Poco and Moco Are Twins by Jun Ichihara

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Poco and Moco Are Twins is a picture book written and illustrated by Jun Ichihara. My girls have mostly moved beyond picture books, but they still enjoy checking out the digital review copies that I receive.

Poco and Moco are a pair of sheep twins. Poco is a boy, and Moco is a girl. They share similarities, but they also have their differences. Poco likes bread, and Moco likes desserts- but they both like donuts! There’s not much of a plot, but that’s okay, because this book is intended for older toddlers and younger preschoolers. It’s more of a concept book than a narrative.     Read more

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My Name Is Victoria by Lucy Worsley

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My Name is Victoria is a YA novel written by Lucy Worsley. I was excited about the opportunity to read this book because 19th century England is my favorite era in history. I also enjoyed the Victoria television series, as well as Daisy Goodwin’s companion novel and Julia Baird’s biography of Queen Victoria.

The story is told from the perspective of “Miss V”, the daughter of John Conrad, who oversaw the future Queen Victoria’s upbringing. The young Victoria was kept in isolation, and V is one of Victoria’s first friends. Victoria has been told that she needs to be kept apart from society because of her scheming uncles and cousins who might wish to harm her because of her proximity to the throne. Whether there is any merit to this claim, or whether this is intended to instill a sense of paranoia remains to be seen. Read more

Ship It by Britta Lundin

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Ship It is a YA novel by debut author Britta Lundin. I was excited about the opportunity to read this book because I enjoy YA books, and the premise intrigued me.

Claire is a teenage girl living in rural Idaho. She doesn’t have a lot of friends at school, but she is a very active member in the Demon Heart fan community online. She writes slash fanfiction (gay romance) about the two male protagonists, and is absolutely convinced of the chemistry between them. When a comic convention comes to Boise, Claire is eager to attend the Demon Heart panel. She asks the actors whether or not he’ll be making SmokeHeart (the romantic pairing) canon (a real part of the show). Forest, who is one of the actors, answers rather rudely, and Claire is devastated and embarrassed. However, she ends up winning a huge prize- the chance to travel with the cast to two more conventions.

Claire knows that she needs to mend things with Forest, but at the same time, she wants to convince him of SmokeHeart’s importance. She also wants to convince Jamie, the showrunner, to make SmokeHeart canon. She’s rather persistent in her efforts. Read more

A Duke Like No Other by Valerie Bowman

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A Duke Like No Other is the ninth book in Valerie Bowman’s Playful Brides series of Regency era historical romance novels. I was excited about the opportunity to read this book because I’ve read almost all of the other books in this series, and I have been looking forward to reading this one.

Mark Grimaldi is a career soldier who has worked with some of the heroes from previous books. As the story begins, Mark learns that he is being considered for a prestigious government position. His odds of being selected would improve if he were a family man. Fortunately for Mark, he is already married. Unfortunately for Mark, he has been estranged from his wife for almost a decade.

Nicole has spent the last ten years living in France. She’s not sure what to think when Mark arrives at her house, and asks her to return to England with him and pose as his wife. But there is something that she wants as well, so perhaps a bargain can be struck. Can they find peace together after so many years of strife, or is their bond irreparably broken? Read more

Lady Rogue by Theresa Romain

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Lady Rogue is the third book in Theresa Romain’s Regency-era Royal Rewards series. I was very excited about the opportunity to read this book because I enjoyed the second book in the series.

Callum Jenks, the hero of this book, played a minor role in the earlier books. He works as a Bow Street Runner, and he is summoned to the house of Isabel Morrow. He investigated her husband’s death a year ago, but now she needs help dealing with a different matter entirely.

Isabel’s husband was involved with art forgery, and she needs Callum’s help to keep this shameful secret from being revealed. Her proposition consists of a scheme of questionable legality- is it really a crime to replace forgeries with originals? If the truth about the late Mr. Morrow came out, it would ruin Isabella, as well as her young ward, who is poised to make her debut in Society. Read more

The Luck of the Bride by Janna MacGregor

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The Luck of the Bride is the third book in Janna MacGregor’s The Cavensham Heiresses series of Regency-era historical romance novels. I was very excited about the opportunity to read this book because I’ve read the other two books in the series, and I was looking forward to finding out what happens next in the series.

I usually point out that entries in a historical romance series function well as standalones and readers don’t have to read the earlier books before the current book. That is certainly true with The Luck of the Bride– however, given that the hero and heroine both appear in earlier books, one gains a fuller appreciation for the pairing by reading the earlier books.

March Lawson has been taking care of her three siblings for almost a decade, with very little help from their guardians. March has taken upon herself to procure the money they need to buy food and maintain the estate by forging the signature of the Marquess of McCalpin. She knows that it’s wrong, but she is only taking money out of Lawson accounts. She can’t access the money herself because she is a woman, and her brother- Viscount Lawson- can’t access the money either because he’s a child. Read more

White Rabbit by Caleb Roehrig

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White Rabbit is a YA novel written by Caleb Roehrig. I haven’t read any of his other books, but I was excited about the opportunity to read this one because the plot intrigued me.

Rufus is at a Fourth of July party when he receives a frantic phone call from his half sister. They don’t have much of a relationship, so Rufus knows that things must really be bad if April is reaching out to him. Rufus is less than thrilled that his ex-boyfriend Bash wants to come along, but since Bash is the one with a car, there isn’t much of a choice in the matter.

Rufus and Bash walk into a crime scene, and then they spend the rest of that one long night trying to figure out what happened at the lake house where they found April. They crisscross the town, interviewing and reinterviewing the other people who were at the lake house. Everyone has their reasons for being evasive, and truthfulness seems to come at a premium.

And of course, all that time alone in the car gives Rufus and Bash the opportunity to figure out what happened to their short relationship, and why things went wrong.

This was an amazing book. It’s very fast paced, and I loved that Rufus was such a smart protagonist. The plot was intriguing, and there was a mystery to solve, but Rufus’ wry sense of humor made the book even more enjoyable. It was a little bit more difficult to like Bash because he hurt our protagonist in the recent past, but he is equally as intriguing, and he has own obstacles to overcome. Roehrig has created an interesting dynamic with Rufus’ family dynamic, and his secondary characters all offer unique perspectives on the situation.

I would absolutely recommend White Rabbit. I read most of this book in one sitting. It was so exciting that I didn’t want to stop reading. I just had to find out what would happen next, both in terms of the big mystery and the frostiness between Rufus and Bash. It’s astounding that everything that happens (and so much happens) occurs over a single night. This is an epic book, and I am definitely going to seek out more of Roehrig’s books in the future.

 

 

 

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advance copy of this book.

 

A Perilous Undertaking by Deanna Raybourn

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A Perilous Undertaking is the second book in Deanna Raybourn’s Veronica Speedwell series of Victorian era mystery. I enjoyed the first book in this series a couple of years ago, but I have only recently been able to read this book.

Readers should definitely read the first book in the series before tackling this one. Not only are there major revelations, but readers will appreciate the simmering tension between Veronica and Stoker. I will allude to some of these revelations from the first book because they are central to the second book, but I will not reveal anything outright.

Veronica finds herself tasked with another mystery to solve: Miles Ramsforth, a famous patron of the arts, has been accused of murdering his mistress. He has been convicted of the crime, and he is going to be hanged in less than a fortnight. However, someone very important- with connections to Veronica’s mysterious parentage- has reason to believe that Miles has been framed. Read more

My Bare Naked Heart by David Avery

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My Bare Naked Heart is a novel written by David Avery. I found it on Kindle Unlimited, and since I’ve been reading a lot of historical m/m lately, it seemed like the sort of book that I would enjoy.

John Branson is starting college at an all-male college in Vermont. He quickly falls in with the other young men in his dormitory, and this causes him to question his sexuality even more than he already has been. However, it is the 1950s, so coming out is absolutely impossible. Read more

Suitors and Sabotage by Cindy Anstey

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Suitors and Sabotage is Cindy Anstey’s third novel. I was very excited about the opportunity to read this book because I’ve enjoyed her other books. The novels are unconnected, but they all take place in Regency England, which is one of my favorite historical eras.

Imogene Chively has just finished her first Season in London, and is looking forward to spending the summer with her family and friends as they take turns hosting each other at a series of house parties. One of her suitors has received permission to visit her; Imogene is not particularly interested in pursuing a courtship with the young man, but she doesn’t really have much of a choice in the matter. When the earnest young man- named Ernest, of course- arrives, he brings his brother Ben along as well.

Imogene discovers that she has a lot more in common with Ben. They develop a rapport quickly, and Imogene agrees to give Ben art lessons to bolster his skills as a budding architect. Read more