Monday, August 26, 2013

[Book] The Cousins' War #5 - The White Princess by Philippa Gregory

Goodreads - August 20 - 24, 2013


A princess from birth, Elizabeth fell in love with Richard III, though her mother made an arranged betrothal for her with the pretender to the throne: Henry Tudor. When Henry defeats Richard against all odds, Elizabeth has to marry the man who murdered her lover in battle, and create a new royal family with him and his ambitious mother: Margaret Beaufort, The Red Queen. But, while the new monarchy can win, it cannot, it seems, hold power in an England which remembers the House of York with love.

The new king’s greatest fear is that somewhere, outside England, a prince from the House of York is waiting to invade and re-claim the throne for the house of York. Fearing that none of his new allies can be trusted, Henry turns to his wife to advise him, all the time knowing that her loyalties must be divided. When the young man who would be king finally leads his army and invades England, it is for Elizabeth to decide whether she recognizes him as her brother and a claimant to the throne, or denies him in favor of the husband she is coming to love…


My prediction for my feelings towards this book was half right. It is not my favorite of the series. 

The White Princess revolves around Elizabeth of York after the death of her lover; Richard III, to the enemy; Henry VII at the Battle of Bosworth, and basically continues the story of the lost Princes's in the tower. 

As much as I enjoyed the first 4 books of the series; this is plus the Red Queen, which was so good that I hated the main character. But for the White Princess, I just found Elizabeth annoying. 

The book did start off very smooth but a little bit depressing in my opinion. I was disgusted from the very beginning when I found out about Elizabeth of York and her uncle/lover Richard III, and I wasn't looking forward to reading all about how much she was in love with him. Every time she mentions her lover, I get disgusted as well as feel sorry for her. She was tricked into falling in love with her uncle just so he could trick the people into staying on his side rather than his enemy's; Henry VII. I am just very grateful there wasn't much detail on the two lovers's time together. 

As I listened on through the book (since I listened to the audiobook), I grew to actually like Henry VII. He was sweet to Elizabeth of York. But he was brainwashed by his devious mother; Margaret Beaufort, a little bit too much. I never liked his mother. Not now. Not ever. 

Unlike the past books of the series; where the women would dictate through their husbands, Elizabeth of York didn't seem to have much influence over her husband. When it came to very serious matters I assume that the heroins of the past books would have way more influence over Henry VII than Elizabeth, regardless of the love they have for each other. Hence, I got depressed with every bad and stupid decision Henry VII makes through out the book. 

The book went on, and then I got bored. I really enjoyed the past books, but this one didn't match up to my hopes of liking it. I am disappointed. 

Though I recommend this series to those who enjoy reading about the medieval times of debating war and capturing pretenders, with a pinch of love. :)

Friday, August 23, 2013

[Books] Wallflowers #2 - It Happened One Autumn by Lisa Kleypas

August 12 - 21 2013


Four young ladies enter London society with one necessary goal: they must use their feminine wit and wiles to find a husband. So they band together, and a daring husband-hunting scheme is born.
It happened at the ball...
Where beautiful but bold Lillian Bowman quickly learned that her independent American ways weren't entirely "the thing." And the most disapproving of all was insufferable, snobbish, and impossible Marcus, Lord Westcliff, London's most eligible aristocrat.
It happened in the garden...
When Marcus shockingly—and dangerously—swept her into his arms. Lillian was overcome with a consuming passion for a man she didn't even like. Time stood still; it was as if no one else existed...thank goodness they weren't caught very nearly in the act!
It happened one autumn...
Marcus was a man in charge of his own emotions, a bedrock of stability. But with Lillian, every touch was exquisite torture, every kiss an enticement for more. Yet how could he consider taking a woman so blatantly his bride?


They are two different people, who are very alike, but are exact opposites. Despising each other since they were acquainted, annoyed at each others presence each time one walks in the same room as the other. But sudden attraction grows once they've gotten close, close enough for a kiss.
It happened one autumn. It did happen one(multiple) autumn day/s. 

The second edition to Lisa Kleypas's absorbing Wallflower series; It Happened One Autumn, is filled with romantic tension and time behind bushes with a splash of humor and suspense.  

Lilian is a stubborn, sharp-tongued, and is filled with pride but she has a strong heart, and Marcus, Lord of Westcliff is a handsome fellow who seems to feel attracted to a certain young American woman who appears to despise Marcus's sometimes arrogant ass. 

Marcus is definitely attracted to her but knows that he shouldn't be because he stuck on the idea that he should marry a noble English woman, not an American. Don't you just love love when the love just goes on unnoticed. It's like you just want to scream at their faces that that it's is right in front of them. As for Lillian, she apparently hates and is irritated by Marcus, but I honestly don't see it. The whole time they were arguing, I didn't feel the hatred or the displeasure. It actually looks like they enjoy arguing with each other. (perfect match indeed)

As much as I enjoy reading about Marcus's thirst for Lillian, I sometimes think that he's doing it a little too much and going over board. It actually made me think that it was the perfume doing its thing, and thinking to myself, "I should really get my hands on that perfume". Marcus definitely needed to get laid. :3

I grew to like St Vincent, he seemed like a very very sweet fellow towards Lillian. He respected her...ish. As I read on towards the ending, he creeped me out a little bit, like a stalker pedophile kind of creeped out. Oh please, I hope I'll enjoy your book once I get my hands on it! I'm very curious on what will happen with you...

This is my second Lisa Kleypas book, and what I've noticed is that Lisa Kleypas always seems to make things exciting and nerve wrecking towards the ending of this series. I'm not sure if she does that with her other books, but I think it's such a great way to spice up a good romance novella.

As much as I would really want this book to give me sleepless night; just as the first book, unfortunately it didn't. I did enjoy this book, a lot, but not as much as I did the first book (Secrets of a Summer Night)

It Happened One Autumn is a funny, hot, absorbing, tense book filled with beautiful details of gardens. I definitely recommend this book to everyone who enjoys the fascinating writings of historical romance that's filled with a pinch of humor and a whole lot of teasing in what seems to be in every 3 or 4 chapters.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

[Books] The Cousins' War #4 - The Kingmakers Daughter by Philippa Gregory

August 12 - 15, 2013


The Kingmaker's Daughter is the gripping story of the daughters of the man known as the "Kingmaker," Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick: the most powerful magnate in fifteenth-century England. Without a son and heir, he uses his daughters, Anne and Isabel as pawns in his political games, and they grow up to be influential players in their own right.

At the court of Edward IV and his beautiful queen, Elizabeth Woodville, Anne grows from a delightful child to become ever more fearful and desperate when her father makes war on his former friends. Married at age fourteen, she is soon left widowed and fatherless, her mother in sanctuary and her sister married to the enemy. Anne manages her own escape by marrying Richard, Duke of Gloucester, but her choice will set her on a collision course with the overwhelming power of the royal family and will cost the lives of those she loves most in the world, including her precious only son, Prince Edward. Ultimately, the kingmaker's daughter will achieve her father's greatest ambition.


An evocative and intriguing book that I enjoyed much more than the rest of the series, so far. 

Anne Neville is the kingmakers daughter, and of course her fathers favorite. She has been trailing behind her mother and sister for almost her entire childhood up to her first marriage. She has done nothing but follow orders all her life. Well, that's how I see her. 

Among the three leading ladies in this series so far, Anne's story seems to be my most favorite. I felt her fear, her love, her anger and her sadness. For some reason, her story affected me most among the other leading ladies of the series. 

Anne's mother, Anne; they really like reusing their names huh, is a coward. Of course, she was fearful as to what would happen to her now that her husband has been declared a traitor against the current King Edward IV and has also died in battle. I would be too, but I wouldn't leave my daughter alone with the enemy. I would stay by her side, and protect her with my life. I say again. She's a coward and she expects to be forgiven by her daughters? 

The love story between Richard (kings brother) and Anne; Thankfully they stopped reusing their names. I'm getting really confused . I honestly fell for the actor who plays Richard in the TVSeries. I like their love story, it seems true, but I hear that Richard never really loved Anne, and just married her for her money. It's a mystery. 

Now, lets talk about Richard trying to seduce his niece. Let's take a moment to just say that its nasty to freaking seduce your niece... Seriously!! gross... I didn't understand the entire scope of this plan of seducing Elizabeth of York. Some say that Richard fell in love with Elizabeth of York, and some say it was just a lie. I seem to have felt Anne's jealousy towards Elizabeth, but she seems to understand the reason behind the whole plan of seducing the niece so that she won't marry the enemy. She understands it, but I don't!

The ending of the book is what seemed to have a really big affect on me. It was a simple heart warming ending. I felt both sad and happy for Anne. 

In conclusion to this slightly long review, I really really enjoyed this book. It is my current favorite of the series so far. I have a feeling I won't enjoy The White Queen as much And again I say, The Kingmakers Daughter is an evocative, intriguing, heart warming novel and I recommend this series to anyone who enjoys medieval dilemma with a pinch of romance. This book will be all I think about for the next couple of days.


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

[Books] The Cousins' War #3: The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory

August 7 - 12, 2013
Descended from Melusina, the river goddess, Jacquetta always has had the gift of second sight. As a child visiting her uncle, she met his prisoner, Joan of Arc, and saw her own power reflected in the young woman accused of witchcraft. They share the mystery of the tarot card of the wheel of fortune before Joan is taken to a horrific death at the hands of the English rulers of France. Jacquetta understands the danger for a woman who dares to dream.
Jacquetta is married to the Duke of Bedford, English regent of France, and he introduces her to a mysterious world of learning and alchemy. Her only friend in the great household is the duke's squire Richard Woodville, who is at her side when the duke's death leaves her a wealthy young widow. The two become lovers and marry in secret, returning to England to serve at the court of the young King Henry VI, where Jacquetta becomes a close and loyal friend to his new queen.
The Woodvilles soon achieve a place at the very heart of the Lancaster court, though Jacquetta can sense the growing threat from the people of England and the danger of royal rivals. Not even their courage and loyalty can keep the House of Lancaster on the throne. Henry the king slides into a mysterious sleep; Margaret the queen turns to untrustworthy favorites for help; and Richard, Duke of York, threatens to overturn the whole kingdom for his rival dynasty.
A sweeping, powerful story rich in passion and legend and drawing on years of research, "The Lady of the Rivers "tells the story of the real-life mother of the white queen.
Jacquetta fights for her king, her queen, and for her daughter Elizabeth for whom Jacquetta can sense an extraordinary and unexpected future: a change of fortune, the throne of England, and the white rose of York.


The third book of The Cousins' War series by Philippa Gregory; The Lady of the Rivers. In this book we get a view of Jacquetta of Luxembourg, the known descendent of the river goddess, Melusina, and her life before her daughter Elizabeth became queen of England. 

I expected the book to start out from when Elizabeth and King Edward met, and that we would get a different point of view of the same storyline just like the past 2 books. Here we get to read about Jacquetta from her childhood up to adulthood and also when the War of Roses first started. 

Surprisingly, if you think about. This book doesn't really focus on Jacquetta's personal life much. I mean, the story line is set on Jacquetta's life, whereabouts and what she's been through but all that seems to be covering the book is Margaret of Anjou and Jacquetta's loyalty to her. There were times when I would feel tempted to shout out "plaayaaaa" at Margaret of Anjou for having a secret affair with Edmund Beaufort.

All I thought about when I went through the book was "How will Jacquetta turn her coat (as they say) from the House of Lancaster to the House of York?" "How does that happen?". At slightly shocking turn of very simple events, she does turn her coat from Queen Margaret to King Edward. I expected a lot more blood to be shed at this point. But Jacquetta is a very powerful woman, no matters where her loyalties lay, her gifts would always find a way to save her.

I really admire the love of Jacquetta and her husband. They have the love that is so deep that nothing can tear them apart from each other. Even death can't break them. (I just had to put that out there). Her husband would leave to go to war, and then come back safely. He sure is lucky. 

In conclusion, the Lady of the Rivers is a good book. It is fascinating, intriguing and slightly confusing book (just when it comes to the all the names). If you've read the first two books of the series, reading this book will fill out a bit of holes that needed to be filled out about Jacquetta and the early ages of the War of Roses.
I recommend this lovely book to those who enjoy reading a small part of the history of England, and to those who enjoy reading about the medieval times. Because I recently found out that I do xD

When I finished this book, I quickly picked up book 4. Determined to finish at least until book 4 before the series ends. xD

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

[Books] Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding

July 19 - Aug 7 2013


"139 lbs. (how is it possible to put on 4 pounds in the middle of the night? Could flesh somehow have solidified becoming denser and heavier? Repulsive, horrifying notion), alcohol units 4 (excellent) cigarettes 21 (poor but will give up totally tomorrow), number of correct lottery numbers 2 (better, but nevertheless useless)..."

Bridget Jones's Diary is the devastatingly self-aware, laugh-out-loud daily chronicle of Bridget's permanent, doomed quest for self-improvement--a y ear in which she resolves to: reduce the circumference of each thigh by 1.5 inches, visit the gym three times a week not just to buy a sandwich, form a functional relationship with a responsible adult--and learn to program the VCR.

Over the course of the year, Bridget loses a total of 72 pounds but gains a total of 74. She remains, however, optimistic...


I'm going to get straight on to this and be completely straight forward with this review.

I bought this book thinking I would really enjoy it, but that was back when I was really into mild romantic comedy. I watched the movie, and it's still in my top 20 favorite movies.

The book started off with a list of Bridget's new years resolutions. The first chapter (or the January chapter) didn't really suck me in, but I kept going, determined to get this book off my to-read shelf.

Actually, Bridget reminds me of someone I know. Struggles with weight, doesn't know what she wants, smokes but tries to stop and fails in the end, struggles to be in a happy relationship with a man.

As I got to the middle, there were some funny bits, but I honestly got bored and wanted to get it all over with. I ended up skimming through the last chapter.

I would probably read the second book in time, but not anytime soon.

I recommend this lovely book to those who enjoy mild romantic comedy.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

[Books] The Cousins' War #2: The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory

July 30 - 31, 2013
The second book in Philippa's stunning new trilogy, The Cousins War, brings to life the story of Margaret Beaufort, a shadowy and mysterious character in the first book of the series - The White Queen - but who now takes centre stage in the bitter struggle of The War of the Roses.

The Red Queen tells the story of the child-bride of Edmund Tudor, who, although widowed in her early teens, uses her determination of character and wily plotting to infiltrate the house of York under the guise of loyal friend and servant, undermine the support for Richard III and ultimately ensure that her only son, Henry Tudor, triumphs as King of England.

Through collaboration with the dowager Queen Elizabeth Woodville, Margaret agrees a betrothal between Henry and Elizabeth's daughter, thereby uniting the families and resolving the Cousins War once and for all by founding of the Tudor dynasty


The Red Queen is the second book of the Cousins' War series by Philippa Gregory.

The book tells a story of Margaret Beaufort, and how her life passes from her childhood on through her 30s. The book is told through her perspective, so expect to read through jealous, selfish, annoying whining of Margaret Beaufort. 

I listened to the audiobook while reading the book and as much as I enjoyed The White Queen, I some how knew I would despise this one, knowing that it was about Margaret Beaufort.

I felt sorry for Margaret with what she went through during her childhood years, being alone and unloved by others, and the only one she could turned to is to God. I didn't really think that Margaret would turn out to be one of the most conniving woman I'll ever know in literature. 

I get it that she thinks it's her destiny and the will of God for HER to put her son on the throne of England; being the rightful heir of Lancaster, and I also get it that she's true and committed to God, but doesn't God encourage us to be grateful, to think good of others, and to forgive, despite what they've done? Margaret somehow fails to see and/or believe that. She wishes death to most of those in the way of her son becoming King.

There where multiple time when I would just scream and shout aloud saying "WOMAN!! WHY?! Nooooo!?!" and get the urge to hit her with a shovel.

I know she's been through hell, but honestly...She's a scheming jealous narcissistic little bitch!

The way the scenes in the book was portrayed was great. I liked that it didn't start from when Elizabeth became queen, and that we got to read what Margaret's childhood was like and how she grew into the woman she was. 

One thing about Margaret Beaufort what I admire, is how she pushed herself up from how where near the Court up to standing next to the King and Queen as the Queens lady in waiting, and how good she act and make people believe that she's loyal to the Yorks'. 

If you've read The White Queen, and assume that both the actual Red and White Queens are similar, you are wrong. I'd much prefer the White Queen thank you very much! 

I recommend this hot headed book to those who love reading about the 15th century, about Kings, Queens, Knights, etc., and about scheming and jealous women who command their men from the shadows.

I'm giving this book 2 flowers... for making me feel so frustrated!