3 Points, Historical Fiction, Reviews, Romance, Victorian

The Duchess War | Brothers Sinister #1 | ISBN 9781937248093 | Courtney Milan, 2012 | 3.5 out of 5 Points

“Sometimes love is an accident. This time, it’s a strategy. Miss Minerva Lane is a quiet, bespectacled wallflower, and she wants to keep it that way. After all, the last time she was the center of attention, it ended badly–so badly that she changed her name to escape her scandalous past. Wallflowers may not be the prettiest of blooms, but at least they don’t get trampled. So when a handsome duke comes to town, the last thing she wants is his attention. But that is precisely what she gets. Continue Reading

3 Points, Mystery, Reviews, Thriller, Young Adult

The Game | The Valley #1 | ISBN 9781907411656 | Atom, 2012 | 3.5 out of 5 Points

“The famous Grace College, located in a remote valley in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, is an elite school for the highly gifted. To Julia and her brother, it’s the perfect place to hide.  But strange things are happening in the valley. Why can’t the college be located in Google Earth? What happened to the students who went missing in the mountains in the 1970s? When Robert finds a dead body in their first week they’ll learn they can only run so far from their past. And that the valley has secrets of its own. . .” Continue Reading

3 Points, Fairytales, Fantasy, Low Fantasy, Reviews, Romance, Young Adult

The Ugly Stepsister | Unfinished Fairy Tales #1 | ISBN 9781511956727 | Aya Ling, 2015 | 3.5 out of 5 Points

“When Kat accidentally rips apart an old picture book, she’s magically transported into the world of Cinderella–as Katriona, one of the ugly stepsisters! Life turns upside down now that she’s a highborn lady and must learn how to survive the social season, including how to get through the door in a huge metal hoop skirt. To get back, she’ll have to complete the story, right to the end of happily ever after. But the odds are huge: the other stepsister is drop-dead gorgeous, the fairy godmother is nowhere to be found, and the prince, despite being insanely hot, openly dislikes balls. Can she ever return to the modern world?” Continue Reading

5 Points, Favourites, High Fantasy, Reviews, Young Adult

Six of Crows | Six of Crows #1 | ISBN 9781627792127 | Henry Holt and Company, 2015 | 5 out of 5 Points

“Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…

A convict with a thirst for revenge. A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager. A runaway with a privileged past. A spy known as the Wraith. A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums. A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes. Kaz’s crew are the only ones who might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.” Continue Reading

2 Points, Alternative History, Historical Fiction, Mystery, Reviews, Romance, Steampunk, Victorian

Nefertiti’s Heart | Artifact Hunters #1 | ASIN B0139OZJYK  | A.W. Exley, 2015 | 2 out of 5 Points

“1861. Cara has a simple mission in London – finalise her father’s estate and sell off his damned collection of priceless artifacts. Her plan goes awry when a killer stalks the nobility, searching for an ancient Egyptian relic rumoured to hold the key to immortality.

Nathaniel Trent, known as the villainous viscount, is relentless in his desire to lay his hands on both Cara and the priceless artifacts. His icy exterior and fiery touch stirs Cara’s demons, or could he lay them to rest? Self-preservation fuels Cara’s search for the gem known as Nefertiti’s Heart. In a society where everyone wears a mask to hide their true intent, she needs to figure out who to trust, before she sacrifices her own heart and life.” Continue Reading

1 Point, Historical Fiction, Renaissance, Reviews, Thriller

The Botticelli Secret | Stand-Alone | ISBN 9781848547988 | Hodder Paperbacks, 2012 | 1.5 out of 5 Points

“When part-time model and full-time prostitute Luciana Vetra is asked by one of her most exalted clients to pose for a painter friend, she doesn’t mind serving as the model for the central figure of Flora in Sandro Botticelli’s masterpiece “Primavera.” But when the artist dismisses her without payment, Luciana impulsively steals an unfinished version of the painting–only to find that somone is ready to kill her to get it back.

What could possibly be so valuable about the picture? As friends and clients are slaughtered around her, Luciana turns to the one man who has never desired her beauty, novice librarian Brother Guido. Fleeing Florence together, Luciana and Guido race through the nine cities of Renaissance Italy, pursued by ruthless foes who are determined to keep them from decoding the painting’s secrets.” Continue Reading

4 Points, Humour, Reviews, Urban Fantasy

Somebody Tell Aunt Tillie She’s Dead | Toad Witch #1 | ASIN B004XTS58I | HekaRose Publishing, 2011 | 4 out of 5 Points

“A little magic can go a long way — to really screwing up a girl’s life! Mara is having the worst month of her life. At least, that’s what her cards tell her and they’ve never been wrong. She’s evicted from her apartment, loses her job and is banned from Beverly Hills. So when the tarot cards predict her imminent demise, she uses a little magic to make her world right.

Suddenly, an aunt she’s never met dies, leaving Mara as her sole heir. But when Mara moves into her inherited home, she discovers Aunt Tillie never moved out. She’s still one pissed-off old lady, even post-mortem, and she blames Mara’s magical meddling for her death. When Mara accidentally releases a demon and awakens the spirit of the most powerful witch in history, Tillie’s ready to kill her — literally. It’s the only way she can think of to save the girl from herself. The witch and the demon, however, have other plans for Mara’s body.” Continue Reading

2 Points, Reviews, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult

Dream a Little Dream | Silver #1 | ISBN 9781627790277 | Henry Holt and Co., 2013 | 2.5 out of 5 Points

“Mysterious doors with lizard-head knobs. Talking stone statues. A crazy girl with a hatchet. Yes, Liv’s dreams have been pretty weird lately. Especially the one where she’s in a graveyard at night, watching four boys conduct dark magic rituals.

The strangest part is that Liv recognizes the boys in her dream. They’re classmates from her new school in London, the school where she’s starting over because her mom has moved them to a new country (again). But what’s really scaring Liv is that the dream boys seem to know things about her in real life, things they couldn’t possibly know–unless they actually are in her dreams? Luckily, Liv never could resist a good mystery, and all four of those boys are pretty cute….” Continue Reading