The Book Corner 9/19/19: Three Reviews
Beyond the Moon by Catherine Taylor. The Cameo Press. June 25, 2019. Netgalley.
Amazon’s Blurb: Outlander meets Birdsong is this
haunting debut timeslip novel, where a strange twist of fate connects a British
soldier fighting in the First World War and a young woman living in modern-day
England a century later.
*Shortlisted for the Eharmony/Orion Write Your Own Love Story Prize 2018/19
“A poignant and stirring love story… Taylor’s accomplished, genre-bending book succeeds as a WW1 historical novel and a beguiling, time travel romance… The sharply written narrative deftly moves back and forth between the past and present.” — Kirkus Reviews
“A time travel romance, yet so much more than that. It is also an unflinching portrait of the horrors of war, and a look at the torturous extremes a human soul can endure. It is a sonnet to the transformative power of love, even as it is also a criticism of the futility and pointless destructiveness of war.” — Shaylin Gandhi, author of By The Light of Embers
In 1916 1st Lieutenant Robert Lovett is a patient at Coldbrook Hall military hospital in Sussex, England. A gifted artist, he’s been wounded fighting in the Great War. Shell shocked and suffering from hysterical blindness he can no longer see his own face, let alone paint, and life seems increasingly hopeless.
A century later in 2017, medical student Louisa Casson has just lost her beloved grandmother – her only family. Heartbroken, she drowns her sorrows in alcohol on the South Downs cliffs – only to fall accidentally part-way down. Doctors fear she may have attempted suicide, and Louisa finds herself involuntarily admitted to Coldbrook Hall – now a psychiatric hospital, an unfriendly and chaotic place.
Then one day, while secretly exploring the old Victorian hospital’s ruined, abandoned wing, Louisa hears a voice calling for help, and stumbles across a dark, old-fashioned hospital room. Inside, lying on the floor, is a mysterious, sightless young man, who tells her he was hurt at the Battle of the Somme, a WW1 battle a century ago. And that his name is Lieutenant Robert Lovett…
Two people, two battles: one against the invading Germans on the battlefields of 1916 France, the other against a substandard, uncaring mental health facility in modern-day England. Two journeys begun a century apart, but somehow destined to coincide – and become one desperate struggle to be together.
Part WW1 historical fiction, part timeslip love story – and at the same time a meditation on the themes of war, mental illness, identity and art – Beyond The Moon sweeps the reader on an unforgettable journey through time. An intelligent read, perfect for book clubs.
For fans of Diana Gabaldon, Amy Harmon, Beatriz Williams, Kate Quinn, Kristin Hannah, Kate Morton, Susanna Kearsley and Paullina Simons.
*NB This novel contains graphic descriptions of war violence and injuries, as well as profanity and mild sex.
My Review: I couldn’t really get into the story. It was confusing as it bounced from the past to the present over and over and sometimes entwined them. Told from WWII as the hero’s pov and present day via the heroine, it just didn’t quite pull it off for me.
How to Love a Duke in Ten Days Kerrigan Byrne. MacMillan Audio. August 27, 2019. Netgalley.
Amazon’s blurb: The first in an exciting new series by USA Today best seller Kerrigan Byrne!
These men are dark, bold, and brave. And there is only one woman who can bring them to their knees….
Famed and brilliant, Lady Alexandra Lane has always known how to look out for to herself. But nobody would ever expect that she has darkness in her past – one that she pays a blackmailer to keep buried. Now, with her family nearing bankruptcy, Alexandra strikes upon a solution: Get married to one of the empire’s most wealthy eligible bachelors. Even if he does have the reputation of a devil.
Love takes no prisoners
Piers Gedrick Atherton, the Duke of Redmayne, is seeking revenge and the first step is securing a bride. Winning a lady’s hand is not so easy, however, for a man known as the Terror of Torcliff. Then, Alexandra enters his life like a bolt of lightning. When she proposes marriage, Piers knows that, like him, trouble haunts her footsteps. But her gentleness, sharp wit, independent nature, and incredible beauty awakens every fierce desire within him. He will do whatever it takes to keep her safe in his arms.
“Romantic, lush, and suspenseful.” (New York Times best-selling author Suzanne Enoch)
My review: Enchanting! The story of a woman who lost everything in her youth and a man who returned for war as something less. Together, the two are irresistible, formidable, and something special.
This Earl of Mine Kate Bateman. St. Martin’s Paperbacks. Sept. 2019.
Amazon’s blurb: Introducing the Bow Street Bachelors—men who work undercover for London’s first official police force—and the women they serve to protect. . .and wed?
WILL A FALSE MARRIAGE
Shipping heiress Georgiana Caversteed is done with men who covet her purse more than her person. Even worse than the ton’s lecherous fortune hunters, however, is the cruel cousin determined to force Georgie into marriage. If only she could find a way to be . . . widowed? Georgie hatches a madcap scheme to wed a condemned criminal before he’s set to be executed. All she has to do is find an eligible bachelor in prison to marry her, and she’ll be free. What could possibly go wrong?
LEAD TO TRUE AND LASTING LOVE?
Benedict William Henry Wylde, scapegrace second son of the late Earl of Morcott and well-known rake, is in Newgate prison undercover, working for Bow Street. Georgie doesn’t realize who he is when she marries him—and she most certainly never expects to bump into her very-much-alive, and very handsome, husband of convenience at a society gathering weeks later. Soon Wylde finds himself courting his own wife, hoping to win her heart since he already has her hand. But how can this seductive rogue convince brazen, beautiful Georgie that he wants to be together…until actual death do they part?
My review: When Georgie decides to end her cousin’s manhandling with a marriage to a prisoner facing execution at dawn, all sorts of things go wrong. For one, the “prisoner” is a spy as well as the brother of a duke. He is also known is circles as a rogue. When the two decide to “court” and then marry and go their separate ways, nothing goes as planned. It was a charming, well-written book, imo.
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