Publisher: Knopf

Rowena’s Monthly TBR Pile: April 2020

Posted April 13, 2020 by Rowena in Features | 1 Comment

So, every month I put a list together of the books that I either need to read for review or the books that I want to get around to reading (finally). I’m also trying to be more responsible with my Kindle Unlimited and Audible Romance Package subscriptions so I’m going to post my TBR Pile on the blog so you guys can keep me honest.

I’ll also be sharing my progress each month even though for this month’s post, I’ll be sharing my progress through my February 2020 TBR Pile since I didn’t put a list together for last month. Oops. I’m telling you, this covid-19 thing had me all turned around, stressed and just not in the mood to read. I’m hoping to turn that shit around this month. Here’s how I did with my February pile (I read most of these books in March, a whole ass month later).

Previous Month Stats

Books to Read: 10
Books Read: 10
Books Unread: 0
Pages Read: 3,170 | Hours Listened: 0
Favorite Read: Chasing Cassandra | Least Favorite Read: The Kissing Game

Does it count if I read all of these books in March even though they were on my February TBR Pile? Screw it, it counts to me! I really did not like The Kissing Game but I adored the heck out of Chasing Cassandra. So all in all, it wasn’t a bad reading month at all.

April’s TBR Pile

Book Club
Rowena’s Monthly TBR Pile: April 2020The Aftermath by Rhidian Brook
Publisher: Knopf
Publication Date: September 17, 2013
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Genres: Historical Fiction
Pages: 288
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2020 Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books

Set in post-war Germany, the international bestseller The Aftermath by Rhidian Brook is a stunning emotional thriller about our fiercest loyalties and our deepest desires. In the bitter winter of 1946, Rachael Morgan arrives with her only remaining son Edmund in the ruins of Hamburg. Here she is reunited with her husband Lewis, a British colonel charged with rebuilding the shattered city. But as they set off for their new home, Rachael is stunned to discover that Lewis has made an extraordinary decision: they will be sharing the grand house with its previous owners, a German widower and his troubled daughter. In this charged atmosphere, enmity and grief give way to passion and betrayal.

«Una novel·la captivadora, no només d’amor entre la runa, sinó també de traïció i venjança. Els dies que vindran és ple d’amors il·lícits –entre antics enemics, per un país i un règim derrocat–, i això és el que han de fer les bones novel·les: posar a prova les lleialtats i les consciències.» Literary Review

Well, book club has been canceled for however long we’re in this COVID-19 shelter in place thing in L.A. We canceled it last month too but we were supposed to read this book for book club. It was my sister Blanche’s turn to pick a book and she chose this one because she watched the movie and became low key obsessed with it. She’s been wanting someone to talk about it with so she made sure we’d read it and discuss it with her. Not going to lie, I’m glad book club got canceled because I have no interest in reading this one.

Buddy Reads

Gunmetal Magic (Kate Daniels #5.5) by Ilona Andrews: Our featured review for April on the blog is Gunmetal Magic by Ilona Andrews. You’ll be able to read our team review of that book in the last week of this month. So be sure to be on the lookout for that.

The Orchid Throne (Forgotten Empire #1) by Jeffe Kennedy: So Holly, Ames, and myself were supposed to read this book together last month and the only person that read it was Ames. We’re trying again this month so wish us luck? 🙂

Magic Rises (Kate Daniels #6) by Ilona Andrews: I will be reading this book with Holly this month. She’s been really good about giving me reasons to continue my Kate Daniels binge read. She’s the best, isn’t she?

Only When It’s Us (Bergman Brothers #1) by Chloe Liese: It’s Ames turn to choose our monthly buddy read and she chose this one. I’m thinking it’ll be a good palate cleanser between Kate Daniels books. I’m totally down for a frenemies romance with pranks. Sign me up!

Review Pile

Undercover Bromance (The Bromance Book Club #2) by Lyssa Kay Adams
Yours in Scandal (Man of the Year #1) by Lauren Layne
First Comes Scandal (The Rokesbys #4) by Julia Quinn

I haven’t touched my review pile in a month. The stress at work and with this whole COVID-19 thing is really messing with my reading mojo so I’m hoping to finally get around to reading the books that are sitting on my review pile, just waiting to be read.

TBR Pile

Magic Steals (Kate Daniels #6.5) by Ilona Andrews
Magic Breaks (Kate Daniels #7) by Ilona Andrews
Magic Shifts (Kate Daniels #8) by Ilona Andrews

I’m slowly working my way through the Kate Daniels series and I’m hoping to get the above books read before the month is up. So seriously, wish me luck!

What books are on your TBR pile for April? Anything good that I should keep my eye out on? Please share the books you have on deck to read next month.

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Guest Review: Longbourn by Jo Baker

Posted October 10, 2016 by Tina R in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review:  Longbourn by Jo BakerReviewer: Tina
Longbourn by Jo Baker
Publisher: Knopf
Publication Date: October 8th 2013
Genres: Women's Fiction
Pages: 352
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books

Pride and Prejudice was only half the story • 

If Elizabeth Bennet had the washing of her own petticoats, Sarah often thought, she’d most likely be a sight more careful with them.

  In this irresistibly imagined belowstairs answer to Pride and Prejudice, the servants take center stage. Sarah, the orphaned housemaid, spends her days scrubbing the laundry, polishing the floors, and emptying the chamber pots for the Bennet household. But there is just as much romance, heartbreak, and intrigue downstairs at Longbourn as there is upstairs. When a mysterious new footman arrives, the orderly realm of the servants’ hall threatens to be completely, perhaps irrevocably, upended.

Jo Baker dares to take us beyond the drawing rooms of Jane Austen’s classic—into the often overlooked domain of the stern housekeeper and the starry-eyed kitchen maid, into the gritty daily particulars faced by the lower classes in Regency England during the Napoleonic Wars—and, in doing so, creates a vivid, fascinating, fully realized world that is wholly her own.

I have to begin by saying how much I enjoyed Longbourn by Jo Baker. I was immediately swept up in this tale which is basically the story of Pride and Prejudice through the eyes of the below-stairs staff. It is well-researched and beautifully written, and dedicates itself to show the reader the grueling life of the servants in the early 19th century.

Longbourn assumes the reader is already familiar with the works of Jane Austen, so begins immediately with the tale of the servants. Instead of presenting us with the seemingly glamorous lifestyle of the Bennett family, we are instead whisked away below stairs where we find the people who were responsible for all the back-breaking tasks that made that lifestyle possible.

Jo Baker is definitely an amazing story-teller. I was entirely captivated by this book. The author provides vivid details into the lives of the servant staff which made me feel like I was transported back in time and experiencing it all for myself.

You will find yourself becoming attached to the staff and rooting them on, feeling their despair, and wanting the best for them as you follow their struggles and daily hardships. It will make you appreciate all the daily conveniences that we have in our own lives today.

I totally recommend Longbourn to anyone who loves the works of Jane Austen or who, like me, is just fascinated with tales of domestic service in the early 19th century. You will not be disappointed. This one is a classic!!


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