Weekly Reading Round-Up

I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump, but there have been some gems amid the grumpiness.

This week’s gems?

Carla Kelly’s Marrying the Royal Marine, set in Portugal during the Napoleonic Wars, in which the ugly duckling sister finds herself on an unexpected adventure when she joins her sister in staffing a hospital in war-torn Portugal. It’s the third in a trilogy about three sisters, but you can read each independently without missing anything.

(Fun fact: it was the first book in this trilogy, Marrying The Captain, which I read in the spring of 2013, which, in a rather roundabout way, inspired my third stand alone novel, aka the 1927 Book, aka the Book That’s Coming Out Next. But more on that later.)

Next up, I’ve begun my annual re-read of E.F. Benson’s ghost stories. It is October next week, after all. Let the Halloween reading begin!

What have you been reading this week?


  1. Christina on September 26, 2014 at 11:12 am

    I’ve been in a reading slump due to lack of time. I did read Simone St. James’ An Inquiry Into Love and Death which I loved. Now I’m 350 pages into Outlander and I can’t believe I didn’t get into it the first tow times I tried to read it.

  2. Kristen Allen-Vogel on September 26, 2014 at 11:13 am

    I read The Getaway God by Richard Kadrey, Zombie Indiana by Scott Kenemore, and an ARC of The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion.

    • Am7 on September 26, 2014 at 1:02 pm

      Jealous of the Rosie Effect! I love the Rosie project!

      • Alice on September 26, 2014 at 2:30 pm

        Me too! When is it coming out??

        • Kristen Allen-Vogel on September 29, 2014 at 11:22 am

          December 30. (Brief review being posted on my website at some point today.)

  3. Alicia on September 26, 2014 at 11:23 am

    I just finished Midnight Manzanilla last night- loved it! Oh Sally… 🙂 Before that was That Summer (it was Willig catch-up month, obviously), and now on to The Cuckoo’s Calling.

  4. Ella on September 26, 2014 at 11:46 am

    In a bit of a slump as well. I did finally get to read Season of Storms by Susanna Kearsley though. Loved it!

  5. Chloe on September 26, 2014 at 11:56 am

    The Song of Achilles. You must all read The Song of Achilles. Read it now. I also really enjoyed The Magician’s Land, the third installment in Lev Grossman’s Magicians series (it’s like a darker, slightly warped, adult Narnia) and David Mitchell’s newest book, The Bone Clocks.

  6. Betty S. on September 26, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    I read Susanna Kearsley’s Mariana and couldn’t put it down. Have loved all of Kearsely’s that I have read.

    Just started Fly Away, the sequel to Kristin Hannah’s Firefly Lane, which was an amazing book about friendship – ups, downs, loyalty – and definitely a tear jerker. So I’m back in modern day for now.

  7. leslie on September 26, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    I read Marrying the Royal Marine this week too. It wasn’t at all what I expected, but I enjoyed it very much. What a journey!

    I also read Summer House by Nancy Thayer…..not bad, but it felt unfinished. I would of liked two more chapters and an epilogue.

    Being that its been Banned Book week I read
    A Brave New World and Fahrenheit 451 with my kids.

  8. Christine on September 26, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    I read Life After Life by Kate Atkinson and it was hugely disappointing. The book had so much potential but the execution was really poor. The first 150 pages made me want to throw the book across the room repeatedly. The next 300 or so were actually pretty good. The last 50 were just confusing.

  9. Pat D on September 26, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    I’m in the middle of The Devil in the Marshalsea, trying to finish it before we leave town. So far so good! In the past week or so I’ve read Red Bones, the third in the Shetland Islands Quartet. These books are really good. I never see the solution coming! Also read The Prime Minister’s Secret Agent; a good series. I read The Late Scholar, the latest Peter Wimsey/Harriet Vane mystery. The author has done an outstanding job writing ala Dorothy Sayers. The Impersonator by Mary Miley was enjoyable; be warned it is a retelling of Brat Farrar in essence.

  10. Am7 on September 26, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    so I read the Garden Intrigue for the first time a few monthes ago. It was great. It’s probably my favorite of the spy plots and Colin and Eloise were really good and really good together. Emma and Augustus were interesting, but I wish there was a little more of them happy in love.
    I read Love by the Morning Star, it’s a historical comedy. I highly recommend it. It was written by Laura L. Sullivan.
    Since I finished both of these excellent reads, I’m suffering Last Excellent book I Read syndrome, and it’s making my current reads less exciting.

    • Alice on September 26, 2014 at 2:50 pm

      Ha ha! I love that! Worse syndrome ever!!

  11. Carly on September 26, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    Devil’s Cub, last weekend, so fun!
    Then I was reading Murder as a Fine Art by David Morrell, but had to stop. It was too graphically violent, for one, and the characters didn’t really have much character. They kept going off into lectures about the weight of women’s clothing (37 lbs!) and the history of the East India Company.
    Started City of Jasmine last night, and enjoying it so far.

  12. LynnS on September 26, 2014 at 2:39 pm

    Finished Midnight Manzanilla earlier this week and loved it. I had to go back to read the last scene with Colin and Eloise over again and am tempted to just do an immediate reread! I’m also feeling pretty smug that I guessed who Jane’s love interest will be!

  13. Miss Eliza on September 26, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    Well I had lots of fun re-reading “The Secret History of the Pink Carnation” for Ashley’s year long re-read on her blog. I also read “Frankenstein”, because yes, it’s that time of year, and second, I’d never read it! I know, shame on me, but I adored it! Now I’m reading “The Picture of Dorian Gray” and while I love Wilde, perhaps it’s best he was a playwright… but I’ve only just started so that is an initial impression.

    • Sue Gorman on September 26, 2014 at 5:47 pm

      I have been reading Pink I along with Ashley, too.
      Such fun.

      • Miss Eliza on September 26, 2014 at 10:54 pm


        • Paige on September 27, 2014 at 2:30 am

          Yay for the Pink Read Along! I am loving it! I started The Songbird’s Seduction by Connie Brockway. I gotta love a story with a spunky operetta singer and a studious academic named Ptolemy who looks like a pirate and might turn out to be more adventurous than he suspects.

  14. Am7 on September 26, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    Last year I read the Surgeon’s Lady (book 2 in the Carla Kelly trilogy) which I enjoyed. Haven’t read the others.

  15. Gina on September 26, 2014 at 5:27 pm

    Just finished The Lost Continent by Bill Bryson (my 9th by him, I think I might be a little obsessed) and just started The Suffragette Scandal by Courtney Milan! I love this series and I’m really glad to be reading more of it.

  16. Sue Gorman on September 26, 2014 at 5:50 pm

    I have read a couple of ARCs this week: Brenda Novak’s A Matter of Grave Concern, Lauren Smith’s Shadows of Stormclyfee Hall and the Seven Wicked Nights boxed set.
    Karen Whites new book is next.

  17. Sheila on September 26, 2014 at 6:18 pm

    A northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly. Do NOT be put off by the YA labeling, it is intriguing, beautifully written , and I was in the area and on the lake where this took place.

    A garden Folly by Candice Hern was terrific.

    But I absolutely hated Mercy 6 by David Bajo, can’t imagine how it got published.

    Win some, lose some

    • Betty S. on September 26, 2014 at 11:00 pm

      Have you read Donnelly’s Rose trilogy, starting with “The Tea Rose”? Excellent books.

  18. DJ on September 26, 2014 at 9:04 pm

    Have finally gotten around to Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn, enjoying it. Just finished all three Lady Darby mysteries by Anna Lee Huber and loved them, can’t wait for the next one!

  19. lori kramer on September 27, 2014 at 1:05 am

    I read Written In My Own Hearts Blood by Diana Gabaldon when released in June. Then decided to read the 7 books that came before it, again. It’s been a busy summer and I’certainly almost finished Voyager.
    Very slow for me and I have about 20 lovely new titles lying in wait!

  20. Yvette R on September 28, 2014 at 8:00 pm

    At the recommendation of this group of readers, I read (listened to) Simone St. James’ Silence For the Dead, and loved it. I have one quibble, though. I don’t think that the ending was as good as the rest of the book. The explanation of how and why made sence, but the actual denouement was confusing, and thinking back, I’m still not sure what actually happened or why it should have resolved the problem. (That was my “no spoiler” complaint.) Mary Jane Wells is a GREAT reader, BTW.
    Also, for those lovers of audio books, Audible now has some more Georgette Heyer titles. In the last month or so, they got Cousin Kate and The Corinthian. And Australia’s Bolinda Audio has started recording GH’s mysteries … so far Audible has their recordings of Why Shoot a Butler, Footsteps in the Dark, the Unfinished Clue, and will soon have Behold Here’s Poison. They already had those last two, but why quibble. If Bolinda and Audible keep this up, maybe they will have a twelve of her regular mysteries in the next several months. They seem to be recording them in the order in which they were originally published.

    • Yvette R on September 28, 2014 at 8:06 pm

      Forgot to add Faro’s Daughter was added in July. I love that one!

  21. jeffrey on September 29, 2014 at 5:38 am

    I have enjoyed a very busy as well as rewarding week of reading. First, it is almost October and I read Waiting For You (Love in the Regency) by Kasey Michaels and since it is almost October, this one features two lovable ghosts. Then I got into a full-throttle Pirate adventure/romance: The Redemption (Legacy of the King’s Pirates)by MaryLu Tyndall which featured every pirate cliché ever put to paper but I really liked it any way. Then The Measure of Katie Calloway by Serena B. Miller, an excellent romance/adventure about logging in the Michigan forests, post Civil War. And finally I’m currently reading The Girl in the Gatehouse by Julie Klassen and, thus far, loving the way it is unfolding. I’d recommend any of these wonderful reads.

    • Betty S. on September 29, 2014 at 1:03 pm

      Girl in the Gatehouse was my first Julie Klassen book. I have now read all of hers and was never disappointed. Read the Dancing Master (many surprises) in June and am waiting for her next release this fall

      • jeffrey on September 30, 2014 at 5:34 am

        I’ve read glowing reviews of The Dancing Master and am thoroughly enjoying The Girl in the Gatehouse and will soon have The Dancing Master in my sights. Thanks for the tip-off.

        • Betty S. on October 2, 2014 at 2:06 pm

          I am sure you have visited Julie Klassen’s site, but if not, she has video trailers for several of her books. The Dancing Master trailer will draw you in as well as the one for her new book – The Secret of Pembrooke Park.

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