Confession: I have read a LOT of books lately. Way more than the occasional reviews I've managed to write here. My goal for the year is to read 52 new books, as in, rereads of old favorites don't count. I'm already about four books ahead... and I've also reread at least five books since January. Alas, it's not as impressive as those carefree summer days as a child... and teenager... and college student... when I read at least a book a day, if not five books a day. Still, a book a week is pretty good when juggling a full-time job.
With so many books left unreviewed, for today's Book Club Friday, I'm going to regale y'all with TWO reviews. Oh, yeah. Y'all can think of a way to thank me later. ;)
Confession: I have a
bad awesome habit of buying bargain books for my kindle. I just can't resist the selection of titles for $0.99 to $2.99, especially when they're marked down for one day only. Both of today's book reviews find their origins in Amazon's kindle store.
Sometimes I just need a book set in the South. Anywhere will do, but I find a book especially appealing when it's set in one of our most charming cities: Savannah, New Orleans, and Charleston. Beguiled is a romance-suspense novel set in Charleston, co-authored by Deeanne Gist and Mark Bertrand.
Beguiled is the story of a dogwalker and a reporter who find themselves in the center of a string of burglaries. The robber is hitting Rylee's clients, and the police suspect her. Logan is covering the break-ins, not just for the newspaper, but also for the book he's writing on Charleston's eccentric characters. What ensues is a complicated romance with suspicion on both sides as the two team up to try and solve the crime.
Loved loved LOVED this book. Subtly Christian, but not annoyingly so. Accurate depiction of the setting. If you've ever been to Charleston, you'll recognize the streets and parks. Excellent characterization. Even the supporting characters are three-dimensional, like Rylee's neighbor and Logan's boss. Great red herrings on the suspects. The evidence is all over the place (definitely not a novel with clues the reader can solve), and the conclusion totally blew me away.
The other book I finished last week is Michaela MacColl's Prisoners in the Palace: How Princess Victoria Became Queen with the Help of Her Maid, a Reporter, and a Scoundrel. I love historical fiction, and I love strong female protagonists, so I was eager to try this book. It's written in a modern tone, which was a little disconcerting at first, but it did make it very quick and easy to read.
At the death of her parents, Liza is left penniless. She finds a position as maid to Princess Victoria. Liza soon learns that being a maid is more than just serving.
I love love LOVE Liza. She is flawed, but independent and adaptable. Her love interest is truly charming, and I was very satisfied in how their story resolved. Although the reader learns much of historical events that happened to Victoria, the book is more of a portrait of what it was like to be part of the serving class in 19th century England.
Sorry for my recent dearth of blogging. I've been job-hunting! Taking care of (someone else's) children is not my life's ambition. I'm moving to the Midwest at the end of July, and ideally I will already have a job to start in August. But the combination of searching + applying takes a lot of time and energy. Hopefully my review of two books will make up for my otherwise scarce posting.