Everything I Read in January 2023

We make lists with good intentions. With every intention to read those books we were once so excited about. Every once in a while the need to purge takes over and half that list goes poof.

So this is why I’m proud of myself for reading all these titles this month. I’m a pretty fast reader, but many times I have to pace myself. Remind myself to not get into the “must beat other internet book readers” trap. Because that’s when reading gets a bit too stressful.

No thanks. I’d rather keep reading to myself, and not make reading promises I cannot keep. Here are all the books I read in January. Maybe you’ll find something new-to-you!

His Dark Kiss

Click to Visit My Review
Synopsis: Rumors of madness and murder lurk within the crumbling walls of isolated Manorbrier Castle. But Emma Parrish is not easily put off. She accepts a position no one else dares, as governess to the son of Lord Anthony Craven, the castle’s dark master. Her presence stirs up shadows and threat. She feels unseen eyes watching her. Eerie laughter haunts her. And the seductive pull of Anthony Craven lures her.

The mystery of Anthony Craven’s shadowy past lurks behind the locked doors of the estate’s forbidden Round Tower. Mysterious lights flash there in the night. The servants whisper warnings of death. And Anthony himself warns Emma that there is only danger to be found in his sensual embrace.

Powerfully drawn to the dangerously alluring Anthony, Emma finds herself unable to deny her deepest yearnings. But even as she succumbs to the master of Manorbrier, she is touched by the whisper of evil that rises from the secrets of his past.

The Duke’s Wayward Wallflower

Click to Visit My Review
Synopsis: There’s no love lost between this shy wallflower and society’s most formidable duke. The Duke of Mandrick has made it clear he’s only aiding Felicity’s successful entrance into society because he’s taken pity on his friend’s poor country relation. 

Luckily for Felicity, her chaperone Lady Greta has agreed to tutor her in the art of flirtation. And since the cold hearted duke is the last man to fall for her charms, he’s the perfect man to practice on. However, when her attempts to flirt are an epic fail, it’s the duke who comes to her rescue. And when she faints on the dance floor in front of all of society, it’s his strong arms that are holding her when she wakes. Gazing up into his warm, dark eyes, she’s left with one crucial question.

If the duke caught her on the dance floor . . . why does she still feel like she’s falling? A sweet, standalone regency romance filled with witty banter, swoony kisses, and ballroom shenanigans. 

Belle Haven

Click to Visit My Review
Synopsis: Her life spanned ninety-five years and there were only two great loves in her life. The first is long gone. The second still stands as a testament to an extraordinary woman.

1916 Venice Arial is a product of the elite social class in New Orleans and under the strict control of her cruel and hateful mother, Lorraine. At twenty, Venice must obey the rules of social duty her mother sets, including going through with an arranged marriage to a man she barely knows. The golden days of youth are being stripped away and her only escape is the family’s summer home on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain—her beloved Belle Haven.

When Venice visits Belle Haven in the last weeks of summer, her structured life is thrown off course by a poor local boy, Etienne Armand, who shows her a love she has never known. But to Lorraine, locals are low class, and a poor boy like Etienne is strictly forbidden. But how can Venice return to New Orleans with such strict rules and the isolation of her palatial prison? Venice has a major decision to make but will the raging war in Europe make it for her?

1991 Seventy-five years ago, Venice Arial made a dramatic decision that altered her life and her future. After living through so much history, her cherished memories along with the painful ones are fading. The Lost Generation must be remembered, and her personal story recorded. That foregone era was the harsh reality of her life. She had known great love, a crippling world war, lost love, and new beginnings but should she include the cruelty, selfish greed, and hurtful deception inflicted on her all those years ago?

This story of great love, war, and remembrance will grab your emotions and hold them until the very end.

Between the Sky and the Sea

Click to Visit My Review
Synopsis: Lavinia Onslow, who delights in the freedom of managing her father’s millinery shop in the heart of Savannah, Georgia, has decided she may defy convention and not marry after all. Yet, in the summer of 1838, on board the elegant steamship Pulaski, bound from Savannah to Baltimore, she exchanges glances with an intriguing young man. What can ensue from a mere glance? Quite a lot, as legend has it. That very night, the boiler of the Pulaski explodes and the ship sinks, drowning most of its wealthy passengers. As Lavinia struggles in the water in her heavy dress, calling out for her father and thinking she will surely perish, someone dives in to rescue her, pulling her up next to him on a makeshift raft made of two deck settees. When she composes herself, she recognizes the intriguing man. There they float, alone but together, surrounded by ocean, thirty miles off the coast of North Carolina, desperate for a life-saving miracle.

The Librarian of Crooked Lane

Click to Visit My Review
Synopsis: A librarian with a mysterious past, a war hero with a secret, and the heist of a magic painting. THE LIBRARIAN OF CROOKED LANE is an intriguing new fantasy from C.J. Archer, the USA Today bestselling author of the Glass and Steele series.

Librarian Sylvia Ashe knows nothing about her past, having grown up without a father and a mother who refused to discuss him. When she stumbles upon a diary that suggests she’s descended from magicians, she’s skeptical. After all, magicians are special, and she’s just an ordinary girl who loves books. She seeks the truth from a member of the most prominent family of magicians, but she quickly learns that finding the truth won’t be easy, especially when he turns out to be as artless as her, and more compelling and dangerous than books.

War hero Gabe is gifted with wealth, a loving family, and an incredible amount of luck that saw him survive four harrowing years of a brutal war without injury. But not all injuries are visible. Burying himself in his work as a consultant for Scotland Yard, Gabe is going through the motions as he investigates the theft of a magician-made painting. But his life changes when he unwittingly gets Sylvia dismissed from her job and places her in danger.

After securing her new employment in a library housing the world’s greatest collection of books about magic, Gabe and Sylvia’s lives become intwined as they work together to find both the painting and the truth about Sylvia’s past before powerful people can stop them.

But sometimes the past is better left buried…

A Most Agreeable Murder

Click to Visit My Review
Synopsis: When a wealthy bachelor drops dead at a ball, a young lady takes on the decidedly improper role of detective in this action-packed debut comedy of manners and murder.

Feisty, passionate Beatrice Steele has never fit the definition of a true lady, according to the strict code of conduct that reigns in Swampshire, her small English township–she is terrible at needlework, has absolutely no musical ability, and her artwork is so bad it frightens people. Nevertheless, she lives a perfectly agreeable life with her marriage-scheming mother, prankster father, and two younger sisters– beautiful Louisa and forgettable Mary. But she harbors a dark secret: She is obsessed with the true crime cases she reads about in the newspaper. If anyone in her etiquette-obsessed community found out, she’d be deemed a morbid creep and banished from respectable society forever.

For her family’s sake, she’s vowed to put her obsession behind her. Because eligible bachelor Edmund Croaksworth is set to attend the approaching autumnal ball, and the Steele family hopes that Louisa will steal his heart. If not, Martin Grub, their disgusting cousin, will inherit the family’s estate, and they will be ruined or, even worse, forced to move to France. So Beatrice must be on her best behavior . . . which is made difficult when a disgraced yet alluring detective inexplicably shows up to the ball.

Beatrice is just holding things together when Croaksworth drops dead in the middle of a minuet. As a storm rages outside, the evening descends into a frenzy of panic, fear, and betrayal as it becomes clear they are trapped with a killer. Contending with competitive card games, tricky tonics, and Swampshire’s infamous squelch holes, Beatrice must rise above decorum and decency to pursue justice and her own desires–before anyone else is murdered.

Of Manners and Murder

Click to Visit My Review
Synopsis: Of Manners and Murder is the first in the delightful new Dear Miss Hermione mystery series from Anastasia Hastings.

1885: London, England. When Violet’s Aunt Adelia decides to abscond with her newest paramour, she leaves behind her role as the most popular Agony Aunt in London, “Miss Hermione,” in Violet’s hands.

And of course, the first letter Violet receives is full, not of prissy pondering, but of portent. Ivy Armstrong is in need of help and fears for her life. But when Violet visits the village where the letters were posted, she finds that Ivy is already dead.

She’ll quickly discover that when you represent the best-loved Agony Aunt in Britain, both marauding husbands and murder are par for the course.

Whew! That’s seven books in one month! I think that’s the most I’ve ever read within a thirty-day period. Did you see anything you might like to read yourself? I highly suggest both OF MANNERS AND MURDER by Anastasia Hastings and A MOST AGREEABLE MURDER by Julia Seales. Happy reading!

Leave a Reply

Budding #historian. Writer of #adventures and #sciencefantasy. Lover of mushrooms and libraries. Fan of #chocolate, #books and Pennsylvania history.

Translate »