Tuesday, 26 November 2019

Angel's Serenade (A Willow Valley Historical Romance Book 2) by Linda Weaver Clarke (2019)



Emmeline Scott is raising her sister’s two children and is surprised when she finds out the new doctor in town is helping her nephew adapt to his surroundings. It is not easy to be uprooted and have to start a new life. As Emmeline gets to know the charming doctor, Lucas Golden, they become intrigued by her neighbour’s mysterious behaviour. Will they discover his secret? And who is the leader of the River Pirates, who is causing so much havoc?



 Linda Weaver Clarke always manages to deliver a lovely read that can be enjoyed by everyone. This gentle romance in the Old West combined with a mystery made this a very enjoyable read. 
I really liked the characters of Lucas and Emmeline. I thought it was really sweet the way Lucas made certain to stop and listen to Emmeline play the piano everyday. He also had some nice moments with the children. It didn't take him long to charm the whole town! He and Emmeline made a cute couple.
The story of the river pirates added a sense of drama and mystery which also had me hooked. I loved how that particular problem was resolved.
The books in this series will leave you with a nice, happy, warm, feeling. Enjoy!


Angel's Serenade is out now Amazon

Saturday, 23 November 2019

The Corpse Played Dead (Lizzie Hardwicke #2) by Georgina Clarke (2019)


All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players…’
When an undercover assignment for the Bow Street magistrate sees prostitute Lizzie Hardwicke trade Ma Farley’s Bawdy House in Soho for life as a seamstress the theatre on Drury Lane, it becomes clear quite quickly - what goes on in the wings is much more intriguing than the theatrics being played out on stage…
Soon Lizzie is once again thrown together with the handsome Inspector Will Davenport when a high profile investor is brutally hanged at centre stage and Lizzie discovers the body. With the suspect list rivalling any casting call, Lizzie will have to use every trick she’s hidden up her sleeves to unravel the tangled threads and bring the culprit into the spotlight.

The Corpse Played Dead is the second book in the series and equally entertaining as the first. The series is now copper-fastened in my auto buy list.
The characters are hugely appealing. The honourable Inspector Davenport, enlists the help of feisty and beautiful Lizzie Hardwicke. I couldn't help but suspect that he recruited her simply to keep her out of the brothel. I'm hoping his next case won't be too far away. 
The time and setting is thoroughly researched so everything about the place and characters ring true. I felt like I could almost walk into that theatre and touch it.
The murder mystery itself was very intriguing. I didn't have much sympathy for the first victim but when the bodies started to pile up it was a different matter. It got very suspenseful and exciting towards the end and I was gobsmacked at the identity of the killer.
I love the relationship between Lizzie and the Inspector. They have the beginnings of a close friendship and partnership of sorts and I have a feeling we will be teased with the 'will they or won't they' for a while to come. I can't wait.


You can buy The Corpse Played Dead now at Amazon
Have you read the first book? Death and the Harlot is £1.99 right now for Kindle.

Saturday, 16 November 2019

Hand of Miriam (A Bayla and the Golem Novel Book 1) by Eva Gordon


On an archaeological expedition, Bayla Gideon, is widowed by a supernatural force and branded with the Hand of Miriam or Knowing Eye. Threatened by evil, she awakens the golem; a mythical man of clay, who protected the Jewish community over three centuries ago.

The golem, Gesher, is surprised. Freedom –by a beautiful, enchanting woman. His desire is to return to the celestial spheres and regain his status as an avenging angel. Yet, Bayla challenges his mind, body and soul. Would he risk his return to the heavens for her?

Besides, dealing with the otherkind, mad inventors and an unrelenting matchmaking aunt, Bayla is equally determined to resist her steamy attraction to the striking fallen angel.

Thrust into a malevolent war, which includes facing Jack the Ripper, they must resist the magnetic pull toward each other, while protecting the world from encroaching evil.


This was a good enough story but I found that it dragged quite a bit in the middle and could have been a bit shorter. It picked up again towards the end. I really liked the beginning of this novel. It was full of mystery and drama as we were introduced to the characters.
I enjoyed the mix of mythical creatures and Victorian London at the time of the Ripper murders.  It was a good premise for lots of action and drama.
Bayla was an interesting and likeable character but I would have liked to read the stories where she helped the police to solve crimes rather than just being told this is what she did.

Although the romantic scenes and dialogue had me cringing there was plenty of adventure and suspense to hold my attention and keep me entertained.
The steampunk elements were fun and including Jewish history and culture in the storyline made it more interesting. 
The narrator did a good job and I will probably listen to the next book when it comes out on Audible.


Thursday, 14 November 2019

The Business of Blood (The Business of Blood #1) by Kerrigan Byrne (2019)


The Business of Blood, an all-new intriguing historical mystery from USA Today bestselling author Kerrigan Byrne, is available now!

London, 1890. Blood and death are Fiona Mahoney’s trade, and business, as they say, is booming.

Dying is the only thing people do with any regularity, and Fiona makes her indecorous living cleaning up after the corpses are carted away. Her childhood best friend, Mary, was the last known victim of Jack the Ripper. It’s been two years since Fiona scrubbed Mary’s blood from the floorboards, and London is no longer buzzing about the Ripper, but Fiona hasn’t forgotten. She hasn’t stopped searching for Jack.

When she’s called to a murder in the middle of the night, Fiona finds a victim mutilated in an eerily similar fashion to those of the Ripper, and only a few doors down from Mary’s old home. The relentless and irritatingly handsome Inspector Grayson Croft warns her away from the case. She might have listened, if she hadn’t found a clue in the blood. A clue that will lead her down a path from which there is no return.

As a killer cuts a devastating swath through London, a letter written in blood arrives at her door, and it is only then that Fiona realizes just how perilous her endeavor is. For she has drawn the attention of an obsessive evil, and is no longer the hunter, but the prey.

Fiona Mahoney is in the business of blood. But she’s not the only one.

With intriguing twists, blood-chilling discoveries, and dazzling prose, USA Today
Bestselling author Kerrigan Byrne shows that a woman’s work is never done, even when is sleuthing out a serial killer.


Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2W79Brj

Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/BusinessofBlood
Amazon Paperback: https://amzn.to/31q7Q9T

Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2qfPPhw


Review 

This is one of the best new historical mysteries I've read in a long, long time. Jack the Ripper inspired stories never seem to get old and tired to me especially when they are as well executed as The Business of Blood. I always associate the East-End in the 1880's with it being a dangerous, dark, grimy and rough place.
The gruesome murders in the novel really suited the setting and helped create a  dark menacing tone. 
The side characters were very intriguing and well thought out. The Hammer and his associates may have been quite scary people but I loved how they jumped in to help Fiona when she needed them. The characters are not all straightforward good or evil. No one in real life is like that so this made everything more realistic and I found myself sympathising at times with some shady characters! 
The author's wealth of knowledge about the time period is very evident. There were some heinous crimes committed in real life at this time and the author was able to draw on these for inspiration. Kerrigan's knowledge of Irish history is spot on and I was impressed with how well she wrote the Irish characters. She really understood the issues and feelings involved in being an Irish person in London at the time.
I really enjoyed Croft and Fiona's relationship from their early interactions and bickering to a truce and friendship by the end. Fiona begins to see past his gruff exterior and I can't wait to see the pair get closer as they solve more cases in the future. I am also intrigued with The Hammer and how he might complicate things for Fiona.

I was thrilled to receive an advance reading copy of this book and I genuinely can't wait to read the rest of the series as it becomes available.


                                               About Kerrigan

Kerrigan has done many things to pay the bills, from law enforcement to belly dance instructor. Now she’s finally able to have the career she’d decided upon at thirteen when she announced to her very skeptical family that she was going to “grow up to be a romance novelist.” Whether she’s writing about Celtic Druids, Victorian bad boys, or brash Irish FBI Agents, Kerrigan uses her borderline-obsessive passion for history, her extensive Celtic ancestry, and her love of Shakespeare in almost every story.
She lives in a little Victorian coast town on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington Statewith her wonderful husband. When she’s not writing you can find her sailing, beach combing, kayaking, visiting wineries, breweries, and restaurants with friends, and hiking…okay…wandering aimlessly clenching bear spray in the mountains.


Connect with Kerrigan
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2LsaJTm
Facebook: http://bit.ly/2ZnBVWw
Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2IPJTCG
Twitter: http://bit.ly/30xkPqv
Instagram: http://bit.ly/2ZbXbmQ

Stay up to date with Kerrigan by joining her mailing list: http://bit.ly/33VpuF0

Website: https://www.kerriganbyrne.com/

Sunday, 3 November 2019

Starlight Over Bluebell Castle by Sarah Bennett (2019)

                                                                                                                                                                   

                                        




If you want a gorgeous, charming, uplifting, and romantic read you won't go wrong with Starlight Over Bluebell Castle.

Jess and Tristan are such great characters. It was obvious from the beginning of the book that they were meant to be together and I couldn't help but mentally yell at Jess to give him a chance every time she dithered about making a decision. Thankfully she followed her heart.
The permanent residents of Bluebell Castle are loving, kind and full of fun. The feel good factor oozes from every page they grace.
The setting of Bluebell castle is a beautiful and magical place. If it was possible I would book in there myself for a holiday! The next best thing for me though is to read the previous books in the series. I haven't read the first two but I am sufficiently charmed enough to start them now.

Starlight Over Bluebell Castle is a lovely read and thoroughly deserving of 5 stars.



#StarlightOverBluebellCastle #NetGalley