FREE BOOK Review: Photographs & Phantoms (Gaslight Chronicles #2) by Cindy Spencer Pape

Book Blurb

Brighton, 1855

As a member of the Order of the Round Table, Kendall Lake is overqualified to be investigating strange phenomena at a seaside photography studio. But since the photographer is related to the Order's most powerful sorcerer, Kendall reluctantly boards a dirigible to Brighton.

Amy Deland is haunted by a shadow that appears in some of her recent portraits. In each case, the subject died within days of the sitting. Does she have her grandmother's gift of foresight, or has she somehow caused the deaths?

As Kendall and Amy search for answers, their investigation draws them together in a most improper way - but it seems the evil presence in the studio is determined to keep them apart...

20,000 words

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Toot's Review by Stacy Sabala

Kendall, Marquis Lake is sent on an errand by his father. An important friend of the family and the most powerful sorcerer has received word from his niece for help. Kendall arrives to see what is amiss.

Amy, Miss Deland, is a photographer and she has been taking pictures with a bizarre added feature. It appears that a smudged serpent shows up wrapped around some of her subjects. Then she hears they die after the picture is developed. She fears her pictures are the cause.

Kendall can feel something malevolent in her studio but isn’t sure what it is or where it is exactly. He has to call in help. The daughter of a colleague and friend is the only one available from the order to help. Kendall is not thrilled at the news especially the age of the young lady or the fact that he needs help fixing Amy’s problem. He is becoming fond of her quickly.

When Nell figures out what the phantom is and what item it is attached to, Kendall knows exactly who is behind it. The search is on to find the guilty person. They have to find them before they set their sights on Amy.

This short story was interesting. It wasn’t what I was expecting. Surprisingly it was better. It had a touch of paranormal and steampunk qualities. It drew you in quickly with the mystery behind the photos and deaths. Then add in a supernatural twist at the end and you have a great story.

I love Amy. She was independent and loved doing what she wanted to do, photography. She went to college and doesn’t care what views there are of women. She loves taking pictures and that is what she is going to do.

Enter Kendall, the Marquis Lake and he was not expecting any of it, Amy included. It threw him for a loop. It was fun to watch his control slip. They made a fun couple. Great mystery and the reveal wasn’t what I expected. I give it a 4 out of 5.

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