Monday, November 7, 2016

Below Stairs

Below Stairs: The Classic Kitchen Maid's Memoir That Inspired Below Stairs: The Classic Kitchen Maid's Memoir That Inspired "Upstairs, Downstairs" and "Downton Abbey" by Margaret Powell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is a very interesting glimpse into the world of domestic service during the beginning of the end of British nobility.

The book begins with the beginnings of Ms. Powell's life, and go into her life into domestic service. She tells great anecdotes about her previous employers that really do allow you to glimpse into the private lives of the British nobility, and really allow you to see that even at their height, they were just like everyone else, just with a bit more money.

You can definitely see where the writers of Downton Abbey took some inspiration from the book and it's stories, and it's interesting to see just where some of the craziness came from. If you're a fan of the show Downton Abbey, or want to learn a bit more about that time, and the people who lived "below," then this is definitely the book for you. It's a worthwhile read, and I highly recommend it.

~♥~
Lady D

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey

Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy of Highclere CastleLady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle by Fiona Carnarvon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Honestly, it took me a long time to finish this book. Not because it was boring, or hard to read, but because it was JUST dry enough that other books kept pulling me away from it. But I kept coming back to it. I'm a huge fan of the show Downton Abbey, and it was so awesome to me to see where the show's creators/writers pulled some of their inspiration for the show from.

Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey is the story of the triumph of one English family through some of the massive trials and tribulations of the late 18- early 1900's, including a world war, and an influenza epidemic. It is a very nice read, and history lovers of the time will be enchanted by the detail of the different problems that the people of the family faced.

Fans of Downton Abbey, or British History fans, I would highly recommend this book to.

~♥~
Lady D

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Bound By Flames

Bound by Flames (Night Prince, #3)Bound by Flames by Jeaniene Frost
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Vlad and Leila series keeps getting better and better! I started this book last night, and I literally couldn't put it down until I finished it. Jeaniene Frost really outdid herself with this one!

Leila Dracul is married to the world's most famous... or should it be infamous, vampire, Vlad Dracul... whom you may know better as Dracula... but don't dare call him that to his face. While their marriage is less than normal, they love each other with the passion of fire and now they face the same threat that they've faced before... Vlad's long time dreaded enemy Mihaly Szilagy.

Leila and Vlad will travel the world trying to uncover him, and even though they face bigger challenges than they've ever faced before, they have each other, and the fiery passion that consumes them. Will they be able to take down Szilagy once and for all? And if they do, will Vlad's enemies truly leave them be?

As I said before, this is by far the best Vlad book to date. I am truly in love with the Prince of Darkness, and his and Leila's romance is the stuff of legends. They sizzle on the page every time they're together, and you will NOT want to put this book down. So do yourself a favor, and pick it up, but don't start reading it until you have ample time to finish it.

~♥~
Lady D

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Divergent

Divergent (Divergent, #1)Divergent by Veronica Roth
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Beatrice Prior is a member of Abnegation, one of the five factions in post-war Chicago. She is coming up on sixteen, and her choosing day. She knows that she's not fit for Abnegagtion, but she doesn't know where she fits. When her pre-choosing day test, the test that is supposed to show you where you fit faction-wise. But Beatrice's test shows that she could fit in one of three: Abnegation, Dauntless, or Erudite. She finds out she is Divergent.

At the choosing day, Beatrice's brother chooses Erudite, to the astonishment of everyone in her faction. And then Beatrice chooses Dauntless. Her faction is stunned. In Dauntless, Beatrice, now Tris, faces things that she's never seen or done before, like jumping off a building. As she fights her way, sometimes literally, through initiation, strange things start to happen. And when they come to a head, Tris will face her greatest challenge of all.

Tris meets new friends in Dauntless, Christina, Will, Al, and then there's Four. Strong, silent, yet kind, Four. As he takes an interest in her, she takes one in him. Will what they have blossom into something more? And will Tris be able to follow the phrase "Faction before Blood" and forget her family?

I really fought against reading this book for a long time, even though my friend finally talked me into it. I'm really glad she did. When I finally started reading the book, the movie came out. I realized I was liking the book, so, my husband and I rented the movie. And while people really bashed the movie, and of course the book was better (it always is), the movie wasn't bad either.

The idea behind this book, that people can fit into one specific identity based on one trait, is very interesting. Of course, the book talks about how for some people that does't work, and those people are the Divergent. The book is of course about Tris, but, it's also about more than that. And the book is an easy read, a fun read, and a very emotional read all at the same time.

If you have not read this book yet, pick it up. It is a book that should be enjoyed by all. I've started the second book already, and I can't wait to see where this series goes!

~♥~
Lady D

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Burn for Me

Burn for Me (Hidden Legacy, #1)Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Burn for Me is the newest series in Ilona Andrews' repertoire. Honestly, I LOVED it! I CANNOT wait for the second book!

Nevada Baylor is the head of the Baylor Investigative Agency, which is remotely owned by a company owned by House Montgomery, one of the big magical houses in this world. You see, people in this world all have magic, and they're ranked. The oldest and strongest magical families are called houses. Now, House Montgomery has never called in anything on Baylor, since Nevada makes sure to pay her mortgage every month, and keeps her nose clean.

But when a pyrokinetic mage from another house decides to start burning down Houston, MII decides to call in their ownership. Nevada has no choice, unless she wants to lose everything, literally. Even though it means suicide, she takes the job.

Unbeknownst to Nevada, a cousin of one of the pyro's cohorts has decided to take an interest in this case as well. And Connor "Mad" Rogan, of House Rogan does not take no for an answer. He gets what he wants, even if what he wants is a blonde investigator... or does he? Has he met his match when it comes to Nevada?

Burn for Me is a mystery Ilona Andrews style. It has insane magic, wonderfully built characters, and enough laughs that I had the people at work, as well as my husband looking at me strangely periodically. This book is an awesome start to a new series, and it's one that you REALLY don't want to miss!

If you've read Ms. Andrews' work before, BE SURE to pick this up to add to your collection! If you haven't be sure to pick this up and give it a read, and then promptly go buy her other works, because they're just as good! This is one book that I'm glad I bought, and I CANNOT wait for the second one!

~♥~
Lady D

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Dance Upon the Air

Dance Upon the Air (Three Sisters Island, #1)Dance Upon the Air by Nora Roberts
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Dance Upon the Air is the story of Nell Channing. She comes to Three Sisters Island after a troubled past, and there she hopes she can maybe set down roots. But if she's found, she knows that the man whom she left behind would kill her.

Three Sisters Island was made of magick, and has a curse upon it that must be broken when the three are once again on island. Nell, as she will find out, is one of those three.

On Three Sisters she does find peace. Peace in friendship, peace in finding herself, and peace in magick. As she's finding herself, she meets Zachariah Todd, the local sheriff. He stirs passions she no longer knew she had, but with him being a member of the law, if he found out about her past, he wouldn't want her.

Can Nell give herself over to those feelings that Zach has stirred? And can she face who she really is, and help to break the hundreds of years old curse?

Nora Roberts does it once again in this stirring start to a wonderful trilogy. This trilogy was actually my introduction to Nora Roberts. I have loved it ever since I read it the first time. It has everything a good romance needs; love, magick, friendship, and finding oneself. This book, and this trilogy will always remain close to my heart. If you have never read Nora Roberts before, this would be a very good introduction. If you love romance, and a bit of magick, you'll love this book.

~♥~
Lady D

Friday, November 7, 2014

The Last Boyfriend

The Last Boyfriend (Inn BoonsBoro, #2)The Last Boyfriend by Nora Roberts
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Some of Ms. Roberts' series have what I call "bridge" books, and unfortunately, to me, that's what this book was.

Avery MacTavish is the owner of Vesta pizzeria in Boonsboro, MD. Since their families were so close, she's always palled around with the Montgomery boys, and while she at one time had a crush on Owen, who played along and even "proposed" to her with a gumball machine ring when she was like 6, and as they've gotten older, they've realized that maybe there's something more there.

Tensions are high on both sides as the inn is about to open, and they're looking deeper into what they're feeling for each other. Lizzy, the inn's resident ghost makes an appearance again, and is giving a helping hand in her thoughts on the romance. Will Avery and Owen be able to figure out what they really feel for each other, or will their childhood romance be nothing more than a fond memory?

I liked this book for it's Nora Roberts romance that all her books have in it, but as I said before, this book kind of just feels like a bridge. Not a whole lot happens to move the plot of Lizzy the ghost forward, nor the story as a whole other than Avery and Owen exploring their romance.

There is a very late plot dealing with Avery's long-gone mother, but it doesn't happen until late in the book, and doesn't really do much to advance the story as a whole. I can see where not having this book would make the trilogy/story as a whole incomplete, but at the same time, it's kind of forgettable.

However, if you have a love of contemporary romance, this book will hit the spot for you, and will also keep you satisfied until you move on to The Perfect Hope.

~♥~
Lady D