Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The Hypnotic City by Andrea Berthot

The Hypnotic City is the second in the Gold and Glasslight Chronicles. I read this book as a stand alone. It does not completely reveal the previous story, but I definitely know the basics after reading the Hypnotic City.

The book is set in the theater world of New York City in the early 1900s. Philomena and her friend Jennie are escaping London after an extended quarantine had been lifted from the city. Philomena is the daughter of an earl, but she has only ever felt like a bird in a gilded cage. She steals some of the family wealth and sets out to America to be her own person and seek success on the stage.

While in America, she encounters all of the problems that face a young unknown actress: theives, false friends, disinterested producers, exploitative employers and the need to find a way to survive. Philomena and Jennie find a balance about the time that Jennie falls in love, gets married and leaves to help her husband in his new business. Philomena finds herself on her own in a job that feels like a dead end. One of her co-workers arranges for Philomena to get an important audition only to have the stage manager make fun of her and the producer to dismiss her without even listening to her audition. All of the stress leads Philomena to do something rash while performing at her job. However, that moment is the beginning of big things for Philomena, not least of which attracts a monster. Read The Hypnotic City to see if Philomena is able to make it big and escape the monster that pursues her.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Sisters Of The Fire by Kim Wilkins

I got the opportunity to preview this title before its release tomorrow. Before I go further, let me warn you that this story has two brief but explicit scenes.

Sisters Of The Fire is a novel of daring and magic. Five sisters take the stage, each facing her own adventure and her own challenges. Bluebell is the fierce warrior; the right hand of her father the King. Rose is an exiled queen; separated from her firstborn. Ivy is a duchess of a great seaport; searching for love and her place in the world. Ash is an apprenticing magician; on a deadly quest. Willow is a zealot; placing her faith in Maava above all else. These sisters are separated by geography and vastly different personalities. Their stories intertwine and unfold in unexpected ways. Nothing else makes a story more complete than villains you love to hate and this story is full of them. Similar to George R. R. Martin's Game of Thrones, Sisters Of The Fire is passionate and brutal.

Will the sisters reunite or will their differences pull the family apart?
Will their kingdoms still be standing at the end?

Friday, August 12, 2016

Disillusioned by Christy Barritt

 I love the crime genre but I do not always love the gore, profanity and sexuality that accompanies some of the plots. When I see Ms. Barritt's name, I know that I can expect a good, thrilling ride without all of the nastiness that other authors feel compelled to include. I have enjoyed reading Ms. Barritt's Squeaky Clean series, so I was very excited to see a new title from her.

Disillusioned grabbed me, from the opening pages, with a compelling story. The pages were full of suspense and tension and just like her Squeaky Clean series, there are no elicit love scenes. The ending may not have surprised me, but there were definitely enough red herrings that I wasn't sure which scenario would be the ultimate ending.

Remember all the hub bub around Bowe Bergdahl. Did you ever wonder if he was innocent or were you convinced he was guilty. Bobby Wright finds himself in a similar position. Fortunately for Bobby, he has a sister that will fight with everything she has to prove his innocence. From the moment they are introduced to the reader, they are fighting for their chance at survival. Nikki risks everything to keep her Navy SEAL brother safe. She even relies on someone who broke her heart because he is the best chance her brother has for freedom. Nikki and Bobby are not only running from the FBI and Homeland Security, but they are also trying to discover a terrorist on US soil. ARM kidnapped Bobby and he was never supposed to survive. Now ARM is coming after Bobby with a vengeance. Both Bobby and Nikki face their own battles with disillusionment. Bobby's is with the world around him. Nikki's is with a God who didn't answer in the way that Nikki expected. Join Nikki Wright on her journey to battle spiritual disillusionment and political conspiracy.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Crystallum by Laney McMann

I just finished reading this book and I have to say that I am disappointed; disappointed that I have to wait for the continuation of the story as this installment was just released.

The beginning of the story left me in much confusion. Much as the heroine of this story, I couldn't figure out what the sides were let alone who was good and who was bad. By the middle of the story, I didn't care anymore who was what. I was equally infatuated with Kade's love interest, forbidden or not. Kadence Sparrow enters a new town the summer before her senior year. Daughter of a neurosurgeon, she was prone to moving wherever her father's job took them. She lives by rules to protect a secret: no boyfriends, no close friends, show no one who you really are. All these rules come crashing down when she meets Cole Spires. Crystallum is part modern day Romeo and Juliet and part sci-fi demon hunters, reminiscent of Cassandra Clare's Shadowhunters. I highly recommend it and, one more thing, she really caught me with the antagonist. I did not see that coming! Read the book!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Like Never Before by Melissa Tagg

Amelia, Not Earhart, Makes the Headlines

Home is where the heart is. This is what Amelia learns as she makes a home for herself in Maple Valley. Following a divorce and the loss of her dreams, she finds a niche in the local newspaper office. The only problem is that the newspaper is floundering and she will do anything to make sure that doesn't happen. She even sends desperate e-mail requests to a former reporter who has made it big in the political world.

Like Never Before is a great modern day romance that left me with a smile on my face. I loved all of Ms. Tagg's references to vintage films and the historical element that she wove into the story. This is a great read and I am so glad that I discovered Melissa Tagg! (This is book 2 and I was able to read it as a stand alone, now off to book 1)