I'm always off to the next bright and shiny book and there is always a new bright and shiny book!
I love Susanna Kearsley!!
Reading her (for me at least) is the literary equivalent of a favorite old sweater--comforting and warm. Almost as soon as I start I can feel it gathering around me like a safe little bubble. They are not for everyone--the romances in them always seem to end a little too perfectly with the future all mapped out but never ever discussed and you must be able to suspend disbelief at least somewhat.
This particular story doesn't have a dual time line/time travel story like many of her others but instead has a ghost story. We have archeologists looking for the famous missing Roman Ninth Legion in Scotland and a ghostly Sentinel watching over what may or may not be a Roman marching camp.
I loved the setting-the small town of Eyemouth (which from the outside seems quaint but would probably drive me nuts if I lived there) and most of the characters (Adrian & Fabia I'm looking at you!) Things ended a little too tidily and of course left other things just hanging in the breeze but that's just how it goes.
If you decide to check out Susanna Kearsley and I highly suggest you do start with Mariana or The Winter Sea which are my two favorites! This is a great addition for the person who loves to read an author's complete collection but don't make this your first.
This book was sweet and charming--sucking you in right from the very start. I wasn't surprised by the ending but I was super sad by the twist (which is why it lost .05 points) the author used to end the book--you'll just have to read this to find out what that might be.
If you're looking for what I'd term "recovery fiction" I'd highly recommend this along with the mysteries by author Barbara Seranella though it is much more than that. I just know when you are new in recovery and are desperate for something life affirming a novel that helps reaffirm your sobriety is a godsend.
I was almost ready to bail on this at about the 150 page mark but since this was a Goodreads giveaway title I thought I'd give it a more time and even though I didn't love it I'm glad I stuck with it.
When the twist finally happened I was sure i had it figured out and then I didn't and then I did so I give the author props for throwing me a curve but overall it wasn't anything new and while my younger self probably would have loved it I finished it more out of obligation.
The 0.5 was for the nice ending--otherwise a solid but not terribly exciting 3.
What can I say--I loved it and will be looking for more of her historical romances. Love that this took place in California, giving me the chance to learn some more things about the state's history.
A nice mini history of Queen Califia (who was a warrior queen who ruled over a kingdom of Black women living on the mythical Island of California) is casually slipped into the story.
Jenkins also includes a partial list of her sources at the end as a helpful resource if you want to learn more.
I received an advanced copy of this from the publisher and I was so excited. Then I set it aside and promptly forgot all about it. Last week I figured it was about time I read this before the year ended. It had a great premise and the tag was guaranteed to draw me in--Night Circus meets Romeo & Juliet. Sadly, as much as wanted to love this I didn't.
There is a great rivalry between the two families in this story but honestly it seems to be built on the shakiest of foundations and our two main characters have no first hand knowledge of exactly what transpired to make the two families hate one another, only rumors and conjecture. The fact that everyone is pissed at everyone else and know one will just come out and say why is super annoying! Also the fact that each family has one person that everyone obeys or else is so clique.
The feathers(show spoiler)
Same for the mermaid birthmarks.
The big reveal at the end just seemed a little too obvious(show spoiler)
Not that I didn't enjoy reading it--it was well written and I want to read her next book. This one just wasn't the one for me.
So I managed 40 pages before it had to go back to the library-- but the bigger question is will I try to check it out again?
My guess is if it crosses my path I will but I don't think I will go out of my way to seek it out. While I enjoy her writing the whole reason for throwing the H&H together is a bit contrived and I have a feeling the reason for the previous break-up is going to be annoying in the end.