Three Books by Joan Aiken

Three books by Joan Aiken

28389313 The Smile of the Stranger
Paperback384 pages
Expected publication: September 6th, 2016, by Sourcebooks Casablanca (first published January 1st, 1978)

GoodReads Summary:
The Paget family's adventures begin in this Gothic Regency period romance reissue from legendary author Joan Aiken

When danger forces expatriate English gentlewoman Juliana Paget to flee her home in Italy, she embarks on a journey full of thrilling adventure. Nothing could have prepared her for outwitting a French mob, crossing the Channel in a hot air balloon, or fending off the advances of the fascinating Count Welcker.

Arriving in London just in time for her very first Season, Juliana is going to find all her ideals challenged and the truth of her heart finally revealed.

My Review:
I'll try to get these in the correct order, though they don't have to be read in order, or even together. This book has a great heroine. She was in Italy with her father. Then he gets killed in France. So, she jumps into a hot air balloon with a man she doesn't know and escapes across the Channel to England for her first season, which she handles with aplomb, of course. She's quite a plucky character and well traveled by now.The unknown hot air ballooner flits through the shadows from time to time, but she still doesn't know who he is. She does know that he kisses very nicely. 

She keeps having to explain whose side she's on, as she keeps getting into trouble. But in the end, the Count claims her and keeps her out of any more trouble. So there's the HEA. 

I received this eARC from Sourcebooks Casablanca and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I am not being compensated in any way. All opinions are fully my own.
~ Judi E. Easley
28389314 The Weeping Ash
ebook640 pages
Expected publication: October 4, 2016, by Sourcebooks Casablanca (first published 1980)

GoodReads Summary:
The Paget family is irrevocably changed in this Regency period romance reissue from legendary author Joan Aiken
New bride Fanny Paget experiences shame and torment in her loveless arranged marriage, finding solace only in her budding friendship with estate gardener Andrew Talgarth. He never seems too busy to listen and sympathize.

But Fanny is trapped until her husband's cousins arrive from India and a series of explosive events unfold that change the lives of all involved. Andrew is there through it all, strong and steadfast, awaiting Fanny's greatest self-discovery-no matter how long it takes.

My Review:
Fanny is another intrepid heroine, especially given her time. She is thrown in with a bunch of people who are rather extraordinary, though. So I can't say what might have happened to her if she had been on her own. If she hadn't fallen in with neighbors down the tunnel, she really wouldn't have come through this whole ordeal in quite the same shape. Yes, I said, "down the tunnel", over the wall, and around the corner. This book is chock full of crazy little twists and turns. They really add to the tenor of the book and allow for some of the unique happenings in the book. I think of the three books in the Paget family series, this is the one with the most outlandish happenings. I just don't think some of these things would have been gotten away with, even by aristocrats. Some things I just don't think you can hush up. But it all made for a really great book and probably the best of the three.

I received this eARC from Sourcebooks Casablanca and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I am not being compensated in any way. All opinions are fully my own.
~ Judi E. Easley
 The Girl from Paris
Paperback416 pages
Expected publication: November 1, 2016, by Sourcebooks Casablanca (first published 1982)

GoodReads Summary:
The Paget Family Saga comes to a riveting conclusion in this historical romance reissue from legendary author Joan Aiken

Love and scandal are close on her heels...
Ellen Paget moves to Paris, longing to flout convention and spread her wings in Society. She wants nothing to do with the charming Hon. Benedict Masham, an old family friend who's made it his business to look after her welfare. But when tragedy and scandal force Ellen back to England, it takes all her ingenuity to keep her family safe, and Benedict's steadfast help and unwavering support are suddenly indispensable...

My Review:
This book doesn't seem to know what it wants to grow up to become. It probably doesn't want to be a romance novel, since it only has a tiny bit of romance in it. It could be a historical novel, but it's not about any really famous historical figures. I guess we'll have to go with its being a period piece since that's what people seem to be categorizing it as. No one really seems sure, though. Even the book doesn't seem sure. It's a timid piece and the weakest of the three pieces in this series. It's a nice enough little story, but it really didn't excite me very much.

I think that sometime I will have to go back and reread these three books in the correct order and see if doing so makes a difference in how I view them.

I received this eARC from Sourcebooks Casablanca and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I am not being compensated in any way. All opinions are fully my own.
~ Judi E. Easley

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