Seasons of Sorcery Anthology – Review

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About Seasons of Sorcery by Amanda Bouchet, Jeffe Kennedy, Jennifer Estep, Grace Draven

WINTER’S WEB BY JENNIFER ESTEP

An assassin at a renaissance faire. What could possibly go wrong? Everything, if you’re Gin Blanco. This Spider is trapped in someone else’s icy web—and it seems like they don’t want her to leave the faire alive . . .

A CURSE FOR SPRING BY AMANDA BOUCHET

A malevolent spell strangles the kingdom of Leathen in catastrophic drought. Prince Daric must break the curse before his people starve. A once-mighty goddess trapped in a human body might be the key—but saving his kingdom could mean losing all that he loves.

THE DRAGONS OF SUMMER BY JEFFE KENNEDY

As unofficial consort to the High Queen, former mercenary Harlan Konyngrr faces a challenge worse than looming war and fearsome dragons. His long-held secrets threaten what he loves most—and he must make a choice between vows to two women.

A WILDERNESS OF GLASS BY GRACE DRAVEN

The stretch of sea known as The Gray rules the lives of those in the village of Ancilar, including widow Brida Gazi. In the aftermath of an autumn storm, Brida discovers one of the sea’s secrets cast onto the shore—a discovery that will change her world, mend her soul, and put her in the greatest danger she’s ever faced.

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Review of Seasons of Sorcery

What a great collection of stories!

A Curse for Spring by Amanda Bouchet is the emotional story of the trials of a prince and a goddess. It seemed, from the start, that their love was doomed because of the terrible curse put upon Leathen. But we can’t have a doomed romance! The mission that Daric and Rain take upon themselves is full of danger and emotions. Loved this story!

A Wilderness of Glass by Grace Draven takes place in the ocean. Well, not entirely in the ocean, but the sense of the sea was constant in the story. In another story of lovers who cannot possible end up together, the fear of discovery and the intense passion is the constant pull to finish the story. Another great one from Grace Draven.

While all four stories stand alone, the stories by Grace Draven and Amanda Bouchet stand out to me because they are not part of existing series that I have not read (not for lack of interest – just time). If you are followers of Jennifer Estep and Jeffe Kennedy, their stories will certainly please the series junkie in you.

5 stars

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Two For Winter: Books by Melanie Karsak and Tiffany Roberts – Reviews

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Up until last Friday, January was unusually warm in Southwest Iowa. It was a good time to read these books that have cold weather settings. However, if you really want to feel the chill, wait until the mercury in the thermometer plummets and the winds start howling and then pick up a good winter weather book.

About Ice Bound by Tiffany Roberts

Anna knows the loss and pain that can be wrought by winter’s harshness intimately. For years, she’s isolated herself, refusing the let go of the guilt that consumes her – until the winds of a blizzard bring a stranger to her door. With his compelling tales and heated kisses, Anna fears she hasn’t only opened her home to him, but also her heart.

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Review of Ice Bound

You can absolutely feel the cold wind whipping through the air as you read Ice Bound. Luckily, there is more to the short story than weather. I also enjoyed the tension filled romance between Anna and the stranger. The bonus story, The Winter King, is a storyteller’s continuation of the story of Ice Bound’s heroine and hero — plus a little more. At only 45 pages, Ice Bound perfect way to relax on a winter afternoon.

5 stars

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About Goblins and Snowflakes by Melanie Karsak

Never bargain with goblin men.

Scarlette Rossetti thought her stay at Strawberry Hill Castle during the Christmas holiday would pass by uneventfully. She couldn’t have been more wrong. Enticed by the delights of the nearby village of Twickenham, Scarlette’s life would change in unimaginable ways.

She never expected to be drawn magnetically to The Two Sisters Doll Shop and Toy Emporium.

Scarlette didn’t guess that tinkering clockwork gnomes could have supernatural consequences.

And she didn’t know that one should never, ever, bargain with goblin men.

But during the Christmas season, magic is always brewing.

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Review of Goblins and Snowflakes

5 stars

Goblins and Snowflakes is the part charming, part creepy retelling of The Elves and the Shoemaker. The charming part is the actual fairy tale retelling. The creepy part pertains to the goblins who provide the magic to make the fairy tale. The novella length story is perfect for a couple hours of escape to the quaint village of Twickenham for a little adventure and a little romance. Every time I read another of Ms. Karsak’s steampunk fairy tales, I want to read more. Within Goblins and Snowflakes are some ties to other characters in Karsak’s steampunk stories, notably for me, the beginning of the Red Cape Society of the Steampunk Red Riding Hood series. Despite those ties, Goblins and Snowflakes is a standalone and can be enjoyed in all types of weather.

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In the Shadow of Croft Towers by Abigail Wilson – Review

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About In the Shadow of Croft Towers by Abigail Wilson

Croft Towers holds more than its share of secrets . . . and Sybil is determined to uncover them all.

When Sybil Delafield’s coach to Croft Towers was robbed by highwaymen, she should have realized that her new position as companion to old Mrs. Chalcroft would be no ordinary job. Upon Sybil’s arrival, Mrs. Chalcroft sneaks into her room in the dark of night, imploring her to relay messages to town that are to stay hidden from the rest of the family. Who exactly is she working for and what do the messages contain?

When fellow passengers of the robbed coach are later murdered, Sybil’s hunt for the truth takes on a new urgency. The only person she can rely on is Mr. Sinclair, Mrs. Chalcroft’s godson, but under all his charms he too leads a double life. Sybil must decide if he is the one honest voice she can trust, or if he is simply using her for his own advances.

With murderers, smugglers, and spies on the loose, nothing—and no one—in Regency England is what they claim. Can Sybil even trust what she knows about herself?

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Review of In the Shadow of Croft Towers

The blurb In the Shadow of Croft Towers hints at a possible mystery and a possible romance. You get both. Which makes the historical/romance/mystery reader in me very happy. But really, there was so much more! Which makes this reader that likes to be surprised even happier!

What do I mean by ‘so much more’? Mainly, nothing is what it appears to be. And nobody is what he or she appears to be. Pretty much without exception. Even heroine Sybil hasn’t told the complete truth. This soap opera atmosphere starts gently, but intensifies as the story continues.

As a reader, I was able to guess at some of it. Some of it was a complete surprised. But I never realized the entire truth until it was revealed in the story. In the Shadow of Croft Towers quickly became one of those books that I could not put down.

Through Netgalley, the publisher provided a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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