Tuesday, 31 May 2011

#125 (#61) - Whispers on the Water - Audrey Howard

Whispers on the Water

ISBN: 978-0-340-76933-1

A much more satisfying read after the last book - I enjoyed it a great deal - always a good book when I cry!!  A 4 **** Star read and actually not too much misery in this one .... not that Audrey Howard doesn't write misery and heart ache extremely well!!

Grace Tooley meets her one and only true love when she is about fourteen at a flying display .... he is rich,  handsome and charming and the friend of her eldest brother, Arthur.

Whilst Rupert goes off to join the Army, but Grace finds it difficult to forget him.  Grace is then beset by the tragic death of Arthur on the Titanic, and all but mental collapse of her parents.  Rupert comes back into her life briefly as she tries to keep the family and business together.

Just as she seems to be getting it all back together again, she witnesses Rupert buying an engagement ring, and she has to comes to terms with losing her love forever.

The meet again during the Great War, when they have been changed into very different people by the death of 2 more of her brothers and Rupert's horrific injury and his wife's rejection.  However, Rupert can't accept that Grace loves him and she eventually marries another Officer and finds out that she is pregnant.  Who is the baby of the father, and will it be a happy ending?

Happy reading.


Friday, 27 May 2011

#124 (#60) - Birds In The Spring ~ Evelyn Hood

Birds in the Spring

ISBN: 978-0-4515-3732-1

 I some how lost the reivew for this one, and deleted the wrong post ... still no mind, it wasn't that good anyway!

Thursday, 26 May 2011

#123 (#59) -Wicked All Day ~ Liz Carlyle

Wicked All Day

ISBN: 978-1-4104-2344-3

A very quick review on this one  .....   as in a rush to get it back to library (overdue bad me!!).  A 3 *** Star rating as in my opinion not quite as good as others (no George Kemble or real jeopardy either) and actual content a wee bit thin on the ground.  In my humble opinion I think she missed the chance to write a real winner with the jealous mistress causing a lot more harm along the way.

Zoe Armstrong, bastard daughter of the Earl of Rannouch and friend of Miss Phaedra Northampton (#106 - Tempted All Night) , a complete flirt and up for any old rig is caught in a very compromising situation with her childhood friend, Lord Robin by his older brother, Marquess of Mercer and his spiteful mistress.

Robin is given no alternative other than to offer for Zoe to save her already tarnished reputation, and they hie off to the home of the Marquess for the summer, and it is intended that they will marry before the new Season.

Unfortunately, Robin comes to realise that he in actual fact in love with his mistress, and Zoe fights against an ever growing attraction for the Marquess.

Robin goes off the rails, drinks, makes very merry at the local tavern and has was it very nearly a fatal accident .... so do they go through with the marriage and make the best of a bad lot?


Monday, 23 May 2011

Like a Stick of Blackpool Rock ... if you cut me through.....

I would say in great BIG BIG BIG letters .................. the most ardent Julia Quinn fan ..............so here's the lady herself talking about dialogue:

#122 (#58) - What Happens in London ~ Julia Quinn

What Happens in London

ISBN: 978-0-7499-4189-5

A 4.5 ***** Star read, this time a follow on from the story of Miss Miranda Cheever, featuring her lifelong friend (and sister-in-law) Olivia Bevelstoke and her new nextdoor neighbour.  Actually, I don't need to explain ..... here's a video:

#121 (#57) A Place Called Hope ~ Audrey Howard

ISBN: 978-0340769294

Another doozie of tale ..... and a 4.5 ***** Star read.

Amy, Lady Blenkinsopp a small and outwardly frail girl was married to the much older Sir Robert - who used and abused her just like another possession, in fact he took great pleasure in it.  After giving birth to her Baby Son, Robert, she ran away, but returned when her son was six months old to have the whole cycle of abuse continue.

The new Gamekeeper (Duffy) was there in the garden on the day she returned, and thought he had never seen any quite to exquisite as Lady Blenkinsopp.  He is not the normal Gamekeeper, in fact he acts like a Gentleman, and he harbours a secret about his life.

On the night of her return, Amy is abused by her husband, but is found unconscious at the bottom of the staircase the next morning, having suffered a stroke .... which happily for Amy deprived him of speech and movement.

Amy begins to show her inner strength and takes over the management of the estate with Duffy's help, which prospers under the guardianship.  She also goes on to to give birth to twin babies nearly nine months after her return.

By now he is desperately in love with Amy, but Duffy's old life calls him away.  He presumes that Amy will be safe.  However, Sir Robert is left upstairs to be cared for by an loathsome servant, but what nobody realises is that he has secretly worked hard to get back some speech and movement and has plotted to take his revenge.

What will become of her and her children, will she ever see Duffy again, and will the hell of her old live come back to haunt her?

Ahhh, you know I'm going to say ..... read it!!!!
A Place Called Hope (Paragon Softcover Large Print Books)

#120 (#56) - Love All ~ Elizabeth Jane Howard *NEW AUTHOR

Love All

ISBN: 978-0-330-42712-8

I found this bitty, with the story and characters, and time frame all over the shop, but after the first chapter I settled into her style.  On the whole well written about a cast of characters (most based on Persephone Plover and her Aunt Floy, and self_made tycoon Jack Curtis.

It comes together at the end into some kind of order.   Although you are left hanging at the end, I'm not sure if that is because it has been left open for a sequel, or for you to make up your own mind.

Not a romance exactly, but with romance in there after a fashion this is a 3 *** Star read, and I would try the author again.

Monday, 16 May 2011

#119 (#55) - Dancing at Midnight ~ Julia Quinn *RE-READ

Dancing at Midnight

ISBN: 978-0-7499-3913-7

So much fun I read it again .... still a 5+ *****+ Star read.

Check out my previous thoughts for (#26) review.


#118 (#54) - It's In His Kiss ~ Julia Quinn

It's In His Kiss

ISBN: 0-7499-3663-0

What more can I say about a Julia Quinn book than I have said so many times before ... sparking, fun, intelligent, in all SUCH FUN!  Another 5 ***** Star read - I truly think she is my most favourite author.

This tale is another in the Bridgerton series, and features the youngest sibling, Hyacinth.  So very, very smart and holding out for somebody whom she can love and will tolerate her intelligence and not feel threatened by it.  She is also unprepared to compromise and dumb down for any man.  I felt that she really wanted to actually fall in love with somebody who could be her equal.

Then Gareth St Clair rocks up on the scene ..... following the death of his Brother, he's the sole heir to the Baron St Clair (his Father) and they truly hate one another. In fact Lord St Clair is set to ruin the family fortune rather than see it go to Gareth

Gareth left home at a tender age, and was taken under his Grandmother's wing (the formidable Lady Danbury), on whom he dotes.  Gareth's sole heirloom is an old diary written by the Baron's Mother, which is in Italian.  He speaks not a word, but Hyacinth does a little.  Even though Gareth admits that Hyacinth is best in small doses they set to unravel the truth ........... and fall in love?


Saturday, 14 May 2011

#117 (#53) - Echo of Another Time ~ Audrey Howard

Echo of Another Time

ISBN: 9-780340-595831

In last year of Queen Victoria's reign, Celie Marlow first begins working for the Latimer family as a kitchen maid. Determined to be the best cook in Liverpool at worst, she's taken under the wing of the Cook, Jess Harper who recognises her talent.

Shortly after that a young Swedish Boy is taken into the Latimers', he speaks no English and he and Celie form a special bond to one another.  Not knowing what his real name is, or being able to pronounce it when they do find out, he is called Dan Smith.

Celie eventually becomes Cooks' assistant, and after the sad demise of Celie's Father, Dan becomes Head Gardener for the Latimers'. She also forms an attachment to one of the Latimer girls, Prudence, who is cast out of the family for falling deeply in love with the wrong man.

However, the eldest son, Captain Richard Latimer has fallen in love with Celie, and at the wedding of one of the Latimer girls there is a terrible fight, and both Dan and Celie are dismissed.  Cook, who has been struggling for some time to continue, also walks out, taking with her another maid Kate.

Jess Harper uses money she has put aside to start a Tea Rooms, and eventually they also steal quite a lot more of the Latimer staff.

What of Richard and his love for Celie though?  You will simply have to read this 4 **** Star read to find out, but it was a totally enchanting tale.

#116 (#52) A Time Like No Other - Audrey Howard

A Time Like No Other

ISBN: 978-1-4056-1864-9

At the age of just 20 Lally Fraser is left without the love of her life, with 2 small infant sons and absolutely no money on a badly neglected country estate.

She seeks the comfort of dashing childhood friend, Roly Sinclair with leaves her pregnant and is rescued by his elder brother, Harry, when he offers her marriage.

The only thing is that Harry is actually in love with her, but will she ever (a) realise that fact and (b) come to love him in return?

This was another 5 ***** Star rated book by the superbly talented Audrey Howard, although I find that the characters are so well written that I simply worry about them the whole time, which is not easy as they usually go through flood, fire, torment and brutality along the way!!


Wednesday, 11 May 2011

#115 (#51) - A Spell of Swallows - Sarah Harrison *NEW AUTHOR

Spell of Swallows

ISBN: 978-0-340-82862-5

After nearly a week thinking about this book, and discussing it with my Mother I still can't make up my mind if I actually liked or disliked it ----- ambivalent can be the only word I suppose.  Don't get me wrong it was incredibly well written, and it didn't feel like I was taking a penance to read the thing.  Ambivalent can be the only word to Ashe too, and we have had heated debates about whether he was always going to turn out this way because of character traits he was born with, or indeed it was his upbringing and subsequent events ---- still can't make up our minds about that one.  So, I would recommend this thought provoking book and a 4 **** Star rating from me.

Vicar's wife, Vivien Mariner loves her husband (Saxon), who in turn adores her.  When an enigmatic stranger appears in the quiet village, John Ashe, she is strangely drawn to him as he helps around the house and church, and teaches her how to drive.

As the Vicar's wife she has to remain above suspicion and therefore is she able to avoid the dangerous pull of the passion writhing around within?

I have a whole list of books that I've finished and need to write up ... 3 of the blooming things, and have just started on a new Julia Quinn .... as you will know by now ...... a happy, happy day when that happens.


Thursday, 5 May 2011

Last Night

Last night I picked up Dark Rose by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles, and then realised almost immediately that I have actually read it HERE.

Which is annoying in a way, as I had been patiently waiting for it to arrive from the library thinking that:

(a) I hadn't read it


(b) It was the next one in the Morland Dynasty series I needed to read.....

Actually, the next one is the Princling .... which I don't think is even on order.

Never mind, I have an Audrey Howard next and then a Julia Quinn (actually read this one, but don't care I'm reading it again - although can I count it again? ..... I think I can because I will read the whole thing).



Wednesday, 4 May 2011

#114 (#50) - Brighter Than The Sun ~ Julia Quinn

Brighter Than the Sun

ISBN: 978-0-7499-0892-8

Excellent, excellent, but aren't they always .... Julia Quinn  always wit and inventiveness ... it's a happy day to finish off one of her books, puts a smile on my face.

A 5 ***** Star read  - the story of Eleanor Lyndon and Charles Wycome, Earl of Billington, who make a marriage of convenience.  Although it turns out that it wasn't that convenient for most of the time, and love snuck on them and bit them in the proverbial!

#113 (#49) - Bargain Bride ~ Iris Gower

Bargain Bride

ISBN: 978-0-55215-434-5

I believe this is Book 2 in The Palace Theatre Series

After the last book by this author, this was was a bit more like it .... no harping over and over the same ground!  A 3 *** Star read.  Actually, it was okay enough that I think I will find Book 1 in the series (Act of Love) and see how that is.

This particular book features young Swansea school teacher, Charlotte Mortimer who is engaged to her fellow teacher, Luke Lester.

Charlotte is devoted to her school and therefore elects to say in Swansea with her fiance instead of going to America with her step-mother and siblings.  Although, whilst she feels affection for Luke, she's not really ready to commit to marriage just yet.

Then into their lives comes a new School Governor, wealthy widower Mr Justin Harvard, and after an accident at the Copper works the school has to be closed.  She strikes an unexpected bargain with Mr Harvard that she will marry him and he will build her a new school.

So with a broken engagement to Luke, and a strange marriage to the austere Justin, is there any chance for love?

Next on my agenda is a Julia Quinn, and it is ALWAYS a happy day when I have one of those to read!!

Happy reading


Tuesday, 3 May 2011

#112 (#48) - The Other Woman ~ Iris Gower *NEW AUTHOR

The Other Woman (Drovers Series, #3) (Drovers 3)

ISBN: 978-0-55215-434-5

This is part of her "Drover Series", but it's quite possible to read as a stand alone book.  My only criticism was that there was a little too long spent over the "love him him/her ... but I also love the other" throughout the book, and therefore that cut down the story content slightly.  Obviously I recognise the need for some of those internal monologues, but just not quite that much.  Therefore I decided on a 2.5 *** Star rating.

Gwenllyn Lyons had nursed back to health a handsome man, Caradoc Jones, after he had lost his memory, and they had an idyllic time together.  When his memory returned he also returned to his wife, leaving young and spirited Gwenlly Lyons on her own and pregnant.

To protect her name, she offers Drover Harry Rees a bag of gold in return for marriage and his name, that's all.  Harry however has other ideas and sticks around after the wedding.

When Caradoc finds out that Gwenllyn has bourne him a son, he just can't keep away and it ruins his marriage and the realtionship that Gwenlly and Harry have been building too.

#111 (#47) - The Flight of Swallows ~ Audrey Howard

Flight of Swallows

ISBN: 978-0-340-89544-3

Being the daughter of a "gentleman" doesn't always accord you luxury and privilege.  Charlotte Drummond's father is a brute of a man, ruling his house with a rod of iron, and dispensing Charlotte and her brothers discipline and humiliation for the tiniest of infractions.

Due to re-marry himself Arthur Drummond is keen to marry the sixteen year old Charlotte off to the much older Brooke Armstrong.  Whilst full of mettle and wishing to defy her father, she's eventually forced into the marriage - if only to protect her brothers.

Brooke is fabulously wealthy, but also adores her, and had not realised the life Charlotte and her siblings had been subjected too, or that she had been forced into the match .... therefore, it's safe to say that the path to true love does not run smoothly for this pair.

However, when tradgedy strikes Charlotte finally admits that she has come to love and adore her husband.

A 4.5 **** Star read.

Really behind with updating the recent reads

What with work, the Royal Wedding and Hubby being off on leave, I am soooo very behind with updating my reviews.  There are 5 books I need to put up, so hang on to your hats later on.