Carole Reviews: Murder by Misrule – Anna Castle

Author: Anna Castle
Title: Murder by Misrule (Francis Bacon #1)
Genre: Historical Fiction, Murder Mystery, and Romance
Pages: ebook
First Published: June 8th, 2014
Where I Got It: My shelf  (Given to me by the author/publisher for my honest and unbiased opinion)


“Francis Bacon is charged with investigating the murder of a fellow barrister at Gray’s Inn. He recruits his unwanted protégé Thomas Clarady to do the tiresome legwork. The son of a privateer, Clarady will do anything to climb the Elizabethan social ladder. Bacon’s powerful uncle Lord Burghley suspects Catholic conspirators of the crime, but other motives quickly emerge. Rival barristers contend for the murdered man’s legal honors and wealthy clients. Highly-placed courtiers are implicated as the investigation reaches from Whitehall to the London streets. Bacon does the thinking; Clarady does the fencing. Everyone has something up his pinked and padded sleeve. Even the brilliant Francis Bacon is at a loss — and in danger — until he sees through the disguises of the season of Misrule.”
Like earlier stated, I read this for the author/publisher for my honest and unbiased opinion.
Awwwww Francis Bacon. I don’t know why, but I liked him a lot. Maybe it’s the fact that he reminded me of me at a lot of times. He also reminded me of Sherlock Holmes from time to time. THAT may have to do with the fact that he had a murder mystery on his hands. I wish that he didn’t add the gang of kids with him, but it did add more to the story, but still. I didn’t like Tom and his friends. Okay, Ben was okay and so was Trumpet (until near the end). Tom was annoying and I think Clara deserved someone better. Oh well. Clara didn’t make it easy for Tom, so that made me feel better. She got screwed once by her first husband and wasn’t about to make THAT mistake twice. Glad she was a smart girl.
The two twists near the end surely did catch me by surprise. Especially who was the murderer and the conspirator. Kuddos to the author for getting me! haha. I’m normally really good at mysteries, but this got me and I liked it. 
There were a couple dry spots that did have me skimming a little bit. 0.0 However, the adventure was fun and I’m excited to see what adventures poor Mr. Bacon has to endure. haha. The author did a fantastic job blending historical fiction with real history and with a nice mystery on top like a cherry. Wonderful. 🙂
In the end, I liked the mystery…it was a good one and I didn’t expect it! I had my own list of suspects that surely did look suspicious. I hated Tom and his “friends”. I’m glad that the author made Clara a strong girl who didn’t completely give in to Tom and his “love”. She made him prove it and made him work for it. I loved her and I wish she had more screen-time. Also, I wish that Francis Bacon had more screen-time as well. Oh well. This book would be fun for those that like historical fiction and/or mysteries. Out of five stars I shall stamp this with 4 stars. 

Favorite Character(s): Francis Bacon, Clara, Ben, and Queen Elizabeth

Not-so Favorite Character(s): Tom and Casper 


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Book Blog Walkers: Weekly Check-in June 6 2014

This challenge is organized by Felicia over at the Geeky Blogger’s Book Blog.

Saturday 1 hour bike
Sunday – 50 min walk
Monday – 10 km bike and 1 hour workout class
Tuesday – 5 km bike and 30 min walk
Wednesday – 15 km bike and 45 min zumba
Thursday – 5 km bike + 30 min walk
Friday 11 km bike + 1 hour bike

Good week, and the workout class on Monday was brutal,  I sure felt it for days afterwards.

And do join it 😀 It’s fun and exercise any way you want

Thornbrook Park – Sherri Browning

In a world poised for epic change…

Disowned for marrying beneath her, Eve Kendal has returned to England destitute after her husband’s death and the mysterious disappearance of their savings. She’s looking for survival, not romance. But from London to the Yorkshire countryside to the elegant estate of Thornbrook Park, Eve’s path seems destined to cross that of the dashing but violent Captain Marcus Thorne.

Anything can happen…

For Marcus, a return home means facing the demons that drove him to war in the first place. As he and Eve begin a steamy affair, tensions that had been simmering just beneath the surface threaten to explode and shake the very foundations of Thornbrook Park.
My thoughts:
This one felt different as it was a widow and a second son that fell in love.
Eve married someone not of her class and was disowned. She loved her husband and then he died. Now she is back in England. She was, well honestly normal 😉 A good woman.
Marcus has PTSD and has left the life of a soldier. He uses his rage as a fighter. He was also normal, it feels like I am at a loss for words here but they were both normal, nice, he had small issues and they fell in love.
The setting is 1906 so yes Edwardian romance was another thing that was different, and interesting.
But life is never easy. There is suspense in this novel too as, oh I shall not say, but something from the past comes haunting them. And a bit of drama as Marcus’s sister in law tries to play matchmaker and not between him and Eve.
Conclusion:
A nice romance with a suspenseful twist.

Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Published June 3rd 2014 by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Thornbrook Park #1
Historical romance
For review

Swords of Good Men – Snorri Kristjansson

To Ulfar Thormodsson, the Viking town of Stenvik is the penultimate stop on a long journey in this riveting adventure of clashing Viking powers. Tasked with looking after his cousin after disgracing his father, he has traveled the world and now only wants to go home.

Stenvik is different: it contains the beautiful and tragic Lilja, who immediately captures Ulfar’s heart-–but Stenvik is also home to some very deadly men, who could break Ulfar in an instant.

King Olav is marching on Stenvik from the East, determined to bring the White Christ to the masses at the point of his sword, and a host of bloodthirsty raiders led by a mysterious woman are sailing from the north.

But Ulfar is about to learn that his enemies are not all outside the walls.
My thoughts:
At first I will admit that this will not be the historical for everyone. This is about war, fighting, a siege, death. You get the idea.
Ulfar comes with his cousin to Stenvik. And he is not the only one. King Olav is coming there too, and others to plunder and kill. But before that Ulfar falls for a mystery woman (yes those things can never end well). And we gets to see the tension in the city. It was a brutal time after all.
The raiders and King do not come at once. We get to see city life, the raiders planning and King Olav telling people his way or the highway. Yeah, I have never been a fan of those who say this religion is better, follow it or die. So I can’t really be on his side then. Go back to your heathen ways Norway, do not listen to Olav.
Ulfar, he was interesting. Because he starts of, not naive, but in a way yes. He grows and sees the bloody side of things. It’s not like he is a stranger to fighting but things will get messy in this town.
Vikings as they were. A time of Thor vs White Christ. Tensions in society and like always, people doing things they should not do.
Conclusion:
And the end, rather evil wasn’t it? I will not tell you but it certainly made me wonder what Ulfar is up to next.

cover
works

Paperback, 352 pages
Published June 5th by Jo Fletcher Books
The Valhalla Saga #1
Historical fiction
for review

Talk to Me – Jules Wake

Olivia and Daniel certainly aren’t talking the language of love…

Olivia has been in love with Daniel forever but, despite her best efforts, they’ve never been able to get it together. Their relationship has always been a series of mixed messages and misunderstandings, and the final straw comes when Daniel mysteriously starts dating her flat-mate, Emily.

Hurt and confused, Olivia resolves to forget her heartache with a spot of speed-dating. After all, what could possibly go wrong?

One crazy stalker later and Olivia’s life is becoming increasingly strange and scary. Can she rely on Daniel to step in when events take a terrifying turn, or will their communication breakdown ultimately result in tragedy?
My thoughts:
A romance with suspense thrown in, as the end does get really suspenseful.
Olivia has been in love with her friend Daniel for a while. But nothing has happened. But the spark is there, I can see it as I read and they so belong together. She is a nice girl, he is a nice boy. they should be.
But Daniel is dating her room mate. Noooo. And she was such a cow, I grew to loathe her as the book progressed. Trust me, you will also feel the same. Arghhh, what a cow!
So these two have a long way to go. He is with someone else, she thinks all is lost.
Now where does the suspense come in? Oh there is a stalker, a creepy creeping stalker. And who is it? What does the stalker want? What will happen? You will see.

Conclusion:
Romance, suspense and a friendship that has a suffered a bit.
Cover
eh

Paperback, 336 pages
Expected publication: June 15th 2014 by Choc Lit (first published May 6th 2014)
Romantic suspense
for review

Dark Aemilia – Sally O’Reilly

A TALE OF SORCERY AND PASSION IN SEVENTEENTH-CENTURY LONDON—WHERE WITCHES HAUNT WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE AND HIS DARK LADY, THE PLAYWRIGHT’S MUSE AND ONE TRUE LOVE

The daughter of a Venetian musician, Aemilia Bassano came of age in Queen Elizabeth’s royal court. The Queen’s favorite, she develops a love of poetry and learning, maturing into a young woman known not only for her beauty but also her sharp mind and quick tongue. Aemilia becomes the mistress of Lord Hunsdon, but her position is precarious. Then she crosses paths with an impetuous playwright named William Shakespeare and begins an impassioned but ill-fated affair.

A decade later, the Queen is dead, and Aemilia Bassano is now Aemilia Lanyer, fallen from favor and married to a fool. Like the rest of London, she fears the plague. And when her young son Henry takes ill, Aemilia resolves to do anything to save him, even if it means seeking help from her estranged lover, Will—or worse, making a pact with the Devil himself.
My thoughts:
The book takes place during different important years during her life.
Aemilia is first the mistress of a powerful man and she has everything. She is happy with her lot in life. But the title already says is and the passion she and Shakespeare share drive them mad for each other. That is the first part of her life. Meeting Shakespeare, and losing it all.
The second part takes place when she is married to a gambler and her old life is long gone. She has a son. She still wants to write. But this was not a time for women, men were the writers. In this part something, well I do not want to call it paranormal, let’s just call it witchy, comes over it all. Superstition, needs and wants sets her on a different road. It’s a shitty life to be honest. I can feel the smell and dirt that was the early 1700th century. And it was not pretty and people were fools.
The last part, oh I am not gonna say everything that happens.
She was real, if she really was Shakespeare’s dark lady we do not know. But I quite like how O’Reilly portrayed it here.
Conclusion:
Love, passion, need. Witchcraft, sorcery and poetry. Plague, death and despair. Yes this book really gives us all of it.
Cover
I like the birds

Hardcover, 448 pages
Published May 27th 2014 by Picador (first published March 27th 2014)
Historical fiction
for review

Mischief by Moonlight – Emily Greenwood

With the night so full of romance…
Colin Pearce, the Earl of Ivorwood, never dreamed he’d desire another man’s fiancée, but when his best friend goes off to war and asks Colin to look after the bewitching Josie Cardworthy, he falls under her sparkling spell.

Who can resist mischief?
Josie can’t wait for the return of her long-absent fiancé. If only her beloved sister might find someone, too…someone like the handsome, reserved Colin. A gypsy’s love potion gives Josie the chance to matchmake, but the wild results reveal her own growing passion for the earl. And though fate offers them a chance, a steely honor may force him to reject what her reckless heart is offering…
My thoughts:
Boy meets girl, boy falls for girl, but boy’s best friend gets there first. Yes poor Colin, his friend Josie grew up, he started falling for her but his best friend Nicholas won her.
Colin is still in love with her, but he is a good friend, so he becomes a good friend and only that to her. And again I found myself reading about a nerdy hero who loved history (yay! my kind of guy.)
Josie was a whirlwind! At times I did not think they would suit that well, I thought her sister Edwina would fit him better. But, that’s the thing, you never really know. And they were already best friends too, he had a calming effect on her.
And of course there is mischief going on. Josie tries to set Colin up with her sister, she even gives him a potion. There is a London season and these two slowly moving even closer. But there is that bog cloud, she is in love with someone else, or is she?
Conclusion:
A fun mischievous book.
Cover
works

Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Expected publication: June 3rd 2014 by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Mischief #3
Historical romance
for review