Thursday, May 14, 2015

Lucianna

Author: Beatrice Small
Publisher: Penguin
Pages: 289

Synopsis: After her sisters become the scandals of Florence, Lucianna Pietro d’Angelo finds that the only wealthy man who’ll have her for his wife is an aging bookseller whom Lucianna comforts in his final years. When he passes away, she inherits his shop—and a sizable fortune affording Lucianna comfort in widowhood. Then Robert Minton, Earl of Lisle, visits her bookshop. The Englishman is not only dashing and handsome, he’s a trusted courtier of Henry VII.

Lucianna’s parents cannot deny the spark of attraction between their daughter and the earl, so they scheme to send her to London. There, Lucianna steps out of the shadow of her quiet Florentine life, pursuing a love she never dreamed possible—one unfolding in the court of the new Tudor king.


My Thoughts:
I highly enjoyed the first book in this series, Bianca, which was at least double the length of this novel. Lucianna didn't catch my attention as much as Bianca, but the author definitely knows how to tell a great story!  The Silk Merchant's Daughters is a series that has those who've read any previous installments ready for the next.  In this novel, much like the others, Orianna Pietro D'Angelo, matriarch of the family finds that at least one of her daughters will marry as she deems, when Lucianna easily and willingly enters into marriage of friendship with the much older and  wealthy bookseller, Alfredo Allibatore.  However, Alfredo passes, leaving 19 year old Lucianna a wealthy widow who could marry again easily, if she pleases, but she doesn't.  Much to the chagrin of her mother, who is hell bent on finding her the perfect husband. 

Enter Robert Minton, the Earl of Lisle, a handsome Englishman who is close confidant of the English King. Though the sparks fly when they meet, Lucianna is in complete denial. Her mother is not. Orianna sees the budding attraction and sends Lucianna to England as a representative of the silk merchants of Milan, a conspiracy meant to push Lucianna into marriage with the Earl. However, once Lucianna is in England she is is faced with learning the difference between the two cultures, a task easier said then done. The Earl is desperate for Lucianna's attention but she still has no intentions of partaking, aided by outside forces that tend to agree with her desires. 

Lucianna is the third book in the Silk Merchants Daughters series,and though well written and entertaining, it wasn't my favorite of the three, as it failed to capture my attention and hold it right away. The author does do a wonderful job of making the reader feel like they are part of the story. The settings come alive, as if you were there with the characters. This is perfect for me, as I like to travel to other places through books. The book just doesn't hold the same intrigue and sometimes, suspense as the others in the series.  Not much holds the two apart, and the story doesn't move with quiet the same pace. Overall this was a quick and easy read once I got into it.  If you like Beatrice Small's writing your sure to enjoy it, you just may be a little disappointed as she has delivered better.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

If the Viscount Falls

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Author: Sabrina Jeffries
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pages: 374
Series: Duke's Men, Fourth Installment

Synopsis: The heir presumptive to the Viscount Rathmoor, Dominick Manton once had his heart’s desire within reach—a bright future as a barrister and engagement to Jane Vernon, a wealthy baron’s daughter. Then a shattering betrayal by his vindictive brother George snatched away Dom’s inheritance and his hopes of offering Jane a secure future. Brokenhearted, and attempting to end their engagement without destroying Jane’s reputation, Dom staged a betrayal of his own to convince her that he’s not the husband-to-be that she thought.

Now George is gone and the viscountcy restored to Dom, since his brother’s widow, Nancy—Jane’s cousin and closest confidant—never bore an heir. But when Nancy goes missing, a panicked Jane calls on her former fiancé to track down her cousin. Dom knows the mistakes of the past may be unforgiveable—but now, entangled together in mystery and danger, will they rekindle a passionate longing that was never lost to begin with?

My Thoughts:  Absolute must read, but if you have read the first three go do that first!  Seriously, I love this series. I haven't been able to put a book in this series down, yet.  If the Viscount Falls was no different.  I read it in one sitting, staying up into the wee hours of the morning, I just couldn't put it down. The story is engaging and kept my attention, urging me forward, I had to know what was going to happen next.  Jeffries has a talent for creating characters the readers love.  I love each and everyone in this series. I love that I get to read more about them with each new book, their family story unfolding with each individuals story. Bring on the next installment!  I'm so ready!


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The Second Sister

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Author: Marie Bostwick
Publisher: Kensington Books
Pages: 335

Synopsis: Years of long workdays and little sleep as a political campaigner are about to pay off now that Lucy Toomey's boss is entering the White House. But when her estranged older sister, Alice, unexpectedly dies, Lucy is drawn back to Nilson's Bay, her small, close-knit, Wisconsin hometown. 

An accident in her teens left Alice mentally impaired, and she was content to stay in Nilson's Bay. Lucy, meanwhile, got out and never looked back. But now, to meet the terms of Alice's eccentric will, Lucy has taken up temporary residence in her sister's cottage--and begins to see the town, and Alice's life, anew. Alice's diverse group of friends appears to have little in common besides an interest in quilting. Yet deep affection for Alice united them and soon Lucy, too, is brought into the fold as they share problems and stories. And as she finds warmth and support in this new circle, Lucy begins to understand this will be her sister's enduring gift--a chance to move beyond her difficult past, and find what she has long been missing. . .

My Thoughts:
The Second Sister captured me from the first page. It was moving and emotional story about second chances, hope and family.  I found myself tearing up a few times, the connection between the characters and their individual feelings were vivid.  Having sisters of my own, I connected with Lucy, the main character. Though the story was predictable, I knew what would happen long before it did, but it was still a fun read while everything revealed itself. I was never distracted by the predictability, instead I found myself lost in the pages. Overall, the book is well written, full of in-depth characters. It's a great story that was memorable and easy to read.  I've verbally recommended it to others already.