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31 December 2018

Murder at the Flamingo by Rachel McMillan

I started this last night before bed and just finished. Rachel McMillan is amazing. I'm still madly in love with Jasper (even though he was only mentioned briefly he still made my heart skip a beat) ... and I need to meet Maisie and find out who her mother is!

30 December 2018

Suitors & Sabotage by Cindy Anstey

I'm not exactly sure how Cindy Anstey first came into my life. It may have been via NetGalley or Goodreads or just randomly stumbling upon her first book. However it happened, I am exceedingly glad that it did because every time I pick up one of her books I know that I am about to fall in love with whatever she has written. I loved the first book, tossed aside Mr Darcy and Colonel Brandon over the second, and the third? Well, the paperback won't be released until this coming April but I pre-ordered it after the first chapter had been read because it needs to be on my shelf with the other two and my beloved Jane Austen collection.
Now, you probably know that I read more than a bit of Regencies. Many have I loved, but few have I felt the need to own. It says a lot.
Suitors and Sabotage has a bit of humor, a bit of mystery, and a whole lot of "just admit how you feel already" frustration. Cindy Anstey has once again written a delightful romp suitable for the younger and more delicate fans of the genre, while still being engaging enough for those of us who also enjoy the more bodice-ripping end of the Regency spectrum.

28 December 2018

The Butterfly Conspiracy by Vivian Conroy (Book Beginnings & Friday 56)

Just when I thought no one would top Lady Alkmene and Jake ... or Guinevere and Oliver ... Vivian had to go and give me Merula and Raven!
How many more fictional men do I need vying for my affections??? 
I think, surprisingly, Raven may be in the lead at the moment ... maybe ... though there is something about Galileo and I need to find out more! I've always been a sucker for the awkward and geeky types.
Once again, Conroy has created an amazing cast of characters and thrown them into a mystery that kept me guessing right along with them. I can't wait to see what they all get into next!

Friday 56 (today is from the 56% mark of the ebook) is hosted at Freda's Voice
& Book Beginnings (share the first few sentences) is at Rose City Reader.

24 December 2018

2019 Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge

It's been a while since I've cared enough to sign up for a challenge, much less actually do one .... but I always loved the alphabet based challenges so I'm going to try and keep my oomph up long enough to do the Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge (title-based) .... and the author based one as well! The plan in my head is to not overlap between the two .... maybe ...

Click on the images to find out more ... and I'll try to keep updating here as I make progress!

G- The Grave's a Fine and Private Place by Alan Bradley (Goodreads review)
H- Happily Never After by Emma Robinson (Goodreads review)
I- i am Elephant, i am Butterfly by Leslie Tall Manning
M-My So-Called (Love) Life by A.L Michael (Goodreads review)
T- A Testament to Murder by Vivian Conroy
W- The Whispered Word by Ellery Adams (Goodreads review)
Y- The Year of Starting Over by Karen King
Z- Zen Queen by Kirsty McManus (Goodreads review)

A- Avon, Joy -- In Peppermint Peril
B- Balogh, Mary -- Someone to Hold
C- Craven, Ashlinn -- Building Mr Darcy
D- Dean, Anna -- A Moment of Silence
E- Eeles, Liz -- New Starts and Cherry Tarts at the Cosy Kettle
F- Fox, Hester -- The Witch of Willow Hall (Goodreads review)
H- Howe, Katherine -- The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane
J- Johnstone, Julie -- My Fair Duchess (Goodreads review)
K- Kasasian, MRC -- Betty Church and the Suffolk Vampire
M- Mayes, A.G. -- A Slice of Magic
R- Ranald, Sophie -- Sorry Not Sorry  (Goodreads review)
S- Stainton, Keris --The Invitation (Goodreads review)
Y- Young, Suzanne -- Girls With Sharp Sticks (Goodreads review)

We Wish You a Murderous Christmas by Vicki Delany

It's been three years since I read the first book in Vicki Delany's Year-Round Christmas Mystery series, Rest Ye Murdered Gentlemen. A really good indication of this being a really great series? Three years later I was able to pick up the next installment, We Wish You A Murderous Christmas, and all of the characters and love of the first book were still fresh in my mind. With as much as I read (which, I know, hasn't seemed like a lot this year), one would think that a fictional town full of people would get lost in the shuffle and pushed back into the far recesses of my brain after a few months much less a few years. There's just something special about Rudolph.

From the first few pages my love for the series, the town and the most of the characters was rekindled as though I had read the first book three days ago rather than three years ago. Yes, I still wish Rudolph, New York was a real place within easy traveling distance from my own. Yes, I still adore Merry and her parents and best friend and dog and still so do not adore her business "competition" Betty, her employee Jackie and Jackie's boyfriend Kyle. And speaking of boyfriends, I am most definitely Team Alan. By the end of the book all of these held true... and then some.

 As for the story itself? Well, Delany definitely knows how to keep the pace steady and keep me guessing. It took me just under two days to finish -- including time spent sleeping, eating, working, and celebrating Christmas a few days early with my boy. I hadn't figured out "whodunnit" until Merry had which is always a pleasure. I get a bit aggravated at times when I figure something out early and have to spend pages and pages waiting for the book to catch up! Now? My only aggravation is that Rudolph still isn't real.

17 December 2018

An Improper Encounter by Erica Taylor

I love a book that makes me laugh. I really love a book that makes me cry. If a book can do those and give me other feels of the more, well, touchy-feely kind? It's definitely a five-star book! Erica Taylor's third Macalisters book, An Improper Encounter, excelled at giving me "all the feels" so intensely that I would give it more stars if I could.

This is the story of Sarah and William. Sarah is the eldest of the Macalister clan and grew up being the mother figure to her siblings -- including Susanna from A Suitable Affair and Andrew from The Perfect Duchess.
Yes, this is where I urge you to get the first two books and read them. Start with Andrew's, even though it's technically book 2. Right now they're both free for Kindle so there really isn't any reason not to. (Even if they're not free at the time you read this, if you love a good Regency, do it anyway.)
Anyway, this is Sarah's story. Sarah, the widowed dragon-in-training for the ton, who has spent most of her life dealing with tragedy and heartbreak and taking care of everybody else first. She has had a feeling for quite some time that she wants more out of life, and it takes a bet from her best friend and sister-in-law Lydia and the improper encounter from whence we get our title for her to actually do anything about it. Or, at least, attempt to. The encounter is with William -- a mysterious man with tragedy and heartbreak of his own to overcome. I really don't see it as being a "spoiler" when I give away that they end up falling in love. Of course they do. The Amazon description even gives that much away:
Lady Sarah Hartford is beautiful, wealthy, widowed, and bored. After agreeing to a scandalous dare to seduce a stranger into her bedchamber, she meets the devilishly handsome doctor, William Gordon. Though both keep their true identities hidden, an intense romance blooms between them, and Sarah finally feels like she could be happy again.
Instead, William disappears from her life only to arrive three months later on her doorstep—married, a duke, and with a pregnant duchess in tow. The pair must try to untangle truth from lies while keeping their history a secret from everyone around them.
What Amazon fails to tell you, though, is that this very well may be a book you need to read in private because ... well ... feels.

Susanna and Ian. Andrew and Clara. Sarah and William. Erica Taylor knows how to write couples that will leave you laughing, crying, and more than a bit hot and bothered ... and sometimes all three simultaneously.

Three Macalisters down and six to go. I can't wait to see who gets matched up next! Actually, I can ... but only because I'll need some time to recover from Sarah and William's emotional and physical whirlwind.