A Review of Shades of Milk and Honey

Good evening,

I know I just recently posted about Shades of Doon but I couldn’t resist talking about this book considering I just finished it less than an hour ago and will be fresh in my mind. This is a personal record for me but sometimes books take me by the hand and demand I talk about them, including this one.

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I first heard about this series while browsing titles at my local library and the cover caught my attention. After reading the blurb, I wanted to take it home with me that day until I realized it was actually the second book in a series. After requesting this book, it didn’t take too long to receive and I was so excited to dive in especially when I read that it reminded some people of Jane Austen’s Work. This book did remind me of Jane Austen’s style in the sense of headstrong young girls, a woman who is trying to do what’s proper and a gruff male character who turns out to be different than expected.
In many other ways though, the story is different and at times more complex. What I mean by complex is that there’s magic and the main character finds herself in some rather awkward situations. Jane Ellsworth is a woman who is considered past her prime and supposedly plain compared to her spoiled younger sister Melody. In a time when beauty and poise seemed more appealing than smarts, it’s no wonder Jane felt as she did and my heart went out to her. She hasn’t made close friends over the years and much of her time is spent trying to soothe her mother or sister who seem easily excited.
She’s spent most of her life staying in the background that it’s certainly caused a catch 22 of trying to be proper but also feeling frustrated and self conscious. Jane is very talented though it’s often been stifled due to mixed feelings regarding her sister and the demands of being on the cusp of spinsterhood. She’s worked hard over the years to become talented at weaving magic and it takes the prompting of the mysterious Mr. Vincent for her to see that it’s okay to let one’s emotions bring about creativity. Jane also finds an uncommon friendship with Beth Dunkirk whose brother happens to be someone that Jane has developed feelings for though is too shy to speak up  especially when she isn’t sure if the feelings are mutual and the mixed signals she’s getting from her sister who seems to also like him. Both Jane and Vincent are two of my favorite characters who give so much of themselves.

I was really glad when Jane finally realized it was more than okay to be herself, to be more creative with her magic and showed people that she wasn’t a plain mouse that some seemed to assume she was. I was also glad that she followed her heart and didn’t choose to be with someone just because it was convenient nor was she afraid to protect those she cares for. While looks are nice to have, Jane shows that there’s more to look for in a partner than appearances.

Mrs. Ellsworth seemed to have too much time on her hands and not enough to do. She spent a lot of time complaining about her nerves and certainly looked for a lot of attention. I’m not a big fan of her character especially with her treatment regarding Jane though I will give her credit for causing distractions when needed.
This book had quite the interesting mix of Regency, magic, intrigue, and what can sometimes happen when attempting the proper thing can go wonky. Though luckily in this case, things don’t go too wrong. I personally think Jane should have smacked a certain Captain harder for all the trouble and embarrassment that a few people have to go through.I’m so glad that Jane shows there’s more than meets the eye and how love can find you when you least expect it.I’m looking forward to read more in this series!

Thank you so much for tuning in to my bookish ramblings and I hope you’ve enjoyed it. I’m so glad there’s several books in this series and I can’t wait to see what next adventure is for Jane. While I have many other books to read before I can start the second book, I know it will be worth the wait and maybe by that time, the author might have come out with other books for me to enjoy! If you’d like to say hello please feel free to find me on Facebook or Instagram where I post my love of books, food, book themed items and nature. I will be back soon with more reviews!

Slainte

~M

Currently Reading: The White Gryphon

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A Review of Forever Doon

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Good evening,

I’ve been so busy trying to play catch up on my reading, working and sleeping that there hasn’t been a lot of time for reviewing. Now that things have settled down for a bit, I can talk about one of the books I recently read which is Forever Doon by Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon. I first heard about this series back in the Spring when scrolling through Instagram. The cover had my attention and then when I found out it was about the mythical Brigadoon, I knew it would be worth reading. What I hadn’t expected was how much I would enjoy this series and the mixed feelings I have about this book possibly being the last in this amazing series.

It’s really hard for me to believe this is the final book in this series to be honest. I really hope that Carey & Lorie will still write about the Doon world as I’m really not ready to say good bye to all the characters in the books. I’ve come to enjoy the variety of different characters especially Veronica, Makenna, Duncan, Jamie and all the kind people of Doon. I won’t miss the witch Addie though as she was something else and eventually karma comes around to show her what being evil can result in.

This latest installment was full of adventure, mystery, the power of love, faith, magic, Kenna’s snarky humor, and lots of surprises. There were many things that left me stunned and I was really relieved that the cliffhanger from book three didn’t turn out to be as dark as I’d feared. That’s the thing about cliffhangers, they leave you wondering what’s going to happen next and hoping that it’s going to be okay. Well that’s how it is for me anyways.
Veronica, MacKenna and their guys face a lot of obstacles including dealing with their own stubbornness and fears but soon realize that they have a choice how to react to their situations. There’s a lot for these people to face especially with two still fairly new to Doon though they come to realize that there is a chance to save Doon and that sometimes help comes when it is least expected. The girls may not know much about being in a war but they are smart and find ways to prove they are more than capable of dealing with Addie and her minions as well as showing their men that they won’t be left at home while the men go off to war.

I laughed at Kenna’s ability to be funny even when things seemed pretty dark for a while. I felt for her trying to deal with Duncan’s moodiness, learning how to be a warrior and she’s an awesome best friend to Veronica. Kenna has just as big of a heart as Veronica and really is someone you’d rather not have as your enemy.

I’d also like to give mention to Fergus, Fiona and several others who are all special and powerful in their own ways. Personally I’d love to have a best friend like Kenna who is equal parts funny and smart though she doesn’t see herself that way at times. Doonians and Destined face nearly impossible odds in the fight against Addie but they’re so strong together and are able to show what the power of good with believing can do.

I had troubles putting this book down and there’s so many feelings towards this last book. It was such a pleasure to read this series and I highly recommend it though prepare to want more when finished. Farewell Doon, hopefully just for a little while!

So that concludes my bookish ramblings about Doon though I will keep hoping that more will be written about this fascinating world and then I can review more! I love it when books grab my attention then find out there’s more books in the series and then keep my eye out for more. While I wait, there’s plenty of books to keep me occupied and I’ll keep adding to my neverending pile of books to be read because that’s part of the fun. If you’d like to see more about my love of reading, tea, picture taking, randomness and letting my inner bookworm loose from time to time, please feel free to follow me on Facebook or Instagram . Feel free to drop by and say hello as I’m always up for talking about books!

Slainte

~M

Currently Reading: The White Gryphon by Mercedes Lackey

A Review of The Veil of Time by Claire R. McDougall

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Good evening,

I came across this book from a recommendation which sounded very interesting and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. I’m still reeling a bit from the ending and it’s taking me a bit to process all that’s gone on but I also really wanted to talk about this book.

From the moment I opened the first page, I was hooked and found it hard to put down. I have a soft spot for books that talk about the Celts, Time Traveling and mystery which was a few of the things this book had. Maggie Livingstone is a grieving Mother whose daughter Ellie died from the same epileptic seizures she often gets, yearns to move away from Glasgow, is trying to stay connected to her seventeen year old son Graeme, is about the be divorced from her husband, and will soon have a lobectomy to try to stop the seizures from disrupting her life as it already has.

While in the midst of all this, she decides to take a three month hiatus to a small town known as Dunadd where she plans to finish her thesis for a doctorate that was put on hold and take a break from the craziness that she was surrounded by. Her nearest neighbor is an older gentleman known as Jim and she also befriends a black cat that she names Winnie. As she researches for her thesis, she struggles with dreams during her seizures that seem so real and soon starts to wonder if they might not be. She soon learns that these dreams she has take place in 8th Century Scotland when the Celts ruled that particular area and it was the seat for royals. Knowing just the basics of Gaelic, she finds herself drawn to a quiet man known as Prince Fergus who is a father to Illa that bears a strong resemblance to Maggie’s lost daughter, widower and brother to King Murdoch. With the help of her neighbor Jim who knows quite a bit about Dunadd’s history, she soon learns that her dreams of Celtic Scotland seem to be happening around the mid 700’s and is near the time when King Murdoch is about to be defeated by the Picts though history doesn’t say whether he dies in that particular battle.
The more Maggie dreams about  a man named Fergus’s world, the harder it is for her to separate her present life from that of the to the 8th Century, caught between a rock and a hard place. She wants to stay in a world where Fergus and Illa are but also wants to be more present in her son Graeme’s life who she feels hasn’t been loved enough since Ellie died. Eventually she has to make a choice that will alter one world or the other and leave her heart even more split than it already is.

Claire did a great job of describing life in 8th Century Scotland and I found myself almost imagining being in that time period. What a different world from the present day in the sense of technology and modern plumbing but also the connection of family and the importance of working together. I’m always interested in reading more about the Celts before the Picts arrived to take over though the glimpse had me yearning to learn more. Due to the fact that there weren’t a lot of records kept during those years which was before most of the area was converted into Christianity, much of that history can really only be guessed at.

I really enjoyed the concept of how two people from different worlds who have language barriers can find themselves drawn to each other and figure out a way to communicate. Maggie’s Gaelic is rusty at best and Fergus has no inkling of English but they still can’t fight the attraction to each other though Fergus’s mother and father want him to marry someone that has royal lineage and to have more kids. You can’t always choose who you are to be with but sometimes fate can have other ideas and give you more options than planned.

This book has inspired me to want to learn more about 8th Century Scotland and about the various different types of people that helped contribute to the diverseness that is Scotland today. A lot has changed since the early days of Scotland but what hasn’t is some of the areas that are still rather wild and how beautiful the landscape is.

Perhaps some day I can visit this amazing country, meet some of the people, have a bottle of Fraoch and take lots of pictures of the beautiful landscapes. In the meantime, I will enjoy my soothing hot cup of Heather tea that was imported from Edinburgh and hope that some day I will read a sequel to this fascinating tale.

Book Mentioned In This Post:

A Veil of Time by Claire R. McDougall

Currently Reading:

The Makers of Scotland: Picts, Romans, Gaels and Vikings by Tim Clarkson

Thank you so much for tuning in and I hope that you’ve enjoyed my  bookish ramblings. As you can see, the Celts and Scotland are two subjects that I can’t help reading about especially if there’s some romance involved. I found the concept of time being continuous and not limited to one straight timeline fascinating. I honestly don’t know if time travel is possible but I do think that we have the option to see things in our dreams that we probably won’t in real life. Now it’s time to finish this post and jump into the other books that are waiting to be read. Please feel free to tune in soon to see what next I have to ramble about.

Slainte

~M