historical fiction

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

Mogul by Joanna Shupe

Available Jan. 31: Mogul by Joanna Shupe

****3.5/5 stars- loved itjshupe-mogul

Mogul is another great Gilded Age historical romance.

Recommended readers:

  • If you’re a fan of not-your-typical setting: Gilded Age
  • if you like Candace Camp, Jane Feather and others
  • and if you like a super-quick read

Here’s my Rankings:

  • 3.5/5 for characters
  • 3.5/5 for plot
  • 4/5 overall

REVIEW FROM BOOKS FOR HER:

Two star-crossed lovers have fought themselves for years to forget their love – and when Lillian Davies needs help finding her missing brother, she knows there’s one person, the man who she’d least like to ask for help. Calvin Cabot is a self-made newspaper mogul, and seems to try to help all those around him, even at his own expense. One of my new favorite historical romance authors, Joanna Shupe’s The Knickerbocker Club Series has been refreshing and quick-reading. Though not my favorite in the series, Mogul is excellent. Shop the full series: The Knickerbocker Club.

Available Jan. 31: Mogul by Joanna Shupe

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

Christmas in America: Historical Romance Anthology

Available now: Christmas in American: Historical Romance Anthology

****3.5/5 stars: Liked itChristmas in America

History, romance and some quick reading stories from interesting American eras.

Recommended readers:

  • If you can’t commit to a full novel
  • If you enjoy historical romances set in America

Here’s my Rankings:

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

REVIEW FROM BOOKS FOR HER:

Quick reads for some holiday downtime, Christmas in America is a collection of short stories set in different eras in American history. I was drawn to this collection by my latest favorite historical romance author Joanna Shupe, and her story was fabulous and quick reading. Two stories are great, one good, and one just OK. So enjoy!

Available now: Christmas in American: Historical Romance Anthology

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

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

October 18th: The Girl from Venice

Coming October 18th: The Girl From Venice 

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

29430869

 

From thriller series writer Martin Cruz Smith , a standalone action-adventure-romance about a Venetian fisherman who decides to help the Jewish girl he encounters in his lagoon at the very close of World War II.

Recommended readers:

  • fans of historical fiction
  • fans of mystery and suspense
  • fans of action-adventure romance…this one’s got it all!

Here’s my Rankings:

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

REVIEW FROM BOOKS FOR HER:

I’m not sure I’ve ever read a World War II story at least partially about Jews on the run that I would classify as an action adventure romance, and I have to say while taking on a serious topic, this one was quite a bit of… fun.  Somehow Martin Cruz Smith manages to successfully impart historical information in a compelling, plot driven thriller not unlike the modern political sort. Doesn’t make any sense?  Try it yourself.

Available on Amazon on October 18th: The Girl From Venice

Review: Mrs. Hemingway

Available Now: Mrs. Hemingway by Naomi Wood

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

18114165A fictional journey into the minds of the four wives of Ernest Hemingway.

Recommended readers:

  • If you love Hemingway,
  • if you hate Hemingway,
  • if you love to hate Hemingway,
  • and if you liked  The Paris Wife, this one is for you.

Here’s my Rankings:

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

REVIEW FROM BOOKS FOR HER:

There are some tragic figures you just can’t get enough of, and Hemingway is at the top of my list.  Reading this book was like being in a trance, in someone else’s head and in love and hate with the man himself. A sweet and melancholy treat, perfect for one last ditch effort at summer.

Available Now:  Mrs. Hemingway