Wednesday, December 28, 2016

TLC Book Tour: The Girl in the Castle (Deverill Chronicles #1) by Santa Montefiore


The Girl in the Castle
(Deverill Chronicles #1)
By Santa Montefiore

Format Read: Trade Paperback
Genre: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance
Rating: 3.5/5

I was sent a copy of The Girl in the Castle by Santa Montefiore from the publisher and TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

About The Girl in the Castle

• Paperback: 576 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (September 27, 2016)
 International sensation Santa Montefiore presents the first book in a trilogy that follows three Irish women through the decades of the twentieth century—perfect for fans of Kate Morton and Hazel Gaynor. Born on the ninth day of the ninth month in the year 1900, Kitty Deverill is special as her grandmother has always told her. Built on the stunning green hills of West Cork, Ireland, Castle Deverill is Kitty’s beloved home, where many generations of Deverills have also resided. Although she’s Anglo-Irish, Kitty’s heart completely belongs to the wild countryside of the Emerald Isle, and her devotion to her Irish-Catholic friends Bridie Doyle, the daughter of the castle’s cook, and Jack O’Leary, the vet’s son, is unmatched—even if Jack is always reminding her that she isn’t fully Irish. Still, Jack and Kitty can’t help falling in love although they both know their union faces the greatest obstacles since they are from different worlds. Bridie cherishes her friendship with Kitty, who makes her feel more like her equal than a servant. Yet she can’t help dreaming of someday having all the wealth and glamour Kitty’s station in life affords her. But when she discovers a secret that Kitty has been keeping from her, Bridie finds herself growing resentful toward the girl in the castle who seems to have it all. When the Irish revolt to throw over British rule in Southern Ireland, Jack enlists to fight. Worried for her safety, Jack warns Kitty to keep her distance, but she refuses and throws herself into the cause for Irish liberty, running messages and ammunition between the rebels. But as Kitty soon discovers, her allegiance to her family and her friends will be tested—and when Castle Deverill comes under attack, the only home and life she’s ever known are threatened. A powerful story of love, loyalty, and friendship, The Girl in the Castle is an exquisitely written novel set against the magical, captivating landscape of Ireland.

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Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About Santa Montefiore

Santa Montefiore was born in England. She went to Sherborne School for Girls in Dorset and studied Spanish and Italian at Exeter University. She has written sixteen bestselling novels, which have been translated into thirty different languages and have sold more than two million copies worldwide. Find out more about Santa at her website, and follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

I had seen this authors name around the book blogging community and on Goodreads and became intrigued by the fact that she is recommended for fans of Kate Morton. As she is one of my favourite authors, I knew I had to give Santa Montefiore a chance.

The downstairs-upstairs plotline appealed to me and made for an interesting comparison between the two classes. The Girl in the Castle is set during a time period that covered the years of World War I. However I was unaware of the important events that occurred in Ireland, while the fighting in Europe went on. Although this book is a work of fiction, it has piqued my interest to learn more about the suffering of the Irish people during this time.

Aside from the time period in which the characters in The Girl in the Castle lived, my favourite part was most definitely the setting. Santa Montefiore did a wonderful job of describing the beauty of the country. The pride her characters had for their country added so much to the Irish peoples fight for independence from Britain.

While I found the story to be interesting, this wasn’t a fast read for me. In fact it took me a lot longer to complete than I anticipated and this left me quite discouraged. The writing was beautifully done, however by the latter half of the book I began to dislike characters that I initially favoured.

Although I haven’t decided yet if I will continue on with the second book in this trilogy, I would like to give this author a second try. Even though The Girl in the Castle might not have been the perfect fit for me, I would still recommend in to other fans of historical fiction. Those who enjoy Downton Abbey may enjoy this book as well. 

Friday, December 23, 2016

My Life According to the Books I Read in 2016

Today I would like to share with you a fun meme that was created by Whitney at First Impressions Reviews. Be sure to check out her original post and if you participated on your own blog, please leave me your links in the comments below.

Note: My responses to these questions are just in fun and not meant to be taken to heart. :)

My Life According to the Books I Read in 2016

  1. Describe yourself:The Queen (The Selection 0.4) by Kiera Cass
  2. How do you feel?
    Unbearably Deadly (Roger and Suzanne South American Mystery Book #9) by Jerold Last
  3. Describe where you currently live? Full House by Maeve Binchy
  4. If you could go anywhere, where would you go?The Red Door Inn (Prince Edward Island Dreams, #1) by Liz Johnson
  5. Your favourite form of transportation?The Whiskey Sea by Ann Howard Creel
  6. Your best friend is?The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1) by Rick Riordan
  7. You and your friends are?Angels and Demons (Robert Langdon, #1) by Dan Brown
  8. What's the weather like? Blaming the Wind by Alessandra Harris
  9. What is life to you? 1971- Never a Dull Moment: Rock's Golden Year by David Hepworth
  10. Favourite time of day?From this Moment (From this Moment #1) by Elizabeth Camden
  11. Your fear?Banished from Our Home: The Acadian Diary of Angelique Richard by Sharon Stewart
  12. What is the best advice you have to give?The Gift of Friendship: Stories that Celebrate the Beauty of Shared Moments by Dawn Camp
  13. Thought for the day?The Melody Lingers On by Mary Higgins Clark
  14. How I would like to die?Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman
  15. My souls present condition?Heart of the Matter by Emily Giffin
  16. My family is?The Mapmaker's Children by Sarah McCoy

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Sunday Wrap-up: December 18, 2016 & The Big Reveal!

Whew it has been a busy few weeks. We are mostly moved into our new apartment now, which is great. There is still a lot of unpacking to do, but I am slowly making progress. Unfortunately our internet still isn't hooked up yet, so I haven't been able to do any updates here on my blog. I'm currently visiting my parents so I thought I'd get a quick post together, while I check my emails.

I can't believe Christmas is just days away! Are you all ready? I haven't even started my Christmas shopping, to be honest and I couldn't tell ya where any of my decorations are. Just another thing I'm trying not to stress over, haha.

I've been feeling pretty good lately which is a blessing. Everything is going along well with my pregnancy and I am now just over 5 months along. I have to say that I'm loving my baby bump and I can feel the baby moving around more and more every day. What an amazing feeling!

The big news is that we were able to find out the gender of the baby!

It's a boy!! 

We are so excited and can't wait until April. 

Currently Reading

I finally finished The Girl in the Castle. Man it took me forever. Even though it is over 500 pages in length, it isn't an overly thick book. The story was interesting though and I decided on a 3.5 rating. I hope to get my review up soon. 

This completes my 2016 Goodreads Reading Challenge with 50 books read for the year. Even though I have slacked the last several months, I am still pretty proud of this accomplishment. Let's see how many more I can complete before the year is up. 

Next up on my TBR is:

Hosted by: Book Date

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Monthly Wrap-up: September, October & November 2016

Monthly Wrap-up:

Hello everyone,

I haven't done a monthly wrap-up since August. Normally I'm good at doing one each month, but lately my reading progress hasn't been anything to shake a stick at. 

Life has just been very hectic lately. For those of you who don't know, I am expecting my first child in late April! So my weeks have been consumed with doctors appointments and trying to get as much rest as I can. Because of my heart problems, this is a quite high risk pregnancy, but I have a great team of doctors around me and we are all optimistic that things will run smoothly. So far so good. *Fingers crossed!!*

We are also in the process of moving, which is exciting and stressful all at the same time. It made more sense for us to move out of our 1 bedroom, into a two before the baby comes. I'm looking forward to getting all settled in.

Now onto the books..

My Reading Progress: 

Books Completed: 

  1. The Whiskey Sea by Ann Howard Creel 
  2. The Blackfriar Murders: A Cosy Mystery Series: Book One: At the Bottom of the Stairs by M'Lissa Moorecroft 
Yikes! Only two books in the past several months. I am not happy with this total at all, but when life gets crazy, what can ya do? Right?

Currently Reading:

Yes I've been reading The Girl in the Castle since like August, but I am enjoying it. I'm starting to make good progress on it the past couple of days.
I have been using What To Expect.. as a guideline that I will continue with throughout my pregnancy. I am finding it very informative. 

Up Next:

I will continue on with the books I have been sent by authors to read and review. I am determined to catch up, it just may take me a while. I think I can, I think I can! 

I hope you are all doing well and wishing you happy holidays! 

Hosted by: Book Date