Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Murder Most Fair



In this, the fifth book of the Verity Kent series, I saw the devastation that the War to End All Wars caused within Verity’s family. Bravo to her as she finds the courage to finally face the grief of losing her brother and her many friends in the war. Within this story, Verity realizes she can’t move on with her life until she finally makes peace with the horrible loss of her beloved brother. I admire her because she strives to ask forgiveness and  build relationships with her mother and sister, even when it would be easier to walk away. 

Verity’s name means truth and it suits her well because  there is a murder of a young German woman, Fraulein Bauer. She is determined to find out who committed such a horrible act, even if it means losing friendships with those she grew up with and be seen in a derogatory light. Verity is strong, resilient, and sees that justice is served, no matter who is the victim or the perpetrator. Verity would be someone that I would love to have help me if I ever needed it. 

I enjoyed the mystery of the story as it was well written, with several characters who having motives to kill a young German woman so shortly after the war ended. I was engaged throughout the story, trying to solve Fraulein Bauer's murder before Verity and her husband Sidney did. 

There were several references to past characters and events, so in order to have a richer reading experience and knowledge of characters mentioned, I would begin with the first book in the series, This Side of Murder.  

Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington Publishing for an arc of the book. I voluntarily read and reviewed the book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Enola Holmes and the Black Barouche




Spunky, determined, and daring, Enola Holmes is just the kind of detective you would want to take your case. A huge bonus is that Sherlock Holmes is her big brother and comes along to assist when Enola finds herself in a bit of trouble or needs some counsel to help in tricky situations. 

This was the first book I have read in the series and I really enjoyed seeing Enola work out the details of the case. For being as young as she is, it is easy to see the she has inherited the genius genes like her brothers, Sherlock and Mycroft. The help that she receives from Sherlock makes this extremely enjoyable as it lends an air of amusement  to the story. I saw the inexperience Enola has as she learns more about detecting as an apprenticeship of sorts as she is supported by her brother, Sherlock. I am anticipating that she will just get better and better with each case she investigates.  It will be fun to see what cases she will take in the future. Sherlock will have to move quickly to be one step ahead of his brilliant sister. 

I recommend this for readers who like mysteries and strong female protagonists. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC of the book. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.


Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Enola Holmes and the Black Barouche

 


"A young girl who is empowered, capable, and smart...the Enola Holmes book series convey an impactful message that you can do anything if you set your mind to it, and it does so in an exciting and adventurous way."--Millie Bobby Brown


Enola Holmes is back! Nancy Springer's nationally bestselling series and breakout Netflix sensation returns to beguile readers young and old in Enola Holmes and the Black Barouche.

Enola Holmes is the much younger sister of her more famous brothers, Sherlock and Mycroft. But she has all the wits, skills, and sleuthing inclinations of them both. At fifteen, she's an independent young woman--after all, her name spelled backwards reads 'alone'--and living on her own in London. When a young professional woman, Miss Letitia Glover, shows up on Sherlock's doorstep, desperate to learn more about the fate of her twin sister, it is Enola who steps up. It seems her sister, the former Felicity Glover, married the Earl of Dunhench and per a curt note from the Earl, has died. But Letitia Glover is convinced this isn't the truth, that she'd know--she'd feel--if her twin had died.


The Earl's note is suspiciously vague and the death certificate is even more dubious, signed it seems by a John H. Watson, M.D. (who denies any knowledge of such). The only way forward is for Enola to go undercover--or so Enola decides at the vehement objection of her brother. And she soon finds out that this is not the first of the Earl's wives to die suddenly and vaguely--and that the secret to the fate of the missing Felicity is tied to a mysterious black barouche that arrived at the Earl's home in the middle of the night. To uncover the secrets held tightly within the Earl's hall, Enola is going to require help--from Sherlock, from the twin sister of the missing woman, and from an old friend, the young Viscount Tewkesbury, Marquess of Basilwether!


Enola Holmes returns in her first adventure since the hit Netflix movie brought her back on the national bestseller lists, introducing a new generation to this beloved character and series.


Going on-sale: August 31st, 2021 https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250822963 


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My Review: 


Spunky, determined, and daring, Enola Holmes is just the kind of detective you would want to take your case. A huge bonus is that Sherlock Holmes is her big brother and comes along to assist when Enola finds herself in a bit of trouble or needs some counsel to help in tricky situations. 

This was the first book I have read in the series and I really enjoyed seeing Enola work out the details of the case. For being as young as she is, it is easy to see the she has inherited the genius genes like her brothers, Sherlock and Mycroft. The help that she receives from Sherlock makes this very enjoyable as it lends an air of amusement  to the story. I saw the inexperience Enola has as being supported by her brother and am anticipating that she will just get better and better with each case she investigates.  It will be fun to see what cases she will take in the future. Sherlock will have to move quickly to be one step ahead of his brilliant sister. 

I recommend this for readers who like mysteries and strong female protagonists. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC of the book. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.



 About the Author: 


NANCY SPRINGER is the author of the nationally bestselling Enola Holmes novels, including The Case of the Missing Marquess, which was made into the hit Netflix movie, Enola Holmes. She is the author of more than 50 other books for children and adults. She has won many awards, including two Edgar Awards, and has been published in more than thirty countries. She lives in Florida. You can connect with Nancy on Twitter: @NancySpringer



Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Lost and Found Faith


I think there is just something about little children that makes up smile and opens up our hearts. Maybe its their trust, their innocence, their laughter or their amazement about the world in which we live. Such is the case in little Oliver helping Neil Hamilton find life is beautiful and worth living after devastating loss and tragedy.

I enjoyed reading this book of discovering that, although we go through difficult times, the Lord is always there. Sweet little Oliver was in need of someone as much as Maggie and Neil were too. Some tough subjects were brought into the story, but they were used to show that there is healing and second chances if we open up our hearts to the people and opportunities we are given. Maggie and Neil's beautiful love story was uplifting and I would recommend this book of hope. 

Thank you to the author and publisher for a copy of the book. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.


You can also enter a Giveaway on Just Read Tours for some really awesome prizes! Click Here to go to the Giveaway. I hope you win!





Sunday, August 22, 2021

The Nabob's Daughter




Just the title alone was enough to pique my interest and I am so glad the Buddy Read Club I joined chose to to read it. Funny, endearing, mysterious, and romantic, this book had it all.

Honora Crauford is given quite the shock when she discovers  that she is being forced to leave her beloved India to marry an Englishman whose family is in desperate need of her generous dowry. Honora is not happy, not one bit, and devises a plan to be so horrible that everyone (betrothed included) will be glad to get rid of her. 

I loved Honora’s crazy antics of acting like a spoiled rich girl. Her impersonation of a certain animal and the reaction of the staff was priceless and had me laughing. As things became more “complicated”,  I was wondering when her plans would derail and what consequences would follow as a result of her deception.

Graham Whitworth, Honora’s intended, was a delightful man. Once he discovered her plan, he determines to help her return to India at great cost to his own happiness. He can’t help but admire and come to love Honora with her helping heart, her intelligence, and her willingness to easily forgive. Graham is willing to honor his promises to help Honora return to India and put her above his wants. 

I loved the humor and all of the twists that were in this story. It will be a definite reread for me. If you like books authored by Jen Turano or Sally Britton, I think you will enjoy reading this. 

As a side note, the background is a skirt I purchased made from sari material that women sell to support themselves and their families. 


About the Author:

In kindergarten, Jess won a first prize ribbon for her original creation Pigs in Wigs. It was a solid storyline: there was this pig that wore a wig--and it rhymed. Not impressed? Neither were her children when shown the very masterpiece that influenced her to become an author. "You won a ribbon for that?" Yes. Yes, she did. Thankfully, life has since exposed her to a thorough education with its share of awards and accolades--and, more importantly, to the trials and human experiences that form the heart of a storyteller and the substance of great stories. Besides her love of writing, Jess is an avid reader, shameless people observer, international café loiterer, and partially retired photographer. She loves being a mother to five amazing humans and a wife to the greatest man she knows.

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Song of Salzburg Book Tour and Giveaway

 




About the Book: 

When talented violinist Freya Winter is chosen to take part in a musical celebration alongside some of the best instrumentalists in the world, she is thrilled. Performing in front of royalty is a breathtaking opportunity, but her true motivation for traveling to Salzburg is to fulfill an unlikely dream: to meet and train under the renowned Salzburg Maestro, a master musician shrouded in mystery. 

Freya travels aboard the Orient Express to practice with the newly formed orchestra in Salzburg, and nothing can distract her--not her mother's illness, nor her father's domineering ways; however, when a handsome passenger becomes a regular fixture on her journeys, Freya feels her focus blurring. Conversation with Erich is easy, and their shared love of music draws them undeniably closer. But even as they open their hearts to each other, the harsh realities of her family life intrude on the future she's envisioned, and Freya feels her dreams slipping through her fingers, threatening to rob her of everything she cherishes most.

My Review: 

I think this is the most beautifully written book of Jen Geigle Johnson’s to date. Everything about this book is lovely: the artwork, the way the music is described, the romance between two fabulous and humble musicians. I didn’t want to disembark from this romantic journey on The Orient Express. 

The artistic details in this book are amazing! From the gorgeous cover that has a decorative frame around it to that same border being used at the beginning of each chapter, it made this book seem extra special. 

Freya says she best communicates through music. Not only does she do this with an audience, but also by expressing her thoughts and feelings toward fellow musician, Erich, who understands her like no one else. While I am not a musician (which I think makes this book so well-written), I could see what she was trying to capture in her playing. “This time, the music swelled and flowed and filled the area around them with a sense of peace. She imagined a stream flowing through a grassy meadow, wildflowers all around. The melody trilled and jumped in happy leaps and flowed in a slow embrace until the last note, which she played very quietly.” 

After their first meeting on the train, Erich gives Freya a card with a drawing of an edelweiss flower on it as he departs. It was such a romantic gesture and lent an air of mystery that I couldn’t wait to discover its meaning. I was glad this beautiful flower’s story and meaning was another way that helped Erich express his love for Freya.

I highly recommend this book to readers who enjoy clean romance stories. This is one you will certainly want to read. You will find it engaging from the first word to the last. This is the fourth and final book in the Romance on the Orient Express, but can be read as a stand alone story. 

Thank you to the author and publisher of the book. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own. 


Does my review look familiar? That's because it is! It was originally posted on 08.08.21


Purchase Links: 

Amazon

Deseret Book

A chance to win a copy of this amazing book is available by entering the Giveaway that is below. 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

The Merchant and the Rogue




Sarah Eden has become one of my favorite authors, especially with her Dread Penny Society series. Her use of intriguing plots and fabulous characters are seamless as you read first one book and then another. Each member of the secret Dread Penny Society (DPS) helps in combating evil and helping others who need them.

Brogan Donnelly is a likable Irish penny dreadful author who feels like he isn’t a fully contributing member of the DPS like his colleagues. Imagine his surprise when the mysterious unseen head of the organization asks him to go undercover and unmask a diabolical plan that would rock British society. 

With mysterious comings and goings at a print shop, Brogan begins to suspect that Mr. Sorokin and his lovely daughter, Vera, may be a part of this criminal plot. Both seem secretive and cautious to trust anyone. As both Brogan and Vera become attracted to each other, Brogan is going to have to make a decision about what he has done to learn about this plot. 

The brilliant use of two penny dreadfuls that are interspersed throughout the book add details and some symbolism to the main story. These stories are filled with superstition, suspense, and Gothic elements. The three intriguing stories all wrapped up into one book made me clear my calendar so I could finish without being interrupted. I like how Ms. Eden uses these historical pieces from literature to create her own versions in order to write her own unique books. 

I am always disappointed when each book end because there are questions of, “What happens next?”.  This particular story because I see all kinds of possibilities with what is presented at the end of the story. (no spoilers here!) This is the third book in the Dread Penny Society and I would begin with The Lady and the Highwayman for a better understanding of the characters, although this can be read independently. I highly recommend this series if you enjoy mysteries, romance, or Gothic novels. This has all of these elements. 

Thank you to NetGalley and Shadow Mountain Publishing for a electronic advanced reader’s copy of this book. I was not required to write a review and all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Songs in the Night



Parson Preston Clay made some bad decisions when he was young. Even though he has changed, the past caught up with him. Beautiful and former business associate, Poppy Scarlatti, arrives in the small town of Wydlhaven expecting Preston to help her. No matter what she has devised is illegal, she wants his expertise and will stop at nothing to get him to take part in her plans of stealing the town’s money. 

Preston’s faith and resolve are tested as he must stand up to Poppy and at the same time protect Aurora McClure, the woman who has come to mean so much to him. Watching him continue to stand fast in his convictions and share his past with the townsfolk took a great deal of courage and was what I admired most about him. Poppy’s deception and greed made this an interesting story and I was glad to see what happens to all of her scheming. 

I enjoyed seeing Preston and Aurora’s relationship grow throughout the book. There were additional subplots of other couples that I think will be fun to see what develops in additional installments. While this can be read as a stand alone, I found there were several details that I missed since I have not read all of the other books in the series. I am interested in reading the backstory of Aurora and others mentioned. 

One detail that Ms. Bonner shares at the end of the story was how she arrived at the title for her book. I loved the part of the book where Aurora found her courage and believed God would see her through the frightening experience in which she was placed. A video link to the hymn, How Can I keep from Singing is provided and I thoroughly enjoyed watching and listening to it.  

I recommend you read this interesting, uplifting and faith-building book. Thank you to the author for an advanced copy of the book. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own. 

Sunday, August 8, 2021

Song of Salzburg


I think this is the most beautifully written book  of  Jen Geigle Johnson’s yet. Everything about this book is lovely: the artwork, the way the music is described, the romance between two fabulous and humble musicians. I didn’t want to disembark from this romantic journey on The Orient Express. 

The artistic details in this book are amazing! From the gorgeous cover that has a decorative frame around it to that same border being used at the beginning of each chapter, it made this book seem extra special. 

Freya says she best communicates through music. Not only does she do this with an audience, but also by expressing her thoughts and feelings toward fellow musician, Erich, who understands her like no one else. While I am not a musician (which I think makes this book so well-written), I could see what she was trying to capture in her playing.  “This time, the music swelled and flowed and filled the area around them with a sense of peace. She imagined a stream flowing through a grassy meadow, wildflowers all around. The melody trilled and jumped in happy leaps and flowed in a slow embrace until the last note, which she played very quietly.” 

After their first meeting on the train, Erich gives Freya a card with a drawing of an edelweiss flower on it as he departs. It was such a romantic gesture and lent an air of mystery that I couldn’t wait to discover its meaning. I was glad this beautiful flower’s story and meaning was another way that helped Erich express his love for Freya.

I highly recommend this book to readers who enjoy clean romance stories. You will find it engaging from the first word to the last. This is the fourth book in the Romance on the Orient Express, but is a stand alone story. 

Thank you to the author and publisher for an advanced reader copy. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own. 

The Letter

  Book:  The Letter Author:  Edwina Kiernan Genre:  Christian Historical Romance Release date:  November 1, 2022 She wants a new life. He’s ...