Category: Marriage of Convenience

Audiobook Review | “Keep on Believing: A Cinderella Story by Marie Higgins, narrated by Paula Slade

Posted Wednesday, 8 March, 2017 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Audiobook Review Badge made by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Digital Audiobook by: I am a new blog tour hostess with Audiobookworm Promotions wherein I have the opportunity to receive audiobooks for review or adoption (reviews outside of organised blog tours) and host guest features on behalf of authors and narrators alike. I started hosting for Audiobookworm Promotions at the end of [2016] during “The Cryptic Lines” tour wherein I became quite happily surprised how much I am now keen on listening to books in lieu of reading them in print. My journey into audiobooks was prompted by a return of my chronic migraines wherein I want to offset my readings with listening to the audio versions.

I received a complimentary audiobook copy of “Keep on Believing” via the publicist at Audiobookworm Promotions (of whom was working directly with the author Marie Higgins) in exchange for an honest review. The difference with this complimentary copy I received is I had a 90 day window to listen and review the book whilst given a soft deadline where I could post my ruminative thoughts at an hour which worked for me on the day the review was due; this differs from a blog tour which has a more set schedule of posting. The audiobooks are offered to ‘adopt’ for review consideration and are given to readers to gauge their opinions, impressions and insight into how the audiobook is resonating with listeners. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

NOTE: I had fully intended to listen to Keep On Believing somewhere between mid-to-late December and mid-to-late January; both months proved to be quite intense, most of which I recently blogged about on my latest #StoriesOfJorie. February proved to be an upturnt month for me – I simply couldn’t motivate myself to read nor blog. As such, I am running into my deadline to post my review for this adopted audiobook rather than being ahead of it.

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What initially prompted me to listen to Keep On Believing:

One of the joys of being a book blogger is discovering new niches of literature – in this particular case, I have come to appreciate ‘Fairy Tale Re-Tellings’, which I feel this qualifies for as it’s a spin on the traditional ‘Cinderella’ story, which of course, is amongst my top favourites for seeking out. I wasn’t sure if this one would be a good fit for me, but I had hoped it might be enjoyable to listen too. It’s hard to find the type of fairy-tale re-tellings I enjoy most, but as my Story Vault reflects, I do find one every so often.

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Audiobook Review | “Keep on Believing: A Cinderella Story by Marie Higgins, narrated by Paula SladeKeep On Believing
by Marie Higgins
Source: Audiobook via Audiobookworm Promotions
Narrator: Paula Slade

Taking some of the family's jewels, Ella Spencer and her brother left the kingdom in the dead of night, escaping the clutches of their evil stepmother. Ella realized they need a different life than one of a servant. Now living in a new kingdom, Ella believes this is where they can start over again. So far, it's working - until her brother's school teacher starts poking his nose into their business. Ella cannot tell him the truth, yet deep down inside, she feels that he might be her Prince Charming after all, and be the one who will save her from danger.

Christopher Morgan is hiding secrets that he never plans to divulge. The sister of one of his students intrigues him, and he can't keep from wanting to know more about her. When a man comes around asking questions, Chris fears Ella is not safe and he needs to protect her. But he finds that he is the one in need of a dream-come-true. Can he hope that Ella will be the one to rescue him out of his life before these secrets destroy him?

Places to find the book:

Add to Riffle

ASIN: B01N03DZPG

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Contemporary Romance, Fairy-Tale Re-Telling


Published by Marie Higgins

on 14th November, 2016

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 6 hours, 16 minutes (unabridged)

Where Dreams Come True Series:

No.1 The Witch Hunt

No. 2 Her Own Fairy Godmother

No.3 Champion

No.4 Keep On Believing

Marie Higgins | GoodReads | @mariehigginsxox | Facebook

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Posted Wednesday, 8 March, 2017 by jorielov in Audiobook, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Contemporary Romance, Indie Author, Marriage of Convenience, Premonition-Precognitive Visions, Romance Fiction, Vulgarity in Literature

Audiobook Review | “His Trophy Wife” by by Leigh Michaels, narrated by Paula Slade

Posted Tuesday, 7 March, 2017 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Audiobook Review Badge made by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Digital Audiobook by: I am a new blog tour hostess with Audiobookworm Promotions wherein I have the opportunity to receive audiobooks for review or adoption (reviews outside of organised blog tours) and host guest features on behalf of authors and narrators alike. I started hosting for Audiobookworm Promotions at the end of [2016] during “The Cryptic Lines” tour wherein I became quite happily surprised how much I am now keen on listening to books in lieu of reading them in print. My journey into audiobooks was prompted by a return of my chronic migraines wherein I want to offset my readings with listening to the audio versions.

I received a complimentary audiobook copy of “His Trophy Wife” via the publicist at Audiobookworm Promotions (of whom was working directly with the author Leigh Michaels) in exchange for an honest review. The difference with this complimentary copy I received is I had a 90 day window to listen and review the book whilst given a soft deadline where I could post my ruminative thoughts at an hour which worked for me on the day the review was due; this differs from a blog tour which has a more set schedule of posting. The audiobooks are offered to ‘adopt’ for review consideration and are given to readers to gauge their opinions, impressions and insight into how the audiobook is resonating with listeners. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

NOTE: I had fully intended to listen to His Trophy Wife somewhere between mid-to-late December and mid-to-late January; both months proved to be quite intense, most of which I recently blogged about on my latest #StoriesOfJorie. February proved to be an upturnt month for me – I simply couldn’t motivate myself to read nor blog. As such, I am running into my deadline to post my review for this adopted audiobook rather than being ahead of it.

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What initially prompted me to listen to His Trophy Wife:

When I was first getting home from being at the hospital overseeing my father’s care as he recovered from his series of strokes, I couldn’t think of wanting to read anything too serious nor emotionally gutting. I had thought perhaps I could use a bit of lighter stories in my life – or at the very least, lighter Romances to serve as a bit of a distraction whilst I shifted back into reading more widely and regularly. The only error on my part is not realising I would vacillate between being inclined to read or listen to audiobooks and feeling a bit indifferent to either of them. This is one of those lighter Roms I thought might inspire me forward but hadn’t foreseen I’d be listening to it the day my review was due to post – as I hadn’t known then, at the time of my request I’d fall in and out of loving to read stories.

I typically read quite a lot of Romances per year – including having read quite a number of Harlequin Romances in the past, which is why I thought this might be a good fit for me. I knew going in the subject matter was a bit of a different turn of conflict than I normally read in Romances – as generally speaking, I read relationship-based Romances where both lead characters ‘want’ to be around each other; at least, generally speaking! There are times where I soak into a Rom where one characters falls for the other whilst waiting hopeful the feelings are returnt. in this particular case, it was more of a marriage of convenience where one party is gaining a bit more out of it than the other. These make for good folly – as does the convenience of the marriage act as subterfuge to a marriage which can last? Or is there more going on beneath the surface of what they’ve shared, lending towards a unique outcome once everything is revealled? In essence, this was picked to re-inspire me to listen and read during a time where I felt like doing anything else.

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Audiobook Review | “His Trophy Wife” by by Leigh Michaels, narrated by Paula SladeHis Trophy Wife
by Leigh Michaels
Source: Audiobook via Audiobookworm Promotions
Narrator: Paula Slade

When Morganna Ashworth's father died, leaving her his debts, Sloan Montgomery realized he could finally achieve his two lifelong ambitions: the acquisition of a socially acceptable wife, and revenge on the Ashworth family!

In return for him paying off the debts, Morganna became Mrs. Sloan Montgomery. But once they were wed, Sloan didn't bargain on falling deeply in love with his trophy wife! Especially considering all the secrets and lies between them….

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

ASIN: B01KYLGPTO

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Contemporary Romance


Published by Leigh Michaels

on 26th August, 2016

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 5 hours, 54 minutes (unabridged)

Leigh Michaels | Site | Blog | @leighmichaels | Facebook

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Posted Tuesday, 7 March, 2017 by jorielov in Audiobook, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Contemporary Romance, Indie Author, Marriage of Convenience, Premonition-Precognitive Visions, Romance Fiction, Vulgarity in Literature

Blog Book Tour | “Madame Presidentess” (Historical Biographical Sketch of Victoria Woodhull) by Nicole Evelina

Posted Friday, 26 August, 2016 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours whereupon I am thankful to have been able to host such a diverse breadth of stories, authors and wonderful guest features since I became a hostess! I received a complimentary copy of “Madame Presidentess” direct from the author Nicole Evelina in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I appreciate reading Nicole Evelina’s Historicals:

I appreciate the extra care and attention Evelina goes too in being openly transparent with her readers – not only about the inclusions of what she is writing into the backbone of her sequel for Camelot but for why she’s finding the choices she’s made are backed up by the research and the lore left behind for her to find to inspire her writing as a whole. It helps not only understand the time-line but how the time-line affects the events and how through digging deeper into the lore and legends of Camelot you can root out strongly wrought conflict and afflictions that can affect any woman of any age. Evelina isn’t an author who shies away from harder subjects and topics, but rather meets them head-on and tries to assert her feelings on the events in a manner that is welcoming to her readers. She puts her heart on the line and owns the truth of her words as her pen inks out her stories.

It’s this attention to both detail and sensitivities of readers, wherein I felt I might appreciate reading her next historical release Madame Presidentess (read about the book on her author’s site) after having first met her title character Victoria Woodhull through my readings of The Renegade Queen (see my review); where I first began my journey into a new vein of interest for #HistFic – the Feminist driven side of Historical Fiction! I was quite grateful for the introduction (as it was soon followed by Emmy Nation (see my review) and my first introduction into Evelina’s writing via Daughter of Destiny.

The reason I felt I might find myself a bit more smitten to read Evelina’s version of Woodhull’s story is because I was very much challenged by how Flynn portrayed those harder scenes and the way in which Woodhull’s earlier life was fused to the novel. I survived the text and I was genuinely curious about the sequel by Flynn, but part of me wondered if the story could have found a softer edging – thus, imagine my joy in finding Evelina has penned a different take on the same tale! I bring up Victoria Woodhull because she shares a thread of connection with the Guinevere your meeting inside Camelot’s Queen; both women are brutally attacked and suffer aftereffects of how men treated them. Sometimes tempering the hardest and most challenging of scenes or memories of a character fit better with my own sensitive heart than the ones that breach my own level of tolerance.

quoted from my review of Camelot’s Queen

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Blog Book Tour | “Madame Presidentess” (Historical Biographical Sketch of Victoria Woodhull) by Nicole EvelinaMadame Presidentess
by Nicole Evelina
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Jenny Quinlan (JennyQ)
Source: Author via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

*Winner: U.S. Women’s History category – 2015 Chaucer Awards for Historical Fiction

Forty-eight years before women were granted the right to vote, one woman dared to run for President of the United States, yet her name has been virtually written out of the history books.

Rising from the shame of an abusive childhood, Victoria Woodhull, the daughter of a con-man and a religious zealot, vows to follow her destiny, one the spirits say will lead her out of poverty to “become ruler of her people.”

But the road to glory is far from easy. A nightmarish marriage teaches Victoria that women are stronger and deserve far more credit than society gives. Eschewing the conventions of her day, she strikes out on her own to improve herself and the lot of American women.

Over the next several years, she sets into motion plans that shatter the old boys club of Wall Street and defile even the sanctity of the halls of Congress. But it’s not just her ambition that threatens men of wealth and privilege; when she announces her candidacy for President in the 1872 election, they realize she may well usurp the power they’ve so long fought to protect.

Those who support her laud “Notorious Victoria” as a gifted spiritualist medium and healer, a talented financial mind, a fresh voice in the suffrage movement, and the radical idealist needed to move the nation forward. But those who dislike her see a dangerous force who is too willing to speak out when women are expected to be quiet. Ultimately, “Mrs. Satan’s” radical views on women’s rights, equality of the sexes, free love and the role of politics in private affairs collide with her tumultuous personal life to endanger all she has built and change how she is viewed by future generations.

This is the story of one woman who was ahead of her time – a woman who would make waves even in the 21st century – but who dared to speak out and challenge the conventions of post-Civil War America, setting a precedent that is still followed by female politicians today.

Places to find the book:

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780996763196

Also by this author: Daughter of Destiny, Nicole Evelina (Guest Post: Camelot's Queen), Camelot's Queen, Been Searching For You

Genres: Biographical Fiction, Historical Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Women's Studies


Published by Lawson Gartner Publishing

on 25th July, 2016

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 400

About Nicole Evelina

Nicole Evelina

Nicole Evelina is an award-winning historical fiction and romantic comedy writer. Her current novel, Been Searching for You, a romantic comedy, won the 2015 Romance Writers of America (RWA) Great Expectations and Golden Rose contests.

She also writes historical fiction. Her debut novel, Daughter of Destiny, the first book of an Arthurian legend trilogy that tells Guinevere’s life story from her point of view, took first place in the legend/legacy category of the 2015 Chatelaine Awards for Women’s Fiction/Romance, and was short-listed for the Chaucer Award for Historical Fiction. Later this year (2016), she will release Madame Presidentess (July 25), a historical novel about Victoria Woodhull, America's first female Presidential candidate, which was the first place winner in the Women’s US History category of the 2015 Chaucer Awards for Historical Fiction.

Nicole is one of only six authors who completed a week-long writing intensive taught by #1 New York Times bestselling author Deborah Harkness. Nicole has traveled to England twice to research the Guinevere’s Tale trilogy, where she consulted with internationally acclaimed author and historian Geoffrey Ashe, as well as Arthurian/Glastonbury expert Jaime George, the man who helped Marion Zimmer Bradley research The Mists of Avalon.

Nicole is a member of and book reviewer for the The Historical Novel Society, and Sirens (a group supporting female fantasy authors), as well as a member of the Historical Writers of America, Women’s Fiction Writers Association, Romance Writers of America, the St. Louis Writer’s Guild, Women Writing the West, Broad Universe (promoting women in fantasy, science fiction and horror), Alliance of Independent Authors and the Independent Book Publishers Association.

Author biography was updated July 2016.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2016 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Friday, 26 August, 2016 by jorielov in 19th Century, Based on an Actual Event &/or Court Case, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Disillusionment in Marriage, Domestic Violence, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Indie Author, Kidnapping or Unexplained Disappearances, Loss of an unbourne child, Marriage of Convenience, Midwives & Childbirth, Passionate Researcher, Political Narrative & Modern Topics, Psychological Abuse, PTSD, Realistic Fiction, Superstitions & Old World Beliefs, Trauma | Abuse & Recovery, Victoria Woodhull, Vulgarity in Literature, Women's Fiction, Women's Health, Women's Rights, Women's Suffrage

Blog Book Tour | “Camelot’s Queen” (Guinevere’s Tale, No. 2) by Nicole Evelina #HistFantasy

Posted Monday, 16 May, 2016 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin.

Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours whereupon I am thankful to have been able to host such a diverse breadth of stories, authors and wonderful guest features since I became a hostess! I received a complimentary copy of “Camelot’s Queen” direct from the author Nicole Evelina in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I appreciate reading Nicole Evelina’s Guinevere Tale series:

Evelina has taken us into the heart of Guinevere and her girlhood peers, as we walk inside those hours she spent on Avalon honing her talent and learning about the world from a point of view not concurrent to her parents or ancestral home. Evelina re-develops the image of Guinevere and the back-story therein, allowing us the grace to re-examine what we think we know of the characters being brought back to life inside this trilogy. It’s a curious undertaking, because although it’s rooted in a canonical history of literature, mythos and lore; there is a new attempt at re-developing a story whose depths are grounded by the character’s will of heart and spirit of passage through their growing years.

The complexity and the authentic voice inter-combine to bring a scope of realism to Guinevere and to the back-story of her life. It’s a wholly original complex origin story where even if you are as under-read as I am about Camelot and Arthurian Legend, you can curl inside this novel due to how well-told Evelina evoked it’s heart out of the pages she lent us to read!

Mythology, fable and lore can feel disconnected at times to an actuary world if the conception of their perimeters are not fully fleshed out and brought to such a high level of vision by their writers. This is where Nicole Evelina excels as her vision of the story is portrayed in such a convicting manner as to etch your heart directly into the lifeblood of her characters; you feel everything they are sensing and appreciate the direct connection in order to best understand their world. Definitely a harbinger of emotionally writ historical fiction centred on known persons who have inspired many but of whom feel more three dimensional inside this story as they are presented with equal fragility as their contemporary peerage.

The research Evelina put into this work of a trilogy is evidenced by how she chose to tell the story, first through direct sight of Guinevere approaching hard choices and managing her emotions in the thick of it and secondly, through enlivening the background with such scope of depth as to embrace the mystical and mythology of how Camelot exists. She even kept the continuity alive by bringing together the origins of those who call Avalon home with their familial heritages and beliefs; such as I celebrated in seeing Guinevere’s Rhiannon and Lugh arriving in time for her ascension to Priestess of Avalon. The fundamentals of religion and ancestry are inter-woven to the core of who Guinevere is and what she stood for thereby granting the reader a more grounded vision of the woman Guinevere became latter in life.

– as disclosed on my review of Daughter of Destiny, Guinevere’s Tale No.1

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Blog Book Tour | “Camelot’s Queen” (Guinevere’s Tale, No. 2) by Nicole Evelina #HistFantasyCamelot's Queen
Subtitle: Guinevere's Tale Book Two
by Nicole Evelina
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Jenny Quinlan (JennyQ)
Source: Author via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

History remembers Guinevere’s sin, but it was Arthur who transgressed first.

Forced into a marriage she neither anticipated nor desired, Guinevere finds herself High Queen, ruling and fighting alongside Arthur as they try to subdue the Saxons, Irish and Picts who threaten Britain from every direction. Though her heart still longs for her lost love, Guinevere slowly grows to care for her husband as they join together to defeat their enemies.

Meanwhile, within the walls of Camelot their closest allies plot against them. One schemes to make Guinevere his own, another seeks revenge for past transgressions, while a third fixes her eyes on the throne. When the unthinkable happens and Guinevere is feared dead, Arthur installs a new woman in her place, one who will poison his affections toward her, threatening Guinevere’s fragile sanity and eventually driving her into the arms of her champion.

Amid this tension a new challenge arises for the king and queen of Camelot: finding the Holy Grail, a sacred relic that promises lasting unity. But peace, as they will soon learn, can be just as dangerous as war. As the court begins to turn on itself, it becomes clear that the quest that was to be Arthur’s lasting legacy may end in the burning fires of condemnation.

This highly anticipated sequel to Daughter of Destiny proves there is much more to Guinevere’s story than her marriage and an affair. See the legend you think you know through her eyes and live the adventure of Camelot’s golden days yourself – but prepared to suffer its downfall as well.

Places to find the book:

Add to Riffle

ISBN: 978-0996763134

Also by this author: Daughter of Destiny, Nicole Evelina (Guest Post: Camelot's Queen), Been Searching For You, Madame Presidentess

Also in this series: Daughter of Destiny


Genres: After Canons, Arthurian Legend, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Historical-Fantasy, Women's Fiction


Published by Lawson Gartner Publishing

on 9th April, 2016

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 481

Book No. 1 Daughter of Destiny (review)

Book No. 2 Camelot’s Queen

Book No. 3 Mistress of the Legend releases late 2016/early 2017

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Read an Excerpt of the Novel: Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2016 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Monday, 16 May, 2016 by jorielov in 6th Century, After the Canon, Apothecary, Arthurian Legend, Avalon, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book | Novel Excerpt, Britian, British Literature, Disillusionment in Marriage, Domestic Violence, Early Middle Ages [the Dark Ages] (1001-1300), Earthen Magic, Earthen Spirituality, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Folklore and Mythology, Herbalist, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Historical Romance, History, Indie Author, Inspired By Author OR Book, Kidnapping or Unexplained Disappearances, Loss of an unbourne child, Marriage of Convenience, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Midwife | Midwifery, Midwives & Childbirth, Mythological Societies, Parapsychological Gifts, Passionate Researcher, Psychological Abuse, PTSD, Re-Told Tales, Realistic Fiction, Spirituality & Metaphysics, Supernatural Fiction, Superstitions & Old World Beliefs, Trauma | Abuse & Recovery, Warfare & Power Realignment, Women's Fiction, Women's Health, Women's Rights, Writing Style & Voice

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