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Feb 17, 2013

Sunday Monday Bookish Memes

The Sunday

Visit Svea's blog at The Muse in The Fog Book Review to start linking up your Sunday posts! Suddenly Sunday is a weekly event hosted by Svea whose purpose is to share all the exciting events that have occurred on your blog throughout the week.

Mailbox Monday is a meme originally from Marcia's Mailbox and is being hosted by the Amazing Audra @ Unabridged Chick this February.

The What Are You Reading meme is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey where we keep track of what we are currently reading and plan to read.
What are you Reading?

Did you all have a great Valentine's Day? Or are you one of those that considers it a bleak and black day? Once upon a time, long ago, I was in between relationships and my car was broken into while I was at work. Smash and grab, and stole my freaking awesome stereo system. On Valentine's Day. Yes, that was a crappy day for me. A few years later, I guy I had known for six days sent me a dozen gorgeous roses to where I worked. That was the first time anyone had ever done that! I married that one. He's not perfect, but he thinks he is... and this year he even sent me a gorgeous colorful display of a dozen roses on the anniversary of the day we met and then six days later he sent me a dozen more roses on Valentine's's been a great February!

In my reading life I've gotten three books done out of twelve for the 2013 TBR Challenge. I had decided to pick up To The Tower Born by Robin Maxwell last week since there are lots of fun Richard III happenings going on right now. 21 - 31 pages in I was rethinking my choice, as in do I really want to put myself through this? As cute little Dickon wants to go outside with Bessie, I am like, goodness can I really place myself outside of reality and not think about how Dickon is eventually going to be imprisoned and then disappear/be murdered/smothered... and the culprits never found.. but it's on my challenge list. And then another 30 pages in I was very dismayed with the whole thing in general, and I wasthisclosetosettingfiretoit. My sort-of review is here.

So that took up a lot of my reading time to get through, sadness, and I am afraid to read anything else at all ever again cuz what if I don't like anything at all anymore?? I am so used to just being able to enjoy a book, write about what I liked, and move on to the next. But to have two reads that were slightly annoying back to back, that rarely ever happens... I am just scared for the next book that I pick up, and it turns out that I really need to read In Times of Fading Light (see end of the post for info) for Historical Novel Society.. ack.

One of those WTF Books that just magically land in your mailbox, and you immediately wonder what to do with it. Especially because there is a word in the title that I would rather not explain to my kids right now. It's been decided it's going on paperbackswap since it's not a waste-of-paper ARC when I get a chance because 19 people have it on their wishlists and because I don't see me ever wanting to touch this. Apparently it's a bit of Twilight + Fifty Shades + in the Office. Yeah.. I mean, NO.

So here you go, some good old workplace erotica from Simon and Schuster, everyone (smh):

Beautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren
An ambitious intern. A perfectionist executive. And a whole lot of name calling. Whip-smart, hardworking, and on her way to an MBA, Chloe Mills has only one problem: her boss, Bennett Ryan. He’s exacting, blunt, inconsiderate—and completely irresistible. A Beautiful Bastard.

Bennett has returned to Chicago from France to take a vital role in his family’s massive media business. He never expected that the assistant who’d been helping him from abroad was the gorgeous, innocently provocative—completely infuriating—creature he now has to see every day. Despite the rumors, he’s never been one for a workplace hookup. But Chloe’s so tempting he’s willing to bend the rules—or outright smash them—if it means he can have her. All over the office. As their appetites for one another increase to a breaking point, Bennett and Chloe must decide exactly what they’re willing to lose in order to win each other. Originally only available online as The Office by tby789—and garnering over 2 million reads on fanfiction sites—Beautiful Bastard has been extensively updated for re-release.

There's a bunch of those annoying animated gif type reviews plus smut on Goodreads for this one if you are so inclined to really see for yourself how horrible it is. Don't have any young ones lurking behind you as you click over.

Paperbackswap fun:

The Garden Intrigue by Lauren Willig
I haven't read any of these Pink Carnation books, but bloggers have waxed endlessly about the series and I have a few on my shelf. Of course, this is book 9 so I need to fill in the gaps in my collection now and that is going to rankle with my OCD to no end. I am pretty sure I only have books 1-4.

In the ninth installment of Lauren Willig's bestselling Pink Carnation series, an atrocious poet teams up with an American widow to prevent Napoleon's invasion of England.

Secret agent Augustus Whittlesby has spent a decade undercover in France, posing as an insufferably bad poet. The French surveillance officers can't bear to read his work closely enough to recognize the information drowned in a sea of verbiage.

New York-born Emma Morris Delagardie is a thorn in Augustus's side. An old school friend of Napoleon's stepdaughter, she came to France with her uncle, the American envoy; eloped with a Frenchman; and has been rattling around the salons of Paris ever since. Widowed for four years, she entertains herself by drinking too much champagne, holding a weekly salon, and loudly critiquing Augustus's poetry.

As Napoleon pursues his plans for the invasion of England, Whittlesby hears of a top-secret device to be demonstrated at a house party at Malmaison. The catch? The only way in is with Emma, who has been asked to write a masque for the weekend's entertainment.

Emma is at a crossroads: Should she return to the States or remain in France? She'll do anything to postpone the decision-even if it means teaming up with that silly poet Whittlesby to write a masque for Bonaparte's house party. But each soon learns that surface appearances are misleading. In this complicated masque within a masque, nothing goes quite as scripted- especially Augustus's feelings for Emma.

(anyone else getting sick of name Emma?)

The Queen of Diamonds by Jean Plaidy
The affair of the Diamond Necklace shook the throne of France and, some say, precipitated the French Revolution and so helped to bring Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette to the guillotine. But why did these fantastic and ultimately sensational events fail so neatly into place? Why should a prince of the Royal House of France become so credulous and without question play the almost incredible part prepared for him? Why was an ambitious and predatory woman allowed to steal that famous piece of jewellery that represented a fortune? Who were the secret instigators of the plot? In this novel Jean Plaidy offers one solution to an historical mystery, the motives behind which have long puzzled students and
amateur detectives of history.

For about four years I've been on a slightly stupid mission to obtain all of the Jean Plaidy/Victoria Holt Yadda Yadda Titles... and so when I saw this was available I had to get it.. I do believe I have 98% of her works that are somewhat easily obtained. I am not including the extremely hard to find and collectible ones from her obscure names such as Kathleen Kellow, Elliace Tate, and her real name. I say this mission is slightly stupid because I've read one Holt novel, and six of Jean Plaidy's. And I have at least 82 Jean Plaidy novels on my shelf. Roughly 32 of the Victoria Holt collection. All 20 of the Philippa Carr collection. All shoved on top of each other in a single bookcase.
My Plaidy/Holt/Carrs

See some of Plaidy Obsession here.
So that's like around 130+ books on my shelf written by the same person that I have had forever and have ignored.. Which is why I needed to step up and create a buddy read along on Goodreads, so join us on March 23rd to read the first of the Daughters of England series by Carr.

I also bought this one from Amazon because I couldn't stand not owning it any longer:
The Merchant's Daughter by Melanie Dickerson
An unthinkable danger. An unexpected choice. Annabel, once the daughter of a wealthy merchant, is trapped in indentured servitude to Lord Ranulf, a recluse who is rumored to be both terrifying and beastly. Her circumstances are made even worse by the proximity of Lord Ranulf's bailiff---a revolting man who has made unwelcome advances on Annabel in the past. Believing that life in a nunnery is the best way to escape the escalation of the bailiff's vile behavior and to preserve the faith that sustains her, Annabel is surprised to discover a sense of security and joy in her encounters with Lord Ranulf. As Annabel struggles to confront her feelings, she is involved in a situation that could place Ranulf in grave danger. Ranulf's future, and possibly his heart, may rest in her hands, and Annabel must decide whether to follow the plans she has cherished or the calling God has placed on her heart.

(I bought that a day before I won this:)

The Fairest Beauty by Melanie Dickerson
A daring rescue. A difficult choice. Sophie desperately wants to get away from her stepmother's jealousy, and believes escape is her only chance to be happy. Then a young man named Gabe arrives from Hagenheim Castle, claiming she is betrothed to his older brother, and everything twists upside down. This could be Sophie's one chance at freedom---but can she trust another person to keep her safe? Gabe defied his parents Rose and Wilhelm by going to find Sophie, and now he believes they had a right to worry: the girl's inner and outer beauty has enchanted him. Though romance is impossible---she is his brother's future wife, and Gabe himself is betrothed to someone else---he promises himself he will see the mission through, no matter what. When the pair flee to the Cottage of the Seven, they find help---but also find their feelings for each other have grown. Now both must not only protect each other from the dangers around them---they must also protect their hearts.

My featured eBook download:

The Sisters Montclair by Cathy Holton
The last thing twenty-one-year-old Stella Nightingale wants is a job as a caregiver for wealthy Alice Montclair Whittington. Alice, a ninety-four-year-old Southern grande dame with a dry sense of humor and a wicked tongue, has already run off a long line of caregivers. But Stella, a former runaway from a broken home who's only recently begun to put her life back together, is desperate for work. And she figures she can handle Alice. But strange things are happening at Alice's rambling mountaintop estate. As an unlikely friendship develops between the two women, Alice, whose memory comes and goes, begins to reveal long-ago tales of her illustrious past, tales that pose more questions than they answer. Who is her mysterious sister, Laura? Why won't Alice and her sister, Adeline, ever speak of her? And why are the other caregivers afraid to go down in the basement?

As Stella tries to separate fact from fiction in Alice's life, she struggles to overcome her own devastating family secret, compelled by a deepening friendship that will change the lives of both women forever.

For review:
The synopsis sold me with its descriptive prose. Plus there are tons of German (?) reviews on Goodreads for this one and I must find out what they are talking about cuz I'm nosy that way.

In Times of Fading Light: A Novel by Eugen Ruge
Enthrallingly expansive in its geographical and temporal sweep, this story of a German family tells of years spent in exile, of the revolution of 1989 and beyond. The masterful narrative makes halt in Mexico, Siberia and East Berlin, climbing the summits and charting the abysses of the 20th century along the way. The result is both a stunning panorama and a monumental German novel that makes history itself tangible through the history of one family. A novel of immense stature, founded on its humanity, its precision and its humour.

In Times of Fading Light focuses on three generations. The grandparents, still convinced Communists, return to the fledging East Germany at the beginning of the 1950s to do their part in establishing the new state. Their son returns from the other direction, having emigrated to Moscow and found himself banished to Siberia. He returns with his Russian wife to a country mired in petit bourgeois values, yet also brings with him an unwavering belief that they can be changed. The grandson, meanwhile, feels increasingly constricted in a heimat that was not of his choosing, and heads to the West on the very day that his grandfather, the family patriarch, turns 90. The glittering lights of a political utopia that once shone enticingly seem to be gradually fading as time wears unwaveringly on.

What did you get in your own boxes this week, and how has your reading been for February?