Dark Tides by Philippa Gregory

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Dark Tides by Philippa Gregory

Fairmile #2

Published November 24th 2020 by Atria Books

464 Pages

Goodreads Summary: Midsummer Eve 1670. Two unexpected visitors arrive at a shabby warehouse on the south side of the River Thames. The first is a wealthy man hoping to find the lover he deserted twenty-one years before. James Avery has everything to offer, including the favour of the newly restored King Charles II, and he believes that the warehouse’s poor owner Alinor has the one thing his money cannot buy—his son and heir.

The second visitor is a beautiful widow from Venice in deepest mourning. She claims Alinor as her mother-in-law and has come to tell Alinor that her son Rob has drowned in the dark tides of the Venice lagoon.

Alinor writes to her brother Ned, newly arrived in faraway New England and trying to make a life between the worlds of the English newcomers and the American Indians as they move toward inevitable war. Alinor tells him that she knows—without doubt—that her son is alive and the widow is an imposter.

Set in the poverty and glamour of Restoration London, in the golden streets of Venice, and on the tensely contested frontier of early America, this is a novel of greed and desire: for love, for wealth, for a child, and for home

Review: Quick reminder that this is the second book of the series so if you have not read the first book, there may be spoilers ahead.

I was a little on the fence about reading this sequel because I didn’t quite hit it off with the first book but I decided to give it a shot anyways because I love Philippa Gregory. I was also intrigued by the addition of some new characters from Venice. The storyline seemed a little bit far fetched at times but it ended up really working for the book as a whole. I was a little surprised at how easily Alys was ready to accept Livia’s story of Rob at face value… it seemed a little out of character for her. I was very glad to see that Alinor wasn’t going to be taken in at all until she had solid proof. I really enjoyed Sarah’s journey to Venice to investigate Livia’s claims. She really seemed to come into her own and I loved having a strong female character in this story. James, though…. Oh James… what an absolute idiot. First he tries to come back into Alinor’s life to claim his son 21 years later and then completely falls under Livia’s ridiculous spell. I don’t want to say a whole lot more about all of that drama because for one, spoilers, and for another, you just have to read it to believe it.

One thing that I really didn’t think was necessary in this book was Ned’s part of the story. He’s living in America but the only times he really connects to his family is when Alinor writes him a letter or he sends them goods. I feel like his scenes could have just been cut because they kind of distracted me in a bad way from the drama still going on in England and Venice.

Overall I did end up enjoying this book and kind of hoping there will be a third book.

4 Stars

I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Tidelands by Philippa Gregory

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The Fairmile #1

Expected publication: August 20th 2019 by Atria Books

480 Pages

Goodreads Summary: Midsummer’s Eve, 1648, England is in the grip of a civil war between renegade king and rebellious parliament. The struggle reaches every corner of the kingdom, even the remote tidelands —the marshy landscape of the south coast.

Alinor, a descendant of wisewomen, trapped in poverty and superstition, waits in the graveyard under the full moon for a ghost who will declare her free from her abusive husband. Instead, she meets James, a young man on the run, and shows him the secret ways across the treacherous marsh, not knowing that she is leading disaster into the heart of her life.

Suspected of possessing dark secrets in superstitious times, Alinor’s ambition and determination mark her out from her neighbors. This is the time of witch mania, and Alinor, a woman without a husband, skilled with herbs, suddenly enriched, arouses envy in her rivals and fear among the villagers, who are ready to take lethal action into their own hands.

It is dangerous for a woman to be different.

Review: I absolutely love Philippa Gregory’s Plantagenet and Tudors series so I was really excited to get the opportunity to read an advance copy of her new book. Besides the Tudors, I love witches and history from the time of the witch trials both in Europe and America. Alinor is a midwife in a very small village in the tidelands of England. Everyone knows everyone and everybody knows everybody else’s business. Alinor is very careful to make sure to correct people who ask for potions or charms. She is just a midwife, not a witch. She comes from a long line of women in this line of work and so far they haven’t had any issues with being put on trial for being a witch. Her husband has been MIA for months. She and her children, Alys and Rob, are living in poverty on the edge of her brother’s tenancy where he runs the ferry for the island that they live on. If I’m being perfectly honest, this was a really slow moving book. And I often found myself thinking that it felt a little repetitive as well. Alinor meets a priest and they end up falling for each other despite him being a Catholic priest in a time where Catholics had to hide their beliefs. Things with this man do not go quite as well as she had hoped. His actions in the last part of this book made me really dislike him. Alys was such a bratty teenager. She didn’t care about anything besides getting the money she needed to marry a local farmer’s son. And she does some things that she has to know will put her mother in an incredibly bad situation. Really, the only character in this book I didn’t end up disliking by the end of the book was Alinor’s son Rob, mostly because he was too young to be anything other than a good boy. I was a little surprised about the ending. It seemed pretty abrupt and unfinished. I’m hoping that since this is the first book of a new series that there will be more continued in book 2. Overall, I guess I was a little disappointed with it but it managed to hold my interest for about 60-65% of the time.

3 Stars

I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Tour My Bookshelves – Part 2

Tour My BookshelvesToday is week 2 of the Tour My Bookshelves series.  If you missed my first post, check it out here.  Basically each week I am going to take you on a tour of my bookshelves, room by room all throughout the month of August.

This week I will be showing you the bookshelves in my bedroom  I have a tall 5 shelf bookshelf, a short 2 shelf and my blog cart holds some of my ARCs.  I actually turned my 5 shelf into a 6 shelf.  I went to Menards and the finished shelves they have don’t fit any of the shelves in my house so I had to make do with something else.  Luckily there was the perfect board in the bargain wood section.  It was a little too long but the depth was perfect.  I got it for less than $2.  My dad has a table saw so I just brought it over to his house to shorten the length.    For now it will not match the rest of the shelf because it is just plain wood.  It’s been too humid here to for paint to dry properly.

Bedroom Tall Shelf FullThere is the bookshelf in all it’s glory.  I keep my TBR jars on this bookshelf.  And even though I made them months ago, I have yet to use them.    The top three shelves and the bottom shelf are organized specifically and the middle three aren’t organized any special way.

Bedroom Tall Shelf 1Shelf 1 holds my Nicholas Sparks collection and part of my Tudors collection.

Bedroom Tall Shelf 2Shelf 2 holds my Philippa Gregory collection and other Tudor novels.

Bedroom Tall Shelf 3Shelf 3 holds my Tudor non-fictions and my Ireland collection, both fiction and non.

Bedroom Tall Shelf 4Shelf 4 has a random selection of books.  In the middle I do have all of my Tracy Chevalier books together.

Bedroom Tall Shelf 5Shelf 5 starts off with The Chronicles of Narnia and Anne of Green Gables and then moves into a random assortment of books.

Bedroom Tall Shelf 6Shelf 6 holds all of my Dear America and Royal Diaries books.  I had a little bit of extra space so for now I have A Lifetime of Secrets there until I can collect more Dear Americas and/or Royal Diaries.

I have a smaller bookshelf that also holds our TV.  Now that I have added a shelf plus the bookshelf from last week’s tour, I was able to clear out space for other items I needed to store.

Bedroom Small Shelf FullOn the top shelf I have my Wii and Wii Fit Balance Board along with my 70th anniversary GWTW dvd set.

Bedroom Small Shelf 2Shelf 2 holds my photo boxes and some of my husband’s books.

Bedroom Small Shelf 3Shelf 3 holds more of my books.  No real order to this shelf.

And the final book spot in my bedroom is the ARC shelf on my blog cart.

Bedroom ARC ShelfIt is full now, with my more recent ARCs on the new shelf in our office.  My blogiversary is coming up next month so I plan on doing a giveaway to pass some of these on.

Stay tuned next Monday to see more of my bookshelves!

Top Ten Tuesday!

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

This week’s top ten is SEQUELS I CAN’T WAIT TO GET!

I may not come up with a full ten this week but I do love sequels even though they usually aren’t as good as the original.

1.  Iniquity by Amy A. Bartol – I feel like I have been waiting for this one forever!  It is the 5th book in her Premonition series and I loved #1-4.

2. Sea of Stars by Amy A. Bartol – This is the second book in her Kricket series!  I loved the first book, Under Different Stars, so I can’t wait to see where she takes the characters in the next installment!

3.  The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory – I’m reading The Cousin’s War series and this is the next one I want to read.  I read The Lady of the Rivers first which is technically the 3rd book but I wanted to read them in chronological order rather than by which ones she wrote first.  So this one is next!

4.  The Winds of Winter by George R. R. Martin – I loved the last 5 books and really really really really can’t wait for the next one to come out even though I know it probably won’t be for quite awhile.

5.  City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare – loved the first one, can’t wait to get to the next one.

6.  Blood Magick by Nora Roberts – 3rd and final book in the Cousins O’Dwyer trilogy… loved the first two and can’t wait to see what happens in the final installment!  I’ve got it waiting on my shelf to be read at home so it’s just a matter of getting through what I need to get through before I start that one.

And I think that is all I can think of for right now.

What sequels are you really looking forward to reading?

Making A Bad Day, Good

So on my first day of vacation I had to bring my car in to the nearest dealership for a few recalls.  The nearest dealership is 30+ minutes away.  I had made my appointment for 7 am because I didn’t want to deviate too far from my regular sleep schedule for work.  So I set my alarm for 5:30 to give me plenty of time to get up, have some breakfast and make it to the dealership for my appointment.  Everything would have been okay, but instead of hitting the snooze button I hit the cancel button!  And of course fell back asleep.  I woke up with a start at 6:50 am and burst out of bed!  Threw some clothes on, fed the cats and then we hit the road.  Ethan was nice enough to come with me.  On the way up I had him call the service advisor to let him know we would be about 30 minutes late.  He said no problem.  Then we get there and are advised that there was one more additional recall that would take 2 hours.  They offered us a car to drive around but I brought a book to read and E brought some homework so we decided to just stay around.

Then the inevitable happened… He comes out to tell me that they tested my battery and that they highly recommend replacing it before winter arrives.  $140 with parts and labor.  I passed on it this time.  My car is not even 4 years old!  So we had arrived at the dealership almost exactly at 7:30 and we didn’t get to leave until after 12pm.  Much too long.  When we were waiting I had received a code for BOGO Leeann Chin.  I persuaded E that we should get that for lunch.  I will admit that I had ulterior motives for going there….  A few doors away is my favorite store in the world…. HALF PRICE BOOKS!!  I bet you were wondering if I was ever going to get to anything book related.  E wanted to get home but I promised him I would only look at the clearance section.

I wasn’t expecting to find much but I walked out with 5 books!

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  • Dark Witch by Nora Roberts: This one I already have on my Kindle but we all know that a physical copy is so much better.  I really liked this new trilogy of hers so I just had to have it.  I am super excited for the third book to come out which either already happened and I missed or should be happening soon.  Note to self… check Amazon.  Anyways… if you like Ireland, witches and magic, check this series out.  Name of the trilogy is The Cousins O’Dwyer.
  • Virgin Earth by Philippa Gregory: One of my favorite authors.  I own almost all of her books and this one puts me one step closer.  It is the prequel to one of the books I already own, Earthly Joys.
  • Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson: This is one I read a few times while growing up.  Written by the same author as the book Speak.
  • Queen’s Gambit by Elizabeth Fremantle: I am a big collector of books about Henry VIII and his wives.  So this one I saw and had to get!  This one is a novel about Henry’s last wife, Katherine Parr.  Not too many people write about the wives after Anne Boleyn.
  • The House At Riverton by Kate Morton: I just bought another of hers at the HPB clearance sale.  I’ve always wanted to read them.

So even after a bad morning, I got to do some book shopping so that made it much better!