Blog Tour Review: A Golden Fury

Title: A Golden Fury
Author: Samantha Cohoe
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical Fiction
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: October 13, 2020
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Thea Hope longs to be an alchemist out of the shadow of her famous mother. The two of them are close to creating the legendary Philosopher’s Stone—whose properties include immortality and can turn any metal into gold—but just when the promise of the Stone’s riches is in their grasp, Thea’s mother destroys the Stone in a sudden fit of violent madness.

While combing through her mother’s notes, Thea learns that there’s a curse on the Stone that causes anyone who tries to make it to lose their sanity. With the threat of the French Revolution looming, Thea is sent to Oxford for her safety, to live with the father who doesn’t know she exists. 

But in Oxford, there are alchemists after the Stone who don’t believe Thea’s warning about the curse—instead, they’ll stop at nothing to steal Thea’s knowledge of how to create the Stone. But Thea can only run for so long, and soon she will have to choose: create the Stone and sacrifice her sanity, or let the people she loves die.

Review:

Thea Hope is the daughter of an alchemist, who has been trying to make the Philsopher’s Stone. Just before her mother can complete it, she is taken over by madness. Thea finds her mother’s notes, which says anyone who creates the Stone will go insane. Because of her mother’s madness, Thea is sent to find her father in Oxford, who doesn’t know she exists. Her father is also an alchemist who is trying to figure out how to make the Stone. When someone close to her father becomes mad with the Stone, Thea has to run away again to find some way to complete the Stone herself and end this curse.

This was a fast paced story. Every time it seemed like things were going well for Thea and she was doing what she planned, there would be a drastic event that changed everything. Thea had a strong character development. She had grown into a different, more mature person by the end of the story. I really liked how the story and characters developed.

I’m not interested in science, but I liked the alchemy in this book. It was a combination of science with some myth surrounding the Philosopher’s Stone. The alchemists had to use a wide range of knowledge to complete their work, including knowing multiple different languages. I learned a lot about alchemy and the mythical Philosopher’s Stone in this story.

I really enjoyed this story!

Thank you Wednesday Books for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Cadaver and Queen by Alisa Kwitney

The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein

About the author:

Samantha Cohoe writes historically-inspired young adult fantasy. She was raised in San Luis Obispo, California, where she enjoyed an idyllic childhood of beach trips, omnivorous reading, and writing stories brimming with adverbs. She currently lives in Denver with her family and divides her time among teaching Latin, mothering, writing, reading, and deleting adverbs. A Golden Fury is her debut novel.

Have you read A Golden Fury? What did you think of it?

Review: The Bone Houses

Title: The Bone Houses
Author: Emily Lloyd-Jones
Genre: Young Adult, Historical, Fantasy, Horror
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Source: Owlcrate box
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: September 24, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Aderyn (“Ryn”) only cares about two things: her family, and her family’s graveyard. And right now, both are in dire straits. Since the death of their parents, Ryn and her siblings have been scraping together a meager existence as gravediggers in the remote village of Colbren, which sits at the foot of a harsh and deadly mountain range that was once home to the fae. The problem with being a gravedigger in Colbren, though, is that the dead don’t always stay dead.

The risen corpses are known as “bone houses,” and legend says that they’re the result of a decades-old curse. When Ellis, an apprentice mapmaker with a mysterious past, arrives in town, the bone houses attack with new ferocity. What is it that draws them near? And more importantly, how can they be stopped for good?

Together, Ellis and Ryn embark on a journey that will take them deep into the heart of the mountains, where they will have to face both the curse and the long-hidden truths about themselves.

Review:

Ryn lives with her siblings after the death of her parents, continuing her father’s job as gravedigger. Her father went into the forest one day to investigate the “bone houses,” dead bodies that would rise and attack anyone who entered the forest, and he never came back. Now, the bone houses are entering the town. Ryn saves Ellis, a mapmaker from the kingdom, from a bone house attack. When the bone houses become more aggressive, Ryn and Ellis venture into the forest to figure out how to save her town and her family.

This was a creepy zombie story. I liked that it was historical fiction, so it was removed from our world. From the names that were used, it seemed to be a Welsh setting. I don’t usually like zombie stories, because they can seem forced and fake. Since this story had historical aspects, the bone house zombies could be more realistic.

This story also had some really emotional parts at the end. There were some twists that surprised me, and they were heart wrenching too. Even though there were some heart breaking parts, I really liked the ending.

This is a great spooky historical story.

What to read next:

Bone Crier’s Moon by Kathryn Purdie

The Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu

Have you read The Bone Houses? What did you think of it?

Blog Tour Review: Premeditated Myrtle and How to Get Away with Myrtle

Title: Premeditated Myrtle (Myrtle Hardcastle Mysteries #1)
Author: Elizabeth C. Bunce
Genre: Middle Grade, Mystery, Historical Fiction
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: October 6, 2020
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Twelve-year-old Myrtle Hardcastle has a passion for justice and a Highly Unconventional obsession with criminal science. Armed with her father’s law books and her mum’s microscope, Myrtle studies toxicology, keeps abreast of the latest developments in crime scene analysis, and Observes her neighbors in the quiet village of Swinburne, England.

When her next-door neighbor, a wealthy spinster and eccentric breeder of rare flowers, dies under Mysterious Circumstances, Myrtle seizes her chance. With her unflappable governess, Miss Ada Judson, by her side, Myrtle takes it upon herself to prove Miss Wodehouse was murdered and find the killer, even if nobody else believes her — not even her father, the town prosecutor.

Review:

In 1893, Myrtle Hardcastle is a twelve-year-old girl who loves to study crimes. Her father is a prosecutor and her mother studied medicine. One evening, she notices some strange activity at her neighbour’s house. She calls the police and they find that her elderly neighbour has died. They think it was natural causes but there are too many clues that suggest to Myrtle that this was murder. With the help of her governess, Miss Judson, Myrtle investigates the murder of her neighbour.

Myrtle is a clever young girl. She reminds me of Nancy Drew and Flavia de Luce. Her family life was also similar to those classic detectives, since she lived with her father and her mother died when she was a child.

This was a great mystery. It could be read by middle grade children or adults. It had some mature themes, with murder and poisoning, though nothing too graphic. One part that was disappointing was that one of the major clues was glossed over at the end. A character’s past wasn’t fully explained. I even went back to reread that section but I don’t think there was a clear answer to that clue.

This is a great start to a new mystery series!

Thank you Algonquin Young Readers for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Title: How to Get Away with Myrtle (Myrtle Hardcastle Mysteries #2)
Author: Elizabeth C. Bunce
Genre: Middle Grade, Mystery, Historical Fiction
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: October 6, 2020
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Before the train has left the station, England’s most accomplished new detective already is on a suspect’s trail, and readers will be delighted to travel along. 

Myrtle Hardcastle has no desire to go on a relaxing travel excursion with her aunt Helena when there are More Important things to be done at home, like keeping close tabs on criminals and murder trials. Unfortunately, she has no say in the matter. So off Myrtle goes—with her governess, Miss Judson, and cat, Peony, in tow—on a fabulous private railway coach headed for the English seaside. 

Myrtle is thrilled to make the acquaintance of Mrs. Bloom, a professional insurance investigator aboard to protect the priceless Northern Lights tiara. But before the train reaches its destination, both the tiara and Mrs. Bloom vanish. When Myrtle arrives, she and Peony discover a dead body in the baggage car. Someone has been murdered—with Aunt Helena’s sewing shears.

The trip is derailed, the local police are inept, and Scotland Yard is in no rush to arrive. What’s a smart, bored Young Lady of Quality stranded in a washed-up carnival town to do but follow the evidence to find out which of her fellow travelers is a thief and a murderer?

Review:

Myrtle Hardcastle, her Aunt Helena, and her governess Miss Judson have been sent on a vacation in a seaside town. As soon as they board the train, Myrtle can sense a mystery coming. A priceless tiara is on display on the train, with an insurance investigator on board to protect it. However, the tiara is stolen during a power outage on the first night. Myrtle and the insurance investigator, Mrs. Bloom, search the train for clues. The next day, Mrs. Bloom can’t be found. Her body is eventually found in the luggage car when they arrive at their destination. The murder weapon points to Myrtle’s Aunt Helena. Myrtle doesn’t trust anyone else to investigate the connection between the robbery and Mrs. Bloom’s murder, so she takes the investigation into her own hands.

I enjoyed this story more than the first Myrtle Hardcastle mystery. The first one was a good introduction to the characters. This one had a clear, straight forward mystery to solve.

I loved the classic setting of a train. It is an enclosed setting that limits the people who can be involved. The murderer has to be on the train with everyone else because there isn’t any way to escape the train without getting hurt. This is a great classic setting.

I’m looking forward to reading more Myrtle Hardcastle books in the future!

Thank you Algonquin Young Readers for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

The Body Under the Piano (Aggie Morton, Mystery Queen #1) by Marthe Jocelyn

As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust (Flavia de Luce #7) by Alan Bradley

About the author:

Elizabeth C. Bunce grew up on a steady diet of Sherlock Holmes, Trixie Belden, and Quincy, M.E., and always played the lead prosecutor in mock trial. She has never had a governess, and no one has ever accused her of being irrepressible, but a teacher did once call her “argumentative”—which was entirely untrue, and she can prove it. She lives in Kansas City with her husband and their cats. Premeditated Myrtle is her first book for middle-grade readers. You can find her online at elizabethcbunce.com.

Have you read Premeditated Myrtle or How to Get Away with Myrtle? What did you think of it?

Review: The Forgotten Kingdom (The Lost Queen Trilogy #2)

Title: The Forgotten Kingdom (The Lost Queen Trilogy #2)
Author: Signe Pike
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Canada
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook, Paperback
Release Date: September 15, 2020
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

AD 573. Imprisoned in her chamber, Languoreth awaits news in torment. Her husband and son have ridden off to wage war against her brother, Lailoken. She doesn’t yet know that her young daughter, Angharad, who was training with Lailoken to become a Wisdom Keeper, has been lost in the chaos. As one of the bloodiest battles of early medieval Scottish history scatters its survivors to the wind, Lailoken and his men must flee to exile in the mountains of the Lowlands, while nine-year-old Angharad must summon all Lailoken has taught her and follow her own destiny through the mysterious, mystical land of the Picts.

In the aftermath of the battle, old political alliances unravel, opening the way for the ambitious adherents of the new religion: Christianity. Lailoken is half-mad with battle sickness, and Languoreth must hide her allegiance to the Old Way to survive her marriage to the next Christian king of Strathclyde. Worst yet, the new King of the Angles is bent on expanding his kingdom at any cost. Now the exiled Lailoken, with the help of a young warrior named Artur, may be the only man who can bring the Christians and the pagans together to defeat the encroaching Angles. But to do so, he must claim the role that will forever transform him. He must become the man known to history as “Myrddin.”

Bitter rivalries are ignited, lost loves are found, new loves are born, and old enemies come face-to-face with their reckoning in this compellingly fresh look at one of the most enduring legends of all time.

Review:

In 573 AD, Langoureth waits in her locked bedroom for news of her husband and son who have gone off to start a war with her brothers. She also worries about her daughter, who was training with her brother to be a Wisdom Keeper. In the chaos of the battles, her nine-year-old daughter, Angharad, is lost. Angharad has to find her way back home or at least to safety. Langoureth’s brother, Lailoken was one of the survivors of the battle. Lailoken holds the special place as someone who can unite the Christians and pagans, which may help them win the battle.

This historical novel had a slow and steady pace, but it is quite tense. Each chapter and scene is so descriptive that I felt like I was right there with the characters. The descriptions were detailed and seemed so realistic, that it’s amazing that the author can write this with the limited research available about the sixth century.

This was a great second book in the trilogy. The first book just followed Langoureth, while this one also followed her brother Lailoken and her daughter Angharad. They were each in different positions and stages of life. Langoureth was a Queen who was trying to keep her family together. Lailoken was a warrior who had a connection to the natural world. Angharad was a little girl who had to survive on her own and find her way back to her family. These characters show a wide range of lifestyles during that time period.

This is an amazing historical series.

Thank you Simon and Schuster Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

Other books in the series:

Have you read The Forgotten Kingdom? What did you think of it?

Review: Jackie and Maria: A Novel of Jackie Kennedy and Maria Callas

Title: Jackie and Maria: A Novel of Jackie Kennedy and Maria Callas
Author: Gill Paul
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: William Morrow
Source: Purchased
Format: Paperback
Release Date: July 22, 2020
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

From the #1 bestselling author of The Secret Wife comes a story of love, passion, and tragedy as the lives of Jackie Kennedy and Maria Callas are intertwined―and they become the ultimate rivals, in love with the same man.

The President’s Wife; a Glamorous Superstar; the rivalry that shook the world…

Jackie Kennedy was beautiful, sophisticated, and contemplating leaving her ambitious young senator husband. Life in the public eye with an overly ambitious–and unfaithful―man who could hardly be coaxed to return from a vacation after the birth of a stillborn child was breaking her spirit. So when she’s offered a holiday on the luxurious yacht owned by billionaire Ari Onassis, she says yes…to a meeting that will ultimately change her life.

Maria Callas is at the height of her operatic career and widely considered to be the finest soprano in the world. And then she’s introduced to Aristotle Onassis, the world’s richest man and her fellow Greek. Stuck in a childless, sexless marriage, and with pressures on all sides from opera house managers and a hostile press, she finds her life being turned upside down by this hyper-intelligent and impeccably charming man…

Little by little, Maria’s and Jackie’s lives begin to overlap, and they come closer and closer until everything they know about the world changes on a dime. 

Review:

Jackie Kennedy was the beautiful, sophisticated husband of the senator Jack Kennedy. She knew he was unfaithful, and after the still birth of her son, she needed a break from him. Jackie traveled to her friend Ari Onassis’s yacht, which changed the course of her life. Maria Callas was a world famous opera singer. She was introduced to Ari and they began a love affair. However, Maria wanted to have a family and marry Ari but he didn’t want to commit. Jackie and Maria are two powerful women who both love the same man.

I didn’t know much about the Kennedys before reading this book and I had never heard of Maria Callas. I usually look up the real people while I read historical fiction to find out which events really happened, but I resisted this time so I was surprised at what happened in the story. I tend to read historical fiction about real people I am familiar with, so this was a different read for me. I learned a lot about the Kennedys, Ari Onassis, and Maria Callas.

This story was intense and tragic. There were some tough situations, such as stillborn babies, suicide, murder, and affairs. What makes these things even more tragic in the story is that they are based on real events. Even though there were some upsetting scenes, I couldn’t put this book down. I had to keep reading to find out what would happen next. I was also quite surprised at the twists since I didn’t know what would really happen with the characters.

This is an amazing, well written story.

What to read next:

The Woman Before Wallis by Bryn Turnbull

The Secret Affair by Gill Paul

Have you read Jackie and Maria? What did you think of it?

Review: The Queen’s Secret: A Novel of England’s World War II Queen

Title: The Queen’s Secret: A Novel of England’s World War II Queen
Author: Karen Harper
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: William Morrow
Source: Purchased
Format: Paperback
Release Date: May 19, 2020
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

If you love Jennifer Robson or The Crown you will love New York Times bestselling author Karen Harper’s novel about Elizabeth, The Queen Mother.

1939. As the wife of the King George VI and the mother of the future queen, Elizabeth—“the queen mother”—shows a warm, smiling face to the world. But it’s no surprise that Hitler himself calls her the “Most Dangerous Woman in Europe.” For behind that soft voice and kindly demeanor is a will of steel.

Two years earlier, George was thrust onto the throne when his brother Edward abdicated, determined to marry his divorced, American mistress Mrs. Simpson. Vowing to do whatever it takes to make her husband’s reign a success, Elizabeth endears herself to the British people, and prevents the former king and his brazen bride from ever again setting foot in Buckingham Palace.

Elizabeth holds many powerful cards, she’s also hiding damaging secrets about her past and her provenance that could prove to be her undoing.

In this riveting novel of royal secrets and intrigue, Karen Harper lifts the veil on one of the world’s most fascinating families, and how its “secret weapon” of a matriarch maneuvered her way through one of the most dangerous chapters of the century.

Review:

Queen Elizabeth is married to King George VI. Together they have to strategize with Winston Churchill about how to defeat Hitler in WWII. But Elizabeth is keeping many secrets that could damage her reputation if they were discovered. Elizabeth holds her breath while hoping her darkest secrets are never revealed.

This was an exciting story. The royals had to deal with the war happening around them as well as their personal problems. King George missed his brother, who had been exiled after abdicating the throne. Elizabeth was concerned about her daughter falling for a young navy officer, Philip. Elizabeth was also keeping her own secrets from everyone else, which would cause many problems if they were revealed.

There were many different secrets that the Queen was keeping. Some of them were believable, but others were so extreme that I had a hard time believing could be true. As I often do when I read historical fiction, I had to google characters to figure out what really happened. I don’t want to give any spoilers, but these were scandalous secrets that would have affected her life if they were true and they were exposed. The Queen’s secrets made the story intense, but they were so scandalous that they didn’t seem realistic.

I enjoyed this royal historical story!

What to read next:

The Gown: A Novel of the Royal Wedding by Jennifer Robson

The Woman Before Wallis by Bryn Turnbull

Have you read The Queen’s Secret? What did you think of it?

Review: The Lost Queen (The Lost Queen Trilogy #1)

Title: The Lost Queen (The Lost Queen Trilogy #1)
Author: Signe Pike
Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy
Publisher: Touchstone
Source: Gifted
Format: Paperback
Release Date: September 4, 2018
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Compared to Outlander and The Mists of Avalon, this thrilling first novel of a debut trilogy reveals the untold story of Languoreth—a forgotten queen of sixth-century Scotland—twin sister of the man who inspired the legend of Merlin. 

I write because I have seen the darkness that will come. Already there are those who seek to tell a new history…

In a land of mountains and mist, tradition and superstition, Languoreth and her brother Lailoken are raised in the Old Way of their ancestors. But in Scotland, a new religion is rising, one that brings disruption, bloodshed, and riot. And even as her family faces the burgeoning forces of Christianity, the Anglo-Saxons, bent on colonization, are encroaching from the east. When conflict brings the hero Emrys Pendragon to her father’s door, Languoreth finds love with one of his warriors. Her deep connection to Maelgwn is forged by enchantment, but she is promised in marriage to Rhydderch, son of a Christian king. As Languoreth is catapulted into a world of violence and political intrigue, she must learn to adapt. Together with her brother—a warrior and druid known to history as Myrddin—Languoreth must assume her duty to fight for the preservation of the Old Way and the survival of her kingdom, or risk the loss of them both forever.

Based on new scholarship, this tale of bravery and conflicted love brings a lost queen back to life—rescuing her from obscurity, and reaffirming her place at the center of one of the most enduring legends of all time.

Review:

Langoureth is the forgotten queen from the sixth century. She was raised with her twin brother, Lailoken, in the Old Way, with legends and secrets kept by the Keepers. As they grew up, Christianity grew in popularity and became the religion of the land. When Langoureth is promised to be married to the son of the king, she has to fight between the desire to follow her heart and to do what’s right for her family.

This story was fast paced and exciting. The chapters ended with cliffhangers that made me want to keep reading. Langoureth had many secrets that she had to hide from others, which added tension. If these secrets were revealed, it could mean the death of her or the people she cared most about so it was important that she keep them to herself. The threat of these secrets kept up the tension in the story.

I loved the medieval history in this story. I wasn’t aware of this story before reading this book. There isn’t a lot of information about these historical figures, since it took place 1,500 years ago, but this story of the forgotten queen, Langoureth, is an important one.

This is a great historical story. I’m so excited to read the next book in the trilogy!

What to read next:

The Forgotten Kingdom (The Lost Queen Trilogy #2) by Signe Pike

Finding Merlin by Adam Ardrey

Have you read The Lost Queen? What did you think of it?

Review: Bringing Down the Duke (A League of Extraordinary Women #1)

Title: Bringing Down the Duke
Author: Evie Dunmore
Genre: Romance, Historical Fiction
Publisher: Berkley
Source: Publisher
Format: Paperback
Release Date: September 3, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

England, 1879. Annabelle Archer, the brilliant but destitute daughter of a country vicar, has earned herself a place among the first cohort of female students at the renowned University of Oxford. In return for her scholarship, she must support the rising women’s suffrage movement. Her charge: recruit men of influence to champion their cause. Her target: Sebastian Devereux, the cold and calculating Duke of Montgomery who steers Britain’s politics at the Queen’s command. Her challenge: not to give in to the powerful attraction she can’t deny for the man who opposes everything she stands for.

Sebastian is appalled to find a suffragist squad has infiltrated his ducal home, but the real threat is his impossible feelings for green-eyed beauty Annabelle. He is looking for a wife of equal standing to secure the legacy he has worked so hard to rebuild, not an outspoken commoner who could never be his duchess. But he wouldn’t be the greatest strategist of the Kingdom if he couldn’t claim this alluring bluestocking without the promise of a ring…or could he?

Locked in a battle with rising passion and a will matching her own, Annabelle will learn just what it takes to topple a duke….

A stunning debut for author Evie Dunmore and her Oxford Rebels, in which a fiercely independent vicar’s daughter takes on a duke in a fiery love story that threatens to upend the British social order. 

Review:

Annabelle Archer is excited to be moving to Oxford to study and support the women’s suffrage movement. She had to convince her cousin to let her go, but with some persuading, he allowed it. Annabelle’s work with the suffrage group leads her to Sebastian, the Duke of Montgomery. Annabelle is in charge of securing his support for the cause, but he opposes it. When Annabelle and Sebastian spend time together, they start to fall for each other, but it wouldn’t be proper for a Duke to be with a commoner, right?

This was a great enemies to lovers romance! There were some quite steamy scenes, especially considering it takes place in the nineteenth century. These characters didn’t let social conventions stand in their way of getting what they wanted.

Even though it was a romance, there were some serious issues in this story. Annabelle and her friends fought for women’s rights, which got them into trouble. The question of a woman’s place in marriage was also a prominent issue. Annabelle was offered an opportunity to be a mistress, because she wasn’t at the right social standing to be a wife to that man. They had to marry for business and social rules, not for love. These serious topics made the story seem more realistic, because there wasn’t always an idealistic outlook for the characters.

This is such a great Victorian romance!

Thank you Penguin Random House Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

A Rogue of One’s Own (A League of Extraordinary Women #2) by Evie Dunmore

To Have and to Hoax by Martha Waters

Other books in the series:

  • A Rogue of One’s Own

Have you read Bringing Down the Duke? What did you think of it?

Blog Blitz Review: How to Catch a Sinful Marquess

Title: How to Catch a Sinful Marquess (The Disreputable Debutantes #3)
Author: Amy Rose Bennett
Genre: Romance, Historical Fiction
Publisher: Berkley
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: August 25, 2020
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

A reserved debutante and a former soldier make an unlikely but fated match as they hasten for the Isle of Skye.

Orphaned heiress Olivia de Vere should have the world–or at least the men of the ton–at her feet. But when she’s thrown out of a young ladies’ academy, Olivia doubts she’ll ever find someone who will love her, rather than her bank account. To make matters worse, her dissolute cousin Felix is determined to marry her against her wishes. A virtual prisoner in her guardians’ London townhouse, Olivia can’t help but develop a tendre for her neighbor, a handsome Scottish marquess.

Battle-scarred in more ways than one, Hamish MacQueen, Lord Sleat, has braved many dangers in life. But nothing has quite prepared him for the shock of having a young child dumped on his doorstep, with a note claiming she’s his daughter. Just in the nick of time his pretty neighbor appears, offering to act as a nursemaid for the young girl on their journey to his estate in Scotland. He suspects she has her own reasons for wanting to flee the country…

The close traveling quarters leads to a fierce attraction between Olivia and Hamish that seems impossible to resist. But when ghosts from the past and monsters from the present threaten to tear them apart, will their unlikely love survive?

Review:

The orphaned heiress, Olivia de Vere, lives with her uncle and his family. Her cousin Felix is meant to marry her so her fortune can stay in the family, but when Felix threatens Olivia after she discovers that he is stealing from her inheritance, she realizes she must run away. Their neighbour, Hamish MacQueen, is a Scottish marquess. He finds a child left on his doorstep with a note claiming she is his child. Hamish needs a nursemaid to help look after the child on his journey to his castle in Scotland. Olivia shows up just as he’s looking for a nursemaid, which gives her the perfect excuse to run away from her family. Olivia and Hamish soon realize this new relationship could be an advantage to both of them, as long as they can get past the ghosts in their pasts.

Olivia was an avid reader. She carried Northanger Abbey, The Mysteries of Udolpho, and Frankenstein with her. She even referenced these books, when she had to find a fake name and decided on Morland, from Catherine Morland in Northanger Abbey. I noticed some similarities to other novels, such as Outlander and Jane Eyre. Hamish was a tough Highlander like Jamie in Outlander. Olivia had to look after Hamish’s ward, just like Jane looked after Rochester’s ward in Jane Eyre. I loved seeing these references to popular stories.

This story was fast paced. There were a couple of steamy scenes, but there was a lot more to the story than just the romance. The characters were more concerned with their social standings and securing their reputations than finding romance. I liked how well the plot and characters were developed.

I really enjoyed this regency romance!

Thank you Berkeley for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

How to Catch a Wicked Viscount by Amy Rose Bennett

To Have and to Hoax by Martha Waters

Other books in the series:

  • How to Catch a Wicked Viscount
  • How to Catch an Errant Earl

Have you read How to Catch a Sinful Marquess? What did you think of it?

Review: The Guinevere Deception (Camelot Rising #1)

Title: The Guinevere Deception (Camelot Rising #1)
Author: Kiersten White
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Fantasy
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Source: Owlcrate
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: November 5, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

From New York Times bestselling author Kiersten White comes a new fantasy series reimagining the Arthurian legend, set in the magical world of Camelot. 

There was nothing in the world as magical and terrifying as a girl.

Princess Guinevere has come to Camelot to wed a stranger: the charismatic King Arthur. With magic clawing at the kingdom’s borders, the great wizard Merlin conjured a solution–send in Guinevere to be Arthur’s wife . . . and his protector from those who want to see the young king’s idyllic city fail. The catch? Guinevere’s real name–and her true identity–is a secret. She is a changeling, a girl who has given up everything to protect Camelot. 

To keep Arthur safe, Guinevere must navigate a court in which the old–including Arthur’s own family–demand things continue as they have been, and the new–those drawn by the dream of Camelot–fight for a better way to live. And always, in the green hearts of forests and the black depths of lakes, magic lies in wait to reclaim the land. Arthur’s knights believe they are strong enough to face any threat, but Guinevere knows it will take more than swords to keep Camelot free.

Deadly jousts, duplicitous knights, and forbidden romances are nothing compared to the greatest threat of all: the girl with the long black hair, riding on horseback through the dark woods toward Arthur. Because when your whole existence is a lie, how can you trust even yourself?

Review:

Princess Guinevere has arrived in Camelot to marry King Arthur. However, she isn’t the real Guinevere. She is a changeling that took the princess’s place at Merlin’s request. Guinevere has been sent to Camelot to protect Arthur from an unknown magical threat. As Guinevere learns more about the kingdom and tries to figure out the mysterious threat to Arthur, she realizes she doesn’t know much about herself and the world around her. Guinevere has to learn more about herself to get to the truth of Camelot.

I read stories about King Arthur when I was a kid, but I had forgotten the details before reading this story. I googled the story when I started it, so I did get some minor spoilers for the story. There were some twists from the original tale that modernized it and made it original.

This is a great introduction to the series. There were many hints of things to come. Guinevere’s past is a mystery, which I’m hoping will be explored in the next book. I had a lot of questions at the end, but these made me interested in the next book.

I really enjoyed this story!

What to read next:

Thorn by Intisar Khanani

And I Darken by Kiersten White

Have you read The Guinevere Deception? What did you think of it?