Friday, October 23, 2015

Sweet & Sassy Anthology: Castle Collection {Review and Giveaway}

Castle Collection (1) 

Castle Collection Sweet & Sassy Anthology: Castle Collection
Readers will be delighted with five sweet, romance novellas in Sweet & Sassy: Castle Collection. In this charming anthology, you will fall in love again and again. Dangerous Truth by Cindy M. Hogan All By My Selfie by Jo Noelle A Savage Ghost by Donna K. Weaver The Ghost of Dunlow Manor by Paige Timothy Rose of Sherwood by Kaye P. Clark

DANGEROUS TRUTH Olivia loves everything about Belgium. So far, her humanitarian trip has gone perfectly--that is, until she sees a picture of a man she thinks is her father in the newspaper. The father who abandoned her family nine years ago without a word. She tries to forget she ever saw his photo. He's forgotten about her, after all. But soon it's apparent that she can't leave without knowing what happened. Armed with years of hurt and the help of a gorgeous French photographer, she decides to confront him and his secrets once and for all. Unfortunately, her father seems determined to keep those secrets hidden. . . and Olivia is one of them.  

ALL BY MY SELFIE While on vacation at McLeod Castle in Scotland, Gwen Mackenzie has nightly dreams of an ancient warrior bound by a curse. During the day, she sees Niall, nicknamed #ScottishBoyfriend. Oh, and can that man rock a kilt! As she gets to know him, she realizes that Niall is the warrior from her dreams, cursed to live as a ghost for the past five hundred years, to see life around him but never sense any of it—except Gwen.  

A SAVAGE GHOST Lia Savage reluctantly puts her dream of opening a dessert boutique on hold to help her dad remodel a castle he’s inherited in Washington State. Soon, a specter targets her younger sister. Lia enlists the help of Coop Montgomery, the head gardener and her former crush. As they search together for a way to rid the castle of its ghost, the romance she used to dream about with him kindles. But Lia’s gentle giant means to stay in Washington while she’s determined to return to California. She must find the courage to face both the ghost and her future. With Coop. Or without him.  

THE GHOST OF DUNLOW MANOR Bestselling author Alexis St. John needs an escape, and Nate, her personal assistant, thinks that a trip to a real castle in England will be just the thing. What neither of them planned on, though, was to encounter an actual ghost. Lady Catherine Dunlow hates the idea of sharing her castle with tourists and does everything she can to chase them out, much to the amusement of her roguish suitor. But when her two newest guests stumble upon a mystery surrounding her death, she decides to let them stay. With an eternal fate in the balance, Nate and Alexis must move quickly to bring the killer to light before Catherine is trapped forever.  

ROSE OF SHERWOOD Lady Rosamund, Baroness of Ravenswood Manor, is a destitute widow, imprisoned in Nottingham Castle. When the prince declares she must marry the ruthless man who had seized Ravenswood, she escapes with the help of a band of outlaws to Sherwood Forest. Her first love, a battle-worn knight, promises to help her find safety at a convent. Confused and afraid, her heart yearns for love. But are the risks too high?

My Review

This time of year is perfect for ghost stories and since I'm not big on the gory, over-the-top scary stories, this one was perfect for me. Can I just say, who hasn't ever dreamed of living in, or at least, visiting a castle? I sure have and in fact, a few years ago, I had the chance to see one in Germany. As I stood along the wall and looked out in the distance, I could just imagine people watching for enemies and bustling around in every day life within the walls. These stories were all different, yet had that common castle theme running through them that really kept things interesting, especially as most of the stories had ghosts.

The collection starts out with DANGEROUS TRUTH, which is a suspenseful story of an American girl, Olivia, who is serving her way across Europe and encounters who she thinks might be her MIA dad. There are some intense and dangerous situations that arise and with the help of good-looking guy, she's determined to find some answers. I enjoyed the story, but thought it was a little choppy, as it was mostly from Olivia's point of view and then at the end, suddenly started switching, which threw me off. Olivia is brave, naive, and stubborn, which made for some crazy times. 

ALL BY MY SELFIE is a fun story in a Scottish castle. Gwen discovers that she's the only one who can see a #ScottishBoyfriend ghost and that leads to chasing a mystery to set him free. The characters are great and the setting is very intriguing. I was very curious to see how it would all end up, as a little romance blossomed, and loved the way it all worked out.

A family with multiple sets of twins inherits a castle from Ireland, now set up in Washington state in A SAVAGE GHOST. Lia and her younger sister, Mellie, are more sensitive to the pranks and feelings that are meant to scare the family away, but her brothers are blamed for the mischief. Coop is a crush from the past and he and his family are the caretakers of the castle. I loved the blooming romance, as well as the culmination of events that lead to a satisfying ending in yet another ghost mystery.

THE GHOST OF DUNLOW MANOR is a fascinating story of a young ghost who doesn't want people in her house. When writer, Alexis, and her personal assistant come to stay, the ghost takes a liking to them, since they are determined to solve her murder and set her free. I really enjoyed the way the characters interacted with one another, as well as with the ghosts. There are actual two romance stories running parallel to each other and the relationships are gentle and sweet, yet romantic. 

I found a few familiar characters in ROSE OF SHERWOOD, but with twists. Do any of these names sound familiar? Friar Tuck, King John, King Richard, Robin Hood, Maid Marian? This is a romantic twist on Robin Hood and is full of adventure and peril. I enjoyed the characters and the way the story line worked itself out in a pleasing way to the finish line.

All in all, a fun collection, especially for this time of year!

Content: I think one or two stories had one or two mild curse words; there are moments of peril, murders, etc, but nothing is graphic at all; the last story had quite a bit of religious elements, but the others did not; all of the stories had mild, clean romance with nothing more than kissing and two instances of unmarried couples sharing a bed with nothing happening and no details.

*I received a copy from the tour host in exchange for an honest review*
My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars 


(#4) Lady Catherine Dunlow paced the balcony of her third-floor bedroom, her skirts swirling behind her as she moved. She was absolutely furious, and she pounded that fury into the stones beneath her feet. She hated strangers. She hated strangers coming into her house. She hated strangers coming into her house and acting like they owned the place. And yet, they kept coming, no matter what she did.
Dunlow Manor had been in her family for generations. It had belonged to her twelfth great-grandfather, and now she was its rightful owner. She had never given permission for unfamiliar people to come and stay within its walls, and yet they did, taking no thought for her feelings on the matter whatsoever.
She didn’t rest at all that night. Instead, she paced and fumed, fumed and paced. She went outside a few times and glared down at their car, but no ideas came to her. This had to stop somehow—it just had to.
About the Authors

Cindy M. Hogan is inspired by the unpredictable teenagers she teaches. More than anything she loves the time she has with her own teenage daughters and wishes she could freeze them at this fun age. If she's not reading or writing, you'll find her snuggled up with the love of her life watching a great movie or planning their next party. Most of all, she loves to laugh.  

Jo Noelle grew up in Colorado and Utah but also lived in Idaho and California. She has two adult children and three small kids. She teaches teachers and students about reading and writing, grows freakishly large tomatoes, enjoys cooking, builds furniture, sews beautiful dresses, and goes hiking in the nearby mountains. Oh, and she’s two people, Canda Mortensen and Deanna Henderson, a mother/daughter writing team.  

Donna K. Weaver: A wife, mother, grandmother, Harry Potter geek, Navy brat, Army veteran, and karate black belt. Donna is an avid cruiser, having sailed the Pacific five times. She’s lived in South Korea, the Philippines, Germany, and many US states. She and her husband raised six children and currently have nine grandchildren.  

Paige Timothy has been writing for as long as she can remember… and probably before that, too, because her memory gets spotty at a certain point. She loves watching romantic comedies, blushes when the characters do something embarrassing, and sighs in all the right places.  

Kaye P. Clark was born in New York City, grew up in southern California and raised her family living on remote cattle ranches in Arizona. She now makes her home in Idaho where she works part-time at the county library and teaches art to young children. She’s a mother and grandmother with a very patient husband who puts up with her passion for writing.

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  1. Thanks for sharing Sweet & Sassy Anthology: Castle Collection. I'm glad you enjoyed the stories, and I hope your followers will too!

    1. You're welcome! What fun stories--perfect for Halloween. I'm happy to help spread the word. :)

  2. Thank you so much for sharing. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    1. You're very welcome! I look forward to more (hint, hint).