The Friday 56: #100

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It’s time for  Friday 56!  It’s a book meme hosted by Freda at Freda’s Voice. Be sure to visit her blog if you would like to participate.

From Freda’s Voice The Rules:
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader  (If you have to improvise, that’s okay.)
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it)
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post in the Linky at Friday 56. Add the post url, not your blog url.
*It’s that simple!

Here is my contribution:

“Nonsense. Any man with eyes can see you’re a diamond of the first water.”

‘A diamond in the rough, perhaps,” she quipped. “And apparently, only blind men live around here.”

Ah, yes. The goal of every Regency miss is to be declared a diamond of the first water.

I won this book from #GoodReadGiveaways back in April, but it will not be released until the end of July 2019. I’ll post my review when we get a bit closer to the release date.  What do you think? Will you rush out to buy it then? Let me know in the comments below.

Happy Reading.

 

 

My Top 10 Historical Romances

In honor of Valentine’s Day I decided to create a list of my Top 10 Historical Romance Novels of the last year or so. If you are looking for a romance to read I highly recommend any of these novels. Warning: I don’t read chaste or sweet romances. I like ’em spicy, so keep that in mind. With no further ado here, in no particular order, is my list.

Duke of Shadows by Meredith Duran. This is a sort of throwback sweeping saga sort of romance. It sweeps across Colonial India and Victorian England. I love it.

 

 

 

Not Quite A Husband by Sherry Thomas. Another sweeping historical with an independent heroine and gone rogue husband. It’s such a well written story, and as with all good romances, is emotionally satisfying.

 

 

 

 Like No Other Lover by Julie Anne Long. This author is really hit and miss for me. But this novel is one of my favorite tropes: Cynthia is hiding a scandal and needs to marry before it becomes common knowledge. The story hits all of the emotional points: forgiveness and acceptance. It’s a satisfying read.

 

 

One Good Earl Deserves a Lover by Sarah MacLean. I hate the trend in romance novels to have cutesy titles that are plays on common sayings that have nothing to do with the story at all. It’s annoying. And this book isn’t really historical. It’s more like a “AustenLand” type of book. In spite of all of this, it’s one of my favorite romances of all time. It’s so emotionally satisfying. And I love a heroine that wears glosses. I can’t help it.

 

Duke of Sin by Elizabeth Hoyt. Ignore this cheesy cover. This book. It’s a love letter to all those Gothic romances of the ’70’s and ’80’s with a dash of Wuthering Heights thrown in for fun. Secret societies, illegitimate children, and abbey ruins all make an appearance. I love this book and the anti-hero love interest so damn much. Read it! Read it now!

 

By Love Undone by Suzanne Enoch. I love this title. I read this because, again, a scandal plagued heroine hiding from life until he sees her. And he helps her gain redemption and loves her in spite of secrets. So it’s emotionally satisfying for me.

 

 

 

Lord Langley is Back in Town by Elizabeth Boyle. This another author that is hit and miss for me. This is a part of a longer series, but you don’t have to read the other books to enjoy this one. This book features older hero and heroine. and that’s always a treat in romance novels.

 

 

Wilde in Love by Eloisa James. This is a fun book. It deals with celebrity, but takes place in Georgian England, so, yes. It’s a bit like AustenLand. But it is a fun read. And Eloisa James is a fun romance writer.  There is only one of her novels that I really didn’t like.

 

 

 

The Conquest of Lady Cassandra by Madeline Hunter. This book. Just emotionally devastating in all the best ways. I love it so much. Again, a heroine with a scandal and a hero who helps her redeem herself. It’s a theme that I love. Also, the hero and heroine have been crushing on each other for years. So when the ending is emotionally satisfying. It is a part of a series that I’m mostly uninterested in, but to get resolution of the overarching story, then you should read all the books in the series. But, I think it stands on it’s own too. Read it now!

The Duchess War by Courtney Milan. I really shouldn’t like this novel. It’s only a historical romance due to the setting. The characters don’t really behave as Victorians should? I guess? It’s very AustenLand. But. It’s such a well written story. And I’ve read a number of her other novels and she is just so good. If you are looking for a good romance novelist, read Courtney Milan.

 

So, what do you think? Have you read any of these novels? Do you agree with my list? What are your favorite romance novels? Do you have any romances you would recommend to me? Let me know in the comments below. Happy Reading!

December 2017 Wrap-Up

December Stats:

Total Books Read: 21

Number of Pages: 6,339

Written by Men: 0

Written by Women: 21

Diverse Authors: 1

Nonfiction: 0

Fiction: 21

Paperback: 0

Hardback: 0

eBooks/Kindle: 21

Library Books: 14

Audio books: 0

Rereads: 2

DNF:

Challenges to Date:

GoodReads:   144/75 (I’ve met my goal for the year.)

BookRiot Read Harder 2017: 0

#ReadMyOwnDamnBooks:  0

Favorite Book:

The Duke of Shadows by Meredith Duran    (This is one of the best romance novels I’ve ever read.)

Books Purchased/#BookHaul!: 6

I went crazy buying Kindle books this month.

My Bookish Posts: 0

My Quickie Book Reviews: 0

Across the Blogosphere:

Across the Web:

A link to Book Riot Read Harder Challenge 2018

A link to Pop Sugar’s Reading Challenge 2018.

My year in reading according to GoodReads.

My year in reading in 2016 according to GoodReads.    

How was your reading and blogging in December? Did you read and blog more or less this month?  Be sure to let me know in the comments below. Happy Reading!

QBR: The Girl Who Knew Too Much

Quickie Book Review

Author: Amanda Quick {AKA Jayne Ann Krentz}

Published: May 2017, Berkley eBook

Length: 368 pages

Genre: Fiction, Romance, Mystery

Source: Public Library

My rating: 2 1/2 Stars

Synopsis:

**When Hollywood moguls and stars want privacy, they head to an idyllic small town on the coast, where the exclusive Burning Cove Hotel caters to their every need. It’s where reporter Irene Glasson finds herself staring down at a beautiful actress at the bottom of a pool…

The dead woman had a red-hot secret about up-and-coming leading man Nick Tremayne, a scoop that Irene couldn’t resist—especially since she’s just a rookie at a third-rate gossip rag. But now Irene’s investigation into the drowning threatens to tear down the wall of illusion that is so deftly built around the famous actor, and there are powerful men willing to do anything to protect their investment.

Seeking the truth, Irene finds herself drawn to a master of deception. Oliver Ward was once a world-famous magician—until he was mysteriously injured during his last performance. Now the owner of the Burning Cove Hotel, he can’t let scandal threaten his livelihood, even if it means trusting Irene, a woman who seems to have appeared in Los Angeles out of nowhere four months ago…

With Oliver’s help, Irene soon learns that the glamorous paradise of Burning Cove hides dark and dangerous secrets. And that the past—always just out of sight—could drag them both under…

What I liked:  I loved the setting. The majority of the novel takes place at resort frequented by 1930’s Hollywood. And the main character is a gossip reporter. 1930’s Hollywood is my catnip. There just aren’t enough historical romances that are set in this time frame.

What I didn’t:  The title. This is such an obvious attempt to get fans of Gone Girl or Girl on the Train (both twisty thrillers) to pick up this book. Which is fine, I guess. And lately every book has Girl in the title if it is a thriller. Except this book isn’t what it implies in the title. It’s not a twisty thriller. At all. Also, not enough focus on the romance story line. I’m not sure I ever really felt the connection between Irene and Oliver.

Would I recommend to other readers:   I’m guessing that Quick intends this to be the first in a series of mystery/crime solving romantic duo similar to her Vanza series. In fact, I’ll bet this book becomes a part of that series or the Arcane Society series. So, if you are fan of either of those series, you will probably like and enjoy this book. But if you are looking for a twisty, turning thriller you may be disappointed.

I wanted  to love this book. I really did. But. Sigh.  It’s more of a reminder of why I quit reading Amanda Quick novels about ten years ago. I was a huge fan of the Regency romances she wrote under this nom de plume, but when she started the different series, I lost interest in her books. And now I want to go back and reread a few of the Regencies to see if they hold up 20+ years later.

Have you read any of Amanda Quick’s novels including this one? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below. Happy reading!

**edited to add synopsis.

August 2017 Wrap-Up

August Stats:

Total Books Read: 12

The Widow's Auction by Sabrina Jeffries The Danger of Desire by Sabrina Jeffries The Art of Duke Hunting by Sophia Nash The Mothers by Brit Bennett A Beginner's Guide to Rakes by Suzanne Enoch Falling Into Bed with a Duke (The Hellions of Havisham, #1) Falling in Love Again The Countess (Madison Sisters, #1) The Heiress The Husband Hunt Confessions from an Arranged Marriage (The Burgundy Club, #4) The Wild Marquis (The Burgundy Club, #1)

Number of pages: 3,627

Written by Men: 0

Written by Women: 12

Diverse Authors: 1

Nonfiction: 0

Fiction: 12

Paperback: 0

Hardback: 1

eBooks/Kindle: 11

Library books: 11

Audio books: 0

Rereads: 0

DNF: I didn’t finish, but I plan to do so in September.

See What I Have Done Just One Damned Thing After Another (The Chronicles of St Mary's, #1) Funny Girl

Challenges to date:

GoodReads: 78/75 (I met my goal for the year.)

BookRiot Read Harder 2017, #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks, & Favorite Book: 1

Books Purchased:

Shadowshaper  Between Shades of Gray The Sociopath Next Door The Devil in the White City

My Bookish Posts:

Quarterly Lit Box Unboxing

Across the Blogosphere:

An interesting blog post about other themes explored by Jane Austen in her novels. Click here to read.

A post that really has made me stop and think about my blog and time management. Click here to read.

Across the Web:

I’ve included this podcast previously in my March 2017 Wrap-Up. I’m listening to it as I work on this post. Here is the link to the most recent episodes. Right now the podcast is exploring the parallels between Jean Seberg and Jane Fonda.

This is a lovely essay about all the stuff we all accumulate, and why. Cleaning the House, Tending the Weeds.  

Overall this was a good reading month for me. I’ve read so many romance novels this summer. I’ve not read so many romances since I was a teenager. I must say romance novels have changed so much since then.

How was your August? Did you read many books? Any favorites? Let me know in the comments below. Be sure to leave a link to your wrap-up, too. Happy Reading.

January 2017 Wrap-Up

Books Read in January:

Library Books:

Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology The Dangerous Viscount (The Burgundy Club, #2) The Amorous Education of Celia Seaton (The Burgundy Club, #3) Something About Emmaline (Bachelor Chronicles, #1) This Rake of Mine Confessions of a Little Black Gown Stealing the Bride Tempted By the Night His Mistress by Morning

Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology by Leah Remini [eBook]

The Dangerous Viscount by Miranda Neville [eBook]

The Amorous Education of Celia Seaton by Miranda Neville [eBook]

The Rogue Not Taken by Sarah MacLean  [eBook]

Something About Emmeline by Elizabeth Boyle [eBook]

This Rake of Mine by Elizabeth Boyle [eBook]

Confessions of a Little Black Gown by Elizabeth Boyle [eBook]

Stealing the Bride by Elizabeth Boyle [eBook]

Tempted by the Night by Elizabeth Boyle [eBook]

His Mistress by Morning by Elizabeth Boyle [eBook]

#ReadMyOwnDamnBooks and Read Harder Challenge:

S.

S by J.J. Abrams and Doug Dorst

Started in January:

 

 

Ready Player One

Ready Player One by Ernst Cline

 

 

 

Across the Blogisphere:

#PostingReviews on Inside My Minds.  I hadn’t thought about doing posting my book reviews on retail sites like Amazon–the online retail site that I use most frequently. I immediately went to Amazon and posted my last three book reviews to the site.  Such a good idea. Thank you,  Ashley @ InsideMyMinds

Reflections an Open Apology to Dolly Parton is  an interesting exploration of this bloggers feelings about Dolly Parton. I think Dolly has been dismissed by many people over the years, and this is a nice examination of the writer’s reversal of opinion.

I have an Instagram account, but I really don’t know how to use it. This article, Extend Your Blog’s Reach With Instagram, really helped me see how to use my account.

Across the Web:

A fascinating essay about fruitcake. How-and- Why Did Fruitcake Become a Slur.

At the end of the Obama presidency many essay and articles came out about it. Here is my favorite: Empathy and Escapism-Obama’s Secret to Surviving the White House Years: Books.

How was your reading life in January? Tell me in the comments, and be sure to leave a link to your January Wrap-Up, too. I love to see what everyone else is reading.

December Wrap-Up

Reading in December was fine. Blogging about my reading was much more difficult. We all were sick from about the 15th of December until just before Christmas, so blogging went onto the back burner. Luckily I wasn’t too sick to read. And really, the only time I can imagine being too sick to read would be me in a coma. And even then I’ve instructed my family to set up an audio book for me to listen to while in a coma. Anyway, reading this month was good for me. So, without further ado, here is my reading month.

Reading in December: 8 Books

Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places by Colin Dickey [Library eBook]

Good Morning, Midnight by Jean Rhys [paperback]

How I Met My Countess by Elizabeth Boyle [Library eBook]

Love Letters from a Duke by Elizabeth Boyle [Library eBook]

Mad About a Duke by Elizabeth Boyle [Library eBook]

Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi [paperback]

Half-Resurrection Blues by Daniel José Older [paperback]

Lord Langley is Back in Town by Elizabeth Boyle [Library eBook]

DNF/In Progress: 4 books

S. by J.J. Abrams, Doug Dorst

The Witches: Salem, 1692 by Stacy Schiff

Talking As Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls, and Everything in Between by Lauren Graham

Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology by Leah Remini

Books acquired:

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman (BookMail Box)

Long Division by Kiese Laymon (BookMail Box)

Exit 22 by P.M Terrell (gift!)

Across the Web:

I’m a huge fan of historical dramas, and in November/December I watched The Crown on Netflix. I enjoyed it. How “real” or “true” it is isn’t as important to me as the story that it told. And I love stories. And I love thinking about and analyzing the stories that I read and watch. This is all left over from my years as English lit major in college and grad school. So when I find a new way to analyze how a story is told, I’m interested. And Tom and Lorenzo are fabulous commentators on fashion and how stories can be told through the costumes. And they did a wonderful job of making connections between the clothes worn by the characters and the story. Here is a link to their analysis of the first episode of The Crown entitled Wolverton Splash You will never look at pearl necklaces the same way again!

As is evidenced by the number of romance novels I read this month, it should be no surprise that I love to read about romance novels,too. For so many reasons the publishing industry looks down their noses at romance writers and readers. But the rise of the bodice ripper romance novel happened at the same time as the the 2nd wave of feminism and, you know, I don’t think that’s a coincidence. Over on the website Jezabel they published a very interesting article about the rise of the bodice ripper in the 1970’s. Here is a link to the article. I’m old enough to have read many of the romance novels mentioned in the piece not long after the original print date., so I have a lot of affection for them even if they are problematic for today’s readers.

So that is my December. In the coming week or two I’ll be blogging about my 2016 challenges and plans for 2017. And a post about my favorite books of 2016, too. I’m looking forward to my upcoming reading year.

How was your reading life in December? Tell me in the comments, and be sure to leave a link to your December Wrap-Up, too. I love to see what everyone else is doing.