Stevie Carroll (stevie_carroll) wrote,
Stevie Carroll

Books Read and Listened To Part One

Another bumper batch of books, which I'm splitting up into at least three parts. Here comes the first lot...

Once Upon a Kiss (Book Club Belles Society Book 1)
by Jayne Fresina
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN 9781402287763

These Book Club Belles are ready to put down their novels and find some real-life leading men!

In the sleepy village of Hawcombe Prior, five young ladies of the local book society are reading a salacious romance called Pride and Prejudice. Upon finishing the book, the ladies race to find their own Mr. Darcy, and the handsome, mysterious Darius Wainwright is the perfect mark.

Justina Penny can't understand why her fellow Belles are starry-eyed in the newcomer's arrogant presence. But if the town's only eligible bachelor marries anyone, it should be her sweet, beautiful sister. And it's up to Justina to make it happen. How could this plan possibly go wrong?


Reviewed on The Good, The Bad, & The Unread.

The Masterful Mr. Montague (Casebook of Barnaby Adair Book 2)
by Stephanie Laurens
Published by Avon
ISBN 9780062068668

Montague has devoted his life to managing the wealth of London's elite, but at a huge cost: a family of his own. Then the enticing Miss Violet Matcham seeks his help, and in the puzzle she presents him, he finds an intriguing new challenge professionally ... and personally.

Violet, devoted lady-companion to the aging Lady Halstead, turns to Montague to reassure her ladyship that her affairs are in order. But the famous Montague is not at all what she'd expected - this man is compelling, decisive, supportive, and strong - everything Violet needs in a champion, a position to which Montague rapidly lays claim.

But then Lady Halstead is murdered and Violet and Montague, aided by Barnaby Adair, Inspector Stokes, Penelope, and Griselda, race to expose a cunning and cold-blooded killer.who stalks closer and closer. Will Montague and Violet learn the shocking truth too late to seize their chance at enduring love?


To be reviewed on The Good, The Bad, & The Unread.

The Nine Tailors
by Dorothy L. Sayers
Published by New English Library Ltd
Audio book
ISBN 9780450001000

When his sexton finds a corpse in the wrong grave, the rector of Fenchurch St Paul asks Lord Peter Wimsey to find out who the dead man was and how he came to be there. The lore of bell-ringing and a brilliantly-evoked village in the remote fens of East Anglia are the unforgettable background to a story of an old unsolved crime and its violent unravelling twenty years later.

I know next to nothing about bell-ringing, but I loved this story and managed to figure out how most of the bell-ringing references tied in with the main mystery. I also appreciated the way everything was drawn out over quite a period of months rather than squashed into Wimsey's first visit to the village. Now, has anyone written the continuing adventures of Hilary Thorpe? I'm sure she deserves more stories.

Time's Anvil: England, Archaeology and the Imagination
by Richard Morris
Published by Phoenix
Print book
ISBN 9781780222448

A personal and lyrical rediscovery of the history of England through archaeology and the imagination

History thrives on stories, and this study explores archaeology's influence on what such stories say, how they are told, who tells them, and how we listen. In a dazzlingly wide-ranging exploration, Richard Morris casts fresh light on three quarters of a million years of history in the place we now think of as England. Drawing upon genres that are usually pursued in isolation—like biography, poetry, or physics—he finds potent links between things we might imagine to be unrelated. His subjects range from humanity's roots to the destruction of the wildwood, from the first farmers to industrialization, and from Tudor drama to 21th-century conflict. Each topic sits at a different point along the continuum between epoch and the fleeting moment. In part, this is a history of archaeology; in part, too, it is a personal account of the author's history in archaeology. But mainly it is about how the past is read, and about what we bring to the reading as well as what we find. The result is a book that defies categorization, but one which will by turns surprise, enthrall, and provoke.


A densely detailed yet enthralling look at the history of English archaeology and the archaeological history of England and the English. From prehistory right up almost to the present day (including the recently unearthed WWI grave of a pals battalion buried arm in arm just as they'd been depicted in photographs during life, and the debate over how to preserve the temporary structures of WWII illustrated by the painting of a German scene painted inside one by a prisoner of war). Definitely one to dip into and reread over again.

Dolly: A Ghost Story
by Susan Hill
Published by Profile Books Ltd
Audio book
ISBN 9781846685743

The remoter parts of the English Fens are forlorn, lost and damp even in the height of summer. At Iyot Lock, a large decaying house, two young cousins, Leonora and Edward are parked for the summer with their ageing spinster aunt and her cruel housekeeper. At first the unpleasantness and petty meannesses appear simply spiteful, calculated to destroy Edward's equanimity. But when spoilt Leonora is not given the birthday present of a specific dolly that she wants, affairs inexorably take a much darker turn with terrifying, life destroying, consequences for everyone.

A rather disappointing story that was neither a ghost story nor properly horror. It might have worked better for me if expanded into a proper-length novel.

Connected (Connections Book 1)
by Kim Karr
Published by Penguin Publishing
ISBN 9780698145092

What if a “Once in a Lifetime” could happen twice?

In Dahlia London’s world, happily ever after is a far cry from reality. Her soul has been left completely shattered by tragedy. But a surprising reunion with someone from her past is about to give her a reason to love again…

When rock star River Wilde comes back into Dahlia’s life, their super-charged connection runs deeper than either of them ever expected. The more time they spend together, the more intense their relationship becomes, and Dahlia believes at last she has found her soul mate.

But as old bonds fade and Dahlia’s grief begins to lift, her guilt and confusion remain. River desperately wants to be the one who mends what’s been broken—but with a past that refuses to stay buried, is it possible for their future to begin?


Reviewed on The Good, The Bad, & The Unread.

Torn (Connections Book 2)
by Kim Karr
Published by Penguin Group
ISBN 9780698145108

Rock star River Wilde brought Dahlia London back from the brink of hopelessness with his unwavering love and devotion. But their entangled history is about to test the strength of their relationship...

Dahlia was certain she had found true love and met her 'Once in a Lifetime’ when she reconnected with River. But Dahlia’s world comes crashing down when someone from her past resurfaces, and all of River’s carefully hidden secrets are exposed.

River wants to show Dahlia that life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass—it’s about dancing in the rain. But how many times can one broken heart be mended? Will River and Dahlia be able to stay together or will they be torn apart?


Reviewed on The Good, The Bad, & The Unread.
Tags: audio books, ebooks, good-bad-unread, goodreads, print books, reviews
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