A Village in the Country is the kind of book that blindsides you - in a quiet, unexpected way.
Emperor’s Sword is the story of Silus, a Roman scout. He makes a mistake he ends up regretting dearly, but it’s a mistake that kick starts a vast change, both for himself and the Roman Empire. The Caledonian clans band together to beat back the legions, with Maglorix, Silus’ sworn enemy, as their leader. This is a brutal, crude story, and rightfully so. I’m talking style here, style and accuracy: Gough doesn’t go for a watered-down version of the Romans and the Barbarians, but portrays the two factions in a realistic way. Emperor's Sword is a violent book; you won’t be spared any of the gritty details. I wasn’t expecting multiple POVS, as I was 100% happy with Silus’ one and I still believe that a single POV would have done Emperor’s Sword justice. However, Maglorix and Caracalla’s POVs help the reader understand the characters better. I’m not so fond of Maglorix per se, but his intelligence and his arrogance are showing. Speaking of Caracalla, he’s maybe the best character of the book. Smart, witty, interesting, I ended up rooting for him. Gough doesn’t pull any punches. His writing style is fast-paced for the most part, not dwelling into unnecessary parts. I’m always down for an author who’s able to tell a story without embellishments or descriptions. I hope to find the other parts of the series on NetGalley too, as I'd love to see what happens next.
Vaughan Springthorpe is a solicitor. So far, so good, but we’re in England, it’s the end of the nineteenth century, and women just don’t do legal work. They’re supposed to stand there, be pretty, and snatch a rich husband while in their prime. Vaughan has other ideas, however.
There are some topics that are dear to me. Old(ish) ladies still kicking ass, single women dealing with motherhood, fertility and pregnancy issues. Brooklyn Monroe Wants It All broaches each of these themes - some in depth, some in a fleeting way.
What Lurks in the Woods is the story of the Bells. Mom, Dad, two kids, a dog - a regular family living a regular life, or so you’d think. There’s something wrong with Russ, and only Nicole’s love and persistence will unveil the truth.
Sisters of the Great War is the story of Ruth and Elise Duncan, two sisters who enlist in the army during WWI. They have their reasons to do so, whether it’s pursuing a dream or escaping from their father’s oppressive household; what awaits them in Ypres, though, has nothing to do with ideals, morals, or the need to do the right thing.
Tranquil Heights is the quintessence of a scary story: a curse that dates back generations; ghosts; a former asylum; a protagonist who wants to break said curse and save her unborn daughter.
Toni’s life isn’t easy. Tragedy struck years ago, leaving her trapped in a web made of grief and survivor guilt. Those who should support her don’t acknowledge her struggles, and the risk of Toni having to sacrifice her whole life is real.
If You Walk Long Enough is the story of Reid, a veteran who just came home from Vietnam; it’s the story of Eleanor, who married Reid before his deployment and has a secret she's not ready to share; it’s the story of Joe, of Angela, of Diana, and Linh.
The Highwayman’s Drop is the pub Dad Padgett left to his wife and daughters after his passing. The three of them—Janey, Brooke, and Rhianna—own one third of the shares each, and they don’t agree on what to do with it. Keep it? Sell it? Both options have their merits; it’s just a matter of… heart? Heart and feelings.