Alisa Hancock

Books

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Smashwords book reviews by Alisa Hancock

  • A Candlelight Courting: A Short Christmas Romance on Nov. 08, 2012

    I'm not sure how Joyce DiPastena manages to tell such a complete and moving story in 23 pages, but she does! The entire story takes place on one night... Christmas Eve. Meg, who prefers to be known as Christina, has had one dream her whole life. The only way she can accomplish this dream is by going to Wilton Abbey with her uncle. She has denied herself all the luxuries of life and spends her life repenting of her weaknesses so that her uncle will see her dedication and take her to the abbey. Burthred has been Meg's betrothed since she was a baby, but she has never met him until this night. Her father drags Burthred into Meg's darkened room (she has refused herself light and warmth to further prove to her uncle downstairs of her faithfulness). Because of the dark, Meg can't see the deformity in Burthred that has kept any woman from wanting him... in spite of his strength and wealth. But even in the dark she can see his compassion and kindness. Even though Burthred could easily overpower her with his strength, and force her to become his wife, he takes an oath to behave and respect her. Burthred does not need brute force because he has greater tools at his disposal: love, gentleness, compassion, honesty, unselfishness, and even a dose of logic. As Meg gets to know Burthred, she is torn between being Meg - who would love to be honored and cherished by a man like this - and Christina - who has lived her whole life to accomplish this one dream, and the only way she knows that she can accomplish this dream is by going to the abbey. Falling in love with Burthred will NOT help her reach this goal. When Burthred discovers what her dream is, he offers a way for her to become his wife AND fulfill her biggest dream. One of the last lines of the story sums it up best: "How could she have guessed before this night that she would find her own light, not in an abbey's walls of learning, but in Burthred's love?"
  • The Last Great Wizard of Yden on March 08, 2013

    His 16th birthday had been the most horrible day of Jon Hansen's life, but things were about to get worse. The ring - His father vanished when he went to retrieve the ring for Jon's birthday. When Jon puts the ring on, he notices that it is more than a simple ring! The cuff - He found in his father's things after his father vanished. The ring/cuff combo - transports Jon into an unfamiliar world. Jon and his younger sister, Sela, didn't know that all the fantasy stories their father told them about Yden were in fact true. First trip to Yden... Jon is mistaken for a vagrant, chased by the cygards, and barely escapes. How he can he rescue his father when he can barely rescue himself? Now that his father is gone, money is tight. So Jon transfers from Pacific Prep to the public school... Pacific High. While shopping for clothes for school he meets a pretty girl, Brett and finds out she goes to his new school. He also makes a new friend at his new school, Casey Scott. Things would be looking up if his arch-enemy, Fred, hadn't also transferred to public school. Second trip to Yden... Jon finds himself in the dungeon with a woman warrior, Kira Szul, and is able to free them both using his magical powers. While serving Detention together, Fred and Jon save an old man and a young woman from a burning car. Jon immediately recognizes Kira Szul and Dorsit from Yden. And his life has just become more complicated... When Jon returns to Yden the third time he has an entire posse with him... Brett has been kidnapped by Efysian, the evil wizard who is holding Jon's dad captive, and taken to Yden. Jon returns with Casey, Kira, and Fred to rescue her. Dragons, evil wizards, a girlfriend AND a father that need saving...
  • A Bright Particular Star on March 12, 2013

    4.5 stars Sophie Devereux is an endearing blend of candor, warmth, naivety, and wisdom -- with some stubbornness and impulsiveness mixed in! She has climbed a tree and waited for an hour for just the right moment to fall into the lap of Theo Cavanaugh as he rides by on his horse. She is desperate to escape her Aunt Eudora and Cousin Peregrine -- and the designs they have to force her to marry Cousin Peregrine (Perry). Theo Cavanaugh was not expecting a pretty girl to fall out of a tree and into his lap, but now that it's happened his life will never be the same! He should be furious, but instead he feels a combination of annoyance, sympathy and attraction. Attraction? When she asks him to take her to Bath he knows he should refuse. He should promptly return her to her aunt. But he finds that he cannot refuse her and instead agrees to take her to Bath. While in Bath she meets up with her cousin Olivia (who is nothing like her mother and brother), who has brought Sophie some of her possessions to aid her escape. When Theo finds out Sophie is planning to ride a stagecoach to London, unescorted, he insists on being her escort. Of course, there are lots of complications along the way -- Lucius Grey, Perry's friend, has spotted them in Bath and is now following them to London. On the way to London Aunt Eudora and Cousin Perry catch up to Sophie and Theo -- and Lucius has now joined the party, also! Perry has changed his tactic now that Sophie has a protector - instead of forcing her into marriage he will attempt to charm her! As if someone as extravagant, indolent, and arrogant as Perry would ever be able to charm someone as spirited as Sophie! Sophie let it slip that she was carrying the Devereux Star with her (a valuable jewel), and now the trip has become dangerous, too! Someone is trying to get their hands on her inheritance, and they are okay with killing her! And she has definitely attracted the attention of the very dangerous Bath Fox! As they get closer to London, Theo discovers that the man Sophie is hoping to marry, James Verney, is not expecting her. She is depending on him to be honorable and to fulfill a childhood oath they made, even though they haven't seen each other in many years. By the time he leaves Sophie with the Verneys, he is completely in love with Sophie and doesn't think James Verney is a good match for her at all. It doesn't take Sophie long to realize that she and James Verney won't suit. And then she discovers he is betrothed to someone else and her arrival has complicated things for him. So he and his mother need to see her married off so he can go forward with his engagement. And who do they think is a great match for Sophie -- her cousin Perry! And Theo, who Sophie realizes she loves very much, has left her alone in London to return to his family! With all these twists and turns, Sophie has little hope of making a happy match! Clean romance -- Parts of this book were hard to put down, but overall it felt like it dragged, especially the parts where Theo and Sophie were separated.
  • The Reluctant Bride on April 18, 2013
    (no rating)
    This was a really short novella, but it was still a lot of fun to read! Because it's so short, it's very predictable, but it's also a fun read! Abby is stowing away in the storage compartment of a mail coach -- trying to escape a horrible marriage. She's never met the groom, but she's heard all the rumors about him. If the rumors are true, he will starve her, beat her, and throw her in the dungeon. And he's deformed! So she is heading to see her Aunt Millicent and hoping her Aunt will talk some sense into her father. She gets caught stowing away, and the coach driver makes her an offer she MUST refuse! "She would not escape abuse at the hands of a husband only to find it with a stranger!" Just in time she is rescued by a finely dressed gentleman who captures her heart and changes the way she sees everything!
  • The Reluctant Bride on April 18, 2013

    This was a really short novella, but it was still a lot of fun to read! (And it's free on Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/75131) Because it's so short, it's very predictable, but it's also a fun read! Abby is stowing away in the storage compartment of a mail coach -- trying to escape a horrible marriage. She's never met the groom, but she's heard all the rumors about him. If the rumors are true, he will starve her, beat her, and throw her in the dungeon. And he's deformed! So she is heading to see her Aunt Millicent and hoping her Aunt will talk some sense into her father. She gets caught stowing away, and the coach driver makes her an offer she MUST refuse! "She would not escape abuse at the hands of a husband only to find it with a stranger!" Just in time she is rescued by a finely dressed gentleman who captures her heart and changes the way she sees everything!