“These Are a Few of my Favorite Things: 5 of my favorite novels I’d recommend in a heartbeat. 

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Slammerkin by Emma Donoghue.

This novel is my all time favorite for many reasons. It’s got everything I look for in a novel! Sex, murder, intrigue… it’s not a happy story,  then again I love to read and write unhappy things.

Our main character, Mary is not likable and that’s what I love about her. She’s constantly messing up even when she has a light at the end of the tunnel and a chance to redeem herself. Mary is so young when the events of the novel take place and one could attribute her troubles to her age but in truth, she is an arrogant, greedy girl.

The novel is set in London and on the outskirts of the city. It discusses prostitution and the struggles of the lower class.

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The Wideacre Trilogy by Philippa Gregory.

Move over The Other Boleyn Girl, Gregory’s debut novel is one to pick up and not miss!

As with Slammerkin, the wiseacre trilogy discusses sensitive subjects such as incest, murder, and the occult. It’s a fabulously told tale which keeps you on the edge of your seat. The main character is Beatrice Lacey and once again we have an unlovable protagonist. She’s greedy and vain yet you can’t stop reading. Beatrice, like Mary from slammerkin, had a chance to redeem herself but she does not and only continues her behavior.

This leads to a series of events crashing down around herself and others. It’s a great read and if you can stomach raunchy incest sex scenes then it’s definitely worth your time.

 

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Leonardo’s Swans by Karen Essex

This novel was one I picked up on a whim and ended up loving. The two women featured, Isabella and Beatrice are as different as two sisters can be. Their rivalry is marked by marriage and although the sisters both make great marriages there is more to be had. Jealousy, adultery, love and more fill the pages of this historical fiction novel.

 

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Cleopatra’s Daughter Series by  Stephanie Dray

This series surprised me a lot. At first, I thought it a young adult book but by the time I got to the third novel I was definitely convinced it was not.

Octavian’s obsession with Selene is the center I would say of the novel. There is so much sexual tension between them and to some, this could be a trigger as she is so young.

I believe it is a great series and for those who love Cleopatra, this insight into her daughter is worth the read!

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The Borgia Bride by Jeanne Kalogridis

If you know anything about the Borgias you know that a novel about them will be raunchy as hell and fun to read. In this novel, our main character is Sancha of Aragon. Most books I have read are from Lucrezia’s perspective so this was a breath of fresh air. I enjoyed her loveless marriage to Joffre and affair with Cesare. Sancha has relations with all three brothers. In real life, this was said to be true.

This novel has a lot of sex. Rape and underage included. It contains boatloads of adultery and murder so definitely not for the faint of heart. I think I finished it in a day. It’s a pretty quick read which keeps you interested the whole time cause you feel like you need to continue to the end of this fascinating woman’s life.

 

 

Honorable Mentions

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The Wise Woman By Philippa Gregory

A riveting tale of witchcraft and lust…

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Duchess of Milan By Michael Ennis

Cousin rivalry, sexual intrigue and more…

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Empress of Rome Series By Kate Quinn

Ancient Rome at its finest with corrupt Emperors…

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Diaries of the Family Dracula By Jeanne Kalogridis

The story behind the Dracula family descendants.

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The Lost Queen By Norah Lofts

George III’s sister Caroline and her disastrous marriage to Christain of Denmark.

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The Prince and the Quakeress By Jean Plaidy

George III and Hannah Lightfoot. A person favorite and basis for what I wrote my novel on.

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The Russian Concubine series By Kate Furnivall

A Russian woman and Chinese man fall hopelessly in love despite the events going on around them.

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Empress Orchid and The Last Empress by Anchee Min

Cixi from minor concubine to Empress…

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Four Sisters All Queens by Sherry Jones

The four sisters of Provance have their voices heard in this gripping novel…

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The Dark Queen Series by Susan Carroll

Catherine de Medici and her flying squad of witchcraft and poison center around this long series of sisters.

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Roma by Steven Saylor

Short story collection of Roman families from the start to the fall…

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Nefertiti by Michelle Moran

The beautiful Egyptian queen comes to life…

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Katherine by Anya Seton

Mistress and wife?

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The Red Tent by Anita Diamant

An exciting biblical refering novel about Dinah, daughter of Jacob and Leah.

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Thomas V.S. Shane  (From “She’s Only Seventeen”

Spoilers

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Obviously

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Read here —–> https://www.amazon.com/Shes-Only-Seventeen-Novel-Drugs-ebook/dp/B01LXTMF8S/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

….

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In my novel She’s Only Seventeen, Kat Crowne is loved by two very different men. Who rule her choices throughout the novel. Although she dates others and cares for them, only Shane and Thomas are the ones who make the largest mark. In this segment, we will discuss and analyze the differences and similarities between the two men and why each was right for Kat.

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Thomas is introduced first so let’s start with him. He is described as a rebel when Kat first meets him and she instantly finds him attractive with his piercing blue eyes and ebony hair. Thomas plays guitar and it is his only comfort at the boarding school till he meets Kat. He is an orphan but was left with money from his late parents which he uses to begin Neptune. Thomas convinces Kat to join the band and she does. It is then that he begins to fall in love with her.

Soon the band grows and Neptune is invited to tour with Arctic Circle. Before they go on tour, Thomas and Kat sleep together for the first time because they are embarrassed they are both virgins heading on tour. This marks the beginning of their lifelong struggle of passion for one another. Kat begins to date Drew,  but she soon finds herself without him after the tour. She moves onto Gary and then James as a jealous Thomas observes her. When they go back on tour with Arctic Circle, Kat gets back together with Drew. It is then that she sleeps with Thomas again.

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Kat and Drew break up and she is with Shane. During this time she realizes she loves Thomas but is pregnant by Shane. She married him, ending her relations with Thomas. As Kat and Shane’s relationship falls apart, Thomas and Kat grow closer. Shane and Kat divorce as Thomas and Kat begin an affair with her new boyfriend Brian’s back. Soon it comes to a climax and Kat agrees finally to be with only Thomas.

 This is all well and good until Kat sleeps with Shane. Thomas forgives her but grows increasingly frustrated with her and jealous of Shane. Thomas wants to marry Kat but she refuses. On the night of his death, he plans to ask her one more time but doesn’t get the chance. He does, however, marry her in the hospital. Thomas dies that night leaving Kat a widow. She is upset beyond repair and starves herself. Her love for Thomas is stronger than anyone else in the book and she is never the same afterward.

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Thomas is Kats opposite in many ways yet they are so very much alike. He serves as her soulmate and although she doesn’t realize it till it is too late, she never forgets him. Thomas proves to be almost obsessive towards her at times while at others he can drop her like a fly and not speak with her for months at a time. He stands a firm ground against her and challenges her in ways she hates. The pair compliment each other well as they both have a high sex drive. Thomas can control Kats drug and alcohol use but also will play along with her when she feels frisky and adventurous.

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Shane’s character differs very much from Thomas. Shane is part of Arctic Circle and close to ten years older than Kat. He falls hopelessly in love with her on their second tour together and married her. He knows about her and Thomas and tries to end things but decided against it when he finds Kat is pregnant. Their relationship never recovers after Kat cheats on him with Drew and becomes pregnant. They are all unsure if she is pregnant by Drew or Shane. Shane accused Kat of cheating on him with Brian and they divorce. It is then he finds out that the baby was his causing him to reconnect with her briefly after the divorce but then Kat dates Thomas.

Shane grows increasingly angry with Kat as he sees her with Thomas. He is forced to spend time with her when his father dies and wishes to see Kat. Upset, Kat and Shane find comfort with each other. After this, Shane finds himself hopelessly in love with her once more. He sees Kat in passing but it isn’t till she and Thomas party with him does he rekindle any sexual relationship.

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When Thomas dies, Shane blames himself partly for his role on angering Thomas. He is afraid to approach Kat that eventually does when their daughter Darla urges him to. They reconnect eventually and marry once more. Kats death effects Shane but it is needed as Kat needs to be with her soulmate.
Thomas and Shane both embody different characteristics. At one point they are great friends but this friendship is interrupted by their feelings. When Thomas dies, he tells Kat to be with Shane. This marks his respect for Shane and his knowledge that Shane is right for Kat in many ways. She abides by this wish.

Shane is the only man who Thomas is ever jealous of near Kat. He grows furious as the two try to co-parent Darla through late night phone calls.  During a drug-induced encounter, Shane, Thomas, and Kat all become intimate. This is the last time all three are together at peace.

 

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Shane serves as a marker for Kat. He is solid for her and he is her safe spot. He is willing to do anything for her and protects her the best he can. He tries to satisfy her desire but cannot at times. He loves her beyond reason and although many of his friends tell him to stay away from Kat he finds he cannot. Kat has had a long time crush on Shane which we find out about in Spolier*Just a Small Town Girl, the prequel about Kats mother. As a child, Kat enjoyed Arctic Circle and fell for Shane before Thomas. Thinking this childish she dismissed the idea until she met him in person.

Kat also only tells Thomas about her life with her mother and father. A fact which she never confines within Shane. She trusts Thomas with her secrets as well as her hopes and dreams. While Thomas is more dreamy life herself, Shane is more realistic and this marks a crucial difference in the men. To thrive, Kat needs to dream big but she also needs to be brought back to reality.

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Many have suggested that the novel would have worked best had the three had a ménage relationship but then it would have lost its touch I feel. Kat needed Thomas to grow. She needed Shane to mature. Thomas helped her learn to love and Shane helped her learn to forgive and move on.

Both men had their impact on Kat positively and negativity. I have stated my opinion but what do you think? Thomas or Shane?