Category Archives: Reads

Recent Reads: Princess Elizabeth’s Spy

I have been a little off on my reading lately.  It’s been a busy few weeks and what little free time I’ve had has been absorbed in the Olympics (so pumped for the figure skating tonight!).  But I did manage to squeeze in at least one new book.

You may recall that I read Mr. Churchill’s Secretary a few weeks ago, well I finally got my hands on the sequel, Princess Elizabeth’s Spy.

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This book brought back the same heroine from the first book, Maggie Hope, but not many of the other characters.  Most of the story takes place out at Windsor castle, where Maggie is sent to help secretly protect Princess Elizabeth, rather than in London.

While I thoroughly enjoyed this book, I didn’t love it quiet as much as the first one.  I almost wish the book had been a little longer so that the plot and characters could have developed a bit more.  It just felt like everything happened quickly, when I would have enjoyed a slower build.  I thought the author did a good job of developing the character of the Princess, but I didn’t find that I cared quiet as much about any of the other new characters.

It was still a very entertaining story, I just think the first one was a bit better.  Isn’t that almost always the case? I am still excited to dig into the 3rd book though.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

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Recent Reads: The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Real Magic

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I haven’t actually disliked a book in a while.  I’ve felt indifferent about books, I’ve read books I wouldn’t really read again, but I haven’t read anything I actually thought was bad…until now.  I think part of my disappointment comes from the title, The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Real Magic.  It’s really what sold me on the book.  I saw it in the New Fiction section of Barnes and Noble and thought, “Hey, I like thinking women and I like magic, of course I’ll like this.”  Big mistake, do you think they include the title when they say don’t judge a book by its cover?

I had two major issues with this book. First, the main character, Nora, was NOT anything close to what I would consider a thinking woman.  She really didn’t appear to think much at all.  At first I thought that just meant there would be some major transformation as the story unfolded, but there wasn’t.

Every time Nora encounters the story’s villain she’s duped. Every time.  And the villain never does anything different; the exact same thing fools Nora time and time again.  There’s no learning from past experiences, no character growth. Nothing.  She’s as dumb at the end of the book as she is at the beginning, the only difference is she can sort of do magic.

The other issue I had was that there wasn’t really an ending.  It wasn’t just leaving the door open a little bit for a sequel or leaving things a bit uncertain to let you come to your own conclusions.  None of the storylines were brought to a close. None of them.  Nothing irritates me more than that.

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On top of all of that, my book was actually missing 30 pages. So random right?  I thought maybe it was a gimmick or a publishing error, but I googled it and nothing came up…soo it must just be me.  Maybe that means I can get a refund…..

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Recent Reads

As you will discover, I love to read.  I can happily spend an entire day absorbed in the worlds that are created within the pages of a good book.  Or even a mediocre book if I’m being honest.  My latest read was a recommendation from my father-in-law and man, was it good.

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Mr. Churchill’s Secretary is a mash-up of several of my favorite things: a strong and likeable female lead, murder and mystery, and historical fiction.  The book is set in London in 1940 just as World War II is crashing down around Great Britain.  The heroine, Maggie Hope, becomes a typist for the newly elected Winston Churchill after her gender disqualifies her from serving as a codebreaker for British Intelligence.  Maggie uses her quick wit and intelligence to navigate the increasing dangerous environment she now finds herself in.

The book is well written with believable characters and sneaky plot twists.  It turns out the book is actually the first in a series of four; I always love when that happens with books I enjoy.  Thankfully though, this book stands on its own, no annoying cliffhangers or cut-offs to drag you into the next book.  I’ve already started the second one and I can attest that so far it’s just as good as the first.  Hope you enjoy!

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