Review | The Yankee Club

The Yankee Club

Author: Michael Murphy
Series: Jake & Laura Mystery, #1
Genre: Mystery, Historical Fiction, Suspense
Publisher: Alibi (Random House Publishing Group)
Expected Publication Date: August 12th, 2014
Format: ebook
Pages: 220
Source: NetGalley
Purchase: Amazon | B&N

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In Michael Murphy’s action-packed Prohibition-era novel of suspense, a mystery writer returns to the bright lights and dark alleys of New York City—uncovering a criminal conspiracy of terrifying proportions.

In 1933, America is at a crossroads: Prohibition will soon be history, organized crime is rampant, and President Roosevelt promises to combat the Great Depression with a New Deal. In these uncertain times, former-Pinkerton-detective-turned-bestselling-author Jake Donovan is beckoned home to Manhattan. He has made good money as the creator of dashing gumshoe Blackie Doyle, but the price of success was Laura Wilson, the woman he left behind. Now a Broadway star, Laura is engaged to a millionaire banker—and waltzing into a dangerous trap.

Before Jake can win Laura back, he’s nearly killed—and his former partner is shot dead—after a visit to the Yankee Club, a speakeasy dive in their old Queens neighborhood. Suddenly Jake and Laura are plunged into a conspiracy that runs afoul of gangsters, sweeping from New York’s private clubs to the halls of corporate power and to the White House itself. Brushing shoulders with the likes of Dashiell Hammett, Cole Porter, and Babe Ruth, Jake struggles to expose an inconspicuous organization hidden in plain sight, one determined to undermine the president and change the country forever.

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**I received an advanced copy of The Yankee Club from NetGalley via Random House Publishing in exchange for an honest review**

First Impression

After reading Eyes On You by Kate White I wanted to dive into as many Mystery/Suspense novels as I could. So when I got contacted by TLC Book Tours and was given the synopsis for The Yankee Club I just couldn’t say no! And boy am I ever glad I didn’t. Historical Fiction and Mystery set in 1933? Toss me a dress, heels and pearl and call me doll!!

Opening Lines

As my train drew closer to New York City, the dining car’s rhythmic sway offered no comfort to the painful memories I left behind two years earlier.”

The Good

Setting – I was a tad bit nervous when I started The Yankee Club because I knew nothing about the Prohibition-era. Of course I’ve heard of it but I didn’t know every detail as why it came to be and how the era came to an end. Previous to Chapter 1 we’re giving a paragraph (I hope this included in the final copy) outlining what New York City was like in 1933 that gives readers a perfect introduction and back story.

Mystery – I got a new love, and it’s called Mystery. Sometimes mystery books just aren’t really that mysterious. I hate when you can actually predict what is going to happen and how it will all play out. Does that happen in The Yankee Club? NOPE!

Characters – Throughout The Yankee Club we are introduced to many different characters. Sometimes you come across a character that you can instantly tell is just a filler, and other times you come across characters that you think are just unnecessary. Neither of these happened in this novel. Every character played a part, and they played it well! The secondary characters held their own and helped the story and mystery flow.

Description/Style – Michael Murphy has a way with words. There were so many different points throughout The Yankee Club that had me feeling like I was actually there. The description was just perfect, and the amount of detail given gives readers a beautiful insight to life in the 1930’s.

I smiled and tossed the hankie out the side window. I glanced behind the car and watched a breeze toss it around like a kite in Central Park. As we turned the corner, the hankie fluttered between two cars then skidded along the sidewalk and disappeared in the streets of New York.”

The Bad

  • Nothing I would consider bad.

The In-Between

Character Depth – Michael Murphy gives us very entertaining and dynamic characters but at times I felt that these characters lacked having full depth to them. Secondary characters played key roles and we’re just as important as the main characters but I felt there was no real growth from majority of them.

Lasting Impression

Overall, The Yankee Club was a fantastic mystery read!! Shady characters, corruption, romance, mystery and suspense and not once did any of these factors overthrow the plot. I can’t wait to read All That Glitters which is the next book in A Jake and Laura Mystery series. Do I recommend this books? Yes. Will I read it again? Definitely before the month is over :).

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4 Stars

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This review is part of a blog tour organized by TLC Book Tours. Click here to follow the tour and reader other reviewers thoughts!

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ARC Review | Strange and Ever After (Something Strange and Deadly, #3)

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Strange and Ever After

Author: Susan Dennard
Series: Something Strange and Deadly, #3
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Historical Fiction
Publisher: HarperTeen
Expected Publication Date: July 22nd, 2014
Format: eARC
Source: FFBC
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks

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In the conclusion to the trilogy that Publishers Weekly called “a roaring—and addictive—gothic world,” Eleanor Fitt must control her growing power, face her feelings for Daniel, and confront the evil necromancer Marcus…all before it’s too late.

He took her brother, he took her mother, and now, Marcus has taken her good friend Jie. With more determination than ever to bring this sinister man to justice, Eleanor heads to the hot desert streets of nineteenth-century Egypt in hopes of ending this nightmare. But in addition to her increasingly tense relationships with Daniel, Joseph, and her demon, Oliver, Eleanor must also deal with her former friend, Allison, who has curiously entangled herself in Eleanor’s mission.

With the rising dead chomping at her every move and Jie’s life hanging in the balance, Eleanor is convinced that her black magic will see her through to the bitter end. But there will be a price. Though she and the Spirit Hunters have weathered every battle thus far, there will be consequences to suffer this time—the effects of which will be irreversible. And when it’s over, only some will be able to live a strange and ever after.

Susan Dennard will leave readers breathless and forever changed in the concluding pages of this riveting ride.

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** I received an advanced copy from HarperTeen via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.**

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First Impression

Something Strange and Deadly was a series I’d hear people talk about often but in all honesty I really had no idea that they were talking about. So I finally did my research, read the synopsis and I knew this would be a good series!! How often do you come across the combination of zombies in an historical setting? Never. While I did really want to read the books I never had the motivation to start them until I came across the blog tour. I went out and bought the previous books and dove head first into this world, and boy I’m happy I did!

Opening Lines

I was not suppose to be here. Oliver would be furious. Joseph even more so. This dock was the no-man’s-land between realms. It was a place for ghosts.”

The Good

Sometimes books can be predictable, okay most times, but especially when a series comes to an end. When I started Something Strange and Deadly I didn’t know what to expect, neither with A Darkness Strange and Lovely. Although, I have to admit I feel like A Darkness Strange and Lovely suffered a bit from middle book syndrome. But when it came to Strange and Ever After I thought I had it all mapped out. I didn’t think there would be any MORE surprises and I was beyond wrong. The thing that I loved the most about this book was the character development, through the past books we see Eleanor trying to come to terms with all that is right and wrong and I feel that as a final book she finally blossomed! Now Oliver and Daniel, I wasn’t sure what path she would take with these two characters and you won’t be able to either.

Now for the heartbreaking part: the ending. While I was getting closer and closer to finishing Strange and Ever After I started to realize where Susan was going. I screamed “NO!” at my book because I couldn’t believe she would actually do it, but she did! She gives you an ending you don’t really see coming, and although I hate it, it was the perfect and most fitting ending I could ask for. Lastly, I found that as each book was written Susan just kept on improving. Not to say that the previous books were written poorly, they weren’t, it was just that she was so descriptive in the final installment and I went through so many different feelings! I’ll leave you with two quotes that I loved and are the only ones that won’t really spoil anything. While this review can seem vague I just don’t won’t to spoil ANYTHING for anybody, because this book was beautiful as much as it was perfect and one I think everyone needs read.

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“…because I could not have my good-bye. My final “I love you”. There would be nothing.”

“Tears ran down my cheeks, but I didn’t mind. They were as common as spring rain these days-and I hoped just as cleansing.

The Bad

  • The fact that it had to come to an END!!! But really there is nothing I would consider bad.

The In-Between

  • Still haven’t come across anything.

Lasting Impression

Overall, Strange and Ever After is a beautifully written conclusion to this trilogy. I can’t express how much I want everyone to pick up this book! If you haven’t read this book yet, get it! If you haven’t read the previous books, go pick them up! Strange and Ever After won’t be released until July 22nd, so you have time! I’m so excited and looking forward to Susan’s next series Truthwitch that is expected to release sometime in 2015, let the waiting game begin.

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4.5 stars

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– One (1) hardback copy of Strange and Ever After (US only)
– One (1) E-book of Strange and Ever After (INT)
*Giveaway ends on July 22nd, 2014!*

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I am a writer, reader, lover of animals, and eater of cookies. I used to be a marine biologist, but now I write novels. And not novels about fish either, but novels about kick-butt heroines and swoon-worthy rogues (I really like swoon-worthy rogues).

I live in the Midwest with my husband and two dogs (Asimov and Princess Leia), and you can learn more about my crazy thoughts and crippling cookie-addiction on my blog or twitter.

My debut, SOMETHING STRANGE AND DEADLY is now available from HarperTeen along with the prequel, A DAWN MOST WICKED, and the sequel A DARKNESS STRANGE & LOVELY.

Look for STRANGE & EVER AFTER in summer 2014 and TRUTHWITCH in fall 2015!

Note: I am on Goodreads to READ. So, if you want to discuss books and the joys of literature, add me as a friend.

Links: Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook

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Review: A Night with the Bride

A Night with the Bride

Author: Kate McKinley
Series: By Invitation Only, #3
Genre: Romance, Historical Fiction
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: March 4th, 2014
Format: ebook
Pages: 83
Source: Netgalley

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While at a lavish house party, Gabriella Weatherfield confidently bets her friends that she can convince the “unseducible” Duke of Somerset to kiss her. But Gabriella’s innocent wager turns wicked when faced with the duke’s intense blue eyes and talented hands.

Nicholas Montgomery usually strives to stay away from society, yet there’s no denying Gabriella’s wild beauty or the way she makes him want to lose control for once. Will the fire between them burn out when Gabriella uncovers the inner demons haunting Nicholas?

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When I first received this ARC back in February there was no synopsis, at all. I repeatedly checked Netgalley and Goodreads hoping one would appear; I believe a synopsis was finally posted a couple of weeks before the novella was released.

Nonetheless, I was basically going into this blind. So I picked up A Duchess in the Dark, which is the first novella in this series, to get a sense of the author’s style and a general understanding of this series. I highly enjoyed A Duchess in the Dark, my review can be found here.

I like Kate’s writing style; I found that she really gave her characters a voice. The banter between Gabriella and Nicholas was highly entertaining! Gabriella is the perfect partner for Nicholas, the fact that she is blunt and challenges him is what makes her such an intriguing character. I loved that Kate McKinley made Nicholas an individual that isn’t perfect. Nicholas has “issues” that make him a realistic fictional character that you easily come to love.

Two things slightly bothered me while reading this. The title is A Night with the Bride but Gabriella is not a bride, leaving the title to completely throw you off once you finish reading it. Secondly, this was way too short! There was so much potential to turn this into a full novel, this would allow more character development with Gabriella and Nicholas.

Overall, A Night with the Bride is an entertaining novella that I have re-read multiple times. Kate McKinley has the talent to start writing a novel instead of novellas, and hopefully there will be more to come!

4 Stars

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Book Blast: Mistress of Fortune by Holly West

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CARINA_0214_97814268979_MistressFortuneMistress of Fortune

Author: Holly West
Series: Mistress of Fortune, #1
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery
Publication Date: February 3rd, 2014
Format: ebook
Pages: 274

Synopsis:

London, 1678

Isabel, Lady Wilde, a mistress to King Charles II, has a secret: she makes her living disguised as Mistress Ruby, a fortune-teller who caters to London’s elite. It’s a dangerous life among the charlatans, rogues and swindlers who lurk in the city’s dark corners, but to Isabel, the risk is worth the reward.

Until magistrate Sir Edmund Godfrey seeks Mistress Ruby’s counsel and reveals his unwitting involvement in a plot to kill the king. When Isabel’s diary containing dangerous details of his confession is stolen, she knows she must find it before anyone connects her to Mistress Ruby. Especially after Sir Edmund’s corpse is discovered a few days later…

Isabel is sure that whoever stole her diary is Sir Edmund’s killer–and could be part of a conspiracy that leads all the way to the throne. But as she delves deeper into the mystery, not even the king himself may be able to save her.

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About the Author

Holly West writes the Mistress of Fortune series, featuring amateur sleuth Isabel Wilde, a mistress to King Charles II who secretly makes her living as a fortune-teller. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Mick, and dog, Stella. More info at hollywest.com.

Book Blast organized by:

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xo
Patty♡♕

Book Review: A Duchess in the Dark by Kate McKinley

A Duchess in the Dark 

Author: Kate McKinley
Series: By Invitation Only, #1
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance, Adult Fiction
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: December 3rd, 2013
Format: eBook
Pages: 54
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When a well-bred young lady opens the wrong bedroom door at a Regency house party, she has no idea of the sensual delights that await her on the other side…

Miss Daphne Hayward is on the hunt for a safe, honorable husband and she has set her sights on the perfect target. He’s kind, titled, and miraculously single. She plans a full-scale seduction that will bring him to his knees, begging for her hand in marriage. But when she mistakenly climbs into another man’s bed, sparks ignite, threatening to send all her plans up in smoke.

Ashton Fitzgerald, Earl of Claymore, is surprised by the powerful desire that surges through him when he sees Daphne for the first time. So when he unveils her as his mysterious midnight visitor, he is determined to make her his…forever.

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Daphne Hayward is convinced that Edward loves her and believes that in order to get him to purpose she must seduce him. Than we have Ashton Fitzgerald, Earl of Claymore; who we are lead to believe is a ladies man with women falling for him left, right and centre. When Daphne mistakes his room as Edwards, her plan starts to crumble.

I enjoyed reading this! I loved the plot, mistaken identity and romance. And Daphne and Ashton are likeable characters that had me giggling at the beginning. While this was well written, I only wish this were a novel instead of a novella. There’s a lot more that could have been said about Ashton and Daphne for instance; when they first meet each other and how long Ashton has had feelings for Daphne, also I would like to have learned more about Edward. Basically this novella has the perfect outline and characters to be developed into a full novel and sadly it’s only a novella. While at times predictable, A Duchess in the Dark was still an entertaining and fast read.

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3.5 Stars

 

 xo
Patty♡♕

Waiting on Wednesday (2): A Mad, Wicked Folly

**Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights highly anticipated upcoming releases.**

A Mad, Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller
Genre: YA, Historical Fiction
Publication Date: January 23rd, 2014
Purchase: Indigo / Barnes & Noble / Amazon

Synopsis:
Welcome to the world of the fabulously wealthy in London, 1909, where dresses and houses are overwhelmingly opulent, social class means everything, and women are taught to be nothing more than wives and mothers. Into this world comes seventeen-year-old Victoria Darling, who wants only to be an artist—a nearly impossible dream for a girl.

After Vicky poses nude for her illicit art class, she is expelled from her French finishing school. Shamed and scandalized, her parents try to marry her off to the wealthy Edmund Carrick-Humphrey. But Vicky has other things on her mind: her clandestine application to the Royal College of Art; her participation in the suffragette movement; and her growing attraction to a working-class boy who may be her muse—or may be the love of her life. As the world of debutante balls, corsets, and high society obligations closes in around her, Vicky must figure out: just how much is she willing to sacrifice to pursue her dreams?

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I had this sitting in my drafts and forgot to publish this! First of all, the cover. SO PRETTY!! That is what automatically pulled me. And then there is the fact that it falls under historical fiction, which is a new genre to me that I’m starting to love!! Scandals, debutante balls and corsets count me in!!

xo
Patty♡♕