Thursday, April 30, 2015

Review 'Garden of Lies' by Amanda Quick
The New York Times bestselling author of 'Otherwise Engaged' and 'The Mystery Woman' presents an all-new novel of intrigue and murder set against the backdrop of Victorian London...

The Kern Secretarial Agency provides reliable professional services to its wealthy clientele, and Anne Clifton was one of the finest women in Ursula Kern’s employ. But Miss Clifton has met an untimely end—and Ursula is convinced it was not due to natural causes.

Archaeologist and adventurer Slater Roxton thinks Mrs. Kern is off her head to meddle in such dangerous business. Nevertheless, he seems sensible enough to Ursula, though she does find herself unnerved by his self-possession and unreadable green-gold eyes…

If this mysterious widowed beauty insists on stirring the pot, Slater intends to remain close by as they venture into the dark side of polite society. Together they must reveal the identity of a killer—and to achieve their goal they may need to reveal their deepest secrets to each other as well…

My Review:

I’ve been a fan of Jayne Ann Krentz, a.k.a. Amanda Quick ever since I read one of her books almost a year ago. She is a very talented author, and her stories are a perfect mix of mystery and romance. When I was asked to read and review ‘Garden of Lies’ I was super excited. Not only is the cover really beautiful, but the book description also sounded like something I would really love.

In ‘Garden of Lies’ we meet Ursula Kern, a strong woman for her time, and the owner of the Kern Secretarial Agency, a business were woman can earn honest money with an honest job. Ursula has been a widow for some time now, and she is truly happy with her job and her life. But when she meets Archaeologist and adventurer Slater Roxton, she immediately feels an attraction to the handsome man. When one of Ursula’s employers is found dead, Ursula is sure this is murder. When no one else believes her she tells Slater, and although he isn’t completely convinced of murder, she can’t possible solve this mystery alone. Together they are set to find the murderer, but soon the story becomes more complicated.

Just like the other books by Amanda Quick this book is exciting and fun from the very beginning. Somehow her writing style makes me want to keep reading until the very end of the book. ‘Garden of Lies’ is no exception on that part. I loved this book and the characters are also very fun and easy to love.
‘Garden of Lies’ takes place in Victorian London and I really love the charms of that time. The way people talk to each other, the dresses and especially the romance of that time. I don’t think that it was really all that romantic when you lived in it, but now, years later I really enjoy the romance of that time and the way people wooed each other.

The two main characters were really fun to get to know. First we have Ursula Kern, a strong and hardworking widow who isn’t the least sorry she doesn’t have a man in her life. Ursula really thinks her life is complete, but Slater Roxton makes her feel things she just doesn’t comprehend.
Slater has been trapped on an Island for a year, after he and a friend went treasure hunting. Now he is back in London and everyone seems to think he is a little mad, and has some strange hobbies. I loved Slater’s character. He was really passionate, kind, and definitely not boring at all.

The mystery in this book is very well written. There is a lot going on but not so much that you lose information. The story is greatly developed, everything fits and the clues are not so easy that you learn the truth way before the characters do.
Yes, this was definitely a very nice and enjoyable book. I definitely recommend it! 

My Rating:


About the Author:

Jayne Ann Krentz, who also writes historical and futuristic fiction under the pseudonyms Amanda Quick and Jayne Castle respectively, has more than fifty New York Time beststellers under her various pen names; more than twenty-five million copies of her books are in print. She lives in the Pacific Northwest.

For more information about Jayne Ann Krentz, a.k.a. Jayne Castle of ‘The Hot zone’ please visit her website, Goodreads or Amazon. Or look for Jayne on Facebook and Twitter. 

Many thanks to Clara Diaz and Little, Brown Book Group for giving me the opportunity to read this amazing book.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Review 'Four Nights With the Duke' by Eloisa James
As a young girl, Emilia Gwendolyn Carrington told the annoying future Duke of Pindar that she would marry any man in the world before him—so years later she is horrified to realize that she has nowhere else to turn.

Evander Septimus Brody has his own reasons for agreeing to Mia's audacious proposal, but there's one thing he won't give his inconvenient wife: himself.

Instead, he offers Mia a devil's bargain... he will spend four nights a year with her. Four nights, and nothing more. And those only when she begs for them.

Which Mia will never do.

Now Vander faces the most crucial challenge of his life: he must seduce his own wife in order to win her heart—and no matter what it takes, this is the one battle he can't afford to lose.

My Review:

Lately, I’ve been really into the historical romance stories. So when I received ‘Four Night With The Duke’ I was really excited to start reading this book. This book is my first Eloisa James book and although this book is the second one in the Desperate Duchesses series, it can be read as a standalone.

In ‘Four Nights With The Duke’ we meet Emilia ‘Mia’ Carrington, a woman in her twenties in desperate search for a husband. Mia has to marry someone fast and Evander ‘Vander’ Brody, Duke of Pindar is her only hope. When Vander excepts Mia’s strange proposal, Mia soon finds herself trapped because Vander has his own reasons for excepting.
But soon Mia and Vander start to realize there is more than meets the eye, and history has been very unkind to both of them.

When I first started reading this book I was a little apprehensive about this story. I’m a big romance lover and since this book starts out with Mia making a very strange and audacious proposal, which wasn’t even a little romantic, I was a little worried about where this book was going. Also the main male character Vander seemed like an arrogant and unkind person.
Honestly, I was a little afraid I wouldn’t like this book very much. But still I was really curious about how this book was going to go. Fortunately for me this book fascinated me enough to keep reading and soon I began to really enjoy the story.

Although the starting of this book is a little unusual, this book slowly began to become a true historical romance. The characters were very interesting and I loved how the author slowly revealed more and more about her characters. Vander was definitely my favorite character in this book. Not only because he was this handsome Duke, but more because the way he always stayed himself despite how people thought he needed to be as a Duke. I also really loved the way Vander interacted with Mia’s little nephew. This part was definitely different, but also very heart melting and funny.

I read this book in two evenings, and really enjoyed it. The characters are very well prescribed, their history is intriguing and the romantic part is different but very addictive. It’s a lovely book to just enjoy on a beautiful sun filled morning. I’m definitely going to read more books by this author.

My Rating:


About the Author:

New York Times bestselling author Eloisa James writes historical romances for HarperCollins Publishers. Her novels have been published to great acclaim. A reviewer from USA Today wrote of Eloisa’s very first book that she “found herself devouring the book like a dieter with a Hershey bar”; later People Magazine raved that “romance writing does not get much better than this.” Her novels have repeatedly received starred reviews from Publishers’ Weekly and Library Journal and regularly appear on the best-seller lists.

After graduating from Harvard University, Eloisa got an M.Phil. from Oxford University, a Ph.D. from Yale and eventually became a Shakespeare professor, publishing an academic book with Oxford University Press. Currently she is an associate professor and head of the Creative Writing program at Fordham University in New York City. Her “double life” is a source of fascination to the media and her readers. In her professorial guise, she’s written a New York Times op-ed defending romance, as well as articles published everywhere from women’s magazines such as More to writers’ journals such as the Romance Writers’ Report.
Eloisa James is also the mother of two children and, in a particularly delicious irony for a romance writer, is married to a genuine Italian knight. 
For more information about Eloisa James and her books please visit her website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and Amazon.  

Many thanks to Clara Diaz and Little, Brown Book Group for giving me the opportunity to read this book.

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