Royal Blood by Rhys Bowen

Title:  Royal Blood (Royal Spyness, #4)

Author:  Rhys Bowen

Genre:  Mystery

Published:  September 2011 – Penguin Group

About:  (Goodreads synopsis) With her hateful brother Binky in town, Lady Georgiana has been desperately seeking an escape. So when an invitation from the Queen arrives to represent the royals at a wedding in Transylvani-legendary home of vampires-Georgiana is delighted to accept. But when the bride starts acting a little batty and a prominent wedding guest is poisoned, something must be done lest the couple’s vows become “till undeath do they part…”

My take:  This was such a fun mystery. The author takes us from foggy London to snowy Transylvania via car, ship and train. Lady Georgiana (34th in line to the throne) is a charming character who finds herself representing the royal family at the wedding of distant relatives where she winds up being a suspect in a murder at the castle.

Royal Blood had the feel of an Agatha Christie mystery. There were several possible suspects and just when I thought I had it figured out another possibility would pop up – along with another dead body!

Rhys Bowen has a new fan in me. I love the settings, her entertaining characters, and the situations they find themselves in. This is the second book I’ve read by Bowen and I’m very pleased to know she has an immense backlist. Recommended to fans of Rhys Bowen and cozy British mysteries.

Source:  Jane Rotrosen Agency

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Spotlight on Love Lies Bleeding by Jess McConkey

Book blurb: Samantha Moore was the golden girl with the perfect job, the perfect life, the perfect man. Until a random act of violence left her unconscious for two months. But the Sam who awakens from a coma is far different from the woman she once was. This new Sam is bitter and in terrible pain, forced to endure a diet of medications that make her sick, forgetful, paranoid, and struggling to hold a firm grasp on reality.

When her family sends her to a quiet town to recover, Sam is furious that they’ve put her under a physical therapist’s care and taken away what little freedom she had. Enraged, she lashes out at the nice people who say they are there to help her and that her outbursts are just the byproduct of her condition. Or are they? As strange things begin to happen, it becomes clear that Sam’s fears may not all be in her head, and that the friendly inhabitants of her new town are far more secretive – and deadly – than they appear to be…

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♦  ♦  ♦

A few days before our daughter’s wedding the family gathered to celebrate our nephew’s 13th birthday.

Friends of my son-in-law’s family offered their cottage (and kayaks) to our family for the day.

Nieces and nephews, daughters, son-in-law and friends used the boat and kayaks to reach this spot and enjoyed being splashed by the Atlantic waves. It was a wonderful day – fun memories.

Coming Up For Air by Patti Callahan Henry

Title:  Coming Up For Air

Author:  Patti Callahan Henry

Genre:  Fiction

Published:  August 2011, St. Martin’s Press

About:  (from the Goodreads synopsis) Ellie Calvin is caught in a dying marriage, and she knows this. With her beloved daughter away at college and a growing gap between her and her husband – between her reality and the woman she wants to be – she doesn’t quite seem to fit into her own life.

But everything changes after her controlling mother, Lillian, passes away. Ellie’s world turns upside down when she sees her ex-boyfriend, Hutch, at her mother’s funeral and learns that he is in charge of a documentary that involved Lillian before her death. He wants answers to questions that Ellie’s not sure she can face, until, in the painful midst of going through her mother’s things, she discovers a hidden diary – and a window onto stories buried long ago.

My take:  I enjoyed Ellie’s journey of discovery about her mother and herself. While searching for answers about her mother Ellie faces facts about her own life and what it could be.

The setting is lush and, for the most part, the characters are endearing. Characters and plot aside, I think my favorite part of the novel was learning about a jubilee – that time when conditions are right and sea life come up for air. It served as a metaphor for Ellie’s life and her journey.

This is a book I think many women, especially women who’ve married and raised a family, will understand. I’m not saying it’s every woman’s story but there are emotions and aspects that I believe many of us can relate to. I’ve found that to be true  with most of Patti Callahan Henry’s novels and that’s why I’m a fan.

Source:  Wunderkind PR