Thursday, April 18, 2013

Nefertiti's Heart Blog Tour: Review

BB Book Tours

"Thank You" to Ashley at Bookish Brunette Book Tours for being an awesome host and for giving me the opportunity to participate in this tour. Another "Thank You" to A.W. Exley for providing a copy of Nefertiti's Heart for review.

Nefertiti's Heart
by A.W. Exley
Publication Date: February 14, 2013
Published by Curiosity Quills Press
Formats: eBook, Paperback ~280 pages
Genre: NA Steampunk, Fantasy, Egyptian Mythology

Book Blurb:
Cara Devon has always suffered curiosity and impetuousness, but tangling with a serial killer might cure that. Permanently.

London, 1861. Impoverished noble Cara has a simple mission after the strange death of her father - sell off his damned collection of priceless artifacts. Her plan goes awry when aristocratic beauties start dying of broken hearts, an eight inch long brass key hammered through their chests. A killer hunts amongst the nobility, searching for a regal beauty and an ancient Egyptian relic rumored to hold the key to immortality.

Her Majesty’s Enforcers are in pursuit of the murderer and they see a connection between the gruesome deaths and Cara. So does she, somewhere in London her father hid Nefertiti’s Heart, a fist sized diamond with strange mechanical workings. Adding further complication to her life, notorious crime lord, Viscount Nathaniel Lyons is relentless in his desire to lay his hands on Cara and the priceless artifact. If only she could figure out his motive.

Self-preservation fuels Cara's search for the gem. In a society where everyone wears a mask to hide their true intent, she needs to figure out who to trust, before she makes a fatal mistake.

For those of you who know me, I love pretty covers. I usually lean toward the ethereal or the Gothic styles, but there was something about the cover to Nefertiti's Heart that drew me in. While it blatantly presents the Steampunk genre, there was something else to it that made me take a second look. Maybe it was the Ankh, maybe it was the mystery of what the heart contraption meant, but all I know is that I had to read this book.
Now, if you want to read about some simpering girl who is always rescued by a man then this is NOT the book for you! However, if you want a kick-ass heroine who knows her way around a gun and will not hesitate to use it, then Nefertiti's Heart is one you can't miss! 

"My friend here, Mr. Smith, also wants you to leave...Mr. Smith has his own friend, Wesson."

Cara Devon is not your typical Victorian lady. She hates to wear skirts, always has a gun strapped to her, and the mouth on her would make anyone blush. She is one of my favorite female characters of all time. After being brutalized at the hands of a man who her father sold her to in order to pay off his gambling debts, she was taken in by her Grandmother and has lived a life very different from the girls she played with as a child. While they had debutant balls and coming out parties and are being courted by a gaggle of suitable gentlemen callers, Cara travelled the globe learning how to become someone who will never be hurt again - and all the while wearing *gasp* pants! Now she is back in London to settle her father's estate after he was killed by an Asp bite. Quite curious of a death for one not in Egypt, but he is dead nonetheless. Cara is not about to shed a tear for dear ole' dad, but there are a few things that she needs to do. The first is getting a notebook containing her father's prize possessions and then the second is to sell off his precious items one by  one. 

However, there is someone else who wants his collection: Viscount Nathaniel "Nate" Lyons; a man with great means and very little morals. He has ideas of scaring and coercing Cara into giving him what he wants, but after sending his henchmen to strong arm Cara into giving away her secrets, he quickly learns that she is not one to trifle with or one to push around. In fact, when it comes to Cara, Nate has to learn quite a few things...The romance in Nefertiti's Heart is definitely steamy and Nate is swoon worthy and not the man I thought he would be. And especially with Cara's past, she isn't one who likes intimacy - or to be touched, in general - but, like most humans, she craves to be cared for and loved. I so love that Nate is a gentleman and is able to slowly break down enough walls to let someone else into her world. I love that the romance is not rushed. Cara is like a fine wine and must be decanted slowly in order to bring it to its full potential.

Cara is also under suspicion for killing her father. It isn't a great secret as to what happened to her years ago and it is perfectly reasonable to think that the killing may be revenge, but little do the Enforcers know, that there is a much bigger picture to be looked at. Young women are being murdered, stabbed with keys as if they are being unlocked. And there is a connection between all of the victims, just not in the way you might think. I wavered back and forth throughout the novel as to who was the culprit and I was close. I love the way that the author wove Egyptian mythology, Steampunk mechanics and a serial killer together to create the mystery in Nefertiti's Heart

Overall, I love the mixing of genres to create such a unique book. I love the mechanical horses and the intricate corsets. The writing is beautiful and elaborate and you can picture yourself in each scene. I am always thrilled when a writer can put me into the story and not just have me looking through a window. This book has the obvious Steampunk themes as well as a exciting mystery and suspense that will keep you guessing until the very end. Plus, the romance is hot and is most definitely at least in the New Adult - Adult category due to sexual content. I would recommend Nefertiti's Heart to who wants something exciting and creative!

FTC Advisory: I was given a copy of this book from the author for an honest review as part of a blog tour. No backroom deals or whispered promises were made.

Books and writing have always been an enormous part of my life. I survived school by hiding out in the library, with several thousand fictional characters for company. At university, I overcame the boredom of studying accountancy by squeezing in Egyptology papers and learning to read hieroglyphics.
Today, I write steampunk novels with a sexy edge and an Egyptian twist. I live in rural New Zealand surrounded by an assortment of weird and wonderful equines, felines, canine and homicidal chickens.

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