Thursday, 30 June 2011

#135 (71) - The Mallow Years ~ Audrey Howard

The Mallow Years (Coronet Books)

As you would expect well written, if a bit on the long side (can I stress it was enjoyable tough).  A 4 **** Star read.

Kit Chapman, daugher of mill owner, inherits her father's mills by proving that for a girl she was just as tough and good at making money as her is.

In the other Joss Greenwood poor, hard-working and dedicated workers' rights activist.

Surely it would be impossible for these two to get together let alone work out their differences and find love?

#134 (#70) - Just Like Heaven ~ Julia Quinn

Just Like Heaven

I've been so busy that not much reading has taken place, and I haven't got much time to review what has actually been read.  So very quickly this is a 3 *** Star read.

Lady Honoria Smythe-Smith (of the famous Smythe-Smith musicales) who is the Daugher of the Earl on Winstead and Marcus Holroyd, Earl of Charteris and best friend of Honoria's brother Daniel.

Friday, 17 June 2011

#133 (#69) Kiss Me, Annabel ~ Eloisa James

Kiss Me, Annabel (Essex Sisters, book 2)

ISBN: 978-0-06-073210-3

Book 2 in the Essex Girls Series

The sequel to Much Ado About You, which I really enjoyed was finally found lurking in a second-hand book shop in Bexhill of all places.  Totally clean and new copy as well.

This time the story is about Annabel, who meets the Ewan, Earl of Ardmore at a ball.  She is determined not to like the impoverished Scott, not to dance with him, and definitely not to marry him or fall in love.  Her widowed sister Imogen is determined to have an affaire with him.

Then a set of unfortunate circumstances see Annabel on the road to Scotland with him with everybody believing that they are married.  It's not until well into the journey when they are sleeping in the same bed and she's totally addicted a a "kissing game" that she puts two and two together and realises that not only is he very, very rich, but that she has also fallen madly in love.

They are almost married, but does Ewan love her?

A 4 **** Star read.

#132 (#68) - Romancing Mr Bridgerton ~ Julia Quinn

ISBN:  0-7499-3660-6

Always a happy, happy day when I can get my hands on a Julia Quinn, and this day was no different - in fact brilliant sunshine!  The only problem being that I now have to go back to read "To Sir Phillip with Love" ... oh dearie me, could I really describe that as a problem.

Penelope Featherington has a secret or two, one of which is that she adores her best friend's brother, Colin Bridgerton.  Whilst she dreams that he can feel the same, in reality a good looking and empty headed charmer like him wouldn't go for a girl like her .... indeed, he even said as much to his brothers' in her hearing one day!

Colin on the other hand is sick of being know as an empty headed charmer, but is not certain how to get fulfillment, therefore he travels .... a lot in fact.  He's also sick of the entire ton's preoccupation with the gossip columnist Lady Whistledown, who seems to talk about him quite a bit.

Upon returning from yet another trip he begins to realise that Penelope has changed, and also that she has depths, and a secret or two.  At the same time Penelope stumbles across a secret that Colin has.

One thing leads to another and Lady Whistledown is unmaksed, but will Penelope ever get her man?

A 5+ *****+ star read.

I know I mentioned this company in the post below, but seriously they have wonderful prices only 63p from Abe Books.

#131 (#67) - Not a Bird Will Sing ~ Audrey Howard

ISBN:  0-340-66608-0

Poppy Appleton is taken from her squalid cottage at a very young age to live with the Farmer's Wife, Eliza Goodall, and become the dairy maid at Long Reach Farm.  However, daughterless Eliza has formed a strong bond with the lovely child and brings her up to also be a lady and able to take over as Mistress of the farm one day.

When she was 14 she helped a runaway boy from the prison ship, Conn MacConnell, and fell completely in love with him.  Once back on his feet he returns to his native Scotland to seek out his maternal Grandfather, promising to write to Poppy.

Many years later Eliza, on her death bed, makes Poppy promise to marry her son Richard.  Having given up hope of ever hearing from Conn she agrees.  A terrible accident on their wedding night leaves Richard paralysed and Poppy's life in tatters.

Poppy being what she is though picks herself up and carries on, but is completely unprepared for the effect that Conn's appearance back in her life brings.  She is then torn between loyalty and a deep deep love for this man.

A 4 **** Star read, and well worth it, especially at 62p from ABE Books here in the UK.


Sunday, 12 June 2011

#130 (#66) - Painted Highway ~ Audrey Howard

Painted Highway

ISBN: 0-340-82403-4

For a slight change this one is set around the waterways of the Pennines, but does still have a strong link to Liverpool ..... when I first started reading Audrey Howard this Liverpudlian link is not something that I felt comfortable with, but now I think I would miss it.

Ally and Betsy Pearce are two very different sisters.  Ally is hard-working and determined to get on in her working on their parents Narrowboat, whilst Besty is beautiful beyond measure, but lazy and calculating, her only desire is to marry a gentleman.

Their Father has a dreadful accident and is taken to Liverpool to be treated by Dr Tom Hartley, who is the eldest son of a wealthy shipping company owner.

Both girls are attracted to him, Besty because he could be her meal ticket away from the life of the boat people, and Ally because she actually genuinely fell in love with him at first sight.

Which one is Tom going to fall for though?

A 4 **** Star read this time around, with a much more satisfying ending than the last one.

#129 (#65) - On The Way to The Wedding ~ Julia Quinn

On the Way to the Wedding

ISBN:  0-7499-3690-8

Gregory Bridgerton, youngest of the Bridgerton Siblings, has never been in doubt that he would find love and marry .... for surely that's what all of the others had done, and he wasn't going to fight it!  However, right up to the night he arrives at his Brother's Houseparty he just hadn't found the one.

Having endured a lecture from Anthony about taking life more responsibly and settling down he walked out and wham .... it hit him .... he feel in love with the back of a particular girls neck ..... fortunately the front of Miss Hermonie Watson was startlingly beautiful too.  He also met her friend, you know, the friend that every beautiful girl has ....the not quite so lovely one, Lady Lucinda Abernathy.

Having been firm friends with Hermonie for so long, Lucy was used to gentleman falling immediately and utterly in love with her friend, but decides to help this poor love lorn fool to win the hand on Hermonine.

Hermonie though has already fallen in love with another, and simply does not notice, or care, that Gregory is in love with her - and on the other side of the coin poor Lucy has fallen for Gregory, even though she goes above and beyond to further his cause.

What a tangle .... will Gregory ever realise that Lucy is the girl for him, and just what happened on his way to the wedding?  A 3 *** Star read, which was a tiny bit slow for the first third but kicked up a gear from there to a really rather lovely ending.  I especially love the author's Epilogues!

For Reference Purposes ~ Audrey Howard Books

The Skylark's SongThe Morning TideAmbitionsThe Juniper Bush
Between FriendsThe Mallow YearsShining ThreadsA Day Will Come
All the Dear FacesThere Is No PartingThe Woman from BrowheadEcho of Another Time
The Silence of StrangersA World of DifferencePromises LostThe Shadowed Hills
Strand of DreamsTomorrows MemoriesNot a Bird Will SingWhen Morning Comes
Angel MeadowBeyond the Shining WaterRivers of the HeartThe Seasons Will Pass
Annie's GirlA Place Called HopeA Flower in SeasonWhispers on the Water
Painted HighwayReflections from the PastDistant ImagesAs the Night Ends
Rose AlleyA Time Like No OtherThe Long Way HomeThe Flight of Swallows

Thursday, 9 June 2011

#128 (#64) - Annie's Girl ~ Audrey Howard

Annie's Girl

ISBN:  not known

This is perhaps not as good as some of the others that I have read, it just felt a bit wanting ..... and the end was akin to running along and then suddenly realising that there was a dead stop of you would fall right over the edge of a cliff .... and you could be really happy with the adventure as you were not sure what you'd missed!  I've also been wondering if perhaps this is a sequel book to Annie's parents story, if it wasn't it should have been - not sure why I say that but the glimpses of their history sounded intriguing.  Oh dear, another 3 *** Star read in a row I'm afraid.

Beautiful, young and a hoyden, Briar Macauley falls in love immediately with young gentleman, Hal Saunders.  He's obviously slightly above her class, but fortunately as madly in love with her as well.  A happy marriage ensues with a lovely Toddler and another on the way, and wham she loses both her darling love and little boy.

Completely out of her mind with grief Briar runs away to Liverpool and is taken in by a kindly woman and her family, and she starts to build her life anew.

On the other side of the coin is Will Lucas, who is the son of the best friend of Briar's Mother.  A simple farmer, but he had proved that he could stand up to Briar and win.  He only realises that he's in love with her when she marries Hal, and has to watch her build her happy life and the tragedy that unfolds.

His whole world comes crashing down when she disappears and he makes it his business to find her ... will Briar realise that she can love again?