It's Monday! What Are you Reading?

This weekly meme is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey

Last week I received a copy of The Governor's House by J.H. Fletcher, which I was very excited to have won through a First Reads giveaway from Goodreads. I set aside what I was currently reading to  read this one immediately and hope to have my review written in a day or two.

I went back to TimeStorm by Steve Harrison, which proved to be a very unusual and gripping read.This was followed by The Belton Estate by Anthony Trollope, a book I intended to read for the Reading England Challenge. As my interest in The Dead Secret was waning, I hoped this classic would be the better read. It was and a quick one too.

This week I'm reading The Silence of Shadows by Christina Courtenay, a dual time frame narrative, and have started The Highwayman's Footsteps, a Young Adult novel by Nicola Morgan, inspired by Alfred Noyes' poem about an 18th century highwayman.

In between the novels, I've been dipping into Beaux, Ballrooms, and Battles: A Celebration of Waterloo. This is a collection of nine sweet romance stories, written by various authors, set at the time of the Battle of Waterloo. I've enjoyed the ones I've read so far.

As always, I'm not sure what I'll read next. I've added a 19th century seafaring tale and a post World War II story to my reading pile. Rough Passage to London by Robin Lloyd is the story of Captain Elisha Morgan, a direct ancestor of the author. The Throwaway Children by Diney Costeloe is the story of two English sisters, not orphans, who are sent to an Australian orphanage.

What I Read Last Week

TimeStorm by Steve Harrison (E-book)

In 1795 a convict ship leaves England for New South Wales in Australia. Nearing its destination, the vessel miraculously survives a savage storm and limps into Sydney Harbour, where the convicts rebel and escape.

But the year is now 2017...

The Governor's House by J.H.Fletcher

Born in poverty, transported for theft, and in love with a charismatic but dangerous man – for Cat Haggard the Tasmanian Governor’s House is not merely a beautiful building but a symbol of all she hopes to obtain in life. From convict, bushranger and accused pirate, Cat transforms herself into an entrepreneur and pillar of colonial Tasmanian society. But how is she connected to a missing ship? And could she be involved in the disappearance of a priceless treasure that, one hundred and three years after her death, will be claimed not only by a foreign government but by unscrupulous men determined to use it for their own ends?
Joanne, dean of history at the university and Cat’s descendant, is assigned the task of locating the missing artefact. Joanne believes the key may lie in a coded notebook she has inherited along with Cat’s other mysteries. But will she be able to decipher the message and put a century-old secret to rest? And will she survive to join her true love in the Governor’s House – a house that has come to mean as much to her as it did to her long-dead ancestor?

The Belton Estate by Anthony Trollope

THE BELTON ESTATE (1865) by Anthony Trollope is a fine example of the author's favorite subjects: social and family relationships, inheritance, a young woman faced with the delicate choice of worthy husbands, and a sophisticated portrayal of British Victorian life. Clara Amedroz, the lady in question, must find her place, after deaths in the family leave her vulnerable and without a fortune. Her home, the Belton Estate, has been entailed. And before happiness can be had, Clara must be sensible, patient, and above all tactful in the face of difficulty, not to mention an unspeakable mother-in-law.

What I'm Reading Today

The Dead Secret by Wilkie Collins

... Like much of Collins's work, "The Dead Secret" explores the consequences of a single, hidden act. The Cornish mansion Porthgenna harbors the secret of such an act, one that has ruined the life of the servant girl Sarah Leeson. This same secret lies hidden for fifteen years until the heiress to Porthgenna, Rosamund Treverton, returns and exposes it. Her detective work may reveal the truth, but her revelation of a long-forgotten crime could mean disaster for her and the entire estate ...

Beaux, Ballrooms, and Battles: A Celebration of Waterloo by Jillian Chantal et al (E-book)

For Readers who enjoy a bit of history with their Romance…
A historic confrontation
Beaux, Ballrooms, and Battles is a celebration of the bicentenary of the showdown between Wellington’s “Infamous Army” and Napoleon’s Grande Armée. Wellington’s Allied Army consisted of a hastily organized mélange of inexperienced men from several countries who didn’t even speak the same language.
A backdrop of war
While life in Regency England continued much as it had been, the war with Napoleon was a constant source of preoccupation as young men who eagerly set off to become heroes in battle sometimes returned with life-changing injuries or worse, didn’t return at all.
Nine stories of love tested by the trials of war
A collection of sweet Regency stories of courage, hope, and the miracle of love surviving in uncertain times, brought to you by nine distinguished historical romance authors.

The Silent Touch of Shadows by Christina Courtenay

Professional genealogist Melissa Grantham receives an invitation to visit her family’s ancestral home, Ashleigh Manor. From the moment she arrives, life-like dreams and visions haunt her. The spiritual connection to a medieval young woman and her forbidden lover have her questioning her sanity, but Melissa is determined to solve the mystery.
Jake Precy, owner of a nearby cottage, has disturbing dreams too, but it’s not until he meets Melissa that they begin to make sense. He hires her to research his family’s history, unaware their lives are already entwined. Is the mutual attraction real or the result of ghostly interference?
A haunting love story set partly in the present and partly in fifteenth century Kent.

The Highwayman's Footsteps by Nicola Morgan

Young William de Lacey is high born, the son of a gentleman. But he's on the run, having stolen money and a horse, and has taken up with a highwayman. It's enough to hang him three times over. Despite struggling with his conscience, Will feels free for the first time in his life - and it's all down to the mysterious Bess. Now can they survive the risks of the eighteenth-century highwayman's harsh life?

What I Hope to Read Next

Rough Passage to London

Lyme, Connecticut, early nineteenth century. Elisha Ely Morgan is a young farm boy who has witnessed firsthand the terror of the War of 1812. Troubled by a tumultuous home life ruled by the fists of their tempestuous father, Ely's two older brothers have both left their pastoral boyhoods to seek manhood through sailing. One afternoon, the Morgan family receives a letter with the news that one brother is lost at sea; the other is believed to be dead. Scrimping as much savings as a farm boy can muster, Ely spends nearly every penny he has to become a sailor on a square-rigged ship, on a route from New York to London a route he hopes will lead to his vanished brother, Abraham. Learning the brutal trade of a sailor, Ely takes quickly to sea-life, but his focus lies with finding Abraham. Following a series of cryptic clues regarding his brother's fate, Ely becomes entrenched in a mystery deeper than he can imagine. As he feels himself drawing closer to an answer, Ely climbs the ranks to become a captain, experiences romance, faces a mutiny, meets Queen Victoria, and befriends historical legends such as Charles Dickens in his raucous quest.

The Throwaway Children by Diney Costeloe

Gritty, heartrending and unputdownable - the story of two sisters sent first to an English, then an Australian orphanage in the aftermath of World War 2. Rita and Rosie Stevens are only nine and five years old when their widowed mother marries a violent bully called Jimmy Randall and has a baby boy by him. Under pressure from her new husband, she is persuaded to send the girls to an orphanage - not knowing that the papers she has signed will entitle them to do what they like with the children. And it is not long before the powers that be decide to send a consignment of orphans to their sister institution in Australia. Among them - without their family's consent or knowledge - are Rita and Rosie, the throwaway children.

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