If the Shoe Fits by Megan Mulry – Book Review

If the Shoe Fits by Megan Mulry
Published by Sourcebooks Landmark, an imprint of Sourcebooks

I previously reviewed the first book in this series, A Royal Pain.

Max and Bronte are finally getting their happily ever after and of course Bronte’s dear friend Sarah has to be at the wedding. As a woman who has focused much more on her career than her love life, Sarah is less than experienced in the bedroom, but Max’s rakish younger brother only sees a ravishing young woman. When Sarah proposes that the two of them have a fun and commitment-free weekend, Devon thinks he has hit the jackpot. As he begins to spend time with the smart and beguiling young woman, though, Devon realizes that she is far more than he bargained for – she’s the woman for him, if only he can convince her of that.

Oh, you guys, I’m loving on this series so hard. They are just FUN. I actually think I liked If the Shoe Fits even more than I did A Royal Pain. Part of it is that Sarah James is just such a lovely heroine, even better than Bronte. I also loved Devon even more than Maxwell, although part of this – for both characters, actually – is that I had already met them in A Royal Pain, so I was invested in their lives much more quickly than I might have otherwise been.

Sure, If the Shoe Fits follows formulas and conventions of its genre, but Mulry does it with such a great voice and such fabulous characters that it still feels fresh and wonderful. Highly recommended.

Okay, guys, so evidently I *d0* like some romances. I’m thinking in addition to stuff like this I would might like historical romances. Any recommendations?

For more information, see the publisher’s page
Source: Publisher.

 

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Burning the Page by Jason Merkoski – Book Review

Burning the Page: The Ebook Revolution and the Future of Reading by Jason Merkoski
Published by Sourcebooks

Eventually the “e” will be dropped, and books will be assumed to be digital, just as most music is now digital; after all, we don’t refer to music as e-music.

You have to ask yourself whether you trust these men (because they are mostly men – and mostly white men, at that). Do you trust them to make decisions for you on what books you’re permitted to buy?

Jason Merkoski, Burning the Page

Once upon a time, Jason Merkoski worked for Amazon, where he helped make the first iteration of a little product you might have heard of, something they call the Kindle. Actually, Merkoski was involved in ebooks even pre-Kindle, and as someone who has been dealing with this technology for decades, Merkoski not only has information about the format’s past, but also a vision for its future.

What I really like about Burning the Page is the way that Merkoski is somewhat ambivalent about the digital future. For instance, the above quote about white men and their hold over ebook stores and distribution means. However, he clearly sees ebooks as the wave of the future, and something that will quite likely completely supplant new print books. I can’t say I’m crazy about the idea of print books completely disappearing (after all, I still don’t trust my ereader in the bathtub), but some of his ideas of exceptionally social reading or essentially livestreaming books from an author to a reader basically terrify me as a reader. Socialization around reading is great, but having it completely integrated into every sentence goes so far beyond the past changes in format that it seems completely recreate reading, rather than simply recreating books.

Although I had issues with some of Merkoski’s predictions, I think Burning the Page is an important read for those interested in the past, present, and future of digital books.

For more information, please see the publisher’s page.
Source: Publisher.

 

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A White Wind Blew by James Markert – Book Review

A White Wind Blew by James Markert
Published by Sourcebooks Landmark, an imprint of Sourceboks

Wolfgang Pike is a man who is not entirely sure of his place in life. He has long thought that he might become a priest, but plan took a detour when he met Rose, and again when he came to work at Waverly Hills. Waverly Hills is one of the top tuberculosis sanitariums in the United States, and with the way the disease is raging, they need all the help they can get. Although he lost his dear wife, Wolfgang cannot bring himself to go back to his priestly studies as long as Waverly needs him so much. Not that there is much that anyone can do for tuberculosis at this point, in the wake of World War I. But although there is little that can be done medically, Wolfgang has faith in the power of music to heal – or at least help – those whose suffering is the greatest. It is with this in mind that Wolfgang begins to build his orchestra, despite the fact that his boss believes the exercise potentially harmful and a complete waste of time.

I really, thoroughly enjoyed A White Wind Blew. I am often not super keen about historical fiction set in America (except maybe that set in the 19th century), so I was a bit hesitant. However, Markert has written a book with real heart – and which also benefits from such an interesting setting as a tuberculosis sanitarium.

A White Wind Blew is lovely and a very diverting way to spend an afternoon. Recommended.

Check out my interview with James Markert in the SheKnows Book Lounge.

Buy this book from:
Powells | Indiebound*

Source: Publisher.
* These links are all affiliate links. If you buy your book here I’ll make a very small amount of money that goes towards hosting, giveaways, etc.

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A Royal Pain by Megan Mulry – Book Review

A Royal Pain by Megan Mulry
Published by Sourcebooks Landmark, an imprint of Sourcebooks

Once burned, twice shy.

This describes Bronte perfectly. She was once a smart, sexy, professional woman, but then she met the Texan. He seemed so wonderful when they were meeting on the weekends. When she left her job in New York and moved to Chicago to be with him? Not so much. Now Bronte is finally healing a bit, and to do so she’s guarding her independence very closely. When she meets Maxwell, the handsome British man getting an advanced economics degree at the University of Chicago, she decides that they need to be no-strings-attached. Maxwell is happy with their situation , but just for the time being. You see, Maxwell is convinced that he has met the woman who will one day become his wife and he knows something Bronte doesn’t: the woman who becomes his wife will also become the Duchess of Northrop.

A Royal Pain is a lot of fun. In some (very obvious) ways, it reminds me of The American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin. Both feature American girls running off to become British royalty. As might be expected from the contemporary setting, Bronte and Maxwell’s relationship is certainly more of a love match – Maxwell’s family is still quite wealthy – but despite some major differences, some of the same difficulties remain. Maxwell is, at times, a bit controlling. Much of this can perhaps be put down to cultural differences, but even just the fact that he decides Bronte is his future wife and doesn’t bother telling her for quite awhile is occasionally off-putting. I must also say that I got tired of hearing about their mind-blowing sex they were having during their no-strings-attached time. Of course, I’m not typically a reader of romance novels, so perhaps I found it particularly tedious.

Despite some weaknesses, though, Mulry’s characters – Bronte in particular – are vivid and do a remarkably good job at taking up residence in the reader’s brain. For days after finishing A Royal Pain, I found myself thinking about the book, wondering how Bronte might be doing after the end. Say what you will about any of its faults, the ability of A Royal Pain to stay with me like that is, to me, the mark of a good book.

Buy this book from:
Powells | Indiebound*

Source: Publisher.
* These links are all affiliate links. If you buy your book here I’ll make a very small amount of money that goes towards hosting, giveaways, etc.

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Sacred Treason by James Forrester – Book Review

Sacred Treason by James Forrester
Published by Sourcebooks

It starts for Clarenceux with a knock on the door late at night. As a a Catholic in Elizabeth I’s England, he worries about late night knocks at the door; despite his loyalty to the Queen there is always the worry a Catholic subject will come under suspicion by the queen’s spies. On that fateful night, however, the knock is not one of the queen’s men, but Clarenceux’s old friend, Henry Machyn. Machyn looks frantic and has broken curfew to be there and give Clarenceux a book. It is not just any book, but a book with the potential to get both men in deep trouble: Machyn tells Clarenceux that the fate of two queens is tied up in this chronicle and that if anything happens to him, Clarenceux will know how to decipher the text. Unfortunately for Clarenceux, Elizabeth’s spymaster Walsingham is aware of the existence of the chronicle and believes it to be very dangerous. He and his goons will stop at nothing to get the book if it will, as they believe, keep their queen safe.

Forrester accomplished something interesting in Sacred Treason: he made me root for the people involved in a possible Catholic plot against Elizabeth I. Typically my sympathy is unwaveringly with Elizabeth and the men tasked with protecting her. Part of the appeal of Clarenceux, of course, is that he did not ask to become involved in any plot, but is instead pulled in by Machyn’s delivery of the chronicle and the appearance of Walsingham’s henchmen before he has time to figure out what to do with it.

I was not quite as impressed with Forrester’s prose while writing fiction, I prefer his writing style when he writes nonfiction under his real name, Ian Mortimer. In fact, I really like his Time Traveler’s Guide to Medieval England. That being said, Sacred Treason has an engaging plot and good characterization. These attributes, combined with Forrester’s extensive knowledge of the time period make Sacred Treason an easy book to pick up and get lost in for an hour or two.

Recommended.

Buy this book from:
Powells | Indiebound*

Source: Publisher.
* These links are all affiliate links. If you buy your book here I’ll make a very small amount of money that goes towards hosting, giveaways, etc.

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