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Search tags: War-of-the-Roses
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review 2022-06-02 04:26
ROOMFUL OF ROSES by Diana Palmer
Roomful of Roses - Diana Palmer

McCabe comes back wounded from Central America to recuperate at his ward's home. Wynn, his ward, is engaged and does not want him there interfering with her engagement. He shows her she has feelings for him, but he is still determined to go back to reporting in Central America. Can she show him her way? Will he stay or will he go?


I enjoyed this story. Diana Palmer is still one of my favorite writers. I liked Wynn and McCabe. I liked that Wynn did not let him walk all over her. She makes up her own mind. He begins to understand what she goes through when he is out getting a story and goes incommunicado during those times. They are a good couple.


The story, while written 38 years ago, is both a history as well as current events. The actions between McCabe and Wynn are very much a product of the time it was written. Wynn would not stand for McCabe telling her what to do today. She'd just do it. However, one arc of the story is getting enough water for the town for the expansion and industry. We see today how important it is with drought and climate change. I never realized how relevant these stories can be in today's time as well as when they were written.

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review 2020-07-13 14:02
A Court of Thorns and Roses
A Court of Thorns and Roses - Sarah J. Maas

by Sarah Maas


This is my first Sarah Maas book and despite some challenging format on the ARC, it drew me right in, Fayre is one of three sisters who live in reduced circumstances after having known a comfortable life. Their mother is dead and their father is crippled and often in a world of his own, because it was some nasty creditors who crippled him in painful ways.


Fayre hunts for food, since the family is destitute. The forest is dangerous, full of hungry wolves as well as fae shapeshifters, and when she encounters a large wolf stalking the same deer she's hunting, she can't be sure which it is. The tension of her attempt to hunt food without becoming prey herself got the story off to a good start.


I wondered many times if this was meant to be a re-imagining of Beauty and the Beast, as there were a lot of similar elements. Fayre is a strong but fearful character, mistrusting the Fae effectively as monsters despite their physical beauty. These are not your fairytale Fae! She encounters some chilling creatures in the course of the story.


The first half kept me riveted, but then it started losing me. The standard gratuitous sex scene that seems to be a feature of New Adult books was better written than most, but still the same old actions. There was some inconsistency in characters and somebody needs to explain to the author that villages don't have 'blocks', an exclusively American term used by city dwellers.


There were also several occasions where the use of a word in a sentence would klunk, just not quite fitting. Despite that, the imaginative encounters with various supernatural characters and especially in the trials Feyre had to face were well done. The end was fairly predictable, but fit the story.


I don't think I'll be continuing the series, but overall I did enjoy the read.

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review 2020-06-22 15:24
The Brothers York
The Brothers York - Thomas Penn

by Thomas Penn


For some reason I expected this to be Historical Fiction, but it turned out to be History. It's about the Wars of the Roses and the Brothers from the York dynasty who might have filled the place that the Tudor family does in history instead, if it hadn't been for in-fighting.


There are long chapters with just the occasional line break. As such it took me quite a long time to read it in small increments. It was also just a bit dry, but the subject is interesting and kept my attention. I found it amazing how England came so close to having a very different history!


Overall I really enjoyed the book and it filled in a big gap in the my knowledge of history. I do prefer historical accounts that tell the story of people rather than impersonal war statistics and this definitely fulfilled that preference for me.

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text 2020-06-10 04:46
Reading progress update: I've read 23 out of 416 pages.
A Court of Thorns and Roses - Sarah J. Maas


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review 2020-02-02 12:04
For experts on the subject looking for top-notch research
Elizabeth Widville Lady Grey - John Ashdown-Hill

Thanks to Rosie Croft from Pen & Sword for sending me an early hardback copy of this book, which I freely chose to review. This is a book that has put a new spin on the word “research” for me.

I am no expert on UK history in general, and my knowledge of the particular period covered in this book is patchy at best (we’ve all heard of the War of the Roses, and thanks to Shakespeare’s plays are familiar with at least some of the characters who played important parts in the events…), but a passing comment about this queen included in a book I read recently got me curious, and on reading the credentials of the author (who unfortunately passed away in 2018), I decided to read it.

This is not a book that simply picks up a few known facts and creates a semblance of a chronology and a fictionalised biography of the person. This is a truly exhaustive study of all the resources available (I’m no expert, so there might be some the author missed, but judging by the thoroughness of the text and the bibliography, they’d have to be pretty obscure), not only books, letters, official documents, court records, but also portraits, coins, sculptures, and even a study of the DNA of one of the queen’s known distant relatives. The author studies all aspects of this historical figure, many in dispute for years: the spelling of her name (there are many versions available and he explains the reasons why), her hair colour, her marriage (a secret marriage, which, it seems, was not as uncommon as it might sound, and definitely Edward IV was fond of them), her relationships with a number of historical figures (and her possible involvement in their fates), her religious faith, her lineage… He even tried to trace a possible sample of wood from her coffin, but it seems that if it had ever existed it was misplaced, and it’s not reappeared so far. Well, you get an idea.

This is not a book for a casual reader eager to get a bit of information about Lady Grey, but rather one for people who are looking for clarification on specific points of her life, or who want to deepen their knowledge of this figure and this historical period. Anybody interested in the many controversies surrounding the Kingdom of Edward IV, the disappearance of the two princes, Richard III’s role, and the many intrigues and controversies of the era (you have it all: secret marriages, bigamy, accusations of witchery, murders, possible poisonings, mysterious disappearances, executions, battles for the crown, treachery, marriages of convenience, bastardy… Modern soaps and spy novels can’t hold a candle to this), should check this book. Ashdown-Hill comments on biographies and books on the subject, pointing out factual errors, and trying his best to separate fact from fiction. He takes a scientific approach to the subject and does not offer his personal opinion, but sticks to the information available and avoids flights of fancy. In his conclusion he reiterates that there is much we’ll never know about Elizabeth, but some of the things that have been said about her are wrong. I’ve learned plenty reading this book, and although I am sure readers with more knowledge will gain much more from it, it has made me want to dig a bit deeper into the period.

The volume contains a number of family trees for the different branches of Elizabeth’s family, up to present day, and also photos (black and white and colour), illustrations, detailed notes for each chapter, a bibliography and an index.

I’d recommend this book to readers with a good knowledge of the period, looking to learn more about Lady Grey or about all the political intricacies of the era. It will be of particular interest to historians and also to writers eager to ensure accuracy in their depiction of the era, with its intrigues, secrets, and unanswered questions. A rigorous work of historical enquiry.

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