Book Drunkard

“I am simply a 'book drunkard.' Books have the same irresistible temptation for me that liquor has for its devotee. I cannot withstand them.” L.M. Montgomery


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Historical Fiction Reading Challenge


In an effort to get back into reading and reviewing, I decided to join the Passages to the Past Historical Fiction Reading Challenge for 2018.

I’m going to be a Renaissance reader this year and plan to read/review 10 historical fiction books.  If you want to join, click the picture for the details!  There are other levels available and it’ll be great fun.  While I have several books on my shelves for challenge, I’m sure I’ll end up picking up a few more before the year is up just from reading reviews from other participators. 

While my first book of the year isn’t historical (I want to broaden my horizons this year), I’ll be back soon with my first post!

 

All the best with your reading goals this year.

Martina @ Book Drunkard

 

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The It Girl and Me: A Novel of Clara Bow by Laini Giles, review


The It Girl and Me: A Novel of Clara Bow by Laini Giles

Publication Date: March 25, 2017
Sepia Stories Publishing
eBook & Paperback; 341 Pages

Series: Forgotten Actresses, Book #2
Gere: Historical Fiction/Biographical

Daisy DeVoe has left her abusive husband, her father has been pinched for bootlegging, and she’s embarrassed by her rural Kentucky roots. But on the plus side, she’s climbing the ladder in the salon of Paramount Pictures, styling hair for actress Clara Bow.

Clara is a handful. The “It” Girl of the Jazz Age personifies the new woman of the 1920s onscreen, smoking, drinking bootleg hooch, and bursting with sex appeal. But her conduct off the set is even more scandalous. Hoping to impose a little order on Clara’s chaotic life, Paramount persuades Daisy to sign on as Clara’s personal secretary.

Thanks to Daisy, Clara’s bank account is soon flush with cash. And thanks to Clara, Daisy can finally shake off her embarrassing past and achieve respectability for herself and her family.

The trouble begins when Clara’s newest fiancé, cowboy star Rex Bell, wants to take over, and he and Daisy battle for control. Torn between her loyalty to Clara and her love for her family, Daisy has to make a difficult choice when she ends up in the county jail.

Here, Daisy sets the record straight, from her poverty-stricken childhood to her failed marriage; from a father in San Quentin to her rollercoaster time with Clara, leaving out none of the juicy details.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble Chapters

 

My Review

The Jazz Age.  Classic Hollywood.  Clara Bow.

These words, or any combination thereof, make any book a must read for me.  I have long been enthralled with the glamour of the 1920s and of how women began to change and become more in charge of themselves.  If I could go back and live in any era, this would probably be the one.  I totally would have been a suffragette.

This book, as with the first book in the author’s Forgotten Actresses series, had me entertained from the very start.  Her characters are smart and witty and tough.  Daisy DeVoe didn’t have an easy start, but she made it work and pushed through her poverty only to become the personal secretary to none other than Clara Bow, Hollywood’s “It” girl.

Laini Giles writes the absolute best books I’ve read set during this era.  Painstaking research is apparent in each word and the reader is transported to a world we can only dream of.  The tale is told through Daisy which gives us a chance to see deeply into the lives of both of these women.  I hadn’t heard of Daisy before and was thrilled to learn that her story is true.  I was enchanted from the start and couldn’t wait to see how it all ended, yet I did not want it to end.  Excellent book and must read for anyone who is a fan of Old Hollywood.

 

About the Author

 

Originally from the counterculture mecca of Austin, Texas, Laini discovered a love of reading early on, and when she was eight, decided to be Nancy Drew. This dream was dashed when she realized she was actually a big chicken, and that there were no guarantees of rescue from tarantulas, bad guys with guns, and other fiendish plot twists. She finished her first “mystery novel” (with custom illustrations) when she was nine.

She set the writing aside for a while when life got in the way, but was led back to it through her interest in genealogy and 18 months of enforced unemployment due to moving north for maple-flavored goodies and real beer. Reading old microfilm stirred new life into her interest in writing, and watching early silent films struck the match.

Like most other writers, most of her monthly budget is spent on coffee and books. She lives with her husband and their two gray cats in Edmonton, Alberta.

For more information, please visit Laini Giles’ website. You can also connect with her on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Goodreads.

 

Blog Tour Schedule

 

Wednesday, November 1
Kick Off at Passages to the Past

Thursday, November 2
Feature at What Is That Book About

Friday, November 3
Feature at So Many Books, So Little Time

Monday, November 6
Review at Bookish

Tuesday, November 7
Feauture at WS Momma Readers Nook

Thursday, November 9
Review at Beth’s Book Nook Blog

Friday, November 10
Review at A Bookaholic Swede

Monday, November 13
Review at Creating Herstory
Excerpt at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots

Wednesday, November 15
Review at A Chick Who Reads

Friday, November 17
Excerpt at A Literary Vacation

Monday, November 20
Feature at Let Them Read Books

Wednesday, November 22
Feature at The Lit Bitch

Thursday, November 23
Review at Locks, Hooks and Books

Friday, November 24
Feature at CelticLady’s Reviews

Saturday, November 25
Excerpt at T’s Stuff

Tuesday, November 28
Review at View from the Birdhouse

Wednesday, November 29
Review at A Book Drunkard


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Book Blast — The Tides Between by Elizabeth Jane Corbett


The Tides Between

by Elizabeth Jane Corbett

Publication Date: October 20, 2017
Odyssey Books
Paperback; 300 Pages

Genre: Fiction/Young Adult/Historical

 

She fancied herself part of a timeless chain without beginning or end, linked only by the silver strong words of its tellers.

In the year 1841, on the eve of her departure from London, Bride’s mother demands she forget her dead father and prepare for a sensible, adult life in Port Phillip. Desperate to save her childhood, fifteen-year-old Bridie is determined to smuggle a notebook filled with her father’s fairytales to the far side of the world.

When Rhys Bevan, a soft-voiced young storyteller and fellow traveller realises Bridie is hiding something, a magical friendship is born. But Rhys has his own secrets and the words written in Bridie’s notebook carry a dark double meaning.

As they inch towards their destination, Rhys’s past returns to haunt him. Bridie grapples with the implications of her dad’s final message. The pair take refuge in fairytales, little expecting the trouble it will cause.

Odyssey Books | Amazon | iBooks | Kobo

About the Author

When Elizabeth Jane Corbett isn’t writing, she works as a librarian, teaches Welsh at the Melbourne Celtic Club, writes reviews and articles for the Historical Novel Society and blogs atelizabethjanecorbett.com. In 2009, her short-story, Beyond the Blackout Curtain, won the Bristol Short Story Prize. Another, Silent Night, was short listed for the Allan Marshall Short Story Award. An early draft of her debut novel, The Tides Between, was shortlisted for a HarperCollins Varuna manuscript development award.

Elizabeth lives with her husband, Andrew, in a renovated timber cottage in Melbourne’s inner-north. She likes red shoes, dark chocolate, commuter cycling, and reading quirky, character driven novels set once-upon-a-time in lands far, far away.

For more information, please visit Elizabeth Jane Corbett’s website. You can also connect with her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+Pinterest, and Goodreads.

 

Book Blast Schedule

Monday, October 16

Passages to the Past

Tuesday, October 17
The Never-Ending Book

Wednesday, October 18
A Book Geek

 

Thursday, October 19
The Reading Queen

Friday, October 20
Pursuing Stacie
What Is That Book About

Sunday, October 22
Faery Tales Are Real

Monday, October 23
To Read, Or Not to Read

Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots

Tuesday, October 24
Creating Herstory

Wednesday, October 25
History From a Woman’s Perspective

Thursday, October 26
Jenn’s Book Vibes

Friday, October 27
WS Momma Readers Nook

Monday, October 30
I Heart Reading
So Many Books, So Little Time

Tuesday, October 31
Back Porchervations

Wednesday, November 1
T’s Stuff

Thursday, November 2
Singing Librarian Books

Friday, November 3
A Holland Reads

Monday, November 6
Broken Teepee
A Book Drunkard

Tuesday, November 7
Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers

Wednesday, November 8
Just One More Chapter

Thursday, November 9
CelticLady’s Reviews
Locks, Hooks and Books
Carole Rae’s Random Ramblings

Friday, November 10
What Cathy Read Next


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A Sea of Sorrow: A Novel of Odysseus, review


A Sea of Sorrow: A Novel of Odysseus

by David Blixt, Amalia Carosella, Libbie Hawker, Scott Oden, Vicky Alvear Shecter, and Russell Whitfield

Publication Date: October 17, 2017
Knight Media, LLC
eBook & Paperback; 524 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | Chapters

Odysseus, infamous trickster of Troy, vaunted hero of the Greeks, left behind a wake of chaos and despair during his decade long journey home to Ithaca. Lovers and enemies, witches and monsters–no one who tangled with Odysseus emerged unscathed. Some prayed for his return, others, for his destruction. These are their stories…

 

A beleaguered queen’s gambit for maintaining power unravels as a son plots vengeance.

A tormented siren battles a goddess’s curse and the forces of nature to survive.

An exiled sorceress defies a lustful captain and his greedy crew.

A blinded shepherd swears revenge on the pirate-king who mutilated him.

A beautiful empress binds a shipwrecked sailor to servitude, only to wonder who is serving whom.

A young suitor dreams of love while a returned king conceives a savage retribution.

Six authors bring to life the epic tale of The Odyssey seen through the eyes of its shattered victims—the monsters, witches, lovers, and warriors whose lives were upended by the antics of the “man of many faces.” You may never look upon this timeless epic—and its iconic ancient hero—in quite the same way again.

My Review

I’ve come to look forward to these exciting books written by an ever-changing group of authors, The H Team–some of whom I’ve read before and some who introduced me to a whole new batch of books I quickly added to my TBR pile.  In A SEA OF SORROW, authors Amalia Carosella, Libbie Hawker, Russell Whitfield, David Blixt, Scot Oden, and Vicky Alvear Shecter bring an ancient world to life with the stories of victims left in the wake of the Greek hero, Odysseus.

I loved each of the six stories within this book.  Having a different author for each tale means the reader gets to hear about their lives in truly different voices, showing you their true personality, inviting you into their world and making privy to their private thoughts.  Each will give you a different perspective on the world you thought you knew and perhaps change your thoughts on Greek Mythology altogether.

I cannot say enough good about this book and the anthologies that preceded it.  If mythology is your thing, you will go crazy for this book.  If mythology isn’t your thing, it will be after you read this book.  Devour it and be happy that your time was well spent.

 

About the Authors

Amalia Carosella graduated from the University of North Dakota with a bachelors degree in Classical Studies and English. An avid reader and former bookseller, she writes about old heroes and older gods. She lives with her husband in upstate New York and dreams of the day she will own goats (and maybe even a horse, too). Amalia’s novels include Tamer of Horses, Helen of Sparta, By Helen’s Hand, and Daughter of a Thousand Years.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

David Blixt‘s work is consistently described as “intricate,” “taut,” and “breathtaking.” A writer of Historical Fiction, his novels span the early Roman Empire (the COLOSSUS series, his play EVE OF IDES) to early Renaissance Italy (the STAR-CROSS’D series) up through the Elizabethan era (his delightful espionage comedy HER MAJESTY’S WILL, starring Will Shakespeare and Kit Marlowe as inept spies). His novels combine a love of the theatre with a deep respect for the quirks and passions of history.

Living in Chicago with his wife and two children, he describes himself as “actor, author, father, husband. In reverse order.”

 

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Libbie Hawker writes historical and literary fiction featuring complex characters and rich details of time and place. Libbie’s recent novels include Daughter of Sand and Stone, Mercer Girls, A Song of War, White Lotus and Persian Rose.

She lives in the San Juan Islands of Washington State.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Russell Whitfield was born in Shepherds Bush in 1971. An only child, he was raised in Hounslow, West London, but has since escaped to Ham in Surrey.

Gladiatrix was Russ’s first novel, published in 2008 by Myrmidon Books. The sequel, Roma Victrix, continues the adventures Lysandra, the Spartan gladiatrix, and a third book, Imperatrix, sees Lysandra stepping out of the arena and onto the field of battle.

Website | Facebook | Twitter 

Scott Oden was born in Indiana, but has spent most of his life shuffling between his home in rural North Alabama, a Hobbit hole in Middle-earth, and some sketchy tavern in the Hyborian Age. He is an avid reader of fantasy and ancient history, a collector of swords, and a player of tabletop role-playing games. When not writing, he can be found walking his two dogs or doting over his lovely wife, Shannon.

Oden’s previous works include the historical fantasy, The Lion of Cairo, and two historical novels, Men of Bronze and Memnon. He is currently working on his next novel.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Vicky Alvear Shecter is the author of multiple books set in the ancient world, including the YA novels, CLEOPATRA’S MOON, based on the life of Cleopatra’s only daughter, and CURSES AND SMOKE: A NOVEL OF POMPEII and the adult historical collaborations, A SONG OF WAR, A YEAR OF RAVENS, and A DAY OF FIRE. She has written a mid-grade series on mythology (ANUBIS SPEAKS, HADES SPEAKS, and THOR SPEAKS) as well as two award-winning biographies for kids. She a She is a docent at the Michael C. Carlos Museum of Antiquities at Emory University in Atlanta.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, October 17
Review at A Book Drunkard

Wednesday, October 18
Feature at A Holland Reads

Thursday, October 19
Feature at View From the Birdhouse

Friday, October 20
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Monday, October 23
Review at The Maiden’s Court

Tuesday, October 24
Feature at The Reading Queen

Wednesday, October 25
Review at A Bookish Affair

Thursday, October 26
Review at What Cathy Read Next

Friday, October 27
Feature at So Many Books, So Little Time

Monday, October 30
Review at Creating Herstory

Tuesday, October 31
Review at Historical Fiction Reviews

Wednesday, November 1
Review at Back Porchervations

Thursday, November 2
Feature at The Writing Desk

Friday, November 3
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Monday, November 6
Review at Broken Teepee

Tuesday, November 7
Feature at A Literary Vacation

Wednesday, November 8
Feature at Passages to the Past

Friday, November 10
Review at Locks, Hooks and Books

Monday, November 13
Review at Unabridged Chick
Feature at CelticLady’s Reviews

Tuesday, November 14
Review at Bookramblings
Feature at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots

Thursday, November 16
Feature at I Heart Reading

Friday, November 17
Review at A Book Geek
Review at The True Book Addict


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Twilight Empress: A Novel of Imperial Rome by Faith L. Justice, review.


Twilight Empress: A Novel of Imperial Rome
by Faith L. Justice

Publication Date: May 12, 2017
Raggedy Moon Books
eBook & Print; 392 Pages

Series: The Theodosian Women, Book 1
Genre: Fiction/Historical/Action & Adventure

 

Twilight Empress tells the little-known story of a remarkable woman—Galla Placidia, sister to one of the last Roman Emperors. Roman princess, Gothic captive and queen—Placidia does the unthinkable—she rules the failing Western Roman Empire—a life of ambition, power and intrigue she doesn’t seek, but can’t refuse. Her actions shape the face of Western Europe for centuries.

A woman as well as an Empress, Placidia suffers love, loss, and betrayal. Can her strength, tenacity and ambition help her survive and triumph over scheming generals, rebellious children, and Attila the Hun? Or will the Dark Ages creep closer and bring down the Empire?

Amazon US | Amazon CAN | Amazon UK | Barnes and Noble | iBooks | IndieBound | Kobo

My Review

TWILIGHT EMPRESS by Faith L. Justice is exactly the type of book I mention when people ask me why I love Historical Fiction so much.  Like the author, I’m a history junkie, so I appreciate her writing style and the research and time it takes to create a story set during an era long forgotten.

Placidia is a wonderful character.  She’s not one accept her fate when things get tough, and sadly, that was a lot!  She’s strong and loving and gracious.  She’s not someone I’ve heard of before and I completely devoured her story.  In times such as this, it’s nice to read about a strong woman in a man’s world.

I’m thrilled I was able to learn something new while reading this book.  It’s an incredible and inspirational journey.

I received an e-copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

About the Author

Faith L. Justice is a science geek and history junkie, which is reflected in her writing. Her short stories and poems have appeared in such publications as “The Copperfield Review”, “Beyond Science Fiction and Fantasy”, and the “Circles in the Hair” anthology. Faith has published in such venues as “Salon.com”, “Writer’s Digest”, “The Writer”, and “Bygone Days”. She’s an Associate Editor for “Space & Time Magazine”, a frequent contributor to “Strange Horizons”, and co-founded a writer’s workshop more years ago than she cares to admit.

To contact Faith, read her essays and interviews, or get a sneak preview of her historical novels, visit her website at www.faithljustice.com. You can also find her on FacebookTwitter, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, September 11
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Tuesday, September 12
Feature at The Hungry Bookworm
Guest Post at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots

Wednesday, September 13
Review at Book Drunkard

Thursday, September 14
Feature at The Reading Queen

Friday, September 15
Review & Excerpt at Clarissa Reads it All

Monday, September 18
Review at Creating Herstory

Tuesday, September 19
Review at The Muse in the Fog Reviews

Wednesday, September 20
Guest Post & Giveaway at The Muse in the Fog Reviews

Thursday, September 21
Feature at A Holland Reads

Friday, September 22
Review at Book Nerd

Monday, September 25
Review at So Many Books, So Little Time
Review & Excerpt at Locks, Hooks and Books

Tuesday, September 26
Feature at The True Book Addict

Wednesday, September 27
Review at Pursuing Stacie
Review & Giveaway at What Cathy Read Next

Friday, September 29
Review at Bookramblings
Feature at CelticLady’s Reviews

Monday, October 2
Review at History From a Woman’s Perspective

Tuesday, October 3
Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views

Wednesday, October 4
Interview & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Thursday, October 5
Review at A Bookish Affair


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COVER REVEAL! My Dear Hamilton by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie


From the New York Times bestselling authors of America’s First Daughter comes the epic story of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton—a revolutionary woman who, like her new nation, struggled to define herself in the wake of war, betrayal, and tragedy. Haunting, moving, and beautifully written, Dray and Kamoie used thousands of letters and original sources to tell Eliza’s story as it’s never been told before—not just as the wronged wife at the center of a political sex scandal—but also as a founding mother who shaped an American legacy in her own right.

We’re celebrating Eliza Schuyler Hamilton’s Birthday today and you get the gift! Don’t miss the beautiful cover below and a special giveaway, and don’t forget to pre-order your copy today!

About My Dear Hamilton: A Novel of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton (Coming 4.3.2018):

Wife, Widow, and Warrior in Alexander Hamilton’s Quest to Form a More Perfect Union

From the New York Times bestselling authors of America’s First Daughter comes the epic story of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton—a revolutionary woman who, like her new nation, struggled to define herself in the wake of war, betrayal, and tragedy. Haunting, moving, and beautifully written, Dray and Kamoie used thousands of letters and original sources to tell Eliza’s story as it’s never been told before—not just as the wronged wife at the center of a political sex scandal—but also as a founding mother who shaped an American legacy in her own right.

A general’s daughter…

Coming of age on the perilous frontier of revolutionary New York, Elizabeth Schuyler champions the fight for independence. And when she meets Alexander Hamilton, Washington’s penniless but passionate aide-de-camp, she’s captivated by the young officer’s charisma and brilliance. They fall in love, despite Hamilton’s bastard birth and the uncertainties of war.

A founding father’s wife…

But the union they create—in their marriage and the new nation—is far from perfect. From glittering inaugural balls to bloody street riots, the Hamiltons are at the center of it all—including the political treachery of America’s first sex scandal, which forces Eliza to struggle through heartbreak and betrayal to find forgiveness.

The last surviving light of the Revolution…

When a duel destroys Eliza’s hard-won peace, the grieving widow fights her husband’s enemies to preserve Alexander’s legacy. But long-buried secrets threaten everything Eliza believes about her marriage and her own legacy. Questioning her tireless devotion to the man and country that have broken her heart, she’s left with one last battle—to understand the flawed man she married and imperfect union he could never have created without her…

Pre-Order on Amazon | B&N |GooglePlay |iBooks | Kobo

To celebrate Eliza Schuyler Hamilton’s Birthday today, we have a surprise for you! Share the cover of MY DEAR HAMILTON and fill out the Rafflecopter below to receive an Exclusive Excerpt!

 

LINK TO THE GIVEAWAY!

 

New York Times bestselling author, Stephanie Dray is an award-winning, bestselling and two-time RITA award nominated author of historical women’s fiction. Her critically acclaimed series about Cleopatra’s daughter has been translated into eight different languages and won NJRW’s Golden Leaf. As Stephanie Draven, she is a national bestselling author of genre fiction and American-set historical women’s fiction. She is a frequent panelist and presenter at national writing conventions and lives near the nation’s capital. Before she became a novelist, she was a lawyer, a game designer, and a teacher. Now she uses the stories of women in history to inspire the young women of today.

Stephanie’s Website | Facebook | Twitter | Newsletter

 

New York Times bestselling author, Laura Kamoie has always been fascinated by the people, stories, and physical presence of the past, which led her to a lifetime of historical and archaeological study and training. She holds a doctoral degree in early American history from The College of William and Mary, published two non-fiction books on early America, and most recently held the position of Associate Professor of History at the U.S. Naval Academy before transitioning to a full-time career writing genre fiction as the New York Times bestselling author, Laura Kaye. Her New York Times bestselling debut historical novel, America’s First Daughter, co-authored with Stephanie Dray, allowed her the exciting opportunity to combine her love of history with her passion for storytelling. Laura lives among the colonial charm of Annapolis, Maryland with her husband and two daughters.

Laura’s Website | Facebook | Twitter | Newsletter Sign-Up


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Mata Hari’s Last Dance by Michelle Moran, review


ABOUT THE BOOK:

Paris, 1917. The notorious dancer Mata Hari sits in a cold cell awaiting freedom…or death. Alone and despondent, Mata Hari is as confused as the rest of the world about the charges she’s been arrested on: treason leading to the deaths of thousands of French soldiers.

As Mata Hari waits for her fate to be decided, she relays the story of her life to a reporter who is allowed to visit her in prison. Beginning with her carefree childhood, Mata Hari recounts her father’s cruel abandonment of her family as well her calamitous marriage to a military officer. Taken to the island of Java, Mata Hari refuses to be ruled by her abusive husband and instead learns to dance, paving the way to her stardom as Europe’s most infamous dancer.

From exotic Indian temples and glamorous Parisian theatres to stark German barracks in war-torn Europe, international bestselling author Michelle Moran who “expertly balances fact and fiction” (Associated Press) brings to vibrant life the famed world of Mata Hari: dancer, courtesan, and possibly, spy.

MY REVIEW:

Michelle Moran has long been one of my favourite authors and I have enjoyed every one of her books so far.  MATA HARI’S LAST DANCE is no exception.

I knew little about Mata Hari when I picked up this book other than that she was a spy.  Margareth Zelle MacLeod, also known as “M’greet”, didn’t have an easy life growing up, nor during her years of marriage. Learning her background was much appreciated and helped me to understand her choices later in life.  I don’t often cry reading books, but this one had me in tears at the end.  Is it weird that even though I knew the history, I still hoped for a different ending??

Moran has a knack for writing about strong female characters in history.  I always feel more akin to them after I’ve read her books.  Her writing style is easy and smooth and I fly through the pages while wishing sleep and work weren’t things.  Also, the cover is stunning!!

The book is on the slim side and if I had a complaint, that would be it.  I wish the book had been longer so that the story didn’t feel rushed.  There was much I would have loved to had expanded.  However I do understand that too much of the same thing–dances and conquests–could have weighed the story down too much and made it bland.  I’m looking forward to what Michelle Moran writes next!

4 stars

Thank you to Touchstone for the ebook version via NetGalley