Monday, November 21, 2016

Nefertiti's Heart

Cara's father has recently passed away and it is now up to her to settle his estate.  She had hoped it would be something quick and easy, something she could put into the hands of someone else.  She never wanted to return to the home where she faced horrors 7 years ago at the hands of her "husband."  Her plans to only be in town a short time are disrupted when the police are looking at her for her father's death, as well as the murders of high society women her age.  The women are found wearing an Egyptian nightdress and a strange key embedded into their chests.  Cara struggles to deal with her feelings for Nathanial Trent, the viscount helping her dispose of her father's artifacts, her fears, as well as finding the truth behind this mysterious murders.  Their search leads them to Nefertiti's Heart and the legend surrounding it.  Could the legends be true?  Could her father have stumbled upon something beyond value?

I have a lot of conflicting feelings about this book, which is generally rare.  There is a lot going on in this story, so much that one would think the story wouldn't work or it would be too much, but it isn't.  It somehow works.  First we have the murder of her father, and the strange circumstances surrounding his death.  This alone would have made for a good book.  Cara searching to find out clues to who would have wanted her father dead while dealing with her own horrors.  But no there's more, then we have the romance between Cara and Nathanial.  He wants her, desires her but she is scare of physical contact.  Reasonable substory for the novel, I can accept that in the midst of searching for her father's killer.  BUT, then we have the murders of the high society girls.  The book focuses on their murders more than the father's.  It's almost as if his murder takes the back-burner because no one liked him.

I want to say that Cara is a strong character, but there are times when she doesn't seem as such.  She becomes almost a slave to her past and feelings for Nathanial.  I feel like there is so much more in Cara that readers don't get to see because so much emphasis was placed on what happened to her when she was 14.  When she reflects back to it, at times it took me away from the story, but at the same made me feel for her.  I liked Nathanial, but I would have wanted more imagery of what made him less reputable man of society.  Towards the end it felt like things were starting to get rushed, that things were being thrown at readers for suspects and things.  It began to feel like too much at one time.  The steampunk elements were nice, but I would have liked to have seen more description other than steam powered coached or mechanical horses.  I craved more of those elements.

Would I recommend this to someone else?  Sure, just because I have mixed feelings doesn't mean someone else won't completely love it.  I know this was the first book in a series, and I would be interested in seeing what is next in the series.  I would give A.W Exley another chance to simply blow me away, and I hope that happens with the next book.  I will give this book a 3 out 5 rating.

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