review: The Lion of Justice

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The Lion of Justice by Jean Plaidy This is the story of Henry I of England, The Lion of Justice, and his wife, Edith Atheling (later called Matilda of Scotland). It begins with Henry’s brother, William Rufus on the throne, and recounts his uninspiring reign. With Rufus’s mysterious death, Henry claims the throne of England before his eldest brother, Robert… Read more »

Victoria Wilcox’s Doc Holliday Debut

Before reading this immensely detailed novelization of the early life of John Henry “Doc” Holliday, I had only the 1993 film version of his character in mind (played by Val Kilmer), and a steampunk fantasy novel I reviewed for the May 2013 issue of Historical Novels Review—The Doctor and the Rough Rider by Mike Resnick—in which to form an opinion… Read more »

review: A Respectable Trade

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A Respectable Trade by Philippa Gregory Frances Scott, aging society lady, marries a wealthy merchant, Josiah Cole, who is in the business of trading sugar, coffee and slaves in Bristol. Shortly after their marriage the first set of slaves arrives, and Frances is given the task of teaching them to speak English and work as servants. She forms a bond… Read more »

review: In Farleigh Field

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In Farleigh Field by Rhys Bowen BOOK DESCRIPTION: “World War II comes to Farleigh Place, the ancestral home of Lord Westerham and his five daughters, when a soldier with a failed parachute falls to his death on the estate. After his uniform and possessions raise suspicions, MI5 operative and family friend Ben Cresswell is covertly tasked with determining if the… Read more »

review: The Pursuit of Mary Bennet

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The Pursuit of Mary Bennet by Pamela Mingle This full-length Austen continuation takes place a few years after the elder Bennet sisters had married and focuses on the most inconsequential sister, Mary. Having spent a good deal of time with Jane at her new home, High Tor, and Elizabeth at Pemberley, Mary had much improved her music and conversation skills,… Read more »

review: Alex & Eliza

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Alex & Eliza: A Love Story by Melissa de la Cruz Set during the American Revolution, this is a story of the meeting and courtship of Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth Schuyler–daughter of the respected General Philip Schuyler and Catherine Van Rensselaer. Eliza, the spirited middle sister of the Schuyler family’s elder trio of girls, is tomboyish, level-headed, and wishes above… Read more »

First Line Friday: A Conspiracy in Belgravia

From the Prologue… Thank goodness for a blatantly obvious murder. From Chapter One… This is an account of a remarkable man named Sherlock Holmes. BOOK DESCRIPTION “Being shunned by Society gives Charlotte Holmes the time and freedom to put her extraordinary powers of deduction to good use. As “Sherlock Holmes, consulting detective,” aided by the capable Mrs. Watson, she’s had… Read more »

First Line Friday: Gone with the Wind

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Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were. GONE WITH THE WIND by Margaret Mitchell “Since its original publication in 1936, Gone With the Wind—winner of the Pulitzer Prize and one of the bestselling novels of all time—has been heralded by readers everywhere as The Great American Novel…. Read more »

First Line Friday: The Glass-Blowers

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“If you marry into glass,” Pierre Labbe warned my mother, his daughter Magdaleine, in 1747, “you will say good-bye to everything familiar, and enter a closed world.” THE GLASS-BLOWERS by Daphne du Maurier “The world of the glass-blowers has its own traditions, it’s own language – and its own rules. ‘If you marry into glass’ Pierre Labbe warns his daughter,… Read more »

First Line Friday: The Tudor Bride

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“The grey-green sea looked hungry as it lapped and chewed on the English shore, voracious, like the monsters mapmakers paint at the edge of the world.” THE TUDOR BRIDE by Joanna Hickson “The thrilling story of the French princess who became an English queen, from the best-selling author of The Agincourt Bride. Perfect for fans of The White Queen. Even… Read more »

guest post & giveaway: Obedience by V. G. Kilgore

Attention biblical fiction fans: You’ll not want to miss this guest post and giveaway on V. G. Kilgore’s debut novel, Obedience. This is a story of Noah’s Ark based on Noah’s son, Ham. See the giveaway details at the bottom of the post. Biblical fiction has intrigued me from the time I was a good, church-going teenager, to my current… Read more »

First Line Friday: Paris Time Capsule

“The parcel was wrapped in brown paper and tied with an unblemished silk ribbon.” PARIS TIME CAPSULE by Ella Carey “New York–based photographer Cat Jordan is ready to begin a new life with her successful, button-down boyfriend. But when she learns that she’s inherited the estate of a complete stranger—a woman named Isabelle de Florian—her life is turned upside down…. Read more »