The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare


The Duchess Deal is the first book in Tessa Dare’s Girl Meets Duke series. I’ve been looking forward to this book for several months, and I was so excited that it was finally here that I read the whole thing in a day.

Emma was a vicar’s daughter, but circumstances have forced her to seek work as a seamstress. And when the Duke of Ashbury’s wedding is canceled, this leaves Emma is a precarious position- she has designed the dress, and now she will not be receiving payment for her effort. So she does what any rational person would do- she shows up at Ashbury’s London home wearing the wedding dress.

Ash, as he was called by the friends he once had, was severely injured in the Napoleonic Wars. He is scarred and bitter, but he also needs an heir. So he does what any rational aristocrat would do in his position- he proposes marriage to the angry young woman wearing a wedding dress. Read more

Long Live the Queen by Gerry Swallow


I received a copy of this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Long Live the Queen is a middle grade novel written by Gerry Swallow. It is the sequel to Blue in the Face, and it features the (mis)adventures of a young girl named Elspeth who needs to return to the fairy tale land of New Winkieland to help her old friends. The queen has been kidnapped, and Elspeth discovers the rescue operation might involve working with an old enemy. Read more

Red: The True Story of Red Riding Hood by Liesl Shurtliff

51wa5tvta3lI received a copy of this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

My oldest daughter is almost nine years old, so I have recruited her to help me with the middle grade ARCs that I receive from Netgalley. She is a voracious reader, but she tends to gravitate towards comics and graphic novels rather than novels. Reading together gives her the opportunity to expand her repertoire, and I get some great feedback from the target demographic.

We just finished reading Red: The True Story of Red Riding Hood. This is Liesl Shurtliff’s third novel featuring fairytale characters. Red’s grandmother is feeling ill, and a basket of goodies is not enough to restore her to good health. Red’s grandmother happens to be a witch, but she is too sick to prepare a potion for herself.   Red sets out to gather the ingredients for a restorative draught, but it proves to be a more difficult job than she anticipated. As if that wasn’t bad enough, a pesky girl named Goldie insists on tagging along, and Red can’t shake the feeling that they are being followed! Read more

Snow White and Rose Red illustrated by Sheilah Beckett

My oldest daughter and I have been reading the advanced copies of middle grade books that I receive from Netgalley. I wanted to be able to include my twins, who are a little too young for middle grade books. So, my twins and I have been reading books from the Best Book Club Ever. You might remember these books from the late 1970s and early 1980s. They have been picking one book each night, and I have been enjoying rediscovering some childhood favorites.

Snow White and Rose Red was originally published in 1978. It is based on a Brothers Grimm tale. There is no author listed for this adaptation, and Sheilah Beckett is listed as the illustrator.

This fairy tale is not affiliated with the more famous Snow White tale involving the dwarves and the wicked queen. In this story, Snow White and her sister Rose Red live in a cottage with their widowed mother. One winter night, a bear comes to the door seeking shelter, and his wish is granted. The bear comes to their house every day in the winter, but disappears in the spring. Snow White and Rose Red often see a gnome in the forest, and they help him out of several sticky situations. Could there be a connection between their friend the bear and the grumpy gnome? Read more

A Frozen Heart by Elizabeth Rudnick


I found A Frozen Heart in the new arrivals section in the children’s room at my town library. I picked it up for my oldest daughter because I thought that she would like it. This is a middle grade novel written by Elizabeth Rudnick.

There are already several novelizations of the Frozen movie, so I was a little surprised to see this book. What sets A Frozen Heart apart from the others is that half the chapters are narrated by Anna and the other half are narrated by Hans. Read more