The Muse Unleashed

Knock Softly. Bring Chocolate.

Leave a comment

A July Bride by Beth Wiseman {Book Review}

july brideCan she forgive the man who left her at the altar?

Alyssa Pennington dated Brendan Myers for three years before she accepted his proposal. For almost a year, Alyssa’s friends and family helped her plan a lovely wedding to take place in the church she’d grown up in. It was the happiest day of her life when she walked down the aisle to be united with the man of her dreams. But when Brendan left her at the altar, Alyssa was consumed by humiliation, embarrassment, and a broken heart that wouldn’t allow her to trust anyone. Especially Brendan.

Brendan Myers knows he will spend the rest of his life regretting what he did to Alyssa, the only woman he’s ever loved. Without her, his life is empty. In one fateful moment, he’d panicked, destroyed their future, and ruined everything. Now he plans to win her back.

But winning back his bride might prove much more difficult than he can imagine. And even if he does get her to the altar again, will she think turnabout is fair play?



Alyssa Pennington is the saddest bride I have ever read about. Her dream wedding comes to a crashing halt when her groom bolts, leaving her at the altar. And if that isn’t enough, he then starts pestering her to take him back. It bothered me that we never had a full picture as to why he left Alyssa. He gave a vague reason and then he proceeds to beg Alyssa to take him back, which she doesn’t. So he sends flowers and kittens and gifts and letters all begging her to give him another chance. It felt wrong from the very beginning.

In order to get over the pain of Brendan leaving her, Alyssa begins a new relationship with an old friend of the family, someone she had a crush on for years. Dalton is a great guy but Alyssa doesn’t know the whole truth about him and how he’s dealt with relationships in the past. Her brother is aware of how he is and doesn’t want his sister involved with someone who has cheated on a past girlfriend. As Alyssa and Dalton’s relationship grows stronger I was wondering if he was sticking it out with Alyssa just to have sex with her or if there was something more. When Dalton asks Alyssa to marry him I really wondered if it was just to get into bed with her (since Alyssa has declared she will remain a virgin until marriage).

The real reason eventually comes out and personally I thought Brendan was a coward to use that as his excuse. Step up and talk to the woman you love, if she means so much to you. Yes, the truth could have caused some backlash but isn’t love worth it? Plus how some of the people involved dealt with this secret bothered me. I had very little respect for any of the characters except Alyssa.

3 out of 5 stars.

I review for BookLook BloggersDisclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Leave a comment

A June Bride by Marybeth Whalen {Book Review}

june brideIt takes a reality TV show for Wynne to realize love isn’t just a game.

Wynne Hardy never thought she’d get engaged on a reality TV show, but when she met Andy on The Rejection Connection, the two of them hit it off. Now he’s asked her to marry him, much to the public’s delight and fascination. They’re all set to wed on live TV in a seaside ceremony at the height of the wedding season.

But just as Wynne thinks all her dreams are coming true, her ex-boyfriend walks back into her life at the worst possible time. Steve broke her heart years ago, and she’s still sorting through her feelings for him. Her heart isn’t as clear as her head that it’s past time to move on-even though she’s engaged to Andy.

At a local TV talk show appearance, Wynne meets Meredith, who won another reality TV show-Marathon Mom-proving herself nothing short of a superhero. As Wynne’s beach wedding plans spin out of control, Meredith offers to help, unknowingly stepping on Wynne’s secret feelings . . . and exposing some secrets Meredith has been keeping to herself. Can these two reality stars get real about their feelings? Will Wynne go through with her televised wedding and be the perfect June bride the network is looking for?



Wynne took a chance, hoping she’s find love after her longtime boyfriend balked at taking that final step. Her chance resulted in being on a reality show that hosted women who’d been rejected. At the end of the show, Wynne found her forever love…or had she?

As Wynne deals with the wedding plans to Andy, she is thrown back into contact with her past love Callum. She is forced to evaluate her life and to see if her new path is the right one for her.

I can’t say I was enthralled with this story. It’s a sweet, well written romance but the side story with Meredith, the reality star who couldn’t be happy unless she was still in the limelight, grated on my nerves. I hated her character and I thought the story would have been stronger without her.

Wynne is never “in love” with Andy the way she should have been. She allows herself to be pulled into the chaos of a wedding even when it’s not what she really wants. I can’t feel anything for such wishy washy characters.

I’ll give this particular novel 3 stars out of 5 stars. It’s good writing but the story never grabbed me.

I review for BookLook BloggersDisclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <; book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <; : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


The Messenger {Friday Fictioneers & Light and Shade}

“If you plan on cheating, why not go all the way?” Aeolus pouted as the wind tousled his hair. Hermes resisted the urge to roll his eyes at the petulant young god.

“How is it cheating? I was charged to deliver a letter so I’m delivering it.” He dug into the bag at his hip. “No one specified how.”

“I’m pretty sure Hera didn’t intend this. She did take away your sandals.”

Hermes grinned and wiggled his now unencumbered toes. The strap was rubbing anyway.

“Just keep this metal bird in the air. We’ve got a lot of distance to cover.”

copyright Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

copyright Rochelle Wisoff-Fields


*Aeolus: God of wind

Hermes: God of boundaries, travel, communication, trade, language, and writing

lightandshade logofriday-fictioneers-logo

For Friday Fictioneers (image above) and the Light and Shade Challenge (quote below)

Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.

Herodotus (484 BC – 430 BC)



Becoming Lady Lockwood by Jennifer Moore {Book Review & Giveaway}

Becoming Lady Lockwood TourTour Schedule

Becoming Lady LockwoodBecoming Lady Lockwood

Amelia Beckett is delighted to be a widow. Married by proxy to a man she’d never met, Amelia recognizes that a fortuitous entry into widowhood frees her from meddlesome chaperones and matchmakers. Heiress to her mother’s sugar plantation in Jamaica, she happily anticipates working in a man’s world, with the additional credibility of her new title: Lady Lockwood. But with the arrival of Captain Sir William Drake, her plans quickly go awry . . . William has traversed the Atlantic with one purpose. If he cannot prove that Amelia’s marriage to his brother was a fraud, she will be entitled to a sizeable portion of his family’s estate. He is determined to return this duplicitous Lady to London for an official hearing, and he carries with him a letter that will ensure her cooperation . . . Left with no choice, Amelia joins the captain on his return voyage to England, and the two quickly find that ship life does not allow for evasion. Amelia and William are ceaselessly thrown together, and amidst fierce storms and ocean battles, what began as antipathy seems to be evolving quite unexpectedly. But as they draw ever closer to their destination, will the impossibility of their circumstances shatter any hope of a future together?

Praise for Becoming Lady Lockwood

“Moore does a lovely job of showcasing sizzle in this must-read for fans of regency and historical romance.” ~ Foreword Reviews

Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Deseret Book


When I was younger and beginning my reading journeys I devoured romances, specifically historical ones. Some of my favorites that I re-read were from the same period as this particular novel. So I thought it would be fun to tap into my nostalgia and review a book like this. Oh, and I love the name Amelia so that was a huge draw as well. Those of you who KNOW me, know why :)

Amelia Beckett isn’t your typical young woman. If she had grown up in England I am certain she would have been a different person. But she grows up in Jamaica, relatively free of the typical expectations of a woman in her society. She is essentially told by her father to marry Lord Lockwood by proxy and willingly does it as it saves her the trouble of bothering with love. Her own experiences with it observing her parents has conditioned her to think love is a waste. And when her husband dies before the marriage is even consummated, Amelia is left is an ideal position as a widow with ample wealth.

Unfortunately, nothing can go smoothly, otherwise we get a boring story. The arrival of William Drake, Amelia’s husband’s brother, disrupts her perfect life. He contends the marriage was a sham and that it should be dissolved. He insists Amelia come with him to England to speak to a judge. The first meeting between Amelia and William is filled with sparks. Neither likes the other much and there are huge trust issues. However, once the journey progresses and William sees that Amelia is not like the other women he has met nor has she demonstrated she is willfully trying to deceive, his feeling change and he begins to care deeply for her. At the same time Amelia also feels her heart softening for William. Love, she finds, isn’t such a horrible thing at all.

There is a lot of action in this novel that kept the plot moving and myself engaged. I did wonder at the ingenuity of Amelia when the French captured their ship and how realistic it was but this is a story and creative license can be given. Plus it makes Amelia even more interesting. The mystery of the marriage agreement between Amelia and William’s brother is kept quiet until the very end, forcing you to keep flipping the pages to find out what is going on.

Overall it was a fun, easy read. There is love, action, adventure and intrigue, all the great hallmarks of a historical romance to me.

4 out of 5 stars

Jenny MooreAuthor Jennifer Moore

Jennifer Moore is a Passionate reader and writer of all things romance, helping her find balance with the rest of her world, which includes a perpetually traveling husband and four active sons, who create heaps of laundry that are anything but romantic. Jennifer has a BA in linguistics from the University of Utah and is a Guitar Hero champion. She lives in northern Utah with her family. You can learn more about her at The author’s first book, Becoming Lady Lockwood, is a regency romance centered on the British navy during the Napoleonic Wars of the early 1800s.


Website * Twitter * Facebook

Blog Tour Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 8/7/14

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the publisher. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Deceptions {Friday Fictioneers}

Mei watched her mother post her twin sister’s report card on the fridge.

“Straight A’s again! Mama is so proud of her little scholar!”

Her fingers tightened around her chopsticks as her sister beamed at the praise. Mei never heard things like that addressed to her. All she got was disappointed shakes of the head.

“Thank you Mama.” Yi An slid her gaze over to Mei and smirked, her fingers toying with her own chopsticks. As soon as their mother left the room, Yi An pulled a fork from her pocket and began to eat.

Mei snorted. At least she ate like civilized people.

copyright Marie Gail Stratford

copyright Marie Gail Stratford

For Friday Fictioneers :)



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,034 other followers