Sunday, June 30, 2013
"A Noble Groom" is a new twist on the 'mail order bride' story type. Set in 1880 in Forestville, Michigan our heroine is a new widow who isn't very eager to enter into what would be her second arranged marriage. Her first husband was abusive and a gambler. Annalisa is expecting their second child, and will likely lose her farm if she doesn't get a new husband.
Annalisa's farm is part of a community consisting entirely of immigrants from Germany that are working together to make it through homesteading newly broken American ground together. As a community they decide to write to their families back in Germany to get her a husband. Annalisa is fearful that a new husband may be even worse than her last … but has long ago given up on her girlhood dreams of marrying for love.
While she waits for her prospective cousin/groom to arrive from the Old Country a young man named Carl arrives offering to help. He claims to have been a school teacher, and he knows very little about farming - but his charming and gentle ways give Annalisa new hope that all men aren't like her former husband. But do her feelings lie deeper than that for this man? And is he really a former teacher? The story is worth the read to find out!
It's obvious by the outfit Carl Richards arrives wearing that he is NOT a farmer. The community chooses to believe his lie that he is a schoolteacher, but … his clothes look a little more refined than even that profession. However, Carl has a letter from a well respected family member and they choose to take him into their community on faith. This cover design helps to accentuate just how much Carl doesn't fit in when he arrives. This pampered son of a nobleman learns quickly what he must to survive (and hide) among this immigrant community.
The stormy sky in the background was a nice choice to reflect the tension and turmoil of this young man's situation. The hint of barn and handmade plow next to the well-dressed and freshly shaven young man on this cover seem incongruent … because they ARE. Readers of historical romance will be drawn to the heroic stance and good looks of this prospective groom. Once again, the photo has taken center stage in this books design, but I believe it is successful and the title and author information are well-handled. I at first questioned the choice of bright green for the title text, but it has grown on me. It clashes a little with the other colors in the photo, but this helps it to stand out and get noticed.
* This book was sent to me by the publisher for review with no guarantee of a positive review.
Friday, June 28, 2013
Research scientist Kate Adams is determined from the onset to prove her herbal medicine research partner -- and dear friend -- was too knowledgable to have killed herself by adding the wrong herbs to her tea (and not prone to suicide either!) In this story Kate comes across somewhat like a young Jessica Fletcher (for those of you who remember the popular show 'Murder She Wrote'. Due to something that happened in her family's past, Kate does not trust the police to investigate the murder of her friend … so, she tackles it on her own.
Thankfully for Kate, a certain former FBI agent and his retired father are following her every move. Even though the law enforcement duo save her bacon more than once, Kate still isn't sure she can trust them. They have just as many doubts about her when they find out she's living under an assumed name.
This was a quick read that was hard to put down. As an amateur sleuth, Kate comes up with some rather inventive suspects and scenarios. Who knew one sleepy little town would have so many suspicious characters? I am already looking forward to reading book two of this new series.
The attractive female on the cover, with her fiery red hair and her suspicious looking glance to the left are a good fit for our heroine. The spooky clouds in the background and the creaky-looking abandoned shack also lend an air of mystery to this cover design. I also like the treatment of the title text. The fragmentation matches the feel of a murder mystery without having to feature thumbprints, evidence bags, guns or drops of blood. It's subtle, but effective. The spine is not quite as effective as the front cover, but overall I feel the cover will draw the right audience to Sandra's story.
* I received this book from the publisher for review.
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Lucy Kendall was sent abroad with the hope that she would return ready to take on the expected life of a lady - and hopefully snag a husband. However, as the daughter of a candy maker she instead finds inspiration in every decadent bite of Europe's best confections and returns eager to jump into the candy making business with her father. Not exactly lady-like.
Not that Charlie always knows the right thing to do either, but having grown up without his father he's learned a few things about making choices that affect the people he loves. This is a sweet story, full of delectable descriptions and daring deceit. Will one family put the other out of business? Or, will the next generation of candy makers learn to work in harmony? You'll have to read this enjoyable story to find out!
The cover photo is the primary element of this cover and it is gorgeous! The models and wardrobe are wonderfully selected for this turn-of-the-century love story. Soft blues and ecrus set the tone for a sweet romance that only turns bitter when long-standing family rivalries get in the way. This cover will absolutely attract the right reader. It's soft color palette, the body language of the cover models, and the historical dress reflect that it is a historical romance of the early twentieth century.The designer has let the photo do the talking, yet has still called attention to the book's title and author name via unobtrusive and complimentary usage of matching ecru scrollwork and embossing/gloss coatings. The spine is also beautiful and easy to read and would also attract the same readership. So far, this is one of my favorite covers for the year. Great job!
* This book was received from Bethany House publishers for review under no promise of a positive review.