Three Sisters, Three Queens
by Philippa Gregory Published by Touchstone
on August 9th 2016 Genres: Fiction
, Thrillers Pages:
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Philippa Gregory, the little-known story of three Tudor women who are united in sisterhood and yet compelled to be rivals when they fulfill their destinies as queens.As sisters they share an everlasting bond; as queens they can break each other’s hearts… When Katherine of Aragon is brought to the Tudor court as a young bride, the oldest princess, Margaret, takes her measure. With one look, each knows the other for a rival, an ally, a pawn, destined—with Margaret’s younger sister Mary—to a unique sisterhood. The three sisters will become the queens of England, Scotland, and France. United by family loyalties and affections, the three queens find themselves set against each other. Katherine commands an army against Margaret and kills her husband James IV of Scotland. But Margaret’s boy becomes heir to the Tudor throne when Katherine loses her son. Mary steals the widowed Margaret’s proposed husband, but when Mary is widowed it is her secret marriage for love that is the envy of the others. As they experience betrayals, dangers, loss, and passion, the three sisters find that the only constant in their perilous lives is their special bond, more powerful than any man, even a king.
Three Sisters, Three Queens follows the stories of three women as they live and fight through life-shattering ordeals of love, loss, and the whims of powerful men. Queen Katherine, Queen Margaret, and Queen Mary shared many things in common, but their fates proved much different.
I think I’m completely burned out on Philippa Gregory’s books. They’re not as good as I remember. And this one was, admittingly, a challenge to finish. It was so long and dull. I wasn’t a fan of how Margaret was written. She was insufferable. Actually, there weren’t many characters who weren’t annoying in some way. Her first husband was the most interesting.
I know the book is supposed to show their bond as sisters and queens, but I didn’t get that impression. Katherine is put on a pedestal of sorts (in Margaret’s mind) while Margaret spends most of the book trying to prove herself and be better than Katherine solely for her own satisfaction. And Mary was mostly a nonentity, spending frivolous letters to Margaret. It felt like a waste of time.
Hate to say it…but Wikipedia has a lot more spunk. I haven’t given up on PG’s books yet, but I still can’t help but be hesitant.
Whispers in the Reading Room
I received this product for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion or the content of my review.
by Shelley Gray Published by Zondervan
on November 10th 2015 Genres: Christian
, Suspense Pages:
Lydia’s job at the library is her world—until a mysterious patron catches her eye . . . and perhaps her heart. Just months after the closure of the Chicago World’s Fair, librarian Lydia Bancroft finds herself fascinated by a mysterious dark-haired and dark-eyed patron. He has never given her his name; he actually never speaks to a single person. All she knows about him is that he loves books as much as she does. Only when he rescues her in the lobby of the Hartman Hotel does she discover that his name is Sebastian Marks. She also discovers that he lives at the top of the prestigious hotel and that most everyone in Chicago is intrigued by him. Lydia and Sebastian form a fragile friendship, but when she discovers that Mr. Marks isn’t merely a very wealthy gentleman, but also the proprietor of an infamous saloon and gambling club, she is shocked. Lydia insists on visiting the club one fateful night and suddenly is a suspect to a murder. She must determine who she can trust, who is innocent, and if Sebastian Marks—the man so many people fear—is actually everything her heart believes him to be.
Now that the Chicago World’s Fair is over, the city resumes to business as usual. Lydia Bancroft, an intelligent, although naive librarian, strays from her normal, quiet life when she forms a relationship with her mysterious patron who soon proves he is not all that he seems to be. Lydia and the infamous Sebastian Marks are quickly caught up in a horrific murder, which leads them both being labeled as suspects.
Whispers in the Reading Room is the third book in Shelley Gray’s A Chicago World’s Fair Mystery series. I believe it is the final book in the series, but I’m not a hundred percent positive on that. The first two books in the series were great, the second book being my absolute favorite; however, Whispers in the Reading Room fell a little flat for me. My first issue is the mystery aspect of the book didn’t feel all that mysterious or important to me. I didn’t anxiously wonder what had happened, the hows and the whys weren’t important to me like they were in previous books. The main characters, although I liked them at times, weren’t ones I fell in love with. And the romance between the main characters was often a bore and their good vs. shady lifestyle conflict felt unoriginal in the way it was presented. I had more interest in Bridget and Vincent, but their stories are left to the imagination. As always, I adored Shelley Gray’s writing and her uniqueness of storytelling, despite not loving this book as much as I wanted to.
Deception on Sable Hill
by Shelley Gray Amazon Published by Zondervan
on April 7th 2015 Genres: Christian
, Suspense Pages:
The World’s Fair has introduced many new ideas to Chicago society—but can two individuals from very different backgrounds find love together? It’s mid-September 1893 and Eloisa Carstairs is the reigning debutant of Gilded Age Chicago society. To outsiders she appears to have it all. But Eloisa is living with a dark secret. Several months ago, she endured a horrible assault at the hands of Douglass Sloane, heir to one of Chicago’s wealthiest families. Fearing the loss of her reputation, Eloisa confided in only one friend. That is, until she meets Detective Sean Ryan at a high-society ball. Sean is on the fringes of the Chicago elite. Born into a poor Irish family, becoming a policeman was his best chance to ensure security. Despite social boundaries, he is enamored with Eloisa Carstairs. Sean will do anything to keep her safe—even if he can never earn her affections. Eloisa longs to feel normal again, but a killer is on the loose. In the last month, three debutants have been accosted by an assailant wielding a knife, and Eloisa fears for her safety at every event she attends. As the danger in the city increases, and as the romance between Eloisa and Sean blossoms, they both realize they want to be seen as more than how the world views them. But will they catch the killer before all their hopes come crashing down?
I’ve been waiting impatiently to read Deception on Sable Hill ever since I finished Secrets of Sloane House, so I knew I was just going to absolutely love this book. I was hooked on page one and had to beg myself to stop reading when I had other things I needed to do. Now that I’m done reading Deception on Sable Hill much too soon, it’s time again to wait for the third book. Which isn’t too long because Whispers in the Reading Room comes out November 2015!
In Deception on Sable Hill, we once again meet the lovely Eloisa Carstairs. It’s only been a matter of weeks since she experienced that horrible attack at the hands of Douglass Sloane. She feels she must hide that secret and live on as if nothing happened, but inwardly Eloisa feels angry and ashamed. She can hardly sleep at night for the nightmares.
And while the Chicago World Fair continues on, there is someone dangerous lurking about, known as the society slasher, who seemingly seeks out young beautiful women with the intention of marring them with scars that will always be visible. But soon the slasher then becomes even more violent with his actions. With very little clues to go on, everyone worries who may become the next victim.
Detective Sean Ryan is on the case, but things get even more complicated when he begins to fall for society’s own diamond Eloisa Carstairs. With new attacks, he fears for her safety and perhaps even the safety of his and even her own heart.
I loved this book so much! Eloisa and Sean were so perfect, not to mention Sean’s sister Katie and Owen. I wanted more of Katie and Owen to be honest. As for the mystery of the slasher, I thought I knew who it was, and it turns out I was wrong. I didn’t see that coming at all. Good play, Shelley Gray, good play.