advance copy

Another Amish Mystery: “Among the Wicked”

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Among the Wicked by Linda Castillo
Minotaur Books: July 12th, 2016
Genre: Mystery
Source: Free From Publisher

I’d go there again!
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Among the Wicked is the eighth book in Castillo’s suspenseful and dark Kate Burkholder mystery series. I first discovered the series on audiobook and binged through the entire series. After the events of book seven, I was anxious to get my hands on book eight. And while I continue to enjoy the series, I was somewhat disappointed with the book with regards to Kate’s character development. It was a great book, but not my favourite in the series.

In Among the Wicked Kate is asked to go undercover in an Amish community where a suspicious death is discovered. A young woman froze to death and no one in the community is talking about what led to the death, and then there’s the reports of child abuse that are making their way to the police’s ears. So, Kate, a former member of the Amish community, is recruited to assit. Kate’s background makes her a perfect candidate for the undercover roll; she understands the Amish community and she has a commitment to discovering the truth behind the young woman’s death. Despite the misgivings of her partner, Tomasetti, Kate decides the going undercover is something that she has to go. Kate is nothing if she’s not dedicated to protecting the vulnerable. Soon Kate is immersed in her role as a widow in the reclusive community; however, her questions soon stir up more trouble than Kate anticipated. (more…)

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The Gods Wake in “The Copper Promise”

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The Copper Promise by Jen Williams
Angry Robot: July 5, 2016
Genre: Fantasy
Source: Free From Publisher

I’d go there again!
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I’m not sure exactly what I was expecting going into The Copper Promise, but whatever it was my expectations were far exceeded! The Copper Promise is a fun, fast-paced, swashbuckling adventure and I can’t wait to read more about the adventures of our (mostly) heroic trio.

Wydrin of Crosshaven and Sir Sebastian are mercenaries for hire. Wydrin and Sebastian are recruited for a job by Lord Aaron Frith, a seemingly simple job: infiltrate the Citadel and snag the treasure. Of course, no job is so easy and the unforeseen consequence is that a terrible goddess has been awoken and unleashed her army. You would assume that Wydrin, Sebastian and Frith would naturally want to help defeat this terror, but you would assume wrong. Each of these characters have their own private motivations, and not all mean dealing with the scourge that they have just helped to unleashed. Yet, it’s a problem that just wont go away, and the trio must reunite and figure out how they could possibly kill a seemingly unbeatable dragon and her brood army. Smooth sailing is not in the cards for our heroes. (more…)

Summer Bride

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The Summer Bride by Anne Gracie
Berkley: July 5, 2016
Genre: Historical Romance
Source: Free From Publisher

Beach Vacation
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The Summer Bride is the final book in Anne Gracie’s Chance Sisters series. With this book readers are treated to the romance between aspiring dressmaker Daisy Chance and Irishman Patrick Flynn. Neither one is looking for romance with the other – Daisy is determined to be independent and Flynn is looking for a higher born bride – but, you can’t always get what you want. (more…)

As Death Draws Near

26177728As Death Draws Near by Anna Lee Huber
Berkley: July 5, 2016
Genre: Historical Romance
Source: Free From Publisher

I’d go there again!
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As Death Draws Near is the fifth outing in the Lady Darby historical mystery series. With this fifth book there is a bit of a change in the series now that Keira is married to inquiry agent Sebastian Gage. These two have come along way from the first book, when Gage suspected Keira of murder.

At the start of the book, Keira and Gage are enjoying an idyllic honeymoon (for details about their wedding, check out the novella, A Pressing Engagement). Unfortunately, Kiera and Gage’s well deserved vacation is interrupted when Gage’s father sends a request for  both of them to investigate the murder in an abbey in Ireland. Not wanting to risk the local investigators forming biases based on the existing religious tensions in Ireland, Kiera and Gage set sail for Ireland. With the investigation underway, Kiera and Gage delve into local politics and the tense atmosphere of the region, which is only exacerbated when a second nun is found murdered. (more…)

“A Gift For Guile” is a Must When Romancing a Detective

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A Gift for Guile by Alissa Johnson
Sourcebooks Casablanca: July 5, 2016
Genre: Historical Romance
Source: Free From Publisher

Outstanding Adventure!
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A Gift for Guile is the second in Johnson’s Thief Takers series. As much as I enjoyed the first one, I think I have to admit that I liked A Gift for Guile just a tad bit more. Intrigued by the character of Esther Walker Bales in A Talent for Trickery, I was curious to see how the author would pull off a romance between a cunning woman and a private investigator. Let me tell you, it really, really worked.

Esther Walker has come to London to make amends. However, London is the last place she should be because of her and her family’s disreputable past. Esther’s father was a con artist and unbelievably as it sounds, Esther was his muscle. Despite her small stature, Esther is a wizard with knives and that was all it took for her father to put her to work as an accomplice. Now that her father is dead, Esther can move forward and away from her past, which means that she wants to meet her  biological father. The problem is that Esther is all too recognizable in London and if she’s discovered she could be in big trouble especially with her father’s enemies. (more…)

“The Heroine Complex”, Take 2

27209443Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn
DAW: July 5, 2016
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source: Free From Publisher

The view was nice, but the food was bad
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At the beginning of June Stacey reviewed and raved about Heroine Complex, having loved the main character, Evie’s personal growth. My reaction to the book was quite different.

The concept of this alternative San Fransisco where humans have gained strange abilities is an intriguing one, as is the fact that a select few in this world have developed powers, and some are even able to channel those abilities into a sensational career as a superhero. Evie’s best friend since childhood, Annie, was able to successfully transform herself into Aveda Jupiter, San Fransisco’s beloved heroine because of her telekinetic powers she developed after an earthquake. Of course, every heroine worth her salt needs a back up team, and that’s where Evie comes in. Evie, with powers of her own, prefers to stay out of the limelight, managing the more mundane aspects of Aveda’s life and basically ignoring the fact that she even has powers. However, when Aveda is injured Evie is forced to take centre stage and start to reconcile her own feelings towards her volatile abilities. (more…)

The Lyre Thief

21895680The Lyre Thief by Jennifer Fallon
Genre: High Fantasy
HarperCollins / Voyager: March 1, 2016
Source: Free from publisher and library

Outstanding Adventure!
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Jennifer Fallon always delivers complex and fast-paced fantasies, and I loved this book at least as much as her other works set in the world of the Hythrun Chronicles, if not more. The characters are complex, the narrative voices distinct, the action tense, and the plot tightly woven.

The Lyre Thief continues the story of the Demon Child… sort of. The heroines are really two half-sisters, who are also half-sisters of the high-maintenance and clever High Princess of Fardonhya who played a supporting role in the Demon Child trilogy. this is a complex fantasy that brings together the politics of several countries within a continent, mixes them with the gods of thieves, death, love, and lies, and tells the intimate stories of several individual characters.

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“Accidentally Compromising the Duke”: The Quick & Easy Way to Avoid an Unwanted Marriage

28644556Accidentally Compromising the Duke by Stacy Reid
Entangled: May 30, 2016
Genre: Historical Romance
Source: Free From Publisher

Beach Vacation
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Adeline Hays is on the verge of marriage to an odious man; this marriage is not something that she wants but something her father has arranged. To escape this unwanted marriage, Adel decides a compromising is in order, only she compromises herself with the wrong man! Instead of finding her way into the room of her preferred suitor, Adel finds herself in the arms of Edmond Rochester, the duke of Wolverton. I do love a “compromised” theme in my historical romance and Accidentally Compromising the Duke delivers just that. (more…)

Heroine Complex: It’s Complicated

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Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn
Genre: Contemporary Fantasy
Berkley Publishing Group DAW: July 5, 2016
Source: Free from publisher

I’d go there again!
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In a familiar-but-different San Francisco, a portal to another dimension opened eight years ago and spewed demons bent on conquering Earth. A handful of San Franciscans received minor otherworldly magical powers from the first demons to arrive. Ever since, smaller portals have opened that spew mini-demons who tend to take the form of the first thing they see, such as cupcakes. Cupcake demons, folks.

Evie is personal assistant to Aveda Jupiter, San Francisco’s local demon-fighting superheroine, who also happens to be Evie’s best friend. Evie, Aveda, and their friend Scott are a few of the people who received magical abilities. Aveda Jupiter, in fact, does not have enough telekinesis to fight demons, so she relies on her physical abilities and a strong PR strategy instead.

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Returning to a Favourite World with “Allegiance of Honor”

26089799Allegiance of Honor by Nalini Singh
Berkley: June 14, 2016
Genre: Paranormal Romance; Urban Fantasy
Source: Free From Publisher

I’d go there again!
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Since my recent conversion to the cult of Nalini Singh a couple of years ago I have anxiously awaited each and every new addition to Singh’s Psy-Changeling series. Throughout this series Singh has created a rich futuristic world that is full of all kinds of race tension, but also fabulous romances. I can’t think of another series that so well combines complex world building with fully developed romantic relationships. Nalini Singh, she is a master, and this is again proven with her newest book, Allegiance of Honor and its shift for the entire series. Allegiance propels the series into new territory while also giving readers a glimpse into the lives of so many of the beloved characters of the series. (more…)