Monday, July 27, 2015

Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

In a future world, 19 year old Kelsea Releigh Glynn is plucked from her obscure and bookish home to become the Tearling's Queen. Far from her beautiful and vain mother Queen Elyssa, Kelsea is plain and solomn. But she wears the Tearling Sapphire, which has magical properties. When she arrives after a perilous journey at her Capital, she is surprised at the state of her people. Those who aren't impoverished are being used as slaves to satisfy a peace treaty. Breaking the chains of bondage for her people may bring their doom, but it's a risk Kelsea must take.
This book caught my attention, as I have been trying out more fantasy books. (See Game of Thrones, The Boelyn King series and the Cobweb Bride.) It was a good book, but it could be a bit slow in places. I think this could be because it's a brand new world and the beginning of a series. The book was interesting and Kelsea was a good queen and narrator. I enjoyed it.
Thank you to the publisher for a review copy.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Tyringham Park by Rosemary McLoughlin

On a beautiful day in rural Ireland in 1917 beautiful Victoria Blackshaw disappears from her baby carriage. When a search finds nothing,  Lady Edwina Blackshaw assumes a servant kidnapped the girl. However, Victoria's eight year old sister, Charlotte, who may have watched it all, is not speaking at all. As the abuse from her nanny and the jealousy from her mother shape her childhood, she longs to leave Tryringham Park. Her life takes twists and turns, but it feels as if her sister is always there.
This is a heartbreaking book. The sadness seems to have almost no end. The book does a great job of making all the characters come to life. I loved it, but it was hard to read at times.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Belle Cora by Phillip Margulies

Arabella Godwin and her brother are sent to live with their aunt and uncle by their grandparents after their parents death. Country life is a hard adjustment for Arabella and her petty cousins don't make it any easier. Arabella does find comfort in Jeptha Talbot and the two plan to get married. However, life gets in the way and this wonderful woman manages to transform herself again and again.
This book starts slow, but life can be like that. Once Belle got going, she went. It's an amazing book, but she was an amazing woman. I liked this book a ton as it was a departure from my normal reads. Pretty good! I think that it will appeal to a broad range of readers. Highly recommended.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Girl on the Golden Coin by Marci Jefferson

Frances Stuart, a cousin to Charles II arrives at the Louis XIV's court, only to catch his eye. After refusing to become his official mistress, she is sent back to her cousin's court with the directive to seduce him. As she becomes close to Charles, she loses her heart.
This book deals with one of history's almost forgotten women. Though her face is well know as Brittania, her life is confined to the footnotes. Her life is very interesting and Jefferson did a great job of following her from young and naive to a grand duchess. Very gorgeous story!

Friday, April 3, 2015

The Countess' Captive by Andrea Cefalo

Adelaide, still mourning her mother, is swept away to Bitsch to watch her father fall in love with her recently deceased mother's cousin. As the countess of Bitsch, Galadriel makes Addie's life miserable. Being separated from Ivo and Cologne weigh heavy on Addie and the distance between her and her father is almost worse. But Addie is determined to survive.
This book was slower than the last, but it was still a good book. Cefalo really catches Addie's sorrow, as well as her determination. I missed Ivo this book, but I know that the next book will be awesome.
Thank you to Andrea for a review copy.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Empress of the Night by Eva Shachniak

As Catherine the Great lays dying, she spends her final hours reliving her life. Taking readers on a quest from her young life. Beginning with her training to become Empress, Catherine recounts her rise to total power. Along the way, we meet her lovers, friends, enemies and most of all, Catherine herself. 

I liked this book, but not as much as The Winter Palace. Catherine is a hard ruler, mother, grandmother and narrator. Forced to make hard choices, Catherine is always faithful to her head, leading to painful relationships. I did like seeing Catherine in her most vulnerable, but she is not always kind. However the book is a good book that shows just how dedicated to Russia Catherine was. 

Thanks to the publisher for a review copy. 

Monday, March 30, 2015

Fiercombe Manor by Kate Riordian

Alice, pregnant and unwed, is sent to live  at Fiercombe Manor in Gloucestershire in 1933 under the pretense of being a recent widow. Tended by her mother's old friend, Mrs. Jelphs, Alice notices something is off about the peaceful valley and the manor house right away.
Thirty years earlier, Elizabeth Stanton was the mistress at Fiercombe. Pregnant, she hopes to escape her past.
These two women, different as much as they are alike, are bound together.
I was hesitant about starting this book. Likened to Rebecca, I didn't think it would stand up next to it. But it indeed did. Masterfully woven with mystery, this book comes alive. The suspense is amazing, the plot coming along at just the right pace. The characters are amazing. Very great read.
Thanks to the publisher for a review copy.