Chain of Gold

Chain of Gold

Author:  Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Margaret K McElderry Books
Pages: 672
On Sale: March 3 2020
Genre: Fantasy, YA, Romance, Paranormal
Stars: 5/5

From the Publisher:

From #1 New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Cassandra Clare comes the first novel in a brand-new trilogy where evil hides in plain sight and love cuts deeper than any blade. Chain of Gold is a Shadowhunters novel.

Cordelia Carstairs is a Shadowhunter, a warrior trained since childhood to battle demons. When her father is accused of a terrible crime, she and her brother travel to London in hopes of preventing the family’s ruin. Cordelia’s mother wants to marry her off, but Cordelia is determined to be a hero rather than a bride. Soon Cordelia encounters childhood friends James and Lucie Herondale and is drawn into their world of glittering ballrooms, secret assignations, and supernatural salons, where vampires and warlocks mingle with mermaids and magicians. All the while, she must hide her secret love for James, who is sworn to marry someone else.

But Cordelia’s new life is blown apart when a shocking series of demon attacks devastate London. These monsters are nothing like those Shadowhunters have fought before—these demons walk in daylight, strike down the unwary with incurable poison, and seem impossible to kill. London is immediately quarantined. Trapped in the city, Cordelia and her friends discover that their own connection to a dark legacy has gifted them with incredible powers—and forced a brutal choice that will reveal the true cruel price of being a hero.

From Me:

I devoured this book; it was just as good as all of the others. It’s been so long since I read the Clockwork series that I forgot who some people were, but everything still made sense and came together in the end. Most of the relationships are heartbreaking, yet I’m really looking forward to the rest of this trilogy. And to learn what happened to Matthew.  The Clockwork series was my favorite and I loved this continuation of it, Cassandra Clare really sucks you into her characters and world building in a way that makes you physically miss them when you’re done.

The Paris Library

The Paris Library

Author:  Janet Skeslien Charles
Publisher: Atria Books
Pages: 368
On Sale: February 2 2021
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance, WWII
Stars: 3/5

From the Publisher:

Based on the true World War II story of the heroic librarians at the American Library in Paris, this is an unforgettable story of romance, friendship, family, and the power of literature to bring us together, perfect for fans of The Lilac Girls and The Paris Wife.

Paris, 1939: Young and ambitious Odile Souchet has it all: her handsome police officer beau and a dream job at the American Library in Paris. When the Nazis march into Paris, Odile stands to lose everything she holds dear, including her beloved library. Together with her fellow librarians, Odile joins the Resistance with the best weapons she has: books. But when the war finally ends, instead of freedom, Odile tastes the bitter sting of unspeakable betrayal.

Montana, 1983: Lily is a lonely teenager looking for adventure in small-town Montana. Her interest is piqued by her solitary, elderly neighbor. As Lily uncovers more about her neighbor’s mysterious past, she finds that they share a love of language, the same longings, and the same intense jealousy, never suspecting that a dark secret from the past connects them.

A powerful novel that explores the consequences of our choices and the relationships that make us who we are—family, friends, and favorite authors—The Paris Library shows that extraordinary heroism can sometimes be found in the quietest of places

From Me:

This book was really well done. It had a dual timeline, spanning from 1939 Paris to 1983 Montana, and I felt it was pretty easy to keep track of the plot. Both stories held up well on their own. I’ve never visited Paris and I had never heard of the American Library there, but I’m proud of the efforts everyone put in to promote reading and sending books to all the troops. Not a lot of focus was put on how the rest of the city or the Jews were faring during the occupation, but it was interesting to learn how the librarians struggled and adapted.

“After the darkness of war, the light of books.” (ALP’s motto)

The Sea Gate

The Sea Gate

Author:  Jane Johnson
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pages: 416
On Sale: January 5 2021
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance, WWII
Stars: 3/5

From the Publisher:

A broken family, a house of secrets—an entrancing tale of love and courage set during the Second World War.

After Rebecca’s mother dies, she must sort through her empty flat and come to terms with her loss. As she goes through her mother’s mail, she finds a handwritten envelope. In it is a letter that will change her life forever.

Olivia, her mother’s elderly cousin, needs help to save her beloved home. Rebecca immediately goes to visit Olivia in Cornwall only to find a house full of secrets—treasures in the attic and a mysterious tunnel leading from the cellar to the sea, and Olivia, nowhere to be found.

As it turns out, the old woman is stuck in hospital with no hope of being discharged until her house is made habitable again. Rebecca sets to work restoring the home to its former glory, but as she peels back the layers of paint and grime, she uncovers even more buried secrets—secrets from a time when the Second World War was raging, when Olivia was a young woman, and when both romance and danger lurked around every corner…

A sweeping and utterly spellbinding tale of a young woman’s courage in the face of war and the lengths to which she’ll go to protect those she loves against the most unexpected of enemies.

From Me:

I have conflicting feelings about this book. The dual timeline was well done and I didn’t get too lost when the chapters flipped perspective, but I felt a lot of it just kind of plodded along. The characters felt real and believable, but it wasn’t until into the second half that things really came together and it became harder to put the book down. Rebecca felt a bit weak and flimsy at first, but she definitely became a stronger person as time goes on.

The Edge Of Belonging

The Edge Of Belonging

Author: Amanda Cox
Publisher: Fleming H Revell Company
Pages: 384
On Sale: September 8 2020
Genre: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, Christian
Stars: 4/5

From the Publisher:

When Ivy Rose returns to her hometown to oversee an estate sale, she soon discovers that her grandmother left behind more than trinkets and photo frames–she provided a path to the truth behind Ivy’s adoption. Shocked, Ivy seeks clues to her past, but a key piece to the mystery is missing.

Twenty-four years earlier, Harvey James finds an abandoned newborn who gives him a sense of human connection for the first time in his life. His desire to care for the baby runs up against the stark fact that he is homeless. When he becomes entwined with two people seeking to help him find his way, Harvey knows he must keep the baby a secret or risk losing the only person he’s ever loved.

In this dual-time story from debut novelist Amanda Cox, the truth–both the search for it and the desire to keep it from others–takes center stage as Ivy and Harvey grapple with love, loss, and letting go.


From Me:

I don’t seek out Christian Fiction, but this book was so subtle that I didn’t even realize it was until I read other reviews.  The characters were all very detailed and unique, and the dual-timeline was really well done as well.  It varies between Harvey finding a baby in 1994 and coming to terms with being loved and wanted, and present day Ivy coming home to a funeral after leaving an abusive relationship.  The book mentions a lot of hardships and struggles that some people may find triggering, but I felt they were well handled and acknowledged.  The characters showed a lot of strength and realism and it was clear that Amanda Cox understands people and has done her research.

The Haunting At Bonaventure Circus

The Haunting At Bonaventure Circus

Author: Jaime Jo Wright
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Pages: 352
On Sale: September 1 2020
Genre: Mystery, Romance, Suspense, Historical Fiction
Stars: 4/5

From the Publisher:

1928
The Bonaventure Circus is a refuge for many, but Pippa Ripley was rejected from its inner circle as a baby. When she receives mysterious messages from someone called the “Watchman,” she is determined to find him and the connection to her birth. As Pippa’s search leads her to a man seeking justice for his murdered sister and evidence that a serial killer has been haunting the circus train, she must decide if uncovering her roots is worth putting herself directly in the path of the killer.

Present Day
The old circus train depot will either be torn down or preserved for historical importance and its future rests on real estate project manager Chandler Faulk’s shoulders. As she dives deep into the depot’s history, she’s also balancing a newly diagnosed autoimmune disease and the pressures of single motherhood. When she discovers clues to the unsolved murders of the past, Chandler is pulled into a story far darker and more haunting than even an abandoned train depot could portend.

From Me:

I was not familiar with Jaime Jo Wright’s work before this, but I will definitely be seeking her out.  This story was split between 1928 and present day and each story was very well written and could easily have stood on its own instead of being combined.  I enjoyed the mystery of the circus and the trials they were going through with the protestors, I also found The Watchman to be extremely creepy in a Scarecrow sort of way.  The present day story had a single mom struggling to balance work & her son, on top of a ghost story and mystery of her own.  Overall I really enjoyed both halves and how they came together.

The Enforcer Enigma

The Enforcer Enigma

Author: G.L. Carriger
Publisher: Gail Carriger LLC
Pages: 341
On Sale: August 1 2020
Genre: Romance, Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, LGBT, Paranormal
Stars: 5/5

From the Publisher:

A werewolf without rank or hope and an enforcer who has lived too long go up against the selkie mob.

Charming urban fantasy from New York Times bestselling comedy author Gail Carriger.

ENFORCER

Judd has wandered from pack to pack his whole life, searching for wolves who will accept him for who he is and who he loves. Now he believes that he’s finally found the right pack and the right man.

NERD

Rejected by his family for being gay and geeky, Colin has never fit in with werewolves, yet now he is one. He doesn’t know how to react when Judd starts courting him. He’s even more lost when a famous singer, the selkie mob, and the feds also start chasing him.

Can Judd protect Colin and still prove his love? Can Colin figure out why enemy shifters are invading his favorite cafe? And what’s with all the gold sparkle? Find out in The Enforcer Enigma.

Delicate Sensibilities?

This paranormal romance contains M/M sexy times, horrible puns regarding country music, and men who wear suits without shirts underneath. If you get offended easily, then you probably will. The San Andreas Shifter stories include blue language, dirty deeds, and outright admiration for the San Francisco Bay Area. Not for the faint of heart (or mouth or tongue).

From Me:

I really love everything this author writes. The way she brings life to these characters is incredible, and she really leaves you wanting to read more and more about them. I love how the men are both sensitive and strong, and how they’re not afraid to open up and be who they really are. I wasn’t as into Judd as I was Tank in the last book, but this was still a terrific relationship to read.

Outsider

Outsider

Author: Linda Castillo
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Pages: 320
On Sale: July 7 2020
Genre: Mystery, Fiction, Suspense, Thriller
Stars: 3/5

From the Publisher:

Linda Castillo follows her instant New York Times bestseller, Shamed, with Outsider, an electrifying thriller about a woman on the run hiding among the Amish.

Chief of Police Kate Burkholder’s past comes back to haunt her when she receives a call from Amish widower Adam Lengacher. While enjoying a sleigh ride with his children, he discovered a car stuck in a snowdrift and an unconscious woman inside. Kate arrives at his farm and is shocked to discover the driver is a woman she hasn’t seen in ten years: fellow cop Gina Colorosa.

Ten years ago, Kate and Gina were best friends at the police academy, graduating together as rookies with the Columbus Division of Police. But the reunion takes an ominous turn when Kate learns Gina is wanted for killing an undercover officer. Gina claims she’s innocent, that she was framed by corrupt officers who want her gone because she was about to turn them in for wrongdoing.

Kate calls upon state agent John Tomasetti for help and with a blizzard bearing down, they delve into the incident. But no one wants to talk about what happened the night Gina allegedly gunned down a fellow cop. Even Tomasetti is stonewalled, his superior telling him in no uncertain terms to back off.

With whisperings of corruption and the threat of rogue cops seeking revenge, Kate and Gina hunker down at Adam Lengacher’s farm. As Kate gets closer to the truth, a killer lies in wait. When violence strikes, Kate must confront a reality that changes everything she thought she knew not only about friendship, but the institution to which she’s devoted her life.


From Me:

I received this book in a Goodreads Giveaway and I was really impressed.  I have not read the rest of the series but I felt this did great as a standalone.  The book started with a lot of excitement and then it built up towards the finale very well.  Kate seems like a really well put together character and I look forward to picking up the previous books in this series to learn more of her back story.  Also, being set among the Amish community was a refreshing change of pace from the other mysteries and thrillers I have read lately.

Defy or Defend

Defy or Defend

Author: Gail Carriger
Publisher: GL Carriger LLC
Pages: 235
On Sale: May 2020
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Steampunk
Stars: 5/5

From the Publisher:

A vampire hive descending into madness. A beautiful spy with a sparkly plan. The bodyguard who must keep them from killing each other.

New York Times bestselling romantic comedy author Gail Carriger brings you a charming story of love, espionage, and Gothic makeovers set in her popular Parasolverse.

SPY

Dimity Plumleigh-Teignmott, code name Honey Bee, is the War Office’s best and most decorative fixer. She’s sweet and chipper, but oddly stealthy, and surprisingly effective given the right incentives.

VERSUS KNIGHT

Sir Crispin Bontwee was knighted for his military service, but instead of retiring, he secretly went to work for the War Office. Mostly he enjoys his job, except when he must safeguard the Honey Bee.

Neither one is a vampire expert, but when the Nottingham Hive goes badly Goth, only Dimity can stop their darkness from turning bloody. And only Crispin can stop an enthusiastic Dimity from death by vampire.

In a battle for survival (and wallpaper), Dimity must learn that not all that sparkles is good, while Cris discovers he likes honey a lot more than he thought.

From Me:

I’ve missed Dimity and this book was perfect.  Her whole renovation takeover and handling of the hive was entertaining and very well done. I love her relationship with Crispin and it would be terrific to have a book with all of the new couples coming together and interacting.  I think at this point I’ve read everything by Gail Carriger and I can’t wait for the next one.