“Jane of Austin” by Hillary Manton Lodge— Book Review

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This retelling of Jane Austen’s “Sense and Sensibility” was a mix of like and dislike for me…. The book was not holding my best attention until the last third, so I’ve divided some of the review to share my thoughts on the parts.

First Two Thirds:

The story started out all right. There was drama (girls had to go from being rich to poor because of their dad’s mistakes, and therefore ostracized because of their association with their father), humor (which I won’t go into detail so as not to spoil story), and…yeah. It was just a pleasant little contemporary read. The story then progressed with the sisters trying to deal with life issues and moving to a new place. It was all right, but not a page turning wowzer. (<— I know, not a real word. o_O )

It was just like reading a novel about everyday life, which is not a bad thing—I have enjoyed this quite a bit in the past. Like a said, it’s pleasant, but it did not have me picking up the book as often as I could have.

Last Third:

This is when my interest picked up and I was like, dude, this is kind of good. Things started tying together with the romances, the drama became more heart-pounding-ly intense, and the SWEET ending? Totally an AWWWWW! ending. So,  yeah, all of this helped perk my rating for this book.

I give “Jane of Austin” a rating of four. It is an overall well written book, and it does have its enjoyable parts, especially towards the end. It’s not a bad book, just simple and… sensible. ūüėČ

Also, now I want to watch the 1995 version of “Sense and Sensibility.”

Book Review Ratings:

5. Great Book!

4. I  liked it!

3. Okay.

2. Did not like it.

1. Did not finish.

*Thanks to the Blogging for Books program for a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review.

“Rules of Murder” by Julianna Deering — Book Review

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About The Book (From Publisher’s Website):

¬† “From The Tip of his black Homburg to the crease in his stylish cheviot trousers, he’s the epitome of a stylish 1930s English gentleman. His only problem? The body he just discovered.¬†

  Drew Farthering loves a good mystery, although he generally expects to find it in the pages of a novel, not on the grounds of his country estate. 

¬† With the help of beautiful and whip-smart Madeline Parker, a guest from America, Drew proposes to use the lessons he’s learned reading his mysteries to solve the crime. Before long, he realizes this is no lark, and no one at Farthering Place is who he or she appears to be–not the butler nor blackmailer, the chauffeur nor embezzler. Trying hard to remain one step ahead of the killer–and trying harder to impress Madeline–Drew must decide how far to take this dangerous game.”

My Review:

¬† This mystery book had been on my TBR list for a long while before I read it. I’m not as big of a mystery reader as I was when I was younger (the Nancy Drew and Mandie Mystery days…), but something about the vintage-looking cover caught my eye (seriously, isn’t it awesome?!). Then there was the praise I read about Drew Farthering (hero of this series) that made me a tad more curious… It took me awhile, but now I can say yes, I’ve met Mr. Drew Farthering. And my opinion of ¬†him is…

He’s one of my favorite kind of characters, He has a sarcastic sense of humor that may have amused me too much. Also, he likes reading, so that’s a bonus brownie added to his score board. I’ve read quite a few books with ladies who enjoy a good fictional tale, but it hasn’t as often happened that a story’s male lead is a reader. Thanks to the author for making the hero all the more awesome by his love of books!

But he’s not the only character that added to my enjoyment of this book. The heroine, Madeline, is a perfect blend of spunk and femininity. ¬†She’s a pretty tough character, but not so tough that she comes across as not having feelings I think the average lady has when under stressful situations.

And then there’s Drew’s best friend, Nick, a character that I liked just as much as Drew. I like the friendship between the two, and how the author made me feel the strength of their relationship from years of said friendship.

Obviously, as this book is a mystery, you’re probably curious on how this book did in the actual mystery department? I’ll say it certainly kept me guessing up until the near end. I felt pretty sleuth-like myself when some of my guesses were correct, but I was not sure until they unfolded, so that was pretty cool. I often love to be surprised and shocked in reading, and this book definitely held some unexpected moments.

Now, while overall ¬†this book was an enjoyable read, there were a couple of parts that I personally did not like. One, the romance was too instantaneous for me. It felt almost forced to me for a while. Yet I suppose that, while I certainly would have preferred a little less speed in the attraction, I was able to feel all right about it when the book was over. Even began to think some of the romance was kind of sweet… The other thing is that this book got somewhat gruesome in spaces. This is a murder mystery, so it is no surprise, but it still gave me a squeamish feeling.

This cozy mystery transported me to another time and place. The 1930’s are not a time I often visit in fiction, and this tale was an interesting trip into the period. Plus, the setting was England, and that just made it all the more better.

Overall, I did like this book, and therefore I’m giving “Rules of Murder” by Julianna Deering a rating of four. I recommend it to mature teens and adults.

Book Review Ratings:

5. Great Book!

4. I  liked it!

3. Okay.

2. Did not like it.

1. Did not finish.

Top Ten Tuesday: (Later) 2017 Anticpating Book Releases

I have not participated in a Top Ten Tuesday Post since starting this blog, but it is a meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish where you share a list of stuff that they give you. This week I’m to share the Top Ten Book Releases that I’m anticipating for the later part of 2017.

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“The Austen Escape” by Katherine Reay— This one is about a woman named Mary who goes to visit her friend in England. The friend loses her memory, thinks she is in regency England, and leaves Mary in charge of her house. Sounds like a fun read.

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“Rebel Seoul” by Axie Oh”— This book is supposed to be like a Korean action drama, and so…yeah. *wants it now*

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“Forest of a Thousand Laterns” by Julie C. Dao—¬†This is a retelling of the Evil Queen in a Far Eastern setting. I love the title of this book so much.

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“Hunting Prince Dracula” by Kerri Maniscalco— Currently listening to the first book in the series, “Stalking Jack the Ripper.” I’m enjoying it, and therefore anticipate this sequel.

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“A Dangerous Legacy” by Elizabeth Camden— Elizabeth Camden. Need I say more? *excited she is having a second book release in 2017*

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“Where We Belong” by Lynn Austin— I have not read a lot of Lynn Austin, but this one looks so unique in the Christian fiction genre.

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“Exiles” by Jaye L. Knight— Still need to read book three, but I have a feeling I’ll enjoy this one. The cover is rather cool, too.

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“A Name Unknown” by Roseanna M. White— I have been wanting to read this book before the cover was even released. I’m on the author’s street team (So be prepared to read and see a lot of this book in the near future.).

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“Out of the Ordinary” by Jen Turano— If I want a funny book, Jen Turano is the author I know I can trust to make me smile. I’m glad she also has this second 2017 release.

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“Renegades” by Marissa Meyer— I have known for sometime that Marissa Meyer was writing a super hero type story. I love her Lunar Chronicles series, and hope this one will be just as good.

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“In 27 Days” by Alison Gervais— This book was originally a story on Wattpad. The story is about a girl who goes back in time to try and save the life of a guy who committed suicide. Sounds heartrendingly beautiful.

 

What are some 2017 book releases that you are looking forward to releasing this year?

“It Happened at the Fair” by Deeanne Gist- Mini Book Review

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 About:

The story follows a young man named Cullen. Cullen is a farmer who just so happened to invent an automatic fire extinguishing system (Pretty big deal in the late nineteenth century.). After his father practically forces Cullen to show his invention at the Chicago World’s Fair, Cullen finds himself in the very noisy machinery building at the fair (not to mention very far away from his fiance…). Due to the loud noise of the building—and the fact that he’s losing his hearing— Cullen soon seeks out the help of a teacher who he hopes will help him to learn to lip read so he can understand what his prospective customers are saying. A romance soon begins between him and the teacher, but what about the girl waiting for him at home?

My Review:

I honestly don’t have a lot to say about this book, though not because it was bad or anything. I actually quite enjoyed it, and managed to read it in two days (not something I often do). It was a fun read that was filled with such detail that I now feel like I went to the the Chicago World’s Fair even though I didn’t because (obviously) I was not living in the late nineteenth century. The romance was sweet, and the main characters were lovable. It wasn’t my favorite book by Deeanne Gist, but I found it an overall likable read that I recommend to those who enjoy a romantic story that transports them back in time. (Seriously, the detail’s that good, ya’ll.)

I give “It Happened at the Fair” by Deeanne Gist a rating of four.

Book Review Ratings:

5.Great Book!

4.I  liked it!

3. Okay.

2. Did not like it.

1. Did not finish.