**spoiler alert** I bought this book at work after reading the back cover a few times. All the reviews were comparing it to books like Jane Eyre and W**spoiler alert** I bought this book at work after reading the back cover a few times. All the reviews were comparing it to books like Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights, which I love, so I figured, what the hell.
The first five chapters were basically a set-up for the real story. The story is about a famous author, Vida Winter, who finally wants to tell her real story before she dies. She hired Margaret Lea to write the biography. Before this she had given about 20 different versions of her life, not telling anyone the truth. I found this book compelling. I was sad to put it down to go to sleep. Mystery after mystery revealed itself with each chapter. The book was narrated by Margaret, except for the times when Vida was telling her story.
Toward the end, when the real secret was revealed, that Vida was NOT Adeline March, like we had thought. That there was not TWO girls at Angelfield, but THREE! The third being Ms. Winter who looked just like the twins (and was a relation, a child of Charlie's, who he did not know about; LONG story about Isabelle: the twins' mother and Charlie: uncle...father? Eep.) and often took one of their places now and again. When the fire happened and one of the twins died in it, she took the place of Adeline. The twin that survived was said to be Emmeline. The fire had damaged her and she had been an invalid. When I finished the book I suspected that the surviving twin was NOT Emmeline, but actually Adeline, who caused the fire because of jealousy of the attention Emmeline was giving to her baby and not to her. Of course, it's not really revealed that it's not Emmeline who survived, but there are obvious hints that it may just be Adeline.
I can't even begin to mention all the secrets that revealed itself throughout the course of the book. At some points I felt myself holding my breath because I felt that another bombshell was going to drop, that another secret would come about. I can't remember the last time a book affected me this way. I MUST read it again. I'm sure that now I'll pick up on a lot more, now that I know the truth....more
I very much enjoyed this more than the previous book And Only To Deceive. Lady Ashton became a much more enjoyable character for me and I really likedI very much enjoyed this more than the previous book And Only To Deceive. Lady Ashton became a much more enjoyable character for me and I really liked her in this book. And unlike And Only To Deceive, the ending wasn't so predictable; I didn't see it coming from a mile away. I echo from my review of And Only To Deceive: I loved the character of Colin Hargreaves, more so after reading A Poisoned Season....more
A delightful book. Not as fantastic as I thought A Poisoned Season to be, but entertaining nonetheless. Like A Poisoned Season, the ending had a greatA delightful book. Not as fantastic as I thought A Poisoned Season to be, but entertaining nonetheless. Like A Poisoned Season, the ending had a great twist that I did not see coming. This book had a bit more action in it than A Poisoned Season and I felt myself holding my breath at some points. A Fatal Waltz was a great third installment to the Lady Ashton series and I cannot wait to read the next....more
I suspect this series will get better as it goes along, which is why I'm continuing with it. Overall, the book was good, but most of it irked me. I waI suspect this series will get better as it goes along, which is why I'm continuing with it. Overall, the book was good, but most of it irked me. I wanted to deck most of the main characters. I do very much like Eloise. And as for the characters of the past I really love Miles and Henrietta; I hope to see more of them....more
Loved, loved, loved this book much more than the first installment The Secret History of the Pink Carnation. The Masque Of the Black Tulip was full oLoved, loved, loved this book much more than the first installment The Secret History of the Pink Carnation. The Masque Of the Black Tulip was full of characters that did not irk me. I already loved Henrietta and Miles from the first book, along with the modern day heroine Eloise, but I even loved the smaller characters like Geoff and even Turnip; he was hilarious.
Some of the romantic bits made me want to gag, but there wasn't really a whole lot of them. This book was full of mystery that had me guessing until the end. Brava! I expect the series to continue to get better as I go....more
Not as good as The Masque Of the Black Tulip, but still a delightful book. Nobody can beat Miles and Henrietta - and I was very sad of the absence ofNot as good as The Masque Of the Black Tulip, but still a delightful book. Nobody can beat Miles and Henrietta - and I was very sad of the absence of them in this book - but Geoff and Letty, while a different sort of pair, were just as funny and cute together, although in a different way. Lord Vaughn continues to peek my interest. And excuse my French, but Miss Gwen kicks ass!!...more
I was very disappointed in this book, especially after the excellency of the last two volumes of the series. The Seduction Of the Crimson Rose moved aI was very disappointed in this book, especially after the excellency of the last two volumes of the series. The Seduction Of the Crimson Rose moved at a much slower pace. I was so used to the fast-paceness of the previous three volumes that I became quite bored quite fast. I simply wasn't interested in the characters of Mary or Vaughn and the story seemed to go downhill once they declared their 'love' for each other. I can't count how many times I thought, "Spare me!" Actually, I was quite interested in Vaughn before The Seduction Of the Crimson Rose. In the previous two volumes he was a mysterious sort of character. There was no mystery in this book.
The better parts of this book was the last third. The only purpose of The Seduction Of the Crimson Rose seemed to be the uncovering of the Black Tulip and that was incredibly disappointing, as well.
The story of Eloise, however, was very much the best part. I was disappointed with how her chapters are greatly spaced out between the historical chapters. There just isn't enough of her story, in my opinion.
Nevertheless, I do very much love this series and am looking forward to the next installment....more
A very enjoyable book. It was a refreshing book about the late Victorian era; not too stuffy. I did predict a bit of it, such as the bad guy and all tA very enjoyable book. It was a refreshing book about the late Victorian era; not too stuffy. I did predict a bit of it, such as the bad guy and all that, but it took a bit of a twist I wasn't expecting. I do hope the character of Lady Ashton gets more likable for me in A Poisoned Season because she was frustrating me a bit in this book. I very much loved the character of Colin Hargreaves; I look forward to seeing more of him....more
So I guess I was expecting something spectacular from all the reviews I read. The book was entertaining, but the mystery was not all that gripping. ISo I guess I was expecting something spectacular from all the reviews I read. The book was entertaining, but the mystery was not all that gripping. I felt the story of a year in the lady's life was written and then a mystery was quickly woven in at the last minute. Oh, and I figured out who the murderer was about half-way through the book.
The strong character of Nicholas Brisbane is what kept the plot from completely collapsing. Raybourn has created a very, very intriguing character with him. I couldn't have cared less about the actual mystery; I just wanted to learn more about him.
I expect the next installment to be better. With a series like this, the first installment is never the best....more
Oh, yes, I was right. So far, the series is getting better as it goes along. The mystery, I found, was more gripping than the previous installment; IOh, yes, I was right. So far, the series is getting better as it goes along. The mystery, I found, was more gripping than the previous installment; I didn't guess the guilty party this time around. Even so, I found myself more engrossed with Nicholas Brisbane and his relationship with Lady Julia.
This installment had something the previous one lacked: more goings on. More things were happening. And there was more than one mystery, however small. Also, a most intriguing group of characters.
Looking forward to the third installment. I have no doubt I will do the same as I did with this one: Gobbling it up in two days time....more
Incase you haven't been following along, this is the first Carnation book I've given five stars to. I loved The Masque Of The Black Tulip and The DecIncase you haven't been following along, this is the first Carnation book I've given five stars to. I loved The Masque Of The Black Tulip and The Deception Of The Emerald Ring, but there was something that was holding me back from giving them a full five stars. Perhaps having a few "Oh, please! Spare me!" moments was why. The Temptation Of The Night Jasmine had none of those moments. There were quite a few "Aww" moments, though, which I quite loved.
And Robert? I'll take him to go. Please and thank you.
I found the relationship - and sometimes lack of one - between Charlotte and Robert quite endearing. And Robert is probably the most endearing of all the Carnation heroes. At least, in my eyes. His concern for Charlotte was always the top of his priority list, no matter if it pained him. Seriously, where can I get one of him?
I always love a interesting quarry of side characters, even the diabolical ones. And this installment was full of them.
And the present day romance of Eloise and Colin intrigued me more than usual this time. Sometimes I wish they had more chapters, but that would take away from the historical story and that just won't do.
And the cherry of the top of the sundae is that this installment had quite large roles for my two favorite Carnation characters: Henrietta and Miles. Miles, with his somewhat misplaced humor, never fails to make me giggle.
I gobbled this book up in three days. I frankly couldn't read it fast enough. I might even dare to call it my favorite. Lauren Willig will have a time thinking up heroes in the future Carnation installments to beat Robert. If that happens, my heart may explode....more
An enjoyable book, but far too long. This is a book that could have easily been 400 pages, or even less. Someone needs to tell Ms. Waters that it's quAn enjoyable book, but far too long. This is a book that could have easily been 400 pages, or even less. Someone needs to tell Ms. Waters that it's quality, not quantity, that makes a good novel.
The twists and turns were gripping enough, but I don't think it had the desired effect seeing as how the story went on and on afterward.
I enjoyed the mental hospital bits; it was interesting seeing inside one of those in the early 1860s.
Waters created a good villain in Richard Rivers. I seem to be intrigued by characters like him in stories. The main characters of Sue and Maud seemed not strong enough. I can't explain, but I just didn't feel as sorry for them as I should. The ending, however, was sweet.
This is a good novel for folks who love historical mystery fiction set in the Victorian era. However, I believe Affinity to still be Waters' best novel....more
I'll be the first to tell you that Jennifer Donnelly is not the greatest writer ever, but there is something in her work that sparks emotion. She knowI'll be the first to tell you that Jennifer Donnelly is not the greatest writer ever, but there is something in her work that sparks emotion. She knows the right kind of stories to tell that makes people feel and want to continue reading.
A Northern Light is a story about a fictional character named Mattie, who's working at the Glenmore hotel when a real event happens. The real event happened on July 11, 1906. The murder of Grace Brown. I didn't know a thing about this event until I picked up this book. I researched it a bit and now I can't get the event or Grace Brown out of my head. Donnelly says that after writing this book, Grace Brown's words haunt her. And after reading them myself, they haunt me as well. It's such a tragic story, what happened to Grace, that I can't help but think about it and wonder how her life would have been if the events on July 11th hadn't happened.
As for the fictional story surrounding this real event, Donnelly again creates a host of memorable characters and a strong heroine and events with just enough specifics that makes you feel as if you're there without the overabundance of details.
I just finished this book and am a bit overwhelmed, so my review isn't as detailed as it could be. Or perhaps I just can't type out what I'm feeling. Either way, Donnelly's got me feeling again. And she's also sparked my interest in researching the real crime from 1906....more
**spoiler alert** I figured out many things in the book: the parentage of the mummified twins, the incestuous relationship between Ailith and Redwall**spoiler alert** I figured out many things in the book: the parentage of the mummified twins, the incestuous relationship between Ailith and Redwall and the fact that it wasn't Lady Allenby who poisoned Brisbane. I also knew how the relationship of Julia and Brisbane would be at the end of this book. All thanks to an asshat who doesn't know how to use the goddamn spoiler feature.
I still think the second book in the series was the best book, so far. I think the fact that there was no murder mystery here is what bored me a few times. I mean, there is so much one woman can do and people she can talk to while cut off from civilization. Someone dying would have spiced it up.
And like the previous two books, what kept me interested in the book was Brisbane. I fear the the marriage of Julia and Brisbane will ruin the rest of the series for me, if there is more books. What kept me interested was the mystery surrounding him. With them married, that is out the window.
It was still an enjoyable book.
Oh, yeah, and the cover is absolutely hideous....more
Very intriguing book that kept my interest from beginning to end. The heroine, Bessy, is one of the more original heroines I've read in historical ficVery intriguing book that kept my interest from beginning to end. The heroine, Bessy, is one of the more original heroines I've read in historical fiction in a while. She had some meat to her, some oomph, if you will. All the characters had their own original voice and were all interesting, even the smallest of characters.
Very good mystery that I didn't have worked out until sometime into the story....more
I was halfway through this book and afraid of what my review was going to be, but the second half redeemed the story. There is only so much lovely dovI was halfway through this book and afraid of what my review was going to be, but the second half redeemed the story. There is only so much lovely dovey stuff I can take without upchucking my dinner, but eventually the action picked up. Admittingly, I didn't enjoy it as much as the previous two installments, especially A Poisoned Season.
I missed Lady Emily's whole gang of friends. None of the new characters particularly grabbed me. I was happy when Margaret showed up, she quirked things up a bit. I didn't enjoy Colin as much as I usually do. I'm afraid the book lost something with Colin and Emily being married. There's no more tension. I liked the tension.
I did figure out the murderer as soon as he/she entered the story. I'm not sure if that was a lucky guess or what.
The descriptions were wonderful. The setting was Constantinople and this book makes me want to fly over there and visit. And this novel was no doubt excessively researched. It shows.
Fans of the series will enjoy this, but it is a bit different than the previous three. I'm hoping the next installment will have all her friends back.
I won this book here at Goodreads, which was the first book I ever won anywhere! This didn't affect my review....more
**spoiler alert** This is one of those books I was sad to finish. I wish it would never end. I'm not sure why, but I think I just got caught up in the**spoiler alert** This is one of those books I was sad to finish. I wish it would never end. I'm not sure why, but I think I just got caught up in the world.
One word to describe this novel is: breathtaking.
I loved how the book was set up: interwoven with both past and present day; part of a script; newspaper articles; letters.
The end knocked me over like a ton of bricks. I had a feeling as I got closer to the end that the whole suicide secret wasn't really a suicide, but I had NO idea it was going to end like that.
The final page: Hannah's letter to Grace. What a way to end the book. I almost started crying after I read it. To think, how much tragedy could have been avoided if Grace told Hannah the truth years ago that she really didn't know shorthand.
I just know I'll be diving back into this world again and again. I can't stay away....more
Kate Morton's novels make me want to write. They inspire me. Hers are the kinds of stories I want to be telling. Rich plots with mysteries and secretsKate Morton's novels make me want to write. They inspire me. Hers are the kinds of stories I want to be telling. Rich plots with mysteries and secrets.
As I started The Forgotten Garden, I wasn't sure if I would like it or not. A little before halfway through, I had to force myself to stop reading in order to go to bed every night. The way the chapters were separated into views of three different women from three different generations kept the story moving instead of stifling it.
The mysteries unfolded in the last fourth of the book. And they unfolded slowly, not overwhelming you, but just at the right pace for you to digest them and you'd say, "Oh!"
I can't wait to devour Morton's next book. It can't come soon enough....more