Enter the Creatures

All Souls Trilogy Book Cover All Souls Trilogy
All Souls
Deborah Harkness
fantasy, ghosts, witches, occult
Penguin Books; Reprint edition
(26 May 2015)

It begins with absence and desire. It begins with blood and fear. It begins with a discovery of witches.

Fall under the spell of Diana and Matthew in the stunning first volume of the No.1 internationally bestselling ALL SOULS trilogy.

A world of witches, daemons and vampires.

A manuscript which holds the secrets of their past and the key to their future.

Diana and Matthew - the forbidden love at the heart of it.

When historian Diana Bishop opens an alchemical manuscript in the Bodleian Library, it's an unwelcome intrusion of magic into her carefully ordered life. Though Diana is a witch of impeccable lineage, the violent death of her parents while she was still a child convinced her that human fear is more potent than any witchcraft. Now Diana has unwittingly exposed herself to a world she's kept at bay for years; one of powerful witches, creative, destructive daemons and long-lived vampires.

Sensing the significance of Diana's discovery, the creatures gather in Oxford, among them the enigmatic Matthew Clairmont, a vampire genticist.

Diana is inexplicably drawn to Matthew and, in a shadowy world of half-truths and old enmities, ties herself to him without fully understanding the ancient line they are crossing. As they begin to unlock the secrets of the manuscript and their feelings for each other deepen, so the fragile balance of peace unravels...

You might be watching this on Sky One – A Discovery of Witches – or may never have heard of this series, but if you like Outlander, then you’ll like this set of 3 books.

I loved them and I’m going to list my reasons why:

  1. The historical accuracy – in clothing, sights, smell and books;
  2. Libraries and Books. The clear descriptions of old books, the way they were bound, the way they were printed, the colours and te illustrations;
  3. How difficult it is to write with a quill – and write clear and clean hand-writing;
  4. Descriptions of Alchemical experiments as described in the books, and as they are to be understood in modern chemistry terms;
  5. ‘Meeting’ historical characters in Elizabethan London. The philosophical discussions. The political intrigue;
  6. Details of Elizabethan witchcraft which ring very tue;
  7. Length of the books – like Outlander, the books are long and rich in descriptions and details. You feel that you are really obtaining full value for money;
  8. The move from country to country and time to time with all the different customs and languages.  And the reminder that Langue D’Oc was the language of most of Southern France and the Occitanie and the County of Toulouse, and that Paris was the capital of France which was not the ruler of this area, except by remote access.
  9. The author is an historian and has actually visited the places she writes about from the Bodleian to the Yale Library;
  10. And finally, they hooked me and I just couldn’t put them down. They were a very good read, well written and clean and clear stylistically, and engrossing. The characters grabbed you and you wanted to find out what came next….

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Just Who?

Who Book Cover Who
(Stalker, #1)
Megan Mitcham
Adult, Psychological Thriller, Romance
MM Publishing LLC
October 2nd 2018

A billionaire in high heels. A relentless stalker. A chance rooftop meeting. Her choices could send everything crashing down.

Billionaire Larkin Ashford is fiercely independent, but even she has to admit her fashion empire was built on the backs of brides. When her company has the opportunity to go public, her board of directors won’t pull the trigger unless she settles down. A series of threatening messages aren’t making her decision any easier. As she retreats to her rooftop hideaway to clear her head, she finds herself imprisoned in the strong arms of a mysterious man who thinks she was about to jump.

Despite her friends’ warnings that her wannabe savior could be her stalker, she can’t get his body off her mind. Determined to find the truth, she searches the city for her mystery man and discovers a dark secret that could bring everything she’s worked for crashing down. With her empire in danger, she’ll have to uncover the truth before her fortune and her life zero out.

Who is the first standalone novel in a pulse-pounding psychological thriller series. If you like headstrong women, steamy chemistry, and twists you won’t see coming, then you’ll love Megan Mitcham’s high-rise romantic thriller.

To be honest I had some issues with this book, but I did finish it.

  1. The introductory paragraphs, I found very confusing and didn’t get what was happening until a few pages in.
  2.  Tarin. You don’t take people onto your Board without thoroughly checking them out. You need to have them recommended or vetted in some way. Their word is not just enough. You would look into their work history, their financial records etc.
  3. To list on the stock exchange – ie going from being private to a public company with open purchasing of shares etc., you need to have an investment banker to do the work for you.  there is no mention of that in the story. They undertake Due Diligence of the numbers and people involved – ie Tarin again.
  4. Lucas was too obvious as the person with the flowers and the letters right form the start. He was creepy and too interested in them. I would have sacked him as soon as I finished my affair with him, as it clearly wouldn’t work him still being in such a prime role and doing a rubbish job. he should have followed up with the florists etc etc
  5. I also found Larkin to be 2-dimensional.  She never gelled for me as a person.
  6. The IT manager was way out of line and should have been sacked. Larkin’s response was feeble and would have been seen as that by him and his staff.
  7. The IT manager would never stoop to learning a new language for a project. He would either send one of the staff on a course, or hired in a specialist. (I’ve worked in IT).
  8. And finally. Her father. Any father who comes in 2 days after I have been nearly burnt to death asking for my will would get cut out of my life completely. His excuse was pathetic and not acceptable. This didn’t ring true for Larkin to forgive him.

So having listed all the above.  I’m now downgrading my stars to 2. I did finish the book.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41540582-who?ac=1&from_search=true

https://amzn.to/2yFudwp

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/who/id1434316342

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/who-19

https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Megan_Mitcham_Who?id=1dRqDwAAQBAJ

http://www.meganmitcham.com/stalker-series.html

http://www.meganmitcham.com/who.html

Author Bio:

USA Today bestselling author Megan Mitcham was born and raised among the live oaks and shrimp boats of the Mississippi Gulf Coast, where her enormous family still calls home. She attended college at the University of Southern Mississippi where she received a bachelor’s degree in curriculum, instruction, and special education. For several years Megan worked as a teacher in Mississippi.

She married and moved to South Carolina and worked for an international non-profit organization as an instructor and co-director.In 2009 Megan fell in love with books.

Until then, books had been a source for research or the topic of tests. But one day she read Mercy by Julie Garwood. And Oh Mercy, she was hooked!

Megan lives in Southern Arkansas where she pens sizzling suspense novels. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest & Goodreads. For news, giveaways, and exclusive offers sign up for her newsletter at www.meganmitcham.com!

http://www.meganmitcham.com/index.html

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6552758.Megan_Mitcham

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorMeganMitcham/

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When Angels get Angry

Blessed Fury Book Cover Blessed Fury
Angels of Fate #1
C. S. Wilde
Fiction, urban fantasy
Independently published
September 3, 2018
332

Once you face the devils, there's no going back. Guardian angel Ava Lightway has spent a century watching over her charges, whispering the words of the gods in their ears. But her peaceful existence ends when she's assigned to Liam Striker, a supernatural detective with no memory of his past. Liam might be Ava's biggest challenge yet. Stubborn and dangerously captivating, he'll stop at nothing to find the demon who murdered his father. Even if it costs him his life. Keeping death away from her new partner is an impossible task. And even if their investigation doesn't destroy Ava, succumbing to Liam's smoldering touch just may. Read the sizzling, breath-taking tale of angels gone bad! Note to readers: If you like fast-paced adventures and toe-curling love stories, this book is for you!

This is a book where the standard fantasy characters appear – angels, demons, vampires, werewolves. but we also have some Archangels and multiple gods – and it would appear a multiple Demon at the top of their hierarchy too. So some differences in hierarchy and behaviours, especially as the main female protagonist is a Guardian Angel and therefore not expected to fight.

But there the differences stop.

The female has hidden powers that she finds when she does fight. She is someone that even the Vampire Queen and Alpha werewolf want to protect as well as one of the major Angels.

It is quite a nice read – damned by faint praise? It did not really make need to see what was on the next page and in the next chapter. And in fcat there were several points in book 1 where I thought it should have stopped – and then we would have really wanted to read book 2 to find out what happened next. I think an editor would have been useful to sharpen it up and  make Ava more intense as a character. And Liam was still rather shallow as a character even by the time we got to the end of the book.

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Is Gambling a Vice?

Lord of Vice: Regency Romance Novel Book Cover Lord of Vice: Regency Romance Novel
Rogues to Riches Book 6
Erica Ridley
history, literary fiction, romance, Regency
31 Aug 2018
Kindle

Appearances can be deceiving…

Vice merchant Maxwell Gideon is wickedly handsome, sinfully arrogant, and devilishly ruthless. Rumor has it, his gaming hell has the power to steal souls and grant miracles. Truth is, Max only owns half of The Cloven Hoof. He’d buy out his silent partner if he knew the man’s identity. But it’s hard to focus on business matters when a fallen angel tumbles right into one’s lap…

Miss Bryony Grenville has a well-earned reputation as an unrepentant hoyden. But even the gossipiest of the pinch-faced matrons ruling High Society could never imagine the daughter of a baron secretly financing the ton’s most infamous gambling parlor. Its maddening, sexy proprietor doesn’t suspect a thing… and two can play at temptation!

In the Rogues to Riches historical romance series by USA Today and New York Times bestselling author Erica Ridley, Cinderella stories aren’t just for princesses… Sigh-worthy Regency rogues sweep strong-willed young ladies into whirlwind romance with rollicking adventure.

Well of course Gambling is a Vice and people have been known to lose a fortune and their whole estates at the turn of a card. Hence the proprietor of a Gambling Den in the Regency period might be know as the Lord  of Vice.

But perhaps that isn’t all he is. Perhaps he is egalitarian as to who he admits – to lose money – everyone welcome as long as you can pay.

Erica has chosen a topic here for this latest in her ‘naughty’ Lords series which doesn’t sit well with me. And her heroine helps her ‘Lord’ with her mathematical skills – for which we have to laud her – to work out how to make the most profit from the games of chance. Or that is, how to get people to lose the most cash…

But we do like Max – we have met him before in other books in this series, as he does have another side, which is softer and does help those who have fallen on hard times – and not by gambling!

So Bryony, the final sibling meets her match and also the tenant of her property which gives her a goodly amount of profit – which goes back into her sister’s school. Bad turned into good?

What I like most about Erica Ridley’s books is that she is true to the times. She writes with the ‘correct’ Regency novel phrasing – as invented by Georgette Heyer and attempts to echo the correct speech mannerisms using some phrases and words which were in common use then, but no longer. She accurately reflects some of societal issues and events – as far as is possible whilst writing a modern novel.

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And her name was?

Her Name was Rose Book Cover Her Name was Rose
Claire Allan
psychological, suspense, contemporary, police procedurals, romance
Avon Books
June 28, 2018
352

'AMAZING. I read it in one go. I was totally hooked.' MARIAN KEYES 'Utterly addictive. Compulsive, twisty, tense.' CLAIRE DOUGLAS, author of Local Girl Missing Her name was Rose. You watched her die. And her death has created a vacancy. When Emily lets a stranger step out in front of her, she never imagines that split second will change her life. But after Emily watches a car plough into the young mother - killing her instantly - she finds herself unable to move on. And then she makes a decision she can never take back. Because Rose had everything Emily had ever dreamed of. A beautiful, loving family, a great job and a stunning home. And now Rose's husband misses his wife, and their son needs a mother. Why couldn't Emily fill that space? But as Emily is about to discover, no one's life is perfect ... and not everything is as it seems.

I thought this was a great read. At first yu think, OK, I know this story, then you find that you really don’t.

The twist at the end I never saw coming – which is what makes a good suspense novel – otherwise no suspense – right?

But, I did find the Epilogue content expected but forgivable under the circumstances of this being billed as a Romance imprint.

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