It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

This weekly meme is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.

Last week I finished The Castle Inn  by Stanley J. Weyman, first published in 1899. This is the second novel I've read by this classic author of historical romances. The Castle Inn is a swashbuckling 18th century adventure story, with duels, abductions, pursuits, missing heirs and lovers at cross purposes.

This week I'm still reading Kit by Marina Fiorato and The Tide Watchers  by Lisa Chaplin. Both are equally exciting. My classic pick for the week is Beau Brocade  by  Baroness Emmuska Orczy, who is famous for The Scarlet Pimpernel series of novels. I've also picked up a book of short stories by Elizabeth Gaskell entitled Curious, If True. This book is described as  a collection of  "five dark Victorian tales of suspense, horror, mood and mystery." Just right for bedtime reading.

Lady of the Butterflies  by Fiona Mountain is what I would like to read next. Whether this happens depends on what I bring home from the library tomorrow.

What I Read Last Week

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'm Reading Today

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 Tide Watchers by Lisa Chaplin

In the winter of 1803, one woman stands between Napoleon and the fall of Great Britain. The free-spirited daughter of an English baronet, Lisbeth defies convention by eloping to France. When her husband abandons her, she must find a way to survive and be reunited with her young son, who is in the care of her mother-in-law. A seasoned spy known as Tidewatcher, Duncan apprenticed under Lisbeth's father and pledged to keep his mentor's pretty daughter safe—a promise complicated by the wily Napoleon Bonaparte. The British believe he is planning an attack, and Duncan is sent to search for signs of invasion on the French coast—where he draws dangerously close to adventurous and unpredictable Lisbeth. A sensational new invention may shift the tide of a French victory. A brilliant and eccentric American inventor named Robert Fulton has devised a deadly weapon that can decimate an enemy's fleet. To protect English ships, Tidewatcher must gain control of Fulton's invention and cross enemy lines . . . but he cannot do it alone. Left with no other options, he enlists Lisbeth's help in outwitting the American inventor and uncovering Bonaparte's secret plans. Going undercover for the handsome and duty-bound spy, Lisbeth risks her freedom and her life as she navigates double agents and submarine warfare to outwit the greatest military tactician in history. The only question is . . . who can she trust?

Beau Brocade by Baroness Emmuska Orczy

Philip Gascoyne, Earl of Stretton, is falsly accused of being a rebel and siding with Bonnie Prince Charlie. He is condemned to death under a bill of attainder. However, letters in his possession will prove that he is innocent, but he needs his sister, Patricia, to take them to London and present them to the King.

Curious, If True by Elizabeth Gaskell

A collection of Victorian tales of suspense, horror, mood and mystery by Elizabeth Gaskell, published variously between 1852 and 1861. Includes "The Old Nurse's Story," "The Poor Clare," "Lois The Witch," "The Grey Woman," and "Curious, If True."

What I Hope to Read Next

Lady of the Butterflies by Fiona Mountain

Born into a world seething with treachery and suspicion, Eleanor Goodricke grows up on the Somerset Levels just after the English Civil Wars, heiress to her late mother's estates and daughter of a Puritan soldier who fears for his brilliant daughter with her dangerous passion for natural history - and for butterflies in particular. Her reckless courage will take her to places where no woman of her day ever dared to go. Her fearless ambition will give her a place in history for all time. But it is her passionate heart which will lead her into a consuming love - and mortal peril.

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