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March 3, 2017

Bookish Television on @MasterpiecePBS ~ Victoria and To Walk Invisible: The Bronte Sisters

by Donna Huber



I love television shows that make you look up things you don't know and that's what I've been doing throughout the entire season of Victoria. 

Haven't heard of Victoria? It is Mammoth Screen's docudrama that is currently playing on PBS's Masterpiece Theatre (it played earlier on UK's ITV). And it's as addictive as Downton Abbey. I'm loving it.



I love the history and since I don't know a lot about royalty or the Victorian age I often find myself Googling tidbits that are mentioned. I love learning new things so this has added to my enjoyment of the show. I love Jenna Coleman as Queen Victoria and I absolutely want her dresses. I'm happy to see that it has been renewed for a second season.

There is a companion book that goes with the show that has photos from scenes and it looks to fill in some of the blanks in my historical knowledge. I don't usually go for companion books, but I'm highly tempted to get this one. Do you have any recommendations for reading material about Queen Victoria?



The season finale airs this Sunday (March 5 at 9/8c). I'm hoping that it comes to Amazon Prime so I can watch it all again. There is so much detail in each episode that they definitely need a second viewing.

Looking for more bookish television?

Masterpiece will have a one night, 2 hour special on the Bronte sisters. To Walk Invisible: The Bronte Sisters explores how, against all odds, the Brontes were recognized in male-dominated 19th century.


I will definitely be watching it. Will you? It airs Sunday, March 26 at 9/8c on PBS.


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March 2, 2017

Review: From London With Love by Diana Quincy

by MK French

February 2017; Loveswept; ebook (268 pages)
regency romance
a free egalley was provided for this review
Emilia is about to marry the grandson of a duke when she is kidnapped by the former fiance that jilted her years before. Hamilton Sparrow swears her life is in danger and he has to protect her. Worse, he's actually right. The two try to figure out who is attempting to kill her, as well as keep their emotions in check. Considering how closely they have to work together, this is a much harder task than they originally thought.

As part of the Rebellious Brides series, some of the characters from prior books have cameo appearances. Not knowing the details of their stories won't spoil anything for this one. Emilia is a typical Regency heroine: she has underlying personality traits and some physical characteristics that aren't popular with the ton, but set her apart and are loved by the hero. She hides her individuality so that her fiance will think she's a perfectly biddable bride; she has no emotional attachment to him, but hopes to travel the world and study art. This becomes a hook for Sparrow to work with her, and is part of the larger mystery behind who is targeting her. The tension between Emilia and Sparrow is fun to read, and the love scene is full of emotion as they finally get a chance to express their longing. There's the requisite happily ever after, but it fits the characters and is well earned.

Buy From London with Love at Amazon


Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and golden retriever.


Get even more book news in your inbox by signing up for our newsletter: http://eepurl.com/mHTVL. Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small commission is earned when purchases are made at Amazon using any Amazon links on this site. Thank you for supporting Girl Who Reads.

March 1, 2017

Review: Saving Abby AND Abby's Journey by Steena Holmes

by Susan Roberts

Abby's Journey is the sequel to Saving Abby and since they are so closely linked, I wanted to provide you with my previous review of Saving Abby along with my new review of Abby's Journey.  Both are fantastic books and are must reads if you like great women's fiction about families and relationships.

Saving Abby

Claire and Josh Turner have been happily married for six years. He is the author of a successful series of children's book and she is the illustrator. After years of trying, they have finally accepted that they are unable to have children and go on a tour of Europe to help ease the pain of that decision. When they get back from their trip, they find out that Claire has gotten pregnant but the doctor also finds out that she has a life threatening problem that needs treatment but treatment will harm the baby. Claire and Josh are faced with the decision of whether to save her or the baby or try to save both.

The novel is emotional and the author has created such wonderful main characters that the reader identifies with them and feels their joy and their heartache. Along with the two main characters, there are also secondary characters that help the storyline tremendously.

Two things about this novel that I really liked: I am a list maker and I loved all the lists that Claire made for her life. It helped make her more of a real character to me. Second, I am a traveler and I know that Steena is too from reading her Facebook posts. I loved all of her wonderful descriptions of Europe. You could tell that she was writing about places that she had been and loved.

To sum it all up, this is a wonderful book about family and love and heartache. It's one of my top 10 books of the year and I think that everyone should read it!

Buy Saving Abby at Amazon


Abby's Journey

Twenty-year-old Abigail Turner has only known her mother, Claire—who died shortly after she was born—through letters, videos, postcards, and journals. Abby’s father, Josh, has raised his precious daughter himself, but his overprotectiveness has become stifling. Abby longs to forge out on her own and see the world after a childhood trapped indoors: she suffers from bronchopulmonary dysplasia, which means a case of the sniffles can rapidly escalate into life-threatening pneumonia.
But when Abby’s doctor declares her healthy—for now—her grandmother Millie whisks her away to Europe to visit the Christmas markets that her mother cherished and chronicled in her travel journals. Despite her father’s objections, Abby and Millie embark on a journey of discovery in which Abby will learn secrets that force her to reevaluate her image of her mother and come to a more mature understanding of a parent-child bond that transcends death.

I am so happy that Steena wrote this book to follow up on the story of Abby from the first book.  It answers all of the questions that I had at the end of Saving Abby - how did Josh handle being a single father, what was Abby like and did she know how much her mom loved her?  All that and more is addressed in this book.  Abby has the journals and letters that Claire left her and her big wish is to travel to some of the places that her mom had traveled to.  Her dad is very overprotective due to Abby's health issues but he finally gives in to her desire to go to the Christmas markets in Europe with her grandmother.  If you have ever read Steena's facebook page you know that she loves to travel and her love of travel is reflected in this book.  I felt like I was in small towns in Germany and Belgium because her writing was so descriptive.  This book was fantastic and there are places where you'll probably shed a few tears.  It's a beautiful coming of age story about family and love and letting go and most importantly following your dreams.

Buy Abby's Journey at Amazon


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Steena Holmes grew up in a small town in Canada and holds a Bachelors degree in Theology. She currently lives in Calgary with her husband and three daughters and loves to wake up to the Rocky Mountains each morning.  She also loves travel in Europe and chocolate!
 
 



Susan Roberts lives in North Carolina when she isn't traveling.  She and her husband enjoy traveling, gardening and spending time with their grandson.  Susan reads almost anything (and the piles of books in her house prove that) but her favorite genres are Southern fiction, women's fiction, and thrillers. Susan is a top 1% Goodreads Reviewer. You can connect with Susan on Facebook.


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February 28, 2017

New Releases: March 2017

Spring Break is right around the corner along with spring weather, which means people are planning trips. Even the day trips require the packing of a book. If you are needing some new reading material for your spring giveaways, check out some of the titles coming out this month.


Got a problem that needs a kick-ass mercenary to fix it? Merc’s your shapeshifter.

It’s been open season on changelings—human/faery hybrids—until word gets around: someone’s got their backs.

Merc relies on her unique shapeshifting talents to defend the poor and disenfranchised hybrids living on the fringes of a modern-day Hudson valley city. Perhaps her past spurs her to help—orphaned, unable to remember her parents or her original form, forced to survive alone until a kindly Changeling couple takes her in. But Merc also dreams of escaping the poverty and rescuing her boyfriend from the environment that feeds his addictions.

Dúl, a mysterious and seductive full-blooded fey, seems to offer Merc the way out. But the job he proposes will plunge her into the political wasp nest of the Dreaming World and its fey courts. Dúl hires her to rescue the female lieutenant of the Shadow Court’s king. But Morgan isn’t the only full-blood that’s disappeared.

Nothing is what it seems. A hidden player is capitalizing on the animosities within the four courts, and Merc must solve the puzzle before anyone else falls victim. Her investigation exposes the web of betrayals and lies ambushing the courts from without, or maybe from within.

No one could defeat this conspiracy alone. Merc must suppress her solitary nature and learn to work with a team, while Dúl enters into a bitter alliance with his most hated enemy. Amid this treachery, the magnetic attraction between Merc and Dúl deepens into a forbidden bond they are powerless to deny.

Even if she unravels the chaos plaguing the Dreaming, can she handle the truth about the full-blood she’s fallen for?

Available March 13
Buy Umbra's Shadow at Amazon


cover Never Let You Go
Eleven years ago, Lindsey Nash escaped into the night with her young daughter and left an abusive relationship. Her ex-husband was sent to jail and she started over with a new life. Now, Lindsey is older and wiser, with a teenage daughter who needs her more than ever. When her ex-husband is finally released, Lindsey believes she’s cut all ties. But she gets the sense that someone is watching her. Her new boyfriend is threatened. Her home is invaded, and her daughter is shadowed. Lindsey is convinced it’s her ex-husband, even though he claims he’s a different person. But can he really change? Is the one who wants her dead closer to home than she thought?

Chevy Stevens targets her readership with a novel that hits all the notes they come to expect from her—and ratchets up the stakes even more in a novel that explores the darkest heart of love and obsession.

Available March 14
Buy Never Let You Go at Amazon


cover
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Wrong Man and Eyes on You comes a harrowing new psychological thriller about a successful self-help author who suddenly finds her life spiraling dangerously out of control.

What would you do if you realized that your new husband, a man you adore, is keeping secrets from you—secrets with terrifying consequences?

Bryn Harper, an accomplished self-help author, already has plenty to deal with. She’s still recovering from a devastating car accident that has left her haunted by recurring, smoke-filled nightmares. Worse still, she can’t shake the ominous feeling her dreams contain a warning.

In the beginning, Bryn’s husband Guy couldn’t have been more supportive. But after moving into a new house together, disturbing incidents occur and Guy grows evasive, secretive. What the hell is going on, she wonders? Then, a woman hired to cater their dinner party is brutally murdered.

As Bryn’s world unravels—and yet another woman in town is slain —she must summon her old strength to find answers and protect her own life. Her nightmares may in fact hold the key to unlocking the truth and unmasking the murderer.

With unexpected, riveting twists, The Secrets You Keep is an utterly compelling psychological thriller that once again showcases Kate White’s extraordinary storytelling talent.

Available March 21
Buy The Secrets You Keep at Amazon


cover If Not for You
An emotionally stirring novel that shows how obstacles can be overcome, differences can be strengths, and sometimes a choice can seem wrong even though it's absolutely right

If not for her loving but controlling parents, Beth Prudhomme might never have taken charge of her life and moved from her native Chicago to Portland, Oregon, where she s reconnected with her spirited Aunt Sunshine and found a job as a high school music teacher. If not for her friend Nichole, Beth would never have met Sam Carney, although first impressions have left Beth with serious doubts. Sam is everything Beth is not and her parents worst nightmare: a tattooed auto mechanic who's rough around the edges. Reserved and smart as a whip, Beth isn't exactly Sam s usual beer-drinking, pool-playing type of woman, either.

But if not for an awkward setup one evening, Beth might never have left early and been involved in a car crash. And if not for Sam who witnessed the terrifying ordeal, rushed to her aid, and stayed with her until help arrived Beth might have been all alone, or worse. Yet as events play out, Sam feels compelled to check on Beth almost daily at the hospital even bringing his guitar to play songs to lift her spirits. Soon their unlikely friendship evolves into an intense attraction that surprises them both.

Before long, Beth's strong-willed mother, Ellie, blows into town spouting harsh opinions, especially about Sam, and reopening old wounds with Sunshine. When shocking secrets from Sam s past are revealed, Beth struggles to reconcile her feelings. But when Beth goes a step too far, she risks losing the man and the life she s come to love.

Available March 21
Buy If Not for You at Amazon


Harper Grey is fed up with overbearing men.

Her father wants to sell the family hamburger joint to her brother because a woman could never make it successful.

Harper knows she has the same flair for business as her mother, and sexy Navy SEAL Patrick O’Brien dares her to prove it to the world.

When duty calls and Patrick must leave her side, will Harper be strong enough to make her dream a reality?

Available March 27
Buy Harper's Place at Amazon



cover The Lotterys Plus One
Sumac Lottery is nine years old and the self-proclaimed "good girl" of her (VERY) large, (EXTREMELY) unruly family. And what a family the Lotterys are: four parents, children both adopted and biological, and a menagerie of pets, all living and learning together in a sprawling house called Camelottery. Then one day, the news breaks that one of their grandfathers is suffering from dementia and will be coming to live with them. And not just any grandfather; the long dormant "Grumps," who fell out with his son so long ago that he hasn't been part of any of their lives.

Suddenly, everything changes. Sumac has to give up her room to make the newcomer feel at home. She tries to be nice, but prickly Grumps's clearly disapproves of how the Lotterys live: whole grains, strange vegetables, rescue pets, a multicultural household... He's worse than just tough to get along with -- Grumps has got to go! But can Sumac help him find a home where he belongs?

Available March 28
Buy The Lotterys Plus One at Amazon


cover Love Story
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Karen Kingsbury comes a new book featuring fan favorite family the Baxters.

Decades ago, John and Elizabeth Baxter lived a love story that is still playing out in the lives of their adult children and grandchildren. But few of them know the exact details of that love story or the heartbreak that brought the two together.

Now in high school, Ashley Baxter Blake’s oldest son, Cole, must write a family history paper for a freshman English class. He decides to interview his grandfather about that long ago distant love story.

At the same time, Baxter family friend Cody Coleman has asked his girlfriend Andi Ellison to marry him. The planning and upcoming wedding touches the heart of Bailey Flanigan, who once was Cody’s best friend. Bailey has news of her own, but is it right for her and her husband, Brandon, to attend Cody’s wedding?

As school ends, Cole presents his report on the love story between his grandparents John and Elizabeth Baxter. It is a tale that touches the hearts of the entire family, and one that causes Cole to better understand his own beginning.

Whether you’re meeting the Baxter family for the first time or finding them all over again, Love Story will stir your heart and remind you of the power of love and family.

Available March 28
Buy Love Story at Amazon


Get even more book news in your inbox by signing up for our newsletter: http://eepurl.com/mHTVL. Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small commission is earned when purchases are made at Amazon using any Amazon links on this site. Thank you for supporting Girl Who Reads.

February 27, 2017

Review: Law and Disorder by Heather Graham

by MK French

January 2017; Harlequin Intrigue; 9781335720771
ebook & print (256 pages); romantic suspense
a free book was provided for this review
Kody Cameron intended to help with her family's estate in Florida before going back to New York to work in live dinner theater. Unfortunately, there had been rumors of mob treasure buried on the property her family owns, and a team of thieves is determined to get it. Luckily for her, one of them is actually undercover FBI agent Nick Connolly. He does his best to minimize the violence and urges Kody to look through historical documents to find the treasure. It isn't just because he's a good agent, it's because he had met her before and wants the chance to ask her out.

Kody is a very likable heroine, and she works to undermine the thieves whenever possible. Even when terrified for her safety, she also is concerned for the safety of the manor staff, her parents, and the kidnapping victim that Nick is looking for. It's a believable kind of bravery because she doesn't have superhuman strength, just adrenaline, love and loyalty pushing her forward. Nick is an upstanding agent and does his best to balance the undercover work with saving others. Both are well-rounded characters, and the way they're drawn to each other feels natural over the course of the story. We don't necessarily see much of the supporting cast, so they're more thinly described. The suspense and plotting is fast paced and carries you through to the end, which is a very satisfying conclusion. It's a nice romantic thriller to curl up and read.

Buy Law and Disorder at Amazon

Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and golden retriever.


Get even more book news in your inbox by signing up for our newsletter: http://eepurl.com/mHTVL. Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small commission is earned when purchases are made at Amazon using any Amazon links on this site. Thank you for supporting Girl Who Reads.

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