It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

This weekly meme is hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date.

Once again what I was reading was interrupted by what came in from the library. I'd read the first installment of Belgravia, Julian Fellowes' latest release, on line and while I enjoyed it I decided to wait for the release of the book which suited me better. So when it arrived I had to pick it up immediately. A good plot, lots of believable characters and an interesting portrayal of British society in early Victorian England made for a very entertaining read.

Island of the Swans was a long read for me due to the fact I kept setting it aside to read something else. It too was an interesting look at British society, but this time under George III, and the disenfranchised Scots nobility still dealing with the aftermath of Culloden and the failed Jacobite cause. Lots of romance, historical detail and politics in this book.

The Spirit Guide is still one of the novels I'm reading this week. It has a very powerful beginning, which I'm pleased to say sets the tone for the rest of the book. I've also started The House Between Tides and No Man's Land, another long book, is excellent.

I made a promise to myself this week that I would finish all the books I'm currently reading before starting a new one, so it may be a while before I get to The Revelations of Carey Ravine.

What I Read Last Week

Belgravia by Julian Fellowes

Belgravia is the story of a secret. A secret that unravels behind the porticoed doors of London's grandest postcode.
Set in the 1840s when the upper echelons of society began to rub shoulders with the emerging industrial nouveau riche, Belgravia is peopled by a rich cast of characters. But the story begins on the eve of the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.
At the Duchess of Richmond's new legendary ball, one family's life will change forever.

Island of the Swans by Ciji Ware

In this resplendent love story a dazzling era comes vividly to life as one woman's passionate struggle to follow her heart takes her from the opulent cotillions of Edinburgh to the London court of half-mad King George III . . . from a famed salon teeming with politicians and poets to a picturesque castle on the secluded, lush Island of the Swans. . . .
Best friends in childhood, Jane Maxwell and Thomas Fraser wreaked havoc on the cobbled streets of Edinburgh with their juvenile pranks. But years later, when Jane blossoms into a beautiful woman, her feelings for Thomas push beyond the borders of friendship, and he becomes the only man she wants. When Thomas is reportedly killed in the American colonies, the handsome, charismatic Alexander, Duke of Gordon, appeals to a devastated Jane. Believing Thomas is gone forever, Jane hesitantly responds to the Duke, whose passion ignites her blood, even as she rebels at his fierce desire to claim her.
But Thomas Fraser is not dead, and when he returns to find his beloved Jane betrothed to another, he refuses to accept the heartbreaking turn of events. Soon Jane's marriage is swept into a turbulent dance of tender wooing and clashing wills--as Alex seeks truly to make her his, and his alone. . . . 

What I'm Reading Today

The Spirit Guide by Elizabeth Davies

Seren has an unusual gift – she sees spirits, the shades of the dead.
Terrified of being accused of witchcraft, a very real possibility in twelfth century Britain, she keeps her secret close, not even confiding in her husband.

But when she gives her heart and soul to a man who guides spirits in the world beyond the living, she risks her secret and her life for their love.

No Man's Land by Simon Tolkien

From the slums of London to the riches of an Edwardian country house; from the hot, dark seams of a Yorkshire coalmine to the exposed terrors of the trenches, Adam Raine’s journey from boy to man is set against the backdrop of a society violently entering the modern world.
Adam Raine is a boy cursed by misfortune. His impoverished childhood in the slums of Islington is brought to an end by a tragedy that sends him north to Scarsdale, a hard-living coalmining town where his father finds work as a union organizer. But it isn’t long before the escalating tensions between the miners and their employer, Sir John Scarsdale, explode with terrible consequences.
In the aftermath, Adam meets Miriam, the Rector’s beautiful daughter, and moves into Scarsdale Hall, an opulent paradise compared with the life he has been used to before. But he makes an enemy of Sir John’s son, Brice, who subjects him to endless petty cruelties for daring to step above his station.
When love and an Oxford education beckon, Adam feels that his life is finally starting to come together – until the outbreak of war threatens to tear everything apart.

 The House Between Tides by Sarah Maine

A captivating story of a crumbling estate in the wilds of Scotland, its century-old secret and an enduring mystery.
Following the deaths of her last living relatives, Hetty Deveraux leaves her strained marriage behind in London and journeys to Scotland to inspect her inheritance: her ancestral home, now in ruins. As Hetty dives headfirst into the repairs, she discovers a shocking secret protected by the house for a hundred years.
With only whispered rumours circulating among the local villagers and a handful of leads to guide her, Hetty finds the power of the past is still affecting her present in startling ways.

What I Hope To Read Next

The Relevations of Carey Ravine by Debra Dailey

London the 1770s is bursting with opportunity. It's a city fuelled by new ideas and new money, where everything is for sale - including entrée into the ruling class.
Making their way in this buccaneering society are Carey Ravine, a spirited young woman of enigmatic background, and her husband, the charming, endlessly enterprising Oliver Nash. Carey and Nash share a historic connection to India and a desperate ambition to better themselves. But as Nash's plans draw them into a restless association of gamblers and secret societies, Carey begins to question what's really hidden behind the seedy glamour of their lives. Her unease grows with the appearance of a mysterious man whose appearance unearths a troubling secret from the past. Carey finds herself forced to investigate the truth behind the stranger's claims­­ - and to confront her own illusions about herself.


  1. I need to make that kind of promise to myself! I can't believe how many books I am in the middle of right now. :)

    My It's Monday! Post

    1. I hope I can keep to my promise ... but it's not looking good. :-)

  2. The House Between the Tides sounds really good!! I am adding it to my list for sure!

  3. You starting multiple books is like us knitters casting on another project ^__^. I was happy to read how you're enjoying the Julian Fellowes book.

    1. I know that knitters' feeling too :-) Belgravia was really good.