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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Waiting On Wednesday: Blood Countess by Lana Popović

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: Blood Countess by Lana Popović

Blood Countess
Blood Countess
by Lana Popović
Young Adult, Historical, Horror

In 17th century Hungary, Anna Darvulia has just begun working as a scullery maid for the young and glamorous Countess Elizabeth Báthory. When Elizabeth takes a liking to Anna, she’s vaulted to the dream role of chambermaid, a far cry from the filthy servants’ quarters below. She receives wages generous enough to provide for her family, and the Countess begins to groom Anna as her friend and confidante. It’s not long before Anna falls completely under the Countess’s spell—and the Countess takes full advantage. Isolated from her former friends, family, and fiancé, Anna realizes she’s not a friend but a prisoner of the increasingly cruel Elizabeth. Then come the murders, and Anna knows it’s only a matter of time before the Blood Countess turns on her, too.

Expected publication: January 28, 2020

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Reviews

Review: How to Marry a Werewolf by Gail Carriger

Book Review

How to Marry A Werewolf
How To Marry A Werewolf
by Gail Carriger
(Claw & Courtship #1)
Steampunk, Fantasy, Romance, Historical
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Synopsis
Guilty of an indiscretion? Time to marry a werewolf.

WEREWOLVES

The monsters left Faith ruined in the eyes of society, so now they’re her only option. Rejected by her family, Faith crosses the Atlantic, looking for a marriage of convenience and revenge.

But things are done differently in London. Werewolves are civilized. At least they pretend to be.

AMERICANS

Backward heathens with no culture, Major Channing has never had time for any of them. But there’s something special about Faith. Channing finds himself fighting to prove himself and defend his species. But this werewolf has good reason not to trust human women.

Even if they learn to love, can either of them forgive?

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Parasol Protectorate series comes a stand alone romance set in the same universe. Look out for appearances from favorite characters and the serious consequences of unwarranted geology.

A Note On Chronology
The Claw & Courtship novellas can be read in any order. This book can be enjoyed without having read any of Gail’s other works. Set in the spring of 1895 this story occurs after events chronicled in Romancing the Werewolf.

More?
This story is contemporaneous with events at the beginning of Reticence (final Custard Protocol book). Channing is first introduced to readers in the second Parasol Protectorate book, Changeless. He also appears briefly in Romancing the Inventor

What I thought
This is the first book in the Claw & Courtship Novella series. In chronological order, this one falls during the same time as Reticence the final Custard Protocol book. This book can be read as a standalone! I have to say that Gail has really upped her game with this one. I didn’t realize how much I truly liked Channing until this book, or how much I wanted him to be happy. From the time he has been introduced he has been moody and you never knew that led him to be that way. In this book, you learn some of Channing’s back story before he became a werewolf and why he is generally untrusting and why he seems to hate vampires so much. I know it seems like a lot of information for such a small book but I am here to tell you that it is so beautifully written that you feel as if you are getting a full novel. When we first meet Channing is when he goes toe to toe with Alexia but she was an Alpha so the last thing that he expects is a little American girl going toe to toe with him at the docks in London.

As much as this is a story for Channing it is also the story of Faith, who has been sent to London to make a match with a werewolf. To London society, this is not shocking but for an American it is. In America, Werewolves are not excepted in society and they then to be more savage. So why would her mother send her to make this match?

Watching this story play out I felt a whole range of emotions. I was angry, sad and so very happy. Since this book can be read as a standalone I highly suggest picking it up. No after writing this I want to go back and give it another read.

My Rating: /55 StarsFollow me on other platforms:
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Reviews

Review: Suitors and Sabotage by Cindy Anstey

Book Review

Suitors and Sabotage.png
Suitors and Sabotage
by Cindy Anstey
Historical, Mystery, Young Adult, Romance
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Synopsis
Shy aspiring artist Imogene Chively has just had a successful Season in London, complete with a suitor of her father’s approval. Imogene is ambivalent about the young gentleman until he comes to visit her at the Chively estate with his younger brother in tow. When her interest is piqued, however, it is for the wrong brother.

Charming Ben Steeple has a secret: despite being an architectural apprentice, he has no drawing aptitude. When Imogene offers to teach him, Ben is soon smitten by the young lady he considers his brother’s intended.

But hiding their true feelings becomes the least of their problems when, after a series of “accidents,” it becomes apparent that someone means Ben harm. And as their affection for each other grows—despite their efforts to remain just friends—so does the danger. . .

What I thought
I read this book as a buddy read with the wonderful Brittany from Perfectly Tolerable. If you have not checked, her out you really should. She also reviewed this book and you can find her review here.  Brittany is wonderful and more on the ball than I am lol she posted her review right after we read the book unlike me who let my reviews pile up.

I really enjoyed this book.  Imogene who was given one season for only one reason, to find a suitor, and did she ever with Earnest he is everything that her father had in mind, the firstborn of an influential family. Due to the constant criticism from her parents, she is an anxious person. (Brittany touches more on this in her review) Okay her parents are just downright mean, just to be mean, I really felt for Imogene there was no reason they picked on her the way they did. After the season was over Earnest comes to call and brings his brother Ben along for support. Once Ben sees Imogene’s drawings, he is impressed with her ability to render art. With that common interest, Ben begins bringing Imogene out of her shell and it is such a cute story to watch unfold even if they don’t realize there could be a future for them. Ben and Imogene are at constant war with their feelings since it is Earnest that wants/is supposed to ask for Imogene’s hand. And they do not realize that they have feeling for each other even though it is obvious to everyone else.

I only had one issue with this story and Brittany had the same issue too.  Imogene leads Earnest on for far too long. Imogene wants to tell him but is asked not to because her friend is trying to impress Ben and they know that if Earnest leaves then Ben will too.  I can’t be too mad about it all since Imogene acknowledges that it isn’t right, so the story does not support that issue but recognizes that it is wrong.

If you enjoy clean Regency Romance/Mystery novels than you should really give this one a chance.

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

Review: Duels & Deception by Cindy Anstey

Book Review

Duels & Deception
Duels & Deception
by Cindy Anstey
Historical, Mystery, Young Adult, Romance
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Synopsis
Miss Lydia Whitfield, heiress to the family fortune, has her future entirely planned out. She will run the family estate until she marries the man of her late father’s choosing, and then she will spend the rest of her days as a devoted wife. Confident in those arrangements, Lydia has tasked her young law clerk, Mr. Robert Newton, to begin drawing up the marriage contracts. Everything is going according to plan.

Until Lydia—and Robert along with her—is kidnapped. Someone is after her fortune and won’t hesitate to destroy her reputation to get it. With Robert’s help, Lydia strives to keep her family’s good name intact and expose whoever is behind the devious plot. But as their investigation delves deeper and their affections for each other grow, Lydia starts to wonder whether her carefully planned future is in fact what she truly wants…

What I thought
I read this book as a buddy read with the wonderful Brittany from Perfectly Tolerable. If you have not checked, her out you really should. She also reviewed this book and you can find her review here.

Before Lydia’s father passed, he arranged for her to marry their neighbor, Lord Aldershot.  Lydia has accepted this and is willing to marry him because it was what her father wanted.  When issues arise with the estate Lydia and her uncle do not agree about the crops they should be planting.  Her father’s lawyer sends Mr. Robert Newton, his clerk, to handle the issue. After they resolve the crop issue Lydia asks him to begin the process of drawing up the marriage contracts. Lydia is a business-oriented person and you see she has resigned herself to a marriage of tolerance rather than love.

When Lynda goes to sign the marriage contract she is kidnapped and subsequently so is Mr. Newton Since the kidnappers only need her they through Robert out and hold Lydia in a barn for no other purpose than ruining her.  Luckily for Lydia, her friends step up and she is saved from being ruined.  But the question remains who would do this?

I have the same issue she had with this story the amount of “wool-gathering” aka daydreaming that happens.  I mean yes it happens but not mid-conversation. As much as it happens in this story. Other than that, it was a good story that I really enjoyed.

My Rating: /54.5 starsFollow me on other platforms:
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Reviews

Review: Escaping from Houdini by Kerri Maniscalco

Book Review

Escaping from Houdini
Escaping from Houdini
by Kerri Maniscalco
(Stalking Jack the Ripper #3)
Young Adult, Historical, Mystery
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Synopsis
Audrey Rose Wadsworth and her partner-in-crime-investigation, Thomas Cresswell, are en route to New York to help solve another blood-soaked mystery. Embarking on a week-long voyage across the Atlantic on the opulent RMS Etruria, they’re delighted to discover a traveling troupe of circus performers, fortune tellers, and a certain charismatic young escape artist entertaining the first-class passengers nightly.

But then, privileged young women begin to go missing without explanation, and a series of brutal slayings shocks the entire ship. The disturbing influence of the Moonlight Carnival pervades the decks as the murders grow ever more freakish, with nowhere to escape except the unforgiving sea.

It’s up to Audrey Rose and Thomas to piece together the gruesome investigation as even more passengers die before reaching their destination. But with clues to the next victim pointing to someone she loves, can Audrey Rose unravel the mystery before the killer’s horrifying finale?

What I thought
I put off reading this book for so long and I think it had a lot to do with the hype surrounding it. There was so much build-up to its release then there were so many negative reviews that I…well…panicked it guess. I loved books 1 and 2 so much that I didn’t want to ruin them by reading this one. I know dumb reason especially if when I am rating it 4 stars.

I completely get why those people were mad. Thomas Cresswell is downright amazing and Audrey was a fool, no matter her motivations. At the end of the day it all worked out and I don’t think anyone will be doubting them as a couple ever again. That ending has to be the sweetest thing I have read in a long time.

I enjoyed this book from the beginning and did not want to put it down. Yes, I cringed through some scenes, but without those scenes, the ending would not have been as sweet. This book was a journey for these two characters who both lacked confidence in their feelings, and I think that this book truly silenced Audrey’s biggest fear. If you have read the other books in the series you should know which one I mean If not ask below.

If you are waiting to pick this one up because of the bad buzz it got, in the beginning, don’t. Watching these two grow through this issue was so worth it. I have to say I didn’t think it was possible but I like Thomas even more after this one.

My Rating: /54 StarsFollow me on other platforms:
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Waiting On Wednesday: Capturing the Devil by Kerri Maniscalco

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: Capturing the Devil by Kerri Maniscalco

capturing-the-devil
Capturing the Devil
by Kerri Maniscalco
Historical, Young Adult, Mystery

In the shocking finale to the bestselling series that began with Stalking Jack the Ripper, Audrey Rose and Thomas are on the hunt for the depraved, elusive killer known as the White City Devil. A deadly game of cat-and-mouse has them fighting to stay one step ahead of the brilliant serial killer—or see their fateful romance cut short by unspeakable tragedy.

Audrey Rose Wadsworth and Thomas Cresswell have landed in America, a bold, brash land unlike the genteel streets of London they knew. But like London, the city of Chicago hides its dark secrets well. When the two attend the spectacular World’s Fair, they find the once-in-a-lifetime event tainted with reports of missing people and unsolved murders.

Determined to help, Audrey Rose and Thomas begin their investigations, only to find themselves facing a serial killer unlike any they’ve heard of before. Identifying him is one thing, but capturing him—and getting dangerously lost in the infamous Murder Hotel he constructed as a terrifying torture device—is another.

Will Audrey Rose and Thomas see their last mystery to the end—together and in love—or will their fortunes finally run out when their most depraved adversary makes one final, devastating kill?

Expected publication: September 10, 2019

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