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That Summer in Berlin by Lecia Cornwall: A Book Review

That Summer in Berlin Author: Lecia Cornwall Genre: Historical Fiction Publisher: Berkley Release Date: 2022 Pages: 464 Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review. Synopsis: In the summer of 1936, while the Nazis make secret plans for World War II, a courageous and daring young woman struggles to expose the lies behind the dazzling spectacle of the Berlin Olympics.       German power is rising again, threatening a war that will be even worse than the last one. The English aristocracy turns to an age-old institution to stave off war and strengthen political bonds—marriage. Debutantes flock to Germany, including Viviane Alden. On holiday with her sister during the 1936 Berlin Olympics, Viviane’s true purpose is more clandestine. While many in England want to appease Hitler, others seek to prove Germany is rearming. But they need evidence, photographs to tell the tale, and Viviane is a genius with her trusty Leica. And who would suspect a pretty, young tourist taking hol

Blog Tour: Sisters of Castle Leod by Elizabeth Hutchison Bernard: A Book Review

Sisters of Castle Leod by Elizabeth Hutchison Bernard Publication Date: January 19, 2023 Black Rose Writing Genre: Historical Fiction Source: This book was given to me b Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. Synopsis: Finalist - 2022 American Writing Awards      Millions are fans of Diana Gabaldon's popular Outlander books and television series, but few know that Gabaldon's fictional Castle Leoch was inspired by a real Scottish castle, Castle Leod. The two sisters who lived there at the turn of the twentieth century were among the most fascinating and talked-about women of their era.      Lady Sibell Mackenzie is a spiritualist, a believer in reincarnation, and a popular author of mystical romances. Petite and proper, she values tradition and duty. Her younger sister Lady Constance, swimming champion and big game hunter, is a statuesque beauty who scandalizes British society with her public displays of Greek-style barefoot dancing. Th

A Dress of Violet Taffeta by Tessa Arlen: A Book Review

A Dress of Violet Taffeta  Author: Tessa Arlen Genre: Historical Fiction Publisher: Berkley Release Date: 2022 Pages: 348 Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review. Synopsis: A sumptuous novel based on the fascinating true story of La Belle Époque icon Lucy, Lady Duff Gordon, who shattered the boundaries of fashion with her magnificently sensual and enchantingly unique design from the USA Today bestselling author of In Royal Service to the Queen .      Lucy Duff Gordon knows she is talented. She sees color, light, and texture in ways few people can begin to imagine. But is the male dominated world of haute couture, who would use her art for their own gain, ready for her?       When she is deserted by her wealthy husband, Lucy is left penniless with an aging mother and her five-year-old daughter to support. Desperate to survive, Lucy turns to her one true talent to make a living. As a little girl, the dresses she made for her dolls were the envy of her group of playma

Hannah: Mother of a Prophet by H. B. Moore: A Book Review

Hannah: Mother of a Prophet Author: H.B. Moore Genre: Christian, Historical Fiction, Biblical Fiction Publisher: Covenant Communications Release Date: 2022 Pages: 256 Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review. Synopsis: Journey back in time to the dusty roads of Shiloh and witness anew the story of Hannah and her son, Samuel.        Hannah is no longer a young woman. In the twilight of her life, she holds her memories close to her heart. Above all, she treasures the miracle of conceiving Samuel after years of barrenness and the promise she made to the Lord to release her child to the high priest Eli’s care to train and serve in the temple. But Samuel’s story does not end at the gates of the temple and neither does his family’s enduring legacy of faith, patience, and deliverance. In this richly detailed and sweeping fictional account of Samuel’s life as a prophet in the making, discover how his mother, Hannah, made impossible decisions guided by her deep and abiding l

An Indiscreet Princess: A Novel of Queen Victoria's Defiant Daughter by Georgie Blalock: A Book Review

An Indiscreet Princess: A Novel of Queen Victoria’s Defiant Daughter Author: Georgie Blalock Genre: Historical Fiction Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks Release Date: 2022 Pages: 400 Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review. Synopsis: Before Princess Margaret, before Duchess Meghan, there was Princess Louise: royal rebel.      As the fourth daughter of the perpetually in-mourning Queen Victoria, Princess Louise’s life is more a gilded prison than a fairy tale. Expected to sit quietly next to her mother with down-cast eyes, Louise vows to escape the stultifying royal court. Blessed with beauty, artistic talent, and a common touch, she creates a life outside the walled-in existence of the palace grounds by attending the National Art Training School—where she shockingly learns to sculpt nude models while falling passionately in love with famed sculptor Joseph Edgar Boehm.      But even as Louise cultivates a life outside the palace, she is constantly reminded that

In the Shadow of a Queen by Heather B. Moore: A Book Review

In the Shadow of a Queen Author: Heather B. Moore Genre: Historical Fiction Publisher: Shadow Mountain Release Date: 2022 Pages: 384 Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review. Synopsis: Based on the true story of the free-spirited daughter of Queen Victoria.      Princess Louise’s life is upended after her father’s untimely death. Captive to the queen’s overwhelming mourning, Louise is forbidden to leave her mother’s tight circle of control and is eventually relegated to the position of personal secretary to her mother―the same position each of her sisters held until they were married.      Already an accomplished painter, Louise risks the queen’s wrath by exploring the art of sculpting, an activity viewed as unbefitting a woman. When Louise involves herself in the day’s political matters, including championing the career of a female doctor and communicating with suffragettes, the queen lays down the law to stop her and devotes her full energy to finding an acceptab

Book Blast: Ascent (House of Normandy #1) by Cathie Dunn

Ascent by Cathie Dunn Publication Date: April 8, 2022 Ocelot Press Series: House of Normandy, Book One Genre: Historical Fiction Synopsis:  A brutal Viking raid heralds the dawn of a new, powerful dynasty – the House of Normandy      Neustria, Kingdom of the West Franks      AD 890      Fourteen-year-old Poppa’s life changes when Northmen land near Bayeux. Count Bérengar, her father, submits to them, and she is handfasted to Hrólfr, the Northmen’s heathen leader, as part of their agreement.      To her relief, Hrólfr leaves immediately in search of further conquest, only returning to claim her years later. In the face of retaliating Franks, they flee to East Anglia, where she gives birth to their son and daughter.      When Hrólfr and Poppa return to reclaim Bayeux, his new campaign strikes at the heart of Frankish power, and King Charles of the West Franks offers him a pact he cannot refuse. In exchange for vast tracts of land in Neustria, Hrólfr must convert to Christianity

The Last Crown (The Bold #2) by Elżbieta Cherezińska: A Book Review

The Last Crown (The Bold #2) Author: Elżbieta Cherezińska Genre: Historical Fiction Publisher: Forge Books Release Date: 2022 Pages: 544 Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review. Synopsis: Across Baltic shores, English battlegrounds, and the land of Northern Lights, The Last Crown is the follow up to The Widow Queen , and the epic conclusion of Swietoslawa's journey from Polish princess to Queen of Denmark & Sweden and Queen Mother of England.      The web of love and lies is thicker than ever as we reunite with players spread across the board of Europe in this sequel to The Widow Queen . Our heroes and enemies alike are beholden to the hands of fate.      While Olav Tryggvason reclaims the throne of Norway and baptizes the land by blood, King Sven in Denmark is filled with rage at his once comrade. Not only does Olav threaten Sven’s hold on Norway, but his hold on his own wife -- the woman with two crowns, three sons, and a heart long spoken for. Swietosl