ARC · Ballantine Books · book review · Crooked Lane Books · Forever · NetGalley · Random House Publishing Group · Simon & Schuster · St. Martin's Griffin · St. Martin's Press · Wednesday Books

Weekly Wrap Up: September 23rd through September 29th

Books I’ve Read (clicking on the picture will bring you to Goodreads page):

The Rain Watcher

A True Cowboy Christmas (Cold River Ranch, #1)

The Hangman's Secret (Victorian Mystery, #3)

A Spark of Light

 

Mr. Nice Guy

Books I’ve Reviewed (clicking on pictures will bring you to the Amazon page):

A True Cowboy Christmas—review coming October 31st, 2018

A True Cowboy Christmas (Cold River Ranch, #1)

The Hangman’s Secret—review coming January 9th, 2019

The Hangman's Secret (Victorian Mystery, #3)

The Christmas Wishing Tree—review here

Christmas on Mistletoe Lane—review here

The Ancient Nine—review here

The Ancient Nine

Mr. Nice Guy—review coming October 16th

Mr. Nice Guy

The Christmas Wishing Tree—review coming September 26th

The Christmas Wishing Tree (Eternity Springs, #15)

NetGalley Haul(clicking on the picture will bring you to the Goodreads page):

Limetown: The Prequel to the #1 Podcast

The Duke I Once Knew (Unlikely Duchesses, #1)

The Corner of Holly and Ivy: A feel-good Christmas romance

White Stag (Permafrost, #1)

The Girls at 17 Swann Street

Email Request (clicking on the picture will bring you to the Goodreads page):

Until We Are Free (Until #1)

Weekly Posts:

Weekly Wrap Up

Music Monday

WWW Wednesday

Throwback Thursday

Foodie Friday

Freebie Sunday

ARC · book review · NetGalley · St. Martin's Press

Blog Tour: The Ancient Nine by Ian K. Smith + Excerpt

The Ancient Nine

3.5 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Date of publication: September 18th, 2018

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, General Fiction

Where you can find The Ancient Nine: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads): 

“Pulls you into the depths of a secret world from the first page. Ian Smith’s novel is unmissable.” —Harlan Coben, author of Missing You

Cambridge, Massachusetts, Fall 1988

Spenser Collins
An unlikely Harvard prospect, smart and athletic, strapped for cash, determined to succeed. Calls his mother—who raised him on her own in Chicago—every week.

Dalton Winthrop
A white-shoe legacy at Harvard, he’s just the most recent in a string of moneyed, privileged Winthrop men in Cambridge. He’s got the ease—and the deep knowledge—that come from belonging.

These two find enough common ground to become friends, cementing their bond when Spenser is “punched” to join the Delphic Club, one of the most exclusive of Harvard’s famous all-male final clubs. Founded in the nineteenth century, the Delphic has had titans of industry, Hollywood legends, heads of state, and power brokers among its members.

Dalton Winthrop knows firsthand that the Delphic doesn’t offer memberships to just anyone. His great-uncle is one of their oldest living members, and Dalton grew up on stories of the club’s rituals. But why is his uncle so cryptic about the Ancient Nine, a shadowy group of alums whose identities are unknown and whose power is absolute? They protect the Delphic’s darkest and oldest secrets—including what happened to a student who sneaked into the club’s stately brick mansion in 1927 and was never seen again.

Dalton steers Spenser into deeper and deeper recesses of the club, and beyond, to try to make sense of what they think they may be seeing. But with each scrap of information they get from an octogenarian Crimson graduate, a crumbling newspaper in the library’s archives, or one of Harvard’s most famous and heavily guarded historical books, a fresh complication trips them up. The more the friends investigate, the more questions they unearth, tangling the story of the club, the disappearance, and the Ancient Nine, until they realize their own lives are in danger.

Excerpt:

PROLOGUE

 

Halloween Night, 1927
The Delphic Mansion
Cambridge, Massachusetts

 

EMPTY ROPES CLATTERED against flagpoles, and street signs flapped
helplessly in the shadowy night. Two boys sneaked down a cobblestone path
crowded with heavy bushes and enormous signs that warned against trespassing.
They stood there for a moment, their bodies dwarfed by the gigantic
brick mansion

“That’s enough, let’s turn around,” Kelton Dunhill whispered. He had large competent hands and knots of compact muscles that bulged underneath his varsity letter sweater. He carried a long silver flashlight he had borrowed from the superintendent’s office of his residential house.

“I’m going all the way,” Erasmus Abbott said firmly. “I didn’t come this far to chicken out. Just a few more minutes and we’ll be inside.”

Dunhill looked up at the tall wrought-iron fence that had been reinforced with solid wood planks to obstruct any potential view into the rear courtyard. He was a tough, scrappy kid, a varsity wrestler who had been undefeated in almost three years of college competition. He was many things, but a quitter was not one of them. Very little intimidated Dunhill, the son of a banker and elementary school music teacher, but when he looked up at the mansion’s towering spires and turrets set against the ominous sky and the royal blue flag that snapped so loudly in the wind, something made him feel uneasy. At that very moment, if Erasmus Abbott had not been standing next to him, he would’ve turned on his heels and run like hell. The only thing that kept his feet planted was his greater fear of the humiliation he would face once the others got word that the scrawny Abbott had shown bigger nerve.

“If we get caught, we’ll be fried,” Dunhill said in his most persuasive voice, trying to sound rational and not scared. “Technically speaking, we’re trespassing, and they can do anything they want to us since we’re on their property. I don’t need to remind you of what happened to A. C. Gordon.”

Erasmus Abbott took the milk crates they had carried and stacked them in a small pyramid against the fence, then slipped on his gloves and pulled his hat down until it settled just above his eyes. He was dressed all in black. Now completely disguised, he turned and faced Dunhill.

“There’s no proof Gordon ever made it this far,” Abbott contested. “And besides, I never believed the whole business about his disappearance anyway.” Abbott turned toward the platform of milk crates, then back at Dunhill, and said, “So what’s it going to be? I’m making history tonight with or without you. The answer is in there, and I’m not gonna stop till I find it.”

“Jesus Christ,” Dunhill mumbled under his breath before pulling down his own skullcap and stepping up to the fence. It all started out as a dare, but Abbott had taken it more seriously than anyone expected. This would certainly not be the first time a student had tried to break into the well-guarded Delphic mansion. There had been many attempts over the years, but according to legend, the farthest anyone had gotten was the external foyer. No one had ever penetrated the interior. What most worried Dunhill, however, was that few had lived to share their story.

“And what’s your plan once we get on the other side of the fence?” Dunhill said.

Abbott ran his hand over the small canvas bag strapped to his waist. “Everything we need is in here,” he said. “Once we get to the back door, I’ll have the lock open in well under a minute.”

Abbott had practiced on different doors all over Quincy House in the middle of the night. His best-recorded time was twenty-nine seconds with a blindfold covering his eyes and a stopwatch hanging around his neck.

Abbott was not particularly athletic, but he scaled the crates easily and in one motion hoisted himself over the top of the fence and its row of pointed spears. Dunhill heard him land hard on the other side, then made a small sign of the cross over his heart, climbed onto the crates, and hurled himself over the fence. He landed on the firm slate tiles with a jolt.

They stood on the perimeter of a large courtyard dotted with elaborate marble sculptures and a fountain whose water sat motionless in a wide, striated basin. There were no lights to guide them, but moonlight cut through the heavy canopy of trees that towered overhead. A formidable, sturdy brick wall that was even taller than the fence they had just climbed surrounded them on two sides. Abbott had correctly chosen their entry point into the yard.

A gust of wind sent small piles of leaves flying sideways from one corner of the courtyard to the next. The mansion was eerily dark except for the dull flicker of a light in a small window just underneath the sloping angle of the tiled roof. The enormous building looked cold and menacing and unforgiving.

“She’s massive,” Abbott whispered. “I didn’t think she’d be this big. Must’ve cost them a king’s fortune to build it.”

“It’s not empty,” Dunhill said, pointing at the lighted window. “I still say this isn’t a good idea. We’ve already proved our point. Let’s get the hell out of here while we still can.”

Abbott pretended he hadn’t heard a word Dunhill said. He walked quietly across the courtyard toward a set of stairs that led to a large door with small panes and a brass doorknob that glistened under the moonlight’s glow. He cupped his face to the glass and looked inside. He turned and waved Dunhill over, but Dunhill remained motionless underneath the fence, still not believing they had actually gotten this far.

Abbott unzipped the canvas bag, pulled out a couple of tools, and quickly went to work on the lock. That’s when Dunhill glimpsed a shadow moving across the courtyard. He looked up toward the lighted window and saw something that he would never forget. It was the ugliest, scariest, blackest face he had ever laid eyes on. His heart tightened in his chest, and his lungs constricted. He tried to scream but couldn’t get the air to move in his throat. He turned to Erasmus to warn him, but it was too late. The door was open, and he was already inside.

 

1


Harvard College

Cambridge, Massachusetts

October 2, 1988

IT SHOULDN’T HAVE been enough to wake me, but I had just drifted off on the couch in the common room that separated my bedroom from my roommate’s. It was a short scratchy sound: a pebble or sand being dragged across the linoleum floor. I looked toward Percy’s bedroom. His door was closed and his light off. I sat up on the sofa, swiveling my head in the darkness to see what could’ve made the noise. Mice were not exactly uncommon sightings in these old Harvard houses, some of which had been built more than a century ago, so I was preparing myself for vermin out on a late-night scavenge. But when I turned on the lamp and looked down at the floor, what sat there took me completely by surprise.

Someone had slipped a small cream-colored envelope underneath the front door. There was no postage or return address, just my name and room number elaborately inscribed.

Spenser Collins
Lowell House L-11

I turned the envelope over, hoping to find some sign of who might have sent it, but what I discovered was even more puzzling.

Embossed on the flap were three torches—so dark blue, they were almost black—arranged in a perfect V shape.

I heard footsteps just outside the door, slow at first, but then they began to pick up speed. I pulled the door open, but the hallway was empty. Our room was on the first floor, so I grabbed my keys and ran a short distance down the hall, jumped a small flight of steps, then rammed my shoulder into the entryway door, forcing it open into the cool night. I immediately heard voices echoing across the courtyard, a cluster of three girls stumbling in high heels, dragging themselves in from a long night of drinking.

I scanned the shadows, but nothing else moved. I looked to my right and thought about running across the path that led to the west courtyard and out into the tiny streets of Cambridge. But my bare feet were practically frozen to the concrete, and the wind assaulted me like shards of ice cutting through my T-shirt. I retreated to the warmth of my room.

Percy’s bedroom door was still closed, which was not surprising. He wouldn’t wake up if an armored tank tore through the wall and opened fire.

I sat on the edge of the couch and examined the envelope again. Why would someone deliver it by hand in the middle of the night, then sneak away? None of it made any sense. I opened the book flap slowly, feeling almost guilty ripping what appeared to be expensive paper. The stationery was brittle, like rice paper, and the same three torches were prominently displayed in the letterhead.

The President and members of the Delphic Club

cordially invite you to a cocktail party on

Friday, October 14, at 7 o’clock

Lily Field Mansion at 108 Brattle St. Cambridge.

Please call 876-0400 with regrets only.

I immediately picked up the phone and dialed Dalton Winthrop’s number. Fifth-generation Harvard and heir to the vast Winthrop and Lewington fortunes, he was one of the most finely pedigreed of all Harvard legacies, descending from a family that had claimed Harvard since the 1600s, when the damn school got its charter from the Bay Colony. Dalton was a hopeless insomniac, so I knew he’d still be awake.

“What the hell are you doing up this time of the night?” Dalton said. “Some of us around here need our beauty sleep.” He sounded fully awake.

“What can you tell me about something called the Delphic Club?” I asked.

The phone rustled as he sat up.

“Did you just say ‘the Delphic’?” he said.

“Yeah, do you know anything about it?”

There was a slight pause before he said, “Why the hell are you asking about the Delphic at this ungodly hour?”

“They invited me to a cocktail party next Friday night. Someone just slipped the invitation under my door, then ran.”

“Are you fucking kidding me? The Delphic invited you to a cocktail party?”

“Unless there’s another Spenser Collins I don’t know about.”

“No offense, Spenser, but don’t get your hopes up,” he said. “This is probably a prank someone’s pulling on you. The Delphic isn’t just a club, like any fraternity. It’s the most secretive of Harvard’s nine most exclusive clubs. They’re called final clubs. The Delphic goes all the way back to the 1800s and has some of the world’s most prominent men as members. An invitation to their cocktail party is like an invitation to kiss the papal ring.”

“So, what you’re really trying to say is that they would never give an invitation to a poor black kid from the South Side of Chicago.”

“Spenser, you know I don’t agree with that kinda shit, but that’s how these secret societies run. They haven’t changed over the last century and a half. Rich white men passing off the baton to the next generation, keeping their secrets shielded from the rest of the world. Yale has Skull and Bones, but here at Harvard, we have the final clubs. It’s no exaggeration when I tell you that some of the country’s biggest secrets are buried in their old mansions.”

“If I don’t fit their image, then why did someone just slip this invite under my door?” I said.

“Because it’s not real,” Dalton said.

“What do you mean?”

“Guys joke like this all the time. This is the beginning of what’s called punch season, which means the clubs are secretly nominating sophomores to enter a series of election rounds. Whoever survives the cuts over the two months gets elected into the club. You’ve heard of the hazing they do in fraternities. Well, this is a little like that, but it’s a lot more formal with much bigger stakes.”

“What makes you so sure my invitation is fake when you haven’t even seen it?”

“Are you alone?”

“Percy’s here, but he’s out cold.”

“Pull out the invite and tell me if you see torches anywhere.”

I was sitting in the chair underneath the window, still eyeing the courtyard, hoping I might see who might’ve dropped off the envelope. The ambient light cracked the darkness of our common room. I held up the envelope.

“There are three torches on the back of the envelope,” I said.

“What about the stationery?”

“There too.”

“How many?”

“Three.”

“What color?”

“Dark blue.”

“Is the center torch lower or higher than the others?”

“Lower.”

Dalton sighed loudly. “Now take the stationery, turn it over, and hold it up to a light,” he said. “Tell me if you see anything when you look at the torches.”

I followed Dalton’s instructions, carefully removing the shade from one of Percy’s expensive porcelain lamps that his grandmother had proudly given him from her winter house in Palm Beach. I held the invitation next to the naked bulb. “There’s a thin circle with the initials JPM inside,” I said. “But you can only see it under the light. When you move it away, the letters disappear.”

“Jesus fuckin’ Christ, Spense, it’s the real deal!” Dalton yelled as if he were coming through the phone. “The Delphic really has punched you this season. I can’t believe this is happening. Tell me the date of the party again.”

It was rare to hear this level of excitement in Dalton’s voice. Few things got him going, and they typically had to do with either women, food, or his father, whom he hated more than the Yankees.

“Next Friday at seven o’clock,” I said. “It’s at a place called Lily Field Mansion.”

“Lily Field, of course,” Dalton said. “It’s the biggest one up there on mansion row, and it’s owned by the Jacobs family, one of the richest in the country. Stanford Jacobs used to be the graduate president of the Delphic, so it makes sense that he’s hosting the opening cocktail party.”

Secret society, mansions, ultra-wealthy families, an invitation delivered under the cloak of darkness. It was all part of a foreign world that made little sense to me, the son of a single mother who answered phones at a small energy company.

“So, what the hell does all this mean?” I asked.

“That you’re coming over here tomorrow for dinner, so we can figure out some sort of strategy,” Dalton said. “This is all a long shot, but if things go well for you on Friday night, you might make it to the next round. I’m getting way ahead of myself—but one round at a time, and you might be the way we crack the Ancient Nine.”

“The Ancient Nine?” I asked. “Is that another name for the clubs?”

“No, two different things,” Dalton said. “The Ancient Nine are an ultrasecret society of nine members of the Delphic. A secret society within a secret society that not even the other Delphic members know much about. Most around here have never even heard of the Ancient Nine, but for those who have, some swear it exists, others think it’s nothing more than another Harvard legend.”

“What do you think?”

Dalton paused deliberately. “I’d bet everything I own that they exist. But no one can get them to break their code of silence. According to rumors, they are hiding not only one of Harvard’s most valued treasures but also century-old secrets that involve some of the world’s richest families.”


Copyright © 2018 by Ian K. Smith in The Ancient Nine and reprinted with permission from St. Martin’s Press.


My review:

The Ancient Nine intrigued me when I first got the invite from the publisher. I like reading about secret societies/clubs. Heck, I even watch documentaries about them if I see them on TV. So when I read the blurb for The Ancient Nine, I needed to read this book. While the book was well written, it bored me in parts. It was also slow and because of that, I struggled to finish it. So why 3.5 stars? It comes down that the author did do a fantastic of keeping that secret room in the Delphic club under wraps until the end of the book.

I liked Spenser. He was down to earth and relatable. But I found myself getting frustrated with him. While he kept saying that he didn’t want to be in any of these “final” clubs, deep down inside he was excited about it. I kept wanting to go into the book and say “Dude, own being punched. Who cares what other people think. They chose YOU!!“. Of course, when it was revealed why he was chosen, I took those words back. But still. I also felt that he was easily led by Dalton. I felt that he wouldn’t have gotten as deep into the mystery of The Ancient Nine, the disappearance of Erasmus Abbott and the mystery of the secret room. 

I didn’t like Dalton. He rubbed me the wrong way. He was too pushy about finding out about things. I mean, he stole his dying Uncle’s garter and dangled it in front of Spenser. He kept dragging Spenser off for trips to Florida, Rhode Island, Connecticut to chase after the clues that kept cropping up. He didn’t take into consideration that Spenser was at Havard on an athletic scholarship and he needed to keep his grade up. Even the way he treated his parents was ridiculous. The way he acted during that dinner cemented my dislike of him. But, through everything, he was a true friend. He cared about Spenser.

This book starts off fast. The mystery of what happened to Erasmus was addressed in the first chapter. Then Spenser was introduced and it continued to go at a fast clip. It kept up the pace until after the first meeting. Then it slowed down. After Dalton’s uncle died and that book was recovered from the safe deposit box, it slowed way down. By the time the book got around to Spenser doing his research on Erasmus and other clues, it was crawling. It was at that point where I kept falling asleep. And it continued that way until the end of the book.

There was a small romance angle that I almost wish wasn’t there. Spenser and Ashley’s romance, while cute and a welcome distraction wasn’t needed in the book. I could have done without reading about his feelings for a girl who didn’t seem to like him back. But it was there. It did add more depth to Spenser’s character.

The mystery/suspense/thriller angle of the book was wonderfully written. I liked how the author kept everything under wraps until the end of the book. I did figure out the mystery of Moss Sampson about halfway through the book. But, how it was revealed and who revealed was a twist that I didn’t see coming.

The end of the book disappointed me.  I don’t know what I expected but I expected some more fireworks. It was almost anti-climatic. After everything that Spenser went through, I thought that there would be more. I did like the epilogue but again, felt that same sense of disappointment.

What I liked about The Ancient Nine:

A) It’s about secret clubs/societies

B) Spenser

C) Mystery/thriller/suspense angle was wonderfully written

What I disliked about The Ancient Nine:

A) Book bored me in parts

B) Dalton

C) Romance angle wasn’t needed

I gave The Ancient Nine a 3.5 rating. While I liked this book and, for the most part, enjoyed it, the book dragged from the middle on for me. I struggled to finish it. I would recommend this book if you like books about secret societies/clubs. But with a warning about it being boring in parts.

I gave The Ancient Nine an Adult rating. There is sex but it is not graphic. There is language. There is violence. I would suggest that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread The Ancient Nine. I would also recommend it to family and friends.

I would like to thank St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review The Ancient Nine.

All opinions stated in this review of The Ancient Nine are mine.

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**

ARC · book review · Loveswept · NetGalley · Non ARC · Random House Publishing Group · St. Martin's Griffin · St. Martin's Paperbacks · St. Martin's Press

Weekly Wrap Up: September 9th through September 15th

Books I’ve Read (clicking on the picture will bring you to Goodreads page):

In the Mood Fur Love

Drawn to the Marquess (Imperfect Lords, #2)

The Ancient Nine

Books I’ve Reviewed (clicking on pictures will bring you to the Amazon page):

Drawn to the Marquess—review here

Drawn to the Marquess (Imperfect Lords, #2)

 

The Ancient Nine—review coming September 24th

The Ancient Nine

Worldwielder—review here

Worldwielder

I Do Not Trust You—review here

I Do Not Trust You

 

Lies—review here

Lies

Dead Girl’s Don’t Love—review here

Dead Girls Don't Love

Carbon Replacements—review here

Carbon Replacements (The McAllister Justice Series #4)

NetGalley Haul(clicking on the picture will bring you to the Goodreads page):

Rend (Riven, #2)

Perfectly Inappropriate

Christmas on Mistletoe Lane

 

The Girls at 17 Swann Street

The Christmas Star (Christmas Hope #9)

The Perfect Liar

Email Request (clicking on the picture will bring you to the Goodreads page):

Spirit of Prophecy: Paranormal and Sci-Fi Crime

Pandemonium

The Wizard's Gift

Weekly Posts:

Weekly Wrap Up

Musical Monday

WWW Wednesday

Throwback Thursday

Foodie Friday

ARC · book review · Loveswept · NetGalley · Random House Publishing Group · St. Martin's Press

WWW Wednesday: September 12th, 2018

IMG_1384-0

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Wars. So here what I have read/are reading/will be reading.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


What’s going on with me this past week:

One word: Florence. Even though I live northwest of Charlotte, NC, we are still going to get hammered. It is estimated that we are going to get 5-10 inches of rain and wind. Which will lead to flash flooding/landslides. So we have been doing prep. My yard is the cleanest it has been in a couple of months. After I pick Miss R up from preschool, we are putting everything under the house or under the deck. Other than that, this week has been pretty good. No sick kids and I am over the cold that was shared with me. So, if you don’t hear from me for a while (ie no blog posts), its because I have no power and am riding out the storm!!


What I am currently reading:

Drawn to the Marquess (Imperfect Lords, #2)

click on the picture for Amazon link

Destined to go blind, a rake sets his sights on the toast of society, lighting a fire of passion that scorches the night, in this captivating novel from USA Today bestselling author Bronwen Evans.

Stephen Hornsby, the Marquess of Clevedon, has one goal: to see every exquisite thing he can before he goes blind. His greatest joy, watching a woman shuddering in the throes of passion, will be gone. But before the darkness descends, he is determined to seduce a magnificent widow, Lady Penelope Fisherton. Unfortunately, his rakish reputation has preceded him; Lady Penelope spurns his advances. Being a man who relishes a challenge, however, her reluctance adds only luster to his desire for the last beautiful sight he’ll ever see.

Considered the belle of London society, Lady Penelope was married to a scoundrel who cared for no one but himself. Now that she’s free, she wants nothing to do with love, passion, or desire—emotions that abandoned her with a cruel husband. So why does her body react when Stephen smiles? As much as she’d like to avoid the rogue, her brother-in-law wants her fortune, and he’ll kill to get it. Stephen is willing to help, but he’ll take only one thing in return: Her. In his bed.

I started Drawn to the Marquess at supper last night. So far, I am liking the story. It is a little cliched but hey, it’s all good. Still a good read. Drawn to the Marquess is available now for purchase. Be on the lookout for my review within the next couple of days (if I can)


What I finished reading:

The Ancient Nine

Click on the picture for Amazon link

“Pulls you into the depths of a secret world from the first page. Ian Smith’s novel is unmissable.” —Harlan Coben, author of Missing You

Cambridge, Massachusetts, Fall 1988

Spenser Collins
An unlikely Harvard prospect, smart and athletic, strapped for cash, determined to succeed. Calls his mother—who raised him on her own in Chicago—every week.

Dalton Winthrop
A white-shoe legacy at Harvard, he’s just the most recent in a string of moneyed, privileged Winthrop men in Cambridge. He’s got the ease—and the deep knowledge—that come from belonging.

These two find enough common ground to become friends, cementing their bond when Spenser is “punched” to join the Delphic Club, one of the most exclusive of Harvard’s famous all-male final clubs. Founded in the nineteenth century, the Delphic has had titans of industry, Hollywood legends, heads of state, and power brokers among its members.

Dalton Winthrop knows firsthand that the Delphic doesn’t offer memberships to just anyone. His great-uncle is one of their oldest living members, and Dalton grew up on stories of the club’s rituals. But why is his uncle so cryptic about the Ancient Nine, a shadowy group of alums whose identities are unknown and whose power is absolute? They protect the Delphic’s darkest and oldest secrets—including what happened to a student who sneaked into the club’s stately brick mansion in 1927 and was never seen again.

Dalton steers Spenser into deeper and deeper recesses of the club, and beyond, to try to make sense of what they think they may be seeing. But with each scrap of information they get from an octogenarian Crimson graduate, a crumbling newspaper in the library’s archives, or one of Harvard’s most famous and heavily guarded historical books, a fresh complication trips them up. The more the friends investigate, the more questions they unearth, tangling the story of the club, the disappearance, and the Ancient Nine, until they realize their own lives are in danger.

I liked The Ancient Nine up until the end. I was not expecting what happened to happen. Other than that, this was a good, but slow, read. The Ancient Nine is available for preorder. Publication date is September 18, 2018, and my review will be published September 24th (as part of the blog tour).


What I am reading next (click on the pictures for Amazon links):

In the Mood Fur LoveI Hate You, I Love YouChristmas on Mistletoe LaneSwagger (Milwaukee Dragons, #2)Our Life in the ForestBright Ruin (Dark Gifts #3)

In the Mood Fur Love: I like romances. I like shifters. I like shifter romances. But, I don’t like to review anthologies. So, we’ll see how much I like this book. In the Mood Fur Love is available for pre-order. Expected publication date is October 2nd. Be on the lookout for my review after that date.

I Hate You, I Love You: This looks like a fun book. I love reading hate to love romances. I have high hopes for this book. I Hate You, I Love You is available for pre-order. Expected publication date is October 9th, 2018. Be on the lookout for my review after that date.

Christmas on Mistletoe Lane: I love me some Annie Rains. So when I saw that she had another book for review, I jumped on it. Christmas on Mistletoe Lane is available for pre-order. Expected publication date is September 25th, 2018. Be on the lookout for my review after that date.

Swagger: I have reviewed some of Liz Lincoln’s books before. I also reviewed the first book in this series. But, I am not sure if I am going to like it. Guess I’m going to have to read it to find out!! Swagger is currently available for purchase. Be on the lookout for my review at some point in the next couple of weeks.

Our Life in the Forest: I was intrigued by the blurb of this book. I have had this on my TBR shelf for a while and I am eager to read it. Our Life in the Forest is currently out of print but keep checking Amazon if you want to buy it. It has limited availability. Be on the lookout for my review within the next couple of weeks.

Bright Ruin: I am very excited to be reading this book. I have read the previous Dark Gifts books and I need to know how this series made out. Bright Ruin is available for pre-order. Expected publication date is October 9th, 2018. Be on the lookout for my review after that date.


So that’s it. Be on the lookout for the reviews of all these books in the near future.

Have you read any of these books?

Let me know what you thought of them!!

ARC · book review · Non ARC

Weekly Wrap Up (July 8th through July 14th)

Books I’ve Read:

Dark Alpha's Hunger (Reaper, #6)

Snow (The Black Ice Trilogy, #1)

Project Prometheus (Assassin Fall, #2)

The Warrior of Clan Kincaid (Highland Warrior, #3)

The Remnant

Hot & Heavy (Lightning, #2)

Deep Cover (Love Over Duty, #3)

Books I’ve Reviewed:

Rough Ride (review coming July 24th, 2018)

Rough Ride (True Brothers MC, #4)

Inconclusive Evidence—review here

Inconclusive Evidence (McAllister Justice Series #3)

 

Jilliand—review here

Jilliand

Set the Night on Fire (review coming July 31st, 2018)

Set the Night on Fire (Cottonbloom, #6)

I Think I Love You—review here

I Think I Love You (Oxford, #5)

The Dream Daughter (review coming October 2nd, 2018)

The Dream Daughter

The Subway Girls—review here

The Subway Girls

Moon Blood (Book 2) by Carol McKibben—review here

Moon Blood (Book 2)

 

Lies by T.M. Logan (review coming September 11th, 2018)

Lies

NetGalley Haul:

I Do Not Trust You

The Ancient Nine

Limits

Foundryside (Founders, #1)

I Hate You, I Love You

Swagger (Milwaukee Dragons, #2)

The Hangman's Secret

Dagger's Edge (Brute Force #2)

Drawn to the Marquess (Imperfect Lords, #2)

Email Request:

Worldwielder

Strange Circumstances

The Last Straw (Pigeon-Blood Red Book 2)

Weekly Posts:

WWW Wednesday

Throwback Thursday

Weekly Wrap Up