19.10.17

Blog Tour: A Lady Alkmene Mystery Series by Vivian Conroy (Reviews!!)


Today, I'm excited to be part of the blog tour for Vivian Conroy's A Lady Alkmene Mystery series! Not only do I have a review for the first book in the series - A Proposal to Die For - but also the latest book - Fatal Masquerade

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A Proposal to Die For (A Lady Alkmene Mystery, #1) 


Summary/Cover Image from Goodreads:
The first book in the new Lady Alkmene Callender Mystery series

A murderous beginning

With her father away in India, Lady Alkmene Callender finds being left to her own devices in London intolerably dull, until the glamorous Broadway star Evelyn Steinbeck arrives in town! Gossip abounds about the New York socialite, but when Ms Steinbeck’s wealthy uncle, Silas Norwhich, is found dead Lady Alkmene finds her interest is piqued. Because this death sounds a lot to her like murder…

Desperate to uncover the truth, Lady Alkmene begins to look into Ms Steinbeck’s past – only to be hampered by the arrival of journalist, Jake Dubois – who believes she is merely an amateur lady-detective meddling in matters she knows nothing about!

But Lady Alkmene refuses to be deterred from the case and together they dig deeper, only to discover that some secrets should never come to light…

The twenties have never been so dangerous

Review: 

When Vivian first reached out to me about the Lady Alkmene Mystery series, I was intrigued. Not only did I like the cozy mystery aspect but the 1920s feel as well. 

The Result? A Proposal to Die For is the prime cozy mystery read. Combining an intricate mystery, feisty, determined main characters, and an irresistible setting, A Proposal to Die For turned out to be the perfect way to spend a Fall afternoon.  

A Proposal to Die For introduces the dynamic albeit slightly mismatched sleuthing duo of Lady Alkmene and Jake Dubois. Lady Alkmene and Jake Dubois have such great chemistry. Honestly, they reminded me a bit of Temperance Brennan and Booth with their goodnatured bickering, and as a HUGE fan of the show Bones, that was a big win for me. I feel that the best words to describe Lady Alkmene would be mischievous and strong willed. She knows it's not "appropriate" for a lady of her caliber to go sleuthing but that doesn't stop her one bit. She's always finding ways to sneak around the watchful eyes of her father's staff. Jake, on the other hand, is tough, mysterious, and just a teensy bit cocky/arrogant. I especially loved that he showed Lady Alkmene a different side to her city and her life - one that she hadn't geared much witness to over the years. 

The mystery in this was a lot of fun! There were a surplus of potential bad guys and enough twists and turns to make any cozy mystery reader happy. I especially liked how Vivian Conroy introduced several settings though it. From the bustling city to the cozy country side inn, there wasn't a time where I didn't feel as if I was right there with Lady Alkmene and Jake, solving crime. 

The only aspect that didn't always mesh with me was the writing. Sometimes the dialogue and internal monologue of Lady Alkmene appeared stilted - even a bit awkward. However, in the long run of things, not the biggest of issues. 

In all, if you love cozy mystery (and I mean who doesn't?), you're sure to enjoy this one! 

Grade: B 

A Proposal to Die For is now out1 

Source: eBook provided by publisher 


Buy Links: 


 Fatal Masquerade (A Lady Alkmene Mystery, #4) 

Summary/Cover Image from Goodreads: 
Lady Alkmene and Jake Dubois are back in a gripping new adventure facing dangerous opponents at a masked ball in the countryside. Masked danger…

Lady Alkmene Callender has always loved grand parties, but when she receives an invitation to a masked ball thrown by Franklin Hargrove – oil magnate, aviation enthusiast and father of her best friend, Denise – she’s never seen such luxury. The estate is lit up with Chinese lanterns in the gardens, boats operated by footmen float across the pond and the guest list features the distinguished, rich and powerful!

But below the glamour, evil is lurking. When a dead body is discovered, it forces Lady Alkmene to throw off her mask and attempt to find the true killer before Denise’s family are accused. If only her partner, Jake Dubois, weren’t hiding something from her…

This case might just be more dangerous than either of them could have imagined.
Review: 

After reading A Proposal to Die For I was excited to read another book by Vivian and return to the world of Lady Alkmene and Jake Dubois. Luckily, Fatal Masquerade proved to be an exciting addition to the Lady Alkmene Mystery Series. Combining together a new mystery as well as a mystery from the past, Fatal Masquerade had me dying for the big finale the whole way through. 

Just like the first one Fatal Masquerade almost immediately jumps into action. It's the classic case of a murderous dinner party...a certain number of people arrive at the start of the night and one less walks out by the end. Everyone is a suspect - EVEN Lady Alkmene who was unlucky (or lucky?) enough to find the dead body! In addition to the murder mystery, Jake has arrived to the party with own mysterious intentions - ones that he absolutely refuses to tell Lady Alkmene about. That caused for some interesting tension and drama, as not only was Lady Alkmene bitter about not being in the know but it was always fun to guess what exactly Jake was hiding.  

Lady Alkmene was just as strong willed, nosy, and bent on crime solving as in the first one. I just utterly love her spunk - she's a woman who knows what she wants to do in life and won't let anyone stop her from having her fun. I also enjoyed the mysterious vibe Jake took on this. It added a new fun layer to his character. The side characters introduced added to the overall enjoyment of the book; however, I will say I just couldn't stand Lady Alkmene's friend Denise. I understood that she had a lot to be angry about, but gosh, was she abrasive and reckless at times....to the point where I even began to get slightly annoyed. 

In all, Fatal Masquerade is another fun, fast paced addition to the Lady Alkmene Mystery series. And with the cliffhanger like feel of the ending, I will most definitely be tuning into the fifth book! 

Grade: B 

Fatal Masquerade is now out! 

Source: eBook provided by publisher 



Buy Links: 

Amazon US | Amazon UK |  Barnes and Noble | Kobo

Author Links: 

Twitter 

18.10.17

Blog Tour: Never Apart by Romily Bernard (Review & Giveaway!!)

FOLLOW THE TOUR HERE
Summary/Cover Image from Publisher's Website:
What if you had to relive the same five days over and over?

And what if at the end of it, your boyfriend is killed…

And you have to watch. Every time.

You don’t know why you’re stuck in this nightmare.

But you do know that these are the rules you now live by:

Wake Up.

Run.

Die.

Repeat.

Now, the only way to escape this loop is to attempt something crazy. Something dangerous. Something completely unexpected. This time…you’re not going to run.

Combining heart-pounding romance and a thrilling mystery Never Apart is a stunning story you won’t soon forget.

Review:

"It's one of the first things you learn here: the best parties are by the river, you can only get beer at the gas station out of town, and Ander Hale and Grace Freeman are the resident Romeo and Juliet - minus the warring families." - hardcover copy, pg. 153

Romily Bernard's Never Apart was one of my most anticipated releases of the fall. Not only does it have a GORGEOUS cover but also an attention grabbing tagline. So to say I was just excited when I received an ARC of it would be a serious understatement - I was jumping up and down ecstatic.

The Result? Romantic, mysterious, and emotional, Never Apart poses the question - how far would you go to save your first love...  


Never Apart features two timelines - then and now. Then divulges into the start of the summer, back when Grace, Ander, Jem, and Finn were best friends, spending their days doing everything and nothing at all. Now focus on the Groundhog Day-like disaster Grace's life has began, one that involves Grace spending her days attempting to save Ander and herself from Finn's deadly hands.  

Books involving two timelines can either be a hit or miss, in my opinion, but in the case of Never Apart it was a hit. I thought Romily did a great job of building suspense as well as development through the alternating timelines. Both offered up interesting looks into Grace's life, and without the "then" portion, I don't think this book would've been nearly as strong, as it offered up the perfect amount of backstory to get a full picture look into what was happening in the "now." 

Grace is a character you can't help but love but the start. Her character is for every teenage who's felt that their small town is suffocating as well as silencing and that there's more out there to life then knowing the same people from the day you're born to the day you die. 

Over the course of the book, Grace struggles with her dislike off her small-town. She hates how silent and timid it makes her; however, at the same time, she can't imagine leaving the ones she loves - Jem, Ander, her parents, and even Finn - behind. Worst yet, her family and friends are just as divided as she herself is one the issue. As the book progresses, Grace comes to head with the decision to stay or leave, and her journey is one that I felt was not only pitch perfect but also realistic, even considering the Groundhog feels to the plot. 

More importantly, I enjoyed that Romily Bernard showed that first love can be messy and troubled. From the moment Ander was introduced I couldn't stand him. He had so many issues of his own; however, he only ever focussed on calling Grace out on her short comings. It was hard for me to see what Grace saw in him; however, I appreciated the progress she made regarding the situation as the book progressed. Finn, on the other hand, was the real standout guy - he was intelligent and sweet. I loved how he always tried to get Grace to come out of her shell. No matter how negatively he was portrayed in the "now" portions, I forever held-out hope he was the good guy at the end. 

The only aspect of this book that didn't "wow" me was the pacing. It wasn't always even, and sometimes (especially in the middle) it was hard to trudge through. 

Regardless, Never Apart is perfect for fans of romantic suspense, and with the dark, mysterious undertones it contains, I must say it's perfect reading material for chilly October evenings. 

Grade: B 

Never Apart is now out!

Source: eARC provide by publisher - thanks EntangledTeen!




Buy Links:



About the Author: 
Romily Bernard graduated from Georgia State University with a literature degree. Since then, she's worked as a riding instructor, cell-phone salesperson, personal assistant, horse groomer and exercise rider, accounting assistant, and, during a very dark time, customer service representative. . . . She's also, of course, now a YA novelist. So don't let anyone tell you a BA degree will keep you unemployed. Romily currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia. Her debut novel, Find Me, won the Golden Heart Award for YA Romance from the Romance Writers of America in 2012.

Author Links: 



Giveaway:
·       Hard cover of Never Apart by Romily Bernard

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Waiting on Wednesday (156)


Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.


My picks this week are:



Heretics Anonymous by Katie Henry 
(coming August 7, 2018!)
Michael is an atheist. So when he walks through the doors at St. Clare’s—a strict Catholic school—sporting a plaid tie, things can’t get much worse. His dad has just made the family move again, and Michael needs a friend. When a girl challenges their teacher in class, Michael thinks he might have found one, and a fellow non-believer at that. Only this girl, Lucy, is not just Catholic . . . she wants to be a priest.

But Lucy introduces Michael to other St. Clare’s outcasts, and he officially joins Heretics Anonymous, where Michael can be an atheist, Lucy can be an outspoken feminist, Avi can be Jewish and gay, Max can wear whatever he wants, and Eden can practice paganism. After an incident in Theology class, Michael encourages the Heretics to go from “secret society” to “rebels” intent on exposing the school’s hypocrisies. When Michael takes one mission too far—putting the other Heretics at risk—he must decide whether to fight for his own freedom or rely on faith, whatever that means, in God, his friends, or himself.

Debut author Katie Henry brilliantly delivers a laugh-out-loud and heartfelt novel about a band of misfits who set out to challenge their school, only to find their friendships—and their own beliefs—tested.
 

I don't normally read books about religion, but there's just something about this one that screams "read me, read me." Plus the tagline "A Divine Comedy" makes me laugh. 

Add Heretic Anonymous  to your wish list:

Learn more about the author:

Notes from my Captivity by Kathy Parks 
Girl meets boy… and the family holding her hostage.

Adrienne Cahill cares about three things: getting into a great college; becoming a revered journalist like her idol, Sydney Declay; and making her late father proud of her.

So when Adrienne is offered the chance to write an article that will get her into her dream school and debunk her foolishly optimistic stepfather Dan’s claim—no, belief—that a legendary family of hermits is living in the Siberian wilderness, there’s no question that she’s going to fly across the world.

After all, it is the trip of a lifetime.

But the Russian terrain is even less forgiving than Adrienne. And when disaster strikes, nothing—not the flirtatious guide or her stepdad’s obsessively detailed preparations—can protect Adrienne from the sheer force of nature. Now, Adrienne’s being held captive by the family she was convinced didn’t exist, and her best hope for escape is to act like she cares about befriending them, even if it means wooing the youngest son.

"Girl meets boy...and the family holding her hostage." And with that, my friends, I'm SOLD! This one sound twisty and potentially creepy. Plus it's not everyday that a book takes place in Russia. Seriously can't wait! 

Add Notes from My Captivity to your wish list:

Learn more about the author:
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