Another busy week for acquisitions because, let’s face it, I don’t have enough books already…
A Queen’s Spy: The Tudor Mystery Trials by Sam Burnell (ebook, review copy courtesy of the author)
Richard Fitzwarren is a Tudor nobleman with a dubious past who takes risks for a living. His close friendship with Princess Elizabeth leads to his banishment to France but he remains loyal to her. Having learnt his trade well, he returns to England a self-styled Tudor soldier of fortune selling his services and those of his mercenary band to the highest bidder. Can he keep the future Queen safe? At his side is Jack, his bastard sibling, but there is a dark family secret that Richard had always suspected; the final discovery of it will change the relationship between them forever.
Spirit of Lost Angels by Liza Perrat (ebook, review copy courtesy of the author)
Her mother executed for witchcraft, her father dead at the hand of a noble, Victoire Charpentier vows to rise above her poor peasant roots. Forced to leave her village of Lucie-sur-Vionne for domestic work in Paris, Victoire suffers gruesome abuse under the ancien régime. Can she muster the bravery and skill to join the revolutionary force gripping France, and overthrow the corrupt, diabolical aristocracy? Spirit of Lost Angels traces the journey of a bone angel talisman passed down through generations. The women of L’Auberge des Anges face tragedy and betrayal in a world where their gift can be their curse. Amidst the tumult of revolutionary France, this is a story of courage, hope and love.
The Winner by Erin Bomboy (ebook, review copy courtesy of iRead Book Tours)
The most prestigious ballroom dance competition in the United States. Two dancers need to win. Only one can.
Nina Fortunova wasn’t supposed to end up almost thirty, divorced, with her dreams of winning shattered. She teams up with Jorge Gonzalez, a Latin dancer, to reinvent the flashy Smooth style. When the Chairman of the Judges offers to throw the competition in their favor, Nina must decide how far she will go to win, even if it means losing Jorge.
Carly Martindale is doing everything she’s been taught not to do—placing her happiness first by dancing with Trey Devereux, the former three-time champion who’s returned to competition for mysterious reasons. Carly becomes obsessed with Trey and allows him to control her every move at great risk to her physical and emotional health. How far will she sacrifice herself, so Trey and she can win? Co-workers, then friends, and now arch competitors, Nina and Carly face off to determine who will be the winner.
The Quest for the Crown of Thorns by Cynthia Ripley Miller (ebook, review copy courtesy of HF Virtual Book Tours)
AD 454. Three years after the Roman victory over Attila the Hun at Catalaunum, Arria Felix and Garic the Frank are married and enjoying life on Garic’s farm in northern Gaul (France). Their happy life is interrupted, when a cryptic message arrives from Rome, calling Arria home to her father, the esteemed Senator Felix. At Arria’s insistence, but against Garic’s better judgment, they leave at once. Upon their arrival at Villa Solis, they are confronted with a brutal murder and the dangerous mission that awaits them. The fate of a profound and sacred object – Christ’s Crown of Thorns – rests in their hands. They must carry the holy relic to the safety of Constantinople, away from a corrupt emperor and old enemies determined to steal it for their own gain. But an even greater force arises to derail their quest–a secret cult willing to commit any atrocity to capture the Crown of Thorns. And all the while, the gruesome murder and the conspiracy behind it haunt Arria’s thoughts. Arria and Garic’s marital bonds are tested but forged as they partner together to fulfil one of history’s most challenging missions, The Quest for the Crown of Thorns.
The King’s Daughter by Stephanie Churchill (eARC courtesy of the author)
In this gripping sequel to The Scribe’s Daughter, a young woman finds herself unwittingly caught up in a maelstrom of power, intrigue, and shifting perceptions, where the line between ally and enemy is subtle, and the fragile facade of reality is easily broken. Irisa’s parents are dead and her younger sister Kassia is away on a journey when the sisters’ mysterious customer returns, urging Irisa to leave with him before disaster strikes. Can she trust him to keep her safe? How much does he know about the fate of her father? Only a voyage across the Eastmor Ocean to the land of her ancestors will reveal the truth about her family’s disturbing past. Once there, Irisa steps into a future she has unknowingly been prepared for since childhood, but what she discovers is far more sinister than she could have ever imagined. Will she have the courage to claim her inheritance for her own?
Eureka by Anthony Quinn (ebook, NetGalley)
Summer, 1967. As London shimmers in a heat haze and swoons to the sound of Sergeant Pepper, a mystery film – Eureka – is being shot by German wunderkind Reiner Werther Kloss. The screenwriter, Nat Fane, would do anything for a hit but can’t see straight for all the acid he’s dropping. Fledgling actress Billie Cantrip is hoping for her big break but can’t find a way out of her troubled relationship with an older man. And journalist Freya Wyley wants to know why so much of what Kloss touches turns to ash in his wake. Meanwhile, the parallel drama of Nat’s screenplay starts unfurling its own deep secrets.
The Butcher Bird (Somershill Manor Mystery #2) by S. D. Sykes (ebook, Kindle deal)
Oswald de Lacy is growing up fast in his new position as Lord of Somershill Manor. The Black Death changed many things, and just as it took away his father and elder brothers, leaving Oswald to be recalled from the monastery where he expected to spend his life, so it has taken many of his villagers and servants. However, there is still the same amount of work to be done in the farms and fields, and the few people left to do it think they should be paid more – something the King himself has forbidden. Just as anger begins to spread, the story of the Butcher Bird takes flight. People claim to have witnessed a huge creature in the skies. A new-born baby is found impaled on a thorn bush. And then more children disappear. Convinced the bird is just a superstitious rumor, Oswald must discover what is really happening. He can expect no help from his snobbish mother and his scheming sister Clemence, who is determined to protect her own child, but happy to neglect her step-daughters. From the plague-ruined villages of Kent to the thief-infested streets of London and the luxurious bedchamber of a bewitching lady, Oswald’s journey is full of danger, dark intrigue and shocking revelations.
Dark Matter by Michelle Paver (ebook, Kindle deal)
January 1937. Clouds of war are gathering over a fogbound London. Twenty-eight year old Jack is poor, lonely, and desperate to change his life, so when he’s offered the chance to join an Arctic expedition, he jumps at it. Spirits are high as the ship leaves Norway: five men and eight huskies, crossing the Barents Sea by the light of the midnight sun. At last they reach the remote, uninhabited bay where they will camp for the next year, Gruhuken, but the Arctic summer is brief. As night returns to claim the land, Jack feels a creeping unease. One by one, his companions are forced to leave. He faces a stark choice: stay or go. Soon he will see the last of the sun, as the polar night engulfs the camp in months of darkness. Soon he will reach the point of no return–when the sea will freeze, making escape impossible. Gruhuken is not uninhabited. Jack is not alone. Something walks there in the dark…
The Constant Soldier by William Ryan (ebook, Kindle deal)
Paul Brandt, a soldier in the German army, returns wounded and ashamed from the bloody chaos of the Eastern front to find his village home much changed and existing in the dark shadow of an SS rest hut – a luxurious retreat for those who manage the concentration camps, run with the help of a small group of female prisoners who – against all odds – have so far survived the war. When, by chance, Brandt glimpses one of these prisoners, he realizes that he must find a way to access the hut. For inside is the woman to whom his fate has been tied since their arrest five years before, and now he must do all he can to protect her. But as the Russian offensive moves ever closer, the days of this rest hut and its SS inhabitants are numbered. And while hope – for Brandt and the female prisoners – grows tantalizingly close, the danger too is now greater than ever. And, in a forest to the east, a young female Soviet tank driver awaits her orders to advance . . .
Commonwealth by Ann Patchett (ebokk, Kindle deal)
One Sunday afternoon in Southern California, Bert Cousins shows up at Franny Keating’s christening party uninvited. Before evening falls, he has kissed Franny’s mother, Beverly—thus setting in motion the dissolution of their marriages and the joining of two families. Spanning five decades, Commonwealth explores how this chance encounter reverberates through the lives of the four parents and six children involved. Spending summers together in Virginia, the Keating and Cousins children forge a lasting bond that is based on a shared disillusionment with their parents and the strange and genuine affection that grows up between them. When, in her twenties, Franny begins an affair with the legendary author Leon Posen and tells him about her family, the story of her siblings is no longer hers to control. Their childhood becomes the basis for his wildly successful book, ultimately forcing them to come to terms with their losses, their guilt, and the deeply loyal connection they feel for one another.
On What Cathy Read Next last week
Sunday – I featured a Q&A with Shannon Condon, author of The Brotherhood
Monday – I shared my review of The Room by the Lake by Emma Dibdin, an unsettling psychological thriller.
Tuesday – I did some more clearing out of my To-Read shelf on Goodreads courtesy of the Down the TBR Hole meme. I also participated in the book blitz The Place Where the Giant Fell by John Henry Hardy.
Wednesday – I shared two reviews for In Shadowland by Timothy Ashby, a historical mystery set after WW1, and The Sixteen Trees of the Somme by Lars Mytting, a 5* read for me and the first book in my ARC August reading challenge. Wednesday is also WWW Wednesday, where I and other book bloggers share what we’ve been reading, are currently reading and plan to read next.
Thursday – The subject of my Throwback Thursday post was The Pale House by Luke McCallin, the second in a terrific series set in WW2.
Friday – A fun post today posing the question What Does Your Book Blog Say About You? Why not take the test?
Saturday – I featured a fascinating Q&A with Lachlan Walter, author of The Rain Never Came.
- Goodreads 2017 Reading Challenge – 95 out of 78 books read, 2 more than last week. I still need to set that new target….
- Classics Club Challenge– 4 out of 50 books reviewed (same as last week)
- NetGalley/Edelweiss Reading Challenge 2017 (Gold) – 43 ARCs reviewed out of 50 (1 more than last week)
- From Page to Screen 2017– 7 book/film comparisons out of 12 completed (same as last week)
- ARC August – 1 ARCs out of 6 read
- The Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction Shortlist 2017 – completed
On What Cathy Read Next this week
- Blog Tour/Review: If The Creek Don’t Rise by Leah Weiss
- Blog Tour/Excerpt: Dead Girls Can’t Lie by Carys Jones
- Book Review: The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz
- Throwback Thursday: The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
- Blog Tour/Guest Post: The Floating Theatre by Martha Conway