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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a place to meet up and share what you have been, and are about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organise yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment and er… add to your groaning TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started on J Kaye’s blog and then was hosted by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn here at The Book Date.
Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels or anything in those genres – join them.

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This past week I finished another lap quilt that I gave as a gift to a very dear friend who taught with me for many years. She has just received some bad health news so it was good that I had already started making it and had it ready. Of course it was book related and had “covers” on the books of her gifts, talents, travels, projects she set her class etc. And books read to classes over the years.

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And this is her cat Poppy, that she rescued from the SPCA. Evidently the cat never sleeps on the couch but when the quilt was placed there she decided to sleep on it all day! It has a lovely cuddle fleece on the back which hopefully will be warm and nice to snooze under. For Francey, not the cat!

quilt and cat photo

 

What I read last week:

I had a great week of reading, enjoyed all three books. And the one I am reading now is good too.

What I am reading now:

I had just finished my last book when this arrived in the post, and it seemed just what I wanted to read. In the same post came a second copy. I’d ordered it twice without realising. So I guess someone will find that passed on to them. Not a bad thing as Kristan Higgins is always a good read.

 

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Up next:

I like to  free wheel my reading in August so haven’t decided what I’ll pick up next. 

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Over The Teacups, Review

Over the Teacups #12 With Jennifer Ashley and Fredrik Backman

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book coverWhy? I read the first one in this new series and really enjoyed it.

Plot  Mrs Holloway (Kat) and Daniel are back together solving thefts of antiques  and murder in the London about them.  Much of it takes place in the kitchen below stairs, but… the murders and thefts seem to have a lot to do with upstairs. There is a surprising little twist at the end.

What Appeals to me? I love the characters, Mrs Holloway is a treasure, I would love to just be in her kitchen and watch her cooking – and sample it! I liked her new assistant very much, and hope to see a lot more of her. Daniel is interesting and in this book we learn a little more of this mystery man.

And so… I really look forward to the third book, and will certainly be early in line to read it.

 

book coverWhy? I had seen a lot of good reviews for this book, and I needed a book that had been translated for the Modern Mrs Darcy reading challenge

Plot  Set in a small town near or in the forest in Sweden. Its about a hockey club that has done well but now its life and the town’s life is on the line. If it doesn’t regain its success the town will continue to go downhill. There is a lot of politicking and when something very bad goes down – a lot of silence, until bam the s*** hits the fan. Some parents shouldn’t be parents, some parents find they just can’t keep their children safe.

What Appeals to me? To begin with this took about 70 pages to get into, getting to know the various characters, but once I had it I was feeling for them all. Most of them have their challenges, some do things I hated, and they did things I loved. They are characters with faults and failings, and in spite of that, still human beings to want to know and cheer on. But not all of them. Ouch for the denial and ruthlessness. I thought ice hockey is a brutal sport though. What really appealed to me most was the universality of this story. It really could be about any town – anywhere. Or about people we hear about in the news every day.

And so… I will certainly read the next one, Them Against Us, once I’ve had a break from it.

Review

The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie. Jennifer Ashley

Book Cover The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie

The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie
Jennifer Ashley
Published: Tantor Audio
Date: March 2012
Format:  Audiobook
Length: 9hr 53 min
Narrator: Angela Dawe
Genre: Historical Romance
Source: Own book
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It was whispered all through London society that he was a murderer, that he’d spent his youth in an asylum and was not to be trusted – especially with a lady. Any woman caught in his presence was immediately ruined. Yet Beth found herself inexorably drawn to the Scottish lord whose hint of a brogue wrapped around her like silk and whose touch could draw her into a world of ecstasy.

Despite his decadence and intimidating intelligence, she could see he needed help. Her help. Because suddenly the only thing that made sense to her was the madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie.

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I read The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie a few years back and really couldn’t see what everyone was so excited about – I think  after reading it I put the book out in the local book fair.  However one day I looked on Goodreads and saw all the readers I follow who rated it very highly, twenty one readers had given it mostly fours and fives.  Sometimes I think if I am tired or have read too many of the same genre, I tend to not give a book its due worth so I decided I would give this book another shot – this time on audio.

Angela Dawe does a very good narration and brings the book to life.  This time around I did appreciate it!  I listen to my audiobooks at normal speed so it gives me time to really attend to the story.

Beth was a very switched on woman, tenacious and courageous.  She has been married before, however her husband died.  Then she was a companion to a wealthy woman who just happened to leave her all her fortune.  So therefore Beth ends up as an independent, competent and outspoken woman. Very few can pull the wool over her eyes.

Ian has had a rather tough upbringing, having been sent to an institution in his youth because he is ‘mad’.  There he is treated very badly and he only is able to leave there when his father dies and his brother turns up to set him free.  Ian is gifted with numbers and remembers great chunks of what he reads so he is a valuable asset to his brother.  However Ian is tangled up in a murder or two and a pesky Fellowes inspector is after the Mackenzie family to haul any or all the culprits in. He hates the Mackenzies.  Beth goes in to prove that none of them committed any murder and in doing so gets caught up in the whole sordid story and solves another mystery as well.  Along the way she ends up married to Ian to help them escape Fellowes.

It all untangles and of course has a happy ever after because it is after all a historical romance.  All very satisfying.  There are a number of books that follow and I hope to read at least one more to see how it all pans out further along in this family Mackenzie.

4 stars