Longshore, Katherine. Manor of Secrets
January 28th 2014 by Point
E ARC from Netgalley.com
Strengths: Middle school girls who have been watching Downton with their mothers (and surely there are a few), will adore this period drama about changing times and changing roles. I wanted to slap Charlotte at first, but she does grow up a bit and starts to understand things a bit more. While relationships are hinted at, there is nothing graphic or instructional, so I will be ordering this for my library.
Weaknesses: Nothing earth shakingly new here, but then I've read and seen a lot of stuff from this period. My very favorite is the BBC's House of Eliot.
Rasheed, Leila. Diamonds and Deceit (At Somerton #2)
January 7th 2014 by Disney-Hyperion
And, look, a younger Lady Mary getting dressed! There was nothing I wanted to do more on the snow day on Tuesday than curl up and read this, but after finding Cinders and Sapphires (At Somerton #1) to be a bit more young adult because of a few themes, I will keep this one a bit until I get all of my "work" reading done. But it looks soooooo good!
"London is a whirl of balls and teas, alliances and rivalries. Rose has never felt more out of place. With the Season in full swing, she can't help but still feel a servant dressed up in diamonds and silk. Then Rose meets Alexander Ross, a young Scottish duke. Rose has heard the rumors about Ross's sordid past just like everyone else has. Yet he alone treats her as a friend. Rose knows better than to give her heart to an aristocrat with such a reputation, but it may be too late.
Ada should be happy. She is engaged to a handsome man who shares her political passions and has promised to support her education. So why does she feel hollow inside? Even if she hated Lord Fintan, she would have no choice but to go through with the marriage. Every day a new credit collector knocks on the door of their London flat, demanding payment for her cousin William's expenditures. Her father's heir seems determined to bring her family to ruin, and only a brilliant marriage can save Somerton Court and the Averleys' reputation.
Meanwhile, at Somerton, Sebastian is out of his mind with worry for his former valet Oliver, who refuses to plead innocent to the murder charges against him--for a death caused by Sebastian himself. Sebastian will do whatever he can to help the boy he loves, but his indiscretion is dangerous fodder for a reporter with sharp eyes and dishonorable intentions.
The colorful cast of the At Somerton series returns in this enthralling sequel about class and fortune, trust and betrayal, love and revenge."