Book Review Alert: The Watchmaker’s Daughter by C.J Archer

Reviewed: May 20th, 2023
Released: June 28th, 2018
Genre: Historical Fantasy
Audiobook Narrated by Emma Powell

India Steele is desperate. Her father is dead, her fiancé took her inheritance, and no one will employ her, despite years working for her watchmaker father. Indeed, the other London watchmakers seem frightened of her. Alone, poor, and at the end of her tether, India takes employment with the only person who’ll accept her – an enigmatic and mysterious man from America. A man who possesses a strange watch that rejuvenates him when he’s ill.

Matthew Glass must find a particular watchmaker, but he won’t tell India why any old one won’t do. Nor will he tell her what he does back home, and how he can afford to stay in a house in one of London’s best streets. So when she reads about an American outlaw known as the Dark Rider arriving in England, she suspects Mr. Glass is the fugitive. When danger comes to their door, she’s certain of it. But if she notifies the authorities, she’ll find herself unemployed and homeless again – and she will have betrayed the man who saved her life.

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Book Review Alert: Spells and Sensibility by K.L Noone and K.S Murphy

Reviewed: May 16th, 2023
Released: January 29th, 2022
Genre: MM Historical Fantasy

Theodore Burnett has never been a hero. He prefers comfort to combat-spells, and jam-slathered scones to muddy boots. Fortunately, as the youngest-ever head librarian at the Royal College of Wizardry, Theo can spend his days with books and bibliomancy in place of battle-magic or politics — and in any case Napoleon’s been defeated and the war’s been won.

But now there’s a wounded captain of the Magicians’ Corps in Theo’s library. And he needs Theo’s help. And Theo can never resist a mystery, especially when that mystery’s tall and tempting and handsome.

Captain Henry Tourmaline, formerly of His Majesty’s Army and the Magicians’ Corps, requires assistance. He’s returned to London with scars on his body, soul, and heart — war, after all, will do that to anyone. But one of those scars refuses to heal, a curse that’s slowly draining Henry’s magic and eventually his life. The physicians have no answers, so Henry turns to the College’s books … and the College’s attractive head librarian. But the curse is unpredictable, and the last thing Henry wants is to drag someone else into the line of fire, particularly someone as kind and innocent and brilliant as Theo.

Theo wants to save Henry. Henry wants to keep Theo safe. Together, perhaps they can do both … while uncovering a perilous secret behind a spell, a deadly puzzle in the archives, and their own heart’s desires.

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Book Review Alert: Circe by Madeline Miller

Reviewed: May 11th, 2023
Released: April 19th, 2018
Genre: Greek Mythology Fantasy fiction

Woman. Witch. Myth. Mortal. Outcast. Lover. Destroyer. Survivor. CIRCE.

In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. Circe is a strange child – not powerful and terrible, like her father, nor gorgeous and mercenary like her mother. Scorned and rejected, Circe grows up in the shadows, at home in neither the world of gods or mortals. But Circe has a dark power of her own: witchcraft. When her gift threatens the gods, she is banished to the island of Aiaia where she hones her occult craft, casting spells, gathering strange herbs and taming wild beasts. Yet a woman who stands alone will never be left in peace for long – and among her island’s guests is an unexpected visitor: the mortal Odysseus, for whom Circe will risk everything.

So Circe sets forth her tale, a vivid, mesmerizing epic of family rivalry, love and loss – the defiant, inextinguishable song of woman burning hot and bright through the darkness of a man’s world.

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Book Review Alert: The Librarian of Crooked Lane by C.J. Archer

Reviewed: May 9th, 2023
Released: September 6th, 2022
Genre: Historical Fantasy
Format: Audiobook narrated by Marian Hussey

A librarian with a mysterious past, a war hero with a secret, and the heist of a magic painting. THE LIBRARIAN OF CROOKED LANE is an intriguing new fantasy from C.J. Archer, the USA Today bestselling author of the Glass and Steele series.

Librarian Sylvia Ashe knows nothing about her past, having grown up without a father and a mother who refused to discuss him. When she stumbles upon a diary that suggests she’s descended from magicians, she’s skeptical. After all, magicians are special, and she’s just an ordinary girl who loves books. She seeks the truth from a member of the most prominent family of magicians, but she quickly learns that finding the truth won’t be easy, especially when he turns out to be as artless as her, and more compelling and dangerous than books.

War hero Gabe is gifted with wealth, a loving family, and an incredible amount of luck that saw him survive four harrowing years of a brutal war without injury. But not all injuries are visible. Burying himself in his work as a consultant for Scotland Yard, Gabe is going through the motions as he investigates the theft of a magician-made painting. But his life changes when he unwittingly gets Sylvia dismissed from her job and places her in danger.

After securing her new employment in a library housing the world’s greatest collection of books about magic, Gabe and Sylvia’s lives become intwined as they work together to find both the painting and the truth about Sylvia’s past before powerful people can stop them.

But sometimes the past is better left buried…

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Book Review Alert: The Starlight Witch by Kim Richardson

Reviewed: May 2nd, 2023
Released: October 31st, 2022
Genre: Paranormal Fantasy

Finding my husband in bed with another woman was not how I planned to start my day.

Or homeless the next minute. And broke.

So, when a job comes my way from The Twilight Hotel—a paranormal hotel in midtown Manhattan that serves as a sanctuary and residence—I take it.

Cue in tattooed, sexy as sin, grumpy restaurant owner Valen, who can’t do drama or high-maintenance women. The problem? He’s cruel and dangerous.

And he’s hiding something.

Rumors arise of a dark spell that would mean the hotel’s closure, and I don’t know who I can trust. Do I have what it takes to fight this new evil? We’ll see.

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Book Review Alert: The House Witch by Delemhach

Reviewed: April 28th, 2023
Released: June 21st, 2022
Genre: Humourous Fantasy Romance

A heartwarming and humorous blend of fantasy, romance, and mystery featuring a witch with domestic powers and the royal household he serves . . . dinner.

When Finlay Ashowan joins the staff of the King and Queen of Daxaria, he’s an enigma. No one knows where he comes from or how he came to be where he is, which suits Fin just fine. He’s satisfied simply serving as the royal cook, keeping nosy passersby out of his kitchen, and concocting some truly uncanny meals.

But Fin’s secret identity doesn’t stay hidden for long. After all, it’s not every day a house witch and his kitten familiar, Kraken, take to meddling in imperial affairs. As his powers are gradually discovered by the court, Fin finds himself involved in a slew of intrigues: going head-to-head with knights with less-than-chivalrous intentions, helping to protect the pregnant queen, fending off the ire of the royal mage, and uncovering a spy in the castle. And that’s only the beginning—because Fin’s past is catching up with him just as his love life is getting complicated.

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Book Review Alert: The Bandalore by DK Girl

Reviewed: April 21st 2023
Released: February 26th, 2021
Genre: Gaslamp MM Fantasy

His second chance at life will be the bloody death of him.

Silas Mercer is a dead man. Or at least…he was.

Upon waking in his grave, he finds himself without a single memory of the life he once lived. Silas is bewildered and lost, and apparently, now in the employ of the mysterious Order of the Golden Dawn. A secretive organisation who specialise in all things supernatural.

To begin with, their plans for him seem to involve nothing more than making a spectacle of himself in front of London society, with his terrible dancing skills and inept attempts to host the occasional séance.

But Silas’s odd new life takes a startling turn when the Order partners him with the scandalous rake, Tobias Astaroth. A quick-tempered, dangerously beautiful man who harbours some hellish secrets.

Their unlikely, and infuriating, partnership soon faces its first terrifying challenge.

A monster straight out of a nightmare is haunting the woods of Leicester, and the Order want Silas and Tobias to end its rampage.

But nothing in this world is as it seems. Not the Order. Not Silas himself, and certainly not the incorrigible and utterly beguiling Mr Astaroth.

For Silas, the perils that lie ahead are many. But few are as dangerous as the bewitching man at his side.

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Book Review Alert: The McConnor Curse by M.J Padgett

Reviewed: April 15th 2023
Released: October 26th, 2022
Genre: Paranormal Fantasy
Audiobook narrated by Kristen Saburn

Charlotte McConnor has all the luck of the Irish… until she doesn’t. When she agrees to marry Colin, her boyfriend of several months, things go downhill fast. The second the engagement ring slips on her finger, things get strange—and hot. As in, he burns her hometown to the ground every night in a sick game of cat and mouse. Unbeknownst to Charlotte, she’s just met her sin-eater—the man cursed by her family to carry her sins to Hell and keep her cup of luck overflowing. Now he’s out for revenge, unless, of course, they can figure out a way to break the centuries-old curse that has enslaved them both.

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Book Review Alert: Where Shadows Lie by Allegra Pescatore

Reviewed: April 13th 2023
Released: March 20th, 2020
Genre: Epic Fantasy

The Chosen One is dead.

Only his sister can take his place.

Disabled since childhood, Elenor was content to live in her brother’s shadow, besting her cousins at cards and sneaking her girlfriend into her room at night. Now she’s next in line for the throne and beset on all sides by factions out for blood. With time ticking down until someone manages to kill her too, Elenor will be forced to choose between accepting her father’s despotic rule or risking everything for her late brother’s lofty ideals.

Meanwhile, from the rainy streets of Lirin to the scorching dunes of the Mondaer Desert, the death of the Chosen One has inadvertently broken a chain of events five centuries in the making. Ancient forces move in the shadows, calling in debts and striking deals. A monster with a thousand faces fingers his knife, ready to kill, and a pair of fugitives run for their lives, unaware of the danger they carry with them.

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Book Review Alert: Wicked Hunt by SK Alexander

Reviewed: April 10th 2023
Released: January 24th, 2022
Genre: Crime Thriller

A vicious sniper on the loose in Los Angeles. A grief-stricken empath. A ticking clock…

For Nathaniel Colt, Los Angeles is not the City of Angels. For the empath, LA is hell. A quick visit turns into a nightmare when the former special agent becomes embroiled in the hunt for a ruthless sniper terrorizing the city.

When the lurking evil puts the profiler and those closest to him in his crosshairs, a race against time begins and the consultant must rely on his psychic abilities before their time runs out.

Can Nathaniel save those close to him or will LA, once again, prove that it is hell on Earth for the empath?

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