Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Review - - From Rags to Kisses and Birthday Giveaway #15

From Rags to Kisses
by Shana Galen
Publisher: Shana Galen
Release Date: September 14, 2021
Reviewed by PJ
  



She’s poor as a church mouse.


When young Jenny Tate stumbles over the beaten body of a boy in the streets of the London slums, her only intention is to rifle through his pockets. But the bruised lad charms her into helping him, and the next thing she knows, Aidan Sterling and she are fast friends, navigating life on the streets with all its dangers together. Jenny has learned never to trust or love anyone, but as the two grow up, they learn to rely on one other. And then Aidan betrays her in the worst way possible.

He’s rich as a king.

Aidan Sterling is one of the richest men in England. He has everything he wants and no one to share it with. After risking his life in the army, he returned to England and made a fortune. Now he keeps his loneliness at bay by focusing on what he’s good at—making money. And then Jenny Tate steps unexpectedly back into his life. He’s never forgotten her and never stopped loving her. Jenny hasn’t forgotten him either, and she hasn’t forgiven him. She’s betrothed to a viscount and has a new life and wants nothing to do with Aidan. But the discovery of an ancient trunk, a hunt for a street urchin, and the interference of homing pigeons might just be enough to bring these two back together.

PJ's Thoughts:

Shana Galen knocks it out of the park again with the latest installment in her The Survivors series. This second-chance, friends-to-lovers-to-enemies-to-lovers story reeled me right in and kept me flipping pages. I loved how Galen gave us insights into Jenny and Aidan as children and teens then separated them for ten years before bringing them back together as adults with life experience. It was instrumental in really understanding these characters, their experiences, their dreams, and their fears. There are unresolved feelings to be faced and amends to be made before they can move forward. But there are also moral dilemmas, divided loyalties, internal fears, and individual priorities that must be addressed before a happily ever after is even a possibility. Galen seamlessly weaves all of the threads together to create an emotional story for two people who were fated to be together, even if one of them is fighting it all the way. 

I loved how Jenny remained her true, authentic self throughout the story, growing emotionally, gaining skills, and learning to move within the ton, without changing who she has always been at her core. I'm glad Aidan remained true to his promise to her when they were young, even if she was unaware. It told me that even though he's grown into an adult who is obsessed with making money, he remains at his core, a boy who cared deeply about the girl he left behind and a man who is willing to be better for the woman he loves.

A theme that runs through this series is chosen family and it's one of my most favorite aspects of the series. The members of Draven's unit who survived the war have created a family unit, by choice. A band of brothers that has expanded to include the wives and children who have been added along the way. And in this book, another smaller family is created. Fans of the series will be delighted to discover the happy outcome for street urchin, Harley while readers who start with this book will most likely be charmed by this heart-stealing little girl the same way I was. And then there's Jenny's mentor, the man who rescued her from the streets ten years ago, the man most likely to stand between Jenny and Aidan, but who, at great peril to himself and to the person he loves, took a different path. I adored him.

Readers should not be put off by the fact that this book is near the end of a long-running series. While a few characters from earlier books make appearances, From Rags to Kisses stands very well on its own. 


Birthday Giveaway #15:

Do you enjoy a long-running series?

Have you been reading the books in this series?

Harley, the little girl in this book, has a sweet tooth. What's your favorite sweet treat?

One randomly chosen person who posts a comment before 11:00 PM, September 17 will receive a book from my home collection. 

*U.S. only
*Must be 18
*Void where prohibited

30 comments:

  1. Yes - JD Robb's In Death, the Bridgerton's, Mary Balogh's Westcott series - a large connected family or group of friends or one main character, as long as it's well written & there isn't too much repetition. Haven't read this series yet. Love a bit of dark chocolate.

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    1. I've really enjoyed this series. I think it's Galen's best.

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  2. Yes I do!!!
    And no, this is a new Author to me...
    Cut cakes.. .
    Good luck everyone

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    1. Ooh...you have a lot of good Shana Galen reading ahead!

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  3. Yes, Lucky Harbor, Fools Gold,Cedar Cove, Lakeshore Chronicles, VirginRiver, Knights Bridge,…

    I’ve read the first 3 books in her Survivors series.

    My favorite sweet treat is ice cream!

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    1. I have a hard time saying no to ice cream too.

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  4. I have read many wonderful series. Pamela Kelley, Robyn Carr, Kendra Elliot, Debbie Macomber. This is a new author for me. My favorite sweet treat is a lemon tart.

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    1. I hope you'll give her a try. She's very good.

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  5. I love this series I adore long running series especially when each book can stand alone. I admit that it can be very intimidating when you discover a long running series after many books have been published. As far as a favorite sweet treat it's difficult to say since I have a serious sweet tooth. I have to go with anything chocolate.

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    1. As a fan of the series, I enjoy seeing characters from other books pop up here and there but I also love that Galen has written each book to stand on its own. Makes it much easier to recommend these books to new readers.

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  6. I adore long running series! I also adore sweets LOL I can't choose between citron tart and chocolate mousse
    Not entering

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  7. I'm usually happier with stand alone or trilogies but I have read some series (just afraid of missing or reading out of order). Anything with dark chocolate.

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  8. For me to really enjoy a series, each book has to be a well-written story that can stand on its own as it brings forward elements of the previous books. Shana Galen is an excellent writer, I have not any of the books in this series. My Gran's rich, grainy, sugary cocoa fudge could not beat.

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    1. each book has to be a well-written story that can stand on its own as it brings forward elements of the previous books

      That's exactly what Galen has accomplished with this series.

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  9. I have enjoyed several long running series, and this happens to be one of them. I am a fan of what Ms Galen has created in this series.

    Actually, I do not believe I have ever met a grain of sugar I did not like. Most any sweet is fine with me. And next month, Halloween arrives. I buy candy for children who may show up at my door. In the last few years, no one has come. So, I buy candy I like, cause I may have to be the one to eat it....poor me.

    Hope everyone is well and happy and safe.

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    1. I follow those same buying guidelines. I currently have mini Heath Bars and Cadbury Caramellos in my Halloween treat dish. Whether they last until Halloween however is a matter of considerable debate. lol

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  10. I enjoy books in series. I have read other books of Shana's, but not this series. I love dark chocolate, especially Ghirardelli's dark chocolate salted caramel squares.

    denise

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    1. I highly recommend this series!

      I love anything with salted caramel. Yum!

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  11. Fools Gold, Virgin River and Janet Evanovich series with Eve Plum. My sweet tooth gets Dove Dark Chocolate squares. Special occasions my kids will send me Fannie May Mint Meltaway's and Pixies.

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  12. I think I've read all of Galen's books and am enjoying the Survivors series as well. She's one of my favorite historical romance authors.

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  13. I do enjoy long running series. I've not read this particular series but have read other books by Ms. Galen. I am a chocoholic and proud of it!!

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  14. I have read Shana Galen's books which are captivating and wonderful. Long running series interest me greatly. A favorite treat is apple cake.

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  15. I enjoy long running series. My sweet tooth always craves chocolate!

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  16. For me, series of 4 to 6 is long enough. There are good longer series out there and luckily the books do often work well as standalones. I have gotten into some of them and enjoyed them. I can't remember specifically hearing about this series, but I do remember hearing about a series with a similar format which may have been this one.

    Obviously, I haven't read any of this series, but it would be one I would enjoy. I like her writing and know personally how close a "military family" can be. It is a special connection they and their families have.
    This book is on my wish list and eventually the series will be.

    As for sweets, I like too many of them. Favorites are caramels and English toffee. I love the rich buttery, brown sugary flavor.

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  17. I tend to enjoy long running series but find I do best with them when I intersperse my reading with different authors and genres. Helps keep things fresh for me. My favorite sweet is a dark chocolate truffle.

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  18. I haven't read her in a while, but I know she's good...so I will have to look her up. My favorite sweet? Right now, rainbow sherbet. Best cake? White almond sour cream cake with white buttercream icing. Favorite not usual dessert? Toffee cake--you know that's made with dates and has a brown sugar icing stuff that's poured over servings...

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