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The Golden Darter

My Life Through Books


Middle School was a weird mix of classics and Star Wars. I was obsessed with The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux to the point of the book falling apart. I also discovered that while I love Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters can go hang. As for Star Wars... I've read almost every meta-verse book that was published up until the New Order cannon. I can still go into detail and recite storylines of a few beloved books. Hence, my nerd life began.


High school was very paranormal, vampire, scifi, etc. I would literally go online and search for book series that concerned vampires and read everything on the list. We are talking Anita Blake, Charline Harris, Anne Rice, Amelia Atwater-Rhodes, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, Tanya Huff, Steven King, etc. This was before they sparkled, ya'll. Early college was philosophical and political theory for school, and mainstream fiction in my personal time. Wicked, Life of Pi, Memoirs of a Geisha. These are the 3 books that pushed me into my next phase, mostly because of how ambiguous I felt about them, and their questionable endings.


Late-mid college I was introduced to LaVyrle Spencer by way of Hummingbird courtesy of a gripe session with my Mom about how depressing the books I had been reading lately were. I've never looked back and have been hooked on the romance genre ever since. I've read and loved a ton of LaVyrle Spencer (who is a little hit and miss), Judith McNaught (of the rapetastic 80s era of romance), and Georgette Heyer (who writes in the vein of Austen). More recently I've discovered the joys of contemporary authors like Susan Elizabeth Phillips.


Lately I've been trying to read more non-fiction. I really do enjoy learning about subjects that interest me, but non-fiction can feel like work sometimes. So I fall back to romance. You just can't go wrong with knowing that there will almost always be a happy ending.

Currently reading

Playing Dirty
Jennifer Echols
Searching for Someday
Jennifer Probst
Mara TP
Ming Doyle
The Quest
Susan Kearney
Play by Play (Play Makers #1)
Kate Donovan
Mrs Ronnie The Society Hostess Who Collected Kings
Sian Evans
Her Perfect Earl - Beth Pattillo I heart The Sound of Music. Meaning that I had the movie (along with every other R&H) on constantly throughout my formative years. And while Her Perfect Earl definitely borrows some character elements, the book doesn't copy that story in the slightest.Optimistic governess. Check. Emotionally removed widower half-engaged to his second wife? Check.A brood of children who are emotionally distanced from their father? Check.About the only thing not present is the Nazi/WW2 story line. And singing. There is even a scene where the kids put on a play! Though theirs doesn't fare quite as well as the VonTrapp kids did.For all of that, I liked these characters for themselves. Like I said, even though it blatantly shares elements with TSoM, it doesn't feel like it at all. You really want Esmie to get her school, and for Julian to get his head out of his bum the whole book. It took me a little while to warm up to Julian, but once I did, I quite liked him. However, I did wish there was more depth to their relationship regarding their love for researching and antiquities (we are mostly told this, not shown). It seems like such a big part of why they liked each other to be mostly skipped over. The ending was also a bit... sudden. Yeah... I'll put it like that. Big life changes in a short amount of time. So if that is a trope you don't like, stay far away from this book.There is apparently an epilogue about the children on the authors site which I plan to look up as well. (EDIT: Here's the epilogue) While Her Perfect Earl wasn't genre-changing or anything, it was quite nice. And all the Sound of Music nostalgia it evoked didn't hurt either.Note: After having read this, I realized it is a re-release of an older (2005) title by this author. So it's not so much a newly released book, as it is as newly released edition. Just an fyi.ARC courtesy of Bell Bridge Books, via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.