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Waiting on Wednesday – 13 July 2016

New WoW

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

I’ve been on a recent 20th century historical fiction kick (which seems kind of weird to say, considering that the 20th century ended only 16 years ago and I was alive during the end of it)…but specifically, books set from World War 1 (inclusive) through the end of world war 2, so i was excited to see the following book pop up in the Publisher’s Weekly upcoming releases list.

secrets of nanreath hallSecrets of Nanreath Hall: A Novel – Alix Rickloff
Release Date: August 2, 2016

Tagline: This incredible debut historical novel—in the tradition of Beatriz Williams and Jennifer Robson—tells the fascinating story of a young mother who flees her home on the rocky cliffs of Cornwall and the daughter who finds her way back, seeking answers.

Why Waiting on Wednesday?
Sometimes when taglines say for fans of certain authors, I’d immediately buy, or I’ll avoid…but in this instance, I’ve had very limited exposure of the 2 authors mentioned in the tagline (Beatriz Williams and Jennifer Robson), but I’ve (unintentionally) been making my way through the different decades of the 20th century (with a WW1 anthology, followed soon after by a book set in the 1920’s) – although, I’ll admit, I still need to find a book set in the 1930’s…but this will likely be my book for the 1940’s when I get there🙂 (although, it seemed to be a book that tells the story in 2 time periods, which if done right, is a story format that I really enjoy). Plus, I’ll admit there was some total cover lust for this book – its a cover that is just simple and elegant and one that I would totally buy in a store if i was just browsing the shelves.

What about you – what is your “Waiting on Wednesday” book?

 
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Posted by on July 14, 2016 in Wishlist Wednesday

 

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Review – What The Duke Desires – Sabrina Jeffries

what the duke wantsWhat The Duke Desires
Author: Sabrina Jeffries
Series: #1 in The Duke’s Men

Review Copy Provided by Publisher Via Edelweiss

Description:
Maximilian Cale, the Duke of Lyons, accepted long ago that his kidnapped brother was dead. When a cryptic note from investigator Tristan Bonnaud claims otherwise, Max seeks out Tristan’s sister, Lisette—and is infuriated to learn that Tristan has also mysteriously vanished. Have the siblings perpetrated an elaborate hoax? Or is the fiercely protective beauty as innocent as she claims them to be?

Fearful that the powerful Duke will destroy Tristan’s career in his zeal for the truth, the clever Lisette convinces Max to accompany her to Paris in a joint search for their loved ones. But their journey takes a seductive twist when they pose as an ordinary husband and wife—not an English Duke with a tarnished family name and the illegitimate daughter of a viscount—and discover an exhilarating passion free from the damning secrets of the past. With the line between danger and desire enticingly blurred, they discover that some mysteries, like those of the heart, are answered tenfold in the bliss of a true and trusting love.

Review:
I’ll be the first to admit that Sabrina Jeffries is a comfort read for me. I don’t know if I have read a book by her that I haven’t enjoyed – they are all solid historical romances – nothing to completely rave about, but nothing that I truly hate either. I just a solid performance. So when I saw a review copy of her newest book available for download on Edelweiss, and having just finished up her previous series not that long ago, I opted to request it. What the Duke Desires takes place in the same time period as her Hellions of Halstead Hall series, in fact, if you are paying attention, there are a few re-occurring characters. Not enough that you need to have read the previous series in order to enjoy the books, but enough that you can see their lives down the road just a little bit.

What the Duke Desires uses more of my more favorite tropes in the historical romance genre, the bastard child(children) who get screwed over when the family member dies unexpectedly. For some reason, I love the vulnerability of heroines in that kind of situation and it wasn’t like everything was made miraculously better. Lisette continued to struggle through-out the entire story with the ramifications. Of course, that still didn’t stop her from doing some dumb-ass shit…lol (of course). And then there were Max – he was on the verge of being a brilliant tortured hero, and walked the precipice quite well – I do wish that he had fallen in, but I did enjoy him as a character. The romance between the two was satisfying and it seemed nature…it didn’t have the wham bam, thank you ma’am that often seems to occur.

I’m definitely interesting in seeing what happens in the rest of the series. I’d give What The Duke Desires 3.5 stars – a solid historical romance read from an enjoyable author.

 
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Posted by on May 14, 2013 in Book Review

 

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Audiobook Review – Maisie Dobbs – Jacqueline Winspear

maisie dobbsMaisie Dobbs
Author: Jacqueline Winspear
Series: #1 in the Maisie Dobbs series

Narrator: Rita Barrington
Run Time: 10 hrs
Producer: AudioGO

Description:
Maisie Dobbs isn’t just any young housemaid. Through her own natural intelligence–and the patronage of her benevolent employers–she works her way into college at Cambridge. When World War I breaks out, Maisie goes to the front as a nurse. It is there that she learns that coincidences are meaningful and the truth elusive. After the War, Maisie sets up on her own as a private investigator. But her very first assignment, seemingly an ordinary infidelity case, soon reveals a much deeper, darker web of secrets, which will force Maisie to revisit the horrors of the Great War and the love she left behind.

Review:
I had heard about this series through several of my online reading buddies who loved it – so when it was selected as a group read, I figured that it must have been a sign (since I didn’t really have any interest in either of the other books selected). I was looking forward to a lite mystery after reading a lot of dark, completely jacked up Nordic Noir mysteries and this was a great palate cleanser.

I loved the character of Maisie – she just seemed so unique in the current fiction world as it stands right now. And the time period is one of interest to me since there aren’t a lot of books written in the time period between WW1 and WW2 (that I have found). The mystery wasn’t so much of a mystery as a plot leading to a realization – or at least, that is how i saw it – while I didn’t know all the details that were revealed at the end, I had a 95% idea of what the result was going to be. But I honestly didn’t mind – for me, the best part of the book was seeing how Maisie Dobbs became Maisie Dobbs. The biggest surprise for me in the story was what happened to the love of her life during the war (but don’t worry, I try to keep my reviews spoiler free – so as not to ruin the book). It wasn’t what I was expecting and totally made me tear up.

However, one of my complaints was that while I liked that flashbacks were used – they were a bit chunky – I think the first flashback actually lasted a significant portion of the book – so when it jumped back to the present day I was a bit surprised/confused. I think it either would have been better to have broken the flash-backs up into some smaller portions – almost like an appetizer, rather than a whole entree – or write the first part of the book as her history up until when the mystery began. I think the former probably would have worked the best.

Unfortunately, my experience with the audiobook didn’t live up to the book itself and if I had had time, I might have stopped listening and read instead. I know that I nearly considered doing that with the rest of the series – because someone told me that the other books are narrated by someone else. I just did not enjoy the narrators voice. While I found that her female voices were passable – her male ones were like torture – I think I would have preferred a recitation rather than hearing her try to do male voices. It just didn’t work for me – which is unfortunately, because I think if done properly, this could have been a great audiobook (and the second one – review to follow in the future), was much improved. This is the first time that I have listened to anything by this narrator and it likely will be the last. I don’t think that I can fairly judge her on any other narrations after my feelings towards this one.

Overall, I’d give the book a solid 4 stars, but the narration only 1.5 – however, I do think that the book overall balanced out the mess of the narration – so 3.5 overall.

 
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Posted by on December 27, 2012 in Audiobook Review

 

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