Wednesday, September 2, 2015

The Captive Imposter by Dawn Crandall


For her own protection following the murder of her brother Will, hotel heiress Estella Everstone assumes the alias of Elle Stoneburner and takes a job as companion to an elderly widow. Never did she imagine that her position would lead her back to her beloved Everston, a picturesque resort property tucked away in the rugged mountains of Maine. Living below her station in a guise of anonymity has its struggles, but her spirits are buoyed by a newfound friendship with the hotel manager, Dexter Blakeley. And his distaste for the spoiled socialites who frequent his hotel causes her to take a close look at her own priorities and past lifestyle. When Estella finds herself in need of help, Dexter comes to the rescue with an offer of employment she can't refuse. As the two interact and open up to each other, Estella feels a growing attraction to Dexter; and increasing discomfort over concealing her identity. Yet, in spite of the false pretense she's putting forth, she's never felt freer to be herself than in his presence. But will he still love her when he learns the truth about who she is?

The Captive Imposter follows the tradition of Dawn's other books, with a refreshing new plot, and new romance!

THE GOOD
1. Dexter Blakeley was a strong, well-written character!
2. Estella got over Jay! Yess!
3. I loved Estella's drawing abilities!
4. I loved Roxy as a character! Maybe we could see her get her own story??? (*hint* *hint*)
5. I loved that Jay got a girl!
6. I loved that Dexter's mother hated Estella. It added such good emotional tension.
7. I was completely glued to this book!
8. I loved the romance, which was slow but still well paced
9. I loved Everston!
10. Again, I loooved the First Person POV.
11. I loved Vance! His part in the story was great.
12. I loved the ending suspense!

THE BAD
1. I got confused (I'm easily confused, though)
2. I think that I was supposed to like Violet, but I didn't.

FOR THE PARENTS

INTIMACY/KISSING - Mild kissing. One girl is from a brothel, so they have dealings with the owner and the girl is also pregnant. 
CUSSING - None!
VIOLENCE - Mild violence, nothing too bad.

The Bound Heart by Dawn Crandall


One accidental kiss—that was all it took to throw Meredyth Summercourt’s world upside down. Determined to marry the ever-elusive Vance Everstone, she simply doesn’t have the time or desire to fall for her best friend Lawry Hampton. But with Vance out of the country, and with Lawry at her side nearly every day, teaching her what the world is like through the eyes of a little orphan girl named Wynn—Meredyth can’t deny that what’s holding her to Vance is nothing more than a desire to redeem herself from her past. Will she marry Vance once he returns from Europe? Or will she be strong enough to break free from the tangled web of deceit she’s convinced she deserves, and accept that God’s plan for her life includes redemption…and, quite possibly, Lawry Hampton?

This book drew me in with a refreshing, new plot, a familiar character, and new love, and is by far my favorite of the Everstone Chronicles!

THE GOOD
1. Lawry!!! He's so great.
2. The plot of this book is just really great. Well paced and suspenseful! 
3. Vance! I loved how rude he was and how he changed from a rude guy to someone special. I can't wait for his story!
4. Meredith! She was loyal and torn and really quite a good character.
5. I loved the love in this story. It was unexpected and sweet.
6. I was glued to this book! I couldn't leave it alone until I finished it.
7. I love the cover on this book! It is really beautiful.
8. Wynn! She was sweet and lovely and a great addition to the book.
9. Garrett and Ainsley! I loved how their story developed within Meredyth and Lawry's.
10. The loved the romance! Carrying on with the things I loved with the last book.
11. The emotion! The emotional stakes are definitely raised in this book.
12. Again, the first person. I just love that Dawn wrote her books in first person.

THE BAD
1. The book was confusing while I figured out a few things.

FOR THE PARENTS
INTIMACY/KISSING - Meredyth gave her virtue to Vance, which was important for the plot. It's implied, but not shown. Also some mild kissing and innuendos.
CUSSING - Nothing to report!
VIOLENCE - This book is a bit more violent. People are shot. Someone dies.

The Hesitant Heiress by Dawn Crandall


After being unjustly expelled from the Boston Conservatory of Music, Amaryllis Brigham sees her dreams of founding a music academy in her hometown of Seattle, Washington, disappearing before her very eyes. Now, the only way to achieve her goal comes with high stakes for someone set on avoiding men as much as possible: Marry within the year to inherit the immense fortune of her estranged grandmother. Amaryllis reluctantly moves in to her aunt's Boston home and rubs shoulders with fashionable society. Despite her own misgivings, she soon finds herself quickly falling in love with the most unlikely of men, Nathan Everstone, the envy of every eligible female, whose father has haunted her dreams for the decade following her mother's tragic death. However, Nathan turns out to be much more than he seems...and everything she never knew she wanted. But just as everything Amaryllis has recently hoped for comes to fruition, it all falls apart when she finds that the real culprit who has been managing her life isn't who she thought at all. The Hesitant Heiress is the 2015 winner of the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence in Romance!

Reminiscent of classics such as Pride and Prejudice, The Hesitant Heiress is a refreshing read that embodies the style and heart of much-loved classics.

THE GOOD
1. THH felt solid in the time that it was set in. No future lingo slipped in, and it felt very real
2. Dawn's style was easy and drew me in from the first page!
3. THH featured very real and well-written characters
4. I couldn't stop reading!
5. The character had a unique name, not one that I would forget or get mixed up with other characters' names.
6. The plot was well-thought out and strong.
7. The romance was shippable! Lots of romances have good story, but flat romance, or flat story, good romance. This story had good romance AND good story.
8. Nathan was totally awesome. Like, really.
9. I loved how this book is written in First Person! It has the classic feel of Austen, but also the personal feel that you can only get with First Person Point of View.
10. The villain! He totally came out of nowhere, and was completely unexpected, but still sort of unconsciously expected. I loved how this story actually had a reall villain, while some romances just go for emotions as the villain.
11. I love how the chapters start out with quotes!

THE BAD
1. The beginning took me a few tries, and I was somewhat confused for a few chapters.

FOR THE PARENTS
INTIMACY/KISSING - There is a near rape situation, and some mild kissing, and some innuendos
CUSSING - Nothing to report on this front!
VIOLENCE - There's a revenge plot, but nothing hugely violent.