Posts Tagged ‘young adult literature’


Determined to help her father with his political career, Jocelyn sets aside dreams of love. When she meets the handsome and mysterious Grant Amesbury, her dreams of true love reawaken. But his secrets put her family in peril.

Grant goes undercover to capture conspirators avowed to murder the prime minister, but his only suspect is the father of a courageous lady who is growing increasingly hard to ignore. He can’t allow Jocelyn to distract him from the case, nor will he taint her with his war-darkened soul. She seems to see past the barriers surrounding his heart, which makes her all the more dangerous to his vow of remaining forever alone.

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Donna Hatch is the award-winning author of the best-selling “Rogue Hearts Series.” She discovered her writing passion at the tender age of 8 and has been listening to those voices ever since. A sought-after workshop presenter, she juggles freelance editing, multiple volunteer positions, her six children (seven, counting her husband), and still makes time to write. Yes, writing IS an obsession. A native of Arizona who recently transplanted to the Pacific Northwest, she and her husband of over twenty years are living proof that there really is a happily ever after.

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The Suspect’s Daughter by Donna Hatch
Review By Joan Enders of Bevy of Books Blog

I must concede that I am a young adult book reviewer. But interestingly, my forays into reviews of adult literature have wandered smack into some form of historical fiction. Now, here I am, strolling into the realm of Regency romance novels. For my usual YA readers, you do not need to puzzle about the conventions of a Regency romance novel. Just think Jane Austen and Pride and Prejudice but written now. There you go; you are ready for The Suspect’s Daughter by Donna Hatch.

And one more confession: I have not read any other books in the “Rogue Hearts” series with its interrelated characters. That will be corrected. The Suspect’s Daughter is the fourth in the series. Now, on to the review…

Jocelyn Fairley (The Suspect’s Daughter) critiques her father’s London home in her last minute walk-through ensuring all is ready for the ball that will catapult her father into the office of Prime Minister of England. As she inspects, a light in the study alarms her and she cat-paws into the room only to have her mouth clamped by a large hand, “an unyielding force push[es] her back against the wall,” and another hand at her throat….coarse coat and voice, contrasting hint of mint and bergamot, a threat, and jump from a window. Jocelyn is left alone in the study with nothing taken, not even her pearl necklace at her throat. Showing her pluck, she walks to the window to lock it, tidies herself, and marches to the drawing room to host her father’s ball, determined that this is his season to govern and to wed again. Jocelyn’s prospects are nil. In fact the man who attacked her with his big hands, broad chest and low voice is the closest she had been to man in a year.

Grant Amesbury landed outside the Fairley house, disgusted. Despite how he feels about women, he has never threatened any woman. Tonight he sunk to a new low. His mission is foiled. Nonetheless, that night he would find himself back in the same home with a vastly different mission.

And so, the game begins between Grant Amesbury, Napoleonic Wars veteran and aristocrat, and Jocelyn Fairley, the privileged and guileless daughter. In true Regency form, conversations between protagonists entertain the reader. Practices of “the ton” (The higher classes of England) juxtapose the depravity of street life. The manners of the times clash with true feelings.

Grant is the gallant but bitter war hero who is plagued by “vent du boulet” (PTSS) and scars from a personal treason. Despite his heritage, he chooses to live alone in London assisting a local magistrate, and tries to save a young local prostitute from the profession. He vents incessantly over the betrayal of women, he never smiles, he rejects his family, and he is ferociously loyal to his friend and his cause. And yes, he needs to be tempted to dance.

Jocelyn is a capable young woman, runs a peer’s household in two locations, cares for tenants, improves people’s situations without permission or blessing, shows bravery and nerve, and berates herself for not having an amazing waif-like figure like most women of the time.

Well, this is a Regency romance so there is no doubt about the building action of this plot. The joy in reading is the delicate dance to arrive at the climax of this relationship story. Luckily, there are still questions to answer at the conclusion of the novel to be tickled in another novel.

I enjoy the immersion into the society of London, and the allusions to practices of the peers. I appreciate that the chalking of ball floors, seasons, squabs, runners, wastrel, chit, light-skirts, whist, faro, vingt-et-un, loo, and other lingo of the day lightly skip as stones on a pond rather than sink in the detail of definitions on-page. Also, Regency romances prove that love off-page can be as powerful as on-page.

On the suggestions side, I grew tired of Grant’s endless venting about women. There were three prepositional typos that a spellcheck would not catch, but the story was not compromised. In chapter seven Fairley was once written as Fairly.

The runners of Bow Street intrigue me. I did a little research discovering that the runners of London preceded the peelers of London. Sir Robert Peel’s peelers started around 1829, just a few years after this novel. If you want to travel forward in time and enjoy an quirky fantasy novel with peelers, the reader might want to follow up The Suspect’s Daughter with Dodger by Sir Terry Pratchett.

I was requested to post an honest review based on my reading of the ebook.


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April returns home to find her apartment ransacked.

Her spirit could not get much lower as the probable love of her life died just a week before.  Interestingly her mail was not disturbed by the vandals, but it was just as disturbing as Peter’s death.  In the pile was a manila envelop from him, postmarked the day before his death.  Inside was the mysterious ring of Remaliha, with a note urging her to trust no one, not even authorities.  With the state of her apartment: note that.

Both Egyptologists, she and Peter shared love and respect for antiquities which had grown into love for each other.  As teaching summer school drew to a close at Columbia, April was approached by a suave Nathan Hayes to accompany him on an assignment to Luxor to pursue the ring with anachronistic hieroglyphs on the band…her ring!  Despite her better judgment and harassing phone calls, she decided to go on the adventure, all funded by Hayes’ client.  In a series of desperate situations, April doggedly pursues the mystery of the ring.  As the chase comes to a conclusion, roles twist and turn, and the ring rollicks through the desert with all the characters in tow.  If you are looking for a tense mystery read, this is it!  It is a page-turner, easy to imagine on the big screen.


Hiaassen fans, enjoy this new romp through Florida with Malley, who runs away with a disreputable older DJ to avoid being shipped off to boarding school.  Yep, rational thinking pill needed!  Her cousin Richard knows that running off with a guy she met on the Internet spells trouble and gallops off to rescue her. He is aided with a vagrant, Skink, whose apparent claim to fame is burying himself as a decoy turtle nest to capture turtle egg poachers.  (You can tell his nest hill.  It is the one with the breathing straw).  Richard made the acquaintance with Skink inadvertently pulling out the straw. Skink, incidentally, is a former governor of Florida and has amazingly straight and white teeth for a tramp.  Before Richard knows it, Skink has joined and commandeered the rescue effort, and elevating the quest to hysterical proportions. Another laugh out loud reading encounter with a zany Hiaasen character while presenting the serious contemporary issue of internet stalking and runaways.skink

hiaasonCarl’s Website

The coach is dead.

Millie already has listed a plethora of suspects who detest the football coach for a plethora of reasons. Unfortunately, one of the suspects is her dad, the assistant coach who argued continuously with Hollerin’ Hank.  Another is the former quarterback, beefy Mike, who was replaced by a mysterious Adonis, Chase, who seems to have, well had, the coach in his pocket. Suspect three is Viv, the nasty cheerleader who faced humiliation on Facebook due to the viral video of an incident caused by the coach at a home game. And the list goes on.

Millie is determined to clear her father and gumshoe to find the true murderer. Inspired by the sleuthing of Nancy Drew, she fearlessly pursues her investigations. As Millie and Chase’s relationship blossoms, only to ebb, she forges into danger to save her nemesis and expose the murderer. Like other Beth’s books the reader is hardily entertained by well-drawn and unique characters. I always look forward to being entertained by Beth’s creations, and young adults wanting to read a novel that is an engaging murder mystery will love it kill

fantaskeyBeth’s Website

Iris impulsively trusted complete strangers at the end of Iris Brave and was sneaked into the safe house of The Sixteen, sixteen soul jumpers who rebelled against the tyranny of the powerful soul jumper Council.  A plan is devised to deliver her to The Council, have her jailed in “the tunnel”, and to help Jared spring her dad from the prison.  The plot becomes dark quickly, to the point that Iris and her father are tortured.  Why Iris?  It seems that she has the soul jumper genes also.  In a daring escape, things do not go well.  Iris and Lewis, a man with a six-year-old mind, end up in the middle of a horrible freeway accident.  Her life is forever changed.  I was shocked at the intensity of the tension and severity of the brutality.  I was happily surprised by the twists and turns in the plot and the pace of the narrative.  My guesses as to what was next could not keep up with the inventiveness of Ali.  Awesome second novel in the series.  I am looking forward to the third.  I also recommend the book for upward to tenth grade level.  The only reservtion is that Iris is only eleven years old.  It is unfortunate that some teen readers will reject reading it due to the age of the protagonist.

ali b

      the sixteen

Let’s be real.  Don’t we all have to love a book by an author named Alibi, er, Ali B.?  I need more information!

Iris mourns the death of a father whom she cannot remember, but about whom her mother and Grandpa Hank weave memorable stories about his love of people.  His reputation was tainted and his life ended when a young driver, Kyle Grant, caused an accident that also takes his life.  As the story unfolds Iris is traveling to spend the summer with Grandpa Hank who always has a smile and a song on his lips.  This summer is disturbingly different.  A slouching guy in a gray hoodie bothers her parents’ friend Sarah, who gives Iris a flimsy story about him wanting to sell her online services.  He crops up wherever Iris goes.  He leaves notes with her name.  Finally Iris can take it no more and agrees to meet him.  The motivation:  knowledge to clear her father of driving drunk the night of the wreck, and to stop the book publishing of the senator who just happens to be Kyle Grant’s father.  Iris, age eleven, is a pretty brave girl, taking it upon herself to solve the bizarre mysteries.  She has no idea what she is getting into.  Iris Brave is an excellent fantasy for middle readers.  Oh, I  must confess.  It is a page turner.  The second in the series, The Sixteen, will be reviewed next week.ali b  Ali B’s Facebook Pageiris brave

Can a wolf man find happiness in Los Angeles, at least Isabelle?

Cole St. Clair, sexy bad boy and sometimes wolf, returns to L.A. after learning to control his metamorphoses. He was hired to star in a reality television series that preys on the statistical probability of the stars crashing and burning into whatever vices that feed the blogosphere of the entertainment world. But he is also in pursuit of Isabelle, the ice princess who knows his secret, whom he loves. Cole faces ghosts of bad behavior past seemingly everywhere he goes in L.A. The good news, is that he learns to manipulate the reality crew quite expertly and successfully produces some great moments. Unfortunately, those did not contribute to the crash and burn goals of the executives. Not that Cole did not have horrible experiences, but he turned to wolfdom rather than drugs to deal with stress. His pursuit of Isabelle was mutual, with quite sensuous scenes in bathtubs and elsewhere. Maggie successfully illustrates the agonies of someone attempting to eradicate the addictions of their past,, and the possible triumph that anyone can have if they plow through the nastiness of people who doubt they can change. By far this is the best of the Shiver-related novels: great philosophical questions, wonderful characterization and believable plot and outcome.maggie_cute  This is a stand-alone novel and Maggie says that it is the last time that she will visit the world of wolves.


 Maggie’s Website

Seattle’s newest paranormal leader, Sam is still recovering from his imprisonment in Douglas’s basement.  He has inherited the necromancer’s home, along with James, the shapeshifting assistant that still communicates with the ghost of Douglas.  Oh yes, Douglas even has nefarious schemes as a dead man.  As Brid father, the were leader, walks into the woods behind his den to investigate something amiss, he is murdered.  Brid, Sam’s new love, becomes the head of the pack and part of the council that Sam is to lead.  As they investigate the strange murder, no clues are found leading to anyone living.  With the help beyond the grave, the murderer is outed.  Despite the looney-tune antics of the shrubbery, statuary and garden gnomes, and the clever reparte, McBride successfully shows the difficulties of young people growing up to fulfill adult roles regarding family, love, honor and loyalty.  This was a delightful sequel to Hold Me Closer, Necromancer.  And yes,  the old gang are still part of the story.  I can see a three-peat in our future!

Lish’s Website and Tweets


Vampire hunter, Evie, has an amazing gift.  She can see through the “glamours” of paranormals, and determine their nasty identities.  And then she locks them up at the IPCA, the agency that secures paranormals to make the world a safer place.  Actually, Evie is more than a vampire hunter, and the agency knows it.  No one has a gift like her.  This urban fantasy is a romp, but with an edge.  Evie is stalked by a creepy fairie, and death awaits her best friend and the agency. Loved it!  Be sure to catch the sequels, Supernaturally and the third, Endlessly.  Fresh and fun take on the paranormal world.  This is an 2013 Evergreen Award nominee.

Kiersten’s Blog (nice pun)Image

I am excited to start a fresh book recommend blog for young adults, YAs.  The title “Bevy of Books” is gives me a way to be listed closer to the top of YA book review lists.  The use of “bevy” is just for fun. I can visualize a flock of books being recommended on this blog, so “Bevy of Books” it is! I hope that these reviews help fans of YA literature find their next favorite book to read.


My now chillin’ blog:“What to Read, What to Read?”   is way on the other end of the alphabet spectrum, but still searchable.