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review 2019-06-01 05:36
Thoughts: Mortal Arts
Mortal Arts - Anna Lee Huber

Mortal Arts

by Anna Lee Huber
Book 2 of Lady Darby Mystery

 

 

Scotland, 1830.  Lady Kiera Darby is no stranger to intrigue—in fact, it seems to follow wherever she goes.  After her foray into murder investigation, Kiera must journey to Edinburgh with her family so that her pregnant sister can be close to proper medical care.  But the city is full of many things Kiera isn’t quite ready to face: the society ladies keen on judging her, her fellow investigator—and romantic entanglement—Sebastian Gage, and ultimately, another deadly mystery.

Kiera’s old friend Michael Dalmay is about to be married, but the arrival of his older brother—and Kiera’s childhood art tutor—William, has thrown everything into chaos.  For ten years Will has been missing, committed to an insane asylum by his own father.  Kiera is sympathetic to her mentor’s plight, especially when rumors swirl about a local girl gone missing.  Now Kiera must once again employ her knowledge of the macabre and join forces with Gage in order to prove the innocence of a beloved family friend—and save the marriage of another…



Mortal Arts picks up about two months following the events in the first book.  Our characters are headed towards Edinburgh with the intention of settling Kiera's sister, Alana, more comfortably during her pregnancy, in a place more suited to her than Gairloch castle.  But the group is delayed by a summons to a family friend's estates, Dalmay House.

This book touches upon a lot of sensitive subjects, specifically concerning William Dalmay, who was recently found to have been secreted away in an insane asylum by his own father for the past nine years.  It's disheartening to our heroine, as well as friends of the family, to learn that it had been the old Lord Dalmay's inability to accept or understand how Will had changed and suffered after the war that had lead him to sending his son away.  This book also includes a mystery of the disappearance of a girl in the village, whom many are starting to think might have had something to do with William Dalmay.

This book, aside from being a mystery and a build up to romance, I think, takes a rather risky, yet thought-provoking approach to also touch upon the impact of war on the men who fought in it, and how society dealt with such an affect on people during those times.  Will suffers not only battle fatigue, but is also barely recovering from his years being held against his will in an insane asylum--in present-day, his condition would be known as PTSD.  And it's sad to say that people's reaction to this during historical times is not too different than present-day, even if we've become more advanced and open-minded over the decades.

Gage stared down at the swirled pattern of the rug before him.  "Battle-hardened soldiers are far more likely to endure in silence.  It's all they know.  And if they were to admit to having difficulties, who would they tell?" he asked Miss Remmington.  "Our society doesn't exactly welcome such confessions."

I bowed my head.  One only had to look at the old Lord Dalmay's reaction to his son, and his decision to place him in a lunatic asylum, to understand that.  Our nation was eager to welcome home conquering heroes, not broken men.


I admit, I found satisfaction in seeing Kiera finally snap at someone, as she tends to curb her anger and disappear into the woodwork without voicing her opinions.  She did that a lot at the beginning of this book, and so I appreciated, both the exchange that took place with the young, naive Elise Remmington questioning the validity of William Dalmay's nightmares and inability to re-enter society based on society's norms after he'd returned from war.  Truth is, I wanted to slap the little chit myself for being ignorant, but it's hard to fault her when it is society and those who lead society who try to sugar-coat reality, thus keeping their own people, especially women and anyone of genteel breeding, in ignorance.

Still...

But Miss Remmington was not placated by such answers.  "But, truly, how bad could it be?  Men have always gone off to war and come home again.  The history books don't talk about them coming home with nightmares."  Her hands fisted in her lap and she scowled.  "It seems to me Lord Dalmay must have done something particularly awful if it troubled him so much."

A bolt of pure fury shot though me, stiffening my spine.  "And who are you to judge?  You who've never been asked to take up a sword or a rifle and kill someone in the defense of your king and country.  War is a nasty, horrific experience, not handsome men in uniform marching side by side with flashing sabers.  It's slogging through muck, and scrounging for food when the supplies do not come through.  It's witnessing the devastation trampling armies have wrought on the countryside and the livelihoods of innocent people.  It's watching your friend die in a muddy field full of corpses."


I guess what riled me the most was that, in the end, Kiera had to apologize to everyone for being so blunt about reality, and yet Elise Remmington never even offered so much as quiet repentance for her rudeness.  That even after Kiera's outburst, one of the other characters still felt that she was merely trying to be mean in scaring Elise Remmington.  Whether that character was simply trying to coddle Miss Remmington or was genuinely ignorant of the realities of war, I'm not sure, but I had to roll my eyes.

As far as the mystery is concerned (because, yes, there was a mystery in there), I felt like it was rather solid, even if kind of predictable from the start.  The direction it takes certainly has you thinking and doubting your own conclusions at times, and I love how easily and naturally Kiera and Mr. Gage kind of just fall into the investigation like an old partnership, despite having really only worked on one murder case together a couple months ago in the timeline.

I enjoyed their slowly building chemistry, though I must admit, the banter left much to be desired.  I get that the romance is going to be a slow burn, but I'm still not a hundred percent certain I'm feeling any love for their relationship as a romantic couple at the moment.  They work well together in terms of investigating the mysterious disappearance of a young woman in the village--whenever Gage isn't keeping secrets from Kiera, that is--but I feel like their romance is still a bit lacking.  And maybe this truly is a very slow burn that will take a few more books to come to fruition... in a way, I don't mind.

I'm much more interested in seeing Kiera get requests to help investigate more mysteries.

Writing-wise, I absolutely enjoyed the descriptions of the decrepit castle, and the lands surrounding Dalmay House.  I would have also liked to see more descriptions of the house itself, as we are lead to believe that the place is quite grand, catching Kiera by surprise, when she'd been living in a castle for so long.

There may have been some tangents that felt overmuch, but I quickly forgot about those as the story drew me right in, ending with a rather melancholic conclusion, even if it was a rather expected one.

As with some of the historical mysteries I've been reading lately, Lady Kiera Darby's narrative leads us to anticipate the events of the next mystery awaiting us in the book to follow, and I'm very much looking forward to it.

 

 

Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2019/05/thoughts-mortal-arts.html
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text 2019-05-15 16:07
BookLikes Snakes and Ladders | Voting Results!
Mortal Arts - Anna Lee Huber

Mortal Arts

by Anna Lee Huber
Book 2 of Lady Darby Mystery


And so we have a pretty obvious winner!

I wasn't a hundred percent sure, but I had a feeling I knew which book would be the more popular one when I made my list for this poll.  Lady Darby has always had great reviews from everyone, and that cover is just lovely.

And the truth is, I couldn't have been more satisfied.  I've been wanting to get back to the Lady Darby series for some time now and this is perfect!

Of course, the other three books are also books I will eventually read, so no loss there.

I had almost thought that The Duchess Deal might have had a fighting chance among the romance readers, but it looks like My Fair Concubine beat it out.

Okay, enough rambling now.  To steal from a few others, here's a pie chart to show just how well Mortal Arts did:

 

 

 

Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2019/05/booklikes-snakes-and-ladders-voting.html
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text 2019-05-14 05:56
BookLikes Snakes and Ladders | Final Square Voting!
The Duchess Deal - Tessa Dare
Mortal Arts - Anna Lee Huber
My Fair Concubine - Jeannie Lin
Mistress of Rome - Kate Quinn
Help me choose a book for Square 100!

The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare
Mortal Arts by Anna Lee Huber
My Fair Concubine by Jeannie Lin
Mistress of Rome by Kate Quinn
 
Created with PollMaker



In keeping with my Reading Assignment Challenge, I need one more historical fiction book to finish this month's requirements, so this poll is made up of all historical fiction novels.  Also to give me an extra push, these are also all books that I already own and have been trying to find a chance to read since forever... except for Mistress of Rome, which was a fairly new addition to my digital shelves.

I don't know how long I'm going to keep this poll up, but it'll at least be for 24 hours to give lots of people a chance to vote.  Thanks, everyone!


The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare

When girl meets Duke, their marriage breaks all the rules…

Since his return from war, the Duke of Ashbury’s to-do list has been short and anything but sweet: brooding, glowering, menacing London ne’er-do-wells by night.  Now there’s a new item on the list.  He needs an heir—which means he needs a wife.  When Emma Gladstone, a vicar’s daughter turned seamstress, appears in his library wearing a wedding gown, he decides on the spot that she’ll do.

His terms are simple:
- They will be husband and wife by night only.
- No lights, no kissing.
- No questions about his battle scars.
- Last, and most importantly…  Once she’s pregnant with his heir, they need never share a bed again.

But Emma is no pushover.  She has a few rules of her own:
- They will have dinner together every evening.
- With conversation.
- And unlimited teasing.
- Last, and most importantly…  Once she’s seen the man beneath the scars, he can’t stop her from falling in love…

 



Mortal Arts by Anna Lee Huber

Scotland, 1830.  Lady Kiera Darby is no stranger to intrigue—in fact, it seems to follow wherever she goes.  After her foray into murder investigation, Kiera must journey to Edinburgh with her family so that her pregnant sister can be close to proper medical care.  But the city is full of many things Kiera isn’t quite ready to face: the society ladies keen on judging her, her fellow investigator—and romantic entanglement—Sebastian Gage, and ultimately, another deadly mystery.

Kiera’s old friend Michael Dalmay is about to be married, but the arrival of his older brother—and Kiera’s childhood art tutor—William, has thrown everything into chaos.  For ten years Will has been missing, committed to an insane asylum by his own father. Kiera is sympathetic to her mentor’s plight, especially when rumors swirl about a local girl gone missing.  Now Kiera must once again employ her knowledge of the macabre and join forces with Gage in order to prove the innocence of a beloved family friend—and save the marriage of another…

 



My Fair Concubine by Jeannie Lin

The Nobleman Who Turned a Tea Girl Into a Princess...

Yan Ling tries hard to be servile—it's what's expected of a girl of her class.  Being intelligent and strong-minded, she finds it a constant battle.

Proud Fei Long is unimpressed by her spirit—until he realizes she's the answer to his problems.  He has to deliver the emperor a "princess."  In two months can he train a tea girl to pass as a noblewoman?

Yet it's hard to teach good etiquette when all Fei Long wants to do is break it, by taking this tea girl for his own...

 



Mistress of Rome by Kate Quinn

First-century Rome: A ruthless emperor watches over all—and fixes his gaze on one young woman...

Thea is a slave girl from Judaea, purchased as a toy for the spiteful heiress Lepida Pollia.  Now she has infuriated her mistress by capturing the attention of Rome’s newest and most savage gladiator—and though his love brings Thea the first happiness of her life, their affair ends quickly when a jealous Lepida tears them apart.

Remaking herself as a singer for Rome’s aristocrats, Thea unwittingly attracts another admirer: the charismatic Emperor of Rome.  But the passions of an all-powerful man come with a heavy price, and Thea finds herself fighting for both her soul and her sanity.  Many have tried to destroy the Emperor: a vengeful gladiator, an upright senator, a tormented soldier, a Vestal Virgin.  But in the end, the life of Domitian lies in the hands of one woman: the Emperor’s mistress.

 

 

Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2019/05/booklikes-snakes-and-ladders-final.html
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url 2019-05-13 06:55
Gift & Handicraft Related Business Database in India

99 Data CD is s presenting very useful data related to gift & handicraft (all types) products & materials. The offered data is fresh & comprises information that is latest and up-to-date covering manufacturers, exporters, importers, dealers & distributors.

Source: www.99datacd.com/trade-group/gift-handicrafts-data.html
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text 2019-05-07 14:27
Get Trained in Martial Arts from the Best Gym for a Better Life

When you think of losing weight what is the first place you think that will be appropriate to lose those extra pounds? Most of us think of a gym where you have to lift heavy weights and exercise on machines. Isn't it boring? Does the thought of going to a gym make you lethargic towards working out? What if you very told that martial arts are a sport which will not only many you a pro in the sport but will also help you to burn out those extra pounds that you are trying to get rid of. Martial Art is one of the best activities that one should involve themselves for not only getting physically fit but martial art also helps in building concentration and focus. Therefore, many people in Australia are willing to get training in this. One should find a good Australian Martial Arts Academy to get proper training and learn martial arts from scratch. 

Martial art has different forms in the world some of the popular once are taekwondo, karate, Jiu-Jitsu and Sambo. These do not just sports activities that keep you involved but In fact, Martial Arts are used for self-defence by many people in the world including the people in the army. One of the major reasons why people are willing to learn martial arts is that in today's day age, the number of crimes that take place in a day around the world has increased so much that it has made the world an insecure place to live in. Criminal activities are not just happening with adults but also young small children and even the elders are dragged into criminal activity. Therefore, one should be capable enough to help themselves in a situation that can cause them damage.

Martial Arts Development is the finest gym in Australia that offers training in Martial arts. They have a class for everybody who is willing to learn this form of activity. They have special batches for men, women, kids and you can even have personal training sessions. You can select any batch at any point in time of the day. They have batches available in the morning, afternoon, evening and night. They even have Mixed Martial Art Classes Australia which includes Kickboxing, BJJ, Boxing, Wrestling and Sambo all in one class. 

About Martial Arts Development:

Martial Arts Development is the gym that has the best Martial Arts classes. If you want to become a pro in Martial Arts then you have found the right place to get the best training. 

For more details, visit Martialartsdevelopment.com

 

Original Source : http://bit.ly/2V1Atac

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