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review 2017-09-23 23:40
The Most Happy
The most happy: An alternate history of Anne Boleyn - Helen R. Davis

Imagine what England might have been like if Anne Boleyn had birthed a son for King Henry VIII.  This story imagines just that, instead of being cast aside after the birth of Elizabeth, Anne Boleyn gives birth to twins, Elizabeth and Edward VI, securing a legitimate male heir for the throne.  King Henry VIII still entertains his womanizing ways, but his jousting accident comes before he can push Anne aside and Henry names Anne the Regent until Edward comes of age.  It is now up to Anne to weather the tense political climate building between England, France and Spain and to secure the throne for her children until Edward comes of age.  

As an avid reader of all things Tudor, I was very excited to see what could be imagined for Anne Boleyn if her life was continued past her short reign as Queen. Some points in history were kept the same throughout this alternative historical fiction tale, but some were obviously changed.  It was interesting to see the new roles that Henry VIII's real life next wives took, many now served Queen Anne, some more faithfully than others.  I was also fascinated by the insight of Queen Anne as she aged.  She was very remorseful of her treatment to Katherine of Aragon and Mary, especially since she was almost placed in the same situation.  Queen Anne also explained many times that it was not she who pushed herself onto Henry, but she merely could not say no to the King.  I was also intrigued how, at the end everything seemed to turn out the way that history intended.  I did wish that the book went into more detail, this was a shorter story, so time moved quickly and many events simply happened and were not experienced through reading.  I would have loved to be engrossed in this alternate history for a little longer and have had the characters expanded upon a bit more.  Overall, an insightful look into what might have been for Henry VIII's 'Most Happy' Queen. 

​This book was received for free in return for an honest review.

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review 2017-09-23 19:16
Last Christmas in Paris
Last Christmas in Paris: A Novel of World War I - Heather Webb,Hazel Gaynor

In 1969 Tom Harding makes a final trip to Paris for Christmas.   While he is there he re-reads all the letters sent between 1914 and 1918.  In 1914, Evie Elliot's brother, Will and best friend, Tom  leave for the Front.  Evie diligently writes to both of them. In their letters, the three divulge their greatest wishes, fears, and emotions.  Most of all, they all wish for the war to be over by Christmas so they may celebrate the holiday in Paris.  Little do they know how much the War will change all of them.  

An all at once heartwarming and heartbreaking story of love and loss during World War I.  Told almost entirely in letter exchanges between Evie and her loved ones, this book completely enveloped me as I devoured every word.  There was so much passion in the writing, especially the letters between Thomas and Evie, I felt as if these could be two real people.  I felt like I was immersed into their most intimate moments and my heart raced for when they would finally declare their love for one another.   Through the letters, I was able to see the impact of the war from all sides. Through Evie, I got a sense of how it felt to be left behind, the worry, dread and depression of fearing that your loved ones may not come home and the overwhelming urge to do something about it.  Through Tom, the gruesome depictions of the Front that the media wouldn't let anyone know of as well as the mental toll that war takes on the soldiers.  Also, through Evie's exchanges with her friend Alice, we learn of the many ways that women jumped in to help from delivering the mail, to nursing and driving ambulances to the Auxillary Corps and even writing newspaper articles.  What affected me most was Tom's re-reading of the letters and his opening of the final letter at the end.  Overall, a wonderfully written historical novel reminding me of the sacrifices made by our veterans. 

This book was received for free in return for an honest review. 

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review 2017-09-22 18:28
We Met in Dreams
We Met in Dreams - Rowan McAllister

“Yesterday in the park, I was feeling quite sorry for myself. I sat on that bench for a long time, trying to dredge up the strength to return to my empty apartments. Then an angel dropped in my lap, invited me to tea, and kissed me, and ever since I’ve been struggling to believe my luck. I feel as if I’m in a dream, and at any moment, I’ll wake broken and alone again.”

 

This book is the perfect blend of paranormal, mystery, historical fiction and romance.  Just an absolutely beautiful story that kept me on the edge of my seat; kept me continuously wondering who to trust, what to believe and how this would end.  And none of it was as I suspected which made the journey that much better.

 

I adored both these beautiful men and how they each became the angel the other needed to see through their darkness and see light and happiness awaiting them with each other.

 

And the visual descriptions of this manor, the period dress and the glimpses into London were perfectly captured for me. I was left mezmerized. 

 

Thanks Marco for the recommendation...truly one to follow.

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review 2017-09-22 16:56
Girl at War Book Review
Girl at War: A Novel - Sara Nović

Wow this was powerful. I had to read this for a YA book training coming out and fount it an interesting book to choose for teens considering its not exactly YA. But it was so good. I was hooked from the beginning and really felt the emotions of the main character. 

 

Ana was ten years old when she witnessed her parents death in Crotia. Now she's an adult in America living under a different name with her adopted parents. A better life. But nobody really know's who she is or where she comes from. But the truth is about to come out. 

 

This packed a punch straight from the beginning. I don't know much about Crotia and their civil war. But I certainly gained perspective from this book. I'd recommend it easily. And I'm curious to what the teens at this event will feel about this book. 

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review 2017-09-21 15:10
Halloween Bingo Update 5: The Virgin in the Ice
The Virgin in the Ice: The Sixth Chronicle of Brother Cadfael - Ellis Peters

The Virgin in the Ice is set in the "dark, dark woods."  Perhaps not so surprising when it's 1139, there's a civil war on, and Brother Cadfael is on the road to another monastic house (in his capacity as healer).

 

For the Forest of Cree is full of ice and snow and wind, and murder and mayhem, as well.

 

 

It would also work for Amateur Sleuth or Murder Most Foul.

 

 

Read and Called:

 

Werewolves: Marked in Flesh, by Anne Bishop

In the Dark, Dark Woods: The Virgin in the Ice, by Ellis Peters

Locked Room Mystery: The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, by Agatha Christie

Ghost: The Canterville Ghost, by Oscar Wilde

 

Read, but Uncalled:

 

Supernatural: Murder of Crows, by Anne Bishop

 

Called, but Unread:

 

Genre: Horror

Diverse Voices

Murder Most Foul

Witches

Cozy Mystery

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