Monday, August 5, 2019

Book Review: The Princess Plan by Julia London (ARC)



Title: The Princess Plan
Author: Julia London
Series: A Royal Marriage #1
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Harlequin
Pub Date: November 26, 2019 
Pages: 384
My Copy: Courtesy of Harlequin and NetGalley

Book Summary: 

Princes have pomp and glory—not crushes on commoners.

Nothing gets the tongues of London’s high society wagging like a good scandal. And when the personal secretary of the visiting Prince Sebastian of Alucia is found murdered, it’s all anyone can talk about, including Eliza Tricklebank. Her unapologetic gossip gazette has benefited from an anonymous tip about the crime, prompting Sebastian to take an interest in playing detective—and an even greater interest in Eliza.

With a trade deal on the line and mounting pressure to secure a noble bride, there’s nothing more salacious than a prince dallying with a commoner. Sebastian finds Eliza’s contrary manner as frustrating as it is seductive, but they’ll have to work together if they’re going to catch the culprit. And when things heat up behind closed doors, it’s the prince who’ll have to decide what comes first—his country or his heart.

Book Review:

A great start to a new series. I love how these two people who come from two different backgrounds find each other thru some unusual means. One is a prince. The other is a lady who helps her father, a judge and also runs a ladies gazette and things get much more interesting than either of them ever thought possible.

The way this book starts is with Sebastian, who happens to be a prince. He is the crowned prince of Alucia and needs to marry an English Women of some social standing with connections to help secure a trade agreement. This would make him more secure and the Alucian crown help avoid a war with another kingdom. They need the alliance with England.
So it’s a matter of necessity to do what is in the best interest of his kingdom. Eliza on the other hand has a bit of a different situation. She is a spinister, someone who never married and takes care of her father, who happens to be blind and has a sister and a housekeeper, Poppy. Plus she is visited by her friend (RN: This person has been in another Julia London series), who has a lot of connections. So we learn that things are not always what things seem. Plus she was burned once before in a relationship and that makes her quite hesitant to start things. Not to mention she writes a gazette that talks about women’s fashions for the most part and then sometimes gossip.

Of course, at a party to find a suitable bride and meet some of the most elite ladies with great social connections, things get very interesting. Eliza gets lost and ends up meeting the prince who is in a mask at the party along with the other Alucians. She is drinking some rum punch and he partakes of the rum punch. Somehow Eliza ends up on a line to meet him and realizes that the man she met is the prince. 

So then things become even more twisty as there are tons of people and something very bad happens to someone who is close to the prince. This person is murdered and is/was a close personal friend to Sebastian (the prince) and therefore begins an investigation. Somehow Eliza and the gazette get a hold of this information and put it in their gazette which leads Sebastian and Eliza to but some heads. During this course of butting heads Sebastian is stunned that anyone would talk to him the way this woman has talked to him. He is surprised and a little bit baffled by this development.

Him and Eliza somehow get involved in a murder investigation. This ends up getting them even closer and developing at first a weird kind of friendship that is different from any other relationship he has ever had with a woman. This ends up getting much more intense as both Eliza and Sebastian realize their were things they didn’t know and realize that they need each other. Sebastian also realizes that people have kept secrets from him and that’s not a good thing as it can affect the safety of his people. He also is having to deal with the trade agreement and marriage proposal.


Yet he has to wrestle with the fact that both him and Eliza would make a good match love wise, but the fact that she doesn’t have a title makes it hard. Somehow an idea comes to him that will give Eliza the title after a long thinking over the situation. Plus he realizes that life and the crown isn’t worth all the frustration and broken hearted his life would be without the woman he loves. So he manages to find a solution to their problem and Eliza’s father gets a title and this will enable him to marry the woman he loves and Eliza the man she loves he hopes. 

So when he proposes to Eliza she is stunned, but he tells her that being his wife will not be easy, but together they can overcome the challenges. She accepts the proposal and is very happy in a way she never expected. Sebastian and Eliza do get their happily ever after, but it was a lot of work to get the happy ending that both of them needed and wanted. 

I really enjoyed this book and am looking forward to the next one in the series.

Rating:

Four Hearts

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Book Review: Priceless by Shannon Mayer (Rylee Adamason #1)


Title: Priceless
Author: Shannon Mayer
Series: Rylee Adamson #1
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Talos publishing, imprint of Sky Horse Publishing
Pub Date: November 15, 2016
Pages: 256
My Copy: Paperback in my TBR pile

Book Summary:

“My name is Rylee and I am a Tracker.”

When children go missing, and the Humans have no leads, I'm the one they call. I am their last hope in bringing home the lost ones. I salvage what they cannot.

I'm on the FBI's wanted list.

I have a werewolf for a pet, a Witch of a best friend, and have no need for anyone else in my life.

But when a salvage starts to spin out of control, help comes from a most unexpected direction. One that is dangerously dark, brooding, and doesn't know a thing about the supernatural.

One whose kisses set me on fire.

Book Review:

A really interesting start to a urban fantasy series. I like how Rylee is someone who is caught in a world where she is navigating and doing a job that she is very good at, but also has some problems. I think it’s an interesting thing that she uses her ability for.

I like how this book opens up. This book opens up with two parents who want to find their child. Rylee knows she is going to take the job and we get some background on why Rylee tracks children that have gone missing that no one else can find. She has an ability to see things. Also this child will impact her life in a way she doesn’t see coming. We also learn that her abilities are a gift, when earlier in her life she thought them a curse.

We learn she has a group of people in her life who all are misfits or people that have all their own baggage. Millie, her best friend and a witch who doesn’t really have a coven. Alex, a Werewolf that can’t transform to human, we learn in this world only the Alpha’s can do that. Giselle, the woman who raised both Millie and her to be adults and harness their abilities, but is starting to lose her mind and needs help. So this causes Rylee some stress in a different way. Then there’s the FBI Agent who makes Rylee’s life difficult.

Of course, Millie finds a coven that will accept her, but this decision comes at a bad time for Rylee. Nothing is going right in her personal life. She makes a decision to buy herself time for Giselle. Giselle needs around the clock care, but decides to put her in the hospital for a week to come up with a plan. So then she finds out this kidnapping is a lot more complicated than she originally than she thought it would be.

There are a lot of fights and out of control twists that no one can see coming. Plus not to mention she has to face a pack of werewolves trying to hurt Alex and things spiral in a way that was crazy. Lots of people learning things that they never know or suspected. Also this child she has been looking for is about to have her powers emerge. This means that when this child is return she will need guidance. We also learn that there are other things transpiring in the paranormal world that could lead to big things being shaken up. 
Millie also comes back and deals with the coven she thought was good, are really the bad guys who kidnapped the girl because they want to put something really bad in her. So Rylee, Millie and their friends have to fight the coven off, kill the demon that wants to possess the girl, rescue the girl and this is nothing short of spectacular. I really enjoyed it a lot.

Also when the dust clears, Rylee learns something about herself, her sisters kidnapping that she never knew before. Rylee also gets offered a job in the ARCANE Division of the FBI. This is a real chance for Rylee to get some help and much needed resources in a way. She at first is hesitant to take it, but does, because their needs to be something that will lead to her finding her sister.

I enjoyed this book a lot. I’m looking forward to reading Immune, the next book in the series.

Rating:
4 Hearts


Tuesday, June 4, 2019

The Earl Next Door by Amelia Grey


Title: The Earl Next Door
Author: Amelia Grey
Series: First Comes Love #1
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: St. Martins Press
Pub Date: May 28, 2019
Pages: 294
My Copy: Courtesy of NetGalley and St. Martins Pres

Book Summary:

Adeline, Dowager Countess of Wake, is all on her own after her husband’s sudden death. The good news? Losing him allowed her to find herself. Finally, Adeline is free to do, go, and be as she pleases. She cherishes her newfound independence and is not looking for another man to wed. But seeking out a new lover? Well, that is a whole ’nother story. . .


Lord Lyon, son of the two-timing Earl of Marksworth, wishes to have a respectable, loving wife someday. When he meets the beautiful and self-reliant Adeline, Lyon is instantly smitten. But Adeline would rather have the handsome suitor in her bed than to take his hand in marriage. It’s a scandalous proposal—and one that’s hard for Lyon to refuse. Unless the fire of his passion can melt Adeline’s resolve. . .and he can find a way to be the Wickedly Wonderful Widow’s lover for all time?

Book Review:

A very good historical romance where two people meet in a most unusual way and find themselves in a situations that makes them grow closer in a lot of ways. Since they are living right next to one another. 

Things happen in a way that is unexpected. Lyon thinks that this women who has moved in next door to him is opening a brothel because of something one of his neighbors has voiced concerned and finds out from Adeline, that she is opening a school for Girls and Lyon feels bad that he made an assumption. We learn that this is not an everyday occurrence for Lyon to go into another persons house and a women’s bedchamber. So then things happen that are unexpected.

Lyon has a neighbor who makes things interesting. She is constantly spying on her neighbor and has a very good spy glass. Things get interesting between Adeline and Lyon when the students come into the school. I like how the young girls all seem to be in situations that are terrible. Adeline and her friends get a staff and are teaching these girls trade so that they can make a living other than doing things that are not so reputable. So this school provides purpose and other things.

There are many issues that arise with having a school for the girls. We learn a lot about our two characters past. Both Adeline and Lyon have had things that have gone wrong in their life. Lyon has a somewhat tenuous relationship with his father who is constantly doing something to him or causing him some grief. Adeline has always felt like she was never enough for her dead husband. He always put her down and made her feel like she was stupid and not worthy. This makes her skeptical of men. Especially someone like Lyon who is really handsome.

So Lyon & Adeline come to butt heads sometimes about things that the girls may or may not do. This causes some arguments between the two of them. Also there is a moment when both Lyon and Adeline let their guard down and start to begin a sexual relationship that leaves both of them very satisfied, but Adeline’s past makes her think that men in general can’t be trusted. Things also are happening in Lyon’s father’s life. His father is engaged to a young women as well. Plus Lyon finds out that his father has put a bet up that he will have a child up before him.

There is some more intense things that have happened. We learn that Lyon has given them a pianoforte to the school and that the girls really love it. Adeline is surprised by everything he does and doesn’t do at times. I thought this was really good use of showing that Lyon is a man who is complicated and feels bad when he does something wrong or that the girls need something to keep their mind occupied. I really enjoyed the way the story unfolded.

We also find out that Adeline’s late husband had a child with his mistress and this causes some great distress to Adeline. She really doesn’t want that child in her school but her mother has left the girl in the custody of her because she has no financial means to support the child. Things happen that caused this situation to arise and Lyon gets Adeline to see that this child needs her help and this woman wouldn’t have done this if she didn’t have a choice. Lyon shows his caring nature. We also learn that later on that Adeline is pregnant with Lyon’s child and I really enjoyed that development in this book. 

We get to see them at the end of the book together and of course Adeline is in labor. So of course things are good now between the couple. The child turns out to be a boy. Lyon and Adeline are so happy. Lyon’s father is happy and goes to inform the bet makers and tells Lyon he had a feeling that he would have a son first. Lyon is quite stunned by his father. This couple had to work to be together and find that somethings things happen in life that are unexpected and to embrace those moments. I really enjoyed this story so much. 

I’m looking forward to seeing what happens in the next book in this series.

Rating:

Four Hearts

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

The Passage by Justin Cronin Book Review


Title: The Passage
Author: Justin Cronin
Series: Passage Trilogy
Genre: Sci Fi, Apocalyptic, Horror, Paranormal-Vampires (Sort Of)
Publisher: Ballatine Books
Pub Date: June 8, 2010
Pages: 776
My Copy: On my TBR PILE VIA KINDLE

Book Summary:

IT HAPPENED FAST.
THIRTY-TWO MINUTES FOR ONE WORLD TO DIE, ANOTHER TO BE BORN.

First, the unthinkable: a security breach at a secret U.S. government facility unleashes the monstrous product of a chilling military experiment. Then, the unspeakable: a night of chaos and carnage gives way to sunrise on a nation, and ultimately a world, forever altered. All that remains for the stunned survivors is the long fight ahead and a future ruled by fear--of darkness, of death, of a fate far worse.

As civilization swiftly crumbles into a primal landscape of predators and prey, two people flee in search of sanctuary. FBI agent Brad Wolgast is a good man haunted by what he's done in the line of duty. Six-year-old orphan Amy Harper Bellafonte is a refugee from the doomed scientific project that has triggered apocalypse. Wolgast is determined to protect her from the horror set loose by her captors, but for Amy, escaping the bloody fallout is only the beginning of a much longer odyssey--spanning miles and decades--toward the time an place where she must finish what should never have begun.


Book Review:

This was a very intense ride from start to finish. What I loved about this book was that it was very character driven for both parts of the books, the present and the future. The book is basically told in two parts and it makes the story that much more powerful.

One of the many things about this book is the way that it is powerful in the way that people react and the back stories that are told. The beginning of this book starts off with Amy’s mother and what an utterly amazing story but terrible in it’s own way of what this women went thru through out her life and the circumstances of things that made this women and to an extent of why Amy was chosen in a way to become a part of something much bigger than anyone ever expected.  I found the story of Amy’s mother to be beautifully heartbreaking in a way. The narrative was very strong and leads into why this kid is the one that the government wants to experiment on. 

There seems to be a big thing happening with Amy once things start getting weird around the places she is living in. One of the great things about this book is that the relationships are a pivotal part of the book. I really found myself engrossed by the people she meets like Sister Lacey, Agent Wolgast. These two people come to mean a lot to her in different ways as they become protectors to her during what seems a confusing time. The government hires Wolgast to bring her back to a base. The base is where they are conducting an experiment of some kind. 

We learn about what happened to someone who went to a foreign country and this person happened to be a doctor. They want to find a cure for whatever bit him, which was a weird bat that really wasn’t a bat, but a creature of some sort because now it seems like they have created a dangerous, but different kind of creature. They call them virals or you could call them vampires.

As we progress in the first part of the book there is a bond forming between Brad and Amy in almost a father daughter way. There closeness comes from at first both having lost someone they loved very dearly and are no longer alive. We find out that Project the government is working on is going to help out a lot of sick people not realizing that they are going to cause something very bad. There are a lot of things that happen. Brad is very protective of Amy and doesn’t want anything bad to happen to her and he goes rogue. He definitely thinks that there is something really odd about this government project.

Things get weirder and weirder once Amy gets injected with the virus. Yet the virus reacts quite differently in her than in other subjects. She finds that she is faster, yet her skin becomes very white. Then the virals have their own agenda and are just waiting for something to happen. We also learn that the people in charge have their own agendas. This causes a lot of bad things to happen. I really found myself interested in things and how they played out. Also the fact that there is a sister Lacey, a nun who Amy bonded with earlier in the book is investigating on her own as well. 

When things go to hell, both Amy and Brad manage to escape the facility and find a place to hide, but Amy runs away from him. I was surprised by that and it is where the first part of this book ends which I found surprising.

The second part of this book was really interesting as it takes place 100 years after the First Half. So we have totally new characters and a new situation. We find that people are living in a community that has been dealing with the virals for a time, but people basically have gone back to a time where they are doing the best that they can to do to survive. There is a town government. Everybody knows their station and situation. Basically people go out to hunt and forage and do what they can do to survive. 

We meet a few characters who definitely have strong personalities and are doing what they have to do. We find that this community also has some issues. Through one of the characters we lean that there is a problem with the power and that the batteries/generators are starting to die. It’s a problem because without power the community will be vulnerable to attack from the virals. Also something very bad happens and we learn that a few people go out of the community to go look for someone and then one of them has an accident and we meet Amy again. Only thing Amy is not the Amy that we knew before. She looks frightened and helps the man from getting attacked during the scouting mission. 

This second half of the book is gripping and telling in about its more about people and what it means to be human. Also it tells about survival and what fighting for the future. For Amy, it’s a bit different. She is stuck for a while in her own mind, but we find that things are not the same.  Amy helps rescue one of these people and finds that these people need her as much as she needs them. Not to mention Amy hasn’t aged at all. She is still the same kid physically. So this was a very interesting thing.

There is a lot of things happening. A group of survivors find out several things when they start seeking answers and find answers, but not the ones they thought they would find. In fact they get more questions and find that there was an experiment that doomed the human race in a way. Also not to mention, someone from Amy’s past comes back, Lacey. I didn't expect to see her alive. It was actually good to see her. Lacey tells Amy that she has something to do before her time runs out, Lacey is only here for a little bit longer. Lacey tells her that she will find the passage. The passage will help her defeat the virals.

This was a crazy last act of the book because people realize that things are only going to get worse unless they defeat the virals and Amy is a key part of that. Her powers will only get more stronger once she puts her trust in herself and those around her. Not to mention things will happen that she can’t explain, but she needs to have faith. Everything will work out.

I really enjoyed the way this ended. It ended on a hopeful note. I think that was one of the most great ways to end. Sometimes things don’t end in a way you expect. I like how Amy and the others realize that life is about fighting for the way you want things to be and sometimes things work out and they don’t. Remember there’s always hope and that’s what you have to hold on to that.

Rating:

Four Hearts