I hope everyone is enjoying Christmas week. For me it’s an excuse to turn on the holiday lights, have some Baileys and coffee (with whipped cream, of course) and cozy up with a good book. I know the WW Ladies have (although I’m not sure about the Baileys). And this week we welcome two new readers. Molly, an aspiring writer and Beth, a music store owner. Both love to read and share their books with you.
Pirate King by Laurie R. King
Listened to by joysann
At the request of Scotland Yard, Mary Russell goes undercover with a movie company to discover if they might be selling arms and drugs on the black market. She sets sail to help film a silent movie about a film crew filming The Pirates of Penzance overtaken by pirates, only to be overtaken… by pirates? With a crew including a cast of thirteen blond beauties and thirteen pirates and a handful of imitation police constables, and confusion on the high seas, Russell wistfully wishes she was partnered with her famous husband, Sherlock Holmes, so together they could save the day.
Mary Russell is one of my all-time favorite characters, and the series of her “memoirs” are always clever, fascinating and suspenseful. Pirate King is all that, plus a lot of fun. Putting on my earbuds and listening to Jenny Sterlin give her usual excellent performance makes it all the better, and a real pleasure.
Darker Still by Leanna Renee Hieber
Read by Molly
Natalie Stewart has just returned to New York after spending years at the Connecticut Asylum. She desperately wants to find a way to fit in. The problem is, since she was four years old, she hasn’t been able to speak and has no connections in New York’s society. Given a job by her father at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in acquisitions, she comes face to face with the mysterious and devilishly handsome portrait of one Lord Denbury, that is scheduled to be auctioned off. By a stroke of luck, the painting will be displayed in the museum for all to see. But strange things begin to happen as the painting starts to change and call out to her, begging her to touch it. Lord Denbury is trapped within the painting and yet she sees him walking by day among the streets of New York. Dark forces are at work that could affect the world. Only Natalie has the power to help set all to rights and rescue this handsome nobleman from his prison. But what can one girl do when she has no voice to cry out against the demons that dwell in the dark?
I absolutely adored this book. The pacing and constant action at every moment kept my pages turning. I loved both Natalie’s and Lord Denbury’s personalities and I felt like I standing beside them every step of the way. Hieber keeps the reader on her toes as the mystery deepens. The vibrancy of Victorian New York that she creates is alive. I highly recommend this book!
Within the Flames by Marjorie M. Liu
Read by Beth
Lyssa is a shapeshifter hiding in the tunnels below New York. The last of her kind, she is pursued by evil so great, no one has any defenses against it. Eddie is sent by Dirk & Steele, a psychic detective agency that’s really so much more, to help her out. After being alone so long, Lyssa is wary of getting help from anyone, let alone a handsome stranger with abilities of his own. The race is on as they try to combat the dark forces that threaten human kind.
The Dirk & Steele series is one of my favorite, but I love that each book works well as a stand alone so I can pass them off to my friends. This book packs a punch and Lyssa’s other self is very special, which makes Eddie’s ability a necessity. Definitely not to be missed, Within the Flames is intriguing, alluring and heart-thumping.
Twice Fallen by Emma Wildes
Read by Molly
Lady Lillian Bourne found herself the object of scandal four years ago due to a botched elopement. Now, back in London, she is trying to keep scandal at bay and find a husband. Unfortunately, scandal seems to follow her as she finds herself locked in a library with one of England’s former spies, Lord Damien Northfield. They find themselves reacquainted when Damien is summoned to help with some mysterious murders among the elite London society, but Damien finds himself distracted by this beautiful woman who has caught his attention.
I was captivated by this book from the extremely witty dialogue to the wonderfully painted scenery. I especially found Lillian’s spunk and willingness to march to the beat of her own drummer fantastic. Emma Wildes tells a beautiful story of passion, mystery and romance set amidst the glittering ballrooms of Regency England.
Nightwalker by Lisa Kessler (E-Book)
Read by Beth
Kate Bradley is a woman scorned. Her ex is a cheat and she’s done with men. Calisto Terana has different ideas. He’s been searching for Kate for hundreds of years and now that he’s found her, he will do everything possible to win her love…again.
This debut novel by Lisa Kessler has everything going for it. Long lost love given another chance, a man drawn to his soul-mate and a world destined to keep them apart. Suspenseful and romantic.
The Hollows Insider by Kim Harrison
Read by joysann
Since Hollows Gazette reporter Devin Crossman lost all his hair when he got caught in the crossfire of magical charms during an official bounty-hunter chase, he’s been trying to do an investigative report on the witch agent, Rachel Morgan. Vindictively determined to prove she’s a danger to society, he digs into everything; her work history, her personal associations, whatever magical experience records he can find, and tries to get his suspicions printed and Rachel indicted/convicted of wrongdoing with black magic. The Hollows Insider is the record of all his research and his personal conclusions, plus confidential interoffice memos from Kalamack Industries, Inc., classified descriptions of supernatural species, spells, charm and cookie recipes, and more.
Those of us readers who have been enthralled by Rachel Morgan’s world already know of these things, but this delightful volume brings us details and descriptions that give it more clarity, and makes it a more interesting place to visit. It really is a must-read for fans. If you’re not a constant reader, there are spoilers here, but I find so much enjoyment in the series, I suggest it for all urban fantasy readers.
Bottom Line: Yikes! Out of whipped cream I’ve still got some Baileys left…Santa, where are you?