Review: Beauty Among Ruins by J’nell Ciesielski

Last year I read one of J’nell Ciesielski’s novels and fell in love. She writes such wonderful historical fiction and when I saw this book was coming out, I cracked it open the second it arrived.

The cover is absolutely stunning and I thought this one sounded so good. I love WWI romances and Downton Abbey and that’s basically what this book sounded like…..a nice little war romance for fans of Downton Abbey!

As soon as I started it I couldn’t put it down! It was such a great read and for the most part read fairly quick. I loved the characters and of course the romance! I also have to admit that even though this book wasn’t out until now (2021) I read it in 2020 and it definitely made my top 10 list of 2020! Such a great book!

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Review: The Viscount Who Loved Me (Bridgertons #2) by Julia Quinn

Like everyone else in the world, I binged watched Bridgerton on Christmas Day. It was incredible and I absolutely loved it. Even my husband watched with me and immediately wanted to know where the second season was (as did I!). Earlier in 2020, I read The Duke and I in anticipation of the upcoming show and to be honest the book was only ok for me. The show was so much better!

While I had adored the book to start with, as it went on, something about it started to draw me down and I just didn’t love it by the end of the first book. I wasn’t exactly dying to read the next books in the series but I wasn’t ready to write them off as ‘not for me’ though either. Then the show came out and it was simply so much better than the first book and I immediately decided that I needed more of the Bridgertons, so I downloaded this book.

I have to say that Anthony in the books and in the show was entirely swoon worthy. Yes the Duke was sexy and charming etc, but for me, Anthony stole the show—-not just the Netflix show, but the books as well. I couldn’t wait to dive back into the Bridgerton family and read Anthony’s love story!

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Special Feature: A Deadly Fortune by Stacie Murphy

A Deadly Fortune by Stacie Murphy

Publication Date: January 5, 2021 Pegasus Crime
Genre: Historical Mystery



A historical mystery in the vein of The Alienist, in which a young woman in Gilded Age New York must use a special talent to unravel a deadly conspiracy.

Amelia Matthew has done the all-but-impossible, especially for an orphan in Gilded Age New York City. Along with her foster brother Jonas, she has parleyed her modest psychic talent into a safe and comfortable life. But safety and comfort vanish when a head injury leaves Amelia with a dramatically-expanded gift. After she publicly channels an angry spirit, she finds herself imprisoned in the notorious insane asylum on Blackwell’s Island. As Jonas searches for a way to free her, Amelia struggles to control her disturbing new abilities and survive a place where cruelty and despair threaten her sanity

Andrew Cavanaugh is familiar with despair. In the wake of a devastating loss, he abandons a promising medical career—and his place in Philadelphia society—to devote himself to the study and treatment of mental disease. Miss Amelia Matthew is just another patient—until she channels a spirit in front of him and proves her gift is real.

When a distraught mother comes to Andrew searching for her missing daughter—a daughter she believes is being hidden at the asylum—he turns to Amelia. Together, they uncover evidence of a deadly conspiracy, and then it’s no longer just Amelia’s sanity and freedom at stake. Amelia must master her gift and use it to catch a killer—or risk becoming the next victim.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound

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Special Feature: The Perfect Guests by Emma Rous

A couple of years ago, Emma Rous’s debut novel, The Au Pair, was my first read of 2019. I thought it was a wonderful novel and showed such promise for a new writer. It was a five star book for me and I couldn’t wait to see what she came up with for her next book!

Well this is the next book, The Perfect Guests. It is out now and early reviewers are enjoying this one just as much as the first book! The Perfect Guests promises twists, thrills, Gothic atmosphere, and family secrets. I can hardly wait to read this one. Not only is Rous a marvelous writer but you all know how much I love Gothic novels!

So this one is at the top of my TBR as well. While I couldn’t ft it on my January review calendar, I will certainly have a review up and coming later this winter/early spring! But for now, you can pick up a copy fo yourself and dive into this moody, atmospheric, and thrilling novel now!

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Special Feature: Our Italian Summer by Jennifer Probst

I don’t know about anyone else, but the coronavirus and all the lockdowns have left me with major wanderlust! I literally have a list of places that I have researched throughout the lockdowns and it’s titled ‘places I’m traveling to when COVID f*cks off’. Italy is at the top of this. I have long dreamed of traveling to Italy, starting at Lake Como and traveling all the way down to Sicily.

So when I saw this book was coming out I knew it would be perfect for all those people who are also struggling with wanderlust like me! Books are so great, they give us somewhere to go when we have to stay home! This book sounds like the perfect fit for anyone struggling with the fact that they are stuck at home for the foreseeable future.

But it sounds like a book that is going to be about so much more than just the beautiful landscape of Italy. This novel sounds like it’s going to have heart, charm, emotion, and of course the sun kissed skies of Italy. I cannot wait to read this one and it will certainly be at the top of my TBR in Feb but for now, it is out today and you can snag a copy and escape to Italy for a little while!

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