Weekly Reading Round-Up

It’s Valentine’s Day AND President’s Day weekend all in one! Which hopefully doesn’t mean we need to read romances about past presidents. That would be just a little too weird.

In the spirit of the season, though, I did read an excellent romance novel this week: Meredith Duran’s Luck Be a Lady, about a prim and proper lady who, to outmaneuver her scheming brother and save the family’s auction house, makes a deal with an underworld casino owner, with unexpected results for all. I’ve never read a Meredith Duran book I haven’t loved and this one is no exception. There’s also a companion book, Lady Be Good, which I probably should have read first, but…. Details, details. Luck Be A Lady was excellent on its own.

Moving from romance to women’s fiction, the always wonderful Karen White sent me an ARC of Liza Beazley’s debut novel, Keep Me Posted, about the correspondence between two sisters, both struggling with their marriages, and the fall-out when that very personal correspondence suddenly goes viral on the internet. Karen warned me that the book would be compelling (i.e. take away from writing time) and she was right.

Right now, I have a pile of ARCs to dig into: Alyson Richman’s The Velvet Hours, M.J. Rose’s The Secret Language of Stones, and my writing sister Beatriz’s A Certain Age.

What have you been reading this week?


  1. Christina on February 12, 2016 at 4:36 pm

    Girl Waits with Gun – Amy Stewart. I really liked this one. 3 sisters living alone on a farm in 1915 and one of them becomes a deputy sheriff. This is a fictionalized account of a true story.

    The Forgotten Girls – Sara Blaedel. Danish thriller. Not bad.

    Pretty Girls – Karin Slaughter. HOLY TOLEDO! This scared the daylights out of me. I had weird dreams and overslept the next day. The writing is excellent and it was a great book but very graphically violent. If I read anything else by her, it will be during the day with all the lights on and chased by something light and fluffy before bed!

    Fat Tuesday – Sandra Brown I’m sure I’ve read some Sandra Brown before but I can’t remember what books I read. This was a decent thriller with elements of romantic suspense.

    And now I’m in the middle of Pride & Prejudice & Zombies. It’s pretty ridiculous but my 11 yo said he’d go see the movie with me. I think it is highly likely that the movie will be better than the book in this case.

  2. Kristen Allen-Vogel on February 12, 2016 at 5:12 pm

    I read Fearless by Elliott James, the third book in the Pax Arcana series. The hero, John Charming, is a descendant of a family of Knights Templar who defend the human race against supernatural creatures that break the rules. He also has a slight case of werewolf. This is one of the two series that I try to foist on any Dresden Files fan who will stand still long enough.

    Now I’m reading Wanted: One Scoundrel by Jenny Schwartz, which is so-so thus far, but I severely need to read about steampunk suffragettes and this is what I could find. If anybody else has any suggestions, I’d appreciate it.

  3. Miss Eliza on February 12, 2016 at 7:02 pm

    Christina, PP&Z the movie is excellent! The book, not so much. In fact I never even finished it… This week continuing my Downtonesque reading, I finished The House and Tyneford, interesting if trying way too hard to be Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier. Then I read Manor of Secrets, which was very predictable and seemed Middle Grade vs. YA, which is what it was booked as. Now I’m reading Summerset Abbey, too soon to tell on this one.

    • Sheila on February 12, 2016 at 7:08 pm

      Your take on The House at Tyneford is interesting to me, as I didn’t even think of Rebecca, but Instead of class conflict and its results.

      • Miss Eliza on February 12, 2016 at 10:10 pm

        Well, there is a whole lot of class and conflict too! It’s just there’s A LOT of Du Maurier in the descriptions, even the HEA, and the way it was written from a timeless future.

  4. Sheila on February 12, 2016 at 7:05 pm

    Once again, a delightful D E Stevenson novels Five Windows, was the perfect antidote the sadness engendered by A Sudden Light. The mores and culture of mid-century
    England are like a fantasy world, but human nature is the same and Stevenson has a marvelous way of depicting it.

    I enjoyed Karen Morton’s Lake House, another fine example of a multi-generational, house with secrets book, AND an homage to the whole mystery genre.

    My American Dutchess, by Eloisa James was good. The best part is when she skewers Shakespeare as not so relevant, very funny knowing she is a Shakespeare professor in her other life.

    • Miss Eliza on February 12, 2016 at 10:11 pm

      I really liked The Lake House too!

  5. Courtney on February 12, 2016 at 8:55 pm

    Romances about past presidents? JFK and Jackie/Marilyn? There was a really interesting book I read a while back called The Secret Letters of Marilyn Monroe and Jacqueline Kennedy, which is about how the two were friends, despite everything that happened.
    But as for what I’ve been reading this week, I’ve begun a retread Philippa Gregory’s Cousins’ War series. I guess it kind of fits the two holidays, because of the mix of historical love stories and political intrigue, pre-democracy.

  6. Amy on February 13, 2016 at 3:06 am

    I actually recommend Mary Higgins Clark’s Mountain Vernon Love Story!

  7. Beth F on February 13, 2016 at 12:25 pm

    I loved The Lake House, too! Currently I’m reading The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith, a.k.a Rowling, and I’m really enjoying it.
    Not sure if I’m going to read Footsteps In The Dark by Georgette Heyer or The Girl Who Came Home by Hazel Gaynor next. Any suggestions?

    • Sheila on February 13, 2016 at 2:49 pm

      The Girl Who Came Home is excellent! Gaynor is one of my new favorites and I am looking forward to her part in Lauren’s new anthology, Fall of Poppies.

    • SuzanneH on February 13, 2016 at 10:22 pm

      I really enjoyed Footsteps In The Dark. It is different from her usual type of novel, but the eccentric characters and sparkling dialogue we usually associate with Georgette Heyer are still there.

  8. Freya Shipley on February 13, 2016 at 2:49 pm

    I’ve just finished *These Old Shades*, the earliest Georgette Heyer I’ve ever read. It was published in 1926. It has a quality of innocence that feels (to me)redolent of that era. The heartless but elegant middle aged rake (clearly a near relation to Sebastian, Lord Vaughn, a generation back) who is forever changed by falling in love with the artless, naive young woman who is entirely unconscious of her own great beauty. It’s the kind of story that E.F. Benson satirized in his brilliant novel, *Secret Lives*.

    I love the hero and the theatrical drama of the events he catalyzes. I was a bit annoyed by the heroine, who seems (to me) pretty brainless. The Duc even addresses her as “infant”. But that’s all part of the sensibility of that era. Georgette Heyer’s works always make me long to get writing!

    (PS: Can anyone help me understand the meaning of the title?)

    • Sheila on February 14, 2016 at 3:49 pm

      I don’t know about the title, but this was my first ever Heyer, and immediately got hooked. My son is named for the Duke of Avon, even though he didn’t come along for 14 years….I always thought the use of “infant” was more for child , like the French enfant, but of course one has to suspend one’s sense of reality when reading anything in the girl acts as boy genre.

  9. Alessandra on February 14, 2016 at 4:15 pm

    My American Dutchess, by Eloisa James was good indeed. But for some reason I bought the UK version on the library used bookstore where I live and its called My Last Duchess. I am going to read another book by her called The Fortune Hunter as soon I finish the Drums of Autumn by Dianna Gabaldon which is excellent!

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