Thursday, June 4, 2015

Romance Review - The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan

Hey y’all, 

Today I’m reviewing The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan. 



Summary from Goodreads: "I might be Cinderella today, but I dread who they'll think I am tomorrow. I guess it depends on what I do next." 

American Rebecca Porter was never one for fairy tales. Her twin sister, Lacey, has always been the romantic who fantasized about glamour and royalty, fame and fortune. Yet it's Bex who seeks adventure at Oxford and finds herself living down the hall from Prince Nicholas, Great Britain's future king. And when Bex can't resist falling for Nick, the person behind the prince, it propels her into a world she did not expect to inhabit, under a spotlight she is not prepared to face.

Dating Nick immerses Bex in ritzy society, dazzling ski trips, and dinners at Kensington Palace with him and his charming, troublesome brother, Freddie. But the relationship also comes with unimaginable baggage: hysterical tabloids, Nick's sparkling and far more suitable ex-girlfriends, and a royal family whose private life is much thornier and more tragic than anyone on the outside knows. The pressures are almost too much to bear, as Bex struggles to reconcile the man she loves with the monarch he's fated to become.

Which is how she gets into trouble.

Now, on the eve of the wedding of the century, Bex is faced with whether everything she's sacrificed for love-her career, her home, her family, maybe even herself-will have been for nothing.

More after the jump!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

YA Review - The Book of Ivy by Amy Engel

Hey y’all, 

Today I’m reviewing the first in a great new series, The Book of Ivy by Amy Engel. 



Summary from Goodreads: After a brutal nuclear war, the United States was left decimated. A small group of survivors eventually banded together, but only after more conflict over which family would govern the new nation. The Westfalls lost. Fifty years later, peace and control are maintained by marrying the daughters of the losing side to the sons of the winning group in a yearly ritual. 

This year, it is my turn. 

My name is Ivy Westfall, and my mission is simple: to kill the president’s son—my soon-to-be husband—and restore the Westfall family to power. 

But Bishop Lattimer is either a very skilled actor or he’s not the cruel, heartless boy my family warned me to expect. He might even be the one person in this world who truly understands me. But there is no escape from my fate. I am the only one who can restore the Westfall legacy.

Because Bishop must die. And I must be the one to kill him…

More after the jump!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Nonfiction Review - Haunted Plantations of the South by Richard Southall

Hey y’all, 

Today I’m reviewing a non-fiction history book, Haunted Plantations of the South by Richard Southall. 



Summary from Netgalley: When you hears the word "plantations," most people think of grand homes with pillars and sweeping staircases. These houses of grandeur were located all through the South in the days before the Civil War, and there are some that still resonate with the loveliness they had in their heyday. These majestic homes have a long history, and some of those who lived in these homes remain today. The ghosts of soldiers, slaves, and the elite family who lived in the plantation homes still wander the halls. 
Richard Southall explores gorgeous plantation homes and those that are abandoned and in decay to present a colorful history of the ghosts that linger there.
More after the jump!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Romance Review - Unforgiven: Athos by Michele Hauf

Hey y’all, 

Today I’m reviewing Unforgiven: Athos by Michele Hauf. #PrettyPrettyCovers #Rawr



Summary from Goodreads: Musketeer Arnaud de Sill├Ęgue d’Athos is ready to bid adieu to the King's Guard and to lay down his sword. Yet he's been charged with one final mission—to apprehend a dangerous enemy of the king, the Belle Dame Sans Merci. Despite his desire to apprehend a woman who causes such destruction, Athos refuses... until he sees a sketch of her. It's the same villainess with whom he had been locked in a passionate, sensual moment. 

Emmanuelle Vazet never gives up control, even if briefly, in the arms of a blue­eyed stranger, she felt the need to give in and let desire take over. But now circumstances have placed her at the scene of a murder. Her reputation—and the ridiculous name—has preceded her, even if she isinnocent. Now her nameless lover is the enemy. A royalist. A musketeer who could be her undoing... unless she becomes his undoing first.

More after the jump!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

YA Review - Flavia de Luce Novels One & Seven by Alan Bradley

Hey y’all, 

Today I’m reviewing The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie (Flavia de Luce #1)  and As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust (Flavia de Luce #7) by Alan Bradley. 



Summary from Goodreads: (First) It is the summer of 1950–and at the once-grand mansion of Buckshaw, young Flavia de Luce, an aspiring chemist with a passion for poison, is intrigued by a series of inexplicable events: A dead bird is found on the doorstep, a postage stamp bizarrely pinned to its beak. Then, hours later, Flavia finds a man lying in the cucumber patch and watches him as he takes his dying breath.

For Flavia, who is both appalled and delighted, life begins in earnest when murder comes to Buckshaw. “I wish I could say I was afraid, but I wasn’t. Quite the contrary. This was by far the most interesting thing that had ever happened to me in my entire life.”

(Seventh) Hard on the heels of the return of her mother’s body from the frozen reaches of the Himalayas, Flavia, for her indiscretions, is banished from her home at Buckshaw and shipped across the ocean to Miss Bodycote’s Female Academy in Toronto, her mother’s alma mater, there to be inducted into a mysterious organization known as the Nide.

No sooner does she arrive, however, than a body comes crashing down out of the chimney and into her room, setting off a series of investigations into mysterious disappearances of girls from the school.

More after the jump! 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Historical Nonfiction Review - Manchu Princess, Japanese Spy by Phyllis Birnbaum

Hey y’all, 

Today I’m reviewing Manchu Princess, Japanese Spy: The Story of Kawashima Yoshiko, the Cross-Dressing Spy Who Commanded Her Own Army by Phyllis Birnbaum. 


Summary from Goodreads: Aisin Gioro Xianyu (1907--1948) was the fourteenth daughter of a Manchu prince and a legendary figure in China's bloody struggle with Japan. After the fall of the Manchu dynasty in 1912, Xianyu's father gave his daughter to a Japanese friend who was sympathetic to his efforts to reclaim power. This man raised Xianyu, now known as Kawashima Yoshiko, to restore the Manchus to their former glory. Her fearsome dedication to this cause ultimately got her killed.

Yoshiko had a fiery personality and loved the limelight. She shocked Japanese society by dressing in men's clothes and rose to prominence as Commander Jin, touted in Japan's media as a new Joan of Arc. Boasting a short, handsome haircut and a genuine military uniform, Commander Jin was credited with various daring exploits, among them riding horseback as leader of her own army during the Japanese occupation of China. 

While trying to promote the Manchus, Yoshiko supported the puppet Manchu state established by the Japanese in 1932, which became one of the reasons she was executed for treason after Japan's 1945 defeat. The truth of Yoshiko's life is still a source of contention between China and Japan -- some believe she was exploited by powerful men, others claim she relished her role as political provocateur. China holds her responsible for unspeakable crimes, while Japan has forgiven her transgressions. This biography presents the most accurate and colorful portrait to date of the controversial princess spy, recognizing her truly novel role in conflicts that transformed East Asia.

More after the jump!