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February 2013 Reading Round-Up

February was a pretty good month for reading. Like January it was busy, but I found the time.

All books are works of fiction.

The Books

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B N Peacock: A Tainted Dawn – Two boys join the navy during the French Revolution and spend their time wondering about their family issues. A different era and style of writing ought to have been chosen.

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Bianca Zander: The Girl Below – Suki returns to London hoping to continue where she left off, but the metaphorical skeletons in the closet begin to haunt her. Compelling and difficult to put down, but so many questions unanswered without so much as a whiff of explanation.

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Nancy Bilyeau: The Chalice – Joanna, an ex-nun, reluctantly joins the fight against the Reformation. The heroine can be a bit silly, but the way Bilyeau works fiction into the facts is incredible.

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Pam Jenoff: The Ambassador’s Daughter – Angst, spies, and finding one’s identity after the First World War. Okay, but pretty lacking.

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Sherry Thomas: His At Night – Lord Vere is undercover to realise the truth about Elissande’s uncle, whilst Elissande tricks Vere into marrying her to get away from said uncle. A better title would have been His In Abstinence.

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Sherry Thomas: Private Arrangements – Having lived apart for their entire marriage, Gigi wants a divorce from Camden so she can remarry, but Camden’s not about to let her go even if her betrayal still hurts. It may not please some romance readers for the infidelity, but overall it’s rather good.

I was all for saying the books weren’t great – lacking when together as a collection – until a late-in-the-day read of The Girl Below evened it out. I think the fact I’d read so much in January spurred me to attempt to continue my success in numbers. My favourite was Private Arrangements, which is part of my renewed efforts to read more romance and familiarise myself with the genre. Thomas’s writing is proving irresistible even if the stories aren’t amazing (the cover of His At Night needed documents and lock picks rather than semi-naked people). The Girl Below came so close to being perfect, story-wise, but unlike, say, The Particular Sadness Of Lemon Cake, where you’re given ample hints as to what happened, the magical realism in Zander’s book is never accounted for. A Tainted Dawn made me feel more reluctant about accepting self-published books (or almost self-published in this case). Thankfully the wonderful ones I’ve read should stop me from stereotyping.

Quotation Report

If the majority is to be believed, Lord Vere of His At Night can’t distinguish between a secret and a hedgehog. It will take the loss of his job for you to know the truth. And whilst Henry VIII stopped approving of monasteries and convents, he wasn’t about to let those who had joined said institutions marry, as Joanna of The Chalice finds out, on her wedding day, no less.

Onward, and perhaps upward (in number – one can always hope).

What was your favourite book this month (or week if you round-up each week)?



March 1, 2013, 12:22 pm

Ooh, The Girl Below sounds intriguing! And maybe a little vexing if there are many unanswered questions – though sometimes that works, too.


March 1, 2013, 2:12 pm

Looks like you’ve had an interesting month of reading, with quite a few ups and downs! Here’s hoping you’ll read just as much in March but that you’ll enjoy them more.


March 1, 2013, 3:51 pm

Onward and upward indeed! I have a hard time choosing a favorite book of a month, but I think White Dog Fell from the Sky is my fave from February :)

Here’s to another great month of reading!

Rebecca @ Love at First Book

March 2, 2013, 1:14 am

I think my favorite book from this month was The Twelve Tribes of Hattie because it was soooo good! Okay, that sounded corny, but you know what I mean!


March 2, 2013, 1:19 am

I almost picked up The Ambassador’s Daughter at the library yesterday, but the reviews of it haven’t been great. That made me put it back. The cover is so lovely and very enticing, though!
My favorite read in February was Someone at a Distance by Dorothy Whipple.


March 3, 2013, 2:29 pm

Jennifer (Books, Personally): Yes, it can work; in my review I’ve a bit about it dividing people – I think for some the unanswered questions will be okay, for others annoying. But it is a fantastic book.

Jessica: Yes and hopefully! I’m spending most of Sunday reading to try and keep it going.

Jennifer (Relentless Reader): Interesting – I’ve read many thoughts on that book, it seems to have split readers. You read so much, I’m not surprised you have a hard time choosing (and I’m rather envious).

Rebecca: I’ve read both negative and positive reviews of it now, but points you made have won out over the others, I’m going to have to read it. If you can’t be OTT about books in the book blogging world then something would be wrong – I know what you mean :D

Anbolyn: I think it’s one to look into if you’re interested, but reading about Jenoff’s other books I reckon they’re probably better. It has some great moments but I would be hesitant to say go and get it :/ I’ll have to remember that the Whipple was your favourite – I’m thinking I should add her to my classics club list already.




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