Review: The Collector’s Daughter by Gill Paul

Like so many people, ancient Egypt is a source of endless fascination for me. When I saw this one was coming out, it was a no brainer—I had to read this one. I actually listened to the audio version on my commutes in Arizona. The narrator had a pleasant voice and made the book interesting while I was stuck in the desert traffic. Not to mention the story was equally interesting.

A few years ago I read a non fiction novel on the Countess of Carnarvon and I had a deep affection for Lady Almina when I finished it. This book does not portray the Countess in a favorable light though, at times that rankled but considering the era, the way she was portrayed in this novel would probably be a bit more accurate. In actuality, this book made me want to know more about the Countess of Carnarvon so maybe I will look for more books on her not just about her castle and charitable works.

This book alternates between Lady Evelyn Herbert’s accounting of her life as a young girl and as an older woman. If you love ancient Egypt and your historical fiction with some glamour and a hint of the occult then this is a wonderful novel to pick up and spend some time with. While I enjoyed the audio version, I think I might have been happier if I had read the book rather than listened to it. I like the narrator and found her soothing but I also wanted to devour the book faster than she could read to me. That was my only regret in choosing the audiobook over the hard copy.

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Review: On Location by Sarah Smith

This summer was the summer of National Parks for me! I explored quite a bit of Arizona this summer including The Grand Canyon NP and Saguaro NP along with a number of National Monuments. Then I came home to Oregon and visited Crater Lake NP and am heading the Mt Rainier NP and Olympic NP in Washington later this fall. So when I saw a book that was a travel/work place/vacation romance with National Parks, I was absolutely on board!

This book sounded so promising and I just adore travel romances. Sarah Smith has written a few other romances which I haven’t read but it sounds like the general consensus is this is the best of her romances. So with that in mind I eagerly opened this one and couldn’t wait to get lost in some beautiful landscapes with a sizzling romance.

As I mentioned in a review earlier this week, I have been reading so many historical romances lately that I feel like I need to shift from history to the modern era and read about modern women who fall in love rather than a stuffy old parlor with a crusty chaperone on the fringes. This was just the book that I needed to get me back into modern era romances. I loved the social issues and the characters and of course the settings! It was a great read and I adore Berkley Romances so much that I would eagerly read anything from that publishing house!

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Review: When Sparks Fly by Helena Hunting

I have been on a major romance kick lately but most of the romances I have been reading are of the historical variety. There is something so romantic about historical romances in a way that modern contemporary romances just don’t have. I think it’s the constraints of society and class in the historical romances that make them compelling but at the same time I am a modern woman and as a modern woman, I want to also read about modern women like me, not just the lone countess trapped in a marriage of convenience.

Enter this book. I decided it was time to take a bit of a break from the usual historical romances in favor of a more modern romance. Friends to lovers is such a great troupe (though I personally like enemies to lovers better) and I couldn’t wait to explore this book and the two friends who ultimately fall in love. The only thing I was worried about was sometimes the friends to lovers troupe doesn’t carry the same emotional impact for me as something a little more fraught with conflict like the enemies to lovers troupe—which is why I don’t read much of friends to lovers.

But this one sounded charming and I was eager to read something that didn’t involve a corset and buff colored breeches! Not to mention Helena Hunting has written a number of romances that sizzle and I couldn’t wait to read this one an explore the friends to lovers troupe in the modern world!

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Special Feature: A Song of Flight (Warrior Bards #3) by Juliet Marillier

I read the first book in this series but then as sometimes happens, other book series prevented me from getting back to this one and now here we are with the third book coming out this fall! Marillier is a fine folklore storyteller and I really enjoyed the first book in this promising series and I have no doubt it has continued with her trademark lyrical prose.

As this is the last book in the trilogy, it no doubt has a lot to wrap up. Marillier writes with such lovely gentle story telling and I love how rich her world feels without feeling overly long. As this book is more geared toward the YA audience, I think this ability to tell a wonderful story without it getting overly long will really be an asset here.

This book will no doubt read like a fairytale with some more classic folklore thrown in. In that regard the book and series will feel different than some of the other traditional YA novels out there. Marillier is a tried and proved author with a number of best sellers under her belt, and that shows in this series. Her ability to create relatable characters with a strong fantasy element will win readers over. If you love fantasy but want something that feels more authentically fantasy rather than some of than other more commercial ‘fantasy’ YA series out there, then this is a great option for you!

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Special Feature: A Darker Reality (Elena Standish #3) by Anne Perry

There can be little denying that Anne Perry is a prolific storyteller and mystery writer. She has written a number of beloved mystery series and Elena Standish is just the latest series of hers which has quickly gained in popularity. I had purposely not read this series out of order. I have the first book queued up in my TBR list for October so I can devour the series in order!

I can’t believe the third book is already coming out and the cover is gorgeous not to mention the story sounds captivating. The main character’s grandfather is at the heart of a murder investigation and Elena Standish herself works for the British Intelligence as a spy. Now doesn’t that sounds like a winning combo? I cannot wait to dive into this series, I love lady spy novels and this book under Perry’s practiced hand cannot be a disappointment of that I am sure!

Today I am sharing all the details with you guys and I hope you all enjoy this latest novel as well as the series. If you are a fan of Perry then you will no doubt find lots to love in this one and I cannot wait to discuss it all with you guys! If you have read any of the Elena Standish books please let me know what you thought of the series thus far! I cannot wait to see how it develops—insert bad photograph pun intended here!

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