Publisher: Mira

Waiting on Wednesday – The Last Hours by Minette Walters

November 22, 2017 Bonnie Waiting on Wednesday 2 Comments

Waiting on Wednesday – The Last Hours by Minette WaltersThe Last Hours by Minette Walters
Published by Mira on August 7th 2018
Pages: 544
Genres: Historical Fiction
Format: Hardcover
Amazon | B&N | Book Depository
Goodreads

For most, the Black Death is the end. For a brave few, it heralds a new beginning.

When the Black Death enters England through the port of Melcombe in Dorseteshire in June 1348, no one knows what manner of sickness it is or how it spreads and kills so quickly. The Church cites God as the cause, and religious fear grips the people as they come to believe that the plague is a punishment for wickedness.

But Lady Anne of Develish has her own ideas. Educated by nuns, Anne is a rarity among women, being both literate and knowledgeable. With her brutal husband absent from Develish when news of this pestilence reaches her, she takes the decision to look for more sensible ways to protect her people than daily confessions of sin. Well-versed in the importance of isolating the sick from the well, she withdraws her people inside the moat that surrounds her manor house and refuses entry even to her husband.

She makes an enemy of her daughter and her husband's steward by doing so, but her resolve is strengthened by the support of her leading serfs … until food stocks run low and the nerves of all are tested by continued confinement and ignorance of what is happening in the world outside. The people of Develish are alive. But for how long? And what will they discover when the time comes for them to cross the moat?

Compelling and suspenseful, The Last Hours is a riveting tale of human ingenuity and endurance against the worst pandemic known to history. In Lady Anne of Develish - leader, saviour, heretic - Walters has created her most memorable heroine to date.

About Minette Walters

Minette Walters (born 26 September 1949) is a British mystery writer. After studying at Trevelyan College, University of Durham, she began writing in 1987 with The Ice House, which was published in 1992. She followed this with The Sculptress (1993), which received the 1994 Edgar Award for Best Novel. She has been published in 35 countries and won many awards.

The Sculptress has been adapted for television in a BBC series starring Pauline Quirke. Her novels The Ice House, The Echo, The Dark Room, and The Scold's Bridle have also been adapted by the BBC.

It probably says a lot about me that my first response to reading the blurb was “It’s about the black death!” with a face like:

Image result for excitement gifborder24

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

bonnie blog signature
Divider

Book Tour Review – The Girls of Mischief Bay (Mischief Bay #1) by Susan Mallery

February 26, 2015 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Book Tour, Read in 2015, TLC Book Tours 1 Comment

I received this book free from TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Tour Review – The Girls of Mischief Bay (Mischief Bay #1) by Susan MalleryThe Girls of Mischief Bay by Susan Mallery
Series: Mischief Bay #1
Published by Mira on February 24th 2015
Pages: 416
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Format: eARC
Source: TLC Book Tours
Amazon | B&N | Book Depository
Goodreads


four-stars

Susan Mallery, the New York Times bestselling author of Three Sisters, is world renowned for her "insightful, funny, and poignant" stories (Booklist). With her brand-new Mischief Bay series, she brings vivid color to the story of three friends on the brink of a new life. 

Nicole Lord wants to be a good wife, but there's a difference between being supportive and supporting her husband, who quit his job to write a screenplay she's never seen. He won't even help take care of their son, leaving Nicole to run the house and work full-time.

Sacrificing a personal life for her career is how Shannon Rigg became VP at her firm, but she wonders now whether she made the right choice. An exciting new relationship with a great guy convinces her that it might not be too late—until he drops a bombshell that has her questioning whether she really can have it all.

Although Pam Eiland adores her husband, she feels restless now that the kids are grown. Finding sexy new ways to surprise him brings the heat and humor back to their marriage, but when unexpected change turns her life upside down, she'll have to redefine herself. Again.

Through romance and heartbreak, laughter and tears, the girls of Mischief Bay will discover that life is richer with friends at your side.

About Susan Mallery

New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery has won the hearts of millions of readers around the world with books described as “immensely entertaining, intensely emotional” (RT Book Reviews), “hilarious” (Fort Worth Star-Telegram), and “heartwarming” (Publishers Weekly). One major retailer recently described her as “the queen of romantic fiction.” While she deeply appreciates the accolades of critics and booksellers, Mallery is even more honored by the enthusiasm of her readers and the word-of-mouth that catapults her toward the top of the bestsellers lists time and again.

Mallery lives in not-so-sunny Seattle with her husband and a toy poodle who makes her laugh every day and who’s not even a little bit impressed by her growing fame.

Nicole, Shannon, and Pam are three friends that are thrown some unexpected curve balls in life with only their friendship to help keep them afloat. Nicole’s husband has quit his job unexpectedly to pursue his dream of being a screenwriter leaving her to care for their child, the household and still maintain her full-time job. Shannon has dedicated her life to her career, sacrificing anything and everything especially romance, but when she goes on a blind date she finds herself rethinking her priorities. Pam has quite the perfect life but thinks her marriage could benefit from a little excitement, unfortunately, her perfect life is thrown into an emotional upheaval when she’s forced to experience true loss.

This is my first Susan Mallery book but I was most pleased with this heartwarming story. I don’t often read contemporary stories because I typically like to escape to a world unlike my own, but sometimes it’s comforting to read stories that you can truly understand and appreciate on a personal level. This was certainly one of those types. All three women managed to possess a certain characteristic that I could relate to despite the variation in ages among them. Nicole’s amount of responsibilities becoming a stressful burden on her, Shannon’s desire to connect with her new boyfriends family and the difficulty of being a step-parent and Pam’s struggle to stay strong in the face of adversity. It was at times a sad tale but in the end managed to become a truly inspiring story of perseverance and the true power of friendship.

page break purple

This post was a part of ‘The Girls from Mischief Bay‘ blog tour.
Click the button below for a complete list of tour stops.

tlc logo

page break purple

Divider

Exclusive Excerpt + Giveaway! The Girls of Mischief Bay (Mischief Bay #1) by Susan Mallery

January 29, 2015 Bonnie Book Tour, Excerpt, Giveaways, TLC Book Tours 65 Comments

Exclusive Excerpt + Giveaway! The Girls of Mischief Bay (Mischief Bay #1) by Susan MalleryThe Girls of Mischief Bay by Susan Mallery
Series: Mischief Bay #1
Published by Mira on February 24th 2015
Pages: 416
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Format: Paperback
Amazon | B&N | Book Depository
Goodreads

Also by this author: The Girls of Mischief Bay

Susan Mallery, the New York Times bestselling author of Three Sisters, is world renowned for her "insightful, funny, and poignant" stories (Booklist). With her brand-new Mischief Bay series, she brings vivid color to the story of three friends on the brink of a new life. 

Nicole Lord wants to be a good wife, but there's a difference between being supportive and supporting her husband, who quit his job to write a screenplay she's never seen. He won't even help take care of their son, leaving Nicole to run the house and work full-time.

Sacrificing a personal life for her career is how Shannon Rigg became VP at her firm, but she wonders now whether she made the right choice. An exciting new relationship with a great guy convinces her that it might not be too late—until he drops a bombshell that has her questioning whether she really can have it all.

Although Pam Eiland adores her husband, she feels restless now that the kids are grown. Finding sexy new ways to surprise him brings the heat and humor back to their marriage, but when unexpected change turns her life upside down, she'll have to redefine herself. Again.

Through romance and heartbreak, laughter and tears, the girls of Mischief Bay will discover that life is richer with friends at your side.

About Susan Mallery

New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery has won the hearts of millions of readers around the world with books described as “immensely entertaining, intensely emotional” (RT Book Reviews), “hilarious” (Fort Worth Star-Telegram), and “heartwarming” (Publishers Weekly). One major retailer recently described her as “the queen of romantic fiction.” While she deeply appreciates the accolades of critics and booksellers, Mallery is even more honored by the enthusiasm of her readers and the word-of-mouth that catapults her toward the top of the bestsellers lists time and again.

Mallery lives in not-so-sunny Seattle with her husband and a toy poodle who makes her laugh every day and who’s not even a little bit impressed by her growing fame.

I’m thrilled to be a part of the Exclusive Excerpt tour for Susan Mallery’s new book and series, The Girls of Mischief Bay. Be sure to check out the full tour list below as all excerpts are in sequential order and each stop has a separate giveaway opportunity for you to win the fabulous prize pack!

The Girls of Mischief Bay Excerpt Tour:

Monday, January 26th: Bewitched Bookworms
Tuesday, January 27th: Luxury Reading
Wednesday, January 28th: A Chick Who Reads
Thursday, January 29thFor the Love of Words
Friday, January 30thThe Romance Dish
Monday, February 2ndRead – Love – Blog
Tuesday, February 3rdPeeking Between the Pages
Wednesday, February 4thBook Mama Blog
Thursday, February 5thBook Reviews and More by Kathy
Monday, February 9thBooks a la Mode
Tuesday, February 10thSatisfaction for Insatiable Readers
Wednesday, February 11thAlways with a Book
Thursday, February 12thAs the Pages Turn
Monday, February 16thA Bookish Escape
Wednesday, February 18thWhy Girls are Weird 
Friday, February 20thFrom the TBR Pile

 

Chapter Two

Pam walked through from the garage to the main house, Lulu keeping pace with her. In the mudroom they both paused. Pam fished her small handbag out of the tote, then hung the larger bag on a hook.

The open area served as a catchall for things that otherwise didn’t have a home. There was a built-in storage unit with plenty of hooks, shelves and drawers. The latter were mostly filled with Lulu’s various clothes.

Now Pam eyed the lightweight sweater her pet wore and decided it would keep the dog warm enough until bedtime. Like the rest of the family, Lulu wore PJs to bed. Pam didn’t care if anyone laughed at her for that. She was the one Lulu cuddled next to under the covers and she wanted her dog wearing something soft when that happened.

They continued through the house to the kitchen. Pam pulled her cell out of her purse and stuck it on the side table by the hall, then checked on the Crock-Pot she’d left on that morning. A quick peek and stir confirmed the beef burgundy was coming along. She added the vegetables she’d already prepared and stirred again, then went out the front door to collect the mail.

The day had warmed up nicely. February in the rest of the country could mean snow and ice. In Southern California there was every chance it would be sunny and seventy. Today was no exception, although she would guess it was closer to sixty-five. Hardly reason to complain, she told herself as she pulled the mail out of the box and started back toward the house.

Mischief Bay was a coastal community. Tucked between Redondo Beach and Hermosa Beach, it had a small pier, plenty of restaurants, a boardwalk and lots of tourists. The ocean regulated the temperatures and the steady light breeze made sure there wasn’t much in the way of smog.

She and John had bought their sprawling ranch-style home ages ago. Jennifer, their oldest, had been what? Three? Pam tried to remember. If Jennifer had been three, then Steven had been a year and she’d been pregnant with Brandon.

Oh, yeah. She had been pregnant all right. There’d been the charming moment when she’d thrown up in front of the movers. Brandon had been a difficult pregnancy and she’d been nauseous a lot. Something she brought up every so often—when her son needed a little humbling. As all children did, now and then.

She paused to wait for Lulu to do her business by the bushes and studied the front of the house. They’d redone much of both yards a few years ago, when they’d had the house painted. She liked the new plants that edged the circular drive. Her gaze rose to the roof. That had been replaced, as well. One of the advantages of having a husband in construction—he always knew the best people.

Lulu trotted back to her side.

“Ready to go in, sweet pea?” Pam asked.

Lulu wagged her feathered tail and led the way. Pam glanced down at the mail as she walked. Bills, a letter from an insurance agent she’d never heard of—no doubt an ad—along with two car magazines for John and a postcard from the local high school.

Pam frowned at the postcard and turned it over. What on earth could they…?

Lulu walked into the house. Pam followed and automatically closed the door. She stood in the spacious foyer, afternoon light spilling onto the tile floor.

But she didn’t see any of that. She didn’t see anything but the stark words printed on the postcard.

Class of 2005. Fellow Cougars—save the date!! Your 10-year high school reunion is this August.

There was more, but the letters got blurry as Pam tried to make sense of the notice. A ten-year high school reunion? Sure, Jennifer had graduated in 2005, but there was no way it had been ten years, had it? Because if Jen was attending her ten-year reunion, that meant Pam was the mother of a woman attending her ten-year high school reunion.

“When did I get old?” Pam asked, her voice a whisper.

Involuntarily, she turned to stare at the mirror over the entry table. The person staring back at her looked familiar and yet totally wrong. Sure the shoulder-length dark hair was fine and the irises were still hazel-green. But everything else was different. No, not different. Less…firm.

There were lines around her eyes and a distinct softness to her jaw. Her mouth wasn’t as full as it had been. Ironically, just last November she’d turned fifty and had been so damned proud of herself for not freaking out. Because these days fifty was the new thirty-five. Big deal, right?

John had thrown a huge party. She’d laughed over the gag gifts and had prided herself for achieving the big 5-0 with grace and style. Not to mention a pretty decent ass, thanks to the three-times-a-week classes she took at Nicole’s studio. She hadn’t felt…old. But that was before she had a daughter who had just been invited to her ten-year high school reunion.

Sure, she’d had kids young. She’d married John at nineteen and had Jen when she’d turned twenty-two. But that was what she’d always wanted.

She and John had met at Mischief Bay High School. He’d been tall and sexy, a star player on the football team. His family had a local plumbing company. One that worked in new construction rather than fixing stopped-up toilets.

John’s plans had been set. He was going to get his AA in business from Mischief Bay Community College, then work in the family firm full-time. He would start at the bottom, earn his way to the top and buy out his parents by the time he was forty.

Pam had liked how he’d known what he wanted and went after it. When he turned his blue eyes on her and decided she was the one to share the journey, well, she’d been all in.

Now as she studied her oddly familiar and unfamiliar reflection, she wondered how the time had gone by so quickly. One second she’d been an in-love teenager and now she was the mother of a twenty-eight-year-old.

“No,” she said aloud, turning away from the mirror. She wasn’t going to freak out over something as ridiculous as age. She had an amazing life. A wonderful husband and terrific kids and a strange little dog. They were all healthy—except for Lulu’s ongoing issues—and successful and, best of all, happy. She’d been blessed a thousand times over. She was going to remember that and stay grateful. So what if she wasn’t firm? Beauty only went skin deep. She had wisdom and that was worth more.

Text Copyright © 2015 by Susan Macias Redmond
Permission to reproduce text granted by Harlequin Books S.A.

unnamed

One lucky reader will receive the California Dreamin’ Prize Package which includes the following prizes:

A Pacific blue beach towel
Pure Paradise body cream
Luxury moisturizing bath bar from the San Francisco soap company
An autographed copy of EVENING STARS by Susan Mallery (the first book with a character from Mischief Bay)
Flip-flop tea candle holder
Map of Mischief Bay
THE GIRLS OF MISCHIEF BAY Post-It book
THE GIRLS OF MISCHIEF BAY bookmark
Handy bath mini-tote
Susan Mallery lip gloss
Susan Mallery 3D luggage tag
Susan Mallery pen

To enter, use the Rafflecopter widget below.
Open to U.S. and Canada residents only
Giveaway ends February 12th, 2015

a Rafflecopter giveaway

page break purple

This post was a part of ‘The Girls from Mischief Bay‘ excerpt tour.
Click the button below for a complete list of tour stops and the tour stops for the upcoming review tour.

tlc logo

page break purple

bonnie blog signature

Divider

Early Review – Touch of Power (Healer, #1) by Maria V. Snyder

November 9, 2011 Bonnie Book Reviews, Early Review, Read in 2011, YA 0 Comments

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Early Review – Touch of Power (Healer, #1) by Maria V. SnyderTouch of Power by Maria V. Snyder
Series: Healer #1
Published by Mira on January 1, 2012
Pages: 400
Genres: Fantasy, Romance
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon
Goodreads


two-stars

Laying hands upon the injured and dying, Avry of Kazan assumes their wounds and diseases into herself. But rather than being honored for her skills, she is hunted. Healers like Avry are accused of spreading the plague that has decimated the Territories, leaving the survivors in a state of chaos.

Stressed and tired from hiding, Avry is abducted by a band of rogues who, shockingly, value her gift above the golden bounty offered for her capture. Their leader, an enigmatic captor-protector with powers of his own, is unequivocal in his demands: Avry must heal a plague-stricken prince—leader of a campaign against her people. As they traverse the daunting Nine Mountains, beset by mercenaries and magical dangers, Avry must decide who is worth healing and what is worth dying for. Because the price of peace may well be her life...

The Storyline
Touch of Power is a new series by Maria V. Snyder that introduces Avry of Kazan, a Healer who is able to take illnesses away from another and take them as her own. The only illness that she can’t take without expecting to survive is the plague. Unfortunately, people believe that Healers are the reason the plague exists and she is forced to keep her abilities hidden from others. When she’s abducted by a band of rogues and told that they require her help to heal a prince who is sickened with the plague she must decide who’s life is worth more because only one of them will be able to survive.

Thoughts
This is actually the first novel I’ve read by Maria V. Snyder so I’m unable to compare it to her past works. I must say I did enjoy it, although I was hoping for more in the end. Even though this book is marketed to YA, I appreciated the fact that the main character was 20 years old and actually acted her age.

Overall there was a major disconnect in the building of the story as a whole for me. I would have loved to see more explanation regarding Avry and maybe some information about her past. It was briefly touched upon but I think it could have been expanded even more. The world that Avry lived in had the potential to be a truly fascinating fantasy world but the author didn’t seem to find it fitting to expand upon that either. The lacking of explanation really made everything really confusing because it seemed like a fantasy world in olden times but there were various modern references that didn’t exactly fit. The author did best with the character development, their relationships, and their interactions.

I’m not sure if I’m left with enough interest to continue the series but I’m sure this will become a favorite of die-hard Maria V. Snyder fans. Unfortunately, that just doesn’t include me.

Divider

Book Review – Phantom Evil (Krewe of Hunters #1) by Heather Graham

September 26, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 0 Comments

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review – Phantom Evil (Krewe of Hunters #1) by Heather GrahamPhantom Evil by Heather Graham
Series: Krewe of Hunters #1
Published by Mira on March 29th 2011
Pages: 368
Genres: Mystery, Paranormal, Romance
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon
Goodreads


three-stars

A secret government unit, a group of renegade paranormal investigators…and a murder no one else can crack

Though haunted by the recent deaths of two teammates, Jackson Crow knows that the living commit the most heinous crimes.

A police officer utilizing her paranormal intuition, Angela Hawkins already has her hands full of mystery and bloodshed.

But one assignment calls to them too strongly to resist. In a historic mansion in New Orleans's French Quarter, a senator's wife falls to her death. Most think she jumped; some say she was pushed. And yet others believe she was beckoned by the ghostly spirits inhabiting the house—once the site of a serial killer's grisly work.

In this seemingly unsolvable case, only one thing is certain: whether supernatural or all too human, crimes of passion will cast Jackson and Angela into danger of losing their lives…and their immortal souls.

Phantom Evil is the first in a new series by Heather Graham; the Krewe of Hunters. When the Louisiana state Senator’s wife is found dead after an apparent suicide, her husband requests a closer investigation of sorts when he suspects that ghosts were involved in her death. Jackson Crow heads the paranormal investigation team which consists of him and 6 other members who each have their own psychic abilities. The investigation seems to show that the Senators wife didn’t in fact kill herself but whether or not ghosts were the reason for her death have yet to be established.

The best part about this book was the overall character development. I first had a feeling that by having such a large number of new characters in an introductory novel that you’d either lose track of who’s who or learn more about some and the others simply fall off the map. Heather Graham did a great job at keeping all the characters straight and making them all a valued part of the story.

The storyline regarding the ghosts was what initially interested me in the book. As for it being my favorite ghost story it was not; however, it was interesting and even sometimes a tad bit scary! This is an enjoyable read for anyone interested in ghost stories or mystery type thrillers. I enjoyed the blending of the different genres, even with the added dash of romance thrown in; the author didn’t make it seem like overkill. Predictable, yes, but still nonetheless enjoyable. I’ll definitely be willing to invest more into this series.

Divider

Book Review – The Restorer (The Graveyard Queen, #1) by Amanda Stevens

September 19, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 0 Comments

Book Review – The Restorer (The Graveyard Queen, #1) by Amanda StevensThe Restorer by Amanda Stevens
Published by Mira on March 1, 2012
Pages: 368
Genres: Mystery, Paranormal, Romance
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads


three-stars

My name is Amelia Gray. I'm a cemetery restorer who sees ghosts. In order to protect myself from the parasitic nature of the dead, I've always held fast to the rules passed down from my father. But now a haunted police detective has entered my world and everything is changing, including the rules that have always kept me safe.

It started with the discovery of a young woman's brutalized body in an old Charleston graveyard I've been hired to restore. The clues to the killer--and to his other victims--lie in the headstone symbolism that only I can interpret. Devlin needs my help, but his ghosts shadow his every move, feeding off his warmth, sustaining their presence with his energy. To warn him would be to invite them into my life. I've vowed to keep my distance, but the pull of his magnetism grows ever stronger even as the symbols lead me closer to the killer and to the gossamer veil that separates this world from the next.

Graveyard Queen series

The Abandoned (Graveyard Queen #0.5)

The Abandoned (Graveyard Queen 0.5)

Never acknowledge the dead
Never stray far from hallowed ground
Never associate with those who are haunted
Never, ever tempt fate

My father’s rules. I’ve never broken them…until now.

The Storyline
Amelia Gray is a cemetery restorer who is also able to see ghosts and has lived her life following the rules her father gave her which have kept her safe from the ghosts for years. After a body is discovered at the cemetery she is currently restoring she becomes involved in the case and the detective in charge, Devlin, whether she likes it or not. Amelia wishes to put as much distance as possible between her and Devlin because of the ghosts that haunt him which he is unaware of… living her life by the rules that her father gave her, Amelia knows that being involved with Devlin would be against all those rules yet she can’t shake the unwavering attraction that she seems to have for the man.

After reading ’The Abandoned’, the prequel to The Restorer, I was definitely left intrigued and interested in continuing the series. I ended up enjoying the prequel a bit more than the full length novel though and I’m not sure if I’ll be continuing the series.

My Thoughts
I love ghost stories, and this one was positively eerie, but the ghost story almost took a backseat to the murder mystery and the building romance between Amelia and Devlin. The author did a great job in keeping the mystery under wraps and keeping you guessing to the very end but I think the story overall was a tad bit flat and didn’t pan out as much as I would have liked it to. I think maybe because it was only the first in a series could excuse some of the lack of explanation, but I would have liked a bit more expansion on Amelia and her overall character development. She wasn’t immediately likeable and I never really connected with her and what she was experiencing. I would have also loved to hear more about how she came to be able to see ghosts, more about her father, and more about her in general. By the end I felt like we had just gotten a broad overview and I definitely need to have a connection with the main character to be satisfied at the end.

The Romance
So nothing really happened between Amelia and Devlin… which is fine, I mean the man was still dealing with the death of his wife and child so that’s understandable. But the way it was written? It was like a build-up to the point where you were expecting something big to happen between the two and I don’t feel it ever really peaked or came to be. I’m sure that’ll be expanded on in future books, just not sure if I’ll be there to experience it.

Overall
I liked it, but I wasn’t satisfied. I understand this is the first of a series but I still appreciate it when an author does her/his best to make a novel in a series as stand-alone as possible.

Divider

Book Review – Shameless (The House of Rohan #4) by Anne Stuart

July 21, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 0 Comments

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review – Shameless (The House of Rohan #4) by Anne StuartShameless by Anne Stuart
Series: The House of Rohan #4
Published by Mira on July 1st 2011
Pages: 412
Genres: Historical Romance
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon
Goodreads


three-stars

A long string of tragic loves haunts Viscount Benedick Francis Alistair Rohan. Cool and cynical, he's weary of life's fickle games and wants a prim and proper wife he can ignore while indulging his sensual appetites.
Lady Melisande Carstairs is nothing less than a tornado storming into Benedick's measured life. Possessed of boundless energy and the soul of a reformer, Melisande always conquers, whether it's saving the souls of soiled doves or seducing the man she's inconveniently fallen for. When she informs Benedick that his brother's newly revived Heavenly Host has graduated from simple carnal debauchery to sadistic violence, he's compelled to investigate, undercover. Under those covers, however, is Melisande herself, playing a dangerous game in the name of justice.

And the Heavenly Host has just seen her hand, and more.…

This is the 4th novel in the House of Rohan series by Anne Stuart. This is actually the first book I’ve read of hers and found it worked as a stand-alone novel. I loved how this story was more than just a simple romance novel; it was also a mystery with a very interesting storyline that proceeded to completely absorb me.

The Viscount Benedick Rohan has only two goals in mind: One, find a suitable woman to marry and have children with, and two, to find someone to satisfy his sexual needs immediately. Benedick’s second wife recently died giving birth to their child and he is just now returning to town after the proper mourning period. While is pursuit of completing goal number two he encounters Lady “Charity” Melisande Carstairs, a woman that he finds thoroughly intrigued with, despite his inability to understand why he feels this way exactly. When Charity comes to Benedick asking for his help after rumors arise that the secret society “Heavenly Host” has been conducting violent acts, he agrees to help her knowing full well that more time spent with this woman would do him no good.

I loved Benedick and Charity. Those two had chemistry, no doubt about that, despite efforts from both parties to fight it and/or completely dismiss their feelings entirely. Charity herself was a great character. She is a recent widow who decides to use her late husband’s fortune to help women learn a trade, rather than being forced to sell their bodies for coin. Her “gaggle of girls” as they are called, certainly added a bit of humor to the story. I also loved the sub-story about Brandon and Emma and I really hope Anne Stuart expands on that and writes at the very least a short story.

Much like books of this genre, the storyline and ending was a bit predictable; however, I still found it thoroughly enjoyable. I’ll definitely be reading more from Anne Stuart in the future.

Divider