Stevie Carroll (stevie_carroll) wrote,
Stevie Carroll

Books Read and Listened To Part One

I seem to have managed to read a lot since my last book posts. Three sets altogether, and here's the first:

Hen's Teeth (Kellen Stewart #1)
by Manda Scott
Published by Headline Review
Print book
ISBN 9780755325474

How could a healthy forty-one-year old woman die of cardiac arrest? When Glasgow psychiatrist Kellen Stewart learns of the death of her ex-lover Bridget Donnelly, she quickly suspects foul play. Then she discovers that Bridget's brother, Malcolm, died of the same cause just weeks before -- hours after bringing some hens to Bridget's country farmhouse for safekeeping. And now those hens are missing... With the help of a friendly pathologist who numbers breaking and entering among her more formidable skills, Kellen investigates the deaths. The trail of evidence will take her into a dangerous maze of valuable hens, lethal eggs, bodies that vanish from the morgue... and biomedical marvels that lead to murder.


This is very much a first novel, but it has some compelling characters, and I'm keen to find out what happens to them next after a gripping series of adventures for them in this book.

The Great Gatsby
by F Scott Fitzgerald,
Narrated by Alexander Scourby
Published by BBC Audiobooks
Audio book
ISBN 9781602834125

A true classic of American literature. The Great Gatsby celebrates a heightened sensibility to the promises of life, an American capacity for hope that remains unsullied even by the falsity of what it pursues. Fitzgerald's clean, elegant style evokes to perfection the glitter and charm of the Jazz Age, as well as the falseness of its values. Gatsby embodies the naive American notion that it is possible to invent oneself and persuade the world to accept that definition. Gatsby's youthful neighbor, Nick Carraway, fascinated by both the display of enormous wealth and the essential integrity that he perceives in Gatsby's vision, becomes his confidante and accomplice in his plan to capture the heart of Daisy Buchanan.

This may have been a better story with a different narrator, but I have no desire to find out.

Forever Wild
by Louisa Rawlings
Published by Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
ISBN 9781619216259

From the corruption of Boss Tweed’s New York to the Paris of the Impressionists, two couples fight to fulfill their greatest dreams and desires.

Willough, a well-bred child of wealth, yearns to take her place at the head of her father’s iron empire in the wilderness of the Adirondacks. Accustomed to polished city men, she finds herself drawn to the raw masculinity of Nat, her father’s foreman. Can she leave behind the trappings of city life and learn to embrace the rough country and rough man she is destined to love?

Marcy was born in the mountains, attached to the High Peaks, and yet she yearns to leave and see the world. Drew, Willough’s artist brother, has rejected his father’s business and thrown himself into painting. Together they travel the world, but is love enough to see them through the hard times?


A rich pair of interwoven stories, with both couples forced to rethink their dreams on more than one occasion.

A Lady Dares
by Bronwyn Scott
Published by Mills & Boon
Print book
ISBN 9780263898422


According to society, I, Elise Sutton, haven't been a lady for quite some time -- a lady couldn't possibly run the family company and spend her days on London's crowded, tar-stained docks. And she most certainly wouldn't associate herself with the infamous Dorian Rowland -- privateer, smuggler and the Scourge of Gibraltar himself!

But I need Rowland and his specialized expertise -- especially with the wolves circling, waiting for me to fail. I yearn to feel alive, and Rowland, who can kiss like the devil, inflames my senses and makes me dare to break free.


Elise has a talent for designing yachts, and worked alongside her father in his boatyard prior to his death. Now, her last investor has withdrawn funds, unwilling to trust her to run everything alone – her brother being far more interested in continuing his studies at Oxford. Then she meets Dorian Rowland, blacksheep of an aristocratic family, who turns out to have made enemies of the same people who are conspiring to drive Elise out of business and steal the prototype yacht she hopes to show off at the upcoming races. A fun romp, and a sequel of sorts to A Lady Risks All, although the characters from that are only mentioned once.

The World of Downton Abbey
by Jessica Fellowes
Published by St. Martin's Press
Print book
ISBN 9781250006349

A lavish look at the real world--both the secret history and the behind-the-scenes drama--of the spellbinding Emmy Award-winning Masterpiece TV series "Downton Abbey".

"April 1912. The sun is rising behind Downton Abbey, a great and splendid house in a great and splendid park. So secure does it appear that it seems as if the way it represents will last for another thousand years. It won't." Millions of American viewers were enthralled by the world of "Downton Abbey", the mesmerizing TV drama of the aristocratic Crawley family--and their servants--on the verge of dramatic change. On the eve of Season 2 of the TV presentation, this gorgeous book--illustrated with sketches and research from the production team, as well as on-set photographs from both seasons--takes us even deeper into that world, with fresh insights into the story and characters as well as the social history.


Picked up in the library in hope of finding something useful, or at least an explanation of why some of the more glaring production choices were made. Sadly, this was very much a book in the style of picking only facts that support the statements made in the series or its accompanying literature. By the time I'd read it, I couldn't even trust the illustrations to tell me anything useful – pretty though some of the photographs were. As an example: daytime soaps manage to have recurring walk-on characters who are never named or given lines; I honestly don't see why a huge production for evening viewing can't bulk out the cast of servants to a realistic level in the same way.

by Various
Published by Royal Collection Trust
Print book
ISBN 9781905686858

Welcome to ROBE – the fashion magazine the world has been waiting for, for the last 350 years, and your handy introduction to all that’s best in seventeenth-century haute-couture.

Just as today, the London of the 1660s had a passion for fashion, such that this period saw the birth of the first fashion magazines. ROBE celebrates this glossiest of cultural landmarks, and is your guide to the most important features in the fashion of the day, as illustrated by a wealth of exquisite portraits and works of art from the Royal Collection, and many rare if not unique surviving examples of clothing of the period.

Allow our celebrity commentators – including the noted trendsetter, Margaret Cavendish, the noted fop, Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, and our expert analysts Professor Aileen Ribeiro, Anna Reynolds and Georgina Ripley, to talk you through all the latest fashion and beauty tips, such as the most up-to the-minute colours for the season; the new male coat; the pros and cons of your children’s wardrobes, and all the latest styles and influences from the continent.

Not found on Goodreads

A fun little book, in the style and format of a handbag-sized fashion magazine. Illustrated mainly with art and accessories from the Royal Collection, again shown as if in a fashion mag, this was a great budget accompaniment to the recent 'In Fine Style' exhibition.

Tags: audio books, ebooks, goodreads, print books, reviews
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