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Ideas For The Bookshelf

  • A Traveler's Library
    "Novels, histories, biographies, travel narratives, all kinds of literature that help you understand a place and the people and culture."
  • All About Romance
    Among its myriad reader resources All About Romance also has a special title listing for international settings.
  • All Romance Writers
    List of themes/subjects, including international settings and multicultural romances.
  • Edwardian Promenade
    An exceptional resource for anyone interested in the social, political, and cultural life of Great Britain and USA in the period between 1880 and 1914.
  • El Rincón De La Novela Romantica
    A Spanish romance site.
  • Goodreads Places
    Goodreads is a large site for readers to review and chat about books, network with other readers, and keep records of wishlists as well as books read. The "Places" section is fun for browsing for books through a particular location or setting, whether real, imaginary, mythological, or historical, e.g. "Budapest", "Ruritania", "Atlantis", "Mongol Empire".
  • Historical Novel Blogs
    A useful listing of blogs that deal with historical fiction, including historical romance, of various time periods and places, courtesy of author Nan Hawthorne.
  • La Mia Biblioteca Romantica
    An Italian romance blog.
  • Les Romantiques
    A French perspective on romance novels and romantic fiction, although the books discussed are mainly translations from English.
  • Romance Reader At Heart
    Book databases for various international locales.

Around The World

  • Blue Abaya
    A Finnish nurse offers humorous perspectives on cultural differences through observations on life and love in her adopted country, Saudi Arabia.
  • Diary Of A White Indian Housewife
    Life in India from the perspective of an Australian woman in Mumbai.
  • Kinna Reads
    A blogger from Ghana reviews world literature, including poetry. Her emphasis is on women writers, particularly from Africa.
  • My Marrakesh
    Moroccan lifestyle and design through the eyes of an American owner of a guesthouse in Marrakesh. A visual feast!
  • The Traveler's Lunchbox
    Delicious stories by a globetrotting writer and photographer.
  • Tongue In Cheek
    The lovely blog of an American woman who lives in the South of France. Her photos and brocante-filled stories of France are as beautiful as her attitude to life.


  • Galavanting
    An online travel magazine for women, "built to inspire, empower and connect women to the communities they visit."
  • Wanderlust And Lipstick
    Inspiration, tips and words of wisdom from experienced women travellers "who’ve seen it all".

Assorted Book Blogs

  • A Girl Walks Into A Bookstore
    Highlights vintage novels as well as a wide selection of historical fiction in a concise yet insightful manner.
  • Adventures Of An Intrepid Reader
    Engaging posts about a variety of books, from historical fiction to mystery and romance. One of my favourite book blogs.
  • At Home With A Good Book and The Cat
    Frank and smart views about books old and new, mainly historical fiction and romances. An absolute favourite of mine.
  • Brontë Blog
    News related to the Brontës, including book spinoffs, films, plays, and auctions. Many links to useful study resources.
  • Read React Review
    Discussions about the romance genre, with an academic slant.
  • Reading The Past
    Discerning historical fiction reviews that invite one to linger and reflect. Related news and interviews add up to a stimulating, welcoming mix.
  • Romance Reviews By Alice
    Balanced assessments of a rapidly growing collection of historical romances.
  • Teach Me Tonight
    Academic analysis of the romance genre.
  • The Sleepless Reader
    A mix of contemporary and classic reader favourites that encompasses genre, mainstream and literary fiction.
  • Truth, Beauty, Freedom, And Books
    Creative use of music and videos as tools in discussing an appealing variety of fiction makes this book blog uniquely delightful.
  • Unabridged Chick
    Literary and commercial fiction set in various cultures and periods, evaluated with warmth and style.
  • Wuthering Expectations
    Nineteenth-century world literature.


Hello and welcome!

In the course of a nomadic life I have called four countries on three different continents home. On a trip to a wedding on the other side of the globe I met the wonderful man who is now my husband. Is it any wonder that I like my reading to combine a foreign setting with a HEA?


The Books

At present, I am working through my bookshelves and thus the large majority of novels I will be discussing here are older releases. I may include a few current ones every now and then. The posts are primarily intended as a record for myself of the books I have read in the past and wish I would have kept more detailed notes about; therefore, they sometimes include spoilers. I don’t assign grades. There are too many variables, and grappling with comparisons between the relative merits and drawbacks of each and every novel for the sake of an arbitrary grade does not work for me. If I love a book, I spell it out. If I have problems with something, likewise. If I detested it, it probably will not find its way to these pages unless something in it highlights a topic that interests me.

In case you or the FTC are wondering, I only blog about books I have bought myself. I neither seek nor accept ARCs or any other review copies. Also please note that the italicised, indented synopses are not back cover blurbs but my own summaries.

To give you a basic idea of my reading tastes, here are a few favourites:

Romantic classic
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Romance classic
This Rough Magic by Mary Stewart

Wow! romance
The Smoke Thief by Shana Abé

Contemporary romance
The Shadowy Horses by Susanna Kearsley

Ancient World romance
The Gladiator's Honor by Michelle Styles

Medieval romance
Ann Of Cambray by Mary Lide

Historical romance
Secrets Of The Night by Jo Beverley (Georgian)
Storm Winds by Iris Johansen (French revolution)
My False Heart by Liz Carlyle (Regency)
You Only Love Twice by Elizabeth Thornton (Regency)

Adventure romance
Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne du Maurier

Category romance
Lazaro’s Revenge by Jane Porter

Paranormal romance
Night Fires by Karen Harbaugh

Reincarnation/Time Travel romance
A Wheel Of Stars by Laura Gilmour Bennett
A Cottage By The Sea by Ciji Ware
Mariana by Susanna Kearsley

Biggest glom
Jo Beverley

Fairytalesque romance
Lord Of Ice and Princess by Gaelen Foley
Bewitching by Jill Barnett

Most impressive romance debut
The Duke Of Shadows by Meredith Duran
Surrender To A Stranger by Karyn Monk

Love story I adore but which pushes a romance reader hot button
Love of Seven Dolls by Paul Gallico

Romantic fiction
The Food Of Love and The Wedding Officer by Anthony Capella

Romantic mystery
Death In Kashmir by M.M.Kaye
The Man In The Brown Suit by Agatha Christie

Glitzy melodrama
Mistral’s Daughter by Judith Krantz

Fantasy historical fiction
The Mists Of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley

Adventure historical fiction
Prince Of Foxes by Samuel Shellabarger
The d'Artagnan romances by Alexandre Dumas
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

Comfort reads
Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart
Madam, Will You Talk? by Mary Stewart
If Only They Could Talk & It Shouldn’t Happen To A Vet by James Herriott
Gaudy Night by Dorothy L. Sayers
84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff (nonfiction)

Crime mystery that is really a love story
Family Skeletons by Patrick Quentin

Crime thriller authors
Alistair MacLean
Jan Guillou

Wept so much it hurt
Falls The Shadow by Sharon Penman

Hearty laughs
The Long Ships by Frans Gunnar Bengtsson
Three Men In A Boat by Jerome K. Jerome
It Can’t Always Be Caviar by Mario Simmel

Classic I cannot appreciate
Ulysses by James Joyce

Authors whose work others love but I do not
J.R.R. Tolkien
Georgette Heyer

"Must read" that I have not read
Dan Brown
J.K. Rowling

Have sampled, and concluded it is not for me
Graphic crime novels
Erotic romance
Shapehifter romance

Life-changing reads
Villette by Charlotte Brontë
The Little Drummer Girl by John le Carré
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
Falls The Shadow by Sharon Penman
The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom (biography)

General fiction and literature
If Not Now, When? by Primo Levi
How Many Miles To Babylon? by Jennifer Johnston
Mila 18 by Leon Uris
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë
North And South by Elizabeth Gaskell
Quo Vadis by Henryk Sienkiewicz
The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
To Serve Them All My Days by R. F. Delderfield
Till Morning Comes by Han Suyin
The Snowblind Moon by John Byrne Cooke
The Sunne In Splendour by Sharon Penman
The Year Of The Hare by Arto Paasilinna
To Sir With Love by E. R. Braithwaite
A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute
The Go-Between by L.P. Hartley
Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
A Place Of Greater Safety by Hilary Mantel
Middlemarch by George Eliot
A Room With A View by E.M. Forster
Howard's End by E.M. Forster
Firedrake's Eye by Patricia Finney
The Source by James Michener
Thomasina by Paul Gallico
The Light Bearer by Donna Gillespie

Lindsey Davis’s Falco
Shana Abé’s Drakón
Sharon Penman’s Plantagenets
Elizabeth Peters’s Vicky Bliss

Favourite fictional heroes
Andrea Orsini/Zoppo in Prince Of Foxes by Samuel Shellabarger
Thomas Lieven in It Can’t Always Be Caviar by Mario Simmel

Favourite fictional heroine
Jane in Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Non-romance recommendation to a romance lover
The Food Of Love & The Wedding Officer by Anthony Capella - mainstream fiction’s gift to romance lovers
The Man In The Brown Suit by Agatha Christie - try this if you love Elizabeth Peters; you also get an alpha hero
The Silver Pigs by Lindsey Davis - this funny and touching first book in the Falco mystery series, set in the ancient Roman world, reads like a stand alone, romantic love story - and yes, this couple remains devoted to each other throughout the series
Destination Chungking by Han Suyin - try it if you love Meredith Duran; poignant and literate

Romance recommendations to a non-romance reader
Meredith Duran
Linda Howard
Judith Ivory
Susanna Kearsley
Elizabeth Peters
Candice Proctor

Fictional characters I would like to meet
Although socializing is not the favourite pastime of this introvert, I’d love to be a dinner guest in the home of Phileas Fogg and Aouda from Jules Verne’s Around The World In Eighty Days, or watch a performance by Carrot Top, Reynard, and Mouche in Paul Gallico’s Love Of Seven Dolls.