“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 Quietness” by Allison Rattle

The Quietness | Stand-Alone | ISBN 9781471401015 | Hot Key Books, 2013 | 2.5 out of 5 Points

“When fifteen-year-old Queenie escapes from the squalid slums of nineteenth-century London, she has no idea about the dangers of the dark world she is about to become embroiled in. Initially thrilled at being taken on as a maid for the seemingly respectable Waters sisters, Queenie comes to realise that something is very wrong with the dozens of strangely silent babies being ‘adopted’ into the household.

Meanwhile, lonely and unloved sixteen-year-old Ellen is delighted when her handsome and charming young cousin Jacob is sent to live with her family. She thinks she has finally found a man to fall in love with and rely on, but when Jacob cruelly betrays her she finds herself once again at the mercy of her cold-hearted father. Soon the girls’ lives become irrevocably entwined in this tension-filled drama. THE QUIETNESS is a novel of friendship and trust in the darkest of settings.”  (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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“The Beautiful & the Cursed” by Page Morgan

The Beautiful and the Cursed | The Dispossessed #1 | ISBN 9780385743112 | Delacorte Books for Young Readers, 2013 | 1 out of 5 Points

“After a bizarre accident, Ingrid Waverly is forced to leave London with her mother and younger sister, Gabby, trading a world full of fancy dresses and society events for the unfamiliar city of Paris. In Paris there are no grand balls or glittering parties, and, disturbingly, the house Ingrid’s twin brother, Grayson, found for them isn’t a house at all. It’s an abandoned abbey, its roof lined with stone gargoyles that could almost be mistaken for living, breathing creatures. (more…)

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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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“Love Song” by Sophia Bennett

Love Song | Stand-Alone | ISBN 9781910002728 | Chicken House Books, 2016 | 4.5 out of 5 Points

“A million girls would kill for the chance to meet The Point, but Nina’s not one of them. She’s the new assistant to the lead singer’s diva fiancée, and she knows it’s going to suck. She quickly learns that being with the hottest band on the planet isn’t as easy as it looks: behind the scenes, the boys are on the verge of splitting up. Tasked with keeping an eye on four gorgeous but spoiled rock stars, Nina’s determined to stick it out – and not fall for any of them …”  (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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“The Darkest Part of the Forest” by Holly Black

The Darkest Part of the Forest | Stand-Alone | ISBN 9780316213073 | Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2015 | DNF

“Children can have a cruel, absolute sense of justice. Children can kill a monster and feel quite proud of themselves. A girl can look at her brother and believe they’re destined to be a knight and a bard who battle evil. She can believe she’s found the thing she’s been made for. Hazel lives with her brother, Ben, in the strange town of Fairfold where humans and fae exist side by side. The faeries’ seemingly harmless magic attracts tourists, but Hazel knows how dangerous they can be, and she knows how to stop them. Or she did, once. (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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“Beautiful Creatures” by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Beautiful Creatures | Caster Chronicles #1 | ISBN 9780316042673 | Little, Brown, 2009 | 1 out of 5 Points

“Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she’s struggling to conceal her power, and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town’s oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them. In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.” (more…)

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