#BookReview: THE BLOOD TRAITOR by Lynette Noni @LynetteNoni @hodderscape

Publication: 14th June 2022 – Hodder & Stoughton

She’d failed them. All of them. And now she was paying the price.

Kiva thought she knew what she wanted-revenge. But feelings change, people change… everything has changed.

After what happened at the palace, Kiva is desperate to know if her friends and family are safe, and whether those she wronged can ever forgive her. But with the kingdoms closer to the brink of war than they’ve ever been, and Kiva far away from the conflict, more is at stake than her own broken heart.

A fresh start will mean a perilous quest, forcing mortal enemies and uneasy allies together in a race against the clock to save not just Evalon, but all of Wenderall. With her loyalties now set, Kiva can no longer just survive-she must fight for what she believes in. For who she believes in. But with danger coming from every side, and the lives of everyone she loves at risk, does she have what it takes to stand, or will she fall?

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It’s publication day for the third and (unfortunately!) last book of one of my favorite series. I loved The Prison Healer trilogy from the very beginning. The first book made me fall in love with the characters, The Gilded Cage ended with a cliff-hanger that took me completely by surprise and made me count down the days until the publication of this third book, The Blood Traitor, which was the perfect brilliant ending to this fantastic trilogy.

In The Gilded Cage, Kiva’s loyalty was torn between her family and their sworn enemy, Prince Jaren and the royal family, but now she knows the truth and where her loyalties lie, but first she needs to reunite with her found family and regain the trust of the people she loves to save the kingdom of Evalon. And to do that they need to go on a journey to recover magic objects and partner up with unexpected allies.

I really didn’t want this series to end. The author’s writing is addictive, the plot is intriguing, well-developed and well-crafted, and engrossing, and the characters are brilliant and so likable. Kiva and Jaren are adorable, I loved Tipp, Tor, Cresta, Naari, and Ashlyn, and Caldon is, without a doubt, my favorite character. Can we have a spin-off series about Caldon please?

The author also created an incredible world-building full of magic and legends: people with elemental powers, magic rings, challenges to face, quest for power, rebels to defeat, and much more…

The Blood Traitor is everything I hope for and much more. Heart-breaking, jaw-dropping, action-packed, with enough shocking twists to keep you on the edge of your seat and a bit of romance that makes you wish for more. I will miss the characters and the story!!!

A huge thank you to Hodder & Stoughton and NetGalley for providing me with a proof of the novel.

Australian author Lynette Noni studied journalism, academic writing, and human behavior at university before venturing into the world of fiction. She is now a full-time writer and the #1 best-selling and award-winning author of The Medoran Chronicles, the Whisper duology, and The Prison Healer.

#BookReview: FOR THE THRONE by Hannah Whitten @hwhittenwrites @orbitbooks

Publication: 9th June 2022 – Orbit

Red and the Wolf have finally contained the threat of the Five Kings, but at a steep cost. Red’s beloved sister – Neve, the First Daughter – is lost in the Shadowlands. But Neve has an ally, even if it’s one she’d rather never speak to again – the rogue king Solmir. Together they must journey across a dangerous landscape to find the mysterious Heart Tree – and finally claim the gods’ dark, twisted powers for themselves.

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I adored For The Wolf, so, even though it was only a year, it seemed like a long wait for the sequel, For The Throne, but it was worth it. To be honest, I wasn’t a big fan of Neve in the first book, but I liked how she developed in the sequel and I loved how the story ended for both her and for Red.

In the first book, Neve would do anything to save her sister from the Wolf and the Wilderwoods. In the sequel, it’s Red’s turn to save her sister, but does Neve need to be saved?

Even though the story focuses mostly on Neve’s journey, it is told from three different points of views. Neve is in the Shadowlands, an inverted kingdom, and she needs to stop the gods and the kings from regaining power and return to the real world. Her only help is Solmir, one of the Old Kings, and the man who betrayed her and entrapped in the Shadowlands. She wishes she could stay away from him, but they have the same goal, and is he really the cruel king she thinks him to be?

“It’s an upside-down world filled with monsters that are terrible and gods that are worse”

The other point of view is Red. She and her husband Eammon, the Wolf, have now become the Wilderwoods and Red is ready to do anything to save her sister from the Shadowlands.

“The Wilderwood had lived in him so much longer than it’s lived in her. Her own relationship to the forest they anchored was a mostly amiable one, wrong forgiven. Eammon’s was more complicated, and she still didn’t quite know how to ask him about it. If he’d even the words to answer if she did.”

And then there is Raffe. In love with Neve, even though he’s always known that they couldn’t be together, he teams up with Red to save her from the Shadowlands.

I loved For The Throne. The world-building is intricate and interesting, the magic is intriguing, the characters are brilliant and well-developed. Red and Eammon are adorable, while Neve and Solmir have an enemies-to-lovers relationship full of chemistry that kept me glued to the pages. The relationship between the two sisters is complex and central to the story. Their love for each other is stronger than everything else and they would do anything to protect each other.

For The Throne is the perfect and satisfying ending to this duology. Dark, gripping, and addictive, I enjoyed every page of it!

A huge thank you to Orbit and NetGalley for providing me with a proof of this incredible novel.

Hannah Whitten has been writing to amuse herself since she could hold a pen, and sometime in high school, she figured out that what amused her might also amuse others. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, making music or attempting to bake. She lives in Tennessee with her husband and children in a house ruled by a temperamental cat. Follow her on Twitter at @hwhittenwrites.

#BookReview: THE HIDING PLACE by Simon Lelic @Simon_Lelic @VikingBooksUK

Publication: 5th May 2022 – Viking Books

FOUR FRIENDS. ONE MURDER. A GAME THEY CAN’T ESCAPE

‘It was only a game’… Until a boy went missing.

‘No one was meant to get hurt’… But a body has been found.

‘Just some innocent fun’… Except one of them is a killer.

Ready or not, here I come.

It’s time to play hide and seek again.

THE WHISPER MAN meets THE GUEST LIST in this gripping story; DI Fleet is up against some of the most powerful people in the country as he attempts to discover the truth about what happened on the day of the game…

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Following the events of the previous novel, The Search Party, DI Robin Fleet has been relegated to a desk job, going through cold cases with the only help of DC Nicky Collins. An anonymous tip leads them to a crypt at Beaconsfield, a prestigious boarding school, where they find the remains of Ben Draper, a 17-year-old pupil who had disappeared in 1997 during a game of “hide and seek” with three friends.

The case becomes entangled in politics when it turns out that one of the friends Ben was last seen is Callum Richardson, now a high-profile politician who constantly challenges the government, and there are many people who would like him to fail.  

The story switch between the past and the present. In 1997, Ben has just arrived at Beaconsfield after being kicked out from yet another school. He is angry at his father and at the world in general. The other pupils are not very friendly, except for three other students who take Ben under their wing. In the present, DI Robin Fleet wants to solve the case without the interference of his bosses who are looking for a scandal to stop Callum Richardson’s career and his investigation into Beaconsfield uncovers a toxic environment where students are bullied and humiliated.

The Hiding Place is an addictive read. I like the character of DI Robin Fleet and I enjoy his easy and comfortable relationship with DC Nicky Collins. Also, we get a few glimpses into his personal life, which is almost as much as complicated as the case he is investigating, and I look forward to reading more about it. Ben’s story is heart-breaking. He is a young boy who wants to be accepted first by his father and then by his new friends, who, like him, struggle to accept that they are not wanted by their own families.

Full of twists and suspense, The Hiding Place is a dark, gripping, and thrilling police procedural with quite a few intriguing characters and an immersive well-crafted plot. Highly recommended!

A huge thank you to Viking and NetGalley for providing me with a proof of the novel.

Simon Lelic is the author of seven highly acclaimed thrillers: Rupture (winner of a Betty Trask Award and shortlisted for the John Creasey Debut Dagger), The Facility, The Child Who (longlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger and the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger), The House, The Liar’s Room, The Search Party and The Hiding Place. He has also written The Haven series for younger readers, twice shortlisted for the CrimeFest awards.

#BookReview: THE MAIDENS by Alex Michaelides @AlexMichaelides @wnbooks @fmcmassosciates

Today the paperback edition of THE MAIDENS by Alex Michaelides is published with a brand new cover and, to celebrate, I am delighted to share again my review of this gripping and addictive novel.

Publication: 26th May 2022 – Weidenfeld & Nicolson

WE ALL KEEP SECRETS. EVEN FROM OURSELVES.

St. Christopher’s College, Cambridge, is a closed world to most.

For Mariana Andros – a group therapist struggling through her private grief – it’s where she met her late husband. For her niece, Zoe, it’s the tragic scene of her best friend’s murder.

As memory and mystery entangle Mariana, she finds a society full of secrets, which has been shocked to its core by the murder of one of its own.

Because behind its idyllic beauty is a web of jealousy and rage which emanates from an exclusive set of students known only as The Maidens. A group under the sinister influence of the enigmatic professor Edward Fosca.

A man who seems to know more than anyone about the murders – and the victims. And the man who will become the prime suspect in Mariana’s investigation – an obsession which will unravel everything…

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The author’s debut novel, The Silent Patient, was one of my favourite in 2019 and I was really excited when his new book was announced and I couldn’t wait to read The Maidens. I loved the university setting of Cambridge, the complex characters, the murder mystery, the Greek mythology, and the surprising and unexpected resolution.

Once again, the protagonist of the novel is a psychiatrist, a group therapist, to be precise. Mariana has a lots on her plate when she receives a call for help by her niece in Cambridge: she is struggling with the grief of losing her husband a year earlier and one of her patient is becoming obsessed with her, but a body has been found in Cambridge and her niece Zoe thinks it may be the body of a friend, so Mariana packs her things and travels to her former university to support her. However, she would never have imagined to find herself entangled in the investigation as she suspect the murderer is Edward Fosca, a Greek tragedy professor with his own group of Maidens who follow him around and worship him. And, even if no one believes her, Mariana won’t stop until she finds out the truth…

Slow-paced and suspenseful, The Maidens is a great read. The plot is intricate, and I loved how the author combines murder and Greek tragedy together. But, my favourite thing about The Maidens is the character of Mariana. Flawed, intricate, and driven, her story, her secrets, her family are slowly unraveled. She is haunted by the many losses she has suffered through her life, the latest one her husband who died suddenly a year earlier during a holiday and that she is so deeply grieving that she still hasn’t packed away his things. Also, she has to face daddy issue, regrets, and secrets that once uncovered, will change her life.

Once again, Alex Michaelides took me completely by surprise with shocking revelations and twists that I didn’t see coming and kept me engaged for hours with this compulsive new novel that it is out now.

ALEX MICHAELIDES was born in Cyprus in 1977 to a Cypriot father and an English mother. At 18, he moved to the UK to study English at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he received an MA. Alex then went to film school in Los Angeles and got his MA in writing at the American Film Institute. He wrote the film Devil You Know, starring Rosamund Pike, and co-wrote The Con Is On, starring Uma Thruman and Tim Roth. Disillusioned with screenwriting, he moved back to the UK and took a job at a therapeutic community for teenagers in North London while studying psychotherapy.

But before he quit writing for good, he decided to have one last throw of dice and sat down to write the detective story which became the international bestselling novel, The Silent Patient. The book went on to be a world record-breaker, debuting at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list, the first adult UK debut ever to do so. Brad Pitt’s production company, Plan B, have secured film rights and a screenwriter and director are now attached. The Maidens is his second novel.

#BookReview: SET ON YOU by Amy Lea @amyleabooks @vikingbooksuk

Publication: 12th May 2022 – Viking Books

Curvy fitness influencer Crystal Chen built her career shattering gym stereotypes. After a recent break-up, she has little time left for men, instead finding joy in the gym – her place of power and positivity.

Enter firefighter Scott Ritchie, the smug new guy who routinely steals her favourite squat rack. Soon, sparks start flying…

As the ultra-competitive foes battle for gym domination, the last thing they expect is to run into each other at their grandparents’ engagement party. And, in the lead-up to the wedding, Crystal discovers there’s a soft heart under Scott’s muscled exterior. Bonding over family, fitness and cheesy pick-up lines, she just might have found her person.

But when a photo of them goes viral, savage internet trolls put their relationship to the test… Are they strong enough to get through it?

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Crystal Chen is a fitness influencer. She quit her day job to dedicate herself completely to what she loves and she creates videos in which she promotes fitness and inspires her followers to accept and love themselves. Of course, there are haters who try to body-shame her, but she tries her best to ignore them.

Enter Squat Rack Thief, later known as Scott Ritchie, who steals her equipment and doesn’t clean it after using it, who cuts the line at the fountain water, who distracts her from her work out at the gym. Handsome, hot, and smug, he really gets on her nerves. Until, after a steamy encounter in the gym locker rooms, she finds out that there is more to Scott than what it appears and that sometimes the line between hate and love can be very thin, if only Crystal can learn to trust again.

I adored these two characters. Crystal and Scott are amazing. I loved their chemistry and their easy and sexy banter. Crystal is genuine, relatable, kind, and honest. Scott is caring, sweet, and authentic, and I couldn’t get enough of them together. I also adored their families, especially Tara, Crystal sister (who, I just found out, is the protagonist of the author’s next book and I can’t wait to read it!) and Crystal’s grandmother and Scott’s grandfather who make an adorable couple.

Set On You is an immersive, steamy, entertaining novel. There is slow-burn romance, friendship, and family, but also themes of cyber bullying, body-shaming, acceptance, and forgiveness, as well as a bi-racial component. If you love the enemies to lovers trope, if you adore a grumpy hot male protagonist, or if you are simply looking for a well-written enjoyable novel, then I can’t but recommend Set On You!

A huge thank you to Viking and NetGalley for providing me with a proof of this fantastic novel.

Amy Lea is a Canadian bureaucrat by day and contemporary romance author by night (and weekends). She writes laugh out loud romantic comedies featuring strong heroines, witty banter, mid-2000s pop culture references, and happily ever afters. When Amy is not writing, she can be found fan-girling over other romance books on Instagram (@amyleabooks), eating potato chips with reckless abandon, and snuggling with her husband and golden doodle.

#BookReview: THE AGATHAS by Kathleen Glasgow & Liz Lawson @kathglasgow @LzLwsn @Rocktheboatnews

Publication: 3rd May 2022 – Rock The Boat

After falling from grace last summer, Agatha Christie-obsessed Alice Ogilvie needs to stay out of trouble. While smart and reclusive Iris Adams just wants to get the hell out of Castle Cove.

But now they have a murder to solve. There are clues the police are ignoring, a list of suspects a mile long and some very dangerous cliffs.

Amateur detectives Alice and Iris are about to uncover just how many secrets their sleepy seaside town is hiding…

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One of the main reasons I was drawn to The Agathas is because it’s the story of two young women who, inspired by the novels of Agatha Christie, try to solve a murder in their small town of Castle Cove. I have always been a fan of Agatha Christie and, lately, I have been rereading some of my favorite of her novels (like Death on the Nile, And Then There Were None) so I had fun reading The Agathas.

“What would Agatha Christie do? I try to channel the queen.”

The protagonists of the novel are two teenagers, Alice and Iris. At the beginning of the story, they are not friends. They come from different backgrounds and they have different interests and passions. Alice is a Main (what they call the cook kids at school!). She is rich, beautiful, and, at least until a few months ago, popular. Iris is a Zoner (the not cool kids at school). She lives alone with her mother and she works two jobs. So they have absolutely nothing in common. Although they go to the same school and also attend some of the same classes, Alice is too focused on herself to know who Iris is, until she becomes her tutor. Iris accepts to tutor Alice because she needs to earn enough money so she and her mother can escape Castle Cove and the threat that haunts them.

When one of their classmates is found dead, both Iris and Alice are drawn into the investigation: it seems Iris was the last person to see her alive, while Alice had a fight with her before she disappeared. And when the victim’s boyfriend (who is also Alice’s ex-boyfriend) is arrested, Iris and Alice are convinced he is innocent and decide to start their own investigation – which involves color-coded note cards, whiteboards, and case notes.

I really enjoyed The Agathas. It is a gripping, exciting, and witty read with two fantastic heroines. Iris and Alice form an unlikely friendship. Iris is nerd, resilient, mature with a complicated family situation. Alice is more impulsive and spoiled and she feels ignored by her parents who mostly leave her at home with her former nanny. She is a huge fan of Agatha Christie’s novels and a few months back she had disappeared for a few days (just like her heroine Agatha Christie did in 1926 giving life to an unsolved mystery that still fills the pages of books) before reappearing unharmed and with no explanation, making her the talk of the school. Despite their differences, Iris and Alice work really well together, they have great chemistry, and I wish there will be more books in which the two girls play detective!

A huge thank you to Rock The Boat and NetGalley for providing me with a proof.

Kathleen Glasgow is the New York Times bestselling author of Girl in Pieces and How to Make Friends with the Dark and has been published in 26 countries. She lives in Tucson, Arizona, where she works in an office by day and spins stories by night. You can find her on Twitter @kathglasgow, on Instagram as @misskathleenglasgow or on her website kathleenglasgowbooks.com.

Liz Lawson is the author of The Lucky Ones, a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2020, and the upcoming YA mystery The Agathas which she co-wrote with NYT Bestselling author Kathleen Glasgow.  She lives outside of Washington DC with her family and two cats.

#BookReview: SOMETHING WILDER by Christina Lauren @ChristinaLauren @PiatkusBooks

Publication: 17th May 2022 – Piatkus Books

Lily has never forgotten the man that got away… but she certainly hasn’t forgiven him either!

As the daughter of a notorious treasure hunter, Lily makes ends meet using her father’s coveted hand-drawn maps, guiding tourists on fake treasure hunts through the canyons of Utah. When the man she once loved walks back into her life with a motley crew of friends, ready to hit the trails, Lily can’t believe her eyes. Frankly, she’d like to take him out into the wilderness – and leave him there.

Leo wants nothing more than to reconnect with his first and only love. Unfortunately, Lily is all business: it’s never going to happen. But when the trip goes horribly and hilariously wrong, the group wonders if maybe the legend of the hidden treasure wasn’t a gimmick after all. Alone under the stars in the isolated and dangerous mazes of the Canyonlands, Leo and Lily must decide whether they’ll risk their lives, and their hearts, on the adventure of a lifetime…

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Romance, a bit of suspense, and treasure hunting are just some of the elements of the brilliant and addictive new novel by Christina Lauren.

When Lily Wilder was nineteen-year-old she met and fell in love with Lovesick City Boy Leo Grady, but he left her without a word or an explanation. Ten years have passed and, in the meantime, Lily has lost the family ranch she loved and her father and now she leads tourists in fake treasure hunts in Utah with the help of the journal left by her father, a famous treasure hunter. When the latest group of tourists arrives at her camp, Lily is shocked to find Leo among them. She’s never forgotten him and neither has he and, as the fake treasure hunt turns very real and stakes run high, Leo is determined to fix things with Lily and maybe have a second chance, if they manage to survive the hunt…

I loved Something Wilder. I really did. I was completely engrossed in it and I read it in less than two days. How could I not? It includes a badass female protagonist, a math genius lovesick male protagonist, treasure hunt and wild adventures in Utah, a great love and second chance romance, only one sleeping bag (to share), puzzles to solve, a Wild West car chase, a few twists that I didn’t see coming, two adorable secondary characters, witty dialogues, and an entertaining and gripping plot.

Something Wilder is not my first novel by Christina Lauren, but it is one of my favorite. It is the perfect summer read, thrilling, immersive, and witty and with fantastic characters that you can’t help but love.

A huge thank you to Piatkus and NetGalley for providing me with a proof of this beautiful novel.

Christina Lauren is the combined pen name of longtime writing partners/besties/soulmates and brain-twins Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings, the New York TimesUSA TODAY, and #1 international bestselling authors of the Beautiful and Wild Seasons series, SublimeThe House, and Autoboyography.

You can find them online at ChristinaLaurenBooks.com, Facebook.com/ChristinaLaurenBooks, or @ChristinaLauren on Twitter.

#BlogTour: THE LAST TO DISAPPEAR by Jo Spain @SpainJoanne @QuercusBooks

Publication: 12th May 2022 – Quercus Books

A luxury resort. Three missing women. One body.

When young London professional Alex Evans is informed that his sister’s body has been pulled from an icy lake in Northern Lapland, he assumes his irresponsible sister accidentally drowned. He travels to the wealthy winter resort where Vicky worked as a tour-guide and meets Agatha Koskinen, the detective in charge. Agatha is a no-nonsense single mother of three who already thinks there’s more to Vicky’s case than meets the eye.

As the two form an unlikely alliance, Alex also begins to suspect the small town where his sister lived and died is harbouring secrets. It’s not long before he learns that three other women have gone missing from the area in the past and that his sister may have left him a message.

On the surface, Koppe, Lapland is a winter wonderland. But in this remote, frozen place, death seems only ever a heartbeat away.

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Today is publication day for The Last to Disappear and I am delighted to share my review of this gripping new novel by one of my favourite authors, Jo Spain.

One of the places I absolutely must visit once in my life is Lapland, possibly at Christmas. Me and my family have been talking for years about spending a Christmas holiday there and visit the Christmas village, see the Northern Lights, and go on a sled ride. Hopefully, one day we will do it. In the meantime, Jo Spain’s new novel took me right there in Lapland, in the fictional village of Koppe, where the economy is driven by the tourists that every year fill the hotels. However, London lobbyist Alex Evans is not there on holiday, but he has arrived to take home the body of his younger sister Vicky who was working as a travel guide in one of the hotels of the village and who was found in the frozen lake. Alex assumed that Vicky’s death was an accident, but Agatha Koskinen, the detective in charge of the investigation, reveals that Vicky was killed, so Alex decides to remain and team up with Agatha in solving the case.

I loved everything about this novel: the plot, the characters, the setting. The story is very well-written and full of twists and surprises. Before Vicky, three women had disappeared and they were never found and the entire village suspects of the lonely grumpy man whose wife was the first to disappear. Are the disappearances of the three women connected to Vicky’s death? Or was Vicky involved in something else? The list of suspects is long and, of course, I didn’t figure out the right one.

I loved the two protagonists of the story, Alex and Agatha. When we first meet Alex is leaving a party with a woman. Next thing he knows, his father calls him to inform him that his sister is dead and he is on his way to Finland. Gripped by guilt and grief and not trusting that Agatha can do her job, Alex starts investigating Vicky’s death. As the story progresses, we learn more about his complex relationship with Vicky and he becomes less arrogant and more agreeable. Agatha is an excellent detective. She is smart and determined and she doesn’t let Alex undermine her. However, she has her own complicated personal life to deal with and a past that haunts her.

The setting is incredible. I was engrossed in the atmospheric and beautiful descriptions of the village of Koppe that plays a big part in the story. The descriptions are so well-written that I could imagine them as I was reading and the freezing cold, the frozen lake, the darkness helped to increase the suspense of the story.

If you are looking for a chilling and addictive read, then pick up The Last to Disappear… you won’t regret it!

A huge thank you to Milly and Quercus for inviting me to join the blog tour and providing me with a proof of the novel.

Jo Spain is a full-time writer and screenwriter. Her first novel, With Our Blessing, was one of seven books shortlisted in the Richard and Judy Search for a Bestseller competition and her first psychological thriller, The Confession, was a number one bestseller in Ireland. Jo co-wrote the ground-breaking television series Taken Down, which first broadcast in Ireland in 2018. She’s now working on multiple European television projects. Jo lives in Dublin with her husband and their four young children.

#BookReview: A LADY’S GUIDE TO FORTUNE-HUNTING by Sophie Irwin @SophieHIrwin @HarperFiction

Publication: 12th May 2022 – HarperCollins

The season is about to begin – and there’s not a minute to lose…

Kitty Talbot needs a fortune.

Or rather, she needs a husband who has a fortune. This is 1818 after all, and only men have the privilege of seeking their own riches.

With just twelve weeks until Kitty and her sisters are made homeless, launching herself into London society is the only avenue open to her. And Kitty must use every ounce of cunning and ingenuity she possesses to climb the ranks.

The only one to see through her plans is the worldly Lord Radcliffe and he is determined to thwart her at any cost.

Can Kitty secure a fortune and save her sisters from poverty? There is not a day to lose and no one – not even a lord – will stand in her way…

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I am on a historical romance spree right now and reading lots of Regency novels and A Lady’s Guide to Fortune-Hunting is another one I really enjoyed.

After the death of her parents, Kitty has one goal: marry a wealthy man who won’t mind that there is no dowry, who will pay her family’s debts and save their house, and who will take care of her and her four sisters. After her engagement is suddenly broken, Kitty travels to London for the season to find a new suitor and she lands her eyes on young Archibald De Lacy. He quickly becomes besotted with her, but when his older brother, Lord Radcliffe, learns of their relationship, he quickly leaves the country estate, where he’s been hiding since his return from the battle of Waterloo, to stop Kitty’s advances. However, he didn’t expect to find in front of him a smart and headstrong woman who makes him a deal: she will leave his brother alone and, in exchange, he will help her find a rich husband. 

I liked the character of Kitty. She is not perfect, but she is realistic and honest. She has flaws and I didn’t always agree with her choices. She schemes and she manipulates to get what she wants. She doesn’t apologize for being a fortune-hunter. She wants to save her family home and take care of her sisters even if this means spending the rest of her life with a man she doesn’t like. I also really liked the character of James, Lord Radcliffe. The battle of Waterloo left him emotionally wounded and he spent the last two years away from his family and friends. He returns to London to keep Kitty away from his brother, but their relationship soon turns from suspicious to some kind of friendship and I loved their witty exchanges and the way they naturally develop and grow throughout the story.

A Lady’s Guide to Fortune-Hunting is an enjoyable, compelling, and entertaining novel. It is well-written and with a cast of fantastic characters that you can’t help but love. Highly recommended!

A huge thank you to HarperCollins and NetGalley for providing me with a proof of the novel.

Sophie Irwin grew up in Dorset before moving to south London. She has spent years immersed in studying historical fiction, from a dissertation on how Georgette Heyer helped win World War Two, to time spent in dusty stacks and old tomes losing herself in Regency London researching this book.
A Lady’s Guide to Fortune-Hunting is Sophie’s debut novel and it has already sold in nearly thirty countries worldwide.

#BlogTour: MISRULE by Heather Walter @heatherrwalter5 @DelReyUK

Publication: 10th May 2022 – DelRey

Did they break the curse, or begin one? Sleeping Beauty’s dark sorceress reclaims her story in this sequel to Malice

Perfect for fans of Naomi Novik and Holly Black.

The Dark Grace is dead. Feared and despised for the sinister power in her veins, Alyce has spent 100 years wreaking her revenge on the kingdom that made her an outcast. Once a realm of decadence and beauty, Briar is now wholly Alyce’s wicked domain. No one escapes the consequences of her wrath.

Not even the one person who holds her heart.

Princess Aurora saw through Alyce’s thorny façade, earning a love that promised the dawn of a new age. But that love came with a heavy price: Aurora now sleeps under a curse that even Alyce’s vast power cannot seem to break, and their dream of the world they would have built together is nothing but ash.

Alyce vows to do anything to wake the woman she loves, even if it means descending into the monster Briar believed her to be. But could Aurora ever love the villain Alyce has become?

Or is true love only for fairy tales?

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Good morning and happy Sunday everyone! Today it’s my turn on the blog tour for Misrule, the new fabulous novel by Heather Walter.

Misrule is the incredible and gripping sequel to Malice, a beautiful and well-written retelling of Sleeping Beauty in which princess Aurora has to suffer through many kisses in search of the true love that will end the curse and save her life, while Alyce is the Vila everyone despises and fears.

Misrule starts a hundred years after the events of Malice. Aurora is still sleeping, under the curse that hit her, while Alyce leads the Dark Court in her revenge against those who have wronged her. The Dark Court is open to all those victims of the humans and the Fae, so goblins, demons, and Vila are all welcome. Alyce freed them from their captors and now they all live in what once was the court of Briar. For the past one hundred years, Alyce has tried to break Aurora from her sleep, but she also fears the consequences of her awakening. Will she remember her? Will their love survive?

The author crafted a brilliant conclusion to this duology. In Misrule, we see the genuine development of the characters of Alyce and Aurora. The story is told in first person from Alyce’s point of view, so we know all her thoughts, her fears, her doubts, we know the reasons behind the choices (good and bad) that she makes. Is Alyce really the villain in the story? Or is she the hero? In waging war against the humans, is she better than those who wronged her? On the other hand, Aurora is the princess who thought one day would be queen of her kingdom only to find it destroyed. The place she once called home is no longer there and she doesn’t know who she can trust.

I really enjoyed reading Misrule. I was engrossed in the characters’ development, in the intriguing story, the fantastic world-building, and the fitting ending to this magical story. Highly recommended!

A huge thank you to Daisy and DelRey for inviting me to join the blog tour and providing me with a beautiful copy of the novel.

Don’t miss @Laurensliterar1‘s stop tomorrow and follow the rest of the blog tour

Heather Walter is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, a former English teacher, and now works as a school librarian in Austin, Texas. As an LGBTQ+ author, Heather is passionate about telling and championing queer stories, and loves writing about what-ifs, flawed protagonists, and re-imagined history. Her favourite characters are usually villains. MALICE is her debut novel.

“I wrote MALICE for anyone who harbours a seed of villainy in their heart. Alyce dwells in the shadows between good and evil—perhaps more like us than we care to admit. This book is about the weak unlocking their strength, and the power and poison of love. A fairy tale that aims to hold a mirror to our darkest truths.”