Welcome to Mailbox Monday, the weekly meme where book lovers share the titles they received for review, purchased, or otherwise obtained over the past week. It is now being hosted at the Mailbox Monday blog.
Here’s what I added to the shelves over the past couple of weeks:
Boots & Backpacks by K.C. Kahler — from Meryton Press
William Darcy counts down the last few months to his 30th birthday with dread. Orphaned as a child, his parents’ will includes a bizarre clause: Darcy must get married by his 30th birthday in order to inherit the family fortune. To make matters worse, the press knows about this deadline, as do the hordes of women chasing him in the hopes of becoming Mrs. Darcy. His family legacy hangs in the balance, but Darcy has little faith in the fairer sex. Will he find a woman he wants to marry, and quickly?
Elizabeth Bennet is determined to pursue her education and career without letting a man get in the way. When her traveling companion drops out, her planned hike on the Appalachian Trail is jeopardized. She meets the spoiled, snobby William Darcy just when he is desperate to escape the spotlight. No one will suspect that the Prince of Manhattan has gone backpacking! Darcy and Elizabeth form a tenuous partnership and begin a 300-mile journey that will transform them both.
In classic romantic comedy tradition, Boots & Backpacks follows our reluctant partners as they build trust, friendship, and even more. Six weeks together on America’s most famous hiking trail may turn out to be just what these two need! (publisher’s summary)
Into the Savage Country by Shannon Burke — from Pantheon
When young William Wyeth leaves St. Louis on a fur-trapping expedition, he nearly loses his life and quickly discovers the depth of loyalty among the men who must depend on one another to survive. While convalescing, he falls in love with the proud Alene, a widow who may or may not wait for him. And on a wildly risky expedition into Crow territory, Wyeth finds himself unwittingly in the center of a deadly boundary dispute among Native American tribes, the British government, and American trapping brigades. A classic adventure told with great suspense and literary flair, Into the Savage Country illuminates the ways in which extreme circumstances expose the truth about the natures of individual men and the surprising mechanics of their bravery, loyalty, and friendship. (publisher’s summary)
Mr. Darcy’s Challenge by Monica Fairview — from the author
Darcy dreams of winning Elizabeth Bennet’s hand, and he has a strategy worked out. But when a chance encounter prompts Darcy to propose to Elizabeth before he has rescued Lydia, his plans go horribly awry.
Broken hearted, disillusioned and bitterly regretting his impulsive action, Darcy sees no point in fulfilling the terms of his pledge. After all, rescuing Lydia might save Elizabeth’s reputation, but why should he assist her when they have no future together? Once again, Darcy finds himself faced with impossible choices: being selfless, even knowing there is no chance of reward; or holding onto his dignity by turning his back on the Bennets once and for all.
Pride and love are at loggerheads as he struggles to choose between his mind…and his heart. (publisher’s summary)
“Becoming Mrs. Norris” by Alexa Adams — from the author
**I edited this short prequel to Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park, which Alexa Adams released as part of her Twisted Austen Halloween event.**
Fanny Price’s Aunt Norris is one of the most despised characters Jane Austen ever created, but how did she become so repulsive? “Becoming Mrs. Norris” explores the events that occurred before Mansfield Park, when Sir Thomas Bertram was courting Miss Maria Ward. This “Twisted Austen” tale was written in honor of Halloween and was first published serially on the author’s blog, alexaadams.blogspot.com. (publisher’s summary)
Only a Novel: The Double Life of Jane Austen by Jane Aiken Hodge
In her lifetime, Jane Austen did her best to conform to the conventions of her day, and after her death the family touched up the picture. But the real Jane Austen, who started as author at twelve years old, was something very different.
What depths of intellectual and moral despair must she have plumbed before she achieved the extraordinary moral vision that has been compared, with justice, to Chaucer’s? It was a fortunate thing for her family that the highly polished surface of the six novels, their sheer artistry concealing tension, makes it easy to miss the depth and bitterness of what they are often saying. We must look for real evidence about her character not in the censored reminiscences of Victorian relatives, but in the books and the letters themselves.
Jane Aiken Hodge has gone deeply into the novelist’s own writings, family and contemporary records to produce a new picture of this enigmatic figure who did so much to revive the English novel at the beginning of the nineteenth century.
Jane Austen appears at once as a very warm and human figure (the “dear Aunt Jane” of the Victorians), and as a baffling one. Did she, in fact, suffer what we should call a nervous breakdown in her silent, middle years? And was she content with her publishers, and with the comparatively modest earnings of her novels?
Hodge does not pretend to provide final answers to these and other fascinating questions, but she is meticulous in giving the facts on which readers can base their own conclusions. This is a book for those who have always loved Jane Austen, and for those who would like to know more about her. (publisher’s summary)
The Mind’s Eye by K.C. Finn
A girl with a telepathic gift finds a boy clinging to his last hope during the war-torn climate of Europe, 1940.
At fifteen, Kit Cavendish is one the oldest evacuees to escape London at the start of the Second World War due to a long term illness that sees her stuck in a wheelchair most of the time. But Kit has an extraordinary psychic power: she can put herself into the minds of others, see through their eyes, feel their emotions, even talk to them — though she dares not speak out for fear of her secret ability being exposed.
As Kit settles into her new life in the North Wales village of Bryn Eira Bach, solitude and curiosity encourage her to gain better control of her gift. Until one day her search for information on the developing war leads her to the mind of Henri, a seventeen-year-old Norwegian boy witnessing the German occupation of his beloved city, Oslo. As Henri discovers more about the English girl occupying his mind, the psychic and emotional bonds between them strengthen and Kit guides him through an oppressive and dangerous time.
There are secrets to be uncovered, both at home and abroad, and it’s up to Kit and Henri to come together and fight their own battles in the depths of the world’s greatest war. (publisher’s summary)
The Obituary Society by Jessica L. Randall
When Lila Moore inherits her grandfather’s house, she finds herself in a small Midwestern town where margarine is never an acceptable substitution for butter, a coveted family recipe can serve as currency, and the friend who will take your darkest secrets to the grave will still never give you the secret to her prize-winning begonias.
Lila is charmed by the people of Auburn, from the blue-eyed lawyer with the southern drawl to the little old lady who unceasingly tries to set Lila up with her grandson. But when strange things begin to happen, Lila realizes some of her new friends are guarding a secret like it’s a precious family heirloom. It’s a dangerous secret, and it has come back to haunt them. Lila is caught in the middle, and her life may depend on uncovering it. But even if she can, can she stay in Auburn when not everyone is what they seem, and even the house wants her gone? (publisher’s summary)
What books did you add to your shelves recently?
© 2014 Anna Horner of Diary of an Eccentric. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce or republish content without permission.