mercoledì 3 febbraio 2016

Review & Giveaway: Brains and Beauty by Jeanette Watts

Brains and Beauty
by Jeanette Watts


GENRE: Historic Fiction



Regina Waring seems to have it all.  A loving husband, a successful business, and the most expensive wardrobe in town.  But nothing is what it appears to be.  Her  husband is critical and demanding, the business teeters on ruin, even the opulent wardrobe is a clever illusion. 

Regina’s life is one long tiptoe through a minefield; one wrong step and her entire life is going to blow up and destroy her.  Attempting to hold it all together, she appeases the husband, dresses the part, and never, never says what she is really thinking. That would get in the way of getting things done.  And, if there’s one thing Regina did really well, it was getting things done.

Enter Thomas Baldwin.  Young and handsome and completely off limits, Regina is smitten at first sight.  Then, to her great astonishment, he slowly becomes her best friend.  He’s the one person in her life who never lets her down.  Torn between her fascination with him and her desire not to ruin a marvelous friendship, she tries to enjoy each moment with him as it comes.

If only that were enough.

My Review:

I have read  and loved Wealth and Privilege, I could not wait to read another book by Jeanette Watts. I very much enjoyed also this second chapter in the story of Regina and Thomas.
Regina is tired of her marriage and especially of her husband. She's a beautiful woman but also very intelligent and hates not be considered by her husband. They are business partners but he made some wrong investments without consulting her and has endangered their wellbeing. Luckily she had put her money in other banks of which he is not aware. When she meets Thomas understands what it means to fall in love at first sight. But they are both married....
It's a great, lovable, fast-paced book, the author takes you deep inside the story and leaves you on the edge of your seat. I loved her writing: her historical reconstructions are so rich in detail, vivid, well described that really seems to be in Pittsburgh at the end of 1800. The plot is well constructed and believable. It's a great historical romance with a wonderful love story and an extraordinary heroine.
I recommend it to anyone who loves historical romance.



There was grunting, and the sound of wood groaning, and then a wet thump as they lifted and threw something. Regina could tell that there was a little more room behind her shoulder blades. There was more grunting and dragging and thumping. Then she heard them both groan.

“What’s going on back there? Have I been cut off at the waist?” she asked. Not being able to see what was wrong, or the progress they were having, was making her anxious.

“The next layer is completely wedged in. We can’t do this without tools,” Isaac told her.

Both men hurried away from her, making her worry for their safety. She had also found their company reassuring. What if neither one of them was able to find her again?

That’s when she saw the flickering orange glow in the distance. “No.”

Yes. It didn’t seem possible – but in the midst of water floating below, and pouring from above, something had caught on fire.

Regina started listing in her head all the accelerants that might be contained in a single drygoods store: tar, pitch, turpentine, kerosene. How many homes used all of them? How many gas lines were ruptured all over the city? How many wood stoves were knocked into them? There was no way this heap would NOT be set on fire.

And here she was, stuck, in the middle of it. No doubt about it, she was about to die in the same town in which she was born. It was a shame, really. She had such high aspirations.

Was it really less than a year since she had witnessed the conflagration at the railroad yard? Once again, she faced smoking ruins that had once been a thriving industry. This time, it wasn't human made. Or at least, it wasn't deliberate.

The mill ruins were, perhaps, more intimidating. The Washburn “A” had been a seven-and-a-half story building, and the explosion had been so large it shattered glass windows in the neighboring city of St. Paul. It left a crater in the middle of the mill district, destroying about one third of all the businesses in the area. The circle of destruction was ringed with the charred skeletons of mills that existed on the edge of the blast zone.

She was amazed that there were only eighteen other people killed in the explosion. Considering the scope of the wreckage, it seemed to her it could have been so much worse. As hard as it was to be married to one of the victims, Regina felt a certain gratitude that there were so few new widows. The bereaved would all be able to fit on a single trolley car.

Her eyes scanned for places where Henry might have been found. She had no idea where he was, or even who had rescued him. There were fallen walls everywhere – and nothing looked like a place where a man could be pinned down, and survive, even briefly.
Between the wreckage of the Washburn “A” mill, and the old wreckage from the collapse of the tunnel, Regina mused on her walk back to the hotel that this part of the world was very dangerous – or unlucky.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Jeanette Watts only lived in Pittsburgh for four years, but in her heart, she will always be a Pittsburgher.  She missed the city so much after her move to Ohio, she had to write a love story about it.

She has written television commercials, marketing newspapers, stage melodramas, four screenplays, three novels, and a textbook on waltzing.  When she isn’t writing, she teaches social ballroom dances, refinishes various parts of her house, and sews historical costumes and dance costumes for her Cancan troupe.





Buy Link:

A little interview

Where are you from?
I was born in Chicago. (For the other Chicago natives, South Side. Midway Airport. My mother is from the back of the yards. For non-Chicago natives, if you’re from Chicago, you’re from the West Side, North Side, or South Side. The East Side, of course, is Lake Michigan…) There’s a funny thing about Chicago natives: we are a friendly, boisterous bunch. We make friends with complete strangers while waiting in front of an elevator. We talk a lot, we talk quickly, and probably a little too loudly. We’re generally kind. We play well with others.

Who are some of your favorite authors?
I own almost every book that Anne McCaffrey ever wrote. I spent my teenage years reading a lot of Isaac Asimov. I adore David McCullough (and I actually got the chance to give him a copy of Wealth and Privilege!) and Shelby Foote – writers who know how to make history really come to life in glorious Technicolor.

What inspired you to write your first book?
I was visiting a friend in Johnstown who had this giant stack of romance novels. I mean, this table she had was completely stacked up with romance novels. I was waiting for her for some reason, and to amuse myself I was reading the back covers of these books. I was really struck by a pattern. About 90 percent of the books were set in the South. The last ten percent were set in the American West. Now, I’m a Yankee girl, what is so unromantic about the North? Or the East? I needed to write a northern romance novel. But I grew up adoring Gone With the Wind (another favorite author, of course!), so I couldn’t just write a “bodice-ripper.” I had to put in the hard core research, and include the historical highlights, just like she did.

What is the hardest thing about writing?
Writing isn’t hard… all you do is stare at the computer screen until drops of blood appear on your forehead! Kidding aside, the hardest thing for me is making time to do it. Life is so full of distractions!

What are your dreams and plans for your future as a writer?
1)To keep doing it. 2) To get the things I’ve already written into people’s hands. I love my characters, I want other people to have the chance to meet them, too.

What are you working on next?
My next work is a modern satire, called Jane Austen Lied to Me. It’s a big departure for me, it’s a modern story, set in this year, and it’s told from a first person POV. I’ve not done that before. It’s always a question – so many popular books lately are told in first person. But JK Rowling writes in third person… if it’s good enough for Harry Potter, it’s good enough for me.



Jeanette Watts will be awarding a Victorian cameo necklace to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

5 commenti:

  1. Thanks for the great blog post. IS there a book you want to write but cannot?

  2. Love these historical books, I love learning and reading about this era and seeing in my mind how things were done, I can almost picture myself there while reading....thank you

  3. I enjoyed your interview, Jeanette, and that's an interesting way to become a romance writer! Love your picture---a costume you made, right?

  4. From the excerpt, sounds like Regina's life is about to become very complicated--as if it weren't already. I haven't read anything by this author yet, but will have to check her out soon!


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