Book Review: The Plantagenets by Dan Jones

tp.pngThe Plantagenets: The Warrior Kings and Queens Who Made England by Dan Jones
Published: 2012
Genre: History, Nonfiction
Format: Paperback
Pages: 534
Source: Purchased
Dates Read: February 1-25, 2019
Grade: A-
Synopsis: A stunning achievement that brings one of the most tumultuous and fascinating periods of British history to life, The Plantagenets transports readers to the era of chivalry and the Crusades, the Black Death and the Hundred Years War. The first Plantagenet king inherited a broken, blood-soaked realm from the Normans and transformed it into an empire that would stretch at its peak from Scotland to Jerusalem. His descendants and their fiery queens, including Eleanor of Aquitaine, Richard the Lionheart, Edward II, and King John, shaped England into the country we recognize today and gave it many of the laws, contracts, and bodies of governance—like Parliament and the Magna Carta—that would shape our own nation. (from Goodreads)
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ARC Review: There Are Girls Like Lions

tagll.pngThere Are Girls Like Lions, foreword by Cole Swensen
Publication Date: March 5, 2019
Genre: Poetry
Format: eARC
Pages: 99
Source: NetGalley
Date Read: February 9, 2019
Grade: C+
Synopsis: For mothers, daughters, sisters, wives, partners, and friends, here are 30 stirring poems about the experience of being a woman. Rousing and empowering, There Are Girls like Lions is a celebration of womanhood in all its dimensions, including love, beauty, friendship, motherhood, work, aging, and much more. Packaged in an attractive case with foil stamping and featuring striking illustrations in metallic ink throughout, this powerful collection will resonate as a gift for any modern woman. (from Goodreads)
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Book Review: Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

lm.pngLady Midnight by Cassandra Clare
Series: The Dark Artifices #1
Published: 2016
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: Hardcover (+ audio, Kindle)
Pages: 668
Source: Purchased
Dates Read: February 9-22, 2019
Grade: D
Synopsis: It’s been five years since the events of City of Heavenly Fire that brought the Shadowhunters to the brink of oblivion. Emma Carstairs is no longer a child in mourning, but a young woman bent on discovering what killed her parents and avenging her losses.

Together with her parabatai Julian Blackthorn, Emma must learn to trust her head and her heart as she investigates a demonic plot that stretches across Los Angeles, from the Sunset Strip to the enchanted sea that pounds the beaches of Santa Monica. If only her heart didn’t lead her in treacherous directions…

Making things even more complicated, Julian’s brother Mark—who was captured by the faeries five years ago—has been returned as a bargaining chip. The faeries are desperate to find out who is murdering their kind—and they need the Shadowhunters’ help to do it. But time works differently in faerie, so Mark has barely aged and doesn’t recognize his family. Can he ever truly return to them? Will the faeries really allow it? (from Goodreads)

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Book Review: With This Pledge by Tamera Alexander

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With This Pledge by Tamera Alexander
Series: Carnton #1
Published: 2019
Genre: Christian, Historical Romance
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 417
Source: Library
Dates Read: February 19-21, 2019
Grade: A
Synopsis: On the night of November 30, 1864, a brutal battle in Franklin, Tennessee, all but decimates the Confederacy and nearly kills Captain Roland Ward Jones. A decorated Mississippi sharpshooter, Jones has a vision on the battlefield and, despite the severity of his wounds, believes his life will be spared. But a life without his leg, he can’t abide. He compels Elizabeth “Lizzie” Clouston—governess to the McGavock family at the Carnton mansion—to intervene should the surgeon decide to amputate. True to her word, Lizzie speaks on his behalf and saves not only the captain’s leg but also his life.

When a fourteen-year-old soldier dies in Lizzie’s arms that night, the boy’s final words, whispered with urgency, demand that Lizzie deliver them to their intended recipient. But all she has is the boy’s first name. And, as she soon discovers, there’s no record of him ever having enlisted. How can she set out alone across a land so divided by war and hatred to honor her pledge? Even more, does she dare accept Captain Jones’s offer to accompany her? As he coalesces at Carnton, romance has blossomed between him and Lizzie—a woman already betrothed to a man she does not love.

From the pages of history and the personal accounts of those who endured the Battle of Franklin, Tamera Alexander weaves the real-life love letters between Captain Roland Ward Jones and Elizabeth Clouston into a story of unlikely romance first kindled amid the shadows of war.

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Book Review: Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas

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Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas
Series: The Gamblers of Craven’s #2
Published: 1994
Genre: Historical Romance
Format: Paperback
Pages: 373
Source: Purchased
Dates Read: February 12-16, 2019
Grade: A-
Synopsis: In the shelter of her country cottage, Sara Fielding puts pen to paper to create dreams. But curiosity has enticed the prim, well-bred gentlewoman out of her safe haven—and into Derek Craven’s dangerous world.

A handsome, tough and tenacious Cockney, he rose from poverty to become lord of London’s most exclusive gambling house—a struggle that has left Derek Craven fabulously wealthy, but hardened and suspicious. And now duty demands he allow Sara Fielding into his world—with her impeccable manners and her infuriating innocence. But here, in a perilous shadow-realm of ever-shifting fortunes, even a proper “mouse” can be transformed into a breathtaking enchantress—and a world-weary gambler can be shaken to his cynical core by the power of passion…and the promise of love. (from Goodreads)

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ARC Review: Dear George, Dear Mary by Mary Calvi

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Dear George, Dear Mary by Mary Calvi
Published: 2019
Genre: Historical Fiction
Format: eARC
Pages: 336
Source: NetGalley
Dates Read: February 16-18, 2019
Grade: A
Synopsis: A novel about heiress Mary Philipse’s relationship with George Washington, based on historical accounts, letters, and personal journals.

“Love is said to be an involuntary passion, and it is, therefore, contended that it cannot be resisted.” —George Washington (from Goodreads)

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Book Review: The Colonel’s Lady by Laura Frantz

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The Colonel’s Lady by Laura Frantz
Published: 2011
Genre: Christian, Historical Romance
Format: Kindle
Pages: 417
Source: Library
Dates Read: February 6-12, 2019
Grade: C+
Synopsis: In 1779, when genteel Virginia spinster Roxanna Rowan arrives at the Kentucky fort commanded by Colonel Cassius McLinn, she finds that her officer father has died. Penniless and destitute, Roxanna is forced to take her father’s place as scrivener. Before long, it’s clear that the colonel himself is attracted to her. But she soon realizes the colonel has grave secrets of his own–some of which have to do with her father’s sudden death. Can she ever truly love him? (from Goodreads)

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