Review of The Lady in the Coppergate Tower

The Lady in the Coppergate Tower by Nancy Campbell Allen

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Book Review of The Lady in the Coppergate Tower by Nancy Campbell Allen

You know me; I love a good fairy tell retelling. I love how authors are able to take a familiar story and rethink it, looking at it from different angles perspectives. Looking at the characters in a unique way, and trying to find a story within a story are also something I enjoy about retellings. When I saw that Nancy Campbell Allen had done a re-telling of Rapunzel I was super excited. Having it steampunk made it all the more fun! I love this little world she is creating surrounding Blackwell Manor and its residents and friends, so I couldn’t wait to read it. I hope you enjoy my review of The Lady in the Coppergate Tower by Nancy Campbell Allen.

Blurb:

“Hazel Hughes believes there is nothing remarkable about her, not even her strange ability to heal the sick and injured. Her employer, Doctor Sam MacInnes recognizes her special talent, but because of the difference in their social status, he can’t tell her how much he admires her. When a mysterious count arrives in London and reveals to Hazel the existence of a twin sister, she agrees to accompany him to the wilds of Romania, where she learns that her healing skills are needed to save her twin’s life. Worried for her safety, Sam insists on accompanying her.

Faced with dark magic, malfunctioning automatons, and dangerous magical artifacts, Hazel and Sam learn to rely on each other as they untangle a dangerous and dark web of mystery surrounding the mysterious count, and search for a way to free Hazel’s sister from the cursed walls of a Coppergate Tower before time runs out on all of them.”

My Book Review:

I seriously love this little steampunk Victorian society that Nancy Campbell Allen has created. It’s so fun and imaginative! I love that you can take such a prim and proper time period and add robots (automatons), transcribers (pagers), submarines, and so much more! It’s also fun to see characters from past books make appearances; it kind of brings it all together.

I liked the cover art of the book before I started reading it, but once I had gotten to know the characters inside the book, the characters on the cover didn’t work for me. I know it’s picky, but I didn’t think they looked anything like the characters in my head. Haha! It’s not that big of a deal, though.

The story line is unique and fun. I thought the fancy, important count coming to get Hazel was a bit creepy, and don’t think I would have gone with him if it’d been me. Hazel’s intentions to save her sister were genuine, though, and that would be a compelling reason to go with him. I thought a few parts were a bit predictable, but a lot of it surprised me. It had enough twists and turns to keep me reading. I had to know more about the sister! What was happening to her? What could Hazel do to save her?

Nancy Campbell Allen does a great job of describing and developing characters. Each character has his or her own characteristics, voice, and personality. I especially liked Sam and Hazel. They have differing viewpoints of the situation at hand, and each of them handles it in a unique way. I liked seeing their strengths and weaknesses throughout the book. As the book progresses, you get to see growth and development in both Hazel and Sam. I enjoyed watching them evolve and change.

Another thing Nancy Campbell Allen does well is describe this world she has created. I love the descriptions of all the high-techie Victorian era stuff! Because it predates our current technology, things are named differently (I gave some examples above), and I enjoy her depictions of them. I enjoy reading her writing because it’s easy to read and understand, it’s entertaining, and it all flows well. It’s clever, too, which makes it more fun to read.

I enjoyed The Lady in the Coppergate Tower. I liked the beginning and middle a lot more than I liked the ending, though. I didn’t like the ending. Most of the story leads up to the ending, and It felt like it took a long time to get there. Then, once I got there, the ending felt a bit rushed to me. It also felt a little too unrealistic, and I still had some questions that didn’t get answered. The other thing I didn’t love about the ending was that it felt a little too much like a copy-cat of something else. I don’t want to spoil anything so I won’t go into more detail than that, but I felt like I’d already seen the ending. Overall, though, it was a fun book. I liked it.

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Content Rating PG-13+Content Rating: PG-13 (There isn’t any profanity or “intimacy” in this book, except for kissing. There is some violence, though. A couple characters are attacked, and another character is abused. A couple characters die.)

Age Recommendation: YA+

My Rating: 3.5/5

3.5 Star Rating

Disclosure: I did receive a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

If you’d like to purchase this book, click here: https://amzn.to/334zivR 

 

Similar Titles You May Be Interested In:

Beauty and Clockwork Beast by Nancy Campbell Allen Kiss of the Spindle by Nancy Campbell Allen my fair gentleman
 
 
Featured Image Credit: Goodreads.com
 

Book Review of Kiss of the Spindle by Nancy Campbell Allen

Kiss of the Spindle by Nancy Campbell Allen

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Book Review of Kiss of the Spindle by Nancy Campbell Allen

I have so enjoyed reading the Proper Romances. Yes, some of them are a bit cheesy, but I like not needing to worry about improper situations popping up. It’s refreshing to read stories without the distraction of the profanity as well. This is a fun one; I like the steampunk twist to it. I think it adds a fun and different angle. And you know I love a good retelling of the fairy tales! With all that, I hope you enjoy my book review of Kiss of the Spindle by Nancy Campbell Allen.

Blurb:

“Doctor Isla Cooper is cursed. Literally. Each night, at the stroke of midnight she falls into a deep sleep from which she cannot be awakened for six hours. To make it worse, the curse has an expiration date—after a year, she will fall asleep forever. And the year is almost up.

In a desperate attempt to find Malette—the witch who cursed her—Isla blackmails her way onto Daniel Pickett’s private airship bound for the Caribbean, only to discover she’s traveling with three illegal shapeshifters and the despicable Nigel Crowe, a government official determined to hunt down and exterminate every shapeshifter in England. Isla and Daniel must work together to keep the identities of the shapeshifters hidden while coming to terms with their own hidden secrets, and their blossoming attraction to each other.

Filled with suspense, intrigue, and plenty of romance, Kiss of the Spindle is a steampunk Sleeping Beauty story. It is a race against the clock as Isla and Daniel try to hunt down the elusive Malette before Isla’s death-like sleep becomes permanent.”

My Book Review:

I’ve always loved Sleeping Beauty, and this book is a fun twist on that well-beloved story. I like the writing style of the book. It flows well, is easy to read and understand, and is a fun, entertaining read. The characters are well developed. I thought the author did a good job of making them realistic. They each have their strengths, weaknesses, flaws, and talents. I liked that there was a hint of mystery in each of them at the beginning, and that you learned more about them as the story went on.

The steampunk aspect of the book adds a fun twist. I liked the descriptions of the airship, the telescribers, and the automatons. If I could really have my way I’d have a Samson to clean my house, do my laundry, and drive my kids everywhere. Haha! Wouldn’t that be amazing? It’d be like having your own personal butler or something. I’m all for that!

I liked the story line as well. It was creative and unique, which I’m always glad about! I thought Isla’s curse could have been a little worse, but I understood how it affected her job and livelihood. It still could have been a few more hours or something, though. I thought it was sweet how Daniel worried about her so much. The side stories with the other characters were interesting, and the twist of how they fit together was a bit surprising. It’s comical that all the men fall for Isla. You feel like you could mop the floor with their drool. Come on boys! Pull yourselves together! I liked that Isla is a strong female character, but she also has her vulnerable moments.

Overall, I enjoyed this story. It’s a fast, easy, entertaining read. It’s not going to solve the world’s problems, but it will give you a few min of respite from those problems. It’s a bit cheesy in a few parts, but I love a bit of cheese with my romance, so it’s fine. If you’re looking for something deep and mind blowing, this isn’t your book, but if you’re looking for a fun beach or summer read, look no further!

Content Rating PG+Rating: PG+ (There isn’t any profanity in this book. There’s no “intimacy” except for some kissing. It does include some violence as they fight a massive shapeshifter.)

Recommendation: YA and up

My Rating: 3.5/5

3.5 Star Rating

Disclosure: I did receive a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

If you’d like to purchase this book, click here: https://amzn.to/2KK4U4A 

Similar Titles You May Be Interested In:

Beauty and Clockwork Beast COVER my fair gentleman  the secret of the india orchid
 

The Secret of the India Orchid by Nancy Campbell Allen


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The Secret of the India Orchid
by
Nancy Campbell Allen

Blurb:
“Anthony Blake, the Earl of Wilshire, is in love with his best friend’s sister, Sophia Elliot. But his plans to court her are put on hold when he is forced to resume his role as an undercover shy for the Crown. A secret document listing the names of the entire network of British spies–including his own–has been stolen. To protect Sophia, Anthony cuts off all ties to her and exchanges his life as an honorable earl for the facade of a flirtatious playboy. Heartbroken and confused, Sophia travels to India, hoping to find healing in one of the most distant regions of the British Empire. But the exotic land isn’t as restful as she had hoped. Instead, she finds herself embroiled in a mystery of a missing sea captain, a possible murder, and a plot that could involve the prince of India. And when Anthony appears at the British Residency, asking questions and keeping his distance from her, she is stunned. She still loves him, and, in her heart, she knows he loves her too. But how can she rebuild her relationship with him if he won’t confide in her? Does she dare offer her heart to him a second time, or will their love be lost under the India sun?”
My Review:

Wow! Although this is a proper romance, it could very well fit into the mystery section as well! This proper romance isn’t all flowers and love notes; it has it’s fair share of romance, for sure, but it’s so much more! There’s murder, betrayal, kidnapping, and lots of secret keeping. Sophia is a strong female character. She holds her own against the men who sometimes desire her to look pretty and do nothing else. I liked her spunk, independence, and compassion. Anthony is also a good, strong character. He may have a soft side underneath all that military/spy persona, and it kinda peaks out every once in awhile. Predictability aside, I enjoyed this book. It has everything you want in a proper romance: a few stolen kisses, a little bit of cheese, some great “Awwwww”s, and a mystery to boot! What could be better?? It’s definitely the most edgy proper romance I’ve read (more violent-not more racy), and I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed it. I liked the mystery, the secrets, the search for the culprit, and that it took the book past just cheesy romance, and elevated it. I recommend this book.

Rating: PG-13 (There isn’t any “intimacy,” except for a few brief kisses, and there isn’t any profanity-to my recollection. There is a murder, but you don’t read about it as it happens, you find out after it has occurred. There are a couple of scenes where characters die, some in kind of graphic ways.)

Recommendation: YA (13+) and Adult

Disclosure: I did receive a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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[Book Review] Beauty and the Clockwork Beast by Nancy Campbell Allen

Beauty and the Clockwork Beast by Nancy Campbell Allen

Beauty and the Clockwork Beast by Nancy Campbell Allen

Blurb: 

“When Lucy Pickett arrives at Blackwell Manor to tend to her ailing cousin, Kate, she finds more than she bargained for. A restless ghost roams the hallways, werewolves have been reported in the area, and vampires lurk across the Scottish border. Lord Miles himself is clearly hiding a secret. He is brash and inhospitable, and does not take kindly to visitors–even one as smart and attractive as Miss Pickett. He is unsettled by the mysterious deaths of his new wife, Clara, and his sister, Marie. Could Miles himself be to blame for the deaths? Working together, Miles and Lucy attempt to restore peace to Blackwell Manor. But can Lucy solve the mystery of Miles? Can she love the man–beast and all?”

My Review:

I thought I was done with vampires and werewolves: apparently not! I actually really liked this book! Part of it is that Lucy is such a great character. She is smart, witty, and usually quite tough. Like any girl, she has her moments, but she is determined and capable. Miles is a hard character. He is very unlikable for most of the book, but at the same time, you see little snippets here and there of a different side of him. The supporting characters of Kate and Jonathan are good characters, and they help add to the story line. You have to just go with the apparitions and such that appear in this book; it seems a little corny, but you know what? It worked for me in this book. It’s a little predictable; you know from the beginning who the key players will be, but there are many twists and turns along the way that kept me turning pages. I liked the writing style. It drew me in and kept me engaged. It’s strange because one half of your brain is laughing at the absurdity of it all, but the other half of your brain can’t put it down and just glosses right over all that stuff. That’s what fiction is for, right? I thought it all came together well, and I liked this book a lot.
I like that it’s clean! There is little to no profanity, and no “intimacy” scenes, although there is some kissing, and some more intimate moments. There is some violence, though. There are a few old murders discussed, and some evil vamps out there that have to be fought and dealt with. At least two characters die. 

Rating: PG-13+ (No profanity or “intimacy,” but there are some more intimate moments, a few innuendos, and there is some graphic violence.)

Recommendation: 16 and up 

Disclosure: I did receive a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Similar Titles You May Be Interested In:

Emma by Jane Austen   Lies Jane Austen Told Me by Julie Wright Forever and Forever by Josi Kilpack

*Originally published on 8/8/16; Updated on 12/15/17

My Fair Gentleman

My Fair Gentleman by Nancy Campbell Allen
My first Book Chat! If you don’t want to read my review then just watch the video! I’m so excited for this new feature on my blog! (Be nice, it’s my first-ever video 🙂 
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Blurb:
   “Jack Elliot dreams of being the captain of his own ship. But then his grandfather, the Earl of Stansworth, names Jack as his heir–with a caveat. Jack must impress the aristocracy, or else his mother and sister will remain in poverty. Can a rough-and-tumble captain be transformed into a gentleman of society?
   Ivy Carlisle is willing to try. Employed as his tutor, she begins teaching Jack the ways of high society, but she quickly discovers that this dashing sailor is brash and bold, opinionated and passionate. If she’s not careful, Jack might end up teaching her a thing or two about romance.
   Sparks fly when the sailor meets society, and Jack soon learns that his challenge isn’t surviving the ton, but surviving the conspiracies against him–as well as keeping himself from falling madly in love with his new tutor.”
My Review:     
This is one of those books that you read for pure entertainment. It’s predictable, cheesy, and cliched, but isn’t that what we all want in a romance? I thought it was a sweet love story, with some crazy accidents added into the mix. The characters are fairly well done. I liked Ivy a lot. She has a cute personality, is likable, and seems realistic. I liked all her “properness.” (Yes, I just made up that word.) I could picture her all prim and proper, and yet I liked that she learned to bend those rules if the situation warranted it. I liked Sophia too. I liked the relationship between her and Ivy, and I also liked the relationship she had with her brother Jack. Jack is an interesting character. I didn’t like him very much at the beginning of the story. He seemed too irritable and grumpy. He wasn’t very kind. As the story unfolded, though, he has some experiences that seem to soften him a bit. He was a much better character at the end of the book. This is a fast, easy read, and may not be too deep or require a lot of thought, but it’s perfect for just being entertained; getting caught up in a story and being transported to a time of Earls, fancy balls, and rolling estates.
This book is a proper romance, and it fits perfectly in that genre. It’s clean! There’s no language or “intimacy.” There is definitely some kissing, but that’s as far as it goes. There is some minor violence and some blood, but it’s not overly graphic. The two things that up my rating to a PG-13 are that in the book it briefly states that the women are constructing a home to help women who were “women of the night” to get out of that line of work, and it also states that one of the characters got into some trouble with a man before they were married. It doesn’t ever go into specifics, in fact it’s quite vague, but I don’t want my 11 year-old daughter asking me about either one of those things. Overall, I liked the book. It was a fast read, and was a good distraction from laundry. 🙂
Rating: PG-13 (There isn’t any language or “intimacy.” There is some kissing and some minor violence. There is a point where the characters discuss building a home for former “women of the night” to come to and learn a new occupation. There is also a character that gets into trouble before she is married; it never comes out directly and says what happened, it’s quite vague.)
Recommendation: YA (13 and up)