Blog Tour Review: The Black Queen by Jumata Emill

Rating: 4 out of 5.

As twisty and turny as you’d expect.

Thank you so much to TBR and Beyond Tours and Jumata Emill for allowing me to be part of this experience and also providing me with complimentary ARC and media kit!

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Book Review: The Forgotten Keychains by Julian Kennedy

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

A debut novel that is thrilling and chilling in some of the best ways

Book CWs: For a list of content/trigger warnings, tropes, and representation found in this book, check out its page on BookTriggerWarnings.com!

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Book Review: Halloween Girl Book One: Promises to Keep by Richard T. Wilson

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

A series full of intriguing and complex stories and characters

Book Information

Book CWs: For a list of content/trigger warnings, tropes, and representation found in this book, check out its page on BookTriggerWarnings.com!

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Blog Tour Review: Five Survive by Holly Jackson

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Thrilling, frustrating, devastating.

Thank you so much to TBR and Beyond Tours and Holly Jackson for allowing me to be part of this experience and also providing me with complimentary eARC and media kit!

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Blog Tour Review: The Counterfeit Wife by Paullett Golden

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

A surprisingly wholesome historical romance

A big thank you to Paullett Golden for inviting me to this tour in exchange for an honest review! Keep reading for a special book excerpt and giveaway!

Book Info

Maid to Marchioness…

​Trevor Gaines, the Marquess of Pickering, falls in love with his wife. The catch? The woman is an impostor. Desperate for money, he arranges a fast marriage with the wealthiest dowry in England. Not until after the wedding does he realize he married the wrong woman.

​J’non Butler is a maid accompanying her mistress for an arranged marriage. When her mistress elopes with another man, J’non marries the marquess, posing as the man’s contracted bride.

This is the love story of Trevor and J’non as they defy convention and find passion in their bed of lies.

Book CWs: For a list of content/trigger warnings, tropes, and representation found in this book, check out its page on BookTriggerWarnings.com!

Purchase this book (affiliate link): Amazon

About the Author

Paullett Golden is a Texas native who divides her time between Northumberland, England and her hometown. She has been a university professor for over 25 years. When an oncologist told her she had three months to live, she decided it was time to fulfill her dream of being a novelist. As a survivor, she focuses her attention on writing. Her novels have hit the Top 10 Amazon bestseller lists and won a multitude of literary awards. She loves historical fiction of all kinds as a way to transport us to a different time and place. All research comes from authentic resources of the era and from scholarly and peer-reviewed articles from researchers specializing in the time period. Though she may take liberties with the fictional aspects, she does aim for the fiction to reflect the mores, culture, laws, and environment of the time. When not writing, she can be found in the gyn, in her butterfly garden, or on a racetrack.

Facebook: @paullettgolden
Twitter: @paullettgolden
Instagram: @paullettgolden

Review (No Spoilers)

Paullett Golden is such a lovely person, so I was extremely happy when she offered me the chance to participate in this blog tour. The book that we’re talking about today is a historical romance with fake identity and marriage of convenience tropes.

The premise of the story—if you haven’t read it above—is that a maid named J’non is asked by her mistress, Phoebe, to marry the man to whom Phoebe is betrothed (Trevor). You see, Phoebe already has a man she’s in love with and doesn’t want to go along with the pre-planned marriage. When J’non tries to say no, Phoebe runs away, leaving J’non with little left to do than go through with the hastily-made plan. When J’non and Trevor (now married) begin to fall for each other, J’non finds herself stuck between a rock and a hard place. Does she tell Trevor who she really is or does she try to pass as Phoebe for the remainder of their marriage?

Before I get started, I want to start off with the disclaimer that I don’t typically enjoy historical fiction, romance or otherwise, so don’t let the 3.5 rating put you off if you do. I actually consider 3 stars a decent rating, but I know that some people think of it as “bad”. Okay, on to the review!

For me, the greatest strength of this novel was the characters. Trevor and J’non were both kind and thoughtful people, and their scenes together really showed how well they got along. Even when they had disagreements, they were quick to put themselves in the others shoes to look at the issue from another perspective. I thought that aspect of their personalities was beautiful and is something many of us could work to be better at.

In regards to the plot/writing in the book, I personally felt like the novel could have either been shorter or have showed more “action”. There were several scenes of characters simply sitting around and talking about random things, be it politics, town gossip, or the weather, and these pages didn’t interest me as much as the chapters that took place at events or in town. For instance, there is a passage. in the book that talks about how Trevor and J’non celebrated Christmas and a birthday together, but neither of these events were ever shown in the book. I would have loved to see these scenes because I really enjoyed their relationship and banter, so I was disappointed when I realized they weren’t going to be included. I think in general, I wanted there to be more scenes showing Trevor and J’non falling for each other. If you even threw in a sex scene here and there, I wouldn’t complain 😜.

The part of the book that really stood out to me—in a good way—was the conflict resolution at the very end. The entire premise revolves around a woman lying to her husband about who she is, and I was 100% prepared for everything to blow up into a horrible mess of a third act breakup, but Golden took a really interesting route in getting to the conclusion of this love story. I’m not going to say what she did exactly because you’re going to have to read the book to find out.

If you’re looking for a clean Georgian/regency romance with a cute couple and some borderline hilarious misunderstandings, this is the book for you!

Book Excerpt

Both Trevor and Mr. Barmby rose when they saw her.

Trevor came around the desk and arrived at her side in a few strides. “I can see from your expression Hawkins has spoiled the surprise. No matter. May I introduce my childhood friend turned solicitor? Mr. Lloyd Barmby.”

J’non inclined her head, unable to keep the smile from her lips. The solicitor had rushed to Yorkshire upon receiving Trevor’s letter. This must be good news. “Welcome to our home, Mr. Barmby. I hope you’ll be staying for dinner.”

Trevor said, “This, dear friend, is my wife.”

Mr. Barmby’s quizzical expression transformed to one of what J’non could only describe as dissatisfaction tinged with anger. Her smile faltered.

Rather than bowing, nodding, extending a hand, or otherwise, Mr. Barmby pulled his shoulders back and said, “You are not Phoebe Whittington.”

Giveaway

Paullett Golden is running a special giveaway throughout this blog tour! The giveaway is being hosted through Rafflecopter, and you can either click here or on the picture to the right to enter.

The winner will get to choose amongst the following prize options:

  • An eBook or autographed paperback of A Counterfeit Wife
  • Book Swag for A Counterfeit Wife
  • An eBook, autographed paperback, or audiobook of any book by Paullett Golden


Disclaimer: Most posts made on this blog will include affiliate links, identified by the phrase (affiliate link). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This comes at no additional cost to you.

Blog Tour Review: Flight 171 by Amy Christine Parker

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Incredibly campy and a fun time

Thank you so much to TBR and Beyond Tours and Amy Christine Parker for allowing me to be part of this experience and also providing me with complimentary eARC and media kit!

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Blog Tour Review: Pretty Dead Queens by Alexa Donne

Rating: 4 out of 5.

A quick and thrilling YA murder mystery

Thank you so much to TBR and Beyond Tours and Alexa Donne for allowing me to be part of this experience and also providing me with complimentary eARC and media kit!

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Book Review: Can You Survive Dracula? by Ryan Jacobson

Rating: 4 out of 5.

A choose-your-own adventure novel that is a great introduction or refresher for Dracula by Bram Stoker

Book CWs: For a list of content/trigger warnings, tropes, and representation found in this book, check out its page on BookTriggerWarnings.com!

Premise (from Goodreads)

You are Jonathan Harker, an ordinary man thrust into an extraordinary situation. You have been tricked and imprisoned. You’ve come face to face with a monster and left behind to suffer a terrible fate. Now, you must put an end to Count Dracula’s evil reign. Assemble your team of vampire hunters, and prepare for battle. Use your courage and wisdom to survive such perils as wolf encounters, mysterious strangers, and deadly fires.

Can You Survive Dracula? adapts the classic horror novel into a Choose Your Path book for kids. The survival story puts readers in control of the action. Do you have what it takes to defeat the deadly villain? Or will the Count’s unimaginable power lead to your doom? Step into this adventure, and choose your path.

Interactive books for kids are more popular than ever. Create your own adventure with the Interactive Classic Literature book series. You’re the main character. You make the choices. Can you survive?

Purchase this book (affiliate link): Amazon

Review (No Spoilers)

Hello everyone! Today I have a new type of book to review and that is a middle grade choose-your-own-adventure book that I was lucky enough to receive a copy of. I just recently did a Sherlock Holmes type of choose-your-own mystery book (it was this one if you’re curious), but prior to that, I have no idea when the last time I read a choose-your-own book was. I assume it had to have been some time in elementary school.

With Can You Survive Dracula? the readers are placed into the shoes of Jonathan Harker and asked to make several choices about what they should do to escape from—and ultimately kill—Dracula. The book is a basically a middle-grade friendly version of Bram Stoker’s novel in that it takes the reader through all the main events that occur in the original story. Because the book is shorter and more child-oriented, it does skip over many details, including the background stories of the secondary characters. Having read Dracula before, I wasn’t at all bothered by this and I definitely understand why the author chose to simplify the tale for a younger audience.

I was in high school when I read Dracula, so the specifics of the book are very hazy for me at this point of my life. This adaptation provided a fun and interactive way for me to revisit the classic novel and stirred up a lot of memories that I had previously thought were lost. The only way to successfully survive and kill Dracula is for the “player” to choose the paths that directly align with the original novel. As a result, there were several times where I was presented with a choice and had to really stop and recall what I remembered from reading Dracula over 10 years ago. I’m not ashamed to admit that I died around 5 times before I finally got to the end. I saw a few reviews saying that they wished the book would have offered more than one ending (which it does, but if the ending is anything less than perfect, the book prompts you to try again), but I personally enjoyed the mental challenge of trying to find the perfect combination of actions to succeed.

My only real suggestion for making the reading experience better would be for there to be small text at the top of a page letting the reader know what pages would have lead there. For example, a page might say “from page 91” to indicate that the reader must have just flipped there from page 91. This would allow people to easily backtrack whenever they reached one of the undesirable endings rather than forcing them to frantically flip through all the pages trying to remember where they last were (like I did).

All in all, this was a fun experience for me and I would recommend it to anyone who is either interested in testing their Dracula knowledge, or looking to introduce someone to Dracula in a more interactive and palatable way.

A big thank you to Layne at BooksForward, for sending me a complimentary eBook in exchange for an honest review!


Disclaimer: Most posts made on this blog will include affiliate links, identified by the phrase (affiliate link). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This comes at no additional cost to you.

Blog Tour Review: The Killing Code by Ellie Marney

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

A historical mystery novel taking place during the height of WWII

Thank you so much to TBR and Beyond Tours and Ellie Marney for allowing me to be part of this experience and also providing me with complimentary ARC and media kit!

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Blog Tour Review: It Looks Like Us by Alison Ames

Rating: 4 out of 5.

A very atmospheric horror/thriller novel

Thank you so much to TBR and Beyond Tours and Alison Ames for allowing me to be part of this experience and also providing me with a complimentary ARC and media kit!

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