Sunday, November 18, 2018

The Bloomsbury Affair by Anita Davison

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The Bloomsbury Affair
by Anita Davison


ISBN-13: 9781786690852
ebook
Publisher: Aria
Released: Nov. 20, 2018

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
1905 London. Flora Maguire wants to keep her family safe. So when her beloved charge Viscount Edward Trent is accused of murder, she's determined not to leave the investigation to the police. A man was killed on the train in the seat next to Edward, and he was found leaning over the body. When Edward runs away from the police, they're certain of his guilt. As they investigate, Flora and her husband Bunny become mired in a murky world of communists and fraudsters.


My Review:
The Bloomsbury Affair is a mystery set in 1905 in London. It's the fifth book in a series, but you don't need to read the previous books to follow this one. However, the characters referred to events in the previous novels and spoiled the previous mysteries.

The characters were interesting and acted realistically. Historical details (like politics, technology, etc.) were woven into the story. The mystery was clue-based, and I realized whodunit before Flora did. Unfortunately, Flora's active investigation of the murder didn't significantly change the ending except by putting several people's lives in danger. The Detective uncovered one of the criminal pair by himself, and I suspect he would have discovered the other if Flora hadn't hidden critical evidence from him. I felt like Flora actually stood in the way of justice this time. And the murderer was not captured by the end. Basically, I found the mystery unsatisfying.

There were no sex scenes. There were only a couple uses of bad language.


If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.


Friday, November 16, 2018

A Holiday by Gaslight by Mimi Matthews

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A Holiday
by Gaslight by Mimi Matthews


ISBN-13: 9780999036464
ebook: 175 pages
Publisher: Perfectly Proper Press
Released: Nov. 13, 2018

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
Sophie Appersett is quite willing to marry outside of her class to ensure the survival of her family. But the darkly handsome Mr. Edward Sharpe is no run-of-the-mill London merchant. He’s grim and silent. A man of little emotion—or perhaps no emotion at all. After two months of courtship, she’s ready to put an end to things.

But severing ties with her taciturn beau isn’t as straightforward as Sophie envisioned. Her parents are outraged. And then there’s Charles Darwin, Prince Albert, and that dratted gaslight. What’s a girl to do except invite Mr. Sharpe to Appersett House for Christmas and give him one last chance to win her? Only this time there’ll be no false formality. This time they’ll get to know each other for who they really are.


My Review:
A Holiday by Gaslight is a romance set in 1861 England. Sophie is a practical, dutiful daughter of a baronet. When a rich merchant asks to court her despite her lack of dowry (it was spent on adding gaslights to the family manor), her parents urge the match in hopes of more funds. However, the hero has been reading an etiquette manual with rather vague advice, so he says little during the courtship in hopes of avoiding offense.

Most of the story happened at a Christmas party held at the manor. The hero has been given a second chance as long as he agrees to share about himself. They get to know each other and admire each other's character, but the differences in their class does make for a few misunderstandings. Historical details about manners, the latest technology, Christmas customs, and such were woven into the story and brought it to life. The characters were likable and were a good match in temperament and interests.

There was no sex. There was occasional use of bad language. Overall, I'd recommend this enjoyable romance.


If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.


Wednesday, November 14, 2018

The Opium Purge by Elizabeth Bailey

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The Opium Purge
by Elizabeth Bailey


ISBN-13: 9781912546480
ebook: 383 pages
Publisher: Sapere Books
Released: Nov. 1, 2018

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
1790, England. Lord Francis and Lady Ottilia Fanshawe are preparing for the birth of their first child. But Lady Fan won’t let a little thing like pregnancy get in the way of solving a local mystery. Their neighbour – Sir Joslin Cadel – who recently returned from a sugar plantation in Barbados, has collapsed and died on his doorstep. And his young ward, Tamasine Roy, claims to have murdered him.

With Tamasine clearly suffering from some kind of mental disorder, and the rest of Cadel’s household acting suspiciously, it is clear all is not as it seems. Why did Sir Joslin suddenly return to England? What happened to Tamasine’s parents? Could this seemingly angelic young woman really be a murderess…?


My Review:
The Opium Purge is a mystery set in 1790 in London. This novel is the 3rd in the series, but you don't need to read the previous novels to understand this one. This story didn't spoil the whodunit of the previous books, but it did refer back to events in the first story.

The story revolved around a stunningly beautiful, young woman who inherited madness from her mother. Her guardian, Sir Joslin, dies after being pushed down some steps by the girl. She freely admits to trying to kill her guardian in revenge for something that happened several years before, but she won't explain what. Due to her medical training, Lady Fan knows that Sir Joslin didn't die from the push. He died from an opium overdose. She investigates what led up to that day and who in the household might wish to kill Sir Joslin. Complicating matters, her husband's nephew falls in love with the girl and refuses to acknowledge her mental deficiency.

Lady Fan is sympathetic towards the girl and her situation. She asked the household plenty of questions along with using her observational skills. The mystery was a clue-based, puzzle mystery. The characters were interesting, and I cared about what happened to them. The author used historical details to create the feeling of a specific time and place. There were only a few uses of bad language. There were no sex scenes. Overall, I'd recommend this enjoyable novel.


If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.


Sunday, November 11, 2018

Wait for Me by Susan May Warren

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Wait for Me
by Susan May Warren


ISBN-13: 9780800727482
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Revell
Released: Nov. 6, 2018

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
Pete Brooks can't believe he's waited an entire year for Jess Tagg to return to Montana, only to have her break his heart by getting engaged to her ex-fiancé. Worse, Pete nearly lost his life again while on a rescue and other lives were lost. Pete isn't sure he wants to continue to work in Search and Rescue. Maybe if he can just get over Jess, he can figure out how to move forward.

EMT Jess Tagg has returned to Montana to finally give her heart to Pete, but it seems he's no longer interested. Leaving after a terrible fight, she finds herself crashed on the side of a highway along with Esme Shaw and both are taken captive into the untamed Montana wilderness—with murderous intent. Now Pete and the other PEAK Rescue Team members are in a race against time, the elements, and the actions of a vengeful man.


My Review:
Wait for Me is a Christian romantic suspense novel. It's the sixth book in a series. I'd recommend reading the previous books in the series as there are ongoing story lines that were further developed and wrapped up in this book. There were two romances.

Ned and Shae meet again at a wedding reception. Shae has decided to testify against the man who killed her first boyfriend even though this may put her life in danger. Ned is determined to prove that he's "good enough" and not a coward. He gets his chance when Ned, Shae, and Jess are kidnapped, escape into a wilderness, and must survive while injured. The suspense came from the danger from the kidnapper who's hunting them and the danger from the injuries and weather. The main characters acted realistically to events, and I cared about what happened to them.

Much of Jess and Pete's romance was told as flashbacks, which they each think about while waiting for rescue efforts to move forward. Jess has tried not to hurt anyone and has instead hurt everyone. Neither feels like they deserve a happy ending but still love the person that they are when around the other.

The Christian theme was that God loves you even if you don't deserve it. There was no sex or bad language. Overall, I'd recommend this enjoyable story.


If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.


Excerpt: Read an excerpt using Google Preview.

Friday, November 9, 2018

In Too Deep by Lynn H. Blackburn

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In Too Deep
by Lynn H. Blackburn


ISBN-13: 9780800729295
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Revell
Released: Nov. 6, 2018

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
When the dive team is called in to recover a body from a submerged car, they aren't prepared to find an encrypted laptop--or an unsettling connection between investigator Adam Campbell and the dead accountant. Adam turns to his friend Dr. Sabrina Fleming--a professor at the local university with unparalleled computer security and forensics skills--to recover the files from the laptop. But the deeper they dig, the deadlier the investigation becomes.

When evidence uncovers a human trafficking ring and implicates members of Adam's own extended family, he and Sabrina will have to risk everything to solve the case. Someone is willing to do whatever it takes to silence anyone who threatens to reveal their secrets.


My Review:
In Too Deep is a Christian romantic suspense novel. The dive team searched for evidence and retrieved a sunken car, but the hero didn't dive at all. The rest of the investigation occurred above water, mostly in a computer lab doing things like retrieving evidence from a waterlogged laptop. The suspense came from repeated attacks on the team investigating the murder, and most of the attacks were focused on the heroine. They're not certain why she's the main target, which created further mystery.

The dive team main characters reacted realistically to events, and I cared about what happened to them. Adam has loved Sabrina for years, but she doesn't feel like she would be accepted by his rich family. The danger to her life prompted him to act on his feelings, and they have to deal with the secrets in her family background and how his family will react to her.

They both believe in God and that motivates them to protect those who can't protect themselves. They are willing to risk their family reputations in order to free people being illegally forced to work for low or no wages. There was no sex or bad language. Overall, I would recommend this exciting suspense novel.


If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.


Excerpt: Read an excerpt using Google Preview.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

My Heart Belongs in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania by Murray Pura

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My Heart Belongs in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
by Murray Pura


ISBN-13: 9781683227403
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Barbour Books
Released: November 1, 2018

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
Journey into Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, of 1863. By day, Clarissa Avery Ross is the daughter of a respectable shoemaker being courted by seminary student Kyle Forrester. But by night she is a conductor on the Underground Railroad, working with a mysterious man called Liberty. She would like to share her work with Kyle, but he refuses to enlist when the war breaks out. How can she remain true to a man she feels is a coward? When the war comes to her back door in an epic battle, the greatest challenges are yet to come.


My Review:
My...Gettysburg, Pennsylvania is a romance set in 1860 to 1863 in Gettysburg. In the first half of the book, the scenes where Clarissa led escaped slaves along the Underground Railroad were exciting. But it seemed like most of the scenes were of her 'normal' life, like her romantic walks with Kyle. When war broke out, we got a lot of "I hate you" and "I love you" scenes and love letters while her fiance's at war. Excitement returned when the war came to Gettysburg (and they still managed to spend time kissing intensely).

My main problem was with the hussy...er, heroine. She was extremely forward about embracing and passionately kissing a man, even before he was officially courting her. They also had premarital sex (implied rather than described). She justified this to herself--that God would bless this--because they love each other. She even called herself by his last name and called him her husband before the actual wedding.

I was continually annoyed by her spoiled attitude. She was hateful to people who hurt her pride--for example, Liberty scared her when trying to save her life and even apologized for it, but she basically cursed him to hell for doing so. She was impulsive plus often jumped to wrong conclusions. She's a red head, so she feels that passion, a quick temper, and tantrums are alright. One minute she hates a man and the next she's attracted to him. Even with her beauty and kisses, I can't understand why any man was attracted to her. But they all were.

There were no graphic sex scenes or bad language. Overall, I enjoy actual diaries from this time more than this story, but people who enjoy impulsive, passionate heroines may enjoy it.


If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.


Friday, November 2, 2018

Uneasy Lies the Crown by Tasha Alexander

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Uneasy Lies the Crown
by Tasha Alexander


ISBN-13: 9781250164704
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Released: Oct. 30, 2018

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
On her deathbed, Queen Victoria asks to speak privately with trusted agent of the Crown, Colin Hargreaves, and slips him a letter with one last command: Une sanz pluis. Sapere aude. “One and no more. Dare to know.”

The year is 1901 and the death of Britain’s longest-reigning monarch has sent the entire British Empire into mourning. But for Lady Emily and her dashing husband, Colin, the grieving is cut short as another death takes center stage. A body has been found in the Tower of London, posed to look like the murdered medieval king Henry VI. When a second dead man turns up in London's exclusive Berkeley Square, his mutilated remains staged to evoke the violent demise of Edward II, it becomes evident that the mastermind behind the crimes plans to strike again.

The race to find the killer takes Emily deep into the capital’s underbelly, teeming with secret gangs, street children, and sleazy brothels—but the clues aren’t adding up. Even more puzzling are the anonymous letters Colin has been receiving since Victoria's death, seeming to threaten her successor, Edward VII. With the killer leaving a trail of dead kings in his wake, will Edward be the next victim?


My Review:
Uneasy Lies the Crown is a historical mystery set in England. There were two story lines, one set in 1415 (and some years after that) and the main mystery set in 1901, right after Queen Victoria's death. This is the 13th book in a series, but you don't need to read the previous books to understand this one. This book did not spoil any previous mysteries in the series.

Lady Emily's husband is busy ensuring the safety of the new King after a murdered man is found dressed up like a past, murdered king. She's not so sure that the threat is against the new king despite the "murdered king" theme, so she asked people questions to find the link between the murder victims. She tried to prevent any future murders even though the victims weren't nice men. At the end, she jumped to some conclusions with little proof because she trusts her intuition. (Granted, I suspected these people, too, but I prefer firm proof before a character starts making accusations like they're a fact.)

There were no graphic sex scenes. There were a couple uses of bad language. Overall, I'd recommend this interesting and enjoyable mystery.


If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.