Not an overly productive reading month but most of what I read I really loved.
I read the first three books from the The Ravenels Series by Lisa Kleypas. I had so much fun reading them and even more fun creating collages for them.
This is a great start to the series, Kathleen annoyed me a little at times and I wasn’t entirely sure what the conflict was supposed to be between them both but I enjoyed it nonetheless and I loved watching Devon’s transformation.
My favourite of the series so far. I adored Helen and she was another transformation that was fabulous to watch. In Cold-Hearted Rake she seemed so naive but Helen was a legend and she had so much inner strength and I think she is the strongest of all the women in this series so far. Rhys was brash and broody and I have a massive crush on him!
Probably my least favourite of the three. I really liked Pandora and Gabriel and I absolutely adored getting to see Evie and Sebastian from Devil in Winter (Gabriel’s parents) and that’s made me want to reread The Wallflower Series, but some of the conflict and drama just didn’t work for me and it felt a little forced.
These took me down a historical romance rabbit hole that I was more than happy to visit. My last historical binge was in 2012 and at that time word on the street was that Lisa Kleypas was moving into the contemporary genre. I like a bit of contemporary every now and again but I am very picky and I loved her historical stuff so this made me sad. Imagine my surprise when I found I had a historical romance want on me and she had a new series! I’m saving Hello Stranger for a bit because Devil’s Daughter isn’t out until February 2019. I don’t want to be left hanging that long to see what happens next as Kleypas is very good at setting up the story for the next book and leaving you on the edge of a cliff. I have no desire to be left hanging for 8 months thank you very much. 😀
Continuing on the historical theme (I did mention the rabbit hole) my holiday read was The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee. This was perfect holiday reading as it was fast paced and lots of fun. I didn’t love Monty to be honest, especially in the beginning, but it is very much a story of redemption and he did grow on me. Percy and Felicity were wonderful characters and I look forward to The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy coming out in October of this year.
I also read the wonderful Pompeii: The Life of a Roman Town by Mary Beard this month. It was supposed to be in preparation of my trip to Pompeii but I didn’t give myself enough time to read it so I read half before and half after. I think this worked out well as I had a fairly good grasp of everything going in and then a very clear picture of everything after.
I love how Mary Beard writes, she has a fantastic voice and it feels like she is telling you a wonderful story while teaching you about Ancient Rome. One disadvantage to reading some of this before visiting is that I had to hold my tongue while on the tour and stop myself from saying ‘Mary Beard says such and such’ and there was a fair few times I wanted to. I didn’t though and only whispered the conflicting information to my boyfriend as we were moving from location to location.
My poetry pick for June was A Woman Without a Country by Eavan Boland.
This is probably the first collection I’ve read this year that I didn’t love. I think this might be a case of me not being an avid poetry reader. The poems themselves were beautifully written and a few of them I really enjoyed. This sounds weird but with some of the poems I kind of felt like I was being shouted at. My favourite section was definitely ‘A Woman Without a Country’ and I liked the 6 lessons in particular. I don’t think this will be something that I’ll be going back to but I’m glad I gave it a go.