This Chick Read: Murder in the East End (Kat Holloway #4) by Jennifer Ashley

Head cook, Kat Holloway, can’t resist helping those in need and when she finds out some children have gone missing from London’s Foundling Hospital she decides to investigate. As a single mother whose daughter is growing up with another family, Kat is aware of how quickly her daughters circumstances could change. Helped by her friends she quickly delves into the mystery and despairs over finding the children unharmed.

This series takes us downstairs from the society folk Kat serves and gives us a behind the scenes look at what the lower levels of society in Victorian London may face. Each novel in the series ensnares the reader in the mystery while captivating our minds and hearts with the strength of Kat’s character as well as those of the staff and friends around her. What could be a simple tale ends up having many layers and gives depth to these simple people who are just trying to work to survive a harsh landscape. Kat Holloway navigates these various levels of society never forgetting her circumstances and how a wrong word can affect she and her daughters survival. Murder in the East End laid bare the fine line she walks as well as the emotional balance she strikes between her friendship and love, no matter the level of society those people reside in.

What did I think of Murder in the East End? I enjoyed not only the resolution to the mystery but also how Kat’s relationship with Daniel moved to the next step emotionally. After being betrayed by her husband Kat is very careful with her feelings but Murder in the East End revealed secrets that allowed Kat to give Daniel her trust, and hopefully her heart will follow. I’ll admit to being fascinated with the Victorian era as well. Society is filled with rules and yet below stairs their lives are much more base. The contrast between the two makes the division between classes even more apparent which makes novels riveting reading. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

I received a copy of the ARC from the publisher through NetGalley for my honest review and it was honest.

Click this link to purchase!* Murder in the East End (A Below Stairs Mystery)

Copyright 2020 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate- if you should purchase this book through the above link I’ll receive a small stipend.

This Chick’s Audio Review: Why Kings Confess (Sebastian St. Cyr #9) by C.S. Harris

Sebastian is brought onto this case by the doctor who found two bodies lying next to each other in a dark alley. One, Frenchman and Dr. Damian Pelletan, dead with his heart removed from his body. The second body was still alive, a young French woman name Alexi Sauvage. A woman that Sebastian met while taken prisoner during the war. Their reunion was not a welcoming one. As Sebastian investigates it takes him into the circle of the living child of Marie Antionette and the story of her family’s imprisonment during the French Revolution.

I love the historical aspects of all of these St. Cyr mysteries. Each book reveals another historical realm to its readers. Why Kings Confess explores the rumor that the young Dauphin, or Prince, may not have died during his imprisonment. As Sebastian navigates the people who may or may not have known whomever was involved in this plot we are given a peek into that time in history. These peek’s keep me coming back to the story but the narrator, the estimable Davina Porter, makes these stories come alive.

The pace of historical novels are ultimately slow. It would seem silly to have someone narrate in a tripping merrily kind of voice. Davina Porter while keeping a slow and steady kind of pace, gives each character an energy and verve that makes them real. You forget you are listening to a book because the characters become so vivid, your imagination turns them into a movie.

In Why Kings Confess, my interest was not only held by the historical mystery but also the unfolding emotions between Sebastian and his new (ish) wife Hero. She is now over eight months pregnant with his child and that due date brings with it all of the fears of the mortality rate for women and children in Regency time. He is faced with the fact that his wife may not live through the birth of their child and comes face to face with his feelings for her. This, so far, has been one of my favorite books in the series, in large part due to the scenes between Hero and Sebastian. They are fast becoming one of my favorite literary couples.

If you haven’t read this series, but love historical mysteries, please give it a try. I love the audiobooks in particular because of the skills of the narrator, but you need to invest a little time to get through one. They run over 12 hours each but are well worth the investment.

❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* Why Kings Confess (Sebastian St. Cyr Mystery Book 9)

Copyright 2020 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate- if you should purchase this book through the above link I’ll receive a small stipend.

This Chick Read: Her Last Flight by Beatriz Williams

Her Last Flight tells the story of two women, wartime photographer Janey Everett, and legendary pilot Irene Foster. Told in current time (1947) and in flashbacks to the mid 1920’s, Janey is hunting down the story of Sam Mallory, Irene’s one time teacher and co-pilot. She travels to Hawaii where she has tracked down Irene and hopes to convince her to tell her story.

Historical novels can often be slow and get bogged down in the details of the era in which the story is told. Her Last Flight, taking place in two timelines does a great job of giving you the flavor of those era’s yet doesn’t take time away from the plot by being over descriptive. Because of this, the pace was quick and I found myself speeding through this fascinating novel of these two women.

Janey is tracking down the story of the famous pilot Sam Mallory which is done through Irene’s memories, yet at the same time we are given flashbacks to Janey’s own life and the people who have influenced who she has become. As we read her story we are given hints that she and Irene’s stories have parallels and I read eagerly to see how or if they might intersect.

Did I have a favorite between the two characters? I’ll admit I leaned a little more towards Irene’s story because it was a little more glamorous, despite her life’s hiccups. Janey as the narrator, didn’t lay all of her cards on the table until the end, but with each reveal about her past you realized her’s was the more difficult life and I ended up pulling for her to find her happiness by the end. So, it was kind of a toss up! I liked them both for different reasons.

As a pilot’s daughter myself I was fascinated to read about the early days of flight and how women became involved in it. Irene’s and Sam’s story took place in the 1920’s when the country was recovering from the Great Depression and flying and air shows were a bit like going to the circus At that time; exciting and dangerous. To read how far flight advanced, even in the 25 years told in this story, was also pretty incredible, a point made by Irene’s love of aviation becoming tainted when she realized the damage in Spain from bombs being dropped from planes. A much more modern view of the capabilities technology brings.

There were quite a bit of twists and turns in Her Last Flight, none of which I want to go into as it would spoil your enjoyment of reading this story on your own. I’ll just say that it was deftly done and despite the turbulents the journey was completely enjoyable. I would recommend this story to everyone who loves this genre, it’s not one to be missed. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

I received a copy of this ARC from the publisher through NetGalley for my honest review and it was honest!

Click this link to purchase!* Her Last Flight: A Novel

Copyright 2020 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate- if you should purchase this book through the above link I’ll receive a small stipend.

This Chick Read: The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner

Just after the end of WWII in the small village of Chawton, England, a small group of villagers decide to honor one of their past residents by creating the Jane Austen Society. Their dream is to restore the small cottage that resides on the Knight estate where Jane Austen once lived and possibly wrote her final novel. Through their love for Jane Austen this disparate group finds solace, love, and hope.

The publisher has compared this novel to The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, and I definitely see the similarities, although this book stays locked in the post war era. The other similarity is the encapsulated feel of living in a small village, knowing the same people through your entire lives, and having those same people know (or think they know) everything about you. The characters in the Jane Austen Society had quite a few surprises in store not just for the reader, but for each other as well!

There were quite a few stories that ran parallel to the main plot as each character is introduced. Frances Knight, the direct descendant of Jane Austen, who’s home was once Jane’s, is one of the most important. As Frances’ story progresses we see her unmasked. What we and the other villagers see as frailty becomes a quiet strength. On the flip side we see a strong opinionated Adeline reveal a quiet uncertainty in the face of re-starting her life after the death of her unborn child. The contrasts between the characters gave the conflict within their own storylines more impact. This tool was actually used more than once, and quite effectively!

As I read their love for Jane Austen’s novels, and those plots, I realized again how books make such a difference in people’s lives. We each see something of ourselves in the characters we’re reading and these characters saw themselves in Darcy, Elizabeth Bennett, and Emma, just as much as I saw pieces of myself in the characters in The Jane Austen Society. Not only does it bring comfort during difficult times but we see our own past errors in some fictional characters which makes us root for them even more.

The Jane Austen Society quietly snuck up on me. I immediately loved the post WWII era, but it took a little more time for me to find my way with one or two of the characters in this novel. Once I was mid-way through the novel I settled into the plot and enjoyed each moment as it was revealed. If you have the patience to invest yourself in this quietly moving novel, I think you’ll reap the rewards of feeling satisfied at the end of this well written book, and who knows, you may see yourself in one or two of these characters as well! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley for my honest review and it was honest!

Click this link to purchase!* The Jane Austen Society: A Novel

Copyright 2020 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate-if you purchase this novel through the above link I’ll receive a small stipend.

This Chicks Sunday Commentary: Top 5 Most Anticipated Releases- Mar’20

Although I have not read a ton of books this month I’m still eagerly looking forward to new books to add to my TBR. March is always a big month for fiction releases and looking at this year’s list I can honestly say that there are more than 5 that will be added to my reading list. I don’t want to bore you with all of my favorites, so I am staying inside my little box of Top 5 most anticipated releases. I’d love to hear if yours matches mine!

#5 MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK RELEASE

A magical historical novel about a Mozart brother and sister? You know I can’t pass this one up!

Synopsis:

Two siblings. Two brilliant talents. But only one Mozart.

Born with a gift for music, Nannerl Mozart has just one wish–to be remembered forever. But even as she delights audiences with her masterful playing, she has little hope she’ll ever become the acclaimed composer she longs to be. She is a young woman in 18th century Europe, and that means composing is forbidden to her. She will perform only until she reaches a marriageable age–her tyrannical father has made that much clear.

And as Nannerl’s hope grows dimmer with each passing year, the talents of her beloved younger brother, Wolfgang, only seem to shine brighter. His brilliance begins to eclipse her own, until one day a mysterious stranger from a magical land appears with an irresistible offer. He has the power to make her wish come true–but his help may cost her everything.

In her first work of historical fiction, #1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu spins a lush, lyrically-told story of music, magic, and the unbreakable bond between a brother and sister.

Click this link to purchase!* The Kingdom of Back

#4 MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK RELEASE

I LOVED The Dinner List and this novel sounds like it will have the same fantasy element that I really enjoyed about in the last novel. Can’t wait.

Synopsis:

Where do you see yourself in five years?

When Type-A Manhattan lawyer Dannie Cohan is asked this question at the most important interview of her career, she has a meticulously crafted answer at the ready. Later, after nailing her interview and accepting her boyfriend’s marriage proposal, Dannie goes to sleep knowing she is right on track to achieve her five-year plan.

But when she wakes up, she’s suddenly in a different apartment, with a different ring on her finger, and beside a very different man. The television news is on in the background, and she can just make out the scrolling date. It’s the same night—December 15—but 2025, five years in the future.

After a very intense, shocking hour, Dannie wakes again, at the brink of midnight, back in 2020. She can’t shake what has happened. It certainly felt much more than merely a dream, but she isn’t the kind of person who believes in visions. That nonsense is only charming coming from free-spirited types, like her lifelong best friend, Bella. Determined to ignore the odd experience, she files it away in the back of her mind.

That is, until four-and-a-half years later, when by chance Dannie meets the very same man from her long-ago vision.

Brimming with joy and heartbreak, In Five Years is an unforgettable love story that reminds us of the power of loyalty, friendship, and the unpredictable nature of destiny.

Click this link to purchase!* In Five Years: A Novel

#3 MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK RELEASE

The first novel didn’t quite live up to my expectations but I think these two characters will bring the heat. At least I hope so!

Synopsis:

Liv Papandreas has a dream job as a sous chef at Nashville’s hottest restaurant. Too bad the celebrity chef owner is less than charming behind kitchen doors. After she catches him harassing a young hostess, she confronts him and gets fired. Liv vows revenge, but she’ll need assistance to take on the powerful chef.

Unfortunately, that means turning to Braden Mack. When Liv’s blackballed from the restaurant scene, the charismatic nightclub entrepreneur offers to help expose her ex-boss, but she is suspicious of his motives. He’ll need to call in reinforcements: the Bromance Book Club.

Inspired by the romantic suspense novel they’re reading, the book club assists Liv in setting up a sting operation to take down the chef. But they’re just as eager to help Mack figure out the way to Liv’s heart. . .even though she’s determined to squelch the sparks between them before she gets burned.

Click this link to purchase!* The Bromance Book Club

#2 MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK RELEASE

Yeah, yeah, I know I’m not the target for these YA books but when I was doing research for writing my own I really came to love them, and Kasie West is one of my favorites. Her books will always land on my TBR. This one looks too cute!

Synopsis:

At sixteen, Hadley Moore knows exactly who she is—a swimmer who will earn a scholarship to college. Totally worth all the hard work, even if her aching shoulders don’t agree.

So when a guy dressed as Hollywood’s latest action hero, Heath Hall, crashes her swim meet, she isn’t amused. Instead, she’s determined to make sure he doesn’t bother her again. Only she’s not sure exactly who he is. 

The swim meet isn’t the first event the imposter has interrupted, but a little digging turns up a surprising number of people who could be Heath Hall, including Hadley’s ex-boyfriend and her best friend’s crush. She soon finds herself getting caught up in the mysterious world of the fake Heath Hall.

As Hadley gets closer to uncovering the masked boy’s identity, she also discovers some uncomfortable truths about herself—like she might resent the long shadow her late brother has cast over her family, that she isn’t as happy as she pretends to be with her life choices…and that she’s falling for the last guy she ever thought she would like.

Click this link to purchase!* Moment of Truth

MY TOP BOOK RELEASE FOR MARCH ’20!

This series gets better with every book in part because the tension between Veronica and Stoker is still unresolved and smoldering. This one sounds like a great historical mystery. I’ve already pre-ordered it from my local independent bookstore. This series is a keeper!

Synopsis:

Autumn 1888. Veronica Speedwell and her colleague Stoker are asked by Lady Wellingtonia Beauclerk to stop a potential scandal so explosive it threatens to rock the monarchy. Prince Albert Victor is a regular visitor to the most exclusive private club in London, and the proprietress, Madame Aurore, has received an expensive gift that can be traced back to the prince. Lady Wellie would like Veronica and Stoker to retrieve it from the club before scandal can break. 

Worse yet, London is being terrorized by what would become the most notorious and elusive serial killer in history, Jack the Ripper—and Lady Wellie suspects the prince may be responsible.
Veronica and Stoker reluctantly agree to go undercover at Madame Auroreʼs high-class brothel, where a body soon turns up. Secrets are swirling around Veronica and the royal family—and it is up to Veronica and Stoker to find the truth, before it is too late for all of them.

Click this link to purchase!* A Murderous Relation (A Veronica Speedwell Mystery)

These are the books I am most looking forward to being released next month but there were so many to choose from! What’s the book you are most looking forward to adding to your TBR next month? Come on, I won’t tell!

Deb

*Amazon Associate- if you purchase a book through one of the above links I may receive a small stipend.

This Chick Read: Brazen and the Beast (The Bareknuckle Bastards #1) by Sarah MacLean

Lady Henrietta Sedley has declared her twenty-ninth year the Year of Hattie. She has a plan for her own renaissance from old maid spinster/virgin to deflowered business woman, in charge of running her father’s shipping business. When she finds a beautiful man tied up in her carriage, the Year of Hattie starts to go awry. Well, with the exception of the deflowering plan. that seems to be right on track. Unfortunately, after finding Beast in her carriage his revenge plan gets set in motion and when it butts heads with the Year of Hattie? Well, a new plan needs to be made.

I have never read a Sarah Maclean historical romance, but this one definitely got put on my radar by a bunch of book reviewers who raved, with good reason about how different these characters were and how refreshing that change made to the story. Hattie is a modern woman in every way except the time she’s living in. In today’s world she’d have been the President of the boardroom. Smart, witty, and able to out think the men working around her. She was also a healthy size. As with the women of today, she was aware that her size and intelligence made her unattractive to men of her time. Her fortune made her more attractive, but her father’s dukedom was not inherited but “gifted” for good services and dies when he does. So the “Lady” in her title is more a courtesy than an actuality.

“Beast” or Whit, as he’s really named, is an actual son of a Duke, albeit one born on the wrong side of the bed. After a traumatic childhood living on the streets, he and his brother “Devil”, from the first novel, have created their own kingdom in Covent Garden, the slums of London. When he finds himself tied up in Hattie’s carriage he must find revenge upon the person who put him there and he thinks Hattie will lead him to that person. This begins their game of cat and mouse, and as that game plays out their attraction to each other hampers each others plans but it’s their wit and intelligence that seals their fates.

I can’t finish this review without mentioning Hattie’s friend Nora. She’s the daughter of a Duke, likes to where men’s clothing and is the sidekick and sometimes instigator of Hattie’s adventures. There is a hinted at romance between she and Whit’s female Man at Arms. I loved that this queer romance was introduced and hope that they get their own story or novella. She’s a hoot and I think her story would be fascinating!

I love a good historical romance, especially one that veers away from established trope’s for this genre. Hattie is someone that a woman in any age can identify. She has self doubts about her looks and struggles to excel based upon her own skills and not her feminine genitalia. Unfortunately it takes a special man to overlook the more’s of the time they live in. Whit is just that man and their story is told in a riveting way in Brazen and the Beast. By the way, I didn’t read the first novel before picking this one up and whereas I’m going to go get it immediately, I didn’t miss out on any key plot lines without having read that novel first. Fear not! Read on historical lovers!

❤️❤️❤️❤️

Opinions around the Blogosphere

“As with all of the Sarah MacLean books I’ve read, this one gets stunning marks from me. Whit and Hattie are wondrous. I love their world. ” Snark and Squee

“I really enjoyed their banter and there are some very sexy scenes between them. Hattie managed to accomplish all her goals in the end, bravo for her. She did it all with class and sass!” Past Midnight

Click this link to purchase!* Brazen and the Beast: The Bareknuckle Bastards Book II

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chick Read: The Princess Plan (A Royal Wedding) by Julia London

When Eliza Tricklebank receives an anonymous tip about who murdered the secretary of the visiting Prince Sebastian of Alucia she doesn’t hesitate to print it in her gazette. When Sebastian shows up on her door wanting to follow up on that tip Eliza doesn’t act deferential, instead treating him like an ordinary man, and sends him on his way after chastising him for his rude behavior. This doesn’t deter Sebastian, in fact, it intrigues him. When he shows up again to apologize they decide to pursue the investigation together, the tension between them quickly turning from irritation to friendship.

When I read the synopsis for The Princess Plan for some reason I thought it was a modern romance. So, imagine my surprise when I realized this was a historical. Our heroine, Eliza is not your typical historical woman. She’s “on the shelf” at 29 and because of that status doesn’t give a hoot how she’s perceived in society. This gives her character a modern edge that makes her extremely likable. I couldn’t help rooting for her to become his future bride.

The murder takes place at the start of the book and the intrigue and investigation set a fast pace for this romance. Our prince is not just in London for fun, he’s actually trying to complete a trade negotiation as well as find a bride to bring back home to Alucia. The murder of his closest friend allows the reader to see the lonely life of this prince. The contrast to Eliza’s “normal” upbringing, as well as her cheekiness, makes her an irresistible candidate but they of course have obstacles to overcome. I won’t spoil how this is accomplished, but it makes for a fun novel to read! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

I received a free copy of the book through NetGalley and the publisher for my honest review and it was honest!

Click this link to purchase!* The Princess Plan (A Royal Wedding)

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate- if you purchase this book through the above link I’ll receive a small stipend.

This Chicks Sunday Commentary: Oct’19 Wrap Up!

As I sit here high on life and leftover Halloween candy, I’m reflecting back on the month of October. It went almost as quickly as the Milky Way bars out of my Halloween candy stash!

My reading slowed down quite a bit in October. Part of that was ending my old job and starting the new one (it’s going fabulous so far!), but mostly it was because I was in the mood for some historical mysteries and those take a little longer for me to read and listen to. Here are some great books from my October reading list.

OCTOBER- BEST READS!

Yes, this was NOT a historical mystery! LOL. My favorite fantasy duo released the next installation in the Innkeeper Series and I rushed to read this one. It was as good as was promised! Review has been written and scheduled!

Click this link to purchase!* Sweep of the Blade (Innkeeper Chronicles)

This is the 5th book in the Sebastian St. Cyr series. Our Viscount Devlin likes to solve mysteries utilizing his position in society to go where Bow Street can’t. There are a LOT of novels left in this series and I’m listening to them instead of reading. The amazing Davina Porter is the narrator and she makes me forget that I’m living in Tennessee and not in 18th century England. Her characterizations are incredible. For those of you who have listened to the Outlander series, it’s the same narrator.

Click this link to purchase the audiobook!* What Remains of Heaven

My recommendation is to really give yourself time to read this one continuously. It’s take about 30% in before I was fully invested, but when I hit that point I didn’t want to stop. It was really good!

Click this link to purchase!* Ninth House

THIS CHICKS SUNDAY COMMENTARY

November 1st was the start of the ebook embargo by MacMillan publishing. They are limiting our local libraries to an 8 week wait on newly published books and then only allowing them to own it for a specifies length of time. For most of us who can’t afford to buy every single book we want to read this is a HUGE deal! I wrote a post notifying my fellow book lovers about the details of what was going on and asked you all to sign a petition. If you missed those details, please click the link below.

Should Publishers be Allowed to Limit ebooks to Libraries?

If you missed any of my posts in September I wrote up a brief wrap up. Please click the link below to check it out!

Sept’19 Wrap Up!

I always look into the next month to see what books are being published and which one’s are on my own radar. If you missed my post, please click the link below!

My Top 5 Nov’19 Book Releases

WHAT’S ON TAP FOR THIS MONTH?

It will come as no surprise to anyone that I have a lot of reading in front of me! Whereas I don’t have a lot of reviews that must post in November, I have quite a few in early December! I’ll try to wrap those up and get them written early so I can relax around the holidays!

Enjoy your own month of reading and let me know if you read a really great book. I’m always looking to add to my TBR!

Deb

This Chick Read: The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow

I’ve sat on this review for a couple of days because 1) I couldn’t decide how I’d be able to write one and 2) I couldn’t figure out how to describe my thoughts and feelings. Let’s start with the back of the book synopsis.

In the early 1900s, a young woman embarks on a fantastical journey of self-discovery after finding a mysterious book in this captivating and lyrical debut.
In a sprawling mansion filled with peculiar treasures, January Scaller is a curiosity herself. As the ward of the wealthy Mr. Locke, she feels little different from the artifacts that decorate the halls: carefully maintained, largely ignored, and utterly out of place.
Then she finds a strange book. A book that carries the scent of other worlds, and tells a tale of secret doors, of love, adventure and danger. Each page turn reveals impossible truths about the world and January discovers a story increasingly entwined with her own.

The above synopsis is accurate but totally different than I would have described this novel. Yes, January Scaller is a curiosity. She’s of mixed race and is the ward of a wealthy white businessman. In his social world, she is a curiosity, but she is also biased against, treated pretty abominably by Mr. Locke, and has an absentee father who occasionally visits but has his own agenda that isn’t explained until the end of the book. January lives in a very black and white world. If not for the friendship of the grocer’s son, she’d be unbearably alone and her life would be pretty bleak.

One day she goes delving into a chest in Mr. Locke’s office and finds a book about these Ten Thousand Doors. When she reads this book she can escape from her dismal life through the story of another young girl. That story is about love at first sight and her journey to find a mysterious young man who had stepped through a door from another world. Doors that may or may not be real. This tale is certainly brighter than January’s own story, and for me more interesting. It’s not until the two stories intertwine that I really became invested in The Ten Thousand Doors of January and the character in her own world.

This novel mixed several genre’s creating a kind of hybrid, atmospheric historical fantasy. I would even say it bordered gothic and was very dark. The elegant prose with which it was written, while beautiful, created an emotional barrier that made it really hard for me to immerse myself in the story and care strongly for January. I did have feeling’s for Her and some of the other characters, but I didn’t feel involved or invested in what happened to them. Am I the only person who’s read this novel that feels this way? It feels like it! Other reviews have waxed lyrical about the writing, and it was certainly all that, but for me, there was a piece missing that kept it from being a great novel. Can I pinpoint what that may be? No. Not to say that I hated all of it, I didn’t! I loved how there were doors into other worlds and the possibility of journeys into those worlds. Unfortunately with a couple of exceptions that I can’t go into without spoiling the outcome, those weren’t avenues that were explored much in this novel.

I did like the alternate storyline. It was a wonderful journey of exploration and self discovery. January’s storyline was a bit more subversive, her story was about wanting something strong enough to change her circumstances and go after it. She did do that, I just wish I had cared more for that self exploration than I did. ❤️❤️❤️❣️

I received a free copy of this ARC for my honest review and it was honest.

Click this link to purchases!* The Ten Thousand Doors of January

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chick Read: Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore

Destitute daughter of a vicar, Annabelle Archer earns a place as one of the first female students at the illustrious University of Oxford. In return for her scholarship she must join the women’s suffrage movement and try to gain the backing of a man of influence. Her target? Sebastian Devereaux, Duke of Montgomery and political advisor to the queen. Her beauty catches his eye and despite her fellowship with independent women he’s drawn to her. Can she hold him at arms length while still earning his backing of their movement? Can he convince her to become his without the promise of marriage? Evie Dunmore’s debut novel is atypical of other historical novels in that it dives into the politics of this time and the societal divide a lack of income and good background creates between a man and woman. Bringing Down the Duke was an intricate love story, but also a historical eye opener.

Despite the fluff that the word “Duke” brings to a historical romance title, this novel was anything but. The intricate love story between Sebastian and Annabelle was revealed a piece at a time and was enthralling, don’t get me wrong, but it was the history of the time and how that impacted these two characters that held my attention. I can only recall having read one other novel set during the women’s suffrage movement and as an independent woman myself (even though American), I’m very interested in how and when women’s rights were fought and granted In England. The fact that Evie Dunmore chose this time for a romance gave it a more modern feel.

Sebastian started off the novel as you would expect. Frigid Duke taking all of his responsibilities very seriously gets upended by a beautiful woman. BUT because of the setting we get to see how his thoughts change about women’s rights as Annabelle is threatened through her actions while fight for them. That makes Sebastian different than other historical romance heroes giving the story more impact. In real life a Duke couldn’t consider a woman for his wife if she wasn’t in the correct societal rank without throwing away his own livelihood and lands. Of course in romance novels there are no rules and Dukes marry whomever they want, but this novel doesn’t seem to throw away those societal rules and the Duke’s decisions propel not just the romantic side of the story but the historical plot as well.

I liked Annabelle a lot. She was smart, educated, pretty, but also had a head on her shoulders. She was no innocent and new how her actions would affect her future, but also the future of those around her. She was always thinking ahead. Her attraction to Sebastian was HUGE, but she was no ninny. She knew what it meant if she became a mistress or a wife. Her decisions were based upon real life plot lines and not romance novel plot lines. That made her so much more interesting and real!

Bringing Down the Duke is one of those novels where you pick it up not knowing what you are going to get. The only hint is from the picture on the front where the woman is seated in the saddle of the horse and the Duke is behind her when usually their placement would be in the reverse. A very subtle hint at her independence. I don’t want to give the impression that there isn’t any tension or romance between these two characters. There is plenty of food for the bodice ripping romantic! These two have heat, and their romance was riveting. Even more so because of everything that was happening that I mentioned above! Also, Annabelle’s friends in the movement were interesting and fabulous and hopefully their stories are to come in future novels in the series.

Bringing Down the Duke was everything I love in a historical romance. Riveting characters, sexual tension, and interesting details about the time they are living in. This is a novel that I can easily recommend to anyone who enjoys a great historical romance!

❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️

I received a free copy of this ARC through NetGalley for my honest review and it was honest!

Opinions from around the Blogosphere!

“Bringing Down The Duke is one of the best debut’s I have read, it is simply stunning! The character’s are beautifully written, each one sparkles with life, the story is fun and original, it is an exciting, gorgeous and mesmerising love story. Evie Dunmore captivates and enthrals the reader with her intelligent, passionate and dazzling writing.” Chicks, Rogues, and Scandals

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