Special Feature: The Mad Girls of New York (Nellie Bly #1) by Maya Rodale

Nellie Bly gained so much fan as a reporter in New York during the Guilded Age when she published her article about insane asylums for women. I know when I first read about her all I could think of was ‘what a badass!’. I have since read some historical fiction books that reference her life and works but I have yet to actually read a book about Nellie Bly—fictionalized or otherwise.

When I saw this one come across my desk I thought to myself ‘Yes finally!’. This tantalizing new book brings Nellie Bly to life as an investigastive reporter and trailblazer in a fictionalized recounting of her adventures. Plus it promises to add in some mystery, intriuge and romance and I am so here for this book! I cannot wait to see how this series evolves as this is just the first book in what looks to be a promising series!

Author Maya Rodale is mostly a romance writer so this will be her first foray into historical fiction/mystery but I am absolutely thrilled about this crossover. I haven’t read any of Rodale’s roamnces but I have seen many of them and they all look so juicy. This book about Bly also hints at a romantic piece so I am looking forward to seeing how that translates in the story itself. The book has been getting a ton of positive early reviews all around 4-5 stars! I cannot wait for this one and it’s out now so if you are looking for a new intriguing read I think this is going to be an excellent option!

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Review: An Impossible Impostor (Veronica Speedwell #7) by Deanna Raybourn

Deanna Raybourn has been one of my favorite historical mystery writers since I first discovered the Veronica Speedwell series. I have since read all of her books and loved each of them, some more than others, but overall her books have been fantastic. The Veronica Speedwell series being my personal favorite of her books and series. Veronica is such a wonderfully non conventional character and her chemistry with Stoker has been solid through most of the series.

However, the last book left me a little disappointed, it was ok but just not my favorite in the series so I was really looking forward to this one and seeing how and if the dynamic of the books changed at all after the last one. If you love historical mysteries that are smart, cheeky, and of course with a hint of romance you will find a lot to love in the Veronica Speedwell series! She is such a great heroine and I have loved this series over all.

I can’t believe we are into the seventh book already! It seems like just yesterday I was discovering Veronica for the first time and now here we are seven books in and so much has changed for both Veronica and Stoker through the books. I went into this one expecting some of that familiar sizzle and chemistry to be rediscovered between Veronica and Soker as well as a smart mystery story and I was not disappointed!

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Review: Circus of Wonders by Elizabeth Macneal

I read Elizabeth Macneal’s debut novel, The Doll Factory, a couple of years ago and loved it. I was super excited to see this book was coming out and I absolutely love the cover. The cover is eye catching and bright and just screams ‘circus theme’ and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. Honestly the cover and title implied that it would be a lot more whimsical and happy then it actually was.

Having read her previous novel, I was not entirely surprised that this book was a bit more serious than the cover implies. Macneal has a great way of capturing the atmosphere of late Victorian England and she has a strong sense of history as well as creating memorable characters. In her book The Doll Factory, I seem to recall that her characters had some disfigurements and in this one the main character also suffers from a disfigurement. This little detail really makes for powerful and outstanding characters which is why her books themselves stand out for me so much.

If you love historical fiction but want something a little different with a hint of circus glamour then you need to read this book. I loved the atmosphere and story more than I thought I would. While I love the cover, I think it implies more of a carefree story inside but this one had substance and so much to remember. I really liked it as a follow up to The Doll Factory, the books aren’t related but I see themes in both and I love that Macneal has such a wonderful style that will stand out to readers.

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Review: The Siren of Sussex (Belles of London #1) by Mimi Matthews

Mimi Matthews has been a long time auto-buy author for me. I’ve read all her books and have loved each and every one of them. Watching her author journey from early on has been so exciting and rewarding but in some ways sad. For me she was my best kept secret in the historical fiction genre and now the secret is out about how amazing she is with this big publishing house release!

Matthews is a master at creating realistic female characters with charming heroes that come together with electric chemistry. I have raved about her books to friends, family, and all over my social media! She’s amazing and I cannot wait for the masses to read this book. No secret, I adored it and read it in one sitting (which is often the case for all her books!).

If you are looking for a book to fill the Bridgerton sized hole in your life, then you need to pick this one up. I am also thrilled to see this one is the first in a new series for Matthews so I can come back and revisit this charming world and characters she has created. If you love historical romances and well drawn characters you need to read this book! Plus THAT COVER!!! I am in love with the cover, it adds such pizzaz and would make me snatch it right off the shelf!

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Review: City of Time and Magic (Found Things #4) by Paula Brackston

I have been a long time fan of Paula Brackston and I have read the other books in this series so naturally when this one came up for review, it was a no brainer to say ‘yes’. If you haven’t read the other books in this series, I would not start with this one. This book picks up where the last book left off and continues to build on the series and established characters.

Brackston is known for the ‘witch books’ which I have enjoyed and they are not necessarily part of a ‘series’ but they all maintain similar themes of witchcraft and a bit of a love story. The Found Things books have been different yet have the same trademark story telling style that Brackston is known for. And this book in particular introduces readers to some other characters from the other ‘witch books’ she has written which I thought was fun. I would say you don’t have to read the ‘witch books’ to enjoy this series but the Found Things books should be read in order.

While this is the last book in the Found Things series, Brackston leaves plenty of room to revisit familiar characters and expand on the possibility of spin off series. If you love witchy stories with some history, romance, and time travel this is definitely a series not to be missed! Brackstone is a magical story teller with talent and experience that will delight readers.

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