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A Name Unknown

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A Name Unknown Roseanna M. White Bethany House Publishers
Edwardian Romance and History Gains a Twist of Suspense
Rosemary Gresham has no family beyond the band of former urchins that helped her survive as a girl in the mean streets of London. Grown now, they concentrate on stealing high-value items and have learned how to blend into upper-class society. But when Rosemary must determine whether a certain wealthy gentleman is loyal to Britain or to Germany, she is in for the challenge of a lifetime. How does one steal a family's history, their very name?
Peter Holstein, given his family's German blood, writes his popular series of adventure novels under a pen name. With European politics boiling and his own neighbors suspicious of him, Peter debates whether it might be best to change his name for good. When Rosemary shows up at his door pretending to be a historian and offering to help him trace his family history, his question might be answered. 
But as the two work together and R…

The Invisible Library

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The Invisible Library Genevieve Cogman Roc
One thing any Librarian will tell you: the truth is much stranger than fiction...
Irene is a professional spy for the mysterious Library, a shadowy organization that collects important works of fiction from all of the different realities. Most recently, she and her enigmatic assistant Kai have been sent to an alternative London. Their mission: Retrieve a particularly dangerous book. The problem: By the time they arrive, it's already been stolen. 
London's underground factions are prepared to fight to the death to find the tome before Irene and Kai do, a problem compounded by the fact that this world is chaos-infested—the laws of nature bent to allow supernatural creatures and unpredictable magic to run rampant. To make matters worse, Kai is hiding something—secrets that could be just as volatile as the chaos-filled world itself.
Now Irene is caught in a puzzling web of deadly danger, conflicting clues, and sinister secret societies. And f…

The Captain's Daughter

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The Captain's Daughter Jennifer Delamere Bethany House
When a series of circumstances beyond her control leave Rosalyn Bernay alone and penniless in London, she chances upon a job backstage at a theater which is presenting the most popular show in London. A talented musician and singer, she feels immediately at home and soon becomes enthralled with the idea of pursuing a career on the stage. An injury during a skirmish in India has forced Nate Moran out of the army until he recovers. Filling his time at a stable of horses for hire in London, he has also spent the past two months working nights as a stagehand, filling in for his injured brother. Although he’s glad he can help his family through a tough time, he is counting the days until he can rejoin his regiment. London holds bitter memories for him that he is anxious to escape. But then he meets the beautiful woman who has found a new lease on life in the very place Nate can’t wait to leave behind.
     I can't help but admit …

New Look

     A Tree, A Book, and A Breeze has undergone a long overdue makeover. (And in revamping it, I also discovered that there are new blogger templates! Amazing.)

     Also, one thing you may have noticed is that lately I've been leaving off official "ratings" on my reviews- this is because I'm continually frustrated by whether or not I'm giving out good ones. I always feel like I'm either being too generous or to harsh, and since I generally am a more picky reader, I was beginning to think my continual refusal to hand out 10 stars might be a little depressing for all of you! So, I've simply been leaving the star ratings off. However, if you are a tried-and-true fan of the star system, head over to my Goodreads page and follow my reviews there, since I still use them on that site.

     So, have a look around! Hopefully everything is organized in a manner better and more convenient than before.

Jane of Austin

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Jane of Austin Hillary Manton Lodge Waterbrook Press
Just a few years after their father’s business scandal shatters their lives, Jane and Celia Woodward find themselves forced out of their San Francisco tea shop. The last thing Jane wants is to leave their beloved shop on Valencia Street, but when Celia insists on a move to Austin, Texas, the sisters pack up their kid sister Margot and Jane’s tea plants, determined to start over yet again.
But life in Austin isn’t all sweet tea and breakfast tacos. Their unusual living situation is challenging and unspoken words begin to fester between Jane and Celia. When Jane meets and falls for up-and-coming musician Sean Willis, the chasm grows deeper.
While Sean seems to charm everyone in his path, one person is immune – retired Marine Captain Callum Beckett. Callum never meant to leave the military, but the twin losses of his father and his left leg have returned him to the place he least expected—Texas. 
In this modern spin on the Austen classic,…

Ice Cream and Friends

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Ice Cream and Friends Editors at Food52 Ten Speed Press
     Seriously, who doesn't like ice cream? It's one of my favorites, and since my family owns an ice cream maker, I've been interested in trying out more recipes.

Ice Cream and Friends is, visually, a beautiful book, and there are several recipes that look delicious. There are also some that look weird (will I ever hazard spending money on the ingredients for Burnt Toast Ice Cream? I don't know) and some that just aren't to my taste (fruit is not my thing). The only recipe I've tried so far has been the honeyed walnut ice cream: it was okay, although the cream-to-milk ratio was a little different than I prefer, and gave the finished product more of a whipped cream taste than a true ice cream one. In addition, while I'm sure I'll be trying more recipes from this book, there aren't too many that really made me go, "wow, I HAVE to try this!" My flavor preferences tend more towards choco…

Bread of Angels

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Bread of Angels Tessa Afshar Tyndale
Purple. The foundation of an influential trade in a Roman world dominated by men. One woman rises up to take the reins of success in an incredible journey of courage, grit, and friendship. And along the way, she changes the world.
But before she was Lydia, the seller of purple, she was simply a merchant's daughter who loved three things: her father, her ancestral home, and making dye. Then unbearable betrayal robs her of nearly everything.
With only her father's secret formulas left, Lydia flees to Philippi and struggles to establish her business on her own. Determination and serendipitous acquaintances--along with her father's precious dye--help her become one of the city's preeminent merchants. But fear lingers in every shadow, until Lydia meets the apostle Paul and hears his message of hope, becoming his first European convert. Still, Lydia can't outrun her secrets forever, and when past and present collide, she must either stan…