It’s the start of another week. It’s Monday! What are you Reading is hosted by Kathryn from Book Date, this is a weekly event to share what we’ve read in the past week and what we hope to read, plus whatever else comes to mind.
The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner | Historical Fiction | Add to Goodreads
A female apothecary secretly dispenses poisons to liberate women from the men who have wronged them—setting three lives across centuries on a dangerous collision course
Rule #1: The poison must never be used to harm another woman.
Rule #2: The names of the murderer and her victim must be recorded in the apothecary’s register.
One cold February evening in 1791, at the back of a dark London alley in a hidden apothecary shop, Nella awaits her newest customer. Once a respected healer, Nella now uses her knowledge for a darker purpose—selling well-disguised poisons to desperate women who would kill to be free of the men in their lives. But when her new patron turns out to be a precocious twelve-year-old named Eliza Fanning, an unexpected friendship sets in motion a string of events that jeopardizes Nella’s world and threatens to expose the many women whose names are written in her register.
In present-day London, aspiring historian Caroline Parcewell spends her tenth wedding anniversary alone, reeling from the discovery of her husband’s infidelity. When she finds an old apothecary vial near the river Thames, she can’t resist investigating, only to realize she’s found a link to the unsolved “apothecary murders” that haunted London over two centuries ago. As she deepens her search, Caroline’s life collides with Nella’s and Eliza’s in a stunning twist of fate—and not everyone will survive.
A Trial of Sorcerers by Elise Kova | (A Trial of Sorcerers #1) | Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance | Add to Goodreads
Ice is in her blood.
Eighteen-year-old Waterrunner Eira Landan lives her life in the shadows — the shadow of her older brother, of her magic’s whispers, and of the person she accidentally killed. She’s the most unwanted apprentice in the Tower of Sorcerers until the day she decides to step out and compete for a spot in the Tournament of Five Kingdoms.
Pitted against the best sorcerers in the Empire, Eira fights to be one of four champions. Excelling in the trials has its rewards. She’s invited to the royal court with the “Prince of the Tower,” discovers her rare talent for forbidden magic, and at midnight, Eira meets with a handsome elfin ambassador.
But, Eira soon learns, no reward is without risk. As she comes into the spotlight, so too do the skeletons of a past she hadn’t even realized was haunting her.
Eira went into the trials ready for a fight. Ready to win. She wasn’t ready for what it would cost her. No one expected the candidates might not make it out with their lives.
Never Call Me Vampire by Tamara Grantham | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads
The world calls him vampire.
But that’s not who I know. He’s my fellow patient at Crimson Hollow, a facility for those infected with the vampire virus. He’s lived for more than a century and been called many things. Vagabond. Circus freak. Prisoner. Murderer. Now he’s the world’s most famous person. He receives blood transfusions to stay conscious and rarely leaves the facility. He’ll never be free. Except in death.
And that was what he wanted…until I arrived. All I wanted was a cure. I wasn’t planning to fall in love.
He knows too much about my secret. And I’ve learned too much about his past.
Someone is plotting to unleash a serum that will destroy the entire world as we know it. But to save everyone—we must sacrifice ourselves.
They call him vampire. But only he knows his true nature
And I may never be prepared to accept it.
The Heiress: The Revelations of Anne de Bourgh by Molly Greeley | Historical, Retelling, Romance | Add to Goodreads
In this gorgeously written and spellbinding historical novel based on Pride and Prejudice, the author of The Clergyman’s Wife combines the knowing eye of Jane Austen with the eroticism and Gothic intrigue of Sarah Waters to reimagine the life of the mysterious Anne de Bourgh.
As a fussy baby, Anne de Bourgh’s doctor prescribed laudanum to quiet her, and now the young woman must take the opium-heavy tincture every day. Growing up sheltered and confined, removed from sunshine and fresh air, the pale and overly slender Anne grew up with few companions except her cousins, including Fitzwilliam Darcy. Throughout their childhoods, it was understood that Darcy and Anne would marry and combine their vast estates of Pemberley and Rosings. But Darcy does not love Anne or want her.
After her father dies unexpectedly, leaving her his vast fortune, Anne has a moment of clarity: what if her life of fragility and illness isn’t truly real? What if she could free herself from the medicine that clouds her sharp mind and leaves her body weak and lethargic? Might there be a better life without the medicine she has been told she cannot live without?
In a frenzy of desperation, Anne discards her laudanum and flees to the London home of her cousin, Colonel John Fitzwilliam, who helps her through her painful recovery. Yet once she returns to health, new challenges await. Shy and utterly inexperienced, the wealthy heiress must forge a new identity for herself, learning to navigate a “season” in society and the complexities of love and passion. The once wan, passive Anne gives way to a braver woman with a keen edge—leading to a powerful reckoning with the domineering mother determined to control Anne’s fortune . . . and her life.
An extraordinary tale of one woman’s liberation, The Heiress reveals both the darkness and light in Austen’s world, with wit, sensuality, and a deeply compassionate understanding of the human heart.
The Moria Pearls by Rosalie Oaks | (Lady Diviner #2) | Historical Fantasy | Add to Goodreads
A missing necklace, a murder, and an extra helping of plum pie…
The magical Moria Pearls are hidden somewhere in Devon, and Miss Elinor Avely and the tiny vampire Miss Zooth are on the case – but a certain washed-up selkie prince is determined to find the powerful necklace before they do.
Pearls aren’t diamonds, curse it, so Elinor’s secret gift for divining jewels cannot help this time. And the bossy Lord Beresford would rather she stay out of trouble. His lordship’s opinion holds some weight, given that they have been (almost) engaged twice now, and Elinor is hoping for a third attempt of a more lasting duration.
When a selkie’s murder disrupts the Devonwide hunt, however, Elinor is backed into a troubling corner. She might be able to find both the Pearls and the killer… but everyone still believes that Miss Zooth is the jewel diviner. Somehow, Elinor and her vampiric chaperone must maintain the façade, extend Elinor’s divining gift, and find the Pearls before the murderer does … or risk forfeiting their lives.
Who poisoned the selkie? Where are the pearls? And just why does that plum jam taste so good?
What are you hoping to read this week? Let’s chat in the comments below!