The readers of this blog have spoken and provided us their favorite books of the year. The books did not have to be publlished in 2021 as long as they were read in 2021. I have provided the cover, description, and links to buy for some of the books, with more to follow later. The list below is all historical fiction. You can find the link to buy by clicking on the book cover. I will post more of our reader’s favorites tomorrow. Later this week I’ll provide a list of the Top 7 books I’ve reviewed this year.
Historical Fiction (In No Particular Order)
Joan Flower and her daughters enjoy a pleasant and comfortable life in the Leicestershire village of Bottesford, despite Joan’s superior and proud manner, which makes her unpopular with other villagers. When tragedy strikes and the three women find themselves without their only source of income, the comfortable lifestyle becomes a thing of the past.
The women are fortunate in finding temporary employment at Belvoir Castle and, while it lasts, they manage quite well. But a series of incidents and thoughtless deeds result in the three being dismissed, leaving them with only the coin earned from Joan’s meetings with her lover, and the sale of her herbal remedies, to live on.
Joan sees this dismissal as a personal attack on her family by the immensely rich Sir Francis and Lady Cecilia Manners. Joan’s desire for revenge on the people who had brought her family down drives her to do things she would not ordinarily have done…
Whispers of devilish practices soon circulate, eventually reaching the ears of the earl and countess, who are already racked with grief over a seemingly incurable illness plaguing their family. Eventually, Lady Cecilia becomes convinced that Joan and her daughters have cast spells on the family, causing them heartbreak and loss. Is this the beginning of the end for the Flower women?
In 1972 North Việt Nam launched the Easter Offensive against South Việt Nam. One of its main objectives was to capture the city of An Lộc and declare it the capital of a Provisional Revolutionary Government.While many accounts of the military battle exist, this novel is the first to describe it through the eyes of the soldiers and civilians who underwent over three months of fighting and surviving in the wartime inferno created by North Vietnamese artillery and tank-led attacks.While carefully weaving historical facts with vivid descriptions of daily life, the author has crafted a page-turner involving a young Regional Forces Lieutenant and the daughter of a rubber plantation owner. Through it all, readers are given a detailed look not only at how generals and commanders planned and fought the battle, but perhaps more importantly, at how the soldiers and civilians of An Lộc managed to endure and survive their hellish ordeal
After Tom and Michelle Cleveland move into their recently built, modern townhouse, their housewarming party is disrupted when a drunken game with an Ouija board goes wrong and summons a sinister poltergeist, Estelle, who died in 1904.
Estelle makes her presence known in a series of terrifying events, culminating in her attacking Tom in his sleep with a knife. But, Estelle isn’t alone. Who are the shadows lurking in the background – one in an old-fashioned slouch hat and the other, a soldier, carrying a rifle?
After discovering their house has been built on the site of one of the original farms in Irene, Michelle becomes convinced that the answer to her horrifying visions lie in the past. She must unravel the stories of the three phantoms’ lives, and the circumstances surrounding their untimely deaths during the Second Anglo Boer War, in order to understand how they are tied together and why they are trapped in the world of ghosts between life and death. As the reasons behind Estelle’s malevolent behaviour towards Tom unfold, Michelle’s marriage comes under severe pressure and both their lives are threatened.
Katie Jones is committed to fighting for the cause of woman’s suffrage. She has no time for romance, especially not with her best friend Ben Rafferty. But when Katie’s column in Ben’s newspaper stirs things up, sparks begin to fly. Ben is set on winning Katie over, but Katie is just as determined to stay true to her 1916 feminist ideals. With such strong obstacles in the way, their relationship can’t possibly progress. Unless somehow love finds a way…
“You can run all you want, Katie. You still can’t run away from your feelings or from my love. Not today. Not ever.” With determination in his voice, he added, “I will catch you, Katie.”
While Catching Katie entertains us with an appealingly feisty heroine and a tender love story, author Robin Lee Hatcher is not afraid to challenge us with thought-provoking issues and valid spiritual insights. A truly enjoyable read! — Cindy Swanson, host of Weekend Rockford radio show.
Barcelona, Spain, 1803. Agustina Saragossa, the youngest daughter of a bladesmith, sneaks around the military barracks, yet not to snag a husband as everyone thinks. Stubborn, hot-tempered and fiercely devoted to her country, like her grandfather before her, she is far more interested in learning about the ensuing war between Britain and France than the lazy, arrogant Spanish soldiers at the compound.
When Sergeant Juan Roca, a handsome officer with a troubled past, is relocated to the barracks, he is instantly struck by Agustina’s beauty and fiery spirit. Despite her heated rejections and open mistrust, he relentlessly pursues her. Will he ever win her heart?
As the war progresses between their neighboring countries, Napoleon Bonaparte deviously orders the invasion of Spain, thinking it will be an easy task. But Agustina and Juan join the fight first as guerillas then soldiers in their valiant effort to crush the enemy and regain the freedom of their country.
A dynamic and heartfelt story based upon true events that takes place during one of the most devastating wars in Europe. It captures the strength of unity and family and is known as one most powerful love stories in history.
“A rip-roaring good historical mystery with Agatha Christie’s astute detecting skills, and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s eye for the 1920s New York lifestyle.” – Historical Fiction Company
It’s all fun and games, until someone gets killed.
Meet Jax Diamond, a sharp, sophisticated, skilled, no-nonsense private detective. Or is he? Glued to his side is his canine partner, Ace, a fierce and unrelenting German Shepherd whose mere presence terrorizes criminals into submission. Well, maybe not.
But the two of them are a whole lot smarter than they look. And they have their hands full when a playwright’s death is declared natural causes, and his new manuscript worth a million bucks is missing.
Laura Graystone, a beautiful rising Broadway star, is dragged into the heart of their investigation, and she’s none too happy about it. Especially when danger first strikes, and she needs to rely on her own ingenuity to save their hides.
Join Jax, Laura and Ace on a fun yet deadly ride during the Roaring Twenties that takes twists and turns, and a race against time to find the real murderer before he/she/they stop them permanently.