I can’t believe it’s the last week of January! Okay I realize it’s only the first month of the year, but can we all agree that January is really the thirteenth month of 2020? I still have hopes that 2021 will be better, it is only the first month after all. However, as it is the last Friday of the month, I’d like to share with you some of the books I have read this past month.
By my count, I have read a total of ten books this month. Eleven if you count the book I downloaded last night and will start today. Today I’m only going to share and review five of them, along with some reads I am looking forward to in the future.
*Double Crossed by Ally Carter
I have long loved The Gallagher Girls series by Ally Carter. In fact, last year I listed it among eight other must read series. I love, love, love it. One of her other series, The Heist Society, crosses with The Gallagher Girls in this novella.
When a charity event full of the wealthiest and privileged is highjacked, Gallagher Girl, Macey McHenry, must join forces with another scion of Society, W.W. Hale V, but neither one are the spoiled facade they present. With help from a thief and a secret agent on the outside, these two will do whatever it takes to outwit their captors, even if they have to shoot out a high rise window.
I will say that you might get a little lost if you haven’t read either series before, but it’s not that big of a deal. You’ll eventually figure the important things out. However, there is always delight in recognizing the little things that do come from the other series.
*The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross
Finley Jayne has always been aware of her darker nature, but she’s always been able to fight it. Lately, though, it’s become more prominent, leaving Finley feeling like two girls in one body. On the run after fighting off her employer, Finley is run over, quite literally, by Griffin King, the Duke of Greythorne. As Finley’s darker nature becomes stronger, she decides to accept His Grace’s help in merging her two natures. But what’s a girl to do when secrets and danger tempt her to give in to her darkness?
This novel was my first introduction to Steampunk, and I am quite glad it did. This novel does seem to go beyond the Steampunk genre into the fantastical, though, and not just in the Jekyll/Hyde sense either. There is still the typical teen trope of attraction triangles behind the presentation of light vs dark. And maybe it’s just the snark in me, but one of my favorite scenes is when Finley’s dark side comes out and she teases both men, after beating an automaton senseless of course.
*The Girl in the Clockwork Collar by Kady Cross
This is the sequel to The Girl in the Steel Corset and it continues almost immediately after the ending of its predecessor. I honestly think the world building is better in this novel, possibly because the author is more familiar with the actual landscape and history of NYC. While it’s not my favorite of the trilogy, it is still a good continuation. I think due to the better world building, the balance between historical accuracy and the fantastical is better and more believable.
To save her friend, Jasper, Finley will devise a daring plan that could quite possibly get her killed. Jasper knows Finley and the others are backing him, but it’s a dangerous game they’re all playing and the girl he loves is caught in the crossfire. When it’s all said and done, lies will be exposed and justice will come at a price none of them wanted to pay.
*Spy by Danielle Steel
Born into the privileged life of Britain’s Aristocracy, Alexandra Wickham’s life takes a drastic turn when WWII arrives. She feels the call to act for King and Country and the very skills she learned from governesses make her an important asset to the war effort. She is soon asked to join a select group of secret agents whose missions take them into the heart of their enemy’s company. When the war is won, Alex continues to answer the call of her country as her duties as wife and mother take her all over the world.
I reached the last page and was so disappointed with this novel. To start, the second half reads more like a list of historical facts than any real meat, while the first half skips almost merrily through the years of WWII.
The first time Alex loses someone to the war, it is heartfelt and shocking. The second time, it was written in such a way that I honestly expected the person to come back, even towards the end of the book when too many years had passed.
I wish Ms. Steel had chosen less places and really spent time giving us a story, with more action on Alex’s part, rather than skipping around from place to place and constantly repeating things she’d explained mere sentences before, as if we would forget them in the space between.
This novel had so much potential and it fell short of all my expectations.
*Rescuing Lord Inglewood by Sally Britton
Since the Regency era is taking the world by storm (*ahem* Bridgerton) I thought maybe I should include a novel that was…well, cleaner. More appropriate for readers of all ages. I am a big fan of the Regency era and this one didn’t disappoint me. In fact, I went on to read most of the other novels in the series, with Hope’s story, Saving Miss Everly, being my favorite so far. One of my favorite plots is a friends-to-lovers type, or at least one where the characters have known each other all their lives. Usually they’re either best friends or enemies. This time, they’re neither, and I think Sally Britton gives a wonderful perspective that also provokes thought. Esther, the heroine, has to come to terms with her issues of rejection, while Silas, the hero, has to let go of his control issues. Yes, there is miscommunication, but isn’t there always?
When Esther Fox thinks before she acts and saves a man’s life, she doesn’t expect that man to be one of her brother’s oldest friends, Silas Riley. Nor does she think about the reaction of the Ton. With Esther’s brother off to war, Silas Riley, Earl of Inglewood, decides to take matters into his own hands and does what he can to save Esther’s reputation. Despite his efforts, mishaps keep happening and the two find themselves married. However, Esther is used to being a shadow, left behind and put off by others, and it takes a tragedy for the two to finally come together and discover what it means to be husband and wife.
As I’ve stated in the past, I am a proud bibliophile and I love sharing reading suggestions with others. Whether you consider yourself a long-standing bibliophile or you’re just beginning your bibliophile journey, I hope you found some great suggestions in this list.
Do you keep track of books you’ve read? What has been your favorite read? Are there any books you’re looking forward to reading in the future?