The Indigo Girl by Natasha Boyd: Book Review

4 Stars. The last time I was in Charleston, SC, one or two tours that I went on mentioned Eliza Lucas. Her father left her in charge of his plantations near Charleston in the 1740s while he went to war with the Spanish in the Caribbean. That really caught my attention. A woman running plantations?
At that […]

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The Ashford Affair by Lauren Willig: Book Review

3 Stars. I am a surprisingly big fan of Ms. Willig’s Pink Carnation series for someone who doesn’t consider herself a fan of romances. But the witty banter, intrigue, and Napoleonic settings sucked me right in. I inhaled that entire 12-book series and wished for more. The author’s newer books look more serious to me so I’ve […]

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Wild Rover No More by L. A. Meyer: Book Review

Wild Rover No More by L. A. Meyer Book Cover

3 Stars. I’m still so upset that the last book ended the way it did. I tried to put that behind me, as Jacky herself does, but I’m a world-class grudge-holder. I was mostly able to enjoy this book for itself but I’m still rating it 3 stars instead of the 4 I would probably have given it if that nonsense from book 11 hadn’t […]

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The Feast of Roses by Indu Sundaresan: Book Review

The Feast of Roses by Indu Sundaresan Book Cover

4 Stars. I slightly preferred the first book to this one, only because this one dwelled so much on politics. I’m not a strategist so reading the machinations of the Mughal court was a bit less interesting to me than the events of Mehrunnisa’s earlier life. I also have very little patience for characters who make repetitive mistakes in […]

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Even As We Breathe by Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle: Book Review

Even As We Breathe by Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle Book Cover

3.5 Stars. Even As We Breathe caught my eye because it’s set in my part of the world (Asheville, NC) and it’s written by a Cherokee woman. I wanted to add some diversity to my Southern Lit challenge so I picked it up. This was a beautifully-written coming-of-age story. Cowney (rhymes with county) is struggling to find his place in the […]

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Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys: Book Review

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys Book Cover

4 Stars. Once again, Ruta Sepetys has found a forgotten corner of history and written a gripping historical fiction novel about it. I’ve read a few books that touch on Germans at the end of WWII fleeing the vengeful Soviet army, but none of them were about Germans evacuating by boat. The history was fascinating and gut-wrenching […]

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The Preservationist by David Maine: Book Review

4 Stars. I’ve known this story for my entire life but this take felt fresh enough to keep my interest. I just re-read the King James version and I appreciate the way that Maine wove together the bare bones of an epic tale into something that feels more human somehow. Even with the visions and miracles, Noe and company felt like […]

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The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende: Book Review

3 Stars. I’m just not the reader for magical realism in literature. Oh, I do just fine with Sarah Addison Allen’s light touches of fantasy in otherwise contemporary novels. But a huge black beast of an unknown species adopting a family? Spirits wandering the house? Curses? Mermaid girls? All in dark historical fiction? I just […]

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Whiskey When We’re Dry by John Larison: Book Review

4 Stars. I’m not a huge fan of Westerns but this book caught my eye when a friend of a friend mentioned it on Facebook. I really enjoyed it. There’s no denying the Western background but the themes of family, love, and loss are universal. I would actually recommend this for a book club. Jess’s mother died in childbirth and Jess […]

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Illuminations by Mary Sharratt: Book Review

4 Stars. The Hildegard in these pages was fascinating. She was a strategist but she also had a heart to care for others. She was “only” a woman but she was a woman with connections and she wasn’t afraid to use them. As she grew older, she called out hypocrisy and inhumane practices. God was always female in her visions. She was […]

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The Scarlet Pimpernel by Emmuska Orczy: Book Review

3 Stars. One of my go-to guilty pleasures for years was The Pink Carnation series by Lauren Willig. I’m really not a romance reader, and they are most definitely romances, but the witty dialog, fantastic characters, Napoleonic setting, and light action/suspense kept me going back for all twelve books. I knew they were influenced […]

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