#AtoZChallenge 2019 #Audiobooks ‘K’ is for Lisa Kleypas @LisaKleypas ‘The Ravenels and The Wallflowers’ @Scribd #HistoricalRomance

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary blogging from A to Z challenge letter

I love novels set in Vicrorian England and I enjoy reading romance, in between psychological thrillers and literary fiction, and I’ve found the perfect combination in Lisa Kleypas. She has written various series of historical romance, set in 19th century England, such as The Ravenel Series of four novels and The Wallflowers of five novels. In her latest novel, The Devil’s Daughter, The Ravenels meet The Wallflowers!

Lisa is ranked #10 bestselling kindle (US) author of historical romance, and the reason is she writes engaging and entertaining, well-written historical romance. On this occasion, I’ve listened to her  novels on Scribd, but they’re also available on Audible.

Lisa Kleypas

All her novels are standalones, but if you read them in order, it leads to a better reading experience, because the characters are related, either by family or friendship, so characters in previous books will appear in later titles.

I’d recommend you start with the first Ravenel book, published in 2015, which is also one of my favourites. By the way, aren’t those covers beautiful?

Cold-Hearted Rake audiobook cover art

Hello Stranger, published in 2018 is my favourite, perhaps because it was the first one I read and then I made my way back to the first three books in the series!

The female lead in Hello Stranger, Dr. Garrett Gibson, is a woman ahead of her time. She’s the only female physician in England, and is making herself respected in a man’s world. She’s intelligent, strong-willed, daring and independent. Ethan Ransom, a former detective for Scotland Yard, is a rumored assassin whose true loyalties are a mystery. They are both drawn into dangerous plot against the government.

Hello Stranger audiobook cover art

Her latest novel, Devil’s Daughter, is the delightful story of a widow with two young children and a reformed rake.

Devil's Daughter audiobook cover art

Lisa Kleypas’s historical novels have all the ingredients for an exciting and entertaining journey into Victorian England. The novels are well researched and plotted, with engaging heroes and heroines. Readers will visit Victorian London, from the dark alleyways and slums, gentlemen’s and gaming clubs, to stately town houses and horse rides in Regents Park, as well as travels to country estates. There are villains, rakes and other evil characters who battle against her main characters. You can also look forward to plenty of (unstressful) suspense, in spite of expecting a happy ending, because the journey towards the grand finale is so enjoyable.

Lisa Kleypas, like Jane Austen, is well aware that in 19th century England, “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” And just like Jane Austen, that’s what she writes about, except in Kleypas’ case, the novels are more about assertive women fighting for love matches and independence in a world of marriages of convenience and gender inequality.

Most of her novels are read by Mary Jane Wells, who does all the accents and genders very nicely, although, as always, I would have prefered at least two narrators, for male and female voices, but I enjoyed listening to all of them as they are.

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Lisa Kleypas’ novels are especially for readers who want an escape from real 21st century life for a few hours, and enjoy historical romance set in Victorian England, with strong-willed female leads who overcome obstacles on their way to a happy marriage. A delightful indulgence!

Lasa Kleypas’s Audible Author Page

Lisa Kleypas’s Scribd author page

What? You’ve never read an Audiobook? Here are my 34 reasons why you should be reading audiobooks!

I’ll be reviewing an audiobook a day throughout April, so come back on Monday! There will be a round-up tomorrow!

Would you like to read about the other authors and audiobooks I’ve posted about during the challenge, which started on 1st April? Here they are!

Find out more about this blogging challenge here!

#AtoZChallenge 2019 #Audiobooks ‘H’ is for Helen Hoang @HHoangWrites @Audible ‘The Kiss Quotient’ #Romance #TuesdayBookBlog

I’m thrilled to continue my AtoZ Blogging challenge with Helen Hoang, author of my favourite romantic novel of 2018, The Kiss Quotient, One of Washington Post’s 50 Notable Works of Fiction in 2018 and One of Amazon’s Top 100 Books of 2018.

In 2016, the author was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in line with what was previously known as Asperger’s Syndrome. Her journey inspired THE KISS QUOTIENT.

Helen Hoang

You all know how I love all genres of novels with quirky and/or unusual heroines, The Kiss Quotient is one such novel.

Stella Lane is brilliant at math. She loves algorithms to predict customer purchases. She also has ASD, and hates physical contact, especially kissing and sex. She’s over thirty and her family expects her to marry and have children, and she doesn’t want to let them down, so she decides to hire an escort to help her overcome her aversion to sex.

Michael, takes on the job, however he has issues of his own, such as his reasons for being an escort and how he feels about his part-time job. Neither of them imagine they’re going to learn about the joy and pain of falling in love.

It’s a romantic comedy filled with depth, as the two complex and imperfect characters overcome personal and social obstacles and build a unique and heart-warming love story.

There are hilarious moments, heart wrenching moments, tender moments and uplifting moments as their relationship develops.

The Kiss Quotient audiobook cover art

By the way, I first read The Kiss Quotient as part of the Romance package, but I enjoyed it so much I bought the audiobook and the kindle version, and I’ve recommended it to everyone I know who enjoys reading romance!

In case you didn’t read my post yesterday and haven’t heard of Audible’s Romance Package,  If you sign up for this package you can borrow up to any ten books included in the package, at a time. When you finish one, or if you decide you don’t like it, you can delete it from your Audible app and choose another one. All this for under seven dollars! It’s well worth it if you love reading romantic novels, as I do in between, thrillers and literary fiction.

I have already pre-ordered her second novel, The Bride Test, which will be published in May.

The Bride Test: Goodread's Big Books of Spring 2019 (Kiss Quotient Series) by [Hoang, Helen]

Another great plus of listening to the audio version is the brilliant narrator Carly Robbins. I normally prefer two narrators, one male and female, but Carly Robbins is such an excellent narrator that she did an excellent job on her own! The third person narrator gives both characters’ points of view and the audio narrator conveys both unique characters perfectly.

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The Kiss Quotient, is especially for readers who enjoy romantic comedies with likeable main characters, sweet stories with uplifting endings, steamy sex scenes, and great writing. If you like reading romance, you’ll love this novel!

Helen Hoang’s Audible Author Page 

What? You’ve never read an Audiobook? Here are my 34 reasons why you should be reading audiobooks! 

I’ll be reviewing an audiobook a day throughout April, so come back on Monday! There will be a round-up tomorrow!

Would you like to read about the other authors and audiobooks I’ve posted about during the challenge, which started on 1st April? Here they are!

Find out more about this blogging challenge here!

 

#AtoZChallenge 2019 #Audiobooks ‘G’ is for Rachel Grant @Rachelsgrant @Audible ‘Flashpoint’ #Romance #Thriller

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary blogging from A to Z challenge letter

I’m thrilled to continue my AtoZ Blogging challenge with Rachel Grant, author of romantic, military and political thrillers. Rachel, who worked for over a decade as a professional archaeologist, mines her experiences for storylines and settings, from her diverse international experience excavating, surveying, and mapping on sites all over the world. Find out more on her blog. 

Rachel beside a tree

Rachel Grant has written thirteen novels, eight in the Evidence series and three in the Flashpoint series, as well as two standalone romantic mysteries.

I’m working my way through the Evidence series, but I’d like to tell you about the Flashpoint Series, because I’ve listened to all three books and because they’re part the Audible Romance package, which is why they have a big, pink R in the top right-hand corner.

Flashpoint Book 1

If you sign up for the Romance Package you can borrow up to any ten books included in the package, at a time. When you finish one, or if you decide you don’t like it, you can delete it from your Audible app and choose another one. All this for under seven dollars! It’s well worth it if you love reading romantic novels, as I do in between, thrillers and literary fiction.

Tinderbox takes place in the volatile and dangerous Horn of Africa. archaeologist, Morgan Adler has made the paleoanthropological find of a lifetime, but the discovery brings her to the attention of a warlord eager to claim both Morgan and the fossils, so she is forced to seek protection from the nearby US military base. There follows a heart stopping action-packed race against warlords, corruption, mercenaries and the hazardous landscape, which will keep you eagerly listening to the very end.

Catalyst audiobook cover art

Flashpoint Book 2

Her stories are well researched and realistically plotted, with engaging characters. Her heroines are intelligent, strong-willed, independent and professional women, working in adverse male-dominated situations in the horn of Africa. They also fall passionately in love with men who are self-assured enough to have a relationship with such determined women, so be warned, sparks fly!

Firestorm audiobook cover art

Flashpoint Book 3

Another great plus of listening to the audio version is the brilliant narrator Greg Tremblay, I normally prefer two narrators, one male and female, but Greg is such an excellent narrator that he conveys both the female voices, multiple male voices, as well as the third person narrator of the novels, perfectly, so the listener is always aware of who is speaking.

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The Flashpoint Series, is especially for readers who enjoy exciting and steamy, romantic military and political thrillers, with plenty of action, and intelligent, determined heroines, working in high-risk areas of the African continent.

Rachel Grant’s Audible Author Page 

What? You’ve never read an Audiobook? Here are my 34 reasons why you should be reading audiobooks! 

I’ll be reviewing an audiobook a day throughout April, so come back on Monday! There will be a round-up tomorrow!

Would you like to read about the other authors and audiobooks I’ve posted about during the challenge, which started on 1st April? Here they are!

Find out more about this blogging challenge here!

 

#TuesdayBookBlog #BookReview ‘Tripping on a Halo’ by Alessandra Torre @ReadAlessandra ‏#Romance

I enjoy reading humorous romance with quirky heroines, in between suspenseful, heart-stopping thrillers and dramatic novels.

The last few books I’ve reviewed have been intense, but today I offer you, Tripping on a Halo, a different, fun, laugh out loud romance, you’ll love, by Alessandra Torre.

Tripping on a Halo by [Torre, Alessandra]

BLURB

It’s really hard to save a guy’s life when he keeps running from you…
You might be asking yourself why I’m waving an inflatable penis in the air and screaming at the top of my lungs. If I took time to explain, Declan Moss would get hit by a bus.

Let me back up. I didn’t ask for this. I was perfectly happy–and perfectly sane–before I was tasked with keeping Declan Moss alive. It was a thankless job until the moment that my panties dropped and his delicious smirk found his way in between my thighs.

Hello, toe-curling ecstasy. Goodbye, professional boundaries. And suddenly, there’s a new danger to avoid: the falling of my heart.

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My Review

Tripping on a Halo is a unique romantic comedy, unlike any other you’ve read or are likely to read.

I loved all the characters in this novel. The main characters, Declan and Autumn were wonderful, and their friends and family, the secondary characters, were great too. Ansley, Roger, and Nate, brought the story to life.

The events are partly told from Declan’s point of view, but mostly from Autumn’s distorted perspective.

Autumn is a unique, quirky character, who’s impossible not to love. She’s stalking Declan because she’s convinced she’s destined to save his life. The reasoning which has led her to firmly believe this, is complex and disturbing, and it’s why you’ll fall in love with this endearing character.

The plot is unusual and the story is mostly hilarious, except for the last part which delves into the explanations and causes of her delusions. It has a satisfactory, although completely unexpected ending.

I’d recommend this feel-good romance especially to readers who enjoy a laugh out loud, heartwarming love story, with a meaningful subtext, and of course, a guaranteed happy ending!

US Buy link

UK Buy link

Read more of my #TuesdayBookBlog reviews.

 

 

 

 

#FridayReads Mount Mercy by Helena Newbury #Romance #BookReview

I’ve read, enjoyed and reviewed most of Helena Newbury’s books to date, so I’m pleased to be reviewing her latest novel, Mount Mercy, published this week, and it’s already the amazon bestseller list #1 New Release in Medical Thrillers

Mount Mercy by [Newbury, Helena]

Mount Mercy is difficult to define because there’s romance, action and suspense in a medical setting. Once I started reading I couldn’t stop. The story is told from several alternating points of view, but most of the events are narrated by two doctors at Mount Mercy Hospital, Dominic and Amy.

Doctor Dominic Corrigan is a believable and engaging character. He’s an unorthodox doctor, who wears his tattoos and scars, from working in war zones, as proudly and uninhibitedly as a biker, but he’s also an experienced and professional ER doctor who thrives on the stress of his job and isn’t afraid to take risks to save his patients. He’s also known as a player with the ladies, but he’s covering up a heavy personal burden of guilt. Dominic meets Doctor Amy Beckett, a shy and emotionally withdrawn surgeon, who enjoys working in the quiet sanctuary of her operating theatre, because she  has a hard time coping with noise and stress.

In the midst of the chaos brought on by a severe snowstorm leading to a complete white-out in the area, a group of local criminals, behaving like terrorists, wreak havoc in the hospital and the town. Dominic and Amy will be drawn into the violence and terror, playing a major role in saving lives and the town from a devastating disaster.

I enjoyed the medical setting, the sweet and then steamy romance, the wintry landscape and weather, and the action packed and suspenseful final scenes. The setting and events were vividly portrayed, so I felt I was watching the events happening in the hospital and feeling the freezing blizzard.

Especially for lovers of romantic suspense with plenty of action, and of course, happy ever afters with larger than life main characters. A wintry treat at just over a dollar!

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Helena Newbury is the author of well-written romantic novels with plenty of suspense, some steamy scenes, engaging characters and captivating stories.

I read and reviewed Kissing my Killer three years ago and although I loved Mount Mercy, Kissing my Killer is still my favourite! And it’s included in Audible’s Romance Package.

 

#TuesdayBookBlog ‘The Last Necromancer’ by C. J. Archer #Audible #Amreading #Bookreviews

Today I’m reviewing The Last Necromancer by C. J. Archer, which is Book 1 of the The Ministry Of Curiosities.

It’s a historical novel set in Victorian London, but it’s more than that, as you’ll find out in my review.

Don’t you love the covers?

I love writing and reading historical fiction.

I’m always on the lookout for novels set in Victorian times. Recently I discovered a ten book series with the following blurb:

 A waif, her abductors and a twist you won’t see coming.

For five years, Charlotte (Charlie) Holloway has lived as a boy in the slums. But when one theft too many gets her arrested, her only means of escape lies with a dead man. Charlie hasn’t raised a spirit since she first discovered she could do so five years ago. That time, her father banished her. This time, she brings even more trouble upon herself.

People are now hunting Charlie all over London, but only one man succeeds in capturing her. 

Lincoln Fitzroy is the mysterious head of a secret organization on the trail of a madman who needs a necromancer to control his newly “made” creatures. There was only one known necromancer in the world – Charlotte – but now there appears to be two. Lincoln captures the willful Charlie in the hopes the boy will lead him to Charlotte. But what happens when he discovers the boy is in fact the young woman he’s been searching for all along? And will she agree to work for the man who held her against her will, and for an organization she doesn’t trust? 

Because Lincoln and his ministry might be just as dangerous as the madman they’re hunting.

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I have recently read many intense family dramas and contemporary thrillers, most psychological, such as The Woman at the Window, Us, The Husband, Our House, The Good Girl, My Husband the Stranger, The Cellar, I Am Watching You, Silent Child, and A Stranger in the House, among others, so I felt I needed a break from the intensity. I was looking for a lighter read, and I found one, quite by chance!

The blurb of The Last Necromancer sounded interesting, but I must admit that the ten-book series put me off.

Do I have time to read a series of ten books?

Do I have the patience to read ten books by the same author?

I really didn’t think so, but I took a chance and downloaded book one to my kindle because it was free. I think this is a great idea to entice readers to try a new author, especially in such a long series. I then bought the audiobook for the reduced price of about $4 and listened to it in the space of two evenings (it was about eight hours long), and loved it! I’ll probably even read the following books in the series!

Read on for my review.

My Review

The Last Necromancer is a wonderful escapist read.

There’s a bit of everything I enjoy. It’s historical, set in the  Victorian era, there’s action, mystery, suspense and a hint of romance.

The lead character is Charlie, an 18-year-old girl who has been living on the streets of London disguised as a boy for the last 5 years. She also has special powers (she can summon and speak to the dead) so she is being sought by unscrupulous villains. Charlie is a wonderful character. She’s clever, tough, resourceful, street-wise, caring, and sensitive.

The male lead, Lincoln Fitzroy is enigmatic and apparently heartless, and the rest of the ‘real’ villains, his enemies, are cruel and ruthless.

There are many references to other Victorian authors such as Mary Shelly and Conan Doyle. The novel includes secret societies, plots against the Queen, some supernatural, gothic elements, such as Charlie’s paranormal abilities, and some fantasy elements, such as Frankenstein-like monsters and other characters with special powers and knowledge.   

The Last Necromancer is a well written and entertaining read, with plot twists, action, mystery, suspense and a slow burn, romance, which promises to bloom in future installments. 

It is especially for lovers of the Victorian era, fantasy, paranormal, and entertaining fiction.

There are plenty of reasons why I’m looking forward to reading the following books in the series, as an antidote to the draining intensity of contemporary psychological and literary fiction, and the occasionally tedious reality of daily life.

In fact I’ve just downloaded the box set which includes the first three books in the series on Audible.

US Buy Link to the series

UK Buy link to the series 

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#FridayReads ‘Wildfell’ by London Clarke #authorInterview @londonclarke2 Happy Publication Day!

Today is publication day for London Clarke’s debut, Gothic suspense novel, Wildfell.

 

Wildfell by [Clarke, London]

 

Running away isn’t always an escape…

Anne Fleming is running away…

An ill-fated relationship with her grad school professor drives Anne to check out of life. After disposing of all her possessions, Anne assumes a new identity and boards a plane. But a chance meeting on a London-bound flight leads her to Wildfell, a gothic mansion with a cast of strange characters and a long history of disappearances and deaths.

While living at Wildfell, Anne is plagued by voices, ghostly mists, and a mute girl with a sketchbook full of murders. She only remains because of her violent attraction to fellow inhabitant—gorgeous actor Bain Tierney. But when Wildfell tenants begin disappearing one by one, Anne must decide if she trusts Bain. Is anyone in the house who they claim to be? Or are there are other forces at work inside Wildfell? And will they ever let her leave?

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Wildfell is on my kindle and I’ll be reviewing soon, but first a short interview with London.

What attracted you to the Gothic genre?

I was attracted to the gothic genre from a young age. When I think back to the first gothic novel I read, it was probably one by Victoria Holt given to me by my grandmother. My grandmother was a voracious reader, and I have to attribute my own love of reading and writing to her. I loved the creepy house set in some rainy, windswept setting. There was always a brooding, mysterious, yet breathtakingly handsome man with a dark past. He either turned out to be a good guy in disguise or a killer who deceives the heroine. The unpredictability of the stories riveted me. I still love the eerie settings, the potential for the supernatural, and the isolation of the settings.

I remember reading Victoria Holt as a teenager, too. In fact I still have ‘On the Night of the Seventh Moon’, first published in 1972! I also love novels with creepy houses!

How important are the supernatural elements in your novel? 

Although I may write some novels in the future that only suggest the supernatural, right now I’m exploring the darker side of supernatural elements and how they can wreak havoc on a house and its inhabitants. I’ve always been interested in houses that experience hauntings and what that actually means for the people within. So, in short, the supernatural elements are pretty important in my novels.

I’m sure plenty of readers love ancient, haunted houses. I do! 

Tell us something about your main character/s.

Anne, my main character, has lived a nontraditional life. She has no idea who her father is, and she’s grown up with a mother who hates men and has done her best to poison Anne against them. But instead of buying into her mother’s philosophies, Anne rebels and romanticizes men. Her impetus to run at the beginning of the novel is because her hopes of proving her mother wrong are crushed when she is betrayed by her graduate school professor—a man she thought she was in love with. By the time she arrives at Wildfell, she’s in crisis mode–confused, ashamed, and searching for a foothold as she emotionally freefalls. When she meets Bain, she’s immediately attracted to him, but he also furthers that confusion. She feels a little intimidated by him, can’t make him out, and doesn’t know if he’s friend or foe.

A mysterious love interest who could be on your side or against you, leads to intense suspense and romance…

What kind of reader would enjoy Wildfell? 

A reader who enjoys a gothic setting with a creepy house (obviously), scary novels, and twisty mysteries. There is a strong thread of mystery to the story. Readers of Wendy Webb, Darcy Coates, or Laura Benedict will, I think, enjoy Wildfell for its elements of the supernatural. But there is probably more of a romantic angle than most horror fiction, so I’d like to think it will appeal to readers of romance and paranormal romance as well.

Sounds intriguing, paranormal, romance, suspense… I am so looking forward to reading!

What are you working on now?

I am working on a second gothic suspense novel with a vampire angle. This one will be the first book of a series set in Asheville, North Carolina. The working title is The Burning Thirst, but it will probably change. Currently, it’s scheduled to be released late this year.

I’m not too keen on vampires, but I could be persuaded if the plot is thick and the characters engaging!

What would you like readers to know about you?

Hmmm… Well, beyond the creepy stuff I’m truly a romantic at heart. I love to cry in a book or a movie, and I’m a huge fan of Jane Austen. I’m also an animal fanatic. I have two greyhounds that I love to distraction and I would have more, but my husband says two are enough (and it’s his house too). I’m also a bit of a wine connoisseur. At least, I like to think so.

I certainly hope you’re having a glass of vintage wine or champagne to celebrate your publication day! 

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Obsessed with vampires and haunted houses from a young, London grew up reading gothic tales featuring romantic and tragic heroes like Wuthering Heights and Dracula. She considers herself a recovering runaway and confesses that she once moved to England in search of a man who was the perfect amalgamation of Dracula, Hamlet, Heathcliff, and Mr. Rochester. London graduated from George Mason University with a B.A. in Music and M.F.A in Creative Writing and has had an eclectic array of jobs including receptionist, legal secretary, literary assistant, high school English teacher, and freelance editor.

London lives in a Washington, DC suburb with her husband and two greyhounds. She’s happiest when she’s writing novels, reading books, or re-watching her favorite programs like The Vampire Diaries or Being Human.

Follow London Clarke on Twitter

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Visit London’s Webpage

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