4 Star Review

Review: The Patriots by Sana Krasikov

Available now: The Patriots by Sana Krasikov

****4/5 stars-loved it

A multi-generational Russian-American-expat saga told in three parts, from pre- soviet Russia to post.

Recommended readers:

  • If you are a fan of historical fiction,
  • and a devotee of the bleak Russian novel, this one is for you.

Here’s my Rankings:

  • 4/5 for characters
  • 4/5 for plot
  • 4/5 overall

REVIEW FROM BOOKS FOR HER:

At the heart of the debut novel The Patriots is the character of Florence Fein, an idealist in depression era- America who departs Brooklyn for a new life in Russia. The story then alternates from her own story to that of her son and grandson, both affected very deeply by her youthful decision and the lessons of history. All three live part of their lives in the U.S. and part in Russia, each lending their own voices to twentieth- century history and rendering a clearly meticulously-researched and sweeping chronicle. Be prepared to be sucked into another world, on a journey long, weighty and somber.   But then, if anyone has a recommendation of Russian fiction that tends away from the bleak, I’d love to hear about it.

(Hint: A Gentleman in Moscow might apply here)

The Patriots is available now

Lucky Boy by Shanthi Sekaran

Available Jan. 10: Lucky Boy

****4/5 starsshanthi-sekaran-luckyboy

More thoughtful than entertaining, in Lucky Boy there is no right or wrong ending – just a taste of life.

Recommended readers:

  • If you enjoy thoughtful, real life reads
  • If you like to step into someone else’s shoes via fiction

Here’s my Rankings:

  • 4/5 characters
  • 4/5 plot
  • 4/5 overall

REVIEW FROM BOOKS FOR HER:

Two people who grow up in different environments.  One a teenager who grew up in Mexico and dares to sneak across the border and start a new life in America. Another who grew up taking her own unique path, despite her strong Indian heritage. Both women find struggles and solace raising a little boy. Lucky Boy is a thoughtfully written story, making you experience a different perspective on life, motherhood and life’s harsh realities. I can’t remember another book, where I was so unsure of how I wanted it to end.

Available Jan. 10: Lucky Boy

Leopard at the Door by Jennifer McVeigh

Available tomorrow: Leopard at the Door by Jennifer McVeigh

*****4.5/5 starsjmcveigh-leopardatthedoor

Like Gone with the Wind, but set in 1950s British-occupied Kenya: You’ll love it!

Recommended readers:

  • Fans of British history
  • If you like Gone with the Wind for its historical insights and feels
  • If you like fictional history and a mix of genres

Here’s my Rankings:

  • 4/5 for characters
  • 5/5 for plot
  • 4.5/5 overall

REVIEW FROM BOOKS FOR HER:

After spending her adolescent years in England, Rachel has longed for her family’s Kenya farm, where she roamed the land, worked and loved the family’s slaves, that she left behind after her mother’s death. Now, no longer a child, Rachel comes to see the harsh challenges of British-occupied Kenya in the 1950s, both from the native Kenyans to the extremist Mau Mau fighters to the white settlers. It’s like a Gone with the Wind, set in Kenya, where the stark contrast of slaves and owners – along with the dramatic political climate, make this an intense, emotional and thoughtful read. I loved it!

Available tomorrow: Leopard at the Door by Jennifer McVeigh

Coming January 10th: The Second Mrs. Hockaday

Coming in January: The Second Mrs. Hockaday by Susan Rivers

28110868****4/5 stars-loved it

A young bride accused of murder must fend for herself and her farm during the Civil War.

Recommended readers:

  • If you like letter format novels,
  • and if you like romantic and historical suspense, this one is for you.

Here’s my Rankings:

  • 4/5 characters
  • 4/5 plot
  • 4/5 overall
  • 4/5 steaminess, including violence

REVIEW FROM BOOKS FOR HER:

 

Inspired by a true event, The Second Mrs. Hockaday uses the convention of letters, court inquests, and journal entries to tell the story of a woman accused by her husband of murdering a child conceived while he was away at war. This unusual format grabbed and held my attention from the start, as I tried to determine through perspectives of multiple characters what really happened. A stunning debut.

Available on Amazon January 10th:  The Second Mrs. Hockaday

Duke of Sin by Elizabeth Hoyt

Available tomorrow: Duke of Pleasure by Elizabeth Hoyt

****4/5 stars

With everything you love about historical romance, Duke of Pleasure is action-packed and fun.

Recommended readers:

  • If you like a historical romance, especially with sword-fighting heroines
  • If you’re a fan of a come-back story in your romance
  • If you like Elizabeth Hoyt, Lisa Kleypas, and Mary Balogh

Here’s my Rankings:

  • 4/5 for characters
  • 3/5 for plot
  • 4/5 overall
  • 3/5 steaminess

REVIEW FROM BOOKS FOR HER:

The whooping 11th book in the Maiden Lane Series, Duke of Pleasure is a fabulous historical fiction with action, romance and a little mystery. A Duke on a mission, Hugh Fitzroy is about to be killed when he’s strategically attacked. But a masked hero appears and helps him fight for his life. Only he discovers that hero is a her. As he continues his mission – on the streets of London and another mission at home with his two sons – the Duke finds an unlikely friend and ally who was raised on the streets.

One of my first Elizabeth Hoyt books, Duke of Pleasure is exactly what I love about historical romance – witty characters, come-back stories and overcoming the odds. And bonus: If you like Duke of Pleasure (which you probably will), you’ve got a slew of other Maiden Series books to pick from. I haven’t read one I didn’t like. Shop all Elizabeth Hoyt Maiden Series on Amazon.

Available tomorrow: Duke of Pleasure by Elizabeth Hoyt

 

The Dare and the Doctor by Kate Noble

Available this month: The Dare and the Doctor by Kate Noble

****3.5/5 stars: Liked it

Fun and witty, if you love Regency Romance and a tomboy English lady, The Dare and the Doctor are for you.

Recommended readers:

  • If you like Karen Hawkins
  • If you enjoy historical romances especially Regency Period

Here’s my Rankings:

  • 4/5 for characters
  • 3/5 for plot
  • 4/5 overall
  • 2/5 steaminess

REVIEW FROM BOOKS FOR HER:

Long-time penpals, Dr. Rhys Gray and Miss Margaret Babcock have been friends since he treated her father. Now he’s excited to help Margaret introduce her rose hybrids to the elite society of botanists in London. Though she’s not a traditional society lady, Margaret goes to London to present her prize plants. A quick-reading and fun historical romance, it had some of my favorite elements: A tomboy lady and set in the Regency Era.

Available now: The Dare and the Doctor by Kate Noble

Fates and Traitors, A John Wilkes Booth Novel

Available now: Fates and Traitors, A Novel of John Wilkes Booth

****4/5 stars

If you’re a fan of history being humanized – Fates and Traitors is a fascinating retelling of the John Wilkes Booth’s life surrounding one of US history’s most notorious events.

Recommended readers:

  • Fans of history that
  • If you like mystery-thrillers with some romance
  • If you want a quick-reading mystery

Here’s my Rankings:

  • 4/5 for characters
  • 5/5 for plot
  • 4/5 overall

REVIEW FROM BOOKS FOR HER:

Fates and Traitors is a fictional accounting of the life (and surrounding people’s lives) of John Wilkes Booth, the infamous assassin of Abraham Lincoln. History books portray him as an evil villain and it’s not so black and white; there’s much more to the story especially from the point of view of four influential women surrounding him.  Enjoy Jennifer Chiaverini’s fictional telling, and immerse yourself in the interesting and potentially true stories of a complicated man.  From Booth’s childhood, his famous actor-alcoholic father, his siblings, mother – and the elite Washington DC girlfriend who knew nothing of his politics. Even when you know the ending, you’ll continue to enjoy the journey and challenges of John Wilkes Booth and the people around him and how they suffered following Lincoln’s assassination and Booth’s death, despite their differing politics.

Available now: Fates and Traitors, A Novel of John Wilkes Booth

Goodreads Top Books of the Year 2016

There’s three days left to vote in the 2016 Goodreads Choice Awards for your favorite books of 2016.  Even Erin and Terra at Books for Her didn’t have a chance to read them all – but we got through a lot of them and here’s our picks.

Best Romance: Because of Miss Bridgerton
Best Debut Goodreads Author: Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly
Best Middle Grade and Children’s: Mr. Lemoncello’s Library Olympics (Read by one of our 10-year-old children. Review coming soon).
Get in your votes in here or see the results.
One other notable that we read, but didn’t make the finals:
Best Memoir and Autobiography: Shoe Dog by Phil Knight
And finally – we would love to write-in Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave. But don’t worry, we’ll get out our awards for top books of the year soon!

Available November 29th: To Capture What We Cannot Keep

Available November 29th: To Capture What We Cannot Keep

****4/5 stars

25901561A fictional portrayal of a man who designed and built the Eiffel Tower

Recommended readers:

  • Lovers of Paris
  • Parisian lovers
  • Francophiles

Here’s my Rankings:

  • 4/5 for characters
  • 4/5 for plot
  • 4/5 overall

REVIEW FROM BOOKS FOR HER:

Someday, perhaps, I will be able to resist an enigmatically-titled historical fiction novel with a misty picture of the Eiffel Tower on the cover. Alas, today is not that day.  To Capture What We Cannot Keep explores the romantic entanglements of Émile Nouguier, an architect and engineer who built the Eiffel Tower, and the initially disdainful Parisian reaction to the “modern” tower. Though only intended to last through the World’s Fair Exhibition of 1890, Eiffel’s tower became a marvel of modern engineering, a new form of art, and the symbol of France. This is a novel full of beautiful historical detail and discussions of class and modernity, a wonderful way to escape to a Paris on the cusp of great change.

Available November 29th:  To Capture What We Cannot Keep

 

Available Today: The German Girl

Available October 18th: The German Girl by Armando Lucas Correa

****4/5 stars

29430755A young girl who never knew her father is given a chance to meet the aunt who raised him, a woman with a story of her own.

Recommended readers:

  • Readers of historical fiction,
  • Readers of World War II fiction
  • Adult and Young Adult readers alike

Here’s my Rankings:

  • 4/5 characters
  • 4/5 plot
  • 4/5 overall

REVIEW FROM BOOKS FOR HER:

World War II books: people can’t stop writing them, I can’t stop reading them. This one, however, fictionalizes a somewhat less well-known aspect of the Holocaust: the 1939 journey of 937 primarily Jewish refugees to Cuba aboard the St. Louis. Hannah Rosenthal is an eleven-year-old member of this voyage promised refuge in Cuba, and one of the very few who were not turned away at the last moment. Told from her perspective, combined with the voice years later of her niece, Anna Rosen, who has come  to Cuba to learn about her father’s family, The German Girl is a compelling and sobering account of a little-known journey.

Available October 18th: The German Girl