It’s Monday, What are you Reading? (3/11/19)

Happy Monday everyone! I ran across this post on Book Date and liked the idea of sharing what I’m currently reading, so here goes!

JUST FINISHED

A Dangerous Collaboration (Veronica Speedwell #4) by Deanna Raybourn

Synopsis:

A bride mysteriously disappears on her wedding day in the newest Veronica Speedwell adventure by the New York Times bestselling author of the Lady Julia Grey series.

Lured by the promise of a rare and elusive butterfly, the intrepid Veronica Speedwell is persuaded by Lord Templeton-Vane, the brother of her colleague Stoker, to pose as his fiancée at a house party on a Cornish isle owned by his oldest friend, Malcolm Romilly.

But Veronica soon learns that one question hangs over the party: What happened to Rosamund? Three years ago, Malcolm Romilly’s bride vanished on their wedding day, and no trace of her has ever been found. Now those who were closest to her have gathered, each a possible suspect in her disappearance. 

From the poison garden kept by Malcolm’s sister to the high towers of the family castle, the island’s atmosphere is full of shadows, and danger lurks around every corner. 

Determined to discover Rosamund’s fate, Veronica and Stoker match wits with a murderer who has already struck once and will not hesitate to kill again.…

LAST SENTENCE READ: I grabbed his hand and raced with him into the westering sun. “Excelsior!”

CURRENTLY READING

You’d be Mine by Erin Hahn

Synopsis:

Annie Mathers is America’s sweetheart and heir to a country music legacy full of all the things her Gran warned her about. Superstar Clay Coolidge is most definitely going to end up one of those things.

But unfortunately for Clay, if he can’t convince Annie to join his summer tour, his music label is going to drop him. That’s what happens when your bad boy image turns into bad boy reality. Annie has been avoiding the spotlight after her parents’ tragic death, except on her skyrocketing YouTube channel. Clay’s label wants to land Annie, and Clay has to make it happen.

Swayed by Clay’s undeniable charm and good looks, Annie and her band agree to join the tour. From the start fans want them to be more than just tour mates, and Annie and Clay can’t help but wonder if the fans are right. But if there’s one part of fame Annie wants nothing to do with, it’s a high-profile relationship. She had a front row seat to her parents’ volatile marriage and isn’t interested in repeating history. If only she could convince her heart that Clay, with his painful past and head over heels inducing tenor, isn’t worth the risk.

Erin Hahn’s thrilling debut, You’d Be Mine, asks: can the right song and the perfect summer on the road make two broken hearts whole?

FIRST SENTENCE READ: If I die, it’s Trina Hamilton’s fault.

I have so many other great books on tap for this week and I can’t wait to read them!

What book are you reading today?

Deb

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This Chick Read: Scandal Above Stairs (A Below Stairs Mystery #2) by Jennifer Ashley

When Kat’s employer asks for her help in solving the disappearance of some artwork from her friends home, Kat discovers there are a series of thefts occuring in the upper echelons of society. While investigating she is surprised to find her friend (and love interest) Daniel McAdams ensconced in a pawn shop fencing stolen goods. When a man turns up dead in his shop Kat ends up investigating more than stolen goods and once again finds herself in the drawing rooms of the elite, when all she wants is to be quietly cooking in her kitchen.

This series takes place at the turn of the century in London, in a time where upstairs downstairs lines are drawn severely. As the head cook responsible for feeding not only the family that lives there, but the 20 or so servants who work in that house, I am amazed that Kat can find the time to investigate the crimes she finds herself embroiled in. A couple of months have passed since the previous novel and she has not heard a word from Daniel. When she finds him at the center of her investigation, she’s pretty relieved and we see how much she is starting to care for him. The mystery that is Daniel McAdams is slowly being unveiled, but we still don’t know exactly who he is working for, but I’ll admit to loving his roguish charm and the twinkle in his eye as he makes Kat forget she’s mad at him.

This mystery was very well plotted out, but it’s the characters that keep me coming back to these novels. As I learn more about them, I care more about how their lives are enmeshed and I’ll admit that I find it fascinating to read about the lives of the servants in a big London house. It’s very Mansfield Park, although not as boring. LOL.

If you love historical mysteries and haven’t read the first novel Death Below Stairs, please read it! These are not lively books, but the mysteries are very good and Jennifer Ashley really knows how to write great characters. I know you’ll get caught up in their daily lives and will want to see how all of the relationships will pan out- oh, and you’ll also help catch a killer or two. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Death Below Stairs

Click this link to purchase!* Scandal Above Stairs (A Below Stairs Mystery)

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chick Read: A Murder in Time (Kendra Donovan #1) by Julie McElwain

Our heroine Kendra Donovan is an FBI profiler. She is on the task force that is taking down two drug kingpins when she finds out her team was undermined from the inside, men on her team killed, and one of the criminals goes free.  Kendra goes rogue and decides to take care of this criminal herself. She tracks him down to a castle in England but before she can kill him she gets thrown back in time to the 1800’s where another murder quickly takes place. Is this the reason why she has traveled through time?

Another book blogger wrote about being excited that the third novel is coming out soon and made me curious enough to look this one up. THANK YOU! I’m sorry I can’t remember who you are, but this was a fabulous recommendation! A time traveler mystery is a bit of a stretch but this author set it up so well. Kendra was a child prodigy and is quite young, only in her early 20’s when she gets thrown back in time. Thank goodness because she’s not seen as an old maid. She is briefly thrown by the time traveling, but kind of rolls with it hoping she can find her way home again. It does help that the Duke whose castle she finds herself in was progressive and a scientist of sorts and is fascinated by this brilliant young woman. When the first young woman shows up dead Kendra puts her profiler skills to work and the Duke puts his societal standing behind her giving her gravitas, and allows her to investigate. I love it when a woman enthralls men with her intelligence instead of her beauty!

A Murder in Time is part mystery with a hint of romance. The Duke is not Kendra’s romantic partner, but instead it’s his nephew that she ensnares. The tension between the two of them is intense but really the story revolves around solving the mystery of who among their peers is the killer. This novel held my interest and truly I didn’t want to put it down.

If you love a good mystery and don’t mind a little time traveling, then please pick up this book! I do not think you’ll be disappointed. The great news is that the second is available in book stores and the third is being released soon. Yeah! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

A Murder

Click this link to purchase*! A Murder in Time: A Novel (Kendra Donovan Mysteries)

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chick Read: Bellewether by Susanna Kearsley

Bellewether tells the story of two women living in different times. Lydia Wilde lives with her family during the war in the colonies between the French and the English. During that time if a battle was lost and soldiers surrendered, they would be billeted in homes until they were exchanged for their own soldiers that were being held. Lydia, her father and two brothers “hosted” two French Lieutenants. Charley is in present time and has been hired as historian and curator of the house Lydia lived in with her family. that will soon be a museum. As Charley unearths historical facts about the family that lived in that house, Lydia’s story is told. When Charley hears about a forbidden love story between Lydia and one of the French Lietenants, she wants to make their story part of the museum.

I loved the back and forth between Charley revealing a new item and Lydia’s history playing out. It was so easy to fall in love with both of these women and watch them live through very similar emotions. Susanna Kearsley writes as a historian. You read the descriptions of the clothing they are wearing and can fell the weave of the cloth running through your own fingers. She has a real talent. Both heroines had stories unfold in a very loving and gentle manner, dealing with grief in different ways. Charley’s story was more humorous as she is helped along by a spirit and Lydia’s a little more stoic as being the only female managing a family of men. What they had in common was heart, each defined by their own circumstances but at their core very similar.

I love the flow of a Susanna Kearsley novel. They’re not something you speed through, but savor slowly. The language unfolds and every sideways look has a meaning. She has a deft hand with description and doesn’t get bogged down with the details in a sewing basket. You are able to enjoy the story without needing to skim through pages. I was enmeshed in the story and actually wanted a few more chapters of Lydia’s story to end the book. That is the sign of a good book! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

I was given an ARC of this book through NetGalley for my honest review and it was honest!

Bellewether

Click this link to purchase!*

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

Blog Tour and Review! The Daughter of River Valley by Victoria Cornwall

The Daughter of River Valley Full Banner

SYNOPSIS:

The Daughter of River Valley

Beth Jago appears to have the idyllic life, she has a trade to earn a living and a cottage of her own in Cornwall’s beautiful River Valley. Yet appearances can be deceptive …

Beth has a secret. Since inheriting her isolated cottage she has been receiving threats, so when she finds a man in her home she acts on her instincts. One frying pan to the head and she has robbed the handsome stranger of his memory and almost killed him.

Brought together by unknown circumstances, and fearful he may die, she reluctantly nurses the intruder back to health. Yet can she trust the man with no name who has entered her life, or is he as dangerous as his nightmares suggest? As they learn to trust one another, the outside threats worsen. Are they linked to the man with no past? Or is the real danger still outside waiting … and watching them both?

The Daughter of River Valley

REVIEW:

The Daughter of River Valley is a true romantic historical novel. Written with descriptive prose, Victoria Cornwall imbues her characters with the language of Cornwall and the proper spoken language of that historical period. It has been awhile since I have read a true historical novel and once I got used to the flow of her words, I enjoyed the moving story of these two characters.

Beth Jago was an independent woman before independence was allowed for women. The fact that she wanted to work and survive alone without leaning on a man gave her character a modernity that enabled me to identify with her. When she finds an intruder in her home and knocks him over the head she definitely creates a rocky start to their relationship. His lost memory means that he doesn’t know who he is, but his feelings for Beth grow and they soon create a partnership that goes beyond the bounds of border and caretaker. With Beth, he finally finds a happiness he hasn’t felt in a long time, a happiness that he wants to continue.

This novel is not just a sweeping historical drama, there is also a bit of a mystery. It becomes apparent that someone is watching Beth’s cabin and Beth isn’t sure if it has to do with her secret she’s been keeping or if it is someone from the village. This small bit of tension escalates and helps move the plot forward quickly reaching a satisfactory conclusion to both the mystery and their relationship.

If you enjoy true historical’s then you should pick up The Daughter of River Valley. It’s sweeping tale will take your imagination on an adventurous journey to the Cornwall countryside. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

I received a copy of this book for my honest review and it was honest.

To purchase this book, please click the link:

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Daughter-River-Valley-Cornish-Tales-ebook/dp/B07DHWTH5T

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Victoria Cornwall. Profile Picture JPG (1)

Victoria Cornwall can trace her Cornish roots as far back as the 18th century and it is this background and heritage which is the inspiration for her Cornish based novels.

Victoria’s writing has been shortlisted for the New Talent Award at the Festival of Romantic Fiction and her debut novel reached the final for the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Joan Hessayon Award.

Victoria likes to read and write historical fiction with a strong background story, but at its heart is the unmistakable emotion, even pain, of loving someone.

She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association.

Social Media Links –

Website: http://victoriacornwall.com/

Blog: http://victoriacornwall.com/news-blog-2/

Facebook (Author Page if you have one): https://www.facebook.com/victoriacornwall.author/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/VickieCornwall

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16069968.Victoria_Cornwall

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/vickiecornwall/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/victoria_cornwallx/

This Chicks TBT: Review of Eliza Waite and Interview of Author Ashley E. Sweeney

It is the two year anniversary of the historical novel Eliza Waite by author Ashley E. Sweeney. This novel is now in it’s third printing and won the 2017 Nancy Pearl Book Award. I thought it would be fun to help this author celebrate her anniversary by re-posting my review and interview with the author. I hope both the review and interview intrigues you into trying or re-reading this fabulous novel.

REVIEW:

This is a fascinating story of a young woman who survives tragedy and reinvents herself at the turn of the 20th century.  The setting changes from the Missouri social scene, to living a tough life on one of the San Juan Islands, to Skagway Alaska during the Goldrush of 1898.  Eliza Waite, as did many women of her time, had very little control over her life living under her fathers roof.  It was only after her marriage and the tragic loss of her husband and son that she started to make her own choices on the type of life she wanted to lead.

First time author Ashley E. Sweeney paints a historically accurate view of a woman on a journey of self discovery.  In a time where the Woman’s Suffrage Movement was just beginning, and only a few states allowed women the right to vote, I was fascinated with the idea of a woman striking out alone amidst unruly and rough men, surviving relatively unscathed, and in fact, building a thriving business.  You can tell that the author researched each area and the people who lived there pretty thoroughly.  She even starts out each chapter with a recipe for an item that Eliza has baked, or will bake that seems, without my trying to bake one of them, to be a real recipe.  The measurements using teacups instead of cups.  A touch, that adds charm and realism to the story.

I loved the every day accuracy of this novel.  This was not a book that created a false warmth for the Alaska winter.  This book had Eliza, dressed in threadbare clothing freezing as the wind whipped through her clothing, had miners smelling just awful, dirt squishing through toes and sores becoming infected.  The contrast on my senses when Eliza wI as able to buy a new pair of gloves and her fingers were warmed.  The smell of cinnamon permeating the air when she was baking, and light flashing from the fireworks helped set the scene in a realistic manner.  The good and bad were contrasted so spectacularly, that even though every moment was not fun to read about, it made the end game that much more enjoyable.

As a woman, I enjoyed seeing Eliza come to the realization that life’s experiences may not be easy, but it is better to take on the unknown alone, make her own choices and possibly make her own mistakes.  This ultimately led her to a growth and happiness that she otherwise wouldn’t have known.

Eliza Waite

The following was an interview I did with Eliza Waite author Ashley E. Sweeney in 2016.

Me: Hi Ms. Sweeney, thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to interview you about the release of your new novel Eliza Waite. When I read your bio on your website, ashleyesweeney.com, I was not surprised that you had a journalism background because of how descriptive you wrote Eliza’s journey. That must have taken an incredible amount of research. How long did it take you to prepare yourself to write about Eliza and her life in three such disparate settings?

AES: The genesis for Eliza Waite came to me after discovering an abandoned cabin on a cross-island hike on uninhabited Cypress Island in Washington’s San Juan Islands in the fall of 2008. Near the cabin, a plaque commemorates a Mrs. Zoe Hardy, who lived alone at Smuggler’s Cove in the 1930s. A recluse, Mrs. Hardy died mysteriously and her body was never found. I decided that day that a novel set in that locale could be equally mysterious and intriguing. I developed a character study and plot arc soon afterwards. The core of the story evolved over the first two years. The story grew with Eliza and Eliza grew with the story. It was especially interesting researching the Alaska portion of the novel; I traveled to Skagway and Anchorage to conduct interviews and pore over archival media: books, photos, essays, magazines, diaries, and cookbooks from the late 1800s. I finished Eliza Waite in late 2014. So it’s been an eight-year journey from conception to publication!

Me: As I read your novel, Eliza Waite, I identified the most with the Eliza that lived in Skagway Alaska, because by that point she was well on the way to self discovery, as I am in my own life. Which Eliza did you identify with the most? Why?

AES: I identify most with the Skagway Eliza. After Eliza makes the move to Alaska on her own, she blossoms from an ungainly, unattractive woman into a confident, beautiful one. Her unlikely friend Pearly and her growing sense of accomplishment and success help her along. By the end of the novel, Eliza has evolved in many ways while still retaining her innate persona. I believe that her transformation would not be as inspiring had she not had such a difficult past.

Me: Eliza had to overcome a lot of adversity; taken advantage of by her uncle, forced to marry and move to a reclusive island, and living on her own in the Klondike where lawlessness was the rule. Through it all, baking was how she found peace. The recipes that started out each chapter, were they real? Where did you find them? Did you ever test one out?

AES:  Yes! As Eliza is a baker first as avocation and later as vocation, I felt the need to bake and taste all the authentic pioneer recipes included in the novel. Many of the recipes came directly from 1880s newspapers. Because pioneer recipes do not include oven temperatures or baking times, much hilarity ensued as members of my book club, neighbors, family, and friends tried to replicate recipes in modern kitchens. But the results turned out surprisingly tasty, and I invite readers to try these recipes for themselves. My favorites are Miner’s Snickerdoodles and White Vegetable Soup.

Me: Even as a young woman living under her fathers roof in Missouri, Eliza had a strong will and liked to exert her independent thinking about women’s rights. As she moved across the country, the movement became stronger, as did Eliza’s opinions. How hard was it to write a fictional tale about a woman during that time, that included the Women’s Suffrage movement, and not force the story to be about the movement itself?

AES: Eliza represents an “everywoman” of the late 19th century because of the restrictions on her marriage prospects, finances, and careers. What sets Eliza apart is that she defied convention and struck out on her own. I was never enticed to make the novel into a women’s suffrage novel, although this cause was important to Eliza and all women in the late 1800s. I wanted to expose all the barriers a woman faced at that time. When we look at myriad issues that face women today—notably reproductive rights, equal pay for equal work, glass ceilings—these issues are part of the whole of our collective culture, and a novel set today might touch upon all of the those issues.

Me: Eliza faced evil in each place that she lived, yet she was able to draw from a core of strength, and move past it. Many authors would have used this theme of good vs. evil to make a religious statement. Yet, you chose to have Eliza draw strength, not from God, though she believed in him, it was her belief in herself that carried her through those difficult times. That resonated with me so strongly. Did you draw on a situation in your own life that made you write about Eliza’s strength of character in this way? Or was it just Eliza’s natural progression?

AES: In the spring of 2005 I suffered a tremendous blow to my personal and professional psyche when a superior at work wrongly judged me. I faced a crossroads at that time: Do I stand up for my integrity and move on? Or do I accept the false accusation and continue on in the status quo? It was both the easiest and the most difficult decision of my life; easy because I could not accept a smear to my integrity for something I did not do, and difficult because in doing so I was forced to leave a job I loved. I drew on strength that I did not know I possessed to get through the next two years, which included major transitions in my life. Faith played a large part in this journey. In this same way, Eliza also had to dig very deep over a five-year period, both personally and through prayer, to muster the courage and energy to take her life on a new, different, and exciting pathway.

Me: I don’t think I’m spoiling anything by asking about the end of the book, if you think otherwise, please let me know. It seemed that after everything she’d been through, and how much she had protected herself from men throughout the book, that she fell in love so quickly at the end of the book. I believe in timing, the right man, and love at first sight, and maybe all of those things apply to Eliza. Why did you decide Eliza should find happiness so quickly?

AES: It wasn’t that quick, if you span the years. Eliza loses her husband and son in 1893, and she finds happiness at the cusp of 1899, more than five years later. Eliza did much soul-searching during this time. I also believe that when the right partner appears, it’s important to seize the moment. Joseph Burns represents everything that other men in Eliza’s life have not: he is kind, funny, complementary, loving, and supportive.

Me: Ms. Sweeney, thank you so much for your time and this opportunity to let my readers see inside your mind as you were writing Eliza Waite. My last question is about the future, and what you may be working on next. If you have another book in mind, or have already started one, can you give us a hint of what’s on the horizon?

AES: I am currently researching for a novel about the first white woman to arrive in the Oregon Territory in the early 19th century, tentatively titled The English Mistress. I hope to be finished with the novel in 2018.

AES: Thank you for the opportunity to be interviewed on your blog!

About Ashley E Sweeney

Ashley Sweeney is a graduate of Wheaton College in Norton, Mass., the Stanford Publishing Course, and City University in Seattle, Wash., where she earned a Masters of Education degree. As a seasoned journalist, teacher, and community activist, Sweeney served as a VISTA volunteer in the late 1970s and continues community service today as a member of Soroptimist International, one of the largest women’s advocacy organizations in the world.

While juggling a large household complete with four children, various pets, and all the chaos that accompanies a life dedicated to raising a family, Sweeney found an outlet as a humor columnist and features editor for The Lynden Tribune in Lynden, Washington, where she garnered numerous awards for her writing over the span of a decade. Sweeney also taught English, Journalism, English as Second Language, and GED prep at both the high school and community college levels. She now lives in La Conner, Washington and writes for the hometown newspaper, The La Conner Weekly News.

Eliza Waite is her first novel.

This Chick Read: Out of the Ordinary (Apart from the Crowd #2) by Jen Turano

Gertrude Cadawalder and Harrison Sinclair were introduced in Behind the Scenes, Jen Turano’s first book in the Apart from the Crowd series. Gertrude is a paid companion to Mrs. Davenport, who has a horrible habit of stealing trinkets from hostesses, leaving Gertrude to find a way to return them without that theft becoming known. A job that is way above her pay grade! Mrs. Davenport also thinks herself something of a clothing designer using Gertrude as her runway model and unfortunately making her unpopular with society’s upper crust. This lack of being dressed to society’s standards is something Harrison shares with Gertrude as he is somewhat color blind, always pairing the most unfortunate colors and patterns. However, his wealth and overall good looks more than make up for the fact that he dresses like a clown.

When Harrison throws their good friends an engagement party and invites Mrs. Davenport her nimble fingers unfortunately go to work and she steals a few of his sisters belongings. Gertrude, when returning those items gets caught and his mother throws her into jail. While defending her to his mother, Harrison finally begins to see Gertrude as more than a friendly aquaintance.

Jen Turano writes with such warmth and humor that it makes enjoying her novels very easy. As an Inspirational Romance writer she deftly ties faith into the story so that it pairs naturally with what is happening in that moment, and except for the innocent nature of the “romance” I wouldn’t know I was reading an inspirational novel. I have really enjoyed this series and if you are looking for a fun, witty novel that is light in nature but not in plot, you need to pick up one of her novels. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Out of the Ordinary Click this link to purchase! Out of the Ordinary (Apart From the Crowd) Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

This Chick Read: His Wicked Charm (The Mad Morelands #6) by Candace Camp

What do you get when you combine a conservative young woman in regency dress with a charming scamp? A lively and fun historical romance novel by Candace Camp! Constantine Moreland is handsome and almost too charming for his own good. His flirtatious personality makes him very well liked by the ladies, with the exception of Lila Norcutt. However, his twin brother just married her best friend so they are paired together more than she’d like. When his mother and sisters end up being kidnapped while at a suffragette rally, Lila joins Con in the hunt to rescue them and ends up loosening up her corset strings and actually having fun with the man she professes to hate.

I found His Wicked Charm to be a lot of fun to read. It wasn’t a very serious historical romance (thank god!) and I was able to just relax and read it in an afternoon. Although Con’s personality annoyed Lila at the outset of this novel, he was the perfect remedy for a gloomy Saturday afternoon. Luckily Lila changed her tune and started to relish the chemistry that she and Con had and their romps through the countryside turned into a different kind of romp altogether!

I have not read any of the other books in this series but the characters do all seem to be a bit mad, or at least different for the time period. It seems that they each have a different psychic gift which may make their romantic pairings a bit more interesting. I liked this novel and am willing to give another Mad Moreland a try! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

I received a copy of this book through NetGalley for my honest review, and it was honest!

His Wicked Charm

Click this link to purchase! His Wicked Charm (The Mad Morelands)

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

Do You Want to Start a Scandal (Castles Ever After) by Tessa Dare

Charlotte Highwood is blessed with a mother who loves her very much, but that same mother is also determined to see her married well, throwing her into one awkward situation after another. Charlotte is determined that her mother’s newest prospect will not end up being forced to marry her because her mother has maneuvered a “situation”. When Charlotte sneaks away to have a word with Piers Brandon, Lord Granville, and warn him, I and Piers are immediately charmed by her efforts. Charlotte, in her haste to make him aware that she is not trying to trap him, tells him she’d never find him attractive and he’s not her type. He’s intrigued and I’m laughing at the clever dialog and scene that Tessa Dare has written. The scene is not unusual, but she imbues Charlotte with a naive exuberance that you can’t help but find charming, and Piers definitely does.

As I was reading this novel, I realized that I had actually read Say Yes to the Marquess, the sequel to this one where Rafe, Piers’ brother, falls in love with Piers’ fiancee of many years. Say Yes.. was my first Tessa Dare novel in quite awhile and I think it’s fate that another blogger recommended I read Do You Want to Start a Scandal, the next in the series. That moment of recognition, when Piers’ identity is revealed along with the fact that his brother stole his last fiancee, made Piers immediately interesting. Tying those two histories together made his rather cool demeanor have meaning. That demeanor was a mask for his activities, and the fact that he dropped that mask for Charlotte made me like him for her.

This was a fun novel, and the fact that I fell into the plot so easily showed Tessa Dare’s talent for weaving a charming romantic tale. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Do You Want Click this link to purchase! Do You Want to Start a Scandal (Castles Ever After) Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

This Chick Read: A Treacherous Curse (Veronica Speedwell #3) by Deanna Raybourn

When a previous expedition partner of Stoker’s goes missing details from his past threaten to make headlines again, stoking those old flames of gossip. Veronica Speedwell is determined to investigate this mystery and keep Stoker’s name and heart from being dragged through the mud again. As they traverse the Egyptian curse that seems to have followed the Ankheset exhibition to London they unravel not only the mystery, but also the intricacy of their friendship.

There are many reasons why the Veronica Speedwell series strikes a chord with me. Even though set in Victorian times, a somewhat prudish era where women are still entrapped by societies rules and station, Veronica is a modern woman. She and Stoker are business partners in life as well as in their investigations. She is outspoken and loves to shock Stoker with pithy statements and fantasies about the male form, and has great wit, charm and a dry sense of humor. She is a woman that I really enjoy reading about. As she and Stoker investigate the disappearance of his previous partner and the curse of the Egyptian exhibition that he had been traveling with (that has now come to London), Veronica’s inner lioness comes out as protector to Stoker’s fallen hero. A Treacherous Curse is a very fine tooled mystery but also we are given insight into the feelings Veronica and Stoker have for each other in a couple of very emotionally moving scenes that I honestly didn’t know these two characters had inside them.

A Treacherous Curse, although set in Victorian London, is uniquely flavored with all things Egyptian. When finding a tomb can mean instant fortune, and also fame for those who uncover those treasures. Although a different era, I had visions of Indiana Jones running through my head while getting to know some of these new over the top adventurers, which was tremendous fun. The pace of the story seemed a little quicker than the previous two novels only slowing down to a simmer for the introspective thoughts Veronica had regarding Stoker. This was my favorite novel of the three so far, and I truly liked the other two! A perfect mix of action, adventure and yes, a glimmer of  a future romance. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

I was given an ARC of this novel through NetGalley for my honest review, and it was honest!

A Treacherous Curse Click this link to purchase! A Treacherous Curse (A Veronica Speedwell Mystery) Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved