Ghosts & Liars (The Impossible Julian Strande, #2)
All Alice wanted was a job. As the caretaker of the Strande Mansion, she got far more than she bargained for. Between trying to crack the code of the sinister Julian Strande and her new love affair with Charles, the current owner of the museum, she has a lot to balance.Alice didn’t believe in ghosts. That was until she met Julian Strande. Unfortunately, it seems the legends of the ghost of the estate are all very real, and he seems to have become obsessed with her.Charles has promised her that Julian is harmless and just playing pranks. That he enjoys the company after all those years alone. It’s too bad that Charles may not be all he seems…_____Author’s Note: This book is what I would call “villain romance.” This story is for anyone who always finds the villain more interesting than the hero. That said, they are therefore sometimes not the nicest of male heroes. This story has a HEA, but it may be a tough ride getting there. This story has mature themes and content.

Ghosts & Liars (The Impossible Julian Strande, #2) Details

TitleGhosts & Liars (The Impossible Julian Strande, #2)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJun 2nd, 2020
PublisherKathryn Ann Kingsley
Rating
GenreRomance, Paranormal, Ghosts, Fantasy, Magic, Paranormal Romance, Mystery, Dark

Ghosts & Liars (The Impossible Julian Strande, #2) Review

  • Bex (Beckie Bookworm)
    January 1, 1970
    Holy moly this was fantastical and Julian really came into his own in this second book so sinister with such devilish intent, a master of manipulations and half-truths.He is a master at his trade and knowing when to play his hand.I adored that the cat had been let out of the bag in regards to Charles real identity and loved how devilishly mischievous Julian was while re-aquatinting Alice with his extra ghostly abilities.I adored Julian he’s such a conundrum of contradictions and I don’t think ev Holy moly this was fantastical and Julian really came into his own in this second book so sinister with such devilish intent, a master of manipulations and half-truths.He is a master at his trade and knowing when to play his hand.I adored that the cat had been let out of the bag in regards to Charles real identity and loved how devilishly mischievous Julian was while re-aquatinting Alice with his extra ghostly abilities.I adored Julian he’s such a conundrum of contradictions and I don’t think even he is fully aware of what he really wants.Wanting to protect Alice while at the same time also being her greatest threat.We get such an in-depth glimpse of the inner workings of Julian here and start to understand just why he is the way he is.I swung from being sympathetic because of his deep-buried fears while at the same time shaking my head in pure disbelief.But even when he was at his worst I still wanted to put my arms around him and give him a big hug.He was so beautifully contrite and sorrowful when he knew he had done wrong and gone too far and he just seemed so alone.It was like he just couldn’t help himself when temptation was put before him and he was his own worst enemy.Julian at heart was lonely and empty and Alice is the spark that jumpstarts his cold heart and though he thinks he doesn’t deserve her love he is still prepared to do whatever necessary to possess and keep her for his own.He’s ruthless and pragmatic and believes the end justify the means.Alice well it’s her love and free choices that will ultimately save Julian.Her ability to eventually accept all his parts even the ones that frighten and disgust her was a challenge but nothing worth really having is easy.The chemistry between Julian and Alice was electric and made me tingle right down to my toes.Every erotic encounter was delicious and made me practically shiver in delight.Lucky lucky Alice is all I can say.I adored these two together and loved where they eventually ended up.The fact that Julian was so far from a hero really made it that much more delicious.Both Julian and Alice grew a lot as individuals throughout and I loved that Alice accepted her man despite his flaws that she was able to look beyond the surface to what was beneath.Julian and Alice have got to be one of my favourite book couples ever and I also really appreciated the epilogue.This really was such a fabulous duet and I highly recommend this unique read.I could wax lyrical all day about this masterpiece I am that enthused with it.And If I could give this more than five stars I bloody would it was that good.This one gets a massive hell yeh from me, give it a try it’s fabulous.I voluntarily reviewed a copy of Ghosts & Liars (The Impossible Julian Strande #2).Reviewed By Beckie Bookwormhttps://www.facebook.com/beckiebookworm/www.beckiebookworm.com
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  • Paula
    January 1, 1970
    I would've wanted Julian to be less aggressive but I think I'm okay with it. (view spoiler)[The slap though.. And the nearly killing her without her consent thing. (hide spoiler)] That's the only reason I didn't give it five stars. I would've wanted Julian to be less aggressive but I think I'm okay with it. (view spoiler)[The slap though.. And the nearly killing her without her consent thing. (hide spoiler)] That's the only reason I didn't give it five stars.
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  • Patron Saint Fitzwilliam
    January 1, 1970
    This book completes the duet of the Impossible Julian Strande novels, all written in a span of about 2 weeks by the author! (**thunks head on table***..wow. just...wow!).We pick up where we left off with the last book, with Julian continuing his game of cat and ...rabbit...with Alice, leaving her clues all the while about how and where to find him. It starts off rather slowly, as Alice continues to get close to who she thinks is Charles, so much so that they become engaged. I have to say, by abo This book completes the duet of the Impossible Julian Strande novels, all written in a span of about 2 weeks by the author! (**thunks head on table***..wow. just...wow!).We pick up where we left off with the last book, with Julian continuing his game of cat and ...rabbit...with Alice, leaving her clues all the while about how and where to find him. It starts off rather slowly, as Alice continues to get close to who she thinks is Charles, so much so that they become engaged. I have to say, by about the 50% point (when much of what seemed to be the "big reveal" was resolved), I was left wondering what the rest of the book was to be about. I felt like there was an axe (or perhaps a platform full of spikes) dangling overhead, waiting to fall.The author gave us a break-neck bit of conflict in the last 30% of the book, which gave it overall a bit of a rushed feel, at least for me. I would have liked to have seen (view spoiler)[ Alice successfully leave the house for awhile (even a few weeks would suffice), only to return home to the normalcy of her aunt and uncle. At which point, she would have also felt, acutely, how boring and empty her life was previous to Julian. She would have had time to think about his actions and her own feelings, let it all settle in a bit more before making such a huge decision as to, uh, become a ghost herself. (hide spoiler)]. It might have helped overcome the bit of whiplash/frantic quality to the last 10% of the book. I also kept waiting for the trick-within-the-trick. Kingsley alluded to this quite a bit as a part of Julian's act, and I wondered what it would have been like for Alice to turn from the "rabbit" to the hunter. What if it was all an act--Alice had it all figured out--and she was biding her time to one-up Julian at his own game? A warning to those with triggers (which..uh, why are you reading a book about a psycho-killer ghost love interest? No offense, but he's evil, dude!), there is a bit where Alice gets hit and pushed around by Julian. Its not my favorite part (I mean, other villains in Kingsley's books do far, far, worse, but I suppose it's within a supernatural context--and the character regenerates herself-- so it's easier to write it off). Anyways, just a heads-up that its there. It's an incredibly prickly topic to jump into at the last 10% of the book (why Julian is the way he is and how that informs his actions), and I feel it could have been handled a bit more deftly.**I received an ARC of this book**
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  • Blake
    January 1, 1970
    I have to begin by saying that I loved the first book, to me, it kept me intrigued and heart racing to see what Julian would do next. Overall, even though he had his slight dominating qualities, I felt the overall theme was still mystery and fun. The problem I felt with this book is that only the first 50% or so was like that, the second half was something else entirely. I will admit that I am not a fan of heroes who hurt their heroine. I thought I loved villain romances but turns out after read I have to begin by saying that I loved the first book, to me, it kept me intrigued and heart racing to see what Julian would do next. Overall, even though he had his slight dominating qualities, I felt the overall theme was still mystery and fun. The problem I felt with this book is that only the first 50% or so was like that, the second half was something else entirely. I will admit that I am not a fan of heroes who hurt their heroine. I thought I loved villain romances but turns out after reading a few, I was surprised that I really don’t. Nevertheless, I didn’t want that to bias my view of this book, so that is not the reason I’m giving 2 stars.My issues were:1. The rushed ending. It felt it went from 0-100 in a very short time. We’ve been building up to the reveal of his mausoleum for so long that it felt that once it ended, all this unpleasant shit came out and we were racing to the end for Alice to just die and get it over with.2. The emotional pain + insensitivity of Julian. I get he’s a villain, I do. The problem is his claims of never wanting to hurt Alice and yet he does this both physically and emotionally and only AFTER feels bad. Oh fuck off. He wants to kill her but he also wants her to be perfectly okay with it because HE wants it and it prevents him from a life of solitude. Sorry love, but that is not Alice’s responsibility. NO true lover would ever ask someone to give up their right to life because of your selfishness. I guess thats what makes a villain, a villain. There is no love that they possess that would surpass the love for themselves. He truly should have let her go way sooner than he did. I thought Alice put up a good fight for her life until the end which brings me to the next point.3. Alice forgave too easily. I read a few reviews before reading the book that said: “He does some awful things but redeems himself somehow at the end.” If they are referring to the 40+ dead bodies of innocents in the basement that he killed, you have to then enlighten me on where he does this redeeming. I don’t see how she could have been so distraught and upset and unforgiving or his murders one minute and then the next her lust overtaking so thoroughly that she’s able to ignore it. She basically says: “Despite all this awful stuff, deep down I still love him, let’s fuck.” Sorry but what changed about the horror of what he’s done one chapter ago?? Its all okay you see because her lust is strong enough.4. Alice never left. I hate that she was so weak as to not leave in that very last attempt when Julian finally left her. She needed to leave and for a while to, to properly process what happened. That fact that she went back up almost instantly, was in my mind, exceptionally weak. 5. Too many bloody tears. Everyone is crying all the fucking time yet nobody does anything productive to rectify the reason why they’re crying. Overall, to me this was a disappointment compared to the first because all I wanted was more fun and games, not an emotional cluster fuck and selfishness.
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  • Marla Berry
    January 1, 1970
    I cannot say enough, how much I loved this book! It was a continuous rollercoaster ride from the start and I loved every moment, twist and turn. Julian and Alice are so deep and filled with emotion, especially for each other it was a joy to read. I love the way that Kathryn writes, as it made me feel like I was actually the character as I was reading, from her being so realistic with her wording and packing it full with emotions. Once again the character development was great to see throughout t I cannot say enough, how much I loved this book! It was a continuous rollercoaster ride from the start and I loved every moment, twist and turn. Julian and Alice are so deep and filled with emotion, especially for each other it was a joy to read. I love the way that Kathryn writes, as it made me feel like I was actually the character as I was reading, from her being so realistic with her wording and packing it full with emotions. Once again the character development was great to see throughout the book, I also really enjoyed being able to see how Julian though things through or read about many of the internal debates he would have in his head. Poor Alice goes through the emotional wringer but she endures and couldn't be happier. I love that we see how evil and twisted Julian can be and see all the past horrors he's committed, and how he also shows us his vulnerable side and also the past trauma he had went through as a child, and Alice is still able to love him. I do also have to say that one of my favorite parts in this book (which I admit I have a ton) is the timed handcuffs 😉 This book is a MUST READ!!! I'm also just a bit sad that its over, but happy with how it closed.**ARC Review**
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  • Rhiannon Chillingworth
    January 1, 1970
    Wow, that was an intense ride!I was massively impressed how the author was able to string so many different emotional responses out of me, one after the other!If you liked the first book then you will definitely like this one.One of this author's real strength is writing villains who are actually villains, yet you can't help but feel something for them and understand why the girl falls for them, even if you sort of want to tell them to run the hell away.I'll admit there was a chunk towards the e Wow, that was an intense ride!I was massively impressed how the author was able to string so many different emotional responses out of me, one after the other!If you liked the first book then you will definitely like this one.One of this author's real strength is writing villains who are actually villains, yet you can't help but feel something for them and understand why the girl falls for them, even if you sort of want to tell them to run the hell away.I'll admit there was a chunk towards the end where I seriously wanted Alice to burn that fucker and run away, but then the author managed to change it all up again.This book won't be for everyone. If you found issues with some of Aon's behaviour then I think you'll have some similar issues with Julian here. He is not a good guy and never pretends to be. But if you like villain romance then I highly recommend this series and all of the author's previous works. What she does she does very well, in my opinion.
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  • Catriona Dixon
    January 1, 1970
    Received as an ARC in return for an honest review. The sequel and finale to Illusions of Grandeur did not disappoint. I found myself reading the whole thing in one sitting as I just couldn’t put it down!!! The story picks up where it left off with the three intertwining main characters, Alice, Charles and our enigmatic villain, Julien and their developing relationships in the beautiful puzzle of the Strande mansion. The plot again is intriguing with plenty of twists and tangles as Julian reveals Received as an ARC in return for an honest review. The sequel and finale to Illusions of Grandeur did not disappoint. I found myself reading the whole thing in one sitting as I just couldn’t put it down!!! The story picks up where it left off with the three intertwining main characters, Alice, Charles and our enigmatic villain, Julien and their developing relationships in the beautiful puzzle of the Strande mansion. The plot again is intriguing with plenty of twists and tangles as Julian reveals more of his nature. He is as mercurial as his tricks and just as we think our villain is repentant and a reformed character due to Alices influence, off we are thrown again at a tangent. We see the true Julian Strande in all his glory. The book is darker than the first and the reveals more sinister. It walks a very fine moral line that is consistent with the Authors other works. It’s pushes us to a level of discomfort where we question whether we will get our HEA or indeed want it at all for the main character Alice. It gives you goosebumps, fills you with hope and dread in equal measures and makes you want more and the passionate intimacy scenes are well written. In conclusion a fitting end.
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  • Natalie panda eyes
    January 1, 1970
    I liked the first part more than the first. I sorta felt embarrassed for Alice bouncing around and showing Charles the clues she finds. I did like the Julian parts when he calls her pretty rabbit. The game was twisted but sweet and then it’s like a false bottom down the rabbit hole and things get a whole lot of messed up. The abusive parts were uncomfortable. I got to 80% and was wondering how things were going to get wrapped up. It felt a little rushed through the characters’ desperation. I did I liked the first part more than the first. I sorta felt embarrassed for Alice bouncing around and showing Charles the clues she finds. I did like the Julian parts when he calls her pretty rabbit. The game was twisted but sweet and then it’s like a false bottom down the rabbit hole and things get a whole lot of messed up. The abusive parts were uncomfortable. I got to 80% and was wondering how things were going to get wrapped up. It felt a little rushed through the characters’ desperation. I didn’t have a clue how it was gonna end. But I liked how it played out and how things ended. Not sure who was crying the most out of the two. Favourite part was the minute and a half escape, as well as Julian and Loki being adorable. Really enjoyed it.
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  • Alysha Khan
    January 1, 1970
    AmazingHad me on the edge of my seat wondering what would happen, I loved the character Julian. The story is really worth a read, compliments to the author 👍
  • Hayley
    January 1, 1970
    Absolutely loved this series! is it too soon to re-read it?!
  • Alexandra G.
    January 1, 1970
    5 stars * An advanced reading copy was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. * It's been done many times before. 'A girl falls in love with a lonely ghost and they start a doomed love story full of anguish because they can't be together forever. What can they do?! 'They can read this series because it's one of few ghost stories that wasn't boring, ridiculous or cliche.This second book was... darker. Crazier. It came pretty close to my limits. Stretched my principles a litt 5 stars * An advanced reading copy was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. * It's been done many times before. 'A girl falls in love with a lonely ghost and they start a doomed love story full of anguish because they can't be together forever. What can they do?! 'They can read this series because it's one of few ghost stories that wasn't boring, ridiculous or cliche.This second book was... darker. Crazier. It came pretty close to my limits. Stretched my principles a little. The level of violence and cruelty was a bit much at times. But still acceptable and it didn't spoil my enjoyment of this book.For everyone wondering if they should give this a try, the answer is yesss. The ending was sweet and nice and a bit sad for some reason.This series is unusual and unexpected and terrible but it still managed to convey and present such a beautiful and fierce romance.10/10 would definitely recommend
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  • Kathy *** Wandering Worlds
    January 1, 1970
    *fans self vigorously* The love affair with Julian Strande continues....Summary:The conclusion to the Impossible Julian Strade Series picks up right where the first left off. Alice is working on solving the mystery around Mr. Strande and the haunted mansion. Julian is working on taunting Alice and testing her patience and cleverness. Secrets come to light, and Alice is tested in more ways than one. Review:The dark fun continues in Ghosts & Liars. Such a whirlwind of emotion, secrets, and magic. *fans self vigorously* The love affair with Julian Strande continues....Summary:The conclusion to the Impossible Julian Strade Series picks up right where the first left off. Alice is working on solving the mystery around Mr. Strande and the haunted mansion. Julian is working on taunting Alice and testing her patience and cleverness. Secrets come to light, and Alice is tested in more ways than one. Review:The dark fun continues in Ghosts & Liars. Such a whirlwind of emotion, secrets, and magic. I was dying to find out how Alice would react to some of the big reveals and Kat did not disappoint. There were some serious emotional scenes, there were some extremely playful scenes. Overall, I absolutely loved it and had a blast.What I liked:Alice really shines in this book. She is resourceful, intelligent, and intuitive. Probably my favorite heroine of Kat's so far. Her choices in the book were wonderful and she had great character development.The house was like a character in this series. Can we get a fan pic of the map? I loved the descriptions of it and felt like I went on the journey with Alice.Julian Strande of course returns in all his tricky, ghost glory. He had some wonderful moments as well as some not so wonderful moments. His development was raw and imperfect but that is who he is as a character. I had so much fun getting to know him and now I claim him for myself. Sorry Alice. (Not sorry)What I didn't like: Okay, just like in my first review there is some time jumping here that took me out of the setting a little bit. Final Thoughts: I LOVED this series. Something new and unexpected, that's for sure. I will forever purchase and support anything Kathryn Ann Kingsley writes. Her brand of villain romance is so awesome and I DEVOUR each book every time I get one. I'll be there for the next one! Book Information:Ghosts & Liars by Kathryn Ann Kingsley [Limitless Publishing]Publication Date: June 2, 2020Genre: Romance, Paranormal, Urban FantasyHeat Level: 3 / HOTFor more info on the heat scale, refer to the amazing All The Kissing scale here.To learn more about the Author, visit Kathryn Ann Kingsley's website here.I received the ARC of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.Review originally posted to my blog, Wandering Worlds.
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  • Tales Of A Bookbug
    January 1, 1970
    Rating : 🌟🌟🌟.💫 starsWhat a wild ride!After reading Illusions of Grandeur, I'd thought that there wouldn't be much left to surprise us with in this book, but some of the events surely pack a punch!Alice is quite content working at the Strande Mansion now and she's equally consumed by the task of solving Julian's puzzle. But you know what they say about curiosity! The more she finds out, the deeper the rabbit hole goes!Now that Julian has found out what he wants, he'll stop at nothing to have it. Rating : 🌟🌟🌟.💫 starsWhat a wild ride!After reading Illusions of Grandeur, I'd thought that there wouldn't be much left to surprise us with in this book, but some of the events surely pack a punch!Alice is quite content working at the Strande Mansion now and she's equally consumed by the task of solving Julian's puzzle. But you know what they say about curiosity! The more she finds out, the deeper the rabbit hole goes!Now that Julian has found out what he wants, he'll stop at nothing to have it. As much as it delights him to see Alice working hard on solving the puzzle, he's an impatient ghost! xDNow that he's had a taste, he wants the whole thing to himself immediately. So, he ends up making a few choices in order to speed up the inevitable, but this could also end up driving Alice away forever!The first half of the book was pretty good and I loved seeing Alice become more confident and vibrant, now that she's settled in. Watching her put things together was also fascinating! Everytime Julian scares her a little it's actually kinda funny for me!Lol!But, as much as I loved this book and the writing, I have to admit that Julian lost a few points in the second half of this one. I loved him in Illusions of Grandeur as he was the perfect anti-hero with equal parts darkness and playfulness. In Ghosts and Liars we get to learn more about his past and the events that led him to his present state, and as much as I appreciate flaws in my characters, I felt like he could have given Alice a little more time to accept things(because surely she'd have done so). I understand that he's been lonely for so long and he's impatient, but I'm not too fond of heroes who keep pushing the heroine till the very end, with very little remorse. I don't know whether it was because I was comparing him to Aon(who was more evil, but his character had a lot of time to be developed over the course of six books), but Julian fell a little short of my expectations. Kinda wanted more groveling on his part before Alice forgave him and made her decision lol. 😂I think the author loves to push the boundaries of her characters and readers with every book of hers and I'm not going to complain because I love reading each new story that she comes out with! I'm already excited to read her new Dracula book that will come out next!You can also find my review for the previous book in the series here*I was provided with an ARC in exchange for an honest review*
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  • Athena
    January 1, 1970
    I'll preface this by saying this is a sequel...You know those old gothic romances where the heroine is lured away from her vanilla, perfectly fine life by the devilishly handsome fiend by dazzling her with wit, holy guacamole the CHEMISTRY, and by essentially letting her know she is the center of his world and if need be he'd raze it to the ground? You know THOSE romances, where the outside world sort of fades to the wayside as the Phantom pushes Christine to passionate heights, where Dracula ho I'll preface this by saying this is a sequel...You know those old gothic romances where the heroine is lured away from her vanilla, perfectly fine life by the devilishly handsome fiend by dazzling her with wit, holy guacamole the CHEMISTRY, and by essentially letting her know she is the center of his world and if need be he'd raze it to the ground? You know THOSE romances, where the outside world sort of fades to the wayside as the Phantom pushes Christine to passionate heights, where Dracula holds Mina under his thrall and she unleashes her own unearthly fervor? Where, inevitably reality protrude because under the mask those characters aren't heroes after all but the villain...the monster?Somehow the heroine has convinced herself that the slipping peeks into the fiendish character is merely...what? A mirage? A-I'll-never-hurt-YOU tameness? But newsflash, it isn't something you can build a relationship on if the mask slips and you realize, oh he really is a villain after all, because those warning signs you ignored WERE there. But...he is tamed. For you. Only you. But, maybe he'll slip once in a while and show you what he is really is...This then is usually the part where there's a bucket of cold reality to the heroine's face. Then followed by a frenzied desire to flee, to see the sunlight, to reach the outside world. There's so much tension. Sexual tension. Fearful tension. Will you escape? Will you ever see that staid, but precious life again? But the villain breaks. He breaks by watching his world leave him, the characters playing their parts, the fiend agonized as he finally, oh god, finally, lets you go and maybe you soften for a second because maybe it wasn't just possessiveness after all, but true love. But ahead...But ahead of you is the horizon, a dawn full of possibilities and that vanilla, perfectly fine life IS well...perfect after all? Maybe, SHE glances back with a secret smile before boldly stepping into the light. Well, if YOU ever saw this and said...Nah, I'll take the villain. Well, then this one's for you.
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  • Shanna
    January 1, 1970
    * An ARC was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. *This is the second part of “The Impossible Julian Strande” novels.  I fell in love with the first book and this book continued to impress me.  Keeping me on the edge of my seat with the amazing rollercoaster of emotion it swirled in me.  Yet another night staying up way too late thanks to Kingsley all because I just HAD to know what happened next.Kathryn Ann Kingsley is a superb writer.  I enjoy how she conveys emotion and su * An ARC was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. *This is the second part of “The Impossible Julian Strande” novels.  I fell in love with the first book and this book continued to impress me.  Keeping me on the edge of my seat with the amazing rollercoaster of emotion it swirled in me.  Yet another night staying up way too late thanks to Kingsley all because I just HAD to know what happened next.Kathryn Ann Kingsley is a superb writer.  I enjoy how she conveys emotion and sucks us into her stories with great characters and original plots.  Twists and turns around every corner.  There is never a dull moment in her books.  She knows how to lay down the framework for a story and then lets it unwind before us creating a unique engaging tale full of intrigue, emotion and sexy times  ;)   Constantly challenging us to figure out the mysteries as we go.   The chemistry between the two main characters was undeniable and so steamy.  Kingsley has claimed that she will put Villain Romance on the map and if this wasn’t accomplished with her prior works this series has solidified it.  And she is queen of this land!Magic, a little “Alice in Wonderland”, a haunted house, ghosts and a fluffy ball of fur cat named Loki...what is not to love.  Alice was a perfect heroine - relatable, smart and strong.  This part did not disappoint.  She continued to be strong and smart.  I personally hate when the heroine is weak and complaining all the time.  Alice did none of this.  She fights for what she knows is right and will only accept things on her terms.  All the while our hearts bleeding and cheering for her.This book is dual POV and in it we finally get more of Julian’s side.  Julian Strande is impossible.  LOL  Here we see his softer sweeter side and more of his back story but it never takes away from the sinister lurking just under the surface.  Make no mistake Julian is the villain and he will never let you forget it.  The dark twisted monster he is simply waits to spring out and grab you when least expected.  And OMG when it does...*evil laugh*  This story has a HEA but it didn’t come easily.  The ups and downs made the payout worth the emotional struggle.  As much as I wish their story continued I am not sure my mental health and emotions would have handled that.  I highly recommend this book and if you haven’t read the first one yet you are lucky to not have to wait out the teaser at the end of the first book.Enjoy your reading!!
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  • Joyffree
    January 1, 1970
    This is the second book in the duet and what a magnificent finish!No Spoilers -So I asked at the close of book one Who is J.S. really?Kingsley pulled back the curtain in this climactic ending and gave us a look behind the curtainAt what made our impossibly insane illusionist tickand what made him tock (you do not want to be on his bad side)This is where I shamefully admit I have a crush on the villain - I knew there were more secrets to Julian and Mr. MensongeBut I never could have fathomed the This is the second book in the duet and what a magnificent finish!No Spoilers -So I asked at the close of book one Who is J.S. really?Kingsley pulled back the curtain in this climactic ending and gave us a look behind the curtainAt what made our impossibly insane illusionist tickand what made him tock (you do not want to be on his bad side)This is where I shamefully admit I have a crush on the villain - I knew there were more secrets to Julian and Mr. MensongeBut I never could have fathomed the dark depths of their cruelty and misdirectionand Alice ... Down Down Down she went (and I mean that quite literally and No I am not spoiling it)There were so many unexpected twists and "Oh He LL No you didn't" moments I was emotionally wrung out by the time I finally flipped the last page (I feel the need to confess I did peek ahead and read the first paragraph of the last chapter only to find I was more stressed out than before I read it - I couldn't do it) I said this before and I will repeat it - This is a duet you will want to go into blind - Don't read the spoilers - Don't go in with expectations because it will exceed themJust kick back - turn on all the lights and enjoy the magic and YES I bought this duet in paperback after reading the e-copyIt is that good
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  • Sammie
    January 1, 1970
    This was everything I had hoped for as the sequel. (And if I'm going to be honest, so much more.) I read this one in one sitting (same as the first) And I'm both elated to have such a magnificent story now in my brain and sad that it is over. The progression of the story and intertwining of the two characters is phenomenal. My heart pounded in the tense scenes as I raced through the halls of Strande Mansion with Alice. The conflict between the two main characters was a rollercoaster ride that fe This was everything I had hoped for as the sequel. (And if I'm going to be honest, so much more.) I read this one in one sitting (same as the first) And I'm both elated to have such a magnificent story now in my brain and sad that it is over. The progression of the story and intertwining of the two characters is phenomenal. My heart pounded in the tense scenes as I raced through the halls of Strande Mansion with Alice. The conflict between the two main characters was a rollercoaster ride that felt genuine and not rushed into a forced HEA. (The smut parts were dang good too.) I love this author. Easily one of my favorites. Never stop writing Kathryn. <3
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  • M.Z.
    January 1, 1970
    (Received an ARC for a honest review.)Oh my. What a roller coaster. Giddiness one scene, heart bottoming out the next. Kingsley plays us like she's a magician herself. Alice finally discovers the truth about Charles and solves the puzzle that is the house...but don't worry, plenty of scares along the way! I ended up reading it in one setting because I just had to know how it would all end.The thing I love about this duology is that Kingsley's villain hero stays true to form. No "I was secretly a (Received an ARC for a honest review.)Oh my. What a roller coaster. Giddiness one scene, heart bottoming out the next. Kingsley plays us like she's a magician herself. Alice finally discovers the truth about Charles and solves the puzzle that is the house...but don't worry, plenty of scares along the way! I ended up reading it in one setting because I just had to know how it would all end.The thing I love about this duology is that Kingsley's villain hero stays true to form. No "I was secretly a good guy all along!" surprises. There are facets to Julian's character that partially explain his ways, but he isn't suddenly a heart-of-gold-was-always-misunderstood kinda man. He is Julian, love him or hate him, or both, lol.Knowing this, the book does get dark toward the end and touches on dark themes, but the resolution is well worth it.
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  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    Received ARC for an honest reviewOur villain Julian didn’t make his true villainous appearance right away, but when he arrived, he let us see his true self with no illusion. All angles of Julian were revealed; the good, the bad and the ugly and while we saw different sides of him, Alice had her own journey of ups and downs, confusion and acceptance. While each had their character revelations, their twist and turns love story together was “Impossibly Amazing”. KAK continues to take us on a marvel Received ARC for an honest reviewOur villain Julian didn’t make his true villainous appearance right away, but when he arrived, he let us see his true self with no illusion. All angles of Julian were revealed; the good, the bad and the ugly and while we saw different sides of him, Alice had her own journey of ups and downs, confusion and acceptance. While each had their character revelations, their twist and turns love story together was “Impossibly Amazing”. KAK continues to take us on a marvelous adventure in a creepy mausoleum and makes us want to visit again and again.
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  • Clockworkbookworm
    January 1, 1970
    What a ride. Incredible duology and cast of characters. I love Alice and Loki, but Julian...Julian is so complex, definitely not A "good or nice guy". His love of Alice's is beautiful though and when he realizes he is wrong the depth if remorse is evident. Julian is mixture of genious, lack of patience, loneliness, deviance and innocence, the list goes on. Alice and Julian work, their chemistry palpable. Through the anger, pain and fear Alice wants to comfort and love her tormentor, take his pai What a ride. Incredible duology and cast of characters. I love Alice and Loki, but Julian...Julian is so complex, definitely not A "good or nice guy". His love of Alice's is beautiful though and when he realizes he is wrong the depth if remorse is evident. Julian is mixture of genious, lack of patience, loneliness, deviance and innocence, the list goes on. Alice and Julian work, their chemistry palpable. Through the anger, pain and fear Alice wants to comfort and love her tormentor, take his pain, sorrow and loneliness away. The ending is perfect.
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    Dark and romantic, but still dark.I wasn’t sure how the story would end going into the second book. I won’t spoil anything but Julian gets scary here, fair warning. He’s an obsessive ghost with Alice as the center of his obsession, which makes him possessive, sometimes scarily so. I did enjoy how everything wrapped up and I would definitely still recommend the book series, it’s wonderfully written, but would definitely warn friends that it does take a few dark turns before the end.
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  • Katie Shepherd
    January 1, 1970
    LOVED IT!!!!!!!!! Oh my god this was an incredible sequel and ending to Julian and Alice's story. I loved how it showed accepting the skeletons in someone wardrobe, in Julian's case pit, and loving them anyway. This being said I do believe it is an example of an abusive relationship and does romanticise it however, as it has been done from Alice's POV, you can understand the romantic aspect of the sadistic side to Julian.
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  • Jennifer Turnbull
    January 1, 1970
    Amazing. What an amazing love story. So glad I tried these books. Once I started reading I couldn't put them down. I even stayed up very early in the morning reading it. If you love illusions and magic these are definitely for you. I cant say much more than that without giving anything away. Thank you Kathryn for these wonderful stories.
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  • Surelda Heard
    January 1, 1970
    Never a dull moment!I love the intricate, pleasurable storytelling. I've been waiting on this book, and it did not disappoint. Usually, towards the end of a book, the story lulls. Not this one! I was on the edge of my seat the entire time--so much that I practically couldn't put it down and finished in the course of one day. If you're looking for an exciting read, this is it.
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  • Emily
    January 1, 1970
    Wow. I have never read a series like this. Talk about an emotional roller coaster! This book had me loving, hating, crying and laughing along with the characters. It pulls you in and spits you out. This really is an incredible story. Great job, Kathryn Ann Kingsley, you blew my mind!
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  • Anais
    January 1, 1970
    Amazing!I love all of this author’s work! I fall in love with all her characters. Julian has a special place in my heart however! Beautiful ending to the story even if it breaks your heart to get to the happily ever after. What a ride. Highly recommend!!
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  • Shaina
    January 1, 1970
    I didn’t think I would love this one as much as the first and I was right because I loved it even more
  • Leslie Serapion-Perez
    January 1, 1970
    Obsessed with Julian Strande!Such a wonderful story! It was impossible to put the book down. I am obsessed with Julian Strande!Amazing storytelling by Kathryn Ann Kingsley!
  • sian Jones
    January 1, 1970
    AwrsomeLoved it! What a great way to finish! Julian is now my new superhero slash supervillian and also what a brilliant heroine in Alice. Highly recommend!
  • Robin
    January 1, 1970
    I love how Kathryn Kingsley knows how to write lovable villains and how unapologetic they are at being bad. In the first book we could see how cunning and manipulative Julian could be but in the second book it really takes you a minute to dissolve his master plan at keeping Alice forever. Truly another great book by the author!
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