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    by Kay S | Mar 29, 2017
    Book Review:  Do You Want to Start a Scandal by Tessa Dare

    When I first read the title of Tessa tessa dareDare's latest novel, Do You Want to Start a Scandal, my mind immediately sang the Beatles song,Do you Want to Know a Secret. Then I started to hear review rumblings of a song from Frozen and I thought, what are they talking about? I had to look up the songs from Frozen and found Do You Want to Build a Snowman? Well - that's a fine howdy-do. Which is it, Secret or Snowman? I don't know, but I wish whoever is thinking of these oh-so-clever book titles would stop because now I have two songs going through my head.

    Now on to the book with the silly title, Do You Want to Start a Scandal by Tessa Dare. This book started off great and I thought that at last there was light at the end of the tunnel - and there was - sort of. This is a hard book to review.  Not only is there a delightful heroine, but it also has one of the funniest scenes I've read in a long time. The problem is that the book doesn't maintain its momentum alllll the way through.

    I adored the heroine, Charlotte Highwood. Some people may not because she is a tad bit outrageous. She does things that are not at all historically correct, so if you have an issue with trying to keep your characters in their time period, this book may not be for you. In this case, I enjoyed the fun and I smiled a lot through the beginning of the book.

    Charlotte has a problem - her mother. Her mother wants to see her final daughter married and she is pushing her at any male who crosses her path - and, I do mean pushing. Her mother actually pushed her in front of a horse, with a bachelor on its back, just to get his attention - the bachelor, not the horse. What this incident actually did was make Charlotte the talk about town, and not in a good way. Men began taking the long way around, just to stay out of her path.

    Even though she is highly embarrassed, Charlotte doesn't really care toooo much (except for the occasional sneer aimed her way). You see, she has a plan. She and her best friend in the world, Delia, are going to be spinsters forever and ever. Not only that, but they are going to see the world. One of the more poignant issues in this story is Delia and Charlotte's friendship. Ms. Dare does a fine job of writing about what happens to a close friendship when a third party starts to interfere. This was another part of the book which I found special.

    Brain talk. Charlotte's physical persona lived in the time period she was supposed to be; she was quiet when faced with the people around her. But she had one sarcastic little brain. Reading her inner comments was quite a lot of fun. I found this part of Charlotte's characterization amusing - not everyone may.

    Laugh out loud warning. I was unable to sleep. It was 2:00am. I retrieved my Nook, crept back into bed, and tried to open it up. Of course I have the music setting turned up really loud, so I threw my pillow over my Nook when the light and noise erupted. Husband still asleep. I started to read. And, then there came a scene involving a mother, a daughter, the you-know-what-talk, and a basket of vegetables. It was a laugh-out-loud-hand-over-mouth moment. This scene made up for alll of the hero's flaws.

    Piers Brandon is in a study, rifling through a desk (which doesn't belong to him), when he first encounters Charlotte. It doesn't initially dawn on Charlotte that he's snooping -- she's on a mission. She came to warn him to stay away from her because her mother has set her sights on him as a future son-in-law. This scene had all the makings of a screwball comedy - I'll make this short. Charlotte tells her story, Piers listens, they hear a noise, they hide, two mysterious someones enter the room, those someones precede to use the desk for some hot whankee-roo, Piers and Charlotte listen, Charlotte giggles, the mysterious couple leave, Piers and Charlotte think everything is clear, they tip-toe out, a monster 9-year old boy screams Murder, they are caught in a compromising position. There is more to that scene, all of which was very funny.

    I had a lot of fun with all of the wild shenanigans which went on in this book. I loved how Charlotte made lists and dragged Piers into trouble again and again. However, the story lost some of its glow because of Piers. If Piers had just been charming and ironic throughout the whole book, I would have been really excited about this tale. But he had a dark side. No, not a dark side! On top of that he's a spy. No, not a spy! He was at the same house party as Charlotte because he was trying to find a spy or there was something slightly shady about his host (Delia's father). So, he's sneaking around. But that's not the part of the book that threw me out of my enjoyment. For some reason, he's not worthy of Charlotte. Oh no, not worthy! He has to prove to her that he's a really rotten. How does he do that, you may ask. Well, he sets fire to the house. Just a small wee fire - enough to smoke up rooms and send people fleeing into the night screaming. Well, I guess if you want to prove you're the wrong kind of person, you burn things down. Yep, that would do it for me. Of course, he explains it all and she forgives him. But when I read this, I stopped and wrote - "what the crap was that all about?" That is a direct quote from my Nook notes. After all of the fun, charm, wit, and laughter, there was a scene thrown in which made no sense to me. Must all of our heroes be dark and in need of saving? And, in such an outrageous, overboard, silly way? If only that scene hadn't been in this book.
    Overall. For the most part I enjoyed this book. I enjoyed Charlotte's zany character and I loved Piers trailing along with her because he couldn't help himself. I enjoyed the lightness, fun, and humor which abounded throughout the story. If only the "what was that" scene had not been included in the story, I would have given this book a glowing recommendation. I still recommend Do You Want to Start a Scandal, but just be prepared for a bounce-out-of-the-book scene involving Piers.

    kayKay is an avid reader of historical romance books, maybe with a little trip into paranormal land and an occasional journey into mystery world.
    by Becky C | Mar 27, 2017
    Ever wonder what library staff like to read?  Wonder no more!  Here's a quick look at some books we've enjoyed this month.  Click on a book cover to check availability — it’s as easy as that!

    Adulthood is a Myth
    Penrics Demon
    Miranda and Caliban
     Eat Well
     The Power of Habit
     The Whole Towns Talking
     When My Sister Started Kissing
     American Gods
     Seven Minutes in Heaven
     Born a Crime
     Nation on the Take
     The Girl in the Well is Me
     A Gentleman in Moscow

    Becky CBecky likes to read … A LOT. When she’s not reading, she likes to pretend that she can garden. Her thumb has no hint of green whatsoever but luckily her plants are forgiving. Her favorite books are The Shannara series by Terry Brooks.
    by Craig B | Mar 20, 2017

    Kevin Roth in Grabill Branch LibraryIn this month’s Allen County Reads, Kevin Roth shares his love of the library.  Kevin is a lifelong resident of the Grabill community; he lives on the Roth family farm established in 1853.  The original log cabin from the Roth farm has been donated in an effort to preserve local history and can be seen on display at Sauder Village in Archbold, Ohio.  Now, here's Kevin:

    “The Grabill library is one of the key "quality of life" assets of the Leo-Grabill-Harlan area.  I know a lot of people were instrumental in getting the library to come to Grabill but my mind always goes to Chris Gerig and Ron Schmucker. 

    Chris spent several years gathering names on petitions and advocating for a library in Grabill.  Ron Schmucker was an Amish schoolteacher who also advocated for our library as a way to help his students learn and grow. 

    I really didn't use the public library very much until it came to Grabill.  Now I regularly have 8-12 items checked out at any time.

    I love the online reservation capability that allows me to get any materials I want delivered right to my local branch. 

    The library has expanded my areas of interest.  I will see or hear of something that catches my interest and I'll see what's available on that topic.  I get materials on consumer product research, history, sports ( Tour De France and Iditarod), Christian Living, biographies, comedy, movies, and music (Country and Christian).

    In the last couple of years I have been availing myself of the library’s books on tape.  I always have one on in the car.  It makes drive time educational and fun. 

    I really appreciate the volume of information available to us through our library.  The Grabill Branch has opened my world to things I would not have otherwise explored or known about."

    Kevin is a VP in the commercial lending area of iAB Financial Bank and serves as a board member on the local Foods Resource Bank chapter, Grabill Development Corp, Grabill Chamber of Commerce,  and Newallen Alliance.  

    by Becky C | Mar 17, 2017

    It's no secret that I love holidays and Saint Patrick's Day is no exception.  In fact, given that spring typically follows right on its heels, friendly shenanigans are the order of the day, and Irish music is literally in the air, it's currently at the top of my list!

    Looking for music recommendations to carry your Saint Patrick's Day celebrations past March 17?  ACPL has a solid collection to choose from.  I've included links to cds in our collection but there's more!  Your ACPL card also gives you free access to streaming music via Freegal and Hoopla.

    Come Dance With Me In Ireland: Classic Irish Dance Music. This cd offers 12 tracks culled from the Claddagh music label's vast collection.  AllMusic notes that "Among other gems, there's a great set of hornpipes played with an almost polka verve by Phil, John, and Pip Murphy, an exquisite rendition of "The Ace and Deuce of Pipering" by uilleann piper Gay McKeon, and a very fine jig set played on flute and pipes by Ronan Brown and Peter O'Loughlin. This is traditional Irish music of the relatively hardcore variety -- no synthesizers, no multi-tracked vocals, no electric basses. Highly recommended."

    The Ultimate Guide to Irish Folk. Tracks by traditional stalwarts like the Bothy Band, Altan, and the Dubliners appear alongside more pop-oriented acts like Lou McMahon and the Screaming Orphans.  A solid introduction to both classic Irish folk music and some of genre's better contemporary artists.

    The Rough Guide to Irish Music (2013). Highlights of this album are the handful of tunes sung in Irish Gaelic.  A bonus cd, Six Days In Down, offers two cutting-edge talents on the Irish music scene, the masterful uilleann piper John McSherry and fiddle virtuoso Dónal O Connor.

    The Best of Thistle and Shamrock Thistle and Shamrock is a weekly radio program on NPR that explores celtic music.  This cd offers 54 minutes of lovely music by artists like the Battlefield Band, Altan, Davy Spillane, and Clannad.

    The Chieftains.  The name may be familiar to you; this Grammy winning group formed in 1962, gained popularity in the States in the 70s, and are still touring today.  *In 2010, Paddy's whistle and Matt's flute travelled to the International Space Station with NASA astronaut Catherine Coleman.

    The Clancy Brothers.  This family of Irish expatriates got their musical start in New York in the mid-1950s.  Forgoing sentimental Irish ballads in favor of lusty party songs, traditional American and Irish folk songs, and even protest tunes, the Clancys soon became popular folk performers.  Tom Deignan states that they ". . . infused traditional Irish songs of rebellion and revelry with strands of fast-paced American folk, the improvisational feel of jazz and even the banter of cutting-edge beat poets and comedians.  The result was something familiar, yet very different." 

    One of the newer "traditional" bands playing today, Dervish formed in 1989. Look to this band for virtuosic instrumentation, high-energy arrangements, and ultra-sweet vocals "Fiery musicianship balanced with Cathy Jordan's delicate vocals give something that holds onto yesterday while stepping into tomorrow." --Chris Nickson.

    Gaelic Storm.  Titanic's third class party scene brought Gaelic Storm to everyone's attention.  I've been lucky enough to see this band in person but enjoy listening to them on cd as well (they are always part of my Saint Patrick's Day celebrations, one way or another).  Energetic, playful, and brash -- this is a fun band with plenty of jigs, reels, and drinking songs to offer. 

    There's much more to choose from!  Which solo artists, groups, or albums do you recommend?

    Oh . . . and before I forget . . .


    Becky's previous Ireland-related posts:

    Let our collection take you on a tour of Ireland:  A selection of titles highlighting Ireland's rich folklore, literature, art and music.  Posted March 11, 2016.

    Riverdance Flash Mob: Irish step dancing!  Posted March 17, 2015.

    Don't kiss me, I'm not Irish: Celebrate the day with Grumpy Cat, quizzes, and trivia. Posted March 16, 2014.

    What's your Leprechaun name?:  As long as your first name doesn't begin with an E and your last name doesn't begin with an M, this helpful chart will make you smile. Posted March 17, 2013.

    Lá Fhéile Pádraig Shona dhuit/dhaoibh or Lá le Pádraig dhuit/dhaoibh:  My first blog post about Saint Patrick's Day.  I was all about the facts then!  Posted March 17, 2012.

    Becky CBecky likes to read … A LOT. When she’s not reading, she likes to pretend that she can garden. Her thumb has no hint of green whatsoever but luckily her plants are forgiving. Her favorite books are The Shannara series by Terry Brooks.
    by Kay S | Mar 15, 2017
    Yes, my Petunias it's time for a few upcoming releases from March 15 to April 14, 2017! This is, of course, not alllll of the new books being released. I would not have the time to compile that list and you would not have the time to read a list of that size. But, I have selected a few books which I'm hearing good things about. And, remember these are the release dates not the dates they will be on library shelves.

    Historical Romance
    Anna Bennett Anna Bennett
    I Dared the Duke
    Wayward Wallflowers series
    April 4
    Alyssa Cole Alyssa Cole
    An Extraordinary Union
    Loyal League series
    March 28
    Suzanne Enoch Suzanne Enoch
    My One True Highlander
    No Ordinary Hero series
    April 4
    Historical Fiction
    Marc Graham Marc Graham, debut
    Of Ashes and Dust
    March 22
    Contemporary Romance/Women's Fiction/Mainstream Fiction
    Lauren Denton Lauren K. Denton, debut
    The Hideaway
    March 11
    Joanna Goodman Joanna Goodman
    The Finishing School
    April 11
    Lorelei James Lorelei James
    All You Need
    Need You series
    Contemporary Romance
    April 4
    Kylie Scott Kylie Scott
    Dive Bar series
    Contemporary Romance
    April 11
    Mystery/Thriller/Suspense/Romantic Suspense
    Cherry Adair Cherry Adair
    Cutter Cay series
    Romantic Suspense
    April 4
    ;Annabeth Albert Annabeth Albert
    At Attention
    Out of Uniform series
    Romantic Suspense
    April 10
    Steve Berry Steve Berry
    The Lost Order
    Cotton Malone series
    April 4
    Bella Jewel Bella Jewel
    72 Hours
    Romantic Suspense
    April 4
    Julie Ann Walker Julie Ann Walker
    Wild Ride
    Black Knights Inc. series
    Romantic Suspense
    April 4
    Paranormal Romance/Fantasy/Science Fiction/Urban Fantasy
    Paul Cornell Paul Cornell
    March 21
    Emrys Ruthanna Emrys
    Winter Tide
    Innsmouth Legacy series
    April 4
    Benedict Jacka Benedict Jacka
    Alex Versus series
    Urban Fantasy
    April 4
    Sherrilyn Kenyon Sherrilyn Kenyon
    Paranormal romance
    April 4
    Shelly Laurenston Shelly Laurenston
    The Unyielding
    Call Of Crows series
    Paranormal Romance
    March 28
    Ada Palmer
    Ada Palmer
    Seven Surrenders
    Terra Ignota series
    Science Fiction
    March 7 - Yes, I know this is not between March 15 and April 14, but I missed it before and I'm hearing good things.
    Matthew Sobin
    Matthew Isaac Sobin
    The Last Machine in the Solar System
    Science Fiction, novella
    April 11
    Amanda Stevens Amanda Stevens
    The Awakening
    Graveyard Queen series
    Urban Fantasy
    March 28
    Young Adult/Teen
    Cindy Antsey Cindy Antsey
    Duels and Deception
    April 11
    Roshani Chokshi
    Roshani Chokshi
    A Crown of Wishes
    The Star-Touched Queen series
    March 28
    Mindy McGinnis
    Mindy McGinnis
    Given to the Sea
    April 11
    Zara Cox Zara Cox
    Black Sheep
    Dark Desires series
    March 14 - ebook, August 8 - paperback
    Calista Fox Calista Fox
    The Billionaires
    Lover’s Triangle series
    April 4
    Inspiration Romance/Mainstream
    Pepper Basham Pepper D. Basham
    Just the Way You Are
    Pleasant Gap Romance series
    April 6
    Trisha Goyer Tricia Goyer
    A Secret Courage
    The London Chronicles
    April 1
    DiAnn Mills DiAnn Mills
    Deep Extraction
    FBI Task Force series
    April 4
    Cynthia Ruchti Cynthia Ruchti
    A Fragile Hope
    April 4
    Ginny Yttrup Ginny Yttrup
    April 1

    kayKay is an avid reader of historical romance books, maybe with a little trip into paranormal land and an occasional journey into mystery world.
    by Evan | Mar 13, 2017
    Science Lab

    Science serves as a whipping boy for both the political right and the left. Often times, the right demands ever more evidence that pollution speeds up global warming; the left insists that scientists who advocate genetically modified crops are agri-biz stooges. The right pooh-poohs the destruction of species and ecosystems; the left insists that scientists who advocate immunizations are big pharma stooges. And who knows where people are coming from when they assert that scientists cover up evidence of superior aliens directing the course of human events?

    So, how can you tell someone is trying to sell you science to promote their own agenda? When you want to evaluate science -- maybe even detect pseudoscience -- who you gonna call? Hopefully, not the Ghostbusters. Instead, call your local librarian, who can draw upon many books written to help figure out who is doing solid scientific research and who is just blowing ideological smoke.   While librarians, like everyone else, tend to be diverse in our philosophical beliefs, we leave those at the door.  Whatever our personal leanings, we value solid research.  What kind of criteria do we use?  NBC and Forbes offer the examples of the types of questions we ask when evaluating information.

    The variety of books in our collection may help you appreciate a fundamental aspect of science: uncertainty. Good science does not require absolute theoretical certainty. It does require clear thinking, ideally based on observations and/or experiments that other scientists repeat. Even then, it is subject to improvement as more is learned. 

    Here's a sampling of relevant works:

    Skeptic: Viewing the World with a Rational Eye, by Michael Shermer.

    Science : All the Facts that Turned Out to Be Science Fiction, by Graeme Donald.  

    Climatology Versus Pseudoscience: Exposing the Failed Predictions of Global Warming Skeptics, by Dana Nuccitelli.

    Coming Climate Crisis? Consider the Past, Beware the Big Fix, by Claire L. Parkinson. 
    Monkeys, Myths and Molecules: Separating Fact from Fiction, and the Science of Everyday Life, by Joseph A. Schwarcz.

    And here are a couple of edgier titles; the first (from the cultural left) criticizes medical science as too limited, the second (from the cultural right) decries a national climate of fear that is fed by popular uses of science. What do you think of them?

    Mind over Medicine, by Lissa Rankin.

    From Cupcakes to Chemicals, by Julie Gunlock.

    EvanEvan - Married, three children, two grandchildren, formerly a newspaper journalist, now a public librarian, at all times a board game nut.
    by Becky C | Mar 10, 2017
    Book Review:  The Warrior's Apprentice by Lois McMaster Bujold

    Miles Vorkosigan is just shy of 5 feet tall, has a crooked spine and incredibly brittle bones.  He’d hoped to follow in his family’s military footsteps but an accident in the testing process resulted in his early discharge from the Academy.  Unfortunately, there’s not much else for a royal to do on the planet of Barrayar, a world which values physical strength and military prowess.  At his father’s suggestion, he sets off for his The Warriors Apprenticemother’s home world of Beta Colony for an extended vacation.

    Once on Beta, things begin spiraling out of control.  On a whim, Miles bluffs his way aboard a jumpship and determines a new path for himself:  shipping.  He purchases a decrepit ship and, hoping to find a way to pay it off before the bluff is discovered, takes a risky commission into a war zone.  More bluffing and many coincidences later, he finds himself the leader of the Dendarii Free Mercenaries, a force sizable enough to make the Emperor of Barrayar question his motives . . . .

    One of the things I liked best about The Warrior’s Apprentice is that we see characters working to redefine themselves.  Miles is a great character: his exasperating hyperactivity is mostly entertaining, his compassion is endearing, and his determination to make something of himself is admirable.  That said, he is reckless, and his deceptions threaten to catch up to him.  Thankfully he has a quick mind, plenty of charisma, and lots of sheer dumb luck.  The Warrior’s Apprentice is a fun adrenaline-ride with a couple of dark moments (even Miles can’t halt everything he’s set in motion).

    Looking forward to more Miles Vorkosigan adventures!

    Becky CBecky likes to read … A LOT. When she’s not reading, she likes to pretend that she can garden. Her thumb has no hint of green whatsoever but luckily her plants are forgiving. Her favorite books are The Shannara series by Terry Brooks.
    by Craig B | Mar 08, 2017

    cover of Bon Iver's album, 22, a millionI expected to be annoyed with Bon Iver’s newest album, 22, a million, but what do you know, an unexpected level of dynamism and a single use of an electric guitar won me over.  I was even able to inadvertently share my admiration for this album with a co-worker.  Now I’m sharing it with you.  I hope you appreciate how much annoyance I risked to bring you this message.

    Suggested Use: Find yourself in “a mood?"  Need to be reminded of how sometimes the best things are unexpected?  Pop this guy in and see where its creativity and unorthodox musicality takes you.  Take the boat out on the lake, bend your back against your oars, or better yet, get out that toothbrush and scrub some grout in your shower.  You’ll be surprised by the unexpected positive feelings that come to you by finishing a less than desirable task.

    by Becky C | Mar 06, 2017

    Image from Dennis Skley flickr page

    How do librarians know what titles are coming out when?  How do we decide which of those titles we'll purchase for the collection?  We have several sources, but Publishers Weekly (PW) is one of my personal favorites.  PW reviews around 9,000 books a year. 

    I've taken the liberty of going through the January issues and sharing the upcoming releases PW reviewers are most excited about.  Each of these titles received a starred review.  We don't have all of these titles in the collection yet -- most are due to hit the shelves in bookstores and libraries this month -- but you can place a hold on your copy now.  Or, if you're like me, and you're typically at the 5 holds per person max, you can keep tabs on your picks a couple of ways.

    My favorite way to keep track of books I want to read is through ACPL's catalog.  Heather wrote an excellent post on how to do this -- click here for the details.  Goodreads and LibraryThing are also options.

    What new titles are you looking forward to?

    Fiction coming to the collection March 2017

    The Idiot
     The Whole Art of Detection
     The Lost Book of the Grail
     Rabbit Cake
     Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley
     Say Nothing
     Mister Memory
     devils feast
     Find Me
     Dead Letters
     The Lucky Ones
     The Weight of This World
     The Woman on the Stairs
     Vicious Circle
     The Talker
     The Wanderers
     One of the Boys
     Never Let You Go
     The Cutaway
     Blue Light Yokohama
    Mississippi Blood  Revenger
     Tadunos Song
     Without Mercy
     Lenins Roller Coaster
     Catalina Eddy
     Satanic Mechanic
     Skeleton God

    Nonfiction coming to the collection March 2017

     Family Gene
     Martin Luther
    City of Light
     A History of Ancient Egypt
     Locking Up Our Own
     No Friends But the Mountains
     The Gulf
     Self Evident Truths
       Wild Nights
     Someone to Watch Over Me

    Becky CBecky likes to read … A LOT. When she’s not reading, she likes to pretend that she can garden. Her thumb has no hint of green whatsoever but luckily her plants are forgiving. Her favorite books are The Shannara series by Terry Brooks.
    by Heather G. | Mar 03, 2017
    Are you a list maker? If you are much of a reader, watcher, or listener you may consume much of the library's offerings. It's frustrating to check something out, only to start reading/watching/listening and realize you've already been there, done that.  I feel your pain!  That's why I'd like to introduce you to the "My Lists" function in our online catalog.

    You have two different options for creating your lists -- using our website or using our mobile app. All lists live where you create them. If you want to have your lists at your fingertips in the library, you'll want to access them the same way you created them.

    Here's a step-by-step approach for creating lists via the online catalog (we'll focus on the app in a future post).  Click on the images if you want to zoom in.

    Step 1
    Your first step is to log in to your library account.  You can create a list without doing so, but it will only be temporary -- if it's a list you want to access again, you want to be logged into your account so that you can save it.

    Step 2
    Your second step is to create at least one list name to get started.  Maybe a To Read list?  An Already Read list?  To do this, click on "My Lists" (located to the right of "My Account" at the top of the page).

    Under "Lists", click the book with the + sign next to it, and a box will appear, inviting you to enter a title.  Create as many list titles as you like (you can come back and make more later).


    Step 3
    Your third step is to search our catalog for the authors, subjects, or titles that you are interested in.  As you see items that you'd like to add to a list, check the box to the left of the cover images and select "Add to My Lists" from the pull down "Select an Action" menu.  Use the pull down menu to select which list you are adding to. 

    *Always select "Add to My List" before going to the next page of results.  If there's anything more frustrating than realizing you've already read/viewed/listened to something before, it's taking the time to create a thorough list and having it disappear.


    And that's it! Add as many books as you've read or would like to. Use the lists as you browse the shelves or place items on hold.  Want to move or copy a title to a different list?  Check the box next to the title, click "Select an Action" and you will be given the option to do so via the pull down menu.


    Let us know how this function works for you! We hope you'll like it!
    We'll be back another day to illustrate how to use the list function in our mobile app.

    by Emily M | Mar 02, 2017
    Looking for a good book recommendation? Look no further!  Here are a few good books I’ve enjoyed recently:

    Book Review:  Uprooted by Naomi Novik

    Agnieszka lives in a quiet, peaceful village bordered by the Wood, a dangerous forest full of malicious power, which is kept at bay by a wizard known as the Dragon.  In exchange for the Dragon’s benevolence, once every ten years he comes to pick a Uprootedteenage girl from the village and takes her back to his castle home.  The girl picked is always special – she’s the prettiest of all the girls, or the smartest, or the kindest, or has some special talent.  Agnieszka does not fear being picked because she and everyone else in the village know that Agnieszka’s best friend, Kasia, will be picked.  Kasia is beautiful and smart and kind and talented; she is special, so she will be chosen.  Except, when the Dragon comes, Agnieszka is the one chosen, the one whisked away from her family and home for some unknown purpose, with consequences of which she never could have dreamed. 

    Naomi Novik’s fantastical fairy tale is a page-turning delight, steeped in magic, with frequent nods to fairy tale lore (Beauty and the Beast is heavily alluded to in the beginning of the book).  Uprooted is perfect for fantasy lovers, for fairy tale lovers, and for lovers of bewitching storytelling. 


    Book Review:  The Rain Before it Falls by Jonathan Coe

    The Rain Before it Falls could perhaps be described as a story within a story within a story.  The premise is this: Gill’s Aunt Rosamond has died, leaving behind a collection The Rain Before It Fallsof cassette tapes she recorded herself.  Rosamond leaves a letter instructing Gill to track down a woman named Imogen, of which little is known, and give her the tapes.  Unable to locate the mysterious Imogen, Gill, along with her 20-something daughters, listen to the tapes themselves.  On the tapes, Rosamond describes twenty photographs, some dating back to World War II when Rosamond, just a child, was sent away from her parents in the city to live with country relatives during the Blitz.  Through these twenty photographs, Rosamond recounts a sixty year history in which she discloses her own story, as well of the story of three other women in her family, revealing family secrets Gill never could have imagined.

    While the plot and characters are well developed, what Coe does so beautifully in this book is create a very precise sense of mood.  Beautiful and tragic, The Rain Before it Falls, is a book to be savored. 


    Book Review:  Defending Jacob by William Landay

    Andy Barber is the assistant district attorney in his county and, along with his wife and Defending Jacobson, lives in a small, safe suburban community.  When a teenage boy is found dead in the woods next to the local high school, Andy is assigned to the case, and everything seems to be proceeding normally.  However, when Andy’s son becomes the main murder suspect, the lives of Andy and his family quickly spiral out of control. 

    Defending Jacob is a fast-paced crime drama that goes far beyond asking “Who dunnit?” to explore just how far a parent will go to protect one’s child and how far a parent will go to protect others from one’s child.

    What about you?  What good books have you read recently that our readers might enjoy?

    EmilyLong before becoming a librarian, Emily was an avid library patron. She enjoys reading fantasy, science fiction, historical fiction, biographies, and classic children’s literature. Her favorite book is Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery.


    by Becky C | Mar 01, 2017

    It's Women's History Month!  There's not enough room in one post to highlight all of the titles I'd love to call attention to, but here are a few to get you started.  Click on a book cover to check availability — it’s as easy as that! 

    Reverend Addie Wyatt
     Wonder Women
     A Warrior of the People
     Beyond Rosie
     Anna Howard Shaw
     Women in American Politics
     History in Blue
     Mary McGrory
     Rad Women Worldwide
     Hidden Figures
     The Firebrand and the First Lady
     Rise of the Rocket Girls
     On Her Own Ground
     Twenty Years
     Harriet Tubman

    Looking for more recommendations?  A catalog search for women history or women biography will provide several titles to choose from.  Take advantage of the Limit Search Results options that appear on the left side of the list.  I typically limit my search to include Books and include Adult Reading Level, but you can also choose to focus on fiction or non-fiction, among other things.

    And, of course, you're also always welcome to give us a call or send an email to  We love talking about books!  The Readers' Services department at the Main Library has the largest selection of history and biography titles -- their phone number is (260) 421-1235.  If you prefer to speak to someone at your favorite library branch though, that's okay!  It doesn't matter where a particular item is located -- as long as it is not Express or Reference, it can be sent to the most convenient location for you.

    Who are you most interested in learning about this month?  Which books would you recommend for this post?

    Becky CBecky likes to read … A LOT. When she’s not reading, she likes to pretend that she can garden. Her thumb has no hint of green whatsoever but luckily her plants are forgiving. Her favorite books are The Shannara series by Terry Brooks.
    by Craig B | Feb 28, 2017
    planet earthThere were three books that came in neck and neck (maybe “spine and spine” is a better phrase) for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction of 1971.  Ultimately, since the Fiction Jury had noted that it was “not likely that (they) would be able to decide on a single, unanimous, persuasive choice” out of the three recommended titles, the Pulitzer Board decided to not award a Fiction prize at all, thus mandating that Craig read all three “recommended titles” so he could have his own pet opinions and share them with you.  (sigh)

    Recommendation #1:  Losing Battles

    Even if I don’t take major issue with Eudora Welty’s final book and near Pulitzer-win, I don’t not take issue with its never-ending dialogic wanderings, and I definitely take issue with the dude on the Pulitzer Jury for Fiction that called this book “genre fiction.”  What genre?  I mean a work of 436 pages with this little of plot (almost nothing happens for 400 pages) can hardly be called “genre” fiction.  Stuff happens in genre fiction.  Like birth, death, divorce, circle of life sort of stuff.  Stuff that engages the emotions, even in a horrifically maudlin way, and makes us care.  Reading this book I just was never sure why I should care … I could care, but so much was made of so little … My efforts to care were truly a losing battle.  Aha!

    Recommendation #2: Mr. Sammler’s Planet
    Saul Bellow’s book was in many ways above me (I just don’t know that much Latin), however, I didn’t really feel “condescended to” as a member of the Pulitzer Jury put it, and it did not “alienate” me.  That said, I can sometimes be a glutton for literary punishment and the book does actually read a bit more like a series of essays than a traditional novel.  Maybe it’s an attempt at a “high-brow masterpiece” (Bellow’s phrase) or maybe it’s just pretentious.  Either way, it has my vote.  I rather liked it.  It might be even better if it were a little longer. For some reason I wanted just a bit more.  But, oh my, what did I just say!   Longer?!  As in more pages?!  Sacrilege!

    Recommendation #3: The Wheel of Love

    All right Mr. Fiction Jury Man.  Someone was clearly in love with Joyce Carol Oates … and her collection of short stories.  “Plumbs ordinariness” is the phrase you fastened on?  (Is that some sort of “could you ever love an ordinary guy like me” schtick?)  Come on!  These are not ordinary people, these Oatesian characters!  I mean, how many East coast professors are featured in these stories?  There’s upper-middle class money everywhere!  Seriously, Little Women is about ordinary people (sort of).  To Kill a Mockingbird is about ordinary people.  The Stand is about ordinary people (mostly).  That said, I did quite like Oates’ book.  And I have to give Oates (and Mr. Fiction Jury Man) this -- the emotions felt and described in The Wheel of Love are ordinary.   They cover much of the same territory as pop songs, high school poems, and the insidious Hollywood effect.  By this I mean every story is a love story of sorts, which is encouraging.  Even unordinary people experience ordinary emotions, love, romance, etc.; even when that “ordinary” love is sick, middle-aged, and violent.  Which doesn’t give anyone a lot of hope for how that Mr.-Fiction-Jury-Man/Joyce-Carol-Oates romance turned out.  (zing!?)

    So, there’s my two cents on the three books considered but ultimately not chosen for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1971.  And listen, I know I’m “taking issue” and “condescending” to the Pulitzer Jury, some sort of super-people race of the literary world (again, “ordinary?” pshaw), but most of us on this “ordinary” planet find ourselves at some sort of odds with the clinical expertise of the experts and I suppose we must preserve our opinions even if it’s a “losing battle” as we go round the “wheel” of this world trying to figure out what it really means to “love.” 

    Another self-serving sentence like that one and I’m going to put myself to sleep.  (yawn)

    by Becky C | Feb 27, 2017
    Ever wonder what library staff like to read?  Wonder no more!  Here's a quick look at some books we've enjoyed this month.  Click on a book cover to check availability — it’s as easy as that!

    A Man Called Ove
     Babylons Ashes
    Kidding Ourselves
     The Good House
     The Passenger
     Behind Her Eyes
     Books for Living
     The Unbanking of America
     The Fringe Hours
     Hillbilly Elegy
     The Latehomecomer
     My Name Is Memory

    Becky CBecky likes to read … A LOT. When she’s not reading, she likes to pretend that she can garden. Her thumb has no hint of green whatsoever but luckily her plants are forgiving. Her favorite books are The Shannara series by Terry Brooks.
    by Kay S | Feb 24, 2017
    Before I begin, let’s sing a little song:

    “Some enchanted evening you may see a stranger (or the back of their head)
    You may see a stranger (or the back of their head) across a crowded room
    And somehow you know, you know even then
    That somewhere you'll see her (or the back of her head) again and again”
    – Rodgers and Hammerstein – sort of

    So begins the last of the stories in the Bridgerton series, On the Way to the Wedding by Julia Quinn. AtOn the way to the wedding last it’s Gregory Bridgerton’s turn. Poor Gregory - he’s alone and feeling blue. He’s blue because everyone has someone but him. He wants someone. He’s on the lookout for someone. And then, he enters a room. There - across the way - he spots a beautiful woman. He’s hit by the luv-lightening. Oh lovely lady, I luv you forever and ever. At least the back of your head. Yes, fellow readers, Gregory Bridgerton, of the famous Bridgerton family, falls in love with the back of some woman’s head.

    The woman belonging to that head-back is Hermione Watson. Excuse me while I ponder naming of characters in books. All the way through the book I had a problem with the name Hermione Watson. First of all, I don’t like the name Hermione (sorry all you Hermione’s). Secondly, I kept thinking of Hermione Granger from Harry Potter. Then it dawned on me that the actress who plays Hermione is Emma Watson. Ms. Quinn would not be so playfully cute as to combine those names for this character – would she??? Because if she did, I have to tell you I found it very distracting.

    But that's neither here nor there because Hermione is not the heroine of this book. No, the heroine of this book is there in the crowd of men surrounding Hermione – Lady Lucy Abernathy. Yes, that’s her – the one who nobody pays any attention to. Anyway, Lucy happens to notice the moment of luv-lightening striking Gregory Bridgerton. She mentally shrugs her shoulders because she sees it all the time. Hermione and Lucy have been friends for a very long time and Lucy is used to men making fools of themselves over Hermione. But this time it’s different and not just because Lucy is sort of attracted to Gregory. No, that's not it. Lucy is sort of engaged so she can’t be interested in Gregory. But the beautiful Hermione is in luv with an unsuitable man and Lucy knows that this unsuitable man will be wrong for Hermione. Lucy decides to help Gregory in his quest to win fair Hermione’s hand. So she starts giving Gregory advice, advice which he has not asked for. Lucy likes to advise people. She likes to make everyone happy. Be prepared, she’s a martyr.

    Gregory follows Lucy’s advice of ignoring Hermione in hopes that Hermione will notice him. Then one morning at the breakfast table Gregory says something and Hermione thinks he's interesting. He makes her flutter. But wait a minute! Lucy’s brother shows up with an emergency message! Lucy must go home immediately because her uncle must see her. But first there’s another party to go to. At that party, Lucy’s brother, who is also in luv with Hermione, seduces Hermione. Well, he actually doesn’t work very hard at the seduction because you see Hermione is now in luv with Lucy’s brother. He makes her flutter. So much for the unsuitable guy and the fluttering Gregory was creating at breakfast. Hermione and Lucy’s brother marry. Gregory is alllll alone – again. However, he watches Lucy as she walks away.

    Lucy has returned home. Her sort-of fiancé is there along with his fat, creepy father. She finds out her fiancé doesn’t care for women, but that’s ok. You see the creepy father informs her that if his son can’t put the erection set together, he will. Lucy turns him down. Lucy’s uncle blackmails her with words like treason, scandal, family destroyed. Lucy the martyr will marry the son.

    Gregory returns to London. He is wandering through Hyde Park. He is once again struck by luvs-lightening when his eyes fall on the back of another woman’s head. It’s luv, luv, luv, luv. He luvs this woman! She turns! It’s…Lucy! Groan – not the good kind.

    What we have here is a case of Lastbookitis. I had a big problem with this book. There were so many things that left me wondering just who had written this. This book had all of the signs of a last book in a series. It was rushed; the plots meandered all over the place. I had the feeling I was in grade school again watching people in the throes of their first love. All we needed was for Gregory and Lucy to write notes: “I love you, if you love me check this box”. They were soooo immature, falling in and out of love at the drop of a hat. Then there was the added blackmail, treason, evil uncle, and kidnapping thrown in at the end. On the Way to the Wedding was allll over the place. Then there was the short-sentence-paragraph-filler.

    Anyone remember Robin Schone?

    She wrote like this.

    That is what happened in this book.

    I was scratching my head wondering what was going on.

    Why was Ms. Quinn filling the pages with sentences like this?

    Overall. This was my least favorite book in the Bridgerton series. The plotline was all over the place, the characters were immature and the love/luv expressed in this book was just fickle. This story had the feel of a rushed job with different ideas thrown in just to get the writing done.

    kayKay is an avid reader of historical romance books, maybe with a little trip into paranormal land and an occasional journey into mystery world.
    by Becky C | Feb 22, 2017
    • Author Visit:  Eloisa James
    • March 4, 2017
    • 1:00 pm
    • Main Library, Theater
    • Free; no registration required

    Spend an enchanting afternoon with USA Today and New York Times bestselling historical romance writer Eloisa James! An Oxford-educated professor of Shakespeare, James is the author of over 25 romance novels and a memoir entitled Paris in Love.

    James will talk about her latest book Seven Minutes in Heaven, as well as how she came to write Regency romances, and why the genre is definitely worth reading. 

    Book signing as well as meet & greet with Eloisa will follow the event. Books will be available for purchase.

    Becky CBecky likes to read … A LOT. When she’s not reading, she likes to pretend that she can garden. Her thumb has no hint of green whatsoever but luckily her plants are forgiving. Her favorite books are The Shannara series by Terry Brooks.
    by Evan | Feb 21, 2017


    America has always been awash in dubious information. Thinking about Americans affronted by liars on the Internet takes me deep into the cliche mine where Captain Renault is "shocked" there is gambling in Rick's establishment.

    But social media has enabled fake news to spread more quickly. Before accepting everything that shows up in your newsfeed at face value, and more importantly, before automatically sharing it yourself, there are a few things to consider.
    Fact-checking websites are one place to start.  Generally speaking though, you want to do the following: 

    Consider the source.  Who wrote it?  Who published it?  What sources are cited to support the story?  Are the sources credible?  When was it originally published?  Is it satire?

    Read beyond the headline.  What's the whole story?

    I use a few online-only sites for analysis and opinion, but they are not set up to dig for news.  For that, the best source remains the online versions of reporting agencies -- newspapers, magazines and major broadcast outlets. It may well be that some online entity will get a scoop before the big folks do, but it's the news outlets' job to see if it is real or fake news. This is no guarantee that any one of them is always right; I spent more than 20 years writing for newspapers, and I know we got things wrong sometimes. But intentional fakery in regular news outlets is extremely rare and is punished severely when discovered. 

    Still, to get it as close to right as you can, you need to use at least three reliable news sources, perhaps from different editorial directions. A reliable news source will avoid fake news, but editorial judgment will vary.  Whichever news source you prefer, checking the facts reported in at least two other reputable sources will make it easier for you to verify the accuracy of the story.

    Even with these, however, be careful to look for actual news articles and not the cheesy ads that pretend to be news. Here are sites from and the news literacy project that help you detect fake news. One tip is to examine the url; if it looks like a news site but ends with, then look at it more carefully. It's probably one of those sites that just make up shocking headlines in hopes you will click on them. 

    You will eventually notice that many credible websites will ask you to pay up if you want full access. Do it if you can. Their advertising alone is not enough. Newspapers in particular need your subscriptions to keep doing the reporting that gives you something beyond fake news and whatever the alternative facts of the day are. 


    EvanEvan - Married, three children, two grandchildren, formerly a newspaper journalist, now a public librarian, at all times a board game nut.


    by Becky C | Feb 20, 2017
    Lansdowne portrait of George WashingtonWhile many calendars and advertisements identify the third Monday in February as Presidents' Day, the official name of the federal holiday is Washington's Birthday.  The name of the federal holiday indicates that we are celebrating the birth of George Washington, but the name most of us are familiar with implies that we are celebrating other presidents as well.  Which is it?

    As it turns out, the history of this holiday has a few twists and turns.  It originally began as a day of remembrance of George Washington.  Washington was much admired; following his death in 1779, his birthday became a day of commemoration.  February 22 was signed into law as a federal holiday in 1879 by President Rutherford B. Hayes.  Initially, the holiday only applied to the District of Columbia but was expanded to include the entire United States in 1885. 
    February 22?  Yes, until 1971, the Father of Our Country's birthday was, in fact, celebrated on his birthday.  In the late 1960s however, there was a push to create more three-day weekends for federal workers.  And, by that time, America had another widely admired President many wanted to celebrate as well:  Abraham Lincoln, also born in February.

    While working out the details of the holiday bill, the committee discussed whether the name of the Washington's Birthday should be changed to Presidents' Day but ultimately decided against it.  However, the decision to place the observance on the third Monday of the month, also placed it between Lincoln's birthday and Washington's.  It was the beginning of the shift in public perception. 

    With the implementation of the Monday Holiday Law in 1971, people began thinking of the third Monday in February as a combined celebration of both Washington and Lincoln.  And, despite the fact that the name of the federal holiday never changed, by the mid-1980s, Presidents' Day had become the more widely used title.  Today, this holiday is popularly regarded as a day to celebrate all United States presidents, past and present.

    That's not all, folks!  I discovered a few more interesting facts while researching this post.

    • You know how I stated earlier that George Washington was born on February 22?  It's a bit more complicated than that.  When he was born, people in Great Britain and the Colonies were still using the Julian calendar ; according to that calendar, he was born on February 11.  
    • The Gregorian calendar was adopted in 1752.  People born before 1752 were instructed to add 11 days to their birth dates and those who were born between January 1 and March 25, as Washington was, also had to add one year to be properly in sync with the new calendar.  Ouch.
    • Indiana, among a few other states, likes to celebrate Washington's birthday in December.  ???  Kevin Bleyer asserts that we do this to observe Washington's Birthday without creating another paid holiday. 
    • Make sure you click on "the Father of Our Country'".  It will take you to a fun list of Presidential nicknames.  

    My guess is that George would be perfectly happy to share this holiday with the other presidents of our country, particularly if it encouraged us to get to know each of them better.  With that in mind, here are three well-reviewed titles to get you started.  Happy Presidents' Day!

    The Presidents and the Constitution
    Historical Dictionary of the US Presidency
     Where They Stand

    Becky CBecky likes to read … A LOT. When she’s not reading, she likes to pretend that she can garden. Her thumb has no hint of green whatsoever but luckily her plants are forgiving. Her favorite books are The Shannara series by Terry Brooks.
    by Kay S | Feb 18, 2017
    No, no! It's not time for a nap, it's time for a few upcoming book releases. For your perusal, coming someplace near you between February 15 to March 14, 2017...and after.

    Historical Romance
    Meredith Duran

    Meredith Duran
    A Lady’s Code of Misconduct
    Rules for the Reckless series
    February 28

    Lisa Kleypas Lisa Kleypas
    Devil in Spring
    The Ravenels series
    February 21
    Theresa Romain Theresa Romain
    Passion Favors the Bold
    Royal Rewards series
    February 28
    Historical Fiction
    Rosen Renee Rosen
    Windy City Blues
    February 28
    Contemporary Romance/Mainstream/New Adult
    Donna Alward Donna Alward
    Someone to Love
    Darling, VT. series
    Contemporary Romance
    March 7
    Meg Donohue Meg Donohue
    Every Wild Heart
    Mainstream Fiction
    March 14
    Kasey Lane Kasey Lane
    Beautiful Mess
    Rock 'n' Ink series
    Contemporary Romance
    March 7
    Rhenna Morgan Rhenna Morgan
    Rough & Tumble
    The Haven Brotherhood
    Contemporary Romance
    February 20
    Colleen Oakley Colleen Oakley
    Close Enough to Touch
    Contemporary Romance
    March 7
    Danielle Steel Danielle Steel
    Dangerous Games
    Mainstream Fiction/Women's Fiction
    March 7
    Alexandra Teague Alexandra Teague
    The Principles Behind Flotation
    Mainstream Fiction
    March 14
    Mystery/Thriller/Suspense/Romantic Suspense
    Cherry Adair Cherry Adair
    Cutter Cay series
    Romantic Suspense
    March 7
    Jennifer Armentrout Jennifer L. Armentrout
    Till Death
    Romantic Suspense/New Adult
    February 28
    Jorgan Brekke Jorgen Brekke
    The Fifth Elemnet
    Odd Singsake series
    February 28
    Tillie Cole Tillie Cole
    Scarred Souls series
    Romantic Suspense
    March 7
    Lea Griffith Lea Griffith
    Flash of Fury
    Endgame Ops series
    Romantic Suspense
    March 17
    Faye Kellerman Faye Kellerman
    Bone Box
    Decker/Azarus series
    February 28
    Nicolas Obergon Nicholas Obregon
    Blue Light Yokohama
    March 7
    Paige Tyler Paige Tyler
    Her True Match
    X-Ops series
    Romantic suspense
    March 7
    Paranormal Romance/Fantasy/Science Fiction/Urban Fantasy
    Anne Bishop Anne Bishop
    Etched in Bone
    Others series
    Urban Fantasy
    March 7
    Alex Bledsoe Alex Bledsoe
    Gather Her Round
    Tufa series
    March 7
    Patricia Briggs Patricia Briggs
    Silence Fallen
    Mercy Thompson series
    Urban Fantasy
    March 7
    Meg Elison Meg Elison
    The Book of Etta
    The Road to Nowhere series
    Science Fiction
    February 21
    Jeaniene Frost Jeaniene Frost
    Into the Fire
    Night Prince series
    Paranormal Romance
    February 28
    Sara Humphreys Sara Humphreys
    Amoveo Rising series
    Paranormal Romance
    March 7
    Richard Kadrey Richard Kadrey
    The Wrong Dead Guy
    Another Coop Heist series
    Urban Fantasy
    February 28
    Kerrelyn Sparks Kerrelyn Sparks
    How to Tame a Beast in Seven Days
    Embraced series
    Paranormal Romance
    March 7
    Chuck Wendig Chuck Wendig
    Miriam Black series
    Paranormal Thriller
    February 28
    Young Adults/Teens
    Katie Bayerl Katie Bayerl
    A Psalm for Lost Girls
    March 14
    Stephanie Elliot Stephanie Elliot
    Sad Perfect, debut
    February 28
    Heidi Heilig Heidi Heilig
    The Ship Beyond Time
    sequel to The Girl From Everywhere
    February 28
    Jennifer latham Jennifer Latham
    Dreamland Burning
    February 21
    Lilliam Rivera Lilliam Rivera
    The Education of Margot Sanchez, debut
    February 21
    Gina Showalter Gena Showalter
    Everlife series
    February 28
    Angie Thomas Angie Thomas
    The Hate U Give, debut
    February 28
    Inspiration Romance/Mainstream
    Kristy Cambron Kristy Cambron
    The Illusionist’s Apprentice
    Jazz Age Entertainment series
    March 7
    Elizabeth Camden Elizabeth Camden
    To The Farthest Camden
    February 28
    Kathleen  Fuller Kathleen Fuller
    Written in Love
    Amish Letters series
    March 14
    Joel Rosenberg Joel C. Rosenberg
    Without Warning
    J.B. Collins series
    March 14
    Carrie Turansky Carrie Turansky
    Shine Like The Dawn
    February 21

    kayKay is an avid reader of historical romance books, maybe with a little trip into paranormal land and an occasional journey into mystery world.
    by Kay S | Feb 17, 2017
    I can hear you now - OMG how many kids are there? Remember, I said eight when I started these reviews.

    At last it’s time for Hyacinth Bridgerton, the in-your-face Bridgerton . Hyacinth has been a Its in his kisssupporting character in almost all of the books in this series. She is one of those scene-stealing secondary characters; one of those characters that make us nervous about her own book. Will that book be good or will it be a dud? Will my expectations be met or will they be crushed under someone's big old foot? Well, I'm happy to say It's in His Kiss worked for me. It's in His Kiss by Julia Quinn was published in 2005

    Was Hyacinth a little bit over the top? Yes. Was she a character who some readers may not like? Yes. But for me she had all the ingredients needed to make me smile – even have some laugh-out-loud moments. It’s in His Kiss does justice to Hyacinth and Ms. Quinn writes her just how I imagined her to be.

    Hyacinth is not married. She is not married because men run from her in fear. She is a younger version of the outrageous Lady Danbury, her idol. Hyacinth is outspoken, head-strong, competitive, intelligent, and honest. She knows no fear and she craves adventure. She does things that are outrageous, but because she is a Bridgerton, she has never been condemned for her behavior. If she were an older woman, she would be called eccentric. She is a sparkling, dominating presence wherever she appears. I loved her.

    Gareth on the other hand is the typical manly-man rake who inhabits Romanceland. Yeah, he has problems – his dad is the main one. For all of you people who love to make lists, maybe you could make a list of rotten dads in Romanceland. There sure seems to be a plethora.  Anyway, his father hates him. The reason for this hatred is Gareth really isn’t his son, so there is a strong dislike between the two of them, even more so now that Gareth’s older brother has died, leaving Gareth the heir. Gareth’s father-not-father has also cut Gareth off because Gareth refused an arranged marriage. The only one who Gareth cares for is his grandmother Lady Danbury.

    Lady Danbury. When one applies the term character to Lady Danbury it means more than just a character in a book. She’s been in a number of stories and I would categorize her as a scene-stealer. She’s a pretty entertaining woman, but she’s also a matchmaker and she thinks Hyacinth and Gareth would make a great couple. And, she’s right.

    This is pretty much a character-driven story. The only external conflict comes from Gareth’s paternal grandmother’s diary and that’s not all that much. Most of the story focuses squarely on Hyacinth overwhelming Gareth and Gareth allowing her to overwhelm. Even with all of Hyacinth's strong-willed, adventurous, sparkling, take-over antics Gareth never loses any of his alpha manly-manliness.

    For me, this story was great fun. Yes Hyacinth had her nose in everything and Gareth found her hard to resist, but I didn’t care. I had fun reading this book.

    kayKay is an avid reader of historical romance books, maybe with a little trip into paranormal land and an occasional journey into mystery world.