Author Archives: arleigh

review: The Sumerton Women

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The Sumerton Women by D. L. Bogdan Cecily Burkhart is eight years old when she joins the Sumerton household after tragically losing both her parents to illness. Resilient and cheerfully optimistic, her presence brings much needed felicity to the topically common, yet secretive family. As time passes, Cecily learns why the castle is run by a skeleton staff and the… Read more »

review: Secrets of the Tudor Court

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Secrets of the Tudor Court by D. L. Bogdan Mary Howard, daughter of the Duke of Norfolk was just eleven when she was sent to court as a lady-in-waiting to her cousin, Anne Boleyn, who was soon to be Queen of England. The Year is 1530 and Katherine of Aragon is newly banished to a manor in the north while… Read more »

review: Rivals in the Tudor Court

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Rivals in the Tudor Court by D. L. Bogdan An interesting prequel to SECRETS IN THE TUDOR COURT, this story explores the early life of Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk. As a young boy, during the volatile finale of the Wars of the Roses, Thomas is bullied and humiliated repeatedly by his grandfather, the 1st Duke of Norfolk. His… Read more »

review: The Forgotten Queen

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The Forgotten Queen by D. L. Bogdan This is a story of the life of Margaret Tudor, elder sister of England’s Henry VIII, from her childhood before the death of her beloved brother, Arthur, to her life as the “Old Queen” of the Scots decades later. Margaret’s father, Henry VII, impressed upon her the role she was born to play… Read more »

review: Portrait of an Unknown Woman

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Portrait of an Unknown Woman by Vanora Bennett In 2007, I received a beautiful copy of this book. It was an ARC and the cover art was not used on the finished version. Normally when I fall in love with a book that is not its official version, I will buy it once it hits the shelves–but not this one…. Read more »

review: Figures in Silk by Vanora Bennett

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Figures in Silk by Vanora Bennett Having read her previous novel, Portrait of an Unknown Woman, I was expecting a bit of a conspiracy theory with this novel. There was a slight twist to the Richard III/Henry Tudor/Elizabeth of York events that I have not seen before, but not quite as surprising as her other novel (though it does tie… Read more »

review: Caroline Bingley: A Continuation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice

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Caroline Bingley: A Continuation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice by Jennifer Becton This continuation concentrates on the character of Caroline Bingley, who is sent by her brother back to their mother’s home in the north when she refused to apologize for her part in separating Charles and Jane. Along with a mysterious hired companion, Caroline’s journey took her many… Read more »

review: The Diamond by Julie Baumgold

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The Diamond by Julie Baumgold From British occupied India to the Kings of France, the Pitt Diamond – later named the Regent – saw many royal personages throughout its history. It was first discovered by a slave toiling the mines and slipped through several hands of thieves and vagabonds before finding its way to Thomas Pitt, Governor of Fort St…. Read more »

review: My Lady of Cleves

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My Lady of Cleves by Margaret Campbell Barnes This book begins with Henry VIII’s search for a fourth wife and ends with his death. Though her earlier life was not covered in great detail, the reader still gets a sense of who Anne of Cleves was and how her personality developed. Since being painted by Hans Holbein, Henry VIII’s court… Read more »

review: Longbourn by Jo Baker

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Longbourn by Jo Baker Pride and Prejudice through the servants’ eyes—this is the story of the life of Sarah, the maid in charge of the laundry and other various chores of the Bennet household, coinciding with the events from Austen’s original. Sarah began as an orphan from the ‘poorhouse’, taken under Mrs. Hill’s wing and raised at Longbourn. Of an… Read more »

review: Venus in Winter

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Venus in Winter by Gillian Bagwell Based on the little known early life of Elizabethan lady Bess of Hardwick, this novel spans three decades during one of England’s most perilous eras. Through the eyes of an impoverished girl turned great landowner, the events surrounding the courts of Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary I, and Elizabeth I are brought to life,… Read more »

review: Darcy’s Story

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Darcy’s Story by Janet Aylmer This is the story of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice as related by the character of Mr. Darcy—nothing new to the incredibly prolific sub-genre of Austen variations, but possibly one of the first printed, as it came out in 1996, shortly after the popular mini-series featuring Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle. True to Austen’s characters… Read more »