Weekly Reading Round-Up

Here’s a smattering of what I’ve been reading this week:

— Michelle Cooper, A Brief History of Montmaray.

A charming YA novel set on an imaginary island in the 1930s. As promised, it does indeed remind me a great deal of I Capture the Castle. Thanks to Veronika for recommending it! I have the second in the series, The FitzOsbornes in Exile, all lined up and waiting for me.

— Olivia Kingsley, Pretty Persuasion.

The exceedingly talented woman who is responsible for all the prettiness here on the website (because, seriously, it’s not me. I may have slightly more design sense than I have computer savvy, but slightly more than nothing isn’t saying much) has written her first novel! It’s a Regency romance set around an ill-advised elopement. Gretna Green, anyone?

— Susanna Kearsley, The Rose Garden.

I had thought it couldn’t get any better than The Shadowy Horses. I was wrong. I have a new Kearsley favorite. Run, don’t walk, to buy this book! Or something like that. It really is that good. I also highly recommend Kearsley’s backlist for those who haven’t read her yet (think a little Mary Stewart, a little Barbara Michaels, a little Diana Gabaldon: stir and simmer), as well as her suspense novel under the name Emma Cole.

What have you been reading?


  1. Amanda on November 11, 2011 at 10:51 am

    I finished Tasha Alexander’s A CRIMSON WARNING this week. I loved it!!:)

  2. Emily on November 11, 2011 at 11:11 am

    I just finished A Rather Remarkable Homecoming by C.A. Belmond, which was just as good as the first three in her series – and actually, it was seeing your name on the cover of the first book which made me notice it, so I have you to thank for even knowing about the series – and am about a quarter of the way through Jane Austen Made Me Do It.

  3. Farin on November 11, 2011 at 11:18 am

    I’m hooked on the Flavia de Luce series by Alan Bradley. I got the newest one from the Early Bird Read program at Random House and have been racing to catch up ever since. I’m going to start the second book today.

  4. Joanne M. on November 11, 2011 at 11:28 am

    One of my new favorite reads, Wildflower Hill by Kimberley Freeman — beautiful and moving!

    A fun scrapbook of a college girl’s adventures in the 1920’s –The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt by Caroline Preston. Original and witty.

  5. Pam on November 11, 2011 at 11:31 am

    I also read A Crimson Warning and enjoyed it, though Emily still falls flat for me. Still also winding my way through Jane Austen Made Me Do It. 🙂 Looking forward to being done with all these grant apps so I can really read for fun again.

  6. Céline on November 11, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    It’s really too bad that Pretty Persuasion is only available on amazon… My ereader isn’t a kindle! 🙁

    This week, I read The Big Four, by Lady Agatha Christie, I read Mistletoe too (and loooooved it), I read Goodnight Tweetheart by Teresa Medeiros and I’m reading The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie!

  7. Angie on November 11, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    Penhallow by Georgette Heyer. Very 30’s melodramatic and fun. Can’t wait to get to the murder cause the old man is just begging for it. 🙂

  8. Susan on November 11, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    Emily, I love that series too. I haven’t read the new one yet, but I’m looking forward to it. I was also drawn in by Lauren’s rec on the cover of the first one.
    This week I read The Wild Rose by Jennifer Donnelly. That has been an amazing trilogy.

  9. Elizabeth (aka Miss Eliza) on November 11, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    I’ve been re-reading the Oz books, as in the original L. Frank Baum, before finishing off the Gregory Maguire books with Out of Oz that came out last week. I’m also back to Game of Thrones with A Storm of Swords.

  10. Angie on November 11, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    Miss Eliza: Storm of Swords? The last three chapters (or maybe it’s the last 2 chapters and an epilogue) pack quite the punch(es)!

  11. Sharon on November 11, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    I finished The Very Picture of You by Isabel Wolff which I enjoyed but I liked A Vintage Affair better. I just started The Rose Garden. I loved loved loved The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley. So far I don’t think I’ll be disappointed in this one!

  12. Sheila on November 11, 2011 at 8:19 pm

    Marian’s Christmas Wish, by Carla Kelly, a really classic style regency fromone of my favorites..it s a reprint, but one I hadn’t read. I am also about 2/3 throuh Jane Austen Made me Do It, and am enjoying a lot more than I thought I would, as I am not really a Janeite.

  13. Elizabeth (aka Miss Eliza) on November 11, 2011 at 11:15 pm

    Oh I know Angie! This is a re-read for me before Dance with Dragons. I remember the shock the first time I read it. It makes the first book’s ending look like childs play.

  14. Olivia Kingsley on November 12, 2011 at 1:16 am

    Thank you so much for the kind words, Lauren!

    Céline, Pretty Persuasion is actually available in most ebook formats. The purchase links on this page should help you find a format that’ll work with your ebook reader!

  15. Sheila on November 12, 2011 at 2:08 am

    I just looked up The Shadowy Horses on Amazon… WHOA!!!, hope it’s in the library, or on Kindle someday…

  16. Am7 on November 12, 2011 at 2:19 am

    I wanted to point out the Rose Garden is the sequel to the Winter Sea.

    Since the last reading round-up (but during the blackout last week) I read:
    Sea Change by Darlene Marshall
    LOVED this book! Cross-dressing pirate novel written in convincingly historical style. Also a romance.

    An Eye for an Eye by Irene Hannon Heroes of Quantico #2
    not the biggest romantic suspence fan but Irene Hannon is magic! She writes really well. Like all romantic suspense it crosses a believably line but not by much. Actually this did suspend my belivability as much; more so with the first in this series Against All Odds. Probably read them in order. Loved the development: Mark and Emily were so cute together. Themes are solid and unified. The end broke my heart a little even if the villian was a villian. She writes such complex villians.

    Finally this week I started the first novella in an anthology Baby Let It Snow by Beverly Jenkins and Elaine Overton. So far I really appreciate the older professional heroines and heros in the stuff I have been reading, (also in the Hannon.) I am really enjoying it, but my reading time is a little hard to find. I’ll talk about this more next week.

  17. JoAnn on November 12, 2011 at 9:10 am

    Just finished The Black Hawk by Joanna Bourne. Amazing!!!! If you haven’t read the previous novels in the series it’s still a “wow”, but if you have read them – double “wow”!

  18. Céline on November 12, 2011 at 11:39 am

    Thank you very much Olivia, it’s such a relief to see that I’ll be able to purchase your book! I’ll check this website!

  19. AmyN on November 12, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    ~drumroll please~ I finally finished Villette. The ending was abrupt — not sure if she was 1) tired of writing, 2) her publisher said it was too long, 3) thought she’d make a stir with an unconventional ending, or 4) no one will ever know why.

    Have decided it’s “the time” to start “Mischief” and it is delicious~

  20. Leslie on November 12, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    Just finished book two in Lisa Lutz’ Spellman series. What a romp!

    Carla Kelly wrote two of my all time favs. “Mrs Drew Plays Her Hand” and “Miss Grimsby’s Oxford Education”.

    I also read Elizabeth Hoyt’s latest. Hated it!

  21. Elizabeth (aka Miss Eliza) on November 13, 2011 at 3:41 am

    Oh Leslie, aren’t the Spellmans amazing? Can’t wait for book five next year! Loved Izzy’s Dr. Who addiction in book two.

  22. Jessica C on November 13, 2011 at 4:43 am

    I’ve read an eclectic bunch of books this week. I reread The Hunger Games trilogy (The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay). They were even better the second time around. I’m partway through reading The Golden Ass by Apuleius (very bawdy!), dipping into Villette by Charlotte Bronte at bedtime, and just today started on Inheritance (subtitle the Vault of Souls), the last book in Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance series. I can’t wait to see who the last dragon hatches for, and how Galbortorix is final defeated!

  23. Am7 on November 13, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    What made you hate the latest Elizabeth Hoyt?

  24. Leslie on November 13, 2011 at 6:23 pm

    I have issues with the scenerio Hoyt displays in her latest book in the Maiden Lane series: the angel and the badman. It’s very popular, yet tricky to pull off. I found no pleasure in the male protagonist’s evil, obsessive, criminal characterization. The guy is bad news! What made Hoyt write a guy like this for a hero? It baffles me. After her humiliation at his hands how can Silence, the heroine fall in love with this man. And why is he so obsessed with her from the get go? For me the heroine and the supporting characters were flat, annoying and unbelievable. The characters from the first two books just fell to the wayside. The end of the story and set up for next novel was just ridiculous! I only finished it to find out the idenity of the Ghost.

  25. Am7 on November 15, 2011 at 1:00 am

    Thank you Leslie! 😀

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