review: The Boleyn Inheritance

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The Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa Gregory I listened to this on unabridged audio and have decided Philippa Gregory’s books are much better read aloud than read to oneself. This one is even better than some of the others because it has 3 narrators: Jane Boleyn, Katherine Howard and Anne of Cleves, each doing a perfect job with their role. Jane… Read more »

review: Wickham’s Diary

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Wickham’s Diary by Amanda Grange This Pride and Prejudice novella focuses on George Wickham, infamous bad boy from Jane Austen’s original. As the son of Pemberley’s steward, George was never treated with the same respect as Fitzwilliam Darcy, though he possessed more graceful manners and a pleasant countenance. At first he thought this, along with his Pemberley connections, would be… Read more »

review: Henry Tilney’s Diary

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Henry Tilney’s Diary by Amanda Grange A retelling of Northanger Abbey through the perspective of Henry Tilney and his sister, Eleanor, this story begins with the younger years of the Tilney siblings. Frederic, at eighteen, has recently been disappointed by a young lady and as a result has sworn off women—at least in the proper sense. He still wishes to… Read more »

review: The Queen’s Vow

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The Queen’s Vow by C. W. Gortner Isabella of Castile is classically remembered as an indomitable queen and a byword for the Spanish Inquisition. Many readers have only a vague sense of her character from reading novels in which she was mentioned by name or played a small role. C. W. Gortner takes this enigma and breathes life into a… Read more »

review: The Confessions of Catherine de Medici

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The Confessions of Catherine de Medici by C. W. Gortner C. W. Gortner has once again taken a controversial historical figure and made her into an admirable protagonist. Like Juana from The Last Queen, Catherine de Medici has not enjoyed a plethora of novels depicting her in a positive light. From Jean Plaidy’s trilogy (Madame Serpent, The Italian Woman and… Read more »

review: The American Heiress

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The American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin During the Gilded Age, an American heiress named Cora Cash leaves Newport behind and travels to England with her title-hunting mother. A chance encounter with a Duke leads to a proposal that by all appearances seems to be a love match. Trouble begins even before the ceremony, but the couple moves forward with their… Read more »

review: Madame Picasso

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Madame Picasso by Anne Girard At the close of the opulent Belle Époque era in Paris, Eva Gouel makes her debut as a seamstress/designer at the glamorous cabaret Moulin Rouge, where she first spots Pablo Picasso in the audience. Another meeting at an art exhibit furthers their acquaintance, and they begin a tête-à-tête that blossoms into a deep and inescapable… Read more »

review: Behind Jane Austen’s Door

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Behind Jane Austen’s Door by Jennifer Forest You can read scores of Regency novels and never quite know the proper etiquette for visiting, or the hierarchy of social classes and what is expected of each. You see the romantic and gentlemanly side of the characters, but never the societal rules governing who can speak to whom, and who you should… Read more »

review: Dracula in Love

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Dracula in Love by Karen Essex Mina Murray, a graduate and teacher at Miss Hadley’s School for Young Ladies of Accomplishment and fiancé to a promising young businessman, begins hearing voices, hallucinating and sleepwalking. Even more frightening she realizes that she’s being followed, perhaps stalked, by a well-dressed gentleman with seemingly good intentions. Not knowing how to handle the strange… Read more »

review: At the King’s Pleasure

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At the King’s Pleasure by Kate Emerson Anne Stafford, Lady Hastings, is one of the many familiar names to readers of Tudor fiction. Most know her as one of Henry VIII’s early conquests, though the details of their liaison have been sketchy—until now. We follow Anne from the time between her marriages, when she was under the control of her… Read more »

review: The King’s Damsel

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The King’s Damsel by Kate Emerson Thomasine Lodge, an heiress of considerable fortune, is sent to wait upon the young Princess Mary by the odious Sir Lionel, who purchased her wardship. Expected to ingratiate herself to gain favors, Thomasine instead forms a close bond with the princess, giving her complete loyalty even though the majority of the court is flocking… Read more »

review: All for Love

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All for Love: The Scandalous Life and Times of Royal Mistress Mary Robinson by Amanda Elyot Actress, poetess, novelist, essayist, playwright — Mrs. Mary Robinson was all of these as well as a devoted wife and mother, until her husband at last severed all her affection with his licentious, degrading behavior. Though she was immensely intelligent she made rather bad… Read more »