Sunday, July 8, 2012
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
I am working my way down my list on Evernote of medieval romances (and regular fiction) and this one has been on my list for a while. For a medieval romance, the plot is relatively different.
The hero, Ranald, was discarded by his father to a monastery and became a monk, only to be told that he must leave the order to marry his twin brother’s betrothed after the brother dies. He is also a warrior as he was the monastery's protector. Different right?
The heroine, Catalin, is an English lady who was to marry future Scottish laird, Murdoch, and when he dies, Ranald. Imagine being told you are marrying a former monk who was just dragged from the monastery and is deformed by scarring. How would you react?
This book grabs you as Ranald adapts to life on the outside, learns more about the woman he married and changes. Catalin has also had troubles adapting because she had a secret and did not know what to make out of the scarred twin.
Raik, Ranald’s cousin, is a great character and added some humor to the story, which is great because the next book, Seduced, is his story.
I recommend this for being different and complex but yet a true love story.
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Finally, a medieval romance book where the main hero isn’t a lord, knight, king or other medieval bigwig. He is a Captain in a lord’s army of humble birth.
This book takes place right after the Normans invaded England in 1067. The heroine, Lady Erica of Whitecliffe, a Saxon noble’s daughter who has been kicked out of her home and is hiding out after the invasion with several of her father’s men. The hero, Captain Wulf FitzRobert is a half Saxon, half Norman soldier and is sent to the East Anglia Fens to spy on Saxon rebels.
Wulf is sent to a Saxon rebel’s camp, which turns out to be almost a castle, to infiltrate himself into the rebels. Lady Erica has had enough of living life as an outlaw and seeks to end a family blood feud with Saxon, finds herself in the castle. Wulf stops Lady Erica from being raped by this Saxon and he rescues her. She does not know he is a Norman and when she finds out, the Saxon Lady would not be happy.
I really liked this charming little Harlequin Historical. Carol Townend paints a picture of life at the conquest, not just of the ruling class, but of the average person. The hero struggles with the fact that he thinks he will never advance in that world because of his birth, similar but a little different from what many think today. The heroine struggles with duty versus the heart.
I liked how the romance played out. I would have fallen for the hero myself. I love the name Wulf for a man.
This is part of her Wessex Weddings series and in my giddiness after finishing, I downloaded two more of the books for my Kindle.
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Monday, February 13, 2012
What a misleading title and cover. There aren't any concubines in the book but that does not make it bad.
The story begins as the Friis family is leaving Russia during the Revolution and their train gets stopped by the Red Army. The family gets separated and the mother and daughter are allowed to continue on the Junchow, China.
Lydia, the daughter, grows up in the Russian Settlement of Junchow with her mother. As White Russians, they are stranded there without passports or money to leave. Her mother, an alcoholic, is not supporting her daughter as she should and Lydia takes to stealing to support her mother. When she is rescued out of a compromising situation on in an alley by a Chinese teenager, her life changes.
I like the history of this book. I have read other novels of lives in rich English Settlements in Shanghai but this book explored those in the seedier European settlements and what was going on China in the 1920s.
The cover and the title annoyed me a little, I will be honest and I might have rated it higher but the annoyance won out. I will read the next book in the series The Girl from Junchow based on the ending that hooked me
Monday, February 6, 2012
Thursday, February 2, 2012
Part of what drew me to this book was the cover. Like wine, I do read some books by the cover, or at least the blurb on the cover.
Goodreads describes this book as:
In the year 1780, Harriet Westerman, the willful mistress of a country manor in Sussex, finds a dead man on her grounds with a ring bearing the crest of Thornleigh Hall in his pocket. Not one to be bound by convention or to shy away from adventure, she recruits a reclusive local anatomist named Gabriel Crowther to help her find the murderer, and historical suspense's newest investigative duo is born.
For years, Mrs. Westerman has sensed the menace of neighboring Thornleigh Hall, seat of the Earl of Sussex. It is the home of a once- great family that has been reduced to an ailing invalid, his whorish wife, and his alcoholic second son, a man haunted by his years spent as a redcoat in the Revolutionary War.
The same day, Alexander Adams is slain by an unknown killer in his London music shop, leaving his children orphaned. His death will lead back to Sussex, and to an explosive secret that has already destroyed one family and threatens many others.
Instruments of Darkness combines the brooding atmosphere of Anne Perry with the complex, compelling detail of Tess Gerritsen, moving from drawing room to dissecting room, from coffee house to country inn. Mrs. Westerman and Mr. Crowther are both razor-sharp minds and their personalities breathe spirit into this gripping historical mystery.
This story takes place in Sussex and London, England in the 1780s and has flashbacks to Boston during the Revolutionary War. Mrs. Harriet Westerman, a naval commander’s wife, finds a body of a man on her Sussex estate. She enlists the aid of anatomist Gabriel Crowther, who lives alone hiding his own secrets, to solve the murder. At the same time, the author tells the story of Alexander Adams, a music printer in London.
I like the rolls the townspeople played rolls in the story and you got to know the family dynamics of the local gentry.Imogene Robertson weaves the three stories together in a way that sucked me in and grabbed me. She had me turning the page and wanting more.
My only disappointment was by the last few chapters I had guessed who done it. Though, I was not disappointed enough not to want to read the subsequent book in the series, The Anatomy of Murder.