The February Roundup!

February proved to be a month for catching up.  When January ended I was two books behind the pace I needed to meet my goal of 120 books for the year.  As of the end of February, I’m completely back on pace! Woo-hoo!! (I read 12 books in February, bringing my total to 19 for the year.)  Two things directly contributed to my ability to get back on pace:  1.) An INTENSE blizzard that wound up dumping 40″ of snow onto my town, making it the hardest hit in the tri-state area. 2.) The weeks I spent sick with a sinus infection and possible case of bronchitis.  Together, these two things equated out to a ton of time spent in the house and reading.

20130210_133339The blizzard was one of the most insane things I’ve ever witnessed.  Todd’s car (a VW Passat) was completely covered in snow, so much so that we couldn’t even see it! It was super difficult to dig out.  Regular plow trucks were no match for the record-breaking amount of snow we had and kept blowing transmissions due to the weight and amount of snow they had to push.  Commercial construction trucks and the National Guard had to come in and help plow streets enough for emergency vehicles to pass through.  Plows couldn’t get to the apartment building that Todd and I live in for almost three days.  Thankfully we didn’t lose power and had enough heat, books, and snacks to keep us occupied.  It’s been almost three weeks since the storm hit and we still have MOUNDS of snow everywhere. We’ll be lucky if it’s melted by April.

On the book front, February was a month filled with releases I was eagerly awaiting.  I was able to read the final book in Lauren DeStefano’s Chemical Garden trilogy, Sever, as well as Sarah MacLean’s newest addition to her Scoundrel’s series, One Good Earl Deserves a Lover.  Add to these Marie Force’s newest Gansett Island book, Waiting For Love, Rachel Van Dyken’s The Wolf’s Pursuit,  Nancy Kelley’s Loving Miss Darcyand Maya Banks’ Rush, and you can tell I did a lot of “new” reading.

Speaking of “new” reading… if you remember, last month I did a joint review of Beth Revis’ final book in the Across the Universe trilogy, Shades of Earth, with Sam.  Well, I found out that Beth was coming to Connecticut (WAHOO) with something called the “Breathless Reads” tour.  Penguin (her publisher) organized the tour for her and several other YA authors to come out to indie bookstores all across the US and speak about their books.  Luckily the bookstore that they came to in CT was R.J. Julia (my favorite)!  Todd and I jumped at the chance to attend and man are we happy we did.  Not only were we able to see Beth (and get our books signed), but we were able to listen to four other YA authors (Fiona Paul, Morgan Rhodes, Elizabeth Richards, and Jessica Spotswood) and get introduced to some new books we’re excited to tell you about.  Todd wrote more about the event here, as it was the first one he’d attended where he knew one of the authors.

Looking forward to March, I have lots of books to read (I’m asking myself why I’m even writing that sentence as it’s the story of my life each month.)  I’m hoping to get caught up on reviews over the next two weeks.  I have some GREAT reads to tell you about that you’ll hopefully find as interesting as I did!  Todd’s reading Targets of Revenge by Jeffrey S. Stephens, Adam’s reading Game of the Gods by E.J. Dabel, Sam’s reading Three Graves Full by Jamie Mason, and Christine’s reading A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent by Marie Brennan.  So, lots of new and unique stuff coming at you from across the genre spectrum.

Until next time….happy reading!

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Kim’s Review of Loving Miss Darcy (Brides of Pemberley #2) by Nancy Kelley

lmdY’all know by now that I love Pride and Prejudice.  You also know that I love reading books that explore the lives of the characters from that wonderful work, and one of my favorite characters to explore happens to be Georgiana.  I always feel bad for her in the P&P fan fiction world, as she is often relegated to being a minor character, and never the heroine.  All this changes with Nancy Kelley’s second work in the Brides of Pemberley series, Loving Miss Darcy (for my review of the first work, His Good Opinion, click here).

Georgiana Darcy is conflicted.  On one hand she is elated that her brother, Fitzwilliam Darcy, and his lovely bride, Elizabeth, are happily married and fully in love.  On the other hand, her own personal love life is the complete opposite.  After the disastrous events that led her to almost elope with Wickham previously, she hasn’t had the drive to face another Season full of potential suitors in London.  Enter Richard Fitzwilliam, tasked by Darcy to watch over his little sister and find a suitable match for her.  The problem is that Richard feels that no one is deserving of Georgiana, even though they may be a perfectly good match.  Even Richard’s closest friends are no match for his stony demeanor.  Behind this mask, however, a growing attachment is forming, and it seems that Richard is keeping others out in the hopes that he may have a chance, however slight.  Will he give in to this growing attachment?  Will Georgiana return his feelings?

One major item that I have to commend Kelley on is her ability to portray the angst of the teenage mind via Georgiana.  Obviously, Georgiana is a teenager, and with that comes feelings of angst, confusion, and general awkwardness.  Kelley is able to tap into that mindset and describe Georgiana’s unwillingness to enter the Season due to a variety of factors, chief among them her trepidation at what others will think of the “Wickham scandal”.  On the opposite end of the spectrum is Richard, whose mindset is an unsettled war zone of nerves.  He is confused about his feelings for Georgiana, and cannot separate his duties as her guardian from his desire to want to be with her.  He also wonders if he should even voice his innermost feelings for her, as he fears that she will reject him due to the age gap between them, along with several other factors that keep his feelings in check.  Again, Kelley shows that she is in tune with her characters in writing Richard, and together with Georgiana, she made this story one that I couldn’t put down.  I can’t wait to read the story of Elizabeth’s sister, Kitty, next in the series.  If it’s as good as these other two works have been, I’m in for a treat!

5 out of 5 Stars

This is my second completed review for the Pride and  Prejudice Bicentenary Challenge

This is my sixth completed review for the Historical Fiction Challenge

Loving Miss Darcy by Nancy Kelley
Smokey Rose Press (2013)
eBook 244 pages
ISBN: 2940016048345

Special thanks to Ms. Kelley for my review copy!