Enchantress of Numbers Review

Good evening,

I recently finished a book about Lady Ada Lovelace, considered to be the first computer programmer. I had not read much about Ada Lovelace before reading this book but when I was asked if I’d like to receive a digital ARC in exchange for an honest review, I couldn’t resist accepting. I’m glad I didn’t know much going into this book because it made the experience a lot more exciting and at times heart breaking. So without further ado, I present to you my thoughts.

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This is the fictional story of Ada Byron King, Countess of Lovelace whose father was Lord George Gordon Byron 6th Baron of Byron the famous poet and her mother Lady Anne Isabella Milbanke, 11th Baroness of Wentworth, whose marriage fell apart shortly after Ada was born.

She was raised mostly by her Mother’s doting Grandparents, a long range of Governesses, Tutors, occasionally her Mother and her Mother’s friends. Taught from a young age that her imagination is wicked, becoming a poet like her Father would be a terrible thing and encouraged to seek knowledge particularly of the Math, Science and Music variety, she had quite the interesting and yet at times lonely upbringing. Any time her imagination tried to soar, her Mother would clip those wings and repeatedly remind her that she’d better stay on the ground and keep her imagination in a locked box while also knowing how to be a well off lady.
It’s a wonder that she grew into being such a kind, considerate and creative woman with an amazing Mathematician . She became close friends with the brilliant Charles Babbage( known today as the Father of the PC), Charles Dickens, fellow Mathematician Mary Somerville (who was also her idol) and many other fascinating people that had a hand in helping shape the world today.
She was a Mother to three, loving wife, devoted friend and had a rocky relationship with her Mother. She was passionate about trying to get the funding for her friend Babbage’s Difference Engine to be shown to the world, even going so far as to write a series of notes as to he important this invention would be. One has to wonder how different life would be today if it had been successfully fully built at that time.
She was a woman ahead of her time who really cared about those around her and it’s a shame she didn’t get the fame she had hoped for and not just because she was Lord Byron’s daughter. Her life was cut short at the age of thirty six due to cancer which is tragic to say the least. One has to wonder what she may have accomplished had she lived to her seventies or eighties.

It was such a pleasure to read this book and I enjoyed getting insight into how Ada’s life may have been being a woman truly ahead of her time. This book has inspired me to want to know more about her and those she became friends with.

Well that wraps up my take on this fascinating book and I’m so glad I took a leap to give this book a shot. Thank you for dropping by to read about my bookish ramblings and I hope you had a great time. Be sure to tune in soon!

Happy Reading!

Slainte

~Meg

 

 

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In Which Mysteries Abound, Oh My!

Good evening,

As a kid and teen, mystery didn’t much interest me because I was more interested in books about adventure, magic and romance. I am still very much into those kinds of books though as I get older my tastes are expanding to appreciate some mystery novels, historical romance, fantasy and sci-fi.

I was so happy when I was contacted about receiving a digital copy of a book that is about a mystery set in the early 1900s on a large ship bound for England and I of course accepted!

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Flora Maguire is Governess to the young Edward, Viscount Trent who are both traveling on the maiden voyage of the SS Minneapolis from New York to London. They had attended his eldest sister’s wedding with his parents and are bound for home while his parents do a tour around the United States.

Flora notices something peculiar about a man and woman who seem to be fighting about something though she soon puts the thought away while caught in the excitement of taking off from the dock and trying to get settled into her shared quarters with her young charge. When Eddy goes off to dinner, Flora walks the deck for a bit of fresh air and encounters Bunny Harrington who she finds herself drawn to.

Not even a day later, Flora is walking the promenade deck and happens to glance down at a set of narrow steps that lead to the Salon Deck and at the bottom appears to be a pile of clothing. Curious about the bundle, she moves closer and finds to her shock that it’s actually a person, one of the people she noticed having a disagreement the day before and who is now dead.

A crew member shows up shortly afterwards and a Doctor is sent for and is deemed an accident. Flora is quite sure it wasn’t accidental though not many seem to believe her and think she may be just experiencing shock. Determined to find out if it really was accidental or murder, Flora sets out to discover what happened and is determined to get to the bottom of things.

With her growing attraction for Mr. Harrington, keeping an eye on her young charge and trying to solve a mystery, Flora has a lot on her plate. It will take determination, a bit of luck and perseverance to juggle this combination and she just may be in over her head though Flora is not one to give up easily and just may have a few tricks up her sleeve to hopefully solve this death and catch the potential culprit.

This book was such a pleasure to read. The descriptions were so well done that I could almost imagine being on the ship and seeing the events take place. Anita really has a way with words and I found myself really liking Flora. It’s amazing how just a few details can later be a big help and she could very well be a female version of Sherlock Holmes.

I also enjoyed reading about the budding romance between Bunny and Flora who were so adorable from the moment they met and give me lots of warm fuzzies.

If you’re looking for a cozy mystery set mostly on a ship in the late 19th Century that has adventure, humor, romance and wonderful descriptions of life during that time, I highly recommend this book!

I’m so glad there are two other books in this series for me to enjoy and I hope there may be more in the future!

Thank you so much for tuning in and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this post. I’ve been trying to get better at updating my reading progress here more and it’s slowly starting to come together.

Until next time, happy reading!

Slainte

~Meg

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A Review of Hattie’s Home

Good afternoon,

I recently finished a book that takes place in the aftermath of World War 2 and talk about the feels! Before I gush about this book, I do want to mention that I generously received a digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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It’s January 1947 and Hattie Wright is a young English woman who has been relieved of her military post as an ATS Sergeant stationed in Belgium for the last five years. After receiving a letter from her Mom, urging her to come home to Bermondsey because she’s nearly blind, Hattie complies.
Shocked by the destroyed buildings, beaten up by a gang of unruly kids and finding her Mom with a boyfriend living in the only habitable spot is one room in a house, she knows that crashing on the couch can only last for so long and she hopes she can get a life away from Bermondsey.
Unfortunately, things don’t go as planned so Hattie finds herself working back at the Alaska which is a factory that turns furs into clothing, reconnecting with old friends, making a few friends including a woman named Clara who is a new Mother whose parents refuse to help her due having a child with a half colored Australian, trying to stay away from some of the drama that a couple of nosy gals are stirring up and avoiding her ex-fiance as much as possible.
After a month or so, she’s fed up with living at her Mom’s and decides to find a new place to live. Turned away from all but the most expensive places, not wanting to be put on a two year wait list for prefab, she comes across some abandoned huts that gunners used during the war and figures one wouldn’t be so bad with a few improvements. A man named Joe who works as a chemist at the Alaska is already staying in one and grumbles about her being there but eventually learns to be fine with it. She finds herself bringing a small crowd of people to most of the other huts when word spreads and working together, help make the huts habitable.
Just when things start to look up for Hattie and her fellow neighbors, her ex and his family start making trouble because they want to own the huts and force the inhabitants to pay rent. When two huts are burned and a man is seriously injured helping people escape one hut, the people of this small community know that actions need to be taken before things get worse.
It will take the unlikely help of a street smart kid, someone loyal to Clara and staying one step ahead of the family to take care of the issue once and for all.

There’s so much that went on in this story and yet they are all connected which I really enjoyed. I couldn’t put this book down because I needed to know how Clara’s story would turn out after her parents refused to help. How Ronnie and his Mom Lou would find a way out of the slums when Lou is half mad from all the loss she has endured and Ronnie spends more time on the streets with his friends, causing mischief than in school. Whether Hattie would get out of the rut she finds herself in and who she might fall in love with. These are just some of the many parts of this book!

Equal parts inspiring and heartbreaking, it was such a fascinating book to read. I loved the sense of community, unexpected love, adventure and the power of friendship during the aftermath of World War 2.

This was my first time reading a book by Mary Gibson and I look forward to reading more by her!

So that concludes my ramblings for this book and I hope you’ve enjoyed them. Stay tuned as I’ll be posting shortly about another book I read recently!

Happy Reading!

~Meg

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A Bookworm Meets Her Match!

Good afternoon,

I generously received an advanced reading copy in exchange for an honest review.

I was so excited to receive this book and had a feeling it would be wonderful to read. I wasn’t disappointed and it’s my favorite book of the Windham Brides so far.  This book also marks my Goodreads Goal of reaching 80 books this year. I can’t think of a better book to reach my goal and with plenty of time to spare to read more this year! If Elizabeth were a real person, I’m sure her and I could be dear friends while sharing our love of reading and spreading the love of literacy!

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Elizabeth Windham and her sister Charlotte find themselves invited to a house party in the wilds of Wales where it is rumored that Julian St. David, Duke of Havorford’s sister Glenys is hoping to find a potential bride for her bachelor brother. Elizabeth could care less about that aspect and has accepted her road to almost spinsterhood but when she learns that his Grace owns one of the biggest personal libraries, her bookworm self can’t help to be drawn in and she’s trying to flee an almost scandal at the urging of her parents.

Julian is barely keeping himself above water with the amount of bills that keep piling up and his sister’s house party expenses as well as matchmaking are not making things any easier. Tasked with the burdens of inherited debt, a huge collection of books that seem to be the main reason for his ancestors accumulating debt, a sister he is trying to find a potential groom for, a younger brother who is special, and the burden of providing for servants and the nearby town, it’s a lot for one guy to have to take on.

Shortly after arriving, Elizabeth finds herself intrigued by Julian and not just for his collection of books. Reveling being surrounded by so many books, a very attentive Duke, beautiful countryside and her growing attraction to the Duke over books, she realizes that maybe it wasn’t so bad after all to be sent to Wales for a time. Add in a well meaning Aunt, a younger sister who likes to push the limits and helping out the overwhelmed Glenys and it just may be what she was looking for all along.

Julian and Elizabeth are at times complete opposites and yet a pair of the most adorable people I have been fortunate to read about. These two are wonderful full of surprises. What kind of bookworm wouldn’t fall in love with a Duke who has a large collection of books and is more than willing to share that love of literature?!

Full of adventure, a bookworm’s dream of a huge library, steamy scenes, well-meaning family, humor and the beauty of Wales, I loved this story from beginning to end. This is one of my favorite books of this year and on my list of favorite books read!

In fact, I loved it so much that I had to go out on the day of its release and get my own paper copy from my local Barnes and Noble!

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Here’s Elizabeth with all but one of her sisters who have found happiness in this series! I loved the finished copy of this book as well as my ARC copy! I can’t wait to see how Charlotte’s story will go!

Thank you so much for dropping by to take a look at this post and I hope that you’ve enjoyed my bookish ramblings. It’s been such a joy to have all of the bookish adventures I have so far and looking forward to many more adventures!

Happy reading!

Slainte

~Meg

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Christmas in the Scottish Highlands!

Good morning,

I recently finished a wonderful anthology with five very talented authors and it was such fun to get caught up in historical Scotland! Get yourself a warm cup of tea, chocolate, coffee, maybe even whisky and prepare to settle in!

I generously received a digital advanced reading copy from the publisher and Netgalley. This was a combination of five very talented women with stories that center around Christmas and the Scottish Highlands.

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Blurb:

A HIGHLANDER’S HOPE by Terri Brisbin
A village harlot who would never dream she could have a different life meets a Highlander visitor for the holidays who brings with him an offer and hope!

LEFTOVER MISTLETOE by Lavinia Kent
What happens when a highlander finds himself stranded, maybe kidnapped, with an English lady around Christmas… maybe the mistletoe will help answer that question.

A SCOT FOR CHRISTMAS by Bronwen Evans
She’s ready to embrace her life and future as a spinster, he’s trying to have one last hurrah before he gives into his family’s wishes and proposes marriage to his neighbor, but fate has other ideas when the lady and the Scot meet at a holiday house party in the wilds of Scotland.

SWEET HOME HIGHLAND CHRISTMAS by May McGoldrick
A chance encounter between a ship’s captain and a desperate aunt trying to keep custody of her young niece leads to a little magic during the holidays.

A HIGHLAND CHRISTMAS WAGER by Lecia Cornwall
When a snowstorm forces a charming lass hiding a broken heart to take shelter in a castle with three fine Highland lairds just days before Christmas, there’s a game afoot—who will be the first to win a kiss and maybe her heart

My Thoughts:

Life often has a way of throwing curve balls and yet sometimes those unexpected twists can lead to just the right place to be. These stories were tales of men and women who each found themselves at a crossroads and how sometimes when you least expect it, you can find what you’ve been looking for all along.

Each of these stories involved finding love when you least expect it and the magic of Christmas. I loved each one of these stories and the characters that they brought to the mix. Trying to pick a favorite story is akin to me attempting to pick just one book to take on a road trip which is impossible and each one has helped me to see why I love reading fictional books about finding love in Scotland whether it be from the 12th Century or the present time.

I wanted all of them to be longer but that’s just because I enjoyed them so much and the content that was in the stories worked very well in the allotted pages for each of the stories. I realize that if each of the authors had written regular sized books in this anthology, it would have been well over 1000 pages so it makes perfect sense about the lengths!There were a couple of authors that I hadn’t read before and now I have added to my list of authors to want to read more of their books!

Full of adventure, men in kilts, mystery, steamy scenes, the power of love and Christmas in the Scottish Highlands, it was such a wonderful compilation of stories to curl up with especially now that the seasons are changing and it’s getting colder. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has a love of historical romance that takes place near Christmas and checking out each of these authors!

I’m so looking forward to what next this talented group of ladies will have up their sleeves!

I don’t know about you but once I read an anthology that I’ve enjoyed, I  wanted to dive into each of the books that the author has written especially if there are multiple books in a series. I love the thought of getting to know families and how they came to find their loves especially when it involves being in Scotland.

So I hope you’ve enjoyed my somewhat brief ramblings. I don’t want to spoil things for those who are interested because I’d rather you get to enjoy it fully but trust me when I say if you’d enjoy the kinds of books that I do, the wait of finding out what’s in store will be so worth it!

Thank you so much for tuning in and I will be back soon with more ramblings about my love of books and bookish things in general. In the meantime, happy reading!

Slainte

~Meg

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A Natural History of Dragons

Good evening,

I recently read a book that was so much fun to read and I can’t believe I haven’t read it sooner!

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This book was such a pleasure to read and a different take on living with dragons. I loved the aspect of some Steampunk mixed with fantasy and in some ways reminded me of a cross between Victorian England, the Western era and Scotland though the names were changed and it was just my impression.

This is an early account of the memoirs of Lady Isabella Trent talking about her life up until she’s about nineteen. She was a woman who was obsessed with learning about dragons and in fact had A Natural History of Dragons memorized by the time she was a teenager. She grew up the only girl in a family of five boys, where her family was quite well off, a father who was also passionate about reading and a mother who hoped she would be a proper lady some day. Her passion as a young girl led her on quite the interesting forays into a touch of science and a few rather dangerous excursions. She tried her best to be a proper girl for about two years though it was stifling and didn’t go over so well.

Her father manages to convince her to go with her mother to a nearby city for a season in the hopes of finding a husband which also leads her to learning more about dragons. A chance encounter in a Menagerie with her brother as chaperone leads her to meeting Jacob Camherst, a man who is well off, who eventually becomes her husband. Little does she know just how much Jacob will change her life and give her the beginnings to fulfilling her dreams of learning more about dragons.

I found this book hard to put down and it really did read like a memoir. I found myself wanting to read a short book she mentioned which hasn’t actually been published but it’s so convincing that such a thing could exist! There were even drawings of different dragons, interesting things found and a touching picture towards the end of the book.

 

One of my favorite parts of the book was how Isabella’s father convinced her to search for a husband which goes as follows- “A husband willing to fund a library for his bookish wife is not so easy to obtain; most would see it as a pointless expense. You might, however, find one willing to share his library. The gentlemen on that list are all amateur scholars, with well-stocked studies.” Papa’s eyes gleamed at me from beneath this brows, and the lines around them threatened to crinkle up. “I have it on good authority that the ones I have underlined possess a copy of A Natural History of Dragons.”

The ending of the book came as quite the surprise and wasn’t where I had expected the book to go. After reading it though, some things made sense and cleared up a few questions I had. I won’t spoil it because that just wouldn’t be very nice but it certainly was shocking.

Full of adventure, mystery, books, dragons and surprises, I can’t wait to get my hands on more of the books in this series. I’ve been told that the series gets even better as it goes along so I can’t wait to dive in. At this point and time, this book is for sure on my list of top books I’ve read this year!

Well I hope you’ve enjoyed my ramblings and if you enjoy reading about dragons, you’ll most likely really enjoy this book. The bookworm part of me wants to read all of them in one sitting but alas I will need to pace myself and there are others books that need to be read too.

Happy Reading!

~Meg

 

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Christmas Blitz in October!

Good evening,

I am posting this a bit early because I am working all day tomorrow and want to share in the joy of recently taking part in a Blitz before tomorrow evening which is when I would be able to ramble about six books I was invited to view! I know I said five books but alas I forgot one and here I am to rectify that. All of the books mentioned in this post, apart from the last one, are now available for you to get your own copy! I alas was not able to read all of these books from cover to cover (I will read all of them soon) but I did read a chapter for each one which helped me to decide which one to continue with first and the ones to read soon. These books are not in any particular order of what I want to read but I will let you know which one was the winner!

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Book #1- Hope At Christmas by Nancy Naigle

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I found this book really interesting which is a story about Sydney and her daughter RayAnne moving from Atlanta, Georgia back to Hopewell, NC where her grandparents left her a house. Sydney just wants a fresh start after the difficult divorce she went through with her jerk of an ex-husband Jon who was unfaithful to her and tried to be manipulative throughout the proceedings. Her ten year old daughter is not happy about the move but Sydney feels it was the best thing for everyone and she just wants to move on from the past.

There’s a bookstore called The Book Bea that Sydney used to visit a lot as a child and is still running which she can’t help but check out again as an adult because it brings back just wonderful memories and she’s a bookworm so that makes so much sense right there!

I love this quote she says shortly after rediscovering The Book Bea –

“Books had always rescued her, and she’d never stopped trusting a good book to bring her joy, erase her fears, and give her strength. That same excitement swirled inside her”.

I don’t know about you but I can already tell that I am really going to enjoy reading this book which will be number two on my list to read before the end of the month!

Book #2- A Season of You by Emma Douglas

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Mina and her yellow lab Stewie find themselves on the side of a road with a flat tire in the middle of the night with the start of a storm coming in Lansing Island, CA. Mina is attempting to fix the flat tire when she slips on the tarp she laid out and knocks herself out.

Will just happens to spot a car with its headlights on out the window not far from where he’s working at his Distillery and goes to investigate, finding his old friend Mina knocked out cold and rescues the both of them just in time.

It’s obvious these two have an interesting history and Will mentions the feelings he’d developed for her when they were younger but he kept his distance because she had been engaged at the time.

I’m really curious to know more details about these two and I think it’s really cool that Will owns a distillery!

Book #3- Christmas At Two Love Lane by Kieran Kramer

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Macy Frost is a matchmaker at Two Love Lane in Charleston, South Carolina whose ancestor Thomas Winston Frost claimed he was a direct descendant of Cupid so you could say that her skills run in the family though she’s one of the few people in her immediate family that hasn’t had much success with love on a personal level.

Then she meets a Northerner named Deacon Banks who is a George Clooney lookalike who strolls right into her office one day and though that annoys her a bit, she starts wondering who she can match make with him. He doesn’t want a partner for love though but strictly for business reasons.

Macy really doesn’t like the man’s attitude and starts to turn him away but then he offers to pay double what she normally charges. She’s tempted but turns him down though a part of her wants to say yes.

Sounds like this is going to be a very interesting read indeed and I’m curious how these two will really get on!

Book #4-  Deck The Halls by Donna Alward

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This book is a novella at the length of about 117 pages so if you’re looking for a fast read whether you’ve read the books before this one or are new to the series like myself, it’s a great way to go!

George Reilly works for The Ladybug Garden Center in Darling, Vermont and is helping set things up for the Christmas season when his old friend Ian Merck’s twin sister Amy shows up who he hasn’t seen in fifteen years and is really upset to see her. Apparently Ian had been in Iraq along with George and something happened to him that he felt responsible for and didn’t want to see Ian’s family because of the pain it brought.

He was so sure he had put that time of his life behind him, had moved on and wants to know why Amy found him. She wants to know what went on with her brother and why George had stopped contacted them especially after whatever happened in Iraq.

I too want to know what happened years ago and why George feels so responsible for something that I’m sure he had no control over. Hopefully the truth will be revealed!

Book #5- With This Christmas Ring by Manda Collins

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This book is also a novella at just under 200 pages and who can say no to the possibility of reading about two people getting a possible second chance at love?! I know I can’t!

Merry Parks bursts into her house with an infant named Lottie in her arms much to the shock of some of the servants whose Mother was her dear friend Charlotte Smithson that just passed away shortly from a fever shortly after giving birth and she had promised to take care of. Charlotte asked that Merry find Lottie’s father who is a Wrotham.

She found out that the child is cousin to Alexander, Lord Wrotham who apparently used to be someone that she had hoped to marry some day but didn’t for some reason. It would seem to me that she still has feelings for the man and I wonder what really broke these two up.

I can’t wait to see how the reunion of these two goes and I feel so bad for Lottie who I hope will find a happier life than the one she was born into. A very intriguing first chapter indeed!

Book #6-  Christmas in Kilts by 5 Very Talented Authors! *This is the winner of which book I am going to read first, also this book will be out 10/31!!*

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Five Scotsmen and their lady loves? Sounds like my kind of story!

I actually read the first two chapters and the beginning of a third with the first novel in this compendium which is called A Highlander’s Hope by Terri Brisbin and it really intrigued me. It’s a story about Iain MacKillop who lives in the 14th Century, is a widower and lately been asked to consider marrying again at the urging of his nephew Jamie whose first wife passed away before they could have children. He’s been pretty much set against it especially the thought of marrying a woman who is barely of age and seems to mostly be for the alliance of a clan.

Then he suddenly finds himself liking Robena MacKendimen as more than just a woman that he passes the time with and is known as the sort of Town Mistress. There’s another word used but I’d much rather use Mistress who has been treated very well and is drawn to Iain but doesn’t think she’d be the right kind of gal because of her Profession.

I can tell just from the beginning of this story that Iain doesn’t give a fig about her profession and could see himself being with this woman on a permanent basis and I can’t wait to see what happens with their story!

I have not read the other stories in this series but I know that I will because they are all by talented authors and I just can’t resist stories that involve men in kilts!

 

So that concludes my ramblings on these books taken from the first chapters. They all sound like very interesting books and once I have read them, I will give a more in depth review. I can’t wait to see how each one will turn out and I hope that you’ll enjoy them too!

Happy Reading!

~Meg

 

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