I’ve been reading like a starving woman lately. Just hungry for good stories. So I thought I would share with you some of the good ones I’ve stumbled across lately.
The Jane Austen Project by Kathleen A. Flynn
The Jane Austen Project is, on the outside, a truly outrageous notion. Scientists from the future travel back to Regency England to find Jane Austen’s letters and an unpublished novel before they are lost forever. And as silly and contrived at that might seem, it is anything but. In the process we meet Henry Austen, Jane’s brother, and slowly are drawn in until we are surrounded by her entire family, but especially Jane. Jane Austen. The author does a fabulous job of creating the Regency world and taking both her characters and the modern reader on a wonderland adventure into Jane Austen’s life. I loved it. Go find The Jane Austen Project, (I happened upon my copy at the library) read it and just revel in the shear joy and audacity of spending an afternoon with Jane. I couldn’t put it down.
This part of my Reading Roundup should be called “New York, New York.” First up, Joanna Shupe was kind enough to send me an advance copy of her debut book with Avon, A Daring Arrangement, and I was delighted to read it. So much fun to read a romance set outside of the Regency and this one is doubly good as it is set in New York with an English heroine and a wealthy American outsider. I liked the way these two got to know each other and fall in love. This is the first in a series and I will be looking forward to the upcoming books.
The next NYC book I dove into was The English Wife, which I also received an advance copy of–I know, lucky me. I’ve really fallen for the twin stranded stories–you know, one in the present and one in the past. This is in the same vein, but as a mystery. While it opens with a murder, the story evolves backwards and we see the unlucky couple in the years leading up to their untimely deaths, and then moves forward, as the “modern” heroine, Bay’s sister, Janie, does her level best in the 1880s to uncover what actually happened. I recommend it because it is wonderfully involved–I liked seeing how the characters–Annabelle and Bay–unfold and develop before yours eyes, with enough mystery to keep you guessing as to what is behind their murders, though at the same time, I wished there had been MORE to it, especially with regard to Janie, as she suddenly finds the nerve to unravel their past. From the ending I have the sense that there might be a follow up, which hopefully will fill in the missing links. At least I hope so.
A Perilious Undertaking by Deanna Raybourn Out now
Going from New York to Victorian London, I threw myself headlong into the second in the Veronica Speedwell mystery. I adored the first one (A Curious Beginning, which, by the way, is only $2.99 on Amazon right now), and somehow missed that the second one had come out (spoiler: the third one, A Treacherous Curse is due out in January, so get on with your own Veronica binge). This book is seriously cutting into my writing time, as I’ve extended my morning coffee and lunch to keep reading about Veronica and Stoker’s adventures. It is a wonderfully delicious Victorian story and Veronica is a hoot, while Stoker continues to be a big brooding dram of warmed whiskey that you can’t get enough of. Can’t wait to finish this one over the weekend.