Friday, November 29, 2013

Book Review: Teardrop

Teardrop (Teardrop, #1)Author: Lauren Kate
Publication Date: October 22, 2013
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Series: Teardrop # 1

Never, ever cry...

Seventeen-year-old Eureka won't let anyone close enough to feel her pain. After her mother was killed in a freak accident, the things she used to love hold no meaning. She wants to escape, but one thing holds her back: Ander, the boy who is everywhere she goes, whose turquoise eyes are like the ocean.

And then Eureka uncovers an ancient tale of romance and heartbreak, about a girl who cried an entire continent into the sea. Suddenly her mother's death and Ander's appearance seem connected, and her life takes on dark undercurrents that don't make sense.

Can everything you love be washed away?

There were other things: Cold fear whenever she drove over even the shortest bridge. Debilitating sadness when she lay sleepless in bed. A heaviness in her bones whose source she had to trace anew each morning when her phone’s alarm sounded.

She grieved every day, all the time, with every atom of her body.

“There, now,” he whispered. “No more tears.”

This book was the first one I have ever read by Lauren Kate. I never got on the bandwagon when it came to the Fallen series; however, I have read many reviews on the books. I was intrigued and impressed with the premise of this particular story, especially when I learned that there might be an Atlantis type society involved. I love underwater fantasy stories. The book starts with Ander’s point of view, a boy from this ancient lost civilization that Eureka is somehow connected to. Readers soon learn that Eureka has just recently suffered the loss of her mother in a horrible freak accident.

Eureka was, at least at first, a strange character. I understood her being grief-stricken, but she seemed so closed and I begin to wonder how I was going to learn all that I needed to learn about her life and her back story if all her thoughts were not open to me. However, the more her life started to unfold I was able to connect with her and understand why she was the way she was. I immediately felt sympathy with her for her situation and just like Eureka, I did not care for her stepmother either.

I had so many questions about Eureka’s mother, Diana, this ancient society, the fact that Eureka wasn’t allowed to cry, and this strange boy named, Ander, that just shows up in Eureka’s life. I felt like some of my questions were left unanswered even by the end of the book. I am hoping that some of them will be answered in the second addition to this series. It was all very intriguing and interesting, but just left me wanting more and more.

Side note: I actually loved the love triangle in this book! It was one of my favorite things. Mainly because I loved both of the boys involved in Eureka’s life!

***A copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers at Delacorte Books for Young Readers in exchange for my honest review***

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Book Review: A Study in Darkness

A Study in Darkness (The Baskerville Affair, #2)Author: Emma Jane Holloway
Publication Date: October 29, 2013
Publisher: Del Rey
Series: The Baskerville Affair # 2

When a bomb goes off at 221B Baker Street, Evelina Cooper is thrown into her Uncle Sherlock’s world of mystery and murder. But just when she thought it was safe to return to the ballroom, old, new, and even dead enemies are clamoring for a place on her dance card.

Before Evelina’s even unpacked her gowns for a country house party, an indiscretion puts her in the power of the ruthless Gold King, who recruits her as his spy. He knows her disreputable past and exiles her to the rank alleyways of Whitechapel with orders to unmask his foe.

As danger mounts, Evelina struggles between hiding her illegal magic and succumbing to the darker aspects of her power. One path keeps her secure; the other keeps her alive. For rebellion is brewing, a sorcerer wants her soul, and no one can protect her in the hunting ground of Jack the Ripper.

 Evelina didn’t want to sip tea and read letters. Questions needed answering, and there was danger afoot.

A bomb? Imogen froze in place, her eyes going wide. She’d been expecting bedroom scandal or maybe chat of a shady business deal, but this was serious. Eavesdropping had suddenly gone beyond an entertaining diversion.

“You’re still on about that Baskerville affair.”

Evelina’s story progress in the second book in this series, and the ending only made me hungry for more. I must say that while I am glad that this series is releasing really closely together, I am going to miss it when I am finished with it. Evelina’s journey continues in this book, and she is at an emotional turning point in her life. Evelina is drawn back into the life of intrigue and mystery as she works to solve the vicious murders that are occurring all around her. The politics continue to be an issue, as well as the power of black magic and its pull on Evelina’s life. Join Evelina as she goes undercover for her Uncle Sherlock on another racy adventure!

I think this book had everything that the one first book did and even more! The intrigue, steampunk characteristics, action, and romance only escalates and many more exceptional details of this fictional world are shared with readers in this book. Evelina is still what I consider to be a highly likeable female lead. She is riveting, brave, and extremely versatile. Evelina gets herself in a bit of trouble in this book, but it only makes for a more daring, mysterious adventure that she must go on.

I am very anxious for the next book in this series, and will be so sad to see them end! I highly recommend picking up this series, but I feel that you should definitely start with the first book which released in September!

***A copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers at Del Rey in exchange for my honest review***

Book Review: Dollface

Dollface: A Novel of the Roaring TwentiesAuthor: Renee Rosen
Publication Date: November 5, 2013
Publisher: NAL Trade

America in the 1920s was a country alive with the wild fun of jazz, speakeasies, and a new kind of woman—the flapper.

Vera Abramowitz is determined to leave her gritty childhood behind and live a more exciting life, one that her mother never dreamed of. Bobbing her hair and showing her knees, the lipsticked beauty dazzles, doing the Charleston in nightclubs and earning the nickname “Dollface.”

As the ultimate flapper, Vera captures the attention of two high rollers, a handsome nightclub owner and a sexy gambler. On their arms, she gains entrée into a world filled with bootleg bourbon, wailing jazz, and money to burn. She thinks her biggest problem is choosing between them until the truth comes out. Her two lovers are really mobsters from rival gangs during Chicago’s infamous Beer Wars, a battle Al Capone refuses to lose.

The heady life she’s living is an illusion resting on a bedrock of crime and violence unlike anything the country has ever seen before. When the good times come to an end, Vera becomes entangled in everything from bootlegging to murder. And as men from both gangs fall around her, Vera must put together the pieces of her shattered life, as Chicago hurtles toward one of the most infamous days in its history, the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.

I thought they could protect me from people like the Black Hand Gang. But that was before I’d met his friends, Vincent Drucci and Hymie Weiss. They scared the hell out of me.

The Chicago River had frozen over, frosted on top like a chilled martini glass.

All I could think was, She’s the type of girl Shep belong with, not me.

I love the 1920’s, flappers, stories of gangsters, and learning about their lifestyle. The cover of this book immediately caught my attention. It is these type of women, on the front cover of this book, that I enjoy reading about most. Women that stood for change and spoke out for themselves. Vera Abramowitz fits this image perfectly. She has just recently left her mother and the life she has always known, moved to the city, and secured a few low paying jobs just to make ends meet. But when she meets two of the most well-known gangsters in Chicago, she gets a taste for the flashy side of life. Little does she know, the two gangsters she has been seeing are working for opposing sides. How did she ever get herself in this mess, and how will she ever get herself out?

This was another book that I did not want to put down. The action and descriptive scenes give the reader plenty to be excited about. Things escalate quickly and the pace of this book is perfect. Rosen keeps readers hanging on for dear life, wondering what Vera will get herself into next. I enjoyed all the parties, dancing, and scenes between the gangsters and their girlfriends or wives. This book does have some violence, but really I don’t think you can write about big cities in the 1920’s and not shed a little violence on the scene.

Vera gets herself in a mess right from the start. She is seeing both Tony and Shep, who work for different mob bosses and are rivals. Vera can be a little self-destructive at times, just because of need to feel like she belongs somewhere, and following her on this adventure was riveting. She has feelings for both of these men, but this is not your average love triangle. It is written sincerely and with much thought. Vera passionately loves one of these men, but sadly he is not the type to settle down permanently. I was heartbroken for Vera by the end of this book. Vera, sometimes not making the best decisions, was a very realistic character and was perfect for this time period and this particular story!

I cannot wait to see what this author produces next!

***A copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers at Berkley Trade in exchange for my honest review***

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Book Review: Rumor Has It

Rumor Has It (Animal Magnetism, #4)Author: Jill Shalvis
Publication Date: November 5, 2013
Publisher: Berkley
Series: Animal Magnetism #4

He’ll help unleash the new woman in her…

Special Ops soldier Griffin Reid doesn’t exactly have happy memories of growing up in Sunshine, Idaho. He’s only come back to recover from a war injury, and while he refuses to admit he’s in a weakened state, he finds comfort in the last person he’d expect.

Kate Evans teaches fourth grade science in Sunshine, the place she’s always called home. Dreaming of graduate school and a happily-ever-after, she’s desperate to break out of the monotony of Sunshine. Luckily, a certain sexy man has just come back into her life.

To Griffin, Kate as always been his little sister’s friend, but now he’s finding her to be so much more. As both attempt to forge their paths, they must decide if their passionate connection can turn into something lasting…

Griffin gave a playful tug on an escaped strand of her hair. “You never disappoint,” he said. “Good to see you again.”

Men didn’t grow on trees in Sunshine, and she’d never been all that good at the serial-dating thing.

“Or maybe you’re happy being the spinster teacher…”

I must admit firstly that this is the first book in the Animal Magnetism series that I have read; however, I felt that it stood perfectly fine on its own and I really enjoyed the setting and detail that Shalvis added in for first time readers! This is not the first book by Shalvis that I have read, and I must say that I am always pleased by the pure enjoyment I find in her writing. She can make me cry, laugh, and swoon all at once. I am such a huge animal lover, so I do not know how I have never stumbled on this series before. I must say that now that I have found this series, I will go back and read the others.

This story follows Griffin Reid, as he has been medically discharged from the army and has found his way back to his hometown of Sunshine. Kate Evans, a second grade teacher, has always had a slight crush on Griffin and her heart skips a beat at the mention of his return to Sunshine. Griffin and Kate’s reunion was slightly embarrassing for both characters, especially Kate, but from that point I knew that their chemistry would eventually overtake Kate’s awkwardness and shyness. I liked the fact that they were both such different character; this story embodies the old saying “opposites attract” perfectly.

Griffin was an incredibly attractive character, especially with his whole “bad boy” façade, but I must admit that my heart lies with Kate Evans. From the first nerdy, random scientific fact she blurted out, I knew that she would steal the show. She was adorable and completely charming! Plus she was an educator, so of course my heart goes out to her. She has recently gone through some pretty rough times in her life, so I very much enjoyed seeing things turn around for her!

***A copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers at Berkley in exchange for my honest review***

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Book Review: After Eden

After EdenAuthor: Helen Douglas
Publication Date: November 5, 2013
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children’s
Series: After Eden # 1

The day Eden met Ryan changed her world forever. Actually, not just her world. Ryan has time traveled from the future to save the world. In a few weeks, Eden’s best friend Connor will discover a new planet—one where human life is possible. The discovery will make him famous. It will also ruin the world as we know it. When Ryan asks Eden for help, she must choose between saving the world and saving her best friend’s greatest achievement. And a crush on Ryan complicates things more than she could have imagined. Because Connor is due to make the discovery after the girl he loves breaks his heart. That girl is Eden.

Grounded in a realistic teen world with fascinating sci-fi elements, After Eden is a heart-pounding love triangle that’s perfect for dystopian fans looking for something new to devour.

He closed the gate behind me and waited until I was turning the key in the lock before disappearing into the star-studded sky.

Only one thing could explain all these things. Ryan Westland was from the future.

I might be overwhelmed, I might be confused, and I might not have all the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle. But it was obvious that Ryan was here because of Connor. The question was: Why?

Eden knows there is something strange about the new guy, Ryan Westland; however, she cannot seem to put her finger on it. After many conversations with Ryan, they start to become close friends, and then they eventually develop even deeper feelings for one another. Ryan knows more about Eden and her best friend, Connor, then they do. When Eden finds a book in Ryan’s house written by Connor, she starts to piece the puzzle together. Ryan eventually admits his secret to Eden, and tells her that the mission he has to complete is a difficult one and he could really use her help!

This is only the third book that I have read about time travel, and I have to say that this topic thoroughly interests me. The world building was phenomenal, as well as Douglas’s attention for detail in her made up world and her ever-developing characters. This book squishes Science Fiction, Romance, and a Contemporary feel all into one book. I am not a huge fan of science fiction, but the way it is written in this book is so much easier to get through. The subject was light and Douglas made everything easy to understand; although, I still had questions by the time it was all finished and over with. But I believe that is a good thing. Every author wants to leave his or her readers wanting more!

I am so over books that have these insta-love relationships, and I am so glad that Eden and Ryan did not fit into this category. Their relationship grew and progressed at what I felt was a normal rate, and was satisfied to see it blossoming into more than just a friendship. The only problem that I found with the book was its predictability at times, and often times this cannot be avoided. It doesn’t make the book bad at all, and I am very excited to read the next book in this series!

***A copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers at Bloomsbury USA Children’s Books in exchange for my honest review***

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Debut Review: Dear Mr. Knightley

Dear Mr. KnightleyAuthor: Katherine Reay
Publication Date: November 5, 2013
Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Dear Mr. Knightley is a contemporary epistolary novel with a delightful dash of Jane Austen.

Samantha Moore survived years of darkness in the foster care system by hiding behind her favorite characters in literature, even adopting their very words. Her fictional friends give her an identity, albeit a borrowed one. But most importantly, they protect her from revealing her true self and encountering more pain.

After college, Samantha receives an extraordinary opportunity. The anonymous “Mr. Knightley” offers her a full scholarship to earn her graduate degree at the prestigious Medill School of Journalism. The sole condition is that Sam write to Mr. Knightley regularly to keep him apprised of her progress.

As Sam’s true identity begins to reveal itself through her letters, her heart begins to soften to those around her—a damaged teenager and fellow inhabitant of Grace House, her classmates at Medill, and, most powerfully, successful novelist Alex Powell. But just as Sam finally begins to trust, she learns that Alex has secrets of his own—secrets that, for better or for worse, make it impossible for Sam to hide behind either her characters or her letters.

So at eighteen Cara and I moved out of Grace House together to chase the dream: college, jobs, our own place, no social workers, no tracking…I worked out the budget; Cara found the apartment and a third roommate, some girl I’d never met, Jocelyn. I knew the moment I stepped from her car that I’d made a mistake.

“The day we forget the horror, Sam, we will repeat it. Never forget your past. It will make you less human, less than human.”

Well, Mr. Knightley, here ends my chance with you. It’s time to mail this. I’m glad you don’t have a real name and this isn’t a real friendship, because I would just mess it up. Clearly my comfort zone doesn’t stretch far, because I’ve enjoyed these letters more than anything, and I will never know you or the color of your eyes.

Each and every moment things change.

I did not want to write this review because that would mean that I am finished with the book. I never wanted this book to end! I am, and always have been, in love with all things Jane Austen. So of course I was thrilled when I heard that yet another book was coming out with a main character obsessed with all things Austen – I jumped right on Goodreads and added this title to my list. With a story written in the form of letters, Reay sweeps readers off their feet by giving them a story about finding a place to belong in a sometimes messed up world. Katherine Reay has made it to the top of my bookshelf, and I cannot wait to see what she will create for us next!

Samantha Moore has lived in foster care all of her life and in between foster homes she lived at a place called Grace House. There she was under the guidance and direction of Father John, a man that she feels thoroughly indebted to in her present adult life. Samantha has recently been offered an amazing opportunity; a stranger, that calls himself Mr. Knightley, has offered to pay for Samantha’s entire tuition as she goes through Medill School of Journalism under one condition: she must write him letters filling him in on her time spent there and her life as it changes. Samantha thinks this is absurd at first, but reflecting over her past life she feels that this is a wonderful opportunity and cannot pass it up.

The letters that Samantha writes are enough to keep you hooked and holding on until the end of the book. At first I thought that I was not going to enjoy an entire book of letters about someone’s life, but Samantha Moore (aka Katherine Reay) has a strong voice that kept me engaged and enlightened. She is simply relaying the details of her everyday life to this man known as Mr. Knightley, and it is absolutely fascinating. Samantha meets new people and goes through ups and downs on her journey through grad school. Her story is sad at times, but I felt that Samantha was developed wonderfully as a character through each and every letter she writes.

The end of this book was amazing! I do not want to go too deep into this, but I just want readers to know that this story is 100% spectacular all the way through. This was one of those books that made me dread the last page. I absolutely cannot wait for more from Katherine Reay.

***A copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers at Thomas Nelson in exchange for my honest review***

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Book Review: Christmas Bliss

Christmas BlissAuthor: Mary Kay Andrews
Publication Date: October 22, 2013
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

From the New York Times bestselling author of Summer Rental comes a novella that celebrates love, the holidays, and antiques.

Christmas is coming, but Savannah antique dealer Weezie Foley is doubly distracted both by her upcoming wedding to her longtime love, chef Daniel Stipanek and also by the fact that her best friend and maid-of-honor BeBe Loudermilk is due to give birth any day and is still adamantly refusing to marry her live-in-love Harry.

Listeners have come to love these characters in Mary Kay Andrews’s three previous Savannah novels: Savannah Blues, Savannah Breeze, and Blue Christmas. Christmas Bliss offers Andrews’s legions of fans the best of many things: familiar characters, a new novella for Christmas, and a celebration of Mary Kay Andrews’s own favorite pastime-antiquing. Blue Christmas was a fan favorite, and now Christmas Bliss is sure to fly off store shelves and into the hands of Andrews’s fans in bestselling numbers.

Even Jethro knew better than to try that fruitcake.

I was humming “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” under my breath as I trotted toward the truck.

I didn’t want me to mess this up either. It had taken me years, but I’d finally managed to find Mr. Right. And I didn’t intend to let anything or anybody spoil my hard-won happiness.

She laughed and wrapped her pinkie around mine. “Pinkie swear.”

Bring on the Christmas cheer, especially if it is in the form of a book written by Mary Kay Andrews! This is my second read by her this year, and I was very pleased with both of them. This book actually features characters from two of her previous books: Savannah Blues and Savannah Breeze. Told from the perspectives of Bebe and Weezie, this book centers around the Christmas season and the happenings in the lives of both of these women. One of these women is only a week away from marrying the love of her life, on Christmas day, while the other is pregnant and refuses to marry the father of the child, for reasons only the her best friend knows. Knowing their situations, you should be halfway to your car and on your way to purchase this book!

Being an avid fan of Mary Kay Andrews, I can honestly recommend this book to anyone who loves thought-provoking characters, timeless mishaps, and a lot of love and laughter. This book is not your typical wedding day disaster book, but is just predictable enough to be comforting and cozy. Andrews always throws a twist in somewhere and leads readers down paths that they were not aware of. This book is full of characters that I already know and love, having read her other books, but without reading them, I am sure that anyone could invest in Bebe and Weezie’s stories.

This time of the year would be the perfect time to read this book, so this is definitely a plus. I love to read books that put me in the Christmas spirit, and this book did just that. This is the first Christmas themed book I have read by Andrews, and now I am wondering if she has anymore?!

***A copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers at St. Martin’s Press in exchange for my honest review***

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Book Review: Grave Images

Grave ImagesAuthor: Jenny Goebel
Publication Date: October 29, 2013
Publisher: Scholastic Press

A stylish debut mystery with the perfect balance of sweetness and scares!

Thirteen-year-old Bernie's summer is looking pretty grim. It's hard to make friends when your family runs a monument company, and your backyard is littered with tombstones. It's even harder when your mother suddenly refuses to leave her room . . .

To make matters worse, her father has just hired a new artist to engrave the headstones--the creepy Mr. Stein. Bernie has a bad feeling about him right from the start, and after snooping around his cottage, she discovers an engraved portrait of their neighbor . . . a woman who promptly dies the next day. And it's not just a weird coincidence. The pattern continues, and Bernie realizes that Mr. Stein has begun engraving headstones before people die, which forces Bernie to ask a horrifying question: Is Mr. Stein predicting the deaths . . . or causing them?

The reason I never act saintly is ‘cause I’ve got too much want in my heart. Mama was cursed with a wanting heart, too. That’s why hers is broken now.

You see, want always seems to drag a heartache right along with it. It’s also something that can get you darn near dead when it’s the wrong thing you’re wanting after.

Mimi always says you can’t trust an old person with a smooth face any more than you can trust a skinny chef.

If what she says is true, the creases on her face are a road map of a life well spent.

Bernie’s family runs a monument company, but her father has not been himself after the death of her own father. Her mother is not much better off; she is unable to get out of bed most days, and is just depressed overall. However strange and saddened Bernie’s family might be, her friend, Michael, still loves coming around and hanging out with Bernie. When Bernie’s father hires new help, Mr. Abbott Stein, and Bernie finds him a little bit creepy and needs to figure out what exactly it is, so she enlists the help of her friend Michael. Mr. Stein is a beautiful artist and has the most intricate carvings on his monuments, but Bernie starts to notice an odd pattern. Mr. Stein carves the names of people into a monument before they are actually dead. This isn’t the best part. After the name has been carved, the person always dies!

I actually read this shortly after Halloween, and have been waiting for the opportune time to write my review. This was the perfect Halloween read, full of suspense and well-developed creepy characters. Mr. Stein was the most well-written character of all. I was immediately entranced by his strangeness and couldn’t find out his secrets soon enough. The cover art is mysterious and leads readers into a greater understanding of the book, its setting, and conflicts.

I like to separate all the adult and young adult books I read with a little middle grade literature every once in a while. Jenny Goebel did a wonderful job of taking some pretty big issues that people deal with every day and putting them into terms that a younger child could understand. The book was creepy, but not creepy enough for someone of that age, and I truly believe this would be a book that parents would enjoy reading with their children as well!

***A copy of this book was sent to me by the publishers at Scholastic Press in exchange for my honest review***

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Book Review: Charms and Chocolate Chips

Charms and Chocolate Chips: A Magical Bakery Mystery (A Magical Bakery Mystery, #3)Author: Bailey Cates
Publication Date: November 5, 2013
Publisher: Signet
Series: A Magical Bakery Mystery # 3

Between brewing magically spiced treats at Honeybee Bakery and volunteering with a local conservation group, Katie Lightfoot barely has time to see her firefighter boyfriend, Declan McCarthy, much less delve further into her destiny as a witch. But avoiding her fate won’t be as easy as whipping up a new recipe—especially when Katie finds herself once again mixed up in murder.

When a fellow volunteer for the conservation group is found dead, Katie’s mystical senses tell her that there’s more to the death than meets the eye. Her suspicions are confirmed when members of her coven are targeted next. Katie will have to embrace her powers quickly...or she may find herself chewed up and spit out by some serious black magic.

Front-loading karma. Doing good deeds I was comfortable with so I wouldn’t be called upon to do something I wasn’t comfortable with.

“Let’s get this party started,” she said, and led the way outside.

The crackle of the fire warmed my mind as much as the flames warmed the surrounding air. I respected all of the elements, but nothing was as comforting as fire, especially on a cold night after seeing cold death.

Charms and Chocolate Chips is the third installment in the Magical Bakery Series, a culinary murder mystery with a magic twist. This series is focused around two of my favorite things to read about in cozy mysteries: magic and food! Cates pays extra attention to detail, so I suggest not reading this book when you are hungry. Readers also get an inside look into the life of Katie Lightfoot, a hedgewitch that is still coming into her new powers. The magical world that Katie and her fellow witch friends live in is not over the top and unbelievable, but light-hearted, enchanting, and very cozy.

I do not find any part of these books to be slow; even in the beginning when Cates is setting up the background, I am enthralled with her attention to detail and description of the recent happenings in Katie’s life. Having Katie be a witch and be part owner to a quaint, little bakery helps tremendously. Cates adds things like Katie’s familiar, Mungo, to help keep readers invested in Katie’s life. I love scenes that take place in Katie’s small home because it is always described in such a homey, magical way. I fly through these books in no time at all.

For some reason this particular murder held my interest and kept me more entertained than the others in the series. Not that the others were not good, but this one just had a little something extra. I also think it helps that this is the third book, and for readers that have been following the series, we are now acquainted and fully involved in Katie’s life. Things start to get a little shaky in this book, especially between her and her boyfriend, Declan.

If you haven’t already and you are looking for something light and cozy to read, give this cozy, cuddly series a try!

***A copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers at Signet in exchange for my honest review***

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Book Review: Gossamer Wing

Gossamer Wing (Steam and Seduction, #1)Author: Delphine Dryden
Publication Date: November 5, 2013
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Series: Steam and Seduction # 1

A Spy. An Airship. And a Broken Heart.

After losing her husband to a rogue French agent, Charlotte Moncrieffe wants to make her mark in international espionage. And what could be better for recovering secret long-lost documents from the Palais Garnier than her stealth dirigible, Gossamer Wing? Her spymaster father has one condition: He won’t send her to Paris without an ironclad cover.

Dexter Hardison prefers inventing to politics, but his title as Makesmith Baron and his formidable skills make him an ideal husband-imposter for Charlotte. And the unorthodox undercover arrangement would help him in his own field of discovery.

But from Charlotte and Dexter’s marriage of convenience comes a distraction—a passion that complicates an increasingly dangerous mission. For Charlotte, however, the thought of losing Dexter also opens her heart to a thrilling new future of love and adventure.

In the sky, things were quiet. Cold, and sometimes uncomfortable, but blessedly quiet except for the intermittent rush of the gas feed and the occasional radio transmission.

It looked more fantasy than machine.

Silence. It was so rare, so precious.

Political marriages are hardly uncommon in these modern times.

This brand new series by Delphine Dryden is called Steam and Seduction, and focuses around two of my favorite things: steampunk and a steamy love story! This action-packed adventure trails Charlotte Moncrieffe, a recent widow, who wants to continue her husband’s work as a spy. Charlotte is a pilot of the Gossamer Wing, and she plans to go to France to recover some long-lost documents; however, her father will not allow her to travel alone. So to please her father and still get to continue her journey, it is proposed that she marry Baron Dexter Hardison, as a sham, thus allowing her a cover for traveling through France on her mission. They’re the perfect pair really, and Charlotte begins to see this a little too clearly when she starts to develop feelings for her fake new husband!

I have been on the Steampunk wagon for about two years now. I love the fantastical world, the Victorian era, and all the steam-powered locomotives and other new-fangled toys. Dryden has built a beautiful world in this book that I am anxious to read more about in the rest of the series. Her creative abilities are endless, and while reading I spent most of my time trying to picture all the scenes, characters, and inventions that she was describing. She adds an exciting historical twist to the story that should be fun for any and all history fans as well. She writes this world as if America lost the Revolutionary War and are still under British rule!

Please do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of this book today and delight yourself in a brand new series that is sure to be a major hit with readers!

***A copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers at Berkley in exchange for my honest review***