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text 2017-07-01 19:32
July 2017 Reading List
Rock Courtship - Nalini Singh
The Rake's Redemption - Regina Scott
Licensed for Trouble - Susan May Warren
A Dance with Danger (Rebels and Lovers) - Jeannie Lin
[(Butterfly Swords)] [By (author) Jeannie Lin] published on (October, 2010) - Jeannie Lin
The Doctor's Undoing (Love Inspired Historical) - Allie Pleiter
The Bootlegger's Daughter (Daughters of the Roaring Twenties) - Lauri Robinson
The Soldier's Dark Secret - Marguerite Kaye

COYER continues and I'm doing the 24in48 read-a-thon this month. RB Bingo squares being filled by COYER books and library finds. Pop Sugar is on hold until the autumn, when I can give it the attention it deserves. COYER read-a-thon this month is physical books only, so I have some COYER reading list books on reserve for that.

 

 

1. Rock Courtship: A Rock Kiss Novella by Nalini Singh (COYER) (RB Bingo) (Library Love Challenge)- reading this one for the "heroine is taller than the hero" square. Not really feeling Singh's writing TBH, but it is only a novella and I have read much worse in the rock star niche.

 

2. The Rake's Redemption by Regina Scott (COYER) (RB Bingo) (Library Love Challenge) - reading this one for the "rake/rogue in the title" square....funny, read a lot of rakes/rogues in my historical reading, yet very few have those words in the title.

 

3. Licensed for Trouble (PJ Sugar #3) by Susan May Warren (COYER) (Library Love Challenge) - whenever the person who currently has it borrowed from OverDrive returns it, I am next in line for it. This is the last book in the series. Hurry up fellow library patron!!!

 

4. A Dance with Danger by Jeannie Lin (COYER) (possible RB Bingo) - time to work on completing the Tang Dynasty series. I have four books left to read.

 

5. Butterfly Swords by Jeannie Lin (COYER) (possible RB Bingo) - another Tang Dynasty book.

 

6. The Doctor's Undoing by Allie Pleiter (COYER) (possible RB Bingo) - sequel to Homefront Hero, which I loved. I'm so glad I picked up Ida's story as well during the sale. WWI era romance set in South Carolina.

 

7. The Bootlegger's Daughter by Lauri Robinson (COYER) (possible RB Bingo)

 - not a war time romance HUZZAH! Love in the time of speakeasies!

 

8. The Soldier's Dark Secrets by Marguerite Kaye (COYER) (possible RB Bingo) - back to Regency and the war with Napoleon. But I love the author's writing, so it should be a stand out.

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review 2017-06-21 21:25
Mr. Rochester / Sarah Shoemaker
Mr. Rochester - Sarah Shoemaker

"Reader, she married me."

For one hundred seventy years, Edward Fairfax Rochester has stood as one of literature's most romantic, most complex, and most mysterious heroes. Sometimes haughty, sometimes tender-professing his love for Jane Eyre in one breath and denying it in the next-Mr. Rochester has for generations mesmerized, beguiled, and, yes, baffled fans of Charlotte Brontë's masterpiece. But his own story has never been told.

Now, out of Sarah Shoemaker's rich and vibrant imagination, springs Edward: a vulnerable, brilliant, complicated man whom we first meet as a motherless, lonely little boy roaming the corridors and stable yards of Thornfield Hall. On the morning of Edward's eighth birthday, his father issues a decree: He is to be sent away to get an education, exiled from Thornfield and all he ever loved. As the determined young Edward begins his journey across England, making friends and enemies along the way, a series of eccentric mentors teach him more than he might have wished about the ways of the men-and women-who will someday be his peers.

 

3.5 stars, rounded up to 4  on Goodreads because I enjoyed the first half of the book so much. The author remained very true to Brontë’s Jane Eyre and even managed to incorporate aspects of Rhys’ Wide Sargasso Sea. I have to admire that!

The first half of the book, dealing with Edward Fairfax Rochester’s life before he meets his Jane, was the most enjoyable for me. I loved the back-story that Ms. Shoemaker created for him—the vulnerable, sensitive little boy who missed his mother and was ignored by his father. She obviously spent a great deal of time on the question, “What made Mr. Rochester into the man who met Jane Eyre?”

Once Jane appears in this text, however, there are constraints. You don’t mess with the Jane Eyre story, after all. For me, things changed at this point. Instead of the colourful, free painting that Shoemaker began with, she was reduced to paint-by-number. She introduced some interesting ideas that aren’t in Brontë’s original, but then has to wrap them up swiftly and neatly in order to fit into the accepted canon.

In short, very true to the original work and another interesting look at an old favourite.

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review 2017-06-12 19:56
Jane Steele / Lyndsey Faye
Jane Steele - Lyndsay Faye

Reader, I murdered him.

Like the heroine of the novel she adores, Jane Steele suffers cruelly at the hands of her aunt and schoolmaster. And like Jane Eyre, they call her wicked - but in her case, she fears the accusation is true. When she flees, she leaves behind the corpses of her tormentors.

A fugitive navigating London's underbelly, Jane rights wrongs on behalf of the have-nots whilst avoiding the noose. Until an advertisement catches her eye. Her aunt has died and the new master at Highgate House, Mr Thornfield, seeks a governess. Anxious to know if she is Highgate's true heir, Jane takes the position and is soon caught up in the household's strange spell. When she falls in love with the mysterious Charles Thornfield, she faces a terrible dilemma: can she possess him - body, soul and secrets - and what if he discovers her murderous past?

 

Reader, we were amused.

Jane Eyre is one of my favourite classics. It seems to appeal to a wide range of people and it also seems to inspire a number of authors. I’ve read Wide Sargasso Sea, The Lost Child, and Texts from Jane Eyre: And Other Conversations with Your Favorite Literary Characters and enjoyed all of them. But Jane Steele was the most fun of them all.

Imagine if you will a young woman in similar circumstances as Jane Eyre, with a copy of the book in her hand, as she murders her way out of her problems. In this version, Jane gets rid of the nasty aunt, the abusive cousin, the skeezy schoolmaster, the violent landlord and still finds the Englishman-with-secrets of her dreams.

My second encounter with Lyndsay Faye and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I would also recommend Dust and Shadow: An Account of the Ripper Killings by Dr. John H. Watson, also set in Victorian London, a place & time that Faye seems to have great feeling for.

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review 2017-05-12 10:26
The Day of the Owl
The Day of the Owl - Anthony Oliver,George Scialabba,Archibald Colquhoun,Leonardo Sciascia

Mainlanders are decent enough but just don’t understand things.

I came across Sciascia when browsing through the Sicily travel guide last week, which recommended The Day of the Owl (alongside Lampedusa's The Leopard) as quintessential Sicilian reads. 

 

The Day of the Owl begins with a murder that takes places in broad daylight in a town square. There is an abundance of witnesses but nobody claims to have seen anything or know anything significant that could lead the police to the killer.

 

And so the investigation, led by a "Northerner", begins to unravel the complicated net of obligation, honor, and lies that surrounds the killing and tries to describe the organisation of the mafia, at a time when its existence was still being denied and kept out of public view. 

 

Sciascia wrote this in 1961 (8 years before Puzo would publish The Godfather), and although the novella is only 100+ pages in length, it has the depth of a full length novel, and leaves behind an unsettling notion of how big an influence the organisation must have had (or still has?) on the lives of people who are surrounded by the web of silence and obligations. 

 

This was a fascinating read.

 

 

Corleone (picture found on the www), the original HQ of the mafia.

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review 2017-05-03 20:11
Maud: A Novel Inspired by the Life of L.M. Montgomery - Melanie Fishbane
While I have never read "Anne of Green Gables", I was still interested in reading about the author. This book tells of her life during her early years of living with her grandparents on Prince Edward Island. The author used Maud's own edited journal and letters she had written to friends and family to write this entertaining and enjoyable piece of historical fiction.

I can tell you that Maud did not have such a great life growing up with her grandparents and times being what they were with the feelings toward women, she really had a difficult road to travel.

While the book was a little slow to start, once it got going, I really came to like Maud and was rooting for her all the way.

Thanks to Penguin Random House Canada and Net Galley for approving and allowing me to read and review this book.
 
 

 

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