GPL Blog

Book Review | Deathless Divide by Justina Ford

From the publisher: After the fall of Summerland, Jane McKeene hoped her life would get simpler: Get out of town, stay alive, and head west to California to find her mother. But nothing is easy when you’re a girl trained in putting down the restless dead, and a devastating loss on the road to a protected village called Nicodermus has Jane questioning everything she thought she knew about surviving in 1880’s America. What’s more, this safe haven is not what it appears – as Jane discovers when she sees familiar faces from Summerland amid this new society. Caught between mysteries and lies, the undead, and her own inner demons, Jane soon finds herself on a dark path of blood and violence that threatens to consume her. But she won’t be in it alone. Katherine Deveraux never expected to be allied with Jane McKeene. But after the hell she has endured, Read more »

Book Review | Dread Nation by Justina Ireland

From the publisher: At once provocative, terrifying, and darkly subversive, Dread Nation is Justina Ireland’s stunning vision of an America both foreign and familiar—a country on the brink, at the explosive crossroads where race, humanity, and survival meet.

Dread Nation is a book I’ve been meaning to read for several years. Alternate history Civil War with zombies? Sounds awesome!

The Civil War was interrupted when the dead rose during the Battle of Gettysburg and hungrily attacked both armies. The Union and Confederacy soon realized they had to stop fighting each other and team up to defeat the shamblers, as they’re called in this book. The…

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Book Review | The Siren of Sussex by Mimi Matthews

From the publisher: Victorian high society’s most daring equestrienne finds love and an unexpected ally in her fight for independence in the strong arms of London’s most sought after and devastatingly handsome half-Indian tailor.

I’m a big fan of Mimi Matthews, who began her fiction career by self-publishing romance novels set during the Victorian and Regency periods. She has now caught the attention of traditional publishing, and The Siren of Sussex is her first book with Berkley. Matthews is also a historian, and her books are ruthlessly researched. She may stretch a likely outcome, but her characters follow the behavioral standards of the day.

I have read all of the author’s works, and The Siren of Sussex was a little slow starting for me…

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Book Review | The Hacienda by Isabel Cañas

From the publisher: Mexican Gothic meets Rebecca in this debut supernatural suspense novel, set in the aftermath of the Mexican War of Independence, about a remote house, a sinister haunting, and the woman pulled into their clutches…

Disclaimer: I haven’t read Rebecca or Mexican Gothic (but I’ve got the ARC!). Regardless, I enjoyed this book immensely and immediately gave it five stars. I also knew next to nothing about the Mexican War of Independence before starting and was able to follow along without any issue.

After her father’s execution during the overthrow of the government, Beatriz is desperate to find a home again for herself and her mother. She eagerly accepts the proposal of the…

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Book Review | A Reckless Match by Kate Bateman

From the publisher: Can lifelong hate turn to true love? Meet the Davies and Montgomery families – two households locked in an ancient feud, destined to be on opposing sides forever. Until now…

A Reckless Match is the first in new historical romance series set during the Regency period, about feuding families and childhood enemies who grow up to be lovers. A good enemies to lovers story is often a lot of fun, and clearly the author thinks so.

Maddie and Gryff have known each other since childhood, so there is no “meet cute,” but there is a cute intro all the same. Every year on the spring equinox, a member of the Montgomery family and a member of the Davies family must meet on a bridge dividing…

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Book Review | Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

From the publisher: An isolated mansion. A chillingly charismatic aristocrat. And a brave socialite drawn to expose their treacherous secrets. . .

Silvia Moreno-Garcia has written quite a few novels, but this is the first of hers that I’ve read. I’m glad I read it, and it was a quick read, but it wasn’t blow-your-mind-amazing. It was predictable, pulling from many of the gothic foremothers and forefathers, but that set this up to be a softer texture of spooky. I wish I would have saved it for a cool fall evening, so if you’re reading this and I end up convincing you to read Mexican Gothic, please do yourself a favor and wait until it’s at least below 65 degrees and you have hot cocoa and flannels handy…

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Book Review | The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich

From the Publisher: Omakayas and her family live on the land her people call the Island of the Golden-Breasted Woodpecker. Although the “chimookoman,” white people, encroach more and more on their land, life continues much as it always has: every summer they build a new birchbark house; every fall they go to ricing camp to harvest and feast; they move to the cedar log house before the first snows arrive, and celebrate the end of the long, cold winters at maple-sugaring camp.

This is a highly recommended read for any Little House on the Prairie fans (along with Prairie Lotus by Linda Sue Park), as well as other readers interested in the mid 1800s and pioneering time period and aspects of American history. Louise Erdrich, an enrolled…

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Book Review | The Godmothers by Camille Aubray

From the publisher: Filomena, Amie, Lucy, and Petrina become godmothers to one another’s children, finding hope and shelter in this prosperous family and their sumptuous Greenwich Village home, and enjoying New York life with its fine dining, opulent department stores and sophisticated nightclubs. But the women’s secret pasts lead to unforeseen consequences and betrayals that threaten to unravel all their carefully laid plans. When their husbands are forced to leave them during the second World War, the Godmothers must unexpectedly contend with notorious gangsters who run the streets of New York City.

I found The Godmothers to be an excellent novel that kept me distracted through a day of…

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Book Review | John Eyre: A Tale of Darkness and Shadow by Mimi Matthews

From the publisher: Yorkshire, 1843. When disgraced former schoolmaster John Eyre arrives at Thornfield Hall to take up a position as tutor to two peculiar young boys, he enters a world unlike any he’s ever known. Darkness abounds, punctuated by odd bumps in the night, strange creatures on the moor, and a sinister silver mist that never seems to dissipate. And at the center of it all, John’s new employer Bertha — a widow as alluring as she is mysterious. John and Bertha contend with secrets, danger, and the eternal struggle between light and darkness. Can they help each other vanquish the demons of the past? Or are some evils simply too powerful to conquer?

John Eyre is a mash-up retelling of Jane Eyre and another classic novel (I won’t say which, as…

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Book Review | The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels by India Holton

From the publisher: A prim and proper lady thief must save her aunt from a crazed pirate and his dangerously charming henchman in this fantastical historical romance.

This book is bonkers. It contains every crazy thing you can imagine in an adventure story – pirates, flying houses, assassination attempts, gothic abbeys, kidnappings, tea parties. Somewhat like The Princess Bride on steroids.

As such, The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels will not be to everyone’s taste. It is full of nonstop nonsense. The author is in love with her own cleverness, which doesn’t necessarily aid the story. People used to listen breathlessly while the latest installment of a new tale…

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