Four fun Christmas stories and as the title suggests they all have a kiss under the mistletoe. I had two favorites in the collection. My very favoriteFour fun Christmas stories and as the title suggests they all have a kiss under the mistletoe. I had two favorites in the collection. My very favorite was Sabrina Jeffries The Heiress and the Hothead. This one featured the mill owning sister of Jeremy from a previous story. I just knew she needed a romance and an HEA . Jeffries provide the perfect one.
My other favorite was Sweetest Regret by Meredith Duran. I loved both Lucas Goodwin and Georgie. Theirs was not a smooth path to an HEA but it was an interesting one.
Like The Heiress and the Hothead the other two stories were based on characters from Hawkins’ and Camp’s series. I did not know the characters so did not enjoy the stories as much. This is a fun Christams collection and since it is four novellas you can pick it up and finish a story in a short time. Great for when you are too busy to start a long book....more
This is a different take on a Jack the Ripper type killer. The killings lead to a much bigger plot. I loved that most of the main characters were femaThis is a different take on a Jack the Ripper type killer. The killings lead to a much bigger plot. I loved that most of the main characters were female and not you usual type of female either. Karen Memery (her spelling is different from the book title) tells the story from her point of view. The story is a steampunk set in the late 1800's and she uses the language that was common during the time period. This is a ...more
Defiant by Karina Sumner-Smith – I loved Radiant book one in the Towers Trilogy. Book two, Defiant, is just as good. Sumner-Smith has built a world fiDefiant by Karina Sumner-Smith – I loved Radiant book one in the Towers Trilogy. Book two, Defiant, is just as good. Sumner-Smith has built a world filled with interesting and different characters and situations. This time Xhea and her ghost friend Shai should be safe but things are changing in the Lower City. I loved how the friendship between Shai and Xhea was at the heart of the story. Even when they were separated and their tether broken each was still important to the other. There is much to be learned and much to overcome and the journey is filled with many different problems and dangers. Defiant is a great blend of magic and characters set in a world very different from any other I have seen. ...more
If you read City of Jasmine you will be familiar with the setting and some of the characters in Night of A Thousand Stars. This story features Poppy MIf you read City of Jasmine you will be familiar with the setting and some of the characters in Night of A Thousand Stars. This story features Poppy March and Sebastian Fox and the setting is once again in Damascus and the surrounding area. There is so much detail in the description of the area it is like going on a tour of the city in the 1920’s. The book starts with Poppy running away just before the start of her wedding. It starts like a comedy continues with comic touches as it becomes filled with tension and danger.
Poppy has never fit in and is trying to find her way in life. After only one meeting with Sebastian Julia feels something for him. He disappears after helping her escape from the church and getting her to her Father’s. When she thinks he is in trouble she decides to travel to half way around the world to help him. The big reveal here is that Poppy is a March and kin to Lady Julia Grey making this a bridge between the two series.
Look for a few characters from City of Jasmine. Even Gabriel Starke makes a brief appearance. I found the first and last third of the book to move very quickly but the middle third to drag a little. This was Poppy’s story and there is a lot of dialog that is there to show how she reacts and how she changes. Sebastian is there to help but plays a lesser but very strong role. One of the fun elements in the story was how Poppy kept under-estimating Sebastian.
There were several interesting new side characters. Most appeared and disappeared only to appear again. Many were not what they seemed. There were enough clues that I did suspect the role some of the side characters would play before the book was over.
The scene is set for additional books set in this time period. I hope we get to see more of Poppy and Sebastian. They should have enough additional adventures to keep them around. If not Poppy and Sebastian maybe some other characters will have their story.
Two additional features in the back of the book are book club questions and a great interview with the author....more
World Building: As the book started I expected it to be set in a magical middle ages kingdom. That changed after a few pages. This is set in the US wi
World Building: As the book started I expected it to be set in a magical middle ages kingdom. That changed after a few pages. This is set in the US with everything just like today except for the magic, monsters, and town that does not exist. The first few chapters lay out the description of the town and the rules for the monsters and the magic. It flows without really slowing out the story.
Plot: It was familiar. The girl from the streets who has to protect the son of one of the main families in the town. It is well written and easy to read and the even though it followed a familiar theme it was a satisfying read.
Characters: I found it easy to get into the head of the characters. Some were very well developed and some were more of a sketch than a person. Even so all worked well in the context of the story.
Writing: The story was well-written and again very easy to read. The world building, plot and characters development allowed the reader to enjoy the story without anything pulling you out of the book.
All in all this is a good start to a new YA series and I will be looking for the next book in the series. While one problem is solved there is a much bigger problem for future books.
Kensington published A Cold Burn of Magic by Jennifer Estep in 2015.
I received an ARC of A Cold Burn of Magic from Netgalley in return for an honest review....more
The Heart of Christmas takes another single member of the Friday Coffee group and gives them their own happy ending. Eve has been a featured characterThe Heart of Christmas takes another single member of the Friday Coffee group and gives them their own happy ending. Eve has been a featured character in each of the previous Whiskey Creek books. Once it looked like she might finally find her own HEA but it was not to be. Now she is 35 and feeling like she will never find that special person. I have always liked Eve. She is very caring and very strong. Seeing her down as she is in The Heart of Christmas was very sad. I just knew someone would show up to be her very special person. What I did not expect was a man with a very mysterious and dangerous past.
Brenda Novak does a great job with that mysterious man. Why no name? (small spoiler) Because his name has been changed several times for his own protection. He does not want anything to happen to Eve so it looks like no HEA for Eve again. Then the Friday Coffee group decides to help and comes up with a winning solution.
I have to admit both the mysterious man and how he and Eve came to have their own HEA surprised me. The Heart of Christmas has a much darker tone than previous Whiskey Creek books. I think the slight change of pace strengthens the series and helps keep it from being predictable. ...more