Hello Lovelies! Please excuse our dust while we do a bit of construction on the blog. We will still be posting exciting reviews, brilliant guest posts, and exciting giveaways but we are in the process of transforming the blog and adding new content and features for you to enjoy.

Friday, September 21, 2018

The Impertinent Miss Templeton: A Regency Romance

Title: The Impertinent Miss Templeton: A Regency Romance
Author: Lynn Messina
Publisher: 30 August 2018 by Potatoworks Press
Pages: 276 pages
How I Read It: ARC book
Genre: romance, regency
My Rating: 4 crowns

No, no, no! It doesn’t matter how many times the Duchess of Trent (The Harlow Hoyden) requests her help with a delicate matter regarding a patent for her sister’s invention, Tuppence Templeton will not lend a hand. She has a habit, yes, of coming up with ingenious plans to solve other people’s problems, and it is true that she’s clever and daring enough to pull off the proposed scheme. But there’s no way she’s going to confront the arrogant and dismissive Earl of Gage again. She is still shaken—or is it stirred?—from their last encounter when, rather than thank her for saving his sister from ruin, he railed against her for having the temerity to interfere in his family’s business. And yet somehow when the opportunity arises, she finds herself unable to resist issuing the challenge.
Nicholas Perceval, Earl of Gage, cannot believe it when the impertinent upstart who exposed his sister to disaster maneuvers him into escorting her to the Bill Patent Office. What a perfectly ridiculous request! And then to discover that she manipulated him while they were there so that she could “find” a missing application—he has never been so angry in his entire life. And it’s not because he’d unexpectedly enjoyed her charming and irreverent company. No, that has nothing to do with it at all. Although perhaps maybe a little…
My Thoughts

“If I were a better woman, perhaps less of a spinster and a quiz, I would be gracious and let you have your say. But I have far too much respect for you to let you condescend to my feelings.”

Having read Lynn Messina before, I knew I would be up for a fun and enjoyable romp in Regency England - she did not fail to deliver. This book is a lot of fun. Part of the ‘Love Takes Root’ series, do not fear for this is a standalone read and I had no problems at all with it. Following along classic lines, Messina puts her own spin producing a fun historical romance with intrigue - all very polite of course! It is a refreshing take on strong willed heroines with fabulous dialogue that takes a stand for female characters in an era when it would have been frowned upon. Far from being one dimensional, Messina provides a range of fun and inviting characters that I would be most interested in reading more from the series for light entertainment.

“I would never consider a beau who had made his declaration on the way to claiming a prawn.”

There were passages that I found repetitive, especially concerning the inner dialogue of both Tuppence and Gage, and I just wished it were filled more with the witty banter between both the leads and other prominent characters (the sisters were thoroughly entertaining). The plots are clever and really so amusing that is provides a wonderful escape as it is guaranteed to bring a smile to your face (even a chuckle is on the cards).  Traditional regency readers beware! This light and humourous read may not be for you unless you are prepared to suspend your inner critic and just lose yourself in this fun regency romp.

The duchess clutched the side of the window with one hand as she tugged her skirt over the sill with the other. “Actually, she wouldn’t care about the height. A lady being astride anything would be horrifying enough.”

This is a tale with a little bit of everything - mystery, intrigue, action, romance and a barrel of laughs. Spend some time with Tuppence Templeton and you cannot help but smile at her ‘impertinence’!

“...he’d never consider her his equal—no woman was—and she was far better off alone than diminishing herself to fit inside his pocket.”

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The quoted material may have changed in the final release.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker

Title:  The Silence of the Girls
Author: Pat Barker
Publisher: 30th August 2018 by Penguin Books
Pages: 336 pages
How I Read It: ARC book
Genre: historical fiction, Greek mythology, retelling
My Rating: 4.5 crowns

From the Booker Prize-winning author of Regeneration and one of our greatest contemporary writers on war comes a reimagining of the most famous conflict in literature - the legendary Trojan War.
When her city falls to the Greeks, Briseis's old life is shattered. She is transformed from queen to captive, from free woman to slave, awarded to the god-like warrior Achilles as a prize of war. And she's not alone. On the same day, and on many others in the course of a long and bitter war, innumerable women have been wrested from their homes and flung to the fighters.
The Trojan War is known as a man's story: a quarrel between men over a woman, stolen from her home and spirited across the sea. But what of the other women in this story, silenced by history? What words did they speak when alone with each other, in the laundry, at the loom, when laying out the dead?
In this magnificent historical novel, Pat Barker charts one woman's journey through the chaos of the most famous war in history, as she struggles to free herself and to become the author of her own story.
My Thoughts

In The Silence of the Girls, women who up until now were mostly ‘silenced’ regarding the story of the Trojan War, are given a voice. How wonderful! So for all Greek tragedy lovers out there, this is basically a re-telling of the final few scenes from, The Iliad’s Trojan War but from the voice of a Greek slave. The voice here is that of Briseis, a Trojan captive given to Achilles as a war prize.

“I was no longer the outward and visible sign of Agamemnon’s power and Achilles’ humiliation. No, I’d become something altogether more sinister: I was the girl who’d caused the quarrel. Oh, yes, I’d caused it – in much the same way, I suppose, as a bone is responsible for a dogfight.”

The author tells the story of the female characters who lie in the background of this ancient Greek epic. The women who normally we never hear from, are now given a voice - their thoughts and feelings. These are the women who are at the mercy of their captors, the very men who killed their fathers, brothers, husbands and now find themselves trying to survive and make an existence (I won’t say ‘life’) for themselves. Through Briseis eyes, the reader is given front row seats to not only the support network among other female captives, but also the rift between Agamemnon and Achilles and the impact of their fallout, not only on the war, but also to pertinent individuals.

“Something else, something I couldn’t put my finger on, had made me turn back. Perhaps no more than a feeling that this was my place now, that I had to make my life work here.”

I feel this really is sublime writing in portraying not only the resilience but also determination, healing and angst of both sides of this tragic tale - Greek and Trojan. The everyday brutalities are front and centre as you are faced with not only war, violence and ensuing slavery, but the pertinent issues of rape, slavery and death. This is just so unique as this previously male dominated story is now given the yin to its yang, the light to its shade- the female voice has been awaken.

“...we spent the nights curled up like spiders at the centre of our webs. Only we weren’t the spiders; we were the flies.”

If you have read and loved, The Song of Achilles or The Iliad, you will be entranced by this haunting tale. The horror of war, the mistreatment of women matched against the love and strength of characters is truly moving. The Silence of the Girls sheds light on a well told Greek tale and will leave you richer for the experience.

There was nothing to be gained by clinging to a past that no longer existed. But I did cling to it, because in that lost world I’d been somebody, a person with a role in life. And I felt if I let that go, I’d be losing the last vestige of myself.

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The quoted material may have changed in the final release