Book Review

Book Review: Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone (Outlander #9) by Diana Gabaldon

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Historical Fiction Romance
Length: 902 pages
Author: Diana Gabaldon
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: November 23rd, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

The past may seem the safest place to be . . . but it is the most dangerous time to be alive. . . .

Jamie Fraser and Claire Randall were torn apart by the Jacobite Rising in 1743, and it took them twenty years to find each other again. Now the American Revolution threatens to do the same.

It is 1779 and Claire and Jamie are at last reunited with their daughter, Brianna, her husband, Roger, and their children on Fraser’s Ridge. Having the family together is a dream the Frasers had thought impossible.

Yet even in the North Carolina backcountry, the effects of war are being felt. Tensions in the Colonies are great and local feelings run hot enough to boil Hell’s tea-kettle. Jamie knows loyalties among his tenants are split and it won’t be long until the war is on his doorstep.

Brianna and Roger have their own worry: that the dangers that provoked their escape from the twentieth century might catch up to them. Sometimes they question whether risking the perils of the 1700s—among them disease, starvation, and an impending war—was indeed the safer choice for their family.

Not so far away, young William Ransom is still coming to terms with the discovery of his true father’s identity—and thus his own—and Lord John Grey has reconciliations to make, and dangers to meet . . . on his son’s behalf, and his own.

Meanwhile, the Revolutionary War creeps ever closer to Fraser’s Ridge. And with the family finally together, Jamie and Claire have more at stake than ever before.

HAPPY TO BE BACK.

Oh how I adore this series. It gets a lot of flack for being long and nuanced, but that’s kind of what I enjoy most. I know what I’m getting into and understand that this is a life story. Practically everything is included and that’s the appeal for me. Especially because I am utterly wrapped up in these characters and their stories.

This was another good read with plenty of action, moments where I swore I was about to throw my book and times where I’d rather hug it instead. I love Claire and Jamie. I always love how much deeper I feel their commitment to each other with each book. It never gets old.

I did miss seeing more of some of the side characters like Ian and Fergus!! I love them dearly and hoped for more of their stories, but I did get a few chapters with them at least. There was more focus on William and Lord John which was excellent in its own right. That part of the plot definitely has more to unleash come book ten.

I felt that this time around that some of the longer aspects of the novel, like traveling, were cut much shorter and I thought that really helped the pacing. A lot more things seemed to happen over time and that CLIFFHANGER ending was was lawless. Hopefully book ten makes it way too us soon-ish.

Overall audience notes:

  • Historical fiction romance
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: mostly closed door, occasionally brief open
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: war themes (Revolutionary specifically), death by bear mauling, mentions of rape and sexual assault, PTSD from war, rape, and sexual assault, childbirth, teenage pregnancy, gun violence, life altering injuries, near death experiences; (+ more I may have missed, please research before reading this series!)

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Book Review

ARC Book Review: Beyond the Lavender Fields by Arlem Hawks

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Historical Fiction Romance
Length: 368 pages
Author: Arlem Hawks
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Release Date: February 1st, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

1792, France

Rumors of revolution in Paris swirl in Marseille, a bustling port city in southern France. Gilles Étienne, a clerk at the local soap factory, thrives on the news. Committed to the cause of equality, liberty, and brotherhood, he and his friends plan to march to Paris to dethrone the monarchy. His plans are halted when he meets Marie-Caroline Daubin, the beautiful daughter of the owner of the factory.

A bourgeoise and royalist, Marie-Caroline has been called home to Marseille to escape the unrest in Paris. She rebuffs Gilles’s efforts to charm her and boldly expresses her view that violently imposed freedom is not really freedom for all. As Marie-Caroline takes risks to follow her beliefs, Gilles catches her in a dangerous secret that could cost her and her family their lives. As Gilles and Marie-Caroline spend more time together, she questions her initial assumptions about Gilles and realizes that perhaps they have more in common than she thought.

As the spirit of revolution descends on Marseille, people are killed and buildings are ransacked and burned to the ground. Gilles must choose between supporting the political change he believes in and protecting those he loves. And Marie-Caroline must battle between standing up for what she feels is right and risking her family’s safety. With their lives and their nation in turmoil, both Gilles and Marie-Caroline wonder if a révolutionnaire and a royaliste can really be together or if they must live in a world that forces people to choose sides.

Thank you to the publisher for an ARC.

A GREAT READ.

That’s how I feel I can best bottle this one up. It was highly enjoyable and I found myself very much invested by the end hoping for a positive outcome.

I thought this romance was SO DANG SWEET. The way it started out had me laughing and I loved the progression. It’s slow, it’s full of feeling and you can feel Gilles and Marie-Caroline’s connection across the pages. I adored the tender things Gilles did for Marie-Caroline, how Caroline teased Gilles and the way they both protected and pushed each other outside of their confined boxes.

The setting was unique for me in regards to historical fiction and I love a good switch-up! I got to see a bit about the French revolution. I wish there was a bit more of that dynamic on a larger scale, but this small scale version in the seaside town did the trick. I also really liked a lot of the side characters. There’s a few you love to hate, but also people like Gilles father had me absolutely gleeful when they played a bigger role. There were many well thought out and well placed characters.

It’s a slower read, and one I didn’t mind had that facet. The writing is gorgeous and moves the plot along well. I love that this was from the hero’s point of view (with some small pieces from the heroine). Many things made this book unique and I highly recommend for historical fiction fans!

Overall audience notes:

  • Historical fiction romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: war themes, physical altercations
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: discussion/use of guillotine, loss of a sibling, mob attacks

About the Author:

Arlem Hawks began making up stories before she could write. Living all over the western United States and traveling around the world gave her a love of cultures and people and the stories they have to tell. She has a bachelor’s degree in communications, with an emphasis in print journalism, and she lives in Arizona with her husband and three children.

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Book Review

Book Review: Carry the World by Susan Fanetti

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Historical fiction romance
Length: 352 pages
Author: Susan Fanetti
Publisher: Self-Published
Release Date: May 4th, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Eastern Kentucky, 1937.

After the death of her husband, Ada Donovan returned home to live again with her aging parents. She does all she can to help them keep the small family farm going. But times are hard, and there’s never enough.

During one of her infrequent visits to town, she sees a help-wanted notice for the Pack Horse Librarian Project, seeking librarians to ride up high in the mountains and bring books to the people there. Before her marriage, Ada was a teacher, and the thought of returning to the work she loved is impossible to resist. The mountains are her favorite place, books are her great joy, and her horse is her best friend.

But not everyone on the mountain is happy to see her.

Living in a crumbing cabin at the highest, most isolated point of Ada’s route, there’s a family that catches her attention. The father keeps to the shadows. There is no mother to dote on the happy, curious children. But soon Ada comes to love them just as fiercely as the woman they lost.

And makes it her mission to bring them the world.

TENDERLY ROMANTIC.

This was a read that was recommended to me where I was a bit nervous initially diving in. The first chapter is a present moment that then flashes back to a story. I was worried we would go back and forth, but NEVER FEAR, the entire story in 1937 is told before the last chapter that flips back to the present. You won’t be taken out of the story, read away my friends!

I got completely wrapped up in the romance between Ada and Jonah. Oh my goodness it was so dang sweet. It was a slow-burn with a lot of past to work through. I LOVE having both points of view because it allowed me to really appreciate both sides. Struggling through grief, isolation, and wondering if you’ll be able to provide for your family. The hardships of this time were very much realized. It was beautiful getting some hope in this couple and the surrounding plot.

This is a historical fiction about the Packhorse Librarians of Kentucky! I’ve read one other book about this time and so I was happy to read another. The setting, characters and background are really well written. I felt transported to this time and felt the rawness of all that happened. A romance built on the resilience of Ada and Jonah and the love of their families (past and present) was resonating.

Overall audience notes:

  • Historical fiction + romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses to open and closed door scenes
  • Violence: animal attacks, near death experiences, gun violence, physical altercations, murder, car wreck
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: loss of a spouse(s), loss of a parent(s), home invasion, domestic abuse (Ada notices this about a small side character), attempted sexual assault

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Book Review

Book Review: The Widow and the Highlander (Tales from the Highlands #1) by Martha Keyes

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Historical Romance
Length: 290 pages
Author: Martha Keyes
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: February 27th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

She needs to be protected. He’ll take on the job…for a price.

Christina MacKinnon is secretly relieved to be a widow. She is equally desperate to distance herself from the clan of her dead husband, but as the heir to his estate—one she needs in order to support her siblings—she must first stave off both the advances and threats of the man next in line to inherit. It seems the only person she can turn to is a nearby stranger who seems inclined to help her. But he has a request…

Freshly returned from the war, Lachlan Kincaid has one aim: to see justice served to the MacKinnons for betraying his family years ago and depriving him of his inheritance. While biding his time at a nearby inn, he discovers the death of the MacKinnon laird—whose widow has inherited everything. The way to accomplish his goal is becoming more evident, but the path is murkier than he could have foreseen.

As Christina’s and Lachlan’s lives intersect, it becomes clear that their separate aims may well only be achievable if they join forces. But to do so is to court more danger, and it requires a sacrifice Christina isn’t sure she’s prepared to make.

DRAWN TO THE HIGHLANDS.

Really though, put a book in a Scottish setting and I am drawn like a moth to a flame. I love how well written and put together this novel was.

There was a tender, unmitigated romance that I found myself getting wrapped up into. I adored the two strong leads, Christina and Lachlan. Both with vastly different backgrounds that came together in a marriage of convenience (MY FAV) to outwit some unruly family members. I even found myself okay with another trope (which has a spoilery nature so I won’t say here) that I’m generally not a fan of. Keyes wrote both characters with passion and thoughts that made sense and I could get behind even when they were upset or frustrated.

I felt transported to the highlands and saw the set-up for book two that I know I’m going to love. These characters made the story and I love the pacing and how in depth it was even at a shorter page length (under 300).

Overall audience notes:

  • Historical romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses to closed door
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: kidnapping, mentions and recounting of past spousal abuse (physical), near drowning, war injuries

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