Josette: When Hearts Dare #3 by Kathleen Bittner Roth with Excerpt and Giveaway

Josette: When Hearts Dare #3 by Kathleen Bittner Roth with Excerpt and Giveaway

Welcome to my review of Josette by Kathleen Bittner Roth, the third in her When Hearts Dare historical romance series, set in the United States.  Please read on for my review and an excerpt from the title, don’t forget to check the tour stops to see what other reviewer’s thought about the story, and be sure to enter the tour wide giveaway where you could win one of three print copies of Josette.

Book Review:

I’ve read this series from the beginning, always on the hunt for books that use a setting other than England or Scotland, just to mix things up.  While I’ve enjoyed the journey, these aren’t perfect must reads for me.  I was hoping with the New Orleans setting and a pre-civil war timeframe that this story would avoid pitfalls common in the earlier titles in the series, and do justice to the gorgeous cover.

Josette is portrayed as a strong and independent young woman, and while she had some backbone, I found the constant reminders of her independence to be far more frequent than her actual BEING that way.  With a young niece who was ‘troubled’, if trouble means spoiled and willful, heedless of others than she was right on target.  OK – so Alexia had her points – but the secrets and the connections that actually felt forced (voodoo priestesses, reunited crushes) had me rolling my eyes more than once.  Then, you add in Josette’s brothers, and…. Nothing. They were little more than filler, and annoying filler at that.

Cameron was ok, nothing special. He’s archetypal: widowed, grieving, come to find the clue to a mystery and determined to not risk his heart. Until laying eyes on Josette.  The purple-tinged descriptive phrases were rampant and over-used. Hearts leaping into throats, needing to possess, fiery independence.  Fine once, but after that it becomes too much. Show me the attraction or trait, make me feel it.

The New Orleans of the mid-19th century was clearly the standout in this story. Beautifully portrayed and developed, you can feel the humidity in the air.  Other moments of description are wonderfully developed and present a clear visual image, and added to the moments of enjoyment for this story.  With elements and action that felt forced (a commonality in all 3 books) the story read longer than it was, and the moments of sparkle were too infrequent for me to give this an unconditional recommendation. If you enjoyed the earlier titles in this series, this will be one you will like as well.

Josette: When Hearts Dare #3 by Kathleen Bittner Roth with Excerpt and Giveaway

Title: Josette
Author: Kathleen Bittner Roth
Series: When Hearts Dare #3
Also in this series: Celine, Alanna
Genre: Historical Romance
Published by: Zebra
ISBN: 1420135325
Published on: 29 September 2015
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Pages: 448
Get Your Copy: Amazon Barnes&Noble iTunes Kobo Downpour Book Depository Google
See this Title on Goodreads

"Monsieur Andrews, welcome to my home."
At the smoky, velvet sound, Cameron swung around. Every function in his body—heart, breath, blood ceased to function.

She was lovely. More than lovely.

Tendrils of raven hair framed a face so exquisite, it disarmed him. Her mouth, a soft, dewy pink, parted. And those eyes, as dark as Creole coffee, intelligent and assessing, roamed over him and then back to take hold of his. He needed to step closer, to stroke her skin. To possess her. But would his wealth and worldly experience be a match for the free-spirited Cajun-born widow?

Across the oceans, between worlds old and new—two lost souls find themselves at a crossroads.

See the When Hearts Dare Series on GoodReads

A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

Header - Excerpt - Tasty


 “Mr. Andrews!” Joshua Cooper, carpetbag in hand, stepped smartly off the ship, but when his feet hit the deck, he weaved from side to side like a drunken sailor.            Cameron chuckled. “Still got your sea legs, I see.”

Cooper managed to stick out his hand and, with a grin, grasped Cameron’s and pumped it up and down. “Much as I love the sea, and everything about the shipping business, sir, I still end up thinking I’m afloat for a good three or four days after we’ve docked.”

He glanced around at the gray clapboard buildings lining the bayside wharf and at others branching out behind and along narrow streets. “Isn’t this a sight different from New Orleans?” His eyes narrowed at the new clouds forming overhead. “Not to mention the cooler weather.”

“It takes time, but you’ll get used to it. Whatever the conditions are at the moment, they can change fast. You’ll soon learn to carry an umbrella with you as a matter of course.” Cameron gave a nod toward a large white building emblazoned with a green roof to his left. “That’s the Morgan Hotel. Go ahead and get yourself settled in. We’ll meet over dinner there and discuss permanent lodgings for you.”

“Thank you, sir. Until this evening, then.” Cooper trotted down the street.

Cameron folded his arms over his chest and turned to the boy standing beside him. He stared at the top of a capcovered head. “What’s your name?”


With the way he cast his eyes to his boots and scuffed a toe against the dock, Cameron would bet the scamp was lying. “Straighten up and look me in the eye, boy. How old are you?”

The lad lifted his head and, with a cocky attitude that nearly made Cameron laugh, folded his arms across his chest, arrogantly mirroring Cameron’s stance. “Old ’nuff.”

“Is that so?” What the devil was he supposed to do with this ne’er-do-well until the clipper destined for New Orleans set sail? He surveyed Alex, from his threadbare clothing, to his worn shoes, which appeared a few sizes too large. A shaft of compassion shot through him. “Were you looking for a little adventure? Is that what made you stow away? Or was the law after you?”

Non.” “Were you running away from someone who mistreated you?”

Non.” Alex assessed Cameron in the exact same manner as he’d been surveyed, slow and easy. Completing his mock appraisal, his gaze settled back on Cameron’s, where it held steady. A smirk curled one corner of his mouth. “I had a fair good reason for hoppin’ aboard your fine vessel asides finding me a good time.”

He spoke in that lyrical Cajun French that made even the most evil of epithets roll off a tongue like a sweet lullaby. Unease spread through Cameron. Was he in charge or had the boy just taken over? Wily little thing.

“Since my stomach is playing fiddle with my backbone, the sooner you tell me why you stowed on one of my ships without a never-you-mind, the sooner I can get a meal. Are you hungry?”

Oui. I could use me a bite.”

He’d have to take Alex to the public baths before they’d dare venture into the hotel. “Not until you wash away that stink and get into some clean clothes. There’s a mercantile down the street where we can pick up a change of clothing. And then you can bloody well have a bath before eating. Got any money?”

That smirk again. “Non, but you fair do.”

Cameron grunted. “Brilliant. After a free trip halfway around the world, you expect me to supply you with clothing as well?”

“Sumpin’ like dat.”

Bloody hell, he couldn’t just leave a lad this far from home to wander. “Is San Francisco where you intended to land?”


“So what was your purpose in coming here?”

Alex grinned, flashing a set of fine white teeth, but the look in his eye turned flinty. “I came lookin’ for my papa.” The boy rocked back on his heels, his arms still crossed over his chest. “And it looks like I done found you.”

“Me?” A bark of laughter left Cameron’s throat. He peered into sharp, amber eyes fringed top and bottom with dark lashes. A chill snaked through him. If he looked in the mirror, he’d see the same damn thing. But that was impossible.

“You’re coming with me.” He dug his fingers into the boy’s dirty jacket and headed him toward the mercantile. “Davey, I’m off to lunch. Tell the captain I’ll see him and Cooper at eight, over dinner at the Morgan.”

“Aye,” Davey called back.



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About Kathleen Bittner Roth

Born in Minnesota, Kathleen Bittner Roth has lived all over the U.S.: Idaho, Washington, California, Texas and New York. Currently, she resides in Budapest, Hungary, often called the Paris of the East. Kathleen has won countless awards for her writing, including finaling in RWA's prestigious Golden Heart contest. She is an active member of Romance Writers of America, including the Hearts Through History chapter and has been a contributing editor for an online romance magazine as well as writing and producing successful seminars and meditation CDs.

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