Round of Quickies: Part IV

Young woman has affair with older, married man.  Young woman becomes pregnant.  Older, married man runs back to his wife and family.  Child put up for adoption.

So now you have the plot of Randy Susan Meyer's newest novel, The Comfort of Lies.  Told from alternating viewpoints, the novel explores all of the ramifications of this one act of infidelity.  We listen to the wronged wife, the adoptive mother, and of course, the young woman.  Their lives are now intertwined.  

It's an easy read and Meyer does a very nice job presenting each character - flaws and all - in a fair and balanced manner.  No one is the bad guy.  Okay, except maybe the cheating husband who caused all this.  Bastard.

Rating:  4 Stars
Source:  Library copy

Did you absolutely love the HBO series, The Tudors?  If so, this might be just the book for you.  In The Boleyn King, Laura Andersen imagines what might have happened had Anne Boleyn given birth to a son, giving Henry VIII no reason to lop her head off and thereby changing the course of history.

While an older, widowed Anne does play a Queen Mother supportive role (albeit a small one) in the novel, the featured character is William, son of Anne and Henry who is now king of England.  Surrounded by court intrigue, William has discovered a plot to overthrow him.  But who can he trust?  He turns to his three closest confidents:  Minuette, a young woman raised with the Boleyn children, Dominic, his best friend, and his sister, Princess Elizabeth.  Together, the four friends work to uncover the plot and secure their own future.  They are England's hope and promise.

Okay, so it's an alternative history.  As such, Andersen can (and did) have fun with it.  If you like your historical fiction meaty and steeping in detail, this is not your book.  But if you're just looking for some light reading fun at the beach this summer and love all-things Tudor, pick up a copy and enjoy.

Rating: 3 Stars
Source:  Advance Reading Copy courtesy of Ballentine Books

The Ashford Affair is quite a departure for Lauren Willig fans long used to her famous swashbuckling Pink Carnation series.  Set in post-WWI England and Kenya, Willig gives us a rollickin family soap opera featuring the beautiful, scandalous, back-biting debutante of the season, Beatrice Gillecote.  Wealthy, titled, and supremely bored, Bea and her poor mouse of a cousin Addie are raised together in the historical English manor, Ashford Place.  But when Addie falls in love and Bea steals the man, the family is changed forever.  Alternating between present day and the past, Willig proves adept at tantalizing readers into 'just one more chapter.'

Think Downton Abbey.  On steroids.

Rating:  4 Stars
Source:  Library Copy

Originally published in 1974, The Bastard King is the first in Jean Plaidy's Norman Trilogy and was chosen for our Retro Readalong of the month. This is classic historical fiction in which Plaidy recounts the story of William the Bastard, or as we better know him these days, William the Conqueror, without whom modern-day England as we know it would not exist.  William, of course, was the Duke of Normandy who wrested the English crown in 1066, forever changing the course of Western history.  Plaidy's account, for the most part, is quite accurate given the little we know about this period...she has a knack for making traditionally 'boring' historical figures come alive.  In this first book of the trilogy, Willy overcomes a thoroughly traumatic childhood and bears instense emotional scars.  He meets and marries the sassy Mathilda of Flanders and invades England.  The second and third installments trace the trials and tribulations of Willy's pain-in-the-butt progeny.

Plaidy writes with an enjoyable droll wit that is a pleasure to read.  If you ever wanted to learn more about any historical time period in England, go find a Plaidy book.  With eight pen names and over a hundred books to her credit, odds are if you can name the era, Plaidy wrote about it.

Our favorite line?

William's Mother: "There are other women in the world - fine princesses who can bring you as much good as this one." 
William:  "I want this one, Mother."
          William's Mother:  "Then you should never have beaten her and thrown her in the mud."


Rating:  4 Stars
Source:  Personal Library


  1. Oh goodness, that is such a great line from The Bastard King I may have to read it!

  2. I remember reading that line a few times, it was a good one!

  3. Travis Jackson had ridden into town the day before.
    What do you should to have in order to really get rich operating the program?

    Feel free to visit my site - imprezy integracyjne

  4. Yes, it was one of the funnier moments...ha.

  5. I am reading The Boleyn King, and I can totally see what you mean by it being a light read for someone looking for detail. It tells like a YA book.


Fire away!