Review: The Essence of Malice (Amory Ames #4) by Ashley Weaver

Here I am, yet another late comer to a new mystery series and I find myself wondering how in fact I missed this series in the first place!

Picking up a book mid series is always a risk, but I have found that more often than not, the author tries to fill in the missing links for new readers so they don’t feel like they need to start at the beginning. However sometimes it’s just not possible to go back and try to recap everything that a new reader might have missed.

While this book was well written and fun to read, I did feel like I needed the other books to stay up to par with everything that was going on.

1930s England.

When Milo Ames receives a troubling letter from his childhood nanny, Madame Nanette, he and Amory travel to Paris where they are soon embroiled in a mystery surrounding the death of a famous parfumier. Helios Belanger died suddenly, shortly before the release of his newest, highly-anticipated perfume, and Madame Nanette, who works for the family, is convinced that her employer’s death was not due to natural causes. (more…)

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Special Feature: A COLUMN OF FIRE (Kingsbridge #3) by Ken Follett

There is a reason that Ken Follett is a #1 best selling author–his novels are fantastic.

I read his book THE PILLARS OF THE EARTH while I was visiting London in 2009 and never looked back. His writing was unparalleled and I loved that book with all my heart. I couldn’t put it down the entire vacation and I happened to be cathedral hopping in England so it was a fitting read to be sure.

I didn’t continue on with the Kingsbridge series though, only because I felt like the way Pillars ended, it was enough. I was happy with where it ended and where all the characters were in their lives. I didn’t want to sully the wonder of the first book with an unsatisfying second book, if that’s what it turned out to be—I don’t know if it was that or not but I haven’t yet read WORLD WITHOUT END.

So here we are, another Kingsbridge book is coming out and the summary sounds so promising. I was intrigued enough to consider reading it and continuing with the series. I decided to read A COLUMN OF FIRE later this fall so I will be posting a review in Nov, but until then I wanted to let readers in on a little Q & A with the author and a summary of what sounds like a fantastic book.

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Review: A Strange Scottish Shore (Emmeline Truelove #2) by Juliana Gray

Sometimes you pick up a book in a series and immediately know you are going to love it. That’s what happened with this one.

Just the cover and title alone was enough to entice me to read this one and next thing I know, within a couple of pages, I already know I desperately need the first book in the series.

For a number of reasons though, not just because I liked Emmeline Truelove and wanted more, but mostly because I felt like I needed to know more about what was going on with the characters and the over all story.

Scotland, 1906. A mysterious object discovered inside an ancient castle calls Maximilian Haywood, the new Duke of Olympia, and his fellow researcher Emmeline Truelove, north to the remote Orkney Islands.

No stranger to the study of anachronisms in archeological digs, Haywood is nevertheless puzzled by the artifact: a suit of clothing, which, according to family legend, once belonged to a selkie who rose from the sea in ancient times and married the castle’s first laird. (more…)

Review: The Cottingley Secret by Hazel Gaynor

When you first glimpse the cover of this book, it doesn’t shout ‘magical realism’. It shouts ‘family saga’. At least to me it does.

Admittedly, I skimmed the review pitch very lightly and didn’t really pay close attention to it because like it or not, I knew I would review this one based on the cover and title.

It just sounded like a title that said ‘family saga’ in the vein of Kate Morton for some reason. Then you add in that cover and there you have it, I was convinced at face value that this was a family saga (something that I love).

So imagine my surprise when there were fairies and magic in this book.

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Review: The Library of Light and Shadow (Daughters of La Lune #3) by M.J. Rose

MJ Rose has a talent for writing romantic, magical, and passionate historical fiction novels. I love her Daughters of La Lune series even if at times, the books didn’t end on a high note, overall they are really fun to read and have progressively improved between book I and book II.

I was super excited to see this one come up for review, ironically I had just been wondering when the next Rose book was due out and I was thrilled to see that it was this one!  Her writing style is sensual and lyrical and the story is almost always a promising romance, so you can’t go wrong with one of her books!

In the wake of a dark and brutal World War, the glitz and glamour of 1925 Manhattan shine like a beacon for the high society set, which is desperate to keep their gaze firmly fixed to the future.

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