Friday, March 4, 2016

Blog Tour and Giveaway: The Black Lotus by Claire Warner

Book Blurb:

....though I would dearly love to play court to you, I would hurt you more than any other.

It's 1752 and Melissa meets the man who will change her life forever. At her disastrous debut, Melissa meets the handsome Justin Lestrade and finds herself falling into his world. But Justin has secrets and many enemies. His dark past will not only ensnare her, but damage everything she knows and understands. Join Melissa as she sinks into a world of old feuds and ancient magic.

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Read on for an excerpt from the book


I’ m Justin Lestrade, I’ m sure you’ ve been told about me.” In his warm voice she could hear suppressed laughter and she smiled, answering his amusement with some of her own. Even so she wondered at his hidden laughter for she felt that it was not directed toward the conversation but at something she couldn’ t quite understand.

“My brother did mention you,”

“Of course he would have done,” The amusement thrummed through his voice and she was sure that he was quite aware of her brother’ s warnings. “And you would be Melissa De Vire? Yes I’ ve heard quite a bit about you. You’ re the toast of the room.” The laughter spilled from his voice and spread across his face, it made his features look less jaded, more human. There was something magnetic about his voice; it held a confidence beyond the norm for a man his age and a mildly derisive humour that she couldn’ t fathom.

“Only because I’ m a fresh face,” Melissa replied, a soft smile touching her lips. “I got the impression that I was a shiny new toy.” She took a sip of the sweet wine and relaxed a little more.

“Well that silk does suit you well,” Justin responded, the compliment falling easily from his lips. “Green is your colour,” He beckoned a waiter carrying a laden tray forward and removed a small glass of canary. Dismissing the servant with a wave, he turned his attention back to Melissa. “I daresay shiny new toy is the best description for you at this point. It’ s your first night in society; people are supposed to be curious and intrigued.”

“Intrigued?” Melissa asked, her eyes shifting from his handsome face with required modesty.

“You are an unknown. And the unknown is always to be explored.” His eyes sparked as he regarded her and he smiled. Melissa felt her breath catch as he turned that devastating smile full on her. There were layers to his conversation, meanings that she knew were not for a lady or at the least were meant for someone more versed in the arts of seduction.

Ordinarily such a conversation would leave her tongue tied and stammering, yet he put her at such ease that she felt confident in replying.

“Perhaps the unknown is best left a mystery.” She answered finally, her fingers sliding over the smooth glass in her hands as she stared at him. “Perhaps,” He conceded, “but exploring a mystery is a wonderful venture.” He lifted the glass to his lips and delicately took a sip. Melissa followed the motion, drawn to his mouth and its sensual twist with an interest that could not be considered academic. “What if the unknown wishes to remain unexplored?” It was a bold question and one she should not even be thinking of saying, yet his manner seemed to draw it from her. His rakish smile encouraged indiscretion and for once in her ordered existence she revelled in the opportunity to be free with her thoughts. “Does the unknown have a choice? What if the explorer decides to find out all he can?”

His voice was honey soft and seductive.

She met his eyes boldly. “Then perhaps the unknown will poison him unexpectedly.”

Shock flickered through his gaze like summer lightning at her daring and for a second, their conversation stuttered to a halt. Melissa did not drop her gaze as a modest lady should and they both stared at each other. Melissa’ s frank gaze meeting his startled one as the room gossiped and danced around them.

Justin laughed; a low chuckle that broke the unnatural silence and relaxed the tension surrounding them. “This explorer always treads carefully,” He conceded finally as the chuckles subsided. “And chooses the safe path,” He sipped the canary and sat back, regarding the girl before him with more interest than before. “What has your brother imparted about me?” His eyes laughed as he looked down at her. “All bad I daresay,


My Review:

3 Out of 5 Stars

Genre: Mystery, Royal-Court, Supernatural--

Melissa caused such a scandal at her first society event, causing her brother to fight a dual in her honor and her father to cloister her away hoping people would forget about her behavior. One person can't forget about her, and that is Justin Lestraide, the rake and womanizer who has secrets he can't share with anyone, regardless of his interest. Melissa enters back into society when something else causes a shock, and that would be murder. Girls are being murdered and there might be a connection with Justin and his secrets. It is in Melissa's best interests to stay away, but she can't resist his allure.

I really wanted to like this book and I was ever so excited to read it. The cover alone is gorgeous and the synopsis is so mysterious I could not resist. But unfortunately, I did not enjoy my reading experience for the most part. Don't get me wrong, I thought the plot was interesting, I just had other issues along the way that kept me from loving the book. The backbone of the story dealt with immortals, curses, murder and a huge engrossing mystery- all elements I love in a story. The execution of the plot was where my interest waned.

My biggest compliant of the story was that very little action and dialogue occurred, instead I was overwhelmed by inner reflection and descriptions of the countryside, attire and history. I am guilty of skimming through the repetitive inner ramblings of "life is not fair" of both the main characters to try and find some action or anything to help the plot move in a forward motion. I found myself bored while reading which makes me feel bad, but it is the truth.

I was not a fan of Melissa either. She spent most of her time having a pity part for herself about how terrible it is to be a woman and how she wished she was born a man. Her ideas did not fit the time and after the first temper tantrum where she threw things against the wall, I completely disregarded her need to be treated as an equal or an adult. Her mental tangents did not endear her to me, but they did make me super glad that I did not live during that time period since women were “to be seen and not heard” and their only acceptable activity was needlepoint (which the book described over and over again). Nothing against needlepoint, but I was so bored.

Overall, I though the idea of the book had potential I just could not get engaged by what I read. The story was very slow, about 100 pages was the equivalent to 2 days in the story. I don’t think I will continue on with the series, but I am sure others will really enjoy the book (as seen by the really high reviews I discovered on Goodreads).

I received this title from the author in return for my honest review.

Author Bio:

When I was a child, I made up games and characters when my sister and I played with dolls. As I grew older, I would make up scenarios and scenes, fully intending to write them down but never finding the time. Inmy late teens, I discovered the world of role playing and settled into an avid ‘geeky’ life of D&D, comics, sci-fi and fantasy fiction. Years passed and I finally gave voice tothe stories inmy head. I write romance, fantasy, action and adventure. I love tales of steampunk and history, tales of magical powers and dark curses lurking in the shadows. Though The Black Lotus is not my first attempt at a novel, itis the first I have finished.

And some fun facts about me:

I sew.

My favourite Disney film is Atlantis.

I’ve been a film extra and stood 5 feet away from Sam Rockwell.

Babylon 5 ismy fave sci-fi show.

I cried at the end of Toy Story 3.

You can find her on Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter and her website

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Blog tour and Giveaway provided by YA Bound Book Tours

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