Mini Thoughts

Hello, all!

Pub Date: 2-21-23
Adult - Historical Fiction/Retelling

The Shadow of Perseus- Claire Heywood: Danae was once a princess of Argos but was banished from her homeland after a prophecy foretold her father's death at the hands of her unborn child. After spending her life being coddled, starting a new life for herself and her young son, Perseus, proves more difficult than she ever imagined. As a member of a reclusive band of women called Gorgons, Medusa has severed all ties to the outside world. The Gorgons are especially wary of men and the corruption and pain that usually follow in their wake. But when Medusa stumbles upon an injured Perseus in the woods, she defies all she knows to help him. When a harsh sandstorm threatens her tribe's way of life, Andromeda offers herself up as a sacrifice to appease the gods. But when a passing Perseus misunderstands the ritual, Andromeda's life is upended. As Perseus becomes more obsessed with his destiny, his actions lead to severe consequences in all three women's lives. But he'll find the more he tries to silence them, the louder their voices become.

I enjoyed Heywood's previous release, so I was looking forward to picking this one up, and it was fine. I think it was a very straightforward retelling. I liked how it was told in different parts focusing on each woman. It made the story feel cut and dry, but it still got the point across. I was looking forward to Medusa's storyline the most since she is one of my favorite characters in Greek mythology, but Heywood's Medusa was different from any other take I've seen, and I'm just not sure it worked for me. I did like Danae's and Andromeda's storylines but found myself leaning more toward the latter as I thought she was slightly more interesting to follow. I thought Heywood's writing was easy to read, and I think this would be a good introduction to retellings, but I was hoping for a little more.

Rating: 3/5

*Big thanks to the publisher for the copy!

Pub Date: 7-13-21
Adult - Historical Mystery

Silence in the Library- Katharine Schellman: Instead of living the typical life of a widow, Lily Adler finds she much prefers spending her time helping to solve murders. When her disapproving father unexpectedly shows up on her doorstep looking to stay while recovering from an illness, Lily will take any excuse to leave the house. So Lily finds herself drawn to Lady Wyatt, the new wife of her father's close friend, Sir Charles. To the outside world, they have the perfect marriage, so Lily is just as shocked as anyone to hear of Sir Charles's death and how it might not have been an accident. Lily's suspicions only grow when she's given information by one of Wyatt's maids, who is then also found dead. Lily is determined to uncover the truth, so she again teams up with her friend, Captain Jack Hartley, and Bow Street constable Simon Page to catch a killer.

I read the first book when it came out and enjoyed it, so I've been looking forward to continuing with the series. You can tell that Schellman puts a lot of time, effort, and research into getting the period just right, and I appreciate how she doesn't shy away from touching upon the differences between class, race, and gender. It makes the story even more believable. Lily faces so much adversity due to her gender, so it makes it all the more satisfying to watch her use her intellect to put others in their place whenever they doubt her. I thought the mystery aspect was well-plotted and had some twists I wasn't expecting. I did find the overall pacing to be a bit slower than I'd like, but I still enjoyed this and am looking forward to continuing with the series. If you like historical or cozy mysteries, I'd recommend checking these books out.

Rating: 3/5

Pub Date: 10-27-20
Adult - Historical Romance

Love is a Rogue- Lenora Bell: Lady Beatrice Bentley would rather have her nose buried in a book than prance around ballrooms looking for a husband. She's come to her brother's home in Cornwall to get away from the noise of London to work on her etymological dictionary. Unfortunately, her peace is constantly being disturbed by Stamford Wright, the roguishly charming carpenter renovating the mansion. When Beatrice gets called back to London, she discovers that she's inherited a bookshop from an estranged aunt, but it's in dire need of repair. Unable to find anyone suitable, Beatrice reluctantly hires Ford to complete the job. As the pair work side-by-side, neither can deny the spark between them, but they're both from different worlds. Is Beatrice willing to go against what society expects of her to follow her heart?

I love a bookish main character, so I was excited to pick this up. I could relate to Beatrice's desire to stay home and read rather than socialize. I also appreciated how Beatrice was born with facial palsy, and instead of letting the rude words of her family and others affect her, she embraced her so-called "imperfections." I've never read a historical romance where the female character had any disability. Usually, it's the male love interest whose ruggedly scarred in some way, so I liked the representation. As for her relationship with Ford, it was fine, but it didn't wow me. It started very quickly (I'm talking flirting innuendos within the first few pages), and I would've liked to have seen a more natural build-up. Ford was protective of her and only wanted what was best for her, and it was all very sweet. Plus, he built her bookshelves, and isn't that the dream? Overall, I found it a cute, fast read, and I'm interested in reading the rest of the series.

Rating: 3/5


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