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.

 

Wonders of His Love by Erica Vetsch

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.

Fan art by Nadine C. Keels: not an official book cover

Wonders of His Love by Erica Vetsch

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Cilla, a young widow and mother, has felt out of place in society ever since she lost her husband. Now her growing feelings for a portrait painter, Hamish, drive Cilla’s thoughts further from societal convention in Wonders of His Love by author Erica Vetsch.

This ChristFic novella is my favorite from Joy to the World: A Regency Christmas Collection, and I ate this holiday story up.

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.

I found this to be a satisfying conclusion to a love-and-Christmastide collection.

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