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.
It’s been nearly two months (!!) since I posted my new books, but here’s what I’ve added to my shelves during that time:
Jane Austen Lives Again by Jane Odiwe — from the author
When Jane Austen’s doctor discovers the secret to immortal life in 1817, she thinks her wishes have come true. But when she wakes up from the dead, a penniless Miss Austen finds herself in 1925, having to become a governess to five girls of an eccentric and bohemian family at the crumbling Manberley Castle by the sea. Jane soon finds she’s caught up in the dramas of every family member, but she loves nothing more than a challenge, and resolves on putting them in order. If only she can stop herself from falling in love, she can change the lives of them all!
Inspired by Jane Austen’s wonderful novels and written in the tradition of classic books like Cold Comfort Farm, I Capture the Castle, and Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, Jane Austen Lives Again is an amusing fairy story for grown-ups.
Darcy’s Christmas Wish by Penelope Swan — from the author
**Check out my review**
Fitzwilliam Darcy never forgot the little girl, with the beautiful dark eyes, who saved his life fifteen years ago…though he never expected to meet her again. But when he comes to Rosings Park to spend the Advent season with his aunt and encounters the enchanting, spirited Miss Elizabeth Bennet again, he discovers that at Christmastime, wishes can come true…
Darcy’s Christmas Wish is a sweet, clean, standalone Pride and Prejudice variation — a holiday romance inspired by Jane Austen’s classic novel!
Then Comes Winter edited by Christina Boyd — from Meryton Press
If you long for a toasty snuggle on a cold winter’s night, this compilation of original short stories inspired by the magic of the holiday season — and more than a nod to Jane Austen — is fancied as a sublime wintertime treat. On the heels of the summer anthology, Sun-kissed: Effusions of Summer, and in concert with some of Meryton Press’s most popular authors, this romantic anthology introduces several promising writers. With a robust mix of contemporary and Regency musings, Then Comes Winter rekindles passionate fires with equal wonder, wit, and admiration. Stories by: Lory Lilian, Linda Gonschior, Suzan Lauder, Beau North & Brooke West, Sophia Rose, Natalie Richards, Anngela Schroeder, Melanie Stanford, Denise Stout, Erin Lopez, and Maureen Lee.
Seeking the Star (Chilton Crosse Book 3) by Traci Borum — from the author
One December night, in the sleepy Cotswold village of Chilton Crosse, a drifter named Ben collapses on George and Mary Cartwright’s snow-covered doorstep. As Christmas cheer spreads throughout the village with a Dickens-themed festival, Mary nurses Ben back to health, but she becomes curious about the secrets he seems to carry.
On Christmas Eve, one of Ben’s secrets accidentally comes to light, forcing him to confront the darkness of his past and to rediscover the faith he once knew.
Jane and the Waterloo Map by Stephanie Barron — from Soho Press
November, 1815. The Battle of Waterloo has come and gone, leaving the British economy in shreds; Henry Austen, high-flying banker extraordinaire, is about to declare bankruptcy — dragging several of his brothers down with him. The crisis destroys Henry’s health, and Jane flies to his London bedside, believing him to be dying. While she’s there, the Reverend James Stanier Clarke, chaplain to His Royal Highness the Price Regent, invites Jane to tour Carlton House, the Prince’s fabulous London home. Clarke is a fan of Jane’s books, and during the tour he suggests she dedicate her next novel — Emma — to HRH, whom she despises.
However, before she can speak to HRH, Jane stumbles upon a body — sprawled on the carpet in (where else?) the Regent’s library. The dying man, Colonel MacFarland, was a cavalry hero and a friend of Wellington’s. He utters a single failing phrase: “Waterloo map”…and Jane is on the hunt for a treasure of incalculable value and a killer of considerable cunning.
The Forgotten Room by Karen White, Beatriz Williams, and Lauren Willig — from NAL
Manhattan, 1945: When critically wounded Captain Cooper Ravenel is brought to a private hospital on the Upper East Side, young Dr. Kate Schuyler is drawn into a complex mystery that connects three generations of women in her family to a single extraordinary room in a Gilded Age mansion.
Who is the woman in Captain Ravenel’s miniature portrait who looks so much like Kate? And why is she wearing the ruby pendant handed down to Kate by her mother? In their pursuit of answers, they find themselves drawn into the turbulent stories of the past. But are Kate and Cooper ready for the secrets that will be revealed in the Forgotten Room?
The Forgotten Room is a sumptuous feast of a novel brought to vivid life by three brilliant storytellers.
Coal River by Ellen Marie Wiseman — from the author
As a child, Emma Malloy left isolated Coal River, Pennsylvania, vowing never to return. Now, orphaned and penniless at nineteen, she accepts a train ticket from her aunt and uncle and travels back to the rough-hewn community. Treated like a servant by her relatives, Emma works for free in the company store. There, miners and their impoverished families must pay inflated prices for food, clothing, and tools, while those who owe money are turned away to starve.
Most heartrending of all are the breaker boys Emma sees around the village — young children who toil all day sorting coal amid treacherous machinery. Their soot-stained faces remind Emma of the little brother she lost long ago, and she begins leaving stolen food on families’ doorsteps, and marking the miners’ bills as paid.
Though Emma’s actions draw ire from the mine owner and police captain, they lead to an alliance with a charismatic miner who offers to help her expose the truth. And as the lines blur between what is legal and what is just, Emma must risk everything to follow her conscience.
An emotional, compelling novel that rings with authenticity — Coal River is a deft and honest portrait of resilience in the face of hardship, and of the simple acts of courage that can change everything.
The Doll’s House by M.J. Arlidge — from NAL
Ruby wakes up in a strange room. Her captor calmly explains that no one is looking for her. No one wants her. Except him.
When the body of a woman is found buried on a secluded beach, Detective Helen Grace is called to the scene. She knows right away that the killer is no amateur. The woman has been dead for years, and no one has even reported her missing. But why would they? She’s still sending text messages to her family.
Helen is convinced that a criminal mastermind is at work: someone very smart, very careful, and worst of all, very patient. But as she struggles to piece together the killer’s motive, time is running out for a victim who is still alive…
A Fierce and Subtle Poison by Samantha Mabry — from Algonquin Young Readers
Everyone knows the legends about the cursed girl — Isabel, the one the señoras whisper about. They say she has green skin and grass for hair, and she feeds on the poisonous plants that fill her family’s lush Caribbean island garden. Seventeen-year-old Lucas spends summers with his hotel-developer father in Puerto Rico, and he’s grown up hearing stories about the cursed girl. When letters from Isabel mysteriously appear in his room the same day his girlfriend disappears, Lucas turns to Isabel for answers — and finds himself lured into her strange and magical world. But the more entangled Lucas becomes with Isabel, the less certain he is of escaping with his own life.
A Fierce and Subtle Poison beautifully blends magical realism with a page-turning mystery and a dark star-crossed romance — all delivered in lush, urgent prose.
Angel of the Centerfold by Michaela Robertson — from Meryton Press
Disguise of every sort creates difficulties for recent Yale grads Elizabeth and Jennie Blackwell, who are eager to begin the next chapter of their lives. Elizabeth hopes her remarkable voice and academic training will help crown her the new darling of the Met. But will her burgeoning romance with world-renowned philanthropist Lliam Dafydd benefit her career or derail it before it begins?
Elizabeth’s minutes-older twin, Jennie, plans to translate her impressive résumé into a successful medical research program, but her demanding academic pursuits leave little time for romance.
Feeling trapped by her girl-next-door image, Jennie adopts a daring alter ego who behaves as she never would. As “Ariel De Mer,” Jennie becomes captivated by mysterious photographer, Chance Bly. Handsome and suave, he smoothly awakens her desires, while Ariel’s sexiness and sauciness mesmerize her smitten lover.
But Jennie’s innocent charade has a powerful impact on the lives of those she loves, and she is not the only one playing games.
Lucky 13 by Cat Gardiner — from Margie’s Must Reads
New York City advertising executive Elizabeth Bennet is determined to find a respectable date to take to Christmas dinner with her insane family. So, what’s a girl to do with only 26 days remaining? She and her best friend embark on a mad-cap dating blitz. Speed dating and blind dates become a source of frustration when one man continually shows up, hell-bent on either annoying her or capturing her heart. Fitzwilliam Darcy, wealthy, hunky, part time New York City firefighter is Elizabeth’s new client, one of thirteen men chosen for a fundraising, beefcake calendar. Sparks fly and ignite as misunderstandings abound. Sit back and laugh as friends and family play matchmaker, conspiring to bring these two together for an unforgettable, hot, holiday season in New York City. Lucky 13 is a fresh and fun Pride and Prejudice inspired contemporary, holiday romance. Imagine “You’ve Got Mail” meets “Sex in the City” in a sexy tale where the secondary characters are as lovable as our hero and heroine.
What books did you add to your shelves recently?
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