Friday, September 23, 2016

The Aviary Gate by Katie Hickman

Celia Lamphrey, daughter of a rich merchant is on her way to marry her betrothed when her ship is hijacked. Her father is murdered and Celia is sold into slavery, eventually ending up in the Sultan's harem. Paul, her betrothed, finds himself serving the English ambassador in Sultan's court when he hears whispers of Celia. Heartbroken, each try to find their way back to their previous life. 400 years later, Elizabeth, a heart broken student, hears Celia's cry and aims to discover how how Celia's story and her own end.
This novel was amazing. The politics of the harem, both inside and out, make this book interesting. This is also one of the first books where the time span between characters wasn't jarring with the switch. It's a great book and I can't wait to read it's sequel, The Pindar Diamond.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Enchantress of Paris by Marci Jefferson

Marie Mancini, niece to the powerful Cardinal Mazarin, decides to leave the convent she was sent to after a prophecy at her birth of disgrace and her mother's death. Now she seeks freedom and love. She goes the new court of the Sun King and finds her sister, Olympia, serving as his mistress. Marie sparks Louis' interest and they begin a love affair that could change a nation and two lonely hearts.

I loved this book, just like I loved Jefferson's previous book. The interaction between sisters really sold the book to me. Louis was just as I pictured him, majestic but loveable. The endjng is heartbreaking and amazing. I really enjoyed this one and I highly recommend it.

Friday, December 18, 2015

The Mexican Slow Cooker by Deborah Schneider

I've been dying to get my slow cooker out. Winter screams slow cooker and it would be so awesome to come home to dinner already there.

My husband is from Mexico, so I was excited to get this book. It has some of the classics we both enjoy. Mole! Menudo! Tamales! Chile Verde! It also has some bakes and casserole type dishes. They all look amazing and I am now ready to try my hand at it. I think my first may be the tamale pie.

Thanks for the review copy!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The Determined Heart by Antoinette May

Mary Godwin, Daughter of authors and free thinkers William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft, is raised unconventionally. Her stepmother abhors her, her father loves her but is constantly worried about money and bills. When she meets Percy Bysshe Shelly, Mary finds herself falling in love with the free Bysshe. Soon, their love leads them to abandon their lives, including his wife and children. As their life together begins, life for others is irrevocably changed.

I had never read about Mary Shelly or Percy Bysshe Shelly. They proved to be an interesting couple. I found myself sympathizing with Mary a lot of the time. While I liked Bysshe, I also found myself liking the other characters that came into their lives. It was a very good book. Very enjoyable!
Thanks to the publisher for a review copy. 

Monday, December 14, 2015

My Lady Viper by E Knight

Anne Stanhope, married to Edward Seymour, has placed all her hopes with the Seymour family. Her sister in law has just been crowned Queen of England. Anne schemes to keep the Seymour family fortunes on the rise, making enemies, throughout the rest of King Henry VIll's reign.
This book was good. I had never read about Anne, even thought she was a force at court throughout Henry and Edward's reign. She can be a bit hard to handle, but enjoyable. I loved seeing the behind the scene action and the scheming. Good quick read!
Thanks to the publisher for a review copy.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Colossus by Colin Falconer

Colossus the battle elephant and his rider, Gajendra, are taken into Alexander the Great's Army after his battle in India. Gajendra is anxious to prove himself as both loyal and useful to Alexander to improve his lot in life. He dreams of being a general and marrying the most beautiful woman in Alexander's harem. Mara, a Carthagian priestess and daughter of  General Hanno, is in disguise as a boy and has been taken in as Gajendra's elephant dung boy and has come to love Colossus. Their lives intersect with wonderful and disastrous consequences.
I have enjoyed Colin Falconer's books for years now, starting with The Feathered Serpent. Falconer again brings history with a twist to life. I enjoyed Gajendra's life and his portrayal of the almost insane Alexander. The plot flows so nicely, you will quickly find yourself at the end of the book. Very good book.
Thanks to the publisher for a review copy.