The Week: 4th – 10th February

Our amazing Friday sunset in Canberra.

Coming Soon: Devil’s Daughter by Lisa Kleypas

Devil's Daughter (2019) (The fifth book in the Ravenels series) A novel by Lisa Kleypas UK Cover

Out Soon: Lady Notorious by Theresa Romain

Happy Birthday, Charles Dickens!

Dickens_Gurney_head Charles Dickens (1812-1870) between 1868 and 1867

Out this month: Mr Jones

Happy Lunar New Year!

Ke_Lok_Si_Illuminations_01

Inheritance in the English aristocracy.

Duchess by Deception (Gilded #1) by Marie Force

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Out Soon: Lady Notorious by Theresa Romain

Lady Notorious, the fourth book in Theresa Romain‘s The Royal Rewards series, is due out later this month.

I think the cover design is really interesting (love the background!), however , no offence to the model, but WHY is she on ninety percent of historical romance covers these days?!

The book’s description is below the cover(s).

lady notorious (the royal rewards #4) by theresa romain

Fun fact: this was what the cover was supposed to look like, but it was too similar to another cover.

lady notorious by theresa romain original blue cover

Who knew love would be her secret weapon?

Cassandra Benton has always survived by her wits and wiles, even working for Bow Street alongside her twin brother. When injury takes him out of commission, Cass must support the family by taking on an intriguing new case: George, Lord Northbrook, believes someone is plotting to kill his father, the Duke of Ardmore. Decades before, the duke was one of ten who formed a wager that would grant a fortune to the last survivor. But someone can’t wait for nature to take its course—and George hopes a seasoned investigator like Cass can find out who.

Cass relishes the chance to spy on the ton, shrewdly disguised as handsome Lord Northbrook’s notorious “cousin.” What she doesn’t expect is her irresistible attraction to her dashing employer, and days of investigation soon turn to passionate nights. But with a killer closing in and her charade as a lady of the ton in danger of collapsing at any moment, Cass has no choice but to put her life—and her heart—in the hands of the last man she ought to trust.

 

The Week: 9th – 15th July

Winter Sunshine Blue Sky Canberra Australia Sonya Heaney 9th July 2018 Garden Nature Eucalyptus Tree Gum Tree

Winter Sunshine Blue Sky Canberra Australia Sonya Heaney 9th July 2018 Garden Nature Eucalyptus Tree Gum TreeIMG_6781

Gorgeous winter sunshine in Canberra to start the week.

The ice skating rink in Canberra’s city centre (this is from last weekend). Another session was about to start, which is why there’s nobody on the ice!

Scruffy, our biggest local magpie, hanging out by the kitchen window on Wednesday afternoon. (He has two legs – magpies just like to rest one every so often!)

This hasn’t been much of a week as far as this blog goes. Usually I have some sort of post every day, so it feels weird to have posted so little.

In truth, I’ve had enough of the world this week. Please remember the evils of Putin’s Russia while you’re watching the soccer over the weekend. Slava Ukrayini!!

Currently Reading

The Heiress He's Been Waiting For by Kaitlin O'Riley

 

Currently Reading

I’m back reading historical books at the moment. Here are the three I have on the go at the moment, and hope to review soon:

The Heiress He’s Been Waiting For by Kaitlin O’Riley

The Heiress He's Been Waiting For by Kaitlin O'Riley

In Victorian London, the Hamilton sisters are known for their bookshops—and for finding their happily ever afters on their own terms. Now, much to their chagrin, their offspring are following in their unconventional footsteps—in life and in love…

Raised in New York, shipping heiress Sara Fleming was ready to elope—until her disapproving parents tricked her onto a boat heading to England. Her only consolation is getting to see her beloved aunts and cousins. Even the start of London’s Season—and a strikingly handsome earl—can’t make her forget the man she left behind.

Considered one of London’s most eligible bachelors, Christopher Townsend, the Earl of Bridgeton, is not what he seems. Having inherited his father’s crushing debt, he must choose a wealthy bride to save his family’s estate. Though rumored to be penniless and committed to another, Sara takes his breath away—and makes him question what he truly needs to be free of the past. But he’ll have to win the headstrong beauty’s heart one kiss at a time.

Lady Rogue (The Royal Rewards #3) by Theresa Romain

Lady Rogue (The Royal Rewards #3) by Theresa Romain

Her Secret Scandal

As far as London’s high society knows, Lady Isabel Morrow is above reproach. But the truth is rarely so simple. Though the young widow’s passionate fling with dashing Bow Street Runner Callum Jenks ended amicably months ago, she now needs his expertise. It seems Isabel’s late husband, a respected art dealer, was peddling forgeries. If those misdeeds are revealed, the marriage prospects of his younger cousin—now Isabel’s ward—will be ruined.

For the second time, Isabel has upended Callum’s well-ordered world. He’s resolved to help her secretly replace the forgeries with the real masterpieces, as a…friend. A proper sort of friend doesn’t burn with desire, of course, or steal kisses on twilight errands. Or draw a willing lady into one passionate encounter after another. Isabel’s scheme is testing Callum’s heart as well as his loyalties. But with pleasure so intoxicating, the real crime would be to resist.

A Lady’s Guide to Passion and Property (Husband Hunters #2) by Kate Moore

A Lady's Guide to Passion and Property (Husband Hunters #2) by Kate Moore

Beauty, wit, and charm may catch a gentleman’s eye, but nothing attracts suitors quite like property…as beloved, award-winning author Kate Moore reveals in this delightful Regency romp. For an innkeeper’s daughter new to the dance, a discreet volume of courtship wisdom may help discern the intentions of a mysterious newcomer.

Lucy Holbrook has recently inherited her father’s south London inn, the place she’s always called home. Now her fashionable friends, arming her with The Husband Hunter’s Guide to London, are urging her to sell the establishment and become a society lady, just as her father always hoped. Lucy would rather toss the little book into the hearth—she could never desert the alehouse or its patrons, including an elderly blind man who depends on her care. But she may need every bit of good advice when a handsome stranger arrives with a secret agenda and a baffling crime to solve…and Lucy finds herself navigating a most dangerous attraction!

The Week: 16th – 21st April

Autumn Leaves Autumn Colours Sonya Heaney 20th April 2018 Tuggeranong Canberra Australia Blue Sky Sunny Afternoon Autumn Heatwave Garden Nature

Blue skies, summer temperatures, and autumn colours in Canberra this week.

This has been a beautiful week, weather-wise. Why we’re still having summer temperatures when it’s almost winter is very confusing!

We went out to lunch on Saturday (fantastic Spanish restaurant!), and we knew there was going to be back burning in the centre of Canberra, but we weren’t quite prepared to be driving past active burns RIGHT NEXT TO Federal Parliament and the US embassy! I don’t have a proper picture, but here is one from later that afternoon. You can see a sole fire engine on the right, but a few hours earlier the whole place was full of flames and fire engines with lights etc.

The Russian authorities have been making a joke out of everything they’ve done recently. This week they tortured several Crimean Tartars to death. Don’t expect to see it on the Western news…

They’re turning the Novichok assassination attempts in England into a joke, and they now have a food brand named after the poison (“Новичок” is the Cyrillic spelling for the nerve agent – it’s on the labels on the bottles here). And I’d love to know why people think the hammer and sickle symbol tens of millions died under is okay. Imagine if they used the swastika.

This week Twitter *finally* banned Russia’s Kaspersky from advertising on their site. Several years ago I had awkward conversations with young men working at computer shops (JB Hi-Fi – I’m giving you the side-eye!). They were all told to push customers to buy Russian internet security, and I got dirty looks and muttered comments when I told them that – under no circumstances – would I buy Russian-branded security software.

Now, of course, everyone says it. But I am so freaking tired of people refusing to listen to Ukrainians. It’s only been since America and England were touched by Russian misbehaviour that people stopped thinking I was discriminatory and alarmist. It breaks my heart how little everyone listens to people who KNOW.

Recommended Book: The Road to Unfreedom: Russia, Europe, America by Timothy Snyder

The Road to Unfreedom Russia, Europe, America by Timothy Snyder

Coming Soon from Theresa Romain

Lady Rogue (The Roguish Runners Duo #1) by Theresa Romain

Cover Love

Lady Eleanor's Seventh Suitor (The Sutherland Sisters #1) by Anna Bradley

My review of How Do Cats Do That?: Discover How Cats Do The Amazing Things They Do by Peter Scottsdale

How Do Cats Do That Discover How Cats Do The Amazing Things They Do by Peter Scottsdale

Getting Back on Track

Marry in Scandal (Convenient Marriage series #2) by Anne Gracie

Nineteen Years

Columbine_Shooting_Security_CameraColumbine High School massacre

Coming Soon from Theresa Romain

Lady Rogue (The Roguish Runners Duo #1) by Theresa Romain

The first book in historical romance author Theresa Romain’s new series is out in one week. It follows the recent trend for books about art forgery.

I’ll be reviewing it soon.

Her Secret Scandal

As far as London’s high society knows, Lady Isabel Morrow is above reproach. But the truth is rarely so simple. Though the young widow’s passionate fling with dashing Bow Street Runner Callum Jenks ended amicably months ago, she now needs his expertise. It seems Isabel’s late husband, a respected art dealer, was peddling forgeries. If those misdeeds are revealed, the marriage prospects of his younger cousin—now Isabel’s ward—will be ruined.

For the second time, Isabel has upended Callum’s well-ordered world. He’s resolved to help her secretly replace the forgeries with the real masterpieces, as a…friend. A proper sort of friend doesn’t burn with desire, of course, or steal kisses on twilight errands. Or draw a willing lady into one passionate encounter after another. Isabel’s scheme is testing Callum’s heart as well as his loyalties. But with pleasure so intoxicating, the real crime would be to resist.

 

Passion Favours the Bold (The Royal Rewards Duo #2) by Theresa Romain

passion-favors-the-bold-the-royal-rewards-duo-2-by-theresa-romain

Yay for a cover that matches the book!

DESPERATE MEASURES
Georgette Frost’s time is almost up. On her twenty-first birthday, the protections outlined in her late parents’ will are set to expire. With prospects for employment or marriage unfavorable at best, she decides to leave London and join her brother, Benedict, on a treasure hunt for gold sovereigns stolen from the Royal Mint.
 
DANGEROUS LIAISONS
 Lord Hugo Starling has always felt protective of his friend Benedict’s sister, Georgette. So when he discovers her dressed in ragged boy’s clothes, about to board a coach for parts unknown, he feels duty bound to join her search. But mystery piles upon mystery as they cross England together, not least of which is the confounded attraction between them. As Georgette leads him to a reward he never expected, Hugo realizes he’s embarked upon the adventure of a lifetime…

Passion Favours the Bold (The Royal Rewards Duo #2) by Theresa Romain

^^^^ See what I did with the spelling!

There aren’t many authors whose books I’d pick up when they advertise two of my three most hated historical romance tropes: the heroine in breeches, and the treasure hunt. (The third is the “duke who is a spy”.)

However, I have really enjoyed most of the books Theresa Romain has written, and so I took a chance. Her books are often lighter-hearted, but usually they’re funny rather than trying to be funny.

Firstly: the silly boy’s disguise disappears near the beginning of the book.

Secondly: the treasure-hunting adventure wasn’t some relentless tale of mad capers. This was at least as much a ROMANCE, with strong character development, as it was anything else.

And that is what is so special about this author’s books: the characters take their time, have quirks, and fall in love despite all the conflicts and flaws (Kate Noble is another author who does this).

There are some steamy scenes, but there is no conventional sex scene in this book. Even the first kiss comes a while in – and I liked this pacing. Even when they’re pretending to be married, hero and heroine are not jumping into bed together.

These two characters are a little strange, and have many issues to work their way through.

However, they are both great fun, and genuinely enjoy spending time together. The forced proximity worked because it wasn’t some obvious attempt to throw them straight into passionate love.

One other thing I absolutely love is that Romain often writes characters who are *slightly* socially below those in most Regency romances. Yes, the hero of this one is the son of a duke, but he’s a *younger* son, with almost no chance of ever inheriting, and so he has a career instead: medicine.

Romain’s use of British English has improved. It’s nice to see words like pavement in this book.

HOWEVER, a sentence ends with a FULL STOP, and never a “period”. Many a Regency author from North America uses expressions like ‘put a period to their stay in Northumberland’ – this makes absolutely no sense.

I enjoyed this book because everyone in it was slightly different. It’s nice to have some new ideas in an almost-overused time period.

 

Review copy provided by NetGalley.