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Friday, May 7, 2021

Book Review: Reborn Yesterday Tessa Bailey





Reborn Yesterday (Phenomenal Fate #1) by Tessa Bailey
Genre: Adult Fiction (Paranormal Romance)
Date Published: March 16, 2020
Publisher: Self

A timeless love story with bite.

It was a night like any other for funeral home director Ginny Lynn, until the exceptionally handsome—and unfortunately deceased—young man on her embalming table sat up, opened his emerald eyes and changed the course of her life forever, making her feel quite fluttery while he was at it.

Humans aren't supposed to know Jonas Cantrell, or any vampire, exists. It's kind of a major rule. Despite his instantaneous bond with perfectly peculiar Ginny, he has no choice but to erase her memories of their one and only meeting.

That was the plan. Before a reluctant Jonas can wipe Ginny's mind clean, she reveals a secret that brings their worlds crashing together. Human and vampire. Past and present. Darkness and light. And while their love is strictly forbidden, it might be the only thing that can save them…

Reborn Yesterday is a standalone paranormal romantic comedy with a happily ever after.


Reborn Yesterday is the first book in the Phenomenal Fate series by Tessa Bailey. If a vampire story could be cute, this one kinda was. Now, when I say that, don't think these are wimpy, fluffy, vampires. They're not. Though they seem to have something like morals. I liked both main characters, and I truly enjoyed the supporting characters as well. Ginny is a loner, mostly because she works at a funeral home, so people avoid her. Jonas is a vampire. Together, things heat up pretty quickly even though he tries to keep that from happening... and for a very good reason apparently. But, you know it's never that easy, and there is so much more that you'll find out along the way. I really enjoyed this one, and will be scooping up the second one soon.

author
Tessa Bailey aspires to three things. Writing hot and unforgettable, character-driven romance, being a good mother and eventually sneaking onto the judging panel on a reality show baking competition. She lives on Long Island, New York with her husband and daughter, writing all day and rewarding herself with a cheese plate and Netflix binges in the evening. If you want sexy, heartfelt, humorous romance with a guaranteed happy ending, you’ve come to the right place.

To learn more about Tessa Bailey and her books, visit her website. You can also find her on Goodreads, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Book Review: The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory




The Constant Princess (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels #6) by Philippa Gregory
Genre: Adult Fiction (Historical Fiction/Fantasy)
Date Published: December 6, 2005
Publisher: Washington Square Press

Splendid and sumptuous historical novel from the internationally bestselling author, Philippa Gregory, telling of the early life of Katherine of Aragon.

We think of Katherine of Aragon as the barren wife of a notorious king; but behind this legacy lies a fascinating story.

Katherine of Aragon is born Catalina, the Spanish Infanta, to parents who are both rulers and warriors. Aged four, she is betrothed to Arthur, Prince of Wales, and is raised to be Queen of England. She is never in doubt that it is her destiny to rule that far-off, wet, cold land.

Her faith is tested when her prospective father-in-law greets her arrival in her new country with a great insult; Arthur seems little better than a boy; the food is strange and the customs coarse. Slowly she adapts to the first Tudor court, and life as Arthur’s wife grows ever more bearable.

But when the studious young man dies, she is left to make her own future: how can she now be queen, and found a dynasty? Only by marrying Arthur’s young brother, the sunny but spoilt Henry. His father and grandmother are against it; her powerful parents prove little use. Yet Katherine is her mother’s daughter and her fighting spirit is strong.

She will do anything to achieve her aim; even if it means telling the greatest lie, and holding to it.

The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory is a fictional account of Catherine of Aragon, Henry VIII's first wife. I watched The Spanish Princess, which is based on this book and The King's Curse, and it made me want to read both books. The show made a lot of changes, and I have to say this book was a more believable representation of Catherine than the show portrayed. I was very happy about that. You didn't see much of Margaret Pole in the book, so, I'll have to read The King's Curse to see how differently the show portrayed her as well. All in all, this was very interesting. I know it's fiction, and we don't really know all the day to day details of how her story played out, but it's nice seeing her brought to life in a believable way.

Princess of Wales
Granada
1491

There was a scream, and then the loud roar of fire enveloping silken hangings, then a mounting crescendo of shouts of panic that spread and spread from one tent to another as the flames ran too, leaping from one silk standard to another, running up guy ropes and bursting through muslin doors. Then the horses were neighing in terror and men shouting to calm them, but the terror in their own voices made it worse, until the whole plain was alight with a thousand raging blazes, and the night swirled with smoke and rang with shouts and screams.

The little girl, starting up out of her bed in her fear, cried out in Spanish for her mother and screamed: "The Moors? Are the Moors coming for us?"

"Dear God, save us, they are firing the camp!" her nurse gasped. "Mother of God, they will rape me and spit you on their sickle blades."

"Mother!" cried the child, struggling from her bed. "Where is my mother?"

She dashed outside, her nightgown flapping at her legs, the hangings of her tent now alight and blazing up behind her in an inferno of panic. All the thousand, thousand tents in the camp were ablaze, sparks pouring up into the dark night sky like fiery fountains, blowing like a swarm of fireflies to carry the disaster onwards.

"Mother!" She screamed for help.

Out of the flames came two huge, dark horses, like great, mythical beasts moving as one, jet black against the brightness of the fire. High up, higher than one could dream, the child's mother bent down to speak to her daughter who was trembling, her head no higher than the horse's shoulder. "Stay with your nurse and be a good girl," the woman commanded, no trace of fear in her voice. "Your father and I have to ride out and show ourselves."

"Let me come with you! Mother! I shall be burned. Let me come! The Moors will get me!" The little girl reached her arms up to her mother.

The firelight glinted weirdly off the mother's breastplate, off the embossed greaves of her legs, as if she were a metal woman, a woman of silver and gilt, as she leaned forwards to command. "If the men don't see me, then they will desert," she said sternly. "You don't want that."

"I don't care!" the child wailed in her panic. "I don't care about anything but you! Lift me up!"

"The army comes first," the woman mounted high on the black horse ruled. "I have to ride out."

She turned her horse's head from her panic-stricken daughter. "I will come back for you," she said over her shoulder. "Wait there. I have to do this now."

Helpless, the child watched her mother and father ride away. "Madre!" she whimpered. "Madre! Please!" but the woman did not turn.

"We will be burned alive!" Madilla, her servant, screamed behind her. "Run! Run and hide!"

"You can be quiet." The child rounded on her with sudden angry spite. "If I, the Princess of Wales herself, can be left in a burning campsite, then you, who are nothing but a Morisco anyway, can certainly endure it."

She watched the two horses go to and fro among the burning tents. Everywhere they went the screams were stilled and some discipline returned to the terrified camp. The men formed lines, passing buckets all the way to the irrigation channel, coming out of terror back into order. Desperately, their general ran among his men, beating them with the side of his sword into a scratch battalion from those who had been fleeing only a moment before, and arrayed them in defense formation on the plain, in case the Moors had seen the pillar of fire from their dark battlements and sallied out to attack and catch the camp in chaos. But no Moors came that night: they stayed behind the high walls of their castle and wondered what fresh devilry the mad Christians were creating in the darkness, too fearful to come out to the inferno that the Christians had made, suspecting that it must be some infidel trap.


Check out my review of another book by this author!

author
Philippa Gregory was an established historian and writer when she discovered her interest in the Tudor period and wrote the novel The Other Boleyn Girl, which was made into a TV drama and a major film. Published in 2009, the bestselling The White Queen, the story of Elizabeth Woodville, ushered in a new series involving The Cousins’ War (now known as The War of the Roses) and a new era for the acclaimed author.

Gregory lives with her family on a small farm in Yorkshire, where she keeps horses, hens and ducks. Visitors to her site, www.PhilippaGregory.com become addicted to the updates of historical research, as well as the progress of her ducklings.

Her other great interest is the charity she founded nearly twenty years ago; Gardens for The Gambia. She has raised funds and paid for 140 wells in the primary schools of the dry, poverty stricken African country. Thousands of school children have learned market gardening, and drunk the fresh water in the school gardens around the wells.

A former student of Sussex University, and a PhD and Alumna of the Year 2009 of Edinburgh University, her love for history and her commitment to historical accuracy are the hallmarks of her writing. She also reviews for US and UK newspapers, and is a regular broadcaster on television, radio, and webcasts from her website.

To learn more about Philippa Gregory and her books, visit her website. You can also find her on GoodreadsFacebook, and Twitter.

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