July 20, 2018

The Art of Inheriting Secrets. Barbara O'Neal

Published: Lake Union Publishing
Date: 17th July 2018
Format: e-ARC
Pages: 364
Genre: General Fiction
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Rating:
4 stars
Add to Goodreads

When Olivia Shaw’s mother dies, the sophisticated food editor is astonished to learn she’s inherited a centuries-old English estate—and a title to go with it. Raw with grief and reeling from the knowledge that her reserved mother hid something so momentous, Olivia leaves San Francisco and crosses the pond to unravel the mystery of a lifetime.

One glance at the breathtaking Rosemere Priory and Olivia understands why the manor, magnificent even in disrepair, was the subject of her mother’s exquisite paintings. What she doesn’t understand is why her mother never mentioned it to her. As Olivia begins digging into her mother’s past, she discovers that the peeling wallpaper, debris-laden halls, and ceiling-high Elizabethan windows covered in lush green vines hide unimaginable secrets.

Although personal problems and her life back home beckon, Olivia finds herself falling for the charming English village and its residents. But before she can decide what Rosemere’s and her own future hold, Olivia must first untangle the secrets of her past.

My thoughts banner
The Art of Inheriting Secrets by Barbara O'Neal - a read I enjoyed.  Why?
  • Set in the English countryside
  • A falling down estate - especially the old English house - more than a small house - a stately house.
  • A woman who has just lost her mother and has come to England because she has found papers amongst her mother's things.  She is about to find out she is now a Countess and the owner of the large estate.
  • A cold case - a young missing girl and a missing man, her mother's brother.
  • Unscrupulous people who are out to get their hands on the estate and any money there.
  • Food - Olivia is a food editor and she appreciates the best tastes going.  To her delight she comes across and English /Indian family who are well versed in delightful tastes
  • Samir - a young man who is working as a thatcher but is so much more.
  • An old Earl who turns out to be a darling
  • A treasure hunt of sorts that Olivia's mother has set up for her to find what she needs.
  • Warm friendships that start to form
  • The possibility of taking on Rosemere - the estate - and bringing it back to its former glory
All these things kept me reading, at times I found a little too much going on and some things then a little undeveloped for my taste, but that said, it was a great read.

Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

photo

Connect with Barbara

Website | Blog | Facebook | 

Twitter | Instagram

And if you'd like to see more check out these posts and reviews at TLC Book Tours.


July 18, 2018

The Summer Wives Beatriz Williams

Published: William Morrow
Date:  July 10th 2018
Format: e-ARC
Pages: 384
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss
Rating:
4.5 stars
Add to Goodreads
In the summer of 1951, Miranda Schuyler arrives on elite, secretive Winthrop Island in Long Island Sound as a naive eighteen year old, still reeling from the loss of her father in the Second World War. Although a graduate of the exclusive Foxcroft Academy in Virginia, Miranda has always lived on the margins of high society.

When her beautiful mother marries Hugh Fisher, whose summer house on Winthrop overlooks the famous lighthouse, Miranda is catapulted into a heady new world of pedigrees and cocktails, status and swimming pools. Isobel Fisher, Miranda’s new stepsister—all long legs and world-weary bravado, engaged to a wealthy Island scion—is eager to draw Miranda into the arcane customs of Winthrop society.


My thoughts banner

Summer Wives by Beatriz Williams was a read that I sank into and have to say really liked. It ranges over three time periods - 1930, 1951 and 1969.  It is told mostly from the viewpoint of Miranda, however their is also the story of Bianca.  We go from one time period to another - backwards and forwards.

That could be somewhat disconcerting, however if it is carefully read and characters and events tracked until the jigsaw comes together then it returns a rewarding read. As I kept notes I put what was happening together so there is no surprise much at the end, but the satisfaction of seeing how it all turns out.

It is set on an island where there are the local people - fishermen and then the summer people. The rich people, who eat, drink and make merry and don't intermingle much or at all with the local people. Miranda comes to this island as a teen when her mother remarries on of the summer men. She finds she has a step sister Isabel. I did think it a little odd that she changed in a way I wouldn't expect. 

And her step father - what of him, well he has a lot to do with the characters in this story and just to say I didn't like him.  So many lives intertwine on the island, and not least of all Joseph the young man we first meet saving a fisherman.

To discuss what happens would be to take away from the reader the opportunity to follow the twists and turns, the mystery, the way characters relate to each other.

The writing is beautiful, the issues sometimes sad, yet here is a tale of redemption and hope as well. 



July 16, 2018

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

badge

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It's a great post to organise yourself. It's an opportunity to visit and comment, and er... add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog   and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date. And here we are!

Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit – join them!
a divide
And so we march on into the middle of July. I had a quiet week you know. The usual - reading, sewing, visiting, ignoring the housework, shopping. All routine and mostly enjoyable.  On Saturday I sat outside in the sunshine - now that's unusual because it is the middle of winter - but it was so still, sunny and warm.

Last Wednesday I went out to a craft night at a friend's house. She lives a bit more out in the country/beach area so some night driving along dark lanes. I dislike night driving and more so in places I am not too sure of with twisty lanes. Anyway I live to tell another tale, read another book!

Today I am off to visit my newest little great nephew. He was meant to be born this month but was born two months early. He has done really well and I very excited to meet him today at his Grandma's house where he is visiting with his mother today.

This is another great niece - a two year old, reading to her dolls with her Nana's glasses (my sister) on. Upside down mind you. Nana needs her glasses when she reads to Elise! Gotta love such an early reader!


This week I finished reading The Choice by Edith Eger. I can only wonder why I hadn't heard of her before, but I have now and I am so inspired and blown away by her story.                   

What I read last week:

From the library... enjoyed it once I got into it, it turned in a strange little way that didn't totally grab me but happy I read it... and it then turned out I could tick of a category in a challenge I am doing. Won't say what because I think better to come across it not expecting it.
book cover

From my Listening  Liked it but didn't love it. Was good starting off but then it dragged and got a bit repetitive, liked her most recent book far better.
book cover

From the review pile  This Australian author always delights me with her unique voice and different take on things. 
book cover

From the non fiction pile and going on my list of top reads for 2018. What an outstanding book - a memoir of an amazing person. 



Stars everywhere

What I am reading at present:

From the library....And recommended by both Debbie from The Reading Frenzy and Mary from Book Fan.
book cover.

For my listening ... haven't started it yet but will, I listened to the first one and I have seen so many good reviews from some of you for this one I just had to keep going with the trilogy into book 2.

book cover

Up next:

From the review pile...
book cover

Last Weeks Posts
Wicked and the Wallflower   Sarah MacLean

a divide

July 11, 2018

Wicked and the Wallflower. Sarah MacLean

Published:  Avon
Date:  June 19th 2018
Format: e-ARC
Pages:  384
Genre: Historical Romance
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss
Rating:
4.5 stars
Add to Goodreads
When Wicked Comes Calling… When a mysterious stranger finds his way into her bedchamber and offers his help in landing a duke, Lady Felicity Faircloth agrees—on one condition. She’s seen enough of the world to believe in passion, and won’t accept a marriage without it. The Wallflower Makes a Dangerous Bargain... Bastard son of a duke and king of London’s dark streets, Devil has spent a lifetime wielding power and seizing opportunity, and the spinster wallflower is everything he needs to exact a revenge years in the making. All he must do is turn the plain little mouse into an irresistible temptress, set his trap, and destroy his enemy.

For the Promise of Passion... But there’s nothing plain about Felicity Faircloth, who quickly decides she’d rather have Devil than another. Soon, Devil’s carefully laid plans are in chaos and he must choose between everything he’s ever wanted…and the only thing he’s ever desired.


My thoughts banner
Wicked and the Wallflower was a wonderful read.  Although I have heard many a reader proclaim the joy of reading Sarah MacLean's books, this was my first actual dip into one of her books. And I just thoroughly enjoyed it.

The prologue had a fairytale feel to it, it engaged me immediately. The fairytale aspect didn't fade and at times was referred to by the characters. 

The female characters are like no others that I have met in historical romances before. They are not going to be swept under the carpet by their men folk.  No siree. They can stand strong for themselves. Take Felicity for example, wow she is a very dapper hand at being a lock pick and it sure does come in handy.  And a very powerful little skill to have!

Felicity was a heroine easy to like and enjoy. She has been involved in a little scandal previously to the opening of the story, nothing really serious. But you know the ton! They are pretty snooty and well full of gossip and quite considerable meanness, which sometimes borders on the edges of cruelty.  And what's worse for Felicity is that her brother and father have lost all their money and so they see their only salvation is that she marries a rich Duke, if only one were around.

Along comes the hero, with plans to set Felicity up with a Duke, but for hidden, underhand reasons. He is into revenge big time, although with some good reason, his father was a d***. Devil has plans, which was a lot of fun seeing them come undone as he parried with Felicity.

Characters I loved, witty dialogue, an interesting plot - what more could a reader want in an historical romance.   I so want to read the next book in the saga of the Barenuckle Bastards of Covent Garden. And I do believe the next one is  being written right now! If you enjoy historical romance don't miss this one.




July 9, 2018

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

badge

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It's a great post to organise yourself. It's an opportunity to visit and comment, and er... add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog   and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date. And here we are!

Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit – join them!
a divide
Hope you are all well and that some of you are not being too scorched by the power of the sun. I have a thunderstorm and heavy rain going on overhead as I write.

This week I'd like to introduce you to my commenting partner for July. She has a great blog and for all you food lovers I think it would just go along perfectly for you as its all about reading and cooking. I want to try her recent sharing of a scallop one.  Just have to find some scallops!  So take a click over to Megan  The Hungry Bookworm  and give her a wave  comment. And get... a recipe!


I have seven blocks done for my bookcase quilt. Here is a peek at one block. Isn't that kitten so darn cute. No I didn't design him, I got him in a pattern over at Craftsy!

quilt block of cat and books
                                                         

What I read last week:

Both great reads.

book cover book cover

I also finished listening to...
book cover

What I am reading at present:

Library book.
book cover

I am also reading this amazing memoir, I just have to keep reading it.

book cover

I am about to start listening to...
book cover

Up next:

Review book.
book cover

Last Weeks Posts
Audiobook Half Year Update
The Bookshop of Yesterdays  Amy Meyerson
Rainy Day Friends   Jill Shalvis
a divide

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...