Over the Moon by Linda Joffe Hull

(4.5 / 5)

With a push or two and a ‘hee-hee-ho’, we are propelled back into the delightfully crazy world first imagined by author Linda Joffe Hull in Frog KissesOver the Moon picks up with Sunny St. Clair-Dey giving birth to her second child with husband, Adam.  Of course, it being Sunny, adding another member to her family is just the tip of the iceberg of the chaotic, occasionally neurotic, swirl that is her life.  First, there’s the presumably well-intentioned but intimidating and overbearing mother-in-law that comes to stay with Sunny and help out with the new baby. Then there’s a gigantic business deal for Sunny and her sister, Luna, that has the potential to make all of their monetary dreams come true.  Or so it would seem.  Third, there are those pesky emails that seem to suggest Adam is having an affair.  He wouldn’t, would he?  He has been gone a lot and has been quite evasive lately. . .  I haven’t even mentioned The Cream, Jake’s startling psychic visions, Atlas’ odd lack of them, or the Next Mrs. St. Clair.  Oh yeah, and the super yummy ex-boyfriend who wants Sunny back in the worst way.  Whew!

 

Linda Joffe Hull does a beautiful job of creating very human characters who are likeable, flaws and all.  They are down to earth and talk the way real people talk, which is easier said than written.  The problems her characters face are honest and they are tackled in real and imperfect ways.  Her writing is infused with engaging whimsy and wordplay that comes across as fun and natural, not contrived or cringe-inducing.  One of the best parts about reading Over the Moon is that you feel as though Sunny could be someone you know – that smart, pretty friend who is a bit high-strung, a little myopic and always trying to juggle too many things at once, but nevertheless is good-hearted and is someone you’re glad you have in your life.  Or maybe she’s you.  Either way, the continuing adventures of Sunny St. Clair-Dey and her clan will leave you smiling and glad that you’ve invited them into your life to stay.

The Pirate Bride’s Holiday Masquerade

 

(4.5 / 5)

Pirate Andre Dubois can deny his wife nothing. They both know that. So even though Andre much prefers the high seas to dry land, when Sophie Bellard Dubois asks to spend Christmas in New Orleans with Andre’s father, he reluctantly agrees. What neither of them know is who is also home for the holidays — fellow pirate and arch enemy, Gilbert Harrington IV. Sophie has still not psychologically recovered from the scars Gilbert left when he forcibly robbed her of her maidenhood five years earlier. Once he finds Sophie in the Crescent City, he demands she privately entertain him again, lest Andre be thrown in the stocks. Sophie fears there is no way out, unless she can create one of her own.

 

 

Cathy Skendrovich’s sequel to The Pirate’s Bride is a saucy, delightful romp through eighteenth-century La Nouvelle-Orléans. The liberal sprinkling of French throughout Holiday Masquerade adds charm and texture; the story is briskly paced and realistic. Sophie is fierce and independent. So it makes sense that the high point of the book comes when she regains her sense of power over Capitan Harrington, and even though Andre is present, she doesn’t need him to save her.

 

Skendrovich does a wonderful job of creating chemistry and passion between the two title characters. Those are key to a really good romance, after all, and Andre and Sophie have them in spades. That is fully evident in the titillating lovemaking scenes sprinkled throughout the book. From bed to bed and beginning to end, Andre and Sophie are lively and entertaining. Even though The Pirate’s Bride: Holiday Masquerade is set during Yuletide, it is a perfect read for any season.

The Pirate’s Bride by Cathy Skendrovich

(5 / 5)

 

The Pirate’s Bride is a story about the young, but beautiful, Sophie Bellard, and her handsome, though unwilling, husband Captain Andre DuBois. Both parties are forced into a political marriage by their pirate king fathers, they part ways after a disastrous wedding night. Freed by the death of her father, Sophie trains to become a pirate under her father-in-law’s watchful gaze. Soon, Sophie is sailing the seas as a pirate fearsome enough to rival her husband. They meet, and passions flare, but Sophie holds a dark secret that might destroy any chance they have at happiness. After a terrible accident, it’s uncertain whether the lovers will be together at all.
I found this action-packed romance refreshing and invigorating. Sophie is a young, independent woman with a desire for freedom, and Andre is a sexy and passionate male lead. The accurate historical facts in this book only made me fall deeper into the story as I read. The author, Cathy Skendrovich, does not leave a person wanting as she carefully balances her fight scenes, her romance building, and her passionate encounters to create a story that is not only believable, but highly enjoyable. Skendrovich really gets into the magic of New Orleans, and paints a picture of the town and the high seas as they would have been hundreds of years ago. Even though the characters are from a different time, I could relate to their passion for life, and the emotions they faced with each new twist of fate. She will leave you rooting for Sophie and Andre to succeed in their love, and crying at the challenges they face. I would highly recommend any historical romance lover add this to the top of their reading list.