Review: The Bridgertons by Julia Quinn

As some of you may know, I’ve spent almost this entire year reading historical romances. I can’t get enough. My most recent binged series was The Bridgertons by Julia Quinn. Funny thing was, I had zero intentions about reading them. In fact, since I consider myself a late in life reader, I never even heard of these. But I had a friend who posted some 1-star reviews that claimed there was too much sex in them. Well now, since I love love, I figured it was my duty to see if they were correct in their rants. They weren’t. And I’m a little disappointed in that, if I’m being honest. They were a slow burn type of romance, not that I’m complaining. I don’t know what these people were talking about.

This series is about eight siblings and how they each meet their true loves. This is plenty of heartache and romance and lots and lots of banter. I was pretty much reading with a silly smile on my face the entire time. I’m not even kidding. The banter was spot on. I adore books like these. Love is important in life, but without the funny, it’s rather boring. So, if you were born under a rock, like myself, and never read these books, go and add these to your tbr right.

The one thing you need to know is that each book has a bonus epilogue that was written after the books were all done. So there may be a few minor spoilers, like who the love interests are, of the future couples. It didn’t bother me. It just made me wanna read faster. Which is probably why I had to buy a few of these, since my library was taking too long to give them to me. I was impatient. Man, I really liked these books.

I’m so glad those 1-star whiners were wrong.

~Melpomene

THE DUKE AND I http://amzn.to/2ADB21v
THE VISCOUNT WHO LOVED ME http://amzn.to/2j2qBQH *My favorite*
AN OFFER FROM A GENTLEMAN http://amzn.to/2j3uPHV
ROMANCING MISTER BRIDGERTON http://amzn.to/2j2TtIE
TO SIR PHILLIP, WITH LOVE http://amzn.to/2zYePK5
WHEN HE WAS WICKED http://amzn.to/2ADAEzY
IT’S IN HIS KISS http://amzn.to/2ADUPxw
ON THE WAY TO THE WEDDING http://amzn.to/2j2h2Bn

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Review: The Orphan’s Tale by Pam Jenoff

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I must admit, I don’t read many books with a circus as the setting.  So I guess you could say this one was a bit of a stretch for me.  Still, it’s historical fiction which is my favorite genre so…

Two women thrown together in the unlikeliest of circumstances.  Young Noa finds herself cast out and alone after a one night stand with a Nazi solder leaves her pregnant and a disgrace to her family.  Astrid finds herself in the same situation after her marriage ends.  They both find their way to the circus.  Astrid has been here before.  She did, after all, grow up as the child of circus performers.  For Noa, it’s all strange and scary.  But she has to protect not only herself but the young baby she’s caring for.  Both women have much to lose.

This is a story of friendship, of love and loss.  It’s a story of hardship and resilience.  But most of all, it’s a story you won’t soon forget.

~Thalia

Buy It Now:  The Orphan’s Tale

Review: The Scot Beds His Wife by Kerrigan Byrne

This book was everything, Everything, EVERYTHING I was hoping it would be!! My heart is overflowing. Exciting, emotional and so very romantic. Ms. Byrne has a way with these flawed and imperfect characters. You can’t help but fall in love with all of them.

Gavin had my heart from the very beginning. Granted it was rather squeezed a little, since it was a little uncomfortable, but he had it nonetheless. He also wasn’t quite the anti-hero that I thought he was going to be. But I’m very happy about that. While he wasn’t an angel exactly, I totally understood where he was coming from and why he did the things he did.

Samantha has so many secrets, I’m amazed she kept a clear head. But she was the perfect person to heal Gavin. And the same for Gavin healing her. I just loved her.

I loved all the side characters and returning characters. It was quite fun to see them. I’m glad Gavin and Samantha aren’t the only ones who were healed through this experience. I have found my new favorite historical romance series. These Victorian Rebels are so much fun! They’re interconnected standalones, but I recommend you read them all. They’re so good.

I have so many things going around my head. Plus I have some high hopes for the next one. In fact, I’m all a flutter with the thought of it. It would be so grand!

~Melpomene
Grab The Scot Beds His Wife http://amzn.to/2y2bcEu
Start from the beginning:
The Highwayman~ http://amzn.to/2fVNkw6
The Hunter~ http://amzn.to/2fUnetE
The Highlander~ http://amzn.to/2yZHOND
The Duke~ http://amzn.to/2fOHB7F

Review: The Stolen Marriage by Diane Chamberlain

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Diane Chamberlain does it to me every time.  She writes stories that are so amazingly compelling that I find myself rushing through them while at the same time savoring the brilliance of the story.  Her latest is even better than that.

Tess has everything she’s ever wanted.  She’s surrounded by family and friends, close to graduating from nursing school, and engaged to the love of her life.  Then one mistake, one night, changes everything.  A drunken encounter with a strange man leaves her pregnant.  Suddenly her entire life is in upheaval.  Having a child out of wedlock in 1944 is out of the question.  So she does the only thing she knows to do.  She leaves the life she knows behind without much of an explanation to anyone.

When she settles in North Carolina with the father of her child, things definitely don’t go as expected.  She’s seen as an outsider by almost everyone in the small town.  Her new mother-in-law doesn’t care for her, and neither does her sister-in-law Lucy. Although Henry’s kind to her and she wants for nothing, he doesn’t really act like a husband.  And then there’s the accident.  Lucy’s dead, and everybody blames Tess.

But as her outsider status grows, so does her suspicion that something’s going on with Henry.  Not only is he increasingly distant, he’s gone for long periods of time during the night.  Oh and there’s that stash of hidden money she comes across…

I loved this book.  That’s not really surprising because I love this author.  But this one’s a bit different.  The historical fiction element was wonderfully written and made for one heck of a story.   This story will likely go down as one of my favorites from Diane Chamberlain.

~Thalia

Buy It Now:  The Stolen Marriage

 

Review: The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare

I’ve been on a historical romance kick for the past year. To make up for being a late in life reader I am trying to read as many books as I can and these types of books are like crack to me. I’m totally addicted. I can’t get enough. So when my book club girls rave about them, I am quick to jump on my Overdrive and see if they have them and if not I add them to my wishlist and save for them. I need all of them. I really do.

I must say, this is probably one of the most funny historical book, but not in an over the top way. The hero and heroine are positively hilarious together. The banter felt real and not forced. The snark was perfect. The romance was even more perfect. I don’t remember the last time I smiled so much while reading a book.

When a seamstress is made into a duchess, there’s bound to be few mishaps. Emma tried so hard to be a good wife and duchess, but with a prickly husband, she has to work harder than she ever imagined.

The Duke suffered greatly in the war and now wears those scars for all to see. He hides himself away from the world and would rather be in the dark than the sun. But he has no idea that this wife he chose was going to flip his world upside down. Do his scars affect her? Yes, but not in the way he thinks. All he wants is an heir then she’ll be off to another of his homes, but the more they are around each other, the more she can chip away at his shell and show him what real is about.

If the next books are anything like this one, this will be one of my most recommended series. My heart is happy.

~Melpomene

Buy The Duchess Deal http://amzn.to/2xw3D8Y

Review: The Princes of Ireland (The Dublin Saga, #1) by Edward Rutherfurd

This is my second Rutherfurd book. I admit that I should bump this and give it 4 stars. The history is there, however, I just didn’t care for any of it…okay…I lied…I loved the start of the book and the Druids…after that I quickly lost interest and although I found a couple of the characters enjoyable, I never really connected or deeply cared about any of them. They were forgotten as soon as Rutherfurd stopped writing their names.

There are some really fantastic historical writers out there that really know how to engage the reader with a mixture of facts and fiction. My favourites that come to (my) mind are, Cornwell, Penman, Follett, and now Rutherfurd. Just because I didn’t care for this book doesn’t mean that I don’t love Rutherfurd.

Reading his novels is both depressing and refreshing. It’s depressing to realise yet again that once we no longer walk the earth that we are soon forgotten. That we can spend our entire life devoted to bettering our world and our family’s fortune (a fortune not always need be counted by gold coins mind you) and as soon as we pass, that family we strove so hard to provide for may not even know our name…

OTOH, it’s refreshing to know that we, as individuals, can make change for future generations…even if they do not know our name or the sacrifices we made for them.

I can’t wait to dive into another Rutherfurd book, even if this one wasn’t to my liking.

Until next time…
Urania xx

Buy it now The Princes of Ireland by Edward Rutherfurd

Review: All That Makes Life Bright by Josi S. Kilpack


I’ll admit, I had no idea who Harriet Beecher Stowe was before I picked up this book. Thank you, Google, for enlightening me. Once I started reading, I realized that this was not the usual fictional account of her entire life, but more of her life as a mother and wife.

Harriet wanted to be a writer, but when she finds herself a mom of three children under the age of 2, it’s more than she can handle. At first I was a little mad at her for not “stepping up” and being a mom first, but the more I read, the more I realized that she was doing the best she could. And when she could do no more, her body gave up for a while and she was forced to step back and relinquish her duties and recoup. Times were different back then. You were “supposed” to do it all and not complain, but I bet there were many struggling just like her, but were too afraid to do anything about it.

Her marriage was again, just like many marriages at the time. The man expected to walk in and the house be clean and food on the table, but without having to do any of the household duties. As I was reading, I wanted to ring Calvin’s neck for not helping, but then I had to remember the times were different. But, I will say that after a while he stepped up and did what needed to be done, in order to have a healthy wife and a happy family.

This was not my usual romance, in the sense that they were already married. I felt this story was more than about love, it was about life, real life. This touched me very deeply. I, as with many moms out there, struggle with finding a balance being a wife and mother while not losing our own identities. Harriet struggled with that greatly. Watching her was like looking in a mirror. Or better yet, being a fly on my wall, when my children were toddlers.

~Melpomene

Buy All That Makes Life Bright http://amzn.to/2wOBRUZ