A review of Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman

I was so excited when I was offered a galley of Hartman's new novel set in the fantasy realm of Goredd first introduced in Seraphina. Here we meet Seraphina's half-sister Tess. Tess chafes at the role she's had to take on in her family and the restrictions placed on her as a female. She's bitter and angry and yes, she drinks too much to dull her frustrations. But she's chugging along with the goal of getting her sister settled in a good marriage. Disaster strikes at her sister's more

Reviewed by Jane J on
January 30, 2018 | 0 comments
Upcoming Festival Events Though the BIG event for the Wisconsin Book Festival happens in the fall, the Fest goes on all year and there are some great events coming up on the next few weeks. Two of which are next week. Wednesday, January 31, 7 pmCentral Library - Community Rooms, 3rd floorDara Horn will discuss her novel, Eternal Life.In Eternal Life more

Reviewed by Jane J on
January 22, 2018 | 0 comments
A review of The Mitford Murders by Jessica Fellowes

Jessica Fellowes, niece of that other guy who wrote Downton Abbey, is best known for her nonfiction books about that show. Here in her debut novel, she blends fact and fiction to great effect. The facts: Florence Nightingale Shore, goddaughter to the famed nurse, was attacked on a train in January, 1920 and died a few days later from her injuries. No one was ever arrested for the crime. Also fact, the Mitfords were (are) gentry in England and the sisters later become famed for being part of the more

Reviewed by Jane J on
January 18, 2018 | 0 comments
Vacation Reading, continued Last week I posted about the lighter reading I did over the holiday vacation, but that was only half the picture. Here's the darker side. With her standalone novels Nora Roberts has been stretching herself a bit more each year and the balance has definitely tipped towards suspense/mystery with some romance. Her latest, not due until May but in LINKcat already, reflects the trend. Shelter in Place begins more

Reviewed by Jane J on
January 9, 2018 | 0 comments
Vacation Reading I often read a fair amount of reading (understatement) over holidays and vacations but for this most recent bout of holiday days off I topped myself. Mostly because it's just been so darn cold! What else is there to do other then huddle under a blanket and read? All this is to say, I may have several posts of vacation reads.  I'll start today with a couple of the more romance-y titles. The Wedding Date more

Reviewed by Jane J on
January 2, 2018 | 0 comments
A review of Beyond the Empire by K. B. Wagers

The world had been pretty dark and depressing lately (especially if you're a woman) which has made me look for truly heroic characters in the books I'm reading. Happily for me K. B. Wagers' third in the Indranan War trilogy came out recently and I could once again dive into the adventures of Hail Bristol and her loyal band of supporters who are trying to save the empire. Hail Bristol grew up in an imperial family but took off when she was eighteen to pursue a life of her own. After twenty years more

Reviewed by Jane J on
December 5, 2017 | 0 comments
A review of Someone to Wed by Mary Balogh

Mary Balogh is a hit or miss author for me. I always admire her writing, but she doesn't always grab me emotionally. Her newest is definitely a hit. A lovely, warm story that strikes all the right notes. Alexander Westcott is the new Earl of Riverdale, a title he never expected to inherit (for more about that read the first two books in this Westcott series). Alex is responsible and honorable and he's faced with a massive challenge. Though he inherited an estate with the title, he didn more

Reviewed by Jane J on
November 15, 2017 | 0 comments
Wisconsin Book Festival Event Though the big weekend of Wisconsin Book Festival events is past, the Book Fest goes on year round. Next up is a visit from the incredible Alexander McCall Smith. He's here to talk about the latest in the Precious Ramotswe series, The House of Unexpected Sisters: Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi are approached by their part-time colleague, Mr. Polopetsi, with a troubling story: a woman, accused of being rude to a valued customer, has been wrongly dismissed from her job at an office more

Reviewed by Jane J on
November 13, 2017 | 0 comments
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A review of Sweet Revenge by Andrea Penrose

Lady Arianna Hadley has led a colorful, and hard, life because of the choices her father made. After his murder Arianna takes on a disguise and the role of French chef in an aristocratic household, both so that she can support herself and to investigate. Her specialty is making incredible creations from the newest food fad in Regency England, chocolate. Her precarious existence is threatened when the Prince Regent takes ill after consuming one of her desserts. Allesandro De Quincy, the Earl of more

Reviewed by Jane J on
November 9, 2017 | 0 comments
A review of The Girls of Murder City: Fame, Lust, and the Beautiful Killers Who Inspired Chicago by Douglas Perry

I'd seen the movie Chicago - which is about the fictional Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly who get away with murder - and had been aware that it was based on real goings-on in 1920's Chicago. But I didn't realize how closely the story tied to actual events and that the original play (which would later become the musical) was written by a female reporter who wrote about the real murders for the Chicago more

Reviewed by Jane J on
October 30, 2017 | 0 comments