Only Beloved (The Survivors’ Club #7)
By: Mary Balogh
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase
For the first time since the death of his wife, the Duke of Stanbrook is considering remarrying and finally embracing happiness for himself. With that thought comes the treasured image of a woman he met briefly a year ago and never saw again.
Dora Debbins relinquished all hope to marry when a family scandal left her in charge of her younger sister. Earning a modest living as a music teacher, she’s left with only an unfulfilled dream. Then one afternoon, an unexpected visitor makes it come true.
For both George and Dora that brief first encounter was as fleeting as it was unforgettable. Now is the time for a second chance. And while even true love comes with a risk, who are two dreamers to argue with destiny?
I first read a book from The Survivors’ Club, Only Enchanting (review), last year and liked it enough. I wasn’t in any particular rush to pick up the rest of the series but I was keen to pick up this book when I found out that it would feature Agnes’ sister, Dora, and the Duke of Stanbrook. I thought they had a lovely moment together in Only Enchanting and that they would make a good couple. So yay that that wish came true 😛
So You Want to Read… is a monthly feature here on eclectictales.com in which I recommend books by particular authors to readers who have never read a book from certain authors and would like to start. I’m always happy to recommend books and certain authors to my fellow readers and bloggers! 🙂
For this month’s edition of “So You Want to Read…”, I’m going to focus on books written by Amanda Grange (see author tag). By mid-last year I had more or less gotten around to reading all of Grange’s Jane Austen hero diaries save one (sorry, I have no interest in reading Wickham’s perspective on events. Henry Crawford, on the other hand, is another story…) and figured it would make a great focus for this feature. Grange does such a wonderful job in presenting familiar Austen stories from the perspective of the hero and add to characters we already know and love. I cannot recommend her books enough!
So without further ado, here’s three books from the diaries series that I’d recommend to start with:
- Captain Wentworth’s Diary (review) — Not surprising in that Persuasion (review) is my favourite Jane Austen novel, but Amanda Grange’s novel from Wentworth’s perspective just adds so much more to the character and to events, not only filling in the spaces on Anne and Wentworth’s relationship the first time around, but also sort of confirms my line of thinking that Wentworth definitely wears his heart on his sleeve 😛 Nonetheless it’s a great intro to Amanda Grange’s books, I think, adding a bit of something before and after the events of Persuasion.
- Mr. Knightley’s Diary (review) — Another excellent diary from Amanda Grange, I think what’s especially great about this book is how not only does it capture the sly humour of Emma (review) but again really adds to the character of Mr. Knightley (omg, he has friends?! Like, outside of Emma and Mr. Woodhouse? (c’mon, I’m sure that would’ve been Emma’s response to such new information 😛 )). Even if Emma isn’t you’re favourite Austen novel (definitely not up there for me if I had to rank her books), it does offer some fresh appreciation for the story, at least in my experience 😉
- Colonel Brandon’s Diary (review) — Okay, I knew Colonel Brandon was awesome in Sense and Sensibility (review) but this book brought that realisation to new heights *hearts and stars* He went through so much crap and disappointment when he was younger that you’re naturally rooting for everything good and decent to happen to him for the rest of his life. And this book just confirms the idea that he’s got this sort of Cinderella story, this second chance at love and happiness. Again, it’s great when books really add to the original story and build on what we know of the characters.
And that’s my list! I hope it helps if you’re interested in reading something by Amanda Grange for the first time! If you’ve read her books, which one is your favourite? Which would you recommend for first-time readers? Or which books have you been meaning to get around to reading? Let me know, I’d love to hear from you! 🙂
By: Cecelia Ahern
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase
What happens when two people who are meant to be together just can’t seem to get it right.
Rosie and Alex are destined for each other, and everyone seems to know it but them. Best friends since childhood, the are separated as teenagers when Alex and his family relocate from Dublin to Boston. Like two ships always passing in the night, Rosie and Alex stay friends, and though years pass, the two remain firmly attached via emails and letters. Heartbroken, they learn to live without each other. But destiny is a funny thing, and in this novel o f several missed opportunities, Rosie and Alex learn that fate isn’t quite done with them yet.
I’ve often seen Cecelia Ahern’s books floating around but never thought to pick them up, really. I did see the movie adaptation of this book earlier this year, which I thought was a cute enough watch, but when I saw the eBook on sale, I decided to pick it up and see how the original story compared (also, goodness knows I need some light reads peppered throughout my TBR pile; I’ve amassed a lot of hefty and chunkster titles lately). Contains some spoilers ahead (if you’ve seen the movie, you’re good)!
Close Enough to Touch
By: Colleen Oakley
Format/Source: Advanced Reading Copy courtesy of Simon & Schuster CA
One time a boy kissed me and I almost died…
And so begins the story of Jubilee Jenkins, a young woman with a rare and debilitating medical condition: she’s allergic to other humans. After a humiliating near-death experience in high school, Jubilee has become a recluse, living the past nine years in the confines of the small town New Jersey house her unaffectionate mother left to her when she ran off with a Long Island businessman. But now, her mother is dead, and without her financial support, Jubilee is forced to leave home and face the world—and the people in it—that she’s been hiding from.
One of those people is Eric Keegan, a man who just moved into town for work. With a daughter from his failed marriage who is no longer speaking to him, and a brilliant, if psychologically troubled, adopted son, Eric’s struggling to figure out how his life got so off-course, and how to be the dad—and man—he wants so desperately to be. Then, one day, he meets a mysterious woman named Jubilee, with a unique condition…
Close Enough to Touch is an evocative, poignant, and heartrending exploration of the power and possibilities of the human heart.
The premise of this novel fascinated me so much that I requested an ARC to read. This book will be available on 14 February 2017.
The Rogue Not Taken (Scandal and Scoundrel #1)
By: Sarah MacLean
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase
Lady Sophie’s Society Splash!
When Sophie, the least interesting of the Talbot sisters, lands her philandering brother-in-law backside-first in a goldfish pond in front of all society, she becomes the target of very public aristocratic scorn. Her only choice is to flee London, vowing to start a new life far from the aristocacy. Unfortunately, the carriage in which she stows away isn’t saving her from ruin . . . it’s filled with it.
Rogue’s Reign of Ravishment!
Kingscote, “King,” the Marquess of Eversley, has never met a woman he couldn’t charm, resulting in a reputation far worse than the truth, a general sense that he’s more pretty face than proper gentleman, and an irate summons home to the Scottish border. When King discovers stowaway Sophie, however, the journey becomes anything but boring.
War? Or More?
He thinks she’s trying to trick him into marriage. She wouldn’t have him if he were the last man on earth. But carriages bring close quarters, dark secrets, and unbearable temptation, making opposites altogether too attractive . . . .
Okay, so readers of my historical romance book reviews know that I adored Sarah MacLean’s Love By Numbers trilogy (see author tag). Whilst her other book series didn’t really appeal to me, I ended up picking up this book because the premise sounded interesting–especially how she lands her brother-in-law in a pond in front of society–and I was looking for a fun read to balance out my to-read pile a bit.