Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Historical Fiction Enticements 5/8

AUTUMN DUCHESS: A Georgian Historical Romance Roxton Series Book 3
(Follows on from Noble Satyr and Midnight Marriage)
Lucinda Brant

A beautiful duchess mourns for her beloved.
A sun-bronzed merchant returns to claim a birthright.
Disparate souls in need of love and renewal.
Paths cross and the journey begins...

Set in Hampshire, England, 1777. Antonia, Dowager Duchess of Roxton emerges from utter despair after the death of her husband and soul mate to unexpectedly find love again.

5 stars Readers’ Favorite Book Award Finalist
5 stars Night Owl Reviews Top Pick
All Time Keeper Shelf 5 stars Crowned Heart InD’Tale Magazine

Webpage to all buy sites
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Lenin's Harem
William Burton McCormick

One night in the Russian imperial province of Courland, an eleven-year-old boy more than a little drunk on his parents’ champagne slips away from his aristocratic manor and heads for the village that houses his family’s Latvian farmhands. It is Christmas 1905, two months after Emperor Nicholas II of Russia’s October Manifesto has turned his autocracy into the semblance of a constitutional monarchy, and the subject peoples of his empire are restive. In Courland, a province governed by Baltic barons who descend from the thirteenth-century chivalric orders of the Teutonic and Livonian Knights, that hope for change centers on the populace’s desire for independence from its German overlords—even more than from the Russian Empire itself.

Thus begins the story of Wiktor Rooks, a Baltic German boy who soon sees his family’s estate burned, its ancestral property lost, and his own future compromised. Wiktor yearns for the academic life, but family tradition requires him, as a second son, to become a soldier. He joins the Russian imperial army, which assigns him to spy on a unit full of Latvian soldiers fighting to rid themselves of men like him. Slowly he wins their trust, and the friendships he forms there—and the wartime atrocities he witnesses—send him into the ranks of the Latvian Red Riflemen, AKA "Lenin's Harem." By 1918, he is guarding the new Soviet government.

When Latvia achieves its independence in 1920, Wiktor’s fortunes change again, and he returns to the land of his birth. There he strives, once and for all, to overcome his past as the second son of a Baltic baron. But soon the forces of Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Russia are massing, and tiny Latvia stands smack in their way.

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The Folly at Falconbridge Hall
Maggi Andersen

1894 Vanessa Ashley felt herself qualified for a position as governess, until offered the position at Falconbridge Hall.

Left penniless after the deaths of her artist father and suffragette mother, Vanessa Ashley draws on her knowledge of art, politics, and history to gain employment as a governess. She discovers that Julian, Lord Falconbridge, requires a governess for his ten-year-old daughter Blyth at Falconbridge Hall, in the countryside outside London.

Lord Falconbridge is a scientist and dedicated lepidopterist who is about to embark on an extended expedition to the Amazon. An enigmatic man, he takes a keen interest in his daughter's education. As she prepares her young charge, Vanessa finds the girl detached and aloof.

As Vanessa learns more about Falconbridge Hall, more questions arise. Why doesn't Blythe feel safe in her own home? Why is the death of her mother, once famed society beauty Clara, never spoken of? And why did the former governess leave so suddenly without giving notice?
Book Depository

The Sign of the Eagle
Jess Steven Hughes

The Sign of the Eagle, a breathtaking historical novel of action and suspense set in the year 71 A.D. amid the exotic and vibrant streets of Ancient Rome. Macha, the strong-willed daughter of a legendary Celtic British king and wife of the Roman tribune, the heroic but reckless, Titus, is the only one who can prove her husband innocent of treason, solve the murders of two slaves who possessed information that could have exonerated Titus, and ultimately save the life of the Roman Emperor Vespasian.

Vivacious and iron-willed, Macha undertakes a dangerous journey and fight for her life to evade assassins through the city's treacherous back alleys, notorious bath houses, and the awe-inspiring palaces of the Roman elite.

With time running out to save her husband and the emperor from certain death, Macha can count on only two allies, the esteemed Senator Bassus─a family friend─and her faithful slave, a resolute and clever Moorish woman, Shafer.

Arrayed against Macha and Titus are the wealthy and wicked Pollia, once scorned as a bride by Titus; unnamed co-conspirators from the army and nobility; and Falco, a military tribune and womanizer, who offers to be Macha's protector once Titus is condemned and executed.

Macha discovers that one of her friends, a Vestal Virgin, Antonia, knows where a list of conspirators, who are planning to murder the emperor, can be found. When urged by Macha to reveal the location, she refuses to divulge its whereabouts. She has a dark secret past that not only leaves her open to blackmail and death, but that of Macha's patron, Senator Bassus as well. This is one of many blind alleys and roadblocks that Macha encounters in her efforts to clear Titus's name.

Macha is devastated when her eight year-old son is kidnapped in an attempt to block her efforts to free Titus, with the threat of his death. What will she do now?

Join Macha in her quest to exonerate her husband...and the discovery of the real threat against the Emperor.

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Julie K. Rose

Set during the separation of Norway from Sweden in 1905, this richly detailed novel of love and loss was inspired by the life of the author's ancestors.

Oleanna and her sister Elisabeth are the last of their family working their farm deep in Norway's western fjordland, after their beloved brother moves to America and leaves them behind. A new century has begun, and the world outside is changing, but in the Sunnfjord their world is as small and secluded as the verdant banks of a high mountain lake.

The arrival of Anders, a cotter living just across the farm's border, unsettles Oleanna's peaceful but isolated existence. Sharing a common bond of loneliness and grief, Anders stirs within her the wildness and wanderlust she has worked so hard to tame. When she is confronted with another crippling loss, Oleanna must decide once and for all how to face her past, claim her future, and find her place in a wide new world.

"There's elegant restraint in how Rose articulates love and loss, passion and madness, the rhythm of farm life, the quietude of rural Norway. In this book, I saw shades of both Sigrid Undset and Willa Cather." (Unabridged Chick; Top 10 of 2012 pick)

"This is a novel of quiet depth that evokes strong imagery; it is a story that is stark and humble and at the same time, finely drawn. The awe-inspiring scenery, the backbreaking work, and, at the same time, the appeal of and sense of belonging the women feel for their home are brightly painted through the author’s judicious use of language. A beautiful story." (Historical Novels Review)

"This novel paints such a vivid picture of life at this time in history and you feel drawn in from the very first page. You feel the hardships, love, loss, loyalty and family that flow from the pages of this book all the while feeling haunted by the shadows of ghosts past. I don’t often turn the last page of a book and want to go right back to the beginning but that’s how this novel has made me feel with all the beautiful passages and the quiet but deep and touching tale." (Peeking Between the Pages)

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Come back next Wednesday for five more synopsis. You may find your favorite-ever book!

1 comment:

Maggi Andersen said...

Looking forward to reading all of these, thanks Debbie.