26 February 2020

Whatcha Reading Wednesday - Things in Jars

I love a mystery!

Things in Jars
by Jess Kidd

What they say: In the dark underbelly of Victorian London, a formidable female sleuth is pulled into the macabre world of fanatical anatomists and crooked surgeons while investigating the kidnapping of an extraordinary child in this gothic mystery—perfect for fans of The Essex Serpent and The Book of Speculation.

Bridie Devine—female detective extraordinaire—is confronted with the most baffling puzzle yet: the kidnapping of Christabel Berwick, secret daughter of Sir Edmund Athelstan Berwick, and a peculiar child whose reputed supernatural powers have captured the unwanted attention of collectors trading curiosities in this age of discovery.

Winding her way through the labyrinthine, sooty streets of Victorian London, Bridie won’t rest until she finds the young girl, even if it means unearthing a past that she’d rather keep buried. Luckily, her search is aided by an enchanting cast of characters, including a seven-foot tall housemaid; a melancholic, tattoo-covered ghost; and an avuncular apothecary. But secrets abound in this foggy underworld where spectacle is king and nothing is quite what it seems.

Blending darkness and light, history and folklore, Things in Jars is a spellbinding Gothic mystery that collapses the boundary between fact and fairy tale to stunning effect and explores what it means to be human in inhumane times.


24 February 2020

Review - The Pure Heart

The Pure Heart
by Trudi Tweedie

What they say: When Iseabail is employed by a wealthy merchant to be his daughter's companion, her life changes forever. Transported from her remote island home to the Scottish borderlands, Iseabail is unnerved both by her precocious young charge and the house's secrets: a hidden chapel, servants who speak in a foreign tongue, a mute stableboy. And then the merchant returns with a mysterious cargo. Why has Iseabail really been summoned here? And will she ever make it back home?

I received this in the January 2020 Book Box Club box. No review was expected and the views are mine alone.

Buy here!

What I say: I received The Pure Heart by Trudi Tweedie in Book Box Club's January box. I'm a little surprised by the number of negative reviews because I enjoyed the story (mostly), but each to their own and all that! I can understand why people found Iseabail annoying or difficult to like.

This was a very different type of book to what I was expecting. In a good way! I was expecting a YA historical romance with a love triangle or two. Without giving anything away, this is SO not what The Pure Heart is about!

Iseabail lives on a remotes Scottish island with her family but finds herself sent away from everything she knows and the boy she's supposed to marry, to be the companion of a rich merchant's daughter, Maria. Iseabail is taken to a Bronte like manor house full of mystery, gothic beauty and all kinds of drama. Scotland and the house are described beautifully, I could almost taste the waters myself.

I liked Iseabail although I would have liked her to follow her instincts and ask more questions. Something about Maria reminded me of cousin Colin from The Secret Garden and she was just as demanding and irritating. 

The Pure Heart has all the twists. Oh the ending! In terms of closure I would like a follow up, although on the other hand I did like the different ending and particularly enjoyed the world building.

4 Stars in my Sky!


23 February 2020

Spotlight - Girl in Luv

Girl in Luv - In Luv Duet #1
by Jay Crownover and Rebecca Yarros

What they say: Langley Vaughn is in desperate need of a date.

But not just any date.
She’s looking for a date to the wedding from hell. It isn’t every day you’re forced to be in the bridal party while your first love marries your arch nemesis… otherwise known as the world’s worst stepsister. The entire situation is a nightmare, and Langley is sick and tired of taking orders and forcing a fake smile. She’s done being the bad guy when she was the one who was wronged.

She needs to find a date who’s not afraid of her family’s money and someone who is willing to shake things up. She needs someone outside of her normal social circle, someone ready to go to war with the well-to-do. She needs someone who won’t back down. Someone willing to play the complicated game of tug of war she’s been engaged in with her family for years.

Never in a million years did she think she was going to stumble across her very own heroic heartthrob when she set her crazy plan in motion.

Not only does Iker show up for her time and time again, he also forced her to finally fight for herself.

He says he’s only there for the money… but his actions speak so much louder than his words.


22 February 2020

Spotlight - Evernight

by Ross MacKenzie

What they say: Thousands of years ago, the Evernight came to the Silver Kingdom and turned everything to darkness and chaos. It was only defeated thanks to the skill and bravery of the Witches. But now the Evernight is about to return, released by the evil Mrs Hester, and the only spell that might stop it is lost, deep below the great city of King’s Haven.

Then orphan Larabelle Fox stumbles across a mysterious wooden box while treasure-hunting in the city’s sewers. Little does she realise she is about to be catapulted into an adventure, facing wild magic and mortal danger – and a man who casts no shadow...


21 February 2020

Am Reading - Darkwhispers: A Brightstorm Adventure

Darkwhispers: A Brightstorm Adventure
by Vashti Hardy

What they say: The thrilling sequel to the acclaimed BRIGHTSTORM: A SKY SHIP ADVENTURE.

The Brightstorm twins are back for another adventure! Eudora Vane has organized an explorer fleet to search the Eastern Isles, the last known destination of missing adventurer Ermitage Wrigglesworth. Harriet Culpepper and the crew of the Aurora join the mission, but they don't believe that Eudora has good intentions. What is she really looking for? Arthur is determined to find out, and when disaster strikes and the Brightstorm twins are separated, will he and Maudie be able to find their way back to each other?


19 February 2020

Whatcha Reading Wednesday - A Sprinkle of Sorcery

So pretty!

A Sprinkle of Sorcery
by Michelle Harrison 

What they say: The family curse has been lifted and the Widdershins sisters: Betty, Fliss and Charlie are free to leave the prison island of Crowstone. But when a mysterious girl arrives at the Poacher’s Pocket with a pocketful of hagstones and accompanied by a will-o’-the-wisp, it seems another adventure has landed on their doorstep. And when Charlie goes missing, it’s up to Betty and Fliss to journey through misty marches, past wisp catchers and on to a secret island that doesn’t exist on any map…

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