“The Reformed Vampire Support Group” by Catherine Jinks

The Reformed Vampire Support Group

The Reformed Vampire Support Group | Paranormal Support Groups #1 | ISBN 9781847247780 | Quercus, 2009 | 4 out of 5 Points

“Think vampires are romantic, sexy, and powerful? Think again. Vampires are dead. And unless they want to end up staked, they have to give up fanging people, admit their addiction, join a support group, and reform themselves.

Nina Harrison, fanged at fifteen and still living with her mother, hates the Reformed Vampire Support Group meetings every Tuesday night. Even if she does appreciate Dave, who was in a punk band when he was alive, nothing exciting ever happens. That is, until one of group members is mysteriously destroyed by a silver bullet. With Nina (determined to prove that vamps aren’t useless or weak) at the helm, the misfit vampires soon band together to track down the hunter.”

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“Sweet Young Thang” by Anne Tenino

Anne TeninoSweet Young Thang | Theta Alpha Gamma #3 | ISBN 9781626490321 | Riptide Publishing, 2013 | 5 out of 5 Points

Thanks to Collin Montes, Theta Alpha Gamma now welcomes gay and bisexual students. Persuading his Uncle Monty, president of the TAG Alumni Association, that the open approach won’t adversely affect TAG’s reputation is Collin’s own first step toward coming out. As long as there are no repercussions, he’ll escape the closet by graduation.

Enter repercussions, stage left: someone rigs the TAG House water heater to launch through the ceiling, then plants a bomb—thankfully unsuccessful—in the fraternity’s basement. Now Collin has his hands full not only trying to convince his uncle that this might not be the work of homophobes, but also dealing with a fratful of brothers worried about their kegger fridge.
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“The Door That Led to Where” by Sally Gardner

The Door That Led to Where The Door That Led to Where | Stand-Alone | ISBN 9781471401084 | Hot Key Books, 2015 | 2 out of 5 Points

AJ Flynn has just failed all but one of his GCSEs, and his future is looking far from rosy. So when he is offered a junior position at a London law firm he hopes his life is about to change – but he could never have imagined by how much.

Tidying up the archive one day, AJ finds an old key, mysteriously labelled with his name and date of birth – and he becomes determined to find the door that fits the key. And so begins an amazing journey to a very real and tangible past – 1830, to be precise – where the streets of modern Clerkenwell are replaced with cobbles and carts, and the law can be twisted to suit a villain’s means. Although life in 1830 is cheap, AJ and his friends quickly find that their own lives have much more value. They’ve gone from sad youth statistics to young men with purpose – and at the heart of everything lies a crime that only they can solve. But with enemies all around, can they unravel the mysteries of the past, before it unravels them? (more…)

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“Caraval” by Stephanie Garber

CaravalCaraval | Caraval #1 | ISBN 9781250095251 | Flatiron Books , 2017 | 4 of 5 Points

“Remember, it’s only a game… Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval—the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show—are over. But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner. (more…)

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“The Lies of Locke Lamora” by Scott Lynch

The Lies of Locke Lamora | Gentleman Bastard #1 | ISBN 9780575079755 | Gollanzc, 2007 | 3.5 out of 5 Points

“In this stunning debut, author Scott Lynch delivers the wonderfully thrilling tale of an audacious criminal and his band of confidence tricksters. Set in a fantastic city pulsing with the lives of decadent nobles and daring thieves, here is a story of adventure, loyalty, and survival that is one part “Robin Hood”, one part Ocean’s Eleven, and entirely enthralling…

An orphan’s life is harsh — and often short — in the island city of Camorr, built on the ruins of a mysterious alien race. But born with a quick wit and a gift for thieving, Locke Lamora has dodged both death and slavery, only to fall into the hands of an eyeless priest known as Chains — a man who is neither blind nor a priest. A con artist of extraordinary talent, Chains passes his skills on to his carefully selected “family” of orphans — a group known as the Gentlemen Bastards. Under his tutelage, Locke grows to lead the Bastards, delightedly pulling off one outrageous confidence game after another. Soon he is infamous as the Thorn of Camorr, and no wealthy noble is safe from his sting. (more…)

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“The Big Girl’s Guide to Buying Lingerie” by Amie Stuart

The Big Girl’s Guide to Buying Lingerie | Bluebonnet Texas #4 | ISBN 9781517413804 | Dancehall Diaries, Ltd, 2015 | 4 out of 5 Points

“”Redneck Casanova”: After a disastrous marital near-miss Jade Ballard retreats to San Antonio, cutting herself off from the world in general and more specifically her family’s country club lifestyle, which she no longer wants any part of. She takes comfort in food and eventually, the safety of an internet love affair.

“Miss Snooty Pants”: Rowdy Yates is a semi-reformed womanizer who’s leery of long-term entanglements. Until Jade, he never seriously considered anything beyond a “Wife-For-A-Night.” After months of flirting on the internet the couple meets, only to discover they already know one another.
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“True Pretenses” by Rose Lerner

True Pretenses | Lively St. Lemeston #2 | ASIN B00M3XTPXK | Samhain Publishing, 2015 | 5 out of 5 Points

“Never steal a heart unless you can afford to lose your own. Through sheer force of will, Ash Cohen raised himself and his younger brother from the London slums to become the best of confidence men. He’s heartbroken to learn Rafe wants out of the life, but determined to grant his brother his wish. It seems simple: find a lonely, wealthy woman. If he can get her to fall in love with Rafe, his brother will be set. There’s just one problem—Ash can’t take his eyes off her. (more…)

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“Crocodile on the Sandbank” by Elizabeth Peters

Crocodile on the Sandbank | Amelia Peabody #1 | ISBN 9780445406513 | Mysterious Press, 2010 (first published 1975) | 5 out of 5 Points

“Set in 1884, this is the first installment in what has become a beloved bestselling series. At thirty-two, strong-willed Amelia Peabody, a self-proclaimed spinster, decides to use her ample inheritance to indulge her passion, Egyptology. On her way to Egypt, Amelia encounters a young woman named Evelyn Barton-Forbes. The two become fast friends and travel on together, encountering mysteries, missing mummies, and Radcliffe Emerson, a dashing and opinionated archaeologist who doesn’t need a woman’s help — or so he thinks.” (more…)

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“Sleeping Giants” by Sylvain Neuvel

Sleeping Giants | The Themis Files #1 | ISBN 9781101886694 | Del Ray, 2016 | 5 out of 5 Points

“A girl named Rose is riding her new bike near her home in deadwood, South Dakota, when she falls through the earth. She wakes up at the bottom of a square-shaped hole, its walls glowing with intricate carvings. But the firemen who come to save her peer down upon something even stranger: a little girl in the palm of a giant metal hand. Seventeen years later, the mystery of the bizarre artifact remains unsolved – the object’s origins, architects, and purpose unknown. (more…)

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