Special Feature: The Secret of Bow Lane (Kat Holloway #6) by Jennifer Ashley

I picked up the first book in this series when it very first came out and I was going through some major Downton Abbey withdraws! I loved the upstairs/downstairs elements of the story and thought it was a solid start to a new mystery series. But then I never really continued with the series. As with so many readers, there are so many books but not enough time and I got distracted by other series.

But this series hasn’t been far from my mind. Author, Jennifer Ashley, has written a number of romances (historical and some cowboy romances!) and also developed this beloved character in Kat Holloway. I am so happy to see that this series has continued and we are now at book six! Ashley adds elements of romance to the series and I recall it being an added bonus but not the focus of the series which is nice. If you love historical mysteries with a little bit of romance I think you will find a lot to enjoy with this series.

I had planned on reviewing this one but since I am behind in the series, I didn’t want that to sway my opinion of the book/series so I decided to do a feature instead. I am sure as with many series style books, the author does a good job keeping fans and new readers up to date on the principal characters and larger narrative, however this one sounded like one readers might want to have read the series for. It sounds like it will feature a character from Kat’s past which has been referenced in previous books. So I would imagine that reading the other books before this one would be helpful but perhaps not essential. At any rate this charming historical mystery series is out now and is certainly with checking out!

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Review: The Forgotten Cottage by Courtney Ellis

I read Courtney Ellis’s debut novel last summer, At Summer’s End, and good lord was it ever good! I devoured it and it was one of my favorite reads last year. So naturally when I saw this one coming up for review I was thrilled! This one has a great dual timeline aspect which I know is often overdone in historical fiction, but for me it never gets old! I love readling dual timeline books!

This book promises long buried family secrets and complex characters rich in historical detail. And it certainly had all of those things! Ellis write beautiful historical fiction with lots of historical details and heart and this second book was not a disappointment in that regard. I know that fans of the historical fiction genre will not have missed Ellis’s first novel (not with that stunning cover that’s for sure!) but this book doesn’t quite have the ‘curb appeal’ that the first book did. The cover was more simple and not nearly as eye catching as her first book but it was still a wonderful read so don’t let the basic cover fool you!

If you are a fan of historical fiction this book and author should be on your TBR list. Ellis is clearly one to watch in the genre and I for one am going to be eagerly awaiting the next book she writes! This book had a lot to recommend itself based on my expectations from the first book, but at first I did have my doubts that I would love this book though that was quickly dispelled.

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Review: Evil in Emerald (Harriet Gordon Mysteries #3) by A. M. Stuart

I think it’s safe to say that I cannot WAIT for the next book in this series. I have devoured this series over the last week and have loved every single book and this one ended on quite the cliffhanger and I NEED the next book! The series has such wonderfully written characters and each one stands independently strong in the story. Meaning neither character is fully dependent on the other if that makes sense. Curran and Harriet are both strong leads and watching their friendship evolve through the series has been so great, they don’t need each other to shine but they choose each other which makes this series stand out for me.

I highly recommend reading this series in order, especially this book. This book draws on bits we explored in book two, so starting this book without reading the others would be a disservice and not do this book or characters justice. If you have been thinking about reading this series but haven’t decided if you should pull the trigger or not—-do it. I was on the fence when I picked up the book at a used bookstore and then forgot about it. I wasn’t sure, however I only regret that I didn’t read the books earlier. They have all been great so far and this one is no exception.

The setting of the books really adds so much to the story. The setting is almost its own character. I really feel like I am there in Singapore and experiencing the weather and culture just like Harriet and Curran. But it’s not so heavy on history and culture that it dominates the narrative. The author does a wonderful job incorporating the culture and history into the story without it being overpowering. Do not miss this series with all it’s goodness!

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Special Feature/Excerpt: The Codebreaker’s Secret by Sara Ackerman

I have never wanted to visit Hawaii so much! Whenever I read one of Sara Ackerman’s books set in Hawaii, I simply want to go there instantly! I have never been to Hawaii but I feel like I have simply by reading her books! Her love of Hawaii resonates in every book she writes and I always come away from one of her books feeling like I just took a vacation. Not only is her love for the island evident, her history is interesting and the stories and characters always well done.

It’s been a while since I read one of her books and I am actually currently reading this one so be watching for a review coming soon! Hint—it’s great so far! Today I have an excerpt from the book which I am sure you will all enjoy as much as I have! If you love WWII stories, but are tired of the same old same old locations, then take an adventure to Hawaii and escape into the rich world of spies, espionage, and love that haven’t been explored before!

As I mentioned, I couldn’t resist reading this book. I originally planned on reading it later in the fall but Hawaii was calling my name and that cover made it nearly impossible to resist. I love how Ackerman explores Hawaii’s unique history particularly wartime history. Each of her books feature a bit of romance but for me the setting and history of Hawaii really shine in her books. So checkout the excerpt today and be sure to pick up a copy, you will not be disappointed! And be watching for my review soon!

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Special Feature: Mademoiselle Revolution by Zoe Sivak

I love seeing all these new historical fiction books featuring characters of color and of the LGBTQ community! It’s exciting and refreshing to see a new side of history told from a new perspective. I am always eager to check out books that have substance and a rich historical backdrop and interesting locations. I have said this often enough, a lot of historical fiction is set in England and France—-familiar landscapes for readers. But if you read a lot of historical fiction, you will likely grow board of these locations.

This is why this book appealed to me so much—it is set in Haiti and then moves to France. I am so eager to see how the Haitian culture translates into the French culture. The setting and cultural elements promised in this book really make it stand out as unique and new. I am just so excited to check this one out and of course share a bit about it with all of you today.

This is Sivak’s debut novel and it has been receiving rave reviews from early reviews. It features a biracial main character and brings bisexual energy to the story as well. It promises well researched history told from a new perspective with interesting details and historical information. I am simply beyond excited to check this one out and if you love historical fiction, this no doubt will be a hot seller this year. It is out now so do not delay—download or order it today!

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