One of my many New Year reading resolutions is to try to vary my reading and try some new genres so I was pleased when this book came my way. Royal BlOne of my many New Year reading resolutions is to try to vary my reading and try some new genres so I was pleased when this book came my way. Royal Blood is the fourth book in the Royal Spyness Mystery Series and combines two of my favourite genres (historical fiction and romance) with something new for me; crime and mystery and I found it a very enjoyable read.
The story is told in the first person from the point of view of Lady Georgiana, cousin to the King of Engand and 34th in line to the throne. I liked Georgiana immediately; she's lighthearted and fun and I loved her take on both her situation and the people around her. Georgiana is twenty-two; her family are desperate for her to marry and make a good match and she's a lovely mix of slightly scatty, confidence and occasional bursts of insight.
I loved the 1930's setting and I was surprised how little of the story actually focussed on the murder which doesn't actually happen until around half way through the book. Royal Blood is as much about Georgiana and her life as it is about her attendance at a royal wedding in Transylvania. The story starts in depression-era London and moves on to a remote and spooky castle in Romania. Lady Georgiana finds herself faced with a host of strange goings on at the spooky castle and the vampire references added a fun twist to the story.
As this is the fourth book in the series I was a little concerned that I wouldn't be able to pick up the story but it reads perfectly well as a standalone novel. I would like to go back and read the rest of the series now though as I'd love to get to know Georgiana, her friends and family better, particularly Georgiana's love interest, the mysterious Darcy O'Mara. I also love the gorgeous illustrated covers for this series and think the whole collection would look lovely on my bookshelf!
I'm not normally one for murder mysteries but there was plenty in this novel to hold my attention and the book is much more than I would have imagined a murder mystey to be! At just over 300 pages, Royal Blood is a quick read and from what I've seen, this is the ideal mystery series for chick lit fans as Lady Georgiana makes a fun and amusing heroine as she tries to find the right man and escape her overbearing relatives. I liked the glam 1930's setting and the humour and I will definitely read more of the series....more
My new year has started with cover love; Amanda Hocking’s Trylle Trilogy has been beautifully packaged with two sets of covers to choose from (Adult aMy new year has started with cover love; Amanda Hocking’s Trylle Trilogy has been beautifully packaged with two sets of covers to choose from (Adult and Young Adult versions), all of which are gorgeous. Many of you will have already heard of Amanda Hocking but for those who haven’t; she self-published her first book less than a year ago and has now sold over a million ebooks so I was very intrigued to see what all the fuss is about!
Switched is the story of seventeen year old Wendy who lives with her Aunt Maggie and brother Matt after her mother tried to kill her when she was six. Not surprisingly, after a traumatic childhood, Wendy has ‘issues’ and finds it hard to fit in. As a consequence, her family has moved around a lot and as we meet her, she is once again the new girl in school. The story is told from Wendy’s point of view and I enjoyed that she knows she’s different but as the novel starts, doesn’t really understand why although she’s beginning to notice that she has some special abilities. Wendy finds herself drawn to mysterious new boy Finn and it soon becomes clear that he holds the key to finding out who she really is. Switched is predominantly the story of Wendy’s discovery that she is a Trylle and what this means for her future. I enjoyed following Wendy on her voyage of discovery and despite her supposed ‘issues’, I found her a likeable character, if a little immature for her almost eighteen years.
If you’d told me I’d be so gripped by a book about Trolls I probably wouldn’t have believed you but I couldn’t put this book down. I can certainly see why it has been a huge hit. The story gives an original spin to the Troll folklore and feels fresh and magical at the same time. As a mum I wondered if I could enjoy a story about babies being switched at birth and if I’m completely honest, that part of the story didn’t sit very well with me at the beginning but as the book progressed the ‘switch’ element was explored from a number of angles with Wendy often voicing my thoughts about the changeling practice and and I found myself more intrigued as to how it would all play out than anything else.
The romance element to the story is good with several possible love interests popping up and dramatic events when Wendy realises who she really wants to be with! Hocking has created a detailed fantasy world in the Forening, with its own royalty and strict hierarchies. She has also created the requisite darker Trylle, The Vittra who are determined to use Wendy to thier own ends. Switched is fast paced and at just under 300 pages, the story has a huge amount packed into it meaning that I didn’t want to put it down. Amanda and the Trylle have a new fan in me and I can’t wait to add Torn and Ascend to my shelves in March and April!...more
The Duke is Mine is the third book in Eloisa James’s Happy Ever After Series; a set of Regency romances based on popular fairytales. I read and enjoyeThe Duke is Mine is the third book in Eloisa James’s Happy Ever After Series; a set of Regency romances based on popular fairytales. I read and enjoyed the first book in the series, A Kiss at Midnight last year and The Duke is Mine continues the series in style.
The fairy tale in question this time is The Princess and the Pea which was a childhood favourite of mine so I was intrigued to see how the story would be presented as a 400 page Regency romance novel. In this case, the fairytale is followed more in principal than detail; the story focuses on twin sisters Olivia and Georgiana who have been raised by their parents to be duchesses one day. Both sisters are intelligent and beautiful but that is where the similarity ends. Georgiana has taken her training to heart, moulding herself in to the perfect Duchess in waiting. Olivia on the other hand has learned her lessons as well as Georgiana but takes great pleasure in disregarding them completely to the point of impropriety!
The pair finds themselves invited to the estate of the Duke of Sconce where his mother hopes to choose a suitable wife for him. Olivia, who is already betrothed is sent along as companion for Georgiana but as their carriage is overturned and she meets the Duke soaked from head to foot (just like the princess in the fairytale), it soon becomes clear that the relationships in the novel are not going to be clear cut.
As with A Kiss Midnight there is a lot of humor in the novel and I love Eloisa James’s fun lighthearted writing style. In Olivia she has excelled herself at creating a feisty and funny leading lady, not afraid to throw caution to the wind. The supporting cast also provide for much amusement although this novel does also have several sad and serious undertones, for example, Olivia is betrothed to Rupert Blakemore, the future Duke of Canterwick who suffered brain damage at a young age. Her jests on his behalf actually made for uncomfortable reading at times but thankfully Olivia does grow up during the book and I was pleased to see that her thoughts, comments and actions changed as the story progressed.
As a character, Olivia tied me in knots as her actions and comments aren’t always agreeable but on the other hand she is such a fun and loving character that I couldn’t help like her. As I finished reading, I did find myself wishing that there was more on the fate of her sister Georgiana as the epilogue at the end of the book gives just a couple of tantalising details and I’m one of those readers who likes to know what happens next to everyone! Overall, I found this an enjoyable escapist read with plenty of witty dialogue, hot romance and a lively story....more
Finding Mr Flood is Ciara Geraghty’s third novel, but the first book of hers that I’ve read.I love discovering new authors and Ciara is now high on myFinding Mr Flood is Ciara Geraghty’s third novel, but the first book of hers that I’ve read.I love discovering new authors and Ciara is now high on my list of ‘finds’. Ciara’s writing style in Finding Mr Flood is individual and different and gives the story, told in the third person, a quirky air which I really enjoyed.
This is a large book at over 500 pages and there is a huge amount of detail and complexity in the characters and plot. At times I felt that the amount of detail made for slow (but still enjoyable) reading but there are also parts of the book that are fast paced and had me racing through the pages, particularly in the final part of the story.
As the novel begins we are introduced to a number of key characters in quick succession; the Flood family, consisting of Dara, her sister Angel and their Mother who is referred to for the majority of the novel as ‘Mrs Flood’, their neighbor Mrs Pettigrew, Dara’s lover Ian, her colleagues (Tintin and Anya) at the dog pound where she works and in a seemingly unrelated plot-line, Stanley Flinter, his five brothers and family. Stanley is the youngest of six brothers and having a rough time of things, particularly in his love life and career.
I was impressed by the depth that both key characters and minor ones display; Geraghty has really got inside the heads of all of her subjects and the story is peppered with intimate facts and feelings which really made me connect with Dara and Stanley and although she only has a small role, I loved Mrs Pettigrew.
The ‘Mr Flood’ of the book title vanished just before Dara was born and the majority of the book charts Dara’s quest to find him in the hope of securing a kidney match for Angel. But as much as the book focuses on Dara’s search for her father, the real story is that of Dara’s development as she faces her fears and takes control of her life. I felt for Dara straight away; she has a difficult relationship with her mother, blames herself for her father leaving and the sister she relies upon for security and warmth has an uncertain future. There are a number of twists and turns to the plot which make for an engaging story and I thought the romantic element was excellent and very well developed.
Overall this is a bittersweet and emotionally charged novel which tackles some heartbreaking topics. But despite the sad themes running through the book there is also a lot of humor, much of it very subtly observed and Ciara Gearghty’s writing is warm and sensitive. I really enjoyed this involving read and if you are looking for a novel with emotional depth, an element of mystery, great storytelling and a lovely romance then this could be the book for you!...more