Published by Tor Teen on May 23, 2017
Series: Stranje House #3
Genres: Young Adult, Romance, Historical Fiction, Fantasy & Magic
Source: Paperback ARC from Publisher
Also in this series: A School for Unusual Girls, Exile for Dreamers
Lady Jane Moore has a secret. A secret that must be kept buried. For if anyone discovered the truth, her life at Stranje House would crumble. And with Napoleon Bonaparte’s invasion of England underway, everyone at Stranje House is already in danger. Mortal danger.
Jane knows it. She may not be like Tess, who has the advantage of prophetic dreams. Nor is she like Sera, who notices every detail no matter how miniscule and draws conclusions based on the smallest thread of evidence. She doesn’t possess Maya’s ability to soothe the tempers around her with a few well-spoken words. Neither is she a brilliant scientist like Georgie. According to Miss Stranje, Lady Jane Moore is a mastermind.
Jane doesn’t consider herself a mastermind. Quite the contrary, she believes herself to be an ordinary young lady. It’s just that she has a rather excessive bent toward the practical. She tends to grasp the facts of a situation quickly, and by so doing, she’s able to devise and implement a sensible course of action. But that’s all there is to it. Well, there is the fact that she also organizes the players in her plans with quiet efficiency. So much so, that occasionally Lady Jane’s friends tease her for being a bit managing.
Do they expect her to sit back and do nothing when trouble is brewing? Not likely. Not when the people she cares about are at risk. Call it being a mastermind if you must, it is a trait that comes in rather handy in a world full of spies, sabotage, and double-dealing. Especially now that Lady Jane and Sera have rooted out the truth: There is a traitor at Stranje House.
Someone is sneaking information to Lady Daneska and Ghost, Napoleon’s spies. Jane is determined to find out who it is before the bonds of friendship at Stranje House are ripped apart by suspicions. Her desperate hunt for the traitor ensnares Robert Fulton’s nephew, Alexander Sinclair, a brash American inventor, in an ambush that puts his life in danger. Sinclair may well be the most maddening man in all of Christendom, a wicked-tongued rascal with boorish manners, but for some reason, Lady Jane cannot bear the thought of the golden-haired genius being harmed.
Is Jane enough of a mastermind to save Alexander, her friends at Stranje House, and possibly England itself?
Reading Challenges: 2017 New Release Challenge, Flights of Fantasy Reading Challenge 2017
Note: This is the third book in a series that must be read in order.
If you are new to the Stranje House series, check out my review of book one, A School for Unusual Girls HERE
and my review of book two, HERE
Refuge for Masterminds is the third book in the Stanje House series by Kathleen Baldwin. I absolutely loved, the first book in the series, A School for Unusual Girls, and the second book, Exile for Dreamers. Each of the books is told from one of the five Stranje House girls point of views. Book one was Georgie, book two is Tess and book three is Jane. The series follows a single timeline and the events of the books take place one right after another, so the series must be read in order. But from each book we get to see the next set of events unfold from a different perspective. It is brilliantly done.
Refuge for Masterminds is Jane’s story. As soon as I found out each of the books was going to be written from a different girl’s perspective, I was itching for Jane’s story. I love a good mastermind, and Jane was intriguing to me right from the very start. As soon as she told Georgie was sent to Stranje House because she was too profitable, I knew there were many secrets lurking beneath her surface. And we get to see so many of them come to light throughout this third installment in the Stranje House series. I am completely in love with these books. Each one builds on the last one, and they all flow seamlessly, while still each having their own distinct voices and perspectives. With each novel, I get to know the girls a little better.
The Stranje House series is quickly turning into one of my favorites. I love that it blends different genres effortlessly. It is part historical fiction/alternate history, party magic, and part secret spy school. I have never read another book quite like it. In Refuge for Masterminds, we are still smack dab in the middle of a whole lot of danger, and speaking of the danger, I have no idea how Kathleen Baldwin does it, but the plot just keeps becoming more and more fascinating for me. Now we are securely in the alternate history realm, but I am so fascinated by the way everything is unfolding. We also get to explore a new love interest in Refuge for Masterminds, with Jane and Alexander. I really liked the romance in this one. Jane and Alexander were another perfect pairing, in my opinion. I love all of the different personalities that we get to know, in both the ladies and the gentlemen.
I can’t wait to learn more about Maya, and Sera in each of their stories. They are each so fascinating in their own regard. So different, and valuable in their own way. I love watching them all work together. There are plenty more adventure and danger for the final two girls to get into. I am hoping that this series is longer than five novels. I am ready for more, more, more. Katleen Baldwin does a fantastic job making them accessible and easy to follow, all the while creating a world and characters that are unputdownable. I am in love with the Stranje House novels. Seriously, in love.
Overall, Refuge for Masterminds is a brilliant addition to the Stranje House series. This is a series for readers and lovers of all different genres. I think everyone should read this series. There will be something in between these pages that you will fall in love with, I’m sure of it. Book three, A Refuge for Masterminds is Lady Jane’s story- our resident mastermind herself. I am so pumped for the book. I have been absolutely loving it. I know I am going to be so sad when it is over because I will have to wait until next year for the fourth book. Kathleen Baldwin has not let me down yet. I am in love with this series!
If you have read these books let me know because I am dying to chat with someone about some of the characters!
I have Kathleen here today to tell us what some of her favorite books of 2017 are (so far!)
Thanks for being here Kathleen
Blue= Book Briefs commentary
Favorite Books Read This Year
- Riders by Veronica Rossi (Brilliant! Don’t miss it.) Totally Agree!
- From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess by Meg Cabot (Pure fun and Meg did the drawings herself! I’m so impressed.) I love Meg Cabot! I must check these out!
- The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley (I should’ve read this book ages ago. A librarian recommended it recently and I loved it.)
- Devine Intervention by Martha Brockenbrough
- Women Who Run With Wolves by Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés (non-fiction but amazing)
- Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard (Fun. First zombie story I’‘ve enjoyed.)
- Deep Work by Cal Newport (another great non-fiction)
- Love, Lies and Spies by Cindy Anstey- YESSSSSS!!! One of my favorites too!
- Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
- The Secret History of the Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig
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Books in the Stranje House Series:
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Reading this book contributed to these challenges: