Amazon

Readers' Favorite

January 13, 2017

Review: The Earl's Return by Callie Heaton

by MK French

August 2016; Entangled Publishing; 9781682812662;
ebook & print (208 pages); regency romance;
a free book was provided for this review
The Earl of Redgrave had abruptly broken off his engagement to Lady Abigail four years ago, marrying another woman and retreating to the country with her. After four years, his wife died in childbirth along with the baby. In need of an heir, the Earl returns to London to seek out another wife. In spite of himself, he is drawn to Lady Mary, Abigail's younger sister. Though Mary has no intention of getting to know him, they often meet at the orphanage where they both assist, or in social circles. In spite of himself, Redgrave is drawn to Mary, and soon can't imagine being married to anyone else.

I am a huge fan of Regency romance novels, and admittedly I don't know all the details of the time period. Still, it's a lot of fun to imagine the grand homes and balls, the gowns and the sights of London and the English countryside in that period. There is a distinct pattern that these novels take, and The Earl's Return is no different. There is a conflict between our hero and heroine that has to be overcome before they get together, and the couple certainly has their share of them here: a manipulative former father-in-law, a menacing ex-suitor, reputations to maintain, and family alliances. Mary is a very likable heroine, sure of her own feelings and needs and eager to help others. Redgrave is a tarnished sort of hero, but he does have a moral code that he follows to the best of his ability. They move within the noble circles of London and try to follow its constraints, even when it doesn't always suit them.

All in all, a very fun and enjoyable read in this genre.


Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and golden retriever.

Get even more book news in your inbox by signing up for our newsletter: http://eepurl.com/mHTVL. Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small commission is earned when purchases are made at Amazon using any Amazon links on this site. Thank you for supporting Girl Who Reads.

January 12, 2017

Review: The Hitwoman Plays Chaperone by JB Lynn

by Donna Huber

November 2016; cozy mystery
a copy was received as a gift
The Hitwoman Plays Chaperone is the latest book in JB Lynn's hilarious cozy mystery series.

I know when I pick up one of the Hitwoman books that I'm guaranteed a fun, quick read. As you may guess from the title, this one involved children. And in a cozy mystery kids are required to provided hilarious moments. Combine the kids with Maggie's menagerie and the laughs just keep coming.

While the story is relatively light, there are a few bittersweet plot threads. The mob boss's grandson is well enough to be discharged from the hospital and he is requesting Angel to return to the family fold to help with the boy's recovery. That means that Maggie will be left to tend with Katie on her own, well not completely on her own since she lives in the B&B with her aunts.

Maggie's long lost, and thought dead, sister decides to make her reappearance to the rest of the family by buying the house next door. To say the least, Darlene's return causes chaos. Though Darlene's return may relieve some of Maggie's responsibilities it does cause Maggie to have to make the most difficult of decisions.

There is a little detail that I hope will become clearer in future books.How did Teresa know what kind of parent Darlene be if Darlene disappeared when they were children?

The Hitwoman Plays Chaperone is another great hit and you are missing out if you haven't picked up this series.

Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the founder of Girl Who Reads and the author of how-to marketing book Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour.

Get even more book news in your inbox by signing up for our newsletter: http://eepurl.com/mHTVL. Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small commission is earned when purchases are made at Amazon using any Amazon links on this site. Thank you for supporting Girl Who Reads.

January 11, 2017

Streaming Fantasy: Magical Series to Marathon

by Alison DeLuca

Marathoning television shows is a relatively new concept. Remember waiting to find out what happens? Viewing parties for Picket Fences? Entire summers wondering who killed JR or what the hell Lost was about?

Many series are now designed to be watched in a few days, if not 24 hours.

Amazon has become a Marathon Master. Mozart in the Jungle (Amazon) is an award-winner, and the site's Man in the High Castle was one of the first marathon feasts.

Netflix was one of the first in the marathon stirrups, showcasing works like Orange is the New Black and Jessica Jones. The second, a tie-in from Marvel, followed the amazing Daredevil series.

Poster for Daredevil Marvel series


I work from home, and often I'll run a marathon of a show as background while I write, clean the house, set up for dinner, or edit a project. When I have free time and can actually watch with undivided attention, I like to lose myself in a series with spectacular fantasy writing and amazing acting.

Luckily, they are easy to find.

Here's a list of great marathon fare, for those who are late to the genre. It includes channel originals like Luke Cage from Netflix as well as television offerings I would have missed if it weren't for Apple TV.

Screenshot of Eleven in the pool on Stranger Things
Eleven in Stranger Things
1. Stranger Things: I wrote about this series before. To date, I think it stays as the finest example of a marathon series. The characters (Eleven, Mike, and even poor Barb) were vivid, and the action was electric. If somehow you've missed this one, clear about ten hours and watch the entire series. You won't want to stop once you start.

Summary: When a young boy disappears, his friends investigate with the help of Eleven, a telekinetic girl. 

Their adventures lead to government experiments and alternate dimensions. (NETFLIX)

Screenshot of giant moths in The Kettering Incident
Influx of moths in The Kettering Incident
2. The Kettering Incident: If you like dense Scandinavian crime drama, The X-Files, and Fringe, you might enjoy this dark series from Australia.

I owe Rachel Tsoumbakos eternal gratitude for turning me onto this gem.

You do need to pay attention - in fact, I watched this twice through to pick up on the hidden clues, and I'm still mystified. Looking forward to the next season!

Summary: Anna Macy returns to Kettering years after her friend disappeared. When another girl goes missing, Anna has to try and discover what happened all those years ago. (AMAZON)


Poster for the SyFy series The Magicians
3. The Magicians: Originally from SyFy, this adaptation of Lev Grossman's novel showcases fascinating concepts, addictive magic, and an incredibly rich universe. This is a good one to stream if you have work to do - you can miss a few scenes and still keep up.

Just remember to keep this one for adults-only, since the series is like Harry Potter for college students.

Summary: Quentin's fascination with the fantasy land of Fillory gets him into the magical college called Brakebills. There he discovers Fillory is real and very dangerous. (NETFLIX, SYFY)

screenshot of magical ball in Faerie from Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell
4. Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell: This BBC miniseries does a wonderful job of condensing the huge novel about magicians in 18th-century England. Watch it for incredible acting and beautiful scenery/ costumes / CGI. This little sleeper is worth your time.

Summary: Strange and Norrell struggle to right things after Mr. Norrell raises a woman from the dead. There's so much more - including a lovely romance between husband and wife, as well as the POV of an African character who might be one of my favorite people ever. (NETFLIX)


Alison DeLuca is the author of several steampunk and urban fantasy books.  She was born in Arizona and has also lived in Pennsylvania, Illinois, Mexico, Ireland, and Spain.
 Currently she wrestles words and laundry in New Jersey.


Get even more book news in your inbox by signing up for our newsletter: http://eepurl.com/mHTVL. Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small commission is earned when purchases are made at Amazon using any Amazon links on this site. Thank you for supporting Girl Who Reads.

January 10, 2017

Review: The Sleepwalker by Chris Bohjalian

by Susan Roberts

January 2017; Doubleday; 978-0385538916;
ebook & print (304 pages); suspense;
a free book was provided for this review
I always look forward to a new book from Chris Bohjalian because I know that I am going to get a real reading experience and The Sleepwalker was another fantastic book by this author. It's a fantastic story full of twists and turns that will keep you turning pages to get to the end while, at the same time, you are savoring the story and hoping that it won't end. Once I started, I couldn't put it down and I am sure that I'll be sleepwalking through my day today because I was up most of the night finishing it.

Annalee has gone missing and her family fears the worst. Leanna and Paige, her two daughters, and her husband were aware that she was a sleepwalker and that she had left the house in the past when she was sleepwalking. The daughters call their father, who is away on a business trip, and the police when they realize that she isn't in the house. The police immediately start a search of the nearby woods and river. They don't find Annalee but they also don't find her body so no one knows if she is dead or alive. I can't say much about the plot because I don't want to give any spoilers.

I thought that the best part of the book were the characters of Leanna and Paige. The girls were very real in their grief and confusion and their need to make sense out of their mother's disappearance. As with Chris's earlier books, he is one of the few male authors who writes fantastic and very real female characters.

This is another fantastic book by a terrific author. Clear your calendar when you start this book because you won't want to put it down.

Susan Roberts lives in North Carolina when she isn't traveling.  She and her husband enjoy traveling, gardening and spending time with their grandson.  Susan reads almost anything (and the piles of books in her house prove that) but her favorite genres are Southern fiction, women's fiction and thrillers. Susan is a top 1% Goodreads Reviewer. You can connect with Susan on Facebook.

Get even more book news in your inbox by signing up for our newsletter: http://eepurl.com/mHTVL. Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small commission is earned when purchases are made at Amazon using any Amazon links on this site. Thank you for supporting Girl Who Reads.

January 9, 2017

Review: The Burning Page by Genevieve Cogman #MondayBlogs

by MK French

January 2017; Roc; 9781101988688; ebook &
print (336 pages); science fiction
a free copy was provided for this review

Irene is a Librarian, a member of an organization that moves between parallel worlds to obtain rare and unique books to be kept within the safety of the Library. The Librarians are all well versed in the Language, a means of commanding others or subtly changing the world around them to achieve their goals. Irene and her apprentice Kai have gotten into trouble before, and as a result, she is on probationary status. There's trouble brewing in the Library, however, and it's a danger that can threaten not only countless worlds but the Library itself. Irene has to do her best to contain the damage, but there's uncertainty at every step.

As a fan of the TV show "The Librarians" and the made for TV movies that they were spawned from, I was excited to see the summary of The Burning Page by Genevieve Cogman. I hadn't read the prior novels in this series but had no trouble getting the idea of the Library and the powers that the Librarians had. Irene refers to events from the prior novels (so I'll be spoiled for them when I go back to read them!) but there's enough of an idea about what happened that I could still continue with the current story. It's a fascinating mix of recognizable characters and subtle changes to show the differences between worlds. Vale lives at 221B Baker Street, for example, and is a detective that needs to solve complicated puzzles of cases. The magic of the Librarians, dragons, and fae described in the book is fascinating. There's so much action, and moving through the underbelly of London and the different worlds also reminded me of Neil Gaiman's "Neverwhere," another favorite of mine. It's a wonderfully detailed book but isn't bogged down by those details, either. If anything, that makes it feel immersive, as if this is a movie unfolding. Irene is a plucky and likable character, and I really liked Kai. A number of other characters aren't described as well, though it could be because more time had been spent with them in the prior books. There's such a sense of history in Irene's interactions with the other characters, but not knowing that history in detail doesn't ruin the flow of the story. Instead, it adds to the air of mystery and the almost claustrophobic sense that permeates the book as Irene is trying to figure out who is trying to kill her and help destroy the Library. I heartily recommend this book, especially to bibliophiles.


Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and golden retriever.

Get even more book news in your inbox by signing up for our newsletter: http://eepurl.com/mHTVL. Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small commission is earned when purchases are made at Amazon using any Amazon links on this site. Thank you for supporting Girl Who Reads.

Shareahollic

Amazon Studio

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...