Monday, November 18, 2019

Review: A Dangerous Alliance by Jennieke Cohen

Title: A Dangerous Alliance
Author: Jennieke Cohen
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: Historical Mystery/Romance
Published By: HarperTeen (December 3, 2019)
Source: ARC Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
My Rating: 4 Stars!

Book Description:
The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue meets Jane Austen in this witty, winking historical romance with a dash of mystery!

Lady Victoria Aston has everything she could want: an older sister happily wed, the future of her family estate secure, and ample opportunity to while her time away in the fields around her home.

But now Vicky must marry—or find herself and her family destitute. Armed only with the wisdom she has gained from her beloved novels by Jane Austen, she enters society’s treacherous season.

Sadly, Miss Austen has little to say about Vicky’s exact circumstances: whether the roguish Mr. Carmichael is indeed a scoundrel, if her former best friend, Tom Sherborne, is out for her dowry or for her heart, or even how to fend off the attentions of the foppish Mr. Silby, he of the unfortunate fashion sensibility.

Most unfortunately of all, Vicky’s books are silent on the topic of the mysterious accidents cropping up around her…ones that could prevent her from surviving until her wedding day.

A Dangerous Alliance was an enchanting, heart warming and enthralling mix of history, romance, and mystery. With charming comparisons to some of Jane Austen's most famous novels and characters, it truly was a delight to read. 

With engaging characters, a wonderful old world English setting, and a mystery that will keep you on your toes, I couldn't read this one fast enough. I devoured every single page and was sad when it was over because I wasn't ready to say goodbye. 

*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*

Monday, November 11, 2019

Review: Crown of Oblivion by Julie Eshbaugh

Title: Crown of Oblivion
Author: Julie Eshbaugh
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: YA Fantasy
Published By: HarperTeen (November 12, 2019)
Source: ARC Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
My Rating: 4 Stars!

Book Description:
Astrid is the surrogate for Princess Renya, which means she bears the physical punishment if Renya steps out of line. Astrid has no choice—she and her family are Outsiders, the lower class of people without magic and without citizenship.

But there is a way out of this life—competing in the deadly Race of Oblivion. To enter the race, an Outsider is administered the drug Oblivion, which wipes their memory clear of their past as they enter a new world with nothing to help them but a slip of paper bearing their name and the first clue. It’s not as simple as solving a puzzle, however—for a majority of the contestants, the race ends in death. But winning would mean not only freedom for Astrid, but citizenship and health care for her entire family. With a dying father to think of, Astrid is desperate to prevail.

From the beginning, the race is filled with twists and turns. One of them is Darius, a fellow racer Astrid meets but isn’t sure she can trust. Though they team up in the race, as Astrid’s memories begin to resurface, she remembers just who he was to her—a scorned foe who may want revenge. Astrid also starts to notice she has powers no Outsider should—which could help her win the race, but also make her a target if anyone finds out. With stakes that couldn’t be higher, Astrid must decide what is more important: risking her life to remember the mysteries of the past, or playing a cutthroat game in order to win her—and her family’s—freedom.

With an enchanting blend of fantasy and dystopian, The Crown of Oblivion was a breath of fresh air.
Wholly entertaining with flairs of magic, espionage, and a race to the death, it was a story that kept me engaged and rapidly turning the pages.

If you want something a bit different without being wholly unique but still fresh and new enough to keep you engaged and entertained, I definitely recommend giving this a try. It truly held my attention and left me captivated until the very end.

*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher, I was compensated for this review.*

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Cover Reveal and Giveaway: Of Flame and Fury by Cecy Robson

I adore this series and am so excited a new book is coming out. I can't wait to read it and look at that cover, it is gorgeous! 

 Title: Of Flame and Fury
Author: Cecy Robson
Series: Book Nine in the Weird Girls Series; Book Three in the Flame Series
Published: February 25, 2020

Book Description:
Taran Wird, the loudmouth mistress of flame and lightning, didn’t want to attend the formal gathering of the supernatural elite. She did so only to help to unite the supreme beings in attendance in one common goal: protecting Taran’s sister, Celia.

Celia is pregnant with alpha werewolf Aric Connor’s child, the same child prophesized to save the world from uprising evil. Evil wants this child dead before he is born and, more importantly, before he can grow strong enough to stop it.

Taran and her werewolf lover, Gemini, put plans in place to protect Celia. Master Vampire Misha Aleksandr and his clan also swear their allegiance to Celia and vow to keep her from harm. The witches even cast protection spells around the manor to curse anyone with malintent who enters. Nothing was supposed to go wrong, except everything did.

Creatures that shouldn’t exist stalk the grounds and invade the premises, and every curse meant to shield the guests turns against them. No one counted on the powerful being who arrived uninvited. But he’s here, manipulating the magic enclosing the estate to work in his favor.

As body counts rise and allies become enemies, chances are Celia won’t survive the night. But evil never counted on how hard Taran Wird would fight, even at the expense of her life.

About the Author:

CECY ROBSON is an author of contemporary romance, young adult adventure, and award-winning urban fantasy. A double RITA® 2016 finalist for Once Pure and Once Kissed, and a published author of more than eighteen titles, you can typically find her on her laptop writing her stories or stumbling blindly in search of caffeine.

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Monday, November 4, 2019

Review: The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell

Title: The Family Upstairs
Author: Lisa Jewell
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Published By: Atria (November 5, 2019)
Source: ARC Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
My Rating: 4 Stars

Book Description:
From the New York Times bestselling author of Then She Was Gone and Watching You comes another page-turning look inside one family’s past as buried secrets threaten to come to light.

Be careful who you let in.

Soon after her twenty-fifth birthday, Libby Jones returns home from work to find the letter she’s been waiting for her entire life. She rips it open with one driving thought: I am finally going to know who I am.

She soon learns not only the identity of her birth parents, but also that she is the sole inheritor of their abandoned mansion on the banks of the Thames in London’s fashionable Chelsea neighborhood, worth millions. Everything in Libby’s life is about to change. But what she can’t possibly know is that others have been waiting for this day as well—and she is on a collision course to meet them.

Twenty-five years ago, police were called to 16 Cheyne Walk with reports of a baby crying. When they arrived, they found a healthy ten-month-old happily cooing in her crib in the bedroom. Downstairs in the kitchen lay three dead bodies, all dressed in black, next to a hastily scrawled note. And the four other children reported to live at Cheyne Walk were gone.

In The Family Upstairs, the master of “bone-chilling suspense” (People) brings us the can’t-look-away story of three entangled families living in a house with the darkest of secrets.

This was my first Lisa Jewell book even though I have heard tons about this author, for whatever reason I had yet to pick one of her books up. 

I am so glad I finally did and also kicking myself for waiting so long to do so.

This book was so much fun! And while it was a tiny bit slow to start, once it did pick up it was pretty hard to put down.

There is just something fascinating about mysteries isn't there? When done right, in multiple point of views with characters that can't be trusted, they really do stand out and make a fun read that is constantly not only leaving you turning the pages, but guessing at what will happen next, who the bad guys are, who the good guys are and even if such a thing exists in a story like this one. 

I loved the bizarre life these children had and how their story, their horrors slowly unfolded and all came together. I love how that ending totally messed with my head and left me with even more questions than what I started out with and even wanting a very short sequel, to see what would happen next. 

Truly an exciting read that was well written, well plotted out, and just so entertaining. I will definitely be picking up more of this author's work in the future. 

*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*

Monday, October 28, 2019

Review: Deadly Little Scandals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Title: Deadly Little Scandals
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Series: Book Two in the Debutantes Series
Published By: Freeform (November 5, 2019)
Genre: YA Contemporary/Mystery
Source: ARC Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
My Rating: 4 Stars

Book Description:
"Think of the White Gloves like the Junior League-by way of Skull and Bones?"

Reluctant debutante Sawyer Taft joined Southern high society for one reason and one reason alone: to identify and locate her biological father. But the answers Sawyer found during her debutante year only left her with more questions and one potentially life-ruining secret. When her cousin Lily ropes her into pledging a mysterious, elite, and all-female secret society called the White Gloves, Sawyer soon discovers that someone in the group's ranks may have the answers she's looking for. Things are looking up... until Sawyer and the White Gloves make a disturbing discover near the family's summer home--and uncover a twisted secret, decades in the making.

No one is quite who they seem to be.

I adore pretty much all of Jennifer Lynn Barnes stories and when Deadly Little Secrets came out last year I was completely in love with it and couldn't wait to get my hands on Deadly Little Scandals.

It completely lived up to all of my expectations. With twists and turns galore and so many things that I simply just did not see coming, it kept me on my toes and completely, once again, immersed in the world of debutantes, the filthy rich, scandals, secrets, and where almost anything goes with those that know people in high places and have the money to back it up, this truly was an entertaining read that kept me engaged and eagerly turning the pages.

I will miss this world of lies, deceit and but most of all, families taking care of their own just as much as I will the characters, both good and bad, that have grown on me over the course of these books. 

Such a fun wild escape that almost everyone can get lost in and one that will stick with you long after the scandals are over. 

*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Blog Tour Review: The Christmas Spirits on Tradd Street by Karen White

Title: The Christmas Spirits on Tradd Street
Author: Karen White
Series: Book Six in the Tradd Street Series
Published By: Berkley Books (October 22, 2019)
Genre: Paranormal Mystery
Source: ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Book Description:
Quirky, doughnut-loving, schedule-obsessed Melanie Trenholm has everything she ever wanted. Living in her beloved Charleston home with her soulmate, Jack, and their adorable twin toddlers, she can finally settle down. She’s even come to terms with the fact that she can communicate with the dead. So when Christmas approaches, Melanie feels nothing but joy… at least until an excavation of the cistern in her home’s garden unearths some Colonial-era artifacts and the unhappy ghosts attached to them. And these specters definitely don’t have the holiday spirit.

If that wasn’t enough, a past adversary is convinced there is a long-lost Revolutionary War treasure buried somewhere on Melanie’s property. Brought over by French military officer Marquis de Lafayette himself to fund the Revolutionary War effort, these riches are fit for a king. There have been whispers throughout history that many have fought—and died—to possess it. And now, someone prepared to do the same is at Melanie’s doorstep, someone willing to threaten everything she holds dear to get what they want.

About the Author:

With more than 1.8 million books in print in eight different languages, Karen White is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of 23 novels, including the popular Charleston-set Tradd Street mystery series.

Raised in a house full of brothers, Karen’s love of books and strong female characters first began in the third grade when the local librarian issued her a library card and placed The Secret of the Old Clock, a Nancy Drew Mystery, in her hands.

Karen’s roots run deep in the South where many of her novels are set. Her intricate plot lines and compelling characters charm and captivate readers with just the right mix of family drama, mystery, intrigue and romance.

Not entirely convinced she wanted to be a writer, Karen first pursued a career in business and graduated cum laude with a BS in Management from Tulane University. Ten years later, in a weak moment, she wrote her first book. In the Shadow of the Moon was published in August, 2000. Her books—referred to as “grit lit” (Southern Women’s Fiction)—have since been nominated for numerous national contests including the SIBA (Southeastern Booksellers Alliance) Fiction Book of the Year.

Karen’s latest novel, Dreams of Falling, was published in June, 2018 by Berkley Publishing, a division of Penguin Random House Publishing Group.

When not writing, Karen spends her time reading, scrapbooking, playing piano, and avoiding cooking. Karen and her husband have two grown children and currently live near Atlanta, Georgia with two spoiled Havanese dogs.

After reading my first Tradd Street series book, I was not only hooked on Karen White's writing but on the series itself and the best part, is that the series keeps getting better and better as the characters grow, sometimes in painful, very realistic ways. The ghosts are creepier, the mysteries even more solid, and the relationships and bonds more endearing.

I adore everything about this series and while Melanie sometimes frustrates me with her thought process, she is an endearing character who's growth is very much true to how most of us actually grow and learn, with lots of mistakes and bumps and bruises along the way.

And while I can't say that I loved how this ended, with so much left unsaid, undone, and unfinished, I did adore the whole book and all the scary moments and happy things that did occur along the way. 

It reminded me all over again, why I love this series and will continue to read it and look forward to each new installment and hope that many more are still in the works and will be out there to devour because this is definitely a series that you will want to devour once you have started it. I can't recommend it enough for those that love a good bump n the night story and mystery that will keep you interested, turning the pages and on the edge of your seat in both anticipation and chills with what will come out of the dark next. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Blog Tour Review: The Art of Theft by Sherry Thomas

You guys, I love this series. No, I adore this series. It has been so good from the very beginning and truly has just gotten more so as it goes. If you are a lover of historicals, romance, mysteries, or well, anything really, give this series a try, you won't be disappointed. 

Title: The Art of Theft
Author: Sherry Thomas
Series: Book Four in the Lady Sherlock Series
Genre: Historical Mystery
Published By: Berkley (October 15, 2019)
Source: ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Book Description:
Charlotte Holmes, Lady Sherlock, is back solving new cases in the Victorian-set mystery series from the USA Today bestselling author of The Hollow of Fear.

As "Sherlock Holmes, consulting detective," Charlotte Holmes has solved murders and found missing individuals. But she has never stolen a priceless artwork—or rather, made away with the secrets hidden behind a much-coveted canvas.

But Mrs. Watson is desperate to help her old friend recover those secrets and Charlotte finds herself involved in a fever-paced scheme to infiltrate a glamorous Yuletide ball where the painting is one handshake away from being sold and the secrets a bare breath from exposure.

Her dear friend Lord Ingram, her sister Livia, Livia's admirer Stephen Marbleton—everyone pitches in to help and everyone has a grand time. But nothing about this adventure is what it seems and disaster is biding time on the grounds of a glittering French chateau, waiting only for Charlotte to make a single mistake... 

About the Author:

Because actual world domination is too much trouble, USA Today-bestselling author Sherry Thomas decided that her goal is life is to write every kind of book she enjoys reading. Thus far she has published romance, fantasy, mystery, and a wuxia-inspired duology. Her books regularly receive starred reviews and best-of-the-year honors from trade publications, including such outlets as the New York Times and National Public Radio. She is also a two-time winner of Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA® Award.

And by the way, English is her second language.

The Lady Sherlock series has been a loved series from the very beginning. In fact, I would even go as far as to say it is one of my most, if not my most, favorite series in the genre. It is just so much fun, always entertaining, so well written and I love the growth and mystery of all the characters. 

The mystery is always center stage but the relationships and love interest are a close second and I love that, especially after book three were we get just a little bit more of it all. 

And with the way book three went, I was honestly expecting this one to run along the same lines relationship wise and sadly, it just didn't. It seemed for every step forward the characters made with each other there was always two steps back that lead them even further away from one another, which was disheartening and honestly, made the story seem less some how. I was really looking forward to the romance becoming more and in almost all cases, it didn't.

However, the mystery and characters themselves were outstanding and once again Thomas' writing is enchanting and you can't help but get sucked right into the story and left wanting more. 

I can only hope with that ending, that we will get more of that little extra something so many of us are rooting and hoping for in book five.