Because you can't judge a book by its cover

Review

Amity Doncaster is used to facing dangers as a globe-trotting writer but she is completely unprepared for being kidnapped in London. In Otherwise Engaged  by Amanda Quick, Amity is kidnapped by the serial killer known only as The Bridegroom, thanks to her quick thinking and always traveling prepared she is able to escape the masked man but knows he is going to come after again. Having caught the Bridegroom’s attention because of her connection to the mysterious Benedict Standbridge during their boat trip from the Caribbean, Amity is upset when she finally reconnects with Benedict in London.

Benedict Stanbridge owes his life to Amity, when he hears about the attempted kidnapping he rushes to her side, eager to protect her from further harm. Benedict is shocked by Amity’s reaction but is determined to protect her at all costs, even if he has to marry her to do so.

Otherwise Engaged by Amanda Quick is a stand alone historical romantic mystery. In some ways it is your typical Amanda Quick, clever main characters, complex plot and passionate connections, however, the path to true love is never smooth and that is especially true in Otherwise Engaged. After feeling an immediate connection, Amity and Benedict are separated for a time and then the Bridegroom gets involved. Amity was fabulous, independent, strong-willed and resourceful. Benedict was clever and continually finding himself in situations that his previous experiences have left him unprepared for but he rose to the occasion admirably. I really loved what Ms. Quick said about monsters, “For some reason the most jarring thing about [name omitted to protect the surprise of discovering the murder yourself] was that he appeared so normal. There was nothing remarkable about his neatly combed light brown hair, his thin face or his lean build. It would have been quite easy to pass him by on the street without taking any notice of him whatsoever. But that was the thing about the true monsters of the world, Amity thought. They were so dangerous because they were able to hide in plain sight.” I recommend Otherwise Engaged as a fun quick read.

You can read an excerpt here.

Rating: Star 4copy

Content: favicon5 NB

Title: Otherwise Engaged

Author: Amanda Quick

Format:  Hardbound, eBook

Page Nos.: 352

AISN: B00FX7R5QM

Publisher: Putnam

Release Date: April 22, 2014

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.

Reaver is an angel with a past of doing what he thought was right, regardless of what his orders have been. In Reaver by Larissa Ione, Reaver finally understands exactly what motivations Harvester had during the events of the almost Apocalypse (events that unfolded in the Lords of Deliverance series) and what her actions have cost her. Now he will do anything to rescue her.

Harvester is one of the Fallen, a once-heroic angel who sacrificed everything, including her wings, to work as an undercover agent in Hell. Now that her cover has been blown, Harvester fully expects to spend an eternity being tortured in Hell. So she is shocked when Reaver shows up to save her, but will they be able to escape Hell and their feelings for each other.

Reaver is technically the tenth book in the Demonica/Lords of Deliverance series and while Ione does cover a lot of the back history of Reaver and Harvester, I highly recommend you read the Lords of Deliverance series (Eternal Rider, Immortal Rider, Lethal Rider and Rogue Rider) before reading Reaver just so you have a better understanding of who everyone is and why Reaver is willing to do what he does to save Harvester. I am a late comer to Larissa Ione’s novels, I was aware of them but just hadn’t picked one up so I actually started reading the series with the Lords of Deliverance novels and then went back and read the previous  Demonica novels. Ione’s world building is complex and fantastic but she is definitely darker than most of the authors I usually read. Be aware that her novels usually have some kind of torture in them, rape (not super descriptive but it is there) and have language including the use of the “F” word. But her characters are complex, the heroes and heroines are strong-willed and I struggle to put them down. I gave Reaver a three star rating because while I enjoyed it I don’t know that I will ever reread it, not like I will the Lords of Deliverance series (I loved the bringers of the Apocalypse stories). 

You can read an excerpt here.

Demonica/Lords of Deliverance Reading Order:

Pleasure Unbound

Desire Unchained

Passion Unleashed

Eternity Embraced (novella)

Ecstasy Unveiled

Sin Undone

Eternal Rider

Immortal Rider

Lethal Rider

Rogue Rider

Reaver 

Rating: Star 3copy

Content: favicon5 NB

Title: Reaver

Author: Larissa Ione

Format: Paperback, eBook

Page Nos.: 401

AISN: B00CO7FNXQ

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Release Date: December 2013

Available for purchase: Amazon

Reviewer: Jessica

 

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

Seventeen-year-old “Hank” doesn’t know who he is or where he came from, he only knows that he woke up at Penn Station in New York City with ten dollars in his pocket and a copy of Henry David Thoreau’s Waldon in his hands. So Hank decides to start on his own journey to Waldon, trying to discover what it was that Thoreau discovered and, hopefully, in the process discover who he is and what his own journey is about.

I have to admit that Being Henry David is not the usual YA novel that I read, I read it because my book club chose it for the book for this last month. That being said, it was an interesting read. It took me a little while to get into it, especially since the beginning made me think it was going to be about teenagers and the underground drug culture, which it is NOT about. But once I started to get into I found myself traveling with Hank as he discovered who he is and what was so horrible in his past that his mind caused him to forget it (totally NOT what I thought it was going to be). Armistead mixes quotes from Waldon throughout the novel, weaving an interesting mix of the old and new as Hank experiences new things and discover old things he has forgotten. Being Henry David is worth a read.

Rating: Star 3copy

Content: favicon no background

Title: Being Henry David

Author: Cal Armistead

Format: Paperback, Hardbound, eBook

Page Nos.: 317

AISN: B00BNPI7GA

Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company

Release Date: April 2013

Available for purchase: Amazon

Reviewer: Jessica

gogglesPiper Smith is an Archivist, a person who takes the memories of the dead for information that they hold and store them in the vast Archives under New London. In Gilded Hearts by Christine D’Abo, Piper’s first assignment is more difficult than she ever imagines it would be, not only is she taking the memory of a woman murdered by Jack the Ripper, but the Sergeant working the case is Samuel Hawkins, the only man to ever leave the Archivists training, taking her heart with him.

Sergeant Samuel Hawkins has worked hard to leave the Archives behind him, disagreeing with their methods and the cost to the individual Archivists. When Piper starts working the case with him he will have to balance his feelings for Piper against the differences separating them. But as the clues to whom Jack the Ripper is and why he is on a killing spree start leading back the Archives, is Piper safe from becoming the next victim?

D’Abo’s Steampunk world is intriguing and different. Set after a war with France has caused damaged to England (a nuclear type war), the government has undertaken to store all the memories of important figures, or those connected to crimes, especially violent crimes. But those who extract the memories into their own heads must have those memories wiped or they would go crazy with a set of memories that aren’t their own, after so many wipes they start affecting the memory and personality of that individual. I loved the machines inhabiting Gilded Hearts, they are super fascinating and an interesting mix of contemporary machines and fantasy creations. Piper was a great heroine: strong, loyal yet with a believable need to be loved and to create her own family unit with those around her. Sam was a little harder to like, having run from the Archives, you get flashes of his memories of what happened sprinkled throughout Gilded Hearts but don’t know the whole story until the end. This take on the Jack the Ripper story was interesting but, as a reader, be prepared because the memories of the prostitutes are just that, memories of prostitutes. There is also some use of the “F’ word. D’Abo’s secondary characters are fabulous, a good supporting cast and I have to admit I would love to spend more time with and get the back story of David and his very interesting female butler Aiko. Overall, Gilded Hearts was a great read if a little on the dark side.

You can read an excerpt here.

Shadow Guild Reading Order:

Gilded Hearts

Quicksilver

Rating: Star 4copy

Content: favicon5 NB

Title: Gilded Hearts

Author: Christine D’Abo

Format: Paperback, eBook

Page Nos.: 384

AISN: B00CO7GH22

Publisher: Forever Yours (Grand Central)

Release Date: January 2014

Available for purchase: Amazon

Reviewer: Jessica

 

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

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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!
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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