In an effort to cut down on posts and burnout, my Review Roundups will feature 2-4 books I’ve read or listened to recently. Sometimes they’re newer releases and sometimes they’re all backlist titles. My ARC reviews usually get the solo treatment. Enjoy the mini reviews!
The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee
Series: Montague Siblings #2
Genres: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Fantasy
Published by Harper Collins on October 2nd 2018
Also by this author: The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue
Format: Audiobook (450 pages) • Source: Hoopla
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In this highly anticipated sequel to the New York Times bestselling The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, Felicity Montague must use all her womanly wits and wiles to achieve her dreams of becoming a doctor—even if she has to scheme her way across Europe to do it. A must-have for fans of Mackenzi Lee’s extraordinary and Stonewall Honor-winning novel.
A year after an accidentally whirlwind grand tour with her brother Monty, Felicity Montague has returned to England with two goals in mind—avoid the marriage proposal of a lovestruck suitor from Edinburgh and enroll in medical school. However, her intellect and passion will never be enough in the eyes of the administrators, who see men as the sole guardians of science.
But then a window of opportunity opens—a doctor she idolizes is marrying an old friend of hers in Germany. Felicity believes if she could meet this man he could change her future, but she has no money of her own to make the trip. Luckily, a mysterious young woman is willing to pay Felicity’s way, so long as she’s allowed to travel with Felicity disguised as her maid.
In spite of her suspicions, Felicity agrees, but once the girl’s true motives are revealed, Felicity becomes part of a perilous quest that leads them from the German countryside to the promenades of Zurich to secrets lurking beneath the Atlantic.
GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE was a pleasant surprise for me – I can be hit or miss with historical fiction and it was overall a bit out of my comfort zone. I was optimistic about LADY’S GUIDE though because of how much I enjoyed Felicity in the previous book. Needless to say, I wasn’t disappointed here!
Like the first book, it’s a bit looong. The audiobook made listening enjoyable throughout a month-long timeframe and it became one of those books where I’m not in the MOOD to listen to it, but I loved it while I was actually listening. This is exactly how I felt about GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE too. The audio narrator was solid and really brought Felicity to life.
While Felicity is the main character, the other powerful ladies at the front of the story made a huge impact too. Joanna, Felicity’s childhood ex-friend, and Sim, the badass pirate, were so fun to get to know. They all wanted more for themselves and fought against the stereotypes or expectations of the time. I loved how everything ended for them too. Of course, meeting up with Monty and Percy again was wonderful.
There were a lot of different parts or stages in this story, from Callum’s bakery to Joanna’s wedding to… other things that are a bit more spoilery. Overall, this was a very solid companion to the first book!
Royals by Rachel Hawkins
Series: Royals #1
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Published by Penguin on May 1st 2018
Also by this author: Rebel Belle, Miss Mayhem, Lady Renegades, Her Royal Highness, The Wife Upstairs, Reckless Girls
Format: Hardcover (296 pages) • Source: Library
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Meet Daisy Winters. She’s an offbeat sixteen-year-old Floridian with mermaid-red hair; a part time job at a bootleg Walmart, and a perfect older sister who’s nearly engaged to the Crown Prince of Scotland. Daisy has no desire to live in the spotlight, but relentless tabloid attention forces her to join Ellie at the relative seclusion of the castle across the pond.
While the dashing young Miles has been appointed to teach Daisy the ropes of being regal, the prince’s roguish younger brother kicks up scandal wherever he goes, and tries his best to take Daisy along for the ride. The crown–and the intriguing Miles–might be trying to make Daisy into a lady . . . but Daisy may just rewrite the royal rulebook to suit herself.
I’ll be real – I don’t care about the Royals, especially not compared to most of my friends/Twitter feed! I have zero interest in following them or reading articles about them. I’ve put off reading a lot of books in this subgenre because I’m afraid they won’t resonate with me. (THE ROYAL WE has been on my TBR for ages and I’ve never felt compelled to start it.) However, the synopsis for this book really grabbed me. What would happen if you were the sister of a girl about to marry a prince? I had a feeling that the MC would be slightly bitter and annoyed about all of the royal hullabaloo like I am, so I figured this would either (a) give me matching feels to my own or (b) help me turn a corner on my dislike for anything royal. Either way, I was intrigued. (Add in the fact that I highly enjoyed other Rachel Hawkins books and I was even more sold.)
Daisy, the sister of soon-to-be-princess Ellie, is forced to go to Scotland for the summer with her sister and future in-laws. She was a really funny and quick MC. She hangs around Seb, the prince’s wild brother, and some of the other guys in their royal friend group. Miles is tasked with bringing her around and showing her the ropes; they do NOT get along at first because he’s a bit snobby. HATE-TO-LOVE BABY.
There were quite a few unexpected twists and this book was thoroughly enjoyable throughout. It’s the kind of book you could easily read in one sitting. I’m incredibly happy there will be at least one more book in this series because I never want to leave these characters.