20 August 2011

Apothecary's Daughter

Summary: Lillian Haswell, brilliant daughter of the local apothecary, yearns for more adventure and experience than life in her father's shop and their small village provides. She also longs to know the truth behind her mother's disappearance, which villagers whisper about
but her father refuses to discuss. Opportunity comes when a distant aunt offers to educate her as a lady in London. Exposed to fashionable society and romance--as well as clues about her mother--Lilly is torn when she is summoned back to her ailing father's bedside. Women are
forbidden to work as apothecaries, so to save the family legacy, Lilly will have to make it appear as if her father is still making all the diagnoses and decisions. But the suspicious eyes of a scholarly physician and a competing apothecary are upon her. As they vie for village prominence, three men also vie for Lilly's heart.

Comments: Written by Julie Klassen, I have no idea why I purchased this - I must have read something somewhere because it was on my kindle. I really enjoyed the story and I learned a good bit about something (apothecaries) that I knew virtually nothing. I liked the the prologue and epilogue were in the first person while the rest of the book is not. The book did stretch a bit at the end being slightly more drawn out than I would have preferred, but the story is very interesting. I enjoyed the Elliots, France, Dr. Graves, and Mr. Shuttleworth - they were all thought through and very believable. Lillian is a lovely heroine, but seems to get more than her share of troubles - almost to the point of exhaustion for the reader.

17 August 2011

The Deception of the Emerald Ring

Summary: Harvard grad student Eloise Kelly has gotten into quite a bit of trouble since she's been spying on the Pink Carnation and the Black Tulip - two fo the deadliest agents to saunter the streets of nineteenth-century England and France. Not only has she been unearthing secrets that will rearrange history, but she's been dallying with Colin Selwich and looking for a romantic adventure all her own. Little does she know that she's about to uncover another
fierce heroine running headlong into history.
In June 1803, Letty Alsworthy attempts to prevent her sister's midnight elopement - only to be accidentally whisked away herself. The scandal forces her into a hasty marriage with Geoffrey Pinchingdale-Snipe, who then decamps immediately to help the Pink Carnation quash a ring of Irish rebels led by the Black Tulip. Not to be outdone, Letty steals away to the Emerald Isle herself, ready to lean a thing of tow about espionage - and never imagining she might lean a few things about love along the way (Source: Book Cover).

Comments: Another very satisfying read by Lauren Willig, The Deception of the Emerald Ring has an interesting twist to the secret elopement. We have met Geoffrey Pinchingdale-Snipe from the two previous books and heard of his literary poems dedicated to Mary Alsworthy, Letty's sister. When Geoffrey finds himself kissing the wrong sister, a wedding is quickly arranged. Poor Letty, obliged to marry where she does not want to and the mortification of it being her sister's lover. And to add insult to injury, he leaves the afternoon of their wedding for Ireland. Letty, determined not to be embarrassed further by his desertion, follows him to Ireland.
It seems the French want to stir up trouble in Ireland to distract England long enough for a French invasion. There are certainly enough rebels in Ireland to go around, and the notorious Black Tulip as well. And then there is my favorite character Lord Vaughn. The jury is still out on him - is he a good guy or a bad guy. One day we may find out. Jane Wooliston is there of course, flirting mightily with Geoffrey as the charming, Gilly Fairley - a blonde of course while they secretly exchange information on the Irish rebels and their weapons caches.
So who is the Black Tulip? Is it Lord Vaughn? He certainly seems to fit the bill, but perhaps too well. Very very enjoyable read. Next up. The Seduction of the Crimson Rose.

16 August 2011

Happy Birthday Georgette Heyer

Happy Birthday to the woman that epitomizes Regency Romance. With her detailed knowledge of the period, she deftly and humorously weaves a tale complete with romance, intrigue, suspense, wit, and humor. Her characters are realistic and thankfully flawed. Her first novel, the Black Moth, was written when she was just 19 years old. This was the first book of Mrs. Heyer that I read and I was hooked. Her list of Georgian and Regency Historical Romance is just about a mile long and I've worked my way though about half. So far nothing as replaced my top pick yet (The Devil's Cub), but there are plenty of books to be read.

Now, to celebrate Mrs. Heyer's birthday, all her ebooks at on sale for $1.99 until 21 August. I have some shopping to do.