Wednesday, March 12, 2014

[2 Reviews] Artifact Hunters Series + Giveaway

I'm excited to be hosting a stop for the Artifact Hunters tour that features Nefertiti's Heart and Hatshepsut's Collar by A.W. Exley.   This series is new adult / Mystery / Steampunk, recommended for ages 16+ (there's some mature content). The tour runs March 3-14th.  Check out the tour page for the full list of tour stops.

Nefertiti's Heart 
(Artifact Hunters #1)

Published: 2/4/13 by Curiosity Quills Press 
Age 16 + | 284 pages | NA/Mystery/Steampunk

Curiosity Quills Page | Goodreads | Amazon US | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES Kobo | B&N
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.


I am not sure if words can express the amount of adoration I have for this book. Nefertiti's heart had Everything I love tucked neatly between its pages. 

There was romance- hot romance. Not that YA holding hands crap. There was steamy, smoky, flirty, sexiness. If you do not like sexy, step away from this book. It was not erotic or dirty by any means, but it was hot. (: 

There was an ass- kicking heroine who put everyone in their place, but still had a vulnerable and girly side- as well as a humorous and shy side. [Ah, dynamic characters just rock.] She was flawed and it was brilliant. I adored Cara- simply adored her. She was brave and adventurous and I just know she is gong to get into so much more naughty situations before the series is up! 

There was a hot, mysterious love interest. Nathaniel, guys... That man. I just. He. It. UGH. Nathaniel is still a mystery to me. The synopsis for book two has me thinking some mysteries are going to be unraveled about him and I am just dying to find out what they are. O.O He is flawed as well and can be a bit much sometimes, as I am sure Cara would agree, but he can just be so damn charming and he looks so damn sexy in his pirate clothes. Guys, I have a severely unhealthy obsession with pirates. They are one of the sexiest characters I have ever come across. I love them. And while he is a viscount and more or less runs around being mysterious, scary, and presumptuous.. when he got into sky pirate mode that one time.. Whoa. Where was I? Oh. *ahem* 

The book was in third person, and alternated focus on several different characters, so I did not get into Nathaniels head as well as I did Cara.. but I think that works in the authors favor, since he gets to keep all his freaking secrets- secrets that I want to know, damn it! It also greatly added to the mystery surrounding the killer. :D Every now and then, there were excerpts from the killers point of view. I loved it. Mysteries with deranged killers absolutely need to incorporate the villain's POV in order to get a bit of prospective in their head. In my opinion, anyway. Smart move on the authors part. There were also a few chapters from the perspective of detective Frasier, who was an endearing character himself. He really cared about the safety of his citizens as a whole. 

Oh. The aunt and her friend were an excellent and entertaining addition to the novel. They were simply splendid characters and I was laughing out loud at their antics. I do hope they make a reappearance in the next books. 
As previously stated, the book was set up so as not to reveal all the secrets too quickly, so the mystery of the killer is still fresh halfway through the book. I greatly enjoyed the mystery, although I did guess at some of it. It was very impressive and I cannot wait to see how the plot of the next novel moves along. 

The steam-punk elements were fabulous. The steam carriages and airships had me grinning, picturing the exciting world that Cara lived in. The descriptions were so vivid and the clothes were to die for. I found myself drooling while reading the descriptions of the corsets and dresses. They were so beautiful in my mind. 

While everything was wonderful- the plot, the mystery, the characters, the steam-punk, the pov shift, and even the flirty romance.. I had one small problem overall. The romance moved too fast in the very beginning of the book. The first time she meets Nate, who has a reputation as a murdering crime lord who is trying to steal her things... she lets him get all up close and personal with her. He was being cold and impersonal and she is all okay! I would have been satisfied if it had happened on their second meeting as opposed to the initial meeting. There was not enough time to build up a good attraction, before starting the sexual tension. After that, though.. I loved every page of the book and had to make myself take time to write this review before diving into book two. 

hasty hasty lovin' in the beginning. 
I round up to 5/5 for everywhere, though, You can just assume it is a 5 star read and share it as so. I just want to make my defiance known about the initial romance. ;) 

Hatshepsut's Collar 
(Artifact Hunters #2) 

Published: 11/13/13 by Curiosity Quills Press
274 pages

Curiosity Quills Page | Goodreads | Amazon US | uk | de  fr | it | es | Kobo
An ancient Egyptian artifact is driving Queen Victoria insane, and that’s not top of Cara Devon’s growing list of problems.
Viscount Nathaniel Lyons is a man of numerous secrets, but there is one in particular that threatens his fledgling relationship with Cara. Stunned by Nate’s revelation, and before she can absorb the ramifications of his actions, he is arrested, charged with treason and imprisoned in the grim Tower of London. He stole something the mad queen wants, and only has days to deliver, before his date with the executioner.
Although sorely tempted, Cara can’t let him die on Tower Green, not when their connection means she would share his fate.
Only together can Cara and Nate figure out how to wrestle Hatshepsut’s Collar from around the queen’s neck, before she plunges Britain into a world war. The search for answers sends Cara to the opulent Winter Palace of St Petersburg and the frozen depths of Siberia, with every step shadowed by an enemy with his own dark plans.

This book, while very different from the first, was amazing. While the first book had a focus on the serial killer and Cara's growing relationship with Nate, this book focuses on the mysterious collar around the Queen's neck, their growing relationship and more about the heart from book one and its mysterious powers, and another completely bad-ass element is randomly thrown in that had me squealing with happiness. <3

The romance was as hot as ever. *fans face* That Nate. I absolutely loved getting to the bottom of a few of his secrets in this book. He is still a bit of a mystery, but I adore him so much more as a character now. He is still a bit controlling, but you just can't help but love him. 
The progression of their relationship is so frustrating, but in a good way. They have to deal with new secrets and you will not believe what Nate does. He is so bad- but I love him for it. That little devil. 

Cara is still just as spirited as ever. She loves Nate and their physical relationship, but is battling the pull of Nefertiti's heart and her own stubborn independence in the wake of some secrets she discovers regarding Nate. 

The artifact aspect was a bit different, but still intriguing. And there was some super awesome other aspects thrown in as well that made the book extra awesome. >o<

I have to say I enjoyed the serial killer aspect better than the evil queen. But I still adored the evil queen aspect. I'm just weird. The queen being controlled by the collar was genius in itself. It felt like it took a back seat to some other stuff. Which is alright, because the "other stuff" was pretty darn cool. There are some pretty strange twists that show up in the book as well. I was flipping pages and I have no idea if I even blinked while I read these two books. They just draw you in. When I finished this book, I was satisfied with the ending, but I still wanted- no needed- more. 

What will Mrs. Exley think up next? I am dying to read the next book. I need more Nate and Cara! I love these characters with their hot romance and unorthodox adventures. (: 


I guess I will have to check out one of her other books while waiting for he to turn our more Artifact Hunter's books. On Facebook, she said something about summing the series up with 2 more books. Hurry up with those two books! lol. And I am so excited for the Gargoyle series! O.o

Anita Exley

Facebook | Goodreads
Books and writing have always been an enormous part of A.W. Exley’s life.
She survived school by hiding out in the library, with several thousand fictional characters for company. At university, she overcame the boredom of studying accountancy by squeezing in Egyptology papers and learning to read hieroglyphics.
Today, Anita writes steampunk novels with a sexy edge and an Egyptian twist. She lives in rural New Zealand surrounded by an assortment of weird and wonderful equines, felines, canine and homicidal chickens.


This tour was organized by CBB Book Promotions.


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  1. I have been interested in the steampunk genre and after reading the blurbs and reviews will definitely be putting both books #1 and #2 on my TBR list. Thanks.

    1. You really should. They were simply amazing. (:
      Thank you for stopping by.

  2. PIRATES! I'm SO with you on those comments. lol. That was a bit I definitely remembered from the first book, my most favorite part of it all! ANYWAY- YAY! I'm so excited about your reviews! I'm so excited that you loved them too! Woo hoo! The romance was a bit fast and in the first one that might have been a small issue I had, but since everything else was so amazing it was easily overlooked. I may have completely forgotten, lol. Thanks so much for hosting a tour stop and reviewing both of these, I love it!!!

    1. I know, right. Nathaniel is so sexy. *sigh* Cara is a lucky girl.
      Eep! I know. The books were amazing and I simply cannot wait to see what happens next! -And not a problem. Not a problem at all. *whispers* pirates...

  3. They sound great looking forward to reading Thank you for the great giveaway,


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