Winter Solstice in the Crystal Castle by Jennifer Ivy Walker

Winter Solstice in the Crystal Castle by Jennifer Ivy Walker
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Historical Romance
Rated: 4 stars
Review by Rose

Gabrielle is a flame haired, fire hearted French princess who dreams of becoming a Valkyrie warrior queen like her Viking ancestors from Normandy. Sent to Paris to learn the proper etiquette for a future French queen, she is called home to le Château de Beaufort for a forced marriage to a man she loathes when her father the king’s precarious health takes a sudden turn for the worse.

Chivalrous, solitary knight Sir Bastien de Landuc suffers an impossible love for Gabrielle, the unattainable princess he can never have. Without a title of nobility, he is ineligible to compete in the tournament for her hand in marriage, despite his unparalleled equestrian skills and inimitable swordsmanship.

Yet, Yuletide wishes for a wondrous winter solstice in the glorious Crystal Castle might make impossible dreams come true.

Can the valiant knight win the coveted hand of his Viking Valkyrie?

Ms Walker takes us into the time of King Arthur and introduces us to friends and family of Sir Lancelot. Lancelot’s mother and two of her friends have their own wishes for the upcoming winter solstice.

Gabrielle is called home because her father, King of Finistere, has suddenly become ill and wants to see his daughter safely married before his death. Unfortunately, there are many men who would like to get their hands on the princess and her kingdom, so the king devises a plan for her to be sworn to a winner of a joust.

It is obvious from the beginning that Gabrielle and Bastien de Landuc, her champion and her protector, are meant for each other, but there are numerous things that stand in their way – Bastien’s lack of nobility, forces from without. Ms. Walker leads us through the twists and turns of bringing them together with her wonderful storytelling ability.

I thoroughly enjoyed the research that went into this book and the scattering of French phrases lends a touch of realism. There were, however, some words and phrases that, in my opinion, were overused. This could very well be because I’m an editor in my other life and may be more conscious of things like this than the normal reader, so it may be something that wouldn’t bother any other reader.

If you enjoy medieval romances, winter traditions, and a helping of passion, give this book a try.

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The Flapper’s Fake Fiancé by Lauri Robinson

The Flapper’s Fake Fiancé by Lauri Robinson
Sisters of the Roaring Twenties Book 1
Publisher: Harlequin Historical
Genre: Historical, Romance
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Mistflower

An inconvenient attraction…

To her convenient fiancé!

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I love when I get the opportunity to begin a new series. Lauri Robinson is one of my favorite authors. The synopsis sounded unique. I haven’t come across many books written during the roaring twenties and I find this setting appealing. I appreciated the author’s list of slang words and phrases that were popular during that time period prior to the start of the story especially because it made me feel like I was back in that time era. Most of the words and phrases on the list were new to me and fun to learn. One of the reasons that Lauri Robinson is one of my favorite authors is because of her natural ability to write books with a realistic feeling. She consistently has a way of bringing a reader into the story with her attention to detail.

I can also testify to the consistency of the author’s writing skills for providing a cast of characters that are relatable and easy to bond with. This is not my first series by Lauri Robinson. The three sisters presented to the reader in this series were easy to connect with. The only character that I disliked was the father, Mr. Dryer. However, I get how it is necessary for him to be written as he is for he causes the conflict. I hope his demeanor will soften by the end of the series but I suspect it won’t. With having said that, it’s an example of how the book is unpredictable. The reader is taken on an adventure with a creative and twisting plot.

Patsy, the heroine, and Lane, the hero, kick of the series and they made for a great start. Their chemistry was thick in the air but innocent. I’d consider this to be a sweet/spicy romance. I loved Patsy’s spunk and Lane’s seriousness. Patsy brought out Lane’s fun side. Together they complete each other. I love how Lane was supportive of Patsy’s dream.

The story started with an attention gripper that hooked me and kept me turning pages until the end. I loved how there was an epilogue. I was left with feeling of glee and a definite book glow.

After reading this book, I am eager to read the next one in the series. I’m not sure which sister will be next but I can’t wait for each of them to have their own happily ever after.

If you are looking for a series to start then why not give this one a try?