A DIVIDED INHERITANCE is the first novel by Deborah Swift I’ve read, and I was impressed by the rich historical details. This book paints a vivid pict...moreA DIVIDED INHERITANCE is the first novel by Deborah Swift I’ve read, and I was impressed by the rich historical details. This book paints a vivid picture of the beauty and turbulence of 17th century Spain.
The story begins in London with Elspet Leviston working with her father in his lace business, fully believing she will inherit it someday. Suddenly a man named Zachary Deane appears at their door, and Mr. Leviston introduces him as her cousin. Soon Elspet is pushed aside and told to concentrate on “womanly pursuits” while Zachary is taught the lace business. Of course, she’s furious, and rightfully so.
The mysterious Zachary turns out to be an immature trouble-maker, and Elspet knows there’s something from his past he’s hiding. Before she can find out, Mr. Leviston sends Zachary on a “grand tour” of Europe in hopes that it will educate him and turn him into a proper gentleman. Unfortunately Elspet’s father dies soon after he departs, and she’s shocked to discover Zachary has inherited half of the lace business. Since she can’t do anything without Zachary’s approval, she sets off to find him, finally tracking him down in Seville, Spain. He’d abandoned his grand tour to take fencing lessons from a master swordsman while poor Elspet suffered. Luckily she was strong and determined, and willing to fight for what was hers.
A big part of this book focused on the horrific treatment of the Moors by the Spanish king. While Catholics in England were being oppressed, Muslims were the victims of religious persecution in Spain. For me, this was an eye-opening read.
There were a lot of characters to keep track of in this book, and at times Elspet and Zachary’s story got lost in the shuffle. Still, I was thrilled at the outcome of their inheritance squabble, and I was pleased at how Zachary’s character evolved over time.
A DIVIDED INHERITANCE is sure to please fans of well-researched, detailed historical fiction. And, maybe, just maybe, there’s an opening for a sequel?
Rating: 3.75 Stars
Source: Review copy provided for participating in the author's book tour.(less)
It was good to be back in Virgin River! WHISPERING ROCK is the third installment of the series, and it continues the stories of Jack & Mel, Preach...moreIt was good to be back in Virgin River! WHISPERING ROCK is the third installment of the series, and it continues the stories of Jack & Mel, Preacher & Paige, and other residents of the tiny California mountain town readers have met in the previous books, plus some new faces arrive in town.
The featured romance this time was between Mike Valenzuela (Jack’s friend) and Brie Sheridan (Jack’s little sister). Virgin River is known as a place that troubled souls come for shelter and healing. This is true for Mike and Brie, both victims of violent crimes. I loved watching their causal, flirty friendship from the last book developed into a serious relationship based on patience, understanding, and trust. Even though Mike was his Marine brother and very good friend, Jack wasn’t too happy about him hooking up with his baby sister! Ah, well. Poor Jack.
I was also intrigued by a side story involving Mel, the town’s nurse practitioner and midwife, finding out there’s a predator putting area teenage girls in danger. She teams up with Mike to figure out what’s going on.
I enjoyed WHISPERING ROCK as much as the first two books – 5 stars all around! Emotional stories, complex characters, romance, and a touch of suspense. Highly recommended! Next up: A VIRGIN RIVER CHRISTMAS.(less)
Why was this book momentous? Because it was the first one by Nora Roberts I’ve read! *woots* It took long enough, didn’t it? Unfortunately, it turned...moreWhy was this book momentous? Because it was the first one by Nora Roberts I’ve read! *woots* It took long enough, didn’t it? Unfortunately, it turned out to be just an okay read. Not bad, but not great. Admittedly, I set the bar pretty high. Magic, witches, Ireland, a romance with a sexy Irishman. This story had all my favorite things, and there were parts I enjoyed, and parts that could have been better.
I loved the first couple of chapters that gave readers the history of the Dark Witch, a woman named Sorcha. Sorcha’s story took place in the 13th century, and we learn that an evil sorcerer is pursuing her and threatening her three children. Fast-forward to present day County Mayo. Three of Sorcha’s descendants are preparing to do battle with the sorcerer, who has returned to seek revenge for what happened to him 700 years ago.
I definitely enjoyed the secondary characters in this book more than the hero and heroine. The heroine is Iona, and she’s come to Ireland to find her cousins, find a home, find love, be loved… She was kind of desperate and needy. I felt like I was missing a big chunk of her back story to understand her. Unfortunately there wasn’t much remarkable about the hero, Boyle, and I couldn’t feel much chemistry between him and Iona. Now, the secondary characters I loved, in particular Cousin Branna and Fin. Branna is a talented witch and one of Sorcha’s descendants, and Finn has his own connection to the Dark Witch, too. They were once a couple until something went horribly wrong, but the passion between them is still there.
The setting was gorgeous, the magic was intriguing, and even though the romance fizzled between Iona and Boyle, I plan to read the rest of the trilogy. Branna and Fin!(less)
THE ROSIE PROJECT was a cute and quirky story about an unconventional romance between a brilliant, socially awkward genetics professor and the woman w...moreTHE ROSIE PROJECT was a cute and quirky story about an unconventional romance between a brilliant, socially awkward genetics professor and the woman who is totally wrong for him – at least on paper. I listened to the audiobook which was narrated by Dan O’Grady. He captured Professor Don Tillman’s persona perfectly.
Don Tillman was a unique main character I couldn’t help loving. Highly intelligent yet socially inept, Don based his way of life on rigid routines and scientific facts. After years of unsuccessful romantic pursuits, Don is convinced he’s either unlovable because of his quirks, or incapable of loving someone else because his brain is wired differently. (That made me sad!)
In a final attempt to find a partner, Don creates “The Wife Project,” a scientifically-based method of attracting the most suitable “candidates.” Enter Rosie. On paper, she’s completely wrong for Don as a possible mate, but he agrees to help her with her own project – finding her biological father. His relationship with Rosie is an eye-opening experience for Don, and he learns a lot about himself, friendship, and love.
I enjoyed THE ROSIE PROJECT. It was something different than what I usually read, and I caught myself giggling many times. Don was a memorable character, and I was rooting for him throughout the book.