Perks of Loving a Scoundrel by Jennifer McQuiston

Miss Mary Channing can think of nothing more lovely than an early morning spent in the garden reading a book. She is not perturbed by the prospect of spinsterhood or a life of quiet and solitude. Her sister, unfortunately, is set on making her be social and experience something outside of her small little world.

Mary finds herself called to London and thrown into society unceremoniously. But not before she encounters a drunken Lord in the back garden who can only be a terrible rogue, the likes of which she has only read about in her precious novels.

When Mary finds herself thrown into a conspiracy with the very gentleman she is trying to avoid, and no one will believe them about a possible plot to assassinate a prominent government official or perhaps even a member of the monarchy, Mary Channing’s life takes a very exciting turn, full of ladies of the night, corruption, scandal, duels, espionage and intrigue.

Will Mary survive her London adventures? Can she spend time one on one with a scoundrel Lord with her dignity and virtue intact? If you enjoy novels of the bodice-ripper genre, you will love this amusing, easy weekend read. Perfect for a rainy day in your favorite blanket.

As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust by Alan Bradley

21874813

The Flavia de Luce series is a special favorite of mine. If you love cheeky british heroines and a good murder mystery, you don’t want to miss it. As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust, by Alan Bradley, is the 6th novel in the series, which started with The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie.

In the 6th installment, Flavia has been sent to some kind of mysterious finishing school in Canada, Miss Bodycote’s Female Academy, where her deceased mother Harriet went to school. The first night, unfortunately, a singed body falls out of the chimney like a blackened mummy, right onto the floor of her bedroom-and no one wants to talk about what might have befallen the poor victim-or who it might be. Something is very suspicious right away, her chaperones to the school are very strange and she can’t make heads or tails of the cryptic messages she keeps getting from her teachers and fellow students. Is there a conspiracy in effect? Who is in on the secret? Who can she trust? What will happen if she asks the wrong person the wrong question?

Our cheeky little heroine isn’t one to shy away from a challenge, however…She’s determined to shake out the truth no matter what danger befalls her in the process.

This series is a top recommendation from me to you…Don’t miss it! And if you do audiobooks, the audiobook for this series is perfectly narrated and very enjoyable. No excuses, start this series!

The Tide Watchers by Lisa Chaplin

23315855

Lisbeth has nothing left. Abandoned by her husband, her newborn son stolen, she has been forced to work as a tavern wench and unable to leave the France to return to her native Britain in dangerous times with Napoleon plotting to take over the world. A handsome stranger saves her from an unpleasant encounter with ruffians, and offers her a deal she can’t refuse.

He will save her from her miserable situation, get her son back for her and take her to safety…If she will help the British spy network to spy on the American inventor who is working on submersible watercrafts which could change Britain’s efforts against Napoleon and bring them levels of intelligence they’ve never had before. She will, of course, do whatever it takes to convince the inventor that she can be trusted…Even if her virtue is at stake.

Thrown into a world of politics, crime, murder, espionage, and even a touch of romance, Lisbeth’s life is being turned upside down. Can she escape to safety in the end? Can she get her son back? Who can she trust? What will she do to save her son from the clutches of his horrible father? Will she give up all of her principles? Where will she end up, if she fails?

The Tide Watchers, by Lisa Chaplin, is NOT a quick, easy weekend read-the novel is intelligent and full of history and politics. If you want a novel that’s meaty and complex, The Tide Watchers is for you. I, personally, enjoyed it very much and look forward to the inevitable second installment of Lisbeth’s story.

Finishing School Series by Gail Carriger

Carriger

The Finishing School series, by Gail Carriger, is set in the same world as her previous series, the Parasol Protectorate. The first two books are Etiquette and Espionage, and Curtsies and Conspiracies. The Finishing School Series has been adopted as Teen Fiction but will be enjoyed by anyone who loves to read paranormal fiction.

The heroine of the series is Sophronia Temminnick, a 14 year old girl whose mother wants very badly for her to go to finishing school and learn to become a young debutante and lady of society. Sophronia, however, would much prefer her usual activities : spying on people, climbing the dumb waiter shaft, playing with newfangled inventions…When the headmistress for a finishing school appears with the intention of taking Sophronia away with her, the young woman has very mixed feelings. But Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality is not quite what it seems…The school is actually a training academy for espionage operatives-just for young ladies of course, the boys have their own school.

Sophronia has finally found her calling in life, but there are some mysteries aboard the floating school that she cannot resist sorting out for herself-especially in this new world where she is surrounded by paranormal beings. These novels are very fun, and the audiobooks are really enjoyable too.

 

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

11925514

Two women decided to risk their lives to serve Great Britain in effort to end World War II. One is a pilot, the other is an agent specializing in espionage. Proving themselves in a man’s world is the least of the problems these ladies face: one night, during a mission, the plane is shot down and the women are separated beyond enemy lines. One of them is brought into SS custody and placed in a makeshift prison to be tortured for information and held until she can be “dealt with”. The other goes into hiding with a solid plan : find her friend, rescue her, and get the hell out of France.

The situation is very, very dire…But the operation is not hopeless. These amazing women cannot be stopped, and the power of friendship is an impenetrable force. Secret codes, secret operations, espionage, targeting rogue enemy operators, and the strength of two remarkable women fill the pages of Code Name Verity, by Elizabeth Wein.

If you liked reading The Hunger Games trilogy, you are likely to enjoy this novel. Reality is harsh, but inner strength and the power of love drive the heroines through the wreckage. If you can’t handle some allusion to POW torture techniques, however, I recommend you avoid this one. Code Name Verity is considered a Teen novel, but is very adult in nature. If you love espionage, especially with strong heroines, you won’t want to miss this one.