No Rest for the Wicked by Phoebe Darqueling (Mistress of None #1)

No rest for the wicked

No Rest for the Wicked by Phoebe Darqueling

Paranormal/Mystery/Supernatural/
Historical
Book #1 in Mistress of None series
283 Pages
Published by Black Rose Writing (4th April 2019)
Purchase from | Bookshop.org | Booktopia* | Fishpond AU* | Dymocks | | Book Depository* | Amazon AU | Amazon UK | Amazon US |

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My rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Black Rose Writing, and the author via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.

Actual rating of 3.5

Viola Thorn isn’t your normal Saloon owner. She’s a grifter from way back and she can also see and talk to ghosts. She thinks that she’s put her past behind her when a spirit shows up during a relaxing, hot spring bath, to prove her wrong. Curiosity gets the better of her when the ghost speaks a quote that could only come from one person – her ex-partner, Peter. When she discovers that Peter is in fact trying to warn her of the plot that lead to his demise, she can’t help but jump at the chance to right the wrongs of yesteryear and atone for breaking Peter’s heart, even if that means having to embrace the gift that she has being trying to hard to forget.

This took me two starts to get into it. I remember choosing it in my kindle earlier this year, I started reading it but something about it just put me off. When I picked it up the second time, last week, as I’ve been slowly whittling down my Netgalley TBR list to something that is more normal, I almost put it down again, but I figured it deserved a bit more of a chance. So what I’m going to say straight off the bat is, if you pick this book up and the first chapter or two are a bit of a struggle, push through because the story does get better and more flowy. I feel that the first chapter odd, for some reason that I can’t even pinpoint, reads quite clunky and unnatural. I can’t even tell you why, because I honestly don’t know, this is just the feel that I’ve gotten both times that I’ve picked it up. The opening of a book can really set the scene for the remainder, however, I feel that the rest of the story is so much better in this case.

It’s not entirely what I was expecting, but I still enjoyed the story. It’s set in the 1800s (I think? I’ve just had a major brain fart), so that kinda threw me off, and it’s got a real spaghetti western feel about it at first. Vi is a clairvoyant and she owns a saloon in town. She is interrupted by a ghost who wants her to finish a job in order to protect his wife. What follows is another thing I was expecting, it’s just a segue into how the ghost’s wife becomes a main player in the story. She ends up tagging along with Vi, when the story picks up the pace a little and something actually starts to happen. Before this point, it felt very slice of lifey to me. Like Vi is just going about her day then BAM! Quote from a former partner appears and the story unfolds.

The characters were well written and I enjoyed the character of Viola, she reminded me a little of myself, she doesn’t really give a damn what others think about her, she just enjoys being herself. Her new found friend is enjoyable and I absolutely adore her little valet. I loved the authenticity of the time period the story is based in as well. It isn’t shy about showing the racism that was still rife in the 1800s and we get to have the satisfaction of a well off woman defending those that, at the time, are less fortunate than herself.

The story itself, as said above is pretty slow to get going. Nothing is really solved in this instalment, but it sets the story up quite nicely and there is still a closure of sorts, just not a big one. It looks like this will be a story that is going to be an overarching plot that may be weaved into smaller stories in future instalments. Which is honestly something I enjoy. Not everything has to be wrapped up in the one book, but I like at least SOMETHING to be wrapped up, otherwise I’m left with way more questions that answers and I end up not enjoying the story as much because nothing was resolved.

I enjoyed the paranormal aspect to the story and I’m looking forward to seeing how it pans out in future instalments. At first I wasn’t sure if this would a series I would continue, but I feel like it’s definitely something that I’d like to read the next book of. The pacing could be a bit slow at times, but then, I know that this was the ‘set up’ book, so to speak. So I’m looking forward to even more fun times ahead. As said in the beginning, if you feel like giving up in the first chapter, try and push through because the story does get better, and the characters are quite endearing.

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