab. It is an old debt, one that still haunts her. Patrick is determined to help her solve her problem, even when it puts his life in danger.The book is relatively short and is easy to read. It is well-written and will hold your interest. It’s perfect for an afternoon at the beach!David Burnett for the Kindle Book Review

I received a copy of the book in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.

 

4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, June 9, 2014

By 

This review is from: Magick & Moonlight (Kindle Edition)

Lavender didn’t waste any time getting to the heart of the story. Although it seemed to be repetitive in some areas, it was well written. I was surprised at how well written the characters are, considering in most short stories they are what they are, no growth. This is definitely worth the 99 pennies! I look forward to more of Lavender’s work.

 

5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous, June 5, 2014

This review is from: Upon Your Honor (Kindle Edition)

This is a wonderful novel. As ex-RN I found the work both authentic and gripping (although a little before my time). Marie Lavender hooks you from start to finish and I really look forward to further books from her!

 

4.0 out of 5 stars When the Spell Wears Off, May 26, 2014

This review is from: Magick & Moonlight (Kindle Edition)

Ethan sees the light from a campfire burning in the woods as he walks back to his cabin one night. He turns aside to check on the fire and encounters a woman, dancing around an iron pot set over the fire. She is nude and is chanting in an unfamiliar language. Her name is Jessie, and she claims to be a witch. He doesn’t believe in witches and believes that she is a bit “off.” He gives her his coat and he drives her home.Jessie had not intended to tell him was a witch, and she is concerned that he might repeat what she said. She owns a store in the small town and she fears what might happen to her, to her lively hood, if anyone were to find out. To keep her secret, she casts a spell, causing Ethan to fall in love with her. Problems arise− she finds herself falling in love with him, and, then, spells do not last forever. What might happen when the spell wears off?The author calls her book a paranormal romance, although she does admit that it may not be a “typical” paranormal adventure. I tend to agree. The only paranormal elements are that Jessie is a witch and she casts a spell. I would expect more paranormal activity than this.On the other hand, as a romance, it is a good story, one you would enjoy reading. As always, Marie Lavender writes well, and she holds your interest. It is a short work, and I only wish that she had made it longer.David Burnett for The Kindle Book Review
I received a copy of the book in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.

 

5.0 out of 5 stars So So Good!!, May 21, 2014

By 

This review is from: Upon Your Honor (Kindle Edition)

This is the second story in the Heiress in Love Trilogy and I must say I loved it more than the first one. This is the story of Gabriel and Chloe. Gabriel is the son of Fara and Grant from Upon Your Return. I love this idea and rarely see it occur in other series, where the subsequent novel is the child that is spoken about in the first book. Now it is Gabriel’s turn to find his way and to find love. The characters are fresh and surprising. The story well fleshed out. There is enough drama to keep the story going, yet enough of a love story to keep you hooked. I wanted Chloe and Gabriel to get together so bad, I would talk to my laptop to tell them to hurry it up. LOL. My boyfriend thought I was going crazy when I was speaking to the characters out loud. This is definitely a five star novel for me!!! Thank you Ms. Lavender for another wonderful novel. I can’t wait to read the next one!

 

 

5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written, May 21, 2014

By 

This review is from: Upon Your Return (Kindle Edition)

I really did not know what to expect from Ms. Lavender. I had read her short story Magick & Moonlight and absolutely loved it, but wasn’t sure about her historical romances. Well, I am here to say, great job! The book was awesome. Set in the late 1800’s in France, the time of the World’s Fair and Napoleon. It is a story of 2 people from different classes who meet and fall in love. Of course, love is never easy. They are torn apart for years, only to come back together and struggle to finally reveal their love. Fara and Grant are two strong individuals that have to learn how to reveal what is in their hearts and let the past go so that they can move forward with their lives. Five stars for me….wish I could paste more stars up there!!

 

 

5.0 out of 5 stars Magickal short story, May 21, 2014

By 

This review is from: Magick & Moonlight (Kindle Edition)

As a practicing Wiccan, I was excited to find a story where one of the main characters is a practicing Wiccan and not doing it for show. I was impressed with the knowledge imparted, especially when Jessie was casting the love spell and going through all the reasons why she shouldn’t be doing it. Most Wiccans that I know do exactly the same thing and most do not cast if it will harm another. Just like the Wiccan Rede states: “Harm None, Do What Thou Will.” Love spells fall in that category for most. And to see the negative repercussions fall into place was a nice surprise. It is clear that Ms. Lavender respects the Path enough that she asked for expert help and it was clearly given and used.
Jessie and Ethan are a well matched pair. Both with their own issues, but coming together, they were each able to help the other grow and love.
My only wish was that this book was longer, I did not want it to end. The writing was great, the characters bold and refreshing. Thank you Miss Lavender for a great read…I can’t wait to read some of your other works.

 

5.0 out of 5 stars What a true ride you will have with this book, May 18, 2014

This review is from: Upon Your Return (Kindle Edition)

This story is brilliantly written, the intense moments that take you back to a place of mystery, romance, and heart stopping thrills that will keep you reading to the wee hours of the morning, I really enjoyed spending time reading this Historical Romance and feeling like I was the Heroine, I already started reading the second in the series and I am just as intrigued as the first book, Love you Marie you are a truly Gifted Author

 

Magick & Moonlight by Marie Lavender
Magick & Moonlight
by Marie Lavender (Goodreads Author)

5642969

Cryssy‘s review

May 14, 14

 

Read on May 14, 2014

 

Thank you Miss Lavender for a great read. The writing was great, the characters bold and refreshing.
Jessie and Ethan are a well matched pair. Both with their own issues, but coming together, they were able to help the other grow and love.
My only wish was the the book was longer, I did not want it to end. I can’t wait to read some of your other works!

 5.0 out of 5 stars How can they be so clueless????, May 3, 2014

This review is from: Upon Your Honor (Kindle Edition)

The year is 1891. Gabriel has completed his studies ad is sailing on board his father’s ship, Le Voyageur. Several days after leaving New York, he discovers a stowaway hiding in one of the store rooms. Chloe’s father has died. She is fleeing the prospect of an unhappy arranged marriage, and has boarded the ship, hoping to eventually reach her grandmother in New Orleans. Gabriel’s father agrees to provide passage at and Gabriel signs on to be her protector. The two fall in love.Well, the reader, at least, knows that the two fall in love─ long before Chloe admits it to herself or Gabriel admits it to himself, very long before either admits it to the other. This seems to be the logic of a Victorian romance─ the reader sees what is happening even though the customs of the times, the crisis of the moment, and the insecurities of the people involved blind the characters to their feelings. It makes the story entertaining, and I found myself wanting to shake them both to wake them up!I fell in love with Chloe, of course. She was beautiful, brave, assertive, willing to accept almost any challenge that life presented to her in order to be happy. I found Gabriel to be puzzling. He, too, was brave and strong-willed, and he so obviously cared for Chloe, but social convention seemed to prevent him from making his feelings known.The story is entertaining. The ship sails from New York by way of Baltimore, Charleston, and Nassau. We witness Chloe’s and grant’s adventures both on and off of the ship. We see their arrival in New Orleans and their confession of love for each other.
Upon Your Honor continues the story that began in an earlier book, Upon Your Return, but it is not at all necessary for one to have read the first book in order to enjoy this one. Upon Your Honor picks up the story that began when Fara Bellamont and Grant Hill fell in love, and it pushes ahead almost twenty years to tell the story of their son, Gabriel. This is the kind of sequel that I really like.Upon Your Return was a very enjoyable book. I found Upon Your Honor to be even better. If you read Victorian romances, you will love this book.David Burnett for The Kindle Book Review
I received a copy of the book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

 

Free World Authors site and Amazon.

From Midwest author Marie Lavender comes an exciting tale of romance and magic.  

Magick & Moonlight” is a heartwarming short story of love lost and regained. I was pleasantly surprised at the emotional roller coaster Marie took me on, as “Magick & Moonlight” packed just enough oomph in a few pages to give me a good read for a lazy afternoon. Here’s the full breakdown:

Pluses

Cover

The cover of “Magick & Moonlight” is a beautiful representation of the story within. The purple and black-colored theme put me in the mind of romance and magic, and I assume that was the impression Marie was going for. Score for the quality cover!

Opening

The author didn’t waste any time getting to the heart of the story. One thing that perturbs me about some short stories is authors who take too long winding up their engines. You don’t have time for that. Get to the point!

Characterization

I don’t expect a full character arc in a short story, but Ethan Hamilton and his love interest Jessie Anderson do change some throughout the course of the story. Add in Ethan’s heartbreaking backstory, and you have characters that the reader can get to know quite well. Also, Jessie broke the stereotypes of a witch, or wiccan. It’s easy to assume that she would be dark and conniving, but she’s not. Good job, Marie.

One thing that bugged me, though not a definite minus, is Ethan’s character. He’s a flawed guy, and that’s good, but I figured he was going to be just another chiseled hunk with a “smooth, massive chest.” Boy, was I ever right. I never understood why so many romance stories just have to have perfect-looking male characters with rippling muscles.

Plot

The plot did for me what I hope it will do for others: Sometimes people do the wrong thing for the right reasons. Forgiveness is a strong value, and without it, Ethan may not have found out what Jessie has to offer. Things were far from perfect between the two, but I was glad Ethan made the right decision, no matter how hard it was.

Minuses

Prose

Let me be clear, the writing is okay, but it came across kind of pediatric. The overly simple sentence structure grew redundant after a while. I would like to see more creativity when describing a scene, Marie. Use more tropes to help the reader see the same things in a new light. And, for sure, vary your sentence structure with some compound and compound-complex sentences to break up the monotony of simple sentences.

Magick & Moonlight: Wrap-Up

Overall, “Magick & Moonlight” is a wonderful read. The love scenes are good and I really liked the characters (well, Jessie. Ethan, not so much). For $.99, you could certainly do a lot worse! I recommend “Magick & Moonlight” for a quick burst of entertainment.

 

5.0 out of 5 stars Gabriel’s honor! April 26, 2014

 

By DD Gott

 

Format:Kindle Edition (UPON YOUR HONOR)

 

Marie Lavender has a way with words and is a sensational writer. This is book two of the Heiresses in Love series and in my opinion she becomes better with each of her books. Our book continues the story of the Hill family with this one about Gabriel, our hero. Our heroine is Chloe Waverly, just orphaned by her father’s death. According to the attorney for her father she has just been betrothed to a very cruel man. Having no other family other than her grandmother in New Orleans she stows away on the La Voyageur owned by Gabriel’s father. The story is very strong filled with suspense and twists you just won’t see coming. Nothing is predictable and yet when love is involved it is the only thing you can predict. At any moment Chloe was in danger either from thugs trying to kidnap her or from losing her heart. Gabriel had made up his mind that he was the owner of his fate but fate has a mind of its own and he’s in the same danger as Chloe. His determination to protect and escort Chloe to the safety of her grandmother is a responsibility that is very serious to him but Chloe in relating her circumstances left out the part that she was running from her finace and the finace was just as determined to have her back! The best thing I liked about the story was the vivid characters, so well developed and brought to life with the powerful descriptions.  Of course the story line was full of interesting people, places, mysterious plots with surprising twists, romance, delicious seduction, but yet fascinating with the play on all of the emotions… 
 

5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Writer April 21, 2014

 

By Dawnmarie Mccain

 

Format:Kindle Edition (UPON YOUR HONOR)

 

I have read a lot of Marie’s books she is a great writer enjoy reading all of her books If your looking for an on your edge of your seat romance pick up a copy today, you will not be dissappointed

 

5.0 out of 5 stars Growing up with Fara, April 21, 2014

By 
DD Gott (California) – See all my reviews

This review is from: Upon Your Return (Kindle Edition)

I reviewed another book by this author and was so impressed with her writing style that I wanted to read some of her other work. This book struck me as fascinating with all the requirements of a good read. The author has written a compelling, yet beautiful love story, keeping in tune with the nineteenth century and the situation of the women’s rights or rather the absolute lack of any woman having any rights. The constraints that society put on all women during that period was maintained through out the story with colorful historical details showing that she certainly did a great job on her research and informed the reader with all the details, staying true with the authentic settings without boring them to death. The best thing I liked about the story was the vivid characters, so well developed and brought to life with the powerful descriptions. Of course the story line was full of interesting people, mysterious plots with surprising twists, romance, delicious seduction, but yet fascinating with the play on all of the emotions. At times I was crying, then laughing, upset with a fierce anger, totally surprised, shocked, full of happiness or in complete despair and then cheering for the good guys or girl but so completely drawn into the story that I read the whole thing at one setting. I just could not stop reading even though I really tried to so that I could get some sleep…it just kept playing in my head and I finally gave up and was so glad I did! Our heroine, Fara Bellamont, starts out as a young child that is orphaned due to pirates attacking her parents ship. She is send to live with her very cold, hard, unloving uncle which immediately sends her off to boarding school at the Cluny Abby. After she returns he coldly arranges her marriage to a man she has never even met, her new fiance proceeds to set her up for what ever his reason, to get rid of her and she is attacked by ruffians. Here enters our hero, handsome, single, ship captain, La Capitaine Grant Hill which saves her from the attack. By the way he also has a few problems going for him, including a colorful past. Now at this time Fara is still very young and our author proceeds to show us the beautiful growth that she goes through, some being, bereavement from the death of her uncle, betrayal, awakening of her body, love, ostracization from society, new found love, danger to her and her family and finally, well I’m not going to give up the ending and there definitely are a few more growths that Fara goes through but I’ll leave that for you to discover. Definitely a great read and for me a new found author to add to my favorites list.

5.0 out of 5 stars Magick & Moonlight, April 21, 2014

By 
Rhonda C. – 
Verified Purchase
This review is from: Magick & Moonlight (Kindle Edition)
Magick & Moonlight is a sweet vacation book. As Ethan Hamilton and Jessie Anderson find both love and themselves the reader is treated to a nice escape with a good read.


5.0 out of 5 stars Believing in Yourself!, April 19, 2014

By 
DD Gott (California) – See all my reviews

This review is from: Magick & Moonlight (Kindle Edition)

Ethan Hamilton needed peace and thought that he had found that in a small town in Oregon. On his first night at the cabin he had rented, while walking and in thought he noticed a fire in the woods. While investigating he found a beautiful girl dancing nude in the moonlight near a campfire. He was captivated by the sight and in standing there made a noise, Jessie Anderson heard him and demanded to know what he was doing there. She could not understand what was happening but she stood there telling him the truth about everything….everything that her grandmother had drilled into her head that no one should ever know about. Now after Ethan had stolen a kiss and dropped her off at her house she panicked. In her haste she decided the only thing to do was to tie Ethan to her with a love spell and then he would not be able to tell her secrets and ruin everything she had worked so hard to build. This is the beginning to a story that will fascinate you and keep you glued to the story. The story line is very well developed with many twists and turns but strongly tied to the human emotions, love, pain, recovery and belief. I was impressed with the style with which the story was told and the details that were included. The characters were rich and so easy to fall in love with. Believing in yourself and someone else is hard for the best of us but our author made that seem like child’s play in the way that she told this story. I enjoyed the way that the love developed between Ethan and Jessie and how they both encouraged each other to believe in themselves. Not to let the everyday interfere but to let the world fall at their feet and grow strong. This is the first time I have read this author but I have already downloaded and read another one of her books and have added her to my favorites list. The other book I downloaded was also as good as this one. Check out Upon Your Return…I loved it along with this one. Both great reads!

 

5.0 out of 5 stars Fara has a Mind of her Own, April 19, 2014

This review is from: Upon Your Return (Kindle Edition)

Fara’s Bellemont’s parents die when she is a child and her uncle becomes her guardian. After school at Cluny Abbey, she is of age to marry. Her uncle arranges a marriage, announcing it to the public ─ and to her ─ at a dinner party. When her fiancé, whom she has just met, asks if she loves him, she of course must say no. He asks her to meet him near the dock late one night. When she arrives she is attacked by two men, presumably sent by her fiancé in an effort to fabricate a reason to break their engagement. She is rescued by Grant Hill. Grant is a sea captain, and he takes her aboard his ship, notifies her uncle, and has his doctor see to her injuries. Fara and Grant fall in love, but a sea captain is not a proper husband for someone of Fara’s status, so her uncle will not consider him as a potential husband for her.

While it tells the story of Fara’s and Grant’s relationship, the book is much more than a simple love story. It is a story of the place of women, particularly upper class women, in France in the early nineteenth century. It also is a story of one woman’s response to her lot in life.
Fara’s life is controlled by her uncle until she marries and will be controlled by her husband afterwards. Fara, however, has a mind of her own and chafes under the restrictions imposed on her. People marry for power, position, and money. Fara, however, wants to marry only for love.

I fell in love with Fara from the first page. I found Grant to be infuriating. Fara did, too. How can a man not know his own mind? How can he not say what he feels?

The author does an excellent job, weaving the history of France and the social customs of the day into the account of Fara’s love for Grant and his for her. Readers who enjoy a Victorian romance will love this book.

 

3.0 out of 5 stars Short and sweet, April 15, 2014

By 

This review is from: Magick & Moonlight (Kindle Edition)

Magick & Moonlight is a sweet little romantic short story that chronicles the relationship between Jessie (a witch) and Ethan (a former cop).The story begins with Ethan alone in the woods not too far from the cabin he’s renting. He spies a fire and goes to investigate. He finds Jessie, naked, dancing around a cauldron and chanting. He’s captivated by her body and spirit and his groan belies his presence. Jessie confides in him that she’s a witch.Later, once Ethan has taken Jessie home, she begins to worry that Ethan will tell her secret to the small town and things will go badly for her. She has visions of witches burned at the stake and being run out of town. Desperate, she works a love spell on Ethan. He shows up at her door almost immediately and they begin a very passionate and deep relationship that very night. But soon, the spell wears off.This was an enjoyable little story, but there was very little drama or character development. Of course it’s hard to deeply develop a character in only 79 pages (at least 15 of which are actually acknowledgements and teasers of other books). The author does a good job of moving the story along and enough time passes that the relationship between the two does feel real by the end (it’s a romance…it’s a foregone conclusion that there’s a happy ending). However, I found myself wanting a bit more emotion and less telling (more showing) in the writing. It’s well edited and the editing is satisfying, so I give the book 3 stars.**This review originally appeared on Author Alliance.**

 
Magick & Moonlight
by Marie Lavender (Goodreads Author)

20928916

Haven Malone‘s review on Goodreads

Mar 26, 14

 

Read in March, 2014

 

A very good short read designed for those who enjoy romance, love, and magick. A lesson quickly learned by the main character is that you cannot mess with free will. Because of this she may lose the true love of her life. Read it to find out what happens.

 

Magick & Moonlight, 4 stars – Reviewed by Natasha Jackson for Readers’ Favorite

When former cop Ethan moves to Oregon to forget his past, he encounters an enchanting woman dancing naked in the moonlight. The attraction is instant, even though Ethan and Wiccan Jessie couldn’t be more different. The only monsters Ethan believes in are the flesh and blood humans who commit unspeakable acts, yet despite his calm rational nature he is intrigued by Jessie. Marie Lavender’s Magick & Moonlight is truly adept at describing the instant attraction and chemistry simmering between the main characters. As much as Ethan wants to write Jessie off as a head case, his body won’t allow it. Unfortunately, Jessie has been taught to hide her true self, so her confession to Ethan must be somehow rectified and she decides to do it in the form of a love spell. Of course the spell works a little too well and Jessie finds herself quickly falling for Ethan.

Magick & Moonlight is a delightful love story that happens to feature a Wiccan. It doesn’t read like your typical paranormal tale; in fact at times it seems as though Wicca is the norm. The passion between Ethan and Jessie is off the charts and you just know that much passion has to spill over into life outside of the bedroom as well. Of course their relationship makes it out of the bedroom and Marie Lavender paints the perfect portrait of a couple falling in love so effectively it’s easy to forget that Ethan’s love is the product of witchcraft. When that spell morphs into real love, you’re left with a touching story of love, second chances, and living life out in the open.

 

4.0 out of 5 stars Nice Short Romance for the Tub 😉, April 3, 2014

 

This review is from: Magick & Moonlight (Kindle Edition)

I thought this was a pretty good short story. Man sees and is enchanted by a beautiful woman. But Jesse isn’t just any woman, she’s a free spirit afraid to reveal what she really is. Ethan is a strong loner with a protective nature. My only suggestion would have been a bit more foreplay if you will 😉

 

4.0 out of 5 stars Wicca shows true colors, March 29, 2014

By 
Belinda F. CelayirAmazon Verified Purchase

This review is from: Magick & Moonlight (Kindle Edition)

I love the story. As a solitary practitioner. I related with Jesse. I enjoyed the accuracy of the Wiccan rituals and how it depicts the true spirituality of Wicca. My only wish is it was longer and more Wicca was revealed. But look forward to a sequel.

 

4.0 out of 5 stars   

4.0 out of 5 stars Magick and Moonlight, March 26, 2014

By 

This review is from: Magick & Moonlight (Kindle Edition)

Very sweet short read. The detail involved with the marriage ceremony was wonderful. I loved it. I would highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys love, romance, and magick.

 

3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting short story March 21, 2014

By Whitney

Format:Kindle Edition

Received review copy from author for honest review.

Magick & Moonlight is a short story about Jessie going about her business one night when she’s caught by the new resident in town Ethan. They are both instantly attracted to each other, but when Jessie gets home she realizes that he now knows she’s a witch. Her grandmother told her for years not to let people find out about her so in order to keep him quiet about it she casts a love spell on him. But little do they both know that spell may not be working as good as she thinks.

This book was pretty short, but it was quite interesting. There weren’t a whole lot of details, but I figured that was due to the shortness of the story. I liked the characters, and the plot line. So all together the story was a nice interesting short read. It wasn’t great, but not bad either. It was interesting to read about the Witch part of it as well.

Comment

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3.0 out of 5 stars a nice short read March 20, 2014

By Booklover Mary

Format:Kindle Edition

This is a nice quick read. Two people who have trouble with trust must overcome their fears of being outcasts in order to find their way to each other.

~~Wicked Reads Review Team~~

4.0 out of 5 stars Short, sweet and magical, March 15, 2014

This review is from: Magick & Moonlight (Kindle Edition)

I was given a copy of Marie Lavender’s “Magick & Moonlight” during the book launch party on Facebook. Its beautiful cover, great title and two very intriguing excerpts had me full me anticipation, so I read it on the same day that I received my copy.
“Magick & Moonlight” is about Jessie, a Wiccan witch with self-doubts but also determination, and Ethan, a cop with a dark past and no hope for the future. When the two meet on a magical, moonlit night, instant attraction kicks in. Jessie casts a love spell to protect her secret and it really works. The two share steamy and sweet moments. Just when Jessie realizes that she has fallen in love with this stranger who all but worships her and understands her, the magic wears off and Ethan confronts her angrily. Ultimately, these two will realize that they belong together, though. There’s a happy ending for both.
What I really liked about this novella is that both protagonists found not only love and a partner but also themselves. Ethan works at overcoming the tragic event that had almost ruined his career and life, and Jessie comes out of hiding and gives herself a chance to shine with her magick. I also enjoyed the little insight on Wiccan practices.
*spoil alert*
My favorite scene is their ‘wedding ceremony’ in the forest. Unusual and very emotional and imaginable!
I wish this book had been longer. I was expecting a full novel… But this novella is just the right read for a relaxing hour of romance. It’s a pity that the author didn’t give us more interesting tit-bits of information on Wiccan rites and on how Jessie enriches the villagers lives with her special talents.

 

 

4.0 out of 5 stars Sweet romance like The Good Witch, March 10, 2014

Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)

This review is from: Magick & Moonlight (Kindle Edition)

This romance was very sweet, and enjoyable. It reminded me that it is always magical when two people fall in love. The book focused on the emerging relationship between the couple. While I wished that there was more background on the Wiccan culture and practices, or perhaps other characters, this story was very intimate. The sexual scenes were tasteful and loving, and the dialog made the characters come to life. Marie’s writing is engaging and I finished this Kindle edition in one night. There were two bonus chapters to her other book in this file.

 

4.0 out of 5 stars Upon Your Return, February 26, 2014

Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)

This review is from: Upon Your Return (Kindle Edition)

In the 1970s, I was a huge fan of authors Kathleen Woodiwiss and Rosemary Rogers. They were called ‘bodice-rippers back then. I would “sneak” the paperbacks from my mother (because I was only a very young teenager). I read them all!Ms. Lavender has done a great job of writing a clean, romantic historical novel. Fara and Captain Grant Hill see the world differently despite their love and passion for each other. Politics and protocol separate them for years. However, it is that love that brings them back together.Believe me – there are twists and little bits of surprises that will keep you wondering and entertained. I highly recommend this book.

 Upon Your Return by Marie Lavender

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Upon Your Return
by Marie Lavender (Goodreads Author)

15432163

Jonel Boyko‘s review

Feb 23, 14

 

Read from February 17 to 23, 2014

 

This novel was very smoothly written, allowing the reader to immerse themselves fully in the storyline. Lavender stays firmly in the time period that she’s chosen, weaving her tale in and out of the social norms of the day (which she does take the time to point out for her audience, rather than assuming that they know). This is not only an intriguing and unique historical romance, but it was also historically significant. Lavender brings everything together in a multilayered storyline that’s about more than just the romance.I quite enjoyed the diversity of characters in this novel. I really felt for the main character. She was left questioning social norms while trying to fit into them, despite the difficulties that her desires set in her way. I was left with one lasting question about the characters however. What in the world was up with the main character’s mother and her uncle. It was made out as very important in the story yet was never explained.This was a sensually sweet story that had me smiling and cringing in turn. I quite enjoyed this novel and would definitely look further into works by this author.Please note that I received this novel free of charge from the author in exchange for an honest review.

 

Sylvia’s Reviews > Upon Your Return

Upon Your Return by Marie Lavender

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Upon Your Return
by Marie Lavender (Goodreads Author)

5491427

Sylvia‘s review

Feb 19, 14

 

bookshelves: historial-romance, smashword-allromancebook-othersites

Read from February 06 to 10, 2014

 

This book is a sweet historial romance with many twist and turns. I was pulling for this couple. It took a great deal of time for the events to come together. I much admired Fara for what she had to endure in her life and become the lovely woman she is. I just love Grant, even tho I was a little upset with him for his absence. He was always there for Fara. I would recommend this book when you have many hours to get lost in this romance.

 

3.0 out of 5 stars Nice read, February 2, 2014 – Amazon and Goodreads

By 
CynThis review is from: Upon Your Return (Kindle Edition)

Read from January 30 to February 02, 2014I was given this book by the author for an honest review.I loved the cover of this book, very nice and sexy. I found Captain Grant Hill to be a wonderful sexy character. He was a wonderful protector of a very stubborn lady who know what she wants and doesn’t let the world tell her what she should do. It took a lot of balls or I guess I should say backbone to do some of the things she does. I found this to be a very sweet, loving, passionate book. Fara was born in a time where women had little rights and others took control, you had no say even in marriage. There are a lot of twist and turns it is hard to keep up at times, and I did get a little confused but all in all it was a very good read.

 

4.0 out of 5 stars A good Read, January 24, 2014

This review is from: Upon Your Return (Paperback)

I enjoyed reading this story and found myself thinking about it when I couldn’t get back to it. Just finished it tonight and other than a few repetitive areas I feel it was very well written. I totally enjoy that era during the 1860’s in Europe. Good job Marie!

 

LEATHER AND LACE

The novel was exciting and fast paced. I enjoyed romance between the two main characters. I could not stop reading!!! Lol. I recommend this novel. Highly recommend!
 

Jan 09, 2014 Christine rated it 3 of 5 stars

I enjoyed the slow but gradual connection between Angie and Patrick. Patrick took one look at Angie and knew it was love at first sight. Now he had to convince her. As Angie begins to trust Patrick, she finds herself with an alley to fight the demons after her and her sister Sherrie. A short but sweet HEA book.I received a copy for an honest review.

 

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fast paced thrill!!! January 9, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
I was fortunate enough to receive a copy of this novel from the author. The story was well-written and the plot so exciting, that I was reluctant to put it down to go to bed. Every chance I had, I opened up my kindle, and I read. The Hero is a very interesting character that keeps you entertained from start to finish, plus he has become my new book boyfriend. The heroin is complex and keeps her lover on his toes. I gave this novel five stars because it deserves five stars! She had me involved in the story and had me hooked! I can’t wait to read another novel by this author. She is going places! Buy the book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing book December 26, 2013
By Bre
Format:Kindle Edition
I got this book as a gift from the author in exchange for an honest review. This book had me hooked from the first page its very hard to put down. The characters were very well developed. I really enjoyed reading this book. I will be recommending this book to family and friends!!!

UPON YOUR RETURN

5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely story, December 30, 2013

Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)

This review is from: Upon Your Return (Kindle Edition)

Upon Your Return is about Fara Bellamont, her trials, and her love for a man. Her character intrigued me. She was sweet, yet downright tough if she had to be. She had her own mind, yet she was vulnerable. She was smart, naive, and determined.

It’s apparent that her parents love her, but they leave her with a caregiver at such a tender age. She had to have been devastated because she was absolutely abandoned by them. That alone is enough to affect her for the rest of her life. But to make matters worse, her parents die at sea. One of the most precious gifts a child has as they grew up is feeling safe, so now with their deaths what feelings of safety she may have had are gone.

Then she moves in with her Uncle who is cold and really doesn’t care about her as a human being but as a project that was forced on him. He doesn’t show her that he cares about her leave alone that he loves her. He betrays her by setting-up her future with men who will also betray her.

So of course when she meets her night in shining armor she is not going to fall into his arms and believe he’s her one and only. It’s very logical that she’s unsure about him and doesn’t trust that he will stick with her until the end.

When she moves in with an aunt, it seemed she gains some balance in her life knowing that she cares for.

The end caught me off guard for a moment, but then I saw it as an ending that we’d see in a movie.

I very much enjoyed this novel. The most important thing when I read a novel is liking the protagonist, and I do love Fara.

 

Julia Saldivar-rod‘s review 

 
Dec 14, 13

 

Read from December 13 to 14, 2013, read count: once


** I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review**
*No Spoilers*
First of all I LOVE the cover!!! I was very interested in reading this book. It has many of the qualities that I love in books. It has romance, chivalry, a strong leading lady and of course a handsome gentleman! I really liked this book! I would recommend it to my reader friends that love romance filled books :)Five things that I loved about Fara:

1. I love her name!!
2. I loved that she did not let society change her passionate spirit.
3. I loved that she wanted to marry for love and not position.
4. I loved that she wanted to fight her own battles.
5. I loved that she knew when to speak her mind!Five things that I loved about Grant:
1. I love his gray eyes 🙂
2. I loved that he was a gentleman.
3. I loved that he knew that all men were equal.
4. I loved his true friendship with Eric.
5. I loved that he was not scared to be the hero.

 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Book Review: Upon Your Return by Marie Lavender

My Review (SPOILERS): 

This story immediately caught my attention, but unfortunately it wasn’t developed enough for me. Even if the story had an enticing, dramatic and emotional halo, the inconsistencies within the plot bothered me a lot. For instance, Fara’s uncle sudden passing left me quite confused, together with the “secret” arrangements that he had with both of her first two suitors. Nothing of that was explained, and I had a huge difficulty in understanding why her second suitor would pop out randomly every now and then. Of course, we then discover his true colours, but I feel like this could (and perhaps should) have been handled better.
The thing that bothered me more than anything else was Fara’s childish behaviour at times, especially with Grant. I felt that sometimes she acted like a petulant girlfriend and that made me want to put the book down more than once.
However, despite all this, I recognise this story has potential and from one used to Historical Romances set in England, it was really nice and refreshing to read one set in France.
Overall Rating: 

 

New Review – InD’Tale Magazine

Upon Your Return

Marie
Lavender
Genre: 
Historical
 

Fara is a young lady who was orphaned as a girl and left in the care of a heartless uncle, who then sends her to be educated in a convent. At seventeen she returns to her uncle’s home to be married off to a gentleman of his choosing. Though Fara tries hard to please her uncle, she often falls short of his very high standards. Everywhere Fara turns she runs into trouble. Fortunately for her, protection comes in the form of Captain Grant Hill, a tall, dark and gorgeous ship captain.

 

Ms. Lavender takes the damsel in distress plot to a whole new level!  Her depiction of mid-nineteenth century France is of a world where gentlemen aren’t at all gentle but are all out to compromise Fara for no apparent reason. The only noble gentleman among them is Captain Grant Hill. Once Grant steps in to be her protector, one unfortunate event after the other brings him to her rescue. Unfortunately, Fara’s character is hard to sympathize with. She is not very appreciative of his services, and comes across as conceited. She focuses too much on the expectations of society and not enough on her own feelings.  Although the reader may find these events redundant, the chemistry between Grant and Fara is hot enough to keep them reading on!

 

Molly Daniels

 

5.0 out of 5 stars French Femme Fatal 27 Oct 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
Lovely story only let down slightly by the lack of history of the hero Grant.There was so much more to be said about him. We had a tantalizing taste and a hint of titled ancestry, land and deceitful relations but it was suddenly ripped away and forgotten as the action centered on our lovely but slightly shallow heroine. I was actually slightly annoyed with her before she stood up for herself, her child and her lover.The French atmosphere was perfectly described and some of the characters were brilliantly done. (especially her aunt) I felt I needed a little more background. I didn’t understand where Fara’s thinking came from. We had virtually no description of her life between when she was orphaned and being married off to the apparent highest bidder.Apart from that the story is lovely and I am hoping for a follow up where we will discover some of the mystery behind the main characters.

 

On Romantic Historical Lovers:

Review Date:  October 15, 2013

Publisher and release date: Solstice Publishing, 13 February 13 2013

Time and Setting: France, 1860’s
Genre: Historical Romance
Heat Level: 2
Reviewer Rating: 3.5 Stars

Review by Diane Owens Prettyman

When Fara Bellamont was only nine years old, she lost both of her parents when the ship they were traveling on was overtaken by Turkish pirates. French law leaves her in the custody of her uncle, who promptly proceeds to enroll her in Cluny Abbey in Burgundy for her schooling. The story begins after she completes nine years of education with the French nuns.

Like most orphans, she is fated to concede to the wishes of someone else, someone with money and position. Her uncle wishes her to marry and arranges a marriage while she is away at the abbey. But Fara boldly refuses the man. The announcement of their engagement ends badly. Then, Fara receives a note from the insulted “fiancé” asking her to meet him at the harbor.

It is at the harbor, where Fara is rescued from the “fiancé’s” vengeful ploy. A handsome ship captain intervenes and protects her from the dangers of the wharf at night. From this point on, Fara’s life is impacted by this chance encounter. Throughout the novel, Fara is faced with a painful dilemma — the choice between love for a man and love for her country. France is at war, and Capitaine Hill, a ship captain accused of treachery, is her lover.

In a well-developed plot linked to the captain’s involvement in the war and possible treachery, Marie Lavender creates a believable and historically accurate world. Upon Your Return is set in the rich setting of France and Marseille in the 1860’s. The author depicts the era accurately through the use of historical details and descriptions. She uses just enough French phrasing to make the book authentic but not overbearing. At times, though, the interruption of French disrupts the flow of the narrative particularly in the dialogue when the use of “merci” or “chere” seem overused.

Marie Lavender writes passionate and tasteful love scenes. Heart-filled passages convey the genuine emotions of both hero and heroine revealed from each character’s point of view. Descriptions throughout the novel engage the reader. Marie Lavender writes, “As she glanced at the morning fog that enveloped the docks in a lazy, white cloud embrace, she remembered the night they’d met at the harbor in La Rochelle. The night she’d met the man who both haunted and enticed her….”

The characters are well developed. For example, after Fara’s uncle dies and she becomes an heiress, Fara struggles with her position as the servants’ superior. As she sees the servants in her own house, she demonstrates kindness to the staff. With these touches, Marie Lavender creates a character we can connect with and relate to, even though she lived two hundred years ago. Capitaine Hill is also a complex character. His involvement in the war and his love for Fara entertwine to create a hero much more than a cardboard cutout.
With her compelling story line and solid historical base, Marie Lavender has created a fine debut novel. And while the story is no richer for its prologue, it doesn’t detract from the book.

 

On Goodreads and Amazon:

 Oct 01, 2013 Tiffany Huson rated it 3 of 5 stars

 

Upon Your Return is a cute love story that has the essence of Jane Eyre and Rhett Butler from Gone with the Wind. I really enjoyed the lead character although her choices were not typical for a woman of that era. I couldn’t put the book down during the first half because it was such a compelling story. The second half frustrated me more because I felt the heroine needed to open up her eyes a bit but I see that as a sign of a good book when I feel such emotions based on the actions of the characters.


Altogether, I enjoyed this novel and know that certain aspects will stick with me for some time. Definitely a good read!

 

Sep 19, 2013 Andrea Cooper rated it 4 of 5 stars

 

Fara is from upper class society and therefore locked into certain rules. However, she longs to find true love and marry whomever fits that bill. Her uncle has other ideas and doesn’t care about love, but her marrying a ‘proper’ suitor.

 

Grant is a wonderful hero who comes to Fara’s rescue in more ways than one. Together their is chemistry brewing between these two.


However, parts of the book felt rushed and Fara’s character deviated between a strong woman and one that needs help. Though I am pleased that for the most part, she was a strong woman. It might have been meant to be her internal struggle for independence and a mind of her own and society.


Overall, the author did a wonderful job making this time period come to life and the characters addictive.

 

On S.A. Jones’ site

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Upon Your Return by Marie Lavender

Some of you may recall last month when Marie Lavender stopped by for an interview! If you’re a new reader, or just want a refresher, you can find the interview HERE. At that time, Lavender shared about her latest release, Upon Your Return, and I’m here to review that novel today!

~*~


Review of Upon Your Return by Marie Lavender

Our novel opens with Fara Bellamont, a little girl, with some very grown-up thoughts. After losing her parents to tragedy, Fara is sent to live with her uncle who, frankly, I don’t like. That’s kind of the point, though. He’s a retched man who believe rather firmly that women should be seen and not heard, as they are merely objects designated to serve men. It’s not said in so many words in the novel, but you get the point.

Young Fara doesn’t spend much time in the novel, and for that, I’m rather grateful. Not because I didn’t like her, but because the author gets the ball rolling and doesn’t waste time on events that could have possibly lost readers. Fara’s uncle sends her off to a convent, and we don’t see her again until she emerges a stunning, young woman.

There’s so much more I’d like to add about the novel right here, especially after Fara meets our leading male, Grant. This is the first time I’m sharing these, but I feel it’s the best way to avoid spoilers. I’m going to jump ahead here, and just share some of my personal notes that I make while reading:

Who doesn’t love a hero? Fara right of the bat, that’s who. You go girl.

Sexy kiss say whaaat? Marry him! (Totally contradicts a couple notes ago, whatever.)
Oh, Grant, you little rebel you.
I would not have made it in 1800s.
That moment when you’re not sure if he ran… or was murdered.
One thing that never fails–the French can SO throw a party.
PLOT TWIST!
Still not convinced he’s not dead.

Yes, I really wrote all this down. And that doesn’t even cover the first hundred pages of the novel. Upon Your Return had me flicking through the pages faster than you can imagine, eager to see what happens next the whole way through the novel. Fara is not your typical female, and while she might be attracted to the leading male, she is not desperately clinging to his every word and action. Likewise, Grant, equally attracted to Fara, may try to win her affections, but his every waking moment is not dedicated to wooing her.

Upon Your Return
 is everything I had hoped it would be, and more. An excellent piece of historical fiction, with plenty of plot twists and intrigue, making the reader desperate to devour every last bit!

Posted by Serenity Jones

 

On Amazon and Goodreads

4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely, September 13, 2013
By
Angela Rose (North Carolina) -This review is from: Upon Your Return (Kindle Edition)

This was a well-researched, well-written historical romance, and I loved how the author shed some light on the oppression of not only the female gender, but of that of social classes.

Grant was every bit of the gallant hero in this story, and I loved how he took on the role of protector for Fara. He knew just when to step back, and let the heroine explore and grow as a person through her newest trial.

The conflict between hero and heroine in the beginning was compelling. However, I felt some disconnect with the couple in the middle, as Fara’s indecisiveness seemed to slow the bond between the couple. I felt it again, when Grant discovers that Gabriel is his son. There was no sign of an alpha male at the declaration, but I was relieved to finally see the words “his family” in the story when they became threatened. That being said, there were many tender and heartfelt moments between Fara and Grant that I knew this was a couple destined to be together.

Overall, I enjoyed the story and loved the intrigue of the story line. If you love historical romance, period clothing and the dictates of social propriety, then you will love Upon Your Return by Marie Lavender.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BFX8YLI/

Sandy Grassini‘s review On Goodreads and Amazon

Aug 31, 13

4 of 5 stars

 This book is a historical romance set during the 1800’s in France. I’m not really one who reads historical romance novels, but I did enjoy this one. Some of the words I didn’t understand, because they were in french, but that didn’t take away from the book. I loved the history of this book. I could really see the beautiful dresses, the horse driven carriages, and how big of an event the opera was.


All Fara wants is to find love, but society dictates otherwise. During that time, women didn’t get to make their own choices, but Fara was bound and determined to make her own. She has a brain and definitely wants to use it. That was rather difficult while living with her uncle since he was so strict. She was afraid that she would have to marry without love. Her uncle is bound and determined to find her a suitable husband.

I liked Fara’s character because she has a mind of her own and she does not care what society dictates. She is never disrespectful to her uncle even though he’s not exactly the easiest person to live with.

Then under unforeseen circumstances, she meets Grant Hill, who is the Captain on his ship. She starts feeling something she has never felt before. Society dictate she should not act on those feelings. Based on what has happened, he becomes her protector. After she learns more about him, her feelings for him do not change. Grant is not the person she thought he was.

I liked Grant’s character because he is always honorable and treats Fara with respect. He never expects more from her. He never dictates to her about society. All he wants to do is protect her.

Fara is then forced to go live with her aunt Lina. Lina takes her in and shows her nothing but warmth and love. This is something that Fara has not felt since she was with her parents.

I really liked Lina’s character because she took Fara in and treated her as if she were her own daughter. Fara had been looking for this connection since she was a child.

This book was a great read and I look forward to reading future book from this author.

 

NEW REVIEW on Amazon! 5.0 out of 5 stars loved it!, August 23, 2013
By
Allyson Michelle –
This review is from: Upon Your Return (Paperback)

I received this book thru the author for an honest review. First off I loved the cover. It’s beautiful and fits this story! This is a love story set in the 1860’s France. It’s a sad, heartwarming & a beautiful story. Fara is orphaned and awarded to her uncle who will choose a husband for her. He choose a man who endangered her and she was rescued by a sea captain. I don’t want to ruin it for those who haven’t read it but this story has lots of twist and turns. I was hooked from the first chapter. I will be reading more books from Marie Lavender.

Reviewed by Natasha Jackson for Readers’ Favorite

Fara Bellamont has a problem; her uncle Michel. She returns to his estate as an adult, after being raised by nuns in Burgundy following the death of her parents. However, she discovers he is intent on finding her a husband -— whether she wants one or not. In Upon Your Return we get to know Fara right away and learn of her parents’ death and her desire for a life of adventure. Fara is not at all like other young French women of the 1860s: she’s strong-willed and longs for independence. Marie Lavender does a great job of pulling the reader in from the very first word. Early in the story, Uncle Michel tells Fara of her engagement at her celebratory dinner, to a man she’d met only moments before. Enraged and guileless, Fara admits to Jean LaCroix that she does not love him and he arranges for her to meet a very unfortunate end.

And that is where we meet the handsome and mysterious Captain Grant Hill, who promptly steps in to save Fara from her tormentors and would-be captors. From the moment Fara and Grant meet, their relationship is filled with intrigue, friendship, witty banter, and simmering with sexual attraction. Upon Your Return offers us a different heroine in that Fara isn’t just a lady who doesn’t fit into her ‘station’ but she just wants to be acknowledged for her brain and have a certain level of independence. Marie Lavender does a great job of crafting a tale full of emotions and obstacles without being melodramatic. It was a fine twist of brilliance to have a feminist heroine with a strong hero who isn’t afraid of or intimidated by her strength.

Truly a wonderful historical romance guaranteed to reel readers in from the start.

 

5 star review on Amazon!

New to Historical Romance thanks to this story!!!, August 18, 2013

By Johnnie-Marie Howard

This review is from: Upon Your Return (Kindle Edition)

I can honestly say that this was my 1st time reading a historical romance and I loved it…I couldn’t put the book down it was good…I really liked how the main character tried hard to be a socialite at the same time being herself and falling in love.. I so felt bad for all the bad things that happened to her, child birth by herself unmarried, love of her life going away, almost being killed, raped… it was a really really great love story.

I’m actually really surprised that I liked it normally I would have stayed away from historical romance novels but this one just opened my mind up to a hole new view on that matter I guess you just need that extra push and a really great novel like this on to do that.

Let me see, Fara was this independent strong lady that tried to fit in no matter what and fell in love with the wrong type but in her eyes he was Mr. right. Grant was this hot Captain, who had a mysterious side to him and who also couldn’t stay away from Fara. Fara’s uncle was this big time jerk who wanted it his way or no way I really didn’t care for him at all. Tante Lina was this great women who cared deeply about her niece and was a huge socialite that didn’t care she was Fara’s wisdom. Eric was the captain’s right hand man who came in handy at the right times regardless what anyone says. It was a really great read I don’t’ know how much more I could say that it is very true.

It was great I could see myself reading this over and over again!!


ROMANCE JUNKIES REVIEW

Title: Upon Your Return (Heiresses in Love Series)

Reviewer: Jo

Publisher: Solstice Publishing

ISBN: 9781484978092

Release Date: February 13, 2013

Rating: 4 blue ribbons

UPON YOUR RETURN is an historical romance set in France that took me on a roller coaster ride with so many adventures and happenings. One minute there was happiness and the next would be despair. So many emotions were drawn on during the telling of the story.

Lavender’s UPON YOUR RETURN is filled with sadness and sorrow, tears, angst, happiness, laughter, adventure upon adventure, unlikely heroes and heroines, family, friends, romance, love, hatred, enemies, secrets and a happily ever after. The prologue introduces us to Fara and shows us her strength immediately. Although it would waver she never lost that strength no matter what was thrown her way. Her uncle, who was her guardian after the death of her parents, never had her best interests at heart. It was difficult to fathom why he did what he did concerning Fara’s life and future each and every time. Grant Hill, a ship’s captain, was her unlikely rescuer many times and they had immediate chemistry and a connection the moment they met. Watching their interactions was never dull. There were complex characters, different locations and nice closure that tied up all the loose ends.

Lavender is a new to me author who has penned many books under several names that I will add to my TBR pile. I am happy to see she is currently working on the sequels to this series and will definitely be reading those as well to hopefully pick up where we left off!

SNIPPET— UPON YOUR RETURN is an action packed historical that pulls you in immediately from the prologue and doesn’t let go until the unexpected ending.

 

A Must Read, August 7, 2013

By 

Melanie

This review is from: Upon Your Return (Paperback)

I was given this copy of Upon Your Return from the author in exchange for a honest review.

This book had me hooked right from the beginning. It was well written and I felt like I could picture the characters and setting instead of just reading it. It had a steady pace to it. I am very happy that I got to read this book.

I really loved this book. I love the time period it was written in. It was written in a period where women had specific things that society expected of them.
Women were expected to be proper and polite at all times. Marriages were arranged instead based on love. I love the characters. I really like Fara because she goes against what the society thinks is correct to get her happy ending.

I am looking forwards to the next book in the series. I would highly recommend this book to readers who love a good romance story.

 

Upon Your Return by Marie Lavender • Author Website
Published by Solstice
on 13 February 2013
Genres: Historical Romace
Pages: 353
Format: eBook
Source: Author
Goodreads

Set in 1860’s France, often called the “second empire” this story manages to convey a feel for the time, historical details, and an amazingly well-defined main character to create a story that will have you engaged from the first page.

Orphaned and a ward of her uncle, Fara will soon be handed off to the first available “appropriate” suitor, without regard to her feelings or safety as is evidenced by his choice of suitable suitor. When this ‘suitor’ endangers her, and leaves her without defense, Fara’s realization of her precarious position in society is clearer to her.  With a subtle nod to her more modern thoughts about female empowerment and choice, Fara is instantly attracted to Grant, the man who defended her against the dangers her chosen suitor provided.

In the 1860’s (and long after) the idea of marriage for love, and marrying across class lines were unheard of in most circles: society did not treat social climbers well, nor were those members of society expected to consort with the ‘commoners’.  While Fara has a crush on Grant, her continuing thoughts about him, and his determined pursuit of her despite his lack of standing in society lead her to believe that she has found the love she lived without after her parents’ deaths.

The interactions between the two are cleverly portrayed and developed, while Grant veers between charming and infuriating, unable to express his love for her.  Fara, however, manages to take little tiny steps to independent thought and the realization that Grant is the one for her, and his acceptance of her burgeoning feminism is endearing.  Far from overreaching to the more modern beliefs about women, relationships and society, Marie Lavender has managed to show the slowly developing enlightenment and growth between the two characters: both in their love and in their social conscious.  Although Grant is dragging his heels, another dangerous situation for Fara gives him the jolt he needs to finally face his truth.

This was a lovely historical romance that was full of period detail, thought and description that brought the characters to life in simple and endearing ways with her beautifully wrought prose and attention to detail.

         

July 26, 2013

By Lori from Lusty Penguin Reviews

With vivid characters, sensuality, and danger, Marie Lavender hits the mark with her historical romance Upon Your Return. Set in 1860s France, Lavender pulls the reader into her story with colorful historical details, authentic settings, and French phrases, making the atmosphere even more realistic.

Orphaned by the death of her parents, Fara Bellamont becomes the ward of her unloving uncle. Having known love from her parents, Fara is unprepared to deal with her uncle, who cannot wait until she is of age to marry her off. Fara’s fiancé deliberately puts her in danger one evening and ruffians attack her. Grant Hill, a trading captain, fights off the ruffians and rescues a still pure Fara, which makes Grant hero-worthy in my book. Immediately affected by Grant, Fara falls for his charms. Meanwhile, Grant is also affected by Fara’s beauty and spirit. Defying social convention because they are from different stations, Grant pursues Fara, which made me fall for him even more. All of her life, Fara has been looking for true love and believes that she has found that with Grant. A wise character, Fara realizes that love covers a wide range of feelings because one moment she wants nothing more than to kiss Grant and the next moment she just wants to smack him. Fara needs to hear those three magical words from Grant, and for the longest time, he is unable to say the words to her, which is heartbreaking. When danger finds its way to Fara’s life once again, Grant finally understands that he truly is in love with Fara, making me cheer out loud.

Seamlessly melding a powerful love story with a plenty of surprising plot twists, Upon Your Return is a deliciously seductive read that will sweep readers away to a different time and place.

 

5.0 out of 5 stars French romance, July 18, 2013 – Amazon and Goodreads

By 

Sandra Lynne PadgettThis review is from: Upon Your Return (Kindle Edition)

This is a love story set in the 1860’s in France. Fara is left an orphan and put into the care of her uncle. He is all business with no real feelings for Fara. One of the duties of the uncle is to find a suitor for Fara. One such suitor sets up Fara into a bad situation. Captain Grant Hill saves Fara, and they become acquainted. Love grows between them, but he is involved in political intrigues and ends up separated from Fara for a period of time. The characters are very well developed, the history is well researched and the story line flows along very smoothly. There is a lot of suspense because of the intrigues and whether they love each other enough to commit to each other or is he just using her as men will often do. This is a very exciting, passionate and suspenseful story. It will grab you and not let you go. I received this free through Goodreads Making Connections group. Recommend, especially for people who like historical fiction. Well done!

 

5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful from cover to cover, July 12, 2013 – Amazon and Goodreads (and Amanda’s blog – 

http://editingafteredits.blogspot.com/2013/07/review-upon-your-return.html )

By 

AmandaThis review is from: Upon Your Return (Kindle Edition)

Upon receiving this book, I immediately noticed how beautiful the cover was. I only meant to open it long enough to see how long it was going to be but found myself sucked in to the story from page one. I couldn’t stop reading and ending up stay up way past my usual bedtime. It was that good.

Fara’s background elicits teary eyes at the thought of the hopelessness that faces children in her situation. She was orphaned at a young age during a time in the world that when having a place to live meant relatives had to take you in or your were sent to the work houses, no matter your age. Thankfully, she did have an uncle to turn to but he was a cold man that tried to stifle the independent woman she was to become.

I laughed, cried, and even cheered a few times during the reading of Upon Your Return.

Fara and Grants story is one that leaves you hoping for more and the touches of historically correct facts, women’s rights issues, and the way society worked back then makes this book a hidden gem. Add in the fact that it was well-written and wonderfully edited makes it a five star book, in my opinion.

Brava to the author for publishing a book that turned out so wonderfully! Looking forward to reading more from Marie Lavender in the future! You can purchase Upon Your Return from Amazon or read more about it from Goodreads.

 

5.0 out of 5 stars A lovely historical romance… July 9, 2013 – Amazon

By RomanceGal

Marie Lavender’s beautifully written love story between heiress Fara Bellamont and Captain Grant Hill captured my heart immediately. Set in 1860’s France, the novel portrays the social and political struggles of that era, and the challenges Fara faces as a woman. Although a “man’s world,” that sphere could prove just as hard for a man not born to a position, such as Captain Hill. Despite their situations, Fara and Grant are bold enough and brave enough to defy the conventions of the time.

In Upon Your Return, the author touches upon the stirrings of feminism and uses period details judiciously, creating a sense of reality without ever boring the reader. Fara and Grant must travel a long, difficult road and overcome a lot of obstacles. We take that journey with them and hope that somehow, in the end, love will prevail.

I highly recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys romance stories and appreciates good writing. It is one of those “rare gems.”

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