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Friday mini reviews #17: Emma Jane Holloway, R. Lee Smith and Marta Acosta

A Study in Darkness by Emma Jane Holloway (The Baskerville Affair #2)


Synopsis from Goodreads
When a bomb goes off at 221B Baker Street, Evelina Cooper is thrown into her Uncle Sherlock’s world of mystery and murder. But just when she thought it was safe to return to the ballroom, old, new, and even dead enemies are clamoring for a place on her dance card.

Before Evelina’s even unpacked her gowns for a country house party, an indiscretion puts her in the power of the ruthless Gold King, who recruits her as his spy. He knows her disreputable past and exiles her to the rank alleyways of Whitechapel with orders to unmask his foe.

As danger mounts, Evelina struggles between hiding her illegal magic and succumbing to the darker aspects of her power. One path keeps her secure; the other keeps her alive. For rebellion is brewing, a sorcerer wants her soul, and no one can protect her in the hunting ground of Jack the Ripper.

Amazon  US | Amazon kindle US | The Book Depository US/UK | Fishpond
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 I remember that I had a slight complaint after the first book. It was to do with too many inner monologues to explain the world building to the reader. Well, it's all gone now. A Study in Darkness is extremely intense and utterly awesome. There, I said it. Wonderful steampunk read, and I even didn't mind a unique spin on Jack The Ripper. Wholly recommended, what an adventure!
* * *
Я помню, что жаловалась на присутствие множества внутренних монологов, объясняющих построение мира в первой книге. Так вот, ко второй книге у меня нет никаких претензий. Отличнейший стимпанк, полный экшн и масштабных политических интриг. Даже твист с Джеком Потрошителем меня не раздражал, потому как написано было с умом и смекалкой. В общем, прекрасная серия, и всем поклонникам жанра читать обязательно!

Lords of Arcadia series by R. Lee Smith

Taryn MacTavish found the egg in a pile of wet leaves on a camping trip when she was only nine years old. A nine-year old believes in a lot of things--killer snipes, flying dragons, magical powers and fantastic worlds--but the woman that Taryn has become is firmly rooted in the real world...until the egg she has safely kept all these years hatches into a baby griffin. Now she must make a choice: Abandon Aisling and lead a normal life, or follow a mysterious singing gypsy out of Earth and into Arcadia, where wizardry is very real and each new day brings unimaginable new dangers.

The first installment of R. Lee Smith's Lords of Arcadia series, THE CARE AND FEEDING OF GRIFFINS raises the genre of erotica to a whole new level. Richly-styled and filled with Smith's defining blend of horror and humor, Griffins tells a fast-paced suspenseful story that takes the reader right to the edge of the darkest thrills.
 Amazon kindle US/UK 
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To be honest, this might not be the best fantasy series you've ever read, but R. Lee Smith has a such a compelling voice I could not stop devouring these three books. Alternative worlds, lots of magic, strange creatures. The heroine is goody two shoes with a big heart, who saves everyone through sex *smirk*, and at some point there is no escape from the comparison to Meredith Gentry series by LKH... and yet I couldn't stop reading. Recommended.
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Ну да, это не самая умная серия фэнтэзи, что вы когда-либо читали, однако есть что-то в голосе Р.Ли Смит, что не позволяет оторваться от книг пока не дочитаешь их до конца. Альтернативные миры, полные магии;  наивная героиня с большим сердцем, что спасает всех, кого можно с помощью магического секса *ржу не могу*, и всё очень напоминает по тематике серию Мерри Джентри Лорел К. Гамильтон... и всё же книги цепляют и читаются на одном духу. Рекомендую.

Nancy's Theory of Style by Marta Acosta

kindle freebie

Synopsis from Goodreads
Lively young socialite Nancy Carrington-Chambers has always believed an excellent sense of style and strict attention to detail are what it takes to succeed, but her own husband Todd is showing symptoms of incurable tackiness, so Nancy flees their McMansion for her posh San Francisco apartment. She knows her event planning company, Froth, is a real winner, but she must prove herself by reinventing the turgid Barbary Coast Historical Museum fundraiser. Luckily, Nancy now has the perfect assistant. Derek Cathcart is British, impeccably dressed, gorgeous, and clearly gay; so why does Nancy find him so attractive?

Before Nancy can unravel her feelings, her irresponsible cousin Birdie abandons her little daughter with Nancy and takes off. Nancy, Derek, and Eugenia make an unlikely family, but strangely it seems incredibly right. Now Nancy's parents are pressuring her to return to Todd, and she still has to pull off a spectacular party. For someone who's always known exactly where she's going, Nancy is in dangerously uncharted waters.

Irresistibly funny and romantic, Nancy's Theory of Style shows that happiness and
love just like fashion aren't about playing it safe.
Amazon  US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | The Book Depository US/UK
* * *
I've always loved Marta Acosta's style, and this book is not an exception. I've no clue why the publisher wanted it to be printed under a pseudonym, especially if it's a story of Milagro's best friend, but Marta republished it recently under her own name with a different cover. It's funny, lighthearted and very very clever. This is a particular brand of witticism I adore and very much recommend to you all.
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Весёлая, остроумная, лёгкая книжка, но в этом отношении Марта Акоста меня всегда радует. Я не знаю почему издатель решил опубликовать книгу о лучшей подруге Милагро под псевдонимом вместо устоявшегося имени автора, однако я так понимаю, что Марта уже переиздала книгу о Нэнси под своим именем и с другой обложкой. Милоё чтиво, и как обычно автор играет английским языком как самый настоящий виртуоз! Рекомендую.


Blodeuedd said...

I have yet to read the Nancy book but I have it :)

Aurian said...

I love your short reviews. I want the first book/series. Any updates on your Portugal blog?

kara-karina@Nocturnal Book Reviews said...

Thanks, Aurian! No updates yet. I've used up my bandwidth 10 days ago and waiting for Sunday to have normal Internet again. This is so slow it's unbearable to write any updates yet. It will take forever :)

zEmfIrKa said...

I'm waiting to hear about your thoughts on A Study in Ashes - I haven't gotten to my copy yet. Got a few books ahead of it on the to-read list and it's been busy with the holiday. :)

Great reviews as always! "Saving through sex" -- that's an interesting concept... hmm :)


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