Friday, 29 April 2011
This should have been entitled "You Couldn't Make it Up .... Seriously" a masterpiece of a Biography on the Heiress Mary Eleanor Bowes and detailing her first marriage to the Earl of Strathmore (making them the great-great-great-grandparents of our deceased Queen Mother, Elizabeth (Bowes-Lyon) and her second marriage to Irishman Andrew Robinson Stoney ..... note I said Irishman, not gentleman .... he most definitely could not be accused of that!
A splendidly gripping tale of cruelty shown to this poor woman, her suffering and ultimate victory - it would surely tax any novelist to come up with the plot in a month of Sundays'.
On this of all days, it is interesting to also note that the Bowes Fortune was made in the coalfields of Durham, and our own Prince William has today married the descendant of a miner from Durham!
It's my humble opinion that this book is essential reading for any avid reader of historical fiction, and it is packed full of truly interesting facts, and would therefore strongly recommend you read it. A 5+ *****+ Star read.
Tuesday, 26 April 2011
I recently had a conversation about the Suffragette Movement with my Daughter a short time ago, and this would be a good book to read to try to understand what those women went through to try and get the vote ... it's also a wholesome good read too.
Brilliant Surgeon, but a loner, Doctor Patrick O'Leary is returning home from St Thomas's Hospital when he gets caught up with a Votes For Women Demonstration in Westminster Yard, and also caught in the snare of a beautiful young girl, Alex Goodwin, as she is arrested and propelled into the back of a Black Maria.
The book follows their story, and ill-fated but certain love, through the WSPU fight, imprisonment, and the First World War.
All in all, not quite such a sparkling read as those I have read previously, but enjoyable nonetheless with a 3.5 **** Star rating.
Thursday, 21 April 2011
Having read a couple of these now, I think I am fairly safe in saying that you are never going to get a good beginning for her characters, and the road is decidedly rocky along the way to a happy (and sometimes tearful) ending. A 4.5 ***** star review for this one - finding it very difficult to put down.
The Brody girls, Nancy, Mary and Rose lose their mother when she goes out into the night after a customer who doesn't pay for use of her body. After a week the young (9 years old Nancy) seeks work in a mill as a Spinner - never mind the fact that she's never worked before let alone attempted anything like that. Thanks to Annie another Spinner she pulls it off and goes on to save every penny they earn, educate the girls and start her own business.
A chance meeting with Josh Hayes eventually leads her to a happy marriage and safe life for her and Mary .... but what of Rose .... you will have to read it I'm afraid!!
Saturday, 9 April 2011
This one was really the first the the Knight Cousins' spin-offs, about Georgiana Knight (Sister to Gabriel & Derek).
Raised all her life in India, Georgiana is very often left alone, but has made a life and friends independently, and therefore sees no wrong in inviting the cool and reserved Ian Prescott, Marquess of Griffith to stay when he arrives on a British diplomatic mission.
On his very first encounter with her he ends up effecting a rescue to save her life, and puts her under house arrest whilst he goes off on his mission to Japur .... she has other ideas and follows ... which leads her into uncovering the truth but causing a diplomatic nightmare of Ian, and heavy fighting by her brothers to protect her (in which Gabriel receives his injuries).
She flees alone on a Knight ship to England, where she is determined to conquer the ton, and fights Ian's protections for all she is worth. Infuriated, but captivated nonetheless, will this lonely Marquess fall for her, and reveal his own secrets?
On the whole a 4 **** Star read.
Thursday, 7 April 2011
It was a complete delight to get my hands on another Liz Carlyle book ... it didn't disappoint ... up to her usual standard with a 4 **** Star rating. Well written and witty, featuring yet again Mr Kemble, although there was a little disappointment that he wasn't that wonderfully violet in this one.
Lady Phaedra Northampton (the Sister of Lord Nash) is a very proper and quiet English Miss, only really it seems interested in her Bluestocking pursuits - she does, however, have a dark secret in her past.
When her Maid's Sister goes missing from the village she gets pulled into the seedy underworld to try and find out what happended to her. When she's almost the witness to a murder, she develops a new friendship, and meets the former mercenary Tristan Talbot, Lord Avoncilffe, who has been asked to investigate the dark secrets behind a spy ring which disguises its activities behind a notorious brothel.
In what should have been a simple assignment the pair become deliciously entangled against deadly enemies and their passionate natures.
It's on to the last of the Loveday series now, which I'm not all that hopeful for.
Saturday, 2 April 2011
With her beloved a ill, and her Pa struggling to cope, Amy Pearson at the age of 10 is taken away by her Aunt Zillah, who has it seems effectively 'bought' her.
Zillah is a zealous methodist has every attention of turning her 'adoped' daughter into a mould of herself, and her every move is closely controlled and restricted.
If it wasn't for her Auntis husband, Caleb and the servants, especially young Joe, she would be have not know even the smallest portion of love.
Over the years the closeness between Amy and Joe grows to something closer to love, but Zillah pulls off a cruel stunt that leaves Amy married off to another Methodist a great deal older than herself in order to save Joe.
On her wedding night she's so badly raped and abused that she runs away, and then has to spent all of her time evading Zillah, who is determined to see her returned to her husband>
I can hear you thinking .... "but what of Joe" .... well you'll just have to read the book to find out.
Again, another well-written and compulsive read with a 4.5 ***** Star rating.