My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book is one of the reasons why I love Highland romance. Political intrigue aside, that classic theme of love and honour is one that resonates and ultimately good triumphing over evil is another that never grows old.
An auto buy for me. Love this book in the series as much as the rest. Good mix of humour, romance and even compressed into a short timespan of a few weeks, Poppy and Andrew are such engaging characters I just couldn’t help but fall together with them.
Sweet and life affirming with the values of honour, loyalty, love and family that formed the central theme of the story.
I was laughing all through the book and waiting impatiently for Lavinia and Parth to realise all that squabbling and conflict in the past was just chemistry and attraction. That they were perfect for each other.
Yes, this plot has been done to death, but somehow Ms James made the angle work for me. She’s been more hit than miss for me, so this was an auto-buy I’ll never regret.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
The plot has hints of the Scarlet Pimpernel, but set against the backdrop of Jacobite England. I’ve no problems seeing through the disguise the hero Alex wears as the foppish Sir Anthony, but was slightly disappointed that the heroine Elizabeth,who prides herself as an intelligent, independent woman, did not take the time to discover the hidden layers of his character, choosing only to believe the superficial.
The writing style was a little garrulous but I plodded on to find out what happens to the two protagonists. I hope the next installment of the series proves to be more scintillating a read than this debut
Read this for the Historical Fiction reading challenge, and enjoyed the unusual heroine, and the crime mystery set in 18th century England.
Title: The Blackstone Key
Author: Rose. A. Melikan
Genre: Historical Suspense
Publisher: Sphere (Little, Brown)
Year Published: March, 2009
Stand alone or series: Book 1 of the Mary Finch (?) series
On the Back cover:
Mary Finch is a young woman of wit, courage, and straitened circumstances. When invited to meet her wealthy uncle and end a family estrangement, therefore, she sets off immediately for White Ladies, his estate on the Suffolk coast. Yet soon she is embroiled in an adventure beyond any she could imagine, for the year is 1795, and England is at war with Republican France. When she arrives at White Ladies she learns that her uncle has died, leaving behind evidence of a treacherous plot. Enemy agents have obtained military secrets that would give France a decisive advantage, but who is the source of this information, and how can he be stopped?
Mary is not alone in her quest to solve the mystery, but the men who profess to help her are not quite what they seem. From Suffolk the traitor’s trail moves finally to London. There Mary learns the true meaning of the Blackstone key, but has the treasure it secured already been lost?
Am no stranger to Mary Balogh. Her name has been mentioned many times amongst romance readers that I was quite delighted to have come across some books by her at the local bookstore. The Huxtable series was a good addition on the shelf, while the slim novella sized A Matter of Class was acquired slightly before Christmas on a business trip to a remote part of Indonesia, in anticipation of the lack of in-flight entertainment onboard.
Title: First Comes Marriage
Genre: Historical Romance
Year Published: 2004
Stand alone or series: Book 1 of The Huxtables series
Why I read it: I was casting around for a book with a marriage of convenience angle for the TBR reading challenge last year and chanced upon this book
On the Back cover:
The arrival of Elliott Wallace, the irresistibly eligible Viscount Lyngate, has thrown the sleepy village of Throckbridge into a tizzy. It soon becomes clear that Elliot seeks a convenient marriage to a suitable bride, and desperate to rescue her eldest sister Margaret from a loveless union, Vanessa Huxtable – a proud and daring, a young widow – offers herself up instead.
In need of a wife, Elliott takes the audacious widow up on her unconventional proposal while he pursues an urgent mission of his own. But then a strange thing happens: as the wedding night approaches they become inexplicably drawn to one another. And, as intrigue swirls around a past secret – one with a striking connection to the Huxtables – Elliott and Vanessa are uncovering the glorious pleasures of the marriage bed and discovering that when it comes to wedded bliss, love can’t be far behind.
In my books …
Okay, this was the weakest book amongst the three for me, although I was quite charmed by the other two sisters, and curiosity prompted me to seek out the other two books. Thankfully, the next two books in the series captured my interest, with more intriguing heroes.
IMB Rating: 3.0, liked it
Set against the backdrop of a war-torn China in the grips of a burgeoning revolution, this sweeping novel with a pair of star-crossed lovers carrying forth the momentum of the melodrama that unfolds in the International Settlement of Junchow in 1928.
In this den of iniquities, where danger lurks not just in the form of opium, prostitution and death, where suspicions of liaison with the Communists could land one in a situation worse than hell itself, 16-year-old daughter, Lydia Ivanova, who, with mother Valentine, live in poverty as exiled White Russian refugees, surviving on whatever largess her pianist mum can coax from gentlemen admirers and the profits Lydia turns from pawning stolen goods.
Her shining fiery hair making her a distinct target for pimps and slavers, Lydia must often depend on her wits to escape being caught but, when she attracted the unwelcome attentions of a criminal gang, the Black Snakes, Chang An Lo, an English-speaking Communist and kung fu master came to her rescue, forging a bond that would grow stronger than mere friendship.