Reviews

Review: Art in the Blood by Bonnie MacBird

Book Review

Art in the Blood by Bonnie MacBird
(Sherlock Holmes Adventures #1)
Historical, Mystery, Sherlockian

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Synopsis
Mlle La Victoire, a beautiful French cabaret star writes that her illegitimate son by an English lord has disappeared, and she has been attacked in the streets of Montmartre.

Racing to Paris with Watson at his side, Holmes discovers the missing child is only the tip of the iceberg of a much larger problem. The most valuable statue since the Winged Victory has been violently stolen in Marseilles, and several children from a silk mill in Lancashire have been found murdered. The clues in all three cases point to a single, untouchable man.

Will Holmes recover in time to find the missing boy and stop a rising tide of murders? To do so he must stay one step ahead of a dangerous French rival and the threatening interference of his own brother, Mycroft.

What I thought
I have found that I am very picky when it comes to Sherlockian stories.  If 2020 taught me anything that is it.  I have gone through many and only liked a few.  Most of them were never finished.  I am soo happy to say that this one does not disappoint. 

I was pulled into this story from the beginning.  I loved the writing in this story it mimics Doyle’s well and it made me feel like I am really reading additional stories.  The pacing was spot on I did not feel the story lag at any point.  

If you enjoy sherlockian stories then I highly suggest you picking this one up.  

I can not wait to pick up the next book in this series!

My Rating: /5

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New Releases

Waiting On Wednesday: Chain of Iron by Cassandra Clare

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:

Chain of Iron by Cassandra Clare
(The Last Hours #2)
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical
Expected Publication: March 2, 2021

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Cordelia Carstairs seems to have everything she ever wanted. She’s engaged to marry James Herondale, the boy she has loved since childhood. She has a new life in London with her best friend Lucie Herondale and James’s charming companions, the Merry Thieves. She is about to be reunited with her beloved father. And she bears the sword Cortana, a legendary hero’s blade.

But the truth is far grimmer. James and Cordelia’s marriage is a lie, arranged to save Cordelia’s reputation. James is in love with the mysterious Grace Blackthorn whose brother, Jesse, died years ago in a terrible accident. Cortana burns Cordelia’s hand when she touches it, while her father has grown bitter and angry. And a serial murderer is targeting the Shadowhunters of London, killing under cover of darkness, then vanishing without a trace.

Together with the Merry Thieves, Cordelia, James, and Lucie must follow the trail of the knife-wielding killer through the city’s most dangerous streets. All the while, each is keeping a shocking secret: Lucie, that she plans to raise Jesse from the dead; Cordelia, that she has sworn a dangerous oath of loyalty to a mysterious power; and James, that he is being drawn further each night into the dark web of his grandfather, the arch-demon Belial. And that he himself may be the killer they seek.

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New Releases

January 2021 Books I’m Excited About

Books I'm Excited About

Hey Everyone!

A new month a new set of releases.  There are 5 books that are coming out this month that I am excited about.

Moriarty the Patriot, Vol. 2 by Ryōsuke Takeuchi and Hikaru Miyoshi
(Moriarty the Patriot #2)
Manga, Historical, Mystery
Expected Publication: January 5, 2021

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The untold story of Sherlock Holmes’ greatest rival, Moriarty!

Before he was Sherlock’s rival, Moriarty fought against the unfair class caste system in London by making sure corrupt nobility got their comeuppance. But even the best-intentioned plans can spin out of control—will Moriarty’s dream of a more just and equal world turn him into a hero…or a monster?

After successfully establishing a foothold in Durham and cleansing the city of some of its corruption, William James Moriarty sets his sights on London. To make headway there, he needs the aid of his brother Albert. But while on his way to London, Moriarty is kidnapped by a gang of criminals! He needs Albert sooner than he thought, but will Albert be able to save him in time?


The Ruthless Lady’s Guide to Wizardry by C.M. Waggoner
Historical Fantasy
Expected Publication: January 12, 2021

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Hard-drinking petty thief Dellaria Wells is down on her luck in the city of Leiscourt—again. Then she sees a want ad for a female bodyguard, and she fast-talks her way into the high-paying job. Along with a team of other women, she’s meant to protect a rich young lady from mysterious assassins.

At first Delly thinks the danger is exaggerated, but a series of attacks shows there’s much to fear. Then she begins to fall for Winn, one of the other bodyguards, and the women team up against a mysterious, magical foe who seems to have allies everywhere.


Hall of Smoke by H.M. Long
Historical Fantasy
Expected Publication: January 19, 2021

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Hessa is an Eangi: a warrior priestess of the Goddess of War, with the power to turn an enemy’s bones to dust with a scream. Banished for disobeying her goddess’s command to murder a traveller, she prays for forgiveness alone on a mountainside.

While she is gone, raiders raze her village and obliterate the Eangi priesthood. Grieving and alone, Hessa – the last Eangi – must find the traveller, atone for her weakness and secure her place with her loved ones in the High Halls. As clans from the north and legionaries from the south tear through her homeland, slaughtering everyone in their path, Hessa strives to win back her goddess’ favour.

Beset by zealot soldiers, deceitful gods, and newly-awakened demons at every turn, Hessa burns her path towards redemption and revenge. But her journey reveals a harrowing truth: the gods are dying and the High Halls of the afterlife are fading. Soon Hessa’s trust in her goddess weakens with every unheeded prayer.

Thrust into a battle between the gods of the Old World and the New, Hessa realizes there is far more on the line than securing a life beyond her own death. Bigger, older powers slumber beneath the surface of her world. And they’re about to wake up.


The Mask of Mirrors by M.A. Carrick
(Rook & Rose #1)
Fantasy
Expected Publication: January 21, 2021

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Nightmares are creeping through the city of dreams…

Renata Viraudax is a con artist who has come to the sparkling city of Nadezra — the city of dreams — with one goal: to trick her way into a noble house and secure her fortune and her sister’s future.

But as she’s drawn into the elite world of House Traementis, she realizes her masquerade is just one of many surrounding her. And as corrupt magic begins to weave its way through Nadezra, the poisonous feuds of its aristocrats and the shadowy dangers of its impoverished underbelly become tangled — with Ren at their heart.


Unchosen by Katharyn Blair
Young Adult, Fantasy
Expected Publication: January 26, 2021

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For Charlotte Holloway, the world ended twice.

The first was when her childhood crush, Dean, fell in love—with her older sister.

The second was when the Crimson, a curse spread through eye contact, turned the majority of humanity into flesh-eating monsters.

Neither end of the world changed Charlotte. She’s still in the shadows of her siblings. Her popular older sister, Harlow, now commands forces of survivors. And her talented younger sister, Vanessa, is the Chosen One—who, legend has it, can end the curse.

When their settlement is raided by those seeking the Chosen One, Charlotte makes a reckless decision to save Vanessa: she takes her place as prisoner.

The word spreads across the seven seas—the Chosen One has been found.

But when Dean’s life is threatened and a resistance looms on the horizon, the lie keeping Charlotte alive begins to unravel. She’ll have to break free, forge new bonds, and choose her own destiny if she has any hope of saving her sisters, her love, and maybe even the world.

Because sometimes the end is just a new beginning.


Are there any books that you are looking forward to this month?

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Reviews

Review: Brass Carriages and Glass Hearts by Nancy Campbell Allen

Book Review

Brass Carriages and Glass Hearts
by Nancy Campbell Allen
(Steampunk Proper Romance #4)
Fantasy, Steampunk, Romance, Historical

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Synopsis
A steampunk retelling of Cinderella.

Emmeline O’Shea is determined to save the world—single-handedly, if necessary. A strong voice for societal reform, she is the natural choice to deliver a key speech at the end of the International Shifter Rights Organization’s week-long Summit in Scotland.

But when a death threat arrives at Emme’s home, she is immediately placed into protective custody, watched over by none other than her personal nemesis, Detective-Inspector Oliver Reed. The two have crossed paths many times, with disastrous results, but now they will have to work together in order to reach the Summit before midnight of the last day in order to ensure legislation is passed to protect the Shifter community.

As unseen enemies close in around Emme and Oliver, they struggle to reach Edinburgh by any means necessary, only to find Emme’s vindictive stepsister, Oliver’s vampire brother, and a dangerous political minefield awaiting them in Scotland.

Even more difficult is their own refusal to admit that the fiery animosity that once burned between them might be turning into the heat of romantic passion. Could a straitlaced policeman determined to uphold the law and an outspoken activist willing to break the rules ever find true love? Or will all their dreams shatter like glass when the clock strikes midnight?

What I thought
Thank you Shadow Mountain Publishing and Netgalley for an ARC copy of this book for an honest review.  All thoughts and feelings expressed are my own.

Quick note:  This book can be read as a standalone; however, I highly suggest that you read these books in order.  You will not be lost by any means, but they build on each other just enough that you get so much more out of them in order. And…well…spoilers.

Hands down this is my favorite book in this series.  I now want to go back and re-read the first three books and then read this one again. This is a Steampunk, Proper Romance, Retelling of Cinderella.  Oh, and it’s a hate to love romance, my absolute favorite thing to read.  Once I started reading this book I did not want to put it down.

In this story, we focus on Emme and Oliver.  We get to see how they have interacted in the last 2 years, mostly through conversations and memories. There is a fine line between hate and love both are very strong emotions which they are discovering. There was just something about the way that Emme and Oliver integrated with each other that I loved.  I love how all of the people you have met so far seem to all come together in this book. I had all the feels while reading this book and it made me feel so much better in general.

My only concern is that I think because so much came together in this book that it may be the last one.  I really hope that is not the case.

My Rating: /5

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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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Reviews

Review: Jo & Laurie by Margaret Stohl and Melissa de la Cruz

Book Review

Jo & Laurie
by Margaret Stohl and Melissa de la Cruz
Young Adult, Retelling, Romance

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Synopsis
1869, Concord, Massachusetts: After the publication of her first novel, Jo March is shocked to discover her book of scribbles has become a bestseller, and her publisher and fans demand a sequel. While pressured into coming up with a story, she goes to New York with her dear friend Laurie for a week of inspiration—museums, operas, and even a once-in-a-lifetime reading by Charles Dickens himself!

But Laurie has romance on his mind, and despite her growing feelings, Jo’s desire to remain independent leads her to turn down his heartfelt marriage proposal and sends the poor boy off to college heartbroken. When Laurie returns to Concord with a sophisticated new girlfriend, will Jo finally communicate her true heart’s desire or lose the love of her life forever?

What I thought
I was sent a copy of this book from Megan Beatie Communications through Net Galley for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

I feel the need to state that this review is coming from someone that has not read Little Women nor have I watched the movie. I feel this is important to point out because I think that if you have read Little Women or even watched the movie you would already have some connection with these characters from the beginning.

I am a fan of Melissa de la Cruz’s books and this one did not disappoint.

This story takes place between the publication of Little Women and Good Wives. This book is first and foremost a love story between Joe and Laurie. But another bonus is that this book shows how a whole everyone in a family can deal with grief differently. I do not think this was meant to be a main plot point but I think it was displayed well.

This book took me about 100 pages to really get into it but I really think its because I did not know the original story.
I loved watching Joe and Laurie’s relationship. Everyone in the story knew that those two were meant to be together except Joe. She had a lot to work through to discover that she is allowed to be happy too. I liked the portrayal of grief and depression in this story and seeing how it was worked through. I felt so many feelings while reading this book that I did not expect to feel.

I recommend this book to anyone that thinks that the story sounds interesting. Just note if you have not read Little Women it will take a little bit to connect with these characters.

My Rating: /5

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Reviews

Review: The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh

Book Review

The Beautiful
The Beautiful
by Renée Ahdieh
(The Beautiful #1)
Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical
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Synopsis
In 1872, New Orleans is a city ruled by the dead. But to seventeen-year-old Celine Rousseau, New Orleans provides her a refuge after she’s forced to flee her life as a dressmaker in Paris. Taken in by the sisters of the Ursuline convent along with six other girls, Celine quickly becomes enamored with the vibrant city from the music to the food to the soirées and—especially—to the danger. She soon becomes embroiled in the city’s glitzy underworld, known as La Cour des Lions, after catching the eye of the group’s leader, the enigmatic Sébastien Saint Germain. When the body of one of the girls from the convent is found in the lair of La Cour des Lions, Celine battles her attraction to him and suspicions about Sébastien’s guilt along with the shame of her own horrible secret.

When more bodies are discovered, each crime more gruesome than the last, Celine and New Orleans become gripped by the terror of a serial killer on the loose—one Celine is sure has set her in his sights . . . and who may even be the young man who has stolen her heart. As the murders continue to go unsolved, Celine takes matters into her own hands and soon uncovers something even more shocking: an age-old feud from the darkest creatures of the underworld reveals a truth about Celine she always suspected simmered just beneath the surface.

At once a sultry romance and a thrilling murder mystery, master storyteller Renée Ahdieh embarks on her most potent fantasy series yet: The Beautiful.

What I thought
I was in need of beautiful writing and gripping storytelling and I knew that Renée Ahdieh would deliver.  I love her writing, I was sucked into the story from the beginning.

I know there have been quite a few reviews complaining that there were not vampires until the end of the book.  So I want to address this first, this isn’t really the case.  Now hear me out I think the issue is vampire culture has changed over the years (twilight onward).  I’m not criticizing the change so don’t come after me, but this book relies on old vampire lore knowledge.  They are everywhere in the book if you know how to look for them.

I loved this book.  I liked that I finally got a vampire book to read that sticks to the old culture, maybe I am just showing my age but oh well.  I personally just can not get into the “twilight age” of vampire books.  This is going to be either you love it or you hate it kind of book.  So I am interested in seeing your thoughts below if you liked it or not.

The next book in this series is supposed to be out on June 2, 2020, and I really hope that the date does not change.  I cannot wait to pick it up.

My Rating: /55 StarsFollow me on other platforms:
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