Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Princess Spy by Melanie Dickerson

The Princess Spy


Margaretha has always been a romantic, and hopes her newest suitor, Lord Claybrook, is destined to be her one true love. But then an injured man is brought to Hagenheim Castle, claiming to be an English lord who was attacked by Claybrook and left for dead. And only Margaretha---one of the few who speaks his language---understands the wild story. Margaretha finds herself unable to pass Colin's message along to her father, the duke, and convinces herself 'Lord Colin' is just an addled stranger. Then Colin retrieves an heirloom she lost in a well, and asks her to spy on Claybrook as repayment. Margaretha knows she could never be a spy---not only is she unable to keep anything secret, she's sure Colin is completely wrong about her potential betrothed. Though when Margaretha overhears Claybrook one day, she discovers her romantic notions may have been clouding her judgment about not only Colin but Claybrook as well. It is up to her to save her father and Hagenheim itself from Claybrook's wicked plot.

My Opinion:

I hate to say it, but this was my least favorite of Melanie's stories. I really didn't see how it related to the Princess and the Frog other than in one way. *Spoiler* At one point Colin is dressed in a hideous outfit that reminds everyone of a frog because their was nothing else for him to wear.*End Spoiler*.

Margaretha was extremely annoying. She was supposed to be the kind of girl who talks to much, but why in every story like that does the girl have to babble like an idiot? Why can't she be smart and refined and go of on intellectual rants? It just bothers me how people think that when someone talks to much they must be rambling on about things less exciting than the weather. On top of that, Margaretha was constantly apologizing for talking to much. I don't think I could count how many times she apologized on both of my hands.

The plot was not all that exciting in this one. I felt like the "spying" part was over too quickly and we didn't get to see enough of Claybrooks evil scheming. Claybrook was not made out to be a very intimidating guy. I honestly feel like I would have laughed in his face a few times if he threatened me.

I loved the prologue of the story, it was very emotional, but after that the story just seemed to lag behind the potential it had. I will say that it was entertaining enough to read and I liked Colin's character. I also loved how Gisela and Valten were in it a little and we had a glimpse of how they were faring.

Overall, it was okay, but their were some definite things that stood out that I did not care for.

Rating: 3 Stars

Monday, November 3, 2014

The Brickmaker's Bride by Judith Miller

The Brickmaker's Bride (Refined by Love, #1)


Yearning for a fresh start, Ewan McKay travels with his aunt and uncle from northern Scotland to West Virginia, promising to trade his skills in the clay business for financial assistance from his uncle Hugh. Hugh purchases a brickmaking operation from a Civil War widow and her daughter, but it's Ewan who gets the business up and running again. Ewan seeks help from Laura, the former owner's daughter, and he feels a connection with her, but she's being courted by another man--a lawyer with far more social clout and money than Ewan. Besides, Ewan has resolved he'll focus on making the brickmaking operation enough of a success that he can become a partner in the business
and be able to afford to bring his sisters over from Scotland.

But when Hugh signs a bad business deal, all Ewan's hard work may come to naught. As his plans begin to crumble, Laura reveals something surprising. She and her mother may have a way to save the brickworks, and in turn Ewan may have another shot at winning Laura's heart.


This review has been a long time coming. I started this book mid-October and finished it this morning! I have not read a book in awhile that took me so long to read. It was a okay book, but it progressed so slow throughout the entire story. After reading other reviews about it I assumed it would pick up in the second half of the book, but nothing changed. Almost every scene seemed unnecessary and some of the characters confused me. It seemed like Judith could not decide on whether she wanted the character to be likable or not and so I was left perplexed with his personality and behavior. 

The romance between Ewan and Laura seemed rushed, and I felt like their characters were to perfect. Neither of them really had secrets, and if they did they confessed right away. I didn't see a struggle to make the relationship work. It just did automatically, and I don't feel like that is a real representation of how life actually works.

I felt like all the details of a Brickyard were forced down my throat, I would zone out quite often because of all the information that was being handed to me instead of entertainment. When I realized I was zoning out I didn't even care to backtrack and reread because I wasn't interested, and I was pretty sure I didn't miss anything that was important to the story.

I know this is a pretty harsh review, but I have to be honest. Just because I didn't like it doesn't mean others won't. The concept of the story was a good foundation, I just don't believe it was executed very well.

Rating: 3 Stars