Historical Fiction

Code Name Sapphire – Pam Jenoff – HTP Books Winter 2023 Historical Fiction Blog Tour

Hannah has managed to escape Nazi Germany once, but when her ship that promised an escape to America is turned away at port, there is no choice but to turn around and head straight back to occupied Europe. She seeks shelter with her cousin Lily in Brussels, but knows that Belgium can only be a…

Mini Reviews #22

Hello readers, and welcome to Mini Reviews, where I talk about some of the books I don’t write full length reviews for. This installment I’m discussing Legendborn, The Undercover Secretary and Five Survive.

ARC Review: The Three Lives of Alix St. Pierre – Natasha Lester

Orphaned at a young age, Alix had a difficult childhood, dependent on the guilty charity of her best friend’s parents, but she is determined to make her own way in life and heads to Paris to work as a fashion editor and becomes a PR expert. When the war breaks out, she catches the attention…

Mini Reviews #21 – ARC Edition

Hello readers, and welcome to Mini Reviews, where I talk about some of the books I don’t write full length reviews for. This installment is a little different, since all the reviews are for ARCs I received last year that I haven’t yet reviewed and I’ll be discussing The Secret Society of Salzburg, Seoulmates and…

My Imaginary Mary – Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows

My Imaginary Mary brings us the authors’ unique take on the life of Mary Shelley. The daughter of the brilliant Mary Wollstonecraft, Mary, a writer herself, is just waiting for the right story so that she can live up to her mother’s work, not to mention, impress the handsome poet, Percy Shelley. Ada Lovelace, the…

The Last White Rose: A Novel of Elizabeth of York – Alison Weir

The eldest daughter of King Edward IV, Princess Elizabeth is adored by all, but her world is thrown into chaos upon the death of her father. Her uncle Richard III usurps the throne and imprisons her two younger brothers, the rightful heirs, in the Tower of London and they are never seen again. For a…

The Last Daughter of York – Nicola Cornick

The year is 1483 and Richard III’s armies are at war with Henry Tudor’s rebels. Francis Lovell, Richard III’s trusted friend and confidant is entrusted with the safekeeping of his nephew, the young Prince Richard of York, and he takes him to his family home to be placed in the care of his wife Anne.…

The Diamond Eye – Kate Quinn

Lyudmila Pavlichenko is a history student in Kiev, but Hitler’s invasion motivates her to join the war effort and she goes to the front as a sniper. As her tally continues to increase, she gains the moniker of Lady Death and her 300th kill makes her famous across Russia. Sent on a goodwill tour as…

Daughters of a Dead Empire – Carolyn Tara O’Neil

The year is 1918 and in the midst of the Russian Revolution, Anna’s family has been massacred by the Bolsheviks. The sole survivor, she flees, knowing that she will be hunted as soon as it is discovered that she is still alive, and meets Evgenia, a peasant girl, whom she pays with one of the…

This Rebel Heart – Katherine Locke – ARC Review

Set during the Hungarian revolution of 1956, This Rebel Heart tells the story of Csilla, a young Jewish woman who survived the Holocaust only for her parents to be murdered by the government. She and her aunt, her last surviving family member, plan to flee the country but her escape plans grind to a halt…

A Coin for the Ferryman – Megan Edwards – ARC Review

Nobel Laureate Andrew Danicek gathers a group of elite researchers and scholars to work on a top secret project at the IDES lab in California – a time travel experiment to bring Julius Caesar from moments before his assassination into the present for four days. They plan to use this time to learn as much…

I Must Betray You – Ruta Sepetys – ARC Review

Romania under the Communist regime is a dangerous place and people live in fear of the secret police. When seventeen year old Cristian Florescu is blackmailed into becoming an informant, he has no choice and must live with the guilt of betraying everyone around him. But when the task given to him unexpectedly provides an…

The Nobleman’s Guide to Scandal and Shipwrecks – Mackenzi Lee

Nearly two decades after the events of The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy, Adrian Montague, now 19, is his father’s sole heir and a budding political writer. But in the wake of his mother’s recent death under somewhat mysterious circumstances, he has been struggling more and more with his mental illness, the same his…

A Most Clever Girl – Stephanie Marie Thornton

In the wake of her mother’s death, Catherine Gray finds out a secret about her past that leaves her reeling. Determined to get vengeance, she seeks out Elizabeth Bentley, intending to kill her. But instead, Elizabeth convinces her to listen to her story first and what unfolds is a story of espionage. In 1933, a…

The London House – Katherine Reay – ARC Review

Caroline Payne has always been told that her great-aunt Caro, whom she is named after, died in childhood of polio. But when Mat Hammond, an old college friend contacts her about some information he has found when researching an article, scandalous family secrets are uncovered. Mat has found letters that claim that Caro was a…

The Secrets of Latimer House – Jules Wake – ARC Review

Latimer House, a country estate in Buckinghamshire, becomes a base to hold high ranking Nazi POWs during WWII while they are interrogated. Three women are brought together by the top secret work undertaken here. Heiress Evelyn Brooke-Edwards, with her fluency in German, is a skilled interrogator. Local girl Betty Connors is initially brought in as…

Radar Girls – Sara Ackerman – Harlequin Trade Publishing Summer 2021 Blog Tour

Following the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, Daisy Wilder is recruited to join a top secret program for the U.S. Military, the Women’s Air Raid Defense, to replace male soldiers who are increasingly being sent into war zones. The WARDs are responsible for guiding pilots and tracking unidentified planes in the Pacific, and many…

The Clockmaker’s Wife – Daisy Wood – ARC Review

Eleanor Spelman flees London with her young daughter Alice for the countryside to escape the Blitz in 1940. Her husband, Arthur, who is one of the clockmakers who keep Big Ben working, remains behind. When Nell receives a panicked phone call from Arthur saying that he has been arrested, she rushes back to London, desperate…

Luck of the Titanic – Stacey Lee

Valora Luck dreams of being a circus performer in New York, and she has a ticket to travel aboard the Titanic that will take her there. However she is turned away at the gangway due to the Chinese Exclusion Act that restricts the entry of Chinese people into America. But not only is Titanic Val’s…

Katharine Parr: The Sixth Wife – Alison Weir

Katharine Parr has lost two husbands, and for the first time, is in love. But no sooner than she and Sir Thomas Seymour make plans to wed, it becomes clear that King Henry is determined to win her hand. One does not refuse a King, and so Katharine has no choice but to become his…

Sixteen Scandals – Sophie Jordan – ARC Review

Primrose Ainsworth is excited to finally turn sixteen and make her debut in London society. But when her family not only pretty much ignore her special day but also inform her that they will be delaying her introduction until her older sisters are married, Prim decides she has had enough. Determined to make her sixteenth…

The Woman With The Blue Star – Pam Jenoff – ARC Review

Sadie Gault and her family are forced to flee the Krakow Ghetto when the Nazis arrive to liquidate it and they seek refuge in the sewers. Ella Stepanek, a Polish girl leads a comfortable life as her stepmother has made sure to ally with the Germans. When passing through the market on an errand, Ella…

The Lost Apothecary – Sarah Penner

In 18th century London, Nella has turned her once respectable apothecary business into a secret shop that dispenses poisons to help women who are being harmed by men in any way. When her latest customer turns out to be an inquisitive twelve year old girl on an errand for her mistress, the two form an…

Most Awaited Releases – Summer 2021

Hello, readers! Hope everyone had a great long weekend! Warmer weather is just around the corner, and though it looks like we’ll all be stuck indoors for quite some time yet, atleast there are a lot of great reads to look forward to. Here are my top picks from my summer TBR!

The Rose Code – Kate Quinn – ARC Review

The year is 1940, and three women answer a mysterious summons to the country estate of Bletchley Park in Buckinghamshire, learning upon arrival that they are to join teams that work to break codes in intercepted German military communications. Wealthy Canadian born debutante Osla has everything, but longs to prove herself as more than just…

Mini Reviews #13 | Blogmas Day 1

Hello readers! It’s time for another round of Mini Reviews, where I talk about some of the books I don’t write full length reviews for. It’s been a while since I did one of these posts! With the hectic posting schedule I’ve had these past months, I haven’t really had the chance to share my…

And They Called It Camelot – Stephanie Marie Thornton

Stephanie Thornton’s latest novel brings us the story of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis from her first meeting with Jack, all the way to the dedication of the JFK Library. And They Called It Camelot is narrated in first person, by Jackie herself, and it was the perfect way to get to know this famous figure…

Code Name Verity – Elizabeth Wein

Best friends Maddie and Queenie set off on a mission that will take them into Occupied France in 1943.  But when their plane crashes in enemy territory, Queenie is captured by the Gestapo and tortured and interrogated as a spy. Code Name Verity is the tale of these two girls and their friendship as told…

The Enigma Game – Elizabeth Wein – ARC Review

When a German pilot drops off an Enigma Machine in a small Scottish town, it brings together four very unlikely people: the local pub owner’s elderly German aunt Jane Warner, the half-Jamaican teen Louisa Adair who has been hired to take care of her, Ellen McEwen, a volunteer and driver for the local airfield, and…

The Night Portrait – Laura Morelli – ARC Review

The year is 1492, and Leonardo Da Vinci makes his way to Milan in hope of seeking the patronage of the Duke Ludovico Sforza and pursue his passion of building great machines and inventions. Yet, in the Milanese court, it is his skill at painting that will help him survive as he is commissioned to…

Code Name Hélène – Ariel Lawhon

The day is February 29th, 1994, and Héléne is parachuted from an RAF plane into France in 1944 on a mission to aid the Maquis – the French Revolutionaries – ahead of the Allied landing, armed with vital information to aid the resistance and of course, her red lipstick. Flashback to eight years in the…

My Calamity Jane – Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows

The third installment in this unique series brings us the story of Calamity Jane. Wild Bill’s Wild West is a show that travels around putting on exhibitions of sharpshooting. This is however a cover for the group of garou (that is, werewolf) hunters tracking down the leader of the Pack, only known as the Alpha…

The Black Swan of Paris – Karen Robards – ARC Review

In wartime Paris, Genevieve Dumont is a celebrated singer favoured by the Nazis who uses her fame and the privileges she is afforded as an artist to help the resistance undetected – passing messages to allies, smuggling refugees across borders disguised as part of her troupe and more. The allied invasion is drawing closer when…

Katheryn Howard: The Scandalous Queen – Alison Weir

Henry VIII has tired of his latest queen, Anna, and even as he seeks to be rid of her, nineteen year old Katheryn Howard catches his eye. A poorer relation of the Howard family and the niece of the powerful Duke of Norfolk, Katheryn has been raised by an assortment of relatives while her father…

The Arbella Stuart Conspiracy – Alexandra Walsh – ARC Review

Now safely back at Marquess House with the two Tudor rings, all that remains for this age old conspiracy to unfold is the missing silver locket. With the discovery of a previously sealed off grotto under the mansion, several chests of old journals and documents along with a few portraits are found, which may just…

The Paper Girl of Paris – Jordyn Taylor – ARC Review

Sixteen year old Alice Prewitt has just inherited an apartment in Paris from her grandmother that no one in the family has ever heard about before. She finds an apartment perfectly preserved in time, untouched since the years of World War II, but more interesting are some old photos and the diary of her great-aunt…

Daughter of the Reich – Louise Fein – ARC Review

Hetty Heinrich is the perfect German daughter. With her father working his way up the ranks of the SS and her brother set to join the Luftwaffe, Hetty has been raised to be faithful to the Nazi ideology, and never thinks to question it until the day she runs into someone from her past -…

Anna of Kleve: The Princess in the Portrait – Alison Weir

When news arrives that Henry VIII is looking to strengthen ties with the German duchy of Kleve, twenty-four year old Anna is considered a likely candidate to wed him. Henry commissions Anna’s portrait, which he is well pleased with. Many months of negotiations later, the treaty is signed, and though Anna is wary due to…

Jane Seymour: The Haunted Queen – Alison Weir

This third installment in the Six Tudor Queens series takes a look into the life of Henry VIII’s third queen, Jane Seymour. Starting during Jane’s childhood at Wulfhall, when she wanted more than anything else to be a nun. But realizing that the hardships of this life are not for her, she returns home, and following…

The Light in Hidden Places – Sharon Cameron

Sixteen year old Stefania Podgorska’s life changes when bombs fall on the Polish city of Przemsyl and the Germans invade. The kind Jewish family she worked for, the Diamants, are forced into the ghetto, and she and her younger sister Helena are left alone in a German occupied city that grows more dangerous by the day.…

Sacred Bride – David Hair and Cath Mayo

Six months after the Theban War, Odysseus and Bria find themselves infiltrating the oracular site of Dodona which has been taken over by priests of Zeus who have imprisoned the priestesses of Hera in the mountain. Their goal – to get a last few answers from the oracle before silencing it permanently so that the…

Katherine of Aragón: The True Queen – Alison Weir

The first book of Alison Weir’s Six Tudor Queens series is dedicated to the story of Katherine of Aragón. Betrothed to Arthur, Prince of Wales, at a very early age, Catalina has always been told that she would one day go to England to marry the prince and so become the Princess of Wales and one…

The Fountains of Silence – Ruta Sepetys

The year is 1957, and Daniel Matheson arrives in Madrid with his parents. His father, an oil tycoon, is negotiating a deal with Franco. Daniel, however, hopes to get to know his mother’s home country through his passion of photography, to understand what the real Spain is like and not just what is advertised to tourists.…

Dangerous Alliance: An Austentacious Romance – Jennieke Cohen – ARC Review

Lady Victoria Aston leads a comfortable and idyllic life on her family’s country estate, and with her older sister well married, she enjoys a considerable amount of freedom. But when her sister unexpectedly arrives home, fleeing her abusive husband, Vicky must marry quickly before the matter becomes public and the family is ruined. However, her…

And I Darken – Kiersten White

What if the infamous Vlad the Impaler had been a girl? Lada Dragwyla is dismissed at birth by her warlord father for her gender, but grows up unexpectedly fierce and strong, the complete opposite of her younger brother Radu. Abandoned by their father as hostages in the Ottoman court, Lada and Radu find themselves in the…

The First Lady and the Rebel – Susan Higginbotham – ARC Review

The First Lady and the Rebel is narrated from the perspectives of two sisters on opposing sides of the unfolding American Civil War as their family is divided by politics – First Lady Mary Lincoln and her sister Emily Helm, who was married to the confederate general Hardin Helm.

The Elizabeth Tudor Conspiracy – Alexandra Walsh – ARC Review

In this what-if story of Tudor England, it has been more than four decades since the birth of the twin children of Catherine Howard – two unknown, legitimate heirs to the Tudor throne. And Queen Elizabeth I has kept this secret close ever since the Lady Anne of Cleves entrusted it to her on her…

Mini Reviews #3

Hello readers, and welcome back to Mini Reviews! This installment, let’s chat about four books: American Princess: A Novel of First Daughter Alice Roosevelt, Aru Shah and the Song of Death & One Dark Throne.

My Lady Jane – Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows

Lady Jane Grey’s story is one I’ve read many times over, the queen who ruled England for nine days and then had her head chopped off. But as our narrators say: “Sometimes, history gets it all wrong”, and I must say, I rather prefer this version of the tale!

Oracle’s War – David Hair and Cath Mayo – ARC Review

Odysseus has returned home to Ithaca after his adventures and fallen back into routine, albeit an uneasy one, now that his entire family is aware of his heritage. Not for long though, as chaos descends upon his sister Ctimene’s wedding, Odysseus sets out once more to avenge his family honour

The Catherine Howard Conspiracy – Alexandra Walsh – ARC Review

A historical thriller with some Da Vinci Code style mystery, The Catherine Howard Conspiracy is a what if novel, positing that the tale of Henry VIII’s fifth queen is not quite what it seems. Alexandra Walsh’s take on Catherine Howard melds historical facts with some pretty realistic sounding fiction in a thoroughly engrossing read.

Mini Reviews #1

Hello readers, and welcome to Mini Reviews! This installment, let’s chat about four books: The Iliad, The Fire Queen, The Dead Queens Club and A Curse So Dark and Lonely.

The Triumphant – Lesley Livingston

The gladiatrices of the Ludus Achillea are once more the darlings of Rome, but Cai has not been so lucky and is dismissed from the legions. When history takes its course, and Caesar is assassinated, Fallon knows that Rome is no longer safe for her or her sisters.

Enchantée – Gita Trelease

Gita Trelease has perfectly captured the magnificence of Versailles and portrayed it in breathtaking detail. Enchantée is a work of art, carefully crafted from beginning to end.

The Defiant – Lesley Livingston

Fallon has become Victrix, favoured by Caesar and the darling of Rome’s masses, but her triumph has also earned her many enemies – starting with Nyx, the gladiatrix she defeated and subsequently freed. Set on revenge, a rival school threatens the home Fallon has found in the Ludus Achillea and the new family in her…

Circe – Madeline Miller

Circe is a character little spoken of. I knew of her from The Odyssey as  the witch who turned Odysseus’ men, as yet another who delayed his return to Ithaca. But through this book, Circe has a voice of her own. Though an immortal, her emotions, her dreams, fears, guilt, hope are all very much…

The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy – Mackenzi Lee

In this fast paced sequel to The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, it is Felicity’s turn to chase her dreams. One year after the Grand Tour gone wrong, none of the trio have bothered returning home. We find Felicity in Edinburgh, applying to hospitals and universities, hoping to find some place that will let…

Anne Boleyn: A King’s Obsession – Alison Weir

The second book in Alison Weir’s Six Tudor Queens series tells the story of Anne Boleyn. Anne leaves her family at the age of eleven for the court of the Netherlands. The glimpse into her years with Regent Margaret and then at the French Court are interesting and show very well how her experiences and…

Athena’s Champion – David Hair and Cath Mayo – ARC Review

Prince Odysseus of Ithaca travels to the Oracle at Pytho to be affirmed as his father’s heir. But what should have been merely a routine ritual takes a shocking turn as a closely guarded secret is revealed, resulting in Odysseus being cast out into the world alone – a world where monsters and worse are bent…

Bright We Burn – Kiersten White

Historical fiction has sometimes been said to be boring, but books like The Conqueror’s Saga prove otherwise. Kiersten White has done a wonderful job of making the story her own unique take while still staying as close to history as possible, telling the tale in such a way that even if you are knowledgeable about this…

Now I Rise – Kiersten White

Lada has returned to Wallachia with a small group of loyal men in hope of retaking her birthright. After several unsuccessful attempts to gain allies among men who see her as merely a girl playing soldier, she reaches out to her brother Radu, still with Mehmed in Edirne, recognizing that it is his skill in…

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue – Mackenzi Lee

Set in the early 1700s, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue is narrated from the POV of Henry “Monty” Montague, the wayward son of an English earl. Along with his best friend Percy, and (much to his annoyance) sister Felicity, Monty is off on the traditional Grand Tour with full expectations of drinking and…