📚#Poetry. @GeorgiaRoseBook Reviews A Mother’s Lament by @NikkiRodwell for Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT #BookTwitter

Today’s team review is from Georgia.

Georgia blogs here https://www.georgiarosebooks.com

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Rosie’s Book Review Team

Georgia has been reading A Mother’s Lament by Nikki Rodwell

Being a mother isn’t easy and in this collection of poetry Rodwell hopes mothers who have grieved in any way or who are struggling with their relationships with their children will be touched by her words.

The emotions and feelings around motherhood are complex for many and often all-consuming. It can be difficult as a mother to negotiate a way to successful adult relationships with their children and I firmly believe in the fact that a mother can only ever be as happy as her unhappiest child. It’s just the way it is.

In this book Rodwell bares her soul in her feelings around motherhood and it is clear how much she loves to be a mother but how heart-breaking she finds it too. The fractured bonds with her child/children are plain to see and you only hope that one day they will be restored. I can’t imagine how painful it must be to be separated from your child.

This is a short book of poetry with most of the poems short too. I enjoyed the read if one can say that about such an intense subject that mostly covers the bleaker side of motherhood. But I hope that others who read it will get something from Rodwell’s words that helps them in their situation too.

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Making sense of pain is a complex and personal journey. In this collection of poems, Nikki bears her soul and reveals that the deeper the grief, the deeper the love. Although it’s easy to feel disempowered and lost within pain, she demonstrates how, by stepping into it, we can give ourselves permission to heal.

Brokenness can travel through generations. Her biggest wish in life, is for dysfunctional cycles to be broken. For her own children to be happy and find peace. For generational trauma to break free.

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📚#SciFi #Thriller. @barbtaub Reviews Beyond The Speed Limit by @AntonEine for Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #TuesdayBookBlog #BookTwitter

Today’s team review is from Barb

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Rosie’s Book Review Team

Barb Blogs here https://barbtaub.com/

Barb has been reading Beyond The Speed Limit by Anton Eine.


My Review: 5 stars out of 5

“If you’re reading this, I’m either dead or behind bars.”

In the prequel to his Programagic Cycle, Author Anton Eine hooked me with that great first line. My review of that intro applies to Beyond The Speed Limit, the first book in his new series, which introduces us to a disturbingly familiar magic world.

These days, instead of a wave a wand all you have to say is, “Let there be light,” and the interface spell running your house or flying chariot will carry out your every command. They can cook you dinner using standard or customized recipes, order the shopping, clean the house, turn on the music or even transmit a live or recorded image on your crystal ball.

At least, it’s familiar to any of us who have wandered the aisles of Fry’s or Best Buy, tried to set up our own router, or attempted to understand anything a twelve-year-old child tells us. Or to anyone like me with a basement full of obsolete electronic relics of bygone days, and completely useless knowledge of forgotten programming languages like Basic. (VCR/Walkman/DOS anyone?)

Beyond The Speed Limit works on several levels. First, of course, it uses the technology rules we accept but for the most part don’t understand any more than if they were in truth magic. It’s as if the Apple Store had a Genius Bar in Diagon Alley. This world might be magic-powered, but it follows rules just as strict as the physics we know in our own. A magic wand dropped in water in Sanjar’s world is just as dead as a water-drenched cellphone here. Spells written in old languages won’t power a modern magic wand any more than DOS will run your iPhone.

Second is the tongue-in-cheek humor of the references to things in the magic universe that directly mimic familiar elements in our own. (Book of Faces, anyone?)

Third is the plot, a classic SciFi thriller with plenty of chase scenes, epic battles, and universe-high stakes, with a reluctant hero, Magister Sajar Randhar, trying to solve the murder of his friend.

Another element is The Singularity, which (for SciFi fans at least) refers to the moment that an artificial intelligence (AI) achieves self-awareness. Sajar’s creation, an experimental AI hologram he calls Spirit, somehow achieves this in the prequel. Now she’s Sanjar’s secret companion, a being whose processing power and speed far exceed those of humans, but who lacks understanding of the complex rituals that make up humanity, or the soul.

Her processing power was nothing short of incredible. However, she lacked the intuition to immediately spot unusual or important bits of data. Her analytic algorithms could miss things that might seem obvious to us or require more time to process them. I had provided her with something akin to a subconscious, and it was a very powerful source of her insights but an artificial soul nevertheless functions in ways that are different to us.

As the aging technomage Sanjar tries to solve his friend’s murder, Spirit is his secret weapon. But the AI construct is also a self-aware entity, applying her vast computing resources to develop her sense of identity into a female and somehow endowing that self with gender, and emotions such as fear, anger, jealousy, and even love.

To uncover and try to combat a deadly conspiracy that threatens their society, Sanjar and his secret companion take part in a deadly sport in which drivers of magically-enhanced racing vehicles race in a course full of high-speed danger and magic snares.

I thought the endless puns on things and locations in our world (God bless Murica and the Divided Kingdom!) were a little over the top.  But I loved ultimate character development as Spirit invents herself while her supposed creator, Sanjar, looks on bemused. I enjoyed this update to the classic SciFi debate about whether a constructed being can become self-aware and what they might look like. If Spirit is clearly capable of computing vast amounts nearly instantaneously, what is to keep her from attempting to wrest control from her human creators? And of course, does her perception of these inequalities constitute a soul?

If you love the classic science fiction of Clarke and Asimov, the high-speed action of a James Bond thriller, or even just the speed and coordination of online gaming, I think you’ll appreciate the combination that is the official first book of Anton Eine’s Programagic Cycle, Beyond The Speed Limit.

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Book description

Welcome to an alternative world of wonder, where magic and technology are inseparably entwined. A place where sorcerer programmers code spells and weave them into items and artefacts to imbue them with special and specific properties.

Magister Sajar Randhar, a seasoned expert in magic security, investigates crimes together with his greatest and most ingenious creation – Spirit, the world’s first and only artificial spirit. Magister keeps her existence a secret to protect her from the dangers posed by the magical world’s politicians, secret services, criminals and corporations. Or perhaps, to protect the magical world from her?

Programagic, a detective techno-fantasy series by Anton Eine is an explosive mix of science fiction, fantasy and magical realism, seasoned with a healthy pinch of exotic dark humor.

This collection includes the first two stories of the series – a short novella Behind the Fire Wall and a full-length novel Beyond the Speed Limit.

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📚’She paints a vivid picture – warts and all – of Victorian London.’ @SandraFirth3 Reviews #Mystery Murder & Mischief by Carol Hedges @riotgrandma72 for Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #BookTwitter

Today’s team review is from Sandra.

Sandra blogs here https://www.firthproof.co.uk/index.php/book-reviews

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Rosie’s Book Review Team

Sandra has been reading Murder & Mischief by Carol Hedges

I have been aware of this series for a while, but for some reason never got around to reading any. The first book, Diamonds and Dust, is buried somewhere deep in the depths of my kindle. I will certainly be catching up with all the others, as soon as I can fit them in, as I was very impressed with the writing style of Murder and Mischief. The story is told from several different perspectives in the present tense, so the reader has a bird’s-eye view of everything that is going on.

A dead body disguised as a snowman is discovered in the garden of property developer, James Barrowclough, but has a crime been committed or did he just succumb to the cold weather? Meanwhile, Liza and Flitch have run away from the workhouse following the death of their mother. Their father has returned from America to take his family back with him, and is devastated by what he finds. As he has to return right away, he hires a private detective, Lucy Landseer, to track down his missing children – no easy task in a city the size of London.

Carol Hedges skillfully weaves these two stories together into a tale with echoes of Dickens and Conan Doyle. The writer has done her research but displays it with a light touch. She paints a vivid picture – warts and all – of Victorian London. All our senses are in play here. The characters are well drawn, entirely believable and I had no trouble distinguishing them despite their large number. I particularly enjoyed the strand about the Transformative Brethren group of artists in Camden, and their connection with the runaway children. There’s even a cat called ‘sad ginge’. As this was the tenth novel in the series, and I had not met them before, the detectives did not really stand out for me, although the young DC Tom Williams shows a lot of promise. His visit to Birmingham was fascinating as it highlighted how different it was to London. I thoroughly enjoyed Murder and Mischief despite it being part of a well-developed series. It worked just fine as a standalone, but I’ve now got the added bonus of nine more to catch up with. Thanks to Carol for a digital copy that I review as a member of Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT

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Book description

It is January, a time of year when not much crime usually happens. But when Inspector Greig is unexpectedly summoned to the opulent Hampstead residence of Mr. James William Malin Barrowclough, a rich businessman, he embarks upon one of the strangest and most bizarre investigations that he has ever been involved in.

Why has Barrowclough been targeted? What is inside the mysterious parcels that keep arriving at Hill House, and why won’t he cooperate with the police? The case will take the Scotland Yard detectives on a journey out of London and into the victim’s past, to uncover the secrets and lies that haunt his present.

Murder & Mischief is the tenth novel in the series, and in the great tradition of Charles Dickens and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, it entices the reader once again along the teeming streets and dimly gas lit thoroughfares of Victorian London, where rich and poor, friend and foe alike mix and mingle.

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📚’The whole narrative is superbly shaped and paced’. @for_fi Reviews #PsychologicalDrama An End To Etcetera by @rbconklin1 for Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #BookTwitter

Today’s team review is from Fiona

Fiona blogs here https://fionaforsythauthor.co.uk/blog/

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Rosie’s Book Review Team

Fiona has been reading An End To Etcetera by B. Robert Conklin

Selena is pregnant, in the middle of a divorce, doesn’t know who the father of her child is, and is a psychologist to troubled adolescents. She has the job of assessing the very troubled Leal with a view to his continuance in school, and at first, this seems like high stakes in the context of life in the town of Ovid. (As a classicist currently writing a series about the Roman poet, you can imagine how happy I was just to be reading about a town called Ovid!)


But “An End to Etcetera” is so much more than an examination of small-town life. As we follow Selena’s increasing concern over Leal, layers of Ovid are peeled away and examined coolly and dispassionately – and it takes the whole book before we are convinced that we know what is real and what is the product of Leal’s story-telling mind. In the end, there are no angels or devils, but many flawed people, beautifully- portrayed and presented to the reader without judgement.


The whole narrative is superbly shaped and paced, a slow burn, but with a sense of disquiet that is built up skillfully. The quality of the writing is wonderful, spare, considered and clear. If this book doesn’t get a sled load of awards and become a Book Club hit, then life is unfair!

5 stars.

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Book description

An End to Etcetera is a mystery/suspense novel for the adult literary market about an obsessive-compulsive psychologist who tries to uncover the truth behind her adolescent client’s confession to drowning an autistic boy left in his care. With no evidence to support Leal Porter’s allegation, the school has referred him to Selena Harris for counseling. Selena is going through troubles of her own: she’s separated from a husband who has ditched her for another woman, she’s pregnant after a one-night rebound with a former lover, and she’s moved back to her small hometown in Illinois to take care of her father who has suffered a debilitating stroke. Now she faces the toughest challenge of her career. Although she believes the alleged victim is the product of Leal’s overactive imagination and need for attention, she harbors one major doubt: What if she’s wrong? The novel would appeal to adult readers who enjoy solving psychological puzzles. Working alongside the psychologist, in the role of a detective.

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📚A Music Themed #ContemporaryRomance. Rosie’s #Bookreview of Only The Beginning By Laramie Briscoe #BookTwitter

Book CoverOnly the Beginning by Laramie Briscoe
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Only The Beginning is a contemporary romance and book one of the Rockin’ Country series.

These books are music themed and this is the story of the romance between country singer Harmony Stewart and Garrett ‘Reaper’ Thompson, the leader of a rock band. At opposite ends of the music spectrum they seem like an unlikely match, but both understand the strains being on the road, and their connection blossoms quickly.

With romance around the corner Harmony has to work through her insecurities while Reaper’s temper may be too much for the couple. Can country meet rock and make a match? Will the fans approve of them getting together?

I enjoyed this story, the music scene was a setting that I don’t often choose to read about. There were some good secondary characters who will also have their own stories in following books.

View all my reviews  on Goodreads

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Book description

Princess of Country Music.
America’s sweetheart.
Survivor of the scrutiny that comes with it all.

Hannah ‘Harmony’ Stewart has lived most of her adult life in the spotlight. It hasn’t always been easy. One heartbreak almost ruined her. Some days it’s hard to keep a smile on her face and stay positive, but there are a lot of people counting on her to keep it together. Just when it seems like she’s at the pinnacle of her career, her life takes a turn. She meets a man who challenges everything she knows about herself and makes her question if the life she’s living is for her or for the Nashville machine.

Heavy Metal’s bad boy.
Hair trigger temper.
Struggling to deal with pressure of the industry.

Garrett ‘Reaper’ Thompson is tired. Touring and keeping up appearances with his band “Black Friday” is beginning to wear him out. He’s ready for a change, ready for something different. When he meets Hannah at an awards show, he knows that she’s the one, he knows that he can’t live without her.

The problem?

Their own insecurities, their fans, her ex-boyfriend, and the media themselves. Can they look past it all and come through on the other side? For their story – this is only the beginning.

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📚A #SelfHelp book. Rosie’s #Bookreview of Failosophy For Teens by @elizabday #nonfiction

Failosophy for TeensFailosophy for Teens by Elizabeth Day

Failosophy is a book written for teens on the subject of failure. It provides a seven step coping method which is interlaced with tips and true stories from a selection of celebrities.

Author Elizabeth Day has written this book in conjunction with her podcasts and live shows. It is an interesting subject, particularly with so much peer and social media pressure that focuses on success. Everyone fails at something and this book looks at ways to see adverse outcomes as life-lessons, and it also offers advice on how to cope with lack of success in many spheres of life.

The teen years can be tough, so this book may be very useful, especially to someone who feels isolated and alone due to their perception of their own failures.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

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Book description

A HANDBOOK FOR WHEN THINGS GO WRONG

Pretty much all of us would like to feel happier, less anxious, more successful and at ease with ourselves. Right?

The key may surprise you: FAILURE!

Failosophy For Teens is an inspiring and empowering guide to those moments when life doesn’t go to plan. Using personal experience and stories shared by guests on her award-winning podcast, How to Fail, Elizabeth’s book is full of creative and inspiring advice on how to:

– talk openly about failure
– turn failure into success
– build resilience for when life sends you curveballs
– reframe negative thoughts about yourself

. . . and much more!

Failing better is the key to learning, growing and ultimately loving yourself as the truly AWESOME human being you are. Failosophy For Teens will challenge your self-perception and change your life!

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📚’Dive headfirst into the world of competitive flying cart racing.’ Jenni reviews #SciFi Beyond The Speed Limit by @AntonEine, for Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Today’s team review is from Jenni.

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Rosie’s Book Review Team

Jenni has been reading Beyond The Speed Limit by Anton Eine.

Step into a world where magic and technology meld and twist with Anton Eine’s Beyond the Speed Limit. While prefaced by the prologue novella, Behind the Firewall, Beyond the Speed Limit is our first true look at Eine’s Programagic series and the expansive world contained therein. A world where elemental magic is fueled by equations, magisters spend decades honing their particular fusion of technology and power, and where the creation of a fully autonomous artificial intelligence, or ‘soul’ is one of the highest taboos imaginable. 

Enter Magister Sajar Randhar, an only mildly disgraced programage specializing in all sorts of dangerous spells and the gadgets that contain them, and the artificial soul, Spirit, his greatest creation and closest companion. The prologue novella Behind the Firewall introduces Sajar and Spirit beautifully, giving readers solid understanding as to why Sajar is on the outs with many of the powers that be, and why Spirit’s existence is such a dangerous secret to keep, but reading the novella is not totally necessary to understanding the characters, the world, or the circumstances of Beyond the Speed Limit. Eine has a deft touch when it comes to delivering backstory and the novel is a complete story enhanced by its prequel, rather than a narrative that relies wholly on the shorter text. Readers should read both, they’re excellent!, but will not be lost if they read one story without the other.

And what a story it is! Hackers, backers, and expansive underground double dealings abound when Sajar and Spirit dive headfirst into the world of competitive flying cart racing. An old friend of Sajar’s has died under strange circumstances and his widow wants the answers that only our two protagonists can find. Together they will navigate tempers, temptations, and a whole lot of subterfuge, with plenty of quips about age, youth, and good whiskey along the way.

Paced for adrenaline junkies and written by someone looking to break the mold on genre fiction, Eine really has something special with these first two entries to his Programagic series. This reader is very much looking forward to see what mischief Sajar and Spirit find themselves in next time.

5/5

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Book description

Welcome to an alternative world of wonder, where magic and technology are inseparably entwined. A place where sorcerer programmers code spells and weave them into items and artefacts to imbue them with special and specific properties.

Magister Sajar Randhar, a seasoned expert in magic security, investigates crimes together with his greatest and most ingenious creation – Spirit, the world’s first and only artificial spirit. Magister keeps her existence a secret to protect her from the dangers posed by the magical world’s politicians, secret services, criminals and corporations. Or perhaps, to protect the magical world from her?

Programagic, a detective techno-fantasy series by Anton Eine is an explosive mix of science fiction, fantasy and magical realism, seasoned with a healthy pinch of exotic dark humor.

This collection includes the first two stories of the series – a short novella Behind the Fire Wall and a full-length novel Beyond the Speed Limit.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

📚A #NewAdult Opposites Attract #Romance. Rosie’s #Bookreview of Saving Toby by @SuzMcKLink #ContemporaryRomance

Saving Toby (Save Me, #1)Saving Toby by Suzanne McKenna Link
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Saving Toby is the first book in the Finding Me contemporary series. This story is also a new adult opposites attract romance. I had previously read book three in the series, although the characters aren’t linked, it is the subject matters that relate to the series.

Claudia and Toby— two young adults from very different homes. Toby grew up with violence; his father killed two people while drunk driving, while his brother is in prison for murder. The family name Faye was well known in town, but not for good reasons.

Claudia is the police chief’s daughter who studies hard and has plans to move to California for university. She has volunteered for part-time work caring for Toby’s sick mother. Previously, Toby and Claudia had been had the same school; he’d had a crush on her, but she moved away to a new school. Their romance now blossoms, but it is complicated by further violence and Claudia’s plans to move away.

This is a story about relationships and finding what you want in life. At times this is a harsh story, but that gives it a realistic edge. Overall another good book in the series.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

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Loving a man through a hard fall from grace is a job for a strong woman.

The Faye name is infamous in Claudia’s sleepy Long Island bayside town. She remembered Toby Faye only as the tough, moody kid in school who couldn’t make eye contact with her. She might have forgotten him if it weren’t for the horrific drama surrounding his family.

When a job opportunity drops Claudia back into Toby’s life, she discovers the once skinny, troubled boy is now a charismatic and playful package of muscle and swagger. Despite her attempt to ignore Toby, his loving relationship with his ailing mother gets Claudia’s attention and wins her heart. A good girl mixing it up with the town bad-boy is a huge risk, but Toby’s blue-grey eyes expose a need Claudia cannot ignore.

Does Claudia have the grit to love Toby through his inevitable downfall?

Saving Toby is the first standalone novel in the stirring Save Me new adult romance series.

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📚A Dual Timeline Story Set In #Idaho. Rosie’s #Bookreview of #HistoricalFiction The Meadowlark by B. C. Walker.

The MeadowlarkThe Meadowlark by B.C. Walker
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

3.5 stars

The Meadowlark is a dual timeline story set in Idaho.

The story begins in 1885 with Cassie’s family of homesteaders heading to Willow Creek —they intend to become farmers. The biggest challenge in the area is the water supply and much of the early parts of the story focus on the canal systems and irrigation channels that the first pioneers dug to water their crops.

In the modern-day timeline we are introduced to Emma who has a couple of mysteries to solve which led her to Willow Creek. Sadly Emma was my least favourite character; who she was and what she did in her life never felt real, so I was keen to return to the historical chapters that followed Cassie’s lifetime up until 1936, filled as they were with progress in the town of Willow Creek, including many of the technological improvements of the era and how they became part of everyday life.

This was an ambitious project for a debut novel. The early pioneers and the canal irrigation systems were well researched and were quite fascinating to read about, but it needed weaving into the story more artfully. I can see the amount of research and ideas that make up this story, but some areas need filtering. The story became swamped at times with detail that added little to the story lines. More time spent on character building and less on practical detail would have made the story far more compelling.

The book includes some maps and photos which added to the historical interest. My overall feeling about this book is that there is a good piece of history in there, but it needs the help of an experienced editor to lift the main characters so that they are equally as interesting as the irrigation project.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

 

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In 1885, southeastern Idaho was the last part of the country to open for homesteading. Young Cassie Rapp arrives with her family to farm a country overrun by sagebrush and lacking water. With others they meet, they harness the mighty Snake River and turn 100,000 acres of barren earth into the rich farm community it is today.

Meanwhile, modern-day character Emma Rose, a notable speaker and business consultant, is trying to make sense of her recently deceased father’s request to be buried in a small Idaho town. Her journey of discovery begins from there.

The Meadowlark is a sweeping saga of generations of powerful women set against the building of the American West and a modern discovery of deep family roots. Rich in historical detail and human emotion, this is the story of the uphill struggles endured by the people settling this country and the pride, perseverance, and faith it takes to succeed then or now.

The Meadowlark offers the debut of a strong new writer. B.C. Walker combines a keen observer’s eye and the particularity of place to lay out a lush, large-scale, multi-generational story.

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📚An #UrbanFantasy Series Set In #Baltimore. Rosie’s #Bookreview of Dead Rising by @debra_dunbar #ParanormalRomance

Dead Rising (The Templar, #1)Dead Rising by Debra Dunbar
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Dead Rising is book one of an urban fantasy series set in Baltimore.

Aria is a Templar Knight but is determined to make a life for herself away from the pressures of her upbringing. She has refused to take the final oath which would make her a full time Knight.

She’s approached by the local vampire group who need her help to decipher a dark symbol. They will pay her some much needed money if she can solve the mystery behind the mark. Her research leads her to possible necromancy work and soon Aria is involved with deathly spectres and a revengeful mage.

I liked this story, it was fun and the Templar Knight angle worked well. Aria was a great character and I enjoyed the parts of the Templar Laws that she upheld even if she hadn’t taken the final vows. I also liked Dario who was the vampire that she worked with, while her Great Grandmother Essie was hilarious. My only slight disappointment was that I thought the ending was a little rushed.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

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Book description

Solaria Ainsworth was born a Templar, destined to take up the mantle of responsibility and duty as her family’s Order had done for hundreds of years.

Except she refuses to take her Oath of Knighthood.
Barely making ends meet in Baltimore, Aria finds it difficult to obtain gainful employment with no work experience and skills in jousting and swordsmanship. Just before she’s served an eviction notice, the Mistress of the local vampire family offers her a job – to research a magical symbol.

It’s an easy task for a woman who has spent every moment of her life either in armor or with her nose in ancient manuscripts. The money’s good, and the seven day deadline should be no problem.
But when her research reveals a sordid connection between the vampires and a mass murder, Aria needs to decide who is in the right and worthy of her protection. Modern Templars believe only God should judge, but Aria must do exactly that or watch the Baltimore streets run red with blood.

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