The year is 1792 and the French Revolution is in full swing. In Paris, the guillotine claims scores of aristocratic victims every day. However, one brave man known only as the Scarlet Pimpernel somehow continues to rescue a small percentage of the victims right out from under the watchful eyes of the bloodthirsty French citizens. Other than his mysterious moniker, nothing much is known of him, other than that he is an Englishman of means.
Meanwhile, in England. Sir Percy Blakeney, has been married to the celebrated French beauty Marguerite St. Just for about a year. In that time, they have become the most celebrated couple in England. They are even personal friends of the Prince of Wales. Marguerite is not only renowned for her beauty but also her wit. Many wonder how and why she married Sir Percy as he is considered one of the dullest men in England, despite his immense wealth and fancy clothes.
The fates of the Blakeneys abruptly changes when incriminating evidence is found on Marguerite’s beloved brother Armand. The French spy Chauvelin uses it to blackmail the lady into finding out the identity of the Scarlet Pimpernel. Feeling cornered and unable to confide in her dim witted husband, Marguerite agrees. But what she eventually discovers is a shocking and well-kept secret which not only endangers the life of the English hero but her husband as well. Continue reading “Book Review -The Scarlet Pimpernel”
World War II is over. Juliet’s war time series has been turned into a book with great success. Her editor and close friend Sydney is pushing her for new content to publish. But Juliet is lacking inspiration. Her imagination is as worn and grey as her flat in London.
Unexpectedly, she receives a letter from Dawsey, a stranger from the Isle of Guernsey. He is in possession of one of her old books by a favorite author. Her margin notes in the book inspired him to write her with questions. In their correspondence he mentions the island’s book club oddly named The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Before she knows it, Juliet is corresponding with several other members of the society. Their letters spark an idea for a new book using the group’s story of their resistance of the German occupation during the war.
Soon letters are not enough and Juliet heads to the island to continue her research. Only, she quickly finds her life entwining with those of her lettered friends. Not to mention, Juliet finds herself intrigued by Elizabeth central figure they all speak of with love. Continue reading “Book Review -The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society”
Based on the diaries of a real life person, Push Not the River tells the story of Lady Anna Maria Berezowska. Anna’s tale is one of coming of age in a tumultuous time in Polish history.
When the young Anna is orphaned, she is sent to live with her Aunt Stella, Uncle Leo and cousin Zofia until she is old enough to claim her inheritance. While there, she meets their neighbor Lord Jan Stelnicki and they quickly fall in love. But Zofia has already set her sights on Jan. Her jealous interference leads to devastating consequences for both Anna and her Aunt Stella.
The events of Anna’s life occur against the larger events happening in Poland. Concerned about the events of the concurrent French Revolution inspiring the peasants to do the same to the Polish aristocracy, a new constitution is passed. This gives the peasants more rights and benefits. But some of the greedy aristocracy are not happy with the concessions, fearing an eventual loss of their own power and wealth. At the same time, Poland is being threatened by it’s three powerful military neighbors, Austria, Russia and Prussia. These nations see Poland as ripe for the plucking and are eager to claim Polish land for themselves. Continue reading “Book Review -Push Not the River”
Following a tenuous reconciliation, Amory Ames and her husband Milo arrive in London. An old family friend invites them to dinner with the hopes that Amory can solve the mystery of some missing jewelry.
However, the night they put their plan into action at a masked ball, her friend’s nephew is found dead with pieces of the missing jewelry in his pocket. Unwittingly, Amory finds herself right in the middle of another murder investigation. But that isn’t the only surprise. When the police investigator comes to interview her, she meets a familiar face from her first murder case.
In the meantime, Amory and Milo are still finding their footing in their newly restored marriage. But past hurts and doubts arise when an incriminating photo of Milo is published in the newspaper. Amory once again finds herself questioning whether she can trust the man she loves. At the same time she is pursued by another charming, wealthy man while also trying to solve two linked crimes. Continue reading “Book Review -Death Wears a Mask”
Isabella Grayson is the daughter of a self-made newspaper magnate. Her parents are pushing her to marry in order to increase her family’s social standing. But Isabella has no interest in the old money, aristocratic young men that her parents prefer. In fact, she has little interest in marriage at all. Bella has a secret dream of publishing as a journalist in one of her father’s papers. She has a particular interest in the brand new field of aviation.
James Drake is an orphan who has risen above his tragic beginnings. With the help of his mentor, James is designing an airplane he hopes will bring him enough prestige to start his own company. While test piloting his plane, he crash lands at the Grayson’s new country estate, where he meets Bella.
Striking a deal with her parents to encourage marriage minded suitors, Bella is given permission to write a series of articles on a contest for pilots to be the first to cross the English Channel. She and James develop an appreciation for each other as Bella uses him as a source for her articles. In addition, she decides to help James track down the mystery of his birth parents. However, though their friendship is acceptable, any romantic interest between them is not. As their feelings for each other deepen, they must balance their personal relationship with their professional interests.
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Adela McGirth is thankful her life is spared after a run-in with a small party of Creek Indians in a meadow by her home. Little does she know that this will not be the only meeting with the Indian warrior who saves her life.
An Indian attack on the fort where Adela and her mother and sisters are staying for protection, leaves her fiance and hundreds others dead. But an old connection between her mother and another Indian sees them saved but taken captive.
Upon arrival in the village of Kossati, Adela once again catches the eye of her savior, Totka Lawe. He is impressed by her courage and compassion and a spark of attraction ignites between them.
Despite their differences of language, culture and religious beliefs, Totka determines to claim the female he names Copper Woman for himself. Meanwhile Adela, her mother and sister must learn to survive and understand a very different way of life.
The longer Adela lives with her captors, the more she becomes Copper Woman as she builds relationships with those whose hearts are really not that different from her own. And the more she finds her heart bound to the warrior Totka, whose desire to care for his clan in peace conflicts with the warring desire to defend their lands.
Despite a deep love between them, Totka and Copper Woman wonder whether the differences between them are greater than their ability to overcome. Continue reading “Book Series Review -Creek Country Saga; Beneath the Blackberry Moon, Books 1&2”
Since the death of her fiancé Jack Lund ten years ago in the Great War, Marjorie Corrigan has remained in her small town, working in her father’s dry-goods store, letting life pass her by. Although she is now engaged to a great catch, she doesn’t love him like she did Jack. With grave doubts about marrying the most sought after bachelor in town, Marjie heads off to the big city of Chicago for a brief stay.
But Chicago makes her feel truly alive for the first time in forever. And when she bumps into a stranger who looks exactly like Jack, she knows she can’t return home. With the help of her new friend Dot, Marjie secures an apartment and a job with Marshall Fields where the familiar looking stranger is also employed.
While trying to reconcile the fact that Peter Bachmann looks exactly like her lost love Jack, Marjie is also experiencing a personal emotional journey of discovery. As she grows and changes so too does her desire for her current fiancé and her life back home. With her wedding quickly approaching and Chicago feeling more and more like home, Marjie has some big decisions to make. Continue reading “Book Review -You’re the Cream in My Coffee”
It is the turn of the century in New York City. Lucy and her brother Nick have inherited a decades old family legal feud which requires all their resources to fight. While Lucy and Nick live frugally, their uncle lives like a king, thwarting their every attempt at justice.
Lucy’s work as a telegraph operator with the AP news service puts her in direct contact with the British Sir Colin Beckwith, who works for Reuters. Though they are attracted to each other, their companies’ rivalry precludes any type of relationship. Not to mention that Colin, who bears a noble name and heritage, is in New York seeking a wealthy wife to prop up his crumbling estate.
At the same time Lucy and Nick’s legal drama takes an unexpected turn, Colin learns something about her which could put their case in jeopardy. At the same time Lucy runs across a news item which could ruin Colin’s reputation and thereby his marriage hopes. In an agreement of quid pro quo, Lucy and Colin decide to join forces while fighting their mutual attraction. Continue reading “Book Review -A Dangerous Legacy”
When Amory Ames family friend and ex-fiancé Gil shows up at her home asking for help, Amory agrees. Gil hopes that Amory will be able to sway his sister Emmeline from making a bad marriage. He believes Amory’s own experience in marrying for love only to be disappointed might be the voice of reason Emmeline needs.
Amory accompanies Gil to the seaside resort of Brightwell. Here they meet up with Emmeline, her fiancé, and a host of other acquaintances. Amory’s straightforward task turns into much more when a member of their party turns up dead. Matters are further complicated when her estranged husband Milo makes an unexpected appearance at the Brightwell. Not only is Amory torn between two men she has loved, but she also can’t seem to keep her nose out the murder investigation. It’s a toss up which is more dangerous for Amory, looking for a killer or dealing with matters of her heart. Continue reading “Book Review -Murder at the Brightwell”
When Clare Ross’ father dies, her mother’s close friend whisks her away from Scotland to her family home in France. The lonely, grieving Clare finds a kindred spirit in Luc Crépet, the son of the household. She also finds understanding and encouragement of her artistic skills in this slightly bohemian family. Clare and Luc spend a golden summer together, before her grandfather unexpectedly comes to claim her.
Although they are separated, first by distance and then by war, Luc and Clare nurture their bond through letters. Eventually, this connection is severed and they lose track of each other. Until one day after the war, a familiar face walks into the prosthesis studio where Clare works. Though Clare has finally found her place, Luc has lost his. But Clare refuses to give up on the boy she once knew and is determined to rescue him as he once rescued her. Can a man scarred physically and emotionally by war and betrayal recapture the love and contentment of that one summer so long ago? Continue reading “Book Review -At the Edge of Summer”