Monday, November 21, 2022

Excellent Review by Terry Newman VINE VOICE, by Diane Scott Lewis

 





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Prepare to fall in love with To Entice a Spy

Intrigue. Espionage. Romance.
If you love these elements in an historical novel, then you’ll fall in love with to Entice a Spy by Diane Scott Lewis. Widowed Countess Eseld Trehearne has returned to England following an extended stay in France during the tumultuous French Revolution. She’s determined to avenge the death of her female companion.
Eseld finds herself deep in the world of espionage when she agrees to root out a French rebel spy. A woman with a mind of her own, she doesn’t heed the pleading of her childhood love, and now widower, Baron Robert Penhale, to leave the spying to the men. Eseld doesn’t realize that he’s working in an official capacity to protect England from French terrorists.
Her actions not only put her own life at risk, but also that of her 14-year-old daughter.
Within all this, a romance between her and Robert blossoms.


Lewis deftly transports the reader to another era, highlighting both its pageantry and perils filled with well-developed characters who come to life on the page. You’ll especially love Eseld’s precocious daughter, Clorenda, who’s kindness to and love of animals deserves a special place in your hearts.
A remarkable story with twists and turns, To Entice a Spy will keep you turning the page. Five Stars
by Terry Newman, Vince Voice

Friday, October 28, 2022

Enter into the past with two mystery novels, time travel and spies, by Diane Scott Lewis

 

In a neglected cemetery, Tamara falls two hundred years into the past. Will she find her way home, or stay with the rebel farmer who is capturing her heart?

"A fabulous and compelling time-travel romance that 
readers will revel in. Full of twists and turns... The character development is skillful and impressive.
An original work of fiction written with a unique and 
extraordinary voice."

~ Reviews, ChickLit Cafe

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Countess Eseld returns to England in the midst of the French Revolution, determined to catch a spy. But will her old love Robert, now working with the Secret Services, complicate her mission? Or could their passion revive?

"The author's research into the period shines through in every paragraph of this tale. I was never pulled out of the story by a tidbit that didn't ring true. Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres, and To Entice a Spy ranks among the best." *Gina Rae Mitchell*

Friday, October 14, 2022

This Tarnished Light by Laura Strickland reviewed by Diane Scott Lewis

 


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In Victorian London, Polly lives in comfortable poverty with her parents and baby sister. Her father fashions dolls, and her mother sews their garments. Polly helps her. Then one day her father grows ill and soon dies. Her mom has no way to pay the rent. The landlord preys upon her, favors for rent. Soon the woman has no choice. The baby becomes ill and also dies. Polly and her mom are moved to a smaller apartment in a worse part of the tenements.


Polly, now twelve, is disgusted by the landlord's actions with her mom. She huddles in the freezing yard to save herself from the ugly ministrations. A boy notices her and they talk. His name is Albert and he's friendly and kind. They become close friends. Albert says he'll marry her one day. He brings her food but she has no idea where he gets the money to buy it.

Polly's mother finds she's with child but the landlord orders her to get rid of it. She drinks a drought and it kills her. Polly is now out on the streets. Albert is arrested for thievery, leaving her all alone in the world. She tries to find work but no one will hire her. She meets Darcy who promises her a better life if she gives herself to men, men sick with the Pox who hope a virgin will cure them.

At fifteen, she soon finds her choices are few. Will Albert return once his sentence is up? Will he still marry her if she sullies herself?

Strickland writes a heartbreaking tale of desperation, extreme poverty, and the love of two young people who scrounge to survive. The novel reminded me of Charles Dicken's tales, but without the overly descriptive prose. I rooted for Polly to prevail in a world set against her. Albert is always her hero, he never judges her. Sadly, the poor have limited options.

An interesting aspect is that Polly perceives "light" in certain people, especially her mom and Albert, and this helps her grasp onto hope.

Holding on to the fact the heroine is speaking from the grave would have been a great twist. But this comes out quite early. And I wished Polly could have found more happiness.

Some may not like the grim atmosphere of the story, but I found it very Dickensonian, so it reads a bit like one of the classics.

Diane lives in Western Pennsylvania with her husband and one naughty dachshund. 

To find out more about her novels, check out her Amazon page:

DianeScottLewis


Friday, October 7, 2022

The Twenty-one Year Contract, L. B. Griffin, reviewed by Diane Scott Lewis

 



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In the 1950s, young Kate is devastated when her adopted parents are killed in a car crash. But her handsome Uncle Jack takes over her care. However, his busy life precludes him from being a day to day surrogate father. He sends her to boarding school. Kate, at fifteen, realizes she needs to forge her own life and runs away to London. Her dream is to be a clothing designer. She also laments over who were her birth parents. Why did they give her up?

She finds a job at a small design company, but soon meets a shady woman named Dorian. Dorian offers her contacts, assignments, but she has a darker side that could destroy Kate if she doesn't cooperate.

After Kate meets Hester, they quickly bond, but Hester is also heading down a dark road with an unscrupulous man. How can they help one another?

Secrets from both their pasts surface in surprising ways.

Author Griffin dribbles in hints of secrets and lies throughout the story. Kate is a likeable heroine, talented and determined. She involves herself in charity, showing her kindness.

This is not an action-packed story, but one about family, betrayal, emotion, and love. I enjoyed finding out the truth about Kate's past.

This novel is the sequel to Secrets, Shame and a Shoebox, which might tell more of Hester's story. Will there be a third?


Diane lives in Western Pennsylvania with her husband and one naughty dachshund. 

To find out more about her novels, check out her Amazon page:

DianeScottLewis



Thursday, September 15, 2022

Saving Euphoria by C. Becker, reviewed by Diane Scott Lewis





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Hailey Langley is grieving over the loss of her husband Mark. Mark dies in a gruesome fire after being targeted by a drug cartel he was investigating. Hailey struggles with caring for her teenage children who are sad or rebelling. A former partner at the Special Crimes Agency where she worked comes back into her life. Will love blossom, or is her hurt too deep?

Mistrust and strange happenings are all around her. The story moves slow at first then picks up speed as Hailey develops odd neurological symptoms, smells strange cologne in her house, and starts to trust no one. Who is lying to her? Is her husband really dead? Is David, Mark’s best friend and partner, or the handsome landscaper, Santino, friend or foe? The author unpeels shocking revelations as Hailey races to find out the truth. And what about Mendoza, the Columbian man who threatens all of them in his quest to turn the drug Euphoria into the next cocaine. Or does he simply want the daughter he didn’t know he had? Part of the story is even told from his POV.

There are a few inconsistencies and jumping to conclusions, but the tense plot kept me reading. I recommend reading the first book in the series, Finding Euphoria, to fill in some of the blanks. So many threads are left dangling there should be a third book. A riveting read.

Diane lives in Western Pennsylvania with her husband and one naughty dachshund. 

To find out more about her novels, check out her Amazon page:

DianeScottLewis



Monday, August 8, 2022

A Dream to Trust - Stella Jane Phillips, reviewed by Diane Scott Lewis


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Tara Wilson checks into an old hotel in Creekside with her two young children. She hides the fact she's running from an abusive ex-husband just released from prison. New home, new schools, Tara can barely hold it together for her kids. She meets Patrick, a divorced man with a grown son. Both are damaged people. Tara especially doesn't know if she can ever trust again. The hotel is haunted with ghosts from its past. Ghosts who take an interest in the new residents.

Patrick is a lawyer who invites Tara to open her own office in his building. They become friends, but can it ever develop into more?

Ghosts flit in and out of the story. And Tara is not disturbed or frightened. Her background touches on abusive relationships and the plight of a single mom. A woman who must run to protect her children. Her oldest son is wary, her daughter too young to know what is happening. Tara is a gentle, caring mother who is braver than she realizes.

Patrick is lonely and a decent guy, reluctant to push his interest on Tara. He strives to form a closer relationship with his son.

Can Tara ever trust Patrick, or any man after her experience with her ex? And will her children accept a stepdad? The romance is sweet, and develops at a believable rate, but the tension is light. What you think might happen never does.

Sometimes the ghosts' actions parallel what is happening with the main characters, but a hundred years earlier. Often this leads to Tara and Patrick reconsidering their decisions.

Recommended for those who like sweet romance with a sprinkle of fantasy.

Book 3 of 3 in the Creekside Dreams series; reading the others should give you more background on the ghosts.


Diane lives in Western Pennsylvania with her husband and one naughty dachshund. 

To find out more about her novels, check out her Amazon page:

DianeScottLewis


Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Review TO ENTICE A SPY-Diane Scott Lewis, by guest Holly Schwartz

 


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A Riveting Page Turner

Set in the time of the French Revolution, To Entice a Spy is cleverly written from the English point of view. The tightly written plot follows the exploits of the headstrong, resourceful English widowed Countess Eseld Trehearne and her childhood love Baron Robert Penhale as they both work separately and unbeknownst to one another to root out a French spy disguised as an English aristocrat intent on financially supporting the revolution in France by using ill begotten British funds. Experienced historical fiction author Diane Scott Lewis did her homework and it shows. She embeds readers in the story from the first page on with her remarkably in-depth descriptions of the times. Readers are swept into the story and become a part of it by experiencing the architecture, fashions, foods, drinks, smells, sights, social mores, and sounds of England in the 1790s. Lewis has penned a deftly plotted tale that weaves ribbons of mystery and romance into a historical event and makes it come alive. The tautly written story is driven by love, loss, trust, betrayal, family ties, and the inner strength one must summon to face adversity created by both human fallibility and fate. The story moves at a comfortable pace with flawed, but believable characters who drive the plot. Readers find themselves rooting for the protagonists from the beginning to the end of the tale. The characters evoke strong emotions in readers right from page one. This reader found herself wanting to hug Eseld and Robert on one page and throttle them on the next. Lewis creates a huge conflict with a backstory to keep readers turning the pages to see how it all turns out. Part romance, part mystery, part thriller, and a part second chance at love; To Entice a Spy will capture the imagination of readers who enjoy a passionate love story fueled by human frailty, intrigue, and suspense. This terrific book has more than earned the five-star rating this reader has given it.

~Susie Black~


Excellent Review by Terry Newman VINE VOICE, by Diane Scott Lewis

  To purchase, click HERE Prepare to fall in love with To Entice a Spy Intrigue. Espionage. Romance. If you love these elements in an histor...