Book SynopsisA romance. A rogue nobleman, a rescued lady, and revenge undone by romance all play a part in New York Times bestselling author Joan Johnston’s irresistible novel of best-laid plots, delicious deception, and unexpected passion.
Two years have passed since Josie Wentworth was bought from the Sioux for a gold watch and whisked back to England by Marcus Wharton, the Duke of Blackthorne. When Marcus breaks his promise to return Josie to America, she ends up as a maid in the home of his charming but neglected nephews. Once Josie’s long-lost family finds her, however, the suddenly wealthy heiress sets out to save the two boys from their indifferent uncle—and teach the duke a lesson in honor.
Learning that Marcus is seeking a rich American bride to save his estate, Josie plots to catch his eye. She is certain he’ll never recognize the beauty she’s become as the ragged captive he rescued. But Josie doesn’t wager on her marital charade taking a tender turn, as the nobleman she’s despised for years proves to be a very different man than she’s imagined. And there’s no denying his passionate caresses, as she falls deeper under the spell of a husband determined to claim her heart. Blackthorne’s Bride – Goodreads
My Opinion on the Romance
Good. This is how I describe this book. It is one of those historical romances about destiny and misunderstandings. I consider it a so called “guilty pleasure books.” Sincerely speaking, I do not actually feel guilty about. The plot line was similar to other books I’ve read in this genre. I liked it but I was expecting for that extra something to make it memorable. But, it never came.
Blackthorne’s Bride is part of a long series. Although, it can be read as a standalone. Overall, the story was cute. The author did an amazing job in creating another subplot romance. I was so invested in the secondary romance, unfortunately, it was cut short.
As you can expect, the sexual content is heavy but not overwhelming. Hint, it is categorized as an adult book. Wink-Wink. Also, there is a torture scene in the beginning and that might be a trigger warning scene for some people.
Small spoilers ahead:
As a side note, I have mixed feelings about Marcus’ first wife. I understand(-ish) why she did what she did but she kind of ruined Josie’s life. And I cannot believe that Marcus’ best friend was forgiven so easily for being an accomplice to that. Also, I was not a fan of the lack of communication and the whole children abduction plan as plot devices.
End of spoilers.
This was my cup of tea.
This is my sole opinion. ^_^I would like to say thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I hope you enjoyed this review. Let me read your thought, feelings, and opinions in the comments. Until next time, you can check my latest post by clicking the links below.
Death Below Stairs has at its center a cook from Victorian Era named Kat Holloway. Recently hired as part of Lord Rankin’s household in London, she finds herself immersed in a murder mystery. Set to solve the killing of her kitchen maid, Kat turns to the resourceful Daniel McAdam, who is more than meets the eyes. With the help of a mathematical genius and Lord Rankin’s eccentric sister-in-law, Kat and Daniel will soon found out that the household murder was the tip of the iceberg of a much bigger plot against Queen Victoria.
Death Below Stairs – My Opinion
When I requested this book, I only skimmed the book’s summery. I read “murder,” “Victorian Era,” and “young cook Kat [woman]” and that was enough for me to get hooked. You can imagine the surprise I had when I realized that there is more to the murder.
First, I fell in love with Kat’s voice as a character. Her background story was unexpected. She is an ordinary woman with an unfortunate past. The overall cast of characters was intriguing. We have the eccentric woman who was born in the wrong era, the nice and work-absorbed mathematician, the rebel teenager, and the man with all the answers, Daniel. Danial was a total mystery however, I have a slight idea about what he might be. No spoilers.
Kat is smart, independent, and hard working. She has her mind set with a realistic view of the world even though her heart fancies a guy. The only person she relies on is herself. As a a woman in that time period, Kat works assiduously to be acknowledged by the pompous society. Although, she is not afraid to challenge the authority when something is wrong. As a mother figure character, Kat feels responsible for the kitchen girl’s death, thus, her courage and determination put the cook in dangerous situations.
Despite the lovely characters, the pacing of the story had a bit of an issue. The narrative was executed strangely. We are halfway through the book and merely anything happens. There is too much description of food making which feels like page fillers than part of the actual story. I know what you are going to say next, “But, wait! Isn’t she a cook?” And my follow up answer will be something like, “Yes. Yes, she is. Although, we have a murder which is tied to a plot that might threaten the queen’s life and only 50 percent of the book is dedicated to that.”
The major scenes are rushed and unpolished. It first starts as a a slow burner book then the narrative accelerates and you try to keep up. Some unfolding of events seemed improbable due to lack of development space. The murder is brushed to the side as a subplot, despite the book being called Death Below Stairs , putting the book in a precarious position. I wished the murder had a bigger role in the plot.
The ending, though… Let’s just say that it was explosive and it saved the book for me. Wink.
Overall, I gave this book a 3/5 stars on Goodreads. Death Below Stairs was somewhat my cup of tea and I am tempted to read the next book in the series. Also, I would like to thank you Penguin Random House for the ebook arc in exchange for an honest review.
This is my sole opinion. ^_^
Until next time, feel free to check my latest posts:
Book SynopsisNemesis is a Diabolic. Created to protect a galactic Senator’s daughter, Sidonia. There’s no one Nemesis wouldn’t kill to keep her safe. But when the power-mad Emperor summons Sidonia to the galactic court as a hostage, there is only one way for Nemesis to protect Sidonia.
She must become her.
Now one of the galaxy’s most dangerous weapons is masquerading in a world of corruption and Nemesis has to hide her true abilities or risk everything. As the Empire begins to fracture and rebellion looms closer, Nemesis learns that there is something stronger than her deadly force: the one thing she’s been told she doesn’t have – humanity. And, amidst all the danger, action and intrigue, her humanity might be the only thing that can save her, Sidonia and the entire Empire… The Diabolic – Goodreads
My Opinion4/5 stars.Cause of Science, I took one star. I will explain later in my review. Let’s start with the positive, shall we? ^_^
This book was something. It got me intrigued from the very first chapter. It combined the very things I love most to read about space and Roman Empire. Two ingredients that should not work together like salt caramel ice cream or chocolate and salted pretzels but they do and they were so delicious to devour.
The story is unpredictable. You think the plot is moving in one direction then the next thing you know… Surprise! You just got spun 180 degrees with the narrative moving in the opposite direction than you initially thought.
There is an amazing cast of characters which keeps the action moving forward besides the politics rich driven plot. It was interesting to read how the Emperor tried to keep his place on the throne like a dictator by killing and suppressing progress. He was like a futuristic version of Nero. But let’s not forget about the Queen mother. She was… worse than the Emperor himself. If you ever watched Game of Thrones, then you should be very familiar with Cersei’s character and how vile she can be. Well, the Queen mother is Cersei’s mirror image.
Aside from the whole political drama, there is also the Diabolic mythology. Designed bodyguards ripped off of all their humanity and trained killing machines destined to protect only one person at all costs. They are feared by everyone and paradoxically enslaved by the very same people.
Watching Nemesis rediscovering herself was beautiful and frustrating. Beautiful because she tried to understand her feelings and humanity, a side of her she never got a chance to explore. And frustrating because there is me, the reader, attempting to understand Nemesis’ inhuman ways and pointing the obvious while she needed time to see past those ways.
Like I said in the beginning, I took off a star mostly due to the science and, next, due to the very rushed ending. First, the science. The story tells us that Diabolics do not have lacrimal glands because they were designed not to cry. My question is: Then, how do Diabolics keep their eyes moist, clean, and infection free? So far, science says that the primary role of tears is not crying. They are just a tool used by the brain when showing distress to gain more sympathy from others. (Do not quote me on this but it’s something like that :D). The author could have stick to the brain manipulation thing. It would had been more plausible in my opinion. I know. I know. By the end of the day, this is still a work of fiction but I still want my simple science to be accurate. ^^’ The perks of being a science lover.
Second, the ending was a bit rushed and somewhat anticlimactic. I believe this was due to the uncertainty if it is going to be a standalone or a series. Which it is understandable because the author wanted to give us a resolution just in case we are not going to get another book. And for that, I am also grateful.
All in all, I recommend this book if you are fond of space, ancient times, and politics. This was my cup of tea. Oh! The romance is good too. It fits perfectly into the narrative.This is my sole opinion. ^_^
PS – This is a wrap!I hope you enjoyed this long promised review. Let me know what are your thoughts, feelings, and opinions in the comment section down below. All the images from My Opinion can be also found either on my Instagram or Deviant Art accounts.
Book SynopsisA DEAL WITH THE DEVIL…
Trapped in the countryside, facing an unwanted marriage and the theft of her fortune, Jane Mason is done behaving nicely. To win her freedom, she’ll strike a deal with the most dangerous man she knows—a rising star in politics, whose dark good looks mask an even darker heart.
…NEVER GOES TO PLAN.
The bitter past has taught Crispin Burke to trust no one. He’ll gladly help a lovely young heiress, provided she pays a price. Yet when a single mistake shatters his life, it is Jane who holds the key to his salvation. And in a world that no longer makes sense, Crispin slowly realizes that she may be the only thing worth fighting for… A Lady’s Code of Misconduct – Goodreads
4.5/5 stars.Love. Politics. History. Conspiracies. Conflicting morals. Deceit. Redemption. And hot-bad-boy guy with a secretly good heart… and a hot-good-of-heart girl with lots of brains and a rebellious spirit. There are lots of “and’s” in my last sentence… I know.Something I was not expecting in this story was the politics driven plot intertwined with a love story. Although, the surprising part is. That. I. Freaking. Loved. It. I was expecting to get bored and forced myself to finish the book. That was so not the case. It was exactly what I needed: A good romance story which is not too focused on the romance part. Oxymoron right there.The beginning is what hooked me up in the first place. Not too fast and not too slow. Our beloved characters were in positions where they will do anything to get what they desire. This leads to an unlikely alliance to form between the desire of freedom and power which sparks the chances of a new beginning for our protagonists.Jane and Crispin go through a fantastic character development. They realize that people are not completely good or evil. You just have to choose which side to use more but most importantly how to find a balance between the two. Speaking of character growth. I was not a big fan of acknowledging someone as being two persons in the same time. It was like the author was trying to say Crispin had a split personality… I understood where she was going with it… But it still felt a bit cringe worthy at times.What I admired the most in this story was the sense of a real partnership between the main characters. And believe it or not is quite rare these days. It was not about sexual lust and how it can lead to a good relationship in the end… It was so much more than that. It was… How do you say it? Complicated. Yes. Complicated.Of course, most people might get turned off by the plot focused on politics which is understandable if you are not a big politics fan – like myself, I could say. However, you might also surprisingly find yourself enjoying the book just… like myself. 😀All in all, I could proudly say that this was my cuppa tea. One of my all time favorites – romance section – I dare to say.This is my sole opinion. ^_^I would like to say thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest opinion.Genre/Category: Adult, Historical Romance, Fiction, Politics, MysteryLanguage: none to mild, maybe noneSexual Content: well… heavy but within reasonViolence: moderateDrugs and Alcohol: mild to moderate
P.S.I would like to read your thoughts, feelings, and opinions about this book and if you want to read my last book review you can click –> HERE <– or you can check my previous song pick post –> HERE <–.See ya in my next post!