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Daily Deals: Mysteries and books featuring witty heroines.

Daily Deals: Mysteries and books featuring witty heroines.

The Anatomist's Apprentice by Tessa HarrisThe Anatomist’s Apprentice by Tessa Harris. $ 2.99

From the Jacket Copy:

In the first in a stunning new mystery series set in eighteenth-century England, Tessa Harris introduces Dr. Thomas Silkstone, anatomist and pioneering forensic detective. . .
The death of Sir Edward Crick has unleashed a torrent of gossip through the seedy taverns and elegant ballrooms of Oxfordshire. Few mourn the dissolute young man–except his sister, the beautiful Lady Lydia Farrell. When her husband comes under suspicion of murder, she seeks expert help from Dr. Thomas Silkstone, a young anatomist from Philadelphia.

Thomas arrived in England to study under its foremost surgeon, where his unconventional methods only add to his outsider status. Against his better judgment he agrees to examine Sir Edward’s corpse. But it is not only the dead, but also the living, to whom he must apply the keen blade of his intellect. And the deeper the doctor’s investigations go, the greater the risk that he will be consigned to the ranks of the corpses he studies. . .

PW writes “Silkstone’s attraction to Lady Lydia motivates him to go beyond merely identifying the possible poison responsible for the nobleman’s end and to explore the viability of various suspects. He proves a dogged investigator, even after several attempts to warn him off the case. Harris has more than a few tricks up her sleeve, and even veteran armchair puzzle solvers are likely to be surprised. ”

And Library Journal says it’s a smart book that appeals to Sherlock Holmes fans.

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The Runaway Princess by Hester BrowneThe Runaway Princess by Hester Browne. $ 2.99

From the Jacket Copy:

If Amy Wilde’s new boyfriend, Leo, treats her like a queen, that’s because he’s secretly a prince himself: Leopold William Victor Wolfsburg of Nirona, the ninth most eligible royal bachelor in the world. Amy soon discovers that dating an heir to a throne has many charms—intimate alfresco dinners, glittering galas, and, for a girl who lives in jeans and wellies, a dazzling new wardrobe with tiaras to match. But there are also drawbacks: imagine the anxiety of meeting your boyfriend’s parents multiplied by a factor of “riding in a private jet,” “staying in a castle,” and “discussing the line of succession over lunch.” Not to mention the sudden press interest in your very un-royal family. When an unexpected turn of events pushes Leo closer to the throne, the Wolfsburgs decide to step up Amy’s transformation from down-to-earth gardener to perfectly polished princess-in-waiting. Amy would do anything for Leo, but is finding her Prince Charming worth the price of losing herself?

Shelf Awareness says “Browne manages to make all of these relationships completely believable, and downright funny sometimes, in spite of the farfetched fairytale plot. Amy’s anguished internal monologue as she tries to find her own happily-ever-after will keep the reader chuckling.”

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So Pretty It Hurts (Bailey Weggins Mysteries) by Kate WhiteSo Pretty It Hurts by Kate White. $ 1.99

From the Jacket Copy:

At long last, the New York Times bestselling author of The Sixes and the editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan brings back the sassy crime writer turned amateur sleuth Bailey Weggins in an addictive story involving the mysterious death of a supermodel.

Bailey Weggins, the Manhattan-based thirtysomething true-crime journalist, is in a good place. She’s enjoying her regular gig at Buzz, a leading celebrity magazine, getting freelance work, and hoping her first book will garner attention. In the love department, she’s finally back in the game with her recently-turned-exclusive boyfriend, Beau Regan. When Beau heads out of town one early December weekend, Bailey accepts an invitation from her office friend Jessie to a music mogul’s house in the country, hoping for a fun, relaxing getaway. But a weird tension settles over the houseguests—a glamorous crowd that includes the famously thin supermodel Devon Barr. An impending snowstorm only adds to the unease. So when Devon’s lifeless body is found in her bed, Bailey immediately suspects foul play: she can’t stop thinking of the day before, when a frightened Devon shivered in the woods and pleaded, “I have to get out of here. . . . It’s not safe for me.” When Bailey starts to nose around, she finds herself a moving target—running closer to the truth and straight into danger. With her trademark irreverent wit, Bailey is a heroine who keeps us laughing while on the edge of our seats. New and longtime fans alike will devour this eagerly awaited mystery.

PW says ” While the prose can be more kitsch than clever in this fast-paced, insider look at the seedy underworld of fame, series fans and readers who love tabloid drama will be enthralled. ”

The description doesn’t really match the cover which seems to suggest a darker novel.

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Hell's Knights by Bella JewelHell’s Knights by Bella Jewel. $ .99.

From the Jacket Copy:

Sex. Who really knows sex? I mean, we’ve all had sex, great sex even but when you get down to the details, how many of us actually see sex for the raw, primal act that it is?
I thought I knew sex. I’ve had sex. Heck, I’ve felt lust. Once, I’ve even felt love. I thought I knew exactly what sex was.

Until I met Cade.

He’s the meaning of sex.

He’s a biker.

He’s dangerous.

He’s powerful.

He’s dominant.

He wants me.

My world is about to change, for the better? I don’t know. But here’s my story, I hope you’re ready for it because it’s not the beautiful, heart wrenching story most people have to tell. It’s passionate, forbidden, morally incorrect and downright, fucking beautiful.

I tried this and couldn’t get into it. There was a mix of writing issues and grammatical issues. Not sure if those have been fixed.

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REVIEW:  Running on Empty by Colette Ballard

REVIEW: Running on Empty by Colette Ballard

running-on-empty-ballard

Dear Ms. Ballard,

For the past few months, I’ve been dabbling in the older YA/new adult subgenres but I find myself looking for something a little different from what’s out there. I like tattooed bad boys as much as the next person but there is such a thing as too much. When I read the premise of your debut novel, the suspense aspects sounded right up my alley.

River Daniels is a girl from the poor side of town. But she’s dating the star quarterback darling of their high school. She should be glad, right? Everyone wants to be Cinderella.

Except her boyfriend is controlling, jealous, and violent. When he gets tired of River’s refusal to have sex, he tries to force the issue and River accidentally kills him in self-defense. Unfortuantely, her boyfriend is the son of a rich and powerful family and there were no witnesses. Knowing no one will believe her, she goes on the run. But there’s only so much one 17-year-old girl can do on her own.

While I admit I scrutinize the use of sexual assault in novels, its inclusion here didn’t bother me. Maybe it’s because of recent headlines like the Steubenville case, but the execution rang very true. It’s a sad fact of life that society generally blames the woman in situations like this. River didn’t mean to kill her boyfriend. She was just trying to fight him off. But because of her background and her boyfriend’s identity, none of that will matter. I can’t blame her for running. Who’s going to believe “trailer trash” over the son of a rich family?

I loved that River’s friends, Kat and Billie Jo, stuck by her side. That they, in fact, chose to run with her when she left town. Even when their relationships later become strained due to the stress of being on the run and in hiding, I thought it was well done. These are girls who may not have perfect families and backgrounds but they stick with each other through thick and thin. They are each other’s family, when their own families have checked out. Their friendships are multilayered — not always rosy and sometimes contentious, they always do their best to help each other when things get tough.

The romance with Justice was also well done, in my opinion. This isn’t just because I have a soft spot for the friends become more trope. Justice was River’s first love and she never really got over him. But she did her best to move on, though that unfortunately led her to Logan. She was ready to accept that they may only ever be friends for the rest of their lives. The River and Justice romance is a perfect example of friends to lovers: how they don’t want to mess up what they have and yet how they have a hard time struggling to see the other person with someone else.

While I enjoyed the story, there are some plot contrivances that fall apart upon further scrutiny. Of course the girls run into an old man with a heart of gold, willing to help the and overlook that one of them is plastered all over the news and accused of murder. Of course this man has connections that conveniently help them in their moment of need. Don’t get me wrong. I liked Charlie a lot, but it was too neat and pat.

The storyline involving River’s biological father at times seemed tacked on. In many ways, it was almost as if his presence was necessary for no other reason than to help River in the end. And that the only way to explain his presence in the book was because he was River’s dad. I simply wasn’t sold on this part.

Overall, though, I liked this book. The relationship between River and her female friends, and the romance between River and Justice, kept me reading even when certain aspects failed to hold up under further scrutiny. Dare I ask if a sequel featuring Kat is in the works? (I loved Kat.) B-

My regards,
Jia

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