It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

This weekly meme is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey

I finished the collection of short stories Beaux, Ballrooms and Battles: A Celebration of Waterloo in between the other books I read last week, one of which was a dual time frame novel by Christina Courtenay, The Silent Touch of Shadows. This is the first of her novels I've read. Also a first is Nicola Morgan's The Highwayman's Footsteps. I don't often read YA fiction, though if I hadn't seen this book described as such I would never have known. I enjoyed this tale of two young highwaymen set in the 1760s.

This week I am reading Kit by Marina Fiorato, another author I've not read before and The Castle Inn by Stanley J. Weyman, an author I've not read since my childhood. His book was first published in 1898. And I'm making every effort to finish The Dead Secret by Wilkie Collins.

For my next read, I have The Highwayman's Curse by Nicola Morgan, the sequel to The Highwayman's Footsteps. I also have Harper Lee's latest Go Set A Watchman, but I'm still not sure if I want to read it, so it may sit in my reading pile for a while. Another book I've just added to my reading pile is Jam and Roses by Mary Gibson.

What I Read Last Week

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'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 ...

Kit by Marina Fiorato

Dublin 1702...and Irish beauty Kit Kavanagh has everything she could want in life. Newly married, she runs a successful alehouse with her beloved husband Richard. The wars that rage in Europe over the Spanish throne seem a world away. But everything changes on the night that Richard simply disappears. Finding the Queen's shilling at the bottom of Richard's tankard, Kit realizes that her husband has been taken for a soldier. Kit follows Richard's trail across the battlefields of Italy in the Duke of Marlborough's regiment. Living as a man, risking her life in battle, she forms a close bond with her wry and handsome commanding officer Captain Ross. When she is forced to flee the regiment following a duel, she evades capture by dressing once more as a woman. But the war is not over for Kit. Her beauty catches the eye of the scheming Duke of Ormonde, who recruits her to spy upon the French. In her finery she meets Captain Ross once again, who seems just as drawn to the woman as he was to the soldier. Torn between Captain Ross and her loyalty to her husband, and under the orders of the English Crown, Kit finds that her life is in more danger now than on the battlefield. Of all the dangers that she faced, the greatest was discovery...

The Castle Inn by Stanley J. Weyman

About a hundred and thirty years ago, when the third George, whom our grandfathers knew in his blind dotage, was a young and sturdy bridegroom; when old Q., whom 1810 found peering from his balcony in Piccadilly, deaf, toothless, and a skeleton, was that gay and lively spark, the Earl of March; when "bore" and "boreish" were words of "haut ton, " unknown to the vulgar, and the price of a borough was 5,000"l."; when gibbets still served for sign-posts, and railways were not and highwaymen were -- to be more exact, in the early spring of the year 1767, a traveling chariot-and-four drew up about five in the evening before the inn at Wheatley Bridge, a short stage from Oxford on the Oxford road. A gig and a couple of post-chaises, attended by the customary group of stablemen, topers, and gossips already stood before the house, but these were quickly deserted in favor of the more important equipage. The drawers in their aprons trooped out, but the landlord, foreseeing a rich harvest, was first at the door of the carriage, and opened it with a bow such as is rarely seen in these days. "Will your lordship please to alight?" he said. "No, rascal!" cried one of those within. "Shut the door!"

What I Hope to Read Next

The Highwayman's Curse by Nicola Morgan

On the run from the redcoats, the two young highwaymen, Will and Bess, find themselves in Galloway, Scotland, blamed for a murder they did not commit. Here, they are captured by smugglers and become embroiled in a story of hatred and revenge that goes back for generations, to the days of the Killing Times. Whose side will they take? Can anything they do end the cycle of religious hatred? And will their own friendship survive?

Jam and Roses by Mary Gibson

Three sisters are growing up in 1920s Bermondsey - the larder of London - with its bustling docks, its spice mill, tannery and factories. Southwells jam factory is where many of the girls work. And Milly Colman knows she's lucky. At Southwells she can have a laugh with her mates. She's quick and strong and never misses a day's work. She needs to be. Because at homes things are very different. The Colman household is ruled by the tyrannical rages of the old man - her father. Often Milly feels she is the only thing protecting her mother and younger sisters from his murderous violence. At least autumn hop-picking in Kent gives all the Colman women a heavenly respite. But it is here, on one golden September night, that Milly makes the mistake of her life and finds her courage and strength tested as never before.

Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee

An historic literary event: the publication of a newly discovered novel, the earliest known work from Harper Lee, the beloved, bestselling author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning classic, To Kill a Mockingbird. Originally written in the mid-1950s, Go Set a Watchman was the novel Harper Lee first submitted to her publishers before To Kill a Mockingbird. Assumed to have been lost, the manuscript was discovered in late 2014. Go Set a Watchman features many of the characters from To Kill a Mockingbird some twenty years later. Returning home to Maycomb to visit her father, Jean Louise Finch—Scout—struggles with issues both personal and political, involving Atticus, society, and the small Alabama town that shaped her. Exploring how the characters from To Kill a Mockingbird are adjusting to the turbulent events transforming mid-1950s America, Go Set a Watchman casts a fascinating new light on Harper Lee’s enduring classic. Moving, funny and compelling, it stands as a magnificent novel in its own right.


  1. I'm reading Kit at the moment too - I hope you're enjoying it! The Nicola Morgan books sound great. I don't read much YA fiction either but I would like to try those.

    1. I'm only up to Chapter 4 and loving it! I'm fascinated by Kit's attention to detail to hide that she's a female.