Sunday, January 29, 2017

Jane Austen Map of London

I received this as a gift for Christmas and I have to say that for the price ($8.26) - especially when compared to so many other historical maps available for purchase - this one's a great deal! When I write, I've always used Greenwood's online 1827 map of London, but moving from segment to segment in my browser can be tedious at times so I wanted a map that I can simply spread out on the table and take a proper look at. 
My initial concern was the size - I couldn't find out how big it would be or if I'd be able to read the street names. As it turns out, this wasn't a problem. The map is 27.5 inches x 39.5 inches and while the writing is small, it is legible. It's from 1806 and also features a lot of interesting references to buildings/places as they pertain to Jane Austen's books, plus the paper/print quality is excellent.
All in all, a good purchase for any Regency author or fan of that period.

Front Cover

Back Cover

Inside pocket for map

Map - 27.5 inches x 39.5 inches

Reverse side of map with references to locations used in Jane Austen's books

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Marrying Winterborne by Lisa Kleypas

Another spectacular romance from an exceptional author!

I have yet to pick up a Lisa Kleypas novel that I didn't adore and this one was no different. The characters were splendid and the author's insight to the period shone through in her descriptions of carriages, medicine and other details that helped bring the pages to life.

Rhys Winterborne is a wealthy businessman - the owner of a huge London department store. He quickly becomes enamored with the sweet and innocent Lady Helen Ravenel as she tends to him after a train accident. The two become engaged, but a misunderstanding and other people's interference leave Rhys believing that Helen no longer wants him. So he is dumbfounded when she daringly shows up at his office alone, insisting that she still intends to be his. Fearing that he may lose her - that her brother might no longer agree to their union - Rhys suggests a scandalous plan intended to seal both their fates.

Shy and uncertain, Helen pushed Rhys away when he tried to kiss her. But not because she doesn't want him, as he and everyone else assumes, but rather because she finds him intimidating and far too handsome for her. Intent on having her way, she allows him to compromise her in order to assure marriage. But her family insists that a hasty wedding will lead to scandal and that there's no need for it unless there are signs of conception. Compromised and not yet wed, Helen soon starts to worry for her future as she discovers that her past will prevent Rhys from wanting anything to do with her.

Opposites certainly do attract in this riveting tale about endless love between a ruthless entrepreneur and a gently bred lady. I found both characters utterly delightful and I loved that they tried to do the right thing, supporting each other all the way to their happily ever after. A brilliantly written historical romance that I would highly recommend.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

The Viscount and the Vixen by Lorraine Heath

Another enticing read from Lorraine Heath.

Having spent his entire life witnessing the pain love has caused his father, Viscount Locksley knows that he will never allow himself to feel such deep emotion for any woman. So when his father announces that he is contractually bound to marry a woman who answered an advert he placed in the newspaper, Locke offers to save him from further heartache and from the fortune huntress his bride appears to be, by marrying her himself. After all, there's no chance he'll ever become emotionally attached to a woman who meant to take advantage of an old man, so his heart ought to be safe. What there is, however, right from the start, is a passion so overwhelming that Locke knows producing an heir will be no hardship at all.

Determined to save herself from a tragic life, Portia has fled from London with the intention of marrying the Marquess of Marsden - a man who supposedly went mad after the death of his wife thirty years earlier. He will offer Portia security in exchange for companionship with neither needing more from the other. But when she arrives at his estate, she encounters his son - a man intent on ruining her plans by marrying her himself. And since the terms of her contract with Marsden do not specify who she should marry, but only that she must, she is faced with no other option than to marry a man who will surely despise her if he ever discovers the truth about her past.

Once again Lorraine Heath made it possible to sympathize and root for characters who initially seemed cold and self serving. And just as with the previous book in this wonderful series, there was a moment when their happily ever after seemed impossible. I loved the way in which Heath resolved their conflict. She has proved yet again that she is an exceptional story teller.