I recieved this book for free in exchange for an honest review.
Author: M.C. Frank
Series: Regency Retold, #1
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance, Retellings
Date Published: July 1, 2015
The duke of Ashton sits at the Opera at Vauxhall Gardens, bored out of his mind, and plans murder.
He curses the day that brought the little governess, destitute and sad, at his door eight months ago, to upset his careless if a bit meaningless existence.
How could he have guessed the terrible, evil secrets she was hiding? And now that he knows all, the truth appears wilder, even more despicable than even he could have imagined. He hadn’t counted on losing his heart to her, of course, but he did.
What he doesn’t know is that a tendril of the shadows of madness and sin that followed Beatrice to his door is still out there, looking for something to devour.
The only one who can save him from the darkness is the girl herself, but he knows he’ll never see her again. He who once prided himself on his indifference to other human beings, feels his chest constrict with pain every time he even thinks of her.
Beatrice, smart, gentle, kind-hearted, lovely.
A perfect blend of darkness and light, this Regency reverse retelling of Jane Eyre will break your heart as well as uplift it.
I really enjoyed reading this. I would have loved to read it in a few days, but some things came up and it took me a few weeks to read it. In a way, I am happy about this because it gave me the ability to really think about the plot and the characters. That actually made it so much easier to write this review.
First, I want to mention the way that Ruined was written. It's a little hard to explain, but the writing really set the tone for the entire book. The writing style was fantastic. It really took you back into the time period and it was awesome!
I also loved the complexity of the characters. If you know anything about me, you know that one of my favorite things is backstories with characters. I definitely got this in Ruined, which put this book over the top for me.
I recieved this book for free in exchange for an honest review.
Title: The Horse's Arse
Author: Laura Gascoigne
Publisher: Clink Street Publishing
Date Published: April 4, 2017
Patrick Phelan is an ageing artist who has never made it big but who somehow manages to live on air in a North London suburb.
When not running art classes for amateurs, Patrick wrestles in the shed at the bottom of his garden with his life's work: a series of visionary canvases of The Seven Seals.
When his wheeler-dealer son Marty turns up with a commission from a rich client for some copies of paintings by modern masters, Phelan reluctantly agrees; it means money for his ex-wife Moira. However the deal with Marty is, typically, not what it seems.
What follows is a complex chain of events involving fakery, fraud, kidnapping, murder, the Russian Mafia and a cast of dubious art world characters. A contemporary spin on Joyce Cary's classic satire The Horse's Mouth, The Horse's Arse by Laura Gascoigne is a crime thriller-cum-comic-fable that poses the serious question: where does art go from here?
I am going to start this review by saying I did not love this book. It was interesting to read but, I didn’t love it. I was really confused most of the book. I was not familiar with the wording that Laura Gascoigne used in this book. I was unable to comprehend exactly what was going on, so I just had to give my best guess as to what was going on.
I wasn’t a fan of the plot either. I felt like the plot was all over the place and very confusing. That said, I did like the concept of the book. It’s not everyday that you read something about a struggling artist. Overall, this was an intriguing concept but not executed the best. I think that it is worth a read if you are interested in the topic.
Interview with Laura Gascoigne:
What is the hardest thing about writing?
Finding the time to sit down and do it. Doing the research is fun, dreaming up plots is fun, inventing characters is fun. Even the first draft can be a party, when you’re sailing along on a stream of consciousness. But when you read through what you’ve written the hard bit starts. When you start to look at your writing through the eye of a reader, you start to get critical and think about what works and what doesn’t. Can you really say that? Is that a cliché? Does that sound pretentious? Is that too much/too little information? Are people going to get bored? Good writing is a process of editing, of keeping the good stuff and throwing out the bad. But you also need to know when to stop the editing, decide that it’s good enough and let it go. It’ll never be perfect. If it was, it might be quite boring.
What’s the best part about writing?
Partly it’s being in control: being able to set the world to rights by making the things you want to happen happen. Partly it’s being out of control: letting the characters take charge of the story and seeing what transpires. Just like reading, it’s pure escapism: a way of transporting yourself out of the here and now.
What’s your favourite book?
That’s a tough one. I used to say The Confessions of Zeno by Italo Svevo, but I haven’t read it for a while and my tastes might have changed. One of my favourite books is certainly The Horse’s Mouth by Joyce Cary, which was an inspiration for The Horse’s Arse.
What’s your favourite candy?
Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate all the way – though I do have a soft spot for marshmallows.
When did you start writing?
I started writing doggerel verses at school inspired by Hilaire Belloc and Ogden Nash, but I didn’t start writing fiction until my 30s. I began my first novel (still unpublished) when I had my first child, Spike. I’d send him to a childminder for a couple of hours in the morning and go off into an imaginary world. It was a good way of keeping my sanity. Before I had children I’d never have found the time to write a novel, but having children teaches you organisation.
Buy The Horse's Arse:
But, like love, fire didn't last.
Title: The Bane Chronicles
Author: Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson
Series: The Bane Chronicles, #1-11
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Date Published: November 11, 2014
Fans of The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices can get to know warlock Magnus Bane like never before in this collection of New York Times bestselling tales, in print for the first time with an exclusive new story and illustrated material.
This collection of eleven short stories illuminates the life of the enigmatic Magnus Bane, whose alluring personality, flamboyant style, and sharp wit populate the pages of the #1 New York Times bestselling series, The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices.
Originally released one-by-one as e-only short stories by Cassandra Clare, Maureen Johnson, and Sarah Rees Brennan, this compilation presents all ten together in print for the first time and includes a never-before-seen eleventh tale, as well as new illustrated material.
The Bane Chronicles will quite literally have you laughing out loud. I can practically guarantee it. This novel consists of 11 short stories. In my copy, at the beginning of every story, there was a comic with a scene from that story. The comics were my favorite part. It gave a sneak peak into what was going to happen in that story- but not so much that it spoiled the entire chapter.
It gave glimpses into Magnus’ past. I think my favorite would have to be Saving Raphael Santiago. If you've read it, what is your favorite?
This is such a great addition to The Mortal Instruments and it is super entertaining!
by L.J. Smith
Goodreads 2017: 81/100