Tuesday, 17 July 2018

The Seven 1/2 deaths of Evelyn Hard Castle - Stuart Turton

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn HardcastleThe Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

To begin with, I found this book a little confusing. There were so many characters and it took me a little while to get my head around who was who and what they were doing. Once I'd got a little way through, I couldn't put it down and was dying to know what was going on and where the story was going to go.

I loved the idea behind this book, a murder mystery where the main character almost holds the same role that we do. Switching viewpoints and viewing the case from different perspectives. I'm not sure if 'main character' is even the right term, as we learn very little about Aiden Bishop himself.

The mystery itself is very complicated, perhaps overly so in some ways, although I enjoyed the writing style and the idea behind the storyline good enough to let that go. I think that if it had been a straightforward murder mystery, then I would have been left scratching my head and feeling confused when it came to an end. As it was, the mystery didn't really matter.

This was a great book and I loved the idea behind it. It wasn't quite a five-star read, possibly due to the mystery side of it, but certainly solid 4-4.5 stars from me.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Saturday, 14 July 2018

The Body in the Dales - JR Ellis

The Body in the DalesThe Body in the Dales by J.R. Ellis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was in two minds as to whether to give this four or five stars. On the one hand, I really enjoyed it and thought it was a great start to a series. On the other hand, I don't like to give out a lot of five stars and I think that while this was good, there is still room for even better in later books. So, I'm going with a four plus.

This was a good detective story, with lots of hints, a puzzling case to solve and some interesting characters for both the investigating team and the suspects. So far, the main detectives haven't fallen into the cliches that a lot of police detectives seem to fit. The author clearly loves Yorkshire and the countryside almost appears as a character in its own right. It certainly helps to drive the plot and the mystery along.

I didn't solve this one, although I had ideas that weren't a million miles away I don't think that I'd really come close to narrowing it down properly. It was a good read and I already have the second in the series lined up and ready to go.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Monday, 9 July 2018

A Rogue For Emily - Catherine Hemmerling

A Rogue For Emily (Lady Lancaster Garden Society Series)A Rogue For Emily by Catherine Hemmerling
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I tend to find that historical romances come in one of two types, there are those that are highly researched and really have a feel of the time and those that are essentially modern people who happen to travel in carriages. This was the latter. The book was littered with modern language and Americanisms. At one point a 'Mom' even picked up her child. Combined with the action, ladies dressing up as working people and going out to help out some of these poorer families. Which, just wouldn't have happened. Ladies just wouldn't have behaved like that and there was no explanation of why they would have known about this family. It was almost as though the author was viewing London as a small town or village where everyone knows everyone, no matter what their status. I found historical accuracy to be very lacking. Particularly with the climax of the story, which I won't give away, but it just seemed so far-fetched and not possible at that time, I'm not sure even modern breweries would be able to do that.

There were a lot of other things that just didn't work for me. I can, however, usually let some of them go, if the romance is good. In actual fact, the romance was ok. I quite liked the hero, I liked the idea behind how they start to fall in love and know one another. Sadly though, the writing style wasn't for me. Far too much telling and not enough showing. I think that it was this repetition of telling us how they don't like one another in an early chapter with very little else happening that really stopped my enjoyment, I wouldn't have finished if I didn't feel that I should review for NetGalley.

I know that not everyone is bothered by lack of historical accuracy or the writing style, so this book might well be for you. It just really wasn't for me.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Thursday, 5 July 2018

A Necessary Murder - M.J. Tjia

A Necessary Murder (Heloise Chancey Mysteries, #2)A Necessary Murder by M.J. Tjia
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have to admit that when I started this book, I wasn't sure that I was going to enjoy it. Although the storyline was interesting, there was something that just seemed to stop me from really connecting with the characters. As I read on, the story sucked me in and I found that I was really enjoying it.

When it comes to murder mysteries my usual tests are did I solve the mystery? If I did, was it too obvious and if I didn't, does the solution actually work and make sense? I have to admit that I didn't come close to getting this one. Fortunately, though, that wasn't because it didn't work, but just because it was quite complex and I didn't hook onto any of the clues that might have helped me.

The plot was great and I really enjoyed it. My only reservation with this book is some of the characters. I don't know why, but I found it hard to feel much for them. The main character, Heloise has a lot going for her, but somehow it just falls a little short for me. I don't know if she isn't quite of the period, or if it's something else. I don't think the switching between her viewpoint and then a third person viewpoint when following other characters.

This is only the second novel in the series, I will admit that I haven't read the first, perhaps this problem with characterisation might be ironed out in later instalments? I would certainly be interested in reading more and finding out. If you're looking for a gritty historical murder mystery that pulls no punches, then you won't go far wrong here.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Monday, 2 July 2018

Love letter - Rachel Hauck

The Love LetterThe Love Letter by Rachel Hauck
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a difficult book to review. Not because I didn't enjoy it, I did, but because it's almost like reviewing two books at the same time.

This is the story of four people. Hamilton and Esther, who lived during the American Revolutionary War. On opposite sides of the battle, they try to find a way to be together. The other two people are Chloe, an actress who is only ever given roles where she dies and Jesse, who has just written his screenplay.

The two couples are linked because Jesse's screenplay is based on a letter that was written by Hamilton to Esther and passed down in his family. Chloe is set to play Esther in the film and as a result, finds herself questioning her ideas about love.

There is a clear link between the two couples, although they are separated by time, which becomes clearer as the story progresses. That said, I think that this worked better almost as two standalone stories. I preferred the historical story and felt that it worked better than the modern one. It did leave at least one key point unanswered at the end though, which was a shame.

Although I preferred the historical storyline, the modern one still, for the most part, worked. The book was a little different to ones that I'd normally read, but I did enjoy it all the same.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Tuesday, 26 June 2018

The Changeling Murders - C.S. Quinn

Abduction. Murder. A conspiracy that could bring down the King.
The Changeling Murders by C.S. Quinn

London, 1667: In the wake of the Great Fire, a new city has emerged from the flames. The King has reopened the capital’s theatres, and the royal court is hell-bent on debauched entertainment. But amid the raucous festivities, an actress shows up dead, dressed in the clothes of a missing girl.

It’s a time of great change for thief taker Charlie Tuesday too: his old flame, Maria, is on the cusp of marrying someone else. But when she is abducted on the way to her wedding, Charlie realises her disappearance is linked to the murder.

Meanwhile, as Lent draws to a close, London is exploding into shocking riot. With brothels and theatres being attacked, Charlie and his sidekick Lily must find clues before an angry mob does. And as the mystery deepens and violence fills the streets, can Charlie solve a riddle that threatens not just Maria, but London itself? 

My Review

The Changeling Murders (The Thief Taker #4)The Changeling Murders by C.S. Quinn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love a good historical murder mystery/crime novel and this was definitely a good historical murder mystery novel. I hadn't read any of the previous books, but it really didn't matter. This worked fine as a stand-alone novel. Although, having enjoyed it so much, I'd be really keen to go back and read the earlier books.

The sense of time and place was very well written. This book touches on ideas of witchcraft, fairies and superstition. Unlike lots of books, there wasn't a clumsy attempt by the characters to whisper off camera that of course, they don't believe in it. What people believed or not was left shadowed, but their attitudes seemed to fit their time.

I enjoyed the mystery, the characters were well developed and interesting to read and the whole book was a great read. This was a great book to get lost in and visit another time. I couldn't put it down once I'd started and really enjoyed it. Highly recommended.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Monday, 25 June 2018

Dangerous Passions Book Blitz

About the Book:
Can bitter enemies find love?

Haunted by visions, Calypso sets out to find the man who stalks her dreams. Calypso, an ageless fae, is convinced this man will enslave and torment her just like the one who held her long ago. Determined to track him down and kill him, she's prepared for anything, except for what she finds. The mortal male she encounters stirs embers she thought long dead, making her yearn for his touch.

Lucien has always believed himself to be a mortal slave. The truth, however, is more than he's ever imagined. Born to a fae mother and a warlock father, he is a falock, a being of mixed blood hated by both races. And he's destined for greatness…if he can survive the Roman gladiators' games long enough to grow into his immortality.

When the slim beauty rescues him from the depths of his prison, Lucien comes face to face with the truth of who and what he is. Determined to protect the woman who rescued him, he'll risk everything, including his chance at immortality.

Can a weary, distrustful fae and the falock she's claimed overcome the obstacles in their path?

Book Links:
Goodreads * Amazon

Read an Excerpt:

He leaned forward, her soft whisper echoing in his heart. It seemed she was a slave just as he had been. Heat swirled around him, stirring the embers of want, of need as he traced over her face with the backs of his fingers. Delicately made, she appeared so fragile, yet he knew her strength and her skill. His fingers burned where they touched her skin as he trailed them down her neck to curl around in a loose hold. “I shall protect you.”

The vow fell between them like a stone. He caught the flare of something in her eyes. Fear? Nay, something deeper, something richer.

Leaning forward, he stared into her eyes, her face turned up, lips parted. He could feel the warmth of her breath on his skin, the softness of her hands on his chest as he pulled her into his body. Lucien brushed his lips over Calypso’s, the barest of touches. Soft, moist, her lips yielded beneath his. Again and again, he pressed gentle kisses along her mouth, her nose, her cheeks. The soft whimpers escaping her added fuel to the fire in his blood. Her hands slid around his shoulders, her nails digging in as his fingers tangled in her hair. Tilting her head back, Lucien offered a hint of a smile before he captured her lips in a deep kiss. He licked along the seam, tasting the sweet traces of the fruit she’d eaten. He nipped at her bottom lip, drawing a startled gasp. With a low groan his tongue darted inside, tasting her. Lucien devoured her, claiming her lips repeatedly. Desire licked at him, pushing him closer and closer to the brink.

“We mustn’t.” Calypso’s whisper crept over him even as he felt her move against him. The faint note of fear in her voice like a bucket of water. He pulled back, resting his forehead against hers.

“Aye, we must keep moving. Come, my lady. We’ve a long journey ahead.” He wrapped his fingers around her hand and shot her a quick smile before stepping back. Lucien turned her slightly and fastened her bodice in place. “I will keep you safe.”

“But who will protect me from you?” Her words, spoken so low he knew he wasn’t supposed to hear them, added to the confusion within his mind. What kind of female was the one who even now held his hand as they moved through the growing darkness?

About the Author:
Born in Northern British Columbia, Elise is a small-town girl. She writes in a variety of genres including paranormal, contemporary suspense, m/m in various lengths. Currently, she lives in British Columbia with her husband and son, one dog, one cat, and a gecko. Elise enjoys reading as much as she does writing, with some of her favorite books being read until they fall apart. 
She is currently working on the next book in the Forsaken Series, Burning Rain. As well she has a new contemporary she’s working on. For more information on Elise, or to check out her books you can find her on Facebook, twitter, and her website.

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