The Forgiven Duke

By Jamie Carie Paperback, 320 pages Expected publication: July 1st 2012 by B&H Publishing Group ISBN: 1433673231 (ISBN13: 9781433673238) Series: A Forgotten Castles #2   Penny’s Rating: C Let me preface this review by saying, I am not religious. If I were, I probably really would have enjoyed Jamie Carie’s new novel The Forgiven Duke a good deal more. The main characters are very, very Christian, and while that is probably accurate in a historical context, it really got in the way of the story for me. The Forgiven Duke is a good yarn, even when you spend half of the time you are reading irritated at one character or another for being naive, stubborn, innocent, or just plain stupid. Alexandra Featherstone has run away from her appointed legal guardian, the handsome duke of St. Easton in order to search for her parents. She is certain are still alive and in trouble somewhere, not dead like everyone thinks. Against her better judgement, in order to follow her parents trail to Iceland, she has promised herself in marriage to one Lord John Lemon. John and Alex journey to Iceland, and frequently masquerade as a married couple so that no one will question…

The Time of the Singing

by Louise Blaydon eBook, 195 pages Published November 11th 2011 by Dreamspinner Press LLC (first published November 10th 2011) ISBN13: 9781613722039 Penny’s Rating: C+ Even as I start this review, I am still conflicted about this book. There were parts of it that made me uncomfortable. I really liked it, and one of the reasons I enjoyed it so much is because it wasn’t easy to like. It pushed my boundaries, and really made me re-examine some of my own opinions, especially my opinions regarding what I do and do not consider to be consensual sex. Israfel (Raf) is a 29 year old Catholic priest. He knows he is attracted to men, but he considers his homosexuality a disease and an affliction, in fact he chose to become a priest so he could lead a celibate lifestyle. Enter Nate Mulligan, a 17 year old, that’s right he’s a minor, who is an altar boy at Israfel’s new parish in a conservative small town in New England. In summary: Israfel and Nate are insanely attracted to each other, to the point where Nate won’t leave Israfel alone about it. Israfel struggles against his own urges, but gives into an falls for…

Her Christmas Pleasure (The Merry Widows #2)

by Karen Erickson 20,000 words, ebook, 67 pages Published November 28th 2011 by Carina Press ISBN 1426892705 (ISBN13: 9781426892707) Penny’s Rating: C+ Penny purchased the e-book for this review from Barnes & Noble. If you’re looking for a good romantic “quickie” read, this novella is not a bad way to go. I am not always a fan of novella’s; quite often the stories are underdeveloped and over too quickly, but in Her Christmas Pleasure, author Karen Erickson, manages to turn out a fair short tale. Damien Morton is in love with the lovely Lady Danvers (Celia), who used to be married to Damien’s best friend. The basic plot is that Damien has carried a torch for Celia for years, but doesn’t feel he’s good enough for her. Celia’s husband Lawrence, whom she loved dearly, has been dead for two years, and Celia is raising her young son Theodore alone. Damien has decided that if he can’t be with Celia, that he needs to get as far away from her as possible, even going so far as to accept a position on the continent. Damien plans to depart for the continent after the Christmas holidays, but everything changes when Damien and…