Book Reviews

The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks

The Notebook
By: Nicholas Sparks

Book Cover

Published: (Originally) October 1996
Published by: Warner Vision
Format Read: Trade Paperback
Genre: Historical Fiction, Dual Timeline, Romance

Rating: 2.5/5

Synopsis

A man with a faded, well-worn notebook open in his lap. A woman experiencing a morning ritual she doesn’t understand. Until he begins to read to her. The Notebook is an achingly tender story about the enduring power of love, a story of miracles that will stay with you forever. Set amid the austere beauty of coastal North Carolina in 1946, The Notebook begins with the story of Noah Calhoun, a rural Southerner returned home from World War II. Noah, thirty-one, is restoring a plantation home to its former glory, and he is haunted by images of the beautiful girl he met fourteen years earlier, a girl he loved like no other. Unable to find her, yet unwilling to forget the summer they spent together, Noah is content to live with only memories. . . until she unexpectedly returns to his town to see him once again. Allie Nelson, twenty-nine, is now engaged to another man, but realizes that the original passion she felt for Noah has not dimmed with the passage of time. Still, the obstacles that once ended their previous relationship remain, and the gulf between their worlds is too vast to ignore. With her impending marriage only weeks away, Allie is forced to confront her hopes and dreams for the future, a future that only she can shape. Like a puzzle within a puzzle, the story of Noah and Allie is just beginning. As it unfolds, their tale miraculously becomes something different, with much higher stakes. The result is a deeply moving portrait of love itself, the tender moments, and fundamental changes that affect us all. Shining with a beauty that is rarely found in current literature, The Notebook establishes Nicholas Sparks as a classic storyteller with a unique insight into the only emotion that really matters.

Source: Goodreads

My Thoughts

Allie and Noah’s love story began over a whirlwind summer romance as teenagers, only to be heartbreakingly separated. Years later, Allie is engaged to be married, but can’t seem to forget the boy from her youth.

As a fan of Nicholas Sparks, it saddens me to give one of his books such a low rating. Especially one that I had such high hopes for. Unfortunately I couldn’t seem to connect with the characters or the story, like I have in previous books I’ve read by him.

I saw the movie back when it was in theaters and although the details are fuzzy, I remember having a very emotional reaction to it. It was disappointing not to feel that way when reading the book.

The reason behind my disconnect lies in the affair storyline. As an adult with more life experience, this didn’t sit well with me. Where as watching the movie as a teen, I was naively caught up in the emotion of the story.

Despite my personal grievances, The Notebook is a beautifully romantic story. It might not have been the right book for me, however I do feel that there is an audience for it.

Book Reviews · Charlie's Corner · Recommendations

Charlie’s Corner: Book Review: Ice Magic

Welcome to Charlie’s Corner, named after my little boy. Here I will share children’s product and book reviews.

Today’s post is a book review, however it is not a book that I read to my son. It’s one that I came across in a huge bag of old middle grade books. One that I would have loved to have read as a little girl. And what better time for a book about figuring skating than in the month that the world is competing at the Winter Olympics in Beijing, China!

Ice Magic
(Silver Blades, 16)
By: Melissa Lowell

Book Cover

Published: April 1996
Published by: Skylark
Format Read: Paperback
Genre: Middle Grade, Series

Rating: 3/5

Synopsis

Dreaming of becoming a famous skater, Martina Nemo is delighted when she lands a skating role in a television movie but is devastated when she discovers that someone is out to sabotage her performance.

Source: Goodreads

My Thoughts

Ice Magic is the 16th installment of the Silver Blades series, about a group of young figure skaters. In this book readers follow Martina, who is cast as the skating double for a made-for-tv movie about a famous ice skater.

I came across this book when I purchased a big bag of middle grade books. It was the first time I had heard of this series, which is a shame because I know I would have loved it, if I read it as a pre-teen.

Thankfully reading it now as an adult was still enjoyable. Melissa Lowell presents an accurate depiction of the dedication and talent required for a young skater to become successful athletes in this sport. Ice Magic was also a fun behind the scene look at the entertainment business.

Released in 1996, this book does make reference to some points that would be considered outdated by todays standards i.e; fashions and technology. However it is diverse in that it features a Latina main character, with a sister who has Down Syndrome. Readers today will be able to relate to the themes of friendships, jealousy and big dreams.

Ice Magic is still relevant for current day readers and I would recommend it to fans of middle grade fiction centered around competitive sports. Hopefully I will come across more books in the Silver Blades series, as I would be interested in reading on.

Book Reviews · Recommendations

Quick Thoughts on Continuing Series

Royal Wedding
(The Princess Diaries 11)
By: Meg Cabot

Book Cover

Published: June 2015
Published by: William Morrow
Format Read: Trade Paperback
Genre: Contemporary fiction, Series, Romance

Rating: 3/5

My Quick Thoughts

In the long awaited 11th installment in Meg Cabot’s The Princess Diaries series, we follow Mia, Princess of Genovia, as she becomes engaged to her longtime love. A better title for this book would have been Royal Engagement, because it really tells of how Mia became engaged, the aftermath and planning of her wedding. Still, I really enjoyed being back in this world and being reunited with all of the familiar characters again, after so long. I recommend this book to those who have read the previous books in the series.

Sweet Little Lies
(L.A. Candy 2)
By: Lauren Conrad
Narrated by: Jenna Lamia

Book Cover

Published: January 2021
Published by: HarperCollins
Format Read: Audiobook, Libby App.
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Series

Rating: 3/5

My Quick Thoughts

Sweet Little Lies is the second book in Lauren Conrad’s L.A. Candy series, following a group of young women staring in their own reality television show, which mirrors the authors own experiences. I enjoyed this book more than I did the first book. It was a fun contemporary story that brought me back to the time when I couldn’t miss an episode of Laguna Beach or The Hills. Jenna Lamia’s narration of the privileged young celebrities was spot on. I look forward to reading book three.

Book Reviews · Recommendations

The Lake House by Kate Morton

The Lake House
By: Kate Morton

Book Cover

Published: October 2015
Published by: Atria Books
Format Read: Hardcover
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Dual-timeline

Rating: 4/5

Synopsis

Living on her family’s idyllic lakeside estate in Cornwall, England, Alice Edevane is a bright, inquisitive, innocent, and precociously talented sixteen-year-old who loves to write stories. But the mysteries she pens are no match for the one her family is about to endure…

One midsummer’s eve, after a beautiful party drawing hundreds of guests to the estate has ended, the Edevanes discover that their youngest child, eleven-month-old Theo, has vanished without a trace. What follows is a tragedy that tears the family apart in ways they never imagined.

Decades later, Alice is living in London, having enjoyed a long successful career as an author. Theo’s case has never been solved, though Alice still harbors a suspicion as to the culprit. Miles away, Sadie Sparrow, a young detective in the London police force, is staying at her grandfather’s house in Cornwall. While out walking one day, she stumbles upon the old estate—now crumbling and covered with vines, clearly abandoned long ago. Her curiosity is sparked, setting off a series of events that will bring her and Alice together and reveal shocking truths about a past long gone…yet more present than ever.

Source: Goodreads

My Thoughts

Loanneth; a secluded Cornwall estate was home to the Edevane family and the secrets that would remain hidden for over 70 years. Disgraced investigator Sadie Sparrow, stumbles upon the long abandoned estate and becomes fascinated with what became of the family and the mystery behind what happened to their youngest son Theo.

Kate Morton became one of my auto-buy authors, after loving her novels The Forgotten Garden and The Secret Keeper. Although I didn’t connect with The Distant Hours, I had very high expectations for The Lake House.

This novel captured my attention immediately and I instantly felt familiar with Kate Morton’s style of writing, although it has been some time since I last read a book by her. One theme I noted throughout this and the previous books I’ve read, is the environmental settings Morton features. Whether it be a Victorian garden or a lake front estate, the fragrant descriptions are always so vivid.

While I really enjoyed this reading experience, I thought that the assumptions the present day characters made, in regards to what really happened decades earlier were far reaching given the evidence they uncovered. As a reader I enjoyed having the historical perspective, but it felt as if those in the current day would have had to be privy to more facts in order to reach the conclusions they did.

Other reviewers have mentioned that this authors novels tend to follow a formula, which may be predictable to some readers. While I do see their point and I was able to correctly figure out the mystery, it is still worth reading.

Book Reviews · Recommendations

From Cradle to Stage by Virginia Hanlon Grohl

From Cradle to Stage:
Stories from Mothers who Raised Rock Stars
By: Virginia Hanlon Grohl

Book Cover

Published: April 2017
Published by: Hachette
Format Read: Audio book, Audible
Genre: Nonfiction, Biography, Memoir

Rating: 4/5

Synopsis

Written by Virginia Grohl, the mother of Dave Grohl—former Nirvana drummer and current frontman for the Foo Fighters—From Cradle to Stage shares stories and exclusive photos featuring mothers of rock icons, the icons themselves, and their Behind the Music-style relationships

While the Grohl family had always been musical-the family sang together on long car trips, harmonizing to Motown and David Bowie-Virginia never expected her son to become a musician, let alone a rock star. But when she saw him perform in front of thousands of screaming fans for the first time, she knew that rock stardom was meant to be for her son. And as Virginia watched her son’s star rise, she often wondered about the other mothers who raised sons and daughters who became rock stars. Were they as surprised as she was about their children’s fame? Did they worry about their children’s livelihood and wellbeing in an industry fraught with drugs and other dangers? Did they encourage their children’s passions despite the odds against success, or attempt to dissuade them from their grandiose dreams? Do they remind their kids to pack a warm coat when they go on tour?

Virginia decided to seek out other rock star mothers to ask these questions, and so began a two-year odyssey in which she interviewed such women as Verna Griffin, Dr. Dre’s mother; Marianne Stipe, Michael Stipe of REM’s mother; Janis Winehouse, Amy Winehouse’s mother; Patsy Noah, Adam Levine’s mother; Donna Haim, mother of the Haim sisters; Hester Diamond, Mike D of The Beastie Boys’ mother.

With exclusive family photographs and a foreword by Dave Grohl, From Cradle to Stage will appeal to mothers and rock fans everywhere.

My Thoughts

While you may not know who Virginia Hanlon Grohl is by name, you will most likely know her son Dave Grohl, as one of the most influential musicians of the past 30 years. In her book From Cradle to Stage, she takes readers along as she learns about the familial and maternal influences behind some of the most successful musicians. Along with these stories are vignettes about her son, the early years of Nirvana and the Foo Fighters.

I admit that I decided to listen to this audio book specifically to learn more about the lead singer of one of my favourite rock bands; Foo Fighters. I was pleasantly surprised to have enjoyed all the chapters, ranging from those I was familiar with to the ones I had never heard of before.

Chapters I especially found intriguing were that of; Bev Lambert (mom of Miranda Lambert) and Mary Weinrib (mother of Geddy Lee).

Aside from learning about how these musicians got their start, readers and listeners will see the importance of a strong support system behind big dreams. As a mother this only makes me even more eager to help and support my own child to cultivate his strengths and talents.

Virginia Hanlon Grohl also stresses the importance of funding arts programs in schools and how the lack of this education can negatively impact the success of some children.

I highly recommend From Cradle to Stage to music lovers and mothers alike.

Book Reviews

Trouble and Strife by Johanne Levesque

Trouble and Strife
By: Johanne Levesque

Book Cover

Published: March 2018
Published by: Austin Macauley Publishers
Format Read: Trade Paperback
Genre: Historical Fiction

Rating: 2.5/5

Synopsis

Sometimes the smallest voices make the deepest impact.

Josephine Hadley, a 1930s Canadian housewife, fills her days looking after her children, her indifferent husband and a stream of Depression-era visitors. Her contribution to her guests is a bowl of stew and an open heart.

Her small world, however, is soon shattered by a tragic event which forces her to become the breadwinner. Can she run a business without sacrificing herself? And is it possible to act on a long-buried desire without remorse?

Johanne Levesque’s first novel, Trouble and Strife, is a poignant and heartbreaking look at a woman’s life in a fast-changing time. With intimate details and a deft poetic touch, Levesque has captured the spirit of an age where war and economic hardship altered the workplace, home and women’s lives forever.

My Thoughts

Debut author Johanne Levesque, shares a tale of a Toronto housewife raising her family during the Great Depression.

I had the opportunity of meeting the author at a community event in my hometown, several years ago. Being a historical fiction fan and eager to help support a local talent, I scooped up a copy of Trouble and Strife.

Told in the style of diary entries, this book offers a day-in-the-life glimpse of a women who wasn’t accustomed to hardships in her married life and who, even in the depths of the Great Depression, still had more than most. Josephine was a privalaged woman, whose redeeming quality was her charitable work, assisting those hardest hit by the state of the world.

While I was grateful for the opportunity to read and review Trouble and Strife, I did not connect with the characters at all. There were times when I questioned the historical accuracy, found contradictions and inconsistencies in the storyline. Unfortunately in the end I rated this novel only 2 stars and wouldn’t recommend it to other readers.

Articles · Challenges · Wrap-ups

52 Book Club Challenge Wrap-up 2021

Although I didn’t post my progress here on my blog, I did participate in the 52 Book Club Challenge during 2021. For those of you who have not heard of this challenge or the club, the goal is to read books to match with the prompts given. What I love about this challenge is that it made me pick up books that I might not have otherwise read. Finding books to fit each prompt is easy because of the reading guide on the clubs website and the feedback from the other readers who are participating.

Here are the prompts from 2021:

The 52 Book Club's 2021 Reading Challenge - 52 Books in 52 Weeks

So how did I do?

Well I read over 52 books this past year, however I didn’t manage to fill all of the prompts. However I did complete more than I did when I participated the previous year. The following are the prompts I completed along with the books I read for each:

  1. Set in a school:
    The Cheerleaders by Kara Thomas
  2. Featuring the legal profession:
    He Sees You When You’re Sleeping by Mary Higgins Clark and Carol Higgins Clark
  3. A dual timeline:
    The Perfect Couple by Elin Hilderbrand
  4. An author that is deceased:
    Remembrance by Alistair MacLeod
  5. Published by Penguin
    After You by Jojo Moyes
  6. A character with the same name as a male family member:
    Abduction! by Peg Kehret
  7. An author with only one published book:
    For the Love of Friends by Sara Goodman Confino
  8. A book in the 900s of the Dewey Decimal System:
  9. Set in a Mediterranean country:
  10. Related to the word fire:
    Explosive Eighteen (Stephanie Plum, 18) by Janet Evanovich
  11. A book with discussion questions inside:
    Anna’s Crossing (Amish Beginnings, 1) by Suzanne Woods Fisher
  12. Title starting with the letter “d”:
    Double Dare O’Toole by Constance C. Greene
  13. Includes an exotic animal:
    The Devoted (The Bishop’s Family, 3) by Suzanne Woods Fisher [an exotic bird]
  14. Written by an author over 65:
    American Duchess by Karen Harper
  15. A Book mentioned in another book:
    Muddy Bottom (Palmetto Island, 1) by Ashley Farley
  16. Set before the 17th century:
    Catla and the Vikings by Mary Elizabeth Nelson
  17. A character “on the run”:
    The Lieutenants Nurse by Sara Ackerman
  18. An author with a 9-letter last name:
    Lumberjanes (Vol. 1: Beware the Kitten Holy) by Noelle Stevenson et. al.
  19. Book with a deckled edge:
    The First Phone Call from Heaven by Mitch Albom
  20. Made into a tv series:
    Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah
  21. Book by Kristin Hannah:
    Fly Away (Firefly Lane, 2) by Kristin Hannah
  22. A family saga:
    The Lake House by Kate Morton
  23. An ending that surprises you:
    The Wives by Tarryn Fisher
  24. a book you think they should read in schools:
    Flight From the Fortress by Lyn Cook
  25. A book with multiple character POV:
    The Final Revival of Opal and Nev by Dawnie Walton
  26. An author of colour:
    The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
  27. First chapter ends on an odd page number:
    Ice Magic (Silver Blades, 16) by Melissa Lowell
  28. Includes a historical event you know little about:
    We Came Here to Shine by Susie Orman Schnall
  29. Featuring the environment:
    Lake of Dreams by Kim Edwards
  30. Watch out for dragons:
    A Royal Pain (Her Royal Spyness Mystery, 2) by Rhys Bowen [a character is referred to as the “old dragon’]
  31. Shares a similar title to another book:
    Verity by Colleen Hoover
  32. A selfish character:
    Tinaca Jones by Matt Boren
  33. Featuring adoption:
    Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo
  34. A book you’d rate 5 stars:
    Good Luck With That by Kristan Higgins
  35. Set in a country that starts with the letter “s”:
    The Bookshop on the Shore (Scottish Bookshop 2) by Jenny Colgan
  36. A nameless narrator:
  37. An educational read:
    100 Ways to Motivate Yourself by Steve Chandler
  38. Recommended on Book Bub”
    Stranded (Alaskan Courage, 3) by Dani Pettrey
  39. An alternate history novel:
  40. Found via #bookstagram:
  41. An endorsement by a famous author on the cover:
    Inheriting Edith by Zoe Fishman
  42. An epistolary:
    Dear Haiti, Love Alaine by Maika Moulite and Martiza Moulite
  43. A character with a pet cat:
    Royal Wedding (The Princess Diaries, 11) by Meg Cabot
  44. Includes a garden:
    The Mystery at Lilac Inn (Nancy Drew, 4) by Carolyn Keene
  45. A coming of age novel:
    The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks
  46. Winner of the National Book Award (any year):
  47. A character with a disability:
    Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  48. A cover with a woman who is facing away:
    Buried Deep by Margo Hunt
  49. A flavour in the title:
    Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
  50. A shoe on the cover:
    64th Man by Bryan Tucker & Zack Phillips
  51. Published in 2021:
    The Holiday Swap by Maggie Knox
  52. Re-do one of the previous 51 categories from this 2021 challenge:
    The New Elizabeth (Sweet Valley High, 63) by Francine Pascal [TV Series]

I’m looking forward to participating in this challenge again this year.

Book Reviews · Recommendations

The Winter Sister by Megan Collins

The Winter Sister
By: Megan Collins
Narrated by: Rebekkah Ross

Book Cover

Published: February 2019
Published by: Simon & Schuster Audio
Format Read: Audiobook, Audible
Genre: Mystery

Rating: 3.5/5

Note: I was sent a copy of Megan Collins The Winter Garden, from the publisher via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. This is my review of the audio book.

Synopsis

In this spellbinding and suspenseful debut, a young woman haunted by the past returns home to care for her ailing mother and begins to dig deeper into her sister’s unsolved murder.

Sixteen years ago, Sylvie’s sister Persephone never came home. Out too late with the boyfriend she was forbidden to see, Persephone was missing for three days before her body was found—and years later, her murder remains unsolved.

In the present day, Sylvie returns home to care for her estranged mother, Annie, as she undergoes treatment for cancer. Prone to unexplained “Dark Days” even before Persephone’s death, Annie’s once-close bond with Sylvie dissolved in the weeks after their loss, making for an uncomfortable reunion all these years later. Worse, Persephone’s former boyfriend, Ben, is now a nurse at the cancer center where Annie is being treated. Sylvie’s always believed Ben was responsible for the murder—but she carries her own guilt about that night, guilt that traps her in the past while the world goes on around her.

As she navigates the complicated relationship with her mother, Sylvie begins to uncover the secrets that fill their house—and what really happened the night Persephone died. As it turns out, the truth really will set you free, once you can bear to look at it.

The Winter Sister is a mesmerizing portrayal of the complex bond between sisters, between mothers and daughters alike, and forces us to ask ourselves—how well do we really know the people we love most?

My Thoughts

Megan Collins debut novel follows a woman who reluctantly returns to her hometown to care for her ailing mother, meanwhile the death of her older sister, years before still haunts and riddles her with grief. Can she get to the bottom of what really happened on that winter night?

The relationships in this book were as cold as its title. The way the characters spoke to each other was terrible and set an uncomfortable tone to all their interactions. The narrator especially did a great job of portraying the mother as a miserable and unfeeling person.

I enjoyed the pacing of this novel and while I did like the mystery, I didn’t find it as thrilling or suspenseful as I anticipated.

Although I was able to predict the outcome, it was a good read that I would recommend to fans of the genre.

Book Reviews · Recommendations

The Devoted (The Bishop’s Family, 3) by Suzanne Woods Fisher

The Devoted
(The Bishop’s Family, 3)
By: Suzanne Woods Fisher

Book Cover

Published: October 2016
Published by: Fleming H. Revell Company
Format Read: Trade Paperback
Genre: Christian Fiction, Amish Fiction

Rating: 4/5

NOTE: I was sent a copy of Suzanne Woods Fisher’s The Devoted, from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis

Fan Favorite Suzanne Woods Fisher Offers Readers Tender Romance, Humor, and Plenty of Surprises
Bright, curious, and restless, Ruthie Stoltzfus loves her family but is stuck in a sea of indecision about her future: Should she stay Amish? Or should she leave? She’s done all she can to prepare to go–passed the GED, saved her money–but she can’t quite set her journey into motion.
Patrick Kelly is a young man on a journey of his own. He’s come to Stoney Ridge to convert to the Amish and has given himself thirty days to learn the language, drive a buggy, and adapt to “everything Plain.” Time, to Patrick, is of the essence. Every moment is to be cherished, especially the hours he spends with Ruthie, his Penn Dutch tutor.
Ruthie’s next-door neighbor and cunning ex-boyfriend, Luke Schrock, is drawn to trouble like a moth to a flame. Rebellious, headstrong, defiant, Luke will do anything to win Ruthie back–“anything”–and Patrick Kelly is getting in his way.
Bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher invites readers back to Stoney Ridge for a story of dreams deferred and hopes fulfilled–complete with Fisher’s signature twists that never fail to leave readers delighted.

Source: Goodreads

My Thoughts

The Devoted is the third and final book in Suzanne Woods Fisher’s The Bishop’s Family trilogy. In this installment readers follow the Bishop’s daughter Ruthie as she is trying to decide the right path to take in her life. As her troubled ex-boyfriend Luke unsuccessfully tries to win her back, a new young English man named Patrick comes to Stoney Ridge and catches her attention.

As with the previous books in this trilogy, The Devoted presented a story chalk-full of life lessons and profound messages. It has been some time since I read The Imposter (book1) and The Quieting (book 2), and the father David still remains one of my favourite characters. Even though his part in this third book was smaller, I appreciate how much growth he makes with each hurdle and moral dilemma he meets.

This story kept me interested through out. I was surprised that Luke’s troubles were depicted in a way that was as dark as it was, considering the Christian and Amish fiction genre. It really added an extra emotional layer to the plot.

I highly recommend Suzanne Woods Fisher, as she is one of my favourite auto-read authors. I suggest that those who may be interested in reading The Devoted, begin with the first book in the series, as there is quite a detailed backstory.

Book Reviews · Recommendations

A Royal Pain (Her Royal Spyness 2) by Rhys Bowen

A Royal Pain
(Her Royal Spyness, 2)
By: Rhys Bowen
Narrated by: Katherine Kellgren

Book Cover

Published: July 2008
Published by: Berkley
Format Read: Paperback, Audio Book, Audible
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery

Rating: 4/5

Synopsis

It’s 1930s London, and Lady Georgiana — thirty-fourth in line to the throne — has a lot on her plate, but little in her cupboards, in this national bestseller…

Baked beans and boiled eggs. That’s what my houseguest, the Bavarian princess, will have to eat if I don’t get help posthaste. The Queen of England has requested I entertain said princess, placing her in the playboy prince’s path, in hopes he might finally marry.

But queens never consider money, of which I have little. And which is why I moonlight as a maid-in-disguise. My plans:
1) Clean house in manner of palace.
2) Blackmail brother, Binky, into sending a few quid.
3) Unteach Princess Hanni English from gangster movies — lest she address the queen as “old broad.”
4) Keep eye on princess at parties, where she drinks like a fish.

Then there’s the matter of the body in the bookshop and Hanni’s unwitting involvement with the communist party. It’s enough to drive a girl mad…

My Thoughts

Rhys Bowen’s Her Royal Spyness series follows 34th in line to the British throne; the fictional Lady Georgiana. She may be of royal relation, but like the majority of the world during the 1930’s she is struggling to make ends meet and live up to her social standing. In this second installment of the series, Lady Georgiana is tasked by the Queen to host a young Princess from Bavaria, in hope that she will win the heart of the Prince. Tie in a Communist plot, high society and three deaths, then you have A Royal Pain.

I had so much fun reading this novel. The situations Lady Georgiana gets herself in are always entertaining. The addition of an American gangster film loving Princess Hanni was hilarious.

I alternated between reading a paperback and listening to the audiobook. Katherine Kellgren’s narration of Lady Georgiana reminded me of Lady Mary Crowley from Downton Abbey, only less snooty and with a better sense of humor.

I highly recommend A Royal Pain and the Royal Spyness series to fans of humorous historical mysteries.