The Crown Agent ARC Review

 

Just gonna copy and paste this for all backlogged reviews lol:

Oh, look, another backlogged ARC review. I know. Shocking.

October was the month we moved, and November I was still trying to tame the chaos of the new house, and I was also sick for like two weeks lol. Anyway, onto my review!

 

The Crown Agent

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GoodReads:
A ship adrift, all hands dead. A lighthouse keeper murdered in the night. The Crown needs man to find the truth. Doctor Mungo Lyon, his reputation tarnished by the Burke & Hare scandal, and forbidden to practise as a surgeon, is the wrong man.

That’s exactly why the Crown chose him.

Purchase Links

Amazon UK | Amazon US

**The links to the book used in this post are Affiliated links, should you click on my links and use them to purchase this book, it will gain me some monies, and will cost you nothing, but gotta disclose this first.**

 

My Review

Guys.

GUYS.

Holy cow, I’m surprised by how much I loved this!! I hated not being able to snatch it up sooner, like I feel so silly for not just kick away the rest of my tbr for this before it actually published. Alas, being overwhelmed is never a good look so here we are, a little late to the part.

This is the start of a new character of the hour, Mungo Lyon, a doctor turned to espionage. You may wonder how he got to such a different place as far as careers go and I have to say the answer was amazing. His mentor purchased bodies for students….off…Burke & Hare. If you don’t know about these guys, they were two murderers in Edinburgh who killed people to sell to/for science as a fresh body was always in need to teach.

Due to this association, Dr. Lyon’s surgeon’s career is bleak, but there comes a chance to change his fate and he decides to jump right in.

And as he decides to go forward, trouble trails closely behind him.

Seriously, I felt for poor Mungo, he just never caught a break.

This means the novel was definitely fast-paced, plot-driven and full of adventure and mystery.

This also means this was a perfect read for me the lover of mystery and …okay let’s face it, I love lots of things and lots of books just like the rest of you. Anyway! It was honestly such a fantastic read for me and I loved the characters we were introduced to. There were secret societies, spying, Burke & Hare ‘lore,’ and the delicious historical background!

The mystery of it all was steeped in the sort of secret society mythology that I always love. There’s even adventures on the seas. And I loved reading about Scotland in all its beauty, but I may be biased.

This read gets 4.5/5 cups of hot chocolate from me, and I would like to thank Sandstone Press for the ARC in exchange for my honest opinion. I cannot wait to read the next Dr. Lyon book!

The Devil Upstairs – Blog Tour

 

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Synopsis:
Rosemary’s Baby meets Ambrose Parry’s The Way of All Flesh in this macabre thriller – a devilishly brilliant allegory set in modern-day Edinburgh by the author of the highly acclaimed Dr Jekyll & Mr. Seek.
Cat Thomas relocates to Edinburgh, fleeing death threats related to her job as a fraud investigator in Florida. Her 18th-century Dean Village flat is utterly idyllic except for one thing…the devil upstairs.
Cat lies awake, delirious from lack of sleep, dreaming of ways in which to get rid of the utterly inconsiderate neighbour who keeps her awake every night with loud music and wild parties. Desperate for a solution she joins a work friend at a witches’ conclave and is blissfully surprised when the noise suddenly stops. 
But when the devil upstairs is found dead and Cat’s seemingly perfect man arrives in his place, the problems she thought were solved come back to haunt her in new and unexpected ways.
Impeccably plotted, intricately nuanced and shot through with darkly wicked humour, The Devil Upstairs perfectly captures the shadowy beauty and mystery of Edinburgh’s architecture, atmosphere and history, gibing literary voice to its world-renowned status as a “haunted” city.
Book Information:
By: Anthony O’Neill
Publication Date: 5th September 2019
Published by: Black&White Publishing
GoodReads

 

My Review

The dark humour in this was perfection. This is the sort of horror I want, dark and wicked and full of brilliantly timed humour and equal parts terrifying. Cat was not the most lovable protagonist and that’s what makes this book so humorous, you understand where she’s coming from, we’ve all probably had a noisy neighbour or two and have wanted to just shut them up, but her situation also made me chuckle.

I couldn’t imagine being as patient as Cat and I loved that she always tried to think things through, even when she was close to snapping with her horrible neighbour, she was all sense and respectability in a lot of ways.

But even a saint has their breaking point and though this shouldn’t be taken as a honest look into witches -or their pagan faith- this should be taken as a hilarious twist to a witches’ conclave set in the perfect atmosphere of Scotland. Also, satanism wasn’t portrayed as stereotypically as one might think when hearing a horror book contains it. That impressed me.

[I may also be the smallest bit biased in loving most books set in Edinburgh.]

It’s spooky and scary though too, not just humor. You do begin to feel for Cat, you sense she’s running out of time and she’s no closer to saving herself. So can Cat be saved? And what does she need saving from?

The ending was another point of perfection for me and answers all questions necessary to feel closure but still left a lot open to the imagination, striking the perfect balance.

If you’re looking for a thrillingly spooky fall read in time for Halloween, this is another recommendation from me! Four big cups of coffee from this reader.

Thank you to BW publishing for a copy of this in exchange for my honest opinion as part of the tour.

 

About the Author

Anthony O’Neill was born in Melbourne and lives in Edinburgh. He is the author of Dr Jekyll & Mr Seek, his sequel to Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde; Scheherazade, an Arabian Nights homage; The Lamplighter, a psychological horror; The Empire of Eternity, a history-mystery involving Napoleon and Egyptology; The Unscratchables, a satire featuring dog and cat detectives; and The Dark Side, a crime novel set on the far side of the moon. Film rights to The Dark Side have been sold to 20th Century Fox.

 

The Rest of the Tour ScheduleDevil_blog tour tile

 

Bride Squad Runaway Blog Tour

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GoodReads:
Ava and her trusty bride squad set off on an unforgettable Irish roadtrip. Along the way there’s ice-cream vans, roguish strangers and a very handsome Frenchman. Join them for this laugh-out-loud, feel-good romance with a twist.
‘Tu es belle – wow! Look at you!’ 
It should be the perfect moment. A sunny day at Vintage Brides, and Ava O’Hara is twirling in her wedding dress. Super-hot Stefan likes what he sees…
But Stefan won’t be the one standing at the altar. It’ll be Simon, Ava’s wannabe rockstar fiancé. Or will it?
Simon says he loves her, but he’s got a funny way of showing it. When his indiscretions go viral on the big day, Ava suddenly becomes a bride-NOT-to-be.
She needs her Bride Squad, and fast. It’s time for a runaway! But will Ava come home from her wild Irish roadtrip? And if she does, will it be to love, loss or something entirely different?
A brilliantly funny and uplifting story of love, friendship and freedom by real-life BFFs, Caroline Grace-Cassidy and Lisa C. Carey. Readers of Holly Martin, Marian Keyes and Katie Fforde will love this brilliant collaboration.

Where to Buy

Amazon Kobo

 

My Review

Bride Runaway Squad is a light hearted and funny read. Think of ‘Bridesmaids’ meets ‘The Decoy Bride.’ [2 of my fave wedding rom-com films, just incase you all were wondering] It’s really the kind of read that just leaves you feeling uplifted at the end, the authors do a great job of keeping real emotions while giving us something to chuckle at. It actually reads a lot like a rom-com movie and it makes the pages just fly by. But! The focus isn’t the romance, it’s the friendship, so keep that in mind, this is all about some Bride Squad Power.

One thing I tell you though, chapter six had me dying to find out what had Simon the fiancé done?! That whole chapter it was just me going ‘WHAT DID HE DO?!’

I really enjoyed is that our bride was just about 40 and just getting married for the first time, I just felt this was a bit more accurate in our day and age, people get married all across the age ranges now.

Also, while the humor is definitely what makes the book, I adored how this was truly a book on friendship, so even though it read like a ‘rom-com’ romance wasn’t the focus, it was a smaller part, the main bulk of the story is finding yourself along the way of reconnecting with those who make a difference just by being in your life.

[My favorite part was with the rats. Hands down. I’m still chuckling.]

The friends don’t always see eye to eye and I love that the issues were resolved in a way that just felt natural. Let me tell you, finding out you had more in common with someone and that jealousy can remove a lot of obstacles is so enjoyable to read. Cate and Lauren are different enough that they both really stand out from each other and from our bride Ava, and the cast of characters is just really fun, there’s a great energy between them and  whoever they meet along the way.

Friendship aside though, I just want to say I adore Stefan and felt like he was such a great character. He is supportive and a good friend before anything else. I may be a fangirl of his now haha.

If you like romance, if you’re getting married, if you just finished a relationship, and you like to have a laugh, this book is one to pick up! It’s a quick and fun summer read and I hope that you all get to enjoy it as much as I did!

Thank you to Black&White Publishing for sending me a copy and allowing me to take part in the tour. [My review is as honest as always!] And you can find the rest of the tour at the end of my post.

***Note! Royalties from the sale of this book are going to be donated to the Sarah Jennifer Knott Foundation for Cancer of Unknown Primary.***

 

About the Author(s)

 

Caroline Grace Cassidy is an Irish film and television actress, and author. She is best known for her role in David Gordon Green’s Your Highness. 

Her debut novel When Love Takes Over was released by Poolbeg on February 7, 2012. She was cited by The Irish Times newspaper as one of their ‘People to Watch’ in 2012.

Since then she has been published with , The Other Side Of Wonderful (2013), I Always Knew (2014) Already Taken (2015) and The Week I Ruined My Life was published in 2016 with UK Publishers Black & White Publishing.

 

Rest of the Tour

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Cymera #1

Hey guys!

So, Cymera was awesome! I was pretty brief in my appearance, I went on Saturday to my two events and had to rush off to meet up with my friend who had so kindly went about on her own in Edinburgh -her first time too- as she knew I was super excited about this festival.

Let me just say this was a delightful experience and there was so much that I took away in the short span of time of my attendance.

First off everyone was so nice and helpful and friendly! I mean everyone! From volunteers, to writers, to fellow regular/blogger attendees, to the amazing authors! So thank you so much to those who put so much work and effort into Cymera Festival and I can’t wait for the next one.

The small setting was perfect, you really got to feel a sort of intimacy between the other attendees, yourself, and the authors and their wonderful chair peeps! I could not say enough good things!

The only complaint I have is with the weather, Edinburgh, you let me down lolol, thankfully I come prepared for our typical summer/spring showers and my books were safely wrapped up in my backpack to avoid getting damaged.

Instead of just giving you all a run down, I really want to delve into what the authors were talking about and the questions brought forth to them as they would make some excellent conversation posts for us all!

I am trying to give you a small summary for now though as you can see by my gushing about the festival and the lament of the weather. I was well prepared for it as said though, and I was really thankful that there was a Blackwell’s bookshop open. I brought my own books but I still ended up coming home with a couple.

There were readings by well known and emerging authors, there was gathering, there was coffee [alas the line was too long and this well known caffeinated reader was without caffeine] and there were books. What more could a reader ask for?

Well my first discussion piece will be on Thursday, and we’re going to take a look at what our authors and chair speaker Lesley Glaister, Eris Young, and Alexandra Christo had to say about mythical creatures.

But more importantly, we’re going to see how they view the categorization of monsters and creatures and how they differentiate from humans, and what makes humans..human? Why do we call it humanity and is it possible for a monster to be more human than one of us?

Find out Thursday!!

 

 

Cymera Coming Up!

If you all remember I signed up to volunteer for Cymera Festival in Edinburgh, I didn’t get a chance to this year -hopefully, I will next year!- but I am still attending!

This picture is their logo, I had nothing to do with it, please no one sue me!

Who am I going to see?

Mythical Creatures With…

I’m going to see Alexandra Christo, author of To Kill a Kingdom and Lesley Glaister, author of Aphra’s Child for my first event which is chaired by Eris Young, Sarah Marie Griffin was going to attend this event as well but she’s unable to, however, it’s still a fantastic lineup!

My other event is…

Samantha Shannon: Priory of the Orange Tree

Samantha Shannon, chaired by Akemi Dawn Bowman! I’m so excited for this one as well! There were so many I wanted to go to and I’m still going to try and head to a couple of more last minute so I can try and score stuff for friends from authors they wanted!

I really hope I can, my friends are amazing and they deserve some goodies from authors!

Seriously, speaking of, go check out Michelle’s blog at Michelle Likes Things because she’s amazing and so is her blog and she made my week this week. That is all.

If you’re a book blogger/reader/writer or just going to Cymera please feel free to say hi to me! [I’ll be the one with the very poofy dark auburn hair and resting bitch face while clutching my copies of Priory and TKAK.

I won’t be able to post about the actual festival until Sunday as Saturday night I’m going out with my friend who is here and the hubs.

Speaking of the hubs, this is a bit off topic but he’s awesome, he found Vol. 2 of George Buchanan’s memoirs, a British diplomat in Russia around the time of the Revolution, I had vol. 1 but didn’t even know how to find vol. 2!