Showing posts from December, 2022

How The Dukes Stole Christmas

How The Dukes Stole Christmas 443 pages Published by Avon Books (2019) This historical romance anthology, centred around the Christmas celebrations, certainly made an entertaining read in December. Four renowned authors – Tessa Dare, Sarah MacLean, Sophie Jordan and Joanna Shupe – teamed up to produce this light read that contained three main ingredients: Christmas, Dukes, and shortbread. All four stories in this book were set during Christmastime, had a Duke as the main love interest, and featured the shortbread as a menu believed to have magical properties to help one search for their true love. In fact, there is a shortbread recipe towards the end of the book! ***SPOILER FOLLOWS*** Meet Me In Mayfair (by Tessa Dare) The Wards found themselves on the brink of getting evicted from their only home, and Christmas was just around the corner. Mr Ward had purchased a small townhouse in Mayfair using money he borrowed from his long-time friend the Duke of Thorndale. The Duke had been a gene

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

Black Beauty By Anna Sewell This edition adapted by Deidre Laiken and published by Baronet Books in 1977 233 pages Originally published in 1877, this novel tells the story from the point of view of a horse named Black Beauty. Although I read the abridged and adapted version, it did not lessen the overall mood of this novel, which was heart-rending. The novel focused on people’s cruel treatment towards animals, particularly horses. As a colt, Blackie grew up with a good master who really cared for his horses. He did not sell him to anyone until Blackie was four years old – old enough to do some jobs. He was sold to Squire Gordon, who lived at Birtwick Park and had a well-kept stable. It was Blackie’s new master that renamed him as Black Beauty. Black Beauty had a good life at Birtwick Park, having been cared for by good stable grooms while his master was a considerate man who worked his horses accordingly. There also, Black Beauty befriended Merrylegs the pony and Ginger, a female horse

Shomin Sample (Volume #1)

Shomin Sample #1 Story by Takafumi Nanatsuki Art by Risumai English edition published by Seven Seas Entertainment, LLC (2016) Shomin Sample tells an uncanny story about a strange girl’s school that catered to daughters of Japanese elite families. The Seikain Girls’ School was hidden in a remote area and unmarked in any maps because it meant to shelter its students from the outside world. The girls were groomed to be perfect ladies (read: unnaturally well-mannered) who maintained their innocence to the core (read: ignorant to the realities of life as a normal human being). Only recently did the school management realized that their syllabus had inadvertently caused the girls to experience culture shock when they graduated into the outside world. In order to curb further culture shock among its students, the school topped their uncanny ways with yet another freakish step: by practically kidnapping Kagurazaka Kimito, a normal high school boy, with hopes that he would be a ‘sample commone

Born In Ice by Nora Roberts

Born In Ice By Nora Roberts 352 pages Published by The Berkley Publishing Group (1995) After Sacred Sins , Born In Ice was only the second Nora Roberts book I have ever read. Where Sacred Sins was more suspenseful and full of action, Born In Ice was poignant, emotional and has a more laidback plot. I was awed that the two books were so different in tones, yet were written by the same author. Brianna Concannon ran a bed-and-breakfast at her family home in a remote part of Ireland. She had operated the Blackthorn Cottage singlehandedly for years – her father had passed away, her disagreeable mother Maeve lived further down the road, while her sister Maggie had married and had another career. During winter, Brianna usually did not have any visitors, but this time around she obtained steady business in low season from one solo traveller – an American novelist who had planned to stay for the next six months. Grayson Thane had planned to finish a novel in Ireland, while taking in the sigh

The Ravenels #6 – Chasing Cassandra by Lisa Kleypas

The Ravenels #6 – Chasing Cassandra By Lisa Kleypas 374 pages Published by Avon Books (2020) The only remaining Ravenel who was yet to marry, Cassandra, finally met her match in this final instalment of Lisa Kleypas’ Ravenels series. The six-volume series were wrapped-up beautifully, but I still can’t help feeling a bit of melancholy: having formed an attachment to the whole family, I had hoped their stories would never end ❤😭. As it turned out, Pandora and Gabriel’s wedding ceremony in Devil In Spring served as the prelude to the love story of yet another couple: apart from Phoebe and West Ravenel , Cassandra and Tom Severin also had their beginnings at the same wedding. The first chapter of both Devil’s Daughter and Chasing Cassandra had narrated scenes from Pandora and Gabriel’s wedding, from the viewpoint of the respective couples. Tom Severin had attended Pandora and Gabriel’s wedding despite not being invited by any of the family. He himself was not quite sure why he should