Review: The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla (Pink Carnation #11) by Lauren Willig

This was the book  I was least excited about reading in the series. It sounded completely out of Willig’s usual formula….like so far removed from her usual style that I just wasn’t thrilled about it.

Vampires? In this series. No, no, and just no.

Plus the heroine, Sally Fitzhugh, is not one that has even been on the fringes of the series up until like the last book and even then it was minimal.

However, as I have said before, I am continually impressed with her ability to hook me into a believable romance and prove all my misconceptions wrong. So I tried to keep an open mind when I started reading.

In October of 1806, the Little Season is in full swing, and Sally Fitzhugh has had enough of the endless parties and balls. With a rampant vampire craze sparked by the novel The Convent of Orsino, it seems no one can speak of anything else. But when Sally hears a rumor that the reclusive Duke of Belliston is an actual vampire, she cannot resist the challenge of proving such nonsense false. At a ball in Belliston Square, she ventures across the gardens and encounters the mysterious Duke.

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Review: The Passion of the Purple Plumeria (Pink Carnation #10) by Lauren Willig

I don’t know why but I always seem to go into the later Pink Carnation books with a preconceived notion of the romance.

With the last book, I was so not looking forward to it but found it was one of the more enjoyable ones! So one would think that I would keep an open mind. But I didn’t.

I was not really looking forward to an ‘old person romance’ in this book…not that I’m a spring chicken mind you but still…something about Miss Gwen and Colonel Reid just didn’t scream sexy to me.

In my mind, Miss Gwen is this old lady chaperone with pursed lips and grey hair while Colonel Reid seemed like this rough around the edges ladies man with grey hair….both charming in their own right but not anyone that I would fancy reading a romance about.

I am continually shocked with Willig’s ability to make me love her romances in spite of myself and my preconceived notions. Mind blown.

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Review: The Betrayal of the Blood Lily (Pink Carnation #6) by Lauren Willig

After the fifth Pink Carnation book, I kind of felt like I needed a little break from the Pink Carnation series. And by little break I mean like five years….thats how long it’s been since I read one of the Pink Carnation books.

I love the series as a whole but the last book in the series that I read, just left me a little wanting in the uniqueness category.

So I abandoned it in favor of other books, though I always knew that someday I would come back to it because lets face it, I am in love with this series, but I needed  little time to step away from it and come back to it in order to love it.

Granted five years seems excessive, but it happened eventually.

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Review: Murder on Black Swan Lane (A Wrexford and Sloane Mystery #1) by Andrea Penrose

While combing through the catalog of titles on Netgalley, I happened to come across this one and admittedly, was captivated by the cover. I am not really sure why, I mean it’s not like it’s really that new and eye catching….I feel like I’ve seen a ton of books with similar titles that I was passed by in favor of something more eye catching.

But for some reason I paused on this one long enough to read the summary. Again, nothing terribly fresh but yet it sounded like just the thing I was looking for…..something predictable. I was dying to read another British detective mystery novel and this sounded like just that. So I clicked on request and once it was approved, I started in on what I expected to be a run of the mill detective novel.

The Earl of Wrexford possesses a brilliant scientific mind, but boredom and pride lead him to reckless behavior. He does not suffer fools gladly. So when pompous, pious Reverend Josiah Holworthy publicly condemns him for debauchery, Wrexford unsheathes his rapier-sharp wit and strikes back.

As their war of words escalates, London’s most popular satirical cartoonist, A.J. Quill, skewers them both. But then the clergyman is found slain in a church—his face burned by chemicals, his throat slashed ear to ear—and Wrexford finds himself the chief suspect (summary from Goodreads).

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Review: India Black (Madam of Espionage #1) by Carol K Carr

This book has randomly surfaced on my Goodreads recommendations page and Twitter feed for the last few years now.

I personally love the cover and thought it sounded like an intriguing read. Well recently I saw someone else on Twitter reading it and I suddenly felt like it was time to check it out.

When Sir Archibald Latham of the War Office dies from a heart attack while visiting her brothel, Madam India Black is unexpectedly thrust into a deadly game between Russian and British agents who are seeking the military secrets Latham carried.

Blackmailed into recovering the missing documents by the British spy known as French, India finds herself dodging Russian agents-and the attraction she starts to feel for the handsome conspirator (summary from Goodreads).

So I guess the whole ‘deadly game’ bit had me thinking this was going to be more of a murder mystery but it wasn’t. This was more of a heist than a murder mystery by far. The whole novel is spent trying to track down a mysterious black case of English documents rather then trying to solve a murder.

It was much different than what I was expecting. I was actually kind of disappointed that this was all that happened throughout the novel though.

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