Cake Eater by Allyson Dahlin

Book Genre Block - "Young Adult" with 4 young adults
Book genre block - "Royalty" two small crowns

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I thought this was such a fun retelling for Marie Antoinette. I loved the historical facts that were woven into the story and updated to have a futuristic feel. In this reimagined story, Marie Antoinette is marrying into a royal family and a country filled with turmoil.

The author did a great job of sticking with the major situations and issues happening in the OG Marie’s life. I found myself getting really stressed out as we got closer and closer to that awful beheading. I have to say, Allyson did a great job with the ending…no spoilers! But I was happy with the entire story and the wrap up.

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American Royals III: Rivals by Katharine McGee

Book Genre Block - "Young Adult" with 4 young adults
Book genre block - "Royalty" two small crowns

Rating: 4 out of 5.

When I read American Royals, I fell in love with this alternate United States world. I loved the characters, the family, and the problems. I, of course, gobbled up book 2, Majesty, when it came out, and THEN, book 3 came out, and I was ecstatic!

This book was such a growing point for so many characters. Like the other books, the story is told through a variety of POVs. I enjoyed each of them and found myself particularly interested in the growing friendship between Nina and Daphne. Daphne is one of my least favorite characters in this series, and I almost found myself liking her in this book.

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The Tsarina’s Daughter by Ellen Alpsten

"Historical Fiction" genre card with glasses and book photo
Book genre block - "Royalty" two small crowns

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I really enjoyed this book. After reading Tsarina by Ellen Alpsten, I was really excited to get my hands on this one, and I wasn’t disappointed! The beginning recaps the end of Tsarina, but I would recommend reading Tsarina before starting this one.

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A House Full of Windsor by Kristin Contino

Book Genre Block - "General Fiction" Person holding book

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Readers that enjoy humor, royalty, and family are going to enjoy this one! Told with a light-hearted feeling, this book takes you on a journey starting in the 1980’s and ending in present day.

While this story was filled with moments that made me giggle, it does tackle a serious topic. Our MC, Sarah’s mom, Debbie Windsor is a hoarder. Her obsession is focused on the British Royal family and includes a wide variety of trinkets that commemorate them. I liked the way the story showed the struggles the family goes through when someone is suffering as a hoarder. It was something I haven’t read before, and I liked learning about it.

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The Secret Diaries of Juan Luis Vives by Tim Darcy Ellis

"Historical Fiction" genre card with glasses and book photo
Book Cover

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This is a great book for historical fiction readers that enjoy the Tudor time-frame! It has wonderful characters and a story that draws you right in!

Juan is a Spanish Jew, but is hiding his religion by pretending to be a “New Christian”. His journey was filled with exciting situations and some great romance. I loved his character arc, and couldn’t stop thinking about what was happening while I wasn’t reading the story.

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Twincesses by Tara Lala

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This is an absolutely lovely story! Sisters separated and coming back together after years apart is a story that I always love. I enjoy the secrets and the discoveries made by the characters!

The characters in this book are not only separated sisters but also magical! I loved this element of the story! I think that young readers that enjoy fantasy will really get into this book. There is an evil sorcerer that makes a great villain, and someone that readers will enjoy rooting against.

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Tsarina by Ellen Alpsten

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Wow! This was a thicky-thick book, but it was an awesome story! It was packed with wonderful research turned into a beautiful historical fiction book!

Tsarina is a historical fiction story about Catherine I of Russia. The intrigue in this story is everything you can possibly want it to be! I did not know anything about Catherine until I read this book, and I was wholly engrossed in the story!

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Above the Bay of Angels by Rhys Bowen

Rating: 5 out of 5.

What I Loved:

What an absolutely lovely surprise this book turned out to be! I loved everything about this book. The characters, the setting, the plot, the mystery…everything.

My Synopsis:

Isabella Waverly was born into an aristocratic family that fell from grace early in life. After her mother’s death and her father’s drunken escapades, Isabella finds herself as a servant. After growing up as the one being served, this change of events is frustrating and “beneath her”. Isabella perseveres though. She is earning money that supports her father who can’t get a job and her younger sister who would go hungry without Isabella’s wages.

Isabella is a hard worker and finds she has an interest in the kitchen, soon managing to get placed there as an assistant. After her father’s death, she mentions her dreams of possibly going to America to start a restaurant, and her employer tells her she would not provide a reference. Isabella feels stuck.

Then, she witnesses a young woman get hit by an omnibus in the street. The girl hands Isabella a letter before she dies. Inside she finds an invitation for an interview as a cook…at Buckingham Palace. Isabella decides to impersonate the girl, Helen.

Above the Bay of Angels follows Isabella/Helen on her incredible journey through the kitchens of the palace. There is court intrigue, murder, love, and above all else, a fierce determination to succeed.

How I Felt:

This is my first book by the author, Rhys Bowen, but it will NOT be my last. I am so happy that I stumbled across this book on Netgalley, and after the last page, I jumped on Netgalley hoping for more!

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