Book Review -Murder at the Brightwell

SUMMARY

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”

Book Review -At the Edge of Summer

SUMMARY

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”

Book Review -To The Farthest Shores

SUMMARY

Six years after the only man she ever loved left and broke her heart, Jenny Bennett is simply existing in her job as a civilian nurse for the Army. But when she happens to run into Ryan Gallagher and his daughter on base, it stirs up mixed emotions in her.

Ryan never intended to leave Jenny behind when he went to Japan, but his duty and commitment to his country forced him to make a  heart rending decision. He never forgot Jenny, but expected her to move on. When he finally meets Jenny again, he yearns for her forgiveness if not her acceptance.

When Ryan requires Jenny’s help in preparing his replacement they are forced to work and live together in a remote area. Ryan’s position with the government requires absolute secrecy which is a problem for a woman who longs for security and stability. But if Ryan succeeds in his plan, he will be able to remain in America and hopefully win Jenny back. Continue reading “Book Review -To The Farthest Shores”

Book Review -Phantom of the Opera

Having recently written reviews for both Andrew Lloyd Webber’s film version of The Phantom of the Opera as well as a sequel novel, I decided it was high time I actually read Gaston Leroux’s original novel.  As I’ve written in an earlier post, I don’t usually enjoy classic literature. I generally find it long-winded and with dour hidden message about the evils of life.  But when writing about film adaptations and book sequels, reading the source material is a must.

SUMMARY

For those unfamiliar with the story it is somewhat of a Beauty and the Beast type tale. The orphaned Christine Daae works as a dancer at the Paris Opera House, but has secretly been taking lessons from a figure she knows as the Angel of Music.  At the same time the opera’s new managers are under the impression that the stories of the Opera’s ghost are just an elaborate practical joke perpetrated by the former owners. Rumors and tragic events which have occurred are all linked to this mysterious ghost.

Meanwhile, a young Raoul, Vicomte de Chagny returns to Paris and notices his old playmate Christine. Initially Christine ignores him and then sends him mixed signals which drives the immature but lovelorn Raoul to distraction. He is never quite assured of Christine’s affection, but eventually they play at an engagement. Christine finally confesses her love, knowing it is for naught since she is bound to her music tutor.

Everything comes to a head when Christine disappears from the stage in the middle of a performance. Continue reading “Book Review -Phantom of the Opera”

Book Review – For Love of the Phantom

For Love of the Phantom is a sequel to Gaston Leroux’s The Phantom of the Opera. For those unfamiliar with the story, the original novel  is set in a Paris Opera house in the early years of the 1900’s. It features an innocent young orphan woman named Christine. She is secretly tutored in music by a man she only knows as the Angel of Music. Eventually, it is revealed that this same Angel is also the man feared by others as the Phantom of the Opera. Christine becomes embroiled in a love triangle with the Phantom and her childhood friend Raoul, the Comte de Chagny. Although, the Phantom initially wishes to keep Christine with him, using Raoul’s life as a bargaining chip, Christine’s compassion convinces him to let them both go.

Book Summary

For Love of the Phantom picks up right where the original Phantom leaves off. Raoul and Christine escape the Opera House, marry and eventually settle in London. Erik, the Phantom manages to fake his own death to throw his old nemesis, the Persian, off his trail. Erik then follows Christine to London, determining to remain unseen but near the woman he loves.

But all is not well. Christine discovers that Raoul’s love for her is more as a beautiful possession and not simply for herself. He also forbids her to sing, fearing that it will remind her of her divided loyalties to the Phantom, whom he despises. Christine’s fairy tale idea of love is slowly dismantled as Raoul disregards her wishes until she finally discovers his infidelity. Christine remains secluded in her home, her only friend, an elderly gardener known as Peck.

Additionally, there is also a killer at large, whom the Persian believes could be Erik. But Erik is determined to protect Christine from the man brutally murdering London’s women, while still maintaining his disguise as Peck. As the story of Christine, Erik and Raoul continues, what will the outcome be?

To read my review of this book, please follow me over to The Silver Petticoat Review.

 

 

Book Review -Bread of Angels

SUMMARY

In Bread of Angels  Lydia’s life has been ruled by fear, ever since a traumatic childhood event. Her father does his best to provide a sense of security while also teaching his daughter the family secrets behind the coveted color purple. Lydia is content living in her ancestral home and learning the traditions of the royal colored dye.

But when Lydia and her father put their trust in the wrong people, they lose everything. Lydia’s father encourages her to start over in a new place, free from the taint and betrayal which follow them at home. An unlikely friendship with the Jewish Rebecca ensures that Lydia has a friend and ally in her new home of Phillipi.

Lydia struggles to honor her father and family heritage. She strives to carry on the family business in a time when women were rarely allowed to live and work on their own. Despite her successes, fear continues to stalk her every step until she hears the message of the apostle Paul. Finally, Lydia recognizes the source of peace and freedom. But when she is challenged once again by old foes and older secrets, will fear finally conquer her or will Lydia have the final victory? Continue reading “Book Review -Bread of Angels”

Top Ten Tuesday-Books on My Fall TBR List

Hosted by: The Broke and the Bookish

Today’s Topic: Top Ten Books On My Fall TBR List

Well, I’m ashamed to say my current TBR list for both physical and digital books now numbers in the hundreds (hanging my head in shame). But never let it be said that I am a timid soul. No! I shall not be intimidated into limiting my TBR list. How can I be when there are so many great titles recently released and soon to release? These are the books I desperately hope to read this fall. Click on titles for links to each book’s Amazon page.

Continue reading “Top Ten Tuesday-Books on My Fall TBR List”

Book Review -Death by the Book

SUMMARY

Drew Farthering is fresh off the success of solving the murder of his mother and step-father. During which time he met Madeline the woman of his dreams. Now that the tragedy is behind them, he is attempting to convince his American girlfriend to settle down in England and marry him.  Though she loves Drew, she asks for more time to make such an important decision.

Unfortunately circumstances intervene in the arrival of Madeline’s prickly Aunt Ruth. She is determined to drag her niece back to Chicago, away from the man she views as an insincere playboy. And then of course, there is the added interruption of the murder of Drew’s family attorney.

Thanks to Drew’s keen eye and nimble mind, the local police detective invites Drew’s help in solving this latest crime. Drew is unprepared for how involved he will actually become. More murder victims keep appearing with seemingly no apparent connection to each other other than hatpins stuck through notes left on the victim’s chests. Even more disturbing is that these crimes continue to move closer and closer in proximity to  Drew’s family home and the village of Farthering St. John. Will this amateur sleuth solve this mystery before the murderer strikes again? Or was his first success just luck? Even more importantly, will Drew be able to win over Madeline’s Aunt Ruth before she talks her niece into leaving England and Drew for good?

Continue reading “Book Review -Death by the Book”

Top Ten Tuesday -Back to School with History

Well, it’s that time of year when all the children and educators head back to school. This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is a back to school freebie.

I will confess, I’m a bit of a nerd. I always enjoyed learning in the classroom. My favorite subject was history and I was often chided for reading ahead in my textbook. Many of my friends complained that history was dull, full of names and dates which meant very little to them. To counter that opinion I am sharing my favorite novels set during various times with stories that make make history come alive. For more information on the titles, clicking on each link will give you a description of the story. Continue reading “Top Ten Tuesday -Back to School with History”

Book Review -The Mark of the King

SUMMARY

The year is 1720. In Mark of the King French midwife Julianne finds herself unjustly convicted of murder. Branded and married off to a fellow convict, she is shipped off to the primitive French outpost of New Orleans, where a delicate balance exists between the natives and the settlers.

One ray of hope in her exile is Julianne’s hope of finding her brother, a soldier who had been sent with the army to New Orleans. Another silver lining is the French military officer Marc-Paul who takes a special interest in making sure she is protected in a colony where she is marked as a criminal.

But conditions in New Orleans are difficult at best. Tensions run high with the threat of starvation and war ever present.  Will Julianne find the answers she seek? Will she ever overcome the king’s brand marking her as a criminal?

Continue reading “Book Review -The Mark of the King”