Fulfilling Bess (Erotic Gems Short) (Contemporary Romance) by Tessie Bradford

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Constance is at first an unsympathetic protagonist, claiming her dislike and lack of affection for the people around her. On the surface she is driven by dynastic ambition and little else.

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And yet she is incredibly loyal, including to a brother who betrays her. As the novel goes on, Constance also allows herself to open up to the possibility first of friendship, then of love. When she, in her turn, is let down, she must decide whether to forgive or to allow bitterness to consume her.

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  • Marie renders Inca beliefs with great sensitivity,includingtheircosmology,reverence for the Sun, and the uses of ritual sacrifice. The familiar visuals of Inca civilization—the terraced cities and stone temples, soaring mountains threaded with suspension bridges, the achievements in weaving and metallurgy, the staggering amounts of gold—provide backdrop for a tale that feels both specific and timeless. With brisk prose and layered characters, Marie examines the human heart within a narrative that encompasses the rise and fall of civilizations.

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    The result is nothing short of fascinating. Chiara Montani trans. Sofonisba is a biographical novel about Sofonisba Anguissola, who was one of the first women to make a living as an artist in 16th-century Italy. She learned to paint along with her sisters, but after her extraordinary talent stood out and drew praise from Michelangelo, Sofonisba accepted an invitation to the court of Philip II of Spain.

    She became a lady-in-waiting to his wife, Isabel, and taught her to paint, although, as a woman, Sofonisba could never be accepted as a court painter. Sofonisba is horrified to see people burned as heretics, but she and the queen become devoted to each other. Her husband loves her but does not understand how essential her art is to her existence, and she must also deal with a hostile sister-in-law. When her husband mysteriously dies at sea, Sofonisba feels guilty that she did not love him more.

    But she eventually finds love with a sea captain who truly appreciates her. Montani writes beautifully about a passionate woman and extraordinarily talented artist and her struggles with the limitations placed on female artists of the time. Sofonisba is not allowed to study anatomy or even to sign her paintings. Her descriptions are so vivid, you can imagine each painting in your mind. Vicki Kondelik.

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    It is and as usual in this era, plans and conspiracies are afoot and religious differences are never very far away. Thus, Constable becomes embroiled in decoding a message and astrological chart hidden in a secret compartment in a mysterious cabinet. Has Elizabeth had an illegitimate child and concealed it? Who is planning to use this story and this child as a figurehead for a revolution?

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    Can Constable work out the clues in time despite the dangers from both friends and foes? The pedantic and precise. Once one is accustomed to this, however, the story and characters are well drawn and the atmosphere, manners and atmosphere of the time are clearly evoked for the reader. The subplot of navigation and exploration are key facets of this time period, and the perils and inventions within this strand of the Elizabethan world are well described and give the reader the flavour of this time of discovery.

    There are further novels planned in this series. Ann Northfield.

    He presents us with a believable Europe of the period along with detailed knowledge of the social and political context of Venice, Padua, and the Vatican at the time. My only reservation is that the author does not give enough credit to the unique poetic genius of the man, the son of a glovemaker from Stratford-on-Avon, married with three children.

    Putting that personal caveat aside, I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and hope the author writes more in what could be an engaging series. Sally Zigmond. In , England is a hotbed of plotting and intrigue, with a Spanish war brewing, Mary Queen of Scots and the French always a threat, and Catholics and Protestants in conflict. Nicholas, part of an aristocratic Catholic family, must spy for Cecil in exchange for keeping his relatives safe.

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    The Earl of Essex has formed his own espionage network in a bid to impress the Queen, and Nicholas, unbeknownst to Cecil, is also working for him. When multiple dead spies start to turn up, Nicholas struggles to find who is killing them—and why—before he himself becomes a victim. This is a complex story with multiple engaging characters, really impossible to summarize without giving too much away. The middle seemed to slow down, but this was really just the author leading readers down a garden path. The true plot fooled me, although I was correct about a few details.

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    Wolfe addresses this in her endnotes, saying that it makes Elizabethan speech more familiar to the modern ear. Modern idiom is not the same thing as simplified Elizabethan speech and does a disservice to the story. January , during the English Civil War: Scottish leader Iain Locharbaidh Johnstone is a prisoner of war in Westminster, until he is sold into indenture.

    Soon the English arrive to appropriate the estate, and sell its inhabitants into servitude. Mairead and Iain meet on the ship to Barbados and are sold to the same plantation. This is a well-written historical romance, but those accustomed to reading genre romance might find the pacing slow.

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    The emphasis is on historical details, bleak and desperate, and though the couple does get a happily-everafter, it is at great cost. I would recommend The African people appear for background suffering as examples of how much worse it could be for the white characters. Katie Stine. Almost luxurious in its period detail and style, The Midnight Midwife rings with emotional honesty and historicity. In late 17th-century England, widow Abigale Harris is passionate about the upbringing of her three growing daughters—Judith, Elin, and the exotic, striking Mary—while plying her profession as midwife.

    The reader is immediately drawn into the rich, often raucous details of rural village life and its colorful, multifaceted characters, chief among these Mrs. Abigale navigates ignorance and superstition in addition to the sleepless hardships of single motherhood and her profession with determination and a deep, unfailing joy.

    And her daughter Mary carries a secret which could destroy them all if discovered. While frugal, the narrative arc has all the elements of conflict a reader could want, many playing out internally. The dialog is a feast: energetic and charming in its period touches, with a style that flows languidly and a deeply feminine texture that makes the pages turn themselves. This is historical fiction at its best.

    Jackie Drohan. Danger fills England in King Charles I has been dethroned and is held captive by followers of Oliver Cromwell. Living in the remote marshy landscape of the south coast, Alinor is a healer and midwife, a descendant of wisewomen. Trapped in poverty and superstition, she treads the ever-changing tidelands of her community with care, mindful that gossip regarding her work as a healer or.

    The inaugural book of the new Fairmile series, Tidelands is filled with details of small Sealsea Island, its economy, social structure, and political divides. While these details set the reader in the story, they occasionally bog down the action. Tension grows in the latter half of the book as Alinor makes a few missteps and small-minded, jealous neighbors question any good fortune which falls upon her.

    As with any well-crafted series, the book ends with a satisfying conclusion yet provides plenty of space into which new characters may step. Meg Wiviott. Persecution and witch-hunting in this period were undoubtedly a major issue and could have been depicted vividly without adding the pagan angle. Having said that, Hughes delivers an exciting and well-written story. She has created a likeable protagonist in red-haired Azubah Craft, a constant badge of shame for her mother who came pregnant to her marital bed.

    The little girl is viewed askance by everyone in the Puritan settlement but somehow manages to rise above this, escaping into the pleasures of weaving and embroidering, at which she excels.

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    How Circe and her fellow pagans survive this turmoil I leave to the readers to find out for themselves. Anna Belfrage. Lizzie Hardwicke is a brilliant, educated, and kind sex worker. Seated in a theater with her colleagues, she learns that she is also the most famous prostitute in London. The attention she receives from the audience is not related to her feminine charms but her capture of a murderer. Uncomfortable with the applause but ever the businesswomen, Lizzie turns her sights toward the wealthier gentlemen in the audience, ready to monetize her new fame, until a horrible scream and cries of murder explode from backstage.

    The next day is a fair one in May of Nineteen-year-old Lizzie, after escaping one murder, is asked to help solve another crime. As a member of an elite house of sex workers catering to noble patrons, she has some choice in the matter, but not much. Local magistrate John Fielding often overlooks her work because she serves wealthy clients, but he and his men still hold sway over her livelihood. After one of his men visits her and requests that she serves as a spy, she finds herself wearing a horrible disguise and installed as a lowly seamstress in the very theater where she received such adoration only the evening before.