Archive for December, 2009

Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman – Duty and Desire – Book Review


by Pamela Aidan

Book 2 in the Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman series.

Darcy is following his own advice.  He has successfully separated his friend Bingley from the allurements of Miss Bennet and now he must do so for himself.  It is time he found himself a wife.  A wife equal to his station in life will cure him of his infatuation with Miss Elizabeth Bennet.

When an invitation arrives from an old school friend to attend a party at a country estate, Darcy, out of character, accepts.  He cannot accept just any woman of good breeding for a wife though.  She must be of his level in society but she must also possess the qualities he has recently discovered to be essential to his happiness. Will anyone compare to the witty, clever Hertfordshire beauty with the sparkling eyes?  He may be looking for wife but others, more desperate, are also looking for a husband.  Little does he know what he and his trusted valet Fletcher must do to survive that week.     His quest for love will put Darcy is danger for his life.

I was very surprised by this book.  At first I was a little confused as it steers away from the story we know in Pride and Prejudice.  However, it soon makes sense.  What did Darcy do in those months of separation from Elizabeth?  What could have happened to create the desperation that flavoured his offer to her.

I enjoyed this surprising 2nd book in the Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman series.

Posted on 29 December '09 by , under Historical Fiction, Jane Austen & Austen Inspired, Reviews, Romance. 1 Comment.

The Hunger Games – Catching Fire – Book Review


by Suzanne Collins

The 2nd book in the Hunger Games Triology.

Katniss survived the Hunger Games but in a way that did not satisfy the Capital.  Now the Capital wants revenge.  Instead of the blessed life that should be owed to a winner of the games, Katniss is dealt another blow.

Instead of guaranteeing her and her family’s future, winning the games has only guaranteed them misery.  Katniss has another fight on her hands, but is there anyway to win?  One young girl against a corrupt society.  A society happy to sacrafice anyone of lesser birth for their own pleasure.  Not sure who her real friends are Katniss has to fight to survive for the sake of her family.

Another great story by Suzanne Collins and now you are only left to ask… are you team Peeta or team Gale.  Don’t keep us waiting too long for the third book Suzanne Collins.

Posted on 27 December '09 by , under Reviews, SciFi/Fantasy, Young Adult. 3 Comments.

Sense and Sensibility – Book Review


by Jane Austen

Written in 1790′s and published 1811 Sense and Sensibility was the first of Jane’s novels to published.

This insightful study of human nature focusses on Elinor and Marianne Dashwood.  The Dashwood women, Mary (mother), Elinor, Marianne and Margaret are wrenched from their privilaged life after the death of their husband and father.  The estate is passed to his son by his first marriage and John Dashwood does nothing to aid his father’s 2nd family.  The Dashwood women are left with very little to live on.  Their sudden demotion in society complicates the sisters’ chances of marrying well.

Mrs Dashwood’s cousin, Sir John Middleton, comes to the rescue with the offer of a cottage on his estate Barton Park for a cheap rent.  Settling at Barton Cottage finds the family included in a good-hearted but eccentric social circle.  The sisters have to suffer match-making and teasing from Sir John and his mother-in-law,  Mrs Jennings.     The interferrence of the well-meaning Mrs Jenning is made more unbearable when both girls lose their hearts to men beyond their reach.  They learn painful lessons about love and the loss of it.

Sense and Sensibility highlights the precarious position of women of that era.  They weren’t able to earn their fortune and if they lost it, as the Dashwoods did, then their attractiveness is significantly reduced. Jane gives us a clear view of her opinion of the situation of women, being dependent on men, undervalued and censured for being independent.  She creates wonderful characters who masterfully make what they can of their oppressed  lives.

Reading Jane Austen is such a pleasure.  Her characters are rich and sure and I never feel happy to finish a book.  She has such an indepth understanding of human behaviour and the human heart.  Jane made a point of only writing what she had knowledge of, so let us hope that she did experience some of the love she so generously gifts to her heronines.

Essential reading for all young women.  It is humbling to know that even at that time someone was working to highlight the challenges of women.

Posted on 17 December '09 by , under Classic Lit, Historical Fiction, Jane Austen & Austen Inspired, Reviews, Romance. 8 Comments.

The Hunger Games – Book Review


by Suzanne Collins

Panem is a country ruled by an unsympathetic Capital, motivated only by excess and entertainment.  The surrounding Districts provide the Capital with that excess and once a year they provide the pinnacle of entertainment – The Hunger Games.  In a cruel display of power the Capital conducts the reaping.  From each of the twelve districts, two participants are chosen, a boy and a girl between ages 12-18.  These participants are taken to the Capital where they participate in a televised life and death game of an epic scale. With the reaping weighted toward the poorest residents it also acts to divide the districts into classes.

16yo Katniss Everdeen is the main provider for her little family.  She hunts illegally to bring food and other essentials to her mother and young sister Prim.  She is an efficient hunter and a survivor. This year her name is entered 20 times in the reaping, 5 times due to her age and 15 times due to trading for grain and oil.  Her little sister Prim is entered once, for her first reaping.

Against unbelieveable odds 12yo Prim’s name emerges from the reaping, a guaranteed death sentence.  Katniss has only one choice, she exercises her right to enter herself in her sister’s place.  Her entry is likely to kill her but if she can win then their family will never go hungry again.        When Peeta Mallark emerges as the boy entry, Katniss can’t believe her bad luck.  Peeta possesses a power over her although they’ve never spoken, she owes him a debt.  So Katniss and Peeta Mallark leave for the Capital as District 12 contestants.  A contest where 24 enter the arena but only 1 comes out.

The Hunger Games combines a nail-biting fight for life and a heart-wrenching love triangle. Suzanne Collins has written a griping, fast paced book that I couldn’t put down.  I loved The Hunger Games.  The characters are strong and allow you to love and hate them just as you should.  You will find yourself wanting to insight a rebellion on their behalf.  As this is the first in a triology, I’m thrilled to be guaranteed two more to read.

Posted on 14 December '09 by , under Reviews, SciFi/Fantasy, Young Adult. 6 Comments.

Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman – An Assembly Such As This – Book Review


by Pamela Aidan

Book 1 of the Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman Series.

An Assembly Such As This is a wonderful look into the mind and heart of Mr Fitzwilliam Darcy, the much loved leading man in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.  The series re-tells Pride and Prejudice but from Mr Darcy’s point of view.

This first book takes us through Mr Darcy’s arrival in Hertfordshire and his relationship with Charles Bingley.  When Mr Bingley falls for the eldest Miss Bennet, Darcy is concerned about his friend making an undesirable match.  The Bennets are below Bingley’s station in society.  His study of Miss Bennet makes him doubt her affection for his friend and after inappropriate comments and behaviour of other members of her family, he suspects their occupation is fortune hunting.

During his stay with Bingley he is also thrown into the society of Miss Bennet’s younger sister Elizabeth.  Confounded by his fascination with the raven haired Hertford beauty with the quick wit and sparkling eyes, he endeavours to heed his own advice and avoid the undesirable connection.

Mr Darcy has been written beautifully by Pamela Aidan.  I recognised instantly, the man, whose depths we only glimpsed in Pride and Prejudice.  The other characters represented are equally recognisable.  Like slipping on comfy slippers, you feel like you’ve slipped straight into Austen’s Pride and Prejudice – all be it from another’s point of view.

Pamela Aidan has done a lovely job and I think you will enjoy a closer look at Jane Austen’s wonderful man, Mr Darcy.

Posted on 6 December '09 by , under Historical Fiction, Jane Austen & Austen Inspired, Reviews. 2 Comments.

Win a copy of Connect the Dots by Denise Robbins


by Denise Robbins

Samantha Spenser has been shot.  Her dad summoned her home urgently but isn’t there to greet her, she is shot while snowboarding; temporarily loses some of her memory; is kidnapped; escapes and doesn’t know who to trust.    She is a capable woman but as she can’t even remember her name, she may have to accept help from the amber-eyed angel-man who patched up her wounds.

Maximilian Stone has enough to worry about.  He is trying to find his missing FBI agent brother, Kevin, when he is delivered with a shot up snow bunny.  The snow bunny claims to have lost her memory but is it just a coincidence that this gorgeous, green-eyed woman arrives, shot, at his door, when his brother went missing investigating a case in the area?

Sam and Max manage to join forces to find her father and his brother, despite being distracted  - a lot – by their mutual sexual attraction.

Killer Bunny Hill is a follow up to Denise’s first novel It Happens in Threes.  It is a series and the books are linked but stand alone well.

It is a fun and easy read.  I hope and pray that if ever I am in need of rescuing, that the rescuers aren’t so easily distracted from the job by their ‘need’ for each other!  However, their numerous distracted moments make great entertainment for a reader of novels!

It is deliciously sexy, so have fun with Killer Bunny Hill.

Breaking News!

Connect the Dots sm

The follow up to It Happens in Threes and Killer Bunny Hill (review above) is about to land on Denise Robbins’ doorstep!

Connect the Dots will be available December 15th, 2009.


Want a go at winning a signed copy or even the whole set signed by the author?

There are lots of other prizes too.

Join the Countdown to Connect the dots Release Competition by starting at Denise’s site

Till Dec 15, follow the trail, answer the questions, connect the dots and post your answers back on Denise’s site each day for a chance to win.


For those of you who have arrived looking for an answer to the last question – I’m not going to hand it to you on a platter!

So here is a Clue Insead of an Answer: Cops In Armani


The next question you have to answer is:   What is the heroine’s job in Connect the Dots?

Go on a romantic stroll through Ceri Hebert’s blog tomorrow to find the answer :

Good luck everyone!

Posted on 4 December '09 by , under Competitions. 1 Comment.