Dec 8, 2017

Book Review: The Girl in the Tower

The magical adventure begun in The Bear and the Nightingale continues as brave Vasya, now a young woman, is forced to choose between marriage or life in a convent and instead flees her home—but soon finds herself called upon to help defend the city of Moscow when it comes under siege.

Orphaned and cast out as a witch by her village, Vasya’s options are few: resign herself to life in a convent, or allow her older sister to make her a match with a Moscovite prince. Both doom her to life in a tower, cut off from the vast world she longs to explore. So instead she chooses adventure, disguising herself as a boy and riding her horse into the woods. When a battle with some bandits who have been terrorizing the countryside earns her the admiration of the Grand Prince of Moscow, she must carefully guard the secret of her gender to remain in his good graces—even as she realizes his kingdom is under threat from mysterious forces only she will be able to stop.

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When I read The Bear and the Nightingale, I fell absolutely in love with this Russian fairy tale and Ms. Arden's writing.  I really didn't think that she would be able to top that first book.  Boy was I very happily wrong.   

I was immediately swept back in time to  medieval Rus when Christianity was replacing earlier pagan beliefs.  Vasya is a wild and free maiden who was never meant to fit into the narrow confines that women were shoved into.  Instead she decides to ride away on her horse and find adventure.  And does she ever.

Again Vasya's character really spoke to me.  She refused to compromise and get married as proper young girls should.  Instead she masquerades as a boy, saves some children and comes to the attention of the Grand Prince of Moscow.  As long as her disguise held, she was happy but all good things come to an end.  She is found out and to save her family, she agrees to marry.  She has such a good heart and love is really her guiding light.

I very highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fairy tales. It is perfect for readers of all ages though there is violence as there is in any good tale.  This book will grab you from very first page all the way through to the satisfying conclusion. 

*** I received this book at no charge from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions expressed within are my own.
Dec 5, 2017

Book Review: Poison and Mercy: A Gril's Adventure

A bawdy and fun Steampunk adventure, Poison and Mercy is an alternative history Steampunk spoof that evokes the underground erotica of the Victorian era.
Mirroring the debauchery of London’s late 19th century Holywell Street and its outlawed printing presses, Poison and Mercy is a delightfully witty send-up with a fast-paced action-adventure story and characters that readers can’t help but root for.

It's 1885, and the people of London suffer under clouds of acid while the Thames burns; nothing has been seen or heard from within the borders of an increasingly belligerent Germany for several years; the Mediterranean is plagued by the Corsair Queens and their fleet of pirate airships; and a dastardly foreign plot to take control of the British Empire is afoot.

Who can save the day?

Poison and Mercy d’Avalon, a pair of notorious adventuresses with a talent for the amoral and profitable sidelines in extortion, assassination, and every other vice imaginable (as well as quite a few others for good measure), are hired to eliminate a blackmail threat to a Very Important Person. It is task that seems simple enough, but it is one that is soon complicated by murder and the machinations of an implacable and remorseless enemy. Poison and Mercy must endure one scandalous episode after another as their travels take them from London to Berlin to Cairo, and finally to a hidden pit of corruption buried beneath the blazing heart of the Empire’s capital.

Imprisoned and stripped (on several occasions).
Abandoned and enslaved in the desert.
Forced to endure an evening of music-hall comedy.

How long can two English roses be denied access to the best shops and restaurants before they start to sharpen their thorns and set about taking their revenge? Not very, apparently.

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What a delightful read!  I really reminds me of the Penny Dreadfuls  that one could find at news stands in an earlier time.  Gentle Ladies have the opportunity to follow the misadventures of Poison and Mercy as they attempt to rescue the Prince from the clutches of those evil Germans.  

This is not a tale to take seriously but if one is willing to suspend disbelief and not adverse to a little (okay a lot) sex, this is one fun read.  Mercy is a rather uncomplicated woman who just happens to love sex and knows that she is the best in her chosen avocation.  Poison is much more complicated and is definitely the brains of the operation.  

I do recommend this book to my readers who enjoy steampunk and penny dreadfuls.  I am really hoping that this is the start of a series about their adventures.  

***"I received a free copy of this book and voluntarily chose to review.
Nov 24, 2017

Book Review: Running Into Love

Fawn Callaghan has kissed one too many toads and has finally decided that Prince Charming doesn’t exist. After countless mishaps, mistakes, and unmitigated disasters on the dating scene, she’s decided to give up and move on with her life…solo.

Everything changes, however, after Fawn runs into Levi Fremont, a homicide detective new to New York City.

Dedication to the job has rendered Levi’s love life nonexistent—until he moves in next door to the free-spirited Fawn. After a series of comedic run-ins push them together, will they finally give in to the inevitable and realize—maybe—they are perfect for each other?

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This book was definitely not for me.  In my opinion, Levi is everyone's worst nightmare of a man.  Even though Fawn attempts to avoid him, he hunts her down calling her demeaning names like Baby.  He's pretty much the definition of a stalker even though he wears a badge.  And his thoughts about owning her...shudder...

Fawn was nice enough but just the fact that she lets Levi get away with that stuff and still gets together with him causes me to wonder if she needs help with her self worth.

As you can tell,this isn't a book that I would recommend to my readers.  This book stunned me with all the things that Levi pulls and manages to get away with.  Personally I would have called his captain.