Jean-Marie's bookshelf: read

Mistress by Mistake
The Bride
The Winter Sea
Three Weeks in Paris
The Secret
The Duke's perfect wife
The Many Sins of Lord Cameron
Lady Isabella's scandalous marriage
The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie


Jean-Marie's favorite books »

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Rose Garden



The Rose Garden
by Susanna Kearsley


Per Shelfari
When Eva's film star sister Katrina dies, she leaves California and returns to Cornwall, where they spent their childhood summers, to scatter Katrina's ashes and in doing so return her to the place where she belongs. But Eva must also confront the ghosts from her own past, as well as those from a time long before her own. For the house where she so often stayed as a child is home not only to her old friends the Halletts, but also to the people who had lived there in the eighteenth century. When Eva finally accepts that she is able to slip between centuries and see and talk to the inhabitants from hundreds of years ago, she soon finds herself falling for Daniel Butler, a man who lived - and died - long before she herself was born. Eva begins to question her place in the present, and in laying her sister to rest, comes to realise that she too must decide where she really belongs, choosing between the life she knows and the past she feels so drawn towards.


     When Eva's film star sister Katrina dies, she leaves California and returns to Cornwall, where they spent their childhood summers, to scatter Katrina's ashes and in doing so return her to the place where she belongs. 
     But Eva must also confront the ghosts from her own past, as well as those from a time long before her own. For the house where she so often stayed as a child is home not only to her old friends the Halletts, but also to the people who had lived there in the eighteenth century. When Eva finally accepts that she is able to slip between centuries and see and talk to the inhabitants from hundreds of years ago, she soon finds herself falling for Daniel Butler, a man who lived--and died--long before she herself was born. 
     Eva begins to question her place in the present, and in laying her sister to rest, comes to realise that she too must decide where she really belongs, choosing between the life she knows and the past she feels so drawn towards.


My Thoughts :)
Wow... Having a love/like relationship with this book . I would probably give it a 5 because I enjoyed the writing, the subject matter and am a big Kearsley fan . I am just not sure how I "feel " about it and having a hard time putting this one into words without giving away spoilers.. Kearsley did a nice job with the time travel and keeping the times/places equally weighted and interesting. Didn't find it to be a carbon copy or repeat of other stories. I am an "Outlander" fan and am not interested in nor believe there can be another like that series. This book has found a comfy place unto its self. 
I was drawn to the characters and enjoyed that their individual circles overlapped and each came full circle. Felt a happy completion with its ending yet there was a sense of sadness. You will just have to read this one .....
This was not my favorite Kearsley book ( though that may change as I digest and take it in ) but certainly a "to read" and recommended to all.  

Monday, October 22, 2012

Highlander Untamed


Highlander Untamed
MacLeod of Skye Series, Book 1
by Monica McCarty


Per Shelfari
Rory MacLeod is a bold and powerful Highland Chief with only one allegiance–to his clan. He vows revenge against the rival MacDonald clan, though duty demands a handfast marriage to Isabel MacDonald–a bride he does not want and has no intention of keeping. But Rory couldn’t have anticipated the captivating woman who challenges his steely control, and unleashes the untamed passion simmering beneath his fierce exterior. Blessed with incomparable beauty, Isabel MacDonald is prepared to use every means possible–including seduction–to uncover her husband’s most guarded secrets. Instead Rory awakens Isabel’s deepest desires and her sweetest fantasies. Now Isabel has found the happiness she’s always dreamed of with the very man she must betray, and discovers that passion can be far more dangerous than revenge.

Per Goodreads
Rory MacLeod is a bold and powerful Highland Chief with only one allegiance–to his clan. He vows revenge against the rival MacDonald clan, though duty demands a handfast marriage to Isabel MacDonald–a bride he does not want and has no intention of keeping. But Rory couldn’t have anticipated the captivating woman who challenges his steely control, and unleashes the untamed passion simmering beneath his fierce exterior.

Blessed with incomparable beauty, Isabel MacDonald is prepared to use every means possible–including seduction–to uncover her husband’s most guarded secrets. Instead Rory awakens Isabel’s deepest desires and her sweetest fantasies. Now Isabel has found the happiness she’s always dreamed of with the very man she must betray, and discovers that passion can be far more dangerous than revenge.


My thoughts :)
Actually read this one about three weeks ago.... I wrote my review but my mommy brain forgot to hit "Publish"....sooooo better late that never (one hopes).  I checked out Book 2 "Highlander Unmasked" today from my local library via kindle.  That is what jump started the old brain to revisit the "post" that never was.... Thank Goodness for series.

On the sole basis of the writing, I would say a solid 4 - 4.5 , but this romantic fiction is actually based at its heart on fact/history , so a solid 5 within that criteria.  Now was their creative license...most assuredly.  But, the core of this story is factual and stayed pretty true, best I can tell.  I love books that draw me in and then inspire me to do research on my own and increase my knowledge... esp about a land and culture that I love. Scotland and clans...   This read has placed another MUST SEE on my eventual trip to Scotland.  Dunvegan Castle, the actual home of the Chief of clan MacLeod.  Not a ruin but an actively functioning castle with a current Chief of clan MacLeod.  How neat is that?!?!

I would have liked a little more of a sprinkling of Scottish dialect... it adds to the story... at least for me :)





Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Sleepy ramblings

Coming off a run of night shifts, which pretty well make me a useless ball of mush on the sofa.  Like a bad hangover minus the alcohol.  Music has always had a way of soothing me.  As a young child/teen, my father would find me stretched out on my bed, asleep, music playing and would always say.."Music soothes the savage beast"...  sooo true...  Just ask my family...  I can be a pretty grumpy beast when sleep deprived..

This is the song that has been stuck in my mind all afternoon... humming away while I take care of MOM duties.  Its just so smooth, like caramel or fine cognac..... Hope you like it as well.



No real point to this post... just a little sharing

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Mariana


Mariana
by Susanna Kearsley

Goodreads
   The first time Julia Beckett saw Greywethers she was only five, but she knew that it was her house. And now that she’s at last become its owner, she suspects that she was drawn there for a reason.
   As if Greywethers were a portal between worlds, she finds herself transported into seventeenth-century England, becoming Mariana, a young woman struggling against danger and treachery, and battling a forbidden love.
    Each time Julia travels back, she becomes more enthralled with the past...until she realizes Mariana’s life is threatening to eclipse her own, and she must find a way to lay the past to rest or lose the chance for happiness in her own time.

Shelfari
The first time Julia Beckett saw Greywethers she was only five, but she knew that it was her house. And now that she’s at last become its owner, she suspects that she was drawn there for a reason.
   As if Greywethers were a portal between worlds, she finds herself transported into seventeenth-century England, becoming Mariana, a young woman struggling against danger and treachery, and battling a forbidden love.
   Each time Julia travels back, she becomes more enthralled with the past...until she realizes Mariana’s life is threatening to eclipse her own, and she must find a way to lay the past to rest or lose the chance for happiness in her own time.

My thoughts
     Susanna Kearsley is quickly becoming one of my all time favorite authors.  She just has such a way of drawing me into the story and creating characters that become part of my soul.   Seamlessly transporting the reader between the past and present.   Having personally had flashes of things I cannot explain,  could totally immerse myself into "Mariana".   Once again, like "The Winter Sea", I find myself craving more and not wanting the story to end.  Feeling a bit of empty loneliness upon reaching the final page. 
      Initially the transitions into the past confused me and I found myself stumbling a bit.  But, I was in fact much like the main character, Julia, shocked and confused by the occurrences that were taking over her mind, body, heart and soul.  As time goes on, I,  like Julia, found it much easier to maneuver the flashes of the past.  I imagine all part of Kearsley's  pulling the reader into the story and characters. 
     A definite 5 stars.. or 5 big hearts.  One I will definitely own in all its forms.   Wish that is were available on Audible.com  :(   
 I will most assuredly be dropping them HELPFUL HINTS :)