Tag Archive | New Zealand

The Widow’s Promise

The Widows Series by Roselyn Beck

Historical Romance


The Widow’s Promise

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


Overall Rating: 3.5 (sXe)

Quick & Dirty summary: Lady Grace Grayson is the quintessential Victorian woman. Polite, reserved, and modest, Grace is used to men dictating where she goes and what she does. However, now that she is a young widow, Grace is learning to live on her own. When she accepts an invitation to Rocksavage Manor she doesn’t expect her control and her virtue to be challenged by the exotic Kyle Calshot. She also doesn’t expect to be shot at or poisoned. The fierce attraction between Kyle and Grace is threatening Grace’s long-held control and is making it difficult to focus on finding who wants Grace dead. Kyle, heir to a Maori tribe and an English title, struggles to protect Grace while giving her the long-awaited freedom she desires. As secrets are revealed and lives hang in the balance, Grace must decide if she can trust her life, her reputation, and her heart to Kyle.

My favorite part of this novel was the inclusion of New Zealand culture. So often historical romances focus on Europe it is like the rest of the world doesn’t exist. While I cannot vouch for the book’s accuracy in portraying New Zealand or English attitudes towards New Zealanders, I still love that aspect of the novel.

Grace goes through quite a lot of character development throughout the novel, which has to be my second favorite aspect of the story. Kyle seems to struggle with a few things, but by and large seems to remain the same—it is really Grace who takes the trials and tribulations she faces as opportunities to further develop her character and personality. The friends she makes also help her in that endeavor, while laying a great framework for the next books in the series.

There are quite a few grammatical issues in the copy I received, but it wasn’t enough to bother me or prevent me from understanding what was going on in the story. What I didn’t really care for was the leap in Kyle and Grace’s relationship. The romance seemed to develop in fits and starts and threw me for a loop a time or two. While I enjoy a good mystery, the love story between the two characters should seem natural.

The mystery and suspense itself was rather straightforward. I anticipated who was in on the murder plot and where the important pieces where hiding, so in that sense it didn’t excite me too much. But, I don’t think of that as necessarily a bad thing. The pacing of the novel is pretty quick with lots of action and adventure. The secondary characters are interesting and well developed so the rest of the series promises to be good as well. Overall, this was a fun book to read.

Is it worth buying? (Kindle $2.99)

If you enjoy Victorian romance novels AND romantic suspense then you should buy this book. There is non-stop mystery and I haven’t read too many Victorian romances that involve New Zealand and other areas of the world that were known to Europeans so it’s worth reading for that aspect.

Something else you might enjoy:

I love Amanda Quick’s Arcane Society series. It has mystery, suspense, and paranormal components that make the books fun to read.


New Zealand Homecoming

Hawaiian Heartbreak by Libby Cole

Contemporary Romance


This is the last of a three book series. This is not a standalone novel and you should read Hawaiian Heartbreak and Hawaiian Healing before beginning Hawaiian Homecoming. You can find a review of the series here on my blog(Book 1 review here, Book 2 review here). I highly recommend not reading this review if you haven’t read the first two novels as spoilers are inevitable. I received a free copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Hawaiian Homecoming

Overall Rating: 3.5 (sXe)


Quick & Dirty summary: Kayla and Jay return to New Zealand so she can pack up and leave her old life behind. Kayla knew that convincing her parents and best friend that she was on to bigger and better things with Jay was going to be hard, but she’s surprised at how hard it turns out to be. Not to mention her ex-boyfriend won’t stop calling her, adding to her stress level and worry.

The conflict in this last novel is pretty tame compared to earlier parts of the story, but if you read the novels in a row it all comes together nicely. Although the pacing of the novel wasn’t perfect, the sex scenes were as hot and steamy as ever. Libby Cole really makes it obvious that just because you are in a committed, monogamous relationship doesn’t mean the sex has to go bad!

Once again, the best part of the novel was the vivid descriptions of locations. I have never been to New Zealand but it sounds like an amazing place to go. Plus they go to a small island off the cost that sounds like so much fun! Talk about wanderlust!

All in all, this was a great end to Kayla and Jay’s story. The epilogue struck just the right balance between happily ever after and the potential for additional stories… maybe Tess’?

Is it worth buying? (Kindle $1.99)

Yes, you have to finish this story!

Something else you might enjoy:

If you love New Zealand you might enjoy Nalini Singh’s Rock Kiss series. I’ve read the first two books and enjoyed them.


Back from the Cliff

Hawaiian Heartbreak by Libby Cole

Contemporary Romance


This is the second of a three book series. This is not a standalone novel and you should read Hawaiian Heartbreak before beginning Hawaiian Healing. You can find a review of the first book here on my blog. I highly recommend not reading this review if you haven’t finished Hawaiian Heartbreak as spoilers are inevitable. I received a free copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.



Hawaiian Healing (Book 2)


Overall Rating: 4 (sXe)



Quick & Dirty summary: Kayla wanted to heal in Hawaii after she discovered boyfriend cheated on her, but getting involved with Jay the tour guide seemed to increase her heartache. Why did Jay have to become so serious? And why does he seem to avoid personal questions? As Kayla tries to enjoy her time on the Big Island before the end of her tropical vacation, she can’t help but wish Jay were with her. But she also isn’t sure she’s ready to commit to something more when her return trip to New Zealand is already scheduled.

While the novel once again seemed well paced and full of steamy sex scenes, what I enjoyed the most about Hawaiian Healing was how the scenery came into sharper focus. Kayla and Jay have some exciting adventures and I wish I could have gone along with them. Libby Cole does a wonderful job describing snorkeling and zip lining and it really made me appreciate the location of the novel. It makes sense that Jay and Kayla fall in love amongst such natural beauty.

Although I wasn’t surprised by the “twist” at the end, I am really happy with the direction of story line is taking. Kayla and Jay’s response to the stressors of their relationship seem natural and there’s not a lot of undue angst, which is important to me. They are young adults and the whole hot/cold thing can only last so long before it gets annoying. Cole understands this and moves the story along.

I am really looking forward to the concluding novel of this series. The sex scenes are super hot and Jay and Kayla are really cute together. They are facing some pretty big unknowns, but they seem ready to take on the world. I am looking forward to their adventure and their happily ever after.

Is it worth buying? (Kindle $2.99)

Yes, this book is totally worth buying, especially since we know the last book is on its way and is reasonably priced as well.

Something else you might enjoy:

Jumping into romance while on vacation seems to be a popular theme in the romance genre. If you’d like a slightly more serious take on it, with abusive husbands and secret security mission, you might enjoy Kristen Ashley’s Heaven and Hell. A review of this stand-alone novel can be found here on my blog.