Sunday, August 17, 2014

What I Read in July Part VI

What I Read in July Part VI . . .

Lord Nightingale's Christmas (Lord Nightingale, #4)Lord Nightingale's Christmas by Judith A. Lansdowne -- Regency Romance

The Earl of Wickenshire and his family and friends are gathered at Willowsweep for Christmas. Among the guests are the lovely Lady Alice and her father, the irascible Duke of Sotherland. Nicky's cousin Neil Spelling begs to be invited and this time he promises no more mischief. He's fallen madly in love with Alice and is determined to win her love. It's not easy with her father declaring he intends to marry her to a title and Lord Nightingale declaring "bitevillainbite" every time he sees Neil. Then two other prospective suitors emerge: the dashing Mr. Sayers, on whom Alice had a schoolgirl crush and the mysterious Mr. Duncan, who can not remember his name or who he is. Each of the three men has a selfish motive for coming to Wickensweep and one has a sinister motive. When the guests hear bumps in the night coming from the walls, rumors start to swirl about the Witch of Willowsweep. Will this be a merry Christmas or will danger and broken hearts prevail? Meanwhile, dear little Delight (assisted by some new human friends) plans a very special Christmas surprise for her family. She has big plans for Lord Nightingale's Christmas too.

This story reads a lot like an inspirational novel without the Scripture quoting. The theme of the story is redemption with Alice as the savior. I didn't like the character development of some of the characters. I found it too cheesy and unrealistic. I also didn't like all the extreme coincidences that made the plot rather hokey. I loved Lord Nightingale, as usual. He steals every scene he's in. He is especially funny in this book. Sweet little Delight once again manages to charm her way to center stage. I was more interested in what she was up to than what the adults were doing. It was great to catch up with Nicky and Sera. I found them very annoying in their extreme innocence. Sera is still kind of drippy. I missed Eugenia who is away on her wedding trip. I didn't like Alice all that much. She's too perfect and good. I didn't find her romantic plot realistic or at all interesting. I did like the plot about her family background and the secrets and lies that ate away at her family. I felt sorry for her to be in the middle of it all. If you liked the other books in the series, you should probably conclude with this one.

An Edwardian ChildhoodAn Edwardian Childhood by Jane Pettigrew -- Non-Fiction

This book looks at different aspects of Edwardian childhood. The chapters are: A Child's Place, Nanny's Domain, An Ordinary Day, In the Schoolroom, Pleasure and Pastimes, Out in the Fresh Air, A Visit to the Toyshop, Occasional Treats, High Days and Holidays, Cause for Celebration. Each chapter looks at all three social classes and how childhood became a concept in the Edwardian era. The memoirs quoted all relate happy childhoods no matter how few material advantages the child had. There are many color illustrations and black and white drawings to accompany the text. Some of the images are more Victorian than Edwardian. My copy of the book was missing several pages towards the end but it didn't really take away from my enjoyment of it. I didn't learn anything new but it's a good overview for all ages 10+.

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