The twenty-fourth anniversary of The Last of the Mohicans


I have no idea why, but The Last of the Mohicans premiered in France, not the United States, on the 26th of August, 1992. The US premiere came on the 25th of September.

I credit this film (I’ve never read the book the whole way through) with a lot of my interests now. Of course back then you couldn’t just jump on the internet and learn stuff and find similar stories, but I tried my best!

The Last of the Mohicans 1992

I have a few books I recommend quite often, that are set in the same location and time period as this film.

Into the Wilderness by Sara DonatiSurrender (MacKinnon’s Rangers #1) by Pamela Clare

Untamed by Pamela ClareDefiant by Pamela Clare

Into the Wilderness

Surrender Review and Link

Untamed Review and Link

Defiant Review and Link

And as a bonus: behind the scenes on the film set. What dorks!

Behind the scenes on set The Last of the Mohicans

Dilemma In Yellow Silk (The Emperors of London #5) by Lynne Connolly

Dilemma In Yellow Silk (The Emperors of London #5) by Lynne Connolly

Despite her cover as the daughter of the land steward for Lord Malton, Marcus Aurelius, spirited Viola Gates is tied by birth to the treacherous Jacobite legacy. Not that this keeps her from falling for the dashing Lord from afar. Despite his staid demeanour, Marcus is devastatingly handsome—and hopelessly beyond her reach. Then Viola’s father is mortally wounded and her secret identity revealed, sending her straight into danger’s path—and Marcus’s arms…
For years, he’d only known her as a wild child, the tempting—and forbidden—daughter of his trusted steward. But when Viola’s life is threatened, Marcus must act as duty—and his barely contained passion—dictates. Ferrying the bold beauty on an eventful journey to safer quarters, he offers her the protection of his name. Their tempestuous union might succeed in vanquishing their enemies, but will the chivalrous lord and his unsuitable wife surrender to the power of love?

Dilemma In Yellow Silk (The Emperors of London #5) by Lynne Connolly

This is a really great series, set in the Georgian era and based around the concept the Old Pretender had children who are now secretly living in or around the English aristocracy. If they can be found, they can be dangerous to the monarchy. One side wants to use them to gain power and destabilise the country, while the other (the “Emperors” of the series title) want to keep them safe – usually by marrying them so they’re taken out of the equation.

The book starts a little suddenly, and it will seem like you’re already supposed to know these characters. Go along with it, because there’s a lot of story to pack in (thank goodness – better than all those historical romances that just meander from one ballroom to another!), and so we have to establish a connection fast.

Hero and heroine have known each other their whole lives, so this was easy enough to believe. I liked that there was danger and that the characters were on the go almost from the start.

Set in the century before most historical romances, this is a totally different world. The clothing, the technology (or lack thereof), the politics. It’s a fascinating time in world history, and this is an author who knows the world the characters inhabit down to the tiny details. It makes the book believable.

I liked both leading characters. I like that we were given a hero who was both very powerful and influential, but also a little bit reserved and shy. He seemed a more complete person than many in this genre.

While each book in this series is perfectly fine as a standalone, I think it’s a series worth reading from the start.


Review copy provided by NetGalley.

Mad For Love by Elizabeth Essex

Mad For Love by Elizabeth Essex

Set a thief…Rory Cathcart’s appreciation of the exquisite makes him the perfect man to expose forgeries and root out fraud in London’s tempestuous art world. But when his latest investigation into forged paintings puts him squarely in Mignon du Blois’ shaky sights, he finds himself deep in trouble, and captured by something more powerful than mere beauty.

To catch a thief…The moment Mignon stops a rakish thief from making off with one of her father’s brilliant forgeries, she knows she’s found the perfect man to help her steal back a priceless statue, and save her family from unspeakable scandal. She has no intention of falling for Rory’s Caledonian charms, nor his seductive Scottish persuasions. From the drawing rooms of the ton to the auction rooms of the art world, the pair embark on a madcap adventure to save them both from ruin. But will the love they uncover be most priceless treasure of all?

Mad For Love by Elizabeth Essex

This, an introductory novella to a new series, is my favourite thing I’ve read by this author so far. I liked the original plot, I liked the slightly earlier (1790s) setting, and I liked that the characters were a teeny bit below the usual social standing of historical romance characters. I also liked that sex scenes weren’t stuffed in where they didn’t fit!

The last time I read a book by Elizabeth Essex I was a bit angered by a weird political message threaded through the plot; I found it totally inappropriate for Regency England and I think I may have been unfairly harsh in my review. That in mind, when this novella came up for review I decided the author deserved another chance.

Art forgery is a fad in the historical romance genre at the moment (not a complaint; one of my favourite authors is tackling it), but apparently this book was written years ago, so this is before its time.

I must say, I do like Essex’s writing style. It flows really well, and keeps you turning the pages.

There was a great amount of research that went into this one, but it never felt like the author was showing off her knowledge at the expense of the story. The art facts didn’t overpower the book.

I definitely think this is a series that will be worth looking out for.


Review copy provided by NetGalley.

The Week: 8th – 14th February

National Library of Australia Canberra Sonya Oksana Heaney 12th February 2016 Sky Summer Architecture Nature

At the National Library on Friday. We were there for sparkling wine on the terrace overlooking the lake, not books!

The Sydney news claimed we had thunderstorms in Canberra all day (they say that a lot, and it’s never true! This was as cloudy as it got!). And here was sunset the same day:

Friday Sunset Canberra Australia Sonya Heaney 12th February 2016 Sky Clouds Nature Summer

Look at all that rain!

We dropped our passports off at the Ukrainian embassy on Friday, which means our trip to Europe is getting close. Luckily the Vice Consul of the embassy is a long-term family friend, so we might get stuff processed faster!

Another hot week. I keep forgetting we’re going to be in Italy in the northern summer, so we (hopefully) won’t be getting too much winter weather this year.

Coming up for Patricia Briggs

Release Day for Patricia Briggs

Sexist Book Titles?

The General's Daughter by Nelson DeMilleThe Madman's Daughter by Megan ShepherdThe Bonesetter's Daughter by Amy TanThe Hangman's Daughter by Oliver Pötzsch

My review of A Visitor’s Guide To Jane Austen’s England by Sue Wilkes

A Visitor's Guide To Jane Austen's England by Sue Wilkes

My review of Ready To Rock: A Rock Star Romance by Cara Connelly

Ready To Rock A Rock Star Romance by Cara Connelly

Would you buy a book with this cover?

Spider Game (GhostWalkers #12) by Christine Feehan US Cover

Cover Love

Mrs. Lincoln's Rival by Jennifer Chiaverini

A Visitor’s Guide To Jane Austen’s England by Sue Wilkes

A Visitor's Guide To Jane Austen's England by Sue Wilkes

Discover Jane Austen’s England

Immerse yourself in the vanished world inhabited by Austen’s contemporaries. Packed with detail, and anecdotes, this is an intimate exploration of how the middle and upper classes lived from 1775, the year of Austen’s birth, to the coronation of George IV in 1820. Sue Wilkes skilfully conjures up all aspects of daily life within the period, drawing on contemporary diaries, illustrations, letters, novels, travel literature and archives.

•Were all unmarried affluent men really ‘in want of a wife’?
•Where would a young lady seek adventures?
•Would ‘taking the waters’ at Bath and other spas kill or cure you?
•Was Lizzy Bennet bitten by bed-bugs while travelling?
•What would you wear to a country ball, or a dance at Almack’s?
•Would Mr Darcy have worn a corset?
•What hidden horrors lurked in elegant Regency houses?

Put on your dancing gloves and embrace a lost era of corsets and courtship!

A Visitor’s Guide To Jane Austen’s England by Sue Wilkes

There are many books like this one, a “travel guide” of sorts through the day to day events of Georgian, Regency and Victorian England. However, there aren’t many that pack as much information in as this one does, and so I really enjoyed it.

The thing the author of A Visitor’s Guide To Jane Austen’s England does right is that she uses primary sources for her information, and quotes letters and journal entries of the time from all sorts of people. There’s no guessing about things here; everything we’re told comes from something recorded back in the day.

The anecdotes taken from day to day life in the Georgian and Regency days Jane Austen lived are interesting, taught me more than a few things, and painted a stronger picture from the era than pretty much any book I’ve read.

Any historical fiction reader worth their salt is going to know quite a bit of what is in here, especially so for fans of Jane Austen. However, there was so much I learnt that I even found the rehashing of more commonly-known facts interesting all over again.

If more authors consulted primary sources rather than learning the world of the Regency from other Regency romances, there would be far fewer mistakes (with language, for example) turning up in books, and there would be a much more historical “feel” to the stories.

An interesting read for fans of history and historical fiction.

The Week: 25th – 31st January

Hail Storm Tuggeranong Cannberra Australia 25th January 2016 Sonya Heaney Nature

Halfway through our crazy ice disaster on Monday – in the middle of a hot summer!

This was a strange week. I’m not online all that much at the moment, due to a couple of health things, including some debilitating pain I’ve been having down one side of my head. I think I’ve been asleep more than awake in the last few days.

This week started with my father’s birthday, during which we had a freak storm. It hit after dinnertime, and we heard it coming long before it hit – like a thousand locomotives coming our way.

We were hit horizontally with chunks of ice (hail), some the size of golf balls. it damaged parts of the house – as you would expect.

Hail Storm Gowrie Tuggeranong Canberra Australia Summer 25th January 2015 Sonya Heaney Nature Rex Burmese Cat

We also had a few hours to experience the life of historical romance characters when the power lines around here were knocked down.

Hail Storm Gowrie Tuggeranong Canberra Australia Summer 25th January 2015 Sonya Heaney Nature

Note to people: keep candles in your house! It looked like we were one the few houses around with them, and they were definitely needed!

Canberra Hail Storm 25th January 26th January 2016 Sonya Heaney Ice 4am Nature

The back deck eight hours after the storm!

One of my crappy photos ended up in The Canberra Times.

The next day was Australia Day – a national holiday. We went to a Cuban/South American bar, which had about six pages of different types of rum on the menu.

Then we were off to meet people from the Ukrainian embassy for lunch a couple of days afterwards.

And then I was too sick to achieve anything for the rest of the week (well, apart from dinner at our “local” restaurant)!

Anybody else HATING the new WordPress admin? It is unusable for me, as you can no longer search your scheduled posts. On two of my blogs I have some posts already scheduled for more than half a year away, and I have to scroll through ALL OF THEM in order to check my posts for the coming week.

I’m sick of computer types ruining things in order to make them fancier. I want lists in an administration section, not pretty colours and pictures!

I’m back on Tumblr

Obituaries for Men

Colleen McCullough, author of The Thorn Birds, dies.

The 203rd anniversary of Pride and Prejudice

Jane Austen’s most famous novel, Pride and Prejudice, was published on the 28th of January 1813. Here is the front page from a first edition copy of the book.

The best cover of 1989? The worst cover of 1989?

Desert Slave by Miranda North

 My review of How to Rescue a Rake (Book Club Belles Society #3) by Jayne Fresina

How to Rescue a Rake (Book Club Belles Society #3) by Jayne Fresina

My review of Charlotte (South Landers #3) by Virginia Taylor

Charlotte (South Landers #3) by Virginia Taylor

My review of #1 The Vampire Huntress Series: Paranormal Vampire Romance: Chased by Ashlee Sinn

#1 The Vampire Huntress Series Paranormal Vampire Romance Chased by Ashlee Sinn