I am an English teacher with an B.A. in English Literature, and a Masters in Middle and Secondary Education with English Certification. I am also a book blogger. I love to read, and enjoy reading and reviewing novels for authors.
Where to find Kimberly Maloney online
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Smashwords book reviews by Kimberly Maloney
- Sleeping Kings (Dark Force – Book One)
on June 07, 2011
SLEEPING KINGS: Dark Force Book 1 is a fun and adventurous novel about a tomboy named Nik. She feels abandoned by her mother, who runs off to American to be with another man, so she stays with her father. She’s pretty timid, that is until she meets King Pedro II of Aragon and is introduced to the “Power” and her entire life changes.
I thought that this story was extremely entertaining. It’s a fun adventure story, with quite a bit of magic involved. I would definitely say it’s for teenagers, and it is considered YA Fiction, but I can also see adults enjoying it. I was a little confused by all of the snippets of information about “The Pale One” throughout the story, and how he is involved in Nik’s dreams, but as the novel advances I was able to get a better understanding of who he/it was, and how it fit into the book.
There were several comical parts, such as when the crew in the helicopter were shooting at them; Nik used the “Power” to turn the bullets into chickens and then into rolls of toilet paper. I liked Nik’s character a lot. She grows from a wimpy tomboy with a hatred for history, to a young woman who has grown emotionally and mentally and now has a better appreciation for the world around her. I also like that there seems to be an underlying theme to the story about taking care of and appreciating nature and the earth, at least I see that a lot with Daan’s character. Daan is the boy who gets accidentally dragged along into all of Nik’s random adventures!
I would definitely recommend this book to YA fiction lovers. It is book one of a series, and I would definitely read the second book in the series, because there is enough of a cliff hanger to make you curious as to what will happen next!
I give this book 4 out of 5 stars!
- Part 1: The Lady
on June 18, 2011
I loved this book! It had all the appeal of a novel of historical fiction, but a bit of fantasy is also thrown into the mix. It’s the first in a series of three I do believe. I will most definitely be getting the next two novels to read and review. I loved the characters and their stories. The evil Copeland is a great antagonist, and the grip he has on the fictional town of Scarlock is intense. His “muscle man” Blakey grows as a character in the novel, and at the end it’s hinted that there is much more to his story than meets the eye.
I adored the main character Nereia. She is a woman who is full of strength and determination, and I cannot wait to find out more of her story. Her fight to protect her sister is admirable, and it’s obvious that their story is going to be a mainstay throughout the series. Vansel is another great character that the reader is able to learn more about as the first book goes on. He comes across as a roguish character with a good heart. However, he does seek vengeance for the murder of his father.
I believe this is going to be a great series of books, and I am definitely looking forward to the other books. I am looking forward to see where the story line with “The Mother” of the Shantari people, the book begins with her going on a dangerous journey, but then she is rarely mentioned again throughout the book.
I honestly wish the book had been a lot longer! It was a pretty quick read, and I would have loved to keep reading and learning about the characters and the different cities and lands that the story takes place in. Obviously I would recommend this book to anyone.
I definitely give this book 5 out of 5 stars!
- Her Dear and Loving Husband
on June 23, 2011
I liked this book for several reasons. The author was able to pull ideas from several different books about the supernatural (i.e. Twilight, TrueBlood, etc.) without coming across as unoriginal. Yes, I recognized ideas that had been used in other books; like vampires crying blood, not having a problem with silver, and witches not being able to use their spells for evil. Seriously though, it would be impossible to write a book dealing with vampires, witches, or werewolves without including some details that have been used before!
My favorite aspect of Allard’s novel is the fact that a lot of the history of Salem was brought up. It’s not just a story about a human and a vampire falling in love and making crazy love; it’s also about the injustice that happened to innocent people hundreds of years ago. Also, it touches upon the idea that modern day witch hunts are entirely possible. I’m not talking about vampires and witches, but more so about the idea that fear often breeds hysteria and this could be applied to the fear American’s have of Muslim terrorists.
Anyways, I loved how she incorporated the history of the Salem Witch Trials, because I love history and anytime I have the opportunity to read and learn more about an interesting time period I am happy. Especially when it’s in the form of Historical Fiction, because then it brings the time period to life for the reader. Allard is an excellent writer and the fact that she was able to write about witches, vampires, and werewolves without coming across as tacky or cliché is pretty dang good. I admit, I like a good vampire book once in awhile, but only if it’s creative and tells a good story. As with this book, my favorite part of books dealing with vampires or witches is their background story. I love reading about their life before they were turned, and Allard is able to give the reader a good understanding of the past and the events that lead up to the characters current situation without boring the reader with unnecessary details or boring narrative.
If you are a lover of the supernatural then I would definitely suggest this book. I tried to read the first book in Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse novels, and became bored and was unable to finish the books about a quarter of the way in, but Allard’s book kept me intrigued throughout.
I give Her Dear & Loving Husband 4.5 out of 5 Stars.
- Feuding Hearts
on June 26, 2011
Author gifted my with an ebook copy in order to review book on my blog http://historicalfictionobsession.blogspot.com
The Wyke and Phoenix families have been feuding for over 100 years, when finally the eldest of the Wyke family, Aldere, sees an opportunity to put the feud behind them once and for all by marrying the younger sister of Devynn Phoenix (whose existence had been hidden from the Wyke’s).
I’ve always been a fan of historical romance novels. I remember when I was younger calling them ‘romantical’ novels, which sounds pretty dang good I think! As with most historical romance novels, known to me as ‘romantical’, there are tons of clichés. You really can’t escape them when dealing with romance novels in general. Feuding Hearts is no different. As I said, I really do enjoy reading historical romance, so the clichés really don’t bother me. They seemed did seem even more over the top in this book, but it’s been awhile since I’ve read a historical romance novel and the last time I read one I certainly wasn’t reviewing it for an author, so that’s probably instances stood out more so for me in this one!
In historical romance novels there always seems to be a couple of the following things happening:
* A man and woman forced to marry each other against one or both of their wills then end up falling in love, but are too stubborn to admit it first to the other person.
* It seems like there is always a spurned man or woman from the past who makes an awesome antagonist and seeks revenge for the humiliation their ex lovers NEW lover is causing them.
* There is often a near death experience shortly before or shortly after they FINALLY profess their love for one another and they are hysterical at the thought of losing the person who a week ago they seemed to hate.
* Usually there is some type of major misunderstanding once they have finally realized that they are in love (often caused by the antagonist, spurned man/woman).
* And finally, for some reason it seems like in a lot of romance novels one of the main characters is stricken with fever, and ends up blabbering about things they would never say if they were not hallucinating (example: talking about how much they love the person who they had recently said they hated, telling a secret that may hurt their new love, etc.)
Ok, so do you see what I’m saying here? Well, all five of these apply to Feuding Hearts.
Cecilia is forced to marry Aldere, Keicha is a woman from Adere’s past and Braden Fitzroy wants to marry Cecilia, and they both end up being great antagonists in this story. Also, there’s a near death experience for one of the lovers that is caused by the jilted person from the past, and of course there is a huge misunderstanding between Aldere and Cecilia just when they’ve finally gotten it together and are working things out, and then, of course there are fever and the hallucinations, it’s all there!
I’m not saying any of this is bad, because it was a good book, and I was certainly never bored and I liked the ending. The only frustration I had was when Cecilia was acting weak when Aldere was being a jerk towards her. She didn’t deserve any of the crap that he gave her, but she was taking it because she loved him so much. Obviously the time period the book took place in was when women didn’t really have a choice to speak their mind, but at one point I was extremely annoyed with Aldere’s lack of trust, when Cecilia had done NOTHING to deserve the way he acted. He seemed so ready to believe the worst of her when everything she had done was in order to protect him.
There were also quite a few words that must have been missed when editing. Words that weren’t out right spelled wrong, but were just the wrong word for that sentence, or a word was repeated. A good example of the common errors would be, “The men around them now seemed very happy to see here, when before she was assumed to be a whore.”
It probably sounds like I didn’t like the book, but honestly I did. I think that in order to really appreciate it as a reader you need to like romance novels, specifically historical romance, because they usually are a little over the top and dramatic. I thought Feuding Hearts had a great story line, and was entertaining. I also liked that the narrator included both Cecilia and Aldere’s point of view. It wasn’t first person, but as 3rd person omniscient the reader is able to see what is going on inside both of their heads. Oh, and I can't forget to mention the love scenes...now THOSE were very nice! Definitely on par with some of the best romance novels I've read! Gotta love good sex scenes! ;)
It’s not one of my favorite historical romances, but it was a good read and if you enjoy this genre of novels, then I would definitely recommend it.