Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

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The Nightingale
Kristin Hannah

St. Martin's Press
448 Pages

The thrilling story of the French Underground Resistance during World War II.  

Two sister in their own way try to help their French neighbors and allied soldiers escape from the deadly German invasion of their country.  Vianne must open up her home to German soldiers and she live in terror for years as she tries to protect those she loves and Isabelle joins a resistance group as a way to fight back.

The two stories of the sisters is filled with terror, passion, and desire to help survive the war and to help their families and friends.   Lives are risked and all the horrors of war are a part of the two sister's lives.

Bittersweet by Colleen McCullough

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by Colleen McCullough
Simon & Schuster
Pages:  384

Set in 1920s and 30s in  Australia, McCullough has created a wonderful story of the lives of two sets of twins.  The twins are very close but are all very different and all have different wants and needs.  They all enroll in a new nursing program and break new ground in nursing and make decisions about what they value most.  

It was wonderful to see the twins grow and become their own selves but never too far from their twin sisters.

We Are Not Ourselves by Matthew Thomas

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We Are Not Ourselves
Matthew Thomas

Simon & Schuster
640 Pages

This is a story of Eileen and what her hopes and dreams came to.  She always has the desire to "move up" in the world and was never really happy in with her lot in life.  As Eileen grows up and ventures out in the world she is always looking at how her life could be better.

When Eileen marries and has a son, she expects her husband and child to want the same things that she wants but we soon find out that we cannot make those plans for anyone else because they may have ideas of their own.  

Alzheimer's disease becomes a major part of their lives and how Eileen's plans change at that point.  

Ed's disease, Connell's rebelliousness, and Eileens's drive upward create a story of love and love lost.

Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

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Girl on the Train
Paula Hawkins

Riverhead Books
336 pages

Rachel takes the train everyday to London and as she travels she enjoys the scenes along the way, especially a young couple who many days are out on their deck enjoying their breakfast.    But one day - that all changes.  The girl in on the deck with another man and then the girl disappears.  Rachel feels that she must tell the police what she has witnessed.

That is only the beginning of becoming entangled into the lives of those she sees on her way to town  on the train.

Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier

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by Daphne DuMaurier

Avon Books
Copyright:  1938
ISBN:  038000917X
Pages:  380

In a book club that I belong to, the group decided to read a "classic" and Rebecca was chosen.  This story is reminiscent of the gothic romance genre.  A young girl falls in love with the dashing older man who marries her and brings her home to his beautiful mansion in the country.  But all is not love and romance upon arriving at the mansion, Manderley.  

I enjoyed this classic title will all of it twists, turns, and secrets.  The young bride finds out that living in a beautiful home is not always as it seem.s

Friday, March 27, 2015

"Voyager" by Diana Gabaldon (book three of Outlander series)

Their passionate encounter happened long ago by whatever measurement Claire Randall took. Two decades before, she had traveled back in time and into the arms of a gallant eighteenth-century Scot named Jamie Fraser. Then she returned to her own century to bear his child, believing him dead in the tragic battle of Culloden. Yet his memory has never lessened its hold on her... and her body still cries out for him in her dreams.

My Thoughts:
Claire is in her own time and has a daughter from Jamie, Brianna who is 20 years old who looks just like her father, a Scottish warrior from the 18th century named Jamie Fraser.

Claire, a doctor living in Boston, with the help of her daughter and a friend, finds out that Jamie somehow survived the bloody Battle of Culloden!

She risks another trip through the stones and finds Jamie!  Their love is just as strong but it is tested many times.

This volume is packed with travel, trust and turmoil.

I have read more in the past few months than I have in years because of this series. 

Book Details:
Outlander (Book 3)
1104 pages
Dell; Reissue edition (October 1, 1994)


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

"Four Nights with the Duke" By: Eloisa James Review

Four Nights with the Duke
By: Eloisa James

As a young girl, Emilia Gwendolyn Carrington told the annoying future Duke of Pindar that she would marry any man in the world before him—so years later she is horrified to realize that she has nowhere else to turn.
Evander Septimus Brody has his own reasons for agreeing to Mia's audacious proposal, but there's one thing he won't give his inconvenient wife: himself. Instead, he offers Mia a devil's bargain...he will spend four nights a year with her. Four nights, and nothing more. And those only when she begs for them. Which Mia will never do.
Now Vander faces the most crucial challenge of his life: he must seduce his own wife in order to win her heart—and no matter what it takes, this is the one battle he can't afford to lose.

My Thoughts
     Horribly embarrassed as a teenager by the future Duke of Pindar after a love poem that she has written is discovered, Mia swears that she will find a way to have her revenge. Over a decade later, Mia is in a bind. Her entire family has passed away and she is left trying to keep custody of her young, disabled nephew. In order to keep her nephew from the clutches of an evil uncle, Mia must marry someone powerful enogh to stand up to the uncle while also staying respectable. Who else does she turn to, except for her childhood nemesis, Vander, the future Duke.
     Eloisa James continues her newest series by delightfully delving into Mia and Vander’s story. Always a wonderful ride, James has exceeded my wildest expectations with Vander’s tale. With glimpses of previous characters, Vander and Mia don’t seem to match at all. Mia begins her relationship by blackmailing Vander with evidence that puts his father in an almost treasonous light. Yet, you can’t help but feel this desperate mood is called for when you see how desperate Mia is to save her only living family.
     Mia makes her living as a romance writer.  I thought it was incredibly clever how James worked in Mia’s work with the actual romance of the story. It gave me a little insight into the novel writing process and allowed us to get even farther into Mia’s head and motivations. Plus it was just really fun to read her novel and how it related to her current predicament.
     I adored Mia’s story but fell in love with Vander all over again. He truly came into his own and was absolutely one of my favorite James heroes to date. Delightful with plenty of witty banter, Mia and Vander’s story was worth the wait. There are even some subtle nods to Julia Quinn and Lisa Kleypas, so keep your eyes peeled. This may even be my favorite James novel to date and is an excellent addition to her canon.
Book Details
Publisher: Avon
Date of Publication: March 30, 2015
ISBN: 9780062223913
# of Pages: 384
Location: London, England

Originally published at the Brunette Librarian's Blog

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Dragonfly In Amber (Outlander, Book 2) by Diana Gabaldon


Synopsis: From the author of Outlander... a magnificent epic that once again sweeps us back in time to the drama and passion of 18th-century Scotland...

For twenty years Claire Randall has kept her secrets. But now she is returning with her grown daughter to Scotland's majestic mist-shrouded hills. Here Claire plans to reveal a truth as stunning as the events that gave it birth: about the mystery of an ancient circle of standing stones ...about a love that transcends the boundaries of time ...and about James Fraser, a Scottish warrior whose gallantry once drew a young Claire from the security of her century to the dangers of his ....

Now a legacy of blood and desire will test her beautiful copper-haired daughter, Brianna, as Claire's spellbinding journey of self-discovery continues in the intrigue-ridden Paris court of Charles Stuart ...in a race to thwart a doomed Highlands uprising ...and in a desperate fight to save both the child and the man she loves....

My thoughts:  I am not one to read books involving time travel but I love the location and timeframe of the story. 

Print Length: 754 pages
October 26, 2004