Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Whip Smart: Lola Montez Conquers the Spaniards by Kit Brennan

Release Date: January 1, 2013
Publisher: Astor + Blue Edditions LLC
Pages: 274pgs
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Historical Romance
Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Description: A wild and sexy romp through history based on the real-life adventures of the audacious Lola Montez. It is 1842, London, and the gorgeous, ever-capricious 22-year-old Eliza Gilbert, (aka Lola Montez) is in deep trouble and seeks escape from a divorce trial. Desperate to be free, Lola accepts an alluring offer of a paid trip to Spain, if she will only fulfill a few tasks for Juan de Grimaldi—a Spanish theatre impresario who is also a government agent and spy for the exiled Spanish queen, Maria Cristina. Lola soon finds herself in Madrid, undercover as a performer in a musical play. But when she falls dangerously in love with the target, General Diego de Léon, Lola becomes a double agent and the two hatch a plot of their own. Disaster strikes when the plot is exposed, Diego is captured, and Lola is forced to flee on horseback to France, with a dangerous group of Loyalists in hot pursuit.

Review: This book starts off with Lola Montez captured and being interrogated by the police. The police want to get the truth from Lola, so she decides to tell the story from the beginning. Lola is a woman that just wants big things. Wants to be an woman of society, a dancer, and an actress. Unfortunately things don't go that way for her.

Overall, I enjoyed the book. The writing was funny and easy to read. The whole story flowed nicely, and there was not a dull moment. It is an empowering story of a woman taking control of her life. Being courageous and a nice love story. I would recommend it for people who enjoy reading historical novels. When you read this book, it truly brings you into 1842.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Chase Tinker and the House of Magic by Malia Ann Haberman

Release Date: August 15, 2012
Publisher: Crossroad Press
Pages: Kindle 
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy
Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 stars 

Description: Thirteen-year-old Chase Tinker can't understand why he has the power to move things with his mind. Besides that, his dad has been missing for over a year, causing his mom to be too upset to pay much attention to her sons, so now he's been busted for shoplifting. As if this isn't enough to worry about, his younger brother Andy suddenly has a weird magical ability too.

Can things get any crazier? Chase thinks.

Then, a grandfather they thought to be long dead arrives at their door. He wants Chase and Andy to come visit him for the summer so they can learn about their supernatural heritage and why they have magical powers in the first place.

The boys soon find out that Grandfather, along with their cousin Janie, lives on a remote island in the middle of Puget Sound in an out-of-this-world house where fantastic magic can be found in practically every room, stairway and corridor. Chase can't believe their dad has been keeping so much from them.

It's an even bigger shock when Chase learns that all their magic is controlled by a very powerful and mysterious Relic in the attic, and if anything happens to this relic, every bit of Tinker magic will be lost forever. He's even more disturbed when he learns his family has a dark and powerful enemy that is determined to steal all their magic, their house and their relic. 

Now Chase must find a way to stop these evil beings, while at the same time figuring out what has happened to his dad, unraveling even more Tinker lies and secrets and not letting on that he has a huge crush on the housekeeper's daughter.

Review: I enjoyed reading this book. It was a quick and enjoyable read. The writing and the story flowed nicely. The description of the house and their powers was wonderfully written. It felt like I was actually there experiencing everything.

At moments this did seem a little childish for me. It is great for kids from 10-13 years old. Overall it was a good book and looking forward to future books in the series.