Posted in Book Reviews, Novels

ARC REVIEW: Isabella’s Painting by Ellen Butler

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*Spoilers*

*Thanks to Power to the Pen for giving me the chance to read this novel early*

This novel follows Karina Cardinal as she’s living as a lobbyist in D.C. and dating one of the most desired bachelors, Patrick Dunne. The Dunne family is one of the most famous and wealthiest families in D.C. Martin Dunne working for a contracting company and Patrick following in his father’s footsteps.

Karina accidentally discovers a stolen painting in Martin’s study during a family Christmas party. Curiosity gets to Karina as she starts to research the hidden painting and realizes Martin is dealing with a mafia-tied mystery.

Desperate to help those she cares about, she returns the painting to the rightful owners. However, she ends up being hunted for revenge. Will she survive long enough to solve the mystery and help the ones she loves?

I was enjoying this book for the first few chapters. Stolen painting, classic art, mafia ties, how could you get more suspense? Then when Karina goes to Colorado for a family emergency and her boyfriend, Patrick, shows up soon afterward. As soon as they revealed this, I knew where it was going. Patrick ends up proposing, you know the rest.

The book started dragging with the romance drama. I wanted to get back to the mystery! I don’t want this relationship drama in my mystery books! (Stephanie Plum is the only exception to this rule) About 3/4s of the way through the book the mystery picked back up and I was binging this book as much as I could!

Overall, I thought this book was alright. Interesting premise. I’m all for women sleuths or women detectives, but the deep-seeded romance took what could have been an awesome story into a melodrama.

I didn’t particularly like any of the characters. Karina is not very interesting, she felt dull and not very strong. Patrick is a jerk and so is Martin. If you’re looking for deep characters you won’t find them here.

I would recommend this if you want a cheesy romance with some light mystery. It’s alright if you like this kind of thing. It’s just not my cup of tea.

Order it on Amazon

Posted in Book Reviews, Novels

REVIEW: The Other Side of Midnight by Simone St. James

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*No Major Spoilers*

This thrilling novel follows Ellie Winter, a psychic/medium in 1920s London. Many are searching for answers for the loved ones they lost in the war. There are both real psychics who want to help people and those who feed off of the grieving to make a living.

When one of Ellie’s colleagues is a victim of a gruesome murder, it’s up to Ellie to investigate. She uses her powers and receives help from a couple of resources; James Hawley and George Sutter, to interview people who were at the scene of the crime.

As she closes in on who the killer is, other psychic mediums start dropping dead or fleeing London for safety in Paris. Will she be able to solve this mystery before she becomes a victim too?

In anticipation of her upcoming novel The Broken Girls. I wanted to review one of Simone St. James’ past works. Broken Girls will be hitting bookstores March 20, 2018.

I loved this book! The well-written atmosphere, the attention to detail of the characters made it easy to put me in Ellie’s shoes and solve the mystery with her. The romance between Ellie and James felt natural and real. To be honest, this book would have been fine without the romance angle, but it’s nice to find a genuine story where the guy saves the girl.

The ending was a huge plot twist! I did not expect where that was going to go, but it does make sense on how it worked out in the end. I had to chew on the ending for a bit to see if it felt right to me. The book wrapped up nicely and left no loose ends.

I would recommend this book who loves historical London. Those who love mysteries and the paranormal. The romance was PG-13, so don’t expect a filthy romance here. This book is getting my Choice Award (I’m trying to be critical I promise). So if you’re looking for an awesome read, this is where you’ll find it!