Posts tagged with historical-fiction

Apr 10 2017

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Dark Days Pact, by Alison Goodman

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Today's Book Giveaway is Alison Goodman's The Dark Days Pact, the sequel to last year's The Dark Days Club. I'll be posting my review shortly, but first I need to re-read the first book—Goodman's writing is best appreciated when one pays attention to the details...

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Apr 3 2017

The Promise in a Kiss, by Stephanie Laurens

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It's been a few months, so it's time for another attempt in my ongoing (and frequently unsuccessful) search for historical romance novelists whose work I actually like. Sadly, if her 2001 novel The Promise in a Kiss is any indication, Stephanie Laurens is considerably closer to the dreadful Jane Feather than Georgette Heyer...

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Mar 29 2017

Assassin's Masque, by Sarah Zettel

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Assassin's Masque, the third book in Sarah Zettel's Palace of Spies series, is a fun, smart read with an eye-catching cover, but I suspect it lacks that special something that makes teen books fly off shelves. (It might look inadequately dramatic?) I'm sorry about this, because I've found all of Zettel's books solidly entertaining...

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Mar 29 2017

Weekly Book Giveaway: Assassin's Masque, by Sarah Zettel

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This week's Book Giveaway is Sarah Zettel's Assassin's Masque, the third book in her excellent Palace of Spies series. I'm not a fan of that title (which makes no sense and has almost nothing to do with the story, but I guess sounds cool?), but whatever: Zettel is a reliably great writer, so my expectations for this sucker are high...

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Feb 21 2017

Devil in Spring, by Lisa Kleypas

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I have long treasured Lisa Kleypas as one of the world's most consistently entertaining historical romance novelists. Unfortunately, her most recent series is putting a dent in that image, which I find very upsetting. I rely on you, Lisa Kleypas...

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Feb 21 2017

Weekly Book Giveaway: Devil in Spring, by Lisa Kleypas

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This week's Book Givewaway is Lisa Kleypas's Devil in Spring, the third book in her Ravenels series and a second-generation sequel to her 2006 novel Devil in Winter. I'm really not feeling that cover art. I've seen a fair amount of Victorian fashion, and I'm pretty sure they weren't big fans of strapless wedding gowns...

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Feb 7 2017

Turn that angry squint to good account, Leo!

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According to Entertainment Weekly, Leonardo DiCaprio will be starring in (and producing) an adaptation of Stephan Talty’s upcoming book The Black Hand, which sounds like it will be right up the actor's alley. Check out this plot summary...

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Oct 24 2016

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Invisible Library, by Genevieve Cogman

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This week we're giving away The Invisible Library, the first book in Genevieve Cogman's fantasy/historical fiction series of the same name. Our review of The Invisible Library and its sequel, The Masked City, will be posted shortly...

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Oct 17 2016

Arabella, by Georgette Heyer

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As a longtime Georgette Heyer fan, I was tantalized by the recent rumor that one of her books (The Grand Sophy) is being developed into a feature film. News on the project is scarce, but my hopes are high. The Grand Sophy would make a wonderful movie, but so would any number of Heyer's other books—not least her 1949 novel Arabella, one of her lightest and most beloved regency-era romances...

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Oct 17 2016

Weekly Book Giveaway: Arabella, by Georgette Heyer

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This week's Book Giveaway is Georgette Heyer's 1949 regency romance novel Arabella. I have no idea why the woman in the cover image looks so pensive; this is a totally cheerful book, I promise! A full review will follow shortly...

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Aug 18 2016

No theme parks, though

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Publishers Weekly informs me that we can look forward to a new dinosaur-themed book by the late Michael Crichton. HarperCollins is planning to publish Dragon Teeth in May of 2017...

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Jun 20 2016

Sorcerer to the Crown, by Zen Cho

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Zen Cho's Sorcerer to the Crown is a mildly amusing historical fantasy novel, full of nods to Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer, and Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. While her book features some ambitious ideas, Cho rarely explores them in sufficient depth...

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Jun 20 2016

Weekly Book Giveaway: Sorcerer to the Crown, by Zen Cho

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This week's Book Giveaway is Zen Cho's debut novel Sorcerer to the Crown. I'm a little nervous about this book, actually. It has great reviews, but it triggers two of my rage buttons: the British get a VASTLY superior cover than we do, and I can't find a solid release date for the sequel. What if I really like it and book two doesn't come out until...

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Jun 13 2016

And I Darken, by Kiersten White

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As one might expect from a story about a gender-swapped version of Vlad the Impaler, Kiersten White's And I Darken is heavy on angst and violence. On the other hand, it is also unexpectedly well-researched and thoughtfully constructed—despite the lurid nature of her subject matter, White has written a respectable alternate-history fiction, not the YA equivalent of Dracula Untold...

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Jun 13 2016

Weekly Book Giveaway: And I Darken, by Kiersten White

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This week's Book Giveaway is And I Darken, the first installment in a new teen series by Kiersten White. This book is apparently (very) loosely based on the historical events surrounding Vlad the Impaler. I have no idea how a story about a murderous, sadistic, 15th century nutjob will translate into a darkly seductive YA novel, but I'm looking forward to finding out...

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Jun 6 2016

Julia Vanishes, by Catherine Egan

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Catherine Egan's YA novel Julia Vanishes is better than V. E. Schwab's thematically-similar A Darker Shade of Magic series—creepier, more complicated, and inhabited by less glamorous but more interesting characters. Unfortunately, the cover art for Julia Vanishes is merely adequate, while Schwab's books look spectacular. I sincerely wish Egan's publisher had shelled out for something more impressive, because...

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May 31 2016

Marrying Winterborne, by Lisa Kleypas

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Lisa Kleypas's Marrying Winterborne is a massive step up from the first book in her Ravenels series, but it still falls short of her best work. It feels like a throwback to the romance novels of my teen years—books that relied on far-fetched, telenovela-style plot twists, rather than more realistic (and, to me, more interesting) interpersonal conflicts...

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May 31 2016

Weekly Book Giveaway: Marrying Winterborne, by Lisa Kleypas

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This week's Book Giveaway is Lisa Kleypas's latest historical romance: Marrying Winterborne, the second book in her Ravenels series. The first installment was one of the author's rare missteps, but I'm hoping this one will be better.

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May 16 2016

Weekly Book Giveaway: Shades of Milk and Honey, by Mary Robinette Kowal

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This week's Book Giveaway is Mary Robinette Kowal's fantasy novel Shades of Milk and Honey, which the back cover describes as "like wandering onto a secret picnic attended by Pride and Prejudice and Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell". That sounds like a very tall order, but hopefully Ms. Kowal's book is up to the challenge. A full review will follow later today...

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Mar 21 2016

The Dark Days Club, by Alison Goodman

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Reading Alison Goodman's new YA novel The Dark Days Club is a bit like eating a ten course meal: the individual elements were delicious, but eventually I found myself too full to properly appreciate them...

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Mar 21 2016

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Dark Days Club, by Alison Goodman

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This week's Book Giveaway is Alison Goodman's new YA novel The Dark Days Club. Goodman is the author of the brilliant Eon and Eona, so my hopes for this book are sky-high. Admittedly, the story loses a few points for the blurb on the back that proclaims it "Not your mother's Regency romance!" (a phrase that always strikes me as ageist and sexist; my mother is a badass and so is her taste in Regency romances), but...

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Feb 29 2016

Let Sleeping Rogues Lie, by Sabrina Jeffries

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I have read and reviewed three romance novels this month. The first one was straight-up ridiculous. The second was irritatingly flimsy. I don't want to sound like Goldilocks, so I'll just say the third—Sabrina Jeffries's Let Sleeping Rogues Lie—is unquestionably the best of the bunch...

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Feb 29 2016

Weekly Book Giveaway: Let Sleeping Rogues Lie, by Sabrina Jeffries

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This week's Book Giveaway is Sabrina Jeffries's 2008 novel Let Sleeping Rogues Lie, the fourth book in her long-running 'School for Heiresses' series. A full review will follow later today, but here's a spoiler: of the three romance novels we've read recently, this is DEFINITELY the pick of the bunch...

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Feb 16 2016

Reforming a Rake: With This Ring, by Suzanne Enoch

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Suzanne Enoch's Reforming a Rake: With This Ring is lazy, cynical, and as predictable as an Applebee's meal. It is also about 1000 times better than the last romance novel we reviewed, partly because Enoch is a far better writer and partly because when it comes to romance novels, I don't mind a little predictability...

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Feb 16 2016

Weekly Book Giveaway: Reforming a Rake: With This Ring, by Suzanne Enoch

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This week's Book Giveaway is Suzanne Enoch's 2009 novel Reforming a Rake: With this Ring. After reading this, I find myself in need of a historical-romance palate cleanser, and Enoch is the kind of consistently amusing writer who can be depended upon to provide one...

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Feb 4 2016

To Lure a Proper Lady, by Ashlyn MacNamara

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When I reviewed a previous Ashlyn MacNamara book, I gave her writing a lukewarm but honest endorsement. Unfortunately, her upcoming novel To Lure A Proper Lady is the kind of hot mess that undoes a lot of preexisting goodwill...

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Jan 25 2016

By Possession, by Madeline Hunter

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On a recent trip to the beach, I picked up a battered copy of Madeline Hunter's 2000 novel By Possession from a Little Free Library. As longtime readers of the site know, I rarely read pre-Regency romance novels (I can't get fully invested in any sex scene when I'm wondering when the participants last bathed), but hey: I'd already finished the books I brought with me, and the price was right...

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Jan 25 2016

Weekly Book Giveaway: By Possession, by Madeline Hunter

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This week's Book Giveaway is Madeline Hunter's historical romance novel By Possession. Please note: I picked this particular edition out of a Little Free Library, and it is trashed. Totally readable, though, and at least we're recycling...

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Dec 7 2015

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Man in the High Castle, by Philip K. Dick

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This week's Book Giveaway is Philip K. Dick's The Man in the High Castle, which has recently been transformed into a TV miniseries from Amazon. I usually find Dick's ideas more interesting than his actual novels, but what the hell: it's only 274 pages, so it can't be that bad either way...

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Nov 16 2015

These Shallow Graves, by Jennifer Donnelly

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Jennifer Donnelly's These Shallow Graves is the kind of book you want to take on a plane: long, engrossing, and simultaneously fun yet intellectually challenging enough to distract you from the super irritating guy hogging the armrest...

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