The Her Royal Spyness series is a fluffy historical mystery series that takes place around Europe during the early 1930's. It's protagonist is a youngThe Her Royal Spyness series is a fluffy historical mystery series that takes place around Europe during the early 1930's. It's protagonist is a young woman named Lady Georgiana who is 34th in line for the British crown. Despite her social position her family is near penniless and the British royal family keeps asking her to assist them in various ways unaware of her situation. Each book also has a light mystery in which Lady Georgiana gets involved in as well.
Naughty in Nice started out promising. I was disappointed with the previous book in the Her Royal Spyness series as the fun bubbly tone was mostly missing. In Naughty in Nice that seemed to have returned and I was really invested in the story at the beginning. I feel like despite Naughty in Nice's fun beginning it began to eventually feel as though it was following the same kind of pattern as the previous books. This is a common problem with books in a longer series and it's one of my reading pet peeves. Although the mystery elements, the dialogue, and the changing settings are entertaining, the lack of character development began to frustrate me. I'm someone who gets emotionally invested in characters more so than plot. Obviously I prefer both to be equally as good, however if the characters don't interest me in some way or there isn't any development to them I lose interest quickly. While I feel like the characters in this series are interesting they also feel now in the fifth book somewhat static. The characters are still the same, their relationships have not changed, and the same mistakes and misunderstandings are being made. It might also not have been as helpful to read so many of these back to back as with the first couple of books I read with a good amount of time in between. Either way I don't really care to read any more of the series at this point.
I would still recommend the first few books in the series to anyone whom the blurb catches their attention as they were really fun to read. However I would warn going in that it does get very repetitive after a while and perhaps space them out as you go. ...more
I have generally really enjoyed the first three books in the Her Royal Spyness series. It's set in Europe during the 1930's and the protagonist is a yI have generally really enjoyed the first three books in the Her Royal Spyness series. It's set in Europe during the 1930's and the protagonist is a young British woman named Lady Georgiana who is 34th in line to the throne. This means she is included within a certain social status but without any of the money or power to go with it. There's typically some light mystery Lady Georgiana gets wrapped up in each book. However most of the enjoyment in reading them comes from the witty dialogue and Lady Georgiana's fun personality and perspective. In Royal Blood, Lady Georgiana is surprised to find that she is requested to attend a royal wedding at a castle in Transylvania to represent the British royal family. Soon after she arrives a mysterious gentleman begins appearing in lady's rooms and then disappearing in the dark. Then someone dies at a dinner under mysterious circumstances and Lady Georgiana suspects murder.
I feel like Royal Blood is the weakest of the books in the series so far. It was still enjoyable in parts such as I still find the protagonist's perspective fun to read and the spooky setting in a castle a nice change for the series. It was kind of a mixed bag as far as plot and dialogue. I feel like there's this strange element of the supernatural thrown in with Lady Georgiana suddenly worried about werewolves and vampires. There's also not as much funny dialogue and action to it as for most of the book Lady Georgiana and the wedding party are stuck in the castle due to a heavy snow storm. What sort of hurt my enjoyment the most in this installment is the sort of fun and bubbly tone to the books is missing here. It pops up now and then but this book felt oddly serious and the humor mostly gone which I didn't feel was necessary to tell the story. It felt like Royal Blood was trying to lightly imitate a Gothic novel which the author could have still instilled some humor and parady to keep in tone with the rest of the series. Instead of trying to mold the gothic formula to the Her Royal Spyness series it felt like Royal Blood simply tried too hard to be a frothy imitation. I wouldn't necessarily say this book was bad as I did find parts of it enjoyable, it just didn't live up for me to the previous books in the series. I am currently reading the next book in the series which so far has been much better, so I would say perhaps if you are reading the series either skip over this or just go in with lower expectations. ...more
I am not the biggest sci-fi fan but I'm trying to read more of it. The Cold Between started out strong but about halfway through it began feeling a liI am not the biggest sci-fi fan but I'm trying to read more of it. The Cold Between started out strong but about halfway through it began feeling a little slow and I lost interest. It then picked up again but then kind of got boring again. I liked that this had a strong mystery plot but the characters were equally important to the story. It did have a strong romance angle but for some reason I didn't really feel the chemistry. I'm still somewhat confused on what exactly happened as I did end up skimming a few parts of it. I also didn't like the constantly shifting POVs. Despite my grumblings however I thought the writing was really good and it kept me interested enough to want to read the sequel. ...more
The blurb: "Disillusioned healer Blackthorn and her companion, Grim, have settled in Dalriada to wait out the seven years of Blackthorn’s bond to her fThe blurb: "Disillusioned healer Blackthorn and her companion, Grim, have settled in Dalriada to wait out the seven years of Blackthorn’s bond to her fey mentor, hoping to avoid any dire challenges. But trouble has a way of seeking out Blackthorn and Grim.
Lady Geiléis, a noblewoman from the northern border, has asked for the prince of Dalriada’s help in expelling a howling creature from an old tower on her land—one surrounded by an impenetrable hedge of thorns. Casting a blight over the entire district, and impossible to drive out by ordinary means, it threatens both the safety and the sanity of all who live nearby. With no ready solutions to offer, the prince consults Blackthorn and Grim.
As Blackthorn and Grim begin to put the pieces of this puzzle together, it’s apparent that a powerful adversary is working behind the scenes. Their quest is about to become a life and death struggle—a conflict in which even the closest of friends can find themselves on opposite sides."
Tower of Thorns is the second book in Juliet Marillier's "Blackthorn & Grim" series. If you were thinking of picking up the series you may be able to follow along somewhat but I would recommend starting with the first book if possible. However if you have already read Dreamer's Pool you can expect a continuation of the main story line and another fantasy/fairy-tale inspired mystery that Blackthorn and Grim get involved with.
I definitely had mixed feelings with this. I think Juliet Marillier's writing is lovely and she is one of my favorite authors. In Tower of Thorns her writing was as evocative and atmospheric as ever. However despite knowing she tended to write more slowly paced stories in this book it felt like it was even more so. I kept waiting and waiting for things to pick up and it really didn't seem to pick up until the last few chapters. The characters were also difficult to invest in as the introduction of Lady Geiléis and her POV made it clear she was holding secrets even to Blackthorn and Grim but they never really appeared to work that hard at uncovering them. Also Blackthorn is clearly being pulled in different directions by another new character here and it made me want to roll my eyes at her decision making. There's not a lot of action which you expect in Marillier's writing but there's not even any real sleuthing as there was in the previous book. The characters just sort of plod along blindly until the big finale. I actually skimmed quite a bit here. I seem to be in the minority here though as most of the other reviews I've seen on this book are pretty positive. It also could be partially my fault in that I wasn't in the mood for something so slow and it has been a while since I picked up the previous book in the series. I might still try to pick up the next book in the series but I am hoping things pick up a bit. ...more
Her Royal Spyness series is a fun fluffy historical mystery series set in mainly Britain and Scotland during the 1930's. The protagonist is Lady GeorgHer Royal Spyness series is a fun fluffy historical mystery series set in mainly Britain and Scotland during the 1930's. The protagonist is Lady Georgiana who is 34th in line for the British crown. She is therefore burdened with family obligations but without the money or power to always fulfill or live up to them. She is a fun heroine to read about as she has a generally bubbly and funny personality, although she at times makes some silly decisions. In Royal Flush, the third book in the series, due to a scandal of her own creation Lady Georgiana is forced to flee from London to her ancestral home of Castle Rannoch in Scotland. She is also secretly instructed to keep her eyes and ears open as other members of the British royal family are also in Scotland and have had several mysterious accidents occur recently. Of course shenanigans ensue and Lady Georgiana gets involved with the mystery and ends up assisting with finding the culprit.
This is the third book in the series and it has started to develop a kind of pattern. There's a bit of frustration with the seemingly endless dangling of the potential romance between Lady Georgiana and a mysterious Irishman named Darcy. It's not a very complicated mystery series either as typically you can guess what's going on fairly early. However despite my grumblings it was still an enjoyable read. Lady Georgiana is a fun protagonist and usually the dialogue makes me laugh out loud a few times. If you are looking for a simple bit of historical fluff with some light mystery then you should give the Her Royal Spyness series a try. ...more
Lost Among the Living is about a young women who lost her husband during WWI and decides to take up an offer from her husband's aunt to be her companiLost Among the Living is about a young women who lost her husband during WWI and decides to take up an offer from her husband's aunt to be her companion. Over time she discovers that her husband and his family have withheld secrets from her including a possible murder. It took a while to get into this but it slowly built up to where I couldn't put it down. I think there were parts that were too slow and sometimes the characterizations felt uninteresting but Simone St. James has the ability to write great atmosphere and never fails to suck me in....more
I thought this was a better book than the first in the series. It wasn't anything I'd rave about but it held my interest. If each book in the series cI thought this was a better book than the first in the series. It wasn't anything I'd rave about but it held my interest. If each book in the series continues to get better then this will be interesting to follow....more
Simone St. James has yet to write a bad book in my opinion. I've liked some more than others but they are always entertaining and atmospheric. This waSimone St. James has yet to write a bad book in my opinion. I've liked some more than others but they are always entertaining and atmospheric. This was kind of in the middle where I've liked other's more and other's less. If you like historical fiction mixed with a ghost story you should give Simone St. James books a try. ...more
Simone St. James is really excellent at creating a strong sense of atmosphere in her books and An Inquiry Into Love and Death was no different. If youSimone St. James is really excellent at creating a strong sense of atmosphere in her books and An Inquiry Into Love and Death was no different. If you like historical fiction or historical mysteries and wouldn't mind some horror/paranormal elements thrown in you should give her work a try. There is typically a strong romance in most of her books however the mystery/horror portion of the plot gets equal time as well. My favorite book by St. James is still The Haunting of Maddy Clare but I enjoyed this one a lot too. ...more