Review: Hearts of Steel (The Blackstone Legacy #3) by Elizabeth Camden

When this book came up for review, I almost passed on it. I could see it was part of a series and I just wasn’t sure how it would go jumping into an established series with established characters. But it sounded so good, plus I loved the cover, that I just couldn’t pass on this one! Often times, I also find that romances tend to be more standalone even if they are part of a series, so in the end I decided to give this one a shot and dive into a series already three books in.

To my delight, I found that all that worry was for not. This book could easily be read as a standalone and while it’s part of a larger series, the story/stories are uniquely their own. The other supporting characters (in this book) I believe have their own books in the series but overall I didn’t feel like I needed to read the other books to enjoy this one.

If you are a fan of historical fiction with some romance (clean romance that is) I think you will find a lot to enjoy in this book. This book has a ton of history and details that I enjoyed. This is my first Elizabeth Camden book but ti certainly won’t be my last—in fact I did order the other books in this series because I enjoyed this one so much! I reviewed this book as part of a book tour and there are other reviewers on this tour so be sure to check them out too if you want to see what they thought too!

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Review: Edge of Surrender (Alpha Crew #2) by Laura Griffin

With book one of this novella series ended, it really left off at a cliff hanger. So naturally I had to know what happened next and here we are. This whole series appears to be mostly novellas though I think the other two books (books 3 and 4) are separate standalone novellas, books 1 and 2 are connected. Honestly I don’t know if I would have kept reading the series if it hadn’t ended on a cliff hanger. While I adore Laura Griffin and basically anything she writes, I don’t love novellas.

Novellas are really a challenge for me. They seem to work better as filler stories between larger books or between established characters. For example if there had been a novella about Elizabeth LeBlanc FBI agent and Derek in the Tracer books. But having novellas with new characters without established back stories is pretty hard in my opinion.

But Griffin is so talented at writing intense thrillers full of interesting facts, angles, and plots that I couldn’t pass up just one more book by this author! But that said I am not sure I will continue with books 3 and 4 of this series. I enjoyed my time with Emma and Ryan but novellas just feel too underdeveloped for me. That said this was a good read and it had a solid conclusion that left me feeling satisfied but also wanting more if that makes sense. Allow me to elaborate!

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Special Feature: The Minuscule Mansion of Myra Malone

As a little girl, I grew up LOVING my doll house. I had both the Barbie Dream House and a small miniature dollhouse with tiny little doll furniture. There was something so satisfying about setting up my dollhouses. I loved decorating it and I think I even painted the interior rooms occasionally. I loved picking out the furniture and adding little personal touches room by room. The as childhood faded away, so did my love of dollhouses. Until I saw this book.

I started thinking about what it was that I loved about dollhouses so much? For me it was the satisfaction of creating a house exactly like I wanted it. It gave me something to control and be creative with. I imagined that’s what this book might touch on when I read the description. But it sounded like that and so much more! I love magical realism novels and was so sad I couldn’t fit this one in my review schedule, but rest assured dear readers I have downloaded a copy and will be reading it late because it sounds positively charming (plus early reviews are raving about it!).

The idea of an enchanted dollhouse really captivated my imagination and I cannot wait to dive into this one! I think the juxtaposition of the town worlds—big and small—coming together to create a unique story full of magic, imagination and creativity. This book promises a rich and diverse story with fantasy and magic and of course some romance that is sure to captive readers from the beginning and I simply cannot wait! If you have been thinking about this book or have seen it around the blog-o-sphere then I think it’s a sign to add it to your TBR list—-it’s right up there on mine!

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Review: At the Edge (Alpha Crew #1) by Laura Griffin

Ok I couldn’t stay away. I tried to start another book but there was something about the thick prose of another author that made me long for more quick thrilling reads by Laura Griffin! So I decided to pick this one up. I really wanted something more with a military/terrorist plot similar to some of the books in Griffin’s other series. All of Griffin’s books are so incredibly diverse in content. Some feature a serial killer, others organized crime, while some have a military/terrorist angle. So it’s kind of a mixed bag which makes things really exciting and keeps the series feeling fresh.

Considering the last book I read by her had more of an organized crime angle, I found myself longing for something with the military/terrorist plot so I decided to grab this book before the few remaining others that I have to read. I wasn’t aware that this was more of a novella than a full length novel. To be fair though, there are two parts to this particular story so two novellas. Each book clocks in at around 150 pages (I am currently reading the second installment to this story) but I am unsure if the other two books (this series has 4 total books) in the series are part of these first two or if they read by themselves.

I don’t usually read novellas because I always walk away feeling like there could have been so much more explored or developed. About the only time I read novella is when they are in between two larger proper books. But that said, I was open to the fact that Griffin is clearly a beloved author of mine and even though the Alpha Crew series is different than what I would normally read, I was open to it because I know she is an outstanding writer!

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Review: How to Sell a Haunted House by Grady Hendrix

When I first started reviewing books, I really shied away from the horror genre. I always thought to horror as ‘slicer dicer’ or ‘zombie’ books and it just wasn’t my thing. But I quickly came to discover that the horror genre has really grown in popularity and variety over the years and I have branded out into more and more horror as time has gone one. I especially love ghost stories so naturally the title of this book grabbed my interest. Plus I have read Grady Hendrix in the past and know that his books always seem to stick a good balance between horror and something for the more mainstream readers who maybe want to try something in the horror genre.

The horror genre isn’t for everyone. It’s truly a niche genre and either it’s your thing or it isn’t. For me, I acquired a love for the horror genre though with that said, I don’t love all the traditional horror authors. For example, I have tried to love Stephen King, but I simply do not. I personally prefer my horror novels to have some cross over in other sub genres—for example, Simone St James is a favorite of mine. She writes paranormal horror but also factors in things like a murder mystery.

I am always on the lookout for horror authors who make the genre more accessible for new readers or fans. For me Stephen King is just not my thing and his books are often lengthy and daunting. His books were my only exposure to the horror genre for a long time and I honestly never wanted to read horror books because I feared they were all like that. But after finding some other horror authors that blended other genres really made me love the genre as a whole. That’s why I was so excited for this book!

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