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Curses! guestpost jan

The Cursed Key Book Cover The Cursed Key
(The Cursed Key Trilogy #1)
Miranda Brock, Rebecca Hamilton
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Urban Fantasy
Published by: Evershade Publishing
Publication date: January 14th 2020

A forgotten past, a dark mage, and an unyielding curse. Another team beat free-spirited archaeologist Olivia Perez to the dig of a lifetime, and now she’s left with the choice to wait for scraps or brave a dangerous, dusty tomb in hopes of finding other priceless artifacts. Her reward? A mysterious key she has no idea is cursed. Soon, Olivia realizes she’s brought home more than just an ancient rarity. Malevolent visions begin to plague her. Unnerved by what they reveal, she casts away the key…unknowingly placing it into the waiting hands of a dark mage bent on destruction. Only when a shifter agent from the Paranormal Intelligence and Tracking Organization arrives searching for the key does Olivia realize what a huge mistake she’s made. Forced to team up with the ill-tempered shifter, her journey to reclaim the cursed key leads down a twisting path of dark histories, dangerous magic, and deadly obstacles. But Olivia’s efforts to take back the ancient relic before the dark mage can destroy the lives of humans, shifters, witches, and fae alike are thwarted by her own dark past…and a price steeper than what she’s willing to pay. Fans of Tomb Raider and Ilona Andrews will love the blend of urban fantasy, magical adventure, and paranormal romance in THE CURSED KEY from Miranda Brock and New York Times bestselling author Rebecca Hamilton!

Ten Series To Read If You Enjoy The Cursed Key!

as recommended by the authors

  • Jane Yellowrock Series by Faith Hunter
  • Mercy Thompson Series by Patricia Briggs
  • Demon Days, Vampire Nights Series by K.F. Breene
  • Protected by the Damned and War of the Damned Series by Michael Todd
  • Innkeeper Chronicles Series by Ilona Andrews
  • Sea Fae Series by C.N. Crawford
  • Reign of Blood Trilogy by Becca Blake
  • A Touch of Ink Series by Rachel Rawlings
  • The Keepers Way Series by Miranda Brock
  • Shadows of Salem Series by Rebecca Hamilton and Heather Marie Adkins

Author Bio

New York Times bestselling author Rebecca Hamilton writes urban fantasy and paranormal romance for Harlequin, Baste Lübbe, and Evershade. A book addict, registered bone marrow donor, and indian food enthusiast, she often takes to fictional worlds to see what perilous situations her characters will find themselves in next.

Represented by Rossano Trentin of TZLA, Rebecca has been published internationally, in three languages: English, German, and Hungarian.

Author links:
Website / Facebook / Twitter

From an early age Miranda Brock has always loved fantasy and adventure everything. Since she doesn’t live in a world of enchanting powers, mythical beasts, and things unbelievable she has decided to write about them. (Although, if you happen to see a dragon flying around, do tell her.) Born in southern Illinois, where she still resides with her husband and two children, she grew up running through the woods, playing in creeks, and riding horses. What started out as writing poetry grew into short stories and eventually led to her first novel, Souls Discovered. Miranda lives in the country where she finds inspiration in the simplicity and beauty around her. With the help of a ridiculous amount of coffee and some good music she writes whenever she gets a chance.

Author links:
Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

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Cottage of your dreams?

Snowdrops on Rosemary Lane Book Cover Snowdrops on Rosemary Lane
Ellen Berry
Fiction
HarperCollins UK, Avon
November 11, 2019
384

Curl up with this uplifting festive read – perfect for fans of Trisha Ashley and Carole Matthews.

Last winter she had a plan.

Lucy fell in love with tumbledown Rosemary Cottage as a child. So thirty years on, when she loses her city job and discovers the cottage is for sale, it feels like fate. She’ll raise her children in Burley Bridge and transform the cottage into a B&B with her husband.

But a year can change everything . . .

Now Lucy is juggling two children and a B&B, but on her own. Christmas looks set to be their last on Rosemary Lane – until she meets James, a face from her past and someone who might offer a different kind of future . . .

Should Lucy leave the cottage behind? Or could this winter on Rosemary Lane be the start of something new?

Oh what a mother! Seriously needs to be told to get a life – for herself – get a hobby, look after her husband’s health and butt out of her daughter’s life.

That said, despite the well written mother’s character, the whole story never grabbed me. It seemed to meander along gradually coming to an end with no great reveal, no drama and no real emotional empathy.

It needs humour and editing to become a sharper piece of writing. For me, the ‘bleakness’ never really felt true. A cosy story that lacked originality and intensity

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Gifts keep coming

The Gift of the Marquess Book Cover The Gift of the Marquess
by Darcy Burke
Romance Historical
Darcy Burke Publishing
Pub Date 15 Oct 2019

The Marchioness of Darlington wants nothing more than a houseful of children, but after three years of marriage Poppy has given up hope. When she learns her husband doesn’t share her sense of loss, Poppy tries to soothe her aching heart by helping at a local institution for single women and mothers. But the arrival of an expectant mother only reignites her longing, driving the wedge between her and Gabriel deeper. After losing his mother and sister in childbirth, Gabriel, the Marquess of Darlington, is secretly glad his wife hasn’t been able to conceive. He can’t bear the thought of losing her, not even to achieve their dream of having a family. Desperate to prove his love, Gabriel makes a shocking proposition. It’s a risk, but if he can overcome Poppy’s fears and hesitation, he can give her what she wants most for Christmas. From the USA Today bestselling author of The Untouchables comes a Christmas Regency series! Don't miss these holiday classics retold with love, passion, and heart. Book One: The Red Hot Earl Book Two: The Gift of the Marquess Book Three: Joy to the Duke

As always Darcy has managed to add in a social commentary to her Historical Romance series of novels.

In this book we consider the issues of illegitimacy; rape by aristocracy of housemaids and the inability of the maids to bring them to justice; poor laws and the dreadful houses for single women with children that separated them and failed to provide a means to earning a living; sterility when you need an heir and spare for the title; and finally childbirth and the dreadful rates of deaths in childbirth and of babies.

There were 3 main causes of childbirth death up till the 20th century.

1. Puerperal fever or Pyrexia – which was carried by doctors and midwives on their hands and clothes from one patient to anther due to lack of washing, disinfecting etc.

2. Placenta previa or separation of the placenta and thus haemorrhages.  If the uterus failed to contract after birth or there was some trauma, all of these could cause blood loss which they were unable to stop and of course, there were o transfusions then.

3. Eclampsia or pre-eclampsia.

In all, there were up to 25 deaths in childbirth for every 1000. And still births were not recorded so we have no knowledge of just how many babies were born and not named. It was the custom for many families not to name the child until it had lived for a week or even a month. And thus a death would not be officially recorded.

It was no wonder then, that people feared childbirth… I know I would have died in childbirth if I had lived then and so would my son.

All the above not withstanding, it was a well crafted story with a nice romance and good story-telling. I enjoy her books and they do tend to make me think about the social inequalities and other social issues, which is a good thing, and makes these stories just that little bit more.

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Let me eat scones

Cornish Cream Tea Bus Book Cover Cornish Cream Tea Bus
Cressida McLaughlin
Romance
HarperCollins UK, HarperFiction
Pub Date 08 Aug 2019

Baking fanatic, Charlie Quilter, inherits a vintage bus in her late uncle’s will and is keen to give it a new lease of life. Charlie thinks it will be the perfect mobile café for afternoon tea, so she heads to the picturesque Cornish village of Porthgolow, hoping for a new start. However, Daniel Harper, the owner of the posh spa up on the hill isn’t very pleased that her bus is parked outside his lovely hotel. Has Charlie’s Cornish dream developed a soggy bottom? Or can she convince Daniel that her bus could take them somewhere wonderful?

I just wish I had been on holiday in Cornwall when the weather was so good – in one place. I remember holidays when we chased the sun across the peninsula and others where we sheltered from the storms in a fish and chip shop. It is true, when the sun comes out, it can be the most magical place with wonderful landscapes and flowers – the gardens are spectacular.

This story was better written and with more content than so many of the Cornish fantasies. It had nice characters and we felt for Gertie when she got stuck in the mud and would have liked to have a tour sitting upstairs with tea and scones. I thought more could have been made about the various wonderful small towns and villages in the tour and was sad none of the stunning gardens were visited.

Overall a nicely written story in clear language.

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Holy Love is needed

Love You Holy: Wild Child Book Cover Love You Holy: Wild Child
Fran Steinberg
contemporary fiction, romance, Women's Fiction
BooksGoSocial
Pub Date 25 Apr 2019

A screaming newborn is thrown from a speeding car onto a dusty Texas road. Immediately, swarms of vultures descend on her to feast. A vicious kick from a crippled old man scatters the vultures and gives his wife time to pick the baby up."What is it Ma?" the old man asks his wife. "A sickly bear cub?" he ventures."No, Pa. It’s a newborn baby. See,” she says, pulling the blanket down. “Two arms and two legs. No fur. And look at this, Pa,” she says shaking her head with tears in her eyes, "her umbilical cord still attached." And so begins the life of Max Arrins, an abandoned orphan whose extraordinary character eventually makes her a legend in Texas. She’s a modern-day hero, who defends the weak, takes care of her people and doesn’t take any shit! Determined to join the Storm Kings, an elite group of linemen who put the lights back on after hurricanes and cyclones, she struggles fearlessly with man and nature to achieve her goal. But when her ambitions are blocked, the "Wild Child" in her emerges, with disastrous results for her opponent.If Wild Child Arrins loves you holy, you're safe. Be kind to her and she'll be kind to you. But hurt her or prevent her from getting what she wants… watch out. The Wild Child unleashed is a force to be reckoned with; a force not bears, wildcats or even an entire crew of Storm Kings can handle.

This is a very different story. It is written as an autobiography by the Wild child herself, telling her story from the age of 14 to 17 in great depth. Max also explains her origins, as she knows them, and some details of her life after 17, but the bulk of the story covers the period of her adoption to her marriage.

Her origins and early life are heart-rending and sad beyond belief, and yet you believe the story as it is so well told. The desperate poverty of small land holders with debts and mortgages reliant on their crops to provide their income.

The characterisations of this strange breed of humanity – Texans – are excellent, as is the use of colloquial language and idioms. I thought that the character of the Judge was lovely, and Ben was believable as someone who could ‘tame’ the Wild Child.

This novel kept me turning the pages and wanting to know more about the Storm Kings and yes, the song – The Witchita Linesman’ kept running through my head!

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