September Bookviews // Queens, Brides and New Releases, Please!

2020 is The Lost Year. July didn’t even register in my mind until it was August, so I missed that Bookviews post. I bet any money (below five bucks) that we’re going to see an uptick in doomsday books come out within the next couple of years. Regardless, let’s take a look at my Bookviews for my birthday month. The month of September. Bookviews for August 2020! (Here’s the Bookview post for June).

I’ll pull six titles from this site’s On My Bookshelf page: three from What I’ve Read, two from Upcoming Reads, and one from that dreaded DNF (Did Not Finish) pile. From What I’ve Read, you can expect my final thoughts on plot, character development, and a star rating. From Upcoming Reads, my expectations or hopes for the book. And perhaps even a prediction or two. Finally, from the DNFs, what made me close the cover for good and if I’ll ever attempt to read it again.

The First Section: What I’ve Read

ALMOST A BRIDE by Jody Hedlund

Genre: Historical Romance
Series: The Bride Ships Series, Book No. 4
Pub. Year: 2020

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I fell in love with The Bride Ships Series first with A RELUCTANT BRIDE, book one. Not many series can grab and hold me throughout the journey. While I thoroughly enjoyed this now completed series, there are a few things I wish were different about ALMOST A BRIDE.

As my Bookviews are meant to be “speed reviews,” I’ll say only this: While Kate’s initially introduced in Book One, as all the ladies sailing for Vancouver are, I do wish she was developed a bit more in her own story, and was a bit “flighty” for a main character. It felt more like Zeke’s story than Kate’s. These reasons are why I give ALMOST A BRIDE four out of five stars.

Jody’s Genres:
-Historical Fiction
-Historical Romance

Jody Hedlund
Author of royalty, knights and cowboys.


Genre: Historical Romance
Series: none
Pub. Year: 2020

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

In AN UNCOMMON WOMAN, Frantz doesn’t shy away from tackling social issues present in the 1770s. It seems I agree with several other reviews online, that the pacing is a bit slow and action rushed. However, the world building cannot be denied. Frantz absolutely knows the land and her chosen era. Because the action in the opening scene set such a high expectation that wasn’t followed through (for me) until later on, I give AN UNCOMMON WOMAN 3.5 stars.

Laura’s Genres:
-Christian Fiction
-Historical Romance

Laura Frantz
Author of brides, hearts and history.

by T. Percy Lewis and A.G. Bromley

Genre: Cookbook
Series: none
Pub. Year: 1991

Rating: 5 out of 5.

With a forward by cookbook connoisseur Nicholas Lodge, THE VICTORIAN BOOK OF CAKES was purchased with one sole purpose in mind: historical research. I always enjoyed history class as a student, but they rarely dove into this kind of detail. As a kid, I craved further studies on things such as these.

Part of the Amazon description states: a classic Victorian book reissued for the modern reader. While many of the recipes are perhaps a bit too technical for an amateur baker such as myself, its pages are threaded with additional tidbits of information on pastry-making machinery and traditionally used techniques. Because of the aforementioned, THE VICTORIAN BOOK OF CAKES has earned itself a five out of five star rating.

Unfortunately, I was unable to dig up any biographies on Lewis or Bromley.

T. Percy Lewis

A.G. Bromley

The Second Section: My Upcoming Reads

I’ll not include any stars for these entries as I’ve yet to read them. Instead, I’ll include its brief synopsis, why I picked it up, and what I hope will come from the story.

SEA OF STARLIGHT by Shari L. Tapscott

Genre: Fantasy
Series: The Riven Kingdoms, Book Two
Pub. Year: 2020

I’m so happy this book’s finally out! It’s about time too, because I’ve wanted to include SEA OF STARLIGHT in a Bookviews post since I read its predecessor, FOREST OF FIRELIGHT. I don’t preorder books often. When I do, it’s usually because it’s book two or three of a series I fell immediately in love with. I can count those series on one hand. I’m picky about my books, okay?

As such, I really hope Book 2 continues on in the same manner as its predecessor. With two more novels to go (both not yet released), no one yet knows. Unless they’re already written and betas have their hands on them.

Shari’s Genres:

Shari L. Tapscott
Author of kingdoms, magic and relationships.

THE TAMING OF THE QUEEN by Philippa Gregory

Genre: Historical fiction
Series: none
Pub. Year: 2015

I’ve come across Gregory’s historicals before but didn’t buy one until this year. My recent interest in London’s ancient royalty rekindled my need to read THE TAMING OF THE QUEEN. This novel is the eleventh of fifteen in her The Plantagenet and Tudor novels (meanwhile I can barely finish writing one!).

While she does have more modern set novels, I do believe she prefers the earlier centuries. If I enjoy THE TAMING OF THE QUEEN, I foresee closing out 2020 with all the rest of her stories.

Philippa’s Genres:

Philippa Gregory
Author of history, princesses, and Tudors.

I’ve fallen down the historical fiction rabbit hole again and I can’t get out. No, not can’t.
I won’t get out. My reading habits expanded in 2020 to include other eras other than Victorian.

The Third Section: What I Did Not Finish

There were none I couldn’t finish this time around, and that’s a good thing!
There were, however, some I couldn’t start due to exhaustion from work.
But that’s a blog post for another day.

Here are some books recently purchased,
or downloaded via Kindle Unlimited:

THE KING’S CURSE by Philippa Gregory
A HEART IN THE BALANCE by LG Rollins (Unlimited)
THE SUBSTITUTE BRIDE by Dorothy Mack (Unlimited)

Well? What do you guys think? I hope you had fun reading through these titles and my thoughts on them. Let me know what you think in the comments below.


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