Hello Lovelies! Please excuse our dust while we do a bit of construction on the blog. We will still be posting exciting reviews, brilliant guest posts, and exciting giveaways but we are in the process of transforming the blog and adding new content and features for you to enjoy.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Mary Ellen Dennis Double review & giveaway

Title: The Landlord’s Black-Eyed Daughter
Author: Mary Ellen Dennis
ISBN: 978-1-4022-4631-9
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Release Date: August 2011
Pages: 512
How I Read It: Mass Market UAC* from the Publishers
Rating: 4.5 Crowns


Elizabeth Wyndham is a rarity--a young lady who writes novels--bestsellers in fact. But with her sharp tongue and quick temper, she is nothing like her vapid, charming heroines.

Rand Remington is an ex-soldier disillusioned with England’s less-than-honorable nobility. By day a gentleman, by night he robs the rich to try to make life better for the poor.

Rand and Elizabeth are drawn inexorably together, until the fateful night when the men trying to capture Rand use Elizabeth as living bait….
(from the back of arc)

My Thoughts:

A retelling of Alfred Noyes’ The Highwayman, THE LANDLORD’S BLACK-EYED DAUGHTER by Mary Ellen Dennis is a rather charming little read.

As a fan of The Highwayman, I find myself constantly looking for retellings of the poem so, when I received the chance to review Mary Ellen Dennis’ novel based on the poem, I jumped at the chance. While it draws inspiration from the poem, when reading THE LANDLORD’S BLACK-EYED DAUGHTER, you must keep in mind that this is a retelling and you should not expect the two to be identical.

With that being said, I do want to say that I did enjoy the book. The characters were brilliantly brought to life and completely different from what I would have expected. Bess, the landlord’s (innkeeper’s) daughter is a writer of Gothic romance. In fact she is a highly successful writer of Gothic romance. I liked the fact that she was spirited yet I felt that her courage began to falter as the story progressed which made me want to scream.

I have to say that I loved the name Rand Remington for the Highwayman, it had a brilliant “Stand and Deliver” quality to it. I also thoroughly enjoyed that it was through a book that he nicked, a novel penned by Bess, that his fascination with her began. Although he had good intentions, like a Robin Hood of sorts, he was still committing a criminal act that could lead him to the gallows. Once the hero and heroine finally meet up, they have a bit to contend with that was continuously causing you to wonder if they will ever be safe.

For me, the book started a bit slow. Actually, the first 170 pages were a bit slow and it was the remaining pages that portrayed hints of the original poem. If I disassociate the poem from the book, then the book was truly brilliant, but if I compare the two I would have to say that poem was indeed the winner.

Final Thoughts:
THE LANDLORD’S BLACK-EYED DAUGHTER definitely has a heartbeat all of it own. Combining the elements of romance, danger and suspense laced with a touch of paranormal it made for an entertaining read that took you into a world most writers opt not to include.
Title: The Greatest Love on Earth
Author: Mary Ellen Dennis
ISBN: 978-1-4022-4982-2
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Release Date: August 2011
Pages: 448
How I Read It: Mass Market UAC* from the Publishers
Rating: 4.5 Crowns

Nothing could shake the courage of lion tamer Brian O’Connor, until the circus is threatened and the love of his life deserts him…

Bold, beautiful Calliope Kelley would jump through flaming hoops to protect her father’s circus. But when disaster strikes and Calliope loses everything, she knows she must build brand new dreams…

Torn apart and betrothed to others, a twist of fate brings Brian and Calliope back under the bigtop, where together they’ll walk the high-wire to see if great loves turn to ashes or rekindle to burn brightly forever…
(from the publishers)

My Thoughts:

WOW! This is my first encounter with a book that features the Circus world as a setting and I have to say that I was both impressed and intrigued.

I wasn’t so sure about this book when it was offered for review yet the blurb had me a bit curious to see what it was all about. When it arrived in the post, I had the intentions of reading through the first couple of chapters, then setting it aside until the time came to read it. That never happened, I was hooked and had to find out more.

The events that took place in chapters one and two offered both a mystery and a budding romance and I simply needed to know more about these characters who drew me in and the predicament they were getting into. I also wanted to find out who was targeting the Circus. I will say that the events of chapter nine almost made me put the book down for good out of pure frustration, although I have to say that I am so glad I decided to give it another go.


For me, this was a different type of book to read. I do have say that I truly enjoyed it. It was a very unique read that held me enchanted. My great-grandfather used to tell me that the world needs to be filled with things both “Aisteach agus iontach”, which is Irish for weird and wonderful, and I have to say that THE GREATEST LOVE ON EARTH is definitely aisteach agus iontach.

A Side-Note:

In the late 1800’s a circus train filled with both animals and performers were crossing a bridge, located about 15 minutes from the town in which I live, when the trestles broke causing the train to fall into the water below. Unfortunately there were no survivors. People have claimed they still hear the roars of the lions.




Giveaway is open to all!
To enter please leave your name and a valid email address.
Giveaway ends September 30.

Visit Angela Renne @ Renee's Reads


Margaret said...

These sound amazing! Thank you for the giveaway!


CrystalGB said...

Sounds good. I like the cover.
Thanks for the giveaway.


Anonymous said...

What a wonderful giveaway. Many thanks. Anne. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

sRy_ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Maureen said...

They look like stories I would enjoy.
mce1011 AT aol DOT com

Anonymous said...

these books are captivating and special. Great feature. Ellie. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

Margay said...

Oo, these look good, especially the highway man!


Martha Lawson said...

Sounds really great! I'd love to be entered to win these.

old gfc follower

mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

buddyt said...

These both sounds like worthwhile reads so please enter me in the giveaway.

Thnka for opening it to worldwid entries.

Carol T

buddytho {at} gmail DOT com

Amanda said...

These sound great! I love the highway man thing too. So much fun. BTW - the train derailing thing is crazy! What an interesting story!

libraryofmyown at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

Looks great, thank you very much! edysicecreamlover18@gmailDOTcom

Na S. said...

Both these books sound like wonderful reads. I find circuses back in the day so much more glamourous and like that this is featured in one of the books.

Cambonified [at] yahoo [dot] com

Pam S (pams00) said...

These sound like wonderful reads.I've not read this author before.The premise for both books definitely sound like something I'd enjoy.

pams00 @ aol.com

Anita Yancey said...

Both books sound wonderful. Please enter me. Thanks!