Review: Naughty in Nice (Royal Spyness #5) by Rhys Bowen

Slowly I am binging this entire series and I hope you have been following along with my reviews on each book. I have no stranger to Rhys Bowen’s books, but this series was one that just kept flying under my radar.

My mom gifted me the first book in this series at least 4 times and I did give in and read the last book in the series—-first, like an idiot. But I decided to finally remedy the situation and started this series from the beginning.

As I said, I am slowly binging the series so that I can be nice and caught up for the new book being released later this summer.

The books are super quick reads and I can usually hammer out one a week in between my other reading commitments, so here we are with number 5! Continue reading “Review: Naughty in Nice (Royal Spyness #5) by Rhys Bowen”

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Review: The Great Pretenders by Laura Kalpakian

I decided to review this one because I have zero impulse control when it comes to pretty historical fiction book covers.

I love the eye catching teal and yellow color pallet in this cover and it so clearly screams 1950s Hollywood glamour and as soon as I saw it, I knew I wanted to read it. I didn’t even really read the pitch all the way through, I just eagerly agreed!

This author has written a number of other books but none that I have read or really heard of but she has won a number o literally awards. This book seems to be kind of her ‘break out’ novel in my opinion. Kind of more mainstream and widely appealing.

I also see she lives in the Pac NW (though I don’t know where, does anyone else know?) and one of her son’s, Bear McCreary, is responsible for the outstanding Outlander sound track so I was immediately interested in reading this book for the cover but ultimately my curiosity about the author and her exceptionally talented family drew me in and made me all the more excited to read this book! Continue reading “Review: The Great Pretenders by Laura Kalpakian”

Take Two Review: The Seven Sisters (Seven Sisters #1) by Lucinda Riley

I read this book for the first time back in the summer of 2015 and I remember how much I loved reading this book and especially how it made me fall in love with a new author.

Since starting this book, I have continued with the Seven Sisters books and every time marvel at Riley’s story telling abilities.

I recently read the latest Seven Sisters novel, The Moon Sister, and was thinking how much I love this series as a whole and will be so sad to see it come to an end. I have all the books but with my review schedule, it’s often hard to fit in rereads of old favorites.

Well thanks to Audible, I don’t have to worry about fitting in old favorites. I have recently become such a huge fan of audiobooks because of how much driving I do with my kid. I mean it’s not like we do a TON of driving, but a couple of trips to the store or running errands throughout the day can often add up to a lot of listening! And frankly I am sick to death of the radio so I thought why not try Audible?

I splurged and got the $6 Romance package add on and found that the first Seven Sisters book was on there for free! I downloaded it and started listening while I waited for my new month credit. Continue reading “Take Two Review: The Seven Sisters (Seven Sisters #1) by Lucinda Riley”

Review: Royal Blood (Royal Spyness #4) by Rhys Bowen

As promised, I have been making my way through the Royal Spyness Mystery series these last few weeks.

I actually started this one at the end and then decided to go back and read the other books. There are 12 so far and I am sadly only on book 4. But I am making my way as fast as I can through the books and enjoying each one as I go.

They are quick reads and delightfully light and yet entertaining enough to keep me reading into the late hours (especially on the weekends!).

If you have been following along with my reviews of this series, then you know that I have been gifted the first book in this series, by my mom on at least four occasions. It is giving her a rather large head now that she knows I am finally reading this series and loving every minute of it! Continue reading “Review: Royal Blood (Royal Spyness #4) by Rhys Bowen”

Special Feature: The Alchemist of Lost Souls (Bianca Goddard Mysteries #4) by Mary Lawrence

The first thing that caught my eye about this book was the title. I love the mystical and scientific world of alchemy and I thing it makes for an interesting backdrop for a murder mystery. Also the time period. So so so many historical mysteries are set from the Victorian era thru WWII and while I love all those periods, there are times when it feels a little stale. This time period is ripe with superstition and I think it will do nicely for a series such as this.

When I saw this book, I didn’t even care that it was 4th in a series, the time period alone sounded refreshing (it’s set in 1544!) and I’ve also been assured that each book reads as a standalone. I will have it up for official review in June, but I’ve gotta say, I’ve already peaked the first chapter and already loving it!

I also have a copy up for giveaway this week over on my Instagram page so be sure to check that out as well! The book is available today so I wanted to make sure it was on all of your radar! I am eager to discover this new and exciting heroine who does all her sleuthing in a very unique period!

Summary

A dangerous element discovered by Bianca Goddard’s father falls into the wrong hands . . . leading to a chain of murders.

Spring 1544 Now that she is with child, Bianca is more determined than ever to distance herself from her unstable father. Desperate to win back the favor of King Henry VIII, disgraced alchemist Albern Goddard plans to reveal a powerful new element he’s discovered–one with deadly potential. But when the substance is stolen, he implores his daughter to help.

Soon after, a woman’s body is found behind the Dim Dragon Inn, an eerie green vapor rising from her mouth. Bianca has reason to suspect her own mother may be involved in the theft and the murder. When her husband John is conscripted into King Henry’s army to subdue Scottish resistance, finding the stone becomes a matter of life and death. Bianca must unravel the interests of alchemists, apothecaries, chandlers, and scoundrels–to find out who among them is willing to kill to possess the element known as lapis mortem, the stone of death (summary from Goodreads).

About the Author

The Bianca Goddard Mysteries are set in Tudor London during the final years of King Henry VIII’s reign. Bianca is the daughter of an infamous alchemist who uses her ‘wits’ and sometimes alchemy to solve murders. The series consists of (in order) THE ALCHEMIST’S DAUGHTER, DEATH OF AN ALCHEMIST, and DEATH AT ST. VEDAST. THE ALCHEMIST OF LOST SOULS will release in May 2019, with one more book to follow from Kensington.

I grew up in Indiana but I’ve spent most of my life living in Maine. I’ve also spent most of my life working in hospitals and labs. On the side, I began writing mostly to escape boredom. It’s taken me years to learn how to craft a decent novel. (Or what I term decent). I supplemented my income by writing indexes for publishers. Occasionally I will pen an article and I have been published by the national news blog, The Daily Beast.

I love Tudor England and I focus on the lower classes. My Bianca Goddard mysteries are meant to entertain and I hope they will engage readers who might not pick up period historicals as a first choice. It is an intriguing period, full of superstition, and the makings for interesting characters.

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