Reviews

Review: Lusus Naturae: A Lord Carlston Story by Alison Goodman

Book Review

Lusus Naturae A Lord Carlston Story
Lusus Naturae: A Lord Carlston Story
by Alison Goodman
(Lady Helen #1.5)
Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical, Regency
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Synopsis
This novella is from Lord Carlston’s perspective and starts at the point in The Dark Days Club when he and Lady Helen meet for the first time.

What I thought
I didn’t know this existed until I was looking up my list of series I want to work on this year. I was so excited to find it and even better, it was free. This novella is from Lord Carlston’s perspective and starts at the point in The Dark Days Club when he and Lady Helen meet for the first time. I really enjoyed seeing the same interaction from his point of view.

Reading this short story reminded me how much I enjoyed the first book and now I really need to pick up the next one.

My Rating: /5

5 Stars

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Review: The Magpie Lord by K.J. Charles

Book Review

The Magpie Lord
The Magpie Lord
by K.J. Charles
(A Charm of Magpies #1)
Historical, Fantasy, Romance
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Synopsis
A lord in danger. A magician in turmoil. A snowball in hell. Exiled to China for twenty years, Lucien Vaudrey never planned to return to England. But with the mysterious deaths of his father and brother, it seems the new Lord Crane has inherited an earldom. He’s also inherited his family’s enemies. He needs magical assistance, fast. He doesn’t expect it to turn up angry. Magician Stephen Day has good reason to hate Crane’s family. Unfortunately, it’s his job to deal with supernatural threats. Besides, the earl is unlike any aristocrat he’s ever met, with the tattoos, the attitude… and the way Crane seems determined to get him into bed. That’s definitely unusual. Soon Stephen is falling hard for the worst possible man, at the worst possible time. But Crane’s dangerous appeal isn’t the only thing rendering Stephen powerless. Evil pervades the house, a web of plots is closing round Crane, and if Stephen can’t find a way through it-they’re both going to die.

What I thought
The Magpie Lord is the first book of a six-book series.  This book is a Victorian gothic fantasy that really appealed to me and I wanted so much to love it.  After a few days, I realized that for me it turned out to be just an okay read. I really enjoyed the setting and the mystery in the book, and this still holds true even after a few days of reflection. However, if I am being completely honest I did not like Lucien our MC.  I found him to be an arrogant arse with very little redeeming qualities. The only thing that I really liked about Lucien was the description of his tattoo, I would love to see a rendering of it.

The opening scene really caught me off guard. I had to go back and read that first page again to see if I was really reading what I thought I was.  This book opens with a suicide attempt. So be forewarned if this might trigger you.

I have requested the second book from my library and I guess that will be my determining factor if I continue on with this series.

My Rating: /5

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Reviews

Review: The Blacksmith Queen by G.A. Aiken

Book Review

The Blacksmith Queen
The Blacksmith Queen
by G.A. Aiken
(The Scarred Earth Saga #1)
Fantasy, Romance
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Synopsis
When a prophesy brings war to the Land of the Black Hills, Keeley Smythe must join forces with a clan of mountain warriors who are really centaurs in a thrilling new fantasy romance series from New York Times bestselling author G.A. Aiken.

The Old King Is Dead

With the demise of the Old King, there’s a prophesy that a queen will ascend to the throne of the Black Hills. Bad news for the king’s sons, who are prepared to defend their birthright against all comers. But for blacksmith Keeley Smythe, war is great for business. Until it looks like the chosen queen will be Beatrix, her younger sister. Now it’s all Keeley can do to protect her family from the enraged royals.

Luckily, Keeley doesn’t have to fight alone. Because thundering to her aid comes a clan of kilt-wearing mountain warriors called the Amichai. Not the most socially adept group, but soldiers have never bothered Keeley, and rough, gruff Caid, actually seems to respect her. A good thing because the fierce warrior will be by her side for a much longer ride than any prophesy ever envisioned …

What I thought
I have never picked up anything by this author before and I feel like I have been missing out.  I absolutely loved this book. I really did not think that I was going to like this book half as much as I did.  I only picked it up because I felt like every time I turned around there it was. I am so happy I finally caved and took the chance.

This book is not very long but the amount of stuff that is crammed in there is amazing.  I did not feel like there was any useless information in the story that everything that happened was vital to the story.  I really appreciate that is a book.  The family was amazing.  I loved watching how they all interacted with each other. You see each persons personality shine through.

Keeley has such a kind heart yet mess with her kin and she is a force to reckon with. Then there is the budding romance between her and Caid and I loved watching that develop.  I can not wait for them to announce the next book.

My Rating: /55 StarsFollow me on other platforms:
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Review: The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams

Book Review

The Bromance Book Club
The Bromance Book Club
by Lyssa Kay Adams
(Bromance Book Club #1)
Adult, Romance
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Synopsis
The first rule of this book club:
You don’t talk about book club.

Nashville Legends second baseman Gavin Scott’s marriage is in major-league trouble. He’s recently discovered a humiliating secret: his wife Thea has always faked the Big O. When he loses his cool at the revelation, it’s the final straw on their already strained relationship. Thea asks for a divorce, and Gavin realizes he’s let his pride and fear get the better of him.

Welcome to the Bromance Book Club.

Distraught and desperate, Gavin finds help from an unlikely source: a secret romance book club made up of Nashville’s top alpha men. With the help of their current read, a steamy Regency titled Courting the Countess, the guys coach Gavin on saving his marriage. But it’ll take a lot more than flowery words and grand gestures for this hapless Romeo to find his inner-hero and win back the trust of his wife.

What I thought
This was such a fun ride.  This was my first attempt at a modern-day romance novel and enjoyed it so much.  This book is Gavin’s story where he has to either win his wife back or lose her forever.

What made me want to read this book was how Chelsea, over at chelseadolling reads, raved about this book.

I found myself laughing out loud at some points, and just enjoying this story very much.  Reading all of these Alpha males talk about Regency Romance books was so entertaining. Just seeing how they interpreted the books and the lessons that they took from them and watching Gavin grow as a person in the process was great.  One thing that I also loved was that they showed Thea also having to work through some issues in order to save their marriage.  

I highly suggest if the synopsis appeals to you even a little bit that you give it a shot.

My Rating: /54 StarsFollow me on other platforms:
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Reviews

Review: Dominion of the Star by Angelica Clyman

Book Review

Dominion of the Star
Dominion of the Star
by Angelica Clyman
(Descendants of the Fallen Book 1)
Dystopian, Fantasy, Young Adult
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Synopsis
The totality of a solar eclipse lasts only a few short minutes. That’s more than enough time for an apocalypse to erupt.

Almost eighteen years have passed since the Eclipse changed the Earth forever, and Sebastian Za’in rose from the chaos and seized control, imposing his order on the broken planet. In a world ruled by fear and superstition, where all gods have perished, there is no one who can stand up to Za’in, the man rumored to be one of the Nephilim—hybrid offspring of Angel and Man. In a few short months, another Eclipse will occur, and while there are those who expect a new natural disaster, Za’in has plans of his own . . .

Completely unaware of this global turmoil, Kayla Steelryn has spent most of her life in a quiet village, longing to uncover her hidden past. When she leaves her home in search of answers, she finds herself faced with the truth about her identity, forced to choose between the two men she loves, and thrust into a conflict where she alone has the power to stop an event more disastrous than the end of the world.

What I thought
I was kindly given a copy of this book by the author. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

When I was sent the synopsis for this book one work stuck out to me ‘Nephilim’.  The concept of Nephilim has always interested me and not it’s not due to the Shadow Hunters books.   Now let me start by saying that I usually do not pick up dystopian books, but because this book had Nephilim in it I decided it was worth a shot. I feel that putting that out there first is important because this was not a bad book just not for me.  I enjoyed it while I was reading it. It kept my attention which is more than I can say for other dystopian books. I just couldn’t get through books like Hunger Games and Divergent, so in my opinion, this book is one up on them.  My issue was picking it back up once I put it down.  Not the book’s fault it was pretty good just not my type of setting.  I did find the concept of the Intercessors to be interesting.

All in all, I say if you like dystopian books then you really should pick this one up because even I liked it and I don’t really like dystopian books as a general rule. My daughter loves dystopian books so I am going to give it to her and try to get her to write a review on it too.

My Rating: /53 starsFollow me on other platforms:
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Reviews

Review: Wager for a Lady’s Hand: A Lockhart Sweet Regency Romance by L. G. Rollins

Book Review

Wager for a Lady's Hand
Wager for a Lady’s Hand: A Lockhart Sweet Regency Romance
by L. G. Rollins
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Synopsis
Forced into a betrothal with an abusive man, the only way out might be to beat her fiancé at his own game.

Miss Marianne Twisden knows her best chance at a safe and happy life is to marry a kind man and leave her violent father behind. When her father signs papers betrothing her to Lord Cockell—a cruel and even more violent blackguard—Marianne is desperate for a way out. Her new fiancé gives her one: if Marianne discredits Lord Sheldon Lockhart, England’s newest barrister, Cockell will release her from the marriage contract.

Lord Sheldon Lockhart is determined to rid his neighborhood of Cockell—a man who preys on gamble-hooked gentlemen by loaning them far more money than they could ever hope to repay and then extracting it mercilessly. What he didn’t expect was to fall for Cockell’s most beautiful victim, Miss Marianne.

The seemingly simple game becomes complex when a deep, abiding affection grows between Marianne and Sheldon. It is made all the more perilous when Cockell refuses to play by the rules. Strategizing together, Marianne and Sheldon must think several steps ahead if they ever hope to out-play their opponent and have a shot at victory and their own happily ever after.

What I thought
I was kindly given a copy of this book by the author. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

First I want to thank the author for reaching out to me for an honest review.  I have read and enjoyed her steampunk series (Steam & Shadow) so I was really excited when I heard about this one since I am just getting into Regency Romance.

Let me start by giving a trigger warning for abuse from a parent. This is covered in the synopsis so it wouldn’t surprise you but I wanted to just put that out there.  It’s not graphic but it’s still there.

I loved this book and did not want to put it down.  I was pulled in from the beginning. Marianne is such an amazingly strong person considering how her father treats her. I love books set in this time where the women are valued for how smart they are. Which you get when watching the interactions between Marianne and Sheldon.

With the ending, the way it is I can see a future book and I am so excited for it.

You enjoy clean regency romance books then this is a perfect one for you.

My Rating: /55 StarsFollow me on other platforms:
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Review: Reticence by Gail Carriger

Book Review

Reticence
Reticence
by Gail Carriger
(The Custard Protocol #4)
Steampunk, Fantasy, Paranormal, Adult
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Synopsis
Bookish and proper Percival Tunstell finds himself out of his depth when floating cities, spirited plumbing, and soggy biscuits collide in this delightful conclusion to NYT bestselling author Gail Carriger’s The Custard Protocol series.

Percival Tunstell loves that his sister and her best friend are building themselves a family of misfits aboard their airship, The Spotted Custard. Of course, he’d never admit that he belongs among them. He’s always been on the outside — dispassionate, aloof, and hatless. But accidental spies, a trip to Japan, and one smart and beautiful doctor may have him renegotiating his whole philosophy on life.

Except hats. He’s done with hats. Thank you very much.

Read-along
Midway through 2018, I decided that I wanted to read the books from Gail Carriger’s Parasolverse in chronological order. This led me to start the journey of the Parasolverse Read-Along in August 2018. If you would like more information about the read-along please visit my post about it here. At the beginning of each month, I will have a brief read-along post go up letting you know what the book for that month is.

What I thought
Since this is the last book, in the third series, in this world I will be as vague as possible so I don’t spoil a lot of what happens just in case you would like to go back to the beginning and start from there.  With that said there are somethings that I spoil because there is no way to put something down without telling you something.

If you have been following my journey with this read-along to this point you know this is a bittersweet ending for me. I love this author’s books and I look forward to all that she has coming in this universe in the future. No matter how I am feeling these books always put a smile on my face and over the last year and a half these books have helped me through some tough times. For that, I will always be glad that I began this journey and I am sad to see it end but be sure I will continue to review anything she puts out in this world.

To date, there are three completed series and multiple novellas all within this world, the Parasolverse. This book is the perfect ending to this series and this Era.  Everything wraps up so well and yet leaves the author room to expand if she wants to in the future.

As much as Competence is about Prim, this story is about Percy. Oh, our Percy has no interest in romance Percy only needs his books and to have his papers recognized within the scientific community to be happy. He tends to not even notice all the attention that he gets from the other sex to their frustration. I did not realize how much I wanted a Percy love story until I read this book.  It was everything that I did not know I needed, and I am so glad that it exists. Percy finds his match in Arsenic, whose mother we know from the Finishing School series. Oh, and guess who we see…Prim and Percy’s Aunt Softy AKA Sophronia!!!! Yes, there are connections through the three different series.  I would love to have the time to sit down and map them all out.  At the beginning of this story, you see all these women sitting at a table talking and I just squealed. Really, I squealed. This book brought everyone together. It just wrapped up everything so well, which seemed right being the story ends at the end of the Victorian Era. So, I am going to assume we may have reached the end of the timeline but that does not mean we aren’t going to get novellas about the characters.

This book starts with a very pregnant Rue and Quesnel getting married, they are holding interviews for a doctor on board the Spotted Custard due to Rue’s condition.  With all the trouble they seem to get themselves in Prim is right in forcing this issue.  Where would Rue be without Prim watching out for her? The last doctor they see that day is Arsenic and is everything they could have hoped for, she passed their “test” without flinching, what they did not expect was that she would steal Percy’s heart as well.  I know that this book ends at the end of the Victorian Era, so I know the likelihood a series about Rue’s and possibly Percy’s children is unlikely but I so want it. The descriptions of the floating city in Japan was so beautifully written the description was just so magical.  I loved the shifters that we see in this book and I feel like if she wanted to the author could expand on those too.  There are so many possibilities for future books and I am here for all of it.

My Rating: /55 StarsFollow me on other platforms:
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