Friday, February 12, 2021

Cover Release! Clever Girl: A Novel of an American Spy by Stephanie Marie Thornton


Clever Girl: A Novel of an American Spy
 by Stephanie Marie Thornton
Publication Date: 9.14.2021
Format: Paperback 448pp



Synopsis (From the Publisher):
"A thrilling tale of love, loyalty, and espionage, based on the incredible true story of Elizabeth Bentley, a Cold War double agent spying for the Russians and the United States, from USA Today bestselling author Stephanie Marie Thornton. 
1963: Reeling from the death of her mother and President Kennedy’s assassination, Catherine Gray shows up on Elizabeth Bentley’s doorstep demanding answers to the shocking mystery just uncovered about her family. What she doesn’t expect is for Bentley to ensnare her in her own story of becoming a controversial World War II spy and Cold War informer…

Recruited by the American Communist Party to spy on fascists at the outbreak of World War II, a young Bentley--code name Clever Girl--finds she has an unexpected gift for espionage. But after falling desperately in love with her handler, Jacob Golos, Elizabeth makes another unexpected discovery when she learns her lover is actually a Russian spy. Together, they will build the largest Soviet spy network in America and Elizabeth will become its uncrowned Red Spy Queen. However, once the war ends and the U.S. and U.S.S.R. become embroiled in the Cold War, it is Elizabeth who will dangerously clash with the NKVD, the brutal Soviet espionage agency.

As Catherine listens to Elizabeth's harrowing tale, she empathizes with her, that is, until she uncovers startling revelations that link the two women's lives in shocking ways. Faced with the idea that her entire existence is based on a lie, Catherine realizes there can be many sides to the truth. And only Elizabeth Bentley can tell her what that truth really is."

Copyright © 2021 Svea Love. All Rights Reserved.



Tuesday, February 9, 2021

New Release! The Witch's Heart by Genevieve Gornichec

The Witch's Heart by Genevieve Gornichec
Publication Date: 2.9.2021
Format: Hardcover 368pp

Synopsis (From the Publisher):
"When a banished witch falls in love with the legendary trickster Loki, she risks the wrath of the gods in this moving, subversive debut novel that reimagines Norse mythology.

Angrboda’s story begins where most witches' tales end: with a burning. A punishment from Odin for refusing to provide him with knowledge of the future, the fire leaves Angrboda injured and powerless, and she flees into the farthest reaches of a remote forest. There she is found by a man who reveals himself to be Loki, and her initial distrust of him transforms into a deep and abiding love.

Their union produces three unusual children, each with a secret destiny, who Angrboda is keen to raise at the edge of the world, safely hidden from Odin’s all-seeing eye. But as Angrboda slowly recovers her prophetic powers, she learns that her blissful life—and possibly all of existence—is in danger.

With help from the fierce huntress Skadi, with whom she shares a growing bond, Angrboda must choose whether she’ll accept the fate that she’s foreseen for her beloved family...or rise to remake their future. From the most ancient of tales this novel forges a story of love, loss, and hope for the modern age."

Copyright © 2021 Svea Love. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, January 29, 2021

Friday Finds at the Bookstore: The House on Vesper Sands by Paraic O'Donnell

Publication Date: January 12th 2021
Format: Hardcover 408pp

Synopsis (From the Publisher):
"London, 1893: high up in a house on a dark, snowy night, a lone seamstress stands by a window. So begins the swirling, serpentine world of Paraic O’Donnell’s Victorian-inspired mystery, the story of a city cloaked in shadow, but burning with questions: why does the seamstress jump from the window? Why is a cryptic message stitched into her skin? And how is she connected to a rash of missing girls, all of whom seem to have disappeared under similar circumstances?

On the case is Inspector Cutter, a detective as sharp and committed to his work as he is wryly hilarious. Gideon Bliss, a Cambridge dropout in love with one of the missing girls, stumbles into a role as Cutter’s sidekick. And clever young journalist Octavia Hillingdon sees the case as a chance to tell a story that matters—despite her employer’s preference that she stick to a women’s society column. As Inspector Cutter peels back the mystery layer by layer, he leads them all, at last, to the secrets that lie hidden at the house on Vesper Sands.
By turns smart, surprising, and impossible to put down, The House on Vesper Sands offers a glimpse into the strange undertow of late nineteenth-century London and the secrets we all hold inside us."


Copyright © 2021 Svea Love. All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

What's New Wednesday!


Happy Wednesday! I cannot believe the first month of 2021 is already at an end. Lots of new things are brewing for The Muse in the Fog Book Review. Check out the sidebar of upcoming releases; it looks like 2021 is going to be exceptional in the realm of historical fiction! Also, I am thrilled to announce The Muse in the Fog Book Review is hosting its first Giveaway Hop. It has been a while since this site has participated in a giveaway, and this will be the first of many this year. Keep an eye out for a full list of hops to sign up for soon!


Sign up here: 
http://www.museinthefog.com/2021/01/enchanted-rose-giveaway-hop.html















I am also bringing back Friday Finds at the Bookstore, as well as Suddenly Sunday to recap everything that has transpired over the week. 

               

The past couple years have been intense with graduate school and just life in general, but I am positive that 2021 is a new chapter for me and this site. I plan on bringing you more interviews and guest posts, as well as reviews of new and prior historical fiction titles. 

I would love to hear from you about what you would like to see on The Muse in the Fog Book Review! Email me your suggestions about events, reviews you would like me to conduct, or topics to discuss. 

Stay safe, and happy reading! 


Copyright © 2021 Svea Love. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

New Release! A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes

Publication Date: January 26th 2021
Format: Hardcover 368pp

 

Synopsis (from the publisher):
“This is the women’s war, just as much as it is the men’s. They have waited long enough for their turn . . .
This was never the story of one woman, or two. It was the story of them all . . .

In the middle of the night, a woman wakes to find her beloved city engulfed in flames. Ten seemingly endless years of conflict between the Greeks and the Trojans are over. Troy has fallen.

From the Trojan women whose fates now lie in the hands of the Greeks, to the Amazon princess who fought Achilles on their behalf, to Penelope awaiting the return of Odysseus, to the three goddesses whose feud started it all, these are the stories of the women whose lives, loves, and rivalries were forever altered by this long and tragic war.

A woman’s epic, powerfully imbued with new life, A Thousand Ships puts the women, girls and goddesses at the center of the Western world’s great tale ever told.”


Copyright © 2021 Svea Love. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, January 25, 2021

Masterpiece Monday

Work Interrupted by William-Adolphe Bouguereau. 1891




Copyright © 2021 Svea Love. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Upcoming Historical Fiction Release! Love and Fury: A Novel of Mary Wollstonecraft by Samantha Silva

Love and Fury: A Novel of Mary Wollstonecraft by Samantha Silva
Publication date: 05/25/2021
Pages: Hardcover 288pp


Synopsis (From the Publisher):
"From the acclaimed author of Mr. Dickens and His Carol, a richly-imagined reckoning with the life of another cherished literary legend: Mary Wollstonecraft – arguably the world’s first feminist.

August, 1797. Midwife Parthenia Blenkinsop has delivered countless babies over the course of her career, and when she arrives at Mary Wollstonecraft’s door, everything appears normal. But after the baby girl is delivered, the women will spend the next harrowing days together, fighting for the survival of both mother and daughter. Over those eleven days, Mary Wollstonecraft recounts the life she dared to live amidst the impossible constraints and prejudices of the late 18th century, rejecting the tyranny of men and marriage, risking everything to demand equality for herself and all women. She weaves her riveting tale to keep her fragile daughter alive and give her a reason to fight, even as her own strength wanes. Wollstonecraft’s urgent story of loss and triumph forms the heartbreakingly brief intersection between the lives of a mother and daughter who will change the arc of history and thought for centuries to come.

In radiant, emotionally gripping prose, Samantha Silva delivers an ode to the dazzling life of Mary Wollstonecraft, one of the world's most influential thinkers and mother of the famous novelist Mary Shelley. But at its heart, Love and Fury is a story about the power of a woman reclaiming her own narrative and passing along that legacy to her daughter."




Copyright © 2021 Svea Love. All Rights Reserved.




Monday, January 18, 2021

Upcoming Historical Fiction Release: Hour of the Witch by Chris Bohjalian

Publication Date: 04/20/2021
Format: Hardcover 416pp

Synopsis (From the Publisher):
"A young Puritan woman - faithful, resourceful, but afraid of the demons that dog her soul - plots her escape from a violent marriage in this riveting and propulsive historical thriller from the #1 New York Times bestselling author ofThe Flight Attendant.

Boston, 1662. Mary Deerfield is twenty-four-years-old. Her skin is porcelain, her eyes delft blue, and in England she might have had many suitors. But here in The New World, amid this community of saints, Mary is the second wife of Thomas Deerfield, a man as cruel as he is powerful. When Thomas, prone to drunken rage, drives a three-tined fork into the back of Mary's hand, she resolves that she must divorce him to save her life. But in a world where every neighbor is watching for signs of the devil, a woman like Mary—a woman who harbors secret desires and finds it difficult to tolerate the brazen hypocrisy of so many men in the colony—soon finds herself the object of suspicion and rumor. When tainted objects are discovered buried in Mary's garden, when a boy she has treated with herbs and simples dies, and when their servant girl runs screaming in fright from her home, Mary must fight not only to escape her marriage, but also the gallows. A twisting, tightly-plotted thriller from one of our greatest storytellers, Hour of the Witch is a timely and terrifying novel of socially sanctioned brutality and the original American witch hunt."



Copyright © 2021 Svea Love. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, January 15, 2021

Friday Finds at the Bookstore: The Woman in the Mirror by Rebecca James



Synopsis (From the Publisher): 
"Rebecca James unveils a chilling modern gothic novel of a family consumed by the shadows and secrets of its past in The Woman in the Mirror. 
For more than two centuries, Winterbourne Hall has stood atop a bluff overseeing the English countryside of Cornwall and the sea beyond. Enshrouded by fog and enveloped by howling winds, the imposing edifice casts a darkness over the town.

In 1947, Londoner Alice Miller accepts a post as governess at Winterbourne, looking after twin children Constance and Edmund for their widower father, Captain Jonathan de Grey. Falling under the de Greys’ spell, Alice believes the family will heal her own past sorrows. But then the twins’ adoration becomes deceitful and taunting. Their father, ever distant, turns spiteful and cruel. The manor itself seems to lash out. Alice finds her surroundings subtly altered, her air slightly chilled. Something malicious resents her presence, something clouding her senses and threatening her very sanity.

In present day New York, art gallery curator Rachel Wright has learned she is a descendant of the de Greys and heir to Winterbourne. Adopted as an infant, she never knew her birth parents or her lineage. At long last, Rachel will find answers to questions about her identity that have haunted her entire life. But what she finds in Cornwall is a devastating tragic legacy that has afflicted generations of de Greys. A legacy borne from greed and deceit, twisted by madness, and suffused with unrequited love and unequivocal rage.

There is only one true mistress of Winterbourne. She will not tolerate any woman who dares to cross its threshold and call it home. Those who do will only find a reflection of their own wicked sins and an inherited vengeance."

---------------


 


Copyright © 2021 Svea Love. All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Upcoming Release: The Rose Code by Kate Quinn

Publication Date: 03/09/2021
Format: Hardcover 656pp


Synopsis (From the Publisher):
"“The hidden history of Bletchley Park has been waiting for a master storyteller like Kate Quinn to bring it to life. THE ROSE CODE effortlessly evokes the frantic, nervy, exuberant world of the Enigma codebreakers through the eyes of three extraordinary women who work in tireless secrecy to defeat the Nazis. Quinn’s meticulous research and impeccable characterization shine through this gripping and beautifully executed novel.”

Beatriz Williams, New York Times bestselling author of HER LAST FLIGHT

The New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Huntress and The Alice Network returns with another heart-stopping World War II story of three female code breakers at Bletchley Park and the spy they must root out after the war is over.

1940. As England prepares to fight the Nazis, three very different women answer the call to mysterious country estate Bletchley Park, where the best minds in Britain train to break German military codes. Vivacious debutante Osla is the girl who has everything—beauty, wealth, and the dashing Prince Philip of Greece sending her roses—but she burns to prove herself as more than a society girl, and puts her fluent German to use as a translator of decoded enemy secrets. Imperious self-made Mab, product of east-end London poverty, works the legendary codebreaking machines as she conceals old wounds and looks for a socially advantageous husband. Both Osla and Mab are quick to see the potential in local village spinster Beth, whose shyness conceals a brilliant facility with puzzles, and soon Beth spreads her wings as one of the Park’s few female cryptanalysts. But war, loss, and the impossible pressure of secrecy will tear the three apart. 
1947. As the royal wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip whips post-war Britain into a fever, three friends-turned-enemies are reunited by a mysterious encrypted letter—the key to which lies buried in the long-ago betrayal that destroyed their friendship and left one of them confined to an asylum. A mysterious traitor has emerged from the shadows of their Bletchley Park past, and now Osla, Mab, and Beth must resurrect their old alliance and crack one last code together. But each petal they remove from the rose code brings danger—and their true enemy—closer..."

Copyright © 2021 Svea Love. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

New Release! Raphael, Painter in Rome: A Novel by Stephanie Storey

Raphael, Painter in Rome: A Novel by Stephanie Storey

Publication date: 04/07/2020
Format: Hardcover 336pp


Synopsis (From the Publisher): 
"Another Fabulous Art History Thriller by the Bestselling Author of Oil and Marble, Featuring the Master of Renaissance Perfection: Raphael! 
Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling is one of the most iconic masterpieces of the Renaissance. Here, in Raphael, Painter in Rome, Storey tells of its creation as never before: through the eyes of Michelangelo’s fiercest rival—the young, beautiful, brilliant painter of perfection, Raphael. Orphaned at age eleven, Raphael is determined to keep the deathbed promise he made to his father: become the greatest artist in history. But to be the best, he must beat the best, the legendary sculptor of the David, Michelangelo Buonarroti. When Pope Julius II calls both artists down to Rome, they are pitted against each other: Michelangelo painting the Sistine Ceiling, while Raphael decorates the pope's private apartments. As Raphael strives toward perfection in paint, he battles internal demons: his desperate ambition, crippling fear of imperfection, and unshakable loneliness. Along the way, he conspires with cardinals, scrambles through the ruins of ancient Rome, and falls in love with a baker’s-daughter-turned-prostitute who becomes his muse.

With its gorgeous writing, rich settings, endearing characters, and riveting plot, Raphael, Painter in Rome brings to vivid life these two Renaissance masters going head to head in the deadly halls of the Vatican."



Copyright © 2020 Svea Love. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

New Release! The Socialite by J'nell Ciesielski

The Socialite by J'nell Ciesielski
Publication date: 04/14/2020
Format: Paperback 368pp

Synopsis (From the Publisher): 
"Glamour, treachery, and espionage collide when an English socialite rushes to save her sister from the Nazis. 
As the daughter of Sir Alfred Whitford, Kat has a certain set of responsibilities. But chasing her wayward sister, Ellie, to Nazi-occupied Paris was never supposed to be one of them. Now accustomed to the luxurious lifestyle that her Nazi boyfriend provides, Ellie has no intention of going back to the shackled life their parents dictate for them—but Kat will stop at nothing to bring her sister home. 
Arrested for simply trying to defend himself against a drunken bully, Barrett Anderson is given the option of going to jail or serving out his sentence by training Resistance fighters in Paris. A bar owner serves as the perfect disguise to entertain Nazis at night while training fighters right below their jackboots during the day. Being assigned to watch over two English debutantes is the last thing he needs, but a payout from their father is too tempting to resist. Can Barrett and Kat trust each other long enough to survive, or will their hearts prove more traitorous than the dangers waiting around the corner?"


Copyright © 2020 Svea Love. All Rights Reserved.

New Release! Beyond the Ghetto Gates: A Novel by Michelle Cameron

Beyond the Ghetto Gates: A Novel by Michelle Cameron
Publication date: 04/07/2020
Format: Hardcover 456pp

Synopsis (From the Publisher):
"When French troops occupy the Italian port city of Ancona, freeing the city’s Jews from their repressive ghetto, it unleashes a whirlwind of progressivism and brutal backlash as two very different cultures collide. Mirelle, a young Jewish maiden, must choose between her duty—an arranged marriage to a wealthy Jewish merchant—and her love for a dashing French Catholic soldier. Meanwhile, Francesca, a devout Catholic, must decide if she will honor her marriage vows to an abusive and murderous husband when he enmeshes their family in the theft of a miracle portrait of the Madonna. 
Set during the turbulent days of Napoleon Bonaparte’s Italian campaign (1796–97), Beyond the Ghetto Gates is both a cautionary tale for our present moment, with its rising tide of anti-Semitism, and a story of hope—a reminder of a time in history when men and women of conflicting faiths were able to reconcile their prejudices in the face of a rapidly changing world."



Copyright © 2020 Svea Love. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Masterpiece Monday

A Coign of Vantage. 1895. by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema




Copyright © 2020 Svea Love. All Rights Reserved.

Upcoming Release! The First Actress by C. W. Gortner

The First Actress by C. W. Gortner
Publication Date: 05/26/2020
Format: Hardcover 432pp


Synopsis (From the Publisher):
"From her beginnings as the daughter of a courtesan to her extraordinary transformation into the most celebrated actress of her era, Sarah Bernhardt is brought to life by an internationally bestselling author praised for his historical novels featuring famous women. 
Sarah’s highly dramatic life starts when she returns to Paris after her convent schooling and is confronted by her mother’s demand to follow in the family trade as a courtesan. To escape this fate, Sarah pursues a career onstage at the esteemed Comédie-Française, until her rebellious acting style leads to her scandalous dismissal. Only nineteen years old and unemployed, Sarah is forced to submit to her mother’s wishes. But her seductive ease as a courtesan comes to an abrupt end when she discovers she is pregnant. Unwilling to give up her child, Sarah defies social condemnation and is cast adrift, penniless and alone.

With her striking beauty and innovative performances in a bohemian theater, Sarah catapults to unexpected success; suddenly, audiences clamor to see this controversial young actress. But her world is torn asunder by the brutal 1870 siege of Paris. Sarah refuses to abandon the ravaged city, nursing wounded soldiers and risking her life.
Her return to the Comédie and her tempestuous affair with her leading man plunge Sarah into a fierce quest for independence. Undeterred, she risks everything to become France’s most acclaimed actress, enthralling audiences with her shocking portrayals of female and male characters. Sarah’s daring talent and outrageous London engagement pave her path to worldwide celebrity, with sold-out tours in Europe and America.

Told in her own voice, this is Sarah Bernhardt’s incandescent story—a fascinating, intimate account of a woman whose unrivaled talent and indomitable spirit has enshrined her in history as the Divine Sarah."



Copyright © 2020 Svea Love. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Friday Finds at the Bookstore: The Queen's Fortune by Allison Pataki

The Queen's Fortune by Allison Pataki
02/11/2020
Format: Hardback 448pp

Synopsis (From the Publisher):
"A sweeping novel about the extraordinary woman who captured Napoleon’s heart, created a dynasty, and changed the course of history—from the New York Times bestselling author of The Traitor's Wife, The Accidental Empress, and Sisi.
As the French revolution ravages the country, Desiree Clary is faced with the life-altering truth that the world she has known and loved is gone and it’s fallen on her to save her family from the guillotine. 
A chance encounter with Napoleon Bonaparte, the ambitious and charismatic young military prodigy, provides her answer. When her beloved sister Julie marries his brother Joseph, Desiree and Napoleon’s futures become irrevocably linked. Quickly entering into their own passionate, dizzying courtship that leads to a secret engagement, they vow to meet in the capital once his career has been secured. But her newly laid plans with Napoleon turn to sudden heartbreak, thanks to the rising star of Parisian society, Josephine de Beauharnais. Once again, Desiree’s life is turned on its head. 
Swept to the glittering halls of the French capital, Desiree is plunged into the inner circle of the new ruling class, becoming further entangled with Napoleon, his family, and the new Empress. But her fortunes shift once again when she meets Napoleon's confidant and star general, the indomitable Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte. As the two men in Desiree’s life become political rivals and military foes, the question that arises is: must she choose between the love of her new husband and the love of her nation and its Emperor? 
From the lavish estates of the French Riviera to the raucous streets of Paris and Stockholm, Desiree finds herself at the epicenter of the rise and fall of an empire, navigating a constellation of political giants and dangerous, shifting alliances. Emerging from an impressionable girl into a fierce young woman, she discovers that to survive in this world she must learn to rely upon her instincts and her heart. 
Allison Pataki’s meticulously researched and brilliantly imagined novel sweeps readers into the unbelievable life of a woman almost lost to history—a woman who, despite the swells of a stunning life and a tumultuous time, not only adapts and survives but, ultimately, reigns at the helm of a dynasty that outlasts an empire."




Copyright © 2020 Svea Love. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, March 2, 2020

Upcoming Release! The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel

The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel
Publication Date: 3/10/2020
Format: Hardcover 752pp


Synopsis (From the Publisher):
"This book has been the greatest challenge of my writing life, and the most rewarding; I hope and trust my readers will find it has been worth the wait.” —Hilary Mantel

With The Mirror & the Light, Hilary Mantel brings to a triumphant close the trilogy she began with her peerless, Booker Prize-winning novels, Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies. She traces the final years of Thomas Cromwell, the boy from nowhere who climbs to the heights of power, offering a defining portrait of predator and prey, of a ferocious contest between present and past, between royal will and a common man’s vision: of a modern nation making itself through conflict, passion and courage.

The story begins in May 1536: Anne Boleyn is dead, decapitated in the space of a heartbeat by a hired French executioner. As her remains are bundled into oblivion, Cromwell breakfasts with the victors. The blacksmith’s son from Putney emerges from the spring’s bloodbath to continue his climb to power and wealth, while his formidable master, Henry VIII, settles to short-lived happiness with his third queen, Jane Seymour.

Cromwell, a man with only his wits to rely on, has no great family to back him, no private army. Despite rebellion at home, traitors plotting abroad and the threat of invasion testing Henry’s regime to the breaking point, Cromwell’s robust imagination sees a new country in the mirror of the future. All of England lies at his feet, ripe for innovation and religious reform. But as fortune’s wheel turns, Cromwell’s enemies are gathering in the shadows. The inevitable question remains: how long can anyone survive under Henry’s cruel and capricious gaze?

Eagerly awaited and eight years in the making, The Mirror & the Light completes Cromwell’s journey from self-made man to one of the most feared, influential figures of his time. Portrayed by Mantel with pathos and terrific energy, Cromwell is as complex as he is unforgettable: a politician and a fixer, a husband and a father, a man who both defied and defined his age."


Copyright © 2020 Svea Love. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, January 31, 2020

Friday Finds at the Bookstore: The Secret Wife of Aaron Burr by Susan Halloway Scott



Synopsis (From the Publisher):
Inspired by a woman and events forgotten by history, bestselling author Susan Holloway Scott weaves together carefully researched fact and fiction to tell the story of Mary Emmons, and the place she held in the life—and the heart—of the notorious Aaron Burr.

He was a hero of the Revolution, a brilliant politician, lawyer, and very nearly president; a skillful survivor in a raw new country filled with constantly shifting loyalties. Today Aaron Burr is remembered more for the fatal duel that killed rival Alexander Hamilton. But long before that single shot destroyed Burr’s political career, there were other dark whispers about him: that he was untrustworthy, a libertine, a man unafraid of claiming whatever he believed should be his.

Sold into slavery as a child in India, Mary Emmons was brought to an America torn by war. Toughened by the experiences of her young life, Mary is intelligent, resourceful, and strong. She quickly gains the trust of her new mistress, Theodosia Prevost, and becomes indispensable in a complicated household filled with intrigue—especially when the now-widowed Theodosia marries Colonel Aaron Burr. As Theodosia sickens with the fatal disease that will finally kill her, Mary and Burr are drawn together into a private world of power and passion, and a secret, tangled union that would have shocked the nation . . . ”

_________________________________ 



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Copyright © 2020 Svea Love. All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Book Review: Daughter of the Gods by Stephanie Thornton

Daughter of the Gods by Stephanie Thornton 
Publication date: 05/06/2014
Format: Paperback 448pp



Synopsis (From the Publisher):
"Egypt, 1400s BC. The pharaoh’s pampered second daughter, lively, intelligent Hatshepsut, delights in racing her chariot through the marketplace and testing her archery skills in the Nile’s marshlands. But the death of her elder sister, Neferubity, in a gruesome accident arising from Hatshepsut’s games forces her to confront her guilt...and sets her on a profoundly changed course. 
Hatshepsut enters a loveless marriage with her half brother, Thut, to secure his claim to the Isis Throne and produce a male heir. But it is another of Thut’s wives, the commoner Aset, who bears him a son, while Hatshepsut develops a searing attraction for his brilliant adviser Senenmut. And when Thut suddenly dies, Hatshepsut becomes de facto ruler, as regent to her two-year-old nephew. 
Once, Hatshepsut anticipated being free to live and love as she chose. Now she must put Egypt first. Ever daring, she will lead a vast army and build great temples, but always she will be torn between the demands of leadership and the desires of her heart. And even as she makes her boldest move of all, her enemies will plot her downfall.... 
Once again, Stephanie Thornton brings to life a remarkable woman from the distant past whose willingness to defy tradition changed the course of history."

My Review:


One of the most pleasurable experiences to encounter is that moment when you are swept away to another moment in history, just by opening a book. That is exactly what you will discover while reading Stephanie Tornton's novel, Daughter of the Gods.

From the very first page the reader is brought into the ancient world, with its scents of oils and dust, the clamor of chariots and whisper of footsteps, as well as the sound of breaking water as characters sail down the Nile. Every element, from characters to scenery, is exquisitely developed; it is obvious the extent of research that went into the making of this novel.

As you read the book, it is effortless to revel in Hatshepsut's glory, and feel broken upon her downfalls, while twists will bring emotions rising to the surface as well. If you are a fan of historical fiction of any kind, and especially one of the ancient world, I highly recommend this engrossing novel about such a strong yet overlooked Queen of Egypt.


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Copyright © 2018 Svea Love. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Upcoming Historical Fiction Release! The English Wife by Lauren Willig

The English Wife by Lauren Willig
Publication Date: 1/9/2018
Format: Hardcover 384pp

Synopsis (From the Publisher):
"From New York Times bestselling author, Lauren Willig, comes this scandalous novel set in the Gilded Age, full of family secrets, affairs, and murder. 
Annabelle and Bayard Van Duyvil live a charmed life in New York: he’s the scion of an old Knickerbocker family, she grew up in a Tudor house in England, they had a fairytale romance in London, they have three-year-old twins on whom they dote, and he’s recreated her family home on the banks of the Hudson and named it Illyria. Yes, there are rumors that she’s having an affair with the architect, but rumors are rumors and people will gossip. But then Bayard is found dead with a knife in his chest on the night of their Twelfth Night Ball, Annabelle goes missing, presumed drowned, and the papers go mad. Bay’s sister, Janie, forms an unlikely alliance with a reporter to try to uncover the truth, convinced that Bay would never have killed his wife, that it must be a third party, but the more she learns about her brother and his wife, the more everything she thought she knew about them starts to unravel. Who were her brother and his wife, really? And why did her brother die with the name George on his lips?"

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Copyright © 2017 Svea Love. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Upcoming Historical Fiction Release! The Lost Season of Love and Snow by Jennifer Laam

The Lost Season of Love and Snow by Jennifer Laam
Publication Date: 1/2/2018
Fortmat: paperback 352pp


Synopsis (From the Publisher):
"The unforgettable story of Alexander Pushkin’s beautiful wife, Natalya, a woman much admired at Court, and how she became reviled as the villain of St. Petersburg. 

At the age of sixteen, Natalya Goncharova is stunningly beautiful and intellectually curious. But while she finds joy in French translations and a history of Russian poetry, her family is more concerned with her marriage prospects. It is only fitting that during the Christmas of 1828 at her first public ball in her hometown of Moscow she attracts the romantic attention of Russia’s most lauded rebel poet: Alexander Pushkin.

Enchanted at first sight, Natalya is already a devoted reader of Alexander’s serialized novel in verse, Evgeny Onegin. The most recently published chapter ends in a duel, and she is dying to learn what happens next. Finding herself deeply attracted to Alexander’s intensity and joie de vivre, Natalya hopes to see him again as soon as possible. 
What follows is a courtship and later marriage full of equal parts passion and domestic bliss but also destructive jealousies. When vicious court gossip leads to Alexander dying from injuries earned defending his honor as well as Natalya’s in a duel, Natalya finds herself reviled for her alleged role in his death. With beautiful writing and understanding, Jennifer Laam, and her compelling new novel, The Lost Season of Love and Snow, help Natalya tell her side of the story—the story of her greatest love and her inner struggle to create a fulfilling life despite the dangerous intrigues of a glamorous imperial Court."

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Copyright © 2017 Svea Love. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Upcoming Historical Fiction Release! I Was Anastasia: A Novel by Ariel Lawhon

I Was Anastasia by Ariel Lawhon
Publication Date: 3/20/2018
Format: Hardcover 320pp


Synopsis (From the Publisher):
"Ariel Lawhon, a rising star in historical suspense, unravels the extraordinary twists and turns in Anna Anderson's fifty-year battle to be recognized as Anastasia Romanov. Is she the beloved daughter, revered icon, and Russian grand duchess or is she an imposter, liar, and the thief of another woman's legacy? 
Countless others have rendered their verdict. Now it is your turn.
Russia, July 17, 1918: Under direct orders from Vladimir Lenin, Bolshevik secret police force Anastasia Romanov, along with the entire imperial family, into a damp basement in Siberia, where they face a merciless firing squad. None survive. At least that is what the executioners have always claimed. 
Germany, February 17, 1920: A young woman bearing an uncanny resemblance to Anastasia Romanov is pulled shivering and senseless from a canal. Refusing to explain her presence in the freezing water or even acknowledge her rescuers, she is taken to the hospital where an examination reveals that her body is riddled with countless, horrific scars. When she finally does speak, this frightened, mysterious young woman claims to be the Russian grand duchess. 
As rumors begin to circulate through European society that the youngest Romanov daughter has survived the massacre at Ekaterinburg, old enemies and new threats are awakened. With a narrative that is equal parts The Talented Mr. Ripley and Memento, Lawhon wades into the most psychologically complex and emotionally compelling territory: the nature of identity itself.

The question of who Anna Anderson is and what actually happened to Anastasia Romanov creates a saga that spans fifty years and touches three continents. This thrilling saga is every bit as moving and momentous as it is harrowing and twisted."
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