Review of Vow of Deception by C. J. Archer

Vow of Deception
Ministry of Curiosities Book 9
By C. J. Archer

Star Rating: 
Genre: Historical Fantasy, Gaslamp Fantasy
Number of Pages: 308

Date Started: December 7, 2017
Date Finished: December 8, 2017

Synopsis: (From Amazon)
With the wedding only days away, the Ministry is thrown into turmoil when another murder is committed by a shape-shifter. But this time the newspapers make the connection to werewolves – and the Ministry. Suddenly the attention is focused on Lichfield Towers and its residents as the police investigate and parliament wants to shut the organization down. It could spell the end of everything Charlie has come to love. As the authorities close in and ministry secrets are exposed, past allies can no longer be trusted. Can Charlie save her home, her loved ones, and herself? Or will she lose Lincoln and her friends forever?

Review:
Oh. My. Goodness! So many enemies, so much intrigue, and far too perfect a conclusion that we’ve been waiting for so long to see. Alliances were tested, some broken, some strengthened. The near ending nastiness was not something I expected, but for karma–it was well deserved.

While I have been looking forward to this last installment, and getting to know if Lincoln and Charlie will ever get a happily ever after, I have to say I’m quite excited for a tenth book! I have many predictions of what might happen in Wonderland, but I am not sure if they’ll come true.

C. J. Archer is such a great, wonderful person on top of being a great author.  She has a fan group on Facebook, CJ Archer’s Ministry of Fans, where people who like her books can talk about them, and Ms. Archer interacts with her fans frequently (which makes her even more endearing).  If you are like me and adore her books, join the group and chat with like minded individuals.

cj
Author Biography: (From Amazon)
C.J. Archer has loved history and books for as long as she can remember and feels fortunate that she found a way to combine the two. She has at various times worked as a librarian, IT support person and technical writer but in her heart has always been a fiction writer. While she has written historical romance in the past, she now writes exclusively in the historical fantasy genre (with a large dose of romance). She has several series which occur in the same Victorian-era “world”, one after the other. Each series can be read alone, but it’s more fun to start at the beginning with THE EMILY CHAMBERS SPIRIT MEDIUM TRILOGY. Follow that up with all 9 FREAK HOUSE books, then the MINISTRY OF CURIOSITIES series. GLASS AND STEELE, her newest series, is set in an entirely different alternate Victorian London.

Subscribe to C.J.’s newsletter to be notified when she releases a new book, as well as get access to exclusive content and subscriber-only giveaways. Join via her website: http://www.cjarcher.com

She loves to hear from readers. You can contact her through email cj@cjarcher.com or follow her on social media to get the latest updates on her books:
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CJArcherAuthorPage
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/cj_archer
Tumblr: http://freakhouseresidents.tumblr.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorcjarcher/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/cjarcher/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4615377.C_J_Archer

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Review of The Rose and the Mask by Victoria Leybourne

The Rose and the Mask
Fairy Tale Masquerades 1
By Victoria Leybourne

Star Rating: 
Genre: Fairy Tale Retelling
Number of Pages: 340

Synopsis: (From Amazon)
A thieving beauty. A glass rose. A monstrous curse. Among the glittering masks of Venice, is anything quite what it seems?

Faustina is a beauty and a thief, not necessarily in that order. She doesn’t believe in magic, just luck, and hers has run out. The last thing she needs is to get roped into a ridiculous revenge plot by her brother—especially when that brother is Giacomo Casanova, Venice’s most notorious libertine.

Benedetto Bellini has never been particularly lucky. The fact that he’s under a beastly curse proves that. Now he’s got a second problem, one that’s washed up on his island in its undergarments and attempted to steal his silverware. He finds Faustina intriguing and infuriating in equal measure. And, thanks to the curse, he’s stuck with her.

Review:
The name “Faustina” can’t possibly be by chance. That was the first thing I thought of when reading. Foreshadowing? Perhaps.

Now, I love the absolute beginning of the novel. It’s so deep, such an amazing connection, and… unfortunately, it seems lost in the background for the majority of the book.

What I do enjoy is that Faustina is not the type of girl to just do something because she’s told, or to follow the heeding of any man. While she might nod and smile, she has purpose to keep herself safe. Benedetto, unfortunately, seems to be far closer to someone who has always been a hermit. He lacks confidence and it’s rather unbecoming.

The setting and addition of Casanova were interesting. The take on the rose was two fold and I thought well done. Wasn’t particularly pleased with the Deus ex Machina at the ed, but perhaps it was in part because I had already thought it might be the case before it was revealed. I feel that this story was different enough from the original that it really could make a niche of its own without using the Beauty and the Beast theme.

I would read another novel by the same author.

 

Author Biography: (From Amazon)
Victoria Leybourne is an author, blogger and tea-drinker who was born in England but grew up on the internet. When she’s not writing, you can usually find her vigorously making excuses for not writing while watching animated movies, belting out showtunes and/or attempting to pet every cat within a three-mile radius.

You can learn more than you are likely to want to know about Victoria by visiting her blog, oppositeofpopular.com, where she exaggerates for comic effect and hopes one day to amass a small following of regular readers who will let her call them OOPsies. You can also follow her on Twitter, where she goes by @fluxcapacitory.

Review of The Magician’s Diary by C. J. Archer

The Magician’s Diary
Glass and Steele Book 4
By C. J. Archer

Star Rating: 
Genre: Historical Fantasy, Gaslamp Fantasy
Number of Pages: 338

Synopsis: (From Amazon)
India and Matt thought all their problems would come to an end once they found Chronos. But the watch magician brings with him as many questions as answers, and a load of trouble. To fix Matt’s magic watch, they must find an old diary that once belonged to a doctor magician murdered decades ago. The hunt drags them into a sordid mystery involving two of London’s craft guilds. With old and new enemies determined to stop them, and long-held secrets unearthed, Matt and India must work together better than ever.

But as the reason for India’s strangely strong magic is revealed, she wants to draw other magicians into the open, while Matt wants to hide magic to keep her safe.

Her plan backfires. His plan shatters. And danger comes to their door.

Review:
Finally, the search is over, and Chronos is discovered, throwing everyone for a lop. While Matt and India end up working continually in close proximity, it becomes harder and harder for them to deny there may be something between them. Seeing Matt and India go through so much together, with interviews, and dealing with friends and family, it is almost silly how uncertain she seems of his intentions. Nevertheless, there is surely going to be more turmoil to face in the future. His family is becoming more easily to hate with every book, and it is my hope that their stupidity doesn’t cause his eternal unhappiness.

C. J. Archer is such a great, wonderful person on top of being a great author.  She has a fan group on Facebook, CJ Archer’s Ministry of Fans, where people who like her books can talk about them, and Ms. Archer interacts with her fans frequently (which makes her even more endearing).  If you are like me and adore her books, join the group and chat with like minded individuals.

cj
Author Biography: (From Amazon)
C.J. Archer has loved history and books for as long as she can remember and feels fortunate that she found a way to combine the two. She has at various times worked as a librarian, IT support person and technical writer but in her heart has always been a fiction writer. While she has written historical romance in the past, she now writes exclusively in the historical fantasy genre (with a large dose of romance). She has several series which occur in the same Victorian-era “world”, one after the other. Each series can be read alone, but it’s more fun to start at the beginning with THE EMILY CHAMBERS SPIRIT MEDIUM TRILOGY. Follow that up with all 9 FREAK HOUSE books, then the MINISTRY OF CURIOSITIES series. GLASS AND STEELE, her newest series, is set in an entirely different alternate Victorian London.

Subscribe to C.J.’s newsletter to be notified when she releases a new book, as well as get access to exclusive content and subscriber-only giveaways. Join via her website: http://www.cjarcher.com

She loves to hear from readers. You can contact her through email cj@cjarcher.com or follow her on social media to get the latest updates on her books:
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CJArcherAuthorPage
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/cj_archer
Tumblr: http://freakhouseresidents.tumblr.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorcjarcher/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/cjarcher/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4615377.C_J_Archer

Review of Kiss of Ash by C. J. Archer

Kiss of Ash
The Witchblade Chronicles Book 2
By C. J. Archer

Star Rating: 
Genre: Historical Fantasy, Historical Romance
Number of Pages: 331

Date Started: April 8, 2017
Date Finished: April 9, 2017

Synopsis: (From Amazon)
Pippa Ingleside will do anything to escape her ruthless uncle, but even she is surprised when her previously dormant powers aid her. Surprised and afraid. Her newly discovered abilities may have saved her but they condemn her at the same time.

Disguised as a boy, she travels to the home of Lord Ashbourne to find her one and only friend. To maintain her disguise and put a roof over her head, Pippa accepts a job as page of the wardrobe to Ash, a man as mysterious as he is dangerous. If he discovers her lie, he’ll send her back to her uncle and her witchcraft will be exposed to the authorities.

As the lies build it gets harder for Pippa to maintain her disguise, especially when she falls in love with the man she must serve.

Her only hope is to find her friend. But when the friend is murdered, Ash investigates and where he goes, his page goes too. Together they uncover a web of secrets that could destroy Ash and condemn Pippa. But that’s nothing compared to what happens when he discovers she’s a woman…

Review:
From the beginning one cannot help but feel for Pippa, who has been imprisoned unfairly for five years. As Pippa attempts to flee and find a way to keep safe from her uncle and whatever he might try to throw at her, she finds herself with Ash. Seeing Ash again was quite nice after how distraught he seemed to be in Honor Bound.

Soon the couple find that there is more mystery than simply that of why a friend has died. Between the lies and deception, Pippa and Ash have to fight to find what is real, and what can save them both.

While both are quick to speak and perhaps too brash for most, Pippa and Ash quickly have an understanding, and neither wants to be the first to admit there is more than duty and lust between them. Their stubbornness and quick wits make them a pleasure to read about in all aspects.

C. J. Archer is such a great, wonderful person on top of being a great author.  She has a fan group on Facebook, CJ Archer’s Ministry of Fans, where people who like her books can talk about them, and Ms. Archer interacts with her fans frequently (which makes her even more endearing).  If you are like me and adore her books, join the group and chat with like minded individuals.

cj
Author Biography: (From Amazon)
C.J. Archer has loved history and books for as long as she can remember and feels fortunate that she found a way to combine the two. She has at various times worked as a librarian, IT support person and technical writer but in her heart has always been a fiction writer. While she has written historical romance in the past, she now writes exclusively in the historical fantasy genre (with a large dose of romance). She has several series which occur in the same Victorian-era “world”, one after the other. Each series can be read alone, but it’s more fun to start at the beginning with THE EMILY CHAMBERS SPIRIT MEDIUM TRILOGY. Follow that up with all 9 FREAK HOUSE books, then the MINISTRY OF CURIOSITIES series. GLASS AND STEELE, her newest series, is set in an entirely different alternate Victorian London.

Subscribe to C.J.’s newsletter to be notified when she releases a new book, as well as get access to exclusive content and subscriber-only giveaways. Join via her website: http://www.cjarcher.com

She loves to hear from readers. You can contact her through email cj@cjarcher.com or follow her on social media to get the latest updates on her books:
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CJArcherAuthorPage
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/cj_archer
Tumblr: http://freakhouseresidents.tumblr.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorcjarcher/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/cjarcher/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4615377.C_J_Archer

Review of Honor Bound by C. J. Archer

Honor Bound
The Witchblade Chronicles Book 1
By C. J. Archer

Star Rating: 
Genre: Historical Fantasy, Historical Romance
Number of Pages: 267

Date Started: April 7, 2017
Date Finished: April 7, 2017

Synopsis: (From Amazon)
7 years ago a woman with too many secrets and a man with too many lies fell in love. Then she left him.

Isabel’s quiet life as an assistant to one of London’s famous apothecaries hides a deadly secret. A secret that could see her put on trial for witchcraft if the authorities uncover the truth. But when the authority figure who turns up at her shop is Sir Nicholas Merritt, she’s at risk of losing more than her life. She could lose her heart and soul, and the man she loves.

Royal spy Sir Nicholas Merritt can’t believe his luck when he stumbles upon Isabel during an investigation. He’s been searching for her for seven long years and now he has her again, in his bed and his life. Except she’s resisting all the way. Worse still, she’s somehow tangled up with a plot to assassinate the queen. To hold onto her this time, he must find out why she left him while hiding a secret of his own that could tear them apart forever.

Review:
The connections in this story were absolutely fantastic, as was the mystery. I went back and forth between a few different people that I thought had tried to assassinate the queen, and while I believe I had figured out who it likely was before it was revealed, I had only been grasping at straws and wasn’t secure in my belief that the character had done so.

The relationships were so realistic, convoluted and yet utterly perfect. Nick and Isabel were absolutely amazing together. While they both changed, they both accept how the other had developed in their time apart, and they come out stronger for it. Isabel isn’t the typical damsel in distress, but then, she’s also already married, so it’s great to see how she and Nick work together to try to overcome everything that plots to keep them apart.

The romance scenes were steamy, and oh so good. I much prefer Honor Bound to The Charmer.

C. J. Archer is such a great, wonderful person on top of being a great author.  She has a fan group on Facebook, CJ Archer’s Ministry of Fans, where people who like her books can talk about them, and Ms. Archer interacts with her fans frequently (which makes her even more endearing).  If you are like me and adore her books, join the group and chat with like minded individuals.

cj
Author Biography: (From Amazon)
C.J. Archer has loved history and books for as long as she can remember and feels fortunate that she found a way to combine the two. She has at various times worked as a librarian, IT support person and technical writer but in her heart has always been a fiction writer. While she has written historical romance in the past, she now writes exclusively in the historical fantasy genre (with a large dose of romance). She has several series which occur in the same Victorian-era “world”, one after the other. Each series can be read alone, but it’s more fun to start at the beginning with THE EMILY CHAMBERS SPIRIT MEDIUM TRILOGY. Follow that up with all 9 FREAK HOUSE books, then the MINISTRY OF CURIOSITIES series. GLASS AND STEELE, her newest series, is set in an entirely different alternate Victorian London.

Subscribe to C.J.’s newsletter to be notified when she releases a new book, as well as get access to exclusive content and subscriber-only giveaways. Join via her website: http://www.cjarcher.com

She loves to hear from readers. You can contact her through email cj@cjarcher.com or follow her on social media to get the latest updates on her books:
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CJArcherAuthorPage
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/cj_archer
Tumblr: http://freakhouseresidents.tumblr.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorcjarcher/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/cjarcher/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4615377.C_J_Archer

Review of The Apothecary’s Poison by C. J. Archer

The Apothecary’s Poison
Glass and Steele Book 3
By C. J. Archer

Star Rating: 
Genre: Historical Fantasy, Gaslamp Fantasy
Number of Pages: 306

Date Started: April 4, 2017
Date Finished: April 6, 2017

Synopsis: (From Amazon)
When a newspaper report of a medical miracle catches Matt’s eye, he and India go in search of Dr. Hale in the hope he is more magical doctor than miracle worker and can lead them to Chronos. But Hale turns out to be an apothecary magician keen to educate the public about magic.

Their disappointment at not finding Chronos is soon forgotten when Hale is murdered, and Matt becomes a suspect. With Matt’s nemesis Sheriff Payne influencing the investigating detective, India and Matt know they must find the real killer, or risk his freedom, and ultimately his life. Time is running out as they hunt for a killer capable of turning medicine into poison with a magic spell, as well as continue the search for Chronos. A search that must end in success before Matt’s malfunctioning watch stops altogether.

Review:
This book seamlessly showcases the two opposing sides of Matt and India’s lives as they try to live in polite society but also have to skirt around magic without revealing India’s abilities. As they further their connection to each other, India is caught between what she wants and what she feels would likely be best for Matt’s future– something that many will relate to within their lifetime.

Seeing India become a stronger and more self assured woman has become quite a pleasure, and while she isn’t the same level of outgoing as Willie, she’s clearly willing to stand up for herself and the people she cares about. Because she is well mannered and intelligent she is able to get answers from people that Matt’s brashness wouldn’t work with.

Embedded in this series is a great lesson about people who are sick or have some sort of illness/disability, that despite whatever setbacks the person might have from it, they can’t consider it something that should hold them back. Another message in this particular book is that medicines don’t always do what they claim to, and it’s not right for pharmacists to claim they will.

Cyclops has an interesting past that was great to learn about, and I look forward to seeing if any relationships develop (though preferably NOT with Charity). Through learning of his fears of returning to America, one must wonder if all of Matt’s friends have similar issues, and if the posse will be able to overcome their individual problems to be able to develop lasting relationships and futures with others.

C. J. Archer is such a great, wonderful person on top of being a great author.  She has a fan group on Facebook, CJ Archer’s Ministry of Fans, where people who like her books can talk about them, and Ms. Archer interacts with her fans frequently (which makes her even more endearing).  If you are like me and adore her books, join the group and chat with like minded individuals.

cj
Author Biography: (From Amazon)
C.J. Archer has loved history and books for as long as she can remember and feels fortunate that she found a way to combine the two. She has at various times worked as a librarian, IT support person and technical writer but in her heart has always been a fiction writer. While she has written historical romance in the past, she now writes exclusively in the historical fantasy genre (with a large dose of romance). She has several series which occur in the same Victorian-era “world”, one after the other. Each series can be read alone, but it’s more fun to start at the beginning with THE EMILY CHAMBERS SPIRIT MEDIUM TRILOGY. Follow that up with all 9 FREAK HOUSE books, then the MINISTRY OF CURIOSITIES series. GLASS AND STEELE, her newest series, is set in an entirely different alternate Victorian London.

Subscribe to C.J.’s newsletter to be notified when she releases a new book, as well as get access to exclusive content and subscriber-only giveaways. Join via her website: http://www.cjarcher.com

She loves to hear from readers. You can contact her through email cj@cjarcher.com or follow her on social media to get the latest updates on her books:
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CJArcherAuthorPage
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/cj_archer
Tumblr: http://freakhouseresidents.tumblr.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorcjarcher/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/cjarcher/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4615377.C_J_Archer

Review of The Mapmaker’s Apprentice by C. J. Archer

The Mapmaker’s Apprentice
Glass and Steele Book 2
By C. J. Archer

Star Rating: 
Genre: Historical Fantasy, Gaslamp Fantasy
Number of Pages: 312

Date Started: October 27, 2016
Date Finished: October 30, 2016

Synopsis: (From Amazon)themapmakersapprentice_ebook_final
When an apprentice from the Mapmakers’ Guild goes missing, Matt and India are employed to find him. Going undercover as a married couple, they discover that not everyone at the guild is what they seem, and the lad’s unearthly maps caused jealousy, suspicion and fear.

With one of the apprentice’s magic maps in their possession, India and Matt must use their wits and India’s fledgling, untried magic to find him. But the more they investigate, the more sinister plots they uncover, including a link between the Mapmakers’ and Watchmakers’ Guilds, and an ancient magical treasure buried beneath the streets of London.

As the net of suspicion widens and enemies draw closer, it’s not just the apprentice’s life that’s in danger, but Matt’s too. Someone will go to great lengths to prevent him discovering the name of the man who can fix the watch keeping him alive. Great lengths indeed.

Review:
I will start out by saying I did find some grammatical issues in this novel, though they did not detract in any way from the story being presented.

The relationships really endear me to this series.  There is so much more than what is being said when you read between the lines of interactions between everyone.  Learning more about the hereditary passing of magic was quite useful, and it’s been quite enjoyable learning more about the various types of magics as India does.

It’s refreshing that India seems to care so little about romance, though there is clearly something brewing.  She seems resigned to being a spinster, but she doesn’t allow herself to make poor choices, instead using that situation to her advantage, acting as a strong, independent woman. Romance is still possible for her, but she doesn’t intend on seeking it as a solution for what to do with her future, which I really adore.

I had not figured out the mystery by the time the plot wrapped up, though I had suspected partial involvement by the time it was revealed.  I believe the special collection mentioned in this novel will potentially play a pivotal role in one of the future books in this series, though I could be wrong.

I really enjoyed seeing India become even more independent and knowledgeable in this novel, and I would recommend this book highly.

C. J. Archer is such a great, wonderful person on top of being a great author.  She has a fan group on Facebook, CJ Archer’s Ministry of Fans, where people who like her books can talk about them, and Ms. Archer interacts with her fans frequently (which makes her even more endearing).  If you are like me and adore her books, join the group and chat with like minded individuals.

cj
Author Biography: (From Amazon)
C.J. Archer has loved history and books for as long as she can remember and feels fortunate that she found a way to combine the two. She has at various times worked as a librarian, IT support person and technical writer but in her heart has always been a fiction writer. While she has written historical romance in the past, she now writes exclusively in the historical fantasy genre (with a large dose of romance). She has several series which occur in the same Victorian-era “world”, one after the other. Each series can be read alone, but it’s more fun to start at the beginning with THE EMILY CHAMBERS SPIRIT MEDIUM TRILOGY. Follow that up with all 9 FREAK HOUSE books, then the MINISTRY OF CURIOSITIES series. GLASS AND STEELE, her newest series, is set in an entirely different alternate Victorian London.

Subscribe to C.J.’s newsletter to be notified when she releases a new book, as well as get access to exclusive content and subscriber-only giveaways. Join via her website: http://www.cjarcher.com

She loves to hear from readers. You can contact her through email cj@cjarcher.com or follow her on social media to get the latest updates on her books:
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CJArcherAuthorPage
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/cj_archer
Tumblr: http://freakhouseresidents.tumblr.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorcjarcher/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/cjarcher/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4615377.C_J_Archer