Cause of Conflict by Amelia C. Adams

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me.

Cause of Conflict by Amelia C. Adams

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

Sophie’s light and spirited attitude could make some people believe she isn’t serious about nursing school. And one young Dr. Gregory, who’s prone to headaches, finds this cheerful nursing student nearly impossible to partner with in Cause of Conflict by author Amelia C. Adams.

After enjoying the first novella in the Nurses of New York series a few years ago, I finally got to this second one. It didn’t hold any big surprises for me, but I wasn’t expecting anything shocking anyway.

I was expecting a quick, fairly easy historical fiction read, and that’s what I got. While an aspect of the romance toward the end didn’t feel like the best developmental choice to me, the characters make for a rather comfortable story even as they get to the unpleasant heart of an issue. And the medical scenes at the hospital are interesting.

Maybe it won’t take me quite as long to go on to Book Three.

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Here’s my review of Book One in the Nurses of New York series, Sea of Strangers.

 

Ace Carroway and the Deadly Violin by Guy Worthey

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me. I received an advance reading copy of this book for an honest review.

Ace Carroway and the Deadly Violin by Guy Worthey

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

So! What’s up next for Great-War-pilot-turned-crime-investigator Cecilia “Ace” Carroway and her motley crew of detectives at C. Carroway and Associates? Violinist P. Charles Derkin comes seeking the agency’s assistance, convinced that his violin will soon bring him to the same terrible fate as the instrument’s two previous, deceased owners in Ace Carroway and the Deadly Violin by author Guy Worthey.

For the record, cursed or haunted spooky-spooky stuff isn’t my go-to kind of reading, so if you’re like me, don’t be spooked-out by the skull on the book cover. While a character or two may be terrified at certain times here, this tale isn’t terrifying.

Just like the earlier books I’ve read in The Adventures of Ace Carroway series, reading this sixth book was like meeting up with a gang of old pals. Good ol’ Bert and Quack especially are in fine, hilarious form in this one!

Sharp, intrepid, multitalented Ace sure has picked a fitting career for herself, giving her the chance to strategize and innovate, to help folks in distress, and to fly high and kick some bad-guy patootie. And yeah, she has her moments of misfirings, shyness, and embarrassment, so hey. She isn’t too perfect, which would get annoying.

And I actually saw one of the twists coming this time before Ace and the fellas did. Score ten points for me! (Ahem.)

This author’s clever and zany style keeps me on my toes, and I can’t wait for Book Seven.

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Here’s my review of Book One in the series, Ace Carroway and the Great War.

 

Joy to the World: A Regency Christmas Collection

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for an honest review.

Joy to the World: A Regency Christmas Collection by Carolyn Miller, Amanda Barratt, and Erica Vetsch

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

Edith and George were once close to getting engaged, but family circumstances got in the way. Jenny, an unmarried woman struggling to care for her child, meets Dwight, a mysterious man ravaged by war and heartbreak. Cilla has felt out of place in society ever since she became a young widow, and now her growing feelings for a painter, Hamish, drive her thoughts further from societal convention in Joy to the World: A Regency Christmas Collection by authors Carolyn Miller, Amanda Barratt, and Erica Vetsch.

Along with the fact that historical fiction is my favorite genre, the harmonious mix of frost and color on the elegant book cover drew me to this trio of ChristFic novellas. Romantic love and Christmastide can be a winning combination.

Now, while the first story felt a little too thin and clichéd for my taste, others may enjoy it for light reading. The romance in the second novella has some interesting similarities to Beauty and the Beast, though I think maybe this story makes too much effort driving home how dire and sad the main characters’ situations are, especially the hero’s. Even with the eventual turn toward light (and a rather rushed and platitudinous spiritual conversion), the read felt gloomy to me overall, though it has its own kind of beauty in places.

Even so, I ate up the third novella, Wonders of His Love. I appreciate that Cilla isn’t just a lady in an undesirable position, sitting there until a hero comes to fall in love with her, but she’s a compassionate person with a meaningful mission. Hamish also brings out deeper meaning from his work, and I fell for his gold-hearted character, as the author doesn’t go overboard trying to make Hamish dashing. He and Cilla have a natural way with each other, a warm and convincing connection.

It’s a satisfying conclusion to this love-and-Christmastide collection.

 

Elmetia by Rachel A. James

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me.

Elmetia by Rachel A. James

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

The Kingdom of Elmetia falls on account of the ruthless King of Dyrah, so an Elmetian princess, Teagen, disguises herself as a servant to survive. She spends the next eight years in slavery but escapes when she hears that her brother is alive. Still, the Dyrahn king has his sights set on revenge in Elmetia by author Rachel A. James.

I was quite excited to come across this first book in a ChristFic historical fantasy series. Although it becomes a bit much when the princess here has to be repeatedly saved from peril, I like that Teagen does have brains, ability, and grit to her. She has spirit without being a jerk as she navigates through this tale of harrowing adventure.

Now, sometimes the scenes and emotional development seem rather rushed, and the story takes some actual history for granted without explaining how it fits so literally into this fantasy world. Like, when the characters read from the Gospel of Luke—who is Luke? When they refer to Jesus (not only the Christ, but Jesus), who is he? In our world, he was a Jewish man from Nazareth, but Jewish people and Nazareth don’t exist in this novel’s world of imaginary peoples and places, or do they? Even so, those aspects weren’t as big an issue to me as a critical issue concerning the romance.

Nevertheless, I really do like Teagen. Apart from the romance, I enjoyed the novel’s overall concept, and I plan on reading more of the series.

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The Forgotten Kingdoms Series