19th century

Aug 4, 2018

In Paris in the late 1800s, with hypnotism as a popular form of entertainment, a strange murder case captivated the world. Gabrielle Bompard claims to have been hypnotized on numerous occasions since childhood, and everyone from her lovers to her family doctor concur that she is very susceptible to suggestion. When she is captured after having worked with Michel Eyraud, kills a man, and then lives on the run, her defense is that she can not be held responsible for her part in the crime, because, not only was the murder Eyraud's idea, but he had a hypnotic power over her, and she was not a

The Marriage Of Opposites

By Alice Hoffman
5
Rated by Stephanie S
Jul 31, 2018

I absolutely love this book and consider it one of my "top 10" favorites! I did not expect to like it when a friend lent me her copy to read, but it blew me away. 

Alice Hoffman's writing is so rich in detail that it's mesmerizing. The Marriage of Opposites is historical fiction set during the 19th century, based on the real life of Rachel Pomie', the mother of Camille Pissarro who became a famous artist and one of the fathers of impressionism. Most of the story is set on the island of St. Thomas, and then ultimately in Paris. Rachel Pomie' is a girl that does not like rules and is

Goddess of the Hunt

By Tessa Dare
4
Rated by Amanda H.
Aug 6, 2015

Tessa Dare is one of my favorite newer romance authors, even though I had some problems with her first book, Goddess of the Hunt. The way it starts is enough to turn me off continuing: the heroine barges into the hero’s room at night demanding he help her practice kissing. Lucy Waltham wants to learn how to entice Toby, her brother’s friend whom she’s loved for years although he’s never shown any signs of reciprocating. She thinks that Jeremy Trescott, another friend of her brother’s whom she’s always felt antagonistic towards, will be a safe learning experience because no feelings will be

A Lady Awakened

By Cecilia Grant
5
Rated by Amanda H.
Jul 26, 2015

Sensible young widow Martha Russell is all set to cede her late husband’s estate to his younger brother, until she learns of his past villainy towards the housemaids. As a champion of the weak and the poor, Mrs. Russell decides to cast propriety aside and take matters into her own hands. She looks to her new neighbor Theophilus Mirkwood, banished to the countryside for his spendthrift ways, for his assistance in getting her with child. She does not respect him, he does not understand her. Can mutual esteem grow from such a cold bargain?

So begins Cecilia Grant’s explosive debut on the

Callander Square

By Anne Perry
4
Rated by Katie S.
Sep 15, 2014

Callander Square is the second book in the Thomas and Charlotte Pitt series by Anne Perry. Set in the late 1800s, this novel tells the story of multiple mysterious deaths in a posh area of London. Thomas, a police inspector, is called to the central garden of the high-society Callander Square after two baby corpses are found buried among the flowers. Immediately suspecting a poor servant girl, Pitt begins to investigate each household, causing an uncomfortable mood to hang over the residents of the square. The heads of household wish to be left alone, leaving Pitt with several hurdles to

Feb 3, 2014

The War of 1812 is one of the “forgotten wars” of the United States. It is, however, the conflict that helped to create the nation we have and provided the inspiration to our national anthem. In Through the Perilous Fight, Steve Vogel skillfully weaves together a narrative highlighting an eight week period of Washington D.C.’s history. Despite poor decisions, bad tactics, and the demoralizing burning of the city, the United States managed to survive and end the war that came very close to destroying the fledgling country. The only thing that I would have added is a back story to the War of

A Night to Surrender by Tessa Dare

0
Rated by Amanda H.
Jan 7, 2013

A Night to Surrender kicks off a new historical romance trilogy from Tessa Dare, one of my favorite authors of the last several years. Dare writes humorous romps that stand out from the flock with fluid, well-crafted prose, witty dialogue, and lots of snort-worthy situations. Set in England in 1813 during the Napoleonic Wars, this tale concerns the small southern coastal town of Spindle Cove, nicknamed Spinster Cove because it’s known as a town without men. Without men, you ask? Okay, there are a few merchants and fishermen, but it’s without the risk and temptation of eligible men, be they

Aug 27, 2010

parrot-olivier.jpg I was so happy to finally receive this book , after all the hype about this new effort from Carey, a two-time Booker prize winner.  His use of language and sentence structure make demands of a reader that sometimes cannot be met, and my steady diet of mysteries has softened the brain to some extent, making the reading seem more like a chore.  But like most things, once you get used to the rhythm and meanings  behind the words, the story is a fascinating discourse on Jacksonian America, and revolutionary France, where Olivier de Garmont is spirited away from, lest he lose his head.  His

Mar 24, 2010

Remarkable Creatures by Tracy ChevalierThis is the story of an unusual friendship that developed between poor, uneducated Mary Anning and Elizabeth Philpot, a middle-class spinster in early 1800’s England, pre-Darwin. They shared a common passion, fossil hunting and through trials and tribulations maintained a friendship for several decades. Mary Anning’s discoveries of fossilized skeletons of the ichthyosaurus and plesiosaurus rocked the scientific and religious worlds. Remarkable Creatures is not an action packed book, but rather a study of the class system and an interesting portrayal of two women who strive to receive

Mar 12, 2010

Heart of Christmas CoverI picked up the historical romance anthology The Heart of Christmas because of the name Mary Balogh on the cover and because I miss the old Regency Christmas anthologies. I was a little disappointed to discover that Balogh’s story and the one by Nicola Cornick were both reprints, so I skipped to the only new content, “This Wicked Gift” by newcomer Courtney Milan, and for me it was the standout. From the beginning I adored its unusual premise, sense of fun, and memorable, refreshingly sensible characters. Set in 1822 London, Lavinia Spencer manages her family’s lending library while caring