Monthly Archives: September 2015

Down the Rabbit Hole anthology

Down the Rabbit Hole (includes In Death, #41.5)Down the Rabbit Hole by J.D. Robb
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Title: Down the Rabbit Hole anthology
Author: J. D. Robb, Mary Blayney, Elaine Fox, Mary Kay McComas, R. C. Ryan
Series: contains In Death, #41.5
Pages: 432
Publisher: Jove
Date: September 29, 2015

Summary:

You’re late for a very important date…

Enter a wonderland of mesmerizing tales. It’s a place that’s neither here nor there, where things are never quite as they seem. Inspired by Lewis Carroll’s whimsical masterpiece, ranging from the impossible to the mad to the curiouser, these stories will have you absolutely off your head.

Don’t be afraid to follow them…

DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE

Contains

Wonderment in Death by J. D. Robb
Alice and the Earl in Wonderland by Mary Blayney
iLove by Elaine Fox
A True Heart by Mary Kay McComas
Fallen by R. C. Ryan

Review:

I grabbed this book for one reason: Eve and Roarke. Wonderment in Death is a short story/novella that relies heavily on the Lewis Carroll Alice books as do all the stories in this anthology. Eve, of course, is not familiar with the books and has to rely on Roarke and Peabody to make the connection.

The story is typical Eve and Roarke. There is a horrific murder or series of murders. Nothing is quite what it seems and it’s hard to tell if the murderer is insane or evil. I don’t know why it makes a difference to me, but it does. For some reason, insane is not as frightening as evil.

Anyway, Robb is able to concentrate on the story without having to worry about any backstory because the series is so well established. There are over forty books after all. The plot progressed quickly, old friends showed up, and the bad guy was caught.

What more can you ask for?

The only story I felt dropped in the middle of was Alice and the Earl in Wonderland. There were many references to a previous story, but enough detail was given to make this one enjoyable. And yes, I’m tempted to find the original story and read it.

The other three stories worked perfectly as standalones. I enjoyed all of them and I am sure other readers who follow those authors will enjoy them as well.

If any of these authors are autobuys for you, this book is worth the price. However, I think you need to already follow Robb’s In Death series to really enjoy her contribution.

This book was sent to me by NetGalley in return for an honest review.

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The Stolen Mackenzie Bride (Mackenzie & McBride, #8 – prequel) by Jennifer Ashley

The Stolen Mackenzie Bride (MacKenzies & McBrides, #8)The Stolen Mackenzie Bride by Jennifer Ashley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Title: The Stolen Mackenzie Bride
Author: Jennifer Ashley
Series: Mackenzie & McBride, #8 (prequel)
Pages: 336
Publisher: Berkley
Date: September 29, 2015

Summary:

1745, Scotland: The youngest son of the scandalous Mackenzie family, Malcolm is considered too wild to tame…until he meets a woman who is too unattainable to resist.

Lady Mary Lennox is English, her father highly loyal to the king, and promised to another Englishman. But despite it being forbidden to speak to Malcolm, Lady Mary is fascinated by the Scotsman, and stolen moments together lead to a passion greater than she’d ever dreamed of finding.

When fighting breaks out between the Highlanders and the King’s army, their plans to elope are thwarted, and it will take all of Malcolm’s daring as a Scottish warrior to survive the battle and steal a wife out from under the noses of the English.

Review:

This book is a precursor to Jennifer Ashley’s Mackenzie series and takes place about one hundred years earlier. However, you do not have to have read the earlier (later?) books in order to enjoy it. It is a complete standalone, although I hope she writes additional books in this time period. Just like the Mackenzie family of the 1800s, each of these earlier brothers deserve their own story.

What can I say about this book? Malcolm Mackenzie is the youngest son of the Duke of Kilmorgan. His brothers all call him “runt.” There is Duncan, the eldest, who is to inherit the title, Will the information gatherer, identical twins Alec and Angus, and Malcolm.

Just as an aside about Will because information gatherer needs explaining. This is a quote from his own mouth.

“But I know everything.” Will said. “Whether you want me to or not.”

Now, doesn’t he deserve his own book?

Anyway, there was another brother Magnus, who died as a child. Malcolm is the one found him and it had a permanent effect on his personality. Even though he is the youngest of the family, he feels it is his responsibility to take care of everyone. And that sense of responsibility includes Mary.

Mary . . . Lady Mary Lennox

Mary is the daughter of an English earl who hates the Scots. The book begins shortly before Culloden and the Earl of Wilfort is working to put down those filthy Jacobites.

So, of course, Mary and Malcolm fall in love.

Mary, who has always been an obedient and dutiful daughter. Mary, who is engaged to another man – English, of course.

That Mary falls in love with a Scot and discovers she’s not all that obedient and dutiful after all.

Culloden plays a major part in this plot. I had to make myself keep reading when I realized how important it was going to be to the story because I knew how horrible the battle and aftermath were. I just didn’t want to read about the terrible things that happened. The book was so good though, I couldn’t put it down.

And I was right! Terrible things happened at Culloden. People died. No details, because of spoilers, but PEOPLE DIED!

Was the book worth the heartbreak of reading about Culloden?

Definitely!

Malcolm and Mary are a wonderful couple. With Mary, Malcolm can be human. He can admit he can’t save everyone. And with Malcolm, Mary comes alive.

I highly recommend this book and I really hope the author expands on this series. If you haven’t read the later books, you are missing out.

This book was sent to me by NetGalley in return for an honest review.

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