Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Spotlight on: Pirates and Prejudice by Kara Louise

About the Book:

After Elizabeth Bennet refuses Mr. Darcy's offer of marriage, it takes a heavy toll on him. He withdraws to London and disappears near the docks, away from family, friends, and acquaintances. When he is mistaken for an escaped pirate, he is thrust into an adventure he would never have imagined. Will this be what he needs to forget the one woman he had come to love? 

When her aunt and uncle have to cancel their plans to tour the Lake District, Elizabeth Bennet has the opportunity to sail to the Isles of Scilly with her father. After a pleasant visit, the voyage home brings storms, a shipwreck, and pirates! When she is rescued by gallant Captain Smith, she finds herself inexplicably drawn to him. What will she do when she discovers he is the very man whose offer of marriage she refused just a few months earlier?

Doesn't this look like a fun summer read?  I know I'll be adding this one to my beach bag!

 I was very impressed with the author's previous two Austenesque books, Darcy's Voyage and Only Mr. Darcy Will Do, and I'm looking forward to another P&P adventure and variation. 

Kara Louise is doing a blog tour for this book, so you can visit her website for more info. 

What are you looking forward to tucking into your beach bag this summer?

Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Bolter by Frances Osborne

About the Book:

In an age of bolters—women who broke the rules and fled their marriages—Idina Sackville was the most celebrated of them all. Her relentless affairs, wild sex parties, and brazen flaunting of convention shocked high society and inspired countless writers and artists, from Nancy Mitford to Greta Garbo. But Idina’s compelling charm masked the pain of betrayal and heartbreak. 
Now Frances Osborne explores the life of Idina, her enigmatic great-grandmother, using letters, diaries, and family legend, following her from Edwardian London to the hills of Kenya, where she reigned over the scandalous antics of the “Happy Valley Set.” Dazzlingly chic yet warmly intimate, The Bolter is a fascinating look at a woman whose energy still burns bright almost a century later. (from goodreads)

My Thoughts:

Fascinating account of the author's great grandmother, the notorious "bolter" and queen of Africa's Happy Valley set in the 1920's. Idina and her friends were beautiful, fabulously wealthy, and in search of excitement and adventure. Living in Edwardian England with its strict societal codes was not their style. In the wilds of Kenya, there was the thrill of the danger of the land and opportunities to live the kind of hedonistic lifestyle they craved. They were pleasure seekers who constantly partied and routinely swapped spouses and lovers. A typical Happy Valley party included dancing all night to the gramophone, drinking and drugging, and playing sex games. 

As you would expect from this type of lifestyle, tragedy and heartache was inescapable. Marriages crumbled, children were left to be raised by others, and jealous passions pushed some to the brink of suicide and even murder. 

A very engaging book about a glamorized group of socialites, but I was left never truly understanding their choices, nor did I feel much sympathy for their pain and woes.

4/5 stars

Title: The Bolter
Author: Frances Osbourn
genre: nonfiction; biography

* This book is from my personal library.

Favorite Period Dramas

Mount TBR

Joanne's to-read book montage

On a Highland Shore
A Light on the Veranda
The Queen's Vow: A Novel Of Isabella Of Castile
The Edwardians
Maisie Dobbs
Howards End
Lady's Maid
Instruments Of Darkness
When Maidens Mourn
Where Shadows Dance
What Remains of Heaven
Where Serpents Sleep
Why Mermaids Sing
When Gods Die
Before Ever After
The Sugar Queen
Garden Spells
After the Night

Joanne's favorite books »