Because you can't judge a book by its cover

Monthly Archives: March 2013

circus caravanBelinda Danvers isn’t a witch but the townspeople in her village don’t believe her and are all set to burn her at the stake. Cards & Caravans  by Cindy Spencer Pape, Connor McKay is sent by the Knights to rescue Belinda at the request of her carnival uncle. When Connor arrives in the small village, the magistrate locals refuse to recognize his authority and Connor is forced to take matters into his own hands to save both their lives.

As Connor investigates the circumstances surrounding Belinda’s trial he starts to realize that this isn’t a localized attack on one individual but a bigger attack on those with magic. Can Connor figure out who is behind the attacks before it costs more lives? Will he be able to convince Belinda that they feelings they have for each other are real?

Once again Cindy Spencer Pape has mixed the right blend of romance, steampunk and fantasy in Cards & Caravans. After watching Connor lose the girl in Moonlight & Mechanicals (you can read my review here) it was nice to see him get his happily ever after. I really enjoyed getting to know his interesting and different family. Belinda had an interesting upbringing and her fears about fitting in with Connor’s family were believable and heat touching. Once again I had a hard time believing the story was as short as it was, I was so caught up in the story. You don’t need to have read the previous Gaslight Chronicles novels before reading Cards & Caravans but I recommend that you do so you understand Connor’s previous heartbreak and just because they are all entertaining reads. I have to admit that prices of all the Gaslight Chronicles make them an affordable series to enjoy.

You can read an excerpt here.

Gaslight Chronicles Reading Order

Steam & Sorcery

Photographs & Phantoms

Kilts & Krackens

Moonlight & Mechanicals

Cards & Caravans 

cards and caravansRating: Star 4copy

Content: favicon5 NB

Title: Cards & Caravans

Author: Cindy Spencer Pape

Format: eBook

Page Nos.: 129

AISN: B00BZPIGXW

Publisher: Carina Press

Release Date: March 18, 2013

Available for purchase: Amazon

Reviewer: Jessica

 

**I received a copy of this book from the publisher but was not required to provide a review and it did not impact my review in any way.

bayouElise Laffont is a widow on the French frontier not far from New Orleans, happily running her farm without the help of any man when trouble comes to the Frontier. In Fierce Eden by Jennifer Blake, Elise has learned not to trust men at the hands of her abusive husband and has earned the reputation of the Ice Widow, unable to thaw for anyone.

Reynaud Chavalier is a man torn between two worlds, the son of a French Comte and a Natchez Queen, Reynaud doesn’t fit in either world. When trouble brews and threatens to spill over between the French settlers and the Natchez tribes, Reynaud feels it is his duty to warn the settlers. It is there he meets Elise Laffont and decides right then and there that he must have the elusive widow for his own.

I have to admit that Fierce Eden has been in my to-be-read pile for about two years now (which is not that unusual when you are a bibliophile like myself, my current TBR piles has at least 60 books in it), I was looking for something different from what I have been reading lately and decided a novel set in the French Frontier would definitely be that. I devoured Fierce Eden! Blake’s character descriptions, attention to detail and historically intriguing plot line had me unable to put to Fierce Eden down. So why the four-star rating you wonder?! Well, Elise suffered at the hands of her abusive husband, being beaten and raped throughout most of her marriage, it took the patience and love of Reynaud to help her move past this. I just felt that once they reached a certain point in their relationship the descriptive sex scenes were distracting from the story. Ya, ya, ya, I get that she got over her fear of men and learned to love Reynaud’s touch, but I really wanted to know what was going to happen next in the story, was Elise going to survive the massacre, would she adjust to living with the tribe, would the tribe surivie? All of this is what was running through my mind and I found myself skipping pages to get to the main story line. That being said, Blake’s descriptions of living with the Natchez tribe, the conflict between the two worlds and the battle were absolutely gripping and I enjoyed Fierce Eden thoroughly.

You can read an excerpt here.

Louisiana History

Fierce Eden

Louisiana Dawn

Embrace and Conquer

You can get all three books in Kindle boxed set for $2.99 here as of 3.24.13.

fierce edenRating: Star 4copy

Content: favicon5 NB

Title: Fierce Eden

Author: Jennifer Blake

Format: Paperback, eBook

Page Nos.:416

ISBN: 978-1402238482

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

Release Date: Originally released 1985, re-released 2011

Available for purchase: Amazon

Reviewer: Jessica

 

**I received a copy of this book from the publisher but was not required to provide a review and it did not impact my review in any way.

steampunk dogEngineer Winifred “Wink” Hadrian has been in love with Inspector Liam McCullough for years but he has always played the ‘friend”, believing that his past and his being a werewolf has condemned him to a life of bachelorhood. In Moonlight & Mechanicals by Cindy Spencer Pape, Wink receives a proposal of marriage from another long term friend and promises to think about it as Wink has always wanted a family. But when a friend’s son goes missing, Wink and Liam start working together and Wink starts to wonder if she can really settle for less than the love she feels for Liam.

Inspector Liam McCullough is attracted to the smart and fearless Wink but figures she would be better of with his friend. But as the two of them work together, realizing that poor people have gone missing from the slums in London and it is up to them to figure out why Liam realizes more and more what exactly he would be giving up if he lets Wink go.

Set in Steampunk Victorian England, I have enjoyed all of the Gaslight Chronicles and Moonlight & Mechanicals is a great addition to the series. Wink is one of the children adopted by Merrick and Caroline from Steam & Sorcery (read my review here).  Wink’s character is great, originally from the slums of London she has not forgotten where she has come from, despite her social rise in the world and her education gained at college.  I was surprised to find out the story was so short because it didn’t feel like a shorter novel, although I did read it in one sitting (which is not unusual for me). Moonlight & Mechanicals  can be read as a stand alone novel but I think you get more out of the story if you have read the previous books in the series, or at the very least have read Steam & Sorcery.

You can read an excerpt here.

Gaslight Chronicles Reading Order

Steam & Sorcery

Photographs & Phantoms

Kilts & Krackens

Moonlight & Mechanicals

Cards & Caravans (March 2013)

moonlight and mechanicalsRating: Star 4copy

Content: favicon5 NB

Title: Moonlight & Mechanicals

Author: Cindy Spencer Pape

Format:  eBook, audio book

Page Nos.: 176

AISN: B008O53MOE

Publisher: Carina Press

Release Date: October 2012

Available for purchase: Amazon

Reviewer: Jessica

 

**I received a copy of this book from the publisher but was not required to provide a review and it did not impact my review in any way.

Reading-on-the-sofa-001

Well, I survived the Bar and took a week to recover but I am excited to be back discussing all things bookish. 🙂 As I mentioned previously, Novel Reaction will be cutting back on the number of reviews posted each week (we were posting three) to at least one a week, possibly more, we have to see how it goes. But one of the great things about blogging is the ability to change and grow as life changes. There are some exciting Books-to-Movies coming soon so the Books-to-Movie Challenge will be starting again in April. Novel Reaction will be posting reviews on the newest releases by Julia Quinn, Amanda Quick and many other great authors in the next couple of weeks. If you have sent me an email in the last month I apologize that I haven’t gotten back to you yet and will be tackling my scary inbox in the next two weeks or so. I thank you all for your patience during these last couple of months and I am excited to talk about books again.

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Why Ratings?
It is true you can't judge a book by its cover, you also can't judge a book's graphic content by its cover. NovelReaction's goal is to provide readers with a graphic content so they can make an informed decision regarding the books they want to read. (Also, to have a great place for people to discuss books.) So sit back, pull up a beverage, and read on!
Graphic Ratings*

1 = kissing
2 = kissing, some fondling
3 = descriptive stripping but no sex
4 = sex scene but not descriptive in details
5 = full descriptive sex scene

*I am rating a specific book by an author, not the author's style. If I am aware an author writes a specific way, I will let you know.

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