Friday, March 15, 2013

What I've Read This Week

What I've Read This Week . . .

Masked Ball at Broxley Manner (Her Royal Spyness) by Rhys Bowen -- Historical Mystery

This special e-book story is a prequel to the popular series. Georgie has just finished her first Season and realized that Fig doesn't want her around. She's delighted to accept an invitation to visit her royal relatives at "Buck House," but dismayed to discover the real reason for the invitation is so she can meet her distant Prussian cousin, Prince Otto. Prince Otto is AWOL so Georgie successfully dodges that bullet. She is also invited to a Halloween masked ball at Broxley Manner, hosted by the American born Lady Merriman. It's to be a grand to-do with full costumes and guests from America. (Can you guess who Lady Merriman's good friend is?) Georgie realizes that once again, she's invited to meet Prince Otto. Georgie refuses to marry for less than true love. Mysterious happenings interrupt what could be the beginning of a romance. This book is not worth the price. Nothing much happens that we don't already know. It would serve as a good introduction for someone who is new to the series but for readers who have read them all, it's not worth it. Spoiler alert (Highlight the following text): In this story Georgie and Darcy meet and fall in love for the first time but since he is in costume, standing in for the prince, she doesn't know who he is. She thinks he's the prince at first until she meets the real prince. Darcy may or may not be there on Whitehall business so Georgie gets her first taste of intrigue. Since Darcy has nothing to offer Georgie, he lets her go. 

Perfect Scoundrels (Heist Society) by Ally Carter -- Young Adult Contemporary

Kat Bishop and her gang are fresh off their triumph at the Henley and it seems that Hale is finally ready to become her boyfriend. During a seemingly routine heist, Hale dashes off and when Kat seems him again, he seems to have been sucked into the soulless world of his parents. Hale's grandmother, Hazel, died and left their family business to Hale in trust. The business will be overseen by a trustee, Garrett, the family lawyer. Kat's heart aches for the boy she loves and she feels him slipping away from her. Should she steal him back? If so, how? When Marcus comes to her for help, Kat gets involved in something beyond her scope of experience.  Kat, being a good thief, has to at least try, but she could lose Hale possibly forever. The first few chapters are really slow. The story is very different from the usual Heist Society plot that I had a hard time getting into it. Then the story picks up when Kat reunites with the rest of the gang.  Even so, I still found the plot a bit awkward. Having Kat so involved in a case involving one of her own is tricky and causes a lot of problems. This story is more character driven than the previous novels and deals a lot with Kat's insecurities, Hale's loneliness and their feelings for each other. The last few chapters really kicked it up and left me on the edge of my bed reading as fast as I could to find out what happened next. Just when I thought it was over, it wasn't. That was a bit of a problem. The plot twists left me a little confused. I had to go back and reread it to see if I had missed something. I guess I was conned! Some plot points from the previous books seem to have been dropped. The villain in the story is very cartoonish and even someone who is not a trained thief or spy could figure it out. I always enjoy the secondary characters in Kat's gang and though they all play very minor roles here, they provide a lot of comic relief. There's too much relationship drama and I hope there are more books in the series about Vasily Romani. If you liked the first two in the series, you might like this one. For me, it just wasn't as good as the previous two. I still long for more though.

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