Tuesday, September 25, 2018

The Hollow of Fear - Sherry Thomas

Under the cover of “Sherlock Holmes, consulting detective,” Charlotte Holmes puts her extraordinary powers of deduction to good use. Aided by the capable Mrs. Watson, Charlotte draws those in need to her and makes it her business to know what other people don’t.

Moriarty’s shadow looms large. First, Charlotte’s half brother disappears. Then, Lady Ingram, the estranged wife of Charlotte’s close friend Lord Ingram, turns up dead on his estate. And all signs point to Lord Ingram as the murderer.

With Scotland Yard closing in, Charlotte goes under disguise to seek out the truth. But uncovering the truth could mean getting too close to Lord Ingram—and a number of malevolent forces…

Review: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
I received this book free from Edelweiss books in exchange for a review.

I love this series. Charlotte, Livia and Mrs. Watson try to prove the innocense of Lord Ingrahm's innocense when his wife is found dead in the ice house.

Follow these characters on a well thought out plot full of twists and turns. The cast of characters are well developed and interact in a believable way. I love this author's writing style and how she makes it almost impossible to guess who did it or what will happen next.

Monday, September 24, 2018

The Au Pair by Emma Rous


A grand estate, terrible secrets, and a young woman who bears witness to it all. If V. C. Andrews and Kate Morton had a literary love child, Emma Rous’ The Au Pair would be it.

Seraphine Mayes and her twin brother Danny were born in the middle of summer at their family’s estate on the Norfolk coast. Within hours of their birth, their mother threw herself from the cliffs, the au pair fled, and the village thrilled with whispers of dark cloaks, changelings, and the aloof couple who drew a young nanny into their inner circle.

Now an adult, Seraphine mourns the recent death of her father. While going through his belongings, she uncovers a family photograph that raises dangerous questions. It was taken on the day the twins were born, and in the photo, their mother, surrounded by her husband and her young son, is beautifully dressed, smiling serenely, and holding just one baby.

Who is the child and what really happened that day?

One person knows the truth, if only Seraphine can find her.

Review: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
There is no way to adequately describe this book without giving it all away. But I am going to do my best. Seraphine always felt that there was something different about her family, but she could never quite figure out what it was. After he father's death, she finds a photo of her mother holding a newborn baby. The catch is that Seraphine is a twin. This starts her on a journey to discover the truth. Through the twist and turns, she could never have imagined what that truth actually was.

This book was AMAZING. The first chapter is really choppy and you are just kind of thrown into the story. The characters are pretty much introduced as the story goes along. There are a couple of things that happened that were never mentioned again (a mirror scene). The book was beautifully written and the plot was well thought out.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

This Dark Endeavor - Kenneth Oppel


Victor Frankenstein leads a charmed life. He and his twin brother, Konrad, and their beautiful cousin Elizabeth take lessons at home and spend their spare time fencing and horseback riding. Along with their friend Henry, they have explored all the hidden passageways and secret rooms of the palatial Frankenstein chateau. Except one.

The Dark Library contains ancient tomes written in strange languages and filled with forbidden knowledge. Their father makes them promise never to visit the library, but when Konrad becomes deathly ill, Victor knows he must find the book that contains the recipe for the legendary Elixir of Life.

The elixir needs only three ingredients. But impossible odds, dangerous alchemy and a bitter love triangle threaten their quest at every turn.

Victor knows he must not fail. Yet his success depends on how far he is willing to push the boundaries of nature, science and love—and how much he is willing to sacrifice.

Synopsis: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The author gave a fresh voice to the Frankenstein story. I loved the adventures and the mysteriousness of the dark library. I feel that the author did an amazing job capturing what a young Victor would have been like. Henry and Elizabeth were awesome supporting characters. I can't wait to read the next one!

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Thresher: A Deep Sea Thriller - Michael Cole


In the aftermath of a hurricane, a series of strange events plague the coastal waters off Florida. People go into the water and never return. Corpses of killer whales drift ashore, ravaged from enormous bite marks. A fishing trawler is found adrift, with a mysterious gash in its hull. Transferred to the coastal town of Merit, police officer Leonard Riker uncovers the horrible reality of an enormous Thresher shark lurking off the coast. Forty feet in length, it has taken a territorial claim to the waters near the town harbor. Armed with three-inch teeth, a scythe-like caudal fin, and unmatched aggression, the beast seeks to kill anything sharing the waters.

Review: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

When I first saw this book, I expected something close to Jaws. I loved Jaws and have always loved sharks. While this book is similar to Jaws, it is equally unique.

I love the fact that the author chose a shark that was naturally aggressive. He didn't create a new "rogue shark" theory or come up with a storyline that was so far-fetched that you couldn't imagine it. The way that he worked in the twists and reasoning behind his plot was amazing. I couldn't find any holes and didn't have any questions left unanswered. This situation could possibly happen.

The characters were well created and well rounded. Each had their own backstory that made them seem real. The ending was perfect. I think that if it ended any differently, I would have been upset. 

Please, someone in the movie industry, get this book and make a movie. Just make sure to stick to the book because it is perfect!

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

The House with a Clock in it's Walls - John Bellairs


When Lewis Barnavelt, an orphan. comes to stay with his uncle Jonathan, he expects to meet an ordinary person. But he is wrong. Uncle Jonathan and his next-door neighbor, Mrs. Zimmermann, are both magicians! Lewis is thrilled. At first, watchng magic is enough. Then Lewis experiments with magic himself and unknowingly resurrects the former owner of the house: a woman named Serenna Izard. It seems that Serenna and her husband built a timepiece into the walls--a clock that could obliterate humankind. And only the Barnavelts can stop it!

Review: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
I really enjoyed this magical adventure. I got the Walmart exclusive copy that had movie photos in it. I am afraid that they may not follow the book too closely :(. This book was funny and adventurous. I loved it and will probably get the rest of the series.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern


The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des RĂªves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus performers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.

This is one of those books that you get so wrapped up in the world the author created that you are actually sad when it is over. I loved the imagination and the magic of the circus. The dynamics of the challenge and what the players create within the circus is amazing. I normally don't read books more than once or if I do it is years apart. This is one of the select few that may have to be read at least once a year.

Monday, September 17, 2018

The Thorn Queen by Elise Holland

Welcome to Glendoch! Hidden to most, this glacial world once crackled with alchemy. Now it waits for war—divided and bound by strict rules. So when twelve-year-old Meylyne falls from a tree onto Glendoch’s sickly prince, she must flee or face imprisonment in the Shadow-Cellars. The only way she may return home is with a cure for the prince’s peculiar disease.

Convinced she will perish, Meylyne and her companions embark on their journey—and before they know it, they are knee-deep in a plot to sink Glendoch into shadow, like other worlds before it. Poisoned guardians, cursed wizards, and cunning witch-spirits bound into wands are just some of the dangers that dot the way of their travels.

And behind it all is the Thorn Queen. Mysteriously magnetic (or murderously vengeful, depending on whose side you’re on), she is always one step ahead of them . . .

For starters: what an amazing cover! It is so beautiful
I didn't want this book to end! I love the world that Elise Holland created. She created species of magical beings, landscapes, rules, and customs seamlessly worked into an amazing tale. Meylyne was the perfect protagonist finding things out about herself and learning to deal with them while trying to complete a quest and save the day. For as much that goes on in this book, it could have easily become a very cumbersome read. However, it was beautiful, fun, and had surprises around every corner. It sounds almost as if there might be a second one, but the ending leaves you satisfied. There is a slight cliffhanger, but nothing torturous lol.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Naughty on Ice by Maia Chance

Naughty on Ice is the latest in Maia Chance’s dazzlingly fun Prohibition-era caper series featuring society matron Lola Woodby and her stalwart Swedish cook, Berta.

The Discreet Retrieval Agency is doing a brisk holiday business of retrieving lost parcels, grandmas, and stolen wreaths. But with their main squeezes Ralph and Jimmy once more on the back burner, both Lola and Berta pine for a holiday out of New York City. So when they receive a mysterious Christmas card requesting that they retrieve an antique ring at a family gathering in Maple Hill, Vermont, they jump at the chance. Sure, the card is signed Anonymous and it’s vaguely threatening, but it’s Vermont.

In Maple Hill, several estranged members of the wealthy Goddard family gather. And no sooner do Lola and Berta recover the ring—from Great-Aunt Cressida Goddard’s arthritic finger—than Mrs. Goddard goes toes-up, poisoned by her Negroni cocktail on ice. When the police arrive, Lola and Berta are caught-red-handed with the ring, and it becomes clear that they were in fact hired not for their cracker-jack retrieving abilities, but to be scapegoats for murder.

With no choice but to unmask the killer or be thrown in the slammer, Lola and Berta’s investigations lead them deep into the secrets of Maple Hill. In a breathless pursuit along a snowy ridge, with a lovelorn Norwegian ski instructor and country bumpkin hooch smugglers hot on their heels, Lola and Berta must find out once and for all who’s nice...and who’s naughty.

Review: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
This was an amazing cozy mystery. Follow Mrs. Woodby and Berta as they solve a mystery they didn't intend to. Thinking they were there to find out who took a ring, mysterious murders begin to happen. Their lives are in danger, they discover a bootlegging operation, and almost get arrested. The plot kept me guessing until the very end.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

The Dead Ringer - M.C. Beaton


The church of St. Ethelred in the village of Thirk Magna is renowned for its team of bell-ringers, the troupe led by identical twins Mavis and Millicent Dupin. Mavis and Millicent are lifelong residents of the remote village—or were, until their home is broken into one night, and Millicent is murdered. But who’s the killer? Is it one of their co-workers, sick of being bullied to practice for a big performance? Or perhaps Joseph Kennell, a retired lawyer who was heard yelling at the sisters that he felt like strangling them? Kennell swears his innocence, and hires the ever-trusty (if often tipsy) Agatha Raisin to clear his name. Only she can find the killer—and hopefully a handsome man to buy her dinner while she’s at it.

Review: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

So, before we get into the review let me just say M.C. Beaton is my all time favorite author. I have every one of the Agatha Raisin series and Hamish Macbeth. They are my favorite books to read after I read a heavy book. I call them my palate cleansers. She always has great storylines, plot twists and her books keep me guessing. Her characters come to life and make me laugh and one book even made me cry (Highland Christmas). She is the first author I recommend.

Okay enough gushing about her. Here is the review :)

I love the Agatha Raisin series and this one didn't disappoint. Follow along as Agatha tries to solve murders and fall in love. The investigation kept me guessing until the very end (I didn't guess right either). I can't wait for the next one!

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

The Lost Queen by Signe Pike

Compared to Outlander and The Mists of Avalon, this thrilling first novel of a debut trilogy reveals the untold story of Languoreth—a forgotten queen of sixth-century Scotland—twin sister of the man who inspired the legend of Merlin.

I write because I have seen the darkness that will come. Already there are those who seek to tell a new history...

In a land of mountains and mist, tradition and superstition, Languoreth and her brother Lailoken are raised in the Old Way of their ancestors. But in Scotland, a new religion is rising, one that brings disruption, bloodshed, and riot. And even as her family faces the burgeoning forces of Christianity, the Anglo-Saxons, bent on colonization, are encroaching from the east. When conflict brings the hero Emrys Pendragon to her father’s door, Languoreth finds love with one of his warriors. Her deep connection to Maelgwn is forged by enchantment, but she is promised in marriage to Rhydderch, son of a Christian king. As Languoreth is catapulted into a world of violence and political intrigue, she must learn to adapt. Together with her brother—a warrior and druid known to history as Myrddin—Languoreth must assume her duty to fight for the preservation of the Old Way and the survival of her kingdom, or risk the loss of them both forever.

Based on new scholarship, this tale of bravery and conflicted love brings a lost queen back to life—rescuing her from obscurity, and reaffirming her place at the center of one of the most enduring legends of all time.

Review: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Wow! and Holy cow I didn't like where it left lol. I didn't want to leave this world or the characters in this book. This book made me laugh and cry. It was beautiful and magical. Definitely on my top 10 of 2018

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

House in the Hills - Rowan Hanlon

A young couple is surprised to find out their ultra cool mid-century modern Hollywood Hills dream house has a past steeped in blood and debauchery. But when the house starts exhibiting paranormal activity, they realize they've truly gotten more than they bargained for.

The House in the Hills is a novel about how the house of your dreams can sometimes turn into a nightmare.

Review: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
I really liked this book but it seemed that almost all of the action happened at the end. The beginning of the book seemed to plod along. It was a great read just not fast paced.
Amazing twisting creepy novel. I loved the storyline and the characters. The ending was trippy. I loved it. It has been a while since I have read a book like this. It was really refreshing.

Twilight Then vs. Now - New Moon Review

“The bond forged between us was not one that could be broken by absence, distance, or time.  And no matter how much more special or beautifu...