Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Blog Tour/Review: The Lady in the Coppergate Tower by Nancy Campbell Allen

The Lady in the Coppergate Tower, by Nancy Campbell Allen
2019, 355p, Clean Steampunk Romance
My Rating=4 Stars
Source: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, which did not affect my review in any way

Hazel Hughes has spent her life believing she is a Medium—someone who can talk to ghosts. But as of yet, that skill has remained frustratingly elusive. She is also suffering from a reoccurring childhood dream of someone who looks almost exactly like Hazel, but this dream version of herself is slowly going mad.

Sam MacInnes is a talented surgeon who runs in the highest social circles thanks to his family’s position and history. When Sam hires Hazel to assist him with his medical practice, he is immediately drawn to her intelligence, wit, and beauty.

Their potential relationship is derailed one evening when a mysterious count arrives in London and reveals to Hazel the truth about her past: she was abducted at birth and her twin sister has fallen dangerously ill.

Hazel agrees to travel to Romania with Count Petrescu in order to save her sister, and Sam insists on accompanying her. The count has secrets, though, and the journey grows more sinister with every mile that draws Hazel closer to her homeland. Even as her feelings for Sam become deeper and more complicated, she fears she might not survive the quest to save her sister with her heart intact, not to mention her life. She must learn to draw on gifts she doesn’t know she has if they are going to ever return home again.

Hazel and Sam must fight their way past dark magic, clockwork beasts, and their own insecurities as they try to reach her sister in the impenetrable Coppergate Tower before time runs out.

This is an enjoyable steampunk, fairy-tale retelling of Rapunzel. Sam and Hazel work together to solve a mystery which centers around her family that she has just learned about--a twin sister and Count Petrescu, her uncle. I loved Sam and Hazel, and it was fun to watch their friendship grow and develop into more. The middle of the book slowed down some, but once it picked up again, I couldn't put it down until I found out how it ended.

I read the first book in this series, and loved it, but that was a few years ago, and unfortunately, I don't remember everything I read, so I would say this works well as a standalone. It has twists and turns, odd characters, mystery, suspense and romance. I love this it's dark enough to be creepy, yet light enough for some sweet romance. If you've never read steampunk before, this is a great author to start with!

Nancy Campbell Allen is the author of fifteen published novels and numerous novellas, which span genres from contemporary romantic suspense to historical fiction. In 2005, her work won the Utah Best of State award, and she received a Whitney award for My Fair Gentleman. She has presented at numerous writing conferences and events since her first book was released in 1999. Nancy received a BS in Elementary Education from Weber State University. She loves to read, write, travel, and research, and enjoys spending time laughing with family and friends. She is married and the mother of three children.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Blog Tour/Review: A Lady's Maid by Jen Geigle Johnson

A Lady's Maid, by Jen Geigle Johnson
2019, 350p, Clean Historical Romance
My Rating=5 Stars
Source: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, which did not affect my review in any way

Molly O’Malley, lady’s maid to the progressive Lady Amanda Halloway, is determined to continue the life’s work of her lost love, killed in the Peterloo Massacre. But when her efforts and a trip to Lady Halloway’s charitable orphanage culminate in her own abduction, Molly’s eyes are opened to the horrifying crimes transpiring in the city’s slums. Despite the risks, she broadens her mission and is drawn ever closer to the peril all around them.

Thomas Flaherty, a footman in the Halloway household, has been with Molly from the beginning, but he fears she will never trust him with her heart. Even though her cause and happiness are of foremost importance to him, his loyal patience is tested by the fears that keep her at a distance. But with their safety on the line, Thomas is resolved to sacrifice everything for the woman he loves.

Risking their lives and their love, Molly and Thomas and a team of nobles on their side will stop at nothing to empower the powerless, no matter the personal cost.

I love historical fiction because I get a better feel for what people might have felt and how they might have behaved during certain times in history. This book deals with suffrage and the roadblocks that had to be overcome to secure the right to vote, not just for women, but for "common" men as well. 

I enjoyed the two different storylines that merged together. Molly and Thomas both work for Lord and Lady Halloway. Molly loved Charlie, who was killed ten years ago in the Peterloo Massacre, and is determined to continue to fight for universal suffrage. Thomas is always there for her, saving her from herself and others. I loved their relationship and the rock he was for her. There is one particular shady character that Molly interacts with and I couldn't turn the pages fast enough to see what would happen with him. 

The second storyline involved Lord Annesley and Chloe Wetherton. Chloe starts out not knowing anything about the suffrage movement. The more she learns, the more interested she becomes in helping the cause. She already knows Lord Annesley and he is interested in furthering a relationship with her, but has secrets that can come between them. 

I enjoyed this book from beginning to end! I enjoyed the storylines and the characters, whether they were good or bad. It was interesting to read about that time period and get a better feel for what might have been going on and how different people reacted to the suffrage movement, as well as the horrors of child labor. I would highly recommend this to anyone that enjoys reading historical fiction.

Jen Geigle Johnson once greeted an ancient turtle under the water by grabbing her fin. Other vital things to know: the sound a water-ski makes on glassy water and how to fall down steep moguls with grace. No mountain is too steep for her to climb, yet. During a study break date in college, she sat on top of a jeep's roll bars up in the mountains and fell in love. She discovered her passion for England while kayaking on the Thames near London as a young teenager.

Now an award-winning author and mother of six, she loves to share bits of history that might otherwise be forgotten. Whether in Regency England, the French Revolution, or Colonial America, her romance novels are much like life is supposed to be: full of adventure. She is a member of the RWA, the SCBWI, and LDStorymakers. She is also the chair of the Lonestar.Ink writing conference.

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