A Triple Knot by Emma Campion

triple knot

A little warning before I give you some information about this book. I am not a fan of the history of the English Royalty. I’ve never followed what king and/or queen did what and since they all went by a handful of names, I have difficulty telling them apart. That said, A Triple Knot was a little confusing at first but the storyline was interesting.

Joan of Kent, cousin to King Edward III, is immersed in the king’s court. She longs for the days before her father was murdered by her own grandmother. When the king arranges a political marriage for support in his campaign to regain the French crown, Joan fights the arrangement. At the age of thirteen, she secretly pledges herself to Thomas Holland, one of the king’s knights. At the beginning of the Hundred Years’ War, Thomas is continuously taken from the country. He comes home to find Joan has married another man and begins a campaign to annul that marriage. In the mean time, Ned (son of Edward III and Joan’s cousin first removed) continues to show his interest in Joan as well.

While reading this book, I had to look up information on several members of the royal family. It was somewhat interesting to learn about the lives of the royal family. You sensed Joan’s unease at being under their thumb and her lack of individuality. I felt for Joan most of the time but there were a couple of times I would rather have throttled her. She made some poor decisions (in the fictionalized version of her life). I did feel like the story ended too soon because this book only focused on Joan and Thomas’s marriage and not on Edward and Joan’s marriage.

***Blogging for Books provided me with a free e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. I was not compensated for this review.

The Butterly and the Violin by Kristy Cambron

butterly and violin

Once in a while I come across a book I’m not sure about reading but a few pages into it, I’m captivated. That’s what happened with The Butterfly and the Violin. This book was beautifully written and tops my list of favorites so far in 2014.

Sera James is desperate to find the original portrait. She saw the portrait when she was a girl and the memory of that painting has never left her. After her world is shattered, she throws herself into the search, learning everything she can about the portrait and subject of the painting.

Adele Von Bron, dubbed as Austria’s sweetheart, lives a life of privilege during a time of upheaval in the 1940s. As a violinist in the Austrian Phil Harmonic, her name and face are well-known. Despite her sheltered life, she knows there’s more. When she is injured while trying to help some friends get to safety—Jewish friends—Adele’s life becomes the thing of nightmares.

As I was immersed in the lives of these two women, I was drawn to both of them. While one of them struggles with learning to trust—both God and others—again, the other tries to survive in the despondency and despair of Auschwitz-Birkenau. The friendships of the other women around them sustain both of them as both women struggle with their relationship with God and with others. Hauntingly beautiful, The Butterfly and the Violin is a book that will remain with me for years.

****Thomas Nelson Publishing and BookLook Bloggers provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. I was not compensated in any way for either a positive or a negative review.

With Every Breath by Elizabeth Camden

with every breath

Kate Livingston struggles with being a woman in Washington D.C. in the 1890s. She’s intelligent and longs to be challenged in her job. When Dr. Trevor Kendall seeks her out and offers her a position as a statistician, she hopes this might be something that will sustain her. When she meets the doctor, she finds the man who beat her out of a college scholarship when they were eighteen. But Trevor has always challenged her in a way no one else has.

Trevor Kendall sought Kate out to help with is tuberculosis research because she is relentless and determined. She doesn’t give up, and with his research, he needs someone who is willing to fight. Spending time in close proximity to Kate becomes a challenge for him, though. There are things she doesn’t know about him. Things that will horrify her if she ever found out.

Elizabeth Camden creates characters the reader can’t help but root for. The medical research aspect of the book gives it depth and heart and there’s also a little mystery thrown in there. This is the first of Camden’s books I’ve read, but after doing so, I would like to read more.

***Bethany House Publishers provided a free copy of this book to me in exchange for an honest and fair review. I was not compensated in any way for either a negative or a positive review.