Sunday, February 28, 2021

Reviewer's Bookshelf: "The Thief of Blackfriar's Lane" by Michelle Griep


Book Summary (Amazon): Constable Jackson Forge intends to make the world safer, or at least the streets of Victorian London. But that’s Kit Turner’s domain, a swindler who runs a crew that acquires money the old-fashioned way—conning the rich to give to the poor. When a local cab driver goes missing, Jackson is tasked with finding the man, and the only way to do that is by enlisting Kit’s help. If Jackson doesn’t find the cabby, he’ll be fired. If Kit doesn’t help Jackson, he’ll arrest her for thievery. Yet neither of them realize those are the least of their problems.

My thoughts...Time for me to gush about Michelle Griep’s newest book, The Thief of Blackfriars Lane 🤎. At first I wasn’t really sold on Jackson Forge, as he seemed too straight laced and a little boring. Then enters Kit Turner, who instantly won me over with her street smarts and winsome persona. Kit and Jackson become a great crime solving pair in a story that had some fun twists and turns. I loved the mild suspense and moments of romantic tension. I've never been disappointed when reading something by Michelle Griep, and would definitely recommend this 1800s Victorian Christian fiction novel  🔍 .
*Thanks to the publisher via Netgalley for a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions expressed are my own.*

Sunday, February 7, 2021

Reviewer's Bookshelf: Dreams of Savannah by Roseanna M. White


Book Summary (Amazon): Cordelia Owens can weave a hopeful dream around anything and is well used to winning the hearts of everyone in Savannah with her whimsy. Even when she receives word that her sweetheart has been lost during a raid on a Yankee vessel, she clings to hope and comes up with many a romantic tale of his eventual homecoming to reassure his mother and sister.

But Phineas Dunn finds nothing redemptive in the first horrors of war. Struggling for months to make it home alive, he returns to Savannah injured and cynical, and all too sure that he is not the hero Cordelia seems determined to make him. Matters of black and white don't seem so simple anymore to Phin, and despite her best efforts, Delia's smiles can't erase all the complications in his life. And when Fort Pulaski falls and the future wavers, they both must decide where the dreams of a new America will take them, and if they will go together.

My thoughts...I chose to read/review this book because I'm a native Georgian and absolutely love the city of Savannah. The novel felt kind of Gone with the Wind-esque, with Cordelia being a bit dramatic like Scarlet O'hara. Just like Scarlet, Delia has to grow up as the horrors of the Civil War become a reality. While I appreciated Delia's character growth and was moved by some moments she had with other characters, I struggled with connecting with her. She seemed so out of touch with reality and lost in her fictional world, that I had trouble rooting for her. With the hero, Phin, I liked that he was grounded and strong. He faced a life-threatening injury and experienced a physical and spiritual transformation through it. This book also addresses the evils of slavery in several ways. It could just be the climate of our nation right now, but these aspects were particularly hard to read. I know this was the reality in Georgia in the 1800s, but there is part of this prejudice and evil that rings true today. I didn't particularly enjoy it in a pleasure/escape read. Overall, this wasn't the book I was expecting to read, but that was my fault. I should've read the summary better. I would still characterize Roseanna M. White's writing as stellar, as she knows how to evoke emotion in the reader. There was a build up of tension, which I appreciated. Readers of Civil War historical fiction would probably enjoy this book, but it has a different tone than her previous Code Breakers series. 

*I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in order to share my honest opinion, which I did.*