Reviews

Review: Defy or Defend by Gail Carriger

Book Review

Defy or Defend by Gail Carriger
(Delightfully Deadly #2)
Steampunk, Fantasy, Romance
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Synopsis
A vampire hive descending into madness. A beautiful spy with a sparkly plan. The bodyguard who must keep them from killing each other.

New York Times bestselling romantic comedy author Gail Carriger brings you a charming story of love, espionage, and Gothic makeovers set in her popular Parasolverse.

SPY

Dimity Plumleigh-Teignmott, code name Honey Bee, is the War Office’s best and most decorative fixer. She’s sweet and chipper, but oddly stealthy, and surprisingly effective given the right incentives.

VERSUS KNIGHT

Sir Crispin Bontwee was knighted for his military service, but instead of retiring, he secretly went to work for the War Office. Mostly he enjoys his job, except when he must safeguard the Honey Bee.

Neither one is a vampire expert, but when the Nottingham Hive goes badly Goth, only Dimity can stop their darkness from turning bloody. And only Crispin can stop an enthusiastic Dimity from death by vampire.

In a battle for survival (and wallpaper), Dimity must learn that not all that sparkles is good, while Cris discovers he likes honey a lot more than he thought.

“This intoxicatingly witty parody will appeal to a wide cross-section of romance, fantasy and steampunk fans.” ~ Publishers Weekly, starred review (Soulless)

Spinning off from the Finishing School series, featuring deadly ladies of quality, this story stands alone, but chronologically follows Poison or Protect before the start of the Parasol Protectorate Series. It’s Cold Comfort Farm meets Queer Eye meets What We Do In The Shadows from the hilarious author of the Parasol Protectorate books, perfect for fans of Julia Quinn, Jodi Taylor, or Meljean Brook.

Delicate Sensibilities?

Contains fraternizing vampires and one very curious young lady, who asks about seduction, sometimes in detail but mostly in retrospect. May also involve excessive use of velvet, melodramatic poetry, and the strategic application of interpretive ballet.

What I thought

We finally got a Dimity book!!!

I loved Dimity in the Finishing School books and I always wondered how her story would play out since you could tell that killing was never going to be her thing. I mean she faints at the sight of blood. She was always the fixer putting things back to rights after her friends made a mess of things.

This book had me sucked in from page one. Dimity may have gone in and fixed the hive but when it came to each of the hive members she listened and supported them as they found what made them happy. Which in the end did more for them than new curtains ever could have.

I don’t want to say much more since it is a novella and I don’t want to spoil the whole story for you.

My Rating: /5

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Reviews

Review: The Ranger of Marzanna by Jon Skovron

Book Review

The Ranger of Marzanna by Jon Skovron
(The Goddess War #1)
Fantasy
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Synopsis
When their father is murdered by imperial soldiers, two siblings set out on opposite paths—one will destroy the Empire forever and the other will save it—in this thrilling new Russian inspired epic fantasy from Jon Skovron.

Sonya is training to be a Ranger of Marzanna, an ancient sect of warriors who have protected the land for generations. But the old ways are dying, and the rangers have all been forced into hiding or killed off by the invading Empire.

When her father is murdered by imperial soldiers, she decides to finally take action. Using her skills as a ranger she will travel across the bitter cold tundra and gain the allegiance of the only other force strong enough to take down the invaders.

But nothing about her quest will be easy. Because not everyone is on her side. Her brother, Sebastian, is the most powerful sorcerer the world has ever seen. And he’s fighting for the empire. 

What I thought
I will be completely honest this was a cover buy. Yes, I can be that shallow to buy a book because the cover is gorgeous. So I am happy to be able to say that I really enjoyed this book.

This is a slower-paced Fantasy novel but I really enjoyed it. There are multiple POVs in this story. You can tell whose perspective it is by the image in the chapter heading. I really loved that each POV had its own symbol. The two main POVs are Sonya and Sebastian siblings that find themselves on opposite sides of a brewing war.

I really enjoyed Sonya’s character; she makes her own path choosing to be a Ranger of Marzanna (Goddess of Death and Winter) knowing that the Empire tried to kill all the Rangers when they took over her country approximately 20 years earlier. Sonya wants to help the people of her country by doing what she thinks is right all in her own way.

Now Sebastian was another story, he annoyed me so much. As strong-willed as Sonya was Sebastian was gullible. Maybe he was overly sheltered because his parents didn’t want him used as a weapon…but still, he had a war hero for a father you would think he would not be so easily manipulated over and over again. Also, his father was on the winning side of the past war and he didn’t want him to join the military. That really should have told him something. It really is hard to believe that these two people came from the same parents. Sebastian is a pawn and I hope his eyes are opened and he grows a set in the upcoming books.

Has anyone else read this book yet?

My Rating: /5

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Memes · TBR

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? July 27, 2020

It's Monday What are you reading.png

Good Morning!

It’s the start of another week. It’s Monday! What are you Reading is hosted by Kathryn from Book Date, this is a weekly event to share what we’ve read in the past week and what we hope to read, plus whatever else comes to mind.

Recent Books

Champagne Charlie and the Amazing Gladys by B.G. Hilton | Steampunk, Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

Hungover aristocrat Edward “Charlie” Decharles awakens in the back of a steam-cab, only to discover that the driver has been murdered. Unused to feeling responsible for anything, he feels compelled to find the killer. As he investigates, he meets “The Amazing” Gladys Dunchurch, a stage magician’s assistant whose employer has disappeared – and not in a good way. They form an alliance – Charlie will help Gladys with his considerable resources and Gladys will help Charlie with her even more considerable brains.

Soon they discover that their respective mysteries are not only connected to each other, but related to other seemingly unrelated strangeness transpiring in London – the murder of an astronomer, an attack on a patent medicine factory, a mysterious cult in an idyllic town, and reports of deadly creatures in the London sewers.

Charlie and Gladys find themselves pitted against dead-eyed assassins, murderous pirates, wingless flying machines, and perhaps even creatures from beyond this Earth. And lurking behind it all lies a sinister cabal that knows the secret origin of the steam-powered society that powers their world. Can our heroes save the day, or will the fallout from that secret destroy two worlds?

Champagne Charlie and the Amazing Gladys is a fun, witty Steampunk adventure yarn, featuring a cast of eccentric characters.


Courting Miss Penelope by L.G. Rollins | Lockhart Series .5 | Regency Romance | Add to Goodreads

He’s been waiting months for her to finally notice him.

Except suddenly, he’s not the only one vying for her hand.


A Well-Kept Promise by L.G. Rollins | Lockhart Series 5 | Regency Romance | Add to Goodreads

It is a truth universally acknowledged that two conniving minds are better than one.

Lady Venetia Lockhart has one goal—to prove to her family she is healthy enough for the London Season next year. But between an inattentive family and unwanted suitors, Venetia finds herself struggling to just make it through the hunting season.

Edmund Dawkes, Marquess of Ashbrook has his eyes on the lovely Miss Weatherford. However, despite his best efforts, she doesn’t seem to notice him at all.

With Venetia wanting to avoid all attachments and Edmund seeking to make one, they strike up an instant friendship—and an instant scheme to help one another. After all, what could go wrong with a strategy involving a lady’s glove, a fake love letter, and a few secret conversations? However, when their actions only complicate already strained relationships, and a budding romance gets in the way, can Venetia and Edmund sort through the rubble of their carefully thought out plans and find their way to one another?

A Well-Kept Promise is a clean and wholesome Regency romance, full of witty characters and a heart-warming happily ever after. Buy A Well-Kept Promise and start falling in love today.

The stories in the Lockhart Sweet Regency Romance series are all standalone novels. They can be read apart or enjoyed in proper order. 


Currently Reading

I already know that this will probably not work out the way I want it to but here is what I am hoping to read this week.

The Patience of a Dead Man by Michael Clark | The Patience of a Dead Man #1 | Horror, Paranormal | Add to Goodreads

He just spent everything on a house in disrepair, but he didn’t know someone was waiting inside.

Tim Russell just put his last dollar on a handyman’s dream; a quaint but dilapidated farmhouse in New Hampshire. Newly single after a messy divorce, his plan is to live in the house as he restores it for resale. To his horror, as soon as the papers are signed and his work starts, ghosts begin to appear. A bone-white little boy. A woman covered in flies. Tim can’t afford to leave and lose it all, so he turns to his real estate agent Holly Burns to help him decide whether he has any shot at solving his haunted problem. Can they solve the mystery before he loses his investment…or maybe his life?


The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

A magical island. A dangerous task. A burning secret.

Linus Baker leads a quiet, solitary life. At forty, he lives in a tiny house with a devious cat and his old records. As a Case Worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth, he spends his days overseeing the well-being of children in government-sanctioned orphanages.

When Linus is unexpectedly summoned by Extremely Upper Management he’s given a curious and highly classified assignment: travel to Marsyas Island Orphanage, where six dangerous children reside: a gnome, a sprite, a wyvern, an unidentifiable green blob, a were-Pomeranian, and the Antichrist. Linus must set aside his fears and determine whether or not they’re likely to bring about the end of days.

But the children aren’t the only secret the island keeps. Their caretaker is the charming and enigmatic Arthur Parnassus, who will do anything to keep his wards safe. As Arthur and Linus grow closer, long-held secrets are exposed, and Linus must make a choice: destroy a home or watch the world burn.

An enchanting story, masterfully told, The House in the Cerulean Sea is about the profound experience of discovering an unlikely family in an unexpected place—and realizing that family is yours.


Elantris by Brandon Sanderson | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

Elantris was the capital of Arelon: gigantic, beautiful, literally radiant, filled with benevolent beings who used their powerful magical abilities for the benefit of all. Yet each of these demigods was once an ordinary person until touched by the mysterious transforming power of the Shaod. Ten years ago, without warning, the magic failed. Elantrians became wizened, leper-like, powerless creatures, and Elantris itself dark, filthy, and crumbling.

Arelon’s new capital, Kae, crouches in the shadow of Elantris. Princess Sarene of Teod arrives for a marriage of state with Crown Prince Raoden, hoping — based on their correspondence — to also find love. She finds instead that Raoden has died and she is considered his widow. Both Teod and Arelon are under threat as the last remaining holdouts against the imperial ambitions of the ruthless religious fanatics of Fjordell. So Sarene decides to use her new status to counter the machinations of Hrathen, a Fjordell high priest who has come to Kae to convert Arelon and claim it for his emperor and his god.

But neither Sarene nor Hrathen suspect the truth about Prince Raoden. Stricken by the same curse that ruined Elantris, Raoden was secretly exiled by his father to the dark city. His struggle to help the wretches trapped there begins a series of events that will bring hope to Arelon, and perhaps reveal the secret of Elantris itself.

A rare epic fantasy that doesn’t recycle the classics and that is a complete and satisfying story in one volume, Elantris is fleet and fun, full of surprises and characters to care about. It’s also the wonderful debut of a welcome new star in the constellation of fantasy.


What are you hoping to read this week?

Let’s chat in the comments below!

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New Releases

Book Blitz: Bittersweet by Nubi @Shalini_G26 @NubiaSoulGODdes

Bittersweet by Nubi
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AMAZON USA | AMAZON UK

Belinda was an up and coming A1 student that thrived on creativity and love. With a burning passion for the Culinary Arts & Music, she was definitely on the verge to living an exciting fulfilling life, until the tables begin to turn. Living in a home doesn’t make it “Home Sweet Home”, a lesson Belinda learned too early in life. She didn’t have to go to jail but she did for a charge wrongfully entered by one who should have protected her. Once free, her life became a whirlwind of events filled with deep sexual relationships and beautiful packages of well-deserved happiness. Can you remember the last time you were allowed to just be free?


Her body rocking with pain, Belinda shuddered as she pleaded on her knees for Kevin not to kill her. Everything about this moment was surreal. Would he shoot her? Would she die? Would he take her daughter and run?

Her mind raced back and forth as she thought of words to say to calm the unpredictable monster she had married.

The gun’s barrel was nudged so hard in the base of her back; Belinda thought to herself, I’m not going to make it. She silently prayed and in the blink of an eye he was gone…. She sat there for what seemed like hours, too afraid to speak and even more afraid to move.

Not knowing if he was around the corner, waiting on her to emerge from the third bedroom. All she saw in her mind was dead ends. What would she do?

Nubi (Nubia Soul Goddess) is an Internationally Amazon Bestselling Author under GNectar Publishing, LLC.

She has published 3 books with more coming. She is also a book coach and speaker on being an entrepreneur – artist- domestic violence survivor and book writing and publishing. Her first poem was published (Nationally) in high school.

Music is her first love, but writing probably surpasses even that. She has always been an avid reader with a great drive for creativity. So with the encouragement of close friends and loved ones, she began to do more than just share her life stories, she began to write them down and create more for others to enjoy and learn from.

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Reviews

Review: A Well-Kept Promise by L.G. Rollins

Book Review

A Well-Kept Promise by L.G. Rollins
(A Lockhart Sweet Regency Romance, #5)
Regency Romance
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Synopsis
It is a truth universally acknowledged that two conniving minds are better than one.

Lady Venetia Lockhart has one goal—to prove to her family she is healthy enough for the London Season next year. But between an inattentive family and unwanted suitors, Venetia finds herself struggling to just make it through the hunting season.

Edmund Dawkes, Marquess of Ashbrook has his eyes on the lovely Miss Weatherford. However, despite his best efforts, she doesn’t seem to notice him at all.

With Venetia wanting to avoid all attachments and Edmund seeking to make one, they strike up an instant friendship—and an instant scheme to help one another. After all, what could go wrong with a strategy involving a lady’s glove, a fake love letter, and a few secret conversations? However, when their actions only complicate already strained relationships, and a budding romance gets in the way, can Venetia and Edmund sort through the rubble of their carefully thought out plans and find their way to one another?

What I thought
I received a copy of this book from the Author, in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

We have reached the final story of the Lockhart siblings. This series wrapped up so wonderfully, I am very happy with how the entire series has come to an end. This is Venetia’s story and just like all of her siblings love does not come without its challenges. If I am completely honest Venetia was not my favorite of the Lockhart children; however, with this story I grew to like her very much, and of all of the love interests that the siblings have had I think I like Edmund the best. So it surprises me to say that I think that this is my favorite book in this series.

This book can be read as a standalone; however, I would suggest you read the series from the beginning.

You know when the writing is good in a book when you feel butterflies along with the characters. I find it amazing how invested the author can make you feel regarding these characters.

What may be my favorite thing about these characters is their strength. Both of our main characters have challenges that they have to overcome to live the lives they want.

My Rating: /5

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New Releases

Waiting On Wednesday: A Rogue of One’s Own by Evie Dunmore

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting On Wednesday was a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine. Each Wednesday you got to highlight a book that you were really looking forward to. Unfortunately, the original creator is no longer able to host the meme and it has now linked up with Can’t Wait Wednesday over at Wishful Endings.

This week I’ve chosen:

A Rogue of One’s Own by Evie Dunmore
(A League of Extraordinary Women #2)
Genre: Regency Romance
Expected Publication: September 1, 2029
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A lady must have money and an army of her own if she is to win a revolution – but first, she must pit her wits against the wiles of an irresistible rogue bent on wrecking her plans…and her heart.

Lady Lucie is fuming. She and her band of Oxford suffragists have finally scraped together enough capital to control one of London’s major publishing houses, with one purpose: to use it in a coup against Parliament. But who could have predicted that the one person standing between her and success is her old nemesis, Lord Ballentine? Or that he would be willing to hand over the reins for an outrageous price—a night in her bed.

Lucie tempts Tristan like no other woman, burning him up with her fierceness and determination every time they clash. But as their battle of wills and words fans the flames of long-smouldering devotion, the silver-tongued seducer runs the risk of becoming caught in his own snare.

As Lucie tries to out-manoeuvre Tristan in the boardroom and the bedchamber, she soon discovers there’s truth in what the poets say: all is fair in love and war… 

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Reviews

Review: The Sinister Mystery of the Mesmerizing Girl by Theodora Goss

Book Review

The Sinister Mystery of the Mesmerizing Girl
by Theodora Goss
(The Extraordinary Adventures
of the Athena Club #3)
Historical Fantasy, Mystery
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Synopsis
Mary Jekyll and the Athena Club race to save Alice—and foil a plot to unseat the Queen, in the electrifying conclusion to the trilogy that began with the Nebula Award finalist and Locus Award winner The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter.

Life’s always an adventure for the Athena Club…especially when one of their own has been kidnapped! After their thrilling European escapades rescuing Lucinda van Helsing, Mary Jekyll and her friends return home to discover that their friend and kitchen maid Alice has vanished— and so has their friend and employer Sherlock Holmes!

As they race to find Alice and bring her home safely, they discover that Alice and Sherlock’s kidnapping are only one small part of a plot that threatens Queen Victoria, and the very future of the British Empire. Can Mary, Diana, Beatrice, Catherine, and Justine save their friends—and save the Empire? Find out in the final installment of the fantastic and memorable Extraordinary Adventures of the Athena Club series.

What I thought
This is the final book in the Athena Club at least for now. I really hope that the author/publisher decides to come back to these characters they were just so fun to read. After the second book, I was a little worried how big this book would be and I was happy to see that this book was more condensed. I am not sure how the author did it but all the new storylines that were introduced in the second book along with the ones remaining from the first were beautifully tied up.

This installment picks up right where the second book left off with the kidnapping of Alice and the unknown whereabouts of Sherlock Holmes. One of my favorite elements of this story is that all of these characters are unique. They all have strong personalities and yet they all complement each other.

The injected banter between the characters about what is being written continued to add to the story. It gave these women that are essentially experiments (by men) a very human feel. At its core this is about women being able to save themselves and not needing men to survive, which is a very different ideal than what was believed during the Victorian times.

I would love to see the Athena Club made into a TV/Netflix series.

Have you read the Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter yet? I have a review for it here if you are interested.

If you have read this series how do you feel about this ending?

My Rating: /5

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