cover title author rating rating my rating review Down arrow read added
 
Major Pettigrew's Last Stand
3.87
it was amazing
If Masterpiece Theatre doesn't make this book into a movie starring Derek Jacobi, it will be a crime. There has not been so perfectly English a read i ...more
not set
Jan 29, 2011
 
The Eagle and the Raven
4.15
it was amazing
I normally avoid historicals if they contain the words "sweeping" or "three generations" - but this book deserves both without irony. It tells the sto ...more
not set
May 12, 2009
 
The Tiger Queens: The Women of Genghis Khan
4.25
it was amazing
I've never met Stephanie Thornton in person, but boy, do I want to, because her brand as an author is unapologetically kick-ass women of the ancient w ...more
not set
Dec 02, 2014
 
The Queen's Vow: A Novel of Isabella of Castile
3.90
it was amazing
Spain is difficult for historical fiction readers. Say "Spain" and thoughts trigger of bullfights, bloodshed, torture, and religious fanaticism. Spani ...more
not set
Jun 01, 2012
 
The Sister Queens
3.97
really liked it
As a disclaimer, I will admit that Sophie Perinot is a friend of mine, and I very much hope that her debut novel “The Sister Queens” hits the New York ...more
not set
Oct 04, 2011
 
Marlene
3.88
really liked it
I've been a fan of C.W. Gortner's books long before I met and befriended him at a conference, and Marlene Dietrich is perhaps my favorite of his heroi ...more
not set
Jun 07, 2016
 
The Vatican Princess: A Novel of Lucrezia Borgia
3.83
it was amazing
"Infamy is merely an accident of fate . . . [but] infamy is no accident. It is a poison in our blood. It is the price of being a Borgia."

First and las
...more
Mar 08, 2016
Mar 06, 2016
 
Fingersmith
4.02
it was amazing
This book will probably make my year-end Top 10 list. A taut, atmospheric thriller with more twists and turns than a Whitechapel alley, plunging into ...more
not set
Mar 13, 2016
 
America's First Daughter
4.22
really liked it
Patsy Jefferson isn't a famous figure in American history, but she should be: everything that we know about her father Thomas Jefferson--and the natio ...more
not set
Mar 01, 2016
 
The Botticelli Secret
3.85
really liked it
This book was pure fun. The plot was improbable and at times inexplicable, but I smiled all the way through. Mainly this was due to the narrator: chee ...more
Jun 2010
May 25, 2010
 
The Oracle Glass
3.88
it was amazing
My favorite of Judith Merkle Riley's books. I read this in junior high, and managed to severely unsettle a number of teachers with my in-depth knowled ...more
Jan 1996
May 04, 2009
 
The Red Lily Crown: A Novel of Medici Florence
3.82
it was amazing
I've rarely been so happy to offer a cover quote for a novel. Elizabeth Loupas hit it out of the park with "The Second Duchess," and "The Flower Reade ...more
not set
Aug 05, 2013
 
Blue Asylum
3.61
it was amazing
Sometimes it seems as if the only historical fiction is yet another retread about a Tudor Queen or Plantagenet princess - where are the little people ...more
not set
May 02, 2012
 
The Winter King (The Warlord Chronicles, #1)
4.27
really liked it
Hands down the best King Arthur fiction ever written. "The Winter King" begins Bernard Cornwell's trilogy of Arthur, the king who may have lived in ea ...more
not set
May 06, 2009
 
Katherine
4.18
it was amazing
This is one of the great historical fiction romances of all time, and a surprisingly accurate portrayal of the Middle Ages. Katherine is a pretty fift ...more
not set
Nov 28, 2009
 
The Tigress of Forlì: Renaissance Italy's Most Courageous and Notorious Countess, Caterina Riario Sforza de Medici
4.02
it was amazing
A fascinating biography of the woman who went toe to toe against Cesare Borgia, and nearly won. Caterina Sforza isn't as well known a figure of the Re ...more
not set
Nov 09, 2011
 
The Betrayal
3.94
it was amazing
A marvelous read. Soviet Russia comes to life in all its paranoid complexity, seen through the eyes of one achingly poignant family: an idealistic you ...more
Aug 26, 2016
Aug 02, 2016
 
The Heaven Tree Trilogy
4.29
it was amazing
This is one of the finest historical fiction novels out there. Technically it's three novels, but they all blur into one. The story revolves around a ...more
not set
May 11, 2009
 
A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1)
4.44
it was amazing
Book One of one of the best fantasy series out there. I'm lukewarm on fantasy - so much of the time it's warmed-over Tolkien, heroes and princesses en ...more
not set
May 04, 2009
 
Mademoiselle Chanel
4.02
really liked it
Kate Quinn
Gortner writes such wonderful women. He's written a lot of queens, and fashion designer Coco Chanel might seem like a departure for him, but
...more
Apr 11, 2015
Jul 02, 2014
 
Confessions of a Failed Southern Lady
4.01
it was amazing
I read this book at thirteen, and my world fell into place. No longer did I have to wonder why my loved ones annoyed me, why I didn't want to hang out ...more
not set
May 07, 2009
 
The Last Queen
4.02
really liked it
C.W. Gortner has one of the more interesting literary platforms I've ever seen for a historical fiction writer, particularly a male one: he takes the ...more
not set
Apr 30, 2011
 
Flight of Dreams
3.84
it was amazing
Really stellar. Suspenseful, tightly plotted, and racheting its way to a merciless climax, "Flight of Dreams" takes a famous historic disaster--the ex ...more
Apr 05, 2017
Feb 23, 2017
 
Last Christmas in Paris: A Novel of World War I
4.50
really liked it
Got a chance to read an ARC of this one for a cover quote! My review and quote:

This joint collaboration between authors Heather Webb and Hazel Gaynor
...more
not set
Mar 22, 2017
 
The Flower Reader
3.85
really liked it
There are not many authors who could convincingly tie together such diverse things as flower magic, Highland politics, and a hero who wears eyeliner - ...more
not set
Dec 17, 2011
 
The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn, #1)
4.20
it was amazing
Finally getting around to writing a review for this stunning book. I encountered it because the author and I were both keynote speakers at a literary ...more
not set
Mar 20, 2016
 
The Second Duchess
3.91
it was amazing
"She had a heart too soon made glad." Browning's immortal line from his poem "The Last Duchess," said by Renaissance Duke Alfonso of Este about his fi ...more
not set
Apr 11, 2011
 
Sacred Hearts
3.74
it was amazing
Novels about nuns are difficult to get right. Many are too evangelical; others simply seize the trappings of veils and prayers as a dramatic setting f ...more
not set
Jan 11, 2010
 
Mr. Rosenblum Dreams in English
3.58
it was amazing
What a wonderful treat this book is: sparkling wit, crystalline prose, characters full of courage and sympathy. The middle-aged Jack Rosenblum is a Ge ...more
not set
Sep 22, 2010
 
Foreign Affairs
3.73
it was amazing
As the heroine of "Foreign Affairs" complains, there is no grand romance in our culture for the middle-aged, only for the young and beautiful. This bo ...more
not set
Jan 15, 2010
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