Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Review - India Black and the Gentleman Thief (Madam of Espionage Mysteries #4) by Carol K. Carr

India Black and the Gentleman Thief (Madame of Espionage, #4)Title: India Black and the Gentleman Thief
Author: Carol K. Carr
Series: 4th (India Black
Pages: 320
Published: February 4th 2014 by Berkley Trade 
ISBN: 9780425262481
Source: Publisher for honest review





Description: India Black’s double life operating a high-class brothel and running high-stakes espionage for Her Majesty’s government can take its toll. But there’s no rest for the weary—particularly when an international conspiracy comes knocking… India Black is one of Victorian London’s most respected madams—not a bloody postmistress. So when Colonel Francis Mayhew forwards a seemingly innocuous shipping bill to her address, she’s puzzled. And when three thugs bust down her door, steal the envelope, and rough up both her and fellow agent French…well, that’s enough to make India Black see red.  The veteran spies soon discover that Mayhew has been butchered in his own bedroom. An impromptu investigation leads them to London’s docks, where India makes a startling discovery she can’t bear to tell the rakish French—she has a history with their chief suspect, the gentleman thief who once stole her heart… 

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I was a little afraid that India and French has bitten off more than they could chew this time around.  This case got sticky really quickly.  

One of the things I love most about this series is that nobody seems to think twice about India and French investigating any of these things.  Even at the War office, they manage to look at things they probably had no business looking at.  A pretty face and a lot of charm seems to take a person a long way in Victorian England.  I found this case to particularly nasty.  This is the type of thing that gets people killed really quickly to protect those in charge.  India and French manage to get themselves out of situations this time around, but I think there are some debts to be repaid.  Much to French's dismay.  

While, I enjoy the mystery that surrounds this series, what keeps me coming back are the characters themselves.  There are times I forget what kind of Business India is in (although she uses the term whore quite frequently in this book), she carries herself with such grace.  But, I don't think that anybody could possibly forget that India can handle herself in almost any situation.  I think that her and French make an excellent team, in more ways than one.  I'm not one for adulterous relationships, but I kind of wish French would discard his duties already.  It's obvious that attraction is there.  Marriage shouldn't just be about duty to ones family!

I particularly enjoyed  Dowager Marchioness of Tullibardine this time around.  She's chaotic enough to throw India's entire world into a tailspin.  She marches in and basically takes over Lotus House and there's not a damn thing India seems to be able to do about it.   I am curious of the Marchioness is aware of the effect she has or if she is the way she is.

A fresh book in the series.  Sometimes, you get this many books into a series and it starts to feel like to same old same old.  Not here!  I already have my eye on the next book in the series.  French and India have to get together eventually!

Monday, April 21, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?



What Are You Reading, is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week. It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list. Click on the picture to be taken to Sheila at One Person's Journey Through A World of Books!
 
Read Last Week:

Sunrise (Ashfall, #3)
  • Sunrise by Mike Mullen
 
Currently Reading: 
 
The Hunt (Project Paper Doll, #2)
  • The Hunt by Stacey Kade
     

Up This Week: 
The Boleyn Bride
  • The Boleyn Bride by Brandy Purdy
 

Monday, April 14, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?



What Are You Reading, is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week. It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list. Click on the picture to be taken to Sheila at One Person's Journey Through A World of Books!
 
Read Last Week:
 
This Side of SalvationThe Forbidden Queen
  • This Side of Salvation by Jeri Smith-Ready 
  • The Forbidden Queen by Anne O'Brien 

Currently Reading: 

Sunrise (Ashfall, #3)
  • Sunrise by Mike Mullen

Up This Week: 

The Boleyn Bride
  • The Boleyn Bride by Brandy Purdy 
 
 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Stacking the Shelves

For Review: 

The Lost (The Lost, #1)The Immortal Crown (Age of X, #2)The Butterfly and the Violin (Hidden Masterpiece, #1)
  • The Lost by Sarah Beth Durst
  • The Immortal Crown by Richelle Mead
  • The Butterfly and the Violin by Kristy Cambron

Purchased: 

The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1)
  • The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski

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    Stacking The Shelves is all about the books we are adding to our shelves each week, sharing with you our excitement for our newest titles and maybe have you discover a new book in the process!  It's hosted by Tynga's Reviews!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Stacking the Shelves!

For Review: 

Dark Metropolis (Dark Metropolis, #1)Nantucket Red (Nantucket, #2)
Deep Blue (Waterfire Saga, #1)
  • Dark Metropolis by Jaclyn Dolamore 
  • Nantucket Red by Leila Howland
  • Deep Blue by Jennifer Donnelly

STSmall_thumb[2][2]
Stacking The Shelves is all about the books we are adding to our shelves each week, sharing with you our excitement for our newest titles and maybe have you discover a new book in the process!  It's hosted by Tynga's Reviews!

Review - Four Seconds to Lose (Ten Tiny Breaths #3) by K.A. Tucker

Four Seconds to Lose (Ten Tiny Breaths, #3)Title: Four Seconds to Lose
Author: K.A. Tucker
Series: 3rd (Ten Tiny Breaths, One Tiny Lie)
Pages: 400
Published: April 1st 2014 by Atria Books
ISBN: 9781476740492
Source: Publisher via Netgalley





Description: Owning a strip club isn’t the fantasy most guys expect it to be. With long hours, a staff with enough issues to keep a psych ward in business, and the police regularly on his case, twenty-nine-year-old Cain is starting to second guess his unspoken mission to save the women he employs. And then blond, brown-eyed Charlie Rourke walks through his door, and things get really complicated. Cain abides by a strict “no sleeping with the staff” rule. But being around Charlie challenges Cain’s self-control…and it’s been a long time since any woman has done that. Twenty-two-year-old Charlie Rourke needs a lot of money, really fast, in order to vanish before it’s too late. Taking her clothes off for men makes her stomach curl but Charlie tells herself that at least she’s putting her acting and dancing skills to good use. And though her fellow dancers seem eager to nab their sexy, sophisticated, and genuinely caring boss, she’s not interested. After all, Charlie Rourke doesn’t really exist—and the girl pretending to be her can't get distracted by romance. Unfortunately, Charlie soon discovers that developing feelings for Cain is inevitable, and that those feelings may not be unrequited—but losing him when he finds out what she’s involved with will be more painful than any other sentence awaiting her.

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I'm invested in this series.  I've loved every character we've met so far.  I was particularly curious about Cain.  What led him to life he's chosen?  I had a feeling his history was sad, and I was right.
Cain has made it his mission to save women who have fallen on hard times.  And what better way to find those women than by owning a strip club?   Women who work in this business are in need of the fast cash.  Cain wants to me the one to set them up for future success.  He keeps them out of drugs, away from abusive boyfriends, and basically helps them see the woman they are meant to be.  He's trying hard to earn redemption for the two women he wasn't able to protect, his sister and Penny.

I wasn't sure what to think of Charlie for a long time.  I wasn't sure if she was completely naive or really was in so deep there was no way out.  It just didn't sit well with me that it took so long for her to see her stepdad for who he really was.  But, then again, being that close to that type of person and seeing what he is truly capable of had to be frightening.  I found it interesting that she thought she could keep this other world hidden from Cain especially.  She picked his club because it seemed "safer" in many ways, but in all reality it brought everything to a head.

All three books have different tones so far.  This one is far grittier and darker.  Cain's past is not pretty and he's willing to go the distance to protect Charlie, something that makes me deeply curious how Charlie would react if she knew the truth.   And while Charlie has a lot of guilt for what she is doing...her answer was to save enough money to run and hide.  Forget taking dear old daddy down, it's every women for herself.

There's a lot of sexual tension (and sex) in this story, and not only between Charlie and Cain.  It seems Cain has some intense desires and interesting ways to satisfy those needs.  But, I think it's a way of staying detached and lets him not care.  Plus, there's just a lot of verbal comments.  I never felt like it was too over the top though.

I'm looking forward to the next book in the series.  I love series that are connected but focus on different characters!


Saturday, April 5, 2014

Review - The Captive Maiden by Melanie Dickerson

The Captive MaidenTitle: The Captive Maiden
Author: Melanie Dickerson
Series: Stand Alone
Pages: 302
Published: November 23rd 2013 by Zondervan
ISBN: 9780310724414
Source: Publisher via Netgalley





Description: Gisela's childhood was filled with laughter and visits from nobles such as the duke and his young son. But since her father's death, each day has been filled with nothing but servitude to her stepmother. So when Gisela meets the duke's son, Valten--the boy she has daydreamed about for years--and learns he is throwing a ball, she vows to attend, even if it's only for a taste of a life she'll never have. To her surprise, she catches Valten's eye. Though he is rough around the edges, Gisela finds Valten has completely captured her heart. But other forces are bent on keeping the two from falling further in love, putting Gisela in more danger than she ever imagined.

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I love fairy tale retellings.  I particularly enjoy Melanie Dickerson's versions.  They are clean and tastefully done, even if they don't stray much from the original idea.  This one was no different.

The story of Cinderella is actually one of my favorite fairy tales, so this one called to me.  I enjoyed how this story was setup.  Gisela is the daughter of a wealthy business man known for his outstanding horse farm.  Which was one of the aspects I enjoyed most in this story.  Gisela has her father's affinity for horses and I found it charming.  After her father's death, Gisela's stepmother has sold the horses one by one to keep up her extravagant lifestyle.   She also knows it's the one was to keep Gisela in check and continue to do her bidding.  

I was curious the first time we meet Valten.  I was sure that Gisela had built up this girlhood crush into a man that could never leave up to that ideal.  While Valten is far from perfect, I was relieved to learn to that Gisela was willing to see Valten for what he was.  I actually enjoyed their flirting and how they interacted with each other.  I never felt like it was an instant attraction.  They were drawn together and circumstances led to the intensity.  Plus, fairy tales are all about the heroics.  

This story actually reminded me a lot of Ever After, which is has always been one of my favorite movies, so double bonus.  I need to remember to read another one of Melanie Dickerson's books.  I have a couple on my Kindle ready to go!

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